Interview with Jimmy Moore, ketogenic and fasting author, health advocate, and podcaster, about personalizing an intermittent fasting practice that feels good in your body. We chat about setting yourself up for fasting success, how to heal your body with intermittent fasting, who shouldn’t fast, and how to approach women’s concerns with fasting.
For podcast transcript, scroll down.
SHOW NOTES + LINKS
- Feel awesome on your keto diet with The Keto Bundle
- Try my free 7-day keto meal plan
- Subscribe on iTunes or your favorite podcast app
- More from Jimmy Moore
- Listen to Jimmy’s Fasting Podcast
- Get the Complete Guide to Fasting
- Must-do actions before you start intermittent fasting (13:40)
- Fasting vs. severe food restriction (31:58)
- Concerns with women and fasting (41:56)
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TRANSCRIPT FOR THIS EPISODE
Leanne Vogel: You’re listening to episode #31 of The Keto Diet Podcast. Today we’re chatting about steps to take before you intermittent fast, how to reintroduce food after a fast, fasting versus dieting, and validating concerns with fasting for women, so stay tuned. Hey. I’m Leanne from healthfulpursuit.com, and this is The Keto Diet Podcast, where we’re busting through the restrictive mentality of a traditional ketogenic diet to uncover the life you crave. What’s keto? Keto is a low carb, high fat diet, where we’re switching from a sugar burning state to becoming fat burning machines.
If you’re in need of keto recipe food prep inspiration, I’ve prepped a free, seven-day keto meal plan exclusive for podcast listeners. The plan is complete with a shopping list and everything you need to chow down on keto for seven whole days. Download your free copy at healthfulpursuit.com/ketomeal. Let’s get this party started.
Hey, guys. Happy Sunday. It’s April 30th. I can’t believe it. I’m looking to the future right now to April 30th, because I am recording this before the book tour, and I’m thinking I’ve just had the time of my life in the US meeting with all of you, and then I’m taking a little bit of R&R before some of the Canadian dates that are still left on my tour. I bet you I’ve been just having a ball meeting all of you and getting to chat with you, and so I hope that if we’ve met in real life, we had the best time. I bet you we did. It’s unfortunate that I had to record so many of these episodes before I got going, but I will have been on the road for over a month, so I’m glad that I could do this ahead of time and just make sure that we’re still pumping out some really good quality content for y’all.
Because today is about fasting, I definitely want to give mention to the fact that this talk may be a little bit triggering, because we do chat just briefly about calories and restricting a little bit, but our guest today has such a strong sense of himself and has a very loving approach to health and wellness that I didn’t feel any funky feelings during this episode, but definitely if, you know, fasting isn’t your thing and you find fasting conversations are triggering, just skip this one, and I’ll see you back here for episode 32. Show notes and full transcript for today’s episode can be found at healthfulpursuit.com/podcast/e31. The transcript is added to the post about three to five days following the initial air date of this episode, so let’s here from one of our awesome partners.
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If you have an idea for a podcast episode or you want to submit praise, over and above the review, which you can leave by going to healthfulpursuit.com/review, you can reach me at email@example.com.
We have two announcements this week before we get started with today’s guest. The first one is that the winner of the podcast survey has been randomly selected, and you can check the Facebook post or the Instagram post for this week’s podcast to see who won. Thanks so much for submitting your answers to the survey. It’s definitely going to help the team and I come up with some really good content in the coming months. If you submitted your survey, thank you so much, and if not, there’ll definitely be other opportunities to help contribute to the content that you can hear on the show.
The second thing is, if you got a copy of my book, first off, thank you so much. Secondly, if you haven’t already, it would be amazing if you could take just a couple of moments to go to either Amazon, or Barnes and Noble, or both and leave a review. You guys know me. You know that I’m not going to ask for a brilliant, amazing, 100% review. If you liked things, great. If you didn’t, write those down too. I’ll take any sort of review. That will definitely help spread the word about the book and also help my team and myself figure out where we can go for our next project or anything. If you have concerns with anything that’s in the book, that’s the place to do it too, and if you love the book, I would love for you to put that in there too. It just helps more people find the book and will help me grow and the business grow, so that’d be really great.
Thirdly, if you did get the book, you can use the hashtag #ketodietbook when you make any of the recipes from the book, or you can even take pictures of yourself with the book, and any time that you use that hashtag you’re entered to win a jar of Epic Provisions cooking oils or Kasandrinos Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Two winners will be randomly drawn each week from April 11th to June 20th, so one winner will get the Epic Provisions cooking oils, and the other winner will get the Kasandrinos Extra Virgin Olive Oil, up until the June 20th. This is going to be going on for 10 solid weeks, so if you make anything from the book, make sure to use that hashtag on any of the photos that you take and share on social media. All you have to do is use the hashtag #ketodietbook on any social media, and you’ll be entered to win. The giveaway is open to US and Canadian residents, and you can visit healthfulpursuit.com/ketodietbookgiveaway for more details.
Today’s guest is Jimmy Moore. He hasn’t been on the podcast yet, and he’s one of my dear friends, so I’m so excited that we finally got him on the show. Jimmy Moore catapulted onto the health scene in 2004 after a phenomenal 180 pound weight loss enabled him to come off of prescription drugs for high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and respiratory problems. He is the energetic personality behind the uber popular blog, Livin’ La Vida Low-Carb, and the host of the longest running and one of the top ranked iTunes health podcasts, The Livin’ La Vida Low-Carb Show. Jimmy also hosts two other active podcasts, Keto Diet Talk with Jimmy Moore and the Doc and Fasting Talk with Jimmy Moore and Jason Fung, featuring Megan Ramos, along with the retired podcast, Ask the Low Carb Experts, and The Departed Low Carb Conversations.
He has interviews over 1,200 of the top world’s health experts and has dedicated his life to helping people get the best information possible about living healthy so they can make the right decisions for their health. Jimmy is also an engaging speaker who has been invited to speak all around the world, including the UK, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and across The United States. He is the international bestselling author of The Complete Guide to Fasting, The Ketogenic Cookbook, Keto Clarity, and Cholesterol Clarity. You can learn more about Jimmy and his work at livinlavidalowcarb.com.
We had a great talk, and I am really excited to continue to add to the intermittent fasting conversation. Jimmy and I align on so many different levels, and I definitely voice my opinions and concerns with women and fasting, and Jimmy did a really good job of answering. I think when it really comes down to it, the gist of it is you really have to listen to your body, and if fasting feels like something you’re pushing yourself to do, and it doesn’t feel right in your body, don’t do it. It doesn’t mean that you can’t do it later or in a couple of months or years, you know, when you’re more fat adapted or in a better place mentally, or physically, emotionally, whatever it is. It doesn’t mean that if it doesn’t work for you now, it won’t work for you later, or if it works for you now, it’ll continue to work for you for years. You just kind of have to listen to your body.
There was one point in the interview where we talked about fatty coffees and how it can not necessarily break your fast, but I just wanted to clarify here that what Jimmy was saying was that if you are in a fast, so you’re doing 24 or maybe longer, 24 hours or longer of a fast, it’s probably not a good idea to have a fatty coffee, but if you’re practicing the 16/8 fast or you are the type of person, like myself, that doesn’t practice fasting all too often, having that fatty coffee in the morning is like having breakfast. For me, I find I feel better on those fats in the morning than having a heavy meal, and some days I need a meal instead, so again, it goes back to listening to your body, which Jimmy is a huge supporter of. Without further ado, let’s cut over to the interview.
Leanne Vogel: Hey, Jimmy. How’s it going?
Jimmy Moore: Hey hey! What’s up?
Leanne Vogel: I’m so happy to have you on the show. We actually haven’t spoken officially …
Jimmy Moore: I love that you’re podcasting now, by the way.
Leanne Vogel: Oh, it’s the best.
Jimmy Moore: What’d you say?
Leanne Vogel: We haven’t spoken, like officially, in quite a long time. The last time you were on the show was a couple of years.
Jimmy Moore: Not in a while. I think the last time I saw you it was a Paleo f(x) a couple of years ago. That’s way too long, girl.
Leanne Vogel: I know. It’s crazy, it’s crazy. So I’m super excited to chat with you all about fasting.
Jimmy Moore: The other F-word.
Leanne Vogel: Yeah. Exactly. I like it. For listeners that may not be familiar with your work, why don’t you start off by telling us a title bit about yourself?
Jimmy Moore: Yeah, so my claim to fame is I became internet famous a little over a decade ago after I lost a significant amount of weight on the Atkin’s Diet in 2004, a total of 180 pounds, and it totally changed my life physically, but it also changed my career, and pretty much everything about my life just totally changed when I was 32 years old. I started a blog called Livin’ La Vida Low-Carb in 2005 and it quickly became pretty popular. A year later this guy said, “If you talk half as well as you write, you need to be podcasting.” Now, Leanne, keep in mind, this was 2006, not 2017. Nobody was doing really health podcasting back then, at least not of consequence, so I kind of boast one of the longest running health podcasts out there now, The Livin’ La Vida Low-Carb Show at, what, 1,250 episodes now and counting. I guess I’m going to go until I hit like 10,000. Then I’ll retire. Just kidding.
Leanne Vogel: Wow. That’s a lot of episodes.
Jimmy Moore: I know. It’s a lot of episodes. I felt every one of them. I’ve done several other podcasts. You’ve been on Low-Carb Conversations, which I’ve now passed off to other people, but yeah, it’s never a dull moment. 2012 I got my chance to start writing books for a major publisher. Yeah. The rest is history.
Leanne Vogel: And you have a quite new fasting podcast. Is that right?
Jimmy Moore: Yeah, so January I decided to team up with my co-author on The Complete Guide to Fasting, Dr. Jason Fung, as well as his clinic director, her name is Megan Ramos, to do a podcast all about fasting, and so I already had Keto Talk out there for the past year, but there really was no podcast when it came to fasting, like exclusively dedicated to fasting. I said, “Well, Jason and Megan, you guys want to do this together?” “Yeah.” We basically answer questions all about fasting, and I hear you have a bunch for me here today, so I’m excited about that.
Leanne Vogel: Oh, yeah, we do. I’ve listened to quite a few of your episodes, and I really like the format that you’ve chosen with that new podcast.
Jimmy Moore: Thank you. We try to have fun.
Leanne Vogel: Yeah. Totally. If anyone wants to listen, I will include a link in the show notes to that, to your new podcast, so people can binge listen on all the ones they’ve missed so far.
Jimmy Moore: Not many out there. I think we’re up to 10 episodes now, so you haven’t missed much. If you go to Keto Talk, we’re about 60, so you’re a little behind on that one.
Leanne Vogel: Totally. Hard to catch up, but I’m sure people do it.
Jimmy Moore: And really behind on Livin’ La Vida Low-Carb Show. You’ve got 1,250 episodes. Go. I think if you started today, Leanne, you might get done, if you just continuously listen, about this time next year. I’m just kidding.
Leanne Vogel: Oh my gosh. That’d be crazy. In your sleep and yeah…amazing.
Jimmy Moore: Exactly. I’m hearing Jimmy Moore in my head all day every day.
Leanne Vogel: Ah! Get him out.
Jimmy Moore: That’s not a good thing.
Leanne Vogel: I love it. Why don’t we just dive right into it? We had a lot of questions about the fasting, how to, kind of starting off with, “is it okay to fast daily”, and, “do you fast on a daily period”, or is it more just when you need it, or what is your approach?
Jimmy Moore: Well, let’s be honest. Everybody, when they’re not eating, is fasting, so I guess you have to set what you mean when you say fasting. I think most people could probably get away with doing a daily fast, and if you’re ketogenic, which is what you talk about here on your show, you know, it’s very easy to go long periods of time without eating. I mean, when I started doing my ketosis experiment back in 2012 I found that fasting just came naturally.
I would eat a meal, and then it’d be like 8, 10, 12, 16 hours later, and I’m still not hungry, and so that’s a pretty good little intermittent fast. So it’s called 16/8, where you eat within like an 8 hour window and then fast for 16 hours. It’s pretty natural for most people in ketosis to be able to do that. Some people like to push them to 24 hours, so you eat like one meal, and then you eat another meal in 24 hours. Some people like alternate day fasting, which turns out to be around a 36 hour fast. It’s all about fitting it within your own comfort zone of what you can do. For me, I find intermittent fasting is extraordinarily easy to do pretty much on a daily basis, that whole 16/8, sometimes 20/4, and I do that fine. Yeah. In the day-to-day, to answer your specific question, yes. I can fast pretty much every day.
Leanne Vogel: Yeah. Same with me. It’s such an easy tool. I just love it.
Jimmy Moore: Yeah. It gives your pancreas a break. You know, people devalue those periods where they’re not eating and what it’s actually doing to heal your body. Give your pancreas a break. I mean, I think of all those years, Leanne, that I stuffed my mouth with Coca-Cola, and snack cakes, and junk food. You know, I never gave that poor organ of mine, the pancreas, a break. Now it’s time, all these years later, still trying to heal from the insulin resistance, to give that pancreas the break that it just desperately needs, and fasting helps do that.
Leanne Vogel: You mentioned the alternate day, and 24 hours, or every other day. Would you say that, you know, for your personal practice do you kind of alternate between those and do one a week of alternate day fasting, or kind of what would you recommend, or what do you see people doing when it comes to their fasting? We had a lot of questions like, “Should I do 16/8 every day and then an alternate day every other day?” People are just wondering what that format could look like.
Jimmy Moore: You know, the beautiful thing about this is there’s no set rhyme or reason that’s going to work for everybody, so I would not dare say, “Well, everybody … Listen up, guys. Everybody needs to X.” I’m not going to do that, but what we talk about in our book is find what works for you, and fit it into your lifestyle. I’ve been traveling like a madman since Thanksgiving, and so I haven’t really had a lot of time to really fit it in in a normal routine basis, but what I tend to find that works best for me is when I am home and I’m in familiar surroundings and around non-stressful things … Doing podcasts is not stressful for me, so this is very relaxing, Leanne. Thank you. … I will implement some longer fasts. We talked about the intermittent fast. We talked about 24 hour fast, 36 hour fast, and alternate day fasting. You can actually do some of these longer fasts.
I find that I do extremely well allowing myself to go, you know, 7, 10, 14, even upwards of 21 days fasting. Now, people listening right now are freaking out. They’re like, “Oh my gosh. He’s doing what?”, but I’m not saying that’s for everybody. That’s what I’ve found works for me, but guys, guess what? I didn’t just start doing that overnight. I actually built my way up. I’d say if you’re not already in ketosis and testing for whether or not you’re a fat burning machine, do that first. Get that down. You’ve got to nail that before you even think about doing the other F-word, as I call it.
Then cut out snacks. If you’re snacking, butt out the snacks next. Then cut out one meal, so try breakfast, maybe skip lunch, and then have dinner. That’s a nice little fast. Then try eating one meal, and then slowly just kind of see where you get the benefits, because some people at that point, Leanne, are getting all the benefits that they need from even those small periods of fasting, whereas some of us, Jimmy Moore, need to do a little bit longer to get the true fasting benefits from doing these longer fasts.
Leanne Vogel: Very, very awesome advice. Would you say that you benefit from those longer fasts because you’re insulin resistant and because your body just needs that fasting period?
Jimmy Moore: Yeah. It’s both. I think because I’ve become so good at being in ketosis, my body’s like almost in a state where it needs to be shaken up a little bit to kind of break things up, and the fasting tends to work for that. For some people it’s daunting to think about even going a few days without eating, much less a few weeks. I was the same way. I used to think fasting was the stupidest thing in the world. Why would you ever starve yourself? Blah. Blah. Blah. Hopefully we’ve dispelled most of those myths in our book, The Complete Guide to Fasting, because we wanted people to know this really isn’t as difficult as you think it is.
Here’s the cool thing. It’s kind of like riding a bicycle. Did you start popping wheelies the first day that you started riding? No. You weren’t very good. You fell off. You scraped your knee. You got back up, dusted yourself off, and got back on it again. You’re going to fall the first few times that you try it, but that’s okay. That’s totally normal, but by the sixth, seventh time that you tried fasting and pushed it a little longer, a little longer, if you need to do that, you’ll find it’s extraordinarily easy, and I’m popping wheelies every time I fast now.
Leanne Vogel: That’s amazing. You need a shirt that says popping wheelies with fasting or something.
Jimmy Moore: Popping wheelies, baby.
Leanne Vogel: I like it. I can’t remember which fast you did it, but I remember when you were on, was it Periscope maybe, you were doing that really long fast, and you used bone broth one of the days. Can you talk a little bit more about where bone broth fits into a fast or your fasting?
Jimmy Moore: Yeah. One of the things that Jason Fung is very adamant about is fasting shouldn’t be complicated. Fasting doesn’t need to be this, “Oh my gosh I have to just drink water and nothing else, or I’m a complete failure in my fast,” and so when he was giving me some consultation on doing my own fasting he said, “You know, throw in some bone broth, and add some sea salt to it to kind of balance out electrolytes, if you’re worried about that,” which I was. Then he said, “If you need something else …”, like I drank some Kombucha as part of one of my fasts as well, and it really helped. I’ve found that I don’t really need it now. Again, training wheels, and now I’m popping wheelies. I think when you first start that can give people even a little bit of a psychological boost, because when you drink a cup of broth, of course there’s so many nutrients in broth as it is. It just gives you that extra little oomph to be able to get through it, and you get most of the same benefits that you would from a water only fast. Let’s not let perfect get in the way of progress. I think if you’re getting progress in your health, even from these non-perfect fasts, then it’s a win-win for everybody.
Leanne Vogel: Yeah. So beautifully said. Do you think that the same would hold true for, or do you think that fatty coffee holds a place in fasting? I know some people will do the fatty coffees in the morning and consider that part of their fast. What’s your approach to that?
Jimmy Moore: Number one, I hate coffee, so I’m the wrong person to ask this one, but actually I’m not a fan. Let me tell you why. I think when you’re fasting you should be fasting. When you’re feasting you should be feasting, but let’s not crisscross both, and I think whenever you go down the road of fatty coffee, Bulletproof coffee, whatever you call it, you actually can run into a little bit of trouble getting a very low amount of calories, but still a significant enough that your body’s like, “Oh. You’re feeding me today,” and then if that’s all you had the whole day, your body kind of goes, “What are you doing? You need to feed me more, or you just need to not eat at all. Don’t go in between.” That would be my concern with using like a fatty coffee on a fasting day. One thing that Dr. Jason Fung talks about is if you’re going to have coffee, maybe do a splash of cream in the coffee, but not these five, six, seven hundred calorie Bulletproof coffees. Probably not appropriate on a fasting day.
Leanne Vogel: Yeah. Maybe that fatty coffee, if people enjoy those, keep those to a day where you’re having maybe your coffee and then doing lunch, dinner type of thing and having a feasting day, where you’re eating. You’re saying on a day where you’re doing a 24 hour fast, if you’re having that coffee with all the fat, it’s probably not a fast.
Jimmy Moore: Yup. When you fast, fast. When you feast, feast.
Leanne Vogel: Awesome. Is fasting considered when blood glucose is maintained, or where does the blood sugar fit into a fast? What should people be looking for? What should their blood sugar be doing when they’re fasting?
Jimmy Moore: Again, it depends on the length of the fast that we’re talking about, because some people will get really good benefits from those intermittent, those shorter, intermittent fasts that we talked about, and then other people that have a little bit more significant insulin resistance or Type II Diabetes, it may take them several days before they see their blood sugar start to come down. In general, at least for me, and you know I’ve tracked this pretty voraciously, I don’t really see the big drop in the blood sugar until about day three and a half to four. That’s when my blood sugar can drop 25, 30 points from where it had been, which is great, because it’s also corresponding with a greater amount of ketone production as well.
You know, I can hang around .7 to 1.0 on the blood ketones to start, and by day three and a half, four it could be up to 3.5 to 4 millimolar on the blood ketone meter, which is a significant rise. When it’s 3.5 to 4 on the blood ketone meter, that corresponds to much lower blood sugar. Sometimes it freaks people out, Leanne, because they’ll say, “Oh my gosh. I have a 70. What’s going on? Am I okay?” I’m like, “Do you feel okay?” “Yeah, but it says 70.” I’m like, “No. The only thing that’s freaking you out is that number. Do you feel okay?” They go, “Yeah. I feel fine.” “Well, what are you worried about?” I wouldn’t necessarily obsess about the numbers, but yes, your blood sugar will indeed come down.
Now, one thing that was interesting while I was doing some longer fasts and some of my Periscope updates I noticed that deep into a fast, like day 12, 13, I would pop a 110 on my blood sugar, and I’m going, “What the heck? I haven’t had anything in 12, 13 days. Why is my blood sugar going so high?” Again, with people that have insulin resistance, Dr. Fung actually explains this, you actually have little pockets of sugar that are deeply within that visceral fat that’s in the midsection, and as it’s released it’s going to show up in your blood sugar temporarily, because you’re not eating anything. It’s nothing to be worried about, but it’s a temporary rise in the blood sugar as your body’s trying to get rid of the old junk.
Leanne Vogel: How cool is that though? That’s so amazing.
Jimmy Moore: That’s really cool. That’s why I’m glad when I see a little bit of a spike on the blood sugar that deep in a fast, because I’m like, “Yes. Another pocket bites the dust.”
Leanne Vogel: You know, you’ve been on these fasts, and you’ve gone 13, 14, 15, sometimes even 30 days. How do you reintroduce food and not just eat all of the things?
Jimmy Moore: Very carefully.
Leanne Vogel: Yeah. My first 24 hour fast I broke it with a 2,000 calorie meal, and I will never do that again.
Jimmy Moore: Oh. Wow.
Leanne Vogel: Never, ever, ever.
Jimmy Moore: Oh. Gosh. Well, with a 24 hour fast it’s probably a little easier than these longer fasts. When you start doing ones that are a week or longer, Leanne, if you did the 2,000, there’s this thing that you’ve got to be real careful of, and I want people to hear me clearly on this, there’s a syndrome called re-feeding syndrome, so be very careful, if you do a longer fast, when you reintroduce food, not to do what Leanne did. Don’t do that. 2,000 calories might be a little much on your system. What’s really interesting is you don’t really need that when you’ve been on a fast for a little while, and we can definitely talk about why here in a minute, but usually what we say is have a little something about 30 to 60 minutes before your main meal, so a few nuts, maybe a small salad, maybe an avocado, just something to get in the system, to get the blood flowing back to the stomach again.
Then an hour later, you know, have like a little bit of meat and vegetables. What you’ll find is you’ll eat maybe about a third to a half of what you normally do. Now, that’s so counterintuitive, because you would be like, “Oh my gosh. I haven’t eaten in so long. Surely I’m just going to eat the house down.” You really don’t. You get fuller faster, and it almost makes you wonder, “Am I eating too much on a regular basis, and maybe this is more what my normal is supposed to be?” It’s really a fascinating self-discovery when you start doing these longer fasts.
Leanne Vogel: Totally. When you get back into the groove of things say, for example, for the average person they’re probably not going to do those really long fasts, you know, every week.
Jimmy Moore: And they shouldn’t, by the way.
Leanne Vogel: Yes. Good point. For the day-to-day kind of stuff, to kind of circle back, if you’re doing say a 16/8 or you’re doing 24-hour fasting, should somebody be counting their calories and figuring all that out, or to your point …?
Jimmy Moore: Oh, God. No.
Leanne Vogel: Totally.
Jimmy Moore: I have a word for that.
Leanne Vogel: Ain’t nobody got time for that.
Jimmy Moore: That too, but I have a word for that. It’s called dieting, and I think the dieting mentality makes people count calories, and don’t get me started on macronutrient ratios. I think that’s a joke as well. You know, they’re good as a guide to start you off. People always like to have guides, and so use those to start off, but after a while be intuitive about your own nutrition, because you know what makes you feel satiated. You know when you have that 80% full that we talked about in my book, Keto Clarity. You don’t eat to 100% stuffed. You eat to about 80% full, and that’s probably going to keep your satiety right in line. You keep your carbs low. You moderate your protein. You eat enough fat to satiety. You’re going to have those natural periods of fasting that will follow that.
Leanne Vogel: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yeah. That natural ebb and flow can be really hard to get into if you’ve, you know, been dieting. I’ve met people 20, 30, 40, even 50 years of dieting, to kind of get out of that mentality when you’re saying, “I’m not going to eat for this period of time,” and, “Oh. Well, then I can’t have 3,000 calories the next two days. That’s too much,” that can be really hard for some people. Did you ever come from more of a dieting mentality with your history? How did you approach fasting? What was your thought when you first got into it?
Jimmy Moore: That’s a joke question, right? Because you know I was dieting my whole life.
Leanne Vogel: Yeah. Well, you know, some people might not know.
Jimmy Moore: There you go. It’s fun talking to friends that know you and ask you softball questions like that. Yes. Yes, I come from a very long line of dieting mentality, and yes, I used to think fasting was so dumb. It was so, so dumb. I even tried to force the intermittent fasting, and it crashed, and burned, and failed, and it was horrible because I was doing it all wrong. I wasn’t truly fat adapted, and I think this is a key point here on a keto podcast. You know, you want to get ketogenic.
A lot of times, Leanne, I’ll hear from people that say, “Well, I’m in ketosis. I’m just not seeing any results. I don’t feel good.” I said, “What’s your blood ketone level?” “Well, I’m not testing for ketosis.” I’m like, “How do you know you’re in ketosis?” You really have to use the tools that are out there. We live in a grand day today here in 2017, where people can test and know exactly how they’re doing in their fat burning, and so you’ve got to nail that down first. I can’t emphasize this enough. Nail keto, and it makes the other F-word so much easier.
Leanne Vogel: Yeah. Definitely. More on my interview with Jimmy Moore after this message from one of our podcast partners.
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Leanne Vogel: Coming from a dieting mentality, a lot of people wonder how is fasting different than, you know, the dieting, of slowing down metabolism? How do you approach that question? Does fasting slow down the metabolism, and if not, what’s the difference between the dieting, where you’re not eating enough, and fasting, where you’re also, quote unquote, not eating enough?
Jimmy Moore: Here is the most exciting part of fasting that nobody else is talking about but me, and Jason, and Megan. Fasting is incredibly healthy for you, because it does one thing really well. It revs up your metabolism. Now, hear me right. You rev up your metabolism by not eating anything at all, whereas if you eat, like we were talking about with the Bulletproof coffee, just a few hundred calories, your body’s like, “Oh. I’m getting nutrition,” and so if you don’t continue to feed it an adequate amount of nutrition, that’s when the body’s like, “Whoa, Nelly.” They’ve got to slow things down, because it thinks you’re starving, and so it slows every process down, but what does not slow down is completely starving yourself of all food.
Now, you’re not starving, but when you completely fast it’s a whole ‘nother ballgame. You actually rev up your metabolism by 12% when you don’t eat anything at all. My definition of not eat anything at all is anything under 200 calories, so that includes the bone broth and those things that we talked about earlier. Once you get like five, six, seven hundred calories, vis-à-vis what the Biggest Loser contestants got on those shows, they were starving those people, not completely fasting them, but they were literally starving them by giving them just minimal calories, and their body was just rebelling in the aftermath, which is why most of them gain it all back after they leave the show. Yeah. Big, big difference between under-nutrition, which is what five, six, seven hundred calorie diets do, and not eating at all, fasting. It’s two totally different beasts.
Leanne Vogel: Yeah. Exactly. For those who, you know … I know that I came from a really, really restrictive, severe starvation mode many, many years ago to playing around with fasting, and I know when I was first introduced to fasting my first thought, as a nutritionist, was like, “Ah, but what about the vitamins, minerals, and electrolytes?” You mentioned it too, like adding in bone broth when you’re doing those long fasts for the electrolytes. What’s your stance on that? What have you guys chatted about on your podcast or in your book about vitamins, minerals, and electrolytes on fasting?
Jimmy Moore: Yeah. Here’s the thing. When you fast you’re doing it for therapeutic reasons for a very, very short period of time. Now, there are people that have done extraordinarily long fasts. I think the world record is something like 350 something days, something like that. It’s almost a whole year. He was doing it, because they were about to chop off his limbs and amputate, because he’s a Type II Diabetic that was uncontrolled. I think we have to put it in proper perspective.
Vitamins, you’re not going to die if you don’t have vitamins and minerals for those few days or maybe even the 18 hours or whatever that you’re not eating, so I think it’s much to do about nothing, because you’re doing this for a purpose in mind. The greatest purpose is you’re trying to regulate your hormones, which is what the purpose of a ketogenic diet is, but then sometimes for those people where ketosis alone is not enough, fasting can be that nice, little adjunct that puts them over the edge. I don’t worry a whole lot about those things, since it is such a temporary thing. When you start eating again, make sure you get all those things back into your diet again. If you’re worried, have a little bit extra, and you can fill those stores, but your body has a very nice resilience about it, that it can actually keep you going even when you’re not eating any food at all.
Leanne Vogel: That’s amazing. 300 plus days fasting. That’s phenomenal.
Jimmy Moore: Yeah. I couldn’t even think about that.
Leanne Vogel: No. I mean, your whole life would change. You think of all the social situations and things that revolve around food. That would be a huge adjustment.
Jimmy Moore: Well, I did it last January, 28 out of 31 of the days last January, and yeah, it was a huge adjustment, but it’s what you do. When you care enough about your health to do something, you know, put your mind to it and do it, because your health is everything. If you don’t have health, you’re not here anymore, and that’s not a good thing.
Leanne Vogel: Yes. I am totally of that belief as well. You know, your body’s what’s keeping you here, so it’s nice to take care of it and make sure that you can stay.
Jimmy Moore: Take care of that bad boy.
Leanne Vogel: Totally. The therapeutic approach, that’s very interesting. I know you chatted a little bit about hormones. What’s the best method for fasting, or if people are interested in regulating insulin or leptin resistance, is fasting a good tool for that?
Jimmy Moore: As the first option?
Leanne Vogel: Yeah.
Jimmy Moore: I would say no. I would say the very first option is eat real food, and if that’s then not giving you the benefits that you need, then eat a real food based, kind of Paleo style diet. Then if that’s not giving you the benefits, then eat a real food based, Paleo low carb diet. Then if that’s not giving you the benefits, then eat a real food based, Paleo, low carb ketogenic diet. Then if that’s not giving you benefits, then add in the fasting element. I think there’s such a progression that people can take. If you already know you’re in a pretty bad place, and you’re already eating keto, and you’re still not seeing the results, maybe fasting could be that next step that would push you over the edge to getting the benefits.
Leanne Vogel: I love that staged approach. Yeah. And kind of leaving fasting to the last kind of approach to healing your body. Also, like you said at the beginning of our podcast, those baby steps towards fasting. I know that if I would have tried fasting five years ago, I would have crashed and burned, because I was running on carbohydrates and eating snacks all the time.
Jimmy Moore: Exactly.
Leanne Vogel: Now it’s effortless, so you’re saying those baby steps. Now, would those baby steps change for maybe women in their reproductive age that maybe have like thyroid conditions or health imbalances when it comes to their hormones?
Jimmy Moore: Well, the cool thing about fasting, and even a ketogenic diet in general, is that those things help with things like hypothyroidism, Hashimoto’s. In fact, we just had a question about this that Megan and I are answering on our fasting podcast just this week, so that’s a good question. Yeah. One of the beautiful things about basically lowering insulin, either through a ketogenic diet or through fasting, it actually helps to regulate all of the hormones. People are like, “Well, I’ve got to get my insulin low, and then I’ll start working on this, on the hormone.” No. No. No. When you do one you’re doing them all, whether you know it or not. Getting one under control can help regulate all of them, and I’ve found that is true.
A lot of times people kind of freak out. They see their thyroid numbers go down. “Oh. I’m hypothyroid.” “Do you feel the effects of hypothyroidism?” “Well, no, but I just have low numbers.” “Well, maybe that lower number is a better number, not necessarily one that’s in the bad range, even though your doctor’s office has this range.” “Well, it should be from this to this, and you’re below that.” Maybe that’s a bunch of sick people. Maybe I want to be more optimal, and maybe this is optimal that you’re at. Be your own best advocate. That’s my theme song.
Leanne Vogel: Yeah. I think I’ve struggled with that too, with blood work and doctors saying, “Oh, This is too high. This is too low.” I’m like, “Well, I’m ketogenic, and all these numbers are based on people who are carbohydrate-fueled. How do we even know what normal is for keto people?”
Jimmy Moore: And sick.
Leanne Vogel: Yeah. Exactly.
Jimmy Moore: They go to the doctor because they’re sick. I don’t want sick normal. I want optimal.
Leanne Vogel: Exactly. I think listening to your body and knowing … I know when my thyroid is giving me grief. I can feel it. You do know. As long as you know what those signs are, it’s pretty easy to determine whether you feel good or not so good.
Jimmy Moore: Does your thyroid have a man’s voice? “I’m coming to get you. Ha. Ha. Ha.”
Leanne Vogel: I always imagine my thyroid being like a little kitten, just like a really …
Jimmy Moore: Meow.
Leanne Vogel: Exactly. Oh. You’re very good at noises.
Jimmy Moore: Meow.
Leanne Vogel: That was perfect. Exactly like that. You have to be gentle to it, or else it does that. Exactly.
Jimmy Moore: Exactly.
Leanne Vogel: It’s very temperamental. Now, women …
Jimmy Moore: I’m the most fun guest you’ve ever had. You know it.
Leanne Vogel: Yeah. I’ve never laughed this much on the podcast, so thanks for that, Jimmy. It’s been a long week already, so I really appreciate it.
Jimmy Moore: It’s all good.
Leanne Vogel: More on my interview with Jimmy Moore after this message from one of our podcast partners.
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Leanne Vogel: For women and fasting, something you guys have chatted about a little bit on your podcast, there’s not actually a lot of information out there. I know personally, as a woman that’s had amenorrhea and my sex hormones are a little bit wonky, like I said, my thyroid is that angry kitten, I can’t do long fasts. My body just doesn’t like it. What have you seen with women and fasting?
Jimmy Moore: I actually asked this question of Dr. Fung when we first started writing the book together. I’m like, “I know the big question people like Leanne Vogel are going to ask me this, so you better have a good answer for this. What do we do differently for women in fasting?” He’s like, “You know what? We have probably more women in our intensive dietary management program than anybody.” Most of his 1,000 plus patients that they’ve seen are women. He says he’s never seen any contraindication for a woman to be fasting. What are the specific concerns that would come up for a woman, Leanne?
Leanne Vogel: Well, I know for myself, when I fast say more than two days I find I get a little bit more hypothyroid, and I have to increase my desiccated thyroid, like it’s pretty substantial. It could just be I need to ride it out, but because I know that because I’ve worked so hard on getting my thyroid where it is, it’s like, “I’m feeling hypo.” That could be one of the concerns.
Jimmy Moore: Did you say on day two that happens?
Leanne Vogel: Yeah. About day two where my thyroid …
Jimmy Moore: Day two sucks, by the way, of a longer fast. Having done a lot of these fasts, I dread day two. I wonder though if you pushed it to three, four, five, six, seven, if you needed to go that long, if in those subsequent days that that would normalize. I wonder if this is just kind of a temporary blip on the map, and maybe you prematurely let it end early. I would love to kind of see you push it. Obviously if at any point you feel horrible, we say stop the fast. Don’t continue. If you feel ill, don’t continue longer fasting, but I wonder if it’s just because day two sucks so bad that maybe it kind of correlated with this feeling like you were hypo.
Leanne Vogel: Okay. Okay. I’m going to take note of that, and everyone else should too. I’m going to try that out, and I’ll let you know how it goes.
Jimmy Moore: Let me know how it goes. I sincerely want to know.
Leanne Vogel: Okay. Deal. Then another concern could be triggering dieting mentality. You know, if you have that blistered relationship with food, and all of a sudden you’re kind of in that same place that maybe you were if you had an eating disorder or something, and now you’re pushing yourself not to eat, that could be another concern for men and women, but mostly women, because that’s who we’re talking to today.
Jimmy Moore: The beautiful thing about fasting, though, is you’re doing it with a purpose in mind. I think you’re seeing the big picture. By the way, it’s a very cheap diet too. You can actually put money back in your pocket, because you’re not buying food when you’re fasting. Yeah. I think I can hear your argument there, and I think it’s a valid one, especially with the people with the eating disorders. If you’ve had or have bulimia, anorexia, you know, those are very serious, and I would say tread very lightly. Hopefully that’s under control – well under control – before you ever start fasting.
Please hear me out on that one very clearly. Do not fast if you’re still in the midst of your recovery from that, but if you’re recovered and you’re worried about triggering those things, the neat thing is you’re actually freeing yourself up to be able to accomplish what you’re trying to accomplish with fasting a lot more than if you’re thinking about, “Oh my gosh. I just ate. I’ve got to purge,” or, “I’m just going to purposely not eat and starve myself and push through starving signals.” That’s not what you’re doing with fasting. It’s kind of that fine line that if you know that that’s a trigger for you, maybe try doing just intermittent fasting, and you’ll get all the benefits you need from intermittent fasting. Maybe you don’t need to do longer fasts. That would be my answer to that.
Leanne Vogel: Yeah. I think I’ve seen in my practice as well that people use fasting as, quote unquote, punishment, like, “Oh. Well, I ate too much, so I’ll just fast tomorrow,” and that can be a really dangerous loop to get into. It might seem harmless, but that’s sort of disordered behavior around food if you’re using fasting as a way to compensate for, quote unquote, bad eating. I also wanted to say that as well. I think a concern also for women is, you know, we hear if we don’t eat enough and perhaps our body fat gets too low, or we’re not eating enough, our actual ovulation can stop when it comes to not eating enough. I know that a lot of women think, “Okay. Well, intermittent fasting, if I’m not eating enough, I could stop ovulating, and I could lose my fertility.”
Jimmy Moore: Yeah. Those are things that I’ve heard as well. Even with a ketogenic diet people have said those kind of things. I think it’s one of those things that it’s a case-by-case basis. Just kind of see how you do. The good news is all of this is very temporary. If at any point you kind of feel, “Oh my gosh. This is too much,” stop the fast. You know? Get back on a ketogenic diet and try it again. That’s the thing about this, there are no hard and fast rules. There’s no “You have to do it for this amount of time, or you’re a failure”. I think we play a lot of mind games with ourselves, Leanne. Stop doing that, people.
Leanne Vogel: I know. It’s that black and white mentality of just like I’m either doing it or I’m not. You know?
Jimmy Moore: All or nothing.
Leanne Vogel: Yeah. That can cause a lot of binge behaviors too. If I’m not fasting, well, I may as well just eat everything, and now I’m no longer keto, and I may as well have that bag of chips. It just snowballs. It really doesn’t need to be that way. To your point about the ketogenic diet with menstruation, I know I get that a lot. I got my period back from eating ketogenic, but I was also eating a lot of food. I wasn’t restricting. I was just eating a ton of fat. I think it also depends on how much food you’re eating. If you are a protein …
Jimmy Moore: You know why?
Leanne Vogel: Pardon me?
Jimmy Moore: I said you know why?
Leanne Vogel: Why?
Jimmy Moore: Because it’s all about that fat, ‘bout that fat. Got to eat that fat.
Leanne Vogel: I like that, Jimmy. That’s good.
Jimmy Moore: I need a bumper sticker or a t-shirt that says that. It’s all about that fat.
Leanne Vogel: Yeah. Or like, you know, one of those cards that has the music when you open it, something like that, but for a bumper sticker.
Jimmy Moore: There you go. Oh. I would love that.
Leanne Vogel: Yeah. That’d be good.
Jimmy Moore: And have a little duck voice.
Leanne Vogel: Love it. We’ve chatted about a little bit of eating disorder stuff and women stuff. What are the instances where maybe fasting is not advised?
Jimmy Moore: Yeah. Underweight people, please do not fast. If you have no weight on your body and you’re severely malnourished or underweight, you do not need to be fasting. I think it goes without saying, pregnant women should not be fasting, ever. Keto’s probably okay, at least with adequate calories and all that, but yeah, don’t fast if you’re pregnant. Children probably should not be fasting, because they’re still developing. Then, again, people with those eating disorders, bulimia, anorexia, not a good idea. I think you’ve got to get those things under control – and well under control for years – before you ever think about the other F-word.
Leanne Vogel: Yeah. Definitely. A lot of feeding. That is your F-word if you came from …
Jimmy Moore: Yes. That is the F-word that you need, feed, feed, feed some more.
Leanne Vogel: I think too, you know, our body fat percentage, like you said, if you’re underweight, a body fat percentage could be different for so many people. I know that I don’t fare well under 10% body fat. That’s just not a thing. Even 15% is way too low for me. I lose my period. I think when you’re saying that somebody might think, “Well, I’m only 10% body fat. You know? I can totally do it,” but that might not be the right percent for you. That might not be the right place for your body. Is that fair?
Jimmy Moore: Right.
Leanne Vogel: Cool. Now, somebody asked us if you could kind of go through some of the benefits that you saw from your 21-day fast and whether or not you would do it again.
Jimmy Moore: Well, I’ve done several 21-day fasts, but the one that I did in September of 20 … all my months have run together. … 15 I believe it was at this point, I actually tested a bunch of things, like blood cholesterol levels, and some of those things are really, really interesting. You know, they say that you have to lower your cholesterol by taking a statin drug and all this kind of nonsense. I actually saw my total cholesterol drop pretty significantly, by like 100 points, in 17 days, just from fasting. Now, again, I don’t think that means a whole lot, but the significance of it is most of it was in that LDL, the so-called bad cholesterol, and most of it was the small, dense LDL particles, while still maintaining the large, fluffy, the healthy kind of cholesterol. A lot of those kinds of heart health markers all got better.
Now, obviously when I started eating again, Leanne, they didn’t stay that low, but the cool thing is they never came all the way back up to where they were pre-fast. I think it’s one of those things that you’ll see a cumulative effect over time, so fasted for 17 and a half days at that point, and then I fasted again that 28 out of 31 last January. Then I fasted again 21 days in October/November last year. Last year I was writing The Complete Guide to Fasting, so I didn’t fast while writing, because that’s stressful enough, as you well know.
Leanne Vogel: Dude.
Jimmy Moore: You know so well.
Leanne Vogel: Yeah. I aged like 10 years during the writing process.
Jimmy Moore: Oh yeah. Welcome to the club, my dear. I’m on my fourth, fifth, and sixth books, and our fifth, sixth, and seventh books are coming out up the next year, so never a dull moment, but it’s stressful, so I don’t do fast during stress. I think it’s a cumulative effect of all these benefits. I still struggle having a few extra pounds than I would like, and I suppose I’m going to always deal with that. You know, you can’t be 421 pounds in your life without your body screaming at you to try to get back to there again, but I’m more interested, at this point in my life, Leanne, of just keeping my health in order and keeping all those numbers in line, because if they’re in line, it doesn’t really matter what my weight is. My health is in line. That’s all I really care about.
Leanne Vogel: Said like a true champion. That’s something that I have evolved over the last couple of years of, you know, at first keto was like, “Wait. How low can I go and how ripped can I get?” Then once you start to experience the amazingness that is a ketogenic diet, and if you choose to intertwine intermittent fasting in that, just the clarity that you get with your mind and how healthy you feel, the weight kind of is like, “Well, okay. It’s going to do what it’s going to do,” but I feel great, and my numbers reflect that, and so what? It’s such an amazing feeling, and it’s so freeing.
Jimmy Moore: Leanne, did you say we are the champions?
Leanne Vogel: We are the champions, my friends.
Jimmy Moore: This is what we do on my podcast all the time.
Leanne Vogel: Love it. Yes. Just like that.
Jimmy Moore: Just like that.
Leanne Vogel: Just like that.
Jimmy Moore: Like that.
Leanne Vogel: My last question. You know, we chatted a little bit before about plateaus and how you may want to use fasting to break through plateaus. I know that plateaus can be really, really frustrating for a lot of people on a ketogenic diet. You know, “I’m eating whole foods, keto. I’m exercising, and still I can’t lose weight.” Where would fasting fall into that, or would you recommend fasting for a person that’s hit a plateau and just can’t bust through it?
Jimmy Moore: To our previous comment that you and I were just talking about, it’s not that important anymore, but if it is important to you, yes. Yes. It’s a very powerful tool. Now, a lot of people think, “Oh. Well, if I fast, I’ll lose a little weight. Yeah, but then I’ll gain it all right back, because it’s all water weight.” Uh-uh. I actually have tested this when I’ve done these longer fasts. For example, the one I did October/November last year I lost 28 pounds in 21 days, and I tested one month later, so after I’d been eating again for one month. I tested one month later, and I’d kept off 17 of that weight.
You can keep it off. Just know, again, like we said with the health markers, it’s going to be a cumulative effect over time, so you’ll lose 28, gain back 10. You’ll lose another 15, gain back five. Over time you’ll have this huge loss, if that’s what you desire, but again, I don’t really care about that anymore. I would much rather be healthy and maybe a little extra weight on my body than to be miserable, forcing my body, trying to make it fit into some mold of some stupid number on a stupid scale. Can you tell I’m a little jaded by it.
Leanne Vogel: Yeah.
Jimmy Moore: I’m just not there anymore. I just don’t feel like that’s good, even emotionally, on anybody. I think it just takes its toll over time.
Leanne Vogel: Yeah. The mental wellbeing is a huge thing and something I’ve been focusing on a lot. How did you get out of that space, you know, coming from the dieting culture, over to ketogenic fasting? How did you kind of find your footing with being okay with your body and being a health and wellness speaker and everything. How do you find that confidence? I’m sure a lot of people wonder how you even got over that hurdle to say, “Plateau. Whatever. My health is important.”
Jimmy Moore: Yeah. Well, getting older obviously will do that to you, but I think I just heard from so many people. I get about 500 emails a day, 400 or 500 emails a day. It’s just overwhelming reading people, and most of their concerns are about their weight. “Oh. I feel good. My cholesterol markers are all great. My inflammation’s down. My insulin’s under control, blood sugar’s awesome, but I’m still X amount of weight”, and it’s making them upset. I’m going, “Why do we do that to ourselves?” I mean, it just frustrated me for those people, and I found that I was falling into that. I’d go to some conferences and go, “All right. I don’t look like the part. I don’t feel like I look like the part. I would feel inadequate, Leanne. I’m being real open here.
At some point people would come up to me and talk about how my work has changed their lives. Keto Clarity totally radically changed them, and it’s like, Look. That’s why I do this.” Yes. I would like to look the part. I would like to be that perfect example of ketogenic, but I think I would be dead today if it wasn’t for keto and fasting. Jimmy Moore, a little bit overweight, more than he should be, but alive is a whole lot better than Jimmy More dead.
Leanne Vogel: Yeah, because you have an amazing gift to give the world, and that’s not defined with your body. I think being in the health and wellness space I know I struggle with this too. I’m sure everyone in this space does. If you have acne, you’re not healthy. If you’re, quote unquote, overweight, you’re not healthy. How dare you speak in front of people, but we all have this beautiful gift, and I think if we get past all that clutter that fills our mind, and creates fear, and makes us small, you have a very strong message to share with the world. Imagine if you let your fears dictate that. You wouldn’t be doing any of the amazing things that you’re putting out in the world and helping all those people. Thank you for busting through that to share all your brilliance with the world, because it’s quite phenomenal.
Jimmy Moore: Well, thank you. I have a little message for my haters by the way.
Leanne Vogel: Oh. Do it.
Jimmy Moore: Okay. Enough of that.
Leanne Vogel: I love it.
Jimmy Moore: You’ve got to have fun in life too.
Leanne Vogel: It’s so true.
Jimmy Moore: Anybody that knows me knows I’m a fun guy.
Leanne Vogel: You are a fun guy, and not the mushroom type.
Jimmy Moore: Hey. I might be. No. I’m just kidding.
Leanne Vogel: Well, thanks so much for being on the show. Before we wrap up, where can people find you?
Jimmy Moore: I am the easiest person to find online, because I’m literally everywhere, in every little space. Livin’ La Vida Low-Carb is my website. It has literally a splash page of all my stuff, but if you just google Jimmy Moore, I think the first two pages are all my books, and blogs, and podcasts, and a partridge in a pear tree.
Leanne Vogel: Brilliant. I’ll include the show notes in today’s episode, which can be found at healthfulpursuit.com/podcast/31. We’ll include The Complete Guide to Fasting, and your fasting podcast, and everything that you mentioned in today’s episode.
Jimmy Moore: You’re a great podcaster, by the way. I’ve been doing this a very long time, and I go on some new podcasts and I go, “Okay. Yeah. They need a little more experience,” but, Dude, you’re awesome already.
Leanne Vogel: Crushing it.
Jimmy Moore: I’m so proud of you. Crushing it.
Leanne Vogel: Thank you so much, Jimmy. Thank you. Thanks so much for being on the show. I know that a lot of people will benefit from all the information that you shared today.
Jimmy Moore: Thank you, Leanne.
Leanne Vogel: That does it for another episode of The Ketogenic Podcast. Thanks for listening in. You can follow me on Instagram by searching Healthful Pursuit, where you’ll find daily keto eats and other fun things. Check out all of my keto supportive programs, bundles, guides, and other cool things over at healthfulpursuit.com/shop, and I’ll see you next Sunday. Bye.