Weight loss in the US is a billion-dollar industry. Gin Stephens, followed plenty of weight loss trends over her life. In 2014, Gin Stephens, now a New York Times bestselling author, and retired from her teaching career, found the solution. She calls it a healthy lifestyle with a side benefit of weight loss; Intermittent Fasting (IF). She has been living the intermittent fasting lifestyle since 2014, has lost over 80 lbs and the maintenance has been easier than she ever imagined. She now has four books and two podcasts sharing this journey with others.
When I first heard Gin it riveted me. I listened to her narration of “Fast, Feast, Repeat” and knew that many of you would want to hear from her as well.
Personally, one of the best choices I ever made was to let go of dieting, and love the skin I’m in; so the last thing I want to do is to get folks jumping on a diet.
When I hear Gin share, it makes sense that this is a lifestyle, not another diet. The term “fasting” previously worried me folks were unhealthily starving themselves. For myself, it would make me think of a blood sugar roller coaster; rather than getting off that roller coaster. Learning about IF turned my thinking on its head—it’s teaching your body how self-sufficient it is so that it isn’t seeking that next snack and you aren't starving.
Join us to learn what intermittent fasting and a clean fast is (and why this makes all the difference), how frequent snacking isn’t the solution you’ve been told it might be, some of the health benefits of intermittent fasting; including autophagy, regulating glucose (concerns about Type 2 Diabetes?), and its ability to get at your fat stores.
Connect with Gin
[04:45] Your body’s metabolism
[06:40] Autophagy and its benefits
[11:37] “The Biggest Loser” study analysis
[14:46] Fasting vs. diet
[16:26] The effects of fasting on the body
[18:00] Clean Fast
[20:37] Cephalic phase insulin response
[25:08] Intermittent fasting and eating window
[27:29] How fasting heals your relationship with food
[32:14] Some benefits of Intermittent Fasting
[34:50] Gin’s self-care
[36:04] Grit Wit – Take Away -flavors triggering the release of insulin
[41:01] How to reach Gin Stephens
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Diets are easy in contemplation, but hard in execution. Mm-hmm. meaning every diet we ever started, we're so excited. It sounds like we're gonna be able to do it, but then when we actually try to do it, it's really hard. Mm-hmm. easy, in contemplation, hard in execution. Fasting is the complete opposite. It is hard in contemplation. But easy and execution. Like it sounds like you're going to be restricting yourself for 16 hours a day. You're not eating. Oh my Lord, I'm gonna be hangry. I'm gonna just waste away to nothing. It's gonna be awful. But in reality, you start to feel so much better after your body adapts to the the clean, fast, and your fat adapted. You're running on your stored fat for fuel. You have great energy, and then in your daily eating window, you get to eat the food that makes you feel your best. Welcome to The Grit Show on Purpose. I'm your host, Sean Rodrigues, and I'm happy to be here with you as your guide for all of us growing together as seekers and thrivers. Jen Stevens, the New York Times bestselling author of Fast Feet. Repeat delay, don't deny. Has been living the intermittent fasting lifestyle since 2014. Since then, she's lost over 80 pounds and lost her IF website for online support groups. Four self-published books and two top ranked podcasts, intermittent Fasting Stories and the Intermittent fasting podcast. A graduate of the Institute of Integrative Nutrition's Health Coach training program in 2019. She also earned a Doctor of Education degree in gifted and talented education, a master's in natural sciences, and a bachelor's degree in elementary education. She taught elementary school for 28 years and has worked with adult learners in a number of settings. She spends her time on the beach, right, and Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, where she lives with her husband and their forecast. She is also the mother of two adult sons, and I am so excited to get to have this conversation with her today. Welcome, Jen. Thank you for being. Well, thank you so much and I'm glad you read that bio cuz it's the one that I think is on the back of my book that came out in 2020 and we've had so many changes since then. I'm no longer on the intermittent fasting podcast. I still have intermittent fasting stories. My second podcast now is life Lessons, so I just left one, went to another, so Intermittent fasting stories is a great podcast for people who wanna hear from intermittent fasts who have made this their lifestyle. And all the ups and downs, ins and outs. It's always a, you know, we have two episodes a week. It's always an inspirational story. The people I talked to are just amazing and I love doing that. Um, the Intermittent fasting podcast, I was on that for just over five years, and so, Five years worth of old episodes people can listen to with me on it. But I have another podcast with a friend of mine, Sherry Bullock. It's called Life Lessons, where we talk about all sorts of things, not intermittent fasting. So the other side of me gets to come out. Yeah. You are now addicted to podcasting just like I am. Wow. You know, for a while I was doing three, three podcasts, and like something's gotta give. Yeah, yeah. So now I'm down. That would, but one of them comes out twice. So I still have three episodes a week that I'm recording. But I love it because, you know, I'm a retired teacher. I love people and this way I get to connect with people all the time. That is a perfect plan. I love that. And there are so many things, again, there's so much to talk about with Jen and she has numerous books, which we will talk more about at the end as well, so you can get to know her better and get to hear them and listening to her books. I listened to one of her books, so you get to actually hear her talk about them, so that's a bonus. Yeah, I will read them to you. Yes. Did you read them to you? And there's everything from the book cuz I got to read the, or listen to her, read, fast, peace, repeat. And then I purchased it because, So good, and I wanted to definitely have it for reference, and she gives you all of the reference articles in the back, which is a good reason to buy it. So I have those reference articles, but we could talk about everything from mindset to food quality to the role of hormones and appetite correction, problems with calories, bioindividuality, health plans, like there's so many things we could talk about. But I really want us to kind of start with the whole point of the fact that really when you talk about intermittent fasting, it is more of a way of living. It's a health plan with a side effect of potentially losing weight. And the fact that, right, this concept about. How constantly eating, cuz again, I'm one of the people, like everyone else that I've stopped dieting for years now, but I've definitely heard that I just need to snack and snack and keep my metabolism up. But there are some problems with that thinking Yeah, and I would love for us to talk about starting with that. Cause I feel like a lot of my listeners and people like. That's what we've heard. And if anything, that's not helping things. So let's talk about why that's not necessarily a good way to do things. Well, it's funny we've all heard that, you know, eating frequently boosts your metabolic rate, and it's not a lie, but it's misguided. Let me explain why it's founded on the fact that when you eat, your body boosts your metabolic rate. Mm-hmm. But here's the thing. Your body boosts your metabolic rate, but not so much that it. is greater than the amount of the food you just ate. Does that make sense? Mm-hmm. so the math doesn't work out. You know, you're eating to boost your metabolic rate, but you're putting in more fuel than your body burns because of that fuel you just put in. Mm-hmm. you know, if you overeat, we know from the research overfeeding they call it in science, overfeeding boosts metabolic rate, but we also know that overfeeding makes you gain. So, yes, the end goal is not, you know, we wanna boost our metabolic rate. The goal is for anyone who has excess fat on their body is you wanna tap into that fat and you wanna use it instead of just storing more. So frequent eating leads us to store more. You know, and I just thought of an analogy. If you think about, you know, if you've ever had a newborn been around a newborn, they eat around the clock. They are literally eating every two hours, at least mine did. My newborns wanted, they wanted to see their mama every two hours. But think about when you're a newborn, they're like literally, that's the period of their time when they're growing the quickest. Yeah. Eating frequently is growth promoting, and now that we are adults, We're not trying to grow anymore. So if we eat frequently, well, we will still keep growing. Unfortunately, we're not growing taller. We grow out. Mm. And so, you know, you have to know what your goals are. If you want to gain weight quickly, eat frequently. Yeah. And if you want to lose weight, don't eat frequently. Yes. And that whole concept too. I know that one of the things that you talked about is the, the cleaning your house, and if you constantly have stuff coming in, which comes to the stuff around, is it called autophagy? Is that how you auto autophagy? You did it. You nailed it. I nailed it. Let's talk about autophagy. Jen. I love it when you talk taco autophagy. To me, auto literally means auto. Spa is like eating. So it's like self eating, like your body is eating itself, which sounds really scary, but it's not. It's not eating the stuff you need. Cuz that would be really dumb. Like your body's not gonna eat your heart muscle or your, you know, your needed muscles, right? It's going to eat the old junky stuff. So if you're not eating, Your body has to look around. It has time to clean up. It's like, all right, well I got these junky proteins over here that are, need to be broken down, like an old junky cell part. And so your body can work on that damage stuff because it happens all y'all, throughout our cells, we have old junky parts that need to be recycled. And when we take a break from eating, autophagy is upregulated. And so we can deal with those, that old junky parts. And as we get older, Autophagy generally down regulates with age. And so you, you see that. And as we get older, our bodies break down. It's harder to repair. Healing takes longer. But if we add intermittent fasting, we have more time during the day when we can have that cellular cleaning. That cellular housekeeping autophagy is upregulated. Helps us theoretically stay young longer. I know that my body heals quickly. I'm 53 and you know, I, I credit that to my body, having time every day to do the necessary repair that it needs to do. Yes. And you do not look 53 at all. Well, thank you. Fabulous. For 53. That's incredible. And so that concept, I think that you mentioned somewhere else was about how, like if you're having a house party all the time, we never have time to clean the house. Yeah. If people are coming in, it's true. Well, there's never time. That's like eating all the time. If you wake up first thing in the morning and eat breakfast like most people do, because we've been told, you know, immediately reading the, but like mm-hmm. as soon as the foot hits the floor, you need to be eating within 30 minutes. I mean mm-hmm. that's a lot of pressure right there. What? You're gonna die, no but you start eating then, and then you have snacks, frequent snacks, and keep going. Your body is constantly at that point just dealing with what you're putting. Mm-hmm. also, it traps you in that, that blood sugar rollercoaster where you're putting in something and then your blood sugar goes up after you eat, and then it goes back down, and then your body's like, all right, that blood sugar went down, send some more fuel in. So you're constantly getting the signal to keep eating because you're hungry. Because that fuel's coming and going, coming and going. And again, you never need to tap into your stored body fat for fuel. Mm-hmm. And we wanna giving ourselves into that. Yeah, you do. Yes, yes, yes. And I do, I wanna, there's so much for us to talk about. Yeah. The audiobook is 14 hours, so, you know, we're, we're not gonna get, y'all need to get the audiobook. That's all there's do it. Or you need to get the book and start listening to the podcast. You need the audio. First, and then you do need the paper back so you can go back to find the parts you need later. That's really how I intended the book to be is like a resource guide. Yes. Now definitely. And that's why I was like, okay, now I'm getting it. Like as soon as I finish the audiobook, I like, now I'm getting this so that I can have it So it was very, very valuable that way. So I love the concept too, of talking about like the fact. Diets don't work. Mm-hmm. I think that I've been fortunate cuz I was on that rollercoaster. A lot of people are on and my mom was definitely, she was on, every time I turned around growing up, she was on diets and I think that I hated dieting cuz my mom was always on diet. Right. But I was got stuck on that same rollercoaster until I finally heard the study that talked about how that the biggest indicator of weight gain is diets Correct. The biggest indication of future weight gain is past diet history. A hundred percent. Yes. And I think that's what finally said, forget this, I'm gonna start like appreciating my body as it is and work on loving myself and where I'm at, and bought my wedding dress for where I'm at. And this is good. Yes. Like that's what finally got me off of that. But there was, instead of being able to feel like there was a way that I could be healthy and be happy and with that like, you know, change. So exercise, I do not lose weight with exercise, but that is actually a thing. And so like, no, it's a thing. I'm just, my dna, I had my DNA analyzed. Mm-hmm. and you, it actually. Your DNA indicates you are not a person who is genetically likely to lose weight from exercise. That is the thing. Yes, yes, yes. Yeah, I heard, so she talks about her DNA in the book and I think we have the same D, like when we talked about it, like all those things, it was like, oh, this is me. Like the car, the whole things. Yeah. So we definitely, I connected with all of that. And so with doing that, like it's important for people to realize that diets don't work and there's this whole piece about the Biggest Loser study that I hadn't heard of that study. Can you share more about that? I hadn't heard about that until we talked about it. Diet. Work, but they don't work long-term, right? Yeah. They're, they're a very short-term solution and it has to do with, you know, metabolic adaptation. And you know how I talked before about if you overfeed your metabolic rate goes up in response to that. Mm-hmm. well, if you underfeed or over restrict, your metabolic rate goes down in response to that. And so that's the cycle you get in. You know, we can go back to the biggest lose. Study that they did, and they, they followed these people who had been on the Biggest Loser Show. Um, and they, you know, they successfully lost, like, I mean these people lost like massive amounts of weight because they were overs restricting and they were doing all this working out mm-hmm. and so they really were just putting their body through it and they would lose, like, they'd be disappointed if they only lost five pounds in a week or something. I mean, that is not mm-hmm. a reason. Rate of weight loss, but we watched it every, I remember tuning in every week. Everybody wanted to be like those people. And what they found when they went back and followed up years later, the biggest losers who had successfully lost the most weight, and especially the ones who had been able to. Keep it off better than the others had the slowest metabolisms of all their new metabolic rate was about, I can't remember exactly the number might be 500 calories a day lower than would be expected for their size. Based on, you know, we have, we can make formulas based on here's how big you are, here's how many calories it should take to maintain that body size. Their resting metabolic rates were like 500 calories lower than they should have been. Mm-hmm. And it's because their body down regulated. And so all the ones who were fighting tooth and nail and managing to keep it off the best had the slowest metabolic rates of all. So they literally had to eat less. So if they had never gained the weight, it lost the weight. And had been at this. Let's say they weighed, I'm just gonna make up a number one 70. Let's say someone weighed one 70. They'd never gone up or down. They just had always been one 70. Someone who had been through the biggest loser process, gained all the weight, lost all the weight, now they're one 70, they can eat 500 calories a day, less than another 170 pound person who had never been through that. That is so significant. Yeah, it's very significant. And I'm just throwing those numbers out. Those are not the actual numbers. I just made those up, but I'm just for illustrative purposes. But the ones who had higher metabolic rates were the ones who were not good at keeping the weight off because they just ate more. So yeah, over restric. Slows our metabolic rates and overfeeding speeds up our metabolic rates. So the solution then you, I remember when that first came out, we were all like, well, it's hopeless then because if you're gonna lose the weight, that's really how the news was all. Like that's how they told the story back then. Well, you can lose the weight, but you're not gonna keep it off cuz you've ruined your metabolism. Why even try? And I remember that's really how a lot of us felt. But the beauty is fasting is. Yes. And that's a beautiful thing. Yeah. And I think that it helps with this level of, of understanding, cuz I, I remember friends who've lost weight and you see them eating carrots and you hear people saying like, they must eat other things because eating carrots, they should be losing more weight. No, they're not losing more weight eating just carrots because the fact that it takes, they can't even eat the carrots. Right. They're metabolic so much less. Yeah. That they had to eat so much less to maintain their weight than you to maintain your weight because of what that does. Yeah. And so this understanding of others is just like so much more deep than just the calories and calories out that people have tried to program into us for so long. That's so much more complicated than that and we can't make it simple. Can I take a minute to explain why fascinating is different? Cause I think that's important. Yeah. We need, this is what we spent time on. This is why this is so important. Well, fasting is different. E even if you're eating the same exact amount, and you know, I'm, I'm a big fan of not counting calories and I have a whole section about that in fast. Feas repeat. Yes. Which you heard. Yes. But let's say for example, someone had the same amount of calories and they ate it spread throughout the day versus eating it in a shorter period of time in, in an eating window. Mm-hmm. your body is gonna, Responding very, very differently depending on how those calories are coming in. Like if you're someone who's eating throughout the day, let's say you're following a 1200 calorie a day diet, cuz that's what your doctor said to do 1200 calories a day. That's the number I always tried to do back in my calorie counting diet days. And you're spreading out those little amounts of food all day long. Well, 1200 calories a day is not very much. It's not gonna fuel your body well. And so the goal is, oh, you're gonna make up the rest of that from your fat stores. Right? That's the goal of diets. Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm. Except now you're eating just a little bit for breakfast and a little bitty snack, and you may be a little 100 calorie snack pack and then a little tiny diet lunch. And it's not enough fuel for your body, but because you're eating frequently, Your insulin is high. We can talk more about that in a few minutes and why that's important. You're keeping your insulin high because food is coming in and your body is not really tapping into your fat stores very well. You are not well fueled during the day. You're not putting enough fuel in. And your body is not able to tap into your fat stores very well because you're eating so frequently and you are not well fueled. You start to feel hangry. It gets harder and harder as time goes on. And then eventually you start having the urge to binge, which we've all done on those low calorie diets, and then you like quit, and now you're metabolism. And if you stayed on it for a long time, is is slower than it was when you started. So you gained the weight faster than you lost. And now you're heavier than you were before. But fasting is different because after your body adapts to fasting and the the clean fast, which we can talk about in a few minutes after you're adapted, now you're fasting. You're not bringing in the food. You're fast and clean. Your insulin levels go down. Insulin is a storage hormone, and when insulin goes down, your body is able to get to your fat stores. Mm-hmm. efficiently. So now during your fast, all of a sudden your body can get to your fat stores. And so you're fueling yourself from your fat stores so you feel really good. And then let's say you have, I don't know, a five hour eating window. Whatever you end up with, let's say you're gonna eat those same 1200 calories. Then, mm-hmm. I mean, that's still not enough fuel for a whole day's worth of work, right? 1200 calories is not enough to fuel an adult body, but your body was also fueled by the fat calories that you as accessed from your own body. So your body is well fueled as opposed to when you spread those 1200 calories out over the whole day and your body was not well fueled. The difference is you're fueling yourself from within, from the fat you already. Mm-hmm. And that makes a big difference. And then your body doesn't, yeah. It doesn't need to down-regulate because your body is like, there's plenty of fuel here. Mm-hmm. and no problem. And that's also when it comes into the whole concept of the clean. Yeah. Fast becomes so important when you're doing this. And that's something that I never even thought about. About what this insulin, the play of insulin and why fasting clean. And we're talking about the, not the eating part. This is all about the fasting part fast. Can you talk more about why it's important to do that in the whole role of insulin and why it's important to do it so that it can actually access your fast stores and make this big impact? You know, probably most of your listeners like me, we just think of insulin as like, oh, you know, my dad's a type two diabetic. He has to inject insulin, right? Yeah. We would just think of insulin as something with diabetes, or if you have type one diabetes, your body doesn't make insulin. You have to inject it to keep your blood sugar down. What we don't understand is that insulin is, like I said a minute ago, a storage hormone. It's also the big, fancy science word is anti lipolytic and anti means. Lipo is fat lipolytic burning, so it's anti-fat burning if you have high levels of insulin circulating throughout your body. your body is not able to get to your fat stores very well. Mm-hmm. and, and they're just like, basically locked away. And that's when you start to get hangry. Cuz you, you've got all this fat on your body, but your body can't get to it because your insulin levels are so high. You know, that's not the natural state of how our bodies work. You know, if we are in starvation, like in the past, like a famine, there's no food. People can't eat cuz there's nothing literally to eat. Like I'm talking about hundreds of years ago, our bodies. Have to be able to tap into our fat stores so we don't die. Mm-hmm. But in our modern world with diet sodas and all the things that we have, you know, they might be zero calories, but they cause our bodies to release insulin in response to the sweet taste. We're keeping our insulin high, high, high, plus all the snacking that we're doing, and so we can't get to our fat stores because our insulin's high. I know everyone's heard of insulin resistance and you know, all the metabolic problems that people are having now, but the root of them is. Chronic high levels of insulin based on the signals that we're sending with, with something always coming in. So one thing we really wanna do, as I've said, is keep our insulin low so we can tap into our fat stores for fuel. And we do that by not introducing any flavors into our mouth that make our brains think that food is coming in. Which is such a wild concept, cuz again, like when we think of fasting like that, like blew my mind. Like the first time I heard you speak was, wait a minute, what? Yeah, like we would drink, we just don't eat. Mm-hmm. But it's about flavors, which is like Right. What makes it the claim fast. Yeah. Which is a whole different concept. Right. We have something called the cephalic phase insulin response, and that's in our brain. And whenever we taste something mm-hmm. it sends messages to our brain that something's coming. And so if you taste something sweet, your brain says, I know what that is. That is some sort of sugar. It's glucose, it's something. It might be, you know, think about how we developed as humans. It was honey or fruit or whatever. You know, we taste that. We know it's coming in. and you're going to need insulin to manage that hit of sugar or honey or whatever it is. So your body goes ahead and pumps out some insulin in response to what it knows is coming in. But now imagine that you're actually just drinking a diet Coke. Mm-hmm. your brain doesn't know that. That's zero calories. Your brain just tastes the sweetness. Mm-hmm. And they actually did some fascinating studies with rats where they severed the nerve that sent signals to the brain so the rat could no longer taste the sweet. No more insulin response. It's the taste that matters. Yes. So we don't wanna taste anything that's sweet. All those water enhancers, everything. You know, the flavored this and flavored that. If your body thinks a sweet treat is coming in, it is keeping your insulin. High. And you know, I think about that when I go to Costco now and I'm in the beverage department. I mean, there is part of the obesity epidemic right there. And even though it has zero calories, it is not doing our bodies any favors metabolically cuz it's keeping our insulin levels constantly escalated, which is definitely not what we want. Yes. And that's such this new way of thinking. And so if you are going to drink beverages while you're on a clean fast, which is important for this to actually work and for things to actually access your fat stores, that you actually need to be having things that have a bitter taste. And so it needs to be a tea that's a black tea or green tea. Yeah. Plain coffee, plain tea or coffee. Yeah, with nothing else. And it, which is just such a different way of thinking. I'm like, wait a minute, what about my lemon sparkling water? Just the lemon in my water. What? Can't I have something? I mean, I ha actually felt that recently. Mm-hmm. It was, um, a couple months ago. I, it was time to open my window. It was while we were moving and I was at a restaurant. And I ordered my dinner and I hadn't had anything to eat yet, and I'm like, I'll just have water with lime. Mm-hmm. I'll drink that. And so the server brought my water with lime and I started drinking that, but I hadn't had anything to eat yet. And so I actually felt. My blood sugar crashed and I was suddenly starving, like mm-hmm. I was like, I've got to eat right this minute, or I'm going to die. And, and I, and now that I know what happens, obviously my body said, Ooh, here it comes. Uh, you know, the citrusy deliciousness pumped out some insulin, lowered my blood sugar, crashed it. I actually felt it. Yes. And that's part, so part of what that is, is to make it easier to fast, if that makes sense to, for folks that, like the fact that you're having the lemon with your water, that you're having the diet drinks, that you're having all of these other things actually makes it harder to fast. It does. Because it makes you hungry and it makes you want the food. Cause your body's like, oh no, they're supposed to be calories with that. Can we, the calories that go with that. Yeah. And now your blood sugar could crash and you're. Starving and it's just keeping you from getting into your fat stores. And if you're fasting, you wanna get the benefits of the fast. Otherwise it's gonna be like the effect of a low calorie diet, right? If you're not fasting clean, you're not able to tap into your fat stores effectively, and your metabolism is going to pay the price of that. So, Yes. And so there's two things that I want us to like touch on. Next one, I wanna talk a little bit about why I love listening to you talk about all of this and kind of your background that connects to all of this. And the other thing is to kind of define why intermittent fasting if folks aren't familiar with it. Cause I don't think a lot of my listeners are that it's not scary fasting because again, like, like five, 10 years ago I had friends that didn't eat for a week and that was just crazy cay and pepper and lemon. And it was like, I'm never doing that. It's crazy. Don't do that. Don't do that. But intermittent fasting, You learn about these numbers, but these numbers actually they can be like 12 hours of not eating. So sometimes it's just not snacking at night and eating first thing in the morning, like, you know what I mean? Exactly. It can be really just getting healthier and letting your body clean out a little bit. So could, let's talk about those numbers and let's talk about the back. Your background. Just a touch. So talk about the numbers a little bit and what intermittent fasting means. And we probably don't have time to get into like, Deeper stuff in the book that talks about day, you know, day, right? There's a lot of different ways to do it. So you really, let's just do this. We have something in our community called Tweak It till It's Easy, and there's a chapter called that in the book. And there's so many ways you can structure your intermittent fasting lifestyle. And the way that you start on day one is not the way that you're gonna be doing it on day 50 or they 500 or whatever. So basically, most people who do intermittent fasting have what we call a daily eating window. and you know, you don't start off with what you're gonna end up with because you have to build up to it. It's kind of like couch to 5k. You don't just get off the couch and run a 5k. You have to build up for it. And that's the same thing with fasting. You have to build up your fasting muscle. You might start off with, for example, 16 eight, that would mean for 16 hours a day you're not eating and you eat all of your food in an eight hour period. And that's just as simple as skipping breakfast and starting at lunch. Mm-hmm. that's not scary. So many people tell me that's how they naturally would've been. Yes. Or used to be. Yes. Before society told 'em they had to eat breakfast. Yes. So they're like, are you telling me I do not have to force myself to eat first thing in the morning? Hallelujah. And then from day one, that's easy for them to do cuz that's how their bodies naturally wanted to be. So I end up most days, my eating window is probably an average of around five hours at this. Sometimes it might be six or eight. Sometimes it might be three. It just depends on my schedule for the day, but I think most of the time it's probably around five hours a day, and it sounds really like harsh and restrictive and scary. And there's a saying that I love, I'm not sure who invented this saying or who said it first, but. Diets that we're so used to. Diets are easy in contemplation, but hard in execution. Mm-hmm. meaning every diet we ever started, we're so excited. It sounds like we're gonna be able to do it, but then when we actually try to do it, it's really hard. Mm-hmm. easy, in contemplation, hard in execution. Fasting is the complete opposite. It is hard in contemplation. But easy and execution. Like it sounds like you're going to be restricting yourself for 16 hours a day. You're not eating. Oh my Lord, I'm gonna be hangry. I'm gonna just waste away to nothing. It's gonna be awful. But in reality, you start to feel so much better after your body adapts to the the clean, fast, and your fat adapted. You're running on your stored fat for fuel. You have great energy, and then in your daily eating window, you get to eat the food that makes you feel your best. Mm-hmm. you know my book is Fast Feast Repeat. We're feasting, we're we're enjoying our eating window. And we're nourishing our bodies well and we feel amazing and it's not restrictive at all. And that's the thing that we hear over and over from people. Um, there was somebody in my community today, I think she's on Day 100, and she was reflecting on day 100 and she talked about how much food freedom she's feeling and how she thinks of the fast. I think she's the words, a sacred time, you know, for her body to do what it needs to do. And then she nourish her body well during the feast and. She's in the stage where she is trying to heal her relationship with food and so many of us need to go through that phase. Mm-hmm. where you know, you've been like guilty cuz you ate a bite of a donut or something. And then you get to the point where fasting heals your relationship with food so that you're able to look at that donut and eat it without any guilt. Mm-hmm. And then eventually maybe you look at that donut and you're like, I don't even like donut. And so now it empowers you to connect with your body and realize what do you really want to eat? Maybe it's a Brussels sprout, not a donut, and mm-hmm the first time that you realize you would rather have Brussels sprouts than donuts. You're like, who am I? But fasting really allows us to connect with our cells and lose that diet brain, we call it. Yes. That we, we've built up for all these decades. Yes. Yes. And we just had an episode here on The Grit Show of somebody talking about intuitive eating. And I feel like these two things actually go so well together. And I have people I need to apologize for that didn't want to eat breakfast, and I'm like, you need to eat breakfast. It is okay to not eat breakfast. It is okay to not meet smells, but our society has said like no small snacks, put food in somebody's mouth and they're hangry. Like instead of us finding our ways to intuitively find what our body needs and that fasting isn't a bad thing, we need to find the way to do it. Right. So our body's, that's the whole tweak until it's easy part your body, what your body needs. Yes. If you're over restricting, your body will tell you. Mm-hmm. that's. Promoting, you know, starving yourself. Yes. You might just think that's what it sounds like until you actually live it. Then you're like, oh, this is less like starving myself than anything I did before. And just to speak to intuitive eating, I tried so hard before I did intermittent fasting. I tried so hard. I read all the intuitive eating books and you know, you're supposed to ask yourself, am I hungry? Unfortunately, the answer was always yes. Mm-hmm. and I got up to 210 pounds. Following the principles of intuitive eating. Yeah. And that is what got me to 210 pounds because I was so disconnected from my hunger and satiety signals, and I did that for years and never reconnected. But intermittent fasting has reconnected me with my hunger and satiety signals. I'll talk about that in the appetite correction chapter of Fast Vista Repeat and the science of why that happens. But I am now what I would call myself to be an intuitive eat. Within my structure of my daily, yeah. Eating window. And I don't like make myself wait, but I'm struggling. No. This is the time of the day when I feel best when I eat later in the day. That is how I feel the best. I really wish the intuitive eating community would understand how intermittent fasting can work together with them. Yeah, they can go together. They're not quite there yet. I think that, you know, it seems like they're opposite, but they're. Yeah. That they can join together and that's what I want. Yes. That we're definitely a toolbox. Our Exactly. This pocket is a toolbox. And these are good tools for you to have in your toebox. So I want them to see that I am an intuitive eater now. Yeah. Within the, the paradigm of my eating window. Because if I got up in the morning and started eating at 7:00 AM or something, I would feel terrible. And, and my body intuitively now knows not to do that, right? Mm-hmm. Yes, exactly. So I love you are not a doctor and we don't say that you're a doctor and these are right, like medical recommendations, anything like that. But I love your perspective because you are, to me, very academically focused. You have a background mm-hmm. in teaching children and now you're an adult educator and you've taken courses in health coaching type stuff. But your perspective's great cuz you look at all of the science and do a great job and you listen to her book or read her. About giving it to you in a way that we can make our decisions. She offers us the studies in a way that's very relatable and very easy to connect to, and you need to make the decisions for yourself what you're going to do, but you do a great way of presenting information so people can consume that information and understand. You can get the opposite somewhere else if you look. Oh, definitely. You can't have anything. Yes. But I love that your background, that you have this way that you connected people and you, it's your life too. You've lived this, you looked for this and you've found this, and that's what you're sharing this great thing that's worked well for you and found that it's worked well for millions probably at this point of other people as well. Well, yeah, a lot of people. But you know, I'm a teacher that's, I'm trained to. Re-deliver content to people and that is my gift. And so, yes, it's just a different kind of content and, you know, it's very much started with me just telling my story and my very first self-published book Delay. Don't Deny. It was after I lost 80 pounds and, and mm-hmm. by the time I wrote that book, I had kept it off. It was over a year at that point. But now it's been, I mean, this is my ninth holiday season that I'm going through as an intermittent faster. I have maintained my weight since I lost it. So from 2014 until today, I've never had no period of time or clothes no longer fit me cuz I've gained weight back. Right? You know, I've had seasons where my honesty pants got a little tight and then I needed to tighten up my eating window, but it's no big deal. Intermittent fasting has given me the tools to know that I can keep my weight at a healthy range for the rest of my. And I know also that I'm going to age well and that is my goal. You know, I'm 53 now, I wanna be 73 and still, you know, able to swim in the ocean and walk on the beach and climb up three flights of stairs and do what I wanna do. And hopefully I'll be getting down on the floor with some grandchildren at one point. And, you know, and living a life as someone who is strong and healthy. I know, you know, just based on like my waist measurement, I know my waist measurement, you know, our waist to height ratio or waist to hip ratio, they're very good indicators of our metabolic health. And you know, my waist size is very healthy and I, I know that that is an indication that things are really good on the inside as well, and that really inspires me moving forward, being inspired by how I wanna be in 20 years, 30 years, 40. Yes. And I think that's the thing with fasting is the health benefit. Yeah. So we talked about like, so the di there's more in her book too about the, around diabetes and, oh, did you see the study that came? They was in the news yesterday? No. They did a study and they, it was in a medical journal. I haven't read the study yet. I just had seen several articles where people were talking about it reversed Type two diabetes. Really? Yeah, it was like a study that actually showed it, so that's really exciting. Intermittent fasting, reversed type two diabetes in the participants in the study, which is so exciting, which it makes total sense now you understand why? Yes. Because they're fasting and their insulin goes down and now their body is no longer having to overproduce insulin, and so it makes sense when you look at the mechanism of. Yes. And we would predict, yeah, that's exactly what you predict from what you've already shared in your, in your book. And just the fact that talking about with the patients that did intermittent fast and without having to have surgery to take away excess skin. Yeah. Because of the way that the autophagy works, there's so many health benefits that we can't even have time to get into. Them all know, like you guys, you need to see the book. It's very, very exciting and very interesting, all that information based on this. But I know that we are getting short on time, so I want us to get to our. Our self-care piece. We do each episode we have our guests share with our audience what they do for self-care, cuz that's a big focus I'll hear on The. Grit. Show. So what do you do for self-care, Jen? Well, I am a very early morning riser, so I like to get up and I'm the only person up in the house and I make myself some coffee, black coffee. Mm-hmm. And I love to go sit. We live at the ocean now, so I love to, when it's not too cold, even if it is a little cold, I like to go sit on my, my back porch, which overlooks the. Bundled up watching the sunrise with my black coffee in the morning and you know, you hear the sound of the ocean and my cat comes and gets in my lap and we're out there and, and watching that sunrise and that time is just very precious to me. Oh, I love that. That's beautiful. And we also, for each of our guests, a thank you for being here. We actually have a series of coloring books on The, Grit, Show. Um, we have one that's the vintage mermaid and magnificent ocean, and one that's, you've got this, which is quotes, so you get to choose which one you want. And we send you a copy of a coloring book. Which one would you like? I feel like I have to pick the ocean. Well, you know, after what you said, I kind of was thinking you might, so yeah. So we'll get your address and we'll send you a copy of that as a thank you for being here today. And we also always have something. Send for our listeners something that they can kind of apply and take away with them. And I wonder if this, thinking around, you know, what insulin is doing for our bodies and the sugary drinks and that type of thing, if that's something to kind of take away or what your thoughts are, something they can take away and start applying today, that, um, comes from what you've read in the studies that they can be helpful for them. Well, honestly, we don't have a study like this, but I, I think we should, based on what we know. I think that if every person. Man, woman and child in the world instead just switched their beverages. That's all they changed. If all people drank in the world were plain water. Or plain sparkling water, black coffee, plain tea. If that's all we drank, I think we would see an amazing difference in the health of the world. Yes, I really think the rise of the obesity epidemic, I mean, there's so many things that you could link it to, but. I can remember before we had Starbucks, when people were not always carrying around a latte. I call that a hot milkshake, and people are like constantly. When I was a teacher, I remember seeing people in the hall of that school from all day long carrying around their hot milkshake, sipping on it. all the time. So we are basically keeping ourselves in that constant state of something sweet coming in our mouths all the time. And when we're not drinking something, we're chewing gum or we're popping breath mints. And so if we just let our bodies rest from constant flavor coming in, I think it would be astonishing what we would see. And you know, the diet sodas aren't doing you any favors. It's not just the calories that are the problem. If artificial sweeteners are maybe causing even more confusion because no calories actually come in and now your body is even more dysregulated. Yeah. And I think not realizing that part of our, that hangry roller coaster that we're on mm-hmm. And being hungry all the time and wanting stuff that, that's actually part of that cycle. Yeah. I never would've thought of that cuz I do always, I reach for drinks. I'm not reaching for food as a substitute when I'm not doing that food. And I feel like it's adding to my roller coaster. Yeah. And the diet drinks cuz a lot of friends, I don't drink diet drinks cause I don't like the asta, but I'm, I drink sodas instead or I'm. The sparkling waters or I'm drinking the other things. Right. And always looking for something to, to drink. Flavor. Yes. A flavor, yes. But if you see what I've got, I've got like Topo Chico with no flavor. It's just sparkling water And it's very refreshing. And in the glass bottle. It's so bubbly. It's so bubbly in the go. I love it. Yeah. I love it. Yeah, we're looking, we were, we grabbed, um, club soda the other day when we're at, it was funny. Like, which is it? Tonic water club. Saudi tonic water. Don't drink tonic water. Don't have tonic water. Don't. Well, even the gum. And cause again, like the dentist telling you how the gum and the mins and. Things that you, you don't think that you're doing. Yeah. And it's actually hard to start thinking about not doing that. I know. And so we've just start, cuz again, we just listened to the book. We're just starting to like change our thinking around these things. And it's a lot to change your thinking around that. It's, it's to start looking at how much you're doing that and noticing how much you're adding in. And it's a lot. A lot, you're actually turning on insulin every time you're putting those things in your mouth. It's just a new way of thinking. People. The black coffee, I'm just gonna say for everybody listening, he's like, well, I could do it. Cause if I can't drink coffee black, can I just put a little cream in there? No, you cannot. And I don't care how many YouTube videos you find that tell you you can. Yes, easy. How creative that they can get. Like, so we got some sweetener at like some door that was like the MCT oil. I didn't even know what the point of that was until I, your book was talking about the MCT oil. It's be another keto friendly option, like just some, everyone wants to sneak in. That's why they make the money, which just what, that's one of the other bonuses is there's no money. It's to be made. It's free. It's free to do this when you putting all this oil stuff in your coffee again. It's, do you want your body to burn oil that you put in your coffee cup, or do you want it to burn the fat on your body? I mean, it's really a no-brainer. And cream in your coffee might be delicious, but cream is nature's perfect food for building a baby cow. All dairy, all mammals feed their baby's dairy. But it's definitely not fasting. Yes, it's not. It's not. You can and have it during your window. And that's the Yes, I'm, I'm exactly. Still have in my window. And then finally, and the teas are complicated cuz I was gonna be like, can't I have until now? The first time I heard you speak, I wanted to ask you like, so what about my peppermint tea? But then I heard the book, I can't have my peppermint tea. No. That in your eating window if you'll love it. Yes. Our favorite, like I talked about in the book is mt. Yes. E M T E A. That sounds crazy, but just a mug of plain hot water. Might sound like a mug of sadness, but it's really like a hug and a mug. You just want that ritual of having something hot and soothing and hot water and a mug is very soothing. Yes, and at restaurants is actually what I prefer. I already did that sometimes and I just want some Oh, good. Warm to hold. So we get that at restaurants and now I feel more confidence, say, gimme a worm cup of, otherwise, I'm still in my fiance's cup of coffee, so I have something warm to hold. So yes. Yeah. Yes. So we're almost outta. Tell people where to find you. Where's the best place to find you? Cuz we have podcasts, we have books, we have, what's the best place to find you, Jen? Well, if you go to jen stevens.com, everything is linked from there. Jen is g i n. Stevens is with a pH jen stevens.com. I have an intermittent fasting community that you can get to from my website. Where I love to interact with intermittent fasters from all over the world. I used to be on Facebook, but I love Facebook because it's got a little toxic, you know how that can be so, mm-hmm. our community is a paid community, but it's like 9 99 a month. So it's not any big deal, but you get to interact with me if you're on the community. I have my podcasts. Anywhere you listen to podcasts, intermittent fasting stories is what I would start with. And you could just start with literally any episode, they're all going to inspire you. And then, um, the Life Lessons podcast, if you just wanna hear Cool. That is amazing. We will definitely have all that in the show notes so you guys can be sure to be able to find her. Thank you so much for taking time, everyone. You need to learn more. This is amazing. I'm very excited about it. So it's life changing. Yes. Thank you so much for being here today, Jen. We appreciate you. You're so welcome. If you're interested in getting your copy of one of our coloring books, just Google the color of Grit or look it up on. You also have downloadable pages available. You can find more about that on our website, The Grit Show dot com. Self-care is most important. After all. You are the only one of you that this world has got, and that means something.