According to some if you drink more than 50 calories while fasting you’re not really fasting anymore. I would assume this includes BPC or adding whipping cream or butter to your coffee in the morning as well. Any thoughts on how many calories before you’re not fasting? A couple of my friends have gotten into Pruvit and “fast” with those drink mixes for 37 hours. Just curious what others do.
So the question is why do you fast?
If you are fasting to promote glucagon mediated autophagy, then the objective is to fast for 3 days. That eventually lowers insulin sufficient to take the brakes off autophagy (by lowering glucose and raising glucagon). Circulating Ketones actually raise insulin moderately so that would have the effect of turning off autophagy.
If you are fasting to give your body a chance to burn fat, that is also a process of lowering insulin (so you can release the fat) but also a process of using the fat you release. Drinking extra energy (which is what ketones are) will mean you need to burn less of your own stored energy. It will directly defray fat loss.
If you are running out of energy during a fast, that may be because for what ever reason your body fat can’t contribute more - and it would be better if you want to keep it up to just eat a little medium chained fats like coconut oil which you will turn directly into ketones anyway.
But it’s like 100x cheaper
When you say you would need to fast for 3 days, is that based on someone who is typically insulin resistive or can that vary depending on whether your insulin resistive or sensitive to promote glucagon mediated autophagy? That is my goal but so far I have only done 36ish hour fasts. I thought I had heard/read that autophagy can kick in at about the 16-18 hour mark. Is autophagy and glucagon mediated autophagy different things? Thanks!
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I thought I had heard/read that autophagy can kick in at about the 16-18 hour mark. Is autophagy and glucagon mediated autophagy different things?[/quote]
It’s the same thing. We are continually turning over proteins at a slow rate, but getting your glucagon up is what triggers a significant uptick in autophagy.
For people who are insulin resistant like me that can take 3 days. Also for glucose burners it might take even longer as they have to draw down 1-2 days worth of stored glucose first.
For insulin sensitive fat adapted people it could take much less. I suspect when you see ketones going up … that’s a sign that you are making glucose because glucagon is up and insulin is down.
I suspect the point of glucagon driving autophagy is when glucagon is high you are making glucose out of amino acids, so the body takes the opportunity to pull down protein structures that are old and weird and make more free circulating amino acids.
I started eating Keto for health benefits, I’ve always been healthy weight but turning 40 with 2 VERY active kids I was having a hard time finding the energy to keep up. I would be fasting not so much for stimulating weight loss (but that’s great!) but for other health reasons as well. Thanks for the information, this forum has been a great support.
@richard this stuff is so very fascinating to me, what if the cells that turn into cancer are allowed to grow and get out of control as our modern diets do not allow for the natural autophagy to take place and remove those would be cancer cells before they become cancer… its a basic theory, though I imagine the body has a lot of secrets hidden that our modern diet keeps covered and suppressed…
I love it when @Richard posts on this stuff. He is so clear.
Regarding the first post, I recall that someone asked Dr Rhonda Patrick that question and she said that as soon as you drink coffee, your stomach acids are activated and your fast is over.
We need more long term studies before we’ll really know the answer. The different camps of fasting using water only vs. fat only vs. broth vs. artificial sweeteners vs. coffee vs. HWC vs. etc etc all have valid points.
Hmm, I’ve never heard this before. Is there a document or thread that discusses this in more detail. I normally water fast for up to 7 days with only coffee, water, and salt.
My nest question is: Jason Fung says that autophagy ends when you have too much protien, as in bone broth. Would adding collagen to my coffee in the morning also stop autophagy then?
I’m SO glad you posed this question! I’m really curious too!
Hi Richard! I thought autophagy happened after 24 hours… Why do you say 3 days here? Thanks!
I have listened to multiple podcasts with different fasting “experts”, and basically no one knows the answer to this question. Some believe ANY calories stop autophagy. I can’t believe that. I think it’s like anything else, there’s a range of responses and your body is not binary. I personally use black coffee and green tea (black? no cream), pickle juice, and water (along with salt and sometimes electrolytes) when I fast. If I’m fasting say 36 hours, I fast Monday, using that technique, then get up and add cream to my coffee (cream makes coffee taste better to me, but I avoid it if I’m not ending the fast that day), go to the gym, and eat when I get hungry. It’s usually about 36 hours, but the exact time changes.
Did I have autophagy? Who knows? Who cares? I don’t. I used to make a goal of fasting 36 hours twice a week and fasting 22 hours once the same week, and I realize for me that’s a punishing schedule. Now, I try to get one 36 hour fast per week and eat OMAD twice per week, and I often fail even at that.
I have been able to make it 4.5 days fasting twice this year, and on those times, I assume I’ve had some autophagy even though I technically don’t have a “water-only” fast. But I find fasting difficult enough I’m happy to get this length of fasting, and I hope to do this 4 times this year.
I know Dr. Fung treats fasting as if it’s easy to do, but I find – particularly as I keep losing weight – that it’s not easy. So, I do whatever I can to fast as much as I can, and I’ll worry about autophagy later.