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Dr. Justin Marchegiani and Evan Brand discuss about intermittent fasting and the different ways on how it aids in detoxification, fat burning, and improvement of one’s immune function. Listen to them as they share their expertise on how to achieve a successful fast that fits your lifestyle and health status.
Gain an understanding on other types of diet which include conventional, water and juice fasting and learn how these types of diet affect one’s body.
In this episode, we will cover:
02:19 Intermittent Fasting, Water Fasting and Juice Fasting
05:09 Benefits of Water Fasting
14:46 Yo-yo Dieting and Slingshot Effects of mTOR
31:53 Snacking In-Between Meals
36:28 The Brain at a Fasted State
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And we are back! Evan, it’s Dr. J. How are we doing today, man?
Evan Brand: Pretty good.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Happy July 3rd.
Evan Brand: Happy– Happy July 4th weekend.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yes. It was well. Excited. I’m working all day seeing patients but tomorrow I will take the day off, and I did good weekend. How is your weekend, so far?
Evan Brand: Good. It’s been great, man.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Awesome. Very cool. Well, just so you know, I thought I’d– you know we always, typically, start our day talking about food and kind of about what we had for breakfast. I really haven’t eaten breakfast yet. I’m doing a little fasting thing, but I can give you a little hands-on. My wife made this noodge. It’s great. So, I got a little lid on it. So, we got pasture-fed pork, and then some nice fresh scrambled eggs, pasture-fed eggs, so this is waiting for me cool about the noontime hour. So, I’m getting a little 16-hour intermittent fasting going on here so– I am rocking it, and that kind of dove’s tail into our podcast today on Intermittent Fasting. But, before we dig in, how are you doing, man?
Evan Brand: I feel good. Uhh – I was gonna ask ou about eggs. Are you – you – you’re doing eggs, no problem.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, yeah, I do eggs, no problem. I mean, I do a pasture-fed, and I, typically, do uhm– my yolk sac. My wife does scrambled. So, if she’s doing them, I’ll just say, “Just take off what– you know, make enough for you and then I’ll just take a little bit extra,” so she isn’t after two different pans. But I like mine. I eat a poached or uhm– just a yolk attack.
Evan Brand: Nice.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. Awesome. I got a little sparkling mineral water here to keep my throat in line.
Evan Brand: Yam? I got some Matcha here. Might throw it out. Woke up a little scratchy.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.
Evan Brand: The weather’s been weird here so this Matcha’s helping me.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Matcha, love it. Cool. Well, we talked about– pre-show, talking about Intermittent Fasting. This is a big topic. I’m a huge fan of it. I do it in ways that make sense, that’s practical. There’s fasting just for the sake of fasting, you know, not eating for let’s say, a couple days, maybe even a week or so; where, you’re keeping your calories, let’s say, one to two hundred calories per day, and you’re getting more, just the minerals in there, maybe some broth and such. Uhm– to help with some of the benefits that may happen with fasting. My opinion – I’m not a huge fan of that kind of fasting. I know Jimmy Moore likes it. My opinion: it takes energy to run your systems, so I’m not a fan of shorting the amount of calories that your body needs per day. Your body, your Krebs cycle and your mitochondria need nutrients to run, and I want to make sure those nutrients are there. So, one of the key components for Intermittent Fasting successfully is, whether it’s a 16/8 or an 18/6, right, 16 or 18 being the time you’re fasting, the 6 or 8 being the time, the window, you are actually eating under– I’m a big fan of getting enough calories in that time frame that you’re actually eating to sustain your body. So if I need 2,500 calories per day, I want to make sure that I’m getting enough calories. That’s really important, because that’s the benefit that you get if you get that 16 to 18 hour window like this, where all the fasting happens, and that’s where you really get the Insulin-sensitivity up, which is great. And you also get the cellular autophagy happening, where you’re recycling a lot of proteins, which do have anti-aging effect on your telomeres– telomeres. And then you have that 68-hour window, whether it’s that 2 to 8 PM, or let’s say, 1 to 9, or 12 to 8, that’s where all your calories are consumed. So, when doing you’re a fast, let’s say, like uhm– the Master Cleanse kind of fast, where you’re maybe just getting a tiny bit of Maple syrup in there, maybe a little bit of minerals to prevent an electrolyte issues. That has some benefits for people that have severe gut issues that they just decrease a lot of their inflammation by not getting any exposure to food, but it’s not good long term, in my opinion uh – for your metabolism ‘cause you are decreasing nutrients. Maybe some benefits to people that are severely Insulin-resistant because they may just get no food, so that can help with Insulin-sensitivity. But then what are you gonna do afterwards after you break that fast. So, again, there’s fasting or there’s ultra-low calorie; not good in the long term, are some benefits though. And then we had Intermittent Fasting, which can play into people that are already relatively healthy. It can be a good modality to add in maybe once or twice a week, or every now and then. Once your hormones and your blood sugar are already in good shape.
Evan Brand: Let’s talk for a brief minute about Water Fasting, Juice Fasting. These are two other things that people do. I had a guy message me the other day. I think it was on Twitter. He said, “Hey. I’m about to break my 7-day Water Fast, any tips?” And I was like, “Whoah! First, I would never recommend a one-week Water Fast to start.” Most people are so nutritionally depleted. They’re so deficient in Vitamins and Minerals and Trace nutrients that a Water Fast is just too intense on the modern person especially due to all the stress we’ve got. Uhm– and then Juice Fasting, you’ve got people who are going to places. Even in Austin, I know that it’s super trendy there, where you’ve got people buying these Six or Seven-Day Juice Fast. However, a lot of the times, it’s not even organic, so you’re getting, probably, a nice…
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s nice.
Evan Brand: …nice dose of some glyphosate. Some companies are doing organic green juices…
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yup.
Evan Brand: But even them, you know, I remember working with people who would go from a conventional diet, eating fast food and then they would go on a Seven-Day Juice Fast or Juice Cleanse and they think that’s a good strategy. And I really don’t. What’s your take on water and/or juice?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Great question. So, the benefits that I see people that get from a water fast is number one: if your diet’s just total crap, if you’re just incredibly Insulin-resistant, diabetes, lots of issues, lots of gut issues, there may be some benefit there because you just give your digestive system a whole break, huge break, you’re just giving just enough water to stay hydrated. Ideally, you’re gonna make sure within the water there’s enough minerals so that you’re not getting uh– you know, any Hyponatremia. I mean, there’s no way you’re gonna be getting enough Potassium or minerals so you have to make sure there’s some kind of electrolyte solution that you’re drinking. Uhm – but the benefits are gonna be no stress on the gut. You may be sipping some bone broth if you’re doing something that’s modified. Or you may have an electrolyte-trace mineral solution that you’re drinking, but the benefit is if you’re severely Insulin-resistant, you can reverse that right away, which is nice. And then you give a massive break on the digestive tract so, if your digestion’s really terrible, it can really help give it a break. But, outside of that, those are the major benefits. I’ll let you kind of talk in them. We’ll hit them again.
Evan Brand: Well, so what about– what about the ration though, like if you were gonna promote that, what would be the duration? Surely, not a week.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I mean, a few days, a weekend, maybe a good start. People that are severely Insulin-resistant, like the Master Cleanse, where you’re maybe just adding a tiny bit of sugar in there so you’re preventing uh– a drop in, you know, severe drops in blood sugar, maybe beneficial. I’m not a big fan of those kinds of cleanse– cleanses. I’ve heard of doctors that have done it. They have good results, but the problem is, it’s unsustainable. So again, the goal would be to come back into kind of a Paleo template or really good Macronutrient template with actual real food. Now, you may break it. Sorry, I got some– some bubbles here from my Lecroy. I want to…
Evan Brand: [laughs]
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Alright. So, if you break that though, you want to start breaking it with some kind of uhm– liquid food. It could be a broth, or it could be a gentle soup, or it could be some kind of uh– smoothie, that’s just really easy to digest, so just you’re easing things back into the digestive system. That’s number one. The biggest issue, you have to ease back into food anyway. So, I’m a bigger fan of just making that change with food anyway. The only time I would say, “maybe we should do a modified type of uhm– diet, or moditied– modified type of solid food diet that people have severe digestive issues.” Then I would just work on doing uh– green juices, bone broth, maybe uh– amino– freeform amino acid. So, I kind of break everything into its individual constituents. Right? So, the fatty acids are– are easy to process as possible maybe from MCT Oil or– or Coconut Oil. The proteins are gonna be from freeform amino acid so there all easy to break down. Maybe we add in some extra minerals from a really good green juice that’s organic, of course without the fruit, and then we make sure, you know, enough electrolytes and minerals are in there. So, that’s how I would do it, in my perfect world if someone has severe gut issues, I would try to do it that way. And some people may want to move into a Water Fast to start with if they have severe issues where that’s not working. So, that may be a good first start moving into what I’m saying, but I predicted most people are gonna be able to do what I’m saying, and probably do better because they’re gonna get enough calories, because when you’re not getting enough calories, you’re sending stress signals to your body to turn down the thyroid hormone. So, you’re gonna have more reverse T3, and lower thyroid hormone when you start going lower calorie. So, that’s the reason why I don’t like that, because you’re actually creating a yo-yo diet effect. So then when you start adding food back in, your metabolism will be a little bit weaker. The goal– the reason why, or the goal behind doing that would be that the inflammation reduction on your gut and the improvement with Insulin-resistance outweighs the– the kind of yo-yo slowing out the metabolism effect. I think you can get both. I’m just kind of playing devil’s advocate, pros and cons for each. So, severe Insulin-resistance, severe gut issues, maybe a benefit for a few day to a week-long fast, under medical supervision with electrolytes and, maybe, some support there for blood sugar. Again, my version, if we’re gonna do some kind of modified fasting, is Intermittent Fasting, making sure, ideally, bone broth, minerals, cream juice, freeform amino acids, easy to digest fatty acids are in there. And that will be a really good way to do it. And then maybe have one solid meal at night. So, most of the day is liquid and easy to process; one solid meal at night, and that’s something that Ori Hofmekler, the author of The Warrior Diet talks about, too.
Evan Brand: Yep. Let’s break down the juice a little bit. That’s – that’s kind of a generic term now, like a juice fast, or like a green juice. I’m more than likely gonna promote more like a smoothie than a juice, ‘cause if we’re talking about juicers, typically, those are gonna be stripping away the fiber. What’s your take on that, where we’re pulling away fiber versus us blending something like a handful of veggies and maybe a little bit of look like scenic fruit with that?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. It totally depends on what’s the– what the patient– what the patient’s problem is, so if they’re having issues with digestion, that fiber may be an issue for them. So by stripping away that fiber, that may help with the bloating and just give them all those nutrients without any of the fiber, which may create a lots– a lot more improvement with some of those digestive symptoms. So, it just depends. I like the ‘stripping the fiber away’ for people that are really having a lot of digestive issues. And frankly, these are the people that you’re gonna be doing that with anyway. Yeah. That makes sense?
Evan Brand: Yep, for sure.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’ll be the major benefit. It’s just giving the digestive system more of a break.
Evan Brand: And you’d still be low sugar with that. You’re not talking about a green juice where it’s gonna be loaded with apple juice and all sorts of that where it’s [crosstalk] 30 grams of sugar per 8 ounces. There’s a lot of crazy, “green juices” out there, that are garbage. So, just to clarify, we’re talking mainly veggies here. Low, low, low sugar, in terms of our veggies.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.
Evan Brand: We’re not talking about your– your store-bought green juice.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly. So, like some of the ones that I would do would be a kale, spinach, cucumber, celeries that you get a lot of minerals from the celery. You get some cucumber, some spinach, some kale, and then, if you want, you can add a little of beet in there, which has a lot of natural uh– Nitric oxide, NO2, which is a good nasal dilator. And then, depending on how you’re doing metabolically, you may want to add in one carrot or one green apple to sweeten up.
Evan Brand: Yep, yep.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Again, if you’re Insulin-resistant, I would say, no fruit at all. But if you’re okay, one carrot and one green apple.
Evan Brand: Store-bought juices, there’s a couple good ones. I’ve seen Suja. They’ve got a couple of low sugar versions. They’ve also got insanely high sugar versions, 30 to 40 grams like per a 12-ounce, and I’ve also seen some Suja’s. They’re cold-pressed organic that you can get, I believe, like three, maybe four grams for an entire bottle of sugar so you really just got to take a closer look at the label. What about you? Do you know any other store-brought– uh– store-bought brands?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. Just kind of look at Whole Foods, I bought a couple yesterday when I was there. Uhm– I just looked for organic. That’s really important because if you are doing juicing, you are gonna get a massive concentration of nutrients, which is great, but you also get a massive concentration of pesticides too.
Evan Brand: Oh, yeah.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So, that’s why you got to be very careful like you eluded to earlier. It’s got to be organic because of the pesticides. We can get a ton there. So, just look for the– the non-starchy kind of green ones. That’s gonna be the best. Kale, spinach, uh– broccoli…
Evan Brand: Carrots.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: …cucumber, celery, and then I like a little bit of beet. It makes it look kind of blood red, but it gives that extra bit of Nitric oxide, which is great. Pho. Vasodilation, too.
Evan Brand: Cool, yeah. I think there’s one that Starbucks carries. I believe it’s called Evolve, but for one, I think it’s high sugar, and I believe it’s not organic. So, definitely, uh– do– do your good research. Don’t just assume if it says cold-pressed juice, it’s healthy cause you can destroy– Even though we’re trying to reverse Insulin-resistance, you can destroy yourself even more if you go on a six-day uh – binge of 40 grams of sugar.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, I mean, if you look at a couple carrot juice that has more sugar than a coke. Now, I’m not trying to say that– that the coke’s better, but either way, there’s a whole bunch of sugar there. A lot of nutrition but also a lot of sugar. I know the Gerson people like that but in my opinion, it’s a little bit too much sugar from most people, especially if they are exercising it much. So, I’d rather sweeten with one carrot, sweeten with the carrot, sweeten with a green apple, like a little bit of flavor, and then kind of do your staples regarding the greens. And then, if you want to add a little bit of flavor, you can juice a lime in there, or you can also add in a piece of ginger. Like can give it a little bit of spice.
Evan Brand: How about a little bit of apple cider vinegar?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Of course. That’s always great. Apple cider vinegar’s great because it’s got uhm – the Acetic acid so it lowers the pH a little bit, which is great. It’s got uhm– Acetic acid will help mobilize minerals better, and it will also flush out Guanidine, which is a by-product of protein metabolism.
Evan Brand: When I tried to with Mercola, he was talking about all the cool research on uh– apple cider vinegar supporting mitochondria, as well. And he didn’t know why he felt so good sipping on that, you know, during his uh– his fast or kind of his Ketotic states. He felt great with it. He’s like, “Wow. Figured out it supports mitochondria.” So that’s cool too when we’re working with…
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yep.
Evan Brand: …people that, typically, they’re overweight, they’ve juicy issues with fatigue and likely mitochondria. So, kind of double– double bonus there.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, absolutely. That’s the really good benefit. So, looking at it was a couple modified ways we can do it. uhm – you can do the apple cider vinegar, you can do the green drink. You can do those healthy modalities; really get the nutrition in there. And then we’ll go in some of the fasting components, but there’s this compound known as mTOR, mammalian target of rapamycin. It’s cool though. Cool little name, little tongue twister there, but that has some effects on cellular growth. So, by doing Intermittent Fasting, we can decrease mTOR. And it’s like a slingshot, right. SO, if we decrease– So, if here’s mTOR at baseline, and if we decrease mTOR by doing some Intermittent Fasting, we decrease it, but then as soon as we break that fast, mTOR pops back up. So, part of the benefits of Intermittent Fasting is we decrease mTOR for a short period of time, creating a slingshot-like effect. Part of mTOR decreasing is not having the Methionine. Right? A Methionine’s an amino acid. It’s a good amino acid but it can be a little bit inflammatory for some people when done excessively and too much. M– Uh– Methionine’s really high in muscle meats so, by decreasing the muscle meats and doing some fasting for let’s say, that’s 16/8 or 18/6 timeframe, where you’re fasting for 16 to 18 hours, you’re decreasing the Methionine, ideally, and then you can utilize breaking that fast, let’s say, two o’clock that next day, you’re adding some of those healthy meats back in. But then, “Boom!” Then you increase mTOR, which can then help with protein synthesis and healing. So, that’s some of the benefits that you get. Coffee’s also helpful with that. Tea, or that Matcha tea that you’re consuming, has some effects on mTOR, some positive effects. And then, also, Cancer, of course. Insulin-resistance will drive mTOR too high because mTOR is good for cellular growth. Right? But not so good if you’re growing Cancer cells. Right? So, part of the benefits of going Ketogenic, and uhm – going low calorie have that effects on lowering mTOR, but while at the same time, maybe beneficial for Cancer too. Right? That’s why decreasing the Insulin-levels can have a beneficial effect for Cancer and such.
Evan Brand: Yeah. You and I were doing some research before this, and we came across uh – Howard Hughes Medical Institute. They’re designing drugs now that are blocking mTOR, and they define it as molecule that helps drive the growth of many tumors. So, when we’re talking about Intermittent fasting, Ketogenic diets, your kind of cycling your protein, you’re not just doing super, super high protein, which can be it. A problem, sometimes, in the Paleo space is people just overconsuming protein. They’re really cranking up their mTOR. Like you said, you’re– you’re enhancing the growth of cells, but if those are tumor or Cancer cells, that’s not good. So, uhm– once again, just ‘cause it’s fresh on my mind when I tried with Mercola, he said he’s only doing like two ounces of grass-fed beef. Like, that’s it. He’s not doing a full steak. He’s like babystepping. He’s also interested in longevity in the whole aspect, and he’s a little bit older than myself. And so, I still want to maintain and build more muscle, where now, he’s kind of transitioning. He wants to keep his muscle but he’ more interested in longevity as well. That’s what you can achieve by Intermittent Fasting, Ketosis. All of these things are tied in. We’re really talking about the same thing, just different pieces of this puzzle and how it’s all connected.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Is he doing a total of two ounces of protein a day, total for the whole day, every day?
Evan Brand: I’m pretty sure that was it. [inaudible]
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Honestly, I’m not a huge fan of that. I’m not a huge fan. There’s lots of studies looking at protein intake and lots of benefits on Insulin-resistance, uhm – lots of benefits on just your diet. Because protein is so satiating to the body that you get that uhm – better Leptin Signaling and Ghrelin Signaling, so your appetite’s more in check. You’re able to put on more muscle. Lots of studies in protein intake and longevity, again, typically, 1.2 grams per kilograms. So, what does that really mean? It’s about half a gram per pound of body weight. So, I weigh 210 pounds. [inaudible]
Evan Brand: I’m not– I’m a hundred percent sure I may have to go listen back and see what he said. I’m pretty sure that’s just for animal meats. Now, I know he’s doing a huge smoothie in the morning.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.
Evan Brand: He’s doing avocados. He’s doing cacao. He’s probably doing maybe some plant-based proteins. But in terms of animal protein, I believe yeah, it’s maybe like a two-ounce portion and less. I think that’s what he said when he’s cooking. So, maybe he’s getting meal delivery, or he’s got a chef cooking for him, I’m not quite sure…
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.
Evan Brand: …what happened, so don’t a hundred percent quote me.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. I heard it man. They’ve asked if we’re talking about how he doesn’t really need dinner. Now, I think dinner’s good to eat. I think that’s really good to eat, especially if you’re Intermittent Fasting. It woulde be the breakfast and early lunchtime you’d wanna miss. And the reason why is because you’re sleeping, you know, from 10PM or 11PM to 6 or 7 or maybe 8AM. You’re already fasting, so it’s easier to do piggyback on top of a fasting window. So that’s why if you’re gonna do the fast, you much rather miss breakfast than early lunch, because then you’re piggybacking on that 10-hour of sleeping, and then you just add an extra six to eight hours on top of that. And then you have a sixteen to eighteen-hour fast window. So, I like hat aspect better, and then coming out of the fast around one or two o’clock, and making sure you’re consume enough calories than, typically, two meals, maybe three. And, what I do is, if I’m going out to like, you know, a nice steak restaurant, like Saturday or Sunday, I know, I, typically, like to go out to eat a little bit earlier, like around 4:00 or 5:00. That morning, I may have like uh– a butter coffee, and just sip on that all day, ‘cause the benefit is you’re having that modified protein fast. Right? Decreasing the Methionine, decreasing the muscle meat, is what allows that mTOR to go down more than it spring back. So, I’ll have that going out to dinner thing, Saturday to Sunday. And, I’ll kind of just sip on some fat, you know, low calorie though. You know, just a couple hundred calories during that day, and then, “Boom!” Then I’ll go have a really good refeed, right? People in the health– or Paleo communities, when they go to binge, right, we call it a refeed. It just sounds a little bit more scientific. So we do a little refeed, but keep the gluten then the refined crap out so just good healthy meats and good healthy vegetables, maybe some oysters, like a lot of that stuff, maybe one glass of a dry champagne. Something like that. That’s kind of like my refeed, so to speak.
Evan Brand: Yeah. I– I think you’re doing a good job of explaining. I just want to restate it back to you though, make sure we’re hearing it right. When you’re going Intermittent Fasting, you can still be doing plenty of fat. Your MCTs, your coconuts. You could still be doing your avocados, etc., not necessarily, not technically, breaking that fast, not causing any spike of Insulin that we’re trying to avoid. Soo even though it’s a– it’s a fast, you could still be consuming calories throughout this fasting period. Therefore, reducing the stress on the body. It’s not a hundred percent. You’re not touching anything food-wise or calorie-wise. Is that correct?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Correct. I mean, there’s a couple different ways to do it. You can do it that way, that I mentioned. You can upgrade it one level, and then you can add in one scoop of Collagen, right. Because Collagen’s primarily gonna be elevated in glycine hydroxyproline and proline. It’s very low in Methionine, relatively speaking. So, a lot of that benefit of mTOR, that decreasing of the mTOR, primarily happens by restricting Methionine, which is found in muscle meats. So, if you want, if my patients are like, “Oh, I’m on the fence. I want to try doing a little bit of Intermittent Fasting,” but let’s say, they have hormone and blood sugar issues. I want to get them more stable with that first. That’s number one. I want to make sure they don’t have any blood sugar issues, or adrenal or thyroid issues first, make sure those are stabilized. But then if they want, you know, butter coffee, uhm– Collagen peptides, uh– little bit of MCT Oil, and, you know, one scoop of Collagen peptides, and then do that in your coffee. That’s gonna really decrease mTOR and then cause it to absolutely spring back.
Evan Brand: Yep, well said. Uh– so let’s talk about who– who’s the good fit, who’s the good candidate for Intermittent Fasting. You hit on like the Insulin-resistance piece, they’ve got a lot of gut issues. Uhm– Athletes? Moms?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. So, anyone that’s– I would just say that is– has stable blood sugar. Their blood sugar’s stable, meaning these aren’t people that are just like if they skip a meal, they’re irritable, they’re moody, they’re just feeling really off. So, making sure that piece is dialed-in. And the reason why they feel off is primarily because they just don’t have their hormones dialed in. Their– whether it’s their adrenals, or their blood sugar, it is not quite dialed-in yet. So, making sure the blood sugar and the thyroid components are good. Uh – once that’s good, ‘then you can, you know– I like the 16/8. It’s pretty simple.
Evan Brand: Yep.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Go to bed, 10– 11 o’clock, maybe 12 o’clock, you’re up at 7:00 or 8:00. You don’t eat ‘til 1:00 or 2:00.
Evan Brand: So, you and I came across some a couple– a couple articles, pieces of literature talking about fertility and Intermittent Fasting. So for Moms, people trying to conceive, I mean, I think it’s still plausible that you could do it, but it is going to be stressful. I mean, if they’re getting enough calories, they’re getting enough fat, would you still recommend someone trying to conceive go for, or would you say, “Hey, don’t– don’t restrict protein. Let’s make sure you’re getting maybe a breakfast, lunch, dinner, more of like a two– three square meal a day?”
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, I mean, you still shouldn’t be restricting anything, right. So, if I would look at your daily kind of meal plan, and we’re like go on chronometer and throw it in there…
Evan Brand: Yep.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: …and if you were to just see kind of where their nutrients are at at the end of the day, you should still look the same as someone eating three meals a day, right. That’s the– the key mistake most people make. It should still look the same. There should still be enough protein in there. There should still be enough fat in there. There should still be enough carbs. Then, in general, of course, the calorie should still be the same. That’s the key. The people make a mistake with, on the Intermittent Fasting, is the calorie still have to be adequate.
Evan Brand: So, it really just a timing thing.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yes.
Evan Brand: So, may end up if you put two people side by side on their macros, the macros may end up the same. It’s just the timing that’s really changing.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yep.
Evan Brand: But a lot of couple mess it up, you’re saying, and they’re actually accidentally cutting calories. They’re cutting protein. They’re cutting their macros, accidentally, by Intermittent Fasting just ‘cause that one meal or that– that– that compressed-eating window. They’re not actually getting everything back in that they should have, is that right?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, you have to make sure, in my opinion, you have, at least two times you eat, and that you get enough calories in there. Now, again, if you have digestive issues, right, and you need, let’s say, 2, 500 calories, and you’re cutting your feeding window from 2:00 to 8:00, that means you need two meals in there to get those calories. That means you need 1,250 calories per meal. That may be a little hard on someone’s digestive system if they are in good shape. So, I would also add the caveat, making sure your digestion is adequate. And then, in general, I would not recommend any Intermittent Fasting if you’re pregnant. It just doesn’t makes sense. I would uhm – I want to make sure there’s zero stress signal at all, and I would hope that all the Insulin-resistance stuff we’ve already addressed by just dialing-in the carbs and get in the diet right. Uhm– so when you’re pregnant, you’re actually something that sustainable. I don’t want to modulate anything. I want to make sure that food’s coming in at a predictable pace throughout the day for the mother and the baby.
Evan Brand: Yep. Love it. I think we hit everything. Are there any pieces that you wanted to hit that you didn’t?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. So let’s kind of summarize here. If we’re gonna use amino acids while we’re trying to Intermittent fast, we can do the butter coffee, we can do the MCT. MCT’s great because of its effect on increasing Ketosis, and increasing mitochondria functions, so, that’s great.
Evan Brand: Yep.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Collagen peptides are relatively low in Methionine, high in Glycine and Glutamine and Hydroxyproline and Proline, which is really, really good. And low in the Methionine which is great. It’s the muscle meats to have it at that negative effect on mTOR, making sure you get adequate calories in during that feeding window. And you can– number one, you can plan it, like I kind of have a Saturday or Sunday. Right now, I’m gonna go out to eat. I’m kind of have a really cool meal, nice meal; kind of celebrate for the end of the week. And then I’ll just kind of fast all day long. That’s a really good place to be. My wife, right now, being pregnant, she– she’s hungry every two to three hours, and she’s eating really good. So, for her, it’s gonna be a different ball game. That’s why if you’re pregnant, I think, you know, eating every three to four hours, just making sure you’re eating enough calories and protein. And she messes– measures her blood sugar, too. We do functional glucose-tolerance testing to avoid any gestational diabetes, and she’s on the sensitive side. If she does a little too much fruit, or a little too much starchy carbohydrate, her blood sugar will creep up and it won’t come back down as fast. So, making sure the blood sugar stuff’s dialed-in is very important, because if you’re pregnant, you may have that starch aspect maybe an issue. So, 16/– 16/8 or uh– 18/6 is a great window there. Making sure they’re adequate calories, making sure you’re not pregnant, making sure you don’t have any severe blood sugar thyroid or adrenal issues, number two. Number three, making sure your digestion’s good, because if you’re compacting the amount of calories for three meals into two, and you have weaker digestive system going on, that may make it harder to break down those foods. So, making sure the gut in the digestion’s good. And then we talked about the fasting versus the Intermittent Fasting pros and cons. My opinion: complete fast is more severe and is not something, in my opinion, that sustainable long term. It’s kind of uh– a specific short term kind of approach. Those have the yo-yo dieting effect where it does weaken the metabolism a bit, so, anything that lowers calories, right, you’re– gain weight back, when you have the food back. And that’s the yo-yo dieting effect. You weaken your metabolism, you add the calories back in, now, your body’s a little bit weaker, metabolically, so you put on a little more fat. So, that’s the big side effect with that.
Evan Brand: Let’s hit these questions. Are you ready for these?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Let’s do it.
Evan Brand: Alright. So, Samuel said, “If you’re drink bulletproof coffee in the morning, you don’t eat ‘til the afternoon. Is that considered in– is that still considered Intermittent Fasting?” We hit that. That will be a yes.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, that’s Intermittent Fasting, exactly.
Evan Brand: Okay. Ogie said, “Just started watching. People with adrenal issues, what’s your opinion on IF?” Uh – I’ll speak from firsthand experience. Justin, I’ve got clinical experience on this too, but my personal experience is, for me, Intermittent Fasting was actually destroying me. Maybe it’s because I’m younger, my metabolism is faster than someone who’s in their 50’s or 60’s with adrenal issues, and I’m commonly working with. But for me, I had to eat more. And for me, just trying to condense that into Intermittent Fasting, it didn’t work. So, I was doing breakfast, lunch, dinner and then I was able to recover, of course with additional support: healing my gut, adaptogens, etc. But, for me, the adrenal Intermittent fasting piece just didn’t go well together. Justin, what’s your take?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Same thing. Make sure the hormones are dialed-in first. Remember, from an evolutionary perspective, how did this all work? Well, we have food. We had food. We killed the buffalo. We ate it until it was gone. And then, there were periods without food. Right? That’s where we kind of where we were fasting, so it wasn’t like our ancestors were saying, “Okay. Like, we have all this food. Let’s just not eat it for a couple of days, or let’s just only eat it at the end of the day, right? That’s kind of not the thinking. The thinking is, food wasn’t available. We fasted for a short period of time. We got food and we feasted. Fasted. Feasted. So, I like to use that kind of sequencing in how we apply Intermittent Fasting. So, don’t do it every single day. I see a lot of people wear their daily routine is to fast every day.
Evan Brand: Yep.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And I just say, “No, use it punctu– you know, use it in a punctuated fashion. One or two times a week. And then starting out, do your Intermittent Fasting on days that are less stressful. Why? Well, because there’s gonna be less Cortisol in your system. That’s number one. Number two, the more stressed you are, the more you’re gonna need more nutrients to run the system. Dopamines, Serotonin, Precursors, B Vitamins, minerals to buffer the stress. Your Krebs cycle and your energy systems require nutrients, so, why would you want to fast and avoid putting nutrients into the system? So, do it on days that are less stressful to start with.
Evan Brand: That’s a pretty good starting point. I believe that’s the same thing we said about Ketosis, too, on previous podcasts. Might need more– more carbohydrates, a little bit more starch on a more stressful day.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, absolutely. I think that’s a really good place to start it. Again, I’m not black or white on these issues.
Evan Brand: Right.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I’m– these are the people that are gonna benefit. You’re relatively healthy, good blood sugar, right, you– already do okay if you skip a meal, you’re not gonna be in, you know, in dire straits. And then, these are the people that want to avoid it. Right? Pregnant women, the hormonal issues, the severe blood sugar issues. Here’s how we start inching our way into it. 16/8 will probably be a good starting place, then you can eat from, like, 12:00 to 8 o’clock. That’s a really good starting place, making sure there’s an adequate amount of calories in there as well. And also, making sure, like you know, minerals and bone broth, and you can also do the green juice, as well, uhm – to get enough nutrients in there. We need about 4,700 milligrams of Potassium a day, so, you need, like, two really big salads to get it all. So, maybe a green juice will be helpful to get all those nutrients there.
Evan Brand: Yep. Avocados, too, are good source.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: One gram of Potassium right there. One avocado. [crosstalk] people don’t know, avocado has twice the amount of Potassium than a banana does, but…
Evan Brand: I know.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I mean, people think, “What’s Potassium?” “Oh, banana!” Nope, avocado. Twice the amount.
Evan Brand: Yeah, and– and without the sugar.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: No, really. Any carb– maybe one or two grams of carbohydrate, very little.
Evan Brand: Yep, yep. You made me think of something. I lost my train of thought there. Oh, yeah! It’s that people want things in black and white. We’re just giving the generalities. There’s never gonna be in black and white. This is always case by case, so don’t take something in – in carved into a rose – Rosetta stone. Justin said this, or Evan said this, it will never exist that way.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: It’s a spectrum.
Evan Brand: Yes.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: It’s a spectrum. Figure out where you’re at on that spectrum and start there. Okay?
Evan Brand: Yeah.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Now, the person said he’s snacking between meal ‘s never good. In my opinion, snacking before meals or in-between meals is not good. Why? ’Cause every time you snack, food produces little drops of Insulin. The more Insulin surges you create– Insulin, when Insulin ‘s high, fat burning’s low. Insulin high; fat burning low. Just how it is. So, the more we can modify Insulin by keeping the carbohydrates dialed-in to what you’re needs are. Okay? If you’re lifting weights, and you’re already in good shape and you’re active, you may be able to do a hundred or 200 grams of carbohydrates a day without issue. If you’re sedentary or you’re Insulin-resistant, that may be 20 or 30 grams of carbs. So, you dialed in your carbs for what you need. You try to go at least four to five hours, so at hour two or three, you’re starting to kick in the fat burning, right? So, if you’re eating every two or three, then you’re never really getting in the fat burning. That’s not a good thing. And then I– the only time I allow snacks for patients is we called them “mini-meals.” So, they should be appropriate amounts of protein fat and carbs. Just you know, ratio, just a smaller amount.
Evan Brand: Yeah.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So, some people let’s say, they eat lunch around 12:00 or 1:00, and then the time, their family kind of gets together and has dinner, it’s like, maybe, seven o’clock. That’s seven hours. So, maybe for them, they have like a nice little shake, or a nice little epic bar or something around three or four, maybe around four o’clock, just to get them to that seven o’clock time. So they eat at 12:00, mini-meal at 4:00, and then they’d eat a real meal at seven o’clock. So, a nice meal that kind of tied due over in between to get to the real meal.
Evan Brand: Yeah, well said. The second part of the question was uh– “Better to eat fruits with meals instead.” Typically, I mean, the ideology, we would say, “Yeah,” if you’re doing some fat. Typically, that would act as kind of a slow digest for the– for the fruit, where the fruit’s by itself may spike your blood sugar a bit more. I’ve not personally tested it. I don’t eat too much fruit beyond berries, anyway. Some, not really concerned about whether I’m eating a handful by themselves or with meals. What’s your take though?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, I mean, this person’s probably coming from the context of meal-combining, where they say, fruits should be consumed by itself, because of the enzymes needed for it, and how fast he digestion process is. So that if you’re eating with fats and proteins, that’s gonna hold up the digestion, and leave it in the stomach longer and maybe create more gas or bloating issues. So, I always tell patients if you can handle fruit together, take– take it together. That tends to be the best way to do it. Take it with the food. If not, you can kind of eat your food, take enough enzymes and acids, and maybe do it like, uh – 20 or 30 minutes after your food. It’s kind of like a dessert kind of thing. But I would really make sure enough enzymes or acids are there. And if you really notice that you get bloated or gassy with fruit, while you’re eating it with food, but by itself you’d do better, then there’s probably some Fructose Malabsorption happening, and we got to work on the gut.
Evan Brand: Yep, yep. Well said. Also, thought about bacterial overgrowth when you were saying that, where that may present problems too if you’re doing fruit. Uhm – last question and I say, we wrap it up.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.
Evan Brand: Could a long term Water Fast [34.50] weeks, cut down on your stomach’s ability to produce sufficient acid for digestion. What do you think? I’ve got– I’ve got no additions on this.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, I mean, wate– yeah, you would definitely decrease your stomach acid, for sure. I mean, you need Zinc. You need Potassium. Uh – You need a lot of those nutrients to actually make stomach acids. So, yeah. It’s very possible. It could decrease your ability – your body’s ability to make it. That’s why, when you’d add it back in, you’d want to keep it as– as liquid and easy to process ,as you add it back in and gradually rationing back up to solid food. I know Dr.– I think it’s True North, up in Northern California, Dr. Goldhamer’s Clinic. They do a lot with Water Fasting, so people are looking to get more info in that. They do it in In-patient. Clinic would actually monitor people and they put them on IV’s and watch them, and make sure they’re on the right tract doing it. So, if you’re gonna do a Water Fast though, like a long-term, more than just two days, and you have issues. You’d want to do it under medical supervision.
Evan Brand: Cool. Well said.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Not a huge fan, but I’ve kind of gone over the reasons why it may be beneficial and helpful.
Evan Brand: Right. Good job.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Well, anything else you want to touch upon, Evan? What do you think?
Evan Brand: I don’t think so. I think we did great. I mean, the starting point with people, the 16/8 is gonna be the easiest. You can just uh – look up your uh – your YouTube channel. There’s more videos you’ve done on Intermittent Fasting. I think I may have done one, but you’ve inspired me. So, I’m gonna have to do more Intermittent Fasting videos. Maybe even just share my day, what does it even look like…
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.
Evan Brand: …how do you structure a day. Because while listening to it, I think, sometimes, people fall asleep halfway while they’re listening to us ‘cause they just like the sound of our voices. And so…
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: [laughs]
Evan Brand: …maybe we’ll show a video, like, “what does this actually look like”, “how do you break your day down to do this”. It’s actually quite simple. It allows you and I to have our brains functioning while we’re working with our clients, to keep our brains elevated. I mean, I feel so much better, you know, when I am in a fasted state, so kind of pushing that lunch back a bit more. I really get a lot of good productive work done in those first few hours of the day. Compared to if I do a real heavy big, big breakfast and break it. Uhm– my brain, it does slow down a bit for digestion, which is normal. You– your body’s gonna send the blood to the tummy.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.
Evan Brand: That makes sense if you’ve got a real uhm– a job that requires a lot of– a lot of brain power that you may want to just– you may want to visit this. If you’re a coder, computer programmer, you know, people that really got to have your brain a hundred percent dialed-in, you’re gonna be in a much better place, if you do this.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. I noticed the headaches, too, if I go too long if I skipped lunch. Hadn’t eaten ‘til, like, six o’clock and was, like, probably 24-hour fast but, I got really bad headaches…
Evan Brand: Ooh.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: …and I find that sometimes that can just happen from the minerals. So that’s where uhm– really getting a good electrolyte support in your water so you get the extra minerals that way, or you sip on a little bit of green juice, with the caveat of the ones that we mentioned of. The surely laid ones with the fruit. That can at least give you a little bit extra Potassium and minerals and Sodium and Chloride – all those extra minerals you need. So, that could be a side effect, and that’s part of the reason why people on Ketogenic diets get a lot of headaches is they just don’t get enough Potassium. So, making sure the minerals are there, and that’s a kind of a little tip of how you could do it.
Evan Brand: Yeah. I was gonna ask you what– what would you’ve done differently– to prevent the headache if you just got so busy again, you have to skip lunch. You deprived us half some electrolytes on board. Do you think you can avoid that?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I would just probably add some more electrolytes on board, and uhm– maybe add a couple sips of some green juice in there. Probably would have fixed it. Uh– and then also just add– making sure my fasting is on days that are less stressful. That tends to help too.
Evan Brand: Yep. Well, and maybe adaptogens too. You could always have a– maybe have some extra Ashwagandha in the tank or something like that may have helped you.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, absolutely, and someone asks about a green juice recipe. I’m honestly nothing specific. I throw a cucumber too in there. I threw kind of a bunch of Kale– kind of a half bunch of Kale in there. Uh – couple things, a celery in there. I just kind of like take, you know, an even amount, and I kind of just like create like a little lineup, and I just throw it in. Next, throw it in. Next throw it in. Make sure I get a cup worth. And then at the very end, I’ll sweeten it with uh – you know, one carrot or half to uh – half to one green apple, and then maybe a little bit of lime, or a little bit of ginger for a little bit of flavor. That’s it.
Evan Brand: Yep. Cool.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Now, I got a video coming up here on I was looking at my board. Think it’s all up right now. Yeah. [inaudible]
Evan Brand: What’s on that board?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: …fasting and hypothyroid. That’s gonna be done. I’m gonna record this later on today. So, I’m excited to put that video out. And I kind of talked about some of those gems that are in there in today’s podcast, but I’ll condense it down and fill up my little dry erase board behind me where we can really emphasize some points.
Evan Brand: What did– what’s the title? Hypothyroidism and Intermittent Fasting?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Intermittent Fasting and Hypothyroidism.
Evan Brand: I’ll– I’ll be kind [crosstalk]…
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: It’s kind of big [pauses] to a YouTube near you.
Evan Brand: Cool.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Alright, my man. Hey, happy 4th of July. You enjoy it, and we’ll talk real soon.
Evan Brand: You, too. Take care.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: You too.