Eat. Stop. Eat. with Brad Pilon

March 14, 2024

Dive into the world of intermittent fasting with Brad Pilon on the latest Invigor Podcast episode. Discover the science behind fasting, insights from his book “Eat. Stop. Eat.” and Brad’s own personal fasting journey.

Time Stamps:
Intermittent fasting misconceptions and research findings. 1:43
Fasting and metabolism. 6:11
Intermittent fasting schedules and their flexibility. 12:31
The effects of fasting on the body’s physiology. 19:00
Postprandial physiology and hormone release. 22:35
Fasting and its effects on hormones and gut health. 26:04
Protein digestion and intermittent fasting. 32:09
Fasting and muscle repair during a 12-hour workout. 35:34
Fasting and nutrition after a fast. 39:11
Intermittent fasting and its benefits. 42:59
Intermittent fasting and its effects on the body. 48:44
Autophagy and its role in maintaining a healthy body. 56:32

Transcript:
Derek  0:00  
Hi, and welcome to the Invigor medical podcast, where we’re going to walk with you on your journey toward optimal health performance and well being. My name is Natalie.

Derek  0:09  And I’m Derek.

Natalie  0:09  And we’re going to be your hosts on this journey. In each episode we share insights from top professionals and physical, mental and emotional health. With that said, let’s dive into today’s podcast. Today. We are thrilled to have Brad Pilon with us. He is a renowned author of Eat Stop Eat. And we’re excited to dive deep into the world of intermittent fasting and the impact it has on our health. Brad, welcome to the Invigor medical podcast.

Brad Pilon  0:34  Thank you for having me.

Natalie  0:35  We’re so happy to have you here. Oh, my gosh, I think we were Derek and I both agreed before we started recording how excited we were for this conversation.

Derek  0:41  Geeking out.

Natalie  0:42  

Yeah, totally geeking out. And I think I feel like intermittent fasting is something that has gained a little bit more traction in recent years. And I know I was even seeing like advertisements on my social media feeds for like, download this app for like, how to how to know what intermittent fasting is great for you, which I knew was BS, but I downloaded it anyway. Because I was just curious. And it was so ridiculous. And I’m just like…

Brad Pilon  1:03  

It’s basically just a timer, right?

Natalie  1:04  

Y-Yeah! Its like, it’s time to start eating. I’m like, Thank you application that cost $5 A month, it was just, you know, it was kind of cool, because it showed you what was happening depending on what state you you know how long you were fasting. But what what I’m getting to with all of this is, there’s probably a lot of misinformation out there…

Brad Pilon  1:24  

Oh yeah.

Natalie  1:25  

…around fasting and intermittent fasting. And so I would like to start is I would like for our listeners to know, what gives you the right to speak to this topic.

Brad Pilon  1:34  

Wow! Okay.

Natalie  1:35  

Why is this like, What have you done, right? Because it’s not just like you’re some guy who’s like, read a couple research papers and thought he’d write a book. Right?

Brad Pilon  1:42  

Yeah! So my history with intermittent fasting goes back into about 2005-2006. So I had just left the supplement industry where I worked in research and development, designing supplements and the studies to support supplements. And I realized I kind of wanted to be on the other side of the table, the sort of the academic side. So I’d gone back to school. And my original plan was just to study leucine, which was an amino acid involved in muscle growth and protein synthesis, just the perfect meathead thing to study. And I was going to start with all the bad things that happen when you don’t eat because coming from bodybuilding, right, I knew for certain that the minute you didn’t eat like we’re talking like an hour, hour and a half in your body just implodes, right, you start losing muscle, you start gaining fat. Its horrible.

Natalie  2:28  

Your body eats itself, it just like says “Muscles. Nom, nom, nom.” Right? 

Brad Pilon  2:31  

Exactly, exactly. So I started looking into the research on that. Which is what happens when you don’t start, so don’t start, don’t eat. And a lot of my assumptions, which was the quick muscle loss, etc, wasn’t really being reflected in the research I was reading. So I did what any, like, really pompous grad student would do. And I took that research and threw it in the garbage because it was wrong. And I went to the next paper. I’m like, Yeah, this one saying the same thing. So garbage. And then after a while is okay, I either got to admit, I have no idea what I’m talking about. Or just start over I, what am I going to do? So I decided I gotta figure out what’s going on. So I, my grad work was on the metabolic effects of short term fasting, so 12 to 72 hours in humans. And this was in the heyday of when the entire health and fitness industry was run by magazine. So not websites, because they weren’t really there.

Natalie  3:27  

Right.

Brad Pilon  3:27  

But magazines, your men’s health, your muscle and fitness, your your flex your oxygen, those kinds of things. And they were the gatekeepers of health and specifically nutrition information. And so at that time, we were to eat what every few hours a small meal, that was, was what we were being told. And if you didn’t, your metabolism would crash and you gain weight and all this stuff.

Natalie  3:50  

Yeah.

Brad Pilon  3:50  

So my research was really in response to that movement, the idea that we had to just constantly eat. And the idea was, are we really? Are we really that fragile? Or are we far more robust in our ability to handle brief periods of time without eating? And it turns out, we are far more robust. And it turns out that these breaks in eating can have very good effects on our health. And probably most importantly, for most people result in fat loss as opposed to muscle loss. And that’s what kind of led me on this path. I took my thesis I asked my advisor, like, do I own this? Does the school own this, he’s like, you own it, and like, can I kind of publish it online? He’s like, that’d be dumb, but you can do whatever you want. And that, that Eat, Stop, Eat! It was originally a 72 page PDF that was my graduate thesis kind of explained a bit better. 

Natalie  4:41  

Wow.

Brad Pilon  4:42  

And then through the beauty of online grammar people telling me that you know, this was wrong or this made no sense or this chapter is horrible. It just slowly got better and better as I edited as I went, and now it’s a 300 page book. It’s available almost anywhere and is continuing to push the concept of intermittent fasting kind of into the forefront of people’s minds. Great Story.

Derek  5:06  

Yeah, I actually, I started, I started listening to it on Audible and so…

Brad Pilon  5:10  

Oh nice!

Derek  5:11  

Yeah, it’s really, really good so far and super excited to dive into this. So I guess, with that being said, one of the big things that you talked about in the book was this, and you already kind of touched on it to a certain degree of like, people just have this misconception of if you don’t eat, you know, all these terrible things are going to happen. So can we can we kind of dive into that?

Natalie  5:31  

Yeah. And I would say specifically, because this is one of my questions, right? Because I think if you’ve spent kind of any time in the health and fitness world, learning about how to eat and feel your body, one of the things that we’re taught is, if you reduce your calories too much, or don’t eat at all, your body goes into starvation mode…

Derek  5:49  

Right. I love that. Starvation Mode.

Natalie  5:50  

…and begins to hold on to every single calorie that we eat because it’s like preparing for famine. Right?

Brad Pilon  5:55  

Yeah.

Natalie  5:55  

And so this is, this is one of the harder things that I’ve always struggled to grapple with even like thinking about doing a 24 hour fast, right? Like, you know, here, people are like, oh, yeah, I just eat one meal a day. And I’m immediately like, that’s where my brain goes. So can we start with that one? Yeah.

Brad Pilon  6:11  

So that I mean, obviously, coming from so that bodybuilding supplement world, that was my main concern, too. So the very first thing we look at is something called a respiratory quotient, which is, in research, we measure the amount of carbon dioxide, sorry, oxygen you breathe in, and carbon dioxide you breathe out.

Natalie  6:29  

Okay.

Brad Pilon  6:29  

From that measurement, we can get a very good idea of the mix of what you’re using as a fuel, whether it’s carbohydrates, or whether it’s fats. Sometimes a little bit of protein, but mostly we’re looking at those two fuel sources. If you’re RQ, respiratory quotient is a one, you’re burning exclusively carbohydrate, okay, if it’s a 7.7, exclusively fat, so we’re usually somewhere in the middle, depending on the mix of what we’ve been eating.

Natalie  6:58  

Okay.

Brad Pilon  6:59  

So when we’re fasting, this is super easy meas- just a thing you put on your mouth and you breathe, right? Super easy measurement, super reliable, and just used all over human research. In animal research too. And what we find is that, as you’re fasting, you’re RQ goes down closer to that .7, which means we know in a very reproducible manner, in men, in women, in lean, in the obese and everything in between, during those initial 24 hours, your RQ goes from roughly the mix of what your last meal was, and then starts heading towards that .7 are almost exclusively fat being burned as a fuel.

Natalie  7:37  

Intersting.

Brad Pilon  7:38  

Only you’re not eating any fat. So where’s the fat coming from? It has to be your body. And so that kind of put to bed the idea from starvation mode that you somehow avoid burning fat, and you burn other fuel sources. Because you’re like, well, the no, I’ve got a, I’ve got a very clear measurement here that the fat is being burned. But then you worry about, Okay, what about my metabolism, like maybe I’m not burning as much. And again, a very simple measurement to do, which again, is just a mask over your face, not not a difficult thing, not blood being taken, but just measuring what we consider a really good estimate of your metabolic rate. And we find that during a fast it does go down a small amount, we’re talking the same amount of calories and a half cup of coffee with a little bit cream in it and not a lot 50- maybe 100. And what that is, is the calories you would normally be burning, digesting food.

Natalie  8:34  

Interesting!

Brad Pilon  8:34  

So eating, assimilating those nutrients, etc, it takes energy, everything in your body takes some amount of energy creates some heat. And so you’re not digesting or simulating foods. So it’s a calorie intake is smaller, but that basal metabolic rate, the thing that keeps you alive, like you’re sitting watching Netflix, your heart’s beating your livers doing its work, your lungs are doing their work, that stays the same. And that does the lion’s share of your calorie burning in any given day, right? It takes a lot to keep a human body going. And it’s not the you running up and down the stairs once or twice a day or once twice an hour. It’s the processes that happen behind the scenes, right, all of your internal organs doing what they do best are what drive your metabolic rate. Now, long term, you know, if you were to decide I’m going to diet. I’m going to eat half the amount of calories I’m supposed to eat for the next four or five months. By the end of that you’re going to probably see a shift in your metabolic rate because your your organs are now adapting. They’re may be a little bit smaller, a little bit less active. But in general over, well for me a 12 to 72 hour period in my research, you don’t see that. It’s an acute period of not eating where your body’s quick reaction is like “Alright, we’ll burn a bit more fat,” right? 

Derek  9:45  

Yeah.

Brad Pilon  9:45  

“We got no food coming in. Luckily, we have these reserves.” It’s going to burn a bit of that and see what happens. And then in 24 hours, we start eating again your body’s like go that’s done. Okay. All is cool. So that idea of starvation mode, kicking in and then an hour or two is is mostly myth, it really helped sell bodybuilding supplements and protein powders. Like it was fantastic for that. But in terms of being supported by research, it’s just it’s not there it is probably more of a long term adaptation to true famine starvation type. What

Natalie  10:17  

What about if you’re, you know, if you’re a person who’s like, because I’ve talked to so many people who do this, they’re like, Yeah, well, I pretty much just don’t eat until dinner. And then I just eat dinner. And that’s like, their life. And they’re not even like intentionally doing intermittent fasting, but I’ll bring it up as like, you know…

Brad Pilon  10:31  

Yeah.

Natalie  10:31  

…a way to eat healthy. And they’re like, oh, yeah, I only ever just eat dinner. And immediately I’m like, can that be? Can’t, that can’t be good, right? That’s all you’re ever doing. But like, but then you hear 24 hour fasting, like really good for your system? So like, can you speak to that? Like is…

Brad Pilon  10:47  

Yeah, okay, so this is more I’m gonna hit kind of a personal bias type thing.

Derek  10:51  

It’s kind of a schedule type.

Natalie  10:51  

Yeah, yeah.

Brad Pilon  10:52  

Eat Stop Eat was designed so that the fast was a pattern interrupt on your normal eating habits.

Natalie  10:59  

Gotcha.

Brad Pilon  11:00  

So the fasting was the break, the way people are using it now, the eating is almost the break, you’re, you’re fasting all the time. And then you’re finally breaking your fast with a meal, then going back to fasting. So it’s a very different approach approach philosophically. Because what I liked was the way Eat Stop Eat was designed, which is a 24 hour fast once or twice a week- 

Natalie  11:24  

Gotcha. 

Brad Pilon  11:25  

It allows for that pattern interrupt for you to kind of stop, reflect on the last couple days of eating be like I did, well, I didn’t do well. And then rest, reset, and move on. When you are simply fasting every single day for as long as you can until dinner. I think the the approach, the thought process is different where it’s just, it could be just you just like really, really big dinners. And this is the only way to make it work than I get that. But I think a lot of people it starts to almost become a fear of eating. And with for me Eat Stop Eat intermittent fasting, the point is still to eat. The point is to still enjoy your food and have the meals you like. It’s not to be afraid of eating, it’s just to take a break from it occasionally. So they’re very different approaches. The one meal a day approach may fit some people. They might be like, I don’t like breakfast, I don’t like lunch, but man, I love a big dinner. I’m like, Well, it’s hard to argue you’re kind of vibing with the way that you’re eating. But if you’re more, I’m afraid of breakfast. I’m afraid of lunch, because I don’t want to get fat. But I guess I’ll have dinner. That worries me a bit more.

Derek  12:31  

Yeah. So I actually did a one meal a day fasting schedule for a long time. Like, back in 2016, I kind of one of my buddies kind of introduced me to intermittent fasting as a concept. I’m like, this is really cool. Work my way up to, you know, work all through all the different schedules, you know, the 16/8, 18/4. And then eventually, I was like, Okay, let me try one meal a day. And actually, like I vibed with that on a very deep level for a lot of different reasons. And primarily, it wasn’t it just made it really simple. Because it’s like, if I’m at work, I’m not eating. And that was a really simple rule to just follow. 

Brad Pilon  13:06  

Yep.

Derek  13:07  

Another really good thing that I enjoyed about it personally, is that if I’m not, you know, funneling my money towards breakfast and lunch, I can now- I have all these resources available that I can use to funnel towards the highest quality ingredients for really good meals for dinner. So like, grass-fed beef. And this is back when you know, I’m like a starving college student. So I’m, you know, just trying to scrape by anyways. And so I’m like, okay, great. Now, I don’t have to worry about these two meals. And I can really just funnel all of this money and resources into getting the highest quality foods that I can buy. And like that worked for me for a really long time.

Natalie  13:44  

Did you find it was difficult to like, get the amount of calories needed per day in that one meal, because I’m just like, sitting trying to imagine like doing that an extended period of time and trying to get like 2200 calories in a meal and a healthy way, like all the time of feeling so full. Like every time, don’t get me wrong- I can put away some food.

Brad Pilon  14:02  

Some people loath that feeling, right?

Derek  14:04  

I can put away food too.

Natalie  14:06  

Yeah. Alright, well?

Derek  14:07  

But But yeah, I mean, really, I think that the main reason why I stopped and actually this leads to my, one of the big questions I wanted to ask you is like, I’m very much into like weightlifting and resistance training and that kind of thing. And so I’m trying to, like always optimize but the the main issue that I ran into is that I would I work out first thing in the morning, and my big meal of the day was dinner. And so I’m I you know, talking about like the anabolic window. Obviously, it’s not like super urgent that you get that protein in immediately. Obviously, the sooner the better. But like, if I’m working out first thing in the morning, and then I’m waiting all day to eat that that window is of time I would assume would be missed. So I’d be curious to hear what your thoughts are on that.

Brad Pilon  14:49  

Yeah, I think you’re looking at scientifically significant versus real world relevance. So would there be a measurable difference if we got enough people don’t have the appropriate power for a study to look for this. But yes, you’d probably find something we’d be like, yeah, that’s different. But real world over, you know, a year of doing it that way, would you see a significant, measurable, noticeable in the mirror difference in muscle mass or strength? Probably not. And so that’s where I find that sometimes we get caught up in the scientific significance versus the real world relevance, I think, if your calorie intake and protein intake was appropriate, and the training was hard enough, that stimulus is there, you have to adapt to that stimulus, the the body’s been received an input, right, and it’s okay, based on what this crazy guy is doing to me every morning, I’ve got to adjust. And if it’s like, I’m gonna have to adjust in the evening, versus I’m gonna have to adjust right now that adjustment will still be made. So I think you would probably have seen relatively the same result. But if you are, let’s say you’re a competing Olympic lifter, or a power lifter, where you’re like, rad dude, like, a half pound in my deadlift actually matters, then that’s your priority, then you’re like, you know, what, screw this intermittent fasting stuff, if a half pound is the difference between me winning and me not winning, I’m eating right after my training. But if it’s more like, my family and I are going to South Beach in a couple of months, I want to look good, probably not gonna make a difference.

Derek  16:17  

Yeah, yeah. So one thing that I think that I would love to kind of segue into from here is, and something that I personally love about intermittent fasting is that it is incredibly flexible, right? Because there are so many different types of schedules like and in fact, everybody does fast, right? To a degree. That’s the reason why it’s called breakfast because you really have to fast when you sleep. Whether that’s for five hours, or eight hours, or 10 hours, or however many hours you sleep. But you know everybody fast, but to be able to push out that window to 12 or 16. Or do a full 24 hour fast every couple of days or do one meal a day. Like there’s so many ways to do it. And yet it’s so simple and can fit so many different lifestyles.

Brad Pilon  16:54  

Yeah.

Derek  16:55  

So I don’t know, what are your takes on all the different fasting schedules?

Brad Pilon  16:58  

Oh, it’s whatever fits into your lifestyle at this time. And what really gets me is when people like it’s just not working anymore. And I’m like, why are you still doing it? So switch it up. So for each copy, great example, 24 hour fast. If we started fasting today at two, we’d fast till tomorrow at two. Easy, right? We sleep through the hardest part, we still eat every day, it’s great. We do that for a couple of weeks, you’re loving it. And then let’s say a month and a half goes in your scheduled work changes. And it’s just it’s just not fitting. The the answer which I so elude so many people is try 5pm to 5pm or 7pm to 7pm or 11am. Even keeping with a 24 hour cycle, you have all the different ways to see if you can make it fit again.

Derek  17:44  

Yeah.

Brad Pilon  17:45  

A lot of people who start getting really lean on Eat Stop Eat they’re like, Yeah, I’m starting to find 2, 24 hour fasts a day a bit burdensome. Like I get tired. I’m like well do, do20 You’re almost you’re there, right? You already look fantastic. You don’t have to fast for 24 hours, it was a super convenient way to do fasting. But let’s call it 24 ish now. And on Sundays, you hit 20 You’re like that felt good. Cut it. So I think the flexibility is the strongest part of intermittent fasting. Yeah, its the coolest and strongest part. As long as you allow it to be flexible.

Derek  18:17  

Yeah.

Natalie  18:17  

Mm hmm.

Brad Pilon  18:18  

Yeah. I also like the reason I like the 24 hour fast, is that the positive reinforcement you get with it. So I like to say a diet, for me, is a slow, inevitable march to failure. At some point, I’m gonna mess this thing up, right? It’s gonna be a wedding, it’s me Valentine’s Day, something like that. And it’s done, I suck, I ruined it. I’m gonna come back harder and stricter. Whereas with a 24 hour fast, if you’re lucky enough to get it done, you’re like, I did it. And it wasn’t that hard. And I got to do it again. In a couple of days. I got some time. And yeah, I can do this. Right. And so as long as whatever intermittent fasting, you do whether it’s 16/8 or 24 hours, as long as it comes with that, like, nailed it kind of feel, then you’re on the right path.

Natalie  19:00  

Yeah. Could we go over a little bit because this is, you know, I actually not too long ago, listened to a podcast where they’re talking about intermittent fasting, and I learned something new on it. And this, this guest on the podcast went through the stages of fasting and like the 16 hour mark, the 18 hour mark, the 20, the 24, the 36 to 48 what was happening in the body. And I was like, Dude this is so cool, because for me, part of what helps me stick with something is understanding the benefit, like we just talked about, on the episode we just dropped with Anthony Balduzzi when I mentioned that I have been struggling to get into the gym. I’ve been really out of my routine because I’ve had some health issues and whatever and it was just like the hardest that had ever been in years and I made the one reason to go for my mental health. And because I started to really understand how it was impacting. So being able to keep that in my mind allowed me to have the wherewithal and the motivation to get back in the gym and stay in the gym. 

Brad Pilon  20:00  

Right. Okay.

Natalie  20:00  

So similarly, with fasting, because it’s not uncommon or difficult for me to do a 16, maybe an 18 longer was getting more difficult. But when I heard the benefit and what was happening in my body, it, it allowed me to then be at the 24 hour mark or the 30, or the 36. Because I did a couple of 48 hours spread apart.

Brad Pilon  20:19  

Yep.

Natalie  20:19  

And in that moment, like think this is what it’s doing for me.

Brad Pilon  20:24  

Oh, yeah.

Natalie  20:24  

Then I was able to, like push through. So would you take a minute to explain to our listeners what’s happening in the body with the different stages of fasting?

Brad Pilon  20:31  

Okay, so the hard part of this is, it entirely depends on that last meal. And I’m gonna, I’m gonna give you some really cool examples of new research that shows just how crazy that can be. But let’s just go in general, your last meal was under 1000 calories, it wasn’t all carb, or all protein or all fat, it’s just a meal like food. So what you’re gonna find is right after you’re done that meal, you’re, there’s carbohydrates and protein in that meal, so your insulin is going to be high. And that’s a good thing, right? We actually do want that peak after meal, I know insulin is horrible, everyone in there wearing their measurement in general, you kind of want it to peak and valley. Everything in human sort of physiology kind of peaks and valleys, your insulin is high, and that is driving the absorption of the nutrients to the areas of your body that needs nutrients. Then, at that exact same time, your growth hormone, which is really, really important hormone not just for growth, unless you’re listening to us when you’re 15, in which case you’re growing, but the rest of us we’re not getting any taller, it’s a mostly a fat loss hormone.

Natalie  21:35  

Okay.

Brad Pilon  21:36  

It’s at like nadir levels, like really, really low. And then your inflammation after meal is actually fairly high. And again, just like the inflammation after workout, this is a good thing. You you do or inflammation when you get sick, a good thing that that first initial burst of inflammation, so you’ve got high inflammation, you’ve got high insulin, you’ve got low growth hormone, you actually for a lot of the guys, depending on the size of meal, your testosterone might be a bit lower as well, and your autophagy or your your body’s turnover, etc, we’re not really in that phase, we’re kind of at more of a sort out where these nutrients are going to go then prepare to grow sort of phase. Then you’re going to be looking probably depending on the size, that meal, mostly in that sort of 6-12 hour range takes you a while to digest food. It’s not as quick as some people think. The way humans are set up, we’re not like a carnivore cat or something like that they can completely digest something in two and a half hours. It takes us longer. So that six hours or so that digestion period, 6-12 You’re starting to get into what we call postprandial your body’s like him. Now I got time to deal with all this stuff. So I’m repairing I’m growing. Insulin is now starting to come down, your body is now kind of going, okay, like we’ve got some calories, but not the full amount I need. So I’m gonna I’m gonna liberate a little bit from this body fat here and just kind of make up that difference. So we’re going to be still using food calories, just kind of supplementing a little bit of extra stuff into there. Then by that 16 hour mark, now you’re starting to see growth hormone your body’s going okay. Not a lot of calories coming in. I don’t know what the machine up there, it must be broken or something, so we need to liberate more fat from our fat stores. Insulin is already kind of going down because it’s sitting there going like food’s gone. My job’s done, guys, I’m kind of out of here. And growth hormone is now being released. And they’re saying because we got to get this fat out of the fat storage areas and into the blood. And that’s what growth hormone really does. At that same time, we have some interesting enzymes that start getting really really active. So you have H S L, which is Hormone Sensitive Lipase. It’s the one that releases fat, but you have it’s sort of twin LPL Lipoprotein senses, Lipase, I’m getting mixed up. And it’s like I want the fat bring it in. So as HSL starts getting active in your fat stores, LPL is gonna start getting active in other areas like your muscles, especially if you’re moving around, you’ve gone for a walk, you’re doing dishes, you’re doing something active. So not only is fat getting released now from your fat stores, there’s areas of your body that are like “Oh  I, Hey dibs! I called dibs on that.” and it’s starting to be shunted over that way.

Natalie  24:17  

Oh so cool. So assentially, fat like it’s releasing fat out of your cells and your muscles and other parts of your body are like we need energy because the machine upstairs isn’t eating food and so it starts processing.

Brad Pilon  24:27  

Exactly.

Natalie  24:27  

That’s so cool!

Derek  24:27  

That’s really cool.

Brad Pilon  24:28  

Yes, at the same time now your body’s okay I the whole like food ins done the inflammation thing we don’t need it anymore. So we’re going from being pro inflammatory to anti inflammatory. So slowly but surely now your body’s like alright, well, we got time let’s let’s kind of start cleaning stuff up. Let’s get anti inflammatory. Let’s get autophagy going. Autophagy which I…do, I don’t know if you’ve ever heard so my early podcast I called Auto faggy for the first year and a half. Yeah, so autophagy is the appropriate way to say it. And it’s kind of like a -Look and see what’s broken. And kind of like, a set, a Lego set, break it up to rebuild it the way it’s supposed to be built, right. So your seven year old builds the Lego and you know, they did it wrong. So they go to bed and you fix it, that’s autophagy. It’s your body going around looking for things that need a little fixing. And if it’s not fixable, you just break the whole thing up and use it in other areas. So as autophagy starts to go up, inflammation starts to go down as you become more of an anti inflammatory state. Growth hormone is now up, you’re now burning fat. The protein in your muscles, assuming you’re an active person, you know, the your body’s looking around for energy, it’s going to your muscles being like, “Can I use some of that?” and your muscles like, “Don’t dude, I need this, I’m using it, you can’t have it,” right? So as long as you’ve been active in the last, I want to say 72 hours. It’s like, those are spoken for, they can’t be touched. So your body’s like “Fine, I’ll go back to the fat and get more of that,” right?  So it forces you to grab more fat. And that’s predominantly the role of GH. So if we were to make you fast, but block your GH release, then your muscles would be like, “Yeah, fine. Take the protein, I don’t care,” right? So with GH is kind of an orchestra-orchestrator, getting those things going.

Natalie  26:08  

Okay.

Brad Pilon  26:08  

And then by the end of that fast now, like, your leptin levels, your grehlin levels, all the hormones are kind of looking at you going like…

Natalie  26:16  

Grehlin is the hunger hormone, right?

Brad Pilon  26:18  

Yeah.

Natalie  26:18  

The hunger hormones that sends the signal that’s like, hey, it’s time to eat, we’re hungry.

Brad Pilon  26:22  

Exactly, it’s kind of looking at you now being like, “Okay, are we broken broken, are you just taking a break?” So I’m gonna, I’m gonna spike up a little bit higher, that has effects on a lot of the hormones that are like neural hormones in your brain. And then just when you’re kind of peaking at around that 24 hour range, if you eat, you kind of just start this whole cycle over again. And if you don’t eat, that’s when you really start going into a system where that renewal that rebuilding that anti inflammatory starts to spread into your immune system in other areas of your body, your macrophages. Okay, how do I explain this macrophages or white blood cells that are involved in your health and immunity. Macrophage=big eater, they can be inflammatory, and I think it’s M1 state or anti inflammatory and M2, they really all start switching over that anti inflammatory state. So your your immune system gets involved. And then the longer you start fasting, now ketosis, which is sort of using an alternative fuel source happens, those ketones start affecting your brain as well. And then we start getting into outside of my expertise of short term fast, and you’re getting into that long term fast, where your body’s going, “Okay, we’re doing this for the long haul, something’s going on,” right? “It’s winter out, there’s a famine, we’re going to really start ramping up our ability to survive.” And that’s a whole host of other effects. But for me, it’s that really getting that GH to peak getting that insulin low, get an anti inflammatory effect, and a little bit of extra autophagy, and then you eat again. So that that was sort of my process, the main things I’m most interested in.

Natalie  27:53  

Yeah. I love that. And it’s so incredible, even in just that 24 hour period…

Derek  27:57  

Yeah.

Natalie  27:57  

…what’s happening in the body.

Brad Pilon  27:58  

It’s amazing.

Natalie  27:58  

And so it’s kinda become, once I learned all of this, you know, because again, it was like very natural for me to be at least five days a week doing a 16 or 18 hour window of no eating. And then once I learned this, I started trying to incorporate once a week, a 24 to 36 hour. And kind of the thing for me was like, if I could get to 24. And then I kind of check in and be like, can we get to 36? Like, we got this?

Brad Pilon  28:20  

Yeah! It depends on how you feel. 

Natalie  28:21  

Yeah and I ended up getting to 48. Like, relatively easily, I tell you, what, between 24 to 36, I felt invincible.

Derek  28:30  

Yes. 

Natalie  28:30  

I was like, Wooah! Let’s go.

Derek  28:34  

The amount of clarity?

Natalie  28:35  

It was crazy. And for somebody, you know, I’ve had issues with my gut microbiome. So learning what fasting was contributing to my to my gut health.

Brad Pilon  28:43  

Yeah. We need to touch on that.

Natalie  28:44  

Yeah. Can you speak to that a little bit?

Brad Pilon  28:47  

Again, same thing, they’re so dependent on the qu- not just the foods you eat, like you’re- I like to, I’m always marveling at how much smarter you are than you are. So your brain, your gut, just so much smarter than you are right? And they’re constantly we are incredibly, incredibly, incredibly adaptive and resilient. So your body’s doing nothing all day long, but reading inputs, and then reacting and adapting to make sure whatever those inputs are from your environment, that you’re like, okay, it can manage. So your gut bacteria are no different, right? They are competing for resources. And at the same time, they’re trying to make sure you survive. So at times, they can shift to a bacterial population that we would consider not great for our health or our bodyweight. But at the time, given the environment, your body’s like, yeah, I don’t care Dude, you just ate three packs of Fuzzy Peaches. This is to get back to your unique right. So it’s like I don’t I don’t care what you think I want to keep this system thriving and surviving. And this is the gut bacteria do so even though that gut bacteria it’s just sitting there going like I we are the bacteria that have to deal with nothing but artificial colors, sugar and gelatin. So I guess that’s that’s what this body wants and we’re going To find a way to make it use that the best of our ability, even if it means diabetes and obesity, it’s just, it’s just what we have to do with this system. So a break, especially when you get a little bit past that 24 hour gives your gut bacteria a chance to kind of settle back into what would be more appropriate as your kind of your base, your base level. And then hopefully, after that fast, you’re like, Hey, check this out, we’re gonna give you an apple right there, like there. Here we go. Like healthy food, we can work with this, right? So it allows a very, I like to think of most of it as a reset, right? It’s sort of a your body resetting to almost a kind of a default mode, then you can rebuild on. So anyone who’s had a major, major gut issue, right? So you went out for Thai food, you got the mango salad, and you’re paying for it. Like you don’t think, Okay, I’m definitely ill right now. But what I really want is a muffin in the Snickers bar, you think I’m not eating again. Actually, you probably think I’m not eating good for the rest of my life. It hurts so bad, right? But you definitely don’t think I’m going to snack you think until this is done. It’s nothing but water for me. 

Natalie  31:02  

Right. Right.

Brad Pilon  31:03  

And then once you feel better, you start eating again, it’s that same sort of process, you’re just sort of letting your body do what it does. I like to say that you’ve, you’ve known how to burn fat since the day you were born, you didn’t have to read a book, you didn’t have to do anything, your body knows how to do it, you just have to get out of its way. And that’s what we’re really bad at is we’re we’re constantly in our body’s own way by thinking what I should be doing is eating as much as possible all day long and not sleeping enough. So I’m eating when I should be sleeping too. But I find, I don’t know if you found this. But yeah, you’re invincible from 24 to 36 hours. And what I found was after about 40 hours, people just they’re not hungry. And they usually break the fast by about 72 hours because they’re bored. Because eating takes up such a large part of our day. And then lookin,  thinking about what you’re going to eat where you’re going to eat it who you’re going to eat it with. These are massive parts of being human. When you remove that for a day, it’s liberating get a lot done. by about a third day you’re like, I’m bored like I want to go. It’s just Yeah, so it most people break their fast not out of hunger, but out of boredom, they just want to again, hey,

Natalie  32:09  

I hope you’re enjoying today’s podcast, I just wanted to take a quick break. Because if you’re listening, you probably know what we do here at Invigor Medical Podcast, but maybe not what we do at invigormedical.com. So let me introduce us. At Invigor, we provide prescription strength treatments and peptides for weight loss, sexual health and lifestyle optimization. Every treatment plan is carefully prescribed by licensed doctors and sourced from legitimate pharmacies. You don’t ever need to buy questionable research chemicals again. And bonus as a podcast listener, you get a 10% discount on your first treatment plan with code PODCAST10 at Invigormedical.com. Now let’s get back to today’s episode.

Natalie  32:47  

And I will say like if you’ve ever done any kind of intermittent fasting, I don’t think it took correct me if I’m wrong. It’s not great to just jump right into 72 hours. It might be a little bit rough. 

Brad Pilon  32:55  

No. Yeah.

Natalie  32:55  

But I do want to touch and sorry, Derek, I feel like I’m absolutely hogging the questions.

Derek  32:59  

Oh no, you’re good.

Natalie  33:00  

But you mentioned, depending on what you ate for your last meal, so this is a two parter.

Brad Pilon  33:06  

Okay.

Natalie  33:07  

Would you or do you recommend something specific, or a sort of guideline for a last meal and also for the food, for the first meal, I’m breaking the fast because I think this is a really cool topic and something to talk because people another like, myth of of nutrition is like breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Right? So people think like you have to eat in the morning. And it’s very hard for people who have been taught that to to break out of that and to think of an intermittent fasting sort of protocol, when what I learned was, what, how you break your fast is what’s important. It’s not about the time of day that you eat it, but rather what you’re eating to break the fast is that fact or fiction?

Brad Pilon  33:52  

I think so. So I’ve got a couple of things. And then I’m going to take you through the pre fast meal first because this was an area I thought didn’t matter at all. And then…

Natalie  34:03  

This is the first I’ve heard of that, like being conscious of what your last meal is when you mentioned that I was like really?

Brad Pilon  34:09  

Yeah, so okay, a study recently came out and you’ve probably heard about it. They took a group of guys and they fed them 100 grams of protein. And this protein was radioactive. We you feed dairy cattle, radioactive food, it marks certain carbons in, or certain amino acids in their milk.

Natalie  34:32  

This is crazy to me already.

Brad Pilon  34:33  

Yeah. So what happens is, it’s not going to kill you and you’re not gonna turn into Incredible Hulk, but they can now track those amino acids through your body. Right? So we know exactly where it’s going.

Brad Pilon  34:42  

They can see, okay. That’s wild! 

Brad Pilon  34:43  

And what they found was after eating 100 grams of protein, these guys and they’re all younger guys-this is just as a caveat, stayed in a anabolic protein building mode for about 12 hours. And the reason 12 hours is because that’s when the study stopped. Now most of our studies on this kind of stuff, we do four to six, these guys were one of the first ones to be like, “I wanna see what happens if we go longer.” So 12 hours. That’s not the big surprise, because it just means that a ton of I mean 100 grams of protein, a ton of protein…

Derek  35:18  

That is a lot of protein.

Brad Pilon  35:20  

…can stay in your system, and can be used effectively, for 12 hours. So it kind of got rid of the ‘your body can only simulate 40 grams of protein’ kind of talk, because it just, it takes a long time to digest. But see, I saw that study a lot differently, because I know how it was designed. So if you were in that study, you would have had your last meal, a prepackaged meal I gave you at around eight, the night before, I’d be like, “Hey, you gotta eat this, then nothing else.” Get to my lab by 8am The next day, like fine, so you’d eat your meal, it’d be like a prepackaged astronaut kind of frozen food kind of meal. You go to bed, you get up, you’d brush your teeth, you’re like, I can’t eat anything, you maybe a black coffee, you get to my lab, I’d be like awesome, you’re here, I need to do a couple tests on you to take your blood. And then we’re going to set you up with some catheters. So I’m going to stick some lines into your veins, you’re going to hate it, but you’re gonna get used to it. And then you’re gonna think, “Hey, what do, what I want to do, what should I do now?” And I’m like, “Well, you’re gonna sit in that chair and relax for 90 minutes while we measure your blood. And you’ll probably think, “Can I use my phone?” and I’ll say “yes.” And you’ll sit on your phone for about 90 minutes. Interestingly, now you’re about 14 hours fasted, right? Well, you weren’t allowed to eat, and I’m taking these measurements, then you’re probably like, “Alright, what’s next?” I’m like, “This part’s awesome, you’re gonna do an hour workout full body, you’re gonna do four sets, chest four sets back with eight sets, legs, and you’re gonna hate it, because I’m gonna have, you know, my grad students are gonna be in there being like, ‘You go! Keep going, you can do it!’ you’re gonna do a true 10 reps, like, not the Oh, I think I’ll stop here. But the like, Oh my God, these kids are young…”

Derek  36:54  

You’re really pushing.

Brad Pilon  36:55  

“…more sets, I mean, two more reps, but I’m done. Like, I can’t lift anything else. So it’s gonna be a harder workout than you expected. And then you’re gonna finish that workout. And you’re gonna think, ‘Okay, what’s going on now?’ and I say, “Well, now we’re going to biopsy you, which means I’m going to freeze a little spot in your leg, I’m going to open it up. And I’m going to take a little chunk of that muscle out of your quad. You’re not going to feel it, but the next day, it’s going to suck, right? And I’m going to do that to you multiple times next 12 hours, which means by the end of the study, you’ve probably anywhere from 18 to 20 hours fasted. But you were anabolic the whole time. Because Oh, right after that workout, you drank 100 grams of protein.”

Brad Pilon  37:37  

So it makes me wonder, okay, they were measurably anabolic. And I was watching those amino acids-well watching- measuring them going into your muscles. So they weren’t getting burned as a fuel. You weren’t peeing them out, they were being used. But you were fasted, which means that they were being used, you weren’t using them as an energy source. So you were still using body fat, right? Because I didn’t let you eat, you’re sitting in the lab. So you didn’t eat. But the protein you did eat back a while ago, is being used to repair your muscles. So I thought that was super fascinating. Because it was the one part of that study, everybody’s like, look, see, you can use 100 grams of protein. And I’m sitting there going, you can be anabolic during a fast. That’s weird. So that makes me think, as long as your weight training-A hundreds a lot. We’re not doing 100. Unless you’re, unless you’re crazy bodybuilder. But I think that meal before you fast should obviously contain a good whack of protein, it should be a meal, right? And again, I really want to get people back to the idea of thinking of food as food. So just a good meal. It doesn’t have to be a protein shake. It doesn’t have to be just a chicken breast like just to have a meal that has protein in it.

Natalie  38:54  

Right.

Brad Pilon  38:55  

Be full, then fast. Now we know okay, like if you were worried about losing muscle during your fast you definitely don’t have to worry now. You, you read Eat Stop Eat. You’re like, oh, look, Brad says you don’t lose muscle, but I’m still not like 99% convinced? Well, here’s your extra 1%. Eat some protein. And now you’re good.

Natalie  39:11  

Yeah.

Brad Pilon  39:12  

The meal after the fast I struggle with because I get the idea of making it magical. But what I find for weight loss and compliance specifically, the very best thing that people do for me is when the fast is done, you pretend it never happened. So whatever you would have normally ate at that time, is what I want you to eat. So it’s a bagel with cream cheese that you always have at 3pm If I make you change off that I risk weird things happening. So if I tell you it’s cool, you have a bagel and cream cheese but I then, I also want you have a giant protein shake. Yeah, maybe that giant protein shake just does nothing but adds calories to your day or makes you more hungry or makes you concerned about what you’re eating later.

Derek  39:55  

Or mess with your appearance.

Brad Pilon  39:56  

Whereas you’re just getting people to eat what they would normally eat at that time, tends to be the trick to not only keep them compliant such a bad word, but it’s a word we use, when we’re talking about how people eat. But I think it prevents them from overthinking. And then over eating, thinking, “I just fasted for 24 hours, I did something bad, I need to make up those calories, I should have a giant salad with chicken on it, and some olive oil because I heard that’s good for me, and then maybe a little bit whole grain bread.” Like you all of a sudden start overthinking. And then you start making up for the fast. So as much as I like the idea of prescribing a pre fast or a post fast meal of watermelon or something like that. Generally telling people at that time because some people break their fast right before dinner, some do it as a, you know, midday snack, some people are lunch, pretend the fast never happened, what would you normally eat? When people do that the rest of that day, they tend not to overeat. Whereas if I mess it up in any other way, all of a sudden, they’re trying to make up for the fast. So that’s been my general take on it since, like 2007, when we’ve kind of been doing this, I’ve tried other ways. But this seems to be the way to keep people from overeating as a response to the fast.

Derek  41:05  

That’s very cool.

Natalie  41:06  

I love it.

Derek  41:07  

So I have a quick question. So we talked a little bit about what to eat before you start fasting, what to eat after, you know, once you’re done breaking your fast. A big question that I know a lot of people have is like, what breaks a fast? And also, is there anything? 

Natalie  41:20  

I was just going to ask that.

Derek  41:21  

Is there anything that you can do in the middle? Right?

Brad Pilon  41:24  

Yeah.

Derek  41:24  

And you know, this is something that I think is really interesting, because I don’t remember which episode of Andrew Huberman…

Natalie  41:32  

Oh, God. There it is.

Derek  41:34  

[laughing]… it was but he talked a lot about, he talked a lot about like, really, people think this idea of like breaking a fast you consume any amount of calories? And it’s like, oh, well, you might as well just break your fast. But it’s like, if you’re in a caloric deficit, and you consume something that, you know, let’s say you burn 100 calories going running, and then you consume 50 calories, you know, you’re still technically in a in a caloric deficit. So I don’t know if that’s something that you can touch on and kind of talk a bit more about what breaks a fast.

Brad Pilon  42:01  

Yeah! Okay, so this has been, again, since 2007. This was actually the-Am I done with school? Or are we going to do my PhD on this? Because I was like, this was a fascinating question. Because we start with Okay, we’ve got to define breaking a fast. So for me, it was a significant fluctuation in GH. So we’d have to be at least about 14 hours into a fast to be able to make this measurable, right?

Derek  42:25  

Yeah.

Brad Pilon  42:26  

And then I thought, Okay, well, then it would be the amount of calories? Or do I now have to break it down to carbohydrates, fats, proteins? Is one of them unique? Then the problem became the inter individuality of people. Right. So what some people can handle other people’s can’t. So I was like, this is I’m not doing this. This is, this is really…

Derek  42:48  

Yeah, it’s huge.

Brad Pilon  42:49  

…So what we need is more of a guideline for people. And I like to think of it as the purpose of this is to fast, right? But I get it, right. So if you come to me and you’re like, Okay, level with me, how much cream can I put in my coffee? That’s that’s usually what it is. Right? And I’m like, one stop drinking crap coffee, and you wouldn’t need cream.

Natalie  43:12  

Right?

Brad Pilon  43:12  

Two, yeah. This is the amount you need to put in your coffee. If you can truly, if you can’t go without, then don’t. Because I would rather you have 30 calories of fat in your coffee, and then be able to maintain your fast for eight or nine hours than just simply never try fasting. Yeah, but if you can go without just being a baby, go without? Yeah, right. Because part of fasting is that when I was doing so like anybody, right when I’m doing my grad work on fasting, I’m also trying out fasting because you’re supposed to experiment on yourself. So I would be driving to class. And so I’m in Canada, and from where I live to my university is about an hour’s drive. And almost on the dot every 10 minutes is a Tim Hortons, a Canadian coffee shop.

Natalie  44:03  

I’m glad you clarified because I’m like I don’t know…

Derek  44:06  

I assume a coffee shop.

Brad Pilon  44:07  

You gotta travel because you gotta get up here. And it’s really interesting because it you know, nine times out of 10 It doesn’t taste like coffee at all, but you’re still going to crave it. It’s the weirdest thing. But I would be wanting to turn in no matter what because I was stopping there usually for like late nights class. So even though if I had a massive meal, so you guys came up and we had a big dinner out and I’m like guys gonna get go I’ve got lab, I would still be basically trying to pull into that drive thru. Or if I am, let’s say I was finishing up a workout was like, Oh! I gotta get to school. I’m late. I’m already running late. And I’m still like I want to pull into that drive thru. So what fasting made me really aware of and what I think is one of the main benefits is I’m not hungry, right? You know, I mean, like I just ate and I’m late but I’m still wanting to pull into that bloody drive thru. Why? If you can use fasting even if you decide I didn’t really like it, Brad. Eat Stop Eat was good but not for me. But if in those fasts you learn ‘but, what I do know is man Do I have a problem at 3pm wanting a doughnut it’s just like this habit I have to break’ then that fast was fasting was a success for you. It was a great thing.

Derek  45:14  

You know, there’s aJapanese word I think for that. I think it’s Kuchisabishii, which literally means mouth loneliness. There’s a great piece of useless information for you.

Brad Pilon  45:24  

Yeah, once you’re in a car and you’re like, I’m used to driving and…

Derek  45:26  

And chewing something.

Brad Pilon  45:27  

…I drive automatic, and drinking something like coffee. Yeah. So I don’t have an exact number that breaks the fast but what I can remind everyone is that the point is to fast. The point is to feel what it’s like to go without. To get out of your body’s way and let it do what it does. So if you can go without, go without, but if you can’t, if you absolutely can’t, then don’t. There’s, there’s no hard rule. Now I will say there has been certain fasting programs that came out long after Eat Stop Eat that are based loosly off Eat Stop Eat that were like, yeah, guys, you can have like, five 600 calories and still be fine. And I was thinking that’s a that’s a six inch sub from Subway. Yeah, that’s not not fine. Right? That’s now you’re intermittently dieting, you’re not intermittently fasting,

Natalie  46:09  

Right?

Derek  46:09  

Right.

Brad Pilon  46:10  

And if you’re allowed to anytime you feel a little bit peckish to be like, Oh, I guess I’ll get a sub. And I just don’t think you’re learning much. So yeah, I’d like just Yeah, so the point is, I don’t have an answer for that. But I do have a theory that we are trying to fast and we’re trying to learn to go without.

Derek  46:27  

What, can I ask one more question just as a as a tail to that. I’ve seen a very common recommendation is something like you can drink bone broth, you know, because it’s low calories, might have a little bit of fat in it, you know? And like, it might just be enough to satiate…

Derek  46:41  

Get that satiation feeling, yeah.

Derek  46:43  

…to pull you through. Yeah. What are your thoughts on that?

Brad Pilon  46:46  

Okay, well, so my thought there is, again, if you’re using something to pull you through.

Derek  46:53  

Are you just being a wimp, or Yeah.

Brad Pilon  46:55  

So my argument would be like, Alright, fine. So if you guys can have bone broth. I can I can have jello, right? And then if I can have jello, like, I’m not gonna gel without like some whipped cream on it or something. And then okay, well, if I’m having jello, I feel like a lot of stuff is slippery slope. And what I have found in outside of fasting, let’s just say, nutrition in general, I have failed miserably. Every time I’ve looked for the magic in food. So every time I’ve tried some sort of magical way to make my fasts, you know, more effective or easier-It hasn’t, it hasn’t been useless, but it hasn’t been magical. I do think that flavor is a great way to get you through. I’ve never actually had bone ball. So if it has a flavor, it’s very low calories, so it might help well,

Derek  47:43  

and I used it on extended fast. So I’ve done I’ve done a three day fast. I’ve done a seven day fast, I think a seven day fast as long as I’ve ever done but like the bone broth really got me through that. So… 

Brad Pilon  47:54  

Yeah, black coffee. Something about it is next to zero. So I don’t know for people who are into like artificially sweetened diet drinks, something about that one. Sometimes what your again, your mouth loneliness. It’s just a flavor thing. I had a poly phenyl drink that we actually made, it was like five calories per serving, which is a whack load of polyphenols, but it had that like bromelain Berry, like a lot, a lot of flavoring to it. So you really got that whack of like, I almost want to say bittersweet of like a dried Berry. And that helped a lot of people. So I think that just some flavor in your mouth helps. It’s why some people go crazy on the gum when they’re fasting. But in general, again, if you can go without go without, but if what- if what’s going to help you make it through is an almost zero calorie flavor. Yeah, that’s fine. That’s cool. 

Derek  48:43  

Just run with it.

Natalie  48:44  

Cool. Yeah, I find it very interesting. Because that was one of the questions I was going to have is like what actually breaks your fast because you hear about that a lot.

Derek  48:52  

Oh all the time.

Natalie  48:52  

All the time. And the way I started to kind of just think about it was like, well, if my goal for this round of fasting is really just kind of like a little bit of a boost, you know, metabolically or like burning fat whatever. Like maybe I’ll bulletproof coffee right like the MCT oil and butter in my coffee which does actually like if I’m feeling a little foggy that first day from not eating really is a nice little boost to like help encourage.

Brad Pilon  49:14  

It was the original point of bulletproof coffee, right? It was a cognitive thing.

Natalie  49:17  

Yeah, and it does Wow, it’s incredible. But then I started thinking if I really want the full benefit of this fasting experience, like if I’m gonna kind of suffer through this 24 hours anyway, like, at the end of the day, the broth and the Bulletproof Coffee, it helps a little bit but still, there’s still some suffering going on. It’s like

Derek  49:34  

It’s a crutch.

Natalie  49:34  

I’m gonna go like all the way into it. It’s kind of is kind of how I…

Brad Pilon  49:38  

It feels different like I every once in a while we’ll just do have never done a dry fasts. I don’t don’t hate myself that way. But I’ll do a pure water just nothing was not even black coffee. No Nestea Zero. No gum, just water. And there’s something uniquely different about how that feels at the end.

Natalie  49:57  

Yeah. Not to nerd out too much and we’d have to get on this tantrum but I’ve always been curious about having artificial sweeteners in a fast because of something I read or heard once about just the taste of sweet signals your brain to release insulin in the bloodstream. And so actually having zero calorie sweeteners without any calories, actually simultaneously can lead to insulin resistance.

Brad Pilon  50:20  

So there’s the-oh I’m going to mess up Insuphalitic? There’s, there was a response, and it’s based on the anticipation of flavor.

Natalie  50:26  

Right. Yeah.

Brad Pilon  50:27  

It’s you know, what’s really cool, what is like when you open a jar of peanut butter and smell it? And it’s just like, yeah, it just you’re mouth starts watering. 

Natalie  50:33  

Right.

Derek  50:33  

Yeah.

Brad Pilon  50:34  

So those trials are there, they do show a scientifically significant increase in insulin, which is like, incredibly minut. And I don’t think it affects a fast. And you just look at, okay, if we could take the volumes and volumes of trials on fasting, not necessarily intermittent fasting, but just fasting in general. If we were to put them I just got rid of all my binders of papers because they looked ugly and replaced with books. But if we took all those binders…

Natalie  51:01  

Sure makes it scholarly.

Derek  51:01  

Oh yes.

Brad Pilon  51:01  

…and each binder has like 100 trials in it. And let’s say I’ve got like 13, you can easily grab three or four of them that are full of yes, they use artificial sweeteners during the fasting period. So they were doing measurements, whether it was growth hormone, or insulin, the Ghrelins trials, even leptin ones. And these people had artificial sweeteners, and there was no difference. Right? So I think I’m cool with it. I think it comes down to again, the greater good, the majoring in the major, as opposed to the minor is the actual large period of time without eating. And then the minor would be like, Yeah, but there was a 0.003% increase in my insulin from this minute to this minute during my fast, so I guess it was useless. And I’m getting fat now, right? 

Natalie  51:45  

That’s good.

Brad Pilon  51:45  

Like it’s, so I yeah, I’d like to think we’re gonna stay majoring in the major here. And it’s where are you able to go 24 hours, with a very low calorie intake that was somewhat uncomfortable at times, but you pushed through, and that’s what I’m looking for.

Natalie  51:59  

Yeah. Don’t mistake the forest for the tree, right?

Brad Pilon  52:00  

And then everything else is fun reading. I love it. But then the problem is, I’ll blog about it, or I’ll podcast about it. And then I’m like, Am I really helping people here? Am I just sort of giving people stuff I find fascinating and then realizing. So I’m going to sum this up by saying, I know you’ve listened to me an hour, but that wasn’t important, right? So I gotta always remember, major in the major for people.

Derek  52:21  

Yeah.

Natalie  52:21  

No, I think it’s incredible. And I’m like, there’s still- I know that I’m gonna in this episode, and just like, still have more questions and more thinking, and

Derek  52:29  

I think we’re probably both gonna start a fast probably sometime this next.

Natalie  52:33  

I’m fasting right now.

Derek  52:34  

There you go. Well, in spirit of the of the episode, that’s great.

Natalie  52:37  

Yeah. [laughing] Pretty, pretty normally for me, too, you know, and try to like to not eat too late. And then like, don’t eat after eight, preferably like seven and then not eat before 11 or 12. And sometimes the whole day, you know?

Brad Pilon  52:50  

You know, the fun story on that is, so again, when I worked in the supplement industry, massive company, and we had a lot of athletes under contract. We call them athletes, fitness models, bodybuilders. And the fitness models at the time, weren’t eating after 6pm Because they were convinced that the calories they ate after six would be stored as fat while they were sleeping. So whether or not they were wrong, the issue is, they were intermittent fasting back in like 2000. Like, if you think about it, they were stopping by six. They’re getting up at seven. They did their fasted cardio because that was huge. Yeah. And then they ate. So it wasn’t 16 hours, but it’s probably 14. So we’ve always intuitively thought it was right. We just had different reasons to try it or not.

Natalie  53:31  

Right. Well and I think, I just really encourage people like if this feels like nothing, like whatever, not for me, and you know, I have what I’m doing and it works for me. I still think like mindfully giving your digestive system a 12 hour break, I think is really beneficial to digestive health. And I think that we seriously undervalue digestive health.

Brad Pilon  53:53  

Taking a break!

Natalie  53:53  

Good digestive health, and what is going on. And I think we’re, I think we’re leaning more towards that. And there’s more and more research coming out about, you know, the second brain of the gut and how important all of the gut microbiome is and having an imbalance and how different and unique it is to each person and the billions of bacteria there are in your gut. So it’s like, I…

Brad Pilon  54:11  

Yeah. You want something crazy, cool?  Research just came out. I don’t know if it was Canadian, I think it was, and they were looking at incidences of pneumonia in hospitals. So hospital acquired pneumonia.

Natalie  54:21  

Okay.

Natalie  54:23  

So what they found was they can reduce the incidence of hospital acquired pneumonia. So we’re talking to lung issue by having patients brush their teeth every morning. So if you think about it, when you’re in the ER, you’re not like brushing your teeth, right? Like it’s the last thing on your mind. But it’s showing a link most likely between the bacteria in your mouth and your ability to get or not get pneumonia.

Derek  54:47  

Interesting.

Natalie  54:47  

Woah. That’s wild.

Brad Pilon  54:48  

So so it’s it’s easy. You’re when we talk gut you and I are obviously thinking like test time, but all the way up, everything counts. And it’s that you know, overused term holistic, but you really do have to you look at the entire body and its environment and how that all plays a part creates health or removes health from someone.

Natalie  55:08  

Right!. Like over sanitizing your hands and completely removing every bit of bacteria continually can actually weaken your immune system because you’re not exposed to all of these other-Yeah.

Brad Pilon  55:17  

It’s all connected. And so you do have to kind of, but I like your with your gut bacteria specifically, and probably your mouth too now that I’m thinking about it. Like you, taking a break is always a good idea, right? Like we know we have to sleep, we know that you can’t just decide I’m going to benchpress today all the way till Friday, just every hour, do a set. That night, like you know, that would probably end badly, right? It’d be a really good way to get. You don’t think, “I’m gonna go for a 20 minute jog. I suppose like I’m gonna jog for February. Everything we do, we take breaks.

Natalie  55:44  

Unless you’re Forrest Gump.

Derek  55:45  

Yeah. Or, or David Goggins, Maybe?

Brad Pilon  55:47  

Yeah. So I think for your digestive system, that break allows for just a rest of relaxed and a reset, which is, you know, it’s, it’s, it’s what most people want out of life, you got to think that your body wants that occasionally too.

Derek  56:01  

Yeah, well, you know, I think that there’s a concept that you talked about how our bodies are very smart, right? They’re smarter than than, than we are necessarily.

Brad Pilon  56:08  

Yeah. Incredibly smart.

Derek  56:09  

I think that that also manifests just in society in general. And you touched on this in your book, how almost every major religion in the world has some sort of fasting practice in it. And it’s just amazing to think like, they’ve had it figured out for 1000s of years. And now, we’re coming back to this and it’s like, just ancient wisdom that we can kind of touch on and say, Okay, how can we reincorporate this back?

Natalie  56:32  

Well, I’m because we have access to food we should eat until we go to sleep, and we should eat as soon as we wake up. And yeah, it’s because there’s just all this access in modern food culture. Yeah. And I, I really appreciate the approach that you’ve taken with all of this information. I love how continually when we come with, like, really specific questions. I’m like, Well, what about this? And you’re just like, “Ah, you know, I just hope you try it.”

Brad Pilon  56:53  

Yeah. My answer is “No clue.”

Natalie  56:54  

…Ya know, are you gonna do it? Not really no clue, but like, what’s gonna make you stick with it? Like, are you gonna, I’d rather you do it this way than not do it at all kind of thing. And I think that that just makes it feel very accessible and doable. And that’s obviously one of our goals here on the Invigor Medical Podcast is to equip people with tools to live a healthier, fuller, longer life in general. So I’m really excited for our listeners, and this has been really fun for me. I’m really, really excited. But was there anything else that you wanted to tack on?

Derek  57:25  

I’m trying to think off the top my head. I mean, I could nerd out. Like, Natalie almost didn’t make it because of the snow this morning. So I was just like, Okay, I get an hour to ask 

Natalie  57:34  

There was no way I was like absolutely not.

Derek  57:37  

Brad is gonna be my hostage.

Natalie  57:38  

I was gonna be so sad. I woke up 45 minutes early and was like I will be on the roads. I have four wheel drive.

Derek  57:45  

So I’ve been going in…

Brad Pilon  57:46  

Calling in from the car, right?

Derek  57:48  

I would, I would love to dive into and like, honestly, I think we could have like a whole 20 minute segment just about autofagey. And like, all the actual different things that it does for your body. But maybe. I don’t know, maybe we save that for another time.

Natalie  58:02  

I don’t know that does sound like I mean, I’m sure most people don’t even know what you’re talking about.

Derek  58:06  

So you talked about autofagey or…

Brad Pilon  58:08  

Yeah. 

Natalie  58:08  

Autophagy? 

Brad Pilon  58:11  

I got you going, I got you going.

Natalie  58:12  

Yeah, you did.

Derek  58:14  

Potato Potato, but like, Can we can we just dive a little bit more into that? And like, because like I know, I’ve seen some things and read some studies about like how it can reduce cancer risk. It can, you know, do all these incredible things. And like, I would imagine that it probably has things to do even with like clearing out old mitochondria from your system, which regenerates new mitochondria activates the sirtuins like all these really amazing things like I would love to hear.

Brad Pilon  58:41  

Yeah, so, man.

Derek  58:42  

Dive a little bit deeper into it.

Natalie  58:43  

Can you just tell people what it is, first of all, because I think there’s probably a lot of people that don’t have an understanding what, no matter which way you say it.

Brad Pilon  59:03  

So I’ll tell you the story where I got the idea from and we’ll go from there. So it was 2000 I want to say like 13. And there was a gentleman who was the forefront of the anti aging don’t die stuff before that became big. And his name was Aubrey de Grey, the great break. And he was out in in London and he was hosting one of his first like, anti aging summits. And I had gotten hold of him like hey, can I come out? And he was like, Sure. So I flew out and it was Cambridge. And just wicked area, super smart people. And he was talking about this buildup of junk in the body. He had a really good way of presenting where he was talking very scientifically but then calling certain things junk, right? So he would you could kind of grasp it. And he was saying the problem with aging is an accumulation of junk in your body and that your body has an amazing ability to recycle and reuse so everything in your body is slowly being broken down and replaced. So your, the muscle you have right now in that bicep of yours there is made up of amino acids that over the last 70 days or completely new. So 72 days ago, not a single thing in that muscle is what it is now, because it’s slowly been broken down, replaced fixed, you know, I’ve taken some of the protein from your food and replaced it, but then also some of the protein I released out of this shoulder, I’m gonna put in this bicep. So you’re constantly maintaining, because again, your body’s way smarter than you are- a functional system so your brain can get around and go places, right?  But our lifestyle for whatever reason, started to get in the way of that process. So the constant, not just eating but over eating, and eating possibly foods that made your insulin elevated for long periods of time. And then a sedentary lifestyle where the muscles aren’t being challenged and broken down as much starts to lead- and this is where I throw a hypothesis behind it- to a situation where you’re not recycling and reusing maybe as much as you should be. So those those broken things, that mitochondria is not running at 100%, but say, maybe running at 70, your body’s like, good enough, you’re fine, right? But autophagy, that break from eating and that your body going alright, again, machine up there is not working, not only do I need some calories, but like I need, does anybody have some glutamine, like I’m looking for glutamine, just one amino acid, right, and then your left biceps like well, I’ve got this one piece of fiber just kind of busted down, it’s not really working well. So take the glutamine out of that, but you got to replace it make a new one for me like it’s-so it’s just sort of trading pieces around breaking them down through Lego pieces. And going like, this is a good piece and it fits right there. So that’s kind of what a tapa G is it’s your body, breaking down, whether it’s small organelles, whether it’s small protein complexes, and then going, okay, these three or four pieces, these are junk. You’re you’re going kidneys, and you’re getting peed out. But these couple pieces, these are useful, we’re going to put them over here. And that that’s what keeps you going. So the idea behind autophagy, which is that process, which is always going and kind of a basal level in the background. It’s not like it’s off off, but you want to kind of allow it time to cycle up. And some people get really upset about when we’re like, you know, fasting turns on autophagy. It’s more of a dial than an on off switch. But you’re trying to explain some concepts, you might use analogies that sometimes don’t work. But what we’re saying is you want some time you turn that dial up and you give your body a chance to go okay, let’s let’s do some cleanup. Here. It’s spring cleanup time. And that gets rid of these broken down proteins that might be doing their job kind of okay. But the problem is when they really start doing the job poorly, and that causes problems that people believe have been linked to cancer, right? So it’s just allow, again, you’re getting out of your body’s way to allow it to do what it does. And your body’s incredibly good at keeping a system going for like, even even on a horrible diet, no activity, but 60-70 years, right. And then with good diet and good activity, maybe 100. Like, that’s impressive. But that’s you have so little to do with that and your body, the part that you don’t aren’t aware of has so much to do with that, that you just want to get out of its way, let it do its house cleaning, and then let it repair what needs repaired and get rid of what needs to get rid of it. That’s that’s a tautology. And that’s how nutshell just letting your body kind of do its own housekeeping every once a while. Yeah,

Brad Pilon  1:03:21  

So cool.

Derek  1:03:22  

That is awesome.

Natalie  1:03:23  

It’s just wild to think you know, your body, like you said, its just so intelligent.

Brad Pilon  1:03:26  

All in the background, right? Like…

Brad Pilon  1:03:28  

Right, yeah. Oh my gosh.

Derek  1:03:30  

Incredible.

Natalie  1:03:30  

Okay, so this has been incredible. I feel like we can have a whole other episode, I know that people are really going to enjoy this, I think that it just feels like something that’s so doable. And to have a better understanding of how impactful it is, you know, not just on like, Hey, I’m trying to lose weight and like, you know, look good. There’s just so much other incredible impact that this can have.

Derek  1:03:50  

Right. Absolutely.

Natalie  1:03:51  

Alright, so Brad, where can people find you? If they want more information.

Brad Pilon  1:03:54  

Okay, so I am on the online world, but just Eat Stop Eat-easily grabbable off of amazon.com.ca We’ve got the audio book not read by me because people complained about the Canadian accent. 

Natalie  1:04:08  

What?!

Derek  1:04:09  

Oh, man,

Natalie  1:04:09  

That’s crazy.

Brad Pilon  1:04:10  

You know, I don’t even hear it. But so but a really good guy is reading it for me. Then there’s a book and the Kindle. And then from there, if you’re interested in kind of some of my random writing, it’s bradpilon.com. And then other than that, there is lots of information set out there just sort of Google my name and stuff will pop.

Natalie  1:04:26  

Are you on the socials?

Brad Pilon  1:04:28  

I am on the socials and all them are, as @bradpilon, so Instagram, Twitter, those My way ones up on TikTok. I have no idea how to use it, so Instagram and Twitter or the better spots.

Natalie  1:04:38  

Do you have a preteen or a teen because they can teach you how to use TikTok. That’s what my daughter does.

Brad Pilon  1:04:43  

Do you have 2 minutes for that story.

Natalie  1:04:45  

Yes, please.

Brad Pilon  1:04:46  

So we went out for dinner. She’s gonna kill me for telling the story. Show me how to use Snapchat. I don’t get it. 

Natalie  1:04:53  

This is your daughter?

Brad Pilon  1:04:54  

Yeah! So I’m like, okay, so I’m loaded logging in. I’m like there’s Snap. I’m like so like, what? What’s this? And she’s like, Well, do you get your friends? And I’m like, Well, who are these people right here and she was kind of ignoring me by now. And she’s like, I don’t I’ll do like people who like want to be your friend. I’m like, Alright, I’m gonna accept, right? Accept. Accept. Accept. She’s like what are you, what’re you doing? I’m like, I’m just accepting the friend request. She’s like, you’re not. You’re sending friend requests. Oh! Who did I just sent them to? And it was like a couple of her friends, their old babysitter, like just random people.

Natalie  1:05:25  

Because they were just in your contacts. Just like, Here’s all your contacts. Would you like them to be on Snapchat, too?

Brad Pilon  1:05:32  

Oh yeah, it was horrible. It was. And then I’m looking through it when she finally explained it to me. And I’m like, oh, there’s a friend. And she’s like, No, that’s their kid using their phone number. So I’m like, is there no one that I know on this. I’m like, I’m just gonna- nah, I’m off. I’m done. So yeah, yeah. So I I’m gonna stick with the ones I know how to use. I’ll slowly figure out TikTok. But Instagram is simple. You take a picture, you talk to it, and you post it, right? 

Natalie  1:05:57  

Yeah for sure.

Brad Pilon  1:05:57  

On Twitter, it’s like,  I had a thought. So I could do those.

Natalie  1:06:01  

And I’m happy to see you TikToks, way too late on Instagram. I’m just like kicking. People send it to me. I can’t just like get stuck in the never-ending . I do that enough when I’m on Instagram.

Derek  1:06:11  

Yep, exactly.

Natalie  1:06:13  

Oh, my gosh. Well, this is incredible. Thank you so much for taking the time to come on with us.

Derek  1:06:17  

Thank you for joining us.

Brad Pilon  1:06:18  

Thank you for having me. It’s been tons of fun.

Natalie  1:06:19  

Yeah. We’d love to have you again. We don’t mind your Canadian accent at all. 

Derek  1:06:22  

Not at all.

Natalie  1:06:24  

Thank you.

Derek  1:06:25  

I don’t know what they’re talking uh-boot.

Natalie  1:06:26  

I don’t know either. What they’re talking about.

Brad Pilon  1:06:29  

Well played.

Natalie  1:06:31  

Wow, wow. You’re great. You had the jokes today too. I’m going to remember that, that other joke, but anyway, thanks again. We’ll have you on soon.

Brad Pilon  1:06:38  

Perfect. Thank you.

Derek  1:06:39  

Thanks for tuning in to the Invigor medical podcast.

Natalie  1:06:42  

If you enjoyed today’s episode, you can support us by liking and subscribing.

Derek  1:06:45  

Your feedback matters, so feel free to share questions for future episode ideas in the comment section.

Natalie  1:06:50  

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Podcast Guests

Brad Pilon
Author, MSC, BASC

Podcast Guests

Natalie Garland
Host
Derek Berkey
Host
5226 Outlet Dr, Paso, WA 99301
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