112 – Q&A: Want to lose fat? Try this before cutting calories

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

Welcome back to another Q&A, where Ashleigh and Ben talk about how to optimize your mental and physical wellbeing, considering dieting, workout practices, habits, learning to love discomfort, and more! We begin with a reminder about Ben’s six pillars, and how his workouts are becoming more intellectually focused, a time he takes to be hyper-aware about mobility, stability, skill, and strength. This leads Ben and Ash to hone in on the mental aspects of fitness, and they talk about how working out can be a springboard to creating healthier habits as well as how beneficial mentally arduous training can be for your sense of pride and accomplishment.

From there they switch to topics of building muscle on a vegetarian diet, managing stress by controlling carbon dioxide, how to be a great leader by learning to listen, and expanding horizons wherever possible. Next up, Ben weighs in on the question of whether a diet or workout plan should be top of mind if you’re aiming to lose fat. We hear the typical process he would take a student through, starting with workouts, and then tweaking calorie intake based on heart rate variability. We look at what habits affect HRV too, and also talk about its connection to sympathetic arousal, considering the fine line between healthy and unhealthy amounts.

We end things off hearing about Ben’s love for all his show sponsors, and he shouts out today’s awesome one – Eating well, and conveniently, is more important now than ever, so we’re excited to have a new sponsor: High quality seafood delivered straight to your door From Billing’s Seafood Guys. Choose from one of the pre made boxes (5lbs each) or make your own, with options like salmon, cod, halibut, and a range of other seafood options, all sourced directly from Alaska. Use the promo code ben when you visit wildalaskanseafoodbox.com/ben and you’ll receive $20 off your first order, plus a free half pound bag of scallops in every box with your membership.


  • The origins of this podcast and how Ben went from bodybuilding to the six pillars. [0:18]
  • How Ben intellectualizes correct workouts using mobility, stability, skill, and strength. [2:28]
  • Keeping aware of the spine and things that move that shouldn’t during workouts. [6:11]
  • Ben’s two-week workout, workout mindfulness, and becoming consciously competent. [8:50]
  • Using exercise as a way of identifying habits, skills, and attributes you want to create. [14:50]
  • ‘Working in’: mentally arduous workouts and the rush of pushing through what’s uncomfortable. [15:45]
  • Changing your cognitive association with discomfort from negative to positive. [20:58]
  • How to build muscle on a vegetarian/vegan diet taking MAP supplements. [22:33]
  • Controlling stress through breathing and Brian Mackenzie’s webinar. [27:17]
  • Listening and being honest from a place of love: good leadership practices. [28:16]
  • Applying the principle of expanding your horizons to the books you read. [31:39]
  • The importance of curating your thoughts if you want to become a better person. [33:26]
  • Using technology versus a natural process to achieve a desired state. [35:33]
  • How blood flow restriction bands work and how to use them. [37:33]
  • Losing fat by upping workouts before cutting calories/changing diet. [39:51]
  • Using heart rate variability to start pulling calories down once workouts are set. [43:22]
  • The line between healthy and unhealthy states of sympathetic arousal. [44:10]
  • Big issues that could drive HRV down: sleep, breathing, stress, food, training. [45:22]
  • Oura Ring use and getting the best seafood box deliveries from Billings. [46:36]
  • Being calmed by Deadliest Catch and visiting untouched places. [49:38]
  • Thoughts on training heavily in the morning and volume in the evening on the same muscle group. [52:07]

Related Links/Products Mentioned

People Mentioned

Share on facebook
Share on Facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Ben Pakulski

Ben Pakulski

Since first lifting weights as a teenager, Ben has been on a mission to do whatever it takes… …to become the most muscular man on the planet! On the eve of The Arnold Classic, he confronts the dark realities of bodybuilding… And his own future! Follow him on his journey…

Leave a Comment

About the Podcast

Formerly the Muscle Expert Podcast. The world’s top authority on intelligent muscle building and fat loss gives us a simple to understand deep dive into the complex world of building a body you love, and living your greatness. Weekly interviews with leading experts in a vast number of scientific fields focusing on health optimization (nutrition, sleep, hormones, mindfulness and mind set), strength, (both physical and mental), and muscle hypertrophy. Learn proven strategies for optimum life performance, whether it be in the gym, the board room or the bedroom; this is the blueprint for becoming the upgraded modern man. Ladies, this podcast is for you too. The topics, tips, and life hacks covered are essential for every individual who wants to upgrade themselves mentally and physically.

Recent Posts

Follow Us

Join the Smartest Muscle Building Community Online

​Build Twice the Muscl​​​​e in H​alf the Time...