Intermittent Fasting – How Many Carbs A Day To Survive?

September 2, 2019

intermittent fasting how many carbs a
day do you need to survive we hear all the time how important carbohydrates are
how you will get energy from carbohydrates how your brain can’t
function without the glucose from carbohydrates but if that is true then
how much do we actually have to have and where do they come from when we’re
fasting today we’re going to dispel the myths we’re going to give you the facts
and before we’re done you’re going to understand exactly how it works so that
next time that someone tries to tell you that your brain will run out of fuel if
you go on a fast then you can relax because you know exactly how it works
coming right up hi I’m dr. Ekberg I’m a holistic doctor
and a former Olympic decathlete and if you want to truly master health by
understanding how the body really works make sure you subscribe and hit that
notification bell so that you don’t miss anything while all of the data that I’m
going to share with you is documented and very easily verified a lot of the
conclusions and a lot of the correlations that I’m sharing I have
never seen in print or in video anywhere else so I believe this is the first time
that these correlations have been presented this way lots of people know
that glucose is a necessary fuel for the brain so people are wondering where do
we get it when we’re fasting cuz we’re not taking in any glucose and when we
run out of glycogen stores we can still fast so how does that work when I set
out to do this video and I did some research I had some ideas of what I
thought I would find but I was absolutely blown away I was awestruck by
how brilliant how elegant everything about our bodies everything about our
physiology is designed and I know I can be a little bit of a geek but if you’re
even half the geek I am I think that you’ll be blown away as well so I think
you’ll like this one first I want to dispel some myths because we’ve been
told that carbs are the preferred fuel so many places you look online I say oh
well of course carbs are with preferred fuel and it’s just something that’s been
repeated so many times that a lot of people just think that’s how it is but
the fact is the truth is that your body is amazingly well adapted at using
whatever fuel you give it okay it’s good with some variety over time because only
fat or only protein or only carbohydrate only works so long so it’s good to know
how to mix it up a bit but to say that we have to have carbohydrate it’s
just plain wrong our ancestors probably had some carbohydrates in the summer
during growing season but they were probably without carbohydrates almost
entirely or mostly without carbohydrates for long periods of the year so it’s not
a preferred fuel it is a fuel the reason some people think it’s preferred is that
the body will burn it first and why is that and it won’t necessarily burn it
first it will just take care of it first because blood sugar is toxic to the
brain that’s why diabetics get these devastating side effects they get
blindness they get kidney failure they get neuropathy with amputations because
really high blood sugar destroys tissue so it’s essential for the body to bring
it down that’s why it handles it first but it doesn’t mean it’s a preferred
fuel and we’ll talk about what happens to it that it doesn’t actually burn it
it just takes care of it it converts it first into glycogen and then to fat myth
number two carbs are essential we’re told that because the brain has to have
them they’re essential because they provide energy they’re essential so
essential is something that you cannot live without it is something that your
body cannot manufacture and if you don’t add it into your diet then you will die
two examples are essential amino acids amino acids are the building blocks of
proteins and if you don’t add them in your diet on a regular basis you will
die that’s what essential mean and there are essential amino acids there are
essential fatty acids such as linoleic acid and linoleic acid your body can’t
make them so they have to be added and the diet you die without them that’s
what essential means but there are no essential carbohydrates and if I have
missed something I urge you to send me the link send me the information and
tell me which the essential carbohydrates are I would just love to
know myth number three the brain can only use glucose for fuel so it is true
that glucose is necessary for the brain it is true that the brain is more
limited in which fuels it can use because of something called the
blood-brain barrier proteins and long fatty acids can’t make it across so the
brain is more limited but it is not true that glucose is the only fuel when carbs
are in limited supply and when the body becomes fat adapted then a byproduct of
fat metabolism is called ketones so when we’re in ketosis from a ketogenic diet
or when we are fasting so we’re eating no carbohydrates then we’ll burn more
fat will become fat adapted and as much as 75% of the fuel of the energy of the
brain is derived from ketones so yes glucose is necessary for the brain but
it can do really really well on a mix of about 25 percent glucose and 75 percent
ketones and as a matter of fact lots of research are showing that the brain
behaves and performs a whole lot better with a mix of ketones and glucose than
on glucose alone so that was just clearing up a few myths and you can
verify those anywhere online it is straight out of textbooks of physiology
from Wikipedia there is no discussion there is no confusion on those now how
much carbohydrate does the brain need we said it has to have some the brain uses
20% of all your calories it’s a very very active organ it’s only 2% of your
body weight but it uses 20% your calories so let’s assume round
numbers that you’re using 2,000 calories a day for your whole body 20% of that
would be 400 calories of energy that your brain needs every day and then we
know that only 25% of that has to be glucose which makes the daily
requirements a hundred calories and 1 gram of glucose is 4 calories so when we
divide that out it becomes 25 grams so that is the number when people tell you
that we have to have carbohydrates that is true because the brain needs about 25
grams of carbohydrate was not true is that you have to add them in the diet
and that you need them on a regular basis you must have eaten food at some
point in your life that the body could convert to carbohydrates or were
carbohydrates but you do not once you have a body you do not need to add them
on a regular basis and we’re gonna explain exactly why and how that works
just to clarify because someone’s going to bring this up there is one other
tissue that can only use glucose and that’s red blood cells they don’t have a
nucleus they don’t have the mitochondria that can use oxygen so the only fuel
source for red blood cells is to take a glucose molecule and split it down the
middle in something called glycolysis which means to break glucose and in the
process they get a little bit of energy and they produce lactic acid the beauty
of that though is that the lactic acid can be recycled so the red blood cells
aren’t actually using up any precious resources they’re just redistributing a
little bit because the liver can turn this right back into glucose because the
liver can utilize oxygen and it can sort of use
that oxygen on behalf of the red blood cells and convert that lactic acid back
and the liver makes the glucose so these 25 grams are gonna come from the process
called gluconeogenesis when we don’t eat carbohydrates when we don’t add them
from the outside on a daily basis such as a longer fast then gluconeogenesis
meaning making glucose from scratch making glucose from something that
wasn’t glucose and it’s possible to do that from amino acids and from lactic
acid also known as lactate and from something called glycerol so these are
the main components that exist in the body that when we don’t eat carbs the
body can turn them into glucose so that we can construct we can manufacture
those 25 grams first we have to look at where they came from in the first place
because we said that they they exist in the body when we’re fasting in some
shape or form so we had to eat them at some point and I’m going to use
carbohydrates because they’re the ones who raised blood sugar carbohydrates get
broken down in your digestive tract they get absorbed into the bloodstream they
become blood glucose insulin is the hormone that opens the door into the
cell and guides the glucose into the cell now the cell has three choices the
cell can use this glucose it can oxidize the glucose with oxygen use oxygen and
the mitochondria to turn it into energy and on average if you’re at rest or at
very low activity you will be using about eighty to a hundred calories per
hour anything more that you ate that gets into the bloodstream is going to
have to be stored and it will be stored either as glycogen
or as fat if you eat a meal of a thousand calories and there’s some lot
of carbs in there then that meal is going to pass through the bloodstream
the blood glucose in the next couple of hours so at the end of those two hours
you will have used 160 to 200 calories the other 800 or so
calories have to be stored and you can store in the form of glycogen so
glycogen is a storage form the muscles and the liver can put away sugar in the
form of glycogen and store it and you can store about a maximum of 1500 people
are little different if you’re an athlete if you do carb loading you can
up this number a little bit but it is approximately 1,500 anything more than
that has to be turned into fat and that is where the fat on your body comes from
it is not from the fat that you eat it is storage form insulin is a storage
hormone insulin stores for future use they they are reserves now next to
really make these points clear I’m gonna get just a little bit technical but
don’t worry it’s gonna be simplified and you’re gonna get the picture you’re
gonna see why I’m doing this carbohydrates the basic unit of a
carbohydrate is called glucose and that is a ring the molecule is shaped as a
hexagonal as a ring with six corners and it has six carbons it has a carbon
molecule in each corner of that hexagon the other version of storage is fat and
when the body stores something as fat it doesn’t store it as pure fat it stores
it at something called triglycerides and this is not an exact conversion but just
to give you an idea that triglyceride it has three fatty acids and it has a
backbone of glycerol and the glycerol is a molecule with three carbons so the way
I want to think about this is that a glycerol molecule is basically half a
glucose molecule it’s not an exact conversion but the body can go through
some steps were in the end it becomes essentially the same the body doesn’t
store pure fat it puts half a molecule of sugar of carbon that can be converted
into glucose via gluconeogenesis with every triglyceride molecule so here
comes a little bit of math don’t worry about the numbers
I believe my math is correct and I have not accounted for if there is a tenth of
a percent of the triglyceride that’s converted differently and so forth we’re
going to assume that the carbons in glycerol are worth about the same as a
carbon in glucose they’re really really close so if you take glycerol and you
take a really really large number of those molecules called a mole that’s
basically roughly a 1 with 23 zeroes it’s like a billion billion billion
billion or so molecules then those molecules of glycerol are gonna weigh 92
grams and if we burn those at four calories per gram we’re going to get 368
calories out of that very large number of glycerol but for every glycerol
molecule there are three fatty acids there are three fat molecules and these
come in varying lengths but I try to find the answer of how long they are on
average but I couldn’t find that so a typical fatty acid molecule is 16
carbons long so that’s that not the number we’re going to use so if we take
three of those fatty acids they’re gonna weigh for the same really large number
of molecules they’re gonna weigh 769 grams and this is pure fat now so the
fat is converted at 9 calories per gram so we get six thousand nine hundred and
twenty-four calories from one mole of triglyceride molecules from the fat
portion so if we add this all up one mole of triglycerides will give us 860
that will wait 861 grams and give us seven thousand 292 calories so now we
get to the cool part why does the body store things as fat why is that such a
good way of storing energy what is that survival value well it can only store
things as triglycerides as fat or as glycogen but the glycogen also which is
pure carbohydrate at four calories per gram also is going to bind water at
about a two to one ratio so every gram of glycogen is going to bind to grams of
water and therefore glycogen will only give us 605 calories per pound
whereas triglycerides the combination of fat and glycerin will give us three
thousand eight hundred and forty calories that means fat is six point
three times more efficient and storing energy and if you think a hundred pounds
of fat is a lot then think about what 630 pounds of glycogen would feel like
to carry around and while we can only store about 1500 calories of glycogen we
can store almost unlimited amounts of in the form of triglycerides so someone
who’s very lean like myself are still gonna have about a hundred thousand
calories stored as fat or triglycerides and someone who is extremely obese
someone who weighs five six hundred pounds
they could have upwards of a million calories store so there’s no limit on
how much energy we can store as fat but the cat that glycogen run runs out very
very quickly all right so now we’re getting to the part that got me goose
bumps when I was doing this research so I had a drum roll but that this is so
awesome so let’s say that we’re fasting and we’re not adding any protein or any
fat or any carbohydrate we’re doing a water fast we can drink some tea and
that usual stuff and let’s say that we are burning about 2,000 calories a day
because the body still has to maintain all its regular functions we still have
to move we still have to think and and do all that stuff we still have to
repair stuff so we’re burning about 2,000 calories but it all comes from
triglycerides and if we do that we’re burning 236 grams of body fat consisting
of triglycerides in a day that’s about 0.5 2 pounds so if we go back and we
realize that one mole of triglycerides weighed 861 grams that’s almost 2 pounds
and then one pound of triglyceride is going to give us 48 point 5 grams of
glycerol or glycerin that can be turned into carbohydrates once we do the math
on that then the fats that were burning on a fast will give us exactly 25 point
3 grams of carbohydrate of things that can turn
into blood glucose for the brain which is the exact same number that the brain
needed based on the 25% glucose that it needs to run that’s not supplied by
ketones so I was always wondering where does the 75 percent comes come from how
come that the balance just happens to be that but the body is so beautifully
designed that it learned that it can use 25% glucose and 75% ketones and it needs
25 grams of fat because it can get another 25 from the stored body fat and
then I was thinking well why doesn’t the body why does it store things as
triglycerides why is it that we don’t just store the fat the way it is and
again it’s so brilliant it just fits right into all the math that we’ve been
done that particular molecule is the way of giving the body the 25 grams of carbs
that it needs my mind was blown I don’t know about yours maybe I’m a little
geekier than you are but it didn’t end quite there when we did a little more
math and we figured out how many percent of the calories does the glycerol
represents well these 368 calories compared to the fat is exactly five
percent so your body stores five percent carbohydrate stuff that can turn into
carbohydrate with the fat because it knows it’s going to need it when we burn
body fat when we have no other food it knows that’s exactly the amount that
it’s going to need to fuel the brain and then it occurred to me I had seen this 5
percent someplace before if you look at the keto recommendations the
macros of fat protein and carbohydrate that are recommended to put you in
ketosis the 5% carbohydrate that’s recommended on average is exactly the
same 5% that the body gets from burning pure body fat so when your fat adapted
that’s exactly the ball the number that the body needs I hope that managed to
blow your way just a little bit okay I think that stuff is so cool so now we
know that we do have to have carbohydrates we do need glucose but we
don’t need to eat it so the limit to how long you can fast is really based on a
few different things first how much fat do you have on the body if you are
pretty skinny hundred thousand calories of fat then you won’t last that long I
would have a really hard time going for a month or more I would get super super
skinny my body would go through some not-so-great changes after a month or so
but if you have a million calories if you have 50 70 80 hundred pounds of body
fat you could go months and your metabolism this this picture these
ratios would not be stressful to you the other factor is that you have to get
enough minerals and you have to get enough fluids so I don’t recommend
people going until your fat burns out that’s not necessarily the best way I’m
not saying that zero carbs is the best way for everybody I’m not saying that
you should fast as long as you can but I want you to understand where the fuel
comes from that you’re doing something that is natural to the body and I would
suggest that you get your body fat adapted through a low carb and a keto
diet then you start with intermittent fasting you eat fewer meals a day you go
longer between the last meal of the day and the first meal the next
so your body gets used to it it gets fat adapted and then you get some good books
on fasting you learn how this works you watch some more videos and then you can
extend the time but it’s important to know that you are safe you will not ruin
your brain you will not run out of fuel you’re not doing something unnatural to
your body I hope you found that almost as fascinating as I did and if you like
this video you’re gonna love that one thank you so much for watching and I’ll
see you next time

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