How long have you ever fasted?
Given the opportunity, would you give up food to be happier? Would you fast for 24 or 48 hours to achieve a happier and healthier lifestyle?
Dave Asprey, renowned author and founder of Bulletproof Coffee, asks these questions. He studies intermittent fasting and believes it is a solution to improving the quality of life. He has even written five books on dieting and happiness!
In this episode, Dave Asprey discusses how fasting benefits the body. Central to the interview are his five biohacks for health and happiness, which is what Bulletproof Coffee is founded on. We will also be discussing the common fasting mistakes and what he’s learned as he’s grown Bulletproof Coffee since 2013.
Are you ready? Let’s go!
Dave Asprey believes that most people should intermittently fast because it gives them more energy in the morning. He learned about this strategy when he had to be up at 2:30 AM for a London TV show.
“Most people who practice intermittent fasting and learn how to do it the right way — they have more energy in the morning.” – Dave Asprey
However, a lot of people think that if they don’t eat breakfast or lunch, they will starve. They are always thinking about their next meal, which doesn’t help the fasting process.
“In fact, one of the studies talks about how the average person spends 15% of their thoughts about what their next meal is. I’m like maybe we could have that 15% back and do something better with it.” – Dave Asprey
When you fast, as Dave notes, your brain becomes more aware of what is happening. Your body isn’t focused on digestion, it’s focused on opening up your perception and sensors. Intermittent fasting teaches patience and calmness. It allows us to realize that we don’t have to eat every time we feel a craving.
“And what people find when they learn how to intermittent fast in the right way is that they’ve eliminated cravings and hunger becomes a gentle presence in your life. Like, ‘Oh, it’s a little bit cold in the room. Maybe I could turn the thermostat up, but if I don’t, I’ll be all right.’ And that calmness and peace that comes from it. That was what led me to write the book.” – Dave Asprey
Some people, however, who participate in the Bulletproof diet will say that their quality of sleep worsens. If that happens, Dave says it’s because they lack the ability to follow the advice of cycling in and out of keto, which only focuses on high-fat, protein, and low-carb foods. The Bulletproof diet involves intermittent dieting, which is a period of fasting.
When people follow the Bulletproof diet, they are not only more aware, they are also making an investment in their body.
“Because with fasting, you spent no money and no time and no energy on breakfast. So you got paid right now. You got free energy and free money and time back. And then all morning long, you have less hunger and more energy than you did when you had the Pop-Tarts and then you don’t get type two diabetes and you have more energy and you have to buy smaller pants and like all kinds of good things happen, even if you’re not perfect with your diet. And so this is the one thing that has the highest return on investment because you invest less than you do today.” – Dave Asprey
You’re rewarding your body when you fast with weight loss and more energy. And according to Dave, this is the key to happiness and health.
Eating oily food before fasting can make you have extreme cravings for those exact foods while you’re fasting. Fried foods are an example of something that will cause cravings for you.
Dave Asprey discusses three foods that you have to eat before a fast. They help with mitigating hunger and allow for more prolonged fasting. As a result, fasting is more tolerable because you’re in control of the foods you eat. The temptation and craving you might experience eating oily foods like french fries will diminish because you’re only eating these foods:
According to Dave, grass-fed steak is healthy and satiating, reducing the feeling of hunger during a fast.
“There is nothing more satiating than animal fats or butter. It’s full of nutrients as long as it’s grass-fed. If it’s industrial, [however], it will give you cravings.” – Dave Asprey
Dave also mentions how some vegetables like broccoli can help with fasting. Bell peppers are the exception because they can cause inflammation in some people.
The final food to consider before a fast is a salad. Dave recommends eating a salad with real olive oil and not adding the fake stuff. If you do eat a salad, you should avoid kale because it gives a lot of people cravings. To feel satisfied and full of a salad, you should add MCT oil and avocados.
When it comes to the science of fasting, Dave Asprey talks about anti-aging research that has shown how fasting will fix the problem of excess sugar in the body.
“And when you control insulin and you control autophagy, something very interesting anti-aging-wise happens and it’s that you actually have younger and more abundant STEM cells in your body. So intermittent fasting is proven to increase STEM cells, increase testosterone, human growth hormone, and a huge swath of anti-aging substances in the body. And it’s free. They cost less than needing breakfast.” – Dave Asprey
Dave says that eating or not eating certain foods regulates the body’s aging. Fasting strengthens the body’s metabolism, which slows the aging process. In fact, the age-related loss of stem cells can be reversed with fasting.
Studies show that when people naturally get older, their stem cells don’t regenerate. It makes it more difficult to recover from gastrointestinal infection because you have a reduced amount of stem cells. This, however, can change if you practice periods of fasting.
“The people who are best at taking fat or sugar plus air, combining them and getting abundant energy — those are the people who live the longest, have the best [lives]. They have more opportunities for greatness because they simply have more electrons bouncing around in their heads to do stuff with, and it could power your immune system. It could power whatever you’re doing in the world, but that’s the core of everything I’ve ever done with Bulletproof, with all the content. How do you make yourself better at making energy? And it turns out sometimes not eating is part of the equation.” – Dave Asprey
Bulletproof is how Dave is changing the American diet. He goes on to explain how the American diet is horrible because it includes so much sugar and seed oil.
“Americans have about 40 times more of that oil in their systems than they should. And it gets built into your tissues. And that makes you weak — [it’s] just not good.” – Dave Asprey
Another horrible part of the American diet is industrially raised meats. These meats are combined with Xenoestrogens. They make animals fat and filled with antibiotics, and it destroys the planet’s soil. The body is not fully optimized with industrially raised meats.
Dave was the typical American on this diet until he did his research. He realized how awful these meats and oils were for the body. These industrial meats also have cortisol, which ruins your gut bacteria. The foods in the typical American diet led Dave to create Bulletproof Coffee, a fasting system that allows you to gain health and happiness without industrial meats and sugar.
Coffee is a hack, not a biohack, that makes fasting more effective. No sugar, no butter, and no MCT. Straight black coffee has caffeine that doubled ketone production, which is important for reducing hunger.
“Sugar or protein are going to break your fast, but there’s some wiggle room in there. And when you have ketones higher, it suppresses ghrelin, which is the hunger and the cravings hormone.” – Dave Asprey
However, you should still limit the amount of coffee you drink. As Dave explains, you shouldn’t be drinking 10 cups of coffee per day. Limit yourself to 2 to 3 cups per day for optimized health.
After learning about common fasting mistakes and everything that’s wrong with American diets, Dave came up with a solution — his unique solution to health and happiness.
According to Dave, the first biohack has nothing to do with fasting. It has everything to do with forgiveness. Don’t hold to grudges in life because they will only make you regretful.
“If you can learn the skill — and it is a skill you practice, it’s a muscle to forgive the grudges that you carry — it will make you live longer [and] set you free. Yes, that’s the thing. I do find it’s hard to have enough energy to let go of grudges and to do forgiveness. … Turning up your energy makes forgiveness easier. – Dave Asprey
If you choose not to forgive, Dave explains, it will negatively impact your life. It will destroy you. Choosing not to forgive yourself or others for past mistakes will make you regretful and take energy from your life. You’ll forsake happiness and health because choosing not to forgive will always hover over you like a dark cloud.
Sleeping well is the second biohack. A good night’s sleep can make you more productive in life. It can give you the rest you need to help you perform at the highest level. But in order to sleep well, you need to make sure you create a peaceful environment.
“If, before you go to bed, you dim the lights, you block out your bedroom, and you block four different frequencies of light that go into your eyes, the difference is profound. Last night, I got two hours of deep sleep and change and two hours of REM sleep in seven hours of sleep.” – Dave Asprey
Special glasses on your eyes will make a difference in your sleep. Dave explains the value of glasses that can block out blue light and put you in a deeper sleep.
The third biohack is movement. Dave mentions the studies that show how important it is to move 20 minutes a day. These exercises should be high intense — squats, pushups, heavy sprints, etc. When you do high-intense workouts, you’re pushing your limits.
The fourth biohack is closely related to movement — it’s about your body’s ability to go into full power generation. It might sound weird, but cold showers are incredible for your body. Your sensors will be more alert when you take cold showers. Your body will respond quicker, especially when you’re targeting the head and chest.
Dave Asprey’s fifth biohack is neurofeedback — this is similar to meditating. With neurofeedback, you’re learning about relaxation techniques and having peace of mind.
“I’ve had more than a thousand entrepreneurs come through my neurofeedback program — I would say meditation. So if neurofeedback isn’t accessible to you, you can meditate.” – Dave Asprey
These are the five biohacks. They can change your life for the better and help you avoid regret, loss of sleep, and laziness, all while gaining sensory alertness, and peace of mind.
To sum up, these five biohacks are:
Do you implement any or all of these incredible biohacks? Which ones could you work on? I want to challenge you to add these biohacks to your life.
Choosing to live well doesn’t have to be complicated as Dave Asprey teaches us. He’s taught me and others to live happier and healthier lives through Bulletproof Coffee.
He shifted my belief about the American diet and what it means to fast. I learned about being a high-performing human from Dave, and I’m grateful for his wisdom and knowledge. You can check out the full interview here.
If you want to learn more about what Dave Asprey teaches, you can find his books and his work on his website. You can also follow him on Instagram and Facebook. He’s an example of inspiration on how we live as high-performing human beings.
Lastly, if you want to be happier and healthier, you can choose to be. All it takes is a few changes in your life that will forever change how you live and how to be great.