Podcast - Adam Savage Project

Exercise, Diet, and Fitness – 4/22/2014

This week, Adam, Will and Norm, talk about Buck Rogers, dieting and fitness regimens. There’s no “one simple trick” for staying healthy and losing weight, and Adam’s own dieting habits have evolved over the years. Plus, bathroom horror stories!

Comments (39)

39 thoughts on “Exercise, Diet, and Fitness – 4/22/2014

  1. I am proud to say that I also remember seeing the pilot to Buck Rogers….in the theater. It was on a double bill with the De Laurentiis Flash Gordon film in 1980. I was an impressionable five-year-old, and that experience stuck with me for years.

  2. I’m 6’4″ and ~165 lb, and I eat every 2 hours, simply because I can’t go any longer than that. I was a vegetarian for almost 3 years (and yes, I was this thin long before I stopped eating meat), but the main reason I started eating meat again was because my job requires me to travel to places in the remote south where there aren’t many food options. My exercise consists of push-ups every other day, and ~10 mile mountain bike rides about three times a week.

  3. In regards to health and dieting; everything in moderation, including moderation. It really is a balance between how many calories you use in an average day vs. how many you intake.

    I eat every twelve hours or so, and sometimes have a small snack if I’m starting to feel shaky or cognitively slower.

    Also, check out halal beers.

    And yes, a lot of water.

  4. I have 5 meals every day too keep my weight. One slice of bread and milk for breakfast. One yoghurt between breakfast and dinner. For dinner I try to have atleast 100g (handful) of vegetables. Between dinner and supper I’ll eat some fruit. For supper I eat one slice of bread and drink one glass of water. I have startet to do 20-30 min exercise every day to get more energy surplus.

  5. I gained about 30 pounds in the first 1.5 years after moving to the US, mostly due to keeping grad school hours and eating too much junk. I did work out and exercise, but not enough to make it purely a positive weight gain. At my heaviest, I was 205 pounds and felt pretty sluggish.

    ‘ve tried to clean up my diet and today I look much slimmer, but I’m still a good 15-20 pounds heavier than I was when I moved here. SF is indeed a difficult city to stay skinny in, too many breweries and too much good food :p the hills do help.

  6. I remember going to see Buck Rodgers in 25th Century in the local theatre before it went to TV. This was just after Star Wars in the late 1970’s. Also Adam’s kids are old enough to figure out how to unclog their own toilet and clean up afterwords.

  7. If you buy food once a week (like I do), take some of the compulsive behavior out of the experience by making a shopping list beforehand and sticking rigidly to it. You are more likely to think about your food choices if there is some planning involved. Try to avoid the center of the store, and never shop hungry.

    Don’t keep around the things you don’t want to be eating. The shopping list suggestion helps with the “intake” part of this, but don’t be afraid to get rid of crappy foods you have at home. I take my unwanted food to work, and my co-workers love it.

    Don’t drink your calories, soda and liquor included. Decreasing alcohol intake makes it easier for me to think clearly and makes me more receptive to the idea of going out for exercise. Liquid calories are nearly all simple carbohydrates, and these are your enemy.

    If you are hungry, drink a glass of water and wait five minutes before you eat something. Occasionally you will find you are not hungry five minutes later, but if you are still hungry, this still helps to keep you from over-eating. I have also found it useful to throw in a second glass of water with whey powder mixed in. This contradicts the advice about liquid calories, but if you choose a good carb/sugar whey you are fine.

    Costco-sized bags of chicken breast are your high-protein, low fat, low carb friends. Add them to salad to increase the fill factor, but try to avoid the fatty and sugary dressings (balsamic vinegar is wonderful!). They even have a pre-cooked version if you are willing to pay for it.

    If you are lucky enough to live close to work, try to commute by bicycle or on foot.

  8. Good show, I do disagree a bit about a healthy diet being a lot more expensive though for a couple of reasons that I’ve found from changing my diet: First I find that I am a lot less hungry on a healthy diet, I buy less and especially buy less at convenience stores, I also found that smart shopping can net you some huge savings, especially buying produce in season and farmers markets. I am spending about the same to just a small amount more.

    I totally agree with you thepirat3king…one thing I need to work on is the drinks, I can’t seem to get away from milk though.

    On the Sci-fi note, I’d love to hear some of you guys favorite low budget or less well known sci-fi movies. Immortal from 2006 is one of my favorites, Iron Sky was fun, Europa Report I know you mentioned, Ink was another great one…

  9. I shit you not, I sat down to see what’s new on Tested tonight after buying myself a bag of 25 munchkins at Dunkin Donuts and was stuffing them furiously down my neck while watching you talk about being healthy.

    …So thanks for that.

  10. The biggest thing for me is to just enjoy whatever it is you’re eating. When I first moved out of my parents’ house (and across the country for work) I ate complete garbage and I gained a ton of weight. After a while I got it back down a little ways, mostly by changing what I eat and doing a little exercise but it still fluctuates pretty wildly.

    Some weeks, work is only super busy and I have time to think about what I’m eating. Other weeks, work is fuuuuuuu busy and I just shove whatever’s closest into my face. Also, I was raised vegetarian and, honestly, I think vegetarians get the short end of the stick when it comes to eating light because you’re either getting a salad (which isn’t enough) or you’re getting some kind of cream soup (which has been buttered into submission to “make up for” the meat that should be there)

    But I know that some weeks are good and some are bad and sometimes I’m gaining, sometimes I’m losing but the only thing that feels worse than knowing that you’re gaining weight is feeling guilty for anything you eat, ever. Especially if it’s full of sugar. If you’re gonna eat it, eat the ever-lovin’ shit out of it. Enjoy the hell out of your awful, fattening, microwave-burrito-and-donuts-because-this-has-to-be-done-tomorrow-and-I-dont-have-time-for-food thing. Just eat something better next time.

  11. and adam: your 100 push-ups a day routine looks to me like a rather one-sided affair. of course, you do some stabilising work with your abdominal muscles and back, but it’s still an upper body pushing exercise without anything to complement it. i wonder, how does it serve you? (closely tied in with that: what are your demands from your exercise routine?)

    maybe interesting for adam: if doing an exercise for repetitions easily bores you (i sympathise. i envy everybody who can do distance running. i’m way too bored out by that), you could try shifting the focus of your exercise towards strength. do something that is intense enough so you can manage 3 sets of 3 good, clean and mindful repetitions just so. don’t rush the pauses between the sets. this will not take up much time in your day and might be more engaging as an activity. (and more strength is a nice, useful bonus)

    once your chosen exercise becomes easy enough to do 5 sets of 5 reps, find something harder.

  12. Great podcast! So many of us who sit behind computers all day have weight issues. I’m a video editor, and over the past several years I gained a lot of weight. Over the past year I lost 65 pounds doing almost exactly what you described in the podcast. I counted calories for a while to get a sense of what I was putting into my body, cut back on the soda, and I now eat either soup or a salad for lunch. Along with some light exercise, the pounds just fell off. I’m under 200 pounds for the first time since college, and I feel great. So yep, what Adam is saying totally works!

  13. I use MyFitnessPal on my phone and tablet to track my intake and have a membership at Anytime Fitness that I use three times a week. Have lost over 35 pounds since the first of the year. I still eat foods I enjoy just less of them. . . it’s a lot more about how much you eat than what you eat but you soon figure out that to feel full you have to stay away from a lot of sugary junk.

    I have back problems due to injury as well as a separated right shoulder so strenuous exercise and weight lifting just doesn’t work unless I want to be in a major amount of pain. I would rather not take pain medication so I take it pretty easy at the gym but can crank out about an hour on a recumbent bicycle. I feel a lot better than I have for a while and plan to get under 200 by the first of next year.

  14. Norm’s look to camera as he slugged back that Diet Coke was brilliant.

    I drink a lot of Coke Zero, the male-targeted counterpart to Diet Coke. I looooove it. I may possibly be addicted.

  15. re: Exercise, I had good luck with 30min, 1/week doing the Big 5 workout from _Body By Science_ : 5 machines, reps to muscular failure – if you can’t get to failure in under 90s, add more weight. Log it all so you know where to set everything up next week. Simple, fast, and you know it’s effective because you see the weight increases pile up over time (usually quite quickly in the beginning).

  16. as an fyi the reason caprica failed was not because of budget reasons, they began a show with no script. It was green lit (and shelved another awesome sci fi show I was working on) based on the rights to IP only, no script, no cast, no plot yet. Just “pre battle star”. It came out about a year later, which to me says almost no development time. It was hugely disappointing.

  17. So great, I pretty much did the same thing around last fall. I noticed I was getting bigger made some simple changes. Squats and push-ups daily, picked up playing hockey one night a week. Dropped my diet Pepsi habit, about 6 cans a day, replaced it with just water. I do have a coffee in the morning though. The quitting Pepsi was the worst, I had really bad headaches and nausea for about 2-3 weeks when I started stepping down. I was around 185 last fall and as of this morning I’m sitting at 169.

  18. At my heaviest, I was 360lbs. Right now I’m about 325 and even though I’m still at a weight that is ludicrous in the minds of most people, the difference is staggering. More than I ever expected. Weaning myself off of pop and eating smaller portions means that I can walk up a flight of stairs comfortably again and I walk to work every morning. Granted, work is rather close (five city blocks), but it was much harder to make that walk before.

    I’m 20 years old, and I’ve always been a very heavy person. It’s rather exciting to be able to walk somewhere with no problems, or even to fix myself a meal that is much less than I ever would have eaten only a year ago and feel like it’s enough. It’s almost a thrill.

    You just feel happier, too.

  19. I lost about 35lbs by modifying my diet alone. Biggest change… sugars! I made sure to buy items within 6-8g of sugar per serving size! Which means you have to stay within reasonable portions. I saw a dietician whom helped me out with that and suggested portion sizes for various food items according to my body type. I did the changes progressively to the point were I don’t eat red meats and all of my bread, rice and pasta items are whole wheat.

    As Adam mentioned, it has to be a change from within. Once you’re determined you will be conscious of all your eating decisions. 😀

  20. I’ve lost a little over 10 kg during the last year, and I’m pretty much at my idea weight.

    I had tried to loose weight for years with not much success, but the recipe that finally did it was running my own company. Some people eat more when they’re stressed out, but for me it’s the opposite. I lost weight just because I didn’t feel like eating or didn’t have time to…

    The stress level has come down during the year, but it turns out that getting used to eating less has actually shrunk my stomach enough that I start feeling full a lot faster than I used to and don’t seem to need to eat as often either. Even my heartburn is gone. Who knew a few months of excruciating stress could turn out so healthy in the long run!

  21. Here is a good trick for dealing with those ugly clogs. Dawn and hot water. Give it a good squirt of dawn dishwashing soap and as much hot water as you can fit in there. Wait. It takes a little time, but worst case is overnight. Even if you have a really tough mess and have to use the plunger, it will be easier to plunge.

  22. I’m about 5′ 11″ and 210lb, about a year ago I was 220-230lb, and about 6 months ago I was 190lb. I managed to loose a pretty significant amount of weight without much difficulty using Tim Ferris’s methods (the 4 hour body), but when the holidays and college finals rolled around I fell off the diet. The lesson I have learned is this: if you have a weight loss plan that is working for you, do not take a break until it either stops working, or you reach your goal. Trying to loose weight you have regained is more difficult, and demoralizing.

    Even if you aren’t too interested in loosing weight, I think everyone should try dieting seriously for at least one month, preferably two, at some point in their life. The amount of impulse control you gain is amazing, being able to tell yourself “No, I won’t eat that cookie, I’ll look for something that will actually satisfy my hunger” is not only healthy, but it can help you save time and money by avoiding snacks. If you don’t want to go all-in and start eating salads every day, I suggest simply trying to drink nothing but water 6 days a week. I gave up regular soda drinking well before I even got serious about weight loss, and I’ve never missed it; drinking water with your dinner makes the food taste better, your teeth feel and look cleaner, and you have more energy during the day (eventually, you have to teach your body not to rely on caffeine and sugar. Eventually you can start using them sparingly and you will find them much more effective)

  23. I don’t really struggle with weight, but I really try to practice as much N=1 as I can. I will wildly adjust my calorie intake depending on my day, very low on slack days, and huge on hard work days. I try to eat based on what I feel like, and not out of habit. If I have junk-food near me, it will all be devoured in short order, which just makes me feel crappy for the next day or so.

    There is a lot of interesting research right now into the psychological aspects of weight loss, as well as the “gut brain” I highly recommend anyone who is having trouble to look into it. Its looking like low-fat and sugar-free may make weight loss harder, since your body is having trouble calibrating how much its actually getting, compared to what it thinks its getting. I feel very unwell when I have something sugar free, and I think part of it is that the insulin overload without the sugar is doing bad things.

    As much as it isn’t really a problem for me, I understand how frustrating it can be to not have control over something like that. There are too many factors that go into it to have an easy answer, not the least of which is lots of people are just wired to be that way, and have a much harder time than others. So don’t get down on yourself when it doesn’t quite work, when you try to loose weight, as healthy as that is long term, you are literally fighting against your own biology.

  24. I’m currently in the process of a big weight loss (2nd time in my life)…

    First one came with a break up, the desire to better myself, and a lot of free time. I cut out fast food (which was at least 2x daily) and did granola for breakfast, salad for lunch, and dinner was rice, steamed veg, and chicken. I drank only water (lots of it), and began walking 6 miles a day until I could start running. I went from 235lbs down to 175lbs. It was awesome, and the skinniest/healthiest I had been in years.

    Happily, I met another girl, but then got happy/lazy and quit all that healthy stuff. Over a few years I worked my way back up to 250lbs. I just started counting calories (my wife did as well) a few months ago and we are both down 20-30lbs within a month or two. No exercising, just watching what we eat and eating healthier. I think my goal is probably down to about 180lbs. That would still be overweight, but I feel like being at the limit of a “healthy weight” for my height, which is 160, would be too difficult to maintain. I don’t even think I was 160 for very long in High School, although at that time I could run a 6.5 min mile and do 100+ push-ups at a time…

    I’ve definitely learned that it needs to be a permanent life style change in order for it to stay off. Good luck to anyone else working on losing some weight. (oh, and I use MyFitnessPal, it’s awesome).

  25. wrote an article in March 2013 that helped me on my weight loss journey. I lost 80lbs from Jan-Nov 2013. It was a combination of cardio 45min 3 days, 30 min 2 day/wk and slow diet change through calorie tracking that led to complete diet change. Now I’m a steady 175, lessened cardio and have begun weight lifting and eat clean. Thanks for the motivation early on that kept me going.

    eat breakfast! Even if it’s just a small bowl of oatmeal! Your engine won’t run if you don’t prime it first thing!

  26. I have a question for Adam: in many of these podcasts you’ve explained how busy you are with your social and family life, mythbusters, con’s, your shop, the tours and so many others. How in the world do you find time to just watch TV? It seems like every podcast your raving about a show or two that you’re into or getting in to, how do you have time to be up to date on all these shows? Are you a binge watcher or can you actually fit them into your day? I have a handful of shows that I’m in to but I’m just your typical nuclear Dad with a full time job and a family, but I feel like I’m a couch potato when I can actually fit them all in. How do you do it! ?

  27. I was pleased to hear that Adam and Norm both do at least some strength work.

    Most of the scientific data out there suggests that stronger people live longer and experience compressed morbidity when they do eventually die!

    I’d say that Will shouldn’t worry about losing more weight, and just start lifting weights.

  28. I’ve been steadily loosing weight since Christmas, all I did, drastically reduce the amount of cards I was eating.

  29. Ah I was in such great shape–literally the best I ever was in my life and then I became really serious about my work and stopped working out. Now I’m a grad student with no money and the only choices are to eat cheap crap food or not eat all. I’m relatively in okay shape, but I’m nowhere near what I felt great at. Ugh. Adulthood sorta sucks, amirite?

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