Welcome to Episode 212 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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Weight Lifting Is a Waste of Time : So Is Cardio, and There’s a Better Way to Have the Body You Want (John Jaquish, Henry Alkire)
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Listener Feedback: Liz - In Tears Listening to Episode 200!
Listener Feedback: Jin - My roller coaster journey with IF and finding balance
Listener Q&A: Linda - When to Eat Carbs
Listener Q&A: Julianne - Hyperglycemia, Diabetes, Gallstones
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Melanie Avalon: Welcome to Episode 212 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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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 212 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 great, especially as I look at the date that this podcast comes out. It will be out on May 10th, and my book deadline is May 7th. In the future when this episode comes out, I'll be done with my book.
Melanie Avalon: That is very exciting. You're not going to ask for an extension?
Gin Stephens: Well, I got an extension already. It was due on March 31st, and so March 31st was coming up soon, and I sent an email to my editor and I was like, “Hypothetically, what if I knew I was not going to be done by March 31st, what would happen?” I got an extension to May 7th. I'm working feverishly on it. I'm at the stage of the process where hour by hour, I'm like, “Oh, this book is so good.” Then, 10 minutes later, I'm like, “This book is terrible.” [chuckles] It's really hard to write a book.
Melanie Avalon: You haven't mentioned to listeners at all what it's about.
Gin Stephens: Well, I know I haven't really. I've dropped hints here and there. It's about how and why we want to clean up what we're eating and clean up the products. A lot of this has come out of our work here on this podcast, Melanie, with learning from you about some of the things. For example, even Beautycounter. Why does it matter what we put on our skin? Why does it matter what products we use? I started to get interested in this through our work here on the podcast and started digging in, and I started making changes in my own life. I realized when I ate better foods, I felt better. That just carried over in all areas. So, that’s what the book is about. What's fascinating to me is, as I'm digging in for the research, that this is actually controversial. You and I know how important it is after the research we've done about what we put on our skin. That's why we choose Beautycounter, right?
Melanie Avalon: Yes. 100%.
Gin Stephens: But when you start digging in, it's actually controversial out there. There's a whole segment of people out there who are telling us, “Don't worry, it's okay. These products are safe. Parabens, perfectly safe, all these things. You're crazy if you're worried about them.” It's like with Big Tobacco. Big tobacco in the 1950s, they all colluded and really went out of their way to convince us that smoking was great, we shouldn't worry about it.
Melanie Avalon: It's really, really shocking how pervasive that is. I feel like a few key industries like the cosmetic industry, but with Beautycounter that we've talked about, where it's really evident, because in a way the chapter closed, the tobacco industry, like you just said, because now it is pretty established that tobacco and smoking has all these negative effects. But for the longest time, for the longest time, that was suppressed--
Gin Stephens: Yeah, they have internal memos that have been released now that people-- they've talked about in courts of law, that the tobacco industry had this information, and they did not share it. That makes a consumer a little hesitant to just trust when people are like, “Oh, don't worry. GMO, no worries. It's all good.”
Melanie Avalon: Yeah, actually, the book I'm reading right now is called Metabolical: The Lure and the Lies of Processed Food, Nutrition, and Modern Medicine. Do you know Dr. Robert Lustig, Gin?
Gin Stephens: I do, yeah.
Melanie Avalon: Yeah. This is actually really, really exciting because for listeners, I have my other show, the Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast, and on that show--I have this Google document and I have all of these columns of guests, people that I want to come on, people who are coming on, ideal people to reach out to. On the column of people I want to bring on, it's exciting because I used to really actively reach out to these people, but now they often come to me, which is really, really exciting. Well, they don't come to me, their publishers or their publicists or their agents. Robert Lustig has been on that list for quite a while because he's one of the go-to authorities on the role of particularly sugar and fructose and metabolic health, and disease. I've been wanting to interview him, but he has a book coming out, it releases May 4th, so it'll be out by the time this show airs. They came to me wanting him to come on my show for that book. I've been reading it. It's called Metabolical: The Lure and the Lies of Processed Food, Nutrition, and Modern Medicine. It talks about everything you were just talking about.
Gin Stephens: Really?
Melanie Avalon: Yeah, like the bias in the processed food industry, the funding-- it reminds me of Gary Taubes a lot in that it's going through the history of everything and how ideas came to be and how they're treated in culture and society, in the news and health, and it's very upsetting.
Gin Stephens: Well, it is very upsetting because it feels like gaslighting. I can just imagine already the reviews from my new book when it comes out. People who are like, “Oh my God, I learned so much.” People who are like, “This is pseudoscience garbage. [laughs] BPA is fine, and all these chemicals are safe.” There'll be one or five. [laughs] It's polarizing, so many things are, but one thing I was working on today was a section about the precautionary principle. You’ve read about the precautionary principle, I'm sure, I know you follow it, whether you've read about it or not. It's the whole idea that we err on the side of caution.
Melanie Avalon: Yes.
Gin Stephens: These scientists are saying, “Uh-oh, beware of Roundup in your corn.” Then, other people are like, “Oh, it's no big deal. I eat Roundup for breakfast on purpose.”
Melanie Avalon: I will stop myself from going on a tangent, but I think Roundup and Monsanto's a perfect example of something that I think the evidence is so clear about the toxicity of it, but it is so political.
Gin Stephens: It is so political. That's the part that's frustrating. Then, there's a strong agenda for discrediting anyone who says that you should be cautious. That's the part that's-- we want to say, give our messages and have everybody like, “Oh, that's good information. Thank you for sharing it.” We don't want people to say, “That's ridiculous and not true.” [laughs] When you start talking about things like Beautycounter, for example, we find it to be very important, and something that we know makes a difference. Now, back to the topic of tobacco, I don't think there'd be a single voice out there saying cigarettes are safe, tobacco is safe, but it took 50 years, or however many years for people to be like, “Oh, that really was all bad information.” The doctors smoking, and I choose this brand, all those ads that they had back in the day, it takes a while for everybody to catch up.
Melanie Avalon: One of his chapters is on the history of the dental industry and the role of fluoride. Actually, what I really like about him is he admits to being fluoride agnostic. Something to the effect of, he's not pro or against fluoride. Regardless of what you think about fluoride being toxic or not toxic, it's an example of putting all of this focus on fluoride, and completely ignoring the role of sugar or diet in dental health. Just a lot of energy is focused on things and it's very frustrating.
Gin Stephens: Well, when you go back to the work of Weston Price, and the work he did in the 30s, or whatever, he was a dentist for anybody who doesn't know. Weston Price was a dentist, and he traveled the world with his wife, and they looked at people who were living in non-westernized communities that were still eating traditional foods. He went to Africa, and he went to all over the place. People who were eating the way their ancestors had always eaten, always, not eating the modern diet, not eating processed foods. He as a dentist was astonished by how beautiful their teeth were. They didn't have crooked teeth, they didn't have cavities. They weren't brushing with fluoride. They weren't doing any of that. They just ate nutritious food, they got what they needed, and they all ate a wide variety of things. They weren't all following the same diet because they lived in different places. They didn't have the same macronutrient ratio. The only thing they had in common is they ate the real food that their ancestors had eaten for all of time, so they were healthy.
Melanie Avalon: The thing about fluoride that I think is just concerning is it's an example of where not knowing the potential toxicity of it and then it's a situation where the government fluorinated water, like infused our drinking water with it. You truly cannot drink the tap water, but that's something being forced on you. There's a lot.
Gin Stephens: There's a lot. That's just a great example of precautionary principle. If you read things that say, “Here are some health concerns with this that you need to be aware of,” people are like, “Oh, it's perfectly fine,” which do you listen to? Well, if you're following the precautionary principle. You have to say, “Well, okay, the drawbacks maybe my dental health won't be as good. Maybe my teeth won't be as strong.” They're like, “Well, what did people do--“ Back in the days of Weston Price, was he finding people with rotted out teeth in his travels and then he was like, “Here's some fluoride for you.’” No. He found people with beautiful teeth. I had the worst teeth growing up. He talked about how the dental arches of the native population, their mouths were perfectly formed. Well, my teeth were so crooked. I had to have teeth pulled, I had to have so many braces for years. Lots and lots of dental work.
Melanie Avalon: Yeah, James Nestor talks about that a lot in his book, Breath, how our mouths became crowded. It's really, really fascinating.
Gin Stephens: Does he base it on nutrition?
Melanie Avalon: Mm-hmm. He thinks it's two things. If I'm recalling correctly, and I'll put a link in the show notes because I had him on the Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast. Chewing, like chewing whole foods.
Gin Stephens: That strengthens our jaw and makes our mouth form correctly? That makes sense.
Melanie Avalon: Chewing and breathing, becoming mouth breathers has affected our mouths.
Gin Stephens: Interesting. I was also very much a mouth breather because I had-- my adenoids were all-- I had my adenoids out when I was 21. I had a hard time breathing. Yeah.
Melanie Avalon: I had a really good moment, though. I'm also reading a book right now. Well, I'm reading many books, but one of them is-- have you heard of Dr. John Jaquish. I don't know how you say his last name. He wrote Weight Lifting Is a Waste of Time.
Gin Stephens: Oh, I've seen that book. It just popped up on Amazon when I was looking at something down in the recommended books.
Melanie Avalon: Oh, really?
Gin Stephens: Yes. When did that come out? I just saw it popping up on Amazon.
Melanie Avalon: It came out August 7th.
Gin Stephens: Yeah, that's not that recent. I just saw it last week, which is funny. His premise is that you do shorter, different things instead of like going to the gym.
Melanie Avalon: Yes. Well, so his book is Weight Lifting Is a Waste of Time: So Is Cardio, and There's a Better Way to Have the Body You Want. He developed a system called X3 and its resistant bands. They sent it to me, which I'm really grateful for because it's very pricey. They reached out to me and I’ve started reading the book, and oh my goodness, it's actually blowing my mind about the potential of muscle building using resistance versus traditional weightlifting. Blowing my mind. I'm really excited because we get so many questions on this show about exercise and muscle building, strength training. That's not my forte, Exercise Science. I don't study it as much as I could.
Gin Stephens: Well, it's okay not to. We don't have to know everything.
Melanie Avalon: It's a knowledge bucket I would like to know more about, but I don't actively seek it out, I think, because I'm not a weightlifter and it's not a passion of mine. They came to me and so it just kind of fell in my lap and reading this book. I'm really, really excited to do this episode, because I'm learning so much and it is blowing my mind. Actually, he formed it because he originally was doing research on osteoporosis, and how loading for bone health, the way that you support bone health is by force onto your bones, he contemplated applying this concept to muscle. The part I'm reading right now is-- or listening to because I'm listening to the audiobook, he's talking all about intermittent fasting. He has a really great deep dive into fasting. He has a whole chapter in this release what we were just talking about, where he said they were trying to decide the best diet to promote for body composition. He said their goal was to have no bias, no cherry picking, just review the literature and see what is the best diet, and that's where they ultimately ended up which is basically a high protein, animal protein diet.
What happened that was funny was I was listening to it yesterday while working on my notes for Robert Lustig, and then he literally said, “For learning more about processed sugar, check out the work of Robert Lustig,” I was like, “Ah.” Small world. For listeners, I'll put a link in the show notes to all of these books. Can I tell you one really quick announcement?
Gin Stephens: Sure.
Melanie Avalon: It's not really an announcement. It's not for sure. Gin, I am seriously contemplating/ making/producing a serrapeptase supplement.
Gin Stephens: Very cool.
Melanie Avalon: We'll see. Somebody reached out to me that I'm actually very excited to work with, I think, and I really liked his approach. He was so excited about the serrapeptase idea. For listeners, Serrapeptase is the one supplement back in the beginning of this show that Gin and I realized that we both took at the time. I still take it. Gin, you don't?
Gin Stephens: Yeah, I haven't taken in a while.
Melanie Avalon: Yeah. Proteolytic enzyme by the Japanese silkworm and taking it, it works systemically. It can address a lot of health conditions because-- kind of the way fasting works systemically, it works systemically to break down protein, like old proteins and can help with inflammation and pain and a lot of different things. But there's so much debate out there about the right form. Should you have enteric-coated serrapeptase? Or should you have serrapeptase in enteric-coated capsules? There are a lot of brands out. I get asked all the time, like what brand do you recommend? I'm like, “I don't even know what brand I recommend, because I'm on the fence.” Now I'm thinking I should just do the research, find what I think is the best and produce it myself.
Gin Stephens: Yeah, I think that's a great idea.
Melanie Avalon: So, stay tuned, listeners, stay tuned.
Gin Stephens: My research on supplements, also, coming out of my new book. I talk about how very frequently they're tainted.
Melanie Avalon: Yes.
Gin Stephens: They might have prescription drugs in there, instead of the supplement that it says it has, like something completely crazy. I am scared to take things that I would order from Amazon now, literally scared.
Melanie Avalon: When it comes to supplements, I'm so cautious and so nervous. I do a lot of research. I'm very, very cautious to recommend supplements because of that.
Gin Stephens: There's so little oversight. People aren't testing them to see what's really in there. You could say it has one thing, but it really has something completely different.
Melanie Avalon: Yeah. That's why it's so important that we really, really trust the brands that we work with. I think on this show, BiOptimizers is actually a sponsor of today's-- I'm not sure.
Gin Stephens: They are, I see them up there, but you're right. When we partner with the brand, it's because we trust them. When you're on Amazon, number one, you don't know the people making those. We know the people who are making BiOptimizers, and they made them for themselves. We know that. We've had them on the show.
Melanie Avalon: We know them personally. [laughs]
Gin Stephens: We do. I trust that if they're making something they want to take themselves. It's like why I trust that intermittent fasting is good for your brain health because Mark Mattson researched brain health and then he does the intermittent fasting protocol that he thinks is best for it. I'm like, “I'm going to do it what he does.” Same thing with the BiOptimizers. They created the supplements they wanted, so I trust them. But when you're buying them from one of those online places, like Amazon, even if the company is good, you're not really certain that's what you're getting. What I learned with Delay, Don’t Deny, and counterfeiting of my own book is that people counterfeit things. I know Amazon doesn't want people to counterfeit things, but there aren't enough safeguards in place. If Amazon ever wanted to talk to me about it, I'd love to help them. Figure out better safeguards for making sure their products are not counterfeited. I have lots of ideas.
Melanie Avalon: I was just thinking about it. The majority of the supplements that I do talk about, I personally have interviewed the people, had them on the show. Like Atrantil with Ken Brown, BiOptimizers with Wade and Matt. Quicksilver with Chris Shade, Sleep Remedy with Dr. Kirk Parsley, I know these people. I know them. [laughs]
Gin Stephens: Exactly. That really is important, the supply chain, you know where it's coming from, someone isn't selling you a fake version of BiOptimizers. I just would not buy supplements on Amazon at this time. I would not, just because I'm not certain that just with the quality control of my own book, I don't know that they've got that in place. Maybe they do but I'm not certain.
Melanie Avalon: The two brands that I do-- there's really only on Amazon two brands I trust. I always make sure I'm ordering from their actual store on Amazon.
Gin Stephens: That's important.
Melanie Avalon: Yeah, so that's Pure Encapsulations and Thorne. I feel good about those brands. Even with that said, I always still look at the ingredients.
Gin Stephens: The thing to make sure about that I learned the hard way with Delay, Don’t Deny is you have to look at the buy box to see who's selling it to you. Like Melanie just said, if it's coming from a third-party seller, you just don't know. I love Amazon. Don't get me wrong. I'm a huge fan. I buy a ton of stuff on Amazon to this day. I'm just careful about the buy box and who it's coming from. I know there are a lot of amazing third-party sellers on Amazon, and they are the people that Amazon needs to get it all sorted out for their benefit. I don't know if I'm saying this well, because the people who are good third-party sellers on Amazon, they're selling you legitimate products, their business is being affected negatively by the fact that you and I are now a little more suspicious and we don't know who to trust.
Melanie Avalon: I just had this call last week with this supplement creator. I did a call yesterday with Dr. Kirk Parsley, because his main thing is the Sleep Remedy supplement. I was like, “Tell me everything about supplements.” I was asking should I sell on my own website, would I sell on Amazon? I didn't realize on Amazon-- well, he was talking about the pros and cons to both, but did you know Amazon will-- if you have a supplement that become well known, they pretty much like by the title of it, so that when you're googling it, you will come up with Amazon, regardless even if it's on Amazon.
Gin Stephens: Oh.
Melanie Avalon: Yeah, they want you to end up on Amazon for everything, even if it's not there. Then, he was talking about difference between selling it yourself on Amazon versus selling it through Amazon. I'm like, “Oh, there's a lot to take in.”
Gin Stephens: See, the thing is that we all love-- well, I don't know we don't all love Amazon. I'm sure some people don't. I do, I've been using Amazon since--
Melanie Avalon: I have an Amazon card.
Gin Stephens: I've been using it for so many years that I want it to be a place that I rely on, that I can trust what I'm getting there. I'm rooting for Amazon to be the place, but there's just a few things. I know they care about the customers but there's still just a few little things I think they could earn back some of that trust. They did lose my trust with the whole-- the fact that people were buying counterfeit copies of my book for months before we figured out what was happening.
Melanie Avalon: Well, exciting things, we'll have to stay tuned. I really think I'm going to do it though. I'm really excited.
Gin Stephens: Well, enjoy.
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Melanie Avalon: All right. Shall we jump into everything for today?
Gin Stephens: Yes.
Melanie Avalon: To get things started, we have some feedback from Liz. Liz from Texas, and the subject is “In tears listening to Episode 200.” Liz says, “Hi, Gin and Melanie. After listening to the Ask Me Anything Episode 200, I was in tears of laughter during some of the questions. Gin's response to Trans-Siberian Orchestra during the who would you see in concert post COVID had me in stitches. Gin, I went and looked at the transcript to see what you--”
Gin Stephens: What did I say?
Melanie Avalon: It's so funny. I end up reading our transcripts. I basically said that one of my favorite songs was Epiphany from Trans-Siberian Orchestra and it's like 12 minutes of epicness and you made some comment about the gong bell that you would--
Gin Stephens: [laughs] Oh, yeah, The Gong Show. [laughs] Oh gosh. 12 minutes. [laughs]
Melanie Avalon: For listeners, yeah, that was a fun episode. She says she had tears of gratitude and joy as well with the hinting comments from thankful listeners. “I agree with them wholeheartedly. I have only been living the lifestyle for seven and a half weeks, but I feel like I have gained years of knowledge from your podcasts in such a short amount of time. I also enjoy the personal commonalities I share with the both of you. Your descriptions of your high school selves made me think I would have sat at the lunch table with the both of you.” I also went back and read all of that. Gin, we ultimately concluded, we think we'd be at the same lunch table.
Gin Stephens: Yeah, we would have. 100%, we would have been. Yeah.
Melanie Avalon: “I'm a 45-year-old questioner who loves research, Taylor Swift. I went to both the 1989 and Reputation tours, Melanie. I tried to go to Red, but the tickets sold out in seconds.” I'm so jealous, that's me talking. She says, “James Taylor. He is fabulous in concert, Gin. Baked potatoes with butter and sour cream,” so that's Gin, “and scallops.” That's me. Yum. She says, “I was a little sad to be almost caught up with all of the IF podcast episodes. I started from Episode 2 and search incessantly for the mysterious Episode 1, until I realized now I'll have time to check out some of your other podcasts. While I truly love listening to the two of you together, it's so interesting to find out you can't see each other when recording. I'm excited to start a rotation of your other podcasts throughout the week. To answer the superpower question for myself, if I had a superpower, it would be to ensure that the IF podcast will go on for decades to come.” That's so nice. She says, “I am so grateful for the inspiration and motivation the two of you have given me to live a healthier and happier lifestyle. Keep up the fantastic work. #FriendsInMyHead.” That was fun. That made me laugh. Thank you, Liz, for sending that.
Gin Stephens: Anyway, for listeners. If you haven't listened-- one thing that I love about this podcast is that I get to hang out with Melanie every week, and I really enjoy it. It's like the highlight of my week. I think listeners will-- I mean, I love Intermittent Fasting Stories so very much, it's a different guest every week, Melanie has the Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast with a different guest every week. But if you like the give and take that the chatter between Melanie and me, listeners, check out the Life Lessons podcast. I haven’t talked about that one maybe in a while, but it's called Life Lessons, my cohost is Sheri Bullock. We have a similar kind of a thing. We have a different topic every week. It's not about fasting. You'll get to know Sheri just as well you know Melanie and me.
Melanie Avalon: Yeah, it's really fun. I feel with the two shows, it's like in college, the Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast is the intense class that I'm prepping an exam for all the time and really stressful. I feel like I'm getting a grade on it, and this is my fun extracurricular class. We still do a lot of research, obviously, but I enjoy this podcast a lot.
Gin Stephens: Well, good. Yay.
Melanie Avalon: Shall we go on to our next question?
Gin Stephens: Yes. This is from Jin. J-I-N as opposed to me, G-I-N.
Melanie Avalon: Wow. That's two interesting spellings of Gin/Jin together.
Gin Stephens: Gin and Jin. The subject is, “My roller coaster journey with IF and finding balance.” “Hi, Gin and Melanie. I've been listening to your podcast since 2018 when I started my IF journey. I first found out about IF through various health-related podcasts like Dr. Rhonda Patrick and Tim Ferriss. Back then, I lived in San Francisco and was surrounded by all these health and biohacking people, which was a big impact on my lifestyle. When I first started IF, I started with a goal of losing 5 pounds and keeping it off forever, and after about six months, I was able to lose those pesky 5 pounds. But then my mind kept on telling me, you can always be skinnier, the skinnier the better. Another six months of 20:4 with not enough calories to sustain my body. I was averaging 500 calories per day and running 30 miles per week.”
Melanie Avalon: Oh, my goodness.
Gin Stephens: Yeah. “My body started fighting back,” and that is what our bodies do, Melanie. Just a little sidenote there. I talk about this in Fast. Feast. Repeat., when we're in a situation like this, our bodies are like, “Okay, we can't survive.” Then they start-- this is exactly what she describes next when I was reading this when she sent it in. I'm like, “Yeah, this is textbook what happens when you over-restrict.” She says, “My body started fighting back with this unstoppable appetite for sugar and anything junk food, donuts, cake frosting, bags of trail mix, etc. I just couldn't control my body wanting calories and to get back to my healthy weight.” You see, just another sidenote for me. That's why I talk about in Fast. Feast. Repeat., the urge to binge is a warning sign that you're over-restricting for your body.
Melanie Avalon: 100%.
Gin Stephens: You sometimes get it during the adjustment phase because your body isn't well fueled during the fast, so when you open your window, because you're not tapping into your fat stores well, you're not well fueled, your body's like, “Feed me, feed me, feed me,” but once you're fat adapted, that feeling goes away. If it starts to come back later after you've been fat adapted, don't ignore it. It is your body sending you a distress signal and you need to listen. All right, so she says, “Fast forward six months, I made up more than the 5 pounds I'd lost even with my [unintelligible [00:34:58] 20:4 fasting regimen. I finally came to realize that my hormones were all out of whack and really needed to feed my body after a visit to the holistic doctor and being diagnosed with Hashimoto’s. Since then, I've been playing with the IF timing and really listening to my body and how to nourish it.
After juggling with different IF schedules and methods, I now feel my healthiest with 14:10, and stopping to eat at 7:00 to 8:00. I make sure I eat breakfast to get my gut moving and make sure I don't feel starved like I used to when I was restricting to only four hours of eating at night on top of excessive cardio. I still enjoy running. I certainly make sure that I listen to my body and that my cortisol levels are in check. I have thrown out my scale and don't even care about how much I weigh anymore. I only care about if I'm starving or craving junk because that means my body is not being treated right. This is just a cautionary tale for those who are already fit and have a tendency to take it really hard on themselves and their bodies.
Once you really start to listen to your body and be truly empathetic to it, you'll be able to make peace with it and how it looks and serves you instead of your weight goals and sizes. Thank you, you two, for educating people about this and letting people know that everyone is different, and how we feel best and take care of ourselves comes from true self love. Thank you, Jin.”
Melanie Avalon: Well, that was fabulous. I don't really have any comments just with everything she said, I agree with 100%.
Gin Stephens: Yeah, I don't want people to be afraid that that means 20:4 is too restrictive for a lot of people because it just depends, she said she was eating 500 calories a day with 20:4 and also running 30 miles a week. That is definitely over-restriction for anybody. There's no body on earth that's going to be happy with 500 calories a day and then running that level of activity. For me, I can eat a lot of food in a four-hour window. I'm not eating 500 calories a day, I can guarantee you that. A few times I've ever tried to add things up, which I'm not good at, it always surprises me with how high it is, like the amount of food that I eat. I eat a lot. I eat calorie-dense food, I eat a lot of food. For her though, for Jin, it sounds she's probably more of a light eater, more of a restrained eater. Some people naturally like to eat-- like grandma who ate like a bird, for example. People eat little bits of food here and there. A 10-hour window might be what she needs to get the volume of food, someone who eats like that in small amounts isn't going to be able to fit it into four hours.
Melanie Avalon: I'm so in awe of people like that because I'm a hearty eater, like you, Gin.
Gin Stephens: Don't be in awe of it. It's just different. It's not anything to aspire to. It's not better.
Melanie Avalon: I didn't mean it as I aspire to it that way. I'm in awe in that-- it's a state of being I just can't imagine, I can't really imagine a state where I feel satisfied eating lighter like that. Some people are very happy and comfortable, like you said, eating small amounts, or even eating small amounts all throughout the day. For me, it's just-- my brain, it doesn't work that way.
Gin Stephens: Mine either. I like to eat a hearty amount.
Melanie Avalon: Yeah. Me too, which is a reason I love intermittent fasting. Low carb sort of caused that effect where I felt like I could finally eat a lot more and feel satiated but IF was really the first time that I felt like I truly could eat what I wanted and not worry about the calories or the amount and just feel fulfilled and satiated.
Gin Stephens: Well for me, both low carb and low fat left me unsatisfied and unsatiated, that's the big thing for me. I never felt satisfied without enough carbs. I never felt satisfied without enough fat. To be satisfied, I’ve got to have a mixture of fat and carbs together. That's the only time that I feel satisfied. The volume of food, I’ve got to feel satisfied or I'm not happy.
Melanie Avalon: I eat so much animal protein specifically during my window. It's just funny to me because so many people will say, “How do you eat that much protein?” I'm like, “I don't know. It's easy for me.”
Gin Stephens: See, I don't. I don't eat that much protein. I mean I do eat protein. Like yesterday I had, I opened my window with two eggs over toast because Chad had bought extra eggs by accident and he's like, “We’ve got to eat these eggs.” I'm like, “I can do it.” I open my window with the two eggs over toast. Then, at dinnertime, I made chicken but I didn't feel like having the chicken, so I didn't eat the chicken.
Melanie Avalon: I would have eaten the chicken probably.
Gin Stephens: I know. I had couscous and I had carrots and I had kale with all the strawberries-- not strawberries, but cherries. They didn't have strawberries in there. It was dried cherries. It was actually a Green Chef meal. Green Chef is also sponsoring today's episode, but I didn't eat the chicken. I didn't feel like eating it. But Chad had the chicken. It's just funny how different we are.
Melanie Avalon: Yeah, it is really funny. Similar, but different.
Gin Stephens: Yep.
Melanie Avalon: All right. Shall we go on to our next question?
Gin Stephens: Yes. Now we have a question from Linda, and her subject is, “When to eat carbs?” I'm going to answer it, in your eating window. Ha, ha. Did you like that, Melanie?
Melanie Avalon: That was wonderful. Moving on. Sorry.
Gin Stephens: [chuckles] Okay. I'm sure her question is a little more nuanced than that. All right. She says “Hello, Melanie and Gin. I just found your podcast a month ago, and I'm enjoying catching up on all the episodes. A quick background, I am 57 years old and have been lifting weights and running since my 20s. I've never had to lose a lot of weight, but I've always been mindful of my weight since I am 5’1”. I've been road racing for over 30 years and went low carb about 10 years ago. That caused some issues because I was still racing and had a hard time getting fat adapted. I now eat low carb/keto. I check my blood ketones here and there and have been wearing a CGM on and off for six months. I just got the Levels program with the app. I am a data analyst and love the information. I work full time and like most people right now, I'm working from home. My fasting glucose and insulin are great. I get them tested at least once a year. All my other health markers are very good.
My question is, if I want to eat some carbs, when would be the best time to eat them? I get up around 4:15 to 5:15 AM. I take a weightlifting class for 45 minutes two to three days per week and run three days per week. I usually do these workouts fasted. If I do a long run, 7 to 10 miles, on the weekend, I may have a bar or some sort of fat like peanut butter before the run. During the week, I usually eat around 10:30 AM, eggs, ground meat, and veggies. I may have some nuts and turkey breast with avocado mayo before dinner, and then protein and veggies for dinner around 6:00 PM, is it best to eat carbs with the first meal after my workout or with dinner? I've heard both recommended especially since I usually work out fasted.”
Melanie Avalon: All right, Linda, thank you so much for your question. She says at the end that she's heard both recommended. That is very true. I as well have heard both recommended. Some people say you should have your carbs later in the day, especially that it would promote sleep and that that's the best time to have them and you're more insulin sensitive. Some people say you're more insulin sensitive in the morning, or that you should have them directly after workout. From everything that I've seen through the years and my personal experience, I find for me having my carbs-- Well, I do one meal a day, so I'm always eating in the evening, but having them later is what really works for me. I feel like it seems to work for most people that I've seen, or the majority. That said, and this sounds like a cop-out answer, but I would play around and see-- especially since you're a data junkie and you were a CGM, I would see how it does affect you. If you're not intrinsically intuitively leaning towards one or the other, try it both ways, and see when you have your carbs earlier, does it change your hunger levels, your satiety? How does it make you feel? Compared to having it later. I do feel like most people seem to do better with it later. What have you seen in the groups, Gin?
Gin Stephens: I mean, this is not a question that has a one size fits all answer. Really in my groups, we're not doing a lot of talking about timing of when should I eat whatever. We just eat, [laughs] eat what feels good to you. If you open with carbs and you feel bad, don't open with carbs. If you have your carbs later, and you don't feel good having them later, don't have them later. Go by-- you're using your CGM for this, like Melanie suggested, I think that's great advice, but go by how it makes you feel. I got caught up on the wording what is the best time to eat them? It depends, best for what? Best for satiety? Best for sleep? Best for not storing them? There're so many possible second parts of that question, whereas the answer would be different. For me, I need to eat carbs close to when I go to sleep. If I don't have enough carbs, I can't sleep.
Melanie Avalon: Yeah, that's why the carbs really help me for sleep. One thing I forgot to mention, though. When we're not working out, there's really only one modality for carbs to enter our glucose stores, for carbs to be stored as glycogen in the muscle or the liver. The exception is after exercise that actually sparks the release of-- I forget what it's called. It's like-- what is it, non-insulin mediated glucose uptake, I think, is what it's called. Basically, there is a way for carbs to enter muscle glycogen stores independent of insulin, so without insulin, and that is after workout. So, if you do have your carbs right after your workout, you can actually shuttle those.
One thing that I failed to mention, though, and it could be a factor to consider is normally the way carbs enter the storage form of glycogen in our liver or muscle is with insulin. We release insulin, and that's how it enters. There is something called non-insulin mediated glucose uptake. Our muscles can actually take up carbs without the use of insulin and the stimulator for that is exercise. The reason I say that is-- so that applies to when you're fasting. Say your blood sugar is high, while fasting, and then you do exercise, your muscles could actually take up glucose without the use of insulin, which is pretty cool. It also would indicate that your muscles are likely even more insulin sensitive after exercising because, A, if you're eating carbs, you'll release insulin, which would encourage them to be stored as glycogen. In addition, there's this other transport mechanism that’s stimulated by exercise. The point of that is that you might find that you're able to tolerate more carbs, having them right after a workout, for example. That could be something to consider. Again, it's going to come down to just finding what works for you. Again, that sounds like an answer where we're not giving us one answer, but it's because there's not one answer. Any other thoughts?
Gin Stephens: I'm just really wondering what our goals are, because she's eating low carb now. I don't know what she's trying to do. Is she trying to lose more weight? Is she maintaining? I just don't know. Does she just want to incorporate more carbs, because she misses them? That's the piece that I'm really missing a little bit. Was it in there and I missed it?
Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I don't think it's in there. I wonder if it might just be-- especially with her wearing the CGM and everything. I would guess it might be either/or what is providing the healthiest blood glucose profile with her wearing the CGM and everything like that. Or, since she did say that she's always mindful of her weight, it might have something to do with maintaining her weight, maybe losing.
Gin Stephens: Yeah, it's just that she's been low carb keto and wants to add that more carbs, I guess. She just wants to add them back, I guess. I guess she wants to add them back and not see issues from them. When can she add them back and not have a problem? Again, she's got the CGM, I think that's the key, is if she sees crazy blood glucose spikes like, “Oops, maybe that isn't the right thing to eat for me.”
Melanie Avalon: Yeah. I'll put a link in the show notes, I've done two episodes on CGMs. The episode with Levels, I did interview them. The one I'd aired already was NutriSense. I think when this comes out, I will have aired the Levels episode as well. I'll put a link to that in the show notes, because you can learn more about a CGM. We didn't say what it was, for listeners, who are not familiar, it's a continuous glucose monitor. It's a device that you wear on your skin and it actually perpetually measures your blood glucose levels. Does it indirectly, it measures the interstitial fluid. It doesn't actually measure your blood, but it's pretty accurate and it can show you trends. It can really show you how you are reacting to foods and how things are affecting your blood sugar levels. It's fascinating. I have codes for both of them for discounts. Actually, I think Levels, the code I have is, they're on a waitlist, but my link lets you get it now rather than be on the waitlist. Then the NutriSense code, I think is MELANIEAVALON, and it's 15% off. Check out those episodes if you'd like to learn more about CGM.
Gin Stephens: Yes. All right. Sounds good.
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Now, we have a question from Julianne. The subject is “Hyperglycemia diabetes, gallstones.” Julianne says, “Hello. Thank you for your podcast. It is both informative and fun, and I appreciate it so much. I've been intermittent fasting for almost a year. Currently, I'm back home due to the pandemic and my family members are worried about my IF lifestyle. They claim that it is dangerous for it can cause hyperglycemia, diabetes, and also perhaps gallstones. Therefore, now I am fearful to continue this lifestyle. Do you have any insights that would help me quell these fears?”
Gin Stephens: I wonder if she means hypoglycemia instead of hyperglycemia. Although-- well, okay, so let's first let's dig into-- intermittent fasting could cause transient hyperglycemia and transient hypoglycemia, really, honestly. Let's talk about how, hyper is high blood glucose, hyperglycemia, and that's what Julianne mentioned. We've seen through the dawn phenomenon, Dr. Fung writes about this in a blog post that I always share when people ask me personally about it, he does a great job explaining it. Basically, when we wake up in the morning, and we're in the fasted state, our liver dumps out some glycogen and makes our blood glucose go up. You can have a spike of your blood glucose, but you haven't eaten, and you're like, “Oh my gosh, fasting’s making my blood glucose go up. This must be dangerous.” It's actually your body clearing out some of that stored energy, we actually need it to get cleared out, because having it stashed away is also not what we want. We want our bodies to use it up. A temporary higher blood glucose at the beginning of fasting is understandable.
You also might have hypoglycemia, your blood glucose dropping, like if you're not fasting clean, and your body releases insulin in response to whatever, diet soda, and then your blood glucose crashes. It really wasn't the fasting that caused it, but it happened in the fasted state because you weren't fasting clean, so that could happen as well. But is that something that is dangerously happening because of fasting? No. I wouldn't worry about that. I've never felt better steady blood glucose control than I have as an intermittent faster versus back in the day when I was eating frequently and I was on that blood glucose rollercoaster. I would eat, my blood sugar would go up, it would crash, I would have to eat again. I was always up and down, up and down. Now, I feel very steady. What's that show? MythBusters? Do you ever watch MythBusters?
Melanie Avalon: I did. Yeah.
Gin Stephens: Myth busted. [laughs] All right, the second myth we're going to bust is that whether intermittent fasting will cause diabetes. I assume you mean it's going to cause type 2 diabetes, because it's not going to cause your pancreas to shut down, which would be type 1 diabetes, it's definitely not going to do that. As far as type 2 diabetes, not only is it not going to cause it, but it's very likely to correct it, if you have it. I have had so many group members over the years and people on the Intermittent Fasting Stories podcast talk about how they were diagnosed as type 2 diabetic. Then, after living the intermittent fasting lifestyle, their A1c came down so much, thanks to fasting that now they're no longer medically classified as type 2 diabetic because their A1C is now normal. I've heard this time and time again. If you don't want to take my word for it, then please read The Diabetes Code by Dr. Jason Fung. He explains it to you there and you may trust his explanation more because he's a doctor who's worked with patients who is medically-- he's got a study, it's really short. I talk about it in Fast. Feast. Repeat. Go to Fast. Feast. Repeat., get that book if you don't have it already. There's a section in there and it'll point you to Dr. Fung’s research with some of his patients through his clinic where he has had them come off of insulin, and reversed their type 2 diabetes and it was actually published in a journal. You can read about it. It's like a couple of case study kind of a thing. As far as gallstones, didn't we just talk about this like last week?
Melanie Avalon: Yes, episode 209.
Gin Stephens: Go listen to 209. Again, myth busted. We busted it in episode 209. I'm pretty sure I bet I know who you were listening to, the person we talked about in episode 209. This is more of an anecdotal kind of a thing, but there have been so many members in the intermittent fasting groups that-- we talk about this in 209. If intermittent fasting led to a huge increase in gallstones, we would have seen a giant example of that in the groups, but we did not.
Melanie Avalon: Yeah, just speaking to the gallstones, check out 209, we talk about it at length, length, length. For that episode, I went and tried to find the studies about fasting and gallstones, and I just couldn't find them. I was really, really expecting to find them, because there is this idea popularized out there. The one study I found that we talked about was looking at fasting and gallstones, and it found that there was a transient increase, but then the longer you fast, and once you hit-- I don't remember what it was. Once you hit 16 hours or so, there was actually a decreased potential for gallstones. Yeah, definitely check out that episode.
Gin Stephens: The thing about gallstones that’s so frustrating is, the risk factors for gallstones are being overweight or losing weight. It's like the only way to not have the risk factor is never gain weight in your life. If you have already gained the weight, you have an increased risk. You could choose to keep the weight and not lose it, but really, any weight loss gives you an increased likelihood of having gallstones. Honestly, you're like darned if you do and darned if you don't. You can't win, basically, except for never having gained weight to start with. Wouldn't we like to go back in time and be able to have that happen?
Melanie Avalon: Which is a similar thing with cholesterol as well, that people fasting can lead to a transient increase in cholesterol levels, because your body is burning fat and using those transporters to transport the fat. I have recently been diving deep into the whole cholesterol world. Going back to what we're talking about at the beginning of this show with as far as the confusing information out there. The studies surrounding cholesterol are so confusing. The blanket statement seems to be HDL is good and LDL is bad. Then, when you dive really deep into the literature, and actually look at the numbers, LDL is extremely confusing. Some of the takeaways I've seen so far is like with LDL, it seems when you're on the very, very extreme, really, really high LDL over a certain number does seem to correlate to heart disease. I think really low tends to correlate to less risk for CVD. But the majority of the numbers that most people are in, the correlations that people often make are much more complicated and nuanced than they're made out to be and high LDL does not really necessarily correlate the data.
There's this video where Peter Attia talks about cholesterol, and I'll put a link to it in the show notes. It will blow your mind. It will make you rethink everything you've ever thought about cholesterol. That was a cholesterol tangent.
Gin Stephens: I also read, I can't remember what it was, but it was the whole idea of cholesterol as a marker that there's something going on. High cholesterol can mean there's some issue and we have the high cholesterol in response to the issue, but the cholesterol itself is not the problem. It's whatever caused you to have the high cholesterol that your cholesterol is trying to-- it's like blaming the firemen because the fire happened. Every time, there's a fire, you see the firemen, so you start to extinguish the firemen. Get rid of firemen, firemen are dangerous. Wherever there's a fireman, there's a fire. But really the firemen didn't cause it, they just showed up in response. Cholesterol is like that and our body shows up.
Melanie Avalon: One of the things I think Peter Attia starts off that, lot of people will have really, really high cholesterol levels, especially on carnivore-type diets and a lot of low carb diets, but will have clear scans for plaque in the arteries. He says, “If you don't have plaque in your arteries, it doesn't matter. If you have sky high cholesterol, but you don't have plaque in your arteries, you do not have cardiovascular disease, just don't.” I want to find the perfect person to interview about it because it's just really fascinating to me. Something to look at that can be really helpful is, your triglyceride to HDL ratio. When you get a cholesterol panel, there's triglycerides, there's LDL, there's HDL. What's even more confusing is LDL-- I think most people don't realize this, when you get your cholesterol panel, most likely the LDL is calculated, which means they didn't actually test your LDL. So, those numbers can be off, unless you specifically asked for testing LDL, it most likely is a calculation, not a test. Then, the thing probably to focus on is triglycerides. Those are where the issue, I think, for a lot of people really is. If you look at your triglyceride to HDL ratio, that can be a pretty good indicator of your cardiovascular risk disease state, and the lower the better, that ratio. A lot of people will have high cholesterol, but their triglycerides HDL ratio is 1.5 or lower and that can be a really good indicator of health. High HDL seems to be very protective in either case. One last thing, just because I've been reading about this recently is statins and low-fat diets. While they reduce cholesterol, they tend to reduce more of the HDL, rather than focusing on the “bad” LDL, even though-- there's just so much here, even though LDL, there's different types of LDL, not all LDL is bad. There's just a lot. There’s a lot.
Gin Stephens: It's a very complicated topic. Again, part of the problem is that experts don't agree. That is why consumers are so confused, because if the doctors don't agree, if the scientists don't agree, how are we supposed to know? Depending on who you listen to, it just gets more and more confusing when you start seeing the contradictory information.
Melanie Avalon: The reason I got on this train recently was I got my cholesterol panel back and my LDL was high. I was like, “Oh my gosh.” It wasn't super high, especially looking at-- if you go into like the carnivore groups, a lot of them will have like very, very high numbers. That's what made me really sit down and research what does this mean, and the ratios. I saw my panel, and I was like, “Oh, no, is this a problem?” Then, after I analyzed it through all of the different markers and ratios and everything, I actually walked away feeling very good about my cholesterol panel. It's really, really fascinating. I definitely encourage listeners to take initiative, to take charge of your own health and figure out, especially if you're testing things like this, figure out what's actually really going on. There are certain people who have a genetic tendency to more likely have issues with cholesterol, and that is something to keep in mind as well. That's something that you could find out through a genetic test. You could get SelfDecode for that, you could get InsideTracker. I'll put links in the show notes to discounts for those. Do you think we've quelled Julianne's fears?
Gin Stephens: Well, I hope so. Again, I would encourage, Julianne, read Fast. Feast. Repeat. because I go into all of the benefits of intermittent fasting. The scientists who study intermittent fasting like Dr. Mark Mattson and the positive effects, they generally take it up as the lifestyle themselves. That right there should give you confidence.
Melanie Avalon: Yes, that is so true. The majority of the people talking about this, they implement it in their daily life.
Gin Stephens: Yeah. It's like what is that InsideTracker, the company-- I've talked to Gil Blander, is that his name? You talk to him as well, right, for Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast?
Melanie Avalon: I'm actually this week recording with him. I haven't talked about this on this podcast, but listeners-- okay, when this is coming out, May 10th?
Gin Stephens: Yeah. Well, while you're looking at it, let me tell you, the reason I brought him up is because he's a longevity expert. When I interviewed him for Intermittent Fasting Stories, he made a powerful statement. He said intermittent fasting is the number one thing he would recommend anybody do for longevity. That's his expertise. He knows all the things you can do. When a scientist who studies longevity at that level and is a heavy hitting researcher, just like Mark Mattson, and they say intermittent fasting number, one thing I would do, that makes me listen. I wouldn't read a BuzzFeed article telling me not to do it and take that seriously. [laughs] “I saw on BuzzFeed not to do it.” “Okay, sorry, I'll think I'll listen to the people who research it and are doing it.”
Melanie Avalon: Okay, so this comes out May 10th. On May 8th, Dave Asprey had his virtual online biohacking conference. If you saw that, I was actually in it, which is very exciting, with Gil Blander. InsideTracker is one of the guests in that online virtual conference and the video that we're recording in two days from now, we talk about all this. I think we might talk about my cholesterol panel. I'm not sure, we haven't decided yet which things we're going to talk about from my labs but we're going to talk all about the company and how conventional blood tests are done versus ideal blood tests and my experience with InsideTracker. I'm really excited because I'm going to be in Dave Asprey’s conference. [laughs]
Yes, but in any case, this has been absolutely wonderful. A few things for listeners before we go. If you would like to submit your own questions for the podcast, you can directly email email@example.com or you can go to ifpodcast.com and you can submit questions there. We talked about a lot of stuff in this episode, and the show notes will have the full transcript and the links to everything we talked about, that will be at ifpodcast.com/episode212. You can follow us on Instagram. I still love Instagram, I'm MelanieAvalon, Gin there is GinStephens. Anything from you, Gin, before we go?
Gin Stephens: Nope, I think that's it.
Melanie Avalon: All right. Well, this has been absolutely wonderful, and I will talk to you next week.
Gin Stephens: All right, 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.
STUFF WE LIKE
Check out the Stuff We Like page for links to any of the books/supplements/products etc. mentioned on the podcast that we like!
BUY Melanie's What When Wine Diet: Lose Weight And Feel Great With Paleo-Style Meals, Intermittent Fasting, And Wine, Gin's Delay, Don't Deny: Living an Intermittent Fasting Lifestyle, Feast Without Fear: Food and the Delay, Don't Deny Lifestyle and/or Gin's Fast. Feast. Repeat.: The Clean Fast Protocol for Health, Longevity, and Weight Loss--Including the 21-Day FAST Start Guide
More on Melanie: MelanieAvalon.com
More on Gin: GinStephens.com
Theme Music Composed By Leland Cox: LelandCox.com
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