Welcome to Episode 263 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 Avalon: Welcome to Episode 263 of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast. If you want to burn fat, gain energy, and enhance your health by changing when you eat, not what you eat with no calorie counting, then this show is for you. I'm Melanie Avalon, author of What When Wine: Lose Weight and Feel Great with Paleo-Style Meals, Intermittent Fasting, and Wine. And I'm here with my cohost, Gin Stephens, author of Fast. Feast. Repeat.: The Comprehensive Guide to Delay, Don't Deny Intermittent Fasting. For more on us, check out ifpodcast.com, melanieavalon.com, and ginstephens.com. Please remember, the thoughts and opinions on this podcast do not constitute medical advice or treatment. So, pour yourself a cup of black coffee, a mug of tea, or even a glass of wine, if it's that time, and get ready for The Intermittent Fasting Podcast.
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And one more thing before you jump in. Are you fasting clean inside and out? Did you know that one of our largest exposures to toxic compounds, including endocrine disrupters, which mess with our hormones, obesogens, which literally cause our body to store and gain weight, as well as carcinogens linked to cancer is actually through our skincare? Europe has banned thousands of these compounds for being toxic, and the US has only banned around 10. It's honestly shocking. When you're putting on your conventional skincare makeup, you're likely putting toxic compounds directly into your body. These compounds can make you feel bad, can make it really hard to lose weight, can affect your hormones, your mood, your health. And ladies, if you're thinking of having kids, when you have a child, these compounds actually go directly through the placenta into the newborn. That means your skincare makeup that you're putting on today actually affects the health of future generations.
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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 263 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: Well, this is an exciting date. If you think about it, this podcast that's coming out today, the day it's coming out is May 2nd of 22. Our very first podcast came out in the beginning of May in 2017. So, we've crossed the five-year mark.
Melanie Avalon: Do we ever figure out what day it was, exactly?
Gin Stephens: It was the very first Monday of May, whatever that was.
Melanie Avalon: Of 2017?
Gin Stephens: Yeah. So, if we go back--
Melanie Avalon: Can you Google, like, a specific day, like, first?
Gin Stephens: I have my calendar right here. [laughs] I'll just look it down. If I go back, yeah, May 1st. It was May 1st. We have crossed the five-year mark. I think that's pretty remarkable. I also see that May 1st of 2017 was a Jeans Day at my elementary school. So, that was very exciting. I had it recorded in my calendar. We got through Jeans Days. Oh, Lordy.
Melanie Avalon: I was actually thinking about that, because how long were you a teacher before you weren't a teacher when we were recording?
Gin Stephens: Well, I retired in 2018. So, I taught for one more full year after we started the podcast. One more full year.
Melanie Avalon: Because what I was thinking about was, I don't really remember that experience of recording with you while you were teaching still.
Gin Stephens: Yeah, it was a lot, because I taught five days a week and I also taught Gifted Endorsement classes after school on Monday and Tuesday. I was working so hard. I was working constantly. We recorded on Sundays, because that was really the only time I could do it.
Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I definitely remember when you switch to not being a teacher. Not like an identity crisis, but you were like-- You have such a different experience of your life.
Gin Stephens: Well, it was huge, because I thought about it. I was in school or teaching school from the time I started kindergarten until I retired in 2018. There was never a time of my life that I was not on a school schedule, even in college, of course that schedule is slightly different, but you're still on a school schedule. But then it was after I retired, the spring of 2018, it was May was when the school year ended and that was when I could start Intermittent Fasting Stories, because I didn't have time to record with people. I barely had time to record with you. But we have crossed the five-year mark. So, that just feels something we should celebrate.
Melanie Avalon: It's so weird for me to think about with me, because I was working the serving job and everything. It was just such a completely different experience of life back then.
Gin Stephens: Things were very, very different. I very much had to live my life around being at work at 7:45, [laughs] five days a week. I still think like a teacher. Right now, we're recording this. It's Master's week in Augusta. All the teachers have had the last week off, they're going back to work next week, and I still think about that, and I'm so grateful to have-- To be self-employed is such a different kind of thing. Yeah, thank you for all the teaching me how to podcast.
Melanie Avalon: Thank you for podcasting with me for five years. Oh, my goodness, that's crazy. Half a decade.
Gin Stephens: And we didn't have an ad for the whole-- When did we get our first ad?
Melanie Avalon: The first few years of the show was when I was moving a lot.
Gin Stephens: You sure were? You were moving a lot.
Melanie Avalon: I was moving, and had my serving job, and then the podcast. Basically, I remember myself as serving and where was I living. So, I remember that first ad we booked, I was in an LA, I think. It would have been 2018.
Gin Stephens: Yeah, I don't think we had an ad till 2018.
Melanie Avalon: I was so excited.
Gin Stephens: It really was. [laughs] I was at a conference this week. It was a virtual conference this weekend and someone was talking about starting a podcast. It was the guy, he has an entrepreneur podcast and he has it seven days a week. He's like, "I recommend you to have seven episodes a week." I'm like, "Oh, Lord have mercy. No."
Melanie Avalon: Wait, sorry. That just happened?
Gin Stephens: Yeah, it was yesterday, I was at this virtual conference and then someone in the chat-- because it was on the Zoom. Someone in the chat was like, "How profitable is a podcast?" I'm like, "Well, give yourself a year to make zero, at least." People don't want to hear that. You have to really put in the time.
Melanie Avalon: Yeah, definitely. Ooh. Well, happy half a decade anniversary.
Gin Stephens: The day that this comes out, we will have just crossed it.
Melanie Avalon: Wow. I wonder how many listeners have listened to every single episode.
Gin Stephens: Now, that would be interesting.
Melanie Avalon: Since the beginning.
Gin Stephens: Well, I don't know. I don't even remember how many listeners we had back then.
Melanie Avalon: I don't either.
Gin Stephens: I don't know.
Melanie Avalon: I do think it went up pretty fast.
Gin Stephens: Yeah.
Melanie Avalon: A lot of people started listening.
Gin Stephens: And that was the genius of how we named it. That was the smartest thing we ever did was name it, Intermittent Fasting Podcast.
Melanie Avalon: We had a lot of pun names.
Gin Stephens: Yeah, little cutesy names that we were throwing around and I'm like, "Wait, I don't know about any of these." We're like, "Let's just do Intermittent Fasting Podcast," and that really has helped people find it. Especially, now, anybody who's thinking about starting a podcast, there are so many podcasts.
Melanie Avalon: I know. It's a bit overwhelming.
Gin Stephens: Yeah. And so many that are great.
Melanie Avalon: I know.
Gin Stephens: But think about this. How many podcasts, besides the guy who had put out seven a week, because Lord have mercy like I said. But how many podcasts never take a break, never replay, never have a hiatus? We put out an episode every single week for five years, now.
Melanie Avalon: I was thinking about that, too, this week, actually. I was thinking about how we've never-- Because a lot of shows will air an old episode.
Gin Stephens: Like a filler.
Melanie Avalon: Mm-hmm. I was thinking how we haven't done that and I was thinking like, "Would I ever do that in any situation?" I know recently, this week on Peter Attia show, he aired an episode with a woman, who is pretty big in the low carb world, who passed away. So, he aired it like an honor of her.
Gin Stephens: Like a memorial, yeah.
Melanie Avalon: Yeah. And then I was thinking about my show and I was like, "Oh, would that be something I would do if that happened on that show." But--
Gin Stephens: Yeah. Hopefully, you'll never have to answer that question about someone passing away.
Melanie Avalon: Well, listeners, thanks for being here.
Gin Stephens: Yeah, and if you've been around for five years, plus, listening to every episode-- I know there are people that have listened to everyone. People, who like binge listen, but I don't know if they started back there in May of 2017, because [laughs] that was a long time ago. I feel like a whole different person now.
Melanie Avalon: Oh, I do for sure in a good way. Well, I'm so grateful for the show.
Gin Stephens: Me, too. It's been a great ride.
Melanie Avalon: And the listeners.
Gin Stephens: And seriously, if it hadn't been for you, I wouldn't. [laughs] I'm sure I would not have any podcasts, because--
Melanie Avalon: Well, likewise. I still think the funniest thing is--
Gin Stephens: When you got kicked out of my group?
Melanie Avalon: Yes.
Gin Stephens: Not by me. I just have to say that. It was my moderators. I don’t know for anyone who hasn't heard the story, it's been a long time since we talked about it. It was back when I did have two Facebook groups. I had the one-meal-a-day group and I had the Delay, Don’t Deny group. Just those two. And the one-meal-a-day group was by far the biggest. It probably had, I don't know, 4,000 members, which sounded so big to me, then. Delay, Don't Deny had barely been out, because it came out at the very end of 2016 into 2017. So, it was probably what's it like March or April of 2017. You made a post in the group that said, "Hi, I'm an author of--"
Melanie Avalon: Okay, okay. I really wanted to start a podcast. I was like, "I need a cohost. How do I find a cohost?" So, I was googling the Facebook groups for intermittent fasting. That blows my mind. So, it was only around 4,000 members?
Gin Stephens: Something like that. I can't believe it was much more than that, because when I wrote Delay, Don’t Deny, I think it had 3,500. But it was the largest one-meal-a-day group. It was the only one-meal-a-day group really for a long, long time.
Melanie Avalon: I was like, "I really want to find a cohost." The important thing about the post I made was my goal with the post. I wanted people to know that I wasn't just some--
Gin Stephens: Right. You wanted to establish credibility.
Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I want to establish credibility. But I also didn't want to seem I was promoting my book. I don't remember the exact post, but I didn't even put the link to my book in the post. I said, "I had a book coming out, but I wasn't putting it in the link," because I didn't want to make it seem this was self-promotion. I was like, "How do I do this?" so that I establish credibility, but I make it super clear that I'm not trying to self-promote and it still completely failed. They kicked me out.
Gin Stephens: One of the moderators, they're like, "I just removed this girl." I'm like, "What?" Then I was like, "Oh, let me." Then I think I messaged you and I'm like, "Hey, sorry about that. The moderators thought you were in there." Because people would all the time come in and try to self-promote stuff, you know?
Melanie Avalon: Yeah, that completely makes sense, but it's just funny that I tried so hard to not do that and it failed.
Gin Stephens: Yeah, those moderators, they were very protective and I appreciate them so much, because they were like, "Not today, Melanie Avalon."
Melanie Avalon: Shut down. I was wondering if that post is still there in archived.
Gin Stephens: No, well, I guess, it could be. I don't know.
Melanie Avalon: Can you search through old posts?
Gin Stephens: I don't go to Facebook anymore. I haven't been on Facebook.
Melanie Avalon: Can a person, like, can I?
Gin Stephens: Yo-yeah. It's archived. The group is archived. It's frozen in time, and nobody can go in, and put mad face emojis or comments, but you can go in and search. You can't join. Well, I don't think you can join it. The regular Delay, Don’t Deny group, I think the moderators-- there are still a few moderators were letting people join, but you can't do anything. We're not. That one is not archived, but it's not active either, but you can still search it. That was a long time ago. But five years is not a long time, but it is a long time.
Melanie Avalon: I know. Yeah.
Gin Stephens: Anyway, so much has changed. But thankful for the journey.
Melanie Avalon: Likewise.
Gin Stephens: Anything new going on with you?
Melanie Avalon: Not really. Just finishing up the magnesium specs, finishing up the artwork for my EMF locking device, launching the subscriptions for serrapeptase, prepping the other shows. So, all good things. How about you?
Gin Stephens: Well, not much just still. Doing some packing, getting ready to make the move, not sure what the timeline is going to be, that sort of thing. There's a lot going on. Master's week is ending like I said, so, that's when the real estate market picks back up in Augusta. Fingers crossed. We will sell our house soon. Ready to sell it and get going.
Melanie Avalon: Very exciting.
Gin Stephens: It's a great house. Someone's got to love it as much as we did. I never thought I'd leave. The only thing that could get me out of here is going to the beach. So, [laughs] I'm really looking forward to being there all the time. Today, it'd be a beautiful day to go to the beach if I was at the beach, but--
Melanie Avalon: And you guys really fixed it up, right, the house?
Gin Stephens: Yeah, we did. It's a house that was built in 1979. We didn't do everything that could have been done to it, of course. I'm also the kind of person that doesn't think every house has to match the year trends. You know what I mean? This is a house that was built in 1979. The kitchen does not look like 2022. It's a beautiful kitchen. It's a quality kitchen, but it's not updated.
Melanie Avalon: What about the appliances and stuff?
Gin Stephens: The appliances are really great. They're KitchenAid professional appliances, like, built in. They're all good appliances. They're not brand new, but they're not old appliances. It's a gas range that's built-- A gas stovetop that's built in and a microwave. You don't look at them and think they look old.
Melanie Avalon: Okay, gotcha. Yeah, I don't know anything about house trends.
Gin Stephens: Well, I watch a lot of HGTV. [laughs] But the thing about house trends is, they really do come and go and you can't remodel your house every five years. So, eventually, you get to the point where you want more of a timeless look that isn't going to date it.
Melanie Avalon: When I build my dream house, it's my goals, my visualizing, it's going to be a biohacker house. So, I don't think it'll be any trends. It'll be like the biohacker trends.
Gin Stephens: I did not know you wanted to do that.
Melanie Avalon: Oh, really?
Gin Stephens: You've never mentioned that to me. Now, where will it be? Where is your biohacker house going to be?
Melanie Avalon: Probably, in Calabasas in LA or something. It's going to be so great. [giggles] It's going to have lots of natural light and stuff, but controllable light. So, you press the buttons and the things adjust, like the windows.
Gin Stephens: You can make it completely black.
Melanie Avalon: Oh, yes.
Gin Stephens: I was just at a beautiful home. I stayed with somebody and it was the most beautiful home ever. But it didn't have any blinds on the windows. I was like, "Is there a way I get that--" Nope. But I'm like, "Okay."
Melanie Avalon: They just don't want them?
Gin Stephens: They just didn't have blinds on the windows, but it was really bright, because the moon was out. Anyway, I like a very dark room.
Melanie Avalon: I do, too. Although, I would love a sky window.
Gin Stephens: A skylight kind of a thing?
Melanie Avalon: Yeah.
Gin Stephens: Just you want to be able to close it.
Melanie Avalon: Mm-hmm. Right. My bedroom will have to be a skylight window that closes, but then I got to mitigate all that EMF. So, I have to figure that out. It's going to be crazy and I want a cryotherapy chamber.
Gin Stephens: Well, that doesn't surprise me at all.
Melanie Avalon: Goals.
Gin Stephens: And a sauna, big sauna. I know you'll have that.
Melanie Avalon: Mm-hmm. And a cold plunge, but definitely hardcore with the EMF mitigation and grounded. I want the whole floor to be grounded.
Gin Stephens: Well, I think that's really smart.
Melanie Avalon: So, just putting it out there. This is whiles away, obviously. [laughs]
Gin Stephens: Well, I can't wait. That's going to be cool.
Melanie Avalon: You can come visit.
Gin Stephens: All right.
Melanie Avalon: It'll be super fun.
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Melanie Avalon: Oh, I have one, this is super random, but I'm always looking at random studies and I don't know how I found this one, but I thought it was really fun and I thought we could play the guessing game really quick.
Gin Stephens: Okay.
Melanie Avalon: The title is: "associations between liking for fat, sweet, or salt, and obesity risk in French adults: a prospective cohort study."
Gin Stephens: Are you going to need to read that one more time? Me not being an auditory learner. Say it one more time.
Melanie Avalon: "Associations between liking for fat, sweet, or salt, and obesity risk in French adults.
Gin Stephens: Okay. It's whether people prefer salty, sweet, or what was the third?
Melanie Avalon: Salt or fat.
Gin Stephens: Salt, fat, or sweet.
Melanie Avalon: And how it relates to obesity risk? This was, okay, over five years among 24,776 French adults, they basically took a questionnaire about their likings and then also each year for five years, they collected their body weight data and stuff. The question is, what do you think for each of them, how do you think the flavors related to obesity? We can go through them one by one. So, either was linked to an increased risk of obesity, a decreased risk or no association.
Gin Stephens: All right, well, I would predict that fat was linked to an increased risk of obesity.
Melanie Avalon: Okay. So, that is correct. Do you think it was more in men or women?
Gin Stephens: Oh, I don't know. I didn't know we were gendering it to. I would predict that'd be men and women.
Melanie Avalon: Yes, correct. Women, it was 52% and men, it was 32%.
Gin Stephens: 52%, what? More likely to be obese?
Melanie Avalon: It says, "dietary intake explained 32% in men and 52% in women have the overall variation of liking for fat and obesity. Does that sound like it was a stronger correlation in women?
Gin Stephens: Yep.
Melanie Avalon: Okay, how about sweet?
Gin Stephens: I'm going to say that it did not have an association with obesity.
Melanie Avalon: Sensory liking for sweet was associated with a decreased risk of obesity.
Gin Stephens: See, I'm not surprised. That would absolutely run contrary to the conventional wisdom as "fat is your friend and sugar is the reason everyone is fat." I've said this before. A lot of people falsely associate things as being carbs are fat. They think that French fries are carbs when really, they're very high fat and high carb. I think people are just really confused. They're like, "See, I can't eat French fries. Carbs make me gain weight." But French fries are not just carbs. Anyway, that's what I think a lot of the confusion comes from that a lot of the food that's ultra-processed or "junk food" is lumped in the carbs category, when they're not just carbs.
Melanie Avalon: Exactly.
Gin Stephens: Because I think of people, who really are looking for a sweet taste, they're probably people who eat a lot of fruit, for example.
Melanie Avalon: Yeah. And also, actually, if you think about it more, so, let's say even this is completely just me hypothesizing. So, this is not super scientific. But let's say we have two groups of people that are following a standard American diet. They are eating processed foods, but one likes more fatty and one likes more sweet. In that situation, it's possible that they're both eating processed foods, it's possible that the group that likes fat is going to be eating the fattier processed foods. They're both going to be in this state of food that is metabolically not healthy, but probably the high fatty stuff is going to just be a higher caloric load overall and more calories that are very easily stored as fat.
Gin Stephens: Well, I also think about myself and I'm someone, who definitely it's the fat that I like. For example, I don't want to eat plain fruit. I want to eat ice cream. I want my sweet to have the creaminess of the fat with it too or the fat from the ice cream. So, I totally get the fatness for even the sweet things I want or fat sweet, right? Not low fat sweet.
Melanie Avalon: And what about salt?
Gin Stephens: I'm going to say that had no correlation at all.
Melanie Avalon: No significant association between salt liking and the risk of obesity.
Gin Stephens: I like salty fatty and I like sweet fatty. I know that and I was obese. So, that's why it doesn't surprise me at all.
Melanie Avalon: So, we can put a link to that in the show notes, but I just thought it was a fun study.
Gin Stephens: I liked it and I'm so proud of myself for guessing it right.
Melanie Avalon: It's hard to go back and wonder what you would have guessed. but okay. For fat, I probably would have thought increased for sweet. I don't think I would have guessed decreased, but I might have guessed no association like you did. And for salts, I probably would have said--
Gin Stephens: Oh, I thought I said decrease for sweet or not associated. Okay. That's what I meant. I meant it was not-- Okay, yeah.
Melanie Avalon: So, there's decreased and then there's no association, which are different.
Gin Stephens: Right. The salt, I clearly said no association, but I meant for sugar the opposite. I didn't say it very well. Not associated with obesity. I meant associated the other way. Anyway, yeah.
Melanie Avalon: It was interesting. So, prior to reading Rick Johnson's Nature Wants Us to Be Fat and David Perlmutter's Drop Acid, I would have said salt was no association. But after reading their books, I should actually, I'm friends now with Rick, I should send him this study. Now, after reading their books, they make a case that salt-- Actually, they reference a lot of studies where salt links to obesity. So, that's interesting.
Gin Stephens: Again, though, I think it's hard to untangle it from what you're eating. If you're eating French fries, you might think that it's the salt, but it's really the fat. It's hard to untangle. The study that you were talking about, if I'm correct, it was people who said what their preference was.
Melanie Avalon: Mm-hmm. Yes, right. Oh, yeah, rather than what they're actually eating.
Gin Stephens: Right. I can hone in on the fact that I like fatty tasty things, whether it's a sweet fatty thing or a salty fatty thing, I know that I need the butter, I need the sour cream, I need the whatever. So, I think that's probably a big variable.
Melanie Avalon: This says that previous studies have shown that subjects with high fat liking have higher fat intake, but also lower intake of nutrient dense foods such as fruits and vegetables, dairy products, whole grain products, and fish. That relates to what you were saying about the sweet tasting, where people who are sweet tasters probably are eating more fruits and vegetables, because they're going to gravitate towards that type of food.
Gin Stephens: Well, I gravitate towards all that really good food just with plenty of added fat now. In the past, back when I was obese, I was eating the ultra-processed higher fat foods. But now, I'm going to have potato wedges tossed in olive oil, baked in the oven. That's not a low-fat food. It's also not a low-carb food, but it's a healthy fat, it's a healthy carb, it's real food, but certainly it's both fatty, carby, and salty.
Melanie Avalon: Yeah. So, shall we jump into questions for today?
Gin Stephens: Yes.
Melanie Avalon: Okay. So, we have a question from Carrie and the subject is: "not losing, but gaining. SOS" and Carrie says, "Hi, Gin and Melanie." That's an interesting way to spell your name. You probably get all different--
Gin Stephens: Well, I do, I do. This one is Jin and I don't know that I've gotten that one very often. I get Jen, because sometimes people think it's like Jennifer, but it's Gin for Virginia like gin and tonic. So, that's actually how you spell it in case anyone wondered.
Melanie Avalon: She says, "I've been doing IF for the past year on and off, but regularly, the past two months. I tend to stick to a 20:4 window, but sometimes, do a 22 or 23-hour fast when the days are busy or an occasional 15 or 16-hour fast, if I am at an event or race. When I first started doing IF, it was to help me with binge eating, especially at night and it was worse at first actually. I was binging all the time, but now, I feel more in control with the fast and make sure I eat a giant salad or a delicious vegetable dish before I even think of anything sweet. My weakness is always the sweets, cakes, cookies, you name it." This is appropriate. This is what we were just talking about.
Gin Stephens: But again, all those foods are also very high fat. Cakes and cookies [giggles] are sweet and fat.
Melanie Avalon: So true. She says, "Sometimes, if I bike 40 plus miles or run 10 miles, I will tell myself, "I deserve the goodies" and it usually ends in a binge of chocolate-covered peanuts, and cakes, or donuts. However, now that I feel I have a handle on the fasting part, I am not losing any weight, but sometimes even gaining weight. When I started getting more strict with the fasting longevity in February, I was 135 pounds and now I'm in the 140s. I'm 5'4" and 22 years old and have an athletic build under all the chub. I love working out. I am kind of a cardio junkie with swimming, biking, and running. When I was in high school, I weighed 115 and was captain of the swim team, and I really hope to be able to get to at least 125 pounds with IF. I used to be able to run eight to 10 miles no problem a few months ago, but now, it's my body does not have the energy that it used to. Anyways, my questions for you two lovely ladies is, why am I not losing weight and how can I fix this? I clean fast only black coffee and water. I do need to take a probiotic B12, vitamin D, and a fiber supplement in the morning for my ulcerative colitis, and I am a vegetarian, and I don't consume too much dairy. On a normal day, I consume 1,500 to 2,000 calories. Should I cut calories, should I fast more? I know Gin mentioned she lost the most weight when she was doing ADF with a 5:2 pattern."
Gin Stephens: That's actually not true. I don't know where that came from, because I did not. [laughs] No.
Melanie Avalon: Do you want to talk about that now?
Gin Stephens: I'm just popping in there to say, we can just say that is not when I lost the most weight. I lost the most weight when I was doing a one-meal-a-day pattern with delaying all processed foods and alcohol. That is where I lost the most weight. 5:2 with ADF was never the weight loss. I never lost weight with a 5:2 ADF pattern. I did lose some weight with a 4:3 ADF pattern, but two down days wasn't enough for me. I needed three. So, anyway, I'm just popping that in there.
Melanie Avalon: Okay. I wonder why she thinks that. Okay, she says, "I want to try this but I'm scared to. Should I work out more or less? All the questions. Please help. Also, as a sidenote, to give you ladies as much information, I have experimented with all the fat weight loss hacks like apple cider vinegar, and Garcinia cambogia, my fair share of weight loss pills all throughout high school and college, even some Hydroxycut, and energy patches that are supposed to help appetite. I have always struggled with my self-image and thought I was fat when I was in high school. So, now, all this chub on my stomach, and arms, and legs is really making me upset and depressed. I am at a loss and I really am struggling with liking the way my body looks now that I am the fattest I've ever been. I love the podcast and listen to it while I'm running and biking. Please help," Carrie.
Gin Stephens: All right, Carrie. There's a lot to unpack here. First of all, I want to talk about the fact that you've just been doing this regularly for two months. You're still in very early days. That's really important to know. You are two months in, that's important. Also, I want to talk about the binging that you mentioned. When you first started, you were having trouble with binging and you were actually binging a lot at first. We actually find before people are fat adapted, their body is not really assessing fuel efficiently during the fast, so you're under fueled and so you are going to when you open your window be more likely to binge. We see that all the time with people in the adjustment phase. So, keep that in mind. But after you're past the adjustment phase, if you start feeling the urge to binge, that is linked to not fueling your body well enough for what you're doing. You're over restricting in one way or another and it sounds like how you just mentioned in this question, if you bike 40 plus miles or run 10 miles, you end with a binge. You're framing it as that it's because you're weak, because you said, "I tell myself I deserve the goodies and then it ends in a binge."
Actually, I want you to flip that. It's not because you're deserving the goodies or you're weak. It's because you just biked 40 miles or ran 10 miles and your body is like, "Help me, I need more fuel." I want everybody to really get out of your way when it comes to what a binge is telling you. It is not telling you there's something wrong with you, it's a sign that you're not fueling your body well. Now, again, at the very beginning, when you first start IF, you're not fueling your body well, because your body is not well fueled during the fast. But once you become fat adapted, your body should tap into your fat stores. This is assuming you're fast and clean. Your body should tap into your fat stores well, you'll feel much better, you should not be binging. If after you're adapted, you are still seeing a lot of binging kind of behavior, ask yourself, "Am I over restricting in my eating window or am I over exercising?"
Now, you said you're only eating 1,500 to 2,000 calories, but you're a cardio junkie with swimming, biking, and running. It sounds to me you might be under fueling your body even day to day. Please don't cut calories or fast more. That is not what I would recommend. I actually think you might want to try a little something more gentle with your working out. And again, you're only two months in. Fast. Feast. Repeat., I talk about the 28-day fasts are not to expect any weight loss at all. You're one month past that. It also sounds to me, like, the way that you phrased it, you said, "I am not losing any weight, but sometimes, even gaining weight" makes it sound to me you're putting a lot of focus on fluctuations, Not losing weight, but sometimes gaining over a two-month period, that's just what weight does. It goes up, it goes down. You fluctuate. I want you to take some time to pull out a copy of Fast. Feast. Repeat., listen to it, get it if you don't have it, and I want you to read the scale-schmale chapter or listen to it. I want you to have a well-rounded plan for how you're going to track your progress. Because if you get on the scale and the weight is up, that doesn't mean you just "gained weight." Technically, yes, it does mean you just gained weight, because it's up on the scale. But it might be inflammation from your muscle use, it might be water retention. It's not fat gain is what I'm saying. So, you need to have a strategy for looking at what your trend is doing over time.
Weighing daily, calculating your weekly average, an app like Happy Scale that will do that for you, I want you to take progress photos today. Put on your workout clothes, take photos from the front, from the side, from the back, and then I want you to look at those every-- Take new photos, maybe every three weeks or something like that. Same outfit every time and really compare. Because especially, with the amount of working out that you're doing, you might see your body shrinking in the photos, but the scale is actually continuing to go up with all the muscle building you might be doing especially at the age of 22. But I want you to really, really think about not overdoing it. It really sounds to me like you're fasting a lot and working out a lot. So, you may need a more gentle approach, you need to nourish your body, and take the sign of wanting to binge as an alarm sign and say, "Okay, this is telling me I need to nourish my body more or I need to work out less." That's really, really important. I think I got it all. [laughs] Oh, I had one other thing. I did forget something. The probiotic and the fiber supplement, I would recommend those in your eating window. I understand that you have colitis and that you need to take the fiber, but I would just move it to open your eating window instead of having it in the fasted state.
Melanie Avalon: I agree. Yes, I thought that was all great. I think Carrie, well, first of all, I really empathize with you with feeling. It's interesting, because when I first started reading the beginning of it, it sounded you were looking back to your high school time as a time when you were happy with your weight. But then at the end, you revealed that you felt uncomfortable in your body this entire time, which is a long time to not be happy with your body. What's interesting about that is, it says to me that the piece here, yes, some of it might come from losing the weight. But the fact that you felt this way even when you were, because in high school, you weigh 10 pounds less than what you want to weigh now, but you weren't happy then with your weight either. I think there's a huge, huge reframe that can happen that is not even dependent on your weight. And that's going to be something that I would suggest looking into mindset practices or working with a therapist. I am a huge, huge proponent of working with therapists for everything. Just a really quick tangent about that, Gin. Do you think this is based on where you live? I guess the stigma around therapists, do you think that's still a thing today more?
Gin Stephens: I don't know. It might be age more than anything. I'm not really sure. Maybe older people feel more of a stigma, I don't know.
Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I was just thinking about it, because I've had a therapist since 2014. I've had a few different ones, because I've moved around, but it's just such a normal-- It's so helpful for me and it was just wonderful to have that space, where you can just discuss all of these things and reframe in a non-judgmental, safe atmosphere. But it was just funny, because I was going to my-- Did I mention this on the podcast already? I was going to cryotherapy the other day, and I mentioned that I had just come from a therapy session, and her response made it seem like she was like, "Oh, I hope everything's okay." It made it seem I was going for something traumatic that had happened. I was like, "No this is what I just go as part of my daily life." That was a tangent. Point being, I think that could be something that could be really helpful for your body image and all of that stuff.
Another reframe I think you can do and this is what Gin sort of talked about, with the binging for example, it can come from, like Gin said, your body is begging or screaming, I don't know what words you used, but for nutrition. A huge reframe that you can have there is probably right now, I don't know, but probably, since your habitual experience of having this signal from your body, this binge feeling, it sounds like the way you respond to that in the past is with sweets, and cakes, and cookies. You've created this association in your head that, when I get this really hungry, bingy feeling the solution or what I will do on autopilot is sweets, cakes, cookies. Have you tried when you have this feeling to look to the abundance of foods that you could have instead of sweets, cakes, and cookies? Because you might find that there's actually nothing to fear with this feeling that you get, because you actually can nourish yourself and you actually can eat all you want and it doesn't have to be these foods that will make you feel not so good in the end, these processed foods. I don't think it can be overstated, overstated, the importance of--
Gin Stephens: That's right.
Melanie Avalon: I don't think it can be overstated the importance of protein. If you weren't vegetarian, what I would have said, if so for anybody else experiencing this, I would have said really, really focusing on animal protein. Chicken, steak, fish, things like that. I think that can really, really help with hunger. There's especially something we've talked about a lot which is the protein leverage hypothesis, which is basically that your body will, you will feel hungry until you satisfy your protein needs. I talked about it with Ted Naiman and William Shewfelt, who actually they were on this show, too, weren't they? Yes, they were.
Gin Stephens: Ted Naiman was not.
Melanie Avalon: Oh, it's just William on this show?
Gin Stephens: Right.
Melanie Avalon: Okay. So, we've had William on the show and then I've had William and Ted Naiman.
Gin Stephens: Oh, they came on together to your show? Well, no, I take that back. Did we have Wade Lightheart and his partner on at the same time?
Melanie Avalon: We did, yeah.
Gin Stephens: Okay. I can never think of his name.
Melanie Avalon: Matt Gallant.
Gin Stephens: Matt. But other than that, I don't think we've ever had four of us on this one. Yeah.
Melanie Avalon: Yeah. I'll put links in the show notes to the one on my show with Ted Naiman and William Shewfelt, because I really like Ted's book. It's called, I think The PE Diet, but it's about basically this idea of the importance of protein. You're vegetarian. I am wondering what your main protein sources are and I would turn to them in the beginning of your meal when you're having these post workout meals or even your meal situation that you're in. Yes, so, upping the protein, I think could be really, really helpful. And also, another reframe is, especially if you've had this experience in the past of not being happy and responding to these urges with binges, you can feel destined to repeat that, but you are not.
Every single day, instead of being scared of it as another day, where things might get worse, or you might gain weight, or you might binge. What if you reframe that every single day, you have newfound knowledge that maybe you didn't have in the past and so every day can be a step towards something better? I think you can feel really, really empowered, especially since Gin said, the focus we don't think shouldn't be on, it's not a restrictive answer. It's not cutting calories, it's not exercising more, it's not fasting more, it's providing your body with nutrition, which is actually state of abundance. So, the solution here is actually abundance not restriction, which is very exciting. I feel that was all over the place.
Gin Stephens: Well, I really agree with your recommendation for more protein, because that's very true as well. Your body sends you that signal. I very much believe that protein leverage hypothesis to be true.
Melanie Avalon: I really do. Even just for me like N of 1, I am starving if I don't get enough protein. I was actually thinking about this. During that study, I wish that they had had umami as one of the tastes. People who really like umami and like the protein.
Gin Stephens: I love umami.
Melanie Avalon: I do, too. That's my thing. The protein is my thing. I think I'm much more aware of how satiating protein is for me, but I think if I didn't naturally gravitate towards a high-protein diet, I wonder if I would fall into this state, where I wouldn't necessarily turn to protein. So, I would just feel perpetually hungry.
Gin Stephens: Well, I eat less protein than you. I don't crave it as much as you'd like. I don't eat as much meat as you do. But sometimes, my body directs me to want more meat. My body does let me know when I think back.
Melanie Avalon: Yeah. I wonder if so for vegetarians and vegans. I wonder if they naturally gravitate towards when they get protein cravings. I wonder if it appears as a similar food. I wonder if it's legumes and beans or if it's soy. How that craving manifests?
Gin Stephens: Yeah, I don't know. For me, when it's a really strong protein craving, it is meat.
Melanie Avalon: Me, too. Me, too. That's why I'm super curious.
Gin Stephens: I had a great burger last night. It was Green Chef, by the way, one of our sponsors. It was so good. But it was so good. It was a burger with Monterey jack and then it had those potatoes that I was talking about sliced potatoes tossed in olive oil, roasted in the oven, so good.
Melanie Avalon: Now, I'm getting hungry, too.
Gin Stephens: I know. Now, I'm really hungry. Sometimes, I just really love some red meat. It's funny around our table. Will doesn’t like a ton of meat unlike, Chad doesn’t like a ton of meat, Cal is practically a vegetarian, because his wife is a vegetarian. So, Cal will eat meat, but they don't eat meat at home. I don't know, maybe he doesn't really eat it at all, just rarely. But it's interesting that we've all just naturally gravitated that way.
Melanie Avalon: I think I'm really the only you huge meat eater in my family.
Gin Stephens: And what's your blood type?
Melanie Avalon: O.
Gin Stephens: See. I don't think blood type is the whole thing, but there's some kind of connection there, something. We're all A. I don't think blood type, it's not quite as simple as eat right for your type, but we're all A and A is supposed to not need as much meat. And O is associated with needing more meat. So, I don't know that everything they say is right, but that sure seems to be on the money for a lot of people.
Melanie Avalon: A lot of it might be the stomach acid correlation to type O.
Gin Stephens: That could really-- That makes a lot of sense just because if I eat too much meat, it feels it sits like a rock in my stomach. That's the same way that everyone else in my family feels, too. That's why you naturally just don't want to eat too much of it, because it doesn't feel good to overeat it.
Melanie Avalon: It is a question, though, of chicken and egg with that even. Do people who are type O, is there something and then that needs more meat, so they have higher stomach acid or do they have higher stomach acids, so they naturally just do better with more meat? I don't know. But in any case, Carrie, we are sending you lots of love. We think you can do it. There's a lot of potential and I think a lot of just reframes on the situation can be very helpful here. Any other thoughts from you, Gin?
Gin Stephens: I think we covered it. There was a lot going on in that question.
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Melanie Avalon: We have a question from Danielle. That is my sister's name. "Why isn't if it's good for us, is it not for our babies contradicting advice?" That is an interesting title. Danielle says, "Hey, ladies. Love the podcast. I'm currently binging all of your episodes. What a great duo you are. I've jumped on the IF train mostly interested in the health benefits as I have chronic disease mild and giving my gut a break is so good for it. I'm studying herbs and started listening to a new podcast called What's The Juice that focuses a lot on educating us about the lymphatic system. I love it. But in the first episode, she addresses IF and her opinion on it, she makes the statement, "would you have your baby fast until 2 PM?" And they talked about science reasons for why it's not good to fast for long periods. It made me start thinking and I was wondering what your opinion is about this."
Gin Stephens: Can we answer that part, now?
Melanie Avalon: Yes.
Gin Stephens: That is just really not a good analogy at all that this host used on this other podcast, because I want you to think about how babies eat naturally. I don't know. My babies like to wake up every two hours and eat in the middle of the night. When Cal was a baby, I swear for the first four and a half months of his life, he ate every two hours around the clock, because they're building a body. You would never fast to baby, because they need constant fuel, they're growing, they're building. But we're adults. For adults, it's a whole different thing. I'm not trying to grow a body or build a whole new body. Here I am. I don't want to grow anymore, because we're not growing as a society physically bigger as far as getting taller like children do. We are growing horizontally. If you look at society, people are gaining weight, because we're eating too much. It's not a really good analogy to compare how a baby needs to eat with how an adult needs to eat, because it's completely different. You got a completely different goal there. We're trying to keep our bodies nourished as adults and eat the nutrients that our bodies need to function. We want to eat sufficient protein to maintain muscle mass, that sort of thing, nourish our bodies, but we don't need to eat around the clock. If we ate every two hours around the clock, how big would we get? It would not be good. So, not a good analogy. Good try, lady on the other podcast.
Melanie Avalon: On the flipside, you could say, "Why aren't we eating like babies?" Then we're not having breast milk and we're not eating a baby diet.
Gin Stephens: You can't compare how a baby eats to how an adult eats. In fact, what I like to say, whenever someone's like, "Well, how do I tell my children that I'm fasting, but it's not good for them?" I'm like, "Well, you just say, because you're not growing anymore." Growing bodies need to eat differently than bodies that are already grown. I think that's really important to know. When people start throwing away how "it's not good to fast for long periods," it depends on what you mean by long periods, obviously, there is a period of time that it's too long to fast for. But it sounds like they think 2 PM is too long. When I look at the people, who are scientists in the field, who have studied this, who have studied fasting and like Dr. Mark Mattson that I've talked about before, and I had a guy, gosh, Gil Blander, was he from InsideTracker?
Melanie Avalon: Mm-hmm.
Gin Stephens: I had him on Intermittent Fasting Stories. He's a longevity expert and he said-- Look, this is a longevity expert and he said, "The number one best thing you can do for your body for longevity is intermittent fasting." When these people are saying things like that, these hardcore research scientists who have studied longevity, the brain works and really understand intermittent fasting, I don't feel the need to then go out and defend intermittent fasting to someone, who has some opinion that they think it isn't good. Because I'm going to trust the scientists, who studied it and are doing it. That's all I have to say about that. So, I am giving you permission, Danielle, to stop listening to the naysayers and do what feels good to your body. That's really all you need to know.
Melanie Avalon: I don't want to say anything unkind, but especially, if it's that analogy or that comparison just doesn't make sense, like, it just doesn't make much sense.
Gin Stephens: There was some analogy someone gave about a car one time and how you needed to keep fueling your car and I'm like, "You don't stop every 20 miles and put more gas in?" No, fill it up and then your drive. I'm like, "That is such a bad analogy." When someone's making really bad analogies, it's like, they don't understand what they're saying. [laughs] That's what I think. So, no, please do not make your baby fast till 2 PM. That is bad. [laughs] But you are not a baby.
Melanie Avalon: Yes, exactly.
Gin Stephens: Okay, now the rest of her question.
Melanie Avalon: The rest, she says, "The second episode also addresses this and her guest, I believe a neuropathy doctor also suggests that 13 hours overnight is good, but extreme fasting is bad, because going too long can spike cortisol, etc. I'm confused, thoughts, keep up the good work, ladies."
Gin Stephens: And again, this sounds it's somebody who doesn't think you should fast for more than 13 hours. If you listen to all the contradictory voices that are out there about any topic, you're going to get so confused. You don't know if you should fast for 16 hours or eat every two hours around the clock. You can really get confused, because no matter what anybody says about help, someone is saying, the 180-degree opposite, literally, about everything when it comes to health. If you're really interested in the health benefits of intermittent fasting, you need to really immerse yourself in podcasts, and books, and experts, who explain those to you. I would avoid the naysayers. And then you need to tune into your own body, because I actually agree with something that that guest said, that extreme fasting is "bad," but I would disagree with the definition of extreme fasting. Maybe this, this naturopathic doctor has experience working with patients, who are over fasting, overexercising, and over restricting.
In that case, if you're fasting 16 hours, which I wouldn't consider extreme, because I fast more than that almost every single day, but I also nourish my body well in my eating window, but if I were doing ultra-marathons, and fasting 16 hours a day, and then eating little tiny diet meals in an eight-hour eating window, 16 hours would be too much fasting. But it's not so much, because it's 16. It's because of everything else. 16 could be extreme fasting, if you are not nourishing your body well and overly working out versus 20:4 is not extreme if then you nourish your body well in your eating window. It's all got to be in context. We don't really know what this doctor, what this background it's coming from. But it's true, that over restriction is not good for our bodies, but to think that fasting is coupled with over restriction is I think the flaw in the thinking.
Melanie Avalon: Exactly. Context is so, so important. I think we actually talked about this last episode?
Gin Stephens: You talked about cortisol. You sure did.
Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I can briefly recap. Yeah, so, basically, it's a stress hormone. It has a really bad reputation. People think, "Oh, cortisol is bad. We never want cortisol," which is just not even true. It's not a bad hormone. Really, no hormones are bad or good. They all have a purpose and they all need to be in the right context. Cortisol is something, for example, that naturally spikes in the morning. We want that spike. That's actually a reason that people often get high blood sugars in the morning. It's the dawn effect and a spike in cortisol. But cortisol has a natural rhythm throughout the day. It can go up in fasting, but the context is important. Cortisol in a fasted state actually helps us burn fat. It actually releases fatty acids and helps us burn them. We shouldn't be scared of cortisol. Cortisol in the context of eating makes us more likely to store fat.
That's why it's really important to not eat in a stressed-out state to have, even a ritual surrounding eating, where you're in a, I don't want to say a meditative state, but we don't want to be just eating on the go and in a stressed-out state. So, fasting can actually help you have a really healthy relationship with cortisol, where you have higher cortisol during the day, you're burning fat. And then well, I'm assuming right now that you're doing a one-meal-a-day situation. But regardless of the window, you have cortisol higher when you're fasting, you're burning fat, and then when you're eating, you're in more of a rest and digest a lower cortisol state. The actual specifics of it is cortisol can make you preferentially store fat as visceral fat in your belly, if it's high while you're eating. So, misconceptions surrounding cortisol.
Gin Stephens: So many, and people just say it like it's--
Melanie Avalon: Fact.
Gin Stephens: Fact. Exactly. Again, I want to just reframe this, Danielle, one more time. You need to listen to your own body and how you feel. If fasting, as you get adjusted, again, get through the adjustment period. If you find yourself feeling better and better over time, trust that. If you're doing something that's bad for your body, you're not going to feel better, and better, and better over time. So, trust how you're feeling, you really can do that. Don't let the other voices get inside your head from people, who are giving the advice like, "Oh, yeah, you shouldn't fast." Do what's your body telling you.
Melanie Avalon: Exactly. All right. Well, this has been absolutely wonderful. A few things for listeners before we go. If you'd like to submit your own questions for the show, you can directly email email@example.com or you can go to ifpodcast.com and you can submit questions there. The show notes will be at ifpodcast.com/episode263 and then you can follow us on Instagram. I am @melanieavalon, Gin is @ginstephens, and I think that is all the things.
Gin Stephens: Yep. Great episode. Five years.
Melanie Avalon: I know. Crazy. All right. Well, this has been absolutely wonderful and I will talk to you next week.
Gin Stephens: All right. Bye.
Melanie Avalon: Bye.
Thank you so much for listening to the Intermittent Fasting Podcast. Please remember, everything we discussed on this show does not constitute medical advice. We're not doctors. If you enjoyed the show, please consider writing your review on iTunes. We couldn't do this without our amazing team. Administration by Sharon Merriman, editing by Podcast Doctors, show notes and artwork by Brianna Joyner, transcripts by SpeechDocs, theme music by Leland Cox. See you next week.
STUFF WE LIKE
Check out the Stuff We Like page for links to any of the books/supplements/products etc. mentioned on the podcast that we like!
Melanie's What When Wine Diet: Lose Weight And Feel Great With Paleo-Style Meals, Intermittent Fasting, And Wine
Gin's Delay, Don't Deny: Living an Intermittent Fasting Lifestyle
Feast Without Fear: Food and the Delay, Don't Deny Lifestyle
Fast. Feast. Repeat.: The Clean Fast Protocol for Health, Longevity, and Weight Loss--Including the 21-Day FAST Start Guide
Clean(ish): Eat (Mostly) Clean, Live (Mainly) Clean, and Unlock Your Body's Natural Ability to Self-Clean
More on Melanie: MelanieAvalon.com
More on Gin: GinStephens.com
Theme Music Composed By Leland Cox: LelandCox.com
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