Decode your cravings – Kevin Geary – Podcast #96


Dr. Justin Marchegiani and Kevin Geary talk about cravings and fat loss in this podcast episode. They also discuss sleep and strategies you can do to get a great night’s rest. 

Find out about a new program that Kevin Geary is developing to help people who are struggling with consistency when it comes to their health and fitness then implement what they know so they can be successful in the long-term. Learn about the value of eating real food and the reality behind calorie-reduction and base diets. Additionally, discover how laying a solid foundation with diet, functional movement and healthy lifestyle habits could contribute a lot to life. Also learn about psychology and mindset when you listen to this interview.

In this episode, topics include:

3:20 Eating real food

22:08 Mindset issues

28:21 Metrics

31:19 Sleep, stress hormones, and strategies

35:55 Gut and the microbiome



Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Hey, there! It’s Dr. Justin. We got a great show in store for everyone today. We have Kevin Geary from back on the podcast, really excited. Kevin, how you doing today, man?

Kevin Geary:  Doing great. Thank you for having me.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Well, thanks for being here. So what’s new with you? I know you got a couple of things going on in—in your sphere on the web. I know you’re still running a lot of different online programs, seeing clients. I know you got a—a new program on how to kick cravings coming out real soon. I wanted to see if you could give a little bit of info to the audience on that one.

Kevin Geary:  Yeah, definitely. So been—been very busy, like you said, plus I have a 5-month-old and–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Oh, wow.

Kevin Geary:  So we’ve been dealing with teething issues and all sorts of stuff. So sleep hasn’t been great and–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Isn’t that number two for you?

Kevin Geary:  It is number two. Yeah, so we’re—we’re going through it all again, thank you. And I—I think this is gonna be the last one, so my sleep will be restored and—and we’ll be all back to normal shortly here. But yeah, on top of that, it’s been—been working—developing this new program that we’re really excited about. You know, we have—it’s called Decode Your Cravings and what I did is—for a long time I’ve been focused on the psychology and mindset side of what it takes to get a body and life you love because I feel like so many people are on a high fat diet but they’re on a low execution diet–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Mmm.

Kevin Geary:  Like they—they collect all these facts and all this research and they are listening to podcasts and reading articles and watching videos, and then they’ll implement a little here and there or they’ll implement it all at once, but then it all comes crashing down, they’re just, they—they’re struggling with consistency. They’re struggling with motivation. They’re struggling with overload. It’s just—it’s a mess, right?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Right.

Kevin Geary:  And so we see in the health and fitness industry that the success rate is still, regardless of all this new information that’s coming out and the access that people have to it, the success rate is still very low. So I wanted to design a program that is dedicated to showing people why they struggle with consistency and by the way, I think this is—will be a good time to tell everybody, you know, you have this great intentions of getting a body in life you love, the reason why your behavior doesn’t align with those intentions is because it is manipulated and–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Kevin Geary:  We talk about many, many, many ways that behavior becomes manipulated and is no longer authentic, and that’s what the program is designed to show people, so that they can finally take everything that they already know–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Kevin Geary:  To be the case and implement it and make it successful and do that for the rest of their life, so that they can quit with the yo-yo dieting and the falling off the wagon and all of this other stuff you hear about.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I love it. I was watching a movie, I think it was back in the—the late 90s and they were in this big laboratory and they were mixing all these different, you know, test tubes and solutions together and they—they put a little sample on—on a little piece of paper and they smell it and the guy turns the other and goes barbecue. I was—I just like, “Oh, my gosh!” So they were in a lab creating these flavors and—and textures and—and things we’re adding to food that really aren’t even real food, and so much of the issues here that come from people engineering foods that—that kinda give you that addictive, you know, dopamine hit that feels good, like you get from sugar but it’s not even real food. And I think a lot of stuff that you talk about is just really eating real food, and a lot of people aren’t even doing that so it’s amazing that such low-hanging fruit, like real food, we even have to talk about that today. Can you go into that aspect a little bit?

Kevin Geary:  Yeah, so one of the biggest manipulators and of course, you know, somebody that listens to your podcast, they have probably already solved this particular issue, but one of the biggest manipulators people face is following advice that is antagonistic. That’s advice that works against your biological and psychological programming. This is what the health and fitness industry is notorious for, right?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Kevin Geary:  They put you on restrictive calorie-reduction and base diets that don’t really focus on food quality. You don’t enjoy what you’re eating. You’re hungry all the time. You are not getting nourished and, therefore, your body is like, inside you know this, it’s rejecting the—the program that you’re following and you can’t sustain that. You cannot maintain that long-term. People lose weight, right? They find success for 2 or 3 months but then it all comes crashing down and generally, they gain back more weight than they started with. So it’s a complete disaster. Unfortunately they do this with fitness as well. They follow fitness protocols that they can’t possibly sustain. They do CrossFit 5 days a week at 5 am on very low sleep and then they wonder why they get injured. They do P90x but they don’t really enjoy it. They just force themselves to do it with willpower and discipline and then they wonder why they fall off the wagon with that regard. So it’s just a repeating pattern of people doing things that they don’t really want to do and that their body doesn’t want them to do and that their mind doesn’t want them to do and then they wonder why they fail. So like you said, transitioning to real food, suddenly we’re giving our body what it actually needs. We’re nourishing the body. We’re giving it plenty of calories. Everything is great. You can sustain that forever. There’s—there’s no issues there. So that’s always the first step, right? And I think people listening to your podcast have already hopefully–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Oh yeah.

Kevin Geary:  Taken that step.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Absolutely. I think their next step comes into like kinda dialing in your macros, because you know, we have things like is it, should you be high carbs, should you be low carb, and my opinion on that is most people that have metabolic damage, they’re insulin-resistant, they have thyroid issues, they’re probably gonna do better shifting to a lower carb, higher fat, moderate protein diet, getting dialed in, getting your—your blood sugar and your insulin more sensitive and the working your way up. How do you kinda dial in your macronutrients—macros being protein, fats, and carbs with your clients and patients?

Kevin Geary:  So the—the first thing I would say is when somebody switches off of a standard American diet to a real food-based diet–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Kevin Geary:  Automatically that’s going to have a reduction in carbohydrates specifically.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Definitely. Uh-hmm.

Kevin Geary:  Usually a severe reduction in carbohydrates, right?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Kevin Geary:  Then the question becomes like, “Alright, where are we going to get the majority, the bulk of our carbohydrates from, and the answer to that typically is vegetables.”

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Kevin Geary:  I—I tend to tell people to prioritize vegetables and then berries and then fruits, and just to go in that order, right? So when they’re gonna eat a plant—because you know, so the typical advice is eat fruits and vegetables to be healthy, right?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Kevin Geary:  If I tell 10 people to eat more fruits and vegetables, 8 of those 10 people are gonna go eat all fruits and zero vegetables, right?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes, 100%.

Kevin Geary:  So I—I show them. I’m like, “Alright, let’s prioritize. Let’s go—when we’re gonna eat plants, let’s go veggies first, then you would move to the berries, then you would move to the fruits.” And then we talk about, “Alright, what role do, if any, do starches play?” Well, if you’re sitting at a desk all day and you—all you’re really doing is—is walking for exercise, you’re not doing anything really high intensity, the question is—do you—do you really need starches? You know?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Right.

Kevin Geary:  If you—so to that person, probably the answer is no, right? But then you get this other person who is doing some high intensity work, right? Perhaps they need some starches in there. But that’s not starches from fake foods–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Right.

Kevin Geary:  Right? We’re talking sweet potatoes, maybe a little rice here and there, so kind of—I—I tell people, too, that we work on dialing in their carbohydrate intake based on their activity level. So if you have low activity levels, dial your carbs downs lower. If you have higher activity levels, especially if they’re higher intensity activities, then dial them up higher. But the—the main principle never changes, that it always comes from real food.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, and you talked about real food providing nutrition to your body and that’s important because your brain as much as it sense calories—calories in nature typically always come with nutrition really. We’ve messed it up today so you can get a whole bunch of calories and not much nutrition.

Kevin Geary:  yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So we’re getting a whole bunch of carbohydrates, refined sugar, and then we’re driving insulin resistance, and as a kind of collateral damage with insulin resistance, we have leptin resistance and we know leptin is super important to help us kind of suppress that appetite and keep us full. Can you talk about how you’re trying to address leptin resistance with a lot of the—the clients your seeing?

Kevin Geary:  I think switching to real food like you said is–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Kevin Geary:  Is the main thing we gotta do, right?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Kevin Geary:  The other thing I’m not a big fan of, which going back to the health and fis—fitness industry’s traditional advice, they’re like, “Eat 6 times a day.”

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  yeah.

Kevin Geary:  Eat really small meals and all this, and for the people I work with, for a couple of reasons, leptin is one of them, but just being like non-obsessive is another big reason, but I try to get them to just do 3 meals per day and the goal is to make it from meal 1 to meal 2 rather comfortably. I’m not saying you’re not going to get hungry at all ever. I think hunger—hunger is a very healthy thing to feel and in our modern society, we’re always trying to like preemptively strike hunger, and we’re doing that through snacking. So I don’t want people to go from meal 1 to meal 2 pretty comfortably and then meal 2 to meal 3 pretty comfortably and then to bed. And that’s it, right? So not snacking in-between, not grazing constantly throughout the day, just 3 solid meals, and this also helps people listen to their body and dial in the calories, because people get very scared when they’re not counting–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Kevin Geary:  Calories and tracking calories. They’re like, “How do you know I’m not gonna overeat?” Well, if you’re grazing throughout the day, you’re eating 6 times a day, there’s a good chance, you’re probably overeating there somewhere because you’re not allowing the hunger signals and satiety signals to really even themselves out. So by doing 3 meals a day, let’s say you eat breakfast and then you get ravishingly hungry 2 hours before lunch, alright that’s great information. At—that says you didn’t eat enough at breakfast or perhaps you need to add like you were talking about with macros, maybe there wasn’t enough protein or there wasn’t enough fat, so we need to go back and make some adjustments to breakfast because again the goal is to get to lunch rather comfortably. So if you do that, if you can eat breakfast and then lunch comes around and you–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Kevin Geary:  You’re normally hungry, right? But you’re not like “hangry”, right?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, yes.

Kevin Geary:  You know, your blood sugar’s normal, you’re not going crazy. That’s a good sign that your breakfast was dialed in very well. Then you eat lunch and the same process occurs. Two hours after lunch, if you’re ravishingly hungry, something went wrong at lunch, right? We need to make some adjustments to—to lunch in order to get you to dinner, and we repeat process until people are very comfortable realizing, “Alright, this is pretty much how much food I need to eat at every meal. I’ve got it pretty well dialed in,” and then, you know, it’s freeing. It’s freeing because if you have to eat 6 times a day or you have to always constantly have a snack on hand, that means all you’re thinking about, all through the day, is food. Right?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Kevin Geary:  Constantly, constantly, constantly—and that’s what I want get people to avoid doing.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I love that. I love that, the hungry vs hangry. I’m gonna have to take that with you. That’s a good one.

Kevin Geary:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And that’s the thing that I deal with my patients so much because so much of like the things that I’m dealing with with thyroid and adrenals and autoimmune stuff is blood sugar. Blood sugar fluctuations are a big stress on the immune system. And like you said, I’m a huge fan of not snacking. I call it, if you’re gonna need something in between a meal, it’s—it’s a mini-meal.

Kevin Geary:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And the only—typically where patients get derailed is from lunch time to dinner.

Kevin Geary:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So they’ll have like lunch around like 11:30 or 12 and then they’re having dinner around 7 or 8, and they need maybe a little mini-meal in between that time frame. So maybe they have like a little shake with maybe some coconut oil and maybe a handful of berries and maybe some pea protein or a grass-fed whey or something. So something that kinda get them in-between, and maybe they do that at 4 o’clock to get them to that dinner at 7 or 8. So I love the idea of not snacking because you wanna not be spitting out insulin all the time, because if you’re constantly spitting out insulin, you’re not burning fat. So I appreciate that perspective. Do you have any other strategies that you do with your patients to help get them to that next meal? I mean, are you just making sure their fat’s up and their calories are up? Is there anything else?

Kevin Geary:  Yeah, fat and calories and then giving them the information that look, if you’re doing higher intensity exercise, your body is going to demand more calories.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Kevin Geary:  If you—if you do this higher intensity exercise or even really if you’re walking a lot, you know? So I recommend people walk 30-60 minutes daily and if somebody comes from doing none of that, well, walking 30-60 minutes daily is going to increase your—your need for calories. So you’re—if you think that “Oh, I’m just gonna keep eating the meals I was eating,” well, you probably were already undereating–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Kevin Geary:  Now adding activity, you’re definitely undereating if you don’t increase your—your caloric intake. But what I find is that when people are able to hone in on what their body is telling them, we’re talking about hundreds of thousands of years that humans have pretty much looked very similar to—to what we’re doing today, okay? This is plenty of time for the body to perfect this system of “Oh, here’s a hunger signal. Oh, here’s a satiety signal.” Now that’s complicated of course by the fact that if we eat hyperpalatable processed foods, it totally screws up the signaling, okay?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Kevin Geary:  But when somebody’s on real food, like—real food solves many of these issues–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Right.

Kevin Geary:  Right? You put somebody one real food, they can go back to trusting their body, what it’s telling them. If your body tells you you’re hungry, then eat something.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Kevin Geary:  Right? Let’s stop listening to what my trainer has to say.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Kevin Geary: Let’s stop listening to what a calorie spreadsheet has to say, and—and MyFitnessPal and all of this stuff, and go back to listening. Our body is so well-programmed to—to handle this very, very basic functionality. I think people just need permission to listen because for so long–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Kevin Geary:  We’ve been told, “No, you need to listen to the trainer. You need to eat 1200 calories a day. You need to eat 1400 calories a day.” Especially women, this is like, you know, one of their—their biggest challenges because they’ve gotten that 1200-calorie, 1400-calorie messaging for probably their entire life. That’s very hard to break, right?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Kevin Geary:  If you’re eating 1200-1400 calories, you’re—you’re way undereating. So we need to go back to just listening to our body, giving ourselves permission to eat when my hung—when my body says it’s hungry–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Kevin Geary:  And then stop when my body says it’s full.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I love that, and the only one caveat I give because I’ve—see this clinically, the only two major reasons why someone would have to eat a little bit sooner in between meals, typically is there’s a massive gut issue where they’re not breaking down and absorbing their nutrients–

Kevin Geary:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So they’re either eating a lot of calories but the calories aren’t getting into their bloodstream, that’s number one. And number two, people that just have massive screwed up adrenals and they just can’t regulate their blood sugar hormonally.

Kevin Geary:  Right.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Those are only two that I see clinically, but again, it still means something. Like you should be able to eat enough food and be able to go 5 hours in-between meals. So if you up the calories and it’s still not enough, then it’s a big sign that someone deeper is happening.

Kevin Geary:  Yes, so that–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Any comments on that?

Kevin Geary:  No, that’s exactly—that’s exactly what I wanted to get to, is that when you start from a—a solid foundation of strategy and principle, right? And you apply it, and there’s still problems, that’s great because that is symptomatic now that–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Kevin Geary:   There’s an underlying issue that needs to be resolved and you can go resolve that actual issue versus if you’re playing all of this silly personal trainer games and diet games–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  yes.

Kevin Geary:  You never find this information out. You just think that you’re broken, there’s something wrong with you, nothing can help you, nothing can fix you. You apply the—the real principles and then there’s still problems, then you know I’ve gotta go deeper into investigation here.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I love it. The big thing is I always tell my patients, “If something happens, it means something.”

Kevin Geary:  Yes.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  It doesn’t mean we fail–

Kevin Geary:  Right, right.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: It means something is going on with the physiology, write it down because we can—we can kind of, you know, walk it backwards to say, “Alright, where in the physiology did that break down?” And then that—that means something and we can kinda like figure out what the next steps are to help fix it.

Kevin Geary:  Yeah, unfortunately everybody is in a give-up-very-quickly mode.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Kevin Geary:  You know, because they’re in a race to lose weight. They’re in a race to—to get to a certain pant size or whatever, and they see these stumbling blocks as a sign that the entire path that they were on needs to be scrapped and they need to go do something new. And of course, they’re always succumbing to shiny objects syndrome–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Kevin Geary:  Which the health and fitness industry is great at with the latest and greatest equipment and CrossFit’s a big thing now and, oh, this new gym opened up–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Kevin Geary:  And then they have a Lunk Alarm or–all this nonsense that they keep hearing about and it—it’s like ADD and it distracts them and they’re like, “Oh, I—I gotta do that thing. Sorry, Dr. Justin, I just—I gotta do this thing right now.” And then they don’t ever get help of course, so yeah, that’s—that’s important to say.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  That makes sense. Now a couple other things I wanted to touch upon here. One thing I see with my patient a lot is they come over. They—let’s say they have a standard American diet. Most patients I see, they’re al—already are on a really good diet. But the ones that aren’t, let’s say 50-60% of their diet is crap. We get them switched over. We sub the grains for greens. We move them into a healthy anti-inflammatory, nutrient-dense, low toxin diet. Do you ever see your patients eating just lower calorie by accident? Because so much of their diet was crap and they haven’t subbed it with enough good stuff and a lot of the good stuff, if it’s like vegetable-based it’s pretty low in calories compared to like, let’s say, starch and—and grains and a whole bunch of junk food. Any feedback on that?

Kevin Geary:  Yeah, absolutely. I mean, it’s especially—and I notice this, the lower carb they go–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Kevin Geary:  They tend to undereat even more, right? So there is a—in that regard like there’s evidence for asking them to make sure they’re eating some fruit, some berries–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Kevin Geary:  Things like that. That can help alleviate that, but yeah, when the food is so satiating, you know, the amount of protein and fat that they’re now eating versus what they were eating in terms of just junk food there, of course it’s got bad fats in it, but it’s like mostly carbohydrate, sugar-drive foods–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Kevin Geary:  That yeah, they—they do tend to undereat. So it’s just something that we have to pay attention to and also helping them again, again I think even though they may be full in the moment and they’ve eaten less, they’re still gonna realize that they still can’t make it to lunch or they still can’t make it to dinner and that’s letting them know, “Hey, you’re underrating here,” or energy levels, too. You know? They’re like my energy’s still down. Are you sleeping well? Yeah, I’m—I’m sleeping well. But my energy’s still low. Alright, well, let’s look at calorie-intake there. Right? So that’s a symptom that you’re not getting enough and then of course, if they’re moving a lot on top of that. It’s just kind of retraining them to know what they’re body actually needs based on what they’re doing now.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, I love that because I see a lot of patients that have thyroid issues, because I specialize in thyroid and adrenal and hormone dysfunction. We—we fix. We put them on some programs. They’re still complaining about fatigue and being tired, and then we look at their food diary and I tell them. I go, “Hey, you know, you’re having 1100 calories a day.” I go, “How’s the Auschwitz diet doing?” And they go, “What?”

Kevin Geary:  Right.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  They go—they go, “What do you mean?” And I go, “Well, you know, the people in the Auschwitz concentration camp over in Austria I think, they had only 1100 calories a day. I mean, I don’t understand why you’re in—why you’re on the concentration camp diet.”

Kevin Geary:  Yeah, so that’s exactly—I’ve asked a handful of people to count their calories based on what they were—were eating, and I’ve never done it to show them they were eating too much.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Right.

Kevin Geary:  I’ve always done it to show them, “Hey, you’re not eating enough here.” Right?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Yeah.

Kevin Geary:  So and I only have them do it a couple of times just as a learning experiment, because again I’m—I’m very anti—like I—I don’t think that a human being which of course we’re an animal, if you look at another animal like a—a lion, right? A lion does not wake up in the morning and like strap on a Fitbit and go, “Yeah, I really need to get like 10,000 steps in today. Oh, let me check MyFitnessPal to see how many calories I ate yesterday, you know, to determine what I need to do today.” All they do is wake up and live their life and because they’re eating real food and because they’re moving naturally, and because they’re getting plenty of sunlight and sleep, guess what? Lions are freaking healthy and you don’t see obese lions. So I think human beings have to learn to do the same thing. Like we don’t need spreadsheets. We don’t calculators. We don’t need all of this crazy nonsense. We just need to commit to real food and functional movement and good healthy lifestyle habits–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Kevin Geary:  And fix whatever underlying disorders are affecting us at the current time and when that happens, it—it’s, look, it’s not—it’s not a miracle.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Kevin Geary:  It’s not a secret.  It’s just—it’s just persistence.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, that makes sense. Now I see a lot of patients in my clinic that essentially, they have starving brains. I mean, we see it today with a lot of the, you know, ADHD, the depression, a lot of these mood-related disorders, they come from lack of neurotransmitters or a lack—or increase in toxins or decrease in a lot of the nutrients to help run our metabolic systems. We know all of our neurochemistry comes from amino acids and proteins and healthy cholesterols to make our hormones. So when you see patients, they—they’ve switched to this really healthy diet. You’ve got their macros dialed in, let’s say they need a boost.  What kind of supplements are you doing to help kind of replete their brain chemicals or support them back to baseline?

Kevin Geary:  So I don’t do much with supplementation at all.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Kevin Geary:  What I do is I help people do the transition, right? So getting them on all of the basics–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yup.

Kevin Geary:  Like we said with real food functional movement and healthy lifestyle habits, getting that foundation solid, right? And then I’m helping them with the psychology side of things. They have trouble like we talked about in the beginning. If they’re having underlying issues and we find through this process of building a solid foundation that they’re having underlying, guess what? I’m sending them to Dr. Justin, right? I’m like, “Go investigate this. This is—this is great that you found out that this happening, right? Now go to somebody that’ll help investigate this and they will develop a plan for you to solve these underlying issues.” Right? Because not everybody has these underlying issues.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Right.

Kevin Geary:  Very many people can just build that solid foundation and get magnificent results. The few people that do have those underlying issues. I’m like, “Hey, here’s Dr. Justin. Go talk to him. Here’s this guy. Go talk to him.” You know? Et cetera.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Got it.

Kevin Geary:  So I’m referring them out, getting them to somebody who specializes in that.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And what’s the mindset issue that you’re seeing? What’s popping up the most frequently?

Kevin Geary:  So the biggest—the biggest one again going back to just basic manipulation that people really don’t even know is occurring and there’s—there’s a lot of ways of that this happens but it’s a—it’s a sign that if you keep setting goals for yourself and you keep making very, very short-term progress, followed by failure, and you just repeat this cycle over and over and over again, that is a symptom to me that this is a majorly—probably has to do with psychology and mindset–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Kevin Geary:  Right? The fact that you have these intentions and you just can’t get your behavior to align–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Kevin Geary:  With your good intentions. So that is this realization that, “Oh, it’s because my behavior’s being manipulated,” and then we get into investigating what is actually manipulating my behavior.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  That’s great. I always tell patients that there’s power in why. You need a big why to overcome whatever issue you’re dealing with. So whether it’s fatigue, well, why the heck do you wanna get your energy back? And then you dig in deep, oh, they wanna spend time with their kids on the weekend and go for a hike or—or do this that’s active with their—with their partner. So that’s the real why and then that’s the really important thing to—to hinge on and push that emotional button because that’s what drives motivation. How much are you finding the—the why with your patients?

Kevin Geary:  That—it’s absolutely huge, I mean, I tell people all the time that if your why is to have a—a bikini body for the summer or 2 months from now, and that’s your—like your biggest motivation, well, guess what? This—this process from A to B is not a straight line. This process from A to B is a squiggly that goes all over the place and you may go backwards for a little while before you go forwards again. Like you said, there may be some underlying issues that have to be investigated, some special supplementations–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Kevin Geary:  And special protocols to follow. You’re running into obstacles. You—you’re not gonna be able to do all of that work–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Kevin Geary:  If the biggest why you had was to get a bikini body–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Kevin Geary:  2 months from now, right? You’ve gotta play the long game. You have to be invested in your actual health. You have to be—knowing that these obstacles are going to be coming along and being willing to overcome them. So I use the example, you know, when somebody is diagnosed with cancer for example, and their doctors are like, “You know, I—I really think that you—you’re—you gotta change your diet if you want to, you know, have any chance of recovering from this.” They go home and they change their freakin’ diet.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Kevin Geary:  And they do it, like they—they’re not falling off the wagon, right? They’re not losing motivation because they have a—a ginormous why, right? Like they have this massive obstacle in front of them and they are determined to overcome it, so that’s the power of a big why. I think a lot of people go into this with these tiny little whys and then they come across the first obstacle and they’re like, “Ah, yeah, well, it’s not worth it.” You know? And they just—they abandon ship. So yeah, having a big why is—is a good first start.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Okay, so I’m gonna—I’m gonna dig a little deeper here. So back in 2009, I think you mentioned in your story, you were 60 lbs overweight.

Kevin Geary:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So what was your why? How did you get your brain wrapped around this so you could get motivated and have a sustainable weight loss?

Kevin Geary:  The first thing was that I—I felt like a fraud to my students that I was teaching. I was a martial arts instructor at the time–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Got it.

Kevin Geary:  And I’m sitting here telling them, “Hey, you need to take care of your body. You need to eat well. You need to make sure that you’re coming to class all the time.” Things like that, right? And here I was, 60 lbs overweight and the doctor’s telling me that I’m not—I’m not healthy. Now I was—it’s—it’s not like I wasn’t trying. I—but I was just–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Kevin Geary:  Following conventional advice and the conventional advice, I say I dieted up to 220 lbs.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Kevin Geary:  Because every time I lost 10, I would gain 15 or 20.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Right.

Kevin Geary:  So at that point, I was like, “Look, I’ve—I’ve—I’m failing my students which was very meaningful to me. I’ve got 125 students looking up to me at that point and I’ve gotta make these changes, not just for myself but for them as well, for this leadership position that I’m in. So that was one of the big whys. The second was that, you know, I was already talking with my wife about potentially having kids and I was looking at the future saying do I wanna be around for those kids, you know?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Kevin Geary:  If we’re gonna have them. So that was another big why for me, but you know, those whys also even though they were big, they didn’t stop me from failing again. Even after I transitioned to real food and functional movement. I got down to about 180 lbs, 175 lbs, and then I “fell off the wagon” or relapsed and I went back up to like 195 before I figured out is this—this is mindset, it’s a psychology issue. Like I—now I have all the right information and for some reason I still can’t put it into practice consistently and that’s when I really started investigating into like the manipulation of behavior.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I love that. So just to reiterate though, your big whys or your big—big goals and whys were you wanna be authentic to the students you were teaching and–

Kevin Geary:  Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  You wanted to be around for your kids. You wanted to be healthy so you could have quality life and be able to spend that time active with your kids. Is that correct?

Kevin Geary:  Yeah, absolutely and I was looking at my own childhood and my—so my parents had me later in life and I remember when I was a kid, you know, I’d be asking my dad to do stuff and he was older, right? So he didn’t have the energy all of the time or just physically couldn’t do what I wanted to do and when I looked at having my own kids, I was like, you know what, when they ask me to do something that’s like physical and outdoors and play, and so like I wanted be—I wanna—number one, I wanna have the energy to do it. Number two, I wanna have the physical capacity to do it.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Kevin Geary:  And I realize that, look, if I stay 60 lbs overweight and I have high blood pressure and I have all these other health issues, like that’s—there’s a big potential that that’s not gonna happen that way. So that was looking forward at that was a—was a big reason.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I love that and you also talk about, like you have your goal, let’s say your timeline is like 6 months. You have some metrics along the way so  you know if one month in, are you on track? It’s like–

Kevin Geary:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  If you got your phone, you got a compass, and you know you’re trying to get here to a thousand miles away. You wanna know that you’re—you’re on the right track, one hour, two hours, three hours into your journey. I know you talk about here using the BOD POD and taking different measurements and making sure you have metrics that help give you confidence you’re moving in the right direction. What kind of metrics are you doing with your—with your clients outside of what you already talked about using the BOD POD for body fat or just simple measuring tape to ensure you’re on the right track?

Kevin Geary:  Yeah, so the first thing I tell them is to ditch the scale–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Kevin Geary:  Because it causes massive amounts of problems.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Huh, huge.

Kevin Geary:  It’s—yeah, it is a—it is a horrible measuring stick. So that alone helps a lot because they’re not going crazy about weight fluctuations day-to-day, right?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Kevin Geary:  So that’s probably the number one reason that someone would get derailed, is they’re using weight as a measuring stick. They’re measuring every single day or you know, even every few days is still a problem. So I start to get them focused on actual health metrics, you know, either—first of all, when they—they start the program, I have them go to WellnessFX and they get a pl—a panel done.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yup.

Kevin Geary:  And then I ask them to do that again at the end of the program after 4 months. So that’s kind of a long-term play–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  That’s good.

Kevin Geary:  Like they’re gonna see what happen to their numbers at the end of the—end of the program. But along the way, they are taking measurements. Pictures is a big one–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Huge.

Kevin Geary:  Because will look at themselves in a mirror and believe that they don’t see any changes. But because they see themselves every single day, they just don’t notice, right? So by taking pictures, they can actually look and that’s a much better viso—visual representation of what’s happening. I always have them make sure that they’re paying attention to their energy levels, their sleep quality, their sleep quantity, their—any ailments that they came with like joint pain, inflammation, bloating. Like if those things are going away and your energy levels are up, like these are markers that are very important, that people rarely pay attention to.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Huge.

Kevin Geary:  And in fact, if they only have a weight goal—they only have weight goal, they will abandon the process even though all those other things are being improved which are magnificent if the scale doesn’t say–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Kevin Geary:  Some arbitrary number they set. So it’s terrible like the—so you know getting them to focus on what actually matters I think it’s very critical.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, Dr. Diana Schwarzbein said it perfectly. You get healthy—you don’t lose weight to get healthy, you get healthy and then you lose weight.

Kevin Geary:  Right.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And I love that because I see so many patients that come, they have like their Top 10 list, right? They’re number one thing is the weight loss.

Kevin Geary:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: But their joint pain goes down. Their—their energy goes up. Their focus. Their brain fog. Their mood. Their libido. Everything improves. Their sleep improves. Yet they don’t even see it because they have blinders on for that number one goal which is the weight loss, but everything else just becomes swept under the carpet.

Kevin Geary:  Absolutely. And the—and our job as coaches and—and trainers is to show them, look, this is absolutely going to derail you. Like we work with people all the time. This is the number one that you have to let this go, right? You have to focus on these other metrics that actually matter. Like that’s our job because if we don’t—of we don’t communicate that, we’re gonna have another failed client and that’s on us.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  100%. Now being a new dad, you’ve already mentioned, you alluded in the preface of the show that sleep’s obviously an issue for a newborn and this is round 2 for you. Can you just talk about sleep for a second and just how important it is for stress hormones and then can you go into some of the strategies that you have come up with from an hands-on perspective going through it personally?

Kevin Geary:  Yeah, so I mean, first of all when people talk about energy levels and brain fog and thing like—things like that, what I try to communicate to people is—and I use the analogy of the sun like what—what has the most impact day-to-day on the temperature of the air, the temperature of the environment? And it’s the sun like when the sun–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm. Uh-hmm.

Kevin Geary:  Comes up, it changes the temperature radically. And when the sun goes down, it changes the temperature radically, okay? It’s a major influence. Sleep is like that for your energy levels and your brain fog, and your immune function. Like it—it controls so much it has such a magnificent influence and if you are not sleeping well or you’re not sleeping enough, you can expect that you won’t be losing any weight. You can expect that you will have brain fog. You can expect that you will be tired throughout the day, and if you do this over time of course you are screwing up, first of all like hunger and satiety signals like we talked about, right?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Kevin Geary:  So leptin signaling is gonna be down. Ghrelin signaling is gonna be up. You’re gonna be hungrier. You’re gonna be less able to feel full and you’re gonna be reaching—studies show for those fast-acting carbohydrates, right? Sugar–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Kevin Geary:  And comfort foods, so it really deranges so much and I notice this in myself, you know, when I go 3 days of getting up at 4am or 5am because you know, my daughter here she is teething and she can’t sleep and I don’t wanna wake my wife up so I take her downstairs and we’re just kinda sitting in the dark, you know?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Kevin Geary:  And I know I’m not getting enough sleep, I realize the next day that I’m reach—my brain is like, “You need to go get some potato chips, man, that sounds really good. You need to go get some ice cream.”

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Kevin Geary:  Like that stuff doesn’t happen when I’m getting great sleep, you know? So the stress that’s caused by the lack of sleep deranges so many other things. It—it’s a major impact.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, a few weeks without sleep, I think they did a study on college students. I think after 2 weeks of getting 5 hours of sleep or less per night, the group of—the cohort was insulin-resistant or basically pre-diabetic within 2 weeks. So we know sleep is so important, and we know like you mentioned in your Lose Body Fat blog, how insulin and leptin is so important and when you’re insulin-resistant, you’re leptin–resistant and when you’re leptin–resistant, your cravings really take hold.

Kevin Geary:  Yeah, and when your cravings, like you just said, so you’re insulin–resistant, your cravings take hold, you go eat the ice cream or you go eat the potato chips and now you’re in this position where your body can’t even handle that, right?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Kevin Geary:  So, it’s a double whammy.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Makes sense. Now you said something really telling, you do a WellnessFX blood testing screen on a lot of your patients coming in which is great so you get some good baseline data, what percent of your clientele are coming in with a thyroid issue? An undiagnosed thyroid issue that you were able to pick up on lab testing.

Kevin Geary:  Ah, so what they do actually through WellnessFX which is great because I don’t have to handle it at all.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Kevin Geary:  They go to WellnessFX and they do a consult with the doctor that works with WellnessFX on their results. So then there if there’s any abnormality, is they’re just passing along that information to me, so I don’t even have to look at—at their—at their labs. They get to do that through WellnessFX with their consult. I would say that, you know, 20-30% are coming in with some sort of underlying issue, not necessarily thyroid but I would say 20-30% are coming in with some underlying issue that they’re finding through WellnessFX. So that’s very important because we’re starting off on the right foot. Whereas I tell people like if you don’t get this done, we’re kind of throwing darts at a dartboard, right?  And then you go get it at the end, you don’t really know what’s changed because you didn’t have—you didn’t have markers to look at upfront. So I think it’s really important and you know, going back to see the changes is really important as well. I’ve told people from the beginning that the goal is to objectively improve your health and so if you’re not getting these markers done, there’s no way to verify that, you know? Of course, your pants might be fitting better and your energy levels are up and all of this, but if you really wanna see the changes, objective evidence, then this is the—the route you need to go.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Got it. Yeah, I love your article on 11 Reasons Why You’re Struggling To Lose Body Fat, and I think that ties into a lot of the stuff we were talking about regarding cravings, but you really hit all the major areas. We talked about the real food stuff, we talked about the cravings, we talked about the sleep and the thyroid and the leptin resistance. You also mentioned one other thing in here that’s really good, very holistic article, hit all the—the areas, so good job on that.

Kevin Geary:  Thank you.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  But you mentioned the gut stuff. Can you talk more about the gut and microbiome and how important that is for optimal fat loss and cravings, too?

Kevin Geary:  Yeah, so I mean if we talk about gut dysfunction just right off the bat, if you—if your gut is—is not working in good order, you’re eating really healthy foods. You switched to a real food diet, right? You’re trying to maximize that nutrition. It’s quite possible that you’re not extracting the nutrition from those foods, right? So you are still–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Kevin Geary:  Malnourished in a way. And then of course, the gut is tied to the brain so if you are having gut disorders, it’s very common to also have mood issues and energy issues and the brain fog going on, they call the—the gut the second brain, right? So it’s like this is a major aspect of your health and if we ignore it which, I don’t know about you, but anytime I did any sort of program in the—in the mainstream health and fitness–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Kevin Geary:  Industry, I didn’t hear any—a single word about gut health, right?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Right.

Kevin Geary:  You—you have—like it—it’s mind-boggling to me that they just continue to harp on this. It’s all about calories in, calories out–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Kevin Geary:  And you know, our latest and greatest exercise DVD. It’s just—it’s really mind blowing to me. But yeah, gut is a majorly, majorly important and you know, I think it—the research is still in its infancy–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Kevin Geary:  Right? I’m not even confident, I wanted to ask you about your take right now on probiotics because I’m not even confident that if we haven’t analyzed like the composition of our gut flora, then are we just again going back to the concept of throwing darts at a dartboard, doing that with just random probiotics supplementation and are the probiotics even reaching where they need to reach, right? So I don’t know what your take is on probiotics but I’ve kinda pulled back a little back on it, and just—I’m saying, “Look, let’s—let’s wait for a little bit more research, and figure out like what the strategy is actually going to be.” What’s your take on that?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So regarding probiotics I think they can be very beneficial for people but the big issue is, a lot of people are so sick and their guts are so messed it, it—it’s kinda like throwing chum into a sm—a shark-infested–

Kevin Geary:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Where they get a lot of probiotic intolerance, a lot of histamine, a lot of bloating, a lot of gas. My analogy is it’s like throwing a whole bunch of seeds into a garden full of weeds.

Kevin Geary:  Mmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Or it’s like going to the car wash and getting your car waxed before you get it washed. So the people’s guts are so messed up, the first thing we really gotta do before we even deal with probiotics is get the diet dialed in and once we get the—the diet dialed in, get the kinda, get an even playing field, right? You don’t go in your garden and throw down seeds first. You get the weeding done first and then the seeds help you know, better. But there a couple of strains. I’m a big fan of MegaSporeBiotic, it’s one that I’ve used with a lot of my chronically sick patients.

Kevin Geary:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  It’s using a lot of Bacillus coagulans, subt—subtilis and clausii. These strains are very helpful and you know, your typical VSL3 which is like your most studied, you know, lactobacillus acidophilus type of strain can be helpful but a lot of people that don’t react to it well, gotta get the diet, gotta get the dysbiotic, SIBO and infections kind of neutralized first.

Kevin Geary:  Yeah, perfect.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, and now is there anything—I didn’t get a specific, like I was hoping to get like a little biohack or a little tip regarding sleep, and—and some of your experience the last year or two. Is there any tip or biohack that you’ve come up with with sleep because your—your kid’s taking that away from you?

Kevin Geary:  Ah, the—the thing that I would say most of all is to stop doing the things that really take away from sleep. So that would be device usage late at night–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Kevin Geary:  You know, watching television right before–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Kevin Geary:  You’re trying to go to bed or using your phone in the bed or whatever. Using—doing anything in your bedroom that’s not really related to sleep or like sex–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Kevin Geary:  So if you are doing activities like I had somebody that the other day they were telling how they—they just lay in bed and kind of you know spend time with their kids just lounging around in bed, and—but they’re doing this for an hour an half, you know.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Oh.

Kevin Geary:  And it’s like you’re kinda training your body that other things get to happen when we’re in bed–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Kevin Geary:  Like we don’t necessarily have to sleep in this environment but you kinda want it to be like a—a cozy cave that is reserved for that activity of sleep so that when you get in that bed at night, your brain is already switching into, “Okay, I know what we do here, the—what we do here is we sleep, alright.”

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I love it.

Kevin Geary:  So that’s another one and then I would say getting your blood sugar normalized is very important like if you are—if you’re having a blood sugar crash in the middle of the night, obviously that’s not going to be very helpful to your sleep quality so paying attention again to diet throughout the day, stress levels throughout the day and then getting exercise because you have to use your body for it to really have that need for deeper sleep. I found that when I don’t walk, when I don’t exercise, I don’t sleep well. When I use my body throughout, especially if I’ve just been sitting, staring at a computer, sitting at a desk all day, terrible sleep that night. If I use my body. If I consistently go out for walks and do my sandbag workouts, and do a sprint here and there, I sleep like a baby. So even though I’m not getting and this is very important for anybody who has kids like me, if you know you’re not gonna be able to get the quantity of sleep that you need, you must get the quality of sleep that you need. So you have to maximize those hours in the bed. So, you know, we—we released a long time ago and I don’t even sell it anymore, it’s just included in our Total Body Reboot Program, but it’s a guide called REM Rehab that I wrote with Evan Brand.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yup.

Kevin Geary:  And I think he’s on your show all the time. So–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yup, Evan’s here.

Kevin Geary:  Yeah, so we have a ton of you know, hacks and supplements and all of that stuff that it’s just really is a great overview on how to get great sleep so definitely check that out.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Love that. Yeah, Evan will appreciate that plug and you heard it—you heard it here first, folks. SS—sleep and sex in the bed, that’s it.

Kevin Geary:  That’s it.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Awesome. Is there anything else you wanted to say about this new craving program that you have coming out soon? How can people get access to it? Is there any other gem or tidbit you wanna kinda drop on us here?

Kevin Geary:  Yeah, there’s a waiting list for it right now. It’s—so you’re not available to get in. We’ll probably be doing a official release later in June, but if you struggle with consistency, if you want to be able to succeed for the rest of your life without using willpower or discipline, if you wanna know why your behavior is constantly manipulated and you wanna fix it and you wanna fix it authentically and—and deeply, then I would encourage you to come, check out the program. So you can go to and get on the waiting list.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:, alright, cool. I’m plugging it in right now. That’s great.

Kevin Geary:  Cool.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Awesome. Well, last question here I ask everyone before if you have any other plugs you—you wanna drop them, social media stuff, your podcast, anything else?

Kevin Geary:  Just go to and you can find pretty much everything. There’s some free guides there for you, tons of articles, podcasts, etc., everything you would expect. So is the place.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Got it and I’m on Kevin’s blog here right now. It’s the real deal, lots of great content. I love the article on the fat like I mentioned and the carbohydrates, really good practical information. I can tell that you’re writing this from a perspective of this is stuff that you actually use with your clients. Is that true?

Kevin Geary:  Definitely.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Love it. Cool.  Alright, Kevin, so you’re stuck on a desert island and you can only bring one supplement or herb, what is it?

Kevin Geary:  Oh, man. Let’s think. I—I would say magnesium is—is what I’m bringing.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Love it.

Kevin Geary:  Yeah, I—I just have found so much benefit from—from using it especially just on my nerves, like–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Kevin Geary:  Just, hey, let’s get—you know, little nice calm feeling going on. It really helps, so and I think a lot of people are—are deficient in it. So that’s my pick.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Now what kind of magnesium. That’s the question.

Kevin Geary:  So for a while, I was taking, actually kinda still do. I—I just tend to this one, Natural Calm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Magnesium citrate then.

Kevin Geary:  Yeah, so just you know, it’s got a—I think it’s made with Stevia, so with a little sweet–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yup, uh-hmm.

Kevin Geary:  Kick here. It’s kind of enjoyable to—to just sip on and it works really well for me.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Probably easy for the kids to take, too, right?

Kevin Geary:  Yeah, my daughter takes it. She likes it. Of course, the 5-month-old isn’t—isn’t there yet, but–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Kevin Geary:  Should be soon, right?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, awesome. Well, Kevin, you’re a great guest. I appreciate all your awesome content. I can imagine it’s helping millions of people get their health back.

Kevin Geary:  Yeah, thank you so much for having me on.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Thanks, Kevin. Appreciate it!



The post Decode your cravings – Kevin Geary – Podcast #96 appeared first on Austin Texas Functional Medicine and Nutrition.

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