Healthy Style Podcast: The Ultimate Weight Loss Secrets With Dr. Ashley Lucas

 In Charlotte, Weight Loss

The Ultimate Weight Loss Secrets With Dr. Ashley Lucas

body-and-weight-control-Ultimate Weight Loss Secrets

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Podcast Text Transcribed 

Interviewer: (00:01)
Guys, let’s welcome Dr. Ashley Lucas to the show. So how are you today?

Dr Ashley: (00:07)
I’m great. Thank you so much for having me. I’m excited to chat with you today.

Interviewer: (00:12)
Me too. I have so many amazing questions to ask you. Uh, but first, can you just start off with telling us a little bit about yourself, how you became a doctor? What is your mission? All of that.

Dr Ashley: (00:23)
Sure, sure. Yeah. So, you know, I spent my childhood training as a classical ballet dancer. Um, I actually, I saw a picture of your daughter. It looked like she was in a recital and sweet, and I think it brings so many great things for us as young girls. And so I did that. My mom put me in ballet when I was like three years old, but I didn’t have any natural talent. And back then they would put the kids that didn’t have great talent in the back row all the time. And like, that was just my home. I was always there. And, and so instead of letting that get me down, it just lit a fire within me. And I wouldn’t listen to any naysayer and I wouldn’t listen to my body. So I kept pushing it in directions that it naturally didn’t want to go.

Dr Ashley: (01:11)
So I was injured all the time. I had stress fractures in my feet and in my low back, but I kept pushing and I had a fairly successful career, I think just because of my perseverance and commitment to not letting anyone tell me what I couldn’t do. Um, I was also a master chronic diameter. You know, I was told that I was fat countless times, despite restricting calories and counting fat grams and exercising like crazy, you know, as a professional ballet dancer or dancing eight hours a day. And then I would go and take spin classes after just because my body composition, wasn’t where I needed it to be for my sport, despite doing all of these different things. And so, you know, the, the end of my professional career, which I danced in companies across the country actually was when I landed in New York.

Dr Ashley: (02:03)
And, you know, that’s, every dancer’s dream is to be able to perform there. And I was chosen, I was flown up there, but instead of finding myself, doing all of these once in a lifetime performances at the Joyce theater, I found myself in the ER and I had no idea what was going on with myself. I thought perhaps I was having a heart attack. I had no idea. So I went to the ER by myself and after a whole bunch of different tests, the neurologist just came back and told me that I was simply underfed and over-exercise, and that I simply could not continue if I was done. And so I was flown home alone. I was afraid of my health future. I was so depressed because that was my identity. I mean, that’s all I did for my entire childhood 20 plus years. I was in my mid twenties when this happened.

Dr Ashley: (02:56)
And so I really had to take a step back, decide what I was going to make of myself and what I was going to do. And I, I, you know, I felt like a failure. It was 20 plus years of struggle and sacrifice that just kept, came at me as a tidal wave. You know, I had no expectations that this is what was going to happen. And so I decided to go and pursue nutrition because I knew how significantly nutrition or really lack thereof for me impacted my own sport performance. I truly believe if I had known then what I know now, my career would have been stronger and a lot longer, but you know, it was the perfect path for me. I wouldn’t have done anything differently. Um, so anyway, I went on and I pursued my PhD in sports, nutrition and chronic disease.

Dr Ashley: (03:40)
And I studied exactly that. I studied what happens in us, chronic dieters, metabolically, what’s going on? How do we achieve an optimal body composition while supporting our metabolism? You know, uh, and then most importantly, besides just what, and when we’re eating and how to support our metabolism when we’re dropping weight is what do we need mentally and emotionally and behaviorally to create sustainable change. And so that’s what my dissertation was in. And I went on after that and I taught at the Ohio state university and there, I recognize that I’m a very impatient person and I need to see dramatic change in people, probably like you. I think all of us coaches really need to see this change to see that we’re imparting impact in others. And so I went back to school again and completed my dietetic internship. So I could be this quote unquote true expert in the field of weight management.

Dr Ashley: (04:38)
That’s what I thought I needed, but there was a problem there too. And that problem was that I was continuing to learn all of the same mantra, all of the same conventional dietary wisdom of eat, less, move more, have more willpower. You just need to have more discipline, continue to eat everything in moderation. And I knew that did not work for me. I tried it for years to the extreme. And so I flipped everything that I learned there upside down, took what I found from my research and put together. Now what I implement, you know, in my company at PhD, weight loss and nutrition. And I began working initially with athletes because that’s what my focus, my background, my PhD work was in and found what had a significant impact in these athletes had a more profound impact on those of us struggling with weight.

Dr Ashley: (05:29)
And that’s just how I slowly progressed into the field of weight management and now have such a passion to help people be able to drop weight and sustain it and how to do it in a healthy way where we don’t cause metabolic damage and where we can make the over complicated and daunting task of dropping weight. Just something that is feasible and to empower people to know that they can make a change they want to, and if they they’ve failed in the past, it’s not because they have failed. It’s just the methodologies that haven’t supported them toward ultimate success. So I know that was a long story, but that’s where I’m coming.

Interviewer: (06:10)
That’s amazing. It’s a lot to unpack, but one of the first things I wanted to mention is the correlation of, I think any coach or doctor, or most of us is we learn and try to master and then teach what we actually need to teach ourselves. Right. And I had the same experience. And so my thing is like mindset and routines and things like that. And so like, I’ve perfected it so I can teach others because I know what it is like to be on the other side. So probably same with you.

Dr Ashley: (06:39)
Yeah, like the same.

Interviewer: (06:42)
Yeah. And I was just wondering, like growing up, what, did you have any, like, was it an influence that you had in your life that made you, you know, to diet and things like that? Like, what was your relationship with like women or seeing, what was your body image? What was the self-talk? What were you told to think is true?

Dr Ashley: (07:06)
I mean, my, my story, my self-talk was that I was never good enough. I was never lean enough. My calves weren’t strong enough. I mean, I literally had a ballet company tell me that they wouldn’t hire me because my cows were too small. Um, we would go and do what they call cattle calls, where there’s 400 women, you fly to San Francisco and you audition for potentially one position in one company. So there’s 400 of us standing there in front of a mirror, in a black leotard and pink tights and a number. Um, so it, you know, and then I would often make it to the top five. And then they say, well, you know, your hair is brown. We needed a blonde hair person. Or, you know, you’re just, you’re not lean enough. Um, you’re not tall enough, you’re too tall. So it was always very subjective and always focused on the aesthetics and how we looked.

Dr Ashley: (08:03)
And so that was, you know, and, and my teacher who I know only wanted the best for me and wanted me to be strong, um, you know, came from a different culture. So she would say, you know, I can see what you ate today, stuck in your stomach, or, you know, you need to drop a few pounds before you’re going to get this role. Um, and then in the professional field, you just see the people who are the leanest, um, who have the longest, best lines get the best roles. And so, I mean, it’s just, it’s, it’s pretty obvious no one needs to eat much.

Interviewer: (08:37)
It’s pretty wild. As much as I’ve done dance, I’ve done Latin and ballroom dancing when I grew up in Europe and a lot of my body issues stemmed from that. So as much as a gave me in my life, it also has sort of like traumatized me for a really long time, which led to so many things. And it’s funny, you mentioned, you know, you saw my daughter and the leotard. So I, I had her join at three and eight. She’s doing gymnastics and ballet and she did both of them for a year and she just sort of like dreaded doing the ballet part. And I was like, no, no, no, it’s okay. Like, she was always happy when I picked her up. So I was like, oh, it’s just like, she’s just like, you know, it doesn’t, it doesn’t feel like it or whatever. And when it came to enroll into the September, she’s like, she’s literally telling me, and she’s four years, like, mommy, I don’t want to do it. I don’t want to do. And I was like, okay, she’s obsessed with gymnastics. And that’s what we’re going to go with. Perhaps it was the teacher or like, we’ll try again, but not going to push that because I do know that there’s that aspect of it, but there’s also that structure and the connection to your body that I wouldn’t have had.

Dr Ashley: (09:50)
Yeah. I mean, I think up until the age of 10 and even beyond, it just depends on the individual’s personality and the school that they’re in, but, oh my gosh. I mean, I have, so just, I know I talked about the negatives, but there’s just so many positive that it has created me to be the person who I am, which I feel is a person who has discipline and work ethic and motivation to serve others and kind of a passion for perfection, which has goods and bads, but I’m someone who just won’t settle and believes that we can always be better and serve better. So I mean, so many positives, but it is, can be dramatic at the same.

Interviewer: (10:35)
It can, but so can anything else, right. I think you can take anything in life and do that. So what would you say is a first step for anybody embarking on a journey to go from like yo-yo dieting into a sustainable, healthy lifestyle and a connection to their body, happy, you know, happy thoughts about themselves. Like what are those first steps that somebody can start doing? And also physically like, you know, the food that they can cut out or how to view food.

Dr Ashley: (11:05)
So I’d say mentally, the first step is to really have a desire to change. Not just kind of wanted because your friend is doing it or because your spouse thinks that you should, I mean, this, this strong internal desire where your desire to change significantly outweighs your desire to stay the same. So that’s it right to be at this precipice where you were at threshold and you just cannot stand to continue to go in the direction that you’re going. Right. So we’ve got to have that level of readiness on a scale of one to 10, we’re at an 11, because we all know that change is hard. Change is so hard. It’s, it’s totally doable, but you’ve gotta be committed. You’ve gotta be persistent in that. So from a mental and emotional place there, I think a lot of what detracts us from getting started on a change is fear.

Dr Ashley: (12:04)
You know? And so recognizing what that fear is, is it fear of failure because you failed in the past, but recognizing that you don’t have to live in the past, you don’t have to repeat the past unless you repeat those patterns. So it’s having that desire to, to want to change those patterns and then constant awareness and persistence into to changing that. So then there’s a fear of success. Like what happens if I drop this 80 plus pounds? Like it was a, it was a, a cloak for me. It hit me, it protected me. You know, there are just, like we said, about the positive and negatives about ballet. There are positives and negatives associated with dropping weight as well. And so really overcoming that fear. I always say that dropping weight is a process of letting go, a process of letting go of this excess fat weight that no longer serves you and a process of letting go of the emotions that are tied to it.

Dr Ashley: (12:57)
So we’ve got to know that if the mental and emotional aspect isn’t being taken care of, then the body’s just not going to follow, or it’s at least not going to stay there. So I hope that was helpful from a, an emotional side from the nutrition, actual, you know, what to eat. Um, everybody is going to be very different, but in general, I’m looking at it as an addiction recovery process. I’d say for the majority of our clients, that’s what we’re dealing with. So breaking the ties with the foods you say, you love that aren’t loving you back. I really believe that eating everything in moderation. When you come at it from an addiction recovery process, isn’t the way to go. Like it’s asking an alcoholic to just have one to two glasses of wine when they cannot physically physiologically mentally and emotionally do that.

Dr Ashley: (13:48)
That is unfair, unfair to ask of yourself. So whenever anyone just says, well, I, I eat very healthy and I eat everything in moderation and I could never let go of my, whatever that food that follows my, I know that is probably the food that they need to let go of. Um, my bread, you know, it’s not your bread. It is the bread that’s there. That for some reason, your body is wired into really just wanting and needing more of it. So I think recognizing that in general, you know, finding your unique carbohydrate tolerance level, so we’re not keto or Atkins or one definition or another, but it is recognizing that we all have a different tolerance level of how many carbs we can eat in a day. It’s not that carbs are bad at all. It’s just that they have the most profound impact on how our body metabolizes all other nutrients. So if we eat above our current tolerance level, or we’re going to find that we constantly have hunger and cravings and weight gain and bloating and inflammation, and how do we

Interviewer: (14:51)
Find that level?

Dr Ashley: (14:52)
Well, so there’s different ways, but one way is just to drop it down, say maybe 50 to 80 grams of carbohydrates a day, recognizing that when you drop the carbs down to that level, we want to increase the calories a bit, usually from more healthy fats and a moderate amount of protein. So we want to drop the carbs down so that we don’t feel the hunger and cravings. We want to increase the fat. So we feel satiated and satisfied, and our hair stays strong and our skin beautiful. Um, and then the protein there, isn’t an amount that supports our muscle mass. If you eat above the amount of protein that you need to support muscle mass, it converts a stored fat as well. So it’s finding that sweet spot for protein, dropping the cards underneath your tolerance level, and then playing with the dietary fat. If you’re hungry, you need more fat. If you’re not dropping weight and that’s your goal, and all these other markers are where they need to be. Maybe we need to drop the fat, so the body can burn the fat that’s stored.

Interviewer: (15:57)
And so you’re, you, you’re looking at your body as that indicator for these things, like whether you are bloated or lethargic or stomach issues, hunger cravings, right. Cravings is another one. Yeah.

Dr Ashley: (16:10)
Yeah. Cravings is the biggest thing. Like when a client comes to me and says, oh my gosh, like yesterday I was so hungry. I had such bad cravings that I know they’ve knocked themselves out of fat burn and they’ve eaten above their unique carb tolerance level.

Interviewer: (16:27)
Okay. Okay. No, that was really helpful. Um, I have a question. What do you think about, um, like a holistic approach to weight loss? How does one begin on a journey towards that?

Dr Ashley: (16:41)
Well, 80% of any life change comes from the mind. So if we think that we’re just going to drop weight by tracking it in my fitness pal and going to the gym, it is 20% of the story. So you know what you do through a holistic approach of routines and just lifestyle support. I mean, that is the key in what this is all about. So it is the habits, behaviors, the mental and emotional aspect. I think, um, getting support is the biggest thing. For some reason, we have shame. I mean, it’s our society, but associated with, um, asking for help when it comes to our bodies. But, you know, I, the most successful people in the world, business, people, athletes have coaches. So there’s, there’s nothing different when you’re looking to optimize your body, which is like the most complicated system out there. The fact that we think we should be able to do this all on our own, just pushes so much stress on our bodies.

Dr Ashley: (17:47)
That even when we have level of stress there, just from thinking, we should do it on our own, our body’s not going to respond with weight, successful, weight loss, you know, or dissolve. We can’t sleep. And then you can eat all the healthiest things in the world, and it’s not going to result in weight loss if you’re super stressed. So yeah, stress management, um, all of those aspect, all the lifestyle habits of sleep and relationship and routine, those are huge. And so that’s why, you know, for what we do, we really focus on the cognitive behavioral aspect associated with weight loss and the food part. Once you get it dialed in, that’s the easy part. Yeah,

Interviewer: (18:27)
Yeah, yeah. I agree. I would even include being happy at your job. You know, a lot of people are stressed where they work and it makes them, you know, when they come home, they it’s easy to overweight overeat or to numb themselves. So there’s all these different areas of your life to look at. Like where are you? Like not happy basically. And work towards that. Even if you don’t try to tackle maybe the nutrition part first, would you

Dr Ashley: (18:52)
Agree? Yeah, I totally agree.

Interviewer: (18:54)
Yeah. Yeah. So how does, um, how does stress impact weight loss in terms of perhaps hormones? I know for women, a lot of them store their fat, like in the belly, can you break it down in like easier terms of like, what that looks like and how to get out of that cycle and to, um, improve ourselves?

Dr Ashley: (19:17)
Yeah. Yeah. Hopefully I will say this in a simple congruent way, so it’s understandable. But so in general, when we have high stress and usually chronic stress is the issue, the acute stress is okay, it makes us productive. It’s like, oh my gosh, I’ve got to get my daughter to school on time. I’m a little stressed this morning, but you know, you, it makes you push to get your kids on time, which I finally did today. I was feeling a little acute stress getting my boys to school, but I did it and it was gone. That’s okay. It’s the chronic stress. Like you said, the unhappiness in your job or relationship or, you know, financial aspects or family whatever’s going on. If that stress is just always there, then what happens is we have chronic levels of high cortisol in the body. So when our body is in a high insulin state, so it means we’re eating above our carb tolerance level and we have high insulin.

Dr Ashley: (20:14)
And the blood insulin is like the main predictor of how all these other hormones interact. So if you have high insulin, you’re eating above your car tolerance level, you have hunger. You’re always hungry that cravings, weight, gain inflammation, bloating. That’s a good sign that you’re eating above your car tolerance level and you have higher insulin than you need. When that happens. The, um, cortisol in there doesn’t allow the fat, the triglyceride to come out of the fat cell. So there is a hormone that should attach. I want you to imagine attached to the fat cell and let that triglyceride that’s that to come out so we can burn it. That’s why some people drop weight when they’re stressed. If you drop weight, when you’re stressed, it’s because you’re at a low, usually a lower insulin level. You’re eating within your carb tolerance level. That’s the way it should work.

Dr Ashley: (21:09)
But when we’re not, when we’re up here in this level, I want you to imagine that there’s like this callus on the cell and the fat can’t get out of that fat cell to be burned. And then what happens in these individuals is cortisol can actually relocate the fat cell into the belly. So it takes these fat cells that might be strewn throughout the body and pushes them into the belly. So then we have increased abdominal, visceral fat, and that’s the scary type of fat that we do not want. And then we actually know that at the tissue level, in these fat cells, in the visceral fat, in the belly fat day, secrete cortisol. So now you have these fat cells that are in there working against Jews to creating high cortisol, and then you get in and it impacts the adrenals and it impacts your thyroid. And all of a sudden it is just a hot mess.

Interviewer: (22:00)
And it’s like a cycle that just no matter what you do, right? Like if you’re in that state and you’re, let’s say, like trying to eat salads and trying to do all of these things, which kind of adds trust to it, right. If you’re, if you’re not seeing the results, um, I mean, you mentioned one of the things is mindset. And w w what would you say to target like belly fat would be like a, really like two to three steps towards that

Dr Ashley: (22:26)
From a behavioral side,

Interviewer: (22:27)
Um, from managing your hormones and the cortisol levels.

Dr Ashley: (22:33)
Hmm. So three things that we could do to drop cortisol levels. Yeah. So I would say, um, you know, some kind of practice every day, that’s intention setting. So if that’s journaling, if it’s meditation, if it’s reading the Bible, whatever that might be, where you take time and you just let your body settle. Um, so that’s going to be important. Another thing is getting out in nature, you know, nature really shows that it increases dopamine and serotonin, which are those feel good neuro-transmitters, um, and helps to reduce cortisol. So that’s going to be very important. And then from a nutrition side of things like eating a nutrient dense, whole food based diet, like if you could just avoid things that come from a box, and I know that’s hard to do, but if that’s the one thing that you do, your pantry should be pretty darn empty, maybe a protein powder in there, or a good quality protein bar, and maybe some MCT oil could be in your pantry, some coffee, but beside that, like your, your fridge is going to be, where is with lots of veggies, your non starchy veggies.

Dr Ashley: (23:49)
If you’re going to do fruit, recognizing that it’s high sugar, some of them are so maybe focusing more on the berries that are higher in antioxidants, lower in fiber, as opposed to say the tropical fruits like mango and pineapple and heavy and juice, maybe less overall juice intake, healthy proteins. We really do need protein. So if you’re open to it and animal protein, a grass fed steak is totally fine to do, or, you know, fish, poultry over say maybe heavy beans and quinoa for example, so really getting good quality protein in there, and then not skimping on the fats do not fear dietary fat. Like I did. Don’t even just make sure you’re getting enough, don’t try to limit it.

Interviewer: (24:42)
It’s great. Most of the things you mentioned I already do, um, I’m really big on morning routines. And the first thing, one of the first things that I do in the mornings is I read for at least 20 minutes and it’s, um, I have a list now on my Kindle and one is a prayer. One is a like the daily stoic or a journey to the heart. So there’s different. Like there’s like four that I like go through each morning. Um, so it’s nice to know that that helps to drop the cortisol levels. Another thing I added, which I’ve been doing as well is going for a morning walk. Now I walk my daughter to the bus and I stopped using sunglasses. I read somewhere, um, that, you know, getting that direct sunlight first thing in the morning, um, without sunscreen, you know, of course not baking in it, but like, just get like 10 minutes or so that really helps with the cortisol levels as well. Um, and to get that vitamin D so really loved those practices.

Dr Ashley: (25:39)
Yeah. The morning walk is really important, mostly because it resets your circadian rhythm for the rest of the day. So that would be the biggest thing from vitamin D you know, research shows that we only absorb vitamin D depending on where you live, but primarily from the hours of 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM. So we really want to make sure if we’re trying to get vitamin D from the sun, that we do it within those hours without sunscreen, you know, and like you said, no, baking in the sun and not getting sunburned, but in a lot of places, again, depending on the latitude of where we live, we only make active form of vitamin D from the month of, um, may through October. So in the, would

Interviewer: (26:22)
You like supplements? Yeah, I

Dr Ashley: (26:25)
Would suggest that for sure. Yeah. In the fall and winter, and we could be cyclical with it, you know, in the fall and the winter we supplement with vitamin D and then in the summer in spring, we just get out there, like you said, 10 minutes within those time periods,

Interviewer: (26:40)
Love that. I’m wondering what kind of supplements do take on a daily basis for yourself?

Dr Ashley: (26:45)
Yeah, well, you know, I personally have, in the last six months, went through something really stressful. And so I take a few supplements to help with adrenal fatigue and I was like, fearful, my hair was gonna fall out. So, um, selenium is really important. And then I can, you know, I could share with you the names, but I’d have to go grab them to make sure that they’re correct, but I take that. I take vitamin D because I’m always low in it whenever I get my blood levels tested. So I always take at least 5,000. I use a vitamin D and with vitamin K because that helps its absorption, um, every day. And then theanine is a really helpful supplement just to help reduce the cortisol in the body and from an adrenal fatigue and sleep standpoint, banning is huge. Um, so I do take that and then I sleep pretty well, but a really great supplement I’ve been liking is called proper, and it has some, um, melatonin in it, a few different other herbs.

Dr Ashley: (27:51)
And it’s really neat. The capsule is half of the herbs and half CBD oil, and you can see that. So that’s, that’s pretty neat. And then a fish oil, um, you know, it’s interesting. I had my, uh, levels tested of omega three versus omega six, and I eat a pretty great diet and I don’t eat many omega sixes. You would get those from vegetable oils and processed items, you know, and still my omega sixes were higher than they needed to be. And so I had to supplement with omega threes specifically D H a to get my levels up.

Interviewer: (28:28)
Okay. Interesting. I actually, I tested for very low iron and I had no idea and I was, I’ve been tired for years. Like I do all of the things and I’m like, I don’t get it. So someone was like, oh, get your blood done. And I did. And the doctor was like, how are you? Like, you know, here, like you should be so tired. So I’ve been getting iron transfusion, not transfusion iron IBS into my bloodstream once a week. And I think, you know, I’m getting tested tomorrow and I should know, you know, by next week. And he said, I should be good for a little while. Do you know anything about that? About, you know, low iron? I mean, I was vegan and vegetarian on and off for, I would say 16 years. So I’m sure that has an impact on it.

Dr Ashley: (29:12)
Yeah. I mean, there’s different reasons why one might be iron deficient and one is nutritional and the other is more blood metabolic related. So if it’s nutrition-related then, um, that would be, as you said, and you know, the highest bioavailable form of iron comes from red meat

Interviewer: (29:32)
And I’ve been craving it. That’s the craziest thing. And I had it, I started having it in July I, before, before I knew about the, the low iron is like looking at a steak and my mouth started to water. I liked the smell of it. No other meat, no chicken, like nothing else. I eat fish every once in a while, but I was like, I think I’m just going to have that steak. And it was like grass fed. It was, you know, it was the perfect moment. Cause I had a couple pieces and I was, I was fine and I didn’t even make a big deal out of it, but my body was craving it.

Dr Ashley: (30:05)
Yeah. Yeah. It’s interesting. And then other things can help the absorption of the iron. So if you eat it with a vitamin C source, that’s going to help it absorb. And so you could do steak with a spinach salad. No, the spinach is going to have iron and a little vitamin C and then you could have the veggies on top of it that would provide you the vitamin C. So that would be anything that’s orange, yellow, and red. So, you know, bell peppers actually broccoli has a pretty decent amount of vitamin C in there. Um, and an interesting trick is to cook something in cast iron with tomatoes because tomatoes are like an acid and it will pull the iron out of the cast iron pot. So like if you made a chili beef in there, put some bell peppers, the tomato base and cooked it in a cast iron pot, you’d get like a really great natural dose and it’s the fall. So perfect timing.

Interviewer: (31:03)
That’s a good trick. I like that. I want to sort of switch gears and talk a little bit about exercise and how do you think that exercise is a great weight loss tool?

Dr Ashley: (31:15)
You know, I, I think that exercise is primarily a wellness tool and it is not a great weight loss tool. Um, you know, lots of research to show that from my clinical experience, I find that when our clients exercise above, um, you know, their, their natural ability or for the majority of our clients, he said 30 minute brisk walk a day. Now, if someone comes into us and they do more than that, we can totally support that, but it’s not necessary from a weight loss perspective. Even with the 30 minute brisk walk a day, we’re focused on getting the lymph to move. We know that the limp is so important, um, from a weight loss perspective. And so from an exercise state, you know, when there was a study that came out, looking at a group of heavier individuals and they had them, um, move more and all eat about 1200 calories.

Dr Ashley: (32:10)
And you would think from calories in calories out that the majority of individuals would drop seven pounds and, um, or yeah, and the majority of people would drop 10 pounds. I’m sorry, no one dropped 10 pounds. There was a big group that dropped seven and then a large group that only dropped two to three. So really we can see that genetics are a big component of it. Um, you know, there’s a lot of different aspects associated to the body, but you would have to run 350 miles or cycle 1000 miles to burn just 10 pounds of fat.

Interviewer: (32:45)
Gotcha. Gotcha. Now, and, and like we spoke of before, it’s, it’s really a mindset thing of letting go. So I know a lot of people want to know what to eat, exactly which exercise to do, but it’s, it goes so much deeper than that. And until you start to heal like certain patterns and start to shift the way of thinking, it’s going to be even harder. Um, I like what you said about the limp. I’m a huge, huge, huge advocate of, of moving the lymph. I, you know, I try to do a few jumps in the morning just to get that going. Like I said, I go for 30 minute walk. I do legs up the wall for about 20 minutes a day. Um, I, yeah, I activate my lymph, you know, so we have the major ones right behind the knee and the groin armpits, and even like the collarbone.

Interviewer: (33:37)
Um, so that’s really important. And that’s one of the things that, you know, I was never taught as a child or sort of like at school or stuff like that. So I really try to put that out there as much as possible. Um, I have a rebounder, so I love that. I also love that my daughter is in gymnastics because that also helps to move her limbs. And I think that kids naturally just jump up and down anyway. Um, I recently, you know, a topic that I’ve seen come across, um, often as people think they need to go so hard at the gym, like do an hour and doesn’t that like drain them, like, I mean, on a hormone level, I think that that does more harm than good. Yeah.

Dr Ashley: (34:23)
Yeah. I mean too much. I call it chronic cardio and too much of that does the same thing that we were talking about before is just increases general chronic stress response. The body’s not meant to move at a moderate to high intensity for very long periods of time. If you think about where we came from, when we would walk a lot, you know, back in the paleolithic days

Interviewer: (34:51)
And lift things and like that.

Dr Ashley: (34:54)
And then we would sprint. So if we look at it from a functional standpoint, you know, that’s what we always suggest is some kind of low level of aerobic movement being just busy up on our legs, moving, going for a walk like you do. Um, and then a few times a week, something that might be this high intensity interval training, but it doesn’t take very long and it’s dependent again upon where the person is and what their goals are. My favorite would be on a stationary bike where you warm up for five minutes and then maybe you sprint really hard for whatever that means to you for 30 to 45 seconds. And then you rest for a minute and a half easy, and then you push again maybe 10 to 12 times, if you can stand that by. That’s hard to do though. Like by the 12th time, you are just totally, um, worn out.

Dr Ashley: (35:44)
But the whole thing should take about 25 minutes. And then on the other days, lifting something heavy. You know, I traded one obsession with another, after I retired from ballet, I went and started cycling and I was pretty good at it just again, because I would not listen to myself when I would just go until I, I almost die. You know, I, I got shingles once after a season because I was just going all the time. And I remember my rest days were still on the bike doing at least 12 miles, you know, just or 15 miles. But in general I was cycling maybe 300 miles a week and I was probably 15 pounds heavier than I am now. And it was not more muscle. My body puts on fat, like crazy when I exercise like that. I mean, I’m not only ravenous all the time and have crazy things, but I really believe my body’s just like, what the heck is she doing? We need to hold onto this fat. Here is we might need this. So if she does this crazy thing again tomorrow,

Interviewer: (36:48)
Absolutely. I think even biologically, like our body thinks like we’re running from right. That’s what they call that response is the, is the, um, the stress response, right? Like, like running from, from something. So it like stores cause it’s in that danger, danger, um, mode, I guess. Right. Um, oh my gosh. There’s so many more things I want to cover. Um, do you have any tips for kids, nutrition and or kids? You know, I feel like there’s a lot of kids that don’t get enough nutrition in, um, that perhaps can be a little bit healthier. I know it’s tricky. Um, a lot of times, you know, kids want to eat what they want to eat, but what I know what works for me personally is we do a smoothie every morning. I make sure she gets a multivitamin. We get some sort of movement in we’re outside every day, you know, whether it’s cold or not. Um, what can some parents start to do or make sure that their kids are having so, you know, they don’t get sick as much, especially, you know, now we’re going into fall and now they’re in school. Now they have the masks. I mean, yeah.

Dr Ashley: (37:58)
So yeah, w feeding kids is hard. I have three myself and you might hear my daughter out there crying, but she, um, you know, it’s expecting, I guess not to have very high expectations. I find when I have expectations, um.
Dr Ashley:
I always get a little bit disappointed. Uh, and because I always, yeah, am, am that way from an expectation standpoint. So I’ve learned to let that go and that it’s not going to be perfect and we just try our very best. And so for our kids, you know, we try to get some protein and some healthy fats in there with every meal and most snacks. So, you know, for breakfast, if they’re going to have a pancake, then they’re gonna have some kind of sausage or some kind of protein with it. Um, maybe like, they’ll do an egg. We don’t, we don’t eat grains very much in general. So viewing that grain more as a dessert, as a tree in a way. You know, so maybe I wouldn’t have the base of their meal, Um, be noodles, I’d have the base be the meat sauce with broccoli and butter, maybe, um, some cheese and then the noodle would be a smaller portion, uh, or else all they will eat is the noodles and the meat will be left there. The veggie’s not gonna be touched, you know, the cheese with the, the, the fat in it. Isn’t gonna be there. It’s just like for us, you know, we probably would more likely crave the bread and the grains and the pasta and eat that first. But we know as adults, we gotta get the other stuff in there. And giving that to them in that way. Or maybe I wouldn’t give them a piece of bread with their dinner meal. Maybe it’d be steak and broccoli and a little bit of salad if they would. And again, some cheese or avocado with salt, we put salt on everything because it makes it taste better. We put butter on everything, you know, mm-hmm um, because the fat is really healthy for their brain. You know, kids need fat for their growing brain, no skim milk. If you’re going to give them milk, which they really don’t need. But if you’re going to give them milk, do it a whole milk. You know, I, I believe that no one really needs juice. If you think about it, it’s just like melted down Skittles. And so we, they never get juice, but if they go out and they’re with friends and they want juice, they can totally do it, but it’s gonna be for celebration. Or, you know, if, if, if there’s tons of treats around too, I might say, okay, do you want the juice? Or do you want the cupcake? Do you want a little bit of each, but you know, why don’t you pick what it might be? Um, so I don’t know if that was clear, but making sure there’s protein, there’s healthy fats. Um, we don’t get flavored yogurts because flavored yogurts have just as much sugar as say a Hogan dos ice cream. And so we instead do a full fat, plain Greek yogurt, really high, you know, protein and fats for their growing brain. And then we’ll add some honey to the top, or like my son this morning, he had full fat, plain Greek yogurt with frozen berries mixed into it. And that’s his favorite.

Speaker 2:
Love that love that. That’s all of those tips I love. And a lot of them I use as well. I love to put in a little bit of oats or ch and chia seeds, and I add a little bit of oat milk into her yogurt as well. Oh, that makes it like more of like a parfait. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Great. Awesome. Like I said, I can ask you so many more questions and, um, but I know we are running out of time a little bit. So do, are you okay with some rapid fire questions I can ask you.

Dr Ashley:
Sure, go for it.

Speaker 2:
perfect. It’s one of my favorite things. So what did you have for breakfast ?

Dr Ashley:
For breakfast today? I had some coffee with heavy cream, which my favorite food and some, um, collagen powder that I blended up. That’s my breakfast every day.

Speaker 2:
Perfect. Perfect. Um, what is your healthy style? So I know you had a lot of transitions of, um, you know, throughout for this process, but currently what is your healthy style.

Dr Ashley:
My healthy style, what do you mean by that?

Speaker 2:
Yes. Like, um, your exercise, how do you, you know, wake up in the morning? Your mindset.

Dr Ashley:
Right? Yeah. Yeah. So, um, you know, I, I believe that we create our own stories. And so I think that the words that we tell ourselves, um, is the most I thing. So I really try to remain positive. And when there’s gonna be, there are fears that are in there every day and there’s negatives that are in there, but letting those go and not placing focus on it, just being like, oh, that’s there, it’s like a cloud and it just passes by and I don’t have to pay attention to it. Um, I really am trying to you listen to my intuition. I haven’t been very good at that. And so practicing that, um, and trusting myself. Um, so I do that by every morning. I wake up and meditate for 20 minutes and I use a guided meditation. Um, Vishen Lakhiani, I think is how you say last name has a really great six phase meditation that I just use off of YouTube, but he also has mind valley, which is a really great online, like learning.

Dr Ashley:
And I always am doing a class. I always feel in growth and upleveling and building my capacity as a leader, as a business owner is really important. So I’m always like I just finished a speak and inspire class or, you know, one on listening to intuition. I think that’s always very important. So I start by meditating and then I try my very best to go and just walk first thing in the morning to set my circadian rhythm. I have, um, a red light that I will sit of when I meditate so I, I really like that. Yep. And then I just, um, go about my day and part of my evening routine is designing my day. So I tell myself, you know, at 6:30 to 7:30, this is what I’m gonna do from 7:30 to, so I have it all planned out.

Dr Ashley:
So I’m just like not letting myself be distracted as best as I can be. Yes. And then I do work hard. Um, and I’m working all day and I’ll try to take little breaks by going and taking a walk or I might exercise for, or about 30 minutes, but I try to be as efficient as possible because I do have three kids and I try to pick them up and I’m around at four o’clock when they get off school, four 30. So I have to squeeze everything into a tight standpoint. And then I try again my best and not perfect, but to not be constant on my phone when I am with the kids, because, you know, I think as working women, we have that potential for feeling guilty of working hard and not always being there. So I really try to focus on having X amount of hours when I am just with them and put everything else away.

Dr Ashley:
And then, um, we always do as a family together and sit and have discussions with no phones. We don’t talk about work. We had to set that we have had to work on all of this. It does not come naturally. And then again, another goal of having all of the kids in bed quiet by 8:30 so that my husband and I can have time where we focus on the two of us and our relationship. Yeah. Because if we don’t, we will sit in front of the TV with our computers on and work until midnight. And so we’ve had to make it very clear that I’ve designed my day, by the time the kids get home. And then we have a very clear hour where we’re doing something where we connect and we’re continuously working on that.

Speaker 2:
That sounds amazing. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. And there’s gonna be different seasons, you know, life always comes up, but I love that. I think time management and how you use your time, you know, time are most valuable resource. You cannot, you know, so using it wisely makes a big difference in your life. So last question, uh, what is one thing that we can all do today for better health?

Dr Ashley:
Hmm. What is one thing we can do? Let’s see. Let’s if we focus on the nutrition aspect, I think thinking about breakfast is the most important meal of the day, not be super carb heavy. So, you know, saying breakfast is the most important meal was actually coined by Kellogg to sell more of their cereal. So we now know when research shows that we do not really need to eat breakfast. Now, if you’re hungry, eat it. But if you’re not, don’t force yourself because you think you’re AISM is gonna shut down. That’s bogus. It doesn’t work that way. So I think being in tune with your body and what it really needs, do you need to eat breakfast or does coffee and cream kind of like do it for you or a cup of tea. Yeah. And, and you leave something a little bit earlier, um, and not going for the, the cereal and the skim milk or steel cut oats because their steel cut really doesn’t make a difference. And It’s just gonna.

Speaker 2:
that’s another mindset thing that we need to sort of break out of. I, I still started doing intermittent fasting about two years ago and I love it. And there’s some days where I wake up hungry and I’ll eat earlier. Um, but today I had like around 11, like almost 12 o’clock no like 11 ish, um, 11:30. I had, I call it my healthy diner brunch. So I’ll make like art two organic eggs, uh, proud of toast with, uh, grass fed butter and like a healthy jelly that doesn’t have like added sugar and I have a half avocado and, and I’m good till three o’clock I’ll snack on some fruit in between. But, um, are you into the intermittent fasting?

Dr Ashley:
Yeah, I think that it can be a good tool. Um, you know, there is some research chapter that shows it doesn’t really result necessarily in more weight loss than not, but, um, from a longevity standpoint, you’d have to fast, I think it’s 48 or even 72 hours to see that impact. But yeah. I mean, I like it. I think it’s helpful for a lot of people, as long as you find you don’t overcompensate later in the day. Um, you know, and then, then it’s just not for you or you’re not ready for it yet. And we can try again later, but yeah, some people absolutely love it. Some people it’s just not for them and that’s okay.

Speaker 2:
Ah, so much wisdom. Thank you for sharing everything with us. Uh, one last thing, where can everybody find you or work with you. You could talk a little bit more about your book.

Dr Ashley:
Yeah, yeah. You know, check out our website is the best place to go. We have a lot of content information and really great, um, images to, to show real people and, and what they’re doing and videos. And so our website is myPhDweightloss.com and our company name is PhD weight loss. And I’ve recently written an ebook. And right now it’s downloadable for free on the homepage. It’s called the ultimate weight loss secrets. And we didn’t even get to talk about it, but maybe another time, you know, why weight gain really isn’t your fault and what to do about it, how keep the weight off for good, with some practical strategies in there. So, um, people have found that the book is pretty fun and is really interesting to learn what’s going on in the body when you’re putting on weight and why it’s so hard often to let it go. So,

Speaker 2:
Yeah. Perfect. We’ll have to do a part too then.

Dr Ashley:
We will. .

Speaker 2:
Awesome. Thank you, Dr. Ashley. We, um, yeah, we’re so excited that you shared all of this with us and hopefully, you know, we’ll be able to implement a lot of these, these tools that we, we can, will benefit us in the long run. I hope, I hope you have a yes. I hope you have a beautiful day and thank you for everyone listening and tuning in.

Dr Ashley:
Yeah. Thank you.

Asheville NC – PHD Weight Loss (myphdweightloss.com)

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