Meal Timing & Insulin sensitivity/Insulin Resistance (IR) 

IR requires two things: 
1) high elevations of insulin (what to eat)
2) persistent levels (when to eat)

When eating a low carb diet we already have the “What to Eat” down. Reducing carbs reduces the elevation of insulin. But there are two factors involved in IR. The focus of this post is the second factor “When to Eat”.


It is the time between meals when good things happen. We need to space meals far enough apart so that insulin can fall down between meals. This reset in insulin allows glycogen to be depleted from the liver and muscles which then in turn allows better uptake of glucose at the next meal. When we eat snacks between meals, insulin never is allowed to fall down and reset. This chronically raised insulin leads to IR.


Think about being in a dark room, your eyes adjust and you are able to see well enough. Then someone flips on the lights and you are temporarily blinded, but after a few minutes you are able to see just fine, you become resistant to the light and less sensitive. Now the light gets turned back off, and it is very dark and you can not see anything at all, but after a bit of time you can start to see the outline of things, you have become resistant to the dark and less sensitive. Now think about if you were in a dark room and someone turned the light on for a couple minutes and then turned it off. You would get the full affect of the light and since the exposure was brief there would not be time to become resistant to the light, you would remain sensitive to it. So the next time someone flipped the light you would be blinded again.

Hormones work in much the same way. When we eat insulin goes up, but if we allow the insulin to come all the way back down before we eat again, we stay sensitive to it. Hormones are made to work in pulses like this.

——>KEY to optimizing any fasting protocol is to still get in your protein.
What this looks like:
example 120g protein daily goal
40g meal
fast 5 hrs
40g meal
fast 5 hrs
40g meal
fast 14 hrs
Then maybe on a busier day
60g protein
fast 8 hrs
60g protein
fast 16 hrs
couple times a month
120g protein
fast 22 hrs

There are many benefits to fasting. Generally speaking, intermittent fasting is very good for human health. Humans seem to have evolved to be episodic eaters, being in the fasted state most of the time. This is perhaps why intermittent fasting significantly reduces levels of inflammation markers, promotes the recycling of “messed up” proteins (e.g., glycated proteins), and increases leptin and insulin sensitivity. It is something natural. I am talking about fasting 24 h at a time (or a bit more, but not much more than that), with plenty of water but no calories. Even skipping a meal now and then, when you are busy with other things, is a form of intermittent fasting.
**Important Points**
——>Eat all your protein
——>Allow time between meals for insulin to fall and reset
——>Do NOT stress
——>Can extend the fast as is natural and easy

Prevention of Resistance – Hormonal Obesity XII

The Perils of Snacking – Hormonal Obesity XIII

An intermittent exhaustion of the pool of glycogen in the human organism as a simple universal health promoting mechanism.

Intermittent fasting as a form of liberation

What is Snacking Anyway

So all this talk about not snacking and waiting 4-5 hrs between meals, WHAT exactly is considered snacking?

–> Not enough protein to reach leucine threshold of 3.2g-4.4g leucine. Any “meal” that does not reach this leucine threshold IS A SNACK!

Whenever protein is consumed in quantities less then needed to reach this threshold, the protein is used as simple calories.  However, by reaching this threshold you trigger Muscle Protein Synthesis (MPS). Triggering MPS calls on energy similar to exercise as its a very energy demanding process in the body.

#2 How long since you last ate?
–> Time between meals is significant for many reasons & in my mind “meals” less then 4hrs (5 is better) apart is a snack, EVEN if leucine threshold is met! Why? Well if you do not allow sufficient time between meals for plasma leucine levels to fall & ATP (energy) levels to rise MPS will not be triggered & the protein will be used as simple calories same as if not enough protein was eaten in the first place!

For optimized fat burn, lbm gains & blood sugar control eat meals with no snacking, as defined above!!

Further study and sources:
Dr. Layne Norton presents on Refractory Phenomenon

The need for Protein throughout the day

The Truth About Protein: How Much And How Often?
Written By Dr. Layne Norton

Prevention of Resistance – Hormonal Obesity XII

The Perils of Snacking – Hormonal Obesity XIII

~ Fate ~

Do you ever feel like things just fall in place? When that happens I cant help but just go with it! And this is how I’ve been feeling lately. I feel almost like I’m in a whirlwind with everything happening and clicking along.

When I first decided I wanted to compete, I had set a goal for 2016. Then after chatting with a friend decided winter of 2015/2016 would be the new time frame. On and off over the last few months I’ve tried to look for shows close enough for me to show in, but not really having any idea where arey are held or what exactly to search for, I never really came up with anything. Then one day the details of a show just kind of fell in my lap, by rather inexplicable means. So I went with it. Even though the show was a little further away then I first wanted, it just felt right. And I couldnt ignore the circumstances of how I came to find out about it.

So with a set date in mind it all became more real. All of a sudden my mind was whirling around with all the details. I would need I prep coach, and likely a posing coach, what should I do with diet between now and contest prep? So I started looking around at coaches. Talked to some people for ideas and suggestions. One of the names brought up, I figured was way out of my price range. I figured what the heck I’ll contact them and see maybe it wont be as expensive as I thought! Well it turned out to be not quit twice what I figured I could afford BUT I thought what a fantastic learning opportunity it would be and the complete comprehensiveness of the service provided I felt was worth it & I would find a way to make it work. And it so happened there was an opening on April 19th.

As I was talking with someone about the cost of coaching, they mentioned to set something up for sponsors. I had not thought about that at all. Thought it was a great idea & so I got that done. And I’ve gotten some great sponsors already! And warms my heart with sincere appreciation of these individuals!!

Looking back on these last couple weeks, I can’t help but wonder if there is such a thing as fate? These pieces have all just kind of fallen in place. And I’m getting more excited all the time!

If you havent yet I would appreciate it if you were willing to help me out with a sponsorship! All sponsors will be featured in a sponsors post & sponsorships over $20 will reseave a free copy of my upcoming Meal Planning & Prepping ebook in appreciation!

Need Sponsors

Hello everyone! I have an amazing opportunity to work with Menno Henselmans for the next 6 months until my show in October NPC North Star. I am looking for sponsors to help cover this cost, which is substantial. All sponors will be featured in a sponors post on my blog and sponsorship of $20 or more will receive a free copy of my meal planning & prepping book that is coming out soon!

Become Sponsor Here

I am grateful to everyone that has helped me thus far and to all those that support me in the future!

Exciting News!! Meal Planning and Prepping Book coming out soon!!

Everyone stay tuned I am hard at work putting together an ebook that goes into detail how to set up your macros into different types of meal plans. How to fill those macros with foods with work sheets to help you stay organized. A food list with Protein, Fat and Carbohydrate content along with leucine!!  I am getting excited the closer to release we get!! Here are a couple of snap shots of the content!

teaser 2teaser photo


Ketogenic Basics


Macronutrients – Fat, Carbohydrates, Protein – these are best measured in absolute amounts in grams NOT percent.

Protein- Most important macro(1.5g-2.5g/kg lbm ~or~ .8-1.2g/lb lbm). Aim for mid to high end of range for weight loss up to 3g/kg ~or~ 1.4g/lb LBM is still ketogenic. Not only is this total amount of protein a day very important but also the pattern of intake can have dramatic results as well!  For increased fat burn pattern your meals with at least 45g of protein each with meals 4-5 hrs apart and no snacking. This pattern of intake maximizes MPS (Muscle Protein Synthesis). MPS is very energy demanding and is equivalent to about 1/2 hr of exercise.

Carbohydrates – Keep carbs low generally under 20-50g a day

Fat – Fat can come from either the plate or the body.  And the amount from each is going to depend on if you are in weight loss or maintenance. In weight loss, you want to keep fat equal or lower than protein, but not lower in grams then kg lbm a day. Once in maintenance, you raise the amount of fats you are eating until you stop losing weight, keeping carbs low and protein the same.


GRAMS vs %

Always create your diet using grams of the macros, not percent.  Percent can be very misleading and confusing.  Protein needs stay constant throughout the phases of weight loss to maintenance, carbs stay low, and it is only fat that fluctuates with weight loss.  When you track or base your diet off of percent, it does not take this into account as all macros will change with any change in calories or the adjustment of one of the macros. Also in weight loss, Total Energy Expenditure (TEE), has to be taken into account – NOT just total food intake as your body is also getting calories from the stored body fat you are losing.

Weight loss VS Maintenance VS Medical Intervention

Why Are you doing Keto?

The Ketogenic Diet is not a weight loss program unless you tweak it to be one. High dietary fat is for medical/maintenance/athletic performance where you want weight to be stable. This is what the diet was designed for, (back in the early 1900’s to treat epileptic children) and is intended for; hence the high fat macros you see published. For weight loss … it’s lower dietary fat … until you reach maintenance … then you increase fats to the higher amount to stop losing weight.

Minerals – Electrolytes

During the induction phase of a Ketogenic Diet, most people experience a horrid “flu” that often makes people believe from the start that it isn’t right for our bodies.  The flu is a manifestation of your mental and physical dependence on carbohydrates and the body is essentially going through a phase where it has to learn to use fat as fuel. Keto flu can be treated by replenishing your electrolytes.

The flu-like symptoms should dissipate in a few days or weeks. But be warned: For as long as you eat low carb, if you don’t take care to get enough sodium, potassium and magnesium (a.k.a. electrolytes) in your diet, you may experience fatigue, muscle twitching, headaches, muscle cramping, and in severe cases, arrhythmia. Leg cramps may be the most common sign that your electrolytes are out of balance.

Even if you go out of your way to eat lots of table salt, and foods containing potassium and magnesium, you may find you need to take supplements.

The minimum mineral requirements are:

Salt (sodium) – 2-6g
Magnesium – 450mg, preferably in the form of magnesium malate
Potassium – Eat potassium-rich foods, and as long as you are getting enough salt and magnesium you should not have to supplement potassium. If you feel you need to supplement potassium, please only do so under the care of a doctor.
Most of us will not reach these suggested totals with food alone, but there are several ways to ingest extra electrolytes:

Drink 1 or 2 cups of bouillon or broth daily
Add salt to your food
Add a teaspoon of salt to a large glass of water and drink it
Take a magnesium suplement

Adequate Protein Intake – And Why It Matters

Gluconeogenesis is the formation of glucose by the liver, from non-carbohydrate sources, such as amino acids. Gluconeogenesis is demand driven NOT supply driven! IN everyone! In those that have “sugar”sensitivities, the liver among other organs are dysfunctional. When you base protein intake on dysfunction, then all you will ever do is support that dysfunction. Instead, you need to feed your body the protein it needs so that the liver and other organs can heal and optimize! Gluconeogenesis will happen if your body needs glucose NO matter what amount of protein you are eating. It’s just that if you are not eating enough protein to support gluconeogenesis, then your body will break down lean body mass (LBM) in order to get the amino acids it needs.  Catabolizing muscle and other LBM like organs and bone is what is happening. Gluconeogenesis is good and needed when a person eats low carb. It is very energy demanding and the body does not perform it  unless absolutely necessary. There is a threshold around 3g/kg (1.4g/lb) LBM where protein will start to be burned for energy before fat. Not burning fat, not making ketones. So in this way protein consumption in excess can interfere with ketosis, but NOT because it turns to sugar!

For more information:
Dr. Stephen Phinney – ‘Achieving and Maintaining Nutritional Ketosis’

Dr. Stephen Phinney – ‘The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living’

Nutrition Forum – Dr. Donald Layman, PhD

Dr. Layne Norton presents on Refractory Phenomenon

The need for Protein throughout the day