When fasting is helping vs when it's not, diet variation, weight loss in perimenopause, fasting with your menstrual cycle and improving autophagy with Dr. Mindy Pelz
This week on The Less Stressed Life Podcast, I am excited to be joined by bestselling author, keynote speaker, nutrition and functional health expert, Dr. Mindy Pelz. In this episode, we dig into how fasting isn't as simple as it sounds, time restrictive versus calorie restrictive fasting, and affects of fasting on your hormones. Dr. Mindy also talks about her new book, Fast Like a Girl.
- Variation in fasting
- Diet variation
- Fasting with your menstrual cycle
- Improving autophagy
- WHY does it work for perimenopause?
- Who is fasting not for?
- When to fast and when not to?
- Adrenal fatigue and fasting
- Thyroid and fasting
- Should you exercise while fasting?
Dr. Mindy Pelz, D.C is a bestselling author, keynote speaker, nutrition and functional health expert who has spent over two decades helping thousands of people successfully reclaim their health. She is a recognized leader in the alternative health field and a pioneer in the fasting movement, teaching the principles of a fasting lifestyle, diet variation, detox, hormones, and more. Her popular YouTube channel (which just celebrated 23 million lifetime views) regularly updates followers on the latest science-backed tools and techniques to help them reset their health.
She is the host of one of the leading science podcasts, The Resetter Podcast, and the author of three best-selling books; The Menopause Reset, The Reset Factor, and The Reset Kitchen, and her current book published with Hay House, Fast Like a Girl, is available to order. Dr. Mindy has appeared on national shows like Extra TV and The Doctors, and has been featured in Muscle & Fitness, Well + Good, SHEknows, Healthline, and more.
WHERE TO FIND:
WHERE TO FIND CHRISTA:
Leave a review, submit a questions for the podcast or take one of my quizzes here: https://www.christabiegler.com/links
WORK WITH CHRISTA:
- 1:1 interpretation and personalized protocols
- Support between appointments with weekly touchpoints
- Messaging and trainings to get the most out of working together
Past clients, if it's been more than a year since I've seen you, you're welcome to book a call! This is the last time until fall that I'm taking clients. If you want to maximize this season and bring your body into balance go to https://www.christabiegler.com/fss to book a call with me.
[00:00:00] Dr. Mindy Pelz: Fasting isn't the hero of the day. Fasting is a tool that you use to let your body repair, and then when you go to eat, you're gonna bring food back into the equation to continue that nourishment. State
[00:00:13] Christa: stress is the inflammation that robs us of life, energy, and happiness. Our typical solutions for gut health and hormone balance.
[00:00:22] Christa: Have let a lot of us down we're overmedicated and underserved at the less trust life. We are a community of health savvy women exploring solutions outside of our traditional Western medicine toolbox and training to raise the bar and change our stories. Each week, our hope is that you leave our sessions inspired to learn, grow, and share these stories to raise the bar in your life and home.
[00:00:56] Christa: All right. Today I have Dr. Mindy Pells, who is a bestselling author, a keynote speaker, and a nutrition and functional health expert who spent two decades helping thousands of people successfully reclaim their health. She's a recognized leader in the alternative health field and a pioneer in the fasting movement, teaching the principles of fasting, lifestyle, diet, variation, detox hormones, and more.
[00:01:15] Christa: Popular YouTube channel, which just celebrated 23 million lifetime views regularly updates, followers on the latest science back tools and techniques to help them reset their health. She's host of one of the Leading Science podcasts, the Resetter podcast, and author of three bestselling books, the Menopause Reset, the Reset Factor, and The Reset Kitchen, and her current book published with Hey House Fast Like a Girl is.
[00:01:35] Christa: It's actually out now. She's appeared on national shows like Extra tv, the doctors, and has been featured in Muscle and Fitness Well and good. She knows Healthline and more. Welcome, Dr. Pells.
[00:01:44] Dr. Mindy Pelz: Yeah. Thank you for having me. Yeah.
[00:01:46] Christa: So I like that you're, you've hung your hat on the reset, right? It's like the reset for menopause in the reset or kitchen.
[00:01:54] Christa: Yeah. And I find, and this is a good way to talk about diet sometimes, instead of like, Hey, I'm gonna do an intentional reset. I'm gonna do this for a period of time. I'm gonna see how it goes. I talk about this like, are we doing, are we shifting things really long term? Are we going about this with curious optimism or are we kind of going into it with like a desperation of air desperation?
[00:02:11] Christa: Hmm. And of course, we're usually moved by des. But that can be a really challenging place to kind of start from. Right? So I like the concept of reset, which, where did, how did it happen that you kind of got into this niche, the reset, the, the fasting? Like when did that happen? How did you decide this is where I'm gonna spend my time and, and focus.
[00:02:32] Dr. Mindy Pelz: You know it, it's so funny that you asked me that question because I am not like, I write about this in fast like a girl. I'm like, I have no idea how I stumbled upon this. And it's been the greatest blessing of my life for my own personal health and for the patients that I've worked with. So I would say 10 years ago I was going through menopause or going through perimenopause, like starting to see some hormonal shifts.
[00:02:57] Dr. Mindy Pelz: And was searching for answers for myself and stumbled upon intermittent fasting. And at the time, Dr. Omi, his work, he had just won the Nobel Prize in medicine and physiology for the term autophagy. Mm-hmm. And at that time, the way we looked at autophagy was that it was with going without, in the absence of food that the cells would turn within and start to repair themselves.
[00:03:24] Dr. Mindy Pelz: Get rid of the broken parts. Eat the parts inside that were not, uh, serving it anymore and would make itself stronger. And that was Dr. O's work. And people fell in love with this idea of autophagy and intermittent fasting. So he was the door in to me understanding what was happening at a cellular level.
[00:03:44] Dr. Mindy Pelz: And then about that time, Jason Fun's book came out, the obesity code. And I think Jason's work really helped us see that. Weight loss was not a calorie in, calorie out issue. It was more of a hormonal issue. So both of those men really started my fascination with the science of fasting, and I started using it with my patients and got insane results, like better than supplements.
[00:04:11] Dr. Mindy Pelz: Better than any other therapy I'd ever seen. As I taught them to fast, I was able to see inflammation go down, weight loss resistance went away. Hormones were balanced and it was crazy. So, and I started getting the same similar results on myself. And long story short, that all morphed into me to go into YouTube and sharing the science with the world.
[00:04:33] Dr. Mindy Pelz: And then I had hundreds of thousands of people tell me their results with fasting, and here we are seven years later from that real initial time that I went to YouTube to explain what I was seeing in my clinic. And we, I mean, we've just seen a world explode into loving fasting and it's just worked so well for so many people.
[00:04:54] Dr. Mindy Pelz: So that was really like, you know, a long-winded answer to my door end, but it was multifaceted.
[00:05:00] Christa: Yeah. Well, you're not the first person who's come on here to talk about the benefits of fasting in perimenopause and how that was kind of life changing for them also. Yeah. But on the note of. Fasting like a girl and I, I'll come back to some of that science around autophagy, cause I wanna get into that a little bit more.
[00:05:16] Christa: But to kind of start that, one of the arguments is that fasting research is more done on men than women. Yeah. What would you say about that?
[00:05:26] Dr. Mindy Pelz: Oh, it's, it's a thousand percent true. It's either done on men, Mice or they'll, there's some very interesting studies that mix men and women. Toge put like a collective group together and study intermittent fasting.
[00:05:40] Dr. Mindy Pelz: One of the most famous studies on that was a couple years back, it came out that intermittent fasting was not a valuable tool for weight loss. And when I dove into the sample size, It was like couple hundred people, which was impressive. But it was everything from a 17 year old man to a 65 year old woman.
[00:05:59] Dr. Mindy Pelz: You should never look at the, at the differences in hormones and weight loss. You can't compare those two. So here's the problem. We're hard to study. You know, I used to feel like, why don't we have more research on us? But if you look at what needs to be done properly is you would need to take all the post-menopausal women and study them together.
[00:06:23] Dr. Mindy Pelz: You would need to take all the women that are ovulating at the same time and study them together like you would need to hormonally match us up to be able to see accurately how anything is working. On, uh, a woman's body. So I really think we're just difficult to study. Mm-hmm.
[00:06:42] Christa: Well, anecdotally you have a lot of experience with it, with that.
[00:06:45] Christa: Oh, it's fun. So let's jump into that a little bit. So I kind of look at this as both sides and I worked in a fasting program in 2017, so I saw, so it was very familiar with that science at what it can do and how it's increasing butyrate and all of these things. But there's also kind of like two sides of this coin.
[00:07:01] Christa: So let's talk about the positive first, which is uhhuh. You know, why does it work well in perimenopause? What shifts are happening where fasting comes in and kind of in some ways saves the day or can be a saving grace in that particular population.
[00:07:15] Dr. Mindy Pelz: Okay, so let's start with this concept that, Women have three sex hormones that have to be tended to when we fast men have won.
[00:07:25] Dr. Mindy Pelz: So we've got estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone. When you go into your perimenopausal years, estrogen's gonna go on a wild ride. There's gonna be highs, really incredible highs, and there's gonna be incredible dips. And it's, as we move through the perimenopausal years, the dips become more common. The highs start to go away.
[00:07:47] Dr. Mindy Pelz: So we really look at it as an estrogen rollercoaster, but it's also leading to actual estrogen decline. Mm-hmm. And here's the thing about estrogen. When estrogen goes down, you become more insulin resistant. So for the woman who goes into her forties and is struggling to lose weight, really fasting is your tool to be able to start to unstick weight loss.
[00:08:12] Dr. Mindy Pelz: And that's what we've seen. I mean, I wish I had a way to count up how much weight has been lost just from people watching my YouTube videos, but it's pretty profound when you are dealing with an estrogen decline and you've got a woman who is insulin and weight loss resistant when you teach her to fast.
[00:08:31] Dr. Mindy Pelz: She does amazing and can drop weight. Here's the rub, and this is where I really, one of the major premises of fast like a girl is progesterone doesn't want you to fast. Progesterone actually wants glucose to be higher. So when we're dealing with the perimenopausal woman, Sometimes we're gonna have estrogen that needs you to throw a fast at it and so that you can become more insulin sensitive, and sometimes you're gonna need to back away from fasting so you can make sure that you're not tanking progesterone.
[00:09:04] Dr. Mindy Pelz: So there's a real art for that. Those perimenopausal women to know when to fast and when not to fast, but it's not as simple as. Let's just fast all the time.
[00:09:14] Christa: Right? So I wanna get into that and then we can maybe go into some of these other areas. Right. So it, I find that it like comes out a lot in perimenopause because as hormones decline, we start to develop abdominal adiposity more.
[00:09:27] Christa: Right. And get that insulin resistance. Yeah. But then the other side is who is fasting not for? And you just brought it up. It's like if your progesterone's already low, which I feel like we have an epidemic of low progesterone because of stress. Right. But also if you're adrenal, so it's a. I love the concept of your body repairing itself unless it's already so malnourished where the adrenals are fried and it's not repairing itself.
[00:09:48] Christa: Would you agree with that or do you feel like you don't see that as much? I mean, the question really is who is fasting not for? How do you know that this is actually gonna kind of backfire and it may not be very awesome at all for you.
[00:10:01] Dr. Mindy Pelz: Yeah, that is a multi-pronged answer. Mm-hmm. So let me start with the first, which is one thing that we know with the adrenal fatigued person and this, I will tell you that as I started to look at fasting more, my first initial thought was this would not be for the adrenal fatigued person.
[00:10:19] Dr. Mindy Pelz: That was originally my thought until I started to play with the principles of what I call a fasting lifestyle. With my patients, and what I noticed is if you just gave them a little bit of a fasting stressor, we call that a hormetic stress. Mm-hmm. Where you just apply a little bit of a good stress, the adrenals actually repaired themselves, so it let's take an adrenal fatigue person.
[00:10:42] Dr. Mindy Pelz: If all of a sudden they've been only fasting, the longest they've ever done is eight hours. If I had 'em go eight and a half hours of fasting, and we did that for a couple weeks and then we moved to nine hours. We did that for a couple weeks, then we moved to 10 and we slowly moved them into an intermittent fasting window.
[00:11:02] Dr. Mindy Pelz: The adrenals actually repaired and it wasn't so much the, remember the, with adrenals, you got the whole H P A access. Mm-hmm. So you've got the hypothalamus and pituitary that also repaired itself and the whole feedback loop improved. So I got in my. Clinic, better results with adrenal fatigue, people doing that than even with supplements.
[00:11:25] Dr. Mindy Pelz: Mm-hmm. So it was, that was a real interesting insight to really be clear on who fasting is not for, I would say it's not for the pregnant woman. It needs to be modified for the nursing woman. And we can go into that if you wanna know why. And then it also, the woman that's got eating disorders, I feel like you need to really walk through, and that would be both men and women that have eating disorders.
[00:11:50] Dr. Mindy Pelz: It, you, you really need to walk through the fasting process with somebody who's, uh, like a therapist or a doctor or a coach of some kind to make sure that it's not triggering any old patterns.
[00:12:03] Christa: Mm-hmm. Whenever I think about adrenals, I think about thyroid as well. And I think about, there's kind of an entire movement now talking about undereating and sluggish thyroid and not feeding enough carbs and what that has done.
[00:12:15] Christa: What is your thought process? And if you have seen what I wanna say about how you talked about adrenal fatigue issues is that that was a very slow process, right? Yeah. Oh, for a couple, you know, yeah. It was eight hours because. If you have true HPA access dysfunction or adrenal fatigue, whatever word we wanna use here, right?
[00:12:32] Christa: You may not be producing things like D H E A very well to help control blood sugar, which we're already blood sugar's already kind of a rollercoaster mess, right? Yeah. In, in this population we're conversing about, so I wanna. Talk a little bit before we depart from adrenal stuff, also about thyroid and your experience with mm-hmm.
[00:12:50] Christa: How that has affected with fasting. Yeah.
[00:12:52] Dr. Mindy Pelz: Okay. So thyroid is another really interesting one, and I've spent a lot of time studying this and testing out some of the theories. So the first thing I wanna say is that when you hear somebody say, fasting is not for thyroid, when I dive into the research that those clinicians or scientists have, Made that declaration on, and I click on those studies that they're citing.
[00:13:13] Dr. Mindy Pelz: They're citing calorie restriction fasting. The fasting that I advocate for is time restriction. It is not calorie restriction, I believe in feast, famine cycling. Hmm. So the first thing is, if you have a thyroid issue, you have to make sure that when you fast, you're obviously fasting, but then when you eat, you're.
[00:13:33] Dr. Mindy Pelz: Eating and you're eating good nutritious food and you're getting plenty of calories. So that's the first thing there. The second studies that I would cite are when they looked at what it did to, specifically to the T3 production, they found that T3 tanked. Went down when somebody was in a fasted state.
[00:13:54] Dr. Mindy Pelz: That was what one study showed that was became very popular. So people went, oh my gosh, T3 hormones down. But then another study went and looked beyond that and found that once you brought food back into the equation, that T3 actually doubled. So one of the biggest challenges that we have with fasting research is we are looking only at what's happening in the fasting window, and we're not addressing what happens when somebody brings food back into the equation.
[00:14:26] Dr. Mindy Pelz: They're both sides of that conversation are massively important. Fasting isn't the hero of the day. Fasting is a tool that you use to let your body repair, and then when you go to eat, you're gonna bring food back into the equation to continue that nourishment state. Mm-hmm. So that, that's one of my, the biggest things I've seen on thyroid and honestly, what we've seen in my clinic, what we saw online.
[00:14:50] Dr. Mindy Pelz: Or we see on my online community is if you combine a fasting lifestyle where you're varying your fast, you're varying your foods, you combine that with some really good detox protocols that most people then have to adjust their thyroid medication. They actually have to bring their thyroid medication down because that whole system starts to repair itself.
[00:15:11] Christa: Hmm. That was really helpful. And I think the main underline there is you're advocating for time restriction on Right. Eating, not calorie restriction. Yes. I think this happens all the time. The problem that I see, or the, I think the most common mistake I have seen with fasting over the years is we're just so human that we don't eat.
[00:15:33] Christa: And so, but that doesn't work. It's not like you are, yeah. It's not like you're getting like a go past, go and go to the next, like you're not getting a get out of jail free card, not play here. No you're not. Yes. You still need to eat the same amount of food. It's just that it's done in a different timed fashion.
[00:15:49] Christa: So you have more time between meals. So autophagy can kick in. Yes. And let's talk about the windows around that. I have a lot of things I wanna talk about from, from what you just, my first question was, oh, was the research done in women or was it all in men in mice? Outta curiosity,
[00:16:01] Dr. Mindy Pelz: like, yeah. You know what I.
[00:16:02] Dr. Mindy Pelz: I could go back. I could go back and find it. It was most likely done on mice or done on a mixed group because the right, there's only about three or four studies on fasting and women. So yeah, it was probably done on that.
[00:16:15] Christa: Mm-hmm. Okay. So let's talk about windows. So you often, fasting gets talked about in like 16, eight and all of these things.
[00:16:22] Christa: So let's talk about windows. And you talked nicely about with adrenal issues, just being really slow and steady. Eight hours, eight and a half hours, nine hours, I mean, That's not very common to hear someone talk about that. Really slow and steady. But it's nice to hear you talk about slow and steady. It's kind of how we have to think about things in general in life is like, well, if we're gonna jump straight from one to the other, so let's talk about some of these different intervals and when does aji really start to kick in?
[00:16:47] Christa: Which
[00:16:48] Dr. Mindy Pelz: is what we're going for. Yeah. So here's the best way to, to really understand the windows, is when you eat, you're now, you're operating and building energy from your sugar burner's energy system. So blood sugar goes up, the cells use that for energy, and the mitochondria need, they make energy, they need glucose.
[00:17:06] Dr. Mindy Pelz: So after a meal, the blood sugar starts to drop. Usually about eight hours. You're gonna go back. To a pretty steady, like you're in a fasted state, we should see your blood sugar go back to its normal pre-meal amount at about two hours. But at about eight hours, your body is gonna start to do this thing where it switches over into the fat burning energy system, where it is gonna make ketones the scientific name or the way that many people refer to that as the ketogenic energy system.
[00:17:35] Dr. Mindy Pelz: So at eight hours, what we have clinically found is that's about the time that you start to make this switch. But what we're seeing is that for most people, the benefits of fasting don't really kick in till about 13 hours. And at 13 hours, you're most people will start to see a little bit of a presence of some ketones.
[00:17:54] Dr. Mindy Pelz: Ketones are fuel for the brain. They're fuel for the mitochondria. So they can start to give you a little more energy. They can kill hunger. Usually about 13 hours. You can see somebody's hunger maybe starting to go away. It can actually, ketones can go up and really be fuel for the brain. So sometimes mental clarity kicks in.
[00:18:13] Dr. Mindy Pelz: But you know the, everybody's variable on that. And we can talk about the variable, why people vary on that. About 15 hours in, you're starting to see growth hormone go up and growth hormone slows aging down and it helps you burn fat. So this is why a 15 hour intermittent fasting lifestyle tends to have people losing weight about 17 hours.
[00:18:35] Dr. Mindy Pelz: Now the body's going, oh my gosh, okay, that we haven't had any blood sugar spikes, so we better get more efficient. We better clean these cells up. And so at about 17 hours, autophagy kicks in. Now I wanna point out that all of these, as I go along these time periods, let's think of it like switches each.
[00:18:55] Dr. Mindy Pelz: Each marker is giving you another healing mechanism, and 17 hours is, when I say these hours, they're like estimates because everybody has a little different variation to it. But autophagy kicks in at 17, typically. I. At 24 hours, we know that we start to see intestinal stem cells get repaired 36 hours.
[00:19:18] Dr. Mindy Pelz: You can actually, there's some really interesting research showing that at 36 hours, the body really starts to burn stubborn fat, specifically around the midsection. And that was an interesting study where they did 36 hours of fasting on and 12 hours of eating, and then 36 hours of fasting, 12 hours of eating that was done on humans, and that was done for 30 days.
[00:19:42] Dr. Mindy Pelz: And they saw a significant decrease in belly fat specifically. Then 48 hours, we see the dopamine system get rebooted. We see antioxidants for longevity come in, and at 72 hours we released what Walter Longo's research was rebooting the whole immune system. So that progression, I call it six different level fasts.
[00:20:05] Dr. Mindy Pelz: They each have different research attached to it. Some of it is mice research, some of it is mixed research. Some of it is female research. But the way I like to teach fasting, Is that the longer you go, the more healing happens and you get to choose how much healing you want based off of how long you wanna fast.
[00:20:24] Christa: Mm-hmm. Maybe on day one, don't jump straight into a 36 hour fast. Oh, oh, oh. For sure. And what would happen if someone did that? Right? What would happen? How would they feel? How are they feel? Yeah, I
[00:20:35] Dr. Mindy Pelz: you can, your body will know what to do, but you may struggle, but for sure I always say it's, this is why we do fast training weeks on my social platforms.
[00:20:45] Dr. Mindy Pelz: Every month we take five days and we practice it together as a community. It's a muscle You wanna exercise for sure.
[00:20:52] Christa: Mm-hmm. Talking about fasting and some of these even longer fasts, I wanna talk a little bit about cycling. Fasting and how appropriate, I think there's a lot, a lot of answers to this question, but if someone is kind of intrigued by benefits, but this isn't something they wanna be doing all of the time, right?
[00:21:09] Christa: Right. Then how many days would you maybe recommend that they consider playing with this maybe per month, or even how often per year? That's the first question.
[00:21:21] Dr. Mindy Pelz: Okay, great. So the first thing I always recommend is play with just intermittent fasting. Get yourself to 13 to 15 hours. Do that every day. Try that for 30 days, and just play with that principle.
[00:21:35] Dr. Mindy Pelz: With the exception being the adrenal fatigue person that we spoke of. But that your first job is to get to know this fat burner energy system. Most people have not gone more than eight hours without food. So we wanna start by just getting to know what it feels like to intermittent fast after you've done that for, uh, you know, a couple weeks to a month.
[00:21:55] Dr. Mindy Pelz: Then you've gotta go into this idea of feast, famine, cycling. Just like we weren't meant to eat all day. We were not meant to fast all the time. And I will tell you one of the biggest ahas that I had when I first started teaching the principles on YouTube is all the people that fell in love with the obesity code became the, I call 'em the O Matters, the one Meal A Day people.
[00:22:15] Dr. Mindy Pelz: Mm-hmm. And all they did is eat one meal a day, and then they found their way to my YouTube channel and their hair was falling out. They were not losing weight. They got, in fact, in some cases they were starting to gain weight back. That was the person that wasn't get their thyroid was going off like all the, the That's what I see too.
[00:22:35] Dr. Mindy Pelz: Yeah. That's all. The dark side of fasting showed up and they meandered onto my page because I was teaching how to do this feast, famine cycling at at that time. So once you got it down for a month, The next logical man or woman? Well, let's start with men. I would encourage men to do what I call a five 11, where five days a week you just intermittent fast.
[00:22:57] Dr. Mindy Pelz: 13 to 15 hours. Make it easy on yourself. One day a week, stretch that fast to whatever length you want. If you wanna burn more fat, go, you know, you can try to go to that 36 hour mark and then one day a week don't fast. And I think that's a really good way to start practice feast, famine, cycling. And then women, this is the whole premise of fast like a girl is if you have a cycle, you're gonna wanna time your fast around your cycle.
[00:23:24] Dr. Mindy Pelz: Mm-hmm. And the first part of your cycle, first 10 days, you can throw some longer fast at it. Ovulation, you got a lot of hormones coming in. I recommend you bring your fast down. I don't like it to be longer than 15 hours during ovulation. And then when we go the week before our period when progesterone is coming in, No fasting.
[00:23:43] Dr. Mindy Pelz: So with a cycling woman, we wanna mimic it to her hormonal cycle. For a postmenopausal woman, she's gonna need two days of no fasting a week because she's got a really mind progesterone. And those are just cookie cutter examples. And to your point, when you're looking at making this a lifestyle, there's a rhythm that you're gonna find naturally for you.
[00:24:06] Dr. Mindy Pelz: And the rhythm, I can tell you, for me, as a 53 year old woman, Is some days I do a, I throw a one meal a day. Some days I, I only do 13 hours. Some days I don't fast. It's, there's a, a rhythm that I have found that I know works for my hormones and I, I clue into my symptoms to be able to use those to guide me.
[00:24:26] Dr. Mindy Pelz: Since
[00:24:27] Christa: we we're talking about time restriction and not calorie restriction, when you're doing Ooma or one meal a day, are you getting in. Your full range of calories in that one meal, or is that a day you are
[00:24:37] Dr. Mindy Pelz: or not? Well, I'm, I'm a meat eater, so yeah. The typical, my favorite go-to meal is a big steak, a big sweet potato, and a whole lot of salad.
[00:24:46] Dr. Mindy Pelz: If I feel like I didn't get enough in, in that one meal a day, I. Then I will, you know, for greens, cuz that greens will help you break down estrogen. I will throw in like a organic fries, green juice or something like that. Sometimes I'll throw it in in my fasting window if it doesn't spike my blood sugar.
[00:25:03] Christa: So we talked about fasting as more of a lifestyle right there, and we've talked a lot about fasting as a weight loss tool, which is not, you know, it was kind of like a happy accident that happened really. Of course, the Toph Fiji first is looking at. Cellular cleanup. And I think about that as a huge part of just anti-aging and cancer prevention and all of the things.
[00:25:24] Christa: And that's kind of been heavy on my heart as I've had so many clients coming in with just young cancer lately. And so I wanna think about autophagy from a different angle from health benefits. I don't think we're always as motivated by things that we don't have going on, right? People, people are motivated by weight, so I'm just gonna acknowledge our human behavior.
[00:25:41] Christa: I think it's good for us to acknowledge that. Yeah. But let's say someone wants to do some fasting to get benefits. I mean, would doing things one week a month be a reasonable area for, Hey, this is gonna still give me some benefit? Because you just talked about lots of ways to do it, right. Where it's kind of like, right.
[00:26:01] Christa: Yeah. You know, and this is easy for you. You've been working on it for like seven years, right? Right.
[00:26:06] Dr. Mindy Pelz: So it's not easy to teach though,
[00:26:09] Christa: I'll tell you that. No, it's not. It's not. And I think that's, you know, you and I are both coming from a place where we, you understand this more than I do. I was part of this world for a while and then I saw this sluggish thyroid and all of the other things, and the undereating really comes.
[00:26:22] Christa: So that's why I wanna underline the time restriction, not calorie restriction. That's great. That's just a thing that happens when people do diets. They in, they initially, They're very excited and they do a maybe a beautiful job. Let's pretend someone goes vegan. They're like, oh, I'm eating all the plants.
[00:26:37] Christa: And then before you know it, it's like noodles. You know, because that's that's right.
[00:26:42] Dr. Mindy Pelz: Right. Oh my God, that's so true with it's,
[00:26:44] Christa: it's so true. It's, it's just I see it all the time, right? Yeah. It's just like, oh, I was doing so great. But life gets in the way sometimes. Yeah. So let's say someone just wants to do something really intentional for like, medical benefit is once a month, once every couple of month.
[00:26:58] Christa: Like if someone wants to just schedule. Hey, I'm gonna do a little bit of fasting cause I really wanna like up my autophagy cause that's like a real biohacker and nerdy thing to say right there. Right? Just wanna increase my autophagy inter, you know, intermittently to prevent some disease and decay and all of those things.
[00:27:15] Christa: And what does that look like? Where. You know, this person doesn't wanna focus on it all the time. They actually wanna focus on the rest of their life. Right. But they still want the benefits from it. Yeah. I wonder what the minimums look
[00:27:24] Dr. Mindy Pelz: like. Yeah. You know what? Here's what I wanna say, is every diet works when you first do it.
[00:27:29] Dr. Mindy Pelz: Mm-hmm. And this is how the body, this is what I'm really wanting to get people out of that there's a one size fits all diet for you. Mm-hmm. Because one of the problems with everything, That we do in health is we do it. The first time we do it, we get a result and we're like, that's amazing. I must do this over and over and over and over again.
[00:27:49] Dr. Mindy Pelz: Yes. And we either decide we're gonna do it over and over again until we can't handle the discipline anymore. And to your point, we go, we fall off. Mm-hmm. Or until it stops working and then we villainize it. Mm-hmm. So I just wanna point out, mm-hmm. That every diet, every fast, every supplement, every exercise needs to be done in variation.
[00:28:09] Dr. Mindy Pelz: I have a personal trainer I go to every time I go. I get a different workout and I get different intensity. Everybody understands that's how you build your muscles stronger. Why don't we do that with diet and fasting? So that would be the first thing. Now to answer your question around. Could we just do it once a month?
[00:28:28] Dr. Mindy Pelz: Absolutely. I mean, vulture Longo's study on his second study that he did on type one and type two diabetes, he did five days a month of the fast mimicking diet, which is really calorie restriction and protein restriction. Mm-hmm. And he did that three months in a row, five days. Three months in a row and he started to see pancreatic cells regrow.
[00:28:52] Dr. Mindy Pelz: Mm-hmm. And so that was only five days. I don't know what they did the rest of the month, but they weren't in that restriction phase. That wasn't even time restriction. That was small doses of calorie restriction. Mm-hmm. So to your point, absolutely, if that's what. It feels good for you. That is really one of my big messages with fasting is do it your way.
[00:29:14] Dr. Mindy Pelz: Don't do it the way your friend told you to do it. Don't do it the way that some, a fasting expert is telling you to do it. Play with the principles in fast. Like a girl, I have six different fasts. I have two different eating styles. I show you how to time them to your hormones. Be playful with that. It's, I'm not here to say my way is the right way.
[00:29:33] Dr. Mindy Pelz: I'm here to say this is an incr. Incredible tool and use it however you wanna use it, but understand all of the different nuances that come along with using this tool.
[00:29:43] Christa: Mm-hmm. What I like about you is that you've got a lot of curious optimism and good energy, and you're not dogmatic about it, right?
[00:29:49] Christa: Mm-hmm. Which is important. And I really wanna underline also and put in bold that variation. So there's a lot of options. Variation. Yeah. So one thing with fasting that is cool is that it's very low cost, right? Yeah. And you know, it's like almost. It's essentially freeish. Right? Right. But there is a little education and being patient and understanding how it's gonna respond in your own body.
[00:30:12] Christa: Yeah. I think that's a little bit of the trade off is that you are gonna take some time and you're gonna do that anyway with your health, right? Like yeah, this is your life. Like you are gonna, if you're gonna do an intentional experiment, you gotta kind of know where you're headed a little bit and like stop and reassess every once in a while.
[00:30:26] Christa: Yeah. Agreed. So it would be beautiful and easy to close there. But I have a few rapid fire questions that I think are gonna come up because. These are just things that I saw a lot in the past when you were talking about these different fasts. People always wanna know about exercising, you know, how should I alter my exercising?
[00:30:41] Christa: What would you
[00:30:41] Dr. Mindy Pelz: say to that? In the shorter fasts, I think it's a great idea to exercise in a fasted state, you're gonna burn more fat that way. If you're looking for that, if you're looking to burn fat, it's, it can be an incredible tool. I always recommend that. If you're gonna work out in a fasted state, come home and break your fast with protein so that you can build muscle back up.
[00:31:03] Dr. Mindy Pelz: Anything over 24 hours, I don't recommend fasting. And here's why. You're at now asking the body to. To really perform some profound healing mechanisms. So don't confuse it by throwing more exercise raises. Cortisol, just don't confuse it. Anything over 24, no exercise under 24. Yeah. Now you can use it as a weight loss tool.
[00:31:25] Christa: Mm-hmm. Let it believe it's doing some par. Don't be confusing on which thing it, social media. Right.
[00:31:30] Dr. Mindy Pelz: Like you're sending a signal to your body. Like tell, just be aware of that. And if you send too many healing signals, now the body's like, what? And it's not healing. Mm-hmm. You
[00:31:40] Christa: talked about modification for nursing women.
[00:31:42] Christa: What, what do you wanna say about that?
[00:31:43] Dr. Mindy Pelz: No more than 17 hours, and maybe even keep it closer to 15, because if you go into autophagy, in autophagy, the body is gonna push out toxins inside the cell so it can push out things like heavy metals, and that's gonna go into your circulation. It can go into your.
[00:32:00] Dr. Mindy Pelz: Breast milk and now into your baby. So I really like keeping it under 17 more, around 15, if that feels appropriate. But a lot of nursing women, even 13 is fine. And it depends on your hunger levels. If you wake up and you're like, I'm gonna do a 13 hour fast today, and you're nine hours in and you're famished.
[00:32:20] Dr. Mindy Pelz: Eat because you're feeding a baby. If you wake up and you're not hungry and you can go 13 hours, great. When you hit 15, time to stop.
[00:32:29] Christa: Mm-hmm. That's really helpful because you were talking about detox earlier and I was thinking as you shed kind of, fat cells we're releasing toxins, but you're saying, Hey, When we have autophagy, the body's gonna push that out as well, which makes perfect sense cuz it's gonna try to get rid of anything that's unnecessarily.
[00:32:44] Christa: Right. So that's really useful. I haven't heard people talk about fasting in relationship to supporting detoxification, which is a very nutrient dense process, uhhuh. So thank you for bringing that up. I think that's really important and valuable. How about these people? Where in perimenopause, yes, it's working well if our estrogens will put on a rollercoaster, but if progesterone's low, is there any red flags to look for where you're like, maybe I should back off a little bit.
[00:33:06] Christa: Yeah. Uh, with that, I
[00:33:07] Dr. Mindy Pelz: would say the biggest red flags that you're fasting too much is the spotting. So all of a sudden you start spotting and then a week later you actually get your period. And that would be for like the perimenopausal woman might notice that. The other thing would be like really heavy clotting once you get your period can be a sign of low progesterone or really intense, like almost like hemorrhaging like.
[00:33:30] Dr. Mindy Pelz: Really intense blood would be another one. Hair falling out is another one where you're all of a sudden noticing clumps of hair coming out. Typically that means you're just not cycling, you're fasting enough and it's, you know, what I have found is the hardest thing is that once a w uh, specifically women, when they figure out how awesome they can feel fasting, they don't wanna not.
[00:33:52] Dr. Mindy Pelz: Fast. Mm-hmm. Yeah. And that you're gonna have to step out, especially after 40, you're gonna have to step out periodically. Mm-hmm. And in fast, like a girl, I put. A ton of my favorite hacks for all different perimenopause and men and menopausal women because especially for the perimenopausal woman, it's, you know, sometimes we have our period every two weeks, sometimes every 60 days.
[00:34:15] Dr. Mindy Pelz: Like it's, there's a lot of nuance. So I tried to address all of
[00:34:19] Christa: that in the book. Yeah. Thank you for bringing this up. That's really good. I know those red flags and. I think the last one is people, you know, and I, I see a lot less of this now than I did a few years ago, but exogenous ketones, we were like, well, I could just take ketones.
[00:34:33] Christa: Yeah. You know, are you getting any benefit when you're doing exogenous ketones? Like what do you wanna say about that?
[00:34:39] Dr. Mindy Pelz: So I've been all over the map with exogenous ketones. So the first I would say, Is that, remember that it, why are you using your exogenous ketones? So ketones are a sign that the body is burning fat for energy.
[00:34:55] Dr. Mindy Pelz: So you putting more ketones into you doesn't equate to more fat burning. So let's start off there. Second thing is, is it going, the question we've all had in the fasting movement is, is it going to cause the body more harm where it can now not be able to get into ketosis because you're always throwing ketones into the picture, so you're confusing the system.
[00:35:19] Dr. Mindy Pelz: And is the it make the, does it make the body less metabolically flexible? I haven't seen. I can't prove that yet, but I would say that logically makes sense to me. So just if you're gonna go into that path, you know, kind of a little bit of buyer beware that you may long term be messing up your ketogenic energy system.
[00:35:40] Dr. Mindy Pelz: So use it very sporadically. The last thing is, I will say there are places that we see at work, and one of the places would be if somebody's trying to do a three day water fast, they're at. 48 hours and their body's struggling a little bit. If I give them a little bit of exogenous ketones, sometimes that can actually help the body move more smoothly into that fat burning system.
[00:36:05] Dr. Mindy Pelz: Mm-hmm. Dabbled a little bit with kids with like, Learning disabilities and autism, again, always just sporadically. This is not an everyday thing. We've dabbled in, in using it with Alzheimer's patients who you might not be able to get to fast. So there are some interesting places that it's worked, but it al, I mean, if you do it every day, I really get concerned about that.
[00:36:31] Dr. Mindy Pelz: But throwing it in, in splashes in a therapeutic way, I really can see some benefit in, in short little conditions like what I was talking
[00:36:39] Christa: about. That's cool. Thank you for sharing that. So thanks for enduring all of my kind of diff, I think kind of sort of difficult questions when Fasting's been around for a while.
[00:36:48] Christa: We can't just talk about fasting 1 0 1 anymore, we have to talk about the Yeah, I love it. Negatives, I love it and, and what we're seeing from it and when it can be really useful and not, and you've re. Inspired me to re-look at fasting and I'd kind of put it on the shelf for a long time because like you said, it's actually there's, it sounds simple, but it's not simple.
[00:37:06] Christa: Right. And that's how the, a lot of the best free things are. It's like, it sounds simpler than it is, and there's definitely gonna be some nuance in how that works. Dr. Mindy, where can people find you online?
[00:37:16] Dr. Mindy Pelz: Uh, yeah, you can go to dr mindy pells.com. Everything is there fast. Like a girl will be out at the end of December.
[00:37:22] Dr. Mindy Pelz: It's ready now for pre-orders or depending on when you listen to this, you can go to fast like a girl.com. In that book, I literally put every question every woman has. Ever asked me is in 83,000 words and a whole bunch of recipes in that book. So I'm really excited cuz this book was really needed. It's like takes, and I appreciate your questions because this is exactly what I put in the book is these hard
[00:37:47] Christa: questions.
[00:37:47] Christa: So good. Well, I didn't even know I needed another fasting book, so here I am. Yeah, I
[00:37:51] Dr. Mindy Pelz: know well, Right. You know what's funny on that is, uh, Dave Asprey, when he came out with Fast like, or Fast this way, I was like, okay, this, he's gonna do it. And he had a whole chapter on women needing to fast differently, but he didn't say how.
[00:38:07] Dr. Mindy Pelz: So I told Dave, I said, I didn't get it. Like you ha, like why didn't you tell us how? So once I saw his book, I was like, okay, done. I'm putting down what I've learned watching at this point. Millions of women go through this
[00:38:20] Christa: process. Yeah. Well, and I have to ask one last question because this is the question I get from listeners as they say, oh, that was really great, but I don't really know where to go today.
[00:38:30] Christa: Yeah. Or from here. And so what do you wanna tell people if we wanna give them something tangible? They can explore or consider or try or what message do you wanna tell the listener?
[00:38:39] Dr. Mindy Pelz: Oh, I, I love that question cuz as a podcaster I'm like you, I, I wanna put out information that people can apply. Mm-hmm.
[00:38:45] Dr. Mindy Pelz: Well, in the book I have a 30 day fasting reset that will time to a woman's hormones. A man can do it too if he wants to learn how to vary. His fast post-menopausal women can do it in there. There's also a pre-set that I have people do for two weeks beforehand so that they prepare themselves for fasting.
[00:39:04] Dr. Mindy Pelz: So that's a really good starting place. We do do, I have a membership group where you can come and learn how to customize it for you. Otherwise, I have so many free resources like how to start with fasting. You can go to my website. I have like a intermittent fasting for beginners guide there. You can go to my YouTube channel and type in beginners and intermittent fasting and there's a lot of how to there that are free resources.
[00:39:29] Christa: Cool. Well thank you so much for coming on today. Yeah, yeah. Thanks for having me. I'll
[00:39:33] Dr. Mindy Pelz: look forward to seeing your book. Yeah. Thank you.
[00:39:36] Christa: Food sensitivities, low energy and skin issues can all be caused by inflammation. The root cause of inflammation is immune system imbalance. So how do you bring the immune system into balance to correct inflammatory symptoms like food sensitivities, low energy skin issues, and a cascade of other things?
[00:39:54] Christa: No one seems to have the answer to like being sick more often than you should be having consistently low vitamin D, b12, iron, salt, and or sugar cravings. Puffiness in your face or extremities needing a daily antihistamine losing hair, but your labs are normal. The answer to these things is immune resilience, and that's the overarching goal I have when working with one-on-one clients.
[00:40:18] Christa: So how could I help? Well, I found that you want the answer to everything, so I try to be as comprehensive as possible to be a one-stop shop. Now, that doesn't mean I'm going to focus on weight loss because I'm not, but I will focus on the subclinical things that are often preventing weight loss or causing resistance, just for example.
[00:40:35] Christa: But big picture, I love helping people with these nitty gritty, weird symptoms that are falling through the cracks everywhere else under that inflammatory umbrella. I wanna help you with as much as possible in the time we have together. So I try to include everything I need to do that, or I'm transparent about what I don't include.
[00:40:51] Christa: So what I usually include are a couple of labs, both gut and nutrient labs. You can always add on more if you want or if it's needed, but I try to keep it streamlined and efficient to start. I also include one-on-one interpretation and step-by-step personalized protocols. We will tell you exactly what to do and what you can expect for results and timelines and support between appointments.
[00:41:13] Christa: I have weekly office hours messaging and training so you can understand the basics and ask advanced questions in our face-to-face time. You're welcome to take as much or as little as you want. You can think of it like an all you can eat buffet, but you can graze here or there as needed as you need support between appointments.
[00:41:31] Christa: And if we don't hear from you, we'll even check in to make sure things are going okay and that things aren't falling through the cracks. If you're a past client and if you're needed anything, you're welcome to book a call too. If it's been more than a year since I've seen you, and if I need a context of anything that's going on with you right now, I am taking clients currently the last time until fall.
[00:41:52] Christa: So right now I'm accepting calls. We'll ship out our. Testing or your testing in May and really get started in June. So if you want to maximize this season and bring your body into balance, you can go to krista bigler.com or check the show notes and click on that program page to apply and book an intro call.
[00:42:10] Christa: Sharing and reviewing this podcast is the best way to help us succeed with our mission. To help integrate the best of East and West and empower you to raise the bar on your health story, just go to review this podcast.com/less stressed life. That's review this podcast.com/less stressed life, and you'll be taken directly to a page where you can insert your review and hit post.
Do you need a detox?
Getting "too old" to handle alcohol?
Sensitive to smells or metals?
Detox isn't just juice cleanses & snake oils. It's a process that our body is trying to do all day long.
Take the quiz to find out if it's time for a detox.