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Balancing Your Metabolism with Megan Kober

Aug 13, 2020

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​So here's the question, how do active people in the Atlanta area, stay pain-free and live the active fulfilled life that they deserve at any age. This is the question. And this podcast is the answer. I'm Danny Matta and welcome to the Active Atlanta Podcast.

Active Atlanta Podcast is sponsored by Athletes' Potential. And at Potential we help active adults stay that way. Pain-free and active during the sports and activities that they do, for life. We do this by working on four different areas. That's movement, nutrition, stress management, and sleep. When we optimize these four areas, you feel better, move better, you live better for life. At athletespotential.com, learn how we can help you stay active for life today.

What is up everyone and welcome back to the Active Atlanta Podcast. I'm your host, Doc Jake Swart. And I'm here with just a straight up bad-ass. Her name is Megan Kober. She is the founder of The Nutrition Addiction, the founder of the 30 Day Metabolism Makeover. And she is you probably also know her as the vodka loving dietician.

She's got an awesome brand in the digital media space and she's doing some incredible things in that area. So Megan, how are you doing?

 I'm great. Thanks for having me on today. 

Yeah. Yeah, of course. I'm super excited. I know we've been trying to coordinate this back and forth for a little while now, so it's awesome to finally get you on the show and to kind of pick your brain a little bit and kind of expose our audience to some of the stuff that you're doing.

So let's get into it. So Metabolism Makeover, what's what's the deal behind that? How did they get started? What are some of the, because if you go onto your website, if you have a pretty interesting story laid out in terms of how this kind of came about. So if you don't mind getting into some of the details, like what's kind of the motivation behind what this PR company is for you.

Yeah. So really what happened was I started blogging, you know, probably six years ago when I was in between jobs and I, my whole motivation behind starting was I wanted to show people that healthy eating didn't have to be that hard. Now this was, gosh, yeah, probably six or seven years ago at this point.

This was when a lot of food blogs were coming out, they were really popular. And the main purpose behind these food blogs were having these beautiful pictures of food, these complicated recipes, you know, and it was really about the story behind the food. It wasn't so much around it. And I was looking, you know, and I would sit and read these blogs for hours.

And I was like, wouldn't it be so cool to actually be able to cook all this stuff? And I'm like, you know, who really has time for that? And I think it made a lot of my friends and family that I talked to you know, it was intimidating and they said like healthy eating. It's just so hard.

It's, it's, you've got to buy a million ingredients. You've got to buy a million expensive ingredients. I'm like, well, no, not really. I mean, it really doesn't have to be that hard. So that was my whole purpose was to create a blog where I'm making really easy recipes that aren't super fancy, that you don't have to go to the farmer's market for that sort of, you know, developed into.

Then I started seeing one-on-one clients. A lot of the clients that I was getting were weight loss clients, and they, I started to notice a pattern between them that they had kind of been on a yo-yo dieting cycle for years. 

These women weren't eating-it didn't seem like they were overeating-it didn't seem like, you know, I wasn't able to look at what they were doing and say easily okay, well, you just got to cut out soda. You just got to quit eating junk food all the time. Like they were eating pretty healthy, so I'm like what's going on. And. I realized that really it was their past with dieting and you know, this yo-yo dieting cycle that they had been on, their metabolisms were just shot.

So I knew from my background you know, I'm a registered dietician and so I had studied the human metabolism quite a bit, and I started to really, instead of focus on weight loss and like, okay, this is what you need to do to lose weight. I'm like, let's just kind of work with your metabolism first and like figure out not here because clearly if you're eating 1400 calories a day and you're not losing weight, there's a problem when you're working out.

You know? So I started taking these women through certain steps to help them start to repair their metabolism. They started losing weight. Eating more really you know, helping them work out less, eat more food. And I know that kind of sounds kind of cliche, like, okay, yeah. Eat less food and lose weight, but if you do it as a slow process, it's not like you can just start doing this tomorrow, but you can, and yeah.

After I did this with several women, I said, okay, you know, more people need to know about this. I need to make this on a grander scale. So that's where the 30 Day Metabolism Makeover came in. And I created a program that people, you know, hundreds of people can go through at once. And I really just take them through the same steps that I did with those women in the beginning.

So yes, I started out as a food blog and now this major program that we've had, I think like around 1500 or 1600 people. 

Awesome. It's awesome. I mean, that's 15, 16, thousand impacts that you've made. I really liked how you kind of take a look at the metabolism instead of like the calories or kind of like the problem areas that people associate with.

It's kind of like how we address stuff in the clinic. Like people come in with like, oh, my shoulder hurts. So I must be a strengthening issue. Well, maybe, but let's get into like, why, like let's let's I remember I used to be when I was a young clinician and get really focused in on what's the exact diagnosis with somebody like it's gotta be a torn label, or it's gotta be a rotator cuff sprain strain, or it's gotta be whatever.

And what I've found out is if I started like trying to improve the deficits that people have, or the deficiencies that people have, those problems typically go away. And it sounds like that's kind of an, a different lens, kind of at the same philosophy you kind of take in terms of, all right, you've got all these different steps that you're trying to take, but let's, let's get to the root cause of why these steps aren't working to begin.

Yeah. Like to me, it's, it's similar to, you know, functional medicine versus Western medicine. It's not just slapping a diagnosis, not just slapping. Okay. Eat less, exercise more. Yeah. Let's look at the root cause let's see what's going on beneath the surface because that's not honestly nine times out of 10.

That's what it is. Everybody's tried a weight loss time. Everybody's tried to exercise more. If that worked, we have a lot of skinny people out there. Right? Exactly. Yeah, no, I totally agree. I like, and I see this all the time, like at the gym in particular people are coming in with super restricted diets and then also trying to perform.

And you can't do that. It's, it's, it's just not feasible especially in that for a long-term best solution by any means. What are some of the, this may be a loaded question, but like from a metabolism standpoint, cause I think that's a really succinct take that maybe I'm just a neophyte in the area of nutrition and diet.

But it's just not something that, like, I see a lot of other people really trying to take a hard look at in terms of people's metabolism, what are some like low hanging fruit areas that you see consistently with people like, man, this is more people just knew this, like my job would be way easier. Yeah. I think that a really good place to start is just educating yourself.

What is protein? What are good protein sources? Obviously there's a lot of good animal protein sources. But plant sources like nuts seeds lentils beans, things like that. Protein getting protein at every single meal would be my number one. So figuring out what protein is, making sure that you just have it on your plate.

Why is this? Because protein actually. First of all, it actually runs up your metabolism. Like eating protein actually increases your metabolism when you're eating enough of it. You know, at least 2025 grams at a meal and protein also of course maintains lean muscle. So when you are trying to lose weight, it is really important to get enough protein. 

It's also really satiating. So. Do you know, I understand some people are going to hear this and say like, well, you know, you don't need as much protein as people say, you know, that's true. You don't, it is really filling. And you can't deny that, you know, there's studies that show getting at least 20 grams of protein at breakfast actually makes you eat less food throughout the day or prevents you from overeating, I guess is what I should say, because it just keeps you full.

And so just that number one, the protein making sure you're including fat at your meals. I do. We're getting much better at being comfortable with fat now than we were even just five years ago, but it still surprises me. The women that come into my program now that say like, man, this is just like really hard for me to wrap my head around that I should be eating fat at every meal.

So it is still. Sure. Yeah. Especially women who think that that makes them fat and it, it doesn't, it obviously overeating anything will cause you to gain weight, but fat, you know, keeps you full again, it also really lowers the blood sugar response. So anytime you eat, really, anytime you eat almost any. You your, your blood sugar raises.

Now that's not a bad thing necessarily, but you don't want it to spike. You don't want it shooting through the roof because you're gonna flood your body with insulin, which is a hormone that comes out and scoops up blood sugar and stores it. Now, of course, that can be a good thing. We need to. We need to store energy is stored in our liver and our muscles.

But when we get too much, where is it going to go? It's going to go to our fat cells, right? So you have these big blood sugar spikes and you have this flood of insulin in your body. You're going to go into a fat storing mode for hours. So how do you prevent that real fat, fat and fiber, but fat is a really big one.

So it's really just a matter of slowing down your digestion. Honestly, amazing for your brain, for your hormones, it makes you happy. And you're like, man, I want to eat more because I'm not full enough. Yeah. It's quite as good either. Yeah, no, no. Yeah. So yes, protein. Fiber is the last one that you really want to make sure you're including it.

Every meal fiber is just really good for you. I mean, I could go on off fiber it moves through our system. We don't really digest it. It just sort of goes through our system. It picks up toxins along the way. It's great. Prebiotic fiber is great for your gut health. Yeah, it goes through your system, you poop it out, it keeps you full and also does it what fat does.

And it really lessens that blood sugar response. So it's gonna raise you. It will, you know, like I said, when you eat your blood sugar raises, but that's fine. You just want to keep it steady. You don't want it to spike. So including the protein, the healthy, fat, and fiber at your meals, you're going to keep blood sugar steady.

And that really is the, that's the easiest way to boost your metabolism because. You're going when your body, when you're, when your blood sugar is steady, your body starts releasing a hormone called glucagon and glucagon is your fabric. So it's kind of like the opposite of insulin, you know, when your blood sugar is spiking all the time, you're releasing insulin and you're in sort of a storage mode.

So those are the two I'm not going to get like super science-y, but those are really the hormones that you want to pay attention to simplifying it, of course, but that's, that's the easiest way to really explain it. Hmm. You want to keep your blood sugar as steady as possible and, and doing that too, not only is that going to help you burn more fat, but it's going to keep your energy levels steady, you know, can you imagine if your blood sugar is like spiking and crashing all day, you feel like crap.

Yeah. It's like my dad, he's a classic, like Midwestern, like old school mentality. He's got diabetes, but diabetes is like this made up disease in his mind. Right? Like yeah, I mean, he's got, his wife is a nurse, you know, I'm a physical therapist, his daughter's a nurse. Like he gets hit on, on, on all cores.

And it's like it's like telling a girl not to date a guy, you know, like she's going to date that guy even harder. You know, it's kind of this kind of same thing with my dad. And I could totally tell when his insulin is like, just. Just skyrocketing and dipping. And like, he gets like, so pissy when it lists, when his blood sugar is like sky high and like, does it feel good?

Right. So no, I could definitely like when you're going through and you're describing that like, you're right, like your body, you don't want to, like, you're not trying to stunt or inhibit your body's natural response to eating food. You're just trying to get it like the the, the optimization that it needs to be able to make you feel the best.

So that's awesome. You can totally see that. Like when, if, if anybody follows Megan on social media, well, if you don't, we'll definitely give you some routes on how you can hear at the end. 

But I mean, you do a, such a great job of cultivating a community where people have fun with their nutrition and they have fun eating and they have fun knowing that like they're taking the right steps that they can have their drink on the weekends where they can eat what they want you in to a certain level, and they don't feel bad about it. And they also have the ability to kind of absorb some of those like heavier days, if you will. Then then, then versus like being in this like starvation mode all the day, and then really putting yourself in a bad psyche, when you let yourself cut yourself some slack or try to enjoy a meal with friends.

Cause a food is very much a social interaction. Yeah. And it's, I call it like, it's metabolic flexibility. It's in, you know, if you're someone who is always in this state of like you know, tracking everything, you're eating and you're eating low calorie. The second you go second, you just go out and have pizza with friends.

You're bloated, you're up five pounds the next day you feel like. That isn't normal like that to go absorb those calories. Fine. Not have this like horrible response afterwards. And so that's another thing that just kind of paint into your blood sugar and paying attention to, you know, like I said, increasing your metabolism.

It's really it's it's how do we increase your metabolism instead of decrease your calories? Which I also think is mentally a lot more satisfying than thought, too. 

Calories. Yeah. Yeah. Heck yeah, I know. I went through this nutrition course. So, and, and all of my, this is wild to me and like all of us, I was an exercise physiologist and undergrad.

And then that was my, what my degree was. And then I would often get my doctorate in PT school. So seven years of schooling, I had like one nutrition class, maybe two, but the second one wasn't I don't really count that one. One like hardcore nutrition class. Yeah. And I remember being blown away at some of the things that we were learning in particular.

I was, I was blown away at like one, like the importance of protein. I always kind of knew, but then like you can over consume protein as well to a degree. Right. And then like I, and I remember being just like blown away at that fact, and then just blown away, blown away at like the idea of you need to like our professor and maybe you have a better input on this than, than what I would.

Being able to, if you're going to track calories, like it's better to take an average over a week's time period than it is to try to do like a daily cap caloric intake, because you're going to have these peaks and valleys. It's just like, it's just like anything in the world you're going to, you can equate it to the stock market, right?

Like you're gonna have ups and downs like throughout the day, but, or just a week, but as long as like your overall goal is trending up and to the right. You're going to be at a good spot from a court standpoint, but if you can then take that threshold and give yourself even more wiggle room by optimizing your metabolism, how awesome is that?

Yeah. Yeah. And I think too, what people don't understand is that. Our bodies were meant. Our bodies were not meant to be controlled by an app. You know, you were born. Yeah. We have hormones that actually control our appetite and our weight. We have our hormones say like, hey, you've had enough calories for today.

Your stomach's not going to grumble anymore. Like you're going to feel it, or it's gonna say you haven't eaten quite enough today. I'm gonna make you hungry so that you go eat something. And we've just gotten so out of touch with that. And you know, so when you have those days where you eat more, you go out with friends, whatever the next day or two days later, or whatever, you're going to have a day where you're not that hungry.

And that's, you're like, no, I'm just not that hungry today. And like I said, we've just gotten so out of touch with that. And we're like, what. Why am I not that hungry yet? You know, my, my calorie opsis is that I can have 700 more calories today. So I'm going to have that. Well we've maybe you didn't need it because you had two days ago.

So I think that's why it's really important to, I'm not saying, you know, I don't like to poop out too much on the apps because I know they do help. Some people who have certain macronutrient goals that maybe, you know, maybe they're really trying to put on muscle. I've used them before, like when I've been trying to put on muscle and I want to make sure I'm eating enough carbs and I want to make sure I'm eating enough protein.

But I also have a really good relationship with food at this point. And I understand it. I think when you don't and you're not quite there yet, and you don't understand that your body should be self-regulating your appetite, it can be really dangerous. And I've just, I've just seen it cause so many poor people with poor relationships with food.

Yeah. Yeah. I think, yeah, you're spot on. I think that those apps are just in any type of like diet that's out there really. I mean, it's just like a training modality, like you know, maybe Cross Fits not the best form of fitness for you, or maybe, you know, going to Orange Theory fitness isn't, or maybe you shouldn't be running as much as you are.

Maybe you should be lifting more like, or maybe you know, there's a million different ways you can train. Maybe you should do more. Just like, there's a million different ways that you can optimize your nutrition, but it all comes down to like he's like optimizing the body and how it's going to handle whatever you're putting into into it.

So I think no matter which route you want to take or what route works best for you. Like I know for me personally, like trying to do some trying to do a an app that count your calories doesn't work well for me, like it is, it's just, it's just too much detail in my day that I just don't respond very well to being that strict with just about anything in my life.

Yeah. Right. So like those just, it's just, it wasn't feasible for me, but like but then having this idea of like, well, how about you just give me some guidelines, like what should, what should be like a healthy thing? So like, or healthy diet plans. Protein, making sure I'm getting enough protein and then it's all comes with experience, right?

Like you know, like what chicken breast typically would have from its macro nutrient standpoint, you know, what a cup of broccoli would have, or like just eyeballing how much broccoli or whatever, you know to make sure that you're getting what you need and what you kind of respond well with.

But yeah, they talk about like gaining muscle. 

Do you have anybody that enters your program?

 I need to gain weight. I would like to figure out how I can cause I'm struggling with it. It's very rare. I have a couple of men actually, I will say it's primarily women. Although men in theory. Well on the program.

Yeah. It's because they have so much more muscle mass. And so it's so much easier for them to lose weight. But I have had a couple men that have come in and have, who have said, you know, I wanna, you know, maybe lose a little fat, but I want to increase muscle. And of course that gets very complicated, but usually we'll just tell them, you know, they need to increase their carbs. 

So my sort of my little rule of thumb for the vast majority of the people that go through the program is one starchy carbs a day. Now that again, it's not going to be, it's not going to work for everybody, but I would say most of the people going through my program, like they're not hardcore athletes.

They're not like, you know, pumping iron every day. They're just. Woman that maybe goes to the gym a few times a week and they're not necessarily going to feel good. Massive amounts of weight. 

Yeah. So one starchy carb a day does really well for most people, but of course we would increase that if you're really trying to put on muscle, I think the protein guidelines, eating protein at every meal that can remain the same, but we would just sandwich the workouts with more carbs.

So depending on what that workout looked like, or if it was a male or female, I might say. 25 grams of carbs, a serving of carbs before and after your workout. For sure. And then, yeah, you want to know how you feel maybe even a third, additional carbs later in the day?

Honestly, what I'll say to, so one man that I'm thinking about in particular that I had do this, he did great.

He actually and I had told him like, it's, it's difficult to lose fat and gain muscle. You know, I'm not, I can't guarantee you're gonna be able to do that. And he had measurements taken and everything and came back to me after 30 days and said that. Body fat percentage had gone down and lean muscle mass had gone up.

So, I mean, he was doing something right. I would say, you know, for someone who's like, who has like real body composition goals, I don't know that I'm the best person to help with that. I, you know, I think there's really good physique coaches out there that could probably help you. Figure it out, but you know, if it was just a general hand kind of trying to put on some muscle like that, that would be my general advice, but again, it's probably not my area.

Yeah. Perfect. And then I saw one of the things I thought that you said was really interesting and was that if you like, have a big meal one day, you know, like say like on a Sunday cookout or whatever, which I just had last night, I'm like, you're not gonna to, you may not be as hungry the next day or the next two days.

And that's okay. That's something that like, I had never really put it. I mean, it makes total sense. Right. But like, in some that never really put in the concept, cause I wasn't really all that hungry today. And that's that like freaked out, like, oh my God, I got to eat or why am I not hungry? But like, I just noticed like, like I have a very, like, not strict by any means, but like I eat the same thing pretty much every day.

Right. But then I had this cookout last night and ate a ton of food and I just wasn't hungry. Like I typically was. You know, instead of having like instead of having like my typical breakfast, I just took like a protein shake with me. And then and like, I was fine for like most of the day to day with that, but that's, that's a really interesting concept that I had thought about, that's your leptin saying, like, Hey, you don't really need that many calories today, so I'm not gonna, you know. 

Well actually ghrelin, which is actually what makes you feel hunger. They work together and, you know, just let you kind of balance that out. Also a fun fact is that leptin and ghrelin are actually produced, or regenerated, I guess maybe is the right word while you're asleep. So sleep is vitally important to maintain your appetite or to, to regulate your appetite.

And that's why you're, you know, you hear a lot that sleep. You know, it affects your metabolism, it affects your weight. And I don't think people take it very seriously because they're like, yeah. Okay. You're just trying to get me to sleep more, but it's absolutely true. I mean, that's where you produce those, those two appetite regulators. And so if you're not producing enough, It's going to be off. 

Yeah, for sure. Oh my gosh. You're you're, you're, you're going right down my alley here. Like, so in our clinic, we look at like four main pillars of, of health care is what we look at. We look at your movement, quality. We look at your your nutrition on a very like on a very surface level, making sure that just like you're doing the things you should be doing and not just like eating junk food all day.

We, we look at your stress management and and that sleep is a big one and search sleep, stress management kind of go hand in hand. And it's really funny. There, there is a sleep expert on a podcast I was listening to, but like he said something that like resonated so well that I've, I've used time and time again, because it really sticks with people.

Like nothing makes you feel better than sleep other than sex. Right. And like, it's not hard to convince people to have sex, but it's really hard to convince people to sleep. Which is really odd because, and I think it's just a culture or I think it's just a result of like our society pressures and societal pressures of you gotta grind.

You gotta be grounded. You got to work hard. Early bird gets a worm, which. You know, I, I have a hard time, like disagreeing with, if you, if you there's a saying, that's like, ah, man, if you send this out to find it, according to the show notes, but like there's been plenty of people who have wasted years of their life because they won't waste hours, you know?

They won't like they won't let themselves just enjoy life a little bit and get the appropriate sleep that they need or kind of have some better stress management techniques or strategies. And that really affects if that one pillar or those two pillars kind of start crumbling. The whole house is going to come down and that's true with nutrition as well.

Like, so it sounds like, I mean, if you could be, you could be doing all the right things, but if you're just simply not sleeping, like that could be a huge piece of the puzzle. That's really easy to fix that. You're just not hitting. And you know, what's so funny. I just kind of thought about this while I was sitting here.

I recently very recently, I'd say maybe in the last month or two have been really focused on sleep and stress management much more than I had been previously. And I displayed more. I had an eight month old. So like, you know, that's in a place now where she's sleeping through the night. I couldn't fully help it, but, and just today I was thinking about how I didn't really have a lot to do to end for a Monday. 

That's so weird. I'm just so busy, but I really I'm so much more productive. I went and took a long walk in the middle of the day today, which was stupid by the way. It's hot, it's super hot outside. It's so hot, but I really let me think. It's like, my time is now expanding because I'm spending a lot more time getting rest and you know, managing my stress and doing all these things that somehow are adding hours to my day. 

So I really experienced that firsthand the last couple of months and can attest to it's your, when you're burning the candle on both ends, you just, your brain just doesn't work like, and you can keep working and working and get to a point where you're like, man, what am I even doing today?

I worked all day and I just didn't really get anything done. Yeah, no, I totally hear you like and that's, that's you definitely your mindset. You'd like, you're definitely an entrepreneur at at spirit and at heart. And I think I think a lot of people have a really hard time with just being able to kind of calm down and let themselves relax a little bit.

Cause it's go, go, go all the time. I'm sure you've got a thousand ideas swirling around your head all the time. As a business owner, like you're probably, you're always in growth mode. You're always trying to grow up. So if you not, then, then you're, then you're dying. Right? Like so yeah, I can, I can totally understand, but you can only hold that pace for so long, right?

You can, you can only grind for so long before your body will break down and some form and it's gonna, and that's gonna result in either weight gain injuries at increased injury rates poor relationships with your significant others. I mean a lot of other things that can come about, so.

Yeah. I mean, it sounds like you're hitting the, it on all its owners from like a nutrition standpoint, stress management sleep. I know you've been crushing in the gym recently as well. So that's awesome. Megan I do want to be respectful of your time this evening. Cause I know you are a very busy person, so I really appreciate our conversation if there's, what are some good ways that people want to know more about the 30 or the the 30 Day Metabolism Makeover, or if they want to learn more about who you are, how they can reach out to you? What are some good resources for them? 

Instagram is probably the best. I have a website too, but the best place to reach me is on Instagram. I'm on there all the time, and I'm just my name. My handle is @thenutritionaddiction. That was the name of my blog I also have: the Metabolism Makeover, but you can find either, and then you can find the other easily by just following one of them, because I'm constantly reposting stuff from The Metabolism Makeover.

Nice. Awesome. Well, Megan, again, thank you so much for your time. I really appreciate it. This conversation has been super insightful for me and I'm sure it will for our listeners as well. So thanks again. I appreciate it. 

Hey, thanks so much for listening to the podcast today. If you want to find out more about our guests or about Athletes' Potential and how we can help you continue to be active and pain-free in life, head over to athletespotential.com.

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