Fitness + Health + Wisdom + Wealth

Business & Health Breakdown with Balanced Bodies


Guest: Dr. Eryn Stansfield and Vinny Russo

Release Date: 12/18/2023

Welcome to Trulyfit the online fitness marketplace connecting pros and clients through unique fitness business software.

Steve Washuta : Welcome to Trulyfit, Dr. Eryn and Vinny and thank you so much for joining the Trulyfit podcast. Why don’t you give my listeners and audience a little background as to who you are your credentials and what you guys do day to day in the health and wellness space?

Vinny Russo :  Awesome. We’ll do with Eryn, you want to go first ladies first?

Dr. Eryn Stansfield :  Sure. All right, I am the physician for balanced bodies. And I am board certified in preventative and occupational medicine. I am also the chief of occupational and preventative medicine for the Air Force. So balanced bodies was a passion project. For me. It’s something I love to do, because I’m able to spend time with my clients. As far as residency goes, I did residency in various states. from Seattle to Boston, I was at Harvard.

Dr. Eryn Stansfield :  My background includes residencies in, you know, internship in general surgery, and I did nuclear medicine imaging as well. So I have an imaging background, and then ended here in Utah in preventative, and occupational medicine. And I have been practicing medicine for almost 20 years now. I love it. That’s me in a nutshell.

Vinny Russo : Yeah. So I am the co owner of bounce bodies as the head nutrition coach, and also the co owner of and director of nutrition of balance bodies corporate wellness, which is going to start in 2024, where, you know, we’re going to provide a top tier service to corporations to help them improve the health and productivity of their employees. I have a master’s in plant Clinical Nutrition, a bunch of certifications, just to name a few.

Vinny Russo :  Precision nutrition, NCI and nutrition dynamic NFPT dominate. I am a pro physique competitor as well, I do personal train, although I kind of I got away from that for a while, but you know, you want to be in the game. So keep doing that. And then yeah, just that that’s nice and brief.

Steve Washuta  : Well, obviously, I’m gonna have a lot of questions for both of you, given your credentials on the science end, the nutrition end, the animal and the diet, and specifically, but really, I think what’s also intriguing is your business model, I think, both from not only a general population standpoint, who wants like a more three pronged approach? And also from personal trainers, we always think about well, how do we how do we integrate more things into our business?

Steve Washuta  : How do we get the nutrition component? How do we get all these sort of like, overall health and wellness, not just personal training? And that’s, that’s what you guys do. So walk me through your client experience day one, somebody signs up, what sort of information they’re giving you? What kind of forms? How do you handle a client? What’s the communication, just walk me through it.

Vinny Russo  :  Alright, so I’ll take the lead here. And then Dr. Eryn, when I’m finished, she could explain what she does with like the medical consults side. But basically, if you’re a potential client, like we got to have a phone call first, because we got to see if we’re even a good fit together, right? I want you to be very open minded, and I need you to be willing to try some unconventional things. If if you, you know are coming to me, obviously, everything that you tried previously hasn’t worked.

Vinny Russo  : So you need help, right. So want to make sure that you understand that they’re, we’re here to help. And basically, once we have our call, go over your goals, challenges that you’re facing, we see if we can actually add value, if we can, we’ll offer you to a spot on our team. You agree we put you into the system, this starts the onboarding process. And this is where you give me all the information that I need to be able to vote to create the plan based off of your preferences.

Vinny Russo  : During this process, you’re gonna have a bunch of tutorials that are gonna explain like different facets of your program, you have a bunch of resources to download, just to make things a little bit easier. And then our client experience coach, her name’s Carrie Martinez, she works with us, and she’s gonna reach out to you within the first 30 minutes of signing up, be like yes, like, save my number. And then once you fill out all the information, submit your pictures, I can have your plan ready to go within 48 hours.

Vinny Russo  :But this also sets off like an email sequence for you where you know, you get one video per day. It’s like who Dr. Aaron is who Carrie is as a client experience, Coach, how to check in and like what I expect of you and what you should expect to me. Once that happens, I’ll give you a few buffer days, you know, to go food shop and iron out all the wrinkles, ask me any questions and then we get started. And once we get started, there’s like constant communication.

Vinny Russo  : And this is part of the field that I feel like our company is so different, right? So you have weekly check ins, which is pretty normal, right? I do video feedbacks. I don’t do like emails or voice messages. I do video feedbacks. But you have daily communication with me as your nutrition coach, but you also have it with a board certified physician. And I don’t know any company or any doctor really that allows text message access on a daily basis with the same our response right so that’s really what separates us. That’s our our differentiation factor so to speak.

Vinny Russo  : So you Have all of that going, our CTC will also reach out to you constantly, she does random drop in text messages to you this is to make sure that you’re feeling okay, if you need anything from me or from Dr. Aaron, she also does like a tip of the week, we have a Facebook group where we have like five touch points out of seven days of the week there. So all in all, you’re really just being constantly support it and being held accountable. But in terms of like protocols, and how I would work with that, it all depends on like your diet history, it depends on your current eating habits.

Vinny Russo  : Because we may want to feed you up, we may really just want to establish a maintenance before we go into a deficit. Or you might just be primed and ready to go into the dieting phase. But the main goal here with with us is to really provide a health first body transformation, right? So we want to make sure that we prioritize your health, make sure all blood markers are on point, and that you’re feeling really good, and then we can lean you out.

Vinny Russo  : And then the end goal is really to work up your metabolism through a metabolic capacity phase, where we keep you at the same body composition that you got to come in and out. But we just increased the amount of calories you could handle per day. So sorry for that long winded answer. But Erin, if you want to go into a little bit with the medical consults, yeah, so

Dr. Eryn Stansfield  : I mentioned at the very beginning in my intro, that this is a quote unquote, passion project for me. And the reason I say that is because in clinical practice, in medicine, typically we aren’t we don’t have the luxury to spend the time that we want to with our patients often because it’s driven by how many people we see. And our schedules are hectic. And so the the beauty of balanced bodies.

Dr. Eryn Stansfield  : And the reason I wanted to do this and felt very strongly about it is because my training is in prevention, so preventing any chronic diseases. So with our company, I am able to spend the time that is needed and required by each and one of our clients, I call them patients, each one of my patients, and I get to know them on a very individual basis.

Dr. Eryn Stansfield  : They have full access to me, as Vinny mentioned, but basically, you know, once they are on boarded, they get medical questionnaires just as you would at a doctor’s office, it is a complete medical history. And then I do a tele visit with them, essentially. And that’s where I’m able to spend the amount of time which could be even up to an hour sometimes, depending on how complicated the patient is, and how much they want to tell me or how in depth they want to go into their medical history.

Dr. Eryn Stansfield  : But I’m able to spend the time that they need in order to feel like they have been heard, and I’m able to address any concerns on that initial visit. And then the other thing we do is we go through their goals. And, you know, I take into consideration their short term goals, but I’m also looking at their longevity, right? Again, I am board certified in preventative medicine.

Dr. Eryn Stansfield  : So I’m looking ahead of time to see if we can prevent any chronic diseases that might come up during their lifetime, and how to best prepare for that. So this isn’t just about, you know, looking good. And feeling good. It’s about longevity, as well, and being being able to address those concerns as well. And then I usually speak with them at least once per month, if not more often if they need me.

Dr. Eryn Stansfield  : Like I said, they do have access to me. Even if they go to their own physicians, and they have questions. I am happy to work with their physicians that they already have in place as a team. You know, I look at it as a team sport, right? That we’re all communicating. And we’re all on the same page for our patient, or client. 

Steve Washuta : Yeah, my wife’s a physician. And typically what happens is somebody comes into the office and they have six issues. They go well, my ankle hurts, but also I’ve been having diarrhea and then I might have like something on the back of my leg. That looks weird. Oh, and by the way, I’m also dealing with depression, right? Dr. Oz 15 minutes.

Steve Washuta  : And that’s really what happens in the nutrition health world. Right? Nobody just comes in with one issue. They’re not like, Oh, hey, everything’s perfect, except, you know, I just need to make my biceps bigger. No, they come in with five or six or seven things that come in with a health history, which we’re going to talk about after this and the diet history. So it’s complicated, and you need time. And then in addition to that, people need the confidence to make the right decisions.

Steve Washuta  : If if let’s say I’m out to eat, and I look over the menu and I’m between two things. If I can text video and say, Hey, should I eat this or should I eat this? You know, that’s, that takes a lot off my shoulders knowing that I have somebody who’s there to be able to say, oh, actually don’t worry about either of them. They’re both fine or hey, I would stick with this given our diet plan and give them A little bit of guidance.

Dr. Eryn Stansfield  : Exactly.

Vinny Russo  : Yeah, that happens a lot. It really does, especially now during this holiday season, because there’s a lot of holiday events. And I’m getting messages like, hey, look, this is the menu. This is a prefix menu, which one should I choose? And I’m just like, well, let me know which one you would choose. And they would tell me and I’ll say, All right, that’s probably what I would choose. Or if did not, then I’d be like, well, listen, here’s why I would choose this other one instead of what you chose.

Steve Washuta  : Yeah, it’s an educational experience. It’s not just getting the answer, then then they ask why are you tell them why? And now they understand. So now next time, when they’re in that position, they don’t have to message you, because they understand the concepts. Exactly. So let’s talk about diet history. Now that we went over that, what exactly do you consider diet history? And why does it matter?

Steve Washuta  : So to give you an example, if there’s two people if there’s Steve, and what looks to be Steve’s twin, and you know, we have the same metrics, we both weigh 180 pounds, we’re both 38 years old. But we’ve maybe had a completely different diet history. And so far as like, maybe one of us at some point weighed a lot more. And maybe at 1.1 of us was way more muscular what why do these things matter? And how do you sort of go through the diet history to make a proper plan for an individual?

Vinny Russo  : Yeah, so So with a dieting history, I mean, it’s basically all your previous eating habits, right, and any diets that you tried in the past? And the main thing is, is like what have you currently been eating for like the last, let’s just say two or three months, right. And this matters, because if there’s a lot of over restriction with how many times you’ve been dieting, if there’s a lot of yo yo dieting going on in your life, then going into this, we have to understand that we’re probably dealing with some form of metabolic suppression.

Vinny Russo  :  So what this would do is require a longer feeding phase initially, because you need to have like, if you want to lean out, you need to have water in your cup to pour from like, meaning you need calories to actually be able to pull from you can’t pour from an empty cup. So if you have no calories to really pull from, it’s hard to go down into a deficit and lose body fat. So we got to make sure we feed you up. And a lot of that’s through the metabolic suppression.

Vinny Russo  :  But what you mentioned about the body metrics, like if you had you and like your twin, this is kind of where like, it really like grinds my gears a little bit with, with some coaches that are out there that are like, Hey, give me your anthropometric data and your approximate activity level, I’m gonna tell you exactly what you need in terms of calories and macros. And to be honest, that’s what that’s all a bunch of bullshit.

Vinny Russo  : Because we’re not static or dynamic. And what you’ve been eating over the past two or three months is more of a maintenance than what some macro calculator is going to tell you. So the metrics, yet you take them into consideration, but they’re not the end all be all, because let’s just say for example,

Vinny Russo  : Steve’s twin was eating 1500 calories. But the macro calculation says you should be eating 2300 out of maintenance, you’re not going to jump right up to 2300, you’re gonna store fat because your body is acclimated to the 1500 calories. So with someone with the same goals and the same biometrics, it’s they’re most likely going to need something a little bit different because of the previous history.

Steve Washuta  : Interesting. Let’s go into lab work a little bit here. Dr. Aaron, what are you looking at specifically, let’s just say with a weight loss client, somebody who’s coming in, they’re overweight, their main goal, obviously, they might have secondary goals is just to lose weight. What are the labs that you think are the most important, and you could also speak to labs that you believe physicians don’t take, but maybe should take that are important?

Dr. Eryn Stansfield  : All right. So, you know, each client is different, which makes our model very individualized. Right? That I will say, in general, there are typical labs that I would get, and they would be similar to, you know, going into your primary care doctor and getting a annual physical, right. A lot of our clients actually haven’t had physicals in a very long time, I would say it’s kind of a mixed bag. Some people do get regular physicals and others, others don’t.

Dr. Eryn Stansfield  : But in general, I would get things that go along with the medical guidelines. So a complete blood count, a complete metabolic panel, a lipid panel, a liver panel, a thyroid panel in general, because they are looking at losing weight, want to make sure their thyroid numbers look, okay. And then typically, I like to get hemoglobin a one C, just to make sure they’re not in a pre diabetic or diabetic range.

Dr. Eryn Stansfield  : And sometimes our clients have had these labs done, and if they have recently, then, you know, I’ll take that information into, into their, their chart and take that into consideration. But I need some metrics in order to measure their progress as well. In particular, you know, if they’re looking at losing weight, and I’m looking at cardiovascular risk, for example, I’m looking at their LDL numbers and making sure that you know with any lifestyle slash Diet Exercise changes that we’re making, that they’re actually affecting their their LDL numbers, or having some impact there, or even their hemoglobin a one C.

Dr. Eryn Stansfield  :  But, you know, occasionally we do get people who are pre menopausal, for example. And we might add in different panels, depending on their symptoms, right, if they’re Peri menopausal, and symptomatic, and they’re very curious, you know, I will tell them, they can get a hormone panel, it’s not always medically necessary. But if they are symptomatic, and they are of age, then then we look into that, and we evaluate that together, I work closely, if they have an OBGYN, for example, or an endocrinologist, we work with them as well, to make sure that they’re, we’re giving them the right advice.

Dr. Eryn Stansfield  :  That usually I don’t like to order labs unless they are clinically indicated, I am a big proponent of not ordering things, that we’re not going to do something with the information. And, and thus, you know, we do follow the medical guidelines. And further, I don’t like using labs that aren’t certified by CLIA, or some kind of governing, usually a federal government agency to verify their their cutoff values.

Dr. Eryn Stansfield  :  You know, a lot of people have heard of Dutch testing, for example, I feel like especially in the weight loss industry, you know, people are interested in that. But that’s not something that I’m a big proponent of one because it’s urine. Two, it’s not, you know, it’s not a certified lab, essentially. So we try to use things that there is evidence behind a VIC

Steve Washuta  : another thing that came to mind, when speaking about these labs, and any any results they have, it’s also the medications that people are on why it’s, it’s an advantage to have someone like you on staff, because all these medications have side effects.

Steve Washuta  : And all these side effects affect goals, potentially, right. So it could be as a side effect, like someone has joint pain from some medicine that they’re on Lipitor or something, right, and then that’s going to affect their workout. And then if it affects their workout, then Vinny might have to, you know, adjust their nutrition, because they’re not working out to the same extent.

Steve Washuta  : So I think it’s good, you know, to have that, as you say, balanced approach, and be able to understand all the intricacies because the average personal trainer just can’t, right, there’s, there’s too much going on there for someone to be able to look into, let’s say, every single side effect of medication has and how it acts inside the body mechanistically.

Dr. Eryn Stansfield  : And that’s another thing is, you know, a lot of people are taking supplements, any anything that you put into your body could be considered a drug. And we often think that if a supplement is over the counter or quote unquote, natural that it might not have an effect. And it may, depending on the medications you are on, and also any pre existing medical issues that you might have. And so somebody to look those over.

Dr. Eryn Stansfield  : And, you know, go over that with the client slash patient, I think is very important. Because, you know, years ago, for example, St. John’s Wort was taken by people, and there were a lot of coagulation issues with that, depending on what other medications, they were taking bleeding issues, etc. So it’s something that that you need to be wary of, you know, just because you can get it at the grocery store doesn’t mean that it’s necessarily safe.

Steve Washuta  :  I guess that’s maybe a question for Vinny, but obviously, Dr. Arden you can step into, but does, you know, do you see any biomarkers such as Dr. Aaron pass along any biomarkers that would change diet suggestions?

Steve Washuta  : Yeah, so if we see like a lipid panel that’s a little bit off where we need to adjust those numbers, we, we would like to go mainly, or I would like to kind of tailored more towards like a Mediterranean type diet to really help in that aspect. She’s really big and like, trying to basically tell our clients or patients about you know, cardiovascular risk. So she’s honing in on that.

Vinny Russo :  And anytime, like, there’s any type of red flag, you know, she’s gonna tell me right away, like, hey, this used to be like, You got to do something about this. So we work together and like once I create that plan, for example, like the lipid pan, I’ll send it to her about, hey, this is what I’m sending them and she’ll take note of it, she has a whole bunch of notes.

Vinny Russo :  So she makes a she takes notes of the adjustments that were made, and then we monitor what goes on but that was an example or like if they have something where the a one sees on the higher side then obviously we’ll go a little bit less on the carbohydrate aspect focus on more vegetables. and more complex carbohydrates and fewer meals. But there’s little strategies that are used, but it is based off of like, hey, then this is what we got to watch out for. And that’s like, Alright, here’s what the adjustments I’m making to the plan

Steve Washuta : are. And also because you guys, as stated before, are really concerned with long term health, not your short term health.

Dr. Eryn Stansfield  : Another thing is as taking the whole clinical picture in mind, I think a lot of you know, if you’re out in the industry, especially in the nutrition industry, I do see a lot of people offering labs. And I feel like there’s no magic lab number, right? It’s, it’s the entire clinical picture. We’re looking at a patient who has a medical history. And it’s not just about their lab numbers, that is one piece of the clinical picture.

Dr. Eryn Stansfield  : But it is not the entire picture. And so, having, you know, Vinny and I work together, we see the entire picture, because he’s able to take into account what their nutrition is. And I’m able to look at not only just their labs, but also their medical history, their medical issues, their, you know, their struggles that they’ve had medically, in order to be more efficient in family history to receive those.

Steve Washuta :  Yeah, I mean, I’ve seen people, guys, clients of mine who had like testosterone it at 250, or 300. And they feel great. And then other others that feel have it at 700. And they feel terrible. And maybe it’s a receptor thing. Maybe it’s all the other things going on, but you can’t just look at a snapshot and assume that someone feels good and doesn’t have an issue. Exactly.

Vinny Russo :  That was perfect. What about liver enzymes, liver panels? I don’t know much about them. I take them myself personally, but I don’t look at my clients. Are they important? Are they change program based upon results?

Dr. Eryn Stansfield  : Yeah, so it depends on the particular patient. But what we’re seeing more and more with the obesity rates climbing, especially in the United States is non alcoholic fatty liver disease, right. And that can affect one liver, and and can cause cirrhosis long term, if if it is not addressed at some point. And also, the other thing we see is people having issues with alcohol intake, right? It is the second leading cause of cirrhosis after hepatitis.

Dr. Eryn Stansfield  : So there are you know, these are two common things that happen in the general population. And something to be aware of. Now, is it used as a screening test not typically, but we typically get them on our clients because we do have a subset of clients that are coming to us because they want to lose weight. And so they might be at risk for non alcoholic fatty liver disease, for example. And that needs to be addressed and treated appropriately. And obviously, if it’s, you know, their labor numbers are high, then we get them off to a specialist.

Steve Washuta  : There are a lot of acronyms in the fitness and health industry. Most personal trainers and even maybe most general population now kind of knows what BMR is, but as far as eat and neat, and t f I don’t think they understand exactly what that is. Can you kind of walk us through that Vinny? And then is this all we need once we know these things is that is that the key to weight loss?

Vinny Russo : Well, the BMR is your basal metabolic rate. A lot of people know who that is, especially your your your viewers watching your podcasts or listening to your podcast. Beneath is non exercise Activity Thermogenesis and this is really like unintentional movement that you do throughout the day. T f is the thermic effect of food. So how much energy does it take to break down that specific food item. And we could go through the macros there.

Vinny Russo  : And then eat EA T is exercise Activity Thermogenesis and that’s really just intentional movement or intentional exercise, and how many calories you burn. When you look at it, you want to you want to use what we know about them to our advantage. So for example, the most profound effect on caloric expenditure comes from BMR. Right BMR it’s hard to really manipulate that unless you know you’re going into suppression or a surplus which over time can can can change it, but it’s going to be within a range, it’s not going to be a significant change.

Vinny Russo :  So then you go to the next one, right? So if we’re doing hierarchy, it’s like the BMR has the most profound effect. And it’s going to be neat, which is your non exercise Activity Thermogenesis and then it’s actually thermic effect of food and then comes exercise. So what you want to do is you want to focus on the areas that will have the most impact on your caloric expenditure if you’re looking to lose weight.

Vinny Russo :  So for example, if you’re looking at the thermic effect of food, well, we want to stick with a higher protein, right? So you’re going to check that off. If we’re looking at NEET you want to keep your body moving. So maybe you You know, you’ll notice like as you, as you lean out, and as you go into a deficit, your body will start to move a little bit less, because you’re feeling it less. And so you’ll notice, like, sometimes you’re fidgeting, if you see me now, like, my legs are shaking this entire time, right?

Vinny Russo :  But if I’m gonna devastate him, I’m in competition prep, I’m not doing that man, I’m just chilling, I’m probably falling asleep. So you want to make a conscious movement of that, right? A conscious effort to be like, Hey, let me just get a little bit more moving around. And now Now it becomes intentional. But that will have a huge effect on basically your success with with a dieting phase.

Vinny Russo :  When it comes to exercise, I would say you need to put forth an attentional effort with good intensity here, but you don’t want to use exercise as your like go to for for burning calories, because it’s really not that efficient at all. So like, when looking at it, does one matter more than the other? I would say it does, in terms of like, looking at the hierarchy, so we can’t really adjust BMR but we could adjust NEET so let’s really focus on adjusting NEET because it’s going to have a bigger effect than adjusting exercise, so to speak.

Steve Washuta :   Yeah, it’s really interesting. I have a bunch of questions that come from that the the first one is, personal trainers are taught that BMR is like 11 times your body weight and calories. So if you’re 200 pounds, it’s 2200 calories. Is that right? Or is it just that’s that’s not?

Vinny Russo :  It’s it’s a roundabout, it’s the same like with any other equation, you can go on the Harris Benedict equation. What is it demisting? jour. But yeah, I’ve heard that I’ve heard if you want to go into surplus times by 13, if you want to go into deficit times that by 10. And it’s like, it’s different, because it’s like, what are you eating? Like, what have you been eating?

Steve Washuta  : I’m going to answer for you, and you’re telling me if this answer is right, or how you would change it. The reason why you can’t replace nits with more eats, is because probably you’re going to end up pushing it too much on one end of the scale, you’re gonna you’re gonna burn too many calories, maybe it’s harder to keep on muscle. The reason why NEET is so important is because of the fact that you’re, you’re burning these calories, but not doing it. Where you’re putting yourself into too much of a deficit. 

Vinny Russo :  Yeah, I would say you’re pretty spot on there. I mean, when you look at NEET, like, it’s a low barrier entry into, you know, being able to increase caloric expenditure, because it’s not really taking that much from you. It’s not like, it’s not like, if you’re doing a hit session for 15 minutes, you’re going to be completely dead after if you do it the right way. compared to if you increase your knee over a day period, let’s just say you increase your steps from, you know, going from 8000 to 11,000.

Vinny Russo :  That’s a significant amount, you’re going to see results from that, but it’s not going to be as hard to do and you’re not going to be like oh man, like I don’t want to go for a 10 minute walk compared to I don’t want to do these 15 minutes, these 15 rounds of hit.

Vinny Russo :  So I think you have a very valid point there. But, you know, I think NEET overall I just think that because it’s so unintentional where exercise is, I just think that there’s so much emphasis put on the exercise aspects with like, alright, well, I crazy on Thanksgiving, so tomorrow morning,

I’m going to do an crazy amount of cardio you’re not you’re why you’re gonna punish yourself doing that, like, it’s, you could have made mindful decisions, but you’re gonna use exercise thinking it’s gonna burn so much. It’s like these fitness trackers like, it doesn’t it’s not accurate, like stop looking at it, like use it as a inconsistent use it as a consistent error, right?

Vinny Russo :  And just a gauge. Don’t put so much emphasis on trying to use exercise to burn calories. When you do exercise. Like if you’re doing cardio, do it for your cardiovascular health. If you’re doing weight training, do it to build muscle. Don’t do it going in there like I need to burn calories. No, don’t do it. Use your diet to burn the calories use your non exercise Activity Thermogenesis to help you burn the calories.

Steve Washuta  : I wonder if you guys have this too. Whenever I have clients who come back from vacation, they always tell me they lost weight. And they’re so surprised because they didn’t work out. Like I was on vacation for seven days. I lost weight. Being like weight loss is their goal. And they’re like, I can’t believe it. Right? I was eating whatever I wanted or whatever. And you ask them what they did. And basically like all they did the whole vacation is move.

Steve Washuta : Right? So as opposed to like maybe they’re an accountant and they sit at a desk all day. It’s like what would you do on vacation? It’s like, oh, well, first I went on a tour of, you know, the Acropolis. And then I walked up this mountain and then I went here and then we went to this restaurant and went to this downtown like yeah, you walked for seven straight days. Like that’s why you lost weight like you usually sitting down at a desk, but they just they don’t attribute that they’re like, Yep, I didn’t work out. I’m like, Well, you weren’t you did, in a sense.

Vinny Russo :  Yeah. And reducing stress too. But when we went to Italy, it was like, I drank wine almost every day, like whatever I’m in Italy. I’m going to do it and I came back later. Now I didn’t work out either. So maybe there was like a little bit of glycogen gone. Maybe a little bit of loss of muscle maybe because it was 14 days.

Vinny Russo : Nothing significant, but like you expect it, what you ate, and what you drank should have amounted to a surplus. But we walked everywhere. So and that and that was the key was just moving like you look at these blue zones, right? These blue zones are filled with people who just walk everywhere. Right? It’s it’s huge in terms of in terms of overall health and sustainability with with attaining results through a dieting phase.

Steve Washuta  : Yeah, not to mention, I think Dr. Armstrong hitting on it sort of the the mental health aspect and just being out in the sun, which most people aren’t on a day to day basis. Let’s go over some fun repeated things that clients say in the industry all the time, I’m going to pretend that I’m one of your clients, because I’m sure this happens to you on a day to day basis. And I just opened up tick tock, and now I know of course, whatever they say tick tock is true. And I come to you guys. And I say, Well, you have to be doing cardio. I thought cardio was bad. How do you respond to that?

Vinny Russo : I’m gonna say, Well, can you explain why cardio is bit less? Because they said it on tick tock. Oh, okay. Well, did they explain it to you?

Steve Washuta  : They said, because you can’t build any muscle if you do cardio. Okay,

Vinny Russo : well, once again, cardio, you’re not gonna burn crazy amounts of calories, number one, number two, unless you do marathons and stuff like that. But I’m gonna say cardio is not bad cardio is actually really, really beneficial for cardiovascular reasons. Now, an extensive amount is going to sooner or later be bad for you? Yes. Because you’re going to adapt to it.

Vinny Russo : And the only way to respond is to do more and more and more than you, then you’re one of those people, those bikini competitors that come to us, and is like, Hey, I’m doing two hours of cardio and can’t lose weight. And I’m like, Well, yeah, we’re going to take that down. Right? There shouldn’t be so much emphasis put on, you know, cardio, to lose body fat. And I think it’s just a tool. And it’s not a necessity, but it’s not bad for you. Like I said, it has amazing cardiovascular benefits. And I think Aaron might be able to touch a little bit more on that as well. Yeah,

Dr. Eryn Stansfield  : I agree. 100%, right. It does help with heart health, something that we don’t often can see visually, right when we look in the mirror, except for potentially, if there’s some weight loss with that. But I think the the dose dose is the poison, right? So too much is too bad, you have to have a balance, you know, you have to get some cardio in but you don’t want to go to the extreme either.

Dr. Eryn Stansfield  : Your body does get accustomed to, you know, running long distances. And so it’s good to switch it up. And I think from a mentality perspective, it’s, it’s, you know, for some people to stress reliever I started running in medical school because it relieved a lot of stress. So there are multiple facets of benefits not only just for cardiovascular, cardiovascular health, but also for mental well being.

Vinny Russo : There’s someone who, who absolutely loves car like doctor and loves cardio, and I don’t. So we’re we’re two completely ends of the spectrum here. And she’s telling you like too much is not good. So,

Steve Washuta  : yeah, yeah, I’ll add a third component here that wasn’t mentioned. There’s like a cognitive benefit to for everyone’s different but if I lift, as opposed to just do cardio, I feel more cognitively firing when I do cardio. So for me, cardio is just kickboxing. But when I kickbox, when I’m done with it, I feel like my mind is sharper. For whatever reason, I don’t I don’t know exactly the mechanistic reason why, but there’s could be dopamine could be some, some some other thing, but I do feel like my mind is sharper.

Vinny Russo :  Yeah. And but I will say like, if if someone says, Hey, cardio is bad, I would want to know their explanation. And then I would give them the exact answer that I just gave you. And if they feel good doing it, too, like we have clients who absolutely love cardio, and I’m like you’re doing a little bit too much, but it’s their it’s their love, it’s what they want to do. We’re going to keep it and we’ll make it work.


Steve Washuta :  Girls have to lift heavy. That’s what I read on tick tock,

Vinny Russo : is that true? Eryn, get asked

Dr. Eryn Stansfield  : this question. Mostly because I’m a female. Um, I, you know, I really hate that they. There’s a sex distinction. I think everyone should lift heavy, right? Or as much as you can, as much as your capacity allows if you are injury free. I think from a medical perspective, resistance training is so very important. It helps in longevity in both sexes, not only in females, but in males as well. In fact, one of the tests that geriatricians do as you age is the chair tasks, right?

Dr. Eryn Stansfield :  So they have you sit in a chair, when you are older, and they have you get out up out of the chair, which is basically half squat. And if you cannot do that, that actually correlates with a higher mortality risk. So people who do are stronger and who resistance train are able to handle activities like this, especially as they age. And it becomes very important, one of the biggest risk for mortality are hip fractures and falls.

Dr. Eryn Stansfield  : And so if we can avoid that by being stronger, then, you know, why not do that? Why not do that in your youth and continue doing that? As you age? I think it’s very, very important. I, you know, thank goodness had a trainer early on, who told me that it didn’t matter if I was a female, that I needed to lift to my full capacity. And that’s what I did. And that’s how I trained ever since I think it’s very important.

Vinny Russo :  Yeah, and, and to take just a, like, little Avenue off of that. So when you go into when you’re lifting weights, it should be to get stronger, it should be to build muscle, right? So if you’re going in there using lightweight, and you’re not getting anywhere near failure.

You’re wasting your time, like, yeah, it’s a little bit of movement, but so what, right, like, you’re not going to, you’re not going to benefit from it. So the whole point is to add enough stimulus to be able to cause the response in your body to either grow and or get stronger, because that’s the whole point of view lifting weights.

Steve Washuta  :  Totally. And just, you know, just to add to those points for anyone who, you know, might be confused, you know, Dr. Horton used the term capacity, Vinny use the term, you know, you know, lifting towards failure, doesn’t mean you have to go into the gym and do the sets of two and three, right. So Vinnie, normally, chest presses, 80 pound dumbbells, but he feels like grabbing 50s.

Steve Washuta  : And doing double the amount of reps and slowing down the negative repetition to eccentric and really wearing his muscles out through time under tension, he could still do the right things to become stronger, right, you don’t always have to do low reps. But you do need to challenge your muscles so that you wear them out so that they grow back stronger.

Vinny Russo :   Yeah, that’s a perfect example. Because when people go away on vacations, or they’re staying at a hotel, you may have a hotel gym, but they have like light dumbbells, they’re not going to go up to 100. So whatever, right, they might go up to maximum 50s. And if you’re a man who who trains a lot, you could still get a hell of a workout with that, as long as you bring that rep range too close to failure to failure.

Vinny Russo :  Right. And like you said, you can add techniques in there, drop sets, rest pause sets, you could do slowly Centrix, or, you know, four seconds down four seconds up, like really, really slow, concentrated reps, and still get there. So yeah, that was great point.

Steve Washuta  : One gram of protein per pound of body weight, that apparently is the key number for everybody. I read it on tick tock, tell me why, um, that’s right or wrong. 

Vinny Russo : I would, I would say, You’re wrong there. i It’s funny, because last month, I like going into tick tock and going on to the lives for the people that are like, give me your body statistics, and I’ll give you your calories. And this guy, he had one person say, hey, like, I’m a 300 pound male have this at the end, he was like, Yeah, you’re gonna have 300 grams of protein. And you’re going to do and I’m like, whoa, whoa, whoa, I’m like,

Vinny Russo :  This guy seems to be a little bit on the obese side, you’re going to give him 300 grams of protein, you don’t even know how much he was eating previously. So why is he going to jump right up to 300 grams of protein, like you shouldn’t, like it’s not based off of the one pound per weight, like per gram, it shouldn’t be that because if you have someone who is 180 pounds, and they normally are eating, let’s just say 100 and 100 grams of protein per day, you’re not going to bump them up to 180, there’s gonna be a lot of digestion issues, there’s gonna be a lot of GI distress there, to try to break down that the body’s not used to it.

Vinny Russo :  So you could work them up over time to get to there. But if they’re not eating that amount, there’s no way like to do that. And to be honest with you, I eat more protein than my one gram per pound, I’m 205 pounds, I eat about 230 grams of protein. I just like protein. So I think that’s just a number that is thrown out there. It’s a it’s a rule of thumb for people who maybe are just starting off, and it’s a good way to get them to eat more protein, especially if they’re on the heavier side. So but I wouldn’t, I wouldn’t take it for for it to be written in stone. 

Steve Washuta :  Don’t eat after 6pm. Either one of you can take this. This is an arbitrary number.

Vinny Russo :  So I like to look at it as like, Listen, if you’re eating 2000 calories before 10pm Are you eating 2000 calories before 7pm It’s 2000 calories. I like to eat right before I go to bed so I don’t wake up hungry. It helps you sleep a little bit better. Some people get, you know issues, eating right before bed. Some people really feel better. Stopping before six, whatever. It’s not a rule.

Vinny Russo :  It shouldn’t be a rule. It’s an arbitrary number that someone threw out there to say you’re less active. So You’re going to store all of that, if you eat 2000 calories for the day, whether that’s before 10pm or 4pm, you like, literally, it’s 2000 calories for the 24 hours. So I don’t know, if you want to touch on that.

Dr. Eryn Stansfield  : I think looking at sleep quality, you know, depending on if you don’t have acid reflux or anything like that, again, you know, clinical picture comes into mind here. But sometimes if you don’t eat dinner, or if you don’t eat later, that can affect sleep quality, which actually can affect multiple factors. And one of them can be your efficiency and weight loss, right? So I think making rules hard and fast rules like this, usually are, are terrible. Each one, each person is different. And you need to look at the whole picture.

Steve Washuta  : There’s always the clients that just turn 40 or over 40. And they go, Hey, man, it’s different. Now you don’t understand I’m over 40, there’s no way I can lose weight, not a response.

Vinny Russo :  I love this question, Aaron, go ahead. You’re over 40.

Dr. Eryn Stansfield : So I can speak personally. And also I can speak to what I’ve seen in you know, my clinical experience. So you know, a lot of people in particular, females will complain about perimenopause, or menopause. And there are hormone changes as we age, estrogen obviously falls. But I felt like a lot of people just are quick to blame their hormones for their weight gain, for example. But I think we need to ask ourselves is how much does that actually contribute to weight gain?

Dr. Eryn Stansfield : How much does that fall in estrogen contribute, and you know, looking at studies, for example, in a 2005 Cochrane Review, they found that these falls in estrogen really did affect a woman’s weight. And I also find it interesting from an observational standpoint that women who experienced early ovarian failure don’t seem to have a different weight problem as compared to their age match controls.

Dr. Eryn Stansfield :  And the Women’s Health Initiative, they found that women may experience some body composition changes. But the weight gained was very, very modest. So it was maybe two to four pounds, I think the important part is to continue to be active, and to resistance training, again, for not only your body composition currently, but for longevity reasons right to to continue to stay active for cardiovascular health, and also for strength as you age, and I think blaming your age is a poor scapegoat for that.

Vinny Russo : Yeah, I like to I like to go at it with like saying your priorities shift. So when you’re in your 20s College, like your main priority is vanity, right? You You’re training to look good, you’re and you could get away with stuff because you’re extremely active, and you’re trying to be that way. When you get older, you start getting a family, you get a career.

It’s like those priorities shift, and you’re spending less mental energy, and you’re spending less time actually focusing on your body composition than you did in your 20s. So it’s not so much that you got older, I just feel like over time, your priorities shift. So like Dr. Aaron said, Stay active, like keep it going. Like don’t slow down. If you realize that you did slow it down, get it back up. You know.

Dr. Eryn Stansfield :  I mean, I got my pro. Lastly, here. Oh, sorry, go ahead.

Steve Washuta : You can go, you can give.

Dr. Eryn Stansfield : I was gonna say I got my procard in bikini competitions at 40. So, you know, it can be done, you can stay active, and you can have that body composition that you desire. 

Steve Washuta : That’s a great point, too. You know, Vinnie, you made before that saying, you know, are you really analyzing what your life has been like the last five years? Yeah, maybe you’re, you know, 41 now, and you think that’s the reason but really, it’s because you sit down all day long, and you don’t do much and you have a glass of wine every night and you’re just blaming on Ah, yeah, maybe maybe you could also do that a 21 and recover faster.

Steve Washuta :  No one’s denying that. But it’s but but that means you need to work a little bit harder as you get older. It doesn’t mean it can’t be done. It just means you need to be a little bit more conscious of what you eat and how you train hence the reason you hire professionals to help you out exactly. What about people who are obsessed with the daily metrics?

Steve Washuta :  They’re always looking at their steps, the 10k steps, they have really a tough time not stepping on the scale every morning even though they know It’s they shouldn’t be doing that. How do you help clients? Get off of this path? And and and do you handle those metrics? Do you? Do you make sure that they don’t do it as much? Do you cold turkey? Rip them from them? How do you deal with people who are obsessed with these things want you to weigh yourself every day.

Vinny Russo :   And the reason why is like a lot of people that come to me are afraid of the skill. So I want to bring it to their attention to the forefront and say, Look, we’re gonna watch the fluctuations throughout the week. So then you could just start to appreciate those fluctuations throughout the week, I want you to track this all the time.

Vinny Russo : Because I want you to see how unique your body is. It’s not linear, when we lose weight, it’s going to fluctuate, but if it’s going to fluctuate, it’s going to go down over time, but just not in a linear fashion, right. And I want you to appreciate that, especially with women when they get their menstrual cycle. Well, if you’re taking that data down, you could see how many days beforehand you actually hold some weight, and how long it takes for it to dissipate.

Vinny Russo :  So I love that initial stuff. So with people who are afraid I make sure they do it. If people like doing it great, cool, we’re gonna have the data. But if we’re getting away from that, right, like for me, I It makes me feel very comfortable to track food to look at my step count for the day, see if the how active I was. I’m less I’m more lenient.

Vinny Russo : Now. Thanks to Dr. Aaron. But I would say if someone’s really doing it, we need to get to the point to where it becomes a habit that we’re hitting that stuff all the time. So then you could spend less time worrying about whether you’re doing it or not. So for example, with your skill weight, if you’re like, I don’t want to weigh myself every day, but I’m so obsessed over.

Vinny Russo :  Alright, well, do you know what you’re eating on a day to day basis? Yeah. Okay, cool. So do you think like if you stay consistent and isocaloric diet that you’re going to drop or gain significantly? No? Okay. So then weigh yourself, you know, once or twice per week, if you want or maybe you want to skip every other week, that’s fine. And I guarantee you’re going to be right around where you are if you’re managing your diet.

Vinny Russo :  So I think like I said, it’s a catch 22 Because you get the obsessiveness. Me personally I can appreciate this obsessiveness. So I’m like looking at from that perspective, Dr. Atkins touch on it from the other perspective. But I also think like in order for you to go off, it’s like intuitive eating, you don’t really intuitive eat like you can’t just dive down on intuitive eating, intuitive eating got you to where you are.

Vinny Russo : But you got to know food awareness, you got to know how to structure a plan, you got to know this stuff first. And then you could go intuitively, it’s the same thing with this, you got to know what you’re doing on a day to day basis. And then you could let the reins loose, and then you could go off and not have to track everything so diligently because you’re already doing it. For me

Dr. Eryn Stansfield :  personally, I’m a big proponent of balance. You know, coming as a competitor myself, I feel like we’ve all gone through this obsessiveness of measuring everything out counting, how many steps did you get your workouts in? Did I you know, how many reps died, get what weight was it at, and you begin to obsess. And I feel like I have a natural inclination to obsess.

Dr. Eryn Stansfield : And some competitors do as well. And so my goal is more of that balance. Because I think that can affect your happiness over time, right? So I think it is good. Data’s always good, especially at the beginning. But once you learn those foundational habits, then obsessing becomes less of an issue where you can get a feel for that. Now, obviously, you don’t want to go too far off, you want to be able to kind of honed that skill of getting that feel for where you’re at. But I think either extreme could be bad, right? Somewhere in the middle is good. But that takes a lot of practice and time.

Steve Washuta : Yeah, I also think could take the enjoyment out of it. And ultimately, you want people to enjoy their diet plan. You want them to enjoy their workouts. It shouldn’t be getting done with their workout being like, I can’t believe I wasted my time. I didn’t get to 25 for six today. It’s like no, you didn’t waste your time. Like it’s not all about reaching these these metrics like you worked out, it’s healthy. You have to enjoy the the both the exercise and the and the eating component. It can’t all be torturous, because you’ll quit.

Vinny Russo : Yeah, and but that’s that’s also taking the client’s preferences into account, right? Like, being able to understand what they like, what they don’t like, what they can handle their daily life. Like, what’s the schedule? Like can you can’t schedule someone to do like an hour workout? If they only got a half an hour to get it in the morning before they gotta get the kids ready for school? You know? So taking that into account is key. So glad you said that. Yeah, I

Steve Washuta :  find that a lot. I have clients who ask me all the time, like, oh, what’s the best time of day to workout? It’s like, Well, are you trying to get out of the workout? Like what’s the best time for you to work out like, if the best time if you hate the morning and you’re busy in the morning, obviously it’s the evening like.

If I tell you it’s the morning and you’re not going to skip the workout like it’s there is no best time to work out whenever you Gonna get there. This has been super helpful, great information guys. Tell my audience where they can find more about you individually more more about Balanced bodies anywhere you want to direct them to.

Vinny Russo :  So yeah, we, we have a website, it’s balanced So you could go there, you could check that out, we got a bunch of transformations on there, some testimonials, all that stuff. Our Instagram is our main form of content. So that’s Vinnie Russo underscore balanced bodies. And that’s Dr. Aaron underscore balanced bodies. We also have a podcast.

Vinny Russo : And it’s called the balanced bodies blueprint. It’s on Spotify, Apple podcast, YouTube, so you can find that stuff there. But we’re always looking to answer questions. Steve, I know that you have a really good following.

People really enjoy the content that you put out because it’s very diverse. The amount of like the amount of guests that you have on and what they all bring to the table like you did a tax guide the other day, or the other week.

Vinny Russo :  and I’m like, this ain’t even about fitness, but it is because then you have fitness professionals that can utilize the tax guy, right. So I think what you’re doing is great man. But if anybody has questions in particulars, and you know, you just want to pick Dr. Eryn’s brain or my brain, feel free just to reach out via social media is probably going to be the best way to do it.

Steve Washuta : My guest today has been Vinny and Dr. Eryn of balanced bodies. Thank you so much for joining the Trulyfit podcast

Vinny Russo : Thanks for having me.

Steve Washuta: Thanks for joining us on the Trulyfit podcast. Please subscribe, rate, and review on your listening platform. Feel free to email us as we’d love to hear from you.

Thanks again!





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