Changing Your Metabolism with Louise Digby

By April 25, 2024

Power of Electrolytes

In today’s episode of the Keto Diet Podcast, we dive deep into how your metabolism, weight loss efforts, and overall health are significantly influenced by factors often overlooked: toxins, gut health, and the critical balance of hormones.

Louise Digby is a seasoned nutritional therapist based in the UK, specializing in helping women tackle challenges with weight and hormonal balance. Unlike conventional diets that focus strictly on calorie intake and expenditure, Louise takes a more comprehensive and enjoyable approach. She passionately believes that losing weight should not strip away the joy of eating one’s favorite foods. Instead, Louise focuses on the underlying issues that often cause stubborn weight problems, particularly as women approach their late thirties and forties. Her tailored programs are designed to transform dieting into a pleasurable experience, maintaining delicious meals at the heart of every plan, while simultaneously achieving lasting results.

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Louise Digby [00:00:00]:

We need to make sure that we are maintaining our lean muscle mass if we want to age well and have an easier time with things when we’re trying to manage our weight. And so many women that I work with come to me really cranking up that cardio. And while a little bit of cardio is fine, it’s good for your heart. The problem with it is that too much of it or too high intensity exercise really drive up that cortisol level again.

Leanne Vogel [00:00:29]:

Hello. Hello. Welcome to the Keto Diet podcast. If you missed it last week, I want to prepare you for some changes that we’re making to the show. I’m renaming the show. Nothing else is going to change other than the name. I feel like this has been a long time coming. I’ve been marinating on this for quite some time, and I’ve had cold feet over it back and forth and back and forth and back and forth.

Leanne Vogel [00:00:54]:

And so finally, I just said, today, when I’m recording the intros for the episodes, I’m just gonna go out there and say, we’re renaming the show. It’s happening in a couple of weeks. Watch for it. Nothing else is changing other than a slightly new intro and the title. Everything else will be the same. Schedule is the same, episode function is the same. The goals are the same. I love the ketogenic diet.

Leanne Vogel [00:01:19]:

I coach on the ketogenic diet. Many of my clients are eating keto or some form of it, or we’re using keto as a tool or low carb as a tool. I just feel like over the last year, the show has shifted more and more to more of a functional wellness message, and I want to embrace that. I’m ready. I hope you’re ready. I feel like if you’re here and you love the show and you love what we’re doing, it’s really not that big a deal. So when you see this change happen on your podcast player, where all of a sudden it’s a different name, that’s all that’s changing. I just want to prepare you so you know that it’s me.

Leanne Vogel [00:01:55]:

Everything else is the same. I love you, and let’s go for this new adventure together with a new name. It’s going to be good stuff. So our episode today is all about metabolic health. This is something that I’ve really, really been in for the last two years. When my mom was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2022, I realized just how important muscle was. And I remember looking in the mirror, being like, this is not a body that’s going to age well when it comes to the amount of muscle I need versus how little I have. And so I made a bunch of little tiny shifts over time that have resulted in me really changing my body composition.

Leanne Vogel [00:02:45]:

And we talk with our guest today, Louise, all about being consistent with changes. These things do not happen overnight. It has taken me like a good year and a half to get to a good place when it comes to muscle development. And it’s not uncommon to expect anywhere between a quarter to maybe a third of pounds of muscle gain per month from a really intense program. And so if your goal is metabolic flexibility, if your goal is changing the way your body looks, then you need to listen to today’s episode and you need to prioritize protein, protein, protein, protein. You need to prioritize protein. Yes. If you’ve decided that your macro, your king macro is fat, that’s awesome.

Leanne Vogel [00:03:35]:

But then I feel like the protein goes by the wayside. So today’s conversation is with Louise. She is a b a n t registered nutritional therapist, weight loss expert, and the creator of the nourish method that helps women get their dream body, supercharge their energy and overcome frustrating symptoms like bloating, bowel problems, skin complaints and much more. She is also the host of the Thriving Metabolism podcast, which talks about nutrition education, science, metabolism and hormones. Louise has helped hundreds of women discover and fix what’s really keeping them from their goal weight. Sluggish metabolism, imbalanced hormones and mindset challenges our conversation. We go through all sorts of things from the eat less, burn more situation that we all know and absolutely hate. Body recomposition, the tools that we need to use to break down the fat that’s just not moving, including blood sugar regulation, gut support, liver support, and specific foods that we both use and love.

Leanne Vogel [00:04:42]:

When it comes to hitting our macro goals, let’s cut over to our conversation with Louise. Hey, my name is Leanne Vogel. I’m fascinated with helping women navigate how to eat, move and care for their bodies using a low carb diet. I’m a small town holistic nutritionist turned three time international bestselling author turned functional medicine practitioner offering telemedicine services around the globe to women looking to better their health and stop second guessing themselves. I’m here to teach you how to wade through the wellness noise to get to the good stuff that’ll help you achieve your goals. We’re supporting your low carb life beyond the if it fits your macros conversation, hormones, emotions, relationship to your body, workouts, letdowns, motivation, blood work, detoxing metabolism. I’m providing the tools to put your motivation into action. Think of it like quality time with your bestie mixed with a little med school so you’re empowered at your next doctor visit.

Leanne Vogel [00:05:42]:

Get ready to be challenged and encouraged while you learn about your body and how to care for it better. This is the Keto diet podcast. Hey, Louise, how’s it going?

Louise Digby [00:06:01]:

Hey, I’m really good, thank you. Thanks so much for having me.

Leanne Vogel [00:06:04]:

Yeah, I’m so glad to have you on. We’re going to be talking about the metabolism today. I’m really stoked.

Louise Digby [00:06:09]:

Yeah, awesome. Me too.

Leanne Vogel [00:06:10]:

So can you start off by telling us, I know I just read your official bio, but can you tell us in a few words like who you are, what you do and what lights you up?

Louise Digby [00:06:19]:

Yeah, sure. So I’m a registered nutritional therapist. I’m based in the UK and I focus on women who are struggling with their weight and their hormones, and I help them to lose weight in a way where food is still a really joyful thing and where you don’t have to cut out all your favorite foods. And we do that by addressing the root causes of stubborn weights and going much, much deeper than your typical diets, which are just getting you to eat less and burn more calories, which unfortunately just doesn’t cut it when you’re getting into your late thirties and forties.

Leanne Vogel [00:07:00]:

So what are you seeing as the main thing when you’re talking about eating less, burning more calories? What are some of the activities, thoughts, practices that people are doing that are like, not working within that realm so.

Louise Digby [00:07:14]:

Often for the women that come to me, many of them just not eating enough. And, you know, a lot of them have been restricting their calories for a long time, often having quite a high activity level for a long time in an effort to try and lose weight or just generally be healthier. But that can consistent lack of calories coming in alongside the high activity levels just leaves their bodies undernourished and it’s damaging for the metabolism as well. So often I’m actually working with women to help them to eat more and help them to kind of accept that mentally, because it can be quite challenging to go through that process of upping your food intake and kind of trusting the process. So, yeah, that’s something that I see a lot.

Leanne Vogel [00:08:04]:

What are some signs that we’re not eating enough? Because I know when we talk about this, and I do the same thing with my clients, when I say, oh, I think you’re going to need to eat more. They like, explain away everything I know. I’ve done it too. Like, what are some of the key signs that we’re not eating enough?

Louise Digby [00:08:23]:

I think probably one of the main ones is fatigue and feeling like either you’ve not got enough fuel physically or mentally, maybe not recovering from workouts very well. It might be that your sleep is disrupted. You know, if you’re waking up in the night, it could be that, you know, your blood sugars are dropping and that’s causing your stress hormones to spike and wake you up. So it’s kind of general energy and sleep issues. Could be a sign that you’re not eating enough. I think there’s many different things that could be linked to not eating enough. It’s kind of like a quite non specific, you know, because there’s lots of things that can cause lots of different symptoms, so it’s difficult to kind of recognize it in yourself. But, you know, if you feel like you’re struggling to get in all the different things, all the different nutrients, different variety of foods, then there’s a good chance that it might be because you’re not actually eating enough overall.

Leanne Vogel [00:09:19]:

Do you feel like in that realm too, there’s like a minimum caloric requirement for all human beings that, like, let’s say if you’re eating 900 calories a day, you’re probably not eating enough or something? In regards to their actual intakes, would you have that general statement, or is it more just very broad that we couldn’t put like a number on it?

Louise Digby [00:09:42]:

Yeah, I’d say it’s difficult to put a number on it because everyone is so different and it depends on lots of things, like how active you are and how intense your work is and that sort of thing. But I mean, I generally am not happy if I’m seeing someone eating less than, like 1400 calories a day. And, you know, it’s actually not difficult to let your calories drop that low if you are someone who’s quite busy and not really, you know, paying attention to getting your kind of three solid meals a day.

Leanne Vogel [00:10:14]:

And could one of the common, like at the beginning you were saying the common root causes around stubborn weight. Could one of the reasons be that we’re not eating enough?

Louise Digby [00:10:25]:

Yeah, absolutely. Because if you’re not eating enough, that is a form of stress. Your body is, you know, trying to conserve energy. They’re trying to stop you from wasting away. If you’re consistently not eating enough, it really triggers that famine response in your body. And so your body wants to prevent you from wasting away, conserve energy, and your body’s really smart and adaptive. So it’s going to adjust the amount of calories you’re spending on daily activities to the amount of fuel that’s coming in. And it goes both ways.

Louise Digby [00:11:01]:

You know, when we up our activity levels, we don’t just burn loads more calories if we’re doing those activity levels consistently. Our bodies adapt and conserve energy in other areas. So, you know, this whole theory around burning more calories or adjusting what you’re eating to meet your calorie requirements is quite deeply flawed, and it does vary from day to day.

Leanne Vogel [00:11:27]:

So my goal should be to try to eat as much as I possibly can while being in a state of health, while achieving the body composition that I want. Is that kind of like the ideal scenario?

Louise Digby [00:11:40]:

Maybe not necessarily as much as you possibly can, but I think it’s definitely achievable to get to a point where you can listen to your body’s signals and, you know, you know, when you’re feeling full and you know what true hunger is, you can tell the difference between being genuinely hungry or just being bored and feeling a bit snacky. And also, you know, your body’s good at telling you what it needs, you know, to cravings information. And if we’re craving something salty, then there’s a good chance we probably need a little bit of salt. If we’re craving chocolate, it could be that we need some magnesium, for example. So once we can tune into our bodies, then we can regulate our appetite and regulate our food intake by listening to our body signals.

Leanne Vogel [00:12:31]:

So you mentioned boredom cravings like snackiness, the genuine hunger. Why do we lose this ability to kind of understand these signals? Did we have this at some point and we just lost the ability to know when we’re hungry? No one, when it’s just snacky, when it’s boredom, like, how do we unpack this? It sounds like a lot of relationship to food stuff, some emotional stuff, like, why is this happening to individuals?

Louise Digby [00:12:57]:

Yeah, it can be a lot to unpack. I always think a good place to start is with getting your blood sugars balanced. Because if you’re having highs and lows in your blood sugars, then your body, every time you have a blood sugar crash, what your body needs to remedy that blood sugar crash is sugar or carbohydrates. So your body gives you cravings to make you look for sugar or carbs and get those blood sugars up nice and quickly and overpowering. That is really difficult. You know, it’s very difficult to use willpower to ignore those cravings. So if we can get our blood sugars balanced, then we are in much more control over the types of foods that we’re looking for. If we’re not at the whim of our cravings, then it’s much easier to say, okay, I need some vegetables in this meal, or whatever.

Louise Digby [00:13:53]:

And I think once we can start cleaning up the diet and having fewer things that cause disruption in the body, fewer ultra processed foods, fewer blood sugar, dysregulating foods, and less inflammatory foods, then the signals become clearer and it’s much easier for us to tune into what our bodies need. And there is a big mindset element as well. And kind of allowing yourself to have some indulgences is a big part of that. Because I think if you’re feeling guilty all the time about what you’re eating, then that is a whole other thing that is going on your head that can make it really difficult to make good food choices.

Leanne Vogel [00:14:37]:

So it sounds like, from what you’ve been sharing so far, a piece that I kind of want to delve into a little bit more. Something you said previously was the famine response. What else is going on in our body when we’re experiencing that famine response? And how can it kind of trickle through the rest of our health? Like, I’m thinking thyroid, other imbalances, inability to grow muscle. What other things are happening when we’re going through that famine response? Probably adrenals are being annihilated too through that. Like, can you take us through some of the issues just for that lady? That’s like, I think I’m eating enough. I can’t lose weight unless I eat 900 calories a day. This conversation is not for me, but P’s. I’m also dealing with hypothyroidism, adrenal dysfunction, and I can’t grow muscle at the gym.

Louise Digby [00:15:21]:

Yeah. So when you’re not eating enough, the main thing that’s happening is your cortisol levels are increasing, you’re having a stress response, and cortisol is very inflammatory, so that is going to be disruptive to your hormones. It’s going to be causing all sorts of issues in your gut, and with detoxification and absorption of nutrients, it’s going to be having an impact. Your thyroid is something that needs fuel, and if you are not having enough fuel, then it’s going to start down regulating. And your thyroid is the master controller of your metabolism. So if your thyroid isn’t functioning optimally, then your metabolism is going to be slowing down and you’re not going to be burning as many calories, you’re not going to be burning fat efficiently, you’re not going to be making energy efficiently, and that is really going to halt your progress. And then you’ve got the hypothalamus in your brain, which also needs fuel, particularly in the form of carbohydrates. And if you’re going too low with those carbohydrates, when you’re in a state of stress or when you’re in a state of famine, then that hypothalamus isn’t going to be functioning so well, and that’s going to have knock on effect on all of your hormones, because that’s where we’re controlling the hormone production.

Leanne Vogel [00:16:46]:

So we’ve talked a good amount about not eating enough and how that can be a common, like, issue toward stubborn weight. That’s not going away. What are some of the other root causes around stubborn weight that’s just not shifting.

Louise Digby [00:17:02]:

So gut health is a really big one. We see imbalances in so many of our clients, whether they have digestive symptoms or not. You know, we’re very often testing the gut bacteria. And if there is an imbalance in the bacteria, you know, whether that is a lack of beneficial bacteria or an overgrowth of bacteria in the gut, then, you know, that can cause disruptions to how you’re absorbing your nutrients. You know, that can be a production of toxins, that can be a source of inflammation. It can dysregulate your immune system. So the gut is something that is a very common source of issues, and your gut’s linked to everything in the body. So if your gut isn’t happy, then that’s going to cause disruption to everything else, your hormones, your detoxification, et cetera, everything.

Leanne Vogel [00:17:57]:

And later on in our conversation, I definitely want to go through, like, action items, specifically with blood sugar, which you spoke about, and the gut piece, I want to keep kind of delving a little bit deeper into the process here. And then later, I kind of want to go into, like, action items. So for those listening who are like, just give us the goods, like, hold on tight, I will ask those questions. So earlier you were talking about how there’s, like, a mental acceptance of increasing food and trusting the process. Can you take us through, like, some of the emotions that can happen? And through that process, I’ve personally had to do this a couple of times. It’s not the most fun to go through. Can you talk about kind of what that process is like for your clients?

Louise Digby [00:18:40]:

It’s essentially reverse dieting. And when you’ve been dieting a while and you’ve been restricting your calories a lot, you kind of have to train, retrain your metabolism. And in order to do that, we need to gradually increase your food intake so that you can maintain or lose weight at a higher calorie intake. But, but in order to get to that point, sometimes you have to gain a little bit of weight first. Not always. You know, work with people who have managed to increase their calories and actually lost weight from day one. But sometimes, particularly if you have been a cereal dieter, then the weight may go up a little bit at first. So you do kind of have to trust the process and, you know, also look a little bit deeper than just weight.

Louise Digby [00:19:26]:

You know, look at your body composition in inches, and, you know, there’s lots of ways in which your body can change weights where it’s not actually fat that’s being gained.

Leanne Vogel [00:19:37]:

Yeah, I’m so glad that you touched on this. I’ve personally been doing this for about two years, like, really focusing on body composition, and it is incredible to see. You can go online and look at pictures of individuals who say, like, this is me at 150 pounds. Three years later, this is me at 150 pounds, and they look completely different, like, completely different human being. And so that’s why I’m always saying, like, we really have to look at your body composition. What are ways that we can look at not just the scale, but other means of victory when it comes to that recomposition?

Louise Digby [00:20:10]:

So measuring inches can be a good place to start, particularly if you’re carrying weight around your middle or if there are some areas that you, you can just tell of where you’re carrying your weight. So inches is a good one. I still often find that if the scales aren’t moving, the inches often are looking at how your clothes fit as well, because ultimately, that’s what most of us women want. We want to feel good in our clothes. So if there is an item of clothing that you’re trying to get into, then that can be a nice way to monitor progress. But I’m also a big advocate of monitoring lots of things like your energy levels and your cravings and your sleep quality and quantity. You know, your skin, your hair, those are all great markers of progress, particularly because the changes happen internally first, and then the results show in our skin and our hair and our nails and our energy and all those things. So once you’re seeing improvements in those areas, that’s a really great sign that you’re doing some good work.

Louise Digby [00:21:14]:


Leanne Vogel [00:21:19]:

The key to a successful diet is successful snacks. Now, you might disagree with me, but I look at so many food logs in a week, and I can tell you that when we don’t have healthful snacks dialed in, like dialed in, we know exactly what makes us thrive. Easy access. No GMO’s, no sugar alcohols, no gluten, no grain, no corn, no soy. Like, just healthy, good snacks with no natural flavors or seed oils. Just good, pure snacks. When we have that dialed in when hunger strikes and we have that thing that we reach for time and time and time again, and we are consistent with that, it is the name of the game. Now, of all of the snacks that I have had over the course of the last decade, my absolute favorite snack that I recommend to almost every client that’s struggling to, to just snack healthfully and bridge the gap between meals or even have a little mini meal, is 100% grass fed beef sticks from Paleo valley.

Leanne Vogel [00:22:30]:

They are by far the most delicious, most nutritious snack out there when it comes to hitting our protein goals. Their sticks are beyond grass fed and sourced from grass fed and finished american farms using regenerative practices to restore environmental health. Their high quality beef is so flavorful that they only have to add organic spices rather than msg, gluten, sugar and other stuff found in meat sticks. They’re also not super chewy. They’re just soft and delicious. 100% grass fed, sourced from us family farmers keto paleo. They only use organic spices. They’re fermented for your gut health.

Leanne Vogel [00:23:13]:

They contain no ecas. They have 0 gram of carbs, zero sugars. They’re satiating. They’re great for on the go. And they are going to fill that gap, I promise you. So you can find more by going to keto. And on that page, you’re going to find my favorite paleo Valley items. You’re going to see the beef sticks there.

Leanne Vogel [00:23:36]:

You can use the code keto, all in caps for 15% off when you go to keto. So skin, hair, nails, energy, sleep, all these good things. But why do you think, and maybe you’ve never, you probably have, why do you think it’s just not enough for people? Like, I’ve had so many clients be like, yeah, yeah, like, I’m sleeping better and I have more energy and all that, but the scale’s not moving. I don’t care about anything else. What do you think is happening there? Even knowing that the changes are happening internally? First, it’s just not enough. Like any words of wisdom for that individual, I think we just have such.

Louise Digby [00:24:19]:

An attachment to the scales. And, you know, I think we tend to remember a time when we felt good, and we tend to associate that with a certain weight. But, you know, even if you can get yourself back to that weight, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re gonna feel good or your body’s gonna look the same as it did when you were that weight before, because your body does change over time. So, yeah, I think it’s just a case of reminding yourself of that constantly if, you know, if the scales are something that you’re really tied to. You know, so often I’m suggesting to my clients that they just throw away the scales because I can’t tell you how much stress it causes people when they see that they’ve gone up 500 grams one day. You know, the likelihood is they’re probably gonna go down a pound the following week. But when people are measuring themselves or weighing themselves every day, it fuels a lot of stress, and then that stress is detrimental, because, as we know, stress is very inflammatory and disruptive to hormones. So it’s something that can really hold you back.

Louise Digby [00:25:21]:

Getting too fixated on the scales. Yes, too.

Leanne Vogel [00:25:24]:

And I think when you see that number creep up, there’s always this ask, screw it. Like, nothing that I’m doing is working, and then it’s this whole out binge fest, because. And all you needed to do was wait two more days and the scale would have shifted. I know as a practitioner, I find it fun to check my weight in the evening and the morning and just see what a big fluctuation it is. And I have one of those Bluetooth scales that, like, uploads to my phone. And so last night I took my weight, and it was five and a half pounds more than this morning. And so that’s a big difference. That is a huge difference that my scale said, are you sure this is you? Is this the same person?

Louise Digby [00:26:06]:

And I’m like, yep, that’s me.

Leanne Vogel [00:26:08]:

That’s. That was the shift, five pounds overnight. And so, so much is at play here, like water retention, where you’re at in your cycle. And so I find too, like you said, is like, it ends up jumping on the scale you think it’s a motivator of, and you expect to see a certain number, and when you don’t see that number, you start second guessing everything you did today. And maybe there’s regret and maybe there’s guilt around certain choices that you made. And then in some cases it can be, well, none of this is working. Why am I even doing this? This is so hard. Nothing is changing.

Leanne Vogel [00:26:41]:

And then you just go off the rails when all you needed to do was hold steady. Would you agree with that?

Louise Digby [00:26:47]:

100%? Definitely. I think consistency is key, and weight loss is not a linear thing. It’s going to go up and down day to day, particularly for women over the course of the month, and particularly if you’re perimenopausal, because your hormones are.

Leanne Vogel [00:27:03]:

Kind of a bit all over the.

Louise Digby [00:27:04]:

Place and your weight will follow that to a certain extent. I was talking to someone on another podcast a few days ago who was saying that they use their weight almost as like a measure of their glycogen stores in their muscle, because, you know, if your glycogen stores are full, then you’re going to be heavier, and then they use that to help them decide how intense their workouts going to be. So, you know, it’s a completely different way of using the scales, and it sounds like a much more sensible way of using them as well, to me.

Leanne Vogel [00:27:35]:

Yes, I love that you mentioned that because on the weight that I took last night, I was preparing for a very heavy leg day this morning. And so that’s exactly it. And I think that that’s such a great way of looking at it. Something, a word that you use there. I kind of want to drill down consistency. Consistency is key. When we look at Instagram and we see these before and after pictures, oftentimes my first question in the comments of those people’s posts is how long between before and after? And generally it’s like three to four years. Three to four years is the average answer that I get back.

Leanne Vogel [00:28:12]:

Would you agree with that? That really, in order to completely change the way your body looks and get, like, total epic results, it actually takes that long, or how do we stay on for that long if it does take that long?

Louise Digby [00:28:26]:

I think it depends on the degree of transformation. You know, if we’re talking about losing a few stone, then, you know, it’s not going to take three to four years, though it could do if you’ve got some serious metabolic issues going on, but the likelihood is it probably won’t. You know, probably more like six months is more realistic. But in terms of maintaining that, then, you know, it’s is the rest of your life, isn’t it? And that can feel really overwhelming. But I think the key is making changes or finding a way of eating and exercising that you really enjoy and feels really good to you. And oftentimes what that means is finding a way of eating that gets slower progress because it allows more flexibility in what you’re eating. So it might be slower progress, but it’s going to be so much easier to maintain because you actually enjoy what you’re eating and you can still go out for dinner and all these other things that are so important to our day to day lives.

Leanne Vogel [00:29:28]:

It’s not like torture counting down only three more weeks until I can have pizza again is what you’re saying. Yeah. Okay, so you just touched on workouts. I would love to kind of delve a little bit deeper into that. So previously you were talking about reverse dieting and bringing in more calories and what to expect in the process since we’re eating more. Would now be a good time to start building muscle because we know that muscle requires a good amount of caloric density, specifically protein amino acids, aka would then be a good time to start moving our bodies because we’re no longer in a severe deficit and can actually increase our muscle, which increases our metabolism and helps us with our goals.

Louise Digby [00:30:11]:

Yeah, definitely. Once you’re fueling your body properly, then it’s a great time to bring in more movement. And, you know, that might be, if you’ve not done much activity before, then that might be quite gradual and you might start with quite low intensity and build it up a little bit. But certainly focusing on strength training and building muscle is, should be a big part of that exercise regime because it’s the muscle that we start losing after age 30 35 if we’re not using it. And muscle is so important for maintaining a healthy metabolic rate. We need to make sure that we are maintaining our lean muscle mass if we want to age well and have an easier time of things when we’re trying to manage our weight. And so many women that I work with come to me really cranking up that cardio. And the while a little bit of cardio is fine, it’s good for your heart.

Louise Digby [00:31:11]:

The problem with it is that too much of it or too high intensity exercise can really drive up that cortisol level again. And it’s so often just not what that individual needs to feel good and to see progress. And often scaling back the intensity or doing shorter cardio sessions and doing a bit more in the way of strength training and low intensity exercise like yoga and pilates help to move the progress forwards.

Leanne Vogel [00:31:44]:

So in regards to strength training, I think the conversation is changing, definitely over the last couple of years. But are you referring to just like grabbing five or ten pounds and doing like, a bunch of reps, or are you talking about lifting pretty heavy things with the goal of building muscle?

Louise Digby [00:32:02]:

I think the goal of building muscle and lifting heavy seems to be the thing that makes the biggest difference. I definitely see results of people who prefer to lift lighter and do perhaps more frequent strength training sessions because that helps with maintaining their muscle mass. Really, if you want to be gaining muscle, you got to be lifting heavy, and that is important to be gaining some muscle at this point.

Leanne Vogel [00:32:30]:

So concerns for ladies that are probably around the 50 year mark, I find that’s kind of where we were still having the conversations around, if you build too much muscle, you’re going to look bulky. And I hear that from a lot of my clients around that age and higher of just like, I don’t want to lift anything that’s more than ten pounds because I could get really bulky. Any words of advice for those individuals?

Louise Digby [00:32:56]:

Yeah, I think you’ve really got to be, you know, doing several heavy lifting sessions a week, you know, taking your protein shakes and really dialing in your nutrition to be building muscle. Like, it’s not easy to build muscle at any age, and it’s much harder when you’re over 40, so getting bulky is unlikely. I say I just wouldn’t be concerned about it.

Leanne Vogel [00:33:22]:

Yeah, it’s not like, oops, you fall out of bed, and instantly you’re this bulk monster. Like, it is years of heavy, intense work to try to build that bulk where you have to be very intentional with being in a bulk. So I couldn’t agree with you more. Now, when it comes to just, we’ve talked about eating more to regulate the metabolism, why it’s important that the piece about consistency and strength training, how should we be eating like, this is the keto diet podcast, and I understand that not everyone does well on a super strict ketogenic approach. Myself, personally, I’m more moderate to higher carb at this point, as I’m personally trying to bulk. Very challengingly focused on that. And so where’s kind of the macro conversation in all of this when it comes to your proteins, fats and carbs?

Louise Digby [00:34:14]:

I think it looks a bit different for everyone, but the main thing that we’re trying to achieve for pretty much everyone is getting enough protein because it’s so often lacking for most of the food diaries that I’m looking at. And in terms of enough protein, I think a good baseline is at least 20 grams of protein per meal, and then making sure that people are actually eating some fat. This being the keto podcast. It’s probably not news to, to your audience that you need to eat some fat. But I still have clients come in who are on a low fat diet. And, you know, it’s really sad for me when I see it because they’re missing out on such tasty food, but also their bodies are just missing out on such essential fatty acids. So, yeah, making sure that people are getting some fat in and that they can digest it is a big part of what we do. And then also, I think just getting that carbohydrate part right, and that is the bit that can vary a lot.

Louise Digby [00:35:11]:

I think some people do really well on quite a low carb intake. Others need more. Perhaps if they’re highly stressed, if they’ve got thyroid issues, then they’re going to need a bit more if they’re very active. So, yeah, I think helping people to understand how to adjust that as time goes on as well.

Leanne Vogel [00:35:30]:

Yeah, I think one thing that really helps me personally is understanding that protein really doesn’t change. Like protein is set for the type of body that I have. It’s really not going to adjust up or down really that much. It’s going to be pretty stationary. And then you just get to decide, okay, do I want to be more fat focused or carb focused? And how am I going to fill those in? So if I’m going to be fat focused, I’m going to make the bulk of my calories come from fat, and then I’m just going to fill the rest of the calories in with whatever carbohydrates are left over. Or on the flip side, if I want to focus more on carbohydrates, then I’m really going to focus on the carbohydrates and fill the rest in with fat. Understanding that, like, there is such a thing as too low fat, like you said, and really understanding that balance. And I think when you start to understand that fat and carbs are kind of on this teeter totter, and protein is just kind of stationary, it helps me even in a day where, you know, if I’m out and I have a little bit more fat than I generally do, then in my mind I’m thinking, okay, well, for dinner, I think I’m going to keep a pretty low carb, and today I’m going to do more of a fat centric approach.

Leanne Vogel [00:36:35]:

And then maybe the next day I push carbs a little bit more. So mentally, I’m like, okay, maybe I won’t have, like, a full avocado with dinner. Maybe I’ll skip the avocado and just, you know, just kind of in your mind to kind of play around with those two macros. Is that kind of. Do you kind of take that same approach as well?

Louise Digby [00:36:51]:

Yeah, definitely. Particularly when ladies are coming more towards the end of our program and they’re feeling more confident with adjusting their own food intake. I try and keep it simple, you know, initially, but, yeah, that’s ultimately where we want to get people to, where they can just adjust their fats and their carbs according to what they’ve got going on. Yeah.

Leanne Vogel [00:37:11]:

And I guess in the beginning, it’s really just like the education piece around how to make all this work, because at that point, you’re not trusting your body. And so there’s a less of an intuitive sense, would you say?

Louise Digby [00:37:24]:

Yeah, exactly. I think the intuition comes, you know, at least several months in, once you’ve been consistent for a while.

Leanne Vogel [00:37:32]:

And that really leads us to the piece that you were talking about. Previously on Food. Being joyful and getting to that place of what I’m hearing you say is eating enough, your body’s feeling good, you trust yourself. You’re getting to eat foods that you enjoy, because there’s nothing worse than the. The ongoing cycle of diet starts on Monday. By Thursday, everything is sideways. You say, screw it, the weekend is a mess, alcohol is usually involved, and then the diet starts again on Monday, and it’s this vicious cycle. So what I’m hearing you say is putting in spots where you actually are eating the foods that you enjoy and going out to the restaurants for somebody that might not have a lot of quote unquote self control, and they’re more an of an abstainer, where if they have just a little bit, they’re going to go off the rails.

Leanne Vogel [00:38:26]:

Do you have any thoughts around those sorts of individuals?

Louise Digby [00:38:31]:

Yeah, I mean, it’s tricky. I think that when you’re someone who tends to go off the rails, I think it can come from just a long history of dieting and having to be restrictive, and then it’s like as soon as you do get to have something, you can’t rein it back in again. And I think when you can get your blood sugars and your hormones more balanced and your gut working well as well, it’s a lot easier to regain that control again. And I think setting yourself a rule of only ever having one day off and never letting that go into two days can be helpful for those types of people.

Leanne Vogel [00:39:13]:

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Leanne Vogel [00:40:08]:

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Leanne Vogel [00:40:34]:

That’s s c h w a n k grills, and use the code KDP for $150 off. Okay, let’s kind of shift gears and talk about some of the strategies to unlock the fat burning potential. Pieces we talked about glucose control, gut. Are there any other pieces that you feel are essential to talk about this in this kind of section around the strategy piece?

Louise Digby [00:41:01]:

Yeah, we haven’t really spoken about toxic load and liver function. And that’s a big piece, partly because your liver, if you have a high toxic load and you’re not detoxing efficiently, then one of the ways that your body can cope with that toxic load is by upregulating your fat storage. We store a lot of our toxins in our fat because it’s out of harm’s way, out of circulation. So if your body is struggling to cope with a high toxic load, it can halt the fat burning to help to limit the release of those toxins from our fat stores. So, basically, if we have a high toxic load, then that can be one of the barriers to weight loss. And when I’m talking about toxins, I’m talking about things like pollution and pesticides and things that we find in our skincare products, like phthalates and parabens and these, like, hormone disruptive chemicals. So the sorts of things that we want to start, where possible, reducing our exposure to, but also we want to make sure that our livers are well supported and, you know, working efficiently so that we can cope with that higher toxic load.

Leanne Vogel [00:42:22]:

I had an individual on the podcast quite some time ago when I brought up toxic load. She said, the liver should be able to handle all of it. Like, the liver is awesome. You’ll know if there’s a liver problem when your enzymes get crazy, and that’s when you need to address it. But it’s never toxins. Sometimes I just got to bite my tongue and be like, all right, we’re just not even going to go there. Should the body be able to handle all of this? Like, why is this happening? Is it because we just have too much coming in or that the liver is not working well or kind of take us through why this would be happening?

Louise Digby [00:42:56]:

Well, just in today’s modern world, we’re exposed to so much stuff. You know, perhaps back when we were cavemen, we wouldn’t have been exposed to all of these man made chemicals, and our liver would have been occupied with just detoxing our hormones and, you know, maybe a few things that we came into contact with in the environment. And now our liver is so burdened with the thousands of chemicals that we come into contact with daily. You know, even just things like on our carpets and our sofas, there’s flame retardant chemicals, and in our shampoos and our conditioners and hairsprays and makeup and body lotions and fragrances and, you know, the stuff that we use to fragrance our house and the cleaning products. And, you know, then we’ve got car exhaust fumes, and, you know, the list goes on and on. It’s a huge, long list of things that we breathe in, or they come into contact with us to get in, or we ingest them for our food. Our body has to get rid of that because they’re damaging in the body. So the problem is, part of the problem is that our liver is detoxing our hormones as well.

Louise Digby [00:44:05]:

And a lot of these chemicals that we’re exposed to are known as xenoestrogens, meaning that they are very similar in chemical structure to our own estrogens. So we have to eliminate those estrogens via the same pathways in the liver as we do our own estrogens. And that can result in our estrogens not being detoxed properly. And then that can result in estrogen dominance or damage from spent estrogens circulating around the body. So it’s certainly an issue, and it’s certainly something that when we support the liver, we see improvements in hormone levels and also just general well being as well. Yes.

Leanne Vogel [00:44:46]:

And to kind of loop in with the gut piece, if you have any sort of dysbiotic pattern, specifically more inflammatory in nature, even in digestive dysfunction, dysbiosis, usually characterized by H. Pylori, we’re also likely going to have an elevation in beta glucuronidase, which is going to reactivate the estrogen that your liver is detoxing. So even though your liver is doing a good job detoxing, if your gut is imbalanced and the bacterias are reactivating this estrogen, your liver is detoxing it, your gut is reactivating it, sending it back up to the liver, and it’s this vicious cycle. And so the gut piece, like you were saying at the beginning, is also so important to just the regulation of this process, right?

Louise Digby [00:45:30]:

Yeah, definitely. You know, the gut and the liver are very closely working together. And, you know, we can form toxins in the gut, we absorb toxins via the gut, and that goes straight to the liver. But then we also eliminate toxins and hormones via the liver into the gut. So, you know, it’s kind of like a bit of a vicious cycle. And they can be reabsorbed as well. Yes.

Leanne Vogel [00:45:52]:

I’ve seen so many times, you know, ladies come to me and they’re wanting to focus on their hormones. They want hormone testing, they want hormone supports, they want bio identicals. And 99% of the time I’m saying no. Like, we’re going to be spinning our wheels on this. It’s going to go absolutely nowhere. Would you agree with that? That, like, the main piece is liver gut. Liver, gut. Liver gut.

Leanne Vogel [00:46:15]:

And putting too much emphasis on hormone support, hormone therapies. Hormone focus is just short sighted.

Louise Digby [00:46:22]:

Yeah, I think hormones have become a bit of a scapegoat because the hormones are still just a symptom. You know, they’re affected by the gut and the liver and your inflammation levels and your nutrient status. So by just focusing on hormones, you’re not really going deep enough. You know, it’s still deeper than just calories, but it’s still not deep enough because the way that we support hormones is by working on the gut and the liver and reducing inflammation and all those other things.

Leanne Vogel [00:46:50]:

And so when it comes to the toxicities you mentioned, like focusing on the liver by reducing exposure, that’s one other ways that we can get that liver going or even reducing exposure, like filtration in the home, those sorts of things.

Louise Digby [00:47:06]:

Yeah, definitely. A good water filtration system is key. Things like lymphatic massage and lymphatic drainage can be really great as well. Making sure you’re well hydrated. I mean, it’s the most basic recommendation in the world, but it is absolutely key to making sure that you are eliminating your toxins properly. And then there’s other things that you can incorporate, like, you know, milk thistle and dandelion tea and lemon juice. And a lot of these herbs and spices are really supportive of liver function and bile flow. So just upping your intake of spices and herbs can make a big difference.

Leanne Vogel [00:47:48]:

It’s funny, as a practitioner, when you’re like, just drink more water. It’s so essential. But people are expecting for some breakthrough situation.

Louise Digby [00:47:59]:

Yeah, some pile of wisdom.

Leanne Vogel [00:48:01]:

Yeah, just drink clean water. It’s really needed, I think, too, what’s really been on my mind lately is just air filtration and the safety of the air in our homes, because we breathe in 20,000 liters of air a day, and we’re just not thinking about, like, I think we’ve kind of nailed down the food quality. Everyone understands that when you eat junk food, you get junk results. You know, water quality. I think over the last couple of years, we’ve really understood that, like, a Brita water filter is not going to cut it. And so I think we’re starting to go in that direction with the water, but with the air, we’re just not there. And you were talking about just the exposure on an ongoing basis. If you live by a freeway or if you have the fire retardants when you get a new mattress and just all these things are off.

Leanne Vogel [00:48:48]:

Gassing in your home, cooking is creating those vocs. And so starting to think about that, I actually did an episode, episode 462, that released on February 27 of this year. So if you guys want to, like, learn more about that with what Louise is talking about and just supporting yourself toxin wise, that could be a good place to delve into a little bit deeper. Okay, so toxins, liver, big piece. When it comes to the action items behind regulating your metabolism, addressing that stubborn weight. Let’s talk a little bit more about the blood sugar piece, because you talked about this a little bit at the beginning. How can we regulate our blood sugar? You mentioned at least 20 grams of protein at every meal, which I would imagine would help. Any other tips and strategies around the blood sugar regulation piece?

Louise Digby [00:49:36]:

Yeah, the protein is definitely the place to start, because if you’re not getting the protein in, then your blood sugars are just not going to be able to regulate. Making sure you’re getting enough fibre is a big part of it as well. Fibre really helps to slow down the absorption of sugars and carbohydrates from your meals. So plenty of fiber, and particularly if you can get a variety of different types of fibers as well from different types of plants, then that can also help with that. Watching your caffeine intake is part of it. And again, I find this is quite individual. Some people are just not affected by caffeine, others are super sensitive. But if you are struggling to regulate your blood sugars, or if you feel like you’re getting cravings and energy slumps, then you may want to look at your caffeine intake.

Louise Digby [00:50:25]:

Because even though it should be helping us to feel more energized, actually, once that caffeine wears off after a few hours, then you’re going to get an energy slump. And the way that it makes you feel more energized is by raising your stress hormones and your blood sugars. So, yeah, caffeine, favorite fiber foods.

Leanne Vogel [00:50:44]:

What are like your go tos? Like, oh, my goodness, I’m not getting enough fiber. What are your favorite ones?

Louise Digby [00:50:50]:

My defaults tend to be flaxseeds, ground flax seeds, chia seeds. Those are probably the key ones. And then I often make like a homemade granola which will have like almond flakes and coconut and all sorts of different seeds in there. And that is like a punch in the face of fiber. There’s so much in there. And then I usually have it with some ground flax seeds and some berries as well. So that is great if you feel like you’re lacking in fiber.

Leanne Vogel [00:51:22]:

Love it. Totally different direction that I take. So this is fun. I am obsessed with kiwis for fiber. They’re so great and I always have them on board. Berries, always legumes. Huge fan. I’m really into soaking red lentils in water for a couple of hours, blending it and then making like little pancakes.

Leanne Vogel [00:51:41]:

And they’re like 5 grams of fiber per pancake. And they’re awesome with eggs and just so fibrous and delicious. And also coconut flour is really high in fiber and you can literally just add it to water. I do this when I’m really hungry and I just need a quick snack. I’ll literally just add coconut flour to water, let it sit for like one or two minutes, and like a pudding. And that is loaded with fiber.

Louise Digby [00:52:08]:

I love that.

Leanne Vogel [00:52:09]:

Yes, it would be very good with your granola, actually, I bet you on top, that would be like a really good fiber mixture. Okay, fiber. Next one is like protein foods because a lot of ladies are not eating enough protein. What are your favorite go to protein hacks to just bring in more protein to the diet.

Louise Digby [00:52:29]:

So in terms of, like a hack, I would say keeping, like, some boiled eggs in the fridge so that you’ve always got some eggs handy to eat is helpful. But yeah, eggs are a real staple for breakfast and lunches. And then obviously things like your fish, salmon fillets and mackerel and, you know, chicken breasts and chicken thighs are all good options. Things like almonds as well. Almonds are great for snacking on. That will give you a nice little boost of prep protein as well. And your hard cheeses, like cheddar, you know, have a little bit of protein into greek yogurt. So, yeah, there’s many different ways that you can get protein in, in terms of, like, those animal products.

Louise Digby [00:53:12]:

And then, like you said with the, the lentil pancakes, that will give you a little boost of protein as well. And then adding in, like, beans and lentils into, into your dishes, like your curries and your stews. We’re also going to give you an extra boost of protein as well.

Leanne Vogel [00:53:27]:

It’s so easy when we start to focus on protein, of just like, grabbing a protein shake and making it protein shakes. And I always have to correct my clients. I don’t know if you have to do this too. When you’re looking through logs is like, this is too much pro. Like, we need actual real food. And it’s okay to have a protein shake here and there. I’ve really been challenging myself, like, and try to only have three servings a week. Just like, really focus on whole food sources.

Leanne Vogel [00:53:53]:

It’ll be better in the long run because it’s so easy to default to just that quick protein. Would you agree that the whole food sources are going to be better?

Louise Digby [00:54:01]:

Yeah, 100%. I try to use protein shakes as, like, a supplement, and I generally tend to keep it to have I had enough protein today? Probably not. Or do I need a really quick injection of protein or a quick meal? Okay, I’ll use some protein powder, but otherwise I think it’s important to get it from real food.

Leanne Vogel [00:54:22]:

Yeah, yeah. Not making it a staple, it’s so easy. I know there was a time there for a little bit, I was having two or three per day, and I’m like, this is a problem. I have to make changes.

Louise Digby [00:54:32]:

That’s an expensive problem as well.

Leanne Vogel [00:54:34]:

Yeah, it’s an expensive problem, for sure. And just all those sweeteners, they’re just so hyper palatable, which also can cause a lot of issues just with craving more and wanting more sweet things. It really resets the palate to find berries super sweet. And so you can’t do that while you’re also like pounding a whole bunch of stevia, monk fruit and all the other things from those things. So tell us more about nourish method and kind of, is this kind of what we’ve been talking about today really your method? And you go further into this, can you tell us more about what this is all about and how we can get involved?

Louise Digby [00:55:10]:

Yeah, so the nourish method is my program that I work with my clients inside, and it’s a six month program where we run tests to identify what’s actually going on in their bodies. Are they inflamed, are their hormones imbalanced? Are they detoxing properly? Is their gut working properly? All of that stuff. And then we use that information as well as medical history and symptoms and lifestyle needs to put together a personalized action plan. And then we adapt that and tweak it as we go through the six months and work through different phases. And we cover things like the mindset as well. Intuitive eating and your beliefs around food and yourself, all the things that are so important for achieving that consistency.

Leanne Vogel [00:55:59]:

And you also have a masterclass. It’s like a webinar that you host. Is that once a week or how do people get involved with that?

Louise Digby [00:56:06]:

Yeah, it’s typically once a week and it’s online. Yeah, there’s a link for it that you can find it on my website, which is And then there will be a direct link that I think you have, which you’ll probably share.

Leanne Vogel [00:56:20]:

Yes, I will put it in the show notes. And last way to contact you and just get involved. You have a podcast as well. What’s kind of the goal around the podcast? What’s the name? How do people find it?

Louise Digby [00:56:32]:

Yeah, the podcast is the thriving metabolism, and it’s really all about what we’ve been talking about today, you know, really focusing in on supporting women over 35 40 to address their hormones and release that stubborn weight. And, you know, talking a bit about mindset as well on there.

Leanne Vogel [00:56:52]:

Amazing. All of those links, the nourish program, the Masterclass, the podcast I will include in the show notes. If you guys aren’t sure, you can head on over there. Louise, thank you for coming on the show today.

Louise Digby [00:57:03]:

Thank you so much for having me. It’s been great.

Leanne Vogel [00:57:06]:

I hope you enjoyed our time with Louise. You can find her by going to Louise You can also find her at the Thriving Metabolism podcast. She also has a masterclass and a bunch of resources, so it’s best to just click on the information for today’s episode. Click on over there. Check out the links. And again, her website is louise We’ll see you back here for another episode next week.

Leanne Vogel [00:57:34]:

Bye. Thanks for listening. Join us next Tuesday for another episode of the Keto Diet podcast. Looking for more resources? Go to for keto meal plans, weight loss programs, low carb recipes, and oodles of free resources to get you going. The Keto Diet podcast, including show notes and links, provides information in respect to healthy living recipes, nutrition, and diet, and is intended for informational purposes only. The information provided is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment, nor is it to be construed as such. We cannot guarantee that the information provided on the Keto diet podcast reflects the most up to date medical research. Information is provided without any representation or warranties of any kind.

Leanne Vogel [00:58:22]:

Please keep please consult a qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding your health and nutrition program.

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Hi! I'm Leanne (RHN FBCS)

a Functional Medicine Practitioner, host of the Healthful Pursuit Podcast, and best-selling author of The Keto Diet & Keto for Women. I want to live in a world where every woman has access to knowledge to better her health.

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