Episode 182: Scale Anxiety, Antibiotics Damage, Microbiome and Weight, Hypothyroidism, Weekend Sabotage, Alcohol Metabolism, And More!

Intermittent Fasting


Help Make The Intermittent Fasting Podcast Possible!

Hi Friends! We put a ton of time and energy into researching and producing The Intermittent Fasting Podcast. You can help support us on Patreon! Every dollar helps!

Oct 11

Welcome to Episode 182 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:

BLUBLOX: Overexposure to blue light in our modern environments can lead to increased anxiety, stress, headaches, and other health conditions. Even a tiny exposure to artificial light can completely offset your circadian rhythm! Unlike many “blue light blocking” glasses on the market, BLUBlox provides glasses that block the exact blue wavelengths you need to regulate sleep, reduce anxiety, and much more! They also provide different types of glasses for the time of day, season, and your personal electronic and light exposure! Plus, for every BLUblox purchase, they donate a pair of glasses to someone in need! Go To bluBlox.com And Use The Code ifpodcast For 15% Off!

FEALS: Feals makes CBD oil which satisfies ALL of Melanie's stringent criteria: it's premium, full spectrum, organic, tested, pure CBD in MCT oil! It's delivered directly to your doorstep. CBD supports the body's natural cannabinoid system, and can address an array of issues, from sleep to stress to chronic pain, and more! Go To feals.com/ifpodcast To Become A Member And Get 50% Off Your First Order, With Free Shipping!

To submit your own questions, email questions@IFpodcast.com, or submit your questions here!! 


BLUBLOX: Go To BluBlox.com And Use The Code ifpodcast For 15% Off!

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!

Groundz Grounding Sandals - Use Code MelanieAvalon for FREE Expediated Shipping

Listener Q&A: Nicole - Product you may love and questions!

Go To myshapa.com And Use The Promo Code IFStories At Checkout

Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast: Epsiode 19 - Dr. Michael Ruscio

The Intermittent Fasting Podcast: Episode 68 - Dr Micheal Ruscio

Healthy Gut, Healthy You (Dr. Michael Ruscio)

Listener Q&A: Cherie - Bioptimizers confusion

IF Biohackers: Intermittent Fasting + Real Foods + Life (Facebook Group)

Interviews with Matt Gallant and Wade Lightheart from Bioptimizers: Episode #084, Episode #087, Episode #136, Episode #137

NAD+ Gold

FEALS: Go To https://feals.com/ifpodcast To Become A Member And Get 50% Off Your First Order, With Free Shipping!

Listener Q&A: Laura - Weekend Sabotage

Long-term low-dose ethanol intake improves healthspan and resists high-fat diet-induced obesity in mice

Dry Farm Wines: Natural, Organic, Low Alcohol, Low Sugar Wines, Paleo And Keto Friendly! Go To DryFarmWines.com/IFPodcast To Get A Bottle For A Penny!


Melanie Avalon: Welcome to Episode 182 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.

Friends, I have a story for you. I recently got septoplasty to fix my deviated septum so that I could breathe better. And in the recovery period, you're not supposed to wear glasses. Oh, my goodness. I cannot tell you how much I realized how much I adore and need and love BLUblox blue light blocking glasses. I've been wearing them every single night of my life until I got that surgery. Guys, you need this in your life.

In today's world, we're way overexposed to blue light. While blue light is energizing, we're not supposed to be seeing it 24/7, it can raise cortisol, stress levels, create tension and headaches, disrupt your sleep, and so much more. Of course, there are a lot of “blue light blocking glasses” on the market these days, Andy Mant, the founder of BLUblox, he personally realized how incredible blue light blocking glasses were for him personally. So, then he did something crazy and actually tested all the brands on the market to see if they actually were blocking blue light like they said they were. They weren't really. That's why he took things into his own hands to create glasses that would block the blue light you need to be blocking to truly have the healthiest relationship possible with light.

That's also why he made blue light blocking glasses in a lot of different versions. They have clear computer glasses you can wear all day while looking at the computer. They have their SummerGLO lens that block the draining form of blue light while still allowing in some of the energizing wavelengths. They're also tinted with a special yellow color, scientifically shown to boost mood. And, of course, they have their Sleep+ lens, you can put those on a bed and it's just like bam! tired. At least that's the way it works for me because actually blue light can block melatonin production, which helps us naturally fall asleep.

Also, get their Sleep REMedy Mask. Oh, my goodness, I use it every single night. It gives you complete blackout while still putting no pressure on your eyes. Like you wear it, and you can open your eyes completely, and it's completely black. It's mind-blowing. In case you're wondering, I'm still not supposed to be wearing glasses, but I ordered this weird contraption head thing to hold the glasses over my eyes because I just really need the blue light blocking glasses in my life. These glasses also come in a huge array of styles, so you don't have to feel like a weirdo biohacker like me. You can really get any style or frame to fit your personal style.

You can shop with us at blublox.com, that's B-L-U-B-L-O-X dotcom and use the code 'IFPODCAST' to get 15% off. Something else amazing, for every pair of glasses you buy, BLUblox donates a pair of glasses to someone in need. The glasses can also come in prescription made to order. Again, that's blublox.com with the coupon code IFPODCAST for 15% off.

And one more thing before we jump in. Are you fasting clean inside and out? Did you know that what you put on your skin gets direct access to your bloodstream, and in your body can do a lot of detrimental things? So, while you may be fasting clean, you may at the same time be infusing your body with endocrine disrupters, which can mess with your hormones, obesogens, meaning they literally cause your body to store and gain weight and even carcinogens.

In Europe, they've banned thousands of these compounds found in conventional skincare and makeup, and the US has banned less than 10. In fact, most conventional lipstick, for example, is high in lead and the half-life of lead in the body can be up to 30 years. That means every time you put on some lipstick, you might be putting some lead into your bones which might not leave for three decades. This is a big deal.

Thankfully, there's an easy all-encompassing answer. There's a company called Beautycounter, and they were founded on a mission to make skincare and makeup products that are safe for your skin. Every single ingredient is extensively tested to not burden your body and support your skin health. 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 safe beauty and also get a ton of amazing discounts and free things from me, definitely get on my clean beauty email list, that's at melanieavalon.com/cleanbeauty. Not sure which Beautycounter products to try? I also just made a whole series of online quizzes to match you to your perfect product. Those are at melanieavalon.com/beautycounterquiz. So, here's to fasting clean inside and out.

All right. Now enjoy the show.

Hi everybody, and welcome this is episode 182 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: Well, I'm a little bummed because it's so much the change of seasons. You know how much I love summer?

Melanie Avalon: I love it.

Gin Stephens: I'm wearing jeans. I'm still not wearing shoes, though. I was playing in my closet today looking at-- it's not time to switch it out yet that it's still warm enough, but it was like 76 here. But I have these shorts. Have I ever talked about my GAP shorts from the 90s that I still have?

Melanie Avalon: Maybe, refresh my memory.

Gin Stephens: Well, I don't know why I saved these shorts. It was before I had kids. It was these GAP shorts, they're size 8 from like 1995 I'm guessing. It shows how sizes have changed so much over time. Because in college, I was probably about the same weight I am now, I might be a little smaller now but I don't know, but in college, I was a size eight.

Melanie Avalon: So, sizes have--?

Gin Stephens: Oh, changed big time. Yeah, vanity sizing.

Melanie Avalon: So, what would an 8 be now?

Gin Stephens: Well, just for a perspective, these are size 8 from the GAP from, like I said, about '95 and they're too big for me everywhere except the waist. The waist fits me. So, I have the same size waist that I had when I was 25 years old, which is awesome. But the butt and the thighs are just giant. But again, also, they're pleated and they're khaki shorts. I mean the clothes we wore back in that era were just not attractive.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah.

Gin Stephens: Pleated khaki shorts. I mean they're like a bell. They're not cute. The waist fits me perfectly, but they're size 8 and I'm sitting here right now in zero jeans that the waist fits. So yeah.

Melanie Avalon: So, they're similar sized, but those are an 8 compared to zero now.

Gin Stephens: Yes. Well, I mean, they are too big for me except in the waist. But I think a lot of things now have relaxed waists.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. Wow. So, back then zero must have been like?

Gin Stephens: I don't remember anyone being a zero, really. I don't remember it. I don't remember people even being a zero. Did they even have zero? I'm not sure it was. I know when I was 12 years old, I was tiny. Okay, tiny. My mother got remarried. And I was like a flower girl, it was this tiny little wedding, but I had a Gunne Sax brand dress. This is from the 80s, okay. Early 80s, maybe even late 70s, this brand Gunne Sax. It was this [unintelligible [00:07:54] style with ribbon and all that. And I think I was a size 3. I was like 12 and tiny.

Melanie Avalon: Because kid sizes are in one, three, five?

Gin Stephens: This is junior size.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, okay.

Gin Stephens: This junior size 3, someone who wears a 5 or a 7 now versus-- but I was itty-bitty and wearing a 3. I mean, I haven't been able to wear junior sizes though ever since I really went through puberty. I've always been in the even sizes, because I'm curvier.

Melanie Avalon: I remember going to Paris, and the sizes there are like--

Gin Stephens: Really different?

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, they're probably more like what it used to be here.

Gin Stephens: Probably what it used to be here in like the 50s or something. [laughs] But sizes have changed so much. And every time I pull out those shorts, it's hilarious. I have a pair of jeans from the GAP that I wore in the early 2000s. It was after I finished having kids and I lost the weight back. It was in the unfortunate diet pills era, but I felt really good in these jeans. They're size 4. No, wait, they're size 6, that was a lie. They're size 6 from the GAP. And they're like mom jeans, and they are big in the waist. I'm smaller now than I was during the diet pill days, but they're hilarious fitting too. And the GAP was just not having good clothes, and I was buying them up apparently. [laughs]

Melanie Avalon: For shirts, because I'm a pretty small person but I like all my-- like t-shirts and stuff, I always like extra larges or extra-extra larges. Especially because brands want to send us stuff and they want to send shirts a lot and they're like, “What size?” I'm like, “Extra-large.” They're like--

Gin Stephens: I'm like small.

Melanie Avalon: Every time, Gin. Yeah.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, I don't like them being big.

Melanie Avalon: I don't like being confined. I don't like clothes actually.

Gin Stephens: I don't like feeling confined. But I like things to fit me.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. Oh, wait, can I mention one thing since we're talking about clothes? I just got a-- new company from LA, they're making grounding shoes. I am so excited. I can probably get them to send you a pair if it's something you're interested in.

Gin Stephens: I would love to try their shoes.

Melanie Avalon: I will get on that. For listeners, they only make the sandals. But I just got my pair and I'm so excited because what I had been using was these grounding strips, I don't know if they actually work. For those who don't know what we're talking about, it's basically so that when you walk on natural earth, the ions in the earth-- it's something to do with the energy of the earth. And it's not like some woo-woo thing, it's very much real.

Gin Stephens: Well, my husband who's an organic chemist, things have charges. Every time you have static electricity, or thunder, lightning, that's static, that's energy being transferred. So, we know scientifically that energy transfers, that's not woo-woo. It's real, we see it.

Melanie Avalon: And by being on natural earth, it has a very natural healing effect on the body compared to when we're constantly not actually touching the ground. So, it's beneficial to get yourself grounded, which you do by walking outside barefoot. But if you have shoes on, obviously, you're not touching the ground. That's why they made these grounding shoes that they conduct the charge from the earth to your body. So, they're really cool. I got really excited. I'll put a link because I think I have a discount for them too. So, I'll put a link in the show notes to it.

Gin Stephens: Well, the reason I brought up the clothes, in case, everybody's like why are we talking about the GAP clothes from the 90s, the point is that people get so caught up in sizes and it's just meaningless, the way things are sized. I have things in my closet that fit me, zero to four. If I go to my old clothes, six and eight. If you go to a vintage store, sizes are going to be really different. So, you've got to just not worry about the sizes. Easier said than done.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, actually, Gin, we have a question, since we're talking about all of these sizes and what it all means, this wasn't on the lineup for today, but how would you feel if I do a surprise question?

Gin Stephens: That would be awesome. I would love a surprise question.

Melanie Avalon: Okay, because I've been wanting to do this question for a while. So, I feel like it's appropriate right now with everything that we're talking about. Our first question comes from Nicole, the subject is "Product You May Love and Questions." And Nicole says, “Hi, Gin and Melanie, thank you so much for your awesome podcast. Gin, I love your down-to-earth personality. And Melanie, I adore your curious mind. First off, I wanted to share with you a product for your listeners, especially the ones that have a fear of the scale. I own a zero scale. It's a digital scale that sets your weight at zero and tells you up or down pounds. It doesn't reveal your weight. I'm not sure this exact scale is around, but I've seen similar items, and I've attached a link.”

And she attached a link to a scale called Shapa. When we got this email, Gin was like, “I want to talk about this!” So, Gin, would you like to talk about this? I have no idea what this is.

Gin Stephens: Yes, I'm so glad you pulled that one out today because I have a Shapa scale. You know how I said I haven't weighed myself since 2017? Well, it's both true, and now false. It's true that I have no idea what the number is because the Shapa numberless scale does not show you your number. Well, you can set it to show you your number, but I have set mine not to show my number. If you get this scale everybody, do not sync it with Apple Health, or it will show you your number on Apple Health. People are like, “Oh, no, it showed me the number!”

We were just having this conversation, in fact, my moderators today about weight maintenance and the scale going up and down. If you're in maintenance, you're going to be within a weight range, which means that your weight might fluctuate within even a 10-pound range and you're not gaining weight or losing weight. But you get on the scale and it's up five pounds from yesterday, and then you have this panic of, “Am I gaining weight?” “What's happening?” Because we know the only thing that matters is your overall trend.

In all of my books, I wrote about weighing daily, and then once a week, you calculate a weekly average and you only compare the weekly averages, and that will really save your sanity. But you still have to see the fluctuations of like today, you're up five pounds, and it freaks you out a little bit. At least it did me. So, that's why I threw my scale away and I haven't gotten on a scale from 2017 until today. I mean not today, but I mean like the past six weeks. So, over three years, not standing on any kind of scale.

Well, someone told me about the Shapa scale. I've been raving about it in my Facebook groups, but if you go to myshapa.com, it tells you all about it. Now, the creator of this scale, I don't know how to say his last name. His name is Dan Ariely. A-R-I-E-L-Y. That’s how I'm saying it, that could be so wrong if it is, Dan, I'm sorry. He's the creator of Shapa. He actually is a professor of psychology and behavioral economics from Duke University. His TED talks have been viewed over 15 million times. I'm reading this off their website. Now, I just went to it real quick. And he's written three New York Times bestsellers. In 2018, he was named one of the 50 most influential living psychologists in the world.

Okay, so this guy, I wanted to say that to let you know, that he knows what he's doing with psychology. For me, the thought of having a scale with numbers really gives me anxiety because if I got on the scale and I didn't like the number, it would make me want to diet or make me want to do certain things. Any of us who have been obese or overweight, we had this panic that we're going to regain all the weight. Even though I've been maintaining since 2015, seeing a number on a scale could really upset me. It is what it is. So, the scale does not show you a number unless you set it to, it only gives you color feedback.

So, for the first 10 days, you stand on it, and you have to do it twice a day, while it's calibrating, you get on in the morning, you have to have the app open on your smartphone. You get on it, you get off of it, then you do it again in the evening, you get on, you get off. And then after about 10 days-- it could take a few more than 10. It took me 10. You start seeing colors. And the color lets you know what your trend is doing. So, if you get green on your app, that means your weight is maintaining over time. If you get teal, that means you're losing a little weight, you're on a slight downward trend. Blue means you're on a really good solid downward trend. And there's a couple of shades of grey you could get, which shows that your trend is going up.

Now some people are like, “Well, how does that help because what if you got on one day and it was green, and the next day it was gray, and the next day it was blue?” And that's not how it works. So, that wouldn't happen. Remember that Dan is a professor of psychology, so he understands the fluctuations are the problem. He doesn't just give you fluctuating color. It does complicated statistics, and it only shows you what your actual trend with all this complicated math is doing. So, if you get on, it's not going to just give you random fluctuation colors. So, that's why-- I've just loved getting on it. It coincided with the month that I had first given up drinking for a month, no alcohol for a month. So, I actually the first color I got was green the first day based on my calibration. But then after that, I've been slowly teal. I've been slowly losing some weight, some of the bloat that I guess I put on over the increased baking and drinking of the pandemic. The only change I've made is not drinking and I've been on a solid teal. So, I'm losing a little bit of that pandemic fluff that may have come on. But that's the thing that's so fabulous for me. I don't have any nervousness about stepping on it. I'm not worried, even if it showed me gray, just showed my trend was going up, I would be like, “Alright, time to reverse this trend,” but it's different than that number.

So, anyway, if anyone's interested, go to myshapa.com. And I actually have partnered with them because I love them so much. As soon as I read about it, I got it. And then, I started badgering them with emails till they finally returned my email. And I'm like, “I really, really, really want to have a relationship with y'all for my podcast because I think that this could be life-changing.” There are a lot of people like me that are absolutely terrified of the scale and don't want to see that number. It might be crazy. Maybe if I was 100% healthy, I wouldn't care but there's still that emotion tied up in it. Dan, the behavioral psychologist degrees, a lot of people really don't do well with that. So, if you go to myshapa.com and you use the promo code 'IFSTORIES,' which is associated with my Intermittent Fasting Stories podcast with the program, you sign up for their program, and it's like a yearly subscription to their app, but then they send you the scale for free, you save $30 on the program.

And after the year is over, the year that you've signed up for, you do not have to renew, and you can continue to use the app. It doesn't stop working. You don't have to renew. Anyway, it's super awesome. And I am weighing on it every day. I don't know how much I weigh, but I don't need to.

Melanie Avalon: That is really cool. I had never heard of this before. So, what does it look like? Does it look like a normal scale?

Gin Stephens: It doesn't have a window. It just it's like a round disc and it has like these little silver crescents that you step on. And so, you step on them and it reads what's happening. It also claims that it is reporting the changes in your body composition, not just your raw weight. So, if you're building muscle but losing fat, it should adjust for that, I think, based on what I've read, because it's checking your whole body composition and looking for positive changes. It does not reveal what the colors mean, as far as how much you're losing. It just shows you the overall trend, but I'm really enjoying it. From someone who said, “I'll never have a scale again,” I've got it.

The whole time I've gone through menopause-- by the way, I am two weeks away from officially being able to say, “I'm done with menopause,” or through it on the other side, because you have to go a year. But you worry-- when you have lost over 80 pounds, you worry that one day maybe it's going to be menopause, maybe it's going to be too much wine, but all of a sudden, you're going to balloon back up again and gain all the weight back. So, now, for the rest of my life, I'll be able to get on the scale and not have that fear of, “Oh no. Am I secretly gaining weight?” or “My pants a little tight.” I'll know.

Melanie Avalon: Well, actually, to your point, Nicole, the follow-up sentence where she says, “I have anxiety about numbers, and this has been life-saving.”

Gin Stephens: Yeah, she's got the zero scale. And I don't know that tells you whether you're up or down pounds. I don't know that I'd like that. Because remember, if I got on it, and it said, “You're up five pounds,” I think I would start to cry. I wouldn't like my scale telling me I was up five pounds or down two pounds. I don't want to hear any numbers, which is why I like Shapa so much. I don't hear numbers. I don't hear anything. I just only see that nice little blue or the teal or the green. And I don't even know.

Melanie Avalon: I wonder if it tells you the actual pound or if it just is like up.

Gin Stephens: I wouldn't want to hear up. It feels like to me you would get on and it would just tell you whether you were up or down. I just know me. I weighed for the first year of maintenance, I weighed, but every time I got on and it was up, I panicked in my brain, even though I was like, “All right. It's okay.” Every time I saw up, it made me feel, “Ugh.” And when it went down, I was like, “Ooh.” But not even having to know the fluctuations, just knowing what the overall trend is doing, it's just a breath of fresh air. Anyway, to get me to have a scale again is pretty incredible. And the company's been great. So, I'm a huge fan. And my shapa.com, promo code 'IFSTORIES.'

Melanie Avalon: Awesome.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, you should get one too.

Melanie Avalon: You actually convinced me. I'm pretty sure I'm going to go get one right now.

Gin Stephens: And then you could see what's happening. But you don't have to worry about the number.

Melanie Avalon: I like colors too.

Gin Stephens: I like colors too. They have one that's like white, that's the one I got. It's like a wood-tone white. And then, they have like a grayish-blackish white, and then they have an oaky-- no, the black is just not white, I don’t know why I said white. It's a blackish wood-tone grayish-blackish. Anyway, white, black, wood tone, but they all have wood graining. It looks really pretty in the bathroom.

Melanie Avalon: Can I say one thing about colors just because it made me think of it?

Gin Stephens: Yes.

Melanie Avalon: Yesterday, I saw a rainbow and I think I literally contemplate the nature of rainbows for an hour. I was googling and reading all about rainbows. And then, I was reading about linguistic relativity, which is my new favorite thing.

Gin Stephens: I don't even know what that is.

Melanie Avalon: I think we've actually talked about it before. It's the idea that we can only understand things we have words for. So, different cultures can see different colors based on what words they have colors for.

Gin Stephens: Wow, that's cool.

Melanie Avalon: It's really cool. And then my mind was being blown, I was like, “Wait, so what colors can I see that other people can't see?” [laughs] Because we don't have a word for it.

Gin Stephens: And then, there's the wrinkle of-- I've talked about before, I guess, Chad having that weird colorblindness. Remember me talking about that? Or did I? How he can't see? He's got blue-yellow colors, I'm crazy, I don't know I'd never heard of. We've all heard of red-green colorblindness, but I had never heard it. Well, I assume we all have. I had never heard of the blue yellow. It's driving me crazy though, Melanie. He sees things so differently. We got some art, and he can't see it. I'm like, “What is your problem? It's beautiful. It looks perfect." And he's like, “No," I want him to see and love the environment that he lives in too, so that's what's hard. I'm not dealing with someone who sees it properly. I am having to make my house look good to someone who sees it differently than me because I care about how he feels in the home. That's tricky.

Melanie Avalon: Hi friends. I am so incredibly excited about what I'm about to share with you. October is National Seafood Month and you guys know I am a huge fan of seafood for its outstanding health benefits. Fish can be a wonderful source of protein and nutrients with especially favorable omega 3, 6 ratios. The problem is that our modern oceans are polluted, and many, if not most fish that you can buy is contaminated with mercury along with antibiotics and other hormone-disrupting chemicals. And guys, this is a big deal. I had mercury toxicity. I know, trust me. I know. That's why I am so honored, so grateful to tell you about my favorite fish on the planet that doesn't come with any of these problems.

It's Australis Barramundi. They raise their fish responsibly for the health of both us and the environment. Barramundi is a lean whitefish with the highest omega-3 content of any white fish, and wait for it, because of the raising practices utilized by Australis, their barramundi is tested to be free of mercury and antibiotics. And it tastes amazing. It's tender and lean, yet really satisfying with a whopping 32 grams of protein. It honestly melts in your mouth. I am just obsessed with this fish. Australis Barramundi’s frozen skinless portions are available nationwide at Whole Foods, Albertsons, Sprouts, Mariano's, Fresh Thyme, Instacart, and more.

And of course, they have a special offer just for our listeners. Our listeners can get $2 off any in-store purchase made before the end of the year. To get your free coupon, just go to better.fish/if2020 to claim yours. Again, that’s better.fish/if2020 to get your $2 off in-store coupon. I am obsessed with Australis. I know you guys ask me a lot, “What was that fish that you're talking about that you love?” This is it. Australis Barramundi. Definitely try it out.

All right, now back to the show.

Well, back to Nicole's question.

Gin Stephens: Anyway, I was so excited when I read that question when it said Shapa, the link that she gave to Shapa numberless scale, I was like, “What?”

Melanie Avalon: Just for listeners. I go through and categorize all the questions and occasionally, Gin will pop in her thoughts. And if it's really important to her, she makes it very known. So, with this one, she was like, “I was just so excited.” She's like, “I must talk about this.” So, yeah. From the rest of Nicole's email, she says, “Now to my fasting question. I've mostly stayed at an average weight since puberty, but always struggled to lose 20 pounds, which would put my five-foot-six frame at around 130, 135. I've gone up and down with those 20 pounds throughout my life, but around four years ago, I was able to get to 133 effortlessly, I am 42. The only thing I changed at the time that I can remember was eating more lentils and broccoli. Lol.

A year and a half ago, I got two tooth infections, had to have wisdom teeth removed and a root canal. The wisdom tooth surgery was a coronectomy, awful pain, and I basically lived with clove essential oil in my mouth for two months. The root canal was regular, but I had to go on antibiotics for prevention. I'm pretty sure I'll be doing holistic dentistry from now on. After these instances, weight crept on and I was back up to 155 even though no eating habits had changed. I had tried all my tricks of the past, but nothing worked.

After a trial with keto, which did not end successfully, I came across IF and started studying the science behind it. That's where I found all three of your podcasts. Happy to report I started IF in February of this year, I'm fasting completely clean and I can easily do a window of 16 to 20 hours, give or take that awful mid-March to May time, I've noted many non-scale victories. Rosacea is gone, aches are gone, energy, etc. But I've not lost weight. I had an awful time in the beginning, which is what I think was my body detoxing, awful menstruation, skin issues, etc. But it all worked itself out. I'm eating less than I ever have now and healthier. My diet is well rounded, 90% clean, organic, wheat, dairy, and egg-free by choice. I'm incredibly in tune with my body and I know something is still missing even with all the health benefits.

I also have hypothyroid and I am working on finding a new endocrinologist who do extensive testing since my current doctor will not run these tests. I can't find anyone local to run proper and extensive hormone testing, but I'm trying to find a telehealth doctor. I will continue to investigate these issues. But can there be anything I'm missing from my teeth incidents that can clue you to what path I should take, considering as when I saw a huge change in weight to happen so quickly? I've cut alcohol during the week, lowered carbs, changed windows meditated, tapped, and tried changing what I ate, bought a glucose monitor to track as well. I feel like I'm obsessing but getting this under control especially since losing this weight before menopause is very important to me.

Any help, advice is appreciated. If patience is key, I'll get there. I haven't done ADF. Can't seem to get there. But if that is what it takes… You both to me are masterminds at figuring these things out. I'm hoping you give me some suggestions as to what to do. I am celebrating the non-scale victories and the health benefits but losing weight to me, especially since I know I was at that 135 range for a long time, is very important. Thank you so much for all you guys do. You are my favorite podcast to listen to and are a super team. XOXO. Nicole, from New Jersey.”

Gin Stephens: Well, Nicole, it is great to hear from you. And that struggle, I can totally understand when you've been maintaining for your whole life. Even though you had to go up and down a little bit, you could always get there, and then all of a sudden, nothing is working. And I think it's great that you can pinpoint that turning point when you had that dental work, and you had to go on to antibiotics for prevention. We hear that kind of thing a lot. People have a turning point with their health. Often, it involves some medication. Sometimes, it might be steroids. For you, it was antibiotics. And that causes something in your body to change and then all of a sudden, your weight is really different on the other side of that event.

I've talked before about a friend of mine who had food poisoning. And then after that, she could not keep the weight on, she could not maintain her weight. Her weight just went down and down and down and down for like forever. She was getting skinnier and skinnier and trying to eat more, trying to put the weight on, and she could not. I tell this story again to illustrate that that affected her gut microbiome, and something in there shifted. And so, whatever that population was, she could not use her food properly and she could not gain the weight at all. She had to really work. It took her, I don't know, over a year to rebuild her gut microbiome and get her health back to where she could maintain what was a healthy weight for her.

I would really think about focusing on rebuilding your gut microbiome. I understand the importance of it, but I am not a gut microbiome rebuilding expert. Dr. Ruscio. How do you say it? Michael Ruscio, is that his name?

Melanie Avalon: Dr. Michael Ruscio. Healthy Gut, Healthy You.

Gin Stephens: Healthy Gut, Healthy You, that was the name of the book. He came on our podcast, gosh, was it 2017 or 2018?

Melanie Avalon: It was a while ago. I had him on mine too since then. But, yeah, he's great.

Gin Stephens: He's great. His book lays out some different things to try because his goal is to get your gut back to where it needs to be building things back up. I believe it can be done after watching my friend go through that, and how she was able to heal. But it's really, really important. A lot of it is trial and error. Do you have anything to add about that?

Melanie Avalon: That was exactly what I was going to say. The gut microbiome plays such a huge role. And it really can for so many people, I think, be the defining factor in making this shift between struggling with your weight or not, struggling with your weight. I'm actually reading a book right now. Have you heard of Joel Greene?

Gin Stephens: I don't think so.

Melanie Avalon: I heard him on Ben Greenfield’s podcast, and it was like a two-part podcast. The stuff he was saying was like the most mind-blowing stuff ever. I think I talked about him briefly on this podcast. He was saying how all the problems with yo-yo dieting and how losing weight-- was it losing or gaining weight? How one of those actually damages the fat cells or damages your body to lose and gain weight. In any case, I'm reading his book right now, and I just started it, and it's a doozy.

Gin Stephens: What's it called?

Melanie Avalon: It's called The Immunity Guide. Like I said, just started it, but his theory is that all of this goes back to our immune cells, and how they're reacting to things and whether it's inflammatory or noninflammatory, and that the gut microbiome plays a role in that. Apparently, this book has a whole plan to fix it. The reason I brought it up is that when there are foundational shifts in the body, it's hard to know what's what. But the shift itself can create change, like with the microbiome, how your body reacts to all of that can change. So, you might start having chronic inflammation and reactions to everything whereas you did before. It's really hard to lose weight in an inflamed state, it's a lot harder.

In any case, I like what Gin said. I would say something to focus on-- especially since you don't want to go like the ADF route, I do think focusing on the gut microbiome would be the way to go. The cool thing is there's not one answer to that. People will say there's one answer, don't we know that? But people seemingly “fix their microbiome” or get it back to a healthy state on a variety of diets. Some people feel they do that through a keto approach, some people through a higher-carb approach. That's why I do really love Dr. Ruscio’s Healthy Gut, Healthy You because it's like a choose your own adventure. He goes through the science of everything and then a plan, but it's not one plan. Pretty much every other book out there is one plan.

Gin Stephens: Right. Like, “Here is the one thing that's wrong with everyone, just do this.”

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. And do this plan. So, occasionally, it'll be like, “Oh, maybe skip this step or this step.” But his is very much like, “If you're this, start here. If you're this, start here. Then when this happens, go here.” So, it's very individualized.

Gin Stephens: Yes. And which was what I loved about it.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. It's also almost macronutrient agnostic. He does talk about how a lot of people do need to start at low carb just because they can't tolerate the carbs because of all the dysbiosis or their metabolic health or whatever. But he's very much like about finding the carb level that works for the individual. And so, it's all different carb approaches as well. So, yeah, we'll put a link to it in the show notes. I would say definitely, definitely probably try that out. And it's so great that you are experiencing all these other great non-scale victories. Which actually, to that point, I think I've said something a little bit misleading because I was saying it's really hard to gain weight if you're in a constantly inflamed state, but other non-scale victories indicate to me inflammation is going down because your rosacea has gone, aches are gone, energy, etc. So, that's really exciting. Sounds like your body's really benefiting from this. I do think with tweaks and patience even like she says, you could definitely find your way.

Gin Stephens: Yeah. And there's also the other factors that-- she's hypothyroid is also an issue. That could be something too. It all kind of just goes together.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I'm really glad, actually, that you pointed out the hypothyroid thing. I totally meant to talk about that, because that could definitely be huge. She does say that she's working on finding a new endocrinologist since her doctor won't run the tests. Well, she sounds like she's aware about the tests that are needed. Nicole, you can check out our interview with Elle Russ, All About The Thyroid. But, yeah, if you're not on the right dose for thyroid medication or don't have that address, then it can definitely be really hard to lose weight. But, in any case, it really sounds like you are on the right track. You're seeing lots of benefits, non-scale victories like we talked about. And I really think that patience like you said and trying some things, and I'm sure you can get there.

Gin Stephens: And also thinking about ADF, if you wanted to try an up-down day approach that's more of a mild up-down day-- you could do a one-hour window, and then more of a long window the next day, and then a one-hour window. So, it's not like full-on ADF but you're giving it that up and down-ish pattern. So, try that and see.

Melanie Avalon: I love it. All right. Shall we go on to our next question?

Gin Stephens: Yes. All right. So, the next question is from Sheree. And the subject is "BiOptimizer Confusion. “I am doing IF and it is going slowly, but steadily. Listening to your podcasts is a good inspiration and motivation for me. My question is on the BiOptimizer products. I would like to add in a product one at a time, but don't know where to start or what is best for me. I am 60, fairly healthy. Sugar’s a bit high but coming down. I sleep okay. I'm fairly calm. From the podcasts and all the reading I have done on their products, it sounds like I may benefit from several products, but my primary focus should start with helping to lose weight. What would be your thoughts? Thanks, Sheree.”

Melanie Avalon: All right, Sheree. So, fantastic question. Definitely, if you're not in my Facebook group, IF Biohackers, definitely join there, because people talk about BiOptimizers like every single day. But I know it can be confusing because they have a lot of supplements. And for listeners, we've had Wade and Matt, the founders on the podcast, what like three times now? Two or three times?

Gin Stephens: Yeah, I think it's three.

Melanie Avalon: Three? I think so.

Gin Stephens: We had Wade by himself. Then we had them both together. Did we have Wade by himself twice? I know we've had him together twice. I don't know.

Melanie Avalon: I think we had them both together twice and Wade-- we might have had them four times. I don't know. We've had them a lot.

Gin Stephens: I just love them, though because they coexist with such different dietary regimens and acknowledge that we're all different. Those are my favorite people.

Melanie Avalon: Yes, because Wade is like plant-based vegetarian-- I think he's still vegetarian. And Matt is like keto, like carnivore at times. They're like complete opposites. But they realize that our bodies are so unique. Their main thing is that the root of a lot of issues are in the gut, which is what we were talking about earlier. And that addressing that and getting our digestion order can be so huge for just everything and performance, health, everything. I remember Wade made a comment on-- I think when we interviewed him, and it's something that has like, stuck with me to this day. And he said, “People confuse the results with the change.” And this has haunted me, but it was basically the idea that oftentimes people will make a drastic dietary change, and they'll lose weight or things will get better. But then, they'll plateau or things will even get worse. But they think because all of the results happened when they made that drastic dietary change, they think that dietary change was the answer. When really, it was most likely-- it was probably pulling something out of their diet or adding something in. That actual paradigm shift wasn't like the be-all end-all. But the quote has just haunted me to this day.

In any case, so for the confusion, because they do make a lot of stuff. So, none of their stuff is like a weight loss thing because they're not like a weight loss pill. Like I said, it's more holistic. If the reason you're struggling with your weight or struggling with your health is because you're not digesting things, for example, they make digestive enzymes. They can help you digest your food. They make P3OM, it's a probiotic. It's a proteolytic strain, meaning, actually breaks down protein, has antiviral properties. It's one of the few probiotics-- Actually, it's probably like the only probiotic I consistently will take or turn to. I could also probably recommend it for Nicole as well. So, I'll put links to that in show notes. They make a keto supplement called kApex for people doing ketogenic diets. Somebody actually just posted in my Facebook group the other day about it. They were like, “This is a game-changer.”

Gin Stephens: In what way?

Melanie Avalon: I guess they were doing keto for a long time, and not digesting their food well or not feeling energy from the keto diet. And they started taking it and they said that they were digesting food better, that they had amazing energy, and that it was the answer to making the keto diet work for them, which is the reason they make that supplement. And then, they make magnesium because magnesium is super important for stress. It's one of the one-- I don't want to say one of the one because the book I'm reading right now is talking about how we're depleted in all micronutrients. But it's probably one of the primary nutrients that we really need more of, and we just don't get enough of because of our modern soils and modern food. So, they make a really comprehensive magnesium supplement that, again, in my group, people talk about all the time about just being a game-changer. But, Sheree, so none of them are to help you lose weight. They're to help you get your body back into balance so that you can lose weight naturally.

Anyway, definitely join my Facebook group and ask your question there, because people will give you lots of opinions and you can probably get more specific answers.

Gin Stephens: Yeah. And it really just depends on issues that you're having and what you need. We don't all need the same supplements. We don't all need everything that BiOptimizer sells. You might need one of their things or two of their things, or zero of their things. But don't feel like, “Well, I've got to get their entire catalog of things.” So, you have to figure out what do you need. I've told this story before, maybe not everyone has heard it. But a friend of mine takes some supplement and she was like, “This supplement is the one that's changed my life.” And then I was like, “Oh, maybe I should try that. I would like to change my life.” And I started taking it, and it made me feel worse and worse and worse. And then, I started researching it and it is based on like a genetic thing that she's got and I don't, and it was the wrong supplement for me. So, never take a supplement just because someone else is having great results with, it might be totally wrong for you.

Melanie Avalon: And we talked about this last week, Gin. I'm more and more of the opinion of minimal supplements, less supplements rather than more. I would prefer 100% that we could just get all of our nutrients from food and never need a supplement ever again. That's why actually if you look at what BiOptimizers makes, it's not actually-- with the exception of magnesium, which is a nutrient, their main thing is digestive enzymes and HCl. So, it's something that is helping you digest your food.

Gin Stephens: It supports digestion.

Melanie Avalon: But in a dream world, nobody would need digestive support because they could just radically digest everything. But a lot of us do because of our gut situation, the foods we're eating, our environment. Our vagus nerve is just all out of whack. So, that can be really helpful. And then, the other one they make probiotic which is different than like a nutrient per se. Like I said, the only really nutrient they do is magnesium. I think they have a mineral supplement. In a dream world, we would not need any. Although I will say, I plucked this last week, but, Gin, I'm taking NR and NMN again, and I swear it's changing my life. Like, why did I stop?

Gin Stephens: And I'm pretty simple. I just take my magnesium at bedtime. There's one multivitamin that I take it with my dinner and that's it. And really, it's because I do try to eat a wide variety of foods and hope to get everything I need for my foods. But it's a really good high-quality multivitamin. They actually sponsor my podcast. So, other than that, though, that's pretty much it.

Melanie Avalon: I'm excited because I'm about to interview, and I mentioned this last time, but Caltons who Rebuild Your Bones. Although now, they have me worried because they're talking about studies where apparently, there was one study where they challenged dietitians to make a diet in different categories, I don't know what it was. I think one was Atkins and one was DASH-- I don't know there's different ones and they were challenged to make a diet that would fulfill like all micronutrients and be “palatable,” which may be the key, maybe that's the key, but be “palatable” and be a certain amount of calories and none of the dietitians could do it. I was like, “Oh, that's disconcerting.” So, yeah,

Hi friends. You guys know I'm always working on naturally managing stress levels. Life can be a little bit stressful these days, don't I know it, and I'm always trying to find the best tools to address that. While I love things like meditation, mindfulness, vagus nerve treatment, and all of that, it turns out there's a supplement that can be incredible for stress and anxiety, also pain and sleeplessness, and a lot of other things.

That would be CBD oil. CBD oil is so incredible because it works on your natural endocannabinoid system to regulate it. It's not making you need more of the substance to feel better. Rather, it's helping you feel better naturally. There's no high, no hangover, no addiction. I think it is so wonderful that CBD is becoming available to the public now, but the problem with that is that it's sort of everywhere and that means there's a lot of CBD products on the market that you don't want to be taking. It's really important, in my opinion, that your CBD meets all of my stringent criteria that it's high quality, full spectrum, tested for potency, organic and made with an organic MCT oil carrier.

Would you believe I've only found one company that fits all of that? That would be Feals. I adore Feals. It's almost shocking if I feel a little bit of tension rising or some stress getting to me, I can take Feals and within minutes, I will feel a sense of calm, and often be laughing. It's really, really crazy. Feals is premium CBD delivered directly to your doorstep. I will never not have Feals in my “medicine cabinet,” because it's that effective.

And they have an incredible offer for our listeners. This offer is just insane. So, you can actually become a member and get 50% off your first order. Yes, 50% off, not making that up. Just go to feals.com/ifpodcast to become a member and get 50% automatically taken off your first order with free shipping. Feals really has me feeling my best every day and it can help you too. Again, feals.com/ifpodcast to become a member and get 50% automatically taken off your first order with free shipping. And, by the way, you can pause or cancel that membership at any time. So, don't worry, this doesn't have to be a commitment, although you'll probably find yourself reordering because it's that amazing. Again, feals.com/ifpodcast.

All right, now back to the show.

Melanie Avalon: In any case, shall we go on to our next question?

Gin Stephens: Yes.

Melanie Avalon: All right. So, we have a question from Laura. The subject is "Weekend Sabotage." Laura says, “Hi ladies. so thankful I found you. What When Wine started all this for me. Feeling great but would love to lean out but crave tough workouts and that muscular look. Would you be able to explain what effect alcohol on the weekends is doing to my body? I will be honest, I am not just having a glass of wine on the weekends on my up days, definitely more than that. But wondering what the science is behind alcohol on the weekends.

Here's a typical week for me. I've been IFing since March of 2019. Monday through Thursday, one meal a day, 24, always a whole30 meal. It is a struggle on Monday though, but I power through. Friday, I fast, till we go out around six but eat and drink whatever I want breakfast, lunch, and dinner but smaller portions because I know I'll be eating three meals, not whole30 until Sunday afternoon around 2:00 PM, then have a healthy dinner whole30. I work out four to five days a week including rowing, running, Peloton, and weights, a variation of these options all week. Plus, walk the dogs four to five times a week, one to two miles a day.

I'm totally stuck. I'm not losing weight. I am at a healthy weight, but definitely squishy in the middle. I read Fast. Feast. Repeat. and I think I will try Some Things Out of the Toolbox with messing around with the length of my window and up and down days. But I'm still curious what my Friday nights to Sunday afternoon is doing scientifically, glycogen stores, insulin, etc. I've also been listening to Melanie talk about Siim Land and muscle building tips. I check my activity with my Apple Watch and it says I burn 2200 to 2500 calories a day, which I don't think I'm eating one meal a day. So, I recently added last week a protein shake to open my window to help get more protein in during my eating window. I'm five feet five inches, 45 years old, newly retired middle schoolteacher, Gin. My hubby and I typically don't drink during the week Monday through Thursday. I weigh on Friday mornings and it takes me till Thursday the next week to get back to where I started. Ugh! Thank you for all your research. I admire both of your passions for health and educating people. Hugs from So Cal.” I have so many thoughts about this question.

Gin Stephens: Me too. And to be honest with you, I'm just going to say, Laura, you've probably heard me talk about-- I don't know when this came in, in relation to what I've been talking about my month of no alcohol and it's extending because I just feel so much better. Did I talk last time, Melanie, about how I drank for my PREDICT study and then couldn't sleep and felt terrible?

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. I don't think I connected it to the PREDICT study, but yeah.

Gin Stephens: Okay. Oh, that's why I wanted to see what it did on my blood glucose meter. So, I did it for science and then I felt awful again and--

Melanie Avalon: Oh yeah. Yeah, you did.

Gin Stephens: Yeah. I thought so. Basically, Laura, what just rocked my world recently was realizing that I am a slow alcohol metabolizer. I talk about in Fast. Feast. Repeat. how when I was trying to get to my initial goal weighed in 2015, I delayed alcohol. It was about a 10-week period. I was almost at my goal, and I wanted to lose, I think it was 20 more pounds to get there so I could buy all my spring clothes and just be that size and not have to buy different clothes, and spring was coming. So, I delayed alcohol, meaning I didn't have any alcohol at all. And I also delayed ultra-processed foods and I ate just whole foods, real foods, plenty of carbs, but real potatoes, real beans, lots of butter or sour cream cheese, just real food. And I lost about two pounds a week. Thinking back on that, now that I understand that I'm a slow alcohol metabolizer, it really like it takes my body days after drinking to get back to a good fat-burning state. And you might say, “Well, how do you know that?”

Well, I went the whole month without any alcohol at all and then I tested a couple glasses of wine at the beach with Chad. I'm using this breath ketone monitor that Melanie had them send me to play around with, and I can 100% see that it takes my body a while to get back into ketosis when I've had alcohol. So, one big thing that jumps out at me is what you said how it's a struggle every Monday, but you power through. So, that indicates, if you're sluggish and struggling-- yeah, I always just assumed it was I'd refilled my glycogen storage. I just assumed that. But now I realized that-- even when I was at the beach with Chad, I didn't eat all that much. I waited till late in the day, I didn't have longer, relaxed vacation windows. Chad doesn't like to pay for a lot of money to go out to eat. So, we ate at the condo, which made him really happy. And I like to cook, so that was fine. I didn't mind. So, it wasn't like I had eaten a lot and refilled my glycogen stores. But then, the same thing happened from just two glasses of wine. It took me a few days to really get back to normal.

So, I would like to challenge you to delay alcohol, give it a month. I just want you to see. You'll know at the end of that month if it's making a difference or not, see how you feel on Monday. Don't change the weekend eating, just the drinking. And I want you to try that experiment and then write back and let us know. I'm just so curious if it might be as huge for you as it is for me. I knew that it made a difference for me when I was losing weight. Now, I have a hunch as to why. I haven't been able to find a lot of science out there, a lot of people writing about this idea of this-- the whole idea of being a fast alcohol metabolizer, slow metabolizer, whatever. But I think it could be an issue for a lot of people that maybe don't realize it.

Melanie Avalon: This is funny because I'm probably gonna say almost the exact opposite thing. But I think it's great because it's a lot of different approaches and we're all so different. So, I'll give you another perspective, Laura, maybe we can try it all out and see what works for you personally because like Gin said, we're all different. When I read this, I see that you're doing one meal a day, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday. Then, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, so not even one day, but the weekend, like she says, “Weekend Sabotage.”

Gin Stephens: Well, she fasts till 6:00 PM on Friday.

Melanie Avalon: Okay. So, Friday normal and then Saturday all day. And then, I'm assuming alcohol on Saturday. And then, Sunday--

Gin Stephens: She eats from 2:00 till dinner. Yeah.

Melanie Avalon: So, still eating. Saturday and Sunday. Alcohol added on Friday, assuming alcohol on Saturday evening, and then eating basically all day Saturday and Sunday.

Gin Stephens: Well, Sunday, she fasts until Sunday afternoon around 2:00 and then have a healthy dinner. I'm not really sure what she does on Sunday. Sunday's confusing.

Melanie Avalon: She drinks whatever I want breakfast, lunch, dinner, because [unintelligible [00:53:57] eating three meals until Sunday afternoon around 2:00 and then have a healthy dinner. Oh, it sounds like she does that non-whole30 from all day, Saturday, Sunday, but then she jumps back into whole30 Sunday evening. That's how I'm reading it.

Gin Stephens: Well, yeah, she does say Friday night to Sunday afternoon later. So, you're right, that she does say that later. Friday night through Sunday afternoon.

Melanie Avalon: When I see this, I see Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, whole30, one meal a day. Then Friday, one meal a day, but alcohol, and then eating-- completely changing what you're eating and eating all day, Saturday, anything all day Sunday with alcohol throughout on the weekend. So, just seeing that objectively, the thing that really jumps out to me isn't the alcohol. It's the massive change in the food. It could be just the alcohol. Just like stepping back and this is like a crazy thought experiment and this is not meant to be taken literally. But if for example, you ate what you'd normally eat whole30 but all you did was add alcohol-- and don't do this, it's not I'm saying-- I'm going to extremes, just think about this. Even if you added like thousands and thousands and thousands of calories of alcohol to your preexisting whole30, you wouldn't store any of that alcohol. It wouldn't be healthy and would not be a good thing to do. But that's not actually going to create weight loss. Compared to eating thousands and thousands of calories, which we don't know if you're doing but switching from whole30 to eating whatever you want, especially with our modern processed food, it's really easy to take in a lot of calories, especially if you're in this mindset of weekends, like no whole30, like go big or go home. And you're not just going big or going home one day, which can often be really helpful, especially for people fasting every single day, one meal a day and then having an off day, but this is sort of starting on a Friday night, going in all day, Saturday, continuing Sunday, and not going back to normal until Sunday. So, that's a long time to switch your food choices from noninflammatory whole foods that even if say they're the same amount of calories of more processed foods, you probably extract less calories from them. This is a huge food shift is what I'm seeing. And on top of that, if whole30 is anti-inflammatory for you, that inflammation from food can also lead to a lot of weight gain, just from water retention and things like that.

So, what I would encourage you, alcohol could be playing-- It's ironic, I was even thinking it's possible that alcohol might even be slightly protective of weight gain because some people with alcohol actually are less likely to gain weight, some more likely but results are all over the board. And, yes, it was a rodent study, but my mind is still just being blown by that rodent study I read recently that came out this year pretty recently about rodents fed diets meant to make them gain weight and when they had alcohol with it, they didn't experience the metabolic issues that they did when they weren't having alcohol.

So, my advice would be to change just one variable to determine what the cause is. Well, there are a lot of ways you could go about this. Basically, what this is saying to me is you can't have your cake and eat it too. I don't think you can continue in this pattern if you want to not gain weight or not have to take-- it says it takes her until Thursday to get back to normal. If you want to break out of this pattern, something's going to have to change. So, you can try a lot of things. You can try cutting out the alcohol and still eating the same and see what happens. You might start losing weight, you might not change, you might even gain more weight. You could try still eating three meals and eating all time but keeping it whole30 foods that would be like a happy medium even with alcohol. Maybe that's like a baby step to try. Like still doing it but not just eating whatever you want but eating whole30 but eating whenever you want whole30 with alcohol. You could try maybe still doing one meal a day eating whatever foods you want but adding alcohol. There are a lot of things you could try, but I wouldn't jump to the conclusion automatically that it's the alcohol. I think it's all of it together.

Gin Stephens: And for me, I would like to reiterate, I would try the alcohol first. It just from what I've learned about my own body. Also, alcohol makes me choose different foods. That's a point that-- you may find that just cutting out the alcohol for a month suddenly, you're not craving eating and drinking all those things. That would be what I would start with. But let us know what you do and what works.

Melanie Avalon: One last thought is taking in a lot of alcohol, obviously not good for the liver, you don't want to be overdrinking and binge-drinking and heavy drinking, that's not going to be healthy. That said, the long-term effects on body weight or fat storage or things like that are not necessarily-- because we don't know what she's eating, but she's eating whatever she wants and it is things like processed food, especially foods high and seed oils, high in inflammatory fats, and in a calorie excess and in a gaining weight situation, those fats are changing the composition of your fat cells if you're gaining weight. Actually, even not if you're gaining weight, if it's high in these inflammatory fats, it's a long-term change. A long-term thing you're going to have to deal with, compared to the short-term change of alcohol. There's just a lot more potential for “long-term damage,” I think. Unless you're binge-drinking crazy and you get psoriasis or something like that.

Gin Stephens: Well, for me, just realizing two glasses of wine one night kept me from getting into deep ketosis for days, versus I can eat more carbs and plenty of foods-- and my diet’s not as clean as yours by any means. I eat crackers out of a box. I'm sure I'm getting-- you would probably die at the number of seed oils I have. And the alcohol has made a huge difference for me to the point that I'm a little shocked by it. I'm surprised at what a big difference it's made. I'm disappointed that my body doesn't do well with alcohol because I really enjoy it, but I'm feeling so good without it.

Melanie Avalon: No, I 100% get it. I guess I just like to provide the other picture. Like I said, we know everybody's unique. So definitely, Laura, try it and report back and let us know what works. I just think if you can have alcohol in your life, especially looking at epidemiological studies, so many long live populations who are lean, healthy, have moderate alcohol intake, if it can be a part of your life and it's something you enjoy, I want it to be part of your life. And I guess I'm coming from the opposite perspective where I was drinking a lot of wine for a long time and it was not an issue at all for my weight, and then I cut it out-- I actually did gain weight when I cut it out, probably wasn't related. But now, I'm finally starting to drink wine again, and I'm so happy.

Gin Stephens: And you're a fast alcohol metabolizer, right?

Melanie Avalon: I think so. Yeah.

Gin Stephens: Yeah. So, see, I really think that that is a key that people-- I don't think we know yet. I haven't been able to find anything. Maybe somebody knows. I just don't know. But to me, I really think that could be a huge factor. If someone is a slow alcohol metabolizer that maybe like the thing that's holding them back. I just know what a difference it's made for me all along, and the period of time when I lost weight the quickest was the period of time I wasn't drinking at all. But recently, the only thing I made, the only change I've made is alcohol. I haven't changed what I'm eating. And my Shapa is showing me slow weight loss.

Melanie Avalon: That's a huge key. The only thing you changed was alcohol. She's changing so much. She's changing the types of foods, the amount, the timing, and alcohol, that's four.

Gin Stephens: No, but I mean, but she's maintaining in this range she's with this protocol. What she's doing right now, is she can't lose any weight, she's doing this protocol. And her protocol is she eats really, really clean and then she stops for the weekend. But my point of what I was saying was, I haven't changed what I'm eating. I only took out alcohol before when I was losing two pounds a week when I was trying to get to goal, I changed what I was eating and the alcohol. So, but now, my point was to-- I'm trying to contrast those two times. Right now, I only took out the alcohol. I didn't change what I'm eating.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, I get what you're saying. Yeah, so I was talking about something else. You were saying that that was the only factor, so it was the factor.

Gin Stephens: For me, back in 2015. I took out alcohol and changed what I was eating. So, I was eating really high-quality foods and not drinking, and I lost weight really quickly. Right now, I haven't changed what I've been eating from what I've been eating for the past year, I've been eating-- I did experiment with the lower fat a long time back this year just to see, but I feel better with more fat, but the only thing I've changed in the past two months is the alcohol.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, because I guess because she changed four factors. She added alcohol, she's changing what she eats, how much she eats, and when she eats.

Gin Stephens: But what I'm saying is she needs to pick something to experiment with and pick one variable right now.

Melanie Avalon: So, change one variable, it's like what speaks to you. And you can try different things, so I was going to say if you want to try to start just change a few variables, You have to like look at your week-- So, what is important to you on the weekends that you want to keep in to make the weekend feel like a weekend. Is it the alcohol? Is it eating whatever type of food you want? Is it when you eat? Or is it how much you eat? Or is it a combination of those? And I would really think about it and try to find a happy medium where you can keep in what's most important to you and what makes you happiest on the weekends. But not doing all four of those because all four of those is not working.

Gin Stephens: Yeah. Well, definitely, I want Laura to experiment and then write back and tell us what she tried and what worked.

Melanie Avalon: Yes. Let us know.

Gin Stephens: Because you'll figure it out. There's a tweak that works.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, and we have to mention though, if you do drink alcohol, Dry Farm Wines. Please, please.

Gin Stephens: I'm a big believer too. I'm going to continue to drink alcohol here and there just not as part of my daily life. I'm not going to be a drink around the house kind of person, I don't think. But it's going to be Dry Farm because now Chad is also hooked on it.

Melanie Avalon: I just got my sister hooked on it. I'm so excited.

Gin Stephens: Chad's a believer.

Melanie Avalon: I want to get my dad hooked on it because that's where I get my love of wine from and he's not like alcoholic or anything but he drinks wine every night. And I'm just like, “Oh, I need to get him drinking Dry Farm Wines.” Basically, their wines are low sugar, low alcohol. They're tested to be free of toxins, free of mold. They grow all throughout Europe. There's no California wines or US wines because none of the US wines meet their standards. That's how pervasive pesticides are in the US, which is really upsetting, even on organic farms. So, they go throughout Europe and they test individually all the wineries to find wines meeting their standards, even if the wineries don't necessarily have an organic stamp. So, you can get a bottle for a penny at dryfarmwines.com/ifpodcast.

Gin Stephens: You have to get used to it because it's so different than wine you're used to but once you get used to it, you'll drink a standard wine and you're like, “Oh.” At first, when you try Dry Farm Wines, you're going to say, “This is different,” but it has a cleaner mouthfeel, it's so different. And one thing I want to point out, it's lower alcohol than standard ones, but it's still enough alcohol to bother me if I drink too much of it, or to drink it a lot.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, all of their wine is 12.5% or less. All right. Well, this has been absolutely wonderful. So, a few things for listeners before we go. You can ask your own questions to us just directly email questions@ifpodcast.com or you can go to ifpodcast.com and you can submit questions there. The show notes for today's episode, which we talked about a lot of things, so definitely check those out, the scale, the grounding shoes, Dry Farm Wines, studies, all the things. That will be at ifpodcast.com/182. You can follow us on Instagram, we are @IFPodcast. You can follow me, I'm at @MelanieAvalon. And you can follow Gin, she's @GinStephens. I think that's all she wrote.

Gin Stephens: Yep, that's all.

Melanie Avalon: All right. Well, this has been absolutely wonderful. Anything from you, Gin, before we go?

Gin Stephens: No. I think that's it.

Melanie Avalon: All right. I will talk to you next week.

Gin Stephens: All right. Bye-bye.

Melanie Avalon: Thank you so much for listening to The Intermittent Fasting Podcast. Please remember that everything discussed on this 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!

More on Gin: GinStephens.com

Theme Music Composed By Leland Cox: LelandCox.com

If you enjoyed this episode, please consider leaving us a review in iTunes - it helps more than you know!