In this episode Dr. Scott and Tommy discuss some of the most common questions and objections they hear when people start thinking about trying fasting. Even the most experienced fasting veterans can still face these issues, as life happens every day, and no faster is completely immune from hanger or seeing the scale tick up. They shine a light on some easy ways to prepare and minimize these hurdles so you can stay on track and keep making progress toward your goals.
Fasting For Life Ep. 43
[00:00:01] Hello, I'm Dr. Scott Watier, and I'm Tommy Welling, and you're listening to the Fasting for Life podcast, and this podcast is about using fasting as a tool to regain your health, achieve ultimate wellness and live the life you truly deserve.
[00:00:15] Each episode is a short conversation on a single topic with immediate, actionable steps. We cover everything from fat loss on health and wellness to the science of lifestyle design.
[00:00:25] 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.
[00:00:40] Hey, everyone, welcome to the Fasting for Life podcast. My name is Dr. Scott Watier, and I'm here, as always, is my good friend and colleague, Tommy Welling. Good afternoon to you, sir. Hey, Scott. How are you doing? Great man. Ready to dive into a conversation today with you? This one is very relatable for me and my marriage. It's also very relatable from my day to day life. It's also relatable to hopefully a lot of you listeners in the fact that. This is something, especially if you're new to fasting, these are the three things we're going to talk about today are are hurdles or struggle points in the very beginning. And then they can also kind of rear their heads depending on your schedule and your consistency. So I'm excited to dive in because I think it's going to be really actionable for everybody listening.
[00:01:33] Yeah, I think we have an opportunity here to address some of the things that that we hear a lot. We get questions about it. A lot comes up in in the group came up during the challenge recently. And just kind of knocking down some of those hurdles means that that the next phase is that much easier to get onto and to stay in and and to just keep hitting those goals and keep the momentum building.
[00:01:57] Yeah, and the challenge is quite illuminating for me because we've seen so many consistencies in the questions when it comes to starting fasting, how to use fasting, benefits of fasting, you know, struggle, struggle, points, hurdles, whatever you want to call it. And that's really been the fuel for us, helping people get those winds faster. And the challenge illuminated a few things where it really, really, really depends on your support system, your accountability, your mindset, your plan. There's all these little things. And even with all of that in place, you can still have the struggle bus show up in front of your house and pick you up and you hop on and sometimes it's hard to get off. Right. So I know you just visualize the bus showing up. Yeah. Yeah, it's the struggle bus. And it I didn't I didn't want to get on this thing. Yeah. How did how do I get off of here. How. Yeah. Well you know, so we're going to talk about the weekend, we're going to talk about the scale, we're going to talk about social constructs and how they can put us on the struggle bus. And then we're going to talk about something that.
[00:03:07] I love this term hangry, because it is something that that that my family experiences on a day to day and week to week basis. So I'm not going to mention names, but the word are, you know who you are.
[00:03:20] Yeah, but, you know, you are the word hungry is a real thing. And it used to happen to me too. So I'm excited to. Yeah. I think we're gonna have a good conversation around this. So where should we start. Yeah. I was just thinking that on the fly, you know, we do have pre podcast prep meetings so we would probably hash this out. But full transparency peek behind the curtain. We always want to keep it conversational and we're like, you know what? These are really good topics. And they all kind of intertwine in terms of.
[00:03:50] The the long term goal, right, so so the the long term result that you're looking for, that a lot of people just like us found fascinating and use it as a tool to allow us to keep the weight off, get our health metrics where they want them to be increasing our energy, get that quality of life on a day to day that that is not my old standard or the standard for a lot of people.
[00:04:13] And I think I want to start with. Yeah, I think we should start with kind of the the weight fluctuations and how it can relate to the social aspect or the weekend warrior type. You know, the week the weekends are tough. The weekends are hard.
[00:04:33] I was doing great in my day until Thursday night. Happy hour. I was doing great until the football game on Saturday, that kind of stuff.
[00:04:40] Yeah. Yeah. And so those those fluctuations can be can be debilitating. Right.
[00:04:47] If we if we're stepping on the scale and then all of a sudden we, you know, we were building some momentum, we see some results and then all of a sudden we get back on there, especially after like after a weekend, a few social get togethers or something like that. And then all of a sudden we have multiple patterns that come back on, right? Yeah.
[00:05:06] And the question I was posed in the group that was one of the things was like, OK, is the normal one to two pound fluctuation day to day normal. And the situation that first came up was in regards to coming off more of an aggressive fat loss phase and then transitioning into maintenance as you get down to that lower number. And so you're adding in, you're expanding your feeding window. So you're going for more of add to more of an IV for like a twenty four window. So you've expanded you're having two small meals instead of one. And the question was, is it normal to see that fluctuation the next day? And the answer is absolutely one thousand percent. Yes. And there's some physiological things that, Tommy, you can explain in terms of glycogen. But as an example for me, just this past year and we have family in town, and so we did a spaghetti and meatballs dinner. And our spaghetti meatball dinner now is a lot different than growing up in an Irish French household, so now it's spaghetti, squash, homemade grass fed meat meatballs. We grind up almond flour, crackers, and we use that as the breading. And then we have or the bonds of pasta, which has higher fiber, higher protein.
[00:06:18] No, we're not we don't have an affiliate to drop that. We don't have a sponsor to drop that in there. It's just something that we use in the house bonds. I give us a shout out, we love you, but and then we don't really do the bread anymore. And if we do, it's Ezekial. But we don't really use that for spaghetti squash, a meatball dinner. But 80 year old uncle is coming over. He's very set in his ways, wanted to have the traditional dinner. So we got the the the pre prepped organic garlic bread. You just heat up in the oven from AGB. And we had the spaghetti squash for my dad, nine for the kids. And then we had the bonds of pasta and I ate and I had a little bit like a half a cup of the bonza. I had a good portion of spaghetti squash. I had three, four excuse me, of the homemade meatballs. And then I had two pieces, little pieces like, you know, Italian bread sized pieces or Frenchified sized pieces of the garlic bread. And I woke up the next day and was four pounds heavier.
[00:07:20] Isn't that nice?
[00:07:21] That's not easy, and I even knowing this, I was like, dang it, like I knew this, I didn't sleep well Tuesday and I knew this was going to happen. And it's not that I didn't sleep well. I didn't sleep as much as many hours as I would like. So I got less sleep. And I was like, man, that always makes the scales tick up for me. So the fluctuation is real. And then on the positive side of it, we can apply that to also the maintenance side of things all the time so that the glycogen story or explanation that you go over can apply to both. And yeah, it's completely normal.
[00:07:53] Yeah. I mean, so when you eat a meal like that, I mean that that's going to be some additional carbohydrates, but especially if that was like a second meal too. And you were you were more on a one meal a day. But even if it was just a larger meal and then you're bringing in enough that enough of the carbohydrates and then usually in an Italian meal like that, you might have some additional sodium as well, which is going to lead to some more water retention.
[00:08:19] But, you know, if you have, you know, a thousand extra calories or across a weekend, you know, that's going to bring in a pound or two of stored glycogen and water that that leads to water retention from that. So it's going to take a couple of days to to kind of balance itself back out. So, you know, you'd expect a short term tic in the in the scale, especially if if that was different from how your previous meals have been.
[00:08:49] Because you said you said a thousand. So you didn't say half a pizza in five days. Not that I this is back back away. This is back in the day. Five IPAs. My God, no, not anymore. Waking up now. Not possible to young kids. No, no, no, no. Not fun. So that doesn't have to be. But like some of the people we see and you see these little Instagram memes and these little images of like doing great, doing great restriction restriction restriction. Three hundred calorie deficit Monday through Friday and then boom, three thousand calories extra on the weekends. Well, you've just undone everything you did the previous week or even two weeks. That's why we love the ad. It gives you that ability. But yeah, you're going to see that fluctuation daily. And that's why we also like to use weekly averages. So you want to see weekly averages or you want to see if you do do it daily. You can graph it out, use one of the apps, put it in Excel. If your Excel friendly and you can see the downward trend, you'll see the spike, drop, spike, drop, spike, spike, drop, drop, spike, drop. And that's it's it's normal. But I like how this also applies to someone in our challenge that was kind of getting to the maintenance phase. So how do you get to that maintenance number? Because when we have clients and coaching and we do chat like there are numbers that mean something to an individual, like I always ask, is that no mean something to you? And it's always about the feeling or the time period or the experience around that no one thought he was. I fit into those genes. For me, it was one ninety five graduating high school. That number means something to me to twenty five before I blew through that well on my way up to two sixty and then back down as I blew through it to twenty five was a lot because I could never get below that or and that's what I was when I got married.
[00:10:36] I could never get below it or stay there. So the numbers are real. So when you get to that maintenance number, can you explain how that works too. Like just I like the way you frame it.
[00:10:47] Yeah, I mean, it comes back to the glycogen it comes it comes back to your body frame is going to determine exactly how much water retention and how much glycogen you're storing. But just for easy numbers, you're going to store roughly a day's worth of calories as stored large sugar molecules basically in your liver and your your skeletal muscle. And so that's a that's a good thing. And it's normal. And the only way to to keep yourself from storing that is, is basically if you were on a very, very low carbohydrate diet, like a ketogenic diet where you're just staying at those levels. So so assuming you're you're kind of normalizing and you're not adhering to one of those diets, like by the time you you hit your fasting goals and you start to go into a maintenance mode. So if you're eating carbohydrates, then you're going to have these these short term fluctuations. So going into maintenance mode, you should remember that the way you're getting there through fasting, you're going to be in ketosis, you're going to be burning fat. So that means that those glycogen levels are going to be low to zero when you're when you're actually burning the fat. So there is a bit of a rebound that happens. So when you're when you're planning for your maintenance number, you're going to want to overshoot that a little bit. So depending on the size of your frame, usually between three to five pounds is a good number. So if you're if you're aiming for one hundred and sixty pounds on the scale, you're probably going to want to see something closer to one fifty seven or one fifty five. And then when you're when you're glycogen stores kind of normalize back then you'll see around that 160 mark that you're looking for. So don't get discouraged. You, you touch on one sixty and then bounce up from there. You probably need to go a few pounds past it. And one of our original.
[00:12:33] Quasi coaching clients. It was she did a testimonial for us and it was always like a couple of weeks go by. Yep, I'm at 180, kind of stuck at 180. Well, 180. And then it was like 170. Stuck at 170. The number is real. The scales really get matters. It grazed your brain. That's just how we're wired. How, how, how marketing tells us to be in the diet and weight loss world. Right. So, yeah, you get down to that maintenance phase, you're going to be opening your window up a little bit and you're going to expect to have a little bit I won't say refeed. I don't like that term, but a little bit of a regain that's totally normal, you know, and that's why fasting for me isn't like a diet, it's a lifestyle. So if you're going to be keeping fasting as part of your tool kit, like as your health building like process to get where you want to get and be healthy and live in that ideal situation, then fasting is a tool. So it's not going anywhere. So, you know, watching the scale over time is a good indicator. You trending, are you maintaining, are you where you at? So encouragement. I love it. It it the weekly average thing is huge for a lot of people too. And when we're talking about that, the I want to talk specifically about the social aspect of it. Like my family was here yesterday. We did a home project. I ended up not eating all day, just made things a lot simpler. But there's a lot of stuff that comes with the weekend, that comes with events, that comes with social interaction. Either familial, generational, societal like food is a social thing. We want to be in community. We want to be socializing. So there's a few things know. Weekend warrior stuff like we just talked about can really throw you off track. Fasting gives you a little bit more in relation to that. Don't use fasting as reparations or preparation to go crazy. Special occasion, sure. But long term, it's that consistency over time. And the social part of it is just a real thing.
[00:14:32] Yeah, it really is. And that if. If. If you're allowing the social aspect to kind of dictate your fasting schedule, then that can really throw in some more volatility, more of that that regain give you these opportunities to just store more glycogen and to take in more calories and eat more often than you had planned on. And we get this question a lot from people who are who are wanting to get started and don't quite know how, because they're they're concerned about these social aspects. And that's an important part of their life. They don't want to give it up. But but they don't really know how to roll with the punches or how to how to combat that from. I'm worried that my my boss or my coworkers or whoever else is going to say that I'm starving myself just because, you know, they're eating and I'm not or that I'm going to have to say no to to a dinner function or, you know, an after church barbecue or something like that. That's really important to me. But but you don't, right? There are ways around that.
[00:15:33] You don't have to say no, you can be you do you. And stick to the plan, you know. So that's why we joke in a tongue in cheek a little bit with the first two rules of fasting. First rule of fasting is don't talk about fasting. Second rule fasting is don't talk about fasting through the fasting is really like tell everybody about fasting. But that takes time to get to the third rule. You have to have that that that building process and that experience process. So social gatherings show up, go in fasted, stick to your plan. You don't have to say yes to all seven stages of the meal. You don't have to say yes to the dessert. You don't you don't have to pick what you know what? Use your frame, use your plan. Life, your life should not be the plan. Your plan should fit into your life. And I know we say that with fasting for life. That's why we chose that word. Going with the construct, no, yep, I'm going to have a glass of wine. Yup, I know there's going to be grandma's favorite X, Y and Z or grandma's famous X, Y and Z. I'm going to have two of those, and then I'm going to just stick to just the burger without a bun for dinner and I'll socialize. I'll have a good time and just use it. It's OK to be doing it like the encouragement is. It's OK to see the scale move. It's OK to not do what everybody else is doing right. You're going to get the same results if you do that and it's fine, you know. So just protect your inputs, protect yourself, be encouraged that what you're doing works and also make sure that it works for you long term, because if you're restricting or limiting, it's just never going to be sustainable. So, yeah.
[00:17:16] It's not a completely on or off thing, it's not like, yeah, I needed to pass through that social aspect, but I but I didn't. So now it's time to go off the rails or or anything else like that.
[00:17:26] No, you can you can choose that important social function to be your one meal for that day, really, you know, enjoy it, socialize, enjoy it. But but you can also make really good food choices while you're there, kind of compartmentalize what you're taking and then go right back into your your fasting schedule or maybe an extended past the day after that. Just just roll with it. And like, that's life and it's going to it's going to keep going like that. So there's no reason to try to to try to completely eliminate any of those any of those things. You use your tools so that you can continue living and and fasting and hit your goals at the same time.
[00:18:09] Yeah, my family's been in town for a while here, too. And before it was you know, luckily my dad's now on the same schedule. My mom's doing it 80 percent of the time, too. My wife is in the opposite camp, but she gets amazing results with it. It's. You know, we used to prayer breakfast. OK, what do you guys have ready for lunch? You got we've got lunch stuff, OK, man that looks good.
[00:18:32] All right, that looks good on, man. Now we're prepping dinner. No, dinner looks good. And, you know, when they came down a couple of year over little over a year ago and I've lost all the weight and they're like, you're not eating.
[00:18:44] I'm like, no, I'm not eating. But but how do you do that?
[00:18:48] I'm like, well, I've decided that I want to have dinner with you guys tonight. So I'm going to sit down and have dinner. Oh, we want to go out and go. Go out. OK. Well, I picked lunch on Saturday to actually go to lunch with you will not not go. I'd still go but to actually eat and break bread with you. Oh you know what, breakfast looked really good on Monday and Tuesday. So my one meal on Thursday is going to be breakfast. We're going to remake what we made. We're going to have breakfast this time. This trip's and so much easier because I don't have to worry about it. I did a home repair project. I'm putting down some some vinyl flooring. Just two days. There was a search and destroy day of where are we going to get what type of flooring, the price, the quality, the color, the OK from, you know, my wife. And yes, that color matches. It looks good. So that was a whole day. Didn't have to worry about food. They want to meet for lunch. I'm like, nope, go to the next door. Sorry, I have two more stops to make next day. Did the project didn't eat. It was it just simplifies it so much. And that's one of the things that we love about it, is simplification. So just stick to the plan, go on, have some constructs and know what you're going to do and stick to it.
[00:19:57] Yeah, absolutely. I love the fact that that during that home repair day and you had the social aspect, you like being around the family even even while they were eating and a lot of stuff.
[00:20:10] Now, in turn, the grill on, I was like, no, no, let me go, let me go light the grill because the lighter doesn't work. It's a beautiful weather girl, but stupid lighter doesn't work. Well, I don't like the grill. Let me flip the burgers and make sure they're fine, but I'm going to go back in. Hey, how you doing? There was like fifteen people here. It was crazy, right?
[00:20:26] And did you ever feel nonsocial, you know, during it. Yeah.
[00:20:30] No, no. So just encouraging you guys can do it. It just takes practice, you know, you'll get there. One of the things that we always want to talk about the emotional side of this, because it's a lot of people out there. Eighty 70 plus percent of the population is overweight. Forty two percent of the population is obese. My BMI still in the overweight category. But I'm right. Like, I've lost 50 plus pounds. Like it's it's there. I'm pushing down to the final goal. Right. Optimizing the body fat percentage. That's really where the magic lies is not necessarily the number. But, you know, when when we're looking at. The emotional side of things, we want people to envision what the outcome that new person at the end of the journey is going to look like, that you want to live in that. You want to know what it feels like. You want to know what it looks like. Well, I'll tell you, when you start fasting or if you have a family member that suffers from the hungry disease. Yes, I said I said hangry disease. Then then you know that there's emotion tied to food as well. And I won't mention names, like I said before, but being hungry, you can Google it. There's like a there's a definition of angry, but there's also some physiological things that take place, too, that there are. And this was me growing up. Let me just like this was me like hangry. Oh, my gosh. Yeah. Like, that's my parents.
[00:22:02] I and I feel like this is maybe maybe the most important first question that a lot of people will ask or the first objection that a lot of people have to to fasting. And and I did, too, for a long time as well, because I, I did not like the idea that my hunger would just overwhelm me and I would get so frustrated and angry, short tempered, angry if I was going to get my first meal, let alone my second or third, and go an extended period of time. But, you know, the hunger is real. But the thing about it is hunger comes from these short term fluctuations and waves that we have in our blood sugar and our insulin spike. So we get the hungriest when we have the most carbohydrate rich meal. And then it our blood sugar ticks up, insulin comes on the rise. It follows behind it so that it can help control that. And then when those levels shoot down, the insulin in the blood sugar come crashing down. That's when that's when we start to feel that hunger, because it's basically our body telling us short term we need more sugar because we're running out. Yeah, we had the sugar. Now we lost it. We need some more of it.
[00:23:19] So the bigger the spike, the heart of the crash and totally true. And it actually will trigger cortisol, which is a stress hormone and adrenaline, which is fight or flight. Right. So the cortisol can actually lead to aggression in some people and it interferes with our ability to control our impulses, you know, regulate our primitive drives and behaviors. So hunger as a state actually causes those shifts and hormones and the the processes of like literally your peripheral nervous system or the fight or flight. And that's where the same similar reactions take place when we see people that are angry, have fear or are sad. So our limbic system is literally like, hey, what the heck? The more carbs you have, the bigger the meal you have, the harder it is the next day, the more hungry you will get. And I will I will say this on the front end or I guess we're in the middle or on the back and we're at in this conversation.
[00:24:15] It gets easier. It gets better. Your body will learn to rebalance. And that's what it's trying to do by triggering this guy. Like, I'm just I just need type of reality. I don't know about you. Again, no names having a conversation in a car. Somebody is hungry. Ask a question. And the response is not the typical response. Might have a little different tone, might have a little different undercut. And I'm I'm guilty of it as well, especially when I started fasting happened yesterday. For me personally, I mean, it's like, whoa, where did that come from? Well, it's your biology trying to be like, what the heck are you doing? And it just gets easier, you know?
[00:24:58] So the body literally starts gearing up for food seeking behavior. But that that is so much worse with with that volatility, that insulin and blood sugar volatility. So, I mean, that's why we talk about it in the first hour. I talk about it in the mini master class because really preparing for for just that first moment where you're going to go the whole next day, the next twenty three, twenty four hours without eating, it's it's really important for you to set yourself up for success by limiting the processed carbohydrates and just carbohydrates in general. Right before you're you're going to go into that first fast. It's going to make it so much less volatile. It's going to make it's going to make the next one to three meals that you skip so much easier because you're not going to feel those those waves nearly as heavy as if you had just come off of, like a weekend warrior type thing. I mean, that you will feel that like if you if you had a rough weekend or something kind of went off the rails or however you want to put it. And then Monday, Tuesday you're going into a twenty four. Thirty six or. Yeah, longer. Fast, you're going to feel it, that, that's going to be a rough way to do it.
[00:26:09] And we don't. So. So. Watch watch the email, right, so per our previous conversation means, hey, dummy, I put this in an email, you didn't read it, like you'll see these things translate into your day to day life where you're like, oh, wow. Yeah, I was a little a little edgy. And I'll say this. The hunger cues get easier. They go away. Your satiety hormones are leptin, your girl and all the different cascades of your gut, your fallick phase cephalic, if you prefer that all of these things, you know, tend to balance out and it gets easier. And that's why when people after they get through the first few like man, I feel great, my energy is up, I'm not even hungry. I can't believe it. So most of the hunger is either hydration, electrolytes. You know, you've got to keep your electrolytes up. You you see salt, you trace minerals. In the first few days, your body's going to be expelling a lot more water. So stay hydrated. But these are all these are all the things in that hangry. One is it's a lot of times you're not even hungry. It's just this process taking place. So be careful on the scene, on emails and the replying per hour per our previous email. I just love that one. Yeah. But yeah, so so really cool stuff. So as an action stuff, tell me as we wrap it up.
[00:27:25] Yeah. Just, just think about it. I knew it was coming so you. No, just, just remember that, you know, these things come together and so you know, if you, if you just started fasting or you're kind of on the verge of of kind of giving it a real try, maybe you've you've done sixteen, eight kind of timed eating but haven't gone to the next level. Just know that there are some some very simple ways to to keep these things under control, to control the hunger control, the fluctuations you ignore the day to day fluctuations on the weight, focus on the on the bigger picture and, you know, just get started and and, you know, bring a little thick to some of the the social functions, especially if you're just getting started. And and, you know, here here are some questions and and just, you know, just be be prepared for that.
[00:28:14] Yeah. Just being aware of it makes it so much better knowing what's coming. You're like, OK, yeah, I got this. And this is the reason why. So if you are doing and you're looking to push it, if you're new to fasting, you can go to our website info at the Fasting for Life Dotcom. It's a completely free, fast start guide. It's six steps. It's a PDF. Zoom's in your inbox. You also get a log in to our website where you will have access to a free mini master class, which is it's six short videos that explain how to put fasting enter day to day life. Hopefully these these are the things that we talked about today, Tommy, the fluctuations, the weekend, the averages, the social peace, the handgrips. These are all things that we hear over and over and over again. So you have questions about them. Shoot us a email and info at the Fasting for Life Dotcom. You can go to the website and contact us. You can leave us a voicemail, reach out. Let us know how you're doing. Let's keep the conversation going. Tommy, as always, I appreciate your time, sir, and we will talk soon. Yeah. Thank you. Bye.
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