Uncommon Causes of Mysterious Weight Gain | Podcast #283

Hello and welcome to Beyond Wellness Podcast! Today’s episode is interesting because a lot of us complain about sudden weight gain, or having no changes on weight loss at all after trying out diet plans. Dr. Justin, together with Evan Brand explains the uncommon causes of weight gain in the functional medicine world. Listen to this podcast or read the transcript below. Dr. Justin Marchegiani

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

In this episode, we cover:

01:40      Insulin

05:42      Inflammation Toxin, Metabolism

10:30      Carbohydrate-rich food vs. The Proper Nutrients

16:20      Gut Health

21:12      Mold Toxins

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Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Hey, Evan, it’s Dr. J here. How are we doing today? Man? I’m really excited for a great podcast. What’s happening? 

Evan Brand: Doing very well. We’re going to dive into a mysterious podcast. You have so many people that say, You know what? I gained 10 pounds I gained 15 pounds, I gained 20 I gained 25 30 40 50 100 pounds mysteriously. I didn’t change anything, quote, what the heck is going on? So we hope to shed some light on this because if you go down the street to your conventional doctor, and you tell him Hey, Doc, I gained 20 pounds. What’s going on? 95% of the time, my clients have reported the doctors tell them, you’re just getting old. This just happens when you get old things slow down and you gain weight, you get more tired, you get weird lumps on your skin. It’s just part of aging, and I disagree.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100% I mean, your weight is a pretty good sign of your metabolism. It’s a pretty good sign of inflammation as well. So we call Like your tummy or your gut like the inflammation meter. And of course, there are a lot of variables right common sense things like eating too much. But and then obviously exercise these play big roles right now. There’s also the macro nutrient content of the foods that you’re eating right protein, fats and carbs and we know the carbohydrate connection, right all the way back from Dr. Atkins with you know, the more processed the carbs are, the more refined they are the more starchy the more those carbs break down to glucose and fructose, the more that’s it a stimulate insulin release, and the more the insulin is secreted by your pancreas, the more chance your cells are going to be numb to it if you’re not exercising or more active. So of course insulin then opens up the the gates for glucose and fructose to be stored as fat or glycogen in the liver and then obviously fat in yourself. So of course, there’s a big insulin component. A lot of people know it, they just don’t really know how to test it or how to quantify it. So that’s kind of a common sense thing. We know people have been talking about that. For years, and how we look at that as we’ll look at fasting insulin levels, and we’ll even do a functional glucose tolerance test to see how your body handles glucose and or sugar like fructose. Okay, so we have typical table sugar which is sucrose, which is like half and half glucose fructose. We have high fructose corn syrup, which is 55 45 fructose to glucose. These are going to go into our body, they’re going to stimulate insulin release, they’re going to get stored as glycogen in our muscles or if it’s more fructose, it’s stored as glycogen in the liver. Once those sources are stored, and they’re at capacity, it’s like a rag that you’re cleaning up your kids mess on the table with it’s fully it’s full, it needs to be wrung out once it’s full, all that glucose and fructose gets stored as fat. So that’s one of the first one so we’ll look at a functional glucose tolerance. We’ll look at a fasting level of glucose. And then we’ll do a one hour, two hour three hour after a meal and we’ll see how fast Those glucose levels come down the faster they come down the less insulin spike to make it come down so ideally between 120 and 140 within an hour and ideally below 100 within two hours and definitely below 100 within three that’s kind of my frame of reference and then ideally in the sweet spot on a fasting insulin we want our insulin levels between two and five definitely below seven if we’re going to be testing our blood levels of of insulin fasting in the morning.

Evan Brand: Yeah, well said and this is not something commonly tested right? I don’t recall I mean, we’ve had hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of people send just standard bloodwork they’ve got further conventional MD and fasting insulin is rarely on there as standard protocols that correct?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100% not on there. Okay. You’ll see glucose on there but nothing else.

Evan Brand: We see yeah, maybe A1C if you had some sort of history or if you were actually confirmed diabetic but you know, I’ve looked on many people and they don’t even do A1C it’s like, I don’t know how much we run it for maybe 12 bucks, 20 bucks, I mean, A1C is cheap to add on, I just can’t believe it’s not standard procedure.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I don’t love A1C because it can definitely be a little bit higher, the more the healthier your blood cells are and the more the longer your blood cells live, they can accumulate more sugar or more glucose over time. So there is that component. So I don’t love it, but it’s nice to have. It’s nice to look at for sure. I agree.

Evan Brand: Better than not having it when you say.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yep, I agree as long as you can look at it in context of the whole big picture. And if someone has a false high, you don’t go over the top. That’s why I like my functional glucose tolerance tests with the at home blood sugar meter the best. Okay.

Evan Brand: Make sense? Yeah, that’s the low hanging fruit, right people. You could look back at even just in the 1950s. I mean, the obesity rates were nothing to what they are today. I know my grandparents grandparents were out on 300 acres and eating chickens in the backyard and they ate lard every day. None of them died of heart disease. They all lived into their 80s and 90s. They were outside working the land getting exercise and sunlight every day they were eating foods that were likely much, much richer and micronutrients and minerals because the soil wasn’t depleted. Cliphosphate and other herbicides weren’t invented yet, so they weren’t getting those low dose antibiotics killing the good diversity. It’s possible that and this is just me casually transitioning into the next point, this could be all related to an imbalance of bacteria in the gut. Why don’t we talk about dysbiosis? Because you and I look at the GI map stool test. And if we look at Firmicutes that are elevated or other bad bacteria, that can make you fat.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100%. So, of course, inflammation plays a huge role in your metabolism, right? inflammation is going to cause more cortisol to be secreted. High levels of cortisol, it’s an anti inflammatory, but it also creates a mobilization of sugar or glucose. So people think well, like I’m not eating a whole bunch of glucose or carbohydrate, you know, but you could be surging a whole bunch of cortisol because of the inflammation and that cortisol could be mobilizing glucose. And so this is why it’s important that if you are surging, a little bit more inflammation, going for a walk, doing a little bit of a cross, not across CrossFit or interval or some kind of a circuit training to kind of take that glucose and soak it up can be helpful, because the higher that level of glucose is up because inflammation, your cells getting numb to insulin. So that same thing of eating too much carbohydrates, that’s driving up insulin, that same thing can actually happen from inflammation, so independent of just the carbohydrates, so you may have carbs coming in, let’s say from gluten, right? But then you have the inflammation component, the more gluten sensitive you are that can also surge more cortisol, which can then also create more glucose than what you actually ate in the actual bread to begin with. And that creates more insulin resistance, more court, more courts. are mobilizing sugars. That makes sense.

Evan Brand: It does. Yeah. And if you’ve got the cortisol issue that’s affecting your gut barrier further, which is in allowing infections to create more inflammation so it can become a vicious cycle. What do you think about? So for me, I lost weight. When I had all the gut infections, certain people will see they gain weight and when you get rid of their infections, all of a sudden their weight normalizes in the 20 pounds, they gain go back to normal. Do you have any thoughts on why some people lose weight, some people gain weight, I think it depends on the type of infection or what?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yes, it definitely depends on the type of infection and also depends on the individual. Some people can kind of be more prone to be in an ectomorph stage or they, as they go lower calorie as they have malabsorption they drop weight, some people gain weight, it’s just I don’t really have a an exact rhyme or reason why. I tend to see over time though, people will eventually start gaining weight over time. Whether it’s gaining weight because their body fat goes up and their muscle mass goes down and their weight still stays the same, they’re still going to be losing high quality, lean muscle mass over time, you’re never going to see someone’s body fat drop, and then also have their muscle mass go operate the same. So usually there’s gonna, there’s still going to be a reduction in their high quality muscle, even if they are dropping weight, you’ll become more sarcopenia, right? Yeah, you’ll may lose a little bit of weight, but you’re also going to lose muscle mass, bone mass, etc. So in the short run, though, why you lost weight versus someone else, it’s hard to say, you know, there’s probably some genetic variations there. And that may be different from you and your 20s to you and your 50s, right, so maybe a variation of just where you’re at metabolically and as you get older, that may change. But either way, this is why we focus on body composition when weight loss is occurring, because you could have weight loss but muscle mass is dropping, right? So the body, the body composition really matters the most and you can actually gain weight. Have muscle mass drop as well. So this is it. These are important components to keep in mind muscle mass really matters the most. And it’s one of those things if you don’t use it, you lose it. So that’s why getting a little bit of move, whether it’s push ups or pull ups or some bodyweight stuff, or we talked about doing some circuit stuff, some interval stuff to kind of keep those the muscle mass. They’re really really, really important.

Evan Brand: Good answer, I definitely lost muscle. I definitely lost strength. Some people will say, Oh, I wish I had a parasite. And I can lose 20 pounds without trying. It’s like, No, you don’t trust me, that’s not a good way to lose weight at all. And the weight that you’re losing is not body fat, your body is going to hold on to that body fat. It’s not like you’re magically going to get six pack abs. If you get gut bugs, trust me. You’re losing muscle, you’re losing strength, you’re losing, like you mentioned, possibly bone density, bone strength as well. So not a good thing to have. And we know that just addressing those gut infections could be could be huge. So you mentioned the whole insulin cortisol connection, but a lot of what we would consider low hanging fruit for us because we do It all the time every day all day with people is we help them to test and fix gut infections. So if it’s an H pylori issue, causing low stomach acid, you’ve then got the malabsorption of food, the body sort of freaking out looking for nutrients. It’s like okay, I’m not getting well fed, well nourished, let’s go into fat storage mode because we’re not getting fed well, even though the quality is good, it could be a grass fed steak. If the absorption is so bad, it can still trigger that fat storage mode in the body because you’re you’re not getting the nutrients you need.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100% and again, you could have a lot of carbohydrate rich food and a lot of caloric rich food and not have the nutrients you need. So in general, you kind of already alluded to it, you need B vitamins, you need co Q10. You need alpha lipoic acid, you need carnitine you need a lot of these important nutrients to run your mitochondria to run fatty acid oxidation. So you can generate ATP, which is the cellular currency for energy in the body. So you can burn fat for fuel you need They’ll all be vitamin nutrients for your Krebs cycle, right? Or to run and generate, basically to gain all these hydrogens, right? We call it the reducing compounds FADH2, and NADH, they dump all these hydrogens into the electron transport chain. And this generates more fuel 36 to 38. ATP is going through glycolysis to the Krebs cycle to electron transport chain, right and fatty acid oxidation. So these are very important pathways to generate energy. And when you have someone who’s gaining weight, what that tells me over time, is there an energy store, not an energy burner, and we really want our body to be in this energy burning mode. Because burning means to we’re not our body isn’t allocating it to fat, right? Fat storage, so when we’re allocating it to fat, that means our body’s kind of saving it for a rainy day, which may be okay if we’re saving financially, but not necessarily if we’re saving and we want to be you know, lean and have good muscle mass.

Evan Brand: So let’s keep unpacking what you’re saying, because this is important. We’ve had people say, Well, I’m doing keto. I’m doing little to no carbs, I still can’t lose weight, what the heck is going on? And I know this isn’t the only mechanism. But let me say this one and then if you want to build on it, my thought is if I and I’ve had people who say I’m full carnivore, I’m just eating grass fed steak couple times a day or something like I have zero carbs, why am I not losing weight? Or why am I even gaining weight? My argument would be, as you mentioned, the carnitine and all the nutrients you need to fuel those cycles. If you’re not absorbing or assimilating that grass fed steak due to low HCl infections have some stored inflammation in the gut, it doesn’t matter if the if the food itself is good because you’re still not getting the nutrients you need to run those cycles.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Correct. So if we are going lower carb, we want to make sure we’re consuming for the most part on a ketogenic template, unlimited amounts of non starchy vegetables for the most part, it’s fine. You know you most people are going to be in that 20 to 30 maybe 40. net car grams per day. And you’re looking at three to four carbs nets with your green vegetables serving. So you can be eight to 10 servings a day on your green vegetables. And you’re probably going to be in that ketogenic range, so that the vegetables tend to not be a problem. And you can do organic and make sure the nutrient density is high. You can also consume things like organ meats, and obviously high quality grass fed pasture fed meats and egg yolks and all those things that are nutrient dense so we can make sure those foods are there and in the diet. Some of the hidden things could be like you mentioned having with you is having inflammation in the gut from infections not having enough stomach acid or enzymes or bile salts. So those foods overwhelm the system and may actually create more inflammation because we can’t digest them. So there also is that as an X Factor, we have to keep that in the back of our head. Most people are going to lose weight, dropping carbohydrates if their carbohydrates were previously high, just because for you know, for one molecule of glucose, there’s three or four molecules of water right behind it. Okay. So as you drop down the glucose, you drop down water weight. And so of course, you’re gonna see that as well that’s like a no brainer. So most people off the bat are going to see some level of drop. If not just the insulin dropping, then the glucose drop or the glucose dropping, then the insulin dropping, and then the insulin, dropping the water, and then the water and then the sodium. And so you’re going to see a massive reduction in water weight, okay? Now, if we’re struggling, and we’re still not seeing that weight reduction, we’re going to have to look at the gut, we’re going to have to look at the inflammation and the food, we’re going to have to look at how you’re digesting the food, is that food nutrient dense. And then if we’re looking at all those things, and we still been following this for a solid month or two, and we’re still having problems, that’s where we have to look at the adrenals aka cortisol, cortisol rhythm, that’s we’re looking at the female or male hormones, definitely more with the females females are going to struggle more because if they if they’re already in estrogen dominance, right, that’s already going to create more storage hormones. They’re like insulin right? Because estrogen is kind of a it’s kind of a growth hormone. could promote more fat growth as well. And then of course, thyroid and it could be a low thyroid, it could be a thyroid conversion issue. It could be an autoimmune issue. And a lot of people improve their thyroid going keto, because one insulin does affect our way conversion. And when you’re typically going keto, you’re not eating grains and things that could stimulate autoimmunity. So kind of like our is a lot of people out there that are like keto is the solution, keto solution, but what if you’re that person? It’s not why. And that’s where functional medicine comes in when we look at those next levels above, and then then we have to get more specific.

Evan Brand: Yeah, here’s another hidden part of this whole issue too, since you brought up estrogen is when we’re looking at someone stole panel, we’ll see the enzyme the beta glucuronidase that goes high, typically due to dysbiosis. There’s other causes as well. But when this enzyme malfunctions if your guts not working properly, now you’re going to recirculate estrogen. So even if you weren’t taking an estrogen birth control pill or anything like that, you’re like, you know what, where Why? Why would I have excess estrogen? Well, it could be what you’ve had in your body is is simply getting recirculated and that’ll cause tons of issues. And so part of our goal is we have to get that enzyme working from that enzyme functioning properly. And some people lose weight just by doing that. I mean, it could be simple as fix the gut and they lose 20 pounds. We see it every day.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 110% so the guts a really important component. And then the hormones play a really important role as well. And we already talked about how important healthy gut function is for detoxification and we have in previous podcasts, healthy gut function is important. That’s where we eliminate our stool. we eliminate a lot of toxins via heavy metals or mold via the hepatic biliary system. That’s liver, gallbladder into the gut out the stool, or liver, gut, you know, kidneys out the urine. So we there’s a lot of different ways that we eliminate now. to dive in one step above we’ll kind of get there is things like mold and mycotoxins can slow down thyroid. There’s different studies on like, the mole toxin is Elena and they actually put that mole toxin in the ears of cows. And they do that because that the cows actually convert more of their calories to fats, when they expose them to that mold toxin. So we know different molds can slow down thyroid function, they can affect T4 to T3 conversion, and they can cause more fat gain. So mold can definitely be a component in this whole thing. And it’s not the first thing I go to. It’s not the low hanging fruit. But if we do a good history, and we address the other things and we’re still at a standstill, then then it’s something that we can definitely dive into eventually, if history leads us there.

Evan Brand: Yeah, my wife and I, we were looking back at some pictures of ourselves and we both lost weight. You know, we just blamed it on my wife breastfeeding all the time, we thought Oh, she’s just you know, putting out so many calories. She’s not eating enough. We’re pretty low carb. Maybe she wasn’t eating enough. But we both had lost weight. And then once we improved our air quality, we both gained our weight back so I can confirm that your weight could go either way, just like it came with gut infections. You could lose weight when you’re exposed to to mold or you could gain weight. So it can go either way. Now, for those that have been following for a while, you may know this, but if not Dr. J is working on a thyroid book. So I want you to maybe give us a little more insight on this thyroid mechanism. You mentioned it but what specifically is going on with Is it the antibodies? It’s, that’s the problem is it just thyroid receptor sites being blocked? What’s going on when you’re saying thyroid is one of those pieces of the weight gain?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So mold toxins can affect thyroid conversion, T4 to T3 conversion, you can see an increase in reverse t three, which is our inactive thyroid hormone. It’s kind of like someone being in the parking lot, right? And instead of having an open parking spot, someone just kind of put some cones in the parking spots right? And so you can’t go park in there because the colon there. Well imagine the receptor site is the parking spot and the thyroid hormone is the car. Well if you got a whole bunch of parking spots that you wanted to park in, but now they have a cone in it. Well you can’t dock right that thyroid hormone can’t work. Right think of the cones as reverse T3, it’s blocking the receptor site for thyroid hormone your car from being able to use it. So that’s a big role in thyroid increases your metabolism, heat energy, etc. So there’s that. Also, that’s-

Evan Brand: -so that’s the mechanism that people need to know. It’s that, you know, I think of it kind of like a blank bullet, too. So you’re saying that if that cone is in the way, no matter if the blood level, so you’re saying like free t three could look okay? But if you’ve got elevated reverse t three, that free t three can’t get into the receptor, therefore the metabolism never fires, right? The sparkplug doesn’t fire, is that correct? 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. And usually with higher levels of reverse t three free t three starts to go down because you only have so much t three building block or T four building block, and it’s either going to go to t t three or reverse t three, okay? And the more reverse t three is increasing. That means less of it’s actually going to the active t three. And then the more reverse t three, it makes that active t three that’s there even less viable. Does that make sense? 

Evan Brand: It does so it’s like a diversion. I’m picturing like a garden hose with one of those little two way splitters. Bingo. And I had this, I remember you and I looked at this in my blood, I had reversed t three almost to a 30, which is really high at one point. And basically the diverter switch was flipped. And so luckily, that is now resolved, and I feel much better. 100% you’re really tired, too. I want to mention that too. Because I want people to know, okay, you’re all getting into this receptor site and all that. Well, how does that affect me on my day to day life? Well, I’ll tell you, from someone who has high reverse t three, you can feel it, you feel that you can’t push the gas pedal, it’s as if somebody put a rock under the gas pedal, and you now can’t get the pedal to the metal. So you’re lethargic, you just feel blah, your mood is not as good. Your energy’s not as good. So these are the people who are like, Oh, I know you’re telling me to go do high intensity interval training. I friggin can’t do it. And it’s because of that issue. And so sometimes you have to work backwards meaning you’ve got to resolve elevated reversed T3. You’ve got to resolve the gut issues to even get the mitochondria working enough to give you the ATP so that you’re actually have enough energy in the tank to do the exercise that you know will make you feel better. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Correct. So then you have the mold toxins right affecting thyroid conversion and activation. Also, what affects the conversion? Well, typically the enzymes the di dnase enzyme, the five prime di enzyme is coming from the liver. It’s coming from Selenium. So of course it delivers more burden, right, and glue to ion pathways and our top detoxification pathways are stressed. It makes sense why the conversion may be effective because the detoxification pathways are impaired, and then our body. Like it’s always trying to sequester things like it’s going to try to flush things out first, but then if it really has a hard time, it’ll store things in the fat second, so the body will tend to store things more on the fat side of the fence just to kind of keep it sequestered. It’s kind of like your kids running around causing a whole bunch of problems in the home. You’re probably going to say go to timeout or go to your room, right. So they’re not running around causing a ruckus. It’s kind of the same thing with your toxins in your body, hey, you know, hey, mold, I want you to go to the fat cell, right? That’s kind of what’s happening there. And of course, the more fat cell you have, the more the body wants to store they’re just like that just kind of it creates momentum in regards to fat storage and slows down the metabolism. And of course, the less Selenium included IO and you have the less the thyroids going to be supportive. And then if you have, God forbid autoimmune issues, now that autoimmunity is going to be tamped up, and it’s going to be harder for the body to modulate or downgrade that inflammatory response.

Evan Brand: And that’s because you’ve basically gone into attack mode right now you’ve got you’ve got the cop shooting the wrong bad guy, you hit your thyroid, now the thyroid could be damaged and therefore it could produce less active hormone is that right? So I mean, after years and years of thyroid damage, you literally can produce less Is that true?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Correct and and also the new Treatments needed to quell that inflammatory response is too busy dealing with the mold toxins. Does that make sense? Yep. And then kind of a very similar mechanism, again with heavy metals, very similar again with heavy metals, Mercury lead, are they going to be the big two? And then we also have like cadmium, arsenic, aluminum, those kind of ones as well. So of course, we have those kind of having a very similar mechanism, as I just mentioned, stressing out thyroid conversion, potentially affecting autoimmunity being stored in the fat cell creating stress on our metabolism.

Evan Brand: Yeah. And how does this look because people like oh heavy metals, right, it just sounds so kind of airy fairy in the air. This could be as simple as something we’ve seen this we’ve seen dozens of cases like this. Someone goes in for a routine dental procedure. They go get a major deep cleaning done while they have silver quote silver fillings which are 50-53% mercury. They go get a deep cleaning. After their deep cleaning, the person is scrubbing and scrubbing and scrubbing. They’re getting millions and millions of micro particles of mercury into the brain via inhalation. They’re swallowing it into the gut. And all of a sudden I gained 20 pounds after a dental procedure. What was the dental procedure? Oh, it was a deep cleaning, ah, bingo. And then if you if we need to, we could do a, like some sort of provocation and then run a urine heavy metal screen to look for this on paper. But if we just go in and do the binders and such to actually get rid of heavy metals, sometimes we could just confirm using an educated guess and history. All of a sudden, the heavy metal protocol we use, boom, they lost 20 pounds. It could be that simple.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, it definitely can be that simple. So we have to look at everything holistically. So I think we hit the mole toxin, we hit the heavy metals. We talked about a lot of just the general inflammation. We talked about some of the hormones, we talked about cortisol. We talked about, of course exercise, what exercise does is it’s going to help decrease insulin. It’s going to help improve insulin sensitivity, and it’s going to help me Take more space in our muscle for the glycogen to which is helpful. 

Evan Brand: Justin’s cat is in the background. She is interested in glycogen to she wants to increase her glycogen by getting fed. Yeah, the exercise. Exactly. Well, actually, it’s a boy though, isn’t it?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, Dexter.

Evan Brand: Dexter wants to get his glycogen reserves up. And so regarding the exercise piece, you see why people get this wrong. And it’s not their fault. It’s just you don’t know what you don’t know. They think okay, I just need a $10 gym membership. And I’m just going to go pound the weights and magically I’m going to lose weight, right? Because diet and exercise. Those are the two variables that everyone on Good Morning America talks about. Look at this celebrity trainer. If I just do what he does, I’m gonna friggin get in shape. And it’s like, maybe if you don’t have all these other root causes, but the problem is everyone in the modern world based on looking at thousands of toxic people. People are very toxic. It’s not that easy. anymore maybe 100 years ago, it would have been that easy. But now there’s so many other variables, we have to get out of the way so many other roadblocks.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. And everyone can at least start out, they can at least try it, they can start going with it, that’s fine. And then if they have an issue, then they at least know why we’re on their radar, we’re kind of in the back of their head. Or if they’re going through all the exercise stuff, and they’re just the exercises, speeding them up, and they’re just feeling like crap. And there’s at least a next level we can go to if we need.

Evan Brand: Well, I knew something was wrong with me when I was having three to four days of recovery times when I previously had one to two day recovery times, even though the intensity of the workout wasn’t much different. And also when I was getting diminishing returns, so I put in the work and my weight or muscle mass or strength would stay relatively the same. I thought something is not right. And then that’s when I found out I had gut infection. It’s like, okay, I’ve been getting robbed of all of my amino acids. I can’t even manufacture more muscle mass right now until these infections resolved. And then here’s the funny thing. I literally started building muscle looking more fit With less exercise than I did before here, I was working so hard and go, I worked out less. All I did was clear the infections and then boom, the muscle came on. And people might argue well, oh, and you were just overtraining. And the cortisol was eating away your muscle tissue? No, no, no, I’m talking like going from three days a week exercising 20 to 30 minutes to like, one or two days a week. And I gained more muscle that way. It was crazy.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, yep, that can definitely be a thing, you know. So I think we hit a lot of the really important things here regarding the diet component, which is foundational, and that’s going to be your 8020. You know, that’s where 20% of you know, 20% of the results are going to happen. 80% of the results are going to happen from from those 20% right there. Okay, then everything else gets a little bit more nuanced. And that’s where we layer and stack and functional medicine is a good next option. And then of course, all the different toxic things and the hormonal components in the gut and the absorption stuff that all make sense. Anything you want to add to that.

Evan Brand: The good news is you can resolve this and so if you do a good workup on somebody, you can find out exactly what going on. Now, we may not go straight away to do on the blood work, we may not go straight away to doing the cortisol. It really just depends on your history. We’re going to ask you about sleep. We’re going to ask you about stress, we’re going to ask you timeline. So when did all this happen? like we talked about the lady who got the dyno cleaning, and all of a sudden she gained weight after the dyno cleaning, or, oh, you gained 20 pounds after the divorce or you gained 20 pounds after you moved into this new house, right? So we’re going to base our lab testing investigation protocol on what gets uncovered during the history. So you can’t take that lady who got the dental cleaning, and assume that that’s your issue, right? You really want to stack all the puzzle pieces out on the table together and just see, okay, Look, she’s got some mercury here. She’s got the gut inflammation over here. She’s got the elevated cortisol at night. She had water damage in her basement, you see and then we start adding all those puzzle pieces so that way you can get her 20% better, they’re 20% better there. And then you get the person fully well, so if something is The gym is not working. You don’t feel like it’s not working. There’s probably something going on under the hood. And not always but as, as we’ve talked about, we’ve tested thousands of people. modern humans are extremely toxic from gasoline additives to paints, nail polish, hairspray, hair color, the pesticides and herbicides, the pharmaceuticals that are in tap water, I mean, there’s endocrine disrupting chemicals in the tap water if you’re not drinking filtered water, and we’re not talking just a fridge filter, that’s not sufficient. You could get fat just from drinking tap water. And people say, Oh, that’s ridiculous. No, it’s not. You can look at the studies on the Environmental Working Group and many other people have done studies on tap water across the US and across cross globally. And trace amounts we’re talking parts per million of certain drugs like antibiotics and birth control pills and things can end up in the water supply, therefore affecting hormones therefore making you fat. So it’s no surprise when you look at the amount of time toxins, it goes up like a hockey stick just like the obesity rate. Can you blame all obesity on toxins? No, but I think it’s a huge part of the puzzle.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 110% 110% Yeah, I agree, man. That’s really, really important. So I think you hit some really important components there regarding the food stuff. Inflammation toxin. I think we did a really good job kind of laying everything out. Is there anything else you want to touch upon here?

Evan Brand: I don’t think so. Unless you had any questions. I don’t have any on my side.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Well, there’s one more thing I want to highlight is people talk about eating too much or too much calories. Now, that’s always a possibility. But the problem is when you’re consuming good fats and good proteins and your blood sugar is not on a rollercoaster ride on the foods nutrient dense that you’re eating. The odds of overeating gets lower because of the fact one you have nutritional density to protein and fat signals, a lot of satiating compounds in the brain adiponectin peptide Why Why? It’s gonna simulate colon assisted kinda in a lot of these things are going to help you feel satiated and help you feel full. So it’s harder to overeat fats and proteins. I mean, is it possible, if you’re just doing scoops and scoops almond butter or straight up butter, it’s possible. But if you’re eating at a normal pace, and you’re eating, you know, vegetables and protein sources and good fats together, and you’re not chopping things down super, super fast, I recommend eating till you’re about 80% full, and then kind of giving yourself five or 10 minutes to kind of let things digest because sometimes there can be a delay, and that satiation signal, and that kind of helps your body but Okay, yeah, I’m good. You actually had enough you’ve got to give yourself that equal your 80%, not to your 100% and give it that five or 10 minutes to kind of get that feedback loop back up to the brain and be like, yeah, I’m satiated. I’m, I’m good. So that’s kind of my big strategy on the calorie side. And then of course, of course, of course, of course. eat the right foods. When you do too much carbohydrate. You don’t get The satiating signal that you get with fats and proteins. That’s why the Pringles commercials are the 90s. Everyone knows that if you’re if you’re that old, once you pop, you don’t stop, right? Or everyone has the experience of buying a pizza and eating it, you know, in back in their college days to their whole face, right? They eat the whole thing. Why? Because they like gets, yeah, the Lay’s chips. You don’t get that satiation signal or it comes way late in the game. And that’s why you can overeat carbohydrates, it’s much harder to overeat, let’s say, a dozen eggs, right? You’d be nauseous because of all of those compounds, cck, etc. that will make you feel really nauseous.

Evan Brand: You know, we ought to do we ought to do one of those. React video where you’ll see like health practitioners react to certain videos, you and I need to pull up like a bunch of commercials from the 80s and 90s and just share our thoughts on them because it’s really sickening. If you think about it like the Lay’s motto, wasn’t it a bet you can’t eat just one. It’s like, Well, duh, because you’re getting no satiation. You’re getting no leptin response from that nutrient devoid food with hydrogenated cottonseed oil on it.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And they’re also putting a lot of stuff in there to stimulate appetite. They’re putting more things to stimulate it right? You’re using a lot of sodium in there. They’re putting a lot of MSG in flavor enhancers. And then don’t even get me started with the low fat phase. They started adding me olestra and the olestra was the fat but it was digestible. So you’d get disaster pants after you consume it because your body couldn’t break it down. So you’d have the fat you taste the fat, but then it will go out your pants. It was terrible. Remember that stuff, the olestra in the late 90s.

Evan Brand: It’s absolutely horrid. I can’t believe what Americans have gone through in terms of the food supply. If you were someone who lived in a rural area, maybe you bought your food from farmers back then and you kind of avoided supermarkets. Maybe you dodged a lot of this but unfortunately a lot of people are victims to what’s happened with the food supply. So this is just more reason to connect with yourself. farmer buy your food locally, it’s going to have better soil density of nutrients, hopefully, you’re going to have less transit time. So therefore you’re not eating blueberries from Mexico that were picked way too early, and they didn’t develop in origin picked at the peak. So there’s a lot of benefits to going local with your food supply. I could go on a whole rant about that. But regarding the the satiety hormone stuff with the fluids, it’s huge. I mean, and so that message that 80% full thing goes to all those people. And this was me, I’m going to admit it. This was me, even though it was like a grain free cookie, you know, almond flour or something with coconut sugar. You know, I would eat a meal. And I’d be like, hmm, I’m not satiated enough. I need to have something sweet. It’s like I wasn’t getting that, that full signal. And once I’ve detox and mold, I don’t have that anymore. And if I just sit there to table for a couple extra minutes, all of a sudden, Oh, you know what, I am full. I don’t need anything else. And we have that report all the time from people like Oh man, I gotta go run and get my piece of chocolate. After the meal, if you If that’s you, then there’s something not right that’s not now too common response, but common doesn’t mean normal. So if you eat grass fed steak, baked sweet potato butter and cinnamon and a big old fat plate of some butter with broccoli, and you don’t feel good after that, and you’re still running for the cookie or the chocolate investigate because there’s something going on.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And it’s okay if someone is having a little bit of dark chocolate after a meal, just make sure it’s going to be lower sugar high and Macau, so then you’re not getting much carbohydrate, you’re getting a lot of nutrient nutrition in that or just choose the healthier option. Maybe it’s some low sugar coconut yogurt with some fresh blueberries in there, right? So we can always, you know, kind of look at making your fruit making it like a dessert almost right. So if you’re going to do some low sugar fruit or put some good fats in there, that way one, there’s good fats too. There’s not a whole bunch of sugar in three there’s a lot of nutrient density there so you can kind of still kind of have that little bit of satiation and that like desert feel without having Having all the side effects true and it’s in it’s totally awesome and beneficial to do that. I’m not trying to demonize it or make, make it seem like you should never enjoy yourself. That’s not what I’m saying. But just for those people that say, I have to have it, like if I don’t have my chocolate, you know, you don’t want to be around me those things. That’s when it seems like it’s an excess, but just for enjoyment. Yeah, I think you could do some awesome stuff. Yeah, I mean, if you look at like a 50%, dark chocolate or milk chocolate, right? A whole bar half a bar isn’t that 2025 grams of sugar versus you go have a dark chocolate maybe at 88% like an endangered species brand. Well, now you’re at four or five grams. So you see how there’s a that’s a 90% reduction in the sugar, just from choosing one dessert over another dessert so that it’s a total totally big difference there. So if you guys are like hey, I want something, just choose the healthier option.

Evan Brand: Yeah, absolutely and cool. The dark chocolate thing too, even if it is super high dark chocolate content and it’s not much sugar. If you’re going for that too often in your emotions. sensitive and it’s comforting you to have that then your endorphins are probably burned out. We measure that on organic acids testing. Yeah. All the time. Well ask those people Oh, yeah, like, Oh yeah, if I see a commercial, it’s not even sappy, but I cry, and I have to have dark chocolate every day. Well, then you got an endorphin problem most likely. But that’s a whole nother podcast, we’ll save that for a brain chemistry show.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly like my go to right now has been just like some really nice, clean, unsweetened coconut yogurt with a little bit of cinnamon and maybe some fresh blueberries or strawberries, something really simple, nutrient dense with some good fats. And just trying to keep that that mindset of eating till you’re about 80% full is a good indication because that 80% once you stop eating, you may notice you start getting full for the next 10 or 20 more minutes, even without eating because that signals just a little bit behind. So that’s why it’s good to have that mindset. So then you’re not eating too. You’re 100% and then you’re like, Whoa, I gotta undo the belt buckle a notch or two. It’s like Thanksgiving Day dinner, right? That’s what we want to avoid. Very, very good where it’s uncomfortable to move right, we should be able to move comfortably afterwards.

Evan Brand: Yeah, that’s a good statement. We talked about that too, with HCl production and such if you if you eat and then you need to go lay down. Something’s not right.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, exactly. Well, anything else you want to highlight Evan, I would just say that to the listeners if they want to dive in deeper, and they feel like they need a next step person, a coach to help them get to that next level, head over to EvanBrand.com. You can schedule with Evan, head over to JustinHealth.com. You can schedule with myself, Dr. J. If you want to dive in deeper, sometimes these tests are necessary. Or maybe you’ve already gone a lot of the route that we’ve talked about and you’re ready for those next things where there could be a hormone issue or a toxic stressor and you want to roll it out. That’d be your next step. Anything else? Anything you wanna add in? 

Evan Brand: No, that’s it. You did a great job. Check out the sites JustinHealth.com, EvanBrand.com. Thank you for being there. And we enjoy having you on the other end of the microphone. So stay tuned. We’ll be back next week. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Excellent. And people that are listening. If they have friends or family that could benefit please give it a share. Your comments down below we want to know what you think. Whether it’s future topic ideas or just comments on today’s show and make sure you hit the bell and noticing hit the subscribe button and the bell so you get notifications of great content coming your way. Alright Evan, you have a great day, man. Take care. 

Evan Brand: Take care. See ya. Bye. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Bye.


References:

https://justinhealth.com/

Audio Podcast:

https://justinhealth.libsyn.com/uncommon-causes-of-mysterious-weight-gain-podcast-283

Weight Loss, Lifestyle, & ARX Fit with Jim Keen | Podcast #170

In this video, come and join Dr. Justin Marchegiani and Jim Keen as they both share some of their thoughts on living a healthy lifestyle. Jim Keen from ARX Fit used to be a trumpet player for more than 5 years. His lifestyle used to be sedentary and his circadian rhythm was not being followed. Here, the two health experts will give you some tips on how to live healthier, how to exercise better, and how to enjoy a healthier body.

Learn how Jim went from being overweight to being healthy and fit, find out more about his story, and pick up some valuable info which you can use to help you kickstart the health journey of your own!

Jim Keen of ARX Fit

In this episode, we cover:

02:47   Circadian Cycles and Sleep

09:37   Importance of Dinner-Bedtime Gap time

10:45   Adaptive Resistance Exercise (ARX)

15:27   ARX Can Never Be Excessive

19:13   ARX Alpha Versus ARX Omni

 

Youtube-icon

 

 


Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Hey, guys. It’s Dr. Justin Marchegiani here. Welcome back to Beyond Wellness Radio. We got Jim Keen in the house. JIm is a fellow Austin native. Just moved down here last year from Chicago. He’s part of the ARX scene. Again, I’ve seen Jim many times over at the Bulletproof conference over at Paleo. We got a connect here soon in Austin now that you’re in town. But, welcome to the show, Jim. how are you doing?

Jim Keen: Thank you very much for having me. I feel superlative. They can’t stop me now. Two cups of coffee deep, and uh— living the dream here in Austin.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s it, man. Well, you’re interesting because you work with kind of newer cutting edge technology with the ARX, which is cool. You kind of gotten some of these diet and lifestyle stuff down. You kind of intertwined the two. But, you also have a— a personal story. I know you were up to 270-280. And, look at you now. You— you’re all stealth. And not to mention the something that we said for that moustache, too.

Jim Keen: It’s not actually the same way. It’s just the moustache’s just so sonic.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: [laughs] I love that.

Jim Keen: It’s an illusion.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Optical illusion. I love it, man. Very cool.

Jim Keen: [laughs]

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Walk us through your story. How did you get to where you’re at?

Jim Keen: So, I was a trumpet player, my first career. I have a degree in trumpet performance, of all things. And for six years, I worked on broadway shows. When they go on their first national tours, uhm— I would play in the Pit orchestras for those tours. But, I was about 270-280. In college, I got really good at drinking, uh— which was fun. But then, I got super fat, so that was no fun. And then I had just three hours of work, everyday, at night, So, my hobby during the days became how do I get not fat. So, that led me down the big rabbit hole, with which we are all accustomed to, the Primal and Paleo side and also to the Lyle McDonald down on Aragon. Count him up, macro sort of side [crosstalk] mixed together. And then I became aware of the prototypes of what would eventually become ARX. And, eventually, it just  became too much. Couldn’t handle it. I said I’m getting off the road. I took some tour money. And I bought what was a previous generation of an— an ARX machine and I put it in my apartment in Chicago, a one-bedroom apartment. I— instead of a couch, I had this ARX Omni machine, uh— which is great. Bringing people over, nowhere to sit, but we had an Omni. So that was good. Uhm— but…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Nice. [crosstalk] Nice.

Jim Keen: …anyhow, one thing led to another and then I’ve come now to— to work for the company.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Great. So, kind of walk me through kind of how the diet and lifestyle component became added, ‘cause I’m always fascinated how people kind of arrive at optimal health. And some people take different journeys. I mean, you had access to this really awesome cutting edge kind of— we’ll talk more about it, kind of isokinetic technology that really kind of shortened your workouts and allows you to hit kind of your best bank for your buck there. But how did you incorporate the diet and lifestyle component? What did the integration look like?

Jim Keen: Well, the diet and lifestyle stuff, I— it was actually the reason— one of the big reasons for my career change uh— was when I became aware essentially of Circadian cycles and…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Jim Keen: …sleep. And that was my first big “aha!” moment. It was like, I am messing up. I— The show ends at 10:30 every night, and I’m playing trumpet, bright blue blue lights and loud noises and, like, stress levels and your heart’s beating ‘cause it’s got to sound like cast album. You got to sound good all the time. And so, it’s a high stress thing at 10:30 at night. And uh— that dog ain’t gonna hunt. So that actually learning about all these type of stuff spurred my inspiration to get off the road and— and do this. And then, other than that, uh— just reading all the books we all know in love uh— and just learning the reasons behind like, plants and animals and uh— good clean water, and no blue light after dark, and all these. It all kind of come together. And then when I got off the road, I started actually putting it into practice ‘cause I didn’t know if it’ll work or not. I had read read about it. But then, you don’t know who’s blowing smoke and who’s just selling things. And— So I— Then I tried it on my own, and uh— some things didn’t work, but some things really worked. And then, in each area thereafter, I just became really enamored with those things that gave you a great return on investment. So, in food and in sleep, and uh— and in exercise, which is why I became aware of ARX and sort of joined that movement. Uh— It’s just like in this area, it gives you a great return on investment. So, let’s maximize that and really concentrate it.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Love it. So, kind of walk me through. Kind of— where was your diet before? Was it kind of a Standard American thing? And what was some of the first couple of shift that you cut? Grains out, did you just— you know, get more good proteins in, more vegetables versus other types of starch? What are that first diet shift look like? You mentioned the lifestyle shift, which is kind of a Circadian rhythm. I know Dr. Jack. You’re a big fan of him. We know the Circadian rhythm stuff. If you’re out of harmony with it, it can create Insulin resistance, just like eating too much carbs or grains can. [crosstalk] But walk me through that diet transition you made first.

Jim Keen: Well, uh— It was actually me bumping my head against the wall, about seven or eight times in a row, like Einstein’s definition of insanity. And I was just the— “Eat less” sort of idea, and I would count calories. And— So, we’ve all been there. Anybody who has uh— excess weight to get rid of has been there. So that’s where it started, and that didn’t work long-term. So, the first thing— I think this is back in 2008/2009— I’m not exactly sure when the book came up, but I— I read like Garry Taubes, and that was…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Oh, yes.

Jim Keen: …my first. It was like a good calories bad calories, and I…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Good calories.

Jim Keen: …thought, “Okay. That’s simple enough. I get that. I’m a smart guy. I can just sort of not eat carbs.” And it wasn’t really anything uh— about food quality that I was focusing on. I was just like a— the early days of carb counting, you know, like almost an Atkins style thing. Uhm— and so, that was the first thing. And that was successful. And a lot of people have initial success with that. And then, like a lot of people, your success sort of plateaus out. But to me, hanging out after that weight loss and plateauing, great success. Fantastic. Loving it. I— And so, that was the first sort of thing. And that then leads down the rabbit hole. And there’s lots of articles that are written about that, blog posts that are written about that. And uh— and so, I was absorbing all that information and then slowly took that same basis. And then, started adding in some things I was learning about food quality. Uh— so, it was that book, uh— Jonathan Bailor. Uh—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yep.

Jim Keen: The Smarter Science of Slim…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: The Calorie of Illusion—

Jim Keen: …and The Calorie Myth later.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yup.

Jim Keen: Uhm— That was great background information; a lot of research there. Uh— and the most recently, along that same line is the Jason Fung type stuff, I’ve been given too, about [crosstalk] fasting.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: About fasting. Uhmnn—

Jim Keen: Uhm— the metabolic uh— scenario that’s created in that context. So, I really like that, and that all ties in well. And then learning a lot of other stuff along the way.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Great. So, just curious. System on the clinical side here, just give a quick diet recall. What was your diet like? Just from a…

Jim Keen: Oh yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: …breakfast, lunch, and dinner perspective before. And then, just kind of walk me, where’s it right now?

Jim Keen: So, before, it was a— sort of a— my 270 days. It was sort of anything goes, [crosstalk] with the emphasis on that—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: The seafood guy, right?

Jim Keen: Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: The seafood—

Jim Keen: Yeah. It— Precisely, right. And uh— so I had no problem with fast food and deep-fried stuff, and I’ve just crushed that. And my— my torso was just this well-equipped cauldron of stomach acid that— that could handle pretty much anything. I was invincible. It was great. Uh— but I just get super fat instead. Uh— So [laughs]— So that was cool.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Love it.

Jim Keen: I had a lot of late night eating, especially when you go drinking. Got to have fourth meal, and then sometimes, fifth meal. Uh— so I just crushed that. I was really good at that. I— and so, these days, uh— I do more of a— like I mentioned before, Circadian approach of sort of a large breakfast, protein and fat, primarily. Uhm— and then, if I’m gonna do a workout later that day, maybe a little bit of carbohydrate. Uhm— and then, I have a meal right around 3:00 or 4:00 PM, on a day when I’m in control of my schedule. Uh— 3:00 or 4:00 PM, I’ll fire up another sort of smaller meal. Uhm— and I am sort of weird. I like to mix breakfast uh— for dinner. I don’t mind…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Love that.

Jim Keen: …having dinner foods at breakfast. I—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Love that.

Jim Keen: I have no problem having a burger or pork chops at breakfast.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uhmn—

Jim Keen: I’m sort of weird that way. And I have no problem having, you know, six eggs and a bunch of veggies uh— in a bowl with— with some seasonings for dinner. Uh— and my girlfriend thinks it’s weird, and I regret nothing.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I love when I do bacon and eggs for dinner, just really mix these things up. It’s just awesome.

Jim Keen: So, it— yeah, makes the moustache thicker, too.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: [laughs]

Jim Keen: More power.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I love it. [crosstalk] I like good [inaudible] of that.

Jim Keen: [inaudible] to that. Yeah. [laughs]

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Very good. So, I’m just curious, like when it’s all said and done, like, what do your macros look like? And you may not have run it through like a Chronometer or MyFitnessPal, but any idea kind of where they sit, protein, fat and carbs?

Jim Keen: Sure. So, I do kind of a— a cycling thing, ‘cause my ARX workouts— I get…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Jim Keen: …a whole week’s worth of workout in uh— just one day. So, typically, i’ll do one day a week of a very intense  ARX workout . And uh— so I usually have that to be my Carb Day. So, I’ll workout, fasted, and then, as far as macros, I might go 200 grams of carb, 140 of protein and the balance in fats. Uh— I don’t add extra to really hit uh— any macro goals these days—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And you don’t like— just like whole foods, like chicken thighs, like just real foods with real fat in it, right?

Jim Keen: Correct. Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uhmn—

Jim Keen: And uh— and then, uh— normal days, I typically keep carbs by happenstance, around 50 grams uh— or fewer.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uhhm— uhmn—

Jim Keen: Sometimes, it’s just sort of a steak and eggs. Like old-timey bodybuilder, we just like kind of eat steak and eggs, and Brussel sprouts and broccoli, and chew on some nails. And then, that’s it. Uh— It’s so— Sometimes, I won’t have any use for any sort of starches or fruits or anything like that, and I’ll go for five or 6 days like that. And then it’s time for the workout day, and I will uh— kind of skip breakfast and do the workout, fasted. Uh— tear up some muscle. Empty out the remainder, the glycogen. And then, carb up again that afternoon. Being careful to leave four or five hours between the last bite and your head hitting the pillow.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Jim Keen: ‘Cause I hate going to bed on a full stomach these days.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Okay.

Jim Keen: Uh— I like to— like to leave plenty of room there.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And do you feel like you sleep better when you up your carbs like that or do you feel like it doesn’t matter? You don’t notice any difference with diet changes and sleep.

Jim Keen: I feel like uh— it doesn’t make any difference, so long as I leave plenty of time in between dinner and bedtime. Uh— you’ll— you notice a heating up affect you. Burn through those carbs and you might start sweating a little bit more than normal. Uh— those nights, I sometimes wake up at 2:00 A.M. having covered to sheets and sweet, just ‘cause my body’s still revved up from that. Uhm— but, normally, yeah. I— I sleep pretty well, normally. I’ve put a lot of uh— thought and time and energy and money invested into my sleep thing. Like, I’ve got a Magnetic Sleep pad and a nice mattress…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Oh!

Jim Keen: …and I have a…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Nice.

Jim Keen: …blackout shades. And I keep my bedroom uh— you know, pitch-black and cool. And so— Away from— no electronics, and all that sort of stuff. So, uh— So, it would— it would take a lot to have me sleep best.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s great, man. Really cool. And then, just curious. So, you kind of get this diet stuff dialed in, anti-inflammatory, nutrient dense, low toxin kind of uh— Paleo template. And then, walk us through. How did you start incorporating the ARX? And then also, can give you just keep people— just a first— I— just a cursory overview of what the ARX is. And then, let’s dive in detail. What’s actually happening, scientifically, there.

Jim Keen: Yeah. So, ARX stands for Adaptive Resistance Exercise.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Jim Keen: And what ARX is— is a technology that we uh— invented, that we produced and that we shipped out and sell, that allows people to perform strength training— resistance training. So, it’s a tool for that purpose. And uh— I was uh— still am, a big fan of high-intensity training…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yep.

Jim Keen: …which I heard about first from a guy named Ellington Darden, that has a book—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Aah.

Jim Keen: He has a lot of books, but one of them I got a hold of. Uh— 2007 was my first introduction to that. Very quickly, I became aware of a guy named Arthur Jones. And if you…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uhmn—

Jim Keen: …remember that name, he’s the guy who invented the Nautilus…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yep.

Jim Keen: …line of equipment and also founded MedX. Uh— and so, I read everything he’s ever written. Uh— that took a little while but I had a lot of free time. I was out on the road, just living in hotels. So, I had a lot of free time to read. I— and so, I became aware of the idea of brief and intense and infrequent exercise. The modern uh— iteration of this is Body by Science, the Doug McGuff and [crosstalk] John Little book.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yup.

Jim Keen: Uh— And so, some of your listeners might be aware of Doug McGuff and Body by Science. And it sort of uhm— a revision of the high-intensity training principles. And uh— So, that was what I was trying to do. That’s the protocol. That’s the goal. I— And then I was just looking around for what’s the best tool for that purpose. And you could use a barbell to do it. You could use can use a dumbell. You can use a selectorized weight stack machine. Uh— But I became aware in 2009 of these uh— what would eventually become ARX machines. And they’re just another form of resistance, just like a weight is, but they’re a better tool for the job. And so, uhm— what it actually is, is a computer-controlled motor-driven form of resistance. What it allows you to do is uh— it provides what we call adaptive resistance. But essentially, it just means equal and opposite. However hard you push, that’s the resistance you receive in return. So, a weight is the same weight, up and down. It’s just using gravity. So, if you lift a hundred pounds, you have to lower a hundred pounds. But, the weird part is that, that means you’re underloaded for a lot of the time. And you might notice, lowering a thing is easier than lifting that thing.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yes.

Jim Keen: And a lot of people say, “Well, it’s because gravity is helping you.” But, that’s not really the reason. The reason is, you have a far greater potential for producing force in the eccentric when your muscles are lengthening. And that happens when you lower a weight. So, for instance, you can control the descent of a far heavier weight than you could have lifted in the first place. And a lot of the research these days sights 40 percent as the number. You can lower 40 percent heavier than you can lift. Now, if you’re using a weight, I would agree, you can control a forty percent heavier weight on the way down than you could have lifted in the first place. But there’s a big difference between lowering a weight, and resisting and irresistible force. So, with an ARX machine it’s moving at a constant velocity. The motor is moving it. It’s man versus machine and you’re fighting the motor. And you’re intending to not move, and then it moves you, right? So, it elicits a far greater response from your muscles. But then, even on the pushing part, it resists you now. So first, you’re resisting it, then it’s resisting you. And at all times, the resistance is perfectly matched to your strength with the weight. Here’s your strength— you’re fresh starting strength. You need to select the weight that’s down here just so you can have multiple repetitions and have a set of exercise. So, after the first rep, now your strength is here. You’re a little fatigue. After the second rep, after the third rep, after the fourth rep— and you get all the way down until your strength is equal to the weight that you selected. But it took you like a minute or two to get there. So now, that’s the failure moment. That’s where you can’t move anymore,and that’s where your set is done. But what if you can have a weight that matches your strength right away, and then matches you each step on the way down. What if you had that failure intensity right from the very first rep and the whole way through. That’s perfectly match resistance. And it’s because of that, that it’s such a potent dose of the active ingredients in strength training: mechanical tension, muscle damage and metabolic stress. So you take those three things, you concentrate them, and you get a better bank for your buck.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Imagine it probably also decreases injuries as well, because the weight’s always within what you can handle. Your threshold versus— Your threshold drops 20 percent now; the weight 20 percent over. So, imagine you must see less injuries as well.Is that true?  

Jim Keen: Precisely, right. And the main two reasons uh— like you just mentioned, the first thing is it can never be excessive. So, we’d all experience being in the weight room, and the weight that you selected is all the sudden excessive. Maybe because you picked the wrong weight, but maybe because now you’re fatigued. So, that big heavyweight you chose for your fresh  strength is now being applied to your fatigue _____[15:26] So that’s the first thing. ARX can never be excessive. It’s only responding with you.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. [crosstalk] That’s nice.

Jim Keen: But the other things is that nothing’s gonna fall on you. Gravity acts on the user a hundred percent of the time, through gravity. So, as soon as you picked up a weight, you’ve just made a commitment to lower that weight. No matter what happens. So, you feel something weird in your shoulder, your hip, your knee. Well, good luck getting that thing back to the ground ‘cause it’s trying to get to the sun [inaudible]…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Right.

Jim Keen: …and you’re in the way. Uh— but ARX can only act in response to the user, so uh— it’s very safe for that reason. Nothing’s gonna fall on you. It can never act on you unless you first act on it. And if you stop pushing, the resistance drops to zero, instantly.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Well, the cool thing I like about it is the feedback of the— the new screen— uhm— feedback, where you can see your power [crosstalk] output. And that’s phenomenal because the cool thing about it is you can go back and you can look where you started the workout. Where you ended it. You can see how you progressing from previous workouts. And then, isn’t there like a threshold where when there’s a drop from your maximum output, 20 percent or 30 percent. What’s that threshold where ar— you’re done, you’ve hit that maximal threshold decline? What’s that at?

Jim Keen: That’s uh— will be called In-Road mode. And there was…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Jim Keen: …an idea from Arthur Jones that it means fatigue.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Jim Keen: And, you can program it to end after a certain number of reps, after a certain amount of time, or— and this is for people who want to be really targeted about what is the minimum effective dose. You want to induce a very specific amount of fatigue and no more. So, what we uh— have is the In-Road mode that establishes a green work zone, and you could set it for any percentage you like. Let’s say, you set it for 50 percent. And what that means is whatever your maximum is and you look at the— the screen right in front of you— whatever your maximum is, there’s a green zone that is then established based off at that maximum. Uh— that represents 50 percent [inaudible].

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: ____[17:14]

Jim Keen: And then, each rep, you would attempt to get up into the green zone. So, as long as you get up into the green zone, you get  to do another rep. Congrats. [laughs] You do another one. Another one. When you encounter the repetition, where you can no longer get up into that green work zone. I as the trainer, I know. I’ve taken 50 percent of your strength away from you and your steak is done. We take you off the grill.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That it?

Jim Keen: And I press stop. And that’s it. ‘Cause you’re 5 percent fatigue. That’s all I want. Next movement. I am— So, that is like, “Whoah! Why eight reps? What if I need ten today? What if I only need 6 today? Or, how come two minutes? What— What if I only—” I mean, people are very dynamic. They’re not static with their recovery ability. So, if you’re having a bad day, it might be only four reps. And I’ve taken half of your strength, and you just don’t have it today. Why do any more? Why beat a dead horse? So, we can measure that, which is very cool. And the other thing you pointed out was uh— we have a couple of people on the team who were fans of Mario Kart, from back in the day.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yep.

Jim Keen: And  so ghost car in Mario Kart is where you do a run and then you race yourself in the ghost car and how you did before. So, we thought, what if you could do that in your workout instead of just lifting per sets and reps? What if I could see as I was doing the workout. What if I could visually see what I did a week ago, or six months ago, or a year ago, and compete against that guy? That’s really cool. So we have the ability now to do that, where I can pull up any workout I’ve ever done, put that up on the board, and then fight against it, in real time. Just the whether I’m improving or not.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I love that. That’s so cool. Now, you guys kind of started that with like a fixed type of device to start. It was like uh— kind of a straight push, or a straight— you know, with the— with the arms…

Jim Keen: Uhmn—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: …or with the legs, or a pull, correct? But then now you kind of moved your way to a cable so it’s a little bit more of an unstable environment. Can you talk about that transition and what’s on the horizon? I know, we interviewed Keith Norris last year, around May or so. And, you know, Keith is part of— one of— one of the founders behind ARX. So, anyone listening to this interview, take a look at Keith’s interview last year. But can you talk more about that transition, and where are you guys next?

Jim Keen: So, it started out with— and we still— the motor on this machine is still humming along from 2008. Uh— but it’s— Imagine a forklift laid on its back.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yup.

Jim Keen: And the thing just goes back and forth. [laughs] and you put a plate on it to put your feet. You put some handles on it. So, with that, you can do a leg press, and you can do a chest press in a row.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: A row.

Jim Keen: So, upper body push and pull, and legs. And that is, developed over the years, so ten years later, a bunch of R&D into what we call our Alpha, the ARX Alpha. And it’s the main sort of— when you think ARX, you think about the Alpha. It’s the maximum in efficiency. It’s a whole body workout in three moves, from the same chair. Uh— it’s for the masses. There’s zero learning curve. It’s kind of like uh— how people all drive automatics, typically, today.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Jim Keen: There’s some people who drive manuals, and that’s if you’re an enthusiast…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Jim Keen: …if you’re a car guy, or if you want to have that versatility and control. But, most people— they just want everything done for them. Thanks.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Jim Keen: Like, what’s the easiest possible thing? We even train people to drive using automatics now. So, that’s what the Alpha is. It’s all your major skeletal muscles. All the medical benefits in strength training. Uh— and off you go. Great. Very quick workout. But then, we, of course, uh— ourselves, and through a lot of people who are athletes or enthusiasts, weekend warriors or people like that who want a little bit more novelty, and wanted a couple more bells and whistles and different angles of things, so then, we created the Omni. That was the second uh— of the two machines that we offer. And the Omni’s like the manual transmission.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Jim Keen: It’s a little bit more in versatility and control. There’s— a— anything you can do from a Cable Pulling Machine, you can do from the Omni. But it still has that motorized resistance, that is the real the real driving force behind the technology. So, uh— a Pulldown with any attachment —bles of chest press, a belt squat, a deadlift— Romanian deadlift, compound, row, biceps, triceps, shoulders. It’s— it’s got all that type of stuff. Uhm— but again, for my parents, and my grandparents, uh— it’s just Alpha all the way. It’s just sit down. Sit down, Ma. Push. Pull. Alright. Go live your life. See you next week. And then, week after week Ma gets stronger. Proveable uh— in the data. So, those are sort of the difference between the two that we have now.  

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Mixed. So, one’s more of a cable type of environment. What’s happening next? Is— Can you share what the next evolution’s gonna look like?

Jim Keen: Well, at this point, we’re sort of the next evolution uh—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Is it more portable? I— I know you guys have a portable one that you give demos with. But is that where it’s moving, where it’s a little more portable?

Jim Keen: There’s uh— yeah. The demo unit is one thing. We’re sort of innovating new ways to have a smaller footprint…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uhmn—

Jim Keen: …so, we don’t need to build a big crate ship one. Uh— and we could carry it in our cars to trade shows, and we can give it to people for that purpose, for home use. So, that’s on the horizon. But really, uh— essentially, we’re a  technology company now, ‘cause we’re having all these data. We have uh— over a 115 units out in the wild. So, we’re collecting all these data in the cloud and doing nothing with it, right now. And so, that’s our next thing. How are we gonna use just all of this data we’re accumulating? Uh— We don’t know. That’s a big blank spot. We’re also uh— We have, in Beta version, adashboard people can see their data from home. Obviously, we have to build an app for that same purpose. Have all the API calls, satellites linking in space, talking to each other, and you can start to integrate your ARX data with the rest of your uhm— you know Internet of Things quantified self data. Uhm— so that’s sort of where it heads at uh— where it heads at now. And then, integrating that into larger uh— corporations and employee wellness initiatives, or in the assisted living communities around the country, and having them compare notes and share data. And, what’s the best way to help that population? And so, uhm— there’s a— a bunch of different sort of avenues that way that we’re also uh— focused on.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. The cool thing I like about it is it’s an objective workout. You can see your performance. You can— you can see trends, and it’s fast, and you’re not gonna hurt yourself. That’s kind of the big benefit of it. And you’re always pushing. You’re always pushing but you don’t have to go to the rack and grab a bigger weight and throw it up, and hope you can get it down like you said. It’s this— You’re kind of being pushed in a zone where you’re not gonna hurt yourself.

Jim Keen: Yeah, and what you’re describing is just one of the what I call barriers to entry. And for a health practitioner, it’s sort of huge that everyone sort of knows we need to be strength training. But, we’re just not gonna spend— spend a time to go to the gym in three, four or five times a week. And we’re gonna look stupid. And we don’t know what routine to do. And there’s people grunting in there and loud noises. So, you know what, I’m gonna retreat to my elliptical or retreat to my uh— treadmill or my bike. But, we need to be strength training. If it were a pharmaceutical, it will be a billions of dollars per year industry. It’s per bone density and metabolic health, and tendon and ligament…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Oh, totally.

Jim Keen: …resilience and longevity, and on and on. This big scroll like long list of benefits. And so, for a practitioner, to put even like just the Alpha in a facility and uh— and you s— you read out that l— laundry list of benefits, and then you say, “I have a non-invasive outpatient procedure that I can now do. Takes about 10 minutes.” And you come in for it once per week, and you can get all those benefits and completely avoid the bone and muscle loss associated with aging. What do you say? Like, what sort of patient is gonna say no to that? That’s like, “Shut up and take my money.”

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Jim Keen: I— And so, in that way, it’s providing strength training, real meaningful strength training to the masses who aren’t gonna do it otherwise. Democratizing strength training. It’s for the masses now. It’s just a better, easier to use tool uh— for that purpose.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Love it. So, let’s say someone— So, first off, how can someone get a hold of some of these devices? Where can they find who has them? And then, let’s say, they’re not quite there yet, or they don’t have something near them, what can people be doing at home outside of just conventional, you know, resistance training with compound movements or interval training? So, I’ll kind of give you that in two parts. Go ahead.

Jim Keen: Sure. So, the first part, uh— go to our Facebook page, facebook.com/arxfit, forward slash arxfit. Uh— you can just shoot us a message. Let us know where you are, and uh— we’ll uh— connect you with whomever is closest. Uh— and that’s probably the best way to figure out where one is near you. And uh— the other thing, that what to do if I don’t have an ARX near me? Or I don’t have a wherewithal to go use one, what do I do? Uhm— the first thing I would do is uh— go check out either the book, Body by Science.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uhmn—

Jim Keen: Uh— you get an audiobook or regular book, whatever your flavor. Uhm— read that book as just a primer. If you know nothing about strength training or even if you have a little bit of a background, still, read that book as a good primer on…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uhmn—

Jim Keen: …what to do and why. So, that’s the first thing. That’s great. And then, uhm— whatever routine you end up doing, based on what you learn in that book, I guess the important thing to realize is uh— a misconception that we fight with all the time is the idea that more is better. And people think that more is better because they imagined that the benefit, the good part happens during the workout, while they’re burning the calories, while they’re on the bike, while they’re doing the thing that’s when the good stuff is happening, and that’s just not true. The workout is the stimulus, and the adaptation that we want, the muscle development, the bones, tendons, ligaments, all that— that happens while we’re resting and recovering. So, when you go to the gym, just realize the good stuff isn’t happening in the gym, and so, more is not better. And basically, uh— for some more specifics, I would just recommend that each workout be a full body workout, just for return on investment purposes. And while it is, you can do six days a week and do the bro split. Mondays, chest, then Tuesdays…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Jim Keen: …biceps and back in Wednesdays.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally.

Jim Keen: You could do that but I— we’re talking about return on time investment, and less wear and tear on the joints. And I’d say, two times per week max. Uh— just go, like the workout should fit around your life, not the other way. So, uh— a full body routine that prioritizes multi joint movements. So, compound, multi joint movements, uh— like a leg press or a belt squat, or something similar for the lower body, uh— a horizontal push pull/pull and a vertical push/pull. That’s a good basic starter routine. Those five sort of things constitute a full body workout. And uh— my basic recommendation would be trying to again find the minimum necessary dose. The minimum effective dose uh— would be one set of each thing. And if you’re using free weights and you’re not being too hard-core about it, okay. Do a second set of each thing. That’s fine. Not gonna kill anyone. Uh— just do a couple of rounds of that. Select the weight that permits between eight and 12 repetitions. If you get to 12, make a note to increase the weight for next time. And then, slowly, you increase the weight. Increase the weight. Always keeping between that eight and 12 repetition range, and that will produce an amount of weight that’s not dangerous and hard to handle.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Jim Keen: And is not unmeaningful either. So, it’s a good sort of happy place. And even that, that’s like your 80-20. That will get you a lot of the [crosstalk] benefits in strength training. And once you have more competence, and once you’re convinced that it’s safe, then you’re into the groove of it after three or six months. Then you can branch out and do as you like. But that’s good to build a base. If you don’t have access to uh— an ARX machine.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And you like a longer contraction. So, like a seven-second kind of contraction. So, you’re really stimulating the lactic acid and the growth hormone. Is that correct?

Jim Keen: Yeah. I— [crosstalk] I’d say—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That longer contraction?

Jim Keen: Yes, so long as your eliminating momentum.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally…

Jim Keen: You’re in control…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: …and

Jim Keen: …of the weight the whole time and there’s so—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And if someone’s used to using momentum at all, you don’t need nearly as a heavy of a weight. Because when you just take away all momentum, it’s amazing how much harder that weight becomes to push.

Jim Keen: Right. Precisely right. So, if the goal is to lift some weight, you’re gonna— yet the goal is external. I’m gonna do whatever I can to use momentum and lift this weight. But, you have to reverse your perspective. The goal is in your body, and we’re just using the weight as a tool. I don’t care how heavy the weight is. I care what’s happening in the body. So, to your point exactly. You can use far lower amounts of weight, which makes it safer, which is good uh— ‘cause weights are inherently dangerous. So, yeah. Less weight and really control it uh— ‘cause the goal is in here not extra.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Right. So, some kind of uh— a push or pull something in the— in the frontal plane here, where you’re pulling down straight, uh— a hip extension, a knee extension, uh— just things like that, that really hit all those different factors there. Is that true?

Jim Keen: Yeah. The most consolidated routine you could do and have like kind of your 80-20 effect would just be like a leg press, a chest press and a row. Even if you did those three things intensely and focused, uhm— I’d maybe call it— Yes, 70-30. It’s better than sitting at home. It’s— it’s great for longevity and all the rest. You can add two more upper body movements to that uh— to make it a little more rounded out. And then, if you wanted to expand that, then you could talk about some of the single joint things like leg extension or leg curl or uhm— typically, it’s young males, but uh-huh— people will just— yeah, do some biceps, do some triceps, rows— Don’t let bros skip biceps. So—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly.

Jim Keen: …to be fired up

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly.

Jim Keen: Oh— Oh, it’s the guns every now and then. And uh— get your life together like that. And uh— but yeah. So that— so that’s what I would recommend. Have. Try to make each workout be uhm— worth your trip. Full body workout, focus. Be intense but safe.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Awesome, Jim. Is there anything else you want the listeners to know…

Jim Keen: What up—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: …that you think is important?

Jim Keen: Yeah. I— I think the uh— the— the ARX— I’ve kind of explained what we’re doing and why we’re doing it, and uh— I—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yup.

Jim Keen: Of course, all about that. I changed careers to be part of the ARX movement. [crosstalk] So—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Jim Keen: So, I’m into that. But as far as uh— a take away for your listeners- ‘cause I keep forgetting it myself, how important it is to prioritize sleep.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Mm—

Jim Keen: And no matter how much you learn about it, seemingly— at least this is me. Maybe I’m just slow. Uh— and no matter how much you learn about it, it tends to just eventually get neglected until you wake up one day, and you’re like, “Why am I eating 30 minutes before bed? And how come I’m going to bed at 11:30 after watching some movie, and how come I’m— uuh— I needed to go to bed earlier. I need to get the electronics out of the room. I need to make it pitch black in here. I need to not go out so often.” Or whatever you need to do, when you start sleeping really well, uh— everything is better. Your decision making is better. Your thinking is better. So— And you grow better from your ARX workouts. Uh— and your growth, your sleep— That’s where more is better. That’s where the good stuff happens. Whatever [crosstalk] change you want, your body is produced while you’re sleeping. So, get the hell to bed. It’s my— my main advice.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Make sense. So, we got growth hormone tapping out between 10:00 PM and  2:00 AM, so get in bed. The hours on the other side of midnight count for double, so keep that in the back of your mind. Maximize your hormone so you can grow outside your workout. Love it, Jim. Alright, man. Hey, appreciate it. arxfit.com. Checkout the Facebook page as well. And Jim, can people follow you anywhere?

Jim Keen: Uh— Well, my personal uh— Facebook page tends to get a little wild and willy. So you can follow me.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: It does. [laughs]

Jim Keen: As you know.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I know.

Jim Keen: So, you could follow me. Uh— I’m the guy who does the ARX posts for Facebook. But…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Oh, yeah.

Jim Keen: …of course, family show language. And so, uh— you can follow me at ARX’s Facebook page. It’s probably the best way to get my takes on uh— on the latest and greatest in the health and wellness, and technology uh— field.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I love when you managed it, and you have people that have silly posts and you— you kind of comment [JIm laughs] on it, and then you took a screenshot of it. Oh, that is just—

Jim Keen: I— I am not immune uh— to messing with the trolls. Uh— I— I got to avoid boredom too, you know. I— I got to— I got to keep myself busy, so that’s always a fun time.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: You should never feed the trolls. I love it, man. Very cool. Well, Jim, appreciate it.

Jim Keen: [laughs]

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Jim Keen. Uhm— phenomenal. We’ll have the show notes up, and everything below. Any last link to send the listeners at all?

Jim Keen: Just arxfit.com. We have a bunch of videos and resources there. Check us out. Reach out via personal message of the Facebook page. It’ll be me answering that message. So, if you uh— have any questions for me, personally, just shoot  ARX Fit a message and I’ll get it. I— and then uh— yeah that’s— that’s probably best. I look forward to hearing from everybody.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And if you want to troll Jim, you’ve been warned. [laughs]

Jim Keen: [laughs]

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Thank you for coming to the show, Jim. Really appreciate it. You take care.

Jim Keen: Right. Uh— thanks, Justin.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Bye.


References:

Dr. Jack Kruse

Garry Taubes

“The Smarter Science of Slim” and “The Calorie Myth,” by Jonathan Bailor

Jason Fung

High Intensity training by Ellington Darden, PhD.

“The Nautilus Exercise Principles” by Arthur Jones, founder of MedX

“Body by Science” by Dr. Doug McGuff and John R. Little

The Ghost car in Mario Kart

Keith Norris’ May 2017 Interview in Just in Health

https://www.facebook.com/arxfit/ 

Aarn Farmer – How to Lose 200 Pounds and Keep It Off – Podcast #148

Dr. Justin Marchegiani and Aarn Farmer talk about how to super charge your body to be a fat burning machine. Aarn reviews the bad habits that caused him to gain over 200 pounds of fat as well as the struggle he went through to start creating healthy sustainable habits that allowed his body to start burning his excess fat reserves. 

Creating simple new habits allowed a massive hormonal shift to occur which favored the activation of fat burning hormones and enzymes like hormone sensitive lipase and glucagon while helping to lower his high levels of insulin. 
 
Listen to this inspiring story and learn how these amazing changes occurred. 

Aarn Farmer

In this episode, we will cover: 

02:12   Bad Habits Leading to Obesity

08:57   Sugar and Weight Loss

13:30   Obesity is Malnourishment

20:12   Small Amounts of Insulin Stops Weight Loss

31:17   Estrogen is a Fat Storage Hormone

 

itune

 

 

youtuve

 

 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Hey, everyone. It’s Dr. Justin Marchegiani here. We got a live podcast today with Aaron Farmer from mysugarfreejourney.com. Aarn has lost over 200 pounds in the last few years and we’re excited to kind of pick his brain a little bit and get some of the brain candy that’s really helped him lose all his weight. So, I’m excited to have that conversation. We’re gonna dig in to the nitty-gritty, and really excited to welcome Aarn to the podcast. Aarn, [inaudible]…

Aarn Farmer: Thank you so much for having me. Thanks. Thank you, Justin. I’m excited about getting to share my story and so, I appreciate you inviting me on.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Oh, thank you. I was on your podcast a few weeks back, and great podcast; lots of great info and knowledge bombs that were dropped. And, we’re gonna…

Aarn Farmer: Absolutely.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: …drop some today, so very excited.

Aarn Farmer: Yep, absolutely.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So, first off, I like to kind of just figure out what the habits are that got you to where you were in the first place? So, you were what? Up to 400 and something pounds? Is that correct?

Aarn Farmer: Yeah. I was– I was 400 pounds, and the big issue that I had was my blood pressure. So, my blood pressure was 200/160. I was 400 pounds, and when– when I saw that blood pressure, uhm– and that wasn’t even– that was just kind of my normal blood pressure. It actually spiked even higher than that.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Wow.

Aarn Farmer: On one occasion, it was 237/180, and the [stutter] the paramedics wouldn’t treat me. They wouldn’t do anything with me. They were – they were pretty sure that I wasn’t long for this world. So, when I saw that and I realized that blood pressure had killed both of my maternal grandparents. And then since then, uhm – since all these has happened, my father passed away from a stroke…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Oh.

Aarn Farmer: …due to, you know, high blood pressure, so I’ve got a really strong family history of blood pressure and obesity and all these things going on. So, I really had to kind of come to grips with the fact that if I didn’t make change that – you know, that I just, I just wasn’t gonna be long for this world. So, I really had to figure out what to do and how to do it.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally. So, you were very motivated to make these changes. Now let me…

Aarn Farmer: Right.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: …kind of back up. So, walk me through the habits that you had in your life that caused you to put on all this weight. What was your diet like back then and your habits? Can you give me just a– I know on this show we tend to like, “Hey, what’d you eat today?” It’s kind of like a healthy thing…

Aarn Farmer: Right.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: …to model people. Now, we’re kind of going in back– back in time and saying, “What were you eating to get that big? What was your daily routine like?”

Aarn Farmer: The biggest thing – the biggest thing that really, relly got me was I love just my soft drinks. [clears throat] And uhm – I had made the switch at some point over to diet soft drinks, but as we now know that diet soft drinks don’t really do a whole lot for you in terms of keeping you from gaining weight, as opposed to regular soft drinks. Yeah, they have less sugar in it but for whatever reason, every time somebody does some science on it, you see the same weight gain, or lack of weight loss when you switch to diet. So, I had switched over diet but, man, I was drinking– you know. I don’t know if you’ve ever seen a Double Big Gulp but it’s like 60 – it’s pretty much a gallon or two liter of coke. And I had to at least one of those a day, if not two. And, you know, then have– you know, snacks, and I was a typical sugar-burner. I was eating food every three or four hours and not– could not really go very long without a snack, and eating, you know, crappy foods. My wife and I, we’re raising four kids, so we were just trying to eat the cheapest food we could possibly eat, which was on, as always, carbohydrates, you know, a lot of potatoes, a lot of rice, a lot of bread. Uhm– and uhm– the uh – but I didn’t– I thought I was eating pretty healthy. I just didn’t know what healthy food was. So, uhm– that was pretty much it. It was just the cheapest food possible and soft drinks.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Got it. I’m actually going live here on Facebook as we’re chatting, so we got Facebook here, live as well. We’re here with Aarn [crosstalk] Farmer and he has lost 200 pounds. Again, we just talked about Aarn’s habits that caused him to gain that weight in the first place. The couple of big habits were thee soft drinks, the sodas, the excessive carbohydrate, and then also the excessively cheap food. Again, we have cheap food, right? The government subsidizes 20 billion dollars per year for corn, for soy, for grains, so it tends to be a lot of grain-heavy trans-fat kind of junkie nutrient-poor foods. So that’s kind of what your daily routine was, soda, soft drinks. You were a sugar-burner constantly having to eat sugar…

Aarn Farmer: Constantly.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: …to you just pumping Insulin all day long.

Aarn Farmer: Hmmn. And that’s– you have to do that if you want to get to 400 pounds. I didn’t know that at the time, but you’ve got to keep your Insulin levels just as high as they can possibly go to get to [crosstalk] 400 pounds.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Do you know your levels were at? You know what your Insulin or blood sugar A1C [inaudible]…

Aarn Farmer: You know, here’s the– here’s the crazy thing is that we got tested every, you know, every year so that we would in and get tested, and my A1C’s– I don’t what they were but every time I get them tested, they were never at a diabetic level because my wife had Type II diabetes. So, hers were getting tested same time and she was creeping up to a diabetic range but my A1Cs were staying – I mean, they were going up but they weren’t to the point where a doctor ever told me, “Hey, you’ve got Type II diabetes.” I did have a doctor tell me that I had metabolic syndrome, which is a little bit different but my A1Cs were not terrible.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So, A1Cs weren’t bad. Do you have any fasting Insulin numbers? Any idea what those were like?

Aarn Farmer: No.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: No. Did you ever do a fasting glucose at all?

Aarn Farmer: Nope. No, I wouldn’t fast to– I wouldn’t have done that.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Got it, totally. So, then you gained these 400 pounds over what, a decade? Two decades? What did that look like?

Aarn Farmer: Let’s say, probably two decades, because I really know I was having a problem when I was about 40, but I’ve been – I’m one of those people that have been overweight my entire life.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Aarn Farmer: So, you know, I was overweight in elementary school, in junior high, in high school, in college, and I wasn’t 400 pounds but I was always, you know, one of the bigger kids in the class. So, there’s never been a time that I’ve been, you know, thin.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally. And you went from your heaviest to what? What was your heaviest? 400 and what?

Aarn Farmer: Well, [clears throat] I thought it was about 400 pounds but the truth of the matter is – is that my scale only went up to 400 pounds.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Wow.

Aarn Farmer: So, often it was just e– I was just a big old dude. In fact, uhm – let me show you something here. I keep this around as motivation.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And on your website too, at mysugarfreejourney.com, you have a pretty good before and after up there too. I saw.

Aarn Farmer: Oh, yeah. Yeah. That– I’m sorry, but that’s it. Yeah. So, I put mysugarfreejourney.com. I’ve got a picture of me of what I look like, and I was probably right around 400 pounds at that time. And, just– like I said, just a big old guy. I mean, I was just a– you know, I put a lot of weight, and we put on that much weight, you kind of– oh, I don’t know. You kind of fool yourself into thinking that it’s not that bad, and uh–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally.

Aarn Farmer: …so, you kind of, just kind of justify it, but I’m showing your– your– Oop! [clears throat]. What happened there? Tsk, urrgh! Sometimes, technology just escapes me.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, [crosstalk] no problem.

Aarn Farmer: It’s big, this guy, isn’t it?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Wow.

Aarn Farmer: That’s me, and that’s my wife. That’s me about 400 pounds. That’s my wife about a hundred pounds heavier than she is now.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: You guys lost it together. You guys lost over three hundred pounds together.

Aarn Farmer: Yeah, absolutely.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Amazing. That’s good. So, you’re over 400 pounds, and now you’re at 198 today. What was – like, what was that “Aha! Moment” for you? Was it a book that you saw? Was it a gym or podcast?

Aarn Farmer: Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Was it a doctor Atkins type of thing? What was that info? What was that flash that uhm– [inaudible]

Aarn Farmer: In the space, two or three weeks, there are three to four things that happened. Boom! Boom! Boom! Boom! Boom! Enough to make me think, “Oh! Well, maybe I should look at this.” So, the first thing that I ever read was a Yohoo – Yahoo, sorry. Yahoo health article, written by woman named Eve Schaub. He wrote a book, “A Year of No Sugar,” and she was telling me about how she went without sugar and all the things that happened because she didn’t have sugar. And the thing, she wasn’t overweight. She just did it to see what would happen. But, in it she– in the article, she mentioned that she– you might lose weight if you go without sugar. And, her book was on sell for, like, three dollars, so I happened to have three to four dollars on an Amazon gift card. I bought her book, and started to read it. And in the book, she mentioned Dr. Lustig’s videos, “Sugar: The Bitter Truth.”

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Ah. The Bitter Truth, yes.

Aarn Farmer: And I was like– and, boy! That video, he just – Dr. Lustig pretty much just read my mail and he went through everything that I have dealt with. You know, all the stuff that I was messing with in my health, and just said that sugar, sugar, sugar, you know, at the root of all this. So, I decide, “Okay. I’m done with sugar. I’m not gonna eat sugar anymore.” And uh– and uh – So, that’s actually when I started my sugar-free journey. That’s where that name came from, because I just wasn’t gonna eat sugar because I listed that as out. And, the only reason that website existed in the beginning was just so I could start [inaudible] information. You know, I was learning, and I wanted to – I wanted to have one place I could put my thought. Because it really – I mean it was a public blog but I wouldn’t tell anybody about it at the beginning. I just– it was– it was for me. And then, within probably two weeks of me watching that video, I – one of the podcast I listened to was uh– is uh– uhm– smart– Uh, gosh! Smart Passive Income with Pat Flynn.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Oh, yeah. Pat Flynn, yeah.

Aarn Farmer: And so, he had a guy on named Vennie Torturidge.  Vennie Torturidge was talking about how he was having a lot of success having people [inaudible] grains. So, I – I said, “What? You know what? I’m already not eating sugars. Not that big a deal then to cut that grains too, if it will help, it will help. And so, not eating sugars and grains was really the big [inaudible] that started me down the path. [crosstalk] And I probably lost the first hundred pounds or so. Just not eating sugars and grains.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I love that. People…

Aarn Farmer: That’s how it all started.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. People forget like grains convert to sugar. I know a lot of people and like the weight loss community are just conventional health community. They think of like sugar as like, “Oh. It’s refined sugar. It’s got a sate on the back. It’s got a sate sugar. People forget that higher carbohydrate foods like higher fructose fruits or higher starches, especially grains can convert to sugar. Also, the inflammatory effects of grains, right?

Aarn Farmer: Yep.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Grains can also drive a lot of inflammation with the gluten sensitivity which can jack up your Cortisol, too, right?

Aarn Farmer: I didn’t know anything about the inflammation part of it, but I realize very quickly how inflamed I was, but I didn’t put the two together. So, almost three to four months of just not eating grains, I was – I got in the car, and I went to pull on the seatbelt. And my wedding ring flew off of my finger, and lost it. I mean, I still [inaudible]…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Wow.

Aarn Farmer: …for hours.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: …that much weight around your extremities.

Aarn Farmer: But it wasn’t – it wasn’t the weight.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Oh.

Aarn Farmer: It was the inflammation…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Inflammation of course.

Aarn Farmer: …because I hadn’t lost a lot of weight.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Hmm. Yep.

Aarn Farmer: It wasn’t the swelling in my hands that [crosstalk] gone down to point right. The ring got shot off my finger. So, I didn’t realize the reason for that until later. Until I started learning about the inflammatory agents in that grain is. And I realized that I was so inflamed that [inaudible] swell [inaudible]. And now, you know, I look at my hands like [inaudible], like the veins in my hand and my forearm and stuff, I can never see veins or anything. My hands were just too puffy. I can’t see anything like that.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally. People forget, like think about, you know, you are back to the day maybe you got a blackeye or something. What happens, right, when that inflammatory compounds…

Aarn Farmer: Supposed of.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: …you got a less swelling, a histamine comes in that kind vasodilates, so the immune system kind of come in to fight it. Now, imagine like, little microscopic blackeyes throughout your whole body. Histamine’s higher, inflammation’s higher. You got all these Nuclear Factor KappaBbeta into Leukine cytokines. All of these things are driving inflammation. And then inflammation, right, tends to cause Cortisol to come about because Cortisol’s the natural firehose for the fire of inflammation. And Cortisol jacks up your blood sugar even more. So, you get this vicious cycle of having extra sugar in your diet to begin with, and then you were driving it higher with all of the stress hormones from all of the inflammation, right?

Aarn Farmer: Yep, and it was – it was like, you know – it’s a vicious cycle that you don’t realize that you’re in because, you know, just like the frog that’s in the pot of boiling water that heated that degree and the pot just– you know, the fog just stays in there until it boils to death. That’s what happens when you put on late, you know, pound and time, pound and time until– you know. The average American puts on one to three pounds of weight a year. You just don’t notice it when it’s that– when it’s that uhm– what would you call it? When it’s that gradual. Until one day you wake up and you’re, you know a hundred pounds overweight or two hundred pounds overweight, and you’ve realized that – that you’ve really done damage to your body.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Oh, totally. And people forget too that when you – people think well, you know, we have this issue with excess calories and excess nourishment when you’re overweight, or when you’re obese. People don’t understand that you’re actually malnourished. You have so much sugar and so much carbohydrate coming in, your body is in a storage mode, and it can’t– it’s not actually able to tap in to that fuel because Insulin, it’s kind of like, you know– When you’re the conductor on the train tracks, you push it and the train goes one way or the other. When Insulin’s high like that. It’s taking all of that sugar and it’s putting into the fat cell and storing it. And all of that fat that’s in storage– all of those millions of calories of fat can’t be used. Because once the storage track is on, a burning track can’t be on. So, then you got all of this fuel, all of this energy that can’t be used at all. It’s like being– another analogy would be it’s like being a captive at sea, and all those waters around you can’t drink it because there’s too much salt in it, and it will throw off your electrolytes.

Aarn Farmer: I didn’t realize how crazy it was to be as overweight as I was and always hungry. I didn’t put that together, that I had all this extra weight. All this extra energy– and by all rights, I should have never been hungry, but yet I couldn’t put enough food in my mouth. And then as soon as I lowered my Insulin, I don’t get hungry very much at all anymore. [clears throat]

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly. It’s amazing, so part of what you done was you modulated your hormones like it wasn’t a calorie thing with you. You modulated your hormones. You dropped Insulin, Insulin that affected Leptins, so then you actually felt satiated, right? So, you could actually take a breath and get a Kale. I feel good. Ghrelin got under checked. So, ghrelin is the stomach growling hormone. So then, your growling’s under checked. Your inflammation’s better, and then your body actually started burning fat for fuels. Is that correct?

Aarn Farmer: Yeah. So, I want to talk about this whole– the calorie idea because if there’s any one thing that I get on Twitter, I get flagged about it and when I talk to, you know, [inaudible] in our field, it really turns into an argument. And, uhm– the idea is that, “Oh. You lost weight. You lost 200 pounds because you cut back calories.” And uh – what most people have to understand is that’s just not true. What I did was, I lowered Insulin, and in the process of lowering Insulin, I eventually got around to cutting out calories because I wasn’t as hungry as much. But cutting out calories was not the cause of my weight loss. It was the effect. It was the thing that came stuck [inaudible].

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Bingo! Bingo!

Aarn Farmer: [clears throat] And so, I want to make sure that I’m very, very clear about the cause and effect of my weight loss. I didn’t pursue cutting calories. I pursued lowering my Insulin levels and repairing my Insulin resistance. And then, as soon as I did that, the calories took care of themselves. I never counted a single calorie. I couldn’t care less how many calories I eat during the day. All I want to do is make sure that do not eat foods that cause an Insulin spike or any kind of glucose load on my system. And if I’ll do that, the calories will take care of themselves.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Hundred percent. People forget this component, and some of the studies – one of the studies by Christopher Gardner back in 2006 was called the A to Z Study, where they looked at the Atkins versus the Standard American Diet versus the Ornish. One of things that was interesting was – It was ad libitum, so, the “at will”. You can eat as much as you want. And they did find that the people on the Atkins or the lower carbohydrate group did drop their calories. The difference is willpower was not a part of it. We basically upregulated these feedback loop. By dropping the Insulin resistance, we improve Leptin. Leptin’s a signal for satiation, and that part of the transfer’s lateral nucleus in the hypothalamus that tells your body you’re satiated. That then drops down ghrelin. Ghrelin is the stomach growling hormone. So, when your stomach’s not growling and you’re not having cravings, it’s amazing. You start eating the right stuff. And then you have CCK, which gets increased with protein and fat. You have Peptide YY. You’ve add a Panoctine. All of these foods, all of these neurochemicals are stimulated by you choosing the right foods, the healthy proteins and fats, and decreasing the inflammation. So, now you got this feedback loop that gives you the power– gives you the willpower back.

Aarn Farmer: yeah, and this is– a lot of times, if somebody’s doing a study where they’re comparing, you know, a low carb versus a low-fat diet uhm– like, uhm– what’s his name? Gary Taubes. He had a scientific…

 Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yes.

Aarn Farmer: …you know, thing that he did. [crosstalk] Yeah. So, they did– [crosstalk] They did a study there where they were comparing low-carb and low-fat. And– but they held calories constants. So, both groups had to eat the same number of calories.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yes.

Aarn Farmer: And then at the end there like well, you know, there’s no discernable difference. And I was like, “You know, you took out the one thing that makes a high-fat low-carb diet work, which is when you eat– you know, when you eat LCHF, you don’t have to eat it. you don’t have to eat as many carbohydrates. And so, you removed the one thing, you know that [stutter] appetite regulation that makes a low carb diet work. And once you let them go ad libitum, then you start seeing marked differences, not just in– We see simple marked differences in weight, but you see marked differences in calorie consumption. But not if you– not if you chase calorie consumption first. That’s got to be a variable that can rise and fall at will. That’s when you start seeing the difference.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Bingo! And then also, you’re body’s spitting out those ketones, right? So…

Aarn Farmer: Yes.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: …now, you’re a fat burner. So, it’s like you’re on that train track. The conductor’s kind of have a fork in the road. It can neither be a sugar-burner, which that needs. When you’re burning sugar, that means you’re not burning fat. And if you got like millions of calories of fat, and you only can basically have access to a couple hundred grams of carbohydrate at one time, so then basically, you’re relying on a very macro – small – I mean, micro percentage of your fuel and sugar, right? Because, you only can have about a teaspoon of sugar in your blood at one time. So, when you have a hundred [crosstalk] mg for [incomprehensible] health, that’s one teaspoon. Your liver can store about 65-75 grams of carbohydrate. Your muscle store about 300. The rest goes as fat. So, once you tap in to that sugar, all that fat. All of that, in your case, 200 and something pounds of fat couldn’t even be touched. So, you’re basically flipping the switch on the track. So then, you’re going down that fat-burning track versus the sugar-burning track.

Aarn Farmer: Yep. Yeah, and that’s, yeah. And that’s– that’s so– that’s so keen. It’s so crucial is that– you know, it’s the Insulin. And it just takes a– takes a– an incredibly small amount of sugar to stop weight loss. And, especially if you are morbidly obese, because you have Insulin resistance. So, at the beginning, when I was 400 pounds, 350, 300, I could eat [inaudible] food shop. And I was – I was done losing weight for the week. You know, it just made me dump so much Insulin into my system. It took me a long time. It took me a lot of discipline in my diet. But also, a lot of weight train. A lot of weight-bearing exercises to really conquer my Insulin resistance.  So, you know, when I talk to somebody’s morbidly obese, you know, I have to– I have to tell them their body does not react to carbs the way someone else’s, you know, diet. Or someone else’s body does, you know you’d see people that are doing, like a sweet potato cycling, you know, diet. That’s great if you have 20 pounds to lose. But you got 200 pounds to lose and you eat the sweet potato. You’re not gonna lose weight that way. You know, it’s just– it’s just not going to happen for you. You’ve got to conquer your Insulin resistance first, and then if you want to cycle in a sweet potato once in a while that can’t hurt anything. But you’ve to get that Insulin resistance dealt with…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally.

Aarn Farmer: …in the beginning.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And I think it’s hard because you got a lot of people online, like this higher carb people out there. I mean, let’s just say maybe Chris Kresser or other people like Paul Jaminet. They’re just like– the more leaner they kind of act the more state. They do well with, you know, let’s say a moderate. Kresser’s probably a moderate carb guy, but there are guys like Dean Ornish, or uhm– Nad Yadkin, a guy up in Northern California there. It’ll come to me. But these guys are starch guys. They’ve a lot more Predikins. One of those is well – one more guy. [crosstalk] One more…

Aarn Farmer: Hey, I just watched him on that. What the Health podcast…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yes! He was on What the Health. Exactly. I know that he’s clinic’s up at Northern California there. It’ll come to me one second. But these guys are big on starch, like starch is like an essential nutrient for these guys. But when you were Insulin resistant, that means your cells are numb to Insulin, so the amount of Insulin that has to be produced to basically get that sugar into the cell is so much more. Now, I’ll go back to that A to Z study. One thing that Christopher Gardner found in that study, I think, that was profound. He found that the groups that had less than seven units of Insulin lost weight. Whether they were low-carb or low-fat. Now that was profound to me, because the more Insulin sensitive you were, it didn’t necessarily matter what diet you did, right? As long as the calories dropped. Now, the crazy thing was, the group that had the higher levels of Insulin, they only lost the weight when they cut the carbohydrate. So, that’s the profound thing is that when you get a lot of people that are giving advice about diet. And they’re more ectomorphic or more Insulin-sensitive. They may not have the empathy to understand what the Insulin-resistant folks are going through, so I totally get it and I’m kind of on that fence. I do much better with the LCHF or low-carb high-fat kind of moderate protein steak as well. I get that.

Aarn Farmer: And when you– ‘cause I– the [stutter] the big kind of thing to say in the health world is that diet is a– is personally like– You know, everything can be, you know, personalized in what works for this person might not work for that person. And I get what they’re saying in there, but what– the part of the equation that they usually leave out is that the – the one variable [inaudible] Without fail, the one variable that you need to look at first and foremost is Insulin resistance. And once you– once you can determine the level of Insulin resistance, you can– you can figure out what diet will be working– you know, good for them. If someone is Insulin-sensitive, they can go like, you say, they didn’t do almost anything to lose weight. When someone is really, really Insulin-resistant, you’ve got to cut carbs because there’s no other way. That’s what uh– Doctor [inaudible]. He did the– Oh. He just passed away. I can’t think of his name. But he did the uhm– The Insulin Resistance Studies, where he did like a five-hour glucose monitor test, and he put them in four-five different categories, depending on uhm– depending on how Insulin resistant they were.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Aarn Farmer: So, there is a– I forget his name. It’ll come to me, just– but there is a mechanism to determine how Insulin-resistant someone is. And if you can do that test and determine that you– that is the [inaudible] that you can look at to determine which diet is good for you. Or, you can skip all that and just go– just go, you know, low-carb high-fat, and that’ll work for almost– almost everyone. i haven’t really found anyone that it doesn’t work for.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally. My wife is pregnant right now. We’re having our first child then next month but we would do functional glucose tolerance testing with her and we’d see how she respond after our meal. But you know, she would be – the goal would be to both be below 120 within two hours. And ideally – ideally, a hundred within two hours but below 120 within two hours in the blood sugar meter. And we should add a little bit of starch in there. It would definitely linger up. Or if she add a little bit of starch but she went for a 30-minute walk after dinner, the blood sugar dropped better then as well. So, we noticed that if she added a little bit of starch, she needed a little bit of walk. And if she wasn’t walking, she’d be really careful with the carbohydrates. So, we could see that with the blood sugar monitoring, which is great.

Aarn Farmer: And, you know, just blood sugar’s a fuel. You know, if it’s in your blood, you’ve got to use it to store it. So, if you give that – that fuel something to do, go for a walk, lift something heavy. You know, do some kind of physical activity. You’re gonna burn off that blood sugar and then get to the point where you are burning fat again.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly. Hundred percent. And the starch guy I was thinking, that was Dr. McDougall. McDougall was…

Aarn Farmer: McDougall, that’s exactly right.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yep, McDougall. Now, the big thing too is – alright, great. So, you lose all this fat. Now, you also got to put muscle on, right? Because, when you’re Insulin-resistant, it’s also hard to put muscle on because your body is in such a stressed-out state, it’s putting on all this fat. It’s gonna also have a hard time putting on muscles. So, a lot of people wo gained fat can also be kind of Sarcopenic, unless they’re doing a lot of lifting and such too. So, getting the lifting going’s important because lifting increases Insulin sensitivity. It increases the amount of GLUT4 receptors, on– in your the body. And GLUT4 helps grab sugar or glucose and pull it in the muscle to be burned. [crosstalk] So, imagine your kid puts a, you know, makes a huge mess on the table. Imagine you have a small little sponge this big or this huge big sponge that you wash your car with, right? The huge [crosstalk] big sponge got to sop up that mess like that. Think of that’s what muscle is for your blood sugar. So, I’m just curious. What’s your take on that and what did you do afterwards to help increase muscle mass. And– and would you notice because of it?

Aarn Farmer: Well, definitely, the muscle mass went up. In fact, the– I was pretty happy, so I do [inaudible] the exercise. I used to do like really heavy lifting, like do strong lifts and everything.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Aarn Farmer: And I just – I got to the point where I was hurting myself a little bit. I thought, “I don’t want to do this anymore.” And, uhm– so, I do – I’ll ride my bike, at least half an hour a day. I walk my dog, and she’s a [inaudible] though. I walk her, you know, for about a half an hour a day. It’s about a mile walk. And then, the weightlifting exercise I do is kettlebell because I can just go grab my kettlebell and stand in my living room and pop that out in 20 or 30 minutes. And it works out my legs. It works out my back. It works out my butt. It works out my arms, my shoulders. And it’s just one motion that does a bunch of different things, [crosstalk] which actually…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Love kettlebell. It’s so great.

Aarn Farmer: …because I don’t…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: One thing, It’s awesome.

Aarn Farmer: I don’t want to spend a lot of time doing it, but it does. So, what I’ve noticed was that it was the weight-bearing exercise, more than anything else. It was the weight-bearing exercise that allowed me to really break my Insulin resistance. Not that it’s perfect but, boy, it’s a heck of a lot better now than it was at 400 pounds. In fact, I remember the day I was probably about 230? 230 or 240 pounds or so. We went out to eat and I had some chips and sauce at a little Mexican restaurant. Cheese, a little bit. And so, I expected to not be able to lose weight for, you know, five or six days, usually what it was. And, two days after I had those chips, I was back down to losing weight. And I really, really celebrated that day because that’s when I realize that my Insulin resistance had to reduce, you know, a lot. And the muscle training I was doing was getting me to the point where I was able to eat– not that I really want to eat carbs, but if I did eat carbs, they had some place to go and something to do in my body.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And I’m a big fan. If you’re gonna cheat a little bit, try doing a little bit of resistance training or burst training before. It’s like, ring me off that sponge, and now you can have – you can soak it up a little better. So, I like that. Now, when you were kind of on that journey, did you see any other issues with your thyroid, with any other metabolic issues that you noticed that you had to address as well?

Aarn Farmer: No. My wife had some thyroid issues, and uhm – so we’ve had to – we’ve had to keep that looked at and really kind of monitor closely. Elrest– I don’t know if you’re familiar with her, but she wrote a book, The [inaudible] Solution, I believe is the name of it. And I actually got her on my podcast and kind of grilled her [laughs]. That’s what stuff do to her. She was very, very helpful about some things that we need to do for Diane. And I tell you one thing that might be– your listeners might not– might not know. I guess that’s what I’m trying to say.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Aarn Farmer: Is one of the– one of the things that you can do for thyroid health is, believe it or not, it’s to throw away Morton salt, and switch on to a really high-quality seabed salt, something that has Iodine in it and something that has Potassium chloride and not– where it’s not just Sodium. You’ve actually got these other trace minerals…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Other minerals in there.

Aarn Farmer: It was when we switched from Morton’s over to this real salt, and Himalayan uh – Pink Himalayan salt that we started seeing a little bit of movement in her thyroid. And then we did a couple test to up her – or change her thyroid medicine. I forget what the changes were but that was the only thing that I saw that had to change. But in my own health, no man. I was textbook, man. My triglycerides dropped like a rock. My HTL went up. My LDL went down. My blood pressure went down, you know, 50 points. You know, it was pretty much every good thing that you can think of, you know, to happen to me happened to me. I was predictable. Now, I’m a guy, so you know, it was– guys are a little bit, I think– I have more experience with this, but I think guys are– usually have an easier time losing weight.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Aarn Farmer: Because we don’t have, you know, we don’t have this many hormonal things going on.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Estrogen kind of teams up with Insulin, right? It’s kind of a fat storage hormone as well, where guys have ten times more testosterone. So, that kind of drives more of the muscle growth, which then drives the fats out. Women had this extra kind of variable with estrogen that definitely compacts and makes the Insulin worse for sure.

Aarn Farmer: Yeah, and so, there’s a lot more going on with women than men, so– you know, I’m very sensitive to that too, because, you know, I’d say, hormonally, women are, you know, swiss watches and mini bricks. There’s just not as many moving parts in men that you have to deal with, you know, as compared to women.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally. That makes sense. I see that all the time. I’ve primarily treat women, so I get that. Now, walk me through like the biggest, like the three biggest changes. So, you made this, you know, this change. You saw Dr. Ludwig’s – or Dr. Lustig’s video…

Aarn Farmer: Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: …Sugar: The Bitter, yeah. Dr. Lutwig is another doctor over at Harvard there, so their kind of two of the same. But you mentioned that you saw this video, “Sugar: The Bitter Truth.” Great video to watch. We’ll put it in the show notes. What were the changes outside of cutting some of the carbohydrate and glucose and grains out? What other three changes that you made that really made a difference. You mentioned the sea salt also helped too. What else?

Aarn Farmer: So, I started paying attention to what I was eating because I – what I mean is – is that because I wasn’t eating as much, I need to make sure that what I was eating was the highest quality food that I could afford. So, you know, like when I would eat bacon, I would try to get a Nitrate-free and [crosstalk] sugar-free bacon.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Aarn Farmer: Yeah, Pasteur-fed bacon.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Aarn Farmer: …when I was eating a beef, I was doing my bet to get either grass-fed, or if could afford it, grass-fed and grass-finished. If I, you know– if I could – if I could do that. Uhm– my– I’m really lucky that my next door neighbor, like literally, my next door neighbor sells uh– sells uh– pasteuri– [crosstalk] bad eggs as one tries to say.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Aarn Farmer: So, he sells those for five bucks a dozen.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Love it.

Aarn Farmer: So, I can get high-quality eggs pretty much everytime that I want.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Great deal.

Aarn Farmer: Uhm– so, told you about salt. So, I really paid attention to the uhm– to my uh – I really paid attention to the quality of food I was putting into not just my body but my wife’s body too. I want to make sure that we were getting the most bang for our buck. I started taking Magnesium. I realized that I was Magnesium-deficient. Uhm – and I started taking a very high-quality Magnesium, which…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Makes sense.

Aarn Farmer: I – you know, I was really surprised at uhm – at the effect the Magnesium had on me, because it was – It was when I started taking Magnesium that I started to see the biggest drops in my blood pressure, because, you know, Magnesium just relaxes you, relaxes your muscles, relaxes your blood vessels. It just – it just relaxes you. And uh – so when I started taking that Magnesium, that was a big factor in my blood pressure dropping. In fact, I think that was a big factor. And why it was so high for so long is…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally.

Aarn Farmer: …because I was eating such crappy food that I was – I was probably, totally deficient in Magnesium. And uh – so that I was glad that – I was glad that I found it. I just got to stumble, you know, on that. And uhm – and then the other thing was just keeping my fats up, you know, I– [stutter] I have focused on fats as the most important part of my diet. I’ve made sure that fat was, you know, I looked at the fat first before I started looking at the other parts of – of you know, of any particular meal that I was eating, and made sure that I was getting enough fat and made sure that at least 60 percent of my diet was fat. So, no carbs, 60 percent of it are [inaudible]…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Then a lot of good healthy [incomprehensible], right?

Aarn Farmer: …carbs. And all of my carbs are complex. But yeah. Monounsaturated fat with olive oil, butter, lots of animal fat, and then, you know, green leafy vegetables and uh–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Aarn Farmer: [inaudible]

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Right on. And, any opinion on this coconut kind of stuff, let’s just say, hysteria that’s coming out of the American Heart Association? What do you think about that?

Aarn Farmer: Johnny Sears had a uh – I think that’s his name he had a great video. I don’t know if you saw it.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Aarn Farmer: But it is so good, where he had said, “You know, the American [crosstalk] Dietary Association is American, and guess what America doesn’t grow. America doesn’t really grow coconuts. So, there’s no financial incentive to incentivize people to eat coconuts. If you’re an American dietetics so she is because coconuts are an important food. But, guess what America grows a ton of? [crosstalk] It grows a ton of soy bean, weed, corn and there’s a ton of incentive to incentivize people to eat canola oil and, you know, to eat these polyunsaturated fats and corn oil, and cottonseed oil. And that’s, you know, that’s something that we, as Americans, we grow on abundant – in abundance. And, I think it’s really disingenuous, and that really used to be a ricketing with the screw, because the – they’re giving out – I mean, you could – you could forgive them in the beginning because, you know, some of this – there’s a lot of bad information out there. But, you know, were 50 years down the road. I mean, we’ve – Tina – new titles books has been out for a decade now, almost.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Aarn Farmer: There’s really no excuse to not have the science. And if that’s your field, if that’s what you’re all about – is fat and dangers of fat, you need to have kept up with the science. You need to kept up with studies and realize that, you know, the science has moved on. It has left your really terrible advice behind. So, I’m…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Aarn Farmer: …pro coconut oil.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Oh, I am too. I mean, saturated fats tend to be very stable. I’m more concerned about a lot of the refined either, you know, unste – refined polyunsaturated fats, especially the refined omega-6 ones that come from the vegetable oils that tend to be extracted in ways that have lots of heat and come in a very unnatural way that, basically, destroys the fat. And number two, if you look at coconut oil, right? If you look at saturated fat, when you take, it– it may increase your cholesterol a tiny bit if it does. But it will also increase your HTL and decrease your triglycerides. So, you see the improvement in your ratio many times. Your HTL to triglyceride ratio tends to get better less than to or closer to one-to-one. And a lot of the older studies that look at the coconut oil and saturated fat. They don’t really factor out the trans-fats, [crosstalk] so they kind of lump in trans-fat with saturated fat. And once you control for those variables, you take out those confounding variables, you see a massive improvement. And actually, there goes 2010 or 2011, I met Dr. Robert Lustig at [crosstalk] American Heart Association event. It was a fundraiser. I went to it. But again, there’s a lot of funding in and around in the American Heart Association that, you know, may create some conflicts of interest with a lot of processed food companies in United States. So, we got to be careful. We got to look at the confounding variables. I understand people that are in the documentary What the Health, and they talk so poorly about animal products. They don’t really differentiate between CAFO feedlot types of, let’s say, animals and the good grass-fed beef or the Pasteur-fed chickens. They kind of lump it in into all and one big bucket. And we know we kind of have to differentiate that, right?

Aarn Farmer: have you – have you ever had The Vegetarian Myth?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Is that by Lierre Keith?

Aarn Farmer: Lierre Keith, yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yes…

Aarn Farmer: Fascinatedly, but I’m actually reading it right now.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: …a lot of interviews where she’s broken down a lot of the key concepts and points. But yeah, I’m familiar with Lierre’s work.

Aarn Farmer: So, in the books she – it’s [stutters] even more militant, I guess, is probably…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Aarn Farmer: …the best word of her opinions. And you know, she makes a very, very compelling point that Veganism is killing the planet. That once you start, you know, basically destroying huge slots of the American heartland to plant corn, and you know, these big monocrops. That you are condemning that area to die, and that’s, you know, she makes the point…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally.

Aarn Farmer: …that, you know, the Middle East used to be a garden. You know, there were seeders in Lebanon. There were, you know, it was the garden of – it was the cradle of civilization, and look at it now.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally.

Aarn Farmer: It’s because they– they over-farmed, they over– they, you know. They overconsumed the resources of land and now it’s just a, you know, it’s just a desert. You know, there’s nothing anywhere. And that’s what we’re endangered doing to our self. And so, you know that– what the – that What the Health documentary. The guy that uh – I forget which one. Which, well, Vegan person said it but the – it said that, you know, sugar has no bearing on diabetes, that diabetes is caused by dietary fat. I’m like, “What?” You know, where are you getting this? There’s no, there’s no scientific basis for this…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: What’s the mechanism–

Aarn Farmer: …at all

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: What’s the mechanism? We know the diagnosis of diabetes has to do with your blood sugar being – blood sugar being over a 126 milligrams/deciliter above, and one-tenth for pre-diabetes. So, walk me through the mechanism. Walk me through your thinking at how fat, which has zero sugar in it, the zero – very gluconeogenesis that happens. How does that increase your blood sugar? It doesn’t.

Aarn Farmer: It doesn’t. And so, these doctors are getting on – and you know that –

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Insane.

Aarn Farmer: …they all [incomprehensible] about science. Science progressing one funeral at a time. You know, a lot of these Vegan doctors, unfortunately, are gonna have to, you know, that are gonna have to go away before the next generation of nutritionist are able to stand out and say, “Oh my gosh. We’ve had it wrong for 50 years. We’ve got to – we’ve got to make some serious changes to the what we’re telling the American public.”

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly. And to get adequate proteins at least you have to get to do a lot of food combining, which tends to, you know, to get an adequate amount of protein and being a vegetarian, and not doing protein powders, you typically have to get at least 250 to 300 grams of carbohydrate a day. And if your Insulin resistant, that’s probably gonna be too much. Now, if you’re really [crosstalk] sensitive…

Aarn Farmer: Way too much.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: …side and doing a lot of exercise, you may be able to get away with it. again, the benefit that you get from animal proteins is you get really good healthy saturated fats, especially if it’s grass-fed or fish, and such. But then you also get some really good protein with all those sugar and carbohydrate.

Aarn Farmer: Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Do you agree?

Aarn Farmer: Absolutely. And that’s, you know, your body is made of fats and proteins. There’s no, you know– there’s no essential carbohydrate.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I know.

Aarn Farmer: You know there’s no need for grains. And you’re not made of grains. You’re made of– you’re an animal. You’re made of animal stuff…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Aarn Farmer: …just to go eat animal stuff. And uh– you know, I was – that was the thing that have really was how quickly my – uh – it may took a three and a half years to lose 200 pounds but how quickly all of the othere markers of metabolic disease…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Aarn Farmer: …just disappeared as soon as I took those sugars and grains out. It just– everything…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally.

Aarn Farmer: Everything evaporated. And I was a much healthier person two weeks after I started this diet. You know, even though you couldn’t see the change in my body, I was a far healthier person. You know, really, really, really early on, just by – just buy eating what I was supposed to eat.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally. That makes a lot of sense to me. I think we hit all the key points here.

Aarn Farmer: Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Is there anything else you wanted to add here, Aarn?

Aarn Farmer: No, I just – I wanted to invite people to come over to the blog. If they want to come to kind of read what I’m doing. mysugarfreejourney.com, I have a podcast. You can find it there on the front page. Uhm– I do also have a program where I mail at a Ketogenic meal plan every week. If you like to sign up for that, it’s at mysugarfreejourney.com/28day because there’s a 28-day training program that goes on with it. And that get you into a whole like an exclusive Facebook group, with a bunch of peers, about a thousand people in there that are using the Ketogenic diet to lose weight and to restore their health. And were doing some really amazing things in that room. So, you guys can come check that out: my sugarfreejourney.com/28day if you’d like to join us there.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I love it. That’s great. And one thing I want to add is– there’s one kind of controversial areas where you have if you go low-carbohydrate and high-fat, there’s some people I find that if they go too low-carb and then maybe more on the Insulin-sensitive side that the potential Cortisol response that they get from being lower carb for too long for them, may cause excess sugar from the Cortisol Response. That’s kind of one variable it’s not with everyone, but I do find the people that may have a negative consequence or negative experience going low-carbohydrate, they may actually find their blood sugar gets better when they gently up some of the carbohydrates. So, kind of mind-default template is: always start lower carb higher fat moderate protein. Hit the wall. Some people never hit the wall, and they just feel great and do great, and some actually, increasing the carbohydrates 10 to 15 grams per week, they may find a sweet spot, where some of the hair loss or cold hands or cold feet or the energy symptoms pick up. So, default is…

Aarn Farmer: Do you ever [incomprehensible]…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Go ahead, yeah.

Aarn Farmer: Do – I was gonna ask if somebody that does that, do you ever find that– that after say – say six months of kind of – of bringing their carbs back up, they fake and then lower the carbs again, and see that once they’ve kind of – they kind of easing into it a little bit. Do you – do you ever find that that – that response goes away over time?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. What tends to happen is: there tends to be like a cyclical thing that happens where they cycle the carbohydrates up a little bit. They tend to be able to go back down and not quite have those symptoms again. So, they may be kind of a cyclical fashion to it. And you know, evolution. Early it makes sense because, you know, there may be some famine. We don’t eat as much. Maybe the carbohydrate’s restricted. Maybe it’s just meat. Maybe it’s the winter time. And then, “Hey. Spring comes.” We got all this berries and things to harvest.

Aarn Farmer: Right.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: We eat a little bit, and then we go back to this kind of lower carbohydrate mode based on the season. So, it makes sense from that perspective.

Aarn Farmer: Even then, you were talking about complex carbohydrates. You’re not saying I need a piece of bread, or white bread, or something they used to say and eat more, like squash, zucchini, you know, carrots, onions, you know…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Aarn Farmer: Some of the more complex carbohydrates, yeah. [crosstalk] I would– I would agree.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, my recommendations are always anti-inflammatory nutrient-dense, right? Because the nutrient density is important. And the low toxin. So, of course, the carbohydrate should be, you know, maybe some lower fructose fruit, berries, lemon, lime, grape fruit, maybe an orange or apple. And then some of the safer starches: squash, sweet potato, plantains. But then do it incrementally. And even in Atkins in Atkins’ uhm– diet approach. He has, you know, induction, which is the very low carbohydrate ketosis phase. And then he has the OWL, the Ongoing Weight Loss phase, where you hit the wall, you up ten grams of carbs per week. And even Atkins has that kind of calibration thing built into.

Aarn Farmer: Yep, absolutely.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Well, any other comments here? Aarn, you dropped some good knowledge bombs I appreciate you walking us through your experience. Anything else?

Aarn Farmer: Yeah. I think the only other thing I would add, for those of you that’s – if you’re listen to this and you are morbidly obese, I just want to encourage you that you’re not – it’s not hopeless for you. That if I can do it, anyone can do it. And there’s no one more addicted to sugar than me. Uhm – and it just took – it just took a couple things I had to d– make sure that I understood why I was doing it. I was keeping that why in front of me. And you know what, in two or three or four years, you’re gonna be three or four years older anyway. There’s nothing you can do about the march of time. But wouldn’t it be nice if in four years, you were a hundred pounds lighter than you are now? Or two hundred pounds lighter? And you can do it, if you just start making the right choices now. And make commitments. Stick with it.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Aarn, I really appreciate you coming on the show. People like you talking to people that have actually gone through that 200-pound journey, it takes a while but you did it. You got the information. You cut through all this exercise more, eat less crap. You got the real information. You did it. You’re living proof. So, I appreciate you know, the results, right here in front of us. That’s great inspiration. So, if you are at that place, where you’re overweight, you know, a hundred pounds or even fifty pounds, we at least went over some things, some action items that we can do. And Aarn, thanks so much for coming on the podcast. I appreciate it.

Aarn Farmer: Hey, it’s a pleasure. I really enjoyed this. Thank you so much for having me on.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Awesome. Thank you. Have a great day.

Aarn Farmer: Thank you. You do the same.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Thanks.

 

REFERENCE/S:

mysugarfreejourney.com

“A Year of No Sugar” by Eve O. Schaub

“Sugar: The Bitter Truth” by Dr. Robert Lustig (videos)

“The Vegetarian Myth” by Lierre Keith


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