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Sep 05

Episode 229: Serrapeptase, Burning Alcohol As Energy, Poor Fasted Sleep, Too Much Fasting, Over-Restriction, Donating Blood, Properly Fueled ADF, And More!

Intermittent Fasting

Welcome to Episode 229 of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast, hosted by Melanie Avalon, author of What When Wine Diet: Lose Weight And Feel Great With Paleo-Style Meals, Intermittent Fasting, And Wine and Gin Stephens, author of Delay, Don't Deny: Living An Intermittent Fasting Lifestyle

Today's episode of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast is brought to you by:

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3:45 - BEAUTYCOUNTER: Keep Your Fast Clean Inside And Out With Safe Skincare! Shop With Us At, And Something Magical Might Happen After Your First Order! Find Your Perfect Beautycounter Products With Melanie's Quiz:
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!

Spoon-Fed: Why Almost Everything We’ve Been Told About Food Is Wrong (Tim Spector)

The Diet Myth: Why the Secret to Health and Weight Loss Is Already in Your Gut (tim Spector)

Stay Up To Date With All The News And Pre-Order Info About Melanie's New Serrapeptase Supplement At!

18:45 - Listener Q&A: Anonymous - Body Burning Alcohol for energy

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29:20 - Listener Q&A: Sarah - Waking up feeling exhausted during ADF

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Adrenaline Dominance: A Revolutionary Approach to Wellness (Michael Platt, MD)

46:15 - PREP DISH: Get A Free 2 Week Trial With The Paleo, Keto, And The September Freezer Meal Challenge At!

48:05 - Listener Q&A: Evelyn - NSV and donating blood Question 

56:35 - Listener Q&A: Stephanie - 4:3 Window

#171 – Steve Austad, Ph.D.: The landscape of longevity science: making sense of caloric restriction, biomarkers of aging, and possible geroprotective molecules


Melanie Avalon: Welcome to Episode 229 of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast. If you want to burn fat, gain energy, and enhance your health by changing when you eat, not what you eat with no calorie counting, then this show is for you. I'm Melanie Avalon, author of What When Wine: Lose Weight and Feel Great with Paleo-Style Meals, Intermittent Fasting, and Wine. And I'm here with my cohost, Gin Stephens, author of Fast. Feast. Repeat.: The Comprehensive Guide to Delay, Don't Deny Intermittent Fasting. For more on us, check out,, and Please remember, the thoughts and opinions on this podcast do not constitute medical advice or treatment. So, pour yourself a cup of black coffee, a mug of tea, or even a glass of wine, if it's that time, and get ready for The Intermittent Fasting Podcast.  

Hi friends, I'm about to tell you how you can get $50 worth of some of our favorite supplements all for free. Yes, for free. A really good question to ponder is, can you avoid all digestive issues by only eating organic whole foods? Don't I know that this would be absolutely amazing? But sometimes, it's not exactly possible. Our natural ability to digest food actually declines as we age. This is because our body produces fewer enzymes, which are the proteins responsible for digesting food. Fewer enzymes means more difficulty digesting food, and even organic whole foods don't necessarily provide enough enzymes to properly digest them. This is especially true if you cook your food because cooking kills enzymes. This is why you may have digestive problems even after a healthy meal. Your body just can't produce enough enzymes to get the job done. 

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And one more thing before we jump in. Are you fasting clean inside and out? Did you know that one of our largest exposures to toxic compounds, including endocrine disrupters which mess with our hormones, obesogens which literally cause our body to store and gain weight, as well as carcinogens linked to cancer is actually through our skincare? Europe has banned thousands of these compounds for being toxic, and the US has only banned around 10. It's honestly shocking. So, when you're putting on your conventional skincare makeup, you're likely putting toxic compounds directly into your body. These compounds can make you feel bad, can make it really hard to lose weight, can affect your hormones, your mood, your health. And ladies, if you're thinking of having kids, when you have a child, these compounds actually go directly through the placenta into the newborn. That means your skincare and makeup that you're putting on today actually affects the health of future generations. Did you know that conventional lipstick for example often tests high for lead, and the half-life of lead can be up to 30 years and your bones? That means when you put on your lipstick, 30 years later, half of that lead might still be in your body. 

Thankfully, there's an easy, easy solution to this. There's a company called Beautycounter and they were founded on a mission to change this. Every single ingredient in their products is extensively tested to be safe for your skin, you can actually feel good about what you put on. And on top of that, their products actually work. That's because they're not “all natural.” They actually combine the best of both worlds, both synthetic and natural ingredients, to create products that actually support the health of your skin and make your skin look amazing. They have skincare lines for all your skin types, deodorant, shampoo and conditioner that I love, antiaging and brightening peels and vitamin C serums, and incredible makeup. If you see my makeup on Instagram, that's all Beautycounter. You can shop with us at 

And if you're thinking of making safe skincare a part of your future, like we have, we definitely suggest becoming a Band of Beauty member. It's sort of like the Amazon Prime for clean beauty. You get 10% back in product credit, free shipping on qualifying orders and a welcome gift that is worth way more than the price of the yearlong membership, totally completely worth it. Also definitely join my clean beauty email list at, I give away a lot of free things on that list and join me on my Facebook group, Clean Beauty and Safe Skincare with Melanie Avalon. I do a weekly giveaway every single week for Beautycounter, people share their experience and product reviews, and so much more. And again, the link to shop with us is All right, now enjoy the show.  

Hi, everybody and welcome. This is episode number 229 of the Intermittent Fasting Podcast. I'm Melanie Avalon and I'm here with Gin Stephens. 

Gin Stephens: Hi, everybody.  

Melanie Avalon: How are you today, Gin?  

Gin Stephens: Well, I am packing up to go spend three weeks at the beach. 

Melanie Avalon: It's exciting. 

Gin Stephens: It’s the longest I've ever been away from home. Chad just realized that I'm leaving tomorrow, he's known that I was going but he's like, “Wait a minute. Three weeks is a really long time.” I'm like, “Sorry.”  

Melanie Avalon: Is it the longest, really?  

Gin Stephens: It's the longest I've ever been away from him, yeah. Our whole married life. Yeah.  

Melanie Avalon: Oh, wow.  

Gin Stephens: It just worked out. We got to have a lot to do with the house and in between rentals and lots going on, and also got friends coming. I didn't go for the entire month of July, because the house was rented. I only spent one week there in June. So, I grabbed these three weeks in August for myself, and I have a lot to do, like I said. So, I'll be very, very busy, but I've got a couple of friends coming down, one, then she's leaving, then and others coming, then she's leaving, then Will's going to come and spend some time with me. I'll be doing a lot of recording while I'm there too. My regular podcast recording schedule is still happening.  

Melanie Avalon: I'm sure it will be super fun and productive.  

Gin Stephens: It will but Chad is going to miss me. So, he's already let me know. Yeah, I think it's going to be awesome. I'm very excited. The ocean is very warm in August. So, that's nice.  

Melanie Avalon: I love the Atlantic, the warm Atlantic.  

Gin Stephens: I'm going to get in the ocean every day. I like to get in the ocean and jump around with the waves. It's like a really great workout. Like really.  

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I agree. I'm an Atlantic Ocean person. I feel that people are either Atlantic or Pacific.  

Gin Stephens: Or, you might be Gulf of Mexico. Some people are Gulf of Mexico. I am not.  

Melanie Avalon: That's what I am.  

Gin Stephens: You’re Gulf of Mexico? You'd like the calm?  

Melanie Avalon: It is just what I-- growing up, that's where we went.  

Gin Stephens: That's what it all boils down to.  

Melanie Avalon: At whatever beach you went to growing up. 

Gin Stephens: Guess where I went, Myrtle Beach. That's where my grandmother took me. [laughs] So, that's where I go. We found a picture that-- my mother came to visit us, a couple weeks ago, and she brought some old photos that actually a cousin on my granddaddy's side gave us pictures we'd never seen before. Because they were like my aunt, my old, old aunt and my granddaddy's side had them. So, we'd never seen them. It was some pictures from my mother was little, and right down there where we bought our house, like 10 minutes away from where we bought our house, my mother, and my uncle, and my grandparents were there in the 50s. Actually, I guess it was the early 50s. Maybe, right even before my house was built that I'm in, that was built in 1956, 10 miles away, it's really fun. We have vacation routes in this area. So, no wonder I love it. 

Melanie Avalon: [giggles] I love that. 

Gin Stephens: So, what's new with you?  

Gin Stephens: I have two exciting announcements. I was just looking at the calendar, though. One of them will have already happened. But all the more reason friends to be on my email list, because if you missed this, you would have known about it. You can get on my email list at list, although, I might also send an email through our email list because it's relevant. I'm doing a Q&A with the people at Zoey.  

Gin Stephens: Oh, I love that.  

Melanie Avalon: Not like an interview for my show. We're going to do a live Zoom, because I've been getting a lot of questions about Zoey--  

Gin Stephens: In the Facebook group?  

Melanie Avalon: Mm-hmm, yeah, and people. Well, people loving it, but then also people a little bit confused about the recommendations, and just wanting some clarity. I sent those questions all over to them, and they were super great. A, they got me very detailed answers, but then they said they would prefer just doing a live thing and talking to people. So, that should be super fun. One of the main things that people were, I guess, curious about was it seemed like a lot of the food recommendations were very similar. I mean they are. They say they are, but it's evolving and that they're working on making it more personalized. 

Gin Stephens: Even though the foods might be similar as far as recommendations go, the scores are different. That's what I noticed working with the moderators of my Facebook groups and the social network, the friends of mine who went through it that are moderators, comparing our scores, like we would put in the same meal just out of curiosity and see what our individual scores were, and the scores were very varied. Even though the same foods are scoring typically higher, the combination would get a different result. That was what was fascinating, we didn't get the same exact number.  

Melanie Avalon: Okay, yeah.  

Gin Stephens: Even though we were both putting in the same-- we would even check brand names and things. Somebody's like, “Oh, look, this scores 99 for me on Zoey," and someone else would put it in and it would not be a 99.” 

Melanie Avalon: I haven't done Zoey. I wonder if it'd be more appropriate if I do it first before. 

Gin Stephens: Well, that's a thought. Remember, you got to eat those muffins. You've got to do it for science.  

Melanie Avalon: But it's just one day, right?  

Gin Stephens: I can't remember and it's always changing. It might have been two days of muffins, but then what they're doing right now is even different from when I did it because, just like you said before, it's always evolving. This is really research in action. They're not just like a program you buy, and here's the program. They are actually doing scientific research. They published something in the journal, Nature, which is a very well-renowned scientific journal recently. So, they're evolving their recommendations and everything about it based on as they learn, as the science evolves. 

Melanie Avalon: I might email them. I might see if they would prefer me to do it first. 

Gin Stephens: Yeah, that's a great idea. Also, I have a friend, they actually asked her to do it again, like they're comparing data. As part of the study, they said, “We would like for you to go through it again with your-- just to see.”  

Melanie Avalon: I also finished Tim Spector’s book because I'm interviewing him in less than a month as well.  

Gin Stephens: Isn't he wonderful?  

Melanie Avalon: Well, I guess, just from what I'd seen from the feedback about Zoey from my audience, I was anticipating it to be much more not open to something-- His section on meat, for example, he was very much clear that most long-lived populations eat meat and very clear on what might actually be going on with that, and he was also-- I loved his perspective on salt. I loved his perspective on wine and alcohol.  

Gin Stephens: Can I pop in something real quick that confuses a lot of people about Zoey?  

Melanie Avalon: Mm-hmm. 

Gin Stephens: Just because something doesn't score 100, doesn't mean you're not supposed to eat it. That was just an example. We tend to want to gamify and beat our scores, and if this scores a 90, then I should try to get a 95. People can mistakenly think that a meal that includes meat the Zoey scores 75 and that means you shouldn't eat meat, but that's not what it's saying. We follow their recommendations and follow their program. They don't tell you that all your meals should score above a 90. So, people mistakenly think that they're being guided to not eat meat at all, when really that is them looking at numbers and thinking I want to get 100. We were trained to get 100 in school. Getting 100 is what you want. Always a 100. That might be something Zoey could keep in mind maybe for feedback, because we're so trained, it's ingrained in our psyche, the goal should be 100. That's not how they want you to live your life and I'm glad that you got that sense from reading Spoon-Fed. 

Melanie Avalon: I thought it was going to be not as nuanced in his perspective on the things I just mentioned, meat, salt, alcohol. The things I learned in the alcohol chapter, I've learned so much. Just things I didn't realize, like the recommendations for alcohol intake between different countries, I knew it was different but it's shockingly different. Then, the correlations to health just don't line up. He said in Chile, the recommendation-- which I tried to verify this and I couldn't find this number this high, so, I'm not sure where this was coming from. But he said in Chile the maximum recommended intake is the equivalent of six glasses per day. Then in the UK, I think now it's like zero or something, but they have the worst health-- It's just really, really interesting. Not saying that alcohol equals health automatically, but he definitely creates a really nuanced picture. 

Gin Stephens: But also, you can't go by recommendations as equating for health. Just because they recommend, they have zero in the UK, I don't think the UK is following that recommendation. Just because they recommend zero and have terrible health doesn't-- you know.  

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, it's a very valid point. He even said some pretty what I thought were very controversial things about the role of alcohol in pregnancy. I was like, “Oh, did not anticipate this.” I'm really excited to interview him. 

Gin Stephens: He's a scientist. He's looking at that info, and he's not always telling you what is politically correct to say.  

Melanie Avalon: It was something to the effect of drinking during pregnancy-- I'm sure there was more context about the amounts and everything. But basically, it very rarely actually creates issues in the child. But again, don't quote me on that. Read the chapter.  

Gin Stephens: It's been a long time since I read it. I read it when it first came out, and I haven't read it since. Maybe, I should go back and read it. I think it's on my Kindle. I think that's how I bought it. If not, I'll get it on my Kindle, and I'll read it on the beach.  

Melanie Avalon: It's Spoon-Fed. I haven't mentioned the title yet. So, for listeners, I'll put a link to it in the show notes. 

Gin Stephens: And his other book, The Diet Myth, is really good too.  

Melanie Avalon: I'm going to try to read it if I have time before interviewing him.  

Gin Stephens: But just keep in mind. It was several years older. He evolves his thinking. But I learned a lot. It was way early in my-- we're all different. Opening up of my mind, it was really early. I read it in maybe--0 it was either 2015 or 2016. So, it was well before I wrote Feast Without Fear. It really is what got me thinking and it was like a foundational-- just like The Obesity Code was foundational for me, so was The Diet Myth by Tim Spector. 

Melanie Avalon: We might start production this week on the serrapeptase supplement. So, listeners get on my email list for that. I have an email list just for that supplement. It's at, and we're going to do a preorder special and the prices will probably not be that low ever again. I say this every time but basically serrapeptase is an enzyme created by the Japanese silkworm. You take it in the fasted state. It breaks down residual proteins in your body. So, it really addresses anything that-- or it can address anything that is from a protein buildup or your immune system reacting to proteins. So, arthritis, inflammation, brain fog, fibroids. An article just came out in June, and I haven't read all of it yet, it actually talks about the role of serrapeptase to treat COVID. 

Gin Stephens: I saw that somewhere. Eating up the proteins, I actually saw something related to COVID and serrapeptase. I wondered if that's where you were going with that.  

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, probably.  

Gin Stephens: It wasn't that article I sent you, was it?  

Melanie Avalon: Well, I just saw this yesterday.  

Gin Stephens: Okay, then it wasn't. 

Melanie Avalon: I'll put a link to it in the show notes, but I haven't sat down and read every serrapeptase study that I can find. So, I need to actually do that. I'm really excited too.  

Gin Stephens: You'll be like the world's premier expert on serrapeptase.  

Melanie Avalon: The few studies I've read, it's just so overwhelmingly clear that it has so many health benefits, and it's really appreciated in countries like Japan and here, it's just not even-- People are just not aware about it. One of the studies I was reading, it was saying that it rivals NSAIDs for its effectiveness without any of the side effects of NSAIDs. 

Gin Stephens: Just to be clear, we're not hinting that it's going to prevent or reverse or COVID or anything like that. But what it does is, it breaks down proteins, and so that's an interesting thought. 

Melanie Avalon: Maybe, I'll report back next week after I've read the whole study about what it actually says. Because I think it talks about a few different mechanisms of action. In any case, I'm creating my own brand. I've been taking it for years, different brands, but I'm just going to create my own. So, the two emails to get on are and The show notes by the way will be at, and I'll put links. We've already talked about so much to everything there. Shall we jump into everything for today? 

Gin Stephens: Yes, let's get started, and we have a question from Anonymous. Bum, bum, bum  

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, for some feedback.  

Gin Stephens: Oh, yeah. It's feedback. Yes, and the subject is "Body burning alcohol for energy." Anonymous says, “Hello, and thank you for your podcasts. On Episode 225, you answered a burning question I've had for years about the body using alcohol as a fuel source. I know someone who fasts daily and eats only dinner. He's very lean and well defined, although, he does not lift weights or exercise. In fact, he's disabled. However, he drinks beer all day long.” Now, this is just me interrupting. I would not consider that fasting all day. Beer has plenty of fuel in it.  

Melanie Avalon: Beer actually has carbs as well. It's not just pure alcohol.  

Gin Stephens: He's definitely not fasting. I just wanted to get that out there just in case. Let's say someone was listening and they-- 

Melanie Avalon: And stopped listening?  

Gin Stephens: Right. If he's drinking beer all day long, he is not fasting, not even close to fasting. She continues to say, “I always wondered why he doesn't gain significant weight while adding fuel to his body. This couldn't possibly be fasting.” That's her who said that but you're correct, Anonymous. All right, let's keep going. “Then you posited that in theory, one could drink alcohol and burn more calories taking in as alcohol isn't stored as fat. So, I suppose then my friend is the realization of this theory. While I wouldn't want to replicate his pattern of eating or drinking, it makes sense to me now why he is so lean and still dirty fasting. Thank you for your thoughts. It helps bring so much into perspective.”  

Again, I really don't like the words ‘dirty fasting,’ because I really don't think it's true. We like to have the opposites. If there's something called clean fasting, there must be something called dirty fasting? I actually think the opposite of clean fasting is you're not fasting. 

Melanie Avalon: Not fasting.  

Gin Stephens: Right. The only reason I say clean fasting is because so many things have the words fasting in there. Like a juice fast, or a bone broth fast, or a fat fast, and I don't think those are actually fasting either. They're just a pattern of eating different things or drinking things that are not really fasting. Anyway, I just had to throw that in there. Sorry.  

Melanie Avalon: I guess, if you were doing a juice fast or bone broth fast, you're fasting from physical food, but you're not fasting in the sense that we think of fasting. 

Gin Stephens: Well, if you were asked to fast for a medical procedure, that would not fly. They would not want you to drink bone broth before your fasted surgery. That's a good way of thinking about it. If it's off limits [laughs] for a medical procedure, then we wouldn't want to drink a lot of beer right before medical procedure, either.  

Melanie Avalon: I'm just saying terminology wise like, you could eat food and be fasting just from apples, and you're not eating apples like you can fast from something. 

Gin Stephens: I'm fasting from apples. Yeah, well, it's like the Daniel Fast. It's a religious fast that my parents' church. They're eating, it's food. But it's just as special. They're refraining from certain things. But it's not the fasting we mean when we say fasting.  

Melanie Avalon: Exactly. It's a very interesting observation from Anonymous. So, yeah, we've talked about this before, but basically-- and again, beer is on the higher carb side of the alcoholic drinks. Well, I guess it really just depends, but alcohol itself doesn't really become body fat. I highly doubt it ever does. So, if people are just partaking in alcohol, they're actually probably not going to gain any fat from that alcohol. That said, what you eat with the alcohol can very easily be stored, and then on top of that, if you take in 2000 calories from alcohol, that's 2000 calories of energy. So, it's still adding to your total daily caloric intake and that the other food is more likely to be stored. 

Gin Stephens: Beer is technically, typically only 5% alcohol. Wine is about 12% alcohol or more. These are averages. According to average, beer would average 5%, some will be more, some will be less. Wine will average 12% and spirits, really only like spirits like vodka, usually only about 40% alcohol, unless you're drinking grain alcohol or something.  

Melanie Avalon: I wonder if that is averaging together like sweet wines and normal wines?  

Gin Stephens: I would think that's what they do for an average.  

Melanie Avalon: If you go to the store and look at the back of all the wines to see the alcohol percentage, which is something I have done trying to see if I can find any Dry Farm Wines equivalent wines in the store. It's so hard to find wines with alcohol less than 12.5% which is what Dry Farm Wines uses as they're cut off-- Usually, they're more than that.  

Gin Stephens: Well, again, that could be all data. Maybe, now, it's higher. Maybe, it used to be 12, and no one's updated, and everybody's just assuming it's still 12.  

Melanie Avalon: It’s a good question. 

Gin Stephens: That just shows that all these alcoholic drinks that we're drinking, it's not just alcohol. So, you're not just taking in alcohol calories that other 95% of your beer is not alcohol calories. 95% of it is not alcohol. So, yeah.  

Melanie Avalon: I'll give a link since we mentioned Dry Farm Wines. 

Gin Stephens: Of course, some of it's water. [laughs]  

Melanie Avalon: Oh, right, because it's by volume, not by calorie.  

Gin Stephens: Exactly.  

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. Okay. Yeah, because I was thinking about in my head. I was like, “Mm.” 

Gin Stephens: I don't know the percentage of a beer that is of the calories. The percentage of the calories that would be the alcohol. That's another question. I don't know.  

Melanie Avalon: I just realized this recently. The Dry Farm Wines, a lot of them a relabel with their own label. For listeners, Dry Farm Wines, they go throughout Europe. They find wineries practicing organic practices, and then the wines have to be low sugar, low alcohol, less than 12.5 or less, like you just mentioned. They test them for toxins, and pesticides, and mold. I experienced such a difference drinking them but they often now relabel the back label to give more information and it shows grams of sugar, which is so cool. Most of them are 1 gram of sugar.  

Gin Stephens: I love the label that they put on there.  

Melanie Avalon: It's so helpful. So, that would be very negligible calories from carbs and alcohol. 

Gin Stephens: Will’s coming over for dinner more lately. Last night we're all sitting around and each of us had like a tiny little glass. We opened the bottle day before yesterday of Dry Farm Wines. It's red wine. I don't drink much red wine, but I had a tiny little bit. Now, we've had four servings from it and it's still only half the bottle because we're each having tiny little bits and even Will, because he's 21 now.  

Melanie Avalon: Oh, fun.  

Gin Stephens: He's going to be spoiled rotten with his Dry Farm Wines.  

Melanie Avalon: I know. No kidding. Oh, my gosh.  

Gin Stephens: Making this 21-year-old have expensive tastes but in a good way, right? 

Melanie Avalon: Yes. Oh, well, she'll be editing this and she'll hear it and her birthday has already passed. But just to show how much we love it, we gave our fabulous girl on our team who helps edit the podcast and create show notes and artwork, we gave her Dry Farm Wines for her birthday. 

Gin Stephens: Happy birthday, again, even though it's passed, Brianna. 

Melanie Avalon: Happy birthday again, Brianna.  

Gin Stephens: We're like, “What should we get her?” We're going back and forth, and we're like, “Well, you just can never go wrong with Dry Farm Wines.” Can never go wrong.  

Melanie Avalon: Never. So, for listeners if you'd like to get your own, you can go to and that link will also get you a bottle for a penny.  

Gin Stephens: So, that's exciting.  

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Melanie Avalon: Shall we go on to our first question? 

Gin Stephens: Yes.  

Melanie Avalon: This question comes from Sarah. The subject is "Waking up feeling exhausted during ADF." And Sarah says, “Hi, Mel and Gin. I wonder if you can shed some light on this. I've been IF for two years and lost 40 pounds. I have PCOS and am about 10 pounds for my goal/healthy weight. I’m currently 151 pounds and 5’4". I've been doing three 42-hour fasts most weeks since January. Never less than two a week. I tend to only lose weight if I'm low carb in my eating window which I find quite difficult and really watch what I eat. I don't eat bread, pasta, or rice usually. Otherwise, I maintain with three 42-hour fasts which sucks. I've tried shorter length fast and one meal a day, which causes me to gain weight. 

My question, on the days I do 42-hour fast, I sleep really, really well, but feel awful when I wake up, really tired and find it difficult to get out of bed. It goes once I'm up and awake, but I love to feel better. It doesn't happen on days I've eaten. I've recently had my general blood checked all fine. I take multivitamins, magnesium, fish oil, primrose oil, and electrolytes when fasting. I'm 50, and with perimenopausal symptoms such as hair falling out. Can you suggest ways to feel better? Love all your podcasts, books, and websites. Awesome. Thank you." 

Gin Stephens: I do want to say that I'm not certain that hair falling out is a perimenopausal symptom.  

Melanie Avalon: That's what I was going to say.  

Gin Stephens: I feel it's not. It actually is a symptom that what you're doing is stressing your body out. So, I wonder if you may be overfasting for your body. I don't know. Count back three months, as a rule of thumb. Three months or so before the hair started falling out. Did you go through something stressful? If the answer is, “Oh, yeah, that was when my son was in the hospital or that was when I started a new stressful job.” Stress can make our hair start the hair fall process, and it's whatever your body perceives to be as a stress. You even could have had an illness that your body perceived as a stress. We try to make a lot of connections with what it is, and sometimes, we're not right. It might not be menopause. So, just keep that in mind. 

Melanie Avalon: It can be a sign but I think everything you just said is probably more likely the case and given the context of her question, it might not be menopause. 

Gin Stephens: Yep. If you have PCOS, then, that lets us know that your body likely has an issue with insulin because generally PCOS is related to higher levels of insulin. So, you're going to need to do things to get your insulin down, and that is why the longer fasts tend to be good for your body, and also, that probably why your body responds better to lower carb. So, you said it sucks, that's a bummer, and I know that it's frustrating. I get it. Because I would not be happy either, if my body needed me to do something that didn't feel like the thing I wanted to do. However, that being said, we have to work with the bodies we have, not our idea of what we want.  

For example, I wish I had a body that was doing great with allowing me to have a glass of wine, a big glass of wine every night, maybe two, but I don't. So, I've had to say, “Well, you know what? That isn't what my body does well with." If I eat too much sugar, I get restless legs. So, I have to adjust what I do to match what I want to have happen. I want you to reframe the three 42 inch-- 42 inch, I don't know where that came from. [laughs] The three 42-hour fasts. Instead of doing three 42-hour fasts, what if you did three 36-hour fasts? That might make a big difference. 36 to 42 is a lot of difference. Six hours. So, three 42-hour fasts might be more than your body wants to do. Try three 36-hour fasts instead. That would mean you're eating earlier in the day. Maybe model after the carbohydrate addicts' diet, which is an oldie but a goodie. But that was really early days of realizing how insulin affects us and she talked about it in there. Maybe do a low carb on the days that are your up days and you're going to have a 12-hour eating window instead of six because I really do think that three 42-hour fasts might be ever restriction, because the research on ADF, they weren't restricting at all on the updates. They weren't having a six-hour eating window. So, if you're having a six-hour eating window every single time that just might be over restriction.  

So. back to the carbohydrate addicts' diet, what I was talking about is, she had the plan. It was low carb breakfast, low carb lunch, regular dinner, and that was it. That was the whole plan. People lost weight doing that. So, if you do that on your updates, low carb breakfast, low carb lunch, regular dinner maybe still not if you don't eat bread, pasta rice usually but just allowing yourself to have more whole food carbs in that dinner. So, 36-hour fast, up day where you try low carb breakfast, low carb lunch, and then maybe slightly up your carb intake at dinner, see how that goes. See how that makes you feel. That might make you feel better. If it doesn't, if you still feel terrible on the days after your what are now 36-hour fast instead of 40-hour fast, if you still wake up feeling terrible, I want you to restructure your down day.  

Maybe on your down day, you have a low carb dinner instead. So, it would look like on what's your down day, instead of having a complete full fast, you would have a down day that has a low carb dinner. And then the next day, low carb breakfast, low carb lunch, higher carb dinner, and then just alternate that. See if what you're doing isn't just too restrictive. Because really the hair falling out, the fact that you're doing three 42-hour fasts, the fact that you're having trouble. The fact that, that you're seeing weight gain on one meal a day, that just makes me feel you might need to do just a little something else. You might be over-restricting. 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, between Gin and me, I think we're going to offer a lot of different options. I'm glad that Gin took the approach of still keeping in the longer fast, but just not quite as long. So, that's definitely an option. I would probably suggest not doing any longer fasts. Gin was just talking about how the fact that you gain weight on one meal a day or shorter fasts is signifying that there's a lot that you can work with what you're actually eating in your eating window. Because I feel you should be able to find an eating pattern and a one meal a day pattern where you at the very least maintain, which would be my goal. So, my goal would be next 42-hour fast, I think what you're doing is sounds way too restrictive.  

You're 10 pounds from your goal weight, that's always when it's the hardest. You wake up exhausted, you don't feel good. You said, you feel good once you get going. That's probably from adrenaline kicking in. Your hair's falling out, I would stop. I would stop these long fasts, I would not do them. I would suggest trying one meal a day, every day, and really working on the food choices. Don't even try to lose weight. Just find something that maintains and then you can move forward to losing weight. I almost wonder if the fact that you're doing three 42-hour fasts, if the weight loss that you perceive that you're losing and the weight gain that you perceive that you're gaining, if it's literally just volume of food.  

Gin Stephens: Fluctuations from volume of food.  

Melanie Avalon: By 42 hours, you've probably lost the physical volume of all the food and then you're probably not retaining water. So, then when you eat, you probably gain back volume wise, just food, and then it's like if you were to keep doing one meal a day, you might feel you're gaining weight, but it's really just that now you have a volume of food in you every day that you didn't have before. 

Gin Stephens: Yeah, that's so true. People do find that to be the case. I've actually had people say, “Gosh, every time I shorten my eating window, I gain weight. I don't gain weight on a six-hour window, but if I have a 1-hour window, I gain, gain. gain.” Really, I think it's just the volume of the food sits differently in the body when you eat it all in a constrained window, and then it causes you to even retain water differently, because a bulk of that food is moving through your system in a different way.  

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. So, I think just psychologically, the way you're interpreting the game might have a lot to do with that. It's just seems so restrictive to me. A lot of people are really, really proud of themselves if they do one 42-hour fast and you're doing it three times a week. I think there's so much potential. For what I would suggest to do if you want to try one meal a day, well, first of all, like I said, accept the fact that you're going to “gain some weight,” but it's the volume. You're going to need to do it long enough for that to stabilize to actually see what is weight gain, and weight loss, and what like I just mentioned, the volume. 

You're doing low carb. We don't know what foods you're eating in low carb. I don't know if this is something that you're doing, but a lot of people in the low carb sphere, don't lose weight, even if it's working for them because they think that low carb means unlimited fat. But if you're eating enough fat to the point where you're not tapping into your body fat, you're probably not going to lose weight. I think this is one of the biggest things that people experience in the low carb world when they can't lose weight.  

I don't know if you're adding fats to your food. I don't know if you're just doing low carb like low carb foods or if you are also adding fats. A lot of people when they do low carb, they're adding olive oil or butter, maybe even cheese. If you're doing any of that, I would stop doing that and replace it with more protein. So, focusing on lean protein because that's the most satiating, that's the most thermogenic, meaning it's going to stimulate your metabolism the most. That's the least likely to become fat as a macronutrient. So, if you want to stay with low carb depending on what you're doing, reconceptualize it. Focus on the protein, focus on not adding fat. If you want to add fat, I say this a lot, but I would add C8 MCT oil. That's actually very pro-metabolic. So, that's a way to sort of like--  

Because some people's metabolisms on low carb-- and it's not a bad thing. But they might actually slow down a little bit just because of the nature of the macronutrients and I found that adding C8 MCT oil actually can combat that a little bit, because it's very thermogenic, and metabolism stroking, and to clarify, not in your fast, with your food. I'll put a link in the show notes to the one that I really like. As far as the carbs go, I know you said that you only lose weight if you are low carb. But I really like what Gin was saying about the potential of-- what is it called, where you add in the carb days? 

Gin Stephens: It's the carbohydrate addicts’ diet. Because since Sarah has PCOS, we know that insulin is likely a big issue for her. So, getting the insulin down more should be something that she targets. That's why low carb is so beneficial for people with PCOS.  

Melanie Avalon: I misheard. So, the carbohydrate addicts' diet, you don't have carbs, do you?  

Gin Stephens: You do. You have a low carb breakfast, low carb lunch and a “regular dinner.” 

Melanie Avalon: Okay. So, I would suggest something similar. If you're going to do a one meal a day thing, having low carb days, then if you want to have a day with carbs as a carb up, so, it's like cyclical keto or something like that, having a carb up day in your one meal a day and making it very high carb, but making it very low fat for that day. 

Gin Stephens: I want to also say that you're likely to see a four-pound weight gain the next day after a high carb day after being low carb, and that is why people think, “Oh my gosh, I gain with carbs.” No, that's water weight. You did not gain four pounds of fat overnight from a high carb day. I actually did a program years and years and years and years ago back in my trying all the diets day. It was called Carb Nite. I've talked about that before, Melanie?  

Melanie Avalon: Mm-hmm. 

Gin Stephens: Keifer. Yep, yep. Carb Nite. The whole point of that was, your low carb for like-- I can't remember. I guess six days a week, and then one night a week, you have Carb Nite. It was where you added in lots and lots of carbs, and you're really trying to get those carbs in it, and he had the whole scientific reason why he recommended that because it keeps our hormones from-- Anyway, all the things that are said to happen when you're low carb with your hormones, this prevents all that. So, it's keeps your metabolism going a thing. It's been a long time, years since I read that work. But the whole premise was once a week, Carb Nite. You had to understand that after the Carb Nite, your weight was going to skyrocket. But it wasn't all fat. It's the water weight, and that comes because carbohydrates make us retain water, hydrate water.  

Melanie Avalon: For the Carb Nite, you do focus on being lower fat as well. That protocol works really, really well for a lot of people. That's probably the protocol I would actually recommend, would be a one meal a day situation, making the low carb days low carb, making them very high protein and not adding any fats. If you do add fats, add the MCT and then have a Carb Nite one night a week where you do high carb, low fat. 

Gin Stephens: No, I don't recall it being high carb-low fat because I remember I was in the community for a while. This was a long, long time ago. There was a Facebook group for it. I recall us eating things like gelato and we were not low fat. So, I don't know if we all were doing it wrong, but I don't recall the emphasis being low fat. 

Melanie Avalon: I think if I recall correctly and I can double check, I think he suggests, you're allowed to have fat, but I think he suggests you start with carbs. The idea is to fill up, and then if you're still hungry at the end, that's when you add in the fat but you don't start with the fat. 

Gin Stephens: That's not how I remember it but again, I could be misremembering it. 

Melanie Avalon: Or, might be the other way around. But there's an order to it.  

Gin Stephens: I just know, I was not doing low fat in there too. 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, well, that's the thing is you can have it. I'm pretty sure. Because I read this a few months ago, and I think there's an order to it. 

Gin Stephens: Also, it could have been revised since then maybe he revised his recommendations since whenever it was I was doing it years ago. That is entirely possible. 

Melanie Avalon: Regardless of what he writes, I personally believe that if you make that high carb day low fat, then what's so incredible about it is, if you've been low carb, so you've been a fat burning ketogenic metabolism, lowering insulin, when you have that carb up day, you get all of the metabolic benefits of carbs. So, thyroid stimulating, metabolism, promoting filling up your glycogen stores throughout muscle, and your liver, if you do that in the context of high protein, high carb, low fat, it's actually-- even though, you'll most likely gain water weight, it's actually unlikely that you will gain much weight at all. So, it's like you get to have this. 

Gin Stephens: You're not really gaining fat. You see it on the scale. But that's what I don't want people to be freaked out about is like, “Oh my gosh, look at the scale. I'm up. I've gained all this fat from this. See, my body can't eat carbs.” That is not what that means. 

Melanie Avalon: Right. If you do eat fat on that high carb meal, you're going to store whatever fat. Basically, that's where you can see it. If you do this high carb day, this carb up day, basically, see it as whatever fat you eat that day you are most likely going to store. 

Gin Stephens: Not if it's not over what you needed.  

Melanie Avalon: True.  

Gin Stephens: Just because you eat fat doesn't mean your store it. I eat fat every day and I'm not storing a bunch of fat. I eat fat and carbs together every day. Only in the paradigm of now you're overeating. If you're overeating, what's leftover will be stored.  

Melanie Avalon: When I'm saying in my head is a lot of people who do this carb up, they make it really intense. It's like the big feast day. 

Gin Stephens: The cheat day kind of paradigm which is not really what it's supposed to be.  

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, right. Exactly.  

Gin Stephens: I don't like the idea of cheat day anyway. 

Melanie Avalon: So, let us know, Sarah. Let us know how it all goes. I will also-- just because I mentioned this last week, I'm reading Dr. Michael Platt's book about Adrenaline Dominance, and he really recommends and-- I started doing it. He really recommends progesterone cream for all hormonal issues really. But he actually recommends it right before eating for insulin sensitivity, which was really interesting. Apparently, if you take it right before eating, it's only in the bloodstream for a brief amount of time. It can possibly help you with your insulin response. 

Hi, everybody. I want to take a minute to tell you about Prep Dish and what they have going on for you this summer. Summer is my favorite season. I'm sure that you've heard me say that before. But one thing about summer is that we are busy. That's why I'm so excited to tell you about the free bonus menu Prep Dish is offering this month, and it's only good through the end of June. 

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Melanie Avalon: All right. Shall we go on to our next question? 

Gin Stephens: Yes, and this is from Evelyn and the subject is "Non-scale victory and donating blood." She says, “Hello, ladies. My name is Evelyn and I have been doing Gin's Fast. Feast. Repeat protocol for just over a year. I would like to report a few non-scale victories and ask one question. First a bit about me. I am 51 years old, a mother of four adult children, happily married for nearly 30 years, and work at home as a private piano teacher. Mid July 2020, during the middle of COVID and shutdown, I was taking inventory of my life. My weight was the highest it had ever been at 210 pounds.” Gosh, I just want to say, we have so much in common, Evelyn. I only have two children, not four. But I've been married for 30 years, I got up to 210, so many similarities. I'm 52, you're 51. Anyway, back to the question.  

She said, “I was entering into menopause. A few more months and I will be past that famous one-year mark. I was charting my blood work from several years past and began to see that the trend was getting higher and higher in almost every category. I could see the writing on the wall that medicine would be in my future, kind of depressing. When my girlfriend graciously shared her copies of your two books, Gin, I read them both in two days and started immediately. I was a rip the bandage off kind of girl. My first hope of course was to lose weight, which I have. I am currently 158 pounds with about 10 to 15 pounds to go. But I also wanted to work on my blood work. I'd like to report this year my wellness checkup that all my numbers improved, and are once again within normal ranges.”  

Melanie Avalon: Hooray. I'm cheering. That was me cheering for Evelyn.  

Gin Stephens: “My total cholesterol dropped 30 points and the nurse said, that doesn't usually happen without medicine. Amazing. My blood pressure and blood glucose numbers are near perfect and today I saw my eye doctor for the first time in a year. He made the comment that the health of my eye looks like a 20-year-old. He has never said that in all the years I've seen him. He mentioned that my eye pressure, which I take daily drops for, has gone down. He seemed pleased with that. I also realized today that I no longer have any floaters. They've disappeared." For anyone who doesn't know that's, when you see these little spots like floating in your field of vision that just pop up. You think there's like something floating in the air, but it's just something in your eye, in your field of vision.  

All right, she said, "They've disappeared. That must be autophagy at work doing its thing, cleaning up the old and used up parts. It's been exciting to see how my health has improved in such unsuspecting ways because of IF. Okay, my question, as part of my turning 50 and becoming an empty nester, losing weight, and just enjoying life in this new season, I started giving blood. I have never done it before and so, unwittingly went to the blood drive without eating breakfast, a good 12 to 14 hours into my fast. I got through all the screenings with good “grades” and then they casually asked me, “You've had a good breakfast, right?” “Um, no, I hadn't.” They almost turned me away. I promised them that I am very much used to not having breakfast and that if I were to get dizzy, I would tell them. I know that for many people who are not fat adapted, giving blood without their regular source of energy stocked up may not be good. But do you know if you must or even should eat either before and after, and when donating blood? They also offered food afterwards too. I will gladly break my fast to give blood several times a year if I must, but must I? Can you see a day when this eating protocol is different as more and more IF people show up at blood drives? Thank you for fielding this question and rejoicing with me on the non-scale victories."  

After reading this, I'm so curious. I wish Evelyn had said how she felt after giving blood in the fasted state because that would be very instructive. Because she said, they almost turned her away, but it sounds like they didn't which sounds like she followed through giving blood in the fasted state and in which case, it would be very interesting to see how she felt because I'm a big believer in listen to your own body, and how you feel, and if she felt perfectly fine after giving blood, that would be a big indication that it works well for her body. Again, they have food afterwards. If you feel that dizzy, low blood sugar, there's something there you could eat it. 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, because it does sound like she actually gave the blood. When I first heard her question, I was thinking she didn't. Let us know, Evelyn, if you did give the one the fastest day and how you felt. I will note, she was saying that maybe because she's fat adapted, that she would be less likely to be dizzy or faint. I do not recommend people give blood in the fasted state. It's actually not about blood sugar, it's about blood pressure. So, it's not something that has to do with your fat burning metabolism. So, not everybody faints, but it just has to-- Well, obviously, because people are fainting left and right. But it has to do with how your body reacts to a perceived blood pressure dropped that can happen pretty quickly from giving a large amount of blood. It's obviously up to you if you want to try. I have fainted before with blood, and it's a very unpleasant experience, and I don't wish it on anybody. It's not terrible, but if you haven't fainted, it's surprising. 

Gin Stephens: I have never fainted ever, not in my entire life. You probably could have guessed that, right?  

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I probably could have.  

Gin Stephens: Has Gin ever fainted? Yes, or no? No, Gin has not. 

Melanie Avalon: Has Melanie? Yes. It's just funny. I have only fainted once from a blood draw, and it was forever ago. But still, just because it's such an intense experience-- because you feel like you're dying because you don't know what's happening and then, you wake up and you don't know what happened, and it's just not pleasant, and what's really interesting, I do blood tests all the time, listeners know this. All the time. I still get nervous now because I fainted that one time, maybe this is something I can work on with a therapist or something. but I still get nervous. Even though I'm like a champ at blood tests. I'm always worried I'm going to faint. I do all my blood tests fasted, obviously, because we have to be usually fasted for blood tests. 

But giving blood is a whole another-- I would just be really nervous to be completely fasted and do a blood draw. But I would love to hear it. If any listeners who are doing fasting, I would love to hear their experience. So, yeah. I do think that's really interesting, though, that it's not related to blood sugar. Oh, something that has reassured me though about just getting blood tests is that the amount of blood they take for a normal blood test, it's negligible as far as your body reacting to it. So, if you faint from a blood test like I did, that's usually psychosomatic. It's not going to be because of this massive blood pressure drop most likely, that is possible when you're giving blood. Or, it could be psychosomatic blood pressure drop. But my point is, when you're giving blood, it's a physical amount of blood that can create that blood pressure drop compared to when you're getting a blood test where it's actually not a huge difference in your overall blood stream. Fun fact. Any thoughts, Gin? 

Gin Stephens: Well, this is just one of those things that I'm not comfortable saying yes or no to. I'm not going to say yes, fast or no, don't fast, because that's not-- I would always follow the recommendations of medical professionals before any procedure, even giving blood. If you're not doing it very often, go later in the day after you've eaten. If they want you to have something to eat before you get blood, go when your window is open. Then, now, we don't even have to worry about it. You're not having to sacrifice your fast or making them happy and whatever the reason is, maybe the reason is wrong and you don't need to, but I'm not going to say that. I would do it later, personally, when my window was already open just to not even have to ask the question or worry about it. That's just what I have to say about that. I never want to go against a medical professional. Does that mean I think every medical professional is always got the most updated information? No. We know that things change. Protocols change, recommendations change, doctors have different ideas about things, research changes. So, follow the advice. If you go to give blood and they say you should have had breakfast, then have something to eat, come back later. Go during your window. Better safe than sorry.  

Melanie Avalon: Exactly. If you eat, you're much less likely to faint, and then it will much more likely be a successful blood draw.  

Gin Stephens: Exactly.  

Melanie Avalon: All right. So, our next question comes from Stephanie. The subject is "Four-three window." Stephanie says, “Hello, I just love you girls. I've been doing IF for three months, and I'm down 25 pounds. I just love it. I recently started the four-three window. I only have 500 calories on Monday, Wednesday, Friday. I've always done a 20:4 window. I was just wondering on my up days, do I fast for 20 hours still or can I start eating whenever I get hungry on my up days? Also, I'm a fitness instructor. So, I burn about 1000 extra calories a day and exercise. Should I up my low days to 1000 calories or stay at 500 calories? Thanks so much. So thankful for your podcast.” 

Gin Stephens: Well, this is a great question, Stephanie and I can answer it pretty quickly. Please do not fast for 20 hours on your up days. No, no, no, no, no. There's a lot of confusion with up days. And the research that was done on alternate daily fasting, they did not have any sort of fasting paradigm or window on updates. I mean, none. They were not instructed to skip breakfast, eat breakfast, eat in a window. They were just told on a down day, depending on the study, some down days were full fasts, and some down days were 500 calories depending on the study. And the up day was just, now you eat. So, they had the down day protocol they were following whether it was 500 calories or zero calories. Then the update, they were just instructed to eat normally. So, I'm pretty sure there was nobody in those studies that was also continuing to fast on the up day.  

We don't have data on that. We have no research on that. Maybe, there was somebody. When I say I'm pretty sure there wasn't, no, it wasn't reported in this study. Probably most of them ate breakfast, lunch, and dinner. That is why I make the recommendation for an up day to purposefully make sure you're eating at least two meals, at least six to eight hours. Just because it's hard for some of us that have been doing intermittent fasting with the time-restricted eating for a while. It's hard for us to wake up and have breakfast at 7 in the morning. So, we feel better delaying our breakfast or not eating first thing when we get up. But we need to consciously make sure we're eating at least two meals, at least a window of six to eight hours. But again, notice that at least that doesn't mean, okay, well then, I'm going to do six every day, that first question that we answered from Sarah, she's doing three 42-hour fasts a week. Just because I say at least six to eight hours doesn't mean all right, I'm going to go with six, because I'm really dedicated. Sometimes, we feel like more is better and it's not always. 

With alternate daily fasting, they found the metabolism didn't slow down from that alternate-- that rhythm. But the up days, they were eating more, of course, we don't recommend calorie counting. There's a lot of flaws with that, but I'm going to use the word 'calories' in terms of energy intake, they were eating more calories, then their bodies needed on the up days. I can't remember the percentage, 100 and something percent of their daily caloric needs on up days. So, you want to eat more food. It needs to be up. You want to slightly overeat on up days. So, if you're comparing an up day to a normal day when you're not doing intermittent fasting, you want to slightly overeat on an up day. If you're doing a four-hour eating window on an up day, are you going to be slightly overeating? Doubtful.  

Oh, for the other part of Stephanie's question, the research on alternate daily fasting, they were right around 500 calories, and it didn't matter how active you were, if you were a man, if you were a little tiny woman, it was just. “Hey, let's just do 500 calories.” If you want to have 1000 calories, you could do your own approach to it. It won't be exactly the same as the researched alternate daily fasting, but if your body needs more than that 500 calories down day, you just try it and see if it works for you. That would be okay. Because you're still having that-- It's like a hybrid approach or you're modifying it. You just don't want to over restrict. You don't want to err on the side of over-restriction is my point. 

Melanie Avalon: That was great. I was going to say it was-- You used my word 'hybrid approach.' I guess the thing to clarify is just in general with ADF, it's not like you adjust your calorie intake based on your activity to do ADF, which I think might be the confusion maybe for people. They think, “Oh, it's 500 calories, but I adjust for my activity.”  

Gin Stephens: Everybody was assigned the same 500 calories on the down days. Although in Dr. Johnson's book, I can't remember the title of it but it was one of the early ADF books out there, he actually did have like men can-- maybe 600 calories. I don't know. There was a little bit of variability in there, but he was just basing it all just on calories. It was before we really understood, there's a lot more going on than just calories. 

Melanie Avalon: I'm going to put a link in the show notes. I'm listening to an interview. It's the latest interview on Peter Attia. It's with Steve Austad, PhD. It's making me so happy. They're diving deep into studies on calorie restriction, especially because there have been quite a few studies that have been confusing. There was the one in the rhesus monkey studies and the monkeys on whole foods diet versus I don't know the exact details, but it was calorie-restricted monkeys on either a whole foods type diet or calorie-restricted monkeys on a processed diet. 

Gin Stephens: I don't think I've ever seen a monkey study with ultra-processed and whole foods. 

Melanie Avalon: I don't think it was one study. I think it was two different institutions. But it's been something that has been perplexing, because I believe there was greater benefits in the process diet monkeys. Basically, the takeaway was that when you're eating a whole foods diet, there might be less benefit to gain from calorie restriction compared to when you're on a processed diet. That's been a conundrum, and then there was something I talked about when I interviewed Dr. Steven Gundry. There were two different mice studies looking at mice on processed diet or whole foods, and perplexing findings with the mice eating the processed diet experiencing greater benefits. I don't know if it's because it was like protein amounts. But Dr. Steven Gundry's theory and it's the theory that I immediately thought of when I read it was that by eating a processed diet-- because they only put out the food a certain amount of time. By eating the processed food diet, it actually created a longer fast because they ate it so fast and it was digested fast. 

In any case, there's been a lot of really interesting studies on calorie restriction in rodents and monkeys and perplexing findings, and so, if you listen to that episode with Peter Attia there, I'm only halfway through it, but they're diving deep into it. They also talk about that famous calorie restriction study. You know the biosphere where the people went in? They were talking about that too. And he's been talking about how calorie restriction in rodents in the wild actually, probably does not lead to longevity. It actually reduces lifespan. I'll put a link to it. It's really, really interesting.  

Gin Stephens: That does sound really interesting.  

Melanie Avalon: Yes, but you did an excellent job answering that question. [giggles] Gin's got it.  

Gin Stephens: Well, I know how to answer these questions because I've heard them all in the Facebook groups back in the day. That's why I love helping people. Melanie is the one who loves what are the monkeys doing. [laughs] I mean that with love Melanie and I'm like, “Let me tell you the nuts and bolts of this of how you can make this work for your life with your question." [laughs]   

Melanie Avalon: I think that's why you make a good team.  

Gin Stephens: I think so too. 

Melanie Avalon: Well, this has been absolutely wonderful. So, a few things for listeners before we go. Again, the show notes will be at There will be a full transcript there, all of the links. I'm plugging it again, definitely get on my email list for the serrapeptase at You can submit your own questions for the show, just directly email or you can go to and you can submit questions there. You can follow us on Instagram. We are @ifpodcast. I'm @melanieavalon and Gin is @ginstephens. 

All right, well, this has been absolutely wonderful. Anything from you, Gin, before we go?  

Gin Stephens: No. I think that's it. Next time, I will be coming to you from the beach.  

Melanie Avalon: Oh, my goodness. I'm excited. [laughs] I'll talk to you then.  

Gin Stephens: All right, bye-bye.  

Melanie Avalon: Bye. 

Thank you so much for listening to The Intermittent Fasting Podcast. Please remember that everything discussed on the show is not medical advice. We're not doctors. You can also check out our other podcast, Intermittent Fasting Stories, and the Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast. The music was composed by Leland Cox. See you next week. 


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

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Jan 10

Episode 195: Ketones, Insulin Resistance, Measuring Insulin, Alcohol, Resting Heart Rate, Heart Rate Variability, And More!

Intermittent Fasting

Welcome to Episode 195 of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast, hosted by Melanie Avalon, author of What When Wine Diet: Lose Weight And Feel Great With Paleo-Style Meals, Intermittent Fasting, And Wine and Gin Stephens, author of Delay, Don't Deny: Living An Intermittent Fasting Lifestyle

Today's episode of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast is brought to you by: 

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8:40 - LMNT: For A Limited Time Go To DrinkLMNT.Com/Ifpodcast To Get A Sample Pack For Only The Price Of Shipping!!

14:30 - Listener Q&A: Sallie - Question for Gin

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23:25 - Listener Q&A: Michelle - In Search of lower Insulin

The Melanie Avalon Podcast Episode #74 - Benjamin Bikman, Ph.D.

Why We Get Sick: The Hidden Epidemic At The Root Of Most Chronic Disease―And How To Fight It (Benjamin Bikman, Ph.D.)

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38:00 - Listener Q&A: Sara - HANGRY still - sometimes

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43:30 - Listener Q&A: Kelly - Alcohol effects on Resting Heart Rate


Melanie Avalon: Welcome to Episode 195 of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast. If you want to burn fat, gain energy, and enhance your health by changing when you eat, not what you eat with no calorie counting? Then this show is for you.

I'm Melanie Avalon, author of What When Wine: Lose Weight and Feel Great with Paleo-Style Meals, Intermittent Fasting, and Wine. And I'm here with my cohost, Gin Stephens, author of Delay, Don't Deny: Living an Intermittent Fasting Lifestyle. For more on us, check out,, and Please remember, the thoughts and opinions on this podcast do not constitute medical advice or treatment. So, pour yourself a cup of black coffee, a mug of tea or even a glass of wine, if it's that time, and get ready for The Intermittent Fasting Podcast.

Hi friends, are you struggling to lose weight despite fasting clean? Maybe you're even making healthy food choices, fasting more, shortening your eating window, ramping up your exercise, and yet the weight won't budge? Well, we actually just found a major reason for why that may be. As it turns out, there are compounds in our environment called endocrine disruptors. Meaning, they mess with your hormones. Studies show that a lot of these endocrine disruptors are actually obesogens. Meaning, they literally make you gain weight. They also make it hard to lose weight. These toxic obesogens are naturally stored in fat. When they enter your body, your body creates fat to store them in to protect you. Once they're in that fat, they then change the genes in your fat stores, so that you are more likely to store more fat and less likely to burn it. They can also affect your insulin signaling and boost your appetite, so you want to eat more and store more fat.

Most of us are actually exposed to these obesogenic endocrine disruptors daily in our skincare and makeup, that is actually one of the largest sources of these compounds. Yep. As it turns out, when you're washing your face, putting on makeup, using lotion, or even putting on sunscreen, you are likely putting one up to 1300 compounds banned in Europe for their toxicity and obesity causing potential but they're completely fine for use in US skincare. When you put them on your skin, you're making it that much harder to burn fat, and that much easier to store fat. So, if you're struggling to lose weight, you definitely, definitely want to clean up your skincare ASAP. You can do that easily with a company called Beautycounter.

They make safe skincare and makeup products that are extensively tested to be free of endocrine disrupters, obesogens, and other toxic compounds. They're truly safe and supportive of your health. You can shop with us at If you use that link, something really special and magical might happen after you place your first order. If you'd also like exclusive discounts, giveaways, and the latest on the science of skincare, definitely get on my clean beauty email list. That's Are you fasting clean inside and out? Well now you can. All right now back to the show.

Hi everybody and welcome, this is Episode number 195 of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast. I'm Melanie Avalon and I'm here with Gin Stephens.

Gin Stephens: Hi, everybody.

Melanie Avalon: How are you today, Gin?

Gin Stephens: I'm good. How about you?

Melanie Avalon: I am great.

Gin Stephens: You sound super great. What's super great? That was like more emphatic great than usual.

Melanie Avalon: I'm really, really fantastic. Are you aware of what happened this past weekend?

Gin Stephens: Well, no. I'm not aware. What was it?

Melanie Avalon: Taylor Swift released a surprise album.

Gin Stephens: Oh, yeah, definitely not aware of that. [laughs]

Melanie Avalon: This is the second time she's done this in quarantine where she doesn't say anything, and then she releases an entire album. I always feel like I have to defend myself being a Taylor Swift fan. But her first album is the bestselling album of 2020, and I am obsessed lyrically with Taylor. Do you Spotify?

Gin Stephens: No.

Melanie Avalon: Okay, you know what it is though, right?

Gin Stephens: I mean, yeah, I do know what it is. I have Apple Music, so I listen to Apple Music. I'm an Apple girl. I listen to Apple Music and I listen to my podcasts through the Apple Music app.

Melanie Avalon: Well, Spotify, they give you a Your Year in Review thing and they show you like your top artists and your top song and everything. Well, obviously mine was Taylor, but the shocking thing was it told me I was in the 0.5% of her listeners. I feel like you have to listen to a lot of Taylor Swift to be in the 0.5.

Gin Stephens: Hmm. I'm probably in the 95.5 [laughs] or 99.5. I should say. There's one song I know that I've heard that I liked.

Melanie Avalon: Which one?

Gin Stephens: I don't know the name of it, but I know I liked it. If you'd like saying all of them, I'd be like, “Yeah, that's the one I've heard.”

Melanie Avalon: All Too Well?

Gin Stephens: No.

Melanie Avalon: Okay.

Gin Stephens: [laughs]

Melanie Avalon: Sorry. Very few things just like light me up with the amount of excitement that I was lit up with.

Gin Stephens: Well, I'm so glad to hear it. You don't listen to Apple Music, you listen to Spotify?

Melanie Avalon: No. Yeah, Spotify. I've been in Spotify person since it came out, really. I remember when it first came out, and I was like, “Wow, how is this even possible?”

Gin Stephens: The idea of just listening to whatever you wanted, yeah.

Melanie Avalon: I was like, “There has to be a catch here.”

Gin Stephens: Yeah, there wasn't. Look, I'm old enough to remember the days of Napster when everyone was just giving away their music for free and illegally.

Melanie Avalon: And always wondering if you were going to infect your computer with, because on Napster, you could get anything you want, and it was all free.

Gin Stephens: Anything. Yeah, and it was all terrible. Now that I understand how we were all stealing music, it was bad, very bad, but I didn't know.

Melanie Avalon: They actually started suing people who had it, do you remember that?

Gin Stephens: No. I was probably off of it by them because I'm such a rules follower that as soon as I realized, “Oh, gosh, this is not just like listening to the radio,” because-- [laughs]

Melanie Avalon: I remember they brought out the scare tactics. I think they locked up a few. I don't know, they sued some people, like my age who were using it, I mean, it ruined their life basically.

Gin Stephens: Well, now that we are producers of content, like books, I completely understand. If all of the books we ever wrote were now available for free illegally, and people were just able to share them, that would be terrible.

Melanie Avalon: If people paid for this show, and then it was--

Gin Stephens: Right. As soon as I realized it was wrong, I was like, “Oh my God. [laughs] I'm breaking the law.”

Melanie Avalon: Get it off the computer.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, exactly. I like to follow the law. Anyway, but it was fun while it lasted. And now that we have Apple Music, everything really is there, or Spotify or whichever you like. It really is amazing because you used to have to buy them one by one. I mean, you don't even remember the day of like driving to the music store, I'm sure. Listening to 45, did you have a record player?

Melanie Avalon: Oh, no. Well, I do now, with my Taylor Swift albums.

Gin Stephens: On a record player?

Melanie Avalon: Uh-huh.

Gin Stephens: Okay.

Melanie Avalon: Vinyl.

Gin Stephens: That's so funny. We had vinyl everything, but we had little 45s. Have you ever seen a 45?

Melanie Avalon: I think I have. I think my dad has some.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, that was the way to do it. You'd go get the one little single and there was always something on the other side and you'd flip it over. Then you would play them over and over again. Good times.

Melanie Avalon: Good times. I remember cassettes.

Gin Stephens: Yes.

Melanie Avalon: Because Chick-fil-A had all the-- we talked about this before the-- What is it, the virtues, the--

Gin Stephens: The cassettes that you could get. I remember that. Yeah, the freedom with music now is just remarkable, though. So, I'm glad that there's another album. She's been very productive it sounds.

Melanie Avalon: I have one more really exciting announcement, actually related to the content of today's show.

Gin Stephens: Well, awesome. What is that?

Melanie Avalon: It's so exciting. You know what it is, though? I think it's really exciting.

Gin Stephens: Well, share the excitement. So, friends, listeners, I can't believe I'm saying this, but I'm about to give away completely free electrolyte supplements. That's not even what I'm so excited about, even though that is very exciting. Mostly it's because we are partnering with Robb Wolf's company, LMNT. As you guys know, Robb Wolf is my hero. He is the reason that I am in the whole paleo world. Like I read Paleo Solution, and then that's what happened. I think he is an amazing figure of information. I don't want to say authority figure, but I really get the sense that he doesn't cherry-pick that he's open to the science, the information and I really trust his information.

He recently started a company called LMNT, L-M-N-T. Tailored towards listeners who may be following specifically keto diets, because as you guys know, Gin and I are not keto. I go through times of keto. Gin had her keto phases in the past, but they--

Gin Stephens: 2014.

Melanie Avalon: She is no longer keto. I'm not currently keto. I flirt with it occasionally, but in any case, if you have heard of something called the keto flu, it is often posited that the keto flu is not actually a condition, but it may be for a lot of people due to electrolyte issues, and that is because when you go on a low-carb diet, your insulin levels drop, and we know our insulin levels drop off fasting, but when you're doing low-carb, they're significantly drops all the time, and that lowers the production of a hormone called aldosterone. Aldosterone is made in the kidneys. Aldosterone helps you retain sodium. When you have chronically low aldosterone on a keto diet, you are losing sodium at a rapid rate. That is why a lot of people may experience symptoms of keto flu. So, that's things like headaches, fatigue, muscle cramps, insomnia, all this stuff. To address this, Gin, are you familiar with Ketogains?

Gin Stephens: Yes.

Melanie Avalon: Okay. Ketogains is probably, I would say it is the biggest keto community out there. The founder is Luis and I can never say his last name. It's like Villasenor. He and Robb actually developed-- I don't know if he would like actually developed it, but Rob worked with him to develop LMNT to have the exact electrolyte balance that you need to support your electrolyte status, especially if you're on a keto diet. Some people having carbs in their eating window and fasting might also benefit from the electrolyte supplements, but it really varies by the individual. In any case, they made LMNT, and it has no sugar, no coloring, no artificial ingredients, no junk. They have flavored and unflavored versions. The reason I'm also excited, the flavored versions, those are not clean fast friendly, obviously, because they have flavor. There is a raspberry, a citrus, and an orange flavor. The raw unflavored one is clean fast friendly. It's literally just electrolytes. If you feel like you are on the electric-like struggle bus, you can have the raw unflavored version during your clean fast.

I didn't realize this. This is not just like some small company. They're doing really big things. They work with three Navy SEAL teams. They are the official hydration partner for the USA weightlifting team in the Olympics, which is really cool. They've worked with a lot of other people, like five or more NFL teams. So basically, it's a really cool way to go. I'm so excited because you can get it, listeners, completely free. They weren't going to do this, they were just going to have our spots be educational and tell you about them, but I begged them for something. It's not even a discount, it's free. You can get their sample pack and that will include two raw unflavored. Again, those are the clean fast friendly ones. Two citrus, two raspberry and two orange. Again, the flavor ones you would want to have in your eating window. Apparently, the citrus one is a really great mix for Margarita, word on the street. I have friends who do that. It was actually in the information they gave us, I was like, “Oh, if this makes sense.” But you can just go to That's D-R-I-N-K-L-M-N-T dotcom, forward slash, ifpodcast. They will cost $5 for shipping only. That's the only thing you'll pay. If you don't like it, they will refund you the $5 for shipping. So, don't even worry about that. This free giveaway is only for January. So, guys, get it.

I'm just so excited because we're like working with Robb Wolf and I love this product. This is so exciting to me, and free things.

Gin Stephens: I'm so happy that you're happy.

Melanie Avalon: And free things for listeners.

Gin Stephens: Well, free things are always good.

Melanie Avalon: Yes. Everybody, go get it now. I think people on the keto diet who are experiencing these issues like this could be a game-changer for them. Even if you're not, get it for the flavors and get the citrus one and make margaritas and report back.

Gin Stephens: Eating window margaritas.

Melanie Avalon: Eating window margaritas.

Gin Stephens: It's like, “I heard Gin and Melanie say that you could have margaritas during the fast.” No, no, that is not what we said.

Melanie Avalon: Clarification. Eating window margarita with all clean ingredients

Gin Stephens: Fasting with Margarita, that's a joke. Do not fast with Margaritas. [laughs]

Melanie Avalon: Yes. All right. That's that. Shall we jump into our questions for today?

Gin Stephens: Yes.

Melanie Avalon: To start things off, we have a super short question. The subject is “Question for Gin.” It's from Sally. Sally says, “Hi, Gin. What made you keep going at your second attempt at IF? When did you start seeing results and what results did you see?” Maybe you can tell us a little bit about your first versus second attempt.

Gin Stephens: Really, I did not keep going at my second attempt, nor my third. It was more multiple, multiple. I first heard about intermittent fasting in 2009, and I've talked about this many times over the course of this podcast and Intermittent Fasting Stories and even in my books, and in the Mindset chapter of Fast. Feast. Repeat. I tried it multiple times, many times over those years from 2009 to 2014. For anyone who has Fast. Feast. Repeat., I really get into why it didn't work for me in all those attempts, in the Mindset chapter. There were several things that were the problem.

First of all, I didn't understand clean fasting. In fact, no one did, because everyone really thought that intermittent fasting was only something that helped to “eat fewer calories.” We thought that anything that was zero calorie was going to be fine. Even if you had just a little bit of calories, that was probably also fine. Fasting was really, really hard. I was white knuckling it all the time, because I was not fasting clean.

Second of all, I didn't understand about the adjustment period, and that your body needed to get fat adapted and so I would start and stop. I feel like I was constantly trapped in the adjustment period, my body never got fat adapted, I just kept living in the hard part. Never got through to where it was easier. Plus, I wasn't fasting clean, put all that together, it was doomed to fail.

Third, I expected weight loss to be linear. I would do it for a few days, it would be hard, I wouldn't lose any weight, and then I would quit. The time that it finally stuck, I still wasn't fasting clean yet, because remember, this was 2014. It was well before The Obesity Code. It was before we understood the hormonal things that go in our bodies while we're fasting. I had been doing keto, that we just talked about, that keto summer that I had, the summer of 2014. I didn't lose any weight, but I was in ketosis. I had a ketone breath monitor. It was one of the early Ketonix models. I was doing keto and I would blow in the Ketonix and I would get red. I was making ketones, but the way I was eating, I wasn't tapping into my stored body fat. I think it was just all the fat I was consuming, putting me into ketosis.

It was at that time that I shifted to intermittent fasting, because I was like, “I'm not losing weight. I don't feel good. Keto is not working well for me. I am going to do intermittent fasting, and this time, it's going to work for me, darn it.” Amazingly, that was the time I never did quit. I think that doing keto for that whole summer obviously, my body was making ketones. I was fat adapted. Suddenly, intermittent fasting was easier than it had been before. I also remember, Melanie, this is how little I understood at the time. I remember a post that I had made on an intermittent fasting group I was in, it wasn't one of my groups. Obviously, I hadn't started one yet, but I remember, I had like a cheeseburger and fries. An hour later was blowing on the Ketonix and registering a red. I'm like, “I'm already back in ketosis. This is amazing.” Well, no, that's not what's happening. Those were ketones that I had made during the fast and I believe that obviously, I was excreting them through my breath. Even though I had just had a cheeseburger and fries. I thought I was back in ketosis. It would be amazing. I didn't know what I was talking about. It was before we understood that, or before I understood that fasting got you into ketosis as well. Now that we understand about liver glycogen, and glycogen depletion, and all of that.

Fasting was easier because I was fat-adapted, thanks to the keto. Also, I immediately started losing weight. Finally. After that whole summer of not losing weight with keto, and also, I was weighing daily and calculating my weekly average. So, I saw the weight loss. Even though my weight fluctuated day to day, I saw week to week, my weekly average was going down. Finally, I saw success. So that was why when I write Fast. Feast. Repeat., I'm emphatic about not expecting weight loss during your first 28 days. Even when you do have weight loss, don't expect it to be linear. First of all, your body has to adapt. And then you have to be aware of how weight fluctuates and that it's only the overall trend that matters. Once I made that shift and understood it was the overall trend, then I could stick with it. I wasn't looking for down, down, down, down, down because that's not what weight loss looks like. And I just felt so much better. After not feeling good doing keto for that whole summer, reintroducing carbs, and intermittent fasting at the same time, feeling better seeing the results I was looking for, that was when it truly over time turned into a lifestyle. I didn't understand it was a lifestyle still as I was losing the weight, it wasn't until later, when I started to understand the health benefits. Intermittent Fasting is more than just weight loss. It took me becoming educated. The more educated I got, the more I realized this is something I would do forever. So, there it is. Anything to add?

Melanie Avalon: Our experiences, we're complete opposite. I was like, “I'm going to do this for a week,” and then I never stopped.

Gin Stephens: You were eating paleo before you started?

Melanie Avalon: Low carb.

Gin Stephens: You were low carb. See, again, we both transitioned from low-carb and started doing it. I never quit again. See, that's the thing. When I started in 2014, I never quit again.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, mine was low-carb IF and then paleo. That was like the--

Gin Stephens: The transition. Yeah. Awesome.

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Gin Stephens: All right, we have a question from Michelle, and the subject is “In Search of Lower Insulin.” She says, “Dear Gin and Melanie, thank you for changing lives. Gin's advice about not chasing ketone readings makes sense to me. As your body uses ketones more efficiently, your blood ketone level may drop. I'm wondering if I can use my blood ketone levels for a different purpose. So please bear with me. I would love to be able to directly test my insulin levels at home, but alas. As I understand it, a higher ketone reading should indicate a lower insulin level. For example, if ketones were 0.5 to 1.0, insulin would have to be fairly low. Is this true? Do we know if a certain ketone level corresponds to a certain range of insulin level? I accept that the converse doesn't indicate anything. So, I could have lower insulin without having high ketones. I tend to have pretty high ketones fasting around 24 to 22 with the occasional longer fast. I'd love to take my ketone readings as a good insulin sign. I am not diabetic or pre-diabetic, A1c 4.9. But I do wonder if I have some insulin resistance, and I'd love to have a gauge on how certain foods affect my insulin. Best wishes to you both, Michelle.”

Melanie Avalon: All right, Michelle. Thank you so much for your question. My initial thoughts are that there is most likely the correlation, with the exception of, I was just thinking that this follows up pretty appropriately to what you were just saying, Gin, because you had that experience where you measured ketones, but it was right after eating a cheeseburger. So, it really would depend on where the ketones are coming from. I don't think this is the case for Michelle. Especially if you're following like a ketogenic diet, you could, in theory, always measure ketones, but there would still be insulin release when you're in the fed state. You can be producing ketones and be producing insulin, but if you're in the fasted state, and you measure ketones, probably your insulin is low, but the whole issue is, with insulin resistance, people can experience higher baseline levels of insulin and not realize it. If you're generating ketones, that way it would imply that, hopefully, your body is fat adapted, and the insulin is working correctly, but I can't really make blanket statements about it, especially after reading, for people who want like the deepest dive into insulin ever, check out Dr. Bikman’s Why We Get Sick. I also interviewed him on the Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast, that episode might be out when this show comes out. I'll put a link to it in the show notes.

I don't want to say correctly working body but if things are working the way they should be, there should be a correlation, but then there could also be lots of other factors that might finagle it. What are your thoughts, Gin?

Gin Stephens: We don't have a gauge. She said she'd love to have a gauge about how certain foods affect her insulin. I wish we could measure at home like that, but we can't. Minute to minute, you can't know what your influence doing. For example, a friend of mine is using a company called Walk-In Lab. I don't know anything about that company, she just mentioned that she was using it and they're able to order the test for you. I'm imagining that they have physicians on staff, they look at your request, and then they approve it or not. You can actually get that through companies like Walk-In Lab. I'm not endorsing Walk-In Lab, I don't know anything about them, like I said other than a friend of mine, just use them and mention their name to me. So that would give you an idea of what your fasted insulin level is. Obviously, you can't do that all day. I wish we had an at-home insulin test, or a way to know exactly what it was doing.

If you're interested in going down that rabbit hole of ketones and what's going on, there's somebody named Marty Kendall of Optimising Nutrition, optimizing with an S because he's from Australia. He's got some really great stuff. I've learned a lot from reading his blog over the years. In fact, some of his stuff on ketone levels actually is what taught me that our ketone levels went down over time. So, chasing a high-- I actually learned that from Marty Kendall. Go to with an S for optimizing and dig in through there. He's a big proponent of measuring your blood glucose before you eat, to give you an idea of what's going on. That's just something there to check out.

I wish we could see how certain foods affected your insulin because proteins there. It's not just carbs that affect insulin. Thanks to the insulin index we know that proteins also affect your insulin levels, and even fats do, to a degree. The whole idea that fat has a zero effect on insulin is not true.

Melanie Avalon: Dr. Bikman actually talks about all of that in Why We Get Sick. Yeah, because actually protein I believe, it releases comparable or even more insulin than carbs, but it also releases glucagon, which has the opposite effect. It doesn't have the same effect on your overall blood sugar levels and state as far as the connection to insulin as straight-up carbs do. It's pretty complicated.

Gin Stephens: It's also complicated.

Melanie Avalon: I'm really fascinated by protein, and I found this one study that was looking at protein and diabetics, and it was theorizing or going through all of the research on protein and diabetics because protein can be turned into blood sugar, or sugar, carbs via gluconeogenesis. And it does, that does happen, but for some reason, it doesn't really seem to affect blood sugar levels. They don't really know why. There's all these theories like that the blood sugar that gets produced from protein gets used faster than it would into the bloodstream. There was like three different theories, but I find it so interesting that we know so much about the body, but then we still don't know really seemingly basic things, like we can't figure that out.

Gin Stephens: Which is why to me, that helps me to be like, “Why worry so much about it then?” If you're healthy, look, you're A1c is 4.9, so I don't know why it matters. If you're healthy, you've got a healthy A1c, you're wondering if you have insulin resistance? Well, do you have signs that you do? I just wouldn't worry about it is what I'm saying. If you're healthy and your health markers are good, you don't have to know what your levels are. I know it's interesting, and sometimes some of the things we don't even-- like Melanie just said, we don't even really understand all of it.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, when I found that study, it was so long. It was a review, and I was like, “This is the best thing I've ever read,” like eating protein and diabetic patients. Actually, I'm glad you said that, because I was just thinking, a good enough proxy-- she's measuring blood ketones, is she measuring blood sugar, though?

Gin Stephens: It doesn't look like it.

Melanie Avalon: Michelle, I think that's what you could measure at home.

Gin Stephens: There's a ratio that you can figure out with your ketone reading and your blood glucose reading. A lot of people are using, I think Marty Kendall’s--

Melanie Avalon: For autophagy.

Gin Stephens: I'm not sold on that. I won't get into that. To measure your fat burning, basically, they're using it-- I think he calls it Data-Driven Fasting, and there are a lot of people following his protocol where they are measuring their blood glucose and measuring their ketones and then doing some sort of ratio of that to determine your fat-burning state. People are finding great success with that. I don't want to measure all that. I know some people do, I actually interviewed someone recently on Intermittent Fasting Stories, the episode won't come out till February, I believe. But she talked about how she's using his ratio, and it's really been helpful for her.

Melanie Avalon: The last thing was I did just release the episode with Kara Collier, the founder of Nutrisense CGMs. I don't know anything about this. Michelle, if this is what you're looking to ascertain your level of insulin resistance, wearing a CGM, doing a round of CGMs could-- I mean, that, for me has been the most eye-opening thing as far as how are foods affecting me, you see how foods affect you. You see like, is your blood sugar level-- how is it rising? How long does it take to get back to normal? Rather than focusing on insulin, and we talk in that episode all about, like the implications of how it relates to insulin, but I think that would be the thing you'd want to do. I'm writing a guest blog post for Sunlighten, which is really fun. They wanted me to write a blog post on health and wellness trends for 2021. I had to decide what did I think would be the biggest health and wellness trends for 2021. One of them is CGMs.

Gin Stephens: Oh, yeah, I hope so because they're such a useful tool. They're not a toy. They're a powerful tool for figuring out how your body responds. But, really, Michelle, I would get a fasted insulin level. If you're a morning fasted insulin level, you'll have an idea. I mean, if it's five or something really low like that, or below five, then chances are you're not insulin resistant. If it's like 10, okay, that's a good signal that you're going to need to do some work. You don't need to know how it responds all day long. It's that fasted insulin level that'll really give you a good picture.

Melanie Avalon: The good thing about that is, I feel it's not as finicky is because wearing a CGM, the one thing I realized is, “Oh, your blood sugar could be changing a lot more than you realize.” But I think for a fasted insulin is pretty telling. I'll give you the ranges that Dr. Benjamin Bikman gives. According to Dr. Bikman, ideally your blood insulin levels should be less than six micro units per milliliter. Eight to nine is average for men and women, but he says it's not good to be average, you would prefer for it to be lower, a person with eight actually has doubled the risk of developing type 2 diabetes as a person with five. I guess anything over nine is above average.

Gin Stephens: In a way that you don't want to be above average.

Melanie Avalon: Right. He says you don't even want to be average, which is eight to nine. He would prefer that you are below six fasted insulin. Then on top of that, there's a secondary value that you can calculate if you want, it's the HOMA score. That one actually considers both fasting glucose and fasting insulin. It is even more telling for your levels of insulin resistance. At the time that you got your fasted insulin measured, you would also have to have had your fasted blood sugar measured as well. If you have those two, there's a mathematical formula that you can do that will give you your HOMA score, which is a number. It's complicated. It's basically glucose times insulin divided by 405. So, random for the United States, or glucose times insulin divided by 22.5 for other countries. That is so random. I don't know. I feel like we have provided all the potential data we can on this.

Gin Stephens: I think so too. That's a lot of data. Yeah. Also don't have coffee before you go because coffee can cause your liver to dump glycogen, your blood glucose can go up, and then therefore, you can have a little insulin urge, too. Go completely with nothing but water.

Melanie Avalon: Good call. One more last resource for you, Michelle. I will put in the show notes the link to the episode that I did with Kara Collier of Nutrisense. Then if you'd like to get your own CGM, or if any listeners would, you can get 15% off. The link for that is I will also put that in the show notes. Listeners, there will be a transcript of this episode in the show notes, so that will be at, which also I do need to plug. I don't know if any of the episodes have aired yet where we asked for questions for Episode 200 because we haven't received any questions, so I'm guessing not, but listeners for Episode 200, random plug, it's going to be an Ask Me Anything episode so you can submit any questions you want for that. They don't have to be health or fasting related. They can just be like, questions for me and Gin.

Gin Stephens: Awesome. I look forward to the questions.

Melanie Avalon: Like what is my favorite Taylor Swift song?

Gin Stephens: [laughs] Don't ask me what my favorite Taylor Swift song is. I'd be like, “That's the one I heard that time.” [laughs]

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Melanie Avalon: Shall we go on to the next question?

Gin Stephens: Yes.

Melanie Avalon: The next question comes from Sara. The subject is “Hangry Still Sometimes.” Sara says, “Hi, Gin and Melanie, I'm a solid three weeks in of doing IF daily 18:6 to 22:2. Eating to satiety and I am still having days where I'm hangry in the morning.” For listeners, 18:6 is where you fast 18 hours and eat for 6, and 22:2 is where you fast 22 hours and eat for two hours. She says, “I've done one meal a day and IF for years without knowing it was a thing, just because I don't seem to digest well, and I feel better eating one meal a day. I've gone months and years not listening to my body and creating issues for myself. This is now my everyday life and I won't go back. Can be hangry be from eating late in the evening? It's weird and maybe a coincidence that it's worse on days that we ate late the night before. Thanks for all of the product recommendations. Can't wait to see if I can be headache-free of Dry Farm Wines and all that you do.

I just found out my aunt and uncle are following you, have read your books and are in love with IF and losing weight and having tons of non-scale victories. Someone told my aunt she is aging in reverse, ha, ha. And then was worried about her when my aunt told her about IF. Thanks for helping people live their best life. Sara. Gin, what are your thoughts for Sara?

Gin Stephens: Well, first of all, I love that your aunt and uncle are following intermittent fasting and aging in reverse. As people around her watch her continue to look fabulous, that won't look so crazy anymore. That's how it seems to work. Once you're successful and you show it, people are like suddenly believers. All right, so your question is, “Can hangry be from eating late in the evening?” Well, let's think about this. First of all, you're three weeks in so even though you've dabbled in intermittent fasting here and there, it doesn't It sounds like you've consistently done it. So, you're still probably in the adjustment period. Hangry is more likely during the adjustment period than it is, once you're adjusted. The question, can you be more hangry in the morning, if you eat late in the evening? Let's think about this. Why do we feel great and have lots of energy during the fast? Well, it's because we're tapping into our fat stores, as we go through the fasts, I actually feel better. I might have a little wave of hunger right around hour, I don't know, 14, 16, something like that. Then on the other side of that, I feel fabulous. If you eat late in the evening, to start counting from then, you're not going to be as far into the fast by the morning, depending on what time you stopped eating. If you stayed up really late and ate till like midnight, and now it's morning, you're only maybe seven, eight hours into the fast. So, you're really not in the fasted state yet. Yeah, you would be more likely to be hangry. Just count back and see how far you are into the fast that could really play a role in it. What do you think about that, Melanie?

Melanie Avalon: Two main thoughts. One was that exactly, that you know you're quite into the fasted state yet. That said, I really associate the hangry feeling with blood sugar regulation issues, because I find people who-- if they are eating, and they don't have blood sugar regulation issues, they don't tend to ever get the hangry feeling. It's really the people who have difficulty transitioning into the fat-burning state, like the body's a little bit like hesitant to do it for whatever reason. I think that's when the hangry feeling comes in.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, I think so too, which is why the fact that she's only three weeks in is also very important.

Melanie Avalon: It could be that the context of when she's eating late, it could correlate to meals, not-- well, she already said she has digestion issues. So maybe meals not digesting as well, maybe macronutrients not really working for her. It could be a combination of things, but it could possibly be something about the actual meal itself, like the contents of the meal itself, rather than the timing.

Gin Stephens: Or, those together. The factors together. If I'm eating really late at night, it's probably because I'm out and I'm off my schedule, and I'm eating different things than I would normally be eating. So, all that plays in, plus the fact that it's not as many hours since I stopped eating. It's just a lot of factors.

Melanie Avalon: Exactly. That's what I was trying to say. I'm glad you said that. It often correlates to a slight disruption in your normal eating pattern that might be something more suitable to your blood sugar regulation and your digestion and everything. Let us know if the Dry Farm Wines makes you headache-free. I'm going to give my mom a box of whites, and my dad a box of reds for the holidays. I'm so excited.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, by the time this comes out, the holidays will be over, but that's what I'm giving Chad. I'm making sure he's not like listening, the box of reds.

Melanie Avalon: That's right. For listeners, if you'd like to get a bottle for a penny, our link for that is

Gin Stephens: Awesome. I highly recommend it.

Melanie Avalon: Speaking of, the next question. I did not plan this.

Gin Stephens: Oh, that's funny. Okay. Oh, I could definitely answer this one for with some data of my own. All right. This is from Kelly. The subject is “Alcohol Effects on Resting Heart Rate.” “Hello ladies, I've been listening to and following IF/One Meal a Day since January. I'm down 10 pounds. I'm loving this lifestyle. Thankful that my co-workers introduced me to this way of life before quarantine hit in March. I have a question regarding alcohol and resting heart rate. I noticed when I go for more than a week without alcohol, my Fitbit says that my resting heart rate can be as low as 56. When I go away to the beach on the weekends and have a good amount of wine and white claws, but all within good limits, of course, my resting heart rate can skyrocket up to 64. I also noticed on the beach weekends when we are less physically active with alcohol, that also makes the RHR go up. Just wanted to know your thoughts on this. Thank you for always having great insight and topics to discuss on the podcast. I truly learned so much from you both. It makes keeping this lifestyle maintainable and achievable that much easier.”

Melanie Avalon: All right, Kelly. Thank you for your question. Oh, my goodness. This is one of my recent obsessions, the resting heart rate. I talked about this before, but I actually did just interview the CEO of Oura ring, which I've been wearing for-- I don't know like a month now or so. It's so, so cool during the nighttime, it measures your resting heart rate, measures your heart rate variability, it measures your body temperature, it measures your activity levels during the day, it measures your respiratory rate. It gives you a really good idea of-- if you're recovering from your activities, how your body is doing, because basically, for some terminology here, so our resting heart rate is, it's the consistent rate of our heartbeat. Lower is typically considered to be better. It does go up when you're exercising, though. So that's why they call it resting heart rate is what you're looking at. Heart rate variability is the amount of time measured in milliseconds between heartbeats.

What's really interesting is you would think that you want your heart rate to be very consistent. I mean, that's intuitively what I would think, but what you actually want is it to be more erratic, because it shows that your body is adapting and reacting to stressors. A constant thumping on a pattern, that's actually signifies the stress state because if you think about when you're really stressed, what happens? It's like you're on alert and it's like--

Gin Stephens: [imitating heartbeat sound effect] Sound effects by Gin.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. [laughs] Thank you, Gin. It's like not changing. Compared to being more fluid and reacting to everything that comes at you, there's a time lag and a time difference in between heartbeats and that's heart rate variability. So, you actually want more heart rate variability, that was just some information for listeners. Things that affect resting heart rate, the cool thing about Oura, I'm just pulling out my Oura app is it gives you so much information and a lot of education as well surrounding everything. What’s really cool is when you wake up, it tells you based on how you slept because it measures your sleep cycles and your restfulness and your sleep efficiency and all these things. Based on how you slept, based on your resting heart rate during the night, which is what Kelly is referring to, based on your activity to the previous day, and some other factors, it gives you a readiness score, and it tells you like, “How ready are you to tackle the day?” It really makes it personal to you. So, it'll say like, “You're great. You're rested. Go hard today,” or it might say like your resting heart rate was raised last night, you didn't sleep, maybe you didn't sleep as well, maybe you should take it easy today. It makes it very, very specific.

I thought it was going to be a generic, maybe one of five options that it gives you. I mean, it literally gives you very, very specifics. Mine today said, I had a readiness score of 84. It said, your resting heart rate lowered late last night because it should lower or raise at certain times during the night. So, I guess the fact that it lowered late in the night wasn't as good because it says, “Your resting heart rate lowered late last night, but your overall readiness is still good. If you feel tired, how about taking a rest day, some light relaxing activity can help you get back on track.” Things that affect resting heart rate, what does she say that hers was, she said--

Gin Stephens: As low as 56 but it skyrockets to 64, which doesn't seem that high. That's pretty low.

Melanie Avalon: That's pretty low, I think. Mine is normally low 50s to mid-60s, like 65 is normally the highest that mine goes but I don't consider that skyrocketing at all. In their app, they say that the normal average is anywhere from 40 to 100. Slightly below your average is a good sign of readiness and exceptionally high or low resting heart rate indicates that an easier day maybe an order. It says, “An intense training day, a late-night workout, elevated body temperature, or a heavy meal just before bed can keep your resting heart rate elevated during the night.” Alcohol can also affect that, which Kelly is asking about. My thoughts on it, Kelly, are that, yes, alcohol affects resting heart rate, but I don't perceive yours as skyrocketing.

Gin Stephens: Right. 64 is still a really good number. Can I give an example from mine? I have not been drinking. I feel so much better, but I looked way back when I was doing my PREDICT study and wearing the CGM. I had a night where I drank a good deal of-- it was Dry Farm wine, and it was champagne. I wanted to see how it affected me through the PREDICT 3 study. I went back to that night on my bed, I have a Sleep Number bed and it measures things like heart rate variability, breath rate while you're sleeping. My heart rate skyrocketed to 81 while I was sleeping from alcohol. My heart rate variability went down. I do think mine skyrocketed, but alcohol 100% made my heart rate skyrocket and then I didn't get a restful sleep. That right there was such important data when I realized, when I got the Sleep Number bed and started tracking, that was when I realized, “Gosh, my body really has a different sleep when I drink alcohol.” Now I know that my body does not metabolize alcohol well. I'm a slow alcohol metabolizer. So, that makes more sense why that happens for me.

Yes, if you think that it's alcohol, yep. I mean, and you're seeing it from the data, you're drinking, it's up when you drink, but I wouldn't say 64 is skyrocketed either.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. I'm just looking back through my data because I usually have half a glass up to a glass, probably a glass every night now. If I do that, I don't see appreciable effect on anything. But if I have a night where I did drink a lot, which I've had a few of those in the past month, I do see it majorly. I think the only time I woke up to a readiness score of like, 60, something was after that, I was like, “It knows.” It knows. It was really exciting to interview the CEO of Oura. The thing that I really liked about it the most was I was so hesitant to actually use Oura ring, because you know how I am. I'm going to overanalyze, there's going to be so much data, and I'm going to wake up and get my score, and it's going to ruin my day because I'm going to be like-- I'm going to judge everything by the score. We talked about this in the interview, they really don't want you to have that response. It never makes you feel you're failing, and it's very gentle in how it talks to you. It always makes me feel like, “Oh, this is the steps I can take to make--”

Gin Stephens: It's actionable.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. My favorite thing about it is, it determines your ideal bedtime, and it does it based on how you're sleeping and how you react based on different things. Guess what? If you're going to bed at 1:00 AM, it's not going to say, “Your ideal bedtime is 7:00 PM. It's not going to say that. Mine right now says my ideal bedtime is between-- it was saying between 1:00 and 2:00 AM. Now it's saying between 12:45 and 1:45. I think it's trying to nudge me earlier. It's never going to give you something you can't do. If it does think you need to be early, it's going to slowly get you there. It's not going to try to force early bird on late night owls. For Gin, it would like--

Gin Stephens: It's 9:00 PM, time to go to bed. Why are you still awake? [laughs]

Melanie Avalon: Well, what I asked him was because my sleep score, to determine your sleep, how well you're doing it sleep, it looks at your total sleep, your efficiency, your restfulness, your REM, your deep sleep, your latency, and your timing. Your timing is the one where that does involve circadian rhythms. You can only have a good timing score if the middle midpoint of your sleep is between midnight and 3:00 AM. I'll have nights where I actually get really, really good scores on everything, except timing. Which is just a zero because I go to bed at 2:00. I asked him, I was like, “Does that mean it's impossible for me to get a really, really incredible sleep score because the timing is off?” He said I can still though get like a crown and an optimal score, but I won't ever get like a 99 if I'm going to bed that late. I would love for you to get it Gin and see what it says about your sleep.

Gin Stephens: Well, Sheri, my co-host on the Life Lessons Podcast has one. She's had one for a while and she loves it.

Melanie Avalon: It's so great.

Gin Stephens: But I love my bed that that does that. I don't know if I would like-- The ring itself on my finger, I would like to try one, I guess.

Melanie Avalon: I love it. Yeah. Love to get you one.

Gin Stephens: If I had one, I would wear it. But just getting one, I just don't know. We'll see.

Melanie Avalon: So, that was a lot of information. Any other thoughts?

Gin Stephens: No. I think that's it.

Melanie Avalon: I did take my heart rate while I was in the sauna because it doesn't measure your heart rate during the day, only while you're sleeping, unless you do-- it has this moment option where you can like take a restful moment and not move and check it. I did it while I was in the sauna and it got up to like 99 or something.

Gin Stephens: Oh, that's interesting.

Melanie Avalon: I was like, “I'm just laying here.”

Gin Stephens: One day, my sauna will be put together.

Melanie Avalon: I know. I was going to say-- did it arrive?

Gin Stephens: Oh, it's here. It's in the boxes.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, right, because you're redoing the garage first.

Gin Stephens: Hmm. Don't get me started.

Melanie Avalon: Okay, never mind. [laughs]

Gin Stephens: This is out of my control. [laughs] 

Melanie Avalon: I will put out good vibes.

Gin Stephens: I'm a patient girl.

Melanie Avalon: I'm really excited for you to--

Gin Stephens: Yeah, me too.

Melanie Avalon: I hope it happens while it's cold.

Gin Stephens: Me too.

Melanie Avalon: Well, this has been absolutely wonderful. A few things for listeners before we go. If you'd like to submit your own question for the podcast, you can directly email Or you can go to and you can submit questions there. Remember, you can submit questions for Episode 200 Ask Me Anything episode. You can follow us on Instagram and Gin, how is Instagram going?

Gin Stephens: Well, I'm doing it, here and there.

Melanie Avalon: Are you enjoying it?

Gin Stephens: Yeah, when I think about it. I just don't remember it. I have to remind myself.

Melanie Avalon: Now I'm looking at yours, I'm looking at your freezer from Daily Harvest.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, love the Daily Harvest.

Melanie Avalon: It's a lot of Daily Harvest.

Gin Stephens: Well, it is.

Melanie Avalon: Is that a mini freezer?

Gin Stephens: No, that's a regular freezer. It's actually a big freezer. It's a old KitchenAid side by side built-in freezer and fridge.

Melanie Avalon: We just ordered my mom a chest freezer and then she said she doesn’t want it, so we're returning it.

Gin Stephens: She doesn't want it?

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, she said she wants one that she can open so she can reach in. I think she doesn't want to like reach down--

Gin Stephens: Oh, that makes sense.

Melanie Avalon: --into it.

Gin Stephens: But, yeah, this is just one side of my freezer. Not one side of the freezer, but one side of my built-in. It's really old. They redid the kitchen. I don't know when they did it, but the appliances they're nice, but they've been around since, I don't know, at some point in the early 2000 era. Just from looking at the backsplash, that's when they redid the kitchen. But I love my kitchen.

Melanie Avalon: Everybody is now going to go to your Instagram and look at.

Gin Stephens: And look at my freezer. [laughs]

Melanie Avalon: Good times. So, you can follow us, I'm @MelanieAvalon, Gin @GinStephens, I think that is all of the things.

Gin Stephens: Yeah.

Melanie Avalon: All right. Well, this has been absolutely wonderful. Anything from you, Gin, before we go?

Gin Stephens: No, I don't think so.

Melanie Avalon: Nothing?

Gin Stephens: Not a thing. Like I always have so much to say. [laughs]

Melanie Avalon: Well, I will talk to you next week.

Gin Stephens: All right. Bye-bye.

Melanie Avalon: Bye.

Thank you so much for listening to The Intermittent Fasting Podcast. Please remember that everything discussed on the show is not medical advice. We're not doctors. You can also check out our other podcasts, Intermittent Fasting Stories, and the Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast. Theme music was composed by Leland Cox. See you next week.


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

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



Oct 11

Episode 182: Scale Anxiety, Antibiotics Damage, Microbiome and Weight, Hypothyroidism, Weekend Sabotage, Alcohol Metabolism, And More!

Intermittent Fasting


 Subscribe For Updates HERE!

Welcome to Episode 182 of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast, hosted by Melanie Avalon, author of What When Wine Diet: Lose Weight And Feel Great With Paleo-Style Meals, Intermittent Fasting, And Wine and Gin Stephens, author of Delay, Don't Deny: Living An Intermittent Fasting Lifestyle

Today's episode of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast is brought to you by:

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Melanie Avalon: Welcome to Episode 182 of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast. If you want to burn fat, gain energy, and enhance your health by changing when you eat, not what you eat with no calorie counting, then this show is for you.

I'm Melanie Avalon, author of What When Wine: Lose Weight and Feel Great with Paleo-Style Meals, Intermittent Fasting, and Wine. And I'm here with my cohost, Gin Stephens, author of Delay, Don't Deny: Living an Intermittent Fasting Lifestyle. For more on us, check out,, and Please remember, the thoughts and opinions on this podcast do not constitute medical advice or treatment. So, pour yourself a cup of black coffee, a mug of tea or even a glass of wine, if it's that time, and get ready for The Intermittent Fasting Podcast.

Friends, I have a story for you. I recently got septoplasty to fix my deviated septum so that I could breathe better. And in the recovery period, you're not supposed to wear glasses. Oh, my goodness. I cannot tell you how much I realized how much I adore and need and love BLUblox blue light blocking glasses. I've been wearing them every single night of my life until I got that surgery. Guys, you need this in your life.

In today's world, we're way overexposed to blue light. While blue light is energizing, we're not supposed to be seeing it 24/7, it can raise cortisol, stress levels, create tension and headaches, disrupt your sleep, and so much more. Of course, there are a lot of “blue light blocking glasses” on the market these days, Andy Mant, the founder of BLUblox, he personally realized how incredible blue light blocking glasses were for him personally. So, then he did something crazy and actually tested all the brands on the market to see if they actually were blocking blue light like they said they were. They weren't really. That's why he took things into his own hands to create glasses that would block the blue light you need to be blocking to truly have the healthiest relationship possible with light.

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And one more thing before we jump in. Are you fasting clean inside and out? Did you know that what you put on your skin gets direct access to your bloodstream, and in your body can do a lot of detrimental things? So, while you may be fasting clean, you may at the same time be infusing your body with endocrine disrupters, which can mess with your hormones, obesogens, meaning they literally cause your body to store and gain weight and even carcinogens.

In Europe, they've banned thousands of these compounds found in conventional skincare and makeup, and the US has banned less than 10. In fact, most conventional lipstick, for example, is high in lead and the half-life of lead in the body can be up to 30 years. That means every time you put on some lipstick, you might be putting some lead into your bones which might not leave for three decades. This is a big deal.

Thankfully, there's an easy all-encompassing answer. There's a company called Beautycounter, and they were founded on a mission to make skincare and makeup products that are safe for your skin. Every single ingredient is extensively tested to not burden your body and support your skin health. You can shop with us at and if you use that link, something really special and magical might happen after you place your first order.

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All right. Now enjoy the show.

Hi everybody, and welcome this is episode 182 of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast. I'm Melanie Avalon and I'm here with Gin Stephens.

Gin Stephens: Hi everybody?

Melanie Avalon: How are you today, Gin?

Gin Stephens: Well, I'm a little bummed because it's so much the change of seasons. You know how much I love summer?

Melanie Avalon: I love it.

Gin Stephens: I'm wearing jeans. I'm still not wearing shoes, though. I was playing in my closet today looking at-- it's not time to switch it out yet that it's still warm enough, but it was like 76 here. But I have these shorts. Have I ever talked about my GAP shorts from the 90s that I still have?

Melanie Avalon: Maybe, refresh my memory.

Gin Stephens: Well, I don't know why I saved these shorts. It was before I had kids. It was these GAP shorts, they're size 8 from like 1995 I'm guessing. It shows how sizes have changed so much over time. Because in college, I was probably about the same weight I am now, I might be a little smaller now but I don't know, but in college, I was a size eight.

Melanie Avalon: So, sizes have--?

Gin Stephens: Oh, changed big time. Yeah, vanity sizing.

Melanie Avalon: So, what would an 8 be now?

Gin Stephens: Well, just for a perspective, these are size 8 from the GAP from, like I said, about '95 and they're too big for me everywhere except the waist. The waist fits me. So, I have the same size waist that I had when I was 25 years old, which is awesome. But the butt and the thighs are just giant. But again, also, they're pleated and they're khaki shorts. I mean the clothes we wore back in that era were just not attractive.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah.

Gin Stephens: Pleated khaki shorts. I mean they're like a bell. They're not cute. The waist fits me perfectly, but they're size 8 and I'm sitting here right now in zero jeans that the waist fits. So yeah.

Melanie Avalon: So, they're similar sized, but those are an 8 compared to zero now.

Gin Stephens: Yes. Well, I mean, they are too big for me except in the waist. But I think a lot of things now have relaxed waists.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. Wow. So, back then zero must have been like?

Gin Stephens: I don't remember anyone being a zero, really. I don't remember it. I don't remember people even being a zero. Did they even have zero? I'm not sure it was. I know when I was 12 years old, I was tiny. Okay, tiny. My mother got remarried. And I was like a flower girl, it was this tiny little wedding, but I had a Gunne Sax brand dress. This is from the 80s, okay. Early 80s, maybe even late 70s, this brand Gunne Sax. It was this [unintelligible [00:07:54] style with ribbon and all that. And I think I was a size 3. I was like 12 and tiny.

Melanie Avalon: Because kid sizes are in one, three, five?

Gin Stephens: This is junior size.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, okay.

Gin Stephens: This junior size 3, someone who wears a 5 or a 7 now versus-- but I was itty-bitty and wearing a 3. I mean, I haven't been able to wear junior sizes though ever since I really went through puberty. I've always been in the even sizes, because I'm curvier.

Melanie Avalon: I remember going to Paris, and the sizes there are like--

Gin Stephens: Really different?

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, they're probably more like what it used to be here.

Gin Stephens: Probably what it used to be here in like the 50s or something. [laughs] But sizes have changed so much. And every time I pull out those shorts, it's hilarious. I have a pair of jeans from the GAP that I wore in the early 2000s. It was after I finished having kids and I lost the weight back. It was in the unfortunate diet pills era, but I felt really good in these jeans. They're size 4. No, wait, they're size 6, that was a lie. They're size 6 from the GAP. And they're like mom jeans, and they are big in the waist. I'm smaller now than I was during the diet pill days, but they're hilarious fitting too. And the GAP was just not having good clothes, and I was buying them up apparently. [laughs]

Melanie Avalon: For shirts, because I'm a pretty small person but I like all my-- like t-shirts and stuff, I always like extra larges or extra-extra larges. Especially because brands want to send us stuff and they want to send shirts a lot and they're like, “What size?” I'm like, “Extra-large.” They're like--

Gin Stephens: I'm like small.

Melanie Avalon: Every time, Gin. Yeah.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, I don't like them being big.

Melanie Avalon: I don't like being confined. I don't like clothes actually.

Gin Stephens: I don't like feeling confined. But I like things to fit me.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. Oh, wait, can I mention one thing since we're talking about clothes? I just got a-- new company from LA, they're making grounding shoes. I am so excited. I can probably get them to send you a pair if it's something you're interested in.

Gin Stephens: I would love to try their shoes.

Melanie Avalon: I will get on that. For listeners, they only make the sandals. But I just got my pair and I'm so excited because what I had been using was these grounding strips, I don't know if they actually work. For those who don't know what we're talking about, it's basically so that when you walk on natural earth, the ions in the earth-- it's something to do with the energy of the earth. And it's not like some woo-woo thing, it's very much real.

Gin Stephens: Well, my husband who's an organic chemist, things have charges. Every time you have static electricity, or thunder, lightning, that's static, that's energy being transferred. So, we know scientifically that energy transfers, that's not woo-woo. It's real, we see it.

Melanie Avalon: And by being on natural earth, it has a very natural healing effect on the body compared to when we're constantly not actually touching the ground. So, it's beneficial to get yourself grounded, which you do by walking outside barefoot. But if you have shoes on, obviously, you're not touching the ground. That's why they made these grounding shoes that they conduct the charge from the earth to your body. So, they're really cool. I got really excited. I'll put a link because I think I have a discount for them too. So, I'll put a link in the show notes to it.

Gin Stephens: Well, the reason I brought up the clothes, in case, everybody's like why are we talking about the GAP clothes from the 90s, the point is that people get so caught up in sizes and it's just meaningless, the way things are sized. I have things in my closet that fit me, zero to four. If I go to my old clothes, six and eight. If you go to a vintage store, sizes are going to be really different. So, you've got to just not worry about the sizes. Easier said than done.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, actually, Gin, we have a question, since we're talking about all of these sizes and what it all means, this wasn't on the lineup for today, but how would you feel if I do a surprise question?

Gin Stephens: That would be awesome. I would love a surprise question.

Melanie Avalon: Okay, because I've been wanting to do this question for a while. So, I feel like it's appropriate right now with everything that we're talking about. Our first question comes from Nicole, the subject is "Product You May Love and Questions." And Nicole says, “Hi, Gin and Melanie, thank you so much for your awesome podcast. Gin, I love your down-to-earth personality. And Melanie, I adore your curious mind. First off, I wanted to share with you a product for your listeners, especially the ones that have a fear of the scale. I own a zero scale. It's a digital scale that sets your weight at zero and tells you up or down pounds. It doesn't reveal your weight. I'm not sure this exact scale is around, but I've seen similar items, and I've attached a link.”

And she attached a link to a scale called Shapa. When we got this email, Gin was like, “I want to talk about this!” So, Gin, would you like to talk about this? I have no idea what this is.

Gin Stephens: Yes, I'm so glad you pulled that one out today because I have a Shapa scale. You know how I said I haven't weighed myself since 2017? Well, it's both true, and now false. It's true that I have no idea what the number is because the Shapa numberless scale does not show you your number. Well, you can set it to show you your number, but I have set mine not to show my number. If you get this scale everybody, do not sync it with Apple Health, or it will show you your number on Apple Health. People are like, “Oh, no, it showed me the number!”

We were just having this conversation, in fact, my moderators today about weight maintenance and the scale going up and down. If you're in maintenance, you're going to be within a weight range, which means that your weight might fluctuate within even a 10-pound range and you're not gaining weight or losing weight. But you get on the scale and it's up five pounds from yesterday, and then you have this panic of, “Am I gaining weight?” “What's happening?” Because we know the only thing that matters is your overall trend.

In all of my books, I wrote about weighing daily, and then once a week, you calculate a weekly average and you only compare the weekly averages, and that will really save your sanity. But you still have to see the fluctuations of like today, you're up five pounds, and it freaks you out a little bit. At least it did me. So, that's why I threw my scale away and I haven't gotten on a scale from 2017 until today. I mean not today, but I mean like the past six weeks. So, over three years, not standing on any kind of scale.

Well, someone told me about the Shapa scale. I've been raving about it in my Facebook groups, but if you go to, it tells you all about it. Now, the creator of this scale, I don't know how to say his last name. His name is Dan Ariely. A-R-I-E-L-Y. That’s how I'm saying it, that could be so wrong if it is, Dan, I'm sorry. He's the creator of Shapa. He actually is a professor of psychology and behavioral economics from Duke University. His TED talks have been viewed over 15 million times. I'm reading this off their website. Now, I just went to it real quick. And he's written three New York Times bestsellers. In 2018, he was named one of the 50 most influential living psychologists in the world.

Okay, so this guy, I wanted to say that to let you know, that he knows what he's doing with psychology. For me, the thought of having a scale with numbers really gives me anxiety because if I got on the scale and I didn't like the number, it would make me want to diet or make me want to do certain things. Any of us who have been obese or overweight, we had this panic that we're going to regain all the weight. Even though I've been maintaining since 2015, seeing a number on a scale could really upset me. It is what it is. So, the scale does not show you a number unless you set it to, it only gives you color feedback.

So, for the first 10 days, you stand on it, and you have to do it twice a day, while it's calibrating, you get on in the morning, you have to have the app open on your smartphone. You get on it, you get off of it, then you do it again in the evening, you get on, you get off. And then after about 10 days-- it could take a few more than 10. It took me 10. You start seeing colors. And the color lets you know what your trend is doing. So, if you get green on your app, that means your weight is maintaining over time. If you get teal, that means you're losing a little weight, you're on a slight downward trend. Blue means you're on a really good solid downward trend. And there's a couple of shades of grey you could get, which shows that your trend is going up.

Now some people are like, “Well, how does that help because what if you got on one day and it was green, and the next day it was gray, and the next day it was blue?” And that's not how it works. So, that wouldn't happen. Remember that Dan is a professor of psychology, so he understands the fluctuations are the problem. He doesn't just give you fluctuating color. It does complicated statistics, and it only shows you what your actual trend with all this complicated math is doing. So, if you get on, it's not going to just give you random fluctuation colors. So, that's why-- I've just loved getting on it. It coincided with the month that I had first given up drinking for a month, no alcohol for a month. So, I actually the first color I got was green the first day based on my calibration. But then after that, I've been slowly teal. I've been slowly losing some weight, some of the bloat that I guess I put on over the increased baking and drinking of the pandemic. The only change I've made is not drinking and I've been on a solid teal. So, I'm losing a little bit of that pandemic fluff that may have come on. But that's the thing that's so fabulous for me. I don't have any nervousness about stepping on it. I'm not worried, even if it showed me gray, just showed my trend was going up, I would be like, “Alright, time to reverse this trend,” but it's different than that number.

So, anyway, if anyone's interested, go to And I actually have partnered with them because I love them so much. As soon as I read about it, I got it. And then, I started badgering them with emails till they finally returned my email. And I'm like, “I really, really, really want to have a relationship with y'all for my podcast because I think that this could be life-changing.” There are a lot of people like me that are absolutely terrified of the scale and don't want to see that number. It might be crazy. Maybe if I was 100% healthy, I wouldn't care but there's still that emotion tied up in it. Dan, the behavioral psychologist degrees, a lot of people really don't do well with that. So, if you go to and you use the promo code 'IFSTORIES,' which is associated with my Intermittent Fasting Stories podcast with the program, you sign up for their program, and it's like a yearly subscription to their app, but then they send you the scale for free, you save $30 on the program.

And after the year is over, the year that you've signed up for, you do not have to renew, and you can continue to use the app. It doesn't stop working. You don't have to renew. Anyway, it's super awesome. And I am weighing on it every day. I don't know how much I weigh, but I don't need to.

Melanie Avalon: That is really cool. I had never heard of this before. So, what does it look like? Does it look like a normal scale?

Gin Stephens: It doesn't have a window. It just it's like a round disc and it has like these little silver crescents that you step on. And so, you step on them and it reads what's happening. It also claims that it is reporting the changes in your body composition, not just your raw weight. So, if you're building muscle but losing fat, it should adjust for that, I think, based on what I've read, because it's checking your whole body composition and looking for positive changes. It does not reveal what the colors mean, as far as how much you're losing. It just shows you the overall trend, but I'm really enjoying it. From someone who said, “I'll never have a scale again,” I've got it.

The whole time I've gone through menopause-- by the way, I am two weeks away from officially being able to say, “I'm done with menopause,” or through it on the other side, because you have to go a year. But you worry-- when you have lost over 80 pounds, you worry that one day maybe it's going to be menopause, maybe it's going to be too much wine, but all of a sudden, you're going to balloon back up again and gain all the weight back. So, now, for the rest of my life, I'll be able to get on the scale and not have that fear of, “Oh no. Am I secretly gaining weight?” or “My pants a little tight.” I'll know.

Melanie Avalon: Well, actually, to your point, Nicole, the follow-up sentence where she says, “I have anxiety about numbers, and this has been life-saving.”

Gin Stephens: Yeah, she's got the zero scale. And I don't know that tells you whether you're up or down pounds. I don't know that I'd like that. Because remember, if I got on it, and it said, “You're up five pounds,” I think I would start to cry. I wouldn't like my scale telling me I was up five pounds or down two pounds. I don't want to hear any numbers, which is why I like Shapa so much. I don't hear numbers. I don't hear anything. I just only see that nice little blue or the teal or the green. And I don't even know.

Melanie Avalon: I wonder if it tells you the actual pound or if it just is like up.

Gin Stephens: I wouldn't want to hear up. It feels like to me you would get on and it would just tell you whether you were up or down. I just know me. I weighed for the first year of maintenance, I weighed, but every time I got on and it was up, I panicked in my brain, even though I was like, “All right. It's okay.” Every time I saw up, it made me feel, “Ugh.” And when it went down, I was like, “Ooh.” But not even having to know the fluctuations, just knowing what the overall trend is doing, it's just a breath of fresh air. Anyway, to get me to have a scale again is pretty incredible. And the company's been great. So, I'm a huge fan. And my, promo code 'IFSTORIES.'

Melanie Avalon: Awesome.

Gin Stephens: Yeah, you should get one too.

Melanie Avalon: You actually convinced me. I'm pretty sure I'm going to go get one right now.

Gin Stephens: And then you could see what's happening. But you don't have to worry about the number.

Melanie Avalon: I like colors too.

Gin Stephens: I like colors too. They have one that's like white, that's the one I got. It's like a wood-tone white. And then, they have like a grayish-blackish white, and then they have an oaky-- no, the black is just not white, I don’t know why I said white. It's a blackish wood-tone grayish-blackish. Anyway, white, black, wood tone, but they all have wood graining. It looks really pretty in the bathroom.

Melanie Avalon: Can I say one thing about colors just because it made me think of it?

Gin Stephens: Yes.

Melanie Avalon: Yesterday, I saw a rainbow and I think I literally contemplate the nature of rainbows for an hour. I was googling and reading all about rainbows. And then, I was reading about linguistic relativity, which is my new favorite thing.

Gin Stephens: I don't even know what that is.

Melanie Avalon: I think we've actually talked about it before. It's the idea that we can only understand things we have words for. So, different cultures can see different colors based on what words they have colors for.

Gin Stephens: Wow, that's cool.

Melanie Avalon: It's really cool. And then my mind was being blown, I was like, “Wait, so what colors can I see that other people can't see?” [laughs] Because we don't have a word for it.

Gin Stephens: And then, there's the wrinkle of-- I've talked about before, I guess, Chad having that weird colorblindness. Remember me talking about that? Or did I? How he can't see? He's got blue-yellow colors, I'm crazy, I don't know I'd never heard of. We've all heard of red-green colorblindness, but I had never heard it. Well, I assume we all have. I had never heard of the blue yellow. It's driving me crazy though, Melanie. He sees things so differently. We got some art, and he can't see it. I'm like, “What is your problem? It's beautiful. It looks perfect." And he's like, “No," I want him to see and love the environment that he lives in too, so that's what's hard. I'm not dealing with someone who sees it properly. I am having to make my house look good to someone who sees it differently than me because I care about how he feels in the home. That's tricky.

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All right, now back to the show.

Well, back to Nicole's question.

Gin Stephens: Anyway, I was so excited when I read that question when it said Shapa, the link that she gave to Shapa numberless scale, I was like, “What?”

Melanie Avalon: Just for listeners. I go through and categorize all the questions and occasionally, Gin will pop in her thoughts. And if it's really important to her, she makes it very known. So, with this one, she was like, “I was just so excited.” She's like, “I must talk about this.” So, yeah. From the rest of Nicole's email, she says, “Now to my fasting question. I've mostly stayed at an average weight since puberty, but always struggled to lose 20 pounds, which would put my five-foot-six frame at around 130, 135. I've gone up and down with those 20 pounds throughout my life, but around four years ago, I was able to get to 133 effortlessly, I am 42. The only thing I changed at the time that I can remember was eating more lentils and broccoli. Lol.

A year and a half ago, I got two tooth infections, had to have wisdom teeth removed and a root canal. The wisdom tooth surgery was a coronectomy, awful pain, and I basically lived with clove essential oil in my mouth for two months. The root canal was regular, but I had to go on antibiotics for prevention. I'm pretty sure I'll be doing holistic dentistry from now on. After these instances, weight crept on and I was back up to 155 even though no eating habits had changed. I had tried all my tricks of the past, but nothing worked.

After a trial with keto, which did not end successfully, I came across IF and started studying the science behind it. That's where I found all three of your podcasts. Happy to report I started IF in February of this year, I'm fasting completely clean and I can easily do a window of 16 to 20 hours, give or take that awful mid-March to May time, I've noted many non-scale victories. Rosacea is gone, aches are gone, energy, etc. But I've not lost weight. I had an awful time in the beginning, which is what I think was my body detoxing, awful menstruation, skin issues, etc. But it all worked itself out. I'm eating less than I ever have now and healthier. My diet is well rounded, 90% clean, organic, wheat, dairy, and egg-free by choice. I'm incredibly in tune with my body and I know something is still missing even with all the health benefits.

I also have hypothyroid and I am working on finding a new endocrinologist who do extensive testing since my current doctor will not run these tests. I can't find anyone local to run proper and extensive hormone testing, but I'm trying to find a telehealth doctor. I will continue to investigate these issues. But can there be anything I'm missing from my teeth incidents that can clue you to what path I should take, considering as when I saw a huge change in weight to happen so quickly? I've cut alcohol during the week, lowered carbs, changed windows meditated, tapped, and tried changing what I ate, bought a glucose monitor to track as well. I feel like I'm obsessing but getting this under control especially since losing this weight before menopause is very important to me.

Any help, advice is appreciated. If patience is key, I'll get there. I haven't done ADF. Can't seem to get there. But if that is what it takes… You both to me are masterminds at figuring these things out. I'm hoping you give me some suggestions as to what to do. I am celebrating the non-scale victories and the health benefits but losing weight to me, especially since I know I was at that 135 range for a long time, is very important. Thank you so much for all you guys do. You are my favorite podcast to listen to and are a super team. XOXO. Nicole, from New Jersey.”

Gin Stephens: Well, Nicole, it is great to hear from you. And that struggle, I can totally understand when you've been maintaining for your whole life. Even though you had to go up and down a little bit, you could always get there, and then all of a sudden, nothing is working. And I think it's great that you can pinpoint that turning point when you had that dental work, and you had to go on to antibiotics for prevention. We hear that kind of thing a lot. People have a turning point with their health. Often, it involves some medication. Sometimes, it might be steroids. For you, it was antibiotics. And that causes something in your body to change and then all of a sudden, your weight is really different on the other side of that event.

I've talked before about a friend of mine who had food poisoning. And then after that, she could not keep the weight on, she could not maintain her weight. Her weight just went down and down and down and down for like forever. She was getting skinnier and skinnier and trying to eat more, trying to put the weight on, and she could not. I tell this story again to illustrate that that affected her gut microbiome, and something in there shifted. And so, whatever that population was, she could not use her food properly and she could not gain the weight at all. She had to really work. It took her, I don't know, over a year to rebuild her gut microbiome and get her health back to where she could maintain what was a healthy weight for her.

I would really think about focusing on rebuilding your gut microbiome. I understand the importance of it, but I am not a gut microbiome rebuilding expert. Dr. Ruscio. How do you say it? Michael Ruscio, is that his name?

Melanie Avalon: Dr. Michael Ruscio. Healthy Gut, Healthy You.

Gin Stephens: Healthy Gut, Healthy You, that was the name of the book. He came on our podcast, gosh, was it 2017 or 2018?

Melanie Avalon: It was a while ago. I had him on mine too since then. But, yeah, he's great.

Gin Stephens: He's great. His book lays out some different things to try because his goal is to get your gut back to where it needs to be building things back up. I believe it can be done after watching my friend go through that, and how she was able to heal. But it's really, really important. A lot of it is trial and error. Do you have anything to add about that?

Melanie Avalon: That was exactly what I was going to say. The gut microbiome plays such a huge role. And it really can for so many people, I think, be the defining factor in making this shift between struggling with your weight or not, struggling with your weight. I'm actually reading a book right now. Have you heard of Joel Greene?

Gin Stephens: I don't think so.

Melanie Avalon: I heard him on Ben Greenfield’s podcast, and it was like a two-part podcast. The stuff he was saying was like the most mind-blowing stuff ever. I think I talked about him briefly on this podcast. He was saying how all the problems with yo-yo dieting and how losing weight-- was it losing or gaining weight? How one of those actually damages the fat cells or damages your body to lose and gain weight. In any case, I'm reading his book right now, and I just started it, and it's a doozy.

Gin Stephens: What's it called?

Melanie Avalon: It's called The Immunity Guide. Like I said, just started it, but his theory is that all of this goes back to our immune cells, and how they're reacting to things and whether it's inflammatory or noninflammatory, and that the gut microbiome plays a role in that. Apparently, this book has a whole plan to fix it. The reason I brought it up is that when there are foundational shifts in the body, it's hard to know what's what. But the shift itself can create change, like with the microbiome, how your body reacts to all of that can change. So, you might start having chronic inflammation and reactions to everything whereas you did before. It's really hard to lose weight in an inflamed state, it's a lot harder.

In any case, I like what Gin said. I would say something to focus on-- especially since you don't want to go like the ADF route, I do think focusing on the gut microbiome would be the way to go. The cool thing is there's not one answer to that. People will say there's one answer, don't we know that? But people seemingly “fix their microbiome” or get it back to a healthy state on a variety of diets. Some people feel they do that through a keto approach, some people through a higher-carb approach. That's why I do really love Dr. Ruscio’s Healthy Gut, Healthy You because it's like a choose your own adventure. He goes through the science of everything and then a plan, but it's not one plan. Pretty much every other book out there is one plan.

Gin Stephens: Right. Like, “Here is the one thing that's wrong with everyone, just do this.”

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. And do this plan. So, occasionally, it'll be like, “Oh, maybe skip this step or this step.” But his is very much like, “If you're this, start here. If you're this, start here. Then when this happens, go here.” So, it's very individualized.

Gin Stephens: Yes. And which was what I loved about it.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. It's also almost macronutrient agnostic. He does talk about how a lot of people do need to start at low carb just because they can't tolerate the carbs because of all the dysbiosis or their metabolic health or whatever. But he's very much like about finding the carb level that works for the individual. And so, it's all different carb approaches as well. So, yeah, we'll put a link to it in the show notes. I would say definitely, definitely probably try that out. And it's so great that you are experiencing all these other great non-scale victories. Which actually, to that point, I think I've said something a little bit misleading because I was saying it's really hard to gain weight if you're in a constantly inflamed state, but other non-scale victories indicate to me inflammation is going down because your rosacea has gone, aches are gone, energy, etc. So, that's really exciting. Sounds like your body's really benefiting from this. I do think with tweaks and patience even like she says, you could definitely find your way.

Gin Stephens: Yeah. And there's also the other factors that-- she's hypothyroid is also an issue. That could be something too. It all kind of just goes together.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I'm really glad, actually, that you pointed out the hypothyroid thing. I totally meant to talk about that, because that could definitely be huge. She does say that she's working on finding a new endocrinologist since her doctor won't run the tests. Well, she sounds like she's aware about the tests that are needed. Nicole, you can check out our interview with Elle Russ, All About The Thyroid. But, yeah, if you're not on the right dose for thyroid medication or don't have that address, then it can definitely be really hard to lose weight. But, in any case, it really sounds like you are on the right track. You're seeing lots of benefits, non-scale victories like we talked about. And I really think that patience like you said and trying some things, and I'm sure you can get there.

Gin Stephens: And also thinking about ADF, if you wanted to try an up-down day approach that's more of a mild up-down day-- you could do a one-hour window, and then more of a long window the next day, and then a one-hour window. So, it's not like full-on ADF but you're giving it that up and down-ish pattern. So, try that and see.

Melanie Avalon: I love it. All right. Shall we go on to our next question?

Gin Stephens: Yes. All right. So, the next question is from Sheree. And the subject is "BiOptimizer Confusion. “I am doing IF and it is going slowly, but steadily. Listening to your podcasts is a good inspiration and motivation for me. My question is on the BiOptimizer products. I would like to add in a product one at a time, but don't know where to start or what is best for me. I am 60, fairly healthy. Sugar’s a bit high but coming down. I sleep okay. I'm fairly calm. From the podcasts and all the reading I have done on their products, it sounds like I may benefit from several products, but my primary focus should start with helping to lose weight. What would be your thoughts? Thanks, Sheree.”

Melanie Avalon: All right, Sheree. So, fantastic question. Definitely, if you're not in my Facebook group, IF Biohackers, definitely join there, because people talk about BiOptimizers like every single day. But I know it can be confusing because they have a lot of supplements. And for listeners, we've had Wade and Matt, the founders on the podcast, what like three times now? Two or three times?

Gin Stephens: Yeah, I think it's three.

Melanie Avalon: Three? I think so.

Gin Stephens: We had Wade by himself. Then we had them both together. Did we have Wade by himself twice? I know we've had him together twice. I don't know.

Melanie Avalon: I think we had them both together twice and Wade-- we might have had them four times. I don't know. We've had them a lot.

Gin Stephens: I just love them, though because they coexist with such different dietary regimens and acknowledge that we're all different. Those are my favorite people.

Melanie Avalon: Yes, because Wade is like plant-based vegetarian-- I think he's still vegetarian. And Matt is like keto, like carnivore at times. They're like complete opposites. But they realize that our bodies are so unique. Their main thing is that the root of a lot of issues are in the gut, which is what we were talking about earlier. And that addressing that and getting our digestion order can be so huge for just everything and performance, health, everything. I remember Wade made a comment on-- I think when we interviewed him, and it's something that has like, stuck with me to this day. And he said, “People confuse the results with the change.” And this has haunted me, but it was basically the idea that oftentimes people will make a drastic dietary change, and they'll lose weight or things will get better. But then, they'll plateau or things will even get worse. But they think because all of the results happened when they made that drastic dietary change, they think that dietary change was the answer. When really, it was most likely-- it was probably pulling something out of their diet or adding something in. That actual paradigm shift wasn't like the be-all end-all. But the quote has just haunted me to this day.

In any case, so for the confusion, because they do make a lot of stuff. So, none of their stuff is like a weight loss thing because they're not like a weight loss pill. Like I said, it's more holistic. If the reason you're struggling with your weight or struggling with your health is because you're not digesting things, for example, they make digestive enzymes. They can help you digest your food. They make P3OM, it's a probiotic. It's a proteolytic strain, meaning, actually breaks down protein, has antiviral properties. It's one of the few probiotics-- Actually, it's probably like the only probiotic I consistently will take or turn to. I could also probably recommend it for Nicole as well. So, I'll put links to that in show notes. They make a keto supplement called kApex for people doing ketogenic diets. Somebody actually just posted in my Facebook group the other day about it. They were like, “This is a game-changer.”

Gin Stephens: In what way?

Melanie Avalon: I guess they were doing keto for a long time, and not digesting their food well or not feeling energy from the keto diet. And they started taking it and they said that they were digesting food better, that they had amazing energy, and that it was the answer to making the keto diet work for them, which is the reason they make that supplement. And then, they make magnesium because magnesium is super important for stress. It's one of the one-- I don't want to say one of the one because the book I'm reading right now is talking about how we're depleted in all micronutrients. But it's probably one of the primary nutrients that we really need more of, and we just don't get enough of because of our modern soils and modern food. So, they make a really comprehensive magnesium supplement that, again, in my group, people talk about all the time about just being a game-changer. But, Sheree, so none of them are to help you lose weight. They're to help you get your body back into balance so that you can lose weight naturally.

Anyway, definitely join my Facebook group and ask your question there, because people will give you lots of opinions and you can probably get more specific answers.

Gin Stephens: Yeah. And it really just depends on issues that you're having and what you need. We don't all need the same supplements. We don't all need everything that BiOptimizer sells. You might need one of their things or two of their things, or zero of their things. But don't feel like, “Well, I've got to get their entire catalog of things.” So, you have to figure out what do you need. I've told this story before, maybe not everyone has heard it. But a friend of mine takes some supplement and she was like, “This supplement is the one that's changed my life.” And then I was like, “Oh, maybe I should try that. I would like to change my life.” And I started taking it, and it made me feel worse and worse and worse. And then, I started researching it and it is based on like a genetic thing that she's got and I don't, and it was the wrong supplement for me. So, never take a supplement just because someone else is having great results with, it might be totally wrong for you.

Melanie Avalon: And we talked about this last week, Gin. I'm more and more of the opinion of minimal supplements, less supplements rather than more. I would prefer 100% that we could just get all of our nutrients from food and never need a supplement ever again. That's why actually if you look at what BiOptimizers makes, it's not actually-- with the exception of magnesium, which is a nutrient, their main thing is digestive enzymes and HCl. So, it's something that is helping you digest your food.

Gin Stephens: It supports digestion.

Melanie Avalon: But in a dream world, nobody would need digestive support because they could just radically digest everything. But a lot of us do because of our gut situation, the foods we're eating, our environment. Our vagus nerve is just all out of whack. So, that can be really helpful. And then, the other one they make probiotic which is different than like a nutrient per se. Like I said, the only really nutrient they do is magnesium. I think they have a mineral supplement. In a dream world, we would not need any. Although I will say, I plucked this last week, but, Gin, I'm taking NR and NMN again, and I swear it's changing my life. Like, why did I stop?

Gin Stephens: And I'm pretty simple. I just take my magnesium at bedtime. There's one multivitamin that I take it with my dinner and that's it. And really, it's because I do try to eat a wide variety of foods and hope to get everything I need for my foods. But it's a really good high-quality multivitamin. They actually sponsor my podcast. So, other than that, though, that's pretty much it.

Melanie Avalon: I'm excited because I'm about to interview, and I mentioned this last time, but Caltons who Rebuild Your Bones. Although now, they have me worried because they're talking about studies where apparently, there was one study where they challenged dietitians to make a diet in different categories, I don't know what it was. I think one was Atkins and one was DASH-- I don't know there's different ones and they were challenged to make a diet that would fulfill like all micronutrients and be “palatable,” which may be the key, maybe that's the key, but be “palatable” and be a certain amount of calories and none of the dietitians could do it. I was like, “Oh, that's disconcerting.” So, yeah,

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All right, now back to the show.

Melanie Avalon: In any case, shall we go on to our next question?

Gin Stephens: Yes.

Melanie Avalon: All right. So, we have a question from Laura. The subject is "Weekend Sabotage." Laura says, “Hi ladies. so thankful I found you. What When Wine started all this for me. Feeling great but would love to lean out but crave tough workouts and that muscular look. Would you be able to explain what effect alcohol on the weekends is doing to my body? I will be honest, I am not just having a glass of wine on the weekends on my up days, definitely more than that. But wondering what the science is behind alcohol on the weekends.

Here's a typical week for me. I've been IFing since March of 2019. Monday through Thursday, one meal a day, 24, always a whole30 meal. It is a struggle on Monday though, but I power through. Friday, I fast, till we go out around six but eat and drink whatever I want breakfast, lunch, and dinner but smaller portions because I know I'll be eating three meals, not whole30 until Sunday afternoon around 2:00 PM, then have a healthy dinner whole30. I work out four to five days a week including rowing, running, Peloton, and weights, a variation of these options all week. Plus, walk the dogs four to five times a week, one to two miles a day.

I'm totally stuck. I'm not losing weight. I am at a healthy weight, but definitely squishy in the middle. I read Fast. Feast. Repeat. and I think I will try Some Things Out of the Toolbox with messing around with the length of my window and up and down days. But I'm still curious what my Friday nights to Sunday afternoon is doing scientifically, glycogen stores, insulin, etc. I've also been listening to Melanie talk about Siim Land and muscle building tips. I check my activity with my Apple Watch and it says I burn 2200 to 2500 calories a day, which I don't think I'm eating one meal a day. So, I recently added last week a protein shake to open my window to help get more protein in during my eating window. I'm five feet five inches, 45 years old, newly retired middle schoolteacher, Gin. My hubby and I typically don't drink during the week Monday through Thursday. I weigh on Friday mornings and it takes me till Thursday the next week to get back to where I started. Ugh! Thank you for all your research. I admire both of your passions for health and educating people. Hugs from So Cal.” I have so many thoughts about this question.

Gin Stephens: Me too. And to be honest with you, I'm just going to say, Laura, you've probably heard me talk about-- I don't know when this came in, in relation to what I've been talking about my month of no alcohol and it's extending because I just feel so much better. Did I talk last time, Melanie, about how I drank for my PREDICT study and then couldn't sleep and felt terrible?

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. I don't think I connected it to the PREDICT study, but yeah.

Gin Stephens: Okay. Oh, that's why I wanted to see what it did on my blood glucose meter. So, I did it for science and then I felt awful again and--

Melanie Avalon: Oh yeah. Yeah, you did.

Gin Stephens: Yeah. I thought so. Basically, Laura, what just rocked my world recently was realizing that I am a slow alcohol metabolizer. I talk about in Fast. Feast. Repeat. how when I was trying to get to my initial goal weighed in 2015, I delayed alcohol. It was about a 10-week period. I was almost at my goal, and I wanted to lose, I think it was 20 more pounds to get there so I could buy all my spring clothes and just be that size and not have to buy different clothes, and spring was coming. So, I delayed alcohol, meaning I didn't have any alcohol at all. And I also delayed ultra-processed foods and I ate just whole foods, real foods, plenty of carbs, but real potatoes, real beans, lots of butter or sour cream cheese, just real food. And I lost about two pounds a week. Thinking back on that, now that I understand that I'm a slow alcohol metabolizer, it really like it takes my body days after drinking to get back to a good fat-burning state. And you might say, “Well, how do you know that?”

Well, I went the whole month without any alcohol at all and then I tested a couple glasses of wine at the beach with Chad. I'm using this breath ketone monitor that Melanie had them send me to play around with, and I can 100% see that it takes my body a while to get back into ketosis when I've had alcohol. So, one big thing that jumps out at me is what you said how it's a struggle every Monday, but you power through. So, that indicates, if you're sluggish and struggling-- yeah, I always just assumed it was I'd refilled my glycogen storage. I just assumed that. But now I realized that-- even when I was at the beach with Chad, I didn't eat all that much. I waited till late in the day, I didn't have longer, relaxed vacation windows. Chad doesn't like to pay for a lot of money to go out to eat. So, we ate at the condo, which made him really happy. And I like to cook, so that was fine. I didn't mind. So, it wasn't like I had eaten a lot and refilled my glycogen stores. But then, the same thing happened from just two glasses of wine. It took me a few days to really get back to normal.

So, I would like to challenge you to delay alcohol, give it a month. I just want you to see. You'll know at the end of that month if it's making a difference or not, see how you feel on Monday. Don't change the weekend eating, just the drinking. And I want you to try that experiment and then write back and let us know. I'm just so curious if it might be as huge for you as it is for me. I knew that it made a difference for me when I was losing weight. Now, I have a hunch as to why. I haven't been able to find a lot of science out there, a lot of people writing about this idea of this-- the whole idea of being a fast alcohol metabolizer, slow metabolizer, whatever. But I think it could be an issue for a lot of people that maybe don't realize it.

Melanie Avalon: This is funny because I'm probably gonna say almost the exact opposite thing. But I think it's great because it's a lot of different approaches and we're all so different. So, I'll give you another perspective, Laura, maybe we can try it all out and see what works for you personally because like Gin said, we're all different. When I read this, I see that you're doing one meal a day, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday. Then, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, so not even one day, but the weekend, like she says, “Weekend Sabotage.”

Gin Stephens: Well, she fasts till 6:00 PM on Friday.

Melanie Avalon: Okay. So, Friday normal and then Saturday all day. And then, I'm assuming alcohol on Saturday. And then, Sunday--

Gin Stephens: She eats from 2:00 till dinner. Yeah.

Melanie Avalon: So, still eating. Saturday and Sunday. Alcohol added on Friday, assuming alcohol on Saturday evening, and then eating basically all day Saturday and Sunday.

Gin Stephens: Well, Sunday, she fasts until Sunday afternoon around 2:00 and then have a healthy dinner. I'm not really sure what she does on Sunday. Sunday's confusing.

Melanie Avalon: She drinks whatever I want breakfast, lunch, dinner, because [unintelligible [00:53:57] eating three meals until Sunday afternoon around 2:00 and then have a healthy dinner. Oh, it sounds like she does that non-whole30 from all day, Saturday, Sunday, but then she jumps back into whole30 Sunday evening. That's how I'm reading it.

Gin Stephens: Well, yeah, she does say Friday night to Sunday afternoon later. So, you're right, that she does say that later. Friday night through Sunday afternoon.

Melanie Avalon: When I see this, I see Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, whole30, one meal a day. Then Friday, one meal a day, but alcohol, and then eating-- completely changing what you're eating and eating all day, Saturday, anything all day Sunday with alcohol throughout on the weekend. So, just seeing that objectively, the thing that really jumps out to me isn't the alcohol. It's the massive change in the food. It could be just the alcohol. Just like stepping back and this is like a crazy thought experiment and this is not meant to be taken literally. But if for example, you ate what you'd normally eat whole30 but all you did was add alcohol-- and don't do this, it's not I'm saying-- I'm going to extremes, just think about this. Even if you added like thousands and thousands and thousands of calories of alcohol to your preexisting whole30, you wouldn't store any of that alcohol. It wouldn't be healthy and would not be a good thing to do. But that's not actually going to create weight loss. Compared to eating thousands and thousands of calories, which we don't know if you're doing but switching from whole30 to eating whatever you want, especially with our modern processed food, it's really easy to take in a lot of calories, especially if you're in this mindset of weekends, like no whole30, like go big or go home. And you're not just going big or going home one day, which can often be really helpful, especially for people fasting every single day, one meal a day and then having an off day, but this is sort of starting on a Friday night, going in all day, Saturday, continuing Sunday, and not going back to normal until Sunday. So, that's a long time to switch your food choices from noninflammatory whole foods that even if say they're the same amount of calories of more processed foods, you probably extract less calories from them. This is a huge food shift is what I'm seeing. And on top of that, if whole30 is anti-inflammatory for you, that inflammation from food can also lead to a lot of weight gain, just from water retention and things like that.

So, what I would encourage you, alcohol could be playing-- It's ironic, I was even thinking it's possible that alcohol might even be slightly protective of weight gain because some people with alcohol actually are less likely to gain weight, some more likely but results are all over the board. And, yes, it was a rodent study, but my mind is still just being blown by that rodent study I read recently that came out this year pretty recently about rodents fed diets meant to make them gain weight and when they had alcohol with it, they didn't experience the metabolic issues that they did when they weren't having alcohol.

So, my advice would be to change just one variable to determine what the cause is. Well, there are a lot of ways you could go about this. Basically, what this is saying to me is you can't have your cake and eat it too. I don't think you can continue in this pattern if you want to not gain weight or not have to take-- it says it takes her until Thursday to get back to normal. If you want to break out of this pattern, something's going to have to change. So, you can try a lot of things. You can try cutting out the alcohol and still eating the same and see what happens. You might start losing weight, you might not change, you might even gain more weight. You could try still eating three meals and eating all time but keeping it whole30 foods that would be like a happy medium even with alcohol. Maybe that's like a baby step to try. Like still doing it but not just eating whatever you want but eating whole30 but eating whenever you want whole30 with alcohol. You could try maybe still doing one meal a day eating whatever foods you want but adding alcohol. There are a lot of things you could try, but I wouldn't jump to the conclusion automatically that it's the alcohol. I think it's all of it together.

Gin Stephens: And for me, I would like to reiterate, I would try the alcohol first. It just from what I've learned about my own body. Also, alcohol makes me choose different foods. That's a point that-- you may find that just cutting out the alcohol for a month suddenly, you're not craving eating and drinking all those things. That would be what I would start with. But let us know what you do and what works.

Melanie Avalon: One last thought is taking in a lot of alcohol, obviously not good for the liver, you don't want to be overdrinking and binge-drinking and heavy drinking, that's not going to be healthy. That said, the long-term effects on body weight or fat storage or things like that are not necessarily-- because we don't know what she's eating, but she's eating whatever she wants and it is things like processed food, especially foods high and seed oils, high in inflammatory fats, and in a calorie excess and in a gaining weight situation, those fats are changing the composition of your fat cells if you're gaining weight. Actually, even not if you're gaining weight, if it's high in these inflammatory fats, it's a long-term change. A long-term thing you're going to have to deal with, compared to the short-term change of alcohol. There's just a lot more potential for “long-term damage,” I think. Unless you're binge-drinking crazy and you get psoriasis or something like that.

Gin Stephens: Well, for me, just realizing two glasses of wine one night kept me from getting into deep ketosis for days, versus I can eat more carbs and plenty of foods-- and my diet’s not as clean as yours by any means. I eat crackers out of a box. I'm sure I'm getting-- you would probably die at the number of seed oils I have. And the alcohol has made a huge difference for me to the point that I'm a little shocked by it. I'm surprised at what a big difference it's made. I'm disappointed that my body doesn't do well with alcohol because I really enjoy it, but I'm feeling so good without it.

Melanie Avalon: No, I 100% get it. I guess I just like to provide the other picture. Like I said, we know everybody's unique. So definitely, Laura, try it and report back and let us know what works. I just think if you can have alcohol in your life, especially looking at epidemiological studies, so many long live populations who are lean, healthy, have moderate alcohol intake, if it can be a part of your life and it's something you enjoy, I want it to be part of your life. And I guess I'm coming from the opposite perspective where I was drinking a lot of wine for a long time and it was not an issue at all for my weight, and then I cut it out-- I actually did gain weight when I cut it out, probably wasn't related. But now, I'm finally starting to drink wine again, and I'm so happy.

Gin Stephens: And you're a fast alcohol metabolizer, right?

Melanie Avalon: I think so. Yeah.

Gin Stephens: Yeah. So, see, I really think that that is a key that people-- I don't think we know yet. I haven't been able to find anything. Maybe somebody knows. I just don't know. But to me, I really think that could be a huge factor. If someone is a slow alcohol metabolizer that maybe like the thing that's holding them back. I just know what a difference it's made for me all along, and the period of time when I lost weight the quickest was the period of time I wasn't drinking at all. But recently, the only thing I made, the only change I've made is alcohol. I haven't changed what I'm eating. And my Shapa is showing me slow weight loss.

Melanie Avalon: That's a huge key. The only thing you changed was alcohol. She's changing so much. She's changing the types of foods, the amount, the timing, and alcohol, that's four.

Gin Stephens: No, but I mean, but she's maintaining in this range she's with this protocol. What she's doing right now, is she can't lose any weight, she's doing this protocol. And her protocol is she eats really, really clean and then she stops for the weekend. But my point of what I was saying was, I haven't changed what I'm eating. I only took out alcohol before when I was losing two pounds a week when I was trying to get to goal, I changed what I was eating and the alcohol. So, but now, my point was to-- I'm trying to contrast those two times. Right now, I only took out the alcohol. I didn't change what I'm eating.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, I get what you're saying. Yeah, so I was talking about something else. You were saying that that was the only factor, so it was the factor.

Gin Stephens: For me, back in 2015. I took out alcohol and changed what I was eating. So, I was eating really high-quality foods and not drinking, and I lost weight really quickly. Right now, I haven't changed what I've been eating from what I've been eating for the past year, I've been eating-- I did experiment with the lower fat a long time back this year just to see, but I feel better with more fat, but the only thing I've changed in the past two months is the alcohol.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, because I guess because she changed four factors. She added alcohol, she's changing what she eats, how much she eats, and when she eats.

Gin Stephens: But what I'm saying is she needs to pick something to experiment with and pick one variable right now.

Melanie Avalon: So, change one variable, it's like what speaks to you. And you can try different things, so I was going to say if you want to try to start just change a few variables, You have to like look at your week-- So, what is important to you on the weekends that you want to keep in to make the weekend feel like a weekend. Is it the alcohol? Is it eating whatever type of food you want? Is it when you eat? Or is it how much you eat? Or is it a combination of those? And I would really think about it and try to find a happy medium where you can keep in what's most important to you and what makes you happiest on the weekends. But not doing all four of those because all four of those is not working.

Gin Stephens: Yeah. Well, definitely, I want Laura to experiment and then write back and tell us what she tried and what worked.

Melanie Avalon: Yes. Let us know.

Gin Stephens: Because you'll figure it out. There's a tweak that works.

Melanie Avalon: Oh, and we have to mention though, if you do drink alcohol, Dry Farm Wines. Please, please.

Gin Stephens: I'm a big believer too. I'm going to continue to drink alcohol here and there just not as part of my daily life. I'm not going to be a drink around the house kind of person, I don't think. But it's going to be Dry Farm because now Chad is also hooked on it.

Melanie Avalon: I just got my sister hooked on it. I'm so excited.

Gin Stephens: Chad's a believer.

Melanie Avalon: I want to get my dad hooked on it because that's where I get my love of wine from and he's not like alcoholic or anything but he drinks wine every night. And I'm just like, “Oh, I need to get him drinking Dry Farm Wines.” Basically, their wines are low sugar, low alcohol. They're tested to be free of toxins, free of mold. They grow all throughout Europe. There's no California wines or US wines because none of the US wines meet their standards. That's how pervasive pesticides are in the US, which is really upsetting, even on organic farms. So, they go throughout Europe and they test individually all the wineries to find wines meeting their standards, even if the wineries don't necessarily have an organic stamp. So, you can get a bottle for a penny at

Gin Stephens: You have to get used to it because it's so different than wine you're used to but once you get used to it, you'll drink a standard wine and you're like, “Oh.” At first, when you try Dry Farm Wines, you're going to say, “This is different,” but it has a cleaner mouthfeel, it's so different. And one thing I want to point out, it's lower alcohol than standard ones, but it's still enough alcohol to bother me if I drink too much of it, or to drink it a lot.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, all of their wine is 12.5% or less. All right. Well, this has been absolutely wonderful. So, a few things for listeners before we go. You can ask your own questions to us just directly email or you can go to and you can submit questions there. The show notes for today's episode, which we talked about a lot of things, so definitely check those out, the scale, the grounding shoes, Dry Farm Wines, studies, all the things. That will be at You can follow us on Instagram, we are @IFPodcast. You can follow me, I'm at @MelanieAvalon. And you can follow Gin, she's @GinStephens. I think that's all she wrote.

Gin Stephens: Yep, that's all.

Melanie Avalon: All right. Well, this has been absolutely wonderful. Anything from you, Gin, before we go?

Gin Stephens: No. I think that's it.

Melanie Avalon: All right. I will talk to you next week.

Gin Stephens: All right. Bye-bye.

Melanie Avalon: Thank you so much for listening to The Intermittent Fasting Podcast. Please remember that everything discussed on this show is not medical advice. We're not doctors. You can also check out our other podcasts, Intermittent Fasting Stories, and the Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast. Theme music was composed by Leland Cox. See you next week.


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


BUY Melanie's What When Wine Diet: Lose Weight And Feel Great With Paleo-Style Meals, Intermittent Fasting, And Wine, Gin's Delay, Don't Deny: Living an Intermittent Fasting Lifestyle, Feast Without Fear: Food and the Delay, Don't Deny Lifestyle and/or Gin's Fast. Feast. Repeat.: The Clean Fast Protocol for Health, Longevity, and Weight Loss--Including the 21-Day FAST Start Guide

The Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast

Intermittent Fasting Stories

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Jul 26

Episode 171: Alcohol Metabolism, Eating Large Meals Without Embarrassment, Limiting Fat, Eating For Your Genetics, Pickle Juice And More!

Intermittent Fasting


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Welcome to Episode 171 of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast, hosted by Melanie Avalon, author of What When Wine Diet: Lose Weight And Feel Great With Paleo-Style Meals, Intermittent Fasting, And Wine and Gin Stephens, author of Delay, Don't Deny: Living An Intermittent Fasting Lifestyle

Today's episode of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast is brought to you by:

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8:00 - Listener Feedback: Jana - Episode 138

10:30 - Listener Q&A: Josephine - Champagne + Restaurant meals!!!

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29:00 - Listener Q&A: Sara - SO confused about fat

IF Biohackers: Intermittent Fasting + Real Foods + Life

Joe Cohen: Genetic Testing, CBD, Top Biohacks, Covid And Your Genes, Supplements, Biohack Regrets Iodine, Sensitive Butterflies, Early Vs. Late Night Eating, And More!

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48:15 - Listener Q&A: Ana - Chlorophyll

Teri Cochrane: Protein Problems, Gluten, Glyphosate, Animal Stress, Wild Meat, The Importance Of Sweets, Serrapeptase, MTHFR, The Dark Side Of Enzymes, Fat Malabsorption, Amyloids, Juicing, And More!

53:00 - Listener Q&A: Amy - Really, No pickle juice?


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


BUY Melanie's What When Wine Diet: Lose Weight And Feel Great With Paleo-Style Meals, Intermittent Fasting, And Wine, Gin's Delay, Don't Deny: Living an Intermittent Fasting Lifestyle, Feast Without Fear: Food and the Delay, Don't Deny Lifestyle and/or Gin's Fast. Feast. Repeat.: The Clean Fast Protocol for Health, Longevity, and Weight Loss--Including the 21-Day FAST Start Guide

The Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast

Intermittent Fasting Stories

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Aug 11

Episode 121: IF And Eating Disorders, The Placebo Effect, Non-Scale Victories, Alcohol And Fat Gain, Weighing For Your Job, And More!

Intermittent Fasting


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Welcome to Episode 121 of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast, hosted by Melanie Avalon, author of What When Wine Diet: Lose Weight And Feel Great With Paleo-Style Meals, Intermittent Fasting, And Wine and Gin Stephens, author of Delay, Don't Deny: Living An Intermittent Fasting Lifestyle

Today's episode of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast is brought to you by:

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To submit your own questions, email, or submit your questions here!! 


01:05 - kApex: Use The Link With The Code IFPODCASTKX For 20% Off Your Order!

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9:45 - Listener Feedback: Amy  - Update On IF Journey! Supplements, NSVs, Military Weighing For Your Job

The GB4000 Rife Machine

23:00 - Listener Feedback: Naomie - IF To Recover From Eating Disorders

Ketogenic diet and anorexia nervosa

9:45 - Listener Q&A: Sophie  -The Human Brain And Curing Conditions

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41:05 - Listener Q&A: Becca  -The Human Brain And Curing Conditions  FIX NAME

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You Are the Placebo: Making Your Mind Matter (Joe Dispenza)

"Effects of alcohol administration on hepatic alcohol and drug-metabolizing enzymes and on rates of of ethanol degradation" - Journal of Laboatory and Clincial Medicine 77, no, 1 (January 1971)

1:02:05 - LISTEN TO US ON HIMALAYA! Download the free Himalaya App ( to FINALLY keep all your podcasts in one place, follow your favorites, make playlists, leave comments, and more! And with Himalaya, you can LISTEN TO OUR PODCAST 24 HOURS IN ADVANCE!! Also check out our Playlist, Intermittent Fasting Podcast Stuff We Like, for all the other podcast episodes 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!


BUY Melanie's What When Wine Diet: Lose Weight And Feel Great With Paleo-Style Meals, Intermittent Fasting, And Wine, Gin's Delay, Don't Deny: Living an Intermittent Fasting Lifestyle, and/or Gin's Feast Without Fear: Food and the Delay, Don't Deny Lifestyle

More on Melanie:  

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Theme Music Composed By Leland Cox:

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



Feb 11

Episode 95: Sugar Free Gum And Fasting, Wine,Alcohol And Reflux, Gravity Blankets And Sleep Hacks, Nicotine, Breath Freshening, And More!

Cravings , Intermittent Fasting , Sleep , Sweeteners , Wine


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Welcome to Episode 95 of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast, hosted by Melanie Avalon, author of What When Wine Diet: Lose Weight And Feel Great With Paleo-Style Meals, Intermittent Fasting, And Wine and Gin Stephens, author of Delay, Don't Deny: Living An Intermittent Fasting Lifestyle

Today's episode of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast is brought to you by:

BioOptimizers: A company whose mission is to fix your digestion! They make a range of awesome supplements, including digestive and proteolytic enzymes, gluten-hacks, a "one size fits all" superstar probiotoic, HCL, and more! Check out the interviews we had with their founder, Wade Lightheart, in episodes 74 and 84! Use The Link With The Code ifpodcast, To Save 20% On All BiOptimizer Products!!

Joovv Red Light Therapy: Like intermittent fasting, red light therapy can benefit the body on so many levels. It 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!! Use The Link Joovv.coom/IFPodcast with the code IFPODCAST for a free gift!

To submit your own questions, email, or submit your questions here!! 


01:05 - BIOPTIMIZERS:  Use The Link With The Code IFPODCAST For 20% Off!

Are You Th1 or Th2 Dominant? Effects + Immune Response

Gravity Weighted Sleep Mask, Made by the Creator of the Gravity Blanket, For Sleep and Stress

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12:25 - Listener Q&A: Sally   - Does Sugar Free Chewing Gum Break The Fast?

Insulin Response: Why Doesn't Everyone Agree?

26:05 - Listener Q&A: Pamela   - Does Sugar Free Chewing Gum Affect Insulin? Does Coconut Water Affect Insulin If It Doesn't Make You Hungry

28:15 - Listener Q&A: Adam  - Does SugarFree Gum And Aspartame Affect The Fast?

31:55 - Listener Q&A: Adam  - How To Drink Wine With Reflux?

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38:55 - JOOVV RED LIGHT THERAPY DEVICES:  Use The Link With The Code IFPODCAST For A Free Gift!

43:10 - Listener Q&A: Don  - Can You Use Nicotene Gum To Ward Off Hunger?

49:06 - Listener Q&A: Lilah  - Is ANY Gum Acceptable During IF?

50:25 - Listener Q&A: Karina  - What Else Can You Use For Breath? Can You Use Gum Or Any Essential Oils?

50:40 - Listener Q&A: Kasey  - How To Address Breath While Fasting?

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In Brief: Study suggests how nicotine suppresses appetite

55:10 - LISTEN TO US ON HIMALAYA! We're super excited to be a Himalaya network partnered show!! Download the free Himalaya App ( to FINALLY keep all your podcasts in one place, follow your favorites, make playlists, leave comments, and more! And with Himalaya, you'll soon be able to LISTEN TO OUR PODCAST 24 HOURS IN ADVANCE!!

56:00 - Submit For Episode 100 Ask Us Anything!


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


BUY Melanie's What When Wine Diet: Lose Weight And Feel Great With Paleo-Style Meals, Intermittent Fasting, And Wine, Gin's Delay, Don't Deny: Living an Intermittent Fasting Lifestyle, and/or Gin's Feast Without Fear: Food and the Delay, Don't Deny Lifestyle

More on Melanie:  

More on Gin:

Theme Music Composed By Leland Cox:

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



Sep 03

Episode 72: Alcohol And IF, Candida, Pirates, Weight Regain After Weight Loss, Supplement Cautions, MTHFR, And More!

Alcohol , Fasting Approaches , Intermittent Fasting , Personal Stories , Supplements


 Subscribe For Updates HERE!

Welcome to Episode 72 of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast, hosted by Melanie Avalon, author of What When Wine Diet: Lose Weight And Feel Great With Paleo-Style Meals, Intermittent Fasting, And Wine and Gin Stephens, author of Delay, Don't Deny: Living An Intermittent Fasting Lifestyle

Hi Friends! You can support us and help keep our podcast and research going, by pledging on Patreon! Every dollar helps!! It would seriously mean the world and help SO much!

To submit your own questions, email, or submit your questions here!! 


1:30 - The Pirated Copies Of Delay Don't Deny

20:25 - Taking Supplements Because They Work For Someone Else

22:30 - The MTHFR Mutation And Methylated Folate

Melanie's Blog Post On MTHFR

25:30 - Listener Q&A: Allison - Does Your Body Process Alcohol Differently With IF?

Dry Farm Wines (Get a bottle for a penny!)

Episode 26: IF & Low Sugar/Alcohol/Toxin Wines For Health – Special Interview With Todd White Of Dry Farm Wines!

20:20 - Listener Q&A: Natalie - Weight Regain After Initial Weight Loss With IF?

 The Yoga of Eating: Transcending Diets and Dogma to Nourish the Natural Self

50:00 - Listener Q&A: Lauren - How Does IF Impact Candida? Can Candida Feed On Ketones?

50:35 - Listener Q&A: Shauna - Can I Fix Candida With IF Only, Not Food Choices? Can Essential Oils Help Candida?

51:21 - Listener Q&A: Kathe - Can IF Cure Yeast Overgrowth?

Jarrow Formulas Saccharomyces Boulardii + MOS (This beneficial yeast can help fight candida in the body!) 

Pau D'Arco (Tea) - A potent antifungal and great for sugar cravings! 

Doctor's Best High Potency Serrapeptase

Doctor's Best Proteolytic Enzymes

Biocidin (Amazon Link)

 Norm Robillard/Paul Jaminet Candida Ketone Debate

The Healing Power of Essential Oils: Soothe Inflammation, Boost Mood, Prevent Autoimmunity, and Feel Great in Every Way (Eric Zielinski D.C.)


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


Diet rapidly and reproducibly alters the human gut microbiome

Potential of plant oils as inhibitors of Candida albicans growth

Essential oils and their components are a class of antifungals with potent vapour-phase-mediated anti-Candida activity

Honey has an antifungal effect against Candida species

Hominids adapted to metabolize ethanol long before human-directed fermentation


BUY Melanie's What When Wine Diet: Lose Weight And Feel Great With Paleo-Style Meals, Intermittent Fasting, And Wine, Gin's Delay, Don't Deny: Living an Intermittent Fasting Lifestyle, and/or Gin's Feast Without Fear: Food and the Delay, Don't Deny Lifestyle

More on Melanie:  

More on Gin:

Theme Music Composed By Leland Cox:

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



Jun 25

Episode 62: Alcohol After Your Window Closes, Transitioning To IF, Salivating And Insulin, Nattokinase, Thinking IF Was “Wrong,” Restless Leg Suggestions, And More!

Alcohol , Intermittent Fasting


 Subscribe For Updates HERE!

Welcome to Episode 62 of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast, hosted by Melanie Avalon, author of What When Wine Diet: Lose Weight And Feel Great With Paleo-Style Meals, Intermittent Fasting, And Wine and Gin Stephens, author of Delay, Don't Deny: Living An Intermittent Fasting Lifestyle

Hi Friends! You can support us and help keep our podcast and research going, by pledging on Patreon! Every dollar helps!! It would seriously mean the world and help SO much!

To submit your own questions, email, or submit your questions here!! 


The Willpower Instinct: How Self-Control Works, Why It Matters, and What You Can Do to Get More of It (Kelly McGonigal): A wonderful book on how our brain dictates our behavior, and how you can hack it for ultimate willpower!

Ergonomic Vertical Mouse: Switching to a vertical mouse can really alleviate stress on your hand at the computer. Love it!!

9:40 - Listener Feedback: Francesca  - Success With IF, Thinking It Was "Wrong" In The Past

14:45 - Listener Feedback: Katie  - Arch Support And/Or Potassium For Restless Legs 

17:00 - Listener Feedback: Sarah  - Supplement For Restless Legs 

Simply Vital Quiet Legs

Dopa Boost - A great supplement for naturally boosting dopamine levels!

18:10 - Listener Feedback: Briana  - Smaller Serrapeptase Pills And Nattokinase

Kal Serrapeptase Tablets

21:35 - Listener Q&A: Kim  - How Did You Transition To IF?

31:30 - Listener Q&A: Aaron  - What If You Have A Drink After Your Window Closes?

36:00 - Listener Q&A: Diana - Does Salivating And Thinking About Food Break The Fast?

Butter Bob Link

Dr. Kraft Link


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



BUY Melanie's What When Wine Diet: Lose Weight And Feel Great With Paleo-Style Meals, Intermittent Fasting, And Wine, Gin's Delay, Don't Deny: Living an Intermittent Fasting Lifestyle, and/or Gin's Feast Without Fear: Food and the Delay, Don't Deny Lifestyle

More on Melanie:  

More on Gin:

Theme Music Composed By Leland Cox:

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



Oct 16

Episode 26: IF & Low Sugar/Alcohol/Toxin Wines For Health – Special Interview With Todd White Of Dry Farm Wines!

Intermittent Fasting


 Subscribe For Updates HERE!

Welcome to Episode 26 of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast, hosted by Melanie Avalon, author of What When Wine Diet: Lose Weight And Feel Great With Paleo-Style Meals, Intermittent Fasting, And Wine and Gin Stephens, author of Delay, Don't Deny: Living An Intermittent Fasting Lifestyle

To submit your own questions, email, or submit your questions here!! 


2:30 - The Dry Farm Wines Employees And IF/Keto/Healthy Foods/Etc.

Get Dry Farm Wines - Natural, Organic, Low Alcohol, Low Sugar Wines Which Are Amazing And Keto Friendly!! And With This Link, You Get A Bottle For A Penny!

5:00 - How Dry Farm Wines Differ From Commercial Wines

5:50 - Startling Facts About The Commercial Wine Industry

11:00 - The Differences In How Natural Vs. Commercial Wine Is Made (Including Yeast, And How Dry Farm Wines Can Be Sugar Free!)

19:35 - Todd's IF History

25:10 - The IF Adjustment Period

27:30 - Sugar And Alcohol Addiction

30:00 - Should People New To IF Drink In Their Window?

35:50 - Forgoing Dogma And Finding What Works For You

37:15 - How To FEEL To Understand With Fasting

39:35 - How Does Wine And Alcohol Affect The Ketogenic State?

40:45 - The Dry Farm Wine Qualification Process

44:50 - Naturally Eating Less With IF, And Longevity

47:00 - Special Dry Farm Wines Offer!!



Get the IF-friendly, sugar-free, low alcohol Dry Farm Wines!! (including an extra bottle for a penny!)

More on Melanie:  

More on Gin:

BUY Delay Don't Deny: Living An Intermittent Fasting Lifestyle and Feast Without Fear: Food and the Delay, Don't Deny Lifestyle

Theme Music Composed By Leland Cox:

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



Oct 09

Episode 25: Craving Indications, Alcohol and Fat Burning, Burping & Yawning, Our Favorite Podcasts, Calorie Intakes, Undereating, & More!

Alcohol , Calories , Cravings , Intermittent Fasting , Sleep , Wine


 Subscribe For Updates HERE!

Welcome to Episode 25 of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast, hosted by Melanie Avalon, author of What When Wine: Lose Weight And Feel Great With Paleo-Style Meals, Intermittent Fasting, And Wine and Gin Stephens, author of Delay, Don't Deny: Living An Intermittent Fasting Lifestyle

To submit your own questions, email, or submit your questions here!! 


5:35 - Listener Feedback Email: Gloria  - Changing From Longer Fasts To Daily IF (OMAD), And Adjusting Carbs For Renewed Vigor and Focus

10:15 - Listener Q&A: Amy  - Are Cravings (Potato Chips And Chocolate Milk!) Indicative Of Nutritional Deficiencies, Or Just Psychological?

18:45 - Listener Q&A: Amy  - Do We Need A Certain Calorie Intake Per Day?

19:15 - Listener Q&A: Annie  - Is Undereating On OMAD Detrimental?

27:55 - Listener Q&A: Annie  - How Does Alcohol Affect Fat Burning And IF?

41:25 - Listener Q&A: Sarah  - What Are Melanie And Gin's Favorite Podcasts?

48:55 - Listener Q&A: Ethan  - What If I Burp, Yawn, And Feel Drowsy Some Mornings?

Melanie's FREE Food Sensitivity And IBS Guides

Gin's Post: Can Your Body Adapt to Your Fasting Plan?


Check Out The STUFF WE LIKE Page For All The Things We Talked About!



More on Melanie:  

More on Gin:

BUY Delay Don't Deny: Living An Intermittent Fasting Lifestyle and Feast Without Fear: Food and the Delay, Don't Deny Lifestyle

Theme Music Composed By Leland Cox:

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



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