Our guest is Bulletproof founder, and “father of biohacking,” Dave Asprey.
In this episode, we’re joined by Bulletproof founder, and New York Times bestselling author Dave Asprey. In his new book FAST THIS WAY: Burn Fat, Heal Inflammation, and Eat Like the High-Performing Human You Were Meant to Be, Asprey asks readers to throw out the rules they think they know about fasting and shows us how to easily do it without facing down cravings and how we can radically reframe our relationship with food to seriously upgrade our health, simply by conquering our fear of going without.
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Jeremy: [00:00:00] This is the fit mess
with Zach and Jermy - Our topic this week, the many benefits of fasting. We will be talking about that with Bulletproof founder, father of biohacking in New York times, bestselling author, Dave Asprey. He has a brand new book out it's called fast this way, full of all kinds of tips and information about how to incorporate fasting into your routine.
It's something that has been hugely beneficial in my, uh, path to better wellness. And I know Zach, this is something that you've been doing for a long time yourself.
Zach: [00:00:30] I've been intermittent fasting for so long. It's rare that I eat before one o'clock every day on some and most days I actually go to like three or four before I eat anything I don't need all day.
It doesn't bother me anymore. But on rare occasions, like today I go, I go into the office for half the day and then I drive home on the way home. I was like, I'm really hungry. So I stopped at a place and got an Italian mix sub for lunch. And these things are gigantic. I mean, they're just huge. And I don't know why I feel compelled to eat the whole thing every time, but I do.
Jeremy: [00:01:06] I do the same thing. I do totally same thing,
Zach: [00:01:09] but I it's weird because like I was, I was hungry. I, it didn't really bother me. And then I ate so much food. Like when I break my fast too early, I eat so much food to the point where I'm in pain. Like I ate too much. My stomach hurts and I'm bloated. It's very,
Jeremy: [00:01:27] how much of that is the bread though?
Cause for me, it's wanting to do the same thing, like with a sub. If I eat too much, I mean, you feel just sick and immobilized, where if you eat too much of something healthy, like, you know, too many vegetables or something, it's not the same.
Zach: [00:01:41] No, it's not, but I can eat bread. Like if I have on a lot of days, I'll break my fast with like two pieces of bread with butter on them.
And then he dinner a little bit later. Sure. And
Jeremy: [00:01:50] I'm fine because that is a normal amount of bread, but like a sub is a loaf of bread with, in your case, probably loads of meat and sauce. Oh, it was
Zach: [00:01:59] so good. It's delicious. I mean, the, the moment of eating it is so enjoyable, but yeah, no, I only do that once every three or four weeks.
And cause then the memory of that lives on, then I'll forget, then I'll do it again.
Jeremy: [00:02:14] What is the name of that, uh, of that rat, uh, experiment, where they put them in the maze and they keep getting zapped. That's what you keep doing to yourself.
Zach: [00:02:21] I know, but you know what? Sometimes I need that because it's, it's like the, the, the periods when I get depressed and really anxious and down into a hole, I need that occasionally to remember what I'm fighting for.
You need your
Jeremy: [00:02:33] hands slapped every now and then.
Zach: [00:02:35] Yeah, but it's nice to bring myself back to that and be like, Oh right. I work out for a reason. I intermittent fast for a reason. I eat healthy for a reason. Cause I don't like feeling like shit. Yeah.
Jeremy: [00:02:47] Well, so let's talk about that. What is your, uh, what is your normal fasting routine?
I mean, you said you don't normally eat until pretty late in the day. How, when do you start? When do you end? I eat a
Zach: [00:02:57] little
bit late. I eat dinner and snack until seven, maybe eight o'clock sometimes. And I go to bed at 10. So I probably shouldn't be eating that late, but I do sleep through the night I get up.
I have black coffee in the morning. One of my biggest problems is I always put cream in my coffee. I wouldn't drink Bulletproof coffee, but I put cream in it, which would actually potentially break your fast. And I realized one day that the reason I don't like black coffee is because it's too hot, really the cream to cool it down.
Okay. Sure. Cause I just want to pour it down my
Jeremy: [00:03:31] throat. You got to switch to switch, switch to a call for a man. Well, no,
Zach: [00:03:35] so now I like my hot coffee. I just throw it. I go over to the fridge and I squirt a little, little cold water into it, holds it down appropriately
Jeremy: [00:03:43] down the gullet. So gross.
Zach: [00:03:45] So Bly, you get used to it and I'm really there for the caffeine.
Jeremy: [00:03:49] don't care what it tastes like. Oh, see, I'm the opposite for me. It's for me, I probably shouldn't have as much coffee as I do, and I keep drinking it because of the way it tastes, because, because I make it really
Zach: [00:03:59] well. I try to, I'm just not, I'm not a coffee guy like that, but anyway, so I can drink black coffee in the morning.
And then I just go about my day. I generally, I start to get hungry around two to two 30 in the afternoon. And when I say hungry, I mean, like, it's not like raging emotional, hungry. It's like, Hmm. I haven't eaten anything yet today. I should probably add some energy to my body. And it's. Usually something small that I start with like a couple pieces of bread or banana or something small because I know dinners like.
In three hours.
Jeremy: [00:04:37] Why do you fast? What, what benefit does it have for you?
Zach: [00:04:40] Honestly, I can't be bothered to make food. Now. There's all kinds of all
Jeremy: [00:04:44] kinds of benefits. You don't fast as much as you're just lazy. That's, that's what it comes down to.
Zach: [00:04:48] I am pretty lazy about it. My wife will tell you, like, if I have to prepare something, I'll just go without, but the problem is is if I don't have to prepare it.
It's probably junk food. Yeah. And you'll eat twice as much. I'll eat twice as much. So I just pass on all of it. But. When I started intermittent fasting, I was eating. I get up, eat breakfast by 10 o'clock. I'd eat again by one. I had to eat again by three. I was hungry five. I was like, I was just hungry all the time.
You know, looking back at it, it really wasn't real hunger. It was just cravings. Now it bothered me then when I first started doing it and I didn't have any of the tips or tricks that we're going to talk about in the interview with Dave Asprey in a few minutes, but it was. Really hard to do. Like it's kind of painful in the beginning.
You just, it's a, it's a mind trick, really? Yeah. But now I eat less calories during the day. Right? If all of my eating is compressed to one window, I physically can't eat 2000 calories in one sitting. I try to trust me. I do. But just overall for me, like I just feel better and I try and get my workout in before I eat as well.
But yeah, it's, it's really regulated my blood sugar regulated my energy. I don't have like huge crashes and dips anymore. I wake up groggy. I drink my crappy black coffee and my energy is pretty consistent throughout the day. You
Jeremy: [00:06:13] mentioned the mind trick and for me, that's one of the main reasons I do it.
I definitely notice that I feel better. I feel. Just lighter. I don't feel that same heaviness that I normally feel when I, when I eat late or eat on a more normal air quotes schedule. Um, for me though, it is a big mind game because I am an emotional eater. I am someone that will eat to make myself feel better.
I turned to food for comfort too often. And I'm also, uh, I also have bad habits and one of them is eating late and it's, it, it is so tempting after a day of work and everything that we go through all day to sit on the couch, watched three episodes of nailed it and, you know, and eat a bag of chips or a bunch of popcorn, or, you know, pourable lucky charms or just some, some garbage to pour in my face.
But when I set the intention of I'm going to fast, so at seven o'clock, eight o'clock, whatever time I set. It creates this game where I'm like, Nope, that's it. The decision's already made, I don't have to have this, this conversation with my son. Oh, well, if I eat now and I push my fast to three in the afternoon, like, no, I've, I've already set the standard.
I've already made the agreement with myself. This is what I'm doing. And it just, it relieves all of that mental energy and stress that I create for myself, otherwise, by trying to convince myself that it's okay. To break the rules tonight or whatever the, whatever the situation is for me, that is probably 80% of it is just convincing myself too, because, because I'm not sitting there eating a plate of celery at 10 o'clock at night, you know, I'm, I'm turning to the fast, easy, junk food that is that I should not be eating.
And by setting that, that alarm, by setting that clock, I just removed that option completely from my, from my routine.
Zach: [00:07:59] I fall into the same thing all the time, especially on Monday nights, because that's my day of resetting everything. I usually let myself go a little crazy on the weekends. Yeah. Mondays are the worst.
Cause I'm like, well, I did it yesterday, so it's probably not a
Jeremy: [00:08:14] big deal. And then you get to Friday, Friday's like, Oh, it's almost a weekend so I can start eating. So basically it's like Wednesday and Thursday, you're kind of good. And the other
Zach: [00:08:24] day, Tuesday night, I'm like, well, Friday's right around the corner.
Now. Mondays are always the worst for me because you know, at night I'm like, okay, it's Monday, you're resetting. You will have your opportunity to eat some crappy stuff this weekend, just like you always do. And then I looked back at my day and I'm like, okay, well, you ate some crappy things over the weekend.
How did you feel today? And the answer is always. Garbage. Yeah. And that usually solves it for me is here's the evidence when you eat that crappy shit, you feel terrible yet. You crave it over and over again.
Jeremy: [00:09:01] My workout this morning, I was having that same conversation with myself. It's like, this is hard today because of everything you put in your body for the last two days and the routines that you broke and the things you stopped doing.
And. You know, it's, it's the rat in the maze. It's the continual reminder of this is the pain that comes with bad choices.
Zach: [00:09:19] And that's why I try to reserve all of my bad choices for Saturdays. Right, right. I mean, it's unreasonable to think that I can be perfect seven days a week, but if I, if I have a craving in the middle of the week, It really helps, you know, the mind, the mental game of saying, okay, yes, I want that.
And you can have it on Saturday. It's not today. Yep. And that usually keeps me under
Jeremy: [00:09:42] control. All right. Well, there's a few reasons why Zach and I benefit from fasting. That's why we choose to make it part of our routine. But there is a lot of science that goes into it. And there are a lot of reasons why just metabolically and on a much deeper level, it is really good for you.
And, and a lot of people say, if you're going to do one thing for your health, it's intermittent fasting to talk more about that. We reached out to Dave Asprey. He is the founder of Bulletproof. He has a brand new book out. It is called. Fast this way, burn fat heal inflammation and eat like the high-performing human you were meant to be.
And I, and I always learn something every time we talked to them, we've been fortunate enough to have him on the show before and we had him on again, and we started by asking him just really simply what is
Dave Asprey: [00:10:21] fasting? Fasting is going without. And it's possible to fast from a type of food. You can fast from junk food.
It's called eating healthier. You fast from carbs. It's called keto. You can fast from all food. You can fast from hate. You can fast from social media. You can fast from alcohol, you can fast from sex. And all of those things, if you're used to them will feel like you're going to die at first. So fasting is the art of.
Showing the cells in your body that you are safe. Even if you skip a couple of meals or even if you don't do something that you think you need and fasting builds power biologically, and it builds it psychologically, emotionally and even spiritually. So it makes you a stronger human when you fast from whatever it is you think you will die without, unless it's actually real.
Like you kind of need air.
Zach: [00:11:13] Right. So can you talk a little bit more about why we feel like we're going to die in, in my house? I can go a long time without food and it doesn't have a huge emotional impact. Uh, when my wife goes four hours without food, I'm in danger of my life. Um, it impacts her greatly. So, uh, at a, at an emotional level physical level, what is it?
What is it what's happening in our body that makes it feel like we are going to die.
Dave Asprey: [00:11:42] There are many things that stack up and yeah. There's an operating system for life that we all have built into ourselves. And this happens before we can think, and it's the same thing that trees do. And same thing that animals do and bacteria do.
And we put 10 times more energy and effort on something that we think might kill us. It doesn't matter if it's really a danger, it just might be a danger. And. This is part of our meat operating system. It's what your body does independent of your brain, right? So there's a fear thing. That's the first, F-word the second F-word that drives us is food.
Because every thing alive, our ancestors have died of famine at some time or another. So this is why there's a signal from buds. Just eat everything. Cause it might not be there later. You know, it'll be there later, but your body doesn't know and you get this urge and then will you win or will it win? And there's a kind of a constant battle.
The third F word is, if we don't reproduce this species, it will be the end of the world. So if you're an adult and you don't have love in your life, there's this sort of aching, like I'm missing something because we're wired in ourselves to do things that cause more humans to do eventually emerge. It's it's just, it's a human and it's a life thing.
It's not even a human thing. Yeah. And the fourth F-word. That happens with decreasing levels of importance, biologically his friend. And this is why, you know, bacteria makes cheese. This is why humans form a community and we're wired to be nice to each other. But if we're in a state of fear and hunger and lack of love, it's very hard to be kind to other people.
So what's going on is what I had going on was two things. I knew when I weighed 300 pounds, that if I didn't eat every, probably three hours, I'd been told by all kinds of reader's digest level expertise. If you don't eat six times a day, the body goes into starvation mode. Right. Starvation mode equals death.
So I was afraid of being hungry because I had been taught that it would be a deadly thing. I also don't like acting like a jerk. And I recognized that when I was hungry, I would get hypoglycemia gene. And then I would yell at people and I would say, God, I'm such a jerk. Why didn't I do that? And so I was afraid of being low in energy and I was afraid of being hungry.
And these weren't rational fears. These were built into my behaviors before I could think about them. And. What I realized also is that I was also afraid of being alone. A lot of people have this going on and I'd been in a bad relationship for a long time. And I ended it and entered a, uh, a very good marriage, but I still had this kind of nagging, like lonely things.
So I hired a shaman to drop me off in a cave. For four days, no people, no food for anywhere 10 miles in any direction. And this is the story that I tell and fastest way. It's not one of those books or fasting step one, don't eat for a while. Step two. It's good for you. And there you go. It's fascinating.
This isn't that book. I tell you how to do it without, without it costing you. And the reason that your wife likely is like that. It could be blood sugar based. It could be customer gut bacteria gets stressed when they have no food, they pump out a lot of toxins called lipopolysaccharide. Right? So then she's feeling physical anxiety in her body, either from a lack of energy because her, she doesn't have metabolic resilience or because she has an extra toxin load.
And in fastest way, I talk about, well, there's a supplement called activated charcoal. You can take it before a fast or during a fast, and another thing that many people do now. Date foods that cause intense cravings. So you're going, okay, I'm going to eat my last meal, then I'm going to fast. And like, man, I'm so hungry.
I'm going to die. If I don't eat, that's actually a craving. I didn't know. You could actually be hungry without feeling like you were going to die because I'd only experienced cravings my whole life. So you can turn off cravings. And a lot of the work that I've done over the past 10 years, people have lost more than a million pounds on the Bulletproof diet and it incorporates intermittent fasting, but when you peel all of it away, the single biggest thing you can do that costs less than what you do now.
That gives you more energy and better health is intermittent fasting. So learning how to teach the cells to be so strong, you can skip breakfast without wanting to punch someone. It's a big deal.
Jeremy: [00:15:54] Well that's so you mentioned the, the activated charcoal along those lines. I'm similar, but for me, it's the 15 hour Mark.
I, I try and do a 16, eight. I stopped eating around eight o'clock at night and I wait until about noon. But man, 11 o'clock. I can tell my, my colleagues at work. I'm like, I'm a little shorter with, with their questions. I find them to be a little dumber, the, the problems that are happening, you know, with homeschooling and all that, my patients is being tested.
And I can tell, I look at the clock, I'm like 15 hours. I'm starting to lose it. How do I, how do I correct that course? What can I do to, to, um, extend that time period?
Dave Asprey: [00:16:28] One of the easiest things you could do. Um, that's a part of fastest way is finishing your last meal at eight is pretty late. If you can eat a little bit earlier, even an hour earlier, you want at least three hours of no food before you go to bed.
So if you ate a little earlier than. You would still be able to have lunch at noon, but you would have hit your 16 hours instead of 15 hours. I
Jeremy: [00:16:51] should, I should mention I go to bed around midnight. So that's why I shoot for that, like three to four hours.
Dave Asprey: [00:16:56] You're still gonna be able to do it. If you just eat a little earlier, that's gonna, that's gonna shift it for you.
Okay. But, but then you're not alone. When I was, even though I'd lost a lot of my weight and I started trying to do this intermittent fasting thing when I was doing the research for the Bulletproof diet, uh, you know, 10 years ago before I wrote my first blog post on it, like, man, It's 11 o'clock and I am really hungry and I'm distracted and I can't do my job.
Like I'm not going to show up mentally in this meeting. Uh, and that's without, you know, two kids distracting you when you're trying to do it over zoom. So. Um, you could muscle through it, but my belief is that no one is going to do stuff that's unpleasant and uncomfortable for long periods of time. We will naturally gravitate away from it because we're biological, we lazy and it's a huge gift.
We don't just waste energy for no reason. We're supposed to save energy. We want to feel good and it's okay to learn how to fast and feel good. So there's three fasting hacks in fast this way that are not well understood in the world of fasting. As we know it today, the first one that you probably already do is black coffee.
Do you do that in the morning?
Jeremy: [00:18:02] I do that. Or Bulletproof coffee. Those are, those are my two
Dave Asprey: [00:18:04] go-tos good deal. So when you have Bulletproof coffee, do you still hit the wall at 11? A yes. Okay. Do you do Bulletproof coffee, first thing in the morning, or do you do it mid morning? First thing in the morning.
Okay. You might want to wait an hour to have it, or have a second smaller one at 10. Okay. So my guess is you're just running out of energy. Sure. Right. And energy can come from the MCT oil that's in Bulletproof coffee, or it can come from fat burning and all, but my guess is you're just like, like running out of calories.
And when we have. Cognitively demanding work. It sucks. Energy. The neurons in your brain use a lot more power. In fact, there's a study that said a CEO spends as much energy as a NFL quarterback in a day, if it's an intense day. So our brains are sucking those calories and you're like, okay, I pushed the accelerator to the floor.
There's no more gas. And you can push harder, but there was nothing in there. And I lived my whole life that way for a long time when I was obese. So I don't like that. And I'm like, how do I have a demanding career and family life and be able to intermittent fast. So black coffee helps a lot of people by itself because caffeine doubles, ketone production, and the trick is.
Experience faster as are people who are into taquito. Um, they can burn fat more easily, so they tend to have more resilient cells, but if they're always fasting or always in Quito, they can't burn carbs anymore. So you need, it's okay to have carbs. Right. But for you, what I think is going on, is it just a lack of fuel?
And so shift the coffee a little bit later and dinner a little bit earlier and you're going to solve it. So the first hack would be. Uh, black coffee. Second one is Bulletproof coffee and I'm not trying to sell Bulletproof coffee. Bulletproof is a very successful company. It won't change my life if someone decides to do it or not.
I started writing about this because it changed my life profoundly and, you know, hundreds of millions of people have tried it and it it's, it's a real thing that works. And I
Jeremy: [00:19:57] should, I should add, I actually lost 70 pounds through the combination of. Bulletproof coffee, fasting and working out in the 15th hour.
I mean, doing that for a few months, I dropped 70
Dave Asprey: [00:20:07] pounds. Love it. Okay. So you know what I'm talking about? Like this is the real deal. Okay. Congratulations. By the way. It's life changing to lose 70 pounds. I so respect that. Oh, thanks. What, uh, what you'll find though, is that, that last hour there, um, you're probably still rebuilding your metabolism.
How long ago was it that you lost the weight?
Jeremy: [00:20:26] Uh, boy, I've lost track. I want to say it was like two years ago at this 0.2 years. Okay. Yeah.
Dave Asprey: [00:20:31] So you're, you're getting used to it. Um, are you keto most of the time or do you still eat carbs at night? Man?
Jeremy: [00:20:37] I, in my head, yeah, in practice the, the motivation to stick with it, for whatever reason I know it works, but it's so hard to stick with it.
Dave Asprey: [00:20:45] You don't have to stick with it. Many people read the bullets to try like, Oh, they kind of summarize it. Keto equals good. But what it is, it's cyclical, keto, sometimes having ketones. And frankly, if you put that MCT oil in your Bulletproof coffee, you had enough ketones in the morning. If you're at the weight where you want to be, and you can have carbs, they eat carbs.
Most days. I am not in keto all the time. Sometimes I, Oh, this week I'll do some keto, but it's, you know, one or two weeks a month and I'm not militant about it. Right. And that's much more sustainable than this. I'm only going to eat meat and butter for the rest of my life. Um, you know, I, I, I wish that it was simple to say, do the same thing every day, but you need to mix it up.
Yeah. And the third thing that I think might just completely change it for you is it's never been mentioned in the world of fasting as far as I know, and it's prebiotic fiber. And this is not Metamucil. It's not the sawdust kind of stuff. And what it is is it's a kind of fiber that you cannot burn for energy, but it feeds your good bacteria and you can take it during a fast.
And what it does is it feeds the good guys. And when they eat it, they turn it into something called Beautyrest acid, which is keto genic. So. During a fast, if you want the results where your body refreshes and replenishes yourselves via a process called autophagy, the important thing is don't raise your insulin levels.
That's why you can eat fat during a fast, and don't eat protein because protein causes your liver and your pancreas to stop making enzymes for systemic repair and cleaning, and to start making enzymes for digestion. So you take this stuff. Now, the gut bacteria are happy instead of stressed. Prebiotic fiber is shown in many studies to enhance human lifespan and to reduce your risk of almost every disease.
Most people don't get enough of it. So you put the stuff in, it has no flavor. You put it in your Bulletproof coffee. It's also shown in multiple studies to be highly satiating. So now you're going to have less hunger. You can have better hunger hormones and the hunger hormones. There's two of them that you're manipulating with Bulletproof coffee and was this prebiotic fiber.
And one of them is called ghrelin is the hunger hormone. It goes down when you get just a tiny bump in ketones, and then there's another one called CCK. It's like the Calvin Klein hormone called Cola system Keenan. And that one makes you feel full. So you're manipulating those. The difference is. I'm going to sit here and I'm going to go for hours and I'm going to want to punch people and I'm going to use my willpower, or I had four hours where I didn't think about food and people don't recognize this, but I actually found a study, 15% of the average person's thoughts every day are about what's for their next meal.
Wow. If you do this intermittent fasting thing from fastest way, the right way, you turn off the hormones that cause the thoughts and you get 15% of your mental energy back, instead of thinking about tacos and donuts. You're thinking about your kids, you're thinking about your job. What are you going to say next?
And it's so relaxing to not be obsessing over food all the time. Yeah.
Jeremy: [00:23:41] I, I don't want to sell a product for you or anything, but, uh, the fiber you're talking about is that the inner fuel that you sell. Cause I've, I've done that with my
Dave Asprey: [00:23:48] fasting as well. Oh, you have, so you've done it. It is the will.
Bulletproof inner fuel is the one that I put together there. And it's got three different kinds of clinically studied prebiotic fibers in it, in the book though, I talk about that, but my books, aren't there to sell Bulletproof products. They're there to give you knowledge. So I talk about the ingredients.
The primary one is Acacia gum, and there's a couple other fibers. But if, if people listening are saying, I'm going to go pick up a prebiotic fiber, get one that doesn't have like flax fiber and doesn't have. Uh, rough fiber and it should be all soluble fiber. And when you do that, your guts, like I got nothing to do here, except this stuff goes in and the gut bacteria, like, thank God we got something.
So we're not going to make all these toxins called lipopolysaccharides. So what we're doing is we're saying, how do you get the benefits of fasting without suffering? Because most people listening to this, we have lives. We're already stressed. We already have enough crap going on. So yeah. If I wanted the benefits of fasting and I just didn't have any more energy to put into fasting.
How do I fast? So it just gives me more energy, but I didn't have to put willpower into it. I don't want to spend my willpower on my food. I just want to eat something that makes me never hungry again until I decide to eat again. And that's the goal, the goal here.
Zach: [00:24:59] So can you clear up one, one myth? Well, maybe it's a myth, but, um, it might not be a myth.
So you mentioned black coffee, you mentioned Bulletproof coffee. Um, Prebiotic fibers. Is there anything else that you can consume? So I've, I've heard bone broth, right. Is something that you can consume while you're fasting. Is that true? Is there anything else that you can consume or should you just keep it to the minimum of, you know, coffee and, and then a couple of supplements, maybe
Dave Asprey: [00:25:31] it's false.
You cannot have bone broth during a fast and still have autophagy. You can have whatever you want during a fast I'm fasting for every, from everything, but bone broth. Okay. There you go. However, You're getting enough protein in the average bone broth. In fact, a lot of it comes to assign bone broth, protein, which I think is inferior to straight up collagen protein, which is why I don't sell it.
But. What you're getting, there is enough protein that you're turning off autophagy and bone broth can be good for you. However, especially homemade bone broth. A lot of people make it in such a way that it produces either free glutamate or free histamines, and it causes hunger. So it's one of those things like kombucha or fermented vegetables, if you do it right, it's really good for you.
But if you do it wrong, it's going to make you profoundly hungry. So you gotta be really careful with bone broth. And I would say consume it after your fast or before your fast, but during the fast, it's not a good idea. You
Jeremy: [00:26:27] mentioned the, uh, the messaging that we've all heard for a long time. If you don't eat every few hours, you go into starvation mode.
There are a lot of people that say fasting is dangerous and you can hurt yourself doing it. I'm assuming you don't think that's
Dave Asprey: [00:26:39] correct. Oh, it's totally true. If you go on a two day fast and you've never fasted before, especially a water only fast, only two days, it's going to be really rough and you can mess up your electrolyte levels from it called hyponatremia, which marathon runners who drink too much water, get this and they die.
Right. So. Is the average person listening, going to die if they eat nothing for two days, no, you'll just be profoundly uncomfortable. If you just, the way I'm talking about and you actually go in and you gently work your way up and teach yourselves to be able to handle fasting. You get more resilient cells.
I did a three-day fast last week. And it was, I did seven or eight interviews during the fast, my brain worked the whole time. Right. I was okay. But my body is trained so that my cells make energy and I don't go into immediate stress and anxiety mode, biologically, and my cells don't just lose it because I don't have any budgetary.
What am I going to do? They're used to going, Oh, I can get some fat, I'll get it from Dave's fads cells or I'll get it from the MCT oil that he normally had. So I'm trained to always be able to eat fat, always be able to eat carbs. It's called a flexible, highly resilient metabolism. So I tell people if I'm doing a two week training where I'm teaching people, it's in the book, you send the receipt to fastest way.com and then, uh, more than 10,000 people are going to do this together.
And. I'm showing you. Okay. Here's how to gently start intermittent fasting without losing your mind. And then we sort of work our way up and at the end of it, we're going to do a 24 hour fast for people who are well enough to do that, which is most people and maybe even a 36 hour fast with a spiritual component.
Cause longer, fast involve rest and reflection shorter, fast. And during a work day, no, you're not going to rest or inflect. You still have to show up and you want a fast, and that's the hard part. And that was, I wanted to write this book because most Fastly much like don't eat for a while. Just walk it off.
No, I'm not going to walk it off. I have work to do. And I feel like most people who have weight to lose, like you and I both did. Uh, we were not in a place. If we're breadwinners for our families, we're going to act like jerks. We're going to be tired. We're going to make mistakes. We're going to look stupid, but you don't have to do that.
And it's okay to take something during a fast that turns off the suffering. And activate a charcoal. We mentioned there's other things you can take during a fast that are supplements that can help, like magnesium helps. A lot of people feel much better during a fast and some supplements break a fast, some supplements make you really feel nauseous.
During a fast, I read about four of those in the book called the barfy four. Like don't take those when you're fasting and there are other ones. Uh, like, uh, proteolytic enzymes that speed up your body's healing and it really works amazingly well.
Jeremy: [00:29:19] I'm so curious about the spiritual aspect of this. Uh, I've had a few experiences, not connected to fasting, but through breath work and other things that have just completely blown my mind.
Can you tell me a little bit more about how fasting can, can open that gateway and, and what sort of a spiritual experience can you have from fasting?
Dave Asprey: [00:29:38] I love this question. There are so many different ways to enter these abnormal altered, beneficial States where you get out of your own body. And you're able to sort of look back at yourself and figure out what's going on in there so that you come back with more awareness.
I've had profound experiences from holotropic breathwork, I've had profound experiences doing the kind of neuroscience I do at my 40 years of Zen company. You know, leave your body, become one with the universe, experience somebody there's all these things. Yeah. Throughout most history. And there's a chapter in fastest way about this.
Every religion and spiritual practice out there has fasting incorporated because fasting is a tried and true way to enter a spiritual state, but it normally takes at least two days and oftentimes four or four days, or much longer than that in order to reach this. And what's going on, there is a couple of things.
One is that when you're, when you fast for a couple of days, your body shifts into ketosis and ketones, cause your neurons to have more available energy than blood sugar. They're just a higher calorie fuel. And the neurons are shown in studies. To actually eat all the ketones in your blood before they'll touch blood sugar.
So now you're a higher wattage human being. And at the same time, all food has three components in it. There's energy in the form of calories, there's nutrients, vitamins, and minerals, amino acids, et cetera, et cetera. And there's, anti-nutrients. Things that are bad for you and they meaningfully slow you down.
Can you survive on foods full of ants? Nutrients. Of course you can. It's great for avoiding famine and death and all that, but they're not ideal. So when you're fasting, you remove all the bad stuff and you get an energy upgrade because now you're in ketosis and you have no thoughts and you have. No thoughts about food and nothing going on in your stomach.
All the energetic processes involved in breaking down food, go away and they start going into personal development and they go into fixing the cells and you gain intense body awareness. You fast for several days, especially on just water or tea, you know, you get more and more into a deeper state. Uh, people leave their body.
People have really profound things, especially if you combine it with. Breath work or drumming or sitting in a cave meditating and just going, wow. I'm in a very different place. And the body is wired to have a profound focus. Without food and profound energy without food that's because you need that to chase down the Buffalo when you're really hungry.
So since you're not chasing down the Buffalo, that profound focus and the profound energy, that's what creates the altered States, where you can really learn what's going on in there. For me, it was okay. I'm having all these thoughts just flying through my mind, but I had enough energy and enough quiet and rest around me to go.
Is that thought really true? Am I really starving. Actually. I know I'm not starving because I know that I can go four days without any food. I know I can go a month, but man, I feel like I'm starving. And then I feel like I'm not safe. Why do I feel like I'm not safe because I know I'm safe, I'm sitting in a cave and nothing's going to eat me.
But man, I, as I write about in the stories in the book, like I was losing it a couple of times, but realizing what of, what. Does my picture of reality, look like fasting gives you the power to just fact check your beliefs about reality and realize that your body's reacting to stuff that isn't real. And then you can train the body through the process of fasting or meditation and personal development.
There's many ways that to be less reactive. So then your boss comes in and yells at you. And instead of wanting to punch them and go, okay, I had enough energy, so I'm going to smile and I'm going to put on my game face. And I say, yes, sir. Right.
Jeremy: [00:33:27] Instead of my head, get out of my day, get out of my head.
Dave Asprey: [00:33:33] We can't just sit there and be like, okay. I recognize my boss is having a bad day. Right. Or I recognize that I made a mistake and you'd be like, you know, I'm really sorry about that. I'm not gonna let that one happen again. I see what I did wrong there, but you can do without it costing you, without it feeling like you're going to die, like daddy doesn't love you or whatever the heck your message was fast, he can
Jeremy: [00:33:50] you do that.
Zach: [00:33:52] Uh, I, you, you just hit on two. So the first time I did, um, a three-day fast, I didn't do it with any of these tips or tricks that you talk about in the book. And the two hardest things for me was one going to work. Oh God. Yeah. I had such a hard time dealing with people, the work and everything, and the other part was just falling asleep.
Right. Couldn't fall asleep because I was so uncomfortable, but it was so interesting because I don't think I got into what I would call spiritual, but I realized after this three-day fast, I like I'm choosing to go to bed hungry. Not everyone is making that choice. And it really opened my mind up to, you know, giving back to the community and doing things.
So, you know, it was just a three-day fast, but my thought process changed in that. Wow. Oh,
Dave Asprey: [00:34:42] you went to a place of gratitude, which is one of the most powerful things you can do when you're meditating and just grateful for what you got. And, and I've done a lot of work more than a thousand people have gone through my.
Neurofeedback program. And it's five days of intense work with a lie detector telling you if, if you're believing your thoughts, it's pretty intense. But if you ever say, Oh, I've hit rock bottom in my life, my life sucks. And I'm like, look down, like, what do you mean? I'm like jump both legs. There's something to be grateful for here.
You have not come anywhere near rock bottom, because I've interviewed people who don't have their legs who are still kicking ass. Right? So that story that, Oh, woe is me actually. What was not you? If you can listen to this podcast, you have technology that a billion people on earth don't have, and you have any information there is available for free.
More than the president of the United States had in 1950. That's how fortunate you are. But we don't see it that way because like I'm so damn hungry, right? So you end up sort of taking a step back and the reason you didn't go spiritual is that when you want to do a spiritual fast, it requires rest and reflection you are working.
And that's one of the big reasons I wrote fast this way is to say there's a working fast. This is how to do it when you're going to show up in the world. And then this is how to do it when you're going to show up for yourself. And there are different things. You
Jeremy: [00:36:05] mentioned the, uh, sort of, I guess, the lies that we tell ourselves and, and Zach and I have both lost a ton of weight.
And on our last episode, we actually talked about how, um, in a lot of ways we still mentally feel like we're the heavier version of ourselves. We still, you know, we're by no means, you know, Heavily overweight or overweight at all. And, but that, but that baggage is still there. Do you, do you still deal with that at all?
Or have you exercised that demon?
Dave Asprey: [00:36:32] It takes about five to seven years for your sense of proprioception to change. And proprioception is a fancy medical term for your body's sense of where it is in space. And so when I was at 300 pounds, six, four guy, you know, 46 inch waist, I can walking down a hallway. I turn sideways so people can get past me.
Right. Cause that's, that's my space. And I still remember the first time looking in the mirror going, Oh my God, I can see my ribs. Like I just hadn't seen them before. Right. It takes a long time. And, um, there's there's movement exercises and all that you can do that increased body awareness, uh, that can help with that.
But over time you just realize this is my size. And at a certain point, you're going to throw away your fat pants. You probably still have some in the back of the closet. Right?
Jeremy: [00:37:17] I've actually tossed mine. Yeah.
Dave Asprey: [00:37:20] Two years is about when you that you're like, Oh, actually this is my new shape. I don't have to worry about cause anyone who's lost weight for me, I didn't lose a hundred pounds.
I lost like 200 pounds and he's like lose 25, gain 35, lose 35 gain 45. And you yo-yo because we're doing it in a way that relies on willpower and suffering. You run out of willpower, especially when you're hungry. So this is not how to lose weight. And it's mean-spirited to tell people, just exercise more, eat less to lose weight.
It does not work sustainably. It creates suffering and most people on the biggest loser, they become the biggest gainer within a year of getting off the show because of this exact problem and having, you know, helped so many people over the last 10 years and having this experience in my life. I can pretty much dial my weight in wherever I want it to be without suffering and intermittent fasting is a major part of it and longer fasts on occasion.
Um, and sometimes on a longer fast I'm like, yeah, I'm just going to do black coffee. I see no reason to not blue do black coffee. I think it's a super food. There's so much science behind coffee being good for you. So I'm happy to do that, but I could also do a water fast if I wanted to withdraw from coffee.
Uh, but sometimes it's like, you know what? I'm on the second day, I'm going to throw a half a teaspoon of butter in my coffee and blend it up because I know it's going to let me burn fat faster. Because of what it does to water and I'm still fasted, but maybe I suffered less on that second day and I'm okay with that.
Right. Cause suffering isn't what creates the personal development. Right. It's awareness and energy and a lack of stuff coming in from food that does it. And that small amount of butter MCT oil doesn't trigger digestive processes that take away from the brain.
Jeremy: [00:38:55] Well, and just the flexibility, just giving yourself a little bit of a break.
Isn't isn't the worst thing in the world, and I know we're running out of time here, so I'll just, I'll sort of ask you for your final thoughts or takeaways. What should people know as they consider taking on this challenge of intermittent fasting or, or even joining your challenge?
Dave Asprey: [00:39:09] Well, everything you do for your health, for your energy, for your wellness, for your performance, it costs you something.
And I talk about return on investment. Return on investment though. Isn't something that's done with dollars. It's something that's done with energy. You invest some amount of energy in everything you do. Did you get a massage today? Okay. You had to make the money for that. You had to take the time for you to drive somewhere or whatever, although, Hey, it's, COVID not allowed to touch anybody, but you know, did you eat something healthy?
Did you go to the gym? All of these require effort and energy, but you don't measure it in time and you don't measure it in dollars. Because if you have enough energy, you can use time effectively. If you have no energy, you'll sleep with your free time. Right. And if you have money and no energy you'll sleep anyway, and you won't the money doesn't do anything for you or the world.
So it's always about how much energy did it cost me and how much energy did I get back? Intermittent fasting is the highest single return on investment behavior you can take because it takes less money. To not eat breakfast. It takes less time to not eat breakfast. And it gives you more energy back than you would have had.
If you ate breakfast, it creates less distractions in your brain and in your mind than you would have had if you ate breakfast. So. Less energy, less money, less time, more energy back. It's a very high return thing to do. And it requires zero suffering and hunger. When you understand how to do it right. And it was that zero suffering or hunger that drove me to wrote fast this way.
Jeremy: [00:40:47] Absolutely makes sense this, uh, first, thank you so much for your time for doing this. And, uh, there's no way you'd remember this, but you were actually the fourth guest we had on the show and, uh, it's always fascinating to talk with you and, uh, really appreciate your time and your insight and all of the wisdom that you've offered to us that has helped us in our lives.
Dave Asprey: [00:41:06] Guys, thanks for having me on. And I'm so impressed that you've managed to build sustainable longterm, massive weight loss. It is, is something that 42% of the country needs right now. It makes you more resilient in everything you do. And it. It, it, it's not hard to maintain this now, is it?
Jeremy: [00:41:23] It's not hard to maintain.
I still have some mental hurdles and I still have some weight I want to lose. And, and I, I need to fight that and get through that, but I will, but I haven't, uh, I haven't regressed, you know, I, I haven't fallen back on old behaviors
Dave Asprey: [00:41:37] for sure. W we're always working on constantly improving. I am too. Right.
But just you, you you've done something really amazing. And by talking about it openly, you were doing a massive act of service for people. So thank you for that because it's possible for everyone without the pain and suffering and willpower and without relapsing. So congrats.
Jeremy: [00:42:00] All right. Our thanks again to Dave Asprey, Bulletproof founder, and author of the new book fast. This way, you know, fasting is something that's been getting tons of attention lately. And if it is something you've been considering, you don't really know where to start. You don't know how to do it. You don't know which style is best for you.
Uh, I know that even from, for men and women, it's different than in terms of the best way to do it. Dave breaks down tons of different. Styles, different techniques, things that you can do to incorporate fasting into your, uh, into your routine. Not many people get the chance to ask Dave Asprey, you know, personally, what, what should I do?
And I feel a little guilty that I did that. Wasn't my intention, but that's where the conversation. Yeah, I know. I was
Zach: [00:42:36] totally going to ask him what I should do, stole it
Jeremy: [00:42:39] from me. I stole your question. Um, but it is funny because I've been trying to get back on the fasting bandwagon for weeks now. And. I was finding every day at 11 o'clock.
Every email I got from somebody at work, irritated me a little bit more, everything that went wrong, technically irritated me a little bit more. And I was like, I'm just, I'm just hungry. And I've got an hour to go at, what am I going to do? So I took his advice since we talked to him the other day. And I, and I started my fast earlier.
I started at seven and I do the Bulletproof coffee a little bit later in the day. I'll have a regular coffee, you know, when I first get up because. Nothing's happening until that happens. Uh, and then I have the bullet-proof about an hour before it's time to break the fast and I'm finding I can actually go longer.
I'm going closer to 18 hours. Then 16, because it's just working better for my body and I'm already feeling better. I'm, I'm finding the, the benefits of, you know, sort of the clarity. I've got a little bit more stable energy today was a little rough, but beyond that, I'm just, I'm really excited to have found this way to, to, uh, adjust my fast and.
Make it part of my daily routine to keep working on the things I'm trying to work on. Because like I mentioned to him, there's still some weight I want to lose. I feel like I have probably gained a little bit in COVID. I haven't been able to get out and exercise as much as I wanted to. So, you know, I'm not feeling I'm not feeling as good as I did recently and now I want to get back there.
And I know this, I know this as one of the tools, when I, when I successfully lost the weight, it was a combination of fasting working out at the end of my fast and eating a low carb diet. I mean, that, that was it. It's really simple. But it's not easy and finding a way to stick to it is really the challenge.
And like you said, incorporating any of this stuff. If it's painful, you're not going to be successful.
Zach: [00:44:21] That's where all the tips and tricks in his book come into play. Like, like I mentioned in the interview, I did a three-day fast once and it was miserable. Absolutely miserable, but I want to do it again with all the tips and tricks that he mentioned in the interview and in the book and do it again and really see if it's a different experience for me, because I remember those three days I got in trouble at work a couple of times.
Jeremy: [00:44:51] Well, you know, and it's interesting, you mentioned the gratitude since you talked about your experience of gratitude and, and, and acknowledging. I'm choosing to be hungry. Those are things just you saying that has been beneficial to me because there's been times when I'm sitting outside where I'm at, because I'm in quarantine.
I can't go very far. So I'm just trying to spend time outside and I'll be really cold and I'll choose to stay in it and I'll realize. I'm grateful that I can go inside at any time. I don't have to, I don't have to do this.
Zach: [00:45:20] Yeah. Gratitude's a big thing, but I mean, you should really be grateful for he, he mentioned that at the end of the interview and I, I echo it, you know, congrats on the weight loss and the ability to keep it off.
Right. I mean, we're going to fluctuate up and down depending on the current day's mood. And, you know, 2020 has, you know, 364 of the days are negative mood. Right? Been a bad year. So the fluctuation is going to go up and down. So, I mean, just be grateful for the fact that you did lose most of that way and that you kept it off for the most part.
Just be grateful for that. Yeah. I just have to echo that. Congrats. It's yo-yo dieting is so common. And you dropped most of it and you kept most of it off. So
Jeremy: [00:46:03] congrats and the same to you. I didn't, I didn't know the heavier version of you. So, you know, I didn't see the transformation in you, but hearing your story as many times as I have about going from as heavy as you were to where you are, it's, it's not easy.
And you know, like he said, so much of the food that is in our regular diet is designed to make us keep feeling hungry and keep eating more. So working against a system that is designed to work against you. It's a lose, lose, unless you put in a ton of effort to, to win that fight.
Zach: [00:46:35] So when I have some in my fridge, do you want to take one guess as to what I break my fast with most nights?
Jeremy: [00:46:42] Oh, I'm going to guess. It's an athletic brewing company. Beer. How did you know? I just a wild
Zach: [00:46:46] guess. Uh, yes, it is last night. It was, uh, the athletic brewing company stout. Oh, that's a good one. It was a really cold night. So it was just perfect for last night. We had the fire on. Nice stout. And I had no impact from alcohol because it's all alcohol free.
It was great.
Jeremy: [00:47:07] I can't tell you how much I miss it. I can't wait to get out of this quarantine so I can go find a store that has it somewhere here in British Columbia. I don't know how many miles I'm going to have to drive, but, uh, yeah, I'm, I'm missing you having those readily available in my fridge. So thank you to athletic brewing company for sponsoring us.
You can find out more about them on our website, the fit and.com while you're there, please sign up for our newsletter. So you never miss a thing and never miss an episode. And speaking of that and make sure you subscribe on whatever podcast player you're using and follow us on whatever social media platform you currently enjoy.
Zach: [00:47:39] So I think we should end the show with. Not eating for the rest of the day.
Jeremy: [00:47:44] Uh, no four o'clock here. That's true. As I still got a while to go, but good luck to you on that. Nevermind. All right, we're going to get out of here. Thanks so much for listening and please spread the word. We will talk to you next week thefitmess.com.
Zach: [00:48:01] We
know this podcast is amazing and does not seem to lack anything, but we do need a legal disclaimer, Jeremy and Zach are not doctors. They do not play them on the internet. And even if they did play them on the internet, they would be really bad at it. Please consult your physician prior to implementing any changes that you heard on this podcast, pollution or assumes that Jeremy and Zach do not know what they are talking about and that you will do your own research on the topics talked about on this podcast.
Founder Bulletproof 360
Dave Asprey is the founder and Chairman of Bulletproof 360, a high-performance coffee and food company, and
creator of the widely-popular Bulletproof Coffee. He is a three-time New York Times bestselling author and host of the
Webby award-winning podcast Bulletproof Radio.