Insider Secrets To Multi-Day Fasting, What Kind Of Fasting Burns The Most Fat, Boosting Your Own Stem Cells, Diet Variation, Feast-Famine Cycles & More With Dr. Dan Pompa.

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Dan Pompa interview Ben Greenfield Fitness Podcast
Biohacking, Digestion, Fat Loss, Podcast

Click here for the full written transcript of this podcast episode.

Dr. Dan Pompa is one of my favorite guys to hang with.

Hailing from Park City, Utah, he is considered to be an icon in the alternative health and wellness industry, traveling across the country educating practitioners, chiropractic docs and the general public on the root causes of inflammation-driven diseases such as Weight Loss Resistance, Hypothyroid, Diabetes, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Autoimmune Disorders and other chronic conditions. He’s especially smart and well-educated when it comes to fasting, ketosis and detoxification: three topics we tackle on today’s show (Pompa was also a guest on one of my most comprehensive episodes on cellular toxicity).

He received his Bachelor of Science from the University of Pittsburgh and his Doctor of Chiropractic degree at Life University, graduating second in his class. His authority today, however, is rooted in his own personal battle, having overcome serious neurotoxic illness and heavy metal poisoning using the cellular detoxification strategies learned in his journey back to health.

During our discussion, you’ll discover:

-What Dan experienced after the exosome and stem cell treatment in Park City, Utah…11:00

-Dan’s best tips for achieving a multi-day fast, and why he fasted for six days prior to his own stem cell injections…14:15

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-Which supplements to take while fasting…17:00

-What kind of water to drink while you are fasting, and why dry-fasting burns more fat…34:00

-The best way to filter the water in your house…39:00

-The insider deep dive into diet variation and the “feast/famine” cycle…44:00

-How to follow the 5-1-1 rule for knowing which days to eat carbs, which days to eat fat and which days to fast…59:30

-Why you shouldn’t follow a ketogenic diet year round…1:12:15

-Why Dan’s children fast and how he gets kids to fast (his son fasted for 12 days)…1:15:00

-The fasting challenge with 100,000 people that Dan will be overseeing in October…1:22:30

-And much more!

Resources from this episode:

Dr. Pompa’s complete CytoDetox program with all Ben’s biohacks included

Fasting for a Purpose Facebook Group

The November seminar with Dr. Dan Pompa and Ben Greenfield – use code BG50 at checkout

Full body stem cell treatment video #1

Full body stem cell treatment video #2

Ben’s hilarious post stem cell surgery video from Facebook  

Valter Longo’s new book on fasting

My podcast with Naomi Whittel on cellular autophagy

The supplement “Bind” that Dan uses while fasting 

The supplement “Cytodetox” for cellular detoxification 

The supplement “Fasttonic” for cellular detoxification 

The organic, biodynamic FitVineWine that Ben drinks – use code GREENFIELD10 for 10% discount

KDF Whole House Water Filtration

Under sink reverse osmosis system

My interview with Dr. Michael Smith on “Returning To An Ancestral Diet”

Episode Sponsors:

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Do you have questions, thoughts or feedback for Dan or me? Leave your comments below and one of us will reply!

Ask Ben a Podcast Question

74 thoughts on “Insider Secrets To Multi-Day Fasting, What Kind Of Fasting Burns The Most Fat, Boosting Your Own Stem Cells, Diet Variation, Feast-Famine Cycles & More With Dr. Dan Pompa.

  1. Tim G says:

    How does Caffeine and BCAA’s affect a fast?

    If I woke up at 6am and had water with a mix of BCAA powder (with added caffeine anhydrous and glutamine – only extra ingredients) while I ran/biked/swam, would this negate the effects of fasting if I then waited until 10am to eat something?

  2. Nick says:

    When you do a multi day fast do you eat at night or is it strictly water only for the entire duration?

  3. Daniel says:

    Hi Ben – I have (what I think) is an out of the ordinary question for you… I have become infatuated to the world of health especially diet / longevity / living healthier & better lives and really want to help people be a better ‘them’ – Listening to yourself and this podcast along with others in the space has inspired me to contemplate changing careers at the not so ripe age of 35 from the thankless profession of finance. Not having any fitness/health background – how would you suggest someone who wants to get into this field w/o going to some sort of med school (which at my age may be late) What areas of learning to practice do you think you get the most bang for your buck? What is ‘recognized’ to the extent you would be able to help people? — thanks for all you do

    1. Check out this podcast I recorded on How To Become A Health Coach:… Once you have some sort of certification under your belt, I recommend looking into KionU for 2019 enrollment.

  4. Galen says:

    Interested in 5:1:1 is it ok to do the fasting day directly after the feasting day? I find myself not to be very hungry after a feast day and was wondering if fasting directly after is ok?

    1. It's best not to fast and then carb or protein load on consecutive days. Space these days, for example fasting on Tuesday or Wednesday and then carb or protein loading on Saturday or Sunday

  5. Nick Coetzee says:

    Hi Ben,

    How would you combine the 5:1:1 approach with seasonal eating across the year?

    My question is around the “5 regular diet days”, would you say those 5 regular days be closer to ketogenic in winter with those days changing to a higher carbohydrate in the summer?


    1. Correct. In higher carb times the one day could be exchanged with a high protein day as opposed to a high carb day. And your other day would still be a fast day. On high carb seasons I like 2-3 fast days so I get more feast famine going at that time.

  6. Conor says:

    Curious to know what you think or smoking/vaping cannabis during a fast. I often feel the mental cleanse from cannabis combines well with the physical cleanse of fasting.

    Does this break the fast, in your opinion?

    Is there benefits to combining the two?

    1. It's fine, and doesn't break the fast assuming it's not an edible, but may spark the appetite and make things tougher in that respect.

  7. C. Jones says:

    Awesome information! I am very interested in the 5-1-1 approach. Any thoughts on where I might be able to find more resources on this?

  8. Keith says:

    Ben or Dr. Pompa,

    I really want to do a 3 or 7 day water fast. I have a couple of questions. First, I have had a kidney transplant 20 years ago. Is fasting even in the cards for me? Also I have to take medication every day. Will taking medication break my fast?

    1. Keith, for someone in your situation, it's best to talk with a doctor. You could also look for advice in the Kion Community.

  9. This has to be one of my all time favorite podcasts! So much great information! Thank you for letting us be a “fly on the wall!”

  10. Larsen Daehnick says:

    How often should someone do a 4+ day fast? Monthly?

    Thank you

    1. That really depends on a lot of factors like your general health, diet, activity levels, etc… I would check out Dr. Fung's book if you plan to start making extended fasts part of your routine:

  11. Costas Tsakirides says:

    Great chat with Dr Pompa. Really interested in his theory around diet and fasting cycling. Cannot find any books authored by him which talk about this subject. Can you please direct me to any of his writings on this? (Or other authors who advocate fasting cycling?). Thanks!

  12. GeorgeN says:

    Two questions for Dr. P.

    1) How would you (or would it be appropriate) implement diet variability for someone in therapeutic ketosis for a glioblatoma (for a family member)?

    2) What do you consider optimal timing for a carb refeed in respect o exercise – strength training?

  13. Michael D says:

    Hello Ben and Dr. P, I am very interested in fasting but I am not sure how it would go with some of the prescription drugs I am on. Do you have any advice or further info on what rx’s are okay to take or not take on a fast?

  14. Carlos says:

    Great podcast!!

    I was thinking to do a water fast for 4-6 days. I am currently eating around 3000 calories/day with a bodybuilder workout routine.

    Would I expect a lot of noticeable muscle loss?


    Should I go back to eating 3000 calories after breaking the fast Or ease Into it?

    Thank you !!

    1. John Crosby says:

      Carlos, you’ll definitely want to ease into. One mistake with breaking a fast is too much volume/mass too quickly, e.g. first few meals. See my comment right below for suggestions for first few days. Though I posted them as questions, I think they stand. Over 3–5 days you can return to this caloric intake. During this time you’ll definitely want to do both a healthy protein and healthy carb refeed per comments Dr. P provided on this podcast. Again, I’d wait about three days prior to high protein or carb servings.

      Also, wait about 4–5 days before reintroducing caffeine and alcohol. Related, stop caffeine a few days before to avoid withdrawal headaches during fast. Best,


  15. John Crosby says:

    Ben and Dr. P, Hope you see this since your excellent podcast was last week. Can you please offer some guidance/suggestions about best practices for breaking a fast. This wasn’t mentioned and is critical—as important as the fast itself. Would you agree with limited protein, steamed/soft cooked vegetables with olive oil, broth, avocado, berries and perhaps sauerkraut for day 1? Then add more starchy vegetables such as squash or sweet potato, and increase food volume etc. on day 2? Wait for day 3 before meats and fish, etc?

    Also, agree that limiting calories/volume with very first meal when breaking fast is advised?

    Finally, it seems a full-spectrum, supplemental essential amino acid formula would be beneficial when breaking fast or first 1-2 days post fast since the free-form is absorbed and metabolized immediately and easily by the body compared to dietary protein.

    Really appreciate your thoughts as, well, I’m on day 1 of a five-day water fast. Thanks to both of you for your amazing contributions to this space.

  16. SlyNate says:

    How many rounds of CytoDetox, Bind, FastTonic, etc. would you recommend for a general detox. No direct conditions being treated other than mold exposure/sensitivity.

    Also, would it still be beneficial to use this trio of products to general detox without fasting? I’m not in a position to do an extended fast but wanted to do a full course of each of these products as is. I live a low toxin lifestyle and have been for years.


  17. Paul H says:


    My partner has lived with Lupus since the age of 17, now 48, is there any evidence that Stem Cell therapy would help at all? Lupus is generally known as incurable :(

    Plus have you any info on what vitamins/supplements to take or avoid as I’ve been getting conflicting answers doing my own research.

    Thanks for everything you do.


  18. Alex says:

    Hi Ben & Dr. Pompa,

    Great podcast! Can you please confirm your advice for someone looking to undertake a 5-7 day fast:

    – wet or dry (but dry is preferred)

    – pair with CytoDetox, FASTONIC, BIND (what is downside of not pairing with these supplements?)

    – EEAs and magnesium supplements / salt water is fine, but no other supplements

    Is that correct?



    1. Dr p says:

      I would not attempt a dry fast that long. Go the the fasting for a purpose group there is a link above and the videos are under announcements. I walk you through the fasting from one month out and daily throughout.

    2. John Crosby says:

      Alex, I’m not speaking for Ben or Dr. P, but EAAs have calories so technically you’re breaking the fast. Some state their value to mitigate against loss of mass. Others such as Dr. Fong believe that this is overstated and unnecessary as the body will readily restore mass upon breaking the fast and subsequent protein and carb refeeds. Best.

      1. Alex says:

        super helpful – thanks v much!

  19. Joseph Dees says:

    Hi Ben, really enjoyed this one! I have some of the first generation cytodetox (not liposomal) is it fine to take it for a month while on a normal diet and training routine? or should I save it for a fast if possible. I seem to recall you recommending cycling 2 weeks on 2 weeks off on a previous podcast too is that still your recommendation? (cant remember because I’m full of heavy metals ;) l really appreciate any advice and thanks for all the great content!

    1. Dr p says:

      Yea use it up it’s still great. Yes cycling is best. 3 on 4 off
      7 on 7 off Or. 4 on 10 off are typical cycles

  20. Kira Miftari says:

    Hi Dr P, great podcast.. there is no link in the show notes to your Face Book Fasting Group… can you pls post it here? Very interested…

    Also, have you seen good results with ppl (women, specificall6) who are somewhat underweight going on a 3-4 day fast for health reasons?

    Thnx! :)

    1. Kira, I added that link to the resources section for you.

      1. Kira Miftari says:

        Joined the group… Thnx for your replies! :-))

    2. Dr p says:

      I think they put it up. But yes very good results.

  21. Mark says:

    I’d love to get a bit more details regarding the 5-1-1…particularly an example sample menu (or types of foods) appropriate for the feast day.

    1. Dr p says:

      I have an article on my site regarding diet variation and the 5-1-1

  22. Scott says:

    What happened to the comment that disagreed with your fat recommendations and referred to Dr. Brian Peskin? Just started following you and appreciate all of the information but I also appreciate other perspectives – do you remove those comments that have a difference of opinion or did I just miss it the second time around?

    1. Scott says:

      Found it (Food and Nutrients for Brain Health) – my apologies for commenting on the wrong article and really glad to see comments are not removed.

    2. Dr p says:

      Not sure. I love different views as well. The topic of fish oil is a hot topic and many different opinions and fun to debate. I think the topic will expanded in the years to come.

  23. Gina says:


    Just wanted to say thanks for all you do to help people improve their health! I really am enjoying the superhuman food pyramid!

    I was wondering if you are a woman and trying to get into victorias secret supermodel shape what kind of advice you can give and what serving sizes in that range on your food pyramid I should follow? Also, do you recommend carb cycling to attain this aesthetic? Thanks again!

  24. Matt says:

    Well done fellas. I love the idea of adaptation and it’s totally true if you just listen to your body and your own n=1 results.

    I highly recommending checking out Naomi Whittel, the CEO of Twin Labs new book on autophagy. She’s all about intermittent protein fasting every other day. Ben, she’d be a great interview.

    1. Matt Wilson says:

      Just listened to the last five minutes of the podcast and you mention her. Going to download that one for sure.

  25. Monte Schmeiser says:


    One of my favorite podcasts. I’m an avid listener and tend to lean more on the side of the benefits of fasting. However, it would be super helpful to maybe bring some clarity to the differing viewpoints for those of us who might be confused after listening to your previous podcast with Sami Inkinen and hearing his thoughts on fasting along with Dr. Phinney’s article about the dangers of fasting. Is Phinney and Sami primarily focused on fasting just for weight loss?

    Thanks for all that you do.


    1. The primary difference. Sami is an extremely active hard charging athlete with far higher calorie turnover than, say, Phinney or someone who is relatively sendentary. Fasting is far different for an athlete vs. the average person (I get more into my own fasting "athlete" protocol in my interview with Dan Pompa here:

  26. Bill Montgomery says:

    Great Podcast! Dr. P or Ben, can you do a 3 day water fast without taking any of your supplements and still get the benefits? I have never done 3 days. Longest so far is 24 hours.

    Also, I always drink two liters of water a day whether I am fasting or not. Are you saying that it would be better to just drink when I am thirsty? I am 73 and I have heard that the thirst response weakens with age.



    1. Dr p says:

      I prefer doing at least 4 days because the body is fat and keto adapted so you most of the autophagy and stem cell benefits starting day 4. Then we like to ride it out one more day if you can. So 4 minimum
      Yes not a fan of too much water.
      And may not need the supplements they just help the symptoms some get.

  27. Nadia says:

    Thank you for this great podcast,

    I am a muslim so I do the Dry Fast for religious reasons

    It is very powerful, I tried water fast but it was not as effective as dry fast

    How we do it: we stop eating from 2 hours defore sunrise until sunset

    1 We break the fast at the sunset with dates and water, we wait 15minutes then we drink soup, sourdough bread, legumes…. we eat vegetarian with fish,

    2 Then we drink a lot of water during the night,

    3 The next meal is at 2 hours defore sunrise, We usually eat just a little, fruits, juice, nuts or salade, or sourdough brean with olive oil and tea (my favorite choice)

    So dry fasting during the day and only 2 meals and a lot of water between them,

    We never dry fast for more than 22 hours, a lot of studies have been done about dry fast in muslim countries and all doctors do not recommand fast more than 22 hours

    We’ve just finished Ramadan (dry fast for a month) I am curently continuing the dry fast for 2 more months, I already feel very well and rejuvinating

  28. Matthew says:


    I have done a few 7/8 day water fasts with great results using mostly Gerolsteiner and San Pelligrino. I recently completed a 10 day water only fast and felt like I did begin to lose some muscle mass after day 7 or 8. Should this be the case?

    I did, however, experience lasting cognitive benefits on the ten day fast that I did not get on the others.


    1. EAAs can help with that.

    2. Dr p says:

      Yea watch the videos on the fasting for a purpose page I show how to test to check your autophagy

  29. Mark says:

    Hi Dr P, did you say you did your stem cell treatment in Florida? May I ask which clinic? Or if not, could you tell us what to look for on websites for the legitimacy of clinics? I searched around and I run across scam stem cell clinics, not ran by actual MDs and want only the legit ones. Thank you!

    1. Dr p says:

      No I used dr Harry Adelson. In park city Utah. He is great

  30. Jack says:

    Hello. I am on TRT and have small concerns about a long term (3-5 day) fast, but would very much like to try one. I will disclaim by saying I know you can’t give me medical advice, but my concern is around homeostasis during a fast. I would assume natural testosterone levels would drop during a fast and come back up afterwords. Can you speculate, at least, on the safety/efficacy of a fast while on TRT? I know it doesn’t make sense that growth signals such as testosterone would be active during one. Do you think SHBG just get jacked up with down regulation of androgen receptors to compensate for the lack of nutrients coming in? Thanks.

    1. Dr p says:

      The cells become very hormone sensitive as part of the adaptation so most need less of their hormones. This is way it’s important to work with your Doc on that

  31. Anthony says:

    Fantastic podcast. Dr Pompa talks a lot about autophagy. When does the autophagy begin? for example would a 15 hour IF have any autophagy or is it just the 24+ hour.

    1. Dr P says:

      There are some studies that 15 hours you get some autophagy. I recall one at 13 hours however there are many more showing 24+

      1. Anthony says:

        Thanks Dr P. thanks again for the excellent advice. Ben’s best guest in 2018. You know your shit.

    2. Dr p says:

      There are studies showing some at 13-15 hours but it increases dramatically after 30 hours. Day 4 into 5 we see the biggest increases

  32. Steve says:

    Hi Ben. Just a quick question regarding the 5:1:1 that you discussed with Dan. Is there any significance to the order with which you designate the fasting, keto, carb days in that cycle?

    Much appreciated.

    1. Dr P says:

      No just mix it up

  33. Julie says:

    Hey Ben – Any advice on how to best fast for an upcoming endoscopy/colonoscopy? Would love advice on what to drink (if anything within the allowed items) the day before. Also, what to do the day after in order to both counter the effects of that horrid drink that clears out your system and best items to reintroduce in general? Thanks!

    1. Dr P says:

      Doctors have different protocols the day before and after so I would follow your doc on this

  34. Michael says:

    Ben, you should speak to Omax. I emailed them screenshots of what happened. When I made my purchase and clicked submit, the “thank you for your order” page was someone else’s info. A guy in Portland. Now, the credit only showed the last 4 digits, and it expired in 2017, but had they exposed someone else’s info of a recent order and with a valid credit card, if I were a hacker (and I am, just a white hat) I could easily call this guy as his phone number was on the order as well and pretend to be from Omax and read him his last 4 digits of his credit card, tell him their is a problem with it and get him to read the card back to me. Now, for several reasons, I am questioning the validity of this specific data for several reasons. First, the email is clearly fake, and I think the phone number is too, address probably is to. But that’s not the point, their system is feeding me information from their database which is not the information I should be limited to, which is my own order and account details. That tells me their is a hole in that system. Not cool on their part.

    1. I've never heard of any other issues like this with OMAX, I think it was just an unfortunate mistake.

    2. Stefanie Hilton says:

      Omax is a terrible company. I purchased a one month supply, then cancelled the autoship right away. I still got one sent to me anyway. After calling them, they claimed I never did cancel, had to pay for return shipping and I still haven’t gotten money back. This was over 2 months ago. And they were rude to me.

      1. Sorry about this! I'll definitely reach out to them and let you know what I can find out.

  35. Brian says:

    Hey Ben or Dr. Pompa,

    Question: I’ve been wanting to do at least a 3 day water fast recently as I’ve been pushing my calories to gain for too long (8 months now). However, the kicker is I’m totally dependent on caffeine (not so bad to kick) annnnd..nicotine. I’ve never smoked, but I got myself addicted to the gum as a nootropic, but now it only takes me to baseline. I tried to kick this a month or two ago, and felt so dumb I literally couldn’t form a sentence for about 3 days. Do you think that fasting would help me kick this? Or would it be an extra stress on top of my body already trying to adapt? Thanks. For context, I fast at least 14-16 hours daily and have for 5 years. Thanks.

    1. Dr P says:

      Fasting has been shown to help addiction so I would say give it a go. Continuing detox after will be a big help as well.

      1. Brian says:

        Thanks Dr. P! Unfortunately Im in the middle of the most intense portion of my master’s thesis (Nutritional Biochemistry and Biomedicine) so Im going to wait one more month until Im done with it to try this. Really looking forward to having brain independence again.

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