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
- JJ’s YouTube video on Ozempic
- Grip Strength Tester
- Kion Aminos
- Kion Creatine
- Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
More From Wellness Mama
- 125: JJ Virgin on Understanding Food Intolerance & Fighting for Your Family
- 557: Justin Nault on How to Lose Weight by Eating More and Exercising Less
- 653: Metabolism Makeover and How Your Subconscious Mind Impacts Weight With Megan Hansen
- 626: The One All About Protein and Amino Acids – Short Episode
- 612: Dr. Gabrielle Lyon on Muscle-Centric Medicine, Eat Your Protein, and How to Train Better
- Guide to Healthy Protein Sources
Discussion (2 Comments)
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.
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