[00:01:18] The RUNGA Immersion
[00:02:53] Kion Coaches
[00:04:10] Podcast Sponsors
[00:05:33] About this Solosode
[00:06:22] How Fat Actually Gets Burnt
[00:12:23] The 16 Reasons You’re Not Burning Fat the Way You’d Like
[00:12:36] Chronic Inflammation
[00:21:04] Glycemic Variability (GV)
[00:27:31] Podcast Sponsors
[00:30:46] Cortisol and Stress
[00:34:19] Sleep Deprivation
[00:35:27] Snacking and Post-Workout Calories
[00:39:47] You’re Not Moving Enough
[00:41:32] Too Much Exercise
[00:43:34] Chronic Cardio
[00:45:53] The SAID Principle
[00:49:56] Lack of Cold Therapy
[00:52:24] Hormonal imbalance
[00:54:40] Toxin and Chemical Exposure
[00:56:28] Food Allergies and Intolerances
[00:57:42] Micro-Nutrient Deficiencies
[01:01:02] Disordered Eating
[01:03:25] Final Take
[01:05:36] End of Solosode
Ben: Your lungs are the primary excretory organs for weight loss. So, unless you’re wanting to gain significant mass, like if you’re a high school or college football player trying to get to the next level, if you’ve eaten at some point prior to working out, there’s no need to drop everything to slug down that post-workout protein drink. The number one thing that you can do if you are resistant to weight loss and you’re already moving more in eating less is–
I have a master’s degree in physiology, biomechanics, and human nutrition. I’ve spent the past two decades competing in some of the most masochistic events on the planet from SEALFit Kokoro, Spartan Agoge, and the world’s toughest mudder, the 13 Ironman triathlons, brutal bow hunts, adventure races, spearfishing, plant foraging, free diving, bodybuilding and beyond. I combine this intense time in the trenches with a blend of ancestral wisdom and modern science, search the globe for the world’s top experts in performance, fat loss, recovery, hormones, brain, beauty, and brawn to deliver you this podcast. Everything you need to know to live an adventurous, joyful, and fulfilling life. My name is Ben Greenfield. Enjoy the ride.
Hey, if you listened in to Thursday’s episode, you know that I am leading a very intimate heavily curated retreat at a private mansion in Napa Valley in September. Not everybody can get in. You got to apply to get accepted. It’s extremely high-end and includes these amazing meals prepared by a world-famous chef named Seamus Mullen, very luxury accommodations. This is like a mansion on 70 acres of forest out in a secret spot in Napa Valley. My wife and I will be there. Your registration includes a one-on-one consultation with me as a podcast listener in just a moment when you go to the URL I tell you to apply. You’ll automatically get $1,000 off if you are accepted to attend this retreat.
We do mobility and breathwork and meditation and yoga every morning. We do things like cold immersion and kettlebell classes in the afternoons. It includes a manual therapy session with this amazing body worker who’s been on my podcast before, name is Scott Dolly. You get to feast on these all organic fresh vibrant meals. And my wife along with Amelia DiStefano, one of the other hosts of the retreat. They teach you how to cook as well. So, it includes cooking classes, a whole bunch of extra goodie bags in your room when you check in. If you feel like you might be a fit for this, it takes play September 12th through the 15th. The only way to get in is to apply. And you apply it, BenGreenfieldFitness.com/runga. That’s BenGreenfieldFitness.com/R-U-N-G-A.
Now, another special announcement for you is that last year, I personally trained and mentored over 100 different health professionals; personal trainers, nutritionists, physicians, everything. It was a 22-week rigorous course in which I taught them everything I know about sleep and hormones, and fat loss, and performance, gut health, spiritual health, everything. Literally dumped my brain and programmed each of these coaches. And now they’re available for you to work with personally to achieve whatever goals you have. They’re spread out all over the globe, all these people I trained. They range from nutritionist to personal trainers to chiropractors to psychologist to MDs.
So, if you want to see if you’ve got somebody in your area you could work with, or you want to work with one of these coaches virtually, you just go to getkion.com, getK-I-O-N.com/kion-coach. Now, I’ll also put that link in the shownotes for today’s show, which you can get over at BenGreenfieldFitness.com/fatlosspodcast. That’s BenGreenfieldFitness.com/fatlosspodcast. Or you can also click through the coach directory to the RUNGA retreat to everything else I mentioned in today’s show.
Also, this podcast is brought to you by Organifi. Organifi makes this green juice, and they pack a bunch of different superfoods into their green juice. They’ve got spirulina and alkalizing lemon extract, coconut water extract, a whole bunch of stuff. There’s even a study recently that maintaining a net state of alkalinity assists with your ability to be able to stave off muscle loss. And this was a very cool renal acid load testing protocol. I tweeted it out. But one of the best ways to alkalize your body to be able to put yourself into a state where you can maintain or even gain muscle are with these greenish type of foods. And this stuff has matcha green tea, wheatgrass, mint, spirulina, chlorella, moringa.
You’d think it’d cost like $20 a bottle, but they just send you a powder. You mix it with cold water or almond milk or in a smoothie or whatever you want. Make it yourself, and it’s pennies on the dollar compared to these fancy juice bars, plus you get an extra 20% discount when you use the code in the URL I’m about to give you. You go to organifi.com/ben. That’s Organifi with “I”, organifi.com/ben. And the 20% discount code that you can use is BENG20 at organifi.com/ben.
Hey, that’s me, my trumpet, me and my trumpet here with you today, and that’s all, no guest, zero guest. This is just me on a solosode about fat, about all the different reasons that people have a hard time burning fat. Sixteen reasons, specifically, that I’m going to get into on today’s show with you, and what you can do about it. I haven’t done a solosode in a little while because I just have so many amazing guests that I always want to talk to. But occasionally, I have some things that I want to get off my mind and into yours, and today’s episode is no exception. So, if you’re into burning fat or helping people burn fat, this is the episode for you.
So, before I talk about why people are resistant to weight loss so much, it’s important to understand where fat actually goes, like how fat actually gets burnt, because most fat loss books and so-called weight loss experts and physicians and dietitians and personal trainers, they’ll tell you that fat is converted to energy or is converted to heat. But that actually violates a law called the law of conservation of mass. And all that law states is that mass in an isolated system is neither created nor destroyed by chemical reactions or physical transformations.
So, in other words, you can’t simply take fat and poop it out or turn it in a muscle. Instead, the primary place that fat goes when you lose weight is your breath. You breathe away fat. Your lungs are the primary excretory organs for weight loss. So, any excess calories that you eat, here’s how it works, including carbohydrates, protein, and even that half stick of butter that you put into your green tea or coffee, that gets converted into triglycerides, which is a type of fatty acid. Now, excess carbohydrate or protein is converted to triglyceride and stored in the lipid droplets of fat cells. Fat cells are called adipocytes. And excess dietary fat then undergoes something called lipolysis, or the breakdown of fat followed by another process called reesterification to allow that fat to be stored.
So, people who want to lose weight while maintaining muscle and other important tissue are biochemically speaking, trying to burn through triglycerides that are stored in adipocytes, lipid droplets that are stored in or triglycerides that are stored in the lipid droplets of fat cells. Now, triglycerides are comprised of three types of atoms; carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen. And they can only be broken down when these atoms are unlocked through a process called oxidation. And that requires, this is where breath comes in, the inhalation of oxygen.
There was actually a research study that was done. It was called “When somebody loses weight, where does the fat go?” Great title for a research study. And what the researchers found was that for 22 pounds of fat to be oxidized, 64 pounds of oxygen must be inhaled. And oxidation results in about 61 pounds of carbon dioxide excreted via the lungs, and about 24 pounds of water excreted via urine and feces and breath and sweat. So, your lungs are the primary excretory organs for fat loss. And stick with me here on the math. So, every breath that you breathe out contains a little over 0.001 ounces of CO2, and about 0.003 ounces or rather 0.0003 ounces of that is carbon. So, an average total of 17,000 breaths during the day is going to get rid of around 0.32 pounds of carbon, and about a third of that fat loss is occurring when you’re doing nothing at all, like when you’re sleeping during the night.
So, how do you replace all that carbon that you breathe off? Well, unless you’re eating charcoal rocks or overdosing on charcoal capsules. The only significant carbon sources that I personally know of are dietary carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. So, from as simplistic a standpoint as possible, losing fat means consuming less carbon than you’ve exhaled. So, if you were to spend a day asleep, at rest, and performing light activities that honestly can nearly double your resting metabolic rate, just walking around and moving, you’d exhale about seven ounces of carbon. By substituting one hour of rest per day with one hour of moderate exercise like going on hike, riding a bike, doing some weight lifting, your metabolic rate is increased by about seven-fold, and that removes an extra ounce and a half of carbon from the body, increasing the amount of carbon you exhale by around 20% from seven ounces up to eight and a half ounces.
Now, the problem is all that carbon loss can, of course, be offset by eating carbon molecules from carbohydrates or protein or fat. A single 100-gram whole wheat muffin, for example, will give you about 20%, 20% of your average daily energy requirement. And that means physical activity as a weight loss strategy is foiled even by relatively small quantities of food. And so the most effective albeit traditional and boring solution to this conundrum that does not sell many supplements, and it doesn’t sell many diet books, and it doesn’t sell many biohacks or anything else, is to simply move more and eat less.
Now, that’s it. You know more about the true mechanisms behind weight loss now than the average biochemistry student. The problem is, let’s say you’re already eating less and moving more, you’re theoretically now engaging in enough physical activity to breathe off more than enough carbon, and the scale still isn’t budging. So, what gives? Well, that’s what I want to dig into this podcast. But I had to lay it out beginning with this explanation of how you breathe away carbon so that you know that from a very simplistic model, the lowest hanging fruit, the bottom of the totem pole, or the top of the totem pole, depending on how you want to think about it is that you must be ruthlessly cognizant of carbons in and carbons out, how much you’re moving and how much you’re eating. Okay? So, that’s the number one thing that you need to pay attention to.
So, let’s say you’ve got that down, you’ve wrapped your head around that. If you’re listening to this podcast, you may already have kind of started on that journey. Now, let’s get into 16 of these reasons that you actually can’t burn fat. Reason number one is inflammation. So, there’s a common belief that fat cells never actually go away, and that simply is not the case. There is something that you can do to annihilate fat cells, and that is to rid yourself of inflammation. Okay. Fat cells don’t just shrink and sit there waiting for more carbon or triglycerides, as you’ve learned earlier. They can go away.
Now, before jumping into the nitty-gritty of inflammation, remember that not all inflammation is bad. Acute inflammation is a natural biological reaction to stressors. So, when you cut yourself, the area surrounding the cut becomes inflamed. As your immune system and regenerative processes react, that prevents infection. It heals the cut. Acute inflammation also happens when your muscle fibers break down and get rebuilt after a hard workout. But when you have chronic inflammation and a constant stream of inflammatory chemicals, that becomes an issue. High levels of what’s called transforming growth factor beta promote inflammation and weight gain by causing irregular appetite and glucose regulation, and that’s something that can be induced from anything from over exercise to inflammatory food.
There are also things called matrix metalloproteinases. Those remodel the matrix outside of your cells. They regulate white blood cell movement. Those can also cause inflammation when their blood plasma activity gets too high. There is vascular endothelial growth factor or VEGF is what that’s abbreviated as. And that aids in the growth of new blood vessels, and those are correlated with obesity. Those can feed blood to new fat cells. Nitric oxide synthase. You may have heard that nitric oxide is good, and some is good, but high nitric oxide synthase can lead to excess NO, and that’s also been correlated with obesity.
There’s something called toll-like receptor 4. That’s involved in a phenomenon called meta-inflammation, which is a state of low but chronic inflammation in immune and fat cells. And there are many genetic and epigenetic factors that can contribute to that process. It’s called NOS uncoupling. So, rather than making nitric oxide, NOS uncoupling results in the production of superoxide free radicals, which also contribute to the destructive path of inflammation. The cool part about that is that that can be tested. So, you can test for that via–there’s this company called StrateGene, and I’ll link to all of anything I mentioned, studies and companies in the shownotes. But basically, with StrateGene, you can test for certain dirty genes, so to speak, that could show you whether or not your nitric oxide synthase pathways are effed up, so to speak.
You can also test with StrateGene for a pathway called Nrf2. If Nrf2 isn’t working properly, your body can’t handle iron properly, and it can make excess free radicals, especially if you have too much iron or ferritin. And often, people with variance in their Nrf2 genes suffer from inflammatory conditions that nobody seems to be able to resolve. Again, functional genetic testing can help determine whether you have issues with your Nrf2 genes. And there are some substances like, you may have heard of sulforaphane from broccoli or resveratrol, which is found in the skins of grapes and in certain berries, bacopa, milk thistle, turmeric, all of those can help to support healthy Nrf2 activity.
One of my upcoming podcast guests, Dr. Bob Miller, has some wonderful work on this, if you go to his website, which I’ll link to in the shownotes. I don’t have it on hand right now, but the shownotes for this entire podcast will be at BenGreenfieldFitness.com/fatlosspodcast. That’s BenGreenfieldFitness.com/fatlosspodcast. You’ll be able to check out Bob Miller’s website. And there are a lot of other chemicals and enzymes and factors involved in inflammation, but chronic inflammation can be systemic. It can affect the entire body. And probably, the biggest thing that can lead to inflammation is rancid oils, right, oils that have been treated with high temperatures or high pressures because you get a one-two whammy of inflammation and insulin resistance.
We’re talking about the type of polyunsaturated fats you’d find in canola oil and safflower oil and peanut oil and sunflower oil, and most processed and packaged foods because polyunsaturated fats are highly prone to oxidation, and that can promote chronic inflammation, the buildup of toxic substances in the arteries. And so I think one of the number one tactics for turning your body into a fat decimating factory is to cut out most PUFAs and replace them with healthy fat sources, like extra virgin olive oil, and fatty fish, and avocado oil, and macadamia nut oil, and coconut oil, and to a certain extent saturated fats, although many people do even need to limit saturated fats because a lot of folks and studies have shown experienced a deleterious inflammatory response of saturated fats once they comprise about over 10% of your total intake of fats. We’re talking about fats that are solid at room temperature, things like butter or cheeses, for example. So, sugar can be inflammatory, but compared to rancid oils, glucose, and fructose, and sucrose, and other sugars, those are pretty quickly metabolized, especially if you’re very active. So, I think sugar is less of an issue for inflammation, as much as vegetable oil, is the primary issue.
Now, another major cause of inflammation is simply chronic stress, and that’s just because your limbic system can get stuck in sympathetic fight-and-flight mode. That’s a pretty complex set of nerves and networks in the brain that controls basic emotions like fear and pleasure and anger, but also basic drives, like hunger and sex. So, if the limbic system is overstimulated, not only does your immune system become hyperactive, resulting in this cytokine cascade and systemic inflammation, but you also see a rapid fluctuation in the hormones responsible for controlling hunger.
And also, no discussion of inflammation I think would be complete without mentioning something called cell danger response or CDR. Now, CDR is this evolutionarily conserved metabolic response that protects cells and their hosts, including you, the human host from harm, and it’s triggered by encounters with chemical or physical or biological threats that exceed your cell’s capacity to be able to keep up with that stress. And that could be emotional stress, it could be exercise stress, it could be chemical stress, it could be like mold and environmental stress. But anyways, the resulting metabolic mismatch between available resources and the functional capacity of the cell can actually change things like cellular electron flow, and mitochondrial activity, and oxygen consumption, and cell membrane fluidity, and carbon, and sulfur resource allocation, and a host of other important metabolic mechanisms that also influence fat loss.
Now typically with CDR, there is this first wave of danger that signals the release of metabolic intermediates, like ATP and ADP, and oxygen, and reactive oxygen species from the cells. And then after the danger or the stress is eliminated or neutralized, there’s this sequence of anti-inflammatory and regenerative pathways that are activated to reverse that cell danger response and heal the cell. But when the CDR persists abnormally, what happens is a state of chronic inflammation and a long-term release of inflammatory cytokines.
Now interestingly, CDR, like I mentioned, can be kind of in that stuck state from emotion or past trauma, or from infection, or from toxins. And I think probably the best book to really wrap your head around how to manage cell danger response is a book called “Toxic” by Dr. Neil Nathan. There’s another doctor named Dr. Robert Naviaux. And I’ll link to both these guys’ website. Dr. Robert Naviaux has a lab at UCSD, and they really get into how mold and mycotoxin exposure, major life stressors, chemical stressors, exercise overtraining, et cetera, can leave you in fight-and-flight mode or increase this cell danger response.
So, ultimately, the number one thing that you can do if you are resistant to weight loss and you’re already moving more and eating less is to look for any sources of inflammation. I think the biggest is vegetable oil, but I’d also consider getting a test through StrateGene for any dirty genes. I’d also consider looking into cell danger response and reading that book, “Toxic” by Dr. Neil Nathan.
Now, the second thing, the second biggest thing really, in my opinion, that affects also a host of chronic disease parameters like inflammation does but also fat loss is glycemic variability. Now, glycemic variability refers to your blood glucose fluctuations that occur during the day, how often your blood sugar is rising and falling at any given point during the day. And what can happen is that if glycemic variability gets out of control and your blood sugar gets too high, your body has two choices. It can shovel the sugar in your muscles and liver or store that sugar as body fat, but if your energy expenditure throughout the day isn’t high enough and your muscle sugar levels, your glycogen levels in your muscle, or your glycogen levels in your liver are full, you’re going to gain fat tissue. That’s where the sugar will be partitioned.
Now, there are ways that you can keep that from happening, which I’ll get to in a moment. But ultimately, it’s very simple. You just are ruthlessly cognizant again, to use that term, of how often your blood sugar levels are fluctuating throughout the day. And some of my favorite ways to control the level of glycemic variability are the following six strategies. Number one is strength training because when you strength train your ability to drive glucose, then the muscle cells increases. And strength training also decreases blood glucose levels and increases insulin sensitivity.
I’m a big fan of starting or ending the day with strength training or even doing strength training prior to whatever your largest meal of the day is going to be so that you have a place for storage disposal for many sugars that you eat with the meal. Another one that I like is pre-breakfast fasted cardio. And there are some research studies that have shown this is a really good strategy for controlling glycemic variability. There’s even a really, really good book called, “Change Your Schedule, Change Your Life” that gets into Ayurvedic strategies for fat loss, and it highlights the importance of pre-breakfast fasted cardio, which is also wonderful for sleep and circadian rhythm.
So, strategy number three would be a postprandial walk. There was a Japanese study that took three groups of men and had them do one of three actions immediately following a meal; sitting, standing, or walking. And by the end of that study, they found out that low volume easy walking for 30 minutes after a meal kept serum fat concentrations 18% lower than sitting or standing after a meal. And personally, for me, with testing with my own continuous blood glucose monitor, I found that as little as 10 minutes of walking seems to do a really good job controlling post-exercise–or post-meal glucose spikes.
Standing would be strategy number four. And while that study I just cited did find that walking is more effective than standing after a meal, standing is still more effective than sitting. Like one study on office workers found that standing for 180 minutes after lunch, like at a standing workstation rather than a sitting workstation, reduce the post-lunch blood sugar spikes by 43% compared to sitting for the same amount of time. There was another study that found that alternating between standing and sitting every 30 minutes throughout the workday reduce blood sugar spikes by 11% on average. So, even during a day at the office, you don’t have to feel like you need to work out to control blood sugar, but instead the trick is to not sit down for the entirety of your work day, and preferably to figure out ways, especially post-breakfast and post-lunch, and if you’re still working, post-dinner, to stand to work for the periods of time following a meal.
Next, are our plants and herbs and spices. And there are a host of different plants and herbs and spices that can help out with blood sugar management. Some notable examples are Ceylon cinnamon, like working in two teaspoons of Ceylon cinnamon during the day. The supplement Gymnema sylvestre can control carbohydrate cravings, but also control glycemic variability. Berberine is another one. Apple cider vinegar is another. Then there are rock lotus and bitter melon extract. So, those are really potent natural ingredients. Those are actually a component of a product that I have at Kion called Kion Lean. These were the only two ingredients in it, rock lotus and bitter melon extract.
Now, I’m very, very much, because I carry the genetic factors that predispose me to type 2 diabetes, cognizant of my blood sugar levels. And I realize this might sound spendy and I go through a bottle of this stuff faster than most folks, but I have two before every meal, regardless of the carbohydrate content. And it, for me personally, is as potent as the diabetic drug metformin at controlling my postprandial blood glucose with potentially less of some of the metabolic blowback of using metformin. So, I’m a huge fan of that supplement as an option for controlling glycemic variability along with some of the things like Ceylon cinnamon and apple cider vinegar.
And then finally, the sixth strategy in addition to strength training, pre-breakfast fasted cardio, postprandial walks, standing, and some different plants, herbs, and spices, is fiber. And dietary insoluble fiber through anaerobic bacterial fermentation breaks down into short-chain fatty acids. And about 95% of the short-chain fatty acids in your body are comprised of acetate or propionate or butyrate. And research has shown that acetate inhibits the conversion of glucose to fatty acids in the liver, and that reduces the accumulation of fat and adipose tissue and improves glucose tolerance. Propionate appears to do the same thing, and also increase insulin sensitivity.
And then finally, butyrate has been shown in rodent models to prevent and treat diet-induced insulin resistance. So, you can get your fiber from things like sweet potatoes and yams and dark leafy greens and legumes. Interestingly, for people who get irritable bowel syndrome or who have some type of deleterious response to fiber intake like bloating or gas, it appears that being in a state of ketosis or consuming ketone supplements like beta-hydroxybutyrate, can simulate what fiber does for the effects that I just mentioned without you needing to eat a lot of fiber. So, if you’re saying a carnivore diet or you’re limiting vegetables for other reasons such as your gut, you can actually just use a ketone supplement like a beta-hydroxybutyrate salt or just stay in a relative state of ketosis, and that can do the same thing.
Hey, I hope your mouth is watering at this point in the podcast because I’m talking so much about controlling your appetite. And I want to tell you about how you can get free bacon for life. That’s right, free bacon for life. ButcherBox is a sponsor of today’s show. They’re offering every single new member free bacon for life. So, you sign up to get any of their 100% grass-fed and grass-finished beef, free-range organic chicken, heritage breed pork boxes, and they’ll include a free bacon in every single box that you get going forward, plus they’re going to give you $20 off your first box. This is all uncured nitrate and sugar-free bacon.
ButcherBox bacon is some of the best bacon you’re ever going to eat. I dig this stuff. It’s like crack. They also have wild Alaskan sockeye salmon, pure, wild, sustainably harvested from Bristol Bay, Alaska, the works. So, ButcherBox just delivers this all right to your door on dry ice. Free shipping anywhere in 48 states. And they’re also including that bacon for life. So, you get into ButcherBox and you get $20 off your first box. And they’re going to include two packages of bacon and two pounds of their breakfast sausages. Geez, it keeps getting better and better. You go to butcherbox.com/ben, and it’s just all rolled in right there, butcherbox.com/ben.
This podcast is also brought to you by the fully upgraded version of the form of transcranial direct stimulation that I use to increase my neuroplasticity. Meaning, how to speed up. It’s way to speed up how fast you learn. So, it’s a headset, and it looks and it plays music like a pair of high-end headphones, but it sends this mild electrical stimulation to the top of your head that controls movement and put your brain into an enhanced motor neuron state that neuroscientists call hyper-learning.
So, if you’re going to learn a new skill like guitar or ukulele or the jazz flute, or you want to go do this before you do like deadlifts, squats, any motor skill acquisition, tennis practice, golf swings, you name it, this technology is the real deal. So, anyways, this new fully upgraded version of this device, the Halo Sport 2 has just gone on sale for 349. Now, what they’re throwing in isn’t even bigger discount if you use the code GREENFIELD at checkout. That price is going to go up in a couple weeks.
So, if you’re going to make the purchase, I’d do it now. And you go to haloneuro.com, H-A-L-O, neuro, N-E-U-R-O, haloneuro.com. And the code you can use for the special pricing with the add-on discount is GREENFIELD. And I recommend, and this is something I do, you just slap this bad boy on before like a strength training session to really see what it can do in kind of a simple familiar format like next time you go out and do deadlifts or squats. I think that’s the best way to, for the first time, experience what this thing is able to do. So, haloneuro.com and use code GREENFIELD.
Okay. As I alluded to earlier with cell danger response in my explanation of that, reason number three that folks can be resistant to weight loss is cortisol and stress. When you’re stressed, your body releases hormones like cortisol that turn on essential functions for your survival, like higher blood pressure and rapid decision-making while inhibiting non-essential functions like immune function or digestion or protein synthesis. And that’s helpful if you need to handle an acute stressor like a looming deadline or say like a race or a competition. But it’s also why chronic stress can restrict your ability to shed extra weight because cortisol can suppress insulin secretion, it can inhibit glucose uptake into your cells, and it can disrupt insulin signaling to muscle tissue.
So, chronic stress directly causes insulin resistance, and that can affect glycemic variability, cause resistance to weight loss, increase inflammation, cause dyslipidemia, which is elevated blood fat and cholesterol levels, and also result in chronic hypertension. So, when it comes to stress, the daily stressors can, not just be say the things you automatically think about, like say, work or family or relationship issues, but it can also include excess exercise, relationship, or personality conflicts that might simply be unresolved, but that you’re not thinking about in the moment. Emotions, like boredom and loneliness, can contribute to stress.
So, toxins and pollutants you might not even be aware of in your air, or your water, or say like EMF and Wi-Fi and electricity that are all around you. Psyching yourself up too frequently, right, like doing Wim Hof fire breathing at the beginning of every decision, from waking up to working out to amping yourself up to an important call can just be constant sympathetic mode. Pressure to perform, constant limelight from social media, lack of encouragement or love from others. There’s a lot of this stuff that has been studied to result in the same type of chronic stress patterns as you might get from just working too much.
So, one of the best ways to know if you’re chronically stressed, in my opinion, is to simply start measuring your heart rate variability. Get an Oura Ring or a WHOOP wristband or use the NatureBeat appropriate. And you can measure heart rate variability to see where your stress is in any given moment. When you can clean up heart rate variability–and sometimes it responds to very interesting things, like for me, when I step into my office, my HRV goes up, there’s electrical stuff all over my office.
It’s odd because I can work just as hard outside of my office in a lower electricity format like out in the guesthouse in the forest back behind my house, and I get nothing so I have things installed in my office; dirty electricity filters like a Somavedic and a Blue Shield and a Himalayan salt lamp, and these things that help to mitigate some of the EMF. And since I started doing those things, my HRV is a lot more stable during a day of work. So, again, even electrical stress can cause this type of stuff. And you can go and listen to my podcast on–with the guy who wrote the Tin Foil Hat book to learn more about that. But just understand there are a lot of variables that can contribute to stress, and you need to be aware of how cortisol could contribute to resistance to weight loss. And as I mentioned in podcast number 397, which you could listen to at BenGreenfieldFitness.com/397, the DUTCH test is probably one of the best tests. It’s a 24-hour urine test. We’re really seeing what’s truly going on with cortisol.
Okay. Number four is sleep deprivation. I don’t need to kick this horse to death. You probably know the research that shows that getting under the recommended seven to nine hours of sleep per night can lead to appetite cravings, weight gain, diabetes, and what would otherwise be a healthy population. Scarier yet is that all it takes to cause this type of damage is a single night of partial sleep. Of course, sleep deprivation is also known to raise cortisol levels, and reduce glucose tolerance, and increase sympathetic nervous system activities.
So, you can see how a lot of this stuff kind of piles up on each other as I go through these different reasons. And sleep deprivation also produces a neuroendocrine effect by reducing levels of the satiety inducing hormone leptin and increasing levels of the hunger-stimulating hormone ghrelin. So, sleep deprivation reduces your ability to metabolize glucose and also makes you want to consume more sugar or more hedonistic vegetable oil laid in snack food. That’s why it’s so easy to grab a second helping up the buffet or fail to stroll by a vending machine unscathed when you’re sleep-deprived. So, sleep is another very, very important variable.
Number five is snacking and post-workout calories. When I was bodybuilding and doing a lot of personal training, it was well known that one of the best strategies to pile on the pounds was to arrive at work with a container of yogurt and a couple of Tupperware containers of lean chicken with rice and broccoli, a couple of Ziploc bags of almonds, a handful of energy bars and a premade protein shake, and that was a really, really good way to put on size and mass, especially muscle mass if you’re combining that type of frequent eating and grazing with weight training.
But a lot of people caught on to that and thought, “Oh, I’m going to lose fat and look like a bodybuilder if I graze throughout the day.” But the theory behind that is you need to eat, whatever, six to eight small meals throughout the day to keep your metabolism elevated, but that’s a myth. It’s long since been debunked by science. Short digestion does produce a thermic effect that increases your metabolism, but the bump is very slight. Frequent snacking instead increases your glycemic variability and eliminates any of the gut or longevity-boosting benefits of fasting, or compressed feeding windows.
There’s no evidence that eating more than three meals per day boosts your metabolism, helps you to lose weight or aids in appetite control. But if you, on the other hand, eat only two to three meals per day in that compressed feeding window, such as during the period between say 9:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m., your body releases more growth hormone. It burns more fat. It releases more testosterone. And frequent feeding also keeps your blood sugar at levels elevated and shifts your metabolism into more of a sugar burning mode, which doesn’t allow your body to tap into its stored fats for fuel.
So, eating six small meals per day may be worse for your waistline than eating two or three larger meals spread throughout the day. And the belief that you’ll enter into starvation mode if you don’t eat frequently is also false. It takes about three days of complete fasting with no calories, or four weeks of extreme calorie restriction for your body to downregulate metabolism and thyroid activity. Short-term fast like daily overnight 12 to 16-hour fast actually increase your metabolic rate due to an increase in norepinephrine, one of the hormones that signals fat cells to break down. You don’t even have to reduce your calorie intake in a scenario like this. Especially if you’re a very active individual, you just eat less often, not necessarily eat less. And as long as that’s combined with physical activity, it can be a good weight loss strategy.
Another common myth is that you need to shove some protein and carbs in your mouth or grab a Jamba Juice right after a workout from the smoothie outlet at the health club as you’re walking out. The idea behind eating right after finishing a workout is to maximize muscular adaptations and repair damaged tissue and rapidly shuttle glycogen into muscle for ample anabolic growth during that limited window of maximum carbohydrate absorption, which is about 20 minutes to maximum of two hours after training. But in every single study that looks at the benefits of immediate post-workout eating, the participants were fed after exercising usually to exhaustion in a fasted state. And most of us aren’t jumping out of bed to exercise for 90 to 120 minutes with no fuel.
So, unless you’re wanting to gain significant mass, like if you’re a high school or college football player trying to get to the next level by putting on 20 pounds, if you’ve eaten at some point prior to working out, there’s no need to drop everything to slug down that post-workout protein drink. Your blood levels of amino acids and stored carbohydrates are still elevated from any meal you’ve had prior to the workout. So, that means for a 5:00 p.m. visit to the gym, your body can still easily metabolize your breakfast or lunch for a fuel. And in fact, occasionally waiting to eat a couple hours after you exercise may be beneficial for boosting growth hormone and testosterone levels.
So, the only exception of this would be if you’re performing two a day workouts within an eight-hour window each day because you are–if you’re going to hit the gym twice, you do need to eat carbohydrates and protein within that 20-minute window preferably if you’re planning on hitting it hard again later on in the day within eight hours. But otherwise, there’s absolutely no need to try to replenish all your stores after the workout. And that may actually fly in the face of hormonal adaptations that would be conducive to more fat loss.
So, strategy number six is–or reason number six, you might be resistant to weight loss, is you’re not moving enough, duh. I’m always at a day of work standing and lunging and kneeling and sitting and leaning, and I try to take 15,000 steps a day. I stop every 25 to 50 minutes for a Pomodoro break that includes kettlebell swings or a quick stroll up the stairs or jumping jacks or a handful of burpees. I’ve stopped 25 minutes into this podcast and I sat down and stood up 15 times, right? Just sit down on the floor, stand up 15 times, very functional move. I do 20 air squats every time I use the bathroom on an airplane. I do 40 air squats every time I use the bathroom in a restaurant.
And I don’t do this because I’m a hyperactive freak who’s addicted to exercise, rather, I simply know the metabolic benefits of twitching and constantly moving and really kind of fooling your body into thinking you’re in this hunter-gatherer ancestral mode of just getting stuff done during the day rather than staying sedentary for extended periods of time. And when you’re sedentary, you see changes in insulin signaling and glucose transport and lower levels of lipoprotein lipase, which is the primary enzyme responsible for breaking down fat. So, the trick is to just figure out ways to move more.
Most people who are pretty successful at weight loss, they’re taking anywhere from 10 to 15,000 steps a day, and they rarely–and a ring like the Oura ring, for example, or self-quantification device can tell you this, they rarely have a one-hour period of time during the day where they’re inactive, right, even one hour. Meaning that if you have a one-hour work project to do, you stop at the 25-minute mark. You do some jumping jacks and you keep going. I mean, it’s that simple.
Now, reason number seven is just the opposite, too much exercise. This is the hardcore CrossFit are trying to stay in the whiteboard or the housewife who’s been inspired by the Navy SEAL on social media to get up at 4:00 a.m. to go crush the day and go to the pain cave. And the physical cults are all about zero days off and no pain no gain, and balls to the wall, and going hard as a mother effort. And don’t get me wrong, I’m not opposed to going to the pain cave, if you’re trying to climb your own Mount Everest like training for a triathlon or a Spartan Race or the CrossFit games, but sometimes it’s not conducive to weight loss.
Excessive exercise, especially in the presence of other lifestyle stressors, can lead to elevated levels of cortisol and inflammation. And we now live in an era of overtrained, over-inflamed folks with hormonal dysregulation and cortisol bleeding out their ears. That’s what my entire last book, “Beyond Training” is all about. It’s about how athletes run into all these different health issues with overtraining or what’s called non-functional overreaching, just training in a state that leaves you unfunctional.
So, the idea is that in many cases if you’re resistant to weight loss, typically, what I see is it’s too much of the same exercise over and over again, too much hard exercise, not enough variability and activity, and not enough just easier days where you’re walking in the sunshine or doing yoga or gardening. I think the sweet spot is two to three days of the week, you’re lifting heavy stuff, you’re doing a brief spurt of high-intensity interval training, again two to three days a week. You have a couple of days where you’re out going on a longer walk or a longer hike.
And aside from that, you just have low-level physical activity spread throughout the day. The only exception to that is I am a huge fan of most folks going on like an easy aerobic walk before breakfast when they’re in a fasted state in the morning. But that’s something that can easily be woven into a routine, and you don’t need a lot more than that. So, over-exercising can lead a lot of people into kind of that skinny fat syndrome.
Similarly, reason number eight is chronic cardio, not the chronic heavy weight training or high-intensity interval training, but just this idea of long marathon training death marches, or multi-hour cycling sessions, or the excessive draining slog on the line up of cardio machines at the gym. Not only can chronic cardio lead to some cardiomyopathy issues like dilation of the right atrium and ventricle of the heart, and elevation of cardiac troponin and other things called natriuretic peptides and little patches of cardiac fibrosis. And I’m not talking about like walking or gardening or mowing the lawn; I’m talking about like pounding the pavement in training for an Ironman triathlon or marathon in a traditional voluminous sense.
And again, like you do need to train with volume in many cases for those type of events, but don’t fool yourself into thinking it’s a good way to lose weight or to maximize longevity or health. The idea is that excessive chronic cardio will catabolize muscle. And a wonderful stored usable energy for cardio is body fat. And so your body essentially gets rid of muscle and learns how to store fat pretty easily to prepare for each bout of cardio while simultaneously downregulating anabolic hormones, like testosterone and growth hormone. And so that’s one of the issues is that you simply put your body into a state where you’re catabolizing muscle and getting very good at storing fat.
So, if you’re already training a better but is short high-intensity interval cardio sessions, again two to three days of the week. And there was one study that found that after 20 weeks of training, participants that performed high-intensity interval training had a greater reduction in subcutaneous adipose of your body fat than those that engaged in a far more voluminous amount of endurance training, like long, slow treadmill runs. And, of course, hit is also effective at the management of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. And most hit sessions last like 20 to 30 minutes at the most. So, you’re getting a lot more bang for your buck from a time standpoint. Again, if you’re having difficulty with losing weight and you’re spending a lot of time on the gym cardio machines or doing Ironman-esque training sessions, you may want to reconsider or lower the cardio and replace it with high-intensity interval training and weight training.
Next is the SAID principle, reason number nine. The SAID principle stands for specific adaptation to impose demands, meaning, your body will eventually adapt to the demands that you place on it. Like if you’re only running for your cardio or if you’re only doing push-ups and overhead presses and pull-ups as your only form of upper-body training, your body gets very efficient at those movements and it adapts to those demands by burning fewer calories in response to those exercises. It’s just a cool element of the human body. We learn how to move very efficiently with things that we do quite often, but it also means that we burn a lower number of calories. And this means that sometimes the best workout plan is the one you’re not currently doing.
Most of my clients who I coach and I write out their training plans and workouts, they know at least every four weeks, there are some pretty serious curveballs thrown into their weight training routine, their high-intensity interval training routine, their cardio routine. Some days they’re on the rowing machine, some days they’re outside on the bike, some days they’re using the kettlebell, some days they’re using dumbbells and barbells, some days they’re doing 10 reps, some days they’re doing 20 reps. It varies widely, especially for those folks whose primary goal is aesthetics because I am keeping their body constantly kind of guessing.
The idea behind this is that I would say there are five different modifications that can help out quite a bit. One is to combine exercise, like, do a lot of complex movements. You can look up a whole bunch of complex lifts. I have a whole article at BenGreenfieldFitness.com that’ll link to in the shownotes at BenGreenfieldFitness.com/fatlosspodcast on complex exercises like squats to overhead presses, lunges with curls, vertical jumps, push-ups with a burpee, medicine ball lifts and throws, a lot of things that combine different exercises. Those can be very difficult for your body to metabolically adapt to.
Next, are active rest periods. So, if you’re doing a routine and it says, “Rest 30 seconds, rest 60 seconds, rest 90 seconds,” use that time to do mobility work like foam rolling or opposite arm, opposite leg extensions or light and easy walking. I see so many people slumped over on the bench at the gym reading their cell phones or magazine, and I think that time could be much better used to keep the metabolic rate elevated and squeeze more volume into training session.
Training outside can also be good. If you’re used to training indoors, the unpredictability and undulating terrain that you’ll experience outside, and of course there’s a host of other reasons that it’s beneficial to train outside, can really, really help. I have a formal gym at my home, but I also have a garage gym, and also a trail through the forest. So, I’ve got like three different locales, and I can tell you right now, running outside down the trail is far different than running on the treadmill in terms of metabolic cost.
Next is to change the center of gravity. Meaning, if you usually use a barbell for lunges, switch it up, use dumbbells, use a medicine ball, use a kettlebell in a goblet squat position. Add on a weighted vest or a weighted backpack when you’re walking. For cable exercises, move the cable up or down a few notches and come at the movement from a new angle because altered weight positions and angles force your body into an entirely new metabolic situation. You can also work out at a different time of day. So, if you’ve been working on the morning for the past few years, you can throw your body for a loop and hit the gym an hour before dinner and it’ll feel far different.
The only folks for whom kind of like changing up the scenario by working at a different time of day or people who have poor sleep or disrupted circadian rhythms, exercising in a regular time during the day has been shown to be beneficial for sleep. But if your primary goal is weight loss, just try to keep throwing curveballs at your body. That’s the big message. Don’t go for more than four weeks without significantly changing some specific staple of your exercise program.
Next is cold. So, most of the people I trained for fat loss–and I stay pretty lean year-round. I average about 4% to 7% body fat year-round every single day without fail. Not only do I do an easy fasted cardio session before breakfast, like a 20-minute walk in the sunshine or 30 minutes in the sauna, but I also get in two to five minutes of cold, because cold can be such a potent metabolic stimulus, it converts white adipose tissue into metabolically active brown fat. And brown adipose tissue is brown fat. It’s primarily located on your sternum and your clavicle and your rib cage. It generates heat by mobilizing the energy that’s stored in white fat. That’s known as non-shivering thermogenesis or cold thermogenesis, and it occurs in brown adipose tissue mitochondria when protons are forced across the inner membrane to be turned into heat instead of ATP.
Now, when this occurs, you can see a significant increase in metabolic rate and a conversion of a lot of adipose tissue. There’s another type of fat called beige fat. Beige adipose tissue is very similar to brown adipose tissue. And what happens is it doesn’t get moved into the clavicle area or the rib cage or the sternal area; it stays in the same general area, but it’s far more metabolically active and far less inflammatory. So, again, most of the folks I coach and myself every single day without fail, there’s at least two to five minutes of cold exposure via a cold shower or a cold soak.
Usually, once a week, there’s a longer cold training session where I’ll have people be doing like three minutes in a cold bath or cold river or cold lake or cold shower followed by three minutes of breathwork. I call this the three by three cold, back into the cold for three minutes, back into the breathwork for three minutes three times through. And in the people who can handle it from a–because I track everyone’s HRV, but the people who don’t respond deleteriously to this from a nervous system standpoint, every week, I’ll have them do a longer session that leaves them shivering for a considerable period of time, like a 10 to 20-minute cold bath.
Now, another option, if that’s uncomfortable for you, is there’s a company called cool fat burner. You can check them out at coolfatburner.com, and I’ll put links in the shownotes that sell vests and waist packs that just pack your body with cold. And those can be really effective if you just–you got to be at your computer working during the day, you can’t be sitting in an ice bath, and it allows you to stay cold. So, get cold.
Number eleven is hormone. And there are a lot of hormonal imbalances that can occur as young as your early 20s caused by everything from stress to pesticides, to plasticizers, to phytoestrogens, to dietary contaminants, to lack of sleep, to poor digestive health. And when it comes to hormones, I really like that DUTCH steroid profile that I mentioned earlier because it’ll tell you what’s going with your testosterone, with your estrogen, with your cortisol, with your cortisone, with your metabolites. It’s something that you can order online. I’ll be sure to add links to it for you in the shownotes.
But women, for example, naturally produce progesterone, and that protects against excess fat growth. And progesterone production declines much faster with age than estrogen. So, by the time a woman reaches 30 to 50 years old, she can develop estrogen dominance. And at that point, fat rapidly accumulates and becomes much harder to lose. Men can experience similar age-related issues as their testosterone falls and their estrogen rises. But you may simply be a candidate if you get tested for either adjustments to the diet or to the environment that would be influencing your hormonal panel or even bioidentical hormone replacement therapy.
I did a whole podcast with Jay Campbell on this and we talked a lot about testosterone replacement, and hormone replacement, and the safety profile of it, and some of the myths about it. If you’re not competing in a sport like Ironman or something like that that would cause this to be banned, it can be a potent strategy. But before you even jump into something like that, I mean, you can eat more cruciferous vegetables, which contain indole-3-carbinol, which is an antioxidant that metabolizes excess estrogen in the body. You can filter your water of things like fluoride and chlorine. You can use glass or stainless steel products instead of plastic.
Go read a book that my friend, Anthony Jay wrote called, “Estrogeneration” that specifically addresses all of these hormonal disruptors in our environment and minimize them in your environment. I think that hormones are another really, really important thing, especially when people are eating less and moving more and still resistant to weight loss, especially if they’re about 35 to 40 years old or higher.
Now, related to that would be number 12, which is toxin and chemical exposure. Three-letter acronyms like PCBs and DDT and DDE and BPA, those have been found in extremely high concentrations in human fat tissue and can cause significant metabolic damage and hormone imbalances and propensity to fat storage because toxins can be shoveled into adipose tissue to protect other functional tissue and internal organs. That’s why a rapid fat loss regimen can often result in skin rashes and zits and diarrhea because as you mobilize fat, you also mobilize many of the toxins that that fat contains. And those can cause other symptoms if they’re not dealt with via a wise detoxification protocol.
So, the part about balancing your hormones can really help out with minimizing or sopping up toxin and chemical damage, some of those tips that I gave earlier, but you must be, again I’m going to use this term for a third time, ruthlessly cognizant of any sources of toxins and chemicals in your environment. And it just drives me nuts when I see some woman at the gym exercising her ass off, dieting like hell, and then walking in the locker room. I’m not watching her in the locker room. You can smell the women when you walk past them just wearing these endocrine disrupting perfumes and non-organic or non-natural makeup. I mean, all these things that are just seeping into their bodies, getting their house cleaned with normal household cleaning chemicals and driving on a car with that toxic little green tree freshener. There are just so many things that sounds silly, but if you’re constantly bombarding your body with that stuff, it really can cause your body to want to create new fat cells to store those toxins.
Now, number 13 is food allergies or food intolerances. And the problem with this is it can result in a lot of times that same sympathetic inflammatory response I was describing earlier that can result in either cell danger response or resistance to fat loss. Now in many cases, this is very simply elucidated with a good food allergy test. I’m a huge fan of Cyrex Laboratories because they test for reactivity to cooked and modified and raw foods. They test for over 180 different food antigens. They test different protein structures of the food. They test, again like I mentioned, raw chicken versus cooked chicken, and the white blood cell response is going to be far different to raw versus cooked. So, you’re going to get fewer false positives in response to common foods.
It’s one that a doctor would need to order for you, but I’ll link to some helpful resources for Cyrex Laboratories in the shownotes because that’s one that I think can really, really elucidate anything in your diet that you really should eliminate. And it varies widely from person to person. One person can be green beans, another person can be cashews. But what you don’t get is a huge laundry list of false positives in most cases from a Cyrex food allergy panel.
Number 14 is micronutrient deficiencies. So, there are studies that have shown that specific micronutrient deficiencies are associated with weight gain and obesity. The most significant of these micronutrients are vitamin D, chromium, biotin, thiamine, and antioxidants. And deficiencies in these specific nutrients can prevent fat loss via mechanisms that include altered insulin gene transcription, amplification of intracellular insulin signaling and changes to glucose, and amino acid metabolism. A few others that are less common but still related to resistance to weight loss are magnesium, and boron, and vitamin A, vitamin K2, and choline.
Now, there are tests like the Genova ION panel or the Genova NutrEval, and both of those can identify these micronutrient deficiencies that can be causing resistance to weight loss. And a lot of these aren’t tested for on an average common blood panel. So, that’s another one that I would consider is your micronutrient status. I’m not saying everybody needs to go out and take a multivitamin. I don’t think that’s wise, but I do think it’s wise to test and see if there are specific vitamins and micronutrients and minerals you’re deficient in that you need to replace.
Number 15 is your thyroid. Now, the thyroid gland, as you’re no doubt aware, produces hormones that regulate metabolism. It secretes thyroxine or T3 and triiodothyronine or–thyroxine is actually T4, triiodothyronine is T3, but those influence the metabolic rate of lipids and cholesterol and glucose and protein. And when the thyroid becomes underactive and results in hypothyroidism, that can result in weight gain, so can any type of autoimmune issues that could inhibit the conversion of T4 to the more active T3, as can gut issues.
And so there are a lot of things that can influence thyroid activity. If you’re going to test for thyroid, I would get a comprehensive blood test for thyroid activity that includes things like TSH, T3, T4, free T3, free T4, reverse T3. Don’t just look at TSH because even if TSH is high, and I would consider high to be anything above about two, especially if you’re looking less for absence of disease and more for variables that might contribute to resistance to weight loss, you don’t know why the TSH is high unless you test some of these other variables too, and that will lie to figure out, “Okay, whatever.”
“I’m making more than enough T4, but it’s not getting futher into T3. Maybe I’m not eating enough carbohydrates, or maybe I’m too stressed, or maybe I have some gut dysfunction, or I’m making adequate T4 and T3 but I’ve got a bunch of thyroid antibodies. And so I have some thyroid autoimmune conditions, or I need to analyze my diet for anything that could be causing food allergies or food intolerances.” And you can also consume plenty of seaweed and sea vegetables and Dulce and Brazil nuts and shellfish and oysters, and even coconut oil, because a lot of those are the type of foods that can allow for proper thyroid conversion and metabolism in the gut. So, thyroid would be number 15.
And then we get to number 16, which is disordered eating. And for a lot of people, and research suggests this, maintaining a regular eating schedule can improve significantly the metabolic response to meals. So, if you’re having trouble losing weight rather than haphazardly skipping breakfast some days and eating it on others, having dinner late some nights and early the other nights, or shifting from restaurant to restaurant for your lunch choices, you should simply establish far more consistent meal patterns. I’ve had some clients shed significant number of pounds by not changing anything except just having the same thing for breakfast, lunch and dinner. A smoothie for breakfast, a salad for lunch, and then meat or fish and vegetables for dinner at the same time day in, day out for a few months.
Women, interestingly, seem to benefit most from this type of regularity. They did a study of healthy lean women and they found that an irregular meal pattern resulted in lower postprandial energy expenditure than a regular meal pattern. There’s another study where lean women who ate meals on a regular schedule had much better insulin sensitivity and improved blood fat levels. And there was another study of obese women in that they found that regular meal times increased postprandial thermogenesis, and insulin sensitivity, and blood lipids which put the women into a state that was more receptive to weight loss.
Now, some folks, especially very active folks, can thrive on an erratic eating schedule. But for many people, irregular meal times depress metabolism because their bodies expect food at specific times, and the result can be dysregulated appetite and altered metabolism. And I just think if you’re eating the same thing at similar times a day, it’s far easier to just be cognizant of how many calories you’re consuming. Once you begin to mix things up a whole lot, it can get really difficult.
And I personally have nearly the same thing for breakfast, the same thing for lunch, and the same thing for dinner, granted there are some benefits to seasonal eating. Like sometimes my smoothie is more of like a hot bowl in the winter, or my lunchtime salad is more of a stir-fry in the winter, and dinner might be a little bit more of a heftier, heavier meat in for dinner in the winter. But it’s kind of the same general composition year in and year out, month in and month out. So, disordered eating is the 16th.
The last thing I want to finish with today is–well, first of all, everything I’ve mentioned, go to BenGreenfieldFitness.com/fatlosspodcast and I’ll have plenty of helpful links and resources for everything I’ve been talking about. But you’ve learned about different factors that can prevent you from losing weight today. You’ve learned how to reverse a lot of those negative effects to get the body that you desire, but please also understand that everybody is different, and so is every body.
So, if you aren’t satisfied with your physique according to what societally subjective beauty standards thrown at you in grocery store magazines and from pop culture are, it may be the case that your body has reached its ideal weight. You may not like to hear that and it may not seem fair, but you can reach a state of healthy homeostasis even if you have higher than desired body fat percentage if you’re doing everything right. If you nailed every element in this podcast and you still can’t seem to lose more weight, you might need to accept the fact that you’ve reached healthy homeostasis and you weren’t just designed out veins in your abs or striated lats or skinny calves. And that’s okay. Own your thick calves. Own the extra little bit of fat up around your neck that you don’t like because that’s how you were built.
Excessive exercising and dieting with an orthorexic approach to life while beating your body’s smithereens with fat loss biohacks, it’s not going to shift you into maximum fat-burning zone or shrink your waistline, and it’s more likely to downregulate vital components of life, like fertility and satisfaction and happiness. So, accept the fact that you have a unique body. Inject light levels of physical activity or mild discomfort throughout the day, and stand while you work, and take cold showers, and avoid sitting for long periods of time, and engage in deep breathing to control stress, and implement intermittent fasting, and use all the other techniques that I’ve talked about, and then simply be satisfied and happy with the body that you’ve been blessed with.
So, I hope this has been helpful for you. And if you have questions, if you have comments, if you have feedback, just go over to the shownotes at BenGreenfieldFitness.com/fatlosspodcast, and I’ll be happy to help. And in the meantime, have an amazing week.
Well, thanks for listening to today’s show. You can grab all the shownotes, the resources, pretty much everything that I mentioned over at BenGreenfieldFitness.com, along with plenty of other goodies from me, including the highly helpful “Ben Recommends” page, which is a list of pretty much everything that I’ve ever recommended for hormone, sleep, digestion, fat loss, performance, and plenty more. Please, also, know that all the links, all the promo codes, that I mentioned during this and every episode, helped to make this podcast happen and to generate income that enables me to keep bringing you this content every single week. When you listen in, be sure to use the links in the shownotes, use the promo codes that I generate, because that helps to float this thing and keep it coming to you each and every week.
Several months ago, I filled you in on “The 2 Best Ways To Burn Fat Fast (Without Destroying Your Hormones Or Metabolism)“.
But what you learned in that article only scratched the surface of the multiple mechanisms underlying why the human body can be resistant to fat loss, and how to achieve truly sustainable, long-lasting weight loss in a safe and efficient manner.
So during today’s solosode, you’ll discover…
-How fat actually gets burnt…6:20
- Law of conservation of mass: Mass, in an isolated system, is neither created nor destroyed by chemical reactions or physical transformations
- Fat is primarily disposed of via the breath
- Calories, as well as excess carbs and proteins, are converted into triglycerides and stored in lipid droplets of adipocytes
- Excess dietary fat undergoes lipolysis, and then reesterification
- Triglycerides are composed of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen
- Oxidation: requires inhalation of oxygen
- Study: When someone loses weight, where does the fat go?
- For 22 pounds of fat to be oxidized, 64 pounds of oxygen must be inhaled
- Results in 61 pounds of carbon dioxide excreted via the lungs and 24 pounds of water excreted via urine, sweat, feces, and breath
- Average of 17,000 breaths per day will excrete .32 lbs of carbon
- Sources of carbon (other than eating coal) are: dietary carbs, proteins, and fats
- If you didn’t get all that, get this: Losing fat means consuming less carbon than you’ve exhaled. Even small quantities of food can foil your efforts at weight loss. The simple solution is to move more and eat less.
The 16 reasons you’re not burning fat the way you’d like
– Chronic Inflammation…12:35
- High levels of transforming growth actor beta cause irregular appetite and glucose regulation
- Matrix metalloproteinases (MMP): calcium-dependent zinc-containing endopeptidases
- Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF): Aids in the growth of new blood vessels; correlated with obesity
- Nitric oxide synthase
- Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) = meta inflammation
- Nos uncoupling (genetic factors)
- Tree of Life, Bob Miller’s site
- Sugar can be inflammatory but is more quickly metabolized than things like vegetable oil
- Chronic stress is a factor: overstimulation of the limbic system
- Cell Danger Response (CDR)
– Glycemic variability (GV)…21:05
- Refers to the blood glucose variations during the day
- If GV gets out of control, the body does one of two things: transfers sugar into muscles, or stores as body fat
- It will become fat tissue if you’re not active enough throughout the day
- Be “ruthlessly” cognizant of blood sugar fluctuations
- 6 Strategies to control GV
- Strength training
- Pre-breakfast fasted cardio
- Post-prandial walk
- Plants, herbs, spices
– Cortisol and stress…30:45
– Sleep deprivation…34:20
- A single night of partial sleep can be deleterious
- Neuro endocrine effect: reduces levels of leptin; increases levels of ghrelin
– Snacking and post-workout calories…35:25
- “Grazing” or 6-8 small meals per day is a myth
- Snacking increases your GV and eliminates benefits of fasting
- Your body releases more growth hormone during intermittent fasting
- Grazing throws metabolism into sugar burning mode
- It takes 3 days, or 4 weeks of extreme calorie restriction for the body to down regulate metabolism
- The need for protein and carbs right after a workout is a myth
- The exception: two a day workouts
– You’re not moving enough…39:47
- Fool your body into thinking it’s in the “hunter gatherer” mode
– Too much exercise…41:30
- Excessive exercise, along with other stressors can lead to increased levels of cortisol and inflammation
- Beyond Trainingby Ben Greenfield
- Too much of the same exercise
- Not enough recovery days
- Sweet spot:
- 2-3 days per week, lift heavy stuff
- 2-3 days high-intensity interval training
– Chronic cardio…43:35
- Your body will catabolize muscle and store fat
- High-intensity cardio 2-3 days per week
- Reduced subcutaneous adiposity of body fat among people who follow these guidelines
– The SAID Principle…46:00
- Specific Adaptation to Imposed Demands
- Sometimes the best workout plan is the one you’re not currently doing
- Keep the body guessing
- 5 modifications:
- Combine exercises
- Active rest periods
- Train outside
- Change the center of gravity
- Workout at a different time of day
– Lack of cold therapy…50:00
- Cold is a strong metabolic stimulus
- Cold thermogenesis occurs when protons are forced across the inner membrane and turned into heat
- Beige adipose tissue
- Every day, 2-5 minutes cold exposure (cold shower, cold river or lake)
- 3×3 cold
- com(Use code: BEN10CFB to save 10%)
– Hormonal imbalance…52:25
– Toxin and chemical exposure…54:40
– Food allergies and intolerances…56:30
– Micro-nutrient deficiencies…
– Disordered eating…1:01:01
- Your body expects food at a certain time of day
- Results in irregular metabolism
- Easier to track calorie consumption when you eat the same thing, at the same time of day
– Final comments…1:03:25
- Everybody and every bodyis different
- It could be possible your body has reached its desired weight
– And much more!
– Book: Toxic by Neil Nathan
– Dr. Robert Naviaux, UCSD
– Oura Ring (Save $50 with code: GREENFIELDOURA)
– Beyond Training by Ben Greenfield
– coolfatburner.com (Use code: BEN10CFB to save 10%)
– Kion Coaches If you are looking for a professional that can personally help you optimize your mind, body, and spirit to become the best version of yourself, and who knows exactly how I work with my own clients, just head on over to view our brand-spankin-new Coach Directory!
– Organifi Green Juice: Now you can get all your healthy superfoods in one glass…with No Shopping, No Blending, No Juicing, and No Cleanup. Get a 20% discount on your entire order when you use discount code: BENG20
– ButcherBox: Delivers healthy 100% grass-fed and finished beef, free-range organic chicken, and heritage breed pork directly to your door on a monthly basis. All their products are humanely raised and NEVER given antibiotics or hormones. New subscribers will receive 2 LBS of FREE wild-caught Alaskan salmon + $20 OFF their first box by going to butcherbox.com/ben
– Halo Sport: Halo Sport revolutionized physical training by being the first-ever product that can increase your neuroplasticity by putting your brain into a state that neuroscientists called hyperlearning. The fully upgraded Halo Sport 2 was just announced and it’s pre-selling for just $279 (less than half the price of the first model) when you use code: GREENFIELD