Anytime you go on a weight loss journey, there will be a point where you reach a plateau. This plateau can be frustrating, especially when it seems like you will never break through.
Luckily, there are some common reasons for why these plateaus happen! Cynthia Thurlow (you may remember her from Episode 51 and Episode 76) is on the show to teach us exactly what to do to break through a weight loss plateau!
What To Expect From This Episode
- [0:00] Welcome to the Summit For Wellness Podcast
- [2:15] What are some new ideas around intermittent fasting since we last talked in 2019
- [3:45] Cynthia Thurlow used intermittent fasting to gain weight after her incident in the hospital
- [6:00] Regaining your health takes time, so patience is definitely required
- [8:45] Since it does take time for changes to happen in your body, you may not recognize it, but other people will
- [10:45] What are some of the main causes for weight loss resistance
- [15:45] If you don't eat within 3 hours of your sleep time, what can you do to balance blood sugar
- [21:00] Is melatonin a good way to help improve your sleep
- [23:30] If your sleep is great but you still can't lose weight, what is the next step
- [29:15] Why do overweight people not receive the satiety messages in their body
- [30:45] It usually takes 20 minutes for your body to perceive satiety
- [32:45] What nutrients are supportive for the thyroid
- [34:15] Hydration is also very important to break through weight loss plateaus
- [38:30] How can you actually consume 1g of protein per pound of body weight
- [41:15] If you are full but you aren't near your macro goals, should you force yourself to eat
- [43:45] It takes a lot of work for women to put on muscle, so there isn't much fear of "bulking"
- [45:30] Some motivation for women if they are in weight loss challenges alongside men
- [50:00] What is Cynthia Thurlow's vision of what healthy looks like
Resources From This Episode
Some of these resources may contain affiliate links, which provides a small commission to me (at no extra expense to you).
Transcript For Episode (Transcripts aren't even close to 100% Accurate)
Bryan Carroll: [00:00:14] while on a weight loss journey. At some point, your weight loss will stall out. This can be very frustrating. Especially when things started to come off so easily before, luckily there are lots of different ways to troubleshoot why your body is becoming resistant to weight loss.
And in this episode, we'll be sharing quite a few of those. What's up everyone. I'm Bryan Carroll and I'm here to help people move more, eat well and be adventurous. And today I have a three-peat guests on the show. Cynthia Thurlow. In 2018, she was in the top two most popular episodes on this podcast. And in 2019, she was the most popular episode.
She'll be sharing a lots of different reasons why your weight loss can stall and the steps you can take to get the weight to start coming off again. But before we dive into this episode, I recently started using an electrolyte product to help better hydrate my body called element. Usually I only drink water and I'm not a big fan of flavors in my drinks, but element actually has really tasty flavors that aren't packed full of unclean ingredients.
Electrolytes are great for muscle cramps, recovery after exercise hydration, and even nerve conduction. So they are extremely important. If you want to check out element, go to a summit for wellness.com/l M N T to learn more. Now let's jump into my conversation with Cynthia Thurlow. Cynthia Thurlow is a globally recognized expert in nutrition and intermittent fasting, highly sought after speaker, CEO, and founder of everyday wellness project.
And she's been a nurse practitioner for 20 plus years. And is that two times TEDx speaker and was a top podcast episode of 2019 on this show. Thank you for coming back onto the show, Cynthia.
Cynthia Thurlow: [00:02:05] Oh, my pleasure. I've been looking forward to it,
Bryan Carroll: [00:02:07] of course. And last time you were on was back in June of 2019.
And I'm curious, have you learned any more new, different things with intermittent fasting and that has really kind of sparked curiosity for you?
Cynthia Thurlow: [00:02:20] That's a great question. I think on many levels, the one thing that I've, I, I mean, I believe in continuing to kind of evolve, shift and change as it applies to everything in my life.
And obviously that includes intermittent fasting. I'm a huge fan of just a lot of variety in terms of fasting schedules, different types of fasting. Really looking at the differences with gender and ages, obviously women that are still getting their cycles versus women who are in menopause, younger people, older people.
The one thing that I've come to really believe fervently is that there's a lot, you know, much to the point as we're taught, as NTP as an NTC, is that, you know, bio-individuality rules. And so recognizing that throughout our lifetime, that fasting schedule may look a little different. We may have to fast differently.
We may have to fast, shorter, longer more variety, less variety. Determining for ourselves that nutritionally, we need to shift our belief system. And certainly the last time we connected, I was still recovering from being in the hospital. And what I was eating back then is different than the way I'm eating now.
And so, yeah, always learning, always applying things. I'm learning, always hoping to inspire others to take better care of themselves. And yeah, always shifting, always evolving.
Bryan Carroll: [00:03:33] Yeah, last time we talked, you just came out of the hospital and you were actually using fasting to gain weight, which is definitely a difference, a way of utilizing fascinating.
So now you know, since it's been about a year and a half, Are you still trying to gain weight? Are you maintaining weight with fasting or what is it? What, what's the change like now?
Cynthia Thurlow: [00:03:54] So obviously in 2019, when I came out of the hospital, I wasn't able to fast for a couple months cause I was so underweight.
But over the, over that summer, I was able to put 10 pounds on of muscle confirmed by all sorts of different metrics. And I've been able to maintain my weight thankfully, which is pretty cool, cause I'm a middle-aged woman. So if I can maintain my weight, that's pretty awesome. I'm still, probably about four pounds under where I normally kind of gravitate towards.
It's been harder to build muscle. Like I did before. It was a whole lot easier when I was even five years ago, easier to build muscle. And that is a normal kind of function of aging. You have to put enough stress on the muscle. You have to eat properly. And so, you know, when we last spoke, I was largely doing carnivore because my digestive system had been so rerouted after being in the hospital for 13 days.
And now I'm actually able to eat vegetables again, which is kind of exciting. You would never have thought I was the most excited human being when I realized I could eat Brussels sprouts again. And that has only been in the last two months. So it's taken probably 18 months to really get my gut healed enough, to be able to handle the fiber.
In a lot of non starchy veggies. I'm happy to report. I sleep really well. I am fastidious about stress management. So yeah, depending on where I am in, you know, time and space I may be adjusting things as I go, and I encourage people to do the same, to not be rigid, to really try to be as flexible as possible hack this 2020 really threw us all for a curve ball.
And if you weren't flexible, you weren't really going to do well with all the restrictions and. Things that have made our lives a little more interesting, right?
Bryan Carroll: [00:05:33] Yeah. And that's a really good example of that. Make making different health changes. That takes time. You know, a lot of people, they look at the magazines and they want that 14 day fix to lose 10,000 pounds.
But it really can take a long time to get your health under control. And for you super healthy person that you know was 10 days in the hospital. And then it's taken about 18 months to get back to where you currently are. That's, you know, that's a long time you have to be patient.
Cynthia Thurlow: [00:05:59] Yeah, well, and it, and it's interesting.
So I was admitted to the hospital on February 17th, which is my brother's birthday, which is the only reason why I remember it. I only have one sibling. And so, you know, as we're approaching the two year Mark, I mean, I'm really very humbled. I feel very grateful because had I not been as healthy as I was heading into that 13 day hospitalization, there might've been a different outcome and it might've taken a whole lot longer to get to a point of healing.
And so. You know, much like a lot of the women that come to me to heal their health and, and become, get on a different trajectory and people that work with you slow and steady wins people. You're right. We're in this instant gratification kind of mindset that we don't want to put the work in. And if you had asked me even a year ago, would I be in a position where I could actually eat cauliflower and broccoli and asparagus?
And not have diarrhea. I would not have believed it. So in many, many ways, it, it just took that amount of time. And, and if you look statistically the average, you know, dose of antibiotics, it can take 18 to two years, 18 months to two years for your gut to heal. And I got a whopping doses of antibiotics. I got six weeks of antibiotics antifungals, and then had ultimately had a surgery, a big surgery.
So I, I just like to remind people that you have to be patient and you have to remain open-minded and you can't be rigid because if you are, you're going to set yourself up for being pretty unhappy. I would never take back what I went through because it made me a stronger person, but by the same token, it also makes me immensely.
Empathy, empathetic towards things that people go through. Like sometimes it, you know, we can all feel sorry for ourselves. Like were there days where I was like, so weak, I could barely get off the couch when I left the hospital and my legs look like twigs. I ex I do not exaggerate. But now I look at it and I'm like, Hey, I mean, look at how far I've come.
And I know there are plenty of people listening that are probably in the same position. They've had some tragedy or, or unfortunate thing that's happened to them. And you can look back with pride and say, listen, I got through it. I'm better for it. I'm stronger, physically, emotionally, et cetera. And that's really, what's most important.
Bryan Carroll: [00:08:11] Yeah. And that's also a good thing too, because you know, you see yourself every single day, so you might not see the changes that are happening day to day, but if you're making notes and you're able to go back six months and look at the progress that you made from the notes that you took, then you're able to see those changes.
And that's why a lot of times you might not see the changes, but maybe your friends that you haven't seen in a little while, and then you see again, They see the changes. So it's always good to just remember that there are changes happening and the more notes that you take, the easier it is for you to recognize that.
Cynthia Thurlow: [00:08:45] Absolutely. And you know, it's interesting about four months ago, and this happened to everyone in the United States, nature, thyroid and Armour, sorry. Excuse me. Nature. Thyroid WP thyroid were recalled. And for those of us that take thyroid medication that are on the non-synthetic varieties, it threw a lot of us into a tailspin.
And you want to talk about going through something again, fairly humbling, trying to find an alternative. And so I've been very open on social media that I've been on four different medications to try to figure out what would work best for me. Between compounded armor synthetics. And I finally got to a 0.4 months later where I'm starting to feel like myself again and so much to your point.
You know, we have to just, sometimes you have to kind of like do the due diligence, put in the work. You know, get frustrated. I think frustration can be a really powerful motivator for people on so many levels. It's like, listen, sometimes you just have to get fed up with your circumstances or with your situation to be like, okay, I'm going to figure this out.
Or I'm going to find the resources to figure it out. I know both of us are, you know, connected with such an incredible community. And for me, it was like really leaning into these people and saying, Hey, what are my options? Because compounded. Made me go the opposite direction. Instead of being hypo thyroid, I became hyperthyroid and that's not a good feeling for a calm kind of cool collected person.
Like I am to suddenly realize like you can't sleep and you feel anxious. You're like, okay, my thyroid's out of balance. So quite the journey, you know, 20, 20, it was quite the journey for sure.
Bryan Carroll: [00:10:18] And speaking of frustration, the main topic we're going to be talking about today is weight loss resistance. So when people have a hard time losing weight, they might get to a plateau or something similar.
So can you talk about what are some of the major causes of weight loss?
Cynthia Thurlow: [00:10:35] Oh, I love this topic and it's probably the one I'm asked to speak on the most frequently, other than intermittent fasting. Well, let's start with sleep. I mean, sleep is foundational to our health, but how many of us don't get seven, eight hours a night of sleep?
And there's even studies to demonstrate that if you're not getting seven to eight hours a night asleep, you will gain on average 14.3 pounds over the course of a year. 14.3 pounds. Now a pound each month may not sound like a lot, but over time, that is going to definitely add up. And so when we start to realize that there's a lot of restorative processes that go on while we're sleeping, we know that we get peak secretion of growth hormone, which helps us be up build lean, healthy muscle.
We know that there's the glymphatic system, which is this waste and recycling process that occurs only with slate because it requires so much energy in our brains. And we don't have those two things happening along with not getting sufficient amount of sleep. You are setting yourself up for a world of hurt.
In addition to that, we know that based on study and research data, that if you're getting less than six hours a night of sleep consistently, you are less likely to be able to control your blood sugar, which is going to lead to insulin resistance, which is going to lead to leptin resistance. So you get this whole constellation of.
Problems hormonal health problems that will also come out of not getting enough sleep. Now, one of the things I'm known for is intermittent fasting, but I remind people. Sleep is so foundational to our health. That if you are not sleeping through the night, restfully falling asleep easily, staying asleep, not waking up, do not add in intermittent fasting.
I cannot tell you how many women in particular will come to me on social media. And they're like, Oh, you know, I I've got 40 pounds to lose 30 pounds, 20 pounds, 10 pounds. Oh. And by the way, I only sleep four hours a night. Well, I always tell them. Go back to the sleep piece, fix that, and then go to intermittent fasting, but don't do the opposite because for a lot of people, the intermittent fasting can be another stress to the body.
And if your are, if your body's already stressed and inflamed and unhappy, adding an intermittent fasting is not going to make it better. So sleep is always the very first piece of the puzzle. And I would say 90% of people who reach out to me on social media or become group clients or one-on-one clients.
Almost all of them have sleep issues. So we dial in on sleep first. And then kind of work backwards and there's lots of things that people don't realize they're doing that impacts sleep qualities, things as benign as being on electronics in the evening. Like for me, it's not as much my iPad, but if I'm watching a movie with my husband or sitting on the couch, like I've been subjected to a lot of football recently and I do this because I'm the only female in my house.
And sometimes that's the only way that we're all together at night. And I have to wear a blue blockers because we know that the blue light from electronics will dysregulate melatonin secretion, which is that hormone that tells our bodies to go to sleep. And if that's dysregulated, our body increases cortisol, which is when you get wired and tired.
And so you can start to see there's this kind of circuitous pattern or people that eat too close to bedtime. Like you shouldn't be eating within three hours prior to bedtime. I've been wearing a continuous glucose monitor. And for me, I'm definitely one of those people I do much better. If my last meal is three to four hours before I go to sleep, I just do much, much better sleep, better sleep.
Quality's improved. I just think about, you know, people who they're, they're struggling to lose weight. And so they really skimp on their macros and that impacts their sleep. So whether it's too low calories, although I don't encourage people to count calories, you're just not getting your macros in.
You're eating the wrong macros at night. You're drinking alcohol at night, which impacts your sleep. We know that disregulates cortisol, disregulates melatonin, spikes your insulin. I mean, there's all these things that start to happen in your body actually will process as alcohol first over all your other foods.
So there's just a lot to unpack about sleep in particular, that can be at the basis of why someone is struggling to lose weight.
Bryan Carroll: [00:14:38] Yeah, sleep is an interesting one. I've talked about that many times on the podcast that it seems like people sleep is one of the first things that people just kind of tossed to the side.
Yeah. It has so much impact on our overall health. Like I'm, I'm seeing it with a lot of teenagers that I work with. They'll stay up all night long, doing tech talks and all that type of stuff. But adults, I mean, we're kind of the same way we, we. Don't get the best sleep. And when we're stressed and you wake up early, you go to bed late, you're working late, you know, it's, it's one of those things that just kind of gets tossed to the side.
I'm curious about, you know, you said don't eat three to four hours before bed. If someone has some sort of blood sugar dysregulation, and they're waking up around like two o'clock in the morning, and you're trying to figure out how to balance that out so that they don't have That surge of cortisol, that's waking them up.
What do you do to help him with that
Cynthia Thurlow: [00:15:32] first, like them to understand that our body is designed to have this emergency backup system. So our liver is designed to secrete glycogen to keep our blood sugar stable. So are they too low carb? You know, this is when we start digging through their macros. Are you to low carb?
Did you not have enough protein and fats with your last meal? So it could be as simple as adjusting their macros. So maybe they need a little more protein. And some carbs before bed, maybe they need F and I don't, when I say fat bomb, I'm not referring to dessert. Maybe they need a scoop of coconut oil.
Maybe they need some avocado, maybe they need sometimes we'll do like adjust, right? Banana rolled in sea salt with some cashews. So there's a lot of different things that I will encourage people. But when they're waking up between two and four, that is speaking to adrenal stress and it could very well be that their, their liver is tapped out.
They, you know, it's really struggling as to create glycogen. And so it says the adrenal glands. Wake up, we've got an emergency. And so you spike the cortisol and that's when you'll wake up. So I, I think that, you know, along with the food piece really is stress management which is another reason why people will not sleep properly and can also exacerbate a weight loss resistance.
But before I get to that, one of my favorite things that, you know, you can introduce safely. Are adaptogenic herbs. So things that are naturally occurring that can help with sleep, which can be very calming, very nourishing to the adrenal glands, really help with sleep. And so I think about things like Relora L R E L O R a and that's Magnolia bark Rhodiola two very kind of benign quiet kind of soft adaptogens.
So they're not going to be stimulating. And then I also think about things like lemon balm is probably one of my favorites. You can have like lemon balm tea, you're going to have tinctures that you can take throughout the day. But definitely if you're feeling like really wired and amped up before bed, Thinking about doing a little bit of meditation all very nourishing.
We want to get out of the, the rat brain. So when we talk about, and this ties in with the stress piece but you think about, we have something called our amygdala, which is our reptile brain, which is like the, the brain that the part of our brain that you know, drives like fear and impulse and it's overwritten by the prefrontal cortex.
But. You know, if we're dealing with a lot of stress, like we have in the past year, you know, pandemic election, all these things that are amongst a myriad of other things, I'm sure each and every one of us have dealt with that can override our thinking brain. So we act like the reptile brain. And so we're in fear mode.
And when you're in fear mode and your body perceives that you're being chased by a saber tooth tiger. You're not going to sleep. So. The things that you want to do to get yourself out of reptile brain you know, grounding work, connecting with nature. Bryan has this beautiful photo behind him and it like makes me realize, like when we're done recording, I'll be outside walking with my dogs.
But really working diligently at getting yourself out of this sympathetic dominant state. Because when your cortisol is up, you will gain weight. You're not in a position to lose weight. Cortisol is up and your body is churning and burning all this glucose to keep your body fueled because it perceives your endanger.
It will also give you the cortisol belly, which will be fat around your abdomen. So if you're feeling like all of a sudden, you've got all this abdominal fat and you're like, what in the heck is going on? And you're like, Thank cortisol for that because your body perceives that you are being chased by a saber tooth tiger.
So stress also plays a role in stress can also impact sleep. So really absolutely critical like these two things you have to dial in. And it does not to suggest that a little bit of stress is not a bad thing. Our bodies all need a little bit of stress. We call it hormetic stress. But it's stress in the right doses at the right time.
And it could be very different for each one of us. Like what works for Bryan May not work for me and vice versa. For me, I like a little bit of stress every once in a while. Cause it gets you motivated, but you don't want it to be, you don't want to be so much in your reptile brain, into your amygdala that you can't think straight because that's what happens.
A really good example is, you know, you're in your car and you have a near accident and you get that rush of adrenaline. And maybe you were able to hit the brakes really fast. That's the amygdala, that's this like instantaneous action. You're not thinking you're not taking the time to think your body just reacts because you've been driving for a long time.
But I, the one thing I want to really emphasize is that we have. Control over some things, but not all things. So our perception of our environment is really critical. And I use the last year with the pandemic, you know, I live in Washington, DC. It's been, you know, 10 months of you know, largely not being able to do all the things we normally do.
Like many people that are listening. And so my perception of my reality has changed. It's had to I've had to accept some things that I don't love. Because otherwise I will be all consumed by them. Like, for example, we can't just go to the movies. We can't just get on a plane. We can't just do all these things that we took for granted before, but there are a lot of things I can do.
So that mindset shift is also really important for that stress piece.
Bryan Carroll: [00:20:25] Something that's kind of gone mainstream and to help with sleep has been melatonin. And I know a lot of people they'll take melatonin to try to go to sleep and if it doesn't work, then they keep taking more and more and more.
So can you talk a little bit about melatonin and overdosing on melatonin?
Cynthia Thurlow: [00:20:41] So melatonin is a hormone secreted in the penile gland in our brain, and it's an, a very like physiologically, it's a very small dose. Like I want to say 0.3 milligrams average. And what are most people doing when they take supplements over the counter?
It's one milligram, three milligrams, five milligrams, 10. And so we're getting supra, therapeutic doses of. What our body is perhaps blunted from making, you know, remember I mentioned certain things can blunt melatonin, blue lights, secretion obviously alcohol, et cetera. And so I think melatonin as a, like, I take it once a month is not that much of a big deal if you're taking it every night and you're needing to take more and more and more doses.
My first question is always what is driving your inability to sleep? Like I know for me personally I only take melatonin when I would change time zones to try to get on that new time zone as quickly as I could. And I probably take melatonin once every couple of months, usually when I'm desperate, I'm like, okay, I absolutely positively need to sleep tonight with that being said, you don't want that to become a handicap.
And certainly most. Doses of melatonin that are out there are too high they're way more than what your body needs. So sometimes people get the melatonin hangover, meaning they've taken 10 milligrams of melatonin the next day. And they're like, Oh my gosh, I'm just not very clear. I still feel like I'm sleepy.
And so I really encourage people to find out why are you not sleeping? And to not be using melatonin on a daily basis. And certainly not at really high doses. I actually interviewed doc parsley. Who's kind of this sleep expert. He's really cool guy. And he was even talking about how he doesn't love really high doses of melatonin.
So really be thinking about the fact it is a hormone. We don't want our penal gland to get lazy and to think it doesn't need to secrete melatonin because I do have a lot of women that come to me and we run a special test called the Dutch and on the Dutch, you can see how much. Melatonin, their brains are secreting and almost always they're really low.
And so I always say like stress and, you know, light exposure and alcohol can all dysregulate melatonin, secretion. So you want to just really be mindful. Of the fact that we want to do everything we can to support our brains. Like brain support is the most important thing we can be doing. A lot of things I've already kind of touched on, but you definitely don't want to be taking large doses of melatonin every night.
Bryan Carroll: [00:23:03] say we got our sleep, figure it out. And our weight loss has still kind of stalled. What is. One of the next areas that you would look at?
Cynthia Thurlow: [00:23:10] No, I always look at hormones. You know, there's always, if you can't lose weight, I think it was Dr. Sara Gottfried said that 99% of people who can't lose weight, it's a hormone issue, which makes sense.
Right? So hormones are chemical messengers throughout our body. They're kind of governed by the endocrine system. And at the top of the endocrine system is the hypothalamus pituitary axis, which is in your brain. And so a lot of things can dysregulate our hormones. It can be as benign as. The products we use on our skin you know, toxins that we're exposed to our environment, our personal care products, our food over time, there are things like endocrine disrupting chemicals that can do things to our hormones in a very negative way.
So I always like to think about it from a top-down perspective. We have to support the brain. First. We have to remove things that don't belong, and this is obviously easier said than done for some people it's very easy to clean up there. Personal care products for others. It's the food piece. Some people completely freak out when you tell them that, you know, there are heavy metals, you know, if you have mercury amalgams in your mouth, if your mother had mercury amalgams, they were probably very likely you got a dose of mercury in utero.
So even though I've never had a cavity in my life or a filling, my mother had a lot of mercury amalgams. So guess what, who, who had a mercury issue? About 10 years ago. Exposure to heavy metals that way or fluoride or chlorine. I mean, all these things that ultimately are not entirely beneficial to the endocrine system, which is a fairly delicate system.
It's also very susceptible to stress. So let's talk about what stress does. I already talked about cortisol, but we know that cortisol impacts melatonin. We know that. When we are stressed, it can impact our thyroid hormone. And our thyroid hormone is like the spark plug on every cell in our bodies. And it's not at all uncommon at middle age for people to start having hybrid issues.
The most common disorder with regards to thyroid is Hashimoto's. This is an auto-immune. Underactive thyroid 80 to 85% of people with an underactive thyroid have Hashimoto's. Many of them also can have something called graves. Graves is when it's overactive, but back to thyroid gland. So when your thyroid is underactive, that can impact weight loss resistance.
I also like to think about the more body fat you have and fat is actually it's own organ. It secretes all sorts of hormones and chemicals in the body. The more body fat you have, the more leptin resistant you are leptin is that hormone of satiety. Leptin is the hormone that tells our brains. We're full.
That communication between the gut and the brain gets disconnected. The more body fat you have. So if you've ever seen someone in a fast food restaurant, Who's obese or morbidly obese. And you've wondered how in the world can they eat all that food it's because their body does not perceive they've eaten all that food.
And one tangential thing I want to add to the leptin resistance piece as well as insulin resistance is that a lot of the foods that we eat, and then this is a direct correlation with seed oils. So you think about. Corn oil, cotton seed, sunflower safflower, soybean oil, those oils have a direct correlation with carbohydrate addiction.
So processed food, carbohydrate addiction, which leads to insulin resistance. So this goes back to toxins in our foods. And so the processed food industry, these. Adulterated garbage oils proliferate. If you don't believe me, go read nearly any box of junk that you find in the grocery store. Even things that look seemingly benign, it drives me absolutely crazy that our, you know, our food industry can't do a better job.
They want to use these really cheap crap oils, which are driving carbohydrate addiction, which is driving insulin resistance. So really being diligent about excluding seed oils. If you do nothing else. Pull seed oils out of your diet because they are going to make you gain weight. They are going to make you insulin resistant.
And interestingly enough, the last time that I was the very last time that I was out to dinner with my family, we went to a seafood restaurant and I had sashimi on a salad and I am almost. I am completely confident because I had no carbohydrates with my dinner or were all non starchy vegetables. When I went home, I was like, why is my CGM was off the charts?
And so the next day I called and asked what the ingredients were in this dressing, because I sometimes don't want to ask, but we should ask it was soybean oil and soybean oil spiked my blood sugar. I mean, my blood sugar was like, it was the highest it had ever been. And so I thought to myself, okay, so there's just yet another.
Indication that we have to really be just super, super diligent. So things and impact the hormones in a very negative way are some of the things I identified, you know, toxins stress, but when our hormones are not properly balanced and that includes sex hormones, which can also be dysregulated in response to stress.
So especially things like testosterone, testosterone can be a romanticized to estrogen, and this can be a problem for men as well as women. I want to be very clear. It is not just a woman issue. A lot of these hormones can be dysregulated relevant to stress management. So testosterone can get a rheumatologist to estrogen, estrogen.
There's three forms. It has to be broken down properly. And then, you know, progesterone probably not as much, although for women that are kind of heading into perimenopause yours, you can have these lower levels of progesterone that can exacerbate estrogen dominance, but that's kind of like a kind of a brief kind of overview of some of the highlights that you'll see with regard to.
Re ways and reasons that hormones can drive your inability to lose.
Bryan Carroll: [00:28:42] Do you think with leptin resistance, part of that could be because someone has more body fat on their bodies that when they're eating, they have more storage sites for extra nutrient.
Cynthia Thurlow: [00:28:52] I mean, that could certainly be part of it.
I mean, we know that They're not getting those clues. And so obviously if you're a hundred pounds overweight, you're going to have more left and resistance in someone who has 10 pounds of weight to lose you know, subjectively we know that based on research. So just something for people to understand that it's not just in your head, that you're struggling to like remind yourself, like I'm full.
Like that's like eating for satiety is one of the most important. Things that we can learn because once you know, that's like the baby step first, like we need to eat for satiety because when we perceive we're full, we will stop eating. Like when we're really full, like that's why, you know, protein and healthy fats should fill you up more than just eating carbs, like carbs.
They just don't register. And I know I trigger people when I say this, but our body can make carbohydrates from protein. It's a process called gluconeogenesis. So we technically don't need carbs. Although carbs are fun. We enjoy eating carbs. We want to occasionally have a piece of bread or Cracker, et cetera.
I get it. I totally get it. However, we don't need carbs. We do need protein and fats. We cannot make those on our own.
Bryan Carroll: [00:30:00] Yeah. And speaking about satiety as well, it takes time for that to register. So if you're just scarfing food down, that's not going to occur because it hasn't been enough time. So it's what about 20 minutes?
Maybe once you start, yup. 20
Cynthia Thurlow: [00:30:15] minutes. And I always like to remind people that when we're stressed, so if you're standing and eating or eating in the go or eating in your car or yelling at your kids or whatever, yelling at your spouse really important that your body perceives you are in. A relaxed frame of mind, because just think about it.
Like digestion starts in our brains, which we all know, but we don't secrete. So, so we don't secrete enough hydrochloric acid. If we aren't secreting of hydrochloric acid, our body is not, not is then not prime just to create healthy amounts of bile. It's not ready to detoxify our body. It's. Not going to secrete as much pancreatic enzymes.
So we are not going to be able to digest our food properly and break it down, break it down, then digest it. If we're not in that right frame of mind. And so when I'm talking to people and they're struggling to lose weight, I'm like, well, what do you tell me? What you do when you eat lunch? And it's usually like, I'm multitasking, I'm working, I'm eating, I'm doing, I'm yelling, I'm walking my dog.
And I'm like, no, no, no, you need to sit. You need to. And I tell my husband this all the time. Cause he tends to be a standard and eater in the middle of the day. I'm like, I don't care if you stand outside. If you sit and you stare at side and look at a tree for 10 minutes, your body really genuinely needs.
To know that you are relaxed and safe so it can digest your food. That's another thing is that we're, we're so conditioned to like eat on the go and we eat really fast. We don't even register that we're full. And I think that can be hugely problematic for many, many people, because they're not getting these cues.
And when you're not satiated, you don't stop eating. That's the biggest. Takeaway message. And so when people say, Oh, I want to do intermittent fasting. I'm like, okay, we need to learn how to eat first. We need to learn how to fuel our bodies and become satiated so that when we move on to the next piece are we're actually mentally and physically ready for that.
Bryan Carroll: [00:31:58] And then with you talking about people starting to develop thyroid symptoms, is there any specific nutrients that could be very supportive for the thyroid before people get into you know, having Hashimoto's or graves?
Cynthia Thurlow: [00:32:12] It's a great question. So there's a lot of co-factors. There were a lot of you know, micronutrients that our bodies need way before we start diving down the rabbit hole of thyroid problems.
So I always think about things like iron. And I a dime, which is controversial. There are a lot of people who just believe that you just need a little bit of iodine. Other people want to supplement. I always say, just get it from food sources. First, we think about magnesium and zinc. You know, those are the big ones, vitamin D as well as B vitamins are all really critical.
I also think about magnesium. And so some of these things like the magnesium and B vitamins, we will lose more of. For a variety of reasons, oftentimes due to stress, but also that our soils are so depleted. So we're not getting as much of these micronutrients. So food-based sources to start first and then testing properly testing for these micronutrients.
So doing a red blood cell, magnesium red blood cells, zinc doing urine iodine testing you know, really looking at those B vitamins like B12 and full, late, and a proper vitamin D panel. And then looking at iron and ferritin. So you want to look at iron overall iron stores and ferritin is your storage site.
And I find most people there, there are deficiencies that are going to likely exacerbate a thyroid problems. So for sure, that's a great question.
Bryan Carroll: [00:33:28] Okay. So now we're moving past hormones. What's another area that you would focus on.
Cynthia Thurlow: [00:33:34] Yeah, I know this sounds kind of like tripe, but hydration's another like unsexy topic that people really don't think about.
But hydration, I mean, we learned this in our training, that hydration is absolutely critical. It helps you sleep. It gives you clear mentation. And so I remind people that we need, not only do we need hydration, we do that and we need electrolytes. And I know that's another. It's kind of unsexy topic for people that, you know, they just assume that electrolytes are kind of this ubiquitous kind of term, you know, what does that mean?
And I just remind them, we lose electrolytes through stress, through urine, through sweating, and especially if you're fasting. So if you are. Someone that's doing intermittent fasting. You know, if you're going more than 12 to 14 hours a day without eating you more than likely are probably losing some some water, some water losses and with water loss, go sodium loss.
And so just adding some to your tier water throughout the day, I like filtered water. I like people to really aim for half their body weight in ounces of water a day. So if you weigh a hundred, I'm just saying this roughly a hundred pounds you want to do at least 50 ounces a day more. If you're sweating a lot.
It's the middle of winter. So you might not be sweating, you know, more than you do during the summer, but really being smart about hydration. And I'm also thinking about you know, meal frequency as another problem area for people that are struggling to lose weight, they're eating too frequently.
They're eating the wrong macros. They're not giving their bodies digestive rest. They don't recognize true intrinsic hunger and that in and of itself can be a huge problem.
Bryan Carroll: [00:35:06] Hmm. Yeah, that is interesting. Cause You know, there's some people that they never get. They're never full. They never have a satiety.
They're always hungry. They can continue to eat nonstop. It's actually kind of amazing. Well,
Cynthia Thurlow: [00:35:18] there's probably an emotional component to that because I know most people don't want to just eat constantly. They're like, I just don't feel full. And I'm like, okay. So we have to differentiate, is this, your macros are really off.
Like you're not eating. Enough protein and healthy fats to keep you satiated, which is really what you want to focus on. Are you eating? Are you not eating enough macros together, meaning your portions are too small. And how many women do this? They, they eat like super lean protein, not enough of it.
They're fat, paranoid. They don't want to eat healthy fats. And yet, you know, I know fast were bastardized for a long period of time and we know it now. It's the processed sugars and processed carbs that get people into trouble. So you shouldn't be afraid of healthy fats or they're just not eating good quality foods.
Like if you're getting by on protein shakes and protein bars, and that's all you eat, I mean, your body is not really getting the. Macro and micro nutrients, it needs to thrive. So I think you have to have a really honest conversation. I'm sure you do this with your own clients. You do food diaries. And sometimes it's really enlightening.
I'm oftentimes surprised when I look at people's food diaries and like, well, you're not even a food. Like this is not about calories. This is about macros. Like. You know, I, I usually align myself with Dr. Gabrielle Lyon who talks about one gram of protein per ideal pound of body weight. So if you're 150 pounds, 150 K 150 grams of protein, and most people are probably doing 30 or 40 per meal.
If they're doing two meals a day, they're grossly under what their values should be. So. Really being very diligent about making sure you're putting your meals together and you shouldn't be hungry in between meals. That's another misnomer. We shouldn't need snacks. I always say snacking is for like teenage boys that have metabolisms of hummingbirds.
No one else should need snacks. You know, the, the idea that we need two to three. That we need to eat two to three. Every two to three hours is such a terrible misnomer, such outdated dogma. We don't want to be spiking insulin throughout the day. We want to spike insulin once or twice, or maybe three times.
We do not want to keep our insulin levels elevated over the course of a day. That is hugely detrimental.
Bryan Carroll: [00:37:28] So I would say for a lot of people trying to get their body weight, one gram of protein per pound of their body weight, it could be very difficult to eat that much food. Especially if you're, you know, you said trying to do all these different diet types and looking at a giant plate, a protein might seem like a ton of food.
So what are some ways that people can actually get, you know, 150 grams of protein in.
Cynthia Thurlow: [00:37:54] Well, if you're normally doing it, like right now, you're doing 60. I'm not suggesting you go from 60 to 150, because you're going to be very unhappy with that recommendation, but it always aiming for more. So if you're normally doing like 30 or 40 at a meal, maybe you need to change your proteins.
We know that you're going to get more protein out of a piece of steak than you are out of a piece of fish. I'm not anti fish. I love fish. But I tend to really shoot high meaning I will eat bison steak. I will eat. Beef steak. I will you know, really have like a good size salmon steak. I may be really diligent in between my two meals that I eat during the day.
And I may have a protein shake now, particularly challenging for me because I'm dairy free. So I can't do whey protein. I really have to you know, get challenged. But when I, when I first started at with increasing my protein and what I generally recommend to my women is if you're doing 30 grams of protein with each meal, go to 40.
And what I find is most people are so happy with how satiated they are with a bit more protein that it's fairly easy and then slowly increase it from there. You know, I don't want people to believe in the nonsense that you have to eat a certain amount of protein immediately after exercising our body doesn't keep score like that.
It's really what is comprised in a 24 hour schedule. I have taken lots of people off of intermittent fasting or really restrictive, intermittent fasting schedules because they just can't get their macros. And there is no shame in having to do an eight hour feeding window because a lot of people just can't get to bigger meals into the eight hour feeding or six hour feeding window.
So they'll do an eight. So you may need to adjust. If you're fasting, adjust your fasting schedule, you may just have to be incredibly deliberate about your protein. You may snack on. You know, rolled up pieces of chicken. You may be eating a beef jerky. You may be having a whey protein shake. And most of those protein shakes, you can get 40 grams of protein.
So a lot of it's slow and steady, and most people are not changing things like in a day or two, it may take a month or longer to be able to hit those macros. And I can tell you that I have days today is a good example. I've been. In meetings all day since 10:00 AM. So for me, this has been a day where it's been harder to get my macros in.
So when I'm done after I take my dogs for a walk, I'm going to come home and close my feeding window, and I'm going to try to push my macros. Like I will do fairly good size, like I would say a man size amount of meat. And then with some healthy fats and that works well for me, but I would encourage everyone.
Who's listening to really experiment and find what works best for them.
Bryan Carroll: [00:40:22] So if you're trying to reach, you know, a set amount of macros, but the food quantity that you're having already keeps you satiated, are you supposed to force the food?
Cynthia Thurlow: [00:40:35] I don't believe in forcing anything. Remember what I said about being flexible.
So I think you have to be You have to, you have to work within your own parameters with regard to what works for your body. I do find that days where I lift. I am able to eat more macros than on the days I do not lift. So what do I do most days I lift, because I know I'm going to get to those macros and my, my muscles are really ready to kind of suck up all that extra protein that I'm consuming.
So for anyone that's listening, I'm not advocating that you stop yourself. That's never what I advocate you lead for subtlety. When you're full, you're done. But I would imagine most, if not everyone that is watching slash listening to this podcast is not consuming enough protein and protein is the most important macronutrient.
In my opinion, especially for people that are getting closer to their, you know, closer to 40, late thirties, early forties, you know, there is something called sarcopenia that you want to avoid. It is a normal function of agent to lose muscle mass. The more muscle mass you have. The more calories you burn because our muscles are a reservoir for glucose and for more calorie burning muscle.
And I remind women in particular, you know, women are so fearful of having manly muscles. Listen, it's going to get more challenging to build muscle. The older you get. So you have to be super diligent about it. And one of those things is lifting heavy enough to stimulate muscle protein synthesis. And the other piece is you have to be eating the right macros to be able to fuel the development of those muscles.
And part of that is protein. So, you know, just really reminding yourself that you lift to remain lean and you lift so that you can ward off muscle, you know, muscle loss of aging, which is going to happen. I've even, you know, I'm in my latter forties now. And I can see in my body that. I have to work a lot harder to build muscle now than I did even five years ago.
And that is a normal trajectory, but it does not mean that is you're an inevitability.
Bryan Carroll: [00:42:32] Yeah. For anyone that's worried or any women that are worried about Getting so lean that they look kind of manly. They should go talk to the female bodybuilders because those ladies have to put in so much work and time to get even close to what they look like.
And they'll be the first ones to tell you this. This is hard. It's hard for me to put on this much muscle. Yeah, it
Cynthia Thurlow: [00:42:54] really is. I mean, I, I jokingly on social media. I always put the little peach, like I'm working on the peach. I'm working, I do a lot of posterior chain work because I recognize that most people are overdeveloped on the front and not the posterior chain, which is the posterior part of your body.
And, you know, for me, it's like, I'm amazed at what some of them, some of the weight that women can lift in the gym when I watched them. And I'm like, I just have to remind, I stay in my own lane. You know, I'm a pretty lean kind of petite person. I'm never, unless I am taking anabolic steroids, I am not going to get as big as them.
And I'm okay with that. But you want to really think strategically about what muscle does in the body, how it helps ward off insulin resistance. Sarcopenia, all these things that osteopenia, I mean, starting to see a lot of women, as they get closer to menopause, they get osteopenic sarcopenia, they get kind of like this skinny, like it's almost like a skinny fat.
I don't want that. So really just being deliberate about your nutritional program and, you know, reaching out if you're struggling with those things. I, I think. A lot of people will send them to hear me say, Oh, you need to, you know, I should be doing 120, 115 grams of protein a day. That seems overwhelming.
I didn't go from 60 to 120. Let me assure you. I mean, my family laughs at me because they'll see me walk around. I don't love protein shakes, but there are some days today was a good example. I think I got 40 grams of protein in a shake because I knew I was going to be sitting and doing all these meetings.
And so I was like, okay, I got 40, 40 down. And I got probably 50 at lunch and I'm like, okay, I've got to get more when I eat my dinner. To hit those macros, just being diligent can make a big difference.
Bryan Carroll: [00:44:30] And can you talk a little bit about the mindset that women might run into when they're doing a weight loss journey alongside of like their husband?
Because a lot of times like the husband might lose weight much faster than a woman would, and that can be a little different.
Cynthia Thurlow: [00:44:45] Yes. And, and so, and, and I'm speaking specifically to intermittent fasting research. Right now that if you take men and women and you put them through an eight week program, men will lose fat and will lose weight more readily.
And a lot of that's biologic. I mean, let's be honest. It w w men don't have to carry a baby to term, whereas women do. So our bodies are a little more sensitive. They can be a little more resistant to weight loss, as opposed to men. They generally have more muscle mass, which makes it a little easier for them to lose weight.
But if you look at statistical research, Over the course of an eight week period of time, men will lose weight more readily, but at the eight week point, they will lose the same amount of weight. So I agree that, you know, part of it needs to be at your own journey. Jen, you cannot compare genders. You really genuinely cannot.
It's always infuriating. Like my husband played college lacrosse and like is so lean and it's kind of like effortless for him. Sometimes I have to remind him, like, did you eat lunch? And he's like, Oh yeah. It's like, he just kind of gets in his zone while he's working. I think it's really important for us to not compare ourselves to men and certainly not to our spouses or significant others, but to recognize you didn't pack on 20 pounds overnight, it's not going to drop overnight.
I think that's, we've got this instantaneous gratification culture that really believes it's supposed to be effortless to lose weight. We're going to take a pill, a potion of powder, and it's going to happen. That is not the way you want to lose weight. The reason why we gain weight, there's, it's, it's usually multiple reasons why we've gained weight.
Some of them we've kind of already identified in this, in this podcast, but I like people to understand that, you know, that negative mindset. You know, our body hears everything we say inside our heads. And so I am a big believer in neuroplasticity and that our thoughts become our actions. And so even I get frustrated.
I mean, I had this whole thyroid hiccup, you know, a couple months ago, thyroid medication changed, you know, when you gain five pounds, when you're my size, I mean, it's, it's very apparent. And so I kept saying to my healthcare providers, I know that this is related to my thyroid has impacted my insulin resistance and I had to keep reminding myself slow and steady.
You know, we have to put the due diligence and keep, you know, keep a journal so you can write down the things that you're doing so you can look back on it. And sure enough, it took about three months and now I'm kind of back to my baseline. So for anyone who is listening, if you're giving yourself a hard time, give yourself some grace we're in again, unprecedented times where.
We have never lived through a pandemic. We have certainly not lived with this kind of stress before social distancing, not being able to see loved ones, not being able to travel. There's a lot of things we can't do right now, but we can't put ourselves in a position where we have a negative mindset, which is going to fuel an inability to be able to follow through with some of the positive things that we're looking to do with our health and wellness.
Bryan Carroll: [00:47:26] Yup. In that said, I know you have group programs with people going through kind of the same journey. And so do I and that's one of the beauty of having those group programs is your in a cluster of people along the same journey and you can support each other and help each other through those little rough patches there as well.
So that's one of those amazing benefit. Benefits of having that community
Cynthia Thurlow: [00:47:49] and accountability, like knowing that there are other people going through exactly what you are, I think is so important because no one wants to believe that they're the only one that's dealing with this problem. Like, I kinda feel like middle-aged women in particular and sorry, this is my, this is kind of been my platform on knowingly really feel like they're forgotten.
It's like, we're very focused on women when they're, you know, they start menstruating and birth control and. Contraception and pregnancy and postpartum. And then it's kind of this nebulous period where women navigate. And there's not a lot of information and perimenopause and menopause are not sexy topics.
So there's not a lot written about them. And so women kind of hit middle age and they're like, what, what just happened? Like all the things that used to work don't work anymore. Sometimes you can make it even harder for yourself to lose weight. If you still believe in the methodology to exercise more, eat less, can make it worse.
You know, exercise harder. Don't sleep. Stress more. I mean, all those things will exacerbate your results and, and further dysregulate those hormones. And, and like I said earlier, 99% of weight gain is related to hormones being imbalanced. So you really have to be kind of thoughtful and methodical about all of the things that contribute to why that's happening.
Bryan Carroll: [00:48:59] Well, Cynthia, you always come on and just provide a ton of value. And I totally appreciate that about you. My final question for you is what, what is your vision of what healthy looks like and what are three things you do daily to reach that?
Cynthia Thurlow: [00:49:12] Healthy. So I would say that my idea of health and wellness is really having the energy.
And the desire to continue to push my body and my health and in really positive ways, like we talk about hormetic stressors. And so kind of an ideal thing would be, would get to exercise in the morning and get out in nature, which has become like something I really enjoy. In fact, my dogs are all laying at my feet cause they can't wait to go out for their like evening walk.
And then just fueling my body with really nutrient dense foods. I know that sounds kind of hokey, but for me I do really well. Just kind of sticking to. Eating really helpfully I'm gluten free dairy free, because that works for me. You know, getting plenty of sleep, all of those things and, you know, spending time with my loved ones and doing things that I love really makes a huge difference.
And it's, it's really, I think the pandemic has shown us, keeping things simple is the best way to be.
Bryan Carroll: [00:50:05] Well, people can find more about [email protected] You'll also have your everyday wellness podcast, which I think you're getting close to passing me on episodes. So good for you.
Cynthia Thurlow: [00:50:15] I feel like I've been doing, I've been doing a lot of batching.
Like I found that I batch, you know, one week I'll have four or five and then it allows me to coast for a few weeks and then I batch it a bit more and, but you always have such great you know, great perspective and you're a great interviewer. So it's always a pleasure to come on and, and talk to you.
Bryan Carroll: [00:50:33] All right I thank you so much again for coming on and I'm going to let you go and hang out with your dogs. Thank you. It is always a pleasure having Cynthia on the show and she doesn't hold back either. She freely shares ways to help others. So there should definitely be some great options in this episode for you.
If you have reached a plateau with your weight loss, make sure to check out her podcast, that everyday wellness podcasts to hear more from her. Next week. I have Dr. Elena krasnov on the show. Let's go learn who she is and what we will be talking about. So I am here with Dr. Elena cross enough. Hey, Dr. Elena, what is one unique thing about you that most people don't know?
Dr. Elena Krasnov: [00:51:15] I think like, I think of myself as a science nerd that most people would know. I enjoy reading science, research papers. I, and I, and I find that fascinating
Bryan Carroll: [00:51:26] is your version of a fun book, reading like a textbook.
Dr. Elena Krasnov: [00:51:31] Not a textbook, but I like to read research papers where they do the experiments and they have the outcome and I looked through it.
Bryan Carroll: [00:51:41] What's your favorite websites or resources to read all this up and coming research?
Dr. Elena Krasnov: [00:51:48] I do use pub man. I use I follow Dr. Mark Hyman for inspiration. I like to read about good food. Four and apply that to half a nutrition. So at the laggy is my favorite chefs currently. So he's got five or six different cookbooks.
He's mainly writing a lot of vegetarian recipes. So he's measured his column in the garden is all about vegetables. And, and I do find that it. He's the one that I look for inspiration on to how to cook food that is going to be healthy.
Bryan Carroll: [00:52:29] What will we be learning about in our interview together?
Dr. Elena Krasnov: [00:52:34] We're going to learn that if your genes are not the bus, you can still live a great life.
If you know what to do about it. And if you know how to change and control the expression of your genetics
Bryan Carroll: [00:52:47] in what are your favorite foods or nutrients that you think everyone should get more of in their diet?
Dr. Elena Krasnov: [00:52:54] I eat a lot of greens, as funny as it's my son. I always have, I make sure that I eat a salad every day.
That is probably my favorite. So,
and taco, you got to throw chocolate in there? Yeah. It's a main museum, hopefully. Yep.
What are your top three health tips for anyone who wants to improve their overall wellness? The top
three would be, make sure you sleep at least seven hours and wake up refreshed. So, you know, make sure you're comfortable sleeping, you know, to hug, you know, to call you wake up rejuvenated. You want to make sure you have some kind of routine, which helps to deal with stress meditation, yoga, going for a walk, dancing, listening to music, whatever makes.
Work for you. So sleep stress and, you know, don't eat foods that are going to make you sick, you know? So just common sense things. Like try to eat well, clean breathe air, you know, take a deep breath. Sometimes people don't breathe well. Like, you know, deep breathing is very relaxing. It's good for stress reduction will help you asleep.
It'll bring oxygen to your brain and people very often forget to breathe properly.
Bryan Carroll: [00:54:14] We've been talking a lot about jeans lately, and it is a fascinating topic and we are learning so much about them. So until next week, keep climbing to the peak of your health.
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