Listen to my latest podcast episode:

TMHS 770: Eat These 5 Foods to Live Longer! – with Dave Asprey

TMHS 643: Shift Your Focus from Weight Loss to Muscle Gain TODAY – with JJ Virgin

In the United States, the weight loss industry rakes in billions of dollars every single year. Yet, data shows that most folks are unable to sustain their weight loss goals long-term, and very few of our citizens are metabolically healthy. What’s missing in this equation, and what can we do to help people create a sustainable, realistic healthy lifestyle?

Today’s guest, JJ Virgin, is passionate about helping others reach their weight loss goals and feel their best at any age. With nearly four decades in the health and fitness industry, JJ knows a thing or two about optimizing nutrition and exercise to create results. She is also a four-time New York Times bestselling author, podcast host, speaker, and media personality.

On this episode of The Model Health Show, JJ is sharing why focusing on weight loss doesn’t create results, and what to do instead. We’re covering topics like creating muscle mass, how to set protein goals, simple principles for healthy eating, and the stress-weight connection. JJ has so much invaluable wisdom and experience to share; I hope you enjoy this interview!

In this episode you’ll discover:

  • What percentage of dieters typically achieve and sustain their weight loss goals.
  • Why body composition matters when trying to lose weight.
  • The benefits of having muscle on your body.
  • Why building muscle increases your metabolism.
  • What percentage of US citizens are metabolically healthy.
  • Why weight alone is a meaningless number.
  • The main macronutrient you should focus on.
  • An important distinction between intermittent fasting and time restricted feeding.
  • How many grams of protein you should aim to consume.
  • Why processed foods can interrupt the natural process of intuitive eating.
  • How to use a continuous glucose monitor as a tool for metabolic health.
  • The relationship between stress and weight.
  • JJ’s personal experience with meditation.
  • Why exercise is a critical component for fat loss and overall health.

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: Welcome to The Model Health Show. This is fitness and nutrition expert Shawn Stevenson, and I'm so grateful for your tuning in with me today. Right, now tens of millions of people around the world are on weight loss programs. But unfortunately, only a tiny percentage of people that set out to lose weight actually achieve their goals and more importantly not just achieve their goals but sustain their weight loss long term. There's clearly something off in the equation. Depending on which data set you might be looking at, we can see upwards of about 90% of folks who set out to lose weight not accomplishing their goal, and if they do, not keeping the weight off long term. So again, it's a tiny percentage of people that set out to lose weight that actually achieve that weight loss. Now what can be the missing component? Because this equation should be pretty simple on the surface, right? There's this paradigm of expending more energy than you're taking in, and so if we're doing that, if we're following the equation, why is it so difficult?


Well, that's what we're going to be talking about today because our special guest is going to provide some data affirming that instead of focusing on weight loss, we need to shift to something that might have an even more profound effect on not just losing weight but losing actual body fat. And I'm telling you, she knows so much about this topic. She's been in the field of health and fitness for almost 40 years. And if you see her, she is the walking talking representation of what's possible. And so not only is she speaking from a place of experience, but she's helped countless people through her books and her programs and her live events to be able to transform their health, but not just transform their health but to transform their lives overall.


And doing this regardless of our circumstances because when we had her on the show many years ago, the first time her and I met, she shared the incredible difficulty and the tragedy that she went through when her son was actually out walking and was hit by a car. There was a hit-and-run situation and just what she went through with her son and that experience and being able to find some sense of normalcy and to maintain a sense of health and well-being, and to recover from all of that is one story in and of itself, right? And she talks about that being the miracle mindset.


But throughout all of it, her ability to adapt, her ability to find resilience and her ability now to see again, if you see her level of health and fitness to find longevity, it is so inspiring and this is what's possible for all of us regardless of where we are in our life, where we are in our story, we can take control of our health. And again, this cognitive shift from focusing on weight loss to this other scientifically backed subject can be a game changer not just for us but for our society at large. Because clearly this focus on weight loss is not working efficiently. Something is awry in this situation, but I promise you again with the information you're going to learn today, I'm going to be able to employ some new strategies, a really a new perspective, a new mindset, a new approach so we can start to truly transform and revolutionize the health of our society.


Now one of the most overlooked ingredients in a fat loss, in an effective fat loss strategy is optimizing our sleep. Researchers at the University of Chicago took test subjects, and they allowed them to get an ample amount of sleep and for another phase of study, they sleep-deprived them. And after two weeks in each condition, they compiled all the data and they found that when folks were getting adequate amounts of sleep, they lost 55% more body fat eating the exact same diet. They weren't exercising more; they weren't counting more calories.


Simply by getting adequate sleep, it provided some profound alterations into their metabolic health. All right? So obviously our sleep is an important ingredient, and we can up-level our sleep experience because truly this is something we spend a significant percentage of our life doing. Why not make it remarkable? Our sleep environment matters so much particularly what we're sleeping on and there was a randomized controlled trial that was conducted utilizing some of the softest bamboo lyocell sheets that are even softer than standard cotton sheets and looking at the health outcomes from test participants and the study participants found that their mental alertness the next day improved by 25% after sleeping on these organic bamboo lyocell sheets.


And 94% of people in the study preferred sleeping on these particular sheets. These are the sheets that I sleep on and right now for a last-minute Christmas gift for somebody that you love or gift for yourself, I highly recommend you grab some sheets from Ettitude. Go to That's E-T-T-I-T-U-D-E, Enter the code model 15 at checkout. You're going to get 15% off. And by the way, these sheets are antimicrobial self-deodorizing. They inhibit bacterial growth and they're also breathable, moisture-wicking and they're thermal-regulating, helping your body to stay cool in the summer and warm in the winter. They're not creating a chamber of heat and insulation that makes your body get overheated while sleeping.


Again, ettitude sheets are made from the finest organic bamboo lyocell. It's a 300-thread count, which is as fine as 1000-count Egyptian cotton, but they're grown sustainably only utilizing one-third of the water plus no harmful chemicals, so they're kind to your skin and the planet.


Get true beauty sleep on these sheets, go to, and enter the code model 15 at checkout. Plus, you get a 30-night sleep trial. Sleep on them, think on them, dream on them. If you don't love them, you could send them back for a full refund, but once you slip into these sheets, I guarantee you're going to love them. Go to And now let's get to the Apple podcast review of the week.


ITUNES REVIEW: Another five-star review titled, “This Podcast Is For You”, by Asheville Alma, “calling all biohackers, health nuts, curious crossFitters, pen menopausal goddesses and content consumers. Listen to Shawn Stevenson. This guy is brilliant, humble, and easy to listen to. His content is science-based and spot-on. Whatever questions you may have about your health and wellness, this show will help you find the answers. Can't recommend more highly.”


SHAWN STEVENSON: So amazing. Thank you so much for leaving that review over on Apple podcast. I truly, truly do appreciate that. And on that note, let's get to our special guest and topic of the day.


Triple Board-certified nutrition expert and Fitness Hall of Famer, JJ Virgin is a passionate advocate of eating and exercising smarter. JJ helps people to stay fired up and healthy as they age so they can feel their best even after age 40 plus and you're going to find out what bracket JJ is in during this episode. She's also a prominent TV and media personality whose features include appearances on Dr. Phil, on PBS, Dr. Oz, Rachel Ray, Access Hollywood, The Today's Show. The list goes on and on and on.


She's also the author of four New York Times best-selling books including The Virgin Diet, The Virgin Diet Cookbook and JJ Virgin's Sugar Impact Diet. JJ hosts the popular Ask the Health Expert and she's the founder of Mindshare Summit, and she's one of my favorite people in this space and again providing a powerful mindset in our approach to getting our society healthier. Let's dive into this conversation with the amazing JJ Virgin.


Legend. I don't use that word lightly. Thank you so much for coming to hang out with us. This is our first time actually sitting down and recording. We've done several things together, but I'm grateful to have you here.


JJ Virgin: I know. I'm so excited to be here and I'd see you again.




JJ Virgin: I know, like lucky me.


SHAWN STEVENSON: We got a big gala thing. You know LA's is one of the things I came here to do. Dr. Amen’s gala. Well, right now we've got tens of millions of people here in the United States that are focusing on weight loss. This has obviously been an issue in our society for the past few decades. But your research indicates that we're actually focusing on the wrong thing. We're focused on weight loss. We're focused on the wrong thing. This is why we're struggling with this issue. Let's talk about that.


JJ Virgin: Absolutely. And here's what I'm excited about is, 20 years ago, I think I brought the bioimpedance scale to Dr Phil when we were doing weight loss challenges and showed people, but I wasn't allowed to talk about body fat back then because they wanted to show this big weight loss. And if you focus on what that weights made up of, then you might not see a big weight loss, but you might see a big body composition change, which is what's important. So, what we're looking at right now is the wrong metric. Because if anything, especially if you want to play full out at a 100, which is my mantra now, play full out at 100. You know when you're 59, all of a sudden you go, "Oh." Things shift, right?


And so, everything really is about holding on to our building muscle mass. And I look at it and go, "All right, 30s, 40s, 50s, this is like primo building years. And you look at people who are so focused on weight loss and they want to lose weight fast. There's no way you're losing fat, primarily fat if you're losing weight fast, right? And ideally, you're focused solely on muscle first. Like if you look at what I'm working on right now, our norms and what I haven't been able to really find, I don't think the research is there yet is how much muscle do we want to have? Like what is the ideal muscle mass for someone with when you looked at height and frame, right? Really got the weight ideal that way.


And then if you looked at your weight and went, "All right, I'm actually, maybe 30 pounds overweight but I'm five pounds under-muscled." I would never focus on the fat loss first. I would solely focus on the muscle because if you're putting on muscle, you know, everyone wants a faster metabolism. It's like, "Well, as long as your thyroid is working well, the big controlling factor is always going to be muscle." Put it on, right. And plus, muscles like metabolic spanks, it holds everything in tighter and boosts your metabolism and improves insulin sensitivity. And it provides this little sink for when you're drinking... You know getting in some sugar, it's going to go into your muscles. So, it's just the perfect solution, but we have to, and I'll tell you a very funny story about this.


Especially women, we have to look at weight differently. So, I decided to really change my workout up, like I've gotten in a rut at the gym, and I thought, "You know what, I want to see if I can put some muscle on." I've been working out since I was a teenager with the football team. Because there were no... Like I went to high school in Richmond, California. There were no gyms, right? I'm in the football team while it like, the little football team room with all the big dudes lifting weights. And so, I literally have lifted weights my entire life.


Even when I would have an injury, I would lift around the injury. So, I've always worked out. And I decided to see where I can go with this. So, I went in, and I really pushed it and I started gaining weight. And then I had this whole mental thing going on of like... And my clothes are still fitting, everything's fitting. If anything, it might be a little tighter around the arms, well, that's okay.


But it's fitting but it's like I'm still having to do this mental game of, "Oh my gosh. I'm gaining weight." Holy smokes. It's muscle. This is what you want at the end of this whole like banging. But women do that, right? So often. I had a girl, Vicky who went down to gym who wanted to lose 10 pounds and we worked together, and she dropped two clothing sizes. She looked amazing. She lost no weight. Now instead of celebrating that she'd actually drop five pounds of fat, put on five pounds of muscle and look like an entirely different person, I was like, "Do you want to look the same, like a small fluffier version of yourself here?" Right? It's just a mindset shift. We have to get to.


SHAWN STEVENSON: Yeah. And it's so crazy that we're still doing this and we're... Just look at the results of our society. Something is not working.


JJ Virgin: It's not working.


SHAWN STEVENSON: It's a cognitive thing as well.


JJ Virgin: It's getting worse too. I mean, it's not only not working. It's like its compounding, like way worse than ever.


SHAWN STEVENSON: Compounding, pounding.


JJ Virgin: That's cute, but it is. I mean, look at it now. What do they say? Because here's an important concept. You don't lose weight to get healthy. You actually have to get healthy to be able to burn fat put on muscle, right? If you're very metabolically unhealthy, you're insulin-resistant, which what is it now like 90% of the population is?


SHAWN STEVENSON: Yeah, we just had a study. We'll put it up for everybody on the screen here, just published recently finding that approximately 12% of American citizens are metabolically healthy. That's it. 12%.


JJ Virgin: That's crazy and I know that how they define metabolically healthy is probably not how you and I define metabolically healthy, and then if you are going to combine that with looking at body composition. And I'd assume their visceral adipose tissue would be good because that's such a key determinant. But looking at the amount of muscle mass they have etcetera, it's probably much lower than that. So, you look at this and go, "Holy smokes."


SHAWN STEVENSON: Now if you could share chronologically, JJ, what is your age?


JJ Virgin: I just said it, it's 59.




JJ Virgin: 59. Here's what's super-cool. And I just did a DEXA. I took my husband and I to do a DEXA because I was watching him and I'm like he's... We're working with a functional medicine doc with him because he's just 57. I went younger. But his hormones are all started to drop, and you could start to see it and you could see it in the DEXA scan, right? But I have literally done DEXAs in in-bodies and been tracking this for years and I'm the same body fat that I was at 39. So, 20 years later, same weight, same clothing size, same body composition.


SHAWN STEVENSON: This is what's possible. Thank you. But listen, you're such an inspiration and your husband you said he's 57?


JJ Virgin: He's 57.


SHAWN STEVENSON: He's radiantly healthy as well.


JJ Virgin: Yeah.


SHAWN STEVENSON: Again, you wouldn't put that chronological tag on him and obviously for you that's like it's shocking. It should be shocking when people find that out. But obviously we know there's a huge difference with the chronological age versus your biological age. You're much, much younger because of the way that you take care of yourself. And here's the thing. You're talking all the way back in high school and working out at the gym, doing all this stuff that was definitely not en vogue, and it's just like you've always been ahead of the curve with so many of these things that become popularized today and still there's still a lot of work to be done.


But you were pushing the envelope then and I want to fast-forward this because you mentioned earlier working with Dr. Phil and not really being able to even talk about lean mass or body fat percentage more so because the focus, they're putting on our head, putting on blinders so we just look at weight and weight loss. The conversation is shifting, but I want to ask you about this because what I'm really hearing is instead of saying like if we could change this metric even in medicine, where a physician is saying, "Hey, you really need to lose 30 pounds," shifting it to saying, "You need to gain 5 pounds of muscle." What are the things that is going to be entailed in gaining that 5 pounds of muscle, so we can start to shift this?


Because I would imagine it's going to help with the weight loss piece, too. But what are some of the things we can do to add on that muscle?


JJ Virgin: So, first of all, the doctor's office should have a DEXA or an in-body. Like forget ever stepping on a regular scale again. That is like looking at total cholesterol. It is a meaningless number Right?


I mean, if it's high you're going to go, "Gee, we need to pull it apart." But you could have it be normal and be sarcopenically obese, not have enough muscle. So that's the first thing. So, they have to be able to look at this. This has to be part... Like to me, it's one of the biggest changes we can make a metabolic health quickly. Because it will take it us out of this diet mentality that sets everybody up to fail. Even when I go on I'm like, "Oh I'm going to go on a diet," and then I get into this like I've been... Done it for years. But you immediately start to think of all the stuff you can't have and then you want to have it, because that's just human nature.


So, we want to put on five pounds of muscle. Now, if someone is not working out at all, it's going to be so much easier to start. It's kind of like cleaning a really dirty window. It looks amazing and you dust a little bit. So, there's an advantage to being out of shape because you're going to see big changes quickly and you can do something called recomping where you can lose fat and put on muscle at the same time. But let's assume most people have been doing something and now they're coming in. First thing they need to do is make sure that their whole diets focus protein first. And it's going to help with blood sugar control, it's going to help with satiety.


When you focus first on building your plate and building your day around protein and pampering your breakfast and dinner around protein, you actually will start to get full and not overeat. We were just in Italy this summer. We went out to some restaurant to have steak Florentine and it was this big. And we eat this whole thing. We were... So, I thought we're probably not going to eat for a couple days. I mean, we had to go take this three-hour walk afterwards because we were like...


I wanted to go curl up in a fetal position, but when you eat protein, you're full. And so, the first thing is to sit down and go, "Okay. Let's design your diet based on what you really want your ideal body weight to be in." If we could really do, it would really be based on your muscle mass. But to keep it simple, at least 0.8 grams per pound of ideal body weight and then divide that over three meals. One of the challenges I think with intermittent fasting is you just simply can't get the protein you need in two meals so... And I do believe we need to eat during the circadian rhythm so I'm not a lunch and dinner person.


I think we need to eat earlier in the day probably two hours after waking is good, you know, cortisol has come up, Melatonin has come back down, pancreas can work. But focusing on that and then getting to the gym and start to focus on lifting heavy things. And people always say how much weight should I lift? I go. "As much you can in good form until you can't and do it hard." And do big movements, don't focus on little, little vanity movements like bicep curls and triceps extensions. I never do that.


SHAWN STEVENSON: That will surprise the sh*t out of people because you got the cat.


JJ Virgin: I know there was... It's true, you must do like "Oh no, I never do that." I do pull-ups. I do push-ups. I do bent over rows. I do big stuff that is going to require my whole body so there's stability in there too, right and you know I might, if the end if I want to throw a little bit in there, but usually I'm too tired.


SHAWN STEVENSON: Yeah. That's so much muscle recruitment that you're doing. And that’s again getting back to how our bodies are really designed is a lot of things working together.


JJ Virgin: Right. I love the, I can't, I'll try to remember who said this I think it might have been Paul Chekov like our bodies weren't, you know bolted to the floor. So do things standing up, do things that require balance. So, cables, free weights, body weight do those things.


SHAWN STEVENSON: Yeah, I love it. This is a little too simple, you know. The principles here are simple, but you just gave us a huge insight into what can make it difficult and this is going to create a little bit of a conflict in our minds and so I want to dig into to this which is we've got this intermittent fasting paradigm, which has a lot of valid science and we've got this paradigm of needing to get in an allotment of protein so that we can actually shift our metabolic health and of course, you know even Katie Wellness Mama, for example, great story. It took her years to really crack the code for her weight loss success which for her was when she finally focused on adding in ample amounts of protein it changed the game for her, right? So, you gave a little insight into, "Hey, if you are intermittent fasting, you might not be able to hit that number that you're trying to hit". So, we need to maybe mentally be flexible there and what we call an intermittent fasting window.


JJ Virgin: Or look at the tools. So, the great thing about protein more thermic than carbs or fat, so requires more energy to be metabolized and digested, more satiating. I mean this isn't going to work if you're hungry, right? But intermittent fasting, I look at people and I go do you need to build or burn? Because once you're at a certain level of fitness, which if you're coming in totally deconditioned probably within three months, you're going to be past that recomping phase, maybe six and at that point you're burning or building and if you're really working on building, you're going to need the calories and you're going to need the space. I mean, sometimes I used to work with a lot of athletes, and I'd have them do four meals a day to be able to get it in. Really focusing on beginning and end as the key ones 'cause you can't just sit down and have a hundred and twenty grams of protein at a meal. It's going to not be able to be used to fix things. It's going to have to be used for fuel. That's not what you want your protein for, you want it for repair and rebuilding. So, but intermittent fasting is amazing.


So, what's your goal? Is your goal we've got to get you quickly, you know if you've got really screwy blood sugar and you're just are super overweight, so you need to lose both muscle and fat? And I say more muscle the lean body mass that supports the fat because you're going to have some of that, then you might want to do some intermittent fasting or if you've got cancer or other things going on. So, it's like these are all tools, use the tool for whatever you're working on but if you're coming in and you need to put on five to ten pounds of muscle and that's your first focus time restricted feeding is important.


I think we need to kind of, I think we need to distinguish between Intermittent fasting and time-restricted feeding. I think everyone should be eating within a 10-hour window at the most. You got to stop eating three to four hours before bed. You should not be trying to go to bed if you've just eaten because you're now going to have a problem because now you've got Melatonin coming up, your pancreas is not going to be able to pump out the insulin, you're going to have blood sugar issues and you're going to notice them in the morning too, right? We've all done it. So, we know it. I remember I did it one night my Oura ring the next morning is like, "It looks like you ate late last night". Okay, this is weird. Are you like spying on me? But you know if you look at and go, I'm pushing to eat two hours after I wake up in the morning, I'm stopping eating three to four hours before bed. You got a 10-hour window right there at least and so you can get three meals in and not snack. Holy smokes.


SHAWN STEVENSON: This actually reminds me of this study, and this is published in the journal Obesity, and they stated that employing intermittent fasting is like flipping, "Metabolic switch" and it's a 12 hours. A 12 hour. Not even 10-hour, 12-hour window we get these metabolic benefits. So, it's not just saying one or the other per se it's... I love that you're bringing this up. It's not just this label, this blanket statement of intermittent fast but time-restricted feeding and getting that ample amount of protein into that window and not shortening is so small that you're not hitting your goal.


JJ Virgin: Right. Well, and I don't know if you've seen the latest that Dr. Sachin Pondo is talking about where he said that in all of his research using that circadian app that he has, he says 10%, less than 10% of the population eats within a 12-hour window meaning that 90% or more of the population is eating for more than 12 hours.




JJ Virgin: Like are you kidding? That means that you wake up in the morning and you're probably eating or you're snacking, and I still remember when the snacking thing happened. I remember this was... Like I remember when the whole fat-free craze happened?




JJ Virgin: 'Cause I was teaching aerobics in LA at the time when the whole fat-free craze happened, and we were eating carbs all day long 'cause we were starving and so you had to graze and snack, and everyone was teaching you to graze and you were grazing on fat-free things and it was ridiculous. And I was so hypoglycemic at the time that I remember I would get shaky, and I was working out hours each day and I was just a metabolic train wreck. I mean one of the single easiest things like when you look at it, if you first start and you eat protein and you make 30 grams your minimum amount, you're going to get at that meal like always hit 30 grams at your minimum and then you make sure you get some non-starchy vegetables in there and you start with those two with great blood sugar balance. You're going to get healthy fats in the protein. Then you can look at adding in healthy fats, maybe some slow low carbs but if you eat that way and then you drink water in between or iced green tea, you're actually not hungry.


If You're hungry. You're probably hungry from this processed crap they built all this trigger stuff into like I'm hooked on something Called Catalina crunch. Have you seen this stuff?


SHAWN STEVENSON: I can't say that I have. I know a Catalina. I live...


JJ Virgin: Don't get it. Okay, so don't get this because like I love cereal. I love cereal and so it's this keto cereal, I have no business eating this but it's like I'll make a smoothie and I'll put a little bit on top and it's got protein. But it's a total... They have so engineered this stuff so that you want more, and you want more, and you want. It's a ridiculous stuff. I'm like, "I know what I'm doing," just walk away from this stuff. But that's what all these things are. They'll design these things. They look like they've got a health halo because they say keto or gluten-free, you know and they're a cupcake and then they're so delicious that you overeat. If you just go back to again, no one's picking out on salmon and brussels sprouts, right and then you're actually full. Imagine that.


SHAWN STEVENSON: Imagine that.


JJ Virgin: And then you could have breakfast two hours after you wake up, get in at least 30 grams of protein if you're a 120-pound woman like you're going to get in 90 to 120 grams depending on your goals and then you eat lunch and then you eat dinner. Simple. And you stop dinner if you're going to bed at 10 have dinner and be done at six, seven at the latest not hard. And that means you shut down after dinner, any little. You have a bite of chocolate at 9 that counts, it all counts.


SHAWN STEVENSON: But the key here is for us to even feel satiated at that point where we can just wind down in the evening, the key word is the satiation being satisfied not having a craving or draw towards getting that glass of wine or getting a snack or whatever the case might be. So, it's what you're doing during the day is going to determine how your evening is going to go.


JJ Virgin: Yeah, you know, it's those meals you eat that, it's like did you hit a hormonal winner or not? Because if you ate the meal and you're still kind of going I don't feel good. If I go to a vegan or vegetarian restaurant, I will know and I think it's due to that, if you've heard of that protein leverage hypothesis? I think that's the coolest stuff ever. 'cause every time I'd ever gone to a vegan restaurant, my big joke was I was going to like put a roast in my purse and go to the restaurant, you know, a chicken or something 'cause I always feel like I'm missing something. Like I was so full and bloated and still like, "I need something here." And it was that I just could not get enough protein from the quinoa, beans, seeds, nuts. I sure could overload on fat and carbs, but I didn't get the protein that I needed, right?


SHAWN STEVENSON: Mmhmm. So, this is a question for us to ask ourselves. Do you feel like something's missing? But this points to the importance of us actually to be able to have self-inquiry and to listen to our bodies.


JJ Virgin: Well, but here's the thing and this is the issue with intuitive eating. We have an inner guidance system, this intuitive GPS. It's completely screwed if you're eating processed foods. Okay, case in point Catalina crunch. I would eat the whole thing. I'd eat an entire bag full of Catalina crunch because it's so delicious. Right? I wouldn't do that with, again, chicken and broccoli. I'd eat what I needed, and I'd be done but there's no triggering in there. So, the only way for us to really know what we need is we have to figure out our hidden food intolerances because if we've got things sneaking in, then our bodies intolerant will crave it and that could... Or we've got to make sure no sugar sneaking in 'cause if you're not paying attention, it's in the stupidest things like, you know you go out to a restaurant and they gave you this olive oil blend and then they put all this sugar in the dressing and then they put the candied walnuts and the craisins and all that stuff on the salad and you just had a sundae with some lettuce on it [laughter] and you can't figure out why you want more. So, we have to be really careful about how we listen to our intuitive guidance system. It can only help us when we've kind of gotten clean, right? Otherwise, we'll be at night going, "Oh my guidance system says I need some wine and chocolate."


SHAWN STEVENSON: That's the ways. You got that internal ways, that ways right to the drinkie. Got a quick break coming up. We'll be right back.


More than ever because of our environmental stressors we need key nutrients that help our bodies to modulate and manage and process stress. A lot of those have to do with micronutrients. Key minerals are essential in running processes to help to even modulate like shifting our nervous system from the sympathetic fight-or-flight dominance over to parasympathetic rest and digest recovery. We need certain key micronutrients to do that. Historically in the last few decades, unfortunately, we turn to these sh*tty multivitamins that are coming from synthetic sources. "That's what I was given." "My grandma gave me Flintstone vitamins." "I am biting off the head of Fred and Barney and Dino." And what that really is, its sugar, synthetic micronutrients, artificial flavors, artificial colors, all of these things that are terrible for a growing developing human brain and body. Because the emphasis here is on synthetic versions of these micronutrients. A synthetic nutrient though it might be the same chemical makeup on paper does not have the underlying intelligence and even more tangibly speaking the supporting elements the cofactors found in real food concentrations that magnify its resonance with our human cells.


Let's take vitamin E For example, this nutrient is important for healthy function of our cardiovascular system, cognitive performance and even the health of our skin. Well, a study that was published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, determined that natural vitamin E from food concentrates has nearly twice the bioavailability of synthetic vitamin E. Right so again, synthetic versions of this, so these are artificially concocted versus the whole food form and also whole food concentrates, so food-based supplementations. Now all of my family, my kids in particular, I make sure that they're getting in a concentration of whole food-based micronutrients several times a week at minimum most of the time every day. And for me, especially for my kids and in particular with my youngest I love the formulation of red juice and these kind of red blended red and blue hued superfoods in the Organifi red juice because he loves the way that it tastes and it's just packed with real food nutrition. So, in particular we've got acai that's in there in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry found that acai actually, not just theoretically it actually raises participants antioxidant levels. Demonstrating how effectively it's absorbed by our gut by the human digestive system.


We actually do absorb the antioxidants It's not theoretical. There's a resonance here and acai actually has an ORAC value of 103,000 this means that it's about 10 times the antioxidants of most fruits that you're going to see in your produce aisle. So, it's again getting our kids growing bodies the antioxidants in a concentrated source but it's kid tested, parent approved tasty. Another ingredient that red juice blend is actually blueberry and researchers at the University of Michigan Published data finding that blueberry intake can potentially affect genes related to fat burning, again stacking conditions for healthy metabolism. Head over to and get 20% off their red juice blend and also their green juice blend, the incredible gold. Everything they carry actually It's really, really special thing that they have going on. Go to That's O- R- G- A- N- I- F- model. Get 20% off get kid tested, parent approved. Definitely for our kids red juice is a huge winner now back to the show.


So, it sounds like we've got two major GPS coordinates that are kind of messed up. We've been so focused we put in that in destination in the GPS for weight loss. We need to set that in destination to muscle gain and then the same thing holds true with nutrition where we've had that GPS set to fats and or carbohydrates and battling back and forth in camps. You know these in fighting with these two different camps when it should be directed towards protein.


JJ Virgin: Which is so odd, isn't it? You look at those two things and they're so obvious. I mean we all know that if you diet and lose weight and gain it back and lose weight and gain it back that you now have really messed yourself up because you've shifted your body composition and you've now a higher body fat and then on the other side having been in the diet world since I was like 20 it's so weird to look at the fact that we for the last 30, 40 years have been manipulating carbs and fat and carbs and fat and carbs and fat. And then we'll also do percentages. Oh, it should be 30, 40 30. No, it should not be a percentage. There's an absolute on protein. There's no percentage there and I also don't believe in a percentage on non-starchy vegetables. I think that's a non-negotiable like you need at least five and I'm not afraid of vegetables. I know that there's like there's... It's so funny when the whole plant controversy came out ago. Now, we're afraid of vegetables too. Great. Do not fear the broccoli. They're their friend. I do not fear.


SHAWN STEVENSON: Do not fear the broccoli. That's a twittable. That's a twittable. Well, I want to ask you about this as well because even have this insight about the order in which we're eating our foods can make a difference with our metabolic health. Let's talk about that.


JJ Virgin: Yeah, and well, this is what's so great about wearing these continuous glucose monitors which by the way, I got totally attacked on social media for wearing a continuous glucose monitor, which I just was like, this is funny. Apparently, there's a worldwide shortage of CGMs. There's not and I was taking them away from people who are dying. I go A there's no shortage so that's a whole different world so... And B when you really look at what's going on here our Health crisis is a health crisis of blood sugar and insulin sensitivity. It is a crisis if we can have people see in real time what's going on. It will change everything, right? So if you're wearing a CGM and you can see in real time boy if I start the meal and I sit down at the table and they bring the bread basket over and I have the bread and the olive oil and I just have that for about and then maybe a glass of wine and that's the first 30 minutes and then I get my salad and then I get my entree well, you've already hijacked your blood sugar.


But if you instead of doing that sat down and you can either have vegetables or you can have protein. I'd argue that I really like to have protein first. But sometimes at a restaurant, you know, you can't say bring me my chicken, bring me my... If you're in Italy It works out great, but otherwise can be challenging. When you eat the protein first remember this is way more thermic, it's way more satiating and again, we know that we eat something, and we don't immediately feel satiated.


It takes a little time. So now you've got a little time if you make it your process to go protein non-starchy vegetables that should take you because we're actually going to chew instead of just guzzle it down. I'll tell you Sean being a trainer for years and having to run from client to client to client I was the best like fast eater on the planet. Like I could have entered contests of how fast I could eat. This has been such a thing to control myself to not eat too fast and to be the last one to finish. I still struggle. But if you can do that, you'll have so much better blood sugar control and satiety that you may not even eat the rest of the plate, right.




JJ Virgin: Because you don't need it.


SHAWN STEVENSON: This is... Well, let's start here with the chewing aspect. Obviously, you know, that in of itself. We've got new data then I'm packaging this together on it being a stress reliever just the fact that you chewing your food well helps to reduce...


JJ Virgin: Wow.


SHAWN STEVENSON: Our stress output and also obviously it's going to improve assimilation. You know, you're really mixing it with your DNA and RNA and your saliva and coating it and the breakdown products, the amylase that you're releasing. The ability to break down those proteins all of it starts in the mouth. That's the first part of the digestion. The digestion actually even starts before you even eat.


JJ Virgin: Right.


SHAWN STEVENSON: You know, with your mouth it's going to salivating.


JJ Virgin: I remember reading a study they'd done a study where they had people instructed to chew 40 times each bite. And they're like and these people lost weight.


I'm like, "Well, that's 'cause they couldn't even get through. By the time they finished their meal, it was time to go to bed." I mean, come on 40 times per bite is a little ridiculous. But it's one that I look at all the time 'cause I'm very aware. I'm like, "Shoot. I'm the first one to finished. Just set that fork down. Put the fork down. Chew."


SHAWN STEVENSON: What the fork, JJ.


JJ Virgin: Put the fork down.


SHAWN STEVENSON: Oh my gosh. My wife if she was able to jump in in this conversation, she would tell me... Well, she'd tell everybody it's a bit of a problem eating with me because I always take a long time.


JJ Virgin: That's good.


SHAWN STEVENSON: She would have to schedule things around Sean having enough time to finish and it was just a... It was a conscious decision that I made when I was back in college when we first met, and I was... I had to turn my health around and I came across some research on this whole thing with chewing and I was like, "Okay." And so, I just started chewing my food well and it just became habitual to where I don't think about it anymore. And so, before I know it, everybody's done at the table. And my friends know this too. Cynthia, who we hang out with all the time is, you know, same thing everybody will be done and I'm still a bite away.


JJ Virgin: I'm going to watch this tomorrow night.


SHAWN STEVENSON: As a matter of fact. And also, everybody will be talking and so I'm usually quiet and this is just in case anybody notices this with any of my friends who are listening. I'm usually not talking that much during dinner. I'm listening and I'm chewing because I know I'm going to take a long ass time and I...


JJ Virgin: Are you 40 chews?


SHAWN STEVENSON: I'm not counting the chews. I was just...


JJ Virgin: I'm going to count chews. We need a chewing app.


SHAWN STEVENSON: How would you even hold that up?


JJ Virgin: Like each time you took a bite you have to... You know how they had the whole thing with COVID and like, wash your hands for an hour. And you know how they have the singing? I never really understood the singing while you brush your teeth 'cause I was like, "How do you sing and brush your teeth?" But that one you're supposed to hum happy birthday.


SHAWN STEVENSON: Well, there's many ways that obviously... We could do anything right now to be able to test and track. But for me, it's just like, breaking the food down to a place where it's of assistance to the rest of my digestion. That's pretty much it. And so, that's one piece of this but also the order in which you eat the foods that you talked about. If you think about the term the appetizer, the breads coming out it's also a stimulator. It's going to... It's kind of set-in place the template to desire more food potentially, right?


JJ Virgin: Yeah.


SHAWN STEVENSON: And again, it's already setting in place disruption with your blood sugar and then you're going to try and come in on the back end and get some protein in. If and I'm just going to toss this over to you, if we're eating some high-quality protein, non-starchy vegetables, and we have a little bit of the other stuff, is our body going to respond better if we have those things first?


JJ Virgin: Yep. Yes, it is. And that's what the research shows. First of all, don't you think it's ridiculous we have appetizers? Why do we need to eat before we eat? Why are there such a thing?


SHAWN STEVENSON: Because they're yummy. Because they're yummy, JJ.


JJ Virgin: Then by the time you eat dinner you've already eaten dinner. It's just a silly thing.


SHAWN STEVENSON: It sounds like we're hobbits. Breakfast, onesies. He's had dinner, supper. It's just like all of these different meals.


JJ Virgin: Oh, and then I remember. Remember when... Was it Taco Bell or Jack in the Box started the fourth meal? I go, "That's perfect."


SHAWN STEVENSON: Oh, yeah. I remember that.


JJ Virgin: The fourth meal campaign. I'm like, "Oh my gosh."


SHAWN STEVENSON: I remember that. The audacity.


JJ Virgin: Yes, 'cause that's what we should do at midnight. That's what we need.


SHAWN STEVENSON: They're not even hiding it. Yeah, just... And I got to be... I've rolled up to Jack in the Box late in the evening...


JJ Virgin: You had a fourth meal?


SHAWN STEVENSON: Many a time. All right. We called it Jack in the crack in a single...


JJ Virgin: It was our first thing in Richmond, California, we had a Jack in the Box. We always use to do that in high school go and yell at Jack. Terrible high school students. That was our big night out, we'll go yell at Jack.


SHAWN STEVENSON: Jack in the crack. Oh my gosh.


JJ Virgin: Order a bunch of fries.


SHAWN STEVENSON: If you even think about the... Even the audacity of Jack in the Box. A Jack in the Box itself is like supposed to be a gift but then it scares the sh*t out of a person who own, who opens it, who runs it through its process. And as accordingly they're scaring the sh*t out of people's digestive systems.


JJ Virgin: So yes, you will have a lower blood sugar response to the other stuff if you eat this way. But actually, you'll probably be more like a kid who gets full. I think one of the most interesting things when you have children you go, "Wow, they get full." And they stop eating. And so, you start with protein fat, protein non-starchy vegetables and fat in the protein you'll probably get full. But if you don't, your blood sugar is already more balanced so you're in better shape, plus you've got more muscle mass. So, your muscles are saying, "Hey, I'll take that sugar and I'll put it in my muscles instead of going and make my liver fattier."


SHAWN STEVENSON: Another epidemic, fatty livers. There's an integration point because still, even these things that you're sharing they're so simple, but we're not doing them. And so, it's a cognitive thing. So, we've got our mindset. We've got our perspective but that in of itself our metabolism is deeply integrated with our nervous system. So, our endocrine system and our nervous system. And if our nervous system is hot-wired and we're not doing well here, this is going to bleed into everything else. So, you also talk about not just taking our physical body to the gym, but also our nervous system to the gym.


JJ Virgin: So, here's the crazy thing that happened during the pandemic. So pandemic hits and that's a little stressful but not really my kids were there and we're all fine and we actually had set up like we had IV, vitamin C. We had like a total; I was ready for everything at the house. I'm like, just we've got it all here. So pandemic hits but we're having to make all these business shifts. And so, I have two companies we're making all these business shifts, super stressful, stuff is going on. And I notice, I get on the scale 'cause I believe you should get on the scale every single day it's a biometric tool giving you really important information. I get on the scale, my weight's up 5 pounds. This is basically in a day, and I go, "God, what did I eat that I was intolerant to that made that happen?" Next day it goes up another pound. Next day goes up another pound and I'm like, "Holy smokes." Fortunately, I'd been getting on the scale and not just running around in athleisure kidding myself because had I done that, I would not have been able to catch this early enough to know that I triggered an autoimmune response from the stress. But I also knew that it had happened due to the stress, and I can handle ridiculous levels of stress as you know from what happened with my son nearly dying. But this just was like overfilling and I hadn't done anything to release the pressure.


And so, I started looking around. We started doing yoga, we found a really hot yoga instructor I'll admit it online, so Tim had to deal with this. But I would do yoga at home and then, someone told me about Dr. Joe Dispenza was doing events. And I'm like, "Well, what else are we going to do? Let's go to that." So, we went to a Dr. Joe event. Now I will tell you, I listen to all of his stuff, and I've known about him from years, we used to speak on the same stage for Parker College. But I didn't do any of the meditations you're supposed to do before going to the event 'cause I'm like, "I'm going to a meditation retreat, why would I do that?" And I'm a complete meditation failure. Like I worked with Emily Fletcher from Ziva. Just I've tried and tried and tried and I can't and I'm like, I can't stop my brain. I go to this meditation retreat for a week. I go with a bunch of friends. They start this whole thing and people are popping out all over the place. Not me, I'm thinking about everything I need to get done. And at the end of the week, I realized that this was like taking my nervous system to the gym and that I would not go to the gym for a week and go, "I'm in shape. Cool. I'm done with that."


So, I thought, you know what? I'm committing to this and I'm going to commit for six months to see what happens and I will do it every day. Unfortunately, Tim supported me and was doing it too. Tim of course goes straight out into the quantum and he's seeing sunshine and butterflies and I'm having these internal battles. And so, we go back in June. June, I get a little farther and then I also have breakfast with Dr. Joe and I'm like, "Well, so tell me about like type A people who feel like they need being controlled." And he's like, "All right, it's going to take some time." I go back in September; things start to shift. I go in January; they do a coherence healing on me, and it was wild what happened. And it's funny now. It's been 18 months. My team said to me, "You know, we've tracked you for 18 months and we think you need to keep going. Like do not stop this." And I'll tell you, if you look at the most successful people out there it's not that they don't have stress, it is that they can tolerate levels of stress that the ordinary mortal could never handle. And they can tolerate that because they've trained their body just like they trained their body to be able to lift heavy weights that's a form of stress.


But this is just another way to do it and it has been amazing. We meditated this morning. We meditate every single day. And I remember being at this event going, "Okay. I have so much stuff to get done and now you're going to tell me that I'm going to add 30 to 60 minutes of meditation in every day. Like are you kidding?" I have so much more time because of it, 'cause I can just solve stuff out there instead of trying to be in the 3D world, kind of fighting through all of it. So, after the third one, I realized that somehow, I dropped five pounds. And I was sitting at dinner with Dr. Joe, and I go, "You know, I haven't changed anything. Like didn't change my workout, didn't change my food. All I did was start sitting down and meditating." Now, for those people that believe in the calorie in, calorie out model this won't make any sense to them, but maybe just kind of listen in. All I'm doing is sitting, I dropped five pounds. And I'm using body comp scale, so I know I'm not dropping muscle.


And he goes, "Yeah." So, Dr. Joe tells you you're beginning to become no one, no where, no thing. He goes. "Yeah, it's the no thing diet." He call it, it's funny. I actually got him the book that said the nothing diet and of course there's nothing in it. But it is such a hidden piece to the health spectrum. And I think the reason that it's so hidden is because it's hard to measure. It's hard to quantify. I've been looking at HRV for a while and I'm like, "I can't figure out what... How to make this thing. This thing just is irritating to me." It's not like you can step on a body composition scale or you can see how much weight you lift. This is like, how can I tell if my nervous system is better?


SHAWN STEVENSON: This is a game-changer. Because what's another epidemic? It's not just our food consumption, it's our stress consumption. And we live in a time where the stress inputs they're not as life-threatening as it would be thousands of years ago for our ancestors.


JJ Virgin: Right.


SHAWN STEVENSON: These are more like constant dings to the armor all day, every day and we are inundated with it. We don't really realize it. But coming into it, for example, if somebody say, "Living in Los Angeles, obviously there's traffic." It'll be the most random Sunday night. Why is there so much traffic? It's just... But there are people who struggle so much with the traffic and being a stressor and then there are folks who just value the time alone. They're coming into it. It's going to be based on your experience, your perception and also being able to process and decide whether or not this is something you can control. I can't control traffic in LA so why be mad about it? It's just... It's even the... It's like, again, taking your nervous system to the gym to be able to sit in a process. And this is what I'm really hearing because you're saving time because you're solving problems more gracefully because of this time of stillness.


JJ Virgin: Exactly... And I'm not reactive. Like stress has not gone down in the last year. We've had some crazy stuff go and I'm like, "Okay." Like it just... It's not fazing me. And I thought I got into a pretty high level of stress tolerance, but I think I still was internalizing a lot of it. Like when you go to one of his retreats, you'll see these people and it's funny the first retreat in, people are like, they'll scream or they'll shake and I'm like, "Look at that. I'm not going to do that." And by the end of the one you're like, "How do I get to do that?" 'Cause you realize that they're just shaking off all this trauma and all this stored stress and they're like, "I feel so much better." Just like an animal, will just shake it off and then just keep going and so it is how you can shake it off and just be able to handle bigger things. It's not like stress is going away. That's why I've always had an issue with stress management, I go, "That's just stupid." It's really improving your stress tolerance to get super resilient.


SHAWN STEVENSON: Yeah, I love it. I love it. So, I would love to get an example from you, JJ Virgin, 59 years young. What is your week of working out look like? Can you take us through the Monday through Sunday? What are you doing?


JJ Virgin: Yes, and I will tell you for the New Year I am actually reevaluating the whole schedule, may flip some things again. I'm just, again, I'm working on another book I always start with me and then I start with the beta group. But the big thing that I do, is I will do each body part, I divide them into upper body pushing things like push-ups and overhead presses and bench presses. Upper body pulling like pull-ups and bent over rows. So upper body pushing is one, upper body pulling is one, hips and thighs, squats and step ups and lunges and then power core. And I want to hit each body part at least twice a week and I alternate between doing heavy and short, so it's three sets of eight to 12 of the heaviest weight I can handle where I really get to near failure and I do about a 60-second or so, 90-second rest break in between sometimes up to two minutes. I don't want to give too much rest because I want to keep recruiting more fibers 'cause you only stimulate the fibers you recruit. And I really like heavy and short workouts. The other days, the other time I do long ones, actually I do four sets of 10.


On the other days, I do three sets of 20 to 25. I hate that. I hate it. So that's what I go back and forth doing and then I alternate that with hot yoga which this is so funny. I went to CaliVita to teach one week, and I took a yoga class, and I was so bad at it that they were making... They all knew who I was. I was teaching the nutrition pieces of it, and they were teasing me. And I go, this is ridiculous that I am so bad at this." And so, I just decided this was going to be my thing. I was going to take on and luckily, I got Tim to do it with me. And we started going to LA Fitness in Tampa which was fantastic because everybody there was 20 years older than us and there were a lot of men. If you want to feel good at yoga, go to a yoga class that has like old and flexible men. You're like, "I'm a rock star." Then we came back to Encinitas for the summer and Encinitas is like the yoga capital and I just found a class that was nearby at the right time and didn't pay any attention to what I was going to and bring Tim and then we walk in and the rooms like a 120 degrees. And I'm looking at him like, we got to get out of here and he goes, "No, no. We're staying. I'm like, "We're out." "We're staying." "We're out." "We're staying."


And we didn't have towels. We didn't have water 'cause we were used to our easy yoga that we thought we were like, we're yogis. So, we do this class. We are like sliding. We come out of that. My hair is sopping wet, and we go, "This is what we have to do." So, we now do that twice a week. One of the days we go to a sound bowls and meditation class, too which is like super cool. And then we walk after dinner. And we do... I'll do a hip and then some zone two, three times a week, that is my basic routine. I'm going to mix it up a little bit. We've also got a cold plunge at home. I just found out though, I've been sitting in it for 10 minutes at 50 degrees and I just had someone over and they're like, "It's 40 degrees for four minutes." And I'm like, "Damn. Damn, damn, damn."


SHAWN STEVENSON: Interesting. And then with that, this can be the different types of workouts as well. That sounds like my mother-in-law because we had a set at 50 and I would still... Sometimes maybe I do five minutes in there and I came home from the studio one day and she was like, "Oh, yeah. I just did 12 minutes." And I'm just like, "Who are you? Why would you do that?" But it's just... It's another stress exposure and that's another thing that's going to build up your stress was, I guess.


JJ Virgin: Yeah. We've been doing... Now we're working on our sauna, cold plunge, sauna, cold plunge. We're doing that. So, I'm actually re-tweaking our whole schedule so that we can start to play around with things because it's very interesting living on the East Coast. It's actually so much easier because when you live on the West Coast, you wake up and you're behind. On the East Coast, I have this leisurely morning. Like I don't start till 11:00.


SHAWN STEVENSON: All right. You're just, no shaming. We're not shaming. We're not time shaming.


JJ Virgin: Woo. Sorry. But however, like what I've just learned, I'm like, "Oh, shoot." 'Cause now it's like, well your workout should be in the afternoon, which is when I used to do them on the West Coast so now, I'm kind of rethinking things. So, we'll see but I'm not moving back here.


SHAWN STEVENSON: Yeah, I love this about you too. Your willingness to experiment and just to be open. And also, you dial in, you find things that work, and you keep doing them. And so just for clarification, you're doing that body part split that you mentioned where we got the presses one day so maybe that might be one day.


JJ Virgin: So, I do some days, most of the time I'll do push and pull one day, hips and thighs and abs the next day. But sometimes I'll do all four in a day and then I'll just do three of each, three to four of each exercise. So, it just depends. Generally, we'll go to the gym four days a week and then I'll throw in my high intensity interval training with some zone two and the yoga. I really need more time for workout but that's one of the things I was like, "I want more workout time into my schedule." But I'm thinking I'll probably work it to just going to the gym twice a week right now because like my muscle, that's not my priority now. Now, I want to really push the HIIT and zone two for a bit.


SHAWN STEVENSON: All right. Listen, let's, let's break this down. All right. So, let's go through an example.


JJ Virgin: Here's the thing. You want to do at least... Okay.


SHAWN STEVENSON: So, let's start with a Monday, we're doing a push-pull...


JJ Virgin: So, Monday's push-pull.


SHAWN STEVENSON: Tuesday, we'll do the core and hips.


JJ Virgin: So, hips and thighs and power core. So, Monday push-pull and later on in the day some cardio and hip. Tuesday, hips and thighs, power core. Wednesday, hot yoga and quite often I will also do my HIIT and zone two. Thursday again is the push-pull and then Friday, hips and thighs and power core. Saturday, cardio, HIIT. Sunday is our big hot yoga long class and sometimes we'll go paddle boarding 'cause we live right on the water.


SHAWN STEVENSON: So essentially, you're doing some activity every day.


JJ Virgin: Oh, activity every day and then we'll also walk. This is our big thing, is to walk after dinner which I think is such an important one. I'm really working now on really dialing in my evening routine and seeing what it does with my deep and REM sleep. I'm genetically not a good deep sleeper. And so that's what I've been really playing around with now. And I'll wear the Apple Watch and the Oura Ring and pick what's better which is ridiculous since the Oura Ring is going to tell me the real truth. But quite often the Apple Watch will go, "You did great." I'm like, "Yeah, I didn't." But that's what I'm playing around with now. It's like, what is helping the most with deep sleep? Sadly, it was quitting wine which I'm still in denial about. It's not forever.


SHAWN STEVENSON: Well, again your willingness to experiment and to create and to share your insights with everybody and you've been doing this again...


JJ Virgin: For a long time. I was looking at 40 years. But here's the thing, I'm messing with all this right now because I want to create a very simple program for people to follow where it's easy for them to put their protein in. Where it's easy for them to put a workout in. 'Cause the reality is, if you said, "Hey, I can go to the gym three days a week. I could do some burst training three days a week and I could do yoga once a week." Awesome. That would be amazing. That would get you huge results and that would be less than an hour a day. But I think this... I think we have a big fat lie out there about that, you can do it all with diet alone. I don't know if you looked at that research with the guy who was doing the MRIs that found that people who tried to maintain their weight by diet alone were sarcopenically obese? So, exercise... If you looked at the most potent things you can do for your health especially since I've got a son with a brain injury, exercise is ridiculous what it does. Ridiculous. So, it's got to be... You cannot not exercise. You have to find time. You tell me you don't have time, just get off social media and exercise instead. There you go, right? I mean make time.


SHAWN STEVENSON: Yeah, absolutely.


JJ Virgin: You deserve it.


SHAWN STEVENSON: Yeah, and your genes expected from you really.


JJ Virgin: Yeah, we're meant to move.


SHAWN STEVENSON: Yeah. Yeah. Well, you've got, as you mentioned you're working on a new book.


JJ Virgin: I am.


SHAWN STEVENSON: And so, we'll keep it on the hush for now. But we'll have you back when the book comes out and I can't wait to hear all of your new research and insights. But where can people connect with you in the interim and get into JJ Virgin's universe?


JJ Virgin: At


SHAWN STEVENSON: Pretty simple.


JJ Virgin: Yup.


SHAWN STEVENSON: And JJ, so it's the letter J letter J Virgin. One of the best names ever.


JJ Virgin: Thank you very much.


SHAWN STEVENSON: And so, you've got all the goodies there, your incredible books, you've got programs and of course people can find all your social there as well. I just appreciate you. Thank you so much for coming by and hanging out with us.


JJ Virgin: Thank you.


SHAWN STEVENSON: We're finally get to sit down and do this at first.


JJ Virgin: I know, come to Tampa.


SHAWN STEVENSON: I'm coming. I'll be there. I'll come and hang out. I appreciate you so much. JJ Virgin, everybody.


Thank you so very much for tuning into the show today. I hope you got a lot of value out of this. This is one to share up with your friends and family. Of course, you can send this directly from the podcast app that you're listening on. And if you got to do so, please pop over to the YouTube channel. Subscribe to The Model Health Show on YouTube. You get to see studies as we go through them and other visuals. And it's just great to come and hang out in the studio with us. And we've got some amazing, amazing shows coming your way very, very soon. Powerful master classes, world-class guests, so make sure to stay tuned. Take care. Have an amazing day, and I'll talk with you soon. And for more after the show, make sure to head over to 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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