In this episode, Dr. Scott and Tommy discuss an interesting article looking at the effects of morning versus afternoon exercise on metabolic health and insulin resistance. The data are extremely supportive of planning exercise times to drastically improve metabolism, fat burning, and fasting results. They also introduce the Insulin Assessment tool to track long-term metabolic health, which can be found at the link below.
Fasting For Life Ep. 85
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. Each episode is a short conversation on
Tommy Welling: [00:00:17] 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. Hey, Scott. How are you doing? Fantastic, my friend. And looking forward to the discussion today. Thank you all for listening in. We are going to have a cool conversation around exercise and insulin sensitivity. We're going to single out the men here in the beginning. But don't worry for all of our faithful female listeners as well. We're going to talk about a new digital resource that we've created to help get a handle on how to figure out whether or not you do have some insulin resistance and why are we not fasting may be working or just kind of talk through the different options and things like that as well. So you're going to have an opportunity to find that in today's show notes. So I'm excited. Tommy, I this is something that I had not seen before in terms of a study. And they actually say this in the limitations of the study section, that there hasn't been a study that's looked at this specific type of situation comparing exercise, being comparing the morning versus afternoon exercise kind of regimens.
Tommy Welling: [00:01:57] Yeah. And, you know, with respect to insulin resistance and insulin sensitivity, it's it's a really cool angle. I agree. I haven't seen this done in any other studies as well. So this was this is very new information seen like through a rigorous scientific means, but at the same time makes sense to me on an intuitive basis. But it's nice to see that the data that backs up some of the things that, you know, that we're observing.
Dr. Scott Watier: [00:02:24] Yeah, and this is new, too. So this is January of twenty twenty one out of physiological reports. And it was exercise training elicits superior metabolic effects when performed in the afternoon compared to the morning in metabolically compromised humans. So there's a lot of stuff to unpack there. If you're new to the podcast or if you've been listening for a while now, we appreciate you all. If you're new, what we typically do is we'll pick a research article or something from our challenges or conversations or real life applications that we've experienced. And we try to distill it down to one or two actionable things that you can do around fasting, the fasting lifestyle, how to use it. I've been fasting for weight loss, all these different subsets of conversation. So when we start an article or we start an episode off, like today, we're going to break down the study and then we'll break down how it applies. And today, like I mentioned previously, just a few moments ago, I'm also excited to talk about the insulin assessment, which is a two page PDF that you guys can download and apply into your day to day as well. So back to the exercise training, eliciting your superior metabolic effect. I want to break down kind of what took place in the study. So to begin with and then we'll break it down into into the actionable things and how it applies to fasting and why fasting is superior, in our opinion, for undoing insulin resistance and allowing the weight to come off for good in health, you know, in terms of long term metabolic metrics to improve.
Dr. Scott Watier: [00:04:03] Right. So here, really just start the conversation. We're going to talk about metabolic processes that are regulated by your circadian rhythm or your hypothalamus, which is kind of your central clock. Right. So you've got things that are affected by your light and dark cycles, your peripheral clocks. So the stuff outside of the brain or the hypothalamus is going to be your liver, your skeletal muscle and your fat tissue, your adipose tissue. And these are the three things. And we're going to land the plane here with a major takeaway from the study on how the difference, timing and exercise affected the liver, skeletal and adipose tissue. In regards to insulin sensitivity, insulin sensitivity is the opposite of insulin resistance. Insulin resistance can be seen as weight loss, resistance and all of the other symptoms that you can go and download in that PDF. So full picture here. The time of day can affect your exercise capacity and performance and your glycemic profile. So this study was done in Type two diabetics and metabolically the terminology that they used was metabolically compromised humans. That's a little aggressive to me. So we'll go with blood sugar issues in men. How's that sound?
Tommy Welling: [00:05:20] Yeah, sounds good, and these were both overweight and obese men, so a greater than twenty six for their BMI and average age was was fifty nine in the study. So. Good to know.
Dr. Scott Watier: [00:05:34] Yeah, a couple limitations, smaller study, and they openly admit that as well. And it was looking at a secondary analysis, looking at 12 week aerobic and resistance training programs. So they were looking at things like to max blood lipids. So cholesterol levels and liver fat, things that are related to your liver enzymes and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease in those categories. You mentioned, Tommy, in the men that were had a BMI greater than twenty six to thirty five. So smaller study. But it was cool because they looked at the difference between exercise sessions between eight and 10 a.m. versus the three and six p.m. and they didn't really do anything to change their dietary habits. They said just stick with what you're doing. And what we want you to do is add in supervised exercise programs three times a week. And they were two 30 minute cycling sessions and one resistance training session consisting of three sets of ten. So, so low repetitions, really looking at targeting those big larger muscle groups. And the primary outcome was the insulin sensitivity and secondary outcomes. We're looking at more of the exercise, performance and body composition changes, which we know are important for long term health.
Tommy Welling: [00:06:53] Yeah, and what I really liked about this study was just three exercise sessions during the week. So it's not like they were exercising every single day and they didn't have to exercise forever to do this. And so just looking at the design of the study, I almost I didn't expect there to be very dramatic results, you know, very dramatic difference between the two groups and and, you know, exercising in the morning versus exercising at night. I've done both. I never really noticed a very big difference, but I didn't have data to back that up either. And so it is really cool to see the results of the study.
Dr. Scott Watier: [00:07:29] Do you actually just said something there that I had never thought about and that is that I despise working out in the morning. I am an afternoon evening guy all day, every day. Even when I was doing the powerlifting and the Olympic lifting and the, you know, the heavy three, four or five, six hundred pound, I never reached six hundred pounds in my in my squat, but I was the goal. Yeah. That was the goal at one point. So even in my heavy lifting days I always did much, much, much better in the afternoon. And I thought about that until you just mentioned your your history here. So yeah.
Tommy Welling: [00:08:06] Go ahead. You know, I also there was there were several years there where I was getting up at four a.m. four thirty so I could hit the gym first thing in the morning. And and I thought that that was actually the ideal way to do it. I don't I don't know why. Maybe that's just because a lot of high performers do that, like with a super early workout just starting the day. And I liked where where it put me mentally. But to your point, physically and performance was I thought I was underperforming, you know, like there was never enough coffee to kind of get me to the same place off of, like an afternoon more of an evening kind of energy level four for my workout.
Dr. Scott Watier: [00:08:44] Yeah, I agree. There's definitely a mental for some people, there's a mental clarity in the euphoria that comes with getting the exercise out of the way. Right. Versus the I'll do it after work and then that I'm sure there's research studies out there that back up the the oh, I'll just workout after work and whether or not that actually happens compared to just getting it out of the way in the morning. So not the point of this conversation, but I really want to specifically look at the the outcome measures here and the cool part. About this was it there was a couple of takeaways, one for the women listening. We are going to talk about insulin resistance and. Hip measurements and then a weight to height ratio, which is related, I think a better metric compared to measuring using BMI as a health health relational kind of component or a health metric, even though there is some some good points to the BMI chart. But when we're looking at the conclusions of this study, the the main things that I mentioned earlier was the peripheral insulin sensitivity. So that's meaning the insulin sensitivity, your body's ability to get and process and the food that you ingest in turn, the fat burning process on in the weight loss process on. Right. So insulin resistance is the opposite of insulin sensitivity. And the three tissues that the study looked at was the skeletal muscle, the fat cells themselves, and then the the the liver tissue. Right. So your liver as a storage or a energy factory to be able to produce glucose or sugar when it's needed. So when we looked at these metrics as well as fasting plasma glucose, so looking at your blood sugar levels in a fasted state, there were greater improvements when training was performed in the afternoon then compared to the morning. And specifically, Tommy, you were kind of blown away by those numbers in the fact that there was such a large difference just by shifting that workout timing from the morning to the evening.
Tommy Welling: [00:10:57] Yeah, like the the amount of difference is significant, a significant improvement in all three of those in the performance metrics, in the blood metrics, but also the actual changes in the blood metrics for the morning workout. If you have insulin resistance. It was actually those those workouts were actually taking you on the wrong side of the equation. They were making those things a little bit worse, at least temporarily, whereas the afternoon workouts were actually bringing you to the positive, to the improvement side of it. So, I mean, that's substantial because if you are experiencing insulin resistance right now, let alone prediabetes or diabetes, every everything that you can do in your favor to get higher insulin sensitivity. And this is why we we talk about insulin sensitivity a lot and an insulin friendly lifestyle. Each little thing is important because they all add up and and doing everything that you can throughout the day to increase your insulin sensitivity is is a really beneficial thing.
Dr. Scott Watier: [00:12:05] Yes. If you guys have been using we did a few episodes on walking and how it can blunt blood sugar spikes, post ingestion of food, even just walking in general has has good overall health metrics. Long term, it's easy if you if you're not a big workout person and you want to get the greatest benefit, using fasting and adopting intermittent fasting and time restricted feeding, however you want to word it. But this was this was really, really interesting as the main marker, which is the insulin mediated plasma, the main marker of insulin sensitivity in your fat cells was was incredibly increased in the afternoon compared to the morning. So the net change between the two was was almost 10 percent. Right, of an increased insulin sensitivity in the afternoon and directly related to your fat cells, that's important because that's part of the leptin and insulin resistance problem of the weight loss issues. When you have insulin resistance, it's harder to lose weight when you're when you have that resistance component. So I also like that you saw a greater decrease in fat mass and body fat percentage. So never mind like the the increases in maximum power output. I always felt weak and tired in the morning, even though I would do my workouts. So, you know, it was cool to see that. From a big picture perspective, we just zoom out and maybe you've hit a plateau or you're new to fasting or, you know, you have some insulin resistance, you've got blood sugar, you've got diabetes simply just shifting. And again, you mentioned it 30 minutes a day to cardio based workouts and one resistance training. I would almost say you do two and two. Sure. Right. So just kind of rotate every other day. You're going to see a 10 percent increase in your insulin sensitivity just by moving your workout to three to six p.m. And I love how it taps into kind of one of the super systems, like the circadian rhythm in the hypothalamus and and just all those additional term health benefits that come with it to.
Tommy Welling: [00:14:18] Yeah, it's phenomenal. And what we also know already is that your insulin sensitivity is worse later on in the day. So it starts off. There's an interesting thing that happens with security and rhythms and our and our insulin levels as well as our glucose. Whenever we wake up in the morning and, you know, basically we have a we have a rush to kind of get us up and Adam in the morning, kind of like Energis and fuel the body to get going. But as we go throughout the day, we know that the same meal ingested later on in the day will have a greater effect and a worse effect on blood sugar and insulin. So I'm going to theorize here that some of these greater effects that we're seeing, the greater improvements in the afternoon exercise may be related to how much how much of an of an effect it can have because you have the opportunity for for a greater improvement in the afternoon time versus in the morning time. So it's it's really interesting. And I'm glad to see some some numbers put to some of these things because I've just never seen some of these numbers before.
Dr. Scott Watier: [00:15:29] Yeah, there's two things I want to hit on. One is the male female. The fact that this study was specifically geared towards towards men, they did mention that it was a smaller sample sample size, but they did say here, additionally, our investigation only included males and cannot be generalized to the entire population. Of course, although similar training induced metabolic adaptations, regardless of exercise timing, have been reported in adult males and females. So this has not been overly exhausted or studied in humans, but they're considering that the subjects, you know, overall, the overall benefits definitely show the ability to, you know, in terms of like a long distance relationship kind of apply to the general population. So I would go with based off of what they're saying, their their knowledge, the limitations, but also that the. The depth or the breadth of the improvements in the afternoon are really looking at the fact that this is going to benefit most people regardless of of the male female distinction. And they I'm excited because this is seems to be a new direction that's being taken when we're looking at insulin resistance and the insulin or the carb insulin model of obesity.
Dr. Scott Watier: [00:17:00] And we've done some podcast episodes on that, too. But tell me, I want to make sure after all of the conversations and the metrics and wow, this is great. Look at these men crushing it. These Type two diabetics, they've got blood sugar issues. How does this apply to the Internet and faster? How does it apply to the general population? Well, I love the fact that they mentioned insulin sensitivity and resistance. And that's one of the things that we talk at length about in terms of why fasting is so powerful, because it is able to decrease your insulin, allow your satiety hormones and the hormone levels to balance out over time and your hunger fuegos cues go down and you're able to get a better handle on your relationship with food and your cravings. And you get the weight off faster, you start feeling better. The health then comes on the back end. And that's why we really, you know, after one of the biggest questions we get is, well, how do I know if I have insulin resistance, then what do I do about it? That's where the insulin assessment kind of comes into play.
Tommy Welling: [00:17:56] Yeah, because, you know, for for most folks, we just have the scale. The scale is kind of the shiny object that gives us that spits out a metric, a number that we can use to track and to understand if we're if we're on the right track or if we're doing the right things. But, you know, the scale isn't always so precise and it doesn't always change even when we're we're doing what we need to be doing. Sometimes, like you mentioned, hormones rebalancing things can take time and sometimes the scale might be stagnant, even though we're doing what we need to be doing. So having some other some other things that we can use to actually measure our progress in the long term and kind of understand if there is an underlying issue, even if maybe maybe weight seems to be where it should be or it feels comfortable there. But at the same time, there's other things going on. An insulin sensitivity measurement can can be can highlight certain things that can be helpful to know.
Dr. Scott Watier: [00:19:03] Yeah. And that's why we kind of created this. It's subjective based. But on the back side, on page two, there's a couple of objective measures that you can take. And I want to unpack this, you know, transitioning from the benefit of discussing the increase in insulin sensitivity, which is the opposite of the resistance from that study. It's like, all right, well, I can't just go and get a faster insulin test. And we know that tracking blood sugars is good, especially if you're a diabetic, to give you an idea of your trending upward or downwards in terms of your fasting blood sugar and your body's response to the foods you're eating. What we can do better if we had that ability to have that, the fasting insulin blood test done. But we can't. Right. It's not just something. There's no way to test insulin resistance at home. So the insulin resistance assessment is subjective information on things like do you feel hungry immediately after or a few hours after eating? If you miss a meal, do you feel irritable or fatigued or angry butane to retain water with salty foods? Do you feel lethargic after a meal without caffeine cravings? You know, you feel tired in the afternoon or early evening. Do you carry any extra weight around the midsection that transitions into the second half of this assessment, which you guys can just click the link in the show notes you have mood swings which kind of seem to be related to eating carbohydrates or alcohol. You have you been diagnosed with high blood sugar or pre diabetes, blood pressure, cholesterol considerations, relatives and family history considerations. And then the last piece on here is what the second half of the assessment addresses, which is the waist circumference and its indication and direct relationship to say to to showing that you may actually have some underlying insulin resistance that has not been diagnosed.
Tommy Welling: [00:20:53] Yeah, because that really gets at that visceral, that midsection fat that we know is the most dangerous type of fat that we carry with us and is also most highly correlated to insulin resistance. And so as as insulin sensitivity comes back, as we get the weight off as that, as the waist circumference comes down, all of these things tend to follow along with it. They grow together, but they also shrink together as well. So this can be a good way to kind of keep a pulse on things as you're going through your long term fasting journey and seeing how things improve over time.
Dr. Scott Watier: [00:21:32] This is one of the conversations, too, is that BMI has correlations between a higher BMI and health issues, right. Long term health problems. So the waist circumference is one of the biggest things that we see in our challenges in our community group and that that people will well look at how else do I know I'm making progress, right? Closer fitting, better people are noticing more energy, sleeping better. But the waist circumference measurements, people some of these times will be like, I lost four inches in my waist over the course of two weeks. Well, the second page of this shows you how waist circumference is an excellent proxy for overfilled fat cells like we talked about in the study, where the glucose can be stored as fat. Right. When the insulin switch is turned off from fat burning. And it it also looks at what's called a waist to height ratio. That is a direct predictor of insulin resistance. So you can only have glucose or fat kind of being oxidized at one time. Right. So our bodies are either going to store it or burn it. And we want to be able to track this progress over time. So the second half of the insulin assessment is geared at showing you how to properly take a waist circumference measurement and then that waist circumference measurement and its indication in relationship to insulin resistance. And then one step further, taking your waist circumference to height ratio. And you can simply we'll put this this is not in the actual assessment, but it's in the show notes. You can just click the link and it'll bring you to a calculator. You put in your measurements and it'll put you into a category of hay with your height to weight ratio. And then the score from the insulin assessment. You can get some other ways over the next six weeks, three months, six months, 12 months to really see if you're making progress in those long term goals, which is getting the weight off and improving the health metrics over time.
Tommy Welling: [00:23:38] Yeah, and I really like what you can what you can do with that information, because, again, even if the scale is it moving right now, but you're you're creating clear boundaries, you're sticking to your fasting windows, you're eating good, nutritious food intentionally. It it can be really good to see how other things are improving, because those are those are really important for long term positive relationships with food and understanding that we're not always seeing differences in the scale even when we're doing all the right things.
Dr. Scott Watier: [00:24:09] Yeah. One hundred percent agree and evaluate what you measure. Know, we say that a lot like you value what you measure. You know, what money's coming in every month and you know where it's going. You know, you're putting savings away for the vacation or the new couch or the down payment on the house or whatever it is you you value what you measure. So you track that stuff incessantly. Right. You know, let's just say because you really want to get to take the family, whatever it is. Right. And when we're looking at our health metrics other than going to get our yearly blood work or if you are at the point where you have diabetes, you're checking your blood sugars more regularly, that's great. But what we need to do is, is is have more tangible ways to know that we're making progress in between those main check points, because what happens is you just kind of fall off in between. And if you don't have and if you're not measuring things in between or have those ability, that ability to really hone in on some specifics, I feel like that's why, you know, the weight loss industry, I should say, is so volatile. Right? You lose ten, you gained 15, you lose 18, you gained 15 back. Like, we really want to give you some tools that you can have to know that you're making progress, because that's just going to keep you more committed to the plan long term.
Tommy Welling: [00:25:26] Yeah, absolutely it is. And I think taking a couple of the things that we talked about today and actually putting them into your fasting plan overall is going to be a really good way to continue with that momentum. So, like, if you're already exercising, you're you're doing deliberate exercising. Try moving a few of those exercises to the afternoon time versus the morning time. See how you feel you're likely to see a performance boost, insulin sensitivity boost when you need it later on in the day, especially if you're used to, let's say, doing a one meal a day dinner, like an Obade dinner, like like we see a lot of people doing, especially after downloading the fast archived at the website, the fasting for Life. So, you know, just just take a couple of the things, put them into your your routine and see how your results are and let us know and download the insulin assessment as well.
Dr. Scott Watier: [00:26:20] Yeah, I was just going to say, there's there's really we really have two action steps today. Right. One is if you're new to fasting, go download fast. Like you said, the fast are good, but you can really just. Increase your results, long term results in terms of insulin sensitivity, because, again, the study clearly showed that peripherals and insulin sensitivity in the skeletal muscle, the fat cells and the liver, as well as improvements in your your blood glucose levels. Right. So your blood sugar levels improved in that three to six window. So start working out or move. The workout is actually step number one. Actually, step number two is get the fast start guide or the insulin assessment and really start to level up your fasting game. So, Tommy, appreciate your time, sir. I was super excited about this article. We got to start off with the men based off of the the actual information from the study. We feel that it's able to say, you know what, this applies to most people. I know this study was in men with blood sugar issues, but I say, why not give it a shot and see how you feel? And that all comes down to the sustainability, right. So what's going to work for you long term is going to be different from somebody else. But tried and true fasting is an incredible way to get the wins under your belt quickly, start feeling better, regain control and on that simplicity. So, as always, thank you for the conversation and we'll talk soon.
Tommy Welling: [00:27:51] Thank you. 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.
Dr. Scott Watier: [00:28:07] Why are there 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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