T Nation

Hibernation Diet?

I was wondering if anyone has ever come across the concept of the Hibernation Diet conceived by 2 Scottish nutritionists, The idea revolves around you going to bed with you liver directly fueled via fruit or honey in order to aid recovery and burn fat.

The diet claims that if you go to bed with your liver fueled it will stop your body releasing stress hormones during the night fast and therefore allow your body to burn excursively fat, for a more detailed FAQ check the blog above

This diet has been getting positive press recently and the science if valid seems like it could work…

I was interested in what some of the nutrition experts like John Berardi think about this, but anyone please feel free to critique and give your 2 cents on the topic…

Bump someone must hav something to say about this, I think this could spark a very interesting debate,

ShadOW

[quote]shadowmoses wrote:
I was wondering if anyone has ever come across the concept of the Hibernation Diet conceived by 2 Scottish nutritionists, The idea revolves around you going to bed with you liver directly fueled via fruit or honey in order to aid recovery and burn fat.

The diet claims that if you go to bed with your liver fueled it will stop your body releasing stress hormones during the night fast and therefore allow your body to burn excursively fat, for a more detailed FAQ check the blog above

This diet has been getting positive press recently and the science if valid seems like it could work…

I was interested in what some of the nutrition experts like John Berardi think about this, but anyone please feel free to critique and give your 2 cents on the topic…[/quote]

Very interesting indeed. Do you happen to have a link to the study? I would be very interested to read what they have to say. I anticipate the primary resistance to this theory will come from an insulin management standpoint however if fructose is limited throughout the day and only comes in the evening I imagine it may be effective.

Look forward to the read.

Cheers,

Sasha

Bump

I always like to read about new ideas!!!

So if anyone has something to contribute…

To the OP, any webpages where I could read about it?

Eisenb

I found something quite an interesting read, I would be nice if someone who knows more about nutrition could give some input to it.

Thanks in advance

Can diet affect your brain?
You bet it can.
Cortisol is the key hormone of depression and cortisone is release during the night fast if you go to bed with a depleted liver as countless millions do.
Also cortisol attacks the hippocampus the memory centre of the brain - big time.
Chronic overproduction of cortisol must therefore be a potent risk factor for development of Alzheimer’s.
The principles of The Hibernation Diet deal with all these questions.

THE HONEY, INSULIN, MELATONIN CYCLE, (HYMN) AND ITS INFLUENCE ON RECOVERY (FAT BURNING) BIOLOGY.

If you were to stand up in a biology seminar and announce that honey activates sleep, you would risk being laughed at.
If you then further stated that, not only does honey activate sleep, but by optimally refuelling the liver prior to bed, honey promtes fat burning during sleep, you would be dismissed as confused at best, and deranged at worst.
However the veracity of both of these statements is easy to demonstrate, in spite of both being counter-intuitive.
Scientific principles are sometimes in tune with intuition (if you jump from a building you will fall down, not up), but not always.
The principles informing the Hibernation Diet are all derived from the scientific literature, some of these principles going back many decades.
Two of these key principles are both deeply counter-intuitive.

  1. Fat is the fuel used for exercise. This is correct, (we do burn fat during exercise), but only 20% correct and with respect to body fat only 10% true. Fat is the fuel used preferentially by the human body for rest and recovery.

  2. That we should not eat late in the evening. This is a myth. Failure to refuel the liver prior to bed, after an early evening meal, results in activation of the adrenal glands and the release of stress hormones, cortisol and epinephrine. These hormones inhibit recovery and recovery biology is (exclusively) fat burning biology.

In the west people are told not to eat late or they will lay down fat.
This is the direct opposite of what actually occurs.
From an early evening meal the liver depletes rapidly and by bedtime will be dangerously low.
This puts brain metabolism at risk and the brain activates the adrenal hormones.
These hormones degrade muscle and bone, not fat.
If the liver is refuelled prior to bed and blood glucose is stable during the night fast, the brain activates the pituitary gland and recovery hormones are released.
These hormones burn fat.
In the cultures where they eat late (Mediterranean), they go to bed with a fuelled liver and activate recovery (fat burning) biology.
This means that, not only are they recovering and burning body fat, they suffer less from the adrenal stress driven diseases than do we:
Hypertension and heart disease - epinephrine.
Osteoporosis, diabetes type 2, infertility, gastric ulcers, poor immune function, obesity, depression and memory loss - all cortisol driven.

What are the key principles of fuelling the liver with honey for the night fast, prior to bed?

  1. The liver is optimally replenished via fructose uptake and conversion into glucose and liver glycogen (stored glucose). Fructose allows the uptake of glucose into the liver by activating the glucose enzyme, glucokinase (The Fructose Paradox).
  2. Sleep is activated via insulin, serotonin and melatonin (HYMN Cycle - explained in the 95 Theses).
  3. With good liver plenitude and stable blood glucose the brain activates the pituitary gland to release a suite of recovery hormones.
  4. Recovery biology is exclusively fat burning biology.
  5. Release of adrenal stress hormones is prevented.

This is a new approach to weight control, weight loss and overall health.
It looks at human biology from the perspective of the liver/brain axis and recognises that the brain is at risk during the 8 hours of the night fast, if the liver is depleted prior to bed.
The brain (which has no storage capacity) demand for fuel is colossal and must be supplied with 6-6.5 grams of glucose every hour simply to survive.
To put this in perspective, the brain is 2% of the body by weight but consumes around 30% of the energy at rest.
Assuming an average calorie consumption of 2400 calories, the brain consumes around 720 calories.
If the body overall consumed the same amount of fuel on a percent basis we would have to consume some 36,000 calories per day or 36 loaves of bread.
This provides us with an indication, not only of the crtiical demand for fuel of this organ, but of the necessity of optimising its fuel supply during the 8 hours of the night fast, by optimising the liver glycogen store.

Honey is perfect for this purpose.

Honey optimises liver glycogen plenitude, prior to bed, via fructose and glucose uptake, honey activates sleep via insulin and melatonin, honey promotes optimal recovery (fat burning ) biology during the night fast, via stable blood glucose and activation of the pituitary gland, and honey promotes good health via prevention of overproduction of the adrenal stress hormones (HYMN).

Many people, including health professionals equate honey with the refined sucrose and high fructose corn syrup, which activate hyperinsulinism, fat synthesis, obesity, diabetes type 2, and cardiovascular disease.
This is profoundly mistaken.
See Below:

Journal of Medicinal Food
Natural Honey Lowers Plasma Glucose, C-Reactive Protein, Homocysteine, and Blood Lipids in Healthy, Diabetic, and Hyperlipidemic Subjects: Comparison with Dextrose and Sucrose
Apr 2004, Vol. 7, No. 1: 100-107
Noori S. Al-Waili
The benefits of honey are many, but if it can be demonstrated that honey may be shown to optimise recovery biology, that recovery biology is fat burning biology, and it can, we are on the verge of a new era in the long history of this amazing and natural product, produced by bees from the sub-artic to the tropics.
© Mike McInnes Sept 24th 006.

www.hibernationdiet.blogspot.com ha a lot of good info with some Q&A’s about the topic well worth a check out…

I would really like to see what some nutrition pro’s have to say about this topic…

Keep up the posts,

ShadoW

Bump again…this stuff has gotten me interested.

Any experts out there that would like to comment?

Eisenbeisser

Sounds like something that a honey company would come up with. But it’s still interesting.

EDIT–I am going to add this in to my velocity diet and see what happens…

I have tried this for a few months now and I can say I have felt good on it and it has allowed me to drop fat, but not to extremely low levels, but I have not been training to get to sub 10% and my body quite happily sits at about 12-14%. I have also been able to increase my strength in the gym and make good gains.

This is why I would like a real nutritionist to have a look into the theory and see what they think. DR Berardi or his fellow T-Nation pro users could really help us out here,

ShadoW

ummmmm…

Biotest doesnt sell honey

I tried this for the first time last night, and I have to say I slept pretty well.

Obviously, I don’t notice any fat loss, but it’s worth downing two tablespoons of honey before bed just for the better sleep. I felt better this morning than I have in a long time.

Interesting article can be found in the link above, the science behind the theory seems to make sense and it certainly does work in terms of making you feel good, try it for yourself,

ShadoW

I usually eat some cottage cheese with raw honey and organic peaches before bed.

I’ve been doing this for a few months now and nothing has changed in my diet.

My weight was actually going down a few pounds.
I do know that when you workout and go to bed and get into a deep sleep your body does activate fat-burning hormones.

But this is new to me.
Very interesting.
Maybe fructose can actually help our bodies burn fat.

Everyone used to say fat makes you fat,which was proved wrong.

Maybe all sugar isn’t as evil as most people would make you believe.

I agree that eating carbohydrates before bed will facilitate sleep due to increased serotonin/progesterone release which are both sedating. They also activates the parasympathetic nervous system which is involved with rest and digestion. It’s a similar mechanism through which zinc and magnesium work.

I’m not sure if I’m sold on the honey particularly other than it being a carbohydrate. It sounds like a honey - bear - hibernation marketing gimmick although I may be missing something.

This sounds like a good idea for the typical insomniac, nervous, or highstrung personality. For someone that sleeps like a baby already and/or has hypoglycemia issues it may NOT be a good idea and may exacerbate other issues.

Any more feedback, any pro nutritionists want to share there verdict on the theory,

ShadoW