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can your metabolism slowed down and specifically can your metabolism slowed down while intermittent fasting we talk about reducing calories we talk about changing how we eat does it actually affect the thyroid to the point where your metabolism slows down so to help answer this question I’ve got one of the leading experts in the world of metabolism and the thyroid dr. Stephen Cabral thank you for having me I’m a board-certified naturopathic doctor and I specialize in Ayurvedic and functional medicine working on bio individuality as our basis point for how to work with each individual wellness client or patient that comes into our Center so when we’re talking about intermittent fasting we’re always talking about is it good yes or no and then there’s a lot of gray area in between so my job is to say okay what are your goals and if your goal is to be healthier well intermittent fasting should be a part of that anti-aging intermittent should be a fast that and also body transformation so we know that from the research it can help all of those things but at what point does it become detrimental so for me it’s looking at lab testing and I don’t know if you have a different specific outlook on that meaning like physical signs and symptoms whereas I might look at that as well but let’s say okay let’s not even guess let’s get directly into testing to say yes or no this is affecting you negatively and if so how can we tweak that to allow you to do intermittent fasting but maybe not for the same time window maybe not for seven days a week maybe it’s a couple days a week and we can get into that today as well definitely and it’s there’s so many one of the reason I want to do this videos because there’s so many just conflicting videos out there there’s been people that have actually done videos directly I shouldn’t say targeting me but calling me out on my strategy in terms of wanting to only fast a few days per week saying it’s wrong saying it’s right the thing is is at the end all be all of this before we go into any detail is it all does come down to bio individuality some people respond to different things differently I might respond differently than you do and that’s kind of the beauty of life in general but the theory behind not wanting to fast every day as far as I’m concerned and you can talk about this a little bit and tell me if I’m right or wrong or what the deal is but if you fast every day eventually you get yourself to a point where your overall caloric needs do sort of shrink to accommodate that if you’re if you’re eating a thousand calories per day because you’re fasting every day and you only eat for a collective total of three or four hours then eventually your body is going to adjust to the fact that a thousand calories is just what you need now at what point does that stop I mean I’m sure your body wouldn’t survive if you were to just condition it to run on you know 100 calories a day but that’s where I come from with that and that’s why I say okay yes fasting if you do it too much could potentially slow down your metabolism but I’d love to hear sort of your thought on that and how the thyroid works and how you know and how this all comes together and where we really need to go with our own thought process sure and it’s even by definition if your body can survive on 1,000 calories a day again by definition you’ve lowered your metabolism you’re it’s not just about weight loss or weight weight gain when we’re talking about metabolism it’s also about metabolic rate it’s the way that your cells actually need and use energy and it’s all the different systems of your body so if you take your caloric needs for the day and you can lower them over time to a point where you only need eight hundred to a thousand calories per day again we’ve slowed the metabolism and we’ve also lowered most likely the hormones now this isn’t your body messing up and you actually did this on purpose right you may not have thought about it but you purposely lowered your metabolism and you did that to be able to survive on less food now again if this was thousand two thousand ten thousand years ago this would probably be a pretty good thing and the reason is that we can get away with eating less food which means that we can survive and outlast any type of famine or wartime or drought or whatever it might be and so that’s not necessarily a bad thing but now we’re talking about everyday life do you so there’s a lot of great longevity based studies on 800 calories a day and so what they found were people who weren’t it was called a low caloric diet 800 calories a day that they’re so a tough OG went up but a lot of processes that increased longevity would go up it’s one of the only ways that we know research-wise that and create that increases human lifespan is to reduce overall calories now part of that is there’s less oxidative stress in the body every time you eat you actually create free radical damage in the body so part of its that but it’s also the lowering of testosterone the lowering of igf-1 so we know that people live longer and they get less cancer if the igf-1 levels go down and we can actually look at long live cultures all around the world the Blue Zones based cultures we’re looking at Okinawans and Sicilians and they have less igf-1 well one of the ways that we can do that is actually through fasting but if our goal is to boost the metabolism and if our goal is to maybe develop the body transformation that we want do we really want to cut back or needs to 800 to a thousand calories a day and that what does that do if we want to go out with our friends one night you know have a nice dinner have a couple drinks your body is certainly not going to be used to that so what I say is what’s right for your body what’s right for also for your body type we know that endomorphs the larger body type I don’t want it too deep in general but they do a lot better by doing a little less carbohydrates a little bit more fat maybe less meals per day whereas that ectomorph body type thinner joints metabolisms always going fast if we start to lower their calories too low they actually become more anxious they have more brain fog difficulty sleeping and SAAM Nia at night so what we do is we run something called a thyroid adrenal hormone test and what that is is actually looking at how the hormones in your body interact under stress because under stress is really what we’re talking about if we do it fast for too long already saying okay we have gone without the sustenance that we need for life how does that affect the thyroid has affected renals and how does it affect the overall hormones of the body and the way that they’re affected is actually from the hypothalamus telling the pituitary glands were under stress or not under stress and honestly that is a very individual thing got it so not everyone’s gonna have that same hypothalamic pituitary axis that’s gonna respond to like if just like naturally someone might have a higher testosterone level than somebody else it’s the same axis it’s all starting in the brain so you did touch on something that I know you didn’t want to go down that rabbit hole but I think it’s a good rabbit hole it’s still relevant so in endomorph someone that is naturally going to be a little bit heavier we talked about this before we hopped on camera and I found this intriguing and it’s a totally like paradoxical way of looking at things and it makes way more sense than the opposite so if someone is naturally a bigger heavier person that is more predisposed to store in body fat it’s actually because their body prefers body fat as a fuels where or fat as a fuel source so it’s doing what naturally should to try to hold on to it because that’s its way of preparing for a time of like survival because it says I need this fat so it’s kind of interesting so someone like that would respond exceptionally well – probably a ketogenic or a low carb diet and probably really well with fasting because their body knows how to oxidize the fat that it has on the body a little bit better am I correct you’re absolutely correct so the larger body type we mean again like when we look at ayurvedic medicine so there’s the Vata the pizza and the cough on the cough of what we would know as the endomorph of today so we just have different names for them 6000 years ago they knew about the body types in much more depth I would say as well right now we treat everyone as the same person but if we look at that and know more if the person that might want to lose the weight again and endomorph can be in amazing shape right so like let’s not like say that endomorph has to be overweight an overweight endomorph means that their body’s out of balance okay just like an ectomorph is a thinner body type but they can actually be in very good shape well they ever look like the end of morph will they have calves this big no because that is not their genetic predisposed body type however what I can say as well is that the ectomorph does worse on a low-carb diet does better at having carbs in their diet cuz they’re more of a glucose based burner they have a lot of body fat in the first place and then the endomorphic body type which has more body fat has that preferred fuel source already they’re waiting for them and they actually don’t do well you can see it because when they eat a large amount of carbohydrates that a meal their blood sugar spikes right takes a little while to go back down both at ectomorph the blood sugar doesn’t spike in the same way they’re able to actually extract that glucose use it right away because they’re more in that sympathetic nervous system they’re more in that fight-or-flight where the endomorph is more in the parasympathetic it’s in a slower rate so their body is already in that slower it’s the difference would be like the fight-or-flight is like the anaerobic right you only have 30 to 90 seconds worth of fuel and then the endomorph well it’s like sitting down on a couch I always say it’s the difference between the ectomorph is on the hamster wheel doesn’t get off and the endomorph likes to get off have a snack sit down on the couch like they’re just more of a relaxed body type which is great but going back to the thyroid what happens is the endomorph if they go too long without food if they go too low in carbs for too long what can happen is they can start to get a lower thyroid you don’t see that necessarily in the ectomorph you see the burned-out cortisol levels but with an endomorph especially women not as much men I very very very infrequently see this in my practice but for women a certain subset of women they don’t do well for longer periods of keto or longer periods of low-carb it lowers their serotonin levels okay it makes them more anxious that makes them one actually crave those carbs and it also lowers thyroid so what we see is we see a greater what’s called HPA axis dysfunction it raises cortisol and by doing that it starts to lower activated t3 t4 to t3 got it okay and it can actually the glucocorticoids which are cortisol so stress hormone can actually get converted to what’s called reverse t3 so they can’t actually use that thyroid they can’t use it inside the cells and at that point they start to actually hurt their metabolism and it can take months to get it back they can get it back but it can take them all this that’s nothing exactly why on some of my videos that are geared more towards women with keto I usually say that and this is just not by its more matter-of-fact with working with people for a long period of time versus you coming from a data side so it’s nice to see it collide I have found in my experience that women do really well on shorter bouts of keto for almost quick acute treatments so like if they need to lose some weight they go on a ketogenic diet for a couple of couple of months and they have a lot of success and then they are the ones that tend to hit a wall after a couple of months and have no desire to continue with the diet and then I need to listen to their bodies and they tend to come off and they say I’m a fail I’m a failure at the ketogenic I know you’re not you you’re not a failure at it you listen to your body and there’s probably gonna be a time in a couple of months where it’ll be good for you to reset and do it again and that kind of comes back to carb cycling there’s a whole nother video yes and I think that is that that is the the topic to go to after that is the carb cycling linking to that video because there you’ll find there’s a certain number of weeks or days that you can do it and then you need to pop out of it get your hormones replenished it’s basically saying like hey body we’re not in survival mode anymore you can relax and when you allow it to relax cortisol levels drop and then thyroid naturally rises again exactly and and I always joke about the keto police like the keto police will come around and say you can’t do that you have to be in ketosis all the time the reality is again it comes back down to lifestyle and feeling good and living for a long period of time and I do want to circle back just to about the fastening and the slowing the metabolism just because that’s the topic at hand that I know where we’re circumnavigating it but would you say that if you do reduce your cap so if you do reduce your calories for a period of time you definitely do decrease the amount of calories that you would ultimately need right so it is safe to say that if you were to fast every single day that you may not slow your metabolism but you’re gonna slow down essentially your caloric need right slow down your caloric need and then by definition you’ve lowered your metabolism got it okay so and the reason I say that not to cut you off know is that if you if you were went down to a thousand calories and you were to eat 1,800 you would now start gaining weight so by definition you prove to yourself that you’ve slowed your metabolism you can’t eat the same number of calories that you used to be able to got it okay so what I generally say is that if you are going to start fasting if your sign you’re someone that is concerned about lowering your metabolism too much that’s why fasting two or three days a week in my opinion is a really solid thing to do it remains the shock factor it remains the catalyst for that extra fat burning that you want so what you have to understand here and this is the concrete point that dr. coverall and I are both trying to make is that are you fasting for body composition reasons or are you fasting because you want a lower calorie intake because you want to lower your calories for longevity and for lifespan if you want to reduce your calories you want to get down to the 800,000 calories because you just simply feel better that way and you think yeah it’s helping you out with your blood work and your longevity then by all means fast everyday that’s fine as long as you are accepting of the fact that is going to be your new caloric range if you’re trying to elicit this metabolic shock factor where you’re dramatically reducing calories a couple days per week by fasting by just calories here then boom calories here then BOOM that’s how fasting is powerful three or four days per week as a tool to enhance what you are already doing so absolutely that’s you agree completely agree and then I would also look at there are negative and drawbacks meaning that if you go too low in your calories you’re eating 800 to 1000 calories and let’s say you’re on keto so you’re only taking in let’s see doing one meal well when you start to get down to one meal there’s only so many vegetables that you can eat at that meal true and vegetables are the anti-cancer they’re the phytonutrients that your body needs like we can argue about protein we can argue about all these different things but it’s hard to argue about fruits and vegetables especially low glycemic fruit we’re talking about berries those types of things and so if you’re not getting those you have to ask yourself am i putting myself at risk when I am 60 70 80 years old because I missed all of those phytonutrients right am I now more at risk for cancer among more risk to become more catabolic because my body can’t squelch all the free radical damage that’s true so if you’re seeing wrinkles if you see in rapid aging you might actually be missing all of those antioxidants that you can’t get from protein or fat so sometimes you have to listen to your body and say how long can I be doing an intermittent fasting how often should I be doing it and find out what works for you and I really believe that there’s a happy medium for everybody so at the end of the day I mean that’s a perfect point we just come down to the fact that if you start reducing your calories too much there’s only so much in the way of good quality food that you can get and the same thing applies with the ketogenic diet if you’re not paying close close attention so I think we’ll we’ll wrap the video up here we can save the rest for another another day because you and I both know that we could probably go on for two hours and drive everyone crazy so I dr. Cabral where can everyone find you my podcast comes out daily it’s called the Cabral concept and I just have a new book out on Amazon called the rain barrel effect awesome all right you see you guys in the next video make sure you post in the comment section below what videos you want to see in the future
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Intermittent Fasting: Can it Slow Down Your Metabolism? (w/ Dr. Cabral)… Can your metabolism slow down? Specifically, can your metabolism slow down while intermittent fasting? We talk about reducing calories, we talk about changing how we eat. Does it actually affect the thyroid to the point where metabolism slows down? To help me with this question I’ve got one of the leading experts in the world on metabolism and the thyroid, Dr. Stephen Cabral.
Thank you for having me. I’m a board-certified naturopathic doctor, and I specialize in Ayurvedic and functional medicine, working on bio-individuality as our basis point for how to work with each individual wellness client or patient that comes into our center.
When we’re talking about intermittent fasting, we’re always talking about, is it good, yes or no, and then, there’s a lot of gray area in between. My job is to say, “Okay, what are your goals?” If your goal is to be healthier, well, intermittent fasting should be a part of that. Anti-aging? Intermittent should be a part of that, and also body transformation. We know that from the research it can help all of those things, but at what point does it become detrimental?
For me, it’s looking at lab testing. I don’t know if you have a different specific outlook on that, I mean like physical signs and symptoms. Whereas I might look at that as well, but let’s say, “Okay, let’s not even guess. Let’s get directly into testing to say yes or no, this is affecting you negatively.” If so, how can we treat that to allow you to do intermittent fasting, but maybe not for the same time window? Maybe not for seven days a week, maybe it’s a couple days a week. We can get into that today as well.
Definitely. One of the reasons I wanted to do this video is because there’s so many just conflicting videos out there. People that have actually done videos directly, I shouldn’t say targeting me, but calling me out on my strategy in terms of wanting to only fast a few days per week, saying it’s wrong, saying it’s right.
The thing is, is at the end of it of all of this, before we go into any detail, is it all does come down to bio-individuality. Some people respond to different things differently, I might respond differently than you do, and that’s kind of the beauty of life in general.
But the theory behind not wanting to fast every day, as far as I’m concerned, and you can talk about this a little bit and tell me if I’m right or wrong, or what the deal is, but if you fast every day, eventually you get yourself to a point where your overall caloric needs do sort of shrink to accommodate that. If you’re eating 1000 calories per day because you’re fasting every day, and you only eat for a collective total of three or four hours, then eventually, your body is going to adjust to the fact that 1000 calories is just what you need.
Now, at what point does that stop? I mean I’m sure your body wouldn’t survive if you were to just condition it to run on 100 calories a day, but that’s where I come from with that. That’s why I say, “Okay. Yes, fasting if you do it too much could potentially slow down your metabolism.” But I’d love to hear some of your thought on that and how the thyroid works and how this all comes together and where we’re willing to go with our own thought process.
Sure. It’s even by definition. If your body can survive on 1000 calories a day, again by definition, you’ve lowered your metabolism. It’s not just about weight loss or weight gain when we’re talking about metabolism. It’s also about metabolic rate. It’s the way that your cells actually need and use energy, and it’s all the different systems of your body. If you take your caloric needs for the day and you can lower them over time to a point where you only need 800 to 1000 calories per day, again, we’ve slowed the metabolism, and we’ve also lowered most likely the hormones.
Now, this isn’t your body messing up, and you actually did this on purpose, right? You may not have thought about it, but you purposely lowered your metabolism, and you did that to be able to survive on less food. Again, if this was 1000, 2000, 10000 years ago, this would probably be a pretty good thing. The reason is that we can get away with eating less food, which means that we can survive and outlast any type of famine or wartime or drought or whatever it might be, and so, that’s not necessarily a bad thing.