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Welcome to Episode 180 of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast, hosted by Melanie Avalon, author of What When Wine Diet: Lose Weight And Feel Great With Paleo-Style Meals, Intermittent Fasting, And Wine and Gin Stephens, author of Delay, Don't Deny: Living An Intermittent Fasting Lifestyle.
Today's episode of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast is brought to you by:
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1:10 - PREP DISH: Free Subscription! Get a free 2 week trial At Prepdish.com/ifpodcast! You'll get weekly gluten-free and Paleo grocery and recipe lists!!
2:40 - BEAUTYCOUNTER: Keep Your Fast Clean Inside And Out With Safe Skincare! Shop With Us At MelanieAvalon.com/beautycounter, And Something Magical Might Happen After Your First Order!
14:30 - Listener Q&A: Melanie - Body Needing IF?!
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27:05 - Listener Q&A: Meghan - Smoking and Intermittent Fasting
33:50 - Listener Q&A: Kate - Increased Energy After Eating.
40:20 - BIOPTIMIZERS: Go To bioptimizers.com/ifpodcast And Use The Coupon Code IFPODCAST10 To Save 10%
42:50 - Listener Q&A: Shay - Fasting Question.
Melanie Avalon: Welcome to Episode 180 of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast. If you want to burn fat, gain energy, and enhance your health by changing when you eat, not what you eat with no calorie counting, then this show is for you.
I'm Melanie Avalon, author of What When Wine: Lose Weight and Feel Great with Paleo-Style Meals, Intermittent Fasting, and Wine. And I'm here with my cohost, Gin Stephens, author of Delay, Don't Deny: Living an Intermittent Fasting Lifestyle. For more on us, check out ifpodcast.com, melanieavalon.com, and ginstephens.com. Please remember, the thoughts and opinions on this podcast do not constitute medical advice or treatment. So, pour yourself a cup of black coffee, a mug of tea or even a glass of wine, if it's that time, and get ready for The Intermittent Fasting Podcast.
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Melanie Avalon: And one more announcement before we jump back in. Are you fasting clean inside and out? Okay, here’s the thing. You might be fasting clean, drinking water, drinking your black coffee, but did you know you might still be putting compounds directly into your body, which are messing with your hormones and making you less likely to burn fat? The average man uses around six skincare products per day. The average female uses around 12. And conventional skincare makeup in the US is full of things called endocrine disruptors. These are compounds which mess with our hormones, and these include obesogens, which can actually make our bodies store fat. It's honestly shocking.
Europe has banned thousands of these compounds for their toxic nature, including carcinogens as well and the US has banned less than 10. Thankfully, there's an easy solution. There's a company called Beautycounter and they were founded on a mission to create safe skincare that protects and nourishes your skin and is free of endocrine disruptors. Gin and I adore them. They are game-changers. They have skincare lines to meet all of your different needs. They've got amazing shampoo and conditioner, sunscreen, an overnight peel, vitamin C serums, and so much more. You can shop with us at melanieavalon.com/beautycounter. And if you use that link, something really special and magical might happen after you place your first order.
If you'd like to learn more about Beautycounter and get free discounts and special thanks from me, definitely get on my clean beauty email list. That's at melanieavalon.com/cleanbeauty. And lastly, if you'd like to take a quiz to find your perfect products, I created those at melanieavalon.com/beautycounterquiz.
All right, now enjoy the show.
Melanie Avalon: Hi everybody and welcome. This is episode number 180 of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast. I'm Melanie Avalon and I'm here with Gin Stephens.
Gin Stephens: Hi, everybody.
Melanie Avalon: How are you today, Gin?
Gin Stephens: I am so excited.
Melanie Avalon: Why? I actually don't know why. Wait, why? Normally, I feel like I know.
Gin Stephens: Well, it's going to be old news by the time this podcast episode comes out, but as of the date that we're recording it, tomorrow on supermarket checkout shelves everywhere, Woman's World magazine is hitting the stands and I've got my first glimpse at the finished article. Yesterday, they sent me a PDF of it and also the cover. Now, of course, you know one caveat they have to throw their crazy claims on there, which you know, I didn't say it, claims on the cover. Lose 19 pounds in 14 days. Now, would I ever say that in a million years?
Melanie Avalon: No.
Gin Stephens: And I did not say that. I told no one that nor would I ever but I guess make people pick up the magazine, but the article doesn't. I do not say that in the article, but the article is actually very well written, and I'm proud of it. It features Fast. Feast. Repeat. The cover photo is of one of my moderators, Paige Davidson, who lost 108 pounds at the age of 57. It's fabulous. It opens with a quote from Krista Varady and her latest research on time-restricted eating. It talks about Fast. Feast. Repeat. right after that. There's a great quote where they talk about me saying that a pound a week is a good goal. Not to expect a lot of quick weight loss. So, at least they have that in there. I'm really happy to see. They have a section from Jason Fung. They have a section from Dr. Mark Mattson from Johns Hopkins, he's the one who wrote the New England Journal of Medicine article that came out in December of 2019. And he actually says, time-restricted eating, quote from him, is one of the best things you can do for yourself, which is huge. And so, it ends with picture of the cover of Fast. Feast. Repeat., which is thrilling.
Melanie Avalon: That is really exciting.
Gin Stephens: It's really exciting.
Melanie Avalon: What's it called, again, the actual magazine?
Gin Stephens: Woman’s World. You see it at every supermarket checkout, it's right there. Always got some kind of crazy weight loss claim on the cover.
Melanie Avalon: And what was the claim, 19 pounds and how long?
Gin Stephens: 19 pounds in 14 days. I wish I could have convinced them to say you're going to lose weight really slowly, but it's okay. That's how I would have written it, but I don't know, maybe people would have been so shocked, by lose weight slowly and keep it off, they would have picked it up.
Melanie Avalon: I'm just curious because that's such a specific number. Where did they come up with that?
Gin Stephens: Well, Paige talked about how she lost a lot of weight right at first. And so, I think they got that from her story.
Melanie Avalon: Oh, did she lose 19 pounds in 14 days?
Gin Stephens: Well, she said they got that part actually a little wrong. It was something close to that, but not exactly. I'm looking over that part. I wish that they had said, “You're going to lose about a pound a week after the adjustment phase, and that's great: But that doesn't sound as exciting, I guess. But it's what I would have written.
Melanie Avalon: Oh, right, because in your book, the weight loss is after the 30 days, but they took out that context in the article.
Gin Stephens: Yeah. I mean, that's not in there at all the 28-Day FAST Start, they say several things from me. And the quotes are pretty solid. There's not one thing that I said that I read and go, “Ooh, that's not really what--” No, there's nothing like that. So, that's good. And the article, like I said, is very solid and the writer did an excellent job. Other than the spin on the cover, which was going to make people have unrealistic expectations, like all of those covers always do. I would like to have it not say that, but I'm focusing on the positives which is, I am quoted in an article with Varady, Fung, and Mattson, and Gin Stephens. Anyway, it is really exciting, and it features Fast. Feast. Repeat.
Melanie Avalon: I'm going to pick up a copy tomorrow.
Gin Stephens: Well, do. It's going to be on the stands September 3rd through 9th. September 14th is that's the date it says on the cover, but they come out before the date. By the time September 14th rolls around, it shouldn't be available anymore new, and it'll be out. But, anyway, hopefully, everyone got a chance to see it. I hope everyone knows, if you know me, anyone that knows me would know I would never say that you will lose 14 pounds in 19 days-- No, 19 pounds in 14 days. I definitely wouldn't say that. I wouldn't even say expect to lose 19 pounds in 19 weeks. You might not. If you have a ton of water weight, you’ve got some kind of issue with a massive amount of water retention. That's the only way. I mean no one on earth is losing 19 pounds of fat in 14 days. You're just not. I think it's probably impossible physically to do that.
Melanie Avalon: Now, I'm wanting to like run numbers in my head. But, yeah.
Gin Stephens: You would have to weigh a whole lot. But for it to be fat, I don't know.
Melanie Avalon: Yeah, because just a pound of fat is how many calories?
Gin Stephens: 3500 is the standard number, although I've read an analysis that no one can justify where that number came from.
Melanie Avalon: Story of life.
Gin Stephens: Yeah, it's just common knowledge. But Zoe Harcombe, I think is the name of the person that wrote the analysis that I read years ago. Have you heard of her?
Melanie Avalon: No.
Gin Stephens: She's in the low carb community, I believe. It was years ago, I read her analysis. She's from the UK and she's maybe a dietitian, I can't remember, that's what I think. And it was an analysis of why do we think that it's 3500 calories per pound and she said she went everywhere trying to find the origin of that and couldn't figure out where that came from.
Melanie Avalon: That's really funny.
Gin Stephens: Maybe, there is a fabulous origin, but she just wasn't able to find it. That's possible. Anyway, no, do not expect to lose that much weight, but it's just very exciting to see intermittent fasting presented in such a great way. Other than that one little claim, the rest of the article is very solid.
Melanie Avalon: That is so exciting. I'm excited to go pick it up tomorrow.
Gin Stephens: Me too. I'm going to definitely be at the grocery store.
Melanie Avalon: Please sign a copy. I was going to say it for me. Are you going to go sign copies at the grocery store?
Gin Stephens: No. I am not going to do that.
Melanie Avalon: I wonder if they would like kick you out.
Gin Stephens: I think if someone buying Fast. Feast. Repeat. is my target audience, but at the grocery store, someone buying Woman's World, no. But hopefully it'll bring people to Fast. Feast. Repeat. and then when they read it, they will say, “Okay, I'm not expected to lose weight the first 28 days.” I think being realistic is important. Next step, solve the way they promote these things at the checkout counter. I was unable to solve that problem, but maybe we can get them to portray things differently, I don't know.
Melanie Avalon: I doubt it.
Gin Stephens: That'd be a great goal.
Melanie Avalon: Oh, that's like a goal for life.
Gin Stephens: I know. I was excited. What's up with you, anything new?
Melanie Avalon: I mentioned this. I've started to do dry needling, which you have not done, correct?
Gin Stephens: Never.
Melanie Avalon: Listeners, I would love to hear people's experiences. It's to target muscle tension and pain and things like that. So, I've been doing it in my jaw.
Gin Stephens: Are you doing it yourself, or someone doing it?
Melanie Avalon: Oh, no! Gosh.
Gin Stephens: I didn't think so. But when you said that, I got suddenly, maybe Melanie-- I mean, I can just imagine you lying in your freezer of water, sticking needles in--
Melanie Avalon: To that point, so I've had some intramuscular glutathione sitting in my fridge for like a month but I've been too scared to do it because I'm too scared to stick something into my muscle, but I got the dry needling done, I was like, “I can do this now.”
Gin Stephens: I actually can do that. I can, I had to do allergy shots. I gave myself allergy shots years ago.
Melanie Avalon: Was it subcutaneous though, or muscle?
Gin Stephens: I can do either.
Melanie Avalon: Subcutaneous is totally fine.
Gin Stephens: Well, yeah, and that's super easy.
Melanie Avalon: But muscle. I'm like, “Hmm.”
Gin Stephens: I had to do that with the HCG diet.
Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I did it with that back in the day, but glutathione, nobody tells you it burns. So that was an epic fail. When I was getting the dry needling though-- Okay, are you ready for my Monday? This is my Monday. Getting dry needling, getting it in your jaws is one of the most painful things I think I've ever experienced. Yes, it is. Two, he started doing my neck, and right before he did it, I was like, “What if he like pierces a vein?” And then, he did. I literally thought I was going to faint. And then, I got out of it. And I realized my Apple ID was compromised from the Philippines, and everything just crashed and burned. That's my life.
Gin Stephens: Yeah, it's always awful when something like that happens. Like if you go to Twitter, there's a Gin Stephens. Someone stole my Twitter account, Gin Stephens, years ago when I wasn't really using it when I was just a schoolteacher, someone stole--
Melanie Avalon: Your actual account?
Gin Stephens: Gin Stephens, yeah. Someone stole it. And so, now I have to be Gin underscore Stephens because I no longer have the email address that was associated with the one I set it up back in 2012. And like I promise, this is me. It's not even a picture of me. If you go to the old Gin Stephens, there's like a picture of me and then someone else. That's not me, and they stole it.
Melanie Avalon: This was people, I guess, got my Apple ID, and so they were like buying all this stuff. And they said all of my devices were infected with like trojans, and I was like, “What?” But they fixed it. They were on top of it.
Gin Stephens: Apple did?
Melanie Avalon: Mm-hmm. It's really impressive. Like you call and they fix it like while you're on the phone. It was so fast. I was like, “Wow,” I did have to pay for security now going forward.
Gin Stephens: Well, that's really exciting because Twitter could not help me, but it was because I didn't have that email address anymore. And that's frustrating since they don't go with you when you change providers from one internet provider to the other. Others can, but that one did not because I changed internet providers.
Melanie Avalon: Yeah, modern world. So, that's that. Shall we jump into everything for today?
Gin Stephens: Yes, let's get started.
Melanie Avalon: All right, so to start things off, this is from a Melanie, I didn't realize that. The subject is "Body Needing IF?!" And Melanie says, “Hi, Gin and Melanie. I am a 32-year-old twin mama, who has been doing IF for the past 20 months. I started very gradually after having heard of your podcast by complete coincidence on another show."
Gin Stephens: I wonder what other show?
Melanie Avalon: Melanie, can you let us know? Please email us. I'm really curious. Okay. She said, “I never thought I would be able in a million years to fast as I have been a serial snacker all my life. I've been successfully able to get to a 20:4 and also regular 24-hour fasting. I usually stick to this fasting schedule during the week and stick to a very healthy diet with a 12:12 hour window on weekends. My two-year-old toddlers refuse to eat if I'm not eating with them on the weekend. I do not have this issue during the week as they go to daycare very early and eat breakfast with their educator.
I have not been losing weight with IF since I began, but I was a little underweight to begin with. My goal was mostly to gain energy, hello two-year-old twins here! And also manage my Crohn's symptoms, both of which have greatly improved with IF. With all this being said, my question is, can the body get to the point of needing IF to feel good? As time passes, I realized I always feel so sluggish and bloated on weekends even though I eat healthy. Is it possible that eventually the body gets so used to the fasting state that it needs it to be feel good and function well?
The only thing I find positive during weekends is having the fuel for very long and intensive workouts and I would love to know if there's any research on how the body adapts long term to daily fasting. Any thoughts on needing fasting to feel well? Thank you so much for all you do. You make my daily commute so much more fun."
Gin Stephens: Awesome. Yeah, I don't think there's any research on really-- I don't know, correct me if I'm wrong, Melanie. Have you ever done or read any research on fasting that focuses on the way people feel as a primary thing? I've seen studies where they talked about that people were able to stick to it or if they were hungry, but never focusing all the energy that we feel and how great we feel. I've never seen an actual research study that even talked about that. Have you?
Melanie Avalon: I've seen a lot on mood, if you would qualify that as mood. I don't know if there's one on vitality, though.
Gin Stephens: Right. That's what I mean. That's what I'm talking about. I have seen what you're talking about with mood, not specifically of what she's saying. But really, I think, Melanie, it's just you realize, “Hey, this pattern feels really good to my body.” And then, you notice when you're not doing it. It's like if you don't get a good night's sleep, and then you feel sluggish the next day, you then realize, “Gosh, I feel better when I sleep well” if this is the same kind of a thing. Or if there's foods that don't work well for you, and you eat them, and then you feel worse. You're like, “Hey, that food doesn't work well, for me.” Basically, you're realizing that a 12-hour eating window is not how your body feels its best. You're spinning it to say that your body needs fasting to feel good, but really, you feel good when you're fasting, not that you need fasting to feel good. It's just that this is the state where you do feel good. I don't know. Am I explaining that all crazy?
Melanie Avalon: My main primary thought was that just what Gin said, that you feel so good with fasting that it's a mirror for how you feel when you're not in that state. So, eating. It is always an inflammatory process to some extent, it just is. For some people, it's way more inflammatory. For others, it's barely at all. Some people feel fine after eating or great after eating and they don't feel much different after eating compared to fasting even because they just aren't reacting to foods, everything just works well. But a lot of people, if they do have an inflammatory response to food-- and it could be a lot of things, it could be digestion issues. She says that she feels sluggish and bloated, it could be food reactions, it could be how your microbiome reacts. Basically, when you eat it can be very telling as to how the food is actually affecting your body. So, fasting is not making your body unhealthy or making your body require fasting to be more healthy or be more effective. But it by itself, it might help support your digestion and help you solve health issues. I'm not saying it's necessarily a health issue, but fasting by itself is not going to change necessarily the response you have to a meal based on your current, like, what the meal is, how you eat it, what your microbiome is, because then you're in the eating state. So, it's kind of like the fasting criteria goes out the window. Does that make sense?
I relate though. I do in a way feel I need to do fasting to feel good, but it's mostly because I feel like the way Melanie feels. I'll get sluggish and bloated after eating meals now. I think an exception would be if I ate just fruit or something, like something that was really easily digested, really quick fuel and in a way-- and this is going to confuse people, so I almost don't want to say it, but in a way almost mimicking the fasted state and that is just pure energy. My body is definitely used to functioning in the fasted state now.
Gin Stephens: If I overeat, and my window is too long, I feel sluggish and bloated. On a normal day, when I open my window and I eat, I don't feel bloated. It's evening, so I feel that's a normal time to feel tired, the evening. But I don't really know that I would say I feel sluggish. If I go on vacation and open my window really, really early, yeah, sluggish. And after several days of it, yes, bloated. It's just that overly full feeling that I don't like to feel.
Melanie Avalon: Yeah. And actually, to that point, just because you're talking about feeling. She doesn't say she has IBS or anything like that, so I don't want to prescribe that onto her.
Gin Stephens: Well, she said she has Crohn’s.
Melanie Avalon: Oh, wait. Oh, she does. Oh, yeah, my bad. Now, I feel like I should have been more strong what I was saying before because actually, everything I said really applies. Yes, if the foods you're eating are exacerbating your GI symptoms for whatever reason, 100% it's normal that you're feeling sluggish or bloated after them and it totally makes sense why you feel great fasting. No, you don't need the fasting to feel great. But if your GI state and tract and everything is in a state where it is reacting intensely to food, it's just natural that you probably won't feel so well after it. So, that would be really mitigated by really, really looking at your food choices.
Gin Stephens: I have something else I'd like to throw in there as a teacher and as a mother. Melanie says that her two-year-old toddlers refuse to eat if she's not eating with them. I think it's time to teach them that mama doesn't have to eat for you to eat. You can sit with them and not eat. And they'll eat. I wonder if their teacher eats with them. She might just be there with them because teachers don't always eat with the kids either. So, there's two of them. If they're both eating and you're sitting there with your clean fast beverage, they're probably not going to notice that you're not eating. They probably want you with them. It's not so much the act of you putting food into your mouth. They're two, they're going to be getting older. If you don't want to eat with them for 12 hours, say, “Mama is not going to eat right now. Mama will sit here with you. I'm going to have this coffee.” Just tell them.
Melanie Avalon: I'm really glad you brought that up.
Gin Stephens: They’ll eat. I promise you, a toddler will eat when they're hungry. And they're not going to refuse to eat if they're hungry.
Melanie Avalon: I'm really glad you brought that up.
Gin Stephens: I read a book, French Kids Eat Anything or Eat Everything or something. I didn’t read the whole book. So that was a lie, sorry. I didn’t read the book. I read the summary of the book or I read the free-- You know how Amazon will send you the free--
Melanie Avalon: The first, yeah-- such a tease that kills me.
Gin Stephens: Yeah, I didn’t buy the whole book but I read the free sample, that’s the word I am looking for. I read the reviews about it. Basically, the premise of that book is that kids all around the world do not play games with food the way American children do. They just eat their food. Whether they're in Asia eating scorpions, whatever. They eat whatever there is. They're not picky eaters but then we're raising all these picky eaters who are like telling us-- I remember when Cal was a baby, I was like, "He only eats things that are beige." And I let him do that. I let Cal only eat foods that were beige. And so, I catered to that. I would like to go back in time and not cater to that. But I was panicked. I was like, “Well, he only wants to eat these chicken nuggets and vanilla pudding and French fries.” Okay, look, that sounds terrible. Crackers, he ate those things if I gave them. Carrots, he spit them out. I should have just kept presenting the carrots.
Melanie Avalon: You know what is actually really interesting to that point? I just finished reading Cate Shanahan's Fatburn Fix. And she has a section on teaching herself to like certain foods that you don't like. And they've done studies on kids and taste buds, I guess it takes 10 exposures of our taste buds to something new before there's a definitive answer as to whether our taste buds like it or not.
Gin Stephens: Yeah, that makes perfect sense.
Melanie Avalon: The way you do it is you have like a really small amount of the food you're trying to get to like at a time when you're a little bit hungry and you do it 10 times over a few weeks. And then, if by 10 times you don't like it, then you can just give up. I like most foods so I was thinking about this like-- I think it's so interesting when you eat mostly real foods and stop eating processed foods and especially with fasting--
Gin Stephens: The hyper-palatable foods. Yeah.
Melanie Avalon: Yeah, most “food” I like. The only ones I don't like are things that I think actually have allergies to like olives or--
Gin Stephens: Yum, I love olives. But like me and fish. I don't like fish.
Melanie Avalon: I can't understand this.
Gin Stephens: I wish I did. But the thing is, is that like I said, would like to go back in time and be a different mom and not cater to that. Because now it sounds just so silly, when I think back, I'm like, “My child will only eat chicken nuggets.” Well, okay, he'll eat something else if I give him something else and he's hungry. He will eat it. They will eat it. Anyway, do what I say, not what I did, right?
Melanie Avalon: Yep, what you learned.
Gin Stephens: It's true.
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Gin Stephens: All right, we have a question from Megan. And the subject is "Smoking and Intermittent Fasting." Megan says, “Hey, girls. Super fan here. Love your show. You opened a whole new world for me when I found your podcast. My question has to do with smoking cigarettes and intermittent fasting. I recently quit smoking. Yay!” And that was Megan saying, Yay, but I think Melanie and I would also say, yay!
Melanie Avalon: Yes, yay!
Gin Stephens: And she says, “And wonder what information you can provide to me about whether or not intermittent fasting may help prevent weight gain after quitting smoking. I am beyond thrilled about finally taking my health more seriously and quitting, but am worried about the potential weight gain. Thanks so much. You guys are the best.”
Melanie Avalon: Awesome. Well, thank you so much, Megan, for your question. And again, applause for you for quitting smoking. So, I did a lot of searching. Unsurprisingly, there are not any studies specifically on intermittent fasting and mitigating weight gain after smoking. However, there are a lot of studies on weight gain after smoking. So, yes, many people do gain weight after smoking. There's a lot of potential reasons for that.
One is the change in your metabolism. Nicotine can actually boost your metabolism or cause you to burn more. There's actually a lot of really fascinating studies on nicotine and why it makes us not hungry and things that does. One thing is they think it maybe activates like beige fat, which is brown fat, which is a type of body fat that is more metabolically active. Another study found that it stimulates compounds similar to-- I'm trying to remember exactly what it said. I think it was basically the sympathetic nervous system. So, adrenaline and things like that. It taps into similar pathways and encourages the body to burn fat. Nicotine itself actually supports weight loss. When you cut that out, you're making hormonal changes in your body, you're making chemical changes. So, that's not something that's super easy to mitigate with the exception of if you were using a nicotine patch, or something like that.
Also, with smoking, it can alter your food preferences. They find people who quit smoking often start craving more sweet foods, especially if you're eating that in processed forms, that makes a lot of sense. And then, a lot of people turn to food as a substitute for the psychological effects of tobacco. So, instead of smoking that's like a habit, they turned to eating.
Gin Stephens: It's like that oral fixation. You've been filling that need with the cigarette going into your mouth, and now you're putting something else into your mouth.
Melanie Avalon: Yeah, the oral fixation and then also, a lot of people obviously are turning to smoking for anxiety relief, and so they might switch that out for food instead, which has a tendency that in the moment, it can make people feel better, regardless of the long-term implications. So, they've actually done a lot of studies to see how putting people who stopped smoking on diets that are intended to either make them lose weight or not gain weight and see how they respond. What they found is that in the quitting process, because normally it's like lining up with while you're quitting, if the diets are too restrictive, it usually backfires because quitting smoking by itself is very taxing on willpower. So, when you couple that with a restrictive diet, it doesn't usually go so well.
That said, when people are trying to quit smoking, and they're put on personalized dietary protocols that are not too restrictive and are meant to help them lose weight, and then especially if it's coupled with addressing their fear of gaining weight, that psychological aspect seems to be huge. Basically, the key, it seems, to not gaining weight after smoking, is to not have a fear that you're going to gain weight and to be following a dietary protocol that would encourage weight loss. So, basically, that says to me that intermittent fasting is perfect for this situation because we know all the benefits of intermittent fasting, we know how it supports the body, how it does support naturally a fat-burning state. We know that it's not based on this over-restriction, it's not a chronic crash diet. It's something that is very sustainable and supportive of the body.
So, I think, hands down, intermittent fasting could be one of the best ways to potentially mitigate fat gain after quitting smoking. And if you haven't been doing intermittent fasting before and you start doing it while quitting smoking, you could completely reframe instead of having fear of gaining weight, there's the potential of trying this new dietary lifestyle which could completely revolutionize your fat-burning potential. So, yeah, you could reframe into possibly losing weight even though you're quitting smoking.
Gin Stephens: Well, I have very short thoughts and they're a little smart-alecky. The question was, whether or not intermittent fasting may help prevent weight gain after quitting smoking. The answer is yes. May help, it may help. Sorry, is that too short?
Melanie Avalon: No.
Gin Stephens: I think what she said is great. And yeah, I think that it's probably-- just like you said, Melanie, at the end there, it's probably one of your best bets to help prevent the weight gain after quitting smoking. I've never smoked, so I don't know how hard it is to quit. But I've watched people quit smoking, so I do know it's hard.
Melanie Avalon: She just said, she quit. I wonder how she quit. I see no problem with using nicotine patches or something like that, too.
Gin Stephens: I agree.
Melanie Avalon: To quit, especially since low-dose nicotine potentially even has health benefits. Not to be controversial.
Gin Stephens: Yeah, I know, I've seen that too.
Melanie Avalon: Not that I haven't experimented with nicotine patches.
Gin Stephens: Have you?
Melanie Avalon: Yeah.
Gin Stephens: Okay.
Melanie Avalon: I think the most fascinating research on them is their potential therapeutic use for people with Parkinson's, because of how it regulates the dopamine system. It's very interesting, but I don't chew nicotine gum because that would break the fast.
Gin Stephens: Exactly. Yeah, we get that question a lot though, about nicotine gum and nicotine lozenges. We recommend the patch definitely for people who are not wanting to break the fast. But yay, Megan, I'm so glad. Don't worry about the-- even if you do gain a little weight after quitting smoking, know that you're really helping your body. And so, it'll work itself out after that transition.
Melanie Avalon: Exactly. I love it. All right, so the next question comes from Kate. The subject is "Increased Energy After Eating." This is kind of like the flip side of--
Gin Stephens: I know. I love this one. When I read it, I was like, “I could answer that one.”
Melanie Avalon: Kate says, “Hi ladies. I just found your podcast in the last week and I've been doing IF for three months. I started at the beginning of your podcast episodes, so I have many left to listen to and I apologize if you've already answered this. But I've heard you answer listener questions about feeling sluggish after eating.” Like we just did. She said, “I am the exact opposite. I feel super energized after eating and sometimes have trouble sleeping after dinner. Just to let you know where I am, I was doing a six-hour eating window for the first two months and lost 10 pounds in that time, but wasn't fasting clean using Nutpods creamer in my coffee. I learned from you ladies to cut that out. Thank you.
The third month I saw no further progress on the scale despite a clean fast and shifted to fasted workouts and one meal a day, but I'm still in a weight loss plateau. I do have more weight to lose, but I plan to stick with it. Does it mean I'm not in ketosis if I feel energetic after eating? Am I doing something wrong? I've ordered both Gin's books and can't wait to read them. Thank you so much. Kate.”
Gin Stephens: This is a great question. I would actually say, Kate, if you have extra energy that you feel after eating, I think that means you actually are in ketosis because sometimes ketosis keeps me from being able to sleep well. If I don't eat enough, I'm too energetic to relax. Just like I've talked about how sugar gives me restless legs, not eating enough in my eating window makes me toss and turn and feel restless when I'm trying to sleep and it gives me the energy of the ketosis. Yeah, that's what I think.
My prediction would be, especially if you're doing fasted workouts and one meal a day-- and I'm also curious, if you're defining one meal a day as a very short eating window, it's very likely that you're deeply in ketosis, and that's the energy that you're feeling. So, not doing something wrong. You are probably really doing some right things if ketosis is what you want. But you may want to see if you need your eating window to be a little longer. Noticed that you're doing fasted workout. So, I would focus on how your body composition might be changing. Take some photos wearing tight clothes, like your goal clothes and see if the fit of your clothes is changing over time, even if the scale is not changing. You may be at a weight loss plateau, but not at a fat loss plateau. Those are two different things. You could be losing fat, building muscle. It looks like a plateau on the scale, but it's not a plateau in your body. So, that's what I would suspect is happening. I would suspect lots of fat burning, it sounds like ketosis, the extra energy, and body composition.
Melanie Avalon: I love what you said. I was wondering when she says like, “Does it mean I'm not in ketosis if I feel energetic after eating?”, do you think she's asking about like she's not in ketosis, specifically after eating or she's not in ketosis?”
Gin Stephens: I think she's asking since she feels good after eating, does that mean she's never getting into ketosis? I would say no. I actually have great energy, and really, I often don't have a real sluggish feeling. I like to go to bed bit early. Have you ever done that chronotype quiz? I can't remember the sleep doctor that has that.
Melanie Avalon: Is it where you're an owl or a wolf?
Gin Stephens: Yeah.
Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I think I'm a wolf, or there's a bear and a wolf.
Gin Stephens: I'm the lion. The lion is the one who wakes up really early and then goes to bed early. I just did it yesterday because one of the moderators was talking about it, and I had done it before, but I was like, “Let me do it again.” I'm a lion. It's basically your whole--
Melanie Avalon: Circadian rhythm?
Gin Stephens: Yeah, your personal circadian rhythm of when you feel most energetic. For me, I like to go to bed early. But I look back my whole life to college and I was always the friend who would sneak away and go to bed early. [laughs]
Melanie Avalon: People say everybody's that type, and I'm just like, “I don't think so.” Because I have never like that ever, and you have.
Gin Stephens: You're not. The people who say everyone is like that are the people who are like that and think everyone should be like them. I really believe that a lot of people do that. They say, “This is how I am. This is how everyone really is.” But you're just lying to yourself. No, that's not true.
Melanie Avalon: I think the fact that even on days I was severely sleep deprived and was like, “Tonight is the night I am going to bed at 6:00 PM--”
Gin Stephens: You just physically can't.
Melanie Avalon: Well, I would be tired during the day, but then come evening, be like, “Hey! It's time to party.”
Gin Stephens: Well, it's just like me trying to sleep in. I cannot sleep in.
Melanie Avalon: Yeah.
Gin Stephens: I went to the beach with friends. We were up really, really late and I'm going to sleep in the next day. No, I wake up 6:00 AM, my eyes pop open whether I went to bed at 3:00 AM or 9:00 PM. I wake up first thing in the morning. So, that's just the way it is. The whole point of that was that eating doesn't necessarily make me sluggish. Now, if I ate too much, I feel sluggish, that's the difference. If I eat so much, if I eat too much, it makes me feel sluggish. But if I don't, I continue to feel super energetic, in fact, too energetic because of the ketosis.
Melanie Avalon: I find it interesting that there's this idea or she had this idea, and I'm sure others do as well, that with intermittent fasting, that it's a sign of success if you are feeling sluggish after eating. So, that's not the message that we want to put out there.
Gin Stephens: It's not unusual to feel sluggish after eating, but it's not wrong to either feel sluggish or not feel sluggish.
Melanie Avalon: On the flip side, it's okay to feel tired after eating. It's what you just said. A lot of people think that you either need to feel really energetic after eating and that's correct, or, well, I guess, the opposite.
Gin Stephens: I've learned this with these large Facebook groups more than anything else. People will look to what happens to one person and then if that doesn't happen for them, they immediately think something's wrong. Like, “Well, I don't get the metallic taste in my mouth. I must be broken.” Well, no, not everyone gets that. Even in ketosis, not everyone gets that. So, there's not any one right way it has to be and then if you don't have that, then you're wrong. Some people lose pounds, but not inches. Some people lose inches, but not pounds, and neither is wrong. It's just what your body's doing.
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All right, now back to the show.
Gin Stephens: Okay, we have a question from Shae, and the subject is "Fasting Question." Shae says, “Good afternoon. I have been doing IF for about 10 months now, 100% clean fasting. I do one meal a day and average a 20- to 24-hour fast each day depending on my schedule. I like to stick to a two or three-hour eating window, but currently working from home while also homeschooling my son has led to the accidental 24-hour fasts from time to time. I used to get so cold when I first started IF, now I am noticing that I feel so hot after I've had my one meal a day and I've closed my window. My one meal has been based on whatever sounds good. Lately, that has been a homemade spinach salad mix, homemade barbecue chicken breast, and some yogurt with granola for dessert. My question is, why am I hot after eating?
I searched the Facebook group but didn't see any real answer. Thank you for taking the time to read this. Thank you for everything you do for us. I'm so grateful for your knowledge and I can't wait for the book release tomorrow. I keep waiting for it to appear in my Kindle Library.” So, I can see that Shae wrote this in June when Fast. Feast. Repeat. was about to pop into her library. So exciting.
Melanie Avalon: All right. Shae, thank you for your question. Yes. So, it is very common to feel hot after eating and that's typically due to the thermic effect of food. When we eat foods, a portion of calories burned during digesting that food generates heat. It's also the reason that certain types of protein is “more metabolic boosting” or counts as “less calories” than carbs or fat, and that's because the thermic effect of protein is around 30%, I think. So, 30% of the calories burned when you're burning protein are actually just the metabolism digesting that protein and that materializes in the form of heat. Eating is-- I mean, depending on what you're eating, but tends to be a hot process just by the metabolic process of generating energy. That's a really simple answer.
Gin Stephens: But it's true. If I eat more carbs, I'm more likely to be hotter. The more carbs, the hotter.
Melanie Avalon: I'm glad you said that. Carbs in particular tend to boost the metabolic rate.
Gin Stephens: Yeah, I can feel it cranking up and I have even taken my body temperature just for fun, because I love to see what's happening. I’ll feel super hot, I'll take my temperature, it'll be 99 or something like that. I can feel it. I could just feel the heat radiating off of me. It's so interesting.
Melanie Avalon: Yeah. Especially if you eat protein and carbs, that's probably going to be the most heat-stimulating meal compared to something like a low carb, higher fat, if it's lower protein. We talked about this a lot before but, for example, they did studies where they massively, massively overfeed people, when you way overfeed them just with carbs, the body's response, yes, it turns a little bit of those carbs to fat but it actually preferentially tends to just crank up the metabolism and you just get really, really hot.
Gin Stephens: That is 100% true for me. Yeah. [laughs]
Melanie Avalon: So funny because people think there's this idea with calories. “Oh, if you eat more calories than you burned--” Well, it is true for you more calories than you burned, then you would store it. But that doesn't mean that if you eat a certain amount of calories, you're only going to burn a certain amount because the body can make the choice to instead of storing it, burn them instead.
Gin Stephens: Jason Fung explained it to me in a way, the first time I ever really went, “Oh, we all hear of it as calories in, calories out.” And that's a great math formula. That is based on two assumptions. One is that all calories in are treated the same, which we know there aren't. But the other is that calories out is static, and that's not true. The whole idea of I have had my metabolism tested and my resting metabolic rate is X. We assume that that's like a static number that's never going to change but that's so not true. Our bodies can crank up calories out or crank down calories out, and you can't control that.
Melanie Avalon: Yeah, actually I just mentioned Cate Shanahan’s Fatburn Fix, which we'll put a link to that in the show notes by the way. But she talks about the metabolism and she says the metabolism isn't fixed, it's not a certain number. Your metabolism changes based on what energy you need. Basically, it just changes based on what your cells are getting, what you're eating.
Gin Stephens: Which is why when I see someone-- it makes me cringe now, when someone's like, my TDEE is blah, blah, blah. No, it isn't. It's not. Total daily energy expenditure, that's what TDEE. In some diet circles, people live and die by their TDEE. Your body is not working like that.
Melanie Avalon: We talked about NEAT before, which is non-exercise activity thermogenesis. That's basically a number in a way of calories that your body can just burn. It happens from fidgeting and just movement that you do throughout the day, but it can vary wildly. And the thing is some people's NEAT is really, really low. They'll overeat and NEAT doesn't really adjust and they gain weight from it. Some people, the NEAT just goes through the roof and they just naturally burn off all that extra calories without trying to.
Gin Stephens: Now, see, that's interesting. That made me think my restless legs after eating sugar, I wonder if that's related, it's like I can't be still. It's like my NEAT is gone crazy.
Melanie Avalon: I've thought about that because I used to get restless legs. Honestly, I want to have an episode just on restless legs.
Gin Stephens: Well, I know it's not magnesium. Sometimes, people say it's magnesium. I've had my magnesium levels tested and they're fine, and that's the one thing I have always been able to take in every day. It could be iron.
Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I think there's like five things. One magnesium, not magnesium - iron. Looking back when I was really anemic and didn't know it, that's when my restless legs were through the roof.
Gin Stephens: But what's interesting is that it doesn't happen-- there's that definite correlation of too much sugar, restless legs.
Melanie Avalon: Yeah, to the sugar point, I think it could be two things. It could be that, just too much energy. I keep referencing her book but Cate Shanahan, she posits that it's peripheral nerve changes from sugar consumption, which I've also read another book as well. The fifth thing, I think, likely involves dopamine. That's one of the reasons I was experimenting with nicotine patches, because of the restless legs.
Gin Stephens: Well, I feel it from too much sugar, like I said, but also how I mentioned earlier if I don't eat enough, and I have way too much ketosis energy, that also manifests itself after I've eaten, but only after I've eaten. I never have restless legs during the fast ever, but if I eat and haven't eaten enough, then I'll feel that little restless leg thing happening from-- I guess my body is trying to get rid of the ketones. I don't know. It feels like too much energy.
Melanie Avalon: This is why I don't know why this is but restless legs are the worst.
Gin Stephens: They really are. And my husband's like, “Be still.” I'm like, “I wish. Thank you.”
Melanie Avalon: For people who've never had them, they don't sound that bad, but they're just the worst. They're just so unpleasant and there's nothing you can't stop it. How do you? I don't know.
Gin Stephens: You can only stop it by really getting up and walking around. It always happens though when you're sitting in an airplane seat and when you're trying to go to bed at night or sitting on the couch or sitting in an auditorium. Those are the times that it's really, really unpleasant.
Melanie Avalon: Now, I'm wondering because you're speaking about how it happens at night, which same for me and the research I've done on it. It's typically usually at night for people. I wonder if that's because if it is something related to metabolic issues, maybe most people tend to be less insulin sensitive and have more metabolic issues at night. I'm just theorizing. I wonder if that has any connection at all.
Gin Stephens: I don't know. But ooh, ooh, did I tell you this? This is exciting. You know that PREDICT 2 study?
Melanie Avalon: You're going to be in it, right?
Gin Stephens: Yes. I got the box of stuff.
Melanie Avalon: Oh, you did?
Gin Stephens: Yeah, the box came. It's PREDICT 3 is where we are now.
Melanie Avalon: So, it's food?
Gin Stephens: Well, yeah.
Melanie Avalon: What is it?
Gin Stephens: They're testing your response to things. I'm going to be wearing a continuous glucose monitor for seven days. And they sent me one, I have to send it back. What if I didn't send it back? What would they do?
Melanie Avalon: Hmm.
Gin Stephens: [laughs] I really want to keep it. Anyway, I'm supposed to send it back. I will send it back. I'm a rules follower. But you have to take a poop sample and send that to them. So, they're looking at your gut microbiome. They're looking at your response. They have these muffins that they send, and I'm going to have to eat muffins in the morning for a couple days. I know I'm going to have to do it.
Melanie Avalon: You're committed.
Gin Stephens: Well, this is why I said no to PREDICT 2, even though I was approved for the study about a year ago. I was like, “I don't have time to fool with all this.” But this is just all doing it here at home. I also think people had to go get blood drawn at a lab. But now it's all just self-collected, you do it all at home, and it's only seven days, I think it's easier than PREDICT 2 was, but they have an app called ZOE. The reason everyone has to eat these same exact muffins that they actually sent, you have to eat them at certain times and then wait a certain amount of time, and they're going to see what your blood glucose does. So, they're seeing what with this exact meal, what happens.
Melanie Avalon: That's exciting.
Gin Stephens: I know. So, then they'll also analyze my gut microbiome and see. Then, they make personalized suggestions based on the results. I'm so excited. I'll be talking about it more, I'm sure.
Melanie Avalon: When are you starting it?
Gin Stephens: I probably won't have started next time we record, I'm not sure, but I'm going to the beach with Chad. I want to wait till I've been home a few days. I'm also planning it around my schedule because I want to have the breakfast muffins on days when I don't have podcast episodes scheduled. I have it all kind of planned out around that. I'll be starting it in about a week from today.
Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I've had my CGM in the box for a month now. I was going to do it a few weeks ago because I'm bringing on a CGM company on to the Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast, but I'm getting surgery in two days, and I was like, “I don't want to deal with monitoring all of this stuff.” I'm already stressed about surgery, so maybe we'll be doing it at a similar time. I was going to maybe start it after surgery.
Gin Stephens: Well, I want you to figure out a way that CGM company-- figure out a way for them to get one for me. I need one too. Do it.
Melanie Avalon: After they come on my show.
Gin Stephens: Get one for me because I will talk about it. I'm so interested. I want to know what my body is doing. I've been fascinated ever since I saw that Eran Segal video, “What is the best diet for humans?” It was in 2017, I've been fascinated since then. When he talked about that we all have an individual glucose response. I'm dying to know what mine is.
Melanie Avalon: I have so many questions for when I interview them because I think my biggest question is because people will say, “Oh, you should have slow-digesting carbs, and it's better to have like an extended blood sugar release rather than a spike." But then there's the idea that maybe the healthiest thing is to have a high spike but a short spike and then back to baseline.
Gin Stephens: Everything I read, and I talk about this in Fast. Feast. Repeat., that what we don't want is for our curve to look a scary roller coaster. You don't want it to look like high up, low dip, high up, low dip, like you're on the monster scary adult roller coaster. Instead, you want it to look like the little kid's roller coaster with a gentle up and a gentle down.
Melanie Avalon: Yeah. Say it was a roller coaster, it's like a fast roller coaster. So, it's like straight, and then the comparison between either a really high one up but then straight down, like a Tower of Terror type thing, compared to up, really high, and then slowly going down.
Gin Stephens: I think the goal is to never have it go up really high.
Melanie Avalon: That's what I actually think there might be a nuance there because I'm not sure that an acute high spike if it goes down quickly is a problem.
Gin Stephens: I feel like that would make me feel bad. I would feel that crash.
Melanie Avalon: I guess it would depend.
Gin Stephens: I don't know, I haven't tested my blood, so I don't really know. But what was interesting is I had a friend-- I haven't heard from him in a while actually. He was in my Facebook group, and he's a doctor in Canada, and every now and then he would send me like-- he was using a CGM. And he'd be like, “Look what happened with fasting.” And it was just interesting and I've been wanting to have one ever since.
Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I'm really, really excited. Paul Saladino, the carnivore guy?
Gin Stephens: Yeah.
Melanie Avalon: He is being all controversial now because he was carnivore for the longest time, now he's eating a lot of honey.
Gin Stephens: Okay. That's so interesting.
Melanie Avalon: Yeah, because he realized that he felt like his body needed carbs. But he did an experiment with a CGM while bringing back the honey to see what happened. I did an episode on it. But it basically was high spikes right after the honey but then, pretty quick back to baseline. So, not an extended higher blood sugar. I think the main problem is the extended higher blood sugar, which is why I get nervous about a lot of people on keto diets who do experience extended higher blood sugars. I'm fascinated by that.
Gin Stephens: Because that's the whole thing with type 2 diabetes that they don't want to see, constant high blood sugar. That's where the damage occurs if your blood sugar is high.
Melanie Avalon: A lot of people on keto seem to have resting blood sugars that are high, and they call it like-- I don't remember. There's a word for it. But basically, the idea that the insulin receptors are becoming sensitive in a way, they're choosing to reject sugar to keep enough sugar around because it's low carb, but I don't know, I'm very fascinated by all of it. So, we shall see.
Gin Stephens: I think really a lot of these questions are not fully answered even.
Melanie Avalon: Yeah.
Gin Stephens: Science is still figuring it out. Anyway, I'm really fascinated. I can't wait to see what I find out. I'm not sure I'll respond well to their muffins because they're very processed and that's the kind of thing I would not eat on its own in isolation. I never eat highly processed carbs by themselves ever. I might have tortilla chips, but I'm going to have them with hummus or with guacamole or with something that's going to slow down the absorption of just carbs. I would never open my window with a cookie or a muffin. Well, I wonder don't mind if I like slathered in peanut butter?
Melanie Avalon: Probably.
Gin Stephens: Yeah, I've got to have it like they tell me to, just the muffin. So, I might be like lying on the floor. I might be sluggish that day. The things we do for science.
Melanie Avalon: I know.
Gin Stephens: I'm so excited. I've been having the fear of missing out. I've been watching my friends, the moderators that went through it that did PREDICT 2 and getting their results back. And anyway, I was like, “Why didn't I just do it?” Even though it was a bad time, I should have just done it. But anyway.
Melanie Avalon: I haven't tested my blood sugar. I used to test it religiously every single night. The best blood sugars I had, hands down, was when I was doing one meal a day, tons of fruit and low fat. And my blood sugar was always so great the next day.
Gin Stephens: That's telling.
Melanie Avalon: Yeah. And then I feel like it got wonky. So, all right. Well, this has been absolutely wonderful. So, if you would like to submit your own question to the podcast, you can directly email firstname.lastname@example.org. Or you can go to ifpodcast.com and you can submit questions there. The show notes for today's episode. We'll put links to everything that we talked about. What will be at ifpodcast.com/episode180. You can follow us on Instagram, we are @ifpodcast. You can follow me, I'm @melanieavalon. You can follow Gin, she's @gin_stephens. You can also join, I made a new Facebook group recently for people who want to do breath-testing for carbs, fats, or ketones. That's called Lumen Lovers and Bioscience Biohackers. And, yeah, anything else, Gin, you'd like to throw out there?
Gin Stephens: Nope. I think that's it. Good luck with your surgery.
Melanie Avalon: Isn't so-- Okay, next time we talk, it'll be done.
Gin Stephens: Yay!
Melanie Avalon: I'm so excited. I'm so scared. I'm so scared. But I guess it's over before you even realize, right?
Gin Stephens: Yeah, exactly. You'll be under anesthesia.
Melanie Avalon: I know. Okay, well, I will talk to you next week or some time.
Gin Stephens: All right. Bye-bye.
Melanie Avalon: Bye.
Thank you so much for listening to The Intermittent Fasting Podcast. Please remember that everything discussed on the show is not medical advice. We're not doctors. You can also check out our other podcasts, Intermittent Fasting Stories and the Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast. Theme music was composed by Leland Cox. See you next week.
Check out the Stuff We Like page for links to any of the books/supplements/products etc. mentioned on the podcast that we like!
BUY Melanie's What When Wine Diet: Lose Weight And Feel Great With Paleo-Style Meals, Intermittent Fasting, And Wine, Gin's Delay, Don't Deny: Living an Intermittent Fasting Lifestyle, Feast Without Fear: Food and the Delay, Don't Deny Lifestyle and/or Gin's Fast. Feast. Repeat.: The Clean Fast Protocol for Health, Longevity, and Weight Loss--Including the 21-Day FAST Start Guide
More on Melanie: MelanieAvalon.com
More on Gin: GinStephens.com
Theme Music Composed By Leland Cox: LelandCox.com
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