We’ve probably all heard of the keto diet and intermittent fasting. Is it just another health fad, or is there science behind it?
Dave Asprey, the “Father of Biohacking” and CEO and founder of Bulletproof 360, joined me on my Now to Next podcast to discuss his new book, Fast This Way.
If you don’t know Dave, he is a two-time New York Times-bestselling author of five books and the creator of the global phenomenon Bulletproof Coffee and the Bulletproof Diet. Dave has maintained a 100-pound weight loss, upgraded his brain, and transformed himself into a happy and gratitude-filled human being. Over the past two and a half decades, he traveled from Tibet to the Andes, discovering and engineering ways to maximize physical, mental, and spiritual well-being.
Fasting Isn’t Just Drinking Water
I have tried fasting, with Dave’s encouragement, but I’m by no means an expert. Dave, on the other hand, has spent a good deal of his career experimenting and researching its limitations and benefits. His motivation for Fast This Way was to help people avoid the common mistakes he continually sees in the marketplace.
Our cells take in water, air, and food and make energy to fuel our lives. Dave noticed that some people love the initial results of fasting so much they overdo it or try to thrive on water alone for 16 hours a day.
Lifestyle, physiology, and gender all influence when and how much we should fast. Trying to drink only water while you’ve got kids vying for your attention and a demanding job is not giving your body the components it needs to create the energy you need to power you.
When done correctly, fasting should not feel like punishment. If it increases your cravings or destabilizes your mood, it can potentially result in insulin resistance and diabetes.
Fasting should result in fewer cravings, more energy, better body weight, and a clear head.
The fasting hacks in Dave’s book are designed to help you find the right balance for you.
Fasting Is A Retraining
For anything new that has fantastic benefits, I see people go through three steps:
- Step 1: Disbelief
- Step 2: Do it 100%
- Step 3: Integrate it healthily into your lifestyle
Let’s try to get you to step 3 while skipping step 2. Fasting means “going without.” We get addicted to food and routines. We can fast from social media, from heat, or sugar. Fundamentally, the body thinks it needs something, and if we don’t deliver it, the body freaks out. However, by training ourselves that we don’t need that doughnut for breakfast or to check Facebook 15 times a day, we gain freedom.
Our Food Choices Matter
Fasting should be flexible and intuitive. It is about having more raw energy to be yourself. Starting intermittent fasting three to four times a week can be plenty. You don’t have to do it every day to get results.
Eating certain foods makes you hungry while other foods satisfy your hunger. For example, gluten, sugar, and dairy tend to drive appetite rather than satisfy it.
Black coffee with some healthy fats (bulletproof coffee contains grass-fed butter and MCT oil) suppresses hunger and raises ketones. These and the other fasting hacks Dave outlines in his book help you change your metabolism without suffering and cravings.
What About Calories?
In college, Dave weighed 300 pounds. He started working out hard every day and ate a low-fat, low-calorie diet. Meanwhile, his friends were chowing down fries and burgers. Dave got stronger from the exercise but didn’t lose much weight.
As an experiment, he upped his calories to 4,500 a day — more than he needed — but did a cyclical keto diet with intermittent fasting. Over six months, he lost more weight than when he was starving himself.
He realized it’s what you eat, not how many calories you consume.
When you eat makes even more of an impact. A simple hack is to shift your dinner to an hour or two earlier. That alone can help you lose weight!
The Cutting Edge of Weight Loss
As much as I look forward to food, I’m intrigued by Dave’s work and have been giving it a try myself. I actually like it! If you would like to try intermittent fasting too, Dave is offering a free two-week fasting challenge. And, if you’re not sure about it check out the full episode of “Now to Next” on YouTube or your favorite podcasting platform… Dave just might convince you. And, as always, you can direct any questions you have to me too.
If you give it a try, let me know what you think!