Mike Mutzel – Exercise, The Belly Fat Effect, Weight Loss – Podcast #40

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In this interview with Mike Mutzel, we talk about the Belly Fat Effect which is a book he wrote that will help us learn the real secret about how your diet, intestinal health, and gut bacteria help you burn fat.Mike Mutzel In this podcast we will also talk about incretins, mTOR, and all about leptins.

We also touch upon the issue of exercising and they best time to do it for different kinds of people depending on their health situations and how to make the most of it to aid in weight loss. We also talk about the different meals of the day emphasizing on the importance of eating breakfast. We also touch upon the issue of light and how it affects our cortisol levels and circadian clock system, as well as other important information with regards to supplements and hormones affecting our body functions.

In this episode, we cover:

08:05   The Belly Fat effect

11:30   Incretins and how they improve satiety and inflammation

18:35   Exercise timing for fat loss

23:35   Why breakfast is important

01:06:06   Inexpensive ways to boost glutathione







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Since 2006, Mike Mutzel has blended his formal education, a degree in biology and graduate work in clinical nutrition, with his competitive athletic background and personal training experience to help others improve their health. He completed his graduate studies in the Applying Functional Medicine in Clinical Practice (AFMCP) program through the Institute for Functional Medicine (IFM), and he continually works with healthcare professionals as a functional medicine consultant. He regularly conducts live webinars and workshops to help healthcare professionals keep abreast of the rapid advancements in the fields of nutrition, metabolism, and immunity.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Hey, there! This is Dr. Justin Marchegiani and welcome to another awesome episode of Beyond Wellness Radio. Again, we have a great show in store for you. Before, go to BeyondWellnessRadio.com, click on the Newsletter Signup button and you can sign up for our newsletter and get show updates right in your inbox before anyone else. You can also click on the Questions button and even speak questions live, and we’ll be able to answer it on the air for you.

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Again, we have an awesome show in store. Stay tuned.

Hey, there! It’s Dr. Justin Marchegiani at Beyond Wellness Radio and I have Mike Mutzel here. Is that pronounced right, Mike?

Mike Mutzel: That’s right.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Alright, awesome! And Mike, again, we met–Mike and I just met last month in Houston at a Functional Medicine conference, and Mike has a book out called the Belly Fat Effect and he’s got a lot of awesome videos on YouTube and Facebook, and a lot of the things that Mike has talked about with fat burning and a lot of things about methylation really resonated with me and I thought it would resonate with the listeners. So we got him on this show and I’m hoping he’s gonna drop some serious brain candy here today.

Mike Mutzel: That’s the plan. Thanks so much for having me on, Dr. Justin. It’s great to be here.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Awesome, Mike! Well, what’s going on your sphere right now? Like, is there anything you’re working on that’s fresh or new that you wanna share with the audience?

Mike Mutzel: Yeah, you know. A bunch of different things. I mean, it’s, you know, spring for us here in the US and so forth and so, I think a lot of people are kind of, you know, wanting to get in shape for summer and so forth and so. I’ve been doing some webinar on some fat loss and trying to kind of reposition our mindset on how we burn fats and try to teach people about that and just in brief, you know. We’re so focused on fat burning and, you know, kind of not so much on the kind of where our fat is burning. It’s burned inside our muscle tissue, so kind of what I’ve been trying to focus, you know, kind of re-frame the thought process is, let’s focus on musculoskeletal health, like the health of our muscle because that’s the site of fat burning, instead of just focusing on burning fat and so, you know, things like adequate protein, resistance training, not just burning calories and you know, knocking it out on the treadmill and the elliptical. Like really getting into the gym and causing the muscles to be fatigued with weights and that’s really kind of the–what I’ve been focusing on and trying to, you know, kind of emphasize, just kind of getting back to basics and you know, just strength training and getting in there and you know, working out the failure and that’s by far the best “fat loss strategy”. You know, a lot of people, we can talk about kind of my back story of competitive bike racing, but I was like a skinny fat guy for a little bit.Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Mmm.

Mike Mutzel: I just trashed testosterone and, you know, my thyroid was off and cortisol was off the roof, and I wasn’t sleeping and all that. And I thought I was being healthy, you know, bike racing and training 20 hours a week, and I was very aerobically fit, but metabolically a mess. So I’m trying to prevent people from going down that path.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Very cool. And Mike, do you have a background in chemistry or biochem at all?

Mike Mutzel: Yes. So I did the pre-med undergrad at Western Washington University, so did a lot of, you know, biochemistry and cellular and molecular biology and so forth. I took the MCAT, you know, back in this was 2007 and, you know, was super excited, wanted to go to medical school, and decided that that wasn’t the best approach for me. It was kind of a serendipitous conversation when I was in Boston with–at a bar waiting for my family to come for Thanksgiving because my brother was going to school there at that time. And I was sitting next to this gentleman by himself and he was the chief medical officer of Merck Pharmaceuticals and we started talking.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Wow!

Mike Mutzel: I was just so jazzed, you know, I’m like, “Oh, my gosh! Yeah, I just took the MCAT. I’m so jazzed.” And he’s like, “You know what, medicine is changing big time. So, you know, if you are into biochemistry, you’re into the biology, you can do a lot of things medically related, but if I were to go back through, I wouldn’t go to medical school anymore.” And it just kind of like, “What?” This is the CMO of Merck, you know, chief medical officer, and, you know, he’s an MD from Harvard and all this weird stuff. And so I just kind of thought, you know. So I started asking some of my MD friends and they said, “You know what? If I was you, I wouldn’t go back. You know, things are changing.” So I’m finishing up my Master’s Degree in Nutrition actually next month in April, fly out to the University of Bridgeport to take the exam. And so, I really just decided, you know what, I’m gonna work in the nutrition industry and get a Master’s Degree and I ended up not doing the medical school route, but yeah, so that’s kinda my back story.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Got it. Very cool! So you were this skinny fat cycler a while back and you wrote this book, Belly Fat Effects, that you obviously, you know, learned about leptin and all of the hormones and how you can use exercise and all these different tools to basically shunt more of your energy to the mitochondria or more of your storage calories to the mitochondria to burn and also put on more muscle, and there’s a lot of, you know, technicality of how this works. But can you just talk about like the 20%, the 80% of you know what you can do, or how should I say it? The 20% that will get the 80% and the results. So–

Mike Mutzel: Yeah. Definitely.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Can you touch more on that?

Mike Mutzel: Great, yeah, great point. You know, so the book Belly Fat Effects has actually a lot of information about gut bacteria and so I was, you know, kinda going back just to get a focus kind of the back story. I was working in a medical office with this MD doing nutrition and personal training and so forth, and you know, just getting people on real food, you know–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Mike Mutzel: Turning out the lights at night, just kinda the simple lifestyle stuff that all your listeners practice right now, getting off gluten and allergens and eating paleo and so forth, and was getting good results and then one of the medical assistants who actually never met with me, we’d have like, you know, conversions in the hallway and so forth about tips to help her lose weight. She was morbidly obese, like 350+ lbs. So she had bariatric surgery and within weeks, she was like half the size and then became super skinny, like literally went from 350 to like 115 lbs in a very short period of time.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Wow!

Mike Mutzel: I’m like, “Oh, my, what is up with this bariatric surgery? This is incredible.” So I started doing research on that and it turns out that it’s not just, you know, the way that bariatric surgery causes weight loss. It’s not about restricting how much food people eat. It’s by changing the gut microbiome, and it changes these things called gut hormones, these incretin hormones. So that to me was just so fascinating and I started to look into the research and it turns out that there’s many ways that we can turn on these gut hormones without having to undergo bariatric surgery. Things like whey protein, pea protein, eating fiber, or eating blueberries and raspberries and color rich fruits and vegetables and so forth. So that's kinda the premise of the book, Belly Fat Effect. It’s just really focusing on gut health, you know, and again kinda the sciences area, you know, the most effective medical weight loss procedure is bariatric surgery and I'm not, you know, a fan of it. I'm not saying anyone should go out there and get the surgery, get the procedure, but if we look at the mechanism of action, we can mimic the hormonal effect naturally. So pea protein, whey protein, fiber, just eating mindfully, chewing your food, very easy way to activate these gut hormones. Eating breakfast, you know, believe it or not, breakfast eaters have suppressions of these gut hormones, have alterations in leptin. So that's kinda the back story in the book, is really focusing on gut health and that will enable us to become more efficient, better fat burners.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Very cool! And again your book can be purchased on Amazon and also can it also be purchased at bellyfateffect.com, too?

Mike Mutzel: You know, good point. I don't sell it directly there, but what I do you have on that site, bellyfateffect.com is videos, so if people are–yeah, if they’re like, you know, what is he talking about? Gut hormones. What are gut hormones? We did–there's like 3 or 4 videos on that and then also kind of a key thing in the book is the circadian clock system. So basically, you know, we have little molecular clocks inside our cells and it kinda sounds science fiction, but it's really true and so we talk about meal timing and why it’s really important to eat a lot of your calories in the morning, eat a lot of calories at night, I mean, I’m sorry, at lunch, and then and, you know, tone down at night because from our biological rhythm standpoint, our gut is really active first thing in the morning and during lunch time. So it's important that, you know, we kinda, you know, fuel our GI tract in our body with food when the digestive secretions and motility and so forth are at their highest.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Mmm. I think it's a really good point. I think a lot of people especially even the standard American diet aren’t eating foods that are fueling appetite suppression, right? They are eating all the carbohydrate, glutinous rich foods that aren't stimulating the adiponectin, Peptide YY, cholecystokinin, you know, all of those, those neurochemical feedbacks that tell the brain, “Hey, we’re full now.”

Mike Mutzel: Uh-hmm. Uh-hmm. Well, not only that, Dr. Justin, but folks are not eating mindfully, you know.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Mike Mutzel: So that’s a big thing. I mean, literally research has shown that if you don't chew your food, you don't activate these gut hormones, and so just to kinda provide some context of what these gut hormones do is they instruct insulin to be released from the pancreas and so–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yup.

Mike Mutzel: Everyone knows about insulin resistance and they hear about, like the postprandial or the post meal rise in insulin, but we don't really think like, “Well, wait. How does insulin rise?” Well, it's not just because the blood glucose is going up, it's also from the release of these hormones. They're called incretins because they help insulin be released, and when you don’t tell your brain and your gut that food’s coming in, meaning you’re not masticating–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Mike Mutzel: You’re not chewing. You’re not activating that vagal nerve then that affects the release of insulin then blood sugar goes super high and so forth. And so it's really important just, you know, obviously you eat real food, you know, it’s gluten-free and healthy fats and, you know, well gotten and so forth. That's all really important. But you also have to chew your food and be in a mindful state. Because so many people are just, you know, it's like they’re getting gas at the gas station.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Right.

Mike Mutzel: You know, they just want to refill in two minutes and then be done with it, you know.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Go into the motions.

Mike Mutzel: Exactly. So just take, take time for your food, and this is a life-long lesson I think we all need to work on, you know, because we’re all busy. We have deadlines and obligations and so forth. But if we just sit down and the science clearly shows that 42 bites per swallow–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Wow!

Mike Mutzel: Is where you wanna be.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Alright, you just seriously dropped a major knowledge bomb. I just gotta take a second to back up here and take a breath. Alright so, we’re eating, right? We’re chewing more food, right? We’re activating that vagal nerve, right? That’s activating our parasympathetic nervous system getting the enzymes, getting our HCl going, and you mentioned something about incretin? Can you touch more upon that? I didn't quite make the connection.

Mike Mutzel: Uh-hmm. So that's the name of these gut hormones.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Okay.

Mike Mutzel: So if you just Google incretin, which is I-N-C–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Incretin.

Mike Mutzel: Yeah, I-N-C-R-E-T-I-N, that’s kind of the, like when we think of sex hormones–we have estrogen–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Mike Mutzel: Testosterone, DHA, and so forth. When we think of the incretins, we have these gut hormones. They are called GLP-1. You mentioned one earlier.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Mike Mutzel: PYY.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Mike Mutzel: We have secretin. We have cholecystokinin or CCK. We have a bunch of these hormones and they are called incretins, and kind of a derivative of the word is be–derives from, you know, how they affect or augment or assist insulin in its signaling. That’s kinda where it’s derived from.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Okay, so if we don't chew our food well, what happens to incretin now?

Mike Mutzel: They're not released properly.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Not released.

Mike Mutzel: That’s–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Okay.

Mike Mutzel: Yeah, so that's bottom line. So these gut–so if you chew your food quickly or if you're under stress or if you skip breakfast, or if you just have long-lasting metabolic issues, then these gut hormones are not released properly and then so insulin–that means–let me just back up. More than 50% of insulin released is contingent upon the activity of these gut hormones. 50%, that’s a really big deal. So, say you’re pre-diabetic, you have elevated fasting glucose. You have a hemoglobin A1c or your red blood cells are being glycated from excess sugar in your blood stream. Okay, you’re trying to improve your metabolic profile, you wanna address the gut first. You know, vanadium and zinc and you know, burbur, all these things are really good.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: All that. Right.

Mike Mutzel: It's all good. It's great. It's awesome but you wanna look at the gut first, because more than 50% of insulin’s activity is contingent upon the healthy release of these gut hormones.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Alright, got it. So what you're saying is, if we don't chew our food or masticate well enough, we're not gonna stimulate the incretin and the incretin is what stimulates that glucose so we can suck that blood sugar into the cells. Is that what I'm hearing?

Mike Mutzel: Uh-hmm. Yeah, it does a lot of that but sorry to interrupt, but it also affects appetite and satiety as well.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Ahh.

Mike Mutzel: So if you don't chew your food, you're not gonna send messages to your gut that the meal is coming. And then so the message will be almost as though, you know, there's no fuel there. So that's gonna cause more craving issues and so forth. And to give you an idea, you know, kinda how effective this, it really is. All the new diabetic medications now that are coming out in the pipeline–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Mike Mutzel: Are going after these gut hormones, these incretins. Names like Byetta, Januvia, acarbose was ofthe first ones that came out in 2003.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uh-hmm.

Mike Mutzel: So, so this is where the industry's going, you know. Like metformin has been around forever.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Right.

Mike Mutzel: There’s sulfonylureas. There’s all these medications for diabetes, but the new trend is to go after these gut hormones. But the problem about the medications is they kinda, they’re challenging. They place extra stress in the pancreas. So it’s better to kinda go after these hormones naturally because we, you know, you don't wanna mess with the pancreas. I mean, people will tell you that's the worst, you know, cancer you can get because it–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Got it. Got it. So we eat this meal. We chew our food up really well. That’s gonna stimulate the incretin which will help us have a healthy insulin response which will help us suck all that nutrients into the cell and will also help signal that cascade of satiety, allowing to feel relatively satiated not awry. Is that correct? Is that what I’m hearing?

Mike Mutzel: Uh-hmm. Uh-hmm. Yeah, and it goes even–everything that you said, but goes even further. The incretins are anti-inflammatory.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Great.

Mike Mutzel: They have targets in the heart, in the brain, and so forth. So, you know, whether or not you have a metabolic issue, you can also benefit from chewing your food. Let’s just say you have an autoimmune inflammatory response.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Wow.

Mike Mutzel: Because these are very anti-inflammatory. Yeah, there’s like receptors for like GLP-1 all throughout the body, you know, in the immune system and the brain, and so forth. So really critical, you know, foundation, you know. I mean, if you’re eating gluten-free and you’re in paleo and exercising, you gotta chew your food at the bottom line.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah and I think this–I mean, I learned this from Paul Chek a long time ago, he said, “Drink your food and chew your water.” So I always tell my patients usually for the most part, chew your food up to almost an oatmeal-like consistency, so it’s almost liquid where you can slurp it right down and basically, chew your water to meaning just let your water imprint on your saliva before you swallow it.

Mike Mutzel: Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So that’s kind of a, a really, you know, I think foundational principle for any nutritionist there I’m sure.

Mike Mutzel: Yeah, it's huge.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And that's funny, Mike. I wanna just, thank you. I wanna to touch upon one thing. I remember it’s just like twelve years ago, I was in doctorate school or 10 years ago, and my roommate–we were on a plane together. We were flying out to a conference. I remember at that time I was eating a Subway sandwich.

Mike Mutzel: Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I know terrible grains, processed meat, I get it. I know, it’s terrible. But I remember eating the Subway sandwich, taking a bite out of it, and then I’m looking over to my right and my roommate is staring at me with his mouth dropped open. I go, “What?” He goes, “You ate that? You ate that–you chewed that food 3 bites and then swallowed.” And I went, “Really?” And then like from now, I’ve been like, you know, really trying to go 3 to 35 at–what was the number you said? 35 bites?

Mike Mutzel: 42.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 42! I think it's so important. I mean, I recommend just, for the most part, I think if you chew it up to that oatmeal-like consistency, you’ll probably be right around there so you don't have to be super anal. But I think that's super good advice and for anyone that's, you know, eating or trying to be mindful, kind of just have a good idea what 42 bites feels like and then make sure you're in that ballpark.

Mike Mutzel: Yeah, I think that's a good point. Just practice, you know, when you have time. Or–and the other thing, too, is just eat with family or eat–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Mike Mutzel: With your friends and try to eat with people and, I notice for me, when I’m eating by myself that's when I really, you know, I'm not. I’m just trying to–it’s like a pit stop, you know. And so, I think that for most people just–first of all, be cognizant of it. Don't beat yourself up over it like you said. I mean if, you know, you just–you’re starving and you wolf down a sandwich or some, whatever it is, gluten-free cookies. Just be mindful of it and just being aware of that is the first step, and then just say, “Okay, man, I really what–” And then evaluate, you know, why was I–why did I just wolf that down? Was I lonely? Was I really hungry? Am I mad? Was it a hard day at work and just kind of, you know, just kind of see what’s going on and then that way, you know, going forward, you can, you know, improve and progress and so forth. And so it’s, you know, progress not perfection is kinda what I like to tell people.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Progress not perfection. That's great. Really good. So on that note, because you’re just–I mean, I got you on the show here and you’re just such a really good, you know, person for hormones and all the biochems, so I’m gonna dive in a little bit deeper. Is that okay, Mike?

Mike Mutzel: For sure, let's do it!

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Alright and then if we kinda go a little too deep, I’ll kinda pull you back a little bit and break it down for the listeners just to make sure we get the big picture.

Mike Mutzel: Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So we eat this food, right? We stimulate some insulin. We have some a

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