Episode 209: Social Media Management, Easy Insulin Testing, Bile, The Gallbladder, Cholesterol, Long-Term IF, And More!

Intermittent Fasting


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Apr 18

Welcome to Episode 209 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:

INSIDETRACKER: Get The Blood And DNA Tests You Need To Be Testing, Personalized Dietary Recommendations, An Online Portal To Analyze Your Bloodwork, Find Out Your True "Inner Age," And More! Listen To My Interview With The Founder Gil Blander At Melanieavalon.Com/Insidetracker! Go To insidetracker.com/melanie To Get 30% Off All Tests Sitewide!

JOOVV: Like intermittent fasting, red light therapy can benefit the body on so many levels! It literally works on the mitochondrial level to help your cells generate more energy! Red light can help you burn fat (including targeted fat burning and stubborn fat!), contour your body, reduce fine lines and wrinkles, produce collagen for epic skin, support muscle recovery, reduce joint pain and inflammation, combat fatigue, help you sleep better, improve mood, and so much more!! These devices are literally LIFE CHANGING!! For A Limited Time Go To Joovv.com/ifpodcast And Use The Code IFPODCAST For An Exclusive Discount!

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


INSIDETRACKER: Go To insidetracker.com/melanie To Get 30% Off All Tests Sitewide!

BEAUTYCOUNTER: Keep Your Fast Clean Inside And Out With Safe Skincare! Shop With Us At melanieavalon.com/beautycounter, And Something Magical Might Happen After Your First Order!

Delay, Don't Deny Social Network

Change Is In The Air

IF Biohackers: Intermittent Fasting + Real Foods + Life

Clean Beauty And Safe Skincare With Melanie Avalon 

Lumen Lovers: Biohack Your Carb And Fat Burning (With Melanie Avalon)

Listener Feedback: Sarah - Insulin Testing

Listener Q&A: Catherine - Gallbladder and Fasting

Effects of fasting on the composition of gallbladder bile

JOOVV: For A Limited Time Go To joovv.com/ifpodcast And Use The Code IFPODCAST For An Exclusive Discount!

Listener Q&A: Celeste - Crashing When my Window Opens

Listener Q&A: Amber - 15 hour fast?

Listener Q&A: Jennifer - Long Term Intermittent Fasting

#1624 – Mark Sisson


Melanie Avalon: Welcome to Episode 209 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. 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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One more thing before you jump in. Are you concerned about aging? Well, thankfully, fasting is super incredible for its anti-aging benefits. It activates genes in your body called sirtuins, which repair your body and help extend lifespan. Also, during the fast, your body can clean up a lot of harmful chemicals which may be taxing your detoxification systems. In fact, the reason people go gray is because their detox systems start producing a lot of hydrogen peroxide when dealing with toxins. Do you know where a lot of those chemicals come from? Your skincare and makeup. As it turns out, there are thousands of compounds found in conventional skincare and makeup that Europe has banned due to their toxic nature and the US has banned less than 10. When you put these on your skin every single day through your skincare makeup, you're adding to your body's burden and likely aging your skin faster.

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Hi, everybody, and welcome. This is Episode number 209 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 fabulous, and got a lot going on.

Melanie Avalon: What do you have going on?

Gin Stephens: Well, you already know but I'm going to share it here for the first time. Although, gosh, this is coming out-- this is the April 19th episode, so we're three weeks ahead approximately, recording it three weeks before it comes out. By the time it comes out, a lot of listeners will already know this news, because I'm announcing it officially tomorrow. Tomorrow is March 29th in the real world, because we're three weeks in the past here recording, but I am officially leaving Facebook tomorrow, March 29th. It's also Cal's birthday, he will be 23. That's just a coincidence.

Melanie Avalon: Wow, that's big.

Gin Stephens: It is big. I didn't make this decision lightly. I know some people are going to wake up tomorrow and see my announcement and be like, “What has just happened?” I actually wrote a blog post about it, and it's going to drop overnight. For anybody who hasn't heard this news, or maybe you heard about it, but you didn't read my blog post yet, I want you to go to ginstephens.com. Go to the blog post area, and it's called Change is in the Air, unless I decided to call it something else between now and tomorrow when it goes live, but right now, it's Change is in the Air. I really poured my heart into that blog post. I'm going to try not to cry. Gosh, I feel so emotional about this. I feel the tears like welling up and so I'm going to take a deep breath and try to not get emotional. I've reflected on all the time-- I've been on Facebook since 2008. Do you remember when you joined?

Melanie Avalon: Yes, I think we talked about this. Yep. It was around 2008 for me as well.

Gin Stephens: Okay. Well, just like everybody else, I used it as a casual user, but then in 2015, when I started my first group, my usage really changed. What's that they say on top of really long things? Too long didn't read, TLDR, you know what I'm talking about? TLDR, that little abbreviation.

Melanie Avalon: I know that abbreviation, I don't know what it means.

Gin Stephens: It means too long, didn't read or something like that. It's basically a one-sentence summary. Basically, I realized-- really not just recently, but over the past few years, I've realized that I haven't been fully present in my life, because of Facebook. It's been like this huge Catch-22. I love the work I've done on Facebook since 2015 with my intermittent fasting communities, I love it so much. I love supporting members and helping them and providing a safe place for them to get together and form a community. Yet, 16 hours of my day, all the time of the day when I'm not asleep, it's in my mind. Like it never sleeps. Facebook never sleeps, even if I'm sleeping, Facebook isn't sleeping. The pressure to be there and be in the groups and respond to everybody and the pending posts, it's heavy.

I've known for years, like I said, that I couldn't do this for the rest of my life. I could not spend 16 hours a day every day on Facebook. In the past year, I've started a third podcast and I'm working on a new book. I also want to have some time to talk to my husband or whatever else I want to do. I just realized that Facebook's got to go for my own mental well-being. Anyway, I encourage people to go find that blog post and read it all the way through because Facebook has just been such a part of my identity. It's what I do. It's how I spend all my time. For the past week, knowing that this is coming, I've been purposely trying to put my phone down, and my brain is looking for it. Does that sound crazy?

Melanie Avalon: No, not at all.

Gin Stephens: Like, “I’ve got to look, got to see, got to check, are there pending posts?” I'm like, “No, stop. Stop. Stop doing that.” Here's the part, that's the hardest and the part that has literally kept me up at night. I have not slept well-- I wasn't sure what I was going to do even a couple weeks ago. I started the Delay, Don't Deny Social Network. That was multifaceted, part of it was, of course, because as I've already shared, I was concerned about trusting my entire platform to Facebook, everything I've built. But then, I started thinking, “Do I really need to be on Facebook 16 hours a day?” This whole multifaceted, moving off of Facebook to a new platform that's just us, taking control of the platform. But also, it's not a place where I need to be from the minute I wake up to the minute I go to bed, so I'm going to be able to check in periodically. Like first thing in the morning after I get my coffee, I can spend some time there. Then later in the day, maybe I can go there again, but not feeling like I have to go every 10 minutes. It's almost like I feel like I'm withdrawing from a drug, Melanie.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, no. It sounds like that combined with moving.

Gin Stephens: Maybe I also want to say the hardest part of this, I started to say and then I got sidetracked, is the groups. I've had these groups, the Advanced group and the One Meal A Day group are the groups where I started, the One Meal A Day group started in 2015. It's where I met you.

Melanie Avalon: I know.

Gin Stephens: We have a whole community there. There's certain people that are well loved in that community. The Advanced group, that group’s about 30,000 members, and everyone there has read at least one of my books and so that they are my people, and I love them. But I don't think that anyone realizes how much of my life that it takes to run them. I just don't think they do. Maybe they do, but maybe they don't. But it's not something I can turn over to moderators and say, “All right, run the Advanced group, run the One Meal A Day group.” It's just too much. I mean, I can't ask volunteers to spend 16 hours a day managing these groups.

Melanie Avalon: How does it look different, the management and all of that?

Gin Stephens: Going forward? Well, I am actually archiving the Advanced group and the One Meal A Day group. What archiving means is, I click a button, and from that point going forward, nobody is able to post or comment or put a mad face on the fact that I just archived the group or cry face with the-- people are going to be sad, I get it. No one can respond or comment or do anything, but the content is still there, which is so important to me. You can still go in and search your question. You've got a question about anything, you put it in the search bar, and old posts will come up, and you'll be able to read. There's still a huge resource of information. You can find success stories there. It's just it freezes it in time. You want to see what people ate for dinner three months ago? It's still going to be there in the One Meal A Day group. We just aren't going to be adding any new content. That's the hardest part. That's the part that's kept me up at night, is how do I--

You know the song, Hotel California? “You can check out anytime you like, but you can never leave.” That is how I have felt about Facebook. I've built this huge thing, and now I am trapped by it. I'm trapped and consumed, and it's a good thing, but anything good can just be also too much. Does that make sense? [sighs] I hope that people hear what I'm saying about it and how hard this decision was for me. But the main group, the Delay, Don't Deny Intermittent Fasting support group, that group has over 300,000 members and we're not closing that one down. The moderators are going to continue to manage that one. We changed the way that group was managed in the summer of 2020 when it got really clear that we couldn't manage 300,000 people. We were having over 1000 posts a day. Did I ever tell the story about how I started crying when I was trying to make dinner?

Melanie Avalon: I think so.

Gin Stephens: I don't know if I told you on the podcast or just to you. There was one night over the summer or spring, maybe just over a year ago from today, when I was trying to make dinner, Chad said, “Is it time for dinner?” I'm like, “Yeah, I'll make dinner as soon as I can get these pending posts under control.” When I started, I don't remember the exact number. Let's say it was 32. I don't know, that's just-- 32 pending posts. When you had the pending posts, you had to go in and you had to approve them and then you had to make a comment on them. Sometimes though, you didn't need to approve them, like if they were, “Can I have lemon in my water?” If we approved every one of those, that's all the feed would have been. We would actually give personalized responses to those. We would decline them, but we would decline with feedback. We would say, “Sorry, lemon is not part of a clean fast. Please go check out blah, blah, blah resource,” but it took a lot of time for each post. We didn't just decline randomly. We gave feedback to everyone personally or we would add comments, we spend a lot of time on those posts.

I started, we had, let's just say, like I said, 32. I worked for about 20 minutes. At the end of that 20 minutes, we had more posts than when I had started, we were up to like 35. I just burst into tears and said to Chad, I said, “I can't keep this up.” It's like trying to throw the ocean back in, whereas the waves keep coming in, the tide is rising. I could not get the number of pending posts to zero so I could go cook dinner.

Melanie Avalon: Reminds me of, what's that computer game with blocks fall and you--?

Gin Stephens: Tetris?

Melanie Avalon: Yes.

Gin Stephens: It was very much like Tetris. In June, we changed the way that group worked, and it made such a difference. We still provide support there in the daily Ask a Moderator thread. Instead of having thousand separate posts a day, people just come and they ask a question, “Can I have lemon in in my water?” And we can answer it. We are still providing support to people through that community. I told the moderators, I said, “As long as this provides you with joy and you love it, we will keep this group running indefinitely.” They pop in, they don't go every 10 minutes like me. They pop in, they answer the questions in between their lives when they have time. We also have the Delay Don’t Deny social network. As I said, I am going to be there but not every 10 minutes. I'm in the 28 Day FAST Start group where people who are new to intermittent fasting, and that's my love is supporting people when they're getting started, so they can come in and ask questions, I'll answer them all. The Ask Gin group, people can ask me questions there. I'm really enjoying the personal interactions but without feeling like I'm playing Tetris or trying to manage something that's unmanageable.

Melanie Avalon: Well, I'm excited for you.

Gin Stephens: Well, my heart's racing just talking about it. Will I sleep tonight? I don't know. Everybody, please just understand why I'm making these changes in my life. One day, I'm going to have grandkids and I'm not going to be that grandma who's like, “Okay, now it's time for me to look at Facebook again for the--” I'm so grateful for all the years on Facebook and all of the people I've connected with, and the Delay Don’t Deny Social Network is going to be smaller. We have half a million combined members in the Facebook groups, half a million combined members.

Melanie Avalon: It's insane.

Gin Stephens: It's insane. I can't personally mentor half a million people as hard as I try and as much as I want to. Because the groups are so connected with me, I can't just walk away and leave them to go wild. Does that make sense? People don't realize how much careful moderation goes on behind the scenes to make sure they're a positive and supportive community. I can't just walk away and stop doing that. It can't keep going the way it was. Anyway, it's a big turning point. I hope that people understand from my heart, why I'm making these decisions. If they want to join us on the DDD Social Network, we'd love to have them, don't feel pressured like you have to. But that's where I'll be, but just not 16 hours a day. [laughs] I will answer your question within 24 hours, probably even sooner. [sighs]

Melanie Avalon: Well, I'm excited for you. Tomorrow is a new dawn.

Gin Stephens: It is. I'm going to also not look at Messenger because I can just imagine. Some people aren't going to be happy with me.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I anticipate that happening.

Gin Stephens: I just don't know how much support am I expected to provide for the rest of my life. 16 hours a day, I just can't. I can't physically and emotionally do it.

Melanie Avalon: Well, for listeners, the show notes for this episode will be at ifpodcast.com/209. We will put links to Gin’s blog post, so you can read that. We'll put links to her new social network.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, Delay Don’t Deny, dddsocialnetwork.com.

Melanie Avalon: Okay, so you can join there.

Gin Stephens: We have almost 3000 members there already. I don't want it to have half a million members. Maybe it will, I don't know, but they could just ask me questions in Ask Gin and 28 Day FAST Star and I could just focus on supporting those beginners and [laughs] answering those questions.

Melanie Avalon: Awesome. Then I will clarify, I still have my Facebook groups, so you can still join my Facebook groups.

Gin Stephens: You can even still join mine. I just won't be there. The Delay Don’t Deny Intermittent Fasting Support Group. You can ask the mods in the daily Ask a Moderator thread, but you cannot ask Gin.

Melanie Avalon: Yes. There's that one.

Gin Stephens: There's another place for asking Gin, yes.

Melanie Avalon: There's that one, you still have the one for your other podcast?

Gin Stephens: We still have that group, but Sheri’s going to manage it. I am taking Facebook off of my phone, I am not going to be checking in. It is not a place I'm going to be. I'm going to be more present in my life. Like I said, I'm going to be intentional about the time that I spend on the Delay Don’t Deny Social Network. I'm going to go there, and I'm going to answer the questions that are for me. I'm going to look around and spread cheer throughout the live feed and see what's going on. But because it doesn't have pending posts, nothing to be accepted, people are just there posting and living and doing. It doesn't require the degree of time for me on the admin side, if that makes sense.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, 100%.

Gin Stephens: Also, we've never had a reported post yet. We have those all the time on Facebook. We did have one reported post, I'm going to take that back. I made a joke about something and people didn't understand it was a joke. Once they understood it was a joke, no one reported it anymore.

Melanie Avalon: I think I mentioned this last time, or probably not because I don't know if we talked. No, we talked about a little bit.

Gin Stephens: We were off air, maybe.

Melanie Avalon: My groups are still at a nice place where we don't really have issues.

Gin Stephens: How many people?

Melanie Avalon: The main one is IF Biohackers and we almost have 9000.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, that's a good number. That's about how many we have in the Life Lessons Podcast group.

Melanie Avalon: I hope it stays this way. Everybody is just so kind and understanding and we just have very little drama, and you can talk about anything, biohacking, anything, diet, health, fitness lifestyle, there's so many random questions. I'm waiting for it to get--

Gin Stephens: A little more dramatic?

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, but it's really, really great. The other day somebody posted and they said how they were a little bit overwhelmed, because they don't understand what all the different acronyms for different things mean. They just feel like they can't understand anything. Then, it got 20 comments, and everybody was like, everybody's so nice, they were like, “Just ask and we'll tell you.”

Gin Stephens: I don't want to give the impression that the Advanced group is a hotbed of horribleness. It's not, it's an amazing group. 99.9% of the interactions that go on in there are amazing, and people are helpful, and people are supportive. I love being there. It's really more of the difficult situations occurred in the regular group before we changed the post process to have you to Ask a Mod, that was where we had put out a lot of fires. The One Meal A Day group still sometimes goes a little rogue here and there, as much as we love them. We do sometimes people will pop up that have been there since 2016, and they're like something wacky will pop out. We're like, “Where did you come from?” [laughs] They don't know anything about us. They just have been there, maybe not coming and something weird will happen. The Advanced group has been amazing, and I love them, which is why it is so hard to make this decision. That's why I lost the sleep over it because I both don't want to close the group down and archive it, but yet desperately need to for my mental health. That's the Catch-22 and that's why it felt like the Hotel California.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, that makes sense. The other two groups I have because I have a Lumen, Biosense, CGM group, but I have really great moderators in there, they mostly run that one. Then, I have the Clean Beauty and Safe Skincare, which is still my little boutique group, so we're almost at 1000 members, but it's been great. Well, so for listeners, again, the show notes, we'll put links to everything, and I'm excited to see how things go. I'm excited for you.

Gin Stephens: Well, I just really hope people are not just so mad at me and like, “Now, I hate you forever, Gin.” “Gin, you're terrible. You're a bad person.” Please don't think that.

Melanie Avalon: Haters going to hate. There's a lot of really wonderful people, so we can focus on that.

Gin Stephens: Let's do. I've just loved this time, but it has been so much of my time.

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Shall we jump into everything for today?

Gin Stephens: Yes, let's get started.

Melanie Avalon: To start things off, we have some feedback. This comes from Sarah. The subject is “Insulin Testing.” Sarah says, “Hi, Gin and Melanie. I just got my fasting insulin tested for the first time and I wanted to share with your other listeners how to do it easily and quickly. It's something I've wanted to do for a long time, but didn't want to go to the doctor and do the whole bloodwork panel and have to potentially argue with my doctor about why I wanted fasting insulin, etc.” Can I pop in something really quick, Gin?

Gin Stephens: Yes. I actually saw the doctor on Friday, I think, for just an annual checkup. The nurse that I was with, she was so receptive to testing everything that I wanted to test, so I got fasted insulin. When I went to test it, I went in right before the close to like 5 to Quest or LabCorp or one of those places. She was like, “Are you fasting?” I was like, “Yes.” She was like, “Are you sure you're fasting?” I was like, “Yes.” She was like, “It's really late.” I was like, “I know.”

Melanie Avalon: “Let me tell you what my job is. I have a podcast called The Intermittent Fasting Podcast, so guess what?”

Gin Stephens: I said, “Well, I practice intermittent fasting as a lifestyle”. She goes, “What?” I go, “Never mind.” Good times, but then they told me that I don't know why-- they said the fasting insulin won't be accurate at that time. I don't know. In any case, moving back to the question to Sarah's feedback. She says, “A long time ago, Gin mentioned on the podcast that one of her friends was using Walk-in Labs, that's exactly what I did. I went to walkinlabs.com and I bought just the fasting insulin test. It was $25 from Quest Diagnostics and $40 from LabCorp. Then I just found a location near me, walked in, got my test, and the next day got my results, it was super-duper easy and quick. On a more unfortunate note, my fasting insulin is 13.8. Yikes. I've been intermittent fasting and an average of 19 to 20 hours daily for almost four years, but my blood sugars are a little high in the 90s, low 100s. I recently gained 20 pounds and have so far been unable to lose it. I'm going to do my best to go low carb for a while and see what happens.

I reintroduced meat into my diet four months ago after realizing I've been getting only about 20 to 50 grams of protein a day for the past three years, but I kept my other higher carb habits and I think those didn't mesh well with a new higher protein/fat intake. The experiment continues. Very glad to finally have a fasting insulin measurement that I can track. Thanks for continuing to share your knowledge and wisdom on the pod.” All righty. Do you have feedback about this, Gin?

Gin Stephens: Well, yeah, 13.8 is high, although I'm not sure, it might fall into the “normal range,” how they say, “That's normal,” but it's really very far from optimum. That's what 13.8 would be. You want it to be down closer to 5 or 6.

Melanie Avalon: The standard reference range, they say less than 25. I think in Dr. Benjamin Bikman’s book, he recommends less than 6, I think.

Gin Stephens: Yes, that's exactly right.

Melanie Avalon: Ideally, even I think, like 4 or less.

Gin Stephens: Mine's less than 5. The day that I got mine done, I had coffee and I shouldn't have, and I would didn't even pay attention to what I was doing. I was like, “Oh gosh, why did I just drink that coffee?” So, mine could actually normally be lower in the fasted state. Coffee, of course, causes your liver to dump out glycogen. When you have increased blood glucose, you may have some insulin go up to manage that. If I ever do it again, I'm going to do it with zero black coffee, I’d be interested to see. As far as, Sarah, your numbers go, even with all of those years of intermittent fasting, you're right to focus on diet. We've talked before about Mastering Diabetes, that's a different paradigm, so you could try it this way for a while with the lower carb approach. If you don't find that improves it, you may want to try the Mastering Diabetes 180 way of managing it because either they are finding a lot of success with this as well. Theirs is a low-fat higher carb approach.

Melanie Avalon: It sounds like she really upped her protein and fat, like she says, but she kept in all of her carbs as well. Right now, she's basically high carb, high fat, high protein, which I think that combination works for not that many people for metabolic health, basically having all high of all of the macros.

Gin Stephens: Well, it's certainly not going to help correct a problem. It works really well for me as far as the way that I eat day to day. I'm certainly very healthy. But I'm not trying to lower my insulin, I'm not trying to lower my fat, does that make sense? I'm at a great place. But if you know you've got something to work on-- if I knew I needed to lose some weight, I would do some changes to that.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I'm happy that she said she brought back meat and was trying to upper protein because she realized she was low in protein. Focusing on raising protein, in my opinion and from a lot of the people I've interviewed and research that I've done, is going to have the most probably beneficial metabolic effects as far as satiety and muscle maintenance and not being a fuel substrate that encourages a state of energy toxicity like Marty Kendall talks about. But then, next to the protein, you basically have two options between the fat and the carbs and gravitating to one or the other can work wonders for a lot of people for getting to a place of better metabolic health. Since she wants to try low carb and she hasn't really tried it yet, I definitely encourage that. Try that, see how it goes. Then if it doesn't work, you can try the flip side and try the high carb, low fat, lower fat but high protein approach. I think there's a lot of potential here in making changes.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, I think so too.

Melanie Avalon: That's really great to know about how easy it was for her to get the fasting insulin test.

Gin Stephens: I know. I love that part too. I think that is going to really help other people. Then, people can get the test and then see when you know, then you can address that. Because she said that she had recently gained 20 pounds and hasn't been able to lose it, so this high fasting insulin level can certainly help explain some of that. We hear all sorts of things from people. They'll be like, “I was unable to lose weight, no matter what I did. Then I found out I had blah, blah, blah.” You could fill in the blank. Anything from breast cancer, we've heard people say, “I couldn't lose any weight, then I found out I had breast cancer, and then we addressed that.” Our bodies are doing other things that we don't always know about, high fasted insulin level, you could have so many things going on behind the scenes. The inability to lose weight is a signal that there's something else wrong.

Melanie Avalon: All right, shall we jump into some questions?

Gin Stephens: Yes. All right. We have a question from Katherine and the subject is “Gallbladder and Fasting.” “Hi, Melanie and Gin. Hello from Australia.” I feel like we should read these in an accent. Although I can't. I can't.

Melanie Avalon: Go for it. [laughs] Go for it.

Gin Stephens: I don't know why but whenever I try to have a foreign accent, it sounds like I'm in Jamaica.

Melanie Avalon: That's where you end up.

Gin Stephens: I can only do a Jamaican accent apparently, like, “Hello, Maan.” I don't know. That's all I can do. I cannot do an Australian accent or an English accent, or an Irish accent. I'll just read it like myself. She says, “Firstly, thank you so much for all the work you both do in helping the rest of us learn about fasting and help. I've been fasting for about 18 months, now mostly around 18:6, but sometimes less and sometimes more. Have plateaued in the past six months, but I recognize I probably need to tweak the old eating patterns. My current issue is that I have gallstones diagnosed some time ago. Issue started several years ago. I just turned 60, so I'm unfortunately right in the age bracket where old gally can start playing up. This has been happening to me lately. I've been reading up about this and there seems to be some research suggesting fasting is not great for the gallbladder. That makes me very sad as no way do I want to give up the fasting, as I usually feel a lot better than I used to. Less general inflammation, more energy, and of course that initial weight loss which I've managed to maintain even throughout COVID lockdown. I'd also like to shed at least another 5 to 10 kilos in order to get back into my healthy weight range. My question is, what are your thoughts about fasting and the gallbladder? Be interesting to hear your take on this issue and to know if others with gallbladder issues have success or issues with fasting. Is there perhaps a threshold of fasting duration where the gallbladder may be more severely impacted? Whilst I'd like to increase my fasting time to help get the weight loss moving again, I don't want to ever do it an upset old gally.” I love that. That makes me smile. The gallbladder, old gally or golly, maybe it's old golly. “Be keen to hear your thoughts. Thanks for reading. Cheers, Kath, from Victoria, Australia. “

Melanie Avalon: All right. Kath, thank you so much for your question. This idea has been popularized by Dr. Valter Longo at the University of Southern California, fight on. Which by the way, I don't think I told you, Gin. Did I tell you he's coming on my show?

Gin Stephens: I'm not sure if you did. You got so many people coming on the show. I can't keep track. I'm not surprised.

Melanie Avalon: Well, I've been emailing his assistant, he's a little bit harder to lock down, but we've been emailing and talking about what he wants to talk about. In any case, Gin and I actually interviewed him.

Gin Stephens: A long time ago, 2017?

Melanie Avalon: Maybe ‘18, was it? I don't know, it was a while ago. It was when his first book came out, or his only book, it's when his book came out. In any case, he is the creator of the fasting mimicking diet. He does a lot of research in fasting mimicking diets and fasting in humans, and is considered one of the go-to authorities on fasting, just as far as from a research perspective. He is very vocal, at least last time I checked, about intermittent fasting’s potentially negative role on the gallbladder and encouraging gallstones. I'm definitely going to ask him about this when I interview him, for sure. I was shocked. I thought this would be way easier to find research on than it was. I was like, “Oh, I'm going to go to Google Scholar, I'm going to find all these fasting studies about the gallbladder and there will be an answer.” I found very little information. Yeah.

Gin Stephens: Can I just summarize it? There's two things that I know are true about the gallbladder and fasting.

Melanie Avalon: Sure.

Gin Stephens: These are two risk factors. Let me rephrase it. There are two risk factors for having gallbladder trouble.

Melanie Avalon: Low-fat diet?

Gin Stephens: If you were overweight, or if you lose that weight. Those are two, there are more, but two risk factors are being overweight and losing the weight, no matter how you lose it.

Melanie Avalon: That's really interesting.

Gin Stephens: You're like darned if you do and darned if you don’t. Everything I've read, if you're overweight, you're more likely to have gallbladder trouble. If you're actively losing weight, you're more likely to have gallbladder trouble, so you cannot win when it comes to the gallbladder. That's my research in a nutshell, or never have gained it to start with, but you can't go back in time and not have gained it.

Melanie Avalon: It's really interesting, because the whole idea of gallstones, I feel they come up in so many different books and authorities and researchers I talked to, and depending on who you're talking to, they'll say the cause of the gallstone is a different thing. When I interviewed Richard Jacoby recently, it was sugar. When I interviewed Susan Owens, it was-- or Sally Norton, one of them. They both work with oxalates. It was oxalates. I interviewed Dr. Campbell-McBride for the GAPS diet, she thinks it's related to, I don't even remember, bacteria. There's all these different thoughts about what it might be. In any case, what we do know, I think what most people agree on is that bile is responsible for flushing things through the gallbladder. Now, I'm going on tangents, I feel, but a lot of people on the low fat diet say to avoid fat because it will clog up the gallbladder or lead to gall stones. On the flip side, it's very possible that if you're on a very low-fat diet, then you're not flushing through and so you're more likely to get stones actually.

In any case, coming back to fasting. I was able to find like one study from 1980 but it was very, very interesting. It actually both supported exactly what Valter Longo says, and it completely went against it. I think he recommends not fasting more-- is it more than 15 hours, I think, that he says?

Gin Stephens: Well, he always says 12.

Melanie Avalon: 12, okay. Well, that works too. That works too for this study.

Gin Stephens: Which is-- Okay, never mind, don't get me started. I'm biting my tongue.

Melanie Avalon: Okay, so that actually works. Are you ready? This study is called Effects of fasting on the composition of gallbladder bile, and it was talking about the level of cholesterol that is dumped from the liver into bile depending on fasting with the idea being that higher cholesterol dumped into the bile is more likely to cause gallstones. Okay, they tested patients fasting at 10 hours fasted, 15 hours fasted and 20 hours fasted. Do you want to guess what they found?

Gin Stephens: No. [laughs]

Melanie Avalon: 10 hours fasted, it was a certain number and it was very consistent between all the patients. 15 hours fasted, there was more cholesterol. The bile was more likely to be a risk factor for gallstones. But at 20 hours fasted, they had gone down. It seems that around 15 hours, it seems there might be a transitory increase in cholesterol and bile into the gallbladder up until around somewhere around 15, 16 hours. Then after that, it actually starts going down, which is fascinating because Valter Longo says, okay, maybe it's 12 hours, don't fast more. This is all me just going on one study from 1980, so keep that in mind. Just from that information, it seems if you fast just a little bit, you might get-- and by a little bit, between 12 and 15 hours, you might get a transitory dump of cholesterol into your gallbladder. If you fast a little bit longer, closer to a one meal a day situation, potentially a 16:8, I don't know, they didn't test 16 hours. I don't know exactly when it started going down. It sounds like if you're fasting the way a lot of our listeners probably are, you actually might have less of a chance of gallstones with that fasting window. I thought that was fascinating. Again, 1980, but--

Gin Stephens: I thought I was biting my tongue, I'm going to unloosen it a little bit. I unbit it. He changed his tune after his fasting mimicking diet came out. Before that, I heard him on a podcast talking about how he does his intermittent fasting, and then he changed what he was recommending. You were unable to find strong support of no one should fast beyond 12 hours a day or your gallbladder is going to explode or something. There was no good science for that, right?

Melanie Avalon: The purpose of that study, they did mention that, I guess, the research prior to that was contradictory and that shorter fasting did seem to increase the risk of gallstones, but longer fasting didn't. So, they were positing that it's actually because there's this transitory curve.

Gin Stephens: What I'm saying is you didn't find this wealth of information that was solidly pointed to this is a problem.

Melanie Avalon: I think there was one saying that women who skipped breakfast are more likely to have gallstones.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, that's the weight loss tie, and I would bet.

Melanie Avalon: To answer your question, I thought, because he's so vocal about it, I was like, “Oh.” I was like, there's going to be research, he's going to have published studies about it.” There's just going to be information, but there's not a lot. There's not much.

Gin Stephens: A lot of it is correlational, like you said, and that is the part, that's when I got a little upset with what he was talking about. He started talking about-- It was right when his book came out, maybe or right after that, or at some point, he started making the podcast circuit and telling people on the podcast circuit not to fast beyond 12 hours, which was shocking. Everybody's like, “Gosh, Valter Longo is telling people not fast after more than 12 hours,” but you can buy his fasting mimicking protocol, which is way better than actual fasting because fasting is dangerous. Then he started talking about all these the study and skipping breakfast led to heart attacks. I went and looked up that study that he cited, that is not what that study said at all. I lost a lot of respect that day, because he as a hard researcher understands what studies do and don't tell us. You don't go around saying skipping breakfast causes heart attacks based on a correlational study of people who are unhealthy and skipping breakfast. You know what I mean, Melanie. That made me like, “Okay.” He's scaring people off about doing intermittent fasting and using really poor evidence to do it. Instead say, “You know what, I've developed the fasting mimicking diet. I think it's amazing. Let me tell you why,” but don't knock intermittent fasting with poor evidence.

Melanie Avalon: I do still, all that aside--

Gin Stephens: You respect him.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I do really respect him. All of that aside, he's done a lot of really great research and studies. So, I am really excited to talk to him but I definitely am going-- these are the things I'm going to talk to him about. Normally, when I book the guests, they don't really communicate with me much beforehand about what they want to talk about, but his assistant has been very vocal about what he wants to talk about specifically. I'm really interested to see what we talk about, and I'm going to talk about this.

Gin Stephens: Can I tell you something that's kind of funny? I don't know if I should say this out loud.

Melanie Avalon: Say it, and then I'll let you know.

Gin Stephens: Let me know if I should. They actually approached me for him to be on Intermittent Fasting Stories within the past year.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, really?

Gin Stephens: Yes. I replied and said, “I'm sorry. I've heard him on a lot of podcasts recommending against intermittent fasting, so I'm not really sure we'd like we would like to hear his intermittent fasting story.”

Melanie Avalon: Oh, you said that? What did they say back?

Gin Stephens: I don't think they replied. I turned them down for Intermittent Fasting Stories, because it didn't seem like a good fit. Anyway, was it okay to say that out loud?

Melanie Avalon: I think it's okay. Yeah.

Gin Stephens: I will say one other thing, Melanie. We've had a half a million people in the intermittent fasting communities, on Facebook, and if fasting-- these are the things I know that will happen. You're very likely to have an increase in your overall cholesterol levels after you begin fasting. That is true.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. That's something people don't talk about enough, I don't think.

Gin Stephens: My point is that these are the things that we know because they come up over and over and over. Guess what does not come up over and over and over?

Melanie Avalon: Gallstones.

Gin Stephens: Gallstones. I think it comes up every now and then. I would tend to think the rarity at which it comes up actually is lower than the prevalence of gallstones in the general population. Does that make sense? There's a high level of gallbladder issues in the general population, especially among the target group of people that are in my Facebook groups. We have mostly women over 40, 50 in that age group, we're a very large group of people in that age range that often have the gallbladder issues. If fasting made gallbladder issues worse, I would think that we would be overrun with posts about it. Instead, the number of posts we get are few and far between and seem like a smaller percentage of the population than would be in any normal population of people. Does that make sense?

Melanie Avalon: Mm-hmm.

Gin Stephens: They do pop up from time to time just like here with Kath’s story, but they happen in the regular population. I feel like if fasting led to really increased gallbladder problems, we would see a lot more of it.

Melanie Avalon: The vague general idea is twofold because I realized I was focusing on the liver dumping cholesterol into the bile while fasting. But I think the main idea that's posited is that your gallbladder is becoming stagnant while fasting, and so things are accumulating in creating the stones. Literally, I was trying to find information, I couldn't find information, because I was trying to find if Valter had studies, but I couldn't find anything. But now whenever I think of old content on the internet, I'm going to think of your Facebook group, but I found this old Twitter thread.

Gin Stephens: Oh, that's so sad.

Melanie Avalon: [laughs] I found an old Twitter thread for Peter Attia and all his people. They're asking him what he thought about this, and he was just like, “No.” [laughs] He's like, “I haven't seen any evidence really to support this.”

Gin Stephens: We haven't. Like I said with the cholesterol, every day, there was someone saying, “I just had my bloodwork done, and my cholesterol is up.” We know that that is common because we see it, or like, “I just started fasting and my cycle’s a little wacky.” We see that all the time. We know what is very, very common. We are not a study, but we are very much an anecdotal group of evidence. We’ve got a lot of info.

Melanie Avalon: I will make a suggestion though for Kath and that is if you are struggling with gallstones-- it's controversial because, like I said in the beginning, a lot of people will say, “Oh, you need to avoid fat to avoid gallstones.” I personally think keeping at least like a small amount of fat in your diet to keep the gallbladder flushing can be pretty important. If you're doing a low-fat diet-- I don't know what type of diet she's eating but if you're doing a low-fat diet, I think that's often a risk factor for gallstones in people.

Gin Stephens: Everybody hears that we got a storm, there been some really bad storms around the southeast, and they just finally hit Augusta.

Melanie Avalon: It's weird, the area I'm in, I'm in Atlanta, but just the city I'm in for some reason, I don't know if it's the elevation, we rarely get the actual storms, like my little area. It's very strange.

Gin Stephens: Where we are near the river, the weather tends to follow a certain like path in the river. The shape of the land really does influence the weather a lot.

Melanie Avalon: Majorly. I grew up in Memphis, though. Oh, my goodness, talk about thunderstorms. We got a ton. I miss those.

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Shall we answer one more question?

Gin Stephens: Yes.

Melanie Avalon: Okay. story about this question. We've actually answered this question before, but whatever episode it was originally cuts off, and somewhere along the line and the many, many times we have changed hosts, we lost that original episode. People have asked us so many times, what was our answer to this question? Our assistant actually was like, maybe you should just answer it again.

Gin Stephens: That's so funny. What episode was that?

Melanie Avalon: I don't even know.

Gin Stephens: I didn't realize that's what happened to it.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, the episode cuts off in half or something.

Gin Stephens: Okay. They’d be like, “What?”

Melanie Avalon: We get questions a lot about what our answer was, and we're like, “We don't know, we don't remember.” Our assistant, Sharon, was like, “Maybe you should just re-answer it.”

Gin Stephens: As if it's brand new because we might say new things.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. She's like, and then I can just tell them to check out this episode, so that's what we're doing right now. The original email was from Celeste and the subject was “Crashing when my window opens.” Celeste said, “I'm very new to IF. I've been doing 18:6 for about a week and listening to your podcast in the mornings as I get ready for the day. I typically open the window at noon for lunch and then eat dinner before 6 PM. I'm not eating terribly, I don't think. For lunches, I have something left over from the night before, like broccoli, chicken, ground turkey, taco, salad, or brown rice with a chicken something. However, about 30 minutes to an hour after eating, I feel like I just downed a pizza and a large ice cream and I feel a complete crash. Is this something that will improve with time or am I eating the wrong things? I keep hearing Gin say no foods are off limits. So, I'm not sure why I'm feeling my great morning energy disappear after eating.”

Gin Stephens: Celeste, first of all, I want to say you're very new to IF and feelings like this are a lot more pronounced in the beginning. During the adjustment phase, you're going to feel all sorts of wacky ups and downs with your energy levels both during the fast and after you eat. Your body is learning how to do a new thing. You're not metabolically flexible, you're probably not tapping into your fat stores very well during the fast, and your body is not great at shifting back and forth between fuel sources, the fed state, the fasted state. That's when you have a lot more weird energy slumps and stuff like that happening. That being said, I never feel as energetic after I eat as I do during the fast, and that's because during the fast I'm running on ketones increasingly as the day goes on. As the day gets longer, and my fast is longer, I have more mental clarity and more energy. Then, after I eat and my body shifts fuel sources, I feel more relaxed and calm and less productive. I like to use the same analogy all the time. Think about lions after they feast. What do they do? They sleep. Think about Thanksgiving dinner, what does everybody do after Thanksgiving dinner? You're all really tired. That's because digestion takes a lot of work. Now, I don't completely crash after my dinner. As your body becomes more metabolically flexible, you also should not just totally crash. You'll feel better, but you're not going to feel as energetic.

Melanie Avalon: I agree. That's the sort of response that I have as well. That's actually why I like eating later. It actually makes me tired, and it helps me sleep. The thing I'm wondering about is, the feeling, is it tiredness, just like you feel like you ate a big meal and you feel satiated and nourished, but you're tired? When I hear pizza and ice cream, I think more of a not good feeling, and maybe I'm getting a little bit esoteric. What I'm wondering is, is it literally just the feeling of a lack of energy or is that also the feeling of inflammation and reacting to food and an uncomfortable feeling? I know it can be a little bit vague or a little bit unclear about discerning between those two different things, but if it's just the tiredness and the digestion and everything, then I don't think that's necessarily a problem, and it's something that may or may not change, depending on how you continue. But if it is a different feeling of discomfort and brain fog and that sort of feeling, then I would also look at the food choices and see if the foods are not working for you specifically. That's my only other thought about it.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, I definitely think that's important as you go on. Just during the adjustment phase is just not the time to feel like that's how you're going to feel every all the time.

Melanie Avalon: True.

Gin Stephens: By now, I'm pretty sure that Celeste has adjusted.

Melanie Avalon: Celeste, email us back.

Gin Stephens: Follow up. We would love that. Follow up, let us know how it's going, if it's gotten better.

Melanie Avalon: Shall we answer one more question?

Gin Stephens: Yes. Amber says, subject, “15-hour fast?” “Hello, ladies. Thank you so much. I love this podcast and each of yours individually and listen to all three regularly. My mother has had great success with intermittent fasting and I have as well, but have some struggles and questions. I exercise at a rigorous boot camp three to four times a week. I have diabetes in my family and feel reading Jason Fung’s Obesity Code as well as Gin’s books have been very helpful at lowering my insulin by lowering my number of feedings each day. I strive to fast every day, but I also have struggles. I love to eat with my coworkers, and also my family enjoys an evening meal together too. I skip breakfast and sometimes lunch. I try to fast 20 to 24 hours on Sundays and Wednesdays because of my schedule but most other days, it's only 15 hours. I feel great and workouts are great. I feel like it has to be lowering my overall insulin. But am I missing out on benefits because I only fast 15 hours most days?”

Melanie Avalon: All right, Amber, thank you so much for your question. I think what you're doing sounds great. I think 15 hours is great, especially if you're feeling great, you're seeing all of the benefits, and you're exercising at a rigorous boot camp three to four times a week, that's a lot right there. A lot of people do find just fasting without even that intensive exercise-- Oh, and then on top of that, you're also doing a few 20- to 24-hour fasts. If anything, some people in your situation, with the exercise, it might be too much. I'm not saying it's too much, but I'm saying she's wondering if she's not fasting enough, but for a lot of people, everything that she's doing might be the high end of what they even should be doing. So, I think it sounds like it's working great for you. Gin, what do you think?

Gin Stephens: Well, it just depends what benefits she's looking for. She says is she missing out on benefits? Maybe depending on what benefits you're looking for, like for example, you're not getting into peak fat burning time if you only fast 15 hours most days. On the flip side, if you're happy with your weight, then maybe you don't need to get into peak fat burning time. That's the part we haven't really enough information to know what benefits she's looking for. If you're looking for increased autophagy, you're going to have some increased autophagy at 15 versus if you got up and ate breakfast. But if you really want to have a little more increased autophagy during the day, you may want to go a little longer.

Melanie Avalon: She's also doing boot camp three to four times a week, and that's going to be really supportive of autophagy. I don't know if she's doing it fasted.

Gin Stephens: We don't know. There's still a bunch of questions. She's lowered her insulin, that's really good. If she's at a very healthy weight where she feels great and not trying to lose weight, and this feels like a great lifestyle and her rhythm is good and the exercise time and the fasting time, then she doesn't need to change a thing. But if she's not seeing what she wants to see as far as progress or goals or health, then I would tweak it. Only Amber can answer that question based on her goals. This may be just the right amount of fasting for her, but it might not be.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. Should we do one more?

Gin Stephens: Sure. We're covering up like crazy today. And I talked for 100 years at the beginning.

Melanie Avalon: I know I'm impressed. I feel like and we talked about Valter Longo stuff for a long time. I feel like time is weird on this episode. One more question from Jennifer, the subject is, “Long-term intermittent fasting.” Jennifer says, “Hi, Melanie and Gin. Your intermittent fasting podcast is the best thing about Monday mornings. Thank you both for your wisdom. Within the last month, I have listened to two podcasts on fasting in which the speaker has said that eventually after two to three years, intermittent fasting stops working and that your body stops losing fat and/or maintaining fat loss. The experts said that bodies become adapted to whatever we do. Both of you have said this too about fasting protocols, and that eventually your body will react against this adaptation by gaining weight. Both podcasters stated that intermittent fasting only works in the short term. Well, both of you have proven this wrong in your own lives. I wonder if you could address and refute this claim to make me feel better about my long-term plan, which is to intermittent fast forever. Thanks for your insights on this. Jennifer.”

Gin Stephens: I'm going to give you a short answer, and then the long answer. The short answer is no. [laughs] You like that one? Oh, lordy. I just love when the experts who are not intermittent fasters like to talk about what's going to happen with the people who are intermittent fasting when they really just don't know. I hit my goal weight in 2015, and it is now 2021. Through that time, I went through menopause also. This morning, my Shapa scale shows that my Shapa age is 18. Isn't that wacky? It's based on my body composition, I'm 18 years old. So, I will say that no, that they are wrong about that it is impossible to maintain fat loss. Thanks to intermittent fasting. I've been in these communities for a long, long time since 2015, and the only time I've ever seen people having trouble with weight regain has been over the pandemic. A lot of people, who had been maintaining very well, all of a sudden had little weight gain after the pandemic. Did you know, Melanie, that the average weight gain was something like 29 pounds for adults?

Melanie Avalon: Did you listen to Joe Rogan today?

Gin Stephens: I don't.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, Mark Sisson was just on Joe Rogan and they were talking about. I just listened to that statistic right before this.

Gin Stephens: Everybody was talking about it all over the place, that the average American gained 29 pounds over the pandemic. We saw some of this in the intermittent fasting community.

Melanie Avalon: Some people just didn't gain weight, but if you did gain weight, that was the average, I think, regardless.

Gin Stephens: That's not what the way I saw it. That doesn't mean that the way I saw it was correct. You know how when you play the game of telephone by the time you get around the circle, it's completely different. I did hear people say repeating that, that the average person gained 29 pounds, but just because I heard people saying that doesn't mean that's really true. [laughs] Whatever it is, this is the only time in the history of managing Facebook support groups that we suddenly had people not maintaining their weight. What most of them have done, they've corrected it since then because it was because we were all baking sourdough bread and sweet rolls and cookies and cocktail day was every day.

Melanie Avalon: We weren't outside and we were not exercising, lost our jobs, stress. It's basically everything for weight gain.

Gin Stephens: It all happened at one time.

Melanie Avalon: Cornucopia of unpleasantness.

Gin Stephens: Other than that, let's just put that to the side, pretend 2020 didn't happen, my honesty pants got a little tighter. Again, right this minute, my waist measurement-- because I keep up with my waist measurement, it's at the lowest it's ever been. I have not been slimmer in my adult life ever maintaining it, and in a period of time, and I'm 51 years old, and I've been through menopause in the past year. So, our bodies do become adapted to what we do, but that doesn't mean that you're then suddenly going to start to crazy gain weight, because you're adapted. Being adapted doesn't make you suddenly crazy gain or lose weight. Now, if I started eating all day long every day, I would probably gain weight. But as long as I continue intermittent fasting, I'm not going to. Of course, prior to intermittent fasting, I was crazy gaining weight. Whatever has happened with my body, I am thousand times more healthy than I was in 2014 when I weighed 210 pounds. Even if it was true that my body changed and no longer, whatever, all this period of time has been so much healthier than if I hadn't lost the weight. I really don't know why the experts would say that. They're trying to convince you not to even try it, “Don't even try it, it's helpless.” If that's the case, why even try to lose weight at all? But we can lose weight, and we can keep it off. I don't want you to let those people get inside your head.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, for anybody doing a dietary protocol fasting, whatever they're doing, if there becomes a point where they lose a certain amount of weight where the body perceives it as not being adequate body fat and/or they're eating a diet that the body perceives as not enough food and nutrition, that's going to be most likely an inevitable response of the body adapting or wanting to hold on to weight. Intermittent fasting does not necessitate that. They seem they're the same thing as intermittent fasting, but they're not because they can go with intermittent fasting, but they don't have to.

Gin Stephens: Right. An overly restrictive intermittent fasting lifestyle is not recommended by either me nor by Melanie.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, the two things I'm saying is, like Gin said, the overly restrictive diet or the body reaching a point that's too low for what the hypothalamus feels it should be at. Those are not synonyms with intermittent fasting. It's funny, you mentioned that they were wrong about that and my initial response was, “Oh, I don't ever say anybody's wrong.” Then, I thought, “Well, actually, it is wrong, because some people,” I don't know exactly what they said. they said it's impossible to maintain a weight with intermittent fasting. That is wrong, because we see it all the time. Yes.

Gin Stephens: I just wonder what stops working? Autophagy doesn't stop working. Mark Mattson has been living in intermittent fasting lifestyle for, I don't know, what over a decade now. He's a neurological researcher and wrote the article in the New England Journal of Medicine that came out in 2019 that got everyone excited about the health benefits of intermittent fasting. He's one of the premier experts, and he does it. I don't think all these people that study it would do it. The more you read about it, the more you learn about it, the more you want to do it. I think people just like make things up.

Melanie Avalon: I think some people can do intermittent fasting, but then they also might--

Gin Stephens: They might stop doing it.

Melanie Avalon: Or they might be more lax is the flip side. They might actually still be able to maintain or lose weight without doing what they perceive to be as strict as they need to be all the time. The opposite could also be true. You might be able to not be doing all the fasting all the time and have some days off and still maintain and lose weight as well.

Gin Stephens: You're saying your maintenance protocol could be more relaxed than your weight loss protocol?

Melanie Avalon: That might be possible.

Gin Stephens: If you relax all the way down to not doing it anymore [laughs] ever, then you're probably going to regain the weight. That's the thing. I would not want to stop doing intermittent fasting for the health benefits alone, but I also feel great, and I'm maintaining the weight loss for the first time in my whole adult life. None of the other things led to lasting weight loss that I did, none of them, not one, only intermittent fasting. Yeah, it's my study of one but--

Melanie Avalon: We'll take it.

Gin Stephens: Yep.

Melanie Avalon: Well, this has been absolutely wonderful. a few things for listeners. Before we go, you can submit your own questions to the podcast, just directly email questions@ifpodcast.com, or you can go to ifpodcast.com and you can submit questions there. You can follow us on Instagram. I'm MelanieAvalon, Gin is GinStephens. I love Instagram.

Gin Stephens: Oh, can I tell you something very exciting?

Melanie Avalon: Yes, I was on Instagram the other day. I went to see what Tim Spector was posting. You know how when you go to someone's page and it says follow back, is he following you?

Gin Stephens: Yes. I was not following him, but I followed him back. It said, “Follow back.” I was like, “Oh my God,” because Tim Spector is one of my heroes, obviously, and Mark Mattson too. I don't even know if he's on Instagram, but I'm going to go look, but I was like, he knows who I am. Anyway.

Melanie Avalon: That is really exciting. I love that feeling.

Gin Stephens: It was exciting. It was so exciting.

Melanie Avalon: I just followed him on Instagram, and it recommends following Zoe. That's funny.

Gin Stephens: Yeah. I don't follow Zoe yet, but maybe I should. I don't know.

Melanie Avalon: All right. Well, anything from you, Gin, before we go?

Gin Stephens: Nope. Everybody check out my blog post if you need to read something. ginstephens.com, Change is in the Air.

Melanie Avalon: Perfect. Well, I'm excited for you.

Gin Stephens: Thank you.

Melanie Avalon: I will talk to you next week.

Gin Stephens: All right. Bye-bye.

Melanie Avalon: Bye.

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


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More on Gin: GinStephens.com

Theme Music Composed By Leland Cox: LelandCox.com

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