Robb Wolf - The Paleo Solution Podcast - Paleo diet, nutrition, fitness, and health

We're at it again with Episode 437, Q&A #30!

Submit your own questions for the podcast at:

If you want to see the video for this podcast, be sure to check out our YouTube channel.


Show Notes:

1. Fitbit Sleep Tracking [1:35]

Jay says:

G'Day Robb, love your work. I took a break from your podcast to learn computer programming and am now back because I'm stressed and my desk bound body is broken. Glad to be back and see you've figured out your keto problems when bonking during class. I've signed up to your keto master class so fingers crossed.

I have a somewhat basic question about sleep.

My Fitbit says I slept 7 hours with 1 hour awake. I don't remember waking and there are up to 30 a night of these tiny 'awake' periods. I do sometimes toss and turn to get into comfortable positions. My partner says I'm asleep within minutes of hitting the pillow. So I think I'm sleeping ok.

Should I think about this as 8 hours sleep or 7? I tend to wake up energised when my Fitbit says 6hrs 30 mins + 1 hour awake.... So thinking this is equivalent to standard 7-8 hours per night. When I push for Fitbit to say 8 hours then I'm very lethargic when I wake. But it's probably then like 9 hours which could be 'over sleeping' for me.

Anyway, love the work you two are doing. I miss the Q&As with Greg but love the new format.

Anyway, fangirling from Australia. My question can probably be answered by Google but I'm sure you'll be able to cut through the interjunks.

All the best - Jay


2. Palate Fatigue & Food Burnout [8:11]

Maria says:

Hi, Robb and Nikki, I was wondering if you can address palate fatigue. For some reason, I tend to be the kind of person that needs to have a lot of something and then don’t want it anymore and have to switch. Before, I was into avocados and sardines, all the time, and now it is eggs and bacon. It is almost as if my body is asking for these foods at certain times. Thank you!


3. Protein Toxicity and the Carnivore Diet [12:22]

Jesse says:

Hey Robb,

In WTE you briefly mention (p. 27) that humans cannot consume more than 35% of their calories from protein before suffering from protein toxicity. The carnivore diet has recently gotten some publicity and seems to have some anecdotal success for folks with stubborn autoimmunity issues. Do you think following a carnivorous diet carries a high risk of suffering from protein toxicity? And would we be able to look for evidence of protein toxicity in kidney function testing?




4. Waking Up From Hunger While In Ketosis [17:55]

Justin says:

Dear Robb,

I'm a huge fan of the pod and your work. 

For the past two months, I've been following a keto eating plan (I weigh all food and track macros - I'm usually hitting 40g net carbs, 90-100g protein, and somewhere between 235g-270g fat, for a total of roughly 3,000-3,500 calories per day).  I'm a 30 y/o male, 5'9. I usually eat 3-4 meals/day with no snacks. I currently weigh 156lb and am about 16% body fat (I did a BodPod when I was a few pounds lighter and was at 14.5%). In terms of exercise, I usually go to the gym 3x/week and do some combination of squats, deadlifts, press, and bench press.  As an example of where I'm currently at with strength, I do 4 sets of 5 repetitions (2 min rest periods) 205 pounds on squats. 

My question is this: when I try to cut calories down by 300-500 (I'd like to get to 12% body fat), I wake up in the middle of the night hungry.  I feel like I keep hearing on various podcasts and books that I read that in a state of keto, hunger should be significantly blunted and this shouldn't really be an issue.  But I feel like if I don't go to sleep pretty full, I wake up in the middle of the night. I know sleep is critically important, so this seems like a problem. If I eat enough to sleep through the night, I can maintain the same weight but really struggle to lose weight.  I've done self-experiments to make sure I'm not waking up due to stress, noise, etc., and have isolated that my sleep is almost completely correlated with my hunger levels. I wanted to ask for your guidance because I imagine other people might struggle with a similar issue - I know many people who do well with hunger during the day, but not so well at night.  Some things I've wondered about is if I'm overtraining or if there's some sort of other physiological issue I need to attend to. Maybe I'm not understanding keto properly, but I feel like with my macro breakdown I should be able to comfortably go 12-16 hours without eating? Or, is the ability to go prolonged periods without food less about eating and more about individual differences?

Thanks for all of the amazing work that you do. 



5. Fasting For Skinny Dudes [23:50]

Brett says:

Hi. Robb and Nicki...

Fasting for overweight or normal weight people has been well covered. Is there any benefit to underweight guys fasting in an effort to add mass? I’m 6’3” and 165lbs, 37 years old. I can eat whatever I want in whatever quantities I want and my weight never changes. I would like to be heavier. I’ve tried weight programs and I tone up ok but it’s rare to add more than 5lbs. The minute I stop the program I’m instantly back to 165. Everything else you always talk about like diet, sleep, stress is already dialed in



Where you can find us:


Submit questions for the podcast:



Download a copy of the transcript here (PDF)

Direct download: PaleoSolution-437.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

We're here with Episode 436, Q&A #29!

Submit your own questions for the podcast at:

If you want to see the video for this podcast, be sure to check out our YouTube channel.


Show Notes:


1. Endurance Fueling For A Keto Athlete [2:00]


Cassandra says:

Dear Robb + Nicki,

First off...thanks for the great job you two do in making complicated nutrition and fitness information easy to access and understand (even for uneducated gym rats like myself).  I've been listening to the podcast for years, reading the blog and the books (just got Wired to Eat) and I still find myself learning something new almost weekly.

Bottom line up front - how do you guys recommend tackling post-workout nutrition for endurance / high-intensity sports while on the keto train?

I'm 35, 5'8'', 155 lbs with a fairly muscular build.  I've been doing the Crossfit + weightlifting thing for 5-6 years now (4-6 times a week).  I've got 10 strict pull ups, a 250 lb 1 RM back squat, a 285 1RM DL and can hold an L-sit for a I think I'm pretty strong(?) - in some aspects anyway ...  Strict bedtimes at 8:30 every night with 8 hours of sleep, no injuries, no severe reactions to any type of food (except tequila) - BUT I perform and look a lot better when I'm strict about paleo.  I've been eating that way and it has been keeping me fueled really well in the aforementioned training situations. 

Due to the nature of my job - active duty Marine, I am required to run a 5k every year for I do incorporate running into my weekly routine - usually no more than 15-20 miles a week...long-ish runs mixed with hill sprints or pushing sleds so I don't die of cardio boredom.

Within the past year - - due to losing a bet or being shamed into them (I can't quite remember), I've also been running a few half marathons and one marathon.  I plan do to one more full later this year, the Rock n Roll in Las Vegas - mostly because its an excuse to travel to Vegas with some girlfriends of mine. The low-carb/paleo diet has been awesome for my health  on the weightlifting/crossfit/sprinting side of things... but I'm struggling with the endurace side of my fitness.

For my runs more than 90 minutes, I've been fueling with some organic stinger chewies/gels near the end of my run and then other, whole-food-type carbs at the end....bananas, berries, coconut water...sometimes gatorade, (an occasional beer :)), etc.  My recovery has been OK...not awesome though (and when I take out the mid-run or end carbs, my energy tanks and my joints hurt for days)..... it takes me about me 1-2 days to get through my soreness for half marathons and almost 5 days for a run more than 22 miles WITH the intra and post-carbs.

I've recently jumped on the keto train in January...did your masterclass, read Mark Sisson's book, started listening to a lot of low-carb / keto based podcasts (Shawn Baker, Fat Burning Man, etc) and just started Wired to Eat.  I've been trying to do my own homework and listen to my far this keto thing has been great! I've dropped about 10 lbs since the beginning of the year, have been sleeping a lot better and have seen gains in my strength.  But the race season starts up in May (the LV Marathon is in November but I have smaller races and training runs scheduled throughout the summer) and I want to be prepared. 

I *think* I'm generally fat-adapted...but I panic after 8 or 9 miles sometimes (the old advice of "carb loading" always creeps back in) and will suck down a terrible gel or gatorade because I've made the mistake of running these distances underfueled before and it was a painful, painful lesson.  I have heeded your electrolyte advice. I constantly track my sodium, magnesium and potassium levels and take the recommended supplements almost every day (normally on days with a taxing WOD or a workout lasting more than 90 mins). 

So what can I eat/drink to keep on the keto train that will help me recover and keep me going on some of these endurance events?  Nut butters? Whey protein and water? I want to be armed when I take on Vegas this year and not completely derail my eating habits. And I'd like to start experimenting with these foods now, while I still have time to adjust.

Sorry for writing the novel!  If I can find this info in a podcast or in one of the chapters of your books, please feel free to point me in that direction!  I appreciate any insight you guys have. Thanks in advance,



2. Should I Add Fat To My Whey Protein Shake? [10:40]

Ben says:


Love the podcast (I am one of the six listeners)! Here is my question:

I am wondering if the insulin-spike from a post-workout whey shake can stall my weight loss. Should I add fat like heavy cream or coconut milk to the shake to blunt the insulin response (if yes how much) or am I unable to burn that fat because of the spiked insulin storing it as body fat instead.

Thank you so much and best wishes from Munich, Germany


3. Portal Circulation and Leaky Gut [14:36]

James says:

Hi Robb,

Thanks for your detailed answer to my question about sun exposure in Q&A #7. You provided a clear and concise answer which is hard to come by these days!

Following your book recommendations in Q&A #6 I hungrily delved into the Lecture notes on Human Metabolism (Thanks Nikki!) and within the first chapter encountered some information that gave me reason to pause.

The portal circulation, I'm certain that you can provide a more accurate and concise explanation of this system to your listeners than I can in this question, so I'll leave that to you if that's okay!

My question is: given that all blood (and therefore solutes) from the intestines are drained through the portal vein and through the liver - filtering out excess substrates and removing toxins such as ammonia from the blood before it enters 'general circulation', how can leaky gut have such a damaging effect on the body? It seems to me that the liver is a vital backstop in this process which is never mentioned when functional medicine practitioners talk about leaky gut - they give the impression that blood drains from the intestines straight into cardiovascular circulation and these fuel substrates are clanking around in our arteries causing inflammation which seems not to be the case!

Also how does this impact the gut hypothesis of heart disease (highly simplified here) where endotoxin is said to pass through the mucosal membrane into circulation, binding with LDL cholesterol, being attacked and immobilized by immune cells and ultimately ending up being sequestered into an arterial plaque because the immune system cannot destroy cholesterol or unbind the endotoxin from it.

Would the portal circulation not remove this endotoxin from the blood before it enters cardiovascular circulation and meets LDL particles? Is this disease process driven not only by a compromised intestinal lining but also by inefficient liver function?

Thank you for your time again guys, really appreciate your input

Kind Regards



4. Do I Have To Sprout My Nuts & Seeds? [20:10]

Joseph says:

Is phytic acid harmful or of benefit?  Is it really necessary to jump thru the hoops of soaking & sprouting before consuming nuts & seeds?  thank you


5. Caloric Estimate for Young Children? [25:10]

Rory says:

Is there an estimate for calories/pound when it comes to feeding my almost 3 year old (or any child for that matter, say 2-12? The teen years of course marking the onset of self-consciousness and peer pressure, thus thwarting any biological hard-wiring toward survival.)

Or is she still young enough to be biologically incapable of starving herself, at which point I should just trust that she has normally functioning satiety signals?

I ask specifically about my daughter because, as is par for the course in 'Murica, she received antibiotics immediately after being born, so it's not a stretch for me to imagine that she could have some kind of gut imbalance that could cause hormone dysregulation with her leptin/ghrelin.



Where you can find us:


Submit questions for the podcast:



Download a copy of the transcript here (PDF)

Direct download: PaleoSolution-436.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

We're back with more of the Q&A you crave!  Episode 435, Q&A #28

Submit your own questions for the podcast at:

If you want to see the video for this podcast, be sure to check out our YouTube channel.


Show Notes:

1. Overeating On Keto [2:08]

Steve says:

Hi Rob,

I don't want to take too much of your time. But going Keto for me has found me doing exactly what I feared I could do. I have been Paleo for five or six years and so has my wife. We have no kids at home so grains and junky carbs are not and issue or even a temptation. I am in the middle of doing the keto masterclass, which I am savouring because I have been making some mistakes.

I am 50 years old and work out regularly doing either mixed kettlebell workouts or if I do weight and resistance training at the moment I like to do whole body workouts 3 X a week and can mix in some cardio in between. I have kept fit most of my life, my goal is as I age to stay lean and keep mobile. Pretty simple goal.

We live in Perth in Western Australia so we have great weather and lots of sun. I work as a gardener in a private school, a job I love doing as I'm outside and moving all day, not as hard as say some sort of construction worker but that can happen on a given day just not every day.

Coming from eating paleo the transition for me has been pretty easy. As I went low carb and increased the fat I was eating my wife liked the sound of it so she hopped on board. She is doing great and in fact better than me. We aren't really that worried about measuring ketones at this stage, it has been more about getting the diet right.

My issue is, I love the food. For some reason it has made me hungrier. Stocking our fridge and cupboards I made sure that we had all we needed and I wanted to see what I liked to eat also.

So I have blown it on all sorts of things. I have had days where I ate too much thickened cream, one tub has 800 calories and it is so easy to eat. I have blown it on nut butter and blown it on cheese. I can't believe it.

At first it was wrapping my head around the fat content. I think I get it now. But I have put on body fat, which is so annoying. It's not a train wreck but I feel like I am in a rut now and it's hard to get out. I don't want to quit because I can see and have felt the benefits. It's just with the fat content and my physiology there seems to be no room for error.

I listen to your podcast and since listening I have gone to the ketogains website and worked out my macros. I was still tracking somewhat but some days I may have blown it by 5 or 6 hundred calories.

I have come so close to quitting as for me it seems to have been an easy way to get fat rather the leaner.

I'm not sure that you can help and not sure what else that I could tell you. Diet wise I have intermittent fasted for 3 or more years with differing protocols. Doing 16 - 20 hours is pretty comfortable. I workout in the mornings and often don't eat until lunch time or when I get home from work.

My diet hasn't changed too much except I have eaten cream, which I am now over. Adding more fat to my meals. Cooking in butter eating nuts and doing other keto style things. Apart from that my diet is still pretty primal. I love veggies. I have for years done a version of Mark Sisson's big ass salad. Which would be my daily staple. Evening veggies could be broccoli with brussel sprouts maybe some Kale and mushrooms. Also we do milk Kefir but I try to keep that to a minimum.

If you have any suggestions that would be great. Are there others that have had this sort of issue, going keto has made them fatter?

Really enjoy your podcast and thanks for all of the really useful info that you have put out. I have also read your books.

Best regards



2. What's Up With Fiber & Kids? [8:58]

Rory says:

As part of restoring my own gut health, I've used prebiotic fibers in various doses based somewhat on Grace Liu's advice, and I'm curious if and when supplemental fiber would be beneficial for my daughter?

Again assuming that she started off at a disadvantage because of the antibiotics, it seems to follow logically that prebiotic fiber would help her gut bacteria develop, and increase her overall health and resilience.

Is that actually logical?

And are there any cautions? Is there a certain dose that's age-appropriate, or do I just slowly increase until she has digestive upset?

Should I mix fibers in order to feed a variety of bacteria, or are there certain fibers that are optimal for a young gut (i.e. what would a cavebaby be most likely to eat chew on for fun?).


3. Tips For Increasing Testosterone [13:07]

Mads says:

Hey Robb,

In a previous Q&A, you talked about how muscle gain/hypertrophy is caused by calorie surplus and progressive overload. You also mentioned that gaining muscle is, without a doubt, easier if you have High testosterone. Calorie surplus and PO is easy, but how do I increase my testosterone? You mentioned that there are a number of different tactics that you can use?

My testosterone is not low, but definitely not high either. I'm 27 and my testosterone is 640 ng/dL and my free testosterone is 16.36


4. SHBG Elevated On Keto/Carnivore [19:47]

Eoin says:

Since switching to keto I've noticed an increase in SHBG levels which brings down my free test. Total test has stayed high normal but was wondering how functional it is with the free portion bound up. DHEA is a bit low too. I feel great all in all but was just wondering what your thoughts are on that


5. Are Chicharrones (pork rinds) a Healthy Snack? [22:47]

Isaac says:

Hi Rob,

Chicarones (pork rinds): are they a healthy snack?

I've heard you indirectly mention them on the podcast some time ago, but I wasn't able to infer whether your opinion is favorable or cautionary.

I'm an ultra-runner, and during peak training season will spend about 20 hours per week running.  In the bad old days I would top off my calories with a gigantic bowl of cold cereal in the evening, or an enormous serving of lentils and rice.  But then I got woke, started monitoring my blood sugar, and started looking for low-carb options to fuel. I'm already having two salads each day, huge amounts of veggies, and as much meat as I can stomach.  So I'm just looking for some calories to fuel the movement.

So are pork rinds okay?  I avoid the flavored variety - the bags I buy just say "fried pork skin" on the ingredients list, and I dip them in sour cream. The best part is how easy it is to get an extra 1000 calories. And the flavor.

Am I headed towards clogged arteries? Are pork rinds actually healthy in the way that bacon is healthy...?

Thanks!! Love the show.


After submitting my question about whether pork rinds are an acceptable snack, I realized that Robb's answer might be 'we'd need to see your lab work'...

So, in case it is relevant (and in case my question is selected for the show), here are some details.  (I'd be glad to share the rest of the lab results, if they're relevant.) Thanks!


Cholesterol, Total: 249 mg/dL

HDL: 71 mg/dL

Triglycerides: 71 mg/dL

LDL-Cholesterol: 161 mg/dL (calc)

Apolipoprotein A1: 186 mg/dL

Omega 3 (EPA+DHA) Index: 7.1 %

Omega 6 / Omega 3 ratio: 3.7

EPA/Arachidonic Acid Ratio: 0.4

EPA: 3.0 %

DHA: 4.1 %

Lipoprotein (a): 99 nmol/L

Apolipoprotein B: 107 mg/dL

Nonesterified Fatty Acids (Free Fatty Acids): 0.12 mmol/L

LDL Particle Number: 1149 nmol/L

LDL Small: 116 nmol/L

LDL Medium: 229 nmol/L

HDL Large: 5144 nmol/L

LDL Pattern: A

LDL Peak Size: 225.5 Angstrom

HS CRP: <0.2 mg/L


Where you can find us:


Submit questions for the podcast:



Download a copy of the transcript here (PDF)

Direct download: PaleoSolution-435.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am EDT