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"You can say whatever you want about the keto diet, but what it did for my family and what it did for my wife, and what it did for keeping this together...you have no idea. Insult me all you want, but I go home at night knowing that this changed my life and it's changing other peoples' lives."

Thomas DeLauer has long been an advocate for the ketogenic diet. Although he now runs one of the largest health & fitness channels on Youtube, his journey started out just like anyone.

He wanted to become the best version of himself.

Just a few years ago, Thomas was overweight and carrying 280lbs on his body. By reducing his inflammation through nutrition & exercise, he was able to drop the weight and become featured on covers of popular fitness outlets like the Natural Muscle Magazine.

In this episode, we explore...

  • The various diets Thomas has experimented with: Cyclical keto, vegan keto, & carnivore
  • Why Thomas eats moderate fat in the morning, lean in the mid-day, and higher fat in the evening
  • Using supplements like H.V.M.N. Ketone and why Thomas tends to avoid caffeine

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Thomas DeLauer, really great to have you on the H.V.M.N. podcast.

Thomas D.

Stoked to be here, man.


Yeah, and of course you're hosting in your headquarters here down in Los Angeles, I'll describe the setting a little bit for folks who are listening. You have the infamous kitchen setup in the studio back there and you also have your I guess in-house gym or in-office gym.

Thomas D.



Sounds like you'll be operating soon, so that should be exciting for all your fans and followers. So obviously we have a lot of overlapping interests in context here. We spent the last hour, hour and a half just catching up and chatting. And I think one of the most interesting places to start perhaps is that folks probably see all your multiple weekly, multiple times a week updates on your self experiments, talking about low carb, high fat diets, keto extreme diets. But sometimes, your own personal story gets lost in that mix. Can you step back and do a quick overview for your personal journey for folks that don't know that?

Thomas D.

It's been a wild ride. So I'll give a little bit of context first, and then give the whole background. But I've been doing the ketogenic diet for, since 2010. So keto's been big part of my life for a very long time, and it really came into my life a lot more so with a call to action because I needed to lose a lot of weight and I needed to get healthy.

Backing up even further, I was an athlete when I was in high school, I was an all-state rugby player, I was an all-state trackster, I ran cross-country, I was pretty athletic. It wasn't until my late teens when I started damaging my knees from so much running that I started doing a little bit of weight lifting, and I became much less active.

I was weight training, but I wasn't running. I went from being a runner, literally I ran my first marathon when I was, just before my 12th birthday. And I could go out and I could eat seven or 8,000 calories and it wouldn't be an issue because I was burning it. And then I go from that to having injuries and not being able to workout nearly as much, so I took up weight lifting so I could do something. But the calories that I was consuming with endurance work is, that's a whole different world.

So of course, I started to pile on weight, and it started to pile on pretty quick. Then I got into the healthcare world. I was an executive recruiter and a healthcare recruiter, or physician recruiter. So pretty high stress job, especially when you're young. Quite frankly, it was a commission only job, and you're really chasing the almighty dollar. And money was pretty good, I started making good money and started chasing money.

So for me, it was more about, "Okay, well how do I just make the next chunk of change?" versus "How do I get the next workout in?" And I was still eating like I was an athlete, so you can do the math. High stress job, sedentary and then eating like I was still an athlete, obviously it posed a big issue.

So a year and a half later and here I am sitting 280 pounds, and stress is just compounding. At that point in time, I picked up a role with an ancillary lab services company. So what that meant is, we provided basically salivary cortisol testing and other ancillary lab services to predominately fee for service doctors.

What that means is that we were providing an ability for physicians to test patients' blood work without having to bill insurance. They were able to do this in a fee for service model, which at that point in time was a really big thing. Fee for service was just getting popular, so it was stressful because we were trying to teach people that world.

The reason I'm saying all this is because this gives context as to how I have a little bit of some medical knowledge, and how I understand the human body. Because when you're working in that capacity and you're dealing with physicians all day long, and you're also dealing with their patient population, you have to learn how the body works. Otherwise, you don't make money, and I just decided that I really liked it. I really enjoyed what I was doing and I enjoyed how the human body works, especially because I was a former athlete. Except one glaring problem, I was extremely overweight and passionate about the human body. It was kind of hard for me to be like, "Hey, you should buy this product and you should use this in your practice and help your patients become healthy. Excuse me, let me eat some tater tots."


You don't want to be a hypocrite.

Thomas D.

Yeah, it wasn't working, plus the big thing was is, here I had a beautiful wife that I had been with since high school. And I was just like, "She deserves better than this. This is crazy. I'm just not taking care of myself." So that's how I turned to the ketogenic diet.

And it was me turning to the ketogenic diet simply because the physicians that I was working with were actually the ones that turned me onto it. I was fortunate enough to be in the right world where the doctors that I was working with at that point and time were proponents of the ketogenic diet. I was a sponge, I was ready to take in whatever someone would throw at me because I would have done anything to lose weight at that point in time.

It's just count my lucky stars that I was with the right people at the right time that turned me onto keto, and it was all about Thomas, it's all about information, that's what they were telling me. If you can control the inflammation and you can lose weight in your body, everything will turn around, and that's where it all began in fasting keto way before it was ever popular.


Yeah. Let's just wind back the clock. That's nine years ago, and I remember even three years ago when you just type in keto, the first result on Google was ketones are a toxic byproduct of being in diabetic ketoacidosis. That was like two or three years ago.

So nine years ago, that must've been fairly alternative. At that time I'm sure the only "legitimate" use case for a ketogenic diet was for tread resistant epilepsy. So curious to get your thought processes at the time when you get the dogma of balance western diet, how your carbs have, most of your diet of the FDA food pyramid is from carbs. How did you go from, "Okay, let's kind of invert that table." Was that scary, did you have nothing to lose? Did you research it yourself? How did you even research it because I've not found much online literature at the time.

Thomas D.

Yeah, I was definitely a big research nerd. It was interesting, I had always been a little bit of an unconventional person. I ran, like I said, I ran my first marathon just before my 12th birthday. I always did things at the beat of a different drum. So I was not afraid to say, "Okay, this sounds," I had no biases one way or the other. For me, it was, anything was better than ... I knew pizza, tater tots and fast food wasn't going to do the trick, that wouldn't work.

So I was open to it. It wasn't just because they were doctors, they just so happened to be the people that explained it to me the best, and they explained inflammation in a way that really made sense. And it was like, "By the way, one of the best ways to modulate inflammation is through what's called a ketogenic diet."

And the only things that I could find online for the keto diet were on body-building forums that had talked about using it as a way to cut body fat before a competition, but don't you dare do it for longer than a period of time because you're going to waste away and lose a bunch of muscle.

I had a decent amount of muscle on me already, so I was like, "Okay, well you know if I lose some muscle, I lose some muscle. It's not a big deal." I wasn't too worried about it. I was so overweight, I just didn't really care. And it was very unconventional for those doctors too, and it's important to know that most of these doctors that we were working with, they were working with concierge medicine. So they were working with patients that were paying them cash to be their retained doctors.


Got it. So these are the bespoke audience.

Thomas D.

Right. Exactly. So it's like if you have a typical patient population, a doctor is going to have them go whatever route they need to go so that the doctor gets the proper reimbursement. At the time ICD-9 started this changeover to what's called ICD-10 classification coding.

And it was like, if they were working with a normal patient population that was going through the reimbursement continuum that's typical in insurance standard of care, then they probably never would ever prescribe a diet like this, because it just, they were using no ICD-9 or ICD-10 code to actually validate it or get paid for it.

So because these patients were working with these doctors in this capacity, if the patients weren't getting a positive outcome from whatever these doctors were ordering, the patients would fire them, and we're talking affluent patients that would probably pay these doctors 10 grand a month to have them on retainer. And if they weren't getting results, there's the door doctor, you're not doing your job. So these doctors actually did care for the results their patients would get.

So I really did take to heart what they were teaching me, and they're the ones that gave me my first subscription to what was called, later on, called Up The Date which was a way for me to get research journals. They gave me a subscription to it. They're like, "This is what we use. Check out all these journals. Check out all this stuff." And I just became obsessed.

And it was at that point where I literally just dove into the books, dove into as much research as I could to try to figure out, "Okay, well what am I doing with my body and and how do I get excited about it?" Because one thing I knew about myself is that, if I got excited about something, I would stick with it and I would just continue to do it.


And I'm sure that getting access to the doctors, you can probably start seeing some of the lab results as well in terms of looking at peoples' blood glucose, their lipids and getting some sense of, "Okay, this might have seemed kind of alternative from standard of care, but the results were really," I'm sure you were seeing some of these patients on the keto extreme diet working, and then seeing that on yourself.

Thomas D.

And so we were pretty excluded from seeing that stuff, but I had to trust these doctors that we're working with. Again, these were patients that were literally paying $10,000 a month retainer. And concierge medicine is much bigger now and much more affordable than it was eight, nine years ago. Back then it was, it was before the Affordable Care Act had really come into play.

So after that, not going political at all, I'm just saying as a standard of reference for what happened with the medical community is, when that went into place a lot of physicians had a hard time keeping their businesses in practice anymore, because it changed the dynamic. Their patient load got really large all of a sudden.

So because their patient volume went up, they weren't able to provide a good standard of care. So the good ones either became concierge doctors and built a business for themselves where they worked on a cash basis or they became hospitalists and went to work for a hospital system. And the ones that go to work for the hospital system end up, just kind of end up going into the system. And it's the abyss where they just push patients through, call it McDonald's healthcare.

And then when you look at the ones at that point in time that knew how to work with patients, they built their own businesses out of it. So I had to really take their faith, their word for it and have some faith that they knew what they were doing, because, "Hey, their patients are getting results."


It would be interesting to hear about your journey from, okay, you are kind of out of shape and a big dude and not actually healthy. And you get exposed to the keto extreme diet, and then over the last nine years, you've built a huge presence and machine around educating and helping a lot of people. What was that journey like, and was that a dream that you had as a kid growing up? How did you even stumble upon this path?

Thomas D.

No, I never wanted to be even remotely famous. I'm such an introvert and there's a reason that I enjoy being on camera, it's because it get to talk to my intimate film crew and I get to help a lot of people without having to actually be an extrovert. We have this extrovert ideal growing up where we're supposed to be the loud one in the room, we're supposed to be the one that's always standing up on the soapbox and explaining things. It's like well, I have so many good ideas that I thought were coming into my head, but I just was never able to just have that desire to be the one that's like, loud.

And I found a way to be able to, thanks to social media and thanks to technology being the way, not only to spread the word but also, actually to overcome some of my own insecurities with my own voice. Now people will think that's stupid. People will think, I don't want to say that. "Oh, you know what that doctor's saying actually makes a lot of sense. I think I could articulate it a little bit better, but no, probably it'll sound stupid."

It's given me the crutch to be able to get over that, so the journey has been wild because it went from losing weight, getting in decent shape, seeing, "Hey, I actually have a decent body under this. Maybe all that work I did in high school actually kind of paid off."

Telling my wife, "I'm going to go ahead and see if I can get on a magazine cover. I think I have enough business acumen that I can reach out to the right people and make it happen, plus I think I look ... So I was like, "Okay watch, in a year, I think I'm going to be on the cover of a magazine." And 11 months later, boom. So I had my first magazine cover which was Muscle and Performance Magazine at that point in time.

So there was a period of time there where there wasn't any, dare is say monetization or any building of an actual brand that would make money. It was just more about perfecting myself. I actually left the job. I left the ancillary lab services company, they got acquired by a private equity fund, and I left at that point in time. And I was like, "Okay, it's time to find something new."

I actually knew I didn't want to be in healthcare anymore because I was kind of sick of it. It was such a black tie environment, and I'm not a black tie kind of person. I spent so much of my suiting and booting in the healthcare world, that's the last thing I wanted to do. I wanted to be a flip-flop CEO. But I'm in California, I can do that here. So I had to figure out, "Okay, well what am I going to do?" So this period of time where I had did some magazine shoots and I ended up getting some pretty good mainstream media exposure because of those magazines.

And then when I started doing interviews and podcasts because of that, people were like, "Wait a minute, you actually understand the human body. This is cool. We work with a lot of fitness people and they never really explain things in a medical way that you explain things."

And it was, over time, over a period of a couple of months that I realized this is my gift. This is actually what I'm good at. And quite frankly, it's what made me good at what I did in medical device sales and ultimately in being in the ancillary lab services world. I had to be able to explain the human body, and if people didn't understand it, of course they wouldn't buy. Especially doctors, you've got to talk at the doctor level and you've got to help them understand their patients. And I was like, "Wow, no wonder I was good at that. I think I have an ability to do that." And I recognized that, so I got that vote of confidence that I needed there and that's when I started the channel. So it was kind of that way. I was like, "Okay, well let's just go for it." And I think I was also at a nice point and time when social media algorithms were not as crazy as they are now.

I unfortunately think it's very difficult for someone to build a brand now, a personal brand. I think it's very difficult for someone to become an influencer and start a brand now, because the algorithms are largely not in their favor. It's tough. So I was at a point where if you had good content, it would get served, people would see it. And I was just like, "I'm just going to create a lot of content." And so one of the biggest things that I did is invest in building a good team early on.

I built a big team, I hired a bunch of videographers, bunch of editors and I made them my family. I made sure that they were onboard with what my mission was. And I'm like, "We're just going to create just more content than anyone's ever seen, and we're just going to go at it." And I just became the ultimate research nerd and just dove into as much as I possibly could.

And then I started learning, "Okay, well how do I leverage this a little bit more and actually build a drive, some revenue with it?" So I started some e-books and learned Facebook traffic and learned all that world, and that was able to get me to run paid traffic so I could get more visibility while seeing at least just enough return on investment to at least cover my costs so I could continue to scale up and get my brand out there.

So it was a little bit of paid advertising, guerrilla marketing in the first part, so I took a lot of my, my wife and I were looking and we're like, "Okay." I was like, "Honey, we've got three months to make this work or we're going to be living with Mom and Dad. Here's what we got, we're going to put it into Facebook and we're going to put it into pumping up the brand."

And fortunately, it was like the grace of whatever you want to call it, keto just started to be popular then. And it was like, I was talking about it from a different angle, and it was just like, kaboom. And I was like, "All right. We don't have to live with Mom and Dad."


You had some conviction there. No risk, no reward.

Thomas D.

I was adamant. I saw my results with it and I haven't even talked about my wife's story. I'll just save that for another day, but my wife ... Autoimmune diseases, Lyme disease, she was really sick and the keto diet saved her. So I owed it to her, and I had lost a lot of weight with it and had a lot of success with it, felt great, it saved our marriage simply because she was so depressed and sick and I was overweight and sick and depressed. And it was just like, people will give me crap sometimes about the keto diet and say whatever they want to, and I just have to look at them and say, "You have no idea."

You can say whatever you want about the keto diet, but what it did for my family and what it did for my wife, and what it did for keeping this together, you have no idea. So insult me all you want, but I go home at night knowing that this changed my life and it's changing other peoples' lives.


Yeah, and I think what you've touched upon when you first initially started researching the keto diet was very much into the body building, almost that hardcore optimizing world. And I think the medical literature, there's some applications for therapeutic use, and obviously today it's starting to enter and creep into just mainstream. This is maybe what people should begin starting as a standard diet.

You have the Kim Kardashians of the world talking about the ketogenic diet. And I'm curious from your vantage point as you've seen that arc in history, what elements of the hardcore body building world, which arguably is pretty cutting edge in terms of bio-hacking and experimentation, what did you see come from that world and what did you see come from the therapeutic world from use as an epilepsy diet or use from diabetes or some of the metabolic syndrome controlled diet. Did you get inspired by both sides of the world, or what did your inspiration come from?

Thomas D.

I found that by combining both reasonings, from the body building world and the medical world, I looked at this and I was like, "Ah, this is the recipe to make a super human. This is, okay, you're telling me that I can get ripped, but then these guys in the body building world at that time couldn't care less about the cognitive effect. These guys, you could've asked them to eat anything, if it made them ripped, they'd do it."

So like, okay well that's fascinating. And you look at forms and it's all kind of pseudo-science, and quite frankly there's nothing really wrong with pseudo-science if it's not used in old-fashioned. Pseudo-science is just kind of like science that just hasn't been put in a paper yet. So there can be some ... It depends on how you look at it.

So some of this stuff was like, Okay, this is people talking about what their use was. And in my opinion, I consider that pseudo-science. Then there's the medical journals that are talking about it from the side of, "Okay, here's what it's done for therapeutic effects." And there were some measurements in terms of ketones in the brain and glucose in the brain, and how things work there.

So I was definitely inspired by both. But for me, my first thought was, "Okay, I've got to get this weight off." So I look over on the cosmetic side, and then it didn't take long. It took maybe a couple of months before I was really feeling what I would consider the therapeutic effects. Joints weren't hurting as much, back wasn't hurting as much, things just felt a lot better, and that's where I think if you look at keto sort of as a gateway drug for lack of a better term, it opens you up to this whole other world.

And once you're thinking clean and clear and once that brain fog has lifted, then you start becoming interested in the more bio-hack kind of things. Body builders don't know they're bio-hackers, but they are. So I was never really a body builder, but that community fed me a lot of what I knew about the ketogenic diet from a body composition side with the exception of, they always thought that you would lose a lot of muscle if you stuck with it.

There was a study that was published not long after I got onto the ketogenic diet, which was one of the ones that found that ketones were extremely, extremely leucine-sparing, yeah very strong in anti-catabolic. So learning that, that was like, "Oh my gosh, this is the holy grail." I can actually stay lean and then I could put myself in a caloric deficit per body fat, or I could actually put myself in the surplus and possibly build muscle and not gain a whole lot of body fat if I play my cards right.

It was really a combination of both, but once I dove into the medical research more, that was obviously the more exciting side for me. The physique and the physical side of it kind of just came natural, I didn't have to work really really hard at that because I didn't have these big surges in insulin that were messing me up all the time. So once the diet was kind of set, it was just set and I could focus on the other stuff.


Yeah. Well I think today the ketogenic diet, ketones in general, exogenous or endogenous production, I think it's a very popular, exciting research area. And I'm just curious, in terms of your audience or what you're interested in, are you most excited about the physical performance applications, cognitive performance applications, some of the therapeutic potential, the weight loss, body composition potential and some of the ... What's personally pretty interesting is the anti-aging longevity potential.

I think just in terms of our audience, I would describe them in three main buckets. I would say that you have one group that are athletes, they want to maximize their performance maybe at the expense of longevity, more like the body building types. They want to win that Olympic gold medal, or they're in an occupation that cares about optimizing that short-term performance. Maybe you're in the military, maybe you're a first responder.

I would say the second big category is folks optimizing for longevity. Some of the data around reducing insulin, reducing glucose, ketones strengthen some of the longevity pathways. I know just folks in our Silicon Valley network are really looking at ketogenic diet as a way to extend their health span.

And I feel the third category is, I would imagine kind of your story which is, "Okay, how do I optimize my body composition? I might have some medical issues that might be treatable through diet first." I feel those are the three canonical buckets. What does your audience look like and what are you personally interested in? Talking to all of them all at once, how do you balance all of that?

Thomas D.

It's tough because the audience sometimes gets dictated by what trends and what works out. So it's like I can put equal amounts of content surrounding all three, which I wouldn't say I'm equally passionate about, but I'm passionate about all three.

But the content surrounding body composition and body fat and just overall human performance in general, seems to take off more and so you have to kind of feed that a little bit. I'd say I'm most excited about the longevity side. For me, that's like metabolic efficiency, metabolic flexibility and longevity. Just being able to change how our body sees nutrients to A, make us live longer but B, ultimately help us perform better too. So I kind of in some ways tie performance in in some ways with that metabolic flexibility and longevity, because with efficiency and if our cells are operating more efficiently, then you're probably going to perform better too. You're just going to perform better and operate for a longer period of time.

I'm not in it to get the most out of a workout every single day. You were asking me earlier, we were talking about workouts when we were in the studio, and I was just kind of like, "I'm all about just, I just want to keep moving and be mobile and flexible and be able to be on the ground with my kiddo."

And it changes how I portray confidence, how confident goes out. And now having a kid of my own, it's like, I'm all about, "I want to be around as long as I can. I want to see him grow up. I want to see his kids grow up." I think there's a lot there with the kid.


Yeah, and you want to be able to play with the grandkid, and hopefully the great-grandkid too. So I think probably the folks listening probably get a sense of why one would consider a ketogenic diet and some of the benefits there. So we won't go into the basics, look at some of Thomas' videos already, you can get the basics there. But I think what I thought was interesting was that you've been pretty experimental with different variants of keto of low carb.

I would say that within the community today, carnivore is super-interesting. There's been some discussion around organ meat versus muscle meat. And there's also discussion, I know you do a vegan keto or vegetarian keto diet as well. I'm curious to get your broad overview on the variants of keto and what are your basic ... You've done a lot of self-experimentation, you've talked to a lot of clients and folks in your community. What would you say are the things that have stuck with you in terms of all these experimentation or variants?

Thomas D.

Yeah. I would definitely say that I don't notice a big difference now between having low amounts of protein and large amounts of protein. I could say, go on record and say that I've gone extended periods of time with lower amounts of protein, and extended periods of time with higher amounts of protein, and I don't see within the ketogenic spectrum, a whole lot of a difference either way.


So what's the protein load?

Thomas D.

I've gone as high as two grams per pound of body weight, which is very, very high and I've gone as low as .25 grams per pound of body weight.


RDA is like .8, so that's pretty low.

Thomas D.

Yeah, so I went really low. If you're training intensity is high, really low obviously doesn't work nearly as much. But I'd say, RDA's at 0.8, if you're looking there, I would say you're perfectly fine there.

This is me talking, this is what I've experienced. And some people will say it's the complete opposite, but what I have learned is obviously gluconeogenesis being demand driven, once you have enough ketones in your body, your demand for protein isn't that high because you're so losing-sparing. You don't need a whole lot of protein coming in your diet.

So you can arguably get by with less protein, which is exactly what I determined with the whole vegan keto challenge that I did. Now, I developed a lot of haters in that world when I did that because they're like, "Oh, Thomas is going vegan." No, I did vegan for a few weeks, and it was more so to prove that it could be done, and to prove that, hey, mainly to a lot of the vegan community that despised what I did within the keto community, I wanted to show them like, "Guys, you can do this and you can feel quite good doing it."

I didn't lose muscle. I stayed relatively strong. My protein content was about 0.5 to 0.8. it was pretty low and it was mostly coming from incomplete sources. Incomplete protein sources, so I mean I was getting flax and things like that.

Now one thing I have learned through all my research and my own self-experimentation too is that the body's pretty good at pooling amino acids where it needs to pool them, and ultimately creating complete proteins. You don't need to be eating complete proteins.

That being said, then I go to the other spectrum where I did a carnivore challenge, where I was like, "Okay, I'm going to go carnivore." And I started doing carnivore, the original plan was to do it for two weeks, I ended up pushing it about a month because I felt like I really needed to give it DGI try. And I felt really good, I felt like recovery was good but I felt like my body was missing some nutrients.

Maybe I wasn't doing it long enough, but I felt like I was missing a few things. But my point is, overall recovery wise, I didn't feel a whole lot different from vegan keto than I did over to carnivore style. So I definitely made that consensus that, "Okay, protein isn't as important on a keto diet as it is otherwise.

Whereas I've done other diets before, and if my protein was low, I would feel it. When I was in high school, if my protein was low with that demand that I was putting on it, I would feel it. I would feel lethargic, I wasn't recovering, I'd feel more sore. So that's one thing I definitely learned for sure. Other than that, there's multiple different ways to skin a cat.


People really are dogmatic in, or very religious around their specific aspects of the diet, and I think ... We've been having a lot of carnivore folks on, and it seems like there is some value if you have auto-immune issues, all of that. And I think we need to have a discussion that's a little bit more nuanced or clean. I think again, if you want to choose a very strict, restricted version of keto, if there's a therapeutic use for that, if you're really intolerant to lectins or something then they're might be a reason for that.

But I think the question for most people, which don't have such strict auto-immune issues with certain types of nutrients from plants or toxins with, the kind of which we have from plants, it's actually more optimal to have a more balanced diet. And I think that's where I'm kind of personally interested.

Again, it doesn't matter if I'm eating 100% meat or 100% vegetables, I just want to have the most optimal diet for health span. And it sounds like you were finding that through having sources of food from all sources.

Thomas D.

Well one thing's for sure, we're not going to live to be a million years old if we're having a dogmatic approach on anything, that's the way that I look at it. I don't think that saying, only going to eat meat is going to allow us to live forever, and I don't think that being vegan is going to allow us to live forever. I do think that it really does A, come down to the individual but B, it also comes down to yes, two some degree a balance but what is that balance and when does that balance apply?

And one of the things that ... I felt mentally very good on a carnivore diet. I will say that. I felt very good and I think that has to do simply with inflammation. But inflammation is the root of a lot of things, but is it the root of everything? If we bring inflammation down too much, then our body's not able to react the way that it needs to react to certain things too.

So where do we draw the line? I'm not anti-carnivore by all means. In fact, if anything, that carnivore challenge made it so that I was more receptive to it. But you cannot say that you are carnivore and anti-plant nutrients or plant toxins, and then go and put a steak rub that has oregano and this and that on it. That's going to affect you from an immune system standpoint.

If you're going to do it, then you'd better be doing it with just salt. If you want it clean that it's the best. And again, that could be the case. And I know that there's some guys out there-


They'll do that.

Thomas D.

Yeah, that are very strict and they believe it. But you can't just say, "If that's the way it's going to be." And I learned the hard way, because when I first started saying I was going to do carnivore, I was like, "Okay, I'm going to cook my meats in some macadamia oil and some avocado oil."

And there was a couple of people that pointed out to me, "That's not carnivore." And it took me getting into carnivore mode to actually think that way. So it was interesting because as you start becoming more receptive to that, you start, "Ah, okay yeah. If this is how I'm going to eat, then I need to be getting my fats from this source too."

So eating the fattier cuts of meat, and magically yes, I did feel better. Excuse me, I did feel better than I did when I first started carnivore and I was eating leaner meats and adding my fats in. It's just interesting, and it just kind of brings me back full circle that what balance for you, might be totally different than balance for me, period.


I think that's where a lot of my discussions go as well, which is that you have a different genetic baseline, I have a different genetic baseline, maybe our goals are a little bit different and we have different glucose, metabolic responses to different types of foods, we've got to be optimizing ourselves a little bit. And that's where self-experimentation, getting educated on how to best understand these is really important.

So what has stuck to you? I think in terms of all these things. What is a typical diet? It might be kind of a silly question, but I think it might be just helpful to get a sense of what has passed the Thomas DeLauer, in your staple list of go to items for you?

Thomas D.

It has changed since doing that carnivore experiment. I am much more open to animal sources of fats a lot more, more so than I was before. So now, I generally, if I have eggs for breakfast, I'll cook them in some duck fat or some leaf lard or something like that that's coming from a really good source whereas I used to only cook with coconut oil and stuff like that. So now, I'm expanding a bit more there.

I'm still, come from the school of thought of keeping it moderate fat in the morning and leaner in the mid-day, and then higher fat in the evening. It's just my philosophy, I've always called it the protein sandwich hypothesis where I feel like you have more leeway to eat more fats in the morning, and I don't want to go off on a tangent, but this is interesting stuff.

So there was a BMC genomic study that found that we have more ability to eat fat in the morning with less likelihood of that fat getting stored. Dietary fat, we can eat more dietary fat in the morning with less likelihood of it getting stored mainly because of one particular gene, PER-1.

Now that makes it so that your fat sensitive, your fat cells are less insulin sensitive in the morning, but your muscle cells are more insulin sensitive and vice versa in the evening. So if you eat a bunch of fats in the evening, you're higher risk of those fats spilling over and going to storage than you would by flip-flopping it.

So it's interesting, so I tend to keep my fats moderately high in the morning, and then I kind of bring them down a little bit more mid-day, and then I bring them back up a little bit in the evening time, just to get my calories set, but not real high. And so that's kind of just my method, so I have a lot of different ways that I'll do that. But now if I have some eggs, I'll usually do something like two or three whole egg yolks and one egg white because the egg white is the most inflammatory part of the egg anyway, the yolk is just so ... So that's sometimes what breakfast will look like for me with maybe a little bit of bison mixed into it and maybe a little bit of bok choy.

I'm a big fan of bok choy, because I feel like it's a cruciferous veggie where you get the anti-estrogen nic effects without a bunch of the raffinose, a bunch of the sugar that comes from broccoli and cauliflower which can bloat you, and the last thing I want to do is eat broccoli in the morning and be distended all day.

So that's a go to breakfast is the bison, egg, bok choy mixed into it. But I fast a lot too, so a lot of times, I don't have breakfast. Mid-day, like I said, it's usually pretty lean so I might have some white fish or I might have some chicken or something.

And if I'm going to have white meat, it's almost always lean white meat because the fatty acid profile of chicken is just not all that great, we go for a higher fat cut. So usually try to do some kind of fish or try to do some kind of white meat with lunch. And then again, some toxins with some veggies. So I usually will have a little bit of veggies, but I tend to bloat a little bit if I have veggies mid-day too, so I don't ... Just for that sake, I don't want to feel like that, so I kind of carefully pinpoint what I have.

Any source of fat, usually going to be pork rinds or something that's relatively convenient for me, trying to get somewhere in the ballpark of 40-ish grams of fat, so it might be a little bit of avocado mayo, maybe a little bit of pork rinds, whatever.

And then dinner, my wife's usually making something. My wife's an amazing cook, so she makes all kinds of different keto dishes. So sometimes it's something fun. We don't do a whole lot of dairy in our house, so we do almost everything with coconut. So she'll make chicken pot pie or something with some coconut flour or some walnut flour made with coconut cream to make the crust. So we have some fun with it.

At this point, I've been doing keto for so long, I could go one way or the other. I could sit there and eat just like a really bland steak that has no seasoning on it whatsoever, but if my wife is enjoying the process of cooking, then I'm going to indulge her and I'm going to have some fun with it.

She knows where my limits are and she knows where my lines are, but I don't believe in just being completely militant about it. I've been on the high performance end of the spectrum, and I've been on the lifestyle end of the spectrum and I like to find the balance.

And if I need to flip a switch because I need to get on the performance mode because I need to get ready for a photo shoot or I need to do something, then I'll tell you what, I'll become a little bit more of a machine and my wife probably doesn't have the most fun. And then I will be Tupperwaring it up with my boring steak and a couple of green beans.


No, let's talk about that. I think we were touching upon a little bit where ... I think back to the dogmatism. I think there's definitely a group that's very zealous on being super, super strict, and I think it's not clear in terms of literature that being permanently keto is necessarily optimal. And I think, especially some of the research coming out of the Buck Institute showing that a cyclical conditioning diet as having similar outcomes as a permanent ketogenic diet in terms of health span for an animal study.

So I think the literature is still open on what is optimal. So it sounds like you painted some picture around that. You will relax your carb restriction just for overall happiness versus, "Okay, we're going into high performance mode or photo shoot mode, then we'll be very, very strict. Is that kind of how you see it?

Thomas D.



I feel like that's most of my conversations with people that have been in space or have been in keto for a long time. You get the body composition and get a very, very fat adapted through a very long period of being strict keto. And then once you're in that fat adapted phase, you can add in a little bit of the carbs and it's going to punch up your glucose a little bit, but you're so fat adapted and so insulin sensitive, that you come right back down, and in the next couple of days, you recover.

Thomas D.

Well, even quicker than that. If you were to really go to town and have some carbs, it might take a couple of days or a day. But quite honestly, my ketone levels are never all that high. I think a lot of it has to do with efficiency.

If your cells are efficient, the demand isn't as high. It's the same kind of thing you see with glucose, peripheral insulin resistance. People will be like, "Why is my glucose high?" Well, because your cells aren't using all that much glucose now, your peripheral tissues aren't.

And that happens with fat adaptation. So my body ... Even at the end of a three-day fast, my ketones will still be like 2.5. I've been doing this for a lot longer than even a lot of people that are experts or influencers in the community. So I've got a pretty good litmus test on what longish term keto looks like.

And they just don't get that high. They used to get way higher. I used to register, even on the pee sticks which are largely inaccurate, I used to register purple for months, whereas most people when they start keto, they'll be, register purple on a keto stick for a couple of weeks and then it goes away because it's measuring acetyl acetate and that's excess ketones.

I was creating excess ketones for months, so I know for a fact that my body at one point in time was creating a ton of ketones. And my point in saying all of this is that I can have 80, 90 carbs in a day, and still be at the same amount of ketones in my blood that I would be if I wasn't.

And it's A, because I'm active, because I'm pretty heavily muscled, there's some factors there. But C, because I'm fat adaptive, I'm very fat adaptive. So when I say cyclical ketogenic diet, I'm pretty, it all depends on how you look at it. I don't believe that doing carb cycling on a weekly basis is the best thing. I don't think that going three days keto, two days not, three days on, one day off because you never really give your body a good chance to thrive for the ketones in my opinion.

So I usually am more of like, I'll go two months keto, maybe one month off, maybe two months off. But even when I'm off, it's very low glycemic and still pretty low carb. We're talking less than, I'm usually like a 130, 140 grams of carbs, that's off keto for me which is dancing a fine line where it's like if I were to skip breakfast the next day, I'd be back in keto.

That's what I feel is really, really great, and a lot of the people that I've talked to that have kind of settled into that same world. And just because you're trying to get people to understand your way of eating, doesn't mean that you need to live this black and white lifestyle simply because it's what you're preaching.

I preach keto, does that mean that I have to be keto all the time? Absolutely not, it means that keto is a tool in my toolbox, and I'm indebted to keto because of what it's done for my body, what it's done for my family. So I owe it a lot and I want a lot of people to be able to experience what I experienced, but I also want to be able to live my life in an optimal way and be able to be targeted with my keto diet. And that's always call it, more than a cyclical, I call it targeted ketogenic diet, because what is your goal? What is your target? What are you trying to do?


Yeah, I think it makes a lot of sense, especially with the notion around ketone chasing. People want to show really, really big numbers. It's like, "Okay, why do you want to do that? What's the goal there?" And I think it's also pretty interesting in my experience with the high performance world, oftentimes you'll want to use carbs strategically before events.

So it's just like again, what is your goal? If it's for a therapeutic use case because you're diabetic or have some sort of syndrome, then yes, maybe be much more strict because that's a health issue. But for a performance issue or longevity issue or health ben issue, it's a little bit more nuanced in terms of just okay, let's just only eat meat for the rest of our lives.

Thomas D.

And if you have a glioblastoma and you're trying to stave off a brain tumor, then that's one thing. I've even wondered, I'm like if I got diagnosed with epilepsy and some like randomly adult onset epilepsy, in some ways I've told my wife, I was like, "it'd be kind of relieving because then I would just have no question...and there's never any experimenting that's going to confuse me."

Because I go full bore into what I do, and when I learn things, it can get frustrating because I try to track data points and things. And even when I'm cycling in and out of keto, it's really hard to track good data, everything's all over the place.

I wanted to ask you a question, because I'm curious your thoughts on this, is if we took for instance like 500 years ago, diseases that would ravage and infections killing people and things like that. So if we had the intervention that we have today to be able to fight off a staff infection or things that would ordinarily kill people. If we had all the same advances there with medicine, but we were able to apply it to what we were eating 500,000 years ago, do you think people would live as long as they are today or longer?


I think it would be longer. And my thesis there, my proposition there is that it's pretty clear that ... I would say that there's more and more data suggesting that whole unprocessed foods are generally better than processed foods. And I think the diet today of average Americans is like 50% processed.

So I think even just from a food selection, 500 years ago, there just wasn't processed anywhere there. And then too, I think that the sugar intake, I remember seeing this crazy statistic that in 1800s, the average American had less than a pound of sugar a year, and now it's like 50 pounds of sugar a year.

So I think the carbohydrate intake was much lower. It's an interesting argument around how much protein access did the average person have? Because I guess in the 1500s, if you were a serf, you probably weren't eating a lot of protein. You're eating with the bread or the grain.

But I would say I think probably the biggest thing is that you probably did have a much more unprocessed diet, and your livelihood was much more active. I think that's one thing that I've been thinking a lot about where you and I make our livelihood through our creativity and intellectual capacity. You're not making money by lifting weights necessarily.

But I think mainly the folks that, our producers and your staff here, they're creating, their livelihood is intellectual which is probably not optimal again from a physical health outcome perspective. So my thesis would be if you're noblemen and up in terms of having access to a lot of protein, you're probably going to be able to live longer. But I think if you're a serf whose just able to only eat barley or something, maybe not.

Thomas D.

I'm in the same boat as you, and it's like the only one that I raise questions, this is coming from someone that's a very active person, is will a car arguably last longer ... It's not comparing apples to apples, but will a car last longer if you leave it parked in the garage all the time and just turn it on every now and then just to keep the oil circulating and just to keep the batteries charged?

It makes me wonder if we were eating ridiculously plain, this is horrible for me to say because I'm a very active person, I promote everyone getting active. But do you think physical activity actually wears us out to the point where our cells actually might die, or does it actually encourage ... And there's different studies that show different things.

It's just so wild. I'm not even challenging what you're saying, it's just, it brought up something that I've thought about. And the other thing that comes up is even alcohol. I don't even drink at all, but I look at the adaptation of fasting is all about stressing the body.


Yes, the hermetic effects.

Thomas D.

So alcohol to some degree, is it stressing the liver and actually making the liver stronger to some certain point. So you can make this weird argument with anything. And I think my point in saying all of this is, it's like yeah you can argue in so many different ways on this.

Back to the question you flipped back to me is yes, I do think so too. I think we definitely would live longer in the sense that less processed food, and I also think people were generally a lot more, they were happier I think, in a sense that it was very black and white if they were unhappy. Because if they were unhappy, they were probably dying or getting attacked.

So the instances of just being stressed were probably a lot less. You didn't know any different. You just were surviving. That was just normal stress, and it wasn't like, "Oh my God. Am I going to eat today?" It was more so like, "Okay, well Jimmy killed a boar." But I think the stress was just different whereas in this day and age, I think it's more of a stress thing that's killing us.


I think actually, that's probably the most important fact actually. I think you hit it on the nail. I think we're talking about this a little bit earlier, but I think capitalism is really good at maximizing the GDP, the productivity of a group, but it's probably sub-optimal for the happiness of an individual.

And I think it's an interesting world where ... I don't know if people are happier today in modern society versus maybe us 500 years ago when you had your family and your tribe of 100 people that you cared about. You didn't have a celebrity out there making you feel jealous about them. You didn't have weird social media getting you stressed up all the time. Your job was pretty stable. You didn't have a lot of material requirements that I think capitalism and materialism has really driven for us. I think baseline happiness and the reduction of cortisol was probably really huge.

Thomas D.

Yeah. It's just wild. I think about this. This is the kind of stuff that keeps me up at night, that stresses me out. The things that stress me out are the things that I'm thinking about, how wild it would be.

And someone said to me, it was a really powerful thing. We were talking about habit loops, and I know we're going off on a little tangent, but I guess this is what podcasts are about. We were talking about habit loops, and I was talking about phone addiction and how I notice when I get more stressed, I tend to default to a little bit of phone addiction where I'll check my email because you're just seeking dopamine. Dopamine hits, boom, boom, boom, phone, this, that.

And he said to me, he was like, "You know I noticed an interesting thing," he's like, "social media and everything general. When I'm deprived of social activity or community is when I start seeking out dopamine hits." And he gave me a perfect example, he's like, "I used to go to lunch with friends," he's like, "and then all these friends started getting busy and it started becoming less and less, and then I started realizing I had associated the dopamine hit with the social side of things. But now that the social aspect was going, I would just go to lunch alone, and I started associating the dopamine hit with food." He's like, "I started establishing a food addiction."

I wonder how much actually comes back down to us as social creatures, and really just requiring that dopamine hit and happiness coming from a social side of things. And social media in a lot of ways takes that away from us, where it's like we feel like we're getting social interaction, we really do. That's the hard part is that we're intellectual, is intellectual creatures and we're becoming strongly frontal lobe where we're like, "Oh, I'm getting my social interaction."-


Yeah almost like my thing, yay.

Thomas D.

Yeah, so you're not getting the true ... And then I mean holy crap, we can go to a whole biofeedback where all the different frequencies and energies and stuff like that. Of course you're going to pick up energy being around other people, and feed or die off of that energy.

So back to the original thing at hand is, 500, 1,000 years ago, there was a sense of community that I think would really keep people alive. And if that was applied with what is available today in terms of advances, yeah, that's why I think people would live a lot longer.


One of our mutual friends, I won't name the name, but he mentioned that he doesn't have any caffeine, any sort of stimulants. And I think his thesis was that essentially caffeine is a adenosine memetic and then basically, you up-regulate the amount of adenosine receptor which is kind of a tiredness receptor.

And his whole thesis is that basically, okay you don't want to be upright doing a bunch of adenosine receptors, but I think that level, I'm like, "Okay, it's fine. I will have more caffeine." But I think the next level of which is interesting and kind of reminds me of the dopamine point is that what if you had so much adenosine receptors that it's pushing down and down regulating serotonin and dopamine receptors, you get less happy. So almost in terms of have you been trying to structure your life or your patterns to minimize some of these habit loops.

So getting off of caffeine is one of the harder things for me, so I'm curious if I conquered that-

Thomas D.

We're on the same page totally. I don't know if ... I think I know who you're talking about and I'm not going to name names, we'll talk afterwards. But he or she may know that I recently had tried cutting out caffeine. I say try because I didn't, I wasn't committed to going cold turkey, I was going to switch. Keep the green tea in the mix and try to keep it under 50 milligrams a day, just small amounts of green tea.

And I've been going three months now, and I actually ... Believe it or not, I feel like my cravings are worse. I'm more mellow and I'm less reactive, that's an obvious thing. That's like, less catecholamines, less adrenaline. I'm less jumpy and things like that, that's okay.

On physical performance, no significant change. But seeking the dopamine hit, it hasn't ... I'm still seeking the dopamine hit and I'm not getting it from caffeine. So now I'm like, I'm cost-benefit here. What is ... I have caffeine, I'm certainly at a point now where I don't need it. I've been off of it, so I don't wake up needing a cup of coffee, but the benefits to coffee seem to, in my opinion, outweigh what the negatives were.

But it's only been a few months, and yeah, the whole process of ... CBD for example, that does the opposite. CBD I've often thought, CBD changes adenosine receptors in a way where it makes it so that we have more adenosine receptors. So does that mean that that's going to make you groggier and make you do the opposite longer term? It's just a wild world. It kind of comes back to everything in moderation including moderation I guess.

I guess it's kind of a cop out to say it, but I've found that cutting out caffeine was more of a placebo effect more than anything for me. I was proud of the fact that I was cutting out caffeine. And the reason I did it is because I was in the process of getting my helicopter pilot's license, and I was like, "Okay, well when I'm flying a helicopter, I don't want to be shaky and stuff, and I want to be able to be clear." and it did help me with that.


Yeah, I just wonder if every one of us have a different U-shaped curve for a lot of these things, like exercise you mentioned or alcohol. There's some hermetic effect. If you're running 100 miles every single day, it's probably going to not be optimal for longevity. But if you're not doing anything, probably not optimal for longevity either.

And it's like, and probably we have different set points, just given our genetics and the kind of environment we were raise in. With potentially even alcohol, although I think the alcohol data that I've seen in terms of being optimal for longevity, it's more of an epidemiology or associational study. I don't think they've done experiments where it's like, "Okay, here. Drink a beer. I don't drink a beer. See who lives longer." That hasn't been done.

One thing I wanted to touch upon was fasting. So you've mentioned fasting a couple of times, and my personal story of getting into keto actually came from fasting first and then into the ketogenic diet. However, I think of fasting as eating your own body fat, where a ketogenic diet's essentially external fat because it is your primary source of calories.

So I think it's very much a similar tactics for the same metabolic strategy. Just restriction of carbohydrate and shifting to fat metabolism. It sounds like you started off of the ketogenic diet, and then started experimenting into intermittent fasting and fasting. I'm curious to hear about your experimental fasting, something like you've done the three day fast before. My longest fast ever was a seven day fast. I'm curious if you've done some really long fasts.

Thomas D.

I did my longest ... I do three days every four months or so. I really like three days. I think that's a perfect sweet spot. And recently, I've become a fan of the 36 hour, I love a frequent, every couple of week, 36 hour fast. And again, I'm digressing but this is fun stuff.

It's like the element of mastery that comes with being able to go through the evening time, the evening time's the tough time. You go home, I got my wife and my kid, they're eating dinner and I'm not, and it's like there's an element of mastery that comes with that that I just really enjoy.


And I think sleeping hungry is the hardest part I think.

Thomas D.

Totally. I find myself, it's like 7:30, can we go to bed? I love fasting, and fasting was implemented into my diet only a couple of months after I started keto.-


Okay, so it was very early.

Thomas D.

Effectively did both, and it was honestly, I was told to do intermittent fasting before keto, but I was afraid. A lot of people do the opposite much like you, and you probably just weren't thinking body composition the way I was or anything like that in any way, but a lot of people that I've talked to that are looking to lose weight, fasting is a challenge for them and it's kind of scary.

But then a lot of people are also the opposite where they're just like, "Oh, it's easier for me to just not eat than it is to think about eating that bacon and eggs." So I fall into the category of I wanted to, don't take my food away, don't take my food away. And then all it took was having my appetite suppressed by being on keto where I'm just like, "I don't even really want breakfast."

So I was not really doing an intermittent fasting style, I was just two days a week, doing like a full day fast. And for me, it was purely a calorie thing. I've always been big on looking at calories over the course of a week versus everyday, and that was how I was taught and that's how it made sense to me. So I don't look at calories daily, I just look at calories weekly. And if I had two days a week where I wasn't eating, that's a heck of a lot of calories in the week in that net.


Okay. And so almost like you started simultaneously with your free-fasting. And again, I think back in 2010, this must've been pretty wild. I don't think people were talking about fasting at all.

Thomas D.

No, it was-


It must've been like, "Are you anorexic? Are you weird? Are you crazy?"

Thomas D.

The story of my life. You're talking to someone that was again, a runner all through middle school, and running extreme distances. So I was used to being the weird, little runner boy. "Hey what are you doing? What are you running a marathon?" I was always doing weird things, and I had a very unconventional childhood. I essentially did independent study from the time I was 13 on, so I worked full-time to help support my family all through high school. So I had a weird operating ... I guess I'm kind of a unique snowflake in that sense, so people were always saying weird things to me about that. So it just came as no surprise. Here I was not eating, and, "Oh, Thomas is just being weirdo Thomas again." Now I'm just publicly weirdo Thomas.


Yeah. And a pretty good adaptation right? I think by breaking paradigms, you're just ... Explore on that front of human knowledge. You need people that have a high risk tolerance to be able to be like, "Okay, I want to experiment and see what works." And then maybe pave a way forward for other people.

Thomas D.

Yeah, totally.


I think one more relatively recent introduction to the keto space is this whole notion around exogenous ketones and I think you've had some ideas and posts and videos about that. Curious to get your sense of exogenous ketones. We obviously make a ketone necessary, we think about it as a fourth macro nutrient type of a category in addition to your fat, protein, carbohydrate. I'm curious to get your thoughts on exogenous ketones and then where do you see this ketogenic diet, low carb kind of eating going in the future in the future?

Thomas D.

100% with you on exogenous ketones being a fourth macro nutrient because fat is not the same as ketones. And especially when now we see science that skeletal muscle tissue has the ability to use free fatty acids, not even ketones in highly conditioned, fat adapted people.

So it just goes to show that some cells will preferentially use free fatty acids, and some will use ketones which leads us to honestly believe that they're not equal, they're not one in the same. So don't look at fats as ketones, they are different.

And I think we'll start to see more evidence later on that there's probably different sub-bodies of ketones to be completely honest. Obviously we know BHB, Acetyl acetate, acetone, whatever, but I'm sure it's going to go further than that. Different cells will use a different cell, 100% agree.

I think that there's practical applications wherever you need them. Predominately, the highly cognitive function and heightened physical performance, that's where the research is and that's where I see the effects versus ... There's other worlds, and you can talk, we started talking about longevity, that's going to be interesting to see because I actually do think that exogenous ketones will play a part in that. I think ketone esters are going to play a much stronger role in longevity than ketone salts would play in longevity.

You can argue that ketone salts can have some effects on performance, this and that, depends on where you look. Ketone esters, it's pretty clear, there's some pretty published stuff that's pretty straightforward with ketone esters and performance.

Again, you can make the argument with salts, but it's a little bit ambiguous. I think from the longevity side of things, I think that's where the esters are really going to end up playing a part, but I can't say because it's too early.

As someone that loves the idea of being dual fueled, I'd love to be able to go do a cross set style workout and be able to operate through whatever glycogen pathway I need to when I need to, or have more aerobic endurance when I need that.

Ketone esters have helped me with that, but by and large, let your body create what it needs to create, and when you need to use the esters or when you need to use the exogenous ketones for practical application, that's exactly what they're there for. Hopefully we can come to a point where we can learn even more about how we can use them for longevity reasons.


A lot of work yet to be done in the space, even with the ketogenic diet. There's still the eating pattern that's been studied and still, people are still doing new literature on how to best apply it versus new use cases as well.

And one thing, in your office here is that you have a massive wall of red light, infrared light gear, and you talked about tracking a bunch of different stuff. I'm curious, and it sounds like you have an Apple Watch on. What are the things that you like tracking? In terms of quantitative stuff, what are your go to things? What are some of the devices, the file hackery stuff that you're into in the space?

Thomas D.

The bio-hack side of me is just, that's just a nerdy thing to keep me ... It keeps me motivated to be completely honest. Learning that stuff, my go to ... red lights have been fun. My red light therapy, we talked about it a little bit. What is red light therapy? What is getting it from the sun like? How do we tell?

It's hard to tell, but I love gaming the system and gamifying the process a little bit. I've played around a little bit with Aura and Whoop, I don't like to say I like one more than the other, but I tend to lean towards the Whoops just because the Aura ... I lift, and if I'm lifting barbells and stuff, it messes me up-


Yeah, yeah.

Thomas D.

But I like them both, and they're great guys. Those guys are awesome. I've talked to, I know all those guys, so it just all depends on what you're doing. So heart rate variability has been a big thing for me. I think that's kind of a way of the future too. I think we're going to start learning just, "Hey, well the heart actually has the ability to be flexible just like our cells do at a peripheral level." So kind of the master switch so to speak can be more flexible.

So that's something I'm really into lately, all kinds of different things. Meditation, I'm big into that world. Hard to quantify that, I don't have radio imaging at my fingertips to see what's working, but I notice a pretty significant difference when I'm on the meditation game versus when I'm off. I try anything that's thrown at me.


Isolation tanks, hot sauna-

Thomas D.

Hot sauna too, that's a big one. I can't believe I left that out. So hot sauna over infrared to me. So I do have lights here, the red lights, they have infrared too, so I feel like I get that, but I love sitting in a hot sauna. I'm a big fan of dry saunas. I think U-shock proteins are an interesting world. I'm curious to see what's going to come up with ... Maybe there is some already and you can direct me that way, but is there research surrounding the world of U-shock proteins and ketones together? That seems like the perfect combination.

So you name it, I've probably tried it. Cold showers, ice baths, all that kind of stuff. Only on fasting days, just because I always try to jack my catacholamines and my adrenaline up as much as I possibly can. I see, I view my fasting days as my catacholamine, adrenaline on days, and my other days as my off days.


So you just really jack up everything you stress yourself up.

Thomas D.

I sit there and I try to create problems.


Probably a cold shower-

Thomas D.

No, I just shock my body. I figure I'm already doing it. I feel like if anything's going to be ... If it's going to be bad, it would be bad if it was chronic. And I don't want to constantly have these, you don't want to be in that heightened stress state all the time. In fact, the evidence shows that cortisol is perfectly good, except cortisol when it's high during a time of eating, is when it's bad.

So cortisol is supposed to be elevated when you're not eating. It's a natural response, and it's supposed to be high in the morning. But if you're chronically stressed and your cortisol levels are elevated while you're eating, that's exactly and quite literally where the gimmicky marketing is actually right. That's where belly fat does accumulate because we have more glucocorticoid receptors, we have more of those receptors in our visceral fat and our abdominal fat than anywhere else and that's directly of course related with cortisol.

So if your cortisol levels are elevated when you overeat, then yes, that does have a higher potential to store as body fat. There's no denying that. So I try to be like, "Okay, why would I want to have these spikes in stress on days that I'm going to be eating somewhat more frequently? I might as well have these spikes of stress where it's just going to pull body fat." So that's my weird way of looking at it.


Yeah, it makes sense. I think it's also interesting in terms of stacking. I think it's elegant in terms of you're really targeting your days off in very targeted ways versus like, "Okay, I want to kind of fast and exercise and do sauna in a very staggered way." And I think that reminds me of a lot of the puritization that pro athletes already do with the diet and exercise. And it sounds like you're doing that with your bio-hacks as well, which is I think the first time I've heard about that in terms of, "Yeah, I actually cut those." It kind of makes sense, fast with your ice and everything else which is basically just an even more cyclical puritized version of what some of the top athletes are already doing, so it's kind of cool.

Thomas D.

Call it bio-stacking. I just came up with that.


One question I always like to ask as we wrap up here is that if you had infinite resources, infinite people to be guinea pigs, what study would you run and what do you think are some of the most interesting scientific questions in the health space that you'd love to answer or see?

Thomas D.

Cancer's is near and dear to me because I've lost a lot of family to cancer. So I think if we had infinite resources and we really could, really could look at just other forms of cancer like non-small cell lung cancer. Because a lot of the ketogenic research is surrounding brain cancer, glioblastoma. There's not denying that for glioblastomas, ketogenic diet's the way to go.

And I know that Dom D'agostino is looking into a lot of that stuff, and that's really awesome but I feel like it's still, it's underfunded, under-resourced and I feel like that's a world that I really want to see. And it's broad, I want to see other forms of cancer, I want to see adjuncts to chemotherapy and I want to see adjunct to radiation. I want to see realistic practical stuff with the ketogenic diet, and we can't really do that until we break through this barrier where it's more widely accepted.


That makes a lot of sense, especially with cancer. I think if there's a critique on the space it's contain the excitement without over-hyping it, and how do we accelerate some of the research and data.

Thomas D.

And how do we not, and this sounds so bad, but how do we not take the hype out of the diet portion of it while talking to the ... because I can't tell you, when you start talking cancer, you put a little bit of a dark shadow on things. You just do. If you don't want people to think like keto's the cancer diet. That's the last thing you want.

I lost my dad to cancer, and so it's very near ... I really want to, cancer sucks, I hate it. I want to find ways to do that, and even when I put content on my channel surround keto and cancer, it bombs. It just doesn't do well. People just don't, unless they're there at that point, you have to be in a special place in your life to be open to hearing it, let alone be really wanting to hear it. And so it's just ... Now, algorithmically, that tells me that people aren't looking for it, so we need more awareness there and we need more ... The more garbage that comes out saying keto's unhealthy, the more people are just going to never accept it as that. It's frustrating, but I definitely want to see something pave the way there.


How do you see this space evolving in the next few years, next five years?

Thomas D.

I did a video on this specifically. I said, well the keto diet crash, because it's been a common thing. If I looked in my crystal ball, I would say that keto is going to settle into more of a targeted ketogenic, because ... There's two reasons. One, it's just too much for a lot of people to try to digest all of this stuff. Actually, three reasons really.

Number two being I think the term keto in itself, it sounds too aggressive at first. It's just like you're adopting ... It needs to be a way of life and just not anything with a name, it just needs to change how we look at food, and it needs to change how we look at a label. So that's one thing that's happening is it's changing how we look at the label, it's changing how we look at food, it's changing how we look at sugar, it's changing how we look at processed carbohydrates, processed food in general.

So it's doing its job. We just need to make sure that we all stick together to a point where it sticks around long enough for it to hit all the touchpoints that it needs to hit. And a lot of people get upset with all these different food brands coming in, making keto products and this and that.

I don't like how you're coming in with all your Erythritol and all this and that. It's easy to get upset with a lot of these brands that are coming in and they're making essentially keto junk food. But I have a different view on that. I feel like if we're Nabiscoising, if I can make up a word, keto then we're doing something right because it means that people are starting to see it in a different way.

And I would rather have a bright fluorescent bag of almond flour Erythritol cookies than I would double-stuffed Oreos any day, let's put it that way. So don't hate on the people that are doing that, because they're actually the ones that are grabbing the other people from the Midwest that just have some of these high junk food consumption populations, so it's helping us.

What we don't want is people over-marketing, that's what's getting hard. If everyone comes out with a keto product, if everyone comes out with a keto food, then I feel like that's going to take the buzz out of it. But maybe I'm wrong, maybe that's actually what we need.


Yeah, it just reminds me, I don't think I was old enough to really cognitively be aware of it, but I remember everything being low fat back, I guess when we were growing up. It's like everything was the 100 calorie, low fat version of the Oreos, the 100 calorie pack. I wonder if that's going to be the world that we move towards. The low carb, healthy fat version of it.

Thomas D.

Yeah, it totally could be and it's better than what it is right now otherwise.


Yeah. So cool. How do our folks follow you along in your journey? What's in process for you for the rest of the year and 2020? What are you most excited about?

Thomas D.

In 2020, I'm honestly just excited to just grow the channel as much as I can right now. We talked before. I've got multiple businesses. As far as the Thomas DeLauer brand's concerned and spreading the word, I'm just doubling down on it. It's growing 100,000 subscribers a month right now, I just-


That's insane.

Thomas D.

We're reaching so many people and I'd be foolish to pump the brakes at all on that now. Obviously, I put the right stops in place to make sure I'm not always building on someone else's land, building only on YouTube's land. I'm not that foolish. So that's just big for me for the rest of 2020. So what I'm really excited about is just goal, hitting two million subscribers by October, and after that, we'll see what happens.


Again, you're right at one point six, one point seven right now. That's nuts. Growing, that's like Silicon Valley hyper-growth numbers. 10% month over month growth is like, well like the best startups grow at, so you're essentially an Uber in the human form.

Thomas D.

Unless YouTube wants to pull the carpet from underneath me and be like, "No, we don't want to serve keto content anymore." We'll see what happens. I don't think that's going to happen.


Yeah. That's another can of worms where is there censorship in the space? But we'll leave it for next time. Thanks so much Thomas.

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