In today’s episode, Shawn and I answer two questions we received from listeners and also address what metabolic damage is, what it is not, why you may be gaining weight (it is more complex than you think!), and why you’re struggling gaining weight (I’ve been there, so I have some tips for you if this is a struggle of yours!)
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Meg: You’re listening to Episode 50 of The Nourished Podcast.
Shawn: Thanks so much for tuning into The Nourished Podcast with Meg Doll and Shawn Mynar. We are two holistic nutritionists with a deep passion for finding true health and happiness, in our own lives, and helping others do the same in our private nutrition practices. We created this podcast to share what we know to be true about finding those two crucial pieces to life – and how to have fun along the way. We love chatting with others in the health community too, who have done the same and shared their stories right here on the show. Now, on to today’s episode.
00:00:56 – Intro
Shawn: Hey friends, it’s Shawn.
Meg: And I’m Meg. How are you Shawn?
Shawn: Episode 50!
Shawn: We’re getting so close to one year anniversary.
Meg: I know! Two episodes away.
Meg: I just did an Instagram post, asking for questions for our 52nd episode.
Shawn: And, there’s this podcast rule that when you make it to a year, you’ve like, really made it. [laughing]
Shawn: I just made that up.
Meg: Yeah! No! Jimmy Moore told us that!
Shawn: Jimmy Moore also said that. Yeah, but I agree.
Meg: In the words of Jimmy Moore.
Shawn: Because I think there are several podcasts that, well, more than several, quite a few podcasts that don’t make it to a year, doing it steadily, consistently, every single week.
Meg: Yeah, a lot of people will start off doing it every single week, and then, a couple months, it’ll be like once a week, and then, several months will pass, and they haven’t recorded anything. So we’ve been doing good! We’ve missed one week.
Shawn: Which is totally, an emergency situation and had no choice. It wasn’t.
Meg: It was not because we didn’t feel like it.
Shawn: And it wasn’t because we didn’t have an episode. We had recorded the episode. I just couldn’t…I had no ability to put it on, on air, so.
Meg: You were in the hospital.
Shawn: I was really, I was rather laid up at the moment.
Meg: Our new listeners may not know that.
Shawn: I was in the hospital with several different, uh, things coming out of my body, and incisions, and a lot of drugs. [laughter] So it wouldn’t have been very effective. But yeah, so that will be, I’m really excited to celebrate that. We’ll have to do some, a little reminiscing, on that episode, but we also want to answer literally any question that you have for us. It doesn’t have to be health or fitness related, or any food, or anything. It can be about us, about lives, anything.
Meg: Yeah, just random ask us anything episode, so you can email Shawn and I email@example.com with your random questions. Or, you can hop onto my Instagram account at megtherhn, and if you see a picture of me posing beside my podcasting mic, you can comment on that picture and give me your question, and we’ll write it down and answer it. So, I’m looking forward to this podcast. It’ll be fun, random. Everyone loves random.
Shawn: Yeah, hopefully we can get through quite a few questions.
Shawn: I would like that.
00:03:27 – Shawn responds to Instagram comment
Shawn: So today, we’re gonna talk about, I guess just answering more of your questions. Some random topics that have come up from you guys over the past few weeks, and, um, so hopefully we can get to some of those. But I did want to start, I had a comment on my Instagram that turned into a question. Or I’m turning it into a question. I don’t know if that person wanted it to be one. But it was brought to my attention that there was some confusion around why I thought my weight gain was something other than the fact that I was eating more food, working out less, and eating more carbohydrates. And that is the very nicest way of putting what that question actually said, which was, I don’t think she meant it to be, but was rather harsh and kind of mean. And ironically came out on the day we released the podcast about haters [laughing]. Just, very ironically. No, I don’t think she meant to be a hater. She was just questioning after listening to all the podcasts, knowing everything I have been through health-wise, still was not sure why I don’t just attribute my weight gain currently to the fact that I had switched up my eating style, I guess. And had dropped a lot of the, highly, intense activity out of my life. For the past, I guess now would be twelve weeks. Although I’ve included some of that back in. So I thought I just would answer that. Because I, quite honestly, don’t think she’s the only one that’s thinking that, you know.
Meg: Or just, isn’t educated on the topic. Like, not pertaining to you, but just, or people in general. I think a lot of people deal with weight gain, and think, oh, I need to cut calories, and, so they cut, cut, cut, and they’re still gaining weight, and they’re really confused as to why. So, I think it’s just a topic that, you know, can be generalized to so many. And yeah, this is a great way to bring it up.
Shawn: Yeah, so first let me talk, I guess specifically about my situation, and then we’ll kind of roll it into how, why you’re not losing/gaining weight, what does it mean to be in a state of metabolic damage, that kind of stuff because that is, kind of a word. I use that in quotations because it’s kind of a phrase that’s a buzz lately, but what does it actually mean? And it is even a thing? So first, my situation is this: I have eaten a very similar diet for the past two and a half years. I have gotten very in tune with how much food my body requires. What that looks like on a plate, what that looks like in a day. I have had a lot of success in the way that I have eaten, for the past two and half years as far as finding it very easy to maintain the body composition that I feel most comfortable at. Having amazing workout success, having amazing energy, having good skin, you know, everything that we’ve talked about on this podcast. And what has happened to us since moving to a real food diet. So that happened to me two and a half years ago, almost three at this point, I believe. But anyhow, so…My knowledge that I currently, I’m gaining weight in a different way than it would be just that I’ve been eating too much or working out too little, is because I know that already about myself. I’ve spent the last two and a half years knowing that, and I haven’t changed anything. I’ve always been, in those two and half years, I’ve always eaten a ton of food. Most of it has always been vegetables, and high quality proteins, and from there I tweak. Do I want more fat in a day? Do I want more carbohydrates in a day? And as of lately, I have been leaning more toward the carbohydrates in a day because of the health conditions I am dealing with and knowing that really good hormonal balance, specifically with the thyroid and the adrenals, come from eating a few more carbs in a day. So, all I did, knowing how my day looks as far as food goes, was take some of the fat that I had been eating, and turned those calories into carbohydrate calories. So, my actual overall total food didn’t change. It may look like it changed because when I’m taking the amount of at and turning that into carbohydrates they don’t have the same energy/calorie composition per gram. So I need to eat more, or what it looks like to be more food to get that same calorie content.
Meg: More volume.
Shawn: Right. So that’s all I did when I said that I was eating more carbohydrates. It didn’t mean that I was just tacking on five sweet potatoes to my already pretty full plate. But I also know that those full plates, in the past, have done really well for me to naturally keep my body at a spot that I feel comfortable in. So I already know that. I don’t need to, I don’t need to track my calorie content. I don’t need to look at my macros. I can just see what has worked for me in the past is now no longer working, and it has nothing to do with my food. And that’s what we really need to go into later on in this topic. So, it has nothing to do with the amount of food I’m eating as you can, if you follow me on Instagram, or now on Snapchat, you can see the food. I’m not eating an exorbitant amount of food to where I would gain a pound a week. Like the rate as to which I’m gaining weight, it does not match up to what I’m eating.
Meg: Correlate, mmm hmm.
Shawn: And, same goes with the fact that, now just quickly moving on to the working out topic because she did say that, and you know, I did, I have, cut way back on my heavy lifting, which would be intense exercise. But that doesn’t mean that I wasn’t doing anything. I already have a pretty active job as a personal trainer. I was still taking, doing something everyday, whether that be taking walks, running some sprints, doing some band work, some resistance bands or dumbbells or kettle bells. Going to yoga. I mean, I still go to yoga so much. I was still being active enough again, to the point where that doesn’t correlate as well to the amount of weight I’m gaining, and how much I took out, which wasn’t really all that much if you’re thinking, actually, calorically, I guess. And I just, I feel like I’m in that position as a personal trainer, and as a nutritionist, and as someone who’s super into knowing how I feel, to know that I wasn’t over-consuming food, and under-exercising, or under-burning, I guess you could say. And maybe that’s just something that does come with time, I don’t know, but, and maybe obviously this person doesn’t have that for herself, so that might be something she might be interested in finding out for herself. But once you get there it’s amazing, and then when things happen when you haven’t changed, when you’re body starts changing, when you haven’t changed anything, it’s a little frustrating. And it requires more discovery, and more digging as to what is going on. And also, keep in mind that, I mean, honestly, in the past, what, we’ve done this a year now, so this has been an issue for me for one year because I remember starting this podcast. I was already in this like, what is going on with my body state. Like this has been going on for a year. And my health has not been correct, for one year. And I’m really excited for you guys to actually know me when I am one hundred percent better because I have a lot more energy than this [laughter]. Which may be shocking to some of you. But it’s true. And yeah, I just, I hope that answer the question. Specifically for me, a little bit better. I was taken aback very much so by that question. I’m not gonna lie. I was actually really mad, and I thought that my answer to this question was gonna be [laughing] have a little fire to it. But I’ve had some days to calm down and realize that maybe it’s just lack of knowledge, which hopefully we can clear up today.
Meg: Yeah, and I think you did a really great job at answering that because honestly, you know, it did come across in a way that could really, you know, like light a fire under your butt.
Shawn: Especially when it’s something that obviously I’m kind of self conscious about.
Meg: Mmm hmm, yeah, this is the number one thing that is bothering you most about your health. Because, at times you have been feeling good and, I mean, you know you and I are best friends, and, you know, we’ll just be talking, and you will tell me that, you know, okay, I feel like it finally feels like everything’s fine except this issue.
00:13:12 – why you’re not losing/gaining weight + metabolic damage
Meg: So, I’m glad we addressed that today, but do you want to carry on and talk about about some, like the reasons, other than food, as to why you may be gaining weight or resistant to losing weight?
Shawn: Yeah, absolutely. Well, first of all I think we all need to remember that your metabolism is based on your hormones. Not based on what you do and don’t consume, how you do and don’t work out. It’s a hormonal system, a hormonal balance. So most of these things that I’m going to list off right now, the reason why they may be causing weight gain is because of the hormones they are affecting. So first of all, lack of sleep. Like, it’s so crazy, but it is so true. When you don’t consistently get good sleep, then you are putting your body in a state of stress, and really, really causing quite a big shift in your hormones, specifically, the cortisol. And I mean, in every single one of these that I list off, I could talk about how it affects the hormones, but it’s going to be the same exact reason, which is just that it causes a stressful response in your body, your cortisol comes into play, and that, when any time your cortisol comes into play, which I’ve now talked about, on what, like seventeen episodes at least [laughing]. Any time your body requires cortisol to come out of homeostasis, then it will automatically impact other hormones. And that includes your sex hormones, your thyroid hormones, you hunger, satiety hormones. It affects all of them. So just keep that in mind. That’s a very broad answer, but it is the response for all of these. So lack of sleep, so you need to get good quality sleep. Like ninety-nine percent of the time. I know we all have our off days, but if that happens, then you need to go right back to your sleep schedule. Toxicity, which is what I am currently looking into further for myself. This is where I’m digging at the moment. Not only is having a toxic overload in your body a stressful situation, but also your body will respond to those toxins by creating a higher fat content of your body to basically store the toxins so they don’t become damaging to your actual organs and systems. Because if they’re in your fat cells, then they’re basically protected. But, they’re being stored in your fat cells. And so toxicity can come in a lot of different ways. It can come in as heavy metals, mold. It can be, like, the toxins from your water, from the pans you’re using in your kitchen. From your hair products, your skin products, your makeup. What you’re sleeping on at night. I mean, if you actually think about the amount of toxins you’re exposed to, it almost gets so overwhelming that you can’t even think about it. Because I have felt that way before, and I am slowly removing all toxins from my life, or as many as I can do knowledgeably. It takes time, and it takes money, so that’s why it takes time [laughing] because otherwise you’re literally throwing out your entire, like, kitchen and bathroom and bedroom and starting over. I can also, we can also do a whole episode on that, actually that’d be kind of fun. So then of course just everyday, this is number three, everyday stress, just stress in general, which comes in so many different ways that we’ve talked about so many different times. Could be relationship stress, stress at work, even as simple as being annoyed when you’re in the traffic jam on the way home from work. Environmental stress, emotional, you know, the list goes on. Anything that you perceive as stress. Thyroid issues. So obviously the thyroid, if anyone comes to me and has an issue with losing or gaining weight, the first thing I want checked is the thyroid because that is the culprit for a lot of weight issues. And it’s again, a hormonal issue, and there is often times a reason behind your low or high thyroid. Sometimes it’s easy as being too low in iodine and selenium. Sometimes it could be a gluten intolerance that’s causing issues up in your thyroid. Stress, again, heavy metal toxicity and mold are huge for thyroid issues. So the first thing to do is get tested for your thyroid, which is the TSH, T4, T3. Those hormones need to get tested, and then from there you can determine when did this happen, why, what can I remove from my life to perhaps get that back to homeostasis, on and on. But, test the thyroid. Dysbiosis, so like huge. I mean, if you’re, if you have, none of us, not even me, and I enjoy reading about this stuff, understand the importance of your gut flora and those colonies and your gut health and the amount of probiotics in your body, to how you look on the outside. And that goes for weight gain, weight loss, skin, hair, nails. I mean, the list goes on. So what is happening in your gut plays a big part in what is happening to your physically. So this could be sibo, which is small intestinal bacterial overgrowth. That’s something to definitely get tested if you are having weight gain, weight loss issues, but also feel bloated a lot of the time, don’t digest your food, gas, pain, that kind of thing. Candida, another intestinal bacterial overgrowth, just more so in that yeast department, and something else to definitely get tested. You could just have a parasite, or just a general imbalance. And all of these things can definitely be tested in a stool test that will show you all of these things. I have had one done. It was the most amazing thing ever to see what was actually going on in my gut. It was so cool. So that can play a huge role in your resistance to being at the weight that you are looking to be in. If you do want a stool test, get in touch with me, and I can tell you how to get that done. Food intolerances, so again that’s just going back to the whole stress thing. If you’re eating something currently that your body doesn’t like, and doesn’t tolerate, then that’s going to just keep your body in this state of stress. General inflammation, I mean, I’m sorry, this is another, I’m like going down the list, but I’m not numbering them so, but just so you know [laughing]. Inflammation is a huge culprit of weight gain in particular, and it can be caused by so many different things. I mean, we’re all, let’s be honest, we’re all slightly inflamed for some reason. Like, just in the way that we live and what we’re exposed to, and the foods we eat and whatever. So if you have any sort of inflammation, that’s a huge culprit for that. Nutritional deficiencies, which could be in the form of magnesium, zinc, iron. I mean, all of the trace minerals, all of the vitamins, if there’s anything that’s way out of balance, that could easily cause some stress and again, some weight gain. And then the last one I have is low stomach acid, which plays a part in so many of the above. If you’re still dealing with low stomach acid, and you’ve been listening to this podcast, okay, we really need to talk [laughing]. Because that is, like, my thing. That is like the first thing I fix, everyone’s low stomach acid, because it is so paramount to the rest of your health, and to making sure you’re getting the right nutrient absorption. To make sure those pesky, bad bacteria are staying away, are not getting through to your gut. And just relieving your digestive system, the very least, of this stress, that can cause all of this. So at minimum, fix your stomach acid for goodness sakes [laughing]. Sorry, I get really worked up.
Meg: I agree.
Shawn: [laughing] I get very worked up sometimes, so that’s my little list, and I know a lot of those go for weight gain and weight loss, but do you have anything in addition to add, maybe to, like you have been in the position of eating a ton of food and not gaining weight?
Meg: Right! Yeah, and honestly, everything started changing when I eliminated my food intolerances. So that was a big one for me. You know, and now again, just to remind you we’re talking about weight gain instead of resisting weight loss. So, when I was resistant to gaining weight, a big thing for me was food allergies. I was, you know, crushing tons of sandwiches every single day.
Meg: You know, I had people look at me like, how can you eat, like six pieces of bread in a day, plus, you know, all this other stuff, and not be gaining weight? And I’m like, I don’t know! Like I don’t know what’s going on. And, so I’d just eat more. Right? And then I started dappling into removing gluten, and slowly removed grains. And at the beginning I was like, okay, if I’m eliminating these foods and I’m already having trouble gaining weight, you know, this is not gonna be good. And then, you can actually see, because, you know, back then, like I was definitely more of a selfie taker than I even am now, and you can actually see from the moment I cut gluten out of my diet, I started gaining weight. It’s actually crazy. The moment I cut it out, you can see a change, like from let’s say I cut it out like in November. If you looked a picture in December you could already see me gradually gaining weight. Which is amazing. And that just goes to show you that, like, how destroyed my gut was because I was so intolerant to it, and well, gluten. Right?
Meg: So and then when I cut out grains and actually started focusing more on healing my gut. So you know, like Shawn said before, focusing on the probiotics, like the health of your gut. So I was including a lot of fermented foods, and adding in those healing fats, like coconut oil is so good for healing your gut. So I started coconut oil and started eating really good, high quality cuts of meat. That was another good thing, because all of those foods have nutrients in them that are really good at decreasing inflammation and healing that gut lining. I didn’t include the bone broth back then. That wasn’t something I made, nor was it available to me at the time, so I didn’t include bone broth, but if you’re listening and wanna, you know, start focusing on your gut health, that’s my number one thing. Yeah, and you can use the Osso Good bone broth because that’s what we love, or make homemade, but if you want it easy.
Shawn: It’s so good.
Meg: We’ve got a coupon for ya. But yeah, I was using glutamine. Like a powdered glutamine. And so I was really focusing on healing my gut, and it’s so crazy, once I started doing that, and then went even further and eliminated the grains, it was like, gains! [laughing]
Meg: Just instantly. But yeah, so it was good. I mean I was on the hunt for gaining weight for years, and then once I cut out my food allergies, that’s when I was able to start, you know, accomplishing that goal. And just like you said, Shawn, you know, it goes both ways. I’ve seen people hold on to like thirty pounds, and they’re like, why am I not losing these thirty pounds? Like, it’s not a healthy thirty pounds for me to have on. And once they remove something that they’re allergic to, they lose it.
Meg: And then the same went for me. I was able to gain those thirty pounds when I cut out the foods that I was allergic to. And then my number two I would say, once you remove those irritants, start focusing on your gut health, and start focusing on how you’re absorbing the foods that you eat. So for me, stomach acid was a huge one. I was using HCL tablets and really making sure, you know I was focused on my meals, not drinking with my meals. Always having apple cider vinegar, including bitters with my meals, that sort of thing. And a lot of probiotics, probiotic rich foods, fermented foods. And then making sure I was eating enough too. Because I do feel as though some people who think they can’t gain weight are probably following a meal plan and just sticking to that meal plan that says 2,000 calories, so they’re eating 2,000 calories every single day, which is a decent amount of food, don’t get me wrong. Like I definitely think that’s fine for some people. However, you know, your body fluctuates every day. Your needs fluctuate every day. So if you’re someone, and I mean I was in this position, I was tracking my intake every single day, and I remember I had my calories set to, like I would, I was happy if I got them anywhere between 1,800 to 2,000. So that was kind of, you know, like I could never go below that, and that was kind of my range. But it’s like, well, what if I was more hungry one day? Well, I had that set to 2,000, so that’s kind of like where I was at, and I find that’s what meal plans do for some people, or you know, tracking does for some people is, like, it causes them to not want to go over that. But you’re body probably needs that on some days, and you need to be okay with that, and you know, not judge yourself about it, and I think some people are able to do that. You know, I now have friends that are like, okay, this is my base, and if I go over, then that’s awesome. You know, I went over because I was hungry, and they feel no guilt. But with me, like years ago, you know I didn’t go over that because that’s, you know, that’s the target range I set. So yeah, the other thing that really helped me was just literally letting go of any sort of structured meal plan and that sort of thing. And just following those guidelines. I wrote a post about it. Just making sure you’re having a balanced meal every single day, and then on days, or for three times a day [laughing], balanced, including all the things like protein, carbohydrates, and fats, and then days I worked out I made sure I added a meal on to that, so those days, you know, I had four. And that’s kind of where I got from needing to gain weight to where I am today.
Shawn: Yeah, I think all those are obviously so important, and I think there’s one thing that could go for both of these, which is the emotional aspect. You know, being stressed out about eating a ton of calories and not being able to gain weight. Or vice versa, eating 1,200 calories and not being able to lose weight. And, first of all, I mean, any sort of calorie restriction is not going to work for losing weight in the long term, I can guarantee that. I have been there, done that, and it only causes more damage, which we’ll talk about in a little bit. But the emotional aspect and the mind games that you can play with yourself just cause that much more stress, and that stress, again, keeps you right where you are.
Meg: Yeah, I’m happy you brought that up because that is something I forgot to mention. One huge thing for me… I was like gotta gain weight, gotta gain weight, gotta gain weight, and that’s the only thing I thought of. And then, there was the time I was so frustrated with my life, and I was like, okay, even though I have to gain weight right now, that’s not my goal. I’m just going to simply focus on, like my goal was just listening to my body, because I was like, I don’t even listen to my body right now, and I think that’s more important to me right now than gaining weight. So, I kind of tossed that goal to the side, and was like, okay, number one goal, well my goal was just to be happy and healthy. That’s basically, that’s what I did. I would ask myself those questions. I talked about this a million times before how I would always ask myself those questions, and once I threw that goal of gaining weight away and focused on just simply my health and my happiness, that’s when it came on. So, you know, that goes for people, probably losing weight too. You know, just start focusing on your health, start focusing on your happiness. And that’s gonna, you know, help you with your relationship with food, your relationship with your body, and all the stress and the hormones that are preventing you from losing weight. It’s probably just gonna happen naturally then.
Shawn: I like also how you brought up the healing your gut. I mean, a leaky gut obviously is gonna keep you, I mean that’s huge, and that goes back, again, to a lot of what I listed, and the reasons why you’re having those issues in the first place is your gut health is so poor. So that really goes back to that, so listing everything you did, you did personally, and I have been doing for a long time, and I actually think I can, it’s safe to say that my gut is healed. And I’ll talk about that and what we’re into, hopefully.
Shawn: But that’s like a huge, a huge thing. And that goes back to, again, the stress and everything. So I think that’s really important, and I Just also, I know we talked about this in an entire podcast, if you haven’t listened to the podcast called “Are you eating enough?” Is that what it’s called?
Shawn: Then, please go back and listen to it. It was one of our most popular episodes, actually.
Meg: That was probably one of my favorites.
Shawn: Yeah, I loved that episode too, but it goes for both of these things too into, you could be potentially not eating enough because you’re trying to lose weight, or you could be potentially not eating enough thinking you’re trying to gain weight. Works for both of these cases too, so that’s a huge one you have to of course make sure you’re eating enough in both cases.
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00:34:50 – Metabolic Damage
Shawn: That kind of leads us into, I guess, I want to talk quickly about metabolic damage because that was another that this person brought up to me in our Instagram conversation, was like, how do you know it’s not just metabolic damage? And she, again, wasn’t trying to be mean, I don’t think, but was questioning because I have had a past of over-exercising, and under-eating, and yo-yo dieting, and all of this stuff, so I mean, she’s actually kind of right. I mean, if you actually know what metabolic damage is, which I’m assuming most people just know that’s like this coined phrase when you basically just start gaining weight after a prolonged period of intense dieting. And so what really all metabolic damage is, and just know that every time I’m saying this [laughing] I’m using air quotes because I can’t just say it, because it’s just not really a thing. Like it is, but it’s not.
Meg: There’s a lot of confusion around it, for sure.
Shawn: Yeah, so really all metabolic damage is, is basically another way of describing what happens to your body when your hormones are out of balance. So first of all, why did they get out of balance? Stress. So I would say that metabolic damage has been coined that term for when the stress has been caused by over-exercising, under-eating, and so your hormones have gotten out of balance out of that. And so yeah, you definitely gain weight, you definitely are resistant to weight loss, but it’s really just because of your hormones being so out of balance because of that cortisol spike, which may after long term turn into a lower cortisol throughout your day, and that really, obviously changes the results of your other hormones. Your estrogen, your testosterone, your progesterone, your melatonin. Even your leptin and ghrelin, which are those two hormones that tell you when you’re hungry or full. So all of those are totally out of balance after a prolonged period of stress. It doesn’t have to be from over-exercising or calorie restriction, but a lot of times it is. And so that’s when this “metabolic damage” words are used. But it could be from illness. It could be from disease. It could be from emotional stress. It could be from all of those things I listed above. It could be from all of those things too, and then I guess it’s still called metabolic damage, but really it’s just called hormonal imbalance, right. So, and there are definitely different degrees, like you know, I would say when you’re even just in that beginning stage of stress where you’re starting to have a little bit of imbalance going on and we could say that your metabolism is really, like, shifting. You’re getting that shift where, you know, okay, so let’s just put it in the context of diet and exercise. Say that you just started a new diet. You’re like, oh I’m going to do this 1,200 calorie a day diet, I’m gonna go to the gym and work out seven days a week, I’m going to start crossfit, I’m gonna do this and this and this. So you start all this, things go really well, you lose some weight, and then say, three weeks later, plateau. Nothing happens, nothing changes. So you get really hungry, you have more cravings. That’s your body’s hormones shifting because of the change in what you’re doing and that stress you’re causing it. You are now shifting your metabolism, aka your hormones, to a point where they aren’t going to, or they’re basically going to make up for that stress that you’re putting on it and keep those changes from happening. Because it’s such a stressful situation. So then, you know, that keeps happening, that cycle keeps going, and it does become more of a metabolic damage because you’ve put yourself into such a stressed out state, your hormones are just totally out of balance. And it’s going to take a lot more to get them back to where they are. So like, if you are experiencing this, in particular, it could be for instance weight loss resistance, if you are in this over-exercising under-eating thing, but you could also feel fatigue, you could start having irregular menstrual cycles, you could have major digestion issues, bloating, just upset stomach, you could have a lower sex drive. And that’s really all that’s saying to me, or to Meg, or to someone that knows that’s in this holistic nutrition or the holistic health business, is that your hormones are way off. Low estrogen, low testosterone, low progesterone, or all them high, or all them out of range, or just totally out of balance. So yeah, it doesn’t have to just be because of the under-exercising, um, sorry, under-eating, over-exercising. I think that that is something in my personal experience that definitely hasn’t contributed to my health in a positive way now. But I’ve also been out of that mentality for a while and am still having, you know, these issues, so that’s, again, why I’m digging deeper. Because I don’t think it’s metabolic damage for me, in regards to the past that I lived. I think it’s something else, something potentially that I listed above, so that’s my rant. Again.
Meg: Well, we know that there’s hormonal imbalances with you, right?
Shawn: Well, of course.
Meg: Right, so.
Shawn: Yeah, of course, but I’m not coining it metabolic damage because I don’t think it’s from strictly because of my past. No. You know, but if you are someone, which I know we do have a lot of people that can still potentially be in that category like where they are exercising way too much, going to the gym way too much, working out way too hard, and not eating enough to support that. And then yeah, it is going to cause some serious stress, and we could call it metabolic damage at that point. If you’re having some serious resistance. So that’s something you really, really need to look at, and, I mean, of course it’s depending on the state that you’re in. How far it’s gotten. It could take a while to repair. It could definitely take a while to get those hormones back into balance, but it is possible. You don’t have to stay like this forever, but you need to change what you’re doing for sure.
Meg: Yeah, and I think that’s the thing with damage, like the word “damage,” like it sounds like forever.
Shawn: For life.
Meg: You know, and so that’s why I particularly like, I mean, I’ve never told anyone that they have metabolic damage.
Shawn: I would never say that to anybody. I would say, work on your hormones [laughing].
Meg: I would more so coin it to like, okay, your thyroid is not functioning properly. It’s either overactive or it’s underactive, and there are so many things you could do to help the thyroid restore itself.
Shawn: And the same thing with the adrenals. They’re hypo or hyper, and there’s many things you could do to get that back to homeostasis, but I think really the moral of this entire story that I really just wanted to say, and honestly I thought that we had already said this a hundred times, but the moral of the story – apparently we need to keep saying it – is that weight gain and weight loss are not about calories in versus calories out solely. I’m not gonna say that they don’t, that it doesn’t have anything to do, like if I was eating six thousand calories a day [laughing] I would be, I would know why I’m gaining weight. Right. I understand that to a degree if you eat more calories than you burn, then yes, you are going to gain weight.
Shawn: Same thing with not being able to gain weight or stay underweight is because you’re not eating enough to cover what you’re burning in a day.
Meg: Yeah, burning is the key.
Shawn: Right. So I understand that. However, you all need to understand that the metabolism is much more complex than that. It is a hormonal issue.
Meg: Yeah, it doesn’t just stay the same all the time, right.
Shawn: No. It definitely doesn’t. Not even from day to day. Yeah, so just know that there’s much more to it than that. It’s not as simple as like, oh, well Shawn just needs to eat less and start working out more [laughing] and she’ll lose weight again.
Shawn: [laughing] Like, if it were that easy, trust me I would be doing it right now.
Meg: [laughing] She wouldn’t be going through thousands of dollars worth of testing.
Shawn: [laughing] Thank you!
Shawn: If all I had to do was just eat twelve hundred calories a day and starve myself, I would totally do it [laughing].
Shawn: No, I’m not, no, I really like food now. Yeah.
Meg: No. [laughing] You wouldn’t give up your bacon.
Shawn: You are very correct. Or my chocolate. Don’t even, don’t even think I’m giving up chocolate.
Meg: Don’t go there.
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00:45:05 – Muscle Soreness
Shawn: Okay, so we have a little bit of time. We could just answer these questions super quick.
Meg: Yeah, like they’re easy. So, one of our good friends, Emma, she’s wondering about muscle soreness. So she says, “I’m wondering how muscle soreness workout recovery can be related to nutrition and lifestyle. I feel like I have been getting so much more sore lately, but I haven’t really changed anything. I lift weights 4x a week, make sure I eat lots of carbs and proteins and fats, stretch and foam roll regularly, and still almost every workout leaves me uncomfortable. I’m realizing more and more how food is related to everything, so I was just curious to see if I’m missing something.” I like this question.
Shawn: Yeah, I like this question too. I think for me, the first place I would go is nutritional deficiencies.
Meg: Yeah, magnesium.
Shawn: Yep, I would do that.
Meg: Is my first thing I thought of.
Shawn: B vitamins. Definitely have a big role in how you moderate your soreness after a workout. So that’s really big. Also make sure you are digesting and absorbing your fats.
Meg: And protein.
Shawn: And, well, definitely. Make sure those proteins are turning into amino acids, which would be a stomach acid issue.
Shawn: If they are not, if you are not digesting your fats then that would be more so, you would feel that as potentially not feeling super energized throughout your workout. Like feeling like your muscles become easily fatigued.
Meg: Like, she’s just not recovering. That would be recovery versus.
Shawn: Right. And if that’s the case then that is a liver issue potentially. We could do some detoxification of the liver. Make sure your liver and gallbladder are responding to that need for bile. Yeah.
Meg: Yeah, like the first thing I was thinking, like, okay, are you taking a magnesium supplement because a lot of us will thrive off a magnesium supplement. There’s so many things that deplete magnesium, liking work out and just stress in general, so that would be kind of my first thing to go to. And then make sure you’re absolutely digesting the food you’re eating. Yeah, like you said make sure that stomach acid is sufficient. Include some apple cider vinegar, lemon juice.
Shawn: Mmm hmm.
Meg: Those are part of my go-tos if you don’t want to supplement with an enzyme or like an HCL tablet.
Shawn: Yeah, I’m a big fan of the Betain HCL. It’s helped a lot of my clients and myself, so I think that’s a really good way.
Meg: I find the tablets a lot more effective, personally, than just doing the lemon water or apple cider vinegar slightly diluted, but I mean, you can start wherever you feel comfortable, and if you don’t get relief from something choose the other option.
00:48:22 – Poop + coffee
Meg: Okay! And then we have one from another girl that listens to our podcast, obviously. She says, “Hi girls, I just found your podcast a couple of weeks ago and am binge listening to all the episodes while I’m stuck home with a cold.” This was sent to us a couple of weeks ago, so hopefully she’s feeling better now. She says, “You guys are awesome. I love the connection you have with each other, and I love how knowledgeable you are in terms of nutrition, health, and exercise. I apologize if you’ve answered this question in a future podcast already.” She’s only on episode number 19. “But your podcast on poop and coffee have got me thinking. I’ve tried giving up coffee before as it has a tendency to make me anxious, irritable, and I find it addictive. However, every time I tried giving it up, my bowel habits are, well, nonexistent. I love my morning coffee-induced bowel movements and just don’t get the same feeling of complete emptying when I give up coffee. Any suggestions?” This is like, seriously, one of my favorite questions. Because, you know I used to be the queen of constipation. [laughing]
Shawn: Totally! And I know how many people have the same question.
Meg: Yeah, absolutely.
Shawn: Because there’s a lot of people who rely on coffee for pooping.
Meg: And that’s like the only reason they have it.
Meg: You know, some people just literally have like a quarter cup.
Meg: Just to go.
Shawn: Basically what’s happening, though, is that you’re putting a band-aid on the situation as to why you’re constipated.
Meg: Right. Exactly. So they are so many reasons as to why you could be constipated. I used to, like on my old website I had a blog post up about this, so I should repost that on my new website.
Meg: So this podcast is aired Tuesday, the, what would that be, like the 16th or?
Shawn: The 15th.
Meg: The 15th? And so, I will post a blog post for you guys on the 17th so Thursday. That’ll be up on Thursday. About reasons why you’re constipated. Number one thing, when I was really constipated, was allergies. So gluten, grains, dairy. Once I removed dairy, my bowel movements were quite consistent, but the other thing that I had to focus on was stomach acid.
Shawn: Woooo! Oh my gosh, we’ve brought this up so many times today [laughing].
Meg: Yeah, I mean without stomach acid you can’t break down the foods that you’re eating, so basically they just sit in your stomach and ferment. So if you find that not only you’re constipated, but you’re also quite gassy, lack of stomach acid a hundred percent, I’m sure. And lack of enzymes too, so making sure that you know, you can supplement with digestive enzymes for a small period of time just to kind of like, remind your body to be producing them again.
Shawn: Absolutely. I would also add in there there’s a potential for being dehydrated if you aren’t someone that drinks water. Drink a little bit of water throughout the day. That could definitely help. Magnesium, of course, we’ve got to bring that up because that’s huge for digestive relief, or sorry for constipation relief. But really why that is, is because it allows your body to relax, and so really it’s just a sign that you are probably a more keyed up person, a more go go go type person, and you don’t relax throughout the day to give your body, your digestive system, the chance to poop, to do its work and to start those contractions to get the poop out. So the magnesium is really helpful for that solely because it calms you down.
Shawn: So if you just, you can take magnesium if that works, or just really focus on just relaxing. Taking a deep breath throughout the day. Maybe.
Meg & Shawn: Some deep breathing.
Shawn: Yeah, just really try to not spend all of your day in a sympathetic state, which is that.
Meg: Fight or flight.
Shawn: Fight or flight mode and instead get into a parasympathetic state more often, which is rest and digest mode, hence the digest, hence the poop.
Meg: Yeah, big time.
Shawn: And just a side note, I started taking, because I very much need magnesium, and I just can’t seem to find one that doesn’t make me over poop, [laughing] so I just started a magnesium spray, and if you want to try that it might be good for you. It’s called Ancient Minerals magnesium, magnesium oil is what it’s called.
Shawn: I tried it last night. I didn’t even notice, some people say that it makes you itchy or stingy or whatever. I didn’t notice a thing, so.
Meg: And I’ve had success, I was using Natural Calm for a while, and I know that’s magnesium citrate, I believe.
Shawn: Mmm hmm.
Meg: But that actually, like, pulls fluid from your bowels, so it could cause loose stools. So then I switched over to a magnesium biglycinate, and that actually doesn’t draw the fluid out from your bowels causing loose stools, and I noticed like with a teaspoon, or just you know like with the measuring spoon that they provide you with in the powdered container. Just like one scoop of that didn’t change my bowels at all, yet you know, it would help you relax and provide you with the magnesium you need to have those.
Shawn: Love it.
Meg: But I did just want to add on that, I mean, I’m really prone to, I mean, like I suffered from a mental health illness years ago, and so I’m really prone to being triggered to feel anxious from certain things. So like, coffee and me cannot do it. And so for me in the morning, if she does want to switch and kind of like help her liver and gallbladder kind of like do its thing, shifting to a dandelion root tea, that’s really good for your liver and your gallbladder. So that’s what I do in the morning, and it’s caffeine free, and it doesn’t give me the anxiety feel.
Shawn: And it still has kind of a little bitter-ish taste.
Meg: Yeah. You know, so we’re not saying you can’t have anything to drink in the morning, but if you want to take charge of your anxious feelings, I highly recommend that.
Shawn: And, just drinking a tea in the morning, a warm beverage, might be enough to stimulate that itself, just kind of that relaxation mode a little bit, to where you can still poop that morning.
Meg: For sure.
Shawn: It’s worth a try. Good questions ladies. Keep ‘em coming.
Meg: Keep ‘em coming.
Shawn: At firstname.lastname@example.org.
Meg: And if you’re a new listener, leave us a review on iTunes.
Shawn: Yeah, we’ve got some amazing reviews; I read them last night. They are so sweet. You guys are just awesome, and it, like, almost brought me to tears, I have to tell you. Because people are legitimately so nice, and really enjoying what we’re putting out and getting some good use out of it and our knowledge. And I just love it. So thank you everyone. That was super special to read.
Meg: Thank you, thank you, thank you.
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00:56:58 – What Shawn + Meg are into lately
Shawn: Can we go into a little bit of what we’re into?
Meg: Yeah. What’s up?
Shawn: Okay, so, I am into raw, organic, grass fed, cheese.
Shawn: Yeah! So.
Meg: That’s nice. Lucky you.
Shawn: I know. I tried it, um, a couple weeks ago when I was in Vail with my friend. She wrapped some up, and I was like, I’ll just try it. And totally fine, because in the past, the past two and a half years, anytime I tried dairy, which was pretty rare, I’d say once every six months or so, it would cause me to break out immediately, so I just knew that my gut was not dealing with that very well, and it wasn’t time to bring that back in. But I did this time, and I was like, whatever, I’m just going to break out, who cares. No break out, no nothing, felt totally fine, felt really good. So then I was just at my NTP workshop weekend where I was the group leader, and I have a lot of people, just a side note, a lot of those people listen to the podcast, and it’s so awesome because they kept coming up to be like, I hear your voice all the time and now I’m seeing you with your voice, and it’s weird. Like so many people said that, which was awesome. But anyway, I digress.
Meg: I love that.
Shawn: But one of the fellow group leaders brought in raw, grass fed, aged cheddar, and apparently if it’s aged a hundred a twenty days, it is lactose free.
Meg: No way.
Meg: That’s so cool.
Shawn: Yes! And she actually got it at the store, which was even more amazing. She got it at Sprout’s for anyone that lives near a Sprout’s. And her, her kids are very much, need to be lactose free, so she was like, I know, for a fact, this is lactose free. So she brought it in. It was amazing. I tried it. It was delicious. No issues. So then I go to the store and I got my own raw, organic, grass fed, aged sixty days only, but I’m assuming that means that most of the lactose is out.
Meg: Yeah, yeah.
Shawn: Some of it, I would have to assume.
Meg: Some of it.
Shawn: And I’ve been having it the past few days as a snack with some.
Meg: Your crackers?
Shawn: No, not my crackers.
Shawn: With, wrapped around some turkey, some organic turkey slices. Oh my god, it’s so good!
Meg: How fun. You should break out some pickles and crackers.
Shawn: It’s so good, I know. Well, you know what, and my, I’m sorry, this is a whole other topic I don’t need to talk about. But anyway, it is amazing, and I’m really enjoying it, and I think that honestly, because now I’ve added rice and cheese back in, were previously things.
Shawn: I could not tolerate, so I just really think that of all the crap [laughing], the not-so-great crap that has gone on in the past year for my health, I think the one good thing is that I have healed my gut.
Meg: You have.
Shawn: Like, I really think that I have. Like, my skin is so much better, my hair is so much better, my digestion, and like, I don’t have digestive issues.
Meg: That’s amazing.
Shawn: And I have had some serious digestive issues, to the point where I thought I had sibo, I thought I had candida, I thought I had all of this stuff going on, and I just really needed to heal my gut, and I finally have, and it’s taken a while. So for those of you who are working on it, know that it takes a long time. For those that need help with it, let me know because it is pretty specific. Like, it was a very diligent process. It was, there were things that I was doing every single day for a long time.
Meg: Mmm hmm. Bone broth and.
Shawn: And I’m still doing it because now it’s just habit.
Shawn: You know, just habit. I’m still doing it but now I can do so with the knowledge that I’m just maintaining that, and I can occasionally have some cheese.
Meg: Wooo! So since you’re successful with rice and cheese you should make like, rice pasta with cheese.
Shawn: Ohhh, like a cheesy rice pasta. Ohhh.
Meg: I’m serious.
Shawn: That would be so good [laughing].
Meg: You should.
Shawn: That would be amazing. I really, I just want to have a pizza. I’m just gonna, I’m gonna get the Cappello’s grain free, pre-made pizza crust.
Shawn: And then make my own toppings and add that cheese on it.
Meg: What’s the deal with everyone and pizza?
Shawn: Oh my god, I love pizza.
Meg: Like, everyone loves pizza.
Shawn: And it’s also because, literally, you can’t have any of that if you are on like a paleo/real food diet because you’re taking out all of those things. So you just can’t even have it. You don’t see it. You don’t see it. What are you into, my dear?
Meg: Um, well I don’t think I’ve said this before, but I’ve been into it before. Is like that silly Celestial Seasonings Bengal spice tea.
Shawn: You are always into teas.
Meg: I know [laughing]. It’s like, tea makes me happy.
Shawn: Tea makes you great.
Meg: I’m a very simple person.
Meg: [laughing] Like, very, very simple.
Shawn: Just give her some tea, and she’ll be happy.
Meg: Seriously. Yeah. My boyfriend took me to the mall the other day, and there was David’s Tea there, unexpectedly. I didn’t know it was in that mall, and I was freaking out, and then I was like, oh my god, this is the best day ever. So um, yeah, just give me tea, and I’m gonna be a happy person. So this Bengal spice tea, it’s, I seriously, there’s like twenty little sachets in a box.
Shawn: Mmm hmm.
Meg: And within two days I can pound through those. [laughing]
Shawn: Wow. And what brand is it? Celestial Seasonings?
Meg: Celestial Seasonings. And it has like a tiger on it, and it’s just caffeine free, obviously, and it tastes like heaven. It’s spicy. It’s yummy.
Shawn: Do you know that I live like two miles from the Celestial Seasonings factory?
Meg: Yeah, because we were gonna go.
Shawn: We were gonna go but then I was like, mmm, I don’t know.
Meg: Why would we do that?
Shawn: That seems kinda weird.
Meg: I think we went, we went kombucha.
Shawn: We went kombucha tasting instead. I now live super close to that one too. Like, I could walk.
Meg: I need to come back.
Shawn: You will. Someday. But in the meantime, we’re going to see each other in a month and a half.
Meg: So crazy. Yeah.
Shawn: So that will be awesome. And we’ll give you guys more details as we get closer. And we’ll probably record a podcast on the boat.
Meg: On the boat.
Shawn: I mean, right? At least one.
Meg: Yeah. We’re going on a boat.
Shawn: We’re going on a boat. So if you guys want to come with us on the boat [laughing], you can go to lowcarbcruiseinfo.com, I believe, and check it out.
Shawn: We’re on there. As speakers. It’s official. We’re doing it.
Meg: Yeah, the last lineup was pretty cool.
Shawn: I know. Well, I think that will do it for this episode, yeah?
Meg: Thanks for listening, and we’ll see you guys next week.
Shawn: Thanks so much for listening to this episode of The Nourished Podcast. If you like what you’re hearing, would you mind heading to iTunes and leaving us a review? We would so appreciate it, and love hearing from you. If you’d like to hear more from Meg, head to megtherhn.com. If you’d like to hear more from me, Shawn, head to well-belly.com. If you’d like to learn more about the Eat Feel Live Love Challenge, which is the program Meg and I developed together based on the four pillars of true health and happiness, please head to eatfeellivelove.com where you can find out much more information. If you have a question you would like answered on an upcoming episode of the podcast, please email us email@example.com.