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What You Can and Can't Have When Fasting Live Video Transcript

Worried about what you can have during a fast? I break down the do's and don'ts so you can maximize your Intermittent Fasting results.

What You Can and Can't Have When Fasting Live Video Transcript

Note: This tutorial video was recorded as a live Facebook event. The text below is an edited transcript of the tutorial intended to provide members with a convenient means of referring to and further researching the topics and content detailed in the video.


Good morning, JYM Army—depending on where you are—it's a little after 10:30 here in Los Angeles. Now, the time is important for me because I'm going to be talking about what I have in my shaker cup. For those of you who know me well, I follow an intermittent fasting diet, so every day I am fasting during certain periods of the day. For me, I fast basically from midnight—so midnight last night—to 4 pm today. That's a 16 hour fast. I feed for 8 hours, so I have a feeding window that starts from 4 to midnight.

During those hours—like right now, it's 10:30 in the morning, so what's in my shaker cup? Well, it's not Pre JYM...to many people's surprise. You think I'm sipping on Pre JYM—why would there not be Pre JYM in my cup if I'm currently in my fasting window?

I'm trying to take a shot at some questions as they go by.

Can ZMA be taken during a fast?

Question: "ZMA outside of feeding window?"

ZMA is perfect outside of a feeding window. That's precisely when you want to take it. With ZMA, the zinc and magnesium—their uptake is interfered with by numerous other nutrients, particularly calcium. But you really don't want to eat anything when you're taking your ZMA. You want to take it on an empty stomach, so during your fasting window is a perfect time to take ZMA.

What I tell people with ZMA is you don't actually have to take it before bed. If you want to take it in the morning—oftentimes I'll forget to take it before I go to sleep at night. If that's the case, in the morning I'm still fasting til 4 pm. So I just take it in the morning. The magnesium in ZMA can enhance sleep quality, but that doesn't make it a sleep supplement. You can take ZMA—particularly ZMA JYM—any time of day.

I don't have any other sleep agents like some of these other companies who put in things to enhance sleep. I want you to be able to take that ZMA any time. It's not a sleep aid, so I don't have any additional sleep aids added to it. Often, they interfere with the ZMA itself, but also you want to be able to take ZMA just as a zinc and magnesium supplement. Take it on an empty stomach—fasting window's perfect.

Word to the Wise – BCAAs Break Your Fast!

So let's get back to why I don't have any Pre JYM in my shaker cup when I'm still in my fasting window. If you look on the supplement facts panel it's obvious that Pre JYM has some calories. There's a very small amount of dextrose in Pre JYM, mainly just for flavoring, but that's one of the reasons I would avoid it—even though you could argue whether or not that would put you over and onto your feeding window, that small amount of dextrose.

The real concern actually are the branched-chain amino acids—and leucine, in particular. You hear a lot of people say, "Sip on branched-chains during your fasting window." No! Do you know why? Because that means you're not fasting. Leucine—I mean, think about this—the mechanism is a bit complicated, but it has to do with mTOR.

You guys have heard of mTOR talking about protein synthesis and leucine. It's the way it instigates muscle protein synthesis in muscle, this mTOR pathway. So that's an important cellular responder—a messenger, if you will—to the process of muscle growth. When leucine interacts with mTOR, that's how muscle synthesis gets kickstarted, basically.

Guess what happens in the brain? There's mTOR in the brain, and the part of the brain—the hypothalamus, which is critical—for those of you who are unaware that I've studied numerous areas of the human body, one of the areas I used to study was thirst, hydration, and exercising in extreme heat. Sweating and all those mechanisms are regulated right there in the hypothalamus. Well, guess what? So is feeding.

So I know a few things about brain physiology as well, and the neuroplasticity of the brain—these are areas that I've studied. So leucine is a real problem. You see all these experts talking about, "Oh just sip on branched-chains during your fasting window, that way it'll decrease muscle breakdown and muscle loss." Well, then you're not fasted. You're decreasing muscle breakdown—that's what feeding does. You see?

But leucine, in particular, will basically cause mTOR in the hypothalamus of the brain to send the signal—not for the brain to grow, like muscle growth—but that you're fed. These are cellular messengers; these are just reactions that occur in the body and the muscle—that mTOR reaction to leucine is instigating muscle growth with protein synthesis. There are many steps before it turns into muscle growth, but we'll say protein synthesis which is one of the first steps toward muscle growth.

Then also in the brain, it does something completely different. Same complex, same interaction—you have leucine, you have mTOR—but guess what? The signal is different in the brain. It says, "Whoa! We've got leucine!" Guess what leucine is? It's critical for muscle protein synthesis and it's an essential amino acid—meaning it's a part of a protein. Proteins are made of certain amino acids. Leucine is one of the critical ones. That's why we love whey protein: It's rich in branched-chain amino acids—particularly leucine. It's one of the many benefits of whey.

So leucine is problematic when you're fasting because it's basically telling your body you're not fasted. So when it comes to fasting, sure you can still sip on branched-chain amino acids with intermittent fasting and get results, because you're barely having any calories. You're just getting three amino acids, not a complete protein.

However, from a true intermittent fasting standpoint, if you want to get the benefits of intermittent fasting as far as the way that the metabolic rate is changed? Remember guys, I also studied fasting in the lab—Yale School of Medicine—doing research on fasting, and I'll talk about meals and what we found—what you have after the fast can affect the metabolic rate—but with the fasting and boosting the metabolic rate, if you're getting leucine in you're not taking advantage of the true benefits of intermittent fasting.

How Intermittent Fasting Works

You're halting that process that essentially creates more of what we call "uncoupling proteins". Now, uncoupling proteins—I'm not going to bore you with all that biochemistry—but they basically make your body less efficient, so when you're burning fat and carbs—and even protein. With more uncoupling proteins, you need more fat, more carbs, more protein to get the same amount of energy in the end. That's what they do: They make you less efficient. That's how fasting works—if you're truly fasted.

Fasting happens where? In the brain. It's not just what happens in the stomach. So if you think, "I'm drinking branched-chains. I'm barely having any calories." Yeah, you're getting one of the benefits of intermittent fasting, which is limiting calorie intake for most of the day. You're doing that sipping on branched-chains—but you're halting true benefits. If you've been doing intermittent fasting going, "I just don't get the same results that Jim gets. He stays, what 4% body fat year round? How does he do that? I don't understand..." You're probably blowing it during your fast.

What CAN You Drink During a Fast?

So Pre JYM in my shaker cup, because of the branched-chain amino acids and because of the dextrose. What are the things that I do drink during that—12 midnight to 4 pm the next day? Black coffee. That's what I have today. This is—and actually, I want to thank, a little shout-out to Starbucks for making this. They stepped it up by making not just iced coffee that you can buy, but you can buy the different types of roasts.

I love the blonde roast for a number of reasons. You can watch my tip videos on my YouTube channel where I talk about the different roasts. People think that a dark roast is going to provide more caffeine, because it's intense, right? Wrong, it's the absolute opposite. The blonde—the less roasting that it undergoes, the more caffeine is maintained. So I love getting Starbucks blonde—I love any light-roasted coffees because of the higher caffeine content.

If you're drinking it straight-up black and unsweetened—yes, I do unsweetened, I don't even do any artificial sweeteners; not because I'm against artificial sweeteners—I use sucralose in Pre JYM and at 4 pm I have no issues with sucralose within reason. If you want something that tastes great—like a pre-workout like Pre JYM—I do have all-natural versions, but I'm not that concerned about sucralose. My point is that's not why I don't have any artificial sweeteners in my black coffee.

Tricked by Treats – Avoiding Artificial Sweeteners

Why don't I have any artificial sweeteners in my black coffee? It's the way that artificial sweeteners trick the brain. Remember, I said intermittent fasting—the fasting really happens in the brain, because that's what's going to control the rest of the body. That's what's going to end up really even controlling metabolism, thanks to an increase in the production of those uncoupling proteins.

I don't like sweeteners of any sort because you have receptors in the mouth that literally know that you're consuming something sweet. Research shows that you actually can get some insulin response from sugar in your mouth—without even swallowing it. Just putting it the mouth, rinsing it, spitting it out signals the brain that you're getting carbs.

So I'm concerned about—even though it's not a true source of carbs—artificial sweeteners having that sweetness and the ability to trick the mind into thinking that it's getting a source of glucose and is getting carbs. Like I said, it all happens in the brain. So I try best to stick with just black—that's why I like the blonde, it's far milder. Especially after the ice melts a bit, it's not as intense.

Or I also do iced tea, but again I go with unsweetened iced tea. I'll even do a half-and-half black coffee, half iced tea—makes it far less bitter. It surprisingly tastes really good, so give that a try as well. Even green tea works as well, but again I would suggest unsweetened as best as you can.

Now once in a while you'll see me having—I love Coke Zero. Once in a while, I might have a Coke Zero or a diet Mountain Dew. I love diet Mountain Dew. I might have that during my fasting window, but I'm not guzzling artificially flavored drinks all day. I might have one, might have two here or there.

Can Chewing Gum Break Your Fast?

Another question that comes up is gum—what about gum? Most sugar-free gums have sugar alcohols, is what you're seeing in there. So you'll see some of them may say it's got a gram of carb, but the sugar alcohols—mainly in gum, they often use xylitol—they don't get absorbed as readily by the body and utilized as normal carbs. So there's still a debate over it, and it depends on the sugar alcohol that's involved. Each sugar alcohol is going to be different.

Some sugar alcohols literally don't even get absorbed. Some can get completely absorbed but don't get utilized. Some get absorbed a little and used a little. So it really depends on the sugar alcohol. What I try to do is avoid gum—which sucks, because yeah you get dry, but drink a lot of water, drink a lot of coffee and tea to help fight the bad breath.

A Quick Recap 

So if you're just joining, talking about what's in my shaker cup—which is just black coffee. Watch my video on my YouTube channel about what you can and cannot drink during your fasting window.

And of course, for those of you who joined in late: Remember, I post these live sessions as videos so you can go back and watch, right from the beginning, all the information that I covered with my intermittent fasting, things about leucine, how intermittent fasting really occurs in the brain and not in the stomach—that's the thing you really want to focus on, is those brain effects. That's why I go with no artificial sweeteners during the day, no leucine, no real amino acids whatsoever.

ZMA is fine, though. There are certain supplements that are fine. Alpha JYM is fine—better with food—but if that's when you have to take it; and Shred JYM actually works best—is really designed to be taken on an empty stomach. However, that being said, the green tea extract—because I have such a high-quality, potent green tea extract in Shred JYM, a lot of people are sensitive to Shred JYM and it can cause some stomach upset. So if you find that, then you're better off taking it with food or splitting up the dose into smaller doses throughout the day.

Answering a Few Questions

So let's—I know I jump around topics, that's one of the reasons I love these live sessions. This will all be posted later so you can go through and fast forward where I'm ranting about nonsense, and get to the nitty-gritty about the intermittent fasting. Just another way to educate you guys. I like it because it's far less formal. I can just pop up, what's on my mind—it doesn't matter if the video is 5 minutes too long and I really talked about other things besides intermittent fasting in the video.

I think this is a much better way to learn. It's almost like having me as your teacher, instead of the teacher just giving out information and you don't really see the personality, you don't get any of the other information that you might miss from having a live person teach you, versus watching a video that I made months or even years ago, or an article that I had written. Here you can learn from me right here on the spot. So I love Facebook live sessions, and I want to thank you guys all for joining as well.

Let me check the time—almost 11. I've got a lot to prep before I head out, so sorry for such a short one. But let's take a look at what we have for questions here.

Multivitamins for Middle Age?

Question: "Can you suggest a good vitamin for people over 50?"

Well, I turn 50 soon and I take nothing but Vita JYM and ZMA JYM to get all my micronutrients. I highly suggest you do the same. Trust me, one thing you want to be doing is getting Vita JYM and ZMA JYM

Don't Forget to Refeed

Question: "Hey Jim! Black coffee for me until 12 pm, then it's feed time!"

I'm waiting for 4. The other thing—for me today, it's a special day because I've been going 0.25g of carbs for the last three or four days. I typically do my intermittent fasting carb cycling—it's not all donuts every freaking day, trust me. You have to put in some tough days—0.25g—but what I'll do today is I'll start carbing up for the Olympia, that way I'm not too bloated but I'm full and still looking lean for you guys who come up and want to take pictures.

So gummy bears—4 pm for me. I don't know what you're getting at 12, but it's going to be a carb feast today and tomorrow for me, and I'm excited.

JYM Supplements in the UK

Question: "When is JYM coming to the UK?"

Very soon. I just expanded into Canada.

Can You Supplement While Doing Keto?

Question: "Are your products keto friendly?"

For the most part—depends on how many calories from carbs you can consume. For the most part, very—even Pro JYM, my protein powder, you'll find has only like 4-5g of carbs per serving, and a serving is giving you 24g of protein. Depending on how low you are—and then the Pre JYM and the Post JYM have a minute amount, just a couple grams for flavoring so you should be fine. Should be able to keep you well within your keto range.

Advice on Extreme Caloric Restriction

Question: "Is it safe to take in under 1000 calories a day?"

Well, it would be safe—it's going to be hard to get enough of your micronutrients in, so you want to make sure you're supplement with Vita JYM and ZMA JYM. Critical to get Vita JYM, ZMA JYM, and Omega JYM—which, by the way, for those of you following my Train with Jim series, is this week's prize: Vita JYM, ZMA JYM, and Omega JYM. I call it my JYM Support Stack. Those micronutrients from the Vita JYM and the ZMA JYM are critical, especially when you're low calorie. And then you want to get that high dose of the omega-3s in the Omega JYM, especially when you're going that low, calorie-wise.

The problem with going that low calorie-wise is where do you go from there? Once you hit your plateau, you don't have much room to drop. Check out my Dieting 101 and you might want to start doing a little bit of refeeding and then dieting back down.

Is Intermittent Fasting Safe in the Long Term

Question: "Is intermittent fasting safe to practice daily?"

It's not only safe, it's very healthy. Now one of the things I didn't get into—because I was just talking about what you can and cannot have during your fasting window during this session—is that intermittent fasting has now been proven in the lab to have numerous health benefits.

It enhances insulin sensitivity, so it can help fight and prevent type 2 diabetes. It can boost immune function. I travel almost every week, have young kids as well so I'm surrounded by—I'm exposed to so many viruses and different bugs. I'm never sick. Have you guys ever seen me posting saying, "Oh, I'm sick today"? No. Intermittent fasting boosts your immune function. It works.

Another benefit is it actually helps with jet lag. So with my traveling, by timing my feeding and the same—I eat at 4 pm in my new time zone, stop eating at 12—it helps my body to regulate where I am in its own time zone. And now there's new research even showing that intermittent fasting may actually help protect the skin from UV damage. So, numerous benefits there.

Another interesting thing, speaking of skin protection—something you might not expect to protect your skin is creatine. Creatine has actually been shown to help prevent UV damage. So if you get a lot of sun exposure, creatine not only can help with your performance—brain function as well—but can even help prevent skin damage.

Pre JYM and Heart Health

Question: "Is your pre-workout safe for someone who's had heart surgery?"

Heart surgery can mean numerous things. It depends on what the issue was, what the surgery was, how well you're recovering, how sensitive you are to caffeine. Remember: Pre JYM doesn't have any of these crazy stimulants in there—it's just caffeine. So it all depends on your caffeine tolerance.

Some people with heart issues cannot tolerate caffeine. I have cardiomyopathy—had a virus as a young boy that caused damage to my heart tissue, so my heart doesn't contract as well and put out enough oxygenated blood. I have no issues with Pre JYM, despite having a heart problem. I have to take drugs for that, heart medications. I have no issues drinking four, maybe even five—if you do the math right there with coffee and what not, I might be getting in 1000-2000mg of caffeine a day. No issues with my heart.

I can't really say or not—it's impossible for me to know, but if you're caffeine—what's interesting about Pre JYM is it has caffeine in it, which can be an issue for blood vessels, but it has citrulline malate and other nitric oxide boosters which aid function. So people who have high blood pressure—some of them can't use caffeine; some of them can't use Pre JYM.

Other people who have high blood pressure can actually have their blood pressure lowered from Pre JYM due to the nitric oxide boosters. They're not that caffeine sensitive. So it depends on your caffeine sensitivity. Be smart—you just had heart surgery. Start with a very low dose, even a quarter dose if your doctor gives you the okay on caffeine. That's really the main issue that you're going to have with the product.

And then with the L-tyrosine which can further enhance the caffeine, you can get—it depends. So be very cautious. But again, the nice thing about Pre JYM is you know it's in there, there's nothing crazy, it really just depends on how well you tolerate caffeine.

Alright, well unfortunately I've got to run to get ready, get the stuff I have to get done today. For those of you who are joining in late on these little—I call them "guerilla style" education, where I just pop up. You never know when I'm going to spring some information on you, so pay attention to your phones or your computers or whatever you watch your Facebook, as you'll see me pop up live quite a bit because I really am loving this format.

Prior to that, it was just connectivity issues. Now that I'm working on getting my connectivity issues straightened out, you'll be seeing me popping on just like this so we can have these little discussions. But I hope you're enjoying this format. If you missed any of the information, I talked about intermittent fasting—what you can and cannot have during your fasting window. I'll post this so you can get the information that we discussed earlier. As always guys, stay JYM Army Smart. See you guys!

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