Stay Focused and Healthy This Holiday Season with the Right Kind of Intermittent Fasting

dave-aspreyThe idea of fasting for any length of time is a bit scary for all of us—and for good reason. Our brains are trained to think that the world is coming to an end when we stop eating, even for as few as eighteen hours. However, there are unquestionable benefits to short bouts of intermittent fasting, including a metabolic boost and sharper focus.

We all want to survive the holidays and maintain our health, but we don’t want to feel deprived or miss out on all of the holiday fun. You can stay focused and curb your cravings this holiday season through the use of intermittent fasting. With a few simple tweaks to your morning routine, it’s not nearly as difficult as you may think.

The Benefits and Problems of Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting is defined as eating all your calories during a specific window of time, while fasting the rest of the day. Intermittent fasting has been well researched and shown to have a number of health benefits, including weight loss and increased focus.

Alternative day fasting (one form of intermittent fasting) can prevent chronic disease, reduce triglycerides, and produce significant improvements in several markers such as LDL cholesterol, in as little as eight weeks (1). Most important, intermittent fasting increases neuronal plasticity and neurogenesis, making it easier for your brain to grow and evolve (2).

The common intermittent fasting protocol requires you to skip breakfast and not eat lunch until two o’clock in the afternoon—and that can be a challenge for many people. If you’re always on the go, you’ll probably find that your energy declines in the middle of the day. This can be especially challenging during the holidays, when we need all of the energy we can get! Just when you want to be in a high-performance zone, your intermittent fast gets in the way.

The Secret to Fasting: Bulletproof Coffee

One day while intermittent fasting, I tried an experiment. I mixed high-quality butter and Brain Octane oil (my special upgraded coconut oil) into my morning coffee. The fat in the butter and oil was so satiating that I worked straight through the afternoon and didn’t even realize I was still fasting. I felt sharp and distraction-free—almost bulletproof. After drinking this special butter coffee for a few days, I noticed that I was losing fat and building muscle even faster than I did with plain intermittent fasting, without ever feeling hungry or tired. This intrigued me, so I started doing more researched. Here’s what I learned.

By mixing coffee with high-quality butter and coconut oil, you create a temporary change in your gut bacteria. Bacteriodetes (the bacteria associated with being lean) increase and the firmicutes class of bacteria (which is associated with being obese) decrease. This is something I see in my own gut panels and in the Bulletproof Dieters’ uBiome results that I study. Changing your gut bacteria ratio positively impacts your energy level and your ability to regulate your own weight.

If you want to introduce Bulletproof Coffee into your intermittent fasting routine, it’s important to know how to make it properly. The key is choosing the right type of butter. It be unsalted and should come from grass-fed cows, preferably from a local farmer. If that’s not possible, Kerrygold Irish Butter (in the US and EU) and Anchor New Zealand Butter (in much of Asia and Australia) are both excellent alternatives. The right oil is critical, too, which is why I recommend my Brain Octane blend. If you want to learn how to make Bulletproof Coffee, click here for a video.

I can’t speak highly enough of the benefits of Bulletproof Coffee. For more than seven years, I have started each day with a cup. I have extra energy, the metabolic benefits of a fast, and the brain power I need to perform well in every area of my life. If you want to survive the holidays while shedding fat and improving your health as quickly as possible, it’s hard to beat Bulletproof intermittent fasting and Bulletproof Coffee.

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(1) “Intermittent fasting”, Wikipedia.com, last modified 25 November 2014.

(2) Mattson, MP., Duan, W., and Guo, Z. Meal size and frequency affect neuronal plasticity and vulnerability to disease: cellular and molecular mechanisms. J Neurochem. 2003 Feb;84(3):417-31.

Dave Asprey is a Silicon Valley tech entrepreneur who spent 15 years and $300,000 to hack his own biology, losing 100 pounds, upgrading his IQ, and lowering his biological age. He runs the No. 1-ranked iTunes health podcast and The Bulletproof Executive blog about using biohacking to increase human performance — and he invented Bulletproof Coffee.

You can find more about biohacking, the art of changing your environment and your biology so you perform better in his new book The Bulletproof Diet, and also on The Bulletproof Executive website.

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