Do you want to discover how I lost 20 pounds in 40 days? Get your FAT-BURNING goodie bag that will teach you how to quickly and easily eliminate belly fat and reach optimal health. Just enter your email below and I’ll send it right to your inbox!

Jackie Warner: Why Exercise is Like a Drug, Fat-Burning Foods, and the Key to Anti-Aging

JACKIE WARNER: Why Exercise is Like a Drug, Fat-Burning Foods, and the Key to Anti-Aging

Jackie Warner is a celebrity trainer best known as the star of Bravo’s “Thintervention” and “Workout.”  Her new book, Why You’re Sick and Tired, is taking the health community by storm.

You don’t want to miss this one—we’re digging into the food industry, talking about alcohol, and getting the low-down on how to stay young!

Before we get there, I have to ask you something… Are you reading this on a smartphone or tablet?  My team and I have created some of the best paleo-friendly, gluten-free, fat-burning food recipe apps for Apple and Android.  Just head over the App Store, Google Play, or Amazon and type in “Fat-Burning Man.”  Our top rated apps will pop right up, such as:

Caveman Feast – A paleo recipe app with over 200 recipes from my good buddy George Bryant of Civilized Caveman.  This includes amazing meals like Honey Mustard Burgers and Pumpkin Chicken Chili, as well as grain-free goodies like Chocolate Avocado Cake.  Plus, you can switch between metric and U.S. units—great for our international paleo cooks!

Caveman Feast App from the Fat-Burning Man, Paleo, Real-Food Recipes, Mouth-watering, George Bryant of Civilized Caveman is now available to iPhone and Android users.

Just click below and you’ll see the Caveman Feast app there waiting for you. Grab it today – I know you’ll love it and it’s just a couple bucks.

Get Caveman Feast from the Fat-Burning Man on the Apple Store          Get Caveman Feast from George Bryant of Civilized Caveman Cooking on Google Play for delicious Paleo Recipes          Caveman Feast on the Amazon Apps for Android store for paleo meals and recipes from George Bryant of Civilized Caveman Cooking.

If you have an iPhone, iPod, or iPad– type “Fat-Burning Man” into the search bar of the App Store and you’ll also find:

The Wild Kitchen – If you like The Wild Diet, we’ve got some of our best recipes waiting for you in this beautiful app. As a bonus, you also get 10 Fatty Coffee Recipes to make bulletproof-style coffee even more fun.

Gluten-Free Desserts – These are some of the best low-carb, gluten-free goodies Alyson and I have ever put together. We love to indulge in these desserts and really hope you like them, too. With this app, you can have your cake and eat it, too!

All of the apps include a convenient shopping list feature, and they can convert into metric units for our Wild friends who live outside the U.S.

Again, just type in “Fat-Burning Man” to the App Store or Google Play and check out our recipe apps. You’ll never be without kick-butt fat-burning food again!

Now, here’s our podcast Review of the Week! This one comes from Brent, who says:

Recently, I woke up on a Monday with a ridiculously strong conviction to make a lifestyle change.  I’m 44 years old, 6’ 4’ and 260 pounds.  I am roughly 60 pounds overweight.  I knew I needed regular weekly motivation, so I searched “health” on iTunes and I found Abel James.  The first episode I watched was number 57 with Louis Howes.  His personal story and his comment about his underwear waistband folding over sold me on the Fat-Burning Man show for good. Within my first 7 days I’ve already lost 7 1/2 pounds. My new personal goal:  Win today, one day at a time.

Brent, seven pounds in seven days—awesome! If you want to share your story, leave a quick message on iTunes, Stitcher or wherever you’re listening. Keep in touch, I always love hearing from you guys.

Now on to the show with Jackie Warner, where we’re talking about:

  • Why exercise has a more powerful effect on your brain than drugs
  • What to do about alcohol when you want to burn fat
  • Which exercises will turn back the clock
  • AND how lecithin works as a fat-burner


I owned two gyms and two medical centers—I’ve consistently worked with doctors since being certified fifteen years ago.  It’s given me extra knowledge about physiology, anatomy, and biology that some others don’t have.

This is why “Why You’re Sick and Tired” is not just in the weight loss category—it’s an energy book, it’s about having the life you’ve dreamed of, about creativity. It’s a three step program, it keeps your mind active and you don’t get bored with it.


Alyson and I just spent a year unplugged from the internet.  Now we are back and we are trying to sync our sleep and reset our circadian rhythm. So many people are out of sync. What are we doing wrong, and how can we fix it?

A diet full of chemicals is difficult to get away from, but a processed diet is literally making us sick and tired.  It’s a diet without whole foods, without the right combination of fats to proteins to carbohydrate ratios.  Fad diets. Uni diets that are made up of mostly one food. These things are making us sick.

Energy drinks are very popular with people, and too much of a good thing is wiping out our adrenals.

Our brains have not caught up with the internet and a technological society, so it’s causing a lot of undue anxiety.  Twitter, social media, e-mail…  especially before bed… you think it’s doing something positive, but it’s having a negative impact on your brain.

I’m not saying stop it—but you have to counterbalance with something very good.

What’s good?

Detox Diet:  1st Seven Days is completely vegan, where it’s extremely nutrient-dense and detoxifying to cleanse your adrenals and get sleep cycle reactivated.

NEXT 7 Days is a 30/30 diet—free range meat (if not organic). Plus your workout is intensified.

“If you can’t afford free-range, then don’t eat meat.” - Jackie Warner, pasture-raised, chicken, beef, pork, quality, expensive, grass-fed, organic, finances, turkey, chicken, pig, quote

“If you can’t afford free-range, then don’t eat meat.”

FINAL 7 Days is all about muscle.  Muscle degeneration ages you and turns back the clock. Building muscle builds collagen and keeps you youthful.

Women won’t look like Arnold Schwarzenegger if they lift weights?

Fitness models are all about 5’2” with a mesomorph body type and a predisposition to build muscle—they get thicker.  Women are afraid they’re that body type and if they lift an 8 pound weight they’ll get jacked. I’m still an active trainer— I’ve got women doing 35 dumbbell presses and they’re just lean and mean.

The key is to do several exercises together to keep heart rate up.

If you are doing crossfit— that’s an explosive movement and yes you are going to gain more weight/bulk.

Most of us are familiar with crossfit— some people can do it with great results and others get burned out.  Can you contrast this with circuit based training?

I don’t go over 10 reps.  I’ll combine four exercises… let’s say doing:

  • Monday: Chest and biceps
  • Tuesday: Back  and triceps
  • Wednesday: Legs, glutes, and shoulders
  • Do that 3 day split and repeat it

I do the chest press and fly together with no rest in between to ten reps.  Then go onto bicep closed curls and hammer curls with a dumbbell–10 reps.

This is one large superset.  But because you’re constantly moving and your heart rate is up, because there’s no rest in between, that’s high rep training.

Then you do some cardio acceleration between sets—maybe 20 burpees or 100 jumping jacks, or 100 knee-ups, to further increase heart rate. That is very leaning. I train super heavy but I’m not a big muscular person.

“The intensity of my workout picks up when I have to be in booty shorts and sports bra.”

How do you do all that without burning yourself out?

For clients, I guess they are extremely enthusiastic once they catch the bug.  They’re like, “Oh, my gosh, I don’t have to be saddled with the genetic body type given to me by my mother or father or grandmother?  I can actually change the proportion of my body?”

Once they see their bodies changing into a beautiful v-taper with a slim waistline, it becomes addictive.

“I love lifting weights. I have always gravitated towards it.”

When I started training at 23, I saw a drastic change.  I was a pear shape with no shoulders when I discovered functional training. I changed my body shape to a v-tapered waistline and was toned. It’s addictive, it’s called perfect proportion.

Men and women are attracted to that proportion in each other. It has very little to do with what individual parts of the body look like. Look at someone and you can perceive, “Are they healthy? Are they strong?”

Strong is the new sexy—what men and women find attractive is changing and evolving. What’s your take?

There are two conflicting schools of thought:

  • Accept your body no matter what it is.
  • Let’s reach for our personal ideal of perfection.

In the first school of thought, we have this idea of “Dad Bods.”  This is like some silly article written where men who have kids put on weight, especially around the midsection.  They gain weight, get comfortable, and their testosterone levels go down when they have children. Now the dad bod is considered sexy. Society just wants to accept everybody.

In the second school of thought, the ultimate of attract-ability is a healthy, ripped, strong man.

In terms of women, strong is the new skinny.  A few years ago, the ideal was skinny fat— the ideal woman was all skin and bones.   Women don’t want that anymore. I go to Soul Cycle and boot camp—the women are lifting and biking hard. They want muscles and a nice shape.

People are now also doing something with their fitness—they’re training as fighters!  It’s like a functional hybrid. For a while it was like, “Yeah, you can sculpt your body.”  Now it’s like, “Let’s do something.” You see that same concept with races like half-marathons taking off.

This health renaissance is taking off, and we know more about fitness now, right?

One of my friends is very thin naturally and a young girl.  She said she started this new program and downloaded an app because she wants to lose weight and tone up.  I asked her what the program was… it was 100 squats a day!   

“You think people know more, but they don’t know more.”

Squats are a great start, but they’re not going to get her the body she wants.  There’s a lot of misinformation and fads out there that simply don’t work.  I think we knew more in 1994 than we do now about food.

When I was operating one of my first gyms, people were savvier in the early 90s than they are now about food. There is so much misinformation and fad diets that people still know nothing about food.

Process food changes your hormonal structure— it increases estrogen and cortisol.  We know this will help you gain more belly fat and it blunts the fat-burning hormones progesterone, Human Growth Hormone, and testosterone.

If you’re eating processed foods and not getting enough fruits and vegetables in your diet, that’s a bad combination.

I can’t walk into a Whole Foods or health food store now and someone chases me down—then it happens… a mini confessional:  “I cheated but now I’m eating all the good stuff like xyz”—but y and z aren’t healthy.  So what foods do people think are healthy but aren’t?

Just because something says “gluten-free” or “all natural” doesn’t mean it’s healthy. - Jackie Warner, gluten-free, processed food, health, scam, bread, grains, paleo, weight loss, fat-burning

The food industry in this country conspires to make a buck–they do not care about your health. This is not necessarily the case in other countries where the regulations are more stringent.  Here, it’s all about consumerism.

“Don’t trust packaging and the food industry.”  

The key is to simply say—

  • I know (because I’ve been told by Abel and Jackie) that I need to eat at least 3 veggies a day.
  • I also know I need good healthy fats that burn fat like avocado, nuts, seeds, and oily fishes.
  • I know I need protein.

Break it down into those factors—then if you cheat and eat ice cream or a snack cake, at least you’re getting whole foods and the proper nutrients in your diet that day.  

“I’d rather you cheat in addition to getting the vitamins of whole foods, rather than cheat and then cut your calories for the rest of the day because you want to lose weight.  That’s the worst thing you can do for your body.”

I heard you say that it’s important that you’re very good Monday through Friday.  If you want to take departures from good habits, you can do that if it’s once in a while.

It really works well to do five days on and then two planned cheat meals on the weekend. During the work week it’s about work, so Monday through Friday I’m going to work at my job and on my body.  Then on Saturday, I’m going to PLAN that cheat meal.

Maybe I’m going to see a movie with my friends, I know I will want a restaurant meal and a snack at the theater. So, I’m going to eat great all day to prepare for that cheat food.

“Just be mindful of what’s healthy and what’s not.”

Planning it is so important. If you know you’ve got a wedding to go to and you’re gonna’ eat cake and drink alcohol, plan for it… People can stay on that diet for a long time because they’re not saying no to anything, they’re just planning for it.


“Alcohol breaks down muscle tissue. The worst thing you can do is break down your own muscle tissue.” Muscle tissue helps you burn fat. It’s difficult to achieve the proportioned strong body we were talking about if you drink.

Plus, drinking after around 5 pm messes up your sleep cycle.  If you break into your REM, sleep it’s going to blunt fat-burning hormones like Human Growth Hormone.

“You’re working against yourself when you’re drinking.”

Most health professionals say 2 drinks a week.  We drink a lot in this society— I say, really try to pick clear liquors low on the glycemic index, no juice mixers, and maybe a little bit earlier in the day.

Drinking is something special, so enjoy it.  But if it’s your habit to unwind, then there’s the problem.  1 – 2 drinks a night is completely baloney. They have all these stupid studies where they test in mice that they gives thousands of times a particular supplement or chemical and then the mice respond and they say,  “Oh, red wine’s good for you.”

Alcohol is a toxin.

Over 4h of July I got wasted—I paid for it and didn’t feel good the next day, then I hit the gym and got that toxin out of my system. You don’t’ want to give your liver a dose of toxin every night.

I can see a nightly wine drinker a mile away.  Their skin texture, their collagen changes, their face is blotchy and red and they have softness around their arms and limbs.  I can tell someone who’s drinking two glasses of wine a night just by looking.

I can tell someone who smokes weed… It’s all about skin texture. I’ll be 47 in August, but my skin has hardly a wrinkle on it.  I don’t smoke or smoke weed or drink much and I work out.

My mom started working out last year at the gym 4 – 5 times a week, and she looks much younger now. It’s never too late to start that process.

People get into that lifestyle and some of them fall off the wagon. They either burned out or got injured and didn’t exercise anymore. You can see it.


10 minutes of intense exercise every day is good for your health and turning back the clock.

We used to, as personal trainers, say, “Come three times a week and that’s sufficient.”

That was our solution to getting healthy or losing weight.  Harvard smashed that study and said that’s not optimal or good for maintaining a healthy body and healthy body mass for a lifetime… you need to go five times a week.  It changed the way we view exercise.  Even further studies have come out since then that reinforce the idea that…

“The body is intended to move not 5 days a week, it’s intended to move every day.”

I’ve got my workout sessions down to 25 minutes a day.  I do 6 quick supersets with no rest in between— I look at the clock and I’m like, “Are you kidding?”  I’ve been there 20 – 25 minutes.

If you can’t devote 20 – 25 minutes a day to your health, your body, your state of mind… I don’t see the sense in that.

Abel: I went out with the dog this morning and instead of going for a walk, we’ll go for sprints.  It’s more playful and you’re really hitting up against your max and you’re getting out in the sun.  It’s less for my body as it is for my brain. It’s so exciting. You have to get yourself addicted to exercise.

How do you encourage people to get started on their own terms at home?

Downloadable videos, free content on the internet… there are thousands of free workout programs online.  Turning on your computer, putting on some workout clothes and putting on some workout video—you don’t even have to change your clothes, go to the gym, or brush your teeth.

There are three chemicals that keep you happy: serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine. These three chemicals are released by the brain in response to certain instigators. If you’ve ever tried ecstasy, you’re getting 1000 times the release of serotonin—drugs, sugar, alcohol does that, too.

EXERCISE also does that but it has to reach a certain intensity to work.  If you’re just on a nautilus machine watching a show and you’re not focused and trying to make it burn, if you’re not feeling that, you’re not getting that incredible brain chemical release that most people have to take drugs for.

Wind sprints do that. Bodybuilding does it for me, or spinning.


Can you talk a little bit about lecithin and fat-burning?  We try to sneak it into some baked goods sometimes, like into our whole food Wild pumpkin bread.

Lecithin is really good for fat-burning. Olympic and pro athletes have been taking it as a supplement for years.

Lecithin is contained in the yolk of an egg.  I suggest it as vitamin therapy with foods.  Food is a drug. It has a pharmacological effect on the body.  As soon as it hits your mouth, a whole chemistry is set free in your brain and your body.

Lecithin is one of those really good fat-burning supplement—to get the positive effects, just eat two eggs a day. The whole egg, not just the white. No need to exceed two eggs a day, just eat the yolk and you’ll get the fat-burning effects.

We used a lecithin blast of sunflower lecithin in our pumpkin bread… it’s cool to see you can work lecithin into real food.

Here’s a quick whole-foods prescription: Try to eat one-half grapefruit a day, 1/2 avocado, and two eggs. Grapefruit contains naringin, which is a great fat burner. The eggs have the lecithin, and avocado has that good healthy fat-burning fat.

It’s interesting because I got so lean about six months ago, like really lean and I wasn’t trying to. I don’t even eat sugar anymore, and I rarely drink because I just don’t crave that sugar after so many years of a nutrient dense diet. I got really lean and couldn’t put on muscle and I couldn’t figure out what was going on. I went to a doctor and got bloodwork done, and she said I was too low in fat–not getting enough good fat.

I went straight to Whole Foods and got avocados and nut butter and forced myself to eat salmon. I noticed I was getting depressed and didn’t’ know why… so in one week I turned that ship around. I started putting on muscle weight and my brain chemistry changed.

I pretty much CURED MY DEPRESSION with a fattier diet. - Jackie Warner, fat-burning, fatty foods, healthy fat, avocado, nuts, olive oil, fight depression

“I pretty much cured my depression with a fattier diet.”


Online at www.jackiewarner.com, TWITTER @jackiewarner10, Instagram #jackiewarner10

You can buy my book, “Why You’re Sick and Tired just about anywhere books are sold.

If you liked this interview, take a quick minute to leave a comment.  If you listened to the podcast, make sure you leave a review on iTunes!  If you don’t want to miss a single show, enter your best e-mail address and you’ll get free quick guide to fat-burning and a ton of delicious fat-burning recipes right to your inbox! 


Discover how to drop fat with chocolate, bacon, and cheesecake. Plus: learn the 3 worst foods you should NEVER eat and the 7 best exercises for rapid fat loss. Click below to to claim your FREE gift ($17 value)!



  • Beth says:

    It started off ok, Jackie had some good point about processed foods, and lifestyle.
    But she never really answered your question How do you do all that without burning yourself out?” She talked about how it is addictive and they (and she) keeps doing it. But not how to not burn yourself out. Ok, maybe she just forgot to address the 2nd part of the question.

  • Steven says:

    Great post Abel,

    I would add that diets can’t be general to everybody as people have different types of bodies.

    The main thing to do as stated by Jackie is stick to a healthy eating plan, avoid sugars, add vegetables and protein (meat, chicken and fish) intake and I would add do intense short workouts.

    This will lead to building muscle, retaining it and at the same time consuming the excess of fats.

    It will also produce dopamine, serotonine and norepinephrime.

  • Lee says:

    Why don’t you ever correct/disagree with people when they say things that don’t agree with your view of things. Jackie said the research is now in need to exercise six days a week for optimal results. Then Jonathan Bailor comes on and says twice a week is plenty if it’s done right. Another guy comes on and says vegetables are just a delivery vehicle for butter and the next guy says eat 10+ servings a day. If you don’t do any correcting or disclaimers it gets confusing. Little help out here please.

    • Abel James says:

      Hi Lee, you’re right – health experts seem to disagree about almost everything.

      Here’s a comment from a recent listener to the show that offers a counterpoint: “Listening to your podcast, I found I can relate to what I’ve heard you say so far. I don’t want any extreme dieting that puts all of your faith in one class of superfood, or something like that. Even though a few of your guests talk about their “all in” diets, you don’t criticize them. It’s more like you’re finding the pro’s and focusing in on that. Like your episode with Kevin Gianni. Talking about being vegan and then an all yogurt diet. But then you bring up the pro’s, the success behind the diet that help it work. The super green smoothie breakfast to start the day. So it’s like you’re saying ‘This diet may not be for you, but what can we learn from it!'”

      The answer applies to exercise, as well. There are so many ways to become more healthy, and I do my best to bring conflicting ideas together to help us all get closer to the truth. There are other shows where the hosts are dogmatic and combative with guests, but I’ll continue to do my best to keep the conversation positive.

  • Celeste Kelsey says:

    Sorry…first she talks about how bad “fad” diets are and then she offers what I think is exactly that… a 3 phase diet which starts with vegan (ugh!) the goes to Zone and then not sure what. Over complicated exercise routine…all in all she is preaching something that requires and “expert” to be in control. Certainly none of this is necessary. But I like her haircut…don’t think women have to have “long beautiful hair,” Abel, to be feminine or attractive…guess you are a bit caveman. 🙂

  • Bob says:

    Hey Abel,
    Love your interviewing style, but have to say this podcast got under my skin a little bit. I am glad you are not “combative” with your guests, but this guest said some things that disagree with some of the other guests.
    Have you ever thought about having a podcast where you have more than one guest on (maybe Jackie Warner and a biomechanist like Katy Bowman) to share both of their views? Not in a which-one-is-better sort of way, but a way that both guests can share their ideas and find commonalities. I think your interview skills set is great to be a moderator of such a podcast. The best way to gain insight into someone’s beliefs is to challenge them; not in a judgmental way, but an inquisitive way.
    Keep up the effort. I have to go buy some marrow bones to roast 🙂

    • Abel James says:

      Thanks Bob – I’ll definitely see if I can get something like that in the works. Always looking forward to that next big thing to push the conversations forward.

  • Dennis says:

    Glad to have found your blog Abel! Awesome stuff.

    Like many commenters I admire your non-intrusiveness while interviewing people. I’d say at least a couple points Jackie makes are doubtful, especially the “don’t eat meat if you can’t afford the most expensive hyped-up stuff” one.

    I second the several guests podcast idea, would love to hear several opinions clash in search of truth 😉

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Why You Shouldn’t Trust Your Favorite Supplement Company

A member of the Fat-Burning Tribe community asked a great question about JuicePlus, and I’d like to share our answer...