Our #1 selling plant-based shakes are back in stock! Shop Now

To Lose Weight, Don’t Focus On Weight Loss | Ep. 447

Make it your goal to build and retain lean body mass for healthy, lasting weight loss

The law of attraction says that if you focus on the thing you want, you will attract that thing into your life… but did you know that weight loss is the exception to that rule? Extreme dieting is never the right answer, so you can stop working out like crazy and surviving on just celery sticks just to get rid of those unwanted pounds. Instead, I want you to stop focusing on weight loss and start focusing on getting healthy—and that means building and holding onto lean body mass. In this episode, I will explain WHY lean body mass is so important and share the six simple, actionable strategies you can implement today to get to your goal weight and stay there.

Click Here To Read Transcript

ATHE_Transcript_Ep 447_YT 26
JJ Virgin: [00:00:00] Hey, this is JJ Virgin. Thanks so much for joining me. This is ask the health expert. In each episode, I put the power of health in your hands and share ways to get healthy, lose weight, heal your gut detox and lots more so you can look and feel better fast. If you'd rather watch the video, Hey, I did put on my makeup and do my hair.
So check it out on my YouTube channel.
Hey, there it's JJ, you know how the law of attraction says that you'll attract into your life? Whatever you focus. well, this may be the exception to that rule when you're trying to lose weight. Sometimes the worst thing you can do is focus on losing the weight. You probably know how that usually goes.
And even if you do drop a few pounds, It may be [00:01:00] the wrong kind of weight, but there are six things you should focus on to get your goal, weight and stay there. Hey, it's great to have you here. Thanks for joining me on this channel. My goal is to give you the best info tools and tips about how to get healthy, feel better and lose weight.
So make sure you like and subscribe to stay connected and get more like. So there's a reason. The weight loss industry is a 70 plus billion dollar a year industry. Yes. You heard me, right. A lot of people wanna lose weight for whatever reason to look better, to feel better after they give birth for their health goes on and on.
And you may be one of them, all of us wanna lose weight at some point in our lives. But here's the thing. If you really wanna lose weight, it's the last thing you should focus. You know this, tell me if any of this sounds familiar, you decide you're gonna try to drop a few pounds. So you cut out all the foods you think are the problem.
And now you're [00:02:00] starving yourself or working out like crazy and doing everything you can to drop the weight, but it never seems to come off or maybe a little comes off, but then you plateau and you gain it right back. And then it brings a few of its friends too. Now believe me, you're not alone. It's not just you.
And it's honestly predictable because extreme dieting is the worst way to lose weight, to really lose weight. And more importantly, to keep it from coming right back. You're gonna wanna focus on these 3, 3, 3, 3 things, which means you're gonna focus on getting healthy and you'll drop the weight as a bonus.
And trust me, it's gonna happen now, everything I'm gonna share with you to get to the side benefit of weight loss is all about holding onto and building lean body mass lean body mass, and the muscle in it is the key [00:03:00] to losing weight and keeping it off. Now notice I did not say extreme deadlifts to build bulky big muscles.
We're not talking about that. The only real way to lose weight for good. Is to focus on building muscle, not just dropping pounds, because if you try to drop pounds through diet alone, you could end up like 50% of the people that maintain their weight TOFI. What is TOFI? TOFI means thin outside fat inside.
And that could mean the beginning of a lot of health problems down the road. So why muscle. Well, muscle supports your metabolism and all sorts of good things. Start to happen from there. Adding muscle increases your insulin sensitivity, which means better blood sugar control and better fat burning. See where I'm going with this muscle also burns more calories and again, ding, ding, ding.
and of course, muscle [00:04:00] adds to your fitness and your shape, which is gonna make you look even better as if that's possible. Now, what I think of as muscle, I call muscle metabolic. Spanx makes everything held in tighter and boost your metabolism as well. And on top of all of that, it's insulation and protection for the scaffolding of your.
So it makes living easier. And who doesn't want that? I mean, when you have less risk of injury, more stamina and more chest thumping when you open that jar pickles, I mean, life does not get any better. So muscle muscle muscle, puts your energy and your choices around building muscle and the weight loss.
Really. We need to think of it as fat loss, which is what you're really after it's gonna take care of itself. That muscle is gonna help you lose. Body fat. I call that a win-win. So what are the things you need to do to start building that muscle? To burn the body fat? All right. Number one. [00:05:00] make sure you're eating enough.
Protein. Protein needs to come first when you're building your plate. So focus on building your plate around it at every meal. Now the RDI here is a total joke, just like it is for our vitamin and mineral recommendations. It's the bare minimum for survival, not for optimal health. I recommend that your bare minimum daily intake.
This is your floor. Okay. Is one. Per pound of ideal lean body mass and ideal lean body mass. Again, is your weight less your body fat. And for most women, that should be about 80% of their total body weight for men, about 85% of their total body weight. Now that's the floor, right? If you're actively building muscle, if you're recovering from an illness or recovering from an injury, or if you're under.
Okay. I think I might have just listed all of us. That minimum is gonna [00:06:00] increase to one gram per pound of ideal body mass. All right. Now, remember the floor. and then it increases, I think we've got this fear of protein when we really should have a fear of not getting enough. So protein is made up of amino acids and those are essential for building muscle studies have shown that increased protein intake contributes to greater strength and muscle mass gains, especially.
When you combine it with resistance exercise and it's gonna help you limit losing muscle. As you age, you don't have to lose muscles you age, right? You don't have to do it. And if you are a plant based eater, this does not mean you're out of luck. If you're vegan or vegetarian, you're gonna wanna pay extra attention to your protein intake to ensure that you're getting optimal amounts.
And all of those amino acids. And I recommend here that you supplement with a plant-based protein powder, like my reignite wellness, all in one plant-based shake so that you can [00:07:00] make sure that you get what you need, but you don't end up with too many carbohydrates to get to that protein level. Now, if you're eating animal protein, remember you are what you eat ate.
That means that you've gotta be careful about where those animal sources come from and what they're eating. because you wanna make sure that you are getting clean protein, right? So grass fed grass finish beef and lamb pasture raised poultry, wild caught fish. You know, you've been around, you know, those types of things.
Now, when you eat this way and you use the plate as your guide, You're gonna be balancing blood sugar and increasing insulin sensitivity, which are both mission critical for fast fat loss. And if you're wondering, what is the plate JJ? Well, I've gone into depth in this, in other YouTube videos on this and also on how to balance your blood sugar.
So make sure you check, but just a little one, the plate means you're gonna lead with protein and then get lots of non-starchy vegetables, [00:08:00] healthy, fat, and a little bit of slow, low carbs again. See my other videos now. Number two. You can't just sit there and eat protein and think you're gonna all of a sudden add muscles.
You gotta add resistance training to your routine. Now you knew this was gonna be one of the strategies because of course you wanna build muscle and therefore resistance training has to be part of your routine. Now, if you belong to a gym, awesome. now you have to go though. All right. You can't just belong to the gym and if you belong and you go make sure that you're getting in there and really pumping it out.
Resistance training and high intensity interval training, but here's the good news. You don't need to belong to a gym. You can actually create a home gym, pretty inexpensively, and you can do it. This is what I've done with the combination of your body weight, free weights, a TRX trainer, and maybe some ketlebells.
This is pretty simple, but here's, what's really important here. again, you have to do resistance [00:09:00] training to build muscle, but how you do it as mission critical. And it turns out that there's a specific way that's gonna help you create hypertrophy more than other ways, hypertrophy, meaning building muscle.
And that is working within eight to 12 repetitions and say one bicep curl. That's a rep, right? Eight to 12 repetitions. 62nd rest break and do it again for three to four sets. You don't wanna do loads of repetition, then you're working more in endurance and not as much in strength. So again, eight to 12 is that magic hypertrophy range.
And here's my rule of thumb. If you can get to 12, raise the weight. If you can't get to eight lower, the weight work within that range with that 62nd rest break. And I like to work multi joint. as much as possible. So I get more muscle activity going. Okay. Number three. Now this goes hand in hand with working out.
You have to give yourself time to recover. It's [00:10:00] non-negotiable muscle needs. Rest to grow. The whole purpose of recovery is to allow your muscles time to repair themselves because here's what happens when you exercise. When you exercise, you create these little microscopic tears in your muscle. and when you rest these cells called fibroblasts coming and repair all those tears.
So your muscles can heal and grow and get stronger. But if you go crazy thinking that the more you work out, the more weight you're gonna lose, you just keep tearing down your muscle tissue and tearing down your muscle tissue. And it never has a chance to heal. So it never has a chance to get stronger.
And by the way, that just makes you way more susceptible to injury. And you're not gonna get the results you're looking. There are also a few different things you can do during recovery to help turbocharge that repair process. So you can come back leaner and stronger than ever ready. First, you gotta get good sleep.
This is most of the, one of the most important [00:11:00] things you can do to help your body fully recover physically and mentally. And the good news is that it's easier to get some deep sleep when you've been working out. You also wanna make sure that you're hydrating. And of course that you're eating well. We already talked about that and Hey, while you're at it.
How about a massage? Doesn't that sound good? All right. I'm back. Number four, number four, on the list of strategies to lose weight by not focusing on weight is manage your stress. . I mean, you've got some, I've got some, we've all got stress. Stress is a constant. So figure out what helps you make peace with this stress.
and handle it because if you are constantly under siege, that chronic stress will do more than make you sick and old before your time, it's gonna pack weight on you because it makes you catabolic. That means it makes you break down, which might sound good, except it's not breaking down what you want it to.
I E fat. [00:12:00] It's breaking down your muscle and when you're breaking down or losing your muscle, right, you're actually then raising blood sugar. And storing more fat around your waist. Also stress can make adding muscle harder since cortisol. The hormone raised when you're stressed is catabolic too, and it inhibits protein synthesis.
And you gotta have protein synthesis to build muscle. So seriously, you gotta figure this out. You gotta figure out what works for you and your lifestyle. And can you agree here that you will make time for something that's just for you? maybe it's a walk. Maybe it's an Epson salt bath, maybe it's meditating.
I was a resistant meditator and a resistant yoga person for literally, I don't know, ever. And this past year I made a commitment to get to it and, oh my gosh, the [00:13:00] difference is insane. So find that thing that works for you. Mission critical. All right. Number five. And this is where you're gonna wanna dig in a little bit and become your own personal health detective, because you gotta know your numbers.
Now get tested to make sure that your two Ts are optimal. Your two Ts, your thyroid and your testosterone. And I'm not talking in range. I am not talking that I am talking optimal for you. So starting with your thyroid, you want your TSH, your thyroid stimulating hormone to be somewhere between 0.5 and.
but that's not the only measure you want the complete picture of how your thyroid is functioning. So work with a functional medicine doctor and get your free T3, T4 and thyroid antibodies Checked too. You may know your thyroid. Isn't where you need it to be. And that it's low. If you're gaining weight, if you're cold, if you're moody, if your cholesterol's going up, if you're losing the outer third of [00:14:00] your eyebrow, you can't seem to put muscle on.
If you're losing a little bit of your hair, if you're depressed, little yellow tinge to your hands. All of these are signs of a low functioning thyroid. And by the way, it could just be a little bit constipation too, by the way, it could just be a little bit low in that that can make all of the difference.
And if it's low, you may need to supplement with thyroid hormone to get it where it needs to be. your metabolism depends on your thyroid. So you have to do whatever you need to do to support it. All right. Next step. The other T testosterone. Okay. If you have low testosterone, you could also be moody and depressed.
You can't think straight, but testosterone's main functions are to maintain healthy muscle mass stamina and strength. It also decreases visceral body fat. So it's really important if you're trying to lose weight. So of course men have more of it. But women have it too. The problem is this some medical conditions and lifestyle choices and other [00:15:00] factors can influence how much you have, but levels of course, naturally fall with age.
And for men that normal range is about 300 to a thousand NGS per DL. And optimal would be somewhere between 811. For women, the normal range is 15 to 70 and the optimal total testosterone range is somewhere between 200 to 300. Now you can boost your testosterone by making sure you're getting enough zinc, magnesium and vitamin D.
So at the very least. Take a good quality multivitamin. So you can check that box then. Good food sources would be things like ginger, oysters, fortified, plant milks, fatty fish, and leafy greens, and lots of fruits, vegetables, and greens also contain something called Geral journal Gigi, which also supports hormone production.
okay. Another way to raise testosterone is with high intensity interval training. I call it burst training. So take note of that, because if you [00:16:00] only do that marathon style exercise, that can actually be counterproductive, it can lead to adrenal fatigue and it can lower testosterone. And here's yet another reason to get more and better sleep.
Not only does more and better sleep, lower stress. It also helps boost testosterone. All right. Number six, get yourself a body composition scale. Now, if you're trying to build lean muscle to drop fat, you wanna know that you're actually doing it right with a regular scale. You might see and see and feel great about losing some pounds.
But again, if you're TOFI, you're not necessarily healthy and any weight you drop is just gonna boomerang right back. And here's the really important thing you could be stepping on the scale. And just looking at weight and, and I just had this happen with a client over three months. He's stepping on the scale.
He's, he's eating healthy, he's working out, he's doing cold plunging, he's [00:17:00] sleeping and he's like, nothing's happening. well, turns out over the course of those three months, he lost 11 pounds of fat and he put on 10 pounds of muscle. But the scale, if you are not looking at body composition would never tell you this.
So you've got to make sure that you're using a body composition scale and also measuring your waist and hip, because if you're losing weight, but you're not losing your waist, you're probably making yourself worse. Not better because that means you're losing muscle, not fat. You wanna hold onto muscle tight, hold onto and build muscle as you're losing fat.
Remember if you're building muscle? You are going to lose the fat. So get rid of that regular scale. It's not giving you the right information. It can make you a little bit nuts by looking at it, switch that regular scale for a body composition scale so that you can see how much of your weight is fat and how much your weight is, lean body mass, and then make sure you're weighing in every day.[00:18:00]
And I gotta say this, cuz I get a lot of flack around this. That scale is a biometric tool. It is not a judgy mean friend. You want it for the Intel. So I love to use something like a Tanita or an in body, body fat scale. That's gonna look at total body water and then of course give you body fat and lean body mass.
Right? Because then I can see what's going on. And as you know, if you step on the scale and you're three pounds up overnight, you did not gain three pounds. You have. An inflammation response to something that didn't work for you. So you gotta use the scale to be able to identify these things super important.
Now, all of the things we've talked about to help you build lean muscle mass and drop weight are also gonna help you heal your metabolism. You'll flip the switch on things that have made it hard to drop pounds or maybe they're even making you gain weight. And those things in turn will have a ripple effect.
So by focusing on building muscle, You'll also be eating better. [00:19:00] You're gonna reduce your toxic burden. You'll lower your stress and you'll improve your sleep. And, oh, did I mention, you're probably gonna lose some body fat too. Winner. Now, if you've enjoyed this and learned a few things along the way, please like, and subscribe and join me next time for how to feel great and lose weight during perimenopause.
See you soon
for more info on this and other health topics I cover or to rate and review. Find me on Instagram, Facebook, and my website, JJvirgin.com. And don't forget to subscribe to my show. So you won't miss a single episode. Go to subscribetojj.com. Thanks again for being with me this week.


Hide Transcript

Recent Posts

3 steps to a perfect smoothie
+ 48 recipes + $10 off protein


Replacing carb and sugar-loaded breakfasts with a powerful, protein-packed shake is EASY when you have taste-tested recipes that rock!

Get your SMOOTHIE GUIDE here!

Recent Posts