#137: Eoin Lacey, MS CSCS- How to Test Carb Tolerance for Weight Loss and Optimal Performance

by Mike Mutzel


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About Eoin Lacey, MS, CSCS

Eoin has been working within the irish training, nutrition and fitness industry for over 17 years. Throughout that time he has been the first irish certified Sports Nutritionist from the International Society of Sports Nutrition which he is also the Irish Ambassador. He is the first Irish graduate of the Institute of Functional Medicine and the first graduate of the Australian College of Nutrition and Environmental Medicine. Eoin is the co founder of the Irish Strength Institute, there is currently 4 Dublin based centres and 2 in Portugal. He also lectures internationally on training and nutrition.

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Books Mentioned in this Podcast

Mindset: The New Psychology of Success

The Miracle Morning: The Not-So-Obvious Secret Guaranteed to Transform Your Life (Before 8AM)

Show Notes

01:14 Eoin’s Functional Medicine/Strength Training Journey: He started managing health clubs in Ireland. He found that the general advice he was giving was not enough. Functional medicine gave him the ability to better assess and better individualize plans for his clients.  He learned more for his clients than from any course he has attended.

02:55 Eoin’s Strategies: Eoin’s clients are athletes (competitive or corporate) with specific goals. He does an extensive medical history with a health timeline. There is a physical assessment in the gym. Testing can include a digestive stool analysis, a Genova NutrEval or 23andMe. He is now concentrating on mindset and mindfulness, with Inner Balance and HeartMath. I

05:34 Goal Setting and Mindfulness: Everything that you eat and drink will take you closer to your goal or further away from your goal. We need to be invested in every single thing we do. An eating strategy for one of his clients is 5-10-15: 5 belly breaths before the meal, 10 seconds with the fork or spoon down with every mouthful and every meal must take at least15 minutes (20 is optimal).  Eoin tries to change his client’s environment to influence their genes. Mindfulness must be a component. Instead of telling people what they can’t do, he focuses on telling them what they can do. HeartMath and Headspace gets people in a state to make better and healthier decisions.

07:48 Mindfulness and Cortisol: Chronic levels of cortisol can be catabolic. Lack of quality sleep is catabolic as well. Staying asleep, diaphragmatic breathing, hydration, a relaxed environment, essential vitamins and minerals are more important than a fancy supplement. Managing stress throughout the day is more important than only trying to reduce cortisol post workout.

09:52 Stimulant Based Pre-Workout Supplements: Eoin is not a fan of any kind of stimulant, with the exception of activation using acetyl-l-carnitine or alpha lipoic acid. Stimulants stress the adrenals, which are generally overwhelmed and need support.

12:50 Detoxification for Athletes:  Avoid toxins, upregulate elimination or mobilize toxins and rid them from the body. Toxins can be liberated from storage with heavy workouts, but it requires good GI and lymphatic health to remove it from the body. Eoin starts his clients on a colorful nutrient-rich diet of real food. He supports phase two detoxification. He repairs the gut and balances gut motility. Training is metabolically demanding.

16:23 A Sample Program for Someone Severely Overweight: The first thing he works on is posture, so getting in and out of bed, stepping up and down, and getting in and out of a chair. The next step is walking 2 or 3 times a day every day, only as long as they are comfortable. Increasing exercise only happens when one is compliant with the diet and has begun to lose weight. Exercise at first is for relaxation, not burning calories. Stationary bike and infrared sauna is also used. Sometimes Eoin sends clients for chelation therapy and IV vitamin therapy. He finds that many overweight people are actually malnourished.

18:15 Eating for Fitness and Muscle: Athletes generally consume a great deal of protein. Many do not have the digestive enzymatic levels to digest it. Many do not rotate the foods in their diets. His corporate clients tend to under eat. With these clients, he spaces protein consumption throughout the day, with good greens and good fats.

20:11 Improving Digestion: He tracks a client’s foods/fluid intake and timing for a week. In the corporate world, people tend to eat later in the day as a big dinner, similar to Sumo wrestlers. He flips this by having them have dinner only 3 nights a week. By the fourth day, they make sure they eat their breakfast. They tend to drink the bulk of their water at mealtime, diluting digestive enzymes. He installs the 5-10-15 protocol (5 belly breaths prior to the meal, putting knife/fork down for 10 seconds between each bite, and taking at least 15 minutes to complete a meal). This should be done in a restful state away from the office, preferably with a friend.  Clients may require hydrochloric acid or digestive enzymes.

22:55 Metabolic Flexibility: There are people he calls “carb tolerant”, who eat lots of carbohydrates and do not gain weight. Others can just look at a carbohydrate and get fat. He assesses the waist to hip ratio and found that people who have a high waist ratio stay inflamed for a long period of time after consuming carbs. Carbs are not eliminated, just controlled. ABC strategy is: Adequate protein, Balance Fats and Controlled carbohydrates. For those who easily gain weight with carbohydrates (metabolically inflexible), timing is important. They can have carbs after training or at dinner time. Once weight loss begins, carb amounts are brought down.  There will always be some carbohydrates in the diet.

28:16 Muscle Building and Carbohydrates: If you go longer than 4 days with too few carbohydrates, you become glycogen depleted from your liver and your muscle. It hinders muscle building. About every 4 days, they increase carbohydrates or add some sort of sugar post workout. They may supplement with creatine or magnesium. Research shows that low levels of magnesium will hinder muscle growth.

29:52 Ketogenic Diet: Eoin finds that his clients who have a great deal of body fat do well on a ketogenic-type diet.  Older women seem to do better on a ketogenic diet than younger women.

32:14 Eoin’s Upcoming Training for Personal Trainers:  The program is applying Functional Medicine for the personal trainer. It will be held in Australia, London and Ireland. Eoin feels that individualization is lacking. He gives trainers a method of assessing insulin, gut health, detoxification or assessing how to increase fat loss or muscle mass.  He has partnered with Xymogen, who will provide webinars and training on the impact of their supplements.

36:41 Eoin’s Favorite Nutrient: His choice is berberine. It can be taken for blood sugar management, gut health, antifungal, or antibacterial. It helps a number of systems.

37:50 Eoin’s Morning Routine: He developed his system from books he read like Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod and The One Thing by Gary Keller. He keeps his phone on airplane mode outside his bedroom. After his shower and breakfast, he still does not check his phone, unless he needs to check the status of an early client. He heads to the gym and listens to an Audible book on the way. He starts with 20 to 60 minutes of study. His rule is that if he does not do some sort of research, he is not allowed to train. He trains at about 10 a.m. and kicks off the day from there.

40:06 One Health Tip for The World: Health education is skewed and based upon marketing. Every meal should have some sort of protein, some sort of fat, some sort of carbohydrate and have vitamins and minerals. Most of the foods consumed do not contain these 5 things. This education


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