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Episode 140 Transcript: Fast Like a Girl with Dr. Mindy Pelz

Mindy: I was really moody. I was gaining weight for no reason. My energy was crashing. Like I was already in that kind of perimenopausal state of like, something’s changed within me. And the minute I just skipped breakfast, that’s all I did in the beginning, and start to fast every day, you know, for 15 hours. Like it was like your experience, just like a light bulb clicked in. And all of a sudden my brain worked, my energy worked. The night sweats went away. I kept my weight off. Like I was blown away at what just skipping breakfast and fasting for 15 hours did to my whole hormonal system.

Nancy: Welcome to the Nancy Levin Show. I’m Nancy Levin, Founder of Levin Life Coach Academy, best-selling author, master coach, and your host. I help overachieving people pleasers set boundaries that stick and own self-worth, anchored in empowered action, so you can feel free. Plus, if you’re an aspiring or current coach, you are in the right place. Join me each week for coaching and compelling conversations designed to support you in the spotlight, as you take center stage of your own life. Let’s dive in. 

Nancy: Welcome back to another episode of Tthe Nancy Levin Show. And I am here with my beloved Dr. Mindy Pelz. Mindy is a world renowned women’s health expert on a mission to empower women to believe in their bodies. Her high profile clients include Leanne Rimes and Danica Patrick, among many others. She is the best selling author of Fast Like A Girl, which has become my Bible and the Menopause Reset. She is the host of the Resetter Podcast and her phenomenal YouTube channel, which I have been known to binge, has garnered over 60 million lifetime views. And most of all, I am grateful to call Mindy my friend. 

Hi Min. 

Mindy: Oh my God, I’m gonna cry. This is so good. I’ve never had such a beautiful introduction, so thank you. I’m so happy to be here. 

Nancy: You’re so welcome. So I just wanna start out by saying that my introduction to your work has been a game changer for me personally. 

Mindy: Thank you. 

Nancy: And this whole movement that you’ve created for women specifically around fasting, a fasting lifestyle tailored to women is profound. 

Mindy: Mm, thank you. 

Nancy: And It goes far beyond fasting or feasting. And like we were saying a little bit before we started recording, little did you know you were creating a self-empowerment movement for women.

Mindy: I had no idea. I had no idea. You’re absolutely right.

Nancy:  And I just wanna say from the bottom of my heart how grateful I am for the work that you are doing. Because I have experienced a significant shift in such a short time of just really a few months since I adopted this new lifestyle that I never in a million years thought was for me.

Mindy: Amazing. Amazing.I just, I feel like a proud mama listening to, you know,  I really truly knew the principles had this ability to heal the body by itself. You know, it didn’t need an exogenous anything. It didn’t need anything from the outside in. And I was using these principles in my practice. I was teaching it on social, but it really, I don’t think until Fast Like a Girl went out into the world that I saw how desperately women needed it. And there’s so many women like you who have had that journey of dysfunction with food and feel like they are ready to give up and they don’t know where to turn, and then they turn on themselves and they hate their bodies. And this tool has that quick turnaround like you experienced. So thank you for, you know, for everything you said and for being an example of what it can do. So I just love that. 

Nancy: Thank you. Well, we’ll definitely talk more about that. But first I want you, for anyone living under a rock who doesn’t know who Mindy is, will you just share a bit about how you personally came to fasting in your own life and how you made the choice to bring it to the world. 

Mindy: Yeah. Well, you know what’s really interesting is I did it for myself first, and I, it was in my early forties, so it was about 10 years ago, there was some emerging science coming out of Japan around a term called autophagy. And autophagy was this discovery that Dr. Osmi, he’s a Japanese scientist, figured out that in the absence of food, the cells start repairing themselves. And so, and it’s called, it’s a term called Autophagy. So he actually won a Nobel Prize for this concept. And out of that, interesting enough, there was a lot of thought that the pharmaceutical industry would take this term of autophagy, this is the, probably the most beautiful part of this story, and use it to create a drug that could stimulate autophagy, but they couldn’t do it. They could not find a chemical that would do what our own bodies were designed to do. And so, from his studies, the whole intermittent fasting world and craze was born. 

And when I first heard about it, here’s a funny thing that you probably can’t even imagine. When I first heard about it, I was like, oh, well I could probably go without food for 15 hours, maybe one day, lemme try it one day. And then when I dove in deeper, I was like, people are doing this every day. And so I started practicing like you, playing with what would it look like to skip breakfast? What would it look like? And at 44, at that time, I was kind of a hormonal hot mess. Like I had incredible night sweats. I was really moody. I was gaining weight for no reason. My energy was crashing. Like I was already in that kind of perimenopausal state of like, something’s changed within me. And the minute I just skipped breakfast, that’s all I did in the beginning, and start to fast every day, you know, for 15 hours. It was like your experience, just like a light bulb clicked in. And all of a sudden my brain worked, my energy worked. The night sweats went away, I kept my weight off. Like I was blown away at what just skipping breakfast and fasting for 15 hours did to my whole hormonal system.

So I really, I fell into it because of my own needs. And then I started practicing with my patients. They got the same thing. And then I took it to YouTube, I started explaining it to YouTube, and everybody was having the same consistent result. So now we literally have millions, millions of people across the world using it as a tool. And when I wrote Fast like a Girl, it was like, this is the proven formula for women. 

Nancy: Yeah. I mean, there’s so much here. And one of the things that really struck me was this whole idea of, you know, you starting with skipping breakfast, I have never been someone who likes to eat in the morning. I’ve never been a breakfast person.

Mindy: Do you know how many of my patients said that? 

Nancy: Yes! 

Mindy: And they were like, thank God I hate breakfast. Right? 

Nancy: Yeah. And yet, as we now know, and maybe if anyone listening this is news for you, that the whole idea of breakfast is the most important meal of the day was advertising. It’s bullshit.

Mindy: It’s total bullshit. It’s total bullshit. 

Nancy: Right. And yet how, how we were sort of all brainwashed into this idea. 

Mindy: Yeah.

Nancy: And what a relief I personally felt to have permission to skip breakfast and really listen to my body of what feels right in terms of food. And because I can’t tell you the times that I literally had to put in my calendar, like, make sure to eat because you’re not gonna have another gap for a few hours. Like, make sure you get some food in you, you know, for breakfast. And now I’m like, oh my God, what a relief to be, to expand that fasting window, 15, 16, whatever it’s gonna be. 

Mindy: Amazing.

Nancy: Right now about to break a 36 hour fast. 

Mindy: Amazing. Amazing. You’re the queen now. I, I I crown you. 

Nancy: Thank you. Well, it’s so funny because I remember in one of our early conversations, I was telling you that, and most people listening certainly know that I was the event director at Hay House for 12 years. And I, you know, always say I had a backstage pass in a front row seat with all the teachers. And I said that once I really tapped into the potency and power of fasting, that it reminded me of what Wayne Dyer used to say about smoking. That it’s so much easier not to smoke than to smoke. Be’cause for smoking, you need cigarettes. You need money to buy the cigarettes. You need a lighter. You need somewhere to actually smoke because you can’t smoke inside anywhere. Whereas with not smoking, you don’t need money. You don’t need to buy anything. You don’t need to find a place. And I felt the same thing with fasting. You know, and I know you often will talk about it doesn’t cost anything to fast.

Mindy: No, No. 

Nancy: You actually have a healing power that is available to you that doesn’t cost a dime. 

Mindy: Yeah. 

Nancy: And we all have it. And that, you know, not eating or fasting. And I know fasting is not just about not eating. So I, I wanna say I do know that Mindy, but so not eating doesn’t cost anything. And it’s easier in so many ways to not eat than it is to eat. 

Mindy: Yeah. I love that about what Wayne Dyer said, and it’s really interesting. And I’m sort of having that, that reflection on fasting now that we’ve watched so many people apply these principles. 

Nancy: Yeah. 

Mindy: And you know, you and I were talking before we hopped on, like the food system,at least here in America, is so bad. It’s so bad. And the chemicals that are laden in food is horrific. And I think what a lot of women are starting to see, because those chemicals have gotten so difficult to navigate, I can’t even, like I’m trying to put together in the next book, like, here’s the list of the things you look for. And before I know it, it’s like a hundred, a hundred chemicals long that you’re gonna find on, on your ingredient list. 

Nancy: Yeah. 

Mindy: So when you go without food, you actually get to see how your body was designed to perform. And the body has, I mean, this was Louise’s key principle, right? Was heal thy self, the body heals itself. You can heal yourself. And in this day and age, we need to all start healing ourself from this toxic food system. 

So when we go this long period of time without food, you are actually getting a small little window into how your body was built to be. And if you never go that period of time, and you’re just trying to manipulate calories or carbs or,you know, popping on and off these different diets. You give your power completely away. And even Ozempic right now, it’s one of my things that I’m so upset about.

Nancy: Talk about it. Yes. 

Mindy: Because it’s, we don’t know, well, we do know some of the long-term effects. It stops digestion in your system and ruins your microbiome. Which is why surgeons are saying you have to be off Ozempic two weeks before a surgery because under anesthesia, they’re finding that people have undigested food in their gut and they’re throwing it up. 

Nancy: Wow. 

Mindy: This is like, the microbiome consequence of Ozempic is gonna be huge, but even if there was no consequence to Ozempic, Ozempic becomes the hero. And when you are fasting, you become the hero. 

Nancy: Yes. I love, I love that. Because again, we wanna feel empowered. We don’t wanna keep giving our power away. 

Mindy: Yeah. And just, can we talk about that for a second because this is the new rant I’m on. I’m so tired of specifically women hearing their horrific doctor stories. They are suffering at the hands of the food industry. And then they go into their doctors and their doctors are not privy to the vast amount of physical, emotional, chemical stressors in the world. And so they give them another, they make them, they, you know, feel bad, they gaslight them, they give them another medication that has only been tested on men or mice. And then a woman leaves with that prescription and she becomes disempowered. So she’s going to this medical expert to please help me. And if you’re a medical expert hearing this, like, this is what she’s saying, help me, see me, listen to me, understand me. And instead she’s walked out, walks out with a prescription, and this is the horrific version of our healthcare system that has to stop. And, and I unfortunately have come to this place where I do believe big pharma has so much money, and big food has so much money that they are gonna do everything possible to keep toxic food and keep us medicated. 

So the time has come for us to educate ourselves and to find tools that will work on ourself for our own health. And fasting equalizes everything. Because you don’t need money and you don’t need time. 

Nancy: I mean, yes. Just yes. Shout it from the rooftops. And, you know, I wanna also just bring in here how you had such brilliant understanding that it’s different for women. 

Mindy: Yeah.

Nancy: And that the old way of fasting, or the way men fast the patriarchy, you know? 

Mindy: Yep. 

Nancy: Yep. That we, women need to fast differently. And again, depending on if they’re, if they’re cycling or if they’re, you know, perimenopausal, postmenopausal, that we have to actually pay attention to what’s happening inside of us. 

Mindy; Yeah. They, you know, and I discovered that for my, for through my own experience because I went from this perimenopausal state where I was like, what is going on with me to, oh my gosh, I found this tool called fasting. Let me do it all the time. And so I started doing like one meal a day. And I was doing five day water fast. Like I was like you, I was like, you know, a total evangelist. And at like 45, I started losing my cycle. I started spotting, and I was like, am I in perimenopause? The average age for a woman to go through menopause is around 52. And the later you go into menopause, the better because you wanna keep those hormones primed so that they can keep doing the protection they need for cardiovascular and for the brain.

Nancy: Yeah. 

Mindy: So when I, then I ran a hormone test on myself, and I was like, at 45, I have the hormones of a postmenopausal woman. So I started looking at each individual hormone and I was like, what am I doing wrong? And that’s when I found progesterone. And progesterone is literally the outlier. She needs glucose to be higher. So I realized, oh, the week before my cycle when I’m spotting, that’s a sign I don’t have enough progesterone, I need to up my glucose. And the minute I did that at like 47, my cycle was more regular, easier than it had ever been. And I, I’m 54 now and just now went into full postmenopausal in my postmenopausal experience.

Nancy: Welcome. 

Mindy: I Need to be, I, I think we need a support group. I really do. It’s quite a process. You know what, in one of the books I’m writing right now, ’cause I’ve got two I’ve called Estradiol the most potent form of estrogen. I call her a diva. And I’m like, she needs literally like a celebration, like a retirement party because I had no idea what she did for my moods, for my skin, for my cardiovascular, I mean for my neurotransmitter production. Like I had no idea. And then she goes away and here’s another healthcare moment where we’re left with just a, you know, arsenal of horrible symptoms, only to find out that the solution that the medical profession has is antidepressants.

Nancy: Yep. Once again, something that pertains only to women. 

Mindy; Yeah. Right. 

Nancy: Is, you know, is left unattended to. 

Mindy: Yes. I actually, my new, I’m gonna just be be very blunt. I don’t know if your audience loves this or not. 

Nancy: They’re gonna love it. 

Mindy: I would like to swear.  

Nancy: You can swear or you can do anything.

Mindy: But you know, I mean, right now, like really diving into understanding hormone replacement therapy, bioidenticals, I think there’s something in there for us to all know that could be beneficial. But once again, we’re bringing this back into the conversation. And many people, you know, influencers like Oprah are even saying like, Hey, everybody needs to go on HRT, but it’s not that simple. It’s not that simple. There’s a lifestyle you gotta match with these exogenous hormones. 

And so the other day as I was playing with some of the hormones and I was in my head going, yeah like, why do I feel bloated and all this stuff? I thought, you know what, it’s not fair. Like, how many years ago did we come up with a drug that kept a man’s dick hard for eight hours? Like we could do that, we could do that in an instant. And all of a sudden it starts to become a bestselling pharmaceutical. But we can’t help a woman be able to regulate her moods and to navigate the in, you know, the imbalances that occur during the menopausal years. 

Nancy: I fucking love you. 

Mindy: That’s insanity. It’s when you think about how much time and resources went into a drug like Viagra and it’s not going into helping us regulate our hormones as we go through this experience. 

Nancy: Yeah. 

Mindy: Yep.

Nancy:  I mean, yeah, exactly. 

Mindy: I’m actually hit a place recently where I’m now have gone angry and I’m really frustrated with both big food and big pharma because they’re just continuing to leave women out of the conversation. And my big path is lifestyle. What do we need to eat? When do we need to eat? How do we need to work out? How do we need to sleep and rest? Like, can we go back to the basics and help women clean up the basics? Because my experience has been that when you clean up the basics, you actually don’t need the HRT and the bioidenticals as much. 

Nancy: Right. 

Mindy: And so it just softens the learning curve that we’re experiencing over there. 

Nancy: Hi, it’s Nancy interrupting my own show. I’ve got a lot of exciting things coming up in 2024, including a brand new book plus a group coaching opportunity, unlike anything else I have ever offered before. To make sure you are in the know, pop on over to my website now and sign up for my free weekly newsletter at nancylevin.com/newsletter so you don’t miss a thing. Okay, back to the show.

Nancy: I mean, I love everything you’re sharing here, and I have experienced the benefits of this lifestyle, and I love that you keep reiterating that it is a fasting lifestyle. You know, it is not a diet.

Mindy: It’s not. 

Nancy: And I’ll say I personally got interested, I mean I’ve known you for,I guess almost a year-ish,almost a year. 

Mindy: Almost a year. 

Nancy: And, you know, we’ve gotten to hang out in person, gotten to spend time together, gotten to, you know, talk and all that. And it was after we spent the day together in Boulder in November, I was like, okay, kind of, I was kind of having the, like, I want what she’s having. And I got on your YouTube channel. This is after, you know, I have a history of bulimia, history of, you know, disordered eating, body shit, all the things that a lot of women have. And I really, I like binged on your YouTube channel for so long that I was finally in this place of like, I wanna give this a shot. And then I remember messaging you and saying, oh my God, I’m, I’m in the middle. I’m doing a 60 hour fast. 

Mindy: Yeah. You, you jumped in the deep end. It was really exciting. 

Nancy: Yeah. Like, I was just like, okay, I’m just gonna see how this goes. I woke up in the morning, was and hungry, didn’t eat, got to, you know, dinner time and was like, I’m still not really hungry, I’m just gonna keep going. And then finally I was like, I need to break this, otherwise I’m just gonna keep going. You know, it was very beginning, it was very early stages and I didn’t really know exactly what I was doing, but I knew that I liked it. And I knew that I felt a relief in my system about, for me personally, I’m not like a food fantasizer. So I’m not someone who’s like, you know, fantasizing about what I’m going to eat or thinking about food in that way. I approach food more as an inconvenience. I find eating annoying or having to think, now I’m a foodie. I love to go out and eat and all that, but when it’s feeding myself, I find it annoying. 

Mindy: Yeah. 

Nancy: So I have said to so many people over the years, I just wish there was a pill I could take morning, noon and night to give me what I need so I don’t have to actually deal with food.

Mindy: Yeah. 

Nancy: And in a way I kind of feel like fasting is that. 

Mindy: Yes.

Nancy: And what it’s done is it’s allowed me to get into a rhythm that works for me around when to fast and when to feast. And it’s actually changed my taste buds entirely. Which I know we’ve talked about. And I feel happy to eat when I’m gonna eat.

Mindy: It’s like a celebration. 

Nancy: Yeah. But yeah, I noticed, you know, you recently did the 72 hour water fast in conjunction with Hay House, and I did it along with 4 women on my team. We all did it together. And comments from them who were new fasters, you know, they were like, you know, I’m starving or I can’t stop thinking about a burger, or, you know, whatever it was. And I realized, wow, you know, I totally get that, but I, I sort of go to the other place of, god it’s a relief not to have to deal with like, what do I have to make to eat? 

Mindy: Yes. 

Nancy: So it was just, you know, just observational. 

Mindy: Yeah. You know, and it’s interesting, that’s the other thing that I’ve noticed is that as women, we have a very dysfunctional relationship with food. In fact, I’m not sure I know any woman that has a healthy relationship with food, except I might say my daughter because I worked really, really hard to create a healthy relationship with food for her. But most women have this love-hate relationship. And we make a choice based off our taste buds. And we make a choice based off our emotions. And that leads us astray. And as the food industry has gotten more and more and more toxic, it’s become harder and harder for us to navigate the food world. Because one of the things that some of the chemicals do in food now is it produces a good dopamine response.

Nancy: Yeah. 

Mindy: So they’ve spray chemicals on our food to give us a dopamine hit, and now we’re addicted to it. I can’t tell you how many people, and I really cherish their honesty, that have told me, yeah I’m food addicted. And, and you know, I think what we need to do for the women listening that resonate with that is understand it’s not your fault. It’s the food system that has purposely made you addicted and then you add on top of this, this weekend I was literally, this is what I do for fun, I was geeking out on a 43 page meta-analysis of this concept of obesogens and obesogens are these toxins we put into food. And what they do is they actually trigger your stem cells to make fat cells.So stem cells are cells that start to make other body parts injured body parts. When you’re younger, you’re making stem cells all the time. because you’re growing. It’s like a universal cell. 

Well, once you come exposed to these toxins, these obesogens, now your stem cells make adipose tissue. They are instructed the chemical will instruct the stem cell to make fat. This is why you’re hearing so many women that are like, I don’t know what I’m doing. I didn’t do anything and now I gained 20, 30 pounds. And when you get into the menopausal years, it gets even worse. And because there’s no education on these chemicals in this food system, again, we turn on ourselves, we think we did something wrong, we guilt ourselves, we try harder, we restrict more. And what I really want women to know is that fasting just gives you a pause for a hot fricking moment from this toxic food system that has hijacked your fat cells and your taste buds and gives you space so that you can have reflection on this relationship with food. Which is exactly what happened in your situation. You were very clear that food’s a nuisance. Some women are very clear that food’s their therapist. 

Nancy: Yep. 

Mindy: And so we all use foods in different ways, but when you can pause and you can start to see that relationship, and then you start to feel what happens when the body switches over into this fat burning energy system when you’re fasting where it’s burning fat to make another fuel source and your hunger goes away and your mental clarity shows up. You all of a sudden experience yourself in a very different way. Which is what you’re explaining. So it hits all the markers because it helps you reflect on how you use food. And it helps you get a small little glimmer of what your body was capable of doing. 

Nancy: Absolutely. And one of the things I really also appreciate about this fasting lifestyle is how you stress the importance of variety.

Mindy; Yeah. 

Nancy: That how important it is to vary lengths of fasts. This isn’t about just fasting every day for 24 hours or one meal a day only forever. You know that it’s really important to vary the times of fasts and vary the foods that we’re eating. 

Mindy: Yes. 

Nancy: This was a big one for me because I’m one of those people who will make a big batch of something and just like eat it all week. And so I, you know, have had to sort of start looking at, okay, how do I vary my intake? How do I vary, you know, certain things. And I have considered myself a pretty healthy eater, but as I showed you, Mindy, right before we started recording, I have, I have bags in my hallway that I’m off to donate because as healthy as I thought things were, there are the bad oils in them or there are unpronounceable ingredients in them. And now that I have been living this way for a few months, I don’t wanna put garbage in my body. 

Mindy: Amazing. Amazing. Yeah. So, you know, the study that I, I first figured that out because now you have to understand, before I started teaching my patients how to fast I was the food zealot. I was like I literally with patients that would come in and they were complaining of all these symptoms, I was like, you gotta get off your soda. You gotta get off eating out all the time. And I thought it was as simple as that.

And then I found a study that was one of the first fasting studies called the Every Other Day Diet. And the Every Other Day Diet took food addicted people who were severely overweight that had had metabolic syndrome, which means their cardiovascular markers were high, their liver enzymes were off, like they were a hot mess. And said, you can eat your food, your toxic food. They didn’t say it that way. I say it that way. But you can eat your favorite food, you can eat your favorite food every, when, every you want, just every other day you’re gonna fast. So you’ve, you can fast one day, eat one day fast one day, eat one day.

So they did this over a course of a year. And what they found at the end of the year was that everybody lost weight. Everybody’s blood pressure came down, everybody’s cholesterol improved, all the liver enzymes, I mean everything completely improved. They lost weight. Their BMI went down. But the most startling thing is they started making different food choices.

And I think that happens for two reasons. I think one, it happens because you change the microbiome in the gut when you fast. And it’s those bacteria in our gut that often are telling us what to eat. 

Nancy: Yeah. 

Mindy: So you start to change those bad bacteria. The second thing, one of my favorite statements is you don’t need motivation to get healthy. You need momentum. 

Nancy: Yes. 

Mindy: And what fasting gave this group, what fasting’s giving you is some really fast momentum. And the minute you go, oh, I can think this clearly, oh I can go on a fast and start to drop weight within a couple of weeks, now we’ve got the momentum, what else can you do? And that starts to get people changing their food behaviors like what you’re experiencing.

Nancy: A hundred percent. A hundred percent. I also, you know, appreciated learning this idea that we have these two systems inside of us, the sugar burning system and the fat burning system.

Mindy: Yep. 

Nancy: And how important it is to switch between them. 

Mindy: Yes. 

Nancy: And this idea, which makes so much sense to me, that when we’re fasting, we allow our fat burning system to kick in. 

Mindy: Yep.

Nancy: To go find the energy that we’ve stored and start burning it. 

Mindy: Yeah. We’re a hybrid. We’re a hybrid car. And you know, this is the thing that I think always points me in the right direction. And I would encourage, encourage everybody to think this way. Your body is always doing the right thing at the right time. It is always protecting you. And it has two, for women, it has two major issues. 

One is survival. It’s number one for both men and women, the number one thing the body’s always gonna prioritize is survival. For the second thing is reproduction for women. Those are gonna be above everything else. So when you’ve been eating the wrong foods and all these bad oils and all this extra glucose and all this toxin comes into your system, your cells are like, we can’t handle it. We don’t know how to use all this extra. And so it’s so smart that what it decided to do was put that extra around your waist, in your booty, on the back of your arms, around your face, in your breast tissue. It put it in places where it was like, I’m not gonna put it around the liver. I don’t wanna put it around the heart and lungs because those are vital organs. So it stored it in the safest place possible. And then we look in the mirror and we villainize it. But yet your body actually saved your life by putting it around your belly. 

Nancy: I mean, it’s, it’s mind blowing when you lay it out like this. 

Mindy: It really is. And, and this is why I want to take people who are obese and are frustrated and take the pressure off of them. You know, my new statement is be, get gaining weight is not your fault. It is your responsibility. Yes. So we now have hit this. I mean, obesity is, is climbing across the world. And we’ve now hit this place where we can’t just say, oh, the food industry did this to me, it’s not my fault. But we have to take away the shame and the guilt and the frustration. 

Nancy: Yes. 

Mindy: So even though it’s not your fault, it is your responsibility. And that’s what we’re now teaching. 

Nancy: Yes. The other, the other thing I’d love for you to share about, because I will say I didn’t necessarily start doing this to lose weight. I’m delighted. I’m delighted that I’ve definitely, I’m not at someone who weighs myself I have no idea about, you know, weight numbers, but I definitely can feel it in my body, in my clothes, whatever. And it’s amazing and I’m happy. But for the health benefits beyond weight loss is what also blew me away. That, you know, that you share like the six different lengths of fast and how they benefit us. And I’d love for you to share that. because I also find that so fascinating. 

Mindy: Yeah. So this is built off of years of me scouring the research and then applying it. So it was really interesting when I wrote Fast Like a Girl, I was like, these six fasts need to be in here because they all have some benefit. And, and so here’s how the six work: when you go about 15 hours without food, you start to kick in something called growth hormone. So your body naturally makes growth hormone at six, at about 15 hours. Everybody’s gonna do a little different. At 15 hours when growth hormone comes in, growth hormone slows the aging process down and starts to burn fat. It’s the trigger that says, Hey, let’s burn some fat for more energy. You also start making something called a ketone. The ketone is a byproduct of the fat burning. And so the ketone goes up into the brain and kills hunger. And so you start to like, I’d be interested in your team that want crave the burger. 

Nancy: Yeah. 

Mindy: The craving of the burger probably was a mental craving. A dopamine craving. And so, because what the body will do is with as little a 15 hours is it switches over and it makes the ketone and now hunger goes off. 

Now let’s think about why it would do that, because you know, it’s easy to be like, oh, Dr. Mindy told you, but it really makes sense when you think about it. We were designed for survival. So back in the primal days, we didn’t, if we didn’t have access for food, we had to go find it. We had to go walk miles, we had to go make a kill. In the wintertime ee had to hunker down probably for weeks without food. So this other fuel source kicked in. And so what it did is it, it created this ketone and this ketone kept us calm. So a ketone will release something called gaba, the neurotransmitter that calms us. It, it fired up our focus by increasing a protein called brain-derived neurotropic factor, which is BDNF. So you all of a sudden have more neurons that are like ready to receive information to give you information, and it created growth hormone. So you felt younger so you could go find food. So all the miracles that are happening at 15 hours or so, you go find food. 

Nancy: Right. 

Mindy: And then at 17 hours it stimulates autophagy. And autophagy is what cleans the cells out because it doesn’t want a weak link there. If a cell is going to become an aging or dysfunctional cell your body has to clean it out of the system. So it could, it doesn’t know how long it’s gonna go without food. So weak links need to be removed at 24 hours it resets your whole gut. It fires up intestinal stem cells because it’s preparing for food. It’s like, Hey, we’ve gone 24 hours without food. We gotta get ready. Food’s coming. We need to pull the nutrients out of it. We gotta get rid of the bad bacteria in here. 

 At 36 hours, the one you’re on right now is that it’s now like, Hey, it’s been a long time. We need to go find what we stored a while and ago and start burning that. So I called it the fat burner reset. 

At 48 hours it resets your whole dopamine system. It creates new dopamine receptor sites. Why would it do that? Because now you’re two days without food and in order for you to survive, you need motivation. And dopamine is the neurotransmitter for motivation. So it cleans that whole system up. 

And then at 72 hours it reboots your whole immune system. And why would it do that? Because it’s like, hey, we’re in dire straits right now. Everything has to become stronger, including the immune system. And all of that happens without you spending a dime.

Nancy: I mean, what’s better than that? 

Mindy: Exactly. Exactly. 

Nancy: It’s amazing, Mindy. I swear I could, I mean, I just wanna stay on Zoom with you all day long. 

Mindy: Agreed. The feeling’s mutual. 

Nancy: And you know, I just wanna say to everyone listening, do yourself a favor and go buy Fast Like a Girl, get on Mindy’s YouTube channel. It is incredible. You literally have about a million followers, subscribers at this. 

Mindy: Yeah. Or close. We’re 15,000. No, 14,000 away. It’s really exciting. 

Nancy: So close. 

Mindy: I know. Thank You. 

Nancy: And it, you know, I, I thought about this the other day because I remember in your older videos you would say, I’m a woman on the mission to get a million people fasting and with a million people on your channel, I mean, and with the how your books have sold, like you’ve well surpassed the million people fasting, I think. 

Mindy: You know what’s funny is that there was a point, this was before the book even came out that I was like, I think I need to stop saying that. 

Nancy: Right. 

Mindy: Because I think we hit it and we’ve had to date 63 million views on all the videos and we’ve sold a half a million copies between all the different types of ways you can consume Fast Like a Girl. So yeah, which is really cool. I mean, that’s like a million lives change, which is really neat. 

Nancy: It is, it is.  So yeah, everyone listening, do yourself a favor, dive into all of Mindy’s goodies. And Mindy, what a pleasure. I have been looking forward to this conversation and looking forward to, you know, sharing you my podcast listeners and sharing you with the world. So, yay. I love you so much. 

Mindy: So sweet. You’re so sweet. And I really appreciate it. And you know, I think the one thing that I, I know I’ve said to you before, which is when you make that kind of change in your life, you deserve the credit. So I, I continue to say like, I’m not here to be a guru. I’m here to walk this path with millions of women. And once you get that result, don’t give me the credit. Don’t give the, you know, anything, the credit other than you. And I really encourage women, like when they get this fasting result, to look themself in the mirror and to be like, I did that. 

Nancy: Yes. 

Mindy: For myself. And, and so I appreciate your kind words, but I also am very clear that this is a collaboration project amongst all women and we’re all stepping into this empowered state. So thank you for the opportunity to share what is lighting me up. 

Nancy: Yay. Alright, thanks Mindy. And for everyone listening, we’ll be back again next time. 

Thanks so much for joining me today. I invite you to head on over to nancylevin.com to check out all the goodies I have there for you. And if you’ve enjoyed this episode, please subscribe, leave a rating and a review. I’ll meet you back here next week.