In this episode, we cover everything you have ever wanted to know about keto, ketosis, and fasting.
In 2008, Ben Azadi went through a personal health transformation of shredding 80 pounds of pure fat. Ever since, Ben Azadi, FDN-P, has been on a mission to help 1 billion people live a healthier lifestyle.
For more than a decade, Keto Kamp founder Ben Azadi has shared his unique point of view and expertise to help others become the healthiest versions of themselves. From understanding the ketogenic diet, intermittent fasting, and other ancient healing strategies, Ben’s followers look to him for his take on the most effective techniques to become healthier at the cellular level.
Ben Azadi has been practicing ketosis and fasting strategies for years, long before it gained widespread popularity, and if you’re looking for ways to calm inflammation so that your body can heal, you’ve come to the right place.
Ben is the author of three best-selling books, The Perfect Health Booklet, The Intermittent Fasting Cheat Sheet, and The Power of Sleep. Ben has been the go-to source for intermittent fasting and the ketogenic diet.
He is known as ‘The Health Detective’ because he investigates dysfunction, and he educates, not medicates, to bring the body back to normal function. Ben is the founder of Keto Kamp; a global brand bringing awareness to ancient healing strategies such as the keto diet and fasting.
Ben is the host of a top 15 podcast, The Keto Kamp Podcast; and the fast-growing Keto Kamp YouTube channel with over 120,000 subscribers.
In this podcast, Ask Me Anything Keto + Fasting, we cover:
Should you try keto if you don’t want to lose weight?
How to increase your ketone levels
What to do if you aren’t losing weight on a ketogenic diet
Ways to gain weight when following a ketogenic lifestyle
Don’t forget about bile: how to support the liver
Does eating zero-calorie foods mess up fasting?
Should I Do Keto If I Don’t Want To Lose Weight?
Yes, you should do keto even if you don’t want to lose weight. Keto is excellent for your brain and cognitive performance; keto helps you be productive and resilient. In fact, ketones can cross the blood-brain barrier and give you an alternative fuel source. If you’re never making ketones, you deprive your cells of 50% of your body’s fuel source. In addition, keto is great for longevity, anti-aging, and lowering inflammation in the body. It’s a great tool whether you want to lose weight or not. Many people come to keto primarily to lose weight. However, they stick with keto because they love the other health benefits they see from the lifestyle.
I Can’t Get My Ketones Above .5, What Am I Doing Wrong?
First, you’re not doing anything wrong. Maybe you can change your approach. When it comes to ketones, higher doesn’t necessarily mean better. You don’t want high glucose, so why would you want high ketones? .5 is great! That means you are burning fat instead of sugar – congratulations! However, if you want to raise your ketones, fasting is a great way to get those numbers up. Also, MCT oil has been proven to raise ketone production. Add MCT oil to your coffee or tea. Lastly, about 30% of MCT is in goat and sheep dairy. Overall, it’s important to remember that you should pay attention to how you’re feeling rather than what your ketone levels are.
What Should I Do If I’m In Ketosis, But I’m Not Losing Weight?
Weight loss is a worthy goal; you should want to get healthy by reaching your goal weight. However, the human body doesn’t always prioritize weight loss. In fact, losing weight is against our basic survival instinct. The body needs to get healthy and optimize its hormones first; as a result of these two things, the weight will come off. If you’re struggling with weight loss, you should put your scale away. Now it’s time to focus on the non-scale victories. Are your energy levels improving? How is your skin complexion? Are your clothes fitting better? Start taking pictures! The number on the scale is a liar because the scale will fluctuate for so many reasons. All in all, pay attention to how you’re feeling and looking rather than the number on the scale.
Can You Gain Weight By Doing The Ketogenic Diet?
Yes, you can gain weight by doing the ketogenic diet. If you prioritize your protein on a keto approach and have a caloric surplus, most likely, you will gain weight. Increasing your calories is going to help put you in a growth place. Some ketogenic bodybuilders put on tons of muscles. You have to be strategic regarding proteins, calories, weightlifting, and quality sleep. If you want to gain weight, you can definitely make it happen on a ketogenic diet. While on the other hand, will you gain weight if that’s not your goal? Yes, it can happen. If you’re overeating fat, then you can gain weight. Remember, your body can get fat from dietary fat or the fat on your body.
How Can We Support The Liver?
Symptoms are such a blessing and a gift from the body. A symptom means something is going on that we need to explore. Symptoms are trying to tell you something and may be telling you to support the liver. The liver produces bile. Bile is needed for detoxification and breaking down fats. When you’re increasing your healthy fats, but your liver is sluggish, you can’t produce the proper bile flow to break down the fats. Sluggish bile is one of the reasons why people will feel worse when they try the keto diet. Apple cider vinegar is terrific for liver and fat loss. Coffee, arugula, dandelion greens, dandelion teas, lemons, and limes are great ways to support the liver as well.
Dr. Mindy Okay receptors and keto campers. Do we have an episode for you? both Ben and I get so many questions that are really vital for you thriving with your ketogenic lifestyle, your fasting lifestyle, and really basically your overall health, that what we wanted to do is try to take some of the most prominent questions and put them here on one podcast. So you guys sent in your questions, we who knows where we’ll go, we may go down some interesting paths. But I just want to say welcome to not only Ben, thank you for doing this with me. So let’s start there.
Ben Azadi Yeah, thank you, Mandy, and good to have the Keto campers and the receptors in our group is amazing. So it’s good to have this combined together for an amazing conversation. So we’re gonna have some fun.
Dr. Mindy Yeah, thank you. And you guys, you know, I can speak only to my audience in the sense if they don’t follow you, they need to go follow you. Because you know, what’s really beautiful, and hopefully you guys will see in this conversation is that Ben and I sit share the same value system when it comes to health. So the lens in which we look at this is always empowering and giving you the power back. It’s not in you know, we can look at keto as like, oh, this magic, exogenous ketone, ketone, ketone drink changed your life. We don’t think like that. We think that you’re the miracle, you have the power in you. And I can only speak for myself, and then I’ll let you comment on this, Ben, that the ketogenic diet and fasting is at the core, what it’s doing is it is tapping in to your own innate power that nobody taught you even existed. Would you exactly right?
Ben Azadi No, you’re right. And we both share that same premise that the body is capable of healing itself, we just got to do our part. So what I what I believe you do, what I know you do really well is you offer hope to so many people who have felt hopeless. Not only that, it’s not just giving them hope, but it also giving them practical and research based tools, like these ancient healing strategies, ketosis, fasting, etc. So that when they apply it, they notice the difference right away. But it’s not that one tool that’s going to change your life. It’s a combination of the many tools apply the right way for a right amount of time, which we’ll get into and keto is one of that, those tools. So it’s fasting. So I love that it’s the premise that we follow. There’s no shortcuts to health. And I always say if you treat your health casually, you end up a casualty. So you want to be casual about the health. We want to be very intentional. Oh, I
Dr. Mindy love that. That’s good. I haven’t heard you say that. Yeah, that’s good, that’s quotable, that’s going on a square on Instagram. Love it. So. Okay, so let’s start up the we’ve chunked these questions down into keto questions, fasting questions, and then I love the bottom is fun questions. Hopefully, some of the other ones will be fun. But let’s start with this one. This is such a good one. Should I do keto? If I don’t want to lose weight?
Ben Azadi Yeah, I’ll start with that. So I go ahead and you start? I believe the answer is yes, I do keto not because I want to lose weight, I’ve gone through my transformation already. I do it because of so many other reasons. Number one, what it does for my brain cognitive performance, I want to be productive, I want to be resilient. And ketones have that ability to cross the blood and blood brain barrier and give you that alternate fuel source, but also the longevity, anti aging benefits, what it does, to just lower inflammation in your body. So it’s a great tool, whether you want to lose weight or not. So many people that come to keto primarily do it for weight loss, but I will say they stick with it for the health benefits. So the answer, in short is yes. I think you should still do keto, even if you’re not looking for weight loss. What do you think, Mindy?
Dr. Mindy Yeah, I think this is a common question I get a lot, which is, okay, I’m at my ideal weight. What should I do. And the the new way I’ve been looking at this is that if we look at just the metabolism in general, we’ve got our sugar burner and our fat burner systems. And if all you’re doing is working on your nutrition, which is phenomenal, and you’re eating, you know, all day long, or you’re choosing to eat, you know, a higher carb diet, and you’re never making ketones, you are literally depriving your cells in your body of 50% of its fuel source. So when we go and we say, well, I’m not feeling so good, or, you know, I’m aging, all the things that we label, is it possible that all we’re doing is we haven’t tapped into this other 50% So I think that’s the first thing that I want to say is you need glucose, you need ketones, doesn’t matter your weight, and so you need it for anti aging. You need it for to be able to perform well. It is that important and this is personally, why I want everybody to get ketones. What What are your thoughts on that?
Ben Azadi No, you’re right. It’s metabolic flexibility. And there’s two ways to become metabolically inflexible. You could be a sugar burner and only burn sugar. That’s the most common way that most people are metabolically inflexible. Or you could do the opposite and only burn ketones and use ketones, which we’ll talk about later. There’s a question about that. So the goal, like you said, is to use both pathways, we have these amazing pathways that are there for a reason to use. And if you don’t use it, you lose it. And this is the case for this process as well. burning sugar and burning ketones. So you’re right. The goal is metabolic flexibility and freedom and using keto and burning sugar is the way to do that.
Dr. Mindy Yeah, awesome. Love it. Okay, second question. Can’t get my ketones above point five. What am I doing wrong?
Ben Azadi I you know, that’s a such a common question. And people will will not only the part about getting the ketones up, that’s common, but the statement that what am I doing wrong, right? Yeah. Yes, that’s
Dr. Mindy what I was thinking. I was like, We gotta address that statement first.
Ben Azadi Yeah, there’s nothing you’re doing wrong. You know, everything is on the way, not in the way it’s always a learning opportunity. First and foremost, there’s nothing you’re doing wrong. Now. Can you change your approach? Maybe. But when it comes to ketones, it’s not all about the higher the ketones the better, the more fat loss, the more results? That’s not the case. Just like we don’t want high glucose. Why would we want high ketones? So point five is amazing. Yeah. Congratulations, celebrate that you’re officially in ketosis. Exactly. So you’re, you’re burning fat instead of sugar, your body’s using some ketones. Now, how can we get it higher, if that’s something you want to do, which I have seen people do feel better? And there’s a good sweet spot between 0.8 and 2.8? Beta hydroxybutyrate? That’s a good sweet spot. I’ve seen most people feel well, so what can you do? Well, fasting is a great way to get those ketones up, which I’m sure many will talk more about. And MCT oil also has been proven specifically caprylic acid, which is the CA type has been the most research in terms of ketone production. So you might want to add some MCT oil to your coffee to your tea. And then also there’s about 30% of MCT is in goat dairy and sheep dairy. So if you’re eating, you might want to incorporate when you’re eating, you might want to incorporate sheep and goat dairy as a way to bump up the ketones as well.
Dr. Mindy Oh, well, I love that. Yeah, I you know, what I always think is that we can’t go from chasing number on the scale to chasing ketones. So once you’re in, you’re in, and so gay, be in be excited. You know, I think you and I don’t know if you remember that conference. We were at with Dominic D’Agostino. And he was just our group in in a separate room, and we were talking about what’s the number that everybody should be in for ketosis? And he said, like, his sweet spot was like, 1.0. Do you remember that? Yeah, I
Unknown Speaker do. Do you have a sweet? Yeah. Do you have a ketone? sweetspot.
Ben Azadi Yeah, mine’s around the same thing. And because here’s why he said that, and here’s why I’m saying the same thing. Because once you’ve been doing keto long enough, and doing going in and out of ketosis, you’re actually going to have lower ketones because your body is actually using the ketones which is great when your cells are metabolizing it which is what you want. You won’t get 3.0 4.0 Unless you do a long, fast. So like you said with Dominic D’Agostino. 1.0 is great. That’s where he feels great for me to 1.1 1.2 I feel amazing. What about you? Do you have a sweet spot?
Dr. Mindy So sweet spot for me? i Yeah, it’s like 1.0 1.5 I would say 1.5 When I go on a longer water fast, and I get it up into like two and three. I I love how calm I feel. But it’s the on the day to day, I really am looking for that energy and that focus and I can get that any type thing above point five. Yeah,
Ben Azadi I mean, if your point five, like that’s something to celebrate. Yeah, you’ve done some work. Congratulations. Now if you want to get it higher and maybe experience more results, you can do that with the MCT is the fast thing, etc. But point five is awesome. Congratulate yourself and celebrate that.
Dr. Mindy And is there anything you want to say about the when they said what am I doing wrong? What would you say to somebody if they’re like, I’m doing everything, but what am I doing wrong? I can’t do this, right. It must be me.
Ben Azadi Yeah, it’s nothing you’re you’re doing wrong. I mean, it’s amazing that you’re exploring different avenues and you’re taking so much action and you’re studying and applying all this information and all of it is a learning opportunity. It’s all growth. It’s all you’re making changes and that’s the beautiful thing about it and everybody’s journey is different. And so many people are fixated on the result. achieving the goal right achieving that 1.5 ketone rating or whatever the goal is, but goals are not for getting goals or for growing it It’s not about hitting the goal. It’s about the things you do and the lessons you learn and the experiences along the way. So I would just say celebrate the journey. You’re not doing anything wrong. It’s all part of it. And I know you share a similar philosophy. So what would you add to that?
Dr. Mindy Yeah, I think that’s like our big again, another place that you and I unite is the thing about the ketogenic diet. The thing about fasting is this is how the human body was meant to be treated. You just have been living in this modern world that has you living a life that’s in 180 degree opposition of how the human body wants to be taken care of. So if you can’t sleep, it’s not like, you know, sleeping is a healing state. Fasting is a healing state. keto is a healing state. When we struggle in these moments, there is nothing you’re doing wrong. It’s there is an interference to the your own inner turn internal power. So I think a more powerful question to ask yourself is what is interfering? What is blocking me from getting into a deeper ketosis? Because then when you ask that empowering question, you will you will find the answer. But we have been around the diet culture, we have been shamed. We have been guilted, we have been, we’ve beaten ourself up, we’ve, we’re trying to attain pictures of supermodels on on magazines, and all of that has us outwardly looking. And then when we see our friends do keto, really well, we see them fast really well. We assume it must be us, and that we must be wrong. So I really don’t want that to go away. That comment to be missed, because there’s nothing you’re doing wrong. There’s just some interference. If you’re trying to get into a deeper ketosis and you’re not getting there. There’s just a nerve interference. It’s physical, emotional, or chemical. Let’s figure it out.
Ben Azadi It’s a beautiful reframe, instead of saying, What am I doing wrong? What’s the interference? And that will get you in the right direction? It always points you right? Yeah, it does. And it’s and people think they’re their failures, because they don’t hit the numbers that their friends are getting. But no human being is a failure. Failure is more of an event. But when you reframe that, what am I doing wrong to what’s the interference, then there is no such thing as failure in that scenario. It’s just changing things up and exploring that Avenue, which is, which is fun. It’s exciting.
Dr. Mindy Yeah. You know, the thing on failure. If I look at everything in my life, that is amazing. It all started with a failure. I hit a wall. And then I went and looked for solutions. And then those solutions appeared. And now my life isn’t a whole nother level. I feel like we could do the same thing with that comment you just made. It’s like it. Yes, it’s an event. But it’s an event that has an opportunity. If you ask the right question, you keep hanging in there looking for solutions that will take you to a whole nother level. So I welcome failures now.
Ben Azadi Yeah, I’m with you, 100%. And you know what, I believe failure doesn’t even exist unless you quit and give up. So you never gave up, you hit the failure, you hit the wall, and then you made a pivot. And then the failure went away, you learned the failure turned into a lesson. And that’s, that’s what we want. We want the lesson. So everything we share here is to you know, help you pivot help you make changes, and then overcome that. And the lesson is found in that. Yeah,
Dr. Mindy 100%. Okay, what if I am in ketosis? But I’m not losing weight?
Ben Azadi Oh, yes. This is very common. I know, you get it a lot.
Dr. Mindy I know. You go. Yeah, I’m gonna get that you take this one first.
Ben Azadi Yeah, so I mean, weight loss is a worthy goal for sure. I you know, if you want to lose 50 pounds, 100 pounds, I’m with you, we want you to get healthy. And if part of that is getting to your goal weight, I support that. However, the human body is amazing. And it doesn’t really focus and prioritize weight loss. As a matter of fact, losing weight is anti survival. And the body actually needs to get healthy, optimize our hormones, inflammation, and as a result, as a side effect, the weight comes off. So if you’ve been doing a lot of the things that you’re learning between Mindy and I and you feel like you’re just struggling to hit that weight loss on the scale, one thing you can do is just throw away the scale first and foremost, like put it away for a couple of months and focus on what I call NS vs. Non scale victories right? Do or your energy levels improving that is a huge win skin complexion, getting better clothes fitting, better, getting some body fat, done body fat percentage, that’s a great metrics, taking photos. The number on the scale is a liar first and foremost, because that scale will fluctuate for so many reasons. As you know, Mindy, if a woman has her menstrual cycle for water, and that’ll bump up the number on the scale, right? Yep, if you’re sore from a workout, you might get a higher number on the scale. So that’ll just frustrate people and they just are so fixated on that. So pay attention to the non scale victories just keep doing the work. And the last thing I’ll share here, and then I’ll send it your way Go back to the fundamentals like, is your sleep? Top notch? Are you getting quality REM sleep deep sleep? Are you getting enough restorative sleep? Are you moving your body throughout the day? You know the fundamentals of health? How are your thoughts? Do you have a gratitude practice? Revisit the fundamentals, make sure that’s down pat. And then you could explore different fasting schedules and eating plans and all that. But make sure those fundamentals are down pat, and take your attention away from the scale and focus on those non scale victories. What would you add? Yeah,
Dr. Mindy super well said, you know, what I like to do in those situations is I like to ask crawl into my body and go okay, why? What is my body trying to do. And I think what we have lost sight of is that the number one priority for the body is to stay alive. So what is fat? Fat is your body’s way of keeping you alive. It is storing toxins and extra sugars, extra hormones, it’s I had to find a place to put it, in order to make sure that your survival increased, it didn’t put it around your heart and lungs, it will put it around the liver that is a place but instead of packing fat and toxins around your organs, it put around your belly, your glute, your arms, all the places you don’t want. So let’s work with the body. If you’re coming to fasting or keto ketogenic diet, and you’re not getting the weight loss results that you want. What’s the next level? What else could be stored in fat? Well, we know hormones. So run a Dutch test on yourself, find out where your hormones are at. We know toxins, what do you know about your toxic load? Have you looked into heavy metals? There’s a lot of other questions to ask yourself, but the fat is there for a reason not to annoy you. It is there to protect you. So your job becomes how do you line yourself up with your body and says, oh, say okay, body, I’m ready to drop this. Now what else do I need to know how to do? And what else do I need to let go of?
Ben Azadi So good. The toxin part is a big play here, as you know and teach for a very well because the solution to pollution is dilution, right? So the body is very smart. And when toxins into your body, it will want to dilute that by putting it into your fat cells and fat storage. And if you’re doing all these things to lower glucose and insulin, keto intermittent fasting, but you have all these toxins in your innate intelligence knows when you start burning those fat cells, those toxins get released? Well, well, well, we don’t want that. So it’ll slow down the fat loss efforts. So you it’s important to explore those avenues heavy metals, doing a Dutch test, changing things up changing up the routine, like all personal trainers that are really good at their job. They always change up the workout routine, you always want to change up your routine. So there’s several things you can do. But toxicity is a big one that I would explore as well.
Dr. Mindy Yeah, yeah. 100%. Okay. Cat Oh, this is good. When can you gain weight by doing the ketogenic diet? And I’m going to add, and if so, what do you do about it?
Ben Azadi Yes, absolutely. You can. You could do a protein A prioritize your protein on keto approach and a caloric surplus along with so you want to increase your protein intake, dietary protein intake, and healthy fats. So you’re increasing by increasing your protein and fats, of course, you’re increasing your calories, which is going to help put you in this growth phase. Combine that with working on your gut because you’re able to assimilate all these nutrients now build muscle build protein, combine that with strength training, and combine that with quality sleep like that right there. Absolutely. You could put on some healthy weight. I mean, there are CrossFit, ketogenic, CrossFit athletes, ketogenic bodybuilders, I interviewed Robert Sykes on my podcast, who is a natural keto bodybuilder, like the guy’s super fit, and he does keto 100%. And he puts on a lot of muscle. So it can be done. You just have to be more strategic and maybe look at your caloric intake protein intake, making sure you’re getting enough protein working on the gut lifting weights and a quality sleep and you’ll you’ll definitely do it.
Dr. Mindy If you want to gain weight, you’ll definitely do it if is what you’re saying if you want to put on weight, which which is not talked about enough, I we get this a lot in our community where people are like, Well, should I fat? You know, it’s kind of what we said in the beginning, if I should I be going down this path if I if I don’t if I if I don’t want to lose weight actually want to gain weight. So I and what if what if you’re concerned like let’s go to the person who has tried everything to lose weight, just like doesn’t want another pound or two on their body has high cholesterol. And their doctor has said you should never do the ketogenic diet. What what what would you say to that person as far as what do they need to think about before they go into the ketogenic diet?
Ben Azadi Yeah, you know, that’s tough because a lot of doctors do say that. And it’s hard because the doctors are have the white coats and they have a lot of authority and it’s hard to go against that. So I would make sure you’re doing your own research. And to your point. So can you I the question, I wasn’t sure if the question was about, can you add weight? Like intentionally we could test this or can you add weight?
Dr. Mindy It’s two pronged and you know, we don’t know, because it’s social media, you grab one question, but I think it’s a two pronged that I wanted to make sure we highlight.
Ben Azadi Yeah, so the opposite end, can you gain weight, if that’s not your goal on keto, it can’t happen. And here’s how it happens. And here’s how it could slow you can slow down your weight loss efforts. Too many fats. You know, a lot of people who do keto they’re adding in their butter, they’re baking their cheese, they’re putting the excessive amount of oils on their salads, and foods and all that. So fat is great quality, fat is great, but your body does need to burn the dietary fat before it goes to your body fat. So in the beginning of doing keto, I think it’s very important to increase your healthy fats to really teach your body to start utilizing fatty acids. But it gets to a point where now your fat adapted, usually 1421 days in, you could dial down that fat, let your body get into your own body fat. So that’s where a lot of people get things a little mixed up, because their goal is to lose weight, but they’re adding in all this fat because here’s the problem when somebody goes on Dr. Google, and they look for what are the macro nutrient percentages for keto, and they’ll see, you know, a common chart is 70%, fat 15% protein and what 5% carbs, I think I did the math, right, something like that. And they see 70% fat, and they’re like, oh, you know, they’re looking at their app. And they’re only at like, I don’t know, 46% fat, and they still have dinner to go. So they eat an abundance of fat to get to that percentage. But here’s the deal, your body could get that fat, from your dietary fat, that plate of food or from your butt, your hips and your thighs. So we want to understand that you can dial down the fat and let your body tap into its own fat stores. That’s where fasting when you teach what you teach, and how you do fasting is such an amazing tool because you allow your body to do that the right way.
Dr. Mindy I like that that analogy that you can choose to get into ketosis through two different versions of fat, the one you ingest or the one you burn, right? Which way do you want to go at it? Because this has been a big myth that I think has permeated the ketogenic culture, which is the ketogenic diet is a high fat diet. I don’t agree, I agree that you need to lean into good fats. And I agree that we have have villainized fat. But if I want to get more ketones, I actually go into fasting and use that as a tool to get to get more ketones. What do you do the same?
Ben Azadi It’s exactly right. And that’s the better way to do it. It’s way better. It’s not a high fat diet, unless you make it one, it doesn’t have to be a high fat, fat diet. It’s a low carb diet, very different. And there’s two ways to do that fasting, or increasing your fat. If you want to burn body fat fasting is probably the better way to do it.
Dr. Mindy It’s way better. And then the other thing I would say to this question that really goes into a lot of different ones. In fact, I’m going to tie it into the next question, which is about high cholesterol is that we have lost sight of the fact that the liver is your fat burning Oregon. But I must say that yet, like the liver is your fat burning organ. It’s not your thyroid, we have we think the thyroid is all about weight loss. It’s the liver that is all about weight loss. I’m not I’m not saying the thyroid shouldn’t be addressed. But if your liver is congested, when you go into fasting, when you go into the ketogenic lifestyle, what’s going to happen is you may gain weight, if your livers got a problem, you might not, your cholesterol might go up, and you might get more bloated, you might have more detox reactions. And the way the culture has taught you is that if that happens, this is the wrong diet for you. The body doesn’t work like that there, the body has a way of telling you there’s it’s a there’s a problem. And one of the ways it does that is through symptoms. So I would say we can’t lose sight of the fact of how important the liver is. And you have some good like bitter foods. I love it when you love and you tell the story of the bitter foods and how many bitter foods I never remember up until you say him again. But talk a little bit about the importance of bitter foods and what people can do to really love on the liver so that they can get the weight loss they can bring down cholesterol. What can we do for the liver to support it?
Ben Azadi You know, what you said is so valuable and so important to understand that amazing liver, the soccer mom organize with Dr. Dog? That’s right, because it does everything including helping you burn fat. And then the second thing you said about the symptoms, it was spot on Mindy. Symptoms are such a blessing and a gift from the body. It tells you something needs to change or you need to something’s going on that there’s interference that we have to deal with. It’s not a matter of just ignoring the symptoms or putting a bandaid on the symptoms. It’s exploring it and your body’s giving you these amazing clues. So look at your symptoms. It’s a blessing. It’s such a cool thing that your innate intelligence is doing. So I love that you share that. And yeah when it comes to the liver and in regards to keto, it’s important for many reasons detoxification burning fat, but also the produces bile. That Bile is not only needed for detoxification, but also the bile helps break down the fat. And when you’re increasing your healthy fats on keto, but your liver is sluggish, it’s been beat up through medications and toxins and processed foods in excess of alcohol then you can’t produce the proper bile flow to break down the fats, which is one of the most common reasons why somebody will say I did keto and I felt worse. The liver needed some love. So to your point, what you were sharing earlier bitters for the liver, right? Increasing your bitter rich foods can be very simple to do. Apple cider vinegar is terrific for the liver but also for NPK and for fat loss but also for glycemic response from a meal. So apple cider vinegar before a meal could be
Dr. Mindy I hate apple cider vinegar.
Ben Azadi I do too many. I hate the taste of it, but I love the benefits.
Dr. Mindy I hear what you’re saying.
Ben Azadi I know. I take the capsules have you tried those before? Oh, from paleo Valley? That’s exactly what I take. Yeah.
Dr. Mindy Oh, that’s a good idea. Because every time I take it I’m like, I don’t like like there’s every cell My body’s like I hate this. Me
Ben Azadi too. It’s disgusting. I don’t know. We’ll do it. So the capsules are the bypass and paleo Valley does a great amazing like so take three of those before meal. A coffee coffee is also bitter so organic shade grown coffee is great. We also have arugula dandelion greens, dandelion tea, Ginger, Ginger tea, lemons and limes. You could sprinkle squeeze lemons and limes over your keto needs it helps break down the fat so yeah, you want to be very strategic about loving your liver as you said
Dr. Mindy yeah you know what my new favorite better food is? is ridiculous. Oh, yeah. So I you know when you’re not doing bread I my local farmers market they have like a heritage radicchio. And it’s it’s like firm and it works so well. It’s big. It works like bread. So I just wrapped up all my meat in it some raw cheese and I’m like, Look, I’m getting I’m going keto but loving on my liver at the same time. That
Ben Azadi is, I would love to do that. That sounds super cool.
Dr. Mindy I’ll take a picture of the one I get because they right now they’ve got it and you know, it’ll be gone in a couple of months. But it makes for you know, one of the problems when you create a wrap, when you’re going to ditch the bread is that the whole sandwich falls apart in your hands. But with this radicchio, it doesn’t because I roll it up like like it’s like a burrito. And it stays can together and I’m getting the bitter the bitter benefit from my liver.
Ben Azadi Brilliant DQ burrito wrap.
Dr. Mindy I love it. Yeah, radicchio wrapped. I love it. Okay. Oh, this is good. What foods can be eaten to help you stay in ketosis? That outside of radicchio, right, exactly the apple cider vinegar? Are there foods we can eat that will like, like, once you’re in ketosis, and you want to stay in ketosis, what can we do to stay there?
Ben Azadi Yeah, in general, if you track your carbohydrates, and you stay under 50 total grams of carbs per day, you should be in ketosis, you know, granted those 50 grams or so from carbs, or from non starchy green leafy vegetables, etc. So most people will remain in ketosis just by tracking that one metric. I do think I do see a value in tracking that in the beginning, but I’m not a fan of like long term, obsessive tracking and all that. But in the beginning, it might be helpful to get an idea of how many carbs you’re having. The MCT is that I mentioned earlier, great way. So add in some goat, or and or sheep dairy. As I said, 30% of each goat and sheep dairy product has MCT oil, which helps your body produce more ketones, and then you pair that with intermittent fasting and you should be on the right path. And anything else you would add to that. What do
Dr. Mindy you think of adding fiber to your coffee? Because so one thought that I’ve had is that we talked so much about the heat, our human cells needing ketones, but where did the bacteria play a part in this and this was actually came from a conversation I had with Dave Asprey a couple years back, and oh, and then Stephen Gundry also talks about this is that when you feed your microbiome, and the fiber that it needs it specifically prebiotic fibers, then now you’ve lined up not only your cells, but the microbiome to be able to move you into ketosis better, and when you move into ketosis, you kill hunger. That’s one of the signs you’re moving that you’re in there. So I’ve been experimenting with a couple of things. Organa faiz balance. It’s really easy to take it’s a it’s a probiotic with prebiotic fibers in it. So sometimes I’ll just put that in my water and drink it throughout the day. Dave believes that you should take like a like a product like FBR from Systemic Formulas like a fiber pre fiber and put put Add in your coffee and blend it. Because his feeling is that if we take coffee MCT oil and a fiber and you blend it, that that actually will help you get into a deeper state of ketosis. And I believe it’s because you’re also working with your microbiome.
Unknown Speaker Brilliant. Do you think of that?
Ben Azadi No, I love it. I sometimes put that in my coffee. The one that I’ve used in the past was the inner fuel products. But I have the FBR from systemic. So that’s going to be something I’m putting there. Yeah. And I noticed that it doesn’t raise glucose and insulin as well, at least when I’ve tested. So you don’t have to worry about that. And to your point, you’re feeding that gut, the good you’re feeding the good bacteria, what it needs to create the building blocks to produce butyrate to produce BHB. So yeah, I think it’s a brilliant tip. And I would add that into the mix. Yeah.
Dr. Mindy Okay, last question before we go into our fasting questions, which may be some overlap.
Unknown Speaker Is the goal to always be in ketosis?
Ben Azadi No, it’s not in me many agree to this. The goal is to use this one tool to reset the metabolism and why is it important to use ketosis because we have a Keto deficiency. And there’s nothing new about keto. It’s not a fad. It’s a fact. It might be new to you or nuance, but it’s not new. It’s been around just like fasting for as long as humans have existed. That’s why they’re called ancient healing strategies. When we fast forward to this day and age, the average American is eating 300 or 400 grams of carbs. And they’re eating that all day long. And they are experiencing a Keto deficiency. And that’s where that study came out from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill that you’ve spoken about I’ve spoken about, it looked at over 8000 people, and they have determined that only 12% of American adults are metabolically healthy. That means 88% of American adults are not. And that was before COVID. That’s probably in the 90s right now. 90% plus. So we use ketosis as a way to remind the body look, you have this amazing other pathway, the ketogenic energy burning pathway, let’s use that. But we don’t stay in there forever. Because that’s not the goal. The goal is not to be dogmatic and put yourself in a box. The goal is metabolic flexibility, and freedom. And if you’re in ketosis for too long, there’s a whole set of problems which I won’t get into. That’s another form of metabolic inflexibility. You want to go back and forth, that makes it sustainable, that makes it much more enjoyable, and that gives you the metabolic freedom. And Dr. Pompa our mentor calls it diet variation. I call it keto flexing. So I know you agree with that. Mindy, what can you add to that commerce? Yeah,
Dr. Mindy yeah, I think that the goal is to be really good at I like switching is the word I used in fast like a girl, is there’s a whole chapter on why metabolic switching is the key to weight loss, especially for women. Because we’re meant to switch in and out. And it’s like, with that little switch of going from sugar burner to fat burner has become so rusty, for so many people. So just because we get this switch into fasting, and we’re like, Oh, I feel good. I’m losing weight. I’m doing amazing. We just want to stay there. Because that’s what we’ve been taught. We’ve been taught that once you find your diet, stay on your diet, once you’ve found your health tool, stay on your health tool, the hardest thing to get across to people is it’s working now, that’s awesome. And now let’s keep burying it. And let’s keep burying it. That is how the human body is designed is through variations. So it’s a tough one. It’s a tough one. Because once you feel like superhuman, and in ketosis, and especially with a tool like fasting, you don’t ever want to leave, right? Yeah,
Ben Azadi I love that metabolic switching. That’s great. So
Dr. Mindy it was time to switch out is the way my brain says,
Ben Azadi Okay, do you want me to read the fat? I think it’d be cool.
Unknown Speaker Yeah, why don’t you go for that? That’s good. I
Ben Azadi just do it from the top here. I’m looking at the list. Yep. All right. So we’re transitioning receptors and keto campers to your fasting questions. These questions are so good, by the way, like kudos to all of you who submitted it. We appreciate the question. So here’s the first one Mindy, is there a limit to how much fasting the body can do weekly? That’s, that’s a handful. What do you think about that?
Dr. Mindy Yeah, well, okay, so I’m gonna go into the nuance. I feel like if you’re a woman, let’s start there. Remember, you need to fast to your cycle. So that’s one of the premises that I’ve been teaching. So if it was the week before your cycle, you actually wouldn’t want to be fasting that week, so that any fasting would be too much that that way. The second thing is based off of what we just said, which is, if you are doing too much, doing like three day water fasts every week, or, or one meal a day all the time, and there’s no variation, then you’re fasting too much doesn’t matter if it’s weekly or monthly. Now, having said that, I don’t know if you and I’ve ever talked about this, but I had a really interesting case a couple of years back of a guy who had lymphoma. And one of the things that we saw outside of detoxing, was that he would do a three a water fast every week. And the idea was to reproduce Valter Longo study of getting rid of the senescent cells rebuilding the white blood cell count. And so he did that every week plus he detoxed. And at the end of the year, his numbers were normal, his white blood blood cell count all these markers. The cancer markers were normal curve crazy. But that was he was guided. And he had a severe situation. But for the everyday person, we got a variant you can’t eat. Yeah, and you know, you you’ve done too much of your hair’s falling out, your anxiety is up. You’re not sleeping doesn’t matter what the scale says. If those things are happening, that’s not quality of life.
Ben Azadi Yeah, well, so that’s an amazing story. You’re right. There’s always nuances of somebody who has cancer, they might be more aggressive working with somebody on that course. If you’re very much overweight and obese, you might get away with more fasting versus somebody who is at their goal weight. And like you said, there’s always nuances to the woman out there, if you have your menstrual cycle, you teach that getting, you know, not doing too much fasting before the week. But too much of a good thing will be a bad a bad thing. And that goes for fasting that goes for a toffee G I know we fall in love with these tools. And then we want to do more of it. I mean, in the same way
Dr. Mindy we’ve Yeah, you’re talking to all in people like we are like, we don’t dip our toe, we’re like, oh, let’s go all in so we feel the pain when you don’t want to switch out.
Ben Azadi The we have to balance that out with mTOR, which is the growth pathway and Toren spurts super healing, but if you’re always an mTOR Oh is eating not good. Toffee G is great. But you’re always in ontology, you could actually lower your immune system, lose muscle mass, not good. So there’s a balance there. And your book, fast like a girl, it’s going to teach a lot of those variations, especially for women. All right, next question. Mindy is Does eating zero calorie foods mess up the fasting for example? Pickles, bone broth and sauerkraut? Will that mess up my fast?
Dr. Mindy Well, okay, so the first thought is zero count when I hear zero calorie foods. I’m like, what do they did? Like? What did they have to put in that to make it like it’s got to be packed with chemicals. So it makes me very nervous when something is low in calories, low and fat, because it’s a chemical bond bomb, and that’s going to cause you more health problems. So that’s the first thing. But then when you list off the what they said those aren’t really zero calorie foods. So pickles, bone broth, and sauerkraut. They’re all healthy foods. And here’s the research that I’ve seen that I really, really love. And it’s about a fasted snack. And it shows the said the study that that I quote often is that they took two groups of people, one group that had him fast for 13 hours. The other group, they had him fast for 15 hours, the 15 hour group at the 13 hour mark got a fasted snack that allowed them to go to the extra the extra two hours there is they were very clear on what was in that fasted snack. It was a fat bomb, basically. So it was an I forget the exact ratios, but it was about 80% fat, and 20% protein, no carbohydrates at the protein was extremely low because it didn’t want to take you out of a toffee G. Now here’s what happened is the people that had the fasted snack, they actually at the 13th hour lost more weight, it was purely on weight loss than the people who said it 13 hours, I’m not going to eat a fast anything, you know, I’m or I’m going to stop and I’m going to start eating now. They actually didn’t lose as much weight. So when we elongate our fast by leaning into a fasted snack, we can actually get some of the fasting results. And I think that is really important. So what is a good fasted snack? Bone broth can work as long as you don’t do enough to get an out of kick out of yourself out of a toffee G although you can stay in ketosis and not be in a tapa G which is a whole nother discussion. And like I’ll do avocados, sometimes a little bit of nut butter. keto cups are like my favorite because they have no protein and I’ll pop those. So I think you can benefit from fasting and you can go longer if you lean into the fasted snack.
Ben Azadi Fascinating. Yeah, I think doing both some days you’ll extend that fast to whatever 18 hours and heavy water and some days you’ll have a fast snack like the bone broth or keto cup or whatever it is. The variation is the key right? So it’s all the variation shakes it up. I’m with you on that Monday. That is the name of the game flexibility. Okay, next question here. Do you work out even high intensity interval training in a fasted state and I know this is a fasted state is kind of a general term. Does that mean like 30 hour fasts? 40 hour fast. Maybe you could explain if you are a fan of intermittent of high intensity training during an intermittent fast versus like a block fast.
Dr. Mindy Yeah, so I am and the fasted state is a really good question. It’s funny when I wrote fast like a girl, me and the editor went back and forth on explaining what a fasted state is, it was a lot harder, maybe in writing to explain what a fasted state is, than I realized. So let’s start there. One thing at about eight hours after a meal, your body will start to make that switch. And depending on the quality of the meal and the health of your body, it’ll take another you know, four to five hours to be completely into the fat burning state. When you’re in the fat burning state, your your body is burning fat from really three main areas. It’s burning fat from fat, yay, we love that. It’s, it’s taking glucose from skeletal muscle, and it’s gonna take us glucose from the liver. So that’s where it’s going to reach out to pull that to dump that it’s going to start to create ketones. So when you work out in that state, it’s like a double stack, you are asking your body not only to put in this performance that releases the stored sugar moves you to ketosis more, but you are also building that muscle up strong. So I’m a huge fan of people working out in a fasted state. Here’s the caveat. If you don’t want to lose muscle, you got to break your fast with protein, because you gotta go back into mTOR to rebuild everything. And there’s a couple of hormonal experts right now that are fitness hormonal experts that are talking about how women specifically should never work out in a fasted state. Because it breaks muscle down. We’re back at the flippin nuance, which is in that moment. She’s absolutely right. But if you refeed with protein, you’re actually in specifically like 20 to 30 grams of protein, you’re actually going to fuel that muscle even stronger. So I never work out. I rarely workout after I’ve eaten. It’s always in a fasted state. How about you?
Ben Azadi That’s great. Answer me to most of my 99% of my workouts are in that fasted state. I’m curious to see how you explained in the book.
Dr. Mindy Yeah. Appreciate it. What do you read that section in the book, just know how many hours I spent trying to solidify that.
Ben Azadi And you’re right, because when people say you’re gonna lose muscle, you’re gonna lose protein with the fast maybe, yeah, maybe they’re right. But what happens after it’s like the protein you’re losing is the damaged, junky protein. But what happens is you rebuild healthier, more robust protein. And that’s what they’re missing to your point. I mean, they’re not looking at what happens after same thing with fasting weakens the immune system. Well, that’s the autophagy. What happens after it’s like the immune system gets more robust, and it regenerates. It’s like you’re missing the whole picture here. So yeah, I’m with you. When you go into a workout in a fasted state, you’re putting this I like the way Dr. Ben bickman explains it. He says, if you go into a workout in a Fed state, let’s say you had a protein shake or banana, whatever it is, then you’re putting the calories at the front of this Metabolic bus, the body is going to burn whatever’s at the front of the bus first. Eventually, when it burns through that, then it goes to your body fat. Now when you go into that workout, fasted, meaning you didn’t have that meal, you’re putting your fat stores at the front of this Metabolic bus and you’re gonna tap right into it, like you just explained much more efficiently so you get more fat loss, more autophagy and you feel better because look, it takes a lot of resources and blood flow to digest a meal. But if you’re fasted, then you could redirect the blood flow to your benchpress your kettlebell swings, whatever your workout is, and you feel better. That’s why me and Mindy, we work out fasted because we’re metabolically flexible. Right? And we feel much better in that state.
Dr. Mindy Yeah, well said a great I liked the Ben bickman analogy. He’s so good at like explaining, yeah. Go follow him on Instagram, everybody. I know both you and I have done a lot of podcast interviews
Ben Azadi with him. Follow him. Dr. Beckmann, he’s amazing.
Dr. Mindy Let’s go Should we go to the fun questions? Sorry, I you know, it’s funny. We both love chatting about this. So we probably need a part two, that might be one so let us know. Yeah, let us know. Fun. Okay, good. Let’s do these rapid fire gear better.
Ben Azadi taste wise, butter, healthwise, gi you.
Dr. Mindy I actually taste wise gi health wise. Yep. Where are you dying to interview on your podcast this year?
Ben Azadi Dr. Joe Dispenza. I’d love to have her Oh. Oh.
Dr. Mindy Oh my gosh, I have so many people. Well, I’ll tell you who I just am dying to talk to you. And I just got confirmation. I’ll be talking to her because she brought me on her podcast is Danica Patrick. She just had Oh, yeah, she just had explant surgery. So she brought me on to talk about fat Osteen and I asked her if she can chat about her journey with hormones and toxins. It’s quite a journey that everybody needs to know.
Unknown Speaker So that’s gonna be cool. Yeah. One biohacking
Dr. Mindy device you would recommend to everyone. All right,
Ben Azadi this is hard to do rapid fire. I’m going to choose one that you pay for one that’s free, and then I’ll give that to you. So paid for. It’s gonna be between like a CGM and an aura ring. I’m gonna say aura ring an aura ring because I just ordered like a whoop something that gives you an accurate measurement. On the sleep you’re getting deep sleep REM heart rate variability. So aura ring for PE device for free. biohack that’s, I think the greatest biohack in the world. I would say vitamin D gratitude. Just developing a gratitude practice would be my answer.
Dr. Mindy I love that. Okay, since you said you pick whoop an aura. I’m gonna pick CGM. That was the first thing that came to my mind. I think we changed that 12% number. If we slapped a CGM on every everybody, nothing will change your relationship to your food, like a CGM. So that’s the, that would be the first one and a free one. You know, I think that if I’m gonna go with something like sunlight, you know, just getting out into sun and I would also go with community, there are just like gratitude. There are so many things that we do not give enough health credit to. And sunlight, community gratitude, nothing will change your health more than those three things. And they’re all free.
Ben Azadi They’re so powerful and free. Oh my gosh, that’s a great tip. Yeah.
Dr. Mindy Awesome. Okay, Ben. Well, thank you. And you guys, if you’re listening to this, and you loved it, please go. Let us know. Leave a review on both of our podcasts and let us know Come find us on Instagram. both Ben and I are there quite often answering questions. And we’ll do a part two. But I feel I actually feel like I might be able to rest today because we have given some really good solid answers that I think both of us get asked a lot.
Ben Azadi We got through a lot of questions. Now. This is seriously so fun. We definitely will do a round two. I’m down for that anytime. And Mindy and I are going to be at Quito con, I know this comes out a couple of weeks beforehand. So if you’re in Texas, but where are we speaking at Quito con, we’re both delivering a keynote lecture like right next to each other. So we would love to meet you and hang out there. And many, I’m just so appreciative of you and what you’ve done with your work and your receptors. And just it’s amazing. And I can’t wait for your new book to come out. And I can’t wait to see you in a couple of weeks. So thank you for allowing me to come on your platform and vice versa coming on mine. I think this is amazing.
Dr. Mindy Yeah. Thank you, Ben agree. And here’s what I say about keto con. If you see us there, come give me a hug. I’m missing the extra oxytocin. So come here and speak from stage and Come give me a hug.
Ben Azadi So give me let’s do a group hug. All
Dr. Mindy sounds amazing. So appreciate you, Ben. Thank you for doing this and we’ll do it again. Thank you, Mindy