Fasting and the Ketogenic Diet
Updated: Oct 31, 2019
Hello you beautiful Kambo people,
Jon here for Planet Kambo. It's a beautiful day, I'm just on the way to the gym and I thought I would make a follow-up video to my fasting video where we can go into a bit more detail about what happens in the body when we fast. I'm rocking the Planet Kambo t-shirt out in public, I thought "why not?", bit of free advertising.
When we fast, and I did touch on this briefly in the previous video, we go into a state called "ketosis" and what ketosis is, is where the body stops using sugar for energy and it switches over so using fat for energy so it's like we have a backup generator inside our bodies for when food is scarce and what happens is there's a metabolic switchover and the body
starts breaking down body fat and it turns it into what's called "ketones". Now ketones are a form of alcohol and your body will use this alcohol for energy instead of sugar so it's quite an amazing thing but we have this this safety mechanism inside of us to stop us starving essentially, which is what our body fat is for. Body fat is stored energy, it's there for times of famine so when we fast our body goes into a state of ketosis and we start breaking down fat
and turning it into ketones and our body runs on these ketones. You can do what's
called a "ketogenic diet" and a ketogenic diet is where we mimic this fasting process by manipulating the different macronutrients in our diet. If you go very, very low carb in your
diet, let's say you eat less than 30 grams of carbs a day, it's different depending on the person, some people can tolerate higher amounts of carbs and stay in ketosis but you
take away those carbohydrates and what's going to happen is your body's going to start to go into ketosis because it doesn't have the sugar for energy so generally a ketogenic diet is very, very low in carbohydrates, it's very high in fat and moderate in protein although the fat and protein you can play with a bit.
My Keto History
I've been in and out of doing ketogenic diets for years now and there are some great benefits and there are some some downsides to it as well. There are some benefits to the ketogenic diet, one is satiation. You get very satiated on the food. Eating high-fat low-carbohydrate food is very, very satiating, it's hard to overeat on a ketogenic diet. When you eat carbohydrates and you eat sugary and starchy foods there's an addictive quality to them and when you eat them you want to eat more and more and more. When you take them away and you eat the
ketogenic foods, you eating high fat and high protein food it's very satiating and we tend not
to overeat. It's really hard to overeat if you eating a proper ketogenic diet. The appetite
suppression is a great benefit and also there is mental clarity. When we're running on ketones we tend to have stable energy, when we're using sugar for energy there's always an up when you eat the sugar and then there's a down. It's peaks and troughs throughout the day based on what you're eating. So you'll eat some carbohydrates you'll get the energy and
then afterwards there's a crash. We're all familiar with the afternoon crash and when you're on a ketogenic diet are you eating ketogenic food you have stable energy. The energy just is
stable throughout the day you don't have these peaks and troughs which is quite a big bonus and something I really like about doing it.
It's a good diet, it feels like you're fasting so your body thinks you're fasting, it's using ketones for energy and with that comes stable energy throughout the day, no peaks and troughs, and appetite suppression. Essentially the ketogenic diet is a fasting mimicking diet but when I fast because I'm already what's called "keto adapted" in that I've already been in ketosis through a diet I can slip into ketosis very easily. If somebody else who's never been in ketosis before, who has never done a ketogenic diet does their first fast, they're going to go through withdrawal they're going to get what's called "keto flu" and this is where the body is still looking for sugar for energy because the metabolic pathways inside them haven't been set up yet for ketosis so if your body's looking for sugar for energy and you take all that sugar away which is what will happen when you fast, you take all the food away, then you're going to feel terrible, you're going to feel really, really awful for a few days until the body starts to produce ketones.
The Keto Flu
When people go on a ketogenic diet there's always an adaptation period and it can be anything from a few days to two weeks and this is again where you take the carbohydrates away and up your dietary fat intake when your body's still looking for carbohydrates for energy because it hasn't switched over yet to being able to use ketones and during this period you can feel pretty awful. For me when I first went keto it lasted a week and then one day you wake up and you feel great but for that week you feel pretty awful. You've got no energy, tired, fatigued, depressed, but then once the body starts producing ketones you feel pretty damn good.
So ketogenic diets give you stable energy, appetite suppression and a generally good feeling. I definitely feel better when I'm ketogenic than when I'm eating sugar but there's some drawbacks to it - athletic performance is one, not everybody finds this but I definitely find this when I take away the carbohydrates my performance in the gym suffers. I'm nowhere near as strong and I don't have as much energy. Some people don't have this problem, some people can be keto and they find that they have just as much energy. But in my experience explosive movements and explosive energy suffer. When you're lifting weights or doing sprinting, this kind of thing, you're gonna suffer unfortunately if you're doing a ketogenic diet but for the average person who doesn't really do that kind of activity a ketogenic diet can be a really good way to live. It's a really nice way of being. You get the reap all the benefits of fasting but while still eating food.
Now I want to talk a little bit about what I've been doing and again I touched on this in the previous video and this is how I do alternate day fasting. What seems to be working really well for me is manipulating my food intake based on my activity and my schedule so today is a feeding day and I'm on the way to the gym. I'm gonna eat a lot of food today because I need it because of my activity so today's a feeding day but then tomorrow I'm going to fast and we're doing a Kambo training. It's day 1 of our September kambo training and I prefer to be in a fasted state. So today when I'm lifting weights in the gym and I'm doing running I'm gonna eat and I'm gonna be in the fed state. Tomorrow through the kambo training I'm going to be fasting and what I've found is when I'm doing any kind of medicine work, if I'm holding space for kambo or if I'm doing it myself or if I'm working with other medicines, working with rapéh, it's much better to be fasted. What I'm doing now is I'm manipulating my food intake based on my activity so I have feeling days where I'm training and doing physical activity and then I have fasting days where I'm in ceremony or I'm working with medicine and this is actually working fantastically well for me.
Most people live in a fed state their whole lives, they never experienced being in a fasted state and actually when you work with medicine being fasted is much, much better. Working
with medicines, when you take them when you're fasted they are completely different, you can really connect with them in a different way and food will block that.
This is something I've found myself, if you want to connect with medicine, do it on an empty stomach. Doing it with with a stomach full of food is not the same, so fasting has its place and feeding has its place. You have these two different states, you have the fastest state and have the fed state and they both have things about them that we're going to want to harness
on certain times so I like I said today I'm training in the gym I'm gonna be running and lifting weights so I'm gonna need food. Tomorrow I'm not but I guess I could carry on and I could just eat but I don't need to. If you're doing this kind of alternate day fasting then on your
eating days you get to eat more food. I can eat a lot of food today and not really worry about it because I know tomorrow I'm gonna fast.
It feels really good to be empty some of the time, we're all used to being full all of
the time and actually being empty feels really good. I sleep better, I mentioned this in the previous video but I sleep better when I'm empty so on a fasting day as I get towards the
evening, so now it's getting close to over 24 hours since I ate 24 to 36 hours, depends when I had my last meal on the previous day I find that I feel great. I go to bed I sleep really well, something else just come to mind another benefit of fasting that I forgot to mention, it's called "autophagy". Autophagy is where the body starts to eat up dead old dead cells. We all have cells in our body and when we fast the body goes into this this cleaning mode and it starts to clear out all of these old dead cells, it burns them up. The deeper you get into a fast, the deeper and more powerful this autophagy effect is going to become so if you're just doing 24-hour fasts or less you're probably not going to get into much autophagy but as you start to go into the 48 and especially past the 72-hour mark you're going to go into a deep autophagy state state where the body's essentially starting to eat itself up to a certain extent so burning up these old cells which is really good for you because the body is essentially cleaning house, it's clearing out old debris that doesn't need to be there so that's another benefit of fasting.
So you've got going the ketogenic state and the mental clarity that comes with that, you get the "faster's high", you feel good, you feel energized and you get autophagy plus as I said it feels really good to be fasted sometimes. Just to be empty as opposed to constantly digesting food all the time. Giving your body a break and I can feel my body thanking me so that's some more of the scientific details about fasting, I've talked a little bit about my routine. At the moment I eat Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and I fast Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday is an optional day, sometimes I might eat I, might not depends how I feel.
I'm eating when I'm I need food when I'm doing physical activity, training in the gym and I'm fasting when I'm doing medicine work and that's working really well for me so if this is something that you like to try I highly recommend you look into a ketogenic diet.
Just google "ketogenic diet", there is so much information out there, there are so many people that do it, there's websites, YouTube channels, loads of stuff and you can find out how to do it, the kind of food you want to eat, what your macronutrient ratio should be and if you
want to get into fasting then just go ahead and do it. But as I said if you've never done a ketogenic diet and you've never done a fast when you do either of those things you're going to go through a period where you're not going to feel very good and this is because the body is going into a sugar withdrawal so until you've been ketogenic before fasting can be quite difficult.
A good way to think about the how the difference between being in a ketogenic diet to being
someone who uses sugar for energy is if you imagine inside your body you have this furnace which is your energy generator inside your body. When you're a sugar burner, when you're using sugar for energy you can imagine that you're throwing twigs on this furnace, little
twigs and when you throw these twigs on the furnace they burn up really intensely but they burn up very very quickly. So you're throwing twigs all the time, you need to constantly be throwing twigs to keep the energy going. You wake up in the middle of the night and your fire
has gone out, more twigs, more twigs, more twigs, they burn up very very quickly but they burn up really really intensely they create a lot of energy. When you are keto you can imagine taking a giant log and just dumping it on the furnace and forgetting about it for a couple of days and with that is the energy doesn't burn as intensely, it burns more slowly
but it burns in a more stable fashion and you don't need to keep putting more and more and more on, just put this one load of wood onto the fire and then forget about it. That's quite a good way to think about it and the difference in terms of how you feel whether you're doing a ketogenic diet or whether you're doing a carbohydrate or sugar based diet.
See you in the next video!