658: Stop Trying to Lose Weight and What to Do Instead With JJ Virgin

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Stop Trying to Lose Weight and What to Do Instead with JJ Virgin
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The Wellness Mama Podcast
658: Stop Trying to Lose Weight and What to Do Instead With JJ Virgin
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I’m here today with my very good friend JJ Virgin. Not only is she a triple board-certified nutrition expert and fitness hall of famer, but she’s also a passionate advocate of eating and exercising smarter. She’s been on every TV and news outlet imaginable, including as a co-host on the TLC show Freaky Eaters and the on camera nutritionist for Dr. Phil.

JJ is also the author of 4 New York Times bestsellers and has helped thousands (if not hundreds of thousands!) of people. In this episode, we explore a lot of topics that are helpful for women especially. JJ turns diet culture on its head and says we should quit trying to lose weight. Instead, we should focus on gaining healthy muscle which will help with overall health, and ultimately a healthy weight.

We also get into the recently popular diet drugs, the dangers behind those, and when they can actually be helpful. JJ and I also discuss creatine protein resistance training, how DEXA scans can help us better understand body composition, and how we can reframe the conversation about weight. And of course, we talk about how to best model this for our kids and set them up with a healthy mindset when it comes to weight, exercise, and eating.

So let’s jump right in!

Episode Highlights With JJ

  • Why we should all stop trying to lose weight and why she says this after decades as a weight loss expert
  • The problems with some of the weight loss trends right now
  • Things that have helped her thrive and feel amazing in her 50s!
  • The importance of skeletal muscle for maintaining a healthy body composition
  • Muscle loss vs fat loss
  • What metabolic adaptation is and why this is important
  • Creatine, protein, and resistance training
  • Reasons not to focus just on the scale
  • Reframing the conversation about health and weight especially with our kids
  • What you measure you can improve
  • How to use a DEXA scan to understand your body composition
  • Why it is more dangerous to be under muscled than over fat and why where the fat is matters
  • Yes, you can lose fat and put on muscle at the same time and how to put on muscle as the priority
  • Why we need more protein as we age, not less
  • The problem with some ways people try to intuitive eat and how to learn to do this by nourishing your body
  • Why you need to be healthy to drop fat, not drop fat to be healthy
  • Less than 6% of the population is metabolically healthy
  • How to restore insulin sensitivity with gaining muscle and sleep
  • Why we burn fat well when we are sleeping and why fasted workouts might not be great for women
  • Let’s stop trying to be smaller and to take up less space and focus on getting stronger
  • Muscle is your metabolic Spanx and a sugar sponge to handle carbs
  • How to use HRV as a tool to see what is helping you and use it to improve your nervous system
  • Why you should absolutely be taking creatine and why it is a secret weapon for women
  • There is no amino acid reservoir, you are going to break down muscle if you don’t get enough
  • Exercise is a great way to get autophagy
  • An ending challenge for you (try it!)

Resources We Mention

More From Wellness Mama

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Child: Welcome to my Mommy’s podcast.

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Katie: Hello and welcome to the Wellness Mama Podcast. I’m Katie from WellnessMama.com and this episode is such an important one. It’s about so many things, but especially why we should stop trying to lose weight and what to do instead, and we own so, so many aspects of this. I’m here with a good friend of mine who is also a triple board certified Nutrition Expert and Fitness Hall of Famer named JJ Virgin, and she is a passionate advocate of eating and exercising smarter. She has helped people stay fired up and healthy as they age, and that they feel their best in their 40s and beyond.

She has been on every TV and news outlet that you can think of, including her being a co-host of the TLC show Freaky Eaters and the on camera nutritionist for weight loss challenges on Dr. Phil. She’s also the author of four New York Times bestsellers and has worked in this for decades, helping literally thousands or hundreds of thousands of people. She also runs her own popular Ask the Health Expert podcast, and she runs the premier health entrepreneur event called Mindshare. If you’re interested in that one, definitely leave a comment in the show notes and I can let you know more about it in case it’s something that would be a fit for you to attend.

But in this episode, we get to go into so many topics that are, I feel, vitally important for women and that really bring in a culmination of so much knowledge that she has. We talk about why we should stop trying to lose weight and why she says this as decades after being a weight loss expert for literally decades. We talk about the problem with some of the weight loss trends right now, including the new weight loss drugs that many people are trying. We talk about things that helped her thrive and feel amazing into her 50s and now almost her 60th year.

We talk about the importance of skeletal muscle for maintaining body composition and muscle loss versus fat loss, as well as what metabolic adaptation is and why this is important. We go deep on creatine, protein, resistance training, about reframing the conversation about health and weight, especially with our kids, and how what we measure we can improve, how to use things like a DEXA scan to understand body composition. She goes deep on the topic of why it is much more dangerous to be under muscled than over fat, and why this distinction is important, why we need more protein as we age, not less. The problem with some of the ways people try to intuitively eat and ways to avoid those pitfalls.

We talk about why you need to be healthy to drop fat, not drop fat to be healthy, and why less than 6% of the population is metabolically healthy. We talk about topics like restoring insulin sensitivity, gaining muscle, and improving sleep. We talk about the concept of trying to stop trying to be smaller and take up less space, and why we can focus on getting stronger and get better results by doing so. Talk about HRV. Like I said, we’d mention Creatine, but we go deep on why this is a secret weapon for women especially, and why there’s no amino acid reservoir, so you will break down muscle if you don’t get enough of certain things every day. We talk about exercise is a way to autophagy, and she issues a challenge at the end that I think you will appreciate. So, always such a pleasure to get to have a conversation with JJ, and I’m glad you get to listen to this one. So let’s jump in. JJ, welcome back.

JJ: Thrilled to be here. I have missed you so much.

Katie: I have missed you, too. And I’m excited I’m going to get to see you in person this year at your event. For any health practitioners listening, I’ll make sure we talk about that in the show notes in case it’s an alignment for them. But I also am just so excited to get to have a conversation with you, even if we’re recording it. And I feel like so much has happened in the last few years. And I always learn so much when we talk. So I’m super excited to jump in. And very briefly, before we hit record, we got to talk a little bit about some of the most pressing things that maybe women can benefit from right now.

And the one that came up I think is so relevant and so important. And I want to just dive in there with the concept of you said the words “stop trying to lose weight”. And I think this is really relevant for a lot of people listening. I think we’re facing maybe decades of misconceptions and misunderstanding about a lot of things, from the basics of how our bodies actually work to the messaging we’re getting about how they should look. And I know that you have years of experience in helping literally tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of people achieve better health. So let’s jump in there of the concept of stop trying to lose weight and maybe what to do instead.

JJ: I know and realize this is coming from someone who’s been a weight loss expert since my 20s. It’s like nearly 40 years of being a weight loss expert to have the epiphany of we’ve been looking at this all wrong and that we’ve got to stop trying to lose weight, especially as women, we do ourselves the worst disservice, especially as we start to look at 40, 50, I’m about to turn 60. Katie, like 60 crazy.

And when you start to really look at that, you go, okay, what do I want to be able to be doing in my 70s, 80s, and 90s, what you do now makes all the difference. And if your focus is on losing weight and we’re seeing it already with what’s going on with the zembec and we govi, if you really want to lose weight, hey, take those drugs, don’t eat much, sit on the couch and you’ll lose weight. But you will make yourself worse, not better, because the weight you’ll have lost is muscle.

And when you really look at how you get to be super healthy, have that great longevity, have great insulin sensitivity, have great health, the focus purely has to be on what that weight is made up of. I just had to go to the doctor this morning and they put me on the scale and I just wanted to scream because I go, when are we going to stop putting people on scales and start putting people on body composition testers.

When I was on the Dr. Phil show for two years, I brought in a Tinita biomepedin scale, $5,000 segmental scale, and I was using that to test everyone’s body composition, and I was fiercely monitoring muscle versus fat, but the show wouldn’t let me do that. They only wanted weight because they wanted to show the most dramatic shifts. They didn’t care. Like, I was like, okay, we’ve got to slow this down because they’re losing muscle. No. So that’s really the conversation is our focus needs to move away from weight to what that weight is made up of, with our first focus really being we really want to hold on to or better yet, probably build skeletal muscle because we have a window of time where we really can do that. And skeletal muscle is everything for your health. You fix that, a lot of stuff gets better.

Katie: Well, first of all, let me just say that you look incredible. And so I always love learning from you on this because I don’t think anyone who sees you in this video would guess your age, even probably within a decade, because you walk this walk and have for so many years, and I think that’s incredibly inspiring.

I’m also really glad you touched on these weight loss drugs because that’s a question I’ve had recently. I know they’ve become so popular so quickly, and that was my concern as well as people might be losing weight, but are there potential long term effects of this that are not being taken into account in this hype about the rapid weight loss?

JJ: Yeah, well, there’s a couple of interesting points here. So first of all, if you look at The Biggest Loser and the data from The Biggest Loser, when they did a follow up study on the people, what they found was that they gained back 90% of their weight within five years. I think the average weight loss was 11 pounds after all that time. That’s what they kept off. But here’s what happened that was really devastating. They had something called metabolic adaptation, which when you lose weight, your metabolism down shifts. Now, if you’re really focusing on holding onto or better yet, putting on more muscle, muscle plus thyroid are really going to help you have better metabolic rate. What they found was these people had about 500 calories less per day resting metabolic rate than they should have predicted based on their body composition.

Well, think if you had 500 calories less per day on your basal metabolic rate, that is a devastating situation. Then you look at something like Ozempic, and I just did a YouTube video on Ozempic because I actually think these drugs have definitely got a place. I don’t think it’s all bad, but I think that for that person, that’s very weight loss resistance that needs an edge, they need to know how to use these things correctly. And here’s the thing. These things can devastate your lean mass, your skeletal muscle mass, if you’re not careful. That means that if you’re going to go into that level of caloric deficit, you’ve got to have ideal protein, which is probably a gram per pound of target body weight, and you’ve got to be doing resistance training and taking creatine. So you’re holding on to a better yet, building muscle while you’re doing this. Right.

And so I think it’s really just looking at all these things and going, what’s our goal? Because our goal shouldn’t we’ve got to stop having a goal of weight loss. That’s the bigger thing. And just think, I grew up in the era where all the fashion models were ridiculously skinny, and then you find out that what they were doing was stretching the photos. I remember going to I wanted to be a model because I was 6ft tall, not very photogenic, but 6ft tall. So I went to the modeling agency and I was a super athlete. I used to work out with the football team and gym at high school. I ran track and I was probably I tend to sit pretty lean, like 12% body fat, which a woman’s usually 20% to 25%. I go to the modeling agency at 150 pounds, and they told me I needed to weigh 130 pounds to lose that weight and come back.

Now I got down to 140. My ballet teacher was asking me if I was anorexic I looked like crap. I was like, passing out. Right. And it just shows you they didn’t know. They just did it totally based on, well, what do you weigh? Instead of what size are you? What’s that weight made up of? How much muscle mass do you have? So I really want to get us shifting this conversation to really throw out that scale. And I’m not saying don’t track your metrics, because I think a biompeedance scale is a very important biometric tool. But let’s stop looking at weight as an absolute, just like we don’t look at cholesterol as an absolute. That would be silly. Right?

Katie: Yeah. I think there’s so much nuance there and also a really important mindset piece in what you just said, which is, I’ve noticed, in hanging out and working with male athletes and helping them get better for their sports, they even have healthier languaging around this concept than I think a lot of women do. They don’t say lose weight. They talk about getting leaner or getting cut or adding muscle, which are all psychologically, sort of more enticing for our psychology to want to do those things.

Whereas women, we often hear those words lose weight. And I always think psychologically, we’re kind of wired not to want to lose anything. In fact, this is why some of these psychological bets people will set up work so well is because we’re wired to not want to lose anything. And so it seems like setting ourselves up for failure, even from the mindset on day one, if we’re approaching it with wanting to lose weight, because that’s a negative target versus a positive target, right?

JJ: Yeah, such a good point. It’s funny. I decided I was going to train for my 60th birthday, and I thought, I want to do an experiment. How much muscle can I put on? Now, I knew to do this and to really focus on it, I was going to have to gain weight. OOH, scary. And I honestly, Katie, I will tell you I had to overcome a little bit of this wacky mindset stuff, but I was using DEXA scanning and doing it and really focusing on lifting super heavy at the gym. But we are so indoctrinated to be tiny, to be small, to be petite. And I’ve never been petite in my life. Like, I wasn’t petite when I was five. And when people say, oh, you’re a big girl, I’m like, no, I’m a tall girl. But you say that to a guy, and they’re like, I’m a big guy. It’s so interesting how different our languaging is. You’re right. Like, what if a woman really said, Hey, I want to get pumped up, I want to get some muscle mass? Because I know for years of working with women, starting out in my 20s, when I was a personal trainer, they’d say, oh, I lift. I want to lift weights, but I don’t want to get big. I just want to get toned. I was like, what does that mean? What does that mean? You’re not going to get bigger, you’re going to get tighter. The languaging is everything here, isn’t it?

Katie: Yeah, such a good point, and I think I’ve noticed that as well. We know that we’ve probably all heard muscle weighs more than fat, but I think until you’ve experienced putting on muscle, it’s hard to really fully grasp that concept. I like, you decided I wanted to get stronger and faster, and those were my goals. And I also ended up putting on a little bit of scale weight, which I now don’t look at very often for that same reason, because I’m still trying to break some of those little fear cycles that creep in of, like, the scale went up, and I’m like, yes, and my measurements went down. And more importantly, the number I care about is the weight I’m lifting off the ground, which has gone drastically up. And I feel like that first three X body weight lift for me was such an empowering moment of just realizing, like, wow, I can move a lot of things through space now that I didn’t used to be able to. Not to mention, my body feels so much more energetic simply because I’m fueling it enough.

And I’ve talked about this a little bit, but you explain it so well, and I would love to really hone in on this, because now, having teenage daughters, I’m much more aware of my language around this, and also what I’m modeling and what I’m showing them because as a mom, I know you’ve experienced this as well. Probably they pay attention to what we do more than what we say and if those things are in conflict, they’re often going to pay more attention to what we do. So I’m trying to repattern the years of chronically undereating and dieting and hating my body and repattern that with nourishing myself and taking recovery seriously and being absolutely not negotiable about sleep and these things that will hopefully serve them later in life. But I would love your approach, your kind of mindset on that, especially being a mom yourself.

JJ: I know amen to all of those things. The question I got asked so often back when I was working one on one is how do you get your kids to eat healthy? I go, you eat healthy? Like that’s it. I remember having a client who was a smoker and I said, so do you want your kids to smoke? She goes, oh, no, my kids won’t smoke. I go, but you just gave them permission. So they’re going to go one of two ways. They’ll hate smoking so much or they’ll smoke. And it was interesting, my kids growing up, I never wanted to make the dinner table a war zone, right? And I love the mantra, exposure equals preference. So I was like, just keep exposing them to it and exposing them to it. And over time they’ll learn to like these things. And it wasn’t that they couldn’t have a treat here and there, but we would always eat the good stuff first and they just learned how to do it. And all of a sudden I’ll tell you the funniest story. I had a friend come over and they go, you should check your son Bryce’s computer. He was like 15 or 16 at the time because he’s probably watching porn. And I go, My kid is not watching porn. I go bet he is. So I go on his computer to see what he’s watching and he is watching YouTube cooking videos. But it is interesting. They will model what you are doing and you’ve got to be congruent. It is so key critical, your sleeping, your exercise, you’re eating. And gosh, if you really look at like, how do you give your kids the best set up for life? It’s like teach a positive mindset.

Like, you know when my son Grant got hit and we were in the hospital and the doctor is telling us to let him die and my son Bryce looks at the doctor and says, there’s maybe a zero, .125 chance he could make it. And the doctor says yes. And Bryce goes, that’s not zero. That was conditioning from our family of like, how do we see life? We see the glass half full. All we need is a 1% chance we will just keep going for those things. So between the mindset, your eating, your exercise, you’re sleeping and how you deal with finances, look at all and your relationships, like all those things. It’s like if you can’t get inspired enough to do these things for yourself, then use the motivation of your kids are watching and this will set them up for their health for the rest of their life. Right?

Katie: Absolutely. And I want to note as well that your son is now very much alive and thriving, which is a testament to your family culture and to I know you are his biggest advocate and warrior in those moments. And it’s incredible. I’ve met him in person and both of your kids are amazing. And I also think that it’s really cool. It does seem like, at least to me, we are starting to see this shift in the younger generation.

Like my daughter as a high school athlete, thinks of her body so much differently than I did at 14 when I was self critical and only caring about what size jeans I fit into. And she’s now focusing on how does she nourish herself best for the best performance, how does she take sleep seriously, how does she train in a way that is aligned with her physiology. I know you also trained everyone from celebrities to moms and everyone in between. Do you have a lot of experience there as well?

But I’d love to kind of delve into the tactical because you always explain things in such an applicable and understandable way. So for women who are wanting to make the switch and hopefully willing to discard this idea of just losing weight, what are some of the tactical and practical ways we start that process? Because I know one example I’ve thought of, for instance, is a furnace. If you want to make a fire burn hotter, you don’t take away its fuel. You give it more fuel in a way that lets it build gradually into a stronger fire. I know you also have a lot of really great analogies. Like your body is not a bank account, it’s a chemistry lab. But maybe shed some light on some of the first steps of practical ways we can start to make that shift into a more muscle focused and nourished aspect of having a healthy weight.

JJ: Thank you. And it’s so interesting because I feel like I’ve gone full circle from where I started at the very beginning, where I was in a PhD program doing body composition testing and focusing on resistance training. All the emphasis was on cardio back then and vegan and low fat. And it was like I could just see it wasn’t working. And I’ll tell you another interesting story just kind of to hit this home for moms listening, because I would often get these Beverly Hills moms who would want me to work with their daughters because their daughters needed to lose weight. And the daughter would be like five or 10 pounds over what would be a normal for them in a growth spurt, very athletic. And I’m like, let’s just focus on having them eat healthy and work out well and sleep well, because it will all work out. I am not going to talk to your daughter about losing weight. That is not happening.

So I love that shift, and I think that if we shift, one of the challenges, I think that’s been there for women forever is where are those athletic role models? Like, I remember seeing Gabby Reese, who’s around my age and 6’2”, and I finally went, finally a woman who actually weighs a normal weight and is a role model. Because I’m looking at these gals who are models who weigh 20, 30 pounds less than me, and I’m thinking, there’s something wrong with me here. Instead of looking at these women who have really amazing functional bodies, who can go out there and compete, which is really where we want to focus.

So to do that, what you measure and monitor, you can improve. And the first thing we really need to understand is where are we now? We got to take stock of that. And I am a big fan of using a DEXA scan. And a DEXA scan is something that we traditionally use for bone density. You can get this done like, we’ve got it here at our hospitals, at a lot of the fitness centers where you go in, takes ten minutes, and it’s going to give you a report that, yes, tells you your bone density. But I will tell you that unless something’s really off, if you’ve got good muscle mass, you’ll generally have good bone density because the things that help you with great muscle help with bone, it’s going to tell you body fat percentage. But what’s very interesting, what’s coming out with the research right now, that it is way worse for you to be under muscle than it is for you to be over fat. And especially you need to know where that fat is. Like, we may not like fat in our butt, in our thighs, but that is not problematic compared to visceral adipose tissue, the fat around your organs.

So what you’ll get from a DEXA scan is you’ll find out how much your body is skeletal muscle, how much of your body is basically fat versus fat free mass, where your fat is located, where that skeletal muscle is, is it even? So you can then take that and go, all right, based on that, what do I want to do? Where do I want to start to really work on my muscle mass? And then I take that home and I use a tape measure and a biometric scale just to track so I see what I’m doing. So that’s step one, is know where you’re at. And I think for so many women, it’s not that you need to lose weight. It is that you need to put on muscle and you need to make sure the muscle you have is high quality, because if you weigh a lot, you’ll have more fat free mass, but it’s not necessarily functional. We want to make sure that, just like you said, I can squat my body weight or I can bench press 75% of my body weight or whatever those goals are. You want to make sure you’ve got good functional muscle, because muscle should have good you should have good muscular strength, you should have good muscular endurance. You should be agile, you should have good flexibility and good balance. And if you look at all of the hallmarks of aging, having better fitness improves all of them. It is the only thing that does.

So that’s why I was like, I feel like I’m having my day now as an exercise physiologist. Yay. So if we focus on that and we go, all right, most likely I’m going to need to put on muscle. Now, you can lose fat and put on muscle at the same time. However, you really want to focus on feeding the muscle, which means protein has got to come first. And here’s what’s super cool about that. When you eat protein first, it actually is more satiating, it’s more thermic than any of the other macronutrients. Takes like 20% to 30% more energy for your body to assimilate it, and it’s going to help you with better blood sugar control. So what I look at is I go, all right, what’s your target body weight? We’re going to give you protein grams per day based on that.

So let’s say that your target body weight is 150. So your target for your protein would be somewhere between 0.7 grams to 1 gram/lb of that target body weight. So that would be 105 to 150 grams of protein. I say benchmark for everybody. 100 grams of protein is kind of the least you want to have with 30 grams at least at a meal. And by the way, as we age 35, 40 plus, we actually need more protein, not less, because as we age, we get worse at assimilating it. We have something called metabolic resistance, where we’re not as good at breaking down protein and using it. If you’re a vegan or a vegetarian, you’re going to need more protein. If you’re under stress or working out super heavy, you’re going to be on the higher side of that.

And so 30 grams is kind of a benchmark for a meal, at least 100 grams a day divided between your meals, which then leads this whole thing of like, oh, what about intermittent fasting? What about OmAd? And it’s like, well, if you are really working on putting on muscle, those are not going to be things that will work well, maybe a nine hour eating window. So you can get in those three meals, but you can’t eat 100 grams of protein at one meal and assimilate all of it. So that’s where I start, because here’s what I find. If you start with protein and then you add in non starchy vegetables, so you get the polyphenols and fiber for your gut microbiome, you actually are full. Then you’ll just add maybe a little bit of healthy fats because they can go on the vegetables. Maybe you’ll add in one to two fruits a day. I think that if we get at least five servings of non starchy vegetables, at least two servings of fruit, that’s my area. And then that protein. See where you’re at, most of us are going to feel pretty good there. And maybe we’ll add a little bit of slow low carb, little bit more fat.

And how much fat or carbs, I think that really depends on you. Like someone who’s exercising more. I bring up the carbs more and bring down the fat. Someone who’s got issues with more lipids. Maybe I’m going to bring down the fat a little bit. Someone who does better is more insulin resistant. I’ll bring down the carbs. Like you play around with that. But the research out there really is more about how much protein you have and then being a little bit into a deficit if you want to start losing fat. But again, if we’re really focusing on muscle, you may need to eat a little bit more, not less, as you’re putting on muscle. Just like I did when I was like, all right, I’m going to see how much muscle I can put on. I was giving myself more than what my body needed. Or if you’ve been undereating for a long period of time, you may slowly need to pull those calories up in order to get to a place where you are able to eat a normal amount.

I had one client way back when and that’s why I say so much of this I learned from clients early in the days when no one was talking about it. It’s why way back when I was like, oh, your body’s not a bank account. I had a gal, Vicky, who if she ate more than 1200 calories a day, gained weight th, she weighed about 250 pounds. She had dieted her entire life. It was absolutely one of the most devastating things and I did not know then. And she lived on all these silly diet foods like ButterBuds, all that garbage. And I didn’t understand then what I needed to do to bring her back up so that she didn’t have that horrible metabolic adaptation, which I now know is slowly bring them up, get that protein level up, get their muscle mass up, make sure their thyroid is working well because you can recover from that. But you got to give your body time and the fuel it needs, just like you talked about in order to do it. You live in a constant low fuel undernourished state. Your body is going to downshift to deal with it. That’s my rant, Katie.

Katie: I like it, and I think it was past podcast guest Dr. Gabriel Lyon also explained this really well. I’ve always thought of the skin as the body’s largest organ, which it is a large organ system in the body. But she argues, I think that your muscular skeletal muscle is actually your body’s largest organ. And that’s kind of the muscle of antiaging, which shifting that focus totally was a paradigm shift for me and how I thought about fueling myself and how I thought about training at the gym. Back to the psychology. I even love the word how you use training over just working out. Because to me that’s like focused toward a goal. I’m curious how your muscle building experiment is going.

JJ: It’s going great. So here’s what’s interesting. I did a DEXA body scan at 39, and I was 13% and I weighed about 150. And then I went before I did this last DEXA, I was like, all right. And then I did an in body right around the pandemic. And it was funny, I was thinking I was gaining weight during the pandemic, but I was like tossing heavy weights around. Well, my weight went up to 154, but my body fat went to 13%. So clearly I’d put on some muscle.

Then I was sitting there and I went, all right, I’m going to go do a DEXA. I’m going to push a lot of heavy weight. I’m going to eat what I feel like I need, get enough protein. So I think I was doing 150 grams, maybe 160 grams of protein a day. Went up to 154, 14% body fat in this DEXA. And so then I thought, well, let’s see, I’d love to see if I could get to 12%. Now, these are really crazy numbers, but realize that I am one of those genetic mesomorphs. Like genetically, I’ve always been a super lean person, always. And so I was like, could I get myself to 12% body fat? That would be an interesting thing, maintaining muscle, which is I think the really critical thing is I didn’t want to lose any muscle, only the little bit that was supporting that fat. So that’s what I’ve done right now.

I’m about to go to another DEXA and I’m at 147. So I’m imagining I’m right around 12%, which I can actually eat normally. Like, I can eat macronutrients. I go between 150 to even 180 grams of protein a day. I naturally feel better with more protein. I eat loads of non starchy vegetables. I eat two fruit servings a day. I eat 2oz of dark chocolate usually. And then we’ll see what else a little bit of fat. So that’s basic thing in this cocoa living ratio, dark chocolate powder, I’m obsessed with, I admit, but I’m finding it very easy to maintain and I feel great, sleep great, energy is great, lifting heavy, and that’s really the test, right? Can you go out to eat? Can you have. A great social life. Do you feel great? Are all your blood markers fantastic? Like, where do you sit?

And what’s been interesting about tracking macros and doing this, which I think is something that’s really good for people to do, is it teaches you where your body sits best. Not that you’re going to do it forever. I don’t want someone to become like that kind of orthorexic food obsessed. What I want is for you to really start to connect the dots between, oh, I feel best with this amount of protein. Oh, I feel better. What I discovered about me was I actually feel better with a little bit more carbs and less fat. And so where do you feel best and what works for your body? And remember, we’re also taking a snapshot in time. Where I am now is very different than when I was a cycling 35 year old. Right? So for anyone listening who’s in your 40s and 50s, I can tell you that when you get through menopause, it is the greatest thing ever. So you’re going through the storm as you’re going through it, but best thing ever, because everything’s just like the ocean’s calm, the hurricane’s over, everything’s fine.

But I’ve been using it just to really figure out what works best. And that’s how I’ve been working with clients now, is let’s get some baselines, pay attention and get you to a place where you just know what works well for your body. It’s like when I did the virgin diet, like, which foods work for you and which foods don’t? When I did sugar impact. Where’s Sugar sneaking in? How do you feel when you’re pulling things out? It’s really just the self discovery to figure out what’s going to work best for you and then to be aware if things shift for you. Which is why I really like people getting on the scale as a biometric tool to see their body composition, because if things go dramatically shift, then you got to look at what happens. Like during the pandemic, I had a big weight shift out of nowhere and I had an autoimmune disease kick up, like, come back out at me because I was under a lot of stress.

So this is where we just use these things more as biometric tools, as indicators, and we really get out of this mindset of how do I get tiny, I’m a bad person, all that dumb stuff. Which and again, I say it Katie, because I got on the scale as I knew I was trying to put on weight, and I did. This is so interesting. It still kicked in all of this stuff. And I go, this is ridiculous. I am purposely doing this and still having to manage myself. Talk about, oh my gosh, you gained 5 pounds. Right?

Katie: Well, and I think this highlights something else that is also really important to talk about. And I love that your approach is not prescriptive. I think for a lot of years there’s been this kind of this is the exact blueprint approach that worked for me, and you should do the exact same thing and it will work the exact same for you. And I’m glad we’re moving into understanding that there’s bio individuality and there are some genetic differences, because for you to sit at 12% body fat as a female is very unusual. And then if most women strove for that as their goal, they would probably end up really frustrated and also really undernourished. But you have the genetic propensity to be able to do that.

So for comparison’s sake, I can say I also sit at around 150 pounds right now. I’m actually in a trying to grow muscle phase as well. I’m not as tall as you and I’m definitely not 12% body fat, but I am in that healthy weight range and I’m able to improve in the gym and I’m hitting the goals that I’m wanting to hit right now. But I think that’s just important to understand so we don’t judge ourselves by someone else’s benchmark. And also, as a testament to what you’re talking about, I was one of those women who for many years, in trying to lose weight drastically under ate, like, I was probably eating sometimes much less than 1200 calories a day. And it did take me months to rehabilitate myself, to being able to actually utilize the food I was eating.

And now I’m eating way more than double what I used to, and I’m less body fat than I used to be, have so much energy. And I think that these are like the important shifts that we’re talking about. And I think only at that point, once you get those foundational things in place and you sort of rehabilitate your body’s ability to use the fuel you put in it, at that point it does seem like it becomes more intuitive in that I now will crave protein. If I’m not getting enough protein, my body is telling me protein, or I’ll crave more like fermented vegetables. If I need more fiber, it’s like I feel much more in touch with my body. But that was not an overnight process. Becoming friends with my body for a long time first.

JJ: And by the way, you brought up something so mission critical about that, because our food supply, our stress levels, our advertising does not equal our ability to intuitively eat. If you are eating any of these ultra processed foods, looking at these bodies on Instagram and under stress, your intuitive eating cues are gone. Like, when can you get in touch with intuitive eating? When you really, actually can eat the normal amount of calories you should each day, right? When you’ve healed your body. And that’s why, again, I like to look at a scale and go, all right, where am I in terms of my muscle mass? And what do I need to do here and what am I going to need to do that’s where tracking with an app, because I’m going to probably have to gain some muscle and maybe even some fat. Like I had to gain muscle and fat to get to where I wanted to be in terms of my muscle mass. I knew I was going to, and then I would bring the fat down.

But in healing your metabolism, because remember, you need to be healthy to drop fat, you don’t lose body fat to get healthy. That does not happen. You have to heal your metabolism to do that. And if you look right now and realize that less than 7% of the population is metabolically healthy, and we probably have it even lower than that if we were doing uric acid testing like Dr. David Perlmutter talks about and really indicating that early. If you look at and go, okay, we have to get healthy to do this. How do we get healthy? One of the fastest ways to get healthy is restore insulin sensitivity. How do we do that? Muscle mass, sleep, and eating protein first with lots of non starchy vegetables. So you have a good balanced diet around good meal timing, that’s circadian rhythm balanced.

And by the way, I got to say one other thing about all that. With a lot of the intermittent fasting, I did a test, too. And I love that you brought up bio individuality because I always say that the Weight Loss Diet book authors write the book for themselves and then think everyone should do that. And I think diets are tools that help us develop a plan for ourselves. And that plan is always changing because we’re not static, especially women. As hormones are shifting, we’re going into different parts of life. Now, 60 plus, we can get a little bit more stable. But then if a stress bomb hits you on the side, you get sidelined with that thing, shift dramatically.

So we’ve got to know that diets are tools. Whether it’s intermittent fasting, whether it’s keto, whether it’s figuring out food intolerance. These are tools. They’re not absolutes. And they’re tools designed to figure out what’s going to work the best for you. And then you’ve got to look at, how is this making me better? If it is not helping you hold onto or build muscle, it’s not making you better. It’s making you worse. And again, if you want to lose a lot of weight, don’t eat much and sit on the couch and you will achieve that goal.

And so one of the things that happened as I was playing around with this is I was testing fasted versus non fasted workouts on me. And now what I discovered was I could lift 30% more weight when I ate before I worked out. And everyone talks about, well, you should do fasted workouts to burn more fat. And I just want to blow that myth up because here’s the deal. We burn fat throughout the day, and especially when we’re sleeping in periods of low energy requirements when we are really busting it at the gym, you are not using fat as your primary fuel source, you’re using sugar. In fact, I was really excited the other day. I went to the gym and I was wearing a CGM and I got my blood sugar up to 200 and I was like, Boy, I really crushed it at that workout because my body had to free up blood sugar so that I could really push it and get that energy fast enough. So be careful of some of the stuff that you hear, because really what’s going to make you strong is being able to lift heavy weights and get enough volume. You’ve got to hit things to failure and get enough volume. And if you are coming in hungry, you’re probably not going to be able to do it.

Katie: Yeah, I love so much about that. I think also an important distinction you just explained is if you are wearing a glucose monitor or checking your glucose in some way, those spikes you get from food are a different signal to the body than the spikes you get from workout or sauna or something that would mobilize it that way. And I’ve seen a couple of people get sucked into the trap of thinking blood sugar should never rise and kind of avoid workouts that spike their blood sugar. That’s a great way to do that. You want to see those spikes.

I’m glad that the monitors, even now, seem to pay attention. Like in Levels you can denote when you worked out, so it doesn’t kind of ping you for getting a spike from workout.

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And I think also another important point I want to circle back to is the idea of training and also of thinking like an athlete, because this was absolutely pivotal for me when I started shifting that focus. And I know for a lot of people, this might also be a new concept. So maybe what are some of the initial goals women can have? Or even a benchmark to know if they’re moving in the right direction when they start thinking of training versus just going to the gym to get on a cardio machine to work out?

JJ: Yeah. Oh, my gosh. First of all, I love resistance training because you can actually see that you’re getting stronger, right? But again, you can buy a grip strength hand dynamometer for like $30 on Amazon. This is a super fun thing to have because it correlates very highly with overall muscular strength. Is it absolute? No. So it’s fun to have one of those or to do even start with a good and this is where you need to work with a trainer to make sure your form is nailed. You might want to do it, say, with a leg press to start, but to do some things where you assess your starting, what would be considered your one repetition max? It may be that you do three of them and then you do the mathematic equation, but to really get a starting point of how strong you are and then to reassess it in six to eight weeks, because, boy, is that inspiring to see how much weight you can lift is incredibly cool, right?

And so I think really knowing your starting point, where you can go get a DEXA scan, you can get a Vo2 max test, and you could do a grip strength test and then reassess all of that in three months and go, holy smokes, look what changed, and train for that. I’ve been training for what’s the heaviest deadlift I can do, right? What’s the heaviest bench press I can do? I’m not training for how skinny can I get? In fact, the last thing on Earth any woman should ever want to be is skinny, because we have like starting at age 50, 11% of people have sarcopenia. That’s low muscle mass. Right? At age 50, starting age 40, you start to lose up to 1% of your muscle mass and 2 to 4% of your strength each year. Starting at age 60, 65, 50% of people like age 60 plus will have a fall. And I think it’s something like 30% of those in the next year basically die from it. I mean, this is frailty is a huge problem and it’s way more women than men because of our endless desire to be smaller.

I don’t know, I want to take up more space. I want to make sure that I am really pushing. Right now, my goal is to put on as much muscle as I possibly can, and for a woman listening going, oh, my God, I don’t want to get big. Here’s the cool stuff about resistance training. Number one, if you start getting bigger, just stop, back off, easy enough. But number two, it is really hard for a woman. I just was in Arizona with Joe Polish, and he had a big competitor bodybuilder gal, and she was standing next to me. I looked like a little like shrimpo next to her. But clearly she has been doing some things other than just eating protein to do this right. Women don’t get like that. It takes a ton for us to get there.

And so I can’t think of any time in the last 35 years of working with a woman that I’ve had someone’s woman tell me I’m getting too big and I don’t like it. It’s just never happened. And in fact, I remember it was like 25 years ago, miriam Nestle was at Tufts, was doing research on women in weight training. She found every single time and this is why I say muscle is your metabolic spanx. Women lifted weights and they got smaller because muscle is going to hold everything in tighter and it’s going to make us more insulin sensitive. And it’s a sugar sponge where now we have a place for carbs to go and get stored for energy rather than getting stored on our butt and thighs and worse yet, in our visceral adipose tissue. So it really like focus on muscle, focus on getting as strong as possible.

And guess what? And I’ll tell you something funny, Katie. I forgot all about this. I had this one client who came to me and we started really working hard on our resistance training. This was like 25 years ago, and her husband got so threatened because it translated into every other area of her life. And I’m sure you’ve probably seen this. What happens is you start to feel stronger in your body. You’re just a stronger person overall. Right. Her husband forced her to quit because he was so threatened by it.

Katie: Wow. Well, yeah, to your point, I now doing strength training four or five days a week. It’s laughable to me that I used to think that I was going to somehow accidentally lift too heavy of a weight and get big, because it is really hard work to learn how to lift heavier weights and to put in that time every week. And I get smaller, not bigger. But it’s just funny to look back and think like, oh, wow. I used to think if I lifted more than like, 100 pounds, I was going to get big. And the opposite is so much true. You’ve also alluded a couple of times to how much sleep and stress impact this equation as well. So I would love to just touch on any tips that are helpful to women, especially in those areas.

JJ: Yes. And that’s why my new book will be Eat Protein First, Lift Heavy Things, Sleep Through the Night, which I know when I had two babies back to back, that there was no sleeping through the night. Now, if you had gone ahead of me, I’m sure I would have gotten it nailed just listening to your advice. However, I did not. So an interesting thing happened during the pandemic. I found Dr Joe Dispenza and I started going to his retreats. And now, I had always looked at weight loss resistance over the years, all the things that could get in the way of you losing weight or cause you to gain weight. Now, I know that I would term it much differently. Right.

But one of the things that I had, two things that I always talked about that were part of the seven, one was sleep and one was stress. And with stress, I knew all the things that would happen if you were under stress. You’re catabolic. You can’t build muscle when you’re under stress. You’re catabolic. You need to be anabolic. You need to be able to build your blood sugar will be higher, your gut will get leaky. You’ll end up messing up your sleep because now you’re impacting your serotonin to melatonin. So you become more insulin resistant, your blood sugar is higher, and now you’re storing more belly fat. So we know all this bad stuff that stress does, but the challenge is, how do you really know if you’re under stress? You sense you’re under stress, and you can do an adrenal salivary index. And it’s kind of the joke. I would do an adrenal salivary index. I’d work through it all, I’d get myself better, and then I’d go do it again and have to take another. So I finally was like, Stop doing that.

And what I’ve been finding to be kind of helpful is the HRV, the heart rate variability, because we need something to be able to monitor this. Because the reality is, just like, you’re taking your body to the gym, you need to take your nervous system. You need to work out your nervous system, and there’s a variety of different ways to do it. And when my son got hit, I remember standing in the ICU that night, and I had really bad heartburn, and I felt like I could move the building. I mean, I was like, uhoh right? And so I naturally, I just was like, I’m going to get my 8 hours of sleep. I’m going to do some HIIT training to retrain my sympathetic nervous system, to handle stress better. I’ll do some tapping. I’ll take supplements.

But the proof really was during the pandemic when I started the Dr. Joe stuff, and it was really interesting because it took a while. I was not a natural meditator. Everyone I was going to the retreats with were having these amazing experiences, and I’m sitting there, like, going, this is this is just ridiculous. And but I thought, you know, I wouldn’t go to the gym for a week and think I was going to be in shape. So why would I think that I could meditate for a week and be done with it? This has to become something I double down on. And I will tell you that since April of 2021, I’ve been meditating almost every single day. I’d say 95% of the time, which is unbelievable. About six months into it, I dropped 5 pounds without any doing anything. And I’m like, that is so bizarre.

And I was sitting at dinner with Dr. Joe, and he goes, yeah. He talks about when he does meditation that you’re going to be no one, nobody, nowhere, no thing. And I said, yeah, I dropped 5 pounds. He goes, yeah, it’s the no thing diet. And I’m like, Ha. But it is where I came up with your body’s not a bank account, it’s chemistry lab.

If you are under chronic stress, which undersleeping is a form of chronic stress, right? Undersleeping will make you more insulin resistant. It will make you hungrier. And I would say a not for salmon, right? It will make you more catabolic.

So stress and sleep go hand in hand. And if you have those going on I don’t know how to help you build muscle. I don’t know how to help you heal your leaky gut. Those things are completely oppositional. And so in the order of priority, you’ve got to address the sleep and stress part of it and it comes down to there’s going to have to be, number one, a priority for sleep and number two, making sure that you’re doing something that works for you as a mindfulness activity that you will do. And it took me years of swirling around trying different things to land on what works for me. And it may be breath work, it may be tapping, it may be sound, it doesn’t matter. It’s the thing that lets your nervous system know you are safe and you are protected and you can calm down has to be part of that program because without it, your thyroid is going to be messed up. You’ll be hungry, you’ll be breaking down muscle and you’ll be in that frenzy flight or flight state where you’re never going to get out of it.

So again, the eat protein first, lift heavy things, sleep through the night. It’s really sleep and stress piece of this that we have to get a handle on. And I know I think back to having two kids, being a single mom, being the primary financial support and if you’d said this to me then I would have said no way do I have time. And even when Dr. Joe was at the retreat saying this now you’ve got to put this in your life. And I’m like, oh, my God, I have no time. What I have discovered and it’s the thing you always hear, it sounds like a cliche but the bottom line was putting this into my life gave me so much more time. I solve a lot of problems out in this quantum minefield but it’s changed me from running away from a tiger all day long. It just shifts everything for you. So it’s one of those things where if you’d feel like you don’t have time, you have to make time. And because I don’t know how to get someone healthier without this, it is key.

Katie: Yeah, I think you’re spot on. I had another podcast guest explain we often get this kind of fight mentality with our body and we think it’s like out to get us or it’s trying to kill us or it’s not working with us. And she’s like, no, your body is always in your corner. It’s always trying to do what’s best for you. It’s always trying to adapt. And if something’s not working, think like your body would think like what is the priority for your body? What does it need in order to move into a space of safety? To be able to do things like heal your gut or get better sleep or lose weight, whatever the thing is. Not to use that term that we’re avoiding. But think of how your body’s thinking, what does it actually need in this moment? And you also mentioned creatine. I’m curious if you could talk a little of that and also any other supplements that can be helpful for women, especially.

JJ: Oh, my gosh. Creatine for the win. Holy smokes. So turns out women have about 70% to 80% less creatine on board than men do to begin with. And of course, if you’re vegan or vegetarian, then it’s really low, too. So this is one 5 grams a day, and it takes you about a month to get up to tissue saturation. So if you want to do a loading dose of 5 grams four times a day for five days, you’ll get there fast. But if you’re doing that, you’ll want to use a Crealkalonized version of it so that you don’t trash your gut.

But that was one of the things, because I like to do one thing at a time and see what happens. Be my own little chemistry lab. Big shift. I started looking at the research with it because, I mean, it’s been around forever. I was working out at Gold’s Gym in Venice back in the day, and all the big dudes were there. I loved working out there because I felt petite. I was like tiny there. But everyone was using Creatine. But it was bodybuilders. And I will say embarrassingly that I was like, I’m not going to use it because I don’t want to get big. Ridiculous, right? But this is really a secret weapon for women.

This should be one that you add in and it doesn’t matter when you take it because it’s going to be tissue saturated, like omega-3s. Right. But you want to get this one on board because it’s going to help you with that muscle mass. Because women don’t build muscle as easily as men do. Right. Because we don’t tend to. And I think it’s for these reasons. We don’t have enough Creatine and we don’t eat enough protein. Like, apparently women eat somewhere in the 40 to 65 grams of protein a day as the average woman, and we need to be way higher than that. So creatine huge for Sarcopenia. That’s where I started to look at it was like sarcopenia for 50 plus. But then the reality is you start to unpack it for women in general, and it’s just a massive one. Are you taking it?

Katie: I am. It was a thing I started in the last couple of years and have definitely noticed a difference in that. And also just upping my protein in general and taking a wide range of aminos, just realizing how much of a deficit I had been in all of those for years and trying to kind of reestablish those levels in my body.

JJ: Yeah, because think about what happens when you’re in a deficit. Your body can’t there’s no amino acid reservoir. It’s going to break down muscle. So you got to have these every single day. That’s why some of this fasting I’m like, but you got to have your amino acids every single day, right? So you don’t have a reservoir for them. So if you’re chronically undernourished and under protein-nourished, you’re not getting what you need. And boy, what a difference when you just bring that up on board, it’s huge, right? And then you can totally notice the difference going to the gym, how easily you recover from the gym. So that’s one I’m totally liking.

I’ve also been taking a product called Anato-GG from Designs for Health, because what they found with an Autogg is it can help with bone health and hot flashes plus heart health. And I’ve been taking Mitopure from Timeline. Have you heard of that one? Yes. Very exciting stuff here. So Mitopure helps you go through mitophagy? Now there’s all that talk about autophagy. Like to me the best way to get autophagy is exercise. And I do some time restricted eating more like I eat around nine in the morning. I like eating somewhere between one and a half and 3 hours after waking up and stop eating 3 hours before bed. So I have a natural window in there. Sometimes on the weekend it shortens a little bit more just because we might sleep in.

But I really love this Mitopure that helps your body, helps your mitochondria do mitophagy. So that means they can recycle the damaged gunk in your cells so you don’t have that clogging and kind of slowing you down and reuse that to make great new Mitochondria.

Katie: Awesome. Well, I will link to more resources about those in the show notes. I’m very glad, personally, I started taking creatine. It’s extremely well researched. There are thousands and thousands of studies on it and on its safety. And it’s one that even my older kids take now. And I feel like it’s just a great safety net, one to have. And I don’t see any downsides in the research.

JJ: There’s no downside to it. Like every woman should be on Creatine. Can I say that? That’s a big bold statement, but I think every single woman should be on Creatine, so totally agree.

Katie: Well, as much as I could talk to you all day long and hopefully we’ll get to do more rounds in the future. A couple questions I love to ask toward the end of interviews. The first being if there is a book or number of books that have profoundly impacted your life personally and if so, what they are and why.

JJ: So I’m like looking at my bookshelf of all of these books that I’m constantly reading, although I’m listening to them more, I got to tell you, like if I was going to go back and say the book, it still would be Think and Grow Rich, right? I mean, it’s still like you go back and you think. The book that teaches you how to think and to help you. Realize that everything’s created twice. And if you think it and you actually do something, you can have it because it all starts with mindset and it all ends with mindset. So think and grow rich for the win.

Katie: I love it. And lastly, any parting advice for the women and moms who are listening today that could be related to everything we’ve talked about or entirely unrelated life advice?

JJ: So here is what I would say. And you’ve heard this. You had Dr. Gabrielle Lyon on, who I just adore. She’s doing amazing work out in the world. You’re going to start hearing more and more about this. I’ve looked at all the diets out there and I thought, gosh, the one macronutrient, which is the most important one, is the one we’ve always ignored, protein. And what I would just throw out there is just a little challenge, just a seven day challenge. What if for seven days, all you decided to do was really focus on optimizing your protein per your target body weight, and you said, okay, I’m going to commit to, let’s say it’s 150 pounds. I’m going to commit to getting minimally, 105 grams of protein, at least 30 grams at a meal, up to 150 grams a day. I commit and just do a test for a week and test in and see how’s my energy, how’s my Satiety, right? How’s my blood sugar, and am I feeling better in my body? Am I feeling stronger? Just check in with that. Because I think that we so often don’t connect the dots between what we’re eating and how we feel, which is the most important part of all of this, right? And I just kind of dare you. I’m going to actually start a seven day protein challenge because I just know that within that amount of time, the shift will be so dramatic that you’ll go, that’s it, I’m in, I’m doubling down.

Katie: I love that. And I will echo that from my experience as well as learning that if you focus on protein first, even if you don’t change anything else or try to restrict anything, you don’t feel hungry for the other stuff and you feel so much more energy. I would say it was only like two days in that I was like, wow, I haven’t had this much energy in a long time. So second your recommendation and let me know you guys, if you try it, comment on this and let us know how it goes. JJ. It’s always such a pleasure to talk to you. Like I said, I hope we get to do more rounds in the future. I’m excited to see you this year. Thank you so much for your time.

JJ: Thank you.

Katie: And thanks, as always to all of you for listening and sharing your most valuable resources, your time, your energy and your attention with us today. We’re both so grateful that you did and I hope that you will join me again on the next episode of The Wellness Mama Podcast.

If you’re enjoying these interviews, would you please take two minutes to leave a rating or review on iTunes for me? Doing this helps more people to find the podcast, which means even more moms and families could benefit from the information. I really appreciate your time, and thanks as always for listening.

Thanks to Our Sponsors

This episode is sponsored by Hiya Health, which is my go-to source for multivitamins, especially for my younger kids, before they can swallow pills. Typical children’s vitamins are basically candy in disguise, filled with unsavory ingredients and things you would not give to your children otherwise. Most brands on store shelves are filled with sugar, unhealthy chemicals and other gummy junk that growing kids, or frankly, anyone should never eat. And this is why I’m so glad I found Hiya Health. Hiya makes children’s vitamins with zero sugar and zero gummy junk and unsavory ingredients. Yet they taste great, and they are perfect for picky eaters. They’re also nostalgic and remind me of the children’s vitamins I took as a kid, though I probably wouldn’t love those ingredients. Hiya is unique because it fills the most common gaps in modern children’s diets to provide full body nourishment for our kids, with a yummy taste that they will love and you will not have to fight them over. They manufacture in the USA with globally sourced ingredients that are each selected for optimal bioavailability and absorption. And the best part? They arrive straight to your door on a pediatrician recommended schedule, so you never have to worry about running out. Your first month comes with a reusable glass bottle that your kids can personalize with stickers. So in the case of my kids, with six of them, they never get them confused. And then every month after, Hiya sends a no plastic, eco friendly refill pouch of fresh vitamins. Which means that Hiya isn’t just good for your kids, it’s also great for the environment as well. So you as a mom no longer have to worry about running out of vitamins, and they will automatically arrive when you need them. You can check them out and get them for your kids by going to Hiyahealth.com/wellnessmama. And you’ll also save 50% on your first month.

This episode is brought to you by Apollo Neuro. If you haven’t heard of this, I have been experimenting with and they utilize a new touch therapy experience by creating the Apollo wearable device. It was developed by neuroscientists and physicians to help improve sleep, increase energy, improve recovery, and focus through soothing, gentle waves of vibration that mimic the body’s natural ones. The Apollo wearable helps your body relax and reduces feelings of stress, which helps put you in a state that allows you to have more control over how you want to feel. The Apollo wearable will give you more energy to power through your day and to help you sleep better at night, an effect that I have felt personally. And all you have to do is put it on your wrist and feel the soothing vibrations. It’s basically like a remote control for how you want to feel throughout the day, whether it’s more energetic, less stressed, a better mood, or wanting to feel more calm and relaxed and sleepy.
It’s a new technology and brand to the world, which is a game changer for both health and wellness in the wearable tech space. The new initiatives from Apollo include two new scientific research studies with groundbreaking results. Their sleep study demonstrates that Apollo users can get up to 30 more minutes of sleep per night when it’s used consistently for at least 3 hours a day, five days a week. In a peer reviewed study validating the Apollo wearable as the first wearable to significantly increase heart rate variability, or HRV, accelerate athletic recovery (which is what I’ve been using it for), and improve cardiovascular fitness. And this again is proven by a peer reviewed trial conducted at the university of Pittsburgh.
From a health and wellness perspective, it is a safe and noninvasive alternative to natural and or pharmaceutical sleeping pills. And it’s been tested across thousands of users in the clinic and in the real world to help address conditions like insomnia, trauma, PTSD and ADHD. And from a wearable tech perspective, Apollo is unlike any other fitness health wearable because it doesn’t just track your health biometrics, it actively improves your health by strengthening your nervous system. And all you have to do is wear it and feel the vibes. You can use it in different ways. You can wear it on a band around your wrist or ankle or on a clip attached to your shirt collar, bra strap, or waistband. It’s like a hug for your nervous system that helps you to be calmer and more mindful. And it works in tandem with their mobile app to help you transition through the day with goal oriented modes like sleep and renew, clear and focused, relax and unwind, rebuild and recover, and more. The science and technology are the real deal, and Apollo was created by neuroscientists and physicians who have successfully completed six clinical trials with nine more underway. You can check it out and find the effects that they have validated, including 40% less stress and feelings of anxiety, 19% more time in deep sleep on average, 11% increase in HRV and up to 25% more concentration and focus by going to wellnessmama.com/go/apollo and you can save 15% with the code wellnessmama15.

Katie Wells Avatar

About Katie Wells

Katie Wells, CTNC, MCHC, Founder of Wellness Mama and Co-founder of Wellnesse, has a background in research, journalism, and nutrition. As a mom of six, she turned to research and took health into her own hands to find answers to her health problems. WellnessMama.com is the culmination of her thousands of hours of research and all posts are medically reviewed and verified by the Wellness Mama research team. Katie is also the author of the bestselling books The Wellness Mama Cookbook and The Wellness Mama 5-Step Lifestyle Detox.

Comments

3 responses to “658: Stop Trying to Lose Weight and What to Do Instead With JJ Virgin”

  1. Jacqueline Muscha Avatar
    Jacqueline Muscha

    Very interesting podcast episode. I too have a very similar question. What on earth is JJ Virgin eating to get in all that protein in one day? It really can’t be from all meat sources, can it? I would love a good recommendation for a good quality protein powder that is plant based. I think the protein challenge is cool. Very fascinated to see if it actually gets rid of cravings for carbs and sugar, my biggest problem. I do, however, disagree with her exercise recommendations. I totally believe women, can and do, get bulky from lifting heavy weights. I recently read an interesting article written by a gymnast that told trainers to stop telling women they won’t get bulky from lifting heavy weights. She referenced this Australian trainer, Rachael Attard, who has developed a lean legs program who really helps women slim down and tone and gets them away from bulking up. She also stresses a lot that women should work out according to their body type and provides a quiz on her website to see what body type you are. I’m only 5 feet tall and a endomorph body type. I wouldn’t dream of exercising the way JJ Virgin does. I’ve tried the whole “lifting heavy weights” thing and all it did was make me bulky. I do believe, though, that developing and maintaining muscle mass, like what was discussed in this podcast, is important especially as we age. I wish someone could recommend a trainer(s) or workout program(s) that really focus on slimming down and trimming and toning a women’s body (besides Rachael Attard.) I need someone else to turn to when I am done trying her. I think it would be really cool if more trainers developed their workouts according to the 3 body types and stop making blanket statements about how one particular workout will work for everyone.

  2. Leah Davis Avatar
    Leah Davis

    I want to start by saying how much I love the Wellness Mama website and podcast. It has been such a wealth of inspiration and health for my family. I have a question about the podcast today with JJ Virgin, how do I get enough budget friendly protein if I don’t eat a lot of animal products, i.e. meat, and /or eggs? This has been an ongoing problem for me since I was a little girl. I have no problem with vegetables and non-animal sources of protein, but I also realize that vegetable proteins are not as bio available.

    1. Jamie Larrison Avatar

      Yes, certain plant foods aren’t as bioavailable as animal sources, but you’d have to eat a very large amount to get enough protein. Beans for example have up to 18 grams of protein per 1 cup, so someone with a target bodyweight of 130 pounds would need to eat over 7 cups of beans a day. And by that point you’re at 325 grams of carbs. Plant based protein powder might be an option, but it seems like many of them are contaminated with heavy metals and the clean ones are more expensive. I know Katie respects that everyone needs to make their own health choices, but she does recommend grass-fed and pastured animal products as a healthy source of nutrient dense food and protein. If you prefer to skip the animal foods here’s a clean plant-based protein Katie recommends. https://us.foursigmatic.com/wellnessmama

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