Transcription for the video titled "How FASTING Can Help You LOSE WEIGHT, LIVE LONGER, and THINK CLEARER".


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Intro (00:00)

A lot of us have this ball and chain when it comes to food. We eat at breakfast, we eat lunch, we take up so much of our mental bandwidth that can be used for productivity, for relationships, for self development. Water only fasting though needs to be done resting if you're going to maximize detox, preserve lean tissue. >> Fasting three days a month, seven days every three months, 14 days once a year.

Nutrition And Diet Discussion

What are your thoughts on Keto? (00:39)

>> My goal is to help people become their own self experimentation. I'm a huge fan of the ketogenic diet, right? I'm on the Dr. Asho talking about the benefits of keto and I fell in love with it to be honest with you. >> I don't really care so much as what you eat and how much. Now when you're eating at the same time every day, whatever that is. >> It all depends on how you do the caloric restriction. So because it's not just about the calories, it's about the hormones. >> When you look at the vegan diet, vegetarian diet, it doesn't bite, it's default mean it's healthy diet. It just means you're avoiding animal foods. >> So when you eat your storing body fat, when you don't eat, when insulin is going down, you're going to burn body fat. You're actually going to, you can't burn body fat if insulin is hot. >> So if you feel bad in fasting, doesn't bother me. As long as you get well, you'll totally forgive us. >> One of the main benefits of fasting prolonging is affecting glucose insulin monochondriofunction that we introduced to show on, but it drops M2R to the floor. And we know that chronic M2R over expression is linked with premature aging diseases. So I think the ability through drugs, through exercise and through fasting protocols to manipulate this critical energy sensor called M2R, is super fasting. So I think right now in 2019, a lot of people are microdosing psilocybin and LSD. I personally experiment with that fairly often. I think in two years, people are going to be microdosing rapamycin. People are going to be microdosing various M2R inhibitors to, like they're called calorie restriction mimetics. So we're kind of manipulating the physiologic effect. >> Are people already fucking with rapamycin? >> It's a very few in- >> You mentioned the other one I'm blanking on it right now. >> Like metformin? >> Metformin, yeah. >> Is it like metformin? >> I don't, I take berberine. >> Interesting. So the one thing, when the cameras stop rolling. >> Yeah. >> The one thing a lot of people are like, yeah, I fuck with it. >> Really? >> Is that 1000%. I'm talking about doctors. >> Yeah. >> Where I'm like, all right then. Like it's one of those, it is only my fear of the unknown where it's like, if something seems too good to be true, it probably is. And I don't know what kind, cuz they've been giving it to diabetics and cancer patients for a long time. >> Long time. >> So I don't know what kind of studies have come out based on that, but metformin is probably one of the safest drugs you can take. It's actually very poorly absorbed. Here's what's really good. So I'm studying the microbiome forever. I'm very curious about how these drugs work. Like it's only 33% or something like that is absorbed. How is it working? It's affecting your microbiome. It's affecting the gut hormones and your bugs. So very safe, the only thing you might need to add more of would be B12 and folate, cuz it purportedly does affect methylation and or absorption. But that's a very safe drug. I'm not, I wouldn't be ashamed to take, say that I take it. I don't, I take berberine. So I do that 500 milligrams of berberine hydrochloride. >> Same thing, meant to slow mTOR. >> Yeah, well it affects AM, I don't wanna get complex into the biochemistry. But you have kind of a yin yang, you have mTOR's growth, AMPK is breakdown, okay? You know, ones that are good and are bad, they just are. Berberine and metformin increase AMPK. AMPK is a switch just like mTOR is a switch. They're different knobs. >> So it's breaking down what? >> Crap inside ourselves. Okay, so this is a little bit like autophagy. >> AMPK and mTOR are the key cellular switches that ultimately guide autophagy. And govern whether or not we're going to tear down, break down, you know, abirate proteins, dysfunctional proteins, aggregated proteins, dysfunctional organelles. We kind of talked about how our cells are like little homes inside our appliances.

What other factors can assist in autophagy while fasting? (04:33)

Those appliances become dysfunctional and that's where autophagy self digest comes in. So you have a bad furnace, autophagy, and we'll help to clear that. A bad furnace in your cell would be a monochondria, Golgi apparatus, endoplasmic reticulum. There's all these different compartments. It's even speculated that the ability to break down fat and glycogen, storoglycos, is autophagy mediated, even recovering from exercise. This is what's so cool. So when we feel sore after workout, how do you think our body recovers from that? It's via autophagy. And breaking down those damaged proteins so that we can rebuild them so that they're stronger for our next workout. So I like to throw that in there because when people hear autophagy, they think fasting. But that's just one knob on the satophagy wheel. Exercise, there's a ton of data showing that exercise enhances autophagy because you're causing your body to dig deep and break down glycogen for that workout. We recommend, there's two types of fasting. There's short term intermittent fasting, which we recommend people do every day. That everybody fast every day for between 12 and 16 hours, depending on what your target is. And that means that you don't eat at least three hours before you go to sleep. Hopefully going to sleep at a reasonable hour. And so that gives you 12 to 16 hours of fasting in eight hour feeding window. We recommend that in that eight hour feeding window, that the whole natural food diet that you eat excludes all the chemicals and the processed foods and the other stuff. And in doing that, you get the quantity and quality of nutrients you need. And you give yourself a 16 hour period of fasting every day. And cumulatively, that's thought to induce changes and stimulate factors that promote healing. It also helps minimize overeating. And so the net effect of that intermittent fasting, which virtually everybody can do safely on their own, is something we recommend. And then periodically, we recommend people take a longer period of time to do water only fasting in our clinic. We fast people from five to 40 days. And so typically faster, two, three, four weeks of time. That needs to be done in a medical system. Is that only for people that are obese? No, no, not at all. In fact, most of our patients, it's high blood pressure, diabetes, autoimmune diseases, lymphoma. And we have also healthy people that are just coming in for a shorter period of time, like a week. The reason we talk about supervision in that regard is, number one, not everybody's a good candidate for fasting. Some people should not be fasting. Give me some bad candidates. Anybody who has. Well, if people have, for example, cranny levels over 2.0, their kidney function is inadequate, putting them on a fast cut, their kidneys down result in kidney failure and death. If they have- Sorry, why? I've never heard that, but why would your kidneys shut up? Because when you go on a fast, you massively mobilize a detoxification response. And the kidneys can only process so much material. And if you overload the kidneys, you end up with a kidney failure situation. And that's, you know, you've heard recently there's been people that have tried dry fasting. And dry fasting particularly puts a heavy load on the kidney. And there was a death associated with one of its proponents. Just because, you know, you have to have a solute in order for the kidneys to function, you have to have a way of getting the material that's mobilized out of the system. Why does fasting trigger detoxification? Well, if you think about it, when you're going on a fast, there's nothing for the body to do except mobilize its reserves. And in water fasting, particularly in a resting state, those reserves are predominantly fat. In fact, we've done a study recently at the Trina of Health Center where we've used a DEXA scanner with software that allows to do whole body composition. We've determined not only is mostly fat mobilized during water-only fasting, but specifically and preferentially visceral fat. So a person might lose, say for example, 20% of their adipose tissue, but they'll lose 50, 60% of their visceral fat, which is really exciting, much faster than, for example, being on a low carbohydrate diet in terms of the ratio of visceral fat mobilization to subcutaneous fat. And in that fat contains a lot of fat soluble materials, and it's where a lot of toxins are stored. When those fats are mobilized, you get an increasing load, PCBs, dioxin, pesticide residues, etc. All these fat soluble nutrients are rapidly mobilized, processed and eliminated. But you need to have the capacity to actually eliminate metrosin. Most of those metrosin eliminated in the urine, that's the blood being processed by the kidneys. And if you do a fat biopsy on any person, you'll find hundreds of different chemicals in various concentrations. And if you track back, how did those chemicals get in the body? Where did they come from? Obviously, if people take drugs or they smoke and they drink alcohol and they eat foods from the environment that are polluted, that's a potential source. But about 90% according to some researchers got there from one behavior, and that's eating animal foods. Animals biologically concentrate the toxins from their environment. So a calorie of animal food could have two to a thousand times the concentration of a given chemical compared to, say, a plant-based food calorie. And so the consumption of large amounts of animal food potentially expose people to proportionally higher ratios of these materials. And it's also why people on very high animal food diets often have a much more difficult time adapting to the fasting state initially.

What is Jeff's opinion on processed food? (09:42)

Because there's just literally more to process and eliminate. But it does. And so that's particularly, I might mention, true of refined animal products, just like refined plant products have particular problems. So I think we need to be clear that it's actually these highly processed foods of any kind that seem to be the biggest sources of concentration of chemicals. It's not necessarily the brown rice that's the main problem. It might be the rice syrup or it's the products that the highly concentrated products that result in the largest concentrations of materials. And it's an undesirable materials. When you fast, though, the body rapidly mobilizes these materials. If you fast and exercise them, once you've depleted your glycogen stores after, say, 24 or 48 hours, the only way the body would get the needed glucose to maintain muscle activity or excess brain activity would be through gluconeogenesis. You'd have to break down proteins in order to get that. So what happens is if you fast and exercise, you actually lose more weight, but more of its lean tissue. If you fast and rest, you mobilize predominantly fat and specifically and preferentially visceral fat. So in addition to making sure a person's a good candidate for fasting, with a history exam and lab, we also need to make sure they rest during fasting.

What are your recommendations in terms of diet and exercise? (10:57)

Now, there's modified fasting. When you take a certain amount of calories, therefore you have more glucose available, you're able to minimize gluconeogenesis. That's a different process. Water-only fasting, though, needs to be done resting if you're going to maximize detox, preserve lean tissue, and maximize fat loss. And that we've been able to prove now. We've actually done this and we've done before, during after fasting, six-week follow-ups. We've got the data. And so we can put a lot of the old wives' tales to rest. That paper will be published later this year. And I think that'll really make people aware of just why this rest, which is so contrainduted to people trying to maximize weight loss, is important with fasting. What are your recommendations in terms of diet and exercise? For somebody who's ready, they've gotten sort of mentally prepped, they're ready to go down the actual sort of mechanistic part of this journey. Yeah, that's a great question. So my goal is to help people become their own self-experimentation. So I'm a huge fan of the ketogenic diet. I went on the Dr. Asho talking about the benefits of keto, and I've fell in love with it, to be honest with you. But it might not be for everybody. But what I tell people is, be open to experimenting, whether it's a plant-based diet or paleo or keto or whatever it is, be open to some kind of experimentation with your body. Because it's not a one-size-fits-all approach. I can't just give you a diet of 2,000 calories, that's 70% fat, 25% protein, 5% carbs, then boom, it'll magically work for you. Just realizing that what works for me or you or someone else might not work for you, that's totally fine. Let's go find something else that works for you. So helping people realize that it's a journey not a destination. It's not a race to the finish line. It's not like, how much weight can I lose in the short amount of time with the least amount of effort? Just realize that this is a lifestyle. It's going to take time. But being open to changing things, upgrading, evolving as you are on your journey.

intermittent fasting, (13:02)

I do intermittent fasting every day. I try to keep my average pretty damn close to 20 hours a day. What's your take on intermittent fasting, fasting in general, useful, not useful? I love it. I advocate it in both of my books, but you have to find what works for your body. Because I feel like sometimes people, I see this a lot, they go too aggressive with time-restricted feeding or intermittent fasting. And then they, what's too aggressive? Well, it's for their body. So let's just say they want to try like the OMAD, like the one meal a day, 22 to 2. You are getting your calories in in a two hour to one hour window. So 22 to 2 or 23 to 1 fasting to eating window. You have to make sure you're getting enough calories in that time. That's a big meal. Yeah. So I've been experimenting with it. You've tried OMAD? Oh yeah. And I like it. And I've just been doing this, I knew about the research, I've written about it before, but I didn't do it for myself until recently. And I'm experimenting with it. And I'm just saying, because I want to live forever. Okay. Is this going to help in that endeavor? I mean, with these longer periods of fasting, you in theory are up-regulating these autophagy pathways. Okay. The cellular recycling, gobbling, good cells gobbling up. Where do you think that kicks in? 16 hour, 18 hour, 20 hour. Well, I think depends on how much inflammation is going on in the person, it depends on how insistent it is. Will determine when autophagy kicks in? Yeah, because if the body, you see people that are resistant, and look, we can't gauge, I have no practical, clinical way for me to gauge autophagy. I wish I did. But when a lab comes out, I will be running it. But when you look at people's biomarkers and the things we can gauge, you look at their blood sugar, you look at their insulin levels, they look at their inflammation levels, some people can't get into this in ketosis very easily. They have to kind of get these things in check and that takes time. Right. And then you could measure your glucose, you can measure your insulin, you can measure your ketones if you wanted to. If you ever want to continue with glucose more, I haven't. It's fucking interesting, dude, you have to do it. I know I need to. I have patients on it, but I was going to say that's a must. That is, if your diet is clean, it's a little bit gimmicky, maybe the wrong word, but you just get to see like, oh wow, I ate an impossible burger. I thought, I'm really going to go ham in this whole plant protein thing, or plant-based diet thing. Let me see how I do as I up-regulate. Admittedly, it was at a restaurant, so maybe they put so much panache in it that it is what made it ridiculous. But dude, I reacted like I ate ice cream. It spiked my glucose to like 170, which for me is crazy town. You could just see on the, because it's my continuous monitor is pretty flat. This massive peak, it was crazy. I hope you guys enjoyed this episode, brought to you by our sponsors at Athletic Greens. To receive a free one-year supply of vitamin D and five free travel packs with your first purchase, visit Enjoy the episode. Be fasting three days a month, seven days every three months, 14 days once a year. Like, I want to know that. And there's no amount of money that would make it worth, you know, not knowing the answer to that question. Wow, that's a bold statement. Well, think about it. I'm not to suggest that money doesn't matter and money, you can't do great things with money. Like, I want money just as much as the next person. But never at the expense. Like, I don't want anything to get in the way of the knowledge that can drive living longer. That to me is such a priority that I would rather be poor, but know how to, you know, live longer and have all the money in the world and lose my health. So if you look at this umbrella of intermittent fasting, within that are different protocols. Alternate day fasting, the five to 16, eight, we're fasting like you fast for 24, basically. Yeah. 20 hours a day. Within that is this time restricted feeding bubble. And they are having subjects eat earlier in the day. So they started eating at eight and cutting off at two. And that was it. And what they showed is there was a dramatic increase in autophagy just by doing that. Changes in hormones, changes in glucose insulin. But we always think, well, if a topology is good, more is better. But if we think it overweight people, their fat cells have higher levels of autophagy occurring. It's a compensatory mechanism because if you were to, it sounds weird, but if you were to biopsy someone who's morbidly obese, and you look at their fat tissue, there's a lot of necrosis and like literally tissues are dying. There's a lot of immune cells. So if you didn't know anything about autophagy and you looked at adipocytes in obesity, you would think a topology is bad because it's upregulated. And so I just want people to understand in certain cancers, utilize a topology up regulation to avert the immune system to help it. So it's interesting. So it's not this clear, some, it's good or bad. It's contextualized and tissue specific.

When is too much, too much? (18:11)

And sometimes more is not better. So that a lot of people are doing, hey, I did a 24 hour fast one, let's just roll it out to 96 hours, 72 hours. What are your goals? Why are you doing this? Sometimes more is not better. And when isn't it better? Because so if I knew, for instance, that fasting 100% would keep you cancer free, but you have to do, let's say, a 14 day fast, I would do it. I would do it every year. So when is too much, too much? You know, I think when is too much is when it affects your sleep, when it affects your recovery, your muscle performance, when you start seeing negative side effects, when is it ideal? When you feel good, I'm not sure what the ideal situation is. Really true. So when I think, okay, so now let's make it real practical for me. I'll just be selfish for a minute. So I hate doing a five day fast because my productivity falls through the fucking roof or floor after 72 hours, 72 hours is very doable. I can stay focused. I still have energy all that. But the last two days are gnarly and I start feeling sick and I'm just slowing down and I don't have my energy and I find myself zoning out. So if it isn't advantageous, I want to stop doing it. But I know that my motives aren't pure. So I'm going to need some compelling evidence here. Here's my thought is autophagy is influenced by circadian rhythms, by epigenetics, whatever, just like exercise. Why not make it more consistent and shorter? So every week do a 24 hour fast. Does everyone need to do that? No. But if you're looking for longevity like you are, and then every quarter do a little bit of a longer one, like three days or two days or whatever, right? So there's a little bit more consistency because if you, I did the math, if you look at the course of a year, you fast every Monday for 24 hours. If you don't do any other prolonged fast besides that, you're fasting for 16% of the entire calorie year. That gets you pretty close to that 20% calorie restriction that's well known and it's a good proxy for longevity enhancement, at least in animals and other humans, without having to really restrict yourself. Anything else above that in my eyes is just bonus. So if you do a three day fast or a four day fast, every six months, that's just icing on the cake and that can get you closer to that 20%. There's a physical component, there's a mental component and a spiritual component, right? Physically, we know that it's great for anti-aging, longevity, anti-cancer, better digestion, celery generation in your body. That's the physical component. Yeah, some people do it for weight loss, which I do not do it for. There's a mental component too, knowing that you can go a day, two, three, however long without food and live and actually thrive, just realizing that you don't have to be a slave to food. You can be in control of your body. It's amazing for your body and your mind to realize that you're okay without food. You'll be okay. You're not going to die. Then that spiritual component, there's a reason, almost every major religion has some type of fasting in it. In the Mormon religion, we grew up fasting 24 hours a month, like one day a month, you fast for 24 hours and I hated it as a kid. My perception of what fasting was was this sucks. There's a spiritual component. Being able to be more in tune with your body and spirit without having food to distract you is really powerful. I feel like it can be spiritually uplifting, whether you're religious or not, just being more in tune with your body and in your spirit as well. You are a soul. I do really believe that. I think fasting is a way to tap into that. There's a physical, mental, and spiritual component to fasting that I just love. For me, I intermittent fast almost every day. Then extended fasting, I do as a cleanse maybe two to three times a year. It ranges anywhere from three days on the lower end to I've done a seven day fast before, but I'll admit for me already being really lean, that was tough. Day seven was really hard for me. This was during the winter in Utah and my body temperature drops. I get freezing colds. Then it was during Christmas season. We were going to Christmas parties and there was food everywhere. I'm like, "Okay, next time I do this, I got to be by myself." For me, my sweet spot is four days and water only. I'll do water and just a little bit of salt. That's what I found works best for me. I think it's super important for people to at least give fasting a try because my bias is living forever. The only thing that's been shown across every species to a long-gate lifespan is caloric restriction. When you realize it seems, studies suggest that you get all of the benefits of chronic caloric restriction by doing just even intermittent fasting where it's a timed window. Taking the same number of calories, but you do it over a condensed period of time. That is, I think, super important for people to experiment with and look at and see what kind of effect that has on them. I think there's a balance too because I think there's quantity of life, but there's also quality of life. It's not like you need to fast and just eat at a calorie deficit for the rest of your life. Enjoy life too. Have some wine, have a beer every once in a while, but when it feels right to you.

Taking pressure off of yourself to have a 'perfect diet' (23:49)

Can I confess something? Yeah, go ahead. I had ice cream this weekend. You did? Real ice cream? It's amazing. Real ice cream. Real ice cream. Not like a little topper. Ice cream, cold stone. My wife and I just decided to make it. We've been working so much that just have a reconnect weekend and to do something fun. She was like, "You game for this." It was rad. It was a super good reminder that while I think you can obviously get yourself into trouble, if you're not in control of that, but for me, I probably cheated my diet three times a year. I don't have an addictive personality. First of all, that's not a real thing for me. Dipping into it, and like you said, and I've heard you talk wonderfully about this. You said something like, "Oh, my mom's house in this Christmas and she makes some special bread thing. I'm going to have special bread." Exactly. I love that. Talk about that. How can people, because here's what makes me sad. Eating ice cream is awesome. Being alone by yourself in the corner of the ice cream shop, shoveling it down and not making eye contact with people and you're clearly not having fun, like that breaks my heart every time I see it. Yeah, it's similar to consuming alcohol. Like are you celebrating by yourself or are you kind of down on yourself and you're eating your emotions with that substance, whether it's ice cream or alcohol or drugs, whatever it is, like what's your intention behind it? For me, those types of moments, whether it's alcohol or whether it's certain types of foods, are meant to be a bonding thing with family or friends or a positive experience. Yes, I think in that situation, if your intention is just, I'm eating, I'm stressed out and no one's watching, so now's the time to do it. That's where I think that's a behavior that needs to be worked on. I wish it was as simple as saying, "Well, just don't do it." You wouldn't tell a drug addict, "Hey, stop doing drugs. What's wrong with you? It's not that hard. You just put it down." It's similar for some people where they're eating their emotions and they're so ashamed that they have to do it by themselves and it's sad. I feel like that's where that self-worth comes in and the need for support system and accountability come into play. It's not black and white. There's so many gray areas that a lot of it has to do with trauma or self-worth from a very young age. Now we're trying to tell people, "Yeah, you're beautiful, you're worth it." Just change your behavior overnight. I wish it was that easy, but just realize that it's constant battle. It's never ending. You're always going to fight it for the rest of your life, but just realize that you're worth it to keep fighting. That's my message. That's my hope for people. Even on these long, fast, two, three, four, five weeks, and they do fine, but they are resting. Resting in some ways is a little bit harder, but it's more effective. I say it's harder because you'll detox more. You'll feel worse, but we don't care how you feel. We care how well you get. So if you feel bad in fasting, it doesn't bother me. As long as you get well, you'll totally forgive us. Next time you fast, you want to make sure you rest. It doesn't mean you can't do some stretching, you can't do meditation. There's things you can do, but they're more passive. Then you look at how your recovery is post-fasting. You'll find it's really quite fabulous because not only you get really inflammation in the joint pain and some of the chronic injuries, but then you recover quickly. We're able to demonstrate that quantitatively now as lean tissue recovers. Fat continues to go down after fasting. So you're losing fat, you continue to lose fat even though you're regaining "weight" because glycogen, water, fiber, and muscle come back after fasting. Fat does not. What's interesting is you have two pounds of glycogen. So you know you're going to get that two pound back. You've got fiber that has to go back in the gut unless you're eating an all-meat diet, then there is no fiber. There's also hydration. There's a physiological dehydration with fasting. Now that's more when you're exercising. You dehydrate more. So it looks like you're losing more weight, but all you're doing is dehydrating. Why are you dehydrating if you're drinking water? It doesn't matter if you're drinking water. If it's you hold it in the cells, there's a physiological adaptation to fasting where there's a natural dehydration state. It's probably part of the conservation mechanism. There's a lot of weird things that happen very contraindative during fasting. Like for example, we talked about exercise in increasing brain-derived neurotrophic factor that preserves the brain and protects the nervous system. It also increases in fasting. You think about exercise. You're vigorously active. Fasting, you're laying around and not doing much. They both are changing these same things in the same way. It's really, really non-intuitive. But when we look at the science, if we look at the data, and then we look at the clinical outcomes, it's really apparent. Now we're tracking people 30, 35 years. I've got people now that are in their 80s that we started off in their 50s. They all say the same thing, including my mother, who at 92, had outlived all 50 of her lifelong friends. Every one of her friends was dead. She was alone and she said, "Allen, you need to warn your patients if they're going to do this diet. Make younger friends." I'm telling people starting right now, make younger friends. So when you're older and you're still around, you'll have people to interact with.

If there is a magical diet... (29:02)

People should try various diets and see what works for them. I think a lot of people get stuck in this regimented thing and it can backfire on them too. They're carnivore. Then when berries come in season, when people might watch this towards the end of summer, blueberries are going to be in full swing. Does that mean you totally avoid blueberries? Because I believe I'm not one of these people that think plants are bad. I think blueberries, the anthocyanidins and the various antioxidants have a lot of benefit to your microbiome and to your body in general. But then when you start to identify that you're a carnivore, you're a keto or you're vegan, then you close yourself down a little bit. So I think in your case, you don't have any major health issues that I'm aware of that you've talked about. So I would just continue what you're doing, but maybe in the winter, probably the best time to go carnivore. I'm going to say, "Fuck you." And here's, I don't have, I have one health issue and that is, I'm dying. So the only real question I care about in every health theory episode I do is, "How do I live forever?" Like if you're steering by how you feel, which is essentially what I do, I just don't know what its impact is on longevity. If a carnivore diet, like if somebody could tell me, "No, no, no, a thousand percent, if you do a carnivore diet, you're going to live to 150." I'd be all over the carnivore diet all day, every day. I wouldn't even think about it. I'd never touch another fucking blueberry in my life. Like I would just eat it. But it's that big fucking question mark about longevity that winds me up. Well, let me pose this question to you. How could a diet be negatively affecting your longevity if it makes you feel better, that makes your sleep better, if it improves your heart rate variability, if it makes you stronger, if it makes you recover better? How could it slow down your longevity? I mean, or affect longevity in a negative way? I don't know. Maybe I'm not thinking about this through properly, but it doesn't make sense to me. If your diet is mostly consists of a cematose crunch and mountain dew like mine was, all these processed foods, which I'll be honest with you, they're convenient, they're affordable, they're cheap compared to a salad or whatever. And they taste really good. They really do. And they can be very addictive for some people. If you're eating real food most of the time and you're moving your body every single day, biking or swimming or zumba dancing, ecstatic dance, whatever it is, moving your body, just getting out there and moving and eating real food. No one, it's super easy to eat 20 cookies. If you're stressed out and you're having these baked goods in your house, but no one's going to sit down and eat 10, 20 avocados. I mean, I've never seen anyone do that because they're stressed out. And I think if we could just get people to focus on the process of the habits that make a healthy lifestyle rather than the results, then I think the results will take care of themselves. You have two daughters. How do you deal with food and them?

Dealing with Kids and Food (31:54)

I mean, especially knowing how tasty processed foods are. That's a great question. I always ask other parents when they come on my podcast, like what works for them? Because it's different for each family, for each kid. Because I see both ways of being overly strict and not letting them touch a process carbohydrate or any refined sugar. And then I know that the moment they're with grandma or with their friend's house on a playday or they're at school where other kids are eating candy and they can't, there's moments where I can't control what they're going to eat. But when they're with me, I try and control what they eat and teach them about why we eat certain foods. Like, why are we eating vegetables? It's not a punishment. I'm not making you do it. There's a reason that we're supposed to be eating vegetables and here's why. So my girls are seven and nine and they know what broccoli is. They know what cauliflower is. And we go grocery shopping together. I have them help chop food and prepare the food so they're in the kitchen. Are you telling things like micronutrients? I mean, they don't understand that. So basically, this is what I do is I say, hey, on the inside of us, there's a lot of good guys. There's a lot of bad guys. And when we vegetables are good guys get stronger and they can beat up the bad guys. But when we're eating junk food, the bad guys, they get strong and they beat up the good guys. And that's when we feel sick. That's kind of what I tell them and it seems to work. But I'll be honest with you, we do have treats every once in a while. But I'll get them like halo top ice cream or something like that or I'll make them a keto cookie and they don't really know. But then they're with grandma this week, for example, in Idaho. And I know that she's going to give them juice with high fructose corn syrup and it kills me. But I can't micromanage every single person that comes into my daughter's life. So don't beat yourself up. Just do the best you can with what you have. It's not going to be perfect. They're going to have access to this food at some point in time. But if you can control what they eat when you're with them, then that's all you can control. Right? And I don't have the energy to micromanage every single food piece of food that goes into their mouth.

Studies on Long Term Health Benefits of Carnivore Diet (33:57)

But let's talk carnivore versus vegetables. So I maybe I like vegetables a lot, but I tend to like the ones that are really carby. Sweet potatoes are so delicious. I would give it virtually everything to eat them all day. But I, even though I like vegetables partly out of laziness because I don't want to cook them, I am almost not entirely because I'll throw in rice every now and then. But I'm carnivore adjacent. Like that. What is it? What nutrients do you fear I will miss if I were to eat organ meat and all that but not have vegetables? I think if you are eating organ meat and doing it well with a variety of nutrient dense meats, I don't think you'd be eating, missing many nutrients other than fiber, which is a major way that we help with gut diversity. A robust variety of plant foods is associated with a healthier microbiome, longer term, and we have longer term studies with these. We don't have longer term studies with the carnivore diet. I would assume that if someone's doing it properly, they're, they probably, in a period of time would be, could see more good than bad because they're removing a lot of foods and then it's going to be a net positive for them. If they're doing a properly formed carnivore diet. But is that going to be sustainable long term for them? Most people are going to want more variety than that. You know, a lot of us have this ball and chain when it comes to food, right?

Fasting to Prevent Cancer, Tumor Biomarkers (35:46)

We're just, you know, we eat at breakfast, we eat lunch and we take up so much of our mental bandwidth that can be used for productivity, for relationships, for self development. But when I do interviews, when I interview other people or when I'm being interviewed, I like to do it in a fasted state. No, I didn't start doing that. It took me a while to get to the point where my ketone levels get to a point where I'm not feeling hypoglycemic and the symptoms of like low blood sugar affect me. But I don't really worry about is because once you're fasted, for me personally, I don't start to get negative symptoms in terms of sleep issues and maybe constipation or whatever until day three. So I'm cool going to 36 hours and not knowing am I going to have food or not. So it's just a way to clear the cobwebs. Not have to worry about meal prep on Sunday. But the reason why I do it is actually have a tumor biomarker that's elevated called alpha-fetoprotein. Interesting. That's why you started doing it? Well, that's why I'm fasting pro more on a more prolonged basis. Every 24. Why? Why do you think that it and then tell us the exact protocol? Yeah. Give people a little bit of the background on the potential anti-cancer properties that you've read. I'm super interested in this so you can go as crazy as you want. Well, you know, there's a lot of research people talk about fasting. First of all, lowering glucose and insulin. And so obviously there's many different cancer subtypes and cancer cells, metastasized and they mutate and so forth. But a lot of research shows that cancer cells can utilize glucose and insulin to thrive. So getting rid of those growth and insulin, I've not heard that. So the cancer cell can actually use insulin as what a growth factor or? It's a growth factor to kind of pivot their metabolism to a more glycolytic. So they're burning sugar instead of fats. And we'll get into autophagy in a minute. But insulin's involved in kind of amplifying mTOR, mechanistic target of rapamycin. I know you had peterotia on it. You talked at length about this. But this is really the gas pedal for cellular growth. And so it's and I like to just pause right here and let people know it's I describe mTOR like a light switch in your home, right? It's not good or bad. It's the context that matters. Your light switch is great when you want to find something in the dark. But it can be bad if you're sleeping and someone turns it on. So that's where you know, every time we eat, even if it's a vegan meal or an animal-based meal, we're going to stimulate mTOR. So just wanting to throw that out there is not good or bad. It just is and it's context. But getting back to your question about insulin, that could be the purported mechanism through which insulin may affect cancer growth is through mTOR activation, which just kind of fuels pro-growth pathways. Yeah, so getting back to it glucose inhibition or lowering glucose down, lowering insulin, enhancing mitochondrial function. So a lot of people, I'm sure you've talked about this, you know, if we envision our home being a cell, our home has different appliances, right? We have the refrigerator, the stovetop, the furnace. Inside each one of our cells, we have different appliances. They're called organelles. So they're little cells within cells, really. And our mitochondria play a key role in helping us burn fat for fuel, helping us think clearly, helping us move our muscles. And it seems that mitochondrial dysfunction is, you know, an upstream event leading to various diseases from mild cognitive impairment to blood sugar issues and low energy, fatigue, things like that, but certainly cancer as well. So we got the mitochondrial function. And then for me, enhancing autophagy. So as I said, I do lab work, I've been doing lab work like, you know, comprehensive metabolic panels twice a year. And I started to have this GI pain, I could not figure out where was coming from. And it was just like persistent. So after three months, this was back in 2015. I started to do some research on the internet. I'm like, you know, maybe I could have cancer. Maybe I could have something. And I started to look, and since it was in this region, I was looking for gastrointestinal biomarkers. So I measured those. There was this one test called alpha feeder protein, which is high in people that have hepatitis or hepatocellular carcinoma, which is a metastasis of the liver. So I ran it. And the normal range is zero to eight and mine was 80. So anytime you have a weird biomarker, just retest because it could just be part of the lab. So I retested it. It was 79. And then I was freaking out like, dude, because I have a little girl at home. So I'm, I was nervous, right? You're nervous because that's indicative of having this liver cancer? Exactly. Okay. So because I had this biomarker, I started to kind of believe that I might have cancer. And then I started like, on one hand, it was great because I was more present with my daughter, enjoying the moment, putting down the phone at night, things like that. But on the other side, I was like, I can't have this mindset that I have something I, and this is common in Western medicine. You have autoimmune disease, you have Hashimoto's. So people start saying, I have MS, I have this. And I think we need to realize that certainly our body can have perturbations, but it doesn't mean you're always going to manifest symptoms of that. If you, you can, the body in the mind and the diet and lifestyle are so powerful.

Problems with being Vegan or Vegetarian (40:50)

One of the things that I found fascinating about your own story is that you start as a, were you full vegan or were you just vegetarian? Yeah, I was vegan for 10 years. Okay. So you migrate away from that. Why did you migrate away from that? So I think there's a good way to do an optimal way to go to the vegan diet. And there's many vegan keto options and keto, tarian. So if people are for religious reasons or ethical reasons or personal preference reasons, I wanted to teach them to go entirely plant-based in a way that I believe is sustainable, not only for the environment, but for their physiology, their environment, their bodily environment. So we all have different gene snips. I have a double gene snip of the MTHFR gene, which is the gene that makes the enzyme that converts folic acid into folate, which we need as a methyl donor. It basically does a lot of cool things for our body. It's a carbon hydrogen group that brings down inflammation, it helps our hormones working well, our brain working well, it builds proteins in our bodies. My body does that pretty dang slowly, like up to 70% slower. And folate, especially in abundant amounts and B12, aren't as high in B vitamins when you're doing entirely plant-based. So I adjusted my diet where I'm still predominantly plant-based, but I'm bringing things like egg yolks into the vegetarian land, and then the wild caught fish, and as far as the pescetarian section of my diet, to provide my body more ample, bioavailable sources of these nutrients, and omega fats are another one of them, not just the B vitamins. But the conversion is lousy in my body of these flax seeds and chia seeds. My body doesn't convert them to sort of the long chain of megas as well as somebody else. So we have to find out what works for our body. Then there's some people that do great with vegan diets. I mean, you know, rich role, right? I mean, the guy does amazing on this diet. His wife, Julie, they do fine. But I talk to patients for a living, and most of my patients are very well read. They've done all their research. They're eating cleaner than most Americans. They're eating vegan diets, they're eating vegetarian diets, they're doing all these things, but their health is struggling. How can we optimize it without abandoning the foundation of maybe their ethics or principles? Right. So one thing in the book that you cover is what oftentimes vegetarians and vegans do wrong. What is that? Where do they, what hole is in their diet that you help fix? I think a lot of them overdue on the carbs, you know, they're carbitarians by definition. And when you look at the vegan diet, vegetarian diet, it doesn't bite, it default means it's a healthy diet. It just means you're avoiding animal foods. So you have to have it properly formed. You have to really lean into it. And it's so easy because it's convenient to get all these convenient vegetarian foods, just like any other way of eating. So you want to make sure you're again, focusing on whole foods, real foods. Look at your macros. Just get a snapshot of where you're at from a macronutrient, which is proteins, fats, and carbs. Some people have it all, or they can handle more carbs. Some people can't. I got many patients that if they ate what rich role ate, their blood sugar would be through the roof. But some people can do it. So we have to find what works for your body and what doesn't. So that doesn't mean that they shouldn't be plant-based. Maybe they just need to shift what plant-based foods are focusing on. That's all.

Health Conscious Eating And Stress Management

Ecological Issues with Hyper-Palatable Processed Foods (44:27)

The other thing with fasting while we're talking about risks is the refeeding period. If you have a long period of fasting and you refeed inappropriate, you can get a condition called refeeding syndrome. Which can be fatal. It's a very serious problem where electrolyte balances and all kinds of stuff can occur. We've never seen that because we have a very specific refeeding protocol that's followed. And we refeed for a period of no less than half the length of the fast in a controlled setting. So it is important. You can also get a condition called post-fasting edema. When you get off all the greasy, salty process crap that people are living on and you do a fast, all that gets flushed out of the body. If you then expose a person to very high concentrations of sodium, like in commercial soups or something like that, the body will suck that material and flu it up to protect itself from it. And that can result in post-fasting edema. If you do it slowly, you can get back to whatever your normal diet was without that problem. But it has to happen over a period of time. So there's a refeeding period that's important, particularly in this long-term fasting. In the three-day, the five-day fast, for most people, that's not going to result in as much of an issue. They may get a bellyache if they eat too much food, but they're not going to get the very serious consequences, as you can see, in very long-term fasting. Now, the other concern here is, of course, medications. Some medications, you don't want to rapidly discontinue any coagulant medications, steroid medications, any psychotic medications. The rapid withdrawal those medications can induce a very serious or life-threatening response. Some medications you want to get off as soon as possible, but you don't want to be taking those medications during fasting. So medications that might not do that much damage feeding can be very serious fasting. Even non-steril anti-inflammatories and common over-the-counter medications in the fasting state strongly contraindicated result in all kinds of downstream consequences. Supplementation is included. Lots of complications in the fasting state, whereas you wouldn't necessarily see any problem in the feeding state. That's one of the reasons we talk about making sure before a person undertakes a long-term fast, they have appropriate history exam and lab. Remember, 99% of patients have no complications with fasting, but 1% can have very serious complications. Important, that percentage, be identified, monitored, so you don't end with bad outcomes. Because that's what gives fasting a bad name, is people doing it inappropriately. They continue to work. They get dehydrated, which is one of the main issues with fasting, is maintaining adequate hydration. Drinking water itself won't assure that. In fact, drinking too much water can flush your electrolytes out and result in water intoxication. So if we don't solve the problem drinking water, how do we solve the problem? We solve it by resting, maintaining appropriate hydration and allow the natural recycling mechanisms in the body to maintain nutritional status and monitoring people so that we don't get into a depleted state. That's why we're monitoring electrolytes. That's why we do twice daily examinations on patients. So it is a safe and natural adaptation. If you remember, fasting is a biological adaptation. You notice everybody, every human can fast. We have to be able to fast. Every human that couldn't fast died. Because every time spring came late, there was no way to sustain this bulbous normal net, our massively oversized brain. Two and a half times the vast of, say, a chimp, chimps don't fast. You don't feed a chimp in a week or so. They're dead. That's why you'll never see chimps wandering away from the tropics. They live where the constant year-round supply of food because their brain doesn't change to burning ketones. Your brain is a bifurial brain. It changes completely. The normal fuel is glucose. And that's your main burner of glucose is your brain. That's the biggest thing. And when the brain goes into fasting state, it changes to burning ketone bodies, particularly beta-hydroxybutyric acid. And it becomes preferentially burning. It just burns a tiny little bit of glucose. And that's the little bit of gluconeogenesis that continues during fasting, unless you're active. Then, of course, your muscles burn glucose, and now you really start breaking muscle down. So the brain being a bifurial brain had to be that way because otherwise humans, when spring came late, because we burned so much glucose in our brain, we wouldn't have been able to make it. And this is the mechanism by which fasting, mimicking diets and keto diets play. If you go on a very high fat diet or a high fat, high protein diet, which some people do, and you donate carbohydrates, this fasting mechanism kicks in. So your brain changes over to burning ketones. You go into ketosis and it has a hunger blending effect. When you're in a ketotic state, you don't feel hunger. And as a consequence, that helps people that are trying to do short-term weight loss. The problem is what's good for short-term weight loss isn't necessarily the same thing that's best for long-term health stability. So in our clinic, we're not a weight loss clinic. We're not looking to maximize gross weight on the scale over a short period of time. We're interested in fat loss and improving health. So we are looking at what does it take not only to live a long life, everybody wants to live their full potential, but more importantly, how do you avoid debility? How do you avoid spending the last and 7.6 years in debility, 16 years in poor health that the average person is doing? How do you avoid finding yourself unable to talk or move like in some nursing home bed waiting for people to change your diaper for the last years or decades of your life? How do you increase healthy life expectancy, not just life expectancy? The years you live fully functional. How do you ensure a good death? That means you live your life to your full potential. One day you go to sleep, you don't wake up because you reached your genetic potential and not become debilitated individual for years and decades where we spend most of our money in effectively trying to manage illnesses that were caused by poor diet and lifestyle choices. That's what we're using fast and do is try to help healthy life expectancy and then a whole plant food SOS free diet to sustain it.

How to Properly Implement Various Fasting Techniques (50:07)

This distinction between chronic caloric restriction and fasting, that I find really interesting and let us for the sake of this discussion assume that we have a person who is willing to endure an unlimited amount of suffering. You've talked a lot about the book Unbroken that you read about World War II people in Japanese concentration camps and they were literally being starved and obviously all of them got lean. What I want to understand is, fasting seems to have all these tremendous benefits. Chronic caloric restriction has some but also has this really damaging psychological component. If there was no damaging psychological component, would they be equal or is there still some difference? It all depends on how you do the caloric restriction. It's not just about the calories, it's about the hormones. You have to take it not to this two compartment problem. You have to take it to a three compartment problem. There's what's coming in, there's what's stored and there's what's being used. Most people only think of the two compartments and then the storage is left over. That's not the way the body works. If insulin is high, your body is going to store calories. Remember, insulin is a nutrient sensor. It tells your body that hate and or just coming in, you're eating, you need to store some of this. You eat breakfast, lunch dinner. Could you get somebody on a low calorie diet? If you were on 700 calories a day, but I gave you insulin, could I make you fat? Yeah, absolutely. Think about it this way. If you have insulin, your body, if you think about it physiologically, if you have insulin, your body goes into a storage mode because it's a hormone, insulin in a hormone, it tells your body food is coming in and even if you don't give food, if you just give insulin, you're going to switch your body into this mode where it thinks that food is coming in. It's going to store energy. Imagine that, for example, you are a coal plant, a power plant. You get 2,000 tons of coal coming in and you burn 2,000 tons of coal.

CHRONIC STRESS: What it does and why you probably have it. (52:32)

That's fine. You have a storage compartment too. If you do a thought experiment, say you have 2,000 tons of coal coming in, you divert the whole thing over to or 1,000 tons of coal into storage while you only have 1,000 left. You're going to feel tired and cold and hungry and you're going to get fat at the same time. That's what's going to happen. But it's because of the way that you've diverted off the energy. Think about it from a human body standpoint. Suppose you have 2,000 calories coming in, 2,000 calories going out. Now you artificially inject insulin. Well, you shuttle 1,000 calories immediately into body fat and you have 1,000 calories left to burn. Well, what's going to happen? Your body heat generation is going to go down. Your heart rate is going to slow. You're going to feel tired. You're going to feel hungry because you want to get more energy. That's the signal for you to get more energy so that you can get more or you can burn more. Guess what? That's exactly what happens when you go on a chronic calorie restricted diet. The point is that if you do it correctly and you correct that insulin part of things so that none of it's going into storage and you can do that with chronic calorie restriction, you certainly can. You have to know that you haven't do it properly like cutting out processed foods, cutting out refined carbohydrates, that kind of thing. But it all depends on that toggle in the middle that says how much goes here, how much goes here. Insulin, what it does is it tells your body to store fat but it also turns off fat burning. Remember, fat is purely a store of energy. It's a store of calories. So you're immediately shuttling all your energy into storage and you have nothing left. So say you take 700 calories but you're pumping people full of insulin. So that energy is going to go into storage and 700 is probably a lower limit of what you could really do. But your body would then try to subsist on say five, six hundred calories of energy. You get really hungry because you've got no energy coming in. You probably wouldn't be able to last very long but you could still gain weight. There's a great experiment a few years ago where they actually took the type 2 diabetics and they gave them a lot of insulin. So they went from zero units a day to 100 units a day over a span of six months which is a lot. And they dropped the number of calories that they ate by 300. So they're taking insulin but they're eating less, 300 calories a day less. So over the span of six months on average that group gained 20 pounds. When t pounds by eating 300 calories a day less. Why? Because so let's take an example. You're eating 2000 calories. You go down to 1700 but the insulin is shuttling 700 of that immediately off to storage. So you're gaining body fat. Now your body can only burn 1000 calories a day. So you feel like crap, you feel tired, you feel hungry and you're still gaining weight. And guess what? If you do it wrong which is constantly snacking and eating, cutting out all the dietary fat and eating all refined carbohydrates which remember is almost precisely what we told people to do in the 80s and 90s. Oh I remember it well. Yeah actually. I had a tub of licorice because it was fat free and I would just eat it and eat it. I'm like it's fat free? What's happening? Why am I getting fat? Yeah that was a very confusing time. Yeah it makes perfect sense from like because but you have to think of that additional step that is what is the body actually doing. It's this sort of flip the switch. So when you eat your storing body fat, when you don't eat, when insulin is going down you're going to burn body fat. You're actually going to, you can't burn body fat if insulin is high. I'm going to put you to the test for a second. So hiding behind the screen, door number one is somebody. I'm not going to tell you anything about them. I'm not going to tell you if they're a man or woman, overweight, ripped, whatever but you have to tell them how to eat for longevity and feeling good. How should they eat? I would say Sally or Joe, look I don't know what your health issues are. I don't know what you're experiencing but we're going to get you off anything that comes in a box bag or a can. No processed food. No processed food. I want you to go to a farmer that's within a 50 mile radius of you. Ask them what you can buy that's in season and buy the animal products that you feel comfortable consuming.

This is the best way to eat longevity. (57:19)

I don't really care so much as what you eat and how much. I want you eating at the same time every day, whatever that is. So influencing the circadian rhythm. So there's a lot of new research studies where they're controlling how many calories people are eating the same amount of calories but if they force it into a confined window, it changes this mTOR expression. It's not just a defined window but the same defined window every day. You hit it on the head exactly. So if you're going to invent fast, great. Then eat from say noon to six or two to eight. It doesn't matter but just try to be consistent just like we should try to go to bed at the same time and wake up at the same time. We hear a lot about toxic blue light. Well when we eat and food in general affects our circadian biology. We have molecular clocks in our gut and our muscle and our brain and our pancreas everywhere. Food entrains that clock too. Fortunately now there's a higher and higher percentage of organically grown fruits and vegetables available.

The biggest seller of organic produce in the country (you will be shocked). (58:20)

In fact, do you know who the largest cellular organic produce in the country is now? No. It's Costco Foods. Costco Foods is the largest producer or seller of organic produce. Do you know who number two is? No. It's Walmart. I should have guessed. So what's happened now is they've said, oh I don't think these companies sat down and said, well we really want to help the health of our clients. They said, oh people will pay a premium for food that doesn't use glyphosate or doesn't use chemicals. Well why don't we sell them that food? And now it's become a dominant source of their produce sales because people spoke with their dollars and they said we would prefer to have our vegetable material grown without this. And they're doing the same thing with meat. They're trying to buy free-range meat that doesn't have all the antibiotics and the chemicals because they know that animals biologically accumulate and concentrate these materials.

Understanding Inflammation

The difference between inflammation caused by disease vs. food and lifestyle. (59:04)

And I don't always think it's an and or two. Even if you're going to, for example, include animal foods in your diet. If you eat a dominant amount of vegetable materials, in addition to that, your likelihood that your negative consequences from the animal food will be minimized and then the health benefits of being a healthy diet are going to be maximized. I think it's a question of proportion and quantity that's the major issue. I don't think that there's any evidence that the 100% vegan necessarily has any advantage over the person that's mostly vegan and uses a small amount of other products in the dry. I don't know that we can demonstrate that difference not from a health standpoint. There's this chronic inflammation in the bowel and what you get is a super high risk of cancer down the line. So both inflammation and hyperinsulinemia and new obesity, all of them are risk factors. And this is the important thing is that there's a lot of different things that can contribute to the risk of cancer. It's not just that if one is right, then the other is wrong. I mean, both are correct. So if you eat foods that are highly inflammatory and a lot of people feel that, for example, omega-6 seed oils, perhaps are in these big doses that we take. Perhaps those are highly inflammatory. That, even if it doesn't cause obesity, could be a factor because we know inflammation, chronic inflammation can certainly do that. So both can be very important. Jason, thank you so much for joining me today. I really, really enjoyed our time together and I really enjoyed researching you as well. So super grateful. And speaking of things you'll be grateful for, if you haven't already, be sure to subscribe. And until next time, my friends, be legendary. Take care. Thank you guys so much for watching and being a part of this community. If you haven't already, be sure to subscribe. You're going to get weekly videos on building a growth mindset, cultivating grit, and unlocking your full potential.

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