Health:Fitness & Nutrition
#35: Checking our Blood Sugar and Keytone Levels LIVE, Science Behind Fasting, Helping my Family Fast - The Return of Dr. Scott!
You can reach Dr. Scott at:
HEY GUYS! Welcome to another episode of Waist Away: The Intermittent Fasting Podcast! Today, we welcome Dr. Scott back on to answer YOUR questions! Not only that, but we are going to be testing our blood sugar AND keytone levels LIVE for all of you. You know what that means?? Click RIGHT HERE >https://youtu.be/vvHC6ol98xs to watch the video version! You are not going to want to just listen to this one! Enjoy today's episode of Waist Away!
Potassium Video Referenced: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vnHQbsx-ERM
Question 1- 0:40:07 Before I started IF, I was addicted to sugar! Now, when I skip the sugar in my coffee or tea in the morning before I break my fast at 12pm I get really tired and have headaches. I’ve only been really committed for about a week or two, so would you recommend I just keep pushing through? -Rhian from Las Vegas, Nevada
Questions 2- 8:56 I can’t stand PLAIN water! I heard your podcast that you talked about all of the different acceptable drinks during a fast and found it really helpful. There is one drink that you didn’t address, which is club soda. I love some fizz, and feel like it would be okay since there aren’t any calories, or flavors. What do you think? -Andrea in Tennessee
A: You are absolutely right, Unflavored and unsweetened are the two big things you are looking for and club soda fits the bill! Have as MUCH as you like! The only teeny tiny disclaimer is that I have heard a few people say that the bubbles make them hungry. So just be aware of this one thing, and drink away! Some people say the opposite that it makes them less hungry. Do what works for you.
Question 3- 10:20 I LOVE your podcast and all the time you spend addressing the thyroid and hormonal issues. I suffer with PCOS and will go MONTHS without a period. But the best thing happened when I started Intermittent Fasting- my period became monthly and regular. I am so thankful for IF and for this podcast. What is the science behind it? -Michelle in Richmond
A: I suffer from PCOS and have experienced the same regularity since I began IF. It’s great isn’t it! From what I’ve researched, PCOS is really connected to Insulin Resistance which we know IF is great for stabilizing! There’s been quite a few studies on PCOS and fasting and it almost ALWAYS has a positive effect. Here are some other benefits for it: 1) Cellular and Hormone Regeneration Studies show that when you practice intermittent fasting, important things happen to your cells and hormones: Your body’s cells begin a repair and waste removal process. Blood levels of human growth hormone (HGH) increase, which aids in fat burning and muscle gain. It also helps to regulate body fluids, bone growth, sugar and fat metabolism, and possibly heart function. Basically, HGH makes us fit and feel better. 2) Lower Insulin When you fast, blood levels of insulin drop dramatically, initiating fat burning. It may also lower your risk of type II diabetes since a recent study shows that fasting blood sugar has been reduced by 3-6%, while fasting insulin has been reduced by 20-31%. Before you get too excited, you should know that this data may not be reflective of both genders. A recent study on women showed that blood sugar control actually worsened after a 22-day long intermittent fasting regimen. 3) Weight Loss Limiting the timeframe in which you can eat will likely reduce the number of calories that you take in. Coupled with the decrease in insulin levels and the increase in human growth hormone, that can lead to weight loss by boosting your metabolism. Less calories + faster metabolism = weight loss. 4) Fight Inflammation and Oxidative Stress Oxidative stress is an imbalance between the production of free radicals and the ability of the body to detoxify their harmful effects. This stress has been linked in studies to aging and many chronic diseases. IF works to eliminate this stress. In addition, intermittent fasting may reduce inflammation (a common core symptom in women with PCOS. So if you are listening to this and struggling with PCOS, keep on track with the Intermittent Fasting, I truly believe it is the best thing you can do for your body!
Question 4- 12:10 I have been trying REALLY hard to stick to the 80/20 and eat as many whole foods as possible! I would love to buy only organic fruits and veggies but my budget doesn’t always allow that. Can I get the same benefits from canned and frozen veggies and save some money? -Erin in Nashville
A: This is a great question and one we’ve never received before! The very best way you can eat your veggies is from your backyard or garden! Even when you buy them from the store, there’s a long process from the time they are harvested until the time you eat them. The longer the plant is away from the harvesting, they are losing nutrients. BUT, if they are picked and IMMEDIATELY processed and frozen, you are getting the benefit of the peak of freshness when you eat them as opposed to the ones that have taken a while to get to the store. Canning they say is good for certain things like tomatoes because the heat releases lycopene which is an antioxidant that is really good for fighting disease. This really varies for all different fruits and vegetables. When it comes to cans, just look for ones that have BPA free lining. Try not to overthink it, and try to make the best choices you can within your budget. No matter how you eat your vegetables, they are going to be healthier for you than a pack of ramen noodles or something else that is super processed LOL
Question 5- 17:34 Q: Since I have been fasting, I am constantly getting cramps in my feet and legs- is this normal? -Peter in Georgia
A: I have heard this from a lot of people! First off, dehydration can be a big culprit. Make sure you are drinking your water! A lot of time this also relates back to a salt, magnesium and potassium deficiency. I did an episode a while back where we went deep in some great sources for potassium, and surprisingly bananas aren’t at the top of the list! But go back and listen to that and I would recommend taking potassium and magnesium supplements, I experienced this when I started fasting and this helped me almost immediately.
Question 6- 18:34 Q: In Chantel’s book, she talks about eating whole foods, like fruits and veggies, really natural stuff. However, a lot of people say we shouldn’t be eating fruits because of the sugar and carbs, ultimately the fructose. I am worried it will keep me out of that ketosis or fat burning state. -April in NY
A: Fructose and Glucose are simple sugars and sucrose is a combo. Fruits are not pure fructose, they are more of a combo of fructose and glucose. The REFINED sugars are the ones that we want to keep an eye on. The studies involving fat gain and inflammation are coming from processed, refined sugars. The fruit also has water, fiber, lots of nutrients! Now it could cause gas and bloating, and you could have different reactions from different fruits. But as long as you aren’t going crazy with the fruit…remember we aren’t overeating on ANYTHING! Even if it’s fruit or something “healthy” and we are listening to what our body is really craving.
Question 7- 21:30 Q: I love the Podcast, and I love Intermittent Fasting! I have averaged 1-2 lbs a week for about 3 months. The problem is, my family isn’t a fan! What would you say to family members who are just constantly saying it’s not good for you? I’m having my family saying they are doubtful and it’s not sustainable or healthy? They are concerned about my metabolism being ruined, and say that I am not eating enough. What do you say to the haters? -Jade in Norfolk
A: People talk about your blood sugar “dropping” all the time to me and say fasting is bad for the blood sugar. People say crazy things like you’ll go hypoglycemic and die- that is ridiculous. If you measure their blood sugar it will go down a bit then stay in a normal range. Your body will produce some of the sugar and will reduce the need for sugar. Your muscles will burn fat, ketone bodies will provide energy for your brain. You need some glucose but you can get that from your body fat if you put glycerol which is the backbone of the fat molecule, when you don’t eat your body cuts off those fatty acids which turn into glucose. Since most of your body isn’t using glucose- you don’t need that much. You may hear the brain needs 140g of carbs every day- that is the most ridiculous thing ever! This is basic physiology. If you don’t eat, your body breaks down glycogen, provides glucose. When you eat, you store energy, when you don’t eat, your body pulls it out. Think about it, if you go to surgery, you don’t eat, if coloscopy, fasting bloodwork- you don’t eat! Ppl fast all the time! Do any of them go hypoglycemic or have a seizure or lose brain function? No, they feel pretty normal. People have been fasting for years, since the Bible times! It is the most natural form of “diet” there is
Question 8- 26:21 Q: Will drinking BCAA after my 6 am workout break my fast? If so, when should I have it? -Tina in Texas
Branched-chain amino acids (bcaa) are one of the latest raves in the fitness industry. These are supplements designed to supply your body with essential amino acids because your body cannot make them. BCAAs are designed to assist with your fitness efforts by preserving muscle mass. Most branched-chained amino acids (bcaa) contain the 3 amino acids Leucine, Isoleucine and Valine. And the answer is yes, they do break your fast. Well BCAAs are amino acids and amino acids are macronutrients as amino acids make up what we call protein. So, by definition if you take BCAAs supplements either in the tablet form or in the powder form, you are technically eating. By popping BCAA (branched chain amino acids) supplement you are ingesting food but a very small amount. Don’t forget that BCAAs have a calorie value. They are not dummy pills or powder. BCAAs have macronutrient value as well as calorific value which would make them technically food. Just to support the viewpoint that you will be breaking your intermittent fasting when you take BCAAs, each gram of BCAA you take has a calorie content of 6 Calories. 1 gm of BCAA = 6 Cal What this means is if you take 20 gm of BCAA in the morning, you are indeed consuming 120 Calories without realizing you have. If you take 10 gm of BCAA supplement tablet or powder, you will be consuming 60 Calories. What this means is BCAA (branched chain amino acid) supplements represent food in their own right. Taking BCCA supplement means you are “eating”. That by extension means taking BCAA during intermittent fasting is ending your fast.
Question 9- 29:21 Q: The other day I got into a fight with my husband about the stupidest thing! I was so embarrassed that I freaked out afterwards, and then I was thinking about it and noticed a pattern that when I do my longer fasts, I tend to get super angry, usually right around hours 20-24, and I take it out on the ones I love! I am not just talking about being irritable or edgy, I get straight up angry! Is there anyone out there who also struggles with this, and what is the cause? I would greatly appreciate any help, and so would my husband LOL! -Anonymous
A: So this anger you are talking about is pretty common for people who are fasting, esp those who are new to it. It all boils down to the fight or flight mode, when your blood glucose is low because you don’t eat your brain sees the lack of glucose as a threat to its safety. When this happens your brain does a glucose regulatory counter response to counter the low levels of blood glucose which causes your adrenaline to rise! This is good for energy, but bad if you are sensitive to the element of anger. How emotional or sensitive you are to adrenaline will determine how you react when you are fasting. Another reason you can get extra angry when you are fasting is a common brain chemical called neuropeptide Y. This is a natural brain chemical that releases to the brain when you are fasting and it stimulates voracious feeding behaviors by activating stimuli in the brain, including one called the Y receptor. They do two things: try to control hunger but also controls anger and aggression. So people with high levels of neuropeptide y will show high levels of aggression. Another crazy thing to think about with this aggression and ferocious feeling is Back in caveman times, you had to have that aggression to eat your meal and compete against people who were trying to eat bigger portions of the same animal that everyone was trying to eat at the same time. You had to have that anger, impulse and aggression to protect your food! But back then you could hit someone in the club and you may not get in trouble, but things have changed and we can’t be hitting people over the head anymore. The good news is that this will adjust over time! And the more that you understand what’s going on and can recognize the process you will be able to get it under control. Take a minute to cool down and recognize that it’s your inner cave woman causing you grief, not your husband!
Question 10- 33:01 I have been hearing a lot about fasting bringing you into Ketosis, and all the different ways we can track our ketone levels. I bought some strips and was wondering if you think this is the best way to test my levels? Also wondering what the ideal Ketone levels are to have? -Wanda in Orlando
A: Everyone responds to ketosis a little differently. Some people are heavy fat oxidizers, which means they get into ketosis easy and ketone levels get in the high range easily. Some people have to work harder. . It doesn’t mean you aren’t getting the benefits of ketosis, it just means you have less flowing around in the blood at a given time. You can test with a urine strip, breath meter, or blood meter. Blood meter is most accurate bc you are pulling straight from blood. Urine strips are only effective when you first start because they measure excess ketones. So if your body becomes efficient at utilizing ketones you aren’t gonna register on a urine strip anymore. They are really good at the beginning because your body is creating so many its kinda inefficient. It allows us to understand as you get deeper into ketosis you wont create as many ketone bodies as you did in the beginning. When you use a blood ketone meter, you get a read between 0 and 3- some ppl say they stay at 0.1. If you are below a 0.5 you are barely in ketosis, you are creating ketone bodies and they are registering in the blood. You just aren’t in optimal range. This could be because your carbs are too high, or your fats aren’t high enough. If your fats aren’t high enough you don’t have the abilities to create the ketones you want to. You will also find that your ketone levels are lower in the morning. This is because the natural rise of blood sugar in the morning causes ketone readings to be lower. Your body creates more glucose in the morning whether its from muscles, carbs or proteins you eat. If you tested after exercise you will find lower ketones bc the body has burnt through the fat and starts breaking down protein in your body- your body is recruiting different sources to create sugar. Another reason- There is a good chance your protein intake is too high. If you have too much protein your body takes the amino acids and converts them through gluconeogenesis and into a sugar. I see a lot of people who cut protein down and see their ketones go up. IT’s important to measure throughout the day. The optimal range is from 1-3, 1-1.5 is most optimal. You are producing enough ketone levels to get the result you want but not too much. If you start having too much that might mean you aren’t active enough or your body isn’t utilizing the ketones correctly. You are probably not giving your body the chance to use stored body fat. When your body is using only stored body fat as preferred ketone source, your ketone bodies will be in the 1 range. But if you increase your fat intake a lot you will get deeper into ketosis. You aren’t gonna see a 3 or 4 just from fasting because it doesn’t accelerate that fast with just body fat. You will only get there if you are consuming a lot of fat or in a deep deep starvation mode. Or ketoacidosis if you are a type 1 diabetic. If you have too high of ketone levels while you are in a nutritional state of ketosis, it probably means your calories are too high. You can stand to back off the fat to give your body the chance to use the stored body fat. When you are in ketosis you should get your body used to using fat as a source of fuel. You do that by priming it with lots of dietary fat. That gets your ketone levels nice and high, then you temporarily deprive yourself of dietary fats so your body has no choice but to seek out and crave fat from your body tissue. That’s when you start burning fat and having cosmetic results with ketosis. That happens at that 1 range. So don’t get discouraged if you are at 0.5 or 0.7 or 1, you are fine, you are still in the nutritional state of ketosis but you don’t get the crazy cognitive benefits til 1.5. What can you do to get your numbers up? First, increase your fats. Before you think about decreasing carbs, focus on fats. Back off the exercise a bit, your body is using ketones which means its optimized for endurance work. If you are doing a lot of HIIT training your body will have no choice but to create glucose to fuel those activities. Its getting used to creating glucose therefore breaking down protein and creating sugar somehow. Not to say you are going to waste away, but you are going to get yourself kicked out of ketosis or in a lower state of ketosis. The key is to Measure whenever possible so you have something to compare your result to. Today, we are going to do a LIVE ON AIR, testing of my Ketone Levels AND Blood Glucose Levels. I am going to link both of these charts, for Blood Glucose and Ketone Levels in the Show Notes so that you can easily access them.
Question 11- 53:05 Hi, was just wondering if herbal teas or green tea were aloud while in fasting mode, along with your black coffee and black normal tea? Thank you. -Jenny
A: Absolutely! We highly recommend herbal and green teas, of course, you are making sure that they have no calories and are unsweetened. One of our favorites is Passion Tea that is the Starbucks Tazo brand. It has no calories or caffeine and is naturally sweet and just so good!
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