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554: Unlocked Fitness and Nutrition: Science-Backed Principles for Sustainable Weight Loss Results with Eric Williamson, PhD

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554: Unlocked Fitness and Nutrition: Science-Backed Principles for Sustainable Weight Loss Results with Eric Williamson, PhD

Whether it’s driven by the desire to improve health, boost self-confidence, or simply feel more comfortable in our own skin, the journey of weight loss is one filled with both hope and skepticism. With so much information available, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and unsure of where to start.

One of the most common misconceptions people encounter on this journey is the role of metabolism and hormones in their bodies. Many find themselves blaming a “slow metabolism” or “hormonal imbalances” for their struggles with weight loss.

In today’s episode, Ted Ryce talks to Eric Williamson, a certified personal trainer and nutrition coach with several years of experience in the industry.

They delve into the timeless truths and cutting-edge techniques that can genuinely guide us through the often-misconstrued world of weight loss.

They talk about the importance of calorie deficit for weight loss, the role of food choices in managing hunger, and the impact of hormonal changes on weight management.

Eric will share his expertise and insights, including the role of metabolism and hormones in weight loss and also discusses the influence of certain medications on weight gain.

Lastly, they highlight the value of coaching for successful and sustainable weight loss, as it provides guidance and helps avoid potential health and mental risks associated with improper weight loss methods.

Join Ted and Eric as they unravel the mysteries, debunk the myths, and discover the keys to a healthier, happier, and more vibrant life! Listen now!


Today’s Guest 

Eric Williamson

Eric Williamson is a passionate and dedicated fitness enthusiast who has made it his life’s mission to empower others on their journey towards a healthier and happier lifestyle. With a background in exercise science and nutrition, Eric holds a wealth of knowledge that he eagerly shares with his clients.

Eric is a certified personal trainer and nutrition coach with several years of experience in the industry. His journey into the world of fitness began when he discovered the transformative power of proper exercise and balanced nutrition in his own life. Determined to make a positive impact, he decided to turn his passion into a profession and help others unlock their true potential.

As the founder of Unlocked Fitness and Nutrition, Eric aims to guide individuals towards optimal wellness by customizing fitness programs and emphasizing the importance of nutrition. Let’s dive into his journey and expertise.


Connect to Eric Williamson


Instagram: @unlockedfitnessandnutrition 

TikTok: @unlockedfitnessandnutrition 


You’ll learn:

  • The reasons why even fitness professionals need a body transformation coach
  • The significance of managing appetite for successful weight loss
  • Why it is important to address the root cause of weight management issues?
  • The importance of calorie deficit for weight loss
  • About metabolic adaptations during weight loss and how they can impact progress
  • Can slow metabolism be the cause of your weight gain?
  • How can stress, financial issues or emotional states affect weight management and how to address these factors for better results?
  • The influence of certain medications on weight gain
  • The reasons why weight loss plateaus can occur
  • The value of coaching for successful and sustainable weight loss
  • And much more…


Related Episodes:  

553: The Wealth of Health: Exploring the Connection Between Health And True Happiness with Jeffrey Boadi 

551: Level Up Your Health & Performance: Rewiring Your Brain For Sustainable Body Transformation with Dan Go 

539: Avoid These 7 Nutrition Myths If You Want To Lose Weight with Danny Lennon 


Links Mentioned 

Schedule A Call With Me Now!
Watch My FREE Body Breakthrough Masterclass 


Want To Lose Fat, Transform Your Body & Live Your Best Life In 2023? 

I’m offering this blueprint that will lead you to a fail-proof long-lasting result with your body, with your health that will help you reach that potential that you have inside and become your own super self.

If you’re interested in working with me, schedule a Breakthrough Call and we will discuss your goals, challenges and see if we are a good fit.

>>Click Here To Schedule A Call With Me Now!


Podcast Transcription: 554: Unlocked Fitness and Nutrition: Science-Backed Principles for Sustainable Weight Loss Results with Eric Williamson, PhD

Ted Ryce: All right, Eric Williamson, this has been a long time coming. Welcome to the show. 

Eric Williamson: Thanks so much for having me, Ted. I agree. It's overdue. 

Ted Ryce: Yeah. And I should have said Dr. Eric Williamson. Although when we were working together back in 2019 you were still doing your PhD, but now you're a full-on doctor. 

Eric Williamson: I'm on the other side of the degree now. That's right. Just as of, uh, a year as of June that I've been on the other side. And it's great to be out of school, let's put it that way. Cause it was a long road. 

Ted Ryce: Yeah, man. And listen, we, we could talk about so much, and you and I, we've been going back and forth on WhatsApp and what we should talk about. 

But as I was thinking about it, uh, we really got to tell the story of how we worked together. I ended up reaching out to you. We were helping you with some business stuff, or more specifically, Giselle was helping you with some of your business stuff.  

But I felt like I was in a situation, I was in Thailand at the time and, um, traveling, had a lot of access to amazing food, and my goal was to get lean like I've never been before, and to do it while still enjoying myself eating pad Thai.  

Actually, I don't eat much pad Thai, but the Thai dishes that I was eating, like pad cu, probably most people won't know, and some of the other Thai dishes like lab mu. So, you helped me do that. In fact, if you are listening right now and you see the thumbnail photo of me shirtless, that was the end result. 

That was from the photo shoot that I did after working with Eric, and we worked together. What, about six months, I think? 

Eric Williamson:  Yeah, it was about that. 

Ted Ryce: Yeah. And also, you worked with me, I think the first month or two I got Dengue fever and I was incapacitated for a month. So, talk to me about, I'm not the only fitness professional you've worked with. 

Talk to me about - I've shared this story - but why would a fitness professional need to hire someone to do the thing that they should be an expert in to get them to the next level? Were you surprised when I reached out and asked you to help me? 

Eric Williamson: Well, no, because you're right. I have had other fitness professionals come to me, and before I dive in, I do want to just say thank you for having me on the show, for expressing your gratitude for that. 

I, of course, am very appreciative of the relationship that we developed. From that time together and the friendship that we've had since then. But yeah, as you're saying, I've had other fitness professionals come to me as well, and I've had coaches.  

I think that the reason that people like you and I sell coaching is that we believe in coaching, and there is a lot more benefit to having a coach outside of just their knowledge because you do have a lot of knowledge in the area. 

But that third person point of view can allow us to apply that knowledge differently and without having the influence of emotion and our daily mood, how we're feeling that day, the weather, and be more rational and have more of a straightforward approach with it. Rather than being up and down when we're doing things for ourselves, it can give us more confidence in the process as well to have that kind of teaming up relationship. 

Because of course, you were very involved in that process too. So it was really two minds working together to get you to where you were.  

And of course, all the hard work consistency that you put in, the self-reflection was absolutely key during that process.  

Ted Ryce: And uh, I remember when I first started, and I was at the place where some people, they can get results just by eating a bit cleaner. Eat more protein, eat more vegetables.  

But I was already doing that stuff. I was already at maybe I, I believe it was 17 or 18% body fat if I remember correctly. I had an in-body done at the time cuz those were actually available where I was in Thailand. So, I had that done, and I also needed to get to the next level. 

And you and I, even though you don't do this with all your clients, and you showed me an example of a client you took a different approach with initially, but you and I, we started with tracking, and I used my FitnessPal and I hated it for like the first three days. I'm like, and Giselle was like, no, you need to track, you need to do this. 

And she busted my chops a bit and got me to stick with it. And after about three days, I was like, oh, this is remembering the foods I'm eating. This is. You know, with Eric's coaching, I've come up with some shortcuts to estimate because I was out at, I remember going to a brunch, and it was all these Thai foods and Thai names that, it's not pad Thai. I'm not looking it up.  

Or even pad see sew or green curry or something like that. There's no way I was going to find that stuff. So, can you talk a little bit about the coaching process and matching the right approach to where a person is? 

Eric Williamson: Yeah. Well, that's exactly it. You need to meet the person where they are. 

And like you mentioned, some people can get results just from making different food choices that are typically more filling, more nutrient-dense. And I know you talk a lot about this. You need to be in a calorie deficit to lose weight. That's absolutely true. First law of thermodynamics.  

And in most cases, for those individuals, when you switch those food choices that you're, they're making, it does naturally result in that calorie deficit where they're feeling just as full but consuming likely actually a greater volume of food, but fewer calories. 

And that's leading to them losing some weight. 

 But that's basically step A to B. And then we need to take steps for getting from B to C. So the further along we get, the more steps we need to take. And for you, it was, we did need to look at quantities and portions for where you were to make sure that we were maintaining that deficit. 

And because you're traveling, that's absolutely a challenging situation. I've worked with others doing this as well, where they're traveling to different areas, and their diets are changing. The food choices they're making are changing, which adds another variable of complexity.  

But tracking is a way to get around this. It's a means of helping to ensure we're in a calorie deficit. And I'm sure there are a lot of people out there listening right now and they're like, well, I've tracked and counting calories doesn't work for me. 

Ted Ryce:  I was eating 1200 calories, and I wasn't losing weight. 

Eric Williamson: That's right. And first of all, I don't ever recommend people track on their own. 

I only recommend working with a professional.  

Ted Ryce: Why not?  

Eric Williamson: Well, okay, well, let's make sure we come back to this original conversation. I don't want to go off too on a tangent. But if you look at the literature, there is an association between tracking and disordered eating. So, it can, it can, it can ruin somebody's relationship with food. 

And then secondly, I find that most people don't have the training to understand how to use these apps appropriately and the technology that we have because these apps aren't accurate by any means or in research what we call valid. So, when we're looking at tools in research, they are described as valid and/or reliable. 

And tracking is not valid. So, what I want people to envision is a dartboard. When you throw the darts, it's not hitting the bullseye very well. In the case of tracking, it's not actually telling you how many calories you're consuming. In most cases, for most people, the majority of the time, on average, it is giving you a calorie intake, or it's calculating calorie intake that is below what you're actually consuming. 

So it tends to underestimate and on average by 25%. But even though we're not hitting that bullseye on the dartboard, if we throw multiple darts, we often hit around the same spot, which means it's fairly reliable, so we can use it. Understanding those limitations, but also the advantage of it being reliable. 

So, it's not the best method ever, but it's one of the best methods that we have available to us in the field. And I say in the field, you and I as coaches working with real everyday people that have busy lives. So even though it doesn't tell us exactly how many calories somebody's consuming very accurately, it does allow us to make what I call outcome-based decisions. 

So, if we see that somebody is not losing weight when they're consuming a certain caloric intake according to this app, but we know that they aren't showing signs of deficiency and their energy levels are fine, their hunger's well managed, even though it might say that they're consuming a calorie intake that theoretically should result in weight loss. 

I know I can take them lower because I know that we're not using the app as an accurate representation of how much they're actually consuming. I'm using it to guide us as to whether we need to go lower to induce a greater deficit for more weight loss, or if we need to perhaps be a bit higher if somebody's losing weight too rapidly or whatever the case may be. 

It's these outcome-based decisions that I'm talking about. I'll add an example here. I had one time a 300-pound client who his tracking was saying that he was consuming 1700 calories. Now, theoretically, he should be dropping multiple pounds per week. Four pounds, I would say about per week, I guess. I believe that's what it was. 

I worked it out theoretically. Cause he was fairly active too. He was a powerlifter. And it didn't matter to me that it said he was only consuming 1700 calories per week because he was losing about two pounds per week. That's what I'm going off of is what's the rate that they're losing at and how are they feeling? 

His energy levels were good. Hunger was well managed. Do I really care if the app is suggesting something? That doesn't seem right. No. As long as all those other factors are in check, then we can move forward with those numbers. 

Ted Ryce: I want to come back to that original conversation in a second, but I want to follow up first because what you did, what, what is your degree specifically? It's a PhD in what? 

Eric Williamson: It's in the Department of Exercise Science. We studied exercise and sports nutrition, and then specifically the primary outcome of our research was often centered around protein metabolism. I also worked closely with carbohydrate metabolism labs, so I have some publications there as well. 

Ted Ryce: Got it. So, you're literally studying metabolism, you're conducting research on protein and carbohydrate metabolism. And what was interesting about working with you and this set the stage of how I work with my clients now, by the way, is instead of taking my weight or whatever and then plugging it in and calculating to a using some type of calculator to come up with how many calories that I was going to eat when we were setting my calorie intake and protein intake, you just said, no man, just track and we'll see what the number is and we'll see what your weight is doing. 

So, what I find really interesting about that, and you just explained why, of course, the it, it's not precise, but it's reliable and very important distinction. So, you're saying, Hey, man, this isn't precise at all. But it's reliable. And what we can rely on is if you're tracking, I think I was around 2000 calories or something like that, and I was losing weight. 

And so, you're like, well, that's what we're going to keep it at. And you just let me track initially before setting any type of target and without, um, at least what you, maybe with the protein you set, you set it specifically, but with the total calories, you are just like, let's see what you're eating. Just track and then we'll adjust based on that. 

No calculations, no pretending to be super sciencey with putting on a lab code and crunching some numbers. No, just track. See what your weight does and why this is so important because on Twitter I talk about the calories all the time and tracking calories. I say it's one of my go-to tools. And people argue with me incessantly, they're like, no, I did the math of how many calories were coming in and versus how many going out and look at this theoretical model. 

And they get so into the weeds and they sound like they've really done a lot of research, but it's all bs cause of what you said. It just isn't accurate. It's not anything, it's a helpful tool, but it's just, it's not anything any serious scientist would use in the context of conducting any type of research.  

Well, that may not be true 'cause there's self-reported nutrition data, which let's not get into that. But it's not accurate, but it is reliable in terms of if you're eating more or less the same things all the time and you're tracking it, we can say, okay, well, let's just look at what your weight is doing based on those calories. 

And we know if you're not losing weight, we got to lower it. Or like you said, if someone's losing weight too fast, we need to maybe increase it. So, any, any follow-up? Anything else you want to say on that? 

Eric Williamson: I just summarize that by saying that tracking is a tool, one of many. It's often used in the context of weight loss. 

It's not the only way, I'll say depends on the individual. There are certain cases like yours where you are at a point that other ways of going about losing weight or other steps that we could take were not as sure about them being helpful and being able to guarantee you those results. 

But as I was saying, why not? So, because at that point we do need to make sure we have good control of portions and quantities for a calorie deficit, and like I said, tracking is a tool with limitations. But the best tool that we have right now for ensuring somebody is in a deficit, you are already at a more advanced level, and you're basically trying to become extremely lean and get that nice six-pack that you have. 

And for that, it's very different from someone who is living with obesity and trying to lose their first 20 pounds. That's a different approach. And for them, at the very beginning, especially, I wouldn't likely have them, I wouldn't push tracking upon them. I might talk about it. I would say that it's something we would likely need to get into eventually if they're trying to lose a large amount of weight, and in often cases, they're like, "Well, let's just start now," and I'm open to that. 

But it does, it's not a necessity for somebody like yourself where you are coming from. You had maximized all of those other tools and all those other steps that we can take. So, we did have to get into tracking to have more control over your calorie intake.  

Also, the fact that you were traveling and your intake was changing so much, it was helpful both from the perspective of being able to continue to understand the calorie content of those foods you're consuming, but also let me know how your diet was changing with moving to different cities and countries and having a different diet in each one. 

I could see on my end how your food intake was changing, which helps provide me direction, further recommendations. Yeah. 

Ted Ryce: Well said, Eric. And to bring this conversation back to where we initially started, where tracking is a tool, but there are different tools, and making sure that you're choosing the right tool for your situation. How would you go about coaching someone on that who's listening right now?  

Eric Williamson: In most cases, I will say that tracking, although a pain in the ass, time and energy-consuming, is often the easiest route of going about macros and a calorie deficit because it allows some flexibility with your food choices, and you can start to gain that better sense of balance with tracking than some of the other methods. 

And I'll talk about those. But what I mean by balance is that you and I both know there's other benefits of food than just nutrients. And I still want people to be able to have a meal sometimes where nutrition isn't the top priority. I'd like it to be enjoyment. I want them to be able to go out with family and friends and not have to worry so much about what the nutrition content is of the meal. 

And tracking can allow you to understand how those meals can balance into your week, because at the end of the day, it's not the daily calorie intake that matters as much as your average, particularly over seven days. Some days can be a little bit lower, and other days can be higher, as long as your average ends up in a deficit that leads to an appropriate rate of weight loss for you. 

Does that make sense? 

Ted Ryce: Yeah, 100%. And I mean, it's more than just making sense. It's what I, what you taught me to do. I've, uh, it's what I implement and we definitely use tracking. We try to get everybody tracking. Although we have, I have some cases with one-on-one clients where it just became, they were doing it initially then stopped, and then I've slowly worked them back. 

But it's usually a stress issue with that. But in my group, everyone's tracking and I think there's, uh, you know, we can get into a coaching conversation. Although what I really would like to focus on is the myths about metabolism, because, uh, that I think that would be... 

Eric Williamson: Before we jump into that, Ted, I just want to give the audience the other couple of means of going about ensuring a deficit other than tracking 'cause I know I mentioned I would. Sure. So one is that we could use things like portions and eyeballing portions based on cups or somebody's hands. Again, not nearly as accurate as tracking, but in some cases, especially if somebody's just first starting out, it can be effective. 

Another way of going about it is basically what I do is I don't give them a full out meal plan, but it is BA is a, it's a meal plan for a day. It's an example day, what I call it, and it has in there. Okay, if you were going to choose grains, this is how much you'd have. You're going to choose when you're choosing the lean protein options, this is how much you'd have. 

And yes, barley is a little bit different than wild rice, which is a little bit different than quinoa as far as the content. Still ballparks well enough that they can have the same portion of each of those and they can have some options to choose from for those meals. Just throwing out that there are other alternatives, but it does end up being a bit of a moot point. 

I know that you mentioned that a lot of your clients are tracking now, and same with myself. And over the years, because the apps have become so user-friendly, it's far more common that people are open to it.  

Ted Ryce: Yeah, well, it's super easy. I remember looking at my MyFitnessPal information. I had the account start, or I started the account in 2013, tried it, and I don't even remember what happened. I was like, Nope. And it just stayed on my phone right in the back pages of all the apps that we, or at least I have.But then when we worked together, I was surprised at how easy it was. Now.  

So I want to get into a different conversation because I think it'll be helpful for people because when you talk about calories, it, there's a lot of resistance to this idea. One is people can't believe it's that simple. It's just simple. And you, and I know it's, it's a simple concept, but it's actually really difficult to get a handle on, um, if you are, if you're not in a lab and or working with a coach.  

So people are under the belief that hormones, outside of thyroid hormone, which you and I discussed and you, you taught me about, hormones play a big role like testosterone, estrogen, cortisol. 

People are under the under the impression, especially women who are going through menopause, like they're eating less food but not gaining, uh, but they're gaining weight because of the hormones involved and in fact, typically women talk about the hormone issue in weight gain or weight loss, or struggles with losing weight more than men, but men are now getting around to it and catching up with the women because it's like, well, my testosterone was low, but then I got a T R T and now I can finally lose fat. And what can you tell us about some of these beliefs? We can start with the hormones, but the other myth that you'd, that you've heard about and people have asked you about.  

Eric Williamson: Very common. A lot of people blaming hormones for different issues, particularly related to weight management and fitness. And I wouldn't want to undermine anybody's experience. Certainly, there are some of those, some individuals out there where hormones do need to be directly managed with drugs, for example. In most cases, it is because they have a diagnosed health condition that is resulting in that. 

However, in the majority of cases, it's far less likely that hormones are influencing your weight and fitness than the opposite direction where your weight and fitness are influencing your hormones. In a lot of cases, we don't need to manage our hormones or change our hormones to help with our weight and fitness, but if we were to have a healthier weight and fitness, then it can result in better hormone profiles. 

There's not a lot of, you know, there's not, there's not data to really support this idea that, you know, calories or even macronutrients really influence hormones much at all. I think I'll, I'll, I'll stop there, and I, I'm just going to open up the floor and place there's any questions for you on that, Ted? 

Ted Ryce: Well, no, it would just be to keep going, talk about that because I believe that the connection here is twofold. One, we have the pharmaceutical industries, uh, promoting testosterone replacement for men and talking about, "Hey, are you struggling with your libido, but also struggling with losing fat and also struggling with gaining muscle is testosterone. You're, you might be suffering from low T”.  

And then with women, I think it's been less common. I, I don't know of any pharmaceutical advertisements, but you have all the functional medicine people who are just like, 'oh, you have to balance your hormones to get results,' but they're not talking about, and we can even get into those medical conditions like hypothyroidism because as you taught me and as research shows, thyroid directly influences metabolic rate. 

But any of these others, they're influenced more by your body fat percentage. For example, testosterone tends to go down because with men who have a lot of excess body fat because fat cells have aromatase and insulin, that changes testosterone and estrogen as an example. So, talk more about those, about what we need to know." 

Eric Williamson: Well, that's just it is that, there are signs and symptoms of hypogonadism. There's signs and symptoms of having low testosterone, of having low estrogen. And if you have those signs and symptoms, then go and have your hormones tested and see if there is a connection there. First of all, realize that it does often need to be connected with the signs and symptoms. 

You need to have the signs and symptoms first. Before most medical doctors will test sex hormones, and they'll often test it more than once because these tests are coming back to that term. They're not very reliable. There's a lot of things that influence our sex hormones, like even daily, right? Even the time of day. 

So it needs to be tested more often than that to get a really reliable sense of what of your chronic sex hormones, which is what actually matters. And we also need to ensure that, or when you find that out, if that is the case, then it's looking at what could be causing that. 

Because if we just take hormone replacement therapy, then that could be just a bandaid solution. It's likely that some type of lifestyle factor or perhaps a disease, uh, a disease that could be diagnosed and should be treated, that's resulting in this change in sex hormones that we need to look at. And that's the deeper issue. 

So, if it's something lifestyle-related, let's not just put a bandaid solution on with TRT, let's actually figure out what is the factor that's leading to that, that we can treat and manage to help improve those levels. In a lot of cases, it could be related to a combination for a lot of people, high stress, low physical activity levels, poor quality sleep or lack of sleep, and perhaps high body fat levels as well, which we know results in lower sex hormones, especially testosterone. 

Ted Ryce: And to bring it back to the fat loss, maybe talk about, you know, what really does, so is it really just calories in, calories out? Are there any exceptions? I, I thought. I think I remember one exception that, uh, you know, Dr. Spencer Nadolsky, he's been on the show a couple of times. Um, he was talking about one medical condition where calorie deficit doesn't work. 

I think it's a medical condition that women have where they have this dimply fat that just doesn't seem to go away with a calorie deficit. I don't remember all the details about it. Not sure if you know what I'm talking about, but can you get into what are the, so you don't know. Okay. But, uh, got to get him on back on the show maybe. 

Talk about, um, talk about other than, uh, the energy balance, the calorie deficit, what else influences or could potentially influence fat loss or struggle more specifically, a struggle with fat loss. 

Eric Williamson: So, let me put it this way. I think this could be one of the most valuable things I say: For the vast majority of people, they should not be focusing on expenditure as much as they focus on intake. 

So there's a lot of talk around how to increase our energy expenditure and manipulate our hormones to do that, take certain supplements, go in ice baths, whatever, to help boost our metabolism. But those things, even hormone replacement therapy don't have a very profound impact on our expenditure. 

It's far less than what people would anticipate. And even  

Ted Ryce: As an example, could you say like, what is it a 1% or 2% or ? 

Eric Williamson: Even if we were to take supplements, for example, different supplements for increasing our expenditure, we're talking about a 3% increase over a 10-hour period for caffeine. 

We're talking about a 20% increase over 30 minutes for capsaicin. So, caffeine, that's like 19 calories in the day that you're adding, more capsaicin, you're getting about six calories.  

Ted Ryce: That's like a slice of an apple that 20 calories, 19 calories. 

Eric Williamson: There's a recent study on ice baths, and one of the things they reported in their discussion was that swimming or being in cold water would, could increase your caloric expenditure by 500 to a thousand calories per day, but that's per day. 

How long do people actually usually spend in ice baths or in cold showers?  

Ted Ryce: You mean 24 hours in? 

Eric Williamson: Exactly. So they just extrapolated it out. And that's not even what the participants did in the study. They didn't spend that long in there, but they took how long they spend per minute, and they extrapolated it per day, and that's where you get 500 to a thousand calories. 

But the average person is probably doing about 10 minutes. That's about six calories extra that they're getting in expenditure on average. I don't know the numbers for testosterone and estrogen. It's also going to depend on how hypogonadal they are.  

Are they just at the low end of the testosterone range, and they're being brought to the high end because there's a lot more going on there that can result in somebody changing their body composition or losing fat with testosterone than just an increase in calorie expenditure. 

It's unlikely related. Well, actually it would likely be related to resting metabolic rate because testosterone is involved in reproductive function. And that's another topic that we can get into as far as, you know, if we see that resting metabolic rate is low, that's an issue. If we're seeing low reproductive function, that's a concern, but we'll come back to that, hopefully, remind me. 

But there's more going on with hormone replacement therapy. People will, if it's, if it's actually an issue, then we'll start to feel more energetic. They'll move around a lot more. They have more motivation to exercise, and they have a greater capacity to put on muscle mass, especially if we're talking hypo to high end of the testosterone range, where they're going to be able to put on muscle mass more easily. 

And even that increases our resting metabolic rate. A lot of people give muscle gaining muscle mass a bit of flack, that's, oh, it's only six calories per pound per day. But we also need to remember that as you move around, it costs more to move around your body with more muscle mass and to contract that larger muscle mass. 

So it does end up being more like 10 to 15 calories per day, depending on how much, how active somebody is. So putting on 10 pounds of muscle, which is very possible from all of the newbies, the newbie gains, talking over 150 calories to, or anywhere from a hundred to 200 calories per day, that they could be, uh, adding in expenditure to their day. 

Ted Ryce: Yeah, and again, you mentioned earlier, don't try to do the math of what's going out. Do the math of what's coming in, track what's coming in, and just focus on the steps, building muscle. But don't try to, don't try to balance the calorie budget by that way. 

Eric Williamson:  And here's the thing is, even in most cases with medication and replacement hormone therapy, it plateaus eventually. 

There's a drug known as, um, that's s their SGLT2 inhibitors. You heard of that?  

Ted Ryce: No.  

Eric Williamson: You've probably heard of these where they actually cause you to urinate out Glucose and Kevin Hall's study where they had the individuals on, the participants on SGLT2 inhibitors. So, they're urinating out about 300 calories per day, and yet they lose about 5% of their weight and then it just plateaus. 

They're not losing any more weight, even though they're literally urinating out more calories each day. And this is what you see with a lot of different things: keto, intermittent fasting, other types of kind of quick tricks to put you into a calorie deficit will eventually plateau because our body is not stupid. It kicks up hunger. 

So in that SGLT two inhibitor study, yes, they're urinating more calories, but eventually the people just start eating that much more calories. They don't even realize it. People's appetite goes up. They aren't even aware that they're consuming more on average, preventing them from losing weight. 

Now, in that kind of study, they were blinded to whether they were losing weight, but even in the real world, such as with intermittent fasting, for example, if you skip breakfast, eventually your body's going to catch on.  

Our body's not going to allow ourselves to starve to death, and it's usually around 5% weight loss that we see where hunger just starts going up in the evening time. The body's like, "Oh, well, food seems to be available at night, so kick up appetite then so that we don't starve." 

And that's what you're going to see in almost all cases when you just look at expenditure.  

So, people might ask, "Well, why do these new weight loss drugs work? Why does clenbuterol work, which is an illegal steroid? Why did the caffeine-ephedrine mix work back in the day when everybody was on that?" Well, all of these things reduce appetite, especially the new weight loss drugs. 

There are metabolic adaptations to weight loss. We see a reduction in energy expenditure, including from resting metabolism to a small degree, but even in activity expenditure and just overall energy expenditure. But that is not the largest factor that's counteracting people from losing weight.  

It's an increase in appetite. That's why these new weight loss drugs like APIC and wavy, semaglutide, and liraglutide are so effective. It's because they counter the increase in appetite and they also reduce the drive for hedonic eating or eating for emotion.  

So, we can look at this and acknowledge, use this to our own, you know, advantage that, okay, well, this is where we should really be focusing on if we're trying to lose weight. 

Is appetite. Do what you can to manage your appetite. Of course, we still want to be active, and activity not only is outstanding for our health, but it actually does have some appetite managing effects. We have better hunger regulation, so our bodies are better at equating calorie intake to calorie expenditure. Having a drive for the appropriate calorie intake for expenditure when we're active. 

And then if we can look at the types of foods that we're choosing, making sure they're very nutrient-dense. Very voluminous, very low in what we call calorie density, which a lot of the new studies are showing. This is the number one thing that's going to predict somebody's calorie intake in a meal across the day is calorie density.  

So basically how much, how many calories are in that bite on the spoon that you just had or on the fork that you just had? Because the lower it is for the same amount of food, the fewer calories you're likely to consume, and the more full you're likely to feel. 

Ted Ryce: Yeah, that's a lot, Eric. And I mean, I'm with you. I'm just, just to kind of break it down, you know, what we had first started talking about was the hormones, and you said there might be some influence there, but on metabolic rate, maybe even resting metabolic rate.  

But it's not much. It's not the big player.  

Eric Williamson: Yeah. And I just, I guess what I was trying to do too, and that just ended up with me going down this tangent, is there is so much focus on expenditure. When I think that the audience would benefit from realizing that the focus should really be on intake for the vast majority of people. 

Ted Ryce: I would love to talk about exceptions if we get around there because if we get around to it, maybe we'll just do a round two of interviews and have you back, and then go deeper down the rabbit hole.  

But, and this is what I've found. So, the issue is really its appetite. If you can, if you can win the Hunger Games right with yourself, then you can have control over your weight. And that requires a knowledge of how many, like what you said, knowing how many calories are roughly in that spoon of food that you just put in your mouth. 

And that's the biggest thing what I've said, Eric, is that an analogy I use, it's like, imagine going and buying things without looking at how much they cost. You need to go buy some jeans. So, you go buy some jeans. Are they $600 product jeans or $50 Levi's? You don't know. You're just buying whatever jeans look, um, you know, look like they're the, the best. Right.  

And that's what we do with food. At least that's what I see most people doing with food. They make qualitative evaluations on, is this food healthy or is this not healthy? So, this is healthy because it's a salad. Salads have vegetables. Forget the fact that it's about, you know, a thousand calories because of the dressing, the cheese, and um, the nuts, the healthy fats. 

And pizza is bad, even though you can eat a few slices and it'll be way under, uh, or at least, you know, the slices that I eat, there'll be way under a thousand calories.  

And so, while there's other considerations that we could get into for, okay, well, how much saturated fat, et cetera, versus, and how many nutrients were in the salad versus the pizza.  

If we're just talking about fat loss, we can't get around this idea of calorie density. It's the number one thing that's going to determine your weight or whether you're losing weight. And I think that's, I think nutrition is really complicated. And one thing that, uh, I do with my clients and, uh, you helped me working together with you, helped me on this. 

We didn't focus on my cholesterol intake or my sodium intake or my micronutrients, how much selenium and magnesium I was getting. It was just about calories.  

And what I feel is like people are trying to optimize the main goal that most people have if they're overweight or obese. I want to lose fat. I want to lose weight. I want the number on the scale to be smaller. I want to fit better into my clothes.  

So, the focus on sodium, magnesium, selenium, et cetera, it's not going to do anything for you. And really being focused on those calories, you got something to add to that? 

Eric Williamson: Well, I wouldn't want individuals to take away from what I've said that calories are the only thing that's important and that just have that statement very broadly. I'll say that they're the most important factor for weight management and losing weight. However, yes, we were very largely focused on calories for you, Ted. We were also focused on having more nutrient-dense foods, having those whole filling foods. And you know what? When we have a good balance of those whole filling foods, including from carbs, fats, and protein, then those are very nutrient-dense. 

They're very high in those micronutrients, vitamins, and minerals. We don't have to worry about that as much. And certainly I'm still looking at that and seeing, okay, is there the possibility of some deficiency here in any micronutrient that could impair your health, which isn't going to make weight loss any easier. But that's extremely rare when we are consuming whole nutrient-dense foods as close to how things grow to the ground as possible, is what I mean by that. Cause they are so nutrient-dense and how what we evolved to consume. 

Ted Ryce: Yeah. So, I think maybe to state it more clearly and, and, uh, briefly, it would be. Those micronutrients are important. The minerals, the vitamins are important, but if your goal is losing fat or weight, however, you know, let's not get into this distinction between those right now, cause that'll open up a whole nother conversation. But if we're just focused on getting that fat off, getting the weight down, then the things that we'll have to do anyway to create that calorie deficit by eating those more voluminous foods, those lower calorie density foods, typically the lower the calorie density of a food, the higher the nutrient. 

Not always, there's exceptions, but the higher the nutrients. As an example, uh, you know, having white sugar, uh, is, is not very nutrient-dense at all, or even honey. But having something like, uh, oatmeal has important things in it or, um, and I know oatmeal is controversial in the low carb craziness times that we live in, but so yeah, so, or like a chicken breast as an example. 

So really focusing, if you focus on those things anyway, it'll take care of a lot of the other problems because you're not going to be doing the Twinkie diet, like, uh, Professor Mark Hobbs.  

Eric Williamson: Yeah. Which does show that calories are the most important aspect for weight management because 

Ted Ryce: He was eating Twinkies and losing weight, and his cholesterol and blood sugar got better. 

Eric Williamson: Exactly. People like him have demonstrated that you can have a very nutrient-poor diet and still lose weight. I think one thing that you were pointing out too, and I'll totally agree, is that the vast majority of people should not be focusing on any particular micronutrient to enhance their weight loss. 

That is not what the limiting factor is for the vast, vast majority of people.  

Ted Ryce: So we're, we've been at it for about 50 minutes now and I already know we got to have you back on the show to dive into this because there's so many things I wanted to ask you about, uh, the body recomposition and so many other things that, that I know you, that you're into right now.  

But I feel like we're on a good discussion for setting the stage here and helping people get clear on what they need to focus on. What other things that you feel that we haven't discussed yet, or maybe one important thing that we haven't discussed yet that you feel is equally as important as what we've been talking about?  

Eric Williamson: I think something that would be important to note, related to what we've been talking about, is around resting metabolism and how there are individuals who believe that's what's holding them back due to a nutrient deficiency, hormone issue, or whatever it is. If your resting metabolism is low, then we need to ask why. 

This is what I say to a lot of people: our resting metabolism serves a purpose. It's not just burning calories for the sake of it. It's for our organs to function properly. If our resting metabolic rate is lower, it could be a sign that our organs are not functioning properly. 

Now, yes, if you lose weight, your resting metabolism could lower by about three to 5%. Not much, and not of concern when it's that small.  

But if somebody is thinking, "My testosterone, my estrogen levels are causing my resting metabolic rate to be so low that it's preventing me from losing weight," then we need to figure that out. 

You need to ask: are you showing signs and symptoms of having a very low resting metabolism? Can you get this measured? Because that's a concern. It's not good because it means that something is not functioning at the level that it should if your resting metabolic rate is actually that low. 

Ted Ryce: So here's the thing that comes up. Number one, this would have to be assessed in a lab. You can't just go, "Oh yeah, I looked this thing up online. I definitely have a slow metabolism." So talk about that, and then talk about if someone has a slow metabolism, can you be more direct on what the hell is going on or could be going on? 

Eric Williamson: Yeah, so first of all, there are signs and symptoms of having a lower resting metabolism. A lot of this comes from research on relative energy deficiency in sport because we know that those who have extremely high activity levels and maintain a low calorie intake for a long time will show some of these signs and symptoms and have a lower resting metabolism. 

Ted Ryce: What are some of those symptoms? 

Eric Williamson: Digestive issues, poor sex drive, frequent injuries, especially stress factors, lack of morning erections in men, lack of or irregular periods in women, especially those not using birth control, lack of ovulation as well. And then you can look at certain blood biomarkers too. 

You can look at T3. T3 will often be low, contrary to what is common in lean active individuals. So, this would have to be only in those who are otherwise healthy. You'll see elevated LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, which in a lean, active individual should not be the case.  

But that could be a sign that the resting metabolic rate is low and that is a cause of reduced cholesterol turnover and metabolism. 

And then, yeah, you can see lower testosterone and estrogen.  

So, these are the cases. If somebody's metabolism is actually very low, you will see this. Now, the issue, the solution is not to have testosterone, estrogen, in most cases, in these populations that we've been studying, it's reduced activity levels and/or increased energy intake for a period of time. 

So, I'm just saying that in a lot of cases, resting metabolism is not the issue. But if somebody's actually concerned that it is, then they should absolutely have that looked at, discuss that with the doctor, check, see if they have some of those signs and symptoms because it's not a good thing. It's very bad for our health. Can increase our risk of heart disease and osteoporosis when we were older as well.  

Ted Ryce: And Eric, the examples you gave, I took away like, this is something that happens with athletes who have high energy expenditure. Does it happen with someone who is sedentary? 

Eric Williamson: Not as commonly, no. Basically, no.  

Ted Ryce: But sometimes, yes? 

Eric Williamson: In chronic conditions, perhaps like in hypothyroidism? 

Ted Ryce: Oh, okay.  

Eric Williamson: Almost identical signs and symptoms.  

Ted Ryce: Got it.  

Eric Williamson: But it's mainly related to high activity levels at high activity levels with low intake. And that doesn't mean that somebody has to be super lean. It's more common that way. But there have been some studies that show that even individuals with a higher body fat percentage, like in twenties, can develop that if their activity levels are very  

Ted Ryce:  Interesting. Yeah. So it's something more that athletes have to be aware of, especially I would think physique athletes or bodybuilders who are dieting down to really lean levels.  

Eric Williamson: They're going to experience that anyways. They're definitely going to. They basically have to, and that's why they're only at that leanness level for the stage or for a photo shoot. 

So when you see photos of them looking that lean, it's not like they're, they're like that all year round. 

Ted Ryce: It's really important. I don't want to open up that can of worms either, but it's really important that you know that even with my photo on my thumbnail, I ended up getting a little of the chub back, actually I got leaner after we worked together when I was locked in a room in Colombia during the pandemic. And I got bigger too. But yeah, I ended up... I'm finally getting back, getting lean again now., back to that state I was in. 

I would love to have like a "Secrets of the Leanest People" episode with you where we get into recomposition and how to tackle really getting to that next level of leanness and not, not just to step on a stage for one day or for a photo shoot, but maybe in the 10 to 15% body fat range for guys and maybe the 22 to 18% body fat range for women. But that'll be round two.  

I have one more question because I had a client who was in my coaching group, and she felt like she was doing everything right and she did lose weight initially. We only had her do one DEXA scan when she started having issues. So, we didn't have a lot of data, but she felt like she was doing everything right, and she felt like there wasn't anything else she could do. 

We tried a bunch of different approaches, and what she ended up learning after she left the program was that she was visiting a health professional, having some typical blood work done. And it turns out she was taking a medication called Amitriptyline. 

And of course, I know I'm throwing this at you right now, but it's a medication that has been proven to cause weight gain of 1.3 to 2.9 pounds every month. 

And in fact, the reason people don't or stop taking this medication is the weight gain that happens. And once my client left the program, she ended up getting off the medication.  

She lost 15 pounds, you know, with minimal effort. And so, what I wanted to ask you there is two things. Number one and the most important is like, how would any medication create that type of weight gain? 

Cause it can't violate the laws of thermodynamics. Is it just that her appetite was up and she was eating more, or maybe she was retaining water?  

I know you don't know, you may or may not know this specific medication, and I'm kind of springing the question on you, but just with the understanding that you may not have all the details about this medication, can you talk a little bit about what might be going on when a client would say something like that to you? What would you tell them or coach them? 

Eric Williamson: Yeah, so coming back to what I was saying before, there's a few possibilities here. And if people are thinking about, well, maybe it's or my metabolism, maybe my metabolism is slower, again, we need to look at that and figure out, well, how is it slower? Because if it's slower, that means that organ function is going to be reduced in most cases if it's slower to a significant degree, especially a degree, it's going to be preventing weight loss.  

So, if a medication was perhaps shutting down the reproductive system, then yes, metabolism is going to be slower because now the ovaries and the testes aren't working as much, so we're going to have a lower resting metabolic rate. That's highly unlikely. Even with medication that's going to significantly suppress somebody's resting metabolic rate. 

So, in most cases, you can look at, you can see that medications either increase appetite or reduce expenditure. It can cause fatigue, and that could result in the individual moving around a lot less throughout the day and being less likely to, to exercise.  

And both you and I know that NEAT levels, those non-exercise activities, thermogenesis activities, so just moving around outside of our structured workouts, that can really add up across the day. 

If we're not moving around as much, we're not as fidgety. We're not walking, we're taking the elevator rather than stairs. These things can really add up. And that could result in reduced expenditure. I will say, again, coming back to appetite, being more influential on somebody's body weight, a medication is more likely to increase appetite. 

I just plugged in the medication that you mentioned into PubMed, and it does result in about 1.3 to 2.9 pounds gained per month, this Amitriptyline. And there is also a linear increase with the consumption and preference for refined carbohydrates and sweets, demonstrating that there is an increase in cravings, likely hunger, and likely hedonic eating, which is even as this site is suggesting the mediator between the drug and weight gain.  

So, drug increases appetite and cravings increase weight. 

Ted Ryce: Yeah. I, I kind of did the same thing. Uh, but I, I really appreciate you doing that because I was like, Hmm. And so it's really important here to understand even these medications, a lot of what we're dealing with, it's an increase in appetite and in this case an increase in cravings. 

What's interesting is she felt like she was doing everything right, but something about the experience with this medication, she wasn't doing everything right. Right. She was eating more calories. That has to be the answer. Or could there be another answer?  

Eric Williamson: It's likely the answer. I never want to undermine somebody's experience though. Even before we were talking about tracking, the underestimation is not everyone's fault. It's not that people are lying.  

Even in this case, this is seen across the literature in all different areas that we're just absolutely terrible at estimating our intake. And so are apps. There are issues with MyFitnessPal, there's issues with the data in there. There are even restaurants, you know, out meals tend to have reported calorie content, calorie contents that are lower than what is actually, or sorry, higher than what's actually in there. 

So, restaurant-taken meals tend to be actually 10 to 15% higher in calories than what they say they are on menu boards. Okay?  

So, there are all of these things that are working against us, and we even see like in huge studies where people are placed on a calorie deficit and told how much to consume that yes, their intake goes down and they continue to report the same intake. But when it's actually measured, you see that their intake is actually coming back up. 

And it's similar to what it used to be. There are so many moving parts to this, and our body is this amazing honing machine for calories to maintain body weight homeostasis. That is not the fault of an individual. And that they can honestly feel that they are consuming just as much and are just as satiated, that their food intake is similar, but it's very possible that it has actually gone up without their awareness, as we've seen in plenty of studies. 

Ted Ryce: Yeah. And I think, and thanks for saying that because the point of this conversation isn't to stress people out or beat them up, but I think to educate them on, there is no magic that happens when you take a pill, there is an increase. It changes your behavior because in this case it changes brain chemistry. 

Because it's a tricyclic antidepressant. So one of the consequences of changing the brain chemistry is, and she wasn't on it for depression, she was taking it for something, not for like headaches, for migraines. But, um, she, but the point is that I think it's, I think the really important part here is because people still want to, so it isn't any, it is you, but you got to give yourself some grace because we're not under the amount of self-control that we'd like to be because certain chemicals change how we feel.  

For example, you drink too much alcohol, you get a little loose. The point being chemicals, especially in your brain, have a powerful effect. Another example of that could be the semaglutide that you talked about. People just take a pill and all of a sudden, they're just not hungry and they're just not having cravings and they didn't do anything different. 

And I think that could lead to a whole nother discussion about when is that appropriate and who that is appropriate for. But I want to come back to, I don't want another, there's a lot of can of worms that I don't want to get into opening, but perhaps on future episodes.  

But I, I think another important point with this particular story was even though she felt like she was doing everything right, there was obviously some, she wasn't. 

Again, not to be hard on her or anything, but just to be objective about this situation. And also, when she stopped taking the medication, she lost, uh, for her story, she lost 15 pounds right away without effort where she was putting a ton of effort in.  

And I think that's such an important lesson because not only can medication do this, but stress can do this as well, in my experience with clients. 

And obviously, if you have a medical issue you have to take medication for, or it just is unmanageable, like maybe splitting headaches, splitting migraines, I mean, you got to kind of weigh your options there.  

But in with stress also, you know, it's something where, I had a client, and I think I already just told this story, I can't remember if it was this interview or with the last interview, but I had a client who was telling me he was doing everything right but not losing weight. 

I said, okay, but I, I don't see you tracking. You know, what, what have you been eating for the past couple of days? What did you have for dinner three nights ago?  

He's like, oh, I have no idea. And he was under, again, not to point fingers, trying to make him feel guilty, but just to bring awareness and be like, well, you say you're doing everything right, but you don't even remember what you did three days ago, had for dinner three days ago. 

And it's just, it's that point that you made earlier. We're really bad at estimating, and it takes a tremendous amount of effort to do it in a way that gets results. And even if we're doing our best, it's still going to be off.  

I do want to ask you though, if someone's in that situation, what would you coach them on doing? 

 Not specifically the client that I mentioned, but if someone felt like they were doing everything right and not losing weight, and they're getting stressed out about it and they're feeling bad about themselves because they feel like they're doing everything right, like, what is, um, what would you coach that person to do? 

Eric Williamson: Well, first of all, not uncommon, have these conversations all the time with individuals, and there are so many hiccups that could be occurring here. There are so many factors that could be the barrier that the individual isn't seeing. Just like you said, that there's, you know, weekends, for example, there's times where I've had somebody come to me and they're tracked through the week.  

They're very diligent through the week, and they say, "Well, my weekends are different, but I don't think that's going to make up for how much effort I'm putting through the week." But it very well could. In a lot of cases, the average person, their average calorie intake is quite substantially higher from weekend intake. 

So we do need to look at the weekends. In that case, perhaps there, I've had individuals who they weren't tracking the oil that they were using to cook with. I've had some people say that, "Wow, you know what, when I actually got a food scale and measured the amount of potatoes I'm having, it was a lot higher than what I was putting in there before. I didn't realize that that was the weight of the portion of potatoes I was having."  

So that's one step that I could do is, is, or a couple of options there, we track more, see other times that perhaps they're not including. We perhaps increase the precision, getting out a food scale to check, and of course, all of this in the context of ensuring that somebody's safe to do so and that we're managing a healthy relationship with food. 

And that's something that I'm constantly on the lookout for. And then if those things are still not the, the individual might not believe that those are going to help. Another thing that we could do, either coinciding with that or after trying things like that are, is, is here in Toronto, anyways, there are places you can have your resting metabolism checked.  

Let's go look at it. Go, go actually have the test. Let's see because it can be an indicator of how much metabolic adaptation somebody is experiencing. Usually, the lower their resting metabolism is, like I said, it's not going to be substantially for the vast majority of people, but the lower it is, the more there's going to be adaptation in other areas as well. Typically, like the size activity thermogenesis.  

So let's go and let's go look at that right now. Let's, let's look at your step count, see if that's been, that's reduced over time. Let's maybe try to bring that up.  

So many moving factors, it really has to be, it comes down to the individual. I'll say in most cases, the hiccup is somewhere within tracking, and having that third person, a coach that's knowledgeable and has seen these barriers come up time and time again, is going to help you be most effective at troubleshooting and figuring out what that is. 

If I could add one thing to that, too, with time, sometimes we do find that the level of deficit that somebody needs to be in is very difficult for them, and like you and I know, some people have to put in more effort than others. Some people have to track, others change their food choices, and they get a good amount of progress just with that. Some need to get out of a food scale, others don't need to. So everyone is different.  

Life is very unfair, sucks, but there are these individual differences that are going to also influence how difficult it is for somebody to do what they need to do to lose weight. And there's sometimes where I have the conversation, is this worth it? Is it worth it to continue pursuing this goal? Because a lot of individuals I work with, or perhaps overweight or maybe in or living in the first category of obesity.  

And I think, I don't obviously, I don't agree with every component of the health at every size movement, but I think one thing that was positive that came out of it is that people, there is more of an awareness that you can pursue health and fitness in other ways other than weight loss. And maybe right now isn't the time for weight loss. Maybe we're going to focus on just nutritious eating and gaining strength or gaining endurance, coming more physically active. And that's okay.  

I tell them maybe one day you come back to this and getting at the food scale and being even deeper in a deficit and having more structure to your week is something you'll be open to at that time. And if you've been focusing on nutritious eating and fitness before that, you're going to be in a far better place. You're going to have a more advantageous starting position when we come back to focusing again on trying to lose weight. 

Ted Ryce: Yeah, I think, I think that's such an important point. And it gets, doesn't get said enough because, um, I don't know what you do exactly because the way we met was, and, and started working together was quite different. But we have calls with potential clients. I'm the one that does the calls right now, and I'm looking for how is the emotional state of this person? Where are they at?  

Because you, if you're under tremendous financial stress, I just had this conversation with the previous guest. Maybe the answer is to focus on stress management. Part of that could be exercising more and then fixing your financial issues or if you're uh, or a relationship, you shouldn't run away from financial or I wouldn't say I won't.  

Should you, if you're listening right now, what I'll say is it won't work if you're trying to run away from financial problems by getting in better shape through fat loss, cuz. I think we can say it like this.  

Losing fat, being in a calorie deficit is psychologically stressful, especially if you've been using food to cope with the stress of that you're under, you're taking that away and so you have to be under, you have to have pretty good mental health to be like, yes, I'm going to take away this one coping mechanism and I'm going to start to do this healthier coping mechanism.  

That's a big ask. It can happen, but are you in the position to make that happen? Likewise, with relationships, if you're on the verge of a divorce and you think that maybe getting in shape and losing some fat is going to fix it, it's not, again, you know, or, or I'll even use a personal example now.  

I got super-duper crazy in my twenties with exercise and being strict. I was on a low-carb diet. I don't remember if I told you that, but I got super strict cuz I was dealing with PTSD after my brother was murdered. And I wasn't using exercise as a healthy coping mechanism.  

It was just that I was doing, I was drinking a lot and doing drugs, and then I switched to, you know, abusing exercise and strict dieting. So, it wasn't a healthy approach. I ended up with a lot of injuries and I got to do all this exercise programming, wizardry, just to, to be in shape.  

I can't do lunges and squats and all, all that. Just I can't work out like a normal person cause of some of the choices I've made and injuries I sustained during that time.  

And so if, what I'd say is make sure you're coming from a healthy, a psychologically healthy place to do weight loss. And if you're not there, like Eric said, don't shoot for it. Work on developing your fitness, which is easier to do cuz you're adding something instead of trying to take away your coping. 

You know, the way you're coping with stress through food, and you may end up losing some weight that way, but even if you don't, you'll become psychologically healthier because your brain's gonna be healthier, getting more blood flow, changing the neurochemistry.  

So, such an important point. Eric, we, this is a bit of a longer interview, but do you have any parting words or what would you, another way to ask it is, what do you hope someone listening to your interview today, what do you hope they take away from this? 

Eric Williamson: Thanks, Ted. If I could distill down everything that we've discussed, which is a challenge because we've covered a lot of ground today, I would say that first, always look for the deeper issue.  

We talked about things like hormones, we talked about things like stress and if we can identify what the root cause is, rather than slapping on a Band-Aid solution, whether that's hormone replacement therapy, um, it's not required when, whether that's ashwagandha or CBD to try and manage our stress rather than actually looking at what the root of the issue is and figuring that out, then we're, we're going to be in a better position if we can, if we can tackle that, that root, if we can treat or manage that, then it's going to put us in a better place to be able to do something like lose weight, which like you said, is a challenge. 

It's not easy. I don't want to sugarcoat it. So, we need to be in a good place and we need to look at the root. We look for the root of the issue. That's number one. Number two, I would say when it comes to weight loss, focus on appetite. The majority of people need to focus on their food choices and managing hunger. 

So first, yep, we need to be in a calorie deficit, need to figure that out. But second, we need to be able to successfully maintain that deficit and then successfully maintain weight loss afterwards. We need to really focus on our food choices and developing habits that help us manage appetite effectively. 

And then the last thing coming back right to the start of the interview that we talked about the value of having a coach. Of course, you and I believe in coaching and that's why we provide it as a service, but especially in the context of weight loss. Remember there are risks to this. There are some physical health risks you can absolutely result in, have results that are reducing your health, but also their physical health, but also your mental health as well. 

It can cause stress; it can ruin your relationship with food. And it's best to have that third person perspective of somebody. Who has helped others through it, has knowledge in the area to help you through that, understands some of these risks as well as some of the barriers like appetite, metabolic adaptation that we talked about today. 

So, the third thing that I recommend is working with a professional, 'cause even people like Ted and I do that.  

Ted Ryce: Yeah. So important, the most successful, the working with you. Well, in my case, it changed more than just my body. It changed the way I coach clients and, uh, I mean, I get way better results having gone through the process. 

I don't use paleo meal plans anymore that, you know, I don't want to get into the story of what we used to do in coaching, but yeah, it really, it really helped. But for someone who's looking for that, this is the only shortcut there is. And I think coaching, that's true for coaching.  

And I mean, I have a business coach now, and you've actually done business coaching with Giselle. Uh, we don't really do that anymore, but yeah, it was, uh, so coaching, and if you're interested in reaching out to Eric and connecting with him and inquiring about coaching or just want to learn more about him, you can go to his website at . And Eric, is there anywhere else where you'd like people to go who, uh, enjoyed this conversation? Want to hear more from you? 

Eric Williamson: Yeah, give me a follow on Instagram and come learn about some more nutrition-related topics @Unlocked Fitness and Nutrition. I'm also on TikTok @ Unlocked Fitness and Nutrition as well.  

Ted Ryce: Do you dance on TikTok with shirtless?  

Eric Williamson: I can't say I'm a dancer or one of those guys that goes around in the grocery store shirtless. So, if you're looking for that wrong spot. 

Ted Ryce: I want you to see me shirtless in Whole Foods berating people ... I guess that's a bit of an inside joke  

Eric Williamson: For their choices and their shopping carts?  

Ted Ryce: Yeah, but shirtless for sure.  

Eric Williamson: And one other spot that people could come visit me, I've recently accepted a position as the director of nutrition for Canyon Ranch, so anybody in the United States that knows that the health and wellness Resort Canyon Ranch, you never like to meet me, come out to the Tucson, Arizona location. 

Ted Ryce: Awesome. Yeah. Well, we'll have all those, all those links and, uh, show notes for the, the podcast for today. Well, Eric, thanks so much for, uh, sharing your time today and, and your knowledge. Really appreciate you, man.  

Eric Williamson: Such a pleasure, Ted. Thank you so much.

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