Hi everyone, I’m Dr. Christine Schaffner and welcome to Spectrum of Health Podcast, today my guest is Dr. David Jockers and we talk about using intermittent fasting to burn fat, reduce inflammation and improve energy and brain health. Dr. David Jockers is a doctor of natural medicine and he runs one of the most popular natural websites in drjockers.com, which has gotten over one million monthly views and his work has been seen on the popular media such as The Dr. Oz Show and Hallmark, Home & Family, Dr. Jockers is also the author of the bestselling book, “Keto Metabolic Breakthrough” by Victory Belt Publishing and as a world renowned expert in the area of ketosis fasting and the ketogenic diet. He’s also the host of the popular Dr. Jockers Functional Nutrition podcast, so I hope you enjoy this podcast, intermittent fascinating is something I’m trying to incorporate more in my daily life and into my patient’s health and I think it’s one of the best strategies you can do to improve your health and your longevity, so enjoy the show. All right, well, welcome Dr. Jockers, it’s really an honor to interview you today.
Well, absolutely, great to be with you, Dr. Christine.
Oh, well, great, well, we have a really fun topic, it’s something that I’ve been exploring not only in my personal health but also with my patients more and more and that’s the topic about intermittent fasting and there’s so much information on the internet these days and you have an awesome website and you do a really great job of breaking this topic down but for people who might be new to this topic, what are we talking about when we say the word intermittent fasting?
For sure, well, intermittent fasting is really something all of us do at some period of time during the day, typically at night while we’re sleeping and so fasting basically just means going without food and intermittent is kind of a period, so you’re doing it for a period of time and another term for it is time restricted feeding and many of the listeners may have heard of people that are trying to, basically condense their eating window, the time they start eating to the time they finish eating during the day into a certain window of time, maybe eight hours or something like that and the way I try to explain it to people, we have a building phase and we have a cleansing phase. When we’re eating, from the time, from our first meal of the day until our last meal of the day, that’s our building phase, when we’re eating, we’re going to be producing insulin, insulin is a hormone that tells our body to build, it tells our body to store and then when we’re not eating, insulin goes down and we activate different hormones that help us to cleanse and heal and repair, so the time between our last meal of the day and our first meal of the following day is our cleansing phase.
So if we ate, let’s say from 8:00am to 8:00pm, that would be a 12 hour building phase and then if we fasted from 8:00 pm to 8:00 am the next morning, it will be a 12 hour cleansing phase or fasting phase and so that would be a one-to-one ratio, building to cleansing and for kids and pregnant women and things like that, that’s usually a good window, is something like that, people that really need to build, young children, pregnant women, things like that, however, as you become an adult, unless you’re a high level athlete, you really don’t need to be spending so much time building, you wanna actually spend a lot more time cleansing, healing and repairing and so that’s where we start to try to switch this ratio up a little bit and we might try to, basically condense the meal time to where you’re eating in an eight hour window, for example, like a 10:00am to 6:00pm and then you cleanse and fast from 6:00am to 10:00am the next morning, so that would be a 16 hour cleansing period in an eight hour building or eating window and so that would be a two to one, cleansing to building, so you’re gonna get more hormones that are activated with things like autophagy, which is basically where your body starts to break down old damaged cellular organelles, like mitochondria and endoplasmic reticulum and all these different organelles that are within the cells, we actually break those down and we take the proteins that are in them and we form new, healthier mitochondria, new, healthier cellular organelles, so it’s like cellular recycling and we can also start to stimulate embryonic cells and stem cells and things like that so we get stronger, healthier, more stress resilient cells when we open up that cleansing window and start to push into a fast.
That’s basically what an intermittent fast is and there’s different ways of doing it, a lot different ways of doing it, you can do an 18, six fast, you can do one day, 24 hour fast and basically intermittent fasting is considered anything less than 48 hours, so 48, after 48 hours we start to call it an extended fast. So, for some people they will do alternate day fasting and these are people typically, that have a lot of weight to lose and they may eat Monday, Wednesday, Friday, for example, Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and then eat on the weekends but fast Tuesday and Thursday or something along those lines where they’re eating every other day and so that’s an, also an example of an intermittent fast. So there’s a lot of different ways to go about this, we can talk about it from a daily perspective, we could talk about it inside a specific window within a day but it’s a practice that really teaches the body to become more metabolically flexible, that’s really the goal of it, metabolic flexibility means that our body is very good at burning both sugar for fuel and fat for fuel.
When we’re eating all the time, we create metabolic inflexibility, we lose that metabolic flexibility and we depend on sugar, if you can’t go three hours, three or four hours without food and you get dizzy lightheaded, you get hungry, you have a headache, you have symptoms like that, that’s a sign that your body is a sugar burner and it’s metabolically inflexible and it’s not able to burn our own body fat and for some people they think, well, I’m very lean like for, I’m typically under 10% body fat, I’m about 8% body fat, very, very lean but I can go, I do, a 24 hour fast twice a week, so I did two of those a week, I do what’s called a five, two fasting and I have no problem doing it, in fact, I feel amazing doing it ’cause my body is good at going into the bank and taking out my stored, even though it’s, I don’t have a lot of body fat, I have plenty there to be able to fuel me for that 24 hour fast and that’s what we wanna do, is create that level of metabolic flexibility.
I know you work with a lot of chronically ill people, typically people with chronic illness are very metabolically inflexible and just like exercise, we can’t go from no activity, living a sedentary lifestyle to all of a sudden running a 5k, that would be, you could try it but it’s not gonna be comfortable, it’s gonna be torture, you’re gonna be really, really sore for probably a week afterwards, higher susceptibility for injuries, things like that. Well, it’s the same thing if you have chronic illness, you don’t wanna all of a sudden be doing 24 hour fast or a three-day or five-day fast, that could be really, really traumatic on your body, can be really, really challenging and actually leave you in a worse place, so you’ve got to build up over time, just like fitness, you slowly start to use this principle of progressive overload to strengthen your muscles, what’s kinda the same thing you build a fasting muscle over time through regular practice.
Awesome, that was a really great overview and really makes this information accessible. So lots of different directions we can go but I just wanna reinforce, the intelligence that our body has that we, when we get out of the way and let the body do its work, it’s amazing how we can really have vibrant health and a lot of our work is around detoxification, modern life is full of these environmental toxicants that really overburden our bodies and make us ill if we don’t take out the trash regularly and we have all sorts of sophisticated detoxification strategies but the more I learn about intermittent fasting, it’s like this is foundational and I believe it’s a lifestyle more than a therapy, I mean, obviously you can take it in all sorts of directions but would you consider this a lifestyle rather than therapy or what’s your view on that?
Yeah, I’m in complete agreement, I think it’s absolutely a lifestyle, I call it the fasting lifestyle, it’s something you’re practicing on a regular basis, it’s not like you just do a five day fast once a year and then that’s it, you’re practicing some level of intermittent fasting, time restricted feeding on a regular basis to really get the best results and depending on where you’re starting from, your level of metabolic flexibility, your level of stress resilience, your body fat percentage, your activity level, things like that, it’s gonna help you understand how to customize it to yourself but you’re right, it’s definitely a lifestyle therapy and I consider it the most ancient, inexpensive, and perhaps the most powerful healing strategy known to mankind, all of our ancestors did it.
They didn’t have access to food like we do, they didn’t have pantries, they didn’t have refrigerators, they were dependent upon whatever they killed or harvested in the moment and sometimes they had famines and times where they couldn’t find food so they would go days without food at times and the interesting thing is, you would think most people think, well, if you go days without food, you’re not gonna have any energy but the interesting thing is the way that we’re wired, we actually get an activation of things like human growth hormone and cortisol and adrenaline and different activity that goes on, different neuro-transmitter balances that take place that give us better mental clarity, we get a huge downregulation of inflammation in our brain, for example, there’s something called the neuroinflammation and fasting has been shown to dramatically reduce that, so we get better mental clarity, we get better level of clairvoyance, a greater level of intuition, we’re more mentally sharp or physically very, very sharp and that makes us, it gives us a better survivability.
So our ancestors actually got sharper and they had more drive during these periods of time when they went without food and that allowed them to then find an animal and kill it or find, go out and travel for miles to scavenge for food and survive and so it’s really interesting how that works. In fact, there’s even cultures that tapped into this, for example. There’s a popular movie called The 300 right now, it’s kind of a, more of a male masculine movie talking about the Spartans and how this army of 300 was able to take on an army of hundreds of thousands of Persians and they were renowned for their military ability. Now the Spartans, one thing that they practice was one feast meal a day, so they would fast all day, they would train, they would work and then they would eat in the evening, so at night they’d have the fire and they would feast for whatever that was, two hours, whatever and so they ate this one really large meal and then they would fast all throughout the day and they were known for this amazing level of resilience that they had and there’s athletes too and interesting, there’s an athlete called Herschel, named Herschel Walker, who is.
I live out here in Georgia and he was a phenom, he played at The University of Georgia, one of the best college football players of all time, great NFL player and he was a running back, running backs take a lot of, they take a lot of hits, really high impact hits, most of them by the time they were 40 they’re, they’ve got multiple surgeries, they’re on a bunch of pain medications and they’ve basically sacrificed their life, Instead, he felt so good in his forties that he actually became a mixed martial arts fighter and into his fifties, he was beating up 20 year olds. Now, Herschel Walker says he only ate one meal a day, which is hard to believe, especially when you’re a high level athlete but he said he would eat one meal a day, typically healthy foods too, salads, fish, lean meat, lots of vegetables, things like that and obviously he had a genetic, he was genetically gifted but at the same time, there’s a lot of genetically gifted athletes that aren’t able to do what he was able to do and so practicing this level of intermittent fasting can really give us more resilience and we actually increase our mitochondria, so not only the number of mitochondria and that’s what produces the energy within all of our cells but also the efficiency of the mitochondria to produce energy within ourselves, our body just gets really energy efficient when we do this and so just some powerful stories there about really how we’ve practiced intermittent fasting throughout history.
I love that and yeah, we’re wired to do this and we might all be at different places in our health and how long it will take us to adopt this but we’re all wired to do this and as I’ve learned over the years about the benefits, I’m a naturopathic doctor, so we even learned about fasting in school and there’s been fasting clinics that have all these amazing stories and so I was always imprinted with that and just trying to figure out how to apply that to my own life and to my patients and one thing you’ve already touched on, there are so many diets out there, there are so many diets from paleo, to keto, to blood type, to vegan, to whatever, so how do you intersect actually what you’re eating to the actual benefits of the intermittent fasting? So, what I’ve learned is what I, my sense is that the intermittent fasting, no matter what you eat, is actually probably one of the healthiest things you do but we can fine tune it and perfect it with diet, of course and what we’re actually eating, do you have, how do you guide people on what to choose to eat when they’re eating in these windows of time?
Yeah, for sure, so I’m a big advocate of a very clean, healthy diet and ideally a diet that helps our body to use fat as fuel, so I’m a fan of a lower carbohydrate diet. I have three basic principles, reduce sugar and grains, get rid of bad fats, so like bad vegetable oils, like corn oil, soybean, cottonseed, peanut, sunflower oil, so all of those types of processed oils, canola oil, get rid of those, eat more good fats, avocados, coconut oil, olive oil, different things like that, grass fed butter and then clean meat, so organic grass fed, organic pasture-raised animal products. So that’s the typical three rules that we follow and then if people feel good getting their body into ketosis and going very low carb, great, if they don’t feel as good there and they wanna do more carbs, that’s fine but typically it’s gonna be a lower carb template, foods that provoke less inflammation in the system is what we wanna go with and when you do eat, you wanna eat well.
So you wanna feast, you wanna eat until you’re satiated, we’re not trying to count calories or anything like that, we’re trying to compartmentalize the eating window or condense it but when we do eat, we eat really well. So you eat till you’re fully satiated and doing this helps support your digestive system, whether it’s digestive enzymes, probiotics, things like that can all be very helpful, making sure that you’re extracting the full amount of nutrients, producing the least amount of metabolic waste from consuming those foods. So I think all of that’s important but the interesting thing is, intermittent fasting, I’ve seen it, not that I recommend this but I’ve seen it for people that just are experimenting or just not interested in eating healthy.
I’ve seen it give them more leeway, like there’s a guy on YouTube that he, for whatever reason he’s eating like his brand, I guess what he’s created is this, he’ll eat one meal a day at like midnight, which is really odd time. I don’t recommend eating like that but he’ll eat just a really big pizza and things like that, really bad food but he’s lost over a hundred pounds, he’s in better shape, better energy, he talks about how great he feels compared to how he used to feel and he’s only eating one meal a day. So, I don’t recommend that as that’s not how I live, I don’t recommend that but I do feel like utilizing intermittent fasting can help you get away with, just basically provide more resilience, your body’s able to handle other stressors more effectively.
Yeah, I like to tell my patients that health is resilience so I totally buy into that. So within that time restricted window, so you’re eating until you’re full, obviously we’re in alignment with a lot of the recommendations about foods that we actually recommend, what about snacking? Do you feel that snacking is okay in that window of time or should you really focus on those two meals a day or one to two meals a day within that window of time?
So that’s a great question, it always really depends on the individual. So I’ll tell you how I start people, so, especially somebody that’s chronically ill, just kind, again, just like exercise, if somebody is sedentary, they haven’t exercised, we’re not gonna start them out with heavy weights, we’re gonna start them out very light and start gradually building strength, building neuromuscular activity to where they’re getting stronger and they’re able to handle more, so same thing here. So we start out with a 12 hour fast between our last meal and our first meal and then what I recommend people do is, in the morning when we first wake up, we’re already dehydrated, so we breathe out water vapor all night, so all of us are dehydrated when we first wake up, so you wanna start your day drinking, good, clean water, so I recommend drinking at least eight to 16 ounces of water in the morning before you even think about food and you can do other things like putting some lemon in it, doing some warm lemon water can be a really great idea for cleansing, herbal tea can be a good strategy, things like that but get your body hydrated.
I think that’s always the first thing and what happens is if you’re used to eating a big breakfast, that’s because you have a hormone called ghrelin that is released from your stomach whenever it feels like there’s nothing in the stomach and it’s also a conditioned response, so if we’re used to eating at a certain period of time, we’re gonna release more ghrelin. Ghrelin is a hunger hormone, it tells the brain I’m hungry, I need to eat. Now, it’s not a true, it’s more of a psychological hunger than it is a true physical hunger, so when you hydrate well, you actually suppress ghrelin because you’re gonna extend the stomach, as the water comes in you’re gonna get less ghrelin release, you’re not, it’s easier to push off hunger, so if you hydrate well, you start with eight to 16 ounces of water and then you could possibly move it up to, let’s say 32 ounces of water before you even think about food. Over time, you’ll see it’s pretty easy to fast 14 hours and then possibly even to 16 hours like we were talking about, kind of that 16, eight window and that’s a great strategy to apply.
Now for somebody, the toughest population that I’ve had to get doing a regular intermittent fast is gonna be, usually young, highly active women who are very low in body fat and also exercise on a regular basis and are Type A personalities and oftentimes have young kids. So there just too much stress going on there so for those women, oftentimes what we’ll do is something called crescendo fasting, where we’ll do a 12 to 14 hour fast on a daily basis and then two days a week, non-consecutive days like a Monday, Thursday or something like that, we’ll try to push it up to 16 hours, that way they get a few days so any sort of new dietary strategy, whether it’s, if you’re not used to eating breakfast and you eat breakfast, that’s actually a stressor, if you’re used to eating breakfast and you don’t eat breakfast, that’s a stressor, so any sort of change is a stressor on your body, so we don’t want too much stress all of a sudden, too quickly, so the two days a week spacing it out tends to work really well.
A lot of people feel like, oh, I can do this, this feels good then if they’re feeling good there, we’ll move to three days a week, like in every other day, doing something like a 16 hour fast and you try to find the window that works best for you, for some people they do better eating earlier in the day and then fasting through dinner, for some people they have trouble sleeping when they do that and they do better fast or eat, fasting through breakfast and eating lunch and dinner and in some cases, some people do better with a breakfast, dinner but a fast throughout the day and they feel better there. So experimentation, there’s no real dogmatic strategy to it, there is, we are very open to experimentation, kind of trying to figure out what’s gonna work best for you and your body but yes, I do like to get people down to one to two meals a day, at most three meals, no snacks, so if you’re doing three meals, three small meals, especially for people.
Let’s say that, perhaps have had their gallbladder taken out or something like that and I can’t handle a very large meal, gastric bypass, whatever it is, doing something like three small meals in, let’s say an eight hour eating window can be very effective as well but we don’t wanna be adding in snacks. The average individual is eating six to eight times a day, they don’t think they are but they’re sipping on kombucha or they’re drinking something that has got some sort of sweetener in it, they don’t think of it as a meal but every time they do that, they’re stimulating insulin because insulin is coming out to grab up the sugar or even in response, like even if you’re drinking, for some people, drinking a stevia sweetened drink, for example, can stimulate more of an insulin release. So as long as insulin is being triggered, that’s considered a meal, it might even just be like a small handful of nuts or half an apple, but that’s still considered a meal ’cause you’re getting this hormone response, this hormonal response from your body so we wanna avoid that. When we eat, you eat well, so take an hour or so, take your time, eat a really great meal until you’re fully satiated and then stop eating.
Yeah, great points and I have to ask the question because I’m sure a lot of people are still conflicted about this, so people have a little bit of coffee in the morning, how do you see coffee? Is that something to do within the time restricted window of eating or will that break a fast and can you just, what are your thoughts on coffee?
Yeah, I mean, that’s a really good question, so and I think it’s highly variable, so typically drinking coffee, coffee really should be a performance enhancement tool. The research says that chlorogenic acid, cofaq acid that are in the coffee actually helps stimulate autophagy and enhance the benefits of fasting, however, I’ve found it to be a very individual type of a situation, where if you drink coffee and, you should feel great, you should feel fantastic, it should actually help you fast longer, if you feel like you’re getting more hungry, you’re having more cravings, that’s a sign you’re not getting a good response, either you’re a slow caffeine metabolizer, you might be magnesium deficient, I found for some people just taking, like for me, I do best when I put in some unsweetened Magnesium L Threonate, I got a combination of Threonate and glycinate and I actually put that in my coffee ’cause coffee, the coffee plant has magnesium but the effect it has on your adrenal glands actually depletes magnesium and so sometimes just adding a little bit of that and maybe a little bit of salt, ’cause you’re going to lose a little bit of electrolytes, can help you have a better blood sugar response to where you are not having more cravings.
You can also test your blood sugar, if you’re seeing a jump over 10. Let’s say your fasting blood sugar is 85 and it jumps up to 95, a hundred, that’s a sign that you’re having a stress, too much of a stress response to that coffee. You’re gonna have a little bit of an increase, that’s normal, because of it’s activating the glucocorticoids, the cortisol and things like that that are gonna increase your blood sugar a little bit but you don’t want too much of an increase ’cause then insulin is gonna come out, then your blood sugar is gonna drop and you’re gonna feel what most people think of as the crash and you’re gonna be hungry and you’re gonna have cravings, so you have to manage that. So a lot of times the dose matters, possibly taking adaptogens with it, like, for example, the coffee that I like is Four Sigmatic which has lion’s mane and stuff like that, which can help you adapt a little bit more effectively, so that’s kind of adapting you back to homeostasis, balancing you a little bit better so you don’t get too much stimulation.
So you gotta watch how much caffeine you’re taking in, you gotta watch what you’re putting in it of course, if you’re putting in creamers and things like that, that can all have an impact, anything that’s gonna have, really more than 10 calories is going to reduce the amount of autophagy and the amount of benefits you’re gonna get from fasting, however, again, it depends on your goals. So if you do a bulletproof coffee with the butter and the MCT Oil, that can increase ketones in your system, so it’s gonna slow down autophagy but it’s gonna increase ketones and that may allow you to fast for a longer period of time and you’re still gonna be in a calorie restricted state to where you are gonna get some of the benefits of fasting. If you do the Bulletproof coffee and it makes it easy for you to fast until 2:00 PM in the afternoon, then you’re probably gonna get some of the benefits of autophagy, most likely that’s gonna happen, better fat burning, things like that, as opposed to, if you didn’t do that and you were hungry at 10:00am or 11:00am. So you’re gonna be able to push that caloric restricted window a little bit longer and get some of those benefits, so it’s very, very variable, very individual, you just have to see how your body’s responding.
Thanks for clarifying that and I think that it’s a great tool to measure, before and after, the coffee that you, whatever concoction you are preparing it’s impacting your blood sugar and then yeah, I mean, there’s those people who coffee is just one of those things their body does really well with and then some people, of course, they know that caffeine and coffee is not good for them and so don’t even try that but no, I hadn’t heard of the Magnesium Threonate in the coffee. That’s a great idea and also the electrolytes, I think that’s really fun as well. So coffee is always a big one and then you answered some of the questions around women, what about women with their hormonal cycle? Do you find needs change throughout their cycle depending on, for females who are still menstruating, are their carb needs gonna change throughout their cycle and how do you navigate that if you do?
Absolutely and that’s a really good question, so typically, day one of the menstrual cycle is mensuration, usually when menstruation happens, that’s actually a great time to do fasting or a very low carb ketogenic diet but as you get closer to ovulation, typically day 12 or so, a few days before ovulation, you need more estrogen and oftentimes estrogen follows insulin, so for suppressing insulin, we’re not gonna get as good a release of estrogen, you may end up missing your cycle or having it be delayed. So I recommend feasting, eating a lot more healthy carbs, usually from day 12 and sometimes we’ll do that until about day 17. So for like four or five days there, it’s kind of your feast window, doing more sweet potatoes and pumpkin and different things like that, beets, carrots, a lot of these more healthy starches, really great idea to do that during that period of time and then again, your, then you can definitely go back to fasting for about a week there, right before your, the last week of your menstrual cycle, most women notice that they have more cravings, so usually from like day 23 to 28, the craving start to increase ’cause again, you need more hormones to be produced there, more progesterone, more estrogen there for the menstrual cycle, so that last five days or so, back to feasting, so it’s kind of this feast, famine cycle.
So the best time to do, if you’re gonna do an extended fast, it’s probably gonna be in that day one to 10, right after you’ve menstruate, right in that period of time, oftentimes women notice that they just feel a lot better as they’re having their menstrual cycle, fasting or going into ketosis or doing one meal a day or something along those lines, they feel really good but if they continue that, they oftentimes will miss their cycle and have different issues. So I do have an article on my website on menstrual cycle, feast, famine, cycling around that, where I explain more of that but typically, it’s like day one through 10, one through 12, really good time for fasting, ketosis, day, roughly day 10 to 12, somewhere in that range up to maybe day 17, really good time for feasting, then day 17 to day 22 or 23, really good for fasting and then day 23 through 28, really good for feasting, so it’s a true feast, famine cycle and I’m not fully clear on those windows because for women that are very low body fat, they might need a little bit, like an extra day or two of feasting, for women that are overweight, they might need a little less feasting, and they can handle more fasting.
I love how this lifestyle really connects us to these rhythms in life, so we have, especially women, know that they have these monthly cycles that we go through but we all have a daily cycle, we have monthly cycles, within my practice I see how the full moon cycle even affects people’s health and so I think, living in this cyclical kind of rhythm really connects us to how really our body works and also the rhythms of life and how to reflect on them, I think it’s a very intentional way to live and with your comments around fasting and feasting around the menstrual cycle, it’s something that my patients just share with me, I’ve called it the luteal phase where kind of after ovulation.
A lot of my women, especially who have Lyme or chronic illnesses that have pathogenic loads, that they tend to be more flared, they’re more symptomatic freshly that week going, week leading up to their menstrual cycle, so it’s kind of like after ovulation and how I’ve made sense of it is that, around ovulation and after, the immune system is starting to get suppressed in case, in preparing preparation for a pregnancy if that’s gonna happen that month and then to that immunosuppression can also have these pathogens, we eat more, overactive or not in check if you will and then as you get closer to shedding the lining if you’re not pregnant, prostaglandins can increase and the more inflammation can kind of mount and so I’ve been, I haven’t done this with enough women but you’re inspiring me to do this, it’s like, how can they also use this feast famine cycle to maybe give them more immune resilience and maybe they might not be asymptomatic ’cause a lot of my patients are low-carb and they just can’t tolerate grains and carbs, so they’re doing those diets, maybe they need to give themselves more carbs for during those times when they might not feel as bad, so it’s just something that I’ve been reflecting on and you’re helping me think that through.
Yeah, I think and I think it’s especially important for very lean women, because again, the body is so sensitive to the amount of body fat, so you get those very lean women and especially, a lot of women that have chronic illness, not, certainly not all but there are a high percentage that are very catabolic, they have trouble keeping any muscle mass on, things like that so yeah, the feast famine cycling can really, really help.
Awesome, so you mentioned that kombucha can break a fast rate or trigger insulin, so I find that a lot of people, like their rituals, so nighttime can be a time where people might have cravings or they might be tempted to eat or they might just try to have some, how, I guess how can we replace rituals that maybe people don’t notice, like having the chocolate or having the kombucha might be setting them up not for success and what do you do at night or do you just go to bed early? How do you tackle that?
So for me, I just try to make sure that I eat a really good satiating dinner, I think that really helps, in some cases. Some people do better with a little bit of carb back loading where, especially active people, where they are very low carb during the day and then at night they have a little bit more carbs and it may not be every day, it might be every other day or something like that and that could be something simple, like a little bit of sweet potato or it could be beets or carrots or some sort of healthy approach or berries which can be real satiating or coconut whipped cream or some sort of a healthy type of things like that and for some people are just having some sort of a healthy, lower carb, healthier variety dessert after dinner can be really helpful for saving that off.
Now, there’s also some different products out there and herbs and things like that that can really help and herbal teas, like there is an herbal tea from peak tea, a company that, they actually make fasting teas and they’ve got one with cinnamon in it, so it’s a cinnamon herbal tea and it’s got some other things like ginger in there, cinnamon can be really good for helping get rid of cravings, gymnema is another good one, there’s actually a company, it’s like, I can’t remember exactly the name of it but it’s has to do with stopping cravings and they have a gum slash. They also have little, almost like little pieces of candy that have natural ingredients that you can just kind of throw in after your meal and its main ingredient is gymnema, which is a great herb for helping stabilize blood sugar, reduce cravings, that can be helpful, camomile tea can be really helpful so it’s almost like, kava also is another good one, kava tea, and so drinking some herbal teas, warm tea oftentimes, can help get rid of those types of cravings, hydration in general throughout the day, I find to be really important for cravings.
A lot of times we think we’re hungry but we’re really thirsty and so the part of our brain, our hypothalamus, where our hunger center and our thirst center, it’s right next to each other and because food is so prevalent in our society and whenever we eat, we get a dopamine release, meaning we feel good and that’s a great thing, however, we oftentimes get addicted to that dopamine release and so we’re typically going for food when we’re really are thirsty, when rally our body really needs water, so hydrating well between meals makes it easier to fast between meals and then after dinner. Give yourself a little bit of time to break down that food, make sure you got good stomach acid production, so give yourself 45 minutes to an hour after your dinner but then hydrate your body, get some herbal tea, drink some water and that can really help take away some of those cravings so I find that to be really helpful and you can also supplement again with different herbs, berberine, gymnema, banaba leaf, there’s a lot of different herbal products that have these types of things, usually they’re marketed for like blood sugar support but they also really work well for helping reduce cravings.
Awesome ideas, so a lot of people can get their pantry stocked when you want us to be set up for success, so if this is one of your weaknesses or your areas that you’re concerned about, now Dr. Jockers just gave us a huge list to think about. As you mentioned this, what do you think about supplements in breaking fast? Do you feel like the supplements need to be taken within the time restricted windows of eating or do you feel like it’s outside of that, are you okay with that? I guess of course it depends with…
Yeah, it depends on the supplement. So, there are some supplements that they just, you’re gonna digest them better when they’re taken with meals, usually that’s gonna be things like minerals, like zinc, for example, fish oil, vitamin D, so fat soluble nutrients, things that are actually fatty acids like fish oil or omega threes, always wanna take that with a meal. Now there are other things that actually can help enhance a fast, so adaptogenic herbs, for example, these extracts, they’re gonna have little to no calories in them but at the same time they’re gonna help, basically, for some people fasting increases their cortisol too much and so taking something like an adaptogenic herb is gonna help your body release the amount of cortisol that it should be releasing for the environment that it’s in so it’s again, almost like a thermostat.
So if you’re producing too much cortisol it’s gonna bring it down a little bit, if you’re not producing enough to give you energy and wakefulness, it’s gonna bring it up a little bit. So I think adaptogens are great, I think that in some cases, some vitamin C can be helpful, I think that, let’s see magnesium, an unsweetened form, so there are forms that are sweetened so you wanna avoid those during a fast but an unsweetened form of magnesium I think, would be really helpful ’cause magnesium is really more or less, almost like an adaptogen, really helps our body adapt to stress. Most people are depleting magnesium, the more stress you’re under, the more you’re going through magnesium, so I think that that can be really helpful, binders are great during a fast ’cause your body’s usually eliminating more toxins.
So whether it’s activated charcoal or bentonite clay or zeolites or fulvic acid, humic acid, those bioactive carbons or chlorella or something along those lines, I think that’s all great, you can definitely take those. So again, you’re trying to avoid things that have calories in them and usually your supplements will say, so for example, if you were to just take a straight chlorella supplement, that’s great but if you’re doing a greens powder that has 20 calories per scoop, it’d actually be better to do that, let’s say, if you were having an eight hour eating window and you were doing two meals, have your meal and then two hours later, have your greens powder in water or something like that, you’re not going to get much of an insulin release but that would be a better time to do something like that and try to keep your fast in the morning but say if it was in the morning or just, that fasting window a little bit more pure where you’re you’re not consuming things that have more calories in them.
Yeah, that sounds good to me, we use a lot of binders in our protocols and the hard part for people to take them is like, when do they fit them in? So, this intermittent fasting lifestyle actually naturally gives you the time, windows to take your binders, which are also, I believe a really awesome addition to fasting, that’s your body, that sort of things.
Yeah, I really think when people have trouble with fasts, it usually has to do with blood sugar instability so adaptogens can be very helpful, Magnesium can be very, very helpful for that or toxin release because your fat cells are breaking out a lot of times, we were storing different biotoxins in our fat cells, heavy metals, things like that so as your body starts to break down fat and use it for fuel, we’re gonna release more of these toxins, we also have gut bacteria dying so we can release more endotoxins, so binders are really helpful during those periods of time.
Awesome, no, I feel like they’re so foundational to our protocols and really, lifestyle in modern day or bodies are up against it, that’s one takeaway from this podcast, it’s not only of course adopting this lifestyle but the importance of binders, I try to share that a lot. So, you’re such a wealth of knowledge with all of this and so just a little bit of a detour but do you have any insight on gestational diabetes? That’s something I actually went through myself and I wanna have another child and I’ve noticed my blood sugar in the morning still, is still higher than I’d like it to be and I’m trying to, I’m not doing full fasting days but I am, yeah, I’m just really curious on what your insights with working with all the people you’ve worked with over the years of gestational diabetes.
Yeah, I mean, I think it definitely can range, obviously trying to dial in the diet, obviously is number one, getting really good activity, trying to prioritize sleep, so getting all the main lifestyle factors working well is very, very important right off the bat, it’s interesting because there’s just so much, there’s many warnings and don’t take these supplements when you’re pregnant and this and that and so to some degree you always have to, you have to realize that they just haven’t been studied but not that for example, some of these herbs are, most of them are not known what they’re gonna do for somebody that’s pregnant or not but in some cases I’ve used things like, again, cinnamon, gymnema, things like that, to help get the blood sugar more stable and then yes, doing a little bit more intermittent fasting, even if the woman’s pregnant, trying to just compartmentalize it if they’ve got gestational diabetes, getting them moving a lot, strength training, a lot of women when they get pregnant are afraid to do any sort of strength training, my, actually as we speak right now, my wife’s pregnant.
As we speak she’s six weeks pregnant with our fourth child, so yes, so we work out together, so just having her regularly do strength training, obviously there can come to a point when you’re in month nine or especially if you have a history of premature births. Sometimes doing that activity can promote labor, if you have a history of late births, where you go past your due date, then you really can continue to do some level of strength training ’cause that’s actually gonna help you get more on date and have a better pregnancy, so strength training, I think, can be extremely important for helping prevent against gestational diabetes, having that lean body tissue and activating those glute four receptors within your muscles, the glute four receptors act as, basically like insulin, so they’re grabbing up sugar that’s in the system but at the same time, you also need a lot of rest because you don’t wanna overtrain, you certainly don’t want that, over-training is going to create a chronic stress response in your body and you’re gonna end up having higher levels of blood sugar, so you gotta get the right amount, you don’t need much, 20 to 30 minutes, maybe three to four days a week is really all you need, take a walk every day, try to get out in the sun as much as you possibly can.
I know you’re in Seattle, so only sometimes of the year, today we’re outside, it’s beautiful fall weather out here in Georgia so I was just outside with my kids playing basketball and stuff like that but yeah, we try to get as much sunshine and sun exposure, as we can, believe it or not, sun exposure and also grounding, just getting your bare feet on grass, dirt sand can have a really positive effect on your stress response and your blood sugar and so I think all of those things are really, really important. So making sure you get the right amount of stress, not too much, not too little, so exercise is a stressor on your body so is fasting, so those are positive stressors but we wanna get just the right amount, I think that’s important and again, everybody’s variable and different, so we got to kind of balance it out.
Yeah, I know, thanks for sharing that, I just feel like you said, pregnant women, a lot of people don’t wanna take a stand on how to treat them or what to share because of the the risks and the implications of saying the wrong things but I think, of course there’s only more chronic illness in our children and I think we need to wake up pregnant women and moms and it’s the starting of a healthy life, so this is awesome and yeah.
Yeah and also a ketogenic diet too, if your blood sugars are running really high, dial back the carbs too, which just kind of obvious thing, doesn’t always work but for a lot of cases it does.
Yeah, I’ll keep you posted. I think with me, it was kind of a curve ball ’cause I eat pretty, I mean, I’m pretty healthy, I’m human but I’m walking this lifestyle, I just didn’t stress, I’ve have practices and employees and all of that and I think about, I would love to dive deeper, I haven’t done this enough but how the environmental toxicants can also affect gestational diabetes since the mom is metabolizing so much during that time and how that could also affect blood sugar but yeah, I think blood sugar, the key to health, we know it’s so preventative if, so many chronic illnesses, I see a lot of patients with chronic illness but if you wanna prevent cancers and neurological, all the things that we want to prevent, this is.
So what are your thoughts on using binders during pregnancy too?
Yeah, we’re a proponent if that’s okay, I mean, I think there’s a lot of good data around chlorella, chlorella is like a super food and a nutritional support and then it’s also have that dual role as a binder, so I took chlorella throughout my pregnancy, my daughter’s really healthy and we had a really amazing birth and all that good stuff but I just, I felt, I mean, I’m so educated on all this and I felt so sad for the women who don’t advocate themselves once they’re in that box of gestational diabetes ’cause they put you on a time window and they do all this stuff but we had a natural birth and I wasn’t induced and all that good stuff, so, I know, I’m grateful but I did binders and then I did a lot of body work too, I think that also gets underestimated because I had to do chiropractic and I had dynamo massage and acupuncture and I think that’s a huge support for women during their pregnancy and leading up to their birth ’cause your structure has so much to do with getting your baby out and so I think that’s often underestimated but.
That’s a really, really great point. My wife, she’s obviously in her first trimester and over the last two weeks has had a lot of issues with burping, more so than with our other kids, now she’s 38 and so she’s a little bit older but I’ve had to put her on a low FODMAP diet, it seems to be helping and taking some charcoal because she’s just had a lot of burping all of a sudden.
And it means there’s some shifting, right? So she’s definitely in that immunosuppressed state again to have the healthy baby and so that’s when, maybe some underlying dysbiosis that, she was not now there’s more prevalent in then, yes the progesterone increases in the move around and that could also be part of it but I’m glad you have her on plan.
Yeah, exactly, we’ve been experimenting so, yeah.
Share your story, I mean, it’s so fun for, I think a lot of new moms and moms to see other people walking this whole completely alternative way of having the child comparative what many people are, that’s just the conventional system, that people have to kind of go outside of that to find all this other knowledge, which I think is so important to change the future for our children.
Yeah, for sure, well, I see a lot of women will get a lot of nausea and they’ll start craving like crackers and stuff like that and I think and they seem to feel better when they do that and I think it has to do with the fact that, again, they’ve got some level of bacterial overgrowth and also the progesterone reduces the contractility of the esophageal sphincter. Some of the different sphincters don’t work quite as well, everything’s getting looser and so the sphincters don’t work quite as well, so a lot of times there’s things moving through the ileocecal valve back into the small intestine, there’s things not moving in through the stomach and it’s causing this sort of disorder and so even though I’m not a huge fan of a low FODMAP diet for long-term, for a few weeks while you’re producing a lot of these hormones, sometimes that can be helpful because you don’t want as much prebiotic because again, you’ve got too much bacteria in the system.
I think that’s kind of my theory of why some women seem to feel better eating things like crackers, obviously try to get the best sourcing but normally I would never recommend that in a diet, even if it’s whole grain or gluten-free, things like that but she seems to feel a little better doing it. So I’m like, well, I think we had to take out like onions and garlic and broccoli and all these healthy foods ’cause, avocado, ’cause she was eating guacamole and just having a massive amount of burping and things like that and so we’ve had to cut back a lot of these foods that are very, very healthy foods but unfortunately just hasn’t been able to respond to well for them and this is really just like last week or two, that we’ve been dealing with this but almost every day we’re trying to figure out what the next thing is.
Yeah, well you’re a great team I’m sure and she’s in good hands and I’m sure, wow, child four, I’m impressed so what a blessing. So, well, keep us posted with how she does and congratulations, what a joy, especially during this time and I could keep you here all day, I’ve learned so much from you, I really appreciate your ability to break all this information down and make it really accessible ’cause I think people, when this is new to people they just go and overwhelm and can’t quite realize how to adopt this into their lifestyle and I think you gave a lot of people, some pearls today so thank you, thank you and how can people find out more about your work or any wonderful things that you’re up to at this time?
For sure, well, you can find me at drjockers.com, that’s my main website and social media, Dr. David Jockers, YouTube and also I have a great book coming out in October, it’s called “The Fasting Transformation” where I talk a lot more about these fasting strategies and really how to apply fasting to get the best results.
Awesome, well, we’ll definitely put that up all in the show notes and yeah, thank you for all the incredible education you put out into the world, a lot of my patients have used your website as a resource and it has really awesome information so thank you.
Well, thank you, I appreciate you having me on.
Thank you, well, have a beautiful day and thank you everyone and we’ll have all the information in the show notes and have a great day.
Jeffrey Wood – Mechanical Causes of Chronic Illness