In this episode, Dr. Scott and Tommy discuss some of the most common fasting pitfalls and how to avoid them. Everyone comes to fasting with a different mindset and history with health and weight, but many common threads arise with various fasting goals and schedules. They strategize how to plan, recognize, correct, and avoid them to maximize results and minimize frustration.
Fasting For Life Ep. 65
Dr. Scott Watier: [00:00:01] Hello, I'm Dr. Scott Watier,
Tommy Welling: [00:00:03] And I'm Tommy Welling, and you're listening to the Fasting for Life podcast, and
Dr. Scott Watier: [00:00:08] This podcast is about using fasting as a tool to regain your health, achieve ultimate wellness and live the life you truly deserve.
Tommy Welling: [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.
Dr. Scott Watier: [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
[00:00:30] Along the way.
Dr. Scott Watier: [00:00:40] Hey, everyone, welcome to the Fasting for Life podcast. My name is Dr. Scott Watier. I'm here, as always, with my good friend and colleague, Tommy Welling. Good afternoon to you, sir. Scott, how are you? In typical intro fashion, I am doing great. Looking forward to today's episode. We're going to go over a handful because we have anywhere from one to 15 different mistakes that you could possibly be doing if you are new to fasting, if you've been fasting, intermittent fasting or extended fasting and you have not seen the results or you've hit a plateau, maybe you're fasting for weight loss or fasting for health. And you just wherever you fall on that spectrum, we have some very common mistakes that people make when they try to adopt fasting. And I think this will resonate with everyone, depending, like I just said, on your experience or your intent with fasting. So these are things that you and I have learned that we've heard, that we've coached people through, that we've read that we've learned from the people that we got into fasting from, like Dr. Fong, et cetera. So I'm excited for today's episode. So I'm going to drop this in your lap. Tommy, which one would you like to start with?
Tommy Welling: [00:01:51] I like I like the one that we talked about
Dr. Scott Watier: [00:01:56] That's very specific. So let's let's
Speaker3: [00:01:58] Make drastic changes. I was going in there making like like jumping into fasting and and all of a sudden, like going just hitting the gas really hard or just just jumping in with really, really big changes. Sometimes that can be tough. That could be that can that can almost set us up for such such a drastic difference or so many questions all at once that you kind of run into multiple hurdles and then kind of get scared off or you kind of lose momentum. Sometimes there's just so many things that kind of come up with with major changes all at once like that.
Tommy Welling: [00:02:42] And that that can that can really slow things down. Or actually we've we've seen it scare people away from intermittent fasting when they were basically just knocking at the door of success.
Dr. Scott Watier: [00:02:56] Anything new is going to be difficult, right, so any time you start a new workout, a new job, a new you change career paths, you have a kid, you get married, get a puppy. Like, there's so many things you can look at where you're like, wow, OK, that was really hard when you first started. So for some people, diving into the deep end works for them. But that's a small subset. So a lot of people talk about this kind of ramp up. And that's actually the same framework that we use with our 10 day ramp up in our challenges is that we start pushing the window, stacking the windows on top of one another. When we talk about windows, we talk about how long the hours, total hours that you're fasting versus the total hours that you're going to be consuming or eating calories, putting things into your mouth, so to speak, chewing, digesting, that kind of stuff. So if you're very new and what what's been seen in all of the different fasting groups and things that were a part of and all the people we've worked with is, like you said, just going like full speed ahead is going to set you up for all these little things that you might not have been expecting. So a really good way to start. And the realization here is that it usually takes about 10 days to about two weeks before the cravings kind of kick down before you get a good rhythm of how you feel at certain times of the day, maybe what it does to your sleep, et cetera. So there's so many different layers there, but really is picking a window and time. Me, I love the way that you outline this is. And it's similar to some fast cycles that we use is increasing that window by a couple hours every day.
Tommy Welling: [00:04:36] Yeah. I mean start start somewhere
Speaker3: [00:04:38] Like just skipping breakfast is basically going to set you up for somewhere around maybe a 16 hour mass, but then pushing in a couple of hours every every day or two for for a couple of hours, maybe a week or so after. That can really be a good way to create your own kind of smooth transition towards a much smaller eating window. And on the flipside of that, where we see some people get stuck is that they try sticking a like a 16 hour fasting window with an eight hour eating window. But they they kind of just get comfortable. They're just skipping breakfast and they're not really sure why they're not making more progress. But at the same time, they kind of just get comfortable there and never push themselves outside of that. So, you know, kind of creating a plan for ramping yourself up and for,
Tommy Welling: [00:05:34] You know, getting into longer fasting windows can be a really good way to do it.
Dr. Scott Watier: [00:05:40] Yeah, that's it. We tend to make it too complicated in the beginning, too. So just pick one thing and promise yourself you're going to do it that day and stick to it, which leads into the second mistake or hiccup that we see, which is you're letting calories slip in during your fasting hours so you are not truly fasting. One of the fasting groups that I'm a part of on Facebook, there's thousands of people in this group. And one of the first posts is like all new members must read this, what breaks the fast for fat loss and what does not? And there there's all of this misinformation out there about truly physiologically, can this additive, can this sweetener, can this thing do this? Can that can I have this? Can I have that? And there's all these different things of water, black coffee, green tea, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, you know, can I have a flavored sparkling water, coffee, sweetie's diet sodas, artificial sweeteners, bulletproof coffee, bone broth, comment supplements, because it just goes on and on and on and on right now. Multivitamin multivalent. Right. So what we really want is the simplicity and the consistency here in do not let if you're setting a window, stick to your window and don't let those calories. We call it slippage either in your window or outside or with your window, meaning during your your fasting time, you're consuming things that are going to break your fast. And then the other part of that would be the slippage which this this mistake really isn't alluding to. But it also fits in the same category that then you're not sticking to the eating window. You have to you're going to eat between six and eight p.m. You're going to have your meal. You've got everything planned. But then instead, instead of eight p.m., it turns into midnight.
Tommy Welling: [00:07:22] Yeah. And for each one of those little slip points, they tend to just lead to more slippage points. So even just one little concession eating something that you had planned to avoid or changing the eating window or extending it when you had a plan can tend to lead to more of those concessions. And, you know, they do stack on top of each other and know two of those is worse than one and three is worse than two, like it's kind of finding. Those points where that might be happening and then breaking the cycle so you can kind of nip it in the bud.
Dr. Scott Watier: [00:08:01] Yep, yep, yep, love it. OK, so watch the slippage. Watch the intake. Be honest with yourself. Keep it simple. Stick to the window and watch, watch, watch those little things that can kind of creep up for me. It's the kids plates. When I'm making breakfast on the weekends, it's like, oh, that little Applegate chicken and maple sausage looks great. No, I've actually at times put things in my mouth. I'm like, wait, what are you doing now?
Tommy Welling: [00:08:27] Why?
Dr. Scott Watier: [00:08:27] Me and my wife will definitely call me out. So I love and appreciate her support and accountability, their data across to carry on another one. So our third one we're going to talk about today would be overconsumption. So a lot of people come to fasting because they've had struggles with tracking. Tracking is a very it's not as simple as some of the apps make it out to be. Calories from exercise can be off by those trackers by up to ninety two percent. Knowing what you're actually consumption should be, what kind of protein, fat. CARB should have. Right. So a lot of people come to fasting to get into a deficit and not have to do all of the counting. This does not give you free reign to just go crazy. I didn't eat today so I can eat whatever I want tomorrow. Right. The doughnuts and the pizza and the ice cream and all that we're doing. We want to do this for health, not just the weight loss benefit of it, or a lot of people do it anyway. So what happens is there is this thing where because you've restricted or you haven't had food, we tend to overeat when looking at some of the research studies in terms of people that fast versus non fasters, the people that fast will have more calories in their next opportunity, your next availability, be that one meal or multiple meals over the next twenty four hours. So we want to make sure that we're not having an invitation just to consume massive amounts of high calorie food, and especially when it comes to carbohydrates, because that's going to help hurt with cravings on the on the following day.
Tommy Welling: [00:10:06] Absolutely. And you know what I love about the the research and the encouraging part of it is that, yes, after a fasting window, we do tend to eat more calories, but we eat less than the equivalent amount of time that we that we burn those additional calories during that fasting window. So, for example, if we went if we did a twenty four hour fast and then we had an eating window, the research shows that that we will have more than if if we had eaten maybe six or eight hours ago, but we did not undo all of that time that we were fasting. However, we all know how easy it is to go to a restaurant and just over overconsume at a restaurant. It can be easy. There's a lot of calorie traps right
Dr. Scott Watier: [00:10:57] On the menu. Inserts stay away from the menu, inserts the shiny drink to the 500 calorie Margarita's desserts. The apps are the met the special like those insert menus, right?
Tommy Welling: [00:11:11] Yeah, they can be just falls all over the place. And so, you know, just being aware of that and and understanding the power that your fasting window has and you don't have to undo it. And most of the time you're probably not going to is is just really encouraging. So I love that.
Dr. Scott Watier: [00:11:28] Yeah. And a good target really give away the farm, Tommy, is if you're doing a one meal, a one to two hour window like a one sitting. Yeah. Really 40 to 60 percent. If you, if you are used to tracking. And you know what, those numbers are due for 40 to 60 percent higher fat. Good source of protein, lower carb. If you have a really active day, carbs aren't carbs aren't the devil. They're they're fine. You're going to see a physiological response different. And someone that's a type two diabetic or pre diabetic, that is insulin resistance versus somebody that's more metabolically flexible, like my wife who can eat carbs all day. And it actually helps her lean out. Right. So really, that 40 to 60 percent mark, if you're looking at a caloric number of caloric intake for a fat loss phase, which is really you want to be, like you said, getting all that benefit of the burning off of the stored fat and having the insulin low during those fasting periods. So I thought it I thought this one was a really big one, too, especially if you're more new to fasting. So another mistake, we kind of just overlap. This is why I was I I didn't want to put a number on how many of these common hiccups you would have when you with fasting.
Dr. Scott Watier: [00:12:43] Some of the things that we see, because this one really relates to what we were just talking about, is like really eating, you know, the wrong foods and some of the foods can cause. And I did a CGM test. A couple of weeks, to kind of recap that and actually put that together is like a separate episode or a monologue or a highlight reel or whatever you want to call it, of my experience with it, because there were some really crazy things, which one of them is coffee. We'll talk about that in a minute. But there's certain foods that I would have expected to do something right with the monitor, and they didn't. And then there were other things where I was like, oh, this is going to be a great meal. And I was like, oh, man. Like, you know, that really kind of tanked me. So you could be eating the wrong foods or not getting enough of the right foods, which could be messing up your your your fasting plan, so to speak.
Tommy Welling: [00:13:38] Yeah. You know, and we've run into this a few times where, you know, when you start doing longer, fast, you can really quickly see the insulin sensitivity come back. You can see the blood sugar volatility really like flatten out in a in a very therapeutic way. But if if when we're breaking those fast, we're taking in too much of the wrong types of foods, the ones that that lead to the same volatility that we're trying to control, like the deep dish pizza or the the really the larger desserts and just things like that that we probably know we shouldn't be having. But, you know, especially if if that last fasting window kind of became an opportunity to overindulge and that happens too often, that can really negate all of all of the benefit. And it can make for some really volatile results to where you see the scale move down and then it moves back up quickly. And then that can be very frustrating and can be very demotivating. So so just just finding those those little culprits or the big culprits and controlling them as you need to can be a great way to make sure that you're staying on track and keep getting results.
Dr. Scott Watier: [00:14:53] This is one of the cool realizations came from in terms of eating your protein in your fat first and then eating your carbohydrates after showed a significant decrease in the blood sugar spike in a meal. So let's say you're having a sweet sweet potato broccoli with butter, something that we typically in our house and, you know, grilled marinated chicken. So eating the broccoli and the protein, the butter, the broccoli and the protein first and then going to the sweet potato after you know, after you consume. My wife eats this way. She eats her plate in my settings, right where I typically will go around the plate. So it wasn't really any drastic change for her, not that she was doing the long term fasting that I was. But, you know, just putting, you know, focusing on those foods and the possibility that you're eating the wrong foods, you know, like you said time and then taking it one step farther and eating the protein and the fat first made a big difference when I was doing the CGM. So you want to be doing good fats, veggies, fruits, quality meats, nuts, seeds, good healthy oils, et cetera. This leads me into another one. That was a big realization for me was the reliance on coffee. So when people come to fasting, coffee, black coffee, caffeine is known as a a hunger buster. Right. It's like brings down your hunger cues. Right. And there's some benefits to kind of curbing your hunger pangs when you get used to it.
Dr. Scott Watier: [00:16:33] And, you know, for me, this one goes hand in hand with hydration, which as I know is another one that we want to talk about. But using coffee as a crutch, this is something that I live through for poor sleep, high stress. It's a mood enhancer, right? It's like, oh, I'm going to go to Starbucks and get my coffee. Granted, that's a whole nother set of booby traps there in terms of the stuff like, yeah, it's like, oh, I'll get a mocha chocolate almond milk latte and it's like four hundred eighteen calories, seventy five grams of sugar. So actually there is some studies out there that contribute over overdependence on coffee can actually contribute to weight gain over time. And for me I noticed I was drinking my coffee in the morning with my Sigmon and I would have a spike. And it actually can relate to making you less insulin sensitive over time and more likely to store fat. If I go back to when I was consuming the most coffee, guess what? Sleep was the worst. My stress was the highest and I was struggling to lose weight. So I have had to curb my coffee now knowing that I am getting a little spike from it, but I still feel good and it's something that I look forward to in the morning. You know, it's part of my morning routine. So I see that as a benefit long term, as long as I'm still getting the results.
Tommy Welling: [00:17:51] Yeah, I think that's a great point because I think just just the. For for so many of us, our morning ritual revolves around the coffee pot, the coffee maker, and it kind of starts there, everything starts there for a lot of us. And just the fact that black coffee and water would be like the two main things. OK, well, what what can I have when I'm on my fast? OK. Well, black coffee and water is usually the answer to that question. OK, so so then there's kind of a gap there. OK, well I'm used to having lunch right now. What could I do. Maybe I'll go make myself a cup of black coffee, but as it gets later on in the day, it can start to throw off our sleep cycles a bit. And as you said, if that leads to a worse night's sleep or not, getting enough consistent deep sleep, that can really, really throw off our fasting results, too, because we we need all of that, that that sleep time to actually burn through the fat, to continue the fasting window. But but most of all, to increase our insulin sensitivity just one night where where we get an hour or so of of less sleep than what we need decreases our insulin sensitivity. I think it was 20 to 30 percent. I mean, it comes back quickly the next day. You get you get the right amount of sleep. But if if those kind of days keep stacking on top of each other, then that can lead to a serious stall in your progress and frustration.
Dr. Scott Watier: [00:19:27] Yeah, it's it's it's my gosh, the trifecta. Right. Previous experience was sleep stress and insulin resistance. So it was like just this massive overlap of problems. And once we started peeling the layers off, so a high load of coffee, I was really cool research article. I don't have it on hand, but it just popped into my head that coffee has actually has a net positive hydration effect in one of these studies I was looking at. So some people like, oh, don't drink too much coffee. It's bad for your adrenals as well if you got a good source. Coffee, a good organic roast, coffee, having a cup of coffee on a fast is going to be, in our opinion, overly beneficial. So. That leads with the sleep conversation into not maintaining other lifestyle habits that you could be undoing the benefits of fasting or could be contributing to the struggle bus effect with fasting. So meaning what you eat and don't eat. We like to focus on when you eat and when you don't eat versus the what, the when versus the what, so to speak. But you also need to look at are you getting quality sleep like you mentioned, Tommy? Are you managing your stress levels. Right. And then do you have a healthy habit or hobby or social component, spiritual component, you know, stress relief component, something that you have that you can go to that can help you relax, disconnect, recentre, so to speak. And we talk a lot about these situations on our coaching calls.
Tommy Welling: [00:21:01] Yeah, finding finding those balance points, those center points can be really, really beneficial. And if we don't have those, it can be tough to maintain those those connection points to our our strong feelings of why why are we doing this? Why are we going thirty six or seventy two hours with without eating, maintaining that that source of energy and motivation to stay connected to your Y and to, you know, to, to reach your long term goals. Those are important things. And another one of those lifestyle habits is, is actually the hydration that that we briefly discussed before. And that goes along with with the other points that we've talked about, too. But, you know, if you think about it, especially for us to clear out the first few pounds, especially if you're new to fasting and you haven't really experienced that, that loss of glycogen, the stored sugar and stored carbohydrates, that that takes a lot of water with it. That's where some of the initial decrease in blood pressure and some of those feelings of wooziness can come, can come from. But they're also responsible for several of those pounds right in the beginning, the so-called water weight. But if if we're not taking enough water, then the body doesn't really want to let go of that additional glycogen because it takes the water to kind of flesh it out. So making sure to stay really well hydrated is going to be an important point to quell the cravings and get rid of that stored glycogen to ninety ounces.
Dr. Scott Watier: [00:22:39] Ninety ounces. What did you teaspoons of salt. If you're just starting out, if you're doing 18 plus hour fast, it's going to make a huge difference. We encourage you not to complain about it. Just do it. It'll get easier. The flushing effect will stop, but you will absolutely see the benefit. So the last one is we talked a little bit about the moving too quickly in the beginning, but there's also the opposite sometimes, which is you're moving too slowly. So if you're not seeing the results, you can look at these other I don't even know how many we mentioned six, seven, eight, ten, how many things we just went over. To be honest, I was going to ask you, here we go for water yet. But you you filled in the gap. So people on the and we're on Zoome here. I was trying to get your attention and then you just you already handled it. So in terms of the moving too slow, sometimes if you if you're not seeing the results, check yourself with the other things you just mentioned, but also maybe it's time to push the window a little bit. So maybe if you do get stuck, it is time to dive into the deep end and, you know, move out of the kiddie pool. Like, let's go, let's push the window. You've been doing it. You had some results, but it stopped. Well, if you enjoyed what you just went through. Right. And you had some wins and the scale was moving and you felt better, better energy, you're started working out during your fasting window, etc., then it's time to kind of pivot in a or maybe not see the benefit or stall. But I like I like this list and it's not exhaustive. So if there's more that you guys are hearing out there, please let us know. We definitely love the feedback in the conversations with Tommy. Anything else to add before we wrap up?
Tommy Welling: [00:24:09] Yeah, no, I just I really like that last point that you made, and I think that's a great point for an action step for everybody, because, you know, no matter how long your longest fast is, whether it's it's twelve hours or sixteen hours or, you know, it's it's the 30 day fast, you know, there's there's always there's always room to improve and to get better and to be able to push yourself past your current boundaries. So whether you're you're seeing results or they've kind of slowed down, take a look at what your longest fast is and what you think you're capable of. And why not make a plan to to push yourself past your current boundaries, because that's where the growth always happens and that's what we're looking to do.
Dr. Scott Watier: [00:24:53] Yup, yup, yup, love it, absolutely love it, clear, concise and actionable, so perfect. All right, Tommy, so if you guys have been with us for a while, you knew we if you're especially if you're new, you can go to the website, Deforesting for Life Dotcom, download the Fast Start guide. We're continually working on new programs, new projects we've got our challenges are running more frequently now. So we love to keep the journey. You guys being on the fast journey with us, keep it conversational. Reach out to us at info at the Fasting for Life Dotcom. We love to hear from you. Drop us a review. We prefer the five star ones. So hint, hint. Hopefully you're enjoying the content as much as we are in coming up with it, talking about it and producing it. So, Tommy, as always, thank you, sir.
Tommy Welling: [00:25:45] And we'll talk to him. OK, bye. So you've heard today's episode and you may be wondering where do I start? Head on over to the Fasting for Life Dotcom and sign up for our newsletter where you'll receive fasting tips and strategies to maximize results and fit fasting into your day to day life. Why are you there?
Dr. Scott Watier: [00:26:03] Download your free Fast Start guide to get started today. Don't forget to subscribe on iTunes, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts. Make sure to leave us a five star review and we'll be back next week with another episode of Fasting for Life.
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