Welcome to Episode 242 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.
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Listener Feedback: Andrea - Thank You!
Listener Q&A: Sally - Best Type Meal To Eat When Breaking Fast
Listener Q&A: Paul - You Guys
Listener Q&A: Phoebe - IF & Weight Gain
Listener Q&A: Ashley - Windows, Endurance Sports, Leaning Out
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Listener Q&A: Jennifer - Feeling full
Listener Q&A: Carla - Hormones
Melanie Avalon: Welcome to Episode 242 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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Hi, everybody and welcome. This is Episode number 242 of the Intermittent Fasting Podcast. I'm Melanie Avalon and I'm here Gin Stephens.
Gin Stephens: Hi everybody.
Melanie Avalon: How are you today, Gin?
Gin Stephens: I'm doing great. How about you?
Melanie Avalon: Guess what I am holding in my hand.
Gin Stephens: Water?
Melanie Avalon: No.
Gin Stephens: [laughs] Because you just said you're going to drink some water before we started recording. So, I just assumed.
Melanie Avalon: Well, I do have water. Guess what type of water the water is?
Gin Stephens: Oh, Lord, I don't know. Some kind of weird wacky water?
Melanie Avalon: Deuterium depleted.
Gin Stephens: I knew it. I knew it was going to be that one. I'm holding a mug of hot water, some [unintelligible [00:06:38].
Melanie Avalon: Oh, man.
Gin Stephens: So, I'm going to guess that you're holding your Serrapeptase?
Melanie Avalon: I am.
Gin Stephens: I knew it.
Melanie Avalon: It's so beautiful.
Gin Stephens: Have you taken any yet?
Melanie Avalon: Yes, I have. So, it came yesterday that like the box of my samples. Oh, the samples, that means I can finish the trademark registration. So, last night, I got the bottle and I tried it for the first time, and it was great. No GI issues. That's one thing I was a little bit worried about was GI distress because Serrapeptase doesn't really have side effects. But that is the one thing that is sometimes reported, but it felt amazing. My brain felt so clear after, and I took some today and the same thing. I'm so excited. And then I was chatting with my business partner. And he-- wait, did I tell you this already? He put one--
Gin Stephens: Oh, in the vinegar, yeah.
Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I told you that last time. So, I'm excited.
Gin Stephens: Yay. It's good to see a plan come together.
Melanie Avalon: It's so interesting to see an idea manifest in its physical form in front of you.
Gin Stephens: It really is. It really, really is to know that you could do this. I was always a big dreamer as a kid, like I had all these ideas and I was like, “I'm going to do this. And I'm going to do that.”
Melanie Avalon: Me too.
Gin Stephens: I believe it. And you're like, “Wow. Look, we did these things.”
Melanie Avalon: I know, you really can. When listeners get it, the logo, the Avalon X logo. The Avalon is my signature, and then the X is, it's like a DNA, but I designed that, and then they designed. I told them what I wanted the imagery to look like. It just really came together very nicely. So, by the time this episode airs, pretty sure it probably should already be in preorders if it's not sold out. So, if you'd like to preorder the supplement, which really quickly is an enzyme originally created by the Japanese silkworm. You take it in the fasted state, it breaks down protein buildup, so it can help with inflammation and allergies and brain fog and it can reduce cholesterol, breakdown amyloid plaque, and fibroids, and pain relief, and all these things. The website for it, is avalonx.com, and the email list for all the information on it as well as future supplements, is melanieavalon.com/serrapeptase S-E-R-R-A-P-E-P-T-A-S-E. So that is that.
Gin Stephens: Congratulations.
Melanie Avalon: Thank you. It's actually releasing as of this recording date this week, most likely. Like a midnight release thing. So, we shall see. Anything else new with you?
Gin Stephens: No. Not really. I stopped to finish recording my Audiobook. So, got that coming up. I'll be glad when it's over. I love all the people who love to listen. But Lord, it's hard. [laughs] It is really hard to read a book. Clean(ish) has a lot of hardness in it. A lot of difficulty.
Melanie Avalon: Hard words.
Gin Stephens: Yes. I'm like, “Why did I write that? Why? Why did I write that?” I will be talking to the director and I'm like, “Can I just change this?” She's like, “No, that's a direct quote out of a journal. You cannot.” I'm like, “Okay. But why did they write it like that?” Like, how to say things, it's so hard.
Melanie Avalon: You know what I would be curious to hear?
Gin Stephens: What?
Melanie Avalon: I think Fast. Feast. Repeat. is on Blinkist.
Gin Stephens: What is Blinkist?
Melanie Avalon: It's this, I don't know-- it's a website. I keep hearing about it on [unintelligible [00:10:17]. But it's a website where they put 15-minute summaries of nonfiction books. So, you can like, learn a lot really fast. I think your book is on there.
Gin Stephens: I feel it might be. I think someone might have told me that, that sounds familiar. I don't really know anything about it.
Melanie Avalon: I was contemplating downloading it not to replace researching books for my show, because I always have to read everything. But just as a recap at the end, like a summary of the book.
Gin Stephens: For Fast. Feast. Repeat?
Melanie Avalon: No, just in general for prepping my other--
Gin Stephens: Oh, I see. Okay. I was like, “What? Why do you need to listen to Fast. Feast. Repeat.? Whatever. Okay. Yeah.
Melanie Avalon: Like prepping other books.
Gin Stephens: Well, that wouldn't be a bad idea.
Melanie Avalon: I'd be curious if you listen to the Blinkist, did they put in what you would want to be the 15 minutes?
Gin Stephens: Oh, I don't know. See, that's the kind of thing that would drive me crazy. So, I'll probably never listen. I don't want to know. That kind of stuff is so frustrating.
Melanie Avalon: It's funny. All right. Shall we jump into everything for today?
Gin Stephens: Yes. Let's get started.
Melanie Avalon: All right. To start things off, we have some feedback. This is from-- Oh, no. We had this discussion recently. This is from, here we go, Andrea, Andréa, A-ndrea, And-rea, one of those. Andrea. She sent this email to me, but I asked her if we could include it because I thought it was a nice email. She said, “Hi, Melanie, I'm really fan crushing emailing you right now. I have not had a good enough question that felt worthy of emailing to the show. But I want to take this opportunity to thank you and Gin for all that you do. I'm a 44-year-old that found intermittent fasting after a long battle with my weight and anemia, that I later learned stemmed from methane based SIBO that developed after years without an appendix and gallbladder. While everyone understands how the gallbladder works. Did you know the appendix produces a probiotic that helps balance the microbiome? It's not so useless. after all.” I'd never heard that. Had you heard that, Gin.
Gin Stephens: I haven't heard that. No, but I'm not surprised that it's not useless, because-- just because we don't understand what something is doing, doesn't mean it isn't doing something important. One of those things that never made sense to me. “Oh, you don't even need it. It's just there.” I'm like, “I doubt that.” [laughs]
Melanie Avalon: I wonder if there is anything that as a species did become purposeless that we lost that we don't have now.
Gin Stephens: I don't know.
Melanie Avalon: Hmm, that's something to research. She says, “After resolving my gut issues with high dose herbs, biofilm disruptors, and antifungals, then healthy probiotics and prebiotics. I started intermittent fasting, and I've never felt better. I first started listening to the Intermittent Fasting Podcast and from there, discovered your podcast,” and she's talking about the Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast. She says, “Now I am into so many of the hacks, I'm sure my family thinks I'm nuts, lol. But they have no argument when the results so clearly speak for themselves. I appreciate all you do to bring light to sometimes little-known topics and speaking with the experts in an understandable way.” So, those are some great feedback from Andrea. For listeners, SIBO is small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, and it's a gut issue that a lot of people, especially with IBS often struggle with, and it can be difficult to address. So, it's nice to hear that she worked out her gut issues and that intermittent fasting is really helping with that.
Gin Stephens: Yeah, I think so too. It also made me reflect by listening, she's a biohacker now listening to the Biohacking Podcast. I think it's just perfect the way we each are so different. Here we are together on the intermittent fasting podcast, but we each have our different strengths here. But our strengths here have spun off into completely 180 podcasts. I mean, your podcast and my podcast couldn't be more different.
Melanie Avalon: You think so?
Gin Stephens: Well, I mean, we both interview people, but we're not talking about biohacking on my podcast. It's making intermittent fasting a lifestyle on Intermittent Fasting Stories.
Melanie Avalon: Yeah, it's personal stories.
Gin Stephens: It's personal stories. It's day to day stuff. It's nitty gritty of a life.
Melanie Avalon: Yeah, exactly. Mine is all the random tangent rabbit holes into all the biohacking.
Gin Stephens: I just think that's interesting.
Melanie Avalon: We create a lot of good content.
Gin Stephens: Yeah, but it's so different.
Melanie Avalon: I know. But then it comes together here on this show.
Gin Stephens: Yep. Well, good. Thank you, Andrea.
Melanie Avalon: Yes, thank you.
Gin Stephens: All right. We have a question from Sally and the subject is: “Best type meal to eat when breaking fast.” “I'm hearing protein/good fat meal is best when you're breaking your fast. Wonder why I'm being told that, and is there any validity to it? What are your responses knowing that Melanie likes paleo, so that kind of goes hand in hand, but Gin enjoys some carbs, including grains and starchy veg. So, do you really care? You just eat what you want? Or, is it beneficial to do something more intentional? And should the big meal be first within your window? Or, would you recommend maybe eating a handful of nuts as a start? And then maybe an hour later, have your bigger meal while in your window? Thanks.”
Melanie Avalon: All right. So, this is a great question from Sally. Something I'd like to clarify because people often say that to me, people think I don't eat carbs. I might eat more carbs than Gin every night.
Gin Stephens: I don't know. I doubt it.
Melanie Avalon: How many carbs do you think you eat?
Gin Stephens: I mean, I don't count things. I just eat.
Melanie Avalon: I eat pounds of fruit every night. So, there's a lot of carbs.
Gin Stephens: Well, I do not eat pounds of anything.
Melanie Avalon: So, I eat pounds of meat, pounds of cucumbers, and pounds of fruit.
Gin Stephens: I just like eat a meal of food. I'm not eating individual ingredients, like separately. Last night, I ate a burger from local farmhouse burger, which is really good high-quality burger. I had grass-fed meat, I had a whole grain burger bun, I had really high-quality French fries. So, that's not my typical meal. I usually cook at home. But last night, I was just craving a burger, and we actually were talking about it. Did I talk about it on the podcast? We're recording two days back-to-back. So, did I mention that I wanted a good burger? I think I did.
Melanie Avalon: You definitely did to me.
Gin Stephens: I can't remember if I said it on the air. Well, anyway, spoiler alert, I had one. [laughs]
Melanie Avalon: How was it?
Gin Stephens: It was really good. It hit the spot. My body was craving that beef.
Melanie Avalon: Awesome.
Gin Stephens: It wasn't like pounds of anything, but it was a nice meal.
Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I'm just trying to see how many carbs, it probably equals out to.
Gin Stephens: Like what you're eating?
Melanie Avalon: Yeah.
Gin Stephens: I just don't think of food as macros. I just think of food like-- I am sensitive to the idea that my body doesn't clear fat as well. So, I shouldn't load up on the fat. But I'm still going to, like, if I'm having bread and butter, I'm going to put butter on there till it's delicious. Not like a slab just to go crazy, but it's really good. Bread and butter are good together. So, I eat the food that makes me satisfied, and that tastes really good. I add olive oil to my vegetables, so that they roast well. It's part of the cooking process kind of a thing.
Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I'll have to look it up later, but it's definitely a lot of carbs in the form of fruit. But as for her question, so the answer we always say, it's very individual. You have to find what works for you. I think a lot of the concern about needing to be super specific and careful when you “break” your fast is, in general, likely more applicable when you're breaking a much longer fast. So, like an extended fast, because there's just idea of slowly reintroducing foods.
Gin Stephens: Yeah. That is not every day what we're doing. I don't have to be careful at all. There are some people who have digestive upset even with a daily eating window. I mean there are. People have like a supersensitive system, and if they're not opening carefully, they experience dumping. We hear it a lot in the community. I didn't know if you had, but that really is something that happens to a small segment of the people, never happened to me.
Melanie Avalon: Yeah, it doesn't happen to me either. But as far as to break it with, so I think a reason people say, like protein and fat is because that will likely fill you up fast, if you're trying to not overeat or get satiety signals soon. Protein is often the macronutrient that really leads to satiety. There's the whole protein leverage hypothesis, which says that we will eat to get our protein needs. So, we'll keep eating in any given meal or situation until we get our protein needs. So, that might be a reason somebody might want to start with the protein, because they'll fill up faster. But it really is a matter of just what digests for you, what you like.
For me, I would not want to start with something like that because that would really slow down my digestion. I do do a specific ordering to my food, and it's because with that order, that I had found that works for me. I digest it well, none of the food compounds slow down the other compounds because I tend to lean towards digestive issues, so I do have to be careful. I would just experiment and find what makes you feel good.
Gin Stephens: Nuts make me queasy on an empty stomach. So, I absolutely would not start with a handful of nuts. That would be the wrong thing for me. I talk about how a lot of things don't bother me. Well, tea makes me queasy on an empty stomach and nuts make me queasy on an empty stomach. I also don't think protein and good fats on their own would feel good to me. That would probably also make me queasy on an empty stomach.
Melanie Avalon: Make you queasy?
Gin Stephens: Yes. My stomach needs starchy carbs.
Melanie Avalon: That's funny, that settles my stomach. If I ever have an upset stomach, if I just eat a big hunk of protein-
Gin Stephens: Oh, God, no.
Melanie Avalon: -that will always settle my stomach.
Gin Stephens: Nope, nope, no, opposite. When I was sick last week and not really hungry, I couldn't even look at me. I didn't want me, I wasn't interested in me. I was like, “Chad, you're in charge of your own dinner. I just can't.” I cannot eat any meat. I did eat eggs. Eggs sounded good. But it wasn't a big piece of meat. Like scrambled eggs, I was eating like egg sandwiches, that sort of thing. So, I was still getting protein that way. But I absolutely did not think I could eat meat. Which is why when I suddenly felt better, I was like, now I need a cheeseburger. Isn’t that interesting?
Melanie Avalon: That's so interesting. If I ever have an upset stomach, or if I'm ever sick, the thing I will crave is just pure animal protein.
Gin Stephens: Oh, and a grilled cheese sandwich. I always crave a grilled cheese sandwich. Grilled cheese sandwich and apparently egg sandwiches.
Melanie Avalon: Oh, yeah, we talked about that because I've never had an egg sandwich.
Gin Stephens: So good. Scrambled eggs on bread. The whole moral of the story is, we're all very, very different with what makes you feel great. And you're just going to have to figure it out. The person who is telling you to eat a protein/good fat meal, probably that's what makes them feel the best. So, they're like, “Well, everyone should do that.” But that doesn't make it true.
Melanie Avalon: I did have an experience though, like the different foods, if it has a big effect on you, you can really notice. For example, I, at my birthday dinner this past week, it was amazing. I was having wine and I had fish and mushrooms and everything was delicious, and I was feeling satiated. And then they brought out so many random things that most of them I didn't eat, but they did bring out this dessert plate. They told me what was gluten free and so there was a strawberry gummy bear thing. I was like, “It's my birthday. I'll just eat this.” So, I ate it. It was tiny. And it was so sweet, I ate it, after eating a full meal and then I was starving. It was such a good moment to experience just how much of an effect the foods can have. I went from being like completely full and fine, to starving from a tiny little gummy bear.
Gin Stephens: That's so interesting.
Melanie Avalon: Because it made my blood sugar drop. Reactive hypo, I'm guessing, or just like that craving from the sugar, like switching over to that mode.
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Melanie Avalon: Shall we move on to the next question?
Gin Stephens: Yes.
Melanie Avalon: So, this is a question from Paul. The subject is: “You guys.” Paul says, “How did you guys get to be so funny? [laughs] I don't think we're that funny.
Gin Stephens: Well, I just realized that my zipper is down, so that's kind of funny. I'm fixing it now, sitting here with my zipper down.
Melanie Avalon: You wear zippers?
Gin Stephens: I'm wearing jeans. I wear jeans all the time.
Melanie Avalon: I don't remember the last time I had a zipper, that was not addressed. He says, “Truth is, you brighten my day with your always upbeat conversation. Will you ever take your show on the road for some live tapings? And, of course, will you start with Boston?” Doubtful.
Gin Stephens: That does sound fun, though, but we first have to meet.
Melanie Avalon: Yes.
Gin Stephens: Atlanta is where we'll start.
Melanie Avalon: So, this is just a little fun fact into podcasting. The setup for recording in the same room is drastically different from the setup--
Gin Stephens: That is true.
Melanie Avalon: Yeah, for the setup, like right now, it would be a completely different setup.
Gin Stephens: It's harder. When I was at the beach in August, I had to record two episodes of people live. And they were just not as good. I recorded one with my friend Michelle, she's amazing. I don't regret that we did that. I love that we did that. But sounds are different and trying to share the same microphone.
Melanie Avalon: Did you share microphone?
Gin Stephens: We did. I was just listening-- You sent me a podcast yesterday, I'm not going to say who it was, but I listened to it. And I noticed they had wacky quality of sound.
Melanie Avalon: On both sides?
Gin Stephens: Well, the host, the main guy, the one whose podcast it was. There was a beginning part and that part was really professional sound quality. And then the part where he was interviewing his guest, it sounded like he was like in his car or something, I don't know. Or maybe on his phone, it sounded like maybe he was on his phone, but I just thought that was interesting. So, I don't get real stressed out. The point of my story is, not to criticize someone else's podcast, but that it makes me feel better because I know that sometimes if I have a guest, the audio is not perfect, and I don't let that stress me out. That's my point.
I was listening to this amazing podcast or who had great content, and I really enjoyed it. And thank you for sending it to me. I just noted that the audio wasn't amazing, and I didn't judge it. But it made me feel better about myself. That was why I told that story. [laughs] Anyway, it might not be perfect, but it's-- actually my director told me that when we were recording the Audiobook. She's like, “Podcasts can be recorded on the street, but for Audiobook, it has to be perfect.”
Melanie Avalon: Yeah. It's interesting. I have had a few requests on my other show to do it live. So, I remember when-- I haven't released this episode yet, but I did an episode on hyperbaric chambers. And I'm like friends adjacent with the guy, like he's a friend of a friend. He was like, “You should come down to my hyperbarics and we’ll record from the chamber.” I was like, “No.” [laughs] He was trying to convince me to do that for a month.
Gin Stephens: Seriously, though, it doesn't have to be perfect. Just have some fun.
Melanie Avalon: Well, so here's the other thing. And then I had Brad Kearns on recently, and we've become really good friends. And he's like, “We're going to do another one. We're going to do it live.” And I'm like, “No, no, no,” because here's the thing, with my other show, well, it might be different if it was more casual, like talking again with Brad. But, in general, I have so much prep work that, I need my notes, I need to not have the camera because they need to be like-- basically, I like have to be in my zone, as the way I perceive myself as a performer. If I was in real life with these guests, it would add a whole another aspect of me being aware of like what I look like.
Gin Stephens: 100%, I get that, yep. People have been like, “Why don't you do a video of your podcast too, and then you could put it on YouTube, because so many people do.” Because I don't want to. I don't want to be on video while I'm recording with someone. I take notes while we're talking, I take notes what my guest is saying, and then I circle back to things, but I'm writing and I don't want to have to think about how my face looks. And do I look weird? Yeah, I get it.
Melanie Avalon: Do you do video?
Gin Stephens: Well, we can see each other while we're recording, yes.
Melanie Avalon: Okay, but you don't want to air it.
Gin Stephens: But we don't record it. We don't record the video. No, no, I've no desire to record that and air it.
Melanie Avalon: Me, too. I'm that plus one step more. I don't even let the other guests see me because it would just take me out. I have so much going on in my head when I'm doing those shows. I can't-- It would really stress me out, too bad.
Gin Stephens: I enjoy being able to see the person we like, we see each other. That's okay. Sometimes if we have weird internet, we'll have to turn off the video and I don't like it as much. I like to be able to see the person I'm talking to, but I don't want the world, I don't want to have to worry about it, because when I'm being recorded, sometimes someone will record me for a podcast and it'll be video and it just feels-- it feels like I have to be like on in a different way that I don't want to be. It's a different thing to think about.
Melanie Avalon: I feel like most of the shows I go on, I don't seek out going on other podcasts, but if people invite me-
Gin Stephens: Ditto, yeah.
Melanie Avalon: -which is a good problem to have, because I know a lot of people would die to be on some of the shows I've been on, but most of them are video. And it is-- it is a completely different experience, but it's easier for me on video if I'm the one being interviewed because then I'm not-- I'm just answering the questions.
Gin Stephens: That's true. Yeah.
Melanie Avalon: The one I did this week-- did I mention it on the show that I did one with Bill Tancer, New York Times bestselling author, but he's going to come on my show.
Gin Stephens: I know you told me. I can't remember if you said it on the show.
Melanie Avalon: It's funny. I could tell, especially interviewing with him, we were very similar. We were talking about this, we see the world kind in the same way and he understood right from the beginning, I told him, I didn't really want to do video if that was an option. He totally understood. So, I do appreciate that. I mean, obviously, my dream is still to have a talk show and that would be completely video. But that would be different.
Gin Stephens: I wouldn't mind doing a Clean(ish) television show. Wouldn't that be fun?
Melanie Avalon: I know.
Gin Stephens: Like Marie Kondo came in and help people say goodbye to their things. I could go in and help people get Clean(ish) in their bathroom or in their makeup or their pantry.
Melanie Avalon: Maybe I could produce your show.
Gin Stephens: That would be fun. I think I would have fun with that because it's just me and regular people and here we are, and let me help you with this, and look at this product, can you believe it?
Melanie Avalon: Yeah.
Gin Stephens: I would do that. That would be fun. I love people. I love hanging out with people and talking to people and doing stuff with people.
Melanie Avalon: Yeah, this is why I want like a talk show. I like people in a controlled setting, so I would want everything to be very controlled.
Gin Stephens: I'm the opposite. I'm like, “Let's just see what happens.”
Melanie Avalon: I want studio audience, I want the lineup, everything is very much on point. [laughs]
Gin Stephens: The people have the card that says 'applause' and everybody would applaud.
Melanie Avalon: More so just the outline of where it's going to go in the segments, and we're going to do this at this point. And, yeah, I'll let the audience person handle the audience, but I would die to have a show with an audience. That would be so amazing because it would be doing the shows that we do now, but then I will get to interact in real time with people reacting to this stuff. Ah, it'd be so fun. Goals.
Gin Stephens: Yeah. Well, Paul, thank you so much. I'm glad you think we're funny. Yeah, we get to do this for a job. That is so-- I can't believe it.
Melanie Avalon: I'm super grateful.
Gin Stephens: Me, too. I really love it.
Melanie Avalon: Me, too. I really do. Now we have a question from Phoebe. The subject is: “IF and Weight Gain.” Phoebe says, “Hi, I first want to say how informative your podcast is. There is so much “bad science” out there. And I think it's great you're both espousing, so much reliable knowledge to your listeners. So, thank you for that. I started IF about two weeks ago, I found 16 hours tough in the beginning, but now I can get to 19 to 20 hours before wanting to eat again. I've been doing HIIT or strength training with small weights for about an hour each day. I feel great during the fast and I love waking up with a flat stomach. I had no issues switching over to clean fasting within the first week and only have black coffee and water in the day. My issue is I have not lost any weight, and instead I keep fluctuating around the same mark. Some days I eat more, and others less, I only really ever seem to go down on the scale if I drink wine the night before, but I don't know if that's due to dehydration.
I'm 5’7” and 24 years old, but I've gained about 20 pounds about 10 during quarantine that I'm desperate to lose. I'm sensitive to dairy and I have digestion issues when I eat high fiber foods such as rye bread and bananas and also cruciferous vegetables. I can eat in very small doses and be fine, but too much, and I get stomach pains/gas/bloating. I don't know if I haven't given it enough time or if maybe I'm eating too much in these meals and I should calorie count. I really want IF to work and I'm sad at the lack of my own progress. I know, Gin, you say that I might be getting smaller/building muscle, but all of my jeans still tight. Do you think it's something to do with cortisol levels or water retention?”
Gin Stephens: No.
Melanie Avalon: [laughs] I know--I know Gin has been like dying this whole time.
Gin Stephens: No. I do not. I do not think that’s it, Phoebe. Sorry. [gasping] Go ahead, keep going.
Melanie Avalon: One more sentence-- One more sentence Gin.
Gin Stephens: It's none of that, Phoebe. All right, go ahead.
Melanie Avalon: “Would love your advice on the issue. Sorry for the giant mega essay. Phoebe.”
Gin Stephens: I highlighted three words.
Melanie Avalon: Can I guess what they are?
Gin Stephens: Yep.
Melanie Avalon: Two weeks ago.
Gin Stephens: Yep. Those are the three-- those are the three words I highlighted. That's all you need to know, Phoebe. You just started two weeks ago, there's no diet plan of the world that is going to cause you to lose amazing amounts of fat quickly. You might go down really fast on the scale and certain diets you've done in the past, but we don't lose fat that quickly. But with intermittent fasting, we definitely do not lose weight quickly. It sounds to me you probably have not read Fast. Feast. Repeat. I would really recommend that you read that. Anyone who's starting out, is not just because I want to sell you a book, I promise. It's because I think it's valuable. If I just wanted to sell people book, Delay, Don't Deny, I could have just kept selling that one. I wrote Fast. Feast. Repeat. because I wanted a better book out there. I'm really proud of Fast. Feast. Repeat.
I would recommend, if you're starting out, take the time to listen to Fast. Feast. Repeat. if you don't like to read, it's on Audible, I read it to you. I want you to start with the 28-Day Fast Start chapter. In that chapter, I'm very, very, very clear that you should not expect weight loss in the first 28 days. That's because your body is learning how to do something new. You're learning how to tap into your fat stores for fuel. So, you're like fasting during the day, then you're also working out in there, and then you're eating, and then your body's doing all these changes. A lot of things are going on behind the scenes. But what your body is probably not doing great yet, is burning fat and metabolically flexible, and all the magic that we want to have happen. So, I don't think that it's that you're building all this muscle and you've lost all this fat. I mean, it's only been two weeks.
I also want to encourage you to read the Scale-Schmale chapter, that is a very, very, very important chapter. It talks about all the different ways that I want you to measure your progress. The scale is a tiny little piece of that, especially since you're doing high intensity interval training or strength training for an hour every day. That is going to lead to muscle building. I'm not saying that's what's happened already, because it's only been two weeks. But you are going to probably see body re-composition with the combination of fat burning once your body is adjusted. And then now you're doing this high intensity interval training and strength training, so you're going to be building muscle well. You're going to need to use a lot of different tools to measure your progress, and the scale is likely to be the least effective. Especially since you only have 20 pounds to lose, and you're young, you're 24 years old. So, you're probably going to be better at building muscle than someone who's my age.
You're going to need to use things like progress photos, honesty pants, measurements. If you just are desperately staring at the scale, you're going to be really, really disappointed because you will probably find that you get down to your dream body, and you probably aren't going to see the actual number on the scale you think you need to see, because your body is going to change so much. But it's way too early to be stressing about that for now. You got to give it a long time. It might take you 20 weeks to get to your dream body. Like I said, it might not even be the number on the scale that you think it's going to be ever. You got to let go of that that number and instead focus on what your body does. And your clothes, your measurements, your progress photos, that is really the best way to judge it.
I don't want you to be all worried about, “Oh, my gosh, I got to change everything because this isn't working.” Your body's doing what it's supposed to do. Just keep going. And don't be sad, because again, two weeks is not very long in the whole scheme of things.
Melanie Avalon: I really have nothing to add to that, I think. [laughs] Our next question is actually similar about as far as like weight loss. So maybe we can see if there's any nuance to be added for Ashley's question. But, yes, hopefully, Phoebe, feel free to write back and report back if you are still having issues way down the road.
Gin Stephens: Yeah, because that's really important. You really have to give it the long-term approach. And even if you are using the scale, it can be an important tool, but you still have to focus on your overall trend. I talk about and Fast. Feast. Repeat. why it's important to weigh daily if you're using the scale, and calculate your overall trend. There are apps that do that for you, like Happy Scale. I like to do an old school because that's just me. I wrote it on paper, got out my calculator, added it off, divided by seven. I even put it on a little graph by hand. There was just something pleasing and plotting it, that made me feel like, “Here I am. I'm plotting it on my graph.” Knowing the overall trend is really important.
We have a question from Ashley, and the subject is: “Windows, Endurance, Sports, Leaning Out.” All right. She said, “First off, let me say that I love you ladies and feel like we are friends. I've never been into podcasts until I found you. My dad actually said, ‘You need to listen. They are like you.’” Oh, I love that your dad said that. I mean, your dad is listening. Hi, dad or Ashley’s dad. All right. She said, “And I've been hooked ever since. I'm an elementary school counselor and have been following a paleo/primal diet for seven to eight years. I began IF 16:8, not really knowing what it was, and only stopped for pregnancy with my twins. I had to eat to help my morning sickness. I just completed two marathons and run half marathons about four to five times a year. In addition, I teach group fitness class with high intensity interval training, weights, and cardio two to three times a week.” I still have hard time just saying HIIT. I think they say HIIT, right?
Melanie Avalon: Yeah. I always say H-I-I-T.
Gin Stephens: She said, “Sorry for all the info, but I feel like it's helpful to have the background.” Yes, Ashley. We like the info, so thank you.” She said, “I currently alternate between a 16 to 24-hour window. I play around with what works for that day, with Sundays very relaxed. Here's my question. I'm looking for fat loss. Do I keep my window more consistent and pass the 18-hour or 20-hour mark always? Do I forego my paleo treats in my window? Do I focus on carbs? Please help and keep up the good work. Thanks so much, and keep on keeping on. Much love.”
Melanie Avalon: Did she say how long she's been doing IF?
Gin Stephens: Ah-huh. See, that's the thing. So, I have no idea.
Melanie Avalon: I vote that we approach this like she's been doing it longer.
Gin Stephens: Well, it sounds like she did it and then she got pregnant and stopped doing it. And then she started doing it again.
Melanie Avalon: If it's the situation where she hasn't been doing it long, then she can apply the Phoebe answer.
Gin Stephens: True.
Melanie Avalon: We can answer this now for if it has been longer. First, I want to comment though, on the morning sickness. I have not aired the episode yet. I'm not sure when it's airing. But I interviewed Dr. Michael Platt. And he wrote a book called The Miracle of Bio-Identical Hormones. And he talks a lot about morning sickness and makes a huge case for supplemental progesterone to resolve that. I don't have any experience with morning sickness and pregnancy and progesterone. So, I can't speak to it personally. But for any listeners that are pregnant and experiencing that, that might be something to try. And I've been using this cream every night. I've been using progesterone for years. But I switched over to his cream and saw a huge, huge benefit. And then on top of that, my sister, I don't know, I might have shared this on the show already. But my sister had PMDD, which is basically the really intense diagnoseable form of PMS. And she's had it for like a decade, and she's tried so many things. She started taking the progesterone cream. And he says in his book, and I'm sorry, this is a tangent. He says in his book that it'll just go away.
I told her about it, and she started taking it, and it just went away after 10 years. She was shocked. I was so happy. I was like he really makes it sound like this will resolve it and she's been dealing with this for so long. So, I will put a link in the show notes. I do have a discount code. Michael Platt is the brand. I think the code is MELANIEAVALON for discount. But that's just a resource for morning sickness. But back to the question. Ashley is doing a lot of activity. Just want to note that. Okay. Assuming you have weight to lose, because she doesn't--
Gin Stephens: Yeah, she sounds like she's trying to lose fat and she's maybe having trouble with that.
Melanie Avalon: Yeah. The important things to focus on is the diet that provides the nutrition that you need, especially when you're doing all of this exercise. All of the protein, all the nutrients, but is ultimately two things. One, supporting the fat burning state. Of course, with intermittent fasting, the fasting is creating that, but you can really tweak that even more by finding the dietary macros that your body burns very efficiently and lets you really go into the fastest state with no hunger and continue the fat burning mode. And then also, if it's-- fat loss is the goal, focusing on foods that really fill you up without adding a huge surplus of calories because a lot of people think, “Oh, I'm fasting, so it doesn't matter.” I'm not saying that you think this actually, but a lot of people might think that they're fasting, so it doesn't really matter the calories that they're eating. Again, we're not about counting calories. We already said we don't count calories. But choosing the type of foods that are not going to necessarily create a massive calorie surplus, especially calories that are easily stored can definitely have a huge effect on weight loss.
Gin Stephens: Like what are paleo treats? She said, does she need to forego paleo treats. I don't know what that might even be because I've never tried to do paleo.
Melanie Avalon: I don't know what that is. But a lot of paleo treats are often things like, nut butters and lots of nuts.
Gin Stephens: Like very nutrient dense, but also calorically dense.
Melanie Avalon: So in my book for example-- I'm just thinking about the recipes in my book. I have recipes for brownies made from avocado, like avocado brownies and cakes or things like that made from almond flours instead of normal flour. I do find that the-- It depends where they are, but the paleo treats can often be pretty high calorie. So, the point of all of that is, you can eat too many calories in your eating window, so that you don't lose fat in your fasting window. So, you can really choose where you want to focus and try different things because she also asked about, “Do I focus on carbs?” So, I do think if fat loss is the goal, looking at macros, to find the macros that work for you and experimenting is a really good way to go. Maybe low carb works for you. Maybe low fat works better. Maybe one works at one time, maybe one works at another time. But if trying a low version of either one, so either low carb or low fat can often work really well. If you are having those paleo treats, cutting those out can help really well. Ashley might not be eating this. It might not be in her “paleo protocol.” But just for people in general. If they're eating massive amounts of things like cheese.
Especially after-- I already thought this already, but especially after reading Dr. Neal Barnard’s book, The Cheese Trap. I don't agree with everything that he says, but he does make a very big case for just how incredibly fattening cheese is. If you're eating massive amount, even, maybe not even massive amounts, but a lot of cheese in your window, that could really be stalling weight loss. I think nuts can often stall weight loss. But then also, she asks about like, does she need to actually change the window? Does it need to be consistent? Does it always need to be longer? What I would probably do, and I feel like I'm all over the place right now is, I would probably first find the window that you're liking, if a consistent window does work for you, and then if that's not working, I would tweak with the food choices. And I would really just go in the order of what feels right to you. So maybe it's trying to just cut out these treats, or maybe it's working on the macros. But, yes, things can be done. Oh, and focusing on protein.
Gin Stephens: I would also be very cautious. If you're really, really doing a lot of physical activity, teaching group fitness classes, two to three times a week. I mean, you probably need a longer eating window, you need to fuel your body because we talk about how intermittent fasting is not a problem for women, but over restriction is. And if you're really hitting the gym hard, and restricting your diet, and intermittent fasting and pushing it more and more, that does turn into a state of over restriction. So, you just have to kind of find the balance, so that it isn't overly restrictive for your body. I just think that's really important. We've gotten to the point in society where we're like, “Well, let's just do more. Let's do more high intensity training. Let's have a longer fast.” Really, maybe you just need to, you did say Sundays are very relaxed, that's good. But that doesn't mean you need to just keep pushing it more every day necessarily, but I feel you already know, Ashley, because when you said, “Do I forego my paleo treats in my window?” I think that was you kind of knowing that might be it.
There're some things that are really easy to eat. It might be something that's like perfectly on plan, but that doesn't mean that it's helping you with your fat loss goals.
Melanie Avalon: This is just me personally. The thing I love about fasting and the eating window is, I don't ever want to restrict the quantity of the food I'm eating. I don't want to ever have to feel like I have to stop eating, and I'm not saying anybody has to do that. But when I focus on just whole foods, so I don't make these paleo treats. I don't eat nuts. I have been eating actually fat free cheese recently, I've been experimenting with that, but don't do high fat cheese or anything like that. If I eat the certain foods that I eat that are all whole foods, I really can just eat as much as I want it. It's going to support for me either like maintenance or weight loss. It doesn't really lead to weight gain. Whereas if I added in, at least for me personally, things like this, it could be made from the same substrates of “paleo foods,” but when they enter this more process form, it's a way to eat a lot of more processed calories really fast, and I might not be able to just eat unlimited amounts of that. So, yes.
Gin Stephens: All right. That was a lot, but I felt like it was good.
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All right. So, now we have a question from Jennifer. The subject is: “Feeling Full.” Jennifer says, “Hi, Melanie and Gin. I love your podcast. A friend of mine suggested IF and she suggested that I tune in.” This is the second question where it was suggested by somebody.
Gin Stephens: I know, I love that.
Melanie Avalon: She says, “I'm so glad I did. I spent years yo-yo dieting and it was awful. I've been following 16:8 and I'm about a week in. I feel great already. I've been told for years by my doctor and herbalist that I'm insulin resistant, but I didn't want to accept that. I finally have the mindset that it's time to take control and feel better. Here's my question. I have noticed that during my eating window, I get very full very quickly. I've stopped eating and found myself super hungry during the fasting period. I clean fast. I don't want to force myself to keep eating during my eating window either when I feel so full. Suggestions, I want to get my nutrients in, but I don't want to overdo it. I'm eating very little carbs.
Gin Stephens: All right so Jennifer, I'm going to give you the same advice I gave a few questions ago. And that is that you are still so very new. You are, what, one week in? You're not at the point yet where you're really tuned in to what's happening in your body. The whole idea of appetite correction, that's a term coined by Dr. Bert Herring. I talk about it in Fast. Feast. Repeat. So, if you've got Fast. Feast. Repeat., go to that chapter about appetite correction and read about it. I love the concept. Basically, the idea is that our bodies are born to know when we've had enough to eat so that we stop eating. All the animals in nature, they eat, they stop eating. You don't see obese lions out there. We only see that when animals are like human fed. We start feeding them the things they're not supposed to eat. We start feeding the ducks the bread and now the ducks are having problems. But as long as we leave the animals alone, they know what to eat and how much to eat without even counting a calorie. They just stop.
The thing about intermittent fasting is, once your body adjusts, and you're tapping into your fat stores during the fast and you're feeding your body nutritious foods, during your eating window, you can reconnect with those natural hunger and satiety cues that your body has. It doesn't really help that you're eating real food though, because just like those ducks that overeat the bread because they're not really supposed to be eating that bread, but we're feeding it to them and they just keep eating it. Same with us. If we're not eating enough nutrients, then we're not going to hear that we've had enough to eat. But my point is that, your signals are all out of whack because you're still early on. So, give it some time. You’re going to be hungrier during the fast now in the early days, then you will after a body adjusts. So, just be patient with your body. Read the chapter again, like I said, on appetite correction.
No, you do not want to force yourself to keep eating if you feel full. That is 100% true. But if you're really, really starving during your fast, that could just be the adjustment period and that's going to get better as you go.
Melanie Avalon: That's such a good reframe. She was obviously thinking that the hunger was from the not eating enough, but it might just be the lack of adaptions. So, let's say she's down the road, and she's been doing IF for a few months, like it for anybody who had been down the road, and are still experiencing hunger. And if it is from not eating enough, what do you recommend in those situations?
Gin Stephens: Well, I mean, that usually doesn't happen. Especially when she's got an eight-hour window, I would have a really hard time with the idea that she couldn't figure out how to eat enough food in an eight-hour window. You could put two meals in there and it works its way out usually after you're adjusted. This is not something that usually keeps coming up after someone's adjusted.
Melanie Avalon: Okay, perfect. I think you answered that.
Gin Stephens: All right.
Melanie Avalon: So, we have one last question from Carla. The subject is: “Hormones.” Carla says, “I have heard that IF will help regulate--” She says she's not sure what the exact word is, but your hormones. “How long does this typically take? And how can you tell it is working? When I asked this question to an IF Facebook group, they couldn't answer it, and they just asked if I have insulin resistance? I have no clue. How do I know if I have insulin resistance? I'm so confused.”
Gin Stephens: Well, this is a very broad question like, “Will IF help regulate your hormones?” The answer is maybe yes, maybe no, depends. It depends on which hormones. Now I totally understand why they asked if you have insulin resistance, because that is one hormone that intermittent fasting will help you regulate your insulin levels. When they asked you, “Do you have insulin resistance?” That was them saying, “Well, if the answer is yes, you have insulin resistance, then yes, intermittent fasting will help regulate that.”
Hormones are such a broad topic in your body, you've got a lot of different hormones. You've got thyroid hormones, you've got metabolic hormones, you've got so many different-- female hormones.
Melanie Avalon: Even vitamin D is a hormone.
Gin Stephens: Right, we can't tell you how intermittent fasting is going to impact all those many things that are going on in your body because it's like a balancing act. One thing that happens over here and that changes something that's happening over there. Intermittent fasting does help get a lot of those things into balance, but it just really depends on what your underlying conditions are. We can't really say this is what IF is going to do because we can't know. It just depends on so many individual factors. So, if you don't know if you have insulin resistance, then maybe you don't. But if you're overweight, if you've been struggling with your weight for a while, you probably do. And if the answer is yes, you've been struggling with your weight for a while, then probably yes, intermittent fasting is going to help with that aspect hormonally, and help with your insulin resistance.
Melanie Avalon: I think as far as-- Gin said it really well. Hormones, it is such a broad term. I think we do throw it around pretty casually a lot. I already earlier was talking about hormones with-- I mean, progesterone, and that whole world, that's all hormones. I think a reason that IF does in general-- help hormones in general is that a lot of the hormonal dysregulation today often does come from our diet. The foods that we're eating, eating constantly can encourage a lot of hormonal dysregulation. And so having this fasted period, it can regulate in a way or potentially help certain hormones, definitely on the insulin resistance front. That's this very specific area of hormones that's dealing specifically with insulin, which is a hormone that's involved with your fuel use and fuel storage.
In the dietary aspect of hormones, it's most likely going to really help with that. But then beyond that, all the other hormones, the female hormones, I think in general it tends to help a lot of people, but it really depends on what is your personal hormonal issue as to how it's going to affect that or what it's going to do. So, it's a very broad question. You could work with a knowledgeable practitioner, though, if you wanted to check on some hormones, actually some different resources.
For example, if you listen to the ad on today's show by InsideTracker, they test for example, some hormones. Not a ton of them, but I think they test. They look at certain blood markers that correlate to metabolic health and longevity. They test the test that they think you need to be testing to really get a picture of your metabolic health. So, they test DHEA, testosterone, and sex hormone binding globulin because they feel like those are the most important hormones to be testing for metabolic health. So, you could check out their panel if you'd like to look into that. And then beyond that, you could work with a physician who could do other hormonal tests, you could do a DUTCH test if you want to look at hormones specifically related to women and estrogen and estradiol. And that is something that you need to look at on a 24-hour. I think it's 24-hours that you do the test and it's a urine test. Insulin would be something that you could test, doctors don't test it that much, but you can ask for it. Your HOMA-IR would be testing your insulin and comparing it to your-- I think your blood glucose and that can give you a good marker of insulin resistance or insulin sensitivity. So, it's a whole world. I encourage you to work with somebody on it. But in general, I do think a lot of people experience hormonal benefits with fasting.
Gin Stephens: Yep, absolutely. The thing that's so important for people to understand is, intermittent fasting is an amazing tool for help. But it's not the only tool and it doesn't fix everything.
Melanie Avalon: Exactly.
Gin Stephens: It also doesn't cause every problem that you might have. It isn't the cause of everything or the effect of everything or the fix of everything. It's a tool that's really useful, it will always be in my toolbox. But sometimes I need a different tool for a job. I got a hammer in there, but sometimes I need a screwdriver.
Melanie Avalon: Yes, exactly. I really think that phrase, “When you have a hammer, everything looks like a nail,” is a really enlightening phrase, because so many people think when they're looking through a certain lens, they might think everything is one thing, so that fasting will fix everything or that all the problems are from fasting. But there's so much more beyond that.
Gin Stephens: Exactly.
Melanie Avalon: Alrighty. Well, this has been absolutely wonderful. A few things for listeners before we go. If you would like to submit your own questions for the show, you can directly email email@example.com. Or you can go ifpodcast.com and you can submit questions there. The show notes for today's episode will be at ifpodcast.com/episode242. The show notes will have a full transcript as well as links to everything that we've talked about. And then you can also follow us on Instagram. I am @MelanieAvalon, and Gin is @GinStephens. Gin, I tagged you today in a photo, did you see that?
Gin Stephens: Oh, okay. No, I didn't.
Melanie Avalon: It's the flowers you sent from my birthday.
Gin Stephens: Oh, I'll have to look. Well, good. I'm just not really on Instagram a lot. So, I'm trying to still decide. But I will definitely look and see the flowers. I'm looking right now. Oh, there they are. Oh, it looks all fancy.
Melanie Avalon: See how they bloomed?
Gin Stephens: Yeah.
Melanie Avalon: Do you see how they're huge?
Gin Stephens: They are huge.
Melanie Avalon: Because when I first sent you the picture, and I should have taken it so that it wasn't all the green ones because there's a lot of pink ones on the other side. When I first sent you the picture, they were closed up. Oh, by the way, random side note. You know how I told you my cucumbers died and I had to start over?
Gin Stephens: Yes.
Melanie Avalon: Now they're growing again up the windows and today is the first day that a flower, like a massive flower. After this, I got to go pollinate them with my pollinator. Oh, man. I'm excited.
Gin Stephens: Well, have fun.
Melanie Avalon: I will and you have fun.
Gin Stephens: All right, I will.
Melanie Avalon: Actually, I guess, I'll talk to you after Thanksgiving, right?
Gin Stephens: Yeah. That's when we're recording next.
Melanie Avalon: So, have a fabulous Thanksgiving.
Gin Stephens: You too.
Melanie Avalon: All right. Bye.
Gin Stephens: Bye.
Melanie Avalon: 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 podcast, Intermittent Fasting Stories, and the Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast. Theme music was composed by Leland Cox. See you next week.
STUFF WE LIKE
Check out the Stuff We Like page for links to any of the books/supplements/products etc. mentioned on the podcast that we like!
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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