I started doing Intermittent Fasting over three years ago. My strategy has always been to just deal with the hunger. If you ignore it, it goes away. When I first began fasting, I’d think about my hunger constantly. These days, it barely grabs my attention. Recently, I was inspired by a post over at my favorite nutrition website Perfect Health Diet to try an alternate approach to Intermittent Fasting.
Before I go into the changes I tested, let me go over two benefits from Intermittent Fasting.
- By restricting carbohydrates for an extended period, you can shift your body into a state of ketosis. Ketosis has a host of health benefits. One of which is you burn fat at a quicker pace.
- By restricting protein, you can trigger autophagy. This is the process where cells consume and recycle their own damaged material. This results in many health benefits, including life extension.
The Perfect Health Diet post Ketogenic Diets, I: Ways to Make a Diet Ketogenic is a detailed explanation of the ketogenic metabolic pathway. The part of the article I found most interesting was how the use of coconut oil, which is loaded with short chain fats, can accelerate the production of ketones.
This means that if you eat a lot of coconut oil (which is 58% short-chain fats), you deliver a lot of fat to the liver for disposal. The disposal process for fat is conversion to acetyl CoA followed by either burning in the TCA cycle or conversion to ketones.
Since that post was written, I have done many fasts where I consume nothing but 1 to 3 tablespoons of coconut oil. I find it has a slightly sweet taste and it does lower my hunger level. To confirm I was still hitting ketosis, I used Ketostix to measure ketones. After a 16 hour fast with coconut oil, I was measuring Small to Moderate ketones. Pretty cool.
Well coconut oil by itself may not be enough for the hungry. Have no fear, the Perfect Health Diet book came up with another idea. It said you can consume fermented vegetables on a fast. Wouldn’t the carbs from the vegetables interfere with achieving ketosis? Nope. From the book:
Most vegetable carbohydrates are intercepted by gut bacteria, which digest vegetable fiber into short-chain fatty acids.
If the book is correct, I could eat coconut oil and sauerkraut and still go into ketosis. I decided to test it out.
- Monday night: My last food intake was at 10 PM.
- Tuesday 10 AM: 1 tablespoon of coconut oil, 100 grams of cortido sauerkraut.
- Tuesday 1 PM: 1 tablespoon of coconut oil, 100 grams of ghost pepper sauerkraut.
The cortido sauerkraut has some carrots, so I was concerned that those carbs might be enough to prevent ketosis. But it didn’t. At 2:30 PM, I tested Moderate ketones on the Ketostix. Victory!
Cortido Sauerkraut – Ketosis never tasted so good!