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In today’s timely episode, Dr. Scott and Tommy discuss the best type of fast, the most effective intermittent fasting for weight loss, why complexity kills progress, and much more.
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Fasting For Life Ep. 169 Transcript
Hello. I'm Dr. Scott Walker.
And I'm Tommy Welling.
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.
welcome to the Fasting for Life podcast.
My name is Dr. Scott Water and I'm here.
As always, I'm good friend and colleague
Good afternoon to you, sir.
Hey, Scott, How are you doing?
Fantastic, my friend.
Spring has officially sprung here
in Houston, Texas,
and we are getting geared up
for an incredible spring.
We've got some cool stuff
coming at you on the podcast.
In our challenges, the new resource.
We're getting a ton of feedback on that.
So fired up, the sun is shining.
It's going to be a good conversation.
We're going to be talking
about a meta analysis,
comparing the effectiveness
of different forms of fasting, caloric
restriction, time restricted eating
and the effects on weight loss.
We're going to talk a little bit
about the adherence component
beginning with the end in mind
and just going to be kind of a 30,000 foot
view on how we're going to take our weight
loss and more importantly,
our health goals
and apply them in a lifestyle adaptation.
So Fasting for Life podcast,
the Fasting for life method, fast cycling.
We always begin with the end in mind.
So I'm excited for today's conversation.
Yeah, around this article and it's
I think it's going to be a lot of fun
and I love that this is becoming
more mainstream, these types of research
articles and conversations,
because a lot of the stuff
we've been talking about recently
is, is from the end of 2022 or even from
the beginning of this year in 2023. So
first and foremost,
shout out if you're new to the podcast,
giving us a shot, you search, fasting,
you search die, you search, weight loss,
you've tried, you failed, you're a newbie,
you're a beginner.
I want to welcome you in.
for giving us an opportunity to join you
on your weight and health journey.
Head back to episode one
If you want to hear more about Tommy
and I and our journey,
how fasting transformed our lives
and why we come to you week in and week
out, as well as a shout out to the long
The folks that are on this journey
with us continue to fast, continue to try.
I heard a quote the other day
from one of the coaching calls
I was on on a Saturday morning at 10 a.m.,
which is smack dab
right in the middle of family time.
So my wife looked at me like I was crazy.
But Pop, there better be marathons.
It was important and it said a scar
is a reminder of a lesson
that you needed to learn
and it's going to come up today
in the adherence,
the beginning with the end in mind
portion of today's conversation.
When it comes to weight loss
and maintaining that weight loss
and why it's so difficult.
And a lot of people come to fasting for
that for that very reason.
So that's why I'm excited for today's
Tommy, A meta analysis comparing
the effectiveness of alternate day
fasting, the five two diet and time
restricted eating for weight loss.
You know, when when I when I hear that
and I'm thinking back and one of the most
common questions that we get is
what is the best type of fast?
Which fast should I do.
Yeah almost like what's the Holy Grail?
Hey, you know, you guys must must know
which one is the best type.
And, you know, there's
there's just so many ways
to, quote unquote, skin a cat, right?
Like there's there's just different ways
to go about it.
There's pros, there's cons.
Should we should
we get good at different types of fast
or should we just be a specialist
and just focus on on one?
And everybody's answer
is going to be a little bit different.
But it's cool because as we uncover
some of the things that are,
you know, kind of shining a light on
in this study right here,
I think we're going
to get into a couple of those details
that will help help people, you know.
MCLAIN Or at least where to start
and then start to experiment
with some different things
from there, too. Yeah.
And from so from Examiner.com,
they had labeled this study
which flavor of intermittent fasting
is the most effective for weight loss.
And I just love the play on words
that right there in quotations.
Flavor of intermittent fasting, right?
Unsweetened flavor. All right.
So it's really funny because in this meta
analysis, different types
of intermittent fasting diets produce
similar weight loss
compared to conventional calorie
First of all, the word diet and fasting,
Some people come to and say, well,
we really want to leave that old dieting
If you've had multiple failed attempts,
which the statistics show,
and if you look around here, especially
here, everything's bigger here in Texas,
the obesity rates, the including
the brisket sandwich is like, Right.
The health care costs
that go along with it. Right.
So everything's bigger
Everything's bigger, right?
The high schools. Yeah.
They look like small college campuses,
especially here in Katy.
But when we're looking at this,
it was cool because they only
they had very strict criteria.
And there are some limitations, too,
but they had some strict criteria
on what they were looking for
in terms of the comparison.
And they looked at a total of 24 studies
involving 768 participants,
and they were broken down into a PDF,
which is alternate day
fasting or modified ads.
So there are 12 studies on that.
And then the five two diet,
there were eight studies.
There will break down the specifics
of what these are in just a second.
There are four studies on TRT or time
and they varied all across the map.
And then there was the fourth category,
which is calorie restriction.
There are 15 studies there
and then ad libitum eating.
So meaning no dietary restriction
and there were nine studies on that.
So these all range from 3 to 26 weeks,
which is pretty cool.
And the primary outcome was weight
Which is yeah, the reason anyone starts
a new diet or a boot camp or.
Intimate fast right.
The majority I should say.
And as a secondary outcome,
they were looking at dietary adherence
and it was interesting
to kind of look at the the outcomes
because there were
there was a lot of similarity
in the outcomes.
And that speaks to the question
that you alluded to, which is
what is the best way to
what is the best fast
to what is the time I should be?
Should I be doing the same thing
Should I be varying it?
Should I do ADF,
should I do five, two, etc., etc.?
Well, the adherence, if we begin with the
end in mind, is the most important piece,
you don't create those habits
and that lifestyle,
then you're just going to be back
on the whichever route you choose,
you're going to be back on that weight
loss roller coaster.
And every time you try to lose the same
I don't know about you
because I've done it multiple times
until fasting or it's been it's
been gone for good.
And it's it's not coming back.
It gets a little bit harder, right?
Yes, it gets harder.
It's a little slower.
Well, for me, it was it was getting more
frustrating, too, because I felt like
having I've been here before,
I'm kind of tired of this Groundhog Day,
this like feeling like I'm
doing the same thing over and over again.
So when we
when we look at the different ways here
and we start talking about adherence,
I really like that
you caught me off guard there because,
you know, I don't hear people
talking a lot about the adherence
to it, to a given plan.
It's all about
what's going to be the most effective.
And that's always the question
that we get.
I don't ever hear the question, which one
will I be able to stick to long term?
I hear which ones
the most effective, right?
Like which one makes the scale move?
Yes. What are my numbers?
What's my schedule, etc.?
Yeah, what gets me there?
Giving the fastest one that's
going to move the needle the quickest.
But it really is important
if we if we think long term about this
because if I have anything more than like
just, just a couple of pounds to lose,
then I'm going to need to be playing
the long game here,
not just the flash in the pan,
not the hot tub experience.
Right. So adherence matters.
That's why we're talking about it.
So when we break these down, ADF
fasting so that is ad to beat them one day
and then complete restriction
the next day.
So no caloric intake modified ADF
call it a birthday but fast day, right?
Yeah. Burn day. Yeah. Burning,
burning fat. I love it.
The modified is five or 600 calories
for female versus male
to have like a little minute.
We call it a little mini meal
and then you've got the five two diet,
which is five normal days of consumption
and then two days of complete
Some people will also do
kind of a mini meal on that, which isn't
an extended fast.
It's more of that kind of fast
mimicking type approach.
I think that's more popular, don't
I hear people talking about that
a lot more.
Well, yeah, it is.
And there's a lot of studies on it too.
And then tier three,
which is we've done we did
an episode on January
that coincided with our blueprint,
which is the blueprint
to fasting for fat loss and the theory
we did a cool one on for our Terry
means time restricted eating.
So four hour versus six hour windows.
But in this study they were anywhere
from 12 hour fast all the way up
to 21 hour fast,
which is a huge gamut of difference.
And then there were 15 studies
on calorie restriction, which is,
as I mentioned,
your standard traditional weight loss diet
typically advocates consuming,
you know, anywhere from 350, 400,
less each day,
where intermittent fasting
is seen as an alternative method
that has a lot of physiological benefits
outside of weight
loss, balancing hormones, etc..
So all of these variations
creates complexity and complexity.
Yeah, you're probably right.
If you if you're still listening.
Complexity kills progress. Yes.
And it also kills sustainability
because you're just like, man,
I just don't want to do this. Right.
So competition fatigue, too.
Just right, right.
So before I forget, upcoming on April
is our second
seven day fasting lifestyle challenge.
And the entire premise of these challenges
is to speed up the learning curve, right?
And the acceleration of your understanding
of how to make fasting a lifestyle.
That's why it's called Make it Stick.
Yes, the fasting lifestyle
challenge is not a seven day fast, right?
We use different varied fasting windows.
There's advanced schedules.
There's there's standard schedules
depending on your experience
or how your weight loss
or your fasting has been going as of late.
So we help you choose that schedule
and then we walk you
through each and every day,
live in the group, personalize
coaching, question and answers.
We bring you inside
of our personalized VIP group.
So before I forget,
I want to make sure that we mention that
that's coming up on April 5th
and the link is in the show notes.
So go out and click the link.
Frequently asked questions,
the registration link is there.
Let us know.
Reach out if you have any
additional questions for Tommy.
What we do during
those seven days is exactly what
what I love about this article is that it
talks about a lot
of the different components
in the results, right?
So if we're speaking, hey,
I want the results.
I want the quickest way.
I want the most effective way
to your point.
Well, there was a lot of similarities
between these approaches.
So ADF and modified ADF, the five two diet
in time restricted eating, those 12
hour up to 21 hour fasting windows
all led to similar amount of weight loss
with the range of Now
here's the range point eight
up to 12.9.
So 13% of body weight.
Wow. For ADF large range right
and modified ADF.
So a lot of variability now
ADF alternate day fasting definitely
was the clear winner with the highest end
range there in terms of weight loss. But
when you look at the differences in weight
when comparing any of the IAF diets,
the ones we just mentioned, TRT
five to ADF to caloric restriction,
the weight loss was pretty similar, right?
As we just mentioned, those ranges.
But the adherence as well was similar
among all of the dietary regiments.
So more than one way
to get the same result,
which is yeah, okay, now what,
what do I do now?
why we talked a lot about Oh, Matt, right.
Yeah, I love Matt too.
And I was hoping that they would include
that in this study.
They do include Nomad
sometimes in studies like this,
but not in this one in particular.
But the cool thing about Matt, we did
a study on this like, like way back.
It's been a while, but comparing that
and seeing how it fit into this equation
to comparing it versus ADF
and some other protocols.
But you know, the, the cool thing about
Matt is the simplicity,
which is why we have another resource,
the faster guide
that's available for, for Matt.
But even like in the blueprint,
which is really cool as far as
developing some different skills
and using some different fast cycles
to start to get the weight off on
that is cool because of the simplicity.
Now, however, there are pitfalls for sure.
Like, like when umat
when my meal becomes an extended window
or when it starts to get later and later
and later into the evening.
Because Matt, dinner
is a very, very popular,
overwhelmingly the most popular choice.
So when we look at these
these other protocols, you know, there's
it's always kind of a double edged sword.
But what was interesting
was the correlation,
the fact that they found alternate day
fasting to be the most effective protocol.
Well, guess what?
It's also the one with the longest fast
between actually breaking those fast rate.
So there's there's
a huge correlation there.
And when we modify it, we start adding
the mini meals, which is fine, especially,
you know, especially to start with
because it's it's easier to do,
to kind of wrap my mind around it,
you know, that
that's going to spike the insulin, that's
going to spike my blood sugar,
that's going to bring in some more fuel
that I'm not needing to tap into long term
that stores at that point.
So, you know, the results make sense.
But when I start looking at the fact
that the time restricted eating
had such a had such a range of results
and even kind of underwhelming,
didn't really surprised me
because I believe we were going from
between 12 hours, fasted all the way up
to 21 hours, which is right.
You talk about a wide range of
of what my my fast actually was.
It makes a lot of sense to me
that a lot of that would kind of
just even out that a 21 hour fast is very
very different from a 12 hour fast.
And my caloric intake
when I break that fast over a three hour
period versus a 12 hour period,
I mean, I could
I could be doing some
some serious different type of ingestion
over that time and let alone
that the insulin that goes along with it
not having time to to tap into fat stores
so a lot of stuff just washes out
right there. Yeah.
And when we're looking at the
So we're beginning with the end in mind,
the long term
picture of what's going to work for me
The adherence here in the studies
that lasting three months are shorter.
The adherence was higher for ADF, modified
ADF was the highest
then caloric restriction,
then the five two diet and then Terry.
Well, the variability to exactly
what you were just speaking about there,
the variability there
that that why range of different windows
can also create lack of adherence
because I don't know about you,
but a constantly moving
target is difficult.
So it's day to day making those decisions,
freelancing in the moment
all have the willpower to say no to this
or I'll I'll go here and I'll do this.
I'll start again Monday, etc..
So that's one of the traps.
And that's one of the traps that
falls into the I'll I'll do one meal a day
as my fat loss strategy versus
one meal a day as my maintenance strategy.
I've used homemade as both as both.
It just depends on the eating,
what I'm eating,
what I'm focusing on
and the different variables.
So it appeared through the summary here
that ADF and modified
ADF and calorie restriction
had the highest participant adherence.
But then what happens at
the six month mark or the nine month mark
or the 12 month mark,
or when life throws you some curveballs
and you just get bored?
And that's what I mean about sticking
to the same thing day in and day out.
So for me, tracking calories and weighing
my food and planning ahead,
that's insanely not sustainable For me.
It never worked for me. For my wife.
However, it's incredibly sustainable.
Like on Wednesday nights,
we have breakfast night
and I know exactly what she has a half
a cup of Bob's red mill,
gluten free pancake mix, one egg,
half a tablespoon of avocado oil,
and anywhere from 27
to 35 grams of designs
for health, bone broth, chocolate protein.
Now, depending on the day,
as of right now,
this is my life
because I make dinner on Wednesday nights
because I get the kids, they come home,
we we make breakfast and boom.
So school is also a night that I typically
I don't really love breakfast food.
So either I'm eating like more carnivore,
three more eggs.
You know, that kind of thing.
But for her then on top of this,
she'll either do 12 grams of butter
or maybe sometimes a drizzle of honey
anywhere between 8 to 15 grams.
So I am prepping this for her.
She's coming home from the clinic.
Yeah, me doing that once a week is fine.
Me doing that multiple times a day,
just I'm not I'm not even going to start.
So the reason I bring that up
is because that adherence component
I thought was was one of the most
interesting parts of this study.
And they did it in a way that was they
admit that it's a weak point, right.
That the networking analysis
is is based on
following these folks
through all of these different studies.
So the longer the study goes out,
it makes sense that the decreased amount
of adherence, especially when the result
doesn't match the expectation.
So there you go. You hit it. Yep.
Yeah, recently for me.
But focusing on some visceral fat.
I know you've been doing some
some cold plunges,
you've been playing around
with the science, right? Yeah.
I was using my pool as a cold plunge,
but now it's warming up.
Spring is sprung here in Texas,
so it's turning into a loop.
plunge isn't really a cold plunge.
So I know for me recently,
beginning with the end in mind, that
that sustainability piece I've been
my eyes have been reopened
to some of the old habits
that have crept back in.
The longer I do
this, the longer I've been fasting.
So this slippage.
Yeah, well, visceral,
fat directed are my decisions
getting me closer
to getting my visceral fat down
my TAC score improved my triglyceride
ratio a little bit better.
We're going to be doing an episode
coming up here on vitamin D
and how fasting, carbon effect on vitamins
and vitality and sustainability.
But I want to give a shout out here
to Nutri Sense
and the fact that I committed
to doing a six month
subscription and nutrition is a CGM,
which is a continuous glucose monitor,
and that's the biosensor technology piece.
But then they also have this incredible
app and the program itself,
which allows you to focus on
how your body is responding
in real time to different foods,
exercise, stress, sleep, etc..
So we get the app,
you've got their dietary guidance.
So the experts there that are incredible,
I know you had one reach out to you
recently, Tom, because you're
the first time you've used a CGM
and they reached out
holding you accountable.
Yes. When you didn't
want to be held accountable.
Yeah. Yeah. I got a message.
Something like, hey,
I noticed a few of the spikes
coming around, you know, Do
you remember what you ate at that point?
And I'm like, Yes,
I absolutely remember what I ate. Yep.
So like the natural feedback process, it's
it's killer though, for it.
So it's incredible because
we've been fasting for a long time now.
It's been years. Right.
And lots of massive success.
But if there is an opportunity
to level up here
and this is what real time data shows,
is that I just took a sip of my coffee.
I don't know if you could hear the ice
clinking in my Yeti, Right.
But I now I'm back to drinking black cold
brew, homemade cold brew coffee.
Yeah, because the Califia farms
almond milk creamer, which is very clean.
Not a lot of sugar. Right.
But even just putting that in,
I was seeing this huge spike.
On, on my sensor almost to the point
where I didn't want to scan it.
You just hold up your phone and like,
scan it and then you're like, Oh, man,
there it is. Yeah.
So I put that with my sleep,
which is still been very variable
because we still got
a, you know, an infant in the house and,
you know, some,
some things going on with the other kiddos
and it's always a moving target.
Nutrition has been allowing me to really
level up my decision making process
and that visualization you scan it,
you get the real time support.
So if you've been looking for
if you're listening to this episode going
in, there's a lot of variability here.
I need simplicity.
Well, there is no greater way
to simplify your decision
than seeing it in real time.
So weight loss, stable energy, better
sleep understanding what foods are like
me, the creamer that I've been
been slipping and just kind of enjoying
my morning routine,
not realizing what it was doing
beneath the surface.
Even though even though I don't have blood
sugar issues anymore.
Right. Pre-diabetes is gone.
So what I want you to do
is head to the show notes.
If you're looking for that real time
ability to improve that decision making.
To simplify the process
for you, head to the show Notes
Nutrition Scott EO Forward slash
Fasting for Life.
Fasting for Life is the code
we've officially partnered with them.
It's been a long time coming.
I've used nutrients in the past,
but now I've committed to the six month
subscription again because it is
time to put a dent in this visceral fat,
these last few pounds
that I've been fighting to get off
right from all those years
of being on that dieting rollercoaster,
you're going to get 30 bucks off.
You're also going to get one month free
of the dietician support
that we talked about.
So Tommy, as we go back into kind of the
what do I do now
that we've looked at this study,
we've looked at the meta analysis,
we've looked at the differences
between ads, where do I go?
How do I do it?
What do I just do
almost every day? Do I do dinner?
Do I do breakfast?
Do I do lunch?
Well, that's why we have
some of the resources that we have,
and that's why
we created the new blueprint.
So to unpack that just a little bit,
to make sure, as we always begin
with the end in mind
and say in our podcast intro,
we want to give you one or two things
that you can leave today with actionable
things that you can do to put or level up
your fasting journey.
Yeah, yeah, I really like that.
And what that makes me think about is,
is feeling like I'm either
about to jump back into something new or
I feel like things haven't been moving
Like, like I've been feeling
a little bit stuck because both,
both of those situations, like it's time
to do something a little bit different.
So either either a little bit more
of what I've been doing, like maybe like,
like you talked about with the creamer,
like getting a little bit more strict
about the basics that might be that's
one potential thing
to to take out of this conversation is is
go to the foundational stuff
and do it a little bit better
than you've been doing it.
If it's if it's gotten a little slippery,
if you feel like you've been strict
with it recently, might be time
to turn up the heat
a little bit or turn, turn up the cold
if you're, you know,
stepping into the cold plunge,
like if you've been consistently doing,
let's say, 14 hour
fast, well, maybe it's time to increase
that fasting length a little bit,
because as we saw in the study,
as our fasting length
goes up a little bit, so do our results.
And and the if if,
if I've been doing you last there
Hold on you last there
for a very specific reason I believe in.
Tell me if I'm off here you last because
you're like well it makes sense right?
Almost like a like an aha.
Dark type moment, right?
Yeah, yeah, yeah.
If you fast longer. Right.
But then, then you're like, well,
I can't even
think about skipping breakfast
if you're a beginner,
how am I going to get to only eating
in a four hour window?
And then if I think about that,
my brain goes buffet
of, let's say, buffet buffet,
all you can eat buffet, right.
Like so yeah, there is a learning curve,
which is why we started
A scar is is a reminder of a lesson
that you needed to learn.
And on this journey,
there's a lot of variability there.
So I love that
where you are coming from is like, well,
maybe it's time to get back to the basics
because we can overcomplicate
Just as in this conversation
from the study today.
How do we simplify it?
Yeah, that's the interesting part
because sometimes it does
get like confusing though.
Like I'm not sure why the scale is not
moving anymore or I did everything right.
And you know, these, these question marks
kind of come about and, you know, like,
that's why we did the challenge.
That's why I'm so excited
about the next challenge that's coming up,
because it can help to answer
a lot of those questions that come up.
But the other cool thing is that if
if you take another thing
out of this conversation or this study
today, it's the fact that like
some variability is good,
even though that was always
something that like for my brain,
I don't like setting out on a plan that
I know needs to change like all the time.
I just want like,
just give me the plan, okay?
Just, just give me the thing
that's going to work and let me do it.
But that's really not
how this journey goes for most people.
And so knowing that, I'm
going to need some variability,
but in order for me to stay,
to stick with it,
to adhere to the process, I'm
going to need to be strategic with that.
And I'm also going to need confidence
so I don't get derailed along the way.
So so understanding those pieces
and just going, Hey, maybe it's time
for me to do something a little bit new.
let me take one of these other protocols
that are in here
or that are in the blueprint
or that I learn from the challenge.
And let me go take one of those and do it,
because I'm probably
going to see a little bit
And then I can I can continue
on my journey in the right direction.
Yeah, for sure.
So if you're looking for support,
right challenges, a few weeks out,
maybe you don't even know
what the challenge is.
You're like, What do I do
now? What do I do today? Sure.
Head to the show notes, click the link.
We're going to email you the free
blueprint to fasting for fat loss.
It's a 20 page PDF.
It has different fasting schedules.
What different weeks look like?
It gives you some perspective on why
getting the weight off matters right?
And what I love about
this, this article is that's
it. It's beginning with the end in mind.
It's talking about it's
in the journal of Obesity, Right?
It's talking about the fact,
how do I want to say this, that the rise
in prevalence of the obesity issues
that we have and the related
metabolic diseases has led to an increase
of different dietary interventions. Right.
So there's a lot more confusion
and options out there than ever before.
So we want to simplify this process
because when we did it and we started
and it started working for us,
it was like, okay, simplicity, right?
Over complexity. Simplicity.
The one thing we do know
is that life is complex
and it will always be moving and changing.
And yes, like getting any simpler, it's
not getting any simpler, right?
It's getting more distractible
and more inputs and more,
you know, ways to go off track. So
if you're looking for.
Yeah, what does I mean, it's weight.
What do I do now? Right. I'd like to
just start your self distraction.
I'll just start my timer tomorrow. Right.
So we want to give you that
and that's why we created this blueprint
and launched it this year,
because we realize that it's like,
All right, we need to level up the support
and we want you guys to have something
you can go back to,
like a Bible like here, here's my here's
my roadmap, Here's where I begin.
I've got it in Bible. I have it.
I can I can touch it.
I can see it. If you're like me,
you want to print it out? Okay.
Now there's yeah, well, you can,
you can just send a preview on on a mac.
You can go in and mark it up and draw
on it and do all kinds of crazy stuff.
So yeah, I don't think
color ink has gone down in price,
so maybe not print it out
because it is nice and colorful.
And eye catching, but go grab it
and then challenge.
Coming up, April 5th, Tommy
I am inspired to know
and I'm loving the trends
that we're starting to see
that fasting is becoming more mainstream.
Yes, beginning with the end in
mind is what we add to the conversation.
And I hope today that with it
you're going to
maybe walk away with a, Hey,
it's time for me to do something.
It's time for me
to do something different.
And that's what we're here for.
Want to encourage you
that it works for us.
It can work for you.
Head to the show notes,
grab the blueprint,
Check out the registration link
for the challenge coming up on April 5th.
And Tommy, as always there.
Appreciate the conversation.
We'll talk soon.
Thank you. Bye.
So you've heard today's episode and
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