8: Cholesterol, Keto vs. Fasting For Fat-Burning, Autophagy Causing Pain, Gastritis, Adrenal Issues, Fasting With A Gastric Sleeve

8: Cholesterol, Keto vs. Fasting For Fat-Burning, Autophagy Causing Pain, Gastritis, Adrenal Issues, Fasting With A Gastric Sleeve


Veteran health podcaster, blogger, international speaker, and bestselling author Jimmy Moore from “Livin’ La Vida Low-Carb” teams up with Toronto, Ontario Canada-based nephrologist Dr. Jason Fung from IntensiveDietaryManagement.com and Dr. Fung’s Clinical Director at his Intensive Dietary Management Program clinic Megan Ramos on this podcast dedicated to answering YOUR questions about intermittent, alternate day, and extended fasting. Jimmy and Dr. Fung are the coauthors of the 2016 international bestseller The Complete Guide to Fasting: Heal Your Body Through Intermittent, Alternate-Day, and Extended Fasting and, along with Megan, are happy to provide this podcast as an additional resource for anyone curious about going on a fast to improve their health. We love hearing from our listeners with new questions–send an email to Jimmy at livinlowcarbman@charter.net. And if you’re not already subscribed to the podcast on iTunes, then you can do that and leave a review HERE. Listen in today as Jimmy and Megan bring you the latest information about fasting and answer your questions in Episode 8.


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KEY QUOTE: “Once my weight loss began to stabilize and my body adapted, my triglyceride levels were perfect for the first time in my life.” – Megan Ramos

Here’s what Jimmy and Megan talked about in Episode 8:

Feedback from a listener:

Hi Jimmy and Megan!

You recently answered a question of mine about whether I could fast for three days on and three days off to get the autophagic results of an extended fast. I was concerned because I didn’t think I could do an extended fast because of my very physical job. Well, long story short, I completed a 26-day fast running solely on water, green tea, and KetoAide (which is a blend of water, light salt for sodium and potassium, and magnesium citrate). I felt fine, had plenty of energy, needed very little sleep, watched some scary stuff come out of my body, dropped 30 pounds, and kept off 18 of it since ending the fast. I could have physically continued to fast, but it was somewhat mentally taxing more than physically—and I just lost the will to continue it. So I broke the fast with a handful of black olives and almonds and then had a nice three egg veggie omelet an hour later. Pure bliss!

Thanks again for all you guys do! Happy Fasting!


HOT TOPIC: Does fasting raise or lower your cholesterol numbers?

Hey Jimmy and Megan,

Here’s a hot topic idea for your Fasting Talk podcast. How exactly does fasting impacts your cholesterol? I’ve heard you say how it lowered your cholesterol, but my doctor said fasting would raise mine. And he was right. I had my blood lipids drawn after a 5-day water-only fast as prescribed in The Complete Guide To Fasting and my numbers were wrecked as you’ll see in my results below. I was ketogenic in the before starting fasting, so this is a shock. I would love to hearing a discussion about this on your podcast. Maybe it only works for people with already high cholesterol levels?

Here are my numbers after fasting compared with keto:

Total cholesterol 255 — previously 197
Triglycerides 169 — previously 84
HDL 41 — previously 69
LDL 180 — previously 121

Any thoughts?



1. Is the fat-burning from a water fast equivalent to the fat-burning from being in a state of ketosis?

Hey Jimmy and Megan,

I have water fasted for 21 days and many shorter ones for spiritual reasons. I know what it’s like to have zero hunger after 3 days of no food. I have plenty of energy to walk and lift light things, but I’m not ready for eight hours of hard labor during a water fast. When I’m in nutritional ketosis, I also have no hunger but I’m able to do heavy lifting and do a full eight hours of hard labor work without trouble. I’m guessing the body fat burns better when we eat fat and protein on eating days than when we water fast. But we have plenty of stored body fat to fuel us when we fast. So my question is this: why can’t I do my normal routine that includes a very physically demanding job on just a water fast and have the same amount of energy as I experience in nutritional ketosis? It seems they are accomplishing the same thing and should work equally. What say you?


2. Does the autophagy that fasting produces cause any pain? And can that process prevent weight loss?

Hi Jimmy and Megan,

I’m currently in Day 7 of my fast and for the past three days my lower body, including my calves, quads, glutes, hips, and lower back, has been so sore that it has prevented me from getting adequate sleep. Full disclosure, these areas in particular are stressed in my daily life already. But fasting seems to make it worse. Could this pain be associated with the autophagy that is happening while I’m fasting? Could this be why I haven’t lost any weight during my fast? I’m consuming clear homemade vegetable broth made from carrots, onions, parsley, and celery over the past couple of days, so maybe there in an insulin response to consuming this. This has been a disaster for me and I’d love to hear your perspective on what might be going on. Thanks for considering my questions for your show.



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3. Is it possible for someone with gastritis to fast and will it help heal the stomach? What about medications?

Hey guys,

I have a few nagging questions about fasting I’m hoping you can help me with. So what is someone with gastritis supposed to do with fasting when having an empty stomach with this condition is quite painful? Does fasting help heal the stomach? And what about medications that require food to be taken? How do you do that when you’re fasting?


4. Is there anything different that needs to be done while fasting with adrenal issues?

Hello Jimmy and Megan,

My question is simple. Are there any special considerations that people with adrenal issues should be aware of when fasting? Thanks so much.


KEY QUOTE: “If you have a job that is physically demanding, maybe fast on the weekend and eat ketogenic during the week.” –  Jimmy Moore

5. Can a gastric sleeve make longer fasting contraindicative?

Hi Jimmy and Megan,

I had a gastric sleeve put on three years ago and I have been LCHF off and on for most of that time shifting to keto three months ago. I have been playing around with intermittent fasting since 2015 but decided to give an extended fast a go in 2017. My goal was to fast for as long as I could, but by Day 4 I started to feel nauseous and threw up after taking my salt in the morning. By Day 5 it got worse and I broke the fast. I actually felt so horrible that I called my doctor who recommended taking pain medications and rest. My blood pressure got very high during the fast and I felt so uncomfortable from this experience. Within a few days I felt better and was back to normal again. I don’t know why I reacted so badly, but was wondering if my gastric sleeve was the reason why my extended fasting attempt was an abysmal failure. Have you seen any patients in my situation who have had a similar experience? I really want to do extended fasts to experience the benefits that come from doing it.

Thanks for you help!



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The Complete Guide to Fasting: Heal Your Body Through Intermittent, Alternate-Day, and Extended Fasting
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2 responses to “8: Cholesterol, Keto vs. Fasting For Fat-Burning, Autophagy Causing Pain, Gastritis, Adrenal Issues, Fasting With A Gastric Sleeve”

  1. Loretta says:

    Hi Jimmy and Megan. I love all your podcasts, Jimmy. Thank you for all your hard work!

    I was keenly looking forward to the answer on this Episode 8 about gastritis. Obviously, because I have it, and have the same issues as the person who posted the question.

    But I was scratching my head at the answer Megan gave. Unless I misunderstood her, it would appear she confused “gas” with gastritis. She recommended carbonated water and/or mineral water to “break up the gas bubbles”. Huh??? Gastritis has nothing to do with gas bubbles, and everything to do with ulcerous spots in the lining of the stomach. It can bring on intensely painful episodes, and even spasms all along the digestive tract. If left untreated, it can erode to the point of bleeding, like a regular ulcer. I take Prilosec daily, and would love to hear about healing the stomach lining (as the questioner asked) in order to get OFF Prilosec, and also about fasting tips and medications.

    Could you double check that answer, and see if you could offer fasting advice for those of us who have gastritis? Thank you so much.

  2. Monika says:

    I have gastritis too, just was at the Dr. today. I did a 14 day fast back in March and it did not heal my gastritis, in fact it has gotten worse. I find sparkling water to be irritating for my stomach at this moment. I now have to take Pantoprazole for 14 days, which has raised my blood pressure and blood glucose even while I’m fasting right now.