Celebrity Trainer Vinnie Tortorich On How To Remap Your Body For Optimal Health
Today, we’re joined by Vinnie Tortorich, public speaker, celebrity trainer, author, and podcaster. For years, Vinnie has worked with people from all walks of life, ranging from Iron Man athletes to Celebrities, to help them understand how to stay in shape and lose weight. He’s known as America’s Angriest Trainer, because of his views on the fitness and diet industries, and the unfair manipulation they’ve imposed on all of us. You’ve probably heard him every other week on Adam Carolla’s show.
In this episode, we talk about a range of interesting stuff, from diet and nutrition to particulars on how weight loss and weight gain actually work. Even though these are topics we’ve covered quite a few times on the show, somehow, I still managed to learn some fascinating new tidbits, and so I think you’re really going to enjoy the episode.
In this episode, we discuss:
- Who is Vinnie Tortorich, what does he do, and how did he get into it?
- Why are Westerners do damn unhealthy? What's the cause of the obesity epidemic
- What hormones are involved in weight gain or weight loss, and how is this misunderstood?
- A step-by-step walkthrough of what happens when you consume sugar
- What are long chain triglycerides, and how are they involved in fat gain?
- Why was Vinnie Tortorich so hesitant to write his book? What was his biggest fear?
- What's the difference between how celebrities lose weight and how normal people do?
- What's wrong with modern fruit, and why should you avoid eating lots of it?
- Does eating fat make you fat? Why or why not? (Plus a great, real-world story)
- A discussion of ketosis and how it works for weight loss
- Should the average person do at-home blood testing? Why or why not?
- Why is Vinnie Tortorich against “biohacking?”
- How Vinnie Tortorich is using ketosis to prevent his cancer from coming back (!)
- Where does exercise fit in to the picture, and how necessary is it?
- What exercise regimen does Vinnie Tortorich most advocate?
- How could you use exercise to lose weight, if you had to?
- How do the laws of thermodynamics apply within the human body?
- What products or resources does Vinnie Tortorich use most in his work?
- Why did Vinnie start his own vitamin company, and what makes them unique?
- Which types of magnesium supplements should you take, and why?
Resources Mentioned in This Episode:
- Fitness Confidential by Vinnie Tortorich
- Vinnie Tortorich's No Sugar No Grains Facebook Group
- Wired To Eat by Robb Wolf
- Good Calories, Bad Calories by Gary Taubes
- Why We Get Fat by Gary Taubes
- Our previous interview with Gary Taubes
- Our previous interview with Jimmy Moore
- Our recent episode with Robb Wolf
- The Precision Xtra Blood Glucose Monitor (affiliate link)
- Vinnie's Website (links to his podcast, books, Twitter, etc)
Favorite Quotes from Vinnie Tortorich:
Introduction: Welcome to the Becoming SuperHuman Podcast. Where we interview extraordinary people to bring you the skills and strategies to overcome the impossible. And now here's your host, Jonathan Levi.
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Greetings, SuperFriends, and welcome to today's show. You guys today, we are joined by Vinnie Tortorich. A public speaker, celebrity trainer, author, and podcaster. You guys for the better part of the last few decades, Vinnie has been working with people from all walks of life, ranging from iron man athletes to celebrities, and even everyday folks to help them understand and stay in shape and lose weight.
He is known as America's angriest trainer because of his views on the fitness and diet industries and just the kind of unfair manipulation and misinformation that they've been responsible to. For the last few decades, you've also probably heard him every other week on Adam Carolla's show among others, and even his own podcast.
Now, in this episode, we talk about a range of very interesting stuff from diet and nutrition, to the particulars on how weight loss and weight gain actually work, and the kind of metabolic, nitty-gritty information that you guys know I love to get into, Even though this is stuff that we have covered quite a few times on the show, somehow I still managed to learn quite a bit of new stuff. So I think you guys are really going to enjoy the episode. So without any further ado, Please enjoy Mr. Vinnie Tortorich
Mr. Vinnie Tortorich. Welcome to the show, my friend. Thank you so much for making the time. As you were telling me, before we hit record, you had pretty busy and exciting day today. So I know your time is very valuable. We appreciate it.
Vinnie Tortorich: No, uh, Jonathan, thank you for having me. You know, it's funny since I've been in this podcasting game, either, I'm doing my show all day long because I do five brand new episodes every week and I do other people's show, I was telling you about that. I do Adam Carolla's show and a lot of the other shows that Corolla digital. So either I'm here doing my show or I'm over at Corolla, digital doing some of his shows.
Jonathan Levi: Do you find it to be more or less satisfying than working directly with clients to be all day in front of a microphone?
Vinnie Tortorich: At first, I hated it because look, I've spent an entire lifetime working with clients directly, you know, hands-on, showing up at someone's house and getting them to get in shape and teaching. You know, I'm basically a school teacher that somehow figured out that I can make a living by helping people lose weight and get in shape.
This all started because of a book I wrote a fitness confidential and before I know it, I'm doing three podcasts a week and then four podcasts a week, and now five a week. So that becomes a full-time job and I walked around for a couple of years when people would say, well, what do you do for a living?
You know, my friends would say, what do you do now? And I would literally answer them by saying, I don't know.
Jonathan Levi: Nice.
Vinnie Tortorich: Because it wasn't satisfying to me because you know, when you're talking into a mic and it's just going out into the ether if you will, you don't feel the effect. You don't see that you're helping anyone except your own bottom line, you know?
Yeah. I knew I was selling a lot of books and I knew that I had people who wanted to sponsor my podcast and pay for me to go give talks, but I didn't like it at first. And then when I started looking at Twitter and there was these Facebook groups that cropped up with my name on it, that was a group. Now with, I think I want to say there's 18 or 20,000 people in it.
It actually is called Vinny tartar riches, no sugars, no grains. And I don't own the group.
Jonathan Levi: Oh, wow.
Vinnie Tortorich: I'm a member like everyone else in that group and people are in there who have lost a hundred 150 to 250 pounds, and you look at that and you go, my God, I couldn't have ever done this. If all of this hadn't started somehow.
Jonathan Levi: Yeah, I can totally relate to this feeling of, uh, you know, not really connecting to the people and just broadcasting and not knowing and that's one of the reasons that I always push so hard for people to leave reviews or send us messages, cause it really does make a difference when you're just looking into a screen and you don't really know and when you do get the 1% or half a percent of people who message you and are like, Hey, I quit my job. I changed everything. It's incredible. I thank you so much. It makes such a huge difference and just motivates me, you know, to do another hundred episodes.
Vinnie Tortorich: Yeah. How long have you been going at it? If you don't mind me interviewing you for a second.
Jonathan Levi: Oh yeah. We've been at it a year and a half. Are you liking it? I like it. I have to say it gets tricky when, I mean, we'll get into the questions today, right? And we'll talk about no sugar and no grains. And it gets tricky to find new ways to approach. Because at the end of the day, there's like four or five things that are really going to help people achieve SuperHuman performance and their diet, exercise, meditation, memory techniques, and fixing your sleep and so approaching those topics, 15, 20, 30 times each from new and exciting ways is always a challenge, but I always meet incredible people and build relationships. I think that's what makes it for me so rewarding. In addition to obviously impacting people.
Vinnie Tortorich: Great and that's all you have to do.
Jonathan Levi: Precisely. So let me ask you this, you kind of touched on a school teacher who at one point figured out you could make a living in data and extras. Tell me a little bit about that orange and story. Cause that's really interesting there. I mean, at what point did your life go down this trajectory? How did you become so fascinated in diet and exercise? So on and so forth?
Vinnie Tortorich: Yeah, I kind of, you know, I capsulated that a bit in my book, fitness confidential. I was kind of an outcast kid by my eighth birthday. I was kind of the kid being picked on and chastised at school and there was a guy, Oh, well, I turned on the television. You wouldn't remember this you're way too young.
And that was a guy named Jack Lalaine. That was on TV way back. And we're talking 1970, and I'm watching this. And the other thing I can take from Jack Elaine was that he was like a real-life superhero. You know, when you're a kid, you realize that Superman is not real and Batman is not real but this guy was real.
And he, he was lifting heavy things over his head. Therefore he had these big muscles and I felt that. If I could do that, then I could be a superhero just like this guy, Jack. And it didn't take long for my parents to introduce me to this guy in my hometown. I grew up in a town, of a few thousand people in the deep South in Louisiana.
And this guy, he was a family friend, a fellow Italian. He taught me everything about weightlifting as an eight-year-old. And I became his first employee by the time I was 14 at his gym.
Jonathan Levi: Cool.
Vinnie Tortorich: In my hometown, we built the gym together. So I started instructing people twice my age or even older by the time I was 14, 15, 16. So when I got to college to get a teaching degree, it became automatic for me to not just get a second dairy education degree, but to also get a physical education degree and to study nutrition and everything else and the cool thing was that I was out of school that really allowed for that Tulane University is a medical school. So that was a lot to learn. There was a lot of science that was the beginning, you know, I just kind of stepped right into it.
Jonathan Levi: Amazing. Amazing. So break it down for me. I mean, we did talk about kind of how it's so difficult to approach this topic from different subjects. So I want to kind of get the core message out of the way so we can go a little bit deeper and touch on some new stuff. What's the secret. I mean, what is, I guess, let me ask it this way. Why are over 50% of Americans unhealthy? Why are Westerners unhealthy?
Vinnie Tortorich: I, you know, that's a loaded question, but there are a few things. I mean, if I can expound on it, one is we're given the wrong message and the message started off wrong because basically, we're trying to sell something that people shouldn't be doing.
You know, we're trying to tell people that calorie in calorie out is the way to do things. And just to name names, people like Jenny Craig or Weight Watchers is saying, Hey, you can have a brownie it's okay as long as you stay within your, your point system. Right, and you know to their own admission.
And that's a Weight Watchers deal to their own admission. They have a 2% attrition rate, which means it doesn't work 98% of the time
Jonathan Levi: Geez.
Vinnie Tortorich: And anyone near the science community would tell you that. You were saying that you have a 2% attrition rate that could be zero or negative two. So basically what we're saying is it doesn't work at all.
Jonathan Levi: Wow.
Vinnie Tortorich: If it did, everyone would be thin yet we get heavier and heavier a year upon year to where we have an obesity epidemic in this country and around the world. We're spreading our problem around the world. So obviously calories don't matter when gaining or losing weight at all. So if calories don't matter, you have to start sitting there and wondering, well, what does matter?
What will cause us to get fat? And it's not exactly the amount of calories we're eating, but it's what the calories we're eating, what they're causing to happen to our hormones. So, in fact, we gain weight or lose weight depending on our hormones, and the main hormones at play are cortisol, leptin, ghrelin, and insulin.
And if we could control those, we can control weight loss or weight gain for that matter.
Jonathan Levi: To elaborate on that, I mean, that's very interesting. Tell me how exactly we do that. How do we control those hormones? I'm just about to read, I had to hold out on reading cause I have a rule of not reading guests books before the podcast episode, but I'm just about to dive into Rob Wolf's second book wired to eat, which I think is going to talk a little bit about that, but I definitely could stand to learn a little bit more about the hormonal signaling of food and how we kind of.
Well, rewire to borrow Rob's term our bodies to respond to food differently.
Vinnie Tortorich: Yeah, you're Rob is right. You know, we're all within earshot of each other. When, when you, you know, I called it in my book, remapping, same thing. What he's going to probably get into is talking a lot about insulin because insulin controls everything.
So just to put it in a cartoon fashion that anyone can understand. If you are, let's say you ate something with sugar or bread, any kind of grain or a candy bar pie or anything like that. Forget about the calories for a second. And think about that sugar going into your stomach and then your stomach releasing it to your liver.
Once it gets there, your liver sends a message to your brain. Hey, you know, Jonathan, just put a lot of sugar in here and we've got to do something with it. So the first thing you liver is going to do with that sugar is it's going to top off your sugar stores in your body, it's going to top off your blood, it's going to top off your muscles.
So it's going to top off your liver because in order to achieve homeostasis, you have to be topped off with sugar, right? We have to hit a certain level. The unfortunate part is basically you need about two teaspoons mingling around in your blood. You know, as you can imagine, you can eat 10 times just for breakfast and breakfast or oatmeal, or, you know, any kind of bread or bagels or you name it, pancakes, waffles.
Any of that would give you 10 times what you need for any day. Right? So, now your liver has to figure out what else to do with this. So the insulin starts to change the rest of the sugar, that it couldn't convert into a long-chain triglyceride. So you may have heard people say, Oh, what's your doctor. He told me my triglycerides are really high.
That's happening because you're turning your sugars into long-chain triglycerides and a long-chain triglyceride is a fancy word for a long chain fat and then your body will store that sugar as a fat in your fat cells. So that's where the problem begins. And it's even more insidious than that. Gary Taubes mentioned this, I think in both books, why we get fat and what to do about it, and also in good calories, bad calories.
He gives examples of this where he says, you know, when a long chain triglyceride mixing into a fat cell, it doesn't want to come out. You know, it would rub, we use fat in, out of fat cells all day long as currency. Right, and when we have a long chain triglyceride going into the fat cell, it has a tendency of getting stuck in there.
And Gary's a cartoon version of that is it was like going out to Ikea and buying a bed. And when you get to bed to your house, you can walk it through the door because the mattress and box spring are separate and the frame is separate. Once you get it into the bedroom, you set it up. Right? Think of that.
As being a long-chain triglyceride, you cannot get that bad out of that bedroom unless you break it down again. And that takes a lot of time and effort. So your body just tends to not want to do it.
Jonathan Levi: Mmm.
Vinnie Tortorich: Does that make sense?
Jonathan Levi: It does make sense. That's really, really interesting. I also really like Gary's work and he's another one who, uh, we've had on the show. I actually spoke with him this morning randomly. Okay. So I'm starting to get this, I think you add a really kind of interesting way of explaining it that I haven't gotten. So this, I guess is how you arrived at no sugar, no grains, which is kind of, I would say, uh, your mantra. Talk to us a little bit about where grains fit in.
I mean, I know that it's much more than just the, what are they called polysaccharides or is it just that, is it just that it's so easy with polysaccharides to fit in so many glucose molecules into the body?
Vinnie Tortorich: Yeah, that's part of it, but it's even more insidious than that. You know, when I sat down, you know, I didn't want to write fitness confidential at all. I was forced by a friend of mine here in Hollywood. Uh, Dean Laurie, whose name is on the cover of the book with mine. Dean is a big time producer and TV writer and one of his most notable pieces is arrested development. And that's where people remember him from and deem begged me for years to write this book.
And I kept saying no, and finally, one night we were having a scotch. And I guess by the time you get to your second Scott, you're sitting there and you're going, and the guy said, I should write this book. Maybe I should. And he asked me why I didn't want to write it. And I said because I'm not going to say anything that's popular.
People want, you know, just. They want to be tickled. I'll tell me, just tell me what to do. And I don't have anything popular to say, and I've been, you know, espousing my stuff on Hollywood at this point for, you know, close to 30 years. And he says, well, you're the guy that Hollywood calls on when they need to get someone quote-unquote red carpet ready.
So why can't you just put that in the book? And I said because a Hollywood actor or actress that has a movie to do. They don't care what it takes. They're going to cash a bazillion-dollar check. So if their agent says Vinnie's coming in, listen to every word, Vinnie has to say, they're going to do that.
Right. Because they don't want to know how the sausage is packed. They just want it done. Meanwhile, I would have to somehow convince the general public, who's not going to make a bazillion dollars by losing weight that they should not only be giving up sugars, which I think most people inherently understand,
Jonathan Levi: Right.
Vinnie Tortorich: If they eat less Haagen Daz and less pie, they can possibly lose weight. I mean, we all kind of get that. I mean, when you agree with that.
Jonathan Levi: Yeah, totally.
Vinnie Tortorich: The problem is telling people to give up their quote-unquote heart-healthy grains.
Jonathan Levi: Yeah, right. I love that.
Vinnie Tortorich: And that's where the problem again is, you know, we think of grains, as you know, we've been listening to commercials for 50 years, calling them wholesome and good for you.
And you know, they're fortify with vitamins and iron and let's start every day by eating a ton of heart healthy grains in the American heart association says, have your special K you will live long. So. I'm the guy who's going to come out and tell people, an oatmeal, I mean, come on. What's healthier than oatmeal, right?
I mean, can you think, so I'm going to be the guy that's going to come out and tell people. No, no, no, no, no. Now you can't have that. That's worse. That's even more insidious and sugar. And the reason being is if you had straight sugar, if you took a teaspoon of straight sugar, right. You will get a glycogen spike that will cause an insulin spike.
And that spike will last for a very short time. It will cause some harm, but not a major amount of harm. Yet, if you eat a couple of pieces of bread, well, you won't get a glucose spike, you'll get a glycogen load. Right. This means your insulin will go up and it will stay up. You know? So for years, we would have dieticians saying, Hey, eat the simple carbs.
Don't eat that. Eat the complex carbs, man. That's better for you because they slowly make it to your liver. The part, they left out the part that they didn't know because lets be honest, they really don't teach dieticians to stuff. The part they were living out is, Hey, your insulin is going to spike and it's going to stay there for a long time.
Right. Am I saying that in a way that anyone can understand it?
Jonathan Levi: Absolutely. I mean, that makes total sense. And I think that's what so many people are now starting to realize that at the end of the day, you know, we all thought it was calories in calories out, but it's also this huge component of, are you getting the sugar slow enough into the body?
Because if you're not, then your body's just going to dump it into body fat. The body is not going to waste those calories and you can only store so much glycogen in your liver. You can only store so much glycogen in your muscles and then, you know, you go into this conservation mode, which is why we all carry around or not all of us, but many people carry around tens of thousands of calories in their gut.
Vinnie Tortorich: Yeah, and look, we don't even need, I go as far in this makes me sound like a kook again, but I go, as far as to say you don't need a whole lot in a way of fruit, you only need vegetables. You know, you get all the phytonutrients, you get everything you need from vegetables.
Jonathan Levi: I agree.
Vinnie Tortorich: And fruit is nothing but nature's candy.
Jonathan Levi: Totally. It's funny, Jimmy from Living Lavita Low-Carb so that to me would be more, yeah, Jimmy Moore. I love it. Well, I mean, when you think about it, though, the fruit that we eat today is, you know, available year-round, which is not normal for fruit. Cause with all that sugar, it, it spoils on the tree in nature.
And also if you look at, uh, kind of normal wild strawberry, or wild banana, the sugar content is so much lower. That it's pretty obvious why modern fruit. It just doesn't suit us by the way, vegetables have been modified to the same extent. I mean, today's tomatoes will stay not even in the fridge for weeks on end.
That's not normal, but it seems that the modifications that they've made to vegetables, you know, to make lettuce have less carcinogens in it or less kind of toxins in it to make cucumbers bigger and less bitter. That hasn't been as detrimental to us as the way that we've selectively. It's not even genetic modification, by the way, it's selective breeding, the biggest sweetest fruit you can get your hands on.
Vinnie Tortorich: Yeah, and we've been doing that for years and you know, I've been yelling about that on my podcast for years. You know, when I was a kid. There was peach season and strawberry season, you know, and the Vidalia onions would only come out at a certain time of year. And you know, now you can get all of that stuff year-round because we ship it around the world half-frozen and we have refrigeration and everything else.
So we've literally. Caused more of a problem because of the fruit, and I could go on and on about that. But you know, when I talk about it too much, people think I'm bashing vegans and it's like, no, no, no, no, no, no. I'm just, I'm not here trying to hurt anyone. And I'm not here to bash anyone. I'm from the science world and I'm just giving facts.
And these are facts. This is what happens. If you don't believe me, just look around when I was a kid. If you saw a one, 300 pound guy in your hometown. That was a lot, you know, it was almost like a freak show to see a 300 pound guy. Now it's not unusual to see six, seven, 800-pound women. They're all over the place.
Jonathan Levi: Yeah. It's broken. I mean, the food system is broken and what's worse is our knowledge about food is so wrong. I spoke with someone recently who has a degree in nutrition and just, I mean would disagree with almost every point we made today, which I think, you know, is a big part of the issue and it has to do with like how much are we trusting the studies that are being put out or have been put out historically.
And what's the source of the studies that say sugar is fine and fat is bad and that kind of thing. Yeah.
Vinnie Tortorich: You know, I get a lot of flack on that and I just don't listen to it. I just go, you know, it's science versus bro science, and I'm not interested in lying to people are just sticking to an agenda just because when I went through registered dietician school, they told me under no circumstances, do you do anything other than what we tell you to do?
You know, and they're all kind of huddling together and sticking to their story and by the way, a lot of them know that it's not right. Right. That's crazy.
Jonathan Levi: Right. Let me ask you this on another kind of really controversial topic, maybe more so than sugar. I would say a lot of people, I think still think that eating fat makes them fat.
And we talked about this a lot on the show, but I liked the way that you presented the sugar and glucose and glycogen arguments. So I'd love for you to reiterate why exactly that's so wrong.
Vinnie Tortorich: Well, just talking about fat, by the way, in one of the problems people have with fat is. They think because they'll go, okay, well, Vinnie and Gary and Nina tie shows and all these different people are saying no sugar.
I can have all the fat I want. And then they take that too far, right? They'll say, well, I'm fat will make you fat because that's what we say, right. Fat will make you fat. But we're talking about within the realm of a normal diet, you know, look, if you sit there and eat. A pound of bacon every morning and drink bulletproof coffees all day and eat five avocados a day and just keep, you know, sourcing fat after fast to fat.
Well, obviously you're not going to lose weight and some of those people will say, Well, I'm in dietary ketosis, right? And that's all I have to, you know, everyone's always looking for what they can do with total impunity. And that's not what this is. This is not some fad diet that you could do with impunity.
So if that's what you think and forget it, folks, you can overdo anything. But in general, people who want to be in ketosis and by the way, you don't have to be in ketosis to lose weight. But a lot of people it's just easier for me. I want to be there and they'll have these blood ketone meters and they'll have the pee strips and everything else.
And they'll write to me, or they'll set up a consult with me and go, well, I'll make ptosis. I'm not gaining weight, but I stopped losing weight. And when they go into what they're eating, it's just amazing to me that they're not gaining weight. So. Think of it this way, ketosis is not because you're eating a lot of fat, ketosis happens because you're eliminating sugar.
The story I like to tell that was a woman named Gabriela. I've been telling this story for a few years because it really matters. Gabriela had some weight to lose and she had lost a fair amount, 40 or 50 pounds. I can't really remember at this point. And, uh, she had done a couple of consults with me and then she called me up and she was upset because she goes, you know, she goes, I lost weight for the first few months and now I'm not losing weight.
And I said, Gabriella, take me through your daily diet, what you're eating, and she's telling me the whole diet and the first time through it sounds perfect, and she had mentioned, I have a big cup of coffee with heavy cream. And then before I leave for work, I have another big cup of coffee tumbler because I have to drive for an hour.
So I have, I'll take a tumbler with me and I put half and half, and I said, well, wait a minute. The first time you told me the story because I had to take me through it, again and again, I said the first time you said heavy cream, and then the second time you said half and half, which is it as she goes.
It's a heavy cream, half and half. I said, well, asked two different things, are you're putting heavy cream and half and half in your coffee. She goes, no putting heavy cream. I said, okay, why do you keep mentioning half and half? She goes because I put half coffee and half heavy cream. Oh, wow. So I said, okay. I said, can you figure it out.
How many ounces goes into that mug in the morning. So she goes over to her kitchen, she fills up the mug with water. She pours it into a measuring cup. She goes, it says here, 14 ounces. I said, okay. So you're telling me seven ounces of that is cream. She said, yeah, I've put exactly half the cup is cream. And then I put the coffee on top.
I said, okay, the mug that you take to work the tumbler, how big is that? She measured it. 17 ounces. Okay. How much do you put Matt? She goes about half. I said, so let's call it eight ounces. She goes, yeah. I said, and you have breakfast with bacon and eggs. She goes, yeah. I said, okay. So with your bacon and eggs in the morning, you're adding eight and what'd I say five, four.
What was it? Seven, eight, and seven. So. So we're in a neighborhood of 15 ounces of basically oil, heavy cream is basically oil. And she goes, yeah, that sounds about right. I said you don't see a problem. And she goes, I didn't think of it that way. I thought I can have all the cream, all the fat I wanted. And you can't, you can't live that way.
You know, so, you know, when it comes to that, the fat can become a problem. Did I answer the question the way you wanted it answered or did I skip around too much?
Jonathan Levi: No, I think that explains that. I mean, if I had to summarize, I would say, you know, we've all been misled to think that fat makes us fat because fat has more calories program.
When in fact in moderation, you know, it's good to get the body to. Use fat to burn fat as an alternative energy source, especially as it comes as a replacement for the glucose is kind of the portion of plate theory that if you take all those grains off your plate, you take all the sugar out. You've got to add those calories back in and a great way to do it is with high-quality fats.
But the big takeaway, I think from Gabriella's story is moderation because it is nine calories per gram, as opposed to four calories per gram and so it's very easy to overdo it. I mean, my dad always complains to me that like, well, you know, I, I eat too many nuts and I gained a ton of weight and it's like, well, yeah, nine calories per gram.
They're very energy-dense foods. Fats are.
Vinnie Tortorich: Right. But the takeaway should also be that you can get away with more fat than you can carbohydrate number one, and number two, and this is one of the things that Adam Corolla likes, and I reiterated on my show and on his show, a lot, the problem with fat is that it's called fat, you know, because we get fat and the nutrient we eat is fat.
So I tell people if you just changed the name fat to energy, you know, I eat carbohydrates. Proteins and energy, then you won't really have a problem because you're not eating fat anymore. You're eating energy.
Jonathan Levi: It's interesting that we talk about this now because, in light of kind of my last conversation with Rob, I just picked up a, uh, Precision Extra, which does the blood testing and blood ketone monitoring, just kind of as a, as a side hobby I'm testing.
And I realized last night I realized I cannot eat white rice. My glucose went way over 140. So white rice is out for me. Whereas like some fruit I can manage, I can stay under 130, but it's interesting. I think it's worth discussing, like, what are. I mean, do you recommend blood glucose testing for your average kind of person to figure out what foods work for them and don't do recommend ketone testing, or is it that level of tweaking and quantified self?
Probably not advisable for your non podcast owner, author kind of obsessive quantified self biohacker kind of person.
Vinnie Tortorich: I don't like the term biohacking. You know, I don't like the term hacking at all because you know, I'm trying to get people just to be sensible. Now I get it. If someone's metabolically broken.
They want to be in ketosis. Okay. Yeah. Go get yourself a blood ketone monitor. If you think you might be diabetic or pre-diabetic, you may want to check your blood sugar and see where you are. That's good for that. That's what that stuff is invented for. I want the average person to not have to think about it, you know, and I get it, Rob, a lot of these guys are pushing that stuff.
Hey, go do this, go do that, go hack. I'm trying to be more sensible. They're like, well, I'm the guy who came up with the term NSNG, no sugars, no grains. I own that term. I own that trademark and it's just very simple. Go live, eat, enjoy your vegetables. Enjoy your meat. Enjoy good, clean eating, and don't worry so much about testing now.
Again, if you have a problem. Yeah. Otherwise all the hacking, you know, we didn't have hacking before when we were a fan. Why do we need hacking now?
Jonathan Levi: Yeah. Yeah. That makes sense. I think that's wise. Yeah. Sound advice for people who just want to get to the end results. I think there's something to be said about like taking an interest in making your health a hobby in a sense, but yeah, I mean, for your average, Joe, they don't really care.
And I can tell, you know, when my blood sugar is high, cause I feel kind of high, kind of not good kind of, but it is interesting too, you know, accumulate that data. If you're interested.
Vinnie Tortorich: Yeah, and as you said, you can always tell I live in dietary ketosis only because I'm a cancer patient. I had cancer, leukemia back in Oh seven, and I just like to keep starving the cancer.
I don't want to have it come back any sooner than it has to. So it's a rare occasion when I will even have dessert and not even on my birthday. Do I have dessert? Wow. But last summer I was at my sister-in-law's house in France. It was her daughter's wedding and we're in the French countryside. And someone showed up with, uh, some profiteroles, you know, as pastry with ice cream and a whole thing.
And on that rare occasion, I'm just going to indulge with everyone else. And I didn't even have a whole lot, but I immediately, because you're, my body just went into panic, lactic shock, if you will. Not really, but you know, it was like buzz and then. All of a sudden, I looked at everyone and went, I think I need to go to bed.
I just need to go lay down for a minute. Right. And I went in the other room and I was out cold, like someone to drug me for about two hours.
Jonathan Levi: She hates.
Vinnie Tortorich: Yeah. And when you're not used to sugar, when you go years upon years without having it, your body really reacts to it. It doesn't like it.
Jonathan Levi: Absolutely. So, would you recommend your average kind of person to live in dietary ketosis or is that because I do know, you know, it is really interesting finding out that cancer cells feed basically on blood glucose.
I think that's like a huge new development that we're only just realizing, like it's not just body fat, it's not just heart disease. Like, Hey, you can actually starve out cancer cells, but for your average individual who hasn't had a history of cancer, or maybe even in their family, do you recommend a kind of living in dietary ketosis, as you said.
Vinnie Tortorich: No, I don't. It's good. If you're doing what I call fat-adapted where your body is easily going back between using its own glucose and using ketone bodies. Even if you're not in dietary ketosis if you're eating far less. No sugar and no grains. If you're getting it for vegetables, your body's going to build up a bunch of ketone bodies that it can use.
And I explained it like this. It's like being a, a Prius, you know, a Prius can run on battery or fossil fuel. Right? And you don't feel that switching from one to the other, you know, when it's got enough. You know, battery, it will run on a battery when it runs out of battery, it will switch over to gas and your body can do that too.
Your body can run on ketone bodies as it should, as it did for bazillion years and it can then run on sugar depending on what you need at the time to be just in dietary ketosis, where your body just really doesn't use sugar at all. It's a strict way to live if you're me and you have cancer and yeah.
Okay. If you're metabolically broken and you weigh 400 pounds and you want to get it together and you don't want to have laparoscopic surgery. Yeah, knock yourself out, go into dietary ketosis because you can save your life that way. If you have seizures, grandma's seizures, and you want to have less of them, it's been proven that dietary ketosis will help that.
Jonathan Levi: Yeah.
Vinnie Tortorich: If you're in any kind of brain fog, you know, people who are getting Alzheimer's, you know, might be better if you lived in dietary ketosis, but not for everyone now.
Jonathan Levi: I do really like that hybrid idea because I've had students reach out to me in the past and they're like, you know, I've heard you and Rob, and many of the other guests talk about this phenomenon where like, now if I eat a slice of pizza, I feel like crap.
And I've had people reach out and they're like, I don't want to lose the ability to enjoy, you know, Treat foods. So I like that metaphor of being a hybrid. Like I can run on gas if I need to gas being like the cheap, dirty energy, but I try to run on the clean energy as much as possible. I think that's a good thing to aspire, too, like, not completely getting to the point with anyone food, even dairy say that you lose those enzymes and can never enjoy them again.
Vinnie Tortorich: Yeah, it is, you know, I had a Johnny boat and another guy that's in the same realm. Yeah. I don't know if you've had him on your show or not, but Johnny came out to one of my speeches about two weeks ago and he came up after the talk and to say hi, and Johnny has been on my show before. And. He goes, Hey, I like that whole Prius thing.
I think I'm going to use that in my talks. I said, Johnny, you can't come to my shows and steal my material. It doesn't work that way. And he goes, yeah, I guess you're right.
Jonathan Levi: Love it. Love it. We haven't had him on the show yet, but I'll have to research him. I want to ask you this vignette. I know we're coming up a little bit short on time here.
Where does exercise fit into all this? Because one of the things, you know, when I started becoming, it's kind of like, you know, the whole, the paleo CrossFit joke, like someone does paleo and CrossFit, which one do they tell you about first, when I started becoming a paleo proselyte diet, a lot of people responded to me and they're like, well, that only works for you because you lift weights.
So, of course, you can eat high protein, high, fat. It wouldn't work for me because I don't train a lot. So I'm curious. You know, how much of this advice that we have kind of imparted on people today is dependent on having an exercise regime to go with it and also within that, what is the kind of the exercise regime that you most support for, for the kind of health that you're getting with your clients?
Vinnie Tortorich: Anyone who's Weist any of my speeches, you know, several of them are on video, on YouTube at vinnietortorich.com. The first thing out of my mouth, when I walk on stage is these words, exercise is a very poor way to lose weight in order to think that you can lose weight with exercise is to consider that you also believe that calorie in calorie out works because you're in hoping to lose weight by creating a calorie deficit through exercise.
So that's number one now is exercise important. Yes, it's very important. It's good for your cardiovascular system, your skeletal muscular system. You know, if you want to stay young just, Oh, you have to do this exercise. It, it builds cells. It builds mitochondria. Keeps your heart strong. I could go on and on as to why everyone should exercise every day.
So then the question becomes what's better. Is it better to do high-intensity interval training? Is it better to stay in zone two? Is it better to stand zone three and four and do high-intensity aerobic training? You know, the question becomes what, when, and where? Well, it all depends on what you want to achieve.
Right. If you want to be really strong, well, just go do a lot of weight lifting. If you want to run a marathon, weightlifting's not going to do a whole hell of a lot for you, right? Vice versa. If you want to be strong and weightlifting and all you did was ran every day. I rode a bike. Good luck being strong and weightlifting.
Jonathan Levi: Sure.
Vinnie Tortorich: I tell people to take a cross section of all of it now. Within all of that, when you say to me, Vinnie, I want to use weightlifting, even though you say it's a bad way to lose weight. Is there a way that I can use exercise to lose weight? And the answer is yes, and that's by doing a lot of zone two training.
And what zone two training refers to is when you're doing any aerobic exercise and I don't care if you're rowing. Or on the elliptical or running on the treadmill or a stationary bike hiking. I don't care where you are. If you can stay between 70 and 79% of your aerobic capacity, you're burning the optimal amount of fat that you can burn without burning any of your glycogen.
And that's where high-intensity interval training falls a little short because basically when you're doing hit. You're doing nothing but burning your black glycogen, which means that you now have to go take it back on again, which now means that you're going to create an insulin spike and cause more inflammation and more of a problem.
Does that make sense?
Jonathan Levi: It does. Although I was always told that the beauty of hit is that in the recovery phase, long-term, you'll burn a lot more calories as the body. I don't know exactly how it works, to be honest.
Vinnie Tortorich: Yeah. Well, you see, that's considering that you believe calorie-in-calorie out works. You're not trying to burn calories.
Jonathan Levi: Right.
Vinnie Tortorich: You see, that's where the confusion comes in and that's where bro science takes over. Okay. Hey bro. If you got a Cadillac, bro, you're going to have a bigger engine, takes more gas to burn, bro. So you want to build a big engine yet? That doesn't work that way. If it did, we're not automobiles, we're humans, we're animals, you know, we gain and lose weight based on hormones.
Jonathan Levi: Interesting.
So although I will say like one experience that I've had. Is when I was say 145 pounds versus 165 pounds and all of that difference was muscle. Yeah. Just the sheer, I mean, assuming all of my kind of food was the same and all of my kind of hormones and you could argue that my gut flora changed when I moved countries, but probably not that significant in that short period of time, I did need to consume a lot more calories.
But you're saying that wouldn't be your primary recommendation of kind of like build more muscle to burn more calories because it's just not effective and it's kind of, there's not a direct correlation you're saying.
Vinnie Tortorich: No. And when you build more muscle, now you have to feed more muscle, which means you have to eat more calories.
You can have a calorie deficit and live long term. You see that the part when people start talking about thermodynamics when it comes to the humans and you know, I get this on Twitter all the time. What about the laws of thermodynamics? What about them? If you create a bigger motor, now you have to feed a bigger motor.
Jonathan Levi: Right.
Vinnie Tortorich: You know, you can't live a less and expect that muscle to stay there, right?
Jonathan Levi: Totally. So essentially you're saying, I mean, it is kind of a known factor that the muscle is not going to be fed by body fat, right? Like body fat is only going to be burned by kind of the metabolism. And also obviously by Brown adipose tissue, which is why I think cold exposure is, is so interesting for burning calories, but at the end of the day, You're trying to kind of nip that whole calorie in calories, out conversation in the bud, and just talk about quality of food, which I love.
And I think that's, that's a message that we hear time and time and time again, with an asterisk because of Gabriela, you know, but I really liked that message of like, just stop worrying about thermodynamics in your body and eat the right foods.
Vinnie Tortorich: Yeah, it really does work. Look, you don't make it. I've been doing this as a career for 36, almost 37 years.
I've been out here in Hollywood doing it since 1991. So that's 26 of those years.
Jonathan Levi: Wow.
Vinnie Tortorich: And I've had a very, very high success rate. I'm not bragging. I'm saying that you don't get successful by failing, you know, people out here just going to hire the guy. That's going to get the job done, and I'm not the only guy, but I can tell you every guy that's getting the job done out here is doing similar work.
Jonathan Levi: Right. Right. So, let me shift gears here as we kind of wrap up Vinnie, and I want to ask you what are some products or resources that you simply can't do your job without?
Vinnie Tortorich: Wow. Products,
Jonathan Levi: Total gear, shift change. But I realized just now that I've only got a few more minutes of your time so yeah.
Vinnie Tortorich: Yeah. I'm not a big product guy.
I do like as far as products go, and this is old school. I like the heart rate monitor because you can really see where you are in your zones whenever you're training. So all of my clients have that. I have them on everything, my bikes, my when I run, what have you, multivitamins? I've talked about this all the time.
You know, our land has been raped and the vegetables, we don't get the amount of vitamins we used to get. We have the 13 essential vitamins out there and we just don't get what we need. And, uh, I think it's very important that people get what they need. So taking a good multivitamin full disclosure. I own a vitamin company.
I'm not saying you have to take mine but take somebody. Yeah. I won't even mention the name of mine.
Jonathan Levi: It's worth knowing. I'm curious.
Vinnie Tortorich: Okay. I started a brand called pure vitamin club.com. It's unlike anything on the market. When I make these things is not some white-labeled crap. I third-party test my own vitamins twice a year, just to make sure that the manufacturer that puts them together is not cheating.
There's no Filos as no. Slow agents, no excipients. You're getting the best vitamins in the world at the cheapest price. You can possibly get a mat.
Jonathan Levi: Awesome. I'm going to check that out and we'll put a link to that one in the podcast as well because that's always something that I'm looking into. I'm currently like really big on the Metagenics products, which were recommended to me by a few different guests on the show, but I'm always interested in because you know, once you start to understand this stuff well enough, you realize like you go down to the CVS or whatever, pick up magnesium and it's magnesium oxide. You know, which anyone with an internet connection can determine is like, you might as well not take anything.
Vinnie Tortorich: Let me ask you this. If you wanted to get a magnesium, right?
What would you want your magnesium to have in it?
Jonathan Levi: So it's evolved over the years for a while. I was kind of a really hot on the magnesium glycinate, but then I learned that magnesium, I can never pronounce it with the T try T something is actually higher absorption. I imagine it would be a combination of a couple of the different ones,
Vinnie Tortorich: Well if you get a chance, when you go down the rabbit hole of checking out pure vitamin club.com, check out my magnesium. I think you might be impressed with
Jonathan Levi: Which different forms does it use.
Vinnie Tortorich: We have, um, magnesium carbonate, magnesium citrate, tolerate, and glycinate. We have four magnesium and a broad spectrum magnesium.
Jonathan Levi: Yep. That was the one, citrate, tolerate, and then obviously the glycinate. Amazing.
Vinnie Tortorich: Yeah. And by the way, we put all four of those. Every time you take a pill and one of the vitamin capsules, you get all four of those in one capsule, total price. What do you think? A 90 day supply of that cost?
Jonathan Levi: I mean, I'm looking at the website now, so I would say it would cost more than it does.
How about that?
Vinnie Tortorich: Yeah. $21.95. Yeah. Not that 90 days. That's what's made this company so successful is that there is no BS. It's here is the best product on the market. Here it is. I said $21.95. Sorry. It was $24.95, but still, I mean, think about it 90 day supply. That's less than, you know, incredible. That's less than $10 a month.
Jonathan Levi: Incredible.
Vinnie Tortorich: Yeah.
Jonathan Levi: Incredible. So Vinnie, let me, as we kind of wrap up, give you an opportunity to share other places that people can get in touch with you besides pure vitamin club. Where should people learn more? Reach out, check out your stuff.
Vinnie Tortorich: The best place to go is, uh, vinnietortorich.com. V I N N I E T as in Tom, O R T as in Tom, O R I C H all of the podcasts, we have 800, some odd pounds cast up and, uh, you can see them all there.
Uh, you can book a consult with me. I do consult. You could get my book. Fitness, confidential podcast is called fitness confidential, and I'm on Twitter. I'm on Twitter every day, all day.
Jonathan Levi: Amazing. All right. We will link to all that stuff in the blog post-episode. And just before we close out, I want to ask you the one question that we'd like to ask at the end of every show, which is if people really just take away one message and they carry it with them for the rest of their lives, what would you hope for that message to be?
Vinnie Tortorich: Wow. Always ask questions. Always. Just always ask questions. That's the only way you will learn. Don't take what I'm telling you today. Don't take what anyone tells you at face value. Take it, go down. Rabbit holes, study, ask questions. It's the only way you're going to get through life
Jonathan Levi: Solid one. Mr. Vinnie, I want to thank you so very much for your time. It was really a pleasure. I, you know, even talking about subjects that we've covered before, I always am able to dig up and learn new stuff. So I appreciate it and I know our audience enjoyed it very much,
Vinnie Tortorich: Jonathan, thanks for having me on.
Jonathan Levi: All right. You take care, Vinnie.
All right, SuperFriends, that's it for this week's episode. We hope you really, really enjoyed it and learn a ton of applicable stuff that can help you go out there and overcome the impossible. If so, please do us a favor and leave us a review on iTunes or Stitcher, or however you found this podcast. In addition to that, we're always looking for great guest posts on the blog or awesome guests right here on the podcast.
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