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Episode 9: Stress and Fat Loss, Hormone Balance, and Carb Cycling with Ali Miller

podcast Apr 07, 2020

You can find Ali Miller on her website at and connect with her via Facebook at Ali Miller RD and Instagram @alimillerrd.


Ali Miller is an Integrative functional dietitian, author of Naturally Nourished (2016), The Anti-Anxiety Diet (2018) and her newest book The Anti-Anxiety Diet Cookbook (2019). 

Ali Miller, RD is a Registered Dietitian with a contagious passion for using nutrients and food as the foundation of treatment protocols and programs. Her Food-As-Medicine philosophy is supported by up-to-date scientific research for a functional approach to healing the body. Ali is a renowned expert in the ketogenic diet with over a decade of clinical results using a unique whole foods approach tailored to support thyroid, adrenal and hormonal balance. 

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In this episode we talk about how stress is messing with your hormones, carb cycling, leptin, insulin, anxiety, and protein!

“The point blank reality is that if our body is functioning in a reactive versus a regulatory state, our metabolism is not optimised. There are so many varied mechanisms that go on when the body perceives constant survival… that it actually goes into a protective mode and hinders the body from fat loss.” Ali Miller

Episode Top Takeaways:

  • Stress is a major inhibitor of fat loss.
  • How to manage carb cycling in harmony with the menstrual cycle and how carb cycling compares to metabolic flexibility.
  • Different diets and fasting protocols must be tailored to meet an individual’s metabolic needs.
  • Why ketones are crucial for regulating the brain in general and anxiety in particular.

Show Notes:

  • [0:30] Ali is a registered dietician with formal education in naturopathic medicine 
  • [1:30] Ali practices functional integrative medicine in her practice, where she tests many of the body’s outputs to measure physical performance
  • [2:45] Stress management and hormonal balance 
  • [3:40] Ali’s book, The Anti-Anxiety Diet “Stress serves as the Achilles Heel to wellness”
  • [4:30] The HPA axis, or Hypothalamic Pituitary Adrenals, regulate the autonomic nervous system, determining sympathetic or parasympathetic state.
  • [7:25] “When the body is keyed up for survival, it suppresses sexual hormones and it also suppresses the thyroid which is one of the main metabolic regulators of the body.” 
  • [8:50] All stressors are like a wardrobe: only so much can fit.
  • [11:40] How to do the The Four, Seven, Eight breath by Dr. Weil
  • [12:50] Leptin is a hormone that crosses the blood-brain barrier and performs safety regulation regarding eating.
  • [17:20] The result of Leptin deficiency 
  • [18:45] Carb cycling 
  • [20:50] “What I’ve found to be the most compelling argument for carb cycling is looking at the hormone cascades in the female body, and how leptin is demanded based on … the (phase of) female hormonal cycle.”
  • [21:00] How to manage carb cycling in harmony with the menstrual cycle
  • [22:040] Why are carbs preferable to fat in some instances?
  • [29:30] “A carb cycle is intentionally, purposefully kicking yourself out of ketosis for a metabolic outcome. Whereas metabolic flexibility is determining where your carb threshold is to continue functioning as a hybrid.”
  • [39:20] Different types of fasts: pure fast, fat fast, protein fast, and different uses for each
  • [44:40] Ali’s take on protein
  • [47:30] Ali discusses why animal protein in particular is vital
  • [50:00] “In all of your food selection try to go closest to a whole food.”
  • [52:10] Why ketones are crucial for regulating the brain in general and anxiety in particular

Listen to the full episode HERE. 


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Rachel Gregory (@rachelgregory.cns) is a Board-Certified Nutrition Specialist, Strength and Conditioning Specialist, and Author of the best-selling book, 21-Day Ketogenic Diet Weight Loss Challenge. She received her Master’s Degree in Nutrition & Exercise Physiology from James Madison University and Bachelor’s Degree in Sports Medicine from the University of Miami.

Rachel helps her clients transform their lives by starting with the physical (body), realizing the power of the mental (mindset), and ultimately gaining massive confidence that bleeds into every aspect of their lives (family, relationships, work, etc.).


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