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Leading Low Carb Diet Advocate Adds Intermittent Fasting To His Regime

Published on October 2, 2012,

Peter Attia, the co-founder of, has a new post on his blog, The Eating Academy, which explains how he has started to incorporate intermittent fasting into his low carb diet. It is a follow up to a post last year called “What I actually eat”. He calls his new approach IFIK – Intermittent Fasting, Intermittent Ketosis – and it follows up a number of articles we have seen recently on the possible benefits of intermittent fasting, especially in conjunction with a low carb diet…

Peter Attia courtesy of

For reasons I don’t fully understand the most read post on this blog is one I wrote very quickly and with very little thought.  I wrote it in response to a question I’m asked all the time, “What do youactually eat?”  The post, aptly titled, What I actually eat, has more than twice the traffic of the next three most read posts combined. Go figure.

After a full year in “strict” (i.e., no “cheat” days) nutritional ketosis I wanted to experiment with other eating patterns.  I had been reading about intermittent fasting (IF), and had a few discussions and exchanges with Mark Sisson and Robb Wolf about it.  Though I don’t know Brad Pilon or Martin Berkhan personally, I’d also read a few interesting things they had written.

Why the change?

My curiosity was sufficiently piqued to break a golden rule – if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

I was very happy after a year of nutritional ketosis, but I did wonder if I could improve on a few things.  For starters, as my cycling season was about to ramp up, I wondered what it would be like to weigh 75 kg (165 pounds) instead of my steady-state weight of about 78 kg (172 pounds).  I know 3 kg does not sound like a lot, but it can make a huge difference when riding up Mount Palomar, assuming one can preserve power output. I also liked the idea of not spending so much time eating.  As you probably know, I’m pretty obsessive about how I utilize the 168 hours in each week and resent anything that takes me away from my family, my work, and my training.  (This includes sleep, which I wish I could figure out a way to thrive without.)

In the end, I think Mark Sisson finally just egged me on enough to agree to at least give it try – even just one day per week.  And with that, I embarked on the next phase of my nutritional odyssey.

I decided, in early May, to start with the following protocol: one meal per 24 hours, twice a week.  On the other 5 days I consumed my usual keto-diet.  On the two IF days I would just eat one meal at around dinner time.  I still consumed normal amounts of liquids (water, coffee, tea) and supplements (see list below), with one exception – on fasting days I doubled the amount of sodium I supplemented via bouillon from 2 gm per day to 4 gm per day.

Like all nutritional changes, this one took some getting used to.  Because I exercise in the mornings, on fasting days I would get pretty hungry by about 10 or 11 am.  Interestingly, though, by about 2 pm, as my blood glucose levels would be between 60 and 70 gm/dL, I would start to feel completely fine.  In fact, by about 5 or 6 pm, just before eating my meal, I found I wasn’t really hungry.  This may have been due to the fact that my B-OHB levels were usually above 3 mM by this time of day.

Why do I call it “IFIK?”

Not surprisingly, after eating 100 gm of protein and 40 gm of carbohydrates in one sitting, my B-OHB levels would fall, often below 0.5 mM, the practical threshold of nutritional ketosis.  Usually within 24 hours I’d be back to my normal levels, generally between about 1 and 2 mM. But, the cycling in and out of ketosis was new to me, hence the phrase “intermittent fasting, intermittent ketosis,” or “IFIK.”  I guess you can see why I didn’t end up in marketing – “if-ik” doesn’t really have a nice ring to it…

More at: What I actually eat, part II – “IFIK”

NuSI launch video, obesity rates and the quest for scientific certainty

Published on September 19, 2012,

Last week we detailed news of the launch of the new non-profit organisation NuSI – the Nutrition Science Initiative - involving low carb diet advocate Gary Taubes. NuSI has now added this introductory video to its website featuring co-founder Peter Attia…

The video makes clear how NuSI aims to use science and the scientific method to help solve the issues of obesity and diabetes and how the current accepted wisdom of eat less and exercise more may in fact be at the heart of causing the problems. NuSI aims to take the guessing out of what to eat and replace it with scientifically based certainty.

There are also some frightening charts on the growth of obesity and diabetes in the US.

Gary Taubes and colleagues launch the Nutrition Science Initiative (NuSI)

Published on September 13, 2012,

Science writer and low carb advocate Gary Taubes along with colleagues has launched a new non-profit organisation called the Nutrition Science Initiative (or NuSI). The aim is to investigate (and fund) science behind what really constitutes a healthy diet in the face of the explosion of obesity and obesity-related diseases amongst developed populations across the globe. Here are some extracts from their launch website…

The problem

Americans have been working harder than ever to eat well and be healthy, but it’s not working. We keep getting fatter and diabetes rates are skyrocketing. One possible explanation is that we’re getting the wrong advice. Official dietary guidelines are not based on rigorous science. They may be contributing to the problem and doing far more harm than good.

Why NuSI?

NuSI is unencumbered by bureaucracy or by an obligation to do anything other than find the truth. We can move quickly and efficiently to execute a novel plan: harness the talents of the best scientists in the field and channel their skills into one concerted effort to generate reliable knowledge, once and for all, on the nature of a healthy diet. The time is now.

The strategy

NuSI is changing the rules of the game. We build teams of multidisciplinary researchers from independent universities and institutions, and we make it possible for them to do targeted, cutting-edge experiments that will directly address the key questions of obesity and health. We then communicate the results to all audiences. Everyone deserves the truth.

Lots more at:


This is clearly one to watch for those interested in low carb diets and you can follow NuSI on Twitter @NuSIorg


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