Zero Live #2: Metabolism, Insulin, and Fat Burning

In our second session of Zero Live, Dr. Naomi Parrella, MD, and RichLaFountain, PhD, answer questions from Zero Members about metabolism, insulin, fat burning, and more.



Dr. Naomi Parrella, MD: (00:00)

Possibly even dementia. If sugars stay too high, that’s actually a diagnosis of diabetes. So of course your body doesn’t want to be poisoned. So when the sugars remain high, the body responds with another insulin surge, and this actually aggravates the insulin resistance. So your cells are still resisting and they’re still ignoring the signal. Over time, this cycle leads to fatigue and inflammation, and the whole process actually makes us more insulin resistant. So it becomes a vicious cycle. And with this knowledge, you can actually do something about it. So let’s talk about how we use that information. You can understand that if you can lower your insulin level, you will start fat burning. So lower insulin levels fuels fat burning. That’s flipping the metabolic switch to enhance fat burning. Number one, you wanna pay attention to what causes high insulin, because if you have high insulin, it automatically turns off fat burning.

Dr. Naomi Parrella, MD: (01:12)

There’s no fat burning. What are the things that do that? Sugars and starchy carbs, usually those ultra processed foods, constant stress without restoration time, that can also cause sugars to be high and insulin to be high. Poor sleep can also aggravate things. And we understand from studies that it can even increase your risk of developing prediabetes and diabetes. So those are things that can cause insulin to be high. Now, if you wanna burn fat, you wanna know how to get insulin low and lower. Insulin levels lead to fat burning. So there’s some things that you can do to make that happen. Effective fasting, I put in “effective” because fasting alone won’t necessarily help you lose weight and lead to that fat burning if you are not doing it right. Meaning when you break the fast, if you’re breaking your fast with a milkshake and processed in sugary foods, it might not work in your favor.

Dr. Naomi Parrella, MD: (02:15)

Um, physical activity, there’s different kinds of physical activity that are helpful in, some of it can be very simple. In some of it, you can really do some advanced exercise and still also get some awesome benefits. As we know, restoration, this is really all of the things you do that we might call self-care. This might be about, uh, mental health care. This might be nature exposure. It could be, uh, something that’s self-soothing, that’s health promoting, and then restful sleep. Again, sleep is super important. Some people have unrestful sleep and that can cause weight gain, including sleep apnea, which if untreated causes quite a bit of weight gain. So these are all the different ways that you could think about lowering that insulin to achieve your fat burning state.

Rich LaFountain, PhD: (03:07)

Awesome. Alright, um, thank you Dr. P. Um, there were a couple notes that I wanted to kind of bring up just in relation to that. I know you brought up ultra processed foods. That’s a common one that we, uh, hear from members. Um, and looking at some of the research that’s, that’s a huge one that I think the numbers, it’s something like 70% of adults in the US and uh, I think it’s very close to that in, in children or people under the age of 18 as well. Um, 70% of their diet is made up of ultra processed food on average. Um, that’s a huge driver of high insulin levels, high blood glucose levels, uh, and definitely plays into that insulin equation in terms of being kind of this fat burning, uh, inhibitor. Uh, insulin is a very powerful inhibitor of fat burning. And when they’ve done some of the research, there was a study from 2019, it was super cool.

Rich LaFountain, PhD: (04:02)

They took, uh, 20 adults and they gave them either an ultra processed food diet or an unprocessed food diet full of natural foods and whole foods. Um, and they only did this for 14 days. And when they matched these groups for sugar fat content, um, macronutrient content, they found that the people that were eating the ultra processed food diet, uh, were basically all their food was ultra processed. Having, um, a lot of ingredients being, uh, products and, um, things that, you know, if you look at the nutritional label for example, uh, you can’t pronounce things or you don’t know what these things are, usually that’s a good sign that you’re looking at either a processed or an ultra processed food. Uh, the folks that were eating the ultra processed foods for only 14 days, they ended up eating 500 more calories a day. Uh, those foods are designed to make you want to eat more.

Rich LaFountain, PhD: (04:56)

Those foods don’t keep you feeling as full. Uh, they make it a little bit harder to fast effectively, which we’ll probably get into as well. Um, and over just 14 days, those folks gained, uh, almost a full kilogram or about two pounds. Um, and that’s just in two weeks. So you can see how stuff like that might be a small thing. It’s just, you know, one item to look into in terms of your pantry or in terms of what you’re doing. Uh, but those ultra processed foods are huge, especially in this insulin equation and how it ends up impacting your fat burning ability.

Dr. Naomi Parrella, MD: (05:30)


Rich LaFountain, PhD: (05:32)

There’s a couple other items I thought that we might be able to link in some of this. Uh, I’ll probably stop screen share, but we’ll have a bit of a discussion pertaining to, uh, some of the wonderful information that was provided through the registration. Um, if you did submit questions or you submitted, um, topics you wanted us to discuss, same thing we went through. Uh, and there were well over a thousand people who ended up, uh, submitting information. So we tried to comb through that and we picked out a couple interesting ones that are relevant, but they’re also kind of on theme here around weight loss, uh, and trying to gain health, uh, and using Zero and using intermittent fasting to help you achieve that. So, um, I’ll stop screen share, but then we’ll, we’ll keep chatting if that’s okay.

Dr. Naomi Parrella, MD: (06:20)

Yeah, let’s do that.

Rich LaFountain, PhD: (06:21)

Alright. Um, so for the, I guess the most common thing that we heard, uh, was people writing in saying that they had some kind of difficulty with weight loss after about age 40, around middle age. Um, it seems to be something that people just expect and they think that there’s maybe not as much they can do. It’s kind of this age related weight gain or age related, uh, effect that it’s inevitable. And there were several people who wrote in, um, kind of pointing that out and I’d, I’d love to talk a little bit about that, especially with that context and kind of that, that nice foundational information you provided, um, with the insulin and fat burning relationship. Uh, if you want to chat about that a bit.

Dr. Naomi Parrella, MD: (07:14)

Yeah, that sounds great. So just so everybody who’s listening is aware. So, um, Dr. Rich is a PhD and I’m an MD, so I’ve got the clinical component. He’s got all the research stuff that he’s, uh, been studying all these years. So, um, together we’ll be able to, um, kind of put together the research and the clinical experiences as well for all of you related to this. So the first thing, as Rich said, was talking about age and the relationship with weight. So a lot of people are concerned, we have questions a lot about, um, you know, age related weight gain, diseases that come with age and might lead to certain medications or certain, uh, responses of the body where there’s unexpected weight gain or even a lot of questions about menopause and menopause weight gain. And then of course, um, older individuals who are concerned about naturally and appropriately concerned that if they start losing weight, you know, how do you do that in a safe way?

Dr. Naomi Parrella, MD: (08:13)

And so, again, a lot of questions that come in, and this is also seen in the clinic. So we hear a lot of this. So the first thing that we wanted to do in response to that is, um, you know, Rich, with what we talked about today, the key is to first understand insulin is the driver in this space. And so things that cause insulin to go up versus down, right? So insulin high, you’re gonna gain fat mass, insulin low, you’re gonna burn fat mass. So understanding that as we get older, the cells may get more insulin resistant just by default unless you do something about it, meaning stay active. So as we get older, it’s very common that we’re less active because we might be having a sedentary job. You might have a long commute, you might have other things like family events and things that you’re doing that make it more difficult to carve out time to be very physically active. So your body used to get more activity and maybe it’s getting a little bit less or less frequent. Rich, what are you seeing in the research in regards to this area?

Rich LaFountain, PhD: (09:29)

So I, we hear in, it’s, in my opinion, a metabolic myth that, um, with age or metabolism slows down and there’s all this discussion about how do I get a faster metabolism or, you know, these things and there’s convenient ads all over YouTube, probably like, this is a metabolism killer and this is a metabolism killer. Um, but what we look at in, what we see in the research, there was a really cool, it was a huge study in, uh, 2021 that they looked at basically the entire lifespan of humans from birth to about ninety, ninety five years of age. And looking at these folks, they noticed that obviously you have a huge increase in your metabolism, your energy expenditure and resting metabolic rate up until the point you reach adulthood. And they noticed from age 20 to about 60, it’s pretty flat. There’s not a lot of changes in your resting metabolic rate.

Rich LaFountain, PhD: (10:19)

There’s really like this, this middle age, you know, oh my metabolism’s slowing ’cause I’m, you know, I’m, I’m 42 now, so I’ll just expect to gain weight over time from here on out. My metabolism is slowing, there’s nothing I can do. There’s lots that you can do. And there’s actually, uh, based on the research data that that metabolism slowing doesn’t occur until at least 60 or 70. Um, the study was really cool and it actually highlights something you just brought up. Um, right around age 60. It does seem that there’s a reduction in physical activity and then also a reduction in lean mass. Um, the reduction in lean mass, that’s a little bit, that is kind of an age related thing that you can definitely slow or get close to stopping or pausing if you’re training and using resistance training regularly. Um, but that reduction in physical activity seemed to drive the majority of that metabolic slowing as it’s called. So, um, within the literature, uh, that one of the biggest things that to point out or kind of stick out to me, um, and again, there’s, you mentioned a couple things with, um, being more active and that’s all important. You can again, check into fasting. If you’re fasting 12 to 18 hours or extending your overnight fast, uh, that’s one really good way to address insulin. Try to kind of put your body in the right hormonal state where it’s not programmed to kind of build fat cells and store fat cells and…

Dr. Naomi Parrella, MD: (11:51)

So I wanna throw in a couple of thoughts here. Is that okay, Rich? Just because I’m super excited about this topic. So one of the things that’s really important to know is that at any age you can start building muscle, right? So you can build strength and you can actually improve this and turn this around. So even if you’ve been sitting around, maybe you had an injury, or maybe you’re just really busy and you recognize, wow, you know, I’m starting to gain a little weight around my waistline. That’s evidence of insulin resistance beginning. If you start noticing darkness in the neck, uh, folds or under your armpits or in the creases of your body, that’s insulin resistance beginning. If you’re getting a lot of skin tags around your neck, then that’s also, um, evidence of insulin resistance. So when you start seeing those signs, that’s when you can say, you know what, I’m gonna turn this around because there is a myth that it’s sort of a one-way street you’re aging.

Dr. Naomi Parrella, MD: (12:44)

It’s, you know, don’t let anyone tell you that you have every capability in your body to turn this around and get this, you know, in your control so that you can have it the way you want. Some of the things that I think really help and that I’ve seen like amazing responses across thousands of patients is once you understand the effect of insulin and that you can do something about it, then making that change the response in the body is actually quite impressive. So just know little things like, you know what, I’m just not gonna have alcohol for a few days or a month. Or people will say, you know what, during dry January, I suddenly was sleeping. Well, I dropped a few pounds, it was like amazing. I had all this energy and suddenly I started working out. So it’s really impressive how quickly the body responds.

Dr. Naomi Parrella, MD: (13:36)

Because it wants to feel good, it wants to have access to the fuel. And when you’re insulin resistant, it means your body doesn’t have as much access to the fuel. So this is super important. The second thing to understand is your hormones, right? So insulin is affected by hormones and it also affects other hormones. So you can understand that as we, um, go through different life phases, women are very aware of, uh, pre menopause perimenopause, which is the years around menopause and then post menopause. So we have an interface, like very clear signs of when we’re having massive hormone changes in the body. This also occurs for men and not exactly in the same way and not necessarily the same exact hormones. But what we know is when you have hormonal changes, your body is shifting a lot of things. So it’s sort of resetting itself and you can decide how you want that to set up.

Dr. Naomi Parrella, MD: (14:34)

So if you are having hormonal changes, things like fasting where it allows your body a rest and sort of a reset can be super helpful. So that’s one of the reasons that, um, I think it’s really important to recognize age does affect us and it might make it easier to gain weight or to develop insulin resistance, but that doesn’t have to be then it’s just going downhill from there. That’s a sign from the body that you can do something about it. And you know, for example, the Zero Plus will help you do that because the different loops that are on the Zero Plus app will show you if you are hitting the different things that bring the insulin down and allow you to get into that fat burning state, get your body into a really awesome, uh, metabolic profile. So that’s really fun. And it doesn’t matter what happens, um, after that, if you are moving in the right direction, right, you are making positive change.

Rich LaFountain, PhD: (15:39)

Yeah, there’s certainly a snowball effect. It kind of, when you talk about dry January and brought that example up, uh, I’ve found that for sure, and I know that seems to be, uh, something we hear routinely from Zero Members and from the community that I started fasting. But then I noticed that, you know, my late night snacks kind of, well they weren’t really an option anymore. I turned on my timer and the kitchen was closed, for example. Um, that helped me get to sleep at a better time. And then it, it kind of, you know, then I was up a little bit earlier. I had some more energy when I woke up. So I decided to take that walk before I broke my fast that morning. And so that feed forward cycle, um, you know, you start your timer and that’s a wonderful first step, but as a result of that, because you’re putting the time in and now you’re fasting, you wanna make that fast count.

Rich LaFountain, PhD: (16:30)

So it’s not just about like how many hours you can fast, it’s about how can you complement that fast. And I think, uh, Dr. P, you brought up a wonderful point about the, um, about the loops. So if you know your fasting, then your sleep gets improved and you’re getting your seven to nine hours, you’re doing your exercise, whether it be fasted or fed state exercise, you’re checking that off, uh, regularly and addressing stress, um, that’s gonna be wonderful for managing a lot of this, this weight gain, you know, regardless of age like you had said. Um, awesome.

Dr. Naomi Parrella, MD: (17:08)

Okay. So, um, so the summary for tips and tricks with regards to, um, age related weight and weight, uh, management, you probably wanna make sure you get some labs tested if you don’t already do that. So with your healthcare provider, you can get labs such as a hemoglobin, A1C, a fasting insulin, your cholesterol panel, which will tell you about the triglyceride and the HDL ratio. You can look for evidence of insulin resistance, like we talked about with the skin tags or the discolorations or your waistline increasing. If you want to then make a difference, you may use, for example, Zero Plus and, uh, fast and sort of monitor that. And if you are not fasting from food, you can still use the app. So sometimes what I’ll do is I will use it to say, you know what, um, right now I sort of had the holiday fun.

Dr. Naomi Parrella, MD: (18:01)

Um, and so I need to get myself back off of sugars. I wanna just decrease the amount of sugar I’m having. So I might set my Zero Timer to just fast from sugars as I’m getting back into the swing of things. So make it easy to start eating adequate protein. So individuals, for example, who wrote in, who said, I wanna understand how to do this safely after they age of 70, whether or not you’re fasting, you have to get enough protein in your day, and if you get enough protein, then you can shove it into a short time window, um, depending on what your fast window is or you can spread it out. But the protein is important. You wanna make sure you get whole foods. And what we mean by that is foods that have not too many extra ingredients and things done to them.

Dr. Naomi Parrella, MD: (18:48)

So, um, but also we’re talking about fibrous foods like vegetables. Vegetables will be really important to feed your gut microbiome or your gut. And that’s really important, especially as we get older. If you’re on any medications, your bowel movements may be sort of irregular or you might just have some, you know, bloating or whatever that will be helped if you keep sort of constant, um, you know, healthy whole foods in your body. Exercise, again, it doesn’t have to be hardcore exercise. It can be walking the dog, it can be, you know, swimming, it can be dancing. It doesn’t have to be hardcore high intensity interval training. Sleep. Again, sleep can be disrupted, but if you stress about sleep, that’s worse than if you’re just having poor sleep and you’ll make it up, you know, um, in different ways. So you might decrease the amount of physical activity you have just because you’re having to sleep in or whatever.

Dr. Naomi Parrella, MD: (19:40)

So, uh, you know, allow yourself to sort of recognize there’s gonna be sleep disruptions throughout life and, um, you can minimize that effect by not stressing about it. Again, going back into stress management, another tip. So as we get older, we might have our own health problems. We might be taking care of other people or be responsible for more, uh, larger, more responsible things, um, and people, and that can lead to some increased chronic stress. That’s when it’s important to add in some restoration, and that’s gonna be something that allows you to sort of recharge. So I like the idea of a reset ritual. Sometimes things are just really rough and it helps if you start training yourself to have a reset ritual. And it might be I sit down, I write everything down that I’m stressed about, and then I cross off the things I don’t need to worry about anymore. I go for a walk or I take a warm bath or whatever it is. So find things that work for you. So that’ll be about the, um, anything else Rich that, um, we wanna add there?

Rich LaFountain, PhD: (20:43)

I think you covered wonderful ground there in the interest of time. I just wanna make sure we get to some live questions. Great. Um, there were a number of really good ones that came through, so if good,

Dr. Naomi Parrella, MD: (20:55)

Let’s do it.

Rich LaFountain, PhD: (20:56)

Let’s, uh, shift gears here and then we’ll make sure we address some live questions. Um, again, just wanna reiterate, we may not get to every question, um, however, we’ll, we’ll kind of towards the end. If, if people wanna stick around, we probably will open up for a little bit more time, try to address a few more questions. Um, for those that are willing to stick beyond the 60 minute timeframe, we kind of budgeted 60 minutes for today. Um, but we’re, we’re so glad we’re so, um, grateful that you guys are all here. So if you’d like to stick around, we’ll answer a few more extra questions. Um, we may not send that to YouTube, uh, so that’s kind of like a special bonus for those folks that are here live. So we do appreciate you guys being here. Thank you so much. Um, I’ll stop talking now, or at least I’ll, I’ll, I’ll toss a question to you if that’s okay, Dr. P. Yeah,

Dr. Naomi Parrella, MD: (21:45)

Let’s do it.

Rich LaFountain, PhD: (21:46)

Alright. Um, first one, uh, will taking oral supplements or Tylenol, for example, um, if I have a headache during my fasting window break the fast?

Dr. Naomi Parrella, MD: (21:58)

Gosh, that is such a great question. So, my thoughts about this, and Rich, you probably have also a lot of the research in this space, but, um, my understanding, the way I think about this is I’m very practical. So if you need to take certain medications like blood pressure medicines or something that’s important for you to function or do well, you gotta take that. And if you’re just being mindful that you’re not having, you know, a, um, like a milkshake with it, that’s gonna be important, right? So if you take your medicine with water, that will be helpful. If there’s some supplements and there’s some calories in it, yes, it, it technically breaks the fast if we’re talking about the effects of not having anything in your gut and letting your gut rest. But if you’re talking about weight loss, that’s not gonna be the game changer. So, um, it depends on the purpose of the fast rich. Any, you know, any other thoughts on that?

Rich LaFountain, PhD: (22:59)

Um, not nothing I guess with specific, uh, regard to Tylenol. Tylenol does impact the liver a little bit harder than, for example, ibuprofen. Um, it’s kind of that gray area whether or not it’ll break a fast. Uh, but if you have the option, if you’re not, you don’t have an allergy or something like that going on, ibuprofen might be a little bit easier. It might help you maintain the benefits of your fast, uh, just because as Dr. P pointed out, uh, the liver is one of those major metabolic organs, uh, and Tylenol kind of hits that a little bit harder than, for example, ibuprofen does. I don’t know if you’ve come across that. Uh,

Dr. Naomi Parrella, MD: (23:36)

I’m gonna just, so I’m gonna just put in from a medical perspective, um, ibuprofen and Tylenol are two very, very different medications, so I’m not gonna make any recommendations of which one is better. I don’t think, you know, um, we wanna do that, but I think it’s important to understand if you need to take a medicine, then you need to take a medicine. If your doctor suggests you take something, you know, we would not in any way say, don’t do that. Um, with regards to fasting, again, it depends on the purpose of the fast. And so I, you know, I wouldn’t worry so much about that.

Rich LaFountain, PhD: (24:15)

Thank you. Yes, I, yeah, from the medical perspective, yeah, from a research perspective and from like the, the physiology. Yeah. So I appreciate that extra layer of nuance. Uh, go with what Dr. P said. Um, how about: Can you do a combination of low calories and fasting kind of this two in one, like, I imagine that’d be kind of like a combination of intermittent fasting and calorie restriction. We’ve seen, uh, there’s a number of studies where they combine the two wildly effective for weight loss. Um, but I’d be interested in, in your thoughts, Dr. P.

Dr. Naomi Parrella, MD: (24:50)

So the, so the literature is mixed, right? So today we’re talking about weight loss, right? So with regards to weight loss, again, I hate to give these answers where it’s like, it depends, but it really depends. So, you know, if you are having low calories, um, because you’re forcing yourself not to eat when your body is hungry, that actually increases your stress hormone levels. You may be losing muscle mass, it might be causing more problems for you. So I’m not a huge fan of forcing calorie restriction. If you are fasting and you’re not that hungry, you’re naturally going to be eating a lot less. Um, and so, you know, that’s the, that’s one of the benefits of fasting. If, however, fasting makes you want to eat a lot of food and it puts you out of control of the food you’re eating, then fasting’s not the right answer for you, then that’s gonna be something like, you might say, okay, I’m gonna use my fasting timer to just stay away from sugars or my trigger food, and I’m just gonna monitor that. So I think we have to be really, really careful about how we think about that. Does that answer the question?

Rich LaFountain, PhD: (26:03)

I think so. Um, there’s definitely studies on the combination. Um, I would argue kind of similar to what you had said, the combination is likely unnecessary. Um, you don’t need to count the calories and do the whole calorie restriction thing. It’s a lot harder. The adherence rates on that and the long-term data for weight loss maintenance after you’ve achieved your weight loss goal, they’re not very good. It’s like 80% of folks who lose weight using calorie restriction will end up regaining within six months to a year. Um, in addition to that, there’s been a couple really good, uh, there’s at least two reviews I know of, one in 2020, that showed that you can spontaneously or unintentionally reduce your calorie consumption just by doing intermittent fasting or time restricted feeding. Um, they showed it was a 20 to 30% reduction in calories. Again, you’re not counting them, you’re just, you have your timer and you eat within your  eating window and you’re fasting every day or regularly.

Rich LaFountain, PhD: (27:01)

Um, when you break that down into hours, it looked like about 550 calories reduced per day, uh, with 18 hour fasts, some of the longer, you know, fasting ranges. But even in the 14 to 16 hour range, it was about 350. And there was this, actually a recent study from this year, just in January, was published where on average all the time, restricted feeding intermittent fasting research shows it’s about a 450 calorie per day reduction. And this is, you know, you’re eating what you want, you’re eating how much you want to your full, you’re just controlling when you’re eating. And, um, we, we definitely, uh, that would be my preference if I had to. Yeah, I was in a known weight-loss mode. Fasting seems to be the most reliable and the most effective way to avoid the food logs and all the math and all the tracking and all the headache associated with calorie restriction.

Dr. Naomi Parrella, MD: (27:57)

Well, and, and for whoever asked that question because it’s a really good question. So, some people do alternate-day fasting where you have less calories and that is the fast, right? And, um, there’s also the fast mimicking diet where, you know, it’s five days of very low calories and then you eat sort of regular the rest of the time. So it depends on how we’re thinking about it again, but I would say your goal with regards to, um, why you’re doing what you’re doing is the most important thing. So if you wanna lose fat mass, maintain your muscle and maintain your bones, um, then you are going to make sure you’re getting adequate protein, you are staying hydrated. And if you are hungry, then pay attention and explore. Maybe you didn’t have enough protein before, and so you might, um, choose some different options moving forward.

Rich LaFountain, PhD: (28:51)

Um, speaking of being hungry, uh, we have one question. Uh, why am I most hungry an hour after dinner? The last two hours before bedtime are the hardest. Um, even comparing like fasted exercise on, you know, exercising on an empty stomach doesn’t seem to be anything in terms of comparison to the hunger. Uh, this person says they feel, um.

Dr. Naomi Parrella, MD: (29:15)

Do you feel, do you experience, do you know, like, what that’s about, rich?

Rich LaFountain, PhD: (29:20)

Um, I know that there’s a couple things around like with dinner or within your eating window when I’ve had this personally, um, and looking into some of the physiology stuff, which we’ll get to, uh, personally, I’ve found that if I have not eaten enough during my eating window, I will be quite hungry in the evening hours after. Technically I’ve started my fast. It makes sticking to the fast that evening much harder. It makes the late night snacks that much more tempting. Um, I’ve also found that if I’m not consuming enough protein in each meal, so if I don’t get at least 30 to 50 grams approximately in a meal, again, I’m not gonna track it super tight, but I’m going to ballpark it, um, to get an idea if, if I don’t eat enough protein, I found that tends to be the biggest thing that will have me struggling with feeling full or feeling, you know, that satiety.

Dr. Naomi Parrella, MD: (30:12)

Yeah, I agree. So I think, you know, that’s a pretty good marker that there might be insufficient protein and some people are like, but I eat a lot of protein. If it’s not bioavailable, like easy for your body to utilize, that can be a little bit, it’s hard to know if you’re getting enough protein. So plant-based proteins are a little bit harder for the body to use and convert to usable protein for the body. So that might be one of those things that, um, there might be an issue there. The other thing that can happen is depending on how, uh, your days are going, sometimes the stress can lead to, um, increased needs of fuel. So, um, you may notice that sometimes under stress, maybe you’re seeking food. Um, and the body is really trying to prepare you to manage a big stress. So once you have access to quick fuel, which is, most people aren’t craving brussel sprouts, right?

Dr. Naomi Parrella, MD: (31:08)

So they’re craving something that gives quick fuel, just like we talked about before, that’ll cause the blood sugars to jump up. And so that’s also very common. So if I have somebody come to my office and they say, you know what, an hour after dinner or right before bedtime, I seem to have this issue, first we wanna make sure, did you get enough protein? Are you well-hydrated? Because if you’re not getting enough fluids, you’re also gonna get hungry. That includes the salts that go with fluids, right? So your body can hold onto fluid. And then again, you know, what’s the stress level going on in your life? Is there a routine where you’ve got a lot of stuff that you’re trying to get done or finish? Again, that can cause problems with, um, feeling satiety or feeling satisfied later in the day. So again, reflecting and sort of keeping track, and then you might notice some patterns. Some days you might not have that, and then you wanna look back and be like, what happened there?

Rich LaFountain, PhD: (32:03)

Absolutely. Um, hope that answered your question. That was a very good question. Uh, definitely the, yeah, the high carb or the high glycemic index with that blood glucose spike that you might get after dinner. As that comes down 60 to 90 minutes later, you might find you’re very hungry if you had a big glucose spike. Um, and same thing kind of with bedtime, uh, and around late night snacks. Let’s see, we have another one here. Uh, I’ve been doing some research and I found that health science is lagging when it comes to women. That’s definitely a true statement. That’s true as it gets for sure. , uh, how much of this research with fasting has involved women? So, um, that was the one part of the question. And then what are some good resources to follow? If I’m looking for women specific research, data, exercise, fasting, um, if you wanna be healthy and you’re looking for women focused, uh, information that’s, yeah, that’s a very good point about the, there, there is some

Dr. Naomi Parrella, MD: (33:10)

That, that is such a good point. And I wish I had like the one shot deal, like, go here. Um, and I don’t, I don’t have a really good answer for that. So, um, the, I think we’re getting better and better about, uh, studying fasting and other interventions in women, but you’re right, that is something that is not very well, uh, studied and it is improving. I don’t, I couldn’t tell you, like, what percentage. I don’t know. Rich, do you know what percentage of the fasting studies include women?

Rich LaFountain, PhD: (33:44)

Um, I don’t know the exact number. I would venture a guess. It’s the same majority. Over 50% are gonna be male only studies. Uh, I still come across ’em even now when I’m sorting through research studies and writing articles. We do have, um, five different articles in-app. There’s a series of four articles that’s fasting for women, and it breaks down through, um, pre menopause, perimenopause, post menopause. It kind of talks holistically about fasting for, uh, reproductive hormones in women. And then we have, uh, a really good recent article that Katya wrote, shout out to Katya, who, uh, wrote a wonderful article that basically is like a single article that summarizes the, the research associated with, uh, fasting and women. And, um, it’s not specific to exercise, but it, it definitely covers what’s out there, what’s available in the research, uh, those articles. And we can, um, we can link those articles or you can search them directly in-app. If you have your app available and you open it up to the explore tab, there’s a search bar and you can just, uh, type fasting in women or just women and you’ll see those articles populate for you right away.

Dr. Naomi Parrella, MD: (35:01)

Awesome. Should we, um, shift gears to sharing tips from the community?

Rich LaFountain, PhD: (35:08)

Absolutely. Yeah. Um, and some of ’em actually are quite, um, timely. I know, uh, light to moderate exercise was mentioned and some of the information that you were sharing before. Uh, but we did again, pick the top 10, um, Zero Member tips and tricks. So this is from you folks, uh, might be some tips and tricks in here that you shared directly with us. Um, so just starting at number one, the first one that we saw, um, again, this is kind of ranked in order of how often we saw this in about a thousand different responses. The first one we saw is Zero as part of my daily routine. Um, so I, I do think that’s super important. We like to say that every day starts at Zero. I know you talked about resetting, uh, your insulin and your metabolism by fasting and Zero is a great way to do that. Uh, Dr. P, so that was the, the first tip and trick that, um, just getting into the app, starting your timer, interacting within the app, um, is a great way to achieve some weight loss goals, but also kind of build health, build knowledge over time.

Rich LaFountain, PhD: (36:19)

Um, second one was drink lots of water, eat protein at every mac, uh, every meal and snack. Uh, I know this is a big one for you, Dr. P. Um, and it comes out, uh, throughout a lot of our content that we’re writing as well. Um, there was one really cool study I saw not too long ago where they basically just had people drink 500 milliliters of water before eating a meal and it helped them kind of control and eat and, you know, avoid overeating, control their portions, and then also feel satiated longer. Um, and all and all, you know, the other benefits associated with maintaining hydration. Um, this is a really good practical one, start small and slow. So there’s a couple people that pointed that out, that starting with 13 hour fasts, building up to regular fasts of 16 hours or longer seems to be a great option. Um, and then along with that there were some tips around starting is the hardest part. It gets easier as time goes by, especially in the first couple weeks. Um, there is a bit of an adaptation period and I guess that’d be in, I’d be interested to know, um, with your patients, with all your clinical experience. I know you check in with patients pretty routinely, especially when they’re just starting working with you. Um, yeah. What have you found with getting started and kind of that on-ramp, so to speak?

Dr. Naomi Parrella, MD: (37:48)

Yeah, so a lot of these Members, um, posted this and, and it is really starting is the challenging part. So, like I said earlier, we’ve found that sometimes fasting is not the first thing that’s possible. Sometimes it’s just becoming aware of when you eat a certain food. So if somebody is really having, is struggling, then we might say, okay, if you’re drinking, um, sugary beverages, you might just sort of fast from that for a certain number of hours and see how you do, see how hard or difficult that is if somebody’s already doing that. And most of the people who wrote in seem to be fasting or having had some experience with fasting. So for those of you, you probably have already done a lot of this, but what I find is if you can get to 12 hours overnight fast, you’re already well ahead.

Dr. Naomi Parrella, MD: (38:38)

And then if you checked your blood work, you know, fasting labs and you got your fasting insulin and your insulin is in the single digits 12 hours, you’re already getting into a really good fat-burning state. So that’s something that’s a really easy, simple way you can just kind of assess if your insulin level is very, very high at that time, then you know that over time it’s gonna take a little time for fasting to get easier, but you’ll have more benefit as you start extending it. So again, super key and making sure that you’re getting your protein during the times that you are eating. Also, if you, um, have other things that help, like, uh, some people find that they just don’t go into their kitchen after a certain time, right? And then that, that just sort of eliminates that stimulus. So, um, you may find again, start small and slow and, um, don’t worry about the speed forward. It’s gonna sort of kick in and it gets easier and easier. Yep. Just like, you know, these individuals had said.

Rich LaFountain, PhD: (39:39)

Alright, uh, the fourth thing that was, uh, I guess most prominent in our tips and tricks provided by Zero Members was pertaining to exercise. Uh, there’s a couple examples that I pulled out. Exercising while fasted produces better results. Um, again, these are verbatims from you folks, um, and we definitely, uh, agree with that. The fasted exercise only amplifies your ability to burn fat. So you’re already in that low insulin state, but now you’re asking your muscles and you’re asking your body to produce more energy. And if you’re in that low insulin state, you’re already tapped into those fat stores. So you’re going to then boost or amplify your ability to burn fat. So, um, there was some, again, a, a cool research study that, uh, had looked at fat burning fasted exercise versus Fed State exercise. Uh, and it did say that for every 10 minutes of exercise that you’re doing in the fasted state, you’re gonna burn about a, a full gram of fat more for that unit of time.

Rich LaFountain, PhD: (40:44)

So, um, it doesn’t have to be, again, super intense exercise. In fact, another one of the comments or another one of the tips that we got before, um, using, you know, Zero and fasting and using the app, uh, I learned that zone two exercise helps me to stave off hunger. Um, and that zone two exercise is a light to moderate exercise where you are able to talk in complete sentences. Um, if I don’t know, working from home is still pretty popular. At least definitely popular around Zero, um, since we’re a fully distributed company. But, um, it should be basically is a good intensity where you could probably hold a conversation if you were on a phone or a conference call, not saying that you should do this necessarily, but you could be getting zone two exercise, brisk walking, cycling, um, and still carry a conversation and be able to have a phone conference call. Um, in the midst of doing that exercise, if you can’t put a full sentence together and you’re kind of huffing puffing, you’re working a little bit too hard. So it’s not a super high intensity, but zone 2 happens to be the peak fat burning exercise intensity, um, where you are getting the absolute most your body has to offer in terms of burning fat.

Dr. Naomi Parrella, MD: (42:01)

Alright, so what I’m gonna do in the interest of time, ’cause I wanna get through some more questions, um, after the fact, if we want to, I wanna just kind of, can I read through some of these tips? These top absolute tens? Go for it. Okay. Alright. So number five, cut all or most ultra processed foods, even processed foods, it will cut the cravings and make it so much easier to fast get your diet in order. Low carb was in parentheses before doing any significant fasting. It limits cravings significantly, making fasting easier. So that was tip number five from uh, Zero Members. Tip number six, experiment and develop a variety of go-to fast friendly beverages. Might be coffee, lemon water, and apple cider vinegar. With cinnamon tea. One person said, I make tea using coriander seeds, fennel seeds, and cumin seeds. It fastens the process for me and helps in detoxifying interesting apple cider vinegar in your water bottle.

Dr. Naomi Parrella, MD: (43:02)

Cinnamon, fresh ginger sparkling mineral water during fasting window coffee or matcha or broth. And then the last, uh, suggestion was I typically take a mixture of element tea or MCT oil and creatine. Number seven, if I’m struggling with a long fast, I will take a few shakes of pink salt on my tongue to help curb the cravings. Number eight, my mornings are so much more flexible since starting intermittent fasting. Love it. Number nine, perfection isn’t the goal. Consistency is the goal. I do a minimum of 14 hours. Then there were some sub, uh, suggestions. Don’t beat yourself up if you mess up. Start again tomorrow, but don’t give up. And then consistency shows results. Number 10, I mainly use the timer and alerts. I only recently discovered that you can flip the time from time elapsed to time remaining. This is a game changer. Cool tip.

Dr. Naomi Parrella, MD: (44:04)

All right, um, set notifications. They will help you to remember too fast. Once I hit the start fast button, the accountability starts and the kitchen is closed. Eating is no longer an option until the end of the fast. And then I like the widget because I don’t have to open the app to see where I am. So those were our top 10 member tips and tricks and we, um, are so grateful for people to be sharing. And I think what we wanted to do is keep sharing more tips, um, moving forward. We’re learning from each of these, uh, webinars and we’re gonna get better at it. So, uh, that’s, uh, really helpful when you give us feedback as well. Um, do we wanna get to our, uh, summary, three takeaways?

Rich LaFountain, PhD: (44:54)

Absolutely, yeah. Let’s, uh, wrap up and get our takeaways and I’ll share, make sure we go.

Dr. Naomi Parrella, MD: (45:09)

So we wanna make sure that at every webinar we’re gonna have some information at the beginning that’s educational, some information in the middle, that’s q and a and we’ll pull together a bunch of Qs and As and then kind of talk about, uh, common, uh, question that the members have. And then again, share tips and tricks from everyone else. Then we wanna close out with a summary. So here is our summary. Uh, first of all, you can see I cannot read this, uh, slide. So Rich, if you can read it and then, I’ll add to that.

Rich LaFountain, PhD: (45:45)

Okay. Um, yeah. First one, uh, burn more fat for healthy weight loss goals so that you’re not burning muscle or bone. Uh, and this is so part and parcel to your insulin, uh, lesson right at the start there.

Dr. Naomi Parrella, MD: (45:57)

Yep. Number two, you can only burn fat when insulin levels are low enough. And number three Zero will help you to burn fat, lose weight, and improve metabolic health. So Zero Plus is designed to help you learn how to reset your body to be at its best, whether you seek longevity and disease prevention, high performance, better cognitive function and mental health disease reversal, less pain or weight loss like we talked about today. So with Zero Plus you can learn how much fasting and other activities like sleep and exercise, you need to get your insulin low enough that you can get into a fat burn mode. So you can use that to get your personal data to help you learn how to get into fat burning faster. If you enjoyed this, please be on the lookout for a survey and upcoming webinars. Tell your friends there will be a follow-up email tomorrow and a recording will be available on YouTube and we’ll share a link in the email and we’ve got a lot of great resources and support for you as you can see right here. Um, rich, are we, um, okay with staying a little bit longer for people who wanna have more questions answered out of the chat?

Rich LaFountain, PhD: (47:13)

Yeah, definitely. Uh, thank you to everyone for coming to this, uh, webinar. We really appreciate you guys being here. Um, again, look for the next one. It’ll be early March, more than likely. Uh, we’ll send out push and email notifications again for that. Uh, if, if you’re interested in staying, we’d love to chat more and we can try to address some more questions. We do know that we didn’t get to all of them, um, so we’ll chip away at those for a little while here. Um, yeah,

Dr. Naomi Parrella, MD: (47:41)

I’m gonna just kind of work backwards from the last question. So if you have questions right now, um, start piling ’em in. I’m gonna just kind of go back and start answering some, is that okay? Okay. And then interrupt me, Dr. Rich, if you see there’s something that you’re like, I have a good, uh, piece of information here. Okay. Okay. Okay. So, uh, one of the questions, uh, said all the blood work I’ve had done, I’ve never been asked, I’ve never asked for my fasting insulin to be tested. This is a very commonly not tested test. Um, so fasting insulin is something you probably will have to ask your physician about. And the biggest challenge about it is most of the time, if it comes back, um, normal, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s healthy. So this is where it’s important to understand lab results that say normal, um, tell you what’s normal in the population.

Dr. Naomi Parrella, MD: (48:39)

And we know the majority of the population in the United States has some metabolic dysfunction. So a fasting insulin of 19, for example, might be considered normal on a lab test. It’s not normal, it’s actually elevated. So if you want to, um, ask your doctor to get a fasting insulin level, you’re probably aiming to get some, you know, numbers to help you understand it’s different than an A1C. That is correct. A hemoglobin A1C is a blood test that tells you the average of your blood sugars over the past three months. So it’s a fabulous test, but even before the A1C becomes abnormal, you can look at a fasting insulin level and that will start trending up before the A1C starts becoming abnormal. Um, and an A1C is used to, uh, diagnose prediabetes and diabetes. Um, and then again, there was a question, is there a way to measure the fasting insulin at home or over the counter? So there is not, it’s actually a peptide protein, so you can’t do that, but you can get a blood test and you should be fasting for about 12 hours to get a good sense of where your insulin level is at.

Dr. Naomi Parrella, MD: (49:53)

Um, did you see any questions, um, Dr. Rich, that you wanted to answer?

Rich LaFountain, PhD: (50:02)

Um, let’s see. I’m looking through them now. I know you start at the bottom and I hadn’t scrolled all the way down there. Uh, here’s one about breaking an 18 hour fast with an apple and a multivitamin, uh, and then jump straight into another 18 hour fast. Um, that makes it a very small eating window. Um, so I guess that would be my biggest concern there. Uh, that if you’re gonna start stringing that together, where an apple and a multivitamin equals your calorie consumption, uh, that’s gonna be insufficient for virtually everybody, uh, in the long term. So, um, that wouldn’t be, I guess, highly recommended you

Dr. Naomi Parrella, MD: (50:43)

I guess. So again, you know,  the body needs protein and fluids and salts. That’s really what it needs. So, and protein is anything that, uh, um, has amino acids that had a mother that, uh, you can hunt, fish or kill, right? Those are all different kinds of proteins. And proteins are important for every cell in your body. Your body cannot work without enough protein. So if you’re only having an apple and a multivitamin, there’s no protein there. So that would be insufficient. You would probably, uh, lose some muscle mass along the way and probably not wanna do that. Nevermind, get very unhappy because your brain can’t make the happiness chemicals the neurotransmitters if you don’t have enough protein. So, but that’s a really great question ’cause some people do try to, um, you know, do that. Um, continuous glucose monitor. So there’s a great question about that.

Dr. Naomi Parrella, MD: (51:39)

And you might see people wearing a continuous glucose monitor, which is basically like, it looks like a little white disc on the arm, um, and it has a little filament under the skin, which then can monitor your blood sugars 24 7 for about two weeks at a time. That, um, can be very, very helpful for individuals with type two diabetes. And actually, uh, some of us also use that for other individuals who are trying to understand what’s going on with their blood sugars. So that’s something you’d wanna talk about with your doctor or, um, an expert in that space. But, um, we do use that in our patients without type two diabetes as a way of understanding how the body is responding to different foods. So if the sugars go very high, then you know the insulin is probably going very high as well. And that could give you an idea. These foods are a little bit, you know, uh, suspect for if you’re trying to lose weight.

Dr. Naomi Parrella, MD: (52:37)

Um, there’s a question here, does it matter if you fast 16 or 18 hours? And the reason this person asked is because they changed to an 18 hour fast in the attempt to try to lose weight, but did not find they were losing any more weight. This is a pretty tricky one ’cause again, this is a personal question and so it’s gonna depend on the individual, uh, circumstances. But one of the things that we know is if you have a very high stress state that’s chronic, that’s gonna be very challenging with regards to um, being able to lose weight because your cortisol, your stress hormone level will be very high and then it makes it very hard to burn fat because your insulin will bump up. Uh, let’s see.

Rich LaFountain, PhD: (53:19)

There’s one quick one for you Dr. P. Mm-Hmm. Is fasting insulin the same as blood glucose in the lab work panel?

Dr. Naomi Parrella, MD: (53:28)

Wonderful question. And many people get this confused and no they are not. So, insulin is the hormone that responds to glucose. So I’m gonna quickly do mini med school because I think this helps, uh, with the understanding. And we’ve done this before, so this might be a review, but your body runs on fuels like ketones in glucose. Now everybody’s body has some glucose in it all the time. And glucose is like gas in a car or electricity. You have to have some to stay alive. If it dropped down to zero, you’d be dead. So you have to have some glucose in your bloodstream at all times. But there’s a level which is perfect and there’s a level where it’s too much. So just like we said, you can’t have zero, you can’t have too little or your body would stop working because it’s like you have no gas or no fuel.

Dr. Naomi Parrella, MD: (54:20)

If you have the perfect amount on average for an average size adult male, okay? ’cause this is, uh, where a lot of these studies come out of, you would have about one teaspoon of blood sugar circulating around your bloodstream. Now that one teaspoon of blood sugar to keep it at one teaspoon, you might need different levels of insulin depending on what you do. So we’ll talk about that a little bit more. A very high level of blood sugar, which would be diagnosed as diabetes, which causes blindness, kidney failure, heart attacks, strokes, cancer, nerve damage over time. That happens with diabetes with very high levels of blood sugar because the sugars are poisonous to every cell in the body. That’s why we doctors get all upset if somebody has diabetes and we wanna help them get their sugars under control so their cells are not poison.

Dr. Naomi Parrella, MD: (55:14)

That level of blood sugar that causes that, um, is in that poisonous range is about one and a quarter teaspoons. So one teaspoon is great, one and a quarter teaspoons is poison. Very small difference. Now your body doesn’t wanna be poisoned. So if you start spiking that blood sugar up to about one and a quarter teaspoons, your body’s like definitely going to try to protect you and wants you to survive. So it’s gonna pump out insulin, which is the defense. Okay? So insulin tells your body to bring the sugars down and it does that in two ways. First, it turns off your body’s ability to burn fat. We talked about that high insulin, no fat burning. And the reason is your body then is going to know I need to burn off these sugars to bring them down. I should not use fat right now because I’m being poisoned by the sugar.

Dr. Naomi Parrella, MD: (56:10)

So I need to burn only sugars. That’s the priority. So your body burns off those sugars, but if you are not running around being very active all the time, you may not be able to burn off all the sugars that you’ve just dumped in your bloodstream. If that’s the case, then insulin tells your body to do the second thing, store it. If you can’t burn it off, we gotta get it out of the bloodstream or you’re gonna be poisoned. So it pulls the blood sugars out of the bloodstream and it stores it. If your liver’s already full because you haven’t been fasting, there’s no storage space there. If you haven’t been moving around, your muscles are already full. But we do have a storage space that’s infinitely expandable and that’s our fat cells. So insulin, basically, if you have high insulin, you turn off fat burning and turn on fat building.

Dr. Naomi Parrella, MD: (57:07)

It’s a two way, uh, problematic issue if you’re trying to lose weight, right? Because it’s a one way street for everything to go in your fat cells, but nothing can come out. So once you understand that, you can understand why insulin and sugars are linked together, but they’re not the same thing. So if you know you have high or low su uh, blood sugars, that doesn’t tell you what’s happening with your insulin. ’cause your insulin may be, um, your blood sugar might be normal, but that’s because your insulin is working at really high levels trying to keep all the sugars stored, okay? Which means you can’t burn fat, which means you can’t have access to your backup fuel, which means you’re gonna get tired, you’re gonna be crabby, you’re gonna be seeking food because you can’t tap into that backup fuel source because the insulin is so high.

Dr. Naomi Parrella, MD: (57:57)

That’s why we check the fasting insulin, because your sugars might look pristine. Your A1C, which tells us the sugars over the past three months might look pristine. But in fact, if your insulin is very high, you can’t burn fat. That means you’re gonna have to seek out food all the time because you don’t have access to your fat cells for fuel. And that’s what fasting is gonna do for you. It’s gonna allow you to bring down that insulin. And once that insulin gets low enough, then you can start burning fat again. And then your body feels reassured because it has all the fuel it needs because we have enough fat on our body to support many, many days of activity. So that’s why we love fasting.

Rich LaFountain, PhD: (58:39)

Awesome. Uh, just so you know, Dr. P, you’re getting some love in the chats from Wendy.

Dr. Naomi Parrella, MD: (58:47)

That. Oh, nice. Good. Thank you.

Rich LaFountain, PhD: (58:49)

Mini med school is hitting all the right feels today.

Dr. Naomi Parrella, MD: (58:53)

Well, this is the fun stuff, right? So the human body makes a lot of sense and oftentimes we hear things that make it very confusing. And that’s what I love about Zero. That’s why I joined Zero, because it simplifies things and gets right down to the physiology. This is how your body works. Once you understand it, it’s like I’m all over it, right? Then you just need a little tweaks here and there and how can you monitor and understand how to respond. So I love these questions in the chat and um, like Rich was saying, we have so many questions coming in. It’s really helpful for us to understand. And so when you fill out the surveys, then we can continue to get better at this and know which things are helpful and what we wanna give more of. So again, last time we heard we need more time, we want some more live chat questions answered, and that’s why we decided we would stay a little longer and sort of do that, you know, after conference conversation for people who took the time to spend with us.

Rich LaFountain, PhD: (59:53)

Um, if we have time for a couple more, uh, yay. I asked a question about continuous glucose monitors since we’re kind of on the, uh, the glucose and insulin theme. Um, I thought that was a wonderful question. Uh, question is just would a CGM help? So I guess I’ll

Dr. Naomi Parrella, MD: (01:00:12)

Take it.

Dr. Naomi Parrella, MD: (01:00:14)

Yeah, so like, like I said, you know, they’ve been designed for individuals with type two diabetes, so that, or and type one diabetes actually actually more type one diabetes. And they’ve been designed so that the blood sugars we talked about, if it gets too low, that’s dangerous, right? And if it gets too high, it’s also dangerous, but low is even more dangerous than high. So the important thing about, um, if somebody is taking medications that lowers their blood sugars, a continuous glucose monitor can be very helpful to protect them so that they know if their blood sugars are dropping too low to do something to not get too low. Also, if you’re taking certain medications like insulin to be able to keep the sugars low because maybe they’re very, very high, then a continuous glucose monitor can be helpful, uh, to prevent those extremes. For those of us who, um, prescribe a continuous glucose monitor for individuals who are curious about optimizing their body’s function, right?

Dr. Naomi Parrella, MD: (01:01:19)

We use it a little bit differently. This is for awareness building because your gut microbiome, the lifestyle you have, the different kinds of foods you might eat, what you have access to, might affect your blood sugars in ways you don’t know. And so if you have regular labs and they show your blood sugars look fine, but maybe your insulin is high or maybe your triglycerides are high, you may want to know, what am I doing that’s making that happen and is there something I could do to reverse that trend? Something that tracks how your body responds to different things you put in your body or when you exercise or if you’re fasting, can be helpful for some people to identify these foods. Cause my blood sugars to go up, so maybe I’ll have less of them or not have them at all. When I go for a walk, I seem to see that my blood sugars stay stable and they don’t bounce around.

Dr. Naomi Parrella, MD: (01:02:20)

Or you might notice first thing in the morning, you’re super, super hungry, you put on a continuous glucose monitor, you see that your blood sugars are very high in the morning. That might mean that you’re not having very restful sleep. That could be undiagnosed sleep apnea. It could be that you have a very high stress life and you’re having, it’s not, you know, decreasing overnight. So there could be a lot of reasons for that. So those are some of the reasons we might use it. So it’s really to build awareness so that you can act on it. You know, that’s probably more of an extensive answer than people want it, but

Rich LaFountain, PhD: (01:02:55)

People are still loving it based on chat.

Dr. Naomi Parrella, MD: (01:02:58)

Okay, good. I mean, I wanna help. So,

Rich LaFountain, PhD: (01:03:01)

Um, there was another question. I would consider it to be a quick one and then maybe we’ll try to shift slightly from glucose and insulin, although that was kinda the focus for today anyways, so we’re on theme. Um, mm-Hmm, , what is a fasting insulin level I should be aiming for from Greg? Um, I wanna say eight or nine Seems like a research normal baseline level, but I, I want to toss at you for like the actual clinical real people. ’cause I’m just, I’m just reading the research.

Dr. Naomi Parrella, MD: (01:03:29)

Yeah, no, I mean, the research matters. That’s, that’s how we decide what we’re gonna do, right? And what we’re aiming for. So, um, so the insulin level that you’re really aiming for, I aim for under eight. Some people aim even lower. If you already are lower, you’re crushing it, right? Like your, your metabolism is doing very well. And so there’s um, other things you can do to upregulate your mitochondria, like improve your health. If your insulin is high, it’s actually a great sign that your body is doing what it’s supposed to do. It’s trying to protect you. And so when the insulin is very high, that means you wanna figure out what’s causing the insulin to be high. Is it what you’re eating? Is it your stress level? Is there some kind of medication? What’s going on there? And once you identify that, then you can do something about it. And that’s what’s so helpful. So I like it just to kind of get a sense of, wow, no wonder, you know, I’m fasting 80, 18 hours, but my blood sugars, you know, look fine, like what’s going on? Check my insulin. If it’s very high, I’m not getting into fat burning. Like I can try all I want. It’s just not gonna happen. So now I’m gonna start targeting, how can I get that insulin level down? And again, that’s when you’d wanna have sort of that, uh, support that’s, uh, personalized to you.

Rich LaFountain, PhD: (01:04:48)

Um, I guess I have a follow up question. Um, mm. You know, high insulin is problematic and under eight, is there a, is there a low end where it’s like you wanna be in a range? Is it two to eight or is it like, uh, is there a problem with zero fasting insulin or is probably non physiological? What’s is just because that question might be in the back of someone’s head. .

Dr. Naomi Parrella, MD: (01:05:12)

Yeah, so insulin, so remember when we check on insulin, it’s a one snapshot. So, you know, insulin fluctuates. It’s not like exactly, you know, um, so you just have to know it kind of fluctuates a little bit. So, um, if you had zero, you probably have type one diabetes, right? It means you don’t have any insulin. You have to have some insulin in your body. ’cause otherwise your body can’t use the fuel, right? So insulin helps muscles and cells use the fuel, it opens the door for your cells to be able to use glucose for fuel. So you have to have some insulin. So, you know, I don’t worry if it’s like three, but if it was zero, I would be on, you know, like, hello, you know, we gotta talk. So this would be, um, but I’ve never seen a zero. So, but again, that’s something that you would wanna kind of pay attention to, but most people when they’re in a great metabolic state, their insulin can fluctuate.

Dr. Naomi Parrella, MD: (01:06:13)

So if you eat something and your insulin goes up in response to the food, you wanna make sure that it comes back down again, right? That’s the key. It’s not that you never want it high, so if you’ve just eaten a big carb load or sugars or whatever, yes it’s gonna go up. You just wanna make sure it comes back down again and doesn’t stay chronically high. Remember, insulin is a growth hormone. It tells your body to store and grow. So that’s okay at times you just don’t wanna keep doing that. If you’re not getting taller. If you’re done getting taller and you are not working out like, you know, regularly building, you know, a ton of muscle, you probably don’t wanna be continuously growing, right? That would be problematic.

Rich LaFountain, PhD: (01:07:01)

Wonderful. Um, couple things to mention, Jamie. Uh, yeah, we do have, we’ve talked to Dr. Mindy, we’ve also talked to Cynthia Thurlow. I think it looks like Nick dropped the, uh, Dr. Mindy interview article in the chat. There is also a Cynthia Thurlow article, uh, in-app as well. Um, I had a direct question for me. I suppose it looks like, uh, read a great article on sweeteners for coffee based on the article. Uh, follow up question on Stevia. The products in the store have dextrose as the number one ingredient. That’s absolutely true. Um, dextrose is glucose, isn’t it? Should I go for erythritol over Stevia? Uh, the hack for that that I’m aware of, I’m not sure if you’re aware of this one as well. Dr. P is to look for liquid stevia. If you get powder stevia, usually they put some dextrose filler in there to kind of make it a nice powder. Um, maybe a little bit more shelf stable or just, you know, if you wanna pour a powder into your coffee or something. I don’t know why they would want to cut Stevia, a wonderful zero calorie natural sweetener with dextrose, but they do that. Uh, and I don’t understand it entirely. Um, but I would look to liquid stevia. Usually if you get the liquid form, they don’t seem to cut it with nonsense . Um, but that’s a very good question and thank you for reading the article.

Dr. Naomi Parrella, MD: (01:08:23)

That’s awesome.

Rich LaFountain, PhD: (01:08:27)

Somewhat related to that, there was a question about, um, it’s a bit of a longer one, uh, but I’ll kind of summarize here. Um, I’m having success with intermittent fasting, uh, the exception of my morning coffee. I like creamer and stevia. Um, any thoughts on how I might be hurting my fast by using a teaspoon of half and half in a packet of Stevia in the one cup of coffee? Um, any suggestions on what I might do to my coffee to, uh, keep it from breaking my fast? So this is semi linked and related is why I picked this one as a follow up. Um, the packet of Stevia, just like I said, probably the powder form is gonna have that dextrose in there. That’s gonna be the thing I’m most concerned about. If you could trade out the half and half for heavy cream or MCT powder, MCT oil, that’s gonna make it a little bit, the half and half is basically half cream, half milk, the milk is gonna be a little bit more carb heavy. Um, so if you could trade the half and half for cream, get to a liquid stevia, um, you’d probably be in better shape in terms of not breaking your fast and not spiking glucose and insulin. But, uh, any additional points on that Dr. P?

Dr. Naomi Parrella, MD: (01:09:40)

No, I mean, I would agree. And you know, I think at the beginning of that question it said something like, I’m successful with intermittent fasting or doing a great job. Kudos to you like that. You know, what, what else are you going for? Because it might not matter for the purpose of what you’re going for if you’re being wildly successful. I mean, that’s fantastic.

Rich LaFountain, PhD: (01:10:02)

Um, there is an article that we have, uh, seven things that won’t break your fast. Uh, related to that question. Uh, I think the first item on the one out of seven, uh, is gonna be fats and oils. So fats and oils do not spike your glucose, they won’t impact your insulin levels and therefore they won’t shut down your ability to burn fat in a weight loss context. If that’s why you’re doing intermittent fasting. Uh, you don’t necessarily have to entirely eliminate, you know, kind of that fat enhanced coffee or a little bit of heavy cream or butter in your coffee. I know that’s quite popular with folks. Um, Caroline has a very similar question. Black coffee with a dash one to two tablespoons of full cream, um, break a fast. So, uh, good news don’t break your fast for weight, uh, weight loss or metabolic health. Uh, if you’re doing fast for autophagy or gut rest, it’s gonna be a little bit different. Those fasts are not quite as flexible. You’ve gotta be much more adherent to, like, the water only zero calorie fasting set up, uh, for the autophagy and the gut rest fast. But if you’re here for weight loss, you’re here for metabolic health, you can add a little bit of cream or a little bit of fat to your coffee. Um, that’s perfectly fine. Uh, alright, lemme think one more and then I’ll see

Dr. Naomi Parrella, MD: (01:11:23)

Sure. I’m so grateful for people who are still with us. This is so fun.

Rich LaFountain, PhD: (01:11:31)

Alright. Um, oh, this one’s probably a good one. We haven’t touched on, uh, we’ve brought up the term ketones. I know you’ve brought up ketones a couple times. Dr. P uh, what do you think about getting into ketosis? What helps to check with the monitor when fasting? Um, I’m guessing like a glucose ketone monitor. They have like the blood monitors, uh, there’s the breath acetone ones too, but, um, like to see what your thoughts are about, uh, getting into ketosis and fasting. Uh, I know a lot of people have interest in that as they are kind of related. If you fast long enough, you’ll find yourself in ketosis.

Dr. Naomi Parrella, MD: (01:12:09)

So, so this is probably like a whole nother webinar, but, um, because this causes a lot of questions about ketogenic diets and keto and macros and all sorts of stuff, let’s just go with ketosis. Ketones are the breakdown products of when your body uses fatty acids for fuel. So that’s fat burning, right? When you’re fat burning, you’re creating some ketones. And so, um, and ketones are a wonderful energy source for the body. Some people are studying it, um, for brain function, heart function performance. There’s all sorts of different, uh, research in this space. So when we talk about getting into ketosis, I’m not talking about a keto diet. I’m talking about getting into the state where you are burning fat for fuel and creating ketones. So there’s some benefits there for, um, for certain individuals, uh, that they have to be in, uh, ketosis. So that might be somebody with epilepsy, right?

Dr. Naomi Parrella, MD: (01:13:15)

If they’re using ketosis as a way to treat their epilepsy and reduce the number of seizures, that’s like a, like they have to stay in ke ketosis. Most humans can go in and out of ketosis depending on how you’re eating and taking care of your body. If you eat, uh, ultra processed foods all the time and you don’t fast at all and you eat in the middle of the night, you’re just not gonna get into ketosis. So if you’re trying to find out how your body’s doing and how often are you getting into fat burning, or did your fast lead to fat burning, you could use a ketone monitoring device. And there’s different ones, um, as Dr. Rich was alluding to. So urine ketone tests, those are the strips. Those are useful early on. But after about four-ish weeks, you might not be spilling any ketones in your urine anymore.

Dr. Naomi Parrella, MD: (01:14:07)

So even if you were doing a great job getting into fat burning, you might not be able to tell from the strips. There’s the breath monitors, which, uh, have different levels of, uh, accuracy. But the real, uh, accurate tests are with the blood ketone monitors. And there’s actually one, I don’t know if it’s yet out in the US but in Europe there’s even a continuous ketone monitor. So it’s coming, it’s, um, a way to be able to assess what’s going on. You might also have heard about right now people are looking at ketones to treat mental health. So there’s a lot of, uh, work in this space right now, and so we’ll hear more and more about it, but it’s probably its own, uh, webinar. Yeah.

Rich LaFountain, PhD: (01:14:51)

A great teaser for a future webinar where we can do a future focus and dive into, yeah, ketosis. Um, I think other ways to determine that you might be in fat burning, uh, Zero Plus if you have it. Uh, we will have a new feature available to the Zero community very soon. Uh, it’s available for a subset at the moment, uh, but it will be released to everybody very soon where, uh, there’s a fat burning mode where it will take your personal data if you have wearables, if you have Apple Health or if you have a Fitbit, um, your sleep, your activity information. If you are logging your pre fasts meals, for example, uh, we have in app a model that will take your body weight, the, you know, your demographic information, and it will tell you when you should reach a fat burning zone.

Rich LaFountain, PhD: (01:15:43)

So, um, if you’re not able to get a ketone monitor or you’re not able to go to your nearest exercise science research laboratory and get like a metabolic cart measurement or something crazy like that, um, and you have a Zero app, then we can give you an idea of when you are gonna be in fat burning mode when your insulin level is low, and without a lab test to see what your insulin level is, uh, your app will give you a good estimate of that. And then you can also see based on changes you make to your pre fast meal, if you eat more or less carbs, you will see your, the time it takes to get to fat burning will modulate. Uh, if you do fasted exercise, you’ll see that you get a boost where you’ll enter fat burning mode a little bit quicker than you would otherwise. So there’s, um, a, a really cool feature that we’re excited about, uh, and we’re excited for you guys to start testing very soon in regards to fat burning, um, that type of shift with insulin. So it’s, uh, very, uh, pertinent to our discussion today.

Dr. Naomi Parrella, MD: (01:16:43)

Well, and I think, you know, to that point, just a quickie, um, one of the things I hear about most is people will come in and say, you know, I was doing so great on my plan of whatever it is they were working towards, and then something derailed the progress. Um, and so again, you, you know, even if you take a break from fasting or you take a break from a routine or you have a disruption that interferes with your plans, um, you can always come back and use the Zero Plus to help you get back in the groove again, because it’s got, you know, you’ll start training yourself to be able to know, okay, this is what I can do this, this, these are the numbers I can monitor and it’s gonna make a difference for me, and then I can get back on track much faster. So I use it also as a reset, like I said before, for many of my patients and for myself, it’s been really helpful to be able to sometimes, you know, think about, okay, I wanna reset because I sort of got off track for a little bit. So it’s a great way to reset happens

Rich LaFountain, PhD: (01:17:45)

To everyone. Um, wonderful. Uh, please do check, uh, out our resources. It seems like based on the chat. Um, first of all, thank you for the wonder. Wonderful. You know, all the interactions, you guys are in the chat. You guys are really active in there. Thank you so much. Uh, it seems like the search function is a big hit, so I’m glad that, uh, some of you have located the ch uh, the search function and being able to locate articles. Um, please, if you have questions, submit them to support. Um, I guess we probably have gotten all the questions tonight. Are we good? Yeah.

Dr. Naomi Parrella, MD: (01:18:26)

So, so let’s do this next. Uh, so when you get your survey questions, if you can enter in any information about things that you know to keep to change, um, or topics that you wanna hear about. So I’ve seen a lot of questions and comments about hormones, specifically women, men, low, t you know, menopause, whatever. Um, so I’m thinking that might be a good one that we think about in the future, but we wanna keep sharing information and having these opportunities almost for that informal dialogue where we can just kind of learn together. Yeah,

Rich LaFountain, PhD: (01:19:00)


Dr. Naomi Parrella, MD: (01:19:00)

So help us figure that out. What would be best for you?

Rich LaFountain, PhD: (01:19:05)

Yes. Alright, thank you.

Dr. Naomi Parrella, MD: (01:19:07)

Alright, much. Thanks.

Rich LaFountain, PhD: (01:19:08)

A lot. Please have a wonderful day, be safe everybody. Bye.

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