EP42 Get cut without carb cutting-Dr. Todd Miller creator of The Miller Method

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Todd Miller HeadshotToday we have on Dr. Todd Miller. Associate professor, weight management and human performance laboratory director and department of exercise and nutrition sciences at the Milken Institute School of Public Health, George Washington University on the Virginia science and technology campus.

Dr. Miller is the creator of the Miller Method, which in my simplified words is about measuring your caloric intake and your caloric expenditure and creating a deficit if you’re looking to lose weight. One thing I loved about Dr. Miller’s approach is he does it in a very balanced way, he’s very clear about what works and what doesn’t work and he also busts a ton of myths around dieting and leaning out.

Show Transcript




[0:00:14] KC: Welcome to the Business of Life Podcast. Keith here and as always, grateful to have you on. And for all of our new listeners, welcome, it’s great to have you here for those who have been listening over the last few months since we’ve been rolling along with this podcast, always thank you. It’s because of you that I get to do this every single week and really is a labor of love.


Today we have on Dr. Todd Miller. Associate professor, weight management and human performance laboratory director and department of exercise and nutrition sciences at the Milken Institute School of Public Health, George Washington University on the Virginia science and technology campus. That’s a lot!


Basically, he is the creator of the Miller Method and we really got a deep dive in something that I got to learn a ton about the Miller Method is really about measuring your caloric intake and your caloric expenditure and creating a deficit if you’re looking to lose weight. The one thing that I really loved about this is, he does it in a very balanced way, he’s very clear about what works, what doesn’t work. Sort of busts a ton of myths that I thought.


We talk about the emotions involved in it, we talk about working with people just really on all different levels and meeting them where they are. I’m going to be honest with you guys, I’ve never talked to a somebody that was as straight forward as Dr. Miller was and it was really, it was a breath of fresh air because it’s not a one thing works for everyone, they really get to know each person on an individual level and create a plan around that person.


I know you’re going to enjoy this, I had an amazing time talking with Dr. Todd Miller. Let’s go ahead, let’s bring him on.




[0:02:31] KC: All right, I am excited to introduce today’s guest Dr. Todd Miller. Dr. Todd Miller, welcome to the show.


[0:02:40] DM: Thanks Keith.


[0:02:41.9] KC: I’m excited to really dive in and I think if you’re willing, the first thing because I want to make sure that our listeners get caught up to speed. When I was jumping in and I was doing research and looking at the type of work that you do, I got the impression that it’s really, it’s nutritional based caloric measurement, is that sort of correct with the Miller Method?


[0:03:14.5] DM: Yeah, it’s half correct actually. It’s very nutritionally based caloric measurement but it’s also expenditure based. Mainly we work with weight loss and I really like to call in body composition improvement rather than weight loss. But it’s a formula and its caloric expenditure and its caloric intake and those things have to be dialed in if you want the right result to happen. That’s kind of my basic approach.


[0:03:46.4] KC: If you were to define the Miller method, it would really be the difference between the caloric intake and the caloric expenditure measured out over time and then broken up to meet your goals?


[0:04:03.5] DM: Well yeah, that’s part of it but that’s a very basic approach to weight loss. That’s the calories in versus calories out approach and it works if you eat fewer calories than you burn, you’re going to lose weight. The problem with that is, where is that weight coming from? What my approach addresses is ensuring that you are losing fat while maintaining or increasing muscle at the same time. That really does not necessarily have to result in weight loss, you might gain five pounds a muscle and lose five pounds of fat and your weight stays exactly the same. My method is really about, again, body composition improvement rather than just weight loss per se.


[0:04:51.0] KC: Gotcha. If you could describe your ideal client, is it more athletes or athletic people that you’re dealing with or is it sort of the whole gamut?


[0:05:04.2] DM: It’s the whole gamut. Typically, athletic people don’t really work with us because they generally are pretty lean and they’re pretty happy with the way they look. Our typical client is women, typically maybe 35 to 50 years old who is looking to lose about maybe 20 pounds, 20 to 30 pounds of fat. That would be our typical client.


[0:05:26.0] KC: Awesome. Just so both myself and for everybody listening, just to kind of get caught up to speed, how did you wind up doing what you’re doing now? What was the path that brought you to this?


[0:05:43.4] DM: Well, I started when I was an undergrad, I was an exercise science major at Pen State and I started working as a strength and conditioning coach with the football program at Pen State and then I moved to Texan ANM for my PhD and I spent about five or six years as a strength and conditioning coach at Texas ANM.


During that time I got interested in muscle physiology and how my sole response to exercise. Now, I’m an associate professor in exercise and nutrition sciences at George Washington University and I run a weight management lab. What I really — all my original research was really in muscle response to weight training and I saw that as a very good exercise modality for improving body composition.


That sort of flies in the face of what we typically hear about do lots of cardio for weight loss because it creates a large caloric deficit, and I just think that’s the wrong approach. And unfortunately, most of the research in weight loss or exercise for weight loss kind of leans towards aerobic exercise, but I think it’s more because there’s flaws in the research rather than it being the right approach. That’s kind of a conclusion that I’ve come to over working in this field for the past 20 years.


[0:07:07.3] KC: I agree with you with that just off of personal experience. How would you explain — like a lot of people think that, and especially when you mentioned like your demographic of women 35 to 50, it’s to get out there and do that heavy cardio, right? How do you explain or go deep, if you’re willing, could you go a little bit deeper into the reasoning why you don’t think it’s ideal?


[0:07:42.9] DM: Well I think there are two fundamental problems. Part of the problem is, when research is done looking at exercise, more often than not, almost always the dietary intake is not tracked. If I simply give somebody — let’s say somebody is eating 500 calories a day over what they need. They’re in a surplus. If I give them an aerobic exercise program that only burns 300 calories, you’re still going to be in a 200 calorie surplus.


They’re not going to lose, you’re just going to slow the rate of gain. If you’re doing exercise studies without controlling the diet, you’re really sort of wasting your time. The vast majority of exercise studies that look at weight loss don’t control the diet.


[0:08:28.7] KC: Yup.


[0:08:31.0] DM: I think that weight training as well, if you prescribe weight training for body composition improvement but don’t control the diet, I think you end up with the same results. It’s not going to be effective, and that’s pretty much what’s been shown.


The other fundamental problem is that, if you do a lot of cardiovascular exercise, you tend to lose muscle. You might lose weight but you’re losing the — you don’t want to lose the tissue that is responsible for burning calories and that’s muscle. If muscle’s the engine that burns calories, you don’t want to use an exercise modality that’s going to cause you to lose it.


It makes more sense to me to use an exercise modality that’s going to cause you to increase the calorie burning engine, which is muscle, while simultaneously modifying the diet so that you’re guaranteed to create a caloric deficit.


[0:09:23.6] KC: Gotcha. From my experience, again going through and this has been stuff that really that I’ve played around with a little bit and exactly what you’re talking about, it’s never been a science for me but I’ve always done — whenever I’ve had the best results that sustain over time, it’s always been literally, it was like a little, I have an app for it now, but it was a little sheet where I would just eyeball that I had this much carbohydrates, I had this much vegetables, I had this much protein and this much fat.


I kind of kept it that simple and I knew that I had — and I would do it as a cup. It was either like a half a cup or the fat was a smaller serving. But I would keep it that simple and one of the things that I really noticed with that is I never got that crazy spike in the insulin and that’s where, like I was able to sustain it over time for years at a time versus having these other times I would try — I was watching some of your videos with the paleo, the gluten free and all those different types of diets. For me, what would happen is I would actually see faster results when I did one of those things but then I would crash every single time, like it just wasn’t sustainable for me.


[0:11:00.1] DM: Right. It’s an extremely common problem. Any eating strategy in order for it to be effective, it has to create a caloric deficit. When you said you were using your little cup model, essentially what you’re doing is a form of tracking and that tracking is so effective, especially now with the apps and we like an app called Fat Secret that we use with our clients and we have every one of our clients track their caloric intake.


If you track your caloric intake and it’s properly calculated and we know how many calories that person is burning and we can do that because we measure their metabolic rate here in the lab. When you do that, for us anyway, when we do that and the clients listen to what we say, it works 100% of the time.


It’s really just a math problem, and people try and make it a lot more complicated than this and if you’re not tracking, it is complicated. It’s kind of like you wouldn’t go and sit and calculus class without a calculator. Weight loss is pretty much the same way, if you are just eating, hoping that you’re creating a deficit and exercising just hoping that you’re creating a deficit, sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. Because sometimes the deficit’s created and sometimes it’s not.


I just don’t understand why people even take that approach when these apps for tracking calories are so readily available. I understand that it’s a hassle. In the beginning anyway, it’s a hassle but you get very used to it and I see people sitting in restaurants or wherever eating while they’re using their smart phones all the time. If you can whip your phone out while you’re eating, you can track your calories, it’s really that simple.


[0:13:01.7] KC: Yeah, I think it’s hard for the first week, from my experience like, the first week like you have to form the habit but then after that you know and it’s almost like the inputting of the information. It becomes more of a formality because you just, you get in that groove and you know what you should be eating.


[0:13:22.2] DM: Right, I totally agree and I’ve been doing this for a long time and I certainly what I should be eating and how much I should be eating but I still track and I’ve been tracking for years because I know what happens if I don’t. If I don’t track, you just can’t really know exactly how many calories you’ve eaten if you’re not tracking and if you’re in a surplus of 200 calories, which is really easy to do, it’s stifles your progress.


[0:13:55.2] KC: What about if you, like when you’re working with somebody, do you work with timing of food and combinations of food as well or is it literally just caloric intake?


[0:14:08.8] DM: Well, we work with timing of food, the only time we really care about timing is intake relative to the workout. There’s sort of an anabolic window and it varies depending on who you read. Some people say at 30 minutes after the workout, some people say before but it seems to be somewhere about an hour around the workout on one side or the other.


That’s when we want people to have pretty much the typical three to one carb to protein ratio, post recovery shake or something like that. But other than that, I don’t think timing is all that important. Some people like to have frequent meals throughout the day, other people don’t, they just like to have big meals and I think that’s really a matter of personal preference.


I think the most important thing to look at is calories. The second most important thing to look at is protein. You have to be eating — because you are in a calorie restriction, we are going to put somebody in a calorie restriction and typically when people cut their calories, they cut protein and when they cut protein they lose muscle, we’re always trying to preserve muscle.


We actually give a prescription for protein that’s based on what athletes use and we do that even for a regular woman who is middle aged woman who is not an athlete, who is coming in for weight loss and we still use that protein prescription because they are calorie restricted and we want to maintain their muscle. So if you can hit your calorie cap and you can hit your protein cap, I don’t really care that much about the carbs, where they come from or where the fats come from.


[0:15:45.4] KC: Gotcha. So when you say protein prescription, is it, like an actual prescription? Or…?


[0:15:50.9] DM: Yeah, what we give, not like a drug but what the number that we give is 1.0 to 1.4, somewhere in there, grams of protein per pound of fat free mass. You wouldn’t know the fat free mass unless you did a body composition test. The typical client who comes in here, we give him a dexa scan for body composition and that’s how we know what their protein requirement should be and we give them tablets and test to know what their calorie cap should be.


We have people eat at their metabolic rates. If somebody comes in and they’re resting metabolic rate is 1,800 calories, we’ll generally prescribe 1,800 calories and again, a lot of people say, well you shouldn’t eat at the RMR, it’s too low but we found in virtually every case, when we give somebody, tell somebody to eat at the RMR and keep their protein intake high they lose fat and gain muscle.


[0:16:50.0] KC: Gotcha.


[0:16:50.7] DM: Almost every time.


[0:16:52.0] KC: I think one of the things that you hit on earlier that I think is really important for people and I know it was for me is whether you like eating big meals or you’re like, spreading them out throughout the day to do what you want to do. Because for me, the way that I really like to do it is I work out in the morning, I hit it hard with calories and I want to actually ask you a personal question after this about that.


But I work out in the morning, I hit it hard with calories and then I kind of fast for the day because I work way better when I’m not eating. A much more alert and aware and then I’ll have a big meal at night and I like that. I like that heavy big meal at the end of the day and relax.


[0:17:42.2] DM: Right.


[0:17:44.6] KC: The question that I had with, right now the way that doing it, I’m doing, working out every single morning about 45 minute workout and it’s kind of a complex workout that I’m doing right now where if you could — It’s a lot of resistance work done with very little rest. It’s a program that I’m doing right now with Beachbody and post work out, I’m doing a protein shake, it’s got two scoops of protein, two huge servings of Kale. So I fill the blender with Kale after I work out.


I fill the blender with kale, a couple of blueberries, the protein and then two teaspoons of either an oil or nuts or something. That’s what I have post workout and then it’s usually like two hours later that I do the carbohydrate, I’ll have a cup to a cup and a half of steamed rice and then maybe half a pound of chicken or some type of lean meat. Would you recommend — I guess with that, would you make changes to that because what I was hearing is I should probably get that meal a lot closer to the work out?


[0:19:09.7] DM: Here’s what I would change. The meal, I would leave where it is, you said you eat the meal about two hours later?


[0:19:13] KC: Yeah.


[0:19:14] DM: I would leave that where it is. The shake is what needs the help. The kale is essentially no calories, you’re not really adding anything there. The blueberries are not enough carbohydrate, very little carbohydrate, the oil is just adding fat calories, I would eliminate that all together. What was the other thing you put in? You said a teaspoon of…


[0:19:40.1] KC: the protein powder, the oil, kale, blueberries, that’s it.


[0:19:44.9] DM: Okay, what’s missing there is the carbohydrate.


[0:19:47.5] KC: Yeah.


[0:19:49.1] DM: Like I said, how much protein is in there? About 20 grams if you’re using two scoops, 20, 25 grams, somewhere like that?


[0:19:55.3] KC: Yeah.


[0:19:57.0] DM: Ideally you would have a three to one carb to protein ratio. If you have 20 grams of protein in there, you should have 60 grams of carbohydrate in there.


[0:20:05.0] KC: What would you add it? Like a banana?


[0:20:06.8] DM: Yeah. You could do the math, I don’t really care what it is, you could do the math, a banana, whatever you need to put in there to reach that carbohydrate but that’s when your muscles really are needing the carbohydrate because if you’re doing 45 minutes of high intensity resistance type exercise, and if it’s a Beachbody thing like an insanity or P90X or something like that?


[0:20:30] KC: Yeah.


[0:20:31] DM: If you’re doing something like that, the main source of fuel that you’re burning during that activity is glycogen, which is sugar in the muscles. And you got to replace that. You want to drink that shake immediately following that workout so that that carbohydrate is replaced in the muscle.


[0:20:50.6] KC: Gotcha.


[0:20:51.5] DM: Yeah, but I would leave the other meal where it is.


[0:20:54.4] KC: Then, could I do — one of the things, one of the reasons that I like the shake that I’m doing right now is I get a bunch of greens in, I could do that later in the day.


[0:21:04.7] DM: No, you leave the greens in it.


[0:21:07.0] KC: Okay.


[0:21:08.0] DM: You can leave the shake exactly the way it is, the only thing I would recommend is take out the oil because the vast majority of people who are adding extra fat to their diet do not need it and we’ll talk about that in a second because that’s a huge problem that I see all the time. All you really need here is to just throw some carbohydrate in that.


[0:21:27.8] KC: Gotcha.


[0:21:28.9] DM: Yeah.


[0:21:29.8] KC: So yeah, let’s touch on that oil piece because I’ve always heard, especially from the bodybuilding world, which again I watched a bunch of your videos and a lot of the myths that exist out there but it’s “get your protein, get your carbohydrate and get your fat six, seven, eight meals a day.” Yeah, what’s your thoughts on the fat?


[0:21:51.8] DM: I’m okay with protein and carbs, six meals, that’s fine, I have no problem with that. What I’ve seen lately is an increased consumption of what people like to call healthy fat. These are things like almonds, olive oil, salmon. These things are heart healthy but they add an enormous amount of calories to the diet and for most of people, adding those extra fats is what pushes them into caloric surplus.


It’s very common for somebody to come in here who tells us, they’re eating healthy diet, they’re exercising regularly and they still can’t lose weight. When we tell them to walk us through their day, myself and our dietician, and say, “Tell us what you’re eating,” they almost always are adding things like almonds and oils and flax seeds. Things that are very high in fat. They’re ending up getting about 30 to 35% of their calories from fat and they’re almost across the board trying to avoid carbohydrate.


I understand why they do that, there’s not any good science behind it but I understand that the carbs are demonized in the United States and there’s a really huge push towards healthy fats but the truth is, we see people all the time who, with that exact kind of eating pattern, who are over fat and they can’t lose weight. As soon as we tell them, “Eliminate the fats, add carbs back in and start tracking your calories,” they lose fat and gain muscle.


[0:23:34.3] KC: Not like not even any fat during the day or just…


[0:23:38.8] DM: No, I’m saying that the vast majority of people don’t need to add any fat. You’re getting enough fat just throughout the day without the need to be adding oil to a shake. People say, “Oh well I’ve got to add my fat but if you track your calories, you’ll see how quickly fat adds up and it’s in stuff that you don’t even realize. And once you track it, you start realizing.


I was training a body builder that — well I wasn’t training him, somebody else was training him and we were doing body count test for him and he was adding something like five table spoons of coconut oil to his diet per day. His carbohydrate intake was too low, his calorie restricting, doing lots of cardio, losing weight but he lost a ton of muscle during his prep and there’s no reason for that to happen.


[0:24:35.8] KC: I have a lot of friends who have gone through and they’ve done anywhere from bodybuilding to the bikini competitions and then, what’s the new one for men where they wear the board shorts?


[0:24:51.0] DM: Physique.


[0:24:52.1] KC: Yeah, physique. They’ve all done those different ones and I’ll be honest with you, if I have 10 friends that have done them, I’ve probably only seen one who hasn’t gotten fat afterwards. You know what I’m talking about, right? Like fat, fat.


[0:25:11.4] DM: Were they fat before they did it?


[0:25:13.9] KC: Some of them, yeah. That leads into another question that I wanted to ask you and I feel like a lot of people who gravitate towards that have issues around eating and sometimes they get worse. My question is, I watched a lot of your videos, it doesn’t have to be that way right? I feel like what they’re doing is they load up, load up, load up, and then weeks before the competition, try to cut drastically as opposed to having something a little bit more sustained with smaller cuts over time.


[0:25:54.6] DM: Yeah, its endemic of that and that the sport of — it’s not necessarily bodybuilding now as much as it is physique and bikini. In bodybuilding, you really have to know what you’re doing to be a competitive bodybuilder. Even a noncompetitive bodybuilder. You usually don’t think about getting on stage as a bodybuilder unless you’ve been training for a really long time and you got it pretty well figured out. Even if you’re not doing exactly perfect.


But what bikini and physique allows you to do because the body fat levels aren’t nearly as low as bodybuilding, pretty much anybody can do it. And as a result of that, it’s become extremely popular. So now there are, you know, people compete one time and they say, “I’m going to start coaching people now.” Typically what happens is they give somebody a diet and they say, “Yeah, we’ll get you ready for the show that’s three months from now.”


And there’s absolutely no way the person can be ready three months from now but because they’ve never measured anything, they don’t know how much fat they need to lose, they don’t know what their body fat percentage is, they just kind of assume that they can get them ready in time. What they find out is when they’re a month out from the show, there’s no way they’re going to be ready.


What they do then is give them crazy amounts of cardio, crazy amounts of caloric restriction and people just crash, they lose fat, they lose muscle, and their metabolism gets all messed up. It especially happens in women, it’s pretty common. Because they have to get — its more difficult for them to lose fat, it’s more difficult for them to get where they need to be in order to get on stage.


[0:27:38.9] KC: More difficult for women you mean?


[0:27:40.4] DM: Yeah. It doesn’t have to be that way, it’s just that there’s so much bodybuilding lore and all this stuff is carried over from bodybuilding, which is completely unnecessary for bikini and physique. If you just have a simple calorie restriction and you’re willing to be patient and you’re doing it correctly, and this is the exact same prescription we use with our weight loss people, you can absolutely get somebody on stage and compete.


I mean my wife was the perfect example. Last year, she decided she was going to compete, we gave her this exact same approach with any of our clients, RMR testing, body comp testing, eating at the RMR, she was eating high carb, high protein, she got on stage and won second in her class for shutter.


[0:28:32.7] KC: How many calories was she eating?


[0:28:34.2] DM: 1,600.


[0:28:35.5] KC: That’s a lot of calories for a woman.


[0:28:37.5] DM: She was eating about 60 to 190 grams of carbs per day. Yeah, it’s just this whole carb restriction thing, it’s just a myth. I shouldn’t say it’s a myth. If you eat too many carbs, yes, you’re going to get fat, if you eat too much fat you’re going to get fat. If you eat too much of anything, you’re going to get fat.


It’s really difficult when you’re not measuring these things, to try and come up with a diet that guarantees to put you in a caloric deficit that’s large enough for you to actually see a difference. Think about it. Mathematically, you can be in a deficit that’s only a hundred calories a day. In theory, it should take you 35 days to lose one pound of fat if you’re in a 100 calorie a day deficit.


If you’re in a deficit, whatever you’re doing and you only lose a pound of fat in 35 days, you’re going to stop doing what you’re doing and you’re going to change and you’re going to do something else. If that’s the thing, people keep doing these drastic changes, they’re not consistent and the thing that really works quickly is usually something that is drastic and unhealthy.


The rebound effect and getting fat afterwards, we see that very often with our competitors. We train a lot of competitors, I like to say we actually “fix” a lot of competitors because they come in and they’re all singing the same song, they hired some online coach that just sort of set them a cookie cutter meal plan.


They’re all pretty much the same, they’re very calorie restrictive, very high cardio, very low carbohydrate, adding the healthy fats and yeah, the person gets skinny because they lose fat and muscle. They don’t look good, they look terrible, they tell them to dehydrate before they get on stage which is another thing that’s 100% unnecessary.


[0:30:33.4] KC: Wow.


[0:30:34.3] DM: When they start eating, once the show is over, it goes right in the storage mode, their metabolism’s tanked, their metabolism’s really slow. Yeah, it just start to cycle.


[0:30:48.4] KC: When you put people on stage, they’re not making — the day after, maybe they have a little fun cheat meal or something but they’re not changing that much at all except for adding in a little bit more calories.


[0:31:01.9] DM: No, I don’t care if they have a cheat meal the day before. That’s the thing, the thing is, when it’s done correctly, it’s hard to be restrictive to the point where if you’re a female, you’re going to get down to 11 or 12 or 10% fat. That’s a restrictive diet. You still can eat what you want, you just can’t eat that much of it.


Yeah, from when I gave you the example of my wife getting on stage and taking second place, she didn’t do any cardio that entire time. It was purely weight training and caloric control and macro control. But you have to be patient.


[0:31:42.7] KC: When you say macro control, you just mean like the carbs to protein to fat ratio?


[0:31:47.7] DM: Right. Yeah, you have to be eating the right levels and you know, she’s a good example because about halfway through her prep she’s like, “This isn’t going fast enough, I’m going to cut my calories and cut my carbs.” That’s what she does, she comes in two weeks later and does a decks on, she was lost like two or three pounds of muscle.


We jacked the carbs back up and her muscle fame back. She learned her lesson very quickly that carb restriction in conjunction with calorie restriction often results in muscle loss. You know, you can go on blogs all day long and hear people say “that’s not true” but there are probably people that aren’t putting their clients at a $120,000 machine and measure them every two weeks, right?


I understand it because they just don’t have access to that stuff but when you do have access to that stuff, you get a very different picture of how physiology actually works.


[0:32:43.3] KC: One other question while we’re on the carbs, what are your thoughts with different types of carbs, the white carbs, et cetera?


[0:32:52.6] DM: I don’t’ care, I eat whatever I want and like I said, you hit the number and that’s really the most important thing. I don’t care about glycemic index or all that kind of stuff. Just because it never made sense to me. It never made sense to me that if you’re in a calorie restriction, who cares what the glycemic index, you’re not in storage mode.


You’re not going to store anything if you’re in a calorie restriction — in a calorie deficit I mean. If you’re in a deficit, who cares what you’re eating, you’re going to burn it a good example is, people talk about Michael Phelps eating 10,000 calories a day. Do you think Michael Phelps, is he getting 10,000 calories from brown rice and chicken and broccoli? Think about it? He would just be eating 24/7 right?


That guy is going to have to eat some stuff that is not what we would consider “good for you” right? He’s got to be eating some really high calorie junk in order to reach those kinds of caloric intakes but he’s not storing it. I always tell people there’s a great article published looking at the Amish and the rates of obesity in the Amish and it’s something like 4% obesity rate in the Amish.


They eat about, I think it was something like 3,500 calories a day or something like that but if you look at their diet, they eat refined sugar, flour, pies, cakes, cookies, they eat fried foods, butter, ice cream, they eat all things that people would say, “Oh you shouldn’t be eating that stuff,” but they burn it off.


That’s really the issue. The issue is not so much the food that you’re eating, it’s whether or not your body’s in a situation where you’re in burn mode or you’re in storage mode. That’s the determined by your activity, not the type of food that you eat.


[0:34:48.0] KC: I love it. You’re really, when we go back to the beginning, the Miller Method, it’s really catered to each individual, to their lifestyle, to their own personal preferences and then you’re creating — and to the actual hard data that you get from getting them on the machine right?


[0:35:11.0] DM: Yeah, it’s a coupling of that. Every program that we give is custom tailored to the individual and we work with people from around the country. Somebody calls me from California and says, “I want to work with you,” the first thing I do is find somewhere in their area where they can get a dexa scan and a metabolism test. Without that I don’t work with them. Because I say, “Look, I can’t help you.”


[0:35:33.7] KC: Awesome, you can work — that was going to be my next question. You can work, as long as they can get that scan.


[0:35:40.6] DM: Yeah, I help them find that, I have a lot of connections at universities all around the country. I find the place where they can get the scan, they get the scan and send the data to me and then we can design the programs for them but beyond that, I say, “Look, I’m not one of those people who is going to send you a program and say this is what you should do because I just don’t — I’m not a sooth sayer, I’m not a fortune teller, I don’t know what somebody’s metabolic rate is.


I don’t know what their body fat is just by looking at a picture. I can get close but not close enough that makes me comfortable designing a program for them. There are a lot of people out there who will do it, I’m just not one of them.


[0:36:24.9] KC: If you’re willing to share like roughly how much would a dexa scan cost? If I was to go get one?


[0:36:31.9] DM: Well, there’s enormous variation in how much a dexa scan costs. You can probably find a place that will do them for $100 bucks, if you come in to our lab, we offer a package deal but if you were to walk in and you just wanted one dexa and nothing else, we would charge you $200 bucks but we have a bundle that is most popular is a dexa scan, a metabolism test and a meeting with our dietician and that package is $280.


[0:37:02.1] KC: That’s not bad at all.


[0:37:02.1] DM: No, it’s not bad, it’s dirt cheap. That will give you, she will write a plan then that tells you, “Look, this is how many calories you need, this is what your macros need to be,” and then we give you email support for that and we stay in touch with all of our clients and we’ve established some really good relationships with people and one of the things that you hinted at or eluded to was a lot of competitors who maybe have some type of disorders and things like that.


Our dietician specializes in eating disorders and we’ve actually run into that with some of our clients and we’re able to identify that and what originally started as somebody coming in for contest prep turns into something completely different.


[0:37:46.5] KC: You guys help with the emotional pieces too?


[0:37:48.9] DM: Oh yeah, absolutely and we won’t train somebody if we don’t think somebody is emotionally in a place where they should be prepping for a competition, we’re not going to do that.


[0:37:59.2] KC: Wow, I love that.


[0:38:00.4] DM: I think that’s an important piece and I don’t know, I just don’t know. I don’t want to bash other coaches and things like that but it requires a certain amount of expertise to be able to identify that. I don’t have that but our dietician does. That’s why I like working with a dietician because I’m not a registered dietician, I know a lot about nutrition and physiology but I just feel more comfortable from a protection of our client and a protection of us, working with a dietician who is licensed and certified.


[0:38:38.3] KC: Gotcha. And I want to wrap it up here because I know that I want to be cognizant of your time, my time and our listeners’. One final question I have, or two final questions. The first one is, you had mentioned earlier that 200 calories can make a huge difference. When you have someone on a plan or a program, they are using the Fat secret apps, “are they weighing everything or — You could kind of miss 200 calories if you’re just eye balling stuff right?


[0:39:12.8] DM: You could and that’s a good point. Think about that. If you could miss 200 calories when you’re eye balling it, think of how much you could miss when you’re not paying any attention at all. Yeah, we do ask people to weigh everything and people say, that’s a hassle. Well, is it really a hassle?


I bought an electronic food scale in Amazon for 12 bucks the other day and it sits on my counter right? Is it that much of a hassle when you’re making something to set it on that scale, probably not? I eat cereal out of measuring bowls and stuff like that so I know if I’m getting a cup or a cup and a half. There are tricks to make that really simple. Most people eat the same 10 things every day.


[0:39:59.9] KC: Yeah.


[0:40:01.5] DM: Once those things get in your database, it becomes routine, it’s just like you said, the first week sucks but after that, it just becomes something that becomes second nature.


[0:40:12.9] KC: Yeah, the one piece that I just want to highlight that you mentioned. The majority — I shouldn’t even say the majority. Everyone I know that has that is sort of at the high level, the top 95% of fitness that sustains it over a long period of time, they eat the same foods most of the time.


[0:40:38.9] DM: Right, that’s exactly — I mean I do. That’s just the way it is because you know what you can eat and you know what you know what you can’t, and there’s a lot more that you can’t than you can.


[0:40:54.5] KC: For everybody listening. How can they get in touch with you, how can they work with you, how can they learn more about the Miller method?


[0:41:03.0] DM: Just find Miller Method on Facebook or YouTube. I’m actually launching a new site, Millermethod.com. That should be up probably within the next two weeks maybe, probably by the end of January or the beginning of February. If you want to get in touch with us and work through the lab here at GW for dexa scanning and things like that, you can just email exercise@gwu.edu or you can just Google, Todd Miller George Washington University, I’m really easy to find.


[0:41:34.4] KC: It’s gwu.edu?


[0:41:38.5] DM: Correct, exercise@gwu.edu.


[0:41:43.2] KC: Awesome. Well Dr. Todd I appreciate you taking the time and sharing and I’m going to do it, I don’t know if I’m going to have the time, we’re having a baby any day to get to down to DC soon but I’m going to email you over there to schedule an appointment, see if I can get a scan up here and get rolling.


[0:42:02.8] DM: Yeah, we can definitely hook you up with some place.


[0:42:06.3] KC: Awesome, well thanks for taking the time and I appreciate it.


[0:42:09.3] DM: All right, my pleasure Keith. See you.




[0:42:12.2] KC: All right. Good stuff. Listen, I recommend if you got the money, I recommend checking out and working with Dr. Miller, I definitely am. After spending a bunch of time on his YouTube channel and on his Facebook page, I really got to know — I liked his philosophy and then the time that we spent chatting, I really, I believe in what he is doing and it’s something that I’ve seen so many people struggle with these yoyo diets and to be honest, I’ve done it myself in the past. What I’m looking for at this time in my life, I’m not looking to get super ripped, I’m not looking to have this crazy six pack for the rest of my life.


I’m a father of four kids, well three when I’m recording this, about to be four. Could be four when you’re listening now. I want something that is going to maintain and sustain and in all honesty if you go and you look at Dr. Todd’s pictures and the pictures of his wife on his Facebook page, they’re ripped.


So I’m excited to work with him and yeah, recommend you go over, check out his Facebook page, friend him over there, follow him on YouTube and you got the info as well, Exercise@gwu.edu. If you want to work with him, send him over an email.


All right guys, much love, see you next time.


[0:43:45] ANNOUNCER: Thank you for listening to the Business of Life Podcast. Apply what you learn today and you’ll be one step closer to creating the life you love to live.




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