Weight Loss and Slowing Aging – Highlights from David Sinclair on the Joe Rogan Podcast

To many, aging is an inevitable process of life. However, in your very hands lies the control of how fast you age.
Posted on Jul 02, 2021 By Jasmine Chiam Jasmine Chiam

David Sinclair explains on the Joe Rogan experience podcast how you can slow down and, to a certain extent, reverse the aging process.

Dr. David Sinclair is an Australian-born professor at Harvard Medical School. In 1995, he received his Ph.D. at the University of New South Wales in Molecular Genetics. Currently, he is the co-director of the Paul F. Glenn Center for Biology of Aging Research at Harvard Medical School. Sinclair is exceptionally renowned for his research and works on understanding why humans age and how to slow it.

Anti-aging may not be a foreign word to you. And it has certainly blown up into one of the hottest and most controversial topics of all time. But, while everyone will experience death one day, Sinclair talks about how you have more control over your aging than you realize.

Here are some highlights from the David Sinclair interview on the Joe Rogan experience podcast. Plus, some weight loss tips based on the advice shared!

1. Exercise is indispensable.

Exercise is crucial for good health.

Many of us have had this idea drilled into our minds. Admittedly, though, it’s still challenging to get into the routine of exercise.

In the podcast, Sinclair warns that the sedentary lifestyle many people lead is a recipe for disaster. He encourages us to get out of that office chair and put our bodies under some physical stress (good stress).

“Run for 10 minutes a few times a week. That’s what I do. And you don’t have to run for hours, just 10 minutes is enough.”

-David Sinclair 

Sinclair emphasizes the paramount importance of exercise; From lowering the risk of cardiovascular diseases, maintaining bone density to improving mental wellbeing and counteracting excess cortisol. He adds that abnormal cortisol levels in the body can cause you to age rapidly.

Cortisol is a stress hormone produced by the body that launches your fight-and-flight system by boosting heart rate and energy. When you are constantly stressed out or anxious (bad stress), this response doesn’t turn off as it should. As a result, long-term and increased exposure to cortisol can increase the risk of health issues such as obesity, heart disease, and depression.

According to him, exercise is one of the best things you can do for life extension. And what he’s referring to is not just living longer, but being fit and strong even in your 80’s or 90’s. Because what’s the point of reaching that age in life but being in constant pain or riddled with diseases?

Even 10 minutes of exercise a few times weekly can make a massive difference in the long run. You don’t have to start by pushing yourself through grueling workout sessions that are hours long. Instead, begin with short bouts of exercise and increase the intensity and duration according to your pace.

2. There’s good stress and bad stress.

Often, the word stress comes with a negative connotation.

However, Sinclair reminds us that there are two kinds of stress, bad and good stress. Good stress is letting our bodies go through some form of adversity, for example, by eating less or working out. When under good stress, the adversity response genes, or what we call longevity genes, are switched on, and they help the body combat aging and diseases.

Feeling constantly anxious, worried, and tense leads to or bad and chronic stress, speeding up the biological aging process.

3. “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day” is a myth.

We’ve all heard that phrase growing up. Sinclair busts that myth by revealing that he skips breakfast himself and feels better without it. But, of course, he’s referring to adults, not kids. And it does take some time for your body to adjust to it.

“Most adults can skip breakfast, and in a matter of weeks and months, most feel better about it.”

-David Sinclair 

Sinclair mentions that he has obesity genes, and Type 2 diabetes runs in his family. To maintain his current physique, Sinclair found that the easiest way to avoid putting on weight was skipping breakfast in the morning.

Despite this, he made a disclaimer, remarking that what works for him might not work for you. He’s not advocating that everyone should skip breakfast as he does. But at the end of the day, breakfast is not a must.

Several studies indicate that skipping breakfast can actually reduce the overall calorie intake by up to 400 calories each day! Ultimately, the effects of skipping breakfast will vary based on the individual. While some will benefit from it, others may experience headaches, lack of focus, and a drop in blood sugar.
While it’s not guaranteed, skipping breakfast may aid in weight loss or maintenance. Adults who give breakfast a miss are likely to have lower net consumption of calories per day. However, this method may not suit everyone. In a nutshell, breakfast is optional.

4. You don’t need to feel full and fed throughout the day.

Sinclair clarifies that we don’t have to be full and fed all the time to think clearly.

“It’s clear that people who are fasting have the same if not better mental focus.”

-David Sinclair

Sinclair accentuates that he’s not referring to children or talking about malnutrition or starvation. Instead, he encourages us to lengthen the window of not eating. He states that eating one meal a day can extend your lifespan, which he has been doing. Plus, he tries his best to avoid snacking, too.

To explain this, he reveals that overconsumption can make your body complacent. At the molecular level, longevity genes respond to what you’re eating and how much you’re eating. These genes give our bodies resilience and slow down the biological clock. By letting your body experience some form of hunger, you can turn these genes on.

As Sinclair has mentioned before, his diet, supplementation, and lifestyle may benefit him but may not suit you.

Research has linked fasting and calorie restriction to benefits such as reduced blood glucose, lowered risk of heart disease, and weight loss.

However, the one-meal-a-day (OMAD) diet is undeniably challenging to sustain, and many healthcare professionals do not encourage this method of intermittent fasting as it is pretty extreme. Adopting the 16/8 intermittent fasting diet or lower-calorie diet may be more sustainable or better suited for you.

In addition to that, pregnant or breastfeeding women, older adults, children, teenagers, and people with eating disorders should not have an OMAD diet.

What you eat and how much you eat matters. If an all-out OMAD diet does not suit you, you can adopt a less stringent intermittent fasting diet or restrict your calorie consumption instead. Ultimately, it’s no good skipping a meal and then snacking throughout the day or eating an excessive amount for dinner to alleviate your hunger and cravings.

5. Snacking is a nightmare dressed like a daydream.

We’ve all been there. From finger-licking potato chips to agonizingly sweet donuts and fluffy cakes. Why do the unhealthiest foods always have to taste, smell, and look the most delicious?

While Sinclair always tries his best to steer clear of snacks, he admits he still loves a good ol’ vegemite toast! He explains that the brain craves energy, which is why you may experience constant cravings for sugar, calories, and snacks. Therefore, the most crucial thing is to overcome these cravings. But hey, even with our best intentions, temptation may still trump willpower, and we succumb.

So if you know you find it hard to resist munching on high-calorie snacks, Sinclair’s advice is to clear your house of them. While you don’t have to stop snacking completely, you can replace high-calorie snacks with healthier ones.

Clear your house of unhealthy snacks. To combat cravings, give your mouth something to do and nibble on healthier treats instead. These include dark chocolate, nuts, apples, or berries. Of course, moderation is key, so don’t go nuts with those either!

6. Lack of sleep accelerates the aging clock.

Getting adequate and quality sleep is crucial. While most of us realize that, it’s easier said than done.

Many of us have a hectic and fast-paced schedule and find it hard to wind down before heading off to bed. Sinclair mentions that he limits blue light exposure before bed, while Rogan brings up an important point that winding down can be challenging for high-performance people. He faces the same struggle, and the moment his head hits the pillow, his mind races and goes into a whirlwind of thoughts.

Likewise, many of us can relate to that. You might have been kept up for hours, tossing and turning, thinking about what happened throughout the day and other matters.

Rogan sheds some light on how he combats this problem; He focuses on his breathing instead of thinking about things he needs to do. Sinclair adds that deep breathing techniques can indeed help you relax and wind down.

7. It’s better to start young, but it’s never too late to begin.

According to Sinclair, aging is a treatable disease.

“Your genes only control 20% of your ultimate age in old age. 80% is in your hands.”

-David Sinclair

How you live your life can make a massive difference. Sinclair states that it’s always best to start young because you don’t want to wait around until you have an accelerated age clock. Also, if you’re well past your 20’s, 30’s or even 40’s, it’s never too late to start!

The 5 best things you can do for yourself are exercising, eating healthily, getting adequate sleep, avoiding tobacco, and managing stress. Taking care of your body well can slow down the aging process, reduce your risk of diseases, and hopefully, keep you in tip-top shape at a late age.

We’ve all said, ‘I’ll start tomorrow.’ And tomorrow never comes. Push yourself to start now. Whether it’s eating healthier or getting some exercise, you might not see immediate benefits, but in the long run, it will pay off.

Last but not least, we’ll leave you with an encouraging note from Rogan.

“You’re alive, you’re breathing, and you’re moving around. So you can get to a better place. And once you do that, you will have extreme satisfaction. And you’ll realize you are capable of great things.”

-Joe Rogan

You can catch the full episode on Spotify!

References
Bjarnadottir, A. (2017). Is Skipping Breakfast Bad for You? The Surprising Truth. Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/is-skipping-breakfast-bad
Kubala, J. (2020). Is Eating One Meal a Day a Safe and Effective Way to Lose Weight?. Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/health/one-meal-a-day
Kubala, J. (2020). Is Eating One Meal a Day a Safe and Effective Way to Lose Weight?. Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/health/one-meal-a-day
Santos-Longhurst, A. (2018). High Cortisol Symptoms: What Do They Mean?. Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/health/high-cortisol-symptoms
WebMD. (n.d.). Is Eating One Meal a Day Safe?. Retrieved from https://www.webmd.com/diet/is-eating-one-meal-a-day-safe
Jasmine Chiam
Jasmine Chiam
Jasmine is a final-year student due to graduate with a Bachelor in Pharmacy (Honours). She helps write specialised health and wellness content based on indepth research. She also enjoys spending time playing video games and eating salmon :)

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