Dr. Michael VanDerschelden is a brilliant doctor out of Huntington Beach, California. He has a book out called The Scientific Approach to Intermittent Fasting available on Amazon. He also has an amazing YouTube channel and co-hosts the Owners-Guide, which is a podcast started by Dr. Bergman. Today on the podcast, Dr. Mike educates us on intermittent fasting, the Ketogenic diet and so much more. Please welcome Dr. Mike VanDerschelden.
Listen To The Episode Here
Intermittent Fasting and the Ketogenic Diet with Dr. Mike VanDerschelden
Dr. Mike, where are you from?
I am from Seattle, Washington originally. I just say Seattle because really, it is 45 minutes south of Seattle in a place called Lake Tapps, which no one’s heard of. I keep it simple and say the Seattle name that everyone’s heard about.
I hear it’s absolutely beautiful up there.
I would say beautiful in the summer. That’s a keyword there. Hence, I’m in Southern California now because you hear about the gloom going on up there and it’s real.
The seasonal depression is definitely real up there.
It’s real. They have the cleanest air, the most greenery, green trees everywhere, beautiful mountains with great nature stuff. The snowboarding and stuff in the winter kept me afloat there but the sunshine is very important to me so I’m here.
Mike, what made you want to move to beautiful Huntington Beach and start chiropractic school?
Funny story, I actually think you know Andrew, my brother’s roommate. Me and him had a pact that when I was in undergrad, I basically got a pre-dental degree.
That’s right because your dad is a dentist, right?
If I was just looking for a financial goal, that would have been the goal to go to.
My dad is a dentist. He owns three to four practices so I pretty much had the whole entire gates open for me that come in there, take over the practices. If I was just looking for a financial goal, that would have been the goal to go to. In college, I did have a Major in Kinesiology Exercise Science, but I had to do biology and chemistry minors to fulfill my pre-dental requirements because that’s what I thought I was going to do, going to dental school. Then once I graduated, I had this epiphany, “Do I really want to look in a mouth all day and work on some just nasty teeth and smell some nasty breath all day for a paycheck?” The answer was no. I always told Andy that if I didn’t go into dentistry, me and him would move down to Southern California. I had that epiphany, “I don’t want to do this.” We literally rented a U-Haul and came down.
Yup, just that easy.
You’re working at a really awesome practice in Huntington Beach. You and Dr. Bergman are absolutely crushing it over there. You guys actually have your own podcast, which inspired this one tremendously. What’s your podcast called?
That one’s called the Owners-Guide. We do weekly health lectures. The day of our health lecture, we record the podcast of what we’re going to be going over that night. Not only is it a great way just to get the information out, but also it gives us time to rehearse our lecture before we go live and it goes up on YouTube.
You have people coming from all around the country and even the world just to sit at those lectures. You guys provide so much detailed information at those hour sessions. It’s really unbelievable.
It’s true. YouTube is a free marketing strategy. It’s getting more utilized now, but it’s relatively underutilized. You do health talks, do things that you’re passionate about and you’re going to attract those people that are attracted to that same type of content. What do they do? They seek you out because many doctors aren’t thinking like we do. We unleash this common sense mantra that patients are waking up and are like, “This makes sense. This whole thing I’ve done in my whole life doesn’t make sense. I’ve got to find you guys and I’ve got to get out there.”
Speaking of those hour help talks you guys give, I came to one on a Tuesday in Huntington Beach and you were talking about intermittent fasting. I was absolutely blown away and fascinated by that. I even started implementing it in my own life. You even wrote a book on it. What’s that book called?
We’re really going after the science of what actually fasting causes the body to do.
The book is called The Scientific Approach to Intermittent Fasting. If you look up intermittent fasting, you’ll see a lot of these blogs and stuff. I try not to get into the latest fab going on and I want to see the science behind it, what’s been done. In that book, you’ll see over 100 reference peer reviewed articles in there. We’re really going after the science of what actually fasting causes the body to do, all the physiological benefits, the rejuvenation qualities, the big jump in fat burning, growth hormones. All that stuff I wanted to share in there, but it’s also written for the layperson. You’re going to understand it, people with a fifth-grade reading level are going to be able to understand it. They’re going to become experts almost in anatomy and physiology by reading it because we go over all the pathways, why it makes sense to do this type of eating regimen. When you know the why, it makes it way easier to implement.
Mike, let’s start from square one. For someone that’s never heard of intermittent fasting or even why they should fast in general, what is it? What do you tell people?
You’ll notice that when it comes to nutrition, there are two questions I always talk about. The first question is what to eat? Most people are like, “I go by more like Paleo principles; things that our ancestors were consuming raw, healthy foods.” Not just what to eat though, the second question is how to eat? It’s what and how. How really has to do with alternating periods of feast and famine. If you look at our ancestors, each block, do they have just 100 fast food chains every square mile? The answer is no. They found out that when they would go to these periods of famine, where they weren’t eating, those periods actually gave them a ton of biochemical benefits. If you just think, when you eat up some food, your body is dictating its energy into metabolizing, to digesting. When you take a break from that food, now your body is basically able to use its energy into repair mode, like a cellular cleansing, if you will. It’s actually called autophagy. That’s actually been well-documented in the research that fasting stimulates these processes that basically clear out cellular debris, all this crappy stuff in your body that gets cleaned out by taking breaks from eating.
To us, what do we learn in school? You went to the same school as me. What do we learn in every nutrition class? Eat small meals throughout every two hours, which is crazy talk because the fact of the matter is that there’s no research to prove that at all. We’re going by this theoretical model that’s not research-based even though our school pride itself on being evidence-based, which is a joke in itself.
How does one even begin to intermittent fast? There’s a regimen where you can’t eat in a certain period and you can eat. Like you said, not only is the fasting very important, but it’s very important what you’re also putting into your body at that period. If you could just go over what the whole regimen is like. It’s really not that difficult to follow.
It’s really not that difficult to follow. If you follow my plan, it’s basically telling you to skip one meal out of the day, whether it’s breakfast or dinner, which makes the most sense. That’s the plan I advocate. Just to back up a little bit, they’re looking at these interventions on these animals. The only intervention that they could do to these animals to increase lifespan was continuous fasting. They found out that continuous fasting made these animals live 30% longer, but the problem is that continuous fasting, going multiple days without eating, no one’s going to do that. I don’t care what benefits they find out. People want to know the benefits they’re going to get off of intervention, but also the intervention has got to be doable and it’s got to be semi-easy to implement. Not necessarily easy, but it’s got to be implementable. When you’re asking someone to not eat for five, ten, fifteen days, that’s not going to be implementable, especially if we’re in school, if we’re in practice, we obviously need that energy.
It’s not practical.
It’s not. Then, they came out with research. This is fairly recent, probably within the last five, ten years. They found out that intermittent fasting where you actually, instead of going multiple days without eating, you’re actually just narrowing down your eating window. They actually found that just doing that, just taking a little break on your daily regimen of eating, that you’re going to get nearly the same biochemical benefits. The plan I advocate is a daily intermittent fast. What I do is something called the 16-8 method. That basically means that for sixteen hours out of the day, I’m not eating. For eight hours of the day, I am eating. If there’s 24 hours in a day, basically my personal regimen is somewhere around 12-8. My first meal is at lunch, last meal is at dinner. I’m basically just skipping breakfast. People already are going to be like, “What do you mean you’re skipping breakfast, the most important meal of the day? You’re a crazy person.”
I’m glad you just brought that up because a lot of people think breakfast is the most important meal of the day because you get to burn off all those calories afterwards. How do you feel about that?
People who tend to eat a regular breakfast are exercising more.
First of all, it’s not true. When they do studies, they’ll say, “Populations that eat breakfast tend to be healthier than populations that don’t.” They’re not looking at any other life variables at all. People who tend to eat a regular breakfast a lot of times are exercising more, they’re doing other things. When you actually just look at the breakfast concept itself, why was it so popular? It’s because breakfast food companies are releasing massive advertising campaigns to show the importance of eating breakfast so they could sell their cereal, their Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes. “They’re great. Don’t go your morning off without Wheaties. Start your day off with a big stack of three pancakes.” That’s what we’re trained to do, but it really all stem from these advertising campaigns for these companies, these Betty Crockers to sell their breakfast cereal. It really didn’t come down in science. The fact of the matter is that starting your day off with a pretty large meal in itself that will put you right into food coma and down regulate brain activity from your first part of the day. Already it doesn’t make sense.
Again, if you’ve expected to eat breakfast every single day, if you’ve eaten breakfast every single day for the last five, ten, fifteen years, your body is going to expect that meal in the morning. Transitioning off that, you’ve got to expect about a week transition period to get through those cravings. Just like if you were going to quit caffeine, it’s not going to be all hunky-dory the first day off caffeine. You’ve got to go through a transition period.
How does it work with liquids? Can you have a cup of coffee while you’re intermittently fasting and all that stuff?
When you’re talking about the fasting benefits, it really all stems down to suppressing insulin. Protein and carbohydrates will increase insulin. As you know, amino acids can go through the Krebs cycle, put in the glycolysis and they can basically create glucose releasing insulin. Fat really is the one thing that doesn’t release insulin or very, very negligible. What we actually do when I have clients going on an intermittent fasting regimen, I let them know that you can add some healthy MCT fats in their coffee, black organic coffee, which is pure healthy fat. I usually do a half tablespoon of coconut oil and a half tablespoon of grass fed butter and a freshly brewed organic coffee every day, and I blend it up in my Vitamix. It literally tastes like a latte, it’s amazing.
That’s Bulletproof Coffee, right?
It’s Bulletproof Coffee. Technically, Bulletproof is using their Bulletproof MCT oil that has a high concentration of caprylic acid. Really, just having this medium-chain triglyceride, this MCT fat, which is what coconut oil is, it’s easily digestible, it almost gets instantly metabolized in the body. Also, it gives your brain some needed energy during that period of fasting. What happens is if you actually skip breakfast, and that’s what I like to do because dinner is like a social event for me and my family, but breakfast you’re just on-the-go anyway so it’s an easy one to skip. Breakfast, you’re going to notice that that first meal you skipped, that entire period in the morning before you have your first meal, you’re going to have massive mental clarity. That’s because you don’t have those insulin spikes, those blood sugar spikes. You’re having a steady source of energy. Also too it comes down to you’re starting to use fat for fuel instead of carbohydrates for fuel. That’s a big change as well because most people are constantly replenishing their carbohydrates so they’re never able to actually tap into their fat stores.
The whole starving the cancer cells from the intermittent fasting, the benefits of that, because the cancer cells they run off of glucose, right?
They do. Let’s take a step back. When your body needs an energy source, it’s going to go after its blood sugar or its stored blood sugar in the form of glycogen. If we’re constantly replenishing our glucose, our blood sugar and our glycogen stores, we’re never able then to go after our fat stores as energy. Only once the blood sugar and the glycogen stores are depleted, then our body is forced to go after our fat stores, which is what we want. We want to get rid of that fat in the midsection, that harmful visceral fat. The problem is that on average, it takes about anywhere from eight to twelve hours after your last meal to go through all your glycogen and blood sugar stores. Again, what that means is that if you want to burn fat, you have to literally wait eight to twelve hours after your last meal to start going after your fat stores. That’s why doing that 16-8 method is so effective and also too so easy to implement because eight hours into your fast, then your body is starting to go after its fat stores. Eight of those hours, you’re sleeping anyway. That means that entire morning hour, your body is forced to go after its fat stores so you’re going to be getting a massive fat burning effect.
The whole key with that brain functioning and starving cancer cells is the fact that when your body uses fat as energy, what it really is doing is your liver is breaking down its stored fat cells in something called ketones to make it usable for the body. Ketones offer energy for healthy cells, but cancer cells aren’t really able to utilize ketones effectively for fuel. Cancer cells love sugar. They love glucose. You starve your cancer cells off its primary energy source, boom, that’s going to be a very effective strategy, especially specific cancers or specific brain tumor cancers; certain ones that really, really respond to the Ketogenic diet. This is not new stuff, the Warburg effect. He came out with this. He got the Noble Prize for this entire discovery many, many years ago. Again, this is not mainstream. The government doesn’t profit off stuff like this and eating healthy. You’re not going to see this on mainstream health textbooks and stuff like that.
Along with most things you don’t hear about with nutrition. It’s funny with nutrition too because they’ll come out with a new discovery and then three years later, it will be volcanic because the new research comes out and it’s like, “It’s not valid anymore.” This has been discovered such a long time ago.
It’s not a mistake. I’m not entirely religious, but if you look at every single religion in the world, what’s the common factor? It’s fasting. Every single religion for both males and females, fasting is a regular part of religion, whether it’s Ramadan, whatever, lent, it doesn’t matter. It’s always done. What’s cool is with the intermittent fasting, they did research, and I call this a natural event research. They looked at Muslims during Ramadan. They can’t eat during the daylight hours. Basically, they’re doing a natural intermittent fast. That is a great way to study. They took blood samples, pre-imposed fast and their blood markers are completely radically changed. It’s not even close. They’re still eating the same type of foods but just in a restricted eating window. Boom, it changes their entire blood chemistry. It’s amazing.
We just got a little bit on the Ketogenic diet and everything, if you want to intermittent fast, does it still have benefits? There are people out there that are not going to want to change their diet, but they’re curious about the intermittent fasting. Do you still see benefits with that if there’s not a drastic diet change?
Even if you’re doing this intermittent fasting stuff, if you’re eating just processed foods, you’re not going to be healthy.
It depends. The first step I would say for anybody is to start eating real food. You are what you eat at the end of the day or you are what you digest, what some people say. Regardless, it’s still important to eat healthy foods. I would say that’s the first step no matter what. Even if you’re doing this intermittent fasting stuff, if you’re constantly eating just garbage and processed foods, you’re not going to be healthy. It’s going to down regulate a lot of processes. First and foremost, I would try to clean up the diet. We’re talking again about those two questions in nutrition, what to eat and how to eat. What to eat should be addressed first, I believe. You’ll hear all these new discoveries on all sorts of foods, but at the end of the day, we always go back to what our ancestors did. It seems like that’s always the answer. What is it? It’s Paleo. Eat real foods, healthy fats, clean quality grass fed organic proteins and fruits and vegetables. It’s not that hard. It’s like, “Let’s eat food,” and everyone is like, “What about the grains?” Before 10,000 years ago, we weren’t eating grains until the agricultural revolution, and then we started mass-producing these grains. Now the grains are way different than they were 10,000 years ago. Again, grains actually break down basically your security wall in your gut. They break down your gut lining and so it basically leads to leaky gut because now foreign proteins are going in there. They’re causing massive inflammation. Inflammation is the biggest that drives excessive aging. Again, it always goes back to what did our ancestor do? It’s just eating real food.
Are there any other health benefits from the intermittent fasting and anything else you want to touch on that?
It’s wild. I’m a big gym rat. I love going to the gym. I love working out, exercising. If you want to stay healthy for a long period of time and you want to look healthy and you want to basically have adequate secretions of human growth hormone, this is according to the American College of Cardiology, intermittent fasting triggers nearly a 1300% increase in human growth hormone secretion in women and 2000% increases in men. You’re not able to get this from artificial injections, nothing. This is huge and this is natural. Growth hormone is what keeps you basically healthy and younger; skin health, everything inside, lean muscle mass production, bone health, it’s everything. Growth hormone is literally the key. It’s no mistake why all these professional athletes are trying to get that edge by doing artificial injections. A lot of these athletes obviously don’t even know about intermittent fasting either. They’re still going by the nutritionist stuff where you want to eat small meals throughout the day. If they knew about this stuff, it would be huge. Growth hormone is a big one.
Also, another thing I’m passionate about is brain functioning. When you go through those periods of fasting, without eating, it actually stimulates your body into activating these specific stem cells in your brain, specifically something called BDNF, brain derived neurotropic factor. We’re increasing BDNF from nearly 50% to 400% and BDNF in turn activates other growth factors, other stem cells in your brain. It basically promotes neurogenesis, neuroplasticity, the building of new brain cells, which is why you feel so damn good and you’re feeling such a better focus and memory and everything during that fasting period, because you’re activating that BDNF and your brain is basically able to just function like clockwork. It’s beautiful.
Making new neurological connections within the brain?
Synapsis, connection, everything. There’s more to it, but the fasting benefits basically complement a Ketogenic diet very well. They’re very similar.
Can you just go over real quick what a Ketogenic diet consists of?
A Ketogenic diet mimics fasting physiology. In both a Ketogenic diet and while you’re fasting, your body is starting to go after ketones as fuel. In a Ketogenic diet, again, what would we need to do? We need to start using fat for fuel. Ketogenic diet is foods we can eat to stimulate that process. Typically, it’s going to be a diet very high in healthy fats, moderate protein and low in net carbs.
When you say healthy fats, we’re talking avocados, coconut oil, walnuts, sunflower seeds, all that stuff, right?
Absolutely. Coconut oil, olive oil, nut seeds. My favorite is Macadamia nuts, especially because they have a very high fat content and low protein content. Protein is crucial. We want to keep that down as well to get into ketosis because protein stimulates blood sugar release, excessive protein release.
That’s why it’s very important to do the research before you start that Ketogenic diet because a lot of people, they buy the wrong meats, they buy the lean turkey and the chicken. We want the meat that’s high in saturated fat like the steak and all that. It’s important to do your research before you do the diet.
If you eat a grilled chicken breast with no fat in there, that’s going to kick you out of ketosis right like that. That’s the hard part about ketosis is that you’ve got to incorporate these fat bombs, if you will, what I call them. If you’re having a steak, add extra grass fed butter on that. Cook your eggs in organic grass fed baking grease. You’re doing things, you’ve got to add a lot of fat on this because ideally, you need this about 80% to 85% of your calories coming from healthy fat. This is crucial because it’s healthy fat. The Atkins diet, they didn’t really distinguish between healthy and unhealthy fats. Unfortunately, you had people doing the Atkins diet, taking all the toppings off the pizzas and just eating that greasy cheese and then leaving the bread alone. That’s not really what the point was. Also in the Atkins diet, they’re eating way too much protein than they should be. They were still getting weight loss, but they weren’t getting healthy, a lot of them. That’s a big distinction right there. That way, you’re getting yourself healthy fats, you’re keeping insulin down, so your body is not getting that blood sugar, so your body is starting to go after ketones as fuel. When your body is using ketones, which is way more efficient energy, I call it the biodiesel of your body, that’s where the magic happens. That’s going to increase mental clarity.
Also ketone metabolism, it generates way less free radicals. Free radical production is important. It’s actually crucial for body’s functioning in normal amounts, but if we’re in constant state of sugar metabolism, that generates way too much free radicals for our body, which leads to premature aging and sickness. If you think about it, again I’m just going to segue back real quick to our ancestors again, these guys would be going days and days without eating. They’re still going hunting. They’re going five, six days without eating, they’re going on a hunting trip, but they still had a super sharp mind, they had this massive energy. The reason is because they were in ketosis. They’re using their stored fat as fuel, which gives their body a steady energy source, a clean energy source, so they’re still able to hunt game effectively even going through multiple hours without eating. Then when they would catch their game and they would go into massive feast mode, they would go out of ketosis. They would cycle in and out.
It’s not a mistake that your body has two types of metabolic capacities to use glucose and ketones. They should both be utilized. It’s not one or the other. Your body doesn’t like to be in the same state at one time. That’s why we sleep and wake, that’s why we do high intensity interval training. We alternate periods. Your body doesn’t like one single state. It likes to have that cycling. That’s what intermittent fasting does typically. That sixteen hours out of the day, you’re not quite getting into nutritional ketosis but you are beginning to transition to using ketones as fuel and then you eat your first meal of the day and you’re going back to glucose as fuel. You’re having this rapid on and off switch, which is what your body actually wants.
How long does it take for your body to go into ketosis after just eating a Ketogenic diet? How long do you think it takes for the body to enter ketosis?
It just takes your body a while to adapt to that.
I’m going to say, for the average person, it takes one to two weeks. This is the average person and it also depends on what your diet baseline was. If we’re eating amounts of processed foods or if you’re doing that standard American diet or even doing that crazy low fat-high carb diet, it’s going to take a little bit longer typically for them. It just takes your body a while to adapt to that. That’s why most people basically get discouraged going keto, if you will, because you go through a period called the keto flu. The keto flu is that transition period and it sucks. There are hacks for that to get around that, such as bone broth to replenish those electrolytes and those minerals. You’re going to start becoming deficient. Magnesium supplementation will help with the headaches and the aches and stuff like that you get. Also, the Bulletproof Coffee really helps too because caffeine does help.
A lot of people are talking about bone broth now. Can you just go over the health benefits of that because I’ve heard some amazing things about that alone?
Bone broth is amazing. I have about two cups a day. Basically, you’re having massive amounts of chondroitin, glucosamine, collagen, not to mention all these beneficial amino acids. In particular, the collagen is like the glue to your joints. It helps with healthy cartilage formation, joints, ligaments, tendons. You’re going to basically repair and recover faster from any type of activity. Also, I want my joints healthy, especially for how active I am. Then you got the chondroitin and glucosamine, which also helps with healthy cartilage and joint formation. I do that. Typically also, bone broth is going to rebuild the entire inner lining of your gut, which is why, there’s something called the GAPS diet. This is usually done on severely autistic children or people who just have severe leaky gut because it rebuilds the inner lining of their gut. It literally restores it, the bone broth. I make my own. The most important thing to do is to find grass fed organic bones. That’s the hardest part. That’s the biggest issue and most people can’t find that. Fortunately for me, I have a store right next to my house that actually gets shipments directly from a grass fed farm of these healthy bones that I purchase directly.
You purchase the bones and then you put it on the stove and you just let it boil?
No, I use a Crockpot. I use a 6-Quart Crockpot. You put the bones in there, you add a little bit of apple cider vinegar because that acid actually helps excrete the outer bone matrix. You’re getting that collagen and glucosamine and those amino acids that are basically excreted out of the bone. You’re just adding purified water to do it. You can add basically, on top of that, I add thyme, oregano. I’m adding celery, carrots, garlic, Himalayan salt, peppercorns. I’m adding different things to make it tastes good, but at the end of the 48 to 72 hours simmer period, I’d dump it through colander and then I just have just the broth itself that I keep refrigerated. You’re going to get that fatty layer on top, but that’s good. That gelatin layer, you need that, that’s the collagen right there. Getting it from whole food sources is huge but it also supplement with collagen as well because I think it’s that important, especially post-workout. That’s pretty much what I do on a daily basis.
The bone broth is an excellent keto food as well because it has very trace amounts of carbohydrates in there, but it’s going to give you a lot of those minerals that basically prevent that keto flu from happening in the first place. What happens when you get that keto flu, when you’re not consuming carbs, for one reason or another, your body starts to become devoid of magnesium and some of these essential minerals, which is also what stimulates that keto flu in the first place. Replenishing those, especially from avocados, which is super high in magnesium, and bone broth, that’s really going to help counteract those negative effects.
Then there’s another concept that we could go on and do called exogenous ketones. That’s actually consuming ketones in supplement form. That’s a big thing going on right now. I personally do it as well, but I just do it to bridge the gaps. I take those exogenous ketones. When you flood your body with ketones, it actually does something in your body where it quickens that transition to go into ketosis. Once I’m in ketosis, I don’t need to take those exogenous ketones anymore, but it helps you bridge that gap and get into that state faster.
Is this the supplementation? Say, you have a cheat day and you have some carbs, is this the supplementation that helps put you back into ketosis faster?
Yes, that’s what it is. Now, I do cyclical ketosis. That’s part of my thing. I do intermittent fasting every day, but for a three-day period, two to four times a month, I go strictly keto because I want to get into full nutritional ketosis. If anyone is interested in getting into ketosis, which I would highly recommend for everybody, you want to buy something called the Precision Xtra. That’s the device to actually test your blood levels of ketones. It’s the most accurate thing. I would advise against the urine strips, they’re very inaccurate. If you’re going to put forth the effort into getting into ketosis and making these big lifestyle changes, you want to make sure you’re doing it right and you want to make sure you’re actually getting into ketosis. I hear this all the time, “I did ketosis and it sucks. I felt like crap.” I’m like, “What was your blood ketone level?” “I didn’t test, of course.” I’m like, “That’s your problem right there, because I guarantee you, you weren’t in ketosis.” They’re judging it because they’re not doing it right. Most people add too much protein or whatnot. If they would have tested their ketones, they would have known they’re not in it in the first place. It wasn’t that ketosis that wasn’t working for them. They were just doing it wrong.
Did you say you do pure Ketogenic diet two to four times a month?
For a three-day period.
On those other days, you are eating some carbs?
Absolutely. Take out ketosis for a while. On my typical day, I’m having fruit. I’m also having starchy vegetables. I’ll have some purple potatoes, I’ll have starchy vegetables, I’ll have root vegetables and I’ll have fruit. Those are all high in carbohydrates that are not okay under a Ketogenic diet. Also, I don’t think continuous ketosis is a healthy practice because you’re devoiding your body of fruit forever, of root vegetables, actually a lot of vegetables. Really, it’s just the greens and garlic that you can have. You’re devoiding yourself of a lot of these nature’s foods that I don’t think is healthy in the long run. That’s not what our ancestors did either. They cycled in and out. I think it’s best to utilize both.
Say, you’re doing the Ketogenic diet, you’re in ketosis and then you do have that cheat day and you don’t have that supplementation that you were talking about before. How long does it take for your body to transition back into ketosis if you’re doing it just strictly diet?
Just doing it to bridge the gap, just knowing its place is the proper thing.
If I was going to try to get into ketosis now without taking exogenous ketones, I could do it in about two days. With the exogenous ketones, I can do it in less than 24 hours. Again, I don’t think taking exogenous ketones during the entire period is wise, healthy or helpful. Just doing it to bridge the gap, just knowing its place is the proper thing. In general, I don’t believe in supplementing with things that our body makes naturally. Your body works by feedback loop. If you show the product, your body is going to stop its natural secretion of the certain substances, which is not good and not okay.
That’s the one thing I struggle with Ketogenic diet. I didn’t know when it was okay for me to have that random bowl of fruit or when to implement the grains or anything because I wasn’t educated on when to do that, when not to do that. I’m glad you went over that.
That’s the biggest thing because you get a lot of benefits from that re-feeding stage. To get those benefits from the re-feeding stage, you’ve got to go through those periods of intermittent fasting and ketosis to get there. For example, after your workout, that’s the most important meal, right after your workout, especially within 30 minutes. I actually do want on those days where I do more of my intense strength training, I don’t like to be in ketosis during that time. I like to replenish with a little bit more protein and also a little bit more carbohydrates to stimulate more insulin and insulin in my growth factor because those are more anabolic in nature. In turn, it recruits other natural anabolic hormones for proper muscle building. Then again, on days I’m not strength training, it’s very wise to go back into ketosis where your body is using this efficient fuel for energy, increasing brain function, rejuvenation, autophagy. It’s good to have both. I think the whole cycling is the biggest thing.
Variety is key with mostly everything. Too much of anything is bad for you. It’s definitely good to implement a variety of whatever you’re doing. If you’re educated about it, you know what you’re doing.
To backtrack on the intermittent fasting, I’m a big advocate of the 16-8 method. Quite honestly, especially on my days off, I do more of maybe 20-4 method where I’m fasting for twenty hours and only eating for four. The more people can restrict their eating window, the better the benefits they can get.
How often do you do that 20-hour one?
On days I work, I do 16-8. I basically start at 6 AM and I’m done at work at 6:30 PM, but I have a lunch break. That lunch break is a perfect opportunity for me to workout, then consume a meal. Then after that second stretch of my work, I need a dinner as well. The 16-8 method, that eight-hour period fits perfectly with my working schedule. The days off and weekends, I actually narrow my eating window even more. You’re going to be amazed that when you’re actually not thinking about food, you’re not even hungry until 1 PM or 2 PM in the day, if that, because your body is now using fat efficiently for fuel. If you have stored fat, which everyone does, your body is just breaking down that for a steady energy source.
You feel good. You have clarity and a boost of energy that you have never felt before since you were a kid. You are just ready to go when you’re doing this.
You are. You feel light, you feel clear. It’s pretty awesome, but you got to get through it.
I tried to change my diet to a vegan diet for a couple weeks. I just felt too light and I didn’t feel full ever. With the Ketogenic diet, I just felt good. I felt like the weight I wanted to be at, I was mentally clear and I just felt good. I wasn’t getting that with other diets.
It’s true. What’s cool is that ketones have an anti-catabolic effect on your body. They have a protein sparing effect, which means that when you’re in ketosis, you don’t lose muscle mass. It actually blocks that ability, which also makes sense evolutionary with our ancestors. If they’re going five days without eating and it forces them to lose muscle mass, obviously, it wouldn’t be good. We may not even be here today if that was the case. Our bodies are very, very smart, it makes sense. Another thing I want to cover real quick is that, I do that daily intermittent fasting. There are other forms of intermittent fasting you can do, other ways to implement it. You can do every other day fasting, you can fast for a full 24 hours every other day. They have something called the 5-2 method where you fast two days out of the week and the other five days you eat normally. I’m not a fan of any those other ones.
What’s the longest you’ve gone with fasting?
Truthfully, full two days without eating.
What was that like at the end of day two?
People can implement that and stick to that plan way faster.
It wasn’t that bad. The hardest part for me was that I couldn’t re-feed after an exercise routine. I couldn’t do that. That’s the stuff I didn’t like. It almost made me go into more of a, not being more sedentary in those two days, but I wasn’t able to do that extreme activity that I’m used to. I wasn’t a very big fan of that. The daily intermittent fasting is crucial because that’s how human behavior works. If you do something that’s very cyclical and pattern-like and it’s daily, then we start to work on autopilot and it just comes natural to us. People can implement that and stick to that plan way faster. If you have something like an every other day fast, one day you’re eating everything you want, the other day you’re not eating at all, that’s too sporadic for people to actually follow from experiences I’ve seen. If you can do it based on willpower, then good for you. I’m just saying, in general, to create compliance, the daily way to me is the best way to do it.
To revert back to the Ketogenic diet, do you have a percentage where people can follow? Like, this is the percentage amount of healthy fats you’ve been taking, protein and carbohydrates. Do you have a percentage like, 40% fats?
Yeah. To get into ketosis, you want about 80% to 85% of your calories in the form of fats. That’s high. Then that leaves about 10% protein, 5% net carbs. Net carbs would be grams of carbohydrates minus grams of fiber.
How do you keep track of all this?
You want to really pay close attention to your macro percentages during the first couple of days of doing it, but then you start to get the hang of it. It is important to do that. You can use things like something called chronometer. Basically, it’s an online tool that basically tracks your nutrients for you. When you’re eating meat and stuff, you do need to have a scale too, to weigh the meat, to know exactly the proportions of everything, which can be a little bit tedious. In general, once you get that pattern down, once you do it for a day or two, you start to understand things that will keep you in ketosis and things that will kick you out of ketosis.
That’s what a lot of people say, “That’s a lot of work. I don’t know if I want to do that.” Once you get it down, it becomes second nature where you’re not even thinking about it.
You’ve got to plan for it, but it’s really not that much work. I’m honestly not a fan of work. The same people that say it’s a lot of work are people who like to do calorie counting. I’m like, “That is so tedious, not necessary at all.” When people calorie count, that just drives me crazy. Not effective. There’s a reason why dieting is a multibillion dollar industry. They make all their money from people’s failed attempts and coming back and back on it. Dieting is not the answer. If you’re dieting, say, “I want to lose 20 pounds,” and then you do these major changes to lose 20 pounds, then once you lose your 20 pound, then what do you do? You go back to the same crap behavior that got you there in the first place. It’s not sustainable. If you make this part of your lifestyle, intermittent fasting is not a diet, it’s the way we should eat daily. We’re not made to eat every hour of the day, that’s just bottom line, never were.
You approach it from many different avenues with the diet, chiropractic adjustments, exercise. That’s another thing that frustrates me a little bit. People come into the chiropractic office and they want that to be the one thing that’s going to get them better and they’re not changing any other aspects of their life. Healing is a multi variable process. You need to be healthy in many different avenues of your life to encourage the healing process. Everybody’s looking for that one pill, one little fix when you’ve got to look at the entire body.
If people are looking to come in and get out of pain and that’s all they’re interested in, I say, “Leave my office and go to the liquor store next door.” Because that liquor will take you out of pain and that will be way cheaper than my work. If you actually want to get healthy, there’s nowhere else you can go but here. You take your pick. Do you want to get healthy or is all you’re interested in is just numbing your pain and still staying sick? If that’s what you’re interested in, then go somewhere else because you’re going to find it way cheaper, but you’re going to die young. It’s blunt. If you want to get healthy, then no one else is going to be able to offer what I can offer you. That’s what I say. I literally say that during a report. They’re like, “Oh,” then boom, it’s a no-brainer. You say it like that they’re like, “Oh crap.”
Again, why are we sick in the first place? Physical, chemical, emotional stress that we can’t adapt to. Chiropractic, we’re taking care of the physical, we’re aligning the spine, we’re creating natural movement pattern so the brain and the nervous system can flow freely. Every cell and every brain cell can communicate fully. That’s not it. You still got chemical stressors from toxins, from the foods we eat, from glyphosate, etc. You got emotional stuff, trying to meet deadlines, emotional conflicts with social situations, with your spouse. There are all sorts of stressors we have and you’ve got to deal with all of them. Just taking care of the physical, that patient is still going to get better, but they’re not going to get that full spectrum of health that they’re wanting. People sign up for 100% health, not 50%.
Mike, that was awesome. Thank you so much. Do you have anything else you want to share?
I do a lot of lectures. Check out my YouTube channel and subscribe to that for regular lectures. It’s all scientific based. I include all my references, which is a great way for people to learn really cool methods and topics about their physiology and how to basically hack their system to get the most out of their body. Just type in YouTube.com/DrMichaelVanDC. Also, you can follow me on Facebook, Dr. Michael VanDerschelden.
Also, this intermittent fasting thing, if you want to learn more about it, I would definitely check out that book because it’s so clear, so concise, but it’s so easy to understand. You’re really going to understand all of the reasons why that makes so much sense. I go over all the physiological steps, but in an easy to understand manner. That’s available on Amazon. If you have any other questions, you can always comment or ask questions on YouTube or Facebook and I always get back to those.
Do you have a website or anything?
DrMichaelVan.com, it’s not available yet because it’s currently under development, but that will be available shortly.
Mike, if at any point you have another topic that you’re eager to share, you’re more than welcome to come back anytime because you’re just extremely knowledgeable in so many different things. As you will find out by going to Dr. Mike’s YouTube channel, you guys crank him out over there. You have a lot of different topics like one every week?
Exactly. I encourage, if people are doing health talks anyway, record it and put it on YouTube to reach more people because people are hungry for this stuff, they need this stuff. When I get these testimonials from people all around the world, applying this stuff and getting amazing results, that’s huge. That’s why I do it. This stuff is basically getting them commonsense stuff that makes so much sense and then other people start to question everything they’ve been doing before. That’s how you get transformation, which is awesome. That’s what it’s for. It’s a great vessel to get the word out there, get the message out there. Check that out and I’ll be glad to be back on. I love your podcast. It’s awesome that you’re doing this, especially just coming out of school, you’re killing it. I like it.
Thanks. I appreciate that. Mike, thanks for joining us.
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