Welcome to Episode 282 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 Cynthia Thurlow, author of Intermittent Fasting Transformation: The 45-Day Program for Women to Lose Stubborn Weight, Improve Hormonal Health, and Slow Aging.
Today's episode of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast is brought to you by:
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1:10 - BUTCHERBOX: For A Limited Time Go To butcherbox.com/ifpodcast And Get Free Chicken For A Year!!
3:50 - BEAUTYCOUNTER: Keep Your Fast Clean Inside And Out With Safe Skincare! Shop With Us At melanieavalon.com/beautycounter or beautycounter.com/cynthiathurlow And Use The Code CLEANFORALL20 For 20% Off PLUS Something Magical Might Happen After Your First Order! Find Your Perfect Beautycounter Products With Melanie's Quiz: Melanieavalon.Com/Beautycounterquiz
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12:00 - SHIELDYOURBODY: Use The Code Melanieavalon For 15% Off Sitewide At melanieavalon.com/syb.
The Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast Episode #122 - R Blank
20:30 - ATHLETIC GREENS: Get A FREE 1 Year Supply Of Immune-Supporting Vitamin D AND 5 FREE Travel Packs With Your First Purchase At athleticgreens.com/ifpodcast!
22:00 - Listener Q&A: Erica - Eating and insulin levels
31:00 - Listener Q&A: Kathryn - IF Weight and Fat gain
The Melanie Avalon biohacking Podcast Episode #45: Glenn Livingston, Ph. D.
Ep. 140 – The Nature of Bingeing: How to Break Out of the Food-Prison with Dr. Glenn Livingston
42:50 - JOOVV: For A Limited Time Go To joovv.com/ifpodcast And Use The Code IFPODCAST For An Exclusive Discount!
45:55 - Listener Q&A: Lydia - IF and Palpitations
LMNT: For A Limited Time Go To drinklmnt.com/ifpodcast To Get A FREE Sample Pack With Any Purchase! Learn All About Electrolytes In Episode 237 - Our Interview With Robb Wolf!
AvalonX Magnesium 8: Get On The Email List To Stay Up To Date With All The Special Offers And News About Melanie's New Supplements At avalonx.us/emaillist, And Use The Code Melanieavalon For 10% On Any Order At Avalonx.Us And MDlogichealth.Com!
Simply Hydration: Magnesium-Charged Electrolyte Concentrate for Rapid Hydration
55:20 - Listener Q&A: Sarah-Lynn - Positive side effects
Our content does not constitute an attempt to practice medicine, and does not establish a doctor-patient relationship. Please consult a qualified health care provider for medical advice and answers to personal health questions.
Melanie Avalon: Welcome to Episode 282 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, biohacker and 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, Cynthia Thurlow, Nurse Practitioner and author of Intermittent Fasting Transformation: The 45-Day Program for Women to Lose Stubborn Weight, Improve Hormonal Health, and Slow Aging. For more on us, check out ifpodcast.com, melanieavalon.com, and cynthiathurlow.com. Please remember, the thoughts and opinions on this podcast do not constitute medical advice or treatment and no doctor-patient relationship is formed. So, pour yourself a mug of black coffee, a cup 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 we jump in, are you fasting clean inside and out? When it comes to weight loss, we focus a lot on what and when we eat. It makes sense, because these foods affect our hormones and how our bodies store and burn fat. But do you know what is possibly one of the most influential factors in weight gain? It's not your food and it's not fasting. It's actually our skincare and makeup. As it turns out, Europe has banned over a thousand compounds found in conventional skincare and makeup in the US due to their toxicity. These include endocrine disruptors, which mess with your hormones, carcinogens linked to cancer, and obesogens, which literally can cause your body to store and gain weight. Basically, when we're using conventional skincare and makeup, we are giving these obesogenic compounds direct access to our bloodstream. And then in our bodies, studies have shown they do things like reduce our satiety hormones, increase our hunger hormones, make fat cells more likely to store fat, and more resistant to burning fat, and so much more. If you have stubborn fat, friends, your skincare and makeup maybe playing a role in that. Beyond weight gain and weight loss, these compounds have very detrimental effects on our health, and they affect the health of our future generations. That's because, ladies, when we have babies, a huge percent of those toxic compounds go through the placenta into the newborn. It is so, so shocking and the effects last for years.
Conventional lipstick, for example, often tests high in lead and the half-life of lead is up to 30 years. That means when you put on some conventional lipstick, 30 years later, maybe half of that lead has left your bones. On top of that, there is essentially no regulation of these products on the shelves. That's why it's up to us to choose brands that are changing this. The brand that is working the hardest to do this is Beautycounter. They were founded on a mission to change this. Every single ingredient is extensively tested to be safe for your skin, so you can truly feel good about what you put on. And friends, these products really, really work. They are incredible. They have Countertime for anti-aging, Countermatch for normal skin, Countercontrol for acne and oily prone, and Counterstart for sensitive. I use their Overnight Resurfacing Peel and vitamin C serum every single night of my life. And their makeup is amazing. Check on my Instagram to see what it looks like. Tina Fey even wore all Beautycounter makeup when she hosted The Golden Globes. So, yes, it is high-definition camera ready.
They have so many other products, deodorant, shampoo, and conditioner that I love, products for babies, and so much more. You can shop with us at beautycounter.com/melanieavalon or beautycounter.com/cynthiathurlow and use the coupon code, CLEANFORALL20, to get 20% off your first order. Also, make sure to get on my clean beauty email list. That's at melanieavalon.com/cleanbeauty. I give away a lot of free things on that list. So, definitely check it out. And you can join me in my Facebook group, Clean Beauty and Safe Skincare with Melanie Avalon. People share their experiences, ask questions, give product reviews, and I do a giveaway every single week in that group as well.
And lastly, if you're thinking of making clean beauty and safe skincare a part of your future like we have, we definitely recommend 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. It is totally, completely worth it. So, again, to shop with us, go to beautycounter.com/melanieavalon or beautycounter.com/cynthiathurlow and use the coupon code, CLEANFORALL20 to get 20% off your first order. And we'll put all this information in the show notes. All right, now, back to the show.
Melanie Avalon: Hi, everybody and welcome. This is Episode number 282 of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast. I'm Melanie Avalon and I'm here with Cynthia Thurlow.
Cynthia Thurlow: Hey, Melanie.
Melanie Avalon: How are you, Cynthia?
Cynthia Thurlow: I am doing well. I've got both my kids back in school.
Melanie Avalon: Oh, nice. More me time for you?
Cynthia Thurlow: Well, at least they're not laying around the house. That's the one thing about teenagers is that they're like bears. They come out to eat, they come out to be taken places, and then they spend a lot of time in their rooms sleeping. And so, at least now during the day, my husband and I have a completely immaculate house, unlike when they're home. They're essentially savages. So, they're at least gone during the day. They're in school. They're being intellectually stimulated. It's all good.
Melanie Avalon: That makes sense. That's one thing I miss about being a teenager. It was okay to sleep like hours and hours and hours.
Cynthia Thurlow: It's interesting. My mom came to visit. My mom was very militant. We weren't allowed to sleep in, ever. And so, she was like, "You let your children sleep?" And I said, "Yes. Because they stay up late, and they need the sleep." [laughs] So, that's always the place I come from. I'm like, "As long as they get their work done, and they get their chores done, and they have good grades, I don't mind if they sleep," and it's really not an inconvenience to me. My husband and I go have half a day to ourselves before they wake up.
Melanie Avalon: That's the way my mom was growing up as well. That is something to be grateful for all the little things. Because that would have been miserable, if she had made us get up.
Cynthia Thurlow: Oh, my mom was just tough. I think because she was a healthcare professional, and was up early rounding, and seeing patients, and so, from her perspective, she had to be up, we should be up as well. [laughs]
Melanie Avalon: Growing up, we would go to Sanibel Island in Florida every summer and I would always have a friend come with me. And it was funny, because I loved when I had the friend that had the same sleep schedule as me. We would both sleep until 2 PM. Because some of my friends were early morning birds. So, they would get up at 10 AM and have to wait for me for couple hours.
Cynthia Thurlow: So, this is not a new lifestyle.
Melanie Avalon: Oh, no, no. I think I've talked about this before on the show. I feel bad about it. I feel I should be a morning person. And every time I talk to my mom, my mom's like, "Melanie, you've always been a late-night person. You will always be a late-night person. Just accept it."
Cynthia Thurlow: We are very opposite.
Melanie Avalon: We are and I'm jealous.
Cynthia Thurlow: [laughs] No, I was thinking to myself, if we were ever in the same location at the same time, what would be the optimal hours we would be up at the same time? I'm like, "From 12 to eight."
Melanie Avalon: Yeah. 12 is pushing it. [laughs] 1 to 8, 1 to 9. Is 9 pushing it for you?
Cynthia Thurlow: 9 is pushing it for me. Maybe 30, I'm generally like, "Okay, I want to go." I want to get on my PMF mat and start getting ready for bed.
Melanie Avalon: So funny. The socially acceptable hour that works for me to be like social is 7 or 8. Because most people are still like, they'll get drinks at 7 or dinner at 7. I know 8 pushes it for some people. But in any case, we have something exciting to share with listeners. Actually, two exciting things. One, would you like to share the winner of your giveaway?
Cynthia Thurlow: I would. The winner of our giveaway was Louise Sparks. So, we will be sending out your goodies within the next week. And I just wanted to take an opportunity to thank everyone for the wonderful, wonderful reviews that were left for the book. I'm so very grateful to be part of this community and very appreciative of everyone that submitted entries.
Melanie Avalon: Yeah, it was really wonderful to read all of the reviews that, because I got to see them as well obviously being emailed in. It's just so wonderful how supportive, and kind, and just wonderful everybody can be. So, thank you. And what was the price?
Cynthia Thurlow: We had very generous individuals, companies that donated products to the book launch. And so, there were some products from designs for health, some Redmond's products, all sorts of fun goodies. It was overwhelming how generous these companies were. And so, there were so much that was donated, we wanted to extend another option to share it with individuals that had read the book and loved it. So, thank you again, Louise Sparks.
Melanie Avalon: Awesome. Awesome, awesome. And then another exciting announcement. This is an opportunity to both learn very important things and also win very exciting things. So, okay, I'm so excited about this. I have a dear friend, R Blank. I've had him on The Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast. Cynthia, have you connected with R before?
Cynthia Thurlow: I have not definitely like on my radar, though.
Melanie Avalon: He's fabulous. He has a company called Shield Your Body and they are the global leader in laboratory tested EMF protection products. And okay, so, I am so passionate about this EMF situation. And it's interesting, because I feel people are skeptical of the health effects of EMF, but there have been-- Well, first of all, the World Health Organization lists EMF as a class to be carcinogen. So, this is not something that's woo-woo or not real. It's literally a carcinogen. And there's been thousands of high-quality peer reviewed scientific studies looking at EMF radiation from things like our cell phones and our air pods, and they found negative health effects like sleep disruptions, even infertility connections to Alzheimer's, obviously, connection to cancer. It's a really big deal. If you want to learn more about it, definitely check out my interview I did with R on the Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast. I'll put a link to it.
The reason I really, really like what he's doing is, he is all about the science of everything and what is actually something to be concerned about what's not something to be concerned about, how can you actually mitigate it, and what is practical. He's not going to tell you to never have a cell phone or never use Bluetooth. Although, I think he personally, probably never uses Bluetooth. I don't want to put words in his mouth. But he's very good about making everything approachable and practical, which is why he has this company, Shield Your Body. And they have all these incredible products that will help protect you from EMF and they're tested, which is so, so key. But in any case, the exciting announcement. So, this episode airs September 12th. And on September 22nd, Shield Your Body is actually having EMF Radiation Safety Day. This is the fourth year that they've done it. It's actually on Faraday's birthday, so the guy who invented the Faraday cage. And the purpose of the event is just to spread awareness and help people learn more about the dangers of EMF exposure, how they can really shield themselves and protect their health, the health of themselves and their family.
And so, basically, they offer tons of free, yes, free and easy ways to reduce your EMF exposure. And it actually according to them all comes down to two key rules. And no, I'm not going to tell you what those two key rules are. You have to get them for free. To get those two key rules and to be a part of Radiation Safety Day, because when you go to get all these free resources, you'll actually be entered into a giveaway to win a Shield Your Body canopy worth $2,000. So, that's just incredible. You can potentially win that canopy and in addition, they're going to be giving a lot of other prizes as well. So, you can go now to get the free resources and to enter to win. You will go to shieldyourbody.com/rsd. Again, that stands for Radiation Safety Day. And you can enter now all the way up until September 22nd. September 22nd is when they are going to do the raffle drawing.
And in addition, while you're at Shield Your Body or just in general, if you would like to purchase any of their products, you can use the coupon code, MELANIEAVALON, and that will get you 15% off. I love their stuff. I'm actually right now using their wired headphones that do not have Bluetooth exposure. So, that's great. I really recommend their pad that goes underneath your laptop. If you are sitting with a laptop on your lap, again, there's studies showing that EMF exposure can affect fertility. So, it can be really, really important to have something like that protecting you from your laptop. They have bags, they have some apparel like a beanie, they have stuff for your kids. So, definitely, definitely check it out. Maybe you'll win that canopy.
Cynthia Thurlow: Ah, that sounds amazing.
Melanie Avalon: How do you feel about EMF exposure, Cynthia?
Cynthia Thurlow: Well, we had our house evaluated before we built it, the property and the geothermic forces underneath the house. And we have special material that was laid underneath our floors. And we have special-- [crosstalk]
Melanie Avalon: I'm so jealous.
Cynthia Thurlow: [laughs] We didn't do a canopy in our bedroom. because I kept explaining to my colleague, I was like, "I am going to have teenage drivers. I can't be in an environment, where if there's an emergency and they're driving that I can't have my phone working. Maybe if they were a little younger, it'd be different." I would say, we probably did 50% of what was recommended. To do it fully 100% would have meant that there would have been absolutely no Wi-Fi at all upstairs in our bedrooms. And I was like, "That's not entirely realistic." We do shut down the Wi-Fi at night much to our kids' disappointment, especially because they are bears and they're up all night. But this house was definitely designed to be very conscientious. We have ethernet cables. All of our computers are wired into the wall.
Melanie Avalon: I am so happy right now to hear this. Same. I use ethernet. I'm on a wired computer right now. I turn off Wi-Fi at night. And we've talked, you know the EMF product that I'm creating, right? The issue that you just expressed, which I know is an issue for a lot of people. You need to have your phone on at night. So, what do you do about that? I'm actually working with R right now. We're working on a cobranded product. I am so excited. And it's going to be something to address that exactly. It's going to be something that you put on your nightstand, and you'll be able to put your phone in it, and it will shield you from your phone, but then you'll still be able to receive calls and you'll be able to charge your phone. I'm so excited. Stay tuned for that. But in the meantime, definitely go to that link, shieldyourbody.com/rsd. Enter to win the giveaway. Learn the two key rules to protect yourself and so much more.
Cynthia Thurlow: That's really important. And here's the one thing that I don't know, if listeners realize that some of us are much more sensitive to EMF. I'm a canary in a coal mine. And so, for me and my last house in Northern Virginia, there were so much external radiation and EMF that was coming into that house. As soon as we moved into the house, I stopped sleeping. And when Brian Hoyer came out and evaluated the house, he looked at me and he said, "You realize when EMF is this high, it upregulates cortisol and this is why you're not sleeping." And so, I just started to cry, because my husband thought I was nuts. But I'm trying to explain to him that there are those of us that are just much more sensitive to it and there are a lot of data centers in that part of Northern Virginia almost as much as what they have on Silicon Valley. And so, from my perspective, I think awareness is key, not to scare people, but just to bring awareness and then finding strategies that fit your lifestyle, I think is really important.
Melanie Avalon: Actually, when Gin was on the show, she had a whole experience, because she's always moving. She moved into a house and started getting a lot of sleep issues. And she thought it correlated to some other factors. And then when they were moving, she realized that her bedroom was right by the power grid and was thinking that that probably had something to do with it. It's so true. It affects people more than others. I actually also had Joseph Mercola on the Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast to talk about it as well. One of the really shocking things and this is just frustrating and it's maybe like the processed food industry or something. But the studies they use to set up safety regulations for cell phone use, the models don't match reality. The way they test for safety is not the way we would be using our phones. Normally, it's not the exposure we would be exposed to. It's very, I don't want to say rigged, but there's a way they keep continuing to make these devices that are having these health effects and it's really binging the rules and it's upsetting. But yes, there are things you can do. shieldyourbody.com/rsd.
Cynthia Thurlow: Cool.
Melanie Avalon: Shall we jump into some questions for today?
Cynthia Thurlow: Absolutely. This is a question from Erica. Subject is: "Eating and insulin levels." "I recently had a short conversation with Dr. Herring about insulin. Somebody on his Facebook page was talking about glucose and how if they have creamer in their coffee, their glucose doesn't rise after 30 minutes. I said, "If it doesn't rise, it's because insulin has been released and done its job." Dr. Herring then came in and said, "If insulin had done its job and the glucose reading would be lower." I asked, "Let's say you start with a fasting reading of 5 in just anything wouldn't a level go up to 7, insulin brings the reading back to a 5 or thereabouts. Are you saying that the levels should go even further down say, 2 or 3?" He didn't answer that question. Nearly three years living intermittent fasting now, thanks to you two for keeping me motivated via the podcast while I walk. I will never stop as it's just my normal now. 50 kilograms gone. Regards, Erica."
Melanie Avalon: And Erica is from Western Australia.
Cynthia Thurlow: Perth is beautiful.
Melanie Avalon: Oh, you've been there?
Cynthia Thurlow: I have not. But my boyfriend before my husband, who my husband has actually met, was from Perth and the photos, they had a farm, they were just beautiful. It's considered to be one of the most isolated areas of Australia in the world. But the photos were gorgeous. One day, I will get there.
Melanie Avalon: Oh, wow. I want to look up pictures. I love looking at pictures of places. That's so cool. Well, Erica, first of all, congrats on your success with the weight loss and thank you for your question. And so, I think this is good question because it taps into a lot of broad concepts that I think people get confused about or have questions about. So, I can speak briefly to it. Your blood sugar levels at any given time, there are so many factors that are affecting that. What's really crazy to think about-- It's actually mind blowing, if you actually think about it. The amount of blood sugar, so like, she's using millimoles to measure a blood sugar. But we in the US measure in the 90s or 80s, or one hundreds, that correlates to a very small amount of blood sugar. Like a teaspoon, I think is what I've heard. And so, it's really crazy to think that we will eat a bolus of carbs, like a massive amount of carbs.
And when people who are diabetic can have issues. But even people are prediabetic, even that the levels might go high, but they never equal the amount of sugar that you're eating. The body does a really good job, even people who struggle with high blood sugar at keeping that regulated. Stepping back just to paint a broad picture, obviously, you can take in carbohydrates or sugar and that is a source of sugar entering your bloodstream. Or, your liver can release stored sugar or carbs in the form of glycogen into the bloodstream. Actually, fun fact, the majority of the blood sugar that you have in your bloodstream, including and diabetics is not from what you're eating. It's from the liver releasing it, which is just something interesting to think about. The third way would be the liver can actually make sugar, if it doesn't have sugar. Those are the three inputs.
And then on the flip side like Erica was talking about, what's removing the sugar from the bloodstream is insulin, which is being regulated by the pancreas. And so, there's a lot of nuances here. And so, if you're taking in something that has carbs in it, presumably, that's going to lead to a blood sugar spike, which would go down, because you have insulin. In this case, she's talking about creamer in the coffee. And so, it's hard to know the actual creamer. So, this could be a creamer with carbs in it or it could be a creamer without carbs in it. If it had carbs in it and the glucose didn't rise, then yes, presumably, insulin put the carbs into storage and so they're not in the bloodstream. If the creamer real didn't have many carbs and it was fat-- And this is something that I think people get confused about as well. Fat is very easily stored. It doesn't necessarily require insulin to be stored. A reason that you could take in fat and not see a blood sugar rise and it's not because you put energy in your bloodstream and insulin got rid of it, it could be that insulin just wasn't even required.
And the reason I'm saying all of this and sorry, if this is a lot of information, people are so unique. They'll do studies, where they have people basically getting a continuous infusion or injection of both insulin and glucose, and they can see how much insulin is required to keep the glucose level. Basically, how much insulin do you require to take in this blood sugar and not see any effect, any bump in your blood sugar level? And the reason that's important and the reason it relates to Erica's question is, that's going to be different. It's not like everybody requires x amount of insulin to take care of x amount of carbs. In this situation where the glucose didn't rise and she's asking, well, it should have dropped lower, it's completely an individual basis. Some people, they might release the perfect amount of insulin that they perfectly store it and it doesn't rise. Some people might release a little bit more insulin. And so, it actually drops lower than before, which would be the situation she was talking about the end. Or, if there weren't even carbs in it and it was just fat, which is a possibility. Insulin might not have been released at all, because in some wasn't required and there wasn't bump. That's a lot of information. Cynthia, thoughts?
Cynthia Thurlow: No, I think you did a beautiful job. But the big takeaway is, fat has a much more negligible impact on blood sugar response. And so, that could explain why there hasn't been-- There's this negligible response. And so, I think it's important to delineate and discuss how blood sugar works, because I think it's oftentimes very misunderstood. I think people think about it in a very linear fashion, it's just one way. But there are multiple ways the body can impact blood sugar, insulin release, etc.
Melanie Avalon: I actually learned about something recently that I'm shocked. I didn't know about earlier. I'm very shocked. I used to always think that I had reactive hypoglycemia. I don't know if it's necessarily the example she gave, but it's the example she gave, where if you eat something, and then your body releases too much insulin, and your blood sugar drops lower than it was before, and you get feelings of having low blood sugar. I always used to assume that's what was going on. Maybe it was. But actually, I didn't know there was something called idiopathic postprandial syndrome and that's actually where it feels like reactive hypoglycemia. It feels like you ate and your blood sugar dropped. But if you were to actually test your blood sugar, it would be high. What's so cool about the reason that-- Well, I don't know if it's cool, but the reason that's happening there, like, theories about it, but it's likely because the body's trying so hard to control the blood sugar level that you get all of those hormonal feelings of anxiety, or shakiness, or fatigue, or adrenaline, and it's your body trying to control things rather than actually being low blood sugar. I'm just surprised. I didn't know that until a month ago.
Cynthia Thurlow: Well, the word idiopathic really just means we don't understand why this happens. It'd really be a diagnosis of exclusion when they've rolled out everything else. But I think when we talk about reactive hypoglycemia, those are typically the people they get sweaty, they get diaphoretic, they get dizzy, they feel nauseous, they can get pretty symptomatic. And I think many years ago, when I was in school, we used to think of that as being very benign, but I look at it as it's sometimes that beginning stages of identifying that your cells are not well adapted to insulin.
Melanie Avalon: I just find it so interesting that you can have that exact experience and not have low blood sugar and that's like a thing. Got to love the word, 'idiopathic' for--
Cynthia Thurlow: Idiopathic means we don't understand why. That's basically what that means. People were like, "Oh, we'd--" [crosstalk]
Melanie Avalon: But it makes it sound fancy.
Cynthia Thurlow: Exactly. And I'm like, "It's really not." It means we don't understand why this happens and you're in this bucket.
Melanie Avalon: Love it. Love it, love it. Shall we answer a question from Catherine?
Cynthia Thurlow: Absolutely.
Melanie Avalon: This is from Catherine and the subject is: "IF weight and fat gain." And Catherine says, "Hi, I've read so many books and products you have recommended. I love this lifestyle and I love your books and podcasts. I've been wanting to write for a while and I kept telling myself, "I just needed to figure it out on my own." But as time goes by, my weight and fat keep creeping up, I thought I better seek your wise counsel. I began intermittent daily clean fasting, the first week of August 2019. I began my IF journey to maintain a weight loss of over one hundred pounds, but I've gained 20 pounds since starting IF. I'm 57 and 5'6.5". I walked 2.5 miles daily. I play pickleball." What is pickleball?
Cynthia Thurlow: I don't know. I think it's like a smaller bat.
Melanie Avalon: Pickleball according to Google is an indoor or outdoor racket paddle sport like you said. Like tennis with little, small bats.
Cynthia Thurlow: [laughs] She's probably English.
Melanie Avalon: Oh, yes. Okay. She plays pickleball or does it work out a few times a week. "Before if I was counting macros and every calorie I consumed or burnt daily to not regain. And I was successfully maintaining and still losing, but it was not fun at all, and I did not feel well. After dieting off and on, my entire adult life, I'm being overweight my entire adult life, I finally lost weight with the ideal protein diet. I think I heard Gin's recommendation to continue your current way of eating and add IF, but I did not follow that advice. Also, although I know it is not what you two would recommend, I just think I went overboard with eating what I had been denying for so long. I know that is not advised, but after limiting carbs or fat for so long, I just went for it. I love the simplicity of delaying and freedom of not denying but fear I have taken it too far."
She said, "I usually fast for 19 to 20 hours and have a two to five-hour eating window. Typically, I have a shorter eating window on weekdays one to two hours and sometimes will lengthen it on weekends to three to five hours. I eat a healthy, typically paleo supper meal each day. I think my problem might be too much of a snack before and after that healthy meal. I started out between 125 to 130 pounds in August wearing a size four to six with very little fat on my bones and coming from a very restricted diet. I now weight 145 and I can see fat on my body. I can still wear the same jeans, but not all my clothes from 20 pounds ago. I feel great, I feel healthy, I look healthier. My hair is glowing. But I really liked the number 125 and I really liked seeing myself skinnier. if I'm completely honest, I looked pretty gone at 125. I do look healthier now. I hear all the stories of weight loss and feel, I should have at least been able to maintain my weight with IF.
Honestly, I could probably be happy with 135. I do not want to continue gaining weight. I'm wondering if I need to deny sugar and chocolate indefinitely as it is probably a trigger for me. Should I start counting the calories of my snack or dessert? Is there anything you can recommend for me? I will not go back to dieting. I am IF for life. Thank you so much for your books and podcasts. I have learned so much from you. I so look forward to your direction and thank you in advance."
Cynthia Thurlow: Well, Catherine, thank you for your question and congratulations on the progress you've made. A lot of what I hear in this question is, you really like one number, but you feel healthier, better, your hair looks healthier at a different weight. And herein lies a lot of the problem in the weight loss industry. We get very fixated on numbers. And I'm speaking to you as a clinician that at a minimum, I would get some basic lab worked on, so that you can see where your triglycerides are, and your HDL, and look at your fasting insulin, your glucose, your A1C really get a sense of your thyroid and sex hormones to see really where you are. 125 pounds is pretty thin for 5'7" female.
And you yourself mentioned that you've looked gaunt. From my perspective, it's really stepping back and objectively saying, what is driving the focus on that number? Because it sounds to me that you actually feel better at a different number. I would say, the other thing and this is a resounding theme for me is that if you're only eating within a very short window, are you eating enough food? Because your body could be perceiving that you are not enough food that you're starving and it's going to hold on to every single calorie and morsel of food. Really making sure that your meals are structured focused on protein, as well as non-starchy vegetables. You may be craving chocolate and sweets, because you're not getting enough food. And so, I really think you need to objectively and honestly look at, are you eating enough food in your feeding window? You may not be. And checking in with your primary care provider, your internist, your GYN to get some baseline labs, I think is a really important first step. And then also giving yourself grace.
There are so much focus in our society on weight numbers, instead of focusing on health and what allows you to go out and play your sports, and to walk, and doing all the things you're doing it. It doesn't sound like for you that you want to track macros and that's okay. I would really try to be deliberate about getting enough protein in your diet and we usually focus in on a hundred grams a day. Hundred grams per pound of ideal body weight. And really focused in on healthy fats and non-starchy vegetables and also, that mindset shift. I know, both Melanie and I have interviewed Dr. Glenn talking a lot about our relationship with food. I think that those interviews would be super helpful to hear his perspective and he talks about the inner pig, not that we're a pig, but the inner pig in our brain that's telling us to behave a certain way.
And make sure you're getting enough sleep. And make sure that you have great relationships with loved ones. And making sure that you feel satisfied in your personal life, I think is certainly a very, very important part of this. But the concerns that come up for me are, are you eating enough? Having this fixation on a number that may not be a healthy number for you to be at. I have had so many female patients that will say, "I want to weigh what I waited 18" and yet, this is 20, 30 years later, and it's woefully not realistic for them to weigh. What they did at 18 years old, when they probably weren't nourishing themselves or probably not getting enough sleep, etc. Melanie, what are your thoughts?
Melanie Avalon: First of all, I love all of that that you said, and I agree. I want to clear up one little thing. She says that she had heard Gin's recommendations about continuing your current way of eating and adding IF, so not changing the way you're eating. What's interesting about Catherine situation is, so, Gin's perspective on that it's normally not Catherine situation. It's normally people who are coming from a standard American diet and Gin says, "Start IF rather than cleaning up your diet at the same time." Whereas Catherine situation, she was on a really restrictive diet. And so, she did "change" when she started IF, because instead of staying on the restrictive diet, she started eating much more freely, which the two clarifications there is that I think-- I don't want to put words in Gin's mouth, but I think Gin would be more on board with that concept, actually.
And then, two, I think people can do it either way, but I actually don't have a problem with people starting IF and making dietary changes at the same time. I actually think it's really great. I think if people want to like start, especially if coming from a standard American diet and they want to make a healthy, whole foods type choices at the same time as they start IF, I think that's great. I just wanted to clarify on that. I think everything that Cynthia said that that lower weights that Catherine was at might not necessarily be a sustainable weight, if you want to maintain certain health and energy related goals at the same time. So, really what you have to ask yourself, because I'm goal-- Am I goal agnostic? I'm goal agnostic for other people. I personally believe that our goal should be health and wellness and energy and vitality. But also, I believe that people can have whatever goals they want. It's their body. You can pursue what you want to have in your body. And for some people, if they want to be a thinner weight that requires dietary restriction, you can do that. It might not be a healthy approach to life and it might be hard to maintain. Because Catherine experienced that. She was calorie counting, she was macro counting, she wasn't enjoying her life, she didn't feel as good. So, that might just be what is required to have been at that weight. And so, you just have to ask yourself, "Is that what you want?"
And what I am wondering, though is, I think there actually is a lot of room. Stepping back, I know you did actually, physically gain weight because you say with an exclamation point, how you can see the fat on your body. But I also do wonder if making this change from having been calorie restricted and being in a calorie deficit to sounds like you're just going and eating all the things. I wonder if there's a level of inflammation that came along with that style of eating, so there might be a happy medium. This is just an idea. But there might be a happy medium that doesn't actually require calorie counting, it doesn't require macro counting, it doesn't require restriction, where you're just cleaning up those food choices that you are making. I think that might be a place to start rather than trying to go the restriction route.
Cynthia was talking about the importance of a high protein diet and the green vegetables. And so, maybe having a mindset shift, where we What are the healthiest foods you can put in your body in your eating window, what is the healthiest way you can approach your snack and your dessert? If you have them, can you possibly have other versions? Can you not have the snack or can you have other versions of the dessert and snack that might be more fulfilling or healthier for your body? I would just maybe approach it more from a health mindset with a few choices rather than a restriction mindset. Because I think it's completely 100% possible for you to actually have all the goals, which would be the energy, and the skin, and feeling amazing in your body from that perspective, and also, being at a weight that makes you happy, and it doesn't necessarily require restriction. Any thoughts to that?
Cynthia Thurlow: I do fervently believe a lot of it's a reframe. So, really thinking about your relationship, not only with your body, but with food as well can be very, very helpful, for sure.
Melanie Avalon: Also, I love that you brought up Glenn Livingston. He is honestly one of my favorite people on the planet. His book, again, it is called Never Binge Again, which is a little bit of a misleading title, because it's not just for people who are struggling with binge eating disorder, but it's really wonderful for that mindset shift and reframing how you are seeing food, your cravings, your wants, your desires. I find it very helpful.
Cynthia Thurlow: That's a great book. Actually, I think twice this week already, I suggested that episode to women in different groups.
Melanie Avalon: I love that. I love that.
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Melanie Avalon: All right, shall we go on to our next question?
Cynthia Thurlow: Absolutely.
Melanie Avalon: I'm excited for this question, because it's a Cynthia question. This comes from Lydia and the subject is: "IF and palpitations." And Lydia says, "Hello, I'm Lydia. And recently, July 11th to be exact began doing intermittent fasting. I purchased Delay, Don't Deny and listen to the podcast regularly, as well as join the Facebook groups. Well, I soon began to have heart palpitations and I have read that maybe I was dehydrated. I upped my water intake, I added Himalayan salt occasionally, but I was really having a bad time with the palpitations. They especially occurred when I lay down for whatever reason. I'll be seeing a cardiologist soon after getting an electrocardiogram and after wearing a Holter monitor for 48 hours. But after I stopped doing the clean fasting and I stopped longer fast, the palpitations are mostly gone. So, is it possibly dehydration after all? Have you heard of others having this issue? I was so happy to have lost 10 pounds by August 14th. But now, I'm slowly gaining back since I haven't been clean fasting. By the way, my starting weight was 167 and I'm about 5'6". Now, I'm back to 161 after getting to 157 by August 14th." Thank you, Lydia.
Cynthia Thurlow: Well, Lydia, this is my wheelhouse. The listeners know that my whole background as an NP was in ER Med and cardiology. And the one thing that I know a lot about are palpitations, ones that are benign, but annoying and dehydration. And I would absolutely agree that if you are going too fast, you need electrolytes. And yes, Himalayan sea salt is great, if you're salting your meals. But you actually need a more comprehensive product and that one that is going to provide potassium, and magnesium, and sodium, and chloride. And so, anytime anyone is fasting, especially in summer, it's really, really important that you're replacing those electrolytes. And it more than likely, I would imagine that the palpitations are probably precipitated by low magnesium. And this is more often than not the electrolyte in particular that I see most people are not keeping optimal levels of. And really the blood tests that you want to ask for when you see the cardiologist and any cardiologists will order this as a red blood cell magnesium. It's much more accurate. But also doing a comprehensive metabolic panel. It sounds like they're doing quite a big workup if they're doing a Holter as well as an EKG.
If you're seeing an association of fasting correlated with the palpitations and now that you are stopped the clean fasting and stop longer fast, and the palpitations are almost gone, I think, oftentimes, we'll say correlation is not causation, but this is clearly a relationship that sounds it is directly related to the dehydration. You're probably experiencing by not replacing the electrolytes in a fasted state. One thing I teach people when they're fasting for the first time is that electrolytes are critically important, especially, if perhaps at that time, you lowered your carbohydrate intake. We know when you tend to be lower carb, you have release of glycogen, which is stored sugar and you'll actually urinate out more electrolytes including sodium. And so, it's very, very important that you're replacing that. And there's lots of clean options. I have a product called Simply Hydration. There's LMNT and many other options that are out there.
The other thing is you mentioned that your weight fluctuated from 161 to 157 pounds. It is not at all uncommon depending on what we're eating and drinking that our weight could fluctuate by three to five pounds. And so, I don't know what age you are, but that can happen around our menstrual cycles, it could happen if we had a lot more carbohydrates. And so, I wouldn't get too concerned about four pounds. It's always over the period of time. There's a colleague of mine that always talks about there's the Hell No Way. When you get to a point where you're like, "Okay, this is five pounds over where I generally am average wise and then it's time to ratchet in on the cleaner eating." I would absolutely follow up with your cardiologist. They sound like they're doing a really nice job. I would focus on comprehensive electrolyte replacement and especially, in a fasted state. More hydration, more electrolytes, and recognizing that there is that interrelationship. And it's probably related to low magnesium and I'm actually setting Melanie up, so that she can talk about magnesium.
Melanie Avalon: I love that. Well, first of all, for listeners who might not be familiar, Cynthia, what is your background in cardiology?
Cynthia Thurlow: Well, it's interesting. I did general cardiology, but then when I transitioned into to predominantly doing office setting, I worked with a lot of our electrophysiologist, who are specialized cardiologists that do defibrillator, and pacemakers, and deal with arrhythmias. When I tell you that I know magnesium backwards and forwards, more often than not even in the benign arrhythmias, it was magnesium that was precipitating episodes. And more often than not in the lethal arrhythmias, things that originate from the ventricles, which are the bottom chambers of the heart. It was magnesium that was driving some of those symptoms. When I tell you that I know magnesium well, I've gotten very creative over the years with magnesium replacement. We could certainly if Melanie, if you want to we can talk about other ways to replace magnesium either with transdermal applications, or soaking our legs, or taking products by mouth. All can be very, very helpful when getting our magnesium levels back up.
Melanie Avalon: Yes. Well, first of all, I just love that you have that background and that knowledge. I will put in a plug for LMNT. Cynthia mentioned them. But we do have an offer for them. There are full-spectrum electrolyte supplements. So, not just magnesium. It's magnesium, potassium.
Cynthia Thurlow: Sodium chloride.
Melanie Avalon: Dah. Sodium. So, you can go to drinklmnt.com/ifpodcast and we have an offer there. I believe the offer right now should be to get free electrolytes at that link. Definitely check that out. And then, yes, it is so, so exciting that Cynthia is on board and on the same page as me about the importance of magnesium. So many people are deficient in magnesium. I'm actually not for taking all the vitamins all the time. I think it should be very nuanced and specific to the individual. And that, when possible, we should try to get our nutrients from food. That said, it's really hard to get adequate magnesium levels today. Our soils are depleted. It's been estimated that in the past one hundred years, the soil levels of the magnesium have gone down by 90%, which is crazy. And then on top of that, that's just the actual levels of magnesium. That doesn't account for the fact that pesticides and glyphosate in the soil actually chelate magnesium. So, a lot of that magnesium isn't even available to the body to be used in its proper form. And then on top of that, it is potentially toxic, because it's attached to a pesticide.
The fact that most people are deficient is no surprise. And so, like Cynthia said, there's lots of ways that you can boost and raise magnesium levels. I recently released my Magnesium 8 by AvalonX and I formulated it to honestly be the best magnesium on the market. I promise, it is the best, because I wanted to make the best. It is eight forms of magnesium and their most bioavailable forms. But it comes with methylated B6 to help with absorption, not the non-methylated form, which is often used in supplements. And then it has manganese, because magnesium can often displace manganese. And then it's in a glass bottle, because I am not about plastics leaching into our bodies in the environment, which by the way, Cynthia, I just booked a guest. I'm really excited about. Matt Simon, he's the head editor at WIRED and he has a book coming out in 2022. He has some other books, but his book coming out in 2022 is about the effects of microplastics and the environment. I'm so excited, because I think that's a really big problem. So, I'm really excited to read this book and learn about that.
Oh, and this was crazy. One of my best friends from college ever worked at WIRED. I emailed him. I was like, "I don't know how many people are on staff at WIRED, but do you know my friend?" And he's like, "Oh, yeah, we sit next to each other in the office." It's such a small world. So, all that to say, you can get my Magnesium 8, that is at avalonx.us. The coupon code, MELANIEAVALON will get you 10% off. I think we will have launched subscriptions by the time this comes out. If you get a subscription for that, you can get actually 15% off. The other ways of getting magnesium would be like transdermal.
Cynthia Thurlow: And I like a product called Ancient Minerals that we will link up. You can spray that into two cupped hands and rub it on your, I usually say, trunk. Like upper arms, legs, trunk. And if your skin tends to be sensitive, you want to pick the sensitive skin formulation. But you can leave that on for 20 minutes and then rinse off. That's super efficacious.
Melanie Avalon: So good resources there. Hopefully, that helps, Lydia. Do we have time for one more question?
Cynthia Thurlow: Sure. Our next question is from Sarah. Subject is: "positive side effects." "I've been doing IF since the first of the year as an experiment just to see how it worked for me. Your podcast has been a valuable resource for me and I'm grateful for all your tips. I don't need to lose any weight or gain energy, but I was tired of constantly thinking about when and what I was eating to get maximum nutrition benefits. I felt I was either eating or preparing to eat all the time. Needless to say, IF has changed that with a shorter afternoon window usually 3 PM to 8 PM. I have always eaten a pescatarian diet with a balance of nutrients. I do enjoy at least a small, processed food snack a day like Chex Mix or Cheez-It and I've not changed my diet at all.
I am so much less stressed about food, and I think I can finally achieve the rest and digest state. One of the positive side effects that I've noticed in myself that I don't think I have heard you discuss is the change to my bowel movements and the decrease in gas. I often had gas in the evenings and carried Gas-X in my purse at all times. I have not needed to take it on the last two months. Also, sorry, if this is TMI, but my bowel movements were previously very soft. Since intermittent fasting, I noticed my bowel movements are now more solid and easier to clean. Just wondering, if this is truly a result of intermittent fasting and why the change. Thanks, and keep up the good work." Casey.
Melanie Avalon: Thank you so much for your question and we're very excited for you that you've experienced so many wonderful effects with intermittent fasting. Earlier, Cynthia was using the phrase "correlation, not causation and how it's hard to know." But I would say, it's very likely that if the only thing you perceived as having changed was IF and then you had this substantial change in your bowel movements, then it's probably related to IF or changes from IF that led to this. I mean, it's a good problem to have. So, I'm happy that we're not trying to find the problem and solve it. But there's so many different things that could be going on for why you might experience better bowel movements. By not eating constantly, it gives our GI tract. It allows for the natural peristalsis of the intestine, and it allows things to be moving. So, it can create a better synchronicity and rhythm to your system, where your digestive system has time to rest to clean out with those cleansing waves and not have things build up that are creating gas. It also might be--
You talked about how now finally when you're eating, you feel you're in the rest and digest state, so the parasympathetic state. That is so, so important for properly digesting our food, for creating stomach acid to digest our food, enzymes. The fact that you are just likely digesting your food better, it could be a huge reason that you're not having gas anymore, you're having better, more well-formed bowel movements. It's just helping your body process food better. And then the effects on the gut microbiome, so, there's a lot of effects that could be happening there. It's possible that this change with the fasting is actually supporting a more favorable gut population. There have been studies on fasting finding favorable effects on the gut microbiome. So, it's possible that you've had changes there. Cynthia, thoughts?
Cynthia Thurlow: I would echo your sentiments. And I think a lot about the migrating motor complex. And so, in our digestive system, we really do need four to five hours between meals to allow this sweet sweeper of the GI tract to be able to do its magic. And there's so much good research talking about the gut microbiome and the benefits of eating less frequently. And is it any surprise that your digestive processes is out now in a position, where it can properly package up and get rid of waste? And so, not at all surprised to hear that your bowel movements are much more solid. We use that Bristol stool scale. Melanie, have you seen that before?
Melanie Avalon: Have I? You're talking to like the-- [laughs]
Cynthia Thurlow: We aim for the for. That's what we're working towards. And so, it just shows that your stool is-- there's enough time for your body to break down absorb nutrients, get rid of what doesn't belong, you're not dehydrated. I think our stool is really one of many indicators of our health. So, bravo and excited that you've had seen so many benefits so quickly.
Melanie Avalon: I probably shouldn't share this. I should probably envision thousands of people listening before I say this. It's funny, because they'll do things. I don't know who 'they' is. You'll see things where people say, "Eat something really pigmented, so you can figure out how long your transit time is," like do a beat test or like a blueberry test.
Cynthia Thurlow: We used to do corn.
Melanie Avalon: Okay, corn. And it's funny. Whenever I see that I'm like, "Wait, doesn't everybody always monitor that, like, monitoring that 24/7?"
Cynthia Thurlow: You're hilarious. No, it's interesting. There's a program that I teach in the fall called RESTART. I think it's week two. I actually have them bring corn to class, and they ingest two tablespoons of corn, and then they let me know how long it is before they see it in their stool.
Melanie Avalon: I had an intake form with a doctor and he's like, "We're going to do this." I was like, "I do that every day. I can already tell you that."
Cynthia Thurlow: You are like, I'm an ideal patient.
Melanie Avalon: I already know the answer to that question. All right. Well, this has been absolutely wonderful. A few things for listeners before we go. We will put links to everything that we talked about in the show notes. Those will be at ifpodcast.com/episode282. A reminder to everybody to definitely go to shieldyourbody.com/rsd for Radiation Safety Day. That's where you can learn the two key rules to help protect yourself from EMF exposure for free and get entered to win a EMF blocking bed canopy worth $2,000, as well as a lot of other prizes. All for free. Lots of resources. That's shieldyourbody.com/rsd And again, the coupon code, MELANIEAVALON will get you 15% off, if you would like to purchase anything from Shield Your Body.
And there will be a full transcript in the show notes. You can definitely check that out. And then lastly, if you would like to submit your own questions for the show, you can directly email email@example.com or you can go to ifpodcast.com and you can submit questions there. And you can follow us on Instagram. We are @ifpodcast. I am @melanieavalon, and Cynthia is @cynthia_thurlow_. Well, this has been absolutely wonderful. Cynthia and I will talk to you next week.
Cynthia Thurlow: Sounds good.
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 and no patient-doctor relationship is formed. 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, and original theme composed by Leland Cox and recomposed by Steve Saunders. See you next week.
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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
Cynthia's Intermittent Fasting Transformation: The 45-Day Program for Women to Lose Stubborn Weight, Improve Hormonal Health, and Slow Aging
The Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast
More on Melanie: MelanieAvalon.com
More on Cynthia: cynthiathurlow.com
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