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TMHS 698: The #1 Way To Activate Fat Loss & The Key Metabolic Difference Between Men & Women – With Dr. Mindy Pelz

There are a variety of approaches to fasting, whether it be for weight loss, mental clarity, or for decreased inflammation. But like many other dieting strategies, these frameworks often leave little room for bio-individuality. Finding a health and nutrition approach that works for you requires considering your personality, preferences, routines, and personal health needs.

Our guest, Dr. Mindy Pelz, is a fasting and hormone expert who is passionate about helping empower folks to take control of their health. Specifically, she is on a mission to educate women about their bodies and how to sync fasting with their hormones for optimal results. Today, she’s on The Model Health Show to share how fasting can aid in fat loss and enhanced brain function, and the specifics behind fasting for women.

You’re going to learn about how the human metabolism works, and why fasting is a powerful tool for optimizing your body’s natural functions. We’re going to discuss how external factors like stress can block weight loss, how fasting impacts hormones, and how your metabolic health affects every aspect of your life. If you’ve ever considered incorporating fasting into your routine, these tips are going to help you take it to the next level. So listen in and enjoy this interview with Dr. Mindy Pelz!

In this episode you’ll discover:

  • Why the human metabolism works like a hybrid car.
  • What ketones are and what they do in the body.
  • How fasting can supercharge your brain.
  • The history of fasting in religious and spiritual contexts.
  • Why fasting is a dopamine reset.
  • The importance of being metabolically healthy.
  • A biomarker you can use to measure your metabolic health on a yearly basis.
  • Why calorie restriction diets don’t work long-term.
  • How fasting promotes cellular healing.
  • Why chronic cortisol surges can make you overweight.
  • The relationship between ketones and GABA.
  • What you need to know about obesogens.
  • How fasting impacts female hormones.
  • The relationship between progesterone and glucose.
  • How women can fast in accordance with their cycle.

Items mentioned in this episode include:

Thank you so much for checking out this episode of The Model Health Show. If you haven’t done so already, please take a minute and leave a quick rating and review of the show on Apple Podcast by clicking on the link below. It will help us to keep delivering life-changing information for you every week!


Shawn Stevenson: Welcome to The Model Health Show. This is fitness and nutrition expert, Shawn Stevenson, and I'm so grateful for you tuning in with me today. It's nearly impossible to burn significant amounts of fat without making this one key switch to your metabolism. On today's episode, Dr. Mindy Pelz is going to fill you in on what this one key switch is, and it might spark an aha moment that changes your life forever. And before we get into this interview, I want to tell you about one of the key enzymes that becomes more active when the process of fat loss is taking place.


We want to target fat, we talk about fat loss, but we don't really understand how the process happens. With fat storage, we have the interaction of insulin, for example, coming along and inciting the cell to open its door to add in some of the contents that are roaming around in our blood stream, and we need to be thankful obviously for insulin being able to do its job, but we also want to be able to unlock that cell to let the content out so they can get burned for fuel potentially. Now, I'm saying potentially because our latest data is revealing that about 70% of the fat that is released from our fat cells, a process called lipolysis, about 70% of that fat is re-absorbed somewhere else.


Alright. So, it's not actually getting "burned" until it's delivered to the mitochondria, and there's a process called cellular respiration, a process called beta-oxidation. Alright, there's so many amazing things that the human body is able to do, but first and foremost, the priority for our cellular function is survival, right? It's all going to be based on what our bodies, our cells perceive we need in order to survive, in order to elicit optimal function. And so, it's not a bad thing that things are getting re-absorbed. It's just part of the process, but we want to, of course, knock over that first domino. We can't start the process of fat loss without lipolysis, and a key enzyme that insights our fat cells to release their contents is called hormone-sensitive lipase or HSL.


Now HSL is going to be turned on through the metabolic switchover that Dr. Pelz is going to share with you. And it just happens automatically once we do this particular thing. Now we've also recently discovered that there are some things nutritionally that we can actually take that we can enjoy, that we can sip on that can incite the activity of hormone-sensitive lipase as well.


According to a study published in the Journal of PHYTONutrient Research, this remarkable tea-storied, long storied tea that's been utilized for centuries, it's called pu-erh, is one of the rare nutrient sources that has a direct, significant influence on this enzyme that unlocks our fat cells so that the contents can be used for fuel. Again, it's called hormone-sensitive lipase. Now what if we just happen to be talking about the subject of fasting and intermittent fasting that's become so popular today in some circles? Now society-wide, we still have a lot of work to do to provide adequate education around these subjects, but if we're going to be utilizing something like intermittent fasting, we want to make sure that we're retaining our valuable muscle tissue and utilizing stored body fat for energy. And this is where a teacher like Dr. Mindy Pelz can come in to really guide us on the most practical ways to go about that. But interestingly enough, pu-erh is an effective adjunct to intermittent fasting because of its ability to support fat loss while protecting our valuable muscle tissue as documented in a recent study featured in Clinical Interventions in Aging plus to top it all off, the research has found that pu-erh is proven to enhance our body's capacity to scavenge free radicals and eliminate cellular waste products.


Alright. This is an incredible tea rich in microbiome support of nutrients and polyphenols, and there's only one place that has the highest integrity that you should be getting your pu-erh from, and it's a fermented pu-erh that uses a patented cold extraction technology to really retain these bioactive compounds and it's wild harvested. It's beyond organic. It's wild harvested making it even more concentrated in the polyphenols that get the benefits that we've been talking about, plus it's triple toxin screened for the highest level of purity. I'm talking about the pu-erh from Pique Life. Go to, that's P-I-Q-U-E And you're going to get 10% off storewide. They have 20 delicious award-winning teas. You get 10% off storewide, but right now, you can get access to one of their pu-erh bundles and get hooked up with up to 15% off plus free shipping plus a free quiver with 12 tea samples in it, alright? They are hooking you up. Again, go to, that's P-I-Q-U-E And now let's get to the Apple Podcast review of the week.


ITUNES REVIEW: Another five-star review titled “most understandable comprehensive research-based health information” by Jams 83. "The Model Health Show earns its five-star rating for many reasons. The format is user-friendly and well-organized. We admire the variety of guest he hosts with a broad range of topics. In addition to the superior guest and superb post, The Model Health Show site offers a summary of all podcasts, the list of available products that were referenced in the podcast as well as the transcripts for each podcast. The Model Health Show is an exceptional program."


Shawn Stevenson: I felt that. That's so incredible. Thank you so much for sharing that review over on Apple Podcast. It truly means the world to me, and if you get to do so, please whatever platform that you're listening on, leave a review for The Model Health Show. If you can leave a review or rate the show, it really does mean a lot. And on that note, let's get to our special guest and topic of the day. Dr. Mindy Pelz is a best-selling author and renowned holistic health expert. Dr. Pelz has made it a mission to empower everyday folks with health information to transform their bodies and their lives. Some of her high-profile clients include entertainers like LeAnn Rimes, former race car superstar, Danica Patrick and actress, Kat Graham. She's worked with Olympic athletes, Academy Award-winning actors. The list goes on and on, but again, her primary goal is to empower everyday folks to make positive choices with their health and wellness. Dr. Mindy's podcast, The Resetter Podcast, is frequently ranked as one of the top 50 podcasts in the US. She's been featured on the TV show "Extra", "The Doctors", magazines like Parade and Muscle & Fitness, and now she's here on The Model Health Show to share her incredible insights. Let's dive in this conversation with the amazing Dr. Mindy Pelz. Good to see you. Thank you for coming to hang out with us.


Dr. Mindy Pelz: Oh, thank you for having me. I'm really excited for this.


Shawn Stevenson: Awesome.


Dr. Mindy Pelz: This is going to be deep.


Shawn Stevenson: Deep. Yes, keywords. Before we got started, we already get it very deep, but I want to start off by talking about a wonderful analogy that you gave in your book connecting the human body to a hybrid car in many ways, and it made complete sense when you shared that analogy. What did you mean by that?


Dr. Mindy Pelz: Yeah, you know what has been so fascinating to me in just researching fasting and watching the application of it is that I don't know why it's taken us till 2023 to realize that we have two metabolisms, and one of them we activate when we eat, and one of them we activate when we don't eat. And it's just like a hybrid car. You've got the electrical piece and you have the gas piece, and our human body is like that. But you think about this like we have been debating nutrition and what's the best diet for the human. And it's taken us till this moment to go, and there's another metabolism we need to pay attention to. We can't just focus on nutrition. We have to be able to switch between sugar burner, fat burner just like a hybrid car.


Shawn Stevenson: And also, of course, there's a different fuel essentially being used when we're going from one modality of consumption to not consuming. Can you talk a little bit about that as well?


Dr. Mindy Pelz: Yeah, so you have to go about eight hours without food for your body to make this switch. So, when we eat, we know our blood sugar goes up, glucose will go up and then glucose starts to come down. And eight hours after it starts to go down, it will make this switch over into fat burning, and we get a whole another actual fuel source. It's called a ketone, and the ketone now actually goes up into the brain, super charges the brain, gives you more energy, super charges your mitochondria. And all of a sudden, you're now in this limitless hyper-speed sort of feeling, and the only way that the body can make a ketone is by burning fat. So, when you stop and you think about that, you're like, wait. Okay, when I eat, I'm burning sugar. And when I fast, I'm burning fat. And the brain... If we just look at the different body parts, the brain, it requires 50% sugar or what we call glucose, and 50% ketones. So, if you are never putting yourself in this fat-burning state, and never making ketones, you're depriving your brain of 50% of its fuel source.


The more I talk about it, the more I'm like, why isn't everybody fasting? Why are we not tapping into this fuel source because not only can we lose weight and stay in the shape we want to stay in, but we can get this byproduct, this ketone that can really supercharge our brain.


Shawn Stevenson: Yeah.


Dr. Mindy Pelz: It's a beautiful, beautiful mechanism.


Shawn Stevenson: And it's built in.


Dr. Mindy Pelz: Yeah, yeah.


Shawn Stevenson: That's so powerful, and I think it just fits into the model of our society today of why we're not doing it. We are really inundated or programmed from a very early age to be constantly consuming. In my conventional nutrition classes in college, for example, we're forced-fed this idea... You see the puns here?


Dr. Mindy Pelz: Yeah.


Shawn Stevenson: We were force-fed this idea that your food is your energy. You need to keep eating your calories. They're energy. Calories are energy, calories are energy. And so, if you want to have more energy, you need to eat something. If you're feeling a bit low in the afternoon, eat something, eat a snack, right? It's the solution for everything. And also, of course, food is a wonderful part of our reality.


Dr. Mindy Pelz: Of course.


Shawn Stevenson: And it's also, again, we're conditioned to be constantly consuming. Food is associated with just about anything that you can name, right? Graduation, food. Date, food. Sporting event, food. Everything is related to food. And to be able to separate the two, the experiences of life from food is nearly impossible in our culture today, and then to bring up the fact of having a time when you're not eating purposefully or intentionally, it's very counterculture unfortunately, but like you said, throughout society, throughout our history, throughout our evolution, humans have been doing this. And I think it was prior to us getting started where you were talking about all of these different religious text from a variety of different religions purposefully implementing some kind of fasting.


Dr. Mindy Pelz: Yeah.


Shawn Stevenson: Let's talk about that. Why is that?


Dr. Mindy Pelz: Yeah. Well, that's the whole spiritual side of fasting, and actually, it's interesting you bring this up because I just had a conversation with a pastor over the weekend, and we were talking about why Jesus fasted. And he said, and these were his words, that Jesus fasted to prepare his body for the difficulties that he knew were coming down the pipeline for him.


And the way I translated that was that when we put ourself in this fasted state, yes, it can be hard, but your body will build itself stronger. So, it's not just from a physical level, but it's from a spiritual level. And so, what we've seen in the hundreds of thousands, millions of people now that we've watched go into these longer fast is that there is a difficult moment and you learn to become more resilient, you learn to find different parts of yourself that you didn't even know were there. But then if you stay in that fast long enough, there is incredible spiritual insight that you will get, and the analogy that I always use is, my daughter is 23 years old, and when she went through a really difficult time during COVID and with being a college student, and the pandemic was really tough, and we were really worried about her, and I couldn't quite connect to her, I couldn't get... Find her heart and my husband and I were debating, do we need to bring her home from college? We knew something was off. And so, I fasted, and I just decided I was going to search for the answer in a fasted state. And on the fifth day of the fast, I had this insight.


She's going to be okay; she's going to be okay. And a week later, she called and asked if she could come home. And I think when you look at why all these religions go into this fasted state, it is not only quieting the mind so you can hear insight that will perhaps bring you peace, but it's also getting over that difficult, hard moment where you find new parts of your personality and new parts of your thinking. You can't get that with eating. I don't even think you can get that with pushing your body physically, maybe on a climbing up a tall mountain or some kind of physical endeavor. But there's a real inner journey that can happen when you fast that I haven't seen with anything else.


Shawn Stevenson: Yeah, it's kind of clearing a lot of the static off the line.


Dr. Mindy Pelz: Yes.


Shawn Stevenson: Right. And if you think about another framework, which is something like Ramadan, for example, which would be akin more to like an intermittent fast.


Dr. Mindy Pelz: Yes. Yeah. Or a dry fast actually. We have a lot of great research from Ramadan around what dry fasting can do.


Shawn Stevenson: Can you articulate that a little bit more?


Dr. Mindy Pelz: Yeah, and I didn't write about dry fasting in "Fast Like a Girl" because it gets abused. But Ramadan is no food, no water. So that's what a dry fast is, is you're not even drinking water. And they do it for sunup to sundown, so we have about a 12-hour period where we can see what is happening and it's done obviously over 30 days, what is happening to the body in this dry fasted state. It's pretty profound. BDNF is a big piece that we see higher levels of this brain fertilizer that can happen in a dry fast, and you also... We have some great studies about the weight loss when you go dry fasting 12 hours every single day for 30 days. Some of the greatest research ever done on women has been done around Ramadan, because there's such a long history of it, and they're doing it for 30 days. And then once we started to study that, we started to see more and more of the benefits of all kinds of fasting, but that's what they brought us, was dry fasting.


Shawn Stevenson: Right, right. Again, it's been done for so long.


Dr. Mindy Pelz: Yeah.


Shawn Stevenson: And there's something I want to circle back to that you said earlier that's so profound. If you think about, again, if we're constantly consuming, we're not really getting a chance to shift over into this other metabolism, right, so our body can actually utilize stored energy, stored fat. If we're constantly consuming and we think in our culture, the way to get to that fat-burning opportunity is to burn off more calories, so go and work out more, sweat it out, whatever. But again, it's kind of like you're trying to outrun a highly caffeinated cheetah. It's like you can't really... There's a saying, of course that you can't out-train a bad diet, but you can't out-train constant consumption.


Dr. Mindy Pelz: Yeah. That's so well said. Yeah, there's so many places you can go with this overconsumption society that we're living in, and it's not just overconsumption of food, but it's overconsumption of information. And so, we are becoming dopamine saturated and then we go searching for the next dopamine hit and the next dopamine hit. So, one of the interesting things that we know about fasting is that it is a dopamine reset, and depending on how long you go in the book, I talk about a 48-hour fast, we can actually see dopamine receptor sites, new ones emerge. But it is when you rest from food, you start to see that all these addictions, whether it's I need to eat because I'm not feeling well, or I need to check my phone because maybe somebody liked a post that I put, there's all... Or maybe I'm going to sit on my couch and just have DoorDash deliver me food. All of that is an overconsumption in my book. And so, when you go into a fasted state, it's like taking the noise of the world and you're just going in and getting to know yourself. And the beautiful thing about fasting is only you can do it.


So, I have millions of people that leave me comments about how my teachings has helped them, and all I do is sit back and go, "I just gave you the information. You had to step in and do it." And there's a self-pride that comes with that, but we've got to back away from overconsumption of everything to get that peaceful internal connection to ourselves.


Shawn Stevenson: This is so good. So, before we got started, you also mentioned Michael Beckwith.


Dr. Mindy Pelz: Yeah.


Shawn Stevenson: And he was sitting in this chair that you're sitting in right now and he was talking about mind fasting, right?


Dr. Mindy Pelz: Yeah.


Shawn Stevenson: And you just gave another great analogy, which is we're overfed or overconsuming information...


Dr. Mindy Pelz: We absolutely...


Shawn Stevenson: By constantly bringing this stuff in and we never get a chance to really metabolize things to be able to eliminate... Just like with our digestive system, to be able to eliminate those things that are not necessary to metabolize, assimilate what's fitting for us, and to let go of what's not. We're basically becoming mentally constipated in a sense.


Dr. Mindy Pelz: That's a great way to say it.


Shawn Stevenson: Right?


Dr. Mindy Pelz: Yeah.


Shawn Stevenson: So yeah.


Dr. Mindy Pelz: Yeah. And as an author, I don't know if you go through this process, but I'm in the process of writing my next book and I'm finding that I'm putting the phone down more. I'm stopping the constant influx of information 'cause I need to just sit with the information that's moving through me. And if we're always putting it in, there's no room for it for our brain to just let it sort of pan out in our own mind and let ourselves daydream and let ourselves just sort of open up our thoughts. And this is what I love about fasting, is when you take food out of the equation, in the beginning the mind is squawking at you. It will tell you, and you'll start to see your relationship to food really, really quickly. And you start to see those thoughts that no longer serve you, they come to the surface and you're... They're there for you to either release or to work through, but you can't get that if you're constantly putting food in your mouth. It's like you're constantly giving yourself a dopamine hit and you almost don't know yourself. And fasting is a door in to understanding what's holding you back, what thoughts you need to overcome, how resilient you are. And then there's this piece that comes over and a knowing you get to just see yourself from a whole new angle. It's incredible. Each time I talk about it, I'm like, why is not... Why is the world not doing this?


Shawn Stevenson: Yeah. Just look at the results. Look at our state of health and mental health in our society today is because we're not doing these things that in many ways... We also talked about Bruce Lipton. We talked about so much before we got started. We talked about Bruce Lipton as well. And I would believe that our genes expect us to do these things. Like our genes are really primed for that. You also mentioned this in the book as well, our thrifty genes, right, and just kind of how we evolved. Our genes have not changed dramatically in the last 10,000 plus years.


Dr. Mindy Pelz: Nope.


Shawn Stevenson: But yet what we are fed, another idea that we're force-fed which is crazy this is happening. Just even recently, it's been a shift back to obesity is caused primarily by your genetics.


Dr. Mindy Pelz: Right.


Shawn Stevenson: Right. You saw that stuff, 60 Minutes report and all that stuff. It's just... It's so unfortunate.


Dr. Mindy Pelz: Yeah. I have so much to say on...


Shawn Stevenson: Say it.


Dr. Mindy Pelz: Where we're going with obesity and here's... I'm going to kindly say this, that we can't normalize obesity, we can't. Just because more people are becoming obese, that doesn't mean that that's the path that humans are supposed to go. Now I will tell... What I say is that if you are... Look in the mirror, you're carrying extra weight and you love your body, you are not saying mean things to yourself when you look in the mirror and your blood work shows me that your hemoglobin A1C, your glucose, your insulin, your CRP, all your metabolic markers are okay, then I don't care how much weight you're carrying, but that's not happening. And so we're normalizing obesity. Meanwhile, people are not feeling good in their own skin.


And we have this metabolic mess that the world is in that is not only contributing to all of our healthcare expended increases, but we could take it down to COVID and the immune system. You got to have your metabolic balance in order in order for your immune system to be up, in order for your brain to function right, in order for you to stay off medications. Metabolic health is at the core of everything we need to do as humans to prevent disease, to stop the acceleration of this chronic disease issue that we've got in our country. So, I'm not a fan of normalizing obesity as... And I know that's not... Like I want to be compassionate to humans that I'm not saying everybody needs to be a certain number on the scale, but we do have a responsibility to try to be the best version of ourselves metabolically that we can in order to stay out of the disease care system.


Shawn Stevenson: Yeah. It's not just hearsay or theory. This is putting our bodies into a very dangerous state...


Dr. Mindy Pelz: That's right.


Shawn Stevenson: When we're venturing into being significantly overweight or obese. It's a primary causative agent for nine of the 10 leading causes of death in the United States. And there's even a strong connection to the 10th one as well, which is accidents. I just shared recently on an episode of the show, and we'll put one of the studies up for folks, but even being in a car accident, for example, folks that are in that obese BMI range have like 60% higher risk of severe injuries or severe outcomes even in the context of having an automobile accident. And it's because of how our immune system is responding.


Dr. Mindy Pelz: That's so often.


Shawn Stevenson: And so, when we are in this kind of already chronic state of inflammation, our immune system is just in a tizzy because these fat cells are sending out a false distress signal essentially that we're carrying an infection constantly. This is not okay. It's not safe. It's not a safe state to be in.


Dr. Mindy Pelz: No.


Shawn Stevenson: Now we're saying the same thing again here. This is not about all of us fitting into some silly cookie cutter. Like you're supposed to have some kind of body type or whatever.


Dr. Mindy Pelz: Exactly.


Shawn Stevenson: It's not about that. It's about us being healthy. And we know, we know what that means. We know what it's like when a family member or ourselves are venturing into obesity. We know we're not in a state where we're feeling good, tending to not feel good about ourselves, but also dramatically increasing the risk of things going wrong, whether it's with our heart health, whether it's with diabetes, vision loss. The list goes on and on and on. And so, what we want is to create a condition or culture where health is normalized.


Dr. Mindy Pelz: That's right.


Shawn Stevenson: Right now, we're living in a culture where just within the next five years here now, we are looking at 50% obesity rate in the United States. That's insane.


Dr. Mindy Pelz: Right.


Shawn Stevenson: But it's genes that's causing it, right? That's the framework that we're going back to again, which is so unfortunate because if it was a genetic issue, this would've happened a long time ago because our genes don't change like that fast. What's changed is our environment...


Dr. Mindy Pelz: That's right.


Shawn Stevenson: In the last 40, 50 years. It's not our genes.


Dr. Mindy Pelz: Yeah, yeah. And so well said. And that is... I think you bring up such a valid point that we as a culture, we have to just stop for a moment and say, the goal is not to all look... Fit into our skinny genes. That's not the goal. But the goal is to be metabolically healthy. And I don't know. I think genetically we all... Our metabolic health will have a different number on the scale. And so, we got to get away from the scale, which is why I love glucose monitors and I love the lab work, yearly lab work. Like hemoglobin A1C is a phenomenal thing to look out on a yearly basis. If your hemoglobin A1C is over 5, what that means is your red blood cells are gooked up with glucose molecules like gum on the outside of that red blood cell.


And what that red blood cell's purpose is doing to your whole body is it's delivering oxygen to your brain, to your organs, to every part of your body. So, if it's gummed up with glucose and sugar, that's a process called glycation, then it can't get oxygen to certain parts of your body, which means those parts are going to start to decay. So if we just took hemoglobin A1C and use that as our measurement of health, we would totally change the direction that humans are going. But instead, we're using the scale, we're normalizing higher numbers. I mean, I can even say when I go into stores to buy clothes now, the size I used to be actually now is completely different because all of the clothes is getting bigger and bigger and bigger and we're changing just the size alone to fit this obesity issue that's happening. And it's... At so many levels, we need to shake this up and come back to some normalcy around metabolic health.


Shawn Stevenson: Yeah. I feel that whenever a problem is presented, there's a solution that's like it's two sides of the same coin. And so having platforms like this and what you've created as well at the same time, there's like this grow... This surge, this growing number of people who are connecting with this kind of information, who are becoming more empowered, who are transforming their health, looking out for their family in a different way and uplifting their communities, right? So, although things look a little bit bleak, there's also so much good happening at the same time as well. And just to pivot back really quickly with this tie-in with, again, 10 leading cause of death in the United States, Alzheimer's. We've got obviously heart disease is the champion pretty much every year for many years.


Shawn Stevenson: Cancer, I've got a family member who was recently diagnosed with an endometrial cancer and being obese, there's a seven times higher risk of endometrial cancer.


Dr. Mindy Pelz: Wow.


Shawn Stevenson: And she's been obese for decades, right? And it is probably the most connected as far as all the different types of cancer, which there's two times higher risk of breast cancer, two to three times. The list goes on and on. But in particular for that form of cancer, it's so tied to obesity. But yet when I talk with her physician and I ask, "So what do you think the cause is of this cancer?" He's like, "Well, we don't really know. It's probably genetics." This didn't even... He didn't do a gene panel.


Dr. Mindy Pelz: I was just going to say.


Shawn Stevenson: He didn't look at her genetics. He just said it, right? He didn't talk about the fact that she's been obese for decades, he didn't talk about the fact that she's been eating processed foods and soda, like drinking soda like it's water for decades. And she's been smoking since she was 12 years old, so decades. He didn't talk about any of that stuff or the trauma that she's gone through in her life again and again and again. And it's so unfortunate because again, we're in these positions of power to influence in a way that's truly empowering and efficacious. But we also have to understand that our physicians are not trying oftentimes to do harm. But we have to be more mindful of the words that we're using and also really being truly evidence-based, and not just throwing out these cookie cutter things. And so, with that said, I want to talk about some of the cookie cutter things you call out in your book. You talk about the failed five. So, these different... When we're wanting to get healthy, we're wanting to get our weight under control. These are the things we tend to turn to, but again, you call them the failed five. So, let's go through some of these. Number one is calorie restriction diets.


Dr. Mindy Pelz: Yeah, calorie restriction. Ah, my favorite one to go after. I think the easiest way to understand calorie in calorie out is that what we've been doing in the weight loss movement is we've been trying to bring our calories down and exercise more. So, we have more of a calorie output and less of a calorie input. And what that does is it changes your set points. So, the example that I use is if you are eating 1000 calories every single day and you are exercising 500, then all of a sudden, and that's pretty low, but you’re out... Your set point is the delta of 500 calories. In order to stay at the weight, you want, you have to constantly every day make sure that you stay at 1000 calories coming in and that you output 500 in order to keep your weight where you want it to be. And it's called a set point. Jason Fung was the first one in obesity code that brought that to our attention. That this is why diets don't work. You go on, you restrict your calories, you change your set point, and then you go on vacation and now your set point is at 2000 calories. You're not working out; you're eating more and you gain weight. So we... The calorie in calorie out doesn't work. Weight loss is a hormonal issue. It is not a calorie issue.


Shawn Stevenson: Poor food quality is another one of the failed five.


Dr. Mindy Pelz: Yeah. So, all of the diet foods out there are just full of toxins and fake food. The fake food issue in our country is beyond sad. Like we have to change the quality of food. The fact that I can't walk into a grocery store and know that the food I'm going to buy and eat is safe, that is completely... It should be of disturbing to all of us. And I'm sure you've seen like the FDA; the joke is that the F is silent in the FDA that they don't care about food and it's really true that they just let all these kinds of ingredients get put in there. But when you have a fake ingredient in your food, the human body doesn't know what to do with that. So, it stores it as fat, it pushes it to areas that it's going to store as fat. So, we've got to get back to better quality food.


Shawn Stevenson: Yeah. It's going back to that principle of not being able to metabolize certain things. And especially we're introducing something that our genes, our cells really have no association with through our evolution. And so, you're bringing in some random, synthetic ingredient and your body is just going to do what it can to keep you safe. It's going to tuck it away and try and figure it out later. Your liver is taking the brunt of this, and of course, the fat cells themselves really, again, kind of in some ways it's respectfully functioning as a glorified waste disposal can for a lot of things in particular... We'll put this study up for everybody to see as well. And if you... Of course, if you're watching on the YouTube version, if you're not watching on YouTube, come over to The Model Health Show YouTube channel. But this particular study found that when folks are losing weight, they're also releasing these toxins, these toxicants that are in really surprising numbers that the researchers were wondering like, is this safe to lose weight rapidly because of all the toxicants that are getting released from the fat cells if somebody's losing weight.


Dr. Mindy Pelz: So, I want to put out one thing 'cause this is... You said it so well, when we have extra weight on us and we look in the mirror and we say bad things to ourselves, we're like, "Oh, I don't like the way my hips are, my gut," whatever it is when we look in the mirror, what we're not saying is that the... Your body put those toxins in fat to save your life. So actually, the intelligence of the body is trying to save you. So instead of taking all these fake ingredients and putting it in your gut and putting it into your organs, the body is so smart. It says, "I'm going to store it around your hips, I'm going to put it in the back of your arm." For women, "I'm going to put it in your breasts." So, it's trying to push it into other areas and yet we look at ourselves in the mirror and we villainize that. But it's an incredible mechanism of the body to be able to handle what's going on in the quality of our food.


Shawn Stevenson: Exactly. Yeah.


Dr. Mindy Pelz: So, when we look at the mind shift that can happen, this is one thing I do with the women and men on our platform, is I try to get them to stop saying such harsh things to themselves around the extra weight they take and start to see that it was just a mechanism the body did to save itself.


Shawn Stevenson: Exactly.


Dr. Mindy Pelz: So now let's lovingly show the body, let's go back to good quality food and it'll start to release all of that.


Shawn Stevenson: Exactly. I love that. It's an adaptation.


Dr. Mindy Pelz: Yeah. It's an adaptation.


Shawn Stevenson: It's an adaptation for our bodies to function and keep you alive and function to the best of its capacity under unideal circumstances.


Dr. Mindy Pelz: That's right.


Shawn Stevenson: And that's the same thing with any disease label that we can put on things which no two people have the same obesity, no two people have the same diabetes, no two people have the same heart disease, but we tend to see these symptom clusters and we put a label on the thing. But it's really, even with diabetes, your body is altering the way that it's functioning with this constant glucose flood from the exposures that it's been dealing with. And so, it's shifting over things to keep you alive again under unideal circumstances. And actually, one of the things that you talk about in your book is how this is brought about by essentially the cells become deaf to insulin's cry or insulin's signal. And I thought that was a great analogy.


Dr. Mindy Pelz: Yeah. It's a lot like when you're trying to get your kids to do something, and you tell them over and over and over again. Eventually they don't hear you. And the cells are the same way when you're making insulin constantly six, seven times a day. I've seen this in so often where you'll see these glucose spikes when people put a continuous glucose monitor on, and it's like, these spikes go up and down six, eight times a day, and each time it goes up, there's a flood of insulin. And the more floods of insulin, the more the cells are like, "I can't take it." Talk about overwhelmed now. They're in this state of like, "No more. I can't pull any more in." So then again, the body is so intelligent. It has to store all that extra insulin, all that glucose that can't get into the cell. So, it starts pushing it to fat.


Shawn Stevenson: Right. And also... And here's our conventional approach to it. So, to use that analogy of the cells becoming deaf to the sound of insulin, it's sort of like going to a concert, or living at a concert right next to the speaker, and just over time like it's blasting the sound and so subtle sounds are no longer going to be easy to hear over time.


Dr. Mindy Pelz: Yeah.


Shawn Stevenson: Right? So, the subtle response of insulin. And so conventional medicine would say, let's blast it even louder so you can hear this, thus bringing in more insulin in the form of an injectable form of insulin, so that your cells can get the signal. It's just like, "Listen, I know that a loud sound caused this, but let's make it louder."


Dr. Mindy Pelz: That's right, that's right. Which again is why fasting's so great because what happens is all of a sudden you turn the sound off. And the cells can start to see, "Okay, wait, we are inflamed, we are congested with insulin. These receptor sites aren't open. I stored glucose and insulin somewhere else." It's like all of a sudden that pause moment lets the cellular healing start. And the concert analogy is brilliant, because if that music is constantly coming in, there's no way that you can even think of your own thoughts.


Shawn Stevenson: Right.


Dr. Mindy Pelz: The cells are the same way. They don't know how to heal themselves if we keep these insulin glucose spikes going all day long. At some point, they shut down and they don't know how to repair themselves. So, fasting gives them that pause like turning the music off. That was a really... I've never used that analogy before. I'm going to use it. That was great.


Shawn Stevenson: Awesome, awesome. Yeah. And of course, what is that music that's blasting too? You know what I mean? That goes back to the mind piece of this as well, not being able to hear what's going on internally. Instead, it's like blasting Ice Spice, or I don't know what people are listening to out here. But just blasting things that might not even be serving to you, right?


Dr. Mindy Pelz: That's right.


Shawn Stevenson: And shout-out to Ice Spice. No disrespect.


Got a quick break coming up. We'll be right back. There's a natural ebb and flow of our body temperature throughout the day. And through our evolution, there's a natural drop in our core body temperature at night to help us to facilitate sleep. Certain hormones are released, certain enzymatic processes for repair. Certain things change in our brain when our body temperature is going down in the evening in association with the nocturnal pattern of life itself here on Earth. When things start to get darker, our core body temperature goes down. It's how we evolve. Now today, we can throw a glorified monkey wrench into that natural process, and what the research indicates is that one of the primary things that's underlying insomnia is an inability for our body temperature to be regulated, specifically in the evening. We're seeing folks with chronic sleep issues having a much higher core body temperature at night.


This was highlighted by a study that was published in the American Journal of Physiology. Now a new study, with this in mind, was just conducted, and it included 32 participants and they were recruited into a three-week clinical trial to see if supporting thermal regulation with their bedding can help to improve their sleep quality. Now the researchers took subjective and objective data, monitoring their sleep with devices, to see the impact of their sleep conditions. And so the researchers utilized some bamboo lyocell sheets that support thermal regulation, that are anti-microbial, that are moisture wicking, and they found that by sleeping on these sheets, the study participants had a 1.5% improvement in their sleep efficiency. What does that mean? What does that equate to? That's equating to an additional 7.2 more minutes of restorative sleep per night.


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Now moving on, we've got the failed five, we've covered calorie restriction diets, poor food quality. The other one is spiking cortisol surges.


Dr. Mindy Pelz: Yeah, so this is a big one that I saw in all the people that poured on to my YouTube channel. I was teaching the principles of metabolic switching, showing people how to regulate blood sugar better, and pairing that with a fasting window so that they can be a better fat burner. And from the research, from my clinical experience, I know that metabolic switching in and out of sugar burner, fat burner will get people to lose weight. But there was this one little subset of people that were doing everything right and they were not getting the result. And so I went digging for why is that and every single one of them were living a high-stressed life. And this is another problem with the calorie in calorie out. It's so rigid that it spikes cortisol so high. Or the person who decides they're going to over-exercise, it's more cortisol spikes. When the body senses a constant influx of cortisol, it thinks it's running from a tiger. And when it's running from a tiger, it is not going to drop weight. I was just on a call with a woman yesterday. She actually a month ago told me that she was going to do...


She was on some kind of extreme workout where she wanted to do a 10K every day for 30 days. And she told me that that was her goal a month ago, and I was in admiration that she would take on such a big goal, but she said to me, "I'm hoping that this is going to help me drop weight." So, she starts training this way, and I get on the call with her yesterday, a month after she declared she's going to do this. She's upped her training, she's only eating one meal a day, and I can visibly see that she's gained weight. And she looks at me and she says, "It's not working. I'm gaining more weight." And I just looked at her and I said, "Here's what I want you to do. I want you to go back to eating three meals a day, and I want you to stop working out so much because you are constantly putting cortisol into the system. Your body thinks it's under threat. It doesn't feel safe, it's not going to lose weight." So, we can even take all this extreme good that we have identified as a health habit and we can overdo it, raising cortisol, making it so much harder to get a weight loss result.


Shawn Stevenson: This is another reason why I'm here with you right now. We talked a little bit about this before the show as well. But if we're going to be truly efficacious and effective in helping people, we have to be honest about the results. And you just said it. A certain percentage of people were not getting the results everybody else was getting. And so even though I elevated my teaching and design support personalizing things for the patients that I was working with, the same thing with exercise, I was still trying to monitor and tweak exercise and food.


Dr. Mindy Pelz: Right?


Shawn Stevenson: And it wasn't until I paid attention to their sleep and stress that everything changed. We started getting results across the board.


Dr. Mindy Pelz: Yeah.


Shawn Stevenson: And it's so unfortunate because part of the problem is people can be... You said these exact words, doing everything right, doing so much right, but yet not getting the results because of the chronic stress they're dealing with. And we don't really get that we could stress our way into poor health, we can stress our way into obesity, truly, because it changes the way that your metabolism is working.


Dr. Mindy Pelz: Yeah. You know what, the core of this is safety. The body has to identify that it's safe in order for everything you want to do with your health to work right. If the body feels that it's being attacked, it will start to go into a crisis mode. And we see this with thyroid problems. The thyroid will completely shut down when it feels like it's not safe. We see this with sex hormones. Like one of the big things, I saw with women that were doing so much fasting, they started losing their periods, and it was because cortisol was so high that progesterone couldn't really make her appearance, so you wouldn't shed the uterine lining to be able to have a period. Everything has to come back to the body has to feel safe and loved in order for all your health habits to work right. So, when we look at the person who is in this rigid diet place, who is overexercising, who is saying horrible things to themselves, who is constantly working on social media, everything we're seen in our culture right now, the body is not safe. And so, it's almost like we have to do less to get a better result because of the way the modern world is right now.


Shawn Stevenson: It's so counterculture to say that.


Dr. Mindy Pelz: It's so counterculture.


Shawn Stevenson: But it's the truth. Some of the most powerful things you can do for yourself is to do nothing.


Dr. Mindy Pelz: Yeah.


Shawn Stevenson: Right? Like ie. Getting some sleep. But we think we got to go and fight, we got to... And, of course, there is a facet in our reality of putting in work, yes, but we also need to recover. And we even know a certain mechanism why stress is doing this and why it can change even how your body is associating with calories. So, this goes back to the first one, with this, which is so... At this point, why are we talking about this calorie in calorie out model? It's so stupid.


Dr. Mindy Pelz: It's crazy.


Shawn Stevenson: It's antiquated. But researchers at Yale University... We'll put one more thing up for people to see, they discovered that... We know this. Everybody's been saying this the last few years. The vagus nerve is communicating data back and forth between the brain and the gut, but what they found was that the vagus nerve is also sending back and forth information about the amount of energy that we have stored in the body, nutrients, and based on your brain's assessment of your needs, it can change by lowering or increasing your body's absorption of the calories you're consuming. So, based on your brain's perception of what you need, it can literally decrease the amount of calories you're absorbing from the meal that you're eating, or increase it, right?


Dr. Mindy Pelz: That's crazy.


Shawn Stevenson: And so, what if you have neuroinflammation? Which Albert Einstein College of Medicine, these folks found that carrying excess body fat increases inflammation in the brain. Insulin resistance increases inflammation in the brain. And brain inflammation increases body fat and increases insulin resistance. Like it's this vicious circle.


Dr. Mindy Pelz: It's a vicious cycle. Yeah.


Shawn Stevenson: And so, what is the fastest way to remedy this situation? Step back.


Dr. Mindy Pelz: Yes.


Shawn Stevenson: Do nothing.


Dr. Mindy Pelz: Yeah.


Shawn Stevenson: And this is where your work comes in.


Dr. Mindy Pelz: Yeah, I was going to say, and that is at the root of what fasting is. It's an opportunity to fully pause and honor the wisdom inside the body that knows better than you know, knows better than your fitness trainer, better than your doctor. That wisdom is existing in all of your cells. But you're going to have to step away from food for a moment to access that wisdom. And it's like in this oversaturated world, it is so needed right now that we have these pauses so that the body and the brain can start to get to know itself, so the cells can start to tap into that wisdom. But we have no... This modern world keeps getting more complicated and there's more stressors.


And here's what's really interesting to me, and I just thought about this now, is one of the things that happens when ketones go up is GABA goes up. And so, GABA's the calming neurotransmitter. So, what a lot of people notice when they fast is they think they're going to get more and more stressed out as the hours go on, but they actually get calmer and calmer as ketones go on. Why would the body do that? It's because it's like a thank you to you and to your cells to say, "Okay, food hasn't come in. We're going to calm the system down, so we can take an evaluation here of what needs to be repaired."


Shawn Stevenson: Yeah, Oh, that's so powerful.


Dr. Mindy Pelz: We're so brilliant. And you didn't have to spend any money, you didn't have to do anything other than just calm for a moment, learn how to go into this fasted state, and now this incredible neurochemical reaction happens that you can't get from your cup of coffee, from your supplement, from your medication. You can only get it when you put yourself in a fasted state.


Shawn Stevenson: My mother-in-law is going to love this because she's... Like this was her aha moment while reading your book, is that the longer you fast, the easier it is to fast. You just kind of click in and you just have this clarity, you're not worried about food anymore, and you're okay. It's not even that you're okay. Things tend to... The vision, everything just seems to become more clear. I was going to use a volume analogy, but all of your senses. Like right now I'm having images of Spider Man. You have this superpower access, in a sense. All your senses become more heightened, and you become more aware. And I want to circle back actually. We'll talk about this in a moment because I want to finish this, but I want to talk about some of those specific benefits that we see when fasting. But just to close things out with the failed five, exposure... Number four is exposure to toxic ingredients, which you talked about a little bit already. Obesogens.


Dr. Mindy Pelz: Obesogens, yeah. I don't know if you know this from the books you've written, but on Amazon it'll tell you on the ebook, what the most highlighted sections were. And I've been blown away that one of the most highlighted sections in "Fast Like A Girl" is about obesogens. And I take that as indication that we don't understand, 'cause the reason you highlight something in a book is because you're like, "Wow, that is new information. I want to come back and revisit it." So the crazy thing about obesogens is it's in the plastic water bottles, it's in your phthalates and your colognes and your air fresheners, it's in pesticides as an obesogen.


Shawn Stevenson: Clothes.


Dr. Mindy Pelz: Clothes, microplastics in your clothes.


Shawn Stevenson: The list goes on.


Dr. Mindy Pelz: The off gassing of your new furniture.


Shawn Stevenson: Your carpets, your bedding.


Dr. Mindy Pelz: Yeah.


Shawn Stevenson: We can't get away from this stuff.


Dr. Mindy Pelz: No. And that part is the part that is like, shame on the chemical industry. We are literally killing humans right now because of all of these chemicals that are out there, and we don't even realize it. So, toxins, that's why I had to put it in the failed five. It was like, who would ever think that maybe that cologne you've been wearing for years and years and years is actually now caught up to you and is blocking receptor sites and affecting... Making you insulin resistant.


Shawn Stevenson: That Axe body spray...


Dr. Mindy Pelz: The Axe, yeah.


Shawn Stevenson: Is cutting off your ability to burn fat.


Dr. Mindy Pelz: Yep.


Shawn Stevenson: This Axe. Guys, I hope you got that. That's great. So, listen, again, but this is another great thing about your work, you circle it back to empowerment because we want to be aware that these things are happening, but we live in the world, and if we give our body's opportunity, we can adapt far better.


Dr. Mindy Pelz: Yes.


Shawn Stevenson: Again, be able to give our organs and our cells the opportunity to properly metabolize this stuff that we're going to be exposed to. And this isn't to say you can't have your smell good, whatever, but if you've got that plus the 20 other chemical complexes, not just singular chemicals, but with the body washes and the deodorants and all this stuff that are coming along with all these newly invented synthetic chemicals that are not tested by the letter, the letter guys, the letterman folks, the FDA.


But here's the thing, again, when it boils down to it, we have the opportunity to improve. So, the final one here with the failed five is one-size-fits-all approaches which we've been unpacking a little bit already.


Dr. Mindy Pelz: Yeah. It's such an important point because what do we do as a culture, especially as women, what we do is we watch a friend go on a diet and we're like, "Oh, that worked for you? Okay, I'm going to do that." Or I see it a lot in like heterosexual couples where they'll start to fast together and the husband because men can drop weight much quicker with fasting than women. And all of a sudden, the woman's like, "Wait a second, you're fasting 15 hours. You just lost 20 pounds and I've been doing the same fasting and I've only lost a pound." And then we turn on ourselves and we think it's our fault. We think we were... Something we're doing is wrong, but there's only one way to great health and it's your way.


And you're going to have to find that, which is not the easy answer. It's much easier for me to write a book saying, here's the cookie cutter formula on how you should lose weight. But that's not what "Fast Like a Girl" was. It was... It's a, "Here are your options. Here's what you're going to need to play with. Now go play with it and see what kind of result you get. But please get your head out of the diet your friend's doing or your husband's doing or what the commercials are saying, because you've got to find your rhythm." And I don't know where we thought there's a one-size-fits-all diet approach.


Shawn Stevenson: It's the marketing. And if you could, this is a good spot to dive in and talk about this, fasting like a girl. And what are some of the things to consider for women when it comes to fasting as opposed to men? Again, we tend to have this one-size-fits-all approach. This protocol, general protocol is going to tend to work better for most men consistently. Not a one-size-fits-all, but less tweaking, less things to pay attention to. What are some of the factors to consider for women?


Dr. Mindy Pelz: Yeah, I think the biggest difference between men and women that I'm trying to bring to the world is that men are really driven by one hormone, testosterone. And you all get pulses of testosterone in a 24-hour cycle. In fact, they believe like every 15 minutes you're getting a pulse of testosterone. Testosterone will go up to the brain and convert into estrogen. So, when we look at a man's body, all you've got to think about is, okay, let me make testosterone and all the other hormones will come into play. And when we look at fasting, it's 13 hours, 15 hours, you all can get an increase of about a 1300% increase in testosterone, 24 hours of a fast and we see a 2000 increase in testosterone in a man's body. It's very simple.


Women, we're not that way. So, we have three hormones and they're all made within the ovaries. So, we have to tend to all three of these hormones. Testosterone is one of them, obviously, estrogen and progesterone. But where fasting started to trip up a lot of women is that estrogen loves when you fast. Estrogen wants glucose to be lower, wants insulin to be down. When you go into the keto diet, when you go into a fasted state and you're trying to glorify estrogen and make her... Bring in more estrogen like menopausal women or perimenopausal women, fasting is amazing and it will really help that journey into beyond your 40s with perimenopause and menopause. But progesterone is completely the different, is the opposite. If you bring glucose too low, you won't make enough progesterone. And progesterone is what sheds that uterine lining and allows you to have a period.


Progesterone also stimulates GABA and keeps you calm. So what I noticed on my YouTube channel was there was a pattern with all these people doing one meal a day, which came out of Jason Fung's work, "The Obesity Code". He got the whole world fasting. They were losing tons of weight. But women were losing their hair, they were losing their periods, anxiety was going through the roof. And those were the women that were doing one meal a day over and over and over again never varying it, so they tanked their progesterone. And so, they lost their cycle. And now all of a sudden, their whole health was out of balance.


So, it's really progesterone that's the problem. And what has been so interesting to me with the book coming out is how many 20- and 30-year-olds right now don't have a period. And that should be of major concern to all of us. And largely it's because cortisol is going up. These women are in more calorie restrictions or bringing blood sugar down and progesterone's out. It can't show up. And now we've got anxiety through the roof, we've got cycles that are off, we've got a major health problem because of progesterone. That's the one that has to be different when we fast.


Shawn Stevenson: Wow. Now, again, I know that this is not going to be a specific across the board recommendation, but if we can just give a general for women who are experiencing a cycle still, and which again, all women are still, all of us, even men have cycles in some way.


Dr. Mindy Pelz: That's right. Yeah.


Shawn Stevenson: But we're just talking about a 28... We'll just say a 28-day menstrual cycle. So, during the phase, when does it change when we have the progesterone needing to start to rise? What adjustment would be made at that point with fasting?


Dr. Mindy Pelz: Yeah. So, the easiest way to look at this is it's the week before a woman has her period. So, about day 20. And here's what's so interesting is that what the brilliant body does is it actually makes you more insulin resistant the week before your period. Why would it make you more insulin resistant? It needs glucose to be higher. The other thing is every woman will tell you she craves more carbs the week before her period. Why? It's not undisciplined. It's because the body needs glucose to make progesterone. So, if there's anything a woman gathers from this conversation is make sure that you are bringing glucose up that week before your period and you should not be fasting the week before your period. Like end of story. That's the easiest way to understand that.


Shawn Stevenson: Okay. And for how long?


Dr. Mindy Pelz: Well, until they bleed. And then once the cycle starts over again, now you can go back to fasting. And in the book, I mapped out, I have something I call the fasting cycle. We actually have an app now where you can go on and put the day that your cycle is, and it'll tell you what your options are for fasting and food. But it's really day 20 till you bleed. Here's the interesting thing. Some women have a 24-day cycle, some women have a 28-day cycle, some women have a 34-day cycle. Once again, we're all different. So, you've got right as progesterone's coming in, day 20, around that moment, you're going to want to step out of fasting. You want to make sure you're eating enough carbohydrates.


Shawn Stevenson: For about a week?


Dr. Mindy Pelz: Yeah, for about a week. And like nature's carbs. I'm not saying sit on the couch with a box of pizza and a tub of ice cream. I'm saying get that carb to level up so glucose can go up so you can make this crucial hormone that you need.


Shawn Stevenson: Right. And if you've been intermittent fasting, say you're having your first meal at noon, for example, this would be a good time to have a breakfast.


Dr. Mindy Pelz: That's right.


Shawn Stevenson: Like a little bit earlier.


Dr. Mindy Pelz: That's right. Yeah. You have to have a breakfast, you've got to get off the keto diet, which became really, really popular. And then all of a sudden, the media grabbed a hold of that and said, well, women shouldn't be doing keto. And it was what they forgot to tell women was just don't do keto the week before your period because you need more glucose to be higher for progesterone's sake.


Shawn Stevenson: So, we're cross-training with your nutrition.


Dr. Mindy Pelz: That's right.


Shawn Stevenson: Cross-training paired with your cycle...


Dr. Mindy Pelz: That's right.


Shawn Stevenson: Which makes sense to honor what your body's doing and not honor this cookie cutter recommendation or format that you're "supposed to do if you want to get these results."


Dr. Mindy Pelz: That's right. And you can go so deep in just this concept around progesterone because what she wants is higher glucose, lower cortisol. So, she wants to make sure you're not only eating enough carbohydrates, not only are you not fasting long, but you shouldn't be exercising to the extreme either, you shouldn't be working to the extreme. Like I don't know if you know that Spain came up with a three-day menstrual leave and they said that women could take three days out of the month at any point in their menstrual cycle and just to rest and repair. And my brain went, oh, well, that should be the week before a woman's cycle because that's when we don't want cortisol high. There should be more rest during that week. So, once you understand this, it's like everything should change, your workouts, your social schedule, the prioritizing sleep. Like we as women are meant to slow down the week before our periods. And I know that sounds incredibly unfeminist, but that is how our body was designed, is to rest that week before.


Shawn Stevenson: This is so good. Just the past maybe two years, I've really finally... I've been with my wife for... I think we've been together maybe like 19 years now, something like that. And I'm just now really getting dialed in with her cycle and seeing the change. And of course, like her and I don't want to acknowledge that this is the thing, but literally in that period about a week before, she becomes more irritable, she becomes more sensitive. She's just crying at a commercial. Like, what is it, what's going on? And now so if we have a conflict, for example, that might arise, which there's a higher probability if you're not aware of this stuff, rather than me because Mr. Logic over here and looking for that, searching for a reason behind why this is happening versus like, oh, this is this time right now. It's not about logic. It's about how you're feeling right now. And you don't want to deal with this. You don't want to deal with this stress. Let me help make conditions... Let me be even more compassionate. I could do that for a week. I signed up for this to love unconditionally. But then it's just like a little bit more difficult for a week. Boo-hoo, right? But that's the thing that we do because we're not honoring each other. And especially me honoring her and just paying attention and giving her that space.


Dr. Mindy Pelz: She got it.


Shawn Stevenson: And when I do that, man, it benefits me so much. Like it comes back. But it's just, again, our cultures pulled us away from paying attention to ourselves and paying attention to each other.


Dr. Mindy Pelz: Yeah. So well said. So, in the book, I call that the nurture phase. And the reason I wanted to call it the nurture phase is because I wanted women to understand that that week before her period, she needs to first nurture herself. But what you just said and what I heard and what you said was that's the time to nurture your wife. And we are more irritable. And I think in this modern world, we're even more irritable because we're pushing through it. But if you look at the quality of progesterone that week before our cycle, we are meant to be more internal, and we're meant to slow down. And so, when in this modern world, we're not doing that, so irritability is so high. I had a dad come to me and this was last year, and he was just starting to understand the hormones that I was teaching. And he said, "I'm really having a struggle with my teenage daughter." And I said, "Do you know what her cycle is?" And he goes, "Oh, no. Should I know?" And I said, "Yeah, because if you have a teenage daughter who's just starting to... Her cycle's just starting to kick in and get this ebbs and flow to it, the worst time to deal with a conflict with her is the week before her period. She is going to completely shut down because she is not as stress resilient."


Now the flip side of that, the best time to handle a conflict with any woman is during ovulation because we've got estrogen at its peak. So, estrogen makes us very verbal, makes our mind very clear. We have testosterone at its peak between day 10 and day 15, which gives us motivation to actually work out a conflict with you. And we have a little bit of progesterone, so we're a little bit calmer. So, they're actually... Once you start to look at the cycle, you go, oh, a woman is best to handle a tough situation during ovulation. And then you need to give her rest and recovery and nurture the week before her cycle. And once you understand that your communication goes through the roof.


Shawn Stevenson: This is so awesome. Dr. Mindy Pelz, can you let everybody know what they can expect in "Fast Like a Girl" and also where they can get a copy?


Dr. Mindy Pelz: Yeah. So, the book was really split into several sections so they can expect the science behind six different fasts. I even tell men, like, the first section is really you can understand fasting hopefully at the deepest level possible. And there's some great chapters in there about what we're talking about right now, about hormones. So, for women that don't understand their hormones, you can see that. For men, they can see it. And then in the end, I really give an application of like you can... There's a 30-day fasting reset so you can kind of play with these principles. But otherwise, yeah, you can find me. Go to I put out new videos on YouTube all the time. So, you can go to my YouTube channel. I've got a podcast. I'm kind of everywhere now.


Shawn Stevenson: Awesome. And by the way, the icing on the cake for you being here, shout-out to Mama Thorpe, my videographer, Connor, his mom, huge fan of your work. And again, your YouTube channel is ridiculously valuable.


Dr. Mindy Pelz: Thank you.


Shawn Stevenson: So great resource for everybody. And pick up "Fast Like a Girl" anywhere that books are sold. And this is not... Again, this is not just for women, by the way. If you know a woman, you probably want to read this book, but also just the information. I was having aha moments throughout just reading through the book. But also giving the strategy, helping people to personalize things, that's the ultimate. That's when you crack the code. It's a personal code.


Dr. Mindy Pelz: That's right.


Shawn Stevenson: Your code is different.


Dr. Mindy Pelz: So well said.


Shawn Stevenson: And again, just thank you so much for the work that you're doing. It's just phenomenal. Thank you.


Dr. Mindy Pelz: Thank you. I loved this conversation. So, I appreciate you.


Shawn Stevenson: Awesome. I receive it. Dr. Mindy Pelz, everybody. This is the end of the age of cookie cutter. Unless you're making cookies, we need to stop using cookie cutter approaches to our health and fitness. Personalization is the wave of the future and the now. But it depends on if you're connected to it. And being a listener of The Model Health Show, you definitely are. And I appreciate you so much for tuning in. Please pop over and check out Dr. Mindy Pelz on social media. Follow her. She's incredibly insightful. And of course, pick up a copy of her book for yourself and for somebody that you care about. We've got some epic masterclasses and world-class guests coming your way very, very soon. So, make sure to stay tuned. Take care. Have an amazing day. And I'll talk with you soon.


And for more after the show, make sure to head over to That's where you can find all of the show notes, you can find transcriptions, videos for each episode. And if you've got a comment, you can leave me a comment there as well. And please make sure to head over to iTunes and leave us a rating to let everybody know that the show is awesome. And I appreciate that so much. And take care. I promise to keep giving you more powerful, empowering, great content to help you transform your life. Thanks for tuning in.


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