Episode 252: Longevity, NAD+, Keto & Carnivore, Weight Gain, Essential Oils, Coffee, Soft Drinks, Glucose Spikes, Fructose, And More!

Intermittent Fasting


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Feb 13

Welcome to Episode 252 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:

BUTCHERBOX: Grass-Fed Beef, Organic Chicken, Heritage Pork, Wild-Caught Seafood: Nutrient-Rich, Raised Sustainably The Way Nature Intended, And Shipped Straight To Your Door! For A Limited Time Go To Butcherbox.com/ifpodcast And Get Free Ground Beef For LIFE!!

AvalonX Serrapeptase: Get Melanie’s Serrapeptase Supplement: A Proteolytic Enzyme Which May Help Clear Sinuses And Brain Fog, Reduce Allergies, Support A Healthy Inflammatory State, Enhance Wound Healing, Break Down Fatty Deposits And Amyloid Plaque, Supercharge Your Fast, And More! AvalonX Supplements Are Free Of Toxic Fillers And Common Allergens (Including Wheat, Rice, Gluten, Dairy, Shellfish, Nuts, Soy, Eggs, And Yeast), Tested To Be Free Of Heavy Metals And Mold, And Triple Tested For Purity And Potency. Order At Avalonx.us, And Get On The Email List To Stay Up To Date With All The Special Offers And News About Melanie's New Supplements At melanieavalon.com/avalonx!

LEVELS: Learn How Your Fasting, Food, And Exercise Are Affecting Your Blood Sugar Levels 24/7, By Wearing A Continuous Glucose Monitor (CGM)! The Levels App Lets You Log Meals And Activities, And Interprets The Data For How They Affect Your Metabolic Health. Skip The 150,000 People Waitlist At levels.link/ifpodcast!

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


BUTCHERBOX: For A Limited Time Go To butcherbox.com/ifpodcast And Get Free Ground Beef For LIFE!!

BEAUTYCOUNTER: Keep Your Fast Clean Inside And Out With Safe Skincare! Shop With Us At MelanieAvalon.com/beautycounter, And Something Magical Might Happen After Your First Order! Find Your Perfect Beautycounter Products With Melanie's Quiz: melanieavalon.com/beautycounterquiz
Join Melanie's Facebook Group Clean Beauty And Safe Skincare With Melanie Avalon To Discuss And Learn About All The Things Clean Beauty, Beautycounter And Safe Skincare!

Gin Stephens: How To Reduce Your Toxic Load (Without Going Bananas)

AVALONX SERRAPEPTASE: Order At avalonx.us, And Get On The Email List To Stay Up To Date With All The Special Offers And News About Melanie's New Supplements At Melanieavalon.Com/Avalonx!

Listener Q&A: Quincy - Fasting question - Getting fatter !!!

Listener Q&A: Sharon - Essential Oils

The Melanie Avalon Podcast Episode #25 - Eric Zielinski

Listener Q&A: Ashley - 2-year backslide

LEVELS: Skip The 150,000 People Waitlist At levels.link/ifpodcast!

Listener Q&A: Scott - Blood Glucose Spikes


Melanie Avalon: Welcome to Episode 252 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.

Friends, I'm about to tell you how you can get free grass-fed, grass-finished ground beef for life. Yes, for life. Gin and I are huge fans of a company called ButcherBox. As you guys know, it can be hard to get high-quality humanely raised meat that you can trust. ButcherBox is the solution. They deliver 100% grass-fed, grass-finished beef, free-range organic chicken, heritage-breed pork, nitrate-free, sugar-free bacon, heritage-breed hotdogs, and wild-caught seafood all directly to your door. When you become a member, you're joining a community that is focused on doing what's better for all parties. That means caring about the lives of animals, the livelihoods of farmers, treating our planet with respect and enjoying better nourishing meals together. They go to great lengths to assure the highest quality, so you can find actual 100% grass-fed grass-finished beef. If you've seen the Netflix documentary, Seaspiracy, you might be aware of fish fraud and problems in the seafood industry. ButcherBox maintains very, very high standards for that and the whole process is so easy. They deliver all of this directly to your door. Once you sign up, you choose your box and your delivery frequency. They offer five boxes. Four curated box options as well as the popular custom box. With that one, you can get exactly what you and your family love. They ship your order frozen at the peak freshness, and packed in a 100% recyclable box, and the shipping is always free.

So basically, ButcherBox makes it easy so that you can focus on cooking amazing meals, not spending hours searching for meat that meets your standards, and save money in the process. What's super amazing is ButcherBox makes sure their members are taken care of. Today, we have a special offer just for our listeners. ButcherBox is giving new members free ground beef for life. Yes, for life. You can sign up at butcherbox.com/ifpodcast and you will get two pounds of ground beef free in every order for the life of your membership. Just log on to butcherbox.com/ifpodcast to claim this deal. We'll put all this information in the show notes.

One more thing before you jump in. Are you fasting clean inside and out? Did you know that one of our largest exposures to toxic compounds, including endocrine disrupters, which mess with our hormones, obesogens which literally cause our body to store and gain weight, as well as carcinogens linked to cancer is actually through our skincare? Europe has banned thousands of these compounds for being toxic, and the US has only banned around 10. It's honestly shocking. When you're putting on your conventional skincare makeup, you're likely putting toxic compounds directly into your body. These compounds can make you feel bad, can make it really hard to lose weight, can affect your hormones, your mood, your health. And ladies, if you're thinking of having kids, when you have a child, these compounds actually go directly through the placenta into the newborn. That means your skincare 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. Thankfully, there's an easy, easy solution to this. There's a company called Beautycounter and they were founded on a mission to change this. Every single ingredient and their products are extensively tested to be safe for your skin. You can actually feel good about what you put on. And on top of that, their products actually work. That's because they're not “all natural.” They actually combine the best of both worlds, both synthetic and natural ingredients to create products that actually support the health of your skin and make your skin look amazing. They have skincare lines for all your skin types, deodorant, shampoo and conditioner that I love, anti-aging and brightening peels, and vitamin C serums, and incredible makeup. If you see my makeup on Instagram, that's all Beautycounter. You can shop with us at melanieavalon.com/beautycounter. 

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

Melanie Avalon: Hi, everybody and welcome. This is Episode number 252 of the Intermittent Fasting Podcast. I'm Melanie Avalon and I'm here with, Gin Stevens.

Gin Stephens: Hi, everybody. 

Melanie Avalon: How are you today, Gin? 

Gin Stephens: I am doing great, although I'm freezing. 

Melanie Avalon: Oh, is it wonderful? 

Gin Stephens: No, not wonderful. [laughs] 

Melanie Avalon: I love the cold. I finally got back to cryotherapy after not going for about two or three weeks with COVID. So, I love cold. 

Gin Stephens: Are you feeling fully recovered? 

Melanie Avalon: Yes, pretty much. 

Gin Stephens: Well, that's good. 

Melanie Avalon: It's wonderful. I do have an exciting announcement to make. 

Gin Stephens: Well, I can't wait to hear an exciting announcement. What is that? 

Melanie Avalon: I think I can officially announce the next supplement that we're going to be making. 

Gin Stephens: Very cool. I already know what it is but announce it. 

Melanie Avalon: Actually, you don't. 

Gin Stephens: You changed it? Well, okay.

Melanie Avalon: It was going to be one thing, but due to sourcing of materials, because I'm very, very stringent in the ingredients that we're using and so for the other supplement, we really wanted it to be an organic version and its craziness in the world with sourcing of materials. We had to push back that timeline. But there's another one we can do before then that is also something that I take every single day of my life. So, I'm very excited. And I'm very excited because I just rebooked actually two guests. I'm really excited. I'm just always excited. 

Gin Stephens: That's a good way to go through life, excited.

Melanie Avalon: I know. I was having a moment with my business partner this week and he made a joke because something really great had happened. He was like, "Merry Christmas." I was like, "I really feel like every day is Christmas." I really do feel like that sort of. But in any case, I rebooked David Perlmutter and Dr. Steven Gundry, which is very exciting. But do you know what Dr. Gundry's new book is?

Gin Stephens: I actually don't know. What's his new book? 

Melanie Avalon: It's called Unlocking the Keto Code: The Revolutionary New Science of Keto That Offers More Benefits Without Deprivation. It comes out March 8th. That's been a fun time. I almost sent you a screenshot, because I have a galley copy of it. His whole thesis is that we've got ketones all wrong, all wrong. [laughs] 

Gin Stephens: Well, that's interesting. 

Melanie Avalon: His basic thesis is that their benefit is not that they are a super fuel, that they actually make our bodies waste fuel. Their main benefit is not being a fuel, but rather it's their signaling effects on our mitochondria. It's been a really fun read. But I was excited because last night, I was reading it and he started talking about NAD. This all relates, NAD and how important it is. I talked about NAD on the show before. NAD is not a supplement, you cannot-- Well, you can do NAD like blood IV, but that's not what I'm talking about. NAD, he makes a really nice analogy. All of our cells in our body have mitochondria and that is the powerhouse of the cell. It's responsible for ourselves generating energy, so it's just really important within the mitochondria, if you think of electrons, which are involved-- This is the analogy that he made. If you think of electrons that are involved in energy, it's like a baseball and a baseball game being thrown around. NAD is like the, I think he called it a second baseman. It's one of the players, who's responsible for moving around the electrons. It's super important for basically everything you do. Levels go down as we age and it's often thought to be one of the contributing factors to aging, our levels going down. Also, disease, and illness, and stress can all deplete it. There are two supplements that you can take to boost it, and this is actually one of the things we've been debating between. There's something called NR and then there's something called NMN. They're both precursors. I've taken both and I've done a lot of research, and I feel really good about NMN. That's what David Sinclair personally takes and recommends. That's what my friend, James Clement, who wrote the book-- Sorry, who wrote The Switch takes and recommends and he actually has a lab and he's often testing NAD levels and supplements for NAD. His lab is about studying longevity.

I've actually had Chris Shade from Quicksilver Scientific on my show and we talked-- because they have NMN supplement. If you want to learn all about the signs of NAD, my interview with him is really helpful. It's at melanieavalon.com/nad. All of that to say, I am making an NMN. I'm so excited. We've been sourcing trying to find the most pure version on the market. The one we found they're actually ordering it this week, because it has all the criteria, like, non-GMO, and pure like kosher, and 98 point something percent purity. It's very exciting. I'm very excited because this week the way it works with the supplement making industry is you find what I'm all learning about. You know what you want to make, and then you have to find the sources of the ingredients, which thankfully, I don't have to actually find those companies because I'm working with MD Logic. My business partner, Scott, who's mostly in charge of this. He finds the sources and finally we order them and then they do inhouse testing to make sure it's all what they say it is. So, that's the process that we're at right now. If it tests according to what they say then we will probably have it in, I don't want to put a date but sooner rather than later.

Gin Stephens: Well, very cool. 

Melanie Avalon: This is the supplement that David Sinclair in his book, Lifespan, which is my favorite health and longevity book. He talks about it, how they were doing studies on NMN in his lab and really finding the benefits of it. Then he tells the story in his book about how his student and I might have shared the story on the podcast before, but one of the moments he had was his student had got his mom on NMN, and then the student came to him one day and said that he needed to talk to him about something and was really nervous and David didn't know what he was going to say. Then he said that his mom that basically her menstrual cycle had come back, like, she was in menopause. But she started on NMN and her menstrual cycle had come back, which is crazy. 

Gin Stephens: That's not what I'm looking for. 

Melanie Avalon: I know but just as far as the implications of the anti-aging. Basically, in a way, almost reversing aging. Super valuable supplement. Oh, it's also the supplement that-- I'm sorry, it's so long, almost done. It's also a supplement that when I had surgery probably a year ago, I was really wrecked from that. I was just laying on the couch and I was like, "What can I do?" Because I couldn't do my sauna. I couldn't do cryotherapy, I wasn't supposed to lift anything heavier than an iPad, it was just really miserable, and I was really lethargic, and I started high dosing NMN, immediately started feeling better. I remember I asked James, I was like, "Is it possible that it's actually making me feel that much better?" He's like, "Yeah." It's really great supplement. To get more information on my email list where we will be releasing information, that is melanieavalon.com/avalonx, A-V-A-L-O-N-X. Then to actually purchase that or the serrapeptase, which was my first supplement that's at avalonx.us. I'm really sorry, I'm just so excited. What are your thoughts? What's new with you? 

Gin Stephens: Well, nothing. I'm just rolling along. [laughs] January, we're at the end of January. By the time this comes out, of course, it'll be February. But January was just a blur, new book, lots of podcast appearances. They're starting to wind down, which is good because I had so many things going on. But I've got a little bit of a busy beginning of the week, but then I can take a little breather. I'm going to the beach with a friend next week. I'll be there for five nights. I'm so excited. My friend will be there for three nights, but I'll be there for two nights by myself. One night ahead of her getting there, then she'll be there for three nights, then I'll stay one more night.

Melanie Avalon: What has been your favorite podcast interview? 

Gin Stephens: Well, it's really hard to say. I enjoy all of them.

Melanie Avalon: What has been one you really enjoyed? 

Gin Stephens: Well, I really enjoyed Abel James. He was great. 

Melanie Avalon: He's so nice. I know we say this every time, but--

Gin Stephens: I think the reason I really enjoyed his is because it was the first one, I had done on Clean(ish) ever, the first one. No one had read it except for my editor and the people like, the proofreaders, and the lawyer had read it. No one in the health world had read it, that isn't someone who really knows a lot about me. I was nervous, but he read it and really liked it. So, that was exciting. That's why that one I think sticks out. 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, that makes sense. Nice. Has it aired? Do you know? 

Gin Stephens: Yes, it did air. It came out maybe a couple weeks ago. 

Melanie Avalon: Awesome. So, we can put a link to it in the show notes. 

Gin Stephens: All righty. But yeah, other than that, just rolling along, enjoying everything I'm doing. 

Melanie Avalon: Awesome. Merry Christmas. 

Gin Stephens: [laughs] Happy New Year. By the time this comes out, we will be on the other side of Groundhog Day. [laughs]  

Melanie Avalon: Oh, what day's Groundhog Day, again? 

Gin Stephens: It's February 2nd. It's always February 2nd. 

Melanie Avalon: I feel we've had this conversation maybe every year. So, what is it again, if he sees his shadow? 

Gin Stephens: It scares him, and he hides, and we have more winter. 

Melanie Avalon: Oh, thank you for telling me that. I'm going to remember now going forward. That makes sense. I vote that he sees his shadow.

Gin Stephens: No, I'm ready for spring. I have this fabulous screened porch that's been waiting for me that we finished in late October. So, I need warm weather so I can go outside. 

Melanie Avalon: Okay. I need cold. 

Gin Stephens: Well, you can turn on your air conditioner and stay inside. 

Melanie Avalon: You could turn on your heater and stay inside.

Gin Stephens: But I want to go outside. I want to be out in the yard. 

Melanie Avalon: I want to go outside, too. [laughs] 

Gin Stephens: Go to your cryotherapy, Melanie, and let me be warm outside in the nature.

Melanie Avalon: I literally still wear my halter dress all winter. 

Gin Stephens: That's so funny. I have my uggs on every day.

Hi, friends. I'm about to tell you how to get 20% off my serrapeptase. This ends today for Valentine's Day. Friends, I am thrilled to announce that my serrapeptase supplement is now available. Most of you probably know about serrapeptase. We've been talking about it on this show since the very beginning. It just so happened to be the one supplement that both of us were taking. I'm obsessed with it, and take it every single day of my life, and that's why I knew it had to be my first supplement in my supplement line. I've been so thrilled hearing all of your responses, and thoughts, and testimonials trying my serrapeptase. It makes my life hearing how it's helping you and I'm so excited for more people to try it. Once I started doing the research on formulating my own serrapeptase, I've realized all of the ones on the market I actually don't want to be putting in my body. That's why I'm thrilled with my AvalonX Serrapeptase. It is so pure, so effective, free of toxic fillers, free of all common allergens like wheat, gluten, dairy, nuts, shellfish, yeast, soy, even rice, which is very, very common in a lot of supplements. It's tested multiple times for purity, potency, and that the enzyme is effective, and it's tested to be free of heavy metals and mold. You guys know that is so, so important to me. It's vegan and comes in a glass bottle to prevent the leaching of plastics into our bodies and our environment. 

Serrapeptase is a proteolytic enzyme created by the Japanese silkworm. When you take it in the fasted state, it goes into your bloodstream and breaks down problematic proteins. It can address so many things, where your body is creating inflammation or reacting to proteins. This includes alleviating allergies, clearing your sinuses, reducing brain fog. It's been shown in clinical studies to break down fibroids, reduce fatty deposits and cholesterol, and even break down amyloid plaque. It may help reduce pain, and address wound healing, and so much more. It's incredible. I take it every single morning, and it clears my brain, clears my sinuses, and really it just makes me feel amazing. I'm so honored to partner with MD Logic to make it. My partner Scott there really went above and beyond to help make a formulation that meets all of my high standards. They even had to come up with an entire new production process to make ours. You can get it at avalonx.us, A-V-A-L-O-N-X dot U-S. Our Valentine's Day Sale is ending today. Yes, today. It is 20% off, that's on the site, get it now, stock up, now is the time. If you want to learn about all of my future supplements, because now honestly, with everything that I found, I just want to make my own version of everything I'm currently taking. Get on my email list. That's at melanieavalon.com/avalonx. Again, you can get my serrapeptase including the Valentine's Day sale today for 20% off at avalonx.us. And I'll put all this information in the show notes. All right, now back to the show. 

Melanie Avalon: Shall we jump into everything for today? 

Gin Stephens: Yes, let's get started. 

Melanie Avalon: All right, so, to start things off, we have a question from Quincy and the subject is: "Fasting question getting fatter!!!". Quincy says, "Hello, Gin. Enjoying the book and I've gotten my way through 28 days only to realize I was botching up the schedule. I'm two weeks in to the proper schedule." 

Gin Stephens: Can I pop something in real quick? 

Melanie Avalon: Mm-hmm.

Gin Stephens: The only way you can mess up is to not fast clean really in my opinion. The schedules that are in the 28-day FAST Start as far as like, easing your way in or ripping off the Band-Aid. Those are just suggestions. So, there is no what I would call the proper schedule as long as you're fasting clean. That's really all I want to say. It's not regimented. There's not a right way to do it. 

Melanie Avalon: How would people think that they botched it?

Gin Stephens: I don't know what he means by botching up the schedule. 

Melanie Avalon: Maybe he just wasn't fasting. 

Gin Stephens: Maybe or maybe he wasn't fasting clean. That is likely. So, I don't know. Anyway, we'll just have to not know exactly for sure, but I just want to clarify. There's no proper schedule unless you're not fasting clean. That's it. 

Melanie Avalon: All right. Okay. Perfect. Or, if you're not fasting. 

Gin Stephens: Well, yeah. But if you're not fasting clean, I think you're not really fasting. [laughs] Anyway, so, back to the question. 

Melanie Avalon: Okay. Quincy says, "I'm convinced I'm getting chunkier. To qualify, I can feast like no other. Quick history, 2014-keto, 2018-carnivore, 2019-carnivore, keto." I'm just reflecting because if he was doing carnivore in 2018, I don't think you can do carnivore and not be keto. So, he was probably carnivore keto 2018 and 2019.

Gin Stephens: Or maybe he was just not adding fat and now he's focused on adding more fat, do you think? Maybe he was lean protein carnivore and then he was more fatty carnivore? Is that possible? 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, maybe. You'd be keto either way. 

Gin Stephens: Well, yes. But I don't really know the lingo in the carnivore community. Maybe he alternates between carnivore and keto?

Melanie Avalon: Oh, that's possible. 

Gin Stephens: That might be it. Maybe he was strict keto, then he was strict carnivore, and now, he alternates between carnivore and keto, I don't know. Good question, though. 

Melanie Avalon: All right. He says, "Present, still carnivore, keto." He's been effectively low carb since 2014. All sorts of fasting during those years, seven days, five days, 48, 36, 24, one meal a day, did one meal a day 2019 to 2020 pretty consistently. That being said, "I can eat 30 ounces of meat or more in one sitting. When you say, feast, I can." I just want to pop in there, Quincy. I eat 30 ounces of meat.

Gin Stephens: [laughs] I would to die if I ate 30 ounces of meat. Oh. [laughs] We went out to eat, something happened and my box was delayed. So, we didn't have a meal. I was counting on it to come. So, we had to go to eat, we had gift cards, that was fine. But I had a five-ounce filet mignon and I was stuffed. I only got the small one. I'll have the petite filet. Well, I wasn't starving because I had potatoes, and salad, and rolls. If I tried to eat 12 ounces of meat it would be too much meat for my stomach. 

Melanie Avalon: You remember when I went in the snow to get the scallops? 

Gin Stephens: Yes. 

Melanie Avalon: They still had a few more scallops at that Costco an hour away. I went again yesterday an hour to get scallops and cucumbers, and I posted it on my story, and I got so many comments. I thought I was going to comment about the scallops because about 13 bags, but everybody was commenting about all the cucumbers in the picture. When people were like, "How do you eat all those?" 

Gin Stephens: How many do you eat at a time? 

Melanie Avalon: Every night? Probably, it's the long English cucumbers, the really long ones. I probably eat-- 

Gin Stephens: Like the long skinny ones, the real skinny ones? 

Melanie Avalon: No, the normal ones. They're thick and long. I probably eat 10. 

Gin Stephens: [laughs] All right. How many scallops would you have alongside that or should I say, how many bags of scallops? I don’t know. [laughs] 

Melanie Avalon: Well, yeah. Well, that's why I was thinking because when I was reading his question 30 ounces, so, I normally eat almost a whole bag and it's a two-pound bag. That's 32 ounces of scallops. Then I also eat chicken or some fish. I supplement with more meat probably, another six ounces. So, I'm probably eating-- I really need 35 ounces of meat every night-

Gin Stephens: Wow. 

Melanie Avalon: -and 10 cucumbers. Then I eat probably two pounds of fruit.

Gin Stephens: Wow. I can't even imagine. That's a lot of food. 

Melanie Avalon: It's wonderful. 

Gin Stephens: I do not eat that much food. [laughs] I don't know where you're putting it, Melanie. I don't know how it’s getting inside your body.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, well, yeah, that's true. But it's over four hours. The thing I love about it though is when you don't-- Well, I don’t want to make blanket statements, but I found for me and I found for people who have-- Well, most people don't go this crazy, but if you don't add, if you really just stay whole foods like don't add, because I eat high protein lower fat diet, don’t add fat. You can really just eat as much as you want. I don't want to make a blanket statement, but it's very satiating. I don't feel I'm over eating at the same time even though it's massive volumes. That's what I'm trying to say. I'm actually glad I said all that because I got to tie it into Quincy's question. 

Quincy says, "So, when you say feast, I can." Us both, you and me both Quincy. He says, "Generally my meals are red meat with eggs or bacon, coffee with heavy cream. I'm intent on following this through for several months because your version of this is from a scientific standpoint. I'm just concerned that by this point, I may be out kicking my coverage on feasting days and getting fatter. I'm in panic mode because pants and shirts are fitting more snug, I recall you saying one could plan on gaining weight during the first 28 days. I'm strength training and doing little cardio. There are other factors I'm sure." I appreciate the email access to us, I guess. So, he is a soon to be 44-year-old male. Thanks. 

Gin Stephens: Here's what I'm questioning. It doesn't sound he changed his diet at all, but he's just-- He's also done a lot of fasting. I'm not really sure what's different. It might be like, let's say for example that he's just eating in a shorter window. Instead of eating spread out throughout the day, he's eating all of his food, but it was the similar kind of food as before. But in a shorter window, that might make your clothing feel they're fitting more snugly just because you've got more food inside your digestive system at a time. I'm picturing a snake that's eaten, I don't know, a little animal, and you can see it going down the-- Does that make sense? You know what I'm talking about? That little animal's bulging its way down to the digestive system.

Melanie Avalon: Or, when the snake eats the egg and it's like-- 

Gin Stephens: Yeah. It could just be that. If you're eating in a shorter period of time than you're used to, you might just feel like, "Oh, here's a whole lot of food inside my body because it's a shorter period of time." I don't know. The thing that makes me puzzled about why he would feel he's eating too much is, because it doesn't seem like his food has changed. What are you thinking, Melanie? I have a lot of questions here. A lot of questions, Quincy. 

Melanie Avalon: The vibe I'm getting and you can let us know if this is correct, Quincy. It is confusing, because he's done fasting a lot, and he's done similar diet the whole time. But the vibe I'm getting is that now he's committing to this fasting schedule with the 28 days, and I think he's probably doing a shorter window because the thing that he's focusing on is how he is eating so much and he feels he's just feasting. I feel maybe he feels he's using it as excuse to just overindulge and go crazy consistently and he feels he's gaining weight from that. 

Gin Stephens: He's overeating perhaps. 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. That's what I'm getting from him. 

Gin Stephens: Okay. You can overeat and that's not what we would recommend it if weight loss, but I don't know that Quincy may not want to lose weight. It seems maybe he just wants to not gain weight, because he's strength training, he's doing cardio. I would just see if what Melanie said is right and you feel you're overdoing it, just scale back a little bit.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, because he says that he's in panic mode and he feels he's gaining weight and he feels he's kicking his coverage on feasting days. It sounds like he feels even though he's fasting because he's feasting so much that he's not being protected by the fasting in a way. What I was going to suggest and this relates to everything I was saying before, if you do indeed want to stay carnivore, or keto, or whatever you are doing, which you've been doing it a long time, I have two thoughts here. One is the feasting that you're having and you feel you're overindulging presumably. Are you doing so because you would really feel you can't get full? What is that experience or is it more of a mindset of feeling you're just what's the word, more for pleasure rather than feeling you can't get satiated? Regardless, either way, if you do want to stay with these foods, I think if you just switch to a leaner version of the food choices that might work. Because right now, it sounds you're eating a fatty version of carnivore because bacon is very fatty, red meat, cream, eggs. You can still do carnivore and low carb, and it doesn't even have to be crazy fat free carnivore. It doesn't have to be chicken breasts and egg whites. It could just be like so for the red meat, it could be fillets and sirloin rather than if you're doing rib eyes. 

Then, eggs you could keep or you could do a mix of egg whites and normal eggs, bacon, you could maybe nix the bacon or have less bacon, reduce the cream. I would try a lower fat approach to carnivore and keto and still allow yourself to feast. But this goes into what I was saying a second ago about, I think a lot of people if they are eating leaner versions of whole foods, it's harder to gain weight with that situation compared to a higher fat meal. I've talked about this before and I will say it again. I think one of the most important things to understand, because a lot of people think with keto, and carnivore, and low carb high fat, they think that doesn't release insulin. So, unlimited fat, because it's not going to get stored, because it doesn't release insulin. But the thing to understand here is, it does not release insulin, because it is so easily stored. 

Gin Stephens: It doesn't require insulin to be stored. 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. This is the paradigm shift. I say that just to express the fat is very easily stored. So, Quincy, I would suggest if you're happy with carnivore, if you're happy with keto, just try a lower fat approach to carnivore and keto. I think that might do it for you. 

Gin Stephens: It would help me to know what actually has changed versus what he was doing before. Because what he was doing before, if he was eating the same exact things and now, all he's doing is eating it in a shorter window, I can't think of a way that it would actually make you gain more weight unless, like I said, it was just the weight of the food. That's the thing. 

Melanie Avalon: Or, it could be that when he doesn't eat in a window that he just eats substantially less.

Gin Stephens: That's the thing. If he's shortened his eating time but greatly increased the amount, that would be interesting. That's what I don't know. Because honestly, the adjustment period, if someone's been keto, low carb since 2014, the adjustment period is to get you metabolically flexible. If you've been keto since 2014 and carnivore, you're already metabolically flexible. The adjustment period part about needing to get metabolically flexible wouldn't really apply. If the only thing that's changed is the puzzle. But if when and amount have both changed, that's important. Just think of all the variables or examine what you're doing, Quincy. Think about, what did I change? Whatever variable you change, just changing time, having shorter eating windows versus what you had before would not make you gain fat. But changing amount and time that's two variables, so the amount is likely the issue. 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. The reason I'm just emphasizing maybe trying that lower fat approach is I'm getting the sense that he sounds like me. He sounds like he likes to just eat a ton volume wise, I relate. That's why I think that approach might work for you. 

Gin Stephens: All right, well, write back, Quincy, and let us know. Give us a follow up and tell us and of course by the time you hear this some time will have gone by, so, you can tell us what you might have changed over the time, that sort of thing. I would love to know.

Melanie Avalon: And also, do you want to comment on his coffee with cream? It could be in his eating window.

Gin Stephens: I think it's in his eating window because that's what he said. He said meals. Yeah. He said my meals are. That was in the meals section. So, yep. Cool. All right. We have a question from Sharon and the subject is: "Essential oils." She says, "Love your podcast. I await eagerly each week for a new podcast. Lost 30 pounds since starting last August. My question is, any research about using essential oils while in a fasted state? I love my essential oils, lemon, peppermint oil, and my water, etc. Just curious about your thoughts on this. Thank you." 

Melanie Avalon: All right, Sharon. Thank you so much for your question. I actually recently re-interviewed Eric Zielinski. He and his wife Sabrina are authors of The Healing Power of Essential Oils, and The Essential Oils Diet, and I brought him on for his new book, The Essential Oils Apothecary. It's super fun because I've talked about this on the show before, but they actually live near me. I've actually met them in person and had dinner which was super fun. But I just want to put them out there as a resource for anybody interested in essential oils, using them, people who are not too familiar might be a little bit casual about them, but they really are medicine in a way. They are super concentrated forms of plant compounds that can have massive beneficial effects on health. They're not just something to be taken lightly. As far as using them in the fast, in The Essential Oils Apothecary, they actually talk about all the different ways to make essential oils and how to use them, be it an inhaler, so, breathing it in, or topically, which would be a roll on or something, or internally, which would be what Sharon is talking about, but they also take them via pills sometimes. As far as using them during fasting, so, I do personally use peppermint essential oil and a breath spray, but I don't put essential oils in my water to drink. Gin, how would this line up with the clean fast?

Gin Stephens: Oh, 100% same thing. Peppermint is in the gray area in my diagram on the clean fast because some people can't use it. They put a little peppermint oil on their tongue, they're starving, they're shaky. Definitely, their body's like, "Foods coming in." For me. No. It doesn't bother my body at all. Maybe because I use peppermint Burt's Bees all day long and my body's like, "Oh, yeah. That's nothing." [laughs] I don’t know. [laughs] But definitely, I wouldn't put it in your water because that's a different sensory sensation that goes on and on and on. I'm no with any kind of water enhancers at all. Drink plain water, it doesn't need to be flavored. If you want to have flavored water, have it in your eating window apart from lemon or anything. But yes, I use a little bit of peppermint oil for breath when needed. Not a lot. I don't need it frequently mainly just at home. I don't use it around the house. But if I'm out and talking to people close, I might.

Melanie Avalon: Awesome. Actually, at my cryo place the other day and they were having a celebration for something. They had water and they had water with cucumber in it, and I hadn't had that spa type of water in a really, really long time, and I was like, "Oh, this will be fine. This won't affect my fast." I had some and I was like, "Oh, this makes me feel not so good." I think it definitely had an effect, an insulin release. 

Gin Stephens: Oh, yeah. I would 100% expected to just based on anything that I've ever experimented with ditto. Once you recognize the clean fast, you know. 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. 

Gin Stephens: Yep. 

Melanie Avalon: All right. Shall we go on to our next question? 

Gin Stephens: Yes. We have question from Ashley and the subject is: "two year backslide." Ashley says, "Hi, ladies. Thank you for everything. You're both amazing. I have a question about unexpected weight gain. I know, I know who doesn't right. I've been doing IF for two years with amazing weight loss and health success. I'm 5'5", starting weight was 140, and I reached my goal of 120 six months in. I was able to maintain for a long time but for several weeks my Shapa has been dark gray." For listeners, the Shapa scale is a scale that uses colors rather than numbers to keep track on your weight gain or weight loss. What are the colors, so dark gray means you're gaining? 

Gin Stephens: Yeah, dark gray is gaining pretty quickly or a substantial amount. Light gray is slight weight gain. Green means maintaining, teal means you're losing slow trend, and blue is you're losing more quickly. 

Melanie Avalon: Awesome. 

Gin Stephens: If anyone wants to see more about it, go to ginstephens.com/shapa.

Melanie Avalon: Awesome. I was using Shapa, but then I've realized I prefer the numbers, which is interesting. I thought it was something that resonated with me but not as much.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, I really liked the Shapa. I stopped using it just because my year subscription is over. I'm like, "All right, that was fun." [laughs] What I really enjoyed it, I learned you could game the system by looking at your Shapa age. I'd never looked at a weight number but my Shapa age would change. So, I always knew if my Shapa age was going up. [laughs] That was my weight went up. But because my age didn't have any negative connotation like a number right, the weight number, I didn't care. The lowest I got was I was 18 years old on my Shapa scale. Isn't that fun? 

Melanie Avalon: How did you look at the age and not the color or what? 

Gin Stephens: Oh, it'll just shows you. I looked at the color, I didn't look at the number. I looked at the color and the age every day.

Melanie Avalon: It does have a number? 

Gin Stephens: Oh, you can. If you sync it with your Apple Help, you can look at the number. Oh yeah, so you can see a number. I never looked at the number but I just looked at the color and the Shapa age but I noticed it, I figured out. Some of my friends were using them at the same time. So, we were like, "Yeah, the age is really showing your fluctuations." When your age would go up, you're like, "Okay, I fluctuated upward." Even if your color didn't change, you could tell from your age what your fluctuations were doing. If your age started going down, you knew your color was going to start to go down. Anyway, I enjoyed being 18 on the Shapa scale. Thank you, Shapa. 

Melanie Avalon: Back to Ashley's question. She says, "I finally checked the number and I'm back to 135." Oh, okay. She just said that she checked the number. "I haven't changed anything. Seriously, I have OCD, the diagnosed kind, not the kind that just likes to clean a lot. I eat exactly the same foods every day. I break my fast with oatmeal or bananas, snack on some cheese, then have dinner with my family that usually includes some kind of pasta, meat, and veggies. I also have wine. I know my diet isn't amazing, but it literally hasn't changed. So, what do you think the deal is with the game? I am also experiencing other issues like getting hungry earlier. Although, I'm a teacher on holiday break, so that could be part of it, constipation." She says, "sorry if that's gross," but it's not gross, Ashley, "and fatigue." I feel bloated/puffy all the time and even my skin looks dull. I'm only 37. It seems too early for menopause. Should I be playing around with my eating window? I'm afraid of making a bad situation worse. Also, because I know Gin will ask, my honesty pants are too tight. I know that pesky scale is telling the truth. Thank you both. Your voices make my Chicago commute bearable. I love Melanie's inquisitiveness for all the things. I find strange being cold on purpose, for example." Oh. "And Gin's expertise delivered through that sassy southern accent," Ashley.

Gin Stephens: All right, Ashley. Gosh, I know that's got to be frustrating. The fact that your window hasn't changed and your diet hasn't changed, but other things have changed, make me think something is going on behind the scenes. Constipation, fatigue, bloating and puffiness, your skin looks dull, I wonder if you were sick at some point. If you can pinpoint any medical change in your body that was different than the normal, if you've changed your birth control, or had a medical procedure, or anything that's different, that could be causing increased inflammation in your body. Because that's what it sounds like. If you haven't changed your eating window, you've been doing IF for two years, and you eat exactly the same thing, and you had reached homeostasis, then something has changed and made your body be more inflamed in some way. It could be your thyroid, it could be autoimmune, I don't know. I could start naming things that would cause your body. But something has changed and it's just really hard to know what that is. You could have some vitamin deficiency. The weight gain alone is one sign, but the fact that you're having bloating, puffiness, that all sounds like inflammation. What do you think, Melanie? Oh, the fatigue? Yeah. Thyroid is something that really pops up as an idea for me. I don't know. What do you think, Melanie?

Melanie Avalon: Since her OCD is diagnosed, if she's done any medications related to that, that could be a huge factor. I agree and because her question was, "Should she be playing around with the eating window?" I would probably look at the foods, if you're going to play around with something. When people think that maybe they could be making different food choices that might benefit them better, that vibe usually syncs into the question.

Gin Stephens: The only part that's interesting to me, though, is that she hadn't changed her food. It's the same food that she ate when she went from 140 to 120. I don't know why she would go back to 135 with the same exact food. 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, but regardless, I still think addressing it could possibly bring benefit. Especially, if it's something that if it is hormonal or something else, I just think it could be benefited by looking at food choices. If any of the food choices are creating inflammation or not working with your body, it's going to be hard to fast your way out of that. That's going to probably be a continued issue. Things like constipation can, I think, really be helped if you find the foods that work for you, especially me struggling with IBS. I know that the foods that I eat really affect that. So, that was just to answer the question about like, "Should I be playing around with my eating window?" I would probably look at the food choices first rather than the eating window. What do you think about her thoughts about afraid of making a bad situation worse, playing around with the eating window? 

Gin Stephens: It just depends on what's the root cause here. I don't know how she's going to make a bad situation worse by playing with our eating window, but the only reason I would look to the eating window is, if you think you might have had window creep, because that does happen sometimes in maintenance and people don't realize it. She said, "I'm getting hungry earlier," so, now she's opening earlier, so now she's got window creep. She's like, "Everything's exactly the same," except when you really dig in, it isn't. Maybe you used to have a three-hour eating window and now it's more six. And also, opening earlier can lead to being hungrier because now you're used to having the longer window and you're not quite getting into ketosis as early, you're not having that same energy that you have because of that window creep. I would look really hard and if you have had a window creep, you'll be able to find it. If not-- Because it didn't happen to me when I started not going to school anymore. Because I used to open my eating window at home when I got home from work and it was 4:30. But now, I'm home all the time. Well, it's two, I think I'll open my window now because I can, if I want to. That's window creep. 

Melanie Avalon: Actually, because I was looking back at the dates. She's doing IF for two years, and then she lost 20 pounds in six months and was maintaining, and it was only in a few weeks that she probably gained 15 pounds, but it aligns with her being on break. 

Gin Stephens: And the holidays. The holidays also, a lot of people gain weight over the holidays. So, that could be it as well. 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, that could be a huge thing. Your routine changing around, maybe not being as active, and then on top of that, I know she says she's eating the same things. 

Gin Stephens: But if the answer is really your window is exactly the same and your diet hasn't changed at all, then I would dig in because fatigue, bloating, puffiness, constipation, all that shouldn't just come out of nowhere, but that would come along with window creep or eating more over the holidays. It really just depends. I would say, "Ashley, really think about it. Oh, I did have a little window creep or oh, I did eat a lot more because it was the holidays, and I was celebrating, and maybe I didn't think about that." Then all those symptoms would be explained by that. 

Melanie Avalon: Or, did you change medications or start a medication? 

Gin Stephens: Exactly or have an illness. I have a friend I've talked about her before, but it's just a striking example. She had food poisoning and it completely changed her gut for years. She started losing weight like crazy, lost so much. Everybody's probably like, "Oh, I wish I had that problem." You don't want the problem because she was like constant diarrhea, so very sick, and couldn't eat or tolerate any foods at all, was losing so much weight that she was skinnier than her 12-year-old son. It was not good. But because her gut microbiome was so disrupted from that food poisoning, she had to really build back her health. But that lets you know that there's so many factors, she could not eat enough food to not lose weight like crazy. That lets us know that it's not just always in our control. When things are going on behind the scenes, those things are powerful. 

Melanie Avalon: Exactly.

Hi, friends. I'm about to tell you how you can skip a 150,000 people waitlist for Levels and finally get something that we love and talk about on this show all the time, a continuous glucose monitor, also known as a CGM. Wearing a CGM has honestly been one of the most profound bio hacks that I have personally experienced for understanding how I respond to food, what type of diet and fasting work for me, and truly taking charge of my health. For example, I learned that my blood sugar does spike in the morning in the fasted state likely due to natural cortisol rhythms and a bit of coffee. Also, that berberine is very effective for me in lowering my blood sugar during the fast, and also, thankfully, that my blood sugar does not go crazy high after eating pounds and pounds of fruit. A continuous glucose monitor is an easy to apply sensor that you put onto your arm and guess what? It continuously monitors your blood glucose, also known as your blood sugar. With a CGM, you can literally see in almost real time how foods are affecting your blood sugar levels, how your blood sugar levels change during your fast, how exercise affects them, and so much more. CGMs used to only be available to diabetics or if you had a prescription, but now, Levels is changing all of that. Yep, Levels is making CGM accessible to everyone. With Levels, you get a prescription for a CGM and then you sync it with their amazing app, which lets you track your blood sugar over time, see graphs of your data, get your own metabolic score, and see how that changes, log your meals, and so much more. I am obsessed with wearing CGMs. I've been experimenting with them and talking about them on this show for months now. But even if you just wear one once I think you will learn so, so much about your body and about your health.

Here's the thing. Levels has a waitlist of 115,000 people, but no worries. For my audience, you can skip that and get one right now. Just go to levels.link/ifpodcast. That's LEVELS dot LINK slash IFPODCAST to skip that waitlist of 150,000 people. If you'd like to learn all of the science of Levels, you can check out my interview with the founder, Casey Means, that's at melanieavalon.com/levels, and definitely check out my Instagram because I have so many reels about how to put on a CGM, it is painless, and so, so easy to do, I promise. Again, that's levels.link/ifpodcast and I'll put all this information in the show notes. All right, now back to the show. 

Melanie Avalon: Shall we answer one more question? 

Gin Stephens: Yep. We have a question from Scott and the subject is: "Blood glucose spikes." Scott says, "Hi, Gin and Melanie. I just recently subscribed to your podcast and enjoy listening. Just to give you some background, I'm very new to IF. I've been practicing the one meal a day version for about two months, losing 20 pounds. I have about 25 more to go before I met my target weight, but still plan on staying on the one meal. I may start having beer, wine, and dessert with my meal. I walk lately about seven to 10 miles per day, five to seven miles per week." That is a lot of walking, Scott. [laughs] Oh yeah, maybe I wonder if it's his work. I don't know. 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I was wondering if it was concentrated or if it was during what he's doing. 

Gin Stephens: Yeah. So Scott says, "I have normal blood sugars before I started the fasting regimen and currently they are in normal ranges. Now, to my question, I only drink water, black coffee, and calorie free unsweetened soda water during my fasting window. So, I'm also assuming that's unflavored as well, unflavored, unsweetened? 

Melanie Avalon: Well, he talks about it in a little bit. It as essences in it. 

Gin Stephens: Uh-oh. [laughs] Alert, Scott, alert. Okay, so, let's see. He said, "As an experiment, I wanted to track my glucose levels during my fasts. During the one 48-hour fast I did recently, what I've noticed is when I wake up as an example, I'll take my glucose level via finger prick and home testing meter and my glucose level goes up by 10 to 12 points a half hour after the coffee." Very normal, by the way, Scott because coffee makes our liver dump some glycogen, which makes our blood glucose go up still in the good range, though. "In the afternoon between all the tap water, I'll have a can of Perrier, calorie free soda water, strawberry or watermelon essences and the same thing will happen. I'll check my glucose level before and then a half hour later, it is up 10 to 12 points. On a different day, I drank only plain soda water and there was no spike in blood glucose. Am I hurting the gains of fasting with the 10-to-12-point glucose spikes or am I overthinking? I can easily switch to plain soda water." Yes, Scott, I would do that. Switch to plain soda water. But I'm not sure how I can give up coffee. You do not need to give up coffee. "Any insights you have would be greatly appreciated." Then he said, just for your benefit, these are his blood glucose levels. "Wake up 95, after black coffee 107, afternoon after a long walk 78, after Perrier flavored 89. Best regards, Scott."

Melanie Avalon: All right. Scott, thank you so much for your question. Are you overthinking? I think it's a yes and a no and I will tell you why. I don't think it's overthinking at all to monitor our biomarkers. I think it's super amazing that you are taking your blood sugar measurements and trying to figure out what's going on. So, I don't think that's overthinking. I think that's awesome. Where I do think you're overthinking is the conclusions that you might be drawing based on limited data. Limited data, which as well is not concerning. The numbers he's giving us, those are all good in my opinion. 107 is higher but after black coffee that's a really normal response. But waking up 95, after black coffee 107, 78 after your walk, even 89 as a "spike" and the 80s is typically considered very good blood sugar levels. Actually, what I would recommend though in getting more clarity with all of this, I think you're the type of person, Scott, that would really, really benefit from doing a trial with a CGM. If you haven't done one before, it is a sensor that you wear for around two weeks, and it will give you constant data about your blood sugar levels 24/7 during those two weeks and it updates to an app if you get it through a service that provides it and then that app will show you trends and show you how you are reacting to different things. So, today's episode is actually sponsored in part by Levels. I did not plan for this, I promise. Just really perfect. 

They actually do provide access to CGMs because in the past, historically, CGMs required a prescription from a doctor, typically you needed to have diabetes. If you listen to the ad, wherever that ad is in this episode, you can check out the show notes, and there'll be more information about it. But the reason I think this will really benefit you, Scott, is because when you wear a CGM, you realize just how much our blood sugar levels do and can fluctuate, and you realize that just checking it at one moment is like a snapshot. It's like watching a movie scene and just seeing a screenshot of the movie. You don't know what's happening in that movie scene just seeing one screenshot. So, I think that could really, really benefit you. I know Gin has thoughts about soda water, but try CGM. I think you'll get more clarity. Personally, I'm not a doctor, but be concerned with those numbers.

Gin Stephens: Exactly. I will say, Scott, the clean fast is plain water, black coffee, plain tea, plain sparkling water. Avoid the flavored waters because of the cephalic phase insulin response. For example, you drink the strawberry Perrier, and your brain's like, "Ooh, strawberries are coming in." But you're not really having strawberries come in but your brain thinks they are. You kick out some insulin to deal with it. Now, we want to keep our insulin low during the fast because that's where the magic happens is in a low insulin state. We want to tap into our fat stores well and low insulin helps us to do that. Also, after reading, I'm really behind. I haven't read much more of why we get sick by Benjamin Bikman. We want to keep our insulin low and his premise is so much of what's wrong with our health now has to do with insulin resistance and having chronic high levels of insulin. If you think back, the 1970s, the 1950s, the 1920s, keep going back. People drank plain water. There were no water enhancers. We're pretty much living in a state of constant taste stimulation now. So, I think that is a big reason why. Honestly, if everyone in the world changed nothing except their beverages, I'm saying nobody needs to fast, nobody change your diet. The only thing we change in the world is that people only drink plain water, plain sparkling water, black coffee, black tea. I bet we'd see a huge health improvement with just that one change. 

Melanie Avalon: To that point, I'm about to interview Dr. Rick Johnson for his book, and I've talked about it on the show before. But his new book is called Nature Wants Us to Be Fat and he's the one that studies fructose and high fructose corn syrup. He really makes the case that, especially beverages I know, we were talking about non-caloric beverages in this question. But the role of soft drinks in the obesity epidemic, I think is just so huge. 

Gin Stephens: But I think the role in the flavored beverages to the zero calories, even the ones that are not sweetened, but the zero-calorie unsweetened just fruity ones, I think have a role, too. I really do. 

Melanie Avalon: Oh, this was something interesting. Did you know that, well, these aren't normally in those drinks, but sorbitol, the non-caloric sweetener? It actually becomes fructose in our bodies. 

Gin Stephens: That's interesting. I wouldn't think that they might not be in those. Who knows? All those different flavored things, especially the water enhancer drops, Lord knows what's in those. 

Melanie Avalon: Agreed. 

Gin Stephens: They could have sorbitol. I don't know. [laughs] I haven't ever bought any of those lately, obviously, since I've been fasting. I used to buy that kind of stuff. I never drank unflavored anything. I was living in a French Vanilla water enhancer stevia world honestly. I had huge abdominal obesity. My waist was so big, I couldn't touch my toenails, I mean, I could touch them. I couldn't paint my toenails. I could barely reach them. My belly was huge and I never had a big belly. Then, all of a sudden, there it was. Now, my waist measurement is not big. 

Melanie Avalon: I've always been really fascinated by this. They did a poll on people, who had once been obese. I think the option was, would you be obese again, if you--? It was some huge amount of money and most of them said, no. 

Gin Stephens: No, I wouldn't. Mm-mm.

Melanie Avalon: Because that experience was not worth returning to.

Gin Stephens: It didn't feel good. No. I would not trade the way I feel in my body for any amount of money. 

Melanie Avalon: And to clarify, I'm not saying that all about a judgment on obesity. I'm talking about the experience of being an--

Gin Stephens: Oh, I've been obese. I've been there. It didn't feel good. I'm definitely not one to judge because I struggled. I feel most people who were like me, obese, don't feel our best in our bodies. We feel hopeless, and so we give up or well, I'm just going to embrace it, because I was at that point. I was like, "You know what? I'm just going to embrace it. This is who I am. [unintelligible [01:00:42] size, I'm going to feel good in my body. I'm not going to--." But I could tell myself that all day long, but I still did not feel good in my body. When I'm trying to walk up the Mayan ruins, I've told the story a million times, and I hit rock bottom on that trip, because I was so overly fed on that cruise, and I was just miserable, and got home and weighed 210 pounds, and I didn't feel good in my body. But today, I feel great in my body and it's not just because of the size of my jeans, I literally could run up the Mayan ruins and feel fantastic, and then run back down, and then-- My body does what I need it to do. I can get on the floor, I can get up, I can paint my toenails, I can clean my house, and I feel good doing it. So, that's the difference. It's not the, "Oh, there's shame with being overweight." 

There's no shame. Anyone, who is overweight, you get rid of that shame. You're overweight because of our culture, our foods are different, ultra-processed foods. They're designed in a lab to be addictive. We've been told to eat six times a day, it is not your fault. You're not weak. We've been made to think, "Well, you're just overweight because you're weak and you're not good enough to lose the weight." That is not true, either. It's just having really faulty dietary advice. Being fed these ultra-processed foods, and our body responds the way, the way it responds and it's not our fault. We've tried so hard. I would bet anyone who's obese has probably tried harder than people like Chad, who never tried. He didn't have to. He hadn't had to struggle. He's just always been lean. So, anyway that's probably all I have to say on that. 

Melanie Avalon: I agree and just to comment again and not to be on a soapbox, but I believe we should love ourselves at any size, but I think the healthy at any size can be problematic because then people might feel, if they want to change from that experience and try to lose the weight, they might feel like they're not, then they're not accepting themselves. But I think there should be agency in making changes while still loving yourself at any size. I found the link for Scott. If you would like to get a CGM, so, Scott, you can go to levels.link/ifpodcast. That will let you skip their waitlist of 150,000 people and get it today. Sometimes, people tell me that they're still on the waitlist, and if that happened that's probably because you somehow got on their main site and didn't go through our link because our link will let you skip the waitlist. So, levels.link/ifpodcast. So, this has been absolutely wonderful. A few things for listeners before we go. If you'd like to submit your own questions for the show, you can directly email questions@ifpodcast.com or you can go to ifpodcast.com and you can submit questions there. The show notes will be at ifpodcast.com/episode252, and then you can follow us on Instagram. I am @melanieavalon, Gin is @ginstephens. Yeah, anything from you, Gin, before we go?

Gin Stephens: Nope. I think that's it. Looking forward to go into the freezing beach. That's it. That's all I've got going on. 

Melanie Avalon: Oh, my goodness. I hope the cold comes back. I hope it stays forever. 

Gin Stephens: No, it will not stay forever because we have seasons. 

Melanie Avalon: I need to move to somewhere where it does stay cold forever. 

Gin Stephens: Well, that's possible. 

Melanie Avalon: Forever Winters, Taylor Swift says. All right. Well, this has been absolutely wonderful and I will talk to you next week. 

Gin Stephens: All right. Bye. 

Melanie Avalon: Bye. 

Thank you so much for listening to the Intermittent Fasting Podcast. Please remember, everything we discussed on this show does not constitute medical advice. We're not doctors. If you enjoyed the show, please consider writing your review on iTunes. We couldn't do this without our amazing team administration by Sharon Merriman, editing by Podcast Doctors, show notes and artwork by Brianna Joyner, transcripts by SpeechDocs, theme music by Leland Cox. See you next week.


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Theme Music Composed By Leland Cox: LelandCox.com

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