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


  1. Alright! Great to see a new post.

    How much are you weighing now?

    1. Hey, glad people are still reading.

      Currently 82 - 83kg.

  2. How have things been going with the template? Have you made any adjustments or are you feeling good with it as is?

    1. Running it just as stated. Works fine for me.

  3. Hey man, glad your'e still alive and kicking ;-)

    Can you clarify a couple of points for me please mate? You say you will "Eat all meals between the hours of 7-9 in the morning and 7-9 in the evening". Does this mean you fast until dinner? Because your meal template also lists lunch:

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

    I do intermittent fasting because it fits my lifestyle and allows me to eat big meals on a cut, but lately I've been breaking my fast at around 12-1pm with low carb (fruit) and high fat/protein meals followed by more fruit in the afternoon before training around 4-5pm and smashing the rest of my calories between 7-9.

    Your approach is pretty interesting for me and not a million miles away from what I've been doing.... Some clarification would be great!

    Also, how has it been working out for you the past few months? Have you noticed the benefits compared to your previous biorhythm style?


    1. The meal timing is intended to coincide with daylight hours. So for example; breakfast @ 8am, lunch at noon, supper at 7pm. Eat all meals between 8am to 8pm. I simply said 7-9 to give a range.... It doesn't have to be set in stone. I did NOT imply to skip lunch.

      I can't really say that I've noticed any additional benefits besides enjoying more carbs at all meals, rather than only in the evening as before. But I'm feeling & performing well, so things are good.

  4. Thanks for the clarification. I suppose it's all just a question of good nutrition, energy balance and solid training right? That and all of this stuff should fit your lifestyle and not the other way around. Good luck and thanks for the great blog, glad you're keeping it going.

    1. That's correct. Make those factors fit into your lifestyle.

  5. Cool, thanks for the reply. I'll give the tapering fats a try since i don't pay much attention to nutrient timing usually.