In this episode Dr. Scott and Tommy discuss the little-known "insulin index" and how it relates to making smart food choices that support fasting for fat loss and health. Many popular food choices easily become part of a low-satiety, high insulin, high cravings cycle that leads to fat storage. The trouble is often how to reverse the cycle and create momentum that leads to long-term changes. They discuss how to connect the dots that lead to lifelong transformation.
Fasting For Life Ep. 45
[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] And everyone, welcome to the Fasting for Life podcast. My name is Dr. Scott Watier. I'm here with my good friend and colleague, Tommy Welling. Good afternoon to you, sir. How are you doing? Great. Aha. Moment for today's episode. We were going to discuss the insulin index and what that is and how it differs from the glucose index or the more accessible your or the glycemic index or the glycemic score, which actually has a little bit more real life application to it. So we went to this profile that we have found when we were trying to start to do research on the insulin friendly lifestyle and put together all these resources. Right. And we found this person, Marty Kendall, and he has this just aggregate website. And we'll the link will be in the episode notes. But of all of these graphs showing the insulin index of ingesting a certain food and what that does to your glucose and your insulin and just all of these cool comparative visuals. Yeah, we went down a rabbit hole.
[00:01:46] Yeah, just a little bit. Some of the visuals are just are phenomenal, just taking these these different angles that we just really hadn't considered before or discussed. And so, you know, just looking at food in a different way and nutrient density and feelings of satiety and how they affect you and the physiology, but but different different aspects to it than that to so going through all of this.
[00:02:13] Right. And prepping for the and just, you know, we're going to talk about insulin index. Right. Let's explain it. Let's give him an action step. Well, it's going to be a little bit different. So we came across and this was the aha moment for me where I've been looking at the carb insulin, fat storage. Relationship in a light that I don't think is 100 percent accurate for the majority of people. So what I mean by that is there's a model out there called the conventional model of obesity. And then there's also the carbohydrate insulin hypothesis. Right. So we're talking standard operating procedure in the physiology and nutrition world. And then we're talking about, you know, the carbohydrate insulin hypothesis. So like the the low carb movement. Right. The Quitno movement, all of these different types of lifestyles that have a lot of anecdotal results, but also have some research backing, you know, how to what happens to your body when you put in a low carb or Akito type lifestyle and explaining why some of these things are so effective and can get some phenomenal results, especially when we compare them to a more traditional, low calorie, low fat calories in versus calories out kind of standard model, right?
[00:03:35] Yeah. And in the 70s, that's when that low carb excuse me, low fat model came into play. And it's it's been the low calorie, low fat diet model. It's been very detrimental to the baby boomer generation. And the fact that there's more people now with diabetes and heart disease and comorbidities and congestive heart failure and all these different types of things that can be linked back to a low fat, low calorie diet in the fact that when you remove the fat, which is the. Satiating the full feeling, the I I'm not hungry feeling type foods. What happened was we saw this influx of filling that void or that intake with carbohydrates and back then not as bad. But now the refined processed carbohydrate, just influx of the convenience of the dessert for breakfast with the strudels in the Frosted Flakes and the, you know, the sugar coated everything. Right. All that stuff.
[00:04:45] Yeah. Just just your average cereal is basically comes down to just a dessert with with some vitamins injected into it.
[00:04:53] Then add in some skim milk. So the conventional model of obesity has never been able to explain the obesity epidemic. And now we're talking. Forty two percent of the population estimated to be half of the population by 20, 30 and 70 plus percent of the population is overweight. That number keeps going up. And no, we're talking about BMI over twenty five, BMI over 30 and BMI again. We've talked about in the past, not the best metric, but there's some correlations there. So we really want to focus on healthy body fat percentage, lean muscle tissue, visceral fat, et cetera. But the conventional model of obesity has never been able to offer a satisfactory explanation beyond the difficulty of the willpower issue, where people don't have enough self-control in the modern environment to be like, you know what? Nope, I'm good. I'm not going to eat that. Right. So no hunger predictably increases when energy expenditure goes down. So when when you you're having this kind of tug back and forth and the body tends to go up in this situation. But there's never been a good explanation as to why, based on the conventional model. Did that make sense?
[00:06:13] Yeah, it does. And this is where I feel like I've never heard people talk about this in the in the diet world and not really even in the physiological and medicine world too much either. Where, when, when, when we start to eat the wrong things. And let's let's give an example here where carbohydrates get high, insulin goes up, then we know that's going to lead to storage. Right. We know we're going to take those carbohydrates. We're going to storm away. We're going to we're going to store way more fat in our fat cells. But then what's happening at the same time is it's almost like certain disease processes where the body gets robbed of nutrients at that point where we we don't we don't sense as much nutrition coming in. So then at the same time, not only did we intake all those calories, but we just stored away as fat. But then we're hungry because the body says, well, where's all the nutrition that I need? So it's time to eat some more.
[00:07:13] Yeah, man, you're speaking of my world when it comes to cravings, too, and I want to touch on the second. So the conventional model, right, we have this missing piece that you just kind of alluded to, like what's really happening? Why why are we seeing this take place? The carbohydrate insulin model, which is the one that we kind of went down the rabbit hole with looks at overeating as a consequence of the increased fat that you're carrying on a day to day basis, not as the not as the cause. Right, so the carb insulin model is going to be looking at that increase of what is actually causing that regain or causing your body to have those elevated insulin levels. And that is going to be what you were just talking about. That balance from fat storage kind of flows the way it flows opposite to the conventional direction of what we're thinking about and how our body is actually storing. So we ingest food and then it stores it. Well, that's not exactly what the carbohydrate insulin model is saying.
[00:08:18] Yeah, so when when we ingest those things and we end up spiking the insulin and we store them away, and then it's compounded by the fact that we then feel like we need more of it and even getting getting going a step or two before that actually happens, what we're actually eating and not only the level of carbohydrates, but but how satisfying is it and how nutrient dense is it is going to determine how quickly thereafter we're going to be hungry again and we're going to be looking for more calories to bring in. And if it's more of those kind of cheap and processed, low satiety, carbohydrate rich foods that the cheapest ones that are most readily accessible. Now, that's just going to further the cycle. It's just it's just a vicious cycle and we just keep literally feeding right into it.
[00:09:11] And that's what I love about the Bacara excuse me, the carbohydrate insulin model. And it's it's really it's like it kind of like sheds some light on, OK, how could this possibly be happening, unlike the conventional model. So like the low calorie, low fat that we talked about in the 70s, it actually may increase, like what you're saying, the underlying metabolic issue. So you have less energy floating around in your bloodstream because your body is storing it away and that triggers the starvation process. Right. So there's this idea of starvation, even though we're carrying 40 pounds of visceral fat. Right. Which raises our hunger and our cravings and then that decreases our energy expenditure so that our physical activity and I'm very worried about like the something fog. But I want you to say that just a second. The metabolic rate and then so you've got a falling energy expenditure, falling metabolic rate, and then your stress hormones also go up to which we know stress hormones can mimic the physiological effects of insulin add and bad sleep. And now you've got this trifecta of really looking at trying to treat the consequence of the issue and not the underlying cause.
[00:10:23] Yeah, and it just keeps furthering itself. And, you know, the fog that you were talking about there is is the insulin, Phog, that we talk about. And so what's happening here when when we're going through when we're taking these processed high carbohydrate rich foods and then all the nutrients are being sheltered the way they're being stored as fat? Well, the the body sees that as as nutrient starvation. So the insulin makes us tired. We have excess nutrients stored away in the liver and in the muscles. So it's like we're just taking all the things that that the body's looking for in the bloodstream. It can't find them. So then immediately we're getting we're getting hungry again. We're going into food seeking behavior, increased cortisol, because we're stressed because the rest of the body is having to be turned down, because we don't have enough calories to run all the endocrine processes, run all the hormone systems that we need to. And it's just a vicious cycle and it just keeps going like this. And and I mean, you know, reading reading this, I can I can see myself 10, 15, 20 years ago going through the cycle wondering why it was just getting worse and worse. But but that's exactly what I was doing.
[00:11:39] And this is something that I mean, one hundred percent needs to be studied more. You know, this is the first time I've come across this concept, looking at it this way, even though I knew that how I got the results was adding fasting and. Right. Which was in the short term. You know, I was I was not giving my body that short term fix, right. I wasn't giving in to the hunger. I wasn't giving into the Catholic phase. I wasn't giving the cravings. I was like, well, I know I want to reduce my insulin resistance. Right. I want to get to the problem. I have insulin resistance. It's my glycogen stores. It's my phase to liver enzymes and my liver elevated. Everything else was great. It wasn't my adrenals. And I'm going, OK, wait a minute, what's going on here? So by adding fasting in and then this is something that you and I talk about. We don't really care what camp you fit into in terms of if you're paleo, if you're vegan, if you're gluten free, if you're you know, we you know, sort of. Yeah, most people get better results with fasting if they're doing more of a lower carb, higher fat type lifestyle. Right. You don't have to do strict strictly. Right. It's fine. But really, it's and this is why we even hesitate to talk about recipes and food lists and macros and calories.
[00:12:53] It's like, OK, let's make this really simple. Insulin is a problem. OK, so what reduces it? We're going to limit our carbs. Great. Well, then what else do I.
[00:13:04] Well, how about let's just say a real whole food that comes from the ground or comes from the outside of the grocery store. Right. If you eat whole food, your body is going to get the nutrition it needs. You probably take some vitamins and supplements. You get outside, you get some sunshine, you manage your stress pretty well. And I mean, over time, your body is going to learn how to balance and get off that merry go round of death, which is not giving your body a break to actually tap into those fat stores.
[00:13:36] Yeah, and I think the thing for me, just just looking back, all those times that I tried and failed with dieting, when I started to go down the path of actual, like, lifestyle changes, like, OK, is it OK to have some pizza every once in a while or something like that? You know, you said this. I almost fell off my chair. Well, like that. But but then I went a few months. So let's say my twenties, I went a few months without touching a slice of pizza or or a French fry or a hamburger or just anything else that, you know, a lot of people would would eat from time to time. But when I went for those few months and saw very little results at the end of it, it felt like, OK, well, what's the point of of doing that? Maybe these small what I considered small lifestyle changes. They're not enough to get me to reverse this extra 30 pounds that I had at the time that that kept ticking up and up and up. But if it couldn't touch that, then then what was the point of that small change? Right. Like, you need to see both sides. You need to see the scale coming down so you can build the momentum. And those lifestyle changes start to make a whole lot more sense where you don't have to have a pizza every day. But you also don't have to go the next 40 years without having money to pay down the other side of that, too.
[00:14:57] Like I was doing the eat every two to three hours, eat every three to four hours. And there's research out there that supports or not supports, depending on what side of the fence you sit on, what that does and the mythical creature of metabolism and all these different types of things. I noticed I was hungrier the more often I ate.
[00:15:14] So I'm like, OK, well, now I have more opportunity to lose my willpower. Right. Which is never been able to be explained by the conventional model. And we're looking at it almost backwards, like that's why the this this perspective of so we're thinking of it in this way. Carbs, you ingest carbs, it promotes insulin, which then promotes fat storage. Right. And for me, I'm going to try to land the plane. So if I'm off, you're telling me feel free to to take the controls over. And really what's happening is it's low satiety, low fat foods, nutrient poor foods, processed foods, which result and I had the same thing happen when I was eating those meals because I was eating a lot of rice, a lot of carbs, a lot of chicken, a lot of egg whites, a lot of oatmeal, a lot of rolled oats, like a lot of starchy carbohydrates and stuff.
[00:16:10] But if you're not doing meal prep, these might be cheap foods to just be available. Yeah, yeah. Snack friends are like value menu foods, like Lunchables, like a man.
[00:16:19] I walk by those in the grocery store every single week and I'm like, why can't there be a healthy version of that? So I can just throw that on my kid's lunch box. Sure. Like we are making lunch every single Monday through Thursday.
[00:16:29] And now for two of them, I'm like, is there maybe this is a market insufficiency here and this could be a business opportunity, a healthy lunch table. Like I just the simplicity would be there, but that's not the way it is. So we're going from carbs, this old model of carbs. The conventional model, which just doesn't seem to fit, doesn't seem to work for most people, didn't work for you and I, and then the had carbohydrate insulin model, which is you eat carbs, it promotes insulin.
[00:16:57] You end up with fat storage. Right. But what's really happening again is the low satiety, nutrient poor foods increase cravings and appetite, which then increases your consumption or your energy intake, which then leads to your body pushing it out of the bloodstream and storing it as fat, which then your body needs more insulin to keep that fat stored rather than being burned. So what's the easiest way to get to those fat stores that are stored away?
[00:17:27] What does an.
[00:17:28] You just say it, fasting.
[00:17:31] Yeah, I thought it was fast and it's shash, so it's fasting, right, so and you spoke to it, it's if you have that confidence, the scale starting moving, you're seeing the winds, you're going to have that confidence to say no to the things that you used to say yes to or to know that you can eat pizza and not have to restrict an omelet for the rest of your life. Right. So you get the winds, you get the confidence, your body starts to switch this pathway. And and that's where the transformation takes place. So it's just been I mean, when I was reading this, I'm like, oh, my God, so what have we done? So what you need to do is the opposite of what I just said. So we think fasting will get you the deficit the fastest, and we know that.
[00:18:14] And by the hundreds of people that have told us and the dozens of people we've coached, that there are hunger and their cravings go away.
[00:18:23] Yeah, and it's in direct response to, you know, limiting those foods and tapping into the fat storage. Once your body starts sensing that it basically has an unlimited supply of calories, that it's walking around with it, it calms down as far as the hunger goes, because that's when ketosis ramps up and it's able to tap into that and it understands that. So all of a sudden the hunger becomes much, much less.
[00:18:50] And your body burns all the other stuff first, too. And that's why my triglycerides went up so high when I started. And even when I was on a, you know, a macro based diet doing the protein carb fat breakdown where it was lower carb, lower fat, moderate, high protein, moderate carb, my my triglycerides shot up. Well, the body burns fat last like alcohol, sugar, you know, all those other things get used first. So then your body's like, what do I do with it. Right. You store it. So we had a client recently, but a big old belly, it was rock hard for decades. Right. And all of a sudden just after like in the last few weeks, it's like, wow, everything's softening up. And what that is, is the body actually getting to the visceral fat that's been they're stored away for winter. Right. It's finally being able to say because we've reduced the time of being in a Fed state, we have more time with low insulin. You have less time, less cravings, less energy intake, and your body's actually starting to balance. So it was really eye opening when we've know a lot of like doctor phone, for instance, could never figure out why it was always his patient's fault, not the treatments fault. Like, why are my patients such bad patients? Why don't they have the willpower? Yeah, well, hormones control it and your hormones are going to win unless you're some high level Navy SEAL who can probably last a little bit longer than the common man or woman out there. Right? Yeah. So just crazy eye opening, but really know that the what's happening is is is really kind of the opposite of typically the normal way of thinking. So it's going to feel weird at first, but it's completely doable.
[00:20:34] Yeah, it's it's very different on the other side, you know, especially if you've never if you've never done your first twenty four hour faster or longer, it's it's it's amazing how different it feels once you've once you've been been through that door. So, you know, if you're going to get started on your first one, that's why we definitely recommend control the carbs on the on the meal right before you begin your timer and go into your first one meal a day, which is what we recommend with the Fast Start guide. That's that's what we kind of lay off for you.
[00:21:08] Yeah. And so the I mean, we just we're starting to look, combining our own insulin index and insulin friendly lifestyle, like that's what we feel people should adopt, especially in today's world with all the convenience in the food supply and everything else around. And Marty Kendall had this just like going down his graphs and looking at everything. I was just like, wow, like I cannot believe.
[00:21:31] It's all starting to add up, right? Here it is. So adding in fasting to some of the information that we've we've learned recently with the insulin index and this this getting to the cause of the problem and, you know, increasing the time in between meals.
[00:21:51] Like really the other thing we need, if there's one like action that we can do, would be the reverse of ingesting low satiety foods, increased craving, which lead to increased cravings, which leads to increased energy intake or consumption, which leads to fat storage, which leads to increased insulin. The action step would be do the opposite, plus fasting.
[00:22:10] Yeah, flip it around in reverse. So start with high society, nutrient dense foods. OK, so have Whole Foods, vegetables, put them in there. Good stuff that's going to get you feel and it's going to provide the body with what it needs. That's going to lead to decreased cravings, decreased appetite. And you're going to feel the need to take in less energy, less calories at the next meal time, which is going to lead to more fat loss and thus lower insulin levels. That's the cycle that you you want to jump on and combine that with fasting and you're unstoppable.
[00:22:46] Incredible. I love it. I love it. I love it. If you are new, Tom, you mentioned the one meal a day. So one meal a day is our starting point. For people that come to us experience no experience, it's easy to go to the fasting for life dotcom. You can download the Fast Start guide. There's a 20 minute video mini master class that we walk you through the six steps of how to put one meal a day into your day to day routine. We're continually developing new resources, working on another challenge coming up in December. The links for the charts and the insulin index will be in the show notes, as well as the research article that we're referencing today. Tell me anything else to add as we wrap up this episode? No, I think we I think we covered some good stuff. Awesome. Love it. Thank you, sir, as always. And we'll talk soon. Thank you. Bye.
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