RIght this week we are actually going to get started with the diet.
So last week we radically shifted your microbiome. You may have noticed a few things going on during the week, you may not. Some of you will have noticed you’ve been going to the toilet a lot more and that the consistency of your poop has been a bit different…this is normal and a good sign. We are changing the make up of your microbiome so the way you digest food will be affected. You may have also noticed a lot of gurgling, wind, perhaps even a bit of bloating. All this is normal.
If you didn’t notice any of this it doesn’t mean it’s not working. Everyone will react to this in different ways, it more if you did I wan to reassure you that this is perfectly normal and to be expected.
So in reference to week 1 what we have now done is rebuild the immune system in your gut so it can distinguish friend from foe. This means that all those LPS (the bad guys) are no longer getting into the bloodstream, but are be being told in no uncertain terms they are not welcome and escorted from the body.
Now we’ve stopped them from gatecrashing we can turn our attention to getting rid of the bad guys which are already present in the fat and flipping the SAS in the fat back into combat medic mode to enable fat burning (remember whilst the SAS are in the fat it can’t decouple/burn).
We do that mainly using 2 very powerful tools.
We all know when you get a sprain or strain you ice it to get rid of the inflammation. Think about what we are doing there. We know from week 1 that inflammation is caused by the SAS going in and shooting up the bad guys, and that once they’ve done that they shift back into Combat Medic mode to clear up the mess. Ice encourages the SAS to turn into Combat Medic mode.
So by exposing our body to cold we can encourage those SAS in the fat to flip into Combat Medic mode.
The benefits of cold exposure go well beyond this however. One of the major benefits is that it can encourage our fat to turn into a more useful form. White fat is the fat we all think of when we think of fat. It’s basically lard. Used by the body for insulation, protection and storage of energy, toxins and nutrients.
Brown fat fulfils the same roles but has a make up much more like that of muscle, It contains many more mitochondria (the powerhouses of the human body) and so actually generates energy and contains muscle fibres so can contract and has an effect on raising our metabolism and functions in many ways very similarly to muscle in the body. Meaning that it actually raises our metabolism and helps us burn fat.
In short brown fat is actually useful fat.
Cold exposure encourages our body to shift White Fat into Brown Fat. Meaning that the fat we have is now not only useful fat but is actually helping us burn white fat! Not bad.
Cold exposure also spins down cortisol production which you’ll remember from last week is one of the main reasons why most of us can’t sleep properly.
It also makes you feel great for the rest of the day and by actively forcing you to warm up afterwards, burns fat and challenges your mitochondria, forcing them to reproduce and grow…meaning over time you get more energy and lose weight.
In short it’s very powerful!
Now for many the idea of jumping into a cold shower first thing in the morning for 5 mins is just a bridge too far. So rather than doing that when you get started, just have a shower as normal and then at the end flip it to cold for 10-30 seconds. You can then build up from there. Believe me you’ll soon start to love the feeling and will be able to build up naturally as your tolerance improves.
A word to the wise, make sure you end on cold and then force your body to warm itself up naturally if you want to get the full benefits.
Fasting is the darling of the health industry at the moment and with good reason, it’s one of the most powerful tools we have at our disposal for driving health, losing weight and reversing ageing. Not bad for something which is not only free but actually saves you money and time!
Some of the mechanisms by which fasting works are obvious. You’ll generally eat less which is a sure fire way to lose weight. Some of these mechanism are much more subtle.
The most powerful is a mechanism called Autophagy.
To understand Autophagy we need to travel back in time millions of years to when life was just developing on the planet. At this time the climate on Earth was extremely hostile to life. There was very little atmosphere so the entire planet was bathed in radiation, volcanoes were constantly erupting and temperatures were extreme.
The first life to spring out of the primordial soup were single celled organisms. Then, as today, the way these chaps reproduced was to make a copy of themselves and divide. So one cell would copy itself into 2 cells and so on. The instructions for how to make this new copy were held in the original cells DNA and copied to the new cell.
The problem was that this DNA was damaged by the radiation from the sun, so as the cells copied themselves and the DNA became more and more damaged the copied cells became more and more imperfect.
Think about making a photocopy of a photocopy of a photocopy. Until finally the species had mutated so much it just wasn’t viable and would die out.
This same story was likely repeated millions of times until one cell came along with a superpower.
When this cell became exposed to damaging radiation, rather than keep on copying itself, it would stop and start to repair the damaged DNA. This meant that when it stopped being exposed to the radiation (maybe at night time for example) it would start to copy itself again but now the copies it made would be much closer to perfect than they otherwise would have been.
So successful was this strategy that this cell became the grand parent of every single form of life on the planet today.
This process of turning off cell division to focus on DNA repair is called Autophagy.
Autophagy is induced in biological lifeforms in a variety of ways but the most powerful pathway for activation is fasting. Food is a signal for the body to grow and for cells to divide. When we remove that stimulus the body naturally goes into autophagy and rejuvenates the cells.
So why do we care?
Damaged DNA is one of the primary causes of ageing. So if we can start to reverse this we can reverse ageing. Now this isn’t just about giving us beautiful youthful skin. Young fat is much easier to burn than old fat. So when we activate this process in our fat we make it much easier to get rid of.
Being hungry a little also helps us to realise the difference between actual hunger and the simple emotional need to eat. Most of the time when we raid the fridge it’s got nothing to do with hunger and everything to do with our emotional state. Fasting helps us to realise we aren’t going to die if we miss a meal and enables us to spot this emotional eating much easier.
Add to this the fact that Autophagy is an anti inflammatory state (whenever you hear those words from now on you should think of the SAS flipping into Combat Medic role) and during autophagy we are much more likely to be burning fat as a fuel source rather than glucose and you see why fasting is such a powerful tool for us to use.
Again this doesn’t necessarily mean that we should be fasting ALL the time. Like anything else the dose is critical. Too little and we never get into autophagy, too much and we start to activate other pathways which lead to increased cortisol, reduced metabolism, in-balanced hormones and all sorts of other effects we do not want.
We will be using it strategically this week to give you a flying start and to really help to clear the bad guys (LPS) out of the fat so it can truly start to decouple and burn.