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episode #131

Interview with Dr. Jason Fung: Calorie Restriction vs. Fasting, Hormonal Benefits of Fasting and Reversing Type II Diabetes

March 6, 2022 in Podcast


This week I interviewed Dr. Jason Fung. He is the best selling author of Obesity Code, a kidney specialist and intermittent fasting expert! He founded TheFastingMethod.com to provide evidence-based advice for weight loss and managing blood sugars, by focusing on low carbohydrate diets and intermittent fasting. In this episode, we discuss reversing Type II diabetes with fasting, what is wrong with calorie restriction along with: - Hunger & Fasting - Overcoming Weight Loss Plateaus - Hormonal Benefits of Fasting - Can Fasting Slow Aging? and his one tip to get your body back to what it once was!

0 (1s): Coming up on the get lean clean 1 (2s): Podcast. When you start to switch to processed foods and you switched to say, you know, say cookies, which is highly processed, of course you can eat like you finish a buffet, you could still eat a cookie because there's something about the processing, which sort of bypasses the natural satiety hormones as a tidy mechanism, which is the point. The process foods are going to make it much harder for you to know when you're supposed to stop. So the point is that in any diet, you just want to avoid highly processed foods. 0 (40s): Hello, and welcome to the get lean, eat clean podcast. I'm Brian grin, and I'm here to give you actionable tips to get your body back to what it once was in five, 10, even 15 years ago, each week. I'll give you an in-depth interview with a health expert from around the world to cut through the fluff and get you long-term sustainable results. This week I interview Dr. Jason Fung. He's the bestselling author of obesity code, a kidney specialist, and an intermittent fasting expert. He founded the fasting method.com to provide evidence-based advice for weight loss in managing blood sugars. By focusing on low carb diets and intermittent fasting, we discussed reversing type two diabetes with fasting. 0 (1m 22s): What's wrong with calorie restriction, along with hunger and fasting, overcoming weight loss, plateaus, hormonal benefits of fasting can fasting slow aging and his one tip to get your body back to what it once was. I was so grateful to have Dr. Jason Fung and a podcast. I've been a big fan of his since he came out with obesity code in 2016, and I really enjoyed the interview. I know you will too. Thanks so much for listening. All right. Welcome to the get lean eat clean podcast. My name is Brian grin, and I have Dr. Jason Fung on welcome to the show. 1 (1m 60s): Thanks for having me great to be here. 0 (2m 2s): Yeah, it's, I'm really excited to have you on I, your book obesity code, and I know you have a bunch of books, but obesity code was the one that brought me into fasting and learning about it. And that was what I think, you know, like 2016, that book came out and anyway, so I'm excited to have you on, and, you know, I know you have the fasting method.com and a lot of different cool platforms where, you know, you're trying to sort of spread this way of healing and maybe tell the audience a little bit about, I know you're in our nephrologist, how you got into, you know, all things fasting and dealing with insulin and things like that. 1 (2m 45s): Yeah. So I'm a nephrologist is a kidney specialist. So I went to UCLA, I went to university of Toronto pharma, internal medicine, and then I went to UCLA for my nephrology and I practiced for the first 10 or years, more or less conventionally. And the problem was of course there was a huge epidemic of obesity happening. And then shortly after there's this that they could be city led to the type two diabetes. So that's what I was seeing a lot of in my, in my office, of course. And, you know, we had all thought that just simply giving medications to reduce blood sugars would reduce this sort of epidemic of kidney disease, but it wasn't. 1 (3m 33s): And in 2008, 2009, it was clear that that sort of thinking was completely wrong. And as I started to think about it, it really dawned on me that the entire way we had been approaching it as physicians was quite interact, that is what we're trying to do was correct the blood sugars, but we weren't really looking at the root causes. So if you, if you simply look at the term diabetic property, it tells you what you need to know that is diabetes type two. And remember that type twos like 90 to 95% of type of diabetes overall. 1 (4m 13s): So when I talk about diabetes, I'm talking mostly about type two, but type two diabetes was causing the kidney disease. So in order to make an impact, you got to get rid of that type two diabetes. Now at the time, of course, people were saying that two diabetes was a chronic and progressive disease. If you had it, you know, it just got worse until, you know, you'd developed all the complications. But even as we were saying, this kind of stuff, every single person knew that it was just a lie because everybody knew that if you lost weight, your type two diabetes would either go away or get a lot better. And we had tons of studies to prove this, of course. So the problem wasn't that type two diabetes was chronic progressive. 1 (4m 55s): It never was, it was just a big lie that we told ourselves to make ourselves feel better. The problem was that we weren't getting people to lose weight, and that's why their diabetes was continuing to progress. So I got very interested in the question of weight loss, because if you lose weight, then you don't get your type two diabetes, or you can reverse your type two diabetes. Then you don't get the diabetic kidney disease. So following that sort of root cause you can't treat things at the kidney disease stage you're way too late. You're you're, you're, you know, you've left the horse out of the park. You got to get it before that happened. So that's where I started to think about it. And honestly, the entire sort of science around weight loss, which doctors and dieticians had all been sort of taught was again, very, very simplistic. 1 (5m 45s): And honestly, like it was what, what I learned and all doctors learned was it's all about calories in calories out, right? So it was, you know, to lose weight. You simply had to eat fewer calories or exercise more, and that was accepted standard wisdom. It still is actually to, to a lot of degrees. On the other hand, again, everybody who's in the field knows that's a complete lie because we've been telling people this for the past 40, 50 years, and it has helped almost. So you have a strategy where you have a success rate somewhere around three to 5% say so 95 to 98% failure rate. 0 (6m 30s): It's like the biggest loser. 1 (6m 32s): It's the biggest loser. So you can do well for six months and then they virtually all regained that weight. So again, you have one exception, for example, in the biggest loser, like one person out of like three seasons might keep that weight off, which is again, sort of 90 plus percent failure rates with everybody else fails. And it's always striking to me that people always blame, blame the people, right? They always say, well, those people have no willpower. It's like, did you watch the show? Like, did you see them like workout until they threw up? These people are not lacking in willpower. They just had the wrong information as to how to really be successful because they're all following this whole calories in calories out strategy. 1 (7m 19s): And so the science of it was that people were so focused on calories and said that other issues were not important. Like, you know, the hormone hormones, you know, in our body. And, and of course our entire body runs on hormones. That is, if you take two foods, one, a cookies, and one is say, salmon, the minute you put that in your mouth, your body responds to it completely differently. So yes, they have the same energy. That's what calories are. It's food energy. So yes, they have the same amount of energy contained within that cookie or in contained within the salmon or the egg or the broccoli. 1 (7m 60s): But the, the hormones are completely different. So what your body does with those calories is completely different. Your body has a choice. You put those calories in, you could start as body fat, or you could burn it as an energy, right? You have lots of energy, you generate body heat, you know, you're have you want to go running or exercising or whatever, right? So you can start or you can use it, same number of calories, but what your body actually does with that depends on the hormone. So say, say for example, you take a hundred calories of a food and insulin is very high. Your body instantly shuttles that into body fat because it's storing it. That's body fat is simply a storage form of calories. 1 (8m 43s): That's all, it is not nothing more or less. So you should take that those hundred calories. Your insulin's high, you shuttle that immediately into your fat stores. Okay. Well, your body has no energy. So you're going to want to go get some more energy because you need to, you know, body heat and you want energy to go for a walk or whatever, right? So it's like, of course the hormones are important, but the people who have been talking about calories, calories, calories have been busy denying that it had any relevance to human physiology. It's like, but human physiology runs on hormones. Everything runs on hormones. So that was the big disconnect. And so that's where I started talking about sort of like the hormones and the insulin. 1 (9m 26s): And you know, there's a lot of debate, of course, because people are all about calories, calories, calories, and it's like, you know, it's not helpful that that whole discussion is not helpful. And I'd be, I'd love it if it was helpful, because then I know what to tell people, right? The same thing I had been taught, but it wasn't helpful. So we have to learn the sort of nuance and the people just talk about calories. They're so simplistically, they just say, oh, it's about, you know, thermodynamics. It's like, but neither the calorie model or the hormonal model breaks the laws of thermodynamics. But we're saying is that you take those calories, you shuttle it into your fat. How does that break? 0 (10m 9s): Yeah. Yeah. I had Dr. Ben Beekman on. And he talked about the same thing regarding obviously insulin and the calories in calories out just too, too simplistic. The body's much more intricate and complicated. And why don't we touch on some of the hormonal responses and some of the, the things that the role that fasting can do on your hormones and how that's different than like calorie restriction. 1 (10m 34s): Yeah. And this is the important thing. So fasting is not only a way of eating fewer calories because it can do that for sure. But it's also a way to reduce your insulin because you're not eating. So that's the natural response. If you don't eat, your instance is going to go down. When your insulin goes down, there's a certain stereotype response that all human bodies do that is you increase these counter regular Tori hormones and you decrease insulin. All of which is basically telling your body to take the calories from your storage and move them out into circulation. Right? So remember if insulin Ty, you're giving your body instructions to store calories. 1 (11m 17s): If your insulin slow, you're giving your body instructions to burn calories. So if you don't eat for a day, for example, say you normally eat 2000 calories for some testing, you know, population 2000 calories, but today you don't eat anything. So you have zero. So your body will take those 2000 calories from your stores of body fat. That's it, that's all nothing else to it. So everybody says that it's all about calories in calories out, but they're completely raw because if you look at the energy balance equation, so remember this is the end. It says body fat equals calories and minds calories out. There is no such thing as a caloric deficit, right? 1 (11m 59s): There's three variables. There's body fat, there's calories in calories out. And that's three variables that always must balance. That's the point. So if you increase the say, you decrease your calories and you eat less, right? You could decrease your body fat, but that's only two of the different variables. There's another variable that is your calories out, micro down. So you eat less, but you burn less. And body fat stays the same. That does not break the laws of thermodynamics, right? So people say, well, you just have to eat less. It's just thermodynamics. No, you, those people are so like, they, they think that there's only two variables, calories in calories out, but you remember your body fat has a store of say a quarter million calories just sitting there. 1 (12m 50s): So if you reduce your calories in, you could reduce your body fat, or you could reduce your body energy expenditure, calories out. And guess what? Every single study that we've done, like the biggest loser studies shows that when you simply reduce your calories, but don't pay any attention to the hormones, then your calories out actually goes down. That's been shown for the last, like 80 years of scientific research. Like, so, so that's the point is how are you going to reduce your calories in, but try to keep your calories out stable while fasting is just a good way to do that. 0 (13m 25s): Right? Yeah. And I think there's this misconception that they eat a bunch of small meals throughout the day that and calorie restricted, that's going to do the same thing is totally abstaining from food. And just having, maybe eating in a small window. But the hormonal differences are really the key. And you know, I, when Megan came on, I asked her what would be one tip? You could give someone and that would be not to snack. And this is what I like you talk about in your book has changed from like, let's just say the seventies till today is we thought we had to eat all the time to feed the brain and you know, have energy, but we have plate, body fat to have enough energy. 0 (14m 6s): We have plenty of body fat store to have energy where you could fast, you know, hypothetically, if, if you're, if it's right for you, you could fast for days and be completely fine. 1 (14m 16s): Yeah, exactly. And, and, and the, this whole idea is that when you fast, you're setting up the conditions and you don't have to fast. So you could do this with other ways, right? So you could eat three meals a day. Like in the seventies, you could eat three meals a day and still still access your body fat as long as you're not eating all the time. So the whole point is that when you're fasting or you're sort of what you're doing is in addition to the calories, because it's, you're, you're allowing your body to have that access to the store, body fat, right? So if you simply lock away that body fat and you can't access it, and you do that by keeping insulin high, of course, and you can do that experimentally, but just by giving people a lot of insulin, then what happens is if you think about energy balance equation, that is body fat equals calories in minus calculator. 1 (15m 11s): So if your body fat is sort of fixed, then you reduce calories in, then your calories out will simply reduce, right? 0 (15m 19s): Slowing your metabolism is 1 (15m 20s): You will slow your metabolism. In fact, that's what every single study of these diets has shown for the last 50 years. Right? So the, the, the point is that it's, it's very important to keep an eye on both of them. And, you know, and that's what a lot of the diets do as well. Is that they're better at that because they, some foods release more insulin than other foods. We know that that's just a scientific fact or saying, is that, that is an important aspect. It's not the only aspect, right. Because there's things such as, so there's instantly released a food, but there's also sort of your baseline insulin levels and so on. 1 (16m 3s): So all it means is some foods are more fattening than other foods, right. And this is just common sense. Like you ask your grandmother, she's like, yes, cookies are more fattening than X, right. That's just common sense. Like, or cookies are more fattening than broccoli. Like who gets fat eating broccoli, like nobody ever in the history of mankind. Right? So the calories people say that, Hey, cookies are just as fattening as broccoli. Those calories are equally fattening. And it's like, it's a stupid thing to think. Right. But yet there's people out there like scientific meetings where they just talk on and on about, it's all about calories. 1 (16m 43s): Those insulin people are stupid. I don't understand how we can understand. Like they can think that, 0 (16m 50s): What would you say as far as, you know, prescribing, obviously there's a lot of different camps regarding eating, right. That's the one thing I sort of like about fasting is yeah. I mean, obviously if you're eating clean and foods that maybe don't have labels on them, fasting will be easier. But on the other hand, I love fasting the sense that there, it doesn't, it doesn't, it's not in one camp or the other, right. You're either eating or you're not, you're consuming calories. You're not, are there certain, like obviously, you know, Quito, you have keto, you have carnival, you have vegetarian. Is there a certain camp that maybe if you have a client, I know you have with the fasting method, you do, you guys do a lot of coaching. Is there a certain roadmap that you take people on? 0 (17m 32s): As far as types of foods, they should be eating. And in this, in like a certain camp, 1 (17m 38s): The main thing I tell people in, I don't think it's controversial at all, actually for foods is one, try to avoid sugar. I don't think that's particularly controversial to eat unprocessed foods, which again is pretty uncontroversial. So the, the whole thing is that it's not simply processed carbohydrates, but processed fats and processed proteins as well. Like it's just better to eat natural foods. If you eat natural foods, your body will know how to handle it, including telling you when to stop. Because everybody thinks that people just eat, eat, eat until they like explode. 1 (18m 18s): But that doesn't actually happen. Like if you go to a buffet and you eat, you know, way too much at one meal and you try to put in another, like pork chop, it ain't happening. You're like nauseated. Like you just can't do it. It's a very powerful sensation to stop. So when you eat natural foods, you will stop eating at a certain point because you will be full. You can't overcome that. Let's like all those competitions that they used to have, oh, eat this 80 ounce steak. And we'll give it to you for free. They're not giving a lot way, a lot of free state because you can't do it because it's a lot of protein and fat. But when you start to switch to processed foods and you switched to say, you know, say cookies, which is highly processed, of course you can eat, like you finish a buffet, you could still eat a cookie because there's something about the processing, which sort of bypasses the natural satiety hormones is a tidy mechanism, which is the point. 1 (19m 18s): The processed foods are going to make it much harder for you to know when you're supposed to stop. So the point is that in any diet, you just want to avoid highly processed foods. So processed foods and sugar in, in general. So there's different ways you could even eat a relatively high carbohydrate meal, as long as you do that. The other, you know, the other thing of course that fasting does is it provides other than you can, you know, it works with any diet, but it provides you a structure as to when you're supposed to be eating. And this is extremely important because if you have no structure, then you basically eat. 1 (20m 2s): And unfortunately, this is the situation we're in now where people tell you, first of all, that you need to eat, eat. Like you got to eat breakfast. You can't skip breakfast. You're going to die. If you skip breakfast, right. And it's like, you know, your body can handle not eating the meal because you know, again, people are like, oh, you have nothing in your stomach, but you have a quarter million calories sitting in your body, fat. You know, your body can access those because you ha you've just finished sleeping. Right. And insulin is going to be down. You're going to be able to access as many calories as you want, because that's just the way the body works. 1 (20m 43s): Like if we had to make sure that we got up and put them off in her mouth within 30 minutes, like we wouldn't be here as a species. Right. When we were cavemen, there was no muffin for you as soon as you woke up. Right. It's ridiculous to think that that actually makes any difference. So the whole point is that, you know, it, you know, you can eat breakfast if you want, you can't, you can not eat breakfast. You want, but the fast thing gives you the structure where it says, okay, well, you're going to eat here and not here. Right? Breakfast, lunch, dinner. There's nothing else. Right. 1 (21m 22s): Whereas nowadays you go around like, and it's like, oh, you can eat breakfast. If you want, you can eat snacks. If you want, you can eat lunch. If you want, you can have another snack. If you want, you can have another snack. If you want, then you can have dinner. Then you can have an after dinner snack, and then you can have a before bed snack. And then you're up to like eight times a day and you're eating constantly. And unfortunately, when you do studies of how people eat, this is how people eat today. 0 (21m 46s): Yeah. And, and, and I think you even mentioned your book, like, no, one's going to promote fasting per se. Right. Because they're trying to sell a product. And, you know, you know, you see a lot of companies with like these fasting bars. And I don't know, I just think it's, it's a lot of marketing, but what would you say? Cause I think some of my clients, including myself, I've been doing intermittent fasting for a long time. And you know, let's just say someone's maybe plateaued. Let's say they've been doing 18 six where they've been in a fastest state for 18 hours and have a six hour eating window. And they've, you know, maybe they just want to lose more weight or, and, and they've sort of lose more inches around their waist and they've plateaued. Would you, what would you recommend to that individual? 1 (22m 29s): Well, there's certain sort of leavers that you can play with, right? So if you're trying to lose more bait, then you can do different things. One is you can try to change the fast thing. So you could do it longer. You can do shorter, you can do a time. So you don't have to. So what you can do is you can instead of eating, so you do sort of lunch and dinner, for example, well, you can move that up and have breakfast, lunch, and then skip dinner because eating late at night can be problematic. And this is probably again, not news, but you know, if you eat a giant meal, like just before bed and then you go to sleep well, what's your body going to do with all that? Right. It's sleeping is recovering. It's not using any energy while you're going to start. 1 (23m 11s): All right. So eating late at night is not particularly good for you. So you may want to switch it. So even though if you're doing an eight hour eating window or a four-hour or one meal a day, you can switch to use, instead of eating, say dinner as your one meal a day, you can eat lunch or breakfast is wrong all day. So you can do different things in terms of fasting. There's also different ways to do it. There's sort of classic fasting, which is water only, but there's also these variations with like teas and coffees and bone broth and all this sort of stuff. So you could change it. So you do sort of cleaner, fast, for example, or you could say, I'm going to do like use these fast things, sort of training wheels, which is what we call them and do it longer, or do it more frequently. 1 (23m 55s): Right. So there's actually infinite variation with that. And, and then what 0 (24m 4s): Alternate day fasting, is that the popular method that you use with clients or patients? 1 (24m 12s): Yeah, I mean, alternate day fasting is just another schedule of fasting. So it's a, yeah, it's basically what people want to do. Like if they want to, you can, like, you don't, you don't have to, if you don't want to, you know, you want to try and build yourself a routine, which gives you sort of the structure. That's what alternate day fasting does, you know? So, so, so that's, that's, that's the best thing. 0 (24m 40s): W what are, what are some of the other benefits regarding fasting, other than just, you know, perhaps losing inches around your waist? What are some other benefits that you see with individuals? Because I find, I, I like it for the mental aspect, just the mental acuity throughout the day, but what are some of the other benefits that you're finding? 1 (24m 60s): Yeah. So there's actually quite a few other benefits that you can get with a fast thing. I mean, not only do you have the weight loss benefits, but for type two diabetes, for example, you can control blood sugars. Cause if you don't eat, of course, your body's gonna burn that sugar. If it burns that sugar, then of course, you're going to feel your, your, your sugars are getting better. You need less medications, for example. So that's a very good strategy for that. The other thing is that you may feel more energy and that's something that people either should prize that, that they get more energy during fasting. They say, oh, well, I should have less energy. It's like, no, it again, it's, it's just pure physiology. 1 (25m 41s): There's nothing sort of voodoo about it. When your instinct goes down, your counterregulatory hormones go up including activation of the sympathetic nervous system. So nor adrenaline and so on. So when you don't eat your body, actually isn't shutting down. It's actually ramping itself up. So you're going to have more energy when you fast, same thing for mentally, you're going to be more mentally sharp because your body's actually ramping up, not shutting down. So again, and people sort of know this instinctively, but people get told this all the time. Oh, I, you know, I have to eat to concentrate. Well, you know, think about a time where you ate a huge meal, like Thanksgiving, like after your Thanksgiving meal, do you feel very sharp or do you want to just sit on the couch for a little while, right. 1 (26m 29s): You think about the hungry Wolf, hungry both. Is it very sluggish and just falling down? And it's like, no, it's, it's sorta dialed in focused and ready kill. So the, the sort of mental benefits, the sort of energy benefits, the way they feel it's, it's really, it's really got a lot of benefits to it. And just, you know, there's, there's other more theoretical benefits, like a toff of G for example, which is a sort of a cleansing mechanism within the body. And that's a more theoretical thing. I mean, it happens, but what pure benefits you can sort of tangible benefits, you can say it's hard to, 0 (27m 13s): Yeah. Do we know this is a cause cell cleansing autophagy? Do we know, is there a certain time where, where that might kick in? You know, I know the body does it naturally even probably overnight sleeping and stuff, but is there a certain amount of time that perhaps autophagy by kicking more during fasting? 1 (27m 34s): Yeah. And it's hard to know exactly for sure, because it's hard to measure, but it's probably somewhere, you probably get a little bit overnight, like 10 hours, 12 hours. Remember people used to eat dinner at six o'clock and breakfast at like eight o'clock. So you're talking about 12 to 14 hours of fasting, right? So you're probably starting to get there probably by 1820 hours or getting into good levels of TOF juice. We know that because in a top of G is where your body sort of breaks down cells. It sounds really bad. I face like, oh, breaking down protein. It's like, well, it's not just breaking down protein. 1 (28m 15s): What you're doing is getting rid of the stuff that you don't need. So if you break down protein, then what you want to do at, when you start eating again, is to rebuild that protein, which is what happens because growth hormone is a counterregulatory hormones. So when you fast, you break down protein, but your growth hormone is high. When you start to eat it, that hits that growth hormone. And then you rebuild that you only rebuild the stuff that you need because your, your body's not going to rebuild protein that you don't need. So therefore that's a way of sort of cleansing and rejuvenation. And so, for example, we've noticed in our clinics that people, even when they lose a lot of weight, they don't have a lot of excess skin because they're probably activating that protein burning that autophagy and therefore not getting that excess skin because the body doesn't want any excess. 1 (29m 11s): Right. And wants to be just perfectly in line with where the environment is. So if you have excess fat, excess skin to cover that fat, well, it doesn't need it. So it's going to burn it off for energy. And that's what we've noticed. We actually have never sent anybody for skin removal surgery, just because they just have so little, so much less of that problem. So, so those are some of the benefits that we've noticed. And it's, it's just, you know, it's just one of the great things about fasting. 0 (29m 41s): And I know I noticed you've, you've done a few blogs and some YouTube videos regarding longevity and fasting. What can you comment about that? As far as the mechanisms regarding fasting and longevity? 1 (29m 55s): One of the things that in terms of animal studies of longevity is that animal studies, the only consistent thing that really extends like devotee is calorie restriction. And, you know, even back in the forties, there was talk about, Hey, if we have a nutritious diet, but simply restrict calories, then animals live longer that might apply to humans. But of course you can't ethically do any kind of study like that, right? So it's always a bit of an extrapolation, but from animal studies, it's pretty consistent. So back in the forties, you know, which is like, you know, 80 years ago, people had to re talked about this problem. 1 (30m 41s): And they said, well, the problem is in free living humans, it's very difficult to simply restrict calories, you know, but eat at the same frequency because if you're eating the same frequency, say you have breakfast, lunch, dinner, that's your routine. And you have the same meals and stuff. Now you're going to eat like 80% of what you used to eat while I was really difficult to do that because you need to apply willpower because you want to eat a certain amount you want to eat until you're full. Now you have to eat until before your fault and consciously think about that. Every single meal for the rest of your life. Well, that's not so easy to do. 1 (31m 22s): Wouldn't it be easier for example, to say, skip one meal out of every 10 or something like that. Now you're achieving a 10% reduction in calories, but it's a lot easier because you simply say, well, you know, I'm just skipping this meal. And once in a month, or once in a year, I'm going to do this. Like, you know, upcoming, we have lent an Ash Wednesday. So, you know, there are people who are fasting during that period of time. And it's like, well, that's a lot easier as a, as a strategy to do fasting compared to every single meal, reducing it because it's just, you know, then you're always thinking about fast and then eat normally the rest of the time. 1 (32m 5s): So that's a way to do it. So longevity, calorie restriction has a number of theoretical reasons why it might cause increased longevity and most people believe it does. It's just, how are you going to get to that end goal? And fasting is just a way to do. 0 (32m 24s): Yeah. I've noticed with myself, like when I started getting in the fast thing is you just get full, faster. So, you know, if you skip a meal and you let, you usually have two meals a day, sometimes one, let's just add one meal for that day. Like you think like, oh, you're going to just, you know, I'm, you're going to let us go crazy and eat everything, but you really don't. I find that I actually just get full faster and, you know, go on, go on with, you know, go on throughout my day. 1 (32m 50s): And this is really important because remember if, and we see this all the time, people come back to us in clinic and they say, oh, you know, I think my stomach shrank, you know, it's like, well, remember, first of all, it's a natural thing and I'll explain how in a second. But if you're getting full faster and therefore eating less and therefore more able to maintain the weight loss or lose weight, well, that's really important because now you're working with your body as opposed to calories in calories, out where people are just constantly hungry, because you're always like, well, I only eat this. I, you know, I only have like 150 calories left. 1 (33m 31s): So all I can eat for dinner is like this, right? It's like, you're constantly hungry. And so you're always fighting yourself. Whereas with fasting, you tend to get full. And the reason is, of course, you're feeding yourself off of your body fat. So if you skip breakfast and you skip lunch and your body is now feeling itself from that safe quarter-million, or even half a million calories of body fat, that's just sitting there right now, you fed yourself through your body fat. And there's plenty of that, but why would you need to eat a big dinner? It simply doesn't, it isn't necessary. In fact, because you've been fueling yourself through your body fat, you've allowed that through the fasting. 1 (34m 11s): Now your body might say, you know what? I only need like 800 calories because that's all I, I have left. Right, right. So that's the point is that's all you're trying to do. And remember that that's what body fat is there for. It's a store of calories for you to use when you have nothing to eat. So you are literally using it for what it was for, and there's nothing unnatural about it. Right. But of course, when I started talking about fasting in 20 14, 20 15, probably people thought I was insane. Like, honestly, I got so much flat, like, 0 (34m 50s): Has that changed a lot? Like, 1 (34m 52s): Because most of the one it's become so much more popular and topical. And of course there was a huge knee jerk reaction from dieticians and doctors, all fascinating, super bad for you. But as soon as they started hearing some of the arguments, it's like, well, one it's not a fad. Right. People have been doing it for thousands of years to it's completely natural. And you have stores of body fat. People are like, huh. Well, that's interesting. As in, why do you need to constantly put calories into, into you? If you have a huge store of calories, it's sorta like, if you have a, you know, you have a car and you have a gas tank, you fill up the gas thing and it's full, but you keep pumping. 1 (35m 39s): So now you've got gas in your backseat, it's just sloshing around. And somebody says, you need to keep going to the gas station and putting in that gas. Right? Like, why would you want to do that? It's completely insane. 0 (35m 52s): And I also think too, when you start doing fasting and you've been doing it for a while and your body starts to adapt, you're you, you start to like, realize what true hunger is and what it's not. And like I say to myself, like, do I really need to eat? I'm like, I'm not hungry. Now. There are times where I do eat. Just because, you know, I'm not the biggest guy, you know, I probably nine and a half percent body fat. So it's like, do I want to really go much low, lower than that? You know, probably not. I think I'm at a good point. And, but that leads to the question. Are there certain people who maybe shouldn't do fasting? 1 (36m 26s): Yeah. And, and, and certainly if you're malnourished, if you're, you know, not, you know, if you're pregnant or breastfeeding, you don't want to do extended fast, but remember a normal fast, like before people went crazy about this, of course was if you ate dinner at six and ate breakfast at eight, people would say, well, pretty much everybody can do that. Right. That's 14 hours of fasting. Okay. So you're only pushing it by two hours. You know, if you do that once, like if you do 16 hours instead of 14 hours, like it's not a big deal. So yes, there are people and certainly children and stuff, you shouldn't do these longer fasts. 1 (37m 10s): Like, you don't want to go like three or five days because you need the nutrition. But on the other hand, you know, you think about, you think about what people used to do, for example. So remember you're talking in the sixties, say you had a 14 hour fast, 6:00 PM, dinner, 8:00 AM breakfast. Now, if you're a naughty boy, you got sent to bed without dinner. So you went from 12 noon to eight, like you're talking about a 20 hour fast that virtually everybody had done. When they misbehave, like nobody died. Nobody got sick. Everybody was okay. So people go crazy like, oh, 16 hours of fasting is so bad. It's like, it's a natural thing. 1 (37m 51s): It's a balance here between feeding and fasting. That's why we have this term in English called breakfast rate your fat. Because if you don't fast, you can't break your fast. So fasting is just a natural part. So when people say who, shouldn't fast, like, what are you talking about? Are you talking about a 14 hour fast? Well, every single person should be doing that. If you're talking about a 40 day fast, like yeah, very few people should be trying that. Right. So it's like, what are you talking about? So, you know, people go crazy, but it's really just, it's, it's really just a balance. 0 (38m 27s): Yeah. And as far as extended FastCo, is this something that you implement in your life sometimes? Or what is your fasting schedule? Like 1 (38m 37s): I try and fit it into where I can. So, you know, the 16 hour fast is very easy because I very often don't take breakfast. And that, that wasn't a deliberate thing that was just because I want, I don't get hungry in the morning and two I'd prefer to sleep, so I don't want to get up and make breakfast and clean up and eat and all that stuff. Right. So that's a 16 hour fast. That's pretty easy then sometimes I don't, I don't take lunch. So then it's a 24 hour fast. And then sometimes I do do a longer, fast, because it's easier to do, like, if, if I have something like a vacation or, you know, Christmas holidays and stuff, I won't, you know, I won't be that careful on my diet. 1 (39m 25s): I know that cause I'm going out and like, you know, you go to your friend's house and they have dessert and it's like, oh, there's cookie and cake. And you know, sure. I'm going to celebrate with you. Right. You know, it's just part of life. Right. But then to make up for it, it's very easy to do a period after the holidays are after the vacation. Like if you go to a cruise or something like that, you eat way too much. Everything is, are tough on the body, but then, but then you can make up for it. Right. And that's the point is that it gives you the flexibility. Then I might do a longer, fast just to really say, you know, let's, let's, let's, let's at least get most of the way to repairing all that extra weight I put on over the last month. 1 (40m 17s): And it happened, it works for everything. Right. It works for COVID. If you put on some weight during COVID, then you do the fast thing to lose it. You can do something about it, but it's a balance again. So if you, you know, this is, if you are this to say, this is baseline, right. And then you eat way too much right. For a week because you went on a cruise, okay. Then you go back to your baseline. Okay. Well, when are you going to make up that area under the curve? Right? You had this period of for seven days where you ate way too much. And then you go back to baseline. Well, you can't do that. That's not going to balance. You have to have a period where you eat way too little to balance that period where you ate too much. 1 (40m 58s): Otherwise it doesn't balance. And that's what fasting allows you to do is sort of incorporate that extra extra bit. 0 (41m 6s): Do you have any stories regarding individual? I'm sure you have a lot of stories, but regarding individuals who have overcome like type two diabetes and, and, and sort of how that happened, excuse me, losing my voice. Just so people can hear that. 1 (41m 22s): Yeah. Actually we have many, many people who have reversed their type two diabetes. It's it's quite striking because, you know, they're, they're often told that it's chronic, it's irreversible. They have to take medications. Then they start fasting and realize that it wasn't never, that was never true. And so then as soon as they start to fast, of course, the sugar starts to go down. So it's very simple. Really. So remember when you eat, your blood sugar will go up sooner, you eat sort of a Friday of macronutrients. So if you don't eat your blood sugar, doesn't go up. In fact, it starts to go down because your body's going to start burning some of the sugars. 1 (42m 3s): So this is in your body can store sugar as well, right? So it can, your body will serve sort of, at least some of the sugar that start up and your body will burn it to get rid of it. So over time, we've had probably hundreds of people who have reversed their type two diabetes, like sometimes in a very striking manner. I mean, it's, it's crazy because they've done so much good for their own health. Because if you don't have that type two diabetes, you're putting yourself at far lower risk of all of those things, such as heart attacks and strokes and cancer and so on. And it's all from an intervention, which is completely free, completely in your own control, right? 1 (42m 50s): Like it's really just up to you. You really just need to know how to do it, how to do it safely. You know, somebody to help you because remember, even though fasting is a great tool, it's not fun. So I eat pizza too. Right. It's but it's not fun, but it is something that you can do for your own health and the people who have done it, I've had such honestly, it's, it's been crazy. You know, I wrote a, I wrote a paper a few years ago and there are three patients of mine actually. So I, before I knew I treated them with medications and they were all like 70, 80 units of incident within a month, the three of them were off completely, completely off their insulin. 1 (43m 31s): And for the next year, just maintain that as non-diabetic. So they had diabetes for like 10 years. I was treating them. In fact, that entire time they could have taken that away. If I had known now I do. Of course. So I recommended and not everybody will do something about it because there's still a lot of naysayers and stuff. But on the other hand, for those people who want to give it a try, it's worthwhile the other day, one of the nurses that works with me in the hospital was saying that her son is 20 years old, already had type two diabetes, but he started watching some videos and he started doing some of the fasting and cutting down the carbohydrates and reverses type two diabetes. 1 (44m 15s): And then he says, says to his mom, oh, I started watching this Dr. Fung on YouTube. And the mom was like, Hey, that's, that's our doctor. 0 (44m 26s): Yeah. I'm sure there's tons of stories. And like it, the sad thing is, you know, kids, isn't it like type three diabetes, they call it now or like that kid cause kids for kids that are getting it or becoming diabetic. So young 1 (44m 40s): Type three is refers to Alzheimer's disease. People call it type one and a half is one and a half. So, but it's different type one and type two diabetes are actually complete opposites of one another almost. So type one. Diabetes is two little incident type two diabetes is too much and stuff. Sometimes it's very hard to tease out which one it is. The problem is of course with kids, is that in the past, like 90% of the kids with diabetes were like type one diabetes because type two diabetes, which is the majority of diabetes. So it used to be all in the adults because those were the people who had were obese or eat too much sugar and had fatty liver and stuff. 1 (45m 23s): And so it used to be juvenile onset versus adult onset. And of course, with the explosion in childhood obesity, what happened is that you wound up with a huge number of type two children, take two children with type two diabetes, which is on the one hand unfortunate on the other hand, it's good news because that is actually a reversible dietary disease. Yeah. You have time. And the point is that if you know that type two diabetes is largely a lifestyle and diet disease. 1 (46m 4s): And we know this, of course, because if you look at the prevalence of type two, diabetes has gone way up in the last sort of 40 years. So therefore clearly not a genetic problem, right. Then you need to bring lifestyle treatments to it. Instead we brought gave them a lot of drugs. So it's like, you can't treat a dietary disease with drugs. You need diet Terri solutions for a dietary disease. Like it's, it's, it's simply as, is as basic as that, we had been giving drugs for a dietary disease and wondering why we weren't successful at reversing. It it's like because you never treated the diet. And when you did treat the diet, you gave him a low fat diet with lots of carbs. 0 (46m 49s): Do you see more? Now it's becoming a little bit more mainstream fasting. Do you see more doctors jumping on the bandwagon? Like you've done a night, like you started back in 2014, let's just say, do you see it sort of creeping into, you know, physicians? And 1 (47m 4s): Yeah. The physicians almost instantly know what I'm talking about. When I start talking about physiology, they know what I'm saying is true. It's all basic first-year medical students stuff, right? It's all physiology human physiology. As in this idea that you need to eat 10 times a day, you ask the doctor, I can ask the doctor and say, okay, well tell me physiologically why the human body requires eight meals a day or eight eating opportunities a day. And there, they know that there is none. They know that there's no research that supports that they know that humans can eat eight times a day or once a day. 1 (47m 47s): It doesn't matter. That's why we have storage. Right? You take food store, some of the food where you don't have food, you take it out of storage, right. So do you need to fill up that tank eight times a day? It's like, no, you don't have to. Well, what if your storage tank is overflowing? Do you need to fill up that tank at all? It's like, no, you don't have to at all right. So the, the physicians actually instantly know what I'm talking about. So there's actually a huge uptake from that. In fact, there's a S a survey interesting survey a few year ago where they surveyed like a Facebook group of physicians. And they said, well, what do you do for yourself to lose weight? 1 (48m 29s): And this was a group of female physicians. They had lost, I think on average 13 pounds each. And they asked them, what do you do to lose weight? And what do you do for your patients? What do you tell your patients to do to lose weight? So what they told their patients of course, was to count your calories. What they did themselves was intermittent, fasting low-carbohydrate diets and extended fasting. So that's not even something that I use a lot of. Like, I use it personally, but again, this was stuff that the doctors were like, Hey, one, I know the physiology too. I know if it works. So I'm going to do this, even though my, my, you know, the teaching is to say that. 1 (49m 9s): So when I tell patients, I'm just going to tell them what I'm told to tell them, which is, count your calories and cut your calories and exercise more. But when it comes to their own body positions, we're all fasting. Cause it's like obvious, like donate, let your body burn off that body fat. 0 (49m 30s): Yeah. It's amazing how your body can just heal when you don't give it anything. Even just like there, look, there's some studies coming out, like even just regarding like inflammation and things like that. Like people doing extended fast to heal other ways. Is this something that you see sometimes like with patients? 1 (49m 51s): Yeah. I mean, we do get stories every so often it's less reliable. Cause some of that inflammatory stuff needs a bile to get better, but certain people have, we've certainly heard a lot of stories where people started fasting and then a lot of the inflammatory conditions got better. So thyroiditis was very common and that seemed to get better. So people's fibroids improved. Sometimes a lot of joint pain got better. So, you know, you do see this and there is some evidence for this anti-inflammatory effect, but it's not as consistent. And sometimes it does take a while to, 0 (50m 29s): Yeah, well, this was good. I usually ask at the end of most my interviews, I asked Megan's, I'll ask you what, what one tip would you give an individual? Maybe if they're middle-aged 50 and above or so. And they wanted to get their body back to what once was, you know, 15, 20 years ago. What one tip would you give them? 1 (50m 49s): I mean, other than the no snacking, which I think is great advice is to build a sort of a routine. So you want a sort of a daily routine where you say, okay, well this is my eating window, right? I won't eat outside of that in and try to move that window up a little bit. So everybody has a tendency to go eat late, but you really want to try and eat earlier, but build that sort of daily habit, because it's the habits that make a difference, right? It's, it's, it's just like your salary, right? It's what you make day in and day out. Not the bonus that you get once a year. So people, you know, they go on a diet and they do it for like three months, but that's not what makes you healthy or not healthy. 1 (51m 34s): It's that diet that you eat day in and day out. So you gotta make a decision. And one of the things is to sort of cut out the snacks, kind of consolidate your eating window, but then you can also have weekly routines. So for example, once a week you might say, okay, well, I'm going to go longer on a Monday because I'm busy. You have monthly routines say once a month, you say, okay, well, I'm just going to sort of do this for this, you know, at the beginning of the month to clean out or because I have yearly routine. So every year in January, when I know that I'm going to have, you know, there's some sort of holiday period from November to December, I'm going to incorporate that into my yearly schedule. 1 (52m 14s): And then I'm going to do another one after my vacation in June or whatever people take it, because I know again, it's going to make up. So you have that sort of routine that you build into your life so that it's not, you're not always thinking about it. Like, do I do this or do it? It's like brushing your teeth, right? You don't every morning thing. Hmm. Should I correct? It's like, no, it's just a habit. Right? So it's like your eating routines have to become sort of habitualized, but it's not, it doesn't mean that that's every single day. Right? So it's like sometimes for example, for Yom Kippor or for lent or for Ash Wednesday or for, you know, Ramadan, it's like, Hey, that's just something that you do because it's routine every year it comes around and this is what you do. 1 (53m 3s): Well, that can be, that should be part of your sort of maintenance as well, so that you don't have to think about it. Like it's about everything's weight loss about willpower. It's got nothing, almost nothing to do with willpower and everything to do with your routines. If you rely on willpower, you're simply going to, because you're going to expand it. And then the minute that, that willpower to stop expending that willpower, you fall into your bad routines and you lose all of your progress. That's the biggest loser thing, right? So you go on this show, you expend a tremendous amount of willpower. The minute life goes on and you have to do this day in and day out while you don't have the proper routine to fall back on to keep you healthy, as opposed to the sixties and seventies, where everybody had these routines and nobody had to expend willpower to stay thin or very few people anyway, some people do obvious. 0 (53m 59s): Right? And I think one of the great ways to sort of not have, or not have to rely on willpower is just, don't buy, like don't buy certain things, right? We always say, or cook for yourself. Or there's a lot of little things that you can do where you take willpower out. Cause if you don't have it in the cabinets, you don't have that temptation. But no, I love the, I love your tip regarding building a routine and these healthy habits. And I always say, especially with fasting, like you mentioned, like I'll have days where I'm busier. Those are great days to do fasting because you're not thinking you're on the move. And you know, a lot of times we fast, we don't even realize that you skip a meal. You're like, oh, did I even, you know, you have those busy days. 0 (54m 42s): So that that's a good way to build it around. If you know, every Monday it's just a crazy day. That's maybe a good day to maybe do an, you know, a day fast. 1 (54m 50s): Exactly. And these things are great because then after the first three or four times you do it, it's just automatic. Right. Today's Monday is my day to catch up on email. I'm not going to eat lunch. I'm just going to answer emails. You got to go home early and take a long bath. Right. That's you know, now you've built your habit and then you get a little reward at the end of it. Right. Because you have that extra time that you took that you didn't have to eat. And, and, and, and then everybody knows, right. Hey, today is Monday. That's the day that he doesn't come out for lunch because he's going through his emails. Right. And it's like, okay, no problem. Right. Everybody gets to know it. 1 (55m 30s): And that's, that's how it becomes sort of that's how you maintain that weight loss. Yeah. 0 (55m 37s): Well, this was great. Probably could go on for another hour, but I appreciate you coming on and it's become, it's come full circle because that reading your book in 2016 and I'll have you on the podcast. So I appreciate you coming on Dr. Fung. 1 (55m 52s): Thank you so much. It's great. Talk. 0 (55m 56s): Thanks for listening to the get lean, eat clean podcast. I understand there are millions of other podcasts out there and you've chosen to listen to mine. And I appreciate that. Check out the show notes@briangrin.com for everything that was mentioned in this episode, feel free to subscribe to the podcast and share it with a friend or family member. That's looking to get their body back to what it once was. Thanks again, and have a great day.

Dr. Jason Fung

This week I interviewed Dr. Jason Fung. He is the best selling author of Obesity Code, a kidney specialist and intermittent fasting expert! He founded TheFastingMethod.com to provide evidence-based advice for weight loss and managing blood sugars, by focusing on low carbohydrate diets and intermittent fasting. In this episode, we discuss reversing Type II diabetes with fasting, what is wrong with calorie restriction along with: - Hunger & Fasting - Overcoming Weight Loss Plateaus - Hormonal Benefits of Fasting - Can Fasting Slow Aging? and his one tip to get your body back to what it once was!


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