Welcome to Episode 259 of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast, hosted by Melanie Avalon, author of What When Wine Diet: Lose Weight And Feel Great With Paleo-Style Meals, Intermittent Fasting, And Wine and Gin Stephens, author of Delay, Don't Deny: Living An Intermittent Fasting Lifestyle.
Today's episode of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast is brought to you by:
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Listener Q&A: Marilyn - IF and bariatric surgery
The Intermittent Fasting Revolution: The Science of Optimizing Health and Enhancing Performance (Mark Mattson)
IF Stories Episode 37: Lori LaMantia
The Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast Episode #115 - Valter Longo, Ph.D.
Listener Q&A: Leigh Anne - Cortisol and High blood pressure
IF Stories Episode 61: Gagan Behl
Effect of intermittent fasting and chronotherapy on blood pressure control in hypertensive patients during Ramadan
Blood Pressure Changes in 1610 Subjects With and Without Antihypertensive Medication During Long‐Term Fasting
Effects of Ramadan fasting on anthropometric measures, blood pressure, and lipid profile among hypertensive patients in the Kurdistan region of Iraq
Effects of Intermittent Compared With Continuous Energy Restriction on Blood Pressure Control in Overweight and Obese Patients With Hypertension
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Listener Q&A: Maryka - Eating After A Strenuous Workout?
Melanie Avalon: Welcome to Episode 259 of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast. If you want to burn fat, gain energy, and enhance your health by changing when you eat, not what you eat with no calorie counting, then this show is for you. I'm Melanie Avalon, author of What When Wine: Lose Weight and Feel Great with Paleo-Style Meals, Intermittent Fasting, and Wine. And I'm here with my cohost, Gin Stephens, author of Fast. Feast. Repeat.: The Comprehensive Guide to Delay, Don't Deny Intermittent Fasting. For more on us, check out ifpodcast.com, melanieavalon.com, and ginstephens.com. Please remember, the thoughts and opinions on this podcast do not constitute medical advice or treatment. So, pour yourself a cup of black coffee, a mug of tea, or even a glass of wine, if it's that time, and get ready for The Intermittent Fasting Podcast.
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And 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 259 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: Freezing.
Melanie Avalon: I know. It's amazing.
Gin Stephens: It's not amazing. Anyway, I will say that we just had the time change. We're recording this a few weeks before it comes out. It's my favorite time change. This is the one I like.
Melanie Avalon: Wait, that blows my mind. I know you like earlier, but do you like losing an hour of sleep?
Gin Stephens: I don't lose "lose an hour of sleep." You lose one hour of your life, but to me, I didn't lose any sleep. What happens is, the time I naturally want to go to bed and the time I naturally wake up are more socially acceptable with this version of time. This morning I woke up and instead of looking at the clock and it was 5 AM, and I'm like, "Man, it's too early to get up." I looked at the clock and it was 6 AM and I'm like, "Awesome. Time to get up."
Melanie Avalon: That concept didn't occur to me. There would be a way to not lose sleep.
Gin Stephens: Because I just wake up naturally. I don't ever wake up-- At night, the whole winter time, whatever-- I can never remember, which is daylight savings, which is the other. I always have to look it up, which is standard, which is anyway. But the winter version of it, I'm ready to go to bed at 8:30 at night every single night. But when the time changes, suddenly, that's 9:30 and it's okay to go to bed at 9:30, if you want to, but 8:30 feels crazy. I can no longer adjust. I naturally want to go to bed at the same time year-round, but in the winter, I want to go to bed at 8:30 and I wake up at five. In the summer, it's okay to go to bed at 9:30 and wake up at 6. It's exactly the same. I like what the clock says better.
Melanie Avalon: I think the reason, because this actually, honestly did not occur to me. Because I know there are people that are like you. But the reason I think it didn't occur to me was, there's all those articles out there about how this time change has such a negative effect on people's health. So, I just assumed it was applying. I assumed even people who get up early were losing-- felt like they were losing an hour of sleep, but that's interesting.
Gin Stephens: Yeah, I just wake up naturally. Now, it was different when I had to set an alarm clock and wake up to go to work. I had to set my alarm clock for 5:30 to get up. You can see how that would be different. Today, I naturally woke up at 6 AM, new time. Had I had to set an alarm for 5:30? It would have been 30 minutes before I naturally woke up. But I really very much have-- Just like you get in touch with your hunger and satiety cues, I am very much in touch with my I-need-to-go-to-bed-now [laughs] cues and I wake up naturally. So, it's really hard for me to wake up and it's 5 AM and I'm like, "It's just too early to get up," but I'm awake. But it's okay that it's six. Anyway, this is the one that fits with my natural rhythm better.
Melanie Avalon: I cannot honestly remember the last time I ever went to bed and the reason was because "Oh, I need to go to bed now." It is always me. I've set in place all the programs that make my body fall asleep, but it's never like, "Oh, I need to go to bed."
Gin Stephens: My body tells me every night that I need to go to bed. It's sometimes it's hard, because I'll be like, "I got to go to bed now" and Chad's like, "What? It's Saturday night." I'm like, "I don't care. I don't care what night it is." [laughs]
Melanie Avalon: Yeah, that's my dad.
Gin Stephens: Yeah. But I've really always been like that looking back to college. I would always be the one who's like, "I'm going back to the dorm now or whatever." [laughs] It was just always me.
Melanie Avalon: Wow. I remember last time I said I was going to do a poll in the Facebook group.
Gin Stephens: I do remember that. What was it about? I forgot.
Melanie Avalon: That's a funny thing. Then I sat down, I was like, "I'm going to do the poll" and I was like, "Wait, what was the poll?" [giggles]
Gin Stephens: I do remember. You were going to, but what it was about? No.
Melanie Avalon: At first, I thought it was early versus late night eating. Then I was like, "No, it's not that." Then I thought it was like a one meal a day and I was like, "No, it's not that." But I think I remembered what it was, which was, "how did people's coffee intake changed based on fasting?" I asked my group, "How did starting fasting affect your coffee intake type, amount, etc.?" I added originally seven or eight options and then people added other options, but the most common response, do you want to guess? I'll give you the vibe. The types of options I gave were more coffee before fasting, more coffee after fasting, switching to black coffee, having more coffee in the beginning of fasting, and then last, basically, I just came up with all the different options. What response would you come up with as the most common for people's coffee intake?
Gin Stephens: I bet people would probably say that they drink more coffee now.
Melanie Avalon: Or, also similar amounts as an option, too.
Gin Stephens: I bet they would say, they drink more coffee, now. I'm not sure if that's true, because people-- I just remember walking around my elementary school as a teacher and every single person that I passed had a coffee tumbler in their hand all the time, literally, all the time. People had something in their hand. That was coffee in there. But I bet people said they drink more now.
Melanie Avalon: The number one vote with 186 people was, "I drank similar amounts of coffee before fasting, but switched to black coffee for fasting."
Gin Stephens: Well, okay, that's what I would say is true for me. People don't always say like, they might have a perception that it's different.
Melanie Avalon: Yeah.
Gin Stephens: Well, good. That's what happened for me as well. Similar, it's just black now.
Melanie Avalon: The second one with 92, so half of the amount as the first one was, "I drink more coffee after fasting."
Gin Stephens: Well, that's what I thought more people would pick. I'm not certain that it's true, because like I said, people always like-- This is when I was teaching and the people were not walking around with black coffee. They're walking around with their hot milkshakes. But I would think people might think they're drinking more than they used to.
Melanie Avalon: The next one 57 votes was similar to the first one, but without the black coffee. So, it was, "I drink similar amounts of black coffee before and after fasting," 20 votes, "I went cold turkey and switched to black coffee with fasting." That's a nuanced answer that doesn't really apply.
Gin Stephens: Yeah, it doesn't tell us whether it's more or less.
Melanie Avalon: Yeah. This is one I did. 15 votes, "I drank more coffee in the beginning of fasting, but now drink less coffee than I did before fasting." I think that's what we were talking about last time.
Gin Stephens: Yeah, that's what you said. You did, yeah.
Melanie Avalon: Yeah. Then it drops down, the next one is, "I gradually weaned myself off of cream and sweetener with fasting," which was 11 people. Then it just goes into really random miscellaneous things. But there're a lot of comments to about people talking about their coffee habits. People like discussing their coffee habits and fasting.
Gin Stephens: Oh, trust me, look, I ran those Facebook groups for so long. Coffee, it's like the hot button issue, no pun intended. People are really, really protective of what they think is how they have to have their coffee. I used to be, too. I had a period of mourning and like, "I'm just going to have to drink zero coffee rather than switch to black." But then I realized I enjoy the ritual of-- Right now, I'm drinking hot water, because it's so freezing and it's in the afternoon. But I love my hot coffee, I like the smell of it, I like brewing it. Yeah, I just enjoy coffee. So, black coffee, luckily, I adjusted pretty quickly.
Melanie Avalon: Yep. I was that the vote about. "I gradually weaned myself." I did not go cold turkey. I don't think.
Gin Stephens: After I read The Obesity Code and I understood the cephalic phase insulin response, keep in mind, I'd already lost almost all the weight. I lost the amount of weight I thought I wanted to lose at that point. I was at what I thought was my goal, but didn't understand the cephalic phase insulin response. Then The Obesity Code came out, and I read it, and I'm like, "Oh, gosh, I'm shooting myself in the foot with vanilla creme stevia, and cinnamon, and sometimes, lattes that I'm having and thinking I'm fasting." Once I really believe something is true like that, you have to read The Obesity Code and understanding the role of insulin, it explained why I was so hungry, and it didn't make any sense to wean myself off. I knew I needed to stop.
Melanie Avalon: Totally, make sense and sounds like a lot of people easily switch.
Gin Stephens: And it made a huge difference. I used to white knuckle it to my eating window every day. Because I was so desperate to lose the weight, then I lost 75 pounds, even though, I wasn't fasting clean, so, I didn't know anything about that, yet. [giggles] But it was worth the white knuckling just to finally be at a goal weight, but it was still white knuckling. If I had not figured out the clean fast, would I be sitting here today, seven years later after hitting my initial goal still actually wearing smaller jeans than when I hit my initial goal. By the way, two days from now, as of the date we're recording, this is my anniversary of hitting my goals. Seven years. Yep.
Melanie Avalon: Happy anniversary.
Gin Stephens: I know. This is the first time in my adult life, actually, it's the first time my entire life if you go back to childhood and beyond that I've ever worn the same clothes for seven years in a row. Not had to get bigger clothes. When I was a kid, I was constantly having to get bigger clothes because I was growing like children do. But this is the first time, seven years, I've not ever had to get clothes, because I needed bigger clothes. It is the first time in my entire 52 years of life that I've gone seven years without needing bigger clothes.
Melanie Avalon: I'm just thinking about this now. I guess, I've worn the same clothes since I really switched to a low-carb diet 10 years ago.
Gin Stephens: Yeah, it's pretty amazing, because I was a yo-yoer all those years and it's funny. Now, that I am the same size all the time, it's funny to watch people who have never struggled with their weight and looking at our wardrobes. I used to always have to buy new clothes, because I was a totally different size. Maybe I was gaining weight, maybe I was losing weight. Every time the weather changed, I needed new clothes, because I was a different size than I was the year before. I was constantly needing different clothes, because I was always up or down, up or down. Looking at people who are maybe naturally slim, for example, I think I have several friends, who are naturally slim and they've always been the same size. Sometimes, you look at their outfits and you're like, "Okay, it's time to get rid of that one, time to retire it, because it's out of style." I am finally one of those people, who has to go through my closet and say, "All right, what's out of style and get rid of those clothes?'
Melanie Avalon: My clothes never go out of style, because I basically just wear black dresses and they don't ever really go out of style. So, I'm good.
Gin Stephens: Well, black dresses do change. You're still young. Just wait. They do.
Melanie Avalon: I don't know. Like a classy black dress.
Gin Stephens: I look back at some black dresses I've worn over my 52 years of life, even my adulthood and there are definitely some of them that are not in style anymore. But maybe you're just getting 100% classic ones that will never go out of style.
Melanie Avalon: I always wear the classy black-- the cocktail black dress. I don't like sleeve, so it never has sleeves. There's not much that could be crazy.
Gin Stephens: Fabrics change, and the cuts change, and the hem length changes, things like that do change. Fabric really changes.
Melanie Avalon: I always wear a cocktail length, usually. Unless, the concept of a black cocktail dress goes out of style, I think I'm good.
Gin Stephens: All right, well, that's really unusual. [laughs] There are some clothes that are classic. When I was in Arizona in October, I pulled out a dress that I had from, I don't know 20 years ago, and it was classic. It was a very classic cut. It was a navy-blue dress, very classic cut. But very few things in my closet I think would last like that.
Melanie Avalon: The majority of my closet would.
Gin Stephens: Sometimes, you don't even care. Because for example, once my feet discovered how much they loved Uggs in the wintertime, I'm going to wear those forever because they're just so comfortable.
Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I think that's the way I am. I feel I have my style that's me. So, it doesn't really matter. It's like not a crazy style.
Gin Stephens: I'm for the most part like that, but things like shirts, it's mainly shirts that change.
Melanie Avalon: I don't really wear shirts.
Gin Stephens: I do. Sheri, my friend that records Life Lessons with me, she's so funny. She told the story of-- The first time she came to my house, we were getting ready to go on a cruise. I guess, we're going to go together from my house, but she drove to my house, and I was getting ready to cook dinner, and I said, "I need to change my shirt to cook in," and I took off one blouse, and put on a different blouse. She describes it as a blouse. That's just the way I dress up. [laughs] I changed back as-- whatever blouse I was wearing the sleeves probably were too going to get in the way, so I changed from one blouse to a different blouse, and she laughed, and I just thought that story was funny. I wear jeans pretty much every day. Unless it's summertime and then I'll wear shorts.
Melanie Avalon: I haven't really contemplated this recently about, I don't really wear shirts. I have a lot of shirts, but--
Gin Stephens: You just wear dresses.
Melanie Avalon: Mm-hmm.
Gin Stephens: I basically have stopped wearing dresses, unless it's really a funeral. I just had to go to a funeral last month, and it was cold day, and I did not have a dress that you would want to wear in the cold, cold weather, so I wore pants. But everybody else had on pants. So, I'm like, "Well, okay."
Melanie Avalon: Not to be a sad topic, but a funeral I went to recently, we were actually discussing that how the attire for funerals has changed. It's appropriate. Now, you can wear pants.
Gin Stephens: Everybody had on pants, like, every woman there and the men, too, had on pants. Yeah, at first, I was like, "Gosh, I don't know. I don't know if I've ever worn pants to a funeral," but I didn't have a wintery dress.
Melanie Avalon: I just wore a non-wintry dress with a jacket.
Gin Stephens: All of my non-wintry dresses are clearly summer dresses.
Melanie Avalon: Yeah.
Gin Stephens: The fabric, or the pattern, or whatever. Anyway, good times. [laughs] Not the funeral, but you know what I mean? Talking about clothing. Funeral was not good times.
Melanie Avalon: I could talk about clothing for the entire show. Can I make an announcement?
Gin Stephens: Sure.
Melanie Avalon: I keep talking about how we're making our next AvalonX supplement, which is magnesium, and I finally signed off on the final spec sheet. It is moving forward. I wanted to give listeners more concrete details, because I know I've been a little bit vague about everything. It is eight forms of magnesium. Eight, because there are multiple types of magnesium. One of the special forms in there that I'm really excited about is magnesium three and eight. That's actually the only form of magnesium that can cross the blood brain barrier. Magnesium has a lot of benefits. It's involved in over 300 enzymatic processes in the body. It's really, really crucial for energy production and just so many things that our body does. It's really great for motility and bowel movements, which I love it for. But it's also really great for sleep and stress. If you in particular like that aspect of it, the three and eight, its effects on the brain is very calming. If people are currently taking a magnesium supplement and finding that it helps them wind down or helps them sleep, this should help even more so, then whatever they're currently taking, but it's not going to knock you out. If you take it during the day, it's not it makes you fall asleep. It just has a calming effect on the brain.
Then it has no potentially toxic fillers or anything like that. It just has a tiny bit of organic MCT as the lubricant. It has an activated form as two cofactors to help with the absorption of magnesium, so that's B6 and manganese, and it actually has the activated form of B6, because especially, for people, who have like methylation issues and stuff, you really need that activated form. That activated form is called pyridoxal-5-phosphate. Then, it also has the most absorbable form of manganese, so that's manganese bisglycinate chelate. The capsule is just from natural forms of basically a type of fiber and I actually just got the details about this, because I wanted to know specifically what it was made from. It comes from a tree pulp, and it is in a glass bottle, and it's tested for heavy metals, and mold, and purity, and potency, and it is just friends, it is going to be the best magnesium on the market. We might change the name, but right now, we're calling it AvalonX Magnesium Spectrum. If you would like more information about that, definitely get on my supplement email list that's at melanieavalon.com/avalonx and then you can actually currently buy my serrapeptase, if you don't have it yet at avalonx.us, and that's also the website where the magnesium will be. I'm not exactly sure when we're releasing. I'm hoping April, but we shall see. This episode comes out probably in April.
Gin Stephens: Yeah, it does. It's April 4th. It comes out on my dad's birthday.
Melanie Avalon: Oh, happy birthday to your dad.
Gin Stephens: My dad was born on 4-4-44, which is very easy to remember. [laughs] Isn't that cool?
Melanie Avalon: Yeah.
Gin Stephens: So, happy birthday, dad, when this comes out.
Melanie Avalon: Happy birthday. I will have to send you Gin [giggles] once I have it, a bottle.
Gin Stephens: Oh, please do. I'll try it. If it's better, if I can tell the difference, I will definitely switch. All that research you are doing, I trust it with supplements. We were just having this conversation in my community today about supplements and how you just have to be so careful, because so many things are not regulated very well. You just read Clean(ish) recently, and I talked about this in Clean(ish) about how a lot of supplements, for example, products targeted to men might actually have actual Viagra in there [laughs] you know that coming out of a lab somewhere and that's not what it says it is. You just have to be careful. You just don't know. I am now at the point that literally I only buy supplements if I know the person who runs that company. Isn't that funny?
Melanie Avalon: Oh, that's interesting.
Gin Stephens: If that's true for you, too, they right?
Melanie Avalon: No. I [laughs]
Gin Stephens: It's true for me. I only buy supplements if I have met the person, who runs the company.
Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I basically trust BiOptimizers.
Gin Stephens: I've met Wade face-to-face now.
Melanie Avalon: The only slight caveat with BiOptimizers and this is a reason I wanted to make my own versions of things is, I completely trust them, but they do have some ingredients that I'm just so intense that I wanted to take it one step further.
Gin Stephens: I'm not Melanie intense. I'm perfectly Wade intense. [laughs]
Melanie Avalon: Yeah, in general, I trust BiOptimizers, I trust Pure Encapsulations. I say all of this with the right to change my mind in the future, but Pure Encapsulations and I trust Thorne. The Thorne website has been very helpful for when I was formulating and trying to look at different ingredients. They have a lot of literature on their website about ingredients.
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Melanie Avalon: So, shall we jump into some things for today?
Gin Stephens: Yep, let's get started.
Melanie Avalon: All right. To start things off, we have a question from Marilyn and the subject is: "IF and bariatric surgery." Marilyn says, "Hi, ladies. Love, love, love your podcasts and all that it's taught me about IF. I've been IF-ing for about three months and I've had great success with weight loss about 20 pounds in that time. I'm making my way through the podcast, but I haven't yet heard you address the issue of weight loss surgery with regard to how much someone can eat at one time and how that affects IF. In my experience, I can fast just fine. But because I cannot eat very much at a time, I cannot consume many calories in a shortish eating window. I've experimented with 18:6, I didn't lose much weight. 20:4, I had decent weight loss, and one meal a day, again, decent weight loss, and 42-hour fasts, very good weight loss. Having said all of that my primary goal no longer is weight loss, but autophagy. I'm a 57-year-old postmenopausal woman, whose parents both suffer from neurodegenerative diseases." She says, her dad has Parkinson's and her mom has Alzheimer's. An autophagy is a process believed to be highly protective against neurological degeneration.
The question is, "Is daily IF enough to induce significant benefits of autophagy? Scientific literature that I read indicates autophagy is maximized more in the 36 to 72-hour range. Because of my smaller stomach, I had gastric sleeve surgery May of 2019. I cannot eat more than approximately one cup of food at a time and then it takes a couple of hours before I can eat more. I'm concerned about under eating in the longer fast scenarios and creating more of a calorie restriction situation, rather than attaining the benefits I want from fasting, which is a neurological support. Does that make sense? Whatever insight you can provide would be most appreciated. Keep up the good work and thank you for all that you do."
Gin Stephens: All right, great questions, Marilyn. Thank you for sending them in. The best resource that I know of for what should we do if we want to prevent neurodegenerative diseases is Dr. Mark Mattson. He is currently adjunct professor of neuroscience at Johns Hopkins and he was the Chief of the Laboratory of Neurosciences at the National Institute on Aging. I think he's probably the number one expert in the entire world when it comes to fasting and how it's neuroprotective. Seriously, I think he is. Guess what he does? He has a daily eating window and he's been doing that since the 1980s. He doesn't do 36-to-72-hour fasts. If the number one expert on neuroscience and fasting has a daily eating window, that's pretty good for me to realize that I don't need to think that I have to do more. That's just the way I look at it. You know what? I'll have what he's having, right? [laughs] So, you may want to read his latest book. It came out it and it was his first book. He also has written a lot of journal articles. But his book is called The Intermittent Fasting Revolution: The Science of Optimizing Health and Enhancing Performance. It really reads like a journal article, because that's his background. He's written for medical journals his entire career.
If you really want to dig into the science, that's where I would start that whole. That whole where you talk about autophagy being "maximized between 36 to 72 hours," you just have to think about the source and what they're actually doing. For example, let's talk about a human. A lot of the research on autophagy is not in humans, but let's talk about humans. Let's imagine you're a human, who doesn't fast at all. That person still has autophagy. But we're trying to maximize our autophagy or have increased autophagy. But if someone has no metabolic flexibility, they might need to fast for 36 to 72 hours before they experience increased autophagy. But for us, it's different. If you think about the state of ketosis that we get into when we're fasting, intermittent fasters, who are metabolically flexible, we can get into ketosis every day. Now, someone who is not metabolically flexible, if they just started fasting, they might not get into ketosis for 72 hours or something. I'm just throwing that number out there. So, does that mean that everybody has to fast for 72 hours to get into ketosis? No. What does that have to do with autophagy or ketosis and autophagy the same thing? They are not. But they happen in the same state in the body, when we are in the fasted state and our body is rummaging around to find energy sources.
Our body is rummaging around to find energy sources turning fat into ketones, there's the ketosis, and at the same time, autophagy is upregulated, because our body is like, "Well, we got no protein coming in. Let's recycle some old protein." They happen at the same time. Just think of it as when ketosis is maximized, autophagy is also getting ramped up at the same time. Now, if you enjoy doing 42-hour fasts, then do them. I actually for you, however, because you've mentioned that you have a hard time eating enough because of your gastric sleeve, you may want to do 36-hour fasts instead of 42, and then give yourself 12 hours to eat, where you're eating your small amounts. So, 36:12 might be a better approach to eat for you or even 40:8, where you are fasting for 40 hours, then you have an eight-hour eating window, because you're right. You don't want to under eat on your up day, and you've got that surgically altered stomach that is going to keep you from being able to actually be up. If you have for example, a six-hour window, I cannot imagine you eating enough food in six hours with your small stomach to really truly be considered up like the research on up days. 36:12, possibly 40:8 might be better for you.
Now if you'd like to listen to somebody, who shared their story on Intermittent Fasting Stories, someone who's been through a gastric bypass, Sue Wilsey, Episode 7 of Intermittent Fasting Stories is one to listen to. She talks about her struggles just like you're saying. You can't sit down and eat a giant meal. But Melanie and I, we were volume eaters, but you can't do that, because your body physically won't let you do that anymore. See about that, listen to that episode, and think about how you can make sure. If you're doing the longer fasts, make sure your up day is up enough. If you really want to make yourself feel competent that you don't have to do the longer fasts to experience neurological benefits, check out Dr. Mark Mattson's book, The Intermittent Fasting Revolution, because like I said, he is probably the premier expert on neurological diseases, neurodegenerative diseases, and how fast you can be beneficial for those, and he eats every day.
Melanie Avalon: Awesome. You had a lot of amazing thoughts and I agree with most of it. I have a slightly different idea about one of the things. Yes, one thing that is important to point out and Gin touched on this, but it's the concept, and she didn't really talk about this in her question, but just to dismantle an idea that's out there. Autophagy is not on or off. It's more like a dimmer switch. I think people often think that it's either on or it's off. But it's actually we have some autophagy going 24/7 all the time. It just gets ramped up substantially with things like fasting, exercise, even coffee. Oh, she did say something about that. She said-- Oh, that the significant effects are-- Oh, that it's maximized in the 36-to-72-hour range, which is likely the case that the longer you fast, the autophagy will be substantially ramped up. My initial thought was, I was actually thinking, Marilyn might like to do something like a fasting mimicking diet a few times a year, which is what Valter Longo, he's a researcher at USC and the Gerontology school there, I believe. He's done a lot of work and research on a five-day fasting mimicking type diet and the effects on autophagy. He has ProLon, which is a commercial version that you can buy and just do it. Some people do their own DIY versions of it, but it's basically a super, super low-calorie diet with very specific macros and very specific nutrients that stimulates a lot of the fasting epigenetic processes without actually being completely fasted. But you do get the ketones, and the autophagy, and they've seen a lot of effects on the immune system, basically, regenerating, which is pretty cool.
That's something that you could play with, especially, since you're used to those smaller meals, some people with the fasting mimicking diet, especially, if they're coming from an intermittent fasting approach like I do, where they're eating really large meals, they're just miserable doing a fasting mimicking diet, because you're eating these really small meals. But if that's something you're used to and if you're used to longer fasts, that might actually be something that would be a cool thing to try. Then I do like a lot, what Gin said about the 36-hour fast, if it is something that you like. Then I guess, the question I have is and it sounds maybe, I mean, you didn't say this, but the fact that you've experimented so much with these different fasts, although, I wonder do you think these fasts she experimented with, do you think that was before or after her surgery?
Gin Stephens: Well, the surgery was in 2019. So, I would have a feeling-- She says, she has been doing IF for three months.
Melanie Avalon: Oh, okay. You're right. Oh, sorry. Yeah, wow. Yes, that would be the answer. Gin figured it out. The fact that you've experimented with these and you didn't mention, the thing I'd be worried about is that you do these longer fasts, and then you have this, not that it's binging, but you have this intense need to eat a lot, because some people do experience that. But you didn't mention that being a problem. It sounds like you are able to do the longer fasts and then just jump into a longer eating window. If that is working for you, I think it's a great thing to continue doing. But I do really like what Gin said about how Mark Mattson. How he does the daily eating window and loves that for the neurological protective effects. I will do a plug. I would actually really, really suggest supplementing with serrapeptase, if you haven't. It is not autophagy. But what autophagy does in part is, it's breaking down old and problematic proteins in our body and recycling them. Actually, that's what serrapeptase does. It actually goes in and breaks down problematic proteins. I think it can really, really enhance that process. There are actually been studies on serrapeptase and it rivals the leading therapeutic used for breaking down amyloid plaque. It actually can do that as well, both in vitro and in vivo in animal studies. What that means is, putting serrapeptase directly on amyloid plaque breaks it down, but also when rodents are given-- I think it was it was definitely animal studies. I think it was rodents. When rodents are given serrapeptase, that breaks down the amyloid plaque in their brain. I would definitely suggest fasting and supplementing it with serrapeptase. So, you get my AvalonX serrapeptase at avalonx.us. But yeah, those are my thoughts on all of that. Any other thoughts, Gin?
Gin Stephens: Nope, I think that's it.
Melanie Avalon: Okey-dokey. Shall we go on to our next question?
Gin Stephens: Yes. We have a question from Leanne. She says, "Hi, I am a huge fan of your podcast and have read Delay, Don't Deny and What When Wine. I am a fasting disciple and always recommend your books as well as those from Dr. Jason Fung. I am an avid listener to your Intermittent Fasting Podcast and have fasted clean since January 2019. I am 45 years old. So, losing weight has not been easy in the last five years. However, right away, I saw the benefits. I went quickly into one meal a day, because it just felt right since I hate to diet. I did eat whatever I wanted and lost 10 pounds within six months. I could see the muscle mass increase. Since February of 2020 however, I have had weight gain. I decided to start eating more healthy to try and lose the weight. I had many stressors in my life, a move, building a house, decrease of income due to cutbacks in company due to COVID, and my daughter graduated from high school. I have had many symptoms that point to high cortisol.
After listening to Episode 61, I'm very interested in trying and--" It's a doctor that I interviewed for Intermittent Fasting Stories. Yeah. She said, "I couldn't find on your website, his number and I believe I need to have my levels checked. I have been to several doctors and I'm currently on blood pressure meds. The doctors are only treating symptoms, high blood pressure, anxiety, insomnia, weight gain, low libido. I have noticed that I continue to not get hungry at my window, which is usually three or four, but my blood pressure is going higher, the longer I wait to eat. This makes me so sad, because I know it is the key to all my health problems. My question, can fasting make blood pressure increase if one has high cortisol levels? Thank you for your wisdom and insight. This lifestyle has truly changed my life. You're both a blessing from God. May He continue to bless each of you." All right. This is an old question. It's from June of 2020. Yeah, there's a lot of COVID stress different in June of 2020 versus today. Can I real quick before you answer it, Melanie, talk about the doctor that I interviewed for Intermittent Fasting Stories.
Melanie Avalon: Yeah, that'd be great.
Gin Stephens: When I had that interview, he is fantastic, by the way. I worked with him, and Chad worked with him, and he checked our levels. It was great. But for some reason, everybody's like, "Oh, let's all-- we have to call go to that doctor. He's the only doctor we could go to." No, [giggles] I'm not going to share his number or I noticed I haven't even said his name. Because I don't want everyone to think that-- He was about to retire last time I talked to him, he was getting ready to retire, turning his practice over to some of the younger doctors in the practice. It's really important to find somebody who's close to you. Telemedicine is amazing and we can-- we can talk to people all over the place that way. But I really think the best thing to do is to find people close to you and I'm not comfortable endorsing one doctor, okay? Because here's what happened. People are like, "Well, I've heard you talk to him on the podcast, so, I'm going to call him," and then they like, "Maybe they didn't like what he said." Then they're calling me or emailing me, and they're like, "Well, I talked to him and I didn't like what he said." I'm not going to endorse the doctor and say, "This is the doctor, you should go to."
Me, interviewing one should never be taken as an endorsement of that's the doctor everyone should go to. He is a very great guy and he's done amazing work with people. He uses fasting in his practice. But I want you to find somebody close to you that you can go see. I know, that's easier said than done, but that's the best I can do. I don't want to endorse any one doctor and let everyone think like, "Here's the doctor that is magically going to solve everybody's problems" and that's all I can say about that. [giggles] Does that make sense, Melanie?
Melanie Avalon: Yes, 100%.
Gin Stephens: I do understand Leanne, your frustration with doctors only treating symptoms, because we know, it's better to treat the root cause than just treating the symptoms. So, I get it. It's tricky till you can find somebody that really works with you the way that you need the doctor to work with you. A lot of this does sound like stress.
Melanie Avalon: Yeah, it definitely does.
Gin Stephens: I actually wrote a blog post about it in the spring of 2020 and it was about the pandemic, and stress, and how we were all under different kinds of stress than we'd ever really been under before. Even if you weren't moving, building a house, and having your income cut back, just the whole COVID was just a crazy stress for all of us and not knowing what was happening.
Melanie Avalon: This question, if it wasn't posited in the context of cortisol and stress, I think the answer might be a little bit different than if the question was just fasting affecting blood pressure, if that makes sense. Because I did a lot of research on the effects of fasting on blood pressure. But then the caveat about all of that is the studies I'm looking at, we're looking at it really in the terms of a psychological stress. I don't know if in a stressful situation with a blood pressure context. Maybe it is that fasting can raise blood pressure, because of that psychological context of cortisol. I'll talk briefly about just blood pressure and fasting in general. There's not a ton of studies, but there are some. These are all actually fairly recent studies. I read one study, a 2021 study and it was called effects of intermittent fasting and chronotherapy on blood pressure control and hypertensive patients during Ramadan. What's interesting is, in that study, they say that studies on the effects of fasting on blood pressure and heart rate of hypertensive patients are rare and have provided inconclusive results. That said, all of the ones I pulled up that were recent were all favorable for fasting effect on blood pressure. But apparently, there are ones that are inconclusive. That 2021 study, they found that, there was no significant changes in systolic and diastolic blood pressure, as well as heart rate during the two periods. In their study, they found no effect on fasting and blood pressure.
The other recent ones I looked at, there was blood pressure changes in 1,610 subjects with and without anti-hypertensive medication during long-term fasting. That was a 2020 study. They found that long-term fasting tends to decrease blood pressure in subjects with elevated blood pressure values and that the effect persisted during a four days of food reintroduction, even when the subjects stopped their hypertensive medication. A 2020 study called the effects of Ramadan fasting on anthropometric measures, blood pressure, and lipid profile among hypertensive patients found that Ramadan fasting could contribute to the improvement of blood pressure and also lower triglycerides, body weight, BMI, and WC of adult hypertensive patients. Then, I found a 2022 study effects of intermittent compared with continuous energy restriction on blood pressure control in overweight and obese patients with hypertension. It found that intermittent energy restriction is an effective alternative diet strategy for weight loss and blood pressure control, and is comparable to continuous energy restriction. Basically, calorie restriction in overweight and obese patients with hypertension. That's a really quick overview of a lot of recent studies, but all the studies I saw looking at blood pressure control and fasting tended to find a favorable effect on blood pressure.
All of that said, and this is how I started it, and this is going off of what Gin said, I don't know the psychological effect of the cortisol. The fact that Leanne is seeing that the longer she fasts, at least at the time that she sent in the question that her blood pressure was going up, then that's what's happening. I would suggest that she work with her doctor and find the approach that doesn't have that effect. It might be that she's looking at the fasting, but she might be able to address the cortisol aspect of it without necessarily having to change the fasting so much. There are a lot of lifestyle practices that you could implement to work on stress levels, so many things. Working on your light exposure, focusing on your sleep, things like meditation, gratitude, even things like CBD and supplements that might have a beneficial effect, breathing exercises, cryotherapy, there're so many things you could do to try to work on your cortisol levels. Maybe the solution would be to ease off of the fasting a little bit and also really work on your other lifestyle habits that might be contributing to your cortisol and seeing if there's a way to address all of it that way. Do you have thoughts, Gin?
Gin Stephens: Well, I think, you said some great things there. Stress, it has such an impact on so many things in our bodies. The period of time when she wrote those, June of 2020 was a very stressful period of time. I would love to have a follow up, Leanne, and we could probably pop it to the top [laughs] of the queue. I would bet if we would like to hear what actually happened, because it's been over a year since we heard from her.
Melanie Avalon: She also, it wasn't and not even just COVID. She said she moved, built a house. daughter graduated from high school. She had a lot. So, definitely report back. Yes, like Gin said, we can bump it up, because I am very, very curious. I will say for listeners, the show notes at ifpodcast.com/episode259 have a complete transcript as well as links to everything. So, we'll put links to all of those studies there.
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Melanie Avalon: So, we have a question from Marika. Is that how you would say it?
Gin Stephens: I don't know. Marika, maybe?
Melanie Avalon: Marika?
Gin Stephens: Or, maybe it's Mary Kay.
Melanie Avalon: Marika.
Gin Stephens: Mary Kay. It's a beautiful spelling. I just don't know how to say it.
Melanie Avalon: Yes. [giggles] The subject is: "eating after a strenuous workout," and Marika, Mary Ca, Mary Kay says, "Hi, Gin and Melanie. It's so exciting to be writing to you finally. I love your show, and the information, and the dialogue between you two. Sometimes, I laugh out loud while I am listening to you on my walks. Here's a little bit about me. I'm a 26-year-old mom of a six-year-old and one and a half year old twins." She says, "to lose weight from my first, I consistently counted calories and did IF. I have come back to and I've been doing IF since I stopped nursing my twins at nine months old. I was 190 pounds in April 2021 and I am now, 155, thanks to IF. I generally aim for 17:7 although, it varies. I do clean fast and I feel amazing when I do. I'd like to lose 20 to 25 more pounds. Here's my question. Do you have to eat after a strenuous workout? I recently started a kickboxing class and my classes later. I try to go two to three times a week. I rush home, and put the kids to bed, and by the time I'm done, it's 8:30 or 9:00. Then I eat after that a wrap with chicken, Greek yogurt parfait, or protein smoothie. I feel better once I've eaten, but the next morning I always feel bloated and hungry. Generally, I feel best if I stopped eating by about 6 PM, then again, the next day around lunchtime. But on kickboxing nights, I feel I have to eat at least protein. What would you recommend for me, continue this way and extend my fast the day after to keep consistency in my fasting links? Why do I always feel hungrier the next day if I've eaten closer to bed? Even on non-workout evenings, it's the same if I eat too close to bed. I would love your input on the risks of not eating after a workout."
Gin Stephens: All right, I don't think there's any risks for not eating after a workout. There we go. Thank you for the question. The risks would be, we've talked about this before. You need to get sufficient protein within the 24-hour period surrounding your workout, but it doesn't have to be immediate. Also, remember, when we're fasting clean, we have increased autophagy. Some of our protein needs are being met from within our own bodies, because we're better able to recycle and upcycle the proteins that our bodies are breaking down. So, keep that in mind. We tend to think that all of our needs need to come from external sources, when some of them are coming from internal sources. I'm trying to figure out, if you're doing 17:7, it sounds you're not working out in the fasted state. You eat earlier in the day, then you go to kickboxing, and then you think you have to eat again, just because you've done the workout. I'm going to release you from that. You do not have to eat at 8:30 or 9 o'clock after kickboxing. You can just go to bed, you don't like to eat that late. Your body is telling you, you don't need to do that. So, don't do it. Just eat at your normal time before you go, like, you're already doing. Go do your kickboxing, come home, go to bed, wake up the next day, feel great. Maybe the next day, you'll want to have a little increased protein during your eating window. But it doesn't have to be bam immediately after working out. That's just a myth.
As far as why are we so much hungrier if we eat late, for me I really like to think of it as you're just not as deep in the fasted state the next day. Your body's like, "All right, feed me." It's the way if I eat lunch, I can't just do one meal a day that day, because I always get hungry eight, nine hours later. I have to eat again, before I go to bed. Same kind of a thing. If you just eat and then go to bed, you're not fully getting into that fasted state. You wake up and you're like, "Right now, I'm hungry, again." That's right when your body's ready to eat. Then you have to get to the fasted state, at least that's what it feels like to me. You're just not getting there yet. But if you eat a few hours before bed, then you go to bed, you're already a few hours into the fasting time. When you wake up, you're probably deep enough into the fast that you're feeling like you can just keep going. That would be my hunch.
Melanie Avalon: We had a question about this recently about that concept and why are they hungrier the next day when they eat later. I agree that I think that's probably often the case. Yeah, so, it sounds when she's not kickboxing, she's eating between 12 to six-ish. Yeah, so, if you're not in the fasted state anyways with the kickboxing, I would try front loading the protein, because it sounds what's happening is, she gets back and-- Because she says that she feels the need to eat. I feel it's because she actually feels hungry for the protein compared to she just feels she needs to based on what society says. But it sounds it's more that she feels like she's hungry.
Gin Stephens: The way she said it, she said, "On kickboxing nights, I feel I have to eat at least protein." I feel the way that she worded it later when she said, what are the risks of not eating, she instead of feeling physically she has to eat, I think she mentally feels like she has to eat. That's the way I interpreted it. I could be wrong.
Melanie Avalon: The reason I interpret it differently was earlier, she says, "I feel better once I've eaten."
Gin Stephens: Yeah, it's hard to know.
Melanie Avalon: Yeah. It's a subtle nuance that could go either way. I actually think it's important for my answer, because if it's completely mental, if it's completely just you think you need to be eating protein and that's why you're doing it, and you feel better psychologically, because you ate your protein, I would just not worry about that [giggles] like Gin said. See how you feel not eating it. If it is a little bit or all that you actually are craving that protein and you feel physically better after eating the protein, I would not encourage you not to eat the protein, actually.
Gin Stephens: I would have it earlier in the day. Have more protein before she works out and then her body would have that protein, then.
Melanie Avalon: Yeah. So, that's what I would suggest. I would suggest trying that and seeing if that solves that problem of craving the protein, it very well might. If it doesn't and you still feel this need to have the protein, and again, it's hard to know exactly what you're experiencing. But I would probably work on finding the minimal effective amount of protein that you can eat that it doesn't make you feel bloated. She says, she's trying a wrap with chicken, Greek yogurt parfait or protein smoothie.
Gin Stephens: I can't imagine just a protein smoothie making you feel bloated the next day. I could see how it might make you feel hungry.
Melanie Avalon: I would maybe try something like, I mean, this might sound crazy, but just a plain chicken breast without all the other stuff, and seeing if that gives you that satiety, and that good feeling from the protein post-workout, and then not having the bloating issue the next morning. Oh, and then I also wanted to address, I wouldn't stress about extending your fast the next day for the consistency in the fasting links. I wouldn't really stress about that. I would just go back to you know what you do normally that feels well. I wouldn't change it in your head mentally to make up for having a longer eating window the day before. But if you naturally want to fast longer, I would just say go for it. I would just let it happen naturally. I don't have really one answer. I think it's going to require some experimentation to figure out what is the best solution.
Gin Stephens: Absolutely, yeah.
Melanie Avalon: But I think we can definitely-- if anything, we can help you with the psychological concerns about needing to have protein right away.
Gin Stephens: Right. Yeah, at least you can say, "No, there aren't any risks. There are no risks."
Melanie Avalon: She's trying to lose weight. So, it doesn't sound she's trying to be a bodybuilder and build muscle. If you were like a competition bodybuilder or something like that, I do think that actually has a different set of rules, as far as-- It's really intense with the exact methods to follow with eating protein to get the maximum muscle protein synthesis and things like that. I'm not talking to the bodybuilding people here. I'm just talking to people, who want to work out, and support their muscle during that, and then the timing. So, just is my caveat.
Gin Stephens: Yeah, that sounds good.
Melanie Avalon: Well, this has been absolutely wonderful. So, a few things for listeners before we go. If you would like to submit your own questions for the show, you can directly email firstname.lastname@example.org or you can go to ifpodcast.com and you can submit questions there. The show notes will be at ifpodcast.com/episode259. All the stuff that we like will be at ifpodcast.com/stuffwelike and you can follow us on Instagram. I am @melanieavalon, and Gin's @ginstephens. And I think that is all the things. All right. So, anything from you, Gin, before we go?
Gin Stephens: Nope. I'll just talk to you next week.
Melanie Avalon: Okey-dokey. 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 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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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
More on Melanie: MelanieAvalon.com
More on Gin: GinStephens.com
Theme Music Composed By Leland Cox: LelandCox.com
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