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About This Episode
Intermittent Fasting | The Many Benefits of Going Without Food
In this episode of Discover with Dr. Dan | Proactive Health, Dr. Dan is joined by intermittent fasting experts, Dr. Scott Watier and Tommy Welling, to discover all of the benefits to fasting. Both Scott and Tommy have plenty of experience with fasting and they help coach others on living a proactive lifestyle. Tune in to the episode to learn more.
What is Intermittent Fasting?
The experts from Fasting For Life share some in depth secrets to optimizing one’s lifestyle by practicing daily food moderation. The main goal of this organization is to educate others on how to combat obesity and diabetes and to regain health by lowering the body’s insulin levels with intermittent fasting. With a plethora of confusing information available on the web about this subject, Scott assures listeners that simply, “It is a time where you do not eat and there is a time where you eat. So literally just a fasting window and an eating window.” During the fasting window, it’s important that you don’t eat anything that causes your blood sugar and insulin levels to spike. This ultimately causes a chain reaction that puts the body in energy storage mode, rather than weight loss mode. With intermittent fasting, the body stays in long stints of weight loss mode because it uses a great deal of preserved energy to function during that time. Scott and Tommy hope their work will help others to not only hit their goals, but continue to optimize their health by maintaining a lifestyle based around intermittent fasting.
The Benefits to Skipping Meals
The benefits to intermittent fasting are endless. According to Scott, the longest recorded fast went on for 382 days, in which Angus Barbieri lost 276 pounds, surviving only on tea, coffee, soda water, and vitamins. But worry not, you don’t have to fast for 382 days to lose weight or to take control of your diet. There are different windows for eating and not eating that fit different lifestyles. Some might prefer to go 24 hours without food, others prefer a 16:8 fasting to eating ratio (16:8 being the most common with 16 hours fasting and eight hours eating). According to Scott, the magic happens within the 12-36 hour fasting periods. In this time frame, inflammation decreases, serotonin levels increase, and intestinal stem cells are being repaired. “It’s heart health… It’s reducing inflammation. And, as you know, inflammation is the root cause of all disease.” So not only do those who practice intermittent fasting experience weight loss, they also gain all of these other benefits that help repair the body in various ways.
Creating a Lifelong Habit
Many who start their weight loss journey can’t keep the weight off after reaching their goal because they lack an overall shift in lifestyle and healthy habits. This is how many diets fail. When you don’t make the necessary lifestyle changes such as eating more veggies and increasing physical activity, the unwanted weight comes back. For those practicing intermittent fasting, one of the best ways to make this a lifelong habit is to find a fasting window that works best for you. Start small, with a time frame that pushes you beyond your comfort zone, and sit in that window for two weeks. Allow your body to acclimate and slowly expand that fasting period to something greater. That being said, both Tommy and Scott agree that the best thing you can do is to understand your intention behind why you’re starting to fast. Once you have your intention set in stone, it’s easier to stay consistent. “Stick to your fasting, set the timer, hit the goal. And if you do that 80% of the time, you’re going to see the results.”
To learn more about the benefits of limiting food consumption, check out the Discover with Dr. Dan | Proactive Health podcast episode below, and be sure to subscribe for new episodes each Tuesday.
Dr. Dan Gubler: (00:09)
Welcome to Discover with Dr. Dan | The Proactive Health Podcast. This podcast is sponsored by Brilliant, an innovative proactive wellness company that helps people to live a healthier and happier life by discovering and using bioactive natural ingredients to formulate products, to help them discover and unleash their innate brilliance. See feelbrilliant.com for more information. Today we have Dr. Scott Watier and Tommy Welling as our guests on the show today and we’re delighted to have them. Quick introduction about Dr. Scott and Tommy. Dr. Scott Watier is one of the co-creators of Fasting For Life. He now sits on the growth advisory board of a successful group of multidisciplinary health clinics, as well as part of the clinical protocol and research team in which he uses his clinical experience and decision-making to impact better patient outcomes. He received his undergraduate Bachelor of Science degree in biological sciences with a focus in anatomy and physiology.
Dr. Dan Gubler: (01:08)
Dr. Scott also received his Doctorate of Chiropractic degree from Palmer College of Chiropractic in 2011. From 2012, until 2018. He owned and operated one of the largest wellness clinics in Houston, seeing hundreds of patients a week. It was this experience combined with his personal health struggles that motivated him to want to make a bigger impact. Having always had a love and passion for nutrition, exercise and preventative healthcare, Doctor Scott’s journey to regaining his health plays a huge role in the motivations behind Fasting For Life. Tommy Welling is the other co-creator for Fasting For Life. He earned a master’s degree in human physiology and a bachelor’s degree in psychology. During his clinical residency and pre-med program, Tommy experienced the difficulties in and around clinical patient care. Through his focus on clinical application of laboratory research and optimizing patient outcome, this allowed him to navigate his own health journey.
Dr. Dan Gubler: (02:07)
Their goal together, and mission of Fasting For Life is to educate the masses on how to lose weight, regain health and combat the obesity and diabetes epidemics that the country and world are currently experiencing. Through simple techniques, research, and daily, actionable steps, they are creating a movement of preventative and proactive health. Dr. Scott and Tommy, sure delighted to have you guys on the show today.
Tommy Welling: (02:32)
Thanks for having us, Dr. Dan.
Dr. Dan Gubler: (02:34)
Perfect. So intermittent fasting is our topic today. We haven’t talked about this on the podcast, our listeners I’m sure have heard this. It’s a very hot trend and we’re excited to be able to learn basic principles of intermittent fasting. So to get started, what is intermittent fasting?
Dr. Scott Watier: (02:52)
That is, that is the question, right? We, Tommy and I have many conversations and we joke around about the Google machine and Dr. Google and a lot of the information that’s out there. So simply for us, the whole premise of what it is that we do is based around simplicity. So really it is a time where you do not eat and there is a time where you eat. So literally just a fasting window and an eating window. And that’s the basic definition of not consuming anything that will cause a insulin or blood sugar spike in your body.
Dr. Dan Gubler: (03:30)
Okay. Do you drink liquids during that time? Water? Is water okay?
Tommy Welling: (03:35)
Dr. Scott Watier: (03:36)
Yeah, we don’t recommend dry fast.
Dr. Dan Gubler: (03:38)
Tommy Welling: (03:39)
Yep. Right. Yeah. Some people do those for religious purposes. That’s not generally what we’re speaking about. We are going to be consuming plenty of water, some black coffee, black tea. I like a good, unsweetened sparkling water as well. And then kind of beyond that is where some people start to get into the gray areas of defining what exactly is breaking a fast and what’s a strict fast and things like that.
Dr. Dan Gubler: (04:08)
Right. So I’ve noticed that there’s a lot of supplement companies out there. And one of the hot trends for some of these supplement companies, because intermittent fasting is so huge, is to develop what they call intermittent fasting compliant meals. There’s like protein shakes, electrolyte drinks, soups and broths. What are your thoughts about those? Are those intermittent fasting compliant with what you guys see in the literature and what you do?
Tommy Welling: (04:33)
For the most part I would say no, because like you mentioned before, or like Dr. Scott mentioned with the eating windows and the fasting windows, keeping those lines and those boundaries when you’re consuming and when you’re not consuming that’s the foundation. That’s the basis of what we’re talking about here. So when we start to allow other things to come in, even if they are essentially low glycemic or low insulin producing, they are still producing a spike. They are still tipping the scales towards storage mode and away from fat loss mode, which is where we want to stay.
Dr. Scott Watier: (05:09)
And that’s one of the age-old debates. I feel like fasting has been around for forever. It’s tried and true. It is more prevalent now. People are more exposed to it, but one of the biggest questions that we get is what breaks the fast? Can I have this during my window? And to your point, or to your question, a lot of these companies have jumped on the old dogma or old lines of the diet and weight loss model, where you have to have a protocol, like there has to be shakes and snacks and foods and all of these other different things. We really subscribed to the camp of simplifying it where just keep your window, your window. Stick to your fasting, set the timer, hit the goal. And if you do that 80% of the time, you’re going to see the results. So we don’t really subscribe to a lot of those other products out there because it really takes away from the underlying, like Tommy mentioned, the underlying purpose is to make that physiology work in your favor to burn that fat over those times that you’re not eating.
Dr. Dan Gubler: (06:18)
Go ahead Tommy.
Tommy Welling: (06:20)
I was going to say, we do see some supplements and some things that people are, they gravitate towards, or they speak to them for a particular reason. They want to include these things in their diet and in their protocol and that’s okay. But taking those things and putting them into the eating window and keeping a clean fasting window is where we really, really see the great results.
Dr. Dan Gubler: (06:44)
Wonderful. So let’s go through, what are some of the different types of intermittent fasting? I know that people who have, our listeners who have gotten into intermittent fasting, there’s some terms that they’ve probably heard. Terms like: four four twelve, eighteen six, OMAD, walk us through some of those.
Dr. Scott Watier: (07:01)
Sure. So to begin 16:8 is the most common. Tommy, I’ll go through the first couple if you want to do the last few.
Tommy Welling: (07:08)
Dr. Scott Watier: (07:08)
The most common ones are 16:8 meaning you’d be fasted for 16 hours. This is a really easy place to start. If you finish your meal in the evening and then you go to bed without sacking, and then you wake up in the morning and you just push breakfast until lunch, and you’ve hit 16 hours. So that’s a great place for a lot of people to start, and the most common. Then you’ll see things like where you go to an 18 hour window, which is an 18 hours fasted, six hour split. Then you have one that’s been commonly named the warrior fast, which I don’t know why. But it’s the 20 hours slash four hour window.
Dr. Scott Watier: (07:47)
So 20 hours of fasting versus a four hour window where you might have two small meals, you might be able to plan that around your workout, et cetera. And then we go into what we really like to get people started on for rapid fat loss to really get those wins under your belt quicker is OMAD, which is one meal a day.
Dr. Dan Gubler: (08:05)
Tommy Welling: (08:07)
Yeah, and we typically describe or recommend OMAD as a 30 to 60 minute eating window. So not an extended meal of two, three hours. This isn’t like a large spread, multi-course meal necessarily. But keeping it within a 30 to 60 minute window tends to be a really good point for most people that really, like Dr. Scott said, see some really good wins and get them under their belt. And then from there, we can keep extending the fasting window. But a lot of people like to do a longer fast, because there comes into play a lot of physiological benefits with some of the longer fasts as we get into a 36 and a 48 and a 72 hour. And even for cancer preventative purposes and for actual treatment purposes, seven and ten day fasts, sometimes under supervision, have been recommended in the literature as well.
Dr. Dan Gubler: (09:10)
So when we eat this meal, this OMAD, is there a certain macronutrient ratio? Are we eating mostly carbs or eating mostly fat? I’ve heard a lot of questions that when we eat this meal, is it the Mediterranean diet we should follow? Is it the keto diet? The paleo diet? What should you do there?
Dr. Scott Watier: (09:31)
Yeah. Great question. So probably the second most question we get, what breaks the fast? So people understand the fasting concept, right? The window’s pretty simple, but the second most, the biggest question we get is what do we eat? So it’s, we do not subscribe to one specific lifestyle. Carnivore, whole 30, paleo, low carb, keto. I’ve done all of those with limited success and it’s really up to the individual and what their goals are. So to answer that it really comes down to differentiating and splitting the two separate physiological processes that take place, which is fat loss and muscle building. Like building that lean, healthy body tissue. And a lot of people want to blend those together when it comes to the dietary recommendations. So there’s a lot of research on both sides of the aisle for optimal muscle building or muscle growth versus optimal fat loss.
Dr. Scott Watier: (10:31)
So when it comes down to the diet question or the what to eat question, it’s like, well, what are you doing that’s working? Let’s start there. So if you prefer and feel better on a more even macro split: 33, 33 33, then let’s start there and put in some, keep it simple, put in some windows and make sure you plan for the foods that you want to enjoy. Because we always want to think about beginning with the end in mind. What’s sustainable? What’s the long-term outcome? Well, you want to lose the weight. You want to have a healthy body composition and you want to live a long, healthy life, right? So, if we can’t restrict and omit our way there, so the more restrictive diets and literature shows when you look at more of a low carb diet, especially in type 2 diabetics or prediabetics, the outcome is that the two year mark, they’ve regained all the weight plus some.
Dr. Scott Watier: (11:29)
So that’s like the magic trick where you pull the tablecloth out from underneath all the stuff, the nicely decorated five-star table. But in my opinion, you’re not good at it. And the whole table just crashes over and you’re back to where you crash and burn. You’re back to where you started. So it doesn’t make any sense. So for us, it’s whatever you choose to do or whatever that’s working for, you let’s start there. And the other side of that is, we have this conversation, yes, there are some indications of keeping the cards low for things like reversing diabetes.
Tommy Welling: (12:02)
Yeah. There absolutely are. And you know, what we find is that if someone’s just really not familiar with tracking macronutrients and things like that, but they feel like they really don’t have a handle on how to eat or how to design a plate, we kind of start there and we do that during our challenges that we have and we see some great results for people too. And one of the easy ways to start is a relatively simple split, doing 40% of your calories from protein, 40% from fat, 20% from carbohydrates. So we find that to be a lower carbohydrate balance, which tends to accelerate the insulin sensitivity regain that we want. It tends to keep insulin levels low and tends to keep us more towards fat loss mode and keeps cravings lower, keeps the hanger lower and makes fasting much, much easier. So starting there and just tracking results over time. And then if we need to make some tweaks to the macronutrients, then we can always do that as well.
Dr. Dan Gubler: (13:04)
Okay. Does intermittent fasting encourage binge eating during this window? And do you eat like 3000 calories so that you can go over? I know that that’s one of the concerns that I’ve heard is this binge eating concept, to the case, that when you look at caloric intake, it might not be as beneficial as it could be.
Tommy Welling: (13:26)
Sure. And yeah, it’s a really good question. And there is some research out there that will support the fact that when we maintain a caloric deficit through hours, extended hours of fasting, we do eat more during that eating opportunity, but not nearly enough to make up for the calories that we burn during the fasting window. So for example, if we do a 23 hour fast, we might consume 12 or 14 hours worth of energy during that meal. And so staying around the 40 to 60% of your calories when you’re doing one meal a day is where we find really good results. And the research supports that naturally we do eat a bit more because that’s going to be a little bit heavier of a meal, but it’s nowhere near enough to undo the caloric deficit that we just put ourselves in over that fast.
Dr. Scott Watier: (14:25)
Okay. Now there’s a caveat. If you’re doing fasting with the idea of reparations from a rough weekend of indulgence or the preparation to go crazy on vacation, then yes. To your question, it would facilitate the mindset of, “Yes, I’m going to go and just indulge and go off the rails,” right? Now in our experience with working with a lot of people, we’ve taken a couple of hundred people through our 10 day challenges over the last, I think it’s nine or 10 months now, we’ve had some incredible stories of people that have had eating disorder-type issues, like binge-eating and those types of things that we were unaware of, that have come to us and said, “Fasting is actually allowing me to regain control.” And then something that’s probably not accepted, right, as a good clinical, psychological practice when it comes to the people that fall into those more severe categories, but for us, again, it comes down to how are we going to frame the success for the individual? And to this point, some people will say, “Well, how long can you do these types of windows? How long can you fast? Like how long should you fast?” Well the longest recorded fast was 382 days. So, if we’re talking, right? 382 days where tea, coffee, soda water, and vitamins, and this individual was obviously very overweight, very sick. His name was Angus Barbieri, and this was way back in the 1930s. And it was a doctor supervised program, right? So the point of me bringing that up is in that there’s a fear that goes along with this fasting mentality and specifically to this potential for binge eating. But as long as your intention with fasting is right for you, right for the individual, and you have the confidence and the knowledge to know that you’re not doing anything wrong, or you’re not going to hurt your metabolism, or you’re not going to potentially increase the chance for binging, it’s really hard to undo a 24 hour fast in a two hour window. Unless, of course the caveat, like I mentioned a minute or two ago, is you’re stopping at Chick-fil-A or you’re getting the 2 for 10 pizza deal with the little dessert sticks and the big 32 ounce soda. Fasting’s not going to work in that case, but if you’re mindful of it, you should see the result.
Dr. Dan Gubler: (16:56)
What are some of the benefits of intermittent fasting? I know that our listeners have heard some of those, some might be backed by science, maybe not. Some might be more trendy; hearing from people on social media. What are the major benefits we can expect from doing intermittent fasting the way you guys are talking about?
Tommy Welling: (17:14)
Yeah. So when we just start with controlling the eating windows, we immediately get the opportunity to drop our insulin levels to very, very low or even near zero levels and keep them there. And that’s going to be the first step that we need to take to undo so many of the pathophysiological processes that are going on when we’re gaining weight. We’re becoming pre-diabetic or diabetic, where we’re becoming overweight and obese and a host of other comorbidities that go along with these things, that the very first key that we need to do is drop the insulin levels.
Tommy Welling: (17:50)
So we get to do that beginning basically immediately, once we kind of set the boundary and set our timer for our fast, even if it’s a relatively short one. But as we start extending that window, the benefits just start compounding and they get even better and better over a longer period of time. Dr. Scott, you have some examples there?
Dr. Scott Watier: (18:13)
Yeah. Well the 12 hour, Dr. Dan, you had mentioned that you’ve done some four four twelve, right? So that 12 hour window for people that have average to lower levels of insulin that are very early on in the blood sugar imbalance pathway that takes decades to really show up and end up in the blood sugar-related condition that Tommy just alluded to, and that 12 hour mark, there’s some study over, out of the Obesity journal in 2018, that is really a good starting point where it shows that at that 12 hour mark, some people can enter the state of ketosis. Which is where your body has burned through the short-term glucose supplies or the sugar supplies.
Dr. Scott Watier: (18:52)
Because your body has two options for energy. It can either use glucose or can use ketone bodies, which are formulated through the burning of fat. So at that 12 hour mark, you’re able to actually get into some level of ketosis. And then like Tommy said, it compounds. So at 13 to 15 hours, you’re going to see your growth hormone actually can increase up to 1300% according to some of the articles. And the cool thing about that is that protects your lean body mass. Growth hormone is not something that builds muscle. It’s part of the process to build muscle. So when you get to that 13 to 15 hour mark, your growth hormone goes up, you’re protecting your lean body tissue, your body is burning the extra fat, and then when we hit the 17 – 18 hour mark, now you’re talking about like starting some of those cellular detoxification and regrowth processes.
Dr. Scott Watier: (19:39)
Autophagy is a common word that’s out there. And then 24 hours, now you’re getting intestinal STEM cells repairing. You’re getting these proteins that are going to stimulate your brain function and increase your serotonin levels, decrease your reactive, C-reactive proteins and your inflammatory markers in your body. By 36 hours, you’re going to see like GABA, go through the roof and have this euphoric-like calm, like feeling. And that’s really that 30 to 36 hour mark is where we really see the magic happen in terms of reversing the insulin resistance, which is not what we want. We want insulin to function properly in our body to help process the food that we eat and not store it as fat. So really like just from 12 to 36 hours, you have all of these things happening that are just, you don’t even know. Like a lot of people come to fasting for weight loss, but they’re getting all of these other benefits as well.
Dr. Dan Gubler: (20:32)
Yeah. A lot of the papers I’ve read regarding insulin resistance are fascinating. Showing that when you reduce insulin levels to baseline and keep them healthy, a lot of people think it’s a, it’s just blood sugar and I won’t get diabetes or whatever, but it’s much more than that. It’s heart health. It’s, low-lying, it’s reducing inflammation. And, as you know, inflammation is the root cause of all disease. I was reading a really cool paper showing that low insulin levels actually correlate with a lower degree, a lower incidence of neurodegenerative diseases. So that’s really cool.
Tommy Welling: (21:08)
Absolutely. It’s –
Dr. Scott Watier: (21:10)
The body’s amazing.
Tommy Welling: (21:11)
Yeah. And insulin really is the first step. It’s like the first domino that topples and then everything else follows.
Dr. Dan Gubler: (21:21)
So when we talk about breaking our fast, is there a best way to do it? The best practice? Do we load up on carbs? How do we go about doing that?
Tommy Welling: (21:30)
The short answer, no. No, don’t load up on carbs.
Dr. Scott Watier: (21:37)
Yeah. I’m smiling and laughing because I know we are on video here. So if you guys are watching my reaction, it’s because when I came into, I’ve been doing all of these different diets and things in the past without results. And I remember listening to your story, Dr. Dan. It was one of the original episodes of your pod, where you talked about your health journey and how you were teaching people about health, but you wanted an optimal health yourself. And that was very similar to my story, where I looked in the mirror one day, I was like, “What am I doing? Like, what is this?” So I bring that up because when Tommy first, I’d seen the changes in him and he had said, “Yeah, you’re just missing one small piece.”
Dr. Scott Watier: (22:18)
I was teaching the CICO – calories in, calories out model, teaching about the hormones, leptin and ghrelin and all this stuff. But I was missing the time restricted portion. I was doing some intermittent-type fasting, but I had enough insulin resistance at that point where it wasn’t really, I was plateauing with the keto diet and doing that, and it wasn’t getting me the results. So he got me into fasting, I know it’s a long-winded answer, but on the first couple of days, when he told me to do one meal a day, I broke the fast and I ate everything that I hadn’t eaten over the last 24 hours. I had my healthy protein bars. I had two grass fed burgers with the raw cheese and the lettuce wraps. I had some brown jasmine rice. I had some almond butter and some homemade strawberry jam and some almond flour crackers. I had some popcorn after dinner and I felt like absolute, like just awful the next day. And I texted him. I was like, “Tommy, what?” He’s like, “I told you not to do that.” So that’s why I was laughing when you asked the question.
Dr. Scott Watier: (23:16)
Let’s go to the research. So to answer it, you really want to break the fast if you’re coming off of a longer fast, so things greater than 24 hours, or if you’ve never fasted before, you want to start slow. So starting with the longer fast we’ll start there, because those are the more difficult to break. Personally for me, I like going to some cruciferous veggies. I like going to some pickled vegetables as well, fermented foods, bone broth, those types of things. But for the shorter fast, the 18, 24, 36, really breaking them with protein and fat together to begin with. There’s a research article that 23 grams of protein and 17 grams of fat combined, and then 15 minutes later, ingesting 50 grams of carbohydrates versus eating them all together, showed a massive reduction in insulin and blood sugar production post-meal. So you want to start with your proteins and your fats first, kind of ease into it. And then if you’re going to have carbohydrates, like say you have a celebration or a wedding or something, and you’re like, “Man, I’m losing weight. I’m doing great. I don’t want to fall off the wagon,” have the dessert 15 or 20 minutes later, and you’re going to have a much better net positive effect on how to break out all that hard work that you just put in through that fasting window.
Tommy Welling: (24:35)
And you’re likely to eat less of it too, because you’ve already front-loaded your stomach and your meals psychologically and just volume wise.
Dr. Dan Gubler: (24:43)
Wow. What a wonderful tip. Complexation is a real thing when it comes to macronutrients. When it comes to, you mentioned this gentleman that fasted for a long period of time, how long should we do this intermittent fasting? Should we do it for a week or two and then eat normal, whatever normal is, and then eat more of our normal for a couple of weeks and then kind of go back and forth to week to week? How should we do that?
Tommy Welling: (25:12)
Yeah, sometimes normal is not the best. But we’ve helped a lot of people see results, long-term results with weight loss and reversing this insulin resistance issues. And what we find is that you can use these same methods. You can tweak the cycles and you can make it your own and put it into a maintenance type plan with some built-in flexibility. But with also the boundaries necessary to kind of maintain those results, even if those results were dramatic over a long period of time. So doing things like tweaking the actual eating window and making, maybe going into a flexible kind of maintenance plan where a lot of people do well with maintenance on the 20 hours fasted, four hour eating window. That’s a really, really good place to start. And that can always be tweaked. It might be better at six hours for some people. It might be better at two or three hours for others, but we like to find ways to find long-term balance and not have to just ditch the method and find something new for the long-term results.
Dr. Dan Gubler: (26:21)
I love that term – long-term balance. The human body craves homeostasis. It likes to keep the status quo. And I love that. Methods to keep balance and encourage homeostasis to happen in the body.
Dr. Scott Watier: (26:37)
So for perspective, the way we tend to explain it, when you get closer to that maintenance, so if you’ve got 15 pounds to lose, we’re probably talking 30 to 60 days of more of an aggressive, fast cycling, we’re using moderate to longer fast, anywhere up to 30 to 36 hours. You’re going to lose the weight and then you need to give your body, like I said, it’s going to retain back, excuse me, restore back to balance. So you might get to that maintenance and you’re like, “Oh, I hit my goal.” And then you go back to the same habits and things you were doing previously, which ended up getting you in the position you didn’t want to be in to begin with. So that long-term balance is really getting to that, you’ve reached your weight loss goal in the 15 to 20 pound category, right? Maybe it takes you 30, 60, 90 days. You get there, then you look at, we always want to say that we don’t want the plan to become your life. We want your life to be the plan. So your health plan and your eating plan and your strategy should allow for the pizza night with the family, it should allow for the celebrations and the anniversary trips and all of those things. So getting to that maintenance point and then understanding there might be a two or three pound regain, right, and then slowly opening your window back up to, let’s say doing an 18:6 or a 6, excuse me, a 16:8, which is really just going to bed after dinner and skipping breakfast, maybe during the week because that fits your schedule, work engagements, et cetera. And then on the weekends having a little bit more flexibility for families and outings and social things and those types of things.
Dr. Scott Watier: (28:09)
So it’s really figuring out once you get to that point, to answer your question, how long should you do this, get to that point where you hit that, where you’re like, “All right, I’m good. I made it, I hit my goal. I feel great. My day-to-day life has improved. My brain clarity, my energy, my sleep, my libido,” all of this stuff that we see happen, the weight’s gone, you’re feeling better, less joint pain. And you’re like, “All right. Well, yeah, I’m here. So let me slowly increase my window,” to the point where you see your body just kind of restore to that balance. And then you just maintain that from there on out, now having the tools to be able to tweak as you kind of maybe set some new goals from a fitness or exercise standpoint, or maybe you want to be the active grandparent that can get down on the floor and play with the grandchild. Like, so it’s just, it’s very independent, but having that flexibility to use those fasting windows to really just kind of maintain.
Tommy Welling: (29:02)
Yeah. And that’s why we, whenever we teach through a challenge or any other format, we go into multiple fasting cycles so that when you leave that arena, your tool belt is full of sharp tools that you can use in different situations. Whether it be, “How do I actually do, how do I work 30 hour fasts into my week and my weekly schedule? Or how often should I do maybe a three day fast if I want to get those autophagy benefits or I’m really looking to reverse some insulin resistance quickly?”
Dr. Dan Gubler: (29:34)
Great. If I want to lose weight and again, this is kind of the universal thing. We all want to weight. We all want to be healthier. What would you recommend? What regimen would I use if I wanted to lose weight?
Tommy Welling: (29:50)
Dr. Scott, what what’d you use?
Dr. Scott Watier: (29:54)
Yeah, so I lost 50 pounds in about 50 days and I kept 42 to 44 of that off for over two years. So I did a lot of 24 hour fasts, a lot of 30 to 36 hours. I did a couple of 72s. I did one five day, and then I do a lot more 24s and 30s and 36s. Now, since then I typically will do a one meal a day. It’s important during the week to have dinner with the family and the kids. And then on the weekends, depending on what we have going on, I have a little bit more flexibility.
Dr. Scott Watier: (30:30)
So operating in the essence of keeping it simple, pick a window. So first of all, set your intention with your goal. You want to lose 50 pounds. Be realistic. Okay? I want to lose 50 pounds over the next 12 months. Is that doable with fasting? Probably. You’ll probably hit some plateaus, the dreaded plateau along the way, but your body knows what it’s doing. So staying consistent over that next 12 months. So set intention for your goal, and then we just use math of how many, like how many calories you have stored per extra pound of fat, and then pick a window that you feel that puts you just a little bit outside of your comfort zone. So if you’re like, “Oh my gosh, I could never skip breakfast.” Okay. Probably not starting with a 22 hour fast is the right place to go for most people. Some of the people out there might be able to handle it.
Dr. Scott Watier: (31:23)
So hang out, just think through it for a minute and put the plan in place. So start with something that pushes you a little bit outside of your comfort zone and stick to that for two weeks. Slowly increase your window. And you’re going to start seeing that your body composition, the way you feel on a day-to-day basis, change, right? So pick a window a little bit outside of your comfort zone, stick to it for two weeks. If it’s not working, then it might be time to either reassess what’s being eaten, or it might be time to extend that window a little bit more to say like that 22 to 24 hour. And then one of our favorite, I don’t want to say tricks. One of our favorite, I don’t like the word hack either, they’re one of our favorite schedules is to eat lunch on, let’s say Tuesday, and then not eat dinner until the following Wednesday.
Dr. Dan Gubler: (32:11)
Dr. Scott Watier: (32:13)
So you have food on both days and that is a really, really great window to do that a couple of times a week to accelerate, to your question, that fat loss or that weight loss that we want to see.
Tommy Welling: (32:24)
Yeah. So that’s a nice little way to get to a 30 hour fasting window where it can be tough to think about skipping multiple days without consuming anything, right? Especially in the beginning. So going from, like Dr. Scott said, and going from a lunch today to a dinner tomorrow, is a really cool way to break outside of that 24 hour mark that a lot of people have not gone beyond. And where you really start to see some results compounding.
Dr. Dan Gubler: (32:56)
Okay, well that’s a great suggestion. Tangible and applicable for people who are looking into that. And that would be an example of the OMAD fasting, correct? Well, this has been fascinating talking with both of you. What final thoughts would you give to our listeners? We’ve talked about a lot of amazing information about intermittent fasting. What would you say to conclude?
Dr. Scott Watier: (33:22)
Well, that’s a loaded question in the essence of time. Well, I’ll pick one and then Tommy, I think you have a good one too. But really it’s being intentional with the why behind your wanting to start fasting. So everybody, you alluded to this earlier, everybody wants to lose weight and be healthy, but we wouldn’t have 72% of the population being overweight and approaching 50% of the population being obese, if the intention of, “Yeah, I want to be healthy and lose weight,” works. Like we don’t need more information. We don’t need more moderation. We need that accountability and that encouragement to know that you can do this, but you have to be intentional about it. Being in debt is hard, being financially free is hard. Being single is hard, being married is hard. Being divorced is hard. Having kids is hard. Owning a business, like choose your hard, right? So be intentional with your reasoning for why you want to fast. Set that goal to begin with, and then pick that window that’s going to push you just a little bit outside of your comfort zone, because that’s where you’re going to grow and honestly stick with it for two or three weeks, and you’re going to see the change. I want it to be an intentional encouragement that you can do this. It’s absolutely within your control, but you need to be extremely intentional with it.
Dr. Dan Gubler: (34:49)
So you need to know your why and have that firmly in your mind.
Dr. Scott Watier: (34:55)
Dr. Dan Gubler: (34:56)
Tommy Welling: (34:57)
Absolutely. And for me, when I got, first set foot on the fasting path, for me, it was fear that was holding me back. And that that had held me back for years and years. It was actually, roughly two decades from trying to regain my weight and my health. So finally putting that first foot forward. I think it was just a matter of understanding that I was used to tracking everything, tracking calories, tracking macros, but I always thought, “Well, if I eat 2000 calories over a 24 hour period, what’s the difference if I eat it within a one hour period or over a couple of days?” Just like a simple math problem, but the math doesn’t work out like that because keeping the insulin low over an extended period of time does magic that you can’t do by sprinkling food and calories and insulin all throughout the day. So just taking that first step and getting started, pushing yourself like Dr. Scott said, just a little bit outside your comfort zone, is where you’re going to see the magic start to happen. So get started today. Don’t wait.
Dr. Dan Gubler: (36:08)
So gentlemen, if our listeners want to learn more information, resources about how to fast, you’ve talked a little bit about challenges, where should they go?
Tommy Welling: (36:16)
Yeah, so they can head on over to our website, thefastingforlife.com and download the Fast Start Guide, six simple steps to get started today. And then we do have some advanced resources as well for the more experienced fasters. And we do also, results-oriented challenges on a regular basis as well. So we have another one coming up here soon.
Dr. Dan Gubler: (36:38)
Awesome, great resources. And I love it so that people, if they want to start to know how to do it, a great resource. Thank you gentlemen. Sure great to have you on the show. Please subscribe to this podcast, listeners, if you like this content and are interested in learning how to live proactively and become your best self. And we’ve heard some great information on how to do that today. Leave a review if you like this podcast. These reviews are really important to help us know how to be better and to serve you the right information. Thank you. This is Dr. Dan signing off.
Dr. Dan Gubler: (37:28)
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