Thursday, April 21, 2016

BioRhythm Diet - Revisited

          In light of some of the more recent podcast interviews and articles involving Borge Fagerli and Menno Henselmans, I have some highly consolidated bullet points to share, regarding details to the BioRhythm Diet / Circadian Rhythm related protocols. Following the bullet-points, I've summarized the protocol that I will personally be using from this point forward. I really encourage you to read the articles and listen to the podcasts that I have linked at the end of this post. The information therein is far too expansive to capture in a single blog-post, but I have tried my best to provide some useful take-aways that may help those already using a BioRhythm type eating pattern.

Circadian Rhythm & Meal Timing
  • Synchronize nutrient intake with daylight hours.
  • Over time intermittent fasting can desynchronize circadian rhythm.
  • Regular meal times will aid in the establishment of proper circadian rhythm.
  • Extrapolating from ‘Blue-Zone’ dietary habits: larger breakfast & lunch, lighter (lean protein & lower carb) dinner.
  • Large meals & higher calories at the beginning of the day can reset circadian rhythm and make people move more & increase NEAT.
  • Improve overall metabolic health by increasing baseline activity level, via more basic movement (i.e. - more standing + walking, rather than sitting all day).
Nutrient Timing
  • Protein should be spaced throughout the day with a double-size serving at the last meal. 
  • Protein later in the day (amino-acid surplus during sleep) has benefits pertaining to circadian rhythm.
  • The further into the evening you ingest fats, the more fats will be stored, rather than oxidized. Fats ingested earlier (during daylight hours) will preferentially be oxidized.
  • The timing of protein & carbs is much more important than the timing of fats due to fats being stored and incorporated into cell membranes, more of a long-term effect.
  • There is no magic advantage to ketosis other than appetite suppression.
  • Carbs scale with activity levels, although tolerance is very individual.
  • Most people who lift (and are otherwise sedentary) greatly overestimate carb requirements.
  • Large amounts of carbs are not needed pre-workout. Just have a fruit.  
  • Resistance training does not deplete many carbs (One study showed only 40% glycogen depletion after 15 sets per body part).
  • No need to rush the carbs in the post-workout period for the purpose of glycogen re-synthesis (for the standard weight-training population, lifting 1x/day). Stores will return to normal levels in 24hrs (survival mechanisms prevent glycogen deprivation). Things change with endurance training or very high volume weight-training multiple times per day.  
  • In a Fasted or Keto state, the body will still restore glycogen to ~70%.
  • There is no discernible advantage to ‘back-loading’ carbs vs. spreading them throughout the day. In fact, a high carb breakfast tends to out-perform low carb breakfast in all areas (food choices play a key role obviously, i.e.- eating eggs + oatmeal vs. sugary cereal + low-fat milk).
  • Carbs in the evening meal have a distinct effect (benefit) on circadian rhythm and can improve sleep quality.
  • Cycle calories (bulk/cut days, moderate surplus/deficit) rather than having ‘refeeds’ or super high carb days.

  • Don’t take life so fucking seriously. Live more. Play more. Do what makes you truly happy.

Ok, so after distilling all that down, here is the general protocol that I will be preceding with;
Meal Timing
  • Eat all meals between the hours of 7-9 in the morning and 7-9 in the evening.
  • Ensure enough food early in the day to have mental and physical surplus.
  • Ensure enough food around training for performance and recovery.
  • Cycle Carbs and Calories based on activity levels & hunger.
Nutrient Timing
  • Protein: 2 - 3 meals during the day (0.4-0.6g/kg), 1 larger portion in the evening (0.8g/kg+).
  • Fats taper from high to low (not zero) throughout the day.
  • Carbs taper from low (not zero) to high throughout the day.
    • If training earlier in the day, add 25-50g carbs to the meal following the workout. Consume the rest/majority of the carbs at the last meal(s).
Generic Meal Template (3 meals/day)

Breakfast – High Protein / High Fat / Low Carb
Lunch – High Protein / Moderate Fat / Moderate Carb