Welcome to Episode 235 of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast, hosted by Melanie Avalon, author of What When Wine Diet: Lose Weight And Feel Great With Paleo-Style Meals, Intermittent Fasting, And Wine and Gin Stephens, author of Delay, Don't Deny: Living An Intermittent Fasting Lifestyle.
Today's episode of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast is brought to you by:
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Listener Q&A: Jaime - DD Cold Brew Black 10 Calories Break Fast?
Listener Feedback: Ryan - Spreading The Love And Lifestyle
Listener Q&A: Angela - Size Of Window To Lose Weight
Listener Q&A: Belinda - Continuous Glucose Monitoring And Stevia
JOOVV: For A Limited Time Go To joovv.com/ifpodcast And Use The Code IFPODCAST For An Exclusive Discount!
Listener Q&A: Sheri - Feedback And Quick Question
Melanie Avalon: Welcome to Episode 235 of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast. If you want to burn fat, gain energy, and enhance your health by changing when you eat, not what you eat with no calorie counting, then this show is for you. I’m Melanie Avalon, author of What When Wine: Lose Weight and Feel Great with Paleo-Style Meals, Intermittent Fasting, and Wine. And I’m here with my cohost, Gin Stephens, author of 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.
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And 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. So, when you're putting on your conventional skincare and 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 tests high for lead, and the half-life of lead can be up to 30 years in your bones? That means when you put on your lipstick, 30 years later, half of that lead might still be in your body.
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Hi, everybody, and welcome. This is episode number 235 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 so busy.
Melanie Avalon: Why are you so busy? I know why, but tell me.
Gin Stephens: I need to talk to my community first of all but you know we launched the Delay, Don’t, Deny Social Network in March, and it was my dream to have a community that was off of Facebook and amazing. When choosing a home for our community, we looked at everything that was out there that offered this type of platform and we chose a company that had high-end clients, a well-known university that everyone would know, their alumni association uses them and just amazing clients like that and they've been around for over 10 years. So, wouldn't you feel fabulous about choosing a company that's been around for over 10 years with top name clients?
Melanie Avalon: Yes, I would.
Gin Stephens: Well, [laughs] I actually have learned a lot over this process, and if you're choosing a technology company, you're better off choosing somebody who just started within recent times. That's all I'm going to say about that. That's a lie. I'm going to say more about that. But technology changes so quickly that we ended up stuck on a platform that had old infrastructure and I'm not a computer programmer. So, my lingo might be off, but I'm sure, Cal could explain it. But when he was working on his Window app and he was selling it, he was going through it and he's like, “Oh, man, this stuff I put in here back in I guess 2016, I'm having to redo and fix a lot of things because it's so clunky.”
Well, 10 years of technology layered on top of technology, things were always breaking and glitching. The longer we used it, the worse it got. They would roll out an improvement and something else would break. I literally was losing sleep over it. We paid tens of thousands of dollars for this platform. I hate to say that out loud. It just was not working for the community. So, we're pivoting to a new platform and we're rolling over members now, moving people over, migrating them. So, people who are listening, it was really easy for the lifetime members and the monthly members. They were easier to move over because in lifetime, we just move them. Monthly members, very easy transition because they have less than a month left. But for the annual members, it's been a little trickier. So, we're waiting for a coupon code that we're getting from the platform and then we'll be moving everybody over. But those that have already made the transition, it's so much better. We have gifts, we can sort the feed, we can search. Everything we wanted to do that we couldn't do, our notifications work, it just all works.
Melanie Avalon: Well, that's good.
Gin Stephens: The saddest part is the community members that have been disappointed. They've been disappointed in me, offering a product that was not amazing like we wanted it to be, and I recognize, and I appreciate the disappointment and I own it. We made a bad choice. Anyway, I'm hoping people will forgive [laughs] the flaws that we rolled out the first time and know that we as soon as we realized that it was buggy, I started looking at other platforms. Even though we have a year contract with the other platform, we still have five and a half months left on that contract, and we're moving already. That tells you how important it was to me to make the transition. So, we've actually closed the old one to new members, and right now, nobody new can join.
But by the time this episode comes out on October 18th, the new community will be completely open for new members. So, we're going to do the linking through ginstephens.com/community, because that'll be really easy for people to remember. ginstephens.com/community, that'll direct you to the new platform, and we're really hoping a lifetime [laughs] happiness at the new place. It's already been great. So, and again, I want to apologize to people who were less than blown away by the original experience. We've made some great connections there, but the technology was so frustrating.
Melanie Avalon: Yeah. It's ironic, because often when people start new businesses or new things, that birthing period where there might be difficulties. It's ironic that you had the difficulties with such a well-established platform, and that it ended up being something newer that worked well. But I guess that makes sense with technology. It's like going with the younger people [giggles] who know more.
Gin Stephens: Well, I told this analogy to one of my friends. I was like, “It's like the platform that we were using was invented by your granddad, who went to Harvard, [laughs] and the one we flipped over to was made by my son, Cal, who went to Georgia Tech and just graduated in 2019." It's just a little more hip with what people want, and the way features need to work. It's night and day. I'm still going to be providing support on the old DDD social network until the last member is there and we turn the lights off. So, I’m on both places right now. I don't want people to suffer one minute without the support that they want. But it's night and day, the two platforms, and we learned a lot, like I said, so. Once you make a mistake, you learn what not to do next time.
Melanie Avalon: I'm very happy for you and we will put a link in the show notes. So, this link is ginstephens.com/community.
Gin Stephens: That's it and it'll direct people to the new place and it's already hopping over there, and people are so happy. We're using GIFs left and right. I don't know. Do you like GIFs? Are you a GIFer?
Melanie Avalon: I like texting them.
Gin Stephens: Yeah. It's just sometimes there's nothing better than a good GIF.
Melanie Avalon: I know. [laughs] They're nice ways to end conversations. When you're texting back and forth and you need that final thing that encapsulates the conversation.
Gin Stephens: Yeah.
Melanie Avalon: Yeah. So, for listeners, the show notes for this show will be at ifpodcast.com/episode235 and we'll put links there to Gin's community.
Gin Stephens: Awesome, thank you. What's up with you?
Melanie Avalon: Well, I am feeling the need to give the final Part 3 update to the Whole Foods guy saga. So, I think only the first episode is aired, where I told the story about how I went in and tried to talk to him and all the things. I don't think Part 2 has aired yet. Well, when this airs, Part 2 will have aired where I went up to him and asked him if he had a girlfriend. It's so funny that I posted a picture on my Instagram, because me and my sister and dad went to Hamilton, and it was me in this gorgeous dress. I was like, “Where am I going?” 20 people were like, "Whole Foods." [laughs]
So, Part 3, I was mortified about having gone up to him and asking him with no context in the parking lot if he had a girlfriend, which he did. I hadn't seen him again and every time I would go to Whole Foods since then, I would nervously sit in the parking lot and be like, “Oh, please, please don't let him be there,” because I didn't want to run into him again. Last week, it was a Friday and I know he works on Fridays. I went in and I was like, “Please don't be there, please don't be there.” I thought he wasn't, and I thought I was good, and then I was walking to the register, and he was in between me and the register, and I was like, “Oh, crap.” [laughs]
So, I turned around and I went to the wine section and I hid. I was like, “Maybe, I'll just camp out here. Maybe, he'll be gone.” I went around. I went the long way to circumvent and get to the self-checkout without going by him. I thought I was good, made to the self-checkout, and then he came up beside me at the self-checkout, and he goes, “Hi.” [laughs] I was like, “Oh, no.”
Gin Stephens: See, you've got to just be confident and be like, “Hey, what's up?”
Melanie Avalon: I know. So, I was like, “Hi,” and then I was like, “I'm so sorry. I'm so embarrassed.” He was like, “No, no, don't be,” and he was checking out beside me. I guess he was going on break. He was like, “How was your weekend?” I was like, “It was good. I saw Hamilton.” Then we just had some small talk and he was super nice. Then, at the end, he was like, “Well, it was nice talking to you again, bye,” and then he left. So, it's all good now. I can like walk in and not feel super awkward.
Gin Stephens: Well, and also you should just be confident at all times, because honestly, he was so flattered by it, whether he has a girlfriend or not. Unless he's married, and even if he is, people are not married forever. Do not try to date someone who's married. That's not what I meant. [laughs] But I mean, even marriage is not always forever but dating someone is definitely not forever, yet.
Melanie Avalon: Well, oh, wait. I forgot that is the first thing I said, because I was just in the moment. He was like, “Hi,” and I was like, “Hi, I'm so embarrassed.” He was like, “Don't be.” I was like, “Well, just let me know if anything changes,” [giggles] and that answers my question. I wasn't sure if this was a Cinderella situation, where he doesn't recognize me without makeup on but I was--
Gin Stephens: But he does.
Melanie Avalon: He does. He knows I'm the same person.
Gin Stephens: And he knows you're interested. Again, if something ever goes wrong with the girlfriend, then you know.
Melanie Avalon: Yeah, it's so funny though. I've been getting so many messages from people and they're like, “How do you have time for a relationship?” I'm like, Wait, hold the phone. I'm not saying I want a relationship. I just wanted to go on a date. That's all. Just one date." [laughs]
Gin Stephens: Hey, relationships can actually save you time, because Chad is going to the post office for me today.
Melanie Avalon: Oh, okay.
Gin Stephens: Of course, [laughs] We've been together for 31 years. So, ladies, if you run into him at Whole Foods, please do not try to go on a date with him [laughs] and we don't have a Whole Foods. [laughs]
Melanie Avalon: So, that's my life. Yesterday, I saw the first draft of the label for my serrapeptase supplement. Oh, my goodness, I'm so excited. I had a call with the supplement company, and then their design team. I created the-- because it's going to be called Avalon X like Avalon X. So, I sent them over what I wanted Avalon X to look like, which is basically my signature, and then the X is a DNA.
Gin Stephens: Oh, that's cool.
Melanie Avalon: Yeah, it looks really cool. Then I told them the color scheme, but I wanted the rest of the bottle to look like. They had seven different versions, and oh, my goodness, I'm obsessed. The first one I saw, it's everything I could want. It's perfect. Well, it's not perfect work, tweaking it. It's really exciting. It's exciting.
Gin Stephens: Really, when it just clicks with you, that's how I feel about the cover for Clean(ish). I did a lot of intense back and forth with them and it looks the way it looks now because of my input so far across from how it started. But now I love it so much. When you know that it's right, it's right. I can't make any suggestions like, “What if you move these words down here? I'm not a graphic designer, but why am I the one noticing this?" Anyway.
Melanie Avalon: We're trying to lock down the final formulation. But I mentioned this last week, but it's shocking. It's shocking, the supplements because basically, I thought there was quite a few serrapeptase is without other ingredients in them and there aren't. So, we found two. They make it seem like there aren't other ingredients, but we're pretty sure they're lying. So, we're going to lab test them and figure out if they actually do contain other ingredients and we're pretty sure they do. I'm just learning so much. So, friends, I'm scared to take any supplements now, honestly.
Gin Stephens: You've heard me say that before, right?
Melanie Avalon: Yeah.
Gin Stephens: Unless it's Wade Lightheart. I think we know. Unless you know the person making it, right?
Melanie Avalon: BiOptimizers.
Gin Stephens: Right. But it's just unless you literally know, they could be totally lying.
Melanie Avalon: Yeah, what they do with the serrapeptase is, they say enteric-coated serrapeptase. The ingredients will be enteric-coated serrapeptase. They'll be like pure serrapeptase, enteric-coated and in capsule. That enteric coating, they don't say what's in that and it's usually a laundry list of ingredients and it can include plastics and synthetic compounds, and that's how they tweak things. Then also, we've been reading a lot of documents by the FDA about supplements and basically, they have this list where you can use ingredient A and you can call it ingredient B, C, D, or E. For example, if it's a form of a palmitate and it is calcium palmitate or something, you can call it just straight up calcium when it's not. It's disconcerting.
Gin Stephens: That's like when they hide things using the name like natural flavors or something. That could literally be anything. There's one big name brand of bottled cold brew coffee, and the ingredients are coffee, natural flavors. Well, we do not recommend that during the clean fast because of the natural flavors, just like you said, they could hide things under that name. They might have stevia in there and are calling it natural flavors, because they're allowed to hide things under the name natural flavors. We don't even know what it is. We know a lot of people have had problems with that. They're like, “I tried that one and it was delicious, then I was starving.” So, we were like, “We don't know what that is, it's a mystery ingredient.” It could be anything.
Melanie Avalon: I know. Even with the supplements, they legally don't even have to disclose-- If it's a minute amount, they don't even have to tell you. So, I'm becoming so passionate about this, and my thing is going to be full transparency about just everything.
Gin Stephens: Yeah, I'm a fan of that.
Melanie Avalon: So, listeners, if you'd like to get more information, we can get on my email list for it. It's at melanieavalon.com/serrapeptase, S-E-R-R-A-P-E-P-T-A-S-E. Definitely get on that email list, because I'm going to be doing a preorder special. So, the price basically, probably won't ever be that low again. We already have way, way, way, way, way, way, way more people on the email list than I'm doing bottles for that first preorder. So, get on that list so that you can be one of the first people to order before it sells out when I release information about it.
Gin Stephens: Very cool. I know that's exciting. Are you going to do more supplements down the road?
Melanie Avalon: Well, I want to see obviously how this goes. I anticipate that people are going to love it and it's going to do really well, but I obviously need to make sure that people like it and it's resonating. But if it does, basically every supplement I'm currently taking, I want to make my own version of it.
Gin Stephens: Yeah, it's smart to see because best-laid plans. I could talk about that all day again with the Delay, Don't Deny Social Network. It didn't turn out the way we thought it would, and said then we're having to pivot. So, I'm wishing you a smoother rollout and no pivoting.
Melanie Avalon: Thank you. It's really nice because I was contemplating doing it all on my own, and I have a few really, really good friends in the supplement industry who were encouraging me to do that, but I decided to partner with an existing company and I feel so good about that, because I would not have been able to do all of this stuff like lab testing other companies. The guy I'm working with, his name is Scott at MD Logic, but we're just an amazing team. We just are on the same wavelength about everything and I've been so picky. He keeps bringing me with options, and I'm like, “Oh, but we can't do that, because of X, Y, Z,” and he gets it and he's fighting for me with the formulators and going to bat. So, it's been great.
Gin Stephens: Hmm, does he ever go to Whole Foods?
Melanie Avalon: He's married. [laughs] Happily married.
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Melanie Avalon: So, we have a question from Jamie. The subject is "DD Cold Brew black, 10 calories break the fast?" Jamie says, "Hi. I have been googling trying to find a straight answer for this. But there seems to be disagreement as to whether or not 10 calories from the DD Cold Brew medium black will break or otherwise weaken a fast weekend. I feel like we haven't heard that phrase before. I like that. It appears that there may be protein present, which I did not expect when trying to see where the 10 calories come from. There are three carbs I believe as well. I'm fasting for weight loss, but I also need my caffeine in the morning as I'm on the road often. It helps to know for sure whether or not this is a good option for daily consumption. Thank you so much for any help you can provide."
Gin Stephens: Here's the rule of thumb for coffee. So, as long as the only ingredients are coffee and water, you should be fine. It's when they start adding the mystery ingredients like natural flavors or there's one that has something in there called coffee extract, I don't know what that is. What is coffee extract? I don't need any extract of coffee in my coffee. I would just like some coffee. Here's my recommendation. Make your own cold brew if you're not sure, because then you know what's in it. It is not hard to make cold brew, and then take it with you, and it's better for the planet because you're not carrying around bottles of stuff that somebody else made. You can just use your little reasonable travel container and you're going to get it for pennies compared to what you would spend to buy it. That's what I would do. I would just make my own cold brew, super easy, take it with you on the road, have your caffeine, no mystery ingredients, boom.
Melanie Avalon: Yes, well, first of all, Gin, I just realized DD is Dunkin' Donuts. Just goes to show how much I go to Dunkin' Donuts. I like what you said a lot. I was just looking at the Dunkin' Donuts coffee that you can buy online, so the actual like coffee-coffee, and they just list coffee as the ingredients. But if you're finding it somewhere, I don't know, if she's actually at the store and is seeing that.
Gin Stephens: That would be my hunch, that she's at Dunkin Donuts. But I don't know. Maybe, they have a bottled product.
Melanie Avalon: In any case, if she's looking at it-- because what I'm looking at doesn't even have, they don't even mention the calories. But if she's looking at it and it's saying 10 calories and carbs, it's interesting that she thinks there might be protein present. I would really like to see this label, whatever label she's looking at, but it just goes to what you're speaking about earlier, in that it's hard to know. There could be something in there. So, I really Gin's suggestion of erring on the side of caution and yeah, making your own, just getting a source that you know is good. I personally actually use the Bulletproof coffee, Dave Asprey’s coffee. I've been using that for years and I really like it.
Gin Stephens: Do you know, I just started using his Nespresso pods. They just came today. I was at my friend's house in Nashville, my friend, Michelle. Hello, Michelle. I had such a great time. By the way, Nashville is a-mazing.
Melanie Avalon: Nashville's very beautiful.
Gin Stephens: It is amazing. Anyway, we had a great time but she uses the Bulletproof coffee in Nespresso pods, and they're in a compostable little, I don't know, capsule.
Melanie Avalon: Oh, I was going to ask. So, is there plastic in them?
Gin Stephens: Well, it's compostable. So, I don't know what it's made of, but I would figure Dave Asprey would be on the cutting edge of something that's better. [laughs] So, I felt really excited to try it at her house and I liked it. So, I bought some on Amazon. We are not sponsored by a Dave Asprey’s Bulletproof coffee, but it's not Bulletproof coffee, now I'm going to add MCT oil to it. It's the brand. Just like I buy Mayorga Cuban Roast, that is a brand. So, this is just the Bulletproof brand. It's just black coffee.
Melanie Avalon: I've been using his coffee since years. I really like it. I just really like it. He's made it so known that he's so obsessed with the mold thing-- He doesn't have organic certification or anything like that, but I don't know. He just made it so clear what he feels about with the quality of his coffee that I feel very good purchasing it. I really like it.
Gin Stephens: Well, there wasn't a good option for the Nespresso until I tried this, and I'm like, “I didn't even know he made this.”
Melanie Avalon: That actually reminds me, one little last thing about my serrapeptase. I've mentioned this before as well, but haven't found any other serrapeptases in a glass bottle, and we're doing that because while reducing plastic, but if you think about it, a lot of these supplements will say that they are free of phthalates, which are a component of plastic. But a lot of them are sitting in warehouses and plastic bottles, in Amazon warehouses in the heat and plastic bottles. So, it's very likely with that high heat, compounds from the plastic are leaching into the environment or the supplements. So, we are using dark amber glass bottles. So, no plastics at all. Very excited.
Gin Stephens: Yeah. The more you learn, the more you realize, wow, so many things to consider.
Melanie Avalon: I know. So, shall we go back to the first thing we were going to talk about, which was some listener feedback?
Gin Stephens: Yes.
Melanie Avalon: All right. So, we have some listener feedback from Ryan. The subject is "Spreading the love and lifestyle." Ryan says, "Hello, ladies, Ryan from Ohio here. I just have to start by saying what a great thing I have stumbled upon with IF. I am 34. I've been fasting six days a week minimum, usually leaving Sunday open for family breakfast or early lunch. I'm a pretty typical guy working a day shift factory job. I'm a machinist at a large auto manufacturer in Central Ohio, and I actually got intrigued by a coworker who I would love to hear tell his story, but I doubt he would. Let's just say, he is a totally different person now.
Back to me. 34, wife and three kids, working five to six days a week, cutting, splitting, hauling firewood at least two days a week. I started out around 215 pounds. I'm 5’5”, and clearly active, but I've been steadily gaining a few pounds a year for the past 15 years. So far, I've binged while working the entire IF podcast series. I just played Episode 230 and 231 this morning, and now have been bouncing back and forth between IF Stories and Melanie's Biohacking Podcast. My mind is blown."
Gin Stephens: Yay.
Melanie Avalon: I know. "And now, my best friend in firewood-cutting partner has started IF. His wife, now my mom after really noticing my face and stomach slowing down just since starting all of this at the beginning of July. I'm down 20 to 25 pounds, not really watching that, but today, my work pants are almost falling off my ankle, and my joint pain is nearly gone, I've had tendinitis for years in my ankles and elbows, my father-in-law just ordered Delay, Don't Deny on Amazon, and he's about eight years out losing 100 plus pounds after a gastric bypass, and since gaining back 40 pounds. He was very intrigued by it.
My wife is doing it. She's been kicking around the idea of weight loss surgery for several years. She's been struggling with starting a new job after eight years of being a stay-at-home mom, and today is actually her 32nd birthday. Hopefully, if nothing else, you ladies can give some inspiration out for her to hear. She had a goal of losing 150 pounds at the last weight loss surgery appointment, and then COVID hit closing all the surgery centers for a while, once again pushing back that thing she needed in her head to get her head in the right direction. I want nothing more than to see her lose the weight and be where she wants to be so we can live our lives healthy and happy, and do all the things we've dreamed of doing.
Thanks again, you two and several of your guests have really struck a chord with me, and made me look more at what I'm eating, and how different things make me feel different, and make fasting easier. Getting used to black coffee was the hardest part. But now, I really enjoy it and I drink a thermos full throughout the day while working. I'm sure I could do without and just drink water, but it definitely does not affect how I feel. So, why not, right? Fast on."
Gin Stephens: Oh, I love that email from Ryan. Loved it.
Melanie Avalon: Do you have some motivation for his wife? It sounds like everybody's on board, but his wife needs some inspiration.
Gin Stephens: Well, I think that Intermittent Fasting Stories is likely where she's going to find some of her motivation, listening to people like her that have struggled. A lot of women tell their stories. Look, I know what it was like to be obese and feel hopeless, and be so tired of that yo-yo, up and down, up and down and feeling like there's nothing, I could do, to the point that I totally get, when I didn't weigh enough, I'm not sure what the cutoff is for weight loss surgery. But I know there was a time I was like, “Gosh, if I could just get weight loss surgery,” but I think at that time I didn't weigh enough and I'm like, “Well, if I gain more, I'll just have--“
We think that's the answer. Intermittent fasting really is the answer for you. You just have to be ready. That's the thing about his wife, is that she's got to be ready. We can't be ready for her. Some people are stubborn like my family, for example. The more I push something on them, the less likely they want to do it. So, I just have to sit back and do my thing and not push it. If they want to do it, they will do it. Lead by example rather than by like, “Hey, do this, do this, do this.” If someone is not open to it, you can actually turn them off by trying too hard if that makes sense.
Melanie Avalon: Yeah. No, that's a great thing. I'm really glad that you pointed that out, that didn't even occur to me to bring up that point. Something I was thinking about was, I was talking with a friend recently, and she was doing HCG actually to lose weight. Probably, people who do that, that is very effective.
Gin Stephens: It's a low-calorie crash diet. Those always are effective until they ruin everything.
Melanie Avalon: I know. I was going to say in a way, how can it not be when you're only eating 500 calories a day from basically just protein. But what's so interesting is she's a long, long, long time listener of the shows. She wanted my advice about everything, and she was like-- She wanted advice about how to do HCG, and what to do after that, and I was like, “Well, have you tried fasting?” I just assumed that she had because she's been listening to the show for so long. She said something to the effect of like, “Yeah, but--" She's like, “I can't do it. I'll be hungry.” She's with HCG, I'm not even hungry. Basically, she could not understand how fasting could be easy. It didn't seem possible that it could be that easy.
Gin Stephens: I think the HCG is a placebo, literally. I think all the stuff they tell you about, "Here's why it's so much--" No, I think that the “science” behind it is placebo, and that if you feel great, it's because you're in ketosis. She's already fasting. Here's what I would do for her. She's already doing down days one after the other. So, if I were her, what I would do is completely never do HCG again. I'd burn that down completely, and have a 500-calorie day than an update, then a 500-calorie day, then an up day. Why do I say that? Because she needs that metabolic boost of the up days. She needs to do ADF and it's going to be painless for her. She's already used to down day down, day down, day down, day down day. So, all she should do is just throw up days in between and she'll rev back up her metabolism and not have this yo-yo. Look, I was on that HCG roller coaster. I did it. It worked. I regained all of it and more. I ruined my metabolism. Luckily, I ate like crazy after that and I think I fixed my metabolism, but--
Melanie Avalon: I'm so glad you said that because I'm going to specifically recommend to her ADF.
Gin Stephens: Tell her Gin said.
Melanie Avalon: Really quick. My thoughts on HCG, I think a lot of it is placebo. I have gone and tried to find studies on the actual controlled studies on it, because I understand the mechanism of action that they're proposing. I understand that they're saying this hormone, it's basically that catalyst you need to unlock the fat stores when you're in a severe deficit. The reason you're not hungry regardless of if the HCG is the magical thing that's encouraging this more, either way, when people aren't hungry, I think it's probably because they're tapping into their fat stores in ketosis, like you said. So, that's what I told her. I was like, “Fasting is going to do the exact same thing.” It's the same mechanism of action, because her crazy fear was that she was going to be hungry while fasting, and I was trying to show her that the reason she's not hungry on HCG is because she's tapping into her fat store, likely being ketogenic, that's going to happen when she fast. The only difference is that she does like an eating window with a bigger meal, and she's getting that refeeding stimulus, the nutrition, she doesn't have to restrict when she eats. So, it's like the best of both worlds.
All of that to say, I think this is just some inspiration. I think people's fears about fasting, it's like, once you just bite the bullet and just try it, your body adapts, and it turns out to be for so many people the thing that works. You think you need to do HCG, you think you need to do gastric bypass, you think there's got to be some crazy thing that you need to do. But really, this can do it. This can do it in a healthy way, a sustainable way, a delicious way. So, maybe that's a little bit of motivation.
Gin Stephens: Yeah, I think so too. So, we have a question from Angela and the subject is "Size of window to lose weight." Angela says, "Hello, I love your podcast and I've ordered all your books, Gin’s and Melanie's, and listened to your podcast every week. I'm so happy for the information so I can answer my husband's comments because he is definitely a calories in, calories burned person. I have just started IF two weeks and my question is, do you have to have a one-hour eating window to lose weight?" No. [laughs] I'm just going to throw that in there right now. No. She says, "I weigh 188, would like to lose approximately 40 to 48 pounds. I'm 64 and I have type 2 diabetes. I've been on every diet since I was about 30 years old. So, I'm very excited to make IF a lifestyle for me. Thank you so much."
Melanie Avalon: Thank you for your question, Angela. Actually, just tying her excitement back into our previous question, that's another nice reframe. Instead of being nervous about IF, or seeing it as a challenge, or something that might be hard, maybe you can reframe with excitement for all of the amazing things that you know it can bring you, which Angela clearly has this excitement. So, that's very exciting.
Well, Gin already answered this, but do you have to have a one-hour eating window to lose weight? No. Do some people do better losing weight with a one-hour eating window? Yes. Do some people not do better with a one-hour eating window to lose weight? Yes. Basically, there's a lot of factors involved. I don't think it's so much about especially, because there's only 24 hours in a day. There's only so much flexibility people have an eating window and what I mean by that is, if you eat all in one hour compared to two hours, what is the practical difference there, one hour to two hours to three hours to four hours? True, maybe, a one- or two-hour eating window is much different than an eight-hour eating window. I think the bigger factors that are involved aren't so much the time as having the consistency of your eating window, and then what is the eating window that doesn't cause you to overcompensate-- basically, the eating window that keeps you feeling satisfied, so you don't go into any sort of cycle where you can't sustain it, because it's not providing the nourishment that you need in a window that works for you to be something consistent. Then on top of that, the actual foods that you eat in that window, I think are so, so huge. So, for me, personally, if I had to choose between a one hour eating window of processed standard American food, super high calorie, not as nourishing compared to a longer window with more whole foods, less additives, less processed, I would definitely choose the longer window with the whole foods approach. So, yeah. It’s basically, it's very individual, it's not necessarily more magical if it's one hour, it really depends on a lot of things. What are your thoughts, Gin?
Gin Stephens: Well, I noticed, I'm big on words. Angela said, she's ordered all of our books, so I bet she hasn't read them yet. So, Angela, once you get Fast. Feast. Repeat, go ahead and flip right to the 28-day, FAST Start chapter and read that first, and that'll help you figure out how to structure your eating window. Then, go back to the eating window chapter and read that one, because I talk a lot about window link. Personally, a one-hour eating window is not sufficient for me day after day after day to get enough food in my body.
Last week, before I went to Nashville, I was so busy. I had three days in a row where I barely had time to eat, and I had a one-hour window for three days in a row. By that third day, I was in such deep ketosis that I didn't even sleep. So, I was like, "I've got to have an up day." [laughs] My body was telling me I don't know how many calories I ate, but it wasn't enough for my body. Of course, I'm not a counter, but I knew it wasn't enough. Because of the way I was in deep, deep, deep ketosis.
So, one hour a day is just not enough food for me. I couldn't do that day after day after day after day, and I wouldn't recommend it because our bodies are more likely to adapt if you do the same thing exactly the same thing, day after day. Even with the metabolic benefits of fasting, you still want to be cautious. So, not only do you not have to have a one-hour window to lose weight, I wouldn't recommend it as your preferred, like "Here's the best thing." I'm not ever saying it's the best thing that everybody should do. No. How's that?
Melanie Avalon: That's great. All right. So, question from Belinda. The subject is "Continuous glucose monitoring and stevia." The reason I wanted to include it was I think it speaks to a little bit of a misconception people might have about something we've talked about which is ZOE, because she doesn't even mention continuous glucose monitors in the question, but you will understand once I read it.
So, Belinda says, "Hi, guys. First of all, I love your show, and I appreciate all the information. I know you guys often talk about the ZOE app, and I finally decided to do it. However, after filling out the survey on their website, I learned they don't offer it in my state of New Jersey. I was wondering if you could recommend a similar setup that is affordable and comparable."
Before we go to the next question, we can just answer that one. I think some people might be getting confused because we've talked a lot about ZOE, and I think they think it's main thing is that it's a continuous glucose monitor, like that's its purpose, just because of her subject line. So, ZOE is not just a continuous glucose monitor. If all you wanted was a continuous glucose monitor, I don't think we would recommend ZOE because that's not its main thing. ZOE, that we've talked about that, Gin and I have both done, I'm still waiting on my results, I'm so excited. Oh, by the way, Gin, I literally still think about those muffins and how delicious, like, “Oh.” Actually, I dreamed about them last night.
Gin Stephens: You're a weirdo. Weirdo.
Melanie Avalon: I dreamed about them last night.
Gin Stephens: And I mean that in a loving way everybody.
Melanie Avalon: I know. Everybody knows I am. Well, other people agree that they were delicious.
Gin Stephens: Yeah, nobody's ever told me that. But I believe you. I believe people. I did not find them too delicious. Maybe because I eat real muffins now.
Melanie Avalon: Yeah, probably. In any case, what ZOE is, it's a gut microbiome test. It's a test where you eat these specially formulated muffins that taste delicious. [laughs]
Gin Stephens: Or not. [laughs]
Melanie Avalon: I think they taste delicious. They're made of different macronutrient breakdowns of carbs and fat. You wear a continuous glucose monitor if you so choose. Not everybody even wears a continuous glucose monitor. You do a self at-home blood prick after eating the muffins to see how your body clears sugar and fats. If you are wearing the monitor, the CGM, you continue to wear that, and basically-- I can't wait to get my results. But they tell you basically how your body processes carbs and fat, and how different foods might affect you, and all that. So, it's an entire comprehensive program. It's not just a continuous glucose monitor.
If you want just a continuous glucose monitor and you want to actually be able to see data on that, like granular data, you want to get either NutriSense or Levels that we've talked about before. So, Belinda, those are two sources for you. We can put links in the show notes for all of that. So, that answers her first question.
Her second question, she says, "Also in the past, I was not losing weight with fasting until I finally went to alternate day fasting modified." What is modified alternate day fasting, Gin?
Gin Stephens: Well, it's the 500-calorie down day.
Melanie Avalon: Okay, right. Instead of a complete 24-hour fast.
Gin Stephens: Well, it would be a 36 hour fast, not 24.
Melanie Avalon: Yeah. Right. But fasting that entire 24-hour day.
Gin Stephens: It's like two sleeps. You go to bed, wake up, go to bed again, and then the next day is your up day.
Melanie Avalon: Okay. She says, "It finally kick started me until losing about a pound a week and then I went to a restricted eating window, which also didn't work unless I cut my hours down to about a five- to six-hour eating window. My husband was doing it with me and in the past when we have dieted together, he has always lost more weight than me. But unfortunately, he has pretty much stayed the same way over two to three months. I know clean fasting is essential, and I have done that. However, he still uses stevia and his morning coffee. It's supposed to be a natural type of artificial sweetener, and many other people still lose weight using this. Do you think this small thing could be the reason why he has lost no weight? Thank you so much in advance, Belinda."
Gin Stephens: All right, Melanie, predict my answer.
Melanie Avalon: I think you're going to say yes.
Gin Stephens: Yeah, I'm going to say yes. Belinda, he is not fast and clean because of the stevia. So, I want you to think about what we said before about clean fasting and the cephalic phase insulin response. Dr. Jason Fung in The Obesity Code says-- this is what slapped me upside the face and gotten me to finally get rid of stevia. It's when he said that stevia causes a greater cephalic phase insulin response than table sugar. He said that in The Obesity Code. It's all about how your tastebuds perceive what's going in. We know stevia is actually sweeter than table sugar. So, all the time that your husband is drinking that coffee with the stevia in it non-stop, his brain is thinking, "Here comes some calories," even though it doesn't have calories, our brains don't understand that we've now come up with this amazing low calorie, zero calorie, artificial sweetener. Our brains don't understand that. Our brains are like, “Oh, sweetness. That means something's coming in, it's going to raise my blood glucose. So, I'm going to need to release some insulin," and you have an insulin response. So, you're going to have insulin response constantly from the little bit of coffee with stevia. Little bit of coffee with stevia, your brain continues to pump out that insulin in response to the sweet taste that you keep having over and over and over again. So, he really needs to just switch to black. He can do it. He can do it. I promise. He needs to rip off that band aid, hold his nose, drink the black coffee. In two weeks, his taste buds will be adjusted and he will be used to it, I promise.
Melanie Avalon: I would definitely recommend cutting out the stevia and then, if he still doesn't lose weight, that's when I think really looking at food choices and things like that might be helpful. I will put a link in the show notes. I wanted to include this question because Noelle Tarr and Stefani Ruper, their show, Well-Fed Women, their most recent episode, Noelle did the deepest dive in stevia I have ever heard. I applaud her. I'm actually really, really, really good friends with Noelle. But it was Episode Number 342 of Well-Fed Women, and she talks about every study on stevia that there is. Her discussion of it is actually more in the context of eating, not in the context of fasting, because it does seem that with food that it possibly has, depending on the context, beneficial effects on regulating insulin production, but I don't think that necessarily extends to fasting, because people often say that stevia lowers blood sugar, but it's possible that it's doing that because it's releasing insulin to lower the blood sugar.
Well, what's interesting though in favor of stevia while eating, this is something that Noelle talks about, it seems to have that effect beneficially, and it's like an adaptogenic way when you're eating. So, basically, I don't know how it knows. I need to go read the studies that she was talking about. But it seems that it has a beneficial effect if you are in a high blood sugar carb situation. It helps compared to when you're not, it doesn't have that effect. I don't know. it seems to have a pretty cool effect. But this is all in the context of eating.
So, when you're fasting, that's a different story. Even if the actual mechanisms of it are not releasing insulin, there's always that psychological component of tasting something sweet. Even though, weirdly enough, she quoted a study that looked at fasted intake of stevia compared to other different artificial sweeteners and I think it didn't have that effect psychologically, but I just don't think you can make a blanket statement about that. There is the sweet taste and I think certain people are most likely going to respond to that. So, keeping the fast clean like Gin said can be so, so, so key. So, yes.
Gin Stephens: Yeah, I just think it's transformational. For me, I used stevia all the way through, because I just was also in that calories in, calories out mindset until I read The Obesity Code and I was like, “Oh, it's insulin. Hello.” But I started to regain weight. I had regained eight of the pounds I'd lost because basically I was doing a low-calorie diet when I was having the stevia all the time. I wasn't fasting clean. As soon as I stopped the stevia, I lost the eight pounds I had regained, and I've been maintaining ever since. And also, that's when my allergies went away. It wasn't till I started fasting clean. It's also when I stopped white knuckling my fasts.
Melanie Avalon: Yeah.
Gin Stephens: Have him take the clean fast challenge. Tell him to give it six weeks, and then he can experiment with the stevia and see what happens. He won't go back to it if he gives it six weeks.
Melanie Avalon: Perfect. So, if he cuts it out and he's still struggling to lose weight. report back and we'll troubleshoot that.
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Melanie Avalon: This question is from Sherry. The subject is "Feedback and a quick question." So, she has some feedback as well. She says, "Hi ladies, I love, love, love this podcast. You to take the fear and worry out of fasting and make me feel like I can easily live an IF lifestyle. I also listen to Melanie's Biohacking Podcast, and I love the way she will interview so many people with differing opinions, but never with an attitude of right or wrong, always with a sense of curiosity." Well, thank you, Sherry. She says, "I also listen to if stories when I need inspiration." Well, that's perfect, because, Gin, you're recommending that earlier for inspiration.
Gin Stephens: Well, it is so inspirational. I'm inspired every time I talk to somebody else.
Melanie Avalon: That's fantastic. Perfect. She says, "I have read Delay, Don't Deny and Fast. Feast. Repeat, and some of the books Melanie recommends as well. I just finished Atomic Habits. It changed my life. My quick question is this. I understand that teas like chamomile break my fast as they create an insulin spike. Does chamomile create an insulin spike?
Gin Stephens: It's not a bitter flavor profile. It's sweet.
Melanie Avalon: She says, "I'm wondering if I've just eaten and my insulin is up and doing its thing with my meal, I am one meal a day. Will having a cup of chamomile extend the digestion time or rather the time it takes to get me back into fat burning mode. I hope that makes sense. Keep up the awesome work, you two.
Gin Stephens: Yeah, I wouldn't think it would be a problem at all at any point during your eating window. Because remember, you're eating so your body is releasing insulin, you're not in fat burning mode. You've already got a lot going on where your body's digesting the food you just ate. So, drinking the tea at that point, it's not going to cause giant amounts of insulin in it to be secreted. So, it's going to have a negligible effect. It's not the same as if you're deep in fat burning mode and then you have something sweet. So, yeah, have it. Have it during your eating window as much as you want.
Melanie Avalon: It brings up something I'd like to draw attention to which we've talked about this before. But basically, when you're in the eating window, you're eating. You're in the fed state, insulin is supposed to be released, it's doing its thing, especially adding in something noncaloric like chamomile shouldn't be a problem at all. I just want to clarify, that's not the same thing though as, "Oh, since I'm in the eating state, if I just keep eating more and more and more, it doesn't matter because I'm in the eating state." That's not actually not the same thing.
The only reason I'm clarifying is with sugar or carbs, for example, just because you're in the eating state, everything that you take in is going to have to be processed at some point. So, bringing in more and more and more, your body's going to have to deal with that still. But compared to something noncaloric like chamomile, it should be completely fine.
Gin Stephens: Yeah, that's an excellent point. Just because you're in your eating window doesn't mean unlimited ice cream [laughs] although ice cream is delicious. There was one day I was in Nashville, we walked by this ice cream place that I love and it was just after noon, and Nashville is a different time zone. So, I'm like, "I am opening my window with ice cream at 12:15 on a Saturday."
Melanie Avalon: Were you starving after that? I would be starving.
Gin Stephens: No, ice cream doesn't make me starving. I guess it's the fats and sugar together. Ice cream doesn't make me starving. Now, I had something like a donut, I probably would have been, I don’t know. Ice cream is just really satiating for me. It goes back to that ZOE individuality, again.
Melanie Avalon: Yeah. You know what's really interesting about that?
Gin Stephens: What?
Melanie Avalon: I like in my head can appreciate the thought of a lot of delicious things, especially things like cake. I love thinking about paleo or keto versions of red velvet cake or Funfetti. I really only think about those when I've already eaten. So, like the whole dessert concept. After I've eaten my meal, I'm like, “Oh, it would be nice to have a keto, paleo red velvet cake or Funfetti cake at this moment.” I never crave that breaking my fast. When I'm ready to break my fast my body's like, “I want protein.” I would much rather eat just a slab of chicken honestly.
Gin Stephens: Yeah, we were going to have an amazing brunch later, and I knew that, we had brunch coming up at 2:30. We had reservation at this amazing place. Man, it was good. My friend, Michelle, knows food. We basically ate our way through Nashville. It was fabulous. Ice cream, and then-- So, I basically had one meal a day, but I had my dessert first.
Melanie Avalon: Really quick story. I was a fine dining server. I think I've told this story before. I was a fine dining server for five or six years. One time in that five or six years, a family came in and they all ordered their dessert first.
Gin Stephens: And then, did they eat their meal?
Melanie Avalon: Uh-huh.
Gin Stephens: Well, you know what, you want to save room for dessert? No, we're not going to save room for dessert. We're going to start there.
Melanie Avalon: It was so interesting. They were like, “This is what we do.” They're like, “Can we see the dessert menu?” I was like, “Okay.” They're like, “We are dessert for.” I worked at a steakhouse. So, it was like, they ordered their dessert and I had to go back to the kitchen and be like-- the kitchen was so confused because if you've been a server before you put in the order an order, they were like, “You screwed this up.” Because I put it in for the dessert to go out first and then the steak. They're like, “What are you doing?” I was like, “That's what they want.” [laughs]
Gin Stephens: Well, it makes sense. I had my delicious ice cream to open my window and we walked with it. We were on our walk. So, we walked there, and walked back to her house. We're eating and walking. [laughs] But it was fabulous, and then I was ready. I was ready for our brunch, and then it was amazing, and then I closed my window, and that was it.
Melanie Avalon: Nice. Well, this has been absolutely wonderful. So, a few things for listeners before we go. If you would like to submit your own questions, you can directly email firstname.lastname@example.org or you can go to ifpodcast.com and you can submit questions there. You can get all the stuff that we like at ifpodcast.com/stuffwelike. You can follow us on Instagram. I am @melanieavalon, Gin is @ginstephens, and then our main account is @ifpodcast. So, yes, I think that is all the things. Any thoughts from you, Gin, before we go?
Gin Stephens: Nope, 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-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!
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
Fast. Feast. Repeat.: The Clean Fast Protocol for Health, Longevity, and Weight Loss--Including the 21-Day FAST Start Guide
Clean(ish): Eat (Mostly) Clean, Live (Mainly) Clean, and Unlock Your Body's Natural Ability to Self-Clean
More on Melanie: MelanieAvalon.com
More on Gin: GinStephens.com
Theme Music Composed By Leland Cox: LelandCox.com
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