Intermittent Fasting MISTAKES That May Cause WEIGHT GAIN | Dr. Steven Gundry
Now, have you been fasting or meal
skipping with little to no results? You’re not alone. If you’ve read my book, Unlocking The Keto Code, you now know that 50% of normal-weight people
are what we call metabolically inflexible. This means that they are
actually insulin resistant, which quite frankly is the same as prediabetic. This means that they have a
high fasting insulin level.
That means that they cannot make a switch
from burning sugar as a fuel to burning free fatty acids as a fuel because
they can’t release fat from fat cells. And we’ll get into that in a minute. Now, even worse, 88% of overweight people are
insulin-resistant and metabolically inflexible. And 99% of obese people are insulin-resistant and metabolically inflexible. So, if you’re in that category and
the vast majority of Americans are, one of the problems is that your mitochondria
are dependent on using sugar as a fuel. One of our problems is we use
insulin as a key to taking extra sugar and extra protein and delivering
it into muscle cells to use as fuel. And if muscle cells are hungry, it’s easy
to unlock the door and deliver the fuel, but the vast majority of us are
resistant to the action of insulin. They’re not listening to the sales pitch. So insulin instead takes the extra calories
that we eat and unlocks the door to fat cells and says here we’re gonna store this for
later because a famine is going to come. It always has in the past and we’ll be
ready, we’ll have our batteries charged.
So when insulin levels are
high, trying to deliver this, one of the things that most people don’t
know is that a high insulin level prevents fat cells from releasing fats
back into the bloodstream. And think about it. If you’re trying to put something into storage
with a moving ban, you certainly wouldn’t want another guy with a different moving van
taking what you put into storage out. And that’s a great design. So when insulin levels are high,
like most of us, unfortunately, we can put fat into storage, but that
insulin blocks fat from coming up. Well, we can run on both sugar
and free fatty acids or ketones. And we should be just like a
hybrid car. If we run out of sugar, if our blood sugar drops instantly, those
fat cells should start releasing free fatty acids into our bloodstream and we can
run on those or might kind of go great. I’m now using fats that have been stored.
Wonderful. I’m perfect. But the vast majority of us
have a high insulin level. So when we stop eating and our blood sugar starts
to go low, our insulin level is still high. And so even though we would
like to get to all that fat, the high insulin level
prevents that from happening. It’s water, water
everywhere, and not a drop to drink. Ok. So what happens when we try to do intermittent
fasting or meal skipping is that our blood sugar drops and we get hungry, we get grumpy, we
get a headache and we get really hungry, so that when we start eating, our brain
says, hey, I gotta have sugar, get me sugar. I am starving to death. And so what happens to everyone is that we crave carbohydrates because our
brain says that’s what we need. And so you could be skipping a meal
while still metabolically inflexible.
But you in general overeat and you
overeat primarily on carbohydrates. I see this all the time in my patients who
are trying hard to follow an intermittent fasting program, but they just don’t realize that
as long as their insulin levels are elevated, they’re going to have a really hard time
making it through this period of not eating. And when they finally start eating,
they almost invariably overeat. Now there’s one other solution that most
people unfortunately are not aware of. So you can’t get to all that fat that you
stored when your insulin level is high. But there’s another option. And it’s a bad option. You can break down muscle to provide
glucose and it’s called gluconeogenesis. So if your insulin level is high and you
can’t get to that fat, your body will start cannibalizing your muscle to
get the glucose that it needs to keep running.
What’s so bad about that? Well, remember, muscle in general is what
your insulin sells the food you eat too. And if you have lots of customers and lots of muscle, then it’s an easy sale and
insulin doesn’t have to go up. A recent example of this is many of
you have heard about this miracle weight loss drug Ozempic and its cousins and
it’s given away like water in Los Angeles. I see it every day. The problem is that the studies
done on Ozempic weight loss show that 50% of the weight loss
that’s achieved is a lack of muscle. In other words, muscle mass going down
accounts for 50% of the weight loss. And so it’s no wonder that when people stop
that drug their weight balloons because now you don’t have as many customers to sell
the food you ate and it goes right into fat.
And so the same thing happens when we
try to muscle through not eating with a high insulin level, we’re stealing
protein from our muscles to make blood sugar. So it’s a double whammy. So what does all this have to do with fasting? Well, if you’re metabolically flexible, your body works like a hybrid car and it
switches over instantaneously when you run out of gas, and glucose, you just
start burning battery power in your fat. And because your insulin is low,
you just switch back and forth. But when your insulin level is high, you sputter to a stop or
start stealing from your muscles. And when you start eating, you are
ravenously hungry and you overeat. Some of my patients say well, but I’m going to eat lectin-free
foods or lectin-light foods and I’ll be fine.
And so they eat a bag of cassava chips or they
eat a bag of plantain chips because they’re so hungry and they come in and we look at their
results and they’re not losing weight and their triglycerides are elevated and they still have
elevated insulin and we go through their diet and they’re shocked when I show
them the carbohydrate content of a bag of cassava chips or a bag of plantain chips. And they go, but, but there’s no lectins in that. And I said, yeah, but there’s
still carbohydrates and this proves to you that your brain
is telling you to seek these things out. And when we finally, you know, breakthrough that, just because something is lectin free
doesn’t mean it’s a safe food to eat.
If we’re trying to lower insulin levels,
then we make some progress. All right. Now, you’re saying Well, what
the heck am I supposed to do? I’m like most Americans, I’m insulin-resistant. I’m metabolically inflexible, help! Well, as I explained in the Keto Code, becoming metabolically flexible
is not as difficult as you think. So first of all, MCT oil or powders. So MCTS are unlike any other fat. MCTS
are absorbed directly through the wall of our gut and they go directly to our liver where
they’re made into ketones. And ketones you and your brain and your mitochondria can
use as fuel even though there’s no glucose. So this is a really good trick to
get you through these anxious times. As I mentioned before, women do
better with MCT powders in general, MCT oils give a lot of women a queasy stomach
and even loose bowel movements, even diarrhea. So plenty of MCT oils. Try to get C8 MCTS and please, coconut
oil is not gonna do the job for you.
Most of the fats in coconut oil are not MCTS. And I see this mistake made all the time. People see that MCT oil is from coconut oil. So they assume that coconut
oil has a lot of MCTS. It doesn’t and you will not get
the benefit of using coconut oil. You’ll get the benefit of using MCT oil. Now, how about diet? The problem is when you’re doing these sorts of
programs, you want to eat more protein because you can take that protein and break it down into
glucose without affecting your muscle mass. Also, nuts are a great source of
protein, and nuts are satiating and you can get through this program.
Now, muscle strength training is one
of the best ways to increase your metabolically flexible mitochondria. The more muscle mass you make by strength
training, the lower your insulin levels go. And remember, 70% of your muscle mass
is in your butt and your thighs. So when you go to the gym, concentrate on lower body exercising and
you don’t even need to go to the gym. Like I say, take some exercise snacking breaks, brush your teeth twice a day for two
minutes, and do squats and deep knee bends while you’re brushing your teeth, you’re
gonna use those deep muscles to do it. Do a plank, do a modified plank.
You’ll use almost all of your muscles
to do a plank or a push-up. Hot therapy like a sauna builds flexibility, cold
therapy, like taking a cold shower or just even a 15, 30-second blast of cold after your shower will
activate mitochondria uncoupling. Polyphenols. The more polyphenols you get in your diet,
the more metabolically flexible you become, and there are a lot of foods that have MCT oil like
goat and sheep cheeses and goat and sheep yogurt. So all of these tricks will get
you metabolically flexible. More amazing episodes just
like this one, watch now. I know it’s touted to clean out your system, help
you lose weight, and reset your digestive system. But I think this is the worst idea.
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