Podcast Episode #41: Women’s Health, Body Composition & Fat Loss

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1. Turtle-Like Metabolism/Hypothyroidism [14:09] 2. My “Perfect” Weight/Homeostasis [24:31] 3. How do I lose those last 10 to 20 “Vanity pounds”? [35:59] 4. Stubborn Fat [55:02]

Show Links:
Paleo For Women
No One’s Power but Our Own: Paleo Sexist Woes, and an Invitation to Rise Up and Roar

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LIZ WOLFE:Hey everyone, I'm Liz Wolfe, nutritional therapy practitioner, author of the Cave Girl Eats blog. I'm here with Diane Sanfilippo of Balanced Bites. Diane is a CHEK certified Holistic Lifestyle coach, so that's why we are qualified to tell you what to do. Actually, no, we're not telling you what to do. Remember that the materials and content contained in this podcast are intended as general information only, and not considered a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. So basically just why don't you just pick this hour out of your day, flush it down the toilet and move on. That's what I'm thinking.
D:That was our attempt at explaining our credentials. We missed a piece of my credentials. i don't know how that happened. [laughs]

LIZ WOLFE:I must not have copied it in there.

DIANE SANFILIPPO:Your copy piece…

LIZ WOLFE:We'll work on that part.

DIANE SANFILIPPO:Okay, okay. Well, I will tell people I'm a certified nutrition consultant, so that is a little bit of a different education. What are we talking about today? What's going on?

LIZ WOLFE:Certifications out the wazoo. Well, first of all, I got to warn to everybody. I think maybe this is both of us. I'm like extremely-I'm wound up like real tight today. I think you are, too, Diane, with the book getting finished up. For me, it's been a pretty rough week. I mean, it's bad. My dog had major surgery, he's totally broken. The government stole my husband the same day that happened, and I lost the remote control, which really pisses me off because I know the New Jersey Housewives episode that I have not watched yet, and that's what I need right now. I need to stop being at the computer and just watch a little bit of Teresa Giudice and Caroline Manzo, and I just need to some New Jersey Housewives fighting, so my fuse is short, and I might drop like an F-bomb or a P-bomb or a V-bomb…

DIANE SANFILIPPO:Noooooo! And then you'll have to edit it. We can't F-bomb.


DIANE SANFILIPPO:Yeah, I'm like…I'm halfway like wound up and halfway like just so crushed right now. Oh, I remember talking to Robb Wolf after he like finished his book and just kind of hearing his end when that all wrapped up, and you know, between you and I kind of traveling all over the place and teaching and me working on this book right now, I'm just like, I am ready to be underground for a good month. [laughs] I'm like, my whole energy, I mean, I'm just like I'm really depleted from this whole thing. It's been a really rough process, and I mean, I'm so thrilled and grateful that I've been able to do it, and I'm super excited to be able to share it with everyone. But I'm just like, wow, I'm exhausted. So all the advice I've been givin people about how to take care of yourself, that's like everything I'm going to be doing in the next 30 straight days after this, and then finally I'll get to travel again, heading out to the CrossFit Games and all that stuff starting up again in July, but really, the next month, I just plan on like doing mostly nothing. [laughs] Sleeping. Yeah.

LIZ WOLFE:Yeah, so speaking of the CrossFit Games, you and I will both be at the CrossFit Games. I'll be there representing Steve's Club and Steve's Club National Program. We'll have a booth there. PaleoKits/Steve's Club booth, so stop by there and say hi. I want to meet some fun people like I did last year. That was a great time. I'm also excited. I'll put a little link to this up on my blog. I'll be doing kind of a wellness summer camp style weekend in the Poconos in August. Kind of a collaboration between some CrossFit gyms led up by Trapdoor Athletics. It's going to be super cool, so that's in the Poconos, end of August, so be on the lookout for that. I'll be doing some consultations and some workshops and stuff like that, while everybody does all kinds of cool, you know, Paleo style stuff. I'll be listing Paleo friendly meals, it's going to be awesome. And Diane, you and I are also-we're super excietd to get our Poliquin Biosignature certifications in September, so that's on the docket as well.

L; Woo hoo! We're always looking for new letters to put behind our names. What are Poliquin…I don't think there are official letters for Poliquin Biosignature.

DIANE SANFILIPPO:No, I don't know about that.



LIZ WOLFE:I'll make it up

DIANE SANFILIPPO:I just like learning all kinds of nerdy things. What's the wellness weekend? Can people go to that or is that kind of a closed group? Like, how, what's the deal with that? This is the first I'm hearing of this.

LIZ WOLFE:Yeah. It's going to be pretty cool. All right. So you know, you've been to CrossFit Center City. You've done your workshop there and I think it really kind of started percolating there, wanting to take a group of just kind of wellness-oriented folks up to the Poconos to do some, basically kind of like a retreat.


LIZ WOLFE:Summer camp type thing, so what it's called is Trapdoor Summer Camp. I'll put a link to the flyer up here pretty soon, but there are going to be workshops all weekend. Olly lifting with Jim Rutter…

DIANE SANFILIPPO:But can people sign up for it or is it like, how…

LIZ WOLFE:I believe so. However, I need to get a little bit more information on kind of the region that it's open to. It may only be kind of Philadelphia/Pennsylvania/Jersey type area.


LIZ WOLFE:CrossFit gyms as you know we have a lot of folks that listen to the podcast from that area..


LIZ WOLFE:We're going to be up at Indian Head, which I guess is in Equinunk, Pennsylvania. It's about 3 and half hours from Philly, 2 and half hours from NYC, so this should be pretty fun. The whole price of the weekend, that includes Paleo meals, two nights, I believe, a little Paleo-friendly booze, maybe even some non-Paleo friendly booze, BBQ, all kinds of cool workshops. Olly lifting, gymnatstics workshops, stuff like that, so I'll get more information up on that when I have it.


LIZ WOLFE:I'll be excited to just go out…I haven't been to the Poconos yet. Have you been to the Poconos?


LIZ WOLFE:I've been to the Liberty Bell 65 times, never been to the Poconos.

DIANE SANFILIPPO:Okay, what's funny-what's funny is that you're mentioning the Poconos right now, and I think it's like a little-sometimes I have like psychic dreams, and I dreamt about a Mount Airy Lodge last night. I've never been there, I've only seen it in commercials, and I'm pretty sure it's in the Poconos. But very strange, okay. I'm really a strange bird like that. Anyway.

LIZ WOLFE:And you're telling me this live?

DIANE SANFILIPPO:I didn't kow you were going to be talking about the Poconos today, so yeah, I think I'm just psychic or it's the fact that I've been running on like about, I don't know, the equivilent of 3 or 4 hours of sleep a night for the last week. I could just be like completely delusional right now [laughs].

LIZ WOLFE:Definitely, you're on a totally different level. What's funny is that I was just reading about…nevermind. This is just like [xxx] talking about.

DIANE SANFILIPPO:laughs] This is what happens when you and I haven't actually talked in like 2 weeks, and like, so I missed the podcast last week, so I'm like, what's going on, Liz? I haven't talked to you.

LIZ WOLFE:It's so weird. I got to tell you. I have been actually…and you know, if anybody listening is, you know, a veternatian or knd of as into their pet as I am, I'm doing my best to kind of get some, like I said my dog just had some major surgery and it's going to be kind of a long road back, but I'm trying to get as much nutrition into his diet as possible. I'm doing like the raw foods to grind. i actually get my raw food from Tropical Traditions, which is awesome stuff. It's really good stuff, but I'm adding even some butter, some pumpkin, some cod liver oil. I made my dog some bone broth. Oh my gosh, I'm such a loser. But I made him some, basically just boiled down a bone, extracted the-get the marrow out of there. Get some of the minerals out of there because he's not wanting to drink a whole lot of just water, so I'm trying to get him to drink broth. So anyway…



DIANE SANFILIPPO:Does he drink it?

LIZ WOLFE:Yeah, I've been getting my dog to drink the…he'll drink the broth because it smells good and there's some otehr good stuff in there.


LIZ WOLFE:I mean, there's no onion, there's no spices. It's basically just bone.


LIZ WOLFE:Bone boiled down, gravy bones. But I'm just trying to get him as much kindof healing nutrition as possible, and I have to tell you. The vet told me to start feeding him fish oil, and [laughs] I was like, you know, I'm willing to do some steady cold water fish, but I probably won't be doing fish oil, Dr. So and so, because I'm really kind of concerned about the potentiality for oxidation of the polyunsaturates [xxx]


LIZ WOLFE:And he was like, oh my God, get out of my office.So I've been feeding my dog sardines, too. He is literally eating better than I eat. [laughs]

DIANE SANFILIPPO:[laughs] That's awesome.

LIZ WOLFE:[xxx] yeah, so…

DIANE SANFILIPPO:You nerded out on your vet.

LIZ WOLFE:I totally nerded out on my vet, and he's…it's funny because you know a lot of us are kind of-we're [xxx] to kind of make good decisions for ourselves healthwise and medicine-wise, but you know, I'm just totally, I had no idea what the guy was talking about and I don't know, you know, doggy metabolism. Doggy healing. That is not my…not my bag, baby, so I just felt like I was sitting in the dark there. Kind of stinks. Anywho, how much time did we suck up?


LIZ WOLFE:About ten minutes?

DIANE SANFILIPPO:Yeah, about ten minutes, and yeah, okay. Questions, do we have questions? Do we have anything else we have to annouce? I think that's pretty much it, I mean other than the fact that I'm finishing final edits on my book literally today and if my publisher knew I was recording a podcast today, he'd probably like freak out. [laughs] You're supposed to be editing! [laughs] But yeah, so the book is releasing August 7th and that's a firm, strict date, so I think what that also means is like, for people who are lookin for it in a bookstore that day, like pretty, I kind of compare it and I think it's really funny, but you know how like Harry Potter books, they have a strict on sale date, like you know, people waiting at the bookstore at midnight because they can't sell it until that date,w hatever that date is, that's the strict on-sale date, and my book has one of those dates, so I expect poeple to be lined up at Barnes & Noble at midnight, the night before it releases. No, I'm just kidding. [laughs]

LIZ WOLFE:I'm already there. I'm in my tent right now.

DIANE SANFILIPPO:But I'm hoping that…are you in line, two months ahead? I'm hoping that what it means is that on August 7th, if you do want to just go to the bookstore, you can absolutely go and get it in person and support your, you know, support your bookstores. I'm not sure what small stores it'll be in, but you can definitely get it online at Amazon or Barnes & Noble, too, and it's basically half price online. So I don't know what the price will be in the stores, but anyway. Yeah, August 7th. I'll talk more about it as it gets a little closer, but yeah, that's it. Okay. QUestions?

LIZ WOLFE:Okay, well, we're going to talk a little bit about women's health, whcih we have done before a couple times, but I think this is really kind of a timely topic for us. We've been talking about, you know, body composition and different kind of…the emotional connection between, you know, weight and kind of how we conduct ourselves within this Paleosphere, how we eat, what we…all this hacking that everybody's trying to do. Questions of leanness within the Paleo community. We've talked about all this stuff a lot. So this is really kind of important to us, Diane, you and I. i would say we talk about it a lot at our workshop. And it's kind of come up a lot more lately. We see posts by Stefani, and I highly suggest everybody go over to PaleoforWomen.com. She's been having some bandwith issues probably because we all discovered her recent post, which is extraordinary. Definitely go check out PaleoforWomen.com. She's a very-she's a very intelligent gal. Let's leave it at that. I believe she's starting a podcast, which should be pretty cool. But she also just did a little guest post on, what is it called…


LIZ WOLFE:Free the Animal, right. Richard Nikolay's blog, who is probably…if I ever met him, I would probably…I would probably cry. I find him [laughs] so intimidating. He's probably the nicest teddy bear on the planet in person, but I just-he's so-he's so…

DIANE SANFILIPPO:He'll probably be at AHS, so…


DIANE SANFILIPPO:You can probably meet him there. He was there last year, so I wouldn't be surprised if he's there again, potentially speaking, I don't remember. Looking at the speaker list, but I remember it caused a bit of a stir last year when I commented on something he said in his talk. But we've since made nice.

LIZ WOLFE:Oh my. I..

DIANE SANFILIPPO:Yeah, I was a little scared for a minute there. I was like, ahhhh! [laughs] LIZ WOLFE:I mean, I love the guy. His stuff is interesting. It's absolutely not, I mean, I feel like already that he's going to come beat me up. I don't know, it's like this CrossFit thing where they know when you're talking about them and they find you. A little scary. So can we just delete the entire last segment after this podcast? That's what I'm wondering after this point.


LIZ WOLFE:Okay, the point is…

DIANE SANFILIPPO:Well, you can now that you know how to edit.

LIZ WOLFE:I can, that's true. Actually I might go ahead and do that. So we're talking about…

DIANE SANFILIPPO:And if you don't, Jimmy Moore is going to laugh at us. Sorry, we keep talking over each other.

LIZ WOLFE:Oh, Jimmy. That's okay. So let's just get into this and maybe I'll say some more coherent things as we go forward. All right, question from Amy: What can a 47 year old female with a turtle-like metabolism do to shed some weight? I know you probably get this question all the time but, truly, I am stumped. I have been trying in earnest since December and have not only not shed weight, but put some on. Inches are up, not down! I’m not a nut case about my weight…but geez, I would like to fit back in my clothes that fit last fall! I am 5’5 and 150 pounds. Until last fall, I was around 140 and was fine but would have liked five more off my side. Since then, my weight began to creep up, despite generally watching was I was eating to eventually watching every mouthful!
Is this the fate of premenopausal women with thyroid issues and some creeping blood sugar issues?- By the way, I am not diabetic, but have been watching blood sugar as my doctor and I are both stumped as to the rise in the blood sugar readings yet an extremely low sugar/carb way of eating.”
All right, so this kind of stimulates my whole shpiel which is kind of what I was trying to pull into the conversation with referencing PaleoforWomen.com, the idea of weight loss and as we cover this topic, I want everybody to know that Diane and I are not big weight loss enthusiasts. Generally, our biggest concern is that people do the right thing, eat the right food, eat a nutrient dense diet, do everything that they can to, you know, get good sleep, get proper exercise, and let the chips fall where they may. And this is something that I think women truggle with probably with more so than men. Love yourself, do what's right for you, and don't stress about it. That's the number one thing. We can talk about tweaking, but in general, a lot of times when people want that five pounds off or that ten pounds off, that's a vanity thing. And I'm not saying that's the case with Amy, but for the most part, we want to be leaner than we need to be for optimal health. So…


LIZ WOLFE:That said, Amy's really experiencing stuff that she's not comfortable with, so let's talk about it.

DIANE SANFILIPPO:So her-she's got, you know, again in her like further details, it-this is where it usually discloses the actual story for a lot of people, especially when it comes to like women who are looking for weight loss, and again, like what you're saying, when it's under 15 or 20 pounds, it's generally not a weight loss issue. It's generally some other, you know, you're not weight loss resistant when you have that last 5 or 10 pounds to lose. Weight loss resistance is more like you've got more than 20 pounds and we can't figure out why it's not going anywhere, but the last 5 or 10 pounds is usually much more, it's minutiae that needs to be tackled, whether it's hormonal balance or foods that just don't work for you or lifestyle factors, what have you. So she's hypothyroid, which is a really big deal when it comes to managing weight loss because your thyroid manages your metabolism. So if you're hypothyroid and your medication levels are not appropriate for you, it may not-not that it doesn't matter what you eat-but it almost might not matter what you're eating, to some degree. Like you are trying to tweak food and it really might not matter because your thyroid is dictating this whole, you know, it's orchestrating this whole thing. So you can put perfect food in, quote unquote, whatever that may mean, but if your thyroid isn't really optimal at that time, it really might not matter. So she says it's not horrible and she's medicated adequately. i mean, it's one thing I might consider talking to your endocrinologist, you know, looking at the type of dosage that you have and just kind of retesting what your thyroid hormone levels are, and just kind of seeing what's going on there.
She's waking up with some high blood sugars. I don't know exactly what could be the cause of this for her. It can really vary. But she's generally eating, she says, low glycemic vegetables, mostly leafy greens, no fruit, no dairy, no grains, minimal nuts, eggs and good fats, so she was contemplating adding some other things back in. What I see a lot, and I think that we both see a lot of that people get so scared of carbs that they forget that carbs aren't the problem and carbs aren't bad, and you know, this is something that I kind of tried to write about more in the book at least, you know, hopefully it makes some sense to people. But there's a difference between first of all, good carbs and bad carbs and the way that I describe what good carbs are is that they're nutrient dense carbs, you know. They come with the vitamins and minerals we need to metabolize them, so first off, you know, understanding that just eating carbs in general doesn't necessarily mean it's a bad thing. But if it's not working for you to eat just, you know, leafy and non-starchy vegetables, there's no problem with adding in some starchy vegetables. Eating a very low carb diet can be stressful. You know, we've been hearing more and more about it, just around the community around low carb kind of pushing a stress response and pushing the hypothyroid into a little bit mroe of a problematic area. So you know, not eating too low carb if you are hypothyroid. That will also help if you have any, we don't know here, but if she has any issues around constipation, which is a really, really common side effect of hypothyroidism. So making sure she is eating some starchy stuff, and I've got a whole post on Paleo carbs and most of those are just starchy vegetables, so squash, sweet potatoes, root vegetables, lots of different root vegetables, even carrots are not super starchy, but some can help. And so, getting some of those in might be more helpful.
You know, she said at one point she tried eating 6 times a day, including tubers and carrots. I don't think you need to eat 6 times a day. i think the whole thing is just like calm down. Add a half a cup of something starchy per day. Do it after you exercise and see how you feel. You know, one thing at a time. Just try one thing at a time. You know, getting really spun up and stressed out about it is pretty much the worst thing you can do, and you know, I've kind of used myself as an example, even right now, like my body composition is not my ideal, and it's not what it even like could be for me right now, but I know why it's there. Like I know that it's been a stressful 6 months and I just kind of say, well, here's what I'm going to do for the next month, you know. Like let's try this first. This is what I know works and just see where my body goes when I know that the stress levels are lower. And when you're dealing with hypothyroidism and when you're mentally stressing about weight loss, you're just working against yourself. Like your mental stress will make it harder for you to lose weight. You have to just like tell yourself you're figuring it out, you're going to get there, and just relax, because driving your own cortisol response higher by being worried about it is literally making it more difficult to just drop any weight that you may need to drop. So that's kind of my long and short of it.
You know, at 5'5 and 150 pounds, we don't know what kind of body composition she has in terms of, you know, muscle. She's exercising. At 47 years old, you know, I don't presume that that's extremely heavy. I can see how it might be a little-might be uncomfortable for her, just depending on like she said, her clothes fitting and that kind of thing. So you know, it's understandable and I'm not trying to discount that thought process or that effort, but you know, it's also something I talked about with Mira and Jason Calton when I was on the Low Carb Cruise, and you know, this might be an issue for us in this show or just in other sstations we have with women and body composition, but the idea that first of all, potentially seasonally, we might fluctuate our weight, you know. You may hit your goal right, at one point, beause you follow some kind of plan or whatever. But maybe it's a body composition or weiht or whatever doesn't stick all year round. Like I just know very, very few people who maintain the exact same size and shape all year round. You know, some people do. That's great for them.But for some of us, you know, it's oing to fluctuate and that's natural. And just kind of go with the flow and address what's going on differently in your life and your diet, and uynderstand that what worked for you last year may not work for you today based on the fact that everything else has changed. You know, a lot of times people, and I've said this before, too to people, we say, oh well, this worked for me before. You know, my low carb diet worked for me before. Well, if it's not working for you now, you just need to try some other things, and just because it didn't work for you then to add some carbs in doesn't mean that now it won't, you know, given a differnt type of landscape or a different approach with it. You knwo, adding in carbohydrates, dense carbs, in the form of sweet potatoes, for example, you know, you don't need to do it at every single meal. maybe doing it once a day and that will yield a different result.
So that's kind fo what I'm thinking. I don't know what other questions she might have about how to deal with this, but the reality is getting her hormones checked, possibly adding back some carbohydrate, and at some point she might want to get her other hormones tested. Get a, you know, an adrenal stress index done. It's a salivary test. Maybe, you know, you and I are talking about the whole Biosig thing. Maybe even looking at some of her other estrogen hormones. I know Robb Wolf on his podcast, I think it was just last week, they did a whole podcast on estrogen and how estrogen detox is really tough for people these days and depending on where they're carryin their body fat, it may be an issue of that. You know, just a lot of different things to look into, but that's my take.

LIZ WOLFE:Good job.

DIANE SANFILIPPO:It's a lot. It's not simple.

LIZ WOLFE:I was going to recommend that podcast as well, Robb's podcast. That was a good one.

DIANE SANFILIPPO:Yeah, it was good. I liked it.

LIZ WOLFE:All right, next up from Kris: “I’ve read and heard countless times how one reason it is so hard to maintain weight loss is because our bodies are always trying to get back to that starting weight. I’m 18 years old, 5’7″, 166 pounds, size 8-10 and an avid crossfiter.” I believe this is a girl.


LIZ WOLFE:Yeah, K-R-I-S. “I have always struggled with my weight, always yo yo dieting but I have never made it to my “perfect” weight. Over these past 11 months I have completely transformed to a paleo lifestyle and have lost 30 pounds and many dress sizes. I’m pretty close to my goal weight which would be around a size 6 and around 20 pounds lighter that I am now. When I hit my goal weight I’m assuming that I’m going to have to maintain my very low carb diet (I don’t eat fruit, nuts, or starchy vegetables) for a period of time in order to maintain my weight because my body is trying to get back to that starting weight as all the “experts” say it is trying to do. So if this is true, that my body will try to get back to its starting weight, at what point or how many years will it take for my body to adapt to this new weight and want to fight to maintain that new weight? Will my new weight ever become my body’s weight set point for homeostasis? I stick to meat and non-starchy vegetables, no fruit or nuts, recently 2 months ago, I added in a sweet potato post-WOD because I was getting nauseated and dizzy after CrossFit workouts.”
My face is red right now. My blood is boiling a little bit.
“I talked with my coach about what to do. I've cut down on MetCons to 3 a week and try not to sit all day. Now that school's out, I get at least 8 hours of sleep a night, but during school I was getting around 6 or 7. I just started taking fish oil and my OB/GYN from the Paleo Physician's Network recommended I take some, but after listening to you all, I might have to switch to cod liver oil. I still haven't hit my goal weight yet, so I don't cheat that often. Usually every month to two months, and then I will just a lot of nut butters, even the ones with sugar in them and dark chocolate. I stay away from gluten.”
Kris, I want you to work as hard at the mental game here as you are on the physical. I so respect what you're doing. You have a goal and your'e working your butt off to get there, and I think that's wonderful. But I want to specify here that you need to allow your body to be happy and fertile and comfortable where it wants to be. I'm not saying you can't get to a size 6, but I'm saying, if you don't, and especially a good indicator of this idea that your body may not want to be at a certain place is if you end up two years down the road still feeling like you're fighting your food. You're fighting this battle all the time. I just want you to nourish yourself and really commit to changing your perspective on what kind of gives you value as a woman and as a person. I mean, I'm totally…Diane, I'm just living in the clouds during this whole episode because I've just realized that a lot of us are not built for smallness or leanness, and that's fine. I've just noticed that I think a lot of times our heroes as fitness-oriented women or even some of the women within this Real Food community that are out there pounding the pavement, spreading this message, those poele are self-described naturally thin.


LIZ WOLFE:And you know what? I'm not. I'm not naturally thin. We;ve dealt with that. Poele have made comments after workshops that, you know, I'm not as lean as people expected I would be. And that's freaking fine. I'm nourishing myslef better than I ever have before and exerciing more reasonably, and I'm gaming it out mentally more than ever before as well. My acne is resolved. My skin issues are resolved. My hair looks good. I'm feeling good. I'm happy, and that's really what's most important. I don't want people to be fighting their bodies or fighting this battle for two years. I do not want that. And I dont want that for Kris. I want her to reach her goals, but I want her to do it in a way that she's not feeling as if she's battling something or trying to maintain something that's just not naturally comfortable.

DIANE SANFILIPPO:Yeah, I think there's a couple of things, too, with the whole mindset and perspective here. Like first of all, you know, when we say we want people to like let go of all of this craziness around leanness. You know, it doesn't mean that we don't want women to be at a healthy weight, you know, because..


DIANE SANFILIPPO:you know, we probably have a broad audience and we have a different set of people who are maybe are, you know, dealing with more excess body weight than they need, and that definitely isn't healthy. You know, because it drives our hormonal response and it really isn't a good place to be. You know, we can't live optimally if we are carrying around a lot of excess body fat. So that's not what we're talking about. What we are talking about are, you know, it's almost like this double-edged sword in the CrossFit community that we've got amazing, amazing heroes in women who are super strong and like tackling feats of, you know, feats of strength that we're just in awe and we're proud that these are women who are doing these things and you know, we've got just amazing athletes, like Jenny LaBaw and Annie Thorisdottir, and you know, all these women who like, I think we just…we love that they do what they do, and that they're lean and that they're strong and muscular. But we, you and I, really want, you know, the average athletic female to understand that being strong is amazing and being lean is a blessing, and it's fortunate that as women, we actually tend to have better strength capacity when we're not as lean. And I think your note, too, about the women…a lot of the women who we see, if you look at the CrossFit, you know, the bodies of CrossFit athletes who are in that top 30 or top 60, even at like your regional competitions, like we were at Regionals a few weeks ago, I mean, the body sizes and shapes are like hugely varied, and I think that's the reality of the shape that women take naturally, you know, just based on what, you know, what is their body cut out to do and some of them are super lean. And I think those are the women who, you know, before they put on muscle, they were always kind of the skinnier, slimmer women, and then they put muscle on, and they were lean at that, but then there are women who just naturally carry a little more body fat, and I think what's happening a lot in our workshops, women who are coming up to us who look physically like they might have an ideal shape, they're not menstruating. Like we look at them, and we're like, wow, this girl looks amazing, and they're not menstruating. Haven't menstruated in five years. That kind of thing is happening all the time. And I think that it's really important for whoever's listening to this podcast to recognize that just looking at someone for, you know, aesthetics and trying to make it a goal to have that aesthetic going on and you know, I think I'm guilty of this, too, to some degree. Of course, you know, as being someone who stands in front of people, I want to feel comfortable in my own skin, right? You know, we have that as well. But I think just balancing that idea of like just feeling happy and confident, but also shifting our perspective on what will make us feel happy and confident and understanding, you know, that that person who looks like some picture of ideal health, you know, really on the inside, I would tell you probably 8 or 9 times out of 10, those are the women who come to us, you and I, and some of my other, you know, practitioner friends. They come to us with problems of fertility, problems with menstruation, and problems with digestion. It's very, very common, and so, you know, just looking at someone from the outside, looking at what their aesthetic, body fat level, all of that. It just does not tell the whole story and I think we just really want women…we want women to have healthy hormonal balance and to be fertile and if your body fat's naturally low because that's where you are, great. Then that's fine if you're menstruating and you feel great, and then that's fine. But for most women, body fat levels need to be higher than we think, and you know, it's just, I feel like we're saying this a lot, but I feel like it's not sinking in because we keep getting the same questions over and over. So either women need to go backwards and listen to some of these old podcasts or more people need to come to the workshop and hear it, and you know, see us in person and I don't know what you've heard. I've never heard somebody say, you know, that I should look a certain way or they thought I would look a certain way, and I didn't. Usually, they'll think I'll be taller. I think that's just because I'm loud and I'm only 5'4.

LIZ WOLFE:[laughs]

DIANE SANFILIPPO:But I've actually gotten feedback that like, and I think especially from people who've come to the workshops who are not in the CrossFit community, they appreciated that I look like a normal person. Like I look healthy and lean to them, but I don't…I'm not shredded, you know, especially right now. I don't know if I ever have been or it's fleeting, just because I happen to be not stressed when that happens, but, you know, it's just not…it's just not what's important for me to get people to understand and learn. I want people to know how to get healthy and if they get, you know, leaner from that, great. And if they just get to a healthy, normal, not overweight place, that's what needs to happen, you know?
And how long it might take? So you know, back to Kris's question, how long it might take for your body to find a new set point, and you know, what will happen from there, you know, this definitely happened to me. I was about 25, 30 pounds heavier than I am now years and years ago, and I feel like I definitely got down to whatever this body weight was that some composition thing told me I should be at, and I got there. And for me to go higher or lower than that set point by about 5 pounds takes either just not paying attention to what I'm eating and I bump up that five pounds and being stressed and not sleeping. I bump up that five pounds, or if I'm really diligent and just kind of keep things good and you know, I stay at that normal weight, and it's really hard to get below that, and it requires basically dieting, which I don't promote to get below that. So you know, I think after a few years of keeping yourself at a healthy place, your body kind of does find that new weight and you know what, it may be a higher number than you think you want it to be, and that's where the whole scale thing, especially when you're weight training, you know, go by your clothes. go by how you look, but the number on the scale is not really, you know, it's not indicating your health. Yeah.

LIZ WOLFE:I probably…


LIZ WOLFE:I probably should have saved what I actually said for this next question because I think it kind of relates a little bit better to this next question that's coming up, but yeah, and I also don't want to diminish what Kris has done because she lost 30 pounds. She's working really hard. She's eating healthy, and that's freaking awesome.

DIANE SANFILIPPO:Yeah, absolutely.

LIZ WOLFE:So I apologize if I discounted that a little bit.

DIANE SANFILIPPO:No, but I think, you know, I think that people understand that we're absolutely like supportive and happy for them, and I think the reason they ask us these questions is that they…I almost think that people know to a degree that they're, you know, an element of you actually are doing everything you can do. Give yourself some time, you know. Give your body some time. How many years were you overweight for? You know, if we were overweight for 2, 3, 5, 10 years, and then in a few months, lose all this weight, it's like okay, good, give it some time. You know, there's a male client I was working with probably last year who in a few months, his progress was really slow. He was making progress or he was a little plateaued. He wasn't going backwards, but it was slow, and then I hadn't heard from him for several months, maybe 6 months, and then he wrote to me, saying, you know, finally that last 20 pounds came off, and it was just a matter of slow and steady wins the race, you know? Your body has to believe that what you are doing right now is going to keep happening. you know, you have to retrain your entire metabolism and it can, you're basically shocking it with the diet at first, or the whole change in your lifestyle at first. But then after that, you have to really convince it that you're serious, which just means being consistent, so think it just takes some time.

LIZ WOLFE:And to that end I do think that there is, just from what I've read, the literature that I've, you know, had exposure to, I do believe that this kind of set point theory has some validity absolutely. So it's a great question that Kris is asking. I think the practical application of that idea comes down exactly to what you've just said. It does take a little while and that's not a bad thing. We want to be extrapolating these good behaviors over time. So I think Kris is saying what she needs to be doing.


LIZ WOLFE:There you go. But if she still, you know, you're feeling these issues, whether emotional or physically after two years, you probably need to go back and kind of look at what's going on, mentally, emotionally, physically, and what her ideal weight may be actually be for optimum health, so all right…

DIANE SANFILIPPO:So just a quick…Hunh? A quick note, she might have to switch to the cod liver oil. Just to remind her what `we are recommending is a fermented cod liver oil. We both like the fermented cod liver oil/butter oil blend from GreenPasture.org. I just reordered some because it came back in stock, the cinnamon flavor, so, you know, I think it's great that her doctor recommended the fish oil, just because it's like, at least it's a progressively thinking doctor. I think we're thinking ahead a little bit beyond that. I honestly think that in however many more years, the stuff that we're talking about, we're like the hippies who are…I think it'll come out that this idea of this isolated, unsaturated fat may not be ideal, but taking it as a cod liver oil really a superfood, you know, concentrated food.


DIANE SANFILIPPO:It's not an isolated nutrient and I really…I really like taking it for that reason. I love recommending it to people for that reason as well, so that's what I would recommend for her.

LIZ WOLFE:Same here, and currently, working on our epic fish oil post that we're teasing a little bit. I am having the worst time getting an honest view of how fish oil is extracted.


LIZ WOLFE:and processed.


LIZ WOLFE:and, you know, explaining commercial grade fish oil. I'm having a hell of a time with that, whereas with the cod liver, yeah, it's harder to find. You can really only get it from one or two places, and there's really only that one brand that's good enough. But we know how it's made. And we know what's safe and that the vitamins are preserved and generally undamaged, so it's just a safe-safe, nutrient dense bet all around.


LIZ WOLFE:All right, yeah, so next up…


LIZ WOLFE:from Karen, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Karen asks: “Hi Liz and Diane! How do I lose those last 10 to 20 ‘Vanity pounds'? I may need to sleep more or eat less sugar but I am having trouble putting both of these needs into action. How do I kick my sugar and nut cravings when I can’t just stop having them in my house? Do you think coffee is going to intensify my sugar cravings? I am 24, 5'8, 173lbs, 25% body fat, and I am about a size 9/10. I have been stuck around this size for about a year. I may need to sleep more or eat less sugar but I am having trouble putting both of these needs into action. I was doing CrossFit for a year and a half but wasn’t satisfied with my buffness (sorry I know this sounds really girly) and I have been doing yoga teacher training and am very happy doing yoga with the exception of all of the vegetarians and vegans getting so excited about juicing and The China Study.” Oh man.
“I wake up around 7am. I am going to school to become a dietitian so I sit down for most of my mornings, I am a swim teacher so I am very active with my job for about 20 hours a week and I do yoga 5 days a week plus yoga teacher training involves some activity.” Uh, I don't think you need to cut out any carbohydrate there, girl. You're going, going, going.
All right, “I have cut out alcohol but would like to be able to have a little wine occasionally. My typical food day looks like eggs or meat for breakfast with coffee and cream and sometimes nuts, meat and veggies for lunch and dinner and sometimes nuts. I supplement with vitamin D, omega 3 fish oil, and cod liver oil. Sometimes all I want in a day are nuts. I sometimes skip meals too or just have a kombucha or coffee. A few nights a week I will snack on dried fruit and nuts and then try not to hate myself for eating so many nuts or having too many carbohydrates before bed.” This sounds like my problem with dried mango. My addiction.

DIANE SANFILIPPO:Her next sentence I would…yeah, what does it say?

LIZ WOLFE:“I would stop buying these foods but they are my roommates or mother’s and I cave when I see them.”

DIANE SANFILIPPO:Yeah, I hear ya, sister.

LIZ WOLFE:Yeah, Diane's got that same situation.


LIZ WOLFE:“Bed time is at 10p-12a (varies a lot). I take cold showers as prescribed by my paleo doctor and try to keep a good attitude.”


LIZ WOLFE:She knows what subjects we're going to cover. She's totally…


LIZ WOLFE:two steps ahead of me, yeah, it's awesome. One more thing…

DIANE SANFILIPPO:I like her reference there. Okay one more thing.

LIZ WOLFE:“One more thing. I am going to school to be a dietitian and I am hating it and here’s why. The nutritional advice is inaccurate.” Oh my gosh, I love that sentence.


LIZ WOLFE:“I am hating it and here’s why. The nutritional advice is inaccurate.” That's why I hate it, too.
“I am taking a baking class where I learn how to make things low fat and vegetarian and I don’t care to know how to make cream puffs or even pasta salads! I am taking chemistry and barely passing. I know I have a long road ahead and I would love some advice from some people who made the journey. Is health coach certification through integrative nutrition a good route to take? This paleo stuff is a passion of mine that has saved my life and I have decided to do what it takes to be able to help others. I really want to learn about stuff that I agree with. I love your podcast! You guys are as holistic as it gets! Thanks. Lots of love, Karen.”


LIZ WOLFE:I'll address the end question real quick before we get started on the other stuff. As far as the question about our nutrition education, we get this a lot. We've podcasted about it a little bit. I'm working on just a stock answer because I really can't address all the people that have messaged me kind of asking me about my credentials and if I recommend them and what I think, yadda yadda. So if you've sent me an email about that, I will get back to you as soon as I can. It may be a little bit, but I think it is important to learn stuff that you don't agree with as much as you learn stuff that you do agree with. So I do not think it's a bad thing. Also, having those dietetic credentials is really a great thing if you can stick it out. I think graduate credentials-graduate level credentials or university credentials are really important. She's obviously got that. She's a college student. Yeah, that's-Diane, I don't know if you have anything to add to that, but…

DIANE SANFILIPPO:No, but maybe we'll do a podcast sometime where we bring on a couple of people who've gone to different schools and kind of address that. I mean…


DIANE SANFILIPPO:We can-it is something that like you and I get this question probably almost daily in our inboxes, and we're like, okay, we've addressed it many times, but somehow people don't find, you know, what we've kind of gone over there, but so I'm with on you on wanting to learn things that you agree with. I don't-you know, I think the problem is when the focus is less on the science and the biochemistry, and when it becomes more on recommendations. The school I went to, you know, we did talk a lot about biochemistry and just general like what are nutrients that support this body system, you know. What does this body need more of or need to focus on, and you know, the general overarching recommendations are all pretty similar, right? You know, like we all need a lot of…one of my teachers would say, your body needs everything all the time. So it's like, kind of silly to say, well, you need more vitamin A, you need more vitamin D, whatever, your body needs everything all the time. But when people are dealing with different issues, they may need more of something than, you know, something else, and whatever. So that being said, I think you, you know, probably someone like Laura from Ancestralize Me to talk to this girl a little bit about that or just check out her blog and how she kind of comes to terms with, you know, being a dietetic student, but also having a Paleo perspective. You know, or someone like Amy Kubal, who's a Paleo, you know, Registered Dietitian. How do they rectify this whole thing, just kind of while you're learning? And I think, you know, the chemistry and biochemistry doesn't actually change, so you know, if you can find out where the professor may be sneaking in opinions vs. just this is how the cell works, this is how, you know, nutrients are fed into the Krebs cycle and energy is created. You know, that stuff is…there's no opinion there. You know, this is-that's nutritional biochemistry, so you should be able to learn that stuff and take that with you. So that shouldn't really be an issue. But anyway…
So let's go back to her thing. First of all, the fruit and nuts being around the house because they're not yours, I totally, totally feel you. My parents have dried fruit and nuts. I live with them right now. And I tried to tell my mother, I cannot have this stuff around because there's a reason why when I changed my whole way of eating, I gutted the house. You know, I really like chucked everything. Gave it away. Whatever. I don't have willpower, I think. You know, willpower-it's just not a thing that most people can handle, having foods around that really tempt them. So, you know, if that means kind of asking your roommate or your mother to maybe hide the stuff that you don't want to be eating, somehow. I did ask my mom to do that. I was like, can you please put this somewhere where I can't find it, and not just like off to the side, like really where I can't find it. You know, that's one approach, honestly, because out of sight, out of mind. But other than that, it does sound like she's just eating too low carb. And so if you're craving carbohydrates, you might need to eat more carbohydrates, but getting them in a way that's balanced and healthy for you in some starchy vegetables. Doing it in a way that mentally doesn't stress you. So you know, I totally get this whole like guilt thing that she's saying. If you end up binging on some foods that you are like telling yourself they're not healthy or they're bad, you know, that negative self-talk? That's just going to create a different problem for you. So instead of doing that, put some good carbs in around your exercise. Get, you know, get starchy foods in. Maybe you know, if it's dinner or whatever your meal is after your workout, and let yourself understand that that's a good, healthy, appropriate way to eat them, and see what happens to the cravings.
I always think people, you know, if you're getting a craving, understand why. If you're not sleeping enough, that's always the first place to start. If you understand that your cravings are based on whether it's a hormonal imbalance because you're not sleeping or you're stressed or you're not getting what you need in your body, then you just need to unwind that and try and take those steps to address it. And then from there, that whole physical stress will probably alleviate, so the mental stress will then be faced with like, Ah, I really want to eat these, you know, giant pile of almonds, will probably alleviate itself, if you do start getting more sleep. Like in the issue of sugar and sleep, get the sleep. Focus on getting your sleep. That actually may mean getting more carbs in. It's almost like cart before the horse here. Getting more carbs in may help you sleep better. If you're not sleeping, getting a little bit more carbs in, I mean, I have a ton of people who, they're afraid to eat at night, right? So they go to bed hungry and then they wake up because their blood sugar drops, and I tell them to eat some protein and some carbohydrate a little while before bed, and generally that helps them sleep through the night. There's a lot of different reasons for that, but one of them is that we don't want your blood sugar dropping, and if you do need the carbs, again, your activity level's pretty high. So this is kind of our little-our little message here that carbs aren't the devil and they actually help…they may help your body destress a little bit by giving it what it really needs. What else does she say here?
Yeah, sometimes all she wants in a day are nuts. She'll skip meals or probably have a cup of coffee. I think just planning the whole day a little differently should really help with that. And I wouldn't worry about too many carbs before bed. I would just tell yourself a new story there. You know, don't tell yourself a story that eating before bed is bad or wrong. If you are hungry, eat something. Eat something that's appropriate and balanced, you know. Binging on dried fruits and nuts before bed vs. maybe eating a reasonable portion is totally different. So if that means that you can tell yourself, it's okay for me to eat, you know, a small handful of fruit and nuts before I go to bed, that's fine. You know, don't eat a cup of it, but a small handful and just let yourself know that that's okay. It's real, whole food. There's nothing wrong with that. But the problem comes when we tell ourselves that that's bad and then we almost spiral into this like, well, it's bad so let me just do more of it because I already feel bad or badly about it, and then that whole guilt thing happens. So it's just telling yourself a new story there.

LIZ WOLFE:You know, I always had a little bit of an issue with wanting to eat at night, especially just when…I'm still kind of acclimated even after years of trying to get to bed early, I'm still acclimated to this night owl schedule that I kind of, you know, we start doing that when we're 12, 13. Stay up too late, sleep in. It takes a lot of commitment to kind of reverse that, and so I think for that reason, I send some wonky signals to my body about what time it is, what season it is, that I should be eating a little bit more as it's later, and I've started to employ some kind of conscious meditative type stuff later in the evening, especially lately, I've been working until 2, 3, 4 in the morning and having to get up at 6, 7 o'clock. I've just worked on taking a few moments to stand still and be present when I'm feeling that urge come on in the evening, and I think this is probably something that Karen's totally up for, just given her background and what she's doing with yoga. But just to kind of be present and acknowledge that craving or that drive for what it is, and at that point, once I've done that, I can absolutely kind of give myself permission to have a little bit, or you know, go ahead and do it and not attest negative feelings to it. A lot of times, I'll just kind of realize, yeah, don't need it. So I really like that suggestion about telling yourself a new story. I think it's a good opportunity to practice some of that conscious, thoughtful, meditative type stuff.

DIANE SANFILIPPO:Yeah, I think a lot of times, you know, the questions that we get, especially the ones that are really lengthy and it's kind of like, somebody will talk themselves…They're telling their story in this question or someone tells you whatever is going on and then they say, but I can't do this or I can't do that. Kind of like the, you know, but these are my mom's or my roommate's, so I can't do anything about that. And it's like, well, there are some things you can do. There's always things that we can try to do to change our situation. So it's kind of like, I think I address this in like the adrenal stress issues or the post that I have on RobbWolf.com that was about stress and, you know, if something's not working for you, if you're not happy, what can you do? And part of it's either to change your mindset or change the situation or some combination of those things, right? So it's like, change your thoughts, you know, or actually change the environment, and sometimes it's little pieces of both that will just kind of take you there. And sometimes it's just like, what you said, standing still for a minute and being present and like, hey, what's actually going on here, and just taking it…

LIZ WOLFE:Not thinking what I'm going to do, what I am about to do, what am I not supposed to do that I'm about to do, but just to present.


LIZ WOLFE:All right, next question. This is a little longer, and this next question is part of the reason I'm really excited to go out and get our Poliquin Biosignature certifications because we will be really delving into for several days the hormonal underpinnings of where folks tend to store body fat, and what that tells us about what's going on under the hood. I'm excited. So we may revisit questions like that here in a little while.
All right, Jenn says: Hey guys, I have always heard a lot of talk about stubborn stomach fat being cortisol related and upper arm fat being estrogen related. My problem however is (very) stubborn fat in the outer thigh area… the dreaded saddlebags.” You know, I always think about…this is where I store my fat, too. But I think that that line from Sister Act where she's in the nun habit and she's like laughs] “But now I've got holster hips!” And I have no idea what it means, but that's always what it reminds me of. Saddlebags, holster hips, whatever. Neither of them are…never mind. I'm digging myself a hole here, but it just makes me laugh.
All right, “I know we can sometimes have dysmorphia about our shape but I really think my saddlebags are very noticeable. I have the “double butt” phenomenon going on: a roll of fat right below my butt cheeks, and I don’t have a smooth hipline. The outer thigh fat sticks out.
My mom was very active in her youth, but not paleo at the time, and while she was always thin she wasn’t able to get rid of fat deposits from this area until she had liposuction. She is convinced that my problem is genetic and the only way I can get rid of them is through surgery.
Is this true? Do you know what hormonal profile might encourage fat deposition in this area? What sort of exercise/food would be able to fix this (if there is any)? I'm 22, 5'5, 125 pounds, classic pear shape and female, of course. Recently, being apart from this one specific area of fat deposits, I'm a student and I have a lot of stress in my life. I try to sleep as much as I can. I don't have time to sleep nearly as much as I want to at this point. Lots of long days and all-nighters.”
Think that's good as far as background, Diane?

DIANE SANFILIPPO:Yeah, I don't think we need to have more background on it. And actually it's funny that you and I probably both just listened to the estrogen podcast over on Robb Wolf's…the estrogen episode on Robb Wolf's podcast is actually-around the hips and thighs, that's usually estrogen-related body fat. And that's not necessarily, not necessarily rocket science to figure that out because when you look at where men store body fat, it's never, ever on their hips. They don't…almost ever. Even very overweight men, you know, when they obviously get to a point where it's going everywhere, but that's estrogen-related, and so you know, genetics will dictate some of that for sure. Part of that's probably not just what's written in your actual DNA, but probably some of the foundation of what your mom was dealing with when she was pregnant with you. When, you know, whatever kind of estrogen levels she may have had or detox capacity or not. It does say here that she says she's on the Pill for awhile.

LIZ WOLFE:Yeah, I kind of missed that part. One possible important detail…sorry about that. I skipped down to it, and it's on the second page here. “I made the switch to the NuvaRing a few months ago since almost every Pill I took was making me menstruate for up to 3 weeks at a time. I tried about 10 different kinds and the Pill always had this effect.”


LIZ WOLFE:I've actually heard this same kind of body composition story/birth control pill, try a million different kinds type thing just anecdotally from a lot of people. It's actually kind of the same, the same thing I've dealt with personally, so I'll look forward to September where we get to learn a little bit more about this.

DIANE SANFILIPPO:Yeah, it really is…this really is all hormonal, and it doesn't mean…there's a few things going on here. So like one thing is, you know, I would just make sure you're doing the best that you can to regulate blood sugar because that's going to be problematic for estrogen. SO you know, if you do have any blood sugar imbalances because if you're not feeling like your blood sugar is even throughout the day, that's where I would look first in terms of just like food and lifestyle. Outside of food and lifestyle, this is really more about stuff like possibly…well, in her exercise, she's not really…it doesn't sound like she's doing any weight training, but if you're trying to adjust hormonal balance, I would definitely add weight training to the mix because it will potentially help clear some of that estrogen, just like changing the balance and getting some things going with like growth hormones and that kind of thing. So I would definitely add weight training to the mix there, whatever that means for you. It doesn't have to be CrossFit, but doing some resistance work, not just cardio type of activity or running. I think running actually, you know, if it's a stressor on your body, it could actually make this whole thing worse. So it's not the thing I would recommend. Body weight exercises are fine, but I would add weight to that.
But in terms of something you can do to help hormonal detoxification, which is what's going on here, you need to make sure that you're eliminating well and regularly, first and foremost. I talk about poop a lot. I talk about it in the book a lot, and you know, I don't know what her eliminations are like, but if they're not ideal, meaning they're not like medium brown, shaped, well formed, easy to pass, all of that, I would take steps and you can listen back to some of our podcasts on digestion and poop about how to do that, but I would take steps to make sure that your eliminations are great because if you are storing excess estrogen, in order to detoxify, you need to be eliminating properly. So some things that you can do to help detoxify estrogen, there's a supplement called diindolymethane -it's abbreviated DIM-and what it is is a concentration of compounds from cruciferous vegetables, so, you know, broccoli, cauliflower, that kind of thing, and you can eat more of those vegetables, but the concentrated form is definitely a little bit of a different situation. But diindolymethane is actually known as support for estrogen detox, help your liver kind of move through some of its detox pathways, and get those estrogens out of your system. So that's something that you can definitely consider. There are other things to consider in terms of like again, getting an adrenal stress test or just getting your hormone levels tested and seeing where they're at. Estrogen dominance is really common today. We are bombarded by plastics in the environment, which act like neo-estrogens or, you know, environmental estrogens. I would make sure there's-I'm assuming there's no soy in her diet, but if for some reason there's still some sneaking in, I would make sure that that's all out. Lifestyle-wise, I mean, she could look at plastics, you know, how many plastics is she using? Is there a plastic water bottle? You know, what's going on her body in terms of body care that might inhibit detoxification? And that's stuff I know that you, Liz, have a bunch of posts on your website about, sort of…

LIZ WOLFE:I do, I do.

DIANE SANFILIPPO:body-friendly body care. So that's what's really important. At this point, understanding that it's a matter of estrogen levels and estrogen detoxification. And what that means is that your body needs to clear out. When you have more estrogen than you need and it's causing you to carry this body fat in places, that's what needs to happen, and you need to get more of that out. And you may, you know, that may be where you store a little more fat pretty much always. We all have our potentials to store fat in different places differently based on, you know, that little element of genetics. Obviously some of us are pear-shaped or apple-shaped more. But I think also, Liz, you may know about this, but isn't there also little bit of a fertility thing, like babies somehow are grabbing fat more from our hips and thighs and butt than anywhere else? Like somehow….you know about that?

LIZ WOLFE:Yeah, I've heard about this a little bit. I think that, when she said, classic pear shape, my first thought was well, that's great, that's really kind of…


LIZ WOLFE:I don't know, we just see that that's more of a fertility friendly type of being with regards to hormonal processes, but I don't know that excessive, you know, fat in the, as far as what she's talking about, not having seen her, not really knowing whether this is one of those things that is more her being self-critical or if it's actually, you know, an odd amount for composition of this fat. But generally with this kind of pear shape, we see some really positive outcomes with regards to fertility and even with regards to the storage of fat where the baby pulls it, I believe is DHA from the fat stores in those areas.


LIZ WOLFE:So that's really my understanding of it.

DIANE SANFILIPPO:And at 5'5 and 125 pounds, we don't know, you know, she's not, like I said, she's not saying much about her type of exercise, so we don't know if she's…what kind of composition she has with that weight, so it's hard to know. But at 5'5, 125 pounds, I mean, it sounds like she's being really critical of herself. We don't know, you know. Maybe we need people to upload pictures so we can let them know if they're being, you know, if they're having some body dysmorphia issues or if they really have, you know, some hormonal imbalances. And that's legitimate, you know what I mean? Some women have real imbalances and some, I definitely had clients, more middle aged women clients who really have a very severe pear shape, you know, and they're like storing tons of body fat in that area and it's extreme, you know. And they're like what do I do? What do I do? But that's different from someone who, you know, may just be very nitpicky about themselves in comparing to their friends or whatever they're doing. I can't imagine that at 5;5, 125, she's got some really excessive fat there, it just may be this is where you store it, so you know, it's tough to know. But those are the things I would recommend and you know, maybe we need to add a photo upload, you know, it can be anonymous, without a face kind of deal, so we can really tell you what's going on.

LIZ WOLFE:We'll have the bureau of somebody or other coming after us for soliciting, you know, soliciting young women on the internet.

DIANE SANFILIPPO:Oh, silly. I think that's an hour. And I need to get back to my red pen and my editing over here, so I think we should probably wrap up there. Does that sound good?

LIZ WOLFE:Sounds good, girlfriend. You all can find me at CaveGirlEats.com. Both Diane and I do our Balanced Bites workshops. We'll be starting up again in the fall, so look at BalancedBites.com to be up with that. Diane is at BalancedBites.com, and be looking for her book, Practical Paleo in the next couple months, right?

DIANE SANFILIPPO:Woo hoo! Yeah, August 7th.

LIZ WOLFE:Woo hoo! Awesome, all right, talk to you later.


Diane & Liz

Comments 6

  1. Thank you so much for this. I’ve been struggling with body image for a while now and I think this podcast just gave me an epiphany. I’m 5’6″ and about 148lbs and unhappy. The past few months have been very stressful for me and as a result I gained weight and my clothes started fitting tighter…which caused me to stress out even more! Ive been obsessing about maintaining a perfect paleo diet to shed the weight, and then end up beating myself up after eating too many nuts, more fruit than I “should have”, or indulging in paleo treats. The mental struggle has really made me unhappy…I thought it was the weight, but truthfully it’s the way I’ve been talking to myself about my weight. I see thinner women and think “if only I could stick to paleo and stop screwing up, I could look like that.” listening to this podcast made me realize I really am fighting my genetics (the women in my family average 175-235lbs, not a healthy weight for their heights). Fighting my genes isn’t easy! But it’s even harder if I’m constantly obsessing about my weight. I really need to get my stress in check. Stressing about my weight makes me deeply unhappy. Living a paleo lifestyle is about being healthy, not skinny.

    Thanks again!

  2. Yeah, thank you both for this one. The discussion around the first question got me a bit choked…I seem to be dealing with this currently.

    Thank you again.


  3. i have been listening to your recent podcast and am very interested. I just heard you speak of Paleo for Women and would love to hear an interview with Stefani. Please consider her for your future podcasts. Thanks so much for what you do.

  4. I am catching up on the last few podcasts and just listened to your response to the second question. I would like to put out there that I am appaled that people have had the audacity to say anything about either of your body compositions after attending one of your seminars. I was at the seminar in Charlotte and think that both of you are wonderful examples of what healthy, clean eating looks like. No, neither of you were mega-shredded, juice-head looking ladies (thank goodness, because who REALLY wants to look like that??), but you are both thin and radiate health from the inside out! 🙂

    1. Whoohoo! Glad I skipped ahead to this podcast (I’m on #12, slowly getting caught up). I have the exact same situation as Jenn, with the same slim-build stats and the pear saddlebags/double hips issue. Great, useful, info with clear explanations- thank you! I used to be heavier, so I think that DIM supplement you mentioned may be just what I need to clear out leftover excess estrogen. I’m also now more motivated to do bodyweight exercises because of your simple and helpful explanation that that can help adjust hormones away saddlebag-causing estrogen.

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