Natural Ways to Improve Your Sleep | Podcast #199

High-quality sleep is essential to one’s overall health. For numerous people, sleep deprivation led to risks in blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, and diabetes. Upkeep your well-being through the natural ways you can enhance your sleep.

Watch this video to know how Dr. J and Evan Brand explain the relationship of sleep to temperature, exercise, gut issues, blue light exposure, and smoking. Don’t forget to like and share!


Dr. Justin Marchegiani

In this episode, we cover:

01:00    Temperature and Sleep Quality

02:45    Top Metabolic Things Moving Sleep Issues

09:42    Benefits of Sleep

04:00    Work Hard, Rest Hard

18:30    What Keeps You Up at Night?


Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Hey, there. It’s Dr. J. Welcome ladies and germs. Hope you guys are having a phenomenal Monday. Evan, what’s going on with you?

Evan Brand: Hey, man. Not too much. Uh– The sun is shining still. Summer is still here. I thank the Lord. Uh– We had some weird like cold weather for a couple of days, and I thought, “Oh, man. I don’t know if I’m ready for this yet.” But today, it’s back to the heat so I’m enjoying it.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Summer down here has been hot as you know what. But-

Evan Brand: Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: -I got like a little portable air conditioner unit outside of my central air, just good. It’s like, dude, I just can’t keep up with it. I got like my three or four monitors and then my treadmill and my– my– my stepping desk as well. I got like a little step or so. From sitting, I can– I can bike. From standing, I can walk and just all the heat that comes off in like a– a smaller office, it just gets contained in– I think I just get it– get it out.

Evan Brand: Yeah, maybe that should be strategy number one for today’s topic on improving sleep, which is make sure your environment is cool enough, because I’ve seen that some of the literature where they do like sleep studies on people that have the temperatures above like 70-72 Fahrenheit, people start getting restless.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Oh, yeah. Hundred percent agree with that. Yep. Sleep quality, sleep– We were talking about sleep today, in case you guys didn’t know yet. But, temperature’s important. I mean, I try to keep it in the upper 60’s, low 70’s. Uh– One thing I’d done recently because, you know, I’m in Texas right now. It’s hot as heck and it’s really expensive to keep everything super cool. So one thing I invested in recently is called the BedJet, and the BedJet’s excellent. I’ll see if I could put a link down below for you guys to get that–

Evan Brand: I love– I love that thing.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Have you gotten it?

Evan Brand: No. Remember you showed me when I was at your house?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah! Yeah, I showed you at my house. Yeah. So you saw it-

Evan Brand: I love those.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: -but it’s great. It basically goes underneath your sheets, and then it pumps in air. Now, it can warm the air up, but it can only cool the air as low as the air temperature. But it’s nice because it can pull in if you have like 75° or 76°, you know, temperature in your room, and it’s cool and already air-conditioned. It can pump that air in and it kind of stays underneath there that can kind of cool you a bit, and it’s very, very cool. And I put it on low like– I mean, you know, it’s the very low speed.

Evan Brand: Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Maybe like it’s a 10%-20% of max, and it just comes– keeps a little bit of air in there, which keeps me cool, which is really nice. And– You know, especially in the summer, if a little bit of humidity that kind of– it can– the sheets can kind of stick to you. It feels a little uncomfortable. It’s just enough to cool that off.

Evan Brand: Yup. That– That’s– So temperature’s huge. I mean, many people-

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Temperature’s great.

Evan Brand: -work that.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Oh, I agree. Totally. So, the temperature aspect’s great. I mean, I always sleep great when it’s like uhm— when it’s colder, when it’s around 69 or so, and then you can kind of really stay warm underneath through. That’s really the kind of the optimal temperature, 65-69, but in summer, it’s a little hotter, especially if you’re in a hotter place– places in the US. And then next step to that, let’s kind of go into a couple of other metabolic things? What are your– What are your top few metabolic things you want to start with?

Evan Brand: Well– I mean, blood sugar’s the biggest one. I had so many issues with my blood sugar for probably my whole life, just being raised on a Standard American diet, rich in carbohydrates, refined sugars, and so my blood sugar was probably one of the biggest, you know, movers for my health. And if you’re blood sugar’s crashing at night, your adrenals have to kick in to crank up and create some extra Glucose through the Gluconeogenesis process, and then all of the sudden you wake up and your heart could be racing, your mind could be racing, etc. So for me, you got to work on adrenals. I just want to give a couple statistics first. People may, you know, feel like sleep is just their issue and they may not know that many, many people struggle with it. So, if you’re looking at some of the CDC– I mean, they’re– they’re saying 50,000,000+ people have some sort of issue with sleep. Fifty million people in the US alone, so that is huge. And then, of course, they’ve got this whole list of uh– health conditions that are tied in to sleep issues, so it could be things like Stroke, Cancer, Arthritis, Depression, Diabetes. We know that if you’re not sleeping well, you’re blood sugar’s messed up from not sleeping well. And blood sugar can mess up sleep, so it’s like this big connected spiderweb. That’s a lot of people. Fifty million people struggling with sleep.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. Definitely a lot. New study that just came out uhm— over the weekend actually, and the study looked at what’s the optimal amount of sleep for healthy– for– for cardiovascular health. They found six to eight hours was the optimal dosage for sleep. Too high actually had an increased risk factor, and then too low also had an increased risk factor. So six to eight was a sweet spot. They weren’t quite really sure what that mechanism was of that. Could just be a correlation versus causation kind of thing. I really have a hard time thinking that if I get 8½-hour sleep, uhm— I’m gonna increase my risk of heart disease. That doesn’t quite make sense to me from a mechanistic standpoint.

Evan Brand: No, it doesn’t.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: But, hey. Six to eight, that makes sense, so if you’re getting less than six, for sure, you got to curtail that. But I do think, for me, if I’m not doing a ton of higher exercise– harder exercise– seven hours is essential. I do notice though, if I’m exercising more and I’m lifting more weights, you know, eight to nine becomes like important. So if I’m like more busy, I actually cut down a little bit on the morning tense exercise ‘cause it just requires me to get more sleep to recover.

Evan Brand: Yep. Yep, well said. So the exercise piece– I think exercise is a great sleep inducer, as long as it’s not too stimulating and not too close to bed. So, you know, depending on the weather, like 7:00 PM, if we can go for a walk– you know, I’ll try to take my wife and the baby down the street and back.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Evan Brand: You know, 15 to 20-minute walk, I’m much more ready for sleep if I do that.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Oh, totally. I– I agree. I mean, the big thing with sleep, in general, and exercise is the fact that it revs up– it revs up your sympathetic nervous system. So the healthier you are, the more you can kind of go on and off. Right? On-off. So, if you can turn off– on and off, and you can regulate and get that sympathetic stress response down, that’s great. Awesome. So maybe, like for me, I do like Tabatas around 7:30. Maybe some push ups, I do like, you know, ten to fifteen thousand steps during the day on top of that. So I get my 10,000 to 15,000 steps and I do like a little bit of Tabata action, and that’s–

Evan Brand: And you’re saying 7:30 PM?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I do it, but I mean, my Tabatas five minutes, so it’s not like-

Evan Brand: Okay.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: -you know, a long thing. But I’m fine with that. That’s not a problem. So that’s– that’s helpful but if you have some neurological adrenal stuff, you may got– you may want to be careful of the timing of when you do your exercise. Maybe do it in the morning, or you may be fine with a Tabata or an interval thing that’s shorter, right? We just want to make sure, number one, we feel good after the exercise; two, we can emotionally repeat it. If the workout’s shorter, it’s u– most people can wrap their head around to it emotionally. It’s not draining them out. And then, three, how do you feel that next day or that next night, if that was a morning workout. That way you can kind of gauge in the intensity, the frequency, and the duration of how long your workout is, and you can adjust those variables accordingly to get you in that place where you can check all three of those boxes. Do you feel better? How do you feel emotionally afew minutes after? Can you repeat the movements? And then how so you feel later that day or that next morning?

Evan Brand: Yep. Well said. The next thing we have to mention is the timing or the schedule of sleep. If you’re working swing shift or night shift, that is bad news. We know, if you just type in “night shift nurses sleep study,” it’s something crazy, like a 50% increased risk of breast cancer if you’re working night shift. I mean, think about it. We didn’t evolve to be up at night. And if we were up at night, we were hanging out by a fire, which is gonna be a pretty orange or red colored light, and we– maybe we were chasing away a hyena or something or a bear that was gonna come eat our children when we were hunter gatherers, but we weren’t up at night under fluorescent lighting working in a hospital, looking at a computer screen. So if you’re a night shift nurse or a night shift anything, like I was when I was in college, I mean, it destroyed me. And I think one of my biggest down– you know, I guess one of my biggest downfalls or the thing that destroyed my health was working at midnight, and would work all the way through the night and I would get off at 5:00 AM and I would go to sleep at 6:00 AM. And I would try to sleep from 6:00 AM to 2:00 PM, and I survived but I did not thrive at all. So, people may yell at us, “Oh! Just, Evan, I have to work this shift.” Okay. If you absolutely can’t change it, you can’t get another job, you can’t work with the sun, I hear you, but I hope that there’s an alternative to where people can get off of that.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I a hundred percent agree. If you have the ability, great. Awesome. Make it a priority. Or if you get paid in a lot more and that’s what you need to do, fine. It is what it is. You just kind of have to know that you’re going up to the plate with two strikes against you, so you really gonna have to make sure that your nutrition is– is borderline perfect. You’re gonna have to make sure you have some good adaptogens going and some good adrenal support going. And then, ideally, you know, make sure– It’s tough because then what do you do on the weekend? Do you keep that same cycle going? Do you go back to a normal rhythm? Uhum– That’s where it becomes dicey. I mean, I would probably say, “Keep the rhythm going to keep it consistent so you at least have a good rhythm.” But you got two strikes against you, and you really have to make sure everything else is dialed in regarding hydration, regarding uhm— adrenals, regarding adaptogen and regarding nutrients, and not even say gut function because we got to make sure there’s not a lot of gut stress and we’re absorbing and assimilating and then utilizing our nutrients efficiently.

Evan Brand: Yeah. I tell you, when I worked that shift, my lunch hour was like 3:00 or 4:00 AM. Your body’s not wanting to digest food. I don’t care how long you work night shift, you never feel like you’re fully satiated after a meal at 3:00 or 4:00 AM. I mean, there’s a lot of hormonal stuff going on in the middle of the night that your body’s not really wired to be eating a grass-fed steak and veggie, so I never felt good no matter– no matter how quality the meal was. So I think, in that aspect, you can hack it. Maybe you can hang in there, but eventually, you got to get off the night shift. I mean-

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Evan Brand: -it is a killer.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I agree. Now, regarding sleep, what are some of the benefits of sleep? Now, getting– not getting enough sleep can cause blood sugar issues because part of the sleep is its restoration of your hormones, repairing  your— your organs, repairing all the– the physical and the biochemical structures of the body so you can function optimally. So, 10:00 PM to 2:00 AM is that Growth Hormone Window so we have a lot of physical repair happen at that time. And then, 2:00 AM to 6:00 AM, we have more of the biochemical kind of repair happening. And, ideally, getting closer, going to bed on the other side of midnight is ideal. I mean, for me, I’ll be straight up. I’m not perfect. I typically get to bed around 11:30. I try to do like 11:30 to 7:30. That’s kind of my gig, and then I’m operated to go at 8:00, but you got to figure out what works best for you. I mean, if I had more health concerns and more issues, I would be more on top of that, but I– I feel relatively good and– and I manage my stress and I wind down at night, so I feel pretty good with that. But in general, if you have any health issues, you’d want to be more on the other side of midnight. So getting to bed closer to even 10:00 o’clock would be ideal, just so you maximize that growth hormone output steroids that happen around 10:00 PM.

Evan Brand: Yup. Well said, and bright light in the morning, that’s really important. People don’t talk about what you do during the day to influence your sleep. People think, “Okay. What’s the magic supplement I need to take before bed to help me sleep?” Well, the magic supplement may be getting outside first thing in the morning in getting bright light exposure. So right before we jumped on this call together, I was on my bike. I rode my bike without my shirt, getting as much sun as I can, just down the street– down the street and back, you know, 5-10 times. I felt good. I felt amazing. I still feel good from it. I know I’m gonna sleep better just because of the exercise piece plus the sunlight telling me that it’s morning. It’s daytime. It’s time to get going. It’s time to peak the cortisol.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yes.

Evan Brand: And you and I test cortisol on every client, and we see a lot of times that people in the morning or in the afternoon, they have a lowered or a flatline Cortisol rhythm. And we have to improve upon that because if you don’t have a peak, then you can’t have a drop. So if you’re just flatlined all day, you’re not gonna feel very good. And then sometimes, what you and I see on the testing is we see that they have an inverse cortisol pattern or maybe it’s too low in the noon and afternoon, and then it kind of spikes at night. And then those people are the ones who they laid down but they’re too wired and tired. So we really have to focus. We have to test, first of all, you got  to get the data. We have to test the adrenal function, and then we have to help modulate that cortisol rhythm if it’s off. Otherwise, it doesn’t matter if you take Melatonin or some other magic sleep supplement. It might not work.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: One hundred percent. So again, that reverse cortisol rhythm is the hallmark of a sympathetic kind of overload or sympathetic dominant person. Their fight or flight nervous system response is more activated and is starting to go up at night. And the WHI ha– HERS II study show the greatest correlation of cancer was a decreased cortisol gap between their cortisol in the morning and their cortisol at night. So the lower their cortisol got in the morning, which should be higher, and the higher their cortisol at night, this gap– this spread between morning and night– the smaller that spread got, showed a greater increased correlation risk of cancer than even smoking.

Evan Brand: Whoah!

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So, it’s really important that we keep the sympathetic nervous system– you know, we keep it so we can oscillate and adapt between parasympathetic and sympathetic. So a couple things we do is adaptogenic herbs; can be really helpful.

Evan Brand: What are you taking there?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s just some Ashwagandha-

Evan Brand: Oh, okay.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: -and some extra vitamins. Uh– On top of that would be, of course, a really good anti-inflammatory nutrient dense diet, uh– along with blood sugar stability, ‘cause sometimes low blood sugar going into bed can create cortisol uhm— surges in the middle of the night.

Evan Brand: I remember when my nervous system was screwed up. This was like 2015. It’s like three and a half years ago. I was about to move back to Kentucky, and– and I called Justin. I was like, “Justin,” I was like, “I’m freaking out, man.” I was like, “My heart is beating a thousand beats a minute. I can’t get it to slow down.” And that was when I was about to move so the house was in boxes. Do you remember this?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yup. I remember this.

Evan Brand: The hou— The house was in boxes. We were getting ready to pack up and move the next day, and you said, “Hey. Just try like a gram of Magnesium.” So that’s what I did, and then I ended up doing like an Epsom Salt Bath too with some essential oils, and I calmed it down. But I’ll tell you from firsthand experience, if your nervous system is screwed up, if you have more stress– you know, people say the term, “Work hard. Play hard.” If you don’t work hard and then rest hard, you’re– you’re gonna be messed up. And for me, you know, I had all of these impending uh– transition of moving and such, and I was not mitigating my stress properly. I was doing my adaptogenic herbs, which is great, but I was probably not getting enough exercise, sunlight, etc. So I’ve been there, done that, and it’s not fun. So, you have to make sure– I’ll just kind of say it in a different way. However much stress you have in your bucket, you’ve got to have an equally large bucket of de-stressing activities: meditation, massage, float tanks, herbs, going to bed on time, blocking blue light at night, etc.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: One hundred percent. Like in my line, I have a product called Magnesium Supreme, which is a Magnesium dimalate, which is great. There was this other Magnesium uh– powders that are great. I’ll do a little bit of Magnesium with some Collagen, which has Glycine in it, and the Glycine can be really calming and relaxing too at night time. So I’ll do that before bed as well. People can also do some of the decaf Tulsi teas are excellent ‘cause that kind of has an adaptogenic effect. Some people would do even the Ashwagandha, which is great. Ashwagandha Supreme’s awesome. Do that one to two caps before bed. Just do recommend testing it out during the day just to see how you do. Some people, they get really energized with it, so you– you want to just make sure it’s not– you’re not one of those people that really get over– overly stimulated with the Ashwagandha. You can always do some other teas like the Camomile tea. The Tulsi decaffeinated teas are excellent ‘cause that’s Holy Basil, which is kind of a– a similar adaptogen as Ashwagandha, where it help– really helps calm and relax. You can always do some sublingual or liposomal GABA. We can even add some L-Theanine, too, which is an amino acid that’s really calming and– and relaxing as well. Uh– Anything else you wanted to ask, Evan? Al– Also uhm— Phosphorylated Serine is a nice adaptogen that helps calm the Hypothalamus’ response to Cortisol, so it can help really relax that Cortisol response at night, in case you got this reverse Cortisol rhythm pattern that’s happening.

Evan Brand: Yeah, and–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: What, Evan?

Evan Brand: yeah, I do. Yes, and I’ll first comment on the Phosphorylated Serine. People may think you’re just pronouncing it different or wrong. You’re not. No. This is different than Phosphatidylserine. This is Phosphorylated, so there is a difference that’s he is talking about. I’m a huge fan of Lemon Balm. I have Lemon Balm tincture [crosstalk] in my– Yeah. I’m growing it in my garden but it’s a lot easier to just buy an organic Lemon Balm tincture. So I do that, and then, Motherwort, another favorite. Uh– There’s a couple different herbalist that I look to for education about herbs. And one herbalist said that taking Motherwort is like getting a hug from planet Earth, and I would agree with that statement completely. It’s a weird thing to describe how are you getting a hug from planet Earth? But when you take Motherwort, you just feel like you’re cuddled. You feel like you’re getting swaddled like a little baby. And so I take Motherwort and I just go lay down, and it’s basically– uh– I mean, It just takes all of your worries away. It’s a very, very calming thing to do, and it’s really great for people with heart issues– you know, atrial flutter, atrial fibrillation, any other type of like a sympathetic overdrive heart issue. Obviously, if you’re taking pharmaceuticals, you got to see if that stuff matches up. But if you’re not on pharmaceuticals, Motherwort is a really good go-to.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Excellent. We can also do things like Melatonin. I always recommend if you’re using Melatonin, if you have good benefits with Melatonin, try to use more of the 5-HTP with B6 first ‘cause that provides more of the building block amino acids to make the Melatonin hormone. I always like providing more of the building blocks and precursors. Some people, they just have burnt out their Serotonin from stress or from too much sugar or inflammation. So those building block kind of pulls to make their Melatonin can be lower. So I was recommend that utilizing some of the 5-HTP with B6 first. I think that’s great. And if you need Melatonin kind of in a punctuated fashion, I always have some lipo– a sublingual version by my bed. So if I’m just coming off a weekend where I was up a little bit later, [clears throat] or if I’m up at night where I’m more stimulated, I can just get it in my system in five or ten minutes and have it be done ‘cause it’s going to my sublingual tissue so it’s there right away.

Evan Brand: And dosing on that is how much, typically?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I tend to always start super low, so anywhere between two to three hundred micrograms and up to one milligram. Most people they all start at even at three milligrams, right? So I try to start super low because I just need the– the kind of the sedation-relaxation, kind-of-going-to-sleep effect. I don’t need it to kind of nurse me throughout the night.

Evan Brand: And most people overdose on Melatonin.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Mm–

Evan Brand: What we see when we test people is that people that are doing like 5-10 milligrams Melatonin, well, look at their Cortisol pattern, and they don’t have that morning spike with their Cortisol like they should ‘cause the Melatonin opposes Cortisol and vice versa.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, so– I always say, we’ll give them like a 1 mg like sublingual lozenger and we’ll have them nibble off a third, and just see how they’re doing. And they can gradually increase it if they need it. So I’m fine with that. And also, just– sometimes people wake up in the middle of the night. They have a pattern or a rhythm of having a hard time going back to sleep. There can can be stress that happens just sitting there wondering if they can go back to sleep. So, sometimes, if you’re that person that’s– it’s better to almost as nibble on a little bit of Melatonin ‘cause then at least you’re done what you need to get back to sleep, and that helps negate that Cortisol response from you wondering if you’ll get back to sleep.

Evan Brand: Yeah. I would also like to bring up emotional stress too. If that’s unaddressed, that’s gonna keep you up at night. So if that’s a financial worry, or a relationship problem, or you hate your job and you don’t want to go to work the next day– something like that, you got to address it. So, I would try to write down a big list of all of the stressors. What are the things you can control? What are the things that you can do? What are the action steps to resolve those stressors? And then, for some of the stuff you can’t control, like maybe you’re stuck in this job, you don’t like this boss right now, maybe you can do some EFT– and you tapped about it. You know, even though I don’t like this boss, I deeply love and accept myself, and you just do your tapping and affirmations. That could help too. And then– I know you may have a couple of other things to go into, but we should definitely just really hit on the fact about testing ‘cause you brought up the Serotonin and how people burn that out due to stress. We don’t just guess with that. We always test people, and we can measure it.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Oh, totally. Yeah. I mean, on the stress thing– I mean, what I’ll do is I’ll just use my– my to-do list, either on Google Task or just on my iPhone, and I’ll just punch in what are– what are the top three things that are keeping me up. ‘Cause the big thing is, as long as I’m taking action on those things, it’s usually the– the uncertainty and the lack of action taking on a– a stressful task that creates the uncertainty. So– Hey, what are those top three things? And just make sure we’re doing something to close the loop, so we’re always doing something. So we’re not sitting back and kind of being a spectator so to speak.

Evan Brand: Yeah, being paralyzed from it.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Hmhm– Yeah. Always make sure you’re doing at least something to get the monkey off your back.

Evan Brand: And then did– did you have other categories or body systems you wanted to hit on? I think we hit the gut briefly. I will say that gut infections can mess up your sleep. When I had parasites, my sleep was terrible.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. Infections can be a stressor, and these infections are more active at night time, so the inflammation they create at night, the body may respond by producing more anti-inflammatory hormone, i.e., Cortisol. Cortisol’s also stimulatory as well, so that could wake you up. So we– you know, we do our best to clear out the gut infections. That could be more of a long-term strategy. We may use palliative things first, like I mentioned, the Magnesium, the Calm, the Motherwort, the– the 5-HTP with B6, the Melatonin, all of the healing and soothing and calming herbs, and adaptogens first. And then, of course, we get the patient ready so they can get to that next step and do the killing efficiently. We may work on the blood sugar stability before bed and have something by their nightstand in case they are waking up with low blood sugar. They have uh– easy smoothie or an easy bar right there at their nightstand, and they access if needed.

Evan Brand: Yeah, good. Like a little fat bomb, you know, like a little big chunk of coconut or something like that that’s gonna give you some fats.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. EPIC Bar, one of these collagen bars, or a little smoothie that’s already made in a shaker cup– It’s already ready to go. We just don’t want you having the to get up, go to the fridge, the bright light pops on, or you having to use your head to make– to mix whatever you’re doing. I just kind of want to on autopilot. So if you need something, it’s just there, ready to go.

Evan Brand: Yup, yeah. So parasites for me, I mean, that was the biggest one. I had an H. pylori infection too. That screwed up my sleep. My sleep is much, much better now. Of course, you know, with the baby, we’re– we’re getting there. We’re almost out of the woods with her sleep, so I’m gonna be sleeping much better. I already am sleeping better than– than previous, but uh– Let’s talk about the testing too because I think it’s important. People can go and buy all these supplements. You can buy Melatonin, Ashwagandha, etc., etc. And as you mentioned, it’s more palliative. It’s not really root-caused. So you hit on the adrenals. We talked about testing for that. We do that with Saliva panel. You can measure the 24-hour rhythm or you could do urine, but either way, you want to look at the morning, how the day progresses, and then evening, take a snapshot there. If there’s Cortisol issues, you have to fix it because that could be messing up your gut, ‘cause if the Cortisol’s too high, that’s catabolic. So then it’s eating your tight junctions away in your gut. Then you have leaky gut. Then you get autoimmune condition. Then you’re really screwed. So, you got to test adrenals, and then step two– you mentioned the brain chemistry, the serotonin– so we run organic acids testing on everyone through urine. It’s a great test, and it looks at, also bacterial infections and yeast, dopamine levels. It looks at your endorphins, amino acids, etc. And then step three– we talked about the gut– getting the gut tested, running a stool test– we do this at home. So if you work with Justin or I, we send a test kit to your house. You collect stool. You look for all the infections, and then we come in and we address those. And then, maybe, we’re doing some of the stuff behind the scenes along the way, but you have to fix those big body systems if you really want to sleep good and have long-term health.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Absolutely. So we have kind of the anti-inflammatory, nutrient dense, low toxin diet going. We’re working on the gut. We’re working on the hormones. Oh! Also, low progesterone and some hormonal imbalances, I see it with a lot of my women that have severe PMS or they’re perimenopausal or menopausal, postmenopausal. The hormonal imbalances from progesterone and estrogen, either going low or being out of balance at certain times of the month, can easily throw off the cycle, or– I’m sorry, sleep– easily throw off your sleep.

Evan Brand: Now, would you say that– would you say like Estrogen Dominance is what’s happening?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Well, it can because Estrogen Dominance tends to imply lower progesterone, and progesterone kind of open those GABA chloride channels and GABA is an inhibitory neurotransmitter, which means it helps you relax and turn off. So, GABA’s kind of the switch that allows the sympathetic nervous system to go off and the parasympathetic to go on, which is important so you can wind down and chill out. So, that can be helpful. So some of our cycling patients or even our menopausal patients will give some progesterone at or around bedtime, or we’ll have them dosed their progesterone at around that time of the day anyway. So it really help with relaxation.

Evan Brand: And you’re talking like how much?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uh– It depends, but typically with patients, we’ll do anywhere between 25 mg to 50 mg.

Evan Brand: Man, that’s like a typical dose. Like you’ll see like a teaspoon of like a micronized progesterone. It’s like a pretty standard dose.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. Twenty-five to 50 milligrams is pretty good. It just depends on how low the person is. We may go up more, above that– you know, go up to 200, and just if we continue to see benefit or improvements, that’s good. And if we see lower levels that will give us more motivation, then we should go higher. But I always like to start lower with hormones because progesterone can sensitize Estrogen receptor sites, so people can get symptoms of Estrogen dominance as they increase their progesterone because of that receptor site sensitivity. So starting lower tends to help the body adapt to the dose-type of responses. Kind of like it’s easier to get into cold water if you can kind of start with warm water and gently nudge the temperature downward. Kind of like that.

Evan Brand: Yup. Well said. Were there any other body systems or things we didn’t hit on yet?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Well, we talked about the amino acids and the neurotransmitters. We talked about uhm— B6. We always like to combine there ‘cause B6 is really important to uhm— these neurotransmitters converting and synthesizing. So, if we have Mitochondrial stress, if we had dysbiosis, B vitamins are made in the gut. A significant amount, obviously a lot, will come with food and– and healthy meats, and good animal proteins, and good plant material. And then after that, uhm— minerals are important. People that tend to eat lots of sugar and excess carbohydrate and refined sugar, they’ll be depleting their Magnesium ‘cause Magnesium’s one of those nutrients that gets burnt up with excess carbohydrate metabolism. So Magnesium’s really important. That will help uh– have a– a really good relaxation kind of effects. So that’s important as well. And then, just some of the diet– some of the lifestyle strategies is keeping the– the lights down at night, blue-blocking glasses can be great. I use them sometimes. For me, I can go from sympathetic to parasympathetic like that, so it’s not like this huge thing. But I think if you have a hard time coming off of a TV or a movie, or just in general, that could be a good thing to kind of help the parasympathetics turn on faster and better, so keep that in mind. I will find like– I find watching TV like at 9:00 o’clock or 8:30, and I have those glasses on. I’ll want to go to sleep so– so much faster.

Evan Brand: Oh, yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Really, just like, “Whoah!” I’m just like– So I mean, it’s like go to bed a little too early so– so I like a little bit of stimulation so I know I’m ready.

Evan Brand: Yeah. I mean, I– I’ve got a pair of it I gave my wife to wear, and we both wear them. We get super sleepy quick and we basically just–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yes.

Evan Brand: We have uh– salt lamps on at night, and that’s pretty much it. We don’t really have any overhead lights at night, so we– we try to live like we’re hanging out at a campfire in the evenings-

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Evan Brand: -and it– and it works great.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And for me, we have blue-blocking uhm— night lights so– In my son’s room if we need to or– In our room, if we need to, we have night lights. So if we need a little bit of light, which sometimes we do, is at least not emitting any blue light, so that’s not gonna stimulate the Melatonin. Right? It’s the blue light that gets the Melatonin going, so more of the infrared uh– red frequencies tend to be less Melatonin s– uh– less Melatonin-inhibiting.

Evan Brand: Yep. Yep. Well said. So the light piece you cannot ignore. Like you take all the perfect supplements, you got a big bright light or you’re checking your phone right before you go to bed and you’re not using blue-blocking technologies, then you’re screwing yourself up for sure. I saw a question uh– if you’re ready to hit questions, it was a-

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Evan Brand: -question about PQQ, and whether it improves sleep or not. I did find a study on that, and it was just titled exactly that, “Oral supplementation PQQ on stress–”

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uhmhm–

Evan Brand: “-fatigue and sleep,” and turns out that yes, it definitely does help in terms of sleep onset sleep duration. And it does help to reduce fatigue, tension, anxiety, depression, anger, hostility, and confusion. So, PQQ’s great. I mean, we do use some of PQQ and some of our protocols. It’s a great [incomprehensible]

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: [incomprehensible] from mitochondrial function? It’s– There’s research showing that it actually can help regenerate Mitochondria.

Evan Brand: That’s so cool ‘cause when you hear about Mitochondria, it’s kind of like brain cells. People used to think that once your Mitochondria get damaged, you’re toast, but you’re not. You can actually regenerate Mitochondria, which is cool.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: A hundred percent. Any other questions you want to highlight here, Evan?

Evan Brand: Yeah. Let’s see here. There was one that said, “If I’m in a toxic environment, is it smart to do fasting if I wake up at night hungry?” That’s kind of a confusing question. Do you understand that one?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Well– I mean, I would say– So like, do you mean– I’m gonna make some assumptions– meaning toxic like poor air quality or mold in the environment? I mean, I would say, number one, you’re gonna– as long as you have access to good quality food, I would say, eating is gonna provide the nutrition to run those detoxification pathways. Alright, part of the benefit off fasting is uhm— you’re not putting any food in your body, so you give your gut a chance to rest. So if your gut’s inflamed or stressed, that makes sense, but if your gut’s already healthy and you’re putting really good food in your body, well that nutrition’s important to run your metabolic pathways. Your metabolic pathways either go in debt to run, meaning they– they burn up other tissues, which may be good if it’s fat, but they need nutrition to run. As far as I’m concerned, your fat does not store a whole bunch of uh– vitamins and minerals. It has a lot of caloric reserve. It doesn’t have any mineral or fat reserve, and you may have some fat-soluble vitamins stored in your liver– A, B12– B12 tends to be a little bit– even though it’s a water-soluble vitamin, it tends to be stored in higher amounts in the liver from what I understand. Uhm– But in general, I would say, you– you want to make sure you have good nutrition to run those pathways optimally.

Evan Brand: Another question here. It was about uh– Samuel. He said, “Seems like the blue light blocker fad is winding down. Is it still effective for proper sleep?” Of course it is. It’s not a fad. It should stay here forever. Blue light is never gonna not affect Melatonin. Period. Once the– Once we figure that out, I think that’s a lifetime strategy.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I still don’t understand why a lot of people just have them on during the day ‘cause I just like, “What’s the point?” Because don’t you want that stimulation during the day? You want that Cortisol.

Evan Brand: You do.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So I don’t understand. I see people like Dave Asprey and uhm— Dr. uh– Jack Kruse. They have them on during the day, and I’m just like– I mean, maybe if you have some kind of timezone switch and you’re trying to adapt to a timezone maybe and you’re overly stressed and you’re trying to decrease that stress response, fine. But during the day, I would think you’d want to have that Lead exposure especially in the first half of the day, and then the last half of the day, maybe after 5:00 PM if you’re trying to get that nervous system to quiet down, maybe you’d throw in the blue-blockers to help accentuate that parasympathetic shift.

Evan Brand: Yeah, I chatted with Dr. Mercola about it. He says the only time and reason that he wears the blue-blockers during the day is if he’s in like a conference hall or something where it’s all artificial lighting-

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Artificial light.

Evan Brand: -and he has no sunlight. So, if it– if you’re getting exposed to fake blue light during the day, and you still have sunlight-

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uhmhm-

Evan Brand: -opposing it with windows or your outside, you’re in good shape. But whe— when you have nothing and you’re in like a dark hall, and all you have are these fake lights, that’s when I know Mercola said he will use the glasses. And so that’s kind of the– the two cents there. Charlie asked, “Should you eat carbs like a sweet potato or honey before bed? How long before bed for optimal sleep?” I don’t worry about the timing, but I do feel like I sleep a little bit better with some starch at dinner.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. I think people that have lower Cortisol at night, tend to go lower at night do little bit better with some carbs. So I think, number one, if you know your adrenals tend to be a little bit lower in the cortisol side, try it. Just try doing a little bit of carbs before bed. If you have a device like a FIT-BED or an Oura Ring but has some HRV attached to it, try it and then see how your HRV, which is kind of uh– window into your nervous system. See how that looks at night time. But I mean, if you’re having times where you’re waking up at night, definitely throw a little bit of carbohydrate in there with some protein and fat, and see if that makes the difference.

Evan Brand: Yup. Uh– Elizabeth said she used to have trouble sleeping and she was told she had parasites, so she got rid of the parasites and she slept. So yes, that’s awesome.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yep. We see that a lot. That’s great. Awesome.

Evan Brand: I know–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And you got uh– major questions here you want to run down that are pertinent to the podcast here guys? Do you have any questions? Try to keep it to the sleep podcast. I’m gonna try to, in the notes, always put like in the beginning like, “Hey this podcast is on whatever topic.” In that way, you guys can chime in accordingly.

Evan Brand: Uh– Yeah. Mike asked, “Blue light is for the light of the morning, why would you want that all day?” So– I mean, the sun emits blue light all day until-

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yes.

Evan Brand: -the spectrum starts changing and then you start to remove blue light naturally as the sun sets. So that’s how it’s supposed to happen. The atmosphere starts to filter out the blue and greens, and then you transition into darkness. So that’s how it suppose to work, which is why being on the computer at night with no blue-blocking software or the glasses is– is not good. So I don’t do any– pretty much any screen too late, and if I do, it’s always with the blue-blocking glasses or software on.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Evan Brand: I think that’s all the pertinent ones.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. On my iPhone, I have the night shift on and I went in and I– I like turned off all the blue so it’s only red at night. And that doesn’t mean I can be on my phone right before bed, like if I’m like– I don’t know– like getting my alarm set or making a couple of notes on my to-do list for tomorrow, doesn’t affect me at all, but I also have to have all of the blue off, 100%. And I have the light on the lowest possible uh– setting as well.

Evan Brand: Yeah, like the brightness itself-

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Evan Brand: -turned down? Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: The brightness all the way down. All of the blue totally off so it’s just red that’s showing and it’s just the– the tiniest bit. But then if I have to like– let’s say I have to go on a comp– the computer like late to do some work, something got missed, then I will use my blue-blocking glasses just because I got all these monitors on. So that’s when it’s really nice. If you have to do work a little bit later, use your glasses for that.

Evan Brand: Yep. Excellent. Kruse said something interesting last time I spoke with him, which is he thinks people should be wearing scarves around their neck because the blue light penetrates through the skin and it can affect the thyroid and cause Hashimoto’s. I think it’s an interesting thought.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Oh my gosh! Okay. Uhm– [laughs]

Evan Brand: I’ve been interviewin

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Here’s the deal. I’m always open to trying it so like if you feel less stimulated, great. Awesome. Give it a try. Will that cause Hashimoto’s, I’m not really worried about it. Uhm– There’s way other– way more triggers that people are already activating with Gluten and with infections and blood sugar. I’m not worried about that. Now, if uhm— And also VItamin D is really important, right? Vitamin D has a major effect on the immune system and can help modulate the immune response, but I wouldn’t– I wouldn’t [laughs] jump to that conclusion on the Hashies first but I think it’s worth trying if it helps you feel less stimulated for sure.

Evan Brand: Right. Right. Yeah. I mean, I think if you’re desperate, that’s something you should definitely look at. If it reduced your antibodies like let’s– I think the only way to track it would be if you had all other variables dialed in and then you put on the scarf at night, so therefore the blue light didn’t penetrate to the thyroid and then all those antibodies went down but you did nothing else. That may be a way to quantify it but that’s hard. It’s hard to quantify.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. For me, like blue light I think is optimal because there is some data, I think, In TS Wiley’s book, uhm— “Lights Out.” She talked about, I think, a study at the University of Chicago where they had people like a sleeping– sleeping, and then they would like shine a light. They would like put a light right in the back of someone’s knee.

Evan Brand: Yes. That’s right.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And it would like wake them up or pull them out of sleep. I’m not sure if it woke them up or it just made their– their sleep uhm— their sleep study look, you know, more unfavorable so to speak.

Evan Brand: I– I think it down-regulated Melatonin too.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yes.

Evan Brand: And it was literally a light the size of like a nickel behind the kneecap, and that was enough to affect Melatonin.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Right. So I look at like blue-blocking glasses at night time is like the lights are down to a– a dimmable level, and maybe you want to watch TV or some Netflix or check out your iPad or whatever, like that’s where I find it’s really good. Ideally, you want everything kind of dimmed down.

Evan Brand: Agreed.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So you don’t want all the lights on, all the lights on, and then the blue-blockers on.You’d want everything down and then you’re using it just so you can engage with your technology, or watch a show and not be– you know, overly sympathetically stimulated.

Evan Brand: Yeah. That’s an important note. Is environmental light needs to be reduced as well. You can’t just blast yourself. “Oh! I have blue-blockers. I’m fine.”  I agree. It’s got to be both-

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yes.

Evan Brand: -which is why I did nothing but salt lamps at night.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. Best investment everyone can get is number one, uhm— like for your bedrooms, get blue-blocking night lights and/or like a night– a bulb that’s like a blue-blocking bulb, and/or number two, in all the major rooms that I’m in like around night time, they all have dimmer switches. So if I have to use lights in my bedroom, I put on the absolute lowest setting; of my TV room, lowest setting; or for like– you know, around my TV or bathroom, absolute lowest setting. That way, I can at least, you know, decrease the intensity if light has to go on.

Evan Brand: Yup. Yup. I think that was all the questions. So if people want to reach out– I mean, we always test people. Could you take some of these supplement recommendations and benefit? Probably so, but we do like to test people and figure out what’s really going on. So if you want to reach out, you can do so to Justin at his site, And if you want to reach out to me, it’s We love helping you all. We love getting the data. We love seeing the difference too, like after we implement something and then the Cortisol rhythm’s fixed and then the sleep is fixed, it’s like, “Oh! That’s why you’re sleeping better. Look at your Cortisol. It went from 12 units at night to now it’s one unit at night.” It’s really satisfying to see the results on paper.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: One hundred percent. And we appreciate the awesome questions from everyone who kind of chimed in, and we think we’re one of the only people that does a live podcast like this and answers questions just live, right? We’re functional medicine health improv here so we appreciate the great questions. Give us a share. Give us a thumbs up. Make sure you hit the uh– notification bell. And anyone that– your friends or family that that needs more help or wants to chime in and be part of this great conversation, we appreciate uhm— you sharing the word. So thank you so much, everyone and Evan. Today was a– a great podcast as always and let’s talk real soon.

Evan Brand: Take care, bye.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Thanks. Bye.


A recent study about Optimal Amount of Sleep for Cardiovascular Health

Night Shift Nurses Sleep Study

The WHI Estrogen/progestin and HERS II Study

“Lights Out” by TS Wiley

Natural Solutions To A Good Night Sleep

Natural Solutions To A Good Night SleepBy Dr. Justin Marchegiani

Roughly half of all Americans suffer from insomnia, and according to the National Center for Sleep Disorders,  around 15% of the population deals with chronic insomnia on a daily basis. What’s more, the WHO (World Health Organization) considers shift-work or sleep deprivation the only non-substance carcinogen known to man. That puts a lack of sleep in the same class as cigarettes, asbestos, and other known carcinogenic chemicals!

Sleep is vitally important to help repair the body physiologically as well as psychologically. Physiological repair, such as building muscles, bones, tendons, joints and ligaments etc., occurs between the hours of 10 PM and 2 AM. During this timeframe, HGH (human growth hormone) peaks. You can think of HGH as your anti-aging hormone, consider getting maximal sleep as gaining $2000-$3000 of anti-aging treatment per month for free!

After your body’s HGH peak comes the mental repair. Between the hours of 2 and 6 AM the body psychologically regenerates, and neurotransmitters and other neurochemicals that help with mental health are recycled and repaired.

Cortisol and it’s Circadian Rhythm

Cortisol and it’s Circadian Rhythm

The accelerated health risks for poor sleep

Studies have associated numerous health risks with a lack of good sleep. These include:

Increased risk of diabetes

Accelerated aging

An increased risk of cancer

Decreased immune function

Obesity and excessive weight gain

Poor physical performance

Slow mental acuity

It’s estimated that over $100 billion is lost each year due to the loss of productivity that a lack of sleep causes. Lack of sleep is also the leading cause of 100,000 vehicle accidents per year and the associated 1,500 deaths.

The major underlying causes of sleep deprivation:

17% of all US employees are shift workers who stay up working during the night instead of sleeping. If I can urge you to make one decision as an investment in your health, the first thing would be finding a job that allows flexibility to sleep during normal sleep hours. The research is very clear, the increased risk of chronic degenerative diseases and lack of performance will cost you more in the long run financially and physically.

Chronic stressors can be a huge underlying cause of sleep problems. This includes relationship stress, caffeine, chronic illness, infections, blood sugar imbalances, family stress, and hormonal imbalances. One thing that all stress has in common- whether it’s internal stress or external stress- is the increase of cortisol and adrenaline.

Knocking your cortisol and adrenaline out of balance puts a great deal of stress on your adrenal glands. Your cortisol rhythm at night is intimately linked to your melatonin rhythm (melatonin is your night time/sleep hormone). The more you push your cortisol and adrenaline out of balance, the more your melatonin will also be negatively impacted – and so will your sleep.

Stimulants such as caffeine can prevent you from getting to sleep on time. Caffeine has a half-life of up to eight hours, so be sure to consume your coffee or caffeinated tea before 2 PM in order to give your body enough time to metabolize the caffeine before your bedtime.

Certain medications can also interfere with sleep: antidepressants, corticosteroids, allergy medication, and blood pressure medication to name a few. If you are currently taking medication and also have a sleep problem, please look up the possible side effects of the medication you are taking to see if sleep disturbances are a potential side effect.

Click here if you are having sleep difficulties.

Dr. Justin’s Top 7 Sleep Enhancing Tips

  1. Exercise daily. Burst training and resistance training can make a significant impact on your sleep. The right kinds of exercise can increase human growth hormone, which has the ability to blunt potential cortisol spikes and to increase your body’s repair.
  2. Pick relaxing teas, such as chamomile or sleepy tea, before bed. These types of teas contain particular amino acids, such as L-theanine, which help to increase certain neurotransmitters like GABA to help promote relaxation.
  3. For certain individuals melatonin can be a great choice.  I recommend using a sublingual variety, which helps increase absorption as well as increasing activation time. However, melatonin may not be right for every single person. For some individuals, taking melatonin actually makes sleep issues worse! When this occurs there’s usually an underlying hormonal imbalance present.
  4. Many of my menopausal female patients have hormonal imbalances that need to be addressed. Low progesterone is a common cause of sleep deprivation and insomnia. Progesterone has a relaxation effect that occurs by opening the GABA chloride channels in the brain, and can have an effect similar to taking a Xanax– without the side effects. Running a female hormone test can help evaluate this imbalance as well as provide the specific dosing information.
  5. Buy a white noise machine or even download a white noise app- there are plenty available for free! White noise can be very helpful at blocking out ambient noise that could potentially wake you up throughout the night. If you opt for an app, please be sure to keep your phone in airplane mode while you’re sleeping (you should be doing this at night regardless). The EMF from your phone can disrupt your sleep and can even prevent you from getting into deeper phases of sleep!
  6. Eating a little bit of protein and fat within two hours of your bedtime can help stabilize your blood sugar and prevent cortisol spikes during the night. The suggestion may go against conventional wisdom in regards to eating right before bed, but low blood sugar throughout the night will cause your cortisol to go up, and that cortisol spike can disrupt your sleep and cause you to wake up. A little bit of protein and fat before bed can make a big difference.
  7. Give yourself at least one hour before bed to wind down. Turn off the TV, tablets, computers, phones, etc. and pick up a non-stimulating book instead. Engaging in meditation and prayer before bed can be very helpful as well. It doesn’t have to be complicated- a simple meditation is simply counting backwards from 10 to 0 with all of your attention focused on your breath, not the problems and stressors of yesterday or tomorrow. Engaging in prayer- especially focused on gratitude and all that you have to be thankful for in your life- can provide a natural neurotransmitter and hormonal boost that can set you up for a great night sleep!

To receive my full handout entitled “33 secrets to a good night sleep,” click here!

To help get your sleep and energy back on track click here!

Shift Your Metabolism

By Dr. Justin Marchegiani

You may be familiar with the word “metabolism” in the sense of someone having a fast/slow metabolism, leading them to easily lose/gain weight. But what exactly is your metabolism? While your metabolism and body fat do correlate, perhaps more important is the role your metabolism plays in providing you with energy!

Essentially, your metabolism is in charge of converting what you eat and drink into energy. The more energy you have, the better you look, feel and perform. When clients want to boost their metabolism, generally they mean they want to shed weight. Ideally, we want to improve our metabolism in a sustainable way, rather than looking for a quick (unsustainable) fix in the form of redbulls and heaps of sugar!

Let’s review a couple of body systems that help create energy:

The Hormonal System

The Hormonal system includes the adrenals, thyroid, and genitals. These play a very important role in maintaining blood sugar, dealing with inflammation/stress, and produce specific compounds that rebuild every cell in our body on a daily basis.

Step 1: Eat high quality protein and fat every 3-5 hours; this helps take the stress off of your adrenals to keep your blood sugar stable and keep your metabolism up.

Step 2: Getting to bed before 11pm gives you a nice bump in growth hormone. Growth hormone eats up fat and keeps lean muscle on your body.

Step 3: Keep foods like grains (gluten) and gut irritating foods out of your diet. Sugar and grains increase cortisol, and cortisol increases belly fat (the spare tire effect).

The Gastrointestinal System

The Gastrointestinal system is the next system that plays an important role on our metabolism and how we look, feel and perform. The nutrients that go into your body are the raw materials needed to be a healthy human. Without quality nutrients, symptoms such as fatigue, weight gain, and mood imbalances tend to arise. The great thing is all of this is preventable!

Click here if you want to improve your metabolism.

Step 1: Make sure you are eating a high quality (organic, hormone/antibiotic free) diet based on your nutritional needs.

Step 2: Make sure you are able to break down and assimilate the food and supplements you are putting into your body.  If you have any stomach burning (GERD) or experience consistent gas, bloating and/or consume gluten, chances are you aren’t able to optimally absorb nutrients. Some digestive support, like HCl and enzymes, would more than likely make a big difference in how you feel after eating, and in how your body absorbs nutrients.

Step 3: Research shows that 70% of the population has some sort of G.I. infection, such as a parasite, bacterial, or fungal infection. These bugs compete for nutrition and actually excrete toxins (endotoxin or mycotoxin to name a few) in the process. Get checked to see if you have one these infections, it’s easy via a take-home stool test.

The Detoxification System

Your body is constantly taking in toxins from our environment. We are exposed to toxins in the air, in our food. Your body is constantly breaking them down and pushing them out via the skin, kidneys, breath, and stool. When our body has increased exposure to toxins, we tend to store a lot of these toxins in our fat cells. So, when you have stubborn weight that just won’t come off with the correct dietary, lifestyle and exercise habits, a well-rounded detox program can usually do the trick.  Simple steps to start are:

Step 1: Do your best to avoid toxic exposure coming in from pesticides, chemicals, and hormones in food by buying organic produce and antibiotic/hormone-free meat.

Step 2: Avoid chemicals in skincare products that can be adding to your chemical load. The EWG (Environmental Working Group) has a database of virtually all cosmetics, skincare, cleaning products, and more which reports any health concerns and gives them a numerical safety rating. This database, Skin Deep, is a great resource to ensure the products you’re using on and around your body aren’t causing you harm!

Step 3: “The solution to pollution is dilution.” The more water you drink, the easier it is for your body to flush some of these toxins out. 1/2 ounce per pound of body weight is a great starting point (e.g. 200 pound man = 100 ounces of water).

I am a big fan of detoxification programs that focus on herbs, nutrients and sulfur-based amino acids to help optimize your body’s natural detoxification mechanisms. By employing the methods above to improve your hormones, gastrointestinal system, and detoxification pathways, you are more than likely to naturally notice a great improvement in your metabolism!

Click here to learn more about regulating your natural detoxification mechanisms.

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








Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Hey, everyone. It’s Dr. Justin Marchegiani here. We got a live podcast today with Aaron Farmer from 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, 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 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., 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 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 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.



“A Year of No Sugar” by Eve O. Schaub

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

“The Vegetarian Myth” by Lierre Keith

Shift Your Metabolism

Shift Your Metabolism

By Dr. Justin Marchegiani

What is “metabolism?”  Well essentially your metabolism is your body’s ability to create energy.  The more energy you have, the better you look, feel and perform generally speaking.  Ideally we want to create sustainable, lasting ways to shift our metabolism instead of just downing a few red-bulls and a bunch of sugar for a short kick!  For the sake of simplicity lets review a couple of body systems that help create energy:

Hormonal system

The Hormonal System

The Hormonal system includes the adrenals, thyroid and genital organs.  These play a very important role in maintaining blood sugar, dealing with inflammation/stress, and produce specific compounds that rebuild every cell in our body on a daily basis.

Step 1: Eat high quality protein and fat every 3-5 hours, this helps take stress of your adrenals to keep your blood sugar stable and keep your metabolism up.

Step 2: Getting to bed before 11pm gives you a nice bump in growth hormone.  Growth hormone eats up fat and keeps lean muscle on your body.

Step 3: Keep foods like grains (gluten) and gut irritating foods out of your diet.  Sugar and grains increase cortisol and cortisol increases belly fat (the spare tire effect).

Gastro-Intestinal system

The Gastrointestinal System

The Gastro-Intestinal system is the next system that plays an important role on our metabolism and how we look, feel and perform.  I always use the old anology of a construction site to get this point across.  Lets say you are trying to remodel your kitchen, the right raw materials need to be present to get the job done.  If there is a shortage in regards to the wood, nails, tiles and cement your going to have a kitchen that doesn’t look so hot!

Click here if you want to improve your metabolism.

Now connecting that same analogy to us humans, if there is a shortage in regards to the nutrients (raw materials) that are going into your body, the common symptoms that are typically experienced come in the form of fatigue, weight gain and mood imbalances most of the time.   The great thing is all of this is preventable.

Step 1: Make sure you are eating a high quality (organic, hormone/antibiotic free) diet based on your nutritional needs.

Step 2: Make sure you are able to break down and assimilate the food and supplements you are putting in your body.  If you have any stomach burning (GERD) or experience consistent gas, bloating and or consume gluten containing products chances are your ability to absorb nutrition is not optimal.  Some diestive support like HCl and enzymes more than likely would more than likely make a big difference.

Step: Research shows that 70% of the population has a G.I. infection such as a parasite, bacterial or fungal infection.  These bugs compete for nutrition and actually excrete toxins (endotoxin or mycotoxin to name a few) in the process.  Get checked to see if you have one these infections, it’s easy via a take home stool test.

Detoxification system

The Detoxification System

The Detoxification system your body is constantly taking toxins in from our environment that we are exposed to, breaking them down and pushing them out of our body via the skin, kidneys, breath, and through stool.  When our body has increased exposure to toxins we tend to wall off a lot of these toxins in our fat cells.  So when you have stubborn weight that just won’t come off with the correct dietary, lifestyle and exercise habits usually a well rounded detox program can be the right trick.  Simple steps to start are:

Step 1: Just avoid toxic exposure coming in from pesitices, chemicals and hormones in food.

Step 2: Avoid chemicals in skin care products that can be adding to your chemical load.  Check to see whats in your products.  I carry Marie Veronique Organics skin care line in my practice because they are food grade and have the best rating on skin deep.

Step 3: “The solution to pollution is dilution.”  The more water you drink, the easier it is for your body to flush some of these toxins out.  1/2 ounce per pound of body weight is a great starting point.  I.E. 200 pound man = 100 ounces of water.

I am a big fan of detoxification programs that focus on herbs, nutrients and sulfur base amino acids to help upregulate your body’s natural detoxification mechanisms.  Feel free and reach to to see if a program like this would be right for you.

Click here to know more about regulating your natural detoxification mechanisms.

The entire contents of this website are based upon the opinions of Dr. Justin Marchegiani unless otherwise noted. Individual articles are based upon the opinions of the respective author, who retains copyright as marked. The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. It is intended as a sharing of knowledge and information from the research and experience of Dr. Justin and his community. Dr. Justin encourages you to make your own health care decisions based upon your research and in partnership with a qualified healthcare professional. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Dr. Marchegiani’s products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. If you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition, consult your physician before using any products.