Everything You Have Been Told is a Lie (Part 1)

What if I told you that everything mainstream media has been telling you about losing weight is a lie?

Mainstream media wants you to think that all calories are created equal. Not true. Like I mentioned in a FB live last week, a calorie of olive oil does not affect your body, hormones or blood sugar the same way that a calorie of candy does. Saying “A calorie is a calorie” is like saying “A dog is a dog.” Yes two calories are calories but a calorie of olive oil is about as different from a calorie of candy as a Pit Bull is different from a Chihuahua.

Mainstream media wants you to think that you can join a gym and exercise any poor eating habits away. Not true. Now, exercising is important to your health but it’s only about 5% of the weight loss equation. I (OBVIOUSLY) am a big advocate for exercise. Strength is important, body composition goals are important to me, and the positive impact that exercise makes on brain chemistry is something I will never let fall to the wayside… but as far as eating whatever you want and exercising to make up for it? That’s not actually a thing. As Dr Jason Fung says, “Nutrition is Batman and Exercise is Robin.” If weight loss is the goal, let’s focus first and foremost on the 95% (nutrition) and second on the 5% (exercise.)

No one is telling you that WHEN you eat is almost as important as WHAT you eat. Meal timing has been an important factor throughout human history. There have historically been times of feast and times of famine. There are celebrations (birthday parties, weddings, etc) followed by times of fasting. It’s a natural ebb and flow and part of the circle of life…. but as of late all we do is feast and never fast.

What if I told you that the real truth is that the way to real and sustainable weight loss is through insulin reduction, not calorie counting? And that there are MANY ways to reduce insulin and increase insulin sensitivity (thus lowering your risk for diabetes IN ADDITION TO helping you lose weight) and there was one simple and free way at that? That way is…. and don’t be scared… through controlled times of fasting.

Why is no one telling you this? Because no one makes money on it. Big Food doesn’t make money when you fast because you aren’t eating anything (except maybe coffee with heavy cream and bone broth.) Big Pharma doesn’t make money when you fast because your blood sugar normalizes and they can’t sell you medication.

Before you dismiss this as “Crazy” or “A Fad” hear me out. I’m going to ease you in….I will be sending you some education on fasting in the next few days. All I’m asking is for you to be curious and hear what I have to say. I feel like it is my DUTY now that I found the missing link that ties together all the things that I have known to be true but couldn’t explain: Insulin, not calories, causes weight gain and the quickest, simplest, and least expensive way to lower insulin is through periods of controlled fasting.

More on this to come.

The Secret to Weight Loss

I’ll never forget the first time I picked up a kettlebell. It was January 16, 2006. I was out of college and for the first time wasn’t on a sports or dance team and had a job that required a lot of sitting. What was I to do? So I started going to the local LA Fitness 12 hours a week – running on the treadmill and doing lightweight dumbbell exercises. But none of it made sense. I never lifted like that in real life and the ground sure didn’t move underneath me on the off chance I ever ran outside. What gives?

Then I read all the books like “Fitness for Dummies” and they contradicted each other. The more I read, the less I understood until I moved to San Diego and stumbled upon a kettlebell gym. During my first intro class the heavens opened up and non-sports exercise made sense for the first time. Pick up heavy things and you get strong. Who knew?

I wanted to tell everyone. All I talked about was kettlebell training. I moved across the country and opened a kettlebell only gym that I ran for 8 years. I got TWO kettlebell tattoos. I was (and still am) passionate about how full body training can empower people by making them strong and help them reach body composition goals. The kettlebell is not the only tool to do full body training with, but it’s my preferred method and I still spend a good portion of my life helping others get strong through kettlebell training.

Two weeks ago – for the first time in 12 years – I had another moment like that….

There are certain truths that I have always known about nutrition. One is you can’t out exercise a bad diet. I am certified in Precision Nutrition, but have never marketed this part of my expertise because I didn’t think people wanted to hear it. My advice – although solid – seemed too unconventional and “Fad-like” although I knew it to work. I have been writing distance coaching programs for years to prepare people for the StrongFirst Kettlebell Certification, help them reach strength goals, or help them cross train for endurance sports. But I have never marketed weight loss. I have said (and will still) that I can help you improve body composition through strength training but I have never in my life said I help with weight loss…. until now.

Two weeks ago I read two books by Dr Jason Fung and they tied together all the truths to one simple fact: Insulin is the culprit in weight gain. If you want to lose weight and keep it off, you MUST reduce insulin.

There are MANY ways to lower your insulin set point and the quickest, most powerful, and least expensive is through periods of fasting – even short ones where you never go even an entire day without eating a real, filling meal. Here is an infographic on different types of fasting:


A Calorie is a Calorie? Not exactly.

Today I want to talk about a common misconception in the nutrition world and that is that – contrary to popular belief – all calories are not created equal. People say, “A calorie is a calorie” but that is like saying, “A dog is a dog.” Yes, a dog is a dog but in December, huskies are pulling sleds in Alaska and chihuahuas are wearing a sweater by the fireplace.

Yes, “A calorie is a calorie” but that doesn’t mean that it creates the same response in the body. A calorie of olive oil will not create the same response as a calorie of gummy bears. I’ve been reading a lot of Dr. Jason Fung’s work lately and am convinced that we have it all wrong. Calories don’t cause weight gain, insulin does. We need to stop being low calorie and start being low insulin spikes.

In Dr. Fung’s book, The Obesity Code, he talks about a study a British personal trainer did on himself. Sam Felton set out to prove there is more to the story than “calories in, calories out” and increased his caloric intake to 5,794 calories per day for 21 days. He did this with a natural, low carb/high fat diet of natural unprocessed foods. The “math” (3500 additional calories=1 lb gained) says he should have gained 16 pounds in those three weeks. He only gained 2.8 pounds and actually LOST 1 inch from his waist. This means he gained lean mass, not fat!

Some people said that he was simply a freak of nature and it would not be that way for everyone, so Sam did the same experiment with 5,794 calories per day but with a standard American diet of highly processed refined carbohydrates. In the same amount of time, he gained close to the pounds the “math” said he should (15.6 pounds) and gained 3.6 inches on his waist. There was a dramatically different effect on the same guy with the same number of calories. So yes a calorie is calorie but all calories do not create the same responses in the body.

This holiday season and in the New Year when all the resolutions happen, make sure that your resolution is not to lower calories but to choose better calories.