Welcome to Episode 255 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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melanie's sexual assault experience
Listener Q&A: The tazmanian devil - ADF and weight loss
The Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast Episode #135 - Cynthia Thurlow
GREEN CHEF: Go To Greenchef.Com/Ifpodcast130 And Use Code IFPODCAST130 To Get $130 Off Including Free Shipping!
Listener Q&A: Nancy - Why Follow The Circadian Rhythm?
Early Vs Late-Night Eating: Contradictions, Confusions, And Clarity
LEVELS: Skip The 150,000 People Waitlist At Levels.Link/Ifpodcast!
Listener Q&A: Steven - Medications
Melanie Avalon: Welcome to Episode 255 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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Melanie Avalon: Hi, everybody and welcome. This is Episode number 255 of the Intermittent Fasting Podcast. I'm Melanie Avalon and I'm here with Gin Stephens.
Gin Stephens: Hi, everybody.
Melanie Avalon: How are you today, Gin?
Gin Stephens: Doing great, feeling good. How about you?
Melanie Avalon: I am good. I was wondering if I could share something, a story?
Gin Stephens: Absolutely.
Melanie Avalon: Well, I will start by saying just brief disclaimer for people listening. If you have young children listening, maybe skip ahead, look at the show notes and skip ahead just a little bit, because I'm going to share something of a slightly sensitive nature. But it's very important to me. So, yes, that is a disclaimer. On Valentine's Day, which was pretty recently, I got a massage and I actually experienced sexual battery from the massage therapist. The situation was really, really scary and I felt very helpless. Right afterwards, I was just crying, and I was talking to my friends, and they were encouraging me to go to the police, and I was really scared about going to the police, because you don't know if you're overthinking it or if they're going to believe you. It's just a scary thing. But I did. The reason I'm sharing this is because I am so, so happy that I went. I immediately felt very safe. I'm very grateful for that whole situation. Actually, they were able to arrest him that night, which was very wonderful to hear. So, I will have a court date for that.
I just shared that, because since then I've done a lot of research on the whole issue of sexual assault. The stats are just really, really shocking. I think it's something that people just don't really talk about. First of all, I was thinking about it, like, it's one of the only major crimes, where there's often no evidence. If somebody steals something, then something's stolen. So, you know something happened. If somebody kills somebody, which is awful, but you know somebody's dead. So, you know something happened. With this often, there's not any evidence that you can see on the outside. Interestingly, that night, I was actually meeting with the investigator in the investigation room, like you see on TV. He told me in the room, he said, "Just so you know I'm going to go talk to this guy, but it's really, really hard to make arrests in the situation, because normally they'll just say that they didn't mean to or that they don't know what you're talking about. It's really hard to arrest them, because it's just two people's words against each other."
Gin Stephens: That is true. It makes sense that it would be hard to-- Then, I guess, people go through it and they're like, "Well, I probably shouldn't say anything, because we can't prove it." So, people keep it to themselves and really that doesn't help the situation for anybody. But I understand why.
Melanie Avalon: Exactly. It's like--
Gin Stephens: Embarrassing. It feels embarrassing to talk about.
Melanie Avalon: It's a crime that feels shameful in a way, even though you didn't do anything. I just think it's a really big issue. Interestingly, he was able to arrest the man, because he asked him what had happened and he didn't say that he didn't do it, and he didn't say that he didn't know what he was talking about. He just asked for an attorney. He wouldn't say what happened. The detective was able to arrest him. because then he was only going off of my testimony. Again, very grateful for that situation. Yeah, so, I just think people aren't talking about this and I think it's so, so common. I was looking at some statistics and these are from RAINN, R-A-I-N-N, which stands for Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network.
It's most likely that sexual assaults are actually the most prevalent crime in the US, but they're also the most underreported. Every 60 seconds, an American is sexually assaulted, every nine minutes that victim is a child. Meanwhile, only 25 out of every one thousand perpetrators will end up in prison, only 5% of sexual assault reports filed have been proven false, 82% of all juvenile sexual assault victims are female, 90% of adult rape victims are female. In 2019, over 652,676 women were raped and nearly 1 million women were victims of sexual assault. So, I'm very grateful.
First of all, the support from in the Facebook groups, and Instagram, and everything was overwhelming. So, thank you so much, everybody. It was so wonderful. Oh, and so many guests that I've had on my show reached out and sent me messages and emails, and I was honestly overwhelmed with everybody's support. It was a really beautiful thing. So many people said that similar things that happened to them too, but they never said anything.
Gin Stephens: I think that's very, very common. I really do think it is important to speak up. Like we said, even though it's hard and even if it feels shameful, something like that believe it or not happened, where the salon that I used to go to. The guy, it was a male massage therapist. He'd been there for years. Someone reported some inappropriate touching and he was fired. I think it's important that the massage board or I don't know, who does the licensing, what it's actually called. They need to hear all these reports. Even if you can't get the perpetrator arrested, it's important to file it, because I think that once you start having it, if it continues to happen, that person should not be able to be licensed.
Melanie Avalon: Yeah, if it happens once.
Gin Stephens: Again, it is he said, she said kind of a situation. But if it happens, if there's a pattern, I don't really know what the massage board would require as far as proof, as far as when they would take someone's license. Because there could be somebody who-- This may sound awful, no one plays things like this. There could be someone who makes a false report. I'm not saying that people are likely to make a false report, but it is a possibility. But if there're two reports, it's very unlikely that either of them is false. Does that make sense? So, I would never say someone is making a false report, but there is a possibility someone could and so, one report is really too many. But if you investigate it, they should all be investigated.
Melanie Avalon: That's such a good point. Yeah, so even if you could file a report, even if there's not an arrest or a trial or prosecution, if we're all filing when these are happening, those reports will add up. If every time we file, because these people-- It's not just massage, it's all different things.
Gin Stephens: Oh, yeah. Any place that you could be alone with someone or it could happen anytime, but you need to file, definitely file a report, because I really think that there's strength in numbers. I guess, that's all I'm trying to say, strength in numbers.
Melanie Avalon: Yes, exactly.
Gin Stephens: I hesitated to even say that someone could file a false report, because I know that sounds very much like not believing the person.
Melanie Avalon: People do. I'm sure. Like that stat 5%. I don't know how accurate that stat is, but I would guess maybe that sounds reasonable to me. I don't know. But I just think because of the sensitive nature of it, people are just so unlikely to and like I said, I was really scared, too. What happened to me was very, very most definitely qualified. So, it was-- [crosstalk]
Gin Stephens: No question that that was not something that he should have been doing.
Melanie Avalon: Yeah. But even then I was really scared. Then I was scared talking to the investigator because he said, "If we are able to arrest him, then you have to make the decision. Do you want to prosecute, which means do you want to go to trial?" I said, "Yes." So, that's upcoming. Oh, somebody did say a really good comment on one of my posts. They said, if you're questioning, if something happened to you that was inappropriate, it probably was because people don't question things that are normal and appropriate.
Gin Stephens: Even if you can't-- I'm going back to, of course, to the spa situation just because that's where you were and it happened at a spa that I went to as well. You need to absolutely report it to the owner of the spa, also the authorities, the police, the massage board, all of those places just because you don't want that person to be licensed, you don't want the person to be rehired somewhere else, but you definitely want to get them out of where they are working now.
Melanie Avalon: Yes. Something else, I think the thing that convinced me to actually go to the police and the thing that convinced me to say yes about did I want to prosecute was thinking, it's not even about me. It's about stopping this person from doing this to somebody else.
Gin Stephens: Right. 100% That's what I think if any of us have this situation and we feel embarrassed or we're not brave enough to say something, we need to be brave enough, so that we can stop it from happening to somebody else and our voices can be heard together. Because again, he probably has not only done that to you, he's done that to other people. The other people may just be traumatized and never going to get a massage again or never going to have a male massage therapist again versus if they had spoken up, it might have prevented it from happening to you.
Melanie Avalon: Exactly.
Gin Stephens: Even if you think they might not believe you, speak up. Because the more people speak up, the less that the person will be able to say, "Oh, nothing really happened." Because if a lot of people are saying, "where there's smoke, there's fire." There's the saying for a reason. If a lot of people have a similar story, then that person can't keep making excuses.
Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I actually heard what you said. I actually heard that from some other comments people were saying that they didn't say anything, but then later the person was fired or something. I'm on a mission. I actually recorded a PSA for my other show and I'm going to run it on every single episode, because I just want everybody to hear this. It all manifested fine. I went to the police, I feel very good about the situation, but if somebody had told me before all of this, I think I would have felt different during the experience.
Gin Stephens: You might have been empowered at the time. Yeah. I get it, because you're probably thinking, "Is this really happening?"
Melanie Avalon: Yes.
Gin Stephens: "Is this, okay?"
Melanie Avalon: Also, comparing it to the other crimes. The other crimes is just so obvious that something was wrong. But with this--
Gin Stephens: It's subtle, but against the law.
Melanie Avalon: Mm-hmm. It's almost worse because compared to theft, because it's a violation of your body in a space where--
Gin Stephens: You should be safe. We feel like if you're at a doctor's office, or in a place where you're getting massage therapy, or in a dentist's chair.
Melanie Avalon: Yes, yes, exactly.
Gin Stephens: Again, if something feels off, it is off. Really trust your instincts with that. Again, I just want to reiterate when I made the comment that someone could make a false claim.
Melanie Avalon: Oh, but they do, they do.
Gin Stephens: I feel almost like I shouldn't have even said that. But I think that it's important. It's hard to know what the law should be. One claim, you're out, I don't know. I guess, it's the mother of sons. Maybe that's why I'm sensitive to. [giggles] I don't know. I'd have told my children never do anything that we've had this conversation.
Melanie Avalon: I think all claims should be taken seriously. So, I think there should be a trial.
Gin Stephens: And investigation, a thorough investigation. I also feel if you just had other people talk to other people, they're probably-- I get this place where I was and the guy was fired. They started talking to other people and sure enough, it wasn't just one person. There was plenty. It wasn't just one. There were lots, but no one had spoken up. So, one person did, one person spoke up, and then the owner started asking around, and then that wasn't-- There was plenty of like, "Okay, corroborating evidence."
Melanie Avalon: Mm-hmm. Yeah. I was actually a pretty good candidate for having a stronger testimony, because the investigator in the room, he was asking me a lot of intense questions, which he said he was doing, because he had asked but also because he was like, "If this goes to court, this is the way they're going to ask you questions there." The good thing about my experience is, you guys know, I get a lot of massages. This is something I've been doing for a long time. It's not like this was my first massage. I've been going to that location for years. It's not I was just like, "This was my first massage and I was reporting it."
Gin Stephens: Wow. So, will you go back to that location?
Melanie Avalon: No, which makes me sad, because it's the only location by me where they actually have chair massages, which is why I like to go-- This was not a chair massage. That's why I'd always go in there.
Gin Stephens: You could get just a really quick chair massage.
Melanie Avalon: Yeah, really quick. Yeah. Actually, the reason I went with this guy because I actually, normally as a rule always go with women when I do a full body, but I had gone in the week prior and he was new, and he gave me a chair massage, and it was just so fabulous, and I was like, "Okay." I was like, "I'm going to book--." He was like, "You should come do a full body massage." I was like, "Okay, I'll do that for Valentine's, that'll be fun."
Gin Stephens: Yeah, well, I'm glad that you got him out of there. I assume you talk to the people that run the place.
Melanie Avalon: I actually haven't.
Gin Stephens: Oh, I would do that right away or did the investigator tell you not to?
Melanie Avalon: I left right away. I just wanted to get out of there, because I anticipate they're probably going to ask me, why did I not talk to him then or talk to the owners then. Gin, I was so scared and so confused. I just wanted to leave and I didn't want him to think that I was on to him. I just wanted to leave and then deal [laughs] it’s like the freeze response.
Gin Stephens: Maybe check with the police and see if they're going to report it to the owner, because I think the owner needs to know.
Melanie Avalon: That night they had police squad over there.
Gin Stephens: Okay, so, they know.
Melanie Avalon: Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Gin Stephens: Okay. That's what I was trying to get to. Does the police know? It doesn't have to be you, somebody has to let the place know. I want to make sure, because I know the guy knows, then you know, and the police know, but did the place know?
Melanie Avalon: Yeah. Where they talked to him was at the place.
Gin Stephens: Oh, good. Well, that makes me feel better. I also think that one report and you are not touching anybody else till there isn’t a full investigation.
Melanie Avalon: Yes, I agree. I think the fact that he wouldn't say what happened and immediately asked for an attorney is pretty telling. Yeah, they immediately sent police over there and actually, then I went home, and then they call, and it was like 10 o'clock by that time. They like, "Can you come back? The detective's actually still here." Then I came back, and then I did that, and then he went over. So, it all it was all taken care of that night.
Gin Stephens: Well, I'm sorry that it happened, but thank you for speaking up, and you're going to give someone that's listening is going to have the courage to tell what happened in the future, so that just from hearing the story. So, thank you for doing that.
Melanie Avalon: Thank you and I know we're going long, but the last thing is I also really encourage parents, I know it's a really sensitive topic, but I really encourage parents too, in their own time and when they think it's appropriate have these conversations with their children.
Gin Stephens: Oh, 100%. And also, like I just said, as the mother of boys, have conversations with your boys about what is appropriate or not appropriate for them to be doing. Obviously, they can also be victims of abuse, but you also need to make sure they are careful not to be perceived as abusers or that they know what that means, so that they're not making-- I know, there was a thing I went to when the boys were, I guess, middle school age, it was called "Teen Years 101." It was put out by a judge here in town. He had a night for the parents and a night for the kids to go to, and he told us all the ways that your children could get in really bad trouble. You leave and you're panicked like, "Oh, my gosh. Yes. All the things your kids can do wrong, and then they're ruined forever." [laughs]
With Will, he's 22, I'm like, "Never date a girl who's under 18. Never, never, never." Stuff like that just because you got to protect your boys from making mistakes that they don't know are mistakes.
Melanie Avalon: Mm-hmm. I can see how that would happen for sure.
Gin Stephens: Anyway, if they're not 18, do not even go on a date with them [laughs]. Yeah, make her show you her license. I mean, seriously. [laughs] Anyway.
Melanie Avalon: It's all funny, but it is funny.
Gin Stephens: I know. Well, as the mom, we want our kids to be safe and protected, but we also want them to make smart choices and not get in trouble for things that they maybe didn't even know were wrong things.
Melanie Avalon: Yeah. It's such a delicate, complicated topic.
Gin Stephens: If drinking is going on, you need to let them know what is consent. If everyone is drinking, they need to understand those things.
Melanie Avalon: Yeah, exactly. I think we should just approach everything. I don't know with all events. I don't want to say automatically believe. I think there should be a thorough investigation into everything is my point.
Gin Stephens: Yes, I agree with that. Any report should be thoroughly investigated as true.
Melanie Avalon: Yes, I agree.
Gin Stephens: But you do have to investigate. You don't just like, "All right, someone said it. So, you're out."
Melanie Avalon: Yes, exactly. I want to reach out to that RAINN organization and see if I can get their president or something on my show. I want to do a show about it.
Gin Stephens: Oh, yeah. I think that would be great for awareness. 100%.
Melanie Avalon: All right.
Gin Stephens: Well, that was heavy, but thank you for sharing it again, and I hope that everything I was saying comes across with the right intent and spirit.
Melanie Avalon: It 100% did.
Gin Stephens: Because I could see somebody being like, "Well, that was terrible. Why you didn't say that?"
Melanie Avalon: I got your message. So, and I agree with the messaging.
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Melanie Avalon: All right. Shall we jump into lighter topics?
Gin Stephens: Absolutely.
Melanie Avalon: All right. To start things off, we have a question from the Tasmanian Devil is what she want?
Gin Stephens: I love it. Tasmanian Devil, that was one of my favorite cartoon characters.
Melanie Avalon: What is he?
Gin Stephens: He's a Tasmanian Devil.
Melanie Avalon: Oh, that's an animal?
Gin Stephens: Yes.
Melanie Avalon: What do they look like in real life?
Gin Stephens: Not at all like the cartoon character. I think they're cute. I don't know. Maybe they're not cute. I can't remember. I know I've seen it before.
Melanie Avalon: Do they have little tornadoes around them?
Gin Stephens: No, that part is made up. Also, if you drop an anvil on a roadrunner, he's going to die. [laughs]
Melanie Avalon: Wait, if you google Tasmanian Devil, they look really scary.
Gin Stephens: Do they? Okay. I can't remember.
Melanie Avalon: The first three pictures are terrifying.
Gin Stephens: Do you want to know something that's funny. What animal is super scary and you might not even realize it?
Melanie Avalon: Oh, wait, I think I know the answer. There's a few. Oh, can we play this game? Okay.
Gin Stephens: Well, we could. He only looks scared because his teeth are out. He does look scary. Oh, yeah. Okay. When his teeth are out-- The Tasmanian Devil, he looks cute in this picture.
Melanie Avalon: His teeth are often out is the thing.
Gin Stephens: He looks super He does look cranky. This one, his teeth are not out, but he looks cranky. He does look pretty cranky.
Melanie Avalon: He walks around. I get the impression that like you walk up to him and he just like, [laughs]
Gin Stephens: Okay, all right. I'll say why, they're from Tasmania, and they're in New South Wales in Australia. All right, anyway. I saw an animal that usually we think of as super cute, and it was a little bit horrifying, and I was at an aquarium. So, that might help.
Melanie Avalon: In general, or just the one you saw?
Gin Stephens: Just this one. There's one that I saw at an aquarium last week that I would have thought of was--
Melanie Avalon: An otter.
Gin Stephens: No, otters are so cute.
Melanie Avalon: I know. That's why it's going to be mind blown, a dolphin.
Gin Stephens: Oh, no, dolphins are so cute. They have smiles, they're so cute.
Melanie Avalon: Dolphins are so great.
Gin Stephens: They are. They're the kindest animals. Yeah, definitely wasn't a dolphin.
Melanie Avalon: You saw this animal and what happened?
Gin Stephens: It was just so creepy, but I've always thought of them as cute. It is not cute.
Melanie Avalon: Can I have hint? Was it a mammal?
Gin Stephens: No, it is not a mammal.
Melanie Avalon: Was it a fish?
Gin Stephens: No, it wasn't a fish, because fish are vertebrates. It's an invertebrate. Let me put it that way. It's invertebrate.
Melanie Avalon: Was it a reptile?
Gin Stephens: No. Invertebrate. Reptiles are vertebrates. This is my elementary teacher coming back to.
Melanie Avalon: Wait, snakes. Snakes?
Gin Stephens: Snakes are vertebrates. They have vertebrae, I promise. [laughs] They are vertebrate. They have backbones.
Melanie Avalon: I have to google this.
Gin Stephens: Well, you can Google it if you want to. Someone taught elementary science for as many years as I did. I know my vertebrate animals. [laughs] Are you surprised?
Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I'm just surprised that there's not one reptile that's an invertebrate.
Gin Stephens: Reptiles, they would not be a reptile. The reptiles are by definition vertebrates.
Melanie Avalon: You just don't think of a snake as having--
Gin Stephens: I know, you don't. In fact, I remember I was teaching third grade and one of my students said, "Our second-grade teacher told us snakes didn't have bones." I said, "Well, that's really sad in my head" [laughs] and then I said, "Well, that's not true. Let's look it up" and sure enough. But the all the other kids were like, "Yeah, that's what our teacher said." I'm like, "Well, okay."
Melanie Avalon: Was it an octopus?
Gin Stephens: Yes. Have you ever seen an octopus in person?
Melanie Avalon: I don't think so.
Gin Stephens: It was a-freaky.
Melanie Avalon: I've seen a baby octopus.
Gin Stephens: Oh, my God. It was not cute at all. It was giant and instead of his cute little legs swinging around all cute, no, he was all balled up and his little tentacles were all over him. But they were all curled up and he kept rubbing with his tenta-- Oh my gosh, I was like, "I'm not an octopus fan."
Melanie Avalon: I would be so scared. I know, you should never have a pet octopus. But if I did, I would be convinced that I would wake up and it would be on me. Those things are smart. They get out of their cages.
Gin Stephens: Well, it wasn't cute. The seahorses are just adorable. Even the shark, it was like a tunnel you go under and the shark is over you, I didn't care. But the octopus gave me the heebie-jeebies, anyway.
Melanie Avalon: Have you seen some of the videos of them getting out of their enclosures?
Gin Stephens: No.
Melanie Avalon: It's terrifying. They get out.
Gin Stephens: Octopuses?
Melanie Avalon: Yeah, they're brilliant. Brilliant. There're some videos. Did you see the Finding Dory.
Gin Stephens: I didn't. I need to.
Melanie Avalon: Okay. There's an octopus character in that one and he just gets out of everything. In real life, they do that. There're videos of, there's this one where he's in an enclosed container with a screwed-on lid thing. That octopus just gets out.
Gin Stephens: Well, I'm glad I didn't know that. [laughs] I would have been running, running out of there. Anyway, so, all this because of the Tasmanian Devil, yes, they are creepy looking, but they're cute in the cartoon, and it is one of my favorite cartoon characters.
Melanie Avalon: Oh, that's why we're talking about this. Okay.
Gin Stephens: So, let's hear about the Tasmanian Devil's fasting question.
Melanie Avalon: The subject is: "ADF and weight loss." The Tasmanian Devil says, 'Dear Melanie, and Gin, thank you so much for your podcast, books, Facebook groups, and everything else you do. I hope the value you add to others lives leads to similar abundances flowing into your lives and hearts, too." That is so wonderful.
Gin Stephens: That really is.
Melanie Avalon: She says, "I have listened to all your podcasts, but couldn't find the answers to my questions. I finally decided to write you. My main question is about the speed of my weight loss with ADF and I am hoping you can suggest ways to speed it up. I'm a 46-year-old woman, not yet perimenopausal, and I first started IF two years ago. I lost easily with one meal a day and got to my goal weight of 63 kilograms from a starting weight of 75 kilograms very quickly within five short months. On that occasion, I combined it with weightlifting three times per week. I'm 5'5". I developed some ear, nose, throat health issues last year, and relaxed my window, and ate more unhealthy and processed foods. I gained more weight than I had originally wanted to lose and I got to 81 kilograms. I restarted my IF journey with one meal a day for one month, and then quickly moved to ADF, and have been doing true every other day water only fast for the last seven months. I haven't been able to exercise this time due to an ankle injury. I'm only losing one kilogram every three weeks or so. I eat really well on my eating days, mostly Whole Foods, mostly plant based, but some meat as well. I still have at least nine kilograms to lose to get to my goal of 63 kilograms. Although, this time I am a strangely smaller size at a higher weight." I don't think that is strange. I think I know why that's probably happening.
Gin Stephens: Body recomposition in action losing the fat, but maintaining your lean muscle mass. That is exactly why.
Melanie Avalon: Yep. She has a few questions. Maybe we can go through this one by one.
Gin Stephens: All right.
Melanie Avalon: Her first question. She says, "Is IF weight loss slower/harder/less actual scale weight loss, if you have to do it over a second or third time after regaining?
Gin Stephens: Well, I find it interesting that you're saying your weight loss is slow, or hard, or not happening, because here's why. A kilogram every three weeks is actually almost a pound a week and that is really right on target. That sounds perfect to me. It sounds she was doing a one-meal-a-day plan in the past, and was doing weightlifting at the time, and then stops doing intermittent fasting, gained weight, restart intermittent fasting, but now is doing alternate daily fasting, and not exercising, but losing at almost a pound a week. If you're losing a kilogram every three weeks or so, if you have nine kilograms to go, you'll get there in half a year. Just be patient. Again, here's something I want you to keep in mind. Instead of having that goal weight of 63 kilograms, since you've mentioned that you're having body composition, you may find that you get to your goal size, your goal body, and you're higher than 63 kilograms, because you're losing fat so well.
Alternate daily fasting, you're really tapping into your fat stores during those longer fasts that you're doing every other day. Clearly, you're maintaining your muscle mass very well if you're smaller at a higher weight than you had been before. I would say that you are just doing amazingly so great. The next question I can see it right here is, "What can I do to speed it up?" Not a thing. You do not need to speed it up. It is absolutely fantastic. That's what I have to say. What do you think, Melanie?
Melanie Avalon: I will answer the question objectively, just in general. Her experience aside about, "Is IF weight loss slower, harder, less actual scale weight, if you have to do it over a second or third time after regaining?" That is very likely, actually. Just because we know that with regaining and losing, and regaining and losing, and regaining and losing for a lot of people, it does get harder and it could be a few different things going on. I've talked about this at length before on the show. But when I interviewed Joel Greene, he talks about what actually happens to fat cells, when we gain and lose weight from them, and it has to do with their extracellular matrix, which is basically their outer membrane clothing. The more you stretch and expand, and shrink and stretch, it makes it stiffer in a way, and it makes it less likely to actually make changes to the fat cell to be smaller. It can make it harder the more that you go through this process.
Then on top of that, depending on-- this is not speaking specifically to the Tasmanian Devil, but in general, if you're losing and regaining a lot, so not just a small amount fluctuating within normal weight levels, but actually becoming overweight and then losing weight, and then becoming overweight. When fat cells are overfilled, they release inflammatory cytokines. They're in an inflammatory state and that creates cellular damage to the cells, mitochondria, so, how they're generating energy, their willingness to burn fat. The more inflammatory state that you get in by gaining, the harder it can make it to lose. Not that you can't, but can just make it harder.
Then also, there are lots of theories surrounding setpoints, which is possibly governed by the hypothalamus in our brain, and this is hotly debated, but there are theories about the body preferring to be at certain weights. With gaining and losing, and gaining and losing, it might play with that and create a point where your hypothalamus more likely wants to try to maintain a higher weight. So, her aside, this can be a thing. It doesn't mean that you can't lose the weight.
Gin Stephens: Well, I also would think that one of the factors would be why did you gain it and it might be because something's different in your body that caused you to gain it. If there's something going on that caused you to gain weight, maybe you took steroids, or maybe you had an illness, or whatever it could be, maybe you're menopausal. If that caused you to gain weight and you also quit intermittent fasting, then it's also that thing that caused you to gain the weight is also going to make it harder to lose the weight. So, there's just so many factors. It's hard to say yes or no.
Melanie Avalon: Very true, very true. For speeding it up, I know we don't think she needs to speed it up.
Gin Stephens: She's also eating really well.
Melanie Avalon: Yes. In general, as far as speeding it up, I think there are little things you can do that can really add up. She is eating well. I'm always be the one to say that. I think there's a lot of magic though that can't happen with food choices. I talked about this, I think last show, maybe having a few days where you eat the high-protein, low-fat, and low-carb meals. If you're doing such a one-meal-a-day window, like having a few days per week when you do just those foods, that might be a way to really speed up your weight loss. The power of staying active in your fasting window, so, making sure that you're moving. If you are working out, if you do that near the end of your fast when you're really deep into a fat burning state, I think that can be pretty productive.
Gin Stephens: Yep, and she said that she had not been able to exercise because of an ankle injury.
Melanie Avalon: Yeah. When she is able to exercise again. Yeah, I really just look at those two things.
Gin Stephens: All right. You ready for the next question? Go ahead with that one.
Melanie Avalon: She says, "I have not had my period over the last two months. Could I be stressing my body out? I feel great while fasting and have very little hunger. I could extend my fast, but I don't go over 42 hours usually.
Gin Stephens: All right, so, this is a question that it does raise a bit of an alarm that you could be overstressing your body, but I feel that doesn't happen unless you're losing really quickly as well. You're not overexercising, obviously, because you're not exercising right now, and it doesn't sound you're over restricting. I would look and see what has caused you to lose your period. Also, you're 46. I know you said you're not yet perimenopausal, but how do you know that? Because if you've lost your period, that really is what happens when you're perimenopausal. That was exactly when I started having weird period stuff. My cycles got longer. Instead of every, let's say 28 days, it might be 72 days, and then boop, there's another period. That happened for years. I took a bunch of pregnancy tests all throughout my 40s just because things got wacky and I'm like, "Oh, God." Thank goodness, they all were negative, because I was in my 40s. But I have all of my period data from 2012 on because I got an app at that time and I could see how it changed over time. But I think it's pretty much textbook. I went through perimenopause like a textbook way. That actually started prior to intermittent fasting. So, I can't say it was because of intermittent fasting that my period got out of whack. It happened before.
But as I went through the transition, it just continued. I think that's just very, very normal. I would talk to your OB-GYN about that and it could just to be normal perimenopause, even though you don't think you're perimenopausal you might be, or you could have your hormones checked and see, or you could really dig deep. If you are over restricting, you'll know it. You said that you don't usually go over 42 hours, that's good. You're having a significant refeed or eating at least two meals on your up-day. If you have in the back of your mind, "Could I be over restricting and not eating enough?" If you think that might be true, I definitely don't think that about myself. I know, I'm not [giggles] in danger of over restricting, because I know I eat very, very well. But if you have that, "Could I be over restricting?" Then you might be? Think about that. But again, I would feel like, what would happen is you would have some other things going on that would give you a clue that that's what's happening. But definitely talk to your OB-GYN and see what he or she thinks.
And also, if you suspect that you're over restricting, then maybe it's time for you to stop with ADF. Maybe you should go with the daily eating window approach, and have maybe a five-hour eating window, and see what happens. I think that could make a difference if you feel like the ADF is over stressing your body. But we can't tell you yes or no. In general, the research on ADF, it didn't tend to cause that type of an issue or at least they didn't report it. If it did in the literature that I've seen, but also, we are all very much a study of one. It is possible. You could be over restricting, but it's also possible that you're not and it's just typical 46-year-old perimenopause happening.
Melanie Avalon: Perfect. I thank you. I have nothing to add. She says, "Strangely, I sleep like a baby on the fasting day, but can't get to sleep easily on the eating days. Why is this? Shouldn't it be the other way around?"
Gin Stephens: Well, that would be more typical, but again, we're all a study of one. [laughs] I find I have a harder time sleeping if I overdo sugar or alcohol that keeps me very, very restless. Or, if I over restrict. If you feel you're on your eating day that you're in that wired ketosis state, that might mean you're not eating enough on you are up-days. Keep that in mind. You may need a longer, maybe just do 36:12 and see if that helps.
Melanie Avalon: Does she give the times that she's eating?
Gin Stephens: She doesn't. She's just doing a true ADF, but rarely fasting over 42 hours. But if she's doing 42:6, that could be restrictive.
Melanie Avalon: Just to speak to that, too, actually, I think 42 can very easily be restrictive for a lot of people really anything. For some people, they feel a one meal a day is too restrictive.
Gin Stephens: Well, when she says I could extend my fasts, I absolutely would not extend your fast. I would scale them back more than extend. More is not always the answer.
Melanie Avalon: I agree. But as far as the sleeping, the reason I was wondering when she's eating, it could be that you're just eating too close to bed.
Gin Stephens: For your body.
Melanie Avalon: Yeah. If you're especially maybe in this approach, you're eating more than your body was accustomed to historically eating before bed. So, I look at that, I will look at the food choices that you're eating, how digestible are they, are you having digestion issues at all? If you find that you sleep better fasted you might just want to try, again, I don't know when you're eating, but you might want to try not eating as close to bed when you do eat.
Gin Stephens: Yeah, open your window earlier. Breakfast, have breakfast. Breakfast, lunch, and an early dinner and see if that helps.
Melanie Avalon: Yes. She says, "Once I get to my goal would 5:2 be a reasonable maintenance to trial first?"
Gin Stephens: You certainly could. It's all about what you enjoy. Do you want to eat every day or do you want to have down-days? It's up to you, I like to eat every day. For me, I don't want to do any full fasts twice a week, or once a week, or whatever. I don't want to. I want to eat every day. But if you absolutely love having a 36-hour fast followed by an up-day, and you would like to do that twice a week, and then the other days, it can be whatever eating window feels right to you, do it. You are in charge at all times of what feels good. Would that be maintenance for you or would you continue losing weight, or do you need longer windows? You'll only know once you get there and see what feels right. You'll really listen to your body, because I got more hungry when I got to maintenance, I needed more food. So, that's very normal as well to be in slightly longer windows once you get to goal.
Melanie Avalon: Yep, it's really all about the thing that makes you happy with maintenance.
Gin Stephens: Yep. What feels good.
Melanie Avalon: Yeah. She says, "Is lack of exercise stalling my weight loss?"
Gin Stephens: Yeah, that's hard to know. Again, you're losing almost a pound a week and you're seeing body composition, which indicates you're losing fat, but maintaining muscle. Honestly, it sounds really, really good to me. I wouldn't stress about it. As you're feeling better and your ankle is better, if you can start being more active then you'll know the answer to that question. I'm one of those people genetically based on the limited genetic data we have based on the thing when I had my DNA and analyzed, it said, "I am genetically someone who is less likely to lose weight exercising." But some people are more likely. The people who are listening, who are like, "Yeah, I never lose weight unless I'm exercising," that's probably true. For me, I never in my entire life saw a connection between adding an exercise approach and weight loss. That's just me. People might be like, "That's not true." Well, that was true. It seemed true for me. I just got really hungry. [laughs] Whenever I exercised, I ate, it balanced out. My body just balanced it out with an increased appetite. I'm not saying exercise isn't great. I do exercise. We've talked about that before. It's just will it lead to weight loss. That's the question. What if I say to you, "No, exercise does not make me lose weight," that doesn't mean I'm saying, "So, you shouldn't exercise."
Melanie Avalon: By exercise, are you speaking more to cardio, or strength training, or what type of exercise?
Gin Stephens: Well, I never saw any increased weight loss with any of it, personally. But I know some people do some people-- we're all different when it comes to how our bodies respond to that.
Melanie Avalon: Yeah. Again, I don't really do concentrated exercise sessions, but I feel best in my body when I'm moving a lot throughout the day, doing a lot of functional type movement, and wearing my weights, and all that stuff. So, yep. Although, I continue to be very addicted to Emsculpt, so, the muscle stimulation, I've been doing that a lot. I am seeing major, major changes with it.
Gin Stephens: Well, that's fascinating.
Melanie Avalon: It's incredible. I've been doing my arms, glutes, hamstrings, and abs. I'm pretty sure I'm just going to do it for life, because I think it's really, really healthy to build muscle.
Gin Stephens: You're seeing muscle building?
Melanie Avalon: Oh yeah. Fat reduction, muscle building, toning. It's building because I just started doing-- While I'm on my third session on my hamstrings and I'm really feeling the changes there. The arms have been great. It's very exciting.
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Melanie Avalon: Okay, shall we go on to our next question?
Gin Stephens: Yes, we have a question from Nancy and the subject is: "Why follow the circadian rhythm?" She says, "Hi, Melanie and Gin, the information you provide is invaluable. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for teaching us and keeping us informed of the latest and accurate information. My question. Why do we follow the circadian rhythm of 24 hours when fasting i.e. 20:4 or 18:6. I have some health issues and I am wondering if a longer fasting rhythm would give me more of the healing benefits of intermittent fasting. I'm thinking 36:12 or 40:8. Is there research where people have consistently followed a longer cycle such as this?" Nancy. We just talked about that actually. Yes, we did. There is and I just recommended that Tasmanian Devil do 36:12. [laughs] So, Melanie, what do you say to this?
Melanie Avalon: I recently published a blog post and it was actually featured as well in the latest issue of Biohackers Magazine, but it is at melanieavalon.com/eatingtiming. I dive deep, deep, deep into the circadian rhythms of the body. This is just to answer "why do we follow the circadian rhythm of 24 hours when fasting? In general, and I believe the reasoning for that is that longer fasts assign our bodies as human beings and our hormones pretty regularly follow a 24-hour cycle with fluctuating rhythms. That has a lot to do with light. Basically, everybody's body daily is going to go through rhythms of different hormones involved in fat burning, and energy use, and so many processes in the body. That's ghrelin, the hunger hormone, leptin, the satiety hormone, insulin, which is involving if you're storing nutrients, cortisol, a stress hormone, but that can help you release energy stores as well. Adrenaline, norepinephrine, epinephrine, there's so many hormones and those hormones are not on a 36-hour or a 40-hour cycle. They're on a 24-hour cycle.
That would be a reason that, in general, we are adapting our fasting as a lifestyle to fit within that rhythm. That said, there are people who do the other approaches. But as far as like, she has some health issues and is wondering if a longer fasting would give her some of the healing benefits, quite possibly, I'm not sure what the health issues you experiencing are. It's always something that you could play with. Thoughts, Gin?
Gin Stephens: Yeah, I just wanted to reiterate. One reason we talk about things in numbers like 20:4 and 18:6 or 19:5 is just because there're 24 hours in a day. We talk about them because that's how many there are. But when you're fasting, it doesn't have to-- We're fasting over an overnight period. It's part of two different 24-hour periods. Your fast is part of this day and part of that day if I'm explaining that well. It might not add up neatly to 24. I might do, for example, yesterday, Chad and I went out to eat, and I fasted until probably 7 PM. I had a 24-hour fast and then I had an eating window that was probably, we had a leisurely dinner, and then we went somewhere else and had dessert. I probably had a three-hour eating window. I did 24:3. [laughs] You're like, "Wait a minute, it's not possible to do 24:3. How did you do that?" Well, I did 24:3 because I fasted for 24 hours, then I ate for three and that's just how it worked out. Because part of that 24-hour fast was on Friday and the other part or whatever day, yeah, part of it was on Friday, and part of it was on Saturday, and then it just added up to be that. Don't get too caught up in the numbers of making an add up to 24. I just wanted to throw that in there. In a calendar day, it will definitely add up to 24. So, within the day of Saturday, there were only 24 hours in Saturday, but some of the fast was part of Friday's fast and some of it is part of Sunday's fast, if that makes sense.
Melanie Avalon: Yes, and it also to that point and to Nancy's question, it doesn't necessarily have to be either/or it doesn't have to be you're doing within a 24-hour daily thing, or you're doing this 36:12. You could be doing in general like 24-hour cycles and then have the occasional longer fast.
Gin Stephens: Right. That's exactly what we were talking about with Tasmanian Devil as well, where we were talking about 5:2 and I suggested she could do that with two 36:12 for example in a week. That would encompass four of your days. 36:12, then the next day, maybe you had a 19-hour fast and a five-hour eating window, and then you did another 36:12 or something. There's a lot of room for flexibility. But yes, Nancy, it is true that there's lots of research where people have followed a 36:12 cycle. If you have Fast. Feast. Repeat. read the "Alternate Daily Fasting" chapter because I talk about that research. It's a well-researched approach and it's great for certain things. If you are trying to heal insulin resistance, for example, 36:12 is a great way to do that. It really gets your insulin down, because you're fasting for 36 hours. If you have a slowed metabolism from years of dieting 36:12 would be great for that, because 12 hours for your eating day, your up-day. in the research that they did on that alternate daily fasting, they found that participants slightly overate on their up-day. In that 12-hour day you would slightly over eat, but that boosts your metabolism. That's why it's so great if you feel you have metabolic slowing.
Melanie Avalon: Yes.
Gin Stephens: All right, we have one more question from Stephen and the subject is: "medications." Stephen says, "do any pre-workouts, or supplements, or anti-psychotics, or SSRIs, or medication in general break or stop autophagy from taking place if taken during your fasting window?"
Melanie Avalon: All right. Thank you, Stephen for your question. Out of these categories, things like medications, SSRIs, I don't really think that that's something that we should be worried about for autophagy. Autophagy in general, when the body breaks down old proteins, dysfunctional proteins, and gets rid of them, it cleans up shop or repurpose them in the body, it's a good cellular cleansing renewal process in the body. It's actually happening 24/7. It's always happening. It's gets ramped up in certain situations. So, exercise can ramp it up, fasting really ramps it up. Even coffee has been shown to ramp it up. It's not something that I would even think about as a factor and taking your medication. Things like supplements, straight up vitamins, you should really look at the fillers and things that are in them. A lot of fillers are actually made with amino acids as the filler and amino acids are things that would discourage autophagy. Vitamins and stuff shouldn't really affect autophagy, but depending on the ingredients in the supplements it might be a problem. Pre-workouts, so, if your pre workout is coffee, that's probably going to encourage autophagy. But if your pre-workout has sweeteners or often they have amino acids, things like that, that could hinder autophagy. So, yes. Thoughts?
Gin Stephens: Yeah, we don't recommend those pre-workouts out there that they're selling to you, because most of them do have fast breakers in them. You don't need them. They just want to sell you something. Black coffee is a pre-workout that does not break the fast. You can just have your black coffee and that would be great. Medications, never change up your medications without talking to your doctor or pharmacist. So, that's important.
Melanie Avalon: Yes, I feel the autophagy thing, people-- not that they're taking it too far, but they're getting really obsessed with it and we don't have charts of, "This stops autophagy or this." We know that certain compounds increase it. In general, lifestyle things like I said, exercise and fasting increase it, but it's hard to say that this will have this X effect on autophagy. I just don't think we have that research.
Yep, 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 to ifpodcast.com and you can submit questions there. The show notes will be at ifpodcast.com/episode255. Those show notes will have a full transcript as well as links to everything that we talked about. Then you can follow us on Instagram. I am @melanieavalon, Gin is @ginstephens and I think that is all the things. So, anything from you, Gin, before we go?
Gin Stephens: No, I think that was it. Again, thank you for sharing your story. I know it was hard to experience it and to go through it, but sharing your story is going to help someone else be brave to share their story.
Melanie Avalon: Well, thank you and thank you for being so receptive and for the dialogue. That was really wonderful. Yes, well, this has been absolutely wonderful and I will talk to you next week.
Gin Stephens: Awesome. Talk to you then.
Melanie Avalon: Bye.
Gin Stephens: Bye.
Melanie Avalon: 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 a 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.
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
The Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast
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