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The Girlfriend Doctor w/ Dr. Anna Cabeca

Oct 7, 2021

Feel like you’re hitting a plateau with your weight loss? Dr. Stu Schaeffer has been in the fitness industry for years and he’s on a mission to help people lose weight easier and faster than they thought possible by unlocking the power of the body and the thermogenic state. Find out about the food quadrant that gets your body burning fat like a furnace and the three biggest mistakes that people make that sabotage their fat loss efforts.

  • [1:25] Dr. Stu discovered the thermogenic state in 2009 after working with a woman who came to him to lose weight. He was still a relatively new trainer so he thought the solution was simply to have her reduce calories but after five weeks she hadn’t lost a single pound.
  • [3:00] Dr. Stu decided to offer his services for free until he figured out what was happening and dove into a two-week research process. He learned about repressed metabolic syndrome, where if you diet too long or exercise too often the body will basically prevent fat loss completely. He put his client on the counter intuitive “eat more, exercise less” plan and after 12 weeks she lost over 37 pounds of fat.
  • [5:30] Dr. Stu began testing the plan out on other clients and they saw similar results. Because they were eating more, their cravings vanished, they had more energy, and their mental clarity increased.
  • [6:20] Dr. Stu uses a tool called the food quadrant for his clients. There are four components to nutrition: what foods to eat, how much you eat, when to eat certain foods during the day, and when not to. When you combine the right foods in each meal you can enter a thermogenic state and start burning fat like a furnace.
  • [8:20] Dr. Stu recalls a client who swore her hormones were off because she had 15 pounds to lose that just wouldn’t budge. Dr. Stu got her to her goal in 8 weeks after 7 years of her trying to do it on her own.
  • [10:05] When you get to eat a lot it’s easy to maintain because you don’t feel the same cravings that you do on a restrictive diet.
  • [12:10] The first mistake that a lot of people make when they are trying to lose weight is they believe they are eating healthy but actually aren’t. When you eat fruit by itself, it has the same impact on your body as eating a cookie. Fruit has the same insulin response as sugar.
  • [13:55] Mistake #2 is eating carbs at dinner. In the evening, your body is getting ready to sleep and your metabolism starts slowing down around 4pm. Eating carbohydrates at dinner is like pumping raw energy into your body, and since it can’t be used, it gets stored as fat.
  • [15:30] You become more insulin-resistant towards the end of the day. This is why you need to eat different foods in the morning than you do in the afternoon or evening.
  • [15:50] The third mistake that many people make, especially women, is not eating a complete protein in every meal. Different foods have different types of proteins, which is why a lot of vegetarians and vegans struggle to get enough complete proteins in their diet.
  • [18:30] Getting into the thermogenic state is very enjoyable because it gives you a lot of flexibility in what you can eat. In the thermogenic state, you literally become warmer. The main components of getting into this state are nutrition, weight training, and cardio.
  • [20:20] A study done in 1997 looked at what the optimum amount of exercise was for health and fat loss. They found that three days of weight training for 30 minutes each day was the peak, and when you exercised more frequently it actually worked against you. Simple straight forward exercises yielded the best results.
  • [22:05] When you weight train and do cardio for a total of 3 hours a week and combine that with the four quadrants of nutrition, your body goes into a thermogenic state and your body starts burning fat and preserving muscle.
  • [22:40] A lot of women say they don’t want muscle and just want to look toned and tight, but that’s exactly what weight training accomplishes.
  • [26:15] For most people, a simple approach is best. To keep things fresh, it can be as subtle as changing the order of the exercises you do or the style. The body also tends to acclimatize to eating the same foods all the time, so try eating a different kind of fish or switch from chicken to turkey. You don’t have to make huge changes to see results.
  • [29:40] A good coach will look at you and customize a plan for you. There are three elements that need to be part of that plan for it to work: will it work, do you like it, and does it fit your lifestyle? Without those three, either you are not going to get great results or you won’t be able to maintain your results.
  • [32:00] One of Dr. Stu’s clients was eating one meal a day, not feeling hungry, but couldn’t lose weight despite trying for 8 years. The plan was to ease into eating more, and exercising lightly because they were suffering from extreme repressed metabolic syndrome. Once the body starts functioning the way it’s supposed to, everything starts normalizing.
  • [34:25] The most common mistake that people make is counting calories. Even trainers and coaches make this mistake. You have to find the right coach who understands how hormones and the body really work if you want to see results. Good coaches make tweaks to your plan in real time.




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Always seek the advice of your own physician or qualified health professional before starting any treatment or plans. Information found here and results are provided for informational purposes only and are not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified healthcare professional and are not intended as medical advice.