Episode 298: Clean Hair Products, Skipping Meals & Mortality, Dietary Recall Studies, Defining OMAD, Breaking Fast Easily, Satiety, And More!

Intermittent Fasting


Help Make The Intermittent Fasting Podcast Possible!

Hi Friends! We put a ton of time and energy into researching and producing The Intermittent Fasting Podcast. You can help support us on Patreon! Every dollar helps!

Jan 01

Welcome to Episode 298 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:

BUTCHERBOX: Grass-Fed Beef, Organic Chicken, Heritage Pork, Wild-Caught Seafood: Nutrient-Rich, Raised Sustainably The Way Nature Intended, And Shipped Straight To Your Door! For A Limited Time Go To butcherbox.com/ifpodcast And Get The New Year Bundle For Free Plus $10 Off When You Sign Up Today. That’s A 14 Oz Pork Tenderloin, 2 Lbs Of Ground Turkey, And 4 Top Sirloin Steaks Free In Your First Box!

ATHLETIC GREENS: 75 High-Quality Vitamins, Minerals, Whole-Food Sourced Ingredients, Probiotics, And Adaptogens In One Delicious Scoop! Get A FREE 1 Year Supply Of Immune-Supporting Vitamin D AND 5 FREE Travel Packs With Your First Purchase At athleticgreens.com/ifpodcast.

 JOOVV: Like intermittent fasting, red light therapy can benefit the body on so many levels! It literally works on the mitochondrial level to help your cells generate more energy! Red light can help you burn fat (including targeted fat burning and stubborn fat!), contour your body, reduce fine lines and wrinkles, produce collagen for epic skin, support muscle recovery, reduce joint pain and inflammation, combat fatigue, help you sleep better, improve mood, and so much more!! These devices are literally LIFE CHANGING!! For A Limited Time Go To Joovv.com/ifpodcast And Use The Code IFPODCAST For An Exclusive Discount!

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


1:10 - BUTCHERBOX: For A Limited Time Go To butcherbox.com/ifpodcast And Get The New Year Bundle For Free Plus $10 Off When You Sign Up Today. That’s A 14 Oz Pork Tenderloin, 2 Lbs Of Ground Turkey, And 4 Top Sirloin Steaks Free In Your First Box!

4:10 - 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
Join Melanie's Facebook Group Clean Beauty And Safe Skincare With Melanie Avalon To Discuss And Learn About All The Things Clean Beauty, Beautycounter And Safe Skincare!

The Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast Episode #110 - Jon Levy

Ep. 160 – The Power Of Behavior-Centric Health & Wellness: Trade-Offs for a Long and Happy Life with Jon Levy

19:45 - 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.

21:25 - Listener Feedback: Diane - Better hair products


Episode 294: Creatine, Excess Skin, Toning Up, Clean Hair Dye, Hormones, Caffeine, Cortisol, Hormetic Stress, Jet Lag, Hydration, Melatonin, And More!

25:00 - Listener Q&A: Cara - New study found increase risk of early mortality with fasting?

Meal Skipping and Shorter Meal Intervals Are Associated with Increased Risk of All-Cause and Cardiovascular Disease Mortality among US Adults

38:35 - JOOVV: For A Limited Time Go To joovv.com/ifpodcast And Use The Code IFPODCAST For An Exclusive Discount!

41:50 - Listener Q&A: Kemla - Does it matter?

Episode 116: The Great OMAD Debate

44:00 - Listener Q&A: Nancy - one meal a day?

57:25 - Listener Q&A: Spencer - Breaking fast

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 298 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. I'm here with my cohost, Cynthia Thurlow, Nurse Practitioner and author of Intermittent Fasting Transformation: A 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 show 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.

Hi friends, I'm about to tell you how you can get a 14-ounce heritage-breed pork tenderloin, 2 pounds of sustainably raised ground turkey, and four grass-fed top sirloin steaks, all for free, plus $10 off. Yes, all of that incredible meat, plus $10 off, all for free. We are a bit obsessed with a company called ButcherBox, which is always in season. Some of my favorite meals that I had throughout the holiday season were fantastic meat and seafood from ButcherBox. Now with the new year, it is time to celebrate with only the very best of the best when it comes to meat and seafood that you put in your body, as well as meat and seafood that helps support our planet and the environment.

They make it so, so easy to get high-quality humanely raised meat that you can trust. They deliver 100% grass-fed, grass-finished beef, free-range organic chicken, heritage-breed pork that’s really hard to find, by the way, and wild-caught sustainable and responsible seafood shipped directly to your door. When you become a member, you’re joining a community focused on doing what’s better for everyone. That includes caring about the lives of animals, the livelihoods of farmers, treating our planet with respect, and enjoying deliciously better meals together. I did so much research on ButcherBox, you can actually check out my blog post all about it at melanieavalon.com/butcherbox.

All of their beef is 100% grass-fed and grass-finished and they work personally with all the farmers to truly support the regenerative agriculture system. I also did an interview with Robb Wolf on my show, The Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast, all about the massive importance of supporting regenerative agriculture for the sustainability of not only ourselves but the planet. This is so important to me. I’ll put a link to that in the show notes. The value is incredible. The average cost is actually less than $6 per meal and it's so easy. Everything ships directly to your door and it is so delicious. I love carpaccio for example. The ButcherBox steaks are incredible for that. That's how you know it's good steak when you can eat it rare like that and ButcherBox has an incredible offer for our audience.

You can get the New Year bundle for free, plus $10 off when you sign up today. That's a 14-ounce heritage-breed pork tenderloin, 2 pounds of sustainably raised ground turkey, and four grass-fed top sirloin steaks, all for free, in your first box. Sign up @butcherbox.com/ifpodcast and use code IFPODCAST to claim this offer. Again, to get a 14-ounce heritage-breed pork tenderloin, 2 pounds of sustainably raised ground turkey, and four grass-fed top sirloin steaks, all for free, plus $10 off, sign up @butcherbox.com/ifpodcast and use code IFPODCAST to claim this offer. We'll put all this information in the show notes.

One more thing before we jump in, are you fasting clean inside and out? So, 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 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. So, 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 may be 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 counter time for anti-aging, counter match for normal skin, counter control for acne and oily prone, and counter start for sensitive. I use their Overnight Resurfacing Peel and vitamin C serum every single night of my life. And their makeup is amazing. Check out 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. 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 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.

Hi everybody and welcome. This is Episode number 298 of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast. I’m Melanie Avalon and I’m here with Cynthia Thurlow.

Cynthia Thurlow: Hi, Melanie.

Melanie Avalon: Hi, Cynthia. Can I tell you a story and also ask you a question? They're unrelated.

Cynthia Thurlow: Of course.

Melanie Avalon: Okay, great. [chuckles] This week I had a really crazy moment. I had two interviews for press-related stuff, and I was prepping for one of the interviews. You might have seen this on my story, so I'm sorry if I'm telling the story again. I was prepping for one of the interviews and I knew one of the questions was going to be about being a female entrepreneur. So, I googled, well in DuckDuckGo but it happened in Google too. I checked. In DuckDuckGo, I googled “tips female entrepreneur” the first hit, literally the first hit was an article from Forbes, and it was the one I was in. And not only was it the first hit, but the preview text was my part of the article. So, I literally googled something to prep for the next day and I was the first hit. Isn't that crazy. I keep thinking about that. That's very surreal. Like, out of all the people in the world. 

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, that's amazing. 

Melanie Avalon: So, I thought it was funny that I was trying to find the answer and I clearly already had the answer. Yeah, that was my fun story. And then I have a question, but do you have any fun stories you would like to share? I know you saw Hamilton.

Cynthia Thurlow: I did. We were in New York City this past weekend, so my family and I, it's the first time we've all been together in New York in five years, which is hard to believe and it's very different with preteens versus teenagers. We had a lot of fun and Hamilton was worth every effort at seeing it on Broadway. I'm just phenomenal. The irony is I flew back to New York two days later for the Influencers Dinner. 

Melanie Avalon: All right, with John. 

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah. Which I did last night, which was amazing. I met such amazing human beings and people that were in different fields. The irony is the only person who guessed.

Melanie Avalon: Who all were there? 

Cynthia Thurlow: There were artists, there were chief marketing officers for major brands, like recognizable brands. There was a cardiologist who was in the midst of the pandemic, like, hitting New York City, who was absolutely brilliant. People just in different fields, but all really interesting like, there was a guy who had been a record producer for, like, Biggie and Pink, just such a diverse group of people, but no egos. Everyone was lovely and you were not allowed to give your last name or what you did. So, we were all interacting and then went about putting a meal together and then sat and had a meal. We went around the table trying to guess what everyone did. 

The person who guessed correctly, what I did turned out to be the cardiologist, even though we had not even talked about any of these things. He was just such a cool person. I would never have guessed he was a cardiologist because of his personality. He was just kind of more free spirited and relaxed and not nearly as intense as most of the other people. I had an amazing evening, but I was up really late for me and then was up at 04:00 in the morning and I'm working on a solid, like, 4 hours of sleep. So, I'm sure tonight I will crash. But right now, I'm running on adrenal and it was an incredible experience. I told John that you said, “Hello.” 

Melanie Avalon: That makes me so happy. I love hearing about those events. I really want to go to one as well. John keeps sending me all the dates. I'm like, “I'm going to come to one, I promise.” 

Cynthia Thurlow: Yes, it was a lot of fun. I guess the thing that was really interesting was one of the we thought was participants turned out to be his mom, who was so lovely. I got to meet her and she was visiting from Israel. It's interesting when you see people in their natural habitat because this was actually a dinner at John's house. He was totally gracious and very supportive. I went home with a signed copy of his most recent book. His dad was this incredible artist and went home with a book of his father. So, it was like, all in all, just a really incredible, like less than 24-hour experience. Yeah, no more New York travel for a while. 

Melanie Avalon: That is amazing. John and I have been bouncing off ideas. I don't know if we're going to do this. We've been thinking we should start a podcast or something just because we talk about all of these crazy, random topics. He's so well connected. I just feel like there's a lot that we could do. [chuckles] So that's so exciting. Wow. Yay.

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah. It was a really great experience. 

Melanie Avalon: Well, for listeners, we'll put links in the show notes. Cynthia and I both had John on our shows, so we will put links to the episodes that we had with him. His book you're invited is super cool. It's all about how well, I think the subtitle is something about the art of cultivating influence. But it's about how people cultivate influence. It's about how people become, like, respected leaders with communities and basically leaders of groups and things like that. It's really interesting. It's human psychology. So why people do what they do. So, yeah. 

Cynthia Thurlow: What was really interesting was that only a few people in the room knew who he was, but they still came to this dinner, which I thought was so cool because someone said to me, like, “How do John?” I said, “Oh, well, through my friend Melanie, but I've also had him on my podcast.” He made sure that he was like, if you ever need any support in your business or you have questions, I'm here for you. I think it's a really phenomenal way to network with people because you're so disarmed, because you're not allowed to lean into what's easy, meaning, like talking about your work or leading with your title, whatever it is that however people lead. That's not the way that I am. When you're making a meal with people, you really just get very relaxed, invested in the process. And so, we even helped clean up. We even did dishes. Everyone was part of making the meal, cleaning up for the meal. It was a really delightful evening. 

Melanie Avalon: That's so fun. It's nice for him, too, not to have to do dishes at the end [chuckles] of all these dinners because he has a lot of them and he does them in LA, San Francisco, and New York. 

Cynthia Thurlow: Well and I think it's just nice to feel like this is really the first time I've been in New York. Maybe in September when I was there, when I spoke, but this is the first time I've been back in New York where it's felt like the New York I remember. There's still a lot of mask-wearing, that's a whole tangential conversation and there's no judgment. I'm just saying observationally. There was a lot of mask-wearing and people just being conscientious, but people just seemed, like, happy to be back interacting in person in real life with other humans. 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, that's awesome. I should probably say his last name is John Levy. I don't think I said that. 

Cynthia Thurlow: He's so smart. He was even talking about his siblings, all of whom are incredibly accomplished, too. When we found out his mom was at the table, I was like, “Oh my gosh, this is so amazing.” 

Melanie Avalon: That's so cool. Yeah, I love that. My question for you, because this episode airs January 2nd, so this will be the day after New Year's Eve or the day after New Year's Day. Cynthia, do you make New Year's resolutions and do you recommend that people do?

Cynthia Thurlow: I think that I personally don't per se change a lot from year to year. I'm of course open to the possibility, but I try to have a word of the year. That's what I lean into. In some years balance or dedication or whatever I'm leaning into and so, I'm mulling over the idea of what is going to be my focus for 2023. On a lot of different levels, I think it's probably going to be clarity about where I am in my business and where I am in my personal life. So, I do think it's a good idea to evaluate behaviors, what works, what doesn't work. But to me, I don't like to think of it as like a New Year's resolution because that to me, really means a temporary thing, whereas if I have a focus for the year, that's how I choose to frame it so that it's something I'm going to be consistently working on month to month, day to day. And so, clarity is my 2023 word, I'm fairly certain. How about you?

Melanie Avalon: That is super cool. I like that. That's a very practical, implementable thing that people could do. Maybe I should do that. I don't really and I think it's because I kind of feel like every day is like a New Year's resolution day. Like constantly, I’ve so many dreams and goals, and I always feel very inspired and motivated to be doing them. So, it doesn't feel like, “Oh, this is the chance to start anew.” I'm constantly in that vibe. Not to say that people who make.

Cynthia Thurlow: Growth headspace.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, but I don't mean by that people who make New Year's resolutions aren't that way. It's just it doesn't feel like a milestone in my personal life right now. It might change. I'd be really curious though, if people want to tell us their New Year's resolutions. I wonder if the most common New Year's resolutions like what they are. Like the top 10. I would bet one of them is weight loss, but I bet one's probably career related.

Cynthia Thurlow: So, I am fully adulting now and between our financial advisor, our financial planner, my CPA in my business, it's like we've gotten very granular. I think part of the clarity piece for me, just for full transparency, is that we've gotten really, really, really specific in my business about where my energies go, where they do not. I'll give you an example as I'm sure it happens to you. You get asked a lot to do press, you get asked a lot to do guest podcasts. I was finding that I was spending so much time supporting other people's podcasts that I wasn't creating the space for me to be able to be in my business and not be stressed going from one thing to another. One of the rules that I created with my team was that I only do two guest podcasts a month and I could easily do 20.

It's one of those things where we've gotten very specific about what metrics, what's their audience like, is it a good fit. That's made me very happy because coming off of the book launch, this year has been wonderful but exhausting and it's not a pace I want to keep up. This is not to suggest my podcast is going anywhere or this podcast is going anywhere. I'm just talking about guest podcasting and is it in my best interest to be overcommitting myself. So, as an example, we've already filled the two spots in December, we filled the two in January, now we're working on February. That has allowed me to feel like I have a little bit more breathing space and so we're doing things like that because that serves my higher purpose. Then I can devote more time to my business and not feel super stressed, which has been my baseline this whole year for sure. 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, no. I think that's amazing and that's something I've been really working on as well, is you want to just say yes to everything, but you can't. You need to know [chuckles] when to say no and that's okay. 

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, well, and it's interesting, when you really start getting granular about metrics and who is their audience, is it really serving my best interest and their own to have me on. We've had to politely say no to a lot of opportunities because I either don't want to be traveling all the time, that's another thing. Getting very clear about what speaking events I'm going to do and what are the things that are going to lead to more opportunities and understanding that, you and I both know this that our time is valuable as is everyone's. but does it serve me to be on planes and flying all over if it's really not laser focused on what I'm working towards. That's the one thing I would say, “Clarity.”

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I think that's great. 

Cynthia Thurlow: I take AG1 several times a week after working out and when I'm ready to break my fast and it really makes me feel unstoppable. I love to add it to a protein smoothie, or actually we'll drink it with filtered water and I love both variations. My 17-year-old also enjoys AG1 after a workout to ensure he stays really well hydrated. A great deal of what I focus on in my personal life is ongoing gut health improvement. I do feel fundamentally that AG1 has contributed significantly to improvements in my gut health over the last three years. I feel as if the key health benefits from multivitamins, minerals, pre and postbiotics all work together synergistically to improve my gut microbiome. AG1 is way more than just greens. It's important to note that it's made with 75 super high-quality vitamins, minerals, and whole food source ingredients that deliver incredible benefits to the gut microbiome, as well as sleep support, assistance with energy, and so much more.

So, if you want to take full ownership of your health, today is a good time to start. Athletic Greens is giving you a free one-year supply of vitamin D and five free travel packs with your first purchase. I find that these five free travel packs are so convenient when you're traveling. In fact, I was in Los Angeles last week and I used one each day that I was away. Go to athleticgreens.com/ifpodcast that's athleticgreens.com/ifpodcast and check it out. 

Melanie Avalon: All ready. Shall we jump into everything for today? 

Cynthia Thurlow: Absolutely. 

Melanie Avalon: So, to start things off, this is actually some feedback from a listener. We recently were discussing toxic hair products and whether or not there were options for coloring your hair and we provided some brands. We just got some quick feedback from Diane, and the subject is “Better Hair Products.” And she says, “Hi there, just wanted to remind folks about the EWG website. Listening to your last podcast, someone asked about less toxic hair color/care. I've been looking for a while, and I found a few cheaper brands of hair shampoos and conditioners as I like to switch them often. Herbal Essence has some that rated low. Obviously, the scented ones rate a bit higher. Unscented castile soap is a one." I'm just going to insert something. This is Melanie talking. I am obsessed with unscented castile soap. I use it for everything. Do you use it, Cynthia? 

Cynthia Thurlow: I do. 

Melanie Avalon: I use it in the shower to take my makeup off and the sink to wash my hands. I mean, that stuff is just amazing. 

Cynthia Thurlow: And it lasts a while. 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, it does. Yeah, it's incredible. I think you can also use it for the dishwasher and clothes if you make certain concoctions, but I haven't done that. She says, “I'm sure there are more, but I can't get into my personal list on the EWG website, I also found a pump hairspray that smells edible. It's raspberry and reminds me of one from the 80s that I used to use, but this is much friendlier and far less toxic. It's made by All-Nutrient, which is local to me, but I see they sell it on Amazon. I also tried a brand called I think it's Qet and the sample they sent, but it was the size of a paperclip and despite my toddler-sized hands, I couldn't even spray the thing. As far as color and lighting, I'm with you. I asked my three hairdresser friends to research this and find the least toxic/gentlest kinds, but no luck yet. Love listening to and learning from you and Cynthia XOXOX.”

I'll just comment if listeners check out that other episode. We did list quite a few dye brands that were options and I would actually love if people do have experience with nontoxic hair dye. I would love to hear if people have found brands that they like, because it's definitely one of the areas where there doesn't seem to be a lot of options. I'm surprised we didn't mention the EWG. Definitely, the EWG is amazing. 

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, their Skin Deep app is certainly very helpful. Diane, thank you so much for sharing those. It gives us more options to consider. Listeners, if there are other brands that you like using that are cleaner, certainly pass them along. I think to me it is a work in progress. Hair is my pain point. I'm very transparent about that, but that does not mean that there aren't wonderful options that are out there. I'm just happy I'm using Argan oil, which is super helpful for the frizz that I experience about eight months out of the year, here in very humid hot Virginia. 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I'm having flashbacks to growing up in Memphis and the hair situation. 

Cynthia Thurlow: I didn't realize you grew up in Memphis. I thought you grew up in Atlanta. 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, well, I was here until 10. I was in Memphis my formative years of 10 until 17. So, middle school and high school, elementary school part of it. What's interesting is out of the entire timeline of my life, I've lived in Memphis the least. Compared to Atlanta and Los Angeles, Memphis feels like where I've lived the longest because it was when I was growing up. 

Cynthia Thurlow: So cool. Little known facts. 

Melanie Avalon: I know. Shall we go on to our next question? 

Cynthia Thurlow: Sure. This is a question from Kara and it says, “New study found to increase risk of early mortality with fasting. Please interpret.” "Hi, I saw this post on Instagram from @fastingmd. The study is referenced in the show notes. She mentions, “I love this way of life. I typically fast while I'm seeing patients because I know my brain is more clear and I am more focused. It's usually about 18 hours. I've recently tried a snack at 2:30 to take probiotics for leaky gut, but I just don't like the way I feel less on if I do have a snack. After months of trying to figure out my gut issues, I went to a functional medicine practitioner based on your advice. It was the best thing I've ever done. I had no idea how not normal my bathroom experiences were, but also the amount of mental exhaustion from worrying and trying to figure out what it was that I ate that caused the issues. I tried eliminating every food category with very little improvement. To the listeners out there who this is ringing true for, go get a specialist to guide you. I am a healthcare practitioner and I couldn't solve it on my own. I'd love to hear your opinions about the study, Kara. 

Melanie Avalon: Awesome. Well, Kara, thank you so much for your question and your experience. I will just comment with the probiotic snack thing. I don't know which probiotic you're taking, but a lot of probiotics you could take it with your meal or possibly even on an empty stomach. I would just look at your probiotic again and see if it indicates that it needs to be taken with food. But I feel like most probiotics you could take on an empty stomach, so that might be an option. Also, thank you for sharing your experience and your openness about being a healthcare practitioner and realizing that you can still benefit from a third-party perspective guiding you. That's super amazing. The study that she referenced is called Meal Skipping and Shorter Meal Intervals Are Associated with Increased Risk of All-Cause and Cardiovascular Disease Mortality among US Adults. It was published August 10, 2022 in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. 

It was a prospective study. It looked, in retrospect, at a lot of people, a total of 24,011 adults who had participated in surveys about food intake and eating behavior using 24-hour recall from 1999 to 2014. What it did was it looked at a lot of things, but one of the main things that looked at and why everybody is talking about this is it looked at the role of meal frequency and how it related to cardiovascular disease and mortality and they separated it into different options. There were people that skipped breakfast, people that skipped lunch and people that skipped dinner. They found that people who skipped breakfast had a higher cause for CBD mortality compared to those who didn't. People who skipped lunch and people who skipped dinner had a higher cause for all-cause mortality.

So, of course, it has a really scary headline, which is annoying and we can break this down. I mean, the headline makes it look like it is literally the meal skipping and the shorter meal intervals, because they also looked at how often people were eating, and they looked at that association. In the title, of course, they say that is leading to an increased risk of these diseases and death. But what did it actually find. So, what's interesting is it was looking at a lot of characteristics of people. So, it wasn't just the meal intake. The people who did not eat three meals per day, because the majority of the people so over half of the people were eating three meals per day. The people who weren't, so their general characteristics, they were more likely-- so it's a list. They're more likely to be younger men, non-Hispanic black, less education, lower family income, smokers, heavy alcohol drinkers, higher physical activity, lower total energy intake, lower diet quality, food insecure, and they snacked more. So, what's really interesting about this is [laughs] basically there was a lot of confounding factors happening in these people who were skipping meals. It's really really hard to say that it was the meal skipping that was the cause of this, when there were so many other things going on, unhealthy related habits that seemed to associate with it. 

Also, of interest of note, and I would actually be really curious, I would be super curious if this got redone now, if it would be different, because this occurred, like I said, from 1999 to 2014. Intermittent fasting has, I feel like, really become more popular probably in the last decade. Kind of near the end of the study is when intermittent fasting started becoming more popular. During the time of the study was definitely the time when we were all told that breakfast is the most healthy meal of the day. A lot of people who are skipping breakfast, especially during this time, might have had other unhealthy habits or on the flipside, people who are eating breakfast might more likely have had healthy habits. It's hard to associate causation from correlation is my point.

So, yes, the takeaway is that this was not cause and effect. This did not look at people's blood sugar levels. It did not look at an individual fasting and see what was happening in their body. It literally just looked at thousands of people what are they doing, how are they eating, and then what was their cardiovascular risk and their mortality risk. 

One last note about it, dietary recall studies can be a little bit problematic. I even heard Peter Attia say on an episode that he doesn't even ever consider dietary recall studies because we're just so bad with recalling. So, for example, in this study, from the original group of people, they removed 3136 participants due to implausible total energy intake. Meaning what those people reported didn't make sense realistically. There was really probably no way they were actually eating that. If there were 3136 people that were clearly overwhelmingly wrong in what they were saying, it makes you curious about the people that were included. So, yes, takeaways, dietary recall study issues, the timing of when this occurred during a time when fasting was not seen as a healthy practice, and then the confounding factors, I think, is huge and then lack of actual cause, and effect causation versus correlation. 

Not to say that there's not valuable information here, but those are my thoughts on this study. Cynthia, what are your thoughts? 

Cynthia Thurlow: I agree with everything that you've said. I think this is the challenge with nutritional research on a lot of levels. Patients oftentimes do not want to fully disclose what they're eating. It's not to suggest that's per se not kind of human nature, but more often than not, I know when I ask for diet recalls, sometimes I fervently believe that people tell me what they think I want to see or want to hear. Nutritional research in and of itself is challenging.

Number two, I do think that there are many issues with looking at research over a long period of time. As you very appropriately mentioned, we didn't know the insulin sensitivity of these individuals. It's my understanding from the study that it was a fairly unhealthy population that they were looking at and so, does it mean that there's more research that can be done? Absolutely.

As you appropriately stated, correlation does not mean causation and so that's why it's important. Really this is one of the challenges I have with the media is that they don't know how to properly interpret research and what they do is they like sensationalization and so, they'll throw out these articles. There's one in the New York Post that I got tagged in all over social media and people were saying, “Oh well, this is going to hasten your morbidity and mortality.” And I was like, "Hey, time out. Let's look at who sponsored the study, let's look at the data, let's look at the high quality of research.” 

We know that randomized controlled trials are the gold standard and obviously that's not what we're looking at here in this instance. I think it just really speaks to the fact we need more information, we need more research to look at this, but epidemiologic research in general looking at different types of research, nutritional research can be particularly challenging on a lot of different levels. I think it just remains to be seen. If we're looking at an already unhealthy population, it's very hard to extrapolate and then say this is applicable to everyone. Hopefully that's clear.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. For example, what I would love for them to have done, which they could have done, I don't know, it's a little bit annoying. They could have separated it out because I mentioned all of those factors about people who were not eating three meals per day what they were more likely to be. I would be super curious if they separated out the people who were skipping a meal by any one of those confounding factors to see if there's a difference. Maybe since its food related, they could have done it by the food stuff. They could have split it by lower diet quality and food insecurity and seen if you separate it that way, do you still see that pattern. You could filter the data a lot of different ways and I bet you would have seen a lot of different things. So, it is what it is. 

Cynthia Thurlow: It's just the beginning point to really look at things. The other piece is that probably our listeners and ourselves, we don't eat a Standard American Diet and we recognize now how inflammatory and problematic the Standard American Diet is because it's highly processed, hyper palatable, too many carbohydrates, too many wrong types of fats, too little protein, and that doesn't help metabolic health at all. There're so many different things that usually when I'm looking at these kinds of articles, I always want to know like, what were they eating because I think that has a large impact on the results that they are reporting. 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, it was interesting. I was actually thinking about that when I was reading the article because for diet quality, they actually broke down how they determined that, but they didn't give specifics. It was basically like-- It was like a dozen categories of components of food like fruits, vegetables, fatty acids. It was like a dozen of them, salt, sodium. Even within that, there's so much debate about diet. So, I find it interesting that even ranking things by diet quality, I mean, there would be nuance and debate within that. One other little note I did want to point out, I looked at the original post that she referenced on Instagram. I thought this was interesting. Do you know the @fastingmd, she follows you? 

Cynthia Thurlow: I do. I do. I think she's a fan of circadian fasting. That's kind of her cornerstone. 

Melanie Avalon: Okay, okay, got you. So, I don't know if she did this on purpose. I'll just assume she did not. It was a good moment that I thought was a good thing to draw attention to because this goes back to like really encouraging listeners to look at the source material, especially with things like this, where it gets into social media and the news. This is a very small thing, but I still think it's telling of what is happening all the time. So, for example, she mentioned what I mentioned about how the participants who are skipping meals were more likely to be all of these other factors which are mostly unfavorable in that they are associated with lesser health outcomes.

She listed the entire list, but she left out one which was the positive one. She left out higher physical activity and so it could have been an accident. I'm not saying it was on purpose, but I think it's a really good example, because I read it and I was like, wait, but higher physical activity was also one of the things on there. I think it's a good example of even when somebody says, even me right now saying, “What's in the study,” go read the original study. Because I think every time you hear not from the actual source material, you're getting a filtered biased version of it from me, from everybody, even from you. When you read it, you're going to give it your own filter and bias. The most unbiased version you can get is probably reading the original one. 

Cynthia Thurlow: I think that's important. I mean, we're realistic, I may not be able to read every single piece of research that's out there, but certainly the ones that are intriguing and really relevant. Looking at the sample size, I mean, just looking at basic tenets of the research that was done, I think can be very helpful. I have to believe if @fastingmd is anything like my team, sometimes they're so quick to get content up but sometimes things get missed. So maybe that was unintentional. But I know that Amy's, it's Amy Shah. I know that her content tends to be surrounded around honoring circadian biology as it relates to fasting. 

Melanie Avalon: Awesome. Yeah. Again, it probably was unintentional, but it was completely separate from her. It was a moment where I realized again how important it is to go look at the original stuff if you have the time and energy and it's something that you are interested in. 

Hi, friends. I'm about to tell you how to get an exclusive discount on one of my favorite products for truly upgrading your health on a cellular level. The New Year is upon us, and it's often a time where people are really trying to instill new habits and really upgrade their health. There's something I have been using for years, not just at the New Year, literally every single day of my life. I am not making that up. Even when I travel, I have a way to address it then, which I will tell you about. It's something that is so easy and feels amazing. That is red light and near-infrared therapy. Okay, so friends, you could go somewhere and pay a lot of money to do red light, near-infrared therapy sessions, or you could just bring it to your home and use it every single day. That's what I do. 

I've been using Joovv red and near-infrared light therapy devices for so long. There are so many clinically proven benefits of red-light therapy that includes improving your skin, yes, you really will notice it, faster muscle recovery, reduced pain and inflammation, enhanced sleep, and so much more. I use it in the morning and evening as ambient light because it actually mimics the setting and rising sun. I run it throughout the day as well to help combat all of the blue light that we're exposed to, which can have a negative effect on our health. Whenever I have muscle pain, I shine Joovv on the muscle. For me, it has made the pain go away instantly. For chronic pain, when I do continued sessions, it's made it dissipate. One of my good friends, who is a doctor uses these devices on his, shall we say, manhood for benefits there. Yes, it can help in that department as well. I honestly could not imagine my life without Joovv. You will just feel so good using these devices. People also post all the time in our Facebook group of their pets gravitating towards the Joovv, because intuitively, they just know that it's good for them. 

The reason Joovv can address so many things related to health is because it actually affects our cells on the mitochondrial level. Basically, it makes those cells perform better, and when those cells are performing better, everything just works better. That's why, yes, Joovv can help with your energy as well. I've been recommending Joovv specifically for years because the quality of their devices are the best. Their modular design allows for a variety of setup options to give you flexibility. The treatments are so easy, you can do them in as little as 10 minutes, or you can be using it all throughout the day like I do. All you have to do is relax and let your body take in the light. They also have their Joovv Go, which you can travel with. Yes, that is how I really do use this every single day. That Go is also great for targeting specific areas of your body, like hurting joints or sore muscles.

Honestly, friends, health doesn't have to be hard. It doesn't have to be complicated. If you're looking to enhance your health and wellness this New Year, start with what matters, which is your cells. Joovv has an amazing offer just for our audience. You can go to joovv.com/ifpodcast and use the coupon code IFPODCAST to get a discount on your qualifying order. Again, that's joovv.com/ifpodcast to get an exclusive discount on your order, pick up Joovv today. Some exclusions apply. I really hope you guys can experience Joovv. It really is one of my favorite things. We'll put all this information in the show notes. All right, now back to the show. 

Shall we go on to our next question? 

Cynthia Thurlow: Sure. 

Melanie Avalon: We have two questions that are sort of related, so I thought we could answer both of them. So, the first one comes from Kimla. The subject is “One meal a day: Does it matter.” And Kimla says, "I hear a lot of disagreement about what really defines one meal a day." Cynthia, I'm just laughing because I think I mentioned before you know we've had, like, the great one meal a day debate on this show, like Gin and I have debated the definition of one meal a day at length, it became a whole thing. What really defines one meal a day? [chuckles] I wonder why so many people debate this. Is it just a label that people want to place on their fasting pattern?

According to Gin, I adhere to one meal a day, but if I use Melanie's definition, then it would only be sometimes. What I do know is that I typically fast for 21 hours. My eating window varies daily based on how hungry I am. Sometimes I have a five-hour window and sometimes two hours. I do use an app called LIFE on Android to track my fasting time since I've only been doing IF since June, and I always forget what time I quit eating the night before. I think I've gotten offtrack of what my question was now, basically, does it really matter if you truly eat one meal a day or is the fasting window the focus? When I start reading a lot about one meal a day or listening to all the debates over one meal a day and by the way, she's calling it OMAD. 

She says, “I start to get a little obsessed about how much I should or should not be eating during my window, and if I can have a snack or need to cluster all my food. I have noticed this tendency. So, instead I really just tried to pay attention only to how I'm feeling. This has been working great so far. I eat ice cream most nights after dinner which makes me so happy. IF is a keeper in my book. Thank you for all the information. The podcasts and resources have been great tools and I love this way of life. I have never lost weight so effortlessly, no special foods, no containers. I don't have to pack and drag food all over with me, I never feel hungry, and my crazy sugar cravings have disappeared. Thank you for clarifying this concept.”

We have another question from Nancy. The subject is “One meal a day?” and Nancy says, “I'm a new IFer and I've been doing a 16:8 fast. I read here a lot about having one meal a day during that eight-hour feeding window, which seems to contradict other things. I read or hear about eating all of one's calories within that eight-hour feeding window. I basically don't understand what it means to eat one meal within that eight-hour window. Does it mean that you can eat one meal, say at 12:30 PM, a big lunch or 07:30 PM, a big dinner and snack for the rest of your feeding window? If you do only one meal, what is the benefit of that versus spreading out your eating window within your eight-hour window? I like to have a lunch at 12:30 and a dinner at about 7:30. Is there a reason I shouldn't do that? Thanks.”

Before you jump in, Cynthia. I'll give you some recap of Gin and I's thoughts on this and what the great debate was, which in the show notes. The show notes will be at ifppodcast.com/episode298. We will put a link to the great debate, the great one meal a day debate episode that I have with Gin. It's ironic or it's interesting because Gin and I typically eat over the same amount of hours-ish, so it's typically like probably an average of a five-hour eating window, probably four to six hours. The difference is that Gin has a pattern where she has a snack and then she doesn't eat and then she eats her meal later, whereas I eat the entire time straight through [laughs] like the entire four or five hours. It's a very long drawn out pattern. Listeners probably already have it memorized. Like I eat my cucumbers and I drink my wine and then I'm cooking my food and then I eat my food, which is like my scallops, my protein, and then I eat a lot of fruit for quite a while.

Our big debate was I was saying for Gin, I was like, “Yours is like one meal a day and a snack because you're having a snack and then you're not eating and then you're eating.” I was like saying for mine that, “It's one meal because it's like being at a really long dinner where I'm constantly eating.”

Kimla's question about why does it matter, I really don't think it does. [laughs] It's more just the semantics of it. Although, that said for Nancy, I don't really know anybody who would consider like an eight-hour eating window at one meal a day. That's pretty long. So, I can share more thoughts. But Cynthia, what are your thoughts on the semantics of one meal a day? Does it matter? What do you call it? All the things. 

Cynthia Thurlow: Oh, goodness, I feel like I'm stepping into a landmine. So, Kimla and Nancy, thank you for your questions. First and foremost, I think it's important to, if you're metabolically healthy, to intuitively eat. So, when Kimla asks about some days when she has one meal versus other days she eats more than one meal, I think there's nothing wrong with that. In my estimation, one meal a day is exactly that one meal a day. When I think about Melanie's methodology and how she chooses to have like a wider feeding window, a wider eating window, I guess that's maybe the way to call it. I kind of differentiate that. I mean that to me is different. I think we can get caught up in semantics. I would say the same thing about when people ask, does this break my fast. We get nuanced and granular and everyone's stressing. I'm like, really what we should be focused on is determining how many meals do we need in our feeding window to get our protein in that's the first thing. I think that's very important for some people. If you're a unicorn and you can eat a huge meal and have 100 g of protein, more power to you. I'm not that person. I divide my food, my meals into at least two, if not three meals to get my protein in. 

Number two is I think it's important to vary what we do. I think most of us need to do that now. Do we have unicorns? Absolutely. That's a loving word when I say unicorn each one of us are individuals, each one of us needs something a little bit different based on our own needs or personal professional needs. And that's totally okay. Women that are still getting a menstrual cycle really should fast for their cycle. Women that are in perimenopause and menopause need to be careful about over fasting. I'm starting to see a lot of this women that are irrespective of life stage, but they are having very rigid rules about when they eat, how much they eat, a rigid fixation. 

I do think just one meal a day is a problem. I think it's fine every once in a while. Let me be clear what Melanie is defining as what works for her, she's getting plenty of protein in that feeding window. If you're just having one meal that has 30 g of protein, you are chronically undereating and that is something I get concerned about. There's zero judgment. Each one of us has to decide what works for our bodies. But if you're chronically undereating and you're chronically undereating protein in particular, and you are a woman north of 35 or 40, you are putting yourself at risk for metabolic inflexibility. That's what I want to just state. I recognize not everyone may like that opinion, but I do feel that it's important to at least interject. Can you get your protein in in your feeding window? Do I have one meal a day when I'm been traveling or maybe I went on vacation and I ate too much? Sure. But do I do that every day? No, but do we need to split hairs about OMAD? OMAD to me is one meal in a feeding window. It is not like a wider feeding window, like what Melanie does. To me, I don't think of that as OMAD. I just think Melanie has a gradual feeding window. How’s that? Is that a good way of describing it? 

Melanie Avalon: It's so funny. So, I guess, well first of all, super glad that you drew attention to, I think, the crux of the issue with the one meal day of getting in the protein intake. So, yes, that's definitely the major focus there. I guess the reason I feel, I feel like I'm having flashbacks to me and Gin talking, the reason I feel like mine is still one meal a day is, it's like being at a restaurant. It's literally a one meal situation. I start my eating. I'm like having the meal, it just happens to take, because I eat so much volume wise, this is all like whole foods, so it's all pounds of meat, pounds of cucumbers, pounds of blueberries, so it takes a long time to eat all of that. I like to eat slowly, so it's like eating one long slow meal. If you went to a restaurant and it was like a four-hour dinner type thing. 

That's why I feel like it's one meal because it's not like I'm having a snack and then not eating and then having a snack and then not eating, and then eating. It's like mealtime. If listeners are curious what I'm doing, I know people say that you should eat and just eat and focus on just eating, but I'm always reading two books at any one time, so I'm listening to one on Audible during the day to prep for the Melania Avalon Biohacking Podcast. I'm always listening to one during the day and then at night is when I read. I'm reading during those four hours and taking notes. That's why I feel like it's a meal situation. It really doesn't matter. It's semantics.

Cynthia Thurlow: No, I love that you have this whole process of creating digestive fire. You're starting kind of slowly and then building up to this crescendo and then it comes back down. For me, it's two boluses of food. I do know there are a lot of people out there that have differing interpretations of OMAD. It's not that one is right and one is wrong. I think that to me it makes sense to say OMAD is one meal, one food bolus. If you have two meals in your feeding window, great, but I don't think it should be a source of stress. Like ultimately eating less often should not be causing you more stress like really and truly. We have enough stress in our lives. We don't need to add more stress stressing about definitions of things. 

Melanie Avalon: I agree. I would comment that like an eight-hour eating window, like what Nancy is doing. I don't see how that would really be one meal. 

Cynthia Thurlow: Right, right. It really should be two. I mean, I'll give you a prime example. I traveled yesterday, I traveled this morning to come back from New York, and today is a much wider, fasting window because I literally have not been able to stop and eat. So, when I'm done with this podcast, I will go eat and I'll probably divide my protein into two portions because I'll probably eat a little bit and then a little bit more before I would close my feeding window just to make sure I get enough protein in.

Melanie Avalon: Got you. Yeah. That also goes back to knowing yourself and the unicorn comment and things like that. I do so well with just a massive, massive bolus of protein all at once. For a lot of people, I understand they can't handle that like they would need to separate it. So really, it's about knowing yourself. You commented on this. That's what I really love about Kimla's observation. She seems to be very intuitive with how she feels. So, yes. I think not getting lost in the semantics and like Cynthia said, stressing about the definitions and all of that. There's really no need to just focus on what you need to get out of your eating window.

Cynthia Thurlow: I think that's important because one of the things that I get the sense of is that there's anxiety around rules and there's anxiety around lifestyle changes. And that's definitely not what we want. We don't want to create more anxiety. We actually want fasting or digestive rest, like you do 12 hours of digestive rest. Like, it really should not be an added stress to your life. For those of you that are newbies, certainly lean in. There're so many great podcasts, like, over the last several years that Gin and Melanie did, and Melanie and I have been doing since May. And there's so much great information. Our books are great sources of information as well. Don't let it be a stressor. Just the concept of intuitive eating, intuitive fasting may not be accessible for everyone right now, but that's what we hope you get to a point where you can really lean into what makes your body feel good. 

You're an N of 1. This experimentation that goes on in terms of lifestyle changes. I know that the most I can eat in terms of a protein bolus is about 60 g. That's a good amount of protein for me in one meal. If I do 75, I'm probably going to be uncomfortable. So, 60 g is what I've been able to work up to but that didn't start right away. That was something I worked up to. We know most women are eating probably 40, maybe 50 g of protein a day. Most of us are not eating enough. Just be consistently working towards goals and that's the best that we should be able to do, right? 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. I could not agree more. I find it so interesting, too. If I just ate, like, 40 g like you were saying, I would be starving, starving. Every time I go out to dinner, I get an entree, now it's my dessert, another round of meat. So good. So, so good. 

Cynthia Thurlow: I love that. It's funny Ben Azadi, who I know that you have recently recorded with, Ben, gets two dinners. And so, my husband the first time--

Melanie Avalon: Well, he does two. 

Cynthia Thurlow: Yes. Ben is, like, very tall and very lean. We were in Utah together, my husband and I, and his fiancée and Ben, and we're having dinner. And his fiancée, Natassia was like, “Watch.” And Ben's like, “I'll have two dinners.” And they were like, “What?” He was like, “Oh, yeah, we'll have two dinners.” And my husband and I were like, “What's wrong with that?" [unintelligible [00:55:49] one good-sized meal. 

Melanie Avalon: Does he have them at the same time or does he get them back to back? 

Cynthia Thurlow: Oh, at the same time. 

Melanie Avalon: Like I did on my birthday dinner. 

Cynthia Thurlow: Hmm-mm. And he ate it all. We were like, he's like a teenage boy, he has that capacity. I was like that's amazing. 

Melanie Avalon: I will get two entrees, or I will get an entree and then for dessert when everybody gets their dessert, I get another entrée. And I will say, so a little tip for listeners if anybody else wants to do this, I don't know if anybody else wants to do this. But especially if you're like keto or low carb, which I'm actually not, ironically enough, but it can be really fun to get an appetizer, like another round of sashimi or another steak for dessert. Let the kitchen know. If you're there late, they'll often shut down the entree part of the kitchen early. If you do want that for dessert, you need to let them know earlier on that you're going to be ordering that. Just a little tip for the one other person that wants to do this already.

Cynthia Thurlow: That's a good tip.

Melanie Avalon: They've cut it close sometimes because I've waited too long to tell them.

Cynthia Thurlow: [laughs] You also eat late at night, so they're probably like, “We're done.” Melanie's like, “No, I need more food.”

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. If you get an appetizer for dessert like the tartar, the carpaccio that comes from one part of the kitchen that might have shut down, and if you get an entree for dessert that comes from another part of the kitchen that might have shut down, the appetizer part of the kitchen is actually more likely to have shut down, I think. Now, I was thinking back to my serving days. That might not actually be true because oftentimes the dessert station is the same person as the appetizer station. In any case, the point is, ask your waiter or let them know. 

Cynthia Thurlow: Absolutely. 

Melanie Avalon: Should we answer one more question? 

Cynthia Thurlow: Sure. Our next question is from Spencer. Subject is “Breaking fast.” “Is there a proper way to break a fast? I feel like I want some items that are still a little unhealthy and seem to not really be losing weight on the scale. Maybe I need to also throw mine away but it got me thinking.” I'm assuming he's talking about the scale. “I keep hearing about there being a proper way to break a fast. Any thoughts on what I should be eating when I break my fast to provide me with the best results? I'm currently listening to the podcast and maybe haven't seen this question yet. Thank you.”

Melanie Avalon: All right, Spencer, thank you so much for your question. It's interesting because we have talked about this question on the show, seeing as how many episodes we've had, probably multiple times. But I think there's a unique spin we can give on answering at this time because normally when we have answered this question, I think it's been more in the context of how to ease your digestion, how to help heal leaky gut. Opening with things like bone broth and with gentle things you can digest. I don't know that I've given the perspective before of how to break your fast with specifically weight loss being the goal. And so, something that occurred to me is that and this is very individual, I think knowing how your body responds with insulin, you don't have to actually know the insulin number, but your perception of responding with blood sugar swings or not to different foods can be very helpful in the ordering of your food.

Because, for example, I mentioned before my order, my crazy order, oh, I'm so happy that we're answering this in here because this works so well together. The reason I do that order is very specific. It's what provides me well, hey, I can digest it well, but it provides me the most-- I always wonder, is it satiety or sha-city? I say satiety, right? But can it be both? 

Cynthia Thurlow: I say satiety, and I can assure you that after doing the audiobook for my book, the producer made sure that every word was enunciated and properly, I mean, everything. Yes, you say it correctly.

Melanie Avalon: Great. I have the most satiety with my personal pancreas and my personal insulin and my personal blood sugar regulation. When I open with the wine and cucumbers, like, that doesn't make me ravenous, it doesn't make me have blood sugar drops. Then I eat the massive amount of protein, which I find very satiating. The reason I actually eat a ton of fruit at the end is because I have found that mitigates what I either perceived as reactive hypoglycemia when I was doing low carb or might not have actually been reactive hypoglycemia. It might have been, we talked about it before, there's a name for it. I think it's like, idio--. It's basically feeling like reactive hyperglycemia, but it's actually not. You actually have normal blood sugar levels, but you feel like your blood sugar is dropping. When I was doing low carb and eating a mass amount of protein, I would be really satiated, and then I would go to bed, and then I would wake up starving. 

I think it was from my blood sugar probably dropping from the high protein intake. I do that pattern because it allows me to feel full, feel nourished and I don't get swings later. So, I think knowing yourself and experimenting to find what can you open your window with that will for you keep you full and satisfied, can be very helpful. For a lot of people, if they were to open with a simple carb-type situation, they might get a massive blood sugar swing that might make them ravenously hungry and make them overeat, even things like alcohol. Some people, the timing of the alcohol, depending on where it is, depending on their own alcohol metabolism, might make them eat more or less. Depending on that, the timing of if you're eating fat or not could make a difference. Basically, I would focus Spencer on finding the way that opens up the fasts that provides you with the most satiety.

Cynthia, what are your thoughts? 

Cynthia Thurlow: I am a fan of leading with protein into opening up your feeding window. Sorry, that would be my dog groaning underneath my feet, in case anyone's wondering. I think leaning into protein is important both for blood sugar support and also for satiety. For me, it's either protein and non-starchy carbohydrates, or it's protein and healthy fats, and that's typically how I break my fast. I just think protein is a really important macronutrient and one that I spend a lot of time talking about. I spend a lot of time discussing examples of protein and non-starchy vegetables. It could be chicken, it could be bison, it could beef. You could have arugula or spinach, or you could have broccoli or cauliflower versus sometimes when I sit down to have a protein and fat meal, it might be a piece of salmon, fattier cut of meat.

Those are the things I kind of lean into because it fulfills my needs in terms of getting my macronutrients in, but it also leaves me satiated. I can always tell if I haven't gotten those macronutrients right, because I will then be looking for more food when I'm done. But I think some degree of experimentation to find out what works well for you. I have some patients that want to break their fast with bone broth, others that want to take a light salad, like what Melanie does, where she has her cucumbers and her wine, and then she leans into the protein piece. I would do some degree of experimentation to find out what works best for you, but the protein is one that I always try to emphasize for most people.

Melanie Avalon: Okay, well, this has been absolutely wonderful. A few things for listeners before we go. If you would like to submit your own questions for the show, you can directly email questions@ifpodcast.com or you can go to ifpodcast.com and you can submit questions there. You can get all the stuff that we like @ifpodcast.com/stuffwelike. And you can follow us on Instagram. We are @ifpodcast. I am @melanieavalon. Cynthia is @cynthia_thurlow_. That is all the things. Anything from you, Cynthia, before we go?

Cynthia Thurlow: No. Super excited for our upcoming recordings together and I look forward to getting feedback from listeners.

Melanie Avalon: Likewise, and because of when this comes out Happy New Year to you. 

Cynthia Thurlow: Happy 2023, hard to believe.

Melanie Avalon: I know. It's crazy. I'm excited for it, though. 

Cynthia Thurlow: Me too. 

Melanie Avalon: All right, I'll talk to you later.

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 a review on iTunes. We couldn't do this without our amazing team, administration by Sharon Merriman, editing by Podcast Doctors, show notes and artwork by Brianna Joyner, transcripts by SpeechDocs, and original theme composed by Leland Cox and re-composed by Steve Saunders. See you next week.

[Transcript provided by SpeechDocs Podcast Transcription]


Check out the Stuff We Like page for links to any of the books/supplements/products etc. mentioned on the podcast that we like!

More on Cynthia: cynthiathurlow.com

Theme Music Composed By Leland Cox: LelandCox.com

If you enjoyed this episode, please consider leaving us a review in iTunes - it helps more than you know!