Have you been listening to the Huberman Lab Podcast? Reading up on Andrew Huberman and his seemingly infinite wisdom? So have we, and guess what? He knows his shi-... stuff, he knows his stuff.
When it comes to weight management, Andrew Huberman offers a plethora of helpful information across his various Huberman Lab Podcast episodes that can help you achieve your body goals.
We put our earphones in, loaded up a queue of Huberman Lab Podcast episodes and narrowed down Huberman’s best hacks for weight management.
Include protein in every meal
Whether you’re trying to build muscle, activate weight management, or recover after a damaging leg day at the gym, you’re going to want to consume a decent amount of protein. One of the best ways to achieve your weight management goals is by including high-protein food with every meal. Research has suggested that consuming 20-30 grams of protein is ideal, promoting satiation and muscle preservation. Options like meat, fish, poultry, eggs, and plant-based sources like soy, tofu, and legumes are all suitable (Spritzler, F. 2023).
We know that getting enough protein into your diet isn’t easy, especially if you’re running on a busy schedule that doesn’t allow you to stop and enjoy a protein-dense meal if you're looking to take action on your weight management. Andrew Huberman is also aware of this, which is why he uses Whey Protein Powder post-workout to support muscle building and weight management. Andrew Huberman supplements with a couple of scoops of whey protein paired with a bow of oatmeal and will then eat another meal between 11:00 am and noon to optimise his recovery. Like most of us, Andrew Huberman prefers to source his protein from food, but when that isn’t possible, a quality whey protein does the trick (Gayomali, C. 2023).
On an episode of the Huberman Lab, Andrew Huberman discussed The Science of Eating for Health, Fat Loss & Clean Muscle with Dr. Layne Norton. On discussing daily protein intake and muscle mass, Huberman discussed how much an individual should focus on protein to support weight management. One of the key points made by Dr. Norton is that protein is a key lever in weight management because it has a higher thermic effect on food, helping you burn more calories per day. Aside from weight management, it can also offer lean body mass and appetite control.
Andrew Huberman has also shared data that suggests the timing of your protein intake is key, with the best time to consume protein being early in the day. Want to know why? Check out what Dr Huberman tweeted here.
Get Enough Sleep
If you’re trying to achieve your weight management goals, one of the surprise hacks that can accelerate the process is as simple as getting a good night's sleep. Of course, that’s not easy these days, with phones, Netflix, procrastination and early starts often leaving us with less than six hours for our bodies to reset. But, let's dive into the connection between weight management and sleep.
Andrew Huberman has discussed that getting consistent quality sleep is paramount in setting your body up for targeting weight management. Focusing on building a routine where you go to bed and wake up at the same time each day while removing all light and noise from your bedroom at night is essential in setting up your weight management journey. A key factor in improving your sleep is to avoid bright light in the evening and even reduce your exposure to it during the day. What’s more, it is also important to ensure that the temperature is right to support a comfortable night's sleep (Thrive. 2021).
In a newsletter from the Huberman Lab Podcast, Andrew Huberman discussed his toolkit for sleep, which included avoiding caffeine within 8-10 hours of bedtime (we know, it’s easier said than done) while ensuring you wake up at the same time each day, and go to bed when you first start to feel sleepy. When it comes to supplementation for weight management, Huberman recommends consuming 145mg of Magnesium Threonate or 200mg of Magnesium Bisglycinate. Apigenin, Theanine, Glycine or GABA are other compounds that Huberman suggests supplementing with to optimise your sleep quality (Huberman, A. 2021).
Consume Healthy Fats
People usually duck and run when they hear any mention of fats, but they’re not a nutrient that you want to skip. In fact, these may play a bigger role in weight management than you think. It’s just about choosing the right fats… the healthy fats, for weight management. Fat is a type of energy your body needs for energy, vitamin absorption, weight management, and brain & heart health. Bad fats like trans fats and saturated fats should be avoided, but good fats like unsaturated fats and omega-3 fatty acids can have the opposite effect, influencing your mood, energy, and weight management (Robinson, L. 2023).
Andrew Huberman discussed weight management, saturated fat, and overall energy toxicity on an episode of the Huberman Lab entitled The Science of Eating for Health, Fat Loss & Clean Muscle with Dr. Layne Norton. In this episode, Norton discussed that when you substitute saturated fats for polyunsaturated fats, you will notice either neutral or positive effects on weight management. Some studies show a positive effect on weight management when taking polyunsaturated fats, with polyunsaturated fats offering a neutral or positive impact on the markers of cardiovascular disease. Norton also discussed the importance of not demonising specific nutrients in order to hit your weight management goals. You don’t need to completely cut saturated fats out of your diet to support your weight management goals, but limiting it to 7% - 10% of your daily calorie intake is the wisest option.
Healthy fats like avocado, full-fat yogurt, extra virgin olive oil, nuts, fatty fish, and whole eggs can all offer a range of health benefits that can play a role in weight management.
Focus on Small Changes
The theory of marginal gains refers to making small yet significant improvements that can lead to incredible results. The British Cycling team practised and honed this process, with coach Dave Brailsford turning an underperforming team that had failed to reach the Olympic podium for decades into a gold-winning team at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games (Lupton, M. 2021). This same logic can be applied for weight management.
Substituting certain foods
One of the small changes that Andrew Huberman discussed with Dr. Layne Nortone on weight management in an episode of the Huberman Lab called The Science of Eating for Health, Fat Loss & Clean Muscle was the idea of making small substitutions with certain foods.
The pair discussed substituting sugar-sweetened drinks like soft drinks with beverages like water or artificial sweetener-containing beverages, can lead to positive changes on weight management. They discussed how going cold turkey and jumping from drinking sugar-sweetened beverages to water was too big a leap, especially if you’ve developed a sweet tooth. So making intermediate changes and substituting with drinks containing non-intrusive or artificial sweeteners was a good place to start for your weight management.
Committing to more frequent exercise
One of the best ways to make a small change in your weight management journey is to increase the frequency with which you exercise. Now, we’re not expecting you to show up to the gym at 5 am every day to hit your weight management goals, but increasing your daily steps and physical activity is a great way to kickstart your weight management journey.
On an episode of the Huberman Lab Podcast called How to Lose Fat with Science-Based Tools, Andrew Huberman talks about the importance of picking an exercise you enjoy and committing to performing it regularly. While high-intensity exercise followed by medium-intensity exercise is the best way to burn fat and assist in weight management, the most important thing is to build a routine and commit to it. This can include a range of activities that include running, biking, hiking, swimming or weight lifting that can affect weight management (May, J 2023).
You’ve probably heard about calorie deficits quite often. Well, if you’re trying to kickstart your weight management journey, you’re going to want to be in a caloric deficit. Your calorie deficit is influenced by a number of factors, from what you eat to your metabolism, hormonal environment, and much more. It is, however, important to hit a deficit to kickstart your weight management goals. Body fat is connected to the nervous system, with these nerves controlling the process of fat burning in a weight management journey (Thrive. 2021).
On an episode of the Huberman Lab Podcast with Dr. Andy Galpin called How to Build Physical Endurance & Lose Fat, Huberman and Galpin discuss how the process of weight management is mainly governed by the thermodynamics of energy utilisation, which many refer to as ‘calories in, calories out’. The key factor is to achieve a calorie deficit, which will allow you to hit your weight management targets.
Andy Galpin talks on this episode of the Huberman Lab Podcast about how you physically hit your weight management goals in a deficit, with your body using different sources of fuel like glycogen, adipose, protein, and the phosphocreatine system. At some point, your body will use fats as a primary fuel source when all other sources are depleted, and this will help you burn fat through perspiration, and ultimately target your weight management goals.
Essential Fatty Acids
Andrew Huberman supplements with the essential fatty acids Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, which can’t be created in the body, as a way to assist in weight management. You can generally obtain enough Omega-6 but not enough Omega-3 from your diet. Andrew Huberman takes Omega-3 in supplement form to support his brain health, taking fish oil in liquid form and a dose of EPA each day (Vast Diversity).
While Huberman’s use is for cognitive health, essential fatty acids can also play a role in weight management. Omega-3s can help you build muscle and lose body fat, with research finding that fish oil can help you lose fat without actually altering your weight on the scale throughout a weight management journey. What this means is that stepping onto the scale may be misleading when using essential fatty acids when it comes to weight management. Most studies found no difference in weight between those supplementing with fish oil and those supplementing with a placebo. However, reviews of 21 different studies showed that fish oil can reduce waist circumference and waist-to-hip ratio, meaning you can lose fat without losing actual weight in a weight management journey (Petre, A. 2017).
When it comes to weight management, getting your hormones in balance is fundamental. Hormones like leptin, insulin, growth hormones and more can all influence your appetite, metabolism, and body fat distribution, assisting overall in weight management. An excess or deficiency in certain hormones can cause weight gain and abnormal metabolism (Better Health Victoria. 2016).
Andrew Huberman discusses healthy hormones on the Huberman Lab Podcast in an episode entitled How Our Hormones Control Our Hunger, Eating & Satiety. Huberman discussed how insulin, glucose, and glucagon work and how the ketogenic diet can impact glucose and thyroid levels, in connection to weight management. Speaking of weight management, Huberman elaborated on how these hormones can regulate feeding, hunger, and satiety.
On another Huberman Lab Podcast episode called How to Control Your Metabolism by Thyroid & Growth Hormone, Andrew Huberman discusses how the thyroid hormone can play a role in metabolism and adipose tissue, with the hormone playing a role in the consumption and utilisation of energy. The growth hormone also plays a role in your body composition and metabolism, with both of these hormones having the ability to pull from your body fat stores and support the way you repair muscle and cartilage.
To increase your thyroid hormone, getting selenium into your diet is paramount. Despite its importance, most people don’t get enough selenium into their diets. Andrew Huberman has a solution. Brazil nuts are the best way to get selenium into your diet, offering a high concentration of the nutrient. Brazil nuts are also excellent for weight management and are loaded with protein and fibre. They also deliver selenium, magnesium, phosphorus and thiamine, which can all support weight management while containing L-arginine to support thermogenesis (NDTV. 2019).
Remove Highly Processed Foods
Highly processed foods are going to halt any ability to assist in weight management. The problem? They’re everywhere. The best way to cut highly processed foods out of your diet is to get your produce at your local grocer, your meats from the local butcher, and your bread from the local bakery. You should also look at adding whole foods to your diet and replace sugary snacks with fruits and more nutritious options for weight management. A handy hint is to shop on the outer aisles of the supermarket compared to the inner aisles, which largely consist of processed foods, for a positive impact on your weight management journey.
On an episode of the Huberman Lab Podcast entitled How Our Hormones Control Our Hunger, Eating & Satiety, Andrew Huberman discussed how one of the primary reasons to avoid highly processed foods is the emulsifiers. Wondering what on earth emulsifiers are? Basically, they are food additives that are used to mix two substances that would typically separate when combined. Emulsifiers are used in laundry detergent and are present in a lot of processed foods. Emulsifiers promote chemical reactions that extend the shelf life of food products, so supermarket breads, chocolate bars, cereals, and convenience store pastries are often loaded with emulsifiers. They are even found in packaged meat products. When you consume these foods, the emulsifiers strip away the mucosal lining of the gut and can cause the neurone that innervates the cut to retract deeper. This prevents the signals that shut down hunger from being triggered, which can lead to overeating. If you’re trying to hit your weight management goals, highly processed foods can have the opposite effect.
Andrew Huberman himself avoids highly processed foods, consuming them only in moderation for weight management.
You’ve probably heard of cold exposure, also known as ice therapy or cold plunging for weight management, and if you’re anything like your ASN Copywriter, it probably terrifies you. But, according to Dr. Andrew Huberman, this form of therapy can play a considerable role in weight management.
Andrew Huberman discussed why cold exposure can be effective for weight management on an episode of the Huberman Lab Podcast called How to Lose Fat with Science-Based Tools. The reason cold exposure works is because it triggers shivering, which can actually accelerate weight management. Using cold exposure to stimulate shivering can improve stress tolerance, metabolism, and recovery (Espeland, E et al. 2022).
Cold causes the release of adrenaline from your adrenals and the release of epinephrine from neurons connected to fat. The effects of cold on metabolism and fat burning follow two routes: one is to trigger the activation of brown fat (the three types of fat are white, brown, and beige) and convert more beige fat into brown fat (Ravussin, Y et al. 2014).
The key is NOT to resist shivering because shivering will trigger the release of a molecule called succinate that can utilise brown fat to increase brown fat thermogenesis and fat burning, helping in a weight management journey.
You should all be experts on caffeine by now, so you won’t need us to tell you about it’s weight management benefits. Caffeine is the key ingredient in most Thermogenics and Pre-Workouts and may increase metabolism, thermogenesis, and ultimately weight management goals.
Andrew Huberman delays consuming any caffeine within the first 90 minutes to 2 hours of waking up, as this helps him avoid any afternoon energy crash. On an episode of his Huberman Lab Podcast called Using Caffeine to Optimize Mental & Physical Performance, Andrew Huberman discusses the value of caffeine in weight management, mental performance, and blood sugar control.
How does this affect weight management? This is because of a hormone called the GLP-1 or glucagon-like peptide 1. This hormone can help to reduce hunger and provides a sense of fullness in the gut. In addition, you can stimulate the conversion of white fat cells into beige and brown fat cells, which can increase thermogenesis over time and raise your basal metabolic rate (Gonzalez-Garcia, I et al. 2019).
One of the most effective ways that Huberman recommends is to consume yerba mate tea early in the day to stimulate the release of this hormone. Consuming yerba mate tea, or guayusa, can increase the mobilisation and oxidisation of fat from your fat cells and can release more epinephrine to further enhance those effects (Thrive. 2021).
If you’re looking for the best thermogenic to support your weight management goals, you can never go wrong with EHP Labs OxyShred.
L-Carnitine or ALC
L-Carnitine and Acetyl L-Carnitine are among the best compounds for weight management, supporting fat oxidation by helping your body convert fat into usable energy. Andrew Huberman discusses Acetyl L-carnitine, which is a form of carnitine that can support weight management and cellular metabolism. According to Andrew Huberman, L-Carnitine and Acetyl L-Carnitine, in particular, help to convert fatty acids into ATP, which may assist in weight management (PodClips. 2021).
Exercises like HIIT, SIT, or MICT
When it comes to weight management, Andrew Huberman suggests that the best way to approach weight management is through three types of training. Those types of exercise for weight management are High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), Sprint Interval Training (SIT), and Moderate Intensity Continuous Training (MICT).
HIIT involves alternating between short bursts of vigorous activity and less intense recovery periods. During HIIT, you push yourself to about 80-100% of your maximum effort for 60-240 seconds, followed by a brief period of rest. Both of these are commonly discussed in conversations surrounding weight management.
The SIT type of training involves giving it your all by exerting greater than 100% of your maximum effort for shorter durations of 8-30 seconds. Similar to HIIT, SIT also includes recovery periods of lower intensity.
MICT refers to continuous cardiovascular exercise performed for 20 to 60 minutes at a moderate intensity. This means exercising at around 40 to 60% of your maximum oxygen consumption (VO2 max) or within the range of 55 to 70% of your maximum heart rate. This type of exercise is commonly referred to as zone two cardio and is known for being effective in weight management (May, J. 2023).
Post-Workout Metabolic Changes
Dr. Andrew Huberman discusses metabolic flexibility with Dr. Andy Galpin and its effects on weight management on an episode of the Huberman Lab Podcast titled How to Build Physical Endurance & Lose Fat.
Huberman and Galpin discuss how counting calories burned during exercise is only half the question that the most crucial factor is the increase in metabolism after a workout. This is known as post-exercise energy consumption.
High-intensity exercise (weight training, sprints, push-ups) burns more glycogen, but after that exercise, the post-exercise oxygen consumption increases for up to 24 hours, and during this period, more fat is oxidised, not glycogen. In contrast, low to moderate exercise like running or biking burns more fat during exercise, but in the aftermath, more glycogen is burned (May, J. 2023).
Huberman recommends the best way to continue burning body fat is to find an exercise that you enjoy and can perform frequently, but he suggests that high-intensity exercise followed by moderate-intensity exercise is the best way to burn fat, and ultimately hit your weight management targets. So, if you're looking to optimise your weight management then this may be something to consider.
On perhaps his most helpful episode about weight management on the Huberman Lab Podcast, How to Lose Fat with Science-Based Tools, Andrew Huberman discusses how berberine may play a role in weight management but must be used with caution.
Andrew Huberman talks about how compounds like berberine and metformin, which may be used to reduce blood glucose levels and increase fat oxidation, have become increasingly popular but must be considered with caution. Dr Huberman suggests that berberine may help to reduce insulin levels, which can help you manage glucose levels in the bloodstream. When these levels are reduced, your body is able to focus on fat burning (insulin inhibits fat oxidation) and target your weight management goals (May, J. 2023).
Because berberine may provoke potential side effects when used for weight management, Andrew Huberman recommends consulting a medical practitioner prior to supplementing with this ingredient for any measure including weight management.
NEAT aka Fidgeting
You might be thinking, neat, what is that and how does this help with weight management? Surely, this isn’t how neat your kitchen cupboards are, right? I mean, I think we could all agree our shaker cupboards are less than neat, with missing lids and mismatched shakers. It’s okay; you can relax because we’re not talking about that kind of neat, but we are talking about non-exercise activity thermogenesis.
Still confused? We get it. To put it simply, this means fidgeting. Think of clicking a pen, tapping your foot, bobbing your head, getting up from your office chair regularly, or even pacing while on the phone. But yes, this could also include re-organising your shaker bottle cupboard.
But what does fidgeting have to do with weight management? In a study conducted on NEAT, researchers found that individuals can burn up to 2000 calories a day, varying from 700 calories for workers who mainly sit, namely office workers, to 2000 calories for workers who are physically active, including construction workers and farmers, to name a few (Loeffelholz, 2000).
This can translate to anywhere from 15% to 50% of total energy expenditure (TEE) per day, depending on how active the individual is. So, what’s the takeaway here? Fidget and move throughout your day to increase your TEE and assist in your weight management goals.
The Bottom Line for Weight management
If you made it to the bottom, we commend your dedication, and if you think this blog is long, try listening to an episode of the Huberman Lab Podcast.
We know we mentioned a lot of supplements throughout this blog, so if you’re looking for a one-stop shop where you can find the best Andrew Huberman supplements, we’ve taken care of it with our Huberman Supps collection. For more advice on which supplements to choose, whether for weight management or general health and well-being, reach out online or visit us in-store, and our friendly team can offer more advice.
If you’re interested in hearing from Andrew Huberman himself, check out his episode of the Huberman Lab Podcast about How to Lose Fat with Science-Based Tools. We mentioned a lot of the Huberman Lab Podcast episodes throughout this blog, but if you don’t have time to listen to his 2-4 hour episodes, check out the full episode transcripts HERE.
Loeffelholz, C et al. 2022, ‘Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis in Human Energy Homeostasis’, National Library of Medicine, accessed 25 July 2023, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK279077/
Spritzler, F. 2023, ‘14 Easy Ways to Increase your Protein Intake’, Healthline, accessed September 2023, https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/14-ways-to-increase-protein-intake
Gayomali, C. 2023, ‘The Real-Life Diet of Andrew Huberman, Who Switches to Red Party Lights After Dark’, CQ, accessed September 2023, https://www.gq.com/story/real-life-diet-andrew-huberman#:~:text=So%20after%20that%20workout%2C%20typically,quickly%20if%20I%20do%20that.
Thrive. 2021, ‘Huberman Hacks for Fat Loss’, Reclaim Restore Health Blog, accessed September 2023, https://reclaimandrestorehealth.com/blog/f/huberman-hacks-for-fat-loss#:~:text=Body%20fat%20(white%2C%20brown%20and,our%20body%20for%20fat%20loss.
Huberman, A. 2021, ‘Toolkit for Sleep’, Huberman Lab, accessed September 2023, https://hubermanlab.com/toolkit-for-sleep/
Robinson, L et al. 2023, ‘Choosing Healthy Fats’, HelpGuide.Org, accessed September 2023, https://www.helpguide.org/articles/healthy-eating/choosing-healthy-fats.htm
Lupton, M. 2021, ‘The Ultimate Guide to Marginal Gains’, Champions: The Speakers Agency, accessed September 2023, https://champions-speakers.co.uk/news/ultimate-guide-font-family:Arial,sans-serif;font-weight:400;font-style:normal;font-variant:normal;text-decoration:none;white-space:pre;white-space:pre-wrap;">.
Vast Diversity. ‘Andrew Huberman Supplements List: Boost Your Brain Health’, Vast Diversity, accessed September 2023, https://www.vastdiversity.com/huberman-lab-brain-health-supplements/#:~:text=These%20essential%20fatty%20acids%20are,and%20eicosapentaenoic%20acid%20(EPA).
Petre, A. 2017, ‘Can Omega-3 Fish Oil Help You Lose Weight?’ Healthline, accessed September 2023, https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/omega-3-fish-oil-and-weight-loss
Better Health Victoria. 2016, ‘Obesity and hormones’, Better Health Channel, accessed September 2023, https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/obesity-and-hormones
NDTV. 2019, ‘Weight Loss: 5 Nuts To Burn Belly Weight, The Healthy Way’, NDTV, accessed September 2023, https://www.ndtv.com/food/weight-loss-5-nuts-to-burn-belly-fat-and-lose-weight-the-healthy-way-1951051#:~:text=Brazil%20nuts%20come%20loaded%20with,efficient%20in%20fat%20burning%20process.
PodClips. 2021, ‘Dr. Andrew Huberman’s Supplement Recommendations, Medium, accessed September 2023, https://medium.com/@podclips/dr-andrew-hubermans-supplement-recommendations-7491483e778b
May, J. 2023, ‘Fat Loss, Exercise, and Fasting’, Huberman Lab Readable Podcasts, accessed September 2023, https://www.hubermanlab.readablepods.com/p/fat-loss-and-exercise#:~:text=Huberman%20suggests%20that%20the%20best,intensity%20continuous%20training%20(MICT).
Fast Life Hacks. 2023, ‘Andrew Huberman Diet and Routine - What He Eats & Why’, Fast Life Hacks, accessed September 2023, https://fastlifehacks.com/andrew-huberman-diet-and-routine/
Gonzalez-Garcia, I et al. 2019, ‘Glucagon, GLP-1 and Thermogenesis’, International Journal of Molecular Sciences, Accessed September 2023, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6678955/#:~:text=On%20the%20other%20hand%2C%20it,by%20adrenergic%20agonists%20%5B46%5D.
Espeland, D et al. 2022, ‘Health effects of voluntary exposure to cold water - a continuing subject of debate’, International Journal of Circumpolar Health, accessed September 2023, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9518606/
Ravussin, Y et al. 2014, ‘Effect of Intermittent Cold Exposure on Brown Fat Activation, Obesity, and Energy Homeostasis in Mice’, PLOS ONE, accessed September 2023, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3895006/