Welcome to Episode 201 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.
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16:20 - Listener Feedback: Maria - Not A Question, Just Some Good Feedback
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30:45 - Listener Q&A: Cindy - Which do you think has more of an impact on the body, IF or diet?
Melanie Avalon: Welcome to Episode 201 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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Hi everybody and welcome. This is Episode number 201 of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast. I'm Melanie Avalon and I'm here with Gin Stephens.
Gin Stephens: Hi, everybody. Oh, can I tell you something cool?
Melanie Avalon: Yes, that threw me off so much.
Gin Stephens: Episode 201 comes out on 2/22/21. It's a day of twos and ones.
Melanie Avalon: Oh, yeah. I'm looking at the numbers right now. That is a lot of twos.
Gin Stephens: And the one at the end. Yeah. 201 on 2/22/21. I don't know. I just like numbers.
Melanie Avalon: Happy February 22nd to you.
Gin Stephens: Awesome. Even though we're recording this in January. Yes. I wonder what life is like in the future. [laughs]
Melanie Avalon: Do you think so broadcasts-- okay, but this isn't broadcast. They say that radio broadcasts, aren't they just going out into space?
Gin Stephens: Yeah.
Melanie Avalon: I used to always hear that like if aliens got our broadcasts, depending on where they were, they might get broadcasts from the 1960s, so they would show up to Earth dressed up 1960s?
Gin Stephens: [laughs] I don't know. That's interesting, though. I guess the broadcast waves do make it out through the atmosphere and just keep going. I don't know.
Melanie Avalon: I guess our podcast is not broadcast, so I got really excited for a second thinking [laughs] we were going to live on the universe.
Gin Stephens: That's funny.
Melanie Avalon: Our podcast.
Gin Stephens: I love it. I do want to say one thing. I have just started doing something different with my eating window after all this time.
Melanie Avalon: What is that?
Gin Stephens: Well, it just suddenly hit me. Every day, I've been opening my window forever with a hearty snack and then later having a sit-down dinner with Chad. I just was getting to the point where every day when it was time to cook the big dinner, I was like, I'm doing a lot of things. I'm working on a new book. I had already eaten a little bit, or actually, I've been eating a lot with my snack. So, I have actually flipped my eating. I am opening earlier. Not earlier in the day, but I'm having my main dinner to open. Let's say it might be 3 o'clock, and instead of opening with a snack, I just go ahead and make dinner at 3 o'clock, and then I eat it the way I was eating my snack, but I also set aside Chad's portion. Then when he eats it, I have my something else. That's my snack. I've just flipped it.
Melanie Avalon: You eat the big portion alone?
Gin Stephens: Well, I am now because he works. Well, I was eating my snack alone. But here's what's so nice, it feels better. I was realizing that I was eating a lot in the earlier part of my window by myself. Yes, but it was because Chad's at work, but I was eating the snack and then I was eating a lot, continuing to snack till I felt satisfied. Then, by the time dinner rolled around, I wasn't as hungry. I didn't feel like cooking, like I said, because I'd already been so satisfied from before. I am loving cooking the main meal. It doesn't feel as much of a drag because I haven't eaten yet, I'm more excited. The anticipatory feeling is higher and I'm eating my main meal, and then he doesn't care that it's three hours ago that I made it. He's eating it, and I'm having a little snack at that time.
Melanie Avalon: Have you ever done just having the main meal with Chad and not eating before?
Gin Stephens: Oh, absolutely. Yeah, on many days when I've been busy, but that's not enough food for me over the course of long term. Just having one sit-down experience, it's not enough food for my body. I need more food. One plate a day, 23:1 long term, that doesn't work well for me at this point, because I don't need to lose any more weight and I just can't take in enough food in that short of a time to sustain me day after day after day. Because I'm still a little hungry, I'm eating my main meal early now. Then when it's time for Chad to eat, I'm still eating a little bit and a little hungry at that point. I'm not done for the day.
Melanie Avalon: I feel that approach would apply to some questions we've had in the past from listeners.
Gin Stephens: I remember, we suggested that she flip it, I remember.
Melanie Avalon: One girl was saying that she didn't have enough time to eat all of the food with the family, because she ate slow, and she was eating a lot. Then another girl, I think wanted to eat earlier. She felt better eating earlier, but she also wanted to eat with her family. That would actually be a situation what you just stopped it.
Gin Stephens: It feels great. The main part about sitting with Chad is visiting with him. I'm still getting to eat the meal, but now what I've realized is, again, I'm not annoyed at having to cook later when I'm not as hungry, it was becoming a chore. Instead, it's exciting to cook again. Where was I going with that? Oh, I'm enjoying the meal more.
Melanie Avalon: Nice.
Gin Stephens: Not because I'm alone. Ideally, I wish Chad was at home ready to eat at that time as well, but he's not, but I'm enjoying the actual food because it's the first thing I'm eating.
Melanie Avalon: Very nice.
Gin Stephens: It really is. I don't know how long I'm going to do it. I'm lucky that I have a schedule that's so flexible, I can do what works for me back when I worked outside the home and didn't get home till 4:30 that obviously, I couldn't have this flexibility.
Melanie Avalon: Well, it's definitely a good motivation for listeners to tweak things around if it's not working perfectly.
Gin Stephens: Yeah. The other was working. Then I've just like, “Wow.” The other thing that I'm really enjoying is Chad gets home from work, and instead of feeling like I have to immediately go start cooking dinner, I don't have to do that. I've already done it. We just can visit and talk. I'm like, "Well, let me know when you're ready for me to put your plate on the table.” It's freed up my evening. It's hard to explain.
Melanie Avalon: Exciting.
Gin Stephens: Yeah. Anything new with you?
Melanie Avalon: I have something super random.
Gin Stephens: Okay, I love random.
Melanie Avalon: It's really, really random. I hadn't thought about it. Last night, I saw properly socially distance, of course, one of my friends from high school, I haven't seen her in a long time. We're catching up on everything that we're doing now in life. She says what I'm doing now is basically what I've always been doing. I forgot-- So way back in middle school, was in middle school? It might have been elementary school. Like back in the days of when it was like dial-up internet and AOL and everything, I started way back then like an email newsletter for all my friends. I taught myself HTML and I would do news stories and quizzes and polls. It's like what I'm doing now. I totally forgot that I've been doing that since I was a wee child.
Gin Stephens: That's so funny. Yeah, I did things like that. I always like would start clubs, and everyone would join them. I was like the president of the club, “You can be in my club that I just started, but I'm the president.” [laughs]
Melanie Avalon: I guess like sharers of information and organizers of people and stuff.
Gin Stephens: Well, yeah, I always wanted to be a teacher, always. I played school, and all my friends had to also be in my classroom, I would play school and pretend to be their teacher and give them assignments. So funny.
Melanie Avalon: Good times. I just thought it was funny that that was the first thing she thought of. She's like, “You've always been doing this.”
Gin Stephens: I love it.
Melanie Avalon: Oh, yeah, last announcement. I announced this last time, but I did start a new Facebook group for listeners who are interested in clean beauty and safe skincare, which is obviously a huge passion for me. It's called Clean Beauty and Safe Skincare with Melanie Avalon. Gin, I'm continuing-- I just have to talk about it because I'm so obsessed. Have you tried yet the vitamin C serum by Beautycounter?
Gin Stephens: Yes, I have tried it. I actually had already tried it before. I have it. Yeah.
Melanie Avalon: Are you using it now every day?
Gin Stephens: Well, I cycled through things. I have a lot of the things and so I don't use it every day. I'm more of like, “I'll do this one today. And this one tomorrow.” I rotate it.
Melanie Avalon: Okay, I'm obsessed. I'm obsessed. I wasn't just going to use it for one day, but I tried it and I have not stopped. Oh, my goodness, friends. If you want brightened skin-- I like going very minimal with skincare. Actually, with Beautycounter I thought I was just going to be using the makeup for a long time and not most of the skincare products, but I've been slowly wrapped in, mostly because I created this skincare group and everybody's talking about everything, and I'm like, “Oh, I want to try this now.” The vitamin C serum is changing my life. I just have to throw that out there.
Gin Stephens: Well, I'm crazy about the deodorant.
Melanie Avalon: I haven't tried it yet.
Gin Stephens: Oh, yeah. I love it.
Melanie Avalon: I should pull it out. I have it.
Gin Stephens: I've talked before on this podcast years ago about my struggle with natural deodorant.
Melanie Avalon: Yes. Did this one solve that problem for you?
Gin Stephens: Yes. This one is fabulous.
Melanie Avalon: Which scent are using?
Gin Stephens: I really liked the coconut. Also, I like the lavender, but I'm using the coconut day to day, but lavender I like. Rose is not my kind of fragrance. I got the little sampler and the rose was in there and I gave it to my daughter-in-law and she was here. She likes rose, the smells. The smells are very much like if you like rose, you will like the rose. If you like lavender, you will like the lavender. They're very true to life.
Melanie Avalon: You like coconut. What's the fourth one?
Gin Stephens: The fourth one, actually, I don't know if the fourth ones in the rotation all the time because I don't think I could find it in the full size. The fourth one was a more masculine kind of fragrance. I can't remember what it was called. It wasn't my favorite kind of fragrance for me.
Melanie Avalon: I wish they would make a shaving cream. I thought about ordering the man shaving cream and using it on my legs.
Gin Stephens: I don't even use shaving cream. I just use water.
Melanie Avalon: I don't either, but I just realized, I think I want to start.
Gin Stephens: Okay. Yeah, I never have. I guess I did back in the day when I was starting off because you feel you need all the stuff when you're a kid. Not a kid, but preteen teen.
Melanie Avalon: Oh, man, I'm having flashbacks to when you first start shaving.
Gin Stephens: Like, well, I need it. They make it. Yeah.
Melanie Avalon: Oh, my goodness. [laughs] Good times. In any case, listeners, if you like to get any of the Beautycounter products, you can shop with us at melanieavalon.com/beautycounter, and something special may or may not happen after your first order.
Gin Stephens: It totally will.
Melanie Avalon: In any case, shall we jump into everything for today?
Gin Stephens: Yes.
Melanie Avalon: All right. To start things off, we have some listener feedback, and this is from Maria. The subject is "Not a question, just some good feedback." Maria says, "I've been blessed with being thin all my life, but I have also had some kind of major exercising since high school. I walked to school. Yes, uphill both ways. 1.5 miles each way.” Is it possible at all to walk uphill both ways? Is it at all?
Gin Stephens: Well, you could have to go up a hill each direction. For example, if your house is up on a hill, and then you have to walk down that hill into a valley, but then the school's at the top of another hill--
Melanie Avalon: Oh, then you're up a hill again.
Gin Stephens: Yes.
Melanie Avalon: It was on two hills.
Gin Stephens: Uphill both ways. Yeah. You go down and then up, and then the other way-- Well, actually, okay, now, though, that was wrong. That was down and then up. If your house was at the bottom of valley, I said it wrong. If your house is at the bottom of a valley, and you have to go up a hill, and then down the hill to another valley and then your school is on another hill? Yes, you could have. It's not going to be 100% uphill both ways. That’s impossible.
Melanie Avalon: I just think about that piece of artwork. The one with--
Gin Stephens: Escher?
Melanie Avalon: The one with the water?
Gin Stephens: Yeah, I love him, Escher. Yes. optical illusions.
Melanie Avalon: I stare at that picture for too long.
Gin Stephens: M.C. Escher is one of my favorite artists. I love his work.
Melanie Avalon: It's the one with the water, like the water’s flowing?
Gin Stephens: Yeah. He has one with water. Yeah, or several.
Melanie Avalon: Then there's one with stairs.
Gin Stephens: Yep.
Melanie Avalon: Good times. Okay. Back to the question. She says, “After having two children, I lifted weights or played racquetball three to five times a week. After the kids moved out, kayaked,” oh, wow “Three to five hours or long distance biked once a week. We moved and lived in our RV for a year and the exercising stopped. And then, menopause hit. I weigh more now than when I was pregnant. Hearing so much about IF, I decided to give it a try. I have been intermittent fasting several months on and off with really very little change. There is so much conflicting information out there. Milk, no milk, 50 calories okay, 100 calories okay. That is when I decided to read Gin’s book, Fast. Feast. Repeat. Wow. I will read it again and again and again. That's how I learned about a clean fast and not starving myself and enjoying eating again, and my glass of wine when my window is open.
My first aha moment was when I heard someone talking about chewing gum. I did not realize it broke my fast. Also, I had flavored chap stick, which broke my fast. So, I experimented. I decided to have a piece of gum during my fasting period. Immediately, I was hungry. Hmm. Anything with a flavor or a taste? Hmm. I've been clean fasting for three weeks now. Not seeing any weight loss, I am seriously thinking about throwing away my scale. I just listened to a podcast where Gin did the same because I feel amazing. I have so much energy. I'm driving my husband crazy. We are retired and I cannot sit still when I am at home.
Also, I've noticed some skin issues I had that have disappeared. Hmm. I'm attributing that to autophagy. I'd rather feel great than see that number on the scale. I'm 66 and don't exercise the way I used to, due to my husband having some health issues, but I've started walking. One mile, then two, then three. I feel great. Some days, I feel I can go forever. Then, my body reminds me not to overdo it. I love listening to Gin and Melanie's podcast. I feel like I have friends that are sharing with me. Please keep up the good work. God bless.”
Gin Stephens: Oh, I love that, Maria.
Melanie Avalon: I know. I thought that was a really wonderful email.
Gin Stephens: I have two things I want to say. One, I just feel so grateful, she mentioned that when menopause hit, she gained a lot of weight prior to starting intermittent fasting. I was worried about that. I was not in menopause when I started intermittent fasting. It was obvious I was perimenopausal and then I went through menopause and now I'm on the other side of it. 51 is the average age, and that's the age where I am. I hit did it at exactly the average time, but I didn't gain any weight. I was so worried. I didn't know because most women do gain weight over the transition. I didn't. It is so exciting, because I didn't know what would happen. I was like, is fasting going to protect me from the menopausal weight gain?
Melanie Avalon: Yeah.
Gin Stephens: Yes. I'm confident now that it will and has. Anyway, I just had to throw that out there because that was something I worried about not knowing. Anyway, I also want to just say one thing, if you've been clean fasting for three weeks, Maria, and remember that in the 28-Day FAST Start of Fast. Feast. Repeat, I don't want you to expect to see any weight loss until after the adjustment period. I want you to give yourself you know, 28 days at minimum as the period of time you're not even expecting weight loss, but I'm glad you're feeling good. I would never stop. Even if I had gained weight during menopause, I wouldn't stop fasting just because I feel so good. Fasting just like you.
Melanie Avalon: I love it.
Gin Stephens: Yay. All right. We have a question from Beth. The subject is “Bloodwork.” “Hi, ladies, and thank you for your podcast. I recently had blood work for my doctor. I was in a fasted state when I had it done. I'm just not sure how to analyze the results. What should my numbers be? Thank you for any help with this. I know you have recommended companies where you can send your bloodwork away, but I just can't afford that right now.”
Melanie Avalon: All right. I thought this was a really great question because I actually I think this is a really important issue to talk about that people don't talk about a lot, because we're often talking about the importance of getting bloodwork and different markers to look for. It actually can be really confusing, because when people get their blood work. There's going to be ranges, and those ranges are actually unique to the lab that you're using. Any given bloodwork marker, there's usually a typical range, but you actually have to look on your actual bloodwork results to see-- it's calibrated to the lab that you're using. All of that said, it's further confusing because the ranges that are determined to be what we're aiming for. They're not necessarily the ideal ranges. They're not necessarily based on healthy populations as well.
I had the founder of a company called InsideTracker on the Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast, and his name was Gil Blander. If you're at all interested in the history of bloodwork and conventional ranges, and why they can be misleading, and why you should look for more ideal ranges and why what you're testing might not even be what you should be testing, it's a really, really fascinating episode. He also does intermittent fasting, by the way, which is really exciting. I think, Gin, you've had him on--
Gin Stephens: I did. I had him on the Intermittent Fasting Stories podcast as well, because a lot of times people want to come on my podcast, and they'll send me, “Can I come on your podcast?” I'll say, “Well, I interview people who do intermittent fasting. Do you do intermittent fasting?” And they'd be like, “No,” but he was like, “Yes,” I'm like, “Awesome.” [laughs] It was fabulous.
Melanie Avalon: Do you talk more about the fasting? Or, do you talk about all the bloodwork?
Gin Stephens: The point of my podcast is, really we want to hear your story about you as an intermittent faster. And he really impressed me with a statement that he made. I'm going to paraphrase because it's been a while and I don't have it in front of me. He said that intermittent fasting is the number one lifestyle recommendation he would make for someone who is wanting to be healthy and increase longevity.
Melanie Avalon: Oh, wow. That's incredible.
Gin Stephens: Yes. With his background and scientific knowledge, to say that really just blew me away. It was just really exciting.
Melanie Avalon: Yeah, especially because the purpose of his company is analyzing health through bloodwork. They have their Inner Age platform. It's like they're trying to determine what your true “inner age” is based on the work they've done is, it's the blood markers that correlate to longevity, like in populations. That's how they determine what needs to be tested. David Sinclair is actually a partner in the company, I obviously love David Sinclair. I know that Beth is not looking for a service like that. I just wanted to bring it in for educational purposes, for people who do want to do that type of testing because they send blood work tests and then--
Gin Stephens: Analyses.
Melanie Avalon: -analyses. Yeah, it's really an amazing service. I'll put in the show notes a link to their services. For Beth’s question about if you're getting the conventional work from your doctor, first of all, you should be having a follow-up with your doctor where the doctor is going to go through your results. Right, Gin? I mean, that's pretty much usually always--
Gin Stephens: No, not all the time. Sometimes, they'll just send your results and say everything was fine.
Melanie Avalon: Well, yes, true.
Gin Stephens: I think that happens more often than anything else. I think they mainly only call you back in when there's a problem.
Melanie Avalon: There should be some level of communication from the doctor if everything is “fine.”
Gin Stephens: That's the part like you said, the part that's tricky is what is fine, because we know that there's the wide range like you were saying, and you can be “fine,” but really not fine, because optimal would be really different from what you are. Fine and optimal are two different things, and that's so important.
Melanie Avalon: Beth’s question is a bit vague in that we don't know anything about Beth. It's really based on the individual what you're looking for. Are you experiencing health issues? Is there something that you are looking to see if it might be off? Or, is something trending a certain way? In general, I think things that people might want to look at that might seem “fine,” but might indicate that you might want to dig deeper would be things like your cholesterol panel, the ratios and seeing if it's trending a certain way. Thyroid is a huge one. The thing is, I don't want people to feel they have to overanalyze everything if they don't sense that things are off and things do seem “fine.” I think it's a really good question.
I know it can be overwhelming, but you can find out a lot just self-researching. If there's some marker that you want to specifically research, if you research it, there's a lot of help out there. It can be overwhelming and there can be a lot of information. But if you really want to learn, there's definitely a lot to learn on the interwebs. You just want to make sure that you're vetting the sources that you're reading from.
Gin Stephens: Yeah, that's important.
Melanie Avalon: Do you have any other thoughts, Gin?
Gin Stephens: No, I think you explained it really, really well. Just, I want to reemphasize and reiterate, we both mentioned it already, but making sure that you're looking at and understanding what's ideal versus what is acceptable. Optimal health is very different than your levels are fine.
Melanie Avalon: I will say really quickly, just because I'm obsessed with bloodwork, as listeners might know, I talked about InsideTracker. Actually, my favorite thing on their platform is they have a lab test analyzer portal. Gin, it is the best thing ever. If you have a lot of blood work like I do, because any test that you get through them are automatically uploaded, but then you can upload your own blood test. It's easy.
Gin Stephens: Oh, I didn't know that.
Melanie Avalon: If you have your bloodwork from Quest, or LabCorp, or whatever, you just drag and drop it into the portal. They upload it, usually within a day, it's really fast. It is the most amazing thing, it keeps all of your blood tests all in one place, so you can see the trends over time and it analyzes it by their standards. It pulls in all of your blood work ever and you can see the trends and it makes graphs. Again, it's by their range rather than conventional range. It's a godsend. Every time I go to the doctor, they have an app, so I pull it up on my phone. Also, if you're going into your doctor, you can print out like the whole report, so it's all in one place. Friends, listeners, get this. I think you can actually get just that portal if you want.
Gin Stephens: Very cool.
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Gin Stephens: Oh, that is exciting. I didn't know it did that.
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All right. Shall we go on to our next question?
Gin Stephens: Yes.
Melanie Avalon: You know we did the Episode 200, where we did Ask Me Anything, we've been having lingering questions kind of trickle in, and ones that actually relate to intermittent fasting. I'm just going to pull them in, because I think they're fun. If that's okay with you, Gin.
Gin Stephens: I think it's fine. You know what? Even if we just pop them in, even if they don't relate to intermittent fasting, I'd be okay with that. I think it's fun.
Melanie Avalon: We have one from Hannah, the subject was "Q&A for Episode 200." She says, “Hi, ladies, I don't do Facebook. I've never been interested. I'm hearing you both talk about your groups. I wonder what am I missing out? What can Facebook groups offer me that can help me continue my IF lifestyle?" Actually, that does relate to intermittent fasting. Gin, what are people missing out with Facebook groups and how does that contribute to IF lifestyle?
Gin Stephens: Well, I've talked before about that period of time for me between 2009 and 2014, when I would periodically try intermittent fasting and it wouldn't work for me. I didn't give it time and I kept going on and off, on and off and also cycling and crazy diet at the same time. It wasn't until 2014, I did some things at the time that made a difference. For example, weighing daily and calculating a weekly average that helped me to see that it was “working.” But also, that was when I was fully involved in Facebook communities. I was in a few random communities where fasting was occurring. It was a long time ago, and it was the wild west, and it was before I had any of my own Facebook groups. The information could be spotty, but support was so helpful, because I could ask wacky questions and get answers and support from other people. I felt like I was part of a community instead of alone.
That was very, very helpful because everybody just thought it was wacky in my daily life. There was just another crazy thing Gin had done, and having a community of people who are trying the same stuff I was trying and we were trying to figure out, what about alternate daily fasting, what about 5:2, what about a five-hour window. We were experimenting, what about drinking broth. This is back in the day, when we didn't really even know about the hormonal and metabolic benefits. We just thought it was a way to eat fewer calories. Now, we know there's a lot more to it than that. I think having the camaraderie and just the idea that I was not in it by myself helped a lot. Now we have my small intermittent fasting group is over 30,000 members, that's my small one. There's a whole group of people and they've all read Fast. Feast. Repeat. if they've joined since Fast. Feast. Repeat. came out, part of that it was people who had read Delay, Don’t Deny, so they've all read something. We're all coming from a place where we understand there's a lot more to fasting than we used to think.
The support is amazing. We have people sharing their non-scale victories, people sharing their health benefits, people sharing their before and after. Also, people asking for troubleshooting, that can be really helpful. If you think everyone else is just having an easy time of it, and you're the only person who's struggling, that can be lonely and make you want to quit. Just having people share their struggles together is helpful. You realize, “Oh, other people do have to struggle and work through difficult things,” and just helping one another. I think that's what you're missing out on. Is there another place to find it other than Facebook? I don't know. My community is only on Facebook, although I've thought about going to a website, that's just my website. Yeah. I don't think I'll go to another social media platform, other than Facebook, and of course, Instagram, but maybe one day I'll have a support community that's just web based. I don't know.
Melanie Avalon: Yeah, that's what I was going to say. I think the social community aspect, especially when you're doing something like intermittent fasting where it can be hard socially, because people are often suspicious or what's the word? I don't know. There's a lot of tension.
Gin Stephens: “I don't understand.”
Melanie Avalon: Having a community of support, I think can be so valuable because any dietary change support can be really, really helpful, but fasting specifically, I think the community is so, so key. That's why I really wanted to create still the dating app for intermittent fasters. Gin, I downloaded a dating app.
Gin Stephens: Oh, my gosh, are you going to--
Melanie Avalon: For research.
Gin Stephens: Oh, for research. I thought, “Well, you're going to have to go out on dates.”
Melanie Avalon: I made my profile and everything. I feel so-- I don't know. I was like, “What am I doing?”
Gin Stephens: Are you going to date people through your app? Or through that app?
Melanie Avalon: I feel like I need to go on one.
Gin Stephens: Well, you have to know what the pitfalls are.
Melanie Avalon: Yeah. We'll see. I was thinking about it more, because I had a call with-- actually, well, you know him, Cal’s friend who has been doing the updates for my current app?
Gin Stephens: Yes.
Melanie Avalon: Just to get an idea of the scope for the dating app. I think if I did it, it would be a huge project, like huge. I think it would be something I would need to, and I can change I to we, if you ever wants to join this project. [laughs] I'm not getting the sense that it's your cup of tea. I think it's something I would need to, what is it, crowdfund?
Gin Stephens: Maybe? Yeah.
Melanie Avalon: Do you think we could do that through our podcasts? Do you think people would be interested?
Gin Stephens: Well, that's a great question. I don't know.
Melanie Avalon: Because I think the budget for is pretty big to create an app where there's a whole social network aspect to it. It's a pretty big project, basically.
Gin Stephens: It's not something your son home from college makes in his bedroom in the week that he is about [unintelligible [00:36:33]. [laughs]
Melanie Avalon: Right. Also, if it was crowdfunded, they would have an instant audience, like it would automatically have users once it was launched. I really want to do this, like, I really, really want to do this. I'm just putting it out there to the universe. Listeners, stay tuned. Oh, that's what I'm talking about, the importance of community.
Gin Stephens: Oh, yeah.
Melanie Avalon: Especially I think we're dating. In any case, and then my groups. The IF Biohacker is one that I have, we do talk a lot about fasting in there, but it's a wonderful place, because especially in the biohacking world, which is a very niche community. A lot of people often have really random questions about all these things Gin and I talk about, and the things I have on my other show, red light and blue light blocking glasses and saunas, and deuterium-depleted water, and all of these crazy things. Sometimes, you want to talk to people about their personal experience about it, and how else are you going to find people to talk to? You might, in the real world, the group is pretty amazing for that.
Then, the skincare one is really great, if you are trying to find the perfect products or want to know, it's not just Beautycounter, it's like any skincare and clean beauty. Then I also actually have the Lumen Biosense CGM Group. That's where people are experimenting, especially with their fasting, with different devices that measure your blood sugar, or if you're burning carbs, or if you're burning fat. Again, it's people who are working with these devices, but they want to also get feedback from others and they have questions. It's really great for instantly plugging into communities about content and information that you might not be able to engage with. You might not have anybody you can really talk to about it.
Gin Stephens: That's so true. For example, three of us went through the Zoe app testing the PREDICT study with Dr. Tim Specter’s work back in the fall. We were going through it together. We were on messenger, social media, obviously, small group, but we were able to talk about it with each other and support one another. Now, some of the other moderators are going through it together and supporting one another. But also, people in the big group have now started going through it, and so, they're taught well, it's the small group, but bigger than the moderator group, the 30,000 member group. They're all, saying, “Well, what did you do about the muffins?” Or, “What did you do about the poop sample?” It's support. Now, you don't necessarily want to call the customer service number, when you can ask people who are doing it with you in this community. It's so much fun, watching people help one another and bond over common things that we're doing.
Melanie Avalon: It's the best place to reach me as well if you have any questions about all of the really random thoughts that I have.
Gin Stephens: Best way to reach me as well.
Melanie Avalon: Yeah, and if I don't have the answer, because sometimes people will be like, the one to know, like, there was some episode where I talked about something-- I normally remember what it is, but sometimes I don't, and other people will remember. They'll be like, “Oh, it was this episode.”
Gin Stephens: See, they'll ask in the group, like, “What intermittent fasting story, did you talk to such and such?” I'm like, “I don't know.” There was one about something with water. It was today someone in the One Meal A Day Group was like, “What was that water thing you use?” I'm like, “I have no idea what you're talking about. I don't use any water thing.” [laughs] I never have, and then somebody else like, “Oh, that was the guest in episode whatever." I'm like, “Oh, that's helpful. Thank you.”
Melanie Avalon: That's amazing.
Gin Stephens: Isn't that funny? I love the community so very much. My brain is full [laughs] of all that information.
Melanie Avalon: I think we answered that question. She had a few more questions. She says, “Melanie, do you still wait tables? Still acting? Are you too busy with the podcast? Just curious what your day job is.” My day job is the podcasts. When I talked about that on the 200th episode, I don't think everybody realizes how much time everything takes.
Gin Stephens: I don't think they do. It does take a tremendous amount of time.
Melanie Avalon: It's literally what I'm doing 24/7 pretty much.
Gin Stephens: Yeah.
Melanie Avalon: I love it so much.
Gin Stephens: I love it, too.
Melanie Avalon: Just perpetually grateful that this is my life, and that I get to do all this and, and share it and have such a wonderful community that we just talked about to share it with. But ultimately, I would, and I said this all the 200 show, but I would like to turn it into my other show into a TV show, and bring together my love of the entertainment industry with the podcasts.
Gin Stephens: That would be fun.
Melanie Avalon: Then she also says, “Gin, I would love to participate in an IF study, if you designed it. What would be the focus of the study? What would you like to prove?”
Gin Stephens: All right. Well, I can think of a bunch of different studies I would like to design. I would actually like to have a study comparing clean fasting to other styles of doing fasting, that would not be clean fasting, I'd like to see exactly what are the differences. The thing about studies, all the variables have to be the same, except for the one thing that you're changing. It's hard to do that with people. For example, let's say we did do a study where we compared the clean fast to, let's say coffee with butter in it. Okay. The variable is going to be what are you having during the fast. Well, okay, so that's one variable, but it also is going to change the amount of calories that you're having during the day. Are you going to control for that in the eating window, so that everyone in the butter coffee group gets fewer calories in their eating window to counterbalance the amount of calories they had from the butter? But then the amount they're having in the eating window is going to be different than the people who are-- You see, there's just so many variables with people. When you change one thing, it changes another.
Melanie Avalon: What if the setup was clean fasting? No restrictions on what you eat, but same eating windows. One group, they can have water, and black coffee and tea, but no sweeteners. The other one, they can have water, coffee, black tea, but they can have stevia.
Gin Stephens: Oh, that's even better. Yeah, that's a better one. Yeah, that wouldn't have the calorie impact. That's a good idea. Also, I would like to see what happens if you do put the butter in, what if you did put the milk in? Again, like I said, that just shows how hard it is with humans, because the amount of energy you're taking in is another variable.
Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I would really like to see that. The one with the sweeteners.
Gin Stephens: I think so, too. I was going to say there's like a million. I could think of I'd also like to do one where we really compare time of day, but we would have to do it in a really robust way where they have a long enough period of time, and everything else needs to be the same. Other than the time of day, that would be a good one.
Melanie Avalon: I still want to do the one I've said multiple times on this show, where they don't know that it's a fasting study and they take a pill that they can't eat a certain amount of time around. They can't take with food, and they have to wait. Then it's actually a fascinating study, but they think it's testing the pill.
Gin Stephens: Right. That would be cool.
Melanie Avalon: I want to do it so bad.
Gin Stephens: It's not what would you like to prove, Hanna asked. Of course, everyone knows, I would love to prove that the clean fast is more beneficial. I would really just like to see, let's see what happens.
Melanie Avalon: I don't think I would ever want to prove anything. You're trying to learn.
Gin Stephens: There's very little proof in science, believe it or not, right?
Melanie Avalon: Yeah. I'm trying to think of anything that I would want to prove in a study, and I can't--
Gin Stephens: It's hard to-- I mean, really, you can't. That's one of the flaws right there, is the way the fact that we have interpreted.
Melanie Avalon: The study groups that are approved things like that their purpose.
Gin Stephens: Right. Oh, well, that didn't prove anything. It just showed that in these this situation. This is what happened.
Melanie Avalon: So many studies go unpublished because the findings aren't what they wanted to prove. It makes you wonder if we had all the studies ever, if certain ideas would be different.
Gin Stephens: Oh, probably. Yeah. They're like, “Oh, that's not what I expected,” and then they never tell anybody.
Melanie Avalon: It happens a lot.
Gin Stephens: Oh, yeah. All the time. Although some are published-- I'm on a Listserv, do they still call them Listservs? Is that what it is? I don’t know, it's an email from some group in the scientific world, like obesity and whatever. I can't remember the name of it, but I get it periodically. It actually does have a section that shows where they got no results or the opposite of what they expected. I like to look at that section.
Melanie Avalon: I do love when I read studies, and it's different than what they thought, they'll talk about that, like in the intro or in the conclusion. They'll say while we anticipated finding X, Y, Z, we actually found whatever it was, and they often will propose the hypothetical mechanism of action for why that is. I was just reading a study last night-- Did I tell you I'm bringing Shawn Stevenson is coming on my show?
Gin Stephens: I think you did.
Melanie Avalon: He's at The Model Health Show, which is often the number one health show on iTunes.
Gin Stephens: Yeah, you told me that. Yeah, that rings a bell.
Melanie Avalon: I'm really excited. He has a book called I think, like Sleep Smarter. He has a new book coming out.
Gin Stephens: Oh, yeah. Yes. I just read his book. That's why it sounds familiar.
Melanie Avalon: Sleep Smarter or Eat Smarter?
Gin Stephens: Eat Smarter.
Melanie Avalon: Eat Smarter. Yeah. His first book was Sleep Smarter, he has his new book, Eat Smarter. He pointed out a study that was comparing lean fish, fatty fish, and no fish, I think, and how it affected weight loss. I was trying to find the original study, and I went and read it. I don't mean this is a slight to him, but this was actually one example of going and reading the study, and it being slightly different than what-- He said it wasn't different than what he said, but in what he said, he said that it found the male population experienced, like more weight loss with the fish groups. Then when you read the study, that's true, but the females didn't experience any weight loss. That wasn't clear reading his interpretation of it and reading his interpretation made it same for everybody. Sorry, I'm on a tangent. That is an example of a really interesting finding like that it created weight loss and men but not women. Then, I was googling other studies about fish affecting inflammatory markers and weight loss. For example, I found one study, and this is why I'm talking about this. I'm so sorry for the tangents. I found a study that compared like meat diets to fish diets, and they expected to see a decrease in inflammation and all of these different biomarkers, and there was no difference. It was really well controlled. In that situation, they said that this was not at all what we expected. That was the point of that.
Gin Stephens: My favorite part of this Listserv that I'm on is they have a section called Headline versus Study.
Melanie Avalon: Oh, yeah. You've talked about that.
Gin Stephens: It's my favorite, because they'll show like, “Here's what the headline was reported.” It was like, “Here's what the actual study was.” You could compare the two and it's hilarious. It's like, the Saturday Night Live of the nutrition world, I guess.
Melanie Avalon: Even, like what I just said, with those two different fish studies, the one study that Shawn talked about was very favorable for fish and weight loss and inflammation. Then, I found another one that didn't show that at all, and it's really confusing, I think, for people. It's no wonder that we have such dietary wars, because really, if you want to try to-- it goes back to that word proof. If your goal is to prove something, you can probably “prove it” if you line up enough studies that show it a certain way, but you can also line up enough studies that probably show something different. So, it just comes back to bioindividuality.
Gin Stephens: Yeah, absolutely.
Melanie Avalon: And doing your own research.
Gin Stephens: Yes. All right.
Melanie Avalon: One last baby question. She says, “How many siblings do you each have?” How many do you have, Gin?
Gin Stephens: I'm an only child and I'm one of four.
Melanie Avalon: Wait.
Gin Stephens: [laughs]
Melanie Avalon: You have step-siblings?
Gin Stephens: Half, I have half, but they're siblings, but I'm my mother's only child. My dad got remarried after my parents got divorced and had three other children. I'm an only child, so I was raised as an only child because I lived with my mother most of the time. But I would spend holidays and part of the summer at my dad's house with my stepmother and my sister and my two brothers. I don't say, “Hello, this is my half-sister.” I don't introduce her as my half-sister. I don't introduce them as my half-brothers. I don't even really think of them differently than you know.
Melanie Avalon: You think of them as normal siblings?
Gin Stephens: Yeah. I'm like, “Here's my brother. Here's my other brother. Here's my sister.” I don't use qualifiers there. But I was raised as an only child because I'm my mother's only child, like I said, and I'm also the oldest of four. But I never lived there all the time, day in day out, went to school in the household with siblings.
Melanie Avalon: Okay.
Gin Stephens: Well, I grew up in a different state. I was in Virginia with my mother and they were here. I'm in Augusta, Georgia. They, my dad, and my stepmother live just across the river in the South Carolina part of the area.
Melanie Avalon: Awesome.
Gin Stephens: Yeah. How about you?
Melanie Avalon: I have a brother and a sister. I am very much the oldest. I'm just like the characteristics I feel of the oldest sibling.
Gin Stephens: Me very much, too, but then my sister got to be the oldest as well. When I was there. She's got a lot of the older child characteristics, too.
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All right. And then, another question from Cindy. She also intended this for Episode 200. She says, “Which do you think has more of an impact on the body? Intermittent fasting or diet? So, high carb low fat, low carb, high fat, paleo, etc? Have you ever tried eating small meals a day? It's just that I've noticed when I do IF, I tend to overeat my meals during my eating window to an uncomfortable amount. Has this happened with you before and how did you deal with it?” I thought these are really great questions. For her first one, what do you think has more of an impact? IF or diet?
Gin Stephens: They both have an impact. You can't untangle the two, because your diet is so important. What you eat is so important. The older I get and the more I've learned, the more I’ve realized, “Yeah, what you eat really does make a huge difference because the nutrients are important.” I was raised in the era of, “Just eat your Flintstones vitamin and have your fortified cereal, and you're getting all that you need.” That's what we were taught. But now, everything I've read since I've been in the health and nutrition world, I'm like, “Oh, that is all a lie. That's not true.” We were so confused. I talked before and I might have talked about this in Fast. Feast. Repeat., I think I did. I gave my children chocolate-flavored beverage that was fortified with vitamins and nutrients instead of actual chocolate milk because I thought it was a healthier choice because had more vitamins in it. I've learned a lot more. Food is information. Real food is powerful, and you can't get what you need from these supplements versus food. I think that real food diet is key, and it has an amazing impact on the body.
Intermittent fasting also is so important. I guess it would depend on, what are your needs at the time. Food has more of an impact when you're talking about providing the nutrients that you need to build a healthy body. Intermittent fasting has more of an impact when we're talking about cleaning things up, autophagy, letting our body heal, you're bringing down insulin levels. It's impossible to claim that one has an impact that is necessarily more than the other, I guess. It just depends on what you mean, because if you said, which has the greatest impact in letting your body rest and repair? Well, that's going to be intermittent fasting. What has a greater impact in building a healthy body as far as nutrition? Well, that's going to be your diet. They each have an important role to play.
Melanie Avalon: I thought what you said was really great. I like what you said about the qualifying, like resting and repair would, well, I suppose obviously, intermittent fasting would have more of an impact compared to the nutrition building or other things. If I had to answer it, and I'm hesitant to answer it, because I don't want to give the wrong impression about anything, but if I had to answer it, I would say diet. The analogy I'm thinking of is, say that you have a house, and the diet is like the stuff in the house, the furniture and the objects, and then the fasting is having a maid come to the house. What affects that house the most? They're both really important, but the stuff in the house, so the diet is what is forming the foundation of the house. I also think that what-- she was talking about diet, like high carb, low fat, low carb, high fat, paleo, but say you're doing standard American diet-- it's like the, “You can't out exercise a bad diet.” Depending on how “bad” it is, I think there is a certain point where you can't out-fast a really, really bad diet. You might mitigate a lot of the damage, but if you're putting in things that are just attacking your body in a way and really inflammatory every single time, then the fasting will be amazing for you, because it's helping mitigate the damage and cleaning up things, but you're still having that damaging effect.
Gin Stephens: What's really funny is, when you read that I didn't even think about, when I think of diet, nowadays, I didn't even think about paleo, low carb, high carb, whatever, I just thought real food, fake food. That's it. That's my only distinction now. When I think of diet, it's like food and then not food.
Melanie Avalon: Yeah, actually, because another way we could interpret her question would be, what has more impact for weight loss, IF with fake food or, not IF with a restricted protocol, so like high carb, low fat, low carb, high fat.
Gin Stephens: Like going on a diet, as opposed to the diet that you eat day to day.
Melanie Avalon: Somebody might practice intermittent fasting and eat, doesn't even have to be “super.” I don't like using the word ‘bad’ because I don't like attaching morality, but might not even be really processed, refined inflammatory food. It might just be more normal sort of healthy food, IF compared to like really low fat, high carb, but not IF or really high fat, low carb, but not IF. I think that's a really interesting comparison.
Gin Stephens: I think it would depend on what your issues were. If you were someone with insulin resistance, I think that intermittent fasting might be really a tool that you need that might have more of an impact on the body.
Melanie Avalon: That kind of goes into her second question. It might depend on how you're eating because she says her second question to recap was, “Have we ever tried eating small meals throughout the day?” She says when she does IF, that she tends to overeat to an uncomfortable amount. Gin, has this happened with you before?
Gin Stephens: Well, I talk about this in the past Fast. Feast. Repeat. That is that during the adjustment period, when your body is not well fueled during the fast, and therefore your body is learning how to tap into fat stores, but hasn't done it yet, you open your eating window, and you tend to overeat because your body really is not well fueled, and you're like, “Oh, my gosh, I’ve got to eat.” Then when your body adjusts to intermittent fasting, that takes care of that for most of us, probably many of us. We are well fueled during the fast. We don't have that same urge to overeat because our body is not as panicked because we have been well fueled.
Cindy, I'd be very interested to know that because you said when you IF, you tend to overeat. That implies to me that you go back and forth. It used to be back and forth, back in those years from 2009 to 2014 and it was a nightmare because I lived in the adjustment phase and I never got beyond it. If you'd never get beyond the adjustment phase, you're living in the hard part. The hard part where the fasting is hard and then the eating window is hard because you're overeating, and it's uncomfortable. The idea of appetite correction is that your body adjusts, and then you are less likely to overeat to an uncomfortable amount. Will you still do that from time to time? Yes, just because food is delicious. Sometimes, you're like, “Well, I'm just going to keep eating this.” Then you're like, “Oh, I should have stopped five bites ago.” You get way better with that issue, most of us do.
We both have tried eating small meals all day, I would-- I think probably everybody has tried that, because that was the conventional wisdom for so many decades. All that did was made me hungry and kept me on the blood glucose rollercoaster, where I was never satisfied, ever, and always hungry, and always thinking about, “Is it time to eat that next small meal, or do I need to wait for 30 more minutes or can I eat it now?” Never being satisfied. I think we've all tried that. If eating the small meals all day, had worked for me, I would probably still be doing that, but it didn't.
Melanie Avalon: I think the most unpleasant-- I don't know, I did a lot of unpleasant dietary things. I think when I tried the Atkins fat fast, and I was eating like, five macadamia nuts every so many minutes or hours. Oh, my goodness.
Gin Stephens: [laughs] Yeah, and cream cheese. I remember, I tried them.
Melanie Avalon: I did the cream cheese fat fast. Yeah.
Gin Stephens: Yeah. It was so hard. It was unpleasant. I never felt good. When I did the small meals, I never felt, “Now I'm satisfied.” I never felt that. Whereas every day with intermittent fasting, I feel, “Now I'm satisfied.”
Melanie Avalon: The reason I was saying that was that her second question kind of related is, well, I'm really glad that you picked up on the- that she says when she does it, that's a really nice clue that you picked up on. If there was a person though that had been doing IF for a long time, but did have a tendency to overeat, I do think honestly, there are some people who think it's rarer, but I do think there are some people who actually do better with small meals throughout the day, just because of how they are.
Gin Stephens: I know somebody, she's a friend of ours. Her husband works with my husband. She's a grazer, and she's small and she just eats a little bit, and she eats a little bit, then she eats a little bit. That's how she eats, and she feels good. She's healthy. It obviously works for her. She's not going to do intermittent fasting, but she feels good. She's satisfied. I never felt satisfied and good.
Melanie Avalon: Exactly. Well, this has been absolutely wonderful. A few things for listeners before we go. If you'd like to submit your own questions 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 will be at ifpodcast.com/episode201. We will put links to everything that we talked about, and there will also be a full transcript there. Definitely check that out. You can get all of the stuff that we like at ifpodcast.com/stuffwelike. You can follow us on Instagram, my new favorite place. I'm MelanieAvalon, Gin is GinStephens, and I think that is everything. Anything from you, Gin?
Gin Stephens: No, but you saw those beans that I bought the other day, I saw that you liked that. I was like, “Oh.”
Melanie Avalon: I first I thought a random bean company had been listening to our show, and was like, “They're going to send--"
Gin Stephens: [laughs] No, I just bought all those beans. If you spend $50, you’ve got free shipping. I'm like, “Well, I'm not going to pay for shipping, if I can get it for free.” That's how they get you.
Melanie Avalon: I got really excited for a second. It was like a random--
Gin Stephens: About $50 worth of beans. I posted it and then I'm like, “This looks like an Instagram ad,” but it's not an Instagram ad. I went back and edited it and [laughs] part about, they don't even know who I am. I'm just really excited about these beans.
Melanie Avalon: It's so funny. If listeners are curious though, random brands send us random stuff.
Gin Stephens: They do sometimes do that.
Melanie Avalon: Yeah. I would not at all be surprised, especially now that we've put it out there if some bean company sends you.
Gin Stephens: Well, I would take all the beans. Send me the beans. Send me the beans.
Melanie Avalon: Send Gin the beans. Don’t send them to me. No.
Gin Stephens: Just to me.
Melanie Avalon: Just to Gin. All right. Well, this has been absolutely wonderful, and I will talk to you next week.
Gin Stephens: All right.
Melanie Avalon: Bye.
Gin Stephens: Bye.
Melanie Avalon: 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.
STUFF WE LIKE
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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