I like to experiment. I try things and see how they work on MY body.
The upside? — I learn to trust and listen to my own body’s reactions.
The downside? — I am all over the place at times.
My keto journey has been really erratic and I have not been consistent in staying in ketosis. Every time I hit a plateau (often) I get too impatient and then I fall off the keto wagon.
I fell of the wagon this summer to the tune of about 15 pounds weight increase. That ain’t good, right? I felt defeated and lost.
So, I decided it was time to get fired up again and pattern interrupt my own bullshit.
Enter — the Snake Diet.
The snake diet is a system built by Canadian athletic trainer, Cole Robinson. The purpose of the snake diet is functional fasting for healing and weight loss.
How does it work? For me — the goal is weight loss — so I’m gonna to focus on that part of the snake diet.
STEP ONE: Don’t eat (ie — fast).
STEP TWO: Drink Snake Juice (an electrolyte drink you make yourself) so that you don’t feel like shit while fasting.
STEP THREE: Get into fasting forced ketosis and keep not eating. (YOU are not eating any food but YOUR BODY is eating your fat stores and nutrient stores. I have plenty.)
STEP FOUR: When you really and truly need to eat (usually because you feel bad — not hungry) then you refeed with a healthy keto type meal.
STEP FIVE: Begin fasting again.
What does this REALLY look like and feel like?
For me — it has been mostly 48 hour and 72 hour fasts. I have done one 105 hour fast (just over four days).
When I’m in ketosis, fasting is pretty easy. The first 24 hours may have a hunger pang or two — but then I stop feeling hungry. That’s not to say that I don’t crave food. Sometimes when I see food on TV or others eating something yummy — I crave it. But I’m not actually hungry. I just drink my snake juice and carry on.
In the Facebook Snake Diet Motivation group there are many stories of people fasting on snake juice for a week, 14 days, even 28 days. (And, as Cole explains — they aren’t not eating. They are simply eating their own fat and nutrition stores.)
It’s called the Snake Diet because you are eating like a snake. One meal (not necessarily a BIG meal) and then back to not eating for days. No snacks. No nothing — except snake juice.
How does it feel? To me — it feels surprisingly easy. I have been on snake diet for 37 days as of this writing and so far — it is one of the simplest systems to DO that I have ever used. What is simpler than just NOT EATING?
I feel alert, normal energy, confident. At first it took mental strength — but now it doesn’t take much. The longer I do it, the better I feel. I can do hard things. That feels great.
Things I like about the snake diet
I get it. This seems extreme. It kinda freaked me out at first too. But I watched a ton of Cole’s videos on YouTube and followed the science he lays out and it all makes physiologic good sense.
Here’s the breakdown:
* Normal Physiology. We don’t really have to eat all the time. That’s just a cultural norm — not a physiologic norm.
* Break the Food Addiction. This is a great opportunity to release my attachment to food and rebuild a more healthy connection.
* Fasting forces ketosis. When we are in ketosis we only burn fat for fuel and have a naturally lower appetite. The “dieting” process becomes easy. I like easy.
* Autophagy. When we stop eating our bodies are able to refocus energy on cleaning up old messes. This is called autophagy (eating self). Fasting promotes healing. Rad.
* Anabolic weight loss vs catabolic weight loss. There are a few simple rules that determine whether your body will eat your muscles or not. Low calories (caloric deficit) without ketosis tends to lead to muscle loss (catabolic) along with losing fat. When you are in ketosis — you just eat fat and leave the muscles alone (anabolic). I like my muscles.
* Rapid results. This kind of hard core — all in — dietary approaches get extreme results. The snake diet motivation group has real people losing 5–10 pounds per week — and not just the first week. Week and after week. Rapid results = BIG motivation for me.
* Clear purpose and no conflict of interest. Here’s the thing -Cole doesn’t get paid. he does charge anything and he doesn’t sell anything. He is not trying to help people AND get rich. He is just passionately sharing his knowledge and system with the world. I dig it.
* Non-dogmatic science. Cole states things in the extreme (it can be a bit off putting) BUT he also is happily willing to reverse his opinion after experimenting and discovering he was wrong. Imagine that — a health guru who constantly updates what they are learning and tries new approaches. I LOVE real science (i.e. being willing to be proven wrong).
* It works for me. I have lost about 20 pounds in the past month. And it is has been pretty easy after the first week or so. I am effortlessly in ketosis and do not crave or miss foods when I am not eating. It seems pretty sustainable. Many people do a fasting approach to heal from specific conditions. I don’t have a known specific condition to heal from but I am confident that this diet will not only help me lose the weight (still have 30 pounds to go) but also help me to be a healthier me.
Things I don’t like — but I ignore.
* Cole yelling. Cole is bombastic. He does it on purpose. His goal is to jolt people out of their complacency. I get it. But also — i find it really annoying. I don’t like to be yelled out. But I like Cole anyway.
* Explaining to people that I am not eating. People get confused. And worried (oh my god — are you starving yourself? — that is not healthy!). But it has gotten easier. I just tell people I am doing a fasting protocol and they don’t usually ask many questions.
* Sleep cycle issues. In the beginning I had some trouble sleeping. I fell asleep easily but woke up too early and couldn’t go back to sleep. (I have had the same challenge when doing keto in the past.) THEN — a for a few days I was just exhausted in the middle of the day. I was so tired that I would go to my car at lunch time and just crash out for an hour. But — that seems to have subsided. I’ve been sleeping fine for the last few weeks.
So far — the Snake Diet has been a great companion or addition to a my previous experience with ketogenic diet alone. It has a lot in common with a keto approach but faster results and easier for me to keep on track while I am in the active weight loss phase.
That’s my snake diet experience so far. Who else has tried the Snake Diet or other versions of more extended fasting?
Need some inspiration?
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