top of page

Episode 96: The Intermittent Fasting Revolution with Andres Ayesta

Brief summary of show:

In this episode, Andres Ayesta joins me to talk about the intermittent fasting revolution.

Together, we uncover the science and strategies behind using intermittent fasting for weight loss and overall health and wellness.

Andres Ayesta is a Registered Dietitian, Weight Loss Expert for women & founder of Planos Nutrition. Andres helps driven women entrepreneurs & executives with personalized, evidence-based nutrition blueprint to become the most confident version of themselves physically & mentally while creating a healthy & happy relationship with food & themselves.

To this date, Andres has helped over 650 clients to transform their bodies & minds while reaching sustainable results & healing their relationships with food.

Listen in as we talk about:

  • [2:00] What intermittent fasting is and isn't

  • [4:20] Types of intermittent fasting

  • [5:55] Why people do intermittent fasting

  • [10:15] Why this lifestyle has become so popular

  • [16:10] Why we tend to 'feel better' when we do intermittent fasting

  • [19:20] How to get started with intermittent fasting

  • [25:40] Tips for better hydration

  • [27:10] Does the quality of the water we drink matter?

Notes from Natalie:

Connect with Andres Ayesta

Connect with Me

View Transcript for this Episode

[00:00:00] Natalie: The intermittent fasting revolution, understanding the science and techniques of scheduling meals for weight loss and.

[00:00:09] Natalie: Hi everyone, it's Natalie. Does it seem like everyone is talking about intermittent fasting? Today we're gonna talk about what intermittent fasting is, how it works, and how it can help you achieve your health and weight loss goals.

[00:00:23] My guest today is Andres Aesa. He has spent the last 10 years studying and learning about nutrition and the art of connecting education. With application. Andres has a bachelor's degree in nutrition and dietetics, a master's degree in exercise science and sports nutrition, and also he's a certified strength and conditioning coach and a registered dietician.

[00:00:42] Yep. He knows it all. Today we are gonna talk about, again, what it is, what is intermittent fasting. Also what it's not and how to start if you're looking to try this as a way to get healthy. Most importantly, you're gonna walk away today with actionable tips to [00:01:00] improve your health and your overall wellbeing.

[00:01:02] I'm so glad you're here today. Grab a notebook or head out on that walk while you listen and let's get started.

[00:01:09] Andres, thank you for being with me today. This is a topic a lot of my listeners want more information on, and I think it's important we dive deep and explain, but also just talk about the benefits of intermittent fasting.

[00:01:23] Andres: Absolutely will. Natalie, thank you so much for having me. Definitely a topic near and dear to my heart.

[00:01:28] I did my thesis on this, so I love talking about it.

[00:01:31] So let's talk first about what is and what it isn't and I think that would be a really good place to, to start. Cuz I like to create definitions first for things, specifically nutrition. So intermitent fasting is not a diet. Let's start with what it's not.

[00:01:44] And I think many people right now feel it is a dietary or like a. Program that they had to join in. And in reality, intermittent fasting is just a, I call it a meal schedule. It's essentially adjusting timeframes in which you're consuming food and [00:02:00] fasting from, you know, the word for, you know, you may have heard about fasting whenever you have to go get some blood work, right?

[00:02:05] Because they ask you to fast. And fasting is nothing more but abstaining from consuming food. And actually the scientific term is like for at least six. So we all fast, we all intermittent fast every single day, right? I think the term came about or started to become popular when now we were extending that window of time where the most typical approach now with intermittent fast fasting is, is people fast between nine o'clock and they skip breakfast and they go back to eat around one o'clock.

[00:02:37] So in a minute, fasting, again, it's not a diet, it's more of a meal schedule. , and that's essentially the way I like to define it so people really understand the differences between it. Why do I not really call it a diet? , you can follow a vegan lifestyle and you can still practice inter fasting. Hmm. You can follow a balanced approach to nutrition and you can practice inter [00:03:00] fasting.

[00:03:00] You see what I'm saying? Yeah. It's essentially not a a dietary like st type of method. It's just essentially a schedule where you can plug a lot of different things in there, regardless of really what you're trying to do. Yeah.

[00:03:11] Natalie: So less of what you consume and more about when you consume

[00:03:15] Andres: it. Correct.

[00:03:16] Right. And, and manifesting has many different methodologies or different types of ways to do it. And I think this is obviously where now many people like typically update and there's like books like written into that and like, okay, there's different kinds of methods you can do this or that. I'm gonna basically talk about the most common ones that it's what most people typically would find on the internet when they type in Google intermittent fasting.

[00:03:40] If or imminent fasting. It's something, it's, it's a very common topic. It's actually, when you look into Google's rankings of diets and different things like that, that people search, intermittent fasting is way up there.

[00:03:51] So there's a couple different approaches that many people really focus on, which is one is the 16 aid.

[00:03:58] Approach, which is essentially 16 [00:04:00] hours of fast and eight hours of what we call a fitting, a feeding window, which is a time when you actually consume foods. This is the one I mentioned earlier where you typically stop eating around nine o'clock or, and then you really start eating around one o'clock in the afternoon, so you skip your breakfast, and there's no really rules around what times or what timeframes are important.

[00:04:22] It's just essentially like you create a 16 hour. You can totally do it. What does that look like

[00:04:27] Natalie: for you? Or most people? You stop eating after dinner.

[00:04:31] Andres: Yeah. And then that would be correct. So for example, you would stop eating around, they say your dinner, it's like eight o'clock. So what time do you typically finish the with dinner or the last meal you would normally have?

[00:04:41] I'd say

[00:04:41] Natalie: depending on kids' schedules, that's the hard part, you know? Yeah. Basketball one night and not another night. So I would say on average, 6 37 at night would be the completion

[00:04:52] Andres: of. Correct. So let's say for example for you that would be that, so your actual next meal following this [00:05:00] methodology or following this type of system would be probably around 1130 or 12 o'clock.

[00:05:06] So maybe around lunchtime. And you're creating a window of time in which there's no really food that is consumed. And. Kind of that's like the, that typical type of approach. Maybe people eat a little bit later or different things like that. Now, one of the things that a lot of times happen in fasting is many people get confused.

[00:05:24] And,

[00:05:25] and I guess maybe what I love to kind of explain to people is the reasoning why people do fasting before we, we get into explaining different types and different things. Yeah, please. Because I think we need to address like what most people typically do, which, what would take, what would be your guess what most people actually would follow?

[00:05:39] Intermittent fasting. There's two reason. Why, what do you think

[00:05:42] Natalie: would be the first? I would say the, the biggest reason that I hear people doing it is for weight. .

[00:05:47] Andres: Yep. That would be correct. Yeah. And the second one would be for health purposes. Okay. And I think the, the, the purpose or the reason or the intention behind what you want, why you want to do it is extremely important.

[00:05:58] So because depending on what [00:06:00] it is like there, like the intention, again, it's, it's extremely like fundamental to understand like how it would actually, would work for you. Most people find it and when search, when they search ramin and fasting, it's specifically for weight loss and. For health purposes, there's all the kinds of bene benefits that I'm gonna get into, but the truth, reality is that inter fasting is nothing magic that creates weight loss.

[00:06:23] It just, let, let me put you here an example. If you cut out your breakfast, right, that is obviously a certain amount of calories you're consuming and you now completely remove it. , what do you think is gonna happen? You're gonna create something called a deficit of calories. Mm-hmm. , you're consuming less calories than your body is requiring, particularly when you're comparing yourself to last week when you were consuming 500, 400, maybe 300 calorie breakfast, and now you're not doing it.

[00:06:49] So when you remove that, it was not the fasting itself that created that, it was just mm-hmm. , simply the reduction in calories. Mm-hmm. , and this is what I tell all my clients inside of our program, [00:07:00] when they tell me, Hey, I wanna practice in a minute fasting, because I ask them why. It's like, well, because I heard so-and-so told me that they lost a lot more weight due this.

[00:07:08] It's like, okay, let's look at their lifestyle compared to yours. . If you control how many calories you're consuming on a daily basis, still eating your breakfast, maybe because you love breakfast, still eating your lunch, and still eating your dinner and not necessarily creating this rule of 16 hours of fasting that you really need to have, you can still create the same condition to be able to accomplish that.

[00:07:29] And this has even been shown in research. Where they compared two groups of people. And let's say for example, you're in one group and I'm in another group, and in your group you're told you cannot eat until 12 and you're gonna only allow to be eating until eight o'clock. That is what it's called, a time restrictive feeding.

[00:07:46] So mm-hmm. , minute of fasting, per se. In my group, they're gonna tell me, no, you can eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner. You guys are gonna eat exactly the same amount of calories. And, and a lot of these studies, guess what they found, like they both can lose the same amount. [00:08:00] Right, because at the end of the day, it's not the fasting that created the change.

[00:08:04] It was just the restriction and the calories that created it. And many people sometimes start this process. . They literally just have lifestyles. Like for example, like a typical Western American diet, like the, some, the person that works in an office. I think you were a TV anchor at some point. Mm-hmm. , I'm sure your schedule was kind of crazy.

[00:08:21] But you would, like, we do a lot of stuff on the go. It's like you would grab a coffee, maybe a bagel or something in Starbucks or in No,

[00:08:28] Natalie: I was eating at three o'clock in the morning. Cuz that's, that's before my,

[00:08:31] Andres: my shift. Before your shift, right? Yeah. So of course when you remove that, because you have in your mind this like, okay, I need to.

[00:08:39] in your lifestyle specifically, you already created the condition required for weight loss versus, for example, what I think many people experience and sometimes happen when they're struggling with weight is we eat weight too often. Mm-hmm. , right now we're in the middle. I don't know when this is re releasing, but we're right in the middle of the holidays at the time there's recording.

[00:08:55] So yeah, I mean, what is it? What was it like when you were in the studio? People bring stuff, right? Like [00:09:00] Oh yeah. All the time, every two hours. . So that's a, a lot of times we're consuming more calories than what we need in our body. Yeah. Like for, at least for maintaining, or for at least even for losing weight.

[00:09:10] And that creates the conditions for that. So intermittent fasting, they create, they're strategies that can help you manage that in a better way. Does that make sense? I

[00:09:18] Natalie: I remember a time and I'm sure if you did your thesis on this and, and you've studied all of this where it was popular that the recommendation was eat every three hours.

[00:09:30] to maintain enough energy, and that was when this first intermittent fasting thing became big, maybe five years ago, probably for you even before then. I remember people saying, that sounds so dumb. We're supposed to eat every few hours to maintain our energy. So

[00:09:45] why in the last decade has this become such

[00:09:48] Andres: a big thing?

[00:09:49] Yeah. I, this is literally one of the main reasons why I actually decided to study this, because like you and in school we were told ra, like we need to [00:10:00] be consuming meals every two to three hours, little meals, every two to three hours, little meals. Right? And there's like different course schools of thoughts.

[00:10:06] So many people would say, because it's going to speed up your metabolism. I gonna put like my air quotes in here. Mm-hmm. , because the truth is that that doesn't really create that. And I'll can get into that. , but other, like more what we learned in school is like just to manage and control your blood sugar levels, right?

[00:10:20] Mm-hmm. , because like the more that you kind of keep that blood sugar line, like more steady. Yeah. The better was actually going to be for managing your hunger levels and what, that's one of the reasons, obviously why we did it. Now, my thought process in this, it's a very personal. Choice. So for example, if you ask me, I'm a person that really likes to eat bigger meals rather than being snacking multiple times a day.

[00:10:43] Mm-hmm. , my wife, for example, is different because she likes to snack, she likes to have smaller meals because she has, doesn't have a big appetite, but she gets hungrier faster. So for her lifestyle and for her preference, eating more often, it's better for her. Right? So the, the, the [00:11:00] key here is that there's no right or wrong answer when it comes down to yes, you need to be eating every three hours or so, because like I said, it doesn't speed up your metabolism just because you eat more often.

[00:11:10] It doesn't actually create that. , this came from this idea that the more we eat, the more calories our bodies are using to, to burn all that food that you're consuming. And the truth is that that is a very minimal and, and almost like super, super insignificant amount and it doesn't really make as much of a difference as anything else.

[00:11:29] What research has shown re like lately is that what matters? The. is how much you consume at the end of the day, right? As a, as a sum of everything, and not necessarily how often do you distribute it. Now, that's not gonna say, I'm not here to say though that it's completely uni important and then obviously eating and creating obviously sort of a schedule is still something and creates consistency around what your nutrition is going to be like.

[00:11:52] But that's actually what got me interested into that because no, you don't have to eat every three hours unless it's actually your preference and it's, and un, [00:12:00] unless it's something that you prefer and that you. and that's the main thing around that. So does

[00:12:04] Natalie: your wife do intermittent fasting or she doesn't because she.

[00:12:08] Andres: Little meals more. No, doesn't, well, right now she doesn't because she's pregnant, so we're expecting our first child, so congratulations. There's a big thank you. And there's a big obviously reason for that because particularly in women, I guess like a big question many people ask is like, who is this for and who this is not for?

[00:12:22] Mm-hmm. Right. , I always ask the question. Okay. Like, as a dietician and inside of our programs and with our clients, the first question we ever, we always ask is, what do you want to accomplish? And why is this important to you and why do you want to accomplish it? Mm-hmm. . And we need to understand where people are at in that moment.

[00:12:37] So in the case of my wife, she's pregnant, right? Her calorie and her nutritional needs are going to be different that what she wasn't. So we need to make sure that we're supporting the growth of a. in her womb. So yeah, so for her, like she doesn't really need to be thinking on restriction. So it manifesting may create that restrictive mindset because you're just cutting out a ton of the calories.

[00:12:57] right? So for example, for pregnancy in [00:13:00] manifesting, it's not something that I recommend as a registered dietician. Now maybe you'll take a my wife in a different season, or maybe somebody that is just like looking to explore and to experiment with something, which is why I practice in manifesting for like a year.

[00:13:13] I don't do it now. Disclaimer, right? But I just simply use it as a tool because, well, I wanted to cut out a little bit more calories, and to me, I was more focused In the morning, I was just more like, okay, I work better. I'm a morning person, and I feel like sometimes like prepare the preparation of breakfast and all those different things like that really disrupted my flow in the morning.

[00:13:33] So many people usually tell me that. It's like, I don't really have gotten too hungry in the morning, and different things like that. It's like, okay, so maybe intermittent fasting may be an approach that fits into your lifestyle and maybe that. like the right approach for you. So that is something that a lot of times I explain now a lot of people, what happens is they're so used to just being on the go, they skip breakfast.

[00:13:54] Mm-hmm. . But what happens is they try to like back load a lot of the calories that they not consume during the day. at [00:14:00] night. I don't know if it's ever happened to you when sometimes you go on entire day and you're so busy kids and all those different things, and you forget to eat, and then you come on at night and it's kind of like all the alarms, the hunger alarms in your body are going crazy.

[00:14:13] Mm-hmm. . And they're saying like, Hey, Natalie, like you have not given me any food. I'm just here to remind you because you were so busy. Now it's time for you to give me all the things you have not given me. Yeah. And then this is where like a physiological. gets connected with an emotional response. Why?

[00:14:28] Because you're tired, right? So you're not really thinking, know, making like this perfectly crafted, balanced meal. You're exhausted. You're not thinking clearly. And then the emotion hits where your body has a need, but then, wow, that piece of chocolate sounds really good. Mm-hmm. or this other thing, or maybe takeout sounds better.

[00:14:44] So a lot of times we're not making decisions good at night, and some people really like look at intermitent fasting and like, oh, this is like perfect for me. But in reality, well, let's look at your lifestyle to. , what is it that you're doing at night? Mm-hmm. . So that's a lot of the times, like a lot of the conversation that I need [00:15:00] to have when I'm trying to direct somebody to say, maybe you need to do this, or, Maybe you shouldn't really be doing it.




[00:15:39] Natalie: So what is it people talk about with intermittent fasting of just mental clarity they just feel better when they have fasted. And, you know, for me, and I, I, I have tried it in spurts. Maybe I haven't given it. Enough time, but for me, I, I'm just starving. Like, do you get past that feeling and then you have [00:16:00] mental clarity?

[00:16:00] Because I don't like feeling hungry. ,

[00:16:02] Andres: of course you're feeling hungry. I think it, it, yeah, there's a couple different things to, to consider there. Number one, the mental clarity a lot of times comes from the fact that. , whenever you have restricted calories, you're not necessarily, let's say for example, you consume a food that has a higher content or moderate content of carbohydrates, right?

[00:16:20] Carbohydrate is the type of macronutrient. Mm-hmm. when you consume it. Mm-hmm. , I'm just gonna give an example. Let's say a bagel, right? Mm-hmm. . So you consume a bagel, your blood sugar rises up. That's not a bad thing, right? It's just normal response to your body. So it rise. , but eventually it's going to come down.

[00:16:34] So when you, when it comes down, your blood sugar tends to dip a little bit, and then that's usually when your energy dips a little bit, you have a little more anxiety. So of course mental clarity's not there because your body's like, okay, now we need more, and then we need to kind of give some more extra food and then it comes gonna come down again.

[00:16:51] So those big massive excursions of your blood sugar, depending on the quality of the food you're consuming, parti. People consume a lot of processed food, a [00:17:00] lot of like very low fiber foods as well. It's like this up and down. Then of course, like it creates that environment. So when you remove a lot of the con consumption of food, your blood sugar typically is maintained.

[00:17:11] It doesn't go low because your body's really good at maintaining, even in the absence of food for a very long time. So it's just a very straight line. So that mental clarity comes from not having these like big ups and downs that you experience throughout the day. Now to your point, , but what happens? I'm super hungry all the time, and I think you mentioned it, you probably didn't do it long enough because your body didn't really have enough time to adjust.

[00:17:35] right now a breakfast, if I started fasting, I do feel it in my body, right? Because my body's, it's a accustomed, your body has an internal biological clock. Mm-hmm. . And whenever you're not giving it what it needs at the time that it's used to getting it, you're going to feel that. Mm-hmm. , you're going to feel like the stomach starts to kind of rumble and then you start to feel, maybe it's a bit of those mood swings.

[00:17:55] Mm-hmm. eventually, if you do it long enough, your body adjusts to it and it's already [00:18:00] used to not feeling the need of a breakfast in the. And then you start to feel hungry more around noon. And I always say to people, hunger a lot of times comes in waves. Back to the point that I mentioned that day that you were so busy taking care of kids and doing all the different things like that, and you skip a lot of the meals.

[00:18:16] You didn't even think about hunger. Maybe you got hungry at some point, but you got so busy and you were so distracted that the hunger went away. Yeah. So that thing that's a lot of the times, like we sometimes confused that we feel like when we're hungry. Like, no, I need to eat immediately. And I think it's important to honor your own hunger cues because it really gets connected to your own physiology.

[00:18:36] But at the same time, not eating at the moment of hunger is not going to me make, make, or break anything in the process. .

[00:18:42] Natalie: So I'd love for you to give some advice to those listening, thinking, maybe I need to try this. Maybe this is something I wanna do, but I wanna do it correctly.

[00:18:51] How would you set them up for success?

[00:18:54] getting started with intermittent besting? Yeah. We can

[00:18:56] Andres: actually maybe create some tips or steps. to follow. Okay. Mm-hmm. . [00:19:00] Um, Maybe the first thing I would say, and this is actually the same thing I do when our clients inside of our, our, our Nutrient Nutrition Blueprint program, which is I ask them, why do you want to do it? So ask yourself. Mm-hmm. , why do I wanna do intermittent fasting? What's the purpose? Mm-hmm. , what's the intention? I really wanna lose weight. Okay. Or I want to actually improve my health. We didn't, haven't really covered too much health. , you know? Okay. Like, so we know, let's say for example, I wanna lose weight.

[00:19:24] Is that the only re, is that the only way that you have available to lose weight? Let's just say, for example, you know what? I want to experiment with something new. Great. We made the decision, you're going to be embarking on an imminent fasting method, and you're just simply gonna use it as a strategy for you to maybe potentially lose weight, or even for health, whatever may be.

[00:19:44] Okay, perfect. So what's the first stages that you need to do? First, you need to understand what's your baseline, what are you currently doing right now? So one of the advice that I'd really give a ton of people is keep like a journal of what you're doing on a daily basis. Mm-hmm. , right? So for example, like take a day.

[00:19:59] and [00:20:00] write down what you're doing for breakfast, what you're doing for dinner, what you're doing for lunch, what snacks that you're taking. Just the fact of doing that alone is gonna give you a really good snapshot of what's going on right now and say, okay, so if I'm gonna do it a minute fasting, I need to cut out this meal.

[00:20:14] Right. , this goes now for the third step, which is, are you actually getting quality of nutrition and the rest of the day that you are consuming? Because here's something that happens to many people. They just simply eliminate the meal in the morning, and maybe that was their most nutritious meal. Mm. And the rest of the day, Crap.

[00:20:33] They're not necessarily consuming higher quality nutrition. So this is why it's important to audit what you're currently doing. Yeah. One of the things that I realized for me is I was not consuming enough protein. And believe it or not, one of the, the, the caveats and the things that happen when imminent fasting for doing it for too long is you actually risk losing muscle mass.

[00:20:50] And for men and women, I always tell you, need to treat muscle mass like it's diamonds. Like it's so precious. Yeah. And you need to maintain it and keep it up. So that's another big important [00:21:00] tip, which is consuming. Protein, right? Mm-hmm. Protein comes from different sources, whether they're animal base or plant-based.

[00:21:06] So prioritizing the amount of protein you're consuming on a daily basis in your ma. Like say for example, you're doing the 16 eight and you're skipping your breakfast and you're, the first meal is your lunch, you need to maybe increase the portions of your protein. So whether it is maybe you're consuming chicken or maybe fish or maybe some legume if you're plant-based or more.

[00:21:27] increasing those protein amounts because you're gonna need a higher level and then maybe for dinner the same way, right? So you're gonna have to probably consume a little bit extra food to make sure that you're meeting your body's nutritional needs as well. The other tip I will give on the, another step to follow is, do not fall to extremes.

[00:21:45] Some people I would actually run into that we're doing an interment of fasting, and we would actually ask them, let's say, okay, let's go grab lunch for example. Oh no, I cannot eat because I cannot break my fasting window that ends at one o'clock. One hour is [00:22:00] not going to make a difference. And I think many people create this like, intense rule, book of guideline and say, no, sorry.

[00:22:06] So you stop doing social things because you're in your fasting window and it makes sense if it's at 7:00 AM and you're trying to respect that, right. But cannot be so extreme that you stop living your life. Right, because you're just trying to do that. So important. Those are like some of the most important tips.

[00:22:21] Yeah, and staying hydrated, that'll be the most important bonus because many people that experience that headache and, and sometimes like that, like mood or, or stuff happens because their hydration. Not very high, and we need to make sure that we're consuming enough fluids on a daily basis. And when you're really cutting a lot of that stuff out in the morning.

[00:22:40] Yeah. Like you can have imbalances in your fluids and that's why

[00:22:43] Natalie: When is a good, when it comes to hydration during intermittent fasting or any time, is it the same? What? What do you recommend? .

[00:22:50] Andres: I always focus on, because many people ask me, what can I do when I'm fasting? Right. If I'm actually doing an in a fasting process, like, can I drink anything?

[00:22:58] Can I drink coffee? Can I [00:23:00] have tea? Mm-hmm. tell me that. Yeah. I would always say that fasting, true fasting is nothing, but I always say like the, the modified fasting, which is still like, The, the kind of, the terminology I like to use is nothing that is caloric water. It's non caloric coffee, it's non caloric.

[00:23:16] Or like it's trivial, not even something. Tea is non caloric. So these are all things that can, you can probably consume in fastened windows if you choose to do this. But depending back to your question about how much fluids they need to be consuming, I always say to most people that there's tw