#58: Intermittent Fasting for Brain Health & Blood Sugar Balance with Marisa Moon

You may have heard about intermittent fasting and thought…whoa. Crazy diet trend. But IF has been shown to improve many markers of health – I’m talking mood, energy, brain health, you name it. In this episode Marissa Moon shares how IF gave her freedom from food obsession and drastically improved her ADHD symptoms.

In this episode you’ll hear about:

  • How the journey to good health and a positive body image can begin in many places
  • Benefits of IF on your mood, energy and everything not related to weight loss
  • How IF helps you skip out on being “hangry”, tips for starting and long-term success
  • Marisa’s free RESET manual – download it here

If you enjoyed the audio version, be sure to follow the She’s Got Power podcast on Apple or wherever you get your podcasts. Love what you hear? Please share with your friends and leave a review on Apple Podcasts so more women can finally overcome the health issues associated with chronic stress and burnout.

Freedom from food obsession

As we head into the new year. You know what? I am not one for lofty resolutions or any resolutions. It’s just not my thing. But I do realize that after the holidays it’s tempting, right? Our bodies especially may be feeling stressed, sleep deprived, bloated all outta sorts. And it’s so very appealing to start fresh or start over in January. So if that’s where you’re at, I think you’ll find today’s show very interesting. I invited my friend Marissa here onto the podcast to talk about intermittent fasting. So yes, there are weight loss benefits associated with intermittent fasting, but the reason that I’ve been mildly intermittent fasting for several years now, now, and I say mildly, because as she’ll talk about, there are different ways to go about it. And the reason that I do it, and the reason that Marisa got into it, you know, it has nothing to do with weight loss.

It’s more about brain health and her case ADHD and blood sugar balance and this freedom to live without obsessing over food. I know it sounds kind of weird, but it fits in beautifully with this season of the show, which is all about body image and getting away from the scale. Now that doesn’t mean, uh, we should just sit around eating candy canes all day, right? Not caring for ourselves for our mind and for our body. I have a tracking system to you monitor your body and your mind and your overall health using 10 easy metrics, none of which are weight related. So if you’re interested in taking a different approach to your health in the new year, you can download my free tracking system at she’s got power.com/howIfeel. And that’s what it’s all about, how you feel. And that goes for intermittent fasting too.

There are so many benefits that have nothing to do with the size or shape of your body. Now, I know it sounds a little out there and that word fasting is scary, but as Marisa and I talk about the journey to good health is like a Merry go round. There are lots of spots where you can hop on the ride and for one person it maybe exercise. Everybody’s got a friend like that. They really got into like Peloton or something. And now they’re all into their health and fitness. That was their way on for another person. It might be working on their thoughts and their inner. That might be the place where they begin. And for others, it’s food. Just keep an open mind and check this out.


Well, Hey there, thank you for being on the show today.

Marissa (03:00):

What’s up. It’s great to be here. I love doing interviews and I’ve actually loved listening to your health coaching podcast and you do so many great things in the community. So it’s cool to be here on the other side of your venture

Michelle (03:12):

Yeah. It’s cool to talk to you like practitioner to practitioner, cuz you’re doing some really cool stuff over there with intermittent back. And that’s something that I think it’s just a really hot buzzword right now. So I wanted to talk about today, but before we get into what that’s all about, cause this could be very new for some of our listeners this season on the show. I really want to approach, uh, and talk about this topic of body positivity. So especially as a coach, that’s helping people with intermittent fasting day in and day out. Can you just tell us a little bit about how you are thinking about the body positivity movement health at any size? I would just love to hear your thoughts.

The connection between physical and mental wellbeing

Marissa (03:51):

I think this is an important topic and I don’t know where to start, but the first thing that comes to mind is how do you feel physically? It’s really, really tough to do some of that inner work when you’re feeling like crap every day. And a lot of us think that that’s just life. That’s just how it is because we’re managing so many things and so many emotions and we’re women and we’re complicated and life is stressful and nobody sleeps, but you really deserve to feel good and have enough energy to get through the day and to have interest in new things, learning new things, improving yourself and just sort of taking on this growth mindset of how can I improve. And I wanna take an active role in that, but if you’re already struggling with physical ailments, low or mental, you know, mood disorders, I, I have a history of depression.

Marissa (04:45):

So I totally know what it’s like. And anxiety is so common now it’s like, we should just assume that everybody has it because that’s how common it’s. And I think that these are really like in the way of you taking steps towards loving yourself fully and treating yourself with love, which I think segues into, you know, eating better, being more active, improving your relationships, et cetera. So that’s why a lot of times when you start digging into this stuff, they go deep like really fast it’s because we, we gotta get that stuff out of the, to make you feel more, to believe in yourself, to feel like you’re worth it. And it starts differently for everyone. I, I can’t even say like, this is how I always do it. Cuz when I’m working with my clients, one on one, we’re usually seeing what is heaviest for them every day.

Marissa (05:41):

Like what is most chronic burden? Is it their chronic pain? Is it that they never have energy? Is it that, you know, they have stressful relationships or is it that they feel fat? You know, is that all they think about all the time, because then we’re gonna be talking about things that they can do that are going to be immediately rewarding so that they feel motivated to continue, you know, making those efforts because we’ve all tried and failed many, many times when it comes to improving or changing our body composition. And the last thing they need is another feeling of failure. Uh, so I, I guess I’ll kind of stop there and see what takes your

Michelle (06:17):

Interest. Yeah. Well it’s a good point. These things are interwoven. It’s hard. I used to say, cause I used to really be known for um, well not having a great attitude. Do you remember Daria? Do you remember that show? Yeah, I loved it. Yeah, that, that was me. You know, <laugh> high school, college. She, that was me. So once I changed the way I was taking care of myself, a lot of people were like, wow, you’re like a new person. And I’m like, oh yeah, no, I feel like a new person. And it’s really hard to be happy to enjoy your life. And I would say when your stomach is tied and not like, you’re not gonna be little miss sunshine. So like the physical and the emotional and the mental is all really tied up together. So what I hear you saying is if you’re unhappy with how you look and how you feel, I mean, one thing may be improving your outlook and your mindset, but also physical changes can help you improve your mindset.

Marissa (07:15):

Yeah. It’s like so many loops there and, and there’s a lot of experimentation that’s required, but for most people, so you, we may think like, oh, it’s because you’re not sleeping enough. But then, you know, you start to realize like you’re not sleeping well because you have a lot of, you know, toxicity or, you know, highly inflammatory diet or chronic pain, that’s unresolved or a, a partner who’s just, you know, making too much noise snoring while you’re trying to sleep. And I think that everybody can figure this out for themselves. If they are willing to just learn new things, like just try new things, meet new people and read new books and listen to new podcasts. And you start to expose yourself to viewpoints that are outside the patterns that you’re stuck in. And it really like opens up this like optimistic part of the brain that you may have been missing for a while. And you do feel stuck and you feel like, you know, you’re in this like sort of Groundhog day kind of life and you lost the zest you once had. And it can happen to any woman at any stage in their life because of all the incredible chapters that we go through, uh, good or bad, we, we go through a lot. We never stop to recognize that and reflect and say like, dang, I’m pretty awesome. <laugh>

The benefits of intermittent fasting outside of weight loss

Michelle (08:34):

Well, you’re right. There’s so many loops and there’s different ways to kind of get on the Merry ground towards feeling better. So today we’re gonna invite listeners to just hop on here for a little while, see what it feels like, just see how it sits with you. If we’re gonna talk about intermittent fasting, which is really cool, not just because of its impact on your physical, the size of your body, but the thing that really peaks my interest about it and why it’s been something I’ve been practicing to a small degree is the impact like you were saying on your mood, on your energy, on, on longevity, right? Like there’s so many benefits that actually have nothing to do with the size of your body. So let’s, can you just start there and like why this is even interesting to us regardless of the weight loss effect

Marissa (09:18):

Mm-hmm <affirmative> well, interestingly enough, everyone, the reason that I finally had the courage to try intermittent fasting, well, let me just back up a little bit to tell you how much I love food. I freaking love food. You guys like, I love cooking for fun. I went to culinary and I used to have a food blog and just food, food, food. Okay. I love food. I didn’t wanna skip meals. I was like, that’s bonkers. Not for me, even though I learned about all the science and it made sense. I didn’t think it was bad for you. I just thought that’s clearly not for me now. Fast forward age, 27 or so, I was diagnosed with ADHD and that made so much sense of my life before that. And I was like totally driven to learn everything I could about ADHD and how my brain expresses that.

May be helpful for women with ADHD

Marissa (10:06):

And I was getting frustrated because I had all these new business goals and I was going through career changes and a big move and I was gonna get married and all kinds of things were going on. And I was so disappointed in my inability to follow through on things. That mean something to me. Uh, going back to that depression. I mentioned, I had a lot of times unresolved ADHD and women manifest as depression. And so that’s explains why I’ve had such a strong history with it and why I get disappointed myself. And so finally I was like reading, you know, more about intermittent fasting because I was really into nutrition at this time. I had all these gut issues and digestive issues and I was resolving them with a paleo type template and I had to go gluten free to resolve my gut issues. And it was like instant.

Marissa (10:53):

So I really believed in this paleo ancestral prime animal, like diet and lifestyle philosophy and intermittent fasting just naturally came up because let’s think for a moment what life was like for humans long before modern civilization, you know, they didn’t know if they were gonna have enough food. Nobody had refrigerators that’s for sure there weren’t preservatives. So they couldn’t have a loaf of bread sitting on his shelf for a week or three weeks. And they, uh, didn’t know if they were gonna find food. They went through wars and droughts and famines and long winters. And so the bodies like evolved to have these incredible mechanisms to actually make us more resilient, stronger, faster, and smarter and happier when we are in a, you know, deprived state when it comes to sustenance. And it’s something that really intrigued me because I learned that it can do a lot for the brain.

Boosts energy and motivation

Marissa (11:48):

I already accidentally skipped breakfast plenty of times, because like I said, I have a D D and I’m sure lots of you have anyway, even without a D D because mornings can be hectic, especially if you are managing any other people in your house, little people or grown people. And if you didn’t plan your morning and you thought you could do it all, but then you woke up with a headache or something and you just end up rushing to get to work on time. And so I took very natural to intermittent fasting. I didn’t care about the rules. I didn’t care if I was doing it right. I was like, this makes sense. Let me just see how it rolls out. And I was, had so much more mental energy and willingness to explore and do things that were challenging to me than I did when I ate early in the day.

Frees your food obsession 

Marissa (12:31):

And besides that, the surprise was when I ate early in the day, food was constantly on my mind, the rest of the day. But if I waited to have that first meal, I really wasn’t thinking about food, which is just mind blowing, cuz you would think it’s the opposite. But it’s like as soon as I eat, even now that I intermittent fast to half way through my day, as soon as I eat, then I’m just thinking about food. Like the, of the day, I’ll kind of stop there for a minute and just say like for me, it was immediately rewarding for my mental energy. And I eventually went down the path to sort of research that and test my theory about what it can do for ADHD, because nobody’s talking about intermittent fasting for ADHD. I, I got my, my brain end with an EEG like brain mapping session while I was fasted.

Marissa (13:18):

And after I broke my fast and it was incredible to see the, the visual proof that my brain is like totally distracted, irritable, and lazy and depressed and all sorts of symptoms after I broke my fast and I, I ate a salad. You guys to break my fast, I ate a salad with tomatoes, avocado, SOC CRO, and sardines. Okay. Like in my book, it’s one of the healthiest meals you could have. And it was a homemade olive oil dressing and, and it wasn’t massive. And uh, it makes no sense that my brain would be, well, I don’t wanna say that, but it’s the is counterintuitive that my brain would be tired and wanna check out and not work and be more irritable anymore after a beautiful meal like that. But everybody’s different. And in my brain, it manifests as you know, I’m not gonna explain why, but it manifests as more ADHD and, and more distractability. So I’ll kind of take it a moment. Yeah. That was a lot sink in

The difference between intermittent fasting and calorie restriction

Michelle (14:18):

What I’m hearing first and foremost was this is not something you came to for weight loss. This is something you came to for a completely different reason. And, and this is, what’s so fascinating because if we’re thinking about a diet, a calorie restricted diet, and you correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think I’ve ever heard anything that says, if you’re on weight Watchers, your ADHD is going to improve. You’re going to have more focus. I mean, certainly losing weight will help one have more energy and perhaps more clarity of mind. Anyway, there’s so many different ways to go about that. And so anyway, here you are, you’ve tried a different way of eating. And could you just say something briefly about the difference between calorie restriction, which is what most diets are, calorie restriction and intermittent fasting, which I gotta say sounds a lot like calorie restriction mm-hmm

Marissa (15:09):

<affirmative> yeah. And definitely, uh, confused with that quite often and causes a ton of misconceptions to be made about intermittent fasting. Um, there are benefits to both like the science is proving that there are lots of benefits to calorie restriction, but it’s so nuanced and, and easily screwed up by the way, we’ve been low calorie dieting for so long and doing it wrong and eating six times a day in frequent snacks, every three hours that it has detrimental effects on the metabolism and your hunger hormones and your mood and appetite and, and energy levels and so many things. But the, the basics are that when you’re doing intermittent fasting, if means you are calorie restricting, just because you’re fasting, it’s different because during the fasted state, your body’s not metabolizing food and it’s not producing insulin, which it does. Even if you’re eating super low calorie foods, your body is breaking down that food and producing insulin in order to that.

Marissa (16:12):

But when you’re in a fasted state, even though you’re consuming less calories throughout the day, your body’s metabolizing your body fat. And so it uses that to make the calories that you need to meet your metabolism’s needs. And that’s why your metabolism doesn’t slow down when you’re fasting, but it, it can slow down on a low calorie diet because is you’re eating so frequently. And when insulin is in production that frequently you literally cannot burn body fat. And so your body compensates by lowering your metabolism so that you require less to do the same amount of work, but it makes you tired and makes you wanna eat more because the body’s like, you know, it’s in a frantic state, like please feed me. Whereas in a fastest state, you’re turning on these genes that actually help your body function more efficiently. And there’s a lot of nerdy science here, but I just wanna say that it’s totally different.

Marissa (17:04):

You’re not gonna slow down your metabolism, but you’re going to turn on all of these longevity pathways and make resources available to other areas that would other wise be compromised when you’re digesting. And that’s one of the big reasons that I put the pieces together for my brain, because I was like, man, I know I need more oxygen in my brain, more blood flow to my brain, more energy and resources so that my a D D is not messing me up. And I was like, but every time I eat, I’m demanding all of this energy and blood flow and resources to my digestive system. And that digestive system is like really complex. There’s like nine organs involved. You guys, it’s like a energy intensive process and I felt it. And I’m sure you felt it too. Have you ever eaten? And you wanna just chill, lean back, check out, take a longer break, not go back to work. Yeah. That’s happened to us before and you know, that’s not how it has to be. And for me, that’s why it made so much sense to try because I was like, all right, I need to make sure my brain has everything it needs and not burden it with another major job. Like digesting food. Yeah.

The journey to avoiding hanger

Michelle (18:10):

Okay. Well put cuz when we’re digesting all day long, always saying this to our, my clients, we’re digesting all day long, your body’s super busy with this one thing and it can’t take care of all these other function that it needs time for. Um, you mentioned how we can start to feel frantic when we don’t eat, like for snacking six times a day. And then some, you know, we get stuck in line somewhere, whatever we can’t make it to our next meal. We don’t have that granola bar and our purse. I think many of our listeners are familiar with the feeling of being hangry. And I have to say, this has been the, the single most beneficial part of learning to eat this way for me is that I no longer have those hang moments. Cuz those are wildly inconvenience. Mm-hmm <affirmative> right. So these days let’s start with like the more extreme and then you can back it up and, and share maybe how someone would get started like these days. Or if you have been used to this lifestyle for a while, how long are you able to go in a fast state before you’re feeling? I’m not, I know you don’t feel hungry, but before you start feeling a little hungry.

Marissa (19:16):

Okay. I don’t remember the last time I said I’m starving and I don’t really remember the last time I said I’m hungry. And if I say it, it’s just because I’m in the mood for food. It’s like, I just love food and food sounds great. Um, most of the time for people who have been regularly practicing intermittent fasting, if they are hungry, it is because they are mentally hungry. It is because they are bored or they’re not engaged enough in what they are doing or they’re dealing with emotions or they’ve had a really high stress there. They haven’t slept well enough. It’s usually not because you haven’t eaten enough food. It’s because of other reasons that you are feeling hungry or you’re confusing these feelings with physical hunger. Um, so I’ll just kind of say that, but that frantic state, that hangry state that I gotta eat, uh, is a terrible place to be.

Marissa (20:10):

And I’ve been there before and, and it’s, you don’t need to, to live like that. I was slave to my appetite, but I would just think about food all day, every single day. And even if I just ate a ginormous meal and I came over to your house and you’re like, Hey, we’re having dinner. You wanna sit down and eat some I’d be like, oh, I just ate, but all right, let’s pretty good. And then I’d eat more and then I’d be like, oh, I can’t even breathe. And I’d unbutton my pants and lay back and be like, like freaking can’t breathe. I’m not kidding. Like that was like, I had no stop button. Okay. And I would, you said granola bar in the person? I was like, oh my gosh, yes. I would carry bags of Kashi cereal in my purse. And just like constantly like be eating.

Marissa (20:53):

I was a bartender at the time, like bartending eating my little granola behind the bar. And uh, like I said, my, my appetite ran my life and it was such, uh, an amazing amazingly freeing experience to not, not have that happen anymore. And it happened gradually over time. Thanks to eating more ancestrally, you know, including more healthy fats again, which I was really afraid of at the time that I just described. And so my body was slowly healing my gut and getting used to these healthier fats and, and more whole food. And I start stopped eating so many flower based foods cuz I’m Italian, you guys. So I grew up on bread and pasta and bread and pasta like everything, you know? So then all of a sudden I had to go gluten and free. It was like earth shattering, but it was, it was a tremendous sort of compliment to adopting a paleo diet more easily and more readily because I couldn’t have the gluten.

Marissa (21:48):

And at that time, gluten free stuff, wasn’t like that accessible. And so it was just like, I was eating less of that stuff. And then I’m feeling better having more energy, better digestive health. I don’t need to eat as often. I’m finally ready to try intermittent fasting. I take to it naturally and I’m like, oh my God, how am I gonna tell people about this? They’re gonna think I’m nuts. I mean, this was 2017. So you can imagine I was a little bit ahead of the popular, like media picking up on intermittent fasting. And I was like, I don’t even know if anybody wants to hear what I have to say about this. <laugh>

How to get started with intermittent fasting

Michelle (22:23):

That’s wild. So you’ve been doing this a long time, but, but I know to get started, you know, it sounds scary cuz you’ll hear people say, and again, this is the media talking about intermittent fasting. Um, but you know, you only have to eat every other day or you only, you know, you’re gonna skip entire days of eating. Are you gonna only eat during four hours of every day? And that first of all, sounds insane. <laugh> um, second of all, it also sounds borderline eating disordered, right? Like there’s a lot of like, Ooh that comes with it. Um, but at the same time, you guys there’s so much value in teaching your body how to burn fat instead of relying on the granola bar in your purse. And I am a person who would pass out cold on the floor in public places. Like that’s the kind of blood sugar problems I was having. Oh my God. So I am telling you that is really worth looking into not only for your, your waistline, but for your brain health and just for like ease of living, you don’t have to stop and eat all the time. You know? So for someone who was just starting out, could you just paint a picture of what it would look like to see some of these benefits without it going into like whoa

Marissa (23:28):

Territory? Oh yeah. And I get so annoyed with the fasting industry, even, you know, before it became popular, I was already annoyed because they were making it sound like you gotta do this 18, six, you know, 18 hours fasting six hour eating window to get any benefits or you have to do circadian fasting where you’re fasting mostly in the evening and not having dinner. And they’re just over complicating everything. And I was like, okay, if we are trying to tap into something that our ancestors tapped into, it definitely wasn’t scheduled in routine and rigid and it, it wasn’t predictable. And so if I wanna have everyday look different and my fasting and I wanna have my start times and stop times to like work with my schedule and my lifestyle, that’s probably a good thing and sure enough it is. And that’s the type of passing that I teach when somebody’s first starting.

Marissa (24:16):

You wanna think of this? Like you are starting like a, a new exercise habit or you’re learning a new language or you you’re gonna run a marathon. You’re gradually going to get better and better and better and be able to take on more challenge because your body’s gonna learn, adapt, grow stronger and be able to withstand the circumstances more easily. So you don’t start fasting with 16 hours a day. It’s just pushing the body too hard, too fast, causing too much stress and it can counter, you know, it can be counterproductive. You can get the opposite results that you want. Your body can, you know, produce more cortisol and more insulin. And, and it can cause other disruptions in your life like your emotions and your sleep and so much more and make you wanna quit. So I always start people with 12 hour intermittent fasting, no matter who you are, no matter how you eat right now, no matter.

Marissa (25:09):

Even if you’re pregnant, you can do 12 hours. That’s totally natural. It’s fine. And that’s a good goal for some people because maybe they’re only doing eight hours right now. Maybe they barely sleep more than six hours a night and maybe they’re used to snacking until they go to bed. And then eating first thing in the morning, 12 hours is something you should be very proud of. And that right there already is going to help your body heal better, do REPA and detoxifying things in your sleep. It wasn’t doing before. You’re gonna have a little bit more energy and willingness to face the day in the morning. I mean, all of us, no matter who you are, we have a, a rhythm, the circadian rhythm by biological clock. That’s 24 hours a day. Well guess what? In the morning, around seven to 9:00 AM our hunger hormones are the lowest.

Marissa (25:56):

So I said, no matter who you are, because I was like, I don’t care if you’re an night, I don’t care, blah, blah, blah. In the morning from seven to nine, your body’s gonna tell you, you don’t need food. And if it does, like after you listen to the show and you’re like, I tried to start with 12 hours, but I was hungry at 7:00 AM. It’s because you are a habitual 7:00 AM breakfast eater or whatever triggers that hunger hormone is because of your environment. You’re going through the drive through at Duncan just to get your coffee while you’re triggered by the sign of all the bagels and donuts. And so it makes you think that you’re hunger or you smell the French fries and the drive through it’s gonna make you think you’re hungry. Um, but you remove those triggers or you just give it two to three days for your body to adapt those triggers and not expect food in return.

Marissa (26:39):

And you’re already not gonna have those hunger PS anymore. And it’s, it starts to take on a natural pace. You can slowly, after doing 12 hours comfortably for three to four days, at least then you might be ready to try 13 hours. Once you’re doing that comfortably for at least three to four days, cuz you, you don’t want it to be a fluke. Like you just had a great day. Okay? I did 13 today. I can do 14 tomorrow. No we’re complicated people. Okay. We have complicated lives and you might have great energy that day. The next day it might be tough. One. You might not have slept so well, blah, blah, blah. So make sure it’s good. If it’s effortless three to four days, try to do 13 and a half. Try to do 14. There are so many variables involved in your ability to do this fast because you’re gonna have meetings.

Marissa (27:22):

For instance, you gotta be on, on zoom with work and you’re gonna be like, should I eat before it? Or should I wait and eat after like, there’s so many things you need to learn about like how this is gonna fit in with your life. And so that’s why I said it’s like training for a marathon. You’re teaching your body to eventually be able to do 16 hour fast, 18 hour fast, 20 hour fast. Oops, I can’t eat today. No big deal. Like mind blowing, right? But running a marathon running, how is it a marathon like 40 miles or something crazy like that? 2030 at least. Okay. I’m I just kept going higher. So 26 miles clearly someone who doesn’t run, I mean, you wouldn’t start running, you know, 15 miles the day you sign up for this marathon, unless you were already used to running 10 miles and 15 miles, you would start with one mile and, and then you’d start running five miles once you’re getting good at that. And that would already be a big challenge. And so that’s how you wanna take intermitent fast. And you wanna train your body to incrementally advance to these stages because your metabolism is adapting and it’s just gonna keep rewarding you. And you’re gonna be encouraged to keep going and keep going.

Does intermittent fasting cause stress?

Michelle (28:22):

So I love that. I think a 12 hour fast is a very easy way to start. It’s actually not that different than the common advice to not snack after dinner. So if you simply didn’t snack after dinner, you’re probably gonna do a 12 hour fast without even thinking about it. You also mentioned something about how intermittent fasting can backfire and cause more stress on the body. And that’s very interesting to me. I get that question a lot. I thought it and fasting was bad for stress counter-indicated, especially with things like adrenal fatigue and whatnot. And I think if you’re eating in a way that you can go those 12 hours, if you’re eating in a way that you can make it from meal to meal, without a snack, you’re doing great things for your body in terms of stress, which is different than like, oh, tomorrow I’m not gonna eat two entirely different approaches, right?

Marissa (29:08):

Oh yeah. And this is such a fascinating topic. The intermittent fasting stress thing. I just wanna like briefly say for anyone interested in these nerdy details that fasting works because it’s a hormetic stressor, a hormetic stressor is a stress that is, you know, just briefly enough, but intense enough that it triggers positive effects in the body. So the body adapts exercises, a HTIC stressor, that’s why you can grow new muscles or your heart can get more conditioned to do longer runs. And so we are tapping into that same type of system in the body where we’re going to cause the stress to become beneficial. But if you’re already like burned out, if you have a adrenal fatigue, like your body’s gonna be telling you to eat more often or like soothe yourself with food, if that is something that you’ve grown up with. And so like trying to just use willpower and discipline to counter those, you know, instincts is kind of productive.

Marissa (30:08):

You’re going to have a lot of frustration and consequences from forcing the body to do something that’s not ready for. That’s why I always think people should start with 12. But the thing that’s most fascinating about it is it’s all about your perspective. Now let me start with giving the exercise analogy because people understand this more. If you’re the type of person who is really busy all the time and super stressed all the time and you look forward to going to a high intensity workout because that’s the only way you can relieve your stress is when you’re sweating your off and working out real, really, really hard doing a kickboxing class or like really high intensity hit class. Then that means you, your perspective is that exercise helps you with your stress. You look forward to going it because it’s a stress reliever, but another person with the same lifestyle as you being super chronically busy, having way too much on their plate and they gotta go exercise, they’re gonna be stressed out.

Marissa (31:06):

Even thinking about going to exercise. They’re like, oh my God, I don’t wanna work out. I can’t believe I have to work out. I have too many demands at my time. And I just, I don’t, I haven’t worked out in so long and it stresses them out to even think about going to workout. Okay. So I want you to think of that in terms of fasting. If you’re someone who’s like great, I don’t have to make a meal in the morning. There’s one less thing I gotta do. Or, you know, I don’t have to think about if I’m eating the right thing or not. If this is good or if this is bad, I just don’t eat. Then you’re probably not going to experience intermittent fasting as an added stressor. It’s probably gonna make your life instantly easier. I I’ve been like really amaz at how many of my clients have that experience.

Marissa (31:45):

And so it’s become very apparent to me that people are just so different in how they view it. So if you’re someone who’s like, I don’t know if I can do this fasting thing. Like, man, I usually have my bagel and cream cheese at 9:00 AM. Like, I don’t know how I’m gonna do that. Like I just don’t know. And then you have, you know, to get the kids to school at seven, a 7:30 AM and you’re getting out the door and it’s already stressful. And then like, I’m supposed to fast too. Like, oh, like maybe it is gonna be hard for you to do anything more than 12 hours for right now is gonna take time before you are looking at it. Like, this is a good, like, I wanna do it. And you wanna wait until you’re at that point, you don’t wanna push yourself to do it.

Intermittent fasting for long-term success

Michelle (32:20):

Oh, it’s so fascinating. It really is more nuanced than don’t eat for X hours. Right? You have to learn how to eat. You have to shift your mindset around it. You have to let your body adapt and your metabolism adapt. It really is. I mean, it’s, it’s different than just about any other trend that I’ve seen come through the health and wellness world. And there’s a lot of them, but this is one that I think there’s a lot of good research behind and there are a lot of good reasons to learn more about it. So for the everyone listening, who wants to learn more about it, you have a free on your website. Do you wanna tell us about that?

Marissa (32:55):

Yes. So I created the reset manual for intermittent fasting for anyone to start or restart intermittent fasting for long term success. It’s called reset because it’s an acronym for my method of introducing anyone to intermittent fasting. The R is reduce your carbs. The E is eat nourishing foods. The S is start with 12 hours. The next E is extend your fast and the tea is trust your instincts. And so in this guide that you can download for free at marisamoon.com/iffreedom, the, if is for intermittent fasting. And if you download this guide, it comes along with coaching emails. That’ll come like for the next 12 days to walk you through the steps in the guide, because each step FA of the acronym comes with an action step for you to follow. And a lot of people have great success with that and, and need no further assistance. And no matter what you take from it, I think you’ll find that it improves your life and your relationship with food and makes you see really a little bit more what your body is capable of.

Michelle (33:55):

And it’s a very thorough guide. So we will link to that in the show notes for anybody who wants to grab it. Marisa, thank you so much for joining us today and talking about inter written fasting with us

Marissa (34:06):

Anytime. Thank you so much.

Michelle (34:19):

Oh, I wanna tell you how much I love Marisa. She’s just, she’s so down to earth and smart and sweet. And when I saw her reset guide, I was like, man, it is really thorough. It’s fabulous. So definitely go check that out. We will put a link to it in the show notes at she’s got power.com/podcast. Now I don’t know what 2022 has in store for us, but let’s all quietly tip toe in and hope for the best. I’ll see you next week. I will be back with the new show to kick off the new year. Happy new year, everyone.