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105: Scot's Fatness and Punishment Pants

Jun 14, 2022

Scot is feeling fat so he put out a call to the Who Cares guys for help. After months of finishing up a stressful master's program - and a few more beers and Reese's peanut butter cups - he's putting together a plan to lose the extra pounds. Thunder Jalili joins the guys in discussing the most effective strategies for weight loss and common mistakes people make.

Episode Transcript

This content was originally created for audio. Some elements such as tone, sound effects, and music can be hard to translate to text. As such, the following is a summary of the episode and has been edited for clarity. For the full experience, we encourage you to subscribe and listen— it's more fun that way.

Scot: Hey, this is Scot from "Who Cares About Men's Health." The episode you're about to listen to developed into two different themes. It was a very organic conversation, but I think it applies to a lot of men. And I want to be sure that you hang out long enough in case you are the second situation that we talk about today.

So this is about two different guys who are trying to lose some body fat. One has made some poor decisions over the past six months, had some stress in his life, that would be me, and had some questions for nutritionist Thunder Jalili, who we have on the show, and also Dr. Troy Madsen.

And then Mitch, who is producer of the podcast, has a different situation. He's been doing the right things lately, but he is struggling to lose his body fat and he's getting very frustrated and wants to know what he should do.

So we talk about both of those things in this episode. Without further ado, here is this episode of "Who Cares About Men's Health," and I hope you find it useful.

You're listening to "Who Cares About Men's Health," bringing information, inspiration, and a different interpretation of men and men's health. Got a good crew here today. My name is Scot. I bring the BS. The MD to my BS is Dr. Troy Madsen. We've got Mitch, and then we also have nutritionist Thunder Jalili. Thanks for coming together today, guys.

This show is about my fatness. I've gotten to a point . . . I don't know if this has ever happened to you guys, ever. Not Troy. It never happens to Troy. It seems like Troy has always got . . .

Troy: Yeah. Right.

Scot: But I don't know. I was a really good weight and then the last semester of my master's came in January and my exercise, my diet fell apart. I was stress eating Reese's Peanut Butter Cups and just anything hand over fist. I got the minis. I don't know if you've ever done this. I got the minis because I thought it's not as much Reese's Peanut Butter Cup as if I get the full-size one, except for then eat the whole bag of minis, which is more than . . . Yeah.

Troy: So how much weight are we talking here, Scot?

Scot: I'm 15 pounds up since January.

Thunder: Wow. That's impressive.

Troy: That's respectable.

Scot: Well, this is how guys are supposed to talk about it. Not like, "Oh, that's concerning, Scot." It's like, "Whoa."

Thunder: You're all man.

Scot: "Good for you." And this is another weird thing about it too. I knew that my weight was creeping up, but then all of a sudden one day, it just slaps you in the face with how bad it's become. And it could be different things. For me, it was putting on a particular pair of pants that I apparently hadn't worn in a while. I'm like, "What's going on here?" I got stuff hanging out.

Troy, do you have something like that that's . . . Have you had an experience like that where all of a sudden you're like, "Wow, this has gotten out of control"?

Troy: Yeah, I have. I've talked about it before. I had a stretch where I did put on a decent amount of weight. From where I am now, it was about 15 pounds more. And it was that kind of thing too, where the pants started feeling tighter. And you just start to realize . . . I was convinced that it was muscle weight, but then it became very clear that it was not muscle weight.

Scot: No, it's not muscle weight.

Thunder: Focused around your thick, muscular core.

Troy: Exactly. That's right.

Scot: That's spilling out like a muffin.

Troy: Yeah, exactly.

Scot: For me, I noticed it was coming on, but all of a sudden, one day, it almost, and I hate to say this, snuck up on me. It didn't, but it did. Can anybody relate to that? Mitch? Thunder?

Thunder: Yeah, absolutely. I went through something like that a few years ago too. Not quite 15 pounds, but I probably put about 5 pounds on and I'm not a big person. I'm somewhat lean, so five pounds was very apparent. And it did sneak up on me. It's the same experience, shorts and pants fitting tighter. And I did the eye test in the mirror and I thought, "Yep, it's not muscle."

Scot: What's the eye test in the mirror? Looking at yourself?

Thunder: When my stomach is starting to come over my belt in different places.

Scot: Yeah. So I just got back from a road trip too, and that was another kind of indicator. I put on this pair of jeans to go on this road trip, and they were just tight and things were hanging over and I was uncomfortable just standing. I'm like, "You know what? I'm punishing myself. These are my punishment pants. You're going to wear this on this 600-mile drive today."

Mitch: Oh, no.

Thunder: Wow.

Scot: "And you're going to live with it. You put yourself here. You're going to live with it." So I drove 1,200 miles total with my punishment pants on.

Troy: Wow. You should have just worn a corset or something. Just go all in. Just pull everything in and just hurt.

Scot: Yeah. Anyway, I'm putting together a plan to get rid of this and I thought, "You know what? I've learned a lot over the couple years we've done this podcast." This has happened to me before. I've yo-yoed in my weight before. It's kind of an ongoing thing.

Thunder: Hey, can I ask a question, Scot?

Scot: Yeah, absolutely. Ask as many as you want. It probably could make it more entertaining.

Thunder: So you mentioned your weight has yo-yoed in the past. Is the 15 pounds within the realm of previous yo-yoing, or is it new territory?

Scot: I am not the heaviest I've ever been. I'm still 10 pounds shy of that.

Thunder: Okay.

Scot: There was one point where I was . . . I'm 6'1". I was 190. I'm a skinny fat guy, so people don't notice it, but I have a disproportionate amount of body fat. And I worked really hard to get that down, and I was down to 165, and it snuck up again on me.

For the most part, if I put on some weight or lose some weight, it's a little less of a swing, but I'm constantly exercising and then not exercising, paying attention to what I'm eating and then not paying attention to what I'm eating. This has been a recurring thing in my life.

Thunder: Well, I would say right off the bat that you're not alone. This is something everybody deals with from time to time. So I don't think there's any stigma against it. It's just that it happens and then you deal with it. So I think you're doing the right thing.

Mitch: Scot, I am so glad that you're bringing this up because I am in a very similar boat and . . .

Scot: Hopefully we're not in that boat together because it ain't floating long.

Mitch: Oh my god.

Troy: It's taking on water.

Mitch: I know. Yeah, I am at this moment in time heavier than I've been in maybe four years, and it's not great. It's not great. And I think it's interesting that everyone assumed it was putting on muscle. I just assumed my dryer wasn't working or overheating my clothes.

Thunder: Defective washing machine.

Mitch: Yeah. Go make sure that the heat settings were correct and that's not . . . Anyway. But it's interesting because the struggle I had was very similar where I've been having a lot of fatigue issues and been going to the doctor's for the last year, working on all this stuff. And we got it under control. But during the rough times, both mentally, physically, etc., I've been putting on the pounds. I eat pretty healthy, but I need to get it off. So I'm excited to hear what your plan is.

Scot: Yeah. Well, I haven't eaten healthy, so that's going to be part of the plan.

Thunder: That's Step 1.

Scot: Yeah. I've maintained some of my healthy habits. My breakfast that I eat has a ton of vegetables. I still eat fruits. My problem, I think, truly was beer, sweets, Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, and everything else. I think I was using it to get myself through that difficult time of doing my master's project. Exercise completely fell by the wayside. So that's where I'm at.

Now, the first thing, Thunder, is during this podcast and just some of the readings that I've done, eating is really the key to this, right? Exercise can play a component, but really, losing 15 pounds of fat, it's diet. Am I correct on that? That's where my focus should be?

Thunder: I'm going to say just partially correct, because exercise is still very important. One of the things you want to do . . . Most people, to lose weight, if they're just looking at the food side of things, are going to try some way of cutting calories. And that's great, but if you cut calories without really exercising, you run the risk of losing some lean body mass. So to avoid that, it's good to exercise and focus on the diet side at the same time.

Scot: Okay. And when you say exercise, you mean some sort of resistance or strength training?

Thunder: I would say all of the above. Obviously, whatever you can do in the context of your work and life balance and all that, and what you enjoy, but all the above. Walking, running, strength training, mixing and matching.

Scot: All right. So this is a mix of what I've learned on the podcast and what I've seen out in the real world. I should come up with a better term than that. I should say on the internet, right?

Thunder: Yeah. That's the real world.

Scot: Instagram, Facebook. That's as far from the real world as it gets. So I've seen this. I've seen that you cannot gain muscle mass when you're in a caloric deficit. My first step to losing some of this body mass is to go into a caloric deficit, right? Below my base metabolic rate. Would you agree with that or not?

Thunder: Well, I would say below what you've been eating, because I would think you're probably eating more calories than you've needed for the last five, six months. And that's one reason why you have some of the weight gain. So first let's target what are your caloric needs and eat to that. And then adding the exercise just to make sure you're preserving lean body mass.

And then there's probably a third component I would add to that. I remember you were a proponent of time-restricted feeding to a certain degree, right?

Scot: Yeah.

Thunder: Have you been doing that the last five, six months, or did that go out the window as well?

Scot: That went out the window. Yep, absolutely.

Thunder: Okay. So I would say bring that back as well. I think with the combination of the three you're going to see some pretty rapid changes, because your body knows what it's like to be leaner as well.

Scot: Okay. So there's a memory thing going on there?

Thunder: Yeah. And you're used to it. Psychologically you're used to it. We're not asking you to do something that's brand new. You know what it is to eat healthy. You've done it before. Psychologically you're comfortable with it. You're comfortable with exercise and you're comfortable with time-restricted feeding. Those are all things you've done in the past. So I think that makes your job easier. It's maybe a little harder if someone has not done any of those things and we're asking them to totally turn their lifestyle upside down.

Troy: And the good thing, Scot, it seems like you've got some pretty easy targets here. Like you said, you've identified you've been eating more sweets than you should. And the time-restricted eating has gone out the window. So yeah, I agree. I don't think you'd want to go below your caloric needs, but it seems like you could definitely cut some calories down to those needs.

Scot: Sure. So let me clarify. I had a BOD POD done one time, which is that thing that they put you in and they check your body fat. And one of the numbers you get back with that is your base metabolic rate. So mine is about 1,700 calories a day, according to that.

My interpretation of what to do with that information is that is the amount of calories my body burns if I did absolutely nothing. That's just to survive if I sat in a chair for 24 hours a day. If I start adding some activity in, then that calorie level goes up.

It was always my impression that to lose weight, what you want to do is you want to have a little bit less than that base metabolic rate. You want to consume fewer calories than that. Thunder, is that true or not? Or really, truly for what I've done, it's just eliminate what I've been doing that's got me here?

Thunder: Yeah. I wouldn't go below your basal metabolic rate or your resting metabolic rate recommendation of calories. I would first focus on reducing the beer intake and the Reese's Peanut Butter Cup intake and things like that that are easy targets. That's low-hanging fruit.

Scot: All right. And why would you not want to go below a base metabolic rate? Is there some reason for that?

Thunder: Yeah, there is. There's actually a good metabolic reason for that. If you cut your calories too much, your body can also defend against that calorie loss and it can reduce your metabolic rate even further, which would make it more difficult to lose weight. So, to avoid that, you don't want to cut your calories too much. You just want to cut out the offending things.

And if you cut out the offending things, you are going to be reducing your calorie intake. It's just not going to go to a level that's low enough that we would worry about it interfering with resetting your BMR, your basal metabolic rate.

Scot: And as a nutritionist, would you also not recommend taking that base metabolic rate, figuring out . . . Because also, on that BOD POD, it tells you, "If you're moderately active, this is probably how many calories you're burning." And that number might go up from my 1,700 to 2,000 or 2,100 calories a day.

Thunder: Right. It all depends on your activity level.

Scot: Would you recommend trying to find that level and eating just below it or . . .

Thunder: That's a good place to start, but again, I guess what I would just focus on if I were you is I wouldn't go out of my way to cut out calories. I'd just cut out the things that I know are bad. Again, doing that in itself may cut 1,000 calories a week out of your diet.

Let's say you have five beers a week. That's like 1,000 calories right there. Let's say you have a bag of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups a week. A week. I'm not saying in a day, right? I'm giving you credit.

Scot: Yeah, you are. A day would probably be closer to accurate, but . . .

Thunder: Do you know what I mean? If you do the math, maybe that's another 2,000 calories. So if in a week's time you're reducing your caloric intake by 2,000 or 3,000 calories because you're not eating the bad stuff, that's calorie reduction.

And then you add to that the time-restricted feeding part of it . . . Maybe let's try to get all the calories in, in a 10-hour period or 11-hour period, and then start off on an exercise program. Give that a couple of weeks, give it two or three weeks, and see how things work out, because that may already get the weight loss going and you don't have to make any additional sacrifices. And I know you won't be messing with your metabolic rate either.

What I think is worse is to say, "Slam on the dietary breaks. I'm eating 1,200 calories a day, and I'm going to hit the gym," and blah, blah, blah. It's like, "Well, how hard do you think you can hit the gym if you're in a semi-starvation state?" And what's that going to do to your metabolic rate?

Scot: Is that a common mistake that people make, what we just outlined there, what I was heading towards?

Thunder: Yeah. I think that crash, aggressive-type, rapid diet is a common mistake. People do it either on their own by just deciding to cut calories like crazy, or maybe they get sucked into some sort of diet plan from a book they read or a website they came across or something that advocates restriction of what you can eat and how much you can eat and things like that. So yeah, that's been for decades or centuries, people have been doing that.

Troy: Yeah. And it seems too, Scot, like Thunder said, if it's so difficult . . . I can't imagine just trying to drop down calories, just a low caloric intake like that. And again, you could maybe do it short-term and then see some dramatic results, but certainly, it's not sustainable. Again, we've talked a lot about sustainability and it seems like it would just make sense just to say, "Hey, this is what I can do. I feel good doing this. I can keep doing it." And I'm sure you'll see results.

Scot: Yeah. I think part of the danger, too, could be if you go a little too drastic, that might only last a couple of weeks. It might be just like, "I can't do this anymore." So you don't get that consistency, which is so important that we've talked about on the show, whether that's what you eat or your exercise. That consistency is super important.

I have another question. So this is a thing I see on Instagram a lot, Thunder, and it comes back to this notion that you cannot lose body fat and gain muscle mass at the same time. And it says that, however, that is possible if you up your protein intake during a caloric deficit.

I think we've already decided I'm not going into a caloric deficit, but I'm curious about that logic. What I read was if you up your protein intake to 0.8 grams per pound, then you can eat less calories than you're burning and you would not lose and you could actually gain muscle mass. Have you ever heard that before?

Thunder: Yeah, I have heard that. There is some truth to it because to gain muscle mass involves resistance training or exercise. And if you're going to do resistance training, you do need a higher protein intake. That's known. So there is an element of truth to that.

So most of the time for people who do resistance training, depending on the intensity and the frequency and all that, we'll recommend maybe they increase their protein intake by 50% or something.

The other part of it, though, is it's hard to reduce your calorie intake that much and still gain muscle mass because you do need energy, you need calories to fuel the muscle, to fuel the process of muscle protein synthesis. So there's definitely a balance of all that. You need insulin to stimulate muscle protein synthesis.

So I would say, going back to your situation, attacking that healthy diet by definition would also make sure that you're getting enough protein. And if you want to increase it a little bit, that's totally fine. That's going to address making sure you're getting quality protein, but at the same time, you're cutting out the crap, the sugar, and stuff, but you're still getting enough calories to allow your body to build muscle in response to that resistance exercise. So cutting too much would probably get in the way of that.

Scot: So we've talked in the past what the average person needs for protein. Refresh my memory what that was.

Thunder: Yeah. So, in terms of kilograms . . . and 1 kilogram is 2.2 pounds, so you can figure out the math . . . 0.8 grams of protein for a kilogram of body weight is the general recommendation for an average adult who has an average activity level, a lower activity level.

And if you add exercise into the mix, then that recommendation progressively increases. So, for example, for resistance training, maybe 1.2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight is a good goal.

So there's no specific hard and fast rule, but it would be looking at your own personal exercise situation and then picking a target accordingly.

Scot: For me, the downside, though, is trying to get in that amount of protein. It requires you to eat a lot of food that's just like, "How many chicken breasts can I eat?"

Mitch: Ugh.

Scot: And then as a result, if you're eating more protein, you can't eat as many fruits and vegetables or carbohydrates as easily. So that there is a downside for me. I don't necessarily always think about optimizing, but I'd like to optimize that because it's hard consuming large amounts of protein.

Troy: Scot, I've struggled with this as well. Obviously, being a vegetarian, I don't get meat sources of protein, but it seems . . . Thunder, you can help us out here too. There are a lot of other sources you can get. For me, I do eat a protein bar every day and I do have a protein drink, so I'm getting some protein there. But I eat eggs and there's a decent amount of protein there.

I'm taking you up, Thunder, on the smoothie thing. I am a convert to the smoothie now, man. And using the non-fat Greek yogurt in that, that's a great source. So that's where I'm getting my protein now, and I find that provides a decent amount of variety. Yeah, it seems to work.

Thunder: Troy, you hit on so many good suggestions for Scot. Yeah, you can eat chicken breast Scot. Actually, chicken breast has a lot of protein. It has, depending on the size of your chicken breasts, maybe 40 to 55 grams of protein. So that's a lot. If you weigh 80 kilos and you're shooting for 1.5 grams of protein per kilo of body weight, you're looking at 120 grams of protein a day. You may get 50 out of that 120 grams from just a chicken breast, right? So it's not always as much as you think.

And then Troy had so many great suggestions of other ways to incorporate it. And I would, again, harp on the smoothie. You can put a scoop of your favorite protein powder and some Greek yogurt in a smoothie, and that would probably give you 30 grams of protein right there.

Scot: So I hear it's 0.8 per pound, right? That's what I hear on the internet. Not per kilogram. And that's a huge difference because 0.8 per pound is 144 grams of protein, and that is hard to achieve.

Thunder: Yeah, that's hard to achieve. But the 1.2, which is about 100 grams of protein, that's really not that tough.

Scot: Yeah. When you do the kilograms, it makes all the difference in the world. Now I can consider doing a vegetarian diet. I don't have to eat chicken breast all the time. That's an achievable number.

Thunder: Yeah. And also, if you can spread out your protein intake across your meals, that's also beneficial. So that's something to keep in mind. If we're going to shoot for . . . if 25 grams of protein is the amount we're going for in each meal, that would mean if you're looking to gain muscle mass and you want to do that through exercise, you want to have four meals in a day with 25 grams in each meal.

Now, for your purposes, if you're trying to lose weight and you're not maybe necessarily looking for maximal muscle building, you just want to preserve what you have, then maybe you don't have to worry about it as much.

So I would say in the context of time-restricted feeding, shoot for 10 hours of eating, shoot for three meals, try to get around 30 or so grams of protein in each meal, and incorporate your exercise routine.

And I'm assuming, saying that, your exercise routine is not going to be hammering in the gym for three hours a day six days a week lifting weights.

Scot: I think that's another mistake people can make too. And I'm not making that mistake because I don't want to work out three hours a day.

Plus, also, we go in the gym and we're like, "Oh, I've got to lose this weight, so I've got to really pound the weights." And then that's not sustainable because it's not fun for me. I've tried to lift the heavy weight and then I feel terrible and I actually start getting weaker, and I just decided that's not what I'm after anymore. I'm just after doing this to stay healthy, right? I'm not after it to look like Arnold anymore.

Troy: Well, we've got to hear from Mitch. Mitch, you said you're in the same boat. Is any of this hitting home? Is this just stuff relevant to Scot? Scot, I know you love numbers. I know you love counting calories. I'm curious, Mitch.

Mitch: As someone who has consistently struggled with their weight his entire life . . . I was a little chunkier when I was younger. I thinned out when I got tall and then got fat again when I was in a relationship where breakfast in bed was going to Dunkin' Donuts, Starbucks, and a Beto's burrito. Who knew that you could go to multiple fast food chains if you wanted the perfect breakfast?

Troy: That sounds awesome.

Mitch: I know it sounds awesome. But no, it was a bad habit. I'm glad I'm out of that relationship.

But when I hear that kind of stuff, it's weird to me because I have been doing a lot of big changes to my diet. I have counted calories in the past. I do meal prep. I do everything I possibly can and I still can't lose the weight.

The question I wanted to ask earlier, Thunder, was when you said as someone who has been there before, you're telling Scot one piece of advice. For someone like me, who's never really . . . I have been trying to get down to 180 my entire life, right? And it's still a struggle. If someone is doing okay with most of everything, but still not losing weight, what do you tell to them?

Thunder: Well, I would try to look at the bigger picture for one thing, because the main reason why health professionals like Troy and others would say, "You have to control your body weight. Don't get too fat," the main reason is to prevent chronic disease.

Now, from a societal psychological standpoint, we have other reasons we like to be skinny. We think it looks good and it's attractive and all that. But the main biological reason is avoiding chronic disease.

Now, having said that, there is a weight range that's associated with reduced risk of chronic disease. And you can actually find this in different height and weight tables and charts and things like that.

So it's a long-winded way of getting back to your question and saying if your body weight falls within that realm of reduced risk of chronic disease, I would say that the main box is checked. You're in a lower risk category for diabetes and other obesity-related diseases.

What you're really looking for is more that societal acceptance of body weight, and that's tougher, but it's not medically harmful. Do you understand where I'm going with that, Mitch?

Mitch: Yes. But I guess that's the thing. Let me do the math real quick.

Thunder: And you probably don't want to hear that, but . . .

Mitch: I hear all of that, Thunder, but that's my question. I get all of these tests done. I really interact with my health more than I ever have in my entire life. I'm getting my cholesterol checked. I'm getting everything checked, but . . . But, but, but. My current BMI is 30.3.

Thunder: Okay. So you're in the range where it's a health thing potentially.

Mitch: Yes. And that is what is very . . .

Troy: Are you sure you calculated that correctly, Mitch?

Mitch: Sure did. I triple-checked it.

Troy: What's your height?

Mitch: 6'1".

Troy: And your weight is 180?

Mitch: 230.

Troy: 230. Okay.

Thunder: That sounds about right.

Scot: Troy just committed the number one sin. He tried to guess somebody's weight. "Your weight is 180?" "230."

Troy: I heard 180, but you're trying to get down to 180. I'm sorry.

Mitch: I'm trying to get down to 180.

Troy: Yeah.

Scot: "How old is she? Sixty-eight? Forty-two."

Troy: You just don't guess. Yeah.

Mitch: So I guess that's the thing. All the tests are saying that my cholesterol levels and everything are just fine, but every single doctor visit I go to, the little system automatically lets the doctor know to remind me, "You should probably lose some weight."

But I'm eating, I haven't been exercising as much as I did in the past, but I am getting back into it. Am I really unhealthy or am I just fat?

Thunder: So right now, you're a fairly young man. As you get older, the weight will be more of an issue when it comes to those numbers. You're talking about cholesterol, sugar, and so forth. So, yeah, I guess it is best to get ahead of it and try to lose the weight now.

Some things I would point you towards we also talked about with Scot. Have you tried the time-restricted feeding approach? That would be one thing.

Mitch: Okay.

Thunder: And if you haven't tried that, I would try that. And then I guess I would also look at . . . it'd be nice to do a dietary analysis on you to see exactly what your average intake is. How many calories are you eating? What is your nutrient status? How many grams of carbs and so forth are you eating? That would be the place to start.

Mitch: I'll just send you my last four weeks of calorie counting that I've been doing. And we can explore as to why I'm still putting weight on.

Troy: So you've been keeping a journal, a calorie journal on what you've been eating?

Mitch: For months.

Troy: For months? Wow.

Thunder: Well, what I would actually say, Mitch, have you ever done a dietary analysis, like using software to analyze your diet?

Mitch: No, I haven't. Just the calorie counting and the macro factoring.

Thunder: So since you're already into keeping a log of what you eat in calories, doing an analysis is actually pretty simple. What you do is you just keep a journal of all the food and beverages you consume, and you have to make sure you get your portions correct. And then, say, keep a four-day dietary record or something or a five-day dietary record.

Then use diet analysis software. You enter in all those foods and the amounts, and it'll spit out your average daily calorie intake, the amount of all the different nutrients you're eating, the grams of fat, grams of carb, grams of protein, grams of added sugar, etc. Very detailed analysis.

We do these in some of the classes I teach, but I think there's also online diet analysis software as well that you could access.

So I would say that would be a great starting point. Let's really see what your intake is instead of just guessing that it's good or that it's bad.

Mitch: Sure.

Troy: Do you have an idea of your sugar intake per day, added sugars?

Mitch: It's super-duper low.

Troy: It's super low? Wow.

Mitch: I make all my foods these days.

Troy: Wow.

Mitch: Yeah, I know. I don't know. It's one of the things that I have trouble with when I see things online and sometimes when we have these types of discussions and stuff. It's like I guess I'm obese. I don't think I look obese. Is BMI real or whatever? And then it's like I'm . . .

Maybe the analysis is what I need to do, but I've weighed my food to make sure my portions are right. I've switched to different lower versions of one thing or another. I'm trying and I don't seem to be making much progress.

Thunder: Mitch, have you ever done a body composition test?

Mitch: No. I keep putting off getting in one of those BOD PODs.

Thunder: I think you need to do that as well. The BMI is a reflection of body weight for your height, for your stature. It doesn't really discriminate if that extra body weight is muscle or fat.

And it goes back to what we were joking about. "You mean it's not muscle?" But joking aside, there are some people that just naturally are more muscular for their stature. So why don't we do a body composition to see where you're at with that as part of the overall assessment?

Mitch: Okay. I can do that. I think it would be important to know. I think I need to . . . Something is not working.

Scot: And you sound super frustrated.

Mitch: Well, yeah, and I feel like I'm now taking over the episode. It's, "Scot is feeling fat," and then it's like, "No."

Scot: Yeah, you did. It was supposed to be about me today, but Mitch made it about himself.

Mitch: No, I didn't mean to.

Troy: Well, Scot, yours sounds like you've got some low-hanging fruit. You've got some easy stuff. Hearing Mitch's story, I'm frustrated too. I'm just like, "Wow. What do you do?"

Scot: I know. Yeah, exactly.

Troy: But the dietary analysis, something with a dietician, like Thunder said, the BOD POD, those all sound like great ways to go next. And I think we probably have people listening who are in both boats, who are like, "Yeah, I'm eating too much sugar. I could cut that." And then people maybe who are in your situation, Mitch, where it's just like, "Hey, I'm doing it. I'm doing time-restricted eating. I'm not taking in extra sugars," and they're still just not losing the weight. So it's nice to know where to go from there.

Scot: And is there a troubleshooting kind of . . . It's not called troubleshooting, I don't think, but is there a process, Thunder, that you would then go through for somebody who's in a situation like Mitch? The next step does sound like to do a nutrition analysis and get a BOD POD. With that information, where would you go from there?

Thunder: Yeah, there's definitely a process. A good dietician could take you through that. At the University of Utah, we have Peak Health and Fitness that also does fitness testing and BOD POD, and they can recommend you do a dietician. They help people get this sort of data so a plan can be crafted to let them meet their goals.

So, yeah, there's a process, but you find out what's your nutrient intake, what's your requirements, what's your basal metabolic rate, what's your body composition, and then you go from there.

Scot: I have one last question for you, Thunder. And this is for people like me that have an idea of how many carbs they might be consuming or fat. Is there a percentage of my calories that you would recommend be carbs? Or just eat the number of grams of protein I need and then fill in the rest with good fats and carbohydrates? What should that breakdown look like?

Thunder: I'm just going to give you some super general carbohydrate windows, and there are a lot of customizations that can be built into it depending on your exercise and your preferences and all that.

If half of your calories come from carbs, that's plenty. The others you can fill in from fats and proteins. If less than half come from carbs, 40%, 45% is totally fine also.

And I will add . . . I wanted to give one other thought just to keep in mind, for you, especially, Scot, because you're in a situation where you've had this gradual weight gain and now you're all ready to lose it.

Scot: Oh, yeah.

Thunder: Gaining weight took a while, right? It didn't happen in three or four weeks. It took five, six months, right?

Scot: I'm not falling for your Jedi mind trick. I know where this is going.

Thunder: Yes. I'm saying patience, young Jedi. You're not going to lose all the weight you want in three weeks, right?

Scot: All right.

Thunder: It was fun to gain weight. You took your time with it. Everyone had a great time. Now you've got to be patient with the weight loss. It may take a couple or three months.

Scot: All right. I'll be patient. Do you have any final questions, Mitch? Any final thoughts, reflections?

Mitch: Maybe, just maybe the general approach and advice is not working for me, and I need to go talk to someone who knows stuff and get tested and figure it out. I need to get over the idea that I can just fix it myself, and maybe I need a little bit of help.

Scot: All right. Well, we'll follow up, Mitch, you and I.

Mitch: Yeah. We can do this.

Scot: It sounds like we have two different situations.

Mitch: Sure.

Scot: In a few weeks, I'll report back and let you know how things went. I'm going to take the balanced approach that Thunder suggested. I'm not going to go into some sort of caloric deficit, which I think is the natural reaction any time people want to lose weight. I'm going to admit that it takes some time.

I'm also being kind that I ate a lot of Reese's, as you like to say, Thunder. I think that's cute that you call them Reese's instead of Reese's. I ate a lot of those, and sometimes coming off sugar can be really hard, right? So the first couple weeks, eat generally healthy and if I have a couple of those, that's fine. Some people might not work that way. They might have to just cut it out completely. But I'll take that balanced approach. I'll try to exercise every day and we'll see where I end up.

Thunder: Yeah. And if you have any extra beer in the house you want to get rid of, just send it to me.

Scot: Okay. Well. Thank you so much for listening, and Thunder especially, you're just such a big-hearted guy to help me out like that. Thanks for caring about men's health.

Thunder: Great talking to you guys. Thanks for talking about men's health too.

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