After three months of being coached by Angelo Poli, Steve Farber brings him back on the show to talk about real body transformation. Angelo is the Founder of a fitness and nutrition company called MetPro. In a previous interview, he talked about his approach to fitness and nutrition. Today, they tackle the particulars of Steve’s fitness journey and do a live coaching session. Whether you’re a skinny guy who’s never been able to put on muscle or a woman who just wants more energy as you get older, you’re going to find this episode a gem.
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Real Body Transformation Part 2 With Angelo Poli
Welcome to another episode. This is part two of a session and interview with Angelo Poli, who’s the Founder of a fitness and nutrition company called MetPro. I interviewed him first on episode number 44 where we talked about his approach to fitness and nutrition. He’s a passionate enthusiast about fitness in all of its forms and has an incredibly deep knowledge of how the human metabolism works. I started working with him in his program around the time of that first show interview. It’s been a few months and checking in with him after three months of being coached by him.
In fact, a little bit later on in this episode, he’s going to do a live coaching session with me and all my particulars of my fitness journey. We’re doing the proverbial open book on this and we’re going to finish off the episode with an invitation for anybody who’s compelled by this to join me in this process. It’s quite something. First, let’s geek out a little bit with Angelo Poli, fitness expert to everybody from NFL players, professional bodybuilders, to powerlifters, to executives and business people and folks like you and me who want to get healthier. Enjoy my conversation with Angelo. Here we go.
Angelo Poli, welcome back to the show. It’s good to see you, my friend.
It’s awesome to be back. This is exactly where I wanted to be. I’ve been looking forward to talking to you.
I’ve been looking forward to this. How long has it been now? It’s been a while since our last show or since I started with you. We recorded part one of this show. It’s episode number 44. For those who haven’t read it before, feel free to go back and review it. I’ve been on this MetPro journey with you for a while and I do want to talk about that and want to get real with my own numbers and journey so far. We’ll do a little live coaching, let people see what it is that you do but I want to start a little bit of a higher level. First of all, we talked a little bit about your personal journey last time. As I went back and listened to our talk, I didn’t get any of the gory details and I’m a gory details kind of guy. Tell me a little bit about your story, your personal challenge that led you into this work.
I always wanted to get into the fitness industry because I enjoyed it personally. I loved working out. It was one of those guys that hanging out at the gym and enjoyed exercise and I owned a window cleaning business. Did I tell you that last time? I think I mentioned that. I would do like Ford dealerships and Raley shopping centers and it’s a little thing. I was a kid. I was in my late teens and entrepreneurial. I would do that in the day. In the evenings, I would go to the gym and one day an older, a more mature–aged woman approached me and she said, “You look like you know how to work out. Why don’t you teach me a thing or two? I want to get in shape and trying to get healthy.”
I’m some kid but I was like, “I want to give this a shot.” She became, unbeknownst to me, I didn’t know this is what was taking place, my first client relationship. She became my first fitness client essentially. I exercise with her. I helped her head out some sugar. She actually quit smoking. She lost 60 pounds. She married her high school sweetheart. This is the woman in her 60s. It was one of those wow moments. This is cool. It motivated me to say, “I want to do this for a living.” I knew nothing at that point. I didn’t even know how little I knew at that juncture of my very young life but she said to me, “Do you mind helping my friend? She’s about 30 years younger than I am and has a little more weight to lose but she’s healthy and she’s willing to work hard.” I did the exact same thing with her at her. I fed her the same types of food, same types of exercise. She lost 5 pounds. I couldn’t handle that. I had to know why. I certainly didn’t do anything different. She wasn’t in the closet eating Oreos. I know that.You can impact your body, your physiology, and your health with nutritional manipulation. Click To Tweet
Why did I get such a dramatic difference between person A and person B when seemingly it would have been person A that would have had the harder time? I ended up diving headfirst into my studies. I would read anything I can get my hands on. I was going back and we were reading all of the latest nutrition, books, diet books, fads and everything there was. All the different strategies on exercise styles. By the way, we’re now a few decades removed from that. They go in a big loop. It’s the same stuff that resurfaces, a little different shine on it but they go in rotations. I dove into that and got about 2.5 to 3 years in and I was having some back pain. It was a bummer.
You were having some back pain.
All of a sudden, I couldn’t hand my client’s dumbbells anymore. I couldn’t stand on my feet for more than 1 or 2 hours. If you’re a personal trainer, that doesn’t work. I ignored it for a long time and it got pretty devastating. My poor wife had to deal with me. I was almost like a patient for almost a decade.
It went on for ten years of almost debilitating back pain.
I was in my early twenties when this first happened and I was 29 when I finally had a lumbar fusion, which is the big surgery where they actually go in and put metal inside your body and get rid of one of the discs connecting to your vertebrae. That helped but even after that, you’re talking ten years of compromised physiology. There’s a lot of recoveries and a long road to recovery after that. It was pretty brutal, Steve. Multiple times I almost decided this career path isn’t for me but I enjoyed the nerd side of it all. I started doing the lectures and I started doing seminars and education. What I would do is I would oversee the nutrition side from multiple programs, facilities and clubs. I would speak at hospitals and colleges.
I remember I spoke at one of my more entertaining lectures at a highway patrol, basically on how you can impact your body, your physiology and your health with nutritional manipulation. I started focusing on that for a number of years. It turned out that there is a silver lining in that. What’s the saying? “Necessity is the mother of invention.” When people would come to me, my time isn’t worth anything, it was a result. I learned quickly how to push on the buttons that would get the best results. Ironically, it wasn’t learning how to do a different variation of an upright row in the gym. Not that I’m not all about that too. It’s, “Let’s talk about your day, your time management, what you’re eating, what you’ve been eating and what we’re going to adjust your eating to next and how that then dovetails into your training and intention cycle of what we’re trying to do.”
You can boil it down to most people. The worst you can say about their strategy is it had an identity crisis. Nowadays, when the professional athlete calls me up, this is someone who’s paid X millions of dollars to perform on their field or in their sport. They’re not calling me up because the cyclist doesn’t know how to cycle or a football player doesn’t know how to run a touchdown. They’re calling me up to analyze their time allocation critically, only they don’t realize that’s what they’re asking.
They’re not saying, “Angelo, can you help me with the schedule during my day?” That’s not what they think they’re calling you about.
The first thing I would do is I would do a recall of how you’re spending your hours throughout your day. I would find that athlete A has been training for 16, 18 hours a week. That’s not uncommon for them. This is their job, their career. We then talk about, “What are your goals?” He says, “Here’s what I want to see improvement in.” We’re talking at that level, improvement is nanoseconds because they’re already the top, the best of the best. They’re already doing all the things. Usually, they have a solid, maybe if not perfect but a solid nutrition plan.
How do they even bust through that level and get better still? People in the CrossFit sport are fun to work in that area because you can see an immediate cause and effect with their performance. It’s the same thing with powerlifting, immediate cause and effect. Are you lifting a larger weight? With team sports, it’s more indirect but it’s still there. What we would find is we’d look at 15, 16 hours of exercise over the course of the week. Here are the items that you’re doing that are directly correlative to your stated goals. Here are the items that are good but accessory or exhilarate. They’re supporting those goals but not direct.
When you say items, you mean exercise, food composition and timing of when you eat. Is that what you mean by it?
What I was referencing was more the exercise but we’re about to go is then we do the exact same process with their food. I’m using the athlete as an example. An athlete who trains fifteen hours a week, I’ll find two hours immediately correlative to them improving what they’re trying to improve. The rest, while great, maybe it’s not immediately correlative, so we rearrange some of their time. The same thing then happens more pointedly with the food too. A lot of people are on a good food program but I tell this illustration all the time. Write down what you’re eating and write down what you’re trying to accomplish. Take that sheet of paper and go to your next–door neighbor who knows nothing about fitness and nutrition but is a smart guy and say, “Johnny, here’s what I’m eating.” Don’t show them your goal. “Based on this, could you guess what I’m trying to do? Could you guess what my goal is?”
The point of this, even a non-professional should be able to look at what someone’s doing and if it’s logical, if it’s cohesive, if it doesn’t have an identity crisis, be able to glimpse at it and say, “Generally speaking, you’re trying to get stronger. You’re trying to lose weight. You’re trying to improve this or improve that.” That’s where the strategy piece comes in. These are broad strokes but over the years of dealing with my own pain and recovery and walking with a cane and having to go through both physical and psychological fatigued of not being the physical man that I used to be. I had to find something else to take some pride in. At that point in my life, it was learning the science of what causes a person’s body to change.
Let me bring you back to that decade where you were essentially debilitated. What I’m hearing there is you were faced with a number of choices, not the least of which being, “Am I still going to pursue this dream of being a fitness coach advisor guy?” From the outside looking in, that doesn’t seem likely anymore. Is there something else I should do? Your first decision was, “No, I want to do this. Even though I’m lying here on my back, I want to do this.” How did you spend your time during that decade? Was that when you went deep into the study and gaining the knowledge of what it takes to help people with this stuff?
That was it because that’s all I could do.
I want to highlight this, Angelo because a lot of people that read this show are business people, entrepreneurs, etc. and not instinct but your follow–through on the instinct that you had is a classic entrepreneurial response. It’s not, “I can’t do that because my back is screwed up.” It’s, “Given that my back is screwed up, what do I need to do to get even better at this than I would have otherwise.” That approach, regardless of what business a person is in, is one that will always serve us because it’s easy for most people to go, “Screw it,” and you didn’t. To the benefit of a lot of thousands of people now, you decided to go deeper instead of running away.
When I was in my early twenties, probably about 3, 4 years into my injury, my doctors, government agencies that I had talked with, actually advised me to turn in the paperwork. I remember I was sitting in the parking lot of the social services building at that time where I lived, papers in hand halfway filled out thinking, “Am I going to walk in and turn in my disability paperwork?” Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate that there are those great government programs for people who genuinely need it because everybody was telling me the severity. I’m never going to be able to do this again and they weren’t wrong. My physical severity was to the point where all indications were that I was not going to be standing on a gym floor again but I didn’t want to go there yet.
I’m not going to say this background music of, “I had a moment of inspiration and I’m going to keep fighting.” I didn’t want to not find a different practical way that even with my circumstance, even if I didn’t recover, that I couldn’t still do something that I loved. It ended up landing this unique scenario where since I could no longer train clients, I helped people with their nutrition. Because that’s all I could do, I would find other trainers to do the fitness piece with them, which resulted in me having a schedule of 50 to 60 people a day I would get on the phone with and, “Did we lose weight? Did we gain weight? Tell me what you ate. How did you respond?” After doing that for about four years, I ended up looking at a couple of things about people and how they actually respond.
That’s what made me question some of the traditional philosophies in the industry, specifically around metabolism and how it actually works. We get fed an opinion of what the metabolism is through the straw of marketing and mainstream media and health, yet all the questions of through the lens of, “I’m doing what I was told to do. Why aren’t I losing weight?” There’s an answer to that question. There’s an actual, tangible, logical answer to, “Here’s what’s happening in the body. Here’s where you’re at. Here’s what it did, nothing’s wrong but here’s what you have to change if you want to X, Y, Z.” That’s basically what I lived for 9.5 years. I was on my road to recovery and I had started dabbling back at the gym. I was still on a cane after my surgery.
I have assistance, but I train some people on the floor again. It was a gratifying experience that over that course of time, I had developed some relationships. Hopefully, I built enough of a reputation but that was when I got the phone call from Aaron Rodgers inviting me to work with him. I got to work with him for about 3 to 3.5 years. He was actually my first on the floor client back that I didn’t need the cane for. It may not have gone that way. It could easily have been that I ended up going a different path and whatever that path would have been, I would have made it work too. I’m very thankful for the people I had in my life and for the support I got and for the great medical doctors that I got to work with. I stuck with it, now I get to do what I love, Steve.
At what point did you start to institutionalize your knowledge? In other words, at what point did you start to capture in your database and what you were learning? That’s the other key. How many thousands and thousands of trainers and aspiring trainers and fitness coaches and nutrition coaches and dieticians? It’s a countless number and many of them are excellent. Many of them are, let’s say, not, just like anything else. It’s like in my industry, it’s easy to call yourself an executive coach or a leadership coach or a life coach. Everybody’s a coach nowadays. There’s no barrier to entry but you can get certifications and all that.
Do you know what they call the doctor that graduates last in his class? That applies to all industries.
My point is that again, your approach is different than most because at some point you said, “I’m learning something that’s significant and I’m learning something that is replicable, which means I can teach other people to do this. Not only my clients but other coaches.” At some point, technology came into play. What was the impetus for that?
The timeframe you’re asking about is when did I start recognizing a pattern and systemizing it. That actually happened in my mid–twenties, maybe late–twenties, when I was the busiest doing seminars and speaking. In fact, the seminar that I gave at that point that was the most frequently requested was entitled Does This Diet Make Me Look Fat? It was an expose on the weight loss industry, in particular, the impact on women’s metabolism. People loved hearing the realities of how the metabolism actually works versus what the mainstream diet industry suggests. When I would give these and I had other seminars I gave that were popular as well but that was the most requested. I started using intake forms for anyone who had come to one of the lectures. I noticed that I started stripping a bunch of stuff off the intake forms and replacing it with other stuff because it’s like, “This isn’t helping me. I want to give a person as much info in an hour as I possibly can. This doesn’t help but I seem to rely on this.”
For example, what did you throw away from conventional wisdom?
It’s age, height, weight and gender. If someone says, “How do I lose weight?” Whether it be your male or female matters but it’s way lower on the totem pole than you would guess. I know people are going, “No way. That can’t be,” but here’s what does matter. What are you eating? More accurately, not what are you eating. What is your body used to? I can give you some social and cultural norms based on our society. If you’re a male and you say, “I don’t eat well.” That usually means that you’re eating a lot worse and I’m not trying to be in any stance or any mess. I’m talking about the eating habits of people over the last three decades. If you’re a female and say, “I’m trying to eat better but I don’t do so great on the weekends.”
It’s likely, the male is eating a lot more calories that are not helping him. His body is used to a lot more junk food. Therefore, when he goes on a diet, when he simply cuts out soda pop, men lose so much more weight than women. Men eat so much happier than women often. There arere all the other physiological elements that go into that but generally speaking, it’s the gap between what their body is used to and what they changed it to. There are always exceptions to this rule. Typically speaking, if I change a female’s diet from watching what you ate to a very specific diet, we’re manipulating 20%, 30% of their intake. Whereas I have guys that come in and they wake up and for breakfast, it’s a doughnut and a cup of coffee. For lunch, it’s Mexican food, Italian foods, you name it. It’s chips for a snack. It’s the fast–food drive–through on the way back to warm them up for a few beers.
Maybe we’re saying like, “I would never eat like that,” but we know someone who does. When that person goes on a diet, it doesn’t matter what diet they go on, they’re going to lose weight because it’s not what you eat, it’s the contrast between what your body was used to and what you change it to. It has taken this notion of men to lose weight faster physiologically than women, which is a truism and biologically and testosterone. We can go into all of that. That is a truism but it has exacerbated that assumption more so because there’s usually more contrast in what we can manipulate in someone’s diet who’s eating more calories. Let me tell you, Steve, it happened so many times. I’m sitting in my office and there’s this little itty–bitty wife and this rotund, very happy, portly husband and she’s smacking him and saying, “I told you not to eat that. You shouldn’t be eating that. It’s bad for you.”
He sits there like, “I don’t know. I didn’t think I was eating very much.” It doesn’t always mean that men can lose weight faster. Sometimes it is the absolute other way around. I’ve seen it over and over again. I can go on and on with things that we think are relevant. Many people are like, “I’m trying to lose weight. What are you doing to lose weight?” “I work out five mornings a week.” I was like, “Great. Now raise your hand if you’re eating healthy.” Half the room where raise their hand and I’m like, “Great. Raise your hand if you’re actually losing weight.” Maybe only a fifth of the room will raise their hand. I said, “Now raise your hand if you know what you’re going to eat tomorrow at lunch.” No one in the room raises their hand.
That question is the most correlative to people who are losing weight. If you’re in the group that says, “I’m losing weight.” 9 out of 10 times, you also know what you’re eating tomorrow for lunch. Sometimes I’ll divide the room and I’ll say, “Favorite meal plan you’ve ever gone on with best results?” “I’ve done low–carb. I’ve done this or I’ve done that or I’ve tried this and I’ve been vegetarian and vegan and intermittent fasting and keto and Mediterranean and South Beach and blood type.” We can go on and on. “You’re going to do your favorite meal plan. The one that’s worked best for you. That’s the right side of the room,” except for the left side of the room is actually going to lose more weight. They’re only going to do one thing. They’re going to eat anything they want but here’s the rule. You have to put it in your lunch box a day in advance. If it’s not already in your lunch box, you can’t eat it. The left side of the room will always lose more weight.
Is that because it’s forcing a person to make a more conscious choice about what they’re going to eat?
People think, “Why is somebody eating this food? They must really like it.” Do you know why people eat food? It’s because they’re busy and it had close proximity. That’s why people eat food that they know they shouldn’t. That is the American way. Our culture and our lifestyle here, breakfast is no problem. I know this will shock some of you. Dinner’s not the issue either because dinner, at least culturally, that’s a time where we will take the time to make a meal, eat with the family, even go out to a restaurant and eat. Now, that’s a value system issue. That’s a personal preference and how we’re making choices in our life issue. The real issue is between 9:30 AM and 4:00 PM because we eat based on brevity, fast. “I’m not scheduling time for a formal lunch. I’m not scheduling time for snacks. I’m working on paying the bills. I’m dropping off the kids, I’m doing the daily chores. When my body reminds me that it needs some fuel, I’m going to stop and grab whatever convenient.”The real issue is between 9:30 AM and 4:00 PM because we eat based off brevity and grab whatever is convenient. Click To Tweet
Even if you’re at home right now in COVID and you’re not going out and doing those things and you have your refrigerator nine feet away from you, still, we somehow managed to get so busy that we don’t want to stop and take time to chop vegetables and prepare a meal so we grab whatever is convenient. There are outliers but that ends up for the average person having the greatest influence over what they actually eat versus food preferences, intention, diet, they’re on and you name it, long-term.
Not everybody that comes to MetPro is trying to lose weight. There are other people that are maybe competing for a bodybuilding competition or there are people that want to feel better or there are people that may be like, “I’ve been lean and skinny my whole life but I can’t put muscle mass on.” There’s a lot of different reasons people will come to you. I’m assuming the same principles apply. It’s the application of them that would be different.
You’re 100%, Steve. It’s the exact same process, exact same principles. By the way, for some folks that have that ectomorphic body type and hypermetabolism that love exercise but struggle to put on weight, it can be as hard for them to gain weight as it can be for some of us to lose weight. As much intention and focus has to go into it. That’s where the strategy comes in. You brought up, “What do people come for?” The number one thing is usually entrepreneur, businessman, professional dedicated his life or her life to their family and through their career. Now they’re in their early 50s and they’re starting to look at the big picture and health and, “How do I enjoy the success that I’ve had?”
They start to realize or they’ve had a conversation with their doctor, “Health has been on my list. It has been too low on my list.” Honestly, that’s the number one reason that I will hear that people will reach out to us. Within the framework of that, there’s usually, “How do I take the weight off efficiently? How do I lose a few pounds? How do I lean up?” I’ve worked with multiple people who used to be on The Biggest Loser Ranch after the fact. Some immediately after some years after. I’ve worked with a gal who hired me to slow her metabolism because she was going on one of those reality TV shows where she was going to be without food or shelter for 21 days. She wanted to have a slower metabolism going into that. I’ve had people wanting to do something very specific. In the physique world, they used to work with a lot of people who are already competitive, physique or bodybuilders or fitness figures looking to get their pro card. They got to rank a little bit higher at a qualifying. I worked with a lot in that world.
A lot of people in the CrossFit world are doing very well, trying to get their rankings up a little higher to qualify for whatever level they’re at and age group they are in. The same thing with powerlifting, with team sports, Olympic athletes and endurance athletes. By and large, business people, professionals, executives, family, men and women. The problem is whatever your goal is, you can go into Google and type in, “How do I build muscle. How do I lose weight?” You’re going to get lots of good advice. The problem is going to be literally 1,000 different recommendations. I’m going to tell you the secret right now, all of them are right. It worked for someone. I’ve seen it all. There are so many meal plans out there. There are so many strategies out there.
I’ll read you something. I remember the ‘90s doing the low–fat and the cardio and the sweatbands and the whole thing and running physiques. It worked. In the early 2000s, it was the big, low-carb craze. We called it Atkins back then. You’re going to get hate mail for that. “No, Atkins and keto are totally different.” The mechanic behind it is not totally different but hopefully, the application improves over time as with anything. There’s that approach and guess what I’ve seen? Stunning, gorgeous, healthy physiques then there’s a big and there’s still a very large community of people who prefer plant–based. When done, guess what I see? I see stunning, gorgeous physiques.
I’m going to read you something that you’ll get a kick out of. Hopefully, your readers will get a kick out of this. The last book that I wrote was I took an excerpt out of that old seminar that I used to give, Does This Diet Make Me Look Fat, where we did an expose on diet. Have you seen the videos, Dancing Through The Decades? This is Diet Through The Decades. In the early 1900s, Horace Fletcher, nicknamed The Great Masticator, advocated chewing food until it was reduced to a liquid state. The practice became known as Fletcherism. It’s one of the first formal diets. In 1928, an Arctic Explorer Vilhjalmur Stefansson promoted the Inuits diet of meat from seals, whales, caribou and waterfowl. This high-fat, low-carb diet would be considered ketogenic by nowadays standard.
The carnivore diet as well.
In 1966, the Sleeping Beauty Diet. The dangerous, abusive drugs were referred to in the Jacqueline Susann novel Valley of the Dolls. In 1971, The Grapefruit Diet. It gained popularity, promoting the use of grapefruits for weight loss. In 1975, the Cookie Diet based on meal replacement, a specialty formulated cookies was touted for weight loss. In 1977, we saw the birth of SlimFast and its strategy to replace any two meals a day. The love of cabbage increased in 1980 thanks to the Cabbage Soup Diet, which was to eat cabbage soup for ten days straight. In 1981, Judy Mazel’s The Beverly Hills Diet became a best seller and it advocated nothing but fruit for ten days straight. It actually drew quite a bit of criticism from the medical community at that time. In 1985, Jenny Craig popularized food delivery in the US because I believe it was already going on in Australia.
I could have that backward. It’s been a minute but in 1985 in the US, Jenny Craig started it and it wasn’t a diet. It was actually a food delivery system. Guess what that resulted in? In 1988, the Liquid Diet, also known as OPTIFAST, gained popularity when Oprah Winfrey lost weight on it. Her public battle with weight continued years later. In 1990, companies like Nabisco, Sara Lee, PepsiCo and McDonald’s all reduced to new food products in this new category called low–fat in response to the market’s interest. In 1996, getting a little more current here. I know it’s still a way to go but the naturopathic physician, Dr. Peter D’Adamo popularized the Blood Type Diet. 2000, we were introduced to Jared Fogle and his absurdly large pair of pants while standing out front of the Subway.
Though conceived much earlier, the Atkins Diet stepped into the mainstream in 2003. That’s when that became popular. Master Cleanse gained popularity after Beyonce reportedly using it for her 2006 role in the movie Dreamgirls. In 2007, less food was heated over 104 degrees, some people say 103 degrees, as the Raw Food Diet gained popularity. In 2010, this was a thing. People shopped the baby food aisles for the Baby Food Diet. I believe it was Jennifer Anniston, whether it actually happened or it was taken out of context, was using baby food to get ready for something as a convenience tool. It actually became a thing.
Which goes all the way back to chewing your food until it’s liquid.
The sale of replacement shakes and bars is still popular and growth seems to outpace over-the-counter diet pills. That’s a stat that might surprise some. The prescription obesity drug market has been flat for years since 2010. An estimated 239,000 bariatric surgeries are performed in the US in 2018. Dieters wanting clean foods with fewer preservatives, GMOs and artificial sweeteners are forcing much of the food industry to reformulate their products. That’s good. That’s a trend we like seeing. Millennials are the first generation of dieters who prefer avoiding brick-and-mortar weight loss centers, like the Power Records that I remember growing up with, the brick-and-mortar and CD shops. It’s the same thing with the diet centers. Weight loss in the US hit a new fiscal peak and financial peak in 2018 of over $70 billion.
There’s a whole other category that you didn’t mention, which is the various network marketing companies. The first huge one was Shaklee in terms of the diet area or Herbalife maybe. If then Shaklee had their stuff, in more recent years, you’ve got companies like I said, Gen X, which is a big, growing, vibrant company. Weight loss has become part of what they do but a lot of them were variations on that substitute two meals a day with some a shaker or a supplement.
Hundreds of occupants on all of these and they all exist not because someone wrote it down on a piece of paper. Someone tried it, got a great result and said, “I’m going to tell this to other people.” They all work. The thing is, what’s going to work for you. That’s where the technology can come in and help to track your metabolic rate and analytics.
By the way, way back when, I can’t even remember what year this was. It had to be the late ‘80s. When was The Grapefruit Diet? When was that timeframe again?
The Grapefruit Diet was around 1971.
It resurfaced in television commercials and you took the grapefruit pill and all that. I met the guy that I was told was the developer of it. He might’ve been the marketer for it. I met him. He was in Florida. I was visiting a relative down there and he introduced me to him. He said, “By the way, this is the guy that does The Grapefruit Diet.” Guess what this guy looked like? He was enormous. He filled up the car. I remember thinking, “I guess that’s why he’s not on his own commercials.” Maybe it did work for him but at some point but the fact that you’re saying that all of these diets work, what I’m also hearing is that therefore all of these diets at some point don’t work anymore.
They’re missing the point. The mechanic is your body acclimates to its environment. If what you introduce is a chain, your body will acclimate. If it’s a net increase in fuel and that can be via calories, carbohydrates, etc., your body mass will increase until your metabolism recreate homeostasis and stops increased body weight. Your body has to perform that function and it has to conclude that function. If it ever cannot, you die. The same thing happens with weight loss. You go on any meal plan and if it is a net decrease or it manipulates your calories, carbohydrates intake in some way that net-net results in you starting to lose weight. The job of the metabolism is to acclimate to that change and recreate homeostasis. It needs to do that. Some people genetically, that process happens efficiently and it’s frustrating.
In some people, that process isn’t as efficient and they seem to lose weight easier. It’s a flip-flop but it will happen. Otherwise, you die. We’re good at adapting. People get up for a while and up not so much and vice versa. Yes, your genetics and who you are, where you’re at all play an effect. Going back to what originally spurred this whole conversation on was what things did I start tracking is what’s the most relevant? What I found was the most relevant is, what is the person used to eating much more relevant to me than their gender, their age, their height, their weight? All those things are important. I want to know that too. It’s common sense here but when it comes down to what’s going to give us the data needed to answer the question, what should you eat? It’s always going to be where the person’s body is at? What are they used to? What have they done? I would love to talk all about you now, Steve.
Let’s find ourselves a Guinea pig. Let’s see. Here’s one. I’ll give you a little fuller context. I’ve done Atkins and keto. I did the carnivore diet strictly for six months. For the uninitiated, the carnivore diet is a new take on keto. It’s all animal products. A compelling argument for it and all that. I lost a good amount of weight, then the COVID hit. Back in the early days of the COVID, I’ve been stirred crazy. I said, “I got to give myself a psychological break once a week.” I allowed myself one cheat meal on Saturday night. That cheat meal turned into a cheat evening, which turned into a cheat afternoon, which turned into, “Why not Sunday too?”
It was a cheat weekend and this went on for quite some time. The other thing that people who know me have heard me say this many times. I didn’t put on a pair of pants in ten months because I wear my workout shorts. When I’m doing a gig, I put on a blazer and a nice shirt and I’m barefoot and I’m wearing my Lululemon shorts or whatever. I didn’t know what was happening with my body. Finally, I said, “I’ve got to have the moment. I’ve got to have the step on the scale moment.” I stepped on the scale and I had gained 20 pounds in not a very long period of time. I said, “I got to do something about this. I’m not traveling. I’m not going anywhere. It should be pretty easy for me but what am I going to do?” I go back to low–carb. That’s when you and I met and I started working with you. I know what it says on my scale but from your perspective, tell me what you’re seeing so far in me.
Steve is a rock star. That’s obvious. Here’s where you’re at. When we started, you had already started coming back down. You’d already started losing weight from that high. Now when we started, you were 1 or 2 days in. You were at your high from my perspective of 246.
I’m 5’10” at 246.Any weight we lose is free weight. Click To Tweet
How much weight should Steve lose? The problem is a traditional methodology and traditional thought in the industry and frankly, this is both, traditional and medical and fitness. He’s male. He’s this tall. He weighs this much but that was so much less relevant to me in knowing how much weight he should lose and at what pace than learning, “Steve started at 250 to 255. Now, he’s already cleaned up his diet and he’s lost about 10 pounds already. Now his body is used to this. What’s he used to? When I dive into what he’s eating, he’s not eating anything outrageous. He’s eating modest, reasonable calories. He’s eating mostly low–carb and he’s already lost 10 pounds and his weight loss hasn’t stopped but it’s slowed a little. Now, what’s next?”
What we did was we continued the cutting cycle. Basically, would call it a fat–burning cycle where we now switched you to eating more meals frequently. It’s not that small meals frequently is always the answer but given your circumstance, it was a relevant tool. We actually added some carbohydrates back and we dropped your calories slightly. Why? Is it because that’s the best way to do it? No. That was the best way to do it for Steve looking big picture because as a tool, we were running out of efficacy from cutting carbs. You‘ve got the benefit out of it. Your body was starting to do its job and acclimate to those low carbs. I needed to get your body used to carbs again so we could pull that out as the tool later with relevance. You started losing weight but it was slow. You were asking me, “Is this right? I’m not that hungry. I could eat a little less.” Remember, I kept saying, “No, I want you to keep eating that way.”
You guys had me eating, still have me eating five times a day. What I was doing before is I was eating 1 or 2 times a day, doing a lot of intermittent fasting. I haven’t had breakfast for years, actually. I’m eating a lot, I’m never hungry. Can we make me hungrier and this will go faster? That’s where I was coming from.
Believe it or not, I get asked that question all the time. Having done this for years and years and watching stats, what you want to find is actually the highest intake possible that will still trigger weight loss. It can’t be too slow because then you’ll lose moments and lose motivation. What happens is if you can lose weight, eating a little more, your metabolism, they got it wrong. It’s not death and taxes. It’s death, taxes and plateau. Those are the three things you can count on. You will plateau. When we’d hit 230, I think we were around like the 237. It was slowing a bit but you were still losing. I said, “No, we’re going to wait here until you don’t lose any more weight and then we’re going to make another cut.” Why? Any weight we lose is free weight because if I get it off of you without having to take away a carb or calories or something that now your metabolism is going to get used to, it may take a little longer. It’s 2 or 3 more pounds that otherwise weren’t going to come. We took our time. We got a few more pounds off. We got you all the way down to 232. That was 14 pounds down.
I’ve been as low as 230 and stayed there for four days in a row.
Except it wasn’t surprising that you stayed there because what did we start at the beginning of this week?
We started raising the curbs back up a little bit back, which I’m not complaining about, by the way. Let me flip it around to the other side of the mirror here for a second. It’s been almost a while since my lowest point. I was at 230, that was 16 pounds total. From my perspective, it’s an adjustment because it’s not like, “Go on this diet and unzip the fat suit and drop it on the floor.” It’s very slow and deliberate. The upside is it’s been very easy to do because I’m never hungry. I also haven’t been traveling. It’s been easy for me to prepare in advance and monitor everything that I’m eating but I’m putting everything in the app.
It’s the other thing I had to get used to is stepping on the scale every morning, which I’ve never done before. It’s an interesting exercise. The scale is not as frightening to me as it used to be. You guys are tracking the moving average. The point is you’re manipulating the combination of carbs, proteins and fats in terms of the ratio between them. That’s the macronutrient formula and how much, the quantity of those things. First of all, one of the things that you told me in the beginning when you said you looked at all my stats and you said, “I think your ideal body weight is going to be around 225,” is what you said to me at the beginning. I have a fair amount of muscle mass and I’ve done a lot of heavy lifting over the years. That was surprising to me because I thought you were going to say something like 185 or 190 or something like that. Tell me, where is your thinking on that?
I think you enjoy weightlifting and your body naturally builds muscle well. If we go down that path, that’s going to be a weight where you’re going to be to have that flat stomach, that light and lean appearance but still be muscular based on your frame and your stature. If you said to me, “What I love is I love endurance sports. I love running and cycling,” that number would have been very different. As an initial number, 225 is going to be the sweet first stop for you. Though based on your recent analytics, I’m thinking we may push down a little farther. I want to explain this. Going back to what defines pace and degree and how fast, we’re going to push for how much someone’s going to lose. That’s your stat.
A lot of the guys reading, maybe to 240 to 250, they’re going to lose 16 pounds in the first three weeks. That happens all the time. It has to do with contrast and where we’re going. In your case, you had already pulled all the levers but I could put you on a crash diet where a starvation plan that you can only sustain for a couple of weeks. That bottoms out your metabolism and then there’s rebound weight gain. That’s what a lot of fad diets promote. Instead, we looked at your highway in front of you and I said, “We’re going to take this amount of weight off, about 15 pounds. We’re going to stop the weight loss. We’re going to do a performance cycle.” This was going to be part of your coaching session.
By the way, before you do this, this is what I love about my experience with you guys. Everybody reading, put yourself in my position. It’s entirely about me. It’s entirely about your client. I love that I’m not having to go like, “What the hell do I do now? I don’t understand it,” all that angst that I’ve dealt with my entire freaking life around this stuff. You’re always very clear on what the next steps are going to be and what your expectations are. That’s what a person has to look forward to and working with this. It’s a great feeling, not feeling like you’re having to figure it out for yourself.
You’re in a unique spot because this is the period of time where we’re going to tow your metabolism now. You were balancing between 230, 232. I remember we added carbs but a tiny bit, like 15, 20 grams. The question is during this cycle, which is going to be a few weeks, during this up and adjust cycle, we’re going to switch you to where you’re doing more of a combination. You’ve been doing almost exclusively cardiovascular work. We’re going to get some weight training going. We’re going to do some cardiovascular work still. We’re going to focus on revving that metabolic rate. We’re going to start increasing your carbohydrates. The question everyone asks is how much weight is it okay for me to gain during this metabolic revving cycle?
The answer is it depends on how many grams of carbs and calories we add. Another 100 grams of carbs, I’m fine with you varying a couple of pounds. You’re 234. I’m fine with that. That’d be average, maybe 120 grams more carbs. If I can get you up to 200 grams carbs a day higher then I’m fine with you at 235 or even 236. Why? It’s giving me contrast. It’s giving me leverage. If I’m only able to get you up 50 grams of carbs higher, I don’t want you gaining more than a pound during this cycle but that’s not what’s going to happen. What’s going to happen is you’re going to come back to me in a few days and you’re going to be about the same. You probably going to be 230 to 233 and we’re going to add a little bit more carbs.
Your body’s going to be more sensitive right now because this is the threshold where your body is actually balancing between holding a little bit more intramuscular hydration, water inside your muscles based on your glycogen stores. As we add these carbs in, we’ve got to do so really slowly. Once we get you over about 140, 150 grams, it won’t be the carbohydrate cost. It’s going to be the calorie cost. I’ll be able to add bigger swabs of carbs at a time without you bouncing up a bunch of pounds. Once we’re there, you’re actually going to hit a point where you peak and your weight comes up a little. Most of that weight is going to be, of course, muscle and muscle hydration because I’m going to have you doing the right training for that. I’m going to have you actually hit the exercise until your weight starts coming back down.
A real common scenario here would be you bounce up to 235 and then we exercise you back down to about 233 and I add more carbs and you pump up to 235. We exercise back down to 233. We rinse and repeat that cycle over the next 3, 5, 7 weeks, depending on how much traction we’re gaining. When we put you back on the cutting cycle, which is going to be similar to the macronutrient meal frequency, timing and all that, that I have you on currently, the fat is going to incinerate off your body. It will dropdown. What are we going to go to? 226, 224, to 220. We’re going to watch and see how your body responds. Maybe we have a field day with the building of muscle. I don’t need your weight super low. I want your body fat percentage low. You’re going to watch how your body responds.
This is where the magic happens. It’s in the re–acclimation cycle where we strategically get you used to more calories and carbohydrates. That’s not a new philosophy. You’ve all heard about it. You have to eat more to lose weight. That is a truism but there needs to be a little asterisk on that says, “Kids, don’t try this at home.” It’s the application of it is very specific. If you miss, you’re gaining body fat. It‘s like, “It’s said I need to eat more to gain weight, so I decided to stop dieting and add a cheeseburger.” That’s not going to go over so well. There’s a very specific window where we can add calories and carbohydrates.
Your metabolism can acclimate to that increase without gaining body fat and we have to repeat that process. That’s where we’re taking you. We’re going to repeat. It’s not about, “It’s week four he needs to start an up adjust cycle.” No. I know you. I know how much weight you lost before we started together. I know what you were eating before we started together. I know what you were eating since we started together. I know exactly how eating that, your body has responded. Now I can strategically say, “Here’s the next step in your eating. Here’s the next step in your training and with reasonable accuracy, here’s what you can expect.”
We talked about this a little bit the last time you were on the show. This is an entirely new experience for me. First of all, I feel good about this approach but I can feel what you’re doing is about repairing the metabolism. It’s the way I interpret it. When I do get to that so-called destination whether it’s 220, 225, whatever it is and I’m at that right weight and body composition and feeling good, that my body should stay there. It’s not about getting back on the roller coaster and saying, “I had that for a little while.” Is that what we’re doing? We’re training the body for the metabolism to work in its best possible way.
Let me tell you how all diets end up going. That’s why it is a lifestyle, not a diet. I know it’s cliche but that is true. The diet is, “I lost a little way. I slowed down so I dieted harder, lost a few more pounds. I slowed down. I dieted even harder. I decided to forget this. I’m going to eat a cheeseburger,” because you’re frustrated. That’s the basic dieting model. It’s because we don’t understand what the metabolism is doing, why the weight loss is slowing down. The fact of the matter is we could have predicted not only what was going to happen but within reason, predicted about the right timeframe and what our next steps would be. Before we hit that crash phase, we’re taking you through. I have an algorithm that we run for people who want to use some of our tools.
If they picked fat loss in that algorithm, they will spend 68% of the time where the algorithm will assess their results against what they’re eating and manipulate their calories based on a cutting or fat burning cycle. Thirty–two percent of the time, they’ll actually be in a metabolic revving cycle where it’s assessing based on what they’re eating, the calories, carbs and response. We’ll be looking to find ways to get more fuel into them without resulting in a fat gain or minimal weight gain. They’ll switch back and forth between those two cycles.
That’s the broad strategy behind what we’re doing with you but it’s very specific to how your body’s responding. When you and I say goodbye, Steve, you’re going to be on an up-adjust, a metabolic revving cycle. It’s going to be the cycle where you’re eating more and more because it fits. “Steve, great job. You did it. You’re there. You’re skinny. You have to keep eating tofu and rice cakes the rest of your life and everything will be great.” Who is going to go for that? That doesn’t work.
People ask me this all the time. “How much do you want to weigh?” “I want to weigh 200 pounds.” “How much do you weigh?” “I weigh 240 pounds.” “Perfect. I’m going to diet you down to 195 and then slowly make you gain back 5 pounds. At the end of that, you’re going to weigh 200 pounds and you’re going to be eating so much food, you’re not going to like me. Now, you own that weight.” She wants to weigh 140 pounds. No problem. I’m going to diet you down to 135. Over a few weeks, we’re going to reintroduce more carbohydrates and calories, etc., until you actually build some muscle and vein up to the weight that you want to be the rest of your life.
Otherwise, it’s a circumstance. It’s not a goal. It’s a flu. It’s not a weight–loss objective. Do you want to drop 5 pounds? Get the flu. You’re going to lose 5 pounds. Does anybody keep that weight off? Never. It’s a circumstance, the temporary scenario that your body finds itself in. If we reset your metabolism, what your bodies used to taking in and how your metabolism is used to running, it does take a little longer, it does take a little more elbow grease but it can be yours to own ongoing. It sets you up for ongoing success. That’s why having some strategy behind it is so important.
We had a discussion about this and I’m this way. When I find something that is extraordinary, I like to tell people about it. I asked you guys to put together something for people in our community, our readers, etc., who would like to engage in this in the same way that I am. This is what you call your concierge service, which is the full-on coaching, the app, etc., unlimited texting, several calls. Unlimited texts and data plan. My point is that it’s a full-on coaching approach, even to the point where I haven’t utilized this because I’m not traveling. If I’m going on a trip to Dallas, I call you up and I say, “I’m staying at the Westin. I’m going to be there for two days.” You guys will actually look at the menu and tell me what to eat. Look at the gym and tell me what to do.
Necessity is the mother of invention. We had so many clients that were on the road so much. What small service can we provide that’s going to eliminate the two steps forward, one step back? “Angelo, I’m nailing it. I’m making progress and then we had a road trip for a week. I got to hop on a plane,” and we take two steps back. That’s a simple solution. It takes us literally three minutes and it makes such a world of difference. Our clients show up and they’re like, “I’m staying at this hotel. Here are the options from my hotel and at two restaurants right nearby. Here’s the best stuff.” Are they perfect? No. You’re on the road. We have to go with whatever is best based on your surroundings but it makes such a difference.
What I’m saying is it’s a full-on, very customized approach and you guys charge $500 a month for that. What’s available for our community?
Your community is MetPro.co/lovebiz. If you come in through that channel, you’ll get to Fritz or you get to talk to Steve. My Steve, Steve Emmons. He’s one of our consultants. He’s fantastic. He’ll actually get to know you. If it ends up being a good fit for you then your community, the Love Biz community, is going to get an extra month on the house. It’ll actually be a little bit better value. We have tools for people who are testing the waters. We have all kinds of entry options for them but we have gotten to work with now a number from your community, people from your community, Steve. They have been awesome. We love getting to work with them. We are not a brokerage.
It’s not, “You call us up. We’re going to introduce you to some fitness guy somewhere in some part of the world.” We talked about this last time. We’re a small, tight–knit group of very passionate professionals that eat big and talk about you. We go over and we problem solve as a team. On our team, we have some talented specialists and people who have a coaching background and wellness and execution and most relevant strategies. We have people with clinical backgrounds, we have exercise physiologists. We have a well-rounded solid team that has one mission and that is to get results for their clients. We love working with folks.
Angelo, once again, fantastic stuff. Restate the obvious. I’m a fan. I appreciate what you guys are doing for me. It’s making a huge difference in my life. On top of that, I appreciate your geekiness around this whole thing. In one of our other episodes, I was talking with Dr. Sandra Kaufmann, who’s a longevity expert. She had a wonderful way of tying this whole discussion into the leadership world and she put it very eloquently. She said, “You can’t lead if you’re dead.” That’s what it all comes down to. Our ability to show up fully, energetically, to be healthy, to be thinking clearly is the raw material for making an impact on the people around us and in the world. It’s the fuel behind doing what we love in the service of people who love what we do. On that note, thanks for reading. Until next time, don’t forget to do what you love in the service of people who love what you do. See you next time.
- Episode number 44 – The True Meaning of Body Transformation with Angelo Poli
- Valley of the Dolls
- The Beverly Hills Diet
- Dr. Sandra Kaufmann – Previous episode
About Angelo Poli
Angelo Poli is an internationally recognized expert in fitness and nutrition. He’s the founder ofMetPro, an evaluation-based health coaching program specializing in transformations. Using a process called “Metabolic Profiling,” MetPro analyzes your metabolism and provides an individualized approach to obtaining your health goals. Angelo has spent much of his career as a motivational speaker and was featured atTEDxChico, where he discussed his own achievement in overcoming obstacles. After recovering from a crippling injury himself, Angelo brought to light a whole new way of thinking about health, fitness, and weight loss.
In his 20 years of educating the masses and challenging generalized health guidance, Angelo has become one of the most celebrated and desired body transformation experts in the world. His high-profile client list ranges in scope from Olympic athletes, NFL MVPs, physique models, and business leaders. Those who have been fortunate enough to gain coaching from Angelohave consistently achieved exceptional results regardless of their demanding schedules, significant injuries, and crippled metabolisms.
Angelo is a writer and featured speaker at conferences, as well as a consultant for corporations, universities, and hospitals around the country. He has been featured in major media outlets such as Men’s Health, Sports Illustrated, and The Wall Street Journal for his specialty in coaching athletes and weight loss sciences.
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