Shrink Body Fat Cells for Quick and Lasting Weight Loss with Dr. Lori Shemek

“If you don’t take care of your health, who will?”

     Lori Shemaek     

Dr. Veronica Anderson, Host, Functional Medicine Specialist and Medical Intuitive interviews Dr. Lori Shemek on how to Shrink Body Fat Cells for Quick and Lasting Weight Loss.

Do you want to lose weight and feel better? Lori Shemek, PhD, CNC, is well known as a pioneer in creating global awareness of low-level inflammation and how it is responsible for and the core cause of most illness, disease, faster aging and weight gain. She has uncovered the pathway to the core cause of weight: inflamed fat cells that not only promote unwanted excess weight gain and belly fat, but poor health as well.

In this episode, Dr. Lori talk’s on how depression, anger and stress directly affect inflammation and the typical symptoms you should be aware of. She also talks about ingesting an excess of Omega 6 fat and if removing all fats from your diet is safe. Listen to the end for ways to improve your gut health and battle your sugar craving.

Listen to episode 6 on iTunes, or your favorite podcast app on your phone.

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6: Show Notes


Dr. Veronica Anderson’s Links


Recommended Books:

How to Fight FATflammation:


Show Notes:

02:20 – How Dr. Lori’s start in the health profession
05:50 – Becoming a fat cell researcher
07:30 – Depression, anger, stress and inflammation are directly related
08:40 – Inflammation simplified
11:30 – diseases associated with inflammation
12:40 – Symptoms of inflammation
15:00 – What is fatflammation?
17:00 – Foods that seem healthy but are not
18:00 – Ingesting an excess amount of Omega 6 fat
18:55 – How to shrink belly fat cells
19:45 – Is removing all fat from your diet safe?
20:00 – Adding quality protein
24:00 – What do vegetarians eat?
34:45 – Whey sensitivity and removing lactose
26:45 – Gut health, bacteria and sugar cravings
30:10 – Should you add in a daily probiotic supplement



Female VO: Welcome to the Wellness Revolution Podcast, the radio show all about wellness in your mind, body, spirit, personal growth, sex, and relationships. Stay tuned for weekly interviews featuring guests that have achieved physical, mental, and spiritual health in their lives.

If you’d like to have access to our entire back catalog visit for instant access. Here’s your host, Dr. Veronica.

Dr. Veronica: Another episode of Dr. Veronica’s Wellness Revolution. Thank you for joining us once again. You’re looking at the beautiful face of Dr. Lori Shemek, author of FATflammation. You’re saying what is that complicated word that’s a mouthful, and I have to be careful when I’m saying it, but you want to know about this. You want to get this book, FATflammation. What is it? You’re fat and you’re inflammation are connected. And we’re going to talk about it today.

What gives Dr. Lori Shemek the right to talk about it? She’s a researcher and has a background in psychology. And she understands all this. In addition, has been on CNN, is one of Dr. Oz’s favorite, then featured in Woman’s Day, and Redbook. She’s been all over the place. You might see her just as much you see me all over the place. But you know I get the good people to bring to you to help you transform your life. Welcome to the Wellness Revolution Dr. Lori Shemek.

Dr. Lori: Thank you for having me. It’s great to be here. I’ve been looking forward to it.

Dr. Veronica: I know because you emailed my assistant and said, “Do I have the time right? Is it happening?”

Dr. Lori: It was like, “Oh no, it’s a wrong day.”

Dr. Veronica: Because you know we have crazy schedules.

Dr. Lori: Right, exactly.

Dr. Veronica: Let’s talk a little bit about this FATflammation thing. But before we do that let’s get into your story. Everybody comes and ponders away. Most people I meet they just don’t drop in to talking about fat and inflammation, or gluten, or whatever they’re talking about. They have a personal interest that’s passionate, near and dear to them, that allows them to be the greatest advocate for whatever it is. Tell me your story.

Dr. Lori: It goes way back when we’re children, right? It usually does. But to make it very quick I grew up with a mother who was very ill. Most of the memories with my mother are for being ill with different health conditions. In fact most of the memories I have of her are me walking into her dark bedroom laying there suffering.

But my mother’s choices, and I always emphasize choice, led her down an unhealthy path. She was very overweight. She smoked over a pack and a half of cigarettes a day. She had a poor diet. And she had enormous stress. You can imagine raising three young children all by herself with no support. So she had no husband. She had no financial support. She had very little income. She had no family support.

That combined all of that combines with her health condition. Unfortunately she passed away at the very young age of 36. She left behind three young children with nowhere to go. I always like to emphasize choice when I talk about health because really in the end it’s about the choices that we make and the ones that we do affect not just us but they affect other people as well.

At my mother’s memorial service it was like an “Aha” moment. I said to myself she didn’t have to die. She could’ve made different choices. And it was right then that I knew what I wanted to do. I wanted to help other people make different choices, better choices, and I wanted them to know that they have a choice to make. Because my mother is not unlike many people who feel like they don’t have any choice, that this is their lot in life. This is the hand they’ve been dealt. And so they just throw their arms up in the air and that’s the end of it.

Dr. Veronica: How old were you when you’re mother passed away?

Dr. Lori: I was 17 by the time she died. My youngest brother was eight. And the middle brother was 10. We had an age range. And unfortunately because we didn’t have anywhere to go we were split up and we never got back together again in terms of living as a family.

It’s really important that people really take note of what they’re doing with their health. It’s funny because for example on Twitter I’ll put out there every so often, “If you don’t take care of your health who will?” One time this man answered me and he said, “My wife.” And I said, “No, that’s not the answer I was looking for.”

That’s how I got started in the helping profession. I started there and wanting to help people make better choices in their life. And that took me down the road of nutrition and health and here I am today.

Dr. Veronica: Wow. So you’re a fat cell researcher. What made you decide fat was what you were going to research? Because there’s a lot of ways you can go when you want to help people.

Dr. Lori: Right. When I first started out my focus, and before it was a buzzword I was very interested in the powerful impact that low level inflammation has on the body. And in fact I was coined the Inflammation Terminator [Unintelligible 00:06:16] because I wanted to educate the public. Because the core cause of most illness disease, faster aging, and weight gain is low level inflammation. And so I wanted to get that message out there and I kept pushing it wherever I had the opportunity to do so.

And then I realized that most of my clients were overweight. In fact 99% of them were overweight. I wanted to help people make change and I have the background in psychology so I am still able to combine that knowledge of health and nutrition and behavior change to help people.

Dr. Veronica: It’s interesting [Unintelligible 00:07:02] like you say your background in psychology is that I started out with that background in psychology too so I’m very into people’s thinking, their thought process, surrounding whatever has to do with their illness. And I realized that, and you might have realized this too. Before they could do anything to themselves physically they have to have that mind shift.

And it’s always curious to me as to what makes some people have that mind shift and other people don’t have that mind shift. Some may never have it. That’s something that’s interesting with a psychology background. But let me just say this, I think the inflammation that happens all over the body impairs your thinking and judgment too.

Dr. Lori: It absolutely does. In fact I was on a show last night and we were talking about this very same thing. We’re talking about how there’s research out now showing that low level inflammation causes depression. And inflammation also causes anger. You can imagine we knew that stress and inflammation more directly intertwined.
But now we know depression is a result of inflammation in the body, low level, and anger as well. So it really behooves a person to really pay attention to that inflammation that is setting up in the body. And before you really know you have it it’s years down the road. It’s cumulative. That is the same for weight gain as well.

Dr. Veronica: Explain in terms that the audience can understand. Now people have heard of inflammation. They’re throwing it around at cocktail parties. But when they’re throwing the words around in cocktail parties tell them how to explain it to that person next to them who hasn’t heard about it yet. What is it?

Dr. Lori: That’s a great question. You have to explain it in such a way that most people can understand it. So I like to use, “There are three different types of inflammation.” There’s acute inflammation. And I like to say it’s not so cute because it gets your attention. It hurts. It’s swollen. It’s painful. It’s like that terrible sprain, swollen ankle, or that awful sunburn, or head cold, or that cut on the finger.

When you cut your finger for example an enormous amount of inflammatory molecules are released. And soldiers if you will rush to the site to repair the wound. The wound heals. The soldiers go away. The inflammation goes away and all is well.

And then the next type of inflammation is called silent inflammation or low level inflammation. And it is as I mentioned earlier the core cause of most illness, disease, and faster aging. So diseases like heart disease, cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, those types of diseases are the result of low level inflammation in the body.

Unlike acute inflammation silent inflammation it’s just a trickle of inflammatory molecules. And most people think that isn’t those better? And it’s not. Because the inflammation never goes away. It stays. It’s there 24/7 unbeknownst to the person initially.

And in fact 75% of our population has low level inflammation and they don’t even know it. You can say that silent inflammation is like having a sore on the inside of your body that never heals. It’s like a glowing ember that if not doused completely will erupt into a full blown fire in the form of health conditions later down the road.

The third type of inflammation is what I call fatflammation. It’s a style inflammation of our fat cells. So if you’d like me to go on I can.

Dr. Veronica: Oh yeah. Now let’s put the meat on that bone. But before we go to fatflammation particularly, educate us. We talked about the low level inflammation. You said it’s the cause of most chronic diseases and people are saying, “I just got the heart disease. I just got the blood pressure. I just got this, that, and the other thing.” What do you mean low level inflammation, silent inflammation? What are some of the diseases based on real…? Now that we have real research that Americans like.

There’s a lot out there that’s true that we don’t have research on. It’s still true, but Americans, we like to have, prove it to me, prove it to me, prove it to me. You’re a researcher. What can you prove about this low level inflammation? What diseases do we now know it’s associated with?

Dr. Lori: Most illness and disease. As I mentioned, heart disease, cancer, osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, the list goes on and on. Very few are not inflammatory related. It’s really important that you get to a point where you’re in the prevention mode as opposed to waiting for it to happen.

As you mentioned people one day, “Wait a minute, inflammation? I just got heart disease.” And that’s a very good point. But the problem is that there’s been low level inflammation circulating throughout the body for a long time. And that’s why I say if it’s not doused completely it’s going to erupt into a full blown fire.

Dr. Veronica: So although you call it silent usually what other people may call silent to those of us who are in the health profession it’s not silent. There are signs and symptoms that are going on in the “silent.” What do people look for and suspect that might have this inflammation? This is before we get to the fatflammation thing. What might people see?

Dr. Lori: They’re tired all the time. Physically they’re not feeling well. They have a fever or they just don’t have any more get up and go. They have dry skin, dry hair. They have mouth ulcers. And anything that is not normal with the body is a sign of inflammation.

Having said that we have things that go on with our body that are inflammatory like arthritis for example, where it’s confined to just the knee for example. However we have for example heart disease, we have calcification or inflammation on the arterial wall sets up, they’re creating lesions if you will which end up blocking the artery. That is inflammation that has been taking place for a while.

We have different types of inflammation. It doesn’t mean that if you have circulating low level inflammation that it’s going to affect every part of your body. It just depends on maybe it’s a genetic predisposition to a certain disease or illness that will create this disease or illness.

Dr. Veronica: Okay. Silent is not really silent, silent.

Dr. Lori: No, there can be symptoms. For example in heart disease you can have chest pain. You can have different heart symptoms. But that doesn’t always mean that it’s inflammation from stress, which can be inflammatory as well.
But it’s really important, and this is a good time to say this, that we take really good care of our health because as you know Dr. Veronica, it’s all integrated. Everything is holistic. So when we take care of our emotional and mental health we take care of our physical health. We make sure that everything is addressed. Then we’re doing what we need to do to create optimal health. Because if we just focus on one area, like a lot of people think that they’re just working out and that’s all they need to do for their health, their diet doesn’t matter. It doesn’t work like that. Everything is integrated.

Dr. Veronica: Now let’s get over the fatflammation. Explain it for us.

Dr. Lori: First of all fatflammation is the silent inflammation of our fat cells. This happens very silently but we do know we have this if we’re gaining weight. We have about 100 billion fat cells throughout our body. And they’re all about the size of a period on the end of a sentence when healthy.

And you can look at these fat cells like little factories that are spewing out inflammatory molecules. And this has a metabolic effect that slows down the metabolism causing weight gain for you. And it becomes a vicious cycle because the more inflammation that’s released from the fat cell the more fat is packed into that cell. And it’s not just fat, it’s sugar and other compounds that create more of a bloated, expanded fat cell that you see as breaking.

Dr. Veronica: Okay.

Dr. Lori: For example, the types of foods people eat, that really healthy fat cell that was about the size of a period on the end of a sentence becomes bigger, and bigger, and bigger. Or it just becomes bigger. This is a problem because the very foods people are eating and a lot of people don’t realize that some of the very foods they’re eating they think are healthy are creating these larger fat cells and causing weight gain.

Dr. Veronica: Alright. I have a few questions about that but I want to go on what you just said. These foods that you’re eating that you think are healthy are actually causing this inflammation and causing you to get fatter. Tell people what are those foods that they make think are healthy that aren’t so healthy.

Dr. Lori: Right. It’s a very good question. For example a lot of people eat yogurt. “I’m doing great. I’m eating yogurt. Most of these yogurts have more sugar than a candy bar. And other foods like whole wheat bread for example. Two slices of whole wheat bread can raise your blood sugar as much as two tablespoons of sugar. That’s really something to take note of. There are cooking oils that people are using that are very high in the fat omega-6.

Dr. Veronica: Which ones?

Dr. Lori: Omega-6 and omega-3 are very healthy for you but we ingest way too much omega-6. It’s in packaged and processed foods. The food manufacturers love it because it’s cheap. A lot of the ingredients they use have omega-6 in them like corn for example. Corn is the grain highest in omega-6.

When you ingest an excess amount of omega-6 fat you create a compound called arachidonic acid. And you don’t have to remember the name, but it gets stored in the fat cell. And the fat cell gets cranky when arachidonic acid is stored in there. Remember this is inflammation. It’s an immune response. And it begins to emit inflammatory molecules which slow down metabolism, and it becomes this vicious cycle.

Oils, white corn oil, or vegetable oil, or canola oil for example people think are healthy when in fact canola oil is inflammatory and it’s highly processed. If you could see how canola oil is processed you wouldn’t even use it. And so what you want to do is you want to swap out those types of oils for healthy oils like avocado oil or macadamia nut oil or coconut oil. If you’re trying to lose weight those are the oils to go to because those oils help shrink belly fat cells. They help shrink fat in particular.

And this is another important point that a lot of people believe that when you lose fat you’re losing the fat cells. You’re actually losing the fat cells when in fact you’re just shrinking those cells. You keep your number of fat cells unless you become morbidly obese, and then they start to die out. What you want to do, your goal is to shrink those fat cells.

Dr. Veronica: I’m on my diet, I’m getting healthy again. You’re telling me eat avocado oil and all these other oils. But I’m going to go you one better. I’m not going to eat any fat at all. Is that okay?

Dr. Lori: That’s a great question. No. That’s the worst thing you can do. Because when you don’t eat any fat your body in fact will begin to pack on the pounds. Because a lot of times you’re just eating refined carbohydrates or an excess amount of even healthy carbohydrates. We want fat. Healthy fat burns fat from across the board. Omega-3 fat is as important as omega-6 but we get too much of that omega-6. And omega-3 then can’t do its job of reversing inflammation within the fat cell and throughout the body.

When it’s able to do its job you will then of course shrink that fat cell and then burn fat. So you want to kick all those foods that are high in omega-6 like packaged, processed foods, junky foods. You want to get rid of all those cooking oils like vegetable oil, corn oil, canola oil, soy oil. You want to add in healthy oils.

And you want to stop eating foods that are fed corn for example which are conventionally raised foods. Eat as much pasture raised poultry that you can, pasture raised eggs, omega-3 eggs. You want to bring in as much grass fed meat as you can, beef and lamb. Because grass fed beef and lamb are high in omega-3. And the products that come from these animals like eggs and dairy that are grass fed as well.

Dr. Veronica: I’m also going to get healthy and I’ve decided I’m giving up red meat. I’m not eating any beef. Is there a problem with that?

Dr. Lori: No, not at all. If you do not want to eat meat you do not have to eat meat. It’s okay. But make sure that you get quality protein in your diet. Protein is crucial for fat loss. It’s very important and it has to be quality. Because what you want to do is you want to trigger those weight loss hormones. So you want to trigger the hormone CCK for example. That’s a natural appetite suppressant.

You want to trigger weight loss hormones. And these will help you satiate. For example research shows that simply eating two eggs in the morning stops hunger and craving for hours. And the people who ate the eggs in the morning lost a marked amount of [Unintelligible 00:22:41] compared to those that did not.

So make sure that you definitely get that quality protein in because you want to trigger those hormones. And the hormone I was trying to remember was leptin.

Dr. Veronica: I was just saying leptin and ghrelin.

Dr. Lori: Right. Leptin tells your brain you’ve had enough food. “I’m not hungry anymore.” It’s Greek for thin. So that means when you have enough protein you’re not going to be hungry. And ghrelin is the hormone that actually makes you hungry. I call it the growling hormone because it makes your stomach growl when telling you it’s time to eat.

Dr. Veronica: You said quality proteins are going to decrease this inflammation that’s going on. Can you rate for us what are the quality proteins? A lot of people, like I said, “I’m not giving up read meat. I love it. I love grass fed.” When you talk about quality proteins give the definition. Because I hear people a lot of times say, “But I eat healthy.” And then I find out what they’re eating and healthy is not really healthy but they don’t know that. Define quality protein.

Dr. Lori: Quality protein means you have all the essential amino acids. And that’s very important. It helps your immune system. It helps ensure that you’re triggering those weight loss hormones, examples that I gave you earlier.
If you’re a vegetarian you want to make sure that you have a combination of non-meat sources such as rice and beans for example. Or there are protein powders like pea powder or pea rice powder that are very effective in helping vegetarians to get rid of that resistant weight that they have going on.

And whey protein for those that aren’t vegetarian studies show is highly powerful in terms of busting pure weight loss resistance. If you ensure you have adequate protein quality sources you will definitely make weight gain history in your life.

Dr. Veronica: Okay. I’m going to put a little disclaimer here just because I agree with what you’re saying but I want to say something on that about whey protein. Yes, it’s fabulous, unless you’re one of those people who are sensitive to whey. And there are quite a few people who are sensitive to whey.

And so this is why it’s a good idea to have somebody on your team who is aware of what could be your problem. You could say, “I went off. I started drinking my protein shakes and nothing’s happening.” Well if you’re sensitive to whey that means it’s going to cause inflammation in your body and you can gain weight because you’re having food sensitivity, an immune reaction to inflammation. Stress equals weight gain.

Although whey is a great source there are people who are very sensitive to it. And a lot of people, more than you think are sensitive to it. One size doesn’t fit all. Whey is great. I think it’s the best except in the 50% of people that I deal with that are sensitive to whey.

Dr. Lori: Yeah, and there is a form of whey that is 99.9% free of the lactose that is causing sensitivity. And for people who are it seems to be highly tolerable which is very good. But there are those percentages of people that really can’t take any form of dairy whatsoever. In that case you want to obviously stay away from whey. But there are other high quality protein sources.

And so I recommend that people get, if you’re a woman about the size and thickness of the palm of your hand at every meal. And if you’re a man about the size and thickness of your whole hand at every meal in terms of protein.

Dr. Veronica: Wonderful. Now, let’s talk about the gut, the gut, the gut. I have a gut feeling that this one’s making me [Unintelligible 00:26:54]. Say something about inflammation and the digestive tract, the gut.

Dr. Lori: Very important, I can’t underscore the importance of your gut health. We have about 100 trillion gut bacteria. I know it doesn’t sound very pleasant, but these gut bacteria are crucial for your optimal health, mental health, and weight as well. So 70% of our immune system resides within our gut and 90% of the serotonin made, which I call the happy transmitter because serotonin makes you feel happy, not in the brain but it’s made in the gut. In fact we have 500 billion brain cells in the lining of our gut.

Our gut is often called our second brain. And specific strains of bacteria are directly related or causal of your weight loss or weight gain. So you can see how crucial it is that we take very good care of our gut health. And more and more research is pouring in about the importance of our gut health. And I talk about it in my book.

And so what we want to do is make sure that we create an abundance of healthy gut bacteria. Right now the majority of people in our nation have an abundance of unhealthy gut bacteria. So unhealthy gut bacteria love sugar and junk food, literally. They need sugar to thrive and survive. And so there are 10 times more gut bacteria than there are human cells in our body, so you can imagine the types of cravings you’re going to have.

These gut bacteria extract more calories from those types of foods and store them as fat. And so it’s really important that we kick all of those junk foods to the curb, all that sugar, and all the things we know that aren’t very healthy, and add in foods that are going to create better gut health. And so that means that we want to add in foods that are prebiotic and probiotic.

Prebiotic foods are simply what I call fertilizer for healthy gut bacteria. They feed the good gut bacteria, the good microbiota. And these foods are asparagus, onions, garlic, bananas, and beans. These types of foods are a food source. You’re creating an abundance of them.

And then you want to add in probiotics. And probiotics actually plant healthy bacteria in the gut. And so these are cultured and fermented foods like yogurt for example, without sugar. Because remember sugar feeds the bad gut bacteria. So we people to stop eating those fruity yogurts.

Dr. Veronica: I’m not eating with those sugars in them anyway. I’m using the ones with the artificial sweetener.

Dr. Lori: Yeah, that’s another topic, right? And so we want to make sure that we add in foods that are cultured and fermented like yogurt, no sugar. And then we want to add in pickles, sauerkraut, olives, and different cheeses. In fact all of these types of foods plant healthy bacteria in the gut creating an abundance. And that means you’re going to have better mental health and also going to lose weight.

And lastly I’d like to say that I highly recommend people add in a probiotic supplement every day because we’re actually planting that really in abundance of really healthy gut bacteria. Make sure it’s a quality product though because if it’s not guaranteed it means that some of the bacteria will die and not getting the amount that they’re stating is on the bottle.

A quality product, the manufacturers it’s what they call overages. They add in more of the bacteria than they state because they know there’s going to be a natural die off. And so make sure it’s guaranteed.

Dr. Veronica: Is it enough just to take the probiotic pill?

Dr. Lori: Not really because you always to cover your bases. You always want to make sure you’re getting really quality food in your diet. And you want to make sure you’re getting a variety of food in your diet. So these foods also add in different benefits as well. You’re getting fiber and you’re getting the antioxidants, phytochemicals from these different types of foods as well.

Dr. Veronica: Lori Shemek, thank you for being on Dr. Veronica’s Wellness Revolution.

Dr. Lori: It’s my pleasure. Thank you.

Dr. Veronica: Fatflammation, say that for me.

Dr. Lori: Fatflammation, like fat and inflammation. How To Fight FATflammation is the name of my book. And you can find it anywhere books are sold.

Dr. Veronica: The name of the game is inflammation and the digestive track. You’ve heard it here, Dr. Lori Shemek, expert on all of this because she had a mother who left her orphaned at 17 years old, and so it’s made her career. I thank you making those ashes into roses.

Dr. Lori: That’s lovely. Thank you so much for having me. Thank you. It’s been fun.

Dr. Veronica: Hey everyone. I want to really thank you so much for listening to my new podcast, Dr. Veronica’s Wellness Revolution. I really enjoy helping others regain their health. So if this episode helps you, it can definitely help others. Do me a favor. Give us a five star review on iTunes to help me spread this message.

And because I really appreciate your help so much I will be giving away a $25 Amazon gift card each week to a random individual. Check the show notes of this episode for the details on how to win. Thank you so much. Take care.

Female VO: Thank you for listening to the Wellness Revolution Podcast. If you want to hear more on how to bring wellness into your life visit See you all next week. Take care.


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Medical Intuitive, Functional Medicine Doctor, Functional Medicine New York, ManhattanDr. Veronica Anderson is an MD, Functional Medicine practitioner, Homeopath. and Medical Intuitive. As a national speaker and designer of the Functional Fix and Rejuvenation Journey programs, she helps people who feel like their doctors have failed them. She advocates science-based natural, holistic, and complementary treatments to address the root cause of disease. Dr. Veronica is a highly-sought guest on national television and syndicated radio and hosts her own radio show, Wellness for the REAL World, on FOX Sports 920 AM “the Jersey” on Mondays at 7:00 pm ET.


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