Episode 225: Hormonal Hunger, Metabolic Flexibility, Pro-Metabolic Eating, Cortisol, Breastfeeding, Hunger In The Window, And More!

Intermittent Fasting

Support!

Help Make The Intermittent Fasting Podcast Possible!

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

Aug 08

Welcome to Episode 225 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 And Use The Coupon Code MELANIE30 For 30% Off All Tests Sitewide!

GREEN CHEF: Get easy, affordable meals made with organic ingredients for a variety of lifestyles - including Paleo, Keto, Vegan, and Vegetarian - shipped straight to your home! Go To greenchef.com/ifpodcast100 And Use Code IFPODCAST100 To Get $100 Off Including Free Shipping!

BIOPTIMIZERS: A Company Whose Mission Is To Fix Your Digestion! Take Charge Of Your Digestion With Masszymes - The Most Powerful Enzyme Support Available! Go To masszymes.com/ifpodcast And Use The Coupon Code IFPODCAST10 To Save Up 10% Off Any Order!

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

SHOW NOTES

1:10 - INSIDETRACKER: Go To insidetracker.com/melanie And Use The Coupon Code MELANIE30 For 30% Off All Tests Sitewide!

3:00 - 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! Find Your Perfect Beautycounter Products With Melanie's Quiz: Melanieavalon.Com/Beautycounterquiz
Join Melanie's Facebook Group Clean Beauty And Safe Skincare With Melanie Avalon To Discuss And Learn About All The Things Clean Beauty, Beautycounter And Safe Skincare!

Somavedic: The Science of EMF Protection, Cell Phone Radation Effects, Preventing Cellular Damage, Increasing Heart Rate Variability, Cardiovascular Health, Structured Water, And More!

Go to melanieavalon.com/somavedic and use the coupon code Melanie10 to save 10% off your very own Somavedic!

21:15 - GREEN CHEF: Go To greenchef.com/ifpodcast100 And Use Code IFPODCAST100 To Get $100 Off Including Free Shipping!

23:40 - Listener Q&A: Zoe - Stalling and Feeling Hungry

36:05 - Listener Q&A: Kelsey - Metabolic flexibility, pro-metabolic eating and cortisol

44:15 - BIOPTIMIZERS: Go To masszymes.com/ifpodcast And Use The Coupon Code IFPODCAST10 To Save Up 10% Off Any Order!

51:35 - Listener Q&A: Alyssa - Having a "bouncy" eating window

TRANSCRIPT

Melanie Avalon: Welcome to Episode 225 of the Intermittent Fasting Podcast. If you want to burn fat, gain energy, and enhance your health by changing your 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 Fast. Feast. Repeat.: The Comprehensive Guide to Delay, Don't Deny Intermittent Fasting. 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.

Hi, friends. When you do what you love, like running, racing, enjoying the great outdoors, or if you're me, scrapbooking, podcasting and wine tasting, you want to do it for life. InsideTracker can help. InsideTracker was founded in 2009 by leading scientists in aging genetics and biometrics. In fact, David Sinclair partnered with them, who I've had on the Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast and has been one of my favorite guests of all time. Using a patented algorithm, InsideTracker analyzes your body's data to provide you with a clear picture of what's going on inside you. Then, they offer science backed recommendations for positive diet and lifestyle changes. Then, InsideTracker tracks your progress every day, every step of the way toward reaching your performance goals and living a longer, healthier life. I'm obsessed with what I have learned from InsideTracker. You test your blood by ideal rather than conventional ranges, you can keep all of your blood work in one place, and you can see trends and graphs over time. It has been so eye opening for me. You can also find out your true biological inner age, basically, how old is your body actually, not chronologically. And InsideTracker makes recommendations to help you lower that. It is so incredible, and I am so honored to partner with them. I even partnered with InsideTracker and Dave Asprey’s recent virtual biohacking conference.

For a limited time, you can get 30% off the entire InsideTracker store. Guys, we have the best discount for InsideTracker. They've told me this, I am so grateful for it. Just go to insidetracker.com/melanie. That's insidetracker.com/melanie and the coupon code, MELANIE30, will get you 30% off. Again, insidetracker.com/melanie with the coupon code, MELANIE30 for 30% off, and we'll put all this information in the show notes.

One more thing before we jump in. Are you fasting clean inside and out? Did you know that one of our largest exposures to toxic compounds, including endocrine disrupters, which mess with our hormones, obesogens which literally cause our body to store and gain weight, as well as carcinogens linked to cancer is actually through our skincare? Europe has banned thousands of these compounds for being toxic, and the US has only banned around 10. It's honestly shocking. When you're putting on your conventional skincare makeup, you're likely putting toxic compounds directly into your body. These compounds can make you feel bad, can make it really hard to lose weight, can affect your hormones, your mood, your health. And ladies, if you're thinking of having kids, when you have a child, these compounds actually go directly through the placenta into the newborn. That means your skincare and makeup that you're putting on today actually affects the health of future generations. Did you know that conventional lipstick for example often test high for lead, and the half-life of lead can be up to 30 years and your bones? That means when you put on your lipstick, 30 years later, half of that lead might still be in your body.

Thankfully, there's an easy, easy solution to this. There's a company called Beautycounter, and they were founded on a mission to change this. Every single ingredient and their products is extensively tested to be safe for your skin, you can actually feel good about what you put on. And on top of that, their products actually work. That's because they're not “all natural.” They actually combined the best of both worlds, both synthetic and natural ingredients, to create products that actually support the health of your skin and make your skin look amazing. They have skincare lines for all your skin types, deodorant, shampoo and conditioner that I love, anti-aging and brightening peels and vitamin C serums, and incredible makeup. If you see my makeup on Instagram, that's all Beautycounter. You can shop with us at melanieavalon.com/beautycounter.

And if you're thinking of making safe skincare a part of your future, like we have, we definitely suggest becoming a Band of Beauty member. It's sort of like the Amazon Prime for clean beauty. You get 10% back in product credit, free shipping on qualifying orders, and a welcome gift that is worth way more than the price of the yearlong membership, totally completely worth it. Also, definitely join my clean beauty email list at melanieavalon.com/cleanbeauty, I give away a lot of free things on that list and join me on my Facebook group, Clean Beauty and Safe Skincare with Melanie Avalon. I do a weekly giveaway every single week for Beautycounter, people share their experience and product reviews, and so much more. And again, the link to shop with us is melanieavalon.com/beautycounter. All right, now enjoy the show.

Hi, everybody, and welcome. This is episode number 225 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 fantastic, and I'm so excited that I can finally announce who wrote the foreword for Clean(ish).

Melanie Avalon: And who is that?

Gin Stephens: It's somebody that listeners know that I'm a huge fan of, Dr. Tim Spector of Zoe, and all the twin research, and all the microbiome research. He is somebody I really, really respect and admire. I sent him a draft of Clean(ish), and I was so afraid that he was going to reply like, "This book is garbage. I can't put my name on this book." [laughs]

Melanie Avalon: We knew he wouldn't say that.

Gin Stephens: He didn't say that. He didn't say that. [laughs]

Melanie Avalon: Did he say anything, yet?

Gin Stephens: Well, the foreword had some more words in it about the book. It made me super excited and happy.

Melanie Avalon: I actually completely unrelated to that update from you started listening to his book, Spoon-Fed, yesterday.

Gin Stephens: Because he's coming on your show, right?

Melanie Avalon: Yes.

Gin Stephens: He's great. His book, the one before Spoon-Fed, The Diet Myth came out in, I don't know, maybe, it was 2015. It was either 2015 or 2016, because it was early in my weight loss journey, I'd already lost the weight, I'm pretty sure, but that's why I think it might have been 2015 when I just barely gotten to goal. But it really blew my mind. I think I read it before I read The Obesity Code. Although it could be 2016, so, I'm not 100% sure, but the stuff he talked about, food and how we're different, that was really probably the first time I ever had that concept really presented to me. Because all the diet books we ever read said, this is how you do it, and this is why. It didn't ever talk about how we were different.

Melanie Avalon: I don't think I actually read the diet-- is it The Diet Myth?

Gin Stephens: Yes. It's called The Diet Myth.

Melanie Avalon: I was trying to decide which one to read. Did you read Spoon-Fed?

Gin Stephens: Oh, yes, I pre-ordered it. I'm [laughs] one of those people that I'm such a fan. I'm a pre-orderer when it comes to anything he writes. Yeah, there's some overlap. It's really a different style. I don't know. I really enjoyed reading The Diet Myth, also. I might have enjoyed reading that one more, but it also might be because I read it first, and it was a long time ago, so it was new to me. When you're reading something that's new to you, it's like a page turner. [giggles] Because I'm like, “What?” Turning the pages, "No way." You're turning the pages. Then, when I read Spoon-Fed, I'm like, “Yep, yep, yep. Yep.”

Here's something that is so funny. He and I both tell the same story. He tells it in Spoon-Fed, I told it in Fast. Feast. Repeat about this study about these cheese sandwiches. We both analyzed the same study. But I had already turned in Fast. Feast. Repeat before Spoon-Fed came out. I was already in this house. We were long into the process of Fast. Feast. Repeat. But I'm like, “Oh, my goodness, we're telling the same research story.” Anyway, that was cool.

Melanie Avalon: That's amazing.

Gin Stephens: It really is. Yeah. But I also was really glad that I had already gotten mine turned in, and that it was because I was like, “There you go. It's going to sound like I copied him.” But I didn't. It was this research study we used, when you're talking about the same study.

Melanie Avalon: That's really funny.

Gin Stephens: But it was such a good study, because it was about these different cheese sandwiches, and the point is that the less processed cheese sandwiches, the body managed them better than the ones that were more ultra-processed. If you're trying to make that point about ultra-processed versus less processed, that is definitely a study to discuss.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, I was going to say, I feel I remember that study, it's probably from reading your book.

Gin Stephens: Yep. Yep, because it was in my book. But yeah, I turned my book in July of 2019 I think, and Spoon-Fed came out, I don't know. It was at fall of 2019 or spring of 2020. It came out before Fast. Feast. Repeat was officially out I think, but I think it did. Maybe, it was after. Anyway, on the timeline, I was well done. You know how it is with books. I'm completely done with Clean(ish). It's still not coming out till January.

Melanie Avalon: It's very exciting.

Gin Stephens: It is very exciting. I've been seeing the way the pages look like, they're designing the pages, and the books going to be 400 pages long.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, my goodness.

Gin Stephens: I do. I was like, “What?”

Melanie Avalon: Hardback or paperback or--?

Gin Stephens: It's paperback. I tried so hard to get them to do hardback, but it has to do with getting stores to stock it. It's a harder sell, I think, to get stores to stock a hardback.

Melanie Avalon: Do you think they'll ever do a hardback a Fast. Feast. Repeat?

Gin Stephens: I don't know.

Melanie Avalon: I'm actually very surprised they haven't, with it being a New York Times bestseller.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, and sticking up there in the weight loss category as far as like we know ranking. The other day, I looked, it was number one, and it's still sticking up there. it's really exciting. Oh, I'm starting on Instagram to see people tagging me in Italian, which means people are reading the Italian version, and that is so exciting.

Melanie Avalon: That's really fun.

Gin Stephens: I know. And the Spanish version, too. The Chinese version is coming out at some point. I don't know when.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, wow.

Gin Stephens: I know. Isn't that exciting? Someone joined the Delay, Don't Deny social network this week, and she was talking about how she lives in China. She's an expat. She's an American, but she lives in China, and she was talking about how no one there really knows about intermittent fasting. I'm like, “Hopefully, that'll change eventually, when my book comes out.”

Melanie Avalon: Oh, wow. That's interesting.

Gin Stephens: It is interesting.

Melanie Avalon: I never really thought about it in Asia.

Gin Stephens: Yeah. Anyway, we’ll see. It's just so exciting to see it happening, and unfolding, and feeling like even though we're over a year after it came out in English, it's still very early in the days of the book, and it's just exciting that it's continuing to do well.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. Well, I'm excited. I think Clean(ish) will be here, and then could be a whole another thing.

Gin Stephens: I know. I really am proud of Clean(ish), because I think it's stuff we all have in our minds, but when you put it all together-- I just was constantly while I was researching for that book like, “Oh, my gosh. I knew that, but now, I really know that.” Really, how important it is. You already know how important it is, but why it's more important now than it was even 10 years ago.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. What was I reading? I was reading something yesterday. It might have been Tim Spector’s book. I don't know. I was just reflecting on how overwhelmingly obvious it is when you look at the literature about what these toxic things in our environment are doing to us, and how little it's appreciated, just in general. It's very appreciated in the biohacking world and in a niche area, but not beyond that.

Gin Stephens: But I don't think it's really yet. Exactly. It's like we're probably preaching to the choir here with our audience.

Melanie Avalon: I don't know. It just seems so obvious.

Gin Stephens: But I want to get beyond just my audience with this book, and introduce new people to the ideas. I tell a story the first time my eyes were really open to chemicals and how they affect us, which was when Will was little. Have I talked about this before with you? Chemical sensitivities, and foods sensitivities?

Melanie Avalon: I think you have about his food. Yeah.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, and so I tell that story in the introduction for Clean(ish). It made such a difference cleaning up Will's diet. But I didn't clean up mine at the same time, because I didn't need to. I wasn't having the problems. He was the canary in the coalmine. Looping back to that time, I missed an opportunity to make a change for the whole family, and then, once he “outgrew" it. We all went back to eating how we had been including him. It's mind boggling. If I really, really knew what I know now, but of course, I didn't. But you start connecting things, it's all so connected. Of course, Tim Spector’s introduction talks about how all of these things affect the gut microbiome negatively, because that's his area of expertise. We don't just want to feed the gut microbiome well by choosing foods that nourish it, nourish those little gut guys, but we also don't want to put in things that harm the gut microbiome. It's really there's so much to it.

When you start realizing all of it, you're like, “Okay, now it matters.” I did not-- I was really in a run, we're in a rush the other day, I'd been out with family, it was late, and I've made no secret that I love a good McDonald's cheeseburger from time to time, and I was running late, and I hadn't eaten, and I didn't have anything at home to eat, because of the beach schedule. Anyway, I was like, “I could just drop through and get double cheeseburger, and it would be so delicious, and the fries and I would love that.” I'm like, “Yeah, but I just don't really want to put that in my body right now.” I'm like, “Oh, my God. I think that's the first time I've ever had thought.” You know but I was like, had time and wanted to, and it wouldn't hurt anything. It wouldn't have affected my weight, because first so long, it was all just about did this affect my weight?

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I can say this completely honestly. I am grateful. If I eat that type of food now, I will feel sick. I'm grateful for that. It doesn't bother me, because I'm really happy eating the food that doesn't make me feel sick.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, and I wouldn't feel sick from eating it probably. Although if I go to a restaurant that has really bad cooking oil and eat a plate of fries, I might have a stomachache from that, I've never had a stomachache at McDonald's, but also, I don't eat it a lot. Maybe, I would now. There was no guilt attached to eating it. That's the thing. It wasn't like, “Oh, I would be so bad if I ate that.” I was just like, “I really don't want to eat that.” That's the first time. I'm still continuing to evolve with [laughs] what even being cleanish means to me, because being cleanish means I could have a McDonald's cheeseburger and fries if I wanted to, but I legitimately didn't want to. That was the part that was shocking.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. Speaking to the guilt part, I definitely, when I started, it was a lot of guilt. I don't think it really is guilt now, because now, I honestly would rather not eat that food, and like I said, I will feel unwell and sick. But that doesn't bother me, because like I said, I don't want to eat it anyway.

Gin Stephens: Right. Well, it was a super surprise that I didn't want to. I came home and had some leftover red beans and rice that I had made [laughs] on my own. Anyway, and I was like, “I'm glad I waited.” Thank goodness for fasting. Hunger is not an emergency. I didn't need to eat on the run. So, I didn't. Anyway, what's up with you? Anything new?

Melanie Avalon: Not that much. Still working on developing the serrapeptase supplement. We're still hashing out the final parts of the contract. I'm learning so much about a creating supplement. So, that's been fun.

Gin Stephens: I bet that is a whole new thing.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, it is. Shawn Wells, do you know, Sean?

Gin Stephens: You interviewed him, and then connected us by email?

Melanie Avalon: Oh, yeah. I did. He's amazing. I'm not developing it with him, but he's really one of the go to supplement people in the biohacking sphere. He's been helping me a lot with just-- [crosstalk]

Gin Stephens: Things you didn't know, you needed to know.

Melanie Avalon: He's like, “You need to ask these questions, and you need to like this needs to be in the contract.” I was like, “Oh.”

Gin Stephens: Really, honestly, it is the things you wouldn't even know that you need to know. It's good to have somebody like him on your side.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. I'm really, really grateful for that. He even connected to me to his attorney to just help look over everything. Yeah, that's been great. Also, I talked about one little thing that I've been using that--

Gin Stephens: No, I'm sorry.

Melanie Avalon: [laughs] Yes, of course you can.

Gin Stephens: Please talk about it.

Melanie Avalon: Have I told you about my Somavedic?

Gin Stephens: Your what?

Melanie Avalon: Somavedic.

Gin Stephens: No, I don't even know what words you just said.

Melanie Avalon: Okay. I've been wanting to talk about on the show, but for weeks now, we've always gotten really long in the intro like we are right now. But I’ll [laughs] make it short.

Gin Stephens: It's all related that. It's all good stuff. Say the word slower.

Melanie Avalon: Somavedic. It's S-O-M-A-V-E-D-I-C. Somavedic. I feel like I did a spelling bee.

Gin Stephens: Is it in a sentence?

Melanie Avalon: Okay, they sent me one, and I was skeptical, like, very skeptical. It's this glass housing thing, and it has precious and semi-precious stones on the inside, and they have different ones, and you plug it in, it lights up, and they say that it creates a field that combats EMF. I don't know. It seems a little like, woo-woo. I was like, “I don't know about this.” I plugged it in. I've been using it. Since using it, my Oura Ring scores have dramatically improved.

Gin Stephens: Well, that's real data. It's supposed to do what?

Melanie Avalon: It combats EMF. They have four studies on their website, and I did a whole blog post, went through their studies, and one of them is published in a scientific journal. The one that's published looks at the effects of cellphone radiation on human cells in the presence or not in the presence of the Somavedic, and basically, when there wasn't the Somavedic, it did all this damage. And when there was the Somavedic, it mitigated the damage by 80%.

Gin Stephens: Wow. It's energy. It's doing something with the energy.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. Then, they have three other studies, which are not in a published journal, but it's like the data and all of the information, and one is heart rate variability in a dozen patients or so. Almost all of them, their heart rate variability substantially improved. The other one looked at cardiovascular health, and almost all of theirs improved, and then, the fourth one looked at blood sedimentation rates, and it improved. I'm so sold on it. They sent me one, because it is a little bit pricey. They sent me one. I'm so sold, I bought a second one myself, just myself. I'm really obsessed. So, I just wanted to share.

Gin Stephens: Okay, that sounds very interesting. The thing about it is, energy is real. We're made of energy. The world is energy. The fact that things have fields-- we've all seen a magnet work. That's not magic. That's not woo-woo. It's energy. [laughs] It's the attraction of a magnet and the metal. So, it makes sense that things would interact in a way we can't see.

Melanie Avalon: Just my scores on the Oura Ring-- and I really realized it this week, hit me how much it's changed, because I had a night where I stayed out a little bit late, and had a little bit of wine, my Oura Ring scores were not that good. It's like I knew that I'd been up late and had wine, but I’ve realized the scores that were not good were the scores that used to be normal.

Gin Stephens: Oh, wow. You're sleeping better.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. I'm sleeping better, my readiness score is better, my heart rate variability is better. If listeners want to learn more, I'm obsessed. I might buy a third one, because they just released one for your car. [laughs] I did a whole blog post. It's very long. It's melanieavalon.com/somavedicscience. I'll put a link to it in the show notes. My discount code is melanieavalon.com/somavedic and the code, MELANIE10, gets you 10% off. I'm obsessed now.

Gin Stephens: Well, that is very cool.

Melanie Avalon: So, that's my update. This was a long intro.

Gin Stephens: It was. But it was all very interesting.

Melanie Avalon: It was. Environment, cleaning things.

Gin Stephens: I think it was interesting. Maybe, everybody's like, “Man, that was so boring,” but I thought [laughs] it was pretty.

Melanie Avalon: I've been talking about it on Instagram, and places, and people keep asking me. So, that's the information.

Today's episode is brought to you by Green Chef. Green Chef is the first USDA certified organic meal kit company. Enjoy clean ingredients you can trust, seasonally sourced for peak freshness. Ingredients come pre-measured, perfectly portioned, and mostly prepped, so you can spend less time stressing and more time enjoying delicious home-cooked meals.

Green Chef makes eating well easy and affordable with plans to fit every lifestyle. Whether you're keto, paleo, vegan, vegetarian, or just looking to eat healthier, there's a range of recipes to suit any diet or preference. Personally, most weeks I get the Balanced Living plan. That lets me choose a variety of dishes with me or vegetarian dishes depending on what looks good for us at that time. Sometimes, I go with a vegetarian plan. Last night, it was definitely from the Balanced Living menu. We had an amazing Green Chef meal with lemon mustard chicken. It came with fingerling potatoes that I roasted in the oven, and it had also green peas with roasted red peppers. It was definitely window worthy. Even Chad agrees, that's the part that's the best. He always is happy when I make a Green Chef meal.

To get a special offer for our listeners, go to greenchef.com/ifpodcast100 and use the code IFPODCAST100 to get $100 off including free shipping. That's greenchef.com/ifpodcast100 and use the code, IFPODCAST100, to get $100 off including free shipping. You'll be glad you did. Green Chef is the number one meal kit for eating well. And now, back to the show.

Melanie Avalon: Shall we jump into everything for today?

Gin Stephens: Yes.

Melanie Avalon: All right. To start things off, we actually have two questions from the same listener. She wrote in this original question, and I had it in the prep doc to answer, but then she sent a follow-up saying that it was addressed, but I actually am going to read both, because I think it's nice hearing about how she found the answer to her problem. Oh, wait, oh, one last thing. I just drink some water. The Somavedic, the green one also structures water, and they actually have pictures of that. Here we go. From Zoe, the subject is, "Stalling and feeling hungry."

Zoe says, “Hi, Gin and Melanie, I'm hoping you both can shed some light on a current issue I have with feeling hungry, or what I think is hunger. I have a large amount of weight to lose over, 100 pounds. I've been doing IF one meal a day since March 2021, and I've lost over 50 pounds since then. It's been easy so far, more than that. The non-scale victories such as being more energized, reduced inflammation, and general wellness have been fantastic. However, I'm recently starting to feel hungry in the day, and have not been able to make it to my usual 20- to 24-hour fast. I'm trying to decide if it's mindset, I can feel my old diet mindset starting to kick in of wanting to eat whenever I want. I've never really felt hungry in the time I've been doing IF so far, which is great. But now suddenly I do.

One thing of note is that it's my time of the month, which could be it, but it seems odd that I've had this sudden change. Is it because my easily available fat has been used up now, and I am now accessing other fat reserves? My eating is varied. I really don't do low carb, keto, low fat, or anything like that. I just focus on whole foods with a few treats thrown in. I'm still enjoying all the non-scale victories, but I'm now eating too much in my window, or eating twice a day, which doesn't result in weight loss for me. I don't mind if I hit a weight plateau for a bit, having lost such a big chunk so far, but what worries me is that I'm going to start gaining weight back, because I can't control my urge to eat.”

Gin Stephens: Before you read her follow-up, can I just jump right in on something?

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, was going to ask you, too. [giggles]

Gin Stephens: Oh, good, good. I just wanted to make sure that [laughs] we didn't go on, because had we not gotten the follow-up, I would 100% have zoomed in on the part about her saying it's her time of the month, that hormonal time. Before I went through menopause, even when I was still trying to lose weight, when I was still cycling regularly, I always noticed I was starving, starving, starving, and I'm like, “Why am I so hungry?” It always puzzled me just like it did Zoe here. Every single time. That's what's hilarious.

Every time, I'm like, “What's wrong with me? Why am I so hungry? Why am I eating so much?” Then, the next day, bam, my cycle would start, and I was like, “Well, duh.” But it's every single time, I felt like that. Ladies, don't be like me when I was always so surprised by, “Why am I so hungry? What's happening?” Yes, hormonal hunger is absolutely real. For me, it wasn't something that went on for days and days. It would either be one mainly really hard day when I needed to have more food, and I listened to my body, and I did. Then, eventually, I stopped being puzzled by it. I'm like, “Oh, looking at my calendar, it's probably time.” That is absolutely something to always keep in mind instead of worrying about it. It's totally normal.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, and I've thought about this as well, because it's thought that the increase in hunger during the second part of your cycle, usually right before your period is because progesterone levels are really high, and they increase metabolism. What's really interesting about it is the studies say that it's really probably only around 300 extra calories that you burn. But I don't think it's even that so much as it's just your metabolism is ramped up. So, regardless of how many actual calories extra you need, it's your metabolism is in a hungry state.

Gin Stephens: It really is. Yeah. It's really hard to fight nature. That's an example of that. You feel guilty perhaps that you ate more than you intended, but it's really hard to fight your body like I said.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. I'm glad she said that, and then, her follow-up was she said, her new subject was "Longer windows/continuous eating." She says, “Hi, Gin and Melanie, I submitted a question about a week ago about hunger. You can ignore it, if you wish, as all the negative symptoms are now gone, and I'm back to no hunger during the fast. I can only put it down to PMT.”

Gin Stephens: Based on her spelling, I think that she might be British, and so that must be PMS. When America would say PMS.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, they call it PMT?

Gin Stephens: Well, I don't know. That just guessing.

Melanie Avalon: I looked it up and it was premenstrual tension. Maybe, they call it that.

Gin Stephens: I think so. She's got a spelling that's a British or Australian spelling. The way she spelled energised with an S instead of a Z. That's not the American spelling. So, I think it's what we call PMS.

Melanie Avalon: Premenstrual tension is what they call it there, I guess. She says, "I can only put it down to PMT, and will be ready for it next time. It won't freak me out."

Gin Stephens: Or it might. It’ll be surprised again like I always was, and then, you're like, “Oh, wait, that was okay.” [laughs] In hindsight, you'll understand it.

Melanie Avalon: I do the same thing with tenderness, like, “Hmm. Why am I so tender every single time? This is odd."

Gin Stephens: I know [laughs] this is funny. I know. I've been a woman for about-- before I went through menopause. It had been-- 51 years, I've been cycling for a large proportion of that, and still it surprised me every time. [laughs] What's this crazy? Oh, yeah. Okay, it's that. [laughs]

Melanie Avalon: Oh, man. Okay. The rest of her question. She says, “I do have another question, though, if you will permit me. I usually have an eating window around 1 PM to 2 PM on a 23:1.” I do this every time, regime? Regimen?

Gin Stephens: Regime. That as regime, regimen has an N on the end of it.

Melanie Avalon: But they can both mean the same thing?

Gin Stephens: Well, I would probably say regimen in this case, instead of regime. Regime is not the right word here. So, why don't you say regimen, because really, regime is not the same word.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, it can also be a system or planned way of doing things, especially, one opposed from above. Oh, so, regimen would be like self-done, and regime would be forced upon you.

Gin Stephens: I always think of regime is like an organization.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, that's the first definition, and then, the second one is a system basically from that.

Gin Stephens: I've never used it the second way.

Melanie Avalon: I love learning about words.

Gin Stephens: I've never used it that way. But again, in other parts of the world, they regularly use words differently than we do. I would have said regimen.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I feel regimen is like your plan, and regime would be like, they made to do this regime.

Gin Stephens: I could see that.

Melanie Avalon: So, her would be regimen though, probably.

Gin Stephens: Although maybe that's how it's used, where she lives. It's true. Subtle differences in meanings.

Melanie Avalon: Yes. I'm just going to move on. She says, “This suits me as I can't graze over a long window. When my meal is finished, I'm done. My question is this. When I get invited out or we have people over for dinner, I choose to open my window at the usual time having a slightly smaller meal than I usually would, and eat again in the evening. I don't seem to be able to wait until the evening from the previous lunchtime around 30 hours. I get hungry/expect to eat, not sure which. Is it better to eat my usual smaller meal than have nothing? No cordial, diet soda, fruit, nuts, or anything until the evening meal, or does it make a difference? My window's open, so it doesn't matter if you “rest your system” between lunch and dinner. I'm currently doing the ladder and feel good on it, and I think this is because I'm not spiking insulin over those few hours between meals, or do you think insulin will be high for my lunchtime meal, so, it doesn't actually make a difference? Thoughts please, love all your podcasts.”

Gin Stephens: Yeah, I think a lot of that is very theoretical, and how much does that really matter. What you don't want to do is overeat over a long window period. But we're not all the same. For example, Dr. Bert Herring, who wrote Fast‑5, grazes over his entire five-hour window versus eating once, not eating anymore, and then eating again at the end. I don't want to say this is what you should do. What you should do is the one that feels right to you, and the one that feels good. if you are having a smaller meal at your normal time, then not eating again to later, and then eating then, and that feels really good to you, then do it because it feels good and that's what's working.

I wouldn't really worry about what your insulin is doing in between, whereas if you instead open your window and do a little grazing-- and I feel like if I grazed all the way through there, I wouldn't be hungry for dinner, I wouldn't be able to enjoy the dinner. The way you're doing it, forget about what's happening in the biochemical world of your body, or your hormones, or whatever. What you're doing seems like it just makes a lot of sense because you want to enjoy your dinner later. I absolutely agree that there's no need to force yourself to wait, and not eat, and then wait till dinner. It's fine to have a longer window.

I've talked about it before, you've probably heard me, and I talked about it in Fast. Feast. Repeat. If we have something that's the same day after day all the time like the 23:1 that you normally do, your body is more likely to adapt, if it's exactly the same every day, day in, day out. Having a longer window on those days probably is helpful for your body, revving up that metabolism a little bit. By the way, this is how Chad eats. He eats in the middle of the day for lunch, then he doesn't snack between meals, and then, he eats again later. Versus for me, if my window is open, just I'm going to eat something if I feel like it. If I opened my window with lunch, ate my lunch, maybe mid-afternoon, I'll have a little something or whatever, and then, I do more of the grazing thing.

Melanie Avalon: I'm similar. For me, it's like I'm eating or I'm not eating. [giggles]

Gin Stephens: Exactly. Yeah. Chad, he will say his window is closed. I think I've said this before. It is hilarious. I'm like, “No, it isn't.” If he'll have his lunch, and then, I'll be like, “If you want little bit of this?” He's like, “No, my window’s closed.” He has two windows, and that's not really what you're doing. But okay.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I think what you said is really great. Yeah, basically, because she's asking what's better or doesn't matter. If you're eating at those two different times, even with a gap in between, you're pretty much probably going to stay in the fed state that whole time. So, it's not a matter of trying to get back into the fast and then what Chad thinks he's doing.

Gin Stephens: Oh, he's not doing it on purpose. He just doesn't eat between meals, really. He's not trying to fast twice or whatever.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. What's interesting is, I think the question is, what are the two options you're choosing between, because if it's choosing between having an early meal, and a later meal, and the same earlier-later meal with or without eating in between, there's a difference. You're eating more in the second situation. Depending on your goals, I wouldn't write off-- It really depends on your goals, on what you're trying to focus on. But I wouldn't write off the effect. It's not like magically that food in between doesn't mean anything or add any extra food just because it's all within the same window. It is extra food.

Gin Stephens: For me, what would happen would be I would just not be able to eat as much at dinner, I wouldn't be as hungry.

Melanie Avalon: Mm. See, I would be the same amount of hungry probably. For me, it would probably be better to not eat in between. Well, I would be hungry. So, I'd be wanting to eat.

Gin Stephens: I would just eat in between if I was hungry. If I wasn't, I wouldn't. That would be it. It's hard to know. I can't know, if I eat a small meal at lunchtime, and then the middle of the afternoon is rolling around, and I'm hungry again, I'm going to eat even if it's not dinnertime yet. I'm going to eat a little something. I don't like to be hungry. Once I've opened my window, I do not suffer with hunger. I'm not going to-- My windows already open, I'm hungry, I'm going to eat something.

Now, the other day when I told that McDonald's story, it was easy, because I was still in the fasted state. I hadn't opened my window yet. I was like, “I'll just wait. I can wait longer. I'm fine.” But once my windows open, I don't ignore hunger.

Melanie Avalon: Okay, all right. I think we got it.

Gin Stephens: Okay. Well, I love that. Thank you for the follow-up, Zoe, and everybody, be aware of hormonal hunger.

Melanie Avalon: Yes.

Gin Stephens: All right. We have a question from Kelsey, and the topic is "Metabolic flexibility, pro-metabolic eating, and cortisol." “Hey, Gin and Melanie, I’ve started IF in May of 2020. So, as of writing this email, I'm coming up on one year of this lifestyle. I've had ups and downs, and made tweaks here and there. Your podcast has been a wealth of information and encouragement for me. I'm long winded, so buckle up.

Here's why I'm writing. I'm currently in school to become a nutritional therapy practitioner, NTP, and one of the most common diets/advice in this space right now is called pro-metabolic eating. Have either of you heard of this? The proponents of--” If anybody hears vacuuming, Chad's vacuuming.

Melanie Avalon: I don't hear it.

Gin Stephens: Well, you might hear it in a minute. I think he's vacuuming towards the podcast studio. He likes to vacuum. [laughs] Anyhow, just had to say that. We have a cordless Dyson. I have a big Dyson that you have to plug in, but I think you're about to hear him coming. But then, I got a little one that's cordless, and so, he'll just go grab it, and just start vacuuming, and I’m certainly not complaining.

Melanie Avalon: I crack up every time you [laughs] say that. It’s so funny, how he likes to vacuum.

Gin Stephens: He likes it, but he never has one time pulled out the big one in the whole history, we've been married for 30 years now.

Melanie Avalon: Wait, this is the big one?

Gin Stephens: No. He doesn't use the big one. In 30 years of marriage, he's never pulled out the big one and started vacuuming the house unless something tragic happened, and I was away, and he had-- Anyway, but he pulls out the cordless every single day, and vacuums. You could probably hear it. It's coming towards the rim. Anyway, so sorry. I'm going to come back to the question. Listeners, feel and enjoy the sound of the vacuuming. All right, so, she says, pro-metabolic eating. Have either of you heard of this? The proponents of it claim that to heal the metabolism, we need to eat a balance of carbs, fat, and protein, which I agree with, an emphasis--" and that was her saying which I agree with that was coming from Kelsey. "With an emphasis on the most nutrient dense foods again, I'm in agreement." That's Kelsey again, "where they lose me is that they claim we need to eat every two to three hours to keep the blood glucose balanced and specifically to reduce stress on the body. This, I'm guessing, is because they believe it is damaging for the body to release cortisol in order to create glucose from liver storage of glycogen to raise blood glucose back to stable levels when we go so long between eating. They actually even claimed that the reason most people wait during the night is due to the body's running out of fuel, glucose, and stimulating cortisol production to release glucose. They claim it's that cortisol release which causes the waking. Have either of you heard of this?

Personally, I don't often wake in the night, and I've even been getting better or more restful sleep since a few months into IF. My guess is that it has to do with becoming metabolically flexible and fat adapted. Is it possible that with increased metabolic flexibility, my body isn't producing so much cortisol to regulate my blood glucose during the fast? Because it no longer views my lack of energy in the form of food as an actual energy emergency, since it's adapted to burning fat stores. If you can share any insights or really some actual evidence, I would be so grateful as those in this camp of pro-metabolic eating are highly critical of IF.

Thank you both for the work you do. I've been working my way through your podcast from Episode 2 since last year, and I'm currently coming up on Episode 92. But I listen to the new one every Monday as well. So, if you answer this, I won't miss it. Thanks, again. Much appreciated. Kelsey.

Melanie Avalon: All right, Kelsey. Thank you so much for your question. Can I ask you a really random question, Gin?

Gin Stephens: Sure.

Melanie Avalon: What is your go-to color for heart emojis? Kelsey used a yellow heart emoji.

Gin Stephens: I use red. The heart is red.

Melanie Avalon: Like the red-red one?

Gin Stephens: Total red.

Melanie Avalon: I just use the red. See, I feel the red-red one is romantic. So, I don't ever use that one, usually.

Gin Stephens: I always use the red one.

Melanie Avalon: I use the pink one with the sparkles.

Gin Stephens: Okay, I'm not pink sparkly at all.

Melanie Avalon: I know. [laughs]

Gin Stephens: The vacuum is approaching again. Maybe, something happened out of there. I don’t know. [laughs]

Melanie Avalon: Kelsey likes yellow hearts. Some people use the blue heart, some people use the green. I always think it's really interesting. I feel you can say tell a lot about a person by--

Gin Stephens: Maybe, we should do some study on that. A psychological study of what does your heart choice say about you. We can just make stuff up, because people do apparently. Somebody shared something in the moderator group about, there's a new intermittent fasting ad. You know how to have all those crazy ones like what your foot length says about what intermittent fasting protocol. There was another crazy one. I can't remember what it was, but it was nutty.

Melanie Avalon: You don't remember, though?

Gin Stephens: I would have to look back, but we were all laughing about it.

Melanie Avalon: Now, I'm trying to remember. I did an informal study in my IF Biohackers group. I wanted to find out. I asked, do people count the eating window or the fasting window? You know that whole thing that we talked about?

Gin Stephens: Yeah.

Melanie Avalon: I want to find it. It was heavily weighted towards people counting the fasting window.

Gin Stephens: I believe that. But for me, I just got started with Fast-5 with Dr. Bert Herring, and his whole premise was five-hour window. Start eating and close the window within five hours. That's how I was trained to do intermittent fasting. That's how I was raised. I was raised up by Bert Herring. [laughs] I don't think there's any one right or wrong way. But that's just the way I started doing it. But again, that was why Cal made the window app for me, because all the apps that I could find wanted to track the fast. I didn't want to track the fast. So, I believe that maybe more people track the fast. I didn't want to track the fast. I found it.

Melanie Avalon: I said, which do you/would you rather count? The first option was the fasting window, which, i.e., the minimum amount of hours to fast, so that got 236 votes. The second place was eating window, the maximum amount of hours to eat. That got 39 votes.

Gin Stephens: Only 39? Wow, that's shocking.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. 39 compared to 236.

GIN Stephens: You see, because for me, I need the structure of the eating window, the timing. because I don't care how long I fast. I could overeat in an eating window that was too long.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I solved that problem by having my eating window go up until my bedtime so it can only be so long. I think I said this last time. I think if I had an earlier eating window, I might have to count both.

Gin Stephens: Close the window.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, if it was earlier, I think I would have to count the eating, and then the fast would just naturally be long. Oh, four people said, I track both on two different apps. That sounds complicated. Then, 15 people said I don't track or count.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, I'm now in the I don't tracker account stage. Sometimes out of curiosity, I'll think back, “How long was my window today?” But I still always think in terms of the window.

Melanie Avalon: Of the eating window.

Gin Stephens: Yep, the eating window. I don't say fasting window. I never say that. When I say window, I'm talking about the eating window. But although the other day when I had the longer fasts because I was over at my parents’ house, and I was really busy, and out and about, and then, I went and did some shopping, the only reason I paid attention to that is because it was 24 hours. I was like, “Oh, it's been 24 hours.” I very rarely fast that long.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I don't track or count it now. I typically don't start eating before a certain time, basically. But I don't like track the hours fasted, but I would feel weird eating before a certain time.

Gin Stephens: Well, Chad and I went out to lunch last Friday. About the time our food came, it was probably 1 PM. So, I started eating at 1 PM. What's always so funny is, even though, I don't say because I'm not at the stage where I'm heavily regimented with what I'm doing, I still will sometimes if I start earlier than normal, just out of curiosity, I think is the word for like how long was my window, and it's rarely over six hours no matter what I do.

Melanie Avalon: Your eating window? Yeah.

Gin Stephens: Yeah. Rarely over six hours. I'm just like, “All right, I'm done now.” I look and it's 7. I’m like, “Okay. No surprise.” [laughs]

Hi, friends. I am a huge proponent of getting our nutrition from food. When all else fails, I feel food is the way to go. That said, there are some nutrients that are super hard to get in today's environment. Did you know that 80% of the population is deficient in magnesium? Our soils are so depleted of magnesium today, that it's really, really hard to get enough of this crucial mineral. It's actually the number one mineral to fight stress, fatigue, and sleep issues. I've been doing a lot of research on minerals, especially the calcium-magnesium balance, and I walk away from so many conversations I have with experts just realizing more and more how important magnesium is. I personally love magnesium for its stress-reducing effects, as well as helping with my digestive issues. Yes, magnesium is the single most-studied mineral in existence. It actually powers over 600 critical reactions in our bodies. But did you know that there are multiple types of magnesium?

That's why I am so excited to share with you, the magnesium product that I discovered, is called Magnesium Breakthrough by BiOptimizers, and it combines all seven essential forms of magnesium into one convenient supplement. Most magnesium supplements actually fail, because they are synthetic and are not full spectrum. But when you get all seven critical forms of magnesium, pretty much every function in your body gets upgraded, from your brain to your sleep, pain and inflammation and less stress. With this one simple action, you can help reverse your magnesium deficiency and all of its forms. This is by far the most complete magnesium product ever created, and until or unless someone comes out with a better one, I highly recommend you give it a try. I can't tell you how many times I get feedback in my Facebook group, IF Biohackers, about people who have truly benefited so much from Magnesium Breakthrough.

BiOptimizers has an exclusive offer just for our listeners. You can go to masszymes.com/ifpodcast. If you use that link, your exclusive 10% discount will already be applied. Again, that link is massztmes.com/ifpodcast. M-A-S-S-Z-Y-M-E-S dotcom forward slash I-F-P-O-D-C-A-S-T. We'll put all this information in the show notes. All right, now back to the show.

Melanie Avalon: All right, so back to Kelsey’s question, [laughs] which I almost forgot the question at this point. How do we get off on that? I asked about the heart emojis and then doing track studies, and I did the comment in my group, or the poll. So, Kelsey, yes. I have heard about the pro-metabolic eating thing. To answer the different questions, I do think it is very often the case with a lot of people that the reason they wake up at night is because their blood sugar drops, and then, the cortisol is released to release blood sugar, and then you wake up. The people in the Ray Peat world talk about that a lot. I also think, yes, it's very possible that with her fat burning state that she is now in, or that her body is really good at not relying on wavering blood sugar levels so much, so she's not having this cortisol experience. I think that is very, very likely as well. As far as fasting being in conflict with this pro-metabolic eating thing, it makes sense, because the concept behind this pro-metabolic eating is in order to mitigate these blood sugar swings. The solution is eating constantly.

Gin Stephens: When she said either have you heard of this, I don't know that I've heard that terminology, pro-metabolic eating, as a program, which seems just be a fancy repackaged way of what we were told to eat all the time. Well, we've been told that now for a long time, and how's that working for people?

Melanie Avalon: With the addition of the focus on the food types, like the balance of the macros, and then the nutrient-dense foods.

Gin Stephens: Well, I do agree that nutrient dense foods, that's important. Whether you balance your carbs, fat, and protein that would depend on you personally, and how your body responds to those foods. Not everyone should balance them identically.

Melanie Avalon: Exactly.

Gin Stephens: But I don't agree with that.

Melanie Avalon: Basically, I just think that everything she said is quite possible.

Gin Stephens: I think so too. I don't have blood sugar crashes. Like I said, I went 24 hours just on the-- I didn't mean to. It was just because I was somewhere where we weren't eating, and then I ran some errands, and then it was late. I didn't have any blood sugar crashes. My body didn't feel stressed out. I felt perfect. Even thinking, I could eat right now if I wanted to have, that's something I used to love, I didn't even want to. I was like, I can wait till later. I don't think that we're having those crashes and nobody's going nuts. I'd never have felt better with intermittent fasting, and I remember back-- probably all of us can remember back when we tried to do these diet plans where you were eating every two to three hours like a newborn baby, who is trying to grow by the way. [laughs]

The eating every two to three hours is the perfect protocol if you're trying to build a newborn body. That's how babies eat. They wake up and around the clock, they're eating every two to three hours, and they're growing, growing, growing. Now, one thing that is interesting, the whole eat frequently to raise your metabolism is based on the fact that eating does raise the metabolism. But the flaw in the logic is that it doesn't raise it more than the amount of the food you just ate.

Melanie Avalon: Right. It's a percent of the food consumed.

Gin Stephens: Right. I'm just going to make up numbers. I don't count calories, but let's say you ate 400 calories' worth of food. It's not going to raise your metabolism enough that will burn more than 400 calories of food.

Melanie Avalon: The average is around 10% of--

Gin Stephens: Right. It's a flawed-- Yeah, it might raise your metabolism, but it's not going to give you the balance that you're looking for, because you just ate all that food to do it. I hope that made sense the way I explained it.

Melanie Avalon: No, it does. It's really funny how people say it. Yeah, people say that. They say, eat food, burn calories, and raise your metabolism but it's a percent of what you ate. It's not like you burned more calories than you ate.

Gin Stephens: Than you ate. Exactly. You're not coming out on the plus side of that mad math.

Melanie Avalon: If that was the case, [giggles] you could just eat to lose weight. Ironically, I'm just thinking about it, the exception to that might be-- well, the closest that you would come to that would be something like alcohol.

Gin Stephens: What do you mean?

Melanie Avalon: Because you can actually store alcohol calories, but you burn calories, burning alcohol? In theory, that would be the closest you could come to burning calories from consuming something and burning more than you took in. We do not recommend this approach. This is not a protocol that we recommend. [laughs]

Gin Stephens: The straight vodka diet. No, please do not eat that diet. I would die. Literally die.

Melanie Avalon: Such a headache thinking about that. [laughs] Oh, yeah. All right. Shall we move on?

Gin Stephens: Yes.

Melanie Avalon: All right. Now, we have a question from Alyssa. The subject is "Having a bouncy eating window." Bouncy, I like that. She says, “Hi, Melanie and Gin. First off, y'all rock. Love the podcast, the banter, all of it. Your opinions and personalities unify and clash in the perfect symphony of information to provide us IF-ers with a well-rounded guide to this IF thing and I appreciate that. Now, to my question. I've been doing IF now since early April. When I started, I was breastfeeding, and only doing short fasts, around 12 to 14 hours, to get used to it since I knew I wanted to jump right into it full blown after I was done. I did do a clean fast jumpstart, even though I had no idea what that was at the time.” Do we want to comment on the breastfeeding, or--?

Gin Stephens: Yes, 100%, I would like to. I would like to just really say, I am 100% firm on my stance when it comes to breastfeeding and intermittent fasting. There's more than one reason. It's especially now in today's modern world after writing Clean(ish). I talk about in Clean(ish), babies are born with chemicals in their cord blood. We've got chemicals stored in our fat cells. In the Breastfeeding and Human Lactation book, it's like a textbook, page 440, so it's not a tiny little textbook. Here's a direct quote. It says, “Rapid weight loss programs should be avoided.” This is during breastfeeding. “Because fat soluble environmental contaminants and toxins stored in body fat are released into the milk when caloric intake is severely restricted.”

Now, let's unpack that a little bit. That means you do not want to have a goal of burning fat while you're breastfeeding. So many people think that the only reason you wouldn't want to breastfeed is if it impacted your milk supply and turns out that's not the biggest problem. The biggest problem is, we're not in a normal world now. Yeah, we're designed as humans to be able to feed a baby, even if the mom is going through some nutritional hard times, we want to feed that baby, and we're designed to be able to do that, to feed that baby and reproduce. But we're not in those times, because now, we've got all these toxins in our fat cells. So, it's a whole different thing to consider. I would never, never, never, never, never, never, can I say never, recommend anyone do any fasting while they're breastfeeding, and really don't try to lose weight. I know, look, I had two babies, and the first thing I wanted to do was get back to my pre-pregnancy body. But when you understand, yes, our bodies do store fat, I will store toxins in our fat cells, do you want to be passing that on? You really, really don't. I, of course, didn't understand that when I was pregnant. But here, it is, I read it out of a textbook on breastfeeding.

Melanie Avalon: I think it's huge. Somebody actually posted about this the other day in my Facebook group, and I went and looked up the studies and in addition to what you’ve mentioned, there's actually quite a few studies looking at weight loss while breastfeeding and the effect it has on toxins through the breast milk.

Gin Stephens: It's a shame, but this is our modern world. Really, we should be honestly encouraging all new mothers not to try to lose weight at all in any way, all breastfeeding. Consider that baby is still inside you. Of course, it isn't. But it's the fourth trimester when you're breastfeeding, you need to protect what comes out of you into your baby in a way that you probably hadn't thought of before. It's not just, can you give your baby enough milk? It's what else are you giving your baby that you didn't mean to. Because it's stored in your fat cells, and you can't help it. That's the part that shocked me so much when I was writing Clean(ish). No matter how careful you're trying to be. We're getting more stuff just from our environment now, no matter how careful you are. So, it's a little scary.

Melanie Avalon: Yes, glad we could comment on that. [laughs] I know that wasn't what she was intending to ask.

Gin Stephens: Anyway, but it was important. I had that highlighted in yellow, that part, to make sure to go back to you. All right.

Melanie Avalon: Back to her question. She says, "Since my little one has stopped nursing, I have started doing various windows that change pretty frequently. Most days, it will be 16:8, but I have been adding in 18:6 and 20:4 days and here and there as well. I do clean fast and I believe my body is fat adapted. My fasts usually feel great. Though, sometimes, I do get hungry. I typically exercise while fasted, but sometimes life doesn't let that happen, and I end up getting my workout and during my eating window. I definitely feel better doing it fasted though.

My main question is whether or not it is okay to have longer or shorter eating windows and how that can affect your progress, weight loss, but more so body composition changes. To explain it a little better, I will break my fast around 2 on an 18:6 day, then, I won't start fasting again until 10, so my window ends up being longer than six hours. Then, the next day I will fast until 4 to get in a 16:8 day. Essentially, my eating window will vary and sometimes not match up with the fasting day type exactly. Is this okay? Do I need to nail it down a bit more to really see those changes? Thank you for all that both of you do for the IF community and I appreciate your help."

Gin Stephens: Here's something really funny. I see this all the time. Alyssa is trying really hard to make those numbers add up to 24. She said she's doing 18:6. But actually, she didn't. She did 18:8 that day. Breaking her fast around 2 and then eating until 10. She fasted for 18 hours, then she had an 8-hour window. That is not 18:6, that is 18:8. Then, she went from 10 until 4. That wasn't 16 hours. Was it? How long was that?

Melanie Avalon: 10 to 4 would be-- Well six hours to eat.

Gin Stephens: Okay, that is 16. But then she's not eating for eight hours. That's not 16:8. Maybe, she would only do 16:3. Maybe, she did 18:8, then the next day was 16:3. Don't try to make them add up to 24, because a 24 hour a day part of it is while we're sleeping. When we're sleeping, we're spanning two calendar days. It is very, very rare unless you're so regimented that you're using an app and you're always starting and stopping at the same exact time every day. It's very, very rare that it will actually be adding up to 24. Does that make sense? Like mine, it definitely doesn't. I'd never do. Even though I had a six-hour eating window last Friday, I don't know how long I fasted before I open my window. But who knows, it might have been 15 hours. I did 15:6, right? [laughs]

Melanie Avalon: It would only add up to 24, if you end it right at a 24 cycle every single time.

Gin Stephens: Exactly, exactly. Right. It's very rare unless you're very, very regimented, and you're always like, “I always have been at four, and I always close at seven, and that is what I do,” then you're going to have something like that. The question is, can you be flexible? Yes, yes. Don't try to label it. But don't worry about whether you're doing 18:6, because you didn't. You did 18:8 like I said. That's okay. What I found for me, when I was trying to lose weight, I did have to rein in the length of my eating window. That is why I had to track my eating window length instead of the fast. That's also why it's less confusing to only track one thing. Instead of trying to track them both, pick one thing that works well for you. For me, it was eating window length, because if my eating window went too long, I overate and I wouldn't lose weight. I lost weight with as long as I could keep my eating window five hours or less. I would slow and steady lose weight.

It was when I started extending my eating window beyond five hours that the weight loss would slow down or stop. What do you need to do, what approach is going to be right for you? We can't tell you. It all depends on you. There are people who lose weight with an eight-hour eating window. There are people who don't. Which will be you? You'll have to see. A lot of it just depends on your eating habits. If you're somebody who likes small meals and you have this delicate approach to eating, you could probably have a longer window. I am not that person. I like to eat a hearty meal. I like to eat a lot. I like to feel like there's-- I like to eat. So, that's why I needed a shorter eating window so I could have that sensation of being full like my body enjoys. I'm not someone who eats like a bird. Does that make sense?

Melanie Avalon: It does. It actually really clicked in well with what we were saying earlier about focusing on either-- it gets rid of that whole issue if you focus on one or the other. Although that said, depending on your goals, and what progress you're seeing, and what you're doing, you could still even change up that focus.

Gin Stephens: Oh, yeah, I'm a big fan of changing things up. Changing up is great, because it keeps the body from adjusting and adapting to what you're doing. Having a longer window one day and a shorter window the next day, a mild up and down pattern. One hour window one day, seven-hour window the next. That's not technically up-down ADF. But they will give you that mild up and down pattern.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, actually, for her question though, does she need to nail it down to really see those changes? You can just see-- are you seeing the changes?

Gin Stephens: That's what I meant. We don't know. We can't say.

Melanie Avalon: If you are seeing changes, then keep on keeping on. If you're not--

Gin Stephens: Nail it down.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, then you can adjust from there.

Gin Stephens: It just always strikes back to me, people really just want to label everything. Everyone wants to put a label on what they're doing. I would like to see us getting more away from having to label it. Someone was asking the other day about one meal a day, and she's like, “well, this and that, and then, it was that one meal a day.” I'm like, “I don't know. It doesn't matter. Don't try to name it. That is my goal for you.” You do intermittent fasting, you open your window, you close your window when you've had enough to eat for the day whenever that is. You know what? Someone was talking in the-- It was on the Delay, Don't Deny social network. She's like, “I don't know what to do. My window is closed. I'm really, really hungry.” I'm like, “Eat some more.” Your body is telling you, you need to eat some more. You should not have to be fighting against hunger that feels bad just because you've decided you were going to do 20:4, and it's been five hours.

Melanie Avalon: Struggling with the hunger in the eating window is different than proceeding to struggle with hunger in the fasting window.

Gin Stephens: Over time as you become fat adapted, the fast really shouldn't be a struggle of hunger. If you're still in your first month to eight weeks, you may struggle with some hunger. But once you're past that, you should be fat adapted. If you're still struggling with really bad hunger, I would examine your fast, make sure you're not having something that's inadvertently breaking it. Maybe, you're someone that can't even do black coffee. There are people like that, that have to do water only, or they get hungry. But there's something that you can work on because you really should not be feeling miserable during the fast if your body is fat adapted.

Sometimes, if people end up, let's just say a 16:8. If someone does 16:8, every day they get really hungry at 16, then they eat and they're never quite getting into the fat burning. You just might need to extend that fast a little bit to feel the metabolic magic.

Melanie Avalon: That can seem ironic probably to some people. If they're always experiencing hunger, and then that the answer might actually be too fast longer. [laughs]

Gin Stephens: Yeah, the reason you're always hungry at 16 is because you've never pushed past it to the point where your body's like, “Oh, there's the energy.”

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, counterintuitive, but might be the case.

Gin Stephens: Exactly.

Melanie Avalon: All right. Well, this has been absolutely wonderful. A few things for listeners before we go. If you would like to submit your own questions to the podcast, you can directly email questions at ifpodcast.com or you can go to ifpodcast.com and you can submit questions there. The show notes for today's episode will be at ifpodcast.com/episode225. Those show notes will have a complete transcript. So, definitely check that out. You can get all of the stuff that we like at ifpodcast.com/stuffwelike and you can follow us on Instagram. we are @ifpodcast, Gin is @ginstephens, and I am @melanieavalon, and I think that is everything. All right. Anything from you, Gin, before we go tonight.

Gin Stephens: Nay, I think that's it. I really enjoyed it.

Melanie Avalon: Me, too. I guess I will talk to you next week.

Gin Stephens: All right, talk to you then. 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. The 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!

More on Gin: GinStephens.com

Theme Music Composed By Leland Cox: LelandCox.com

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