Resilience - The Ability To Go Without

Every day you take about 30 pounds of air and some amount of energy substrate. It can be fat, carbs, or protein, as well as fat coming from your system or fat that comes from your diet. 

If you look at flex-fuel vehicles, some are only electric, some are only gas, and some can run on multiple fuel types. Your body is designed to run on various kinds of fuel so that you won't die in famine, but that doesn't mean that every kind of fuel is the one that's going to give you the most resilience. Your first job to be a highly resilient human being is actually to be able to sit down and ask: "how to do a perfect job of converting air and food into electrons?"

If we want to build resilient human beings, let's fix that problem. First, intermittent fasting is a very effective biohack. When Dave first put up the principles of the Bulletproof Diet in 2011 and the book The Bulletproof Diet came out in 2014, that led people to lose more than a million pounds. It had five aspects:

1. Intermittent fasting;
2. Cyclical ketosis;
3. Eating the right fats; 
4. Avoiding lectins;
5. Avoiding other inflammatory proteins.

"When you do those things, magically, you get better at turning food and air into energy. If we can restore full mitochondrial function - that's amazing. This led to the MCT oil industry, it led to the collagen industry, it led to the functional coffee industry, and these are now billion-dollar categories. Still, they didn't exist ten years ago as things that mattered," Dave underlined.

It takes you about two years to give or take to replace half the fat in your body. Every cell in your body has a membrane, and the membrane is made out of fat. It's made of the type of fat that you eat. Make sure that half the fat you eat at least is saturated, and you ditched the omega-6 seed oils whenever you could. You never eat stuff that's fried in bad oil like that. You would build healthier cell membranes, the charge comes across the cell membrane or the mitochondrial membrane. In this case, it drives how good you are at turning air and food into energy.

Dave noticed that the more inflamed you are, the less energy you have since your brain is the largest energy user in the body. The brain and the heart each have about fifteen thousand mitochondria per cell. Yet the rest of your body has anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand. 

How do we get the power up? Dave recommends starting a practice of intermittent fasting:

"All you have to do is, three days a week, donate for at least 12 hours, and you might get up to 16 or 18 hours, to fasting. After working with hundreds of thousands of people over ten years, who've gone Bulletproof, what is abundantly clear is that there is a fasting trap. It's the same as the vegan trap and the keto trap. If you want to be resilient, you got to know about this. The trap is a psychology trap, and it says: "I found something that's good. Therefore, more of it is better."

"I was a raw vegan a long time ago, and I felt better on that because I wasn't eating bad fats, and it made a difference. After six weeks on, it stopped working, but I was already convinced that it worked, so when I started getting all sorts of autoimmune issues: feeling weird, feeling flighty, ungrounded, I started having my teeth crack and getting cold all the time. It can't be the diet I already know it works. "I'll be more vegan, let me eat more kale!" and it doesn't work. Then you go to the keto world. I tried keto in the very early editions of this in the 90s. It's called the Atkins diet. Atkins had it proper ketosis is an excellent state for weight loss. I lost 50 pounds in 3 months. The other 50 pounds took ten years because those are inflammation that comes from eating the wrong fats in ketosis," Dave stated. 

Dave continued: "If you go to an older style low carb event, you see a bunch of people who are morbidly obese. They got some results on a diet, but it stopped working a little while ago. They cut the grams of carbs down and hope it's going to work. But it doesn't. It's because of the right fats, proteins, and cycling in and out. That's what makes that incredible metabolic flexibility, that is, at the set of resilience. When you end up doing intermittent fasting, you find a schedule that works for you. It does not have to be the same every day. The day after you lift heavy, maybe, you might want to have some breakfast, have two meals that day instead of one, and maybe on a day where you know you're feeling good, you do one meal a day, or you decide to do a 36 hour fast."

Intermittent fasting is supposed to be effortless. You're not supposed to be feeling a lot of hunger when you do it. When you do it right, you don't feel hungry. You feel the energy. 

"I see a lot of biohackers start to fall into that fasting trap. Over fasting and over keto both drive the same sets of responses - that are anti-resilient. The first thing that happens, it'll happen two to four weeks earlier in women than men, is your sleep quality goes down, your hair will get thinning," Dave added. If you take signs from your body, if it says you're not feeling right today, you can have breakfast and lunch and skip dinner instead of having lunch and dinner. It's okay to mix.

Three things can help you to turn off hunger while you are intermittent fasting:

The first fasting hack is a Black Coffee. It works well if you want to fast for energy, focus, and metabolic resilience. Black coffee doubles ketone production with the amount of caffeine in two small cups of coffee. 

That's important because when you fast, you end up with some significant increases in ketones, but they are not enough to put you to this critical level of ketone. The required level is 0.48, it's less than a complete keto diet; there, you can get to 0.48 even if you had many carbs the night before. The reason 0.48 is that there are two hormones that you can manipulate with fasting and with black coffee. The 0.48 level will drop ghrelin, a hormone that makes you hungry, and it'll raise CCK or cholecystokinin, a hormone that makes you feel full. If you want to be focused well, that cup of black coffee will help you with it.

A study published in the book Fast This Way shows 15% of your thoughts every day is about your next meal. If you want to be a highly resilient person, maybe you could get that percentage of your thoughts worrying about food out of your head to have 15% more capacity in your head. 

The second fasting hack is MCT Oil. San Diego's study shows that C8 MCT Oil raises ketones four times more than the cheapest and most abundant MCT Oil, called C12 or Lauric Acid. If you put a little bit of butter in the coffee when you blend it, you'll get a significant ketone boost. 

Dave recommends putting a little bit of butter in the coffee when you blend it or shake it well. The fat isn't going to break a fast because it doesn't change any of the other fasting hormones like insulin or MTOR. It is going to make your body use the water to make electrons right away from the coffee.

The third fasting hack is a Prebiotic Fiber. It's a carb you can't digest. When you eat the suitable types of prebiotic fiber, you're not changing your fasting hormones without bulk fiber. Though you are feeding good bacteria in the gut, and they are making short-chain fatty acids called butyric acids that are pro-ketogenic. 

If you were to wake up tomorrow morning and made yourself a bulletproof coffee and put in 20 grams of soluble fiber, you would not care about food during the day. You'd have zero thoughts about food, you'd have total energy and entire focus, and your body's going to burn fat because it has ketones present, your body changes your mitochondrial enzymes so that you can more effectively be a fat burner. A person with resiliency has a flexible metabolism - you feel fine when your stomach's empty, you feel good when you have carbs, and your insulin doesn't go too high, blood sugar doesn't go too high, and you feel good when you're digesting fat.

BiohackingCongress's Team is very grateful to Dave Asprey for joining the congress and giving an incredible lecture. 

Watch full Dave Asprey's 40-minute lecture on Resilience - The Ability To Go Without as well as 50+ lectures, panel discussions, and performances from renowned biohackers with a BiohackingCongress year-long subscription. Get your access to a healthy future now! Follow this link.

Based on the lecture by Dave Asprey.