On this episode of the Anti-Aging Hacks podcast, Gin Stephens and Faraz Khan discuss the profound benefits of fasting and how to create an intermittent fasting lifestyle.

Gin Stephens is the author of the New York Times and USA Today bestseller Fast. Feast. Repeat., and Delay, Don’t Deny: Living an Intermittent Fasting Lifestyle, an Amazon #1 best seller in the weight loss category. 

Gin has been living the intermittent fasting lifestyle since 2014. This lifestyle shift allowed her to lose over 80 pounds and launch her intermittent fasting website, Facebook support groups, four self-published books, and three top ranked podcasts—Intermittent Fasting Stories,  The Intermittent Fasting Podcast with cohost Melanie Avalon, and the Life Lessons podcast with cohost Sheri Bullock.  

01:39: How Gin got into fasting and weight loss?

Gin has had a weight problem since college. It was like a rollercoaster – weight continually going up and down.
In 2014, she went on a trip where she recognized how weight starts to distract her movement abilities. That was when her weight loss journey began, and she achieved a weight loss of over 80 pounds!
Intermediate fasting was the key to this mission.

08:03: How would you explain what fasting actually is?

“It is an umbrella term for whenever you purposefully have periods where you are not eating and have periods of time where are you eating.”

If you are using a program that tells you not to eat at a certain time, it falls under that intermediate fasting umbrella.

A lot of people heard for a 16-8 rule. It is an intermediate fasting term for eating for only 8 hours in a day. You can also set it up to 23-1. That means that you can eat for only 1 hour a day.

Down day/fasting day means a period of 36 to 42 hours of not eating.

Up day is the day after fast. There are a lot of different approaches…

13:00 Do you have a perspective on which time windows people fast and eat?

The whole idea of circadian rhythm fasting is fascinating. The problem with it is because people have different circadian rhythms. Some of them are awakening up early with the sun, some of them late, so it is best to eat when you feel you should eat.

Integrestly, there isn’t any study that compares early time-restricted eating to late time-restricted eating with all other variables being equal.

16:08: What are the benefits of fasting (other than anti-aging of course)?

There are many hormonal and metabolic things that go on during fasting, which, unfortunately, doesn’t happen when we follow a low-calorie diet.

Fasting get us in a state of very low insulin. With the low level of insulin, we do get into ketosis and burn more fat.

Intermediate fasting is the fountain of youth and really good for anti-aging because it does many things in our bodies. It up-regulates levels of growth hormone.

There is research that shows an increase in bone density for people who are fasting. Fasting has a positive impact on autophagy as well.

20:55 What does metabolic flexibility mean to you? Why is it so important?

Metabolic flexibility means your body can burn either carbs/glucose or fat for fuel.

Many people are not metabolic flexible, and their primary fuel source comes from sugar. Sugar increases insulin, when the insulin level is high we cannot burn fat.

Once you get metabolic flexibility, your body gets the sense to shift fuel sources as needed. So you could burn fat when needed, and burn carbs when they are available.

Metabolic flexibility is a great anti-aging tactic.

24:10: How many calories are allowed in the fasting window?

It depends on why you are fasting. There are three goals with fasting.

The first one is to keep our insulin levels low. We should avoid any sweet food because it triggers our brain to spike insulin. Stick to plain sparkling water, plain water, black coffee, and bitter tea.

The second goal is to tap into our stored fat for fuel. We do that by not taking in other sources of fat.

The third goal is to have increased autophagy. Protein shuts down autophagy, so people should not drink bone broth – it is full of protein.

29:53: In terms of what works for newcomers in your group, which patterns that you noticed?

She recommends a “28-day fast start”. There are three different plans, and one of them really eases you in and lets you be fat adapted. This literally teaches your body to fast by easing yourself in.

There is also a more brutal way, which many people surprisingly love. They just skip some meals.

At any time, you can go up and down. We need to understand that intermediate fasting is actually a lifestyle.

32:49: What are your recommendations for diet in the feeding window?

Every human responds differently to different types of food. So there is no one best way to eat. It is based on how your body responds to other things. Listen to your body. Trust the way you feel.

38:26: What is your perspective on women fasting for 23 hours a day?

We know that women’s bodies are sensitive to over restriction. Over restriction is a problem for women. In terms of fasting, that is not really a good thing. It can have a negative impact on women’s hormones.

Also, over restriction is not good for men’s bodies either. Over restriction hurts us metabolically and hormonal in so many ways. Intermediate fasting is not an over restriction when you do fast, feast, repeat.

43:28: Where do people can find you online?

Gin’s facebook group

Other resources:

Check out my fasting interview with Jim LeValle on longer fasting windows, including a 5-day fast.

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