This is the second episode of an eye-opening podcast series I'm doing called How to Become a Lean Running Machine. This subject is near and dear to my heart. I’ve spent years and years trying every …
My name is Patrick McGilvray, and I’m an experienced marathoner, ultra runner, running coach and mindset expert. I believe mindset is the most powerful and most underrated tool you have as a runner. So I’ve devoted my life to helping runners like you develop the mindset you need to fuel your inner fire and become the badass runner you were meant to be. This is The Running Mind podcast.
Well, hey there, and welcome to episode number 20 of The Running Mind podcast. My name is Patrick McGilvray. I’m your host, Master Life Coach and weight loss coach. And today, I’ve got part two of my three part series on how to become a lean running machine.
This series is something that I’m very passionate about. This is something that is very near and dear to my heart, I’ve spent a lot of time and effort and energy trying to figure out how to lose weight as a runner, because I was really struggling with that. I put on about 25 or 30 pounds and was able to finally figure out how to lose the weight.
And it didn’t involve running a million miles, or restricting calories or anything like that. And so I’m sharing all this stuff with you here, okay. I’ve gotten back to my goal weight, you know, what I weigh now today, the same that I did when I was like in this heavy training for Ironman back in 2013. So it’s been like seven years, since I’ve been at this weight, I’ve just put on weight ever since then. But I finally got back there.
And it only took me a couple of months really to get there. So I’m going to share a bunch of that stuff with you here. My goal here, I just want to help you. I know there’s a lot of runners out there that kind of struggle with their weight. And it’s not something that we talk about, we don’t feel comfortable talking about that a lot.
It’s almost like a taboo thing to talk about in the running community. But I know there’s a lot of people that struggle with this. So I want to be an example of what’s possible. And I want to help you. So I hope you find some value from these episodes that I’m sharing here. I’m just sharing what I know. And I hope it brings you some kind of help. And I hope it gives you something that you can do, some action that you can take that you can put into place and that you can get some results from that.
Okay. So here’s something I wanted to share with you guys. I just got this awesome text from one of my weight loss clients. And he said that he’s lost 13 pounds so far. He has more energy than ever feels better than he has in a long time. And here’s a guy who’s a runner, who also has struggled with his weight for years. And he joined my program. And he’s now well on his way to his goal weight. And oh my gosh, it’s so amazing.
I love, love, love getting texts like this from clients, it makes me feel so good. This is why I do what I do. You know, I want to help people transform their lives, I want to help people change the way they think about their bodies and the way they think about themselves. I want people to love themselves more. I’ve learned how to do that. And I want to share that with as many people as possible.
But I know what it’s like to try to just run and run and run and not be able to lose the weight. And to go to the gym six days a week and restrict what I’m eating and feel terrible all the time and still not lose weight. Like I’ve been there. I’ve done all that. So this particular client has gotten some amazing results.
He’s well on his way and he keeps texting me all the time. Like, you know, I’m down another two pounds, I’m down another three pounds. And I just love it. I just give him big hearts and smiles and everything every time he texts that to me. So I learned what to eat, I learned how to manage my mind. I learned when to eat, learned how to stop using food as an escape from my life, I learned how to deal with all the cravings and hunger.
And I will teach you all of this stuff. And I have an upcoming masterclass that starts on Monday, June 1, and I will teach you how to do every single one of these things. I only take about 10 people through these classes. Okay. It’s an intimate class. And once it’s filled, I just closed the doors and we gotta wait till the next time.
So another couple of months before I do that again. But if you want to save your spot for this class, just go to innerfiretribe.com/overeating, and enroll now. I know for a fact that this is the solution to your weight loss struggles. I know for a fact that this is the most comprehensive and most effective weight loss program you will ever experience.
I walk you through everything step by step. I’m there for you. It’s a six week program. When you’re trying to lose weight and you’re changing a bunch of stuff. Those first six weeks are the hardest. But I got you through that. Okay. I will walk you through that and help you get through the challenging stuff so that you can have this success that you’re looking for listen, you deserve this, you are worth it. Go to Inner Fire, innerfiretribe.com/stopovereating. It’s easy to say and sign up today.
Okay, so today, like I said, this is part two of the three part series on how to become a lean running machine. And if you haven’t listened to the first episode yet, go back and do that. Now listen to part one. That was episode number 19. And to find any of these podcasts, you can just go to therunningmindpodcast.com/and, then the number 19. And, and that’ll take you right to that episode. So listen to that first, because it kind of lays the foundation for what I’m going to be talking about here. Talks about why losing weight is so hard. In fact, I’m going to recap that here.
So here’s what I talked about in that episode. Running more and eating less does not work for weight loss. It just doesn’t. Calories in calories out does not work. And eat more, run less, or I’m sorry, run more, eat less just does not work, which people just have been telling us for decades.
We just need to move our bodies more, move more and eat less and you’ll be fine. It does not work. And I explain why. But some of the reasons why are your body naturally overcompensates by increasing your appetite when you exercise more, so you get hungrier, and you’re eating more, you end up eating more calories, than you can burn.
Also, progress is very, very slow when you take this approach, and it’s minimal at best. And then running doesn’t address the physical, mental and emotional causes of weight gain. Okay, you got hormonal hormonal imbalances going on, you’ve got mental cravings, you got emotional eating, and it just doesn’t address those things. Okay.
And then the calories in calories out, you know, everybody thinks this is the only way to lose weight and adjust does not work and never has is a myth, your body, the body will naturally work against this process to keep you from like dying to keep you from starving to death. So when you reduce calories, your body lowers its metabolism in response, your body stays at that reduced metabolism.
And you cannot run fast, run as many miles or reduce the amount of food you’re taking in order to burn off those calories. Right. So there’s some other things and some other reasons why that doesn’t work either. But basically, metabolism lowers when you limit the amount of calories you take in. And so it can only go so low, before your body starts to like to get into starvation mode. Okay.
So the first secret to understand the first thing you really have to understand is that running more and eating less just doesn’t work. Okay, and so I break that all down. And I talked about that in episode number 19, episode number one of this series, but the podcast episode number 19. Okay, cool.
So today, I am going to ask your permission to get a little sciency because I want to talk about hormones. And so I’m going to be talking about the three main hormones that are involved with weight gain, and why it’s really hard to lose weight and what we can do about that, okay.
But for a lot of us, we’ve thought that there must be something wrong with us because we keep gaining weight, even though we’re watching. We eat a good diet, and we don’t, we might be vegetarian or vegan, or paleo or something like that. And we exercise regularly. But we keep gaining weight, and we can’t seem to lose it.
And, and so we come to these conclusions like It must be me, I’m doing something wrong, I don’t have enough willpower. I’m not strong enough. This is just the way I am. I don’t have the self control other people have. Nothing ever works for me. Basically, there’s just something wrong with me. But here’s the truth, there is nothing wrong with you, my friend, at all.
It’s not your fault. And this is the thing I want you to understand here. And this is kind of the second secret I want to talk about to permanent weight loss is that it is not your fault. Your hormones, more than anything else are causing you to gain weight, your hormones are what are keeping you from losing weight. Okay.
If you want to lose weight, you have to be able to burn fat, you’ve got to become a fat burning machine right? And more than anything else your hormones are responsible for whether your body is in fat storage mode, or fat burning mode. And so if you want to get into fat burning mode, you’ve got to like make sure your hormones are regulated properly. Okay. So the three hormones we’re going to talk about today are going to be insulin, ghrelin, and leptin. And these all have to do with your body’s ability to become a fat burner or a fat store. We want to be fat burners, we don’t want to be fat storers. We’ve done enough of that so far in our lives. Okay?
So let’s talk about insulin first. Okay, this is the most important hormone when it comes to weight loss, insulin’s job, its main job is to lower your blood sugar. So anytime you eat any kind of food, and especially foods that are high in sugar, your body secretes, releases insulin to help keep that blood sugar low and keep things in balance, okay?
But here’s the thing. When insulin is high in your system, you are in fat storage mode. Because what insulin is doing is saying like, hey, we need to take this energy and put it somewhere, we need to store it. This sugar, let’s say, and so what we do is insulin stores it as fat for use later on, okay?
So when insulin is high, you’re in fat storage mode. The opposite is also true. When insulin is low in your system, you’re in fat burning mode, and you can start consuming your own body fat, which sounds disgusting, but you can start using your own body fat for fuel, okay? Until you get rid of the sugar that you’re burning in your system, you really can’t access that fat very well.
Okay, so we want to get rid of that, get out of that sugar burning mode, we want to get out of that fat storage mode, and we want to get into the fat burning mode, okay? And the way we do this is to lower our insulin, okay? When you have too much insulin in your system, you just cannot lose weight. Okay? Very, very important to understand. When you have too much insulin, you’re in fat storage mode, and you cannot lose weight.
So there’s two types of insulin disorders, basically, there’s type one and type two diabetes, okay? Type one diabetics, their bodies do not produce enough insulin. So it is very, very hard for them to actually put on any weight, because their insulin levels are so low. And so it’s kind of sad.
But back in the earlier 20th century, type one diabetics used to starve to death because they couldn’t get enough. Their bodies were not getting enough. They were not storing their fat, their bodies were basically just burning off everything that they took in, okay, so their insulin was way too low, until they figured out how to you know, inject insulin. And that was a life saving thing, which is awesome. But they didn’t have a way of storing fat. And so they were way too thin, and they ended up starving to death. It’s horrible, right?
Then there’s type two diabetes, and this is a disease of, of diet, basically. Okay, and type two diabetics produce way too much insulin. And type two diabetics are always in fat storage mode, so they can’t lose weight. And the treatment for type two diabetics, there’s a couple of different things, but one of the treatments, which is crazy, and I really don’t understand this, but the treatment for a lot of type two diabetics is to increase their insulin, so they give them more insulin, which produces the same fat storage mode.
And it makes it very difficult for them to lose weight, which is the big problem anyway. And it just compounds the cycle, it creates a problem called insulin resistance. Too much insulin means your body is resistant to insulin’s effects, it just stops working. It’s like when you take too many antibiotics, you know, the bacteria becomes resistant to it, right? This is same thing here.
So what we want is we want our bodies to be sensitive to insulin, okay, so we want to lower the insulin so we can access our fat for fuel. And so this is the first thing that you just really have to understand. I know I’m talking about a lot of like, sciency stuff here. Okay? But what I want you to understand with this is that insulin’s job is to lower your blood sugar.
And when your insulin is high in your system, you’re in fat storage mode. When it’s low, you’re in fat burning mode, okay? So if you’re trying to lose weight, we want to get the insulin levels down.
Okay, the second hormone I want to talk about is ghrelin, and that’s the hunger hormone. So whenever you get hungry, there’s this hormone that gets released called ghrelin, and that kind of tells you that you’re hungry. It increases your appetite so that you’ll eat some food. And this works great. You know, we should be hungry at different times.
Like there’s every now and then we should be hungry, we should feel hungry. We should have an appetite and we want to eat some food. This way we don’t die. And all these hormones. They’ve been working this way for millennia. We’ve evolved for these hormones to work beautifully, okay?
Here’s the problem. When insulin is high in your system, ghrelin gets blocked, it does not turn off. And so it’s constantly producing these signals that are saying I’m hungry, I’m hungry, my it increases your appetite. And it’s saying feed me feed me. And you constantly feel like you need to eat more food, even though you don’t.
So high insulin levels blocks ghrelin, and so you feel hungry all the time and you end up just overeating. That’s a real problem, okay? So high insulin is kind of insidious, okay? It has one more insidious effect here, and that is how it affects the hormone leptin.
And leptin is the safety hormone. So leptin’s job is to tell your brain when you’re full, and so it sends signals that says, hey, I’m no longer hungry, stop eating, and you’ve probably experienced leptin. Everybody does, you know, but think about the last time you had like, Thanksgiving dinner, and you’re like, stuffed, and you’re like, I cannot eat another thing, you got a lot of leptin going on here, okay.
But here again, when insulin is high, leptin gets blocked, same way, and it cannot do its job. So you never really feel full. You end up overeating at every meal, you eat too much food. So high insulin levels block leptin, you constantly feel like you can still eat more food. It’s like after that Thanksgiving dinner when you’re stuffed in somebody’s like, hey, would you like another piece of pumpkin pie with whipped cream? And you’re like, yes, of course I would.
That is a hormonal imbalance that’s going on there. Okay, because, you know, it’s really not good for you to do that. It’s not good for you to stuff yourself to the point of feeling miserable and terrible and sick to your stomach, okay? But because the hormones are all jacked up here, we do that to ourselves.
So high levels of insulin, cause this chain reaction with these other hormones that puts your body into the state of relentless over eating and relentless fat storage mode. So the big villain of this whole story here is insulin, okay? So too much insulin is the root cause of insidious weight gain. It’s the root cause of obesity. It’s the root cause of type two diabetes, okay? Too much insulin is bad.
So what causes insulin levels to get so high? So anytime we eat food, that food that we eat, no matter what it is, becomes, to some extent, sugar in our bloodstream, glucose. And so your body produces insulin to lower that glucose level to kind of balance things out to lower your blood sugar.
So anytime you eat any food, there’s an insulin effect. So insulin gets produced, okay, so whenever you eat, insulin goes up a little bit, okay? Which is totally normal. One of the problems though, is that when we eat all day long, our insulin is always elevated and never goes down. And so we kind of put our bodies into this consistent fat storage mode, like all day, every day, we never give our bodies the chance to regulate and for that, blood sugars actually come down, and the insulin levels go down and everything starts working the way it’s supposed to.
So eating any food causes insulin to go up, but eating all the time causes insulin to be always high. Okay? The other thing that causes insulin to be really high is certain types of foods. So sugar, and processed foods, especially highly refined carbohydrates, make insulin go way up. These are super concentrated foods, they have a huge glucose response in your body, which causes a huge insulin surge to try to bring your blood sugar down. This is a big problem.
When you’re constantly eating refined carbs and sugar, you are in way higher levels of glucose and way higher levels of insulin. Okay, and then the whole system is jacked up. So eating all the time, and eating processed foods with a lot of sugar will put your body in a state I have constantly elevated insulin, which puts your body in this state of constantly in this fat storage mode. Okay?
Which can lead to insulin resistance, which can lead to obesity, but it definitely causes weight gain, for sure. Okay. So the big question is, I know what you’re thinking, and I have an answer for you. The big question is, I didn’t get your insulin levels down. How do you get your hormones back in balance? How do you, you know, get that insulin production down, get it into the normal ranges?
So you can become that lean, mean fat burning machine. How do you get your body back into the fat burning mode and lose weight, because that’s what we’re talking about here. There’s two things you can do, you can change what you eat, and you can change when you eat.
So first, you need to change what you eat, you need to eliminate the foods that cause those huge insulin spikes. So mainly, you’re not going to like to hear this. But here’s the truth, you need to stop eating sugar and refined carbs. What? I know it sounds terrible. But everything you eat causes insulin to rise somewhat.
Sugar and highly refined carbs create this intense glucose response in your body. And they cause the highest insulin spike. If you were to just cut out eating sugar and refined carbs, you are going to decrease your insulin like crazy and you will start losing weight, I guarantee it. It’s hard to do, I can teach you how to do it. It’s hard to do on your own for sure. But if you can do that, then you are going to be well on your way to getting your hormones in balance and starting to lose weight.
One thing that I would encourage you to do is to just eat whole food, eat the kind of food that we’ve been eating for millennia. Okay? If it comes with a, if your food if you’re buying food that has a nutrition label on it, it’s probably not what you want to eat. You want to eat the stuff that’s on the outside of the store, you know, the produce, the meat, the fish, the dairy, like, stick with this stuff on the outside, okay.
Try to get away from the sugar and refined carbs, you know, and then check those labels because there are so many different types of sugar that is put into food, especially food that says like low fat or whatever, like stay away from low fat stuff all together. But when you see food and it says like, you know, healthy, whatever, low fat look at the label and see what kinds of sugar are in there.
So a lot of times there’s not added sugar, or there’s added sugar, but it’s hidden. So it’ll be called like agave nectar, or brown rice syrup or maltodextrin. Like they have all these different names for sugar. I think there’s something like 78 different names for sugar. And they try to confuse us. So they actually put sugar in the ingredients like six times.
But it’s all these crazy names. And so you think like, oh, like sugar is like only the 12th ingredient on here, you know, and oh, this must be good for me. But then they’ve hidden sugar and all these other ways. So anyway, stay away from food with labels. How about that idea? Okay.
Really, the best thing you can do is just eat whole foods. Just eat like fruits, vegetables, meat, fish protein, dairy, poultry, like all the good stuff, right? There’s so many options out there for you. But the sugar and the refined carbs are poisoning us. And it’s making us overweight, it’s keeping us from losing weight. Okay, so if you want to lose weight, drop the sugar, drop the highly refined carbs. Okay. So that’s number one, that’s changing what you eat.
Number two, is you need to change when you eat. So basically eating less often. So you know, insulin levels go up every time you eat any kind of food. So one of the simplest things you can do to get your insulin levels down, is to just not eat anything at all. And here’s the thing, like, I know what you’re thinking like, dude, I’m not going to starve myself. And I’m not talking about that. Okay?
But um, one of the things you can do to extend the time where you don’t have food in your system to give your insulin levels a chance to go down, is to stop eating snacks altogether. Okay, let’s just start there. So there was this time back in the 50’s. Like and prior to that where there was no such thing as snacks. There was no snacking going on. People would eat their three meals a day. And that was fine.
But back then starting in the 50s, the big food companies were like, hey, we got to make more money, we got to sell more food. How do we get people to eat more food? And so they came up with this whole category called snacks, okay? And they could, you know, they would tell people like you need a little pick me up in mid morning. So have a mid morning snack. And feeling love lethargic after lunch, you know, have an afternoon snack.
And then after dinner, you need a little snack, you need some dessert, you know, so we’re basically eating three snacks and three meals a day, we’re eating six times a day, here in the United States. I mean, a lot of other countries don’t do that. But at least here I know, for a fact, most people eat five or six times a day.
So your body is always in this state of elevated insulin levels, okay, you’re always in this state of storing fat, we never give our bodies a chance to lower that insulin and so that we can, you know, become fat burners. Okay, so we always have food in our system. So one of the biggest things you can do, and the easiest thing you can do is to just don’t eat something in between meals, like that’s number one.
And it’s so easy, it doesn’t cost any money to do this. You don’t have to like add anything, you don’t have to figure anything out, you don’t have to decide what you’re going to do, like just don’t do anything, just don’t eat anything. All right.
Another thing you can do is extend the amount of time between meals. And I get into this in my program. And I talk about intermittent fasting. And I’m not going to talk about that right now. But one thing you can do is extend the amount of time between your dinner and your breakfast the next day.
So if you want to give your body just a little bit more of a chance to get those insulin levels down and get into fat burning mode, eat your dinner a little bit earlier, you know, maybe an hour earlier than you normally do, and eat your breakfast like an hour later than you normally do. Okay, so extend that what we call the fasting window, you’re you’re fasting every day anyway, unless you eat while you’re sleeping, which I do know somebody that does that, which is crazy.
But if you’re eating dinner at let’s say, you know, seven o’clock, usually, and then you eat breakfast at seven o’clock. So that’s like a 12 hour window of fasting, you know, maybe just extend it, you know, eat at 6pm dinner and then eat breakfast at eight o’clock. And so now you’ve got like a 14 hour window there.
So you’ve given your body two extra hours, and you won’t even notice that really, you know, have your coffee in the morning, whatever you need to do, but just don’t eat, just push that back a little bit, you will find that you will. These two things combined, like getting rid of the sugar and flour and then extending periods where you’re not eating will actually have a huge effect on your body’s ability to get into fat burning mode and lose weight.
These two ideas are gold, they are absolutely gold. What the idea here is we’re trying to access the fuel that we have on board, we’re trying to access the fuel that we have on our bodies, which is our own fat and we have tons and tons of this on our bodies we do we have pounds of it that we can use it.
And a pound of fat has way more calories than a pound of you know, whatever. Fat has more calories than glucose, okay, so like fat is a better fuel source for us than sugar is anyway. So get rid of their sugar, you know and start accessing your fat, you’re gonna have tons of energy, you’re gonna feel amazing, and you will start losing weight. It’s awesome. And this and what you do here with these couple of simple things I’m talking about is you get your hormones back in balance. Regulating your hormones is critical. If you want to lose weight, and if you want to start becoming a lean, mean, fat burning machine. Okay, got to get those hormones regulated.
So I know I talked about a lot of stuff here, a lot of science. Let me just recap really quickly. Okay. One of the main reasons why you can’t lose weight, your hormones are out of whack. increased insulin levels puts your body into fat storage mode. Elevated insulin also causes ghrelin and leptin to stop working properly. So you’re always hungry, you never feel full and you constantly overeat, which makes it even worse.
You can put even more weight on your body okay, so increased insulin causes your body to become a fat store. When you decrease insulin, when you lower the insulin levels in your body, you become a fat burner. It means that ghrelin and leptin start functioning properly. So your hormones are all in balance, you aren’t hungry all the time, you aren’t hangry all the time.
And when you do eat, you feel full and you feel more satisfied for longer. How do we reduce insulin, we change what we eat, and we change when we eat. So we eliminate the two main causes of insulin spikes, which is sugar and refined carbs, eat whole foods, and then we eat less often, we just eliminate the snacks, and maybe extend our fasting nightly fasting period by an hour or two.
So the second part of this three part series, the second secret to permanent weight loss is basically your hormones are causing you to gain weight. And it’s not your fault, it’s totally changeable, you can fix this easily. And I teach you exactly how to do all of this in my weight loss master class.
If you really want to become a lean running machine, you have to get your body out of the fat storage mode and into the fat burning mode. Reducing insulin is perhaps the most powerful thing you can do to solve the physical aspect of permanent weight loss. So in the next episode, in part three of this series, I’m going to be covering the mental and emotional aspects of permanent weight loss.
So most diet programs, they tell you what to eat here, eat this food, do this and good luck, you should be fine. Just eat this stuff right here. They don’t tell you what to do when you have all these crazy cravings. When you have withdrawal from when you stop eating sugar, let’s say when you have these uncontrollable urges around food, when you have this unhealthy relationship with food, they don’t tell you what to do with all that.
They don’t tell you what to do when you start feeling your feelings, you just want to eat over it and you just say eff it and you eat all the food anyway, this is why most diets don’t work. This is why a lot of the approaches that most nutrition coaches take just doesn’t work either. Because they basically just tell you what to eat, they give you a nutrition plan to follow.
And my approach is very different. The way I work with my clients, it’s vastly more effective. It’s basically 100% effective, because I provide solutions for all of the factors involved, that contribute to being overweight and I provide solutions for all the things that are the root causes of weight gain, not just the physical stuff line, what to eat, but the mental and emotional factors as well.
Okay, so we’re going to talk about that in the next episode, so stay tuned for that you will not want to miss it. And then one more quick little reminder. The next weight loss masterclass starts June 1, I only take a few people through the program at a time, each person gets a lot of my personal attention and they get personal coaching time with me. It’s actually like the probably the most affordable way of working with me as your weight loss coach. But you have to get signed up now because it will fill up innerfiretribe.com/stopovereating to get signed up. Remember, if nothing changes, then nothing changes.
You know, if you want different results in your life, you have to take different actions. I know it feels uncomfortable, I know that it will be challenging for you. That’s why I created this six week program to basically walk you through all of the tough stuff step by step and help you to get to the other side where you become the person that you want to be.
Where you start to feel good about yourself again, where you start to love yourself again, where you feel good about your body and you feel you feel good about your mind. I want this for you. I’ve experienced this, I’ve learned how to do it. I’ve learned the formula.
So I’ve put together this system and this program that works wonders. I want you to be a part of this. So please join me. innerfiretribe.com/stopovereating, sign up today. That’s all I got for you here. Can’t wait to see you on the next episode. And as always, I have lots and lots of love for each and every one of you. I’ll talk to you soon.
If you’ve tried to lose weight by running miles and miles, are starving yourself, and you’ve had zero results, you are not alone. This model of weight loss is broken. It’s never worked, and it has to be replaced. That’s why I created a powerful new training just for you called How to Become a Lean Running Machine. You’ll discover why running more and eating less does not work for weight loss, and you’ll learn the three secrets of losing weight and keeping it off for good to get this free training right now just go to therunningmindpodcast.com/lean and learn how you can become a lean running machine.