New: The Human Experience Podcast

I was pleased to discuss various aspects of health with Xavier of The Human Experience Podcast. Here’s the interview.

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  1. That was an interesting podcast. I always get some new little tidbit every time you do one of these. When he said he though food that was bad for him didn’t taste good, I really wanted you to say that, if his food wasn’t delicious, he wasn’t eating the right thing! He also sure didn’t seem impressed with your typical meal, lol! I don’t think most Americans understand Bi Bim Bap.

    For me a typical meal PHD meal is a typical steakhouse meal, a ribeye steak, a small baked potato with a little butter and some broccoli or green beans or cauliflower with a squeeze of lemon juice, all finished off with some fresh berries and cream for dessert. Or a Chinese meal, Crispy duck breast with sauteed vegetables and some rice with vinegar. yum! Or French, a hanger steak with bernaise sauce (or mussels if you want to go Belgian) and steak frites (fried in beef fat, of course) and a wonderful salad with a lightly sweetened creme brulee for dessert. YUM! Or a sushi roll with salmon and avocado (leave out the sugar in the rice). OR lamb curry over rice. Recreating restaurant meals at home without sugar and using healthy oils usually works for me.

  2. Hi Paul. I just watched your talk on obesity at the 2014 ancestral health symposium and went back and reread the chapter on weight loss in your book and have a few questions.

    1. You say it’s ok to have spoonfuls of coconut or mct oil during the fasting part of the day but in the instructions on how to eat you say to minimize added fats and oils and let your body use your fat stores that you want to reduce. Why is it ok to have coconut or mct oil then in the fasting phase? It seems a person would need to be careful and could go overboard with that. How much oil is safe before it impacts weight loss?
    2. Also regarding the food window it seems it would need to shift seasonally as the time that it gets dark changes, or does that matter. In summer it stays light til like 8 o’clock and in winter it’s dark on the shortest days by five. Can I keep the feeding window the same year round say 12-8?
    3. I’ve tried doing the IF with 8 hour feeding window before and had a hard time with it. If I ate based on hunger and satiety signals I would eat and feel full during the window and for a while after but would get hungry and be awakened at night around 3 am or so. My blood sugar was dropping and waking me. It seemed like I needed to stuff myself beyond hunger to possibly make it through the night which is very unpleasant to have to do on a regular basis. Do you have any ideas why this occurs and suggestions for fixes? One thing that is different with my diet now than before is that I’m making a lot of effort to get more soluble fibers from many sources in my diet like rs3 and rs2, inulin and fos, konjac noodles etc and this has seemed to give me more stable blood sugar and I sleep 6-8 hours straight without waking due to dip in blood sugar at night eating between the hours of about 8 and 6. So maybe this change might enable me to do better with the 8 hour feeding window.
    4. Would low cal soluble fiber be ok during the 16 hour fast like some glucomannan stirred into water or herbal tea?

    • Hi Lisa,

      1. This is something I’ve changed guidance on. I now favor black coffee during the fast – minimizing calories. I used to accept coconut milk. If your only concern is neurological, then coconut milk or MCT oil should be OK, but for the rest of the body the benefits of fasting will be greater from a total fast.

      2. I favor keeping a 12-hour day and 12-hour year round using artificial lighting and drapes, rather than following the sun, and adjusting the “dawn” and “dusk” to fit your personal schedule. We mostly evolved in the tropics where day and night are always 12 hours, so the changing day lengths at northern latitudes are not really “Paleo.”

      3. That’s more likely to be an electrolyte issue than a blood sugar issue, unless you were testing blood sugar. Try snacking on celery and cherry tomatoes with a bit of salt and water during the overnight fast. Itmay enable you to sleep through the night. If you are having blood sugar issues, eat more carbs during the daytime window, and work on other aspects of circadian rhythm entrainment.

      The fiber is very helpful, good for you!

      4. Yes, some low-cal fiber is OK during the fast. It’s similar to coconut milk in your morning coffee.

      Best, Paul

      • you say “This is something I’ve changed guidance on. I now favor black coffee during the fast – minimizing calories. I used to accept coconut milk.”
        But what about coconut oil? You say in the book that coconut oil promotes ketosis. Has your opinion changed on that?

        • Coconut oil is fine. Coconut milk is 1/3 coconut oil, plus water and some plant compounds/nutrients, mostly fiber.

          • I read somewhere on your blog that you have changed opinions and say that the fast is better with no coconut oil, just coffee. Did I read that wrong?

          • Fasting is better with no calories. Calorie-free beverages like black coffee and tea are good. However, if you use a little oil in your coffee, that’s OK; you can extend the fast a bit longer for the same benefits.

          • can you explain why you changed your opinion on some calories/no calories during the fast? Did a new study come out or some other reason your opinion changed? Would a couple blueberries hurt during the fast? (I don’t mean a bowlful, just 2. thanks. ralph

  3. Great interview.

    I’ve managed to convince my mother to try bone broth, to help with losing wieght and remineralization. But she insists that it must be low fat, so she tries to remove it. She say it is because fat is bad, but I think she may have some issues digesting it.

    My question is, does removing the fat from the broth reduce the absorption of minerals, or perhaps improves it?

    By the way, she says that it does help with cravings, and even with with joint pain. Great discovery the broth.

  4. Thanks Paul for the answered questions. I thought of one more. I don’t remember you saying whether you recommend the intermittent fasting with the 8 hour feeding window and 16 hour overnight fast to be done regularly or intermittently.

  5. Just wanted to express my gratitude to Dr. Jaminet for making the time to do the interview – Thanks Paul – was hugely informative!

    Elizabethe: you’re right, I may be eating the wrong things! Thanks for that note.


  6. I’m commenting to report that IFing is not working for me personally. My sleep, circadian rhythms and energy during the day deteriorate rapidly upon forcing a restricted feeding window of 8 or 10 hours. I found some enlightening articles that explain my experience that I think are important for people to know about. Here is a link:

    • Hi Lisa,

      Generally, experiences such as yours indicate either (1) you are under-eating carbs and electrolytes during the feeding window, or (2) you have adrenal insufficiency leading to loss of electrolytes during the fast, in which case you need to snack on lightly salted vegetables such as tomatoes and celery during the fast, with some water. Less likely is (3) some form of diabetes leading to poor regulation of blood glucose during an extended fast.

      The papers cited in Stefani’s post are all about under-eating.

      Best, Paul

      • With regards to loss of electrolytes due to adrenal insufficiency (I believe that is what I may have tested with low adrenal function, too low cortisol most of the time but too high first thing in the morning?! Not sure why) could drinking broth/stock during the fast be useful for minerals? Or would that more likely break the fast due to fat or protein in the broth/stock (I can skim the fat but doesn’t it still contain protein?)
        I have been feeling better not doing the fast recently but thought I might try again at some point with adding in electrolytes.

        • Is there a test out there to test for electrolytes available? e.g. urine test. Perhaps that would help people struggeling with IF to figure out why?

  7. Hi Paul,
    What’s your opinion on fasting for longer than 16 hours? I tried one from Wed. night dinner to Fri. lunch. (About 40 hours) Felt fine with it. I was still able to have a high intensity workout Friday morning right before I broke the fast. I have read some other sources that recommend longer fasts to improve health. Thanks.
    Great podcast, I enjoyed it like your other interviews.

    • Paul will no doubt be able to provide more info. But in the PHD book, he shows that fasting for more than 24 hours suppresses autophagy upon resumption of eating; something which is not good for overall health because it increases susceptibility to infections.

      • Also, I believe Paul has said that longer fasts will also be more disruptive to circadian rhythms, and my sense of his view is that a 16 hr fast each day with an 8 hour feeding window in the daytime, with the biggest meal around noon or early afternoon, is optimal. But it is important not to under-eat in the feeding window, and if you are getting hungry you are doing something wrong and you should figure out what it is. I have read him advise others to listen to their body and eat enough so that you only start to get an appetite at the end of the fast.

  8. Hi Paul

    You’ve changed your guidance on coconut oil during intermittent fasting. Is this because you believe that fat does suppress autophagy after all? Or are there benefits from restricting all calories, including fat calories, during the fast?

    I’ve been doing 14-16 hour fasts for the past few weeks but having about four tablespoons of coconut oil in my ginger tea first thing in the morning. This has definitely made the fast easier. Maybe I’ll stop and try a zero-calorie fast.

  9. Sorry, I meant to say “Are there OTHER benefits from restricting calories…?”. That is, benefits to restricting fats as well as carbs and protein, besides suppression of autophagy?

    I struggle with fasts and with attempting ketogenic diets but find carbs lower my mood and energy levels. This is despite the fact that blood glucose levels are more or less normal when measured by blood glucose metre. I suspect the glucose problem is only in my brain which, I learned recently, can have its own insulin resistance independent of the presence of diabetes. Unable to tolerate carbs and unable to cope without them, I feel a bit stuck between a rock and a hard place!

    I suppose my only option is to be brave and push through the initial low carb flu and into ketosis and see if brain function improves. Chromium undoubtedly helps me from feeling too tired after carbs – I assume this is by sensitising my brain cells to insulin so that levels don’t rise to high, flooding tryptophan into the brain. (I think this is the accepted theory of why we feel tired after eating carbs…)

    I wonder whether you have any thoughts on this? Are my worries about adrenal health during keto-adaptation unnecessary?

    Thanks for all your advice – your blog and book are fantastic resources for people experiencing undiagnosed health problems.

  10. Hi Paul! Please can you tell me, is it ok to take collagen powder instead of bone broth? I really don’t like making it. If I try to then I can’t eat it…I like it but can’t deal with the bones and the strong smells. Thank you!

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