Ep. 187 - Which fasting schedule is the best? | How sleep & stress affect metabolic disease, cravings, fasting success, & fat loss | Leveraging your chronotype, protein & time-restricted eating to lower insulin resistance | Master Your Fasting Challenge

Uncategorized Jul 25, 2023


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In today’s episode, Dr. Scott and Tommy discuss chrono nutrition practices and weight loss, setting your fasting timer, time-restricted eating and the "ideal" fasting schedule, focusing on what you can control and much more


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Fasting For Life Ep. 187 Transcript

Hello. I'm Dr. Scott Watier.

And I'm Tommy Welling.

And you're
listening to the Fasting for Life podcast.

This podcast is about using fasting
as a tool to regain

your health, achieve ultimate wellness,
and live the life you truly deserve.

Each episode is a short conversation
on a single topic

with immediate, actionable steps.

We cover everything from fat loss

and health and wellness
to the science of lifestyle design.

We started fasting for life because of how
fasting has transformed our lives

and we hope to share the tools
that we have learned along the way.


Hey everyone, want to hop on real quick
before we get into today's episode

and let you all know that
the next fasting challenge is upon us.

It's coming up on July 26th
through August 1st,

and we are calling this one Master
Your Fasting Challenge a VIP experience.

So it's a little different twist
on the previous challenges that we've run,

but we have been doing this

for long enough
now that we're starting to see some trends

in what makes a successful
fasting lifestyle stick.

So during the seven days that you spend
with us,

we're going to be leveling up your fasting
skill set.

We're going to be talking about mindset
and habit formation and how to make

fasting a viable solution
to your weight and health goals.

So don't miss out.

Head to the show notes
for more information.

Dates, Times Frequently asked questions
in the show Notes head there.

Now click the link.

We absolutely want to see
you get the best results

that you possibly can
through your fasting efforts

and this master of fasting challenge
VIP experience is going to deliver.

We can guarantee that.

So head to the shownotes, click the link
and we'll see you on the inside.

Now to today's episode.

Hey everyone,
welcome to the Fasting for Life podcast.

My name is Dr.

Scott Water and I'm here as always on
my good friend and colleague, Tom Welling.

Good afternoon to you, sir.

Hey, Scott, how are you doing?

Fantastic, my friend.

Excited for today's conversation.

We're going to take a different tact
or a different approach

or a different viewpoint from the age
old question that we get

oh so often is, Hey, I've been fasting,
I want to lose weight.

What's the best fast eating schedule?

What schedule should I follow?
I've tried some.

I'm intermittently intermittent fasting.

I've tried some this, I've tried some not.

like what is the best fasting schedule?

So we're going to tap into it coming from
a little different perspective today

and we're going to talk a lot

about one of the main drivers
of insulin and weight loss resistance,

which then drives metabolic syndrome
and cardiometabolic issues and disease

processes, lifestyle disease processes
here in the United States specifically.

And now we're starting to see it
all across the world.

But this topic of sleep

and how it affects our food choices
and our activity levels and our mindset

and our fasting window.

So that being said,
welcome into today's episode.

We're going to reference
some articles as well.

They'll be in the show notes.

If you want to click those
and dive a little bit deeper.

But we want to leave you
with something actionable as well.

So if you're a first time listener,

each and every episode,
we try to leave you with one

or two main action steps that you can do
to adopt a fasting lifestyle,

lose the weight for good,
improve those blood markers, reverse

those disease processes
and improve your quality of life.

That is why we call it fasting for life
and a lifestyle adaptation.

So welcome in.

If you want to hear more

about Tommy and his journey
and how fasting has transformed our lives

and why we come to you
each and every week with an episode.

Because we are on a mission to empower
people that they can lose the weight once

and for all, regain their health,
and that they are in complete control.

That you have a choice

when it comes to your lifestyle
and the results that you get in fasting.

Episode one
we hash out how it how it worked for us.

And then all along

this journey of 100, 180
plus episodes, we unpack all the nuanced,

cool things that we like, some research,
some lifestyle, some questions.

So welcome in. Head back to episode one.

If you're a new listener, check it out.

About 30 minutes.

We just ask you for a little bit of grace
because it was our first episode

that we ever did.
So yeah, you're a long term listener.

Welcome back.

And hopefully today's conversation
just hits a little bit different

when it comes to answering that age
old question.

What's the best fasting schedule?

Tommy Yeah, I'm
still trying to figure that one out now.

Yeah, right, right, right.


It's such a common question.

No, I still get it. Like, like day to day.

People will ask me that all the time.

Like, hey, you know,
I heard about the whole fasting thing.

What's the what's the best one to do?

What you just identified in public
the other day is

like the fasting guy by someone,
or is that a friend

or was that you or is that,
is that you? Those.

Yeah, yeah, I have a couple of times.

And my wife too, like at the gym
a couple of times.

That's one of the places.

Yeah. Yeah. Out in the grocery system.

Rules of fasting.

Yeah right. Yeah.

So you know it's, it's a lot of fun
because most people have heard something

about fasting at this point.

But at the same time,

there's so many questions
because, you know, there's

so many different ways to just get a cat,
as they say.

There's there's a lot of different angles
and and different ways to look at it.

So when we talk about
what the best schedule is, literally

the best schedule today
is, is whichever one I'm going to be able

to to do today and to stick to
and to make a hard line in the sand

a good, solid decision
that I'm committed to.

That's my best decision for today.

And let's not worry about my best decision
even tomorrow,

let alone a week or a month
or a year from now.

So let's let's stop
trying to have like a one size fits all.

This is the best one. This is the only one
I'm ever going to need.

And then let me just worry

about making a decision today,
because sometimes if I get too concerned

about tomorrow or next year,
I'm really just procrastinating.

The important decision that I need to make
right now, today and the stick with it.

So semi, all that are listening

might be thinking, Oh,
they're not going to answer the question,

what's the best fasting schedule
if you're looking for fasting schedules?

We have a spreadsheet that has over

Talk about obsessing back in the day,
all the schedules, the solution.

No, it's the application of the schedule.

That's the solution
that you were just alluding to. Yeah.

So we do have a handful of schedules
that we follow that we find that work well

with coaching.

And but here's the thing there in
the blueprint, the fasting for fat loss.

So go ahead and head to the shownotes,
click the link, download it.

We give you different fasting schedules,
how to ramp up your fasting efforts

if you're new or if you've fallen off
track, how to increase those fasting

windows, etc. So it's a free resource.

Inside the show notes, just click the link
and we'll zoom it over into your inbox.

So Tommie, today's conversation
about what's the ideal fasting schedule

and this this connection
to sleep and stress and food.

And for, for me it was the trifecta.

So I had insulin resistance,
so I had hormonal imbalances, right?

So I had insulin, which is out of whack
but wasn't coming up on any other

lab metrics.

But my blood pressure was high,
my cholesterol's low.

I wasn't feeling good at the big belly
even though I could,

you know, lift a bunch of weights
and do a lot of CrossFit workouts.

Sure, they went. She was good.

Everyone seemed to go,

Oh yeah, fasting
blood sugar was still good,

but I was still not able to lose weight
and keep it off.

And, you know, stuff started ticking up

and into the mid thirties,
into the late thirties

and then sleep
and stress were the other two.

So these are drivers
of insulin resistance.

So you don't realize
how much a poor night of sleep

can affect your food choices,
your cravings, your hormones, etc.

your body's glucose tolerance

or insulin sensitivity
just based on poor sleep.

So there's an article
that came across our purview

and it was based on chrono
nutrition practices and weight loss.

So we had to go
look up like what is chronotype?

What are they?

And the study that came across
it was interesting because it was

there wasn't like a big holy moly
statistical significance

because it was an observational study

in the Journal of Chronobiology

and it was the improvement in Chrono
Nutrition is associated

with robust weight loss outcomes,
an extension of a feasibility study.

So it was a follow up from this
big feasibility study that was done

and it's looking at nutrition

or timing of meals

based off of your Chronotype
Now, Chronotype, to me,

they've been studied since the 1970s
and we want to talk more about

the underlying driver of Chronotype
because Chronotype is kind of like the

the personality type
of your sleeping behaviors.

So either you're or love language
like what you look like.

You're like it's the it's
the psychological application of right?

So it's okay.

It's not something that I know a lot about
or have done, like research

a lot, right? I just know that there's
four different types, right?

And they're based on animals.

They're based on your yeah, you're
an early bird or you're a night owl, like.

Right. That kind of. Yeah, Yeah.


But it's really it's more like a spectrum
kind of depending on where you fall.

I don't want to talk about sure
but I want to talk

about is the emerging evidence
and this is from the Sleep Foundation

dot org shows that your chronotype
likely has a strong genetic component

among other things, having a longer
allele on the pr3 circadian clock g

interesting is related to the morning
this category

or morning type awake alert
in the morning, pop right out of bed.

That's me. Wow.

And then if you have a shorter Leo, then

you kind of fall into one of those
other categories of Chronotype Right?

So the point of this
is that the underlying relationship

to the circadian rhythm
or the circadian clock and we've done

episodes before on shift work,
you know, in how the increased

risk of cardiovascular issues and disease
processes, just based on the fact

that you're sleeping opposite
of when the sun is up or trying to

or trying to adapt,
you live like not a zombie, right?

Yeah, you're you're basically like
kicking out one of the legs of the

the three legged stool for, you know,

losing weight
and maintaining control over that.

You're like kicking out one of the legs,
which is like, you may not have a choice

when that happens
or the fact that you're a shift worker,

you can't just adjust your schedule
for it.

So understanding that

and what the implications
are for my insulin sensitivity

and or resistance means

I'm going to need
to get my fasting timer right

and I'm going to need to get my plates

Most of the time because I'm not going
to get sleep right most of the time.

So I had better be on point
with those other ones.

Yep. And the research shows it like
they've come up with questionnaires

about this circadian rhythm
chronotype relationship.


And the morning evening news questionnaire
and the Munich Chronotype questionnaire.

And they each have their different angles
and their in their really just trying to

elucidate or shine some light
on your basic behavioral patterns.


And the fact that they found relationships
between that and underlying

disease processes
due to sleep deprivation or,

you know, sleep apnea, obesity, type two
diabetes, metabolic syndromes in people

that tend to be more in the evening
category or the evening Chronotype.

Right. Yeah.

So sleep hygiene, circadian rhythm

all relates back to this observational
study that had a couple of cool takeaways,

but it's an observational study,
so we're not going to put it up there

in the gold standard category of, well,
like super impactful outcomes.

But there were some cool takeaways
from this that can relate directly

back to what you were just talking about,
which is when should I set my timer?

What can I expect

after a night of indulgence or some poor
food choices or a night of poor sleep?

Or do you always feel like you're
just setting your timer

for dinner all mad
and you're not making any progress?

Because we hear a lot from people, Hey,
this is what I'm doing.

Why wasn't working
and why isn't it working now?

Dinner matters is tricky too,
but back up a step, because

if you are in the dinner mad
and that's that's your comfort zone

or that's

what you've been doing for a little while,
are you still setting your timer

or did you give up making a decision
about this?

And then it's kind of like,
Oh, it's kind of automatic.

You know, or has slippage come in?

Has your comfort zone expanded to a point
where it's kind of like, Yeah, I'm

very comfortable with this.

But then at the same time, I'm no longer
paying attention to some of the details,

so I'm not as careful about them
because that it might not necessarily

be a plateau, it might be slippage
that you didn't necessarily realize.

That happened to me several times

and it was like it can take a little while
to to kind of understand that.

So even just knowing like
if you're more active and alert earlier

in the day versus later in the day,

because if you have trouble
with sleep hygiene and really like

getting a good night's sleep
and and having like sleep discipline,

if that's kind of out of the realm
of how you think, then

you might fall into the category
of more likely to have dinner.

It might be a later dinner.

And then is that when some of your worst
foods come into play because it's either,

you know, eating out
or fast food or something like that,

or is it a slippery slope,
sweet and salty.

Later in the evening
because the the insulin spike, let alone

the the other things like caloric density
that comes in later,

those are going to be adding to to my
my long term fat source and can be very,

very difficult
to tap back into at some point

because those calories weren't
needed during the day

and the rest or lack thereof
that I get going into tomorrow

means I might not have a lot of energy
to burn those off tomorrow either.

So where's where's my time?

When am I going to get a chance to burn
those off?

That can be a problem

that compounds over time
and it's just really kind of figuring out

the puzzle pieces
for you as a long term solution.

Because fasting is powerful,
it adapts to any lifestyle.

However you
I mean, it's really the most fluid

type approach in our opinion to Yeah,
so why we love.

Yeah, because it just simplifies
once you get some reps,

it simplifies your day to day.

So a couple of cool outcomes
from that observational study you just

was that consuming a higher proportion
of total daily energy and protein

intake earlier in the day was associated
with greater weight loss.

So it was a small study, 91 participants,

men either overweight
or obese living in Malaysia.

And the participants in the morning

the kind of nutrition type,
were instructed

to consume 75% of their calories
and stop by lunch

where the evening chronotype,
based on those circadian rhythm patterns,

were instructed to consume only 60%
of their calories in the early window,

meaning that they conserved
more of their calories later in the day.

And the significance the participants.

So the significant cutoff here
was if it was a success,

if you lost more than 3%
of your initial body weight

and it showed that those results happened

in the early chronotype group,
as well as the higher protein group,

which is something that we've been kind
of diving into more and recommending more,

more frequently for sure.

because as far as the satiation factor,

the insulin or lack of interest
in the lower and yeah, yeah,

absolutely so much more stable
and then thus the the craving stability

or craving reduction and then you know,
especially going into the evening

time like, like I was just speaking about
if your cravings are better controlled,

going into those later evening hours,

especially if you don't have great sleep
hygiene or that's something that you need

to work on or you are working
on, it becomes so much more

so much more doable,
you know, to start working on that.

And what I also found was interesting
was the better results came with within

the groups who were practicing a shorter
daily eating window as well.

So, you know, like because
if you're but hold on, if you're so

that shorter, I just want to highlight
we try so much in the dieting culture

and then you transfer that
into the fasting application,

the fasting lifestyle approach
where we have to be so perfect.

Yes, the shorter daily eating window
based in

this study
was 48 minutes difference. Yeah.

You want to drive yourself crazy,
Focus on that.

We're going to zoom out here
in just a second.

Keep going. 48
minutes, timing each minute.

So, you know, that's versus non success.

Yeah, but I mean, if you think about it,
that could be the difference

between having a 6 p.m.

dinner versus a7pm dinner or a 5 p.m.

you off a 515 versus a 6 p.m..

But on average, like that's, that's enough
to where you're making a difference,

especially in the evening time
when you have higher cumulative insulin

and you're more insulin resistant
getting later into the day,

especially if that's
when you have higher carbohydrates

or maybe there's some alcohol involved
later on in the day

that the physiological effects
are already magnified.

So if you can buy yourself
an additional 48 minutes to process

through some of that evening food before
you're getting into your sleep cycle,

you might have just increased that
by 20 or 30% worth of additional digestive

processing time before you're
trying to go into your sleep cycle.

And as a small and kind of insignificant
as it sounds like, just with my logical,

logical brain,
you know, just thinking about it, like,

oh, that's, that's not going to be enough
to move the needle. Right.

But no, it absolutely is.

It's it's substantial and it's
cumulatively beneficial over time.

Yeah, Well that's that whole 1% better
every day,

or towards your goal back end of a year.

So if you're doing that every single night
or if you've had a plateau

and now you're stuck and now you're going
to regress back to the old habits

because man, I'm frustrated
and it's not working anymore.

Mazal, just stop, right? Sure.


You know, and that's that's
why some of the a lot of the

you know, look at the low carb studies
and diabetics at that two year mark.

The weights come back,

plus some HBA one Z's back up again
because it wasn't sustainable.

So there was another article
that was linked in this

and it was food timing, circadian rhythm,
and chrono nutrition.

A systemic review of time restricted
eating is a fact on human health.

So I want to go
big picture here for a second.

When we're looking at
they looked at studies from January 2014

through September 2020, evaluating
the effects of time restricted eating.

So tree on human populations 494

collected, 23 were included for analysis.

They found that an overall adherence
rate to time restricted eating aka

What's the ideal
fasting window was 80% 80%

with an unintentional 20% reduction
in caloric intake.

Wow. So TRT induced an average weight
loss of 3% and a loss of fat mass.

This fat loss was also observed

without any caloric restriction. Wow.


Terry, time restricted eating produced

beneficial metabolic effects
independently of weight loss because we've

we've done a lot of these studies
and talked about them on previous episodes

suggesting an intrinsic effect
based on the realignment of feeding

and the circadian clock.


Terry, is a simple and well-tolerated

simple and well tolerated.

They say diet, lifestyle
that generates many beneficial effects

based on the chrono principles.

More rigorous studies are needed,
however, etc. etc.

to confirm
that they understand their mechanisms.

I'm over here going well,
if it works, it works.

Continue to do it.

So the encouraging thing here is
if you're still searching for the ideal

fasting schedule,
you need to try different things.

So we've had this question all the time.

Can I just do. Oh man, sure.

For some people, oh, Matt is going to be
a great weight loss, fat loss strategy.

For some people, MAD isn't going to move
the needle in terms of lifestyle

change or habit change,
or it might be feeding into old patterns

that don't allow you to see the results
you need to see in order

to want to keep going.

It can be maintenance for some,
it can be fat loss.

For others, it's an individualized journey
and that's why the age old question

of what's the best fasting schedule.

Tommy, you said it right from the get go.

It's the one that you know,
you can commit to

and then walking it out is where
the consistency piece comes into play.


And not being afraid that the plan
might need to change at some point,

you know, because I don't change it
every two days either.


That's now or saying don't move it

earlier just based on that
that observational study.

Yeah but if, if dinner time is at 7:00,
try 6:00 for sure.

I was

I was speaking to someone

just a couple of days ago who is
who's kind of going through the same thing

where they were starting to realize that,
oh, my dinner was their comfort zone

and it was family dinner
and it was, you know, social time

sitting around the table
and things like that.

But at the same time, she had begun
to realize that she was more of like

an early riser, like a like
earlier in the day that was more aligned

with her kind of circadian rhythm
and just just her habits.

And that's how she had always been.

And so she said, I've been experimenting
with some breakfast nomads recently

and realized that even though I didn't
used to be like super hungry at breakfast

time, it was still like she was feeling
better all throughout the day.

So she turned her dinnertime
into more of like just the connection.

Now she's in charge of the food and,

you know, it's serving
everybody and things like that.

But she's not generally eating them
and she's feeling better.

And guess what?

All of a sudden,
even though she's not really

eating anything differently,
the scale started moving again.

It's little things like that
where it was kind of counterintuitive

and it was also contradictory
to some of her.

Like, yeah, it was a social pressure,
but like her, her household norms,

you know,
just her connection with her family.

But, you know, she had to do something

a little bit different
to start seeing new results.

We hear that sometimes, too,
that dinner's just easier, right?

It's easier if it gets you results.

It's not easier
if you stay stuck where you are.

Yeah. Just feels easier in the moment.

Yeah, it's easier
to handle all of the life stuff, but

it may not be easier for or what
you need to truly move the needle

So yeah, it's not worth it
if I'm beating myself up all day long.

I'm not making any progress
here. Right, Right.

So the encouraging piece here is
step back for a second.

Zoom out. We know tree works.

We know the power of fasting.

has so many more so many additional

I shouldn't say so many more,
but so many additional health benefits.

It's completely transformed our lives.


So many of the people that we talked to,
so many of the messages that we receive

and I had someone recently email in
just from the podcast

because we talk a lot about weight
loss and dieting, culture

and all that kind of stuff,

because trying to lose the weight and
feel more confident and look better in a

in the bathing suit

because it's hotter than the sun down here
in Houston, Texas right now.

I'm still working on that visceral fat
that I got in those last few pounds around

the midsection.

That looks a lot better now.

Four years ago, I'll tell you that.

I'll ask my wife,
but hopefully she would say that.

But we have an email that we send out
where it talks about control, control

what you can control and don't let your
highs be too highs or lows be too low.


So I think I understand
that conceptually. Right.

So this is a story of one of my mentors
or coaches that's talking about

controlling or control
and don't let your highs be too high

or lows be too low or your fasting times
be too long and you're feeding,

feasting times be too great.

But it's a work in progress
to try to figure out that control.

So the same goes for health and weight
loss, right?

Control comes back to you when you value
it, when you focus on it, right?

When you have a plan, when you can have
a mindset that leads to motivation,

that leads to certain methods,
that leads to you mastering the process

that brings control and simplicity
back into your life.

So that was the email that went out,
and this person responded saying,

You know, I have a very specific type
of bipolar disorder

and I, I use fasting
based on my psychiatrist

recommendation and others
that have shown that it can improve mood.

I have I've had multiple serious attempts
in my life of taking my life.

I've had multiple different bouts
with medication and they wrote in saying

focusing on only what I can actually
control is an excellent reminder.

And that's what fasting has done for this
person with the supervision of their doc.

And they say, Thanks for the work you do.

Your reach extends beyond those that
just fast for weight loss.

So if you want to zoom out
and look at the big picture here

and we want to talk about sleep
and circadian rhythm

and lifestyle adaptation
and Chrono Nutrition or Chronotype,

or if you want to go down that rabbit
hole, go for it.

The links are in the
in the podcast episode.

But the takeaway here is that
we need to find something that is

going to fit us that's going to feel right
when we try it on.

And this why I love this concept
of just trying different things

and knowing that it's okay to fail,
but fail forward

to look at that result and know,
hey, okay, this is what I've been doing.

Let's be honest with ourselves.

Is it actually working?

What's the best fasting schedule?

Tell me the one that you know
you can commit to and be consistent

with because that's the one
that's going to get your results.

And if you need to go
look for some ideas because you're stuck

or you don't like that answer, head
to the show notes, click the blueprint.

We give you multiple weeks
of what it looks like

to update your fasting ramp up,
how to increase your fasting times

and some schedules that we find that work
the best.

Yeah, Good stuff. Tommy,
any final thoughts?

One final thought
is that in order to make those changes

and to take those steps,
you've got to step off the sideline.

You got to get in the game.
You got a game?

Yeah, You got to make a decision, set
a timer, go for it,

and then see it through to the end
and then see how you feel,

see what the scale does, and, and then set
your next fasting timer and keep going.

So, So get off the sidelines
and take action today.

Love it. Love it. Head to the show notes
Cooke Link.

If you want to join a like minded
community of fellow fasting for lifers.

There's a Facebook community
link there in as well.

Come and join the conversation with us.

Break the first two rules of fasting

Talk about fasting all the time because
that is, is and who we are and what we do.

Tommy, thanks for the conversation,
as always. We'll talk soon.

Thank you. Bye.

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