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TMHS 722: The Truth About Weight Gain As We Age & New Insights On Weight Loss Drugs – With Chalene Johnson

Just like many other aspects of your life, your health and fitness routines are bound to change throughout different phases. On today’s show, you’re going to hear about how to find balance with your diet and exercise as you age. Our guest, Chalene Johnson, is a fitness icon, entrepreneur, and New York Times bestselling author.

Chalene returns to The Model Health Show for a discussion on finding balance during menopause, how stress can impact your weight, and how your thoughts influence your outcomes. This episode contains conversations on the pros and cons of weight loss drugs, and how to create new routines that serve you and your family.

Chalene is sharing her best tips for evolving your routines and how to create a healthier relationship with your body image. As always, Chalene is bringing her incredible wisdom and insights; I hope you enjoy this interview!

In this episode you’ll discover:

  • How your body and can metabolism shift as you age.
  • Why perimenopause is a pivotal time for a woman’s health.
  • The connection between stress and weight gain.
  • How your thoughts and beliefs can influence your body composition.
  • Why being conceited is actually a positive trait.
  • How changing your thoughts can change your body.
  • The importance of embracing aging.
  • What zone 2 cardio is, and why Chalene changed her approach to exercise.
  • How habit stacking can improve your health and relationships.
  • The nuances of weight loss drugs like Ozempic.
  • How to create a culture of fitness in your family.
  • The power of finding creative ways to be active.
  • How your body and can metabolism shift as you age.
  • Why perimenopause is a pivotal time for a woman’s health.
  • The connection between stress and weight gain.
  • How your thoughts and beliefs can influence your body composition.
  • Why being conceited is actually a positive trait.
  • How changing your thoughts can change your body.
  • The importance of embracing aging.
  • What zone 2 cardio is, and why Chalene changed her approach to exercise.
  • How habit stacking can improve your health and relationships.
  • The nuances of weight loss drugs like Ozempic.
  • How to create a culture of fitness in your family.
  • The power of finding creative ways to be active.

Items mentioned in this episode include:

Thank you so much for checking out this episode of The Model Health Show. If you haven’t done so already, please take a minute and leave a quick rating and review of the show on Apple Podcast by clicking on the link below. It will help us to keep delivering life-changing information for you every week!


SHAWN STEVENSON: You are now listening to the Model Health Show with Shawn Stevenson for more visit the Welcome to the Model Health Show, this is fitness and nutrition expert, Shawn Stevenson and I'm so grateful for you tuning in with me today. Why does this seem to be so difficult to lose weight when we get older? Why does it seem to be more challenging to manage our body composition as we move up in our age bracket? That's what we're gonna be talking about on this episode of The Model Health Show. Because some of the results that we experience later in life are due to the foundation that we're laying down right now. And if we are in our senior years, what are some of the solutions, what are some of the most overlooked things that can help to literally tilt the scales in the right direction that we might be overlooking? Because yes, we have a obsession now with diet and exercise. We have an obsession with things to try to manipulate small pieces, but is there something bigger at play that's causing a struggle for us to lose weight? But is there something bigger at play that's causing a struggle when we're trying to manage our body composition?


SHAWN STEVENSON: We're gonna be diving into this topic today with our very, very special guests and even dipping our toes into the water just a little bit, talking about the new innovations and prescription drugs targeting obesity. So Ozempic, Wegovy and the like. So we're gonna talk a little bit about those as well, and again, so much more.


SHAWN STEVENSON: Now, our special guest is renowned for fitness, she actually has the Guinness World Record in the most fitness DVDs sold out there on the streets. Alright, She is the most popular person on planet earth when it comes to fitness DVDs and instruction. And you're gonna get to hear this revelation in her mindset and in going through all the things that she has, but being that she's about that exercise life, I wanna share something with you that has been fueling my workouts recently.


SHAWN STEVENSON: Numerous studies, including a study published by the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology, AKA the FASEB Journal, have found that exogenous ketones can be up to 28% more efficient in generating energy than glucose alone. And because of this, something that... Listen, there are so many different supplements that are out there on the market, very few things do you experience a change the first day.


SHAWN STEVENSON: Now, this isn't true for everybody, but for me, this was the case, I was shocked. I actually took time stepping away from everything else that I was doing as far as supplementation around training, gave myself a break and then did this with a lot of focus and intention to see, "Hey, what are the kind of results that I could see by utilizing ketone-IQ?" And I was really just blown away.


SHAWN STEVENSON: My stamina was significantly increased, but more so my recovery afterwards, it was really impressive, I just felt like I could do so much more than I normally do. And I'm somebody who really prides myself on being a high performer and being able to really challenge my limits and do exceptional things. And so to do what I was typically doing and didn't have energy left in the tank, I was just like, "Wow, this is something special, I need to tell more people about this."


SHAWN STEVENSON: So right now, you can head over to, and they're going to give you 30% off of your first subscription order. It'll be taken off automatically at checkout, and I'm telling you, this is the real deal. Go to, check out ketone-IQ today. And now let's good to the Apple Podcast review of the week.


ITUNES REVIEW:  Another five-star review titled, The best by Sarah Albuman. Really love this show for many reasons, biggest thing that you focus on not only very basic changes we can make to be healthier, but also considers mental health, hormone health, etcetera. I start my mornings with this, and I always learn something new, love the way you break things down, and there's always thought put into each episode with guest and data to back everything being said. Love it.


SHAWN STEVENSON: Awesome, thank you so much and thank you for starting your mornings with me. That is truly, truly an honor, and without further ado, let's get to our special guest and topic of the day. Our guest today is New York Times best-selling author, and I already mentioned, Guinness World Record holder when it comes to fitness training, fitness DVDs. She is a true legend in the world of fitness, but also what some folks don't realize, she's also a pioneer in the space of Family Wellness. And somebody who's really, for me personally, even helped to model relationships in the context of growing a big platform, being able to create something special, writing books and education, but also making time for what she values most, which is our family.


SHAWN STEVENSON: Sometimes we don't think that we can do both. We have to sacrifice. But she really showed me early on that, yes, I can get out here and share my passion and my mission, but also I have time to create an incredibly healthy connection with my loved ones.


SHAWN STEVENSON: And without further ado, let's dive into this conversation with the one and only, Chalene Johnson. Chalene listen, I don't say this lightly, you have taught me so much, and I just shared a little bit with you, but so many of the insights from your experience are a part of our lives, my wife, myself. She always lights up, of course, when she hears from you, you're just such a big part of our inspiration and whether it's family, whether it's fitness, I just appreciate you so much.




SHAWN STEVENSON: Your relationship with Brett, I love Brett. We're two peas in a pod when we get together.




SHAWN STEVENSON: Yeah, we click.


CHALENE JOHNSON: Yeah, I really click with your wife when I met her too, and now we're...


SHAWN STEVENSON: I'm just grateful for you.


CHALENE JOHNSON: We're tighter than you and I. [laughter]


SHAWN STEVENSON: Yes, that tends to happen though, she does like finesse the friends. But I just wanna thank you so much for being who you are for real.


CHALENE JOHNSON:  Wow, thanks. I appreciate that.


SHAWN STEVENSON: Now, what I wanna dive into today is something that is affecting so many people, it's one of those things that we're all trying to figure out, but it tends to get harder as we get older, so my question is, why? Why does it seem to get harder to lose weight as we age?


CHALENE JOHNSON: So many reasons, so I can really speak to my personal experience and the things I hear from my audience, 'cause they're kind of like my age, a little bit younger, although I identify as a 35 year old, but I'm 54 and things change. Your metabolism changes. What you believe you're supposed to be doing, it changes and then you just keep doubling down. I think sometimes I'm like, "Hey, this used to work, so why wouldn't it work now?"


CHALENE JOHNSON: The one thing I say to all my friends and to anyone who's kind of in that perimenopausal phase is like what you were doing before, will not work. It just won't. And so it's not surprising that people you see so many... Especially women, I mean guys too, just doubling down and they keep trying to do what worked before, and doing it harder, and then just getting super frustrated because they just start gaining weight.


SHAWN STEVENSON: People just don't wanna hear that though.




SHAWN STEVENSON: Because we get comfortable doing the things that we've done that have brought us some kind of success, and so we get attached to those things. 




SHAWN STEVENSON: So hearing that you're gonna have to do something different is like...


CHALENE JOHNSON: I hope that it's something that's exciting for people 'cause it's hard to do what we used to do. It's hard, speaking for personal experience, like the things I used to do just to maintain my weight or to try to lose a few pounds, they were so freaking hard. I remember in those times thinking to myself, "There's no way I'll be able to do this like 10 years from now or five years from now, or even a year from now." Because it's so unattainable. It's not something that I could continue to do. So I think for me personally, and for a lot of other people that I've talked to, it's almost like doing less. It's almost like returning to the basics. You know?


SHAWN STEVENSON: Okay, so now already this is... It sounded very counter-intuitive to do less. 




SHAWN STEVENSON: So in particular, let's talk about folks that are around that perimenopause phase. 




SHAWN STEVENSON: Let's talk about that in the context of exercise, because you just said doing less, does this apply here?


CHALENE JOHNSON: It does. Well, first of all, I just need every single woman who's 35 years old for her ears to perk up because if you wanna transition smoothly into menopause, you have to start early, you can't let go, you know, I think I'm entering menopause and, "Oh no, I'm putting on all this weight?" And "Oh no, now I should change things." It's like, no, you need to start making changes early.


CHALENE JOHNSON: In fact, recent study show that it is the timing of when, if you're going to consider if you're a candidate for hormone replacement therapy, it's the earlier you start, the more effective it is. The smoother the transition into that stage. But back to your question about exercise. I know that for me, all the exercise that I was doing, I just kept thinking “I'm burning all these calories, I'm burning all these calories”. I was never thinking about how stressful it was to be worried about that, what my cortisol was doing, the Oxidative stress, the stress of my body, the stress on my mind of thinking I had to do what it was I was doing. Like the abuse that I was... Like the verbal abuse in my head, on my body, and then the physical abuse literally that I was putting myself through, I just didn't realize like, that's so much stress.


CHALENE JOHNSON: And stress equals weight gain. In fact, when I had my blood sugars, or sorry, my hormones tested at age 45. At the peak of my fitness, when I was exercising three hours a day plus, eating like, I wanna say super clean, but it was really super processed protein, and everything came in a package. My cortisol was like three times what it should have been, even though I was like doing all the things right, I thought. And I don't know if this is true, this is just a theory, that women in particular, they don't understand how much stress they're under from their own ideas of what their body is supposed to look like and what they're supposed to be doing.


CHALENE JOHNSON: Your weight, and the way you think you're supposed to look, that is so stressful. So for me, I was like, "Okay, I'm done." I just made a decision like, I'm gonna get my health back in check, and I stopped overexercising, I stopped doing all of those things. And I did a lot of things, right, for sure, that has made transitioning into menopause really... And people get mad at me when I say this, but it's like, it's my truth. It made it really easy... Not easy, but much easier than what I was afraid it was going to be because we really villainize menopause.


SHAWN STEVENSON: Yeah, yeah, absolutely, yeah. And of course, just looking at some of the data, folks in other countries who aren't kind of inundated with all this stress, that part, and also of course, the ultra processed food and all the things, very low incidents of what we consider to be strong menopausal symptoms as people... Like in Japan or different cultures, basically. Here we see 75% higher rates of having onset of really strong symptoms. And so the question is, is it just automatic or is it more cultural?


CHALENE JOHNSON: Yeah, that's a good question. I think it's a little bit of both. So obviously, your genetics plays a big role in that, but I think just like epigenetics. The things that we do make it either easier or worse. And so for me, at that age, I started considering doing hormone replacement therapy. I started looking at my hormone levels, I reduced my exercise right away, I change my sleep right away. I changed the way I was eating right away, but it was a transition because I think I swapped one addiction for another.


CHALENE JOHNSON: And I got into that whole bio-hacker thing where you're like, "Okay, now, now I'm so obsessed with being healthy on the inside." Look at me, I'm better, I'm not overexercising, I'm not worried about having abs”. But I became so hyper-focused on like how many minutes should I be in hyperbaric oxygen chamber treatments? Do I need to lay on a magnetic mat? What type... All of these crazy things and I was consuming so much information, just freaked out, like, "Do I know enough"? That that became a stress.


SHAWN STEVENSON: That's irony at its greatest right there. So there's this... You mentioned this orthorexia?




SHAWN STEVENSON: This obsession with health and being healthy, and there so... The thing is, of course, there's so much that can make us unhealthy today, but there's so much access to things that can improve your health, potentially. And so we become obsessed with those things and like you just said, we don't think that that can stress us out. So where do we find some balance?


CHALENE JOHNSON:  And not to mention the fact, you are not fun to hang out with if you are that person, and I was that person who was like, "Oh, do you know about the toxins that are in... " I was that person, and I just remember always feeling like... And actually sitting in judgment of other people like, "They don't know. They don't know." And it became like a full-time job, a full-time obsession. I think you have to look within and go like, okay, so if I was in a state of being addicted to exercise. And if you don't address what causes you to wanna do that, then you're just gonna transfer it to something new.


CHALENE JOHNSON: And at a certain point, I just realized like, I'm making myself crazy and I wanna just live. And you know, we... A big piece of this for me was about three years ago… it was a little over three years ago. The first time we traveled internationally and we're in Europe, and I'm looking at these women who just... There's no gyms where we were traveling, no one goes to the gym for hours, what. There was none of the bio-hacking things that were obsessed with here, it's just not available, but yeah, everyone seems so care-free, and whatever they wanted, and we're eating bread and drinking wine and relaxing and taking a nap in the middle of the day, and I'm like, "I wanna live like that. I actually wanna live."


CHALENE JOHNSON:  I don't wanna have to obsess about all these stupid things, so what if I just give myself permission to do what feels right, do what... The things I'm like, "Okay, I could do that, and that sounds good." And I noticed and I stopped weighing myself, I stopped worrying about all of those things and just kind of putting balance.


CHALENE JOHNSON: So to answer your question, I think the balance is putting yourself in check and knowing that you've crossed the line, knowing that it's become an obsession. Knowing that it's interfering with your ability to live, and once I did that, I think just like my hormones started balancing out on their own. I was able to titrate down on some of the dosages of things I was taking the past, my weight normalized. It's just crazy to think how much time I... I don't wanna say wasted, but how much time I spent away from family and friends and living when I was overexercising, and to think that I personally think... And maybe I'm crazy, but I think I have a better body now. I have a much better relationship with my body, a much better relationship with food. It's like I don't get stressed about like, "Uh oh, can anyone tell me what's in this? I'm gonna live. It's fine."


SHAWN STEVENSON: Yeah, oh my goodness, I laughed a little too hard when they just don't know because that was a running thing in our house. Especially when it came to meditation early on, over 10 years ago and just being like... Because of course, we can get in these little bubbles, and we don't really realize that life is just simply not like this. And by you basically implanting yourself in a different culture and getting outside that bubble, having these revelations like you could just live. And it's such a revelation for us here, because even when you talk about the bio-hacking thing, I think it's like a pendulum swing, because things get so messed up over here, and when we swing way over here...


CHALENE JOHNSON: That's right.


SHAWN STEVENSON:  And now we're trying to hack everything, as like an antidote to not just being human.


CHALENE JOHNSON: Right, right. And no offense, some of these bio-hackers don't look that healthy to me. Facts. It's just like... And how are you living your life? Every part of your day has to be optimized and maximized, and it feels like a competition, and it just feels like something I'm never going to know enough, so I'm like, "I'm out"! But yet I still am taking the pieces that makes sense to me. The pieces that are doable, the pieces it's like, "Yeah, that's just common sense, treating my body well." And I think the biggest piece of that Shawn, is stress.


SHAWN STEVENSON: Yes. Okay, this is where we need to direct this because you get to say this from a completely different perspective. I've said this from working as a clinician for many years and seeing these people eating what they deem to be like the perfect diet, they're working out and yet their numbers are not really changing to the place they wanna go, their blood sugar is not normalized, hypertension, whatever the case might be.


SHAWN STEVENSON: And when you actually ask people about how they feel, how is their relationships at home, how is their relationship with work, how is their sense of purpose, like all these different things. And then you find out truly that stress... You can overeat your way into being overweight, under exercise your way, under sleep, but you can definitely over-stress your way into being overweight. And this is the biggest thing, if you struggled, everybody listening, if you struggled to lose weight and to keep it off, really can we talk about the impact of stress?


CHALENE JOHNSON: Well, first of all just looking at my cortisol levels it's no wonder when again I was at the peak of my fitness career where I'm exercising for hours why my metabolism was betraying me because my cortisol levels were so high. And I think it's really important just to be completely transparent and say sometimes it has to get worse before it gets better. So for sure, when I went through this period of going, okay, oh, oh now I'm not gonna be exercising for three hours a day, now I have to eat real food. I gained weight and I battled with like, "Okay, do I go back to my old ways?" But you have to trust the process and it is a process.


CHALENE JOHNSON: You have to trust that your body knows where you're supposed to be, but you have to honor what it takes to take care of it and that's the sleep. And that's the stress and I hate it when I hear people say like, "You gotta reduce your stress." Well, what does that mean? Life is stressful. But I think it's... For me anyways. It was pinpointing what is it specifically when I think about having a bad day or being in a bad mood or something in the back of my mind, what is that thing? 'Cause you can't send your family away, you can improve your relationships and hopefully most people will do that and that improves your stress levels, but also think about what is it you are stressing about and really looking at that.


CHALENE JOHNSON: And for me a big piece of that in both instances was the way I was talking to myself and I think especially this is true for women. When I was growing up, the absolute worst thing you could be called when you're in high school is conceited. But if you look at that word, it means you hold yourself in high regard. That's a good thing, but we, especially in our society have been told like if you do that then you're conceited.


CHALENE JOHNSON: You've gotta be humble so therefore you should be self-deprecating. Therefore you should think that you're not all that. But if you start thinking you're not all that, you're not gonna be all that. Your body believes you. If you're telling yourself I'm fat I'm never gonna lose this weight, it's my genetics. Everything I… no matter what I do it never works, that will become true for you. You know?


SHAWN STEVENSON: Yeah, oh, my goodness. Our thoughts are our creation and so like you just said, I'm thinking about even this new thing like a humble brag. I'm still humble.


CHALENE JOHNSON: Yeah. Oh shoot.


SHAWN STEVENSON: But I can't say something good about myself. And you just said it, we're culturally just pounded away on to not see ourselves in a high regard and so when you poke out of that and we see people do that, we're like how do they achieve such success. You've got to have faith in yourself for believing in yourself and all those things, but also to value yourself, self-value not just to achieve things, but to sustain it and to not have it break you down.


CHALENE JOHNSON: That's right.


SHAWN STEVENSON: Why can't we... And this is another thing I wanted to talk to you about as well is like creating that in our culture and in our families because I see that with your kids as well. Being able to really have that sense of self-value to do the things that they're doing.


CHALENE JOHNSON: Yeah, well, you absolutely can be very humble. You can be a humble individual and also hold yourself in high regard. You can do those two things at the same time and I think that's ultimately the place where you wanna end up. Someone who's humble is someone who knows they have room for growth. They know their strengths and their weaknesses and they can admit fault, but they're not fast to blame themselves. There's a difference between being humble and being self-deprecating and I think that we've just been brainwashed into believing that you can't be one or the other, but you can be both and in fact you have to hold yourself in high regard in order to have humility.


CHALENE JOHNSON: And that's how you take care of your soul. That's how you take care of your body. It doesn't start in the gym, it starts in our mind, it starts in our beliefs with ourselves. To think of... I think of the conversations I was having with myself when I was filming these fitness videos and I just remember thinking just the most disgusting vile thoughts about myself and also assuming other people thought those things too and it was me having to examine that and realizing, this isn't healthy, A, and B it's not helping me.


CHALENE JOHNSON: And when I shifted that. When I started really loving my body and also being okay with saying that out loud, almost like saying it out loud before I believed it myself, it helped. I had to say those things even though I was like, "Okay, but do I really believe this?" In order for my body to follow. It's almost like the opposite of... You know how sometimes people have body dysmorphia? It's like the opposite of body dysmorphia. You have to tell yourself you're beautiful and I have this amazing body and girl you better go eat something, you're looking underweight, you know what I mean? You almost have to have this opposite approach for a little while before you begin to believe it. 'Cause we've done some bad... Some serious brainwashing on ourselves and it's not healthy, it's not good and it doesn't serve any purpose.


SHAWN STEVENSON: It's so crazy. Yeah, why do we do this to ourselves and also when we attempt oftentimes to do it like you said it's very difficult, it's very awkward to give a positive compliment to yourself.


CHALENE JOHNSON: It shouldn't be, but it is.


SHAWN STEVENSON: Because so much is directed towards our culture to not really placing that value within yourself. I remember some of the things that Anne would say... My wife would say about herself and I'm just like, if you think that about yourself no one else has a chance. Because I'm just like, "You're so amazing you're everything." But we are constantly judging ourselves harshly. Of course, I've spent some time thinking about this.


SHAWN STEVENSON: Part of it is because we know ourselves, we do know our respective flaws and we're constantly judging ourselves and sometimes seeing our worst and we can flip this switch in our minds, but like you said, it can take a little bit of time to start to speak to ourselves differently, but the outcomes will change as well. It's very difficult to hate yourself into the results you want.


CHALENE JOHNSON: Speak on it. Absolutely and especially for women who are entering that state of Perimenopause or menopause. Because the society has told you, oh, you're no longer able to have babies. You're no longer getting your cycle. Well, we have no use for you. You're old. You're getting older. I was watching a TikTok the other day. This girl was doing a get ready with me and she said her age and all the comments beneath the video were like, oh my gosh you look so young. She was 29. I'm like Dude...




CHALENE JOHNSON: She is young. What app am I on right now? So you're battling that too, but don't play into it. I was speaking to a woman the other day and she's like I just... I don't know if I should put myself out there. I don't feel comfortable going on Instagram. I don't feel comfortable stepping into my second stage of my life and building my own personal brand because... Well, because I'm old and I said, "How old are you?" And she was like, "Well, I just turned 50." I'm like, "You're a Queenager first of all and there's nothing cooler than having the ability to say like I've been on this planet longer than you I know more than you."


CHALENE JOHNSON: I just shot the argument down, like it's such a beautiful thing if we embrace it and everyone can do that differently. I think women oftentimes feel like if they're doing something with their looks, well, then does that mean that you are fighting the aging process? It's like no. I've been getting Botox since the age that I could afford it. It has nothing to do with age. It's just money. I could afford to do it. You can choose to age anyway you want. You can choose to allow your hormones to run out, but we know statistically that there are far more all-cause mortalities associated with women who don't take active roles in at least trying to do something naturally to balance our hormones.


CHALENE JOHNSON: We know that hormone replacement therapy means that you're going to have a better quality of life, a better quality of sex life, a better quality of energy, being able to maintain your weight. All of these things and certainly there are women who are not candidates and there are wonderful ways. I've seen some people on your show who are experts at helping us understand, are there natural ways to balance these things, but if you tell yourself I am old and I'm getting ugly and I'm done. It's self-fulfilling prophecy. You will begin to feel that and you'll begin to do things that are counter-intuitive or that are counter-productive to you living a life that's full and vibrant and feeling alive and amazing.


SHAWN STEVENSON: Yeah, that self-talk, that negative self-talk is not gonna fix it.


CHALENE JOHNSON: No. It makes it a million times worse and don't buy into it either. You gotta be careful who you surround yourself with and how they're speaking about the process of that perimenopausal stage, that menopausal stage. Who you're following. I stopped following people who they make me feel a certain way. Here's my tip, follow... Especially for the ladies out there, follow women who are older than you. Because you'll be like that's how it's done. And you just feel like, okay, I've got something to look forward to. I just never ever in my life in my younger years could have imagined how great I would feel at this stage, you know and maybe it's part like brainwashing myself but don't burst my bubble. I'm so happy right here.


SHAWN STEVENSON: I'ts don’t kill my vibe.


CHALENE JOHNSON: That's right. That's right. [laughter]


SHAWN STEVENSON: I love it. I love it. The thing is again, same thing and this is why you're one of those people for us it's just like, this is what's possible. And it's been like that with business, with family, with so many aspects. And we need that today. We need that healthy modeling because there's so much dysfunction that's modeling... That's getting modeled as well and not to say again, it's not that we all have this figured out, but there is often a better way.


SHAWN STEVENSON: And so pointing this conversation back, you just mentioned there's a lot of wonderful practitioners and there's so many... My point I wanted to make was, we've got all these options whether it's hormone replacement to these lifestyle factors, everything should be an option, but you cannot rise above your perception of yourself.




SHAWN STEVENSON: Right. So that's where to really point our attention, but also and you've already kind of directed us to this a little bit, it's gonna take some investigation for you.




SHAWN STEVENSON: You've gotta ask yourself, I wanna point back to what you said earlier What is that a thing that's stressing you because it's probably different from the next person, it's probably different from you six months ago or last year, what is causing the excessive stress in your life right now? And what are some potential solutions to help to balance that stress and maybe it's not something you could just completely drop out of, but how can you approach it differently? Right?


CHALENE JOHNSON: Yeah, so the simple strategy is like for me, I literally went through what parts of my day are stressful, what habits do I have that are hard to maintain now. A simple one was, I just got all caught up in that if you don't wake up earlier before everybody else, you're not part of that special type A hustler super entrepreneur, a miracle morning kind of person, right?


CHALENE JOHNSON: I brainwashed myself into believing if I'm not waking up early then I'm a loser and now I'm like... And that would stress me out by what time are you going to bed and how many hours of sleep did I get and am I tracking my hours and now I'm like... And granted this is also because I'm older, I don't have to wake up with the kids anymore I can wake up when I damn well please.




CHALENE JOHNSON: And that released so much stress, also knowing tracking macros and tracking calories and tracking steps and all the tracking that I was doing. Yeah, I still do it a little bit of it just to make sure I'm on track. But the obsessive part of it, that became stressful. It was relationships like people who... Why do I care... Why do I care more than they do? And it's stressing me out. I can't change them. I can't control them. Me trying to control somebody else was stressing me out and just having to be like love you. I can still love them, I don't need to change them and it was... And I don't need them to think about me a certain way 'cause it's not gonna change who I am.


CHALENE JOHNSON: So why am I bending over backwards and stressing myself out, trying to do all these things to make this one person happy and you know these are little simple strategies, but I'll tell you what doesn't reduce stress for me is all the things people say to you like, oh meditate for 30 minutes. What? That didn't remove any of those things, yes, it's beneficial but it's not removing any of those stressors. So it was those things and it was also like I said, a lot of it was how I was talking to myself. If you have a child in your house and you're constantly putting them down, that child is going to be so stressed.


CHALENE JOHNSON: And so their nervous system is on end... Is on edge, because they're in this fight or flight state like am I enough? Am I gonna get in trouble? That's what we're doing to ourselves when we're talking that way constantly. We're putting ourselves in that same state and it's a habit that you have to break.


SHAWN STEVENSON: Yeah, you said earlier you mentioned trusting the process and so going from somebody who's literally exercising your ass off, three hours a day and micromanaging your calories. And all the things and by you transitioning to something that is a little bit more nourishing...


CHALENE JOHNSON: Much more doable.


SHAWN STEVENSON: A lot less intense and then finding much better health and happiness. Funny enough which you... Again, you said it surprised you, part of that you said potentially you could make the transition and somebody might gain a little bit of weight, but… this transition piece is like can your body now find homeostasis because what we're doing when we're backing away from really creating excessive stress through exercises. Well now we're sending safety signals to our bodies 'cause it might gain weight as a reaction to like, I haven't felt protected I haven't felt safe. I've felt abused all this time...




SHAWN STEVENSON: And creating a buffer. But as you create more safety and feed more safety signals, then more good stuff starts to happen, but you gotta start the process of healing.


CHALENE JOHNSON: Yes. You talked about homeostasis and that's something I think we talk so much about menopause and not enough about Perimenopause. And Perimenopause for women can last anywhere from seven to 10 years, it's just that period before you lose your period in order to officially enter the menopausal cool girls club. Before you get your card, you have to go a full year without a cycle and until then it's like a roller coaster. There is no such thing as homeostasis in Perimenopause. I mean there were months... I shouldn't say months. There were periods where I was testing every 90 days and I remember one time when I tested my hormones which the average person doesn't need to do that. I was just really trying to figure out what's going on and there was one time that I tested and I remember my estrogen levels were great. Everything's awesome.


CHALENE JOHNSON: The next time I took the test, everything had plummeted overnight it felt like. And it corresponded with the way that I felt. When you're in Perimenopause it is like a roller coaster and you feel like you're crazy, but this is the time when you... It's like your hormones are throwing you a going-away party, but they haven't sent out invitations so it's very chaotic, there's no way to plan for it and you just have to hold on and do your best.


CHALENE JOHNSON: But during that period of time, you can experience really strange symptoms that just are... No one's talking about them. We talk about hot flashes, we talk about lack of libido, vaginal dryness, thinning hair, weight gain, but we don't talk about the obscure. You just think you're going crazy. Just any obscure thing you're experiencing, of course, it's Perimenopause. We are a hormone and your hormones right now are freaking out, for some of us, it can be a couple of years and for other women it's seven to 10 years.


CHALENE JOHNSON: So that's when you have to double down on getting healthy. Just get healthy and you will make it so much easier than trying... It's so much easier to do this while you're healthy versus trying to fix something that's been broken for a long time once we get there.


SHAWN STEVENSON: Yeah, you shared that earlier just like the time to start is before all this happens if at all possible and if that's not the case for you, now is the time.


CHALENE JOHNSON: That's right.


SHAWN STEVENSON: And you called me earlier or you left a voice message for me earlier while you were walking, right? You were out for a walk. Which is very different from what you were doing previously. Talk about that.


CHALENE JOHNSON: Yeah. I just would beat myself... I would... Again, think alright. So if some is good then more is better. I was doing high impact, high-intensity workouts which are great, but they're hard. And I was always experiencing some kind of injury, you have to really get yourself up to do that. You can tell yourself I love it I'm addicted. Yeah, but you also have to get yourself up to do it and when I read the research on Zone 2 Cardio I'm like, that sounds so freaking good that sounds like a treat. That sounds like a desert. Are you kidding? I can get amazing results from doing Zone 2 Cardio listening to a podcast which just sooths my brain I mean I'm down. Let's go.


CHALENE JOHNSON: And people will often ask me, so the workouts that you design, does that mean that they're bad for you? I'm like, "No they're just not good for me." You have to figure out what does your body need. My body needed to move, my body needed things that were no longer high impact. I needed things that helped me to reduce my stress. I was underestimating the amount of oxidative stress I was putting my body under. We weren't designed to jump three feet up, not that I can jump three feet off the floor, but we weren't designed to pound our bodies into submission and use every joint as if it were a shock absorber for hours and hours. We just... We weren't designed to do that.


CHALENE JOHNSON: And the fact that I personally think I have a stronger body, a better body, my shape has completely changed since I stopped beating myself into submission, and actually, I like resting now. In the past, if someone told me I had to rest, I would be like, "Well, I'll lose all my results."


SHAWN STEVENSON: Where is my rest day muscle. It doesn't exist.


CHALENE JOHNSON: No Days Off. Remember that hashtag? Remember when that was all the rage on Instagram? Yeah, I'm sure it probably started that.


SHAWN STEVENSON:  So can you articulate what Zone 2 Cardio looks like?


CHALENE JOHNSON: Well, Zone 2 Cardio is something that you can maintain for a longer duration. For me, my favorite form of Zone 2 Cardio is to walk outside, to get sunlight, to feel the air. If you can do a walk in a place where you're actually experiencing some nature, like sometimes you can't get a... You live in New York city, you can't do that. Well, you can find a spot where there's some grass, but for me, it's being by the water wherever we are or trying to find... When I was in Northern Michigan, it was like just being in the forest and walking. Are you kidding me? This has to be good for my soul, this has to be far more healing than jumping up and down on a hardwood floor with pounding music, which is great too, but not every day.


CHALENE JOHNSON: Zone 2 Cardio is something where you're burning calories at a sustained period. So you're dipping into your fat stores, it is less intense on your body, it's easier to recover, but it is something you're doing longer, right? So, you can't... Zone 2 Cardio for 15 minutes is on a day when you've only got 50 minutes, hey, maybe do some high intensity work, but I would recommend that you mix up that high intensity work and do something that's high intensity, but low impact, which you can do.


CHALENE JOHNSON: But it still has to be a high intensity, right? But if you've got the time to be able to enjoy some Zone 2 Cardio, like maybe cycling, it's something where you can maintain a conversation, you look forward to it, and you don't feel destroyed when you're done.


SHAWN STEVENSON: Yeah, and you just mentioned also stacking things, getting that outside, get some fresh air, sunlight, a little bit of nature, and the thing is, depending on where you are, you can get some combinations of these things, but there's so much research and there's more coming with "forest bathing," walking in nature.




SHAWN STEVENSON: And of course, we know some of the obvious things is the benefits for our mental health, mood, all that, but also improving your metabolic health as well, like helping to improve insulin sensitivity and your cognitive function, all these things by walking is because our genes expect us to be around real shit, where we're living our lives predominantly indoors, and we've got these bustling cities and things like that, that's all good, but what if we can find a way to carve out a little bit of time in nature?


SHAWN STEVENSON: And I think for most of us, there is some access to it, but sometimes it might be a one time a week thing, maybe you hop in the car and you guys... Your family goes for a hike somewhere or goes to the park or whatever it is, but wherever you can place it in, it's stacking for you.


CHALENE JOHNSON: Well, let's talk about stacking. I think one of the things that we took away from our European travels a couple of years ago was seeing, especially in Italy, that they have this practice after they eat a meal, sometimes the whole community goes out on this... I forget the word for it, hopefully someone will comment, whatever it is, but you'd see these whole communities out doing walks in the evening after they had their meals.


CHALENE JOHNSON: And that's something that I think we don't realize you can do... You can't do that. If you're in a cycling class, I can't talk to my spouse or my best friend, but if I'm doing a walk outside, this practice of doing that every night after dinner for my husband and I, it has done amazing things for our relationship.


CHALENE JOHNSON: It has allowed us to connect on a deeper level, it's helped us both to get more fit. In the past, we would finish dinner and we're empty nesters. What are we gonna do? I don't know. You wanna have a cocktail. You know what I mean? What are you gonna do? You wanna watch a show, like nothing that made us better or more connected, that improved our health, and so this habit is... And I never set out to do it every day, but it just feels so good, and we love that time together, we've had conversations about things that... There's just no way we would go there if we're sitting... Even sitting across the table from each other, having dinner, we wouldn't have had these conversations.


CHALENE JOHNSON: The deepest conversations I've had with my friends are doing these long walks. I love doing an interview that way. If I'm gonna interview someone like, let's go for a walk, it's just there's something about that movement that allows people to go to a place that they wouldn't otherwise go, and that's pretty powerful, and that's important to our health too.


SHAWN STEVENSON: Absolutely. We've got a quick break coming up, we'll be right back. I've got some very bad news for you about Vitamin C supplements. Most people have no idea that typical Vitamin C supplements are made from corn syrup or corn starch derived from GMO crops. The synthetic ascorbic acid found in most of Vitamin C supplements is structurally similar to naturally derived whole food sources of Vitamin C, but they are not the same thing.


SHAWN STEVENSON: Whole food and whole food concentrates of Vitamin C have hundreds of other bioactive co-factors that make Vitamin C work miraculously in our bodies. While synthetic Vitamin C is the very definition of a one-trick pony. In fact, by being devoid of essential cofactors, synthetic Vitamin C supplements can be outright harmful to your health.


SHAWN STEVENSON: For instance, a 2013 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association Internal Medicine, found that participants taking synthetic Vitamin C supplements had twice the risk of developing kidney stones. Another study for researchers at USC found that a daily dose of synthetic Vitamin C thickened the walls of participants arteries two and a half times faster than those not taking the synthetic supplement. This is absolutely insane because number one, it's one of the most popular stand-alone supplements in the world and commonly found in most multi-vitamins.


SHAWN STEVENSON: Number two, whole food based whole food concentrates of real Vitamin C are remarkably effective in lowering the risk of cardiovascular disease, even in people engaged in high-risk behaviors like smoking. A randomized placebo-controlled study published in the Journal of Cardiology had 20 smokers consume a whole food concentrated Vitamin C in the form of camu camu berry daily over the course of a one week study, and it led to significantly lowered oxidative stress and lowered inflammatory biomarkers.


SHAWN STEVENSON: What's more, there were no changes when these markers in the placebo group who received an ordinary synthetic Vitamin C supplement, because the damage humans have done to the soil microbiome levels of Vitamin C are notably lower in typical foods, that's why I've been utilizing a whole food Vitamin C concentrate blend of camu camu berry, Acerola cherry and Amla berry for years. And I'm on a mission to spread awareness about this and get people off synthetic Vitamin C supplements.


SHAWN STEVENSON: The essential C complex from Paleovalley is all organic, no synthetic ingredients and no fillers, plus it has a 60-day 100% money back guarantee. So if you aren't absolutely thrilled with it, you'll receive your full refund, no questions asked. Go to right now, and you'll automatically receive 15% off of your order at check-out.


SHAWN STEVENSON: Vitamin C is critical for our immune system health, but also the health of our heart, our brain, our skin, and so much more. Target organic whole food sources of Vitamin C, and if you're going to supplement, make sure it's a whole food concentrate and not synthetic Vitamin C. Go to, that's right now for 15% off. And now, back to the show.


SHAWN STEVENSON: Now, for people that don't know, you have one of the best shows ever, Raving Fans, your Lifers. And you talk about a wide array of things, but the difference is with you is that it's like, it's so... Not, of course, entertaining, yes, but also so insightful and valuable, and you stay on top of little bits of science for people just to kind of pull them in, but then you look at things from a completely different lens than anybody else, which is what I love about your show and about you. So one of those topics that's super crazy right now is this new wave of obesity targeted medications, Ozempic, Wegovy and the like, and Semaglutide GLP-1...


CHALENE JOHNSON: Is it Semaglutide or Semaglutide? I hear people say it both ways, so now I always say it both ways.


SHAWN STEVENSON: Yeah, it's either. Tomato, tomato, right, but...


CHALENE JOHNSON: Right? GLP-1 agonists.


SHAWN STEVENSON: Agonists, yes, and so this is... It's just spread very quickly, and one of the things that you brought forward, which I hadn't even considered was its use or this kind of apparent side effect of potentially addressing folks like with addiction issues, right?


CHALENE JOHNSON: Yeah, interesting.


SHAWN STEVENSON: And it's just like, the ramifications are so much bigger than what we consider, but that of course that's more of what might be considered maybe a "positive side effect," but even recently, there are a slew of lawsuits regarding its effects on stomach paralysis. And so that's like, there's a lot of lawsuits hitting, but here's the thing, and this is why I wanna talk to you about this.


SHAWN STEVENSON: One of the lawsuits that's getting a lot more of the attention is featured like Today Show and stuff like that, the individual, she lost almost 150 pounds, which is like revolutionary for health, but now she can't digest the food. And so it's just like, where is the cost-benefit analysis, like is that... Even though you got this really heinous side effect, which you also lost a 150 pounds, so where do we find our sense of, is this okay for me, you know?


CHALENE JOHNSON: Right. Right. Yeah, it's tough because what we do know for a fact is that being morbidly obese .… we know for a fact that you are putting yourself at a very high risk of every disease you can name. That's preventable. We know that for a fact. And so, yes, I know that there's this strange debate, people really get heated over this, like you should do it the right way, at diet and exercise. Yeah, but that's great. Tell that to someone who's been trying to do it with diet and exercise all their lives, all their lives, and they've been carrying around this extra weight. So they have to look at, okay, so I've got these maybe risks that I'm looking at if I do one of these weight loss injections, and then I have these for sure risks, if I stay the way I am.


CHALENE JOHNSON: So I certainly don't fault people who are like, I've tried everything, I've tried, it's not working. I don't fault them at saying like, I know I have risks if I stay the same, I've tried everything. I'm willing to take that risk. I just think that we need to do a much better job of helping people to understand what those risks are, and also to understand, we don't know all of those risks, these drugs have not been studied long enough.


SHAWN STEVENSON: Yeah, not at all, not at all.


CHALENE JOHNSON: We don't know. We don't know. And so I also think that there's a certain individual who's probably gonna be, have a higher propensity to try one of these weight loss injections, and now there's some new research on a class of this drug that is an oral form. But I think it shouldn't surprise doctors that some of these individuals have perhaps done gastric sleeves, who have had other problems from a digestive standpoint, right? And we're seeing a lot of those people just jumping on these injections without understanding how that could impact their digestive tract.


CHALENE JOHNSON: It's the slow emptying of your gastric system, it's not just making you feel full, you are full! You know, you are full. And so I encourage people to do your research, consider, consider natural alternatives too first, have you done that? And let's talk about the placebo effect, we know the placebo effect of just about any drug is almost the equivalent effectiveness of the drug itself, that's got to lead to some people considering like, how much of this can I do on my own? What are your thoughts on it?


SHAWN STEVENSON: I mean, the framing of the drug is that it is something that you're going to need to take for quite some time, and it's automatically the first thing that pops up is dependency, right?




SHAWN STEVENSON: What happens with your metabolism without this thing? And we also have to understand where this is coming from, this is coming from a system that is pretty well known for shoot first, ask questions last.


CHALENE JOHNSON: Or hide this data.


SHAWN STEVENSON: Yeah, long tail ramifications for... Again, what we're trying to do here is to address a big need, that's the first thing, and you're somebody big on this proof of concept, like we've got a lot of people that are struggling with their weight.


CHALENE JOHNSON: That's right.


SHAWN STEVENSON: And they want a solution. Now, coupled with that is a very short bridge of question asking within that, especially when you're suffering, and when your mindset isn't as such of understanding some of these things like why is my body responding this way? Some of the things we've been talking about. And so now we're window dressing, now we're just treating a symptom, like why is your body responding and carrying this weight? If we're not removing that cause, this might not end well, and so I love that we have this as an option, and I'm a huge fan of this, in some instances.




SHAWN STEVENSON: But again, when we start to make this, this kind of pharmaceutical model, especially with the fact that we don't know shit about long-term effects, we don't know.




SHAWN STEVENSON: And we're just seeing these different things pop up with "side effects," but they're not side effects, these are just other effects. These are just things that happen depending on different people, depending on you, and another one of them being pancreatitis and people having severe inflammation with their pancreas, and this for me is just like with any of these things. This a system-wide effect, so it isn't just targeting your gut, this is a brain gut thing as well.


CHALENE JOHNSON: Yeah. Right, right. Which is why we think that they're seeing benefits or how it's dampening down the dopamine, especially in rat studies.




CHALENE JOHNSON: And obviously anecdotally, a lot of people reporting, not understanding why, but like, huh, I'm taking this weight loss injection and I don't wanna drink at night anymore, like that, sure, seems like a positive. I'm finding that I'm no longer falling asleep with online shopping, it's dampening down our dopamine, but to me, that also says, what does that do... 'Cause we're also hearing about depression, right? What is that doing to someone who already has a problem with dopamine regulation, like myself, with ADHD, what is that doing, like I don't wanna damp and down my dopamine. That's for sure. So I do think there's a lot to look at.


CHALENE JOHNSON: My biggest concern is what it's going to do because celebrities are taking it, and I don't mean celebrities who have been overweight for years and years. Rosie O'Donnell has been very vocal about her relationship with this weight loss drugs. She says, I'm gonna take it for the rest of my life, this has changed my life, it's saved my life. She talks about how even having a heart attack wasn't enough to change her ways, but this drug has done that for her.


CHALENE JOHNSON: My problem is with the celebrities who are already thin by society standards, and they're taking this to become Uber thin, underweight, and taking a weight loss medication that's been approved for that by the FDA, 'cause I hear people go up in arms and they're like, "Well, you shouldn't be taking that, if you're not a type 2 diabetic," well, there are classes of this drug that have been approved just for even a small amount of weight loss.


CHALENE JOHNSON: I have two friends. Okay? I have one girlfriend who just kept getting... She's already pretty fit. And all of a sudden, I see her and I'm like, what are you doing... You're shrinking every time I see you, and she's like, "Oh, I'm doing Ozempy!," I'm like, "Are you really?" And she's like, "Yeah, just for a little while, like I just... " I'm like, "Okay, do you know all of the side effects, etcetera?"


CHALENE JOHNSON: Then I have another girlfriend who was very overweight, drinks on a regular basis, smokes, has a lot of bad habits. About 10 years older than me, and doctor said, hey, you might wanna consider doing one of these weight loss injections, and she said, "Chalene, what do you think? I know you've done your research," and Shawn I'm gonna be honest, I said, "I think you should do it," because I'm looking at all the other known risk factors that she's facing, and I thought if this could help her to stop drinking, to eat healthier foods. Because that's another really interesting thing that we're hearing people report is that they no longer are craving the highly processed, highly saturated fat foods, foods that we know aren't good for... It makes them feel sick unless you're eating something more... Less processed and healthier. Why do you think that is? That's something we, I guess, maybe from the digestive standpoint.


SHAWN STEVENSON: Yeah, we've got so much and I just talked about this recently, is we have a society that craves, we have more things to crave than ever before, and our cravings are stronger because these pathways have been manipulated by scientists, food scientists. And at the same time, now we have this other group of scientists who're creating a solution for that, another chemistry experiment, and so we get into this kind of vicious circle and everybody's profiting from our collective demise. You know, and again, at the end of the day, all of these things should be based on the individual, and even when you mentioned. I just scrolled and pulled this up from my last book, and GLP-1, and I talked a lot about. This was years ago when I wrote this!


CHALENE JOHNSON: You're always ahead of the curve.


SHAWN STEVENSON: And in this study, this was published in the journal Gut, and there's a compound called propionate that's found in prebiotic fiber inulin. And it was shown to significantly increase the release of GLP-1 and other satiety hormone modes as well. It's not just a blunt instrument that for this one thing and where can you find this? Asparagus, artichokes, leeks, garlic, the list goes on and on. But the point being is that prebiotic fibers really help with this production. But in particular, there were several studies noting how GLP-1 is activated with chlorophyll rich foods. And so, but again, if we don't know this... 




SHAWN STEVENSON: But we know, 'cause this is really in our face now.


CHALENE JOHNSON: Well, there's so many natural supplements that increase our secretion of GLP-1. I mean, there are natural supplements. Will they increase it to the degree?


SHAWN STEVENSON: Right. Probably not.


CHALENE JOHNSON: That, an injection, well, probably not. But have you tried them? Have you tried to comm... And do you believe that those supplements are going to work? 'Cause if you believe they're going to work, head to head, we know that from placebo studies, it's probably gonna be just as effective without all of the negative side effects.


CHALENE JOHNSON: So if it's something you're considering, why not? Like what's the harm? And I know the answer to this. What's the harm in trying a natural approach to increase something that our bodies should be doing for us naturally. To define a natural approach and to tackle this from a lifestyle perspective, which is permanent.


CHALENE JOHNSON: Without the side effects. Only positive side effects. And I know I'm preaching to the choir because you know what that is, Shawn? That's work. It's work. And people will say, I've tried that before, but have you stacked all of those things? Was your mind... Did you believe then that it was gonna work? So I've just, again, I mean everyone's different. But I just, I'm always nervous when pharmaceutical companies have, I mean, it's on the news every single day. Something's going on. Every social media site is covered. Like every celebrity's talking about it. What is going on?


SHAWN STEVENSON: Have you seen...


CHALENE JOHNSON: Why is everybody talking about this?


SHAWN STEVENSON: Have you seen Painkillers?




SHAWN STEVENSON: On Netflix. So this is, again, this kind of pharmaceutical dictation with what happened with the Opioid crisis….




SHAWN STEVENSON: By the way…. And then that even for some people, it just be like, well, that was that back then, that was just the beginning of the opi... Many different opioids have come in particular fentanyl, synthetic opioid. And these pharmaceutical companies have made billions and billions and billions of dollars. Even with, and by the way, these are some pharmaceutical companies that are not just... Not just here, but they're doing well.


CHALENE JOHNSON: Yeah. Oh yeah. Oh yeah.


SHAWN STEVENSON: Even Johnson and Johnson had a big role to play. They just paid out part of a $2 billion settlement for their contribution to the opioid epidemic. Right? And so, again, we've gotta understand where this stuff is coming from and have a little bit more skepticism. And again, also be open to the fact that this could be helpful for some people in the right circumstances.


CHALENE JOHNSON:  That's right. That's right. It could be life saving.


SHAWN STEVENSON: By the way, when you say side effects, last thing I wanna share with this really quickly, and I had messaged you with this when after I listened to your episode. The black box warning on Ozempic from the FDA states that, in rodents! In rodents, Ozempic "causes dose dependent and treatment duration dependent thyroid tumors." All right. Again, in rodents, two things here. Dose dependent, how much you're taking, treatment duration dependent, the longer you take it, the longer you're on it, the more likely with the thyroid tumors. But they also know that in humans it's unsure. Unsure makes me unsure.


CHALENE JOHNSON: Absolutely. And I remember when, you and I were going back and forth on that and I was kind of playing devil's advocate. I'm like, yeah, that's an unsure. But what we do know for sure is if you are morbidly obese and you've been carrying that weight around forever, we do know for sure the risks that are associated with your mortality. So it's a double-edged sword. It's a double-edged sword. Here's the other thing that we do know for sure, is that you can do this yourself. You can, you absolutely can. The one thing, Shawn, that drives me crazy that no one has been able to answer for me is, so people are losing all this weight because they're eating less. Right? I mean, is that the answer? I mean, obviously it's more profound than that.


CHALENE JOHNSON: But what's happening is now their blood glucose levels are regulating, and that happens when we eat less. And when we eat less, then that insulin sensitivity, that is the problem especially for people who are pre-diabetic and diabetic, suddenly, as we're eating less, that's less of a problem. And now we're no longer drug dependent on the diabetic medication. But the part that doesn't... I can't make sense of is we're eating less, we're eating fewer calories. But these same individuals were the ones who were saying, I've tried eating less before.


CHALENE JOHNSON: So, what else is going on? Is it that people who were not reporting accurately? Is it that we're underestimating how much we're really eating? Or is the fact of the matter that it is a calorie issue?


SHAWN STEVENSON: Yeah. And most importantly, struggling to eat less because we're not doing the thing that creates the satiety.


CHALENE JOHNSON: That's right. That's right. Right.


SHAWN STEVENSON: And so that's really what this is like, again, a hammering a certain thing versus like what are some things I can do for myself? Like even said earlier, how de-stressing it can be to go for a walk with your husband, for example. And again, this is not to say that that's the ultimate weight loss cure.


CHALENE JOHNSON: But to stack it.


SHAWN STEVENSON: But when you stack these things, you start to experience less cravings, especially cravings for things that tend to put more weight on your body and make it more difficult to lose it.




SHAWN STEVENSON: But that requires change as you mentioned.


CHALENE JOHNSON: It does. And it requires... Again, like the addiction part of this has to be looked at because I think for a lot of people, food is an addiction. Food is a way to dissociate. Food is something that we can use to feel better. Right? And so if we remove that piece or if this drug is working on that area of the brain. Again, then that would have me excited. But what has me nervous, just like you are the things that we don't know.


SHAWN STEVENSON: Well, something I do know is that you are one of the people that, again, we've looked to who's created a culture of family connection. And it's so... That aspect of our health, and we're gonna talk more about this when I do your show, but that aspect of our health might be according to the data, the most powerful influence on our health. Is our relationships.




SHAWN STEVENSON: And so, as part of the 2023 Family Health and Fitness Summit, we're gonna get to actually hear from you talking specifically about how you've created a culture of health and fitness in your family and in your household. And I wanna ask you just a little bit about this now, because again, in a society that is really kind of inundating us with things that are health detracting, how have you navigated...


CHALENE JOHNSON: What was the phrase you just used?


SHAWN STEVENSON: Inundating us.




SHAWN STEVENSON: Health detracting. Yes.


CHALENE JOHNSON: Oh, health detracting. Okay.


SHAWN STEVENSON: Health detracting especially from the standpoint of, we'll just talk specifically about fitness, right? So how have you found ways to like bake that into your family culture?


CHALENE JOHNSON: It was something that we role modeled and it was something that we had a great time with our kids, making it something they did together. I know you work out at home with your kids. I never told them, okay, you've gotta work out with us. They just watch, and they wanna participate. It was us never talking about body. We never talked about weight and we never talked about body, theirs or ours in front of them.


CHALENE JOHNSON: It was celebrating like whatever they wanted to do that was physical. It was without making it like about the thing. I wouldn't say, “I don't want you being inactive and sitting on your beds playing your video games”. I never said that. But I would instead say like, "Alright, I've got something fun we could do. Let's go down and film." You gotta like pay attention what they were into, and they were into their phones. They're into technology.


CHALENE JOHNSON: So, my kids, I encouraged them to start a YouTube channel. This is like when they're, like, I don't know, probably nine and 12. Do you know Dude Perfect? The guys that threw the basketball.


SHAWN STEVENSON: Yes, of course. Yes.


CHALENE JOHNSON:  So Brock and Sierra would do that for hours and hours and Sierra would chase after the ball and go shag the ball for Brock. And Brock would throw the ball and they would do that for hours. And little did they realize, like I might as well have said, go outside and exercise, but I didn't have to. So it's like finding creative ways that don't sound like punishment. Like don't sound like something you have to do. Where they're just being active. They don't have to exercise. They need to be active 'cause our kids are not active.


SHAWN STEVENSON: Poof! Already you blew my mind because it seems so obvious, but it's not. Like I remember my son Braden, like getting off his iPad and doing like these trick shots on the staircase, he had to keep going up and down, trying to... He did it prob... I'm not... I mean, it might've been like 100 times.


CHALENE JOHNSON: Yeah, well, it's a great workout.


SHAWN STEVENSON: Going up and down the stairs and trying to get whatever it was, maybe it was like some fuzzy stuffed ball into a very small box that was at the bottom of the staircase, right?. And he was recording himself doing it. And it's just like, pay attention to what they're into, what motivates them. And also, but the thing is we just want our kids to do what we want them to do. A lot of times. We've always gotta catch ourselves doing that. And also because we know what de-excites them. And force... And try to get them to force to do it, which you can for a time period. But people rebel. We all do. And so that's so brilliant. It's so smart. Like finding a way for them to access what they're into, but movement is involved.


CHALENE JOHNSON: Yeah. And I'm a big, big fan of any sport they wanna play. Like don't push them into your sport just because you have dreams of being a whatever and you're trying to fulfill that through your kids' life. But like, let them freaking do everything. Like as long as they're moving and being on a team, that's so good for them and then they look forward to it, then you don't have to say, ”you need to go do fill in the blank”. They feel a sense of responsibility to their teammates 'cause those become their friends.


CHALENE JOHNSON: And some sports are more active than others, but let them... Let them quit and try another one. Like just let them experiment with what movement feels good to them and try... And it's hard today because everything's so specialized. Like you're not allowed to play multiple sports. It's like if you're gonna play basketball then you can only play basketball and you need a basketball coach and you gotta do a traveling basketball team. And we turn 'em into little professionals, which is ridiculous.


CHALENE JOHNSON: But at the end of the day, you can't just tell your kids to go move or like get off your phone and go move. Like, you have to give them, they want structure, they crave structure, they crave community, they crave connection, they crave your attention. So pay attention, show up at their practices if you can and get involved and listen to what they wanna do.


SHAWN STEVENSON: You are speaking the truth. Ah, so much more of this is in store for everybody. And this is, you get free access by the way, to the 2023 Family Health and Fitness Summit when you pre-order the Eat Smarter Family Cookbook. Go to your favorite retailer, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, but go to and you get all the bonuses there, which more from Chalene and all of our other experts.


SHAWN STEVENSON: And we're really creating a movement to get our families healthier. Because again, that feeds into itself. When our family is healthier, it comes back to us abundantly. But also we're living right now at a time where family health is complicated.




SHAWN STEVENSON: And so to be able to stack conditions in our favor. And also we're doing a 25K fitness giveaway as well. So we're giving away a bunch of fitness equipment and food, groceries, all that good stuff. So and also, again, for you, make sure to subscribe like literally right now to the Chalene Show and just be immersed in that incredible universe and all the wonderful stuff that you talk about. Your husband Brett is so brilliant. We've had him on this show. He's been sitting right there before you.


CHALENE JOHNSON: Is that what you said, you said he was so brilliant.


SHAWN STEVENSON: That's coming from me.






CHALENE JOHNSON: He's awesome.


SHAWN STEVENSON: But you know Brett as well, your kids are amazing.


CHALENE JOHNSON: Thank you're so much.


SHAWN STEVENSON: You're just sharing, your daughter's about to launch her product line here soon. Yeah. It's just like, it's so crazy.


CHALENE JOHNSON: Kind of crazy, it's trippy. They're married, they're both married and like they're adults. It's weird and it's so fun. And so I just wanna end on saying like, don't be afraid of this next season of your life. There's so many fun, cool things that you're gonna be able to do.


SHAWN STEVENSON:  Awesome. And where else can people follow you social media?


CHALENE JOHNSON: Chalene Johnson everywhere. So on YouTube it's YouTube/Chalene Johnson. On the Instagrams, I'm Chalene Johnson.




CHALENE JOHNSON: That's my name everywhere you go.


SHAWN STEVENSON: Boom. Well, again, you're one of my favorite people. Thank you for coming to hang out.


CHALENE JOHNSON:  Thank you so much. I love you.


SHAWN STEVENSON: Love you too. Chalene Johnson everybody. Thank you so much for tuning into the show today. I hope you got a lot of value out of this. This is one to share out with friends and family. Send this directly from the podcast app that you are listening on to somebody that you care about. And of course you could share this on social media. Take a screenshot of this episode, Chalene will be blown away to see it. Tag her, she's @Chalene Johnson and I'm at @Shawn Model, S-H-A-W-N M-O-D-E-L on Instagram. And share the love.


SHAWN STEVENSON: I appreciate you so much for tuning into the show today. We've got some epic masterclass and world class guests coming your way very, very soon. So make sure to stay tuned. Take care, have an amazing day and I'll talk with you soon.


SHAWN STEVENSON: And for more after the show, make sure to head over to the That's where you can find all of the show notes. You can find transcriptions, videos for each episode. And if you got a comment, you can leave me a comment there as well. And please make sure to head over to iTunes and leave us a rating to let everybody know that the show is awesome. And I appreciate that so much and take care. I promise to keep giving you more powerful, empowering, great content to help you transform your life. Thanks for tuning in

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