Episode 208: Bloating After Eating, Glucose & Ketones, Podcasting, Wine, Chocoholics, Replacing Bad Habits, And More!

Intermittent Fasting


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Apr 11

Welcome to Episode 208 of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast, hosted by Melanie Avalon, author of What When Wine Diet: Lose Weight And Feel Great With Paleo-Style Meals, Intermittent Fasting, And Wine and Gin Stephens, author of Delay, Don't Deny: Living An Intermittent Fasting Lifestyle

Today's episode of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast is brought to you by:

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Listener Q&A: Liz - Bloating, Blood Glucose, and Ketones...OH MY! (I'm NOT Chasing Ketones, I Promise!)

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Episode 207: Gin’s New Social App, Whoosh Effect, Water-weight & Inflammation, T1 Diabetes, Energy Toxicity, Collagen, Vitamins, And More!

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Melanie Avalon: Welcome to Episode 208 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. 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., 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 208 of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast. I’m Melanie Avalon and I’m here with Gin Stephens.

Gin Stephens: Hi, everybody.

Melanie Avalon: How are you today, Gin?

Gin Stephens: I am doing so great. It's been a week since we launched the DDD social network at dddsocialnetwork.com. Members are coming in. We're at about 2500 members as of today. They're finding their groups and they're getting active. Oh, it's so much fun to watch. I feel like I invited everybody to a party, and they came over.

Melanie Avalon: I can't wait to actually explore, so then I can talk about my experience.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, it's wonderful. It's dddsocialnetwork.com. Yes, it's a paid membership site, but we're having to pay for it ourselves. It's not like we're not on a free platform like we used to be. There are costs involved in running this type of a thing. That's why it's paid. It's so much fun not having to worry about it, AI watching the wording. One of my moderators is in a group, that's a keto group, she said that they're having so much trouble over there because every time someone says fat adapted, the AI picks up on it and says, “It's hate speech,” because it thinks that you're bullying, calling somebody fat, so you're not allowed to use certain words. They're having so much trouble in that group. They're having to spell it out a different way or say things in code. I’m like, “Well, that's weird.” On the DDD Social Network, you can say fat adapted all day long if you want to.

Melanie Avalon: I wonder if anybody in my group has run into that problem.

Gin Stephens: It's just so very interesting some of the things that get flagged as questionable content. Obviously, AI, artificial intelligence, is not a human, so they're looking for certain keywords. Like in our Life Lessons Podcast Facebook group, we're studying Brené Brown’s, one of her books in the podcast group, we're doing a month-long book study. Someone was talking about bullying and just the whole sense of whatever, how it makes us to feel as a person. Then, someone commented on someone, they're like talking about middle school, like a lot of our issues come from what we go through in middle school. Someone was talking about that, and the comment was, “Oh, yeah, girls are the worst.” Well, wouldn't you say that middle school girls can be some of the worst for bullying?

Melanie Avalon: Yes.

Gin Stephens: Okay. But the comment, “Oh, yeah, girls are the worst,” it was perfectly in context. Got removed by AI, flagged as hate speech. The members don't know, they think that maybe I’ve removed their comment. They don't know Facebook's removed it. Facebook shows it to me and says, “Oop, hate speech.” We're like, “No, it's not. It's not.” Anyway. [sighs]

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, that reminds me of, I listened to a really good interview with Jack Dorsey about Twitter. He was talking about all of the complexities you have to take in context, it's hard for a bot. I don't even know if they can take in context.

Gin Stephens: I don't know how you would teach them to, you have to teach him to, but yeah, it's really creating a lot of problems. I understand why Facebook is cracking down on that type of thing. They want to make sure the platform doesn't have bullying and hate speech. We all agree with that. We don't want to have that either. But in the meantime, it's like running amuck.

Melanie Avalon: Actually, yes. Can I tell you about my related bot, Facebook-related struggle?

Gin Stephens: Yes.

Melanie Avalon: It's not actually Facebook, it's Instagram, but they are together, they're the same company now. As you know, I’m having a fabulous time now on Instagram. I just love and I said this before, but I really love creating content. It's really exciting to create visual content with words about all the biohacking thing and share what I learned and even though selfies make me uncomfortable but still I’m really enjoying it. It can seem not that important but I think it's really important to have the verified badge, the little blue checkmark. It can do a lot of credibility and it's really important if you actually are needing to be verified for something. Gin, you're a New York times bestselling author, IF the podcast, so the issue is that it's also run by bots, the verification process. You can submit to be verified, but apparently it's bots that review. They have some sort of criteria, I think, I don't know, this is what I’ve been told. It's some sort of criteria with google and where your name comes up. There's no actual person looking at your account and being like, “Oh, yes, this is who they say they are,” because if that was the case, I think both you and I would get the little verification checkmark. My current dilemma is I’m trying to figure out how to get somebody at Instagram to actually look at my account, like a real person.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, well, hopefully they can look at mine too [laughs] because it would be nice to have the check. We are who we say we are.

Melanie Avalon: I know.

Gin Stephens: They'll be like, “Wait, why is she posting all these pictures of cats? She must not be. That's not really her.”

Melanie Avalon: It's really interesting to see most people you would expect in the biohacking health worlds to be verified are, but there are a lot of people that aren't, and I don't know if it's a situation where they are doing like I’m doing where they're submitting but it gets rejected or they're just not submitting for it. But if any of our thousands and thousands of listeners knows anybody at Instagram who can review our accounts, that'd be amazing.

Gin Stephens: Yeah. I told somebody, I can't remember who it was, but it was somebody who is definitely someone I consider to be legitimate and big enough, and they were not checked, they didn't have a check.

Melanie Avalon: I have a good friend who is an actor, who's in a lot of big TV shows, movies, and he cannot get-- they keep rejecting him too. He's posted about it a lot on Instagram. He's like, “Why am I getting rejected?” I mean, it makes no sense.

Gin Stephens: Is it somebody I would recognize?

Melanie Avalon: Possibly, I can tell you after.

Gin Stephens: Okay.

Melanie Avalon: I don't know if you've seen any of the shows, but one thing I keep thinking is, if I can somehow get somebody at Instagram to review my account, I’m going to be like, “Hey, can you also look at his?” because I know, and Gin’s.

Gin Stephens: And mine, and look at mine. I don't care. I don't need to be verified. I know I am who I am but it would still be like, “Oh, that's cool.

Melanie Avalon: For credibility, I think it's important. It just goes back to that bot versus human thing. If a human person would look at our accounts, we'd be good, but it's the bots. It sounds so futuristic.

Gin Stephens: It really is funny, but we're running into it, like I said, every day on the Facebook groups, some kind of weird comment, that's getting flagged. Did you know there's bots who try to join Facebook groups? I don't even know what that means, but there's Facebook profiles that are bots, did you know that?

Melanie Avalon: No.

Gin Stephens: I don't know either but one of my moderators is amazing and she understands all the security side of things and they all have certain answers. They'll try to join, it'll be like yes, yes, yes or like--

Melanie Avalon: No, I’ve been experiencing that recently. For listeners, I have my Facebook groups, I have IF Biohackers, I have a Lumen Biosense CGM group, and then I have my Clean Beauty and Safe Skincare. Every day, I get probably four or five requests where it's that. They answer it yes, yes, yes or hi, hi, hi.

Gin Stephens: Right. Hi, hi, hi, that's one.

Melanie Avalon: I thought it was spammers, it's bots?

Gin Stephens: Well, I don't know. There's bots and spammers. I don’t know the difference. Some of them are spammers and some of them are bots. I don't really know what a bot is, it makes no sense to me, but I just know that this moderator who understands how that works, she's like, “Yeah, this is a bot profile.” We're like, “Okay,” I don't know if they're all bots. Maybe some are spammers and some are bots, maybe they're spammer-bots. [laughs]

Melanie Avalon: It's crazy.

Gin Stephens: It really is. Behind the scenes in social media management is just a whole different world that you just would not understand.

Melanie Avalon: Well, on that note, shall we jump into everything for today?

Gin Stephens: Yes, let's get started.

Melanie Avalon: All right. To start things off, we have a few questions and they come from Liz. The subject is “Bloating, Blood Glucose and Ketones, oh my. [I’m not chasing ketones, I promise]” I thought that was a great title.

Gin Stephens: I did too.

Melanie Avalon: Liz says, “Hi, Gin and Melanie. I am new to the if lifestyle, just about two weeks in and I’m already feeling so many health benefits. I love the energy I have while in the fasted state and it just warms my heart to think about all of the benefits my body is receiving behind the scenes. I began the IF journey after reading Dave Asprey’s new book, Fast This Way, landed on Fast. Feast. Repeat. through a Kindle recommendation. I’m currently reading What When Wine and am totally geeking out over all of the IF science.” Man, she's hitting all of them.

Gin Stephens: She really is.

Melanie Avalon: She says, “If you're familiar with Gretchen Rubin’s Four Tendencies.” Oh yes, Liz, I am familiar. She says, “I am a questioner, so bingeing on your books and podcast episodes has totally fed my tendency, pardon the pun. My first question is about feeling bloated after feasting. I dove straight into a 16:8 plan two weeks ago, but naturally shifted to 20:4, sometimes 22:2 based on my hunger cues. I was shocked when I made it through a 20-hour fast without one thought of food. However, I’ve noticed that after eating a well-balanced meal of whole foods and a shorter window, I feel bloated. I don't believe I am overeating as I eat to satiety and don't feel overfull, so I’m confused by the bloated heavy feeling. Any thoughts?” We can do these one at a time if you like.

Gin Stephens: Okay, yeah, that's fine. That's a great question, Liz. We hear it all the time. You've got to figure out, it can be one of two things. Number one, it could be actual bloating. When we're doing intermittent fasting, we spend so much of the day in the fasted state, we get used to that feeling. Then now, you eat and then you're going to notice a difference in the way you feel. If it is actual bloating, you'll notice a difference sooner than you would like, say, if you were eating all day long in the past, because that's just how you felt, you didn't really notice-- there wasn't like a contrast between the fasted state and then now you're actually having bloating. You need to figure out if it's actual bloating or is it just the contrast between the fasted state and the fed state because your system feels so empty, and you feel so slim, and then you eat and then you've got food in there. Imagine your digestive system, from your esophagus to your stomach, to your intestines, imagine that during the fast that clears out. Then, you eat and suddenly that big mass of what you just ate is moving through you. Maybe you're mistaking that for bloating. You've got to decide or you've got to figure out is it just the massive food, you're not feeling that slim, fasted feeling anymore? Or, is it actual bloating, that now the fasting is showing you that you're bloating after eating? Fasting doesn't cause intestinal bloating itself, that would be what you're eating. You have to figure out if that's something that's going on for you.

Melanie Avalon: That's a really great distinction. Then, my suggestions for actually addressing the bloating, if it is due to actual bloating. The actual bloating from it could be digestive distress, because you're not breaking down the food properly and/or you have gut dysbiosis, it's creating issues with your gut bacteria. Suggestions I would make, one would be, a lot of people benefit from a low FODMAP approach, at least as a trial run. It's basically foods that are free of carbohydrate-based substrates that can feed gut bacteria and lead to bloating and digestive issues, so that's something you can try. Especially if you're already eating whole foods, you probably find it to be an easy adaptation. You can get my app, it's called Food Sense Guide. It's a comprehensive catalogue of over 300 foods for actually 12 different compounds that people often react to in foods. One of those categories is FODMAPs, so that might be helpful for you.

Other things on the app, if people struggle with histamine or lectins or gluten or oxalates, salicylates, night shades, sulfites, thiols, it even has AIP. It's a really, really cool app, which by the way, Gin, whenever I do randomly check it, it's usually between like number 10 and number 20 for all food and drinks apps still in the iTunes Store, which is very exciting, and thanks to Gin’s son, Cal. Then, on top of that, you can use digestive enzymes or HCL, or on top of that or in addition, if you are struggling with actually breaking down food, people can really, really benefit from digestive enzymes and HCL. BiOptimizers makes a really good digestive enzyme that we like called MassZymes. They also make HCL Breakthrough. The way that you would want to use those is the HCL you actually want to take at the beginning of your meal, and that's basically stomach acid and it's going to help digest your food. The stomach acid actually prompts the release of pancreatic enzymes in your small intestine, so increasing stomach acid not only breaks down the food in your stomach, it actually encourages breaking down the food further down in the small intestine.

On top of that, if you actually take the digestive enzymes, which you would want to take after the HCL, because that would be the natural order of things in your own body that can really, really help. It can be game changers for so many people, myself included. We can put links in the show notes to that. We often have a code for them, I’m not sure if this episode specifically will have a code, but there's usually a code. If they're not sponsoring this episode, just go back through the most recent episodes on our website, until you find--

Gin Stephens: Yeah, they're not sponsoring this one.

Melanie Avalon: Okay. They actually sponsored episode 207, which was the one before this, so if you go the show notes for 207, you can get a coupon code for them. They also make a probiotic called P3-OM, and I really like that probiotic because, in general, I said that gut microbiome can be an issue with bloating but P3-OM, specifically the strain is lact-- I think it's L plantarum. It's actually a proteolytic probiotic, meaning it also helps you digest your food, which is super cool. Looking at your food choices, trying maybe a low FODMAP approach, bringing in some digestive enzymes and digestive support, I really think that you can solve the bloating issue.

Her next question, she says, “Are about blood glucose and ketones. I recently tested both my blood glucose and ketone levels throughout the course of the day and had interesting results. My fasting blood sugar is typically between 70 to 75 milligrams per deciliter. An hour and a half after a cup of plain black coffee about 12.5 hours into my fast, my blood glucose level went to 85 milligrams per deciliter later in the afternoon, about 15 hours into my fast, I had a cup of plain black decaf coffee. I retested my blood glucose level an hour later and it was 86. I realize that this is still considered normal, but I was just wondering if the potential insulin response could cause a problem. I really do not want to switch to a water-only fast as I love and have always loved playing black coffee.”

Gin Stephens: Can we answer this one first?

Melanie Avalon: I just want to say, “Liz, your blood sugar levels are fabulous.”

Gin Stephens: Yeah, even 85 is fabulous.

Melanie Avalon: Fabulous. [laughs] Those are really great numbers. I have other thoughts but go ahead.

Gin Stephens: I was like, “What's the pro--?" People often get confused-- and so Liz is saying she's worrying about a potential insulin response, but see, let's think about this. You noticed that after you had coffee, your blood glucose was higher. Okay, so why was it higher? Well, coffee causes our liver to dump glycogen, what does that glycogen do? It raises your blood glucose level. Do we want our liver to dump glycogen? Yeah, as our liver dumps glycogen, it gets us closer to ketosis, to that fat burning state. People will be very confused. If the only thing that happened is you had an insulin response, like you drank coffee, had an insulin response, no glycogen dump, you just had an insulin response, your blood glucose would go down, because that's what insulin does. If you just have insulin only, blood glucose goes down. So, if your blood glucose is going up, yet you haven't taken in any good blood glucose, it's coming from inside your own body and that's your liver dumping the glycogen. Don't let your blood glucose level confuse you. Now, is it possible that if your blood glucose goes up, that your body might release some insulin to respond to a higher blood glucose? Yes, that could happen but that's how your body is supposed to work. Your body is constantly releasing what it feels like is the right amount of insulin. If your blood glucose had gone up to a higher level, your body was like, “Oop, we need to bring that down,” then you would have had a little-- We're not ever at a zero-insulin state unless you're like type 1 diabetic and you release no insulin at all. We all have insulin going on. What we don't want is chronic high levels of insulin.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, exactly, and then also this is not her case or it might be, but I just wanted to clarify for listeners as well that even if your glycogen is depleted, you can still have the same experience because the liver can actually create new glycogen--

Gin Stephens: New glucose to send out.

Melanie Avalon: Sugar, glucose, that’s the word, through gluconeogenesis, so you can experience that liver dumping effect regardless of your glycogen stores.

Gin Stephens: It's coming from somewhere, it's coming from inside your body. The coffee didn't have any glucose in it. When people say something raises your blood sugar, it doesn't raise your blood sugar, that's not necessarily the metric we're looking for. Jason Fung talks about this in the Diabetes Code that we've been chasing the wrong thing, what is your blood sugar doing from minute to minute. Instead, the whole point has been just control the blood sugar only without thinking about what else is happening.

Melanie Avalon: Then also on top of that, both Gin and I have worn CGMs, and correct me if I’m wrong, but I’ve seen personally, just in general, it wavers-- because she says hers is normally between 70 to 75 and then it's gone up to 86, but that variation of around 10 to 15 within a certain range is very, very normal.

Gin Stephens: One of my moderators, she does Zumba every morning, and she's not had anything to eat obviously before she goes, but every day after Zumba, her blood glucose pops up, after exercise. She like, “There's the Zumba up, it goes up every day.”

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. The reason for that is for brief intense exercise, they say with people on very, very long-term ketogenic diets that they adapt to this, but for most people, like brief sprints and really intense exercise requires carbs, just because of the literal amount of speed, the time that it takes to turn that into energy compared to fatty acids and ketones, although ketones are faster than fatty acids.

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Melanie Avalon: Her next question. She says, “Now to the ketones, I promise I’m not chasing ketones, but out of curiosity, I have been testing them. The same day I tested blood glucose, I tested my ketone level 12 hours into my fast, and it was 1.4 millimoles per liter. Yippy, ketosis. But then I tested again 20 hours into my fast after an hour-long workout consisting of HIIT, strength training and flexibility, and it was down to 0.3. I thought longer fasting hours and exercise were supposed to promote ketosis. Could you shed any light as to why my ketone level dropped so significantly after a workout and longer fasting?”

Gin Stephens: Yes, because your body used some of that energy while you were doing that heavy workout, and so [laughs] that is one reason why I don't want you to-- as you said in your in your subject “chasing ketones” because they can confuse you. You think, you're like, “Well, look, I fasted longer and I worked out. I’m surely burning more fat, surely I’m going to have higher ketone levels.” But remember, the ketones circulating in your blood are the ones you're not using. You're using them for all sorts of things, so as we get adapted fewer will be floating around in our blood even as we get more and more into the lifestyle. The more experienced you get as a faster, the fewer ketones you'll have over time and then you'll be like, “Wait, I’m no longer going into ketosis. My ketones are lower.” No, that's not what that shows. So, I wouldn't get discouraged by that at all. We're not trying to have high ketone numbers.

Melanie Avalon: I think we've probably talked about this last week, and Gin already said it a little bit, but basically the blood ketones that you're measuring are in a way the storage form of the ketone. So, you would expect if you're using them for that marker to go down. Compared to for example breath ketones, and I talked about this last week, but they are a byproduct of burning ketones. Actually, if Liz had a breath monitor, if it was ketones that she was burning, we would expect that to actually go up from this exercise. Yeah, totally, completely normal.

Gin Stephens: Yep, totally normal.

Melanie Avalon: Right. Then she also says, “I plan to stop testing ketones after I’ve made it to the 28-day clean fasting mark, but I have just ordered a Nutrisense CGM using Melanie's coupon code.” Thank you, so excited. “I will continue to test blood glucose. Can't wait to insert my CGM while listening to Taylor Swift.” The reason she said that, one of my videos on Instagram speaking of-- I have some videos on my Instagram of how to put on a CGM, and of course, they are to the soundtrack of Taylor Swift, all of them are. She says, “Thank you for all that you do in the IF world, I am so thrilled to be a part of it.” I think, Liz, when you do get that CGM, you will feel a lot better actually about your blood glucose because you'll see how normal it is for it to be changing all the time. I think it'll give you a lot more clarity about everything.

For listeners, if you'd like to get your own Nutrisense CGM, the code for that that Liz used is go to melanieavalon.com/nutrisensecgm. That's N-U-T-R-I-S-E-N-S-E CGM and use the coupon code, MELANIEAVALON, and that will get you 15% off of any of their packages, with the exception of-- I think they have a trial one, I don't think it will work on that, but otherwise, you can use that 15% off on anything. Awesome.

Gin Stephens: All right, are we ready to move on?

Melanie Avalon: Yes.

Gin Stephens: All right. We have a question from Michelle. She says, “The most important question asked thus far.” Well, that's quite a buildup, Michelle. [laughs] All right, here we go. “Hi, Melanie, and Gin. I love you ladies and all the content you give out to all of us. I have heard you both mention that you will just drink a glass or a tablespoon of wine. How do you keep your wine, so it doesn't go bad? I enjoy a glass but find myself dumping it or cooking with it if I haven't had it within two days. What do you ladies do? Unfortunately, my husband doesn't drink wine. So, I’ve had no one to share my bottle with Thanks for the help to this very important question. Thanks, Michelle, from Buffalo, New York.” I almost didn't read that part, but there it is.

Melanie Avalon: I think this is a very important question. By the way, for listeners, I’ve moved past a tablespoon of wine. I’m back to normal amounts. I use Vacu Vin, I think is the brand. It's like the rubber wine stoppers and you pump out the extra air. She says he drinks it within two days. I find that it keeps it pretty well for at least four or five days. Yeah, I’ll put a link in the show notes to that. The show notes by the way are at ifpodcast.com/ episode208. Do you have any comments, Gin?

Gin Stephens: Ditto. Same thing. That's exactly what we use. I think it's a Vacu Vin, I think that's what it is, and it pumps out the air and you put the little stopper in, and it keeps it for a long time. Oh, and I also for bubbly things, use one of those champagne bottle stoppers that folds down over the rim and holds it in place and you also pump out the air a little bit. Those will keep the bubbles in for a long time. One time, I was at the beach, and then I left for two weeks and I came back and there was still a bottle that had been in the fridge and it still had bubbles. It wasn't like original bubbles like from the day we opened it. It wasn't as good, but it was still bubbly.

Melanie Avalon: When I worked in restaurants for five years, that's what they use usually, those pumper systems. By the way for the Vacu Vin, they have one where you can get colored stoppers, it's like purple, blue, and pink. They're so amazing, just in case you want some color. All right, shall we go to our next question?

Gin Stephens: Yes.

Melanie Avalon: This comes from Rhonda. “Hello, questions.” “I’ve been fasting for 206 days, usually 16:8. Day by day, my number kept coming down each day. December, I reached my lowest weight of 132.8. My goal is 130. Since Christmas, my number has steadily been going up. Today, I was 138. Nothing has really changed with my food or activities. Any suggestions as to why this happened? What can I do to get it turned around and moving back down again? Please let me know. Thanks so much.”

Gin Stephens: All right. Well, unfortunately, I don't know much about how much you lost altogether, or what's happening, your size, your height, it's hard to really answer completely. Y'all, when you're writing in, the more details you can give us the better, like what was your starting weight? How much have you lost? Has your size changed? The scale is not a good picture always of what's happening. Someone could go from 132.8 to 138 and actually get smaller in size if you've lost fat and put on muscle. Just knowing that you went from 132.8 to 138 doesn't let me know anything about what your body is doing. You might be just slimmer today than you were then because you’ve, like I said, lost fat and built muscle, but maybe your pants are tight and you know you're gaining fat, and that's a whole different question. If that's what's happened, then probably something has changed because when we do gain weight or lose weight, there's something changing, but you've got to figure out what that is.

Sometimes, I’ve noticed in the community over the years, somebody will be like, “Well, I thought my fasts were X, Y, Z. Then, I started tracking it on an app, I realized, ‘Oh, it really wasn't that.’ Once you really start looking at what you're doing, you realize maybe you have had an extra dessert every day that you weren't having before, or something has changed. When you really look closely, maybe you can figure out what that is. Again, it may just be an indication of muscle gain and fat loss, and your body is changing. I want you to use other tools. Take photos, use your honesty, pants, all sorts of things. Then, you'll really know what's happening. The scale alone is really meaningless.

Melanie Avalon: I don't really have anything to add.

Gin Stephens: Okay. [laughs]

Melanie Avalon: Next question.

Gin Stephens: We have a question from Leah. the subject is “Podcast Resources.” She says, “Melanie and Gin, I’ve been listening to your podcast for years. I feel like both of you are just old friends. I have had so much success with intermittent fasting, and I have persuaded so many people to adopt the lifestyle as well. I have a different question not related to IAF, which is, do you have any advice or resources that you would recommend for starting a podcast? I’m interested in everything from what sort of equipment I would need, to tutorials, from books and websites. This is a dream of mine, but I don't even know where to begin. Thanks so much for all that you do all the best, Leah.”

Melanie Avalon: All right, Leah. Well, thank you so much for your question. The first thing I will say is-- the first step is exactly what you're doing is asking somebody who's done a podcast how to do it, because that's actually how I started ours. One of my really good friends had a big podcast, so I just asked him what to do and then I just did exactly what he said. Here we are. Basically, as far as the components, which I really encourage anybody who wants to start a podcast to do so, I really like people to follow their creative dreams. This is appropriate because we're talking about all the stuff behind the scenes, there's a lot that goes into podcasting. I think people think that-- well, I don't know if people think this, but it might seem like we just show up and record and then release it, but there's a lot. There's a lot involved. I guess the components of things that you need are, equipment-wise, you need a pretty good mic, sound quality is so important. I have one called HyperX, I'm trying to think. I think that's the brand. It's amazing. It lights up bright red, which mic do you have, Gin?

Gin Stephens: What is it called, the one you told me to get?

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, the one I originally had. Audio-Technica AT2020USB.

Gin Stephens: Yep.

Melanie Avalon: That's what Gin had. We can put links to this. We'll put links in the show notes to what we have. There are a lot of different platforms that you can record on to connect if you're doing it with a co-host or interviewing somebody. There are platforms that allow you to talk, it's like Zoom, but it records it, so then you have the tracks. Gin and I use SquadCast right now for Intermittent Fasting Podcast, I use Zencastr for the Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast. And then, there's the editing process. Originally when we started the show, I edited everything. Now, we have editors that do that for us, so we actually use podcast doctors for our show. I think Gin use Resonate.

Gin Stephens: I do. Resonate Recordings does mine. That was the biggest freeing moment for me is when I realized, when I wanted to start Intermittent Fasting Stories, I had Melanie for Intermittent Fasting Podcast. Melanie was doing all the editing. Melanie knew how to upload it in podcast platforms and make it magically show up. I didn't know how to do any of that. I got this book Melanie called Podcasting For Dummies. I got that book and I’m like, “I’m going to figure this out.” I can do this. I’m going to learn how to edit. Then I was reading it, I’m like, it was talking about Libsyn and all these-- this was a while ago, it was like 2018. We've come a long way since then, even, but I’m like, “I have no idea what I’m doing. Wait a minute, I could pay someone to do this.” I just started looking and googled and found a company and found Resonate Recordings just from Google. I just googled and found them, and they are awesome, Resonate Recordings is, and I was like, “Hey,” they had a launch package that--

Melanie Avalon: Wait, we had been at Resonate though before.

Gin Stephens: We tried them out after I was already using them.

Melanie Avalon: Really?

Gin Stephens: Yep, I used them first, and then we use them a little bit for editing because you were still doing all the editing at that point.

Melanie Avalon: Oh.

Gin Stephens: It's a long time ago, but you were doing-- I remember completely, you were doing all the editing. Then, it was after Resonate was editing mine, you were like, “Let's try this one.” I’m like, “Sure. It's fine with me.”

Melanie Avalon: Oh. I have that backwards in my head.

Gin Stephens: They're a little pricier. Melanie was looking for a more cost effective-- They're not expensive, but I certainly can understand looking for someone that costs less. Resonate Recordings is a little pricier, but I just really enjoyed working with them. Also, it's easy just to stay there. I like them. I have a person that works with me, and I can ask to really do almost anything, and they help me a lot. Anyway, they had everything, a launch package. They helped me set up the website for it, they helped me get it everywhere. Could I have done it all myself? Sure. Could I have learned how to edit it? Yes. Did I want to? Did I have time to? No. So, it's nice to be able to have that resource.

Melanie Avalon: Then on top of that, the podcast actually has to go on a platform.

Gin Stephens: You have to have a host.

Melanie Avalon: A host. We have been hosted all over the place. Friends, it's like moving when you move between hosts and platforms. We have been at Podbean, we've been at Megaphone, we've been at ART19, we're back at Podbean, we've contemplated going to other hosts. I think we might actually do that. The host is in charge of-- they basically store the episodes, and then they provide the feed that all of these podcast players are reading to pick up the episodes. There's a lot involved.

Gin Stephens: Oh, and Resonate Recordings also will host you. They didn't used to have that feature, or I would just be hosted with them probably still to this day. Our Life Lessons podcast is edited and hosted by Resonate. It's so easy, Melanie, all you do is click Approve episode, and then you've already put the date in and just automatically, you don't have to go somewhere else and put it there.

Melanie Avalon: Nice.

Gin Stephens: It's amazing. Intermittent Fasting Stories was hosted on Podbean and then I moved to Megaphone and then I moved to ART19. I’m still on ART19.

Melanie Avalon: Yes, although can I tell you something fun?

Gin Stephens: Yes, on dddsocialnetwork.com, you can listen to ad-free episodes of Intermittent Fasting Stories. Yep, I have a special place for them because Resonate, they're hosting them also. Actually, my podcast is hosted in two places. Resonate is hosting the ad-free version. I’m going to upload those early, so you will get them before Thursday. You just go to dddsocialnetwork.com. In the Intermittent Fasting Stories Podcast Group, there's a forum and each podcast episode has a different forum entry, so you can just listen to it right there. No ads are inserted. You're not going to have them at all. You can also discuss the episode right under there in the little forum. There's a place to discuss it with other people that are listening to it, so I’m really excited about that feature, and you can listen to all of them. I uploaded all of them. Oh, can I tell you a funny story?

Melanie Avalon: Yes.

Gin Stephens: I was doing this the other night at like 9 PM. I was uploading all the episodes because I had them in another place, but they all had to load and it was really clunky and I’m like I got to put them in these forums, this is going to be better because people were complaining they couldn't get under load and it would take a while. I understood, 139 episodes were having to load, it took a long time. I moved them. I was doing them one by one, boom, boom, moving them in, moving them in. Then I got this email from this girl. She's like, “I just got over 100 emails from you.” [laughs]

Melanie Avalon: Oh gosh.

Gin Stephens: Her notification in the new platform was set to all or something or instant. Every time I upload it, I’m like, “I’m so sorry. One day, we will laugh about this.” But she got 139 emails.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, my goodness. It's crazy.

Gin Stephens: I’m like, “I’m so sorry. I promise not to spam you. Okay, here you go. 139 emails from Gin.” We were laughing about it. Anyway, I thought that was funny.

Melanie Avalon: My goodness, that's really funny.

Gin Stephens: Yeah. What's great though? This new platform, the dddsocialnetwork.com is $59.95 a year, which is $4.99 a month. I don't know if listeners have been around since we were on Himalaya. I was a Himalaya premium podcast, which had a different feed that you could be a member for. If you subscribe through Himalaya premium, you got an ad-free version of Intermittent Fasting Stories for $4.99 a month. That's all you got. For $4.99 a month you got ad free Intermittent Fasting Stories, and you got them a day early, and I had a bunch of people who subscribe to that. Then that went away Himalaya, did made some changes, the ad free version was no more. This new platform dddsocialnetwork.com, you not only get the ad-free version, but you also get the whole community.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, so much more.

Gin Stephens: For the same price that people were paying for just getting the ad-free version.

Melanie Avalon: It's pretty incredible.

Gin Stephens: I think it's worth $4.99, even if you never go to the community just to have ad free versions of the podcast because you don't have to-- it's not interrupted and wherever the ad might pop in.

Melanie Avalon: Which actually to clarify, I'm glad you brought up the ads. It's another reason why hearing all of that, there's a lot that's involved in producing the podcast. It costs us a lot of money to create it, so that's why we're so grateful that we do have companies that we can work with.

Gin Stephens: Oh, we are. Yeah, I’m not dissing the ads at all. Thank you to everyone who advertises.

Melanie Avalon: I love the brands we work with.

Gin Stephens: Me too.

Melanie Avalon: They're all companies and products I personally use and adore and want everybody to experience. So, everybody wins. It's a wonderful situation.

Gin Stephens: Yes. I’m not anti-ads, because [laughs] everything's got to-- We love the podcast, but this is our job. We're making a living from it. You can either listen to ads, or you can pay us a different way, like Peter Attia does with his platform. Everyone who releases content is paid for that content by someone. You might have to do some digging to figure out who pays them for doing it. Very few people are just creating content for free.

Melanie Avalon: At least not if it's a full-time commitment.

Gin Stephens: Correct. Yeah.

Melanie Avalon: Which it is, because we don't just have this show. We have our other shows as well.

Gin Stephens: Yep, three podcasts is a lot, Melanie. I have three, and I love them. I love doing them. It's actually one of my favorite parts of what I do.

Melanie Avalon: I’m forever perpetually grateful.

Gin Stephens: Me too. Thank you all for listening.

Melanie Avalon: It is a shocking amount of time-

Gin Stephens: Yeah, it is.

Melanie Avalon: -spent. I mean, it's what I do.

Gin Stephens: When we get off today, I’ve got to record-- wait, one, two, three, I have to record six ads because Intermittent Fasting Stories is still going to have ads, just only if you're not listening to them in my platform, you'll still get the ads popped in, but I have to record two for Intermittent Fasting Podcast and four for Intermittent Fasting Stories.

Melanie Avalon: Yep, and then the prep work and everything.

Gin Stephens: It's a lot of work to record ads to. That sounds so weird, and you have to do them again. I’m like, “That sounds weird,” then I have to do it again, I don't know. Talking to you seems reasonable but we're recording ads, I feel like I’m so fake.

Melanie Avalon: I love recording ads.

Gin Stephens: I don't. I don't love it.

Melanie Avalon: I don't love it, but I don't feel fake doing it. I feel very authentic. [laughs]

Gin Stephens: I love the products. Don't get me wrong.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, yeah, I didn't mean it that way.

Gin Stephens: I’m about to record one for Green Chef, and I love Green Chef. We're having Green Chef for dinner, I’m not making that up. I really, really love it. The number of companies we say no to is remarkable. People don't understand that either. I'm like, “No, I’m not going to endorse that company because I don't like that company or like their product.” But I still feel weird when I’m recording it. I’ll talk to you all day about Green Chef, but if I have to tell you this ad about Green Chef, it feels weird.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, it doesn't feel weird to me. I just pretend like I’m just talking about it to somebody normally.

Melanie Avalon: I have a hard time with that. Again, you're a trained actress. I wonder if that has some that-- you can be-- Whereas I’m just like, I don't know. [laughs] I’m just like this teacher over here. I just want to talk to you.

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Melanie Avalon: Shall we go on to our next question?

Gin Stephens: Yes.

Melanie Avalon: Our next question is from Maureen. She says, “I started IF for a second time in mid-October 2020 after you did a webinar at my work,” you did a--

Gin Stephens: I did a webinar. Yes, I did. I did a webinar.

Melanie Avalon: At her work?

Gin Stephens: Yes. A Mutual of Omaha webinar, they invited me, the company. This was so exciting Mutual of Omaha, they're a big insurance company in the Midwest like Omaha. That's where they're from. Have you heard of Mutual of Omaha, Melanie?

Melanie Avalon: Um, I don't think so.

Gin Stephens: Well, the reason probably my age, we all know them, because they used to sponsor TV shows we would watch, like the Disney show on Sunday nights or something was sponsored by Mutual of Omaha. I think we all remember those commercials. That's what I think of them anyway. They're a big insurance company. They're really big in the Midwest. They reached out to me and said, “Would you do a webinar about Fast. Feast. Repeat.?” Then I was super excited, because whenever a big company asks you to do something, that is really a big endorsement. They wanted me to talk about fasting. I went to my moderator, we have a little private group, and I’m like, “Guess what? Mutual of Omaha wants me to do a webinar.” One of my moderators said, “My husband is an executive at Mutual of Omaha.” Then they looked into who was asking me, and then both of them, my moderator friend, and her husband came on the webinar with me because they're both intermittent fasters. It wasn't her husband who said, “Y'all should do this.” That was totally unrelated. It was a coincidence.

Melanie Avalon: It's crazy.

Gin Stephens: It was crazy, but it felt wonderful to be asked to do that. It was a lot of pressure. I’m like, “Uh-oh. I’ve got to be on camera and do a webinar,” but I loved it. I don't want to do another one anytime soon, because it was a lot of pressure. [laughs]

Melanie Avalon: Well, Maureen was present there.

Gin Stephens: She was there. Thank you, Maureen. I’m glad you were there.

Melanie Avalon: She says, “I realized I wasn't doing the clean fast. I’m doing an 18:6 most days. I have only about 4 to 5 pounds, and I want to lose 10 more. What advice do you have? Or, better alternatives do you have for a chocoholic like me?” She also wants to know if, I, Melanie, have ever been overweight? She says, “I listen to you ladies, IF podcast and love your different views.” I’ve never been overweight by BMI standards. I don't think, I’d have to look up.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, because you found intermittent fasting in college. If we all think back to college, the time in college-- Well, not all of us, a lot of us when we were teens and in college, we felt like we were maybe needed to lose a little weight. When we look back on that period of time, we realized we really didn't, like, we may have been a little over the weight where we felt our best, but we weren't technically overweight. That's not always true. Sometimes, people are overweight in college. I can remember feeling like I needed to go on a diet in college. Really, I was within a healthy weight range the whole time. I think that's probably true for you. That certainly was my college experience. I wasn't overweight, but I was sure dieting.

Melanie Avalon: The highest I got was probably at the upper end of normal weight. As far as the chocoholic question, I’m assuming this isn't in her eating window, right?

Gin Stephens: Oh, yeah. She's not having chocolate during the fast because she understands the clean fast. She's definitely not doing it, then.

Melanie Avalon: I’m guessing she is thinking the chocolate is a hindrance and her weight loss, which I would encourage her to reframe. You might be able to continue having chocolate. If it is a problem in your weight, I would guess it's probably from the processed normal chocolate bars and candies that we think of. I would suggest getting really high percent low sugar, high chocolate cacao versions. Is it cocoa or cacao percent?

Gin Stephens: Huh, I don't know. I would say cocoa, but I don't know. Anyway, look for the high number, big number.

Melanie Avalon: If you go to whole foods, I know they have a pretty good chocolate section there, and you can find some that are really, really high and then that are low in sugar. I don't know what diet you're doing. If that is not enough, you could make your own. You could get-- again, I don't know if it's our cacao or cocoa powder, but you could get the pure unsweetened powder and you could sweeten it-- If the carbs are an issue, you could sweeten it with something like stevia or monk fruit, like you can find recipes to make your own chocolate. Then if it's just because you want to cut out chocolate, I don't know what alternative you're looking for. Gin, do you have ideas?

Gin Stephens: Well, the thing that really gets to me here that-- she only wants to lose 10 pounds. Again, just like with the question we had earlier, it's really hard to know within the context of-- like you mentioned BMI before. I know BMI isn’t perfect, but losing 10 more pounds, like for example, where I am right now, if I decided like based on a scale number, if I got on a scale tomorrow and saw a number and I didn't like it and said, “I need to lose two more pounds on the scale,” I would have a really hard time doing it, my body wouldn't want to lose two more pounds. This is a weight where my body really wants to be. But I’m also in a healthy weight range. It's hard to know. If Maureen wants to lose 10 more pounds, maybe Maureen is overweight, and she's in the overweight BMI range, and her goal is to lose 10 more so she's just in the normal weight range, but barely, then it would be logical for her to lose 10 more pounds if she's in the overweight range. Am I making sense?

But if she's like solidly in the healthy weight range, and just wants to lose 10 more pounds, maybe her body doesn't want to do that. We're all different when it comes to our bodies preferred size and where our body wants to be and where it's easy for us to stay. We can get a preconceived idea, but if I decided I wanted to lose 10 more pounds, I would have a very challenging time doing that, and keeping it off. I guess, I’m so very fortunate and blessed, and I admit this, I know it. I’m so fortunate that the weight my body has settled in for these past six years, because I’ve been in maintenance for six years, the weight my body has settled in, this weight range, is one where I feel amazing. I’m very lucky there, and I do not discount someone who wants to lose 10 pounds to feel the way they want to feel. I know that's got to be hard. I feel your pain, but it's very hard to lose beyond a weight where your body is happy, and maintain it and live a lifestyle. I could lose 10 pounds, but I’d have to really diet and restrict and be hardcore. I don't want to live that way.

Melanie Avalon: Exactly. With the chocolate, it sounds like since she self-identifies as a chocoholic, maybe it's a trigger food, or maybe she has trouble stopping eating it, I would do one of the suggestions I said. Also, a good thing about making your own is, it's not like you can just keep buying it like, you have to keep making it. That puts a limit on it. Or, it might just be an all or none approach where you just say no, and you find something else to replace that with. When it comes to habits, it is really important to replace whatever the habit that you want to change with something else, so you're still getting that response in the brain that you're looking for, that pleasurable response. Otherwise, the brain is going to like look to fill that void with something. It doesn't even have to be a food that you replace it with. I don't know when you're eating the chocolate, but if it's a dessert thing at the end of your meal, and you just keep eating, maybe you change it completely and you replace the end of your meal with some sort of activity, like a gratitude journal or replacing it with something else completely. You can replace the chocolate with other versions of chocolate, or with something else completely. That was a lot.

Gin Stephens: It's just really hard to say. Now, Maureen, again, I could go back and give a little more answer. If you really do need to lose 10 pounds, like you're overweight and you need to lose 10 and you know your body can lose those 10, then it's time to do some tweaking in your eating window. 18:6 was not my body's weight loss magical sweet spot. I would go back to Fast. Feast. Repeat. and look at the Intermittent Fasting Toolbox chapter and figure out how you can do some adjusting there to see the weight loss that you're looking for.

Melanie Avalon: Awesome. Last comment. I just feel like I should emphasize this every time now. I really think when it comes to macros, focusing on protein for weight loss and satiety can be really, really a game changer. A high-protein diet, either low carb, high fat, or high carb low fat-- It's funny, Gin, I posted in my group, tell me you listen to my shows without telling me. Have you seen that before?

Gin Stephens: Yes.

Melanie Avalon: The comments, you would love it. A lot of them involve you.

Gin Stephens: Oh, tell me some of them.

Melanie Avalon: The reason I thought about it is a lot of people have said high carb, low fat, or low carb high fat is the answer. It has 156 comments.

Gin Stephens: That's so fun.

Melanie Avalon: It's actually a lot of like our sponsor stuff, people saying like, I use Joovv or ButcherBox, blah, blah, blah. One is, “Anything from you, Gin, before you go?” One is always, “What are you grateful for?” “I love this so much.” “I do my research.” Funfetti, all the things. Oh, there was one about you and us disagreeing on things. Wait, let me find it. Gin, anything else from you?

Gin Stephens: Yeah, love it.

Melanie Avalon: Sorry. That was a lot. Anything to add, Gin?


Melanie Avalon: Yes. How would you say you listen to our show, Gin, without telling us?

Gin Stephens: Oh, gosh, now I’m on the spot. Maybe I would just say, “I don't know.” [laughs] You always ask me a question, like, “Do you know?” I say, “I don't know.”

Melanie Avalon: Well, somebody did this on Instagram and somebody replied, “I did not know that.” [laughs]

Gin Stephens: I did not know that. Yeah, there you go. I did not know that. That's right. That would be what I would say. “No, I did not know that.”

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. Somebody commented on how we're opposites and everything. I said I feel like the conversation with that normally goes-- like something comes up and then I say, “See, we're opposites on everything.” Then you say, “No, we're not.” I’m just like, “Okay.” [laughs] But we are.

Gin Stephens: We're not totally the opposite on everything.

Melanie Avalon: See? That's what you always say. [laughs] It cracks me up.

Gin Stephens: Well, we're not.

Melanie Avalon: I know. I know. Okay, goodness, good times. In any case, for listeners, if you'd like to submit your own questions to the show, you can directly email questions@ifpodcast.com or you can go to ifpodcast.com and you can submit questions there. The show notes will be at ifpodcast.com/episode208. You can follow us on Instagram, our unverified Instagrams. I’m MelanieAvalon, Gin is GinStephens. Anything from you, Gin, before we go?

Gin Stephens: Nope, Not a thing. [laughs]

Melanie Avalon: All right.

Gin Stephens: I'm going to start doing some wacky answers. Let me think.

Melanie Avalon: I’ll be ready.

Gin Stephens: Okay, next time.

Melanie Avalon: Okay. I'm going to be ready. All right. Well, I will talk to you next week.

Gin Stephens: All right, you too. Bye-bye.

Melanie Avalon: Bye.

Thank you so much for listening to The Intermittent Fasting Podcast. Please remember that everything discussed on the show is not medical advice. We're not doctors. You can also check out our other podcasts, Intermittent Fasting Stories, and the Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast. Theme music was composed by Leland Cox. See you next week.


Check out the Stuff We Like page for links to any of the books/supplements/products etc. mentioned on the podcast that we like!

More on Gin: GinStephens.com

Theme Music Composed By Leland Cox: LelandCox.com

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