EPISODE 270

Fit2Fat2Forty with Drew Manning

Episode Summary

Fit2Fat2Forty with Drew Manning The perception most of us have about being fit is to look in a certain way, which turns our journey’s starting point into not liking what we see in the mirror. Eating healthy food and exercising will feel like punishment, like something we must do to repair our “damaged” bodies.

 

This reasoning’s main flaw is thinking that happiness will touch us when we get the “perfect” body, and it’s not true. Happiness is found in the journey to be fit; knowing that eating healthy is not a punishment but a demonstration of love, exercising is taking care of ourselves. The transformational trip into fitness must be made from loving ourselves.

Rob Shallenberger: Alright, welcome back to our Becoming Your Best podcast. This is Rob Shallenberger and I’m here with the amazing Drew Manning, and we’re going to get into this and share a lot of details related to health, body. I know this is a big topic for a lot of people. A lot of people talk about health, “I want to improve my health.” And yet, it seems like it’s almost this mysterious world out there where there is so much information and so much noise on it that it’s like, “Where do you even start? What do you do?” And so, regardless of where you’re at on your journey, what you’re going to hear on this podcast is Drew talking about his unique journey, and he’s really done something that I’ve never seen anyone else do. And I’m going to let him explain that, but I think this is going to be a very entertaining and informative podcast. Drew brings a wealth of experience, and so I’m going to let him talk a little bit of that background, but first of all, Drew, welcome to the podcast.

Drew Manning: Thanks, Rob.

Rob Shallenberger: Good to have you here.

Drew Manning: It’s always a pleasure, man. It’s been a while, so I appreciate you having me on.

Rob Shallenberger: Yes. I met Drew several years ago and I’ve watched his journey and where he’s gone and I’ll let him talk about this. But he did this Fit 2 Fat 2 Fit and now he’s in the process of Fit 2 Fat 2 Forty, which I’ll let him explain. And why don’t you take that, Drew, and just give a little bit of background to our listeners, who you are, how this journey started and where you’re at right now today?

Drew Manning: Yeah. So, most people know me as the Fit 2 Fat 2 Fit guy like you mentioned before, and this happened back in 2011. So, a little bit of background before I get into that. I grew up in a family of 11 brothers and sisters, and we all played sports – I played football and wrestling. So, for me, I was always active and in shape and I transitioned later on in my adult years into the world of personal training because it was something I was passionate about. But here I was, someone who had never been overweight a day in my life, trying to help people who were overweight the majority of their life, and I just couldn’t understand why it was so hard for my clients just to do the things that were easy for me. I’m like, “You guys, you just follow the meal plans, you put down the junk food, you go to the gym, why is it so hard?” Because my clients would get stuck and they would mess up or they wouldn’t be able to follow the meal plan exactly, or sometimes they’d skip workouts. And for me, in my mind as a trainer, I’m like, “You guys, this is so easy for me.” And I have one of my clients tell me, “Drew, you don’t understand how hard it is for me or for people like me, people who are overweight.” And he’s like “For you, it’s been easy your whole life, but for us, it’s so hard.” And I kind of took that to heart, Rob, I was like, “Okay, I get it. I understand. Maybe I need to understand something that maybe I’m missing something.” So, I was thinking of ideas, and as crazy as it sounds, this idea of getting fat on purpose entered my mind and it was like this light bulb went off. And it almost felt like a calling for me to do this crazy, risky experiment. And this is back in 2011, so what I did, in a nutshell, was for six months, I documented my journey of no exercise, completely stopped exercising, which was really hard for me. And then I ate an unrestricted diet, which mostly consisted of standard American diet, lots of processed carbohydrates and refined sugars, things like cinnamon toast crunch, like all the sugary cereals we have here.

Rob Shallenberger: All the good stuff.

Drew Manning: Juices, cereal bars, chips, cookies, crackers. And to make a long story short, I put on 75 pounds of pure fat in six months. And it was one of the hardest, most humbling things. I definitely had my slice of humble pie because I realized just how wrong it was in my approach to wanting to help people. I was like, “Oh my gosh, this journey is way more mental-emotional than I ever imagined.” And so, that’s where I think people started to listen to what I had to say instead of like, “Oh, here’s this trainer with six-pack abs telling me to eat less and work out, like I haven’t heard that before.” But then this was something, like you said, no one’s ever really done before in the fitness industry, to intentionally gain weight to gain a better understanding. And I came out of it so much more empathetic, and way better understanding just how much of transformation has been emotional. And that’s the problem with the fitness industry is they don’t really understand the mental or emotional side. It’s all about calories and macros and diets and how to get skinny and how to lose weight – which is cool, but that’s not what people struggle with. People don’t struggle so much with the application of it. They struggle with, “Okay how do I stay consistent?” After 30 days it gets hard. And so, I wrote a book, which became a New York Times bestseller called Fit 2 Fat 2 Fit. And then the book turned into a TV show where I had two seasons where we put other trainers through this process of gaining weight intentionally to become more empathetic. And it was really powerful because, like you said, it’s never really been done before.

Drew Manning: Fast forward to today, I decided to do this journey again as a 40-year-old because back in 2011 social media wasn’t what it is today. The platforms that we have now, the access to seeing things on demand and instantly, and updates throughout the day, like Instagram stories or Facebook Lives. So, I wanted to do it again a second time as a 40-year-old because we all know as we age it can become harder. And so, I wanted to give people in that 40-50 range some hope and let them know that they’re not alone in doing this, but also because not many people actually followed it when it happened in 2011. Now, there are so many more eyes on it and I wanted to make it more educational, more impactful, more inspirational for people to really understand the importance of empathy, not only in the fitness industry but also in this world, especially during the time of 2020 when it’s so divisive. I think this world definitely needs more empathy, and that’s my message of doing this is, “Hey, let’s be more empathetic towards those people who…” I used to be judgmental towards people who are overweight, I’ll be totally honest with you, ever since I did this. And now I can say that I’m a lot more empathetic and I understand how much of the journey is mental and emotional. So, that’s kind of me in a nutshell, Rob. I gained 62 pounds this time around, the second journey, and now I’m about six weeks into my journey back to fit. So, I’m down 28 pounds so far; I still have 30 more pounds to go. But it’s been very humbling even doing it a second time.

Rob Shallenberger: Yeah. And I’ve been following this journey and hence why we’re doing this right now. I think a lot of people will benefit from what you have to share. So, I don’t know if you caught that – to our listeners – but he’s now on the Fit 2 Fat 2 Forty, right? The second time around. And you’re in the process of it right now. So, you’re six weeks into it, is that right? The Fit 2 Fat 2 Forty side of it. So you went through, you gained the weight, and now you’re six weeks into the losing it side?

Drew Manning: Yes, exactly. So, like I said, I gained 62 pounds of fat this time around, and six weeks back to fit down 28 pounds. And just to be totally honest with you, Rob, I went into this second journey a little bit cocky thinking, “Oh, that’s going to be easy.” Not easy, but like, “I’ve done this before, I got this, I know what to expect.” And once again, this bigger serving of humble pie came to me and I was truly humbled. But it opened my eyes and gave me even a better understanding and even more empathy for those that struggle with body image.

Rob Shallenberger: Which is a big deal. You know what? It’s been interesting just following this journey. I’ll make an observation: man, for that time period where you were eating and just gaining the weight, I was watching those meals. I’m like, first of all, it looks really good. For the second, man, you were packing it in the end, just all of this stuff. And now watching you reverse that course and really bringing up a side of this – and then I want to get into some specifics – but you’re bringing up an important point and that is that it’s not just a ‘go exercise’ issue. The much deeper part of this is the emotional and the mental part of this, whether it’s a habit, whether it’s even our chemical addiction to sugar, there’s just such a deeper part of this. And so, let’s get into your journey. I want to ask you a few specific questions about this and I think some things that you share may be very insightful for us. First of all, relating, you’ve talked a lot about empathy. So, what was the hardest part of this journey so far, especially this time around, the Fit 2 Fat 2 Forty? What was the hardest part of the journey so far? I know you’re still in it. And what’s been the best, most rewarding part of it? Both sides of those coins, the most difficult, challenging part and then the best part.

Drew Manning: The difficult part, it is hard to say one difficult thing, but I will say this: going through this journey a second time – like I said, I went into it a little bit cocky thinking this was going to be easier than the first journey. I think this time around my emotional awareness or my self-awareness that I had this time versus back when I was younger, 30 years old, that was different phases of my life, made the emotional part way more of a roller coaster. Whereas the first journey was more of little tiny bumps and dips, but this was huge ups and downs. So, I feel like the highs were really high, but the lows were really low. And like I mentioned to you before – we were talking before we started the podcast – I went through a breakup, which was really hard for me. And in the beginning of my journey, I was eating the food to gain weight because it tasted good, to be honest with you. But now having gone through such an emotional, stressful situation – which maybe some people listening can relate to whether they’ve gone through a divorce or breakup – that right there was real raw emotions and now I was eating the food to numb the pain.

Drew Manning: And I think this is where people get stuck sometimes as they go through a traumatic experience in life, they have some type of stress and it’s so much easier instead of dealing with that stress to distract ourselves with some type of substance, whether it’s food, drugs, alcohol, social media, movies – there are all kinds of substances that we can use to distract ourselves and numb the pain temporarily. And so, here I was someone aware of that, but still reaching for that Ben and Jerry’s ice cream or that chocolate to kind of temporarily give me that little dopamine hit to numb the pain of going through such an emotional time. Because I was sad, I was depressed, I was lonely. And now I was eating those foods to distract myself from dealing with that pain. And even though I’m aware of it, it was just so much easier to just automatically put the food in my face. And I think that’s where people get stuck because they get stuck in that vicious cycle where now their outlet or their distraction is an unhealthy substance like food and I’m sorry, but salmon and broccoli just don’t do it for you. It doesn’t do the same thing chemically in your body. And so, I see why people get stuck in that. Because the food tastes good, it makes them feel good temporarily, even though it makes them feel like crap later on, it’s really hard to break that cycle because they’ve created some type of addiction or dependency to some type of food because of some type of emotional issue that happened or a traumatic experience in their life and that’s what’s really hard. So, that was the most difficult thing.

Drew Manning: The best part of this journey is on the flip side of that, the healing part of that. And now that I’m able to exercise, Rob, and move my body, it’s amazing how powerful exercise is an antidepressant, probably way more powerful than an actual prescription of an antidepressant. If people could be consistent at moving their bodies, it doesn’t have to be the gym and bench press and squats. It can be walking, running and getting outside, yoga, hiking, biking, swimming, whatever it is that helps you, that right there, the chemical reaction that happens to your body when you have an outlet like exercise makes that so much easier – even better than ice cream. I know ice cream tastes better than pushing yourself through a hard workout, but the long-term effect exercise has on you is way better for you in the long run. And so, the awareness that I have now, having lived that, I can now understand where people are coming from when they say they’re an emotional eater, and it’s usually tied to some type of emotional, traumatic experience they’ve had.

Rob Shallenberger: Yeah, those are great observations. It’s interesting, you mentioned something about depression and the impact that exercise has. I just finished a book called Hope and Help for Your Nerves. I don’t know if you’ve ever read that, or not. Great, great book. Just about the mind, anxiety, things in general – I’m always fascinated with the brain. And there are numerous studies that have been done on this, but just one to support what you said, there was a group suffering from depression and they really broke up into three different groups: placebo group, actual medicine, and then one no medicine, no placebo, and just exercise. And at the end of nine months, the group that felt the best and rated themselves the highest was the group that had been consistent with their exercise. Far better than the actual chemical group. So, it’s amazing how powerful this is – what we’re talking about here. I believe it’s much more powerful than drugs or anything else. So, let me go on this journey and ask this question in a slightly different way. You’ve learned some lessons through this, right? I mean, you have some beautiful daughters, you said that you went through this breakup in the middle of this Fit 2 Fat 2 Forty. What are some of the other lessons learned that you’ve learned along this line? And then after this, maybe we’ll get into some specific things that people can do for their health, related to them. But before we leave this journey, what have been some of your lessons? You’ve talked about empathy and some of these other things. Anything else that has really stood out to you?

Drew Manning: Yeah, I think this time around – and I see it a lot on the journey back to fit – is people’s perception of what success looks like in health and fitness. So, this is the problem with, I think, the health and fitness industry is they create this perception of, “Hey, success is to get this Instagram model body. 5% body fat, abs for the guys, skinny waist for the girls.” Like, these unrealistic expectations. And so, people think, “Okay, that’s my goal. I’m going to shoot for these results and once I get those results, then I’ll be happier. Then all my problems will go away.” And so, what they do is they put up with this process, which they hate because it’s uncomfortable – working out and exercising and dieting and being hungry sometimes and eating healthy food. They think that process sucks, and so they put up with the process for a period of time, and if those results don’t come up, if they don’t get the Instagram model body, then they’re like, “Okay, well, why am I even doing this? Why am I even putting in this work, if I’m not seeing the results? It is pointless.” And so people’s perception is to reach those goals and I hate to quote Miley Cyrus and her song, “It’s all about the climb.” it really is. It’s not about getting to the top. People think once I get this much money or this house or this body, then I’ll be happy and people keep searching for these outside sources of happiness. But really, happiness is found in the process or the climb.

Drew Manning: And so, what I’ve learned – and this is my observation – is that if people can learn to operate out of a place of self-love versus self-hate, then they find fulfillment in the journey, they find fulfillment in the process because they realize they’re worth it whether or not those results come or not. And so, they are worth it, they realize “Okay, I love myself enough to feed myself healthy food.” That is self-love. People think, “Okay, well, how is that self-love?” It really is because you feel better when you eat real food, you feel better when you exercise like that study you mentioned. That right there is self-love, even though it’s uncomfortable, even though it’s hard work. That right there is true self-love, so you’re willing to do those things because now you realize you’re worth it. And when people focus on the process and fall in love with that process because they love themselves, guess what? The results take care of themselves. And then you realize it’s not even about those results. You’re like, “Okay, cool, I have these results, but I already love myself and I’m already fulfilled because I’ve made that shift in perception in my head.” And this is the biggest thing that I’m trying to help fix in the fitness industry is this whole perception of switching what success looks like. And it takes some time because we’ve been programmed for 20, 30, 40, 50 years of “No, I need to look like this in order to be happy or to fit into society.” And so, that’s kind of another lesson I’ve learned.

Rob Shallenberger: That’s great. I love that, Drew. You’re just sitting there talking and it’s funny because I knew this podcast was coming up this morning, so I was thinking about health. I was doing my little exercises this morning and I had this interesting analogy. I think most of our listeners know that I was an F-16 pilot for 11 years – and for those that don’t, now you do. And I was just thinking about this and having a conversation this morning. And our bodies are really like a jet, there’s a lot of similarities. And if you think about the F-16, specifically, it only has one motor in it, so you’ve got to take good care of that motor. And I thought, what happens if you put fuel that’s been watered down into an F-16? It’s not going to perform. Well, how about if we came back from flights and there was no maintenance done on the jet? It only got one engine, so what if nobody took care of it and did any maintenance versus changing out all the parts, moving it up, and so and so? The jet’s not going to perform. Likewise, on the other side, if you’re giving it jet fuel, if we’re taking care of the jet it can perform at a high level and you don’t have to worry about the engine quitting. I just thought our bodies are very similar, and what we’re putting into it and how we’re taking care of ourselves – you talked about self-love, I guess that’s why I’m sharing this – how we’re taking care of ourselves mentally and emotionally is just as important, it all ties together. Physically, mentally, emotionally, all of this comes together and it plays a role in our success. So, hopefully, all of us are thinking about this idea of “Well, wherever I’m at, certainly, I would like to continue to improve my health, long term.” And I think you would say this as well, that what’s happening on the inside is just as important as on the outside, meaning taking care of our brain health, what we eat impacts our brain, our organs, and so on. So, outside image aside, what’s happening inside of our bodies? So, let’s now focus – if you don’t mind, Drew – on what people can specifically do? So, if someone’s listening to this right now, they’re serious about their health and they say, “I want to improve. Regardless of the starting point, I want to improve where I am today.” What are two or three or more specific starting points or things that people could do that would have a big impact on their health?

Drew Manning: Yeah. Obviously, the easy answer for me would be to say something like, “Oh, do this diet and do this workout routine and that will fix it.” I think people know what they need to do as far as that goes, but here’s what I would recommend: two or three small simple things that I have my followers do to help train their brain to become comfortable being uncomfortable. Because the journey of physical transformation is about being comfortable in an uncomfortable situation. And if you could train your brain to do that, then that carries over into your physical transformation, your mental and emotional transformation, your financial transformation, your spiritual transformation. And so, the things I have my clients do – and you probably can attest to this – is making your bed first thing in the morning. It doesn’t give you six-packs, it doesn’t make you lose weight, but it’s a mental discipline thing. If I can be perfect at this one thing every single day, then maybe that can carry over into being perfect and do other little things like maybe eating vegetables or drinking water that day. So, making your bed first thing in the morning.

Drew Manning: The next thing I have my followers do is to take a cold shower. Now, what does that have to do with losing weight and getting a six-pack? Sure, there are some health benefits to it. You’re not going to get a six-pack from taking a cold shower, but in that 60 seconds of sitting there in a very uncomfortable situation, taking a cold shower, I teach my followers how to breathe for 60 seconds, slow their heart rate down because your natural reaction is to freak out, to turn the water on cold, especially the winter here in Utah, it’s very uncomfortable. But if you can just sit there for 60 seconds and learn how to be comfortable in an uncomfortable situation that will translate into so many other areas of your life. Like, when you’re working out and the workout is hard, your muscles are burning, you’re out of breath, you just realize “Hey, I’m okay. Breathe through it, you will get through this.” And you train your brain to become comfortable in these uncomfortable situations. The same thing with being hungry. Sometimes when you have to lose weight, you have to be in a caloric deficit, which is going to force your body to be like, “Hey, I’m hungry, I want food.” And it’s another mental training, mental discipline training to be comfortable in an uncomfortable situation.

Drew Manning: The last thing that I would say is a gratitude list. And what that does is it helps to rewire your brain to look for things to be grateful for. Because a lot of times, like I said, people are waiting like “I will be happy when I get this body. When I see that number on the scale go down to where I want it to be, then I’ll be happy.” The gratitude training helps you to look for things to be grateful for now, even though your life isn’t perfect, even though your body is not where you want it to be. Like your business, Becoming Your Best, it’s a process. And if you can learn to be grateful during that process, then you’re not going to hate that process. You’re not going to think, “Oh, I have to exercise and eat healthily.” You rewire your brain to be fulfilled and grateful now, while you continue to work on a better version of yourself. So, those three things are probably not what people expected to hear like, “Hey, go cut out carbohydrates, and do this workout.” That’s what people expect to hear from a personal trainer, but these things carry over into so many other areas of your life.

Rob Shallenberger: Yeah. So, let’s see, make your bed, cold shower, and the gratitude list. And I think it’s interesting that not a single thing you mentioned there had anything to do with the “how-to”, the diet.

Drew Manning: Yeah, that’s what I’m saying. People probably didn’t expect those answers, but it makes such a huge impact. And I keep telling my followers to remind themselves when they get discouraged when that number on the scale isn’t going down even though they’re putting a lot of effort, get back to these basics and just focus on the process and realize that they’re worth it to continue this, whether the results come or not. Don’t worry so much about, “Hey, I’ve got to get this body.” Just focus on these little things, doing the simple things, and then the exercise and eating healthy food, of course, that’s going to come. And if people want to get into that I’m sure we could do a whole podcast about the keto diet, how does it work, how to prepare for it, how to research and understand if it’s right for you, that’s a whole different approach. But people have access to that – just go to Google and type in “How to do the keto diet?” or “How to exercise from home during a pandemic?” There are all kinds of things at your fingertips, but I didn’t want to make it about that because you can find that anywhere.

Rob Shallenberger: And I’m glad you didn’t because when we do our own little training wherever we’re at, there’s a slide we open within that says “Becoming Your Best is both a mindset and a skill set.” And everything you just said ties into the mindset. Making your bed, there’s a win in the morning. The cold shower. And it’s funny you mentioned that because I’ve been doing that for the last week, for the first time ever in my life.

Drew Manning: Really?

Rob Shallenberger: It’s just a mental challenge, it’s what you just said, it’s a mindset. You stand there and you’re breathing. It’s cold, but it’s just a mindset training thing and it’s been awesome. And a gratitude journal is something I haven’t done until about a year ago and it’s had a huge emotional impact. And I think one of the themes of this podcast that I’m gathering is that all of these things tie together. And tell me if you agree with this, but if someone really wants to improve their health, they’re going to be in a much better position to do so if they’re working on their mind and their emotions at the same time. In other words, we all, like you said, if there’s a significant emotional trauma in someone’s life, the go-to can be for food, not because it tastes good, but more for the emotional fix that comes from it. So, anyway, I love that advice and I think those are three things that anybody can do, who wants to, right? Make your bed, that’s easy. Take a cold shower for one minute – anybody who wants to can jump in and turn it on cold. And a gratitude journal.

Rob Shallenberger: So, let me shift over to a little bit. I know our listeners can’t see this, but Drew and I are on Zoom so we can actually see each other and he’s got a keto sign in the back. And I’ll say this about Drew, he is one of the most knowledgeable, competent people in the world when it comes specifically to the keto arena. He’s good in all of this health and everything in general, if you’ve heard and you’ve seen, and he’s amazing. But I do want to talk specifically about keto just for a few minutes if that’s all right because you are one of the most knowledgeable people in the world on keto. And I know that this could totally be its own separate podcast, and maybe we’ll do that at some point. But first of all, maybe just explain to everyone what keto is. I’ve done it for the last month, I just got out of ketosis two days ago and the reason I want you to do this is because I know there’s a lot of people who have heard about keto, but really don’t know the facts. And like you said, you can go to Google and there’s so much information on it. And the reason I want to bring this up is because I know there’s a lot of people like me out there, who they hear keto, okay, it’s cut the carbs and go. And that’s exactly what I did the first time. And I just jumped into it in a day and it didn’t work so well. This time around, I was able to do it for a month with a little better plan and understanding in part because I followed you, but there’s still a lot I don’t know about it. So, maybe just talk to us, first of all, a little bit about keto. I know this isn’t going to be a 30-minute discussion on it but talk about keto, if you will, a little bit, Drew. What are keto advantages, benefits, things that people need to be thinking about, especially if they’re serious about starting keto?

Drew Manning: Yeah. I’ll keep it very basic and very brief, I won’t get into all the science. But basically, keto, in a nutshell, is your body when you’re in a state of ketosis, your body enters a different metabolic state which is similar to being a fighter pilot. Your jet runs off a certain type of fuel. Our bodies were designed to run off two different types of fuels. One is glucose, which comes from carbohydrates. Most of the food we eat gets turned into glucose and then glucose is that fuel that helps our body have energy, our mind, our brain, our muscles, our organs, our nervous system. The second type of fuel is called ketones. And so, what happens when we run out of food? Our bodies were designed to last a long period of time without food. And I know that seems crazy for people to think about going a day without food because they feel like they might die. But the fact is, your body can last a long period of time because what happens when your body burns through all the glucose – let’s say every human in the world stopped eating today. Within two, three, or four days, literally almost every single human would be in a state of ketosis where our body now is starting to burn fat as energy. And so, what happens is your body takes the stored body fat, it breaks it down in the liver into these things called ketones, and then ketones replace glucose as the primary fuel source. And then we can go days, weeks, some people months. The Guinness Book of World Records of number of consecutive days fasting is 382 days by a 460-pound man in the 1960s. He was monitored by doctors, he was published in medical literature, he was given water, vitamins, and minerals, but he was able to live off of his own fat for 382 days without any food.

Rob Shallenberger: Wow.

Drew Manning: I know that sounds crazy. You and I Rob couldn’t last that long, we’re pretty lean. But our bodies have this amazing ability to tap into stored body fat as energy. And that’s what ketosis is, in a nutshell. Your body is shifting over from burning sugar as fuel, from all the carbohydrates we eat to burning fat as fuel. And so, there are two ways to get into ketosis. One is to stop eating, which obviously sucks, and people don’t like that in our society but fasting is a great way to get into ketosis. But if you don’t want to do that, that’s okay. A way to hack that is by eating a keto diet, which mimics fasting. So, you eat high fat, moderate protein, low carb – so that’s the cutting out the carbs. If you cut out all carbohydrates, your body is forced to find a different fuel source because it doesn’t have the glucose anymore. And so, when you eat high-fat foods, your body then uses that fat to convert it into ketones, and that’s your backup fuel system. And so, your body’s just shifting from being a sugar burner to a fat burner. So that was a very basic lesson of what ketosis is, in a nutshell.

Rob Shallenberger: Okay. And if someone was going to do this and say, “Hey, I want to do this. I want to try this keto”, how would they go about doing that? And again, I know this could be a 30-minute discussion, but at least at a basic level, how would they start? How would they go about doing that? Rather than me, my first time around, I said, “Okay, today, I’m going to start my keto journey.”

Drew Manning: Yeah, here’s kind of what not to do is just jumping in and just saying, okay, butter, bacon, and cheese that has no carbs. I’m just going to eat butter, bacon, and cheese because that tastes good. Do your research first. Obviously, I have my own keto book, but you can go research really quickly on how to do keto the right way.

Rob Shallenberger: Just to pause you real quick. Can you tell them the name of your book while we’re on this? I don’t want to lose this. What’s the name of your book?

Drew Manning: It is called Complete Keto. It’s available on Amazon, you can check it out. It’s got a picture of me, so you can’t mistake it with any other book. Complete Keto.

Rob Shallenberger: And that walks through the whole thing, right? Everything we’re talking about here related to keto?

Drew Manning: Yes, in a very basic, easy-to-understand way. And it’s got a 30-day program, and there are 70 plus recipes, it’s very easy to follow if you want to just have something like that as a guide.

Rob Shallenberger: Okay. So, I didn’t mean to interrupt you, but I wanted to get that out there. So, Complete Keto by Drew Manning, a great book to go into a lot more detail. Obviously, this is a basic level. So, I’m sorry to interrupt you, so pick up where you left off there, Drew. So I was asking, where does someone start?

Drew Manning: No, worries. So that would be the best way to start. If you don’t have time for that, you’d want something simple, and you’re like, “Okay, just tell me what to do, Drew.” Make sure in getting sodium – so take in more salt, maybe get a potassium supplement and a magnesium supplement. And the reason you need that is because when you switch over to keto, your body is going to expel a lot of water. So, people lose a lot of water weight initially and they think that’s a good thing. Sure, you’re going to lose weight on the scale. The problem with that is it can dehydrate you. And so, this is where people experience the keto flu. So, that first week if you know nothing about what I’m talking about, you just go in with butter, bacon, and cheese, and you don’t replenish those electrolytes, you’re going to have things like headaches, lethargy, brain fog, lack of energy, dizziness, lightheadedness, cramping in the muscles because you’re not replenishing those important electrolytes that your body actually needs. So, supplement with lots of sodium, potassium, and magnesium. And yeah, of course, cut out the carbohydrates and stick with whole foods. So, the problem that people jump into is now that keto is so popular, they’re going to jump in and eat keto cakes, keto pancakes, keto ice cream, keto cookies, whatever it is because those are comfort foods that were like, “Oh, I have to have a cookie, I have to have ice cream.” And now there are keto versions of that, and then people tend to eat those foods more than meat and vegetables, and then that’s where sometimes you don’t realize how many calories are in it, and you don’t end up losing the weight that you want to lose. So, those are a few of the tips that I would say if people want something very basic to get started or just go get the book, Complete Keto if you want a more detailed guide.

Rob Shallenberger: Yeah, I’m going to read your book, Drew. So, I haven’t read it yet, I’m going to. Maybe one thing that would also be helpful here and then we can get ready to wrap this up here. Explain dirty keto versus clean keto. Because there’s also the Atkins diet that people want to say keto is just like that, you just eat all meat. But maybe explain dirty keto versus clean keto, I’m not sure I’m still clear on what the difference is, and what the ideal keto looks like.

Drew Manning: So, dirty keto would involve those types of foods that I mentioned – all these keto treats, keto desserts, keto bars, keto shakes. And there’s a time and place for that. I’m not going to lie, I definitely enjoy the keto ice cream if I’m trying to be strict with ketosis every once in a while, just like you would on a normal diet. If you’re not doing keto, having ice cream every day or cookies every day isn’t healthy. So, the dirty version of keto would be all these processed convenience foods and packaged that are comfort foods. People tend to do the cool whip and lots of cheese, lots of dairy, and lots of, tonnes of nuts and seeds, all these are keto treats that you can find now in the stores, which, like I said, there’s a time and place for that. Clean keto would involve the program in my book, which is whole foods, you’re getting high-quality meat, seafood, and eggs, lots of nutrient-dense vegetables at every single meal, and you’re sticking with whole foods. That’s the difference between those two things in a nutshell.

Rob Shallenberger: Okay, awesome. Well, let me ask you this before we wrap up. Any final tips related to health? Anything, really. Any final tips or thoughts that you’d like to share with our listeners?

Drew Manning: Yeah, I’ll say this – not really a tip but just basically helping people become more aware of just how important physical health is in everyday life. And this is what I learned from my journey as well is we think physical transformation is just physical. Like, “Okay, eat less calories, work out, and then my body will transform.” But you slowly realize that it is a mental, emotional, spiritual journey, and they’re all tied together because your physical health affects your mental and emotional, and spiritual health. If you are going through the day eating junk food, you’re not exercising, you’re hustling, you’re grinding, you’re not sleeping well, your hormones start to be affected, your mood starts to change, your personality changes. How you show up in business, how you show up as a father, as a mother, as a husband, as a wife, as an employee, as a business owner is affected by the way you treat your body. And so, your body is like this amazing engine. If you’re feeding it and not treating it the way it should be, it’s going to carry over. And I learned, it even affects your relationships. So, you want to be a better dad, you want to be a better mom, you want to be a better lover or spouse? Take care of your physical health first because you can’t keep pouring from this empty cup. I know we think we can, like “Oh, just take supplements, take caffeine, stimulants”, whatever it takes to get the job done, and then before you know it, you’re just constantly pouring from an empty cup, and then boom, you burn out. And then that’s where relationships can change and you change at the core. So, take care of your physical health first, and I promise you, everything else in this life will fall into place so much easier.

Rob Shallenberger: That’s interesting you shared that because as I’ve followed your journey, that’s exactly what I’ve watched. And I don’t know if you’re wearing that on your shoulder, or what it is where you’re constantly tracking your… Is that…

Drew Manning: Oh yeah, my glucose levels.

Rob Shallenberger: He’s showing me right now. So you’re constantly tracking that, right?

Drew Manning: Yes.

Rob Shallenberger: And I remember you on the Fit 2 Fat part of your journey, where you were showing spikes and different things. You’re like, “Man, I slept awful last night.” And it was interesting how you mentioned that numerous times how it really impacted your overall well-being, your stress, everything, your sleep, your relationship. And then on the flip side here, now you’re six weeks into the fit side of it and I’ve watched you post the reciprocal of that. You’re like, “Man, I slept so well last night. I feel so much happier here.” And it’s just interesting to see the contrast and how real that is that our health ties into our emotions and our mental health and everything else – they do all tie together. So, great comments. Well, Drew, we’re going to wrap up. How do people find you? I know you have a pretty strong presence on Instagram, Facebook, Complete Keto, the book which I’m going to read. How do people find you?

Drew Manning: Yeah, super simple. So my brand is fit2fat2fit.com is my website, which is the name of my first book, and then all my social media handles are Fit 2 Fat 2 Fit, the same thing with a number two.

Rob Shallenberger: Fit 2 Fat 2 Fit and Drew Manning, amazing guy. So, hopefully, you’ve sensed all the wisdom and just amazing lessons learned that Drew has to offer. He didn’t have to do this, he’s done it now twice – gone through this journey – and I think, obviously, has impacted a lot of lives through this. And hopefully, it’s caused you to think. It certainly has me, I’m going to read his book. When it comes to health and everything else, one of the 12 principles is to apply the power of knowledge. Well, we can only apply something once we have it. So, what we’re doing here is just gaining knowledge and you’ve been a wealth and a great resource for that. You shared your knowledge and I appreciate you coming on the show, Drew.

Drew Manning: Thank you Rob for having me. It was a pleasure.

Rob Shallenberger: Alright. Have a great day, we hope you have a wonderful week, wherever you’re at in the world. And remember, this is the whole spirit of Becoming Your Best. Good, better best, never let it rest till the good is better, and the better is best.

Rob Shallenberger

Rob Shallenberger

CEO, Becoming Your Best

Leading authority on leadership and execution, F-16 Fighter Pilot, and father

Drew Manning

Drew Manning

Owner at Fit2Fat2Fit

Health and Fitness Expert, Author, Owner, and public speaker

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