Fasting is about way more than what we do and don’t eat, it’s about dedicating time and energy to our full mind and body health. In this episode of Bulletproof Radio, I’m talking more about fasting with Dr. Will Cole, a leading functional medicine and nutrition expert and senior clinic director at Cole Natural Health Centers in Pittsburgh.
His newest book, “Intuitive Fasting: The Flexible Four-Week Intermittent Fasting Plan to Recharge Your Metabolism and Renew Your Health”, presents ways to fast that are flexible and fulfilling for the needs of each unique person.
“I want people to actually get to the place where they are guided by their intuition,” says Dr. Cole “Where they can hear that still small voice of that knowingness of what their body needs and what their body doesn’t need, at any given moment.”
Each person will react differently to different kinds of fasting. To find a practice that works for you, you’ve got to invest for the long run (not just as a fad). We’re often driven by cravings or driven by stress, anger, boredom or other unconscious motivations, without giving it a second thought. So how can we better tune in, observe and act on what our body needs?
Dr. Cole advises: “Whatever that looks like for you to start to grow in awareness, start by being mindful of your relationship with your body and relationship with food and checking yourself.”
He walks us through the benefits of fasting, some tools to fine tune your fasting routine through mindfulness practice, and how to eat beyond your past and current habits. And maybe most importantly, he’ll teach you to be kind to yourself throughout the process.
Named one of the top 50 functional-medicine and integrative doctors in the nation, Dr. Cole specializes in clinically investigating underlying factors of chronic disease and customizing a functional medicine approach for thyroid issues, autoimmune conditions, hormonal imbalances, digestive disorders, and brain problems. He’s also author of the best-selling books “Ketotarian” and “The Inflammation Spectrum.”
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Follow Along with the Transcript
Book: “Intuitive Fasting: The Flexible Four-Week Intermittent Fasting Plan to Recharge Your Metabolism and Renew Your Health”
- If you like Bulletproof intermittent fasting, if you liked Fast This Way, you absolutely have to read his new book, which is called Intuitive Fasting.- 00:55
- Take me back 12 years, when you first told a patient to fast. – 2:44
- I called the book Intuitive Fasting is because I want people to actually get to the place where they are guided by their intuition. – 5:15
- When somebody is inflamed, has metabolic inflexibility, their cravings will mask themselves as true intuition. – 7:09
- She’s doing intuitive fasting. Exactly. It’s light, gentle, flexible, intuitive. It’s not arduous. It’s not punitive. – 11:05
- They’re all coming in with a baseline that’s different. And we’re all created differently. This is the heart of functional medicine. And we’re all at different points of our journey, too. -14:20
- Does she have PCOS? Does she have endometriosis? Does she have insulin resistance? That’s a completely different woman than somebody that doesn’t have those things. – 16:27
- How do I know if a craving is emotional, or biological, or gut biome, or… – 19:58
- But even the way that Dr. Google is sterilized right now, because of the censorship that’s going on, there’s still a lot of that censored information to weed through. – 25:40
- What about fasting during times when it’s cold and flu season? Is fasting a good idea for immunity? – 28:31
- Mitochondrial biogenesis, you can tap into with fasting, improved autophagy, upregulated autophagy, or cellular recycling pathways. – 29:59
- I would just intuitively fast or I wouldn’t eat as much, kind of preserve my energy. And I recover a lot faster when I’m in this sort of light fasting state. And that doesn’t mean that everybody has do that all the time, but it’s just a tool that people can lean into and experiment with. – 32:08
- How do we teach people to be kind to themselves, if they’re fasting, and then they break their fast early, or then they taste something? – 35:41
- Some people have massive mason jars. Some people have small mason jars. And that’s our genetic tolerance to stressors. – 38:23
- What about things like the Fasting Mimicking Diet. – 43:40
- It’s not all or nothing and I think even if somebody doesn’t hit ketosis, and I have patients at the beginning, they’re not doing that. But they still see amazing benefits. – 45:43
- People did it intentionally throughout time. And you talk about this through your book as well, is that all of these faiths, that were completely not connected, all had these practices to go deep within human experience and take themselves to the next level, whether that be physical, like healing, or spiritual, metaphysical. – 48:17
- What is your top-recommended mindful activity that someone can do with the time they save from skipping a meal? – 49:46
- Something that I say that’s very true to my work is, “You can’t heal a body you hate.” You cannot shame your way into wellness. You can’t obsess your way to health. And that all of that stuff, is the genesis of sustainable wellness. – 54:41
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