The BioRhythm diet comes from Borge Fagerli, who was interviewed on the Mountain Dog Website. The author did a extensive research on studies to see if there were times of the day when you body was better able to handle certain macro-nutrients over other times.
The past knowledge was that people are more “insulin sensitive” (meaning carbs get absorbed better) in the morning after 8 hours of sleep. This is technically true, but for both muscle and FAT. This means that when you eat carbs in the morning carbs and fat are getting a split amount. It also means that fat can also be “insulin sensitive”, not good. The ideal situation is to make muscles very insulin sensitive and fat very insulin resistant. This is what this diet attempts to do, so that muscles suck up carbs to build muscle and fat gets nothing.
Recall De Novo Lipogenesis (carbs turning to fat) is inefficient in humans, but if carbs are eaten in high amounts then the dietary fat you eat isn’t allowed to perform its function and is sucked into fat storage. The problem is people need a lot of dietary fat for health, muscle and fat burning purposes. By eating carbs in the morning, it puts a lock on fat burning and shuttles fat into storage UNTIL the body processes the carbs, but this process takes a while.
One major study the author used looked at diets that contained the exact same macro-nutrient split and calories. One group ate 70% of their carbs in the morning and the other ate 70% carbs at night. The group that ate most carbs in the morning lost more weight, but 30% of it was muscle. The night eating group lost less weight, but only 7% was muscle. Very interesting considering it was the EXACT same diet, just eaten at different times.
I like keeping things as simple as possible, so without going too much into specifics, here are the main points of the diet:
- Spread your protein evenly through the day.
- Eat most of your dietary fat in the morning with trace carbs from veggies, high fiber fruit and incidentals from other sources. (keep carbs under 10-30g per meal and make sure protein is always balanced or slightly higher than carbs)
- Eat Omega 3’s throughout the day, with each meal. When these fats get stored, the basically tell the cell to burn more fat and store less.
- Eat the majority of carbs at the end of the day with trace amounts of fat.
- If you resistance train earlier in the day, drink a shake with 20-40 carbs and 10-30 grams of protein. This will help reduce cortisol and set you up for muscle building.
Pretty simple template, but below I’ll tell you the reasoning behind it:
- By eating higher fat in the morning you set up the metabolism for higher fat metabolism during the day. LPL enzyme is higher in the morning (LPL burns fat), so fat is more likely to be burned when eaten earlier then when eaten at night.
- By eating high fat at night especially with carbs you increase fat storage and elevated insulin levels reduce insulin sensitivity.
- By eating carbs in the morning, your body switches from burning fat to burning glucose. This increases fat storage, especially high fat meals for the rest of the day. (More fat you eat gets stored rather used for energy)
- By eating carbs at night you increase leptin (very important fat burning hormone). This increases fat burning through the night and the following day. Carbs also release feel good neurotransmitters that induce sleep, especially when eaten in high amounts. (Since most people sleep at night, the timing seems to be correct)
- Insulin sensitivity is highest in the morning (both in muscle and fat) and become more insulin resistant at night. Insulin resistance in fat is a good thing. In muscle its bad. How to keep fat insulin resistant, while muscle insulin sensitive? – Exercise and more specifically resistance train at some point in the day. (closer to night would be more optimal, but its not necessary to get results)
Sample Meal Plan (Updated):
- Maintenance stats – Weight 180 lbs; Calories 2600; Protein 180 grams; Fat 75 grams; Carbs 300 grams
- Fat Loss stats – Weight 180 lbs; Calories 2000; Protein 180 grams; Fat 75 grams; Carbs 150 grams
- Muscle Gain stats – Weight 180lbs; Calories 2800; Protein 180 grams; Fat 75 grams; Carbs 350 grams
- Recomp Stats – Weight 180lbs; Calories 2450; Protein 180 grams; Fat 75 grams; Carbs 265 grams
For Fat Loss or Muscle Gain the structure stays exactly the same, the only meal that changes is the dinner meal
- (7pm) Coffee with half and half and splenda
- Meal 1 (9:30am) – 2 Scoops of Elite XT Protein Powder with nut butter and berries / Fish Oil (3)
- Workout (1 pm) (have an apple if I feel like I need it, I usually don’t)
- Meal 2 (2pm)- 6-8 ounces of meat, 3 hard boiled eggs, cheese, some vegetables and 30-50 grams of carbs
- Meal 3 (4pm)- Quest Bar and 1 scoop of protein powder with berries and almond milk
- Meal 4 (7:30pm) – 6-8oz lean meat, vegetables and the rest of my carbs in either White rice or Sweet Potatoes
- I usually have around 30grams of incidental carbs that add up in the low carb meals and 40 grams of carbs at lunch, so make sure to subtract that from your totals before eating your final meal.
- Also be careful with white potatoes in the evening meal, as they are very filling and sometimes its hard to finish your meal.
- If you dont mind gluten, bread and pasta are pretty good sources of carbs in the evening meal and dont fill up your stomach to bad (Although I eat white rice most often)
- This is by far one of the best diets I have done from an energy standpoint. Even when calories were the same, moving them around in this fashion gave me way better energy, no cravings during the day and really good results.
- The recomp numbers listed above is something I have been doing recently. Its essentially muscle gain calories and fat loss calories averaged out to achieve both at the same time. Another way to think about it, is total maintenance calories with 15% deficit. Its just enough of a calorie deficit to burn fat, but enough calories and protein to build muscle.
- Here recently I’ve doubled the post-workout carbs from 40 to 80 grams and have noticed improved energy and strength in the gym.
- Oatmeal and bananas are rich in melatonin, which is perfect for a restful night sleep. Having a big bowl of oats with banana may sound like a good breakfast, but eating it a night is highly recommended.
As you can see the morning has trace carbs, but isn’t at zero. Dinner contains lean meat, but the fat intake isn’t zero either. By eating the large amount of starch at night and it sets you up for some incredible sleep quality.
Bottom Line– By eating in this fashion, you can maximize nutrient partitioning by sending food straight to your muscles and avoiding fat gain. The carbs at night set you up for sleep and the dietary fat during the day keeps energy levels rolling along and fat burning going strong. This is still a balanced diet it just places macronutrients in the most advantageous points in the day.