As of right now, I’ve produced over 500 episodes of Muscle for Life, totaling over 700 hours of content.
I’ve talked about a huge variety of things related to health, fitness, and lifestyle, ranging from the basics of diet and exercise like energy and macronutrient balance and progressive overload and training frequency and volume to fads like the ketogenic and carnivore diet and collagen protein to more unfamiliar territories like body weight set point and fasted cardio.
Some episodes resonate with my crowd more than others, but all of them contain at least a few key takeaways that just about anyone can benefit from (that’s what I tell myself at least).
And as cool as that is, it poses a problem for you, my dear listener:
Ain’t nobody got time for that.
Well okay, some people do make the time to listen to most or even all of my podcasts, but my wizbang analytics tell me that while many listeners tune in on a regular basis, they don’t catch every installment of Muscle for Life and thus miss out on insights that could help them get a little better inside and outside the gym.
People have also been saying they’d like me to do more shorter, multi-topic episodes, like my Q&As.
And so I got an idea: how about a “best of” series of podcasts that contains a few of the most practical and compelling ideas, tips, and moments from my most popular episodes?
This way, people who are new to the show can quickly determine if it’s for them or not, and those who enjoy what I’m doing but don’t have the time or inclination to listen to all of my stuff can still benefit from the discussions and find new episodes to listen to.
So, in this inaugural episode of The Best of Muscle for Life, you’ll be hearing hand-picked morsels from three episodes:
- Lyle McDonald on How Women Can Improve Fat Loss
- How to Safely and Healthily Lose Weight Fast
- The Science of Supercharging Your Willpower and Self-Discipline
And we’ll be starting with number one, fat loss tips for women from Lyle McDonald.
5:24 – Lyle McDonald on How Women Can Improve Fat Loss
14:53 – How to Safely and Healthily Lose Weight Fast
18:19 – The Science of Supercharging Your Willpower and Self-Discipline
Mentioned on The Show:
What did you think of this episode? Have anything else to share? Let me know in the comments below!
Mike: Hello and welcome to Muscle for Life. I’m Mike Matthews. Thank you for taking time outta your day to listen to me talk about health and fitness things. Now, as of right now, I have produced over 500 episodes of Muscle for Life, and they total over. 700 hours of content probably, and I’ve talked about a huge variety of things related to getting fit and healthy, ranging from the basics of diet and exercise like energy and macronutrient, balance and progressive overload, and training frequency and volume to stuff that is more faddish like the ketogenic and carnivore diet, and collagen protein and M C T oil.
To more unfamiliar territories like body weight, set point, and fasted training. Now, some episodes resonate with my crowd more than others, but all of them contain at least a few key takeaways that just about anyone can benefit from. At least that’s what I tell myself. And as cool as that is, it also poses a problem for you, my dear listener.
Ain’t nobody got time for that 500 plus episodes. 700 plus hours. I mean, some people do actually. Make the time to listen to most or even all of my podcasts. But according to my whizzbang analytics software, many listeners do tune in on a regular basis, but they definitely do not catch every installment of the show and thus miss out on insights that could help them get a little bit better inside and outside the gym.
And people have also been telling me that they would like me to do more shorter multi topic. Episodes like my q and As, you know, stuff that is more easily consumed during a commute, for example. And so I got an idea why not do a best of series of podcasts that contains a few of the most practical and compelling ideas, tips, and moments from my most popular episodes.
So this way, People who are new to the show can quickly determine if it is for them or not. Because if they listen to a couple best of episodes and don’t like them, then chances are they’re just not gonna like the podcast. And for those out there who do enjoy the podcast, who do like what I’m doing, but just don’t have the time or the inclination to listen to all of my stuff, well those people.
We’ll then be able to still benefit from the discussions and find new episodes to go listen to. So that’s why we are here. And in this inaugural episode of The Best of Muscle for Life, you are going to be hearing hand picked morsels from three episodes. One is a discussion I had with Lyle McDonald on how women can improve fat loss.
Two, a monologue. That I did on how to safely and healthily lose weight fast. And three, a monologue that I did on the science of supercharging, your Willpower and Self-Discipline, and we will be starting this with number one. How women can lose fat faster with Lyle McDonald. And this was published in October of 2016.
So if you like the takeaways and you wanna listen to the full episode, just go back in the feed to October of 2016 and you’ll find it now before we get to the show, if you like what I’m doing here on the podcast and elsewhere, and if you wanna help me help more people get into the best shape of their lives.
Please consider picking up one of my best selling health and fitness books. I have bigger, leaner, stronger for Men, thinner, leaner, stronger for Women. I have a flexible dieting cookbook called the Shredded Chef, as well as a. 100% practical hands-on blueprint for personal transformation called the Little Black Book of Workout Motivation.
These books have sold well over a million copies and have helped thousands of people build their best body ever, and you can find them on all major online retailers like Amazon, audible, iTunes, Cobo, and Google Play, as well as in select Barnes and Noble stores. So again, that’s bigger, leaner, stronger for men.
Thinner, leaner, stronger for Women, the Shredded Chef and the Little Black Book of Workout Motivation. Oh, and I should also mention that you can get any of my audio books for free when you sign up for an Audible account, which is the perfect way to make those little pockets of downtime like commuting, meal prepping, dog walking and cleaning.
A bit more interesting, entertaining, and. Productive. And if you want to take audible up on that offer and get one of my audio books for free, just go to legion athletics.com/audible and it’ll forward you over and then you can sign up for your account.
Lyle: I know women that they want to get back to their pre-pregnancy weight.
They just keep calories at maintenance and it just drops off like crazy. So that, that’s one of the, you know, the big reasons. There’s also some ev you know, just different in, in fat storage patterns. There’s differences in how women store fat. So, oh, after a meal, high fat meal, men tend to burn more fat for energy.
Uh, more of it sits in the bloodstream, which is actually why men are more likely to have heart attacks. Men tend to store fat more in visceral abdominal fat, which is bad and that it’s correlated with health risk, but it’s good and that it’s very easy to mobilize anyone that starts exercising like they feel leaner, but don’t look any different.
And it’s ’cause that visceral fat’s coming off.
Mike: And just to clarify for the reader, so visceral fat is, you have fat under your skin, subcutaneous and visceral kind of covers your organs and it
Lyle: Yes, very.
Mike: When you see the big pot belly where it’s hard, it’s a lot of fat under the.
Lyle: Right, and you touch it and it’s just like really physically hard to the touch.
Um, women can get that too. It’s interesting as women get extremely over fat, and here we’re talking like 50% body fat, there’s some, the, the fat cells in the lower body kind of run outta room and they start to develop a more male like fat pattern. In men, it’s the opposite. As men, uh, gain a lot of body fat, they tend to get hip and thigh fat.
So obesity sort of shifts women towards men and men towards women. So that’s a big part of it. There’s even some evidence if women are fed a very high fat meal, the calories go directly to the lower body fat. Hmm. Um, there’s an old, old, old saying among women that, you know, a minute on the hips, a a minute on the, the lips, a lifetime on the hips, and it’s actually true.
Um, a final issue with that is, Surprisingly, uh, when re scientists have looked at this, women and men actually both store initially a lot of the fat in their, uh, abdominal, subcutaneous fat. Mm-hmm. And this really raised a good, a big question. Well, if that’s the case, why do women get hip and thigh fat in the long term?
What happens is after that storage, it eventually starts to mobilize. And if it’s not burned, women repartition fat from the abdominal area. Into the hips and thighs.
Mike: Interesting. So it, it kind of starts there and then it shifts down.
Lyle: Right. So as long as you burn it off and stay in energy balance, it doesn’t happen.
Yeah. But in the long term women’s body and, and there’s an old, old, old claim that nobody believed that women who were dieting would lean out in their upper body and their hips and thighs would get fatter. And actually, There’s some truth to that because the men’s women’s bodies can pull it out of the upper body.
If it doesn’t get burned off for energy, take goes to the hips and thighs.
Mike: Yeah. And you’re, and in, in many cases with workouts, I mean, not probably in all cases, you’re gonna mobilize more than you’re gonna burn depending on what you’re doing at least.
Lyle: Right. Um, even and even there, right. If it’s interesting also, women have more fatty acids in their bloodstream at rest, not after a meal.
But they burn and, and they actually burn more for fuel at low intensity exercise. Mm-hmm. And the question has been, well, if this is true, why, why aren’t they losing more fat more easily? And it’s ’cause women’s bodies will actually what’s called reification. So the fatty acid comes out and then gets put right back in the fat cell, or it gets transferred to a different fat cell through a different pathway.
So that, that’s one of the big ones. When men do low lower intensity exercise, they burn more carbs and less fat. Women do lower intensity exercise. They burn more fat and less carbs. So it’s always really weird. Okay. So why do women have, why is it harder for if they’re using more fat? Well, we know, you know, the old idea that what you burn during exercise and what you lose is not true.
Right? What you burn in that hour slot doesn’t compare to the other 23 hours of the day. Sure. And what happens is women’s bodies use fat during exercise and then switch back to carbs for the other 23 hours. Mm-hmm. Men’s bodies use carbs for exercise and then use more fat for fuel. The other, and those other 23 or however long Sure.
Is far more important. The next, really the big issue is, you know, Like the whole refeed thing. Mm-hmm. In terms of, you know, most general definition of a refeed is you’re either deliberately jacking up carbohydrate intake, or even, even if you just return calories to maintenance. And what’s interesting, I talk about the energy availability work, and so like three to five days of very low calories can start to tank the menstrual cycle.
Mm-hmm. Now, Luke’s did a study where she did one day of just. Massive overfeeding. It was like 6,400 calories. It was some ridiculous amount
Mike: that that, that is, that’s hard for guys to do. It was something felt like they’re gonna throw up.
Lyle: Might do not have been that big, but it was astute for calories and no hormonal effect, quite surprisingly.
Another study kind of accidentally, they did three days of fasting, saw the same effects, and they just brought ’em to maintenance for two days and happened to remeasure them. Boom, the system had reversed itself. Wow. So that really, again, it kind of indirectly is very telling is for women, I think almost more so than men doing, even if it’s just bringing calories to maintenance.
It doesn’t even have to be like that forced high carb re feed. Mm-hmm. But even bringing calories to maintenance with a sufficient frequency. And that depends on how lean they are, how long they’ve been dieting for, how deficit is, how long they’ve been dieting. You know, there’s a bunch of variables that go into that.
And like Eric Helms, who actually contribute a section of this book and who’s been invaluable for giving me feedback. It’s funny ’cause he like, kind of like you, he’s found out. Sort of observationally, um, a lot of what’s working. And so like he might start at the beginning of a diet. He might be using one refe day.
Yeah. You know, athletes also have the issue. If you’re depleting glycogen, that’s great for fat loss. Eventually your performance tanks. Absolutely. You have to find that ba eventually, you do have to refill muscle glycogen to get through your weight training workouts. Again, it, it’s not nearly as important for weightlifting as it is for an endurance athlete doing two hours a day.
You’re just. Your rotating body parts. It’s, it’s, you know, Alan Aragon wrote that great article on, is the post-workout anabolic window relevant? Mm-hmm. And for us people, it’s not, if you’re an athlete doing two a days within six hours, it’s hugely important. Physique athletes typically not. So he might use one refeed.
For the first block of dieting, take a break. You have the full diet break. I wrote about so many years ago. It might be two days of maintenance, and then towards the end it might be three, and he adjusted the deficit days to keep the weight loss ringy, but it’s just a very logical approach to it. He’s coupled that with, I don’t know if you’ve ever talked or written about this, you know, intermittent caloric restriction.
It’s kind of this new model of dieting. That they’re using the obese individuals, uh, it, it’s kind of an out, uh, it, it’s kind of related to intermittent fasting. Um, and what they’re doing is rather than just straight calorie restriction, minus 30% every day, they’re using big deficits three to four days a week and then letting people come back to maintenance every so often.
And the variations, they’ve done an 11 and three cycle, they’ve done kind of random. So see, you might do three days of very hardcore deficit and then a day of maintenance. And they find that the maintenance day doesn’t really go off the rails. And even if it goes up by 10% And they use
Mike: just, just eating intuitively.
Lyle: Yes. Just eating ad-lib. And so, and what they’re doing, they’re using, they call it fasting in the literature, and this is for obese individuals, but they’re giving them 25% of maintenance, mostly protein, but do the math. That’s a 75% deficit for three days.
Lyle: Even if you’re at 110%, if you’re 10% above maintenance on day four, your effective deficit is still about 30 or 40%.
Mike: All right, well, that’s it for Lyle McDonald’s Fat Loss Tips for Women. Again, if you liked the takeaways and you want to go listen to the full episode, it was published in October, 2016, so you can just go find it and check it out. Before we continue, if you like what I’m doing here on the podcast and elsewhere, and if you wanna help, Help me help more people get into the best shape of their lives.
Please do consider picking up one of my best selling health and fitness books. My most popular ones are Bigger, leaner, stronger for Men, thinner, leaner, stronger for Women. My Flexible Dieting Cookbook, the Shredded Chef. My 100% practical hands-on blueprint for personal transformation, the little black Book of Workout motivation.
Now, these books have sold well over 1 million copies and have helped thousands of people build their best body ever, and you can find them anywhere online where you can buy books like Amazon, audible, iTunes, Cobo, and Google Play, as well as in select. Barnes and Noble Stores. So again, that is bigger, leaner, stronger for men, thinner, leaner, stronger for Women, the Shredded Chef and the Little Black Book of Workout Motivation.
Oh, and one other thing is you can get any one of those audio books 100%. Free when you sign up for an audible account, and that’s a great way to make those pockets of downtime like commuting, meal prepping, and cleaning. More interesting, entertaining, and productive. Now, if you want to take audible up on that offer and get one of my audio books for free, just go to legion athletics.com.
Slash Audible and sign up for your account. Alright, moving on to the next batch of takeaways from the next episode, which is called How to Safely and Healthily Lose Weight Fast. Now this was published back in July of 2018, so if you like what you hear and you wanna listen to the entire discussion, just go back to July of 2018 in the feed and look for how to safely and healthily lose weight fast.
Another reason why people struggle to lose weight quickly is when you restrict your calories to lose fat. Your body sets out to decrease energy expenditure and increase intake. In other words, your body wants to erase the calorie deficit, the energy deficit that you’ve created, and it wants to balance calorie intake with output.
It wants to stop the weight loss because the reality is losing fat requires that you force your body to do something that you don’t want to do. It requires mild and prolonged starvation. Really, that is what you are doing when you’re losing fat, and in the spirit of self-preservation, your body has.
Defense mechanisms, so to speak, that it can use to fight back. And these defense mechanisms can slow down fat loss, especially as you get leaner and leaner. And if you want to learn more about this, head over to multiple life.com and search for starvation mode and read the article that I wrote on that.
Now, the litmus test of any. Type of diet or exercise routine is twofold. First, does it work for you? And two, is it sustainable? These are the two key questions you have to ask yourself. And the first point is obvious, no matter how. Good. Theoretically, or even scientifically, a diet or exercise program is or sounds, no matter how famous its creator is or how many books it is sold, if it doesn’t work for you, if it doesn’t deliver the type of results that you’re looking for, you need to move on.
You need to find something else because in the end, the best diet is one that. Meets certain parameters. There are certain non-negotiable factors like energy, balance, and macronutrient balance and so forth, but, Outside of that, the best diet is the one that is going to work for you. And the second point here, sustainability is less obvious, but it is equally important because if a program can get results, but it can’t be sustained over the long term, whether due to complexity, difficulty, or anything else, it too should be abandoned because while you can lose a lot of weight with a crash or starvation diet, what happens next?
As you know, many people just gain all the weight or even more back. They also suffer along the way. And the same thing goes for very grueling exercise routines. Sure, these types of workout programs can supercharge your fat loss and muscle gain, but they can also burn you out, and that’s why we want to go for the sweet spot.
We want consistent, encouraging results without any of the pain or misery that most people go through when trying to get fit.
Okay. That’s it for the key takeaways from how to safely and healthily lose weight Fast. Again, if you liked him and you wanna listen to the entire episode, it was published in July of 2018, so you can just go find it. Last up, we have an episode called The Science of Supercharging, your Willpower and Self-Discipline.
Now, this one was published in August of 2017, and let’s get to the highlights. According to a 2010 survey conducted by the American Psychological Association, the lack of willpower is the number one obstacle that people face in achieving their goals. Many people feel guilty about their lack of self-control.
They feel like they’re letting themselves and others down, and that their lives are in large part, just not. Under their control. They report feeling like their actions are dictated by emotions, impulses, and cravings. And that exerting self-discipline ultimately just leads to exhaustion and failure. Now, on the other hand, research shows that people with.
Higher levels of willpower do better in school. They earn more money, they make better leaders. They’re generally just happier, healthier, and less stressed. They have better social and romantic relationships, maybe because they know how to keep their mouths shut. Something I have had to learn myself. And, uh, research even shows that people with higher levels of willpower live longer as well.
The bottom line is, no matter the circumstances, more willpower always trumps less. And I’m gonna start here with a question. So what do we really mean when we say that somebody has or lacks willpower? Of course, what we’re usually referring to is their ability or inability to say no. So they’re supposed to study for an exam, but instead they accept the invitation to the movies or they’re trying to lose 10 pounds, but they just couldn’t say no to the apple pie.
They have. Trouble saying, I won’t, I won’t do that. That’s one aspect of willpower. But there are two others and they are, I will and I want, so I, willpower is the other side of the, I won’t coin. It’s the ability to do something when you don’t want to, like grinding out that workout when you’re tired or paying the overdue bill or burning the midnight oil on that work project and the I want.
Part of willpower is the ability to remember the why when temptation strikes. That’s the long-term goal and the thing that you really want more than the fast food or the credit card debt. Research shows that our beliefs, our ideas, our feelings are greatly determined by our actions, not the other way around as many people think it works.
In other words, if you wanna change how you feel or how you think about something, or some aspect of your character, no matter how deep seated, the easiest way to do it is to simply change your actions, to align your actions to the way that you want to think. Feel or be, and the internal environment will conform to those actions because in many ways, we look to how we behave to find out who we are.
And if our ideas or conceptions don’t match our actions, then we’re much more likely to change the former, to suit the latter and not vice versa. Now, this can work against us such in the case of something like honesty. We all want to see ourselves as generally honest people, but if we consistently behave dishonestly, then un.
Fortunately, we’re much more likely to just change our conception of honesty or of truthfulness than we are to actually change our behaviors and be more honest and truthful. On the other hand, we can use this psychological reality to our advantage. So let’s say you want to become the type of person that takes better care of their body.
There’s one of two ways of doing this. One way is. First, trying to change your mind about being healthier, trying to change your perception of eating healthy or of exercising, and trying to work it out internally before you actually do anything. That’s one way, and the other way is simply starting to do the things that somebody that takes good care of their body does.
Regardless of how you feel about them or think about them, just do them consistently and then let your. Mind conform to your actions, and the latter is far more effective, far, far more effective. So much so that I would say the former is completely ineffective. So the latter really is the only way to do it and make it stick.
That is it for the science of Supercharging Your Willpower, which again was published in August of 2017. In case you wanna go listen to the whole. Episode, and that’s also it for this first installment of The Best of Muscle for Life. Please do reach out and let me know what you thought. Is this something that you think I should keep doing?
Send me an email [email protected]. All right, well, that’s it for today’s episode. I hope you found it interesting and helpful. And if you did, and you don’t mind doing me a favor, could you please leave a quick review for the podcast on iTunes or wherever. You are listening from because those reviews not only convince people that they should check out the show, they also increase the search visibility and help more people find their way to me and to the podcast and learn how to build their best body ever.
As well. And of course, if you wanna be notified when the next episode goes live, then simply subscribe to the podcast in whatever app you’re using to listen and you will not miss out on any of the new stuff that I have coming. And last, if you didn’t like something about the show, then definitely shoot me an email at [email protected].
And share your thoughts. Let me know how you think I could do this better. I read every email myself and I’m always looking for constructive feedback. Alright, thanks again for listening to this episode and I hope to hear from you soon. I.