T Nation

The Whiton Protocol

Not really for bodybuilding but interesting to read.

A Dietary Protocol for Optimal Health, Body Composition, Longevity, and Satiety.

Iâ??ve given in to suggestions that I name my dietary protocol so it will be easier to discuss and compare. Iâ??ve given it the uninspiring name The Whiton Protocol because itâ??s easily searchable, and because I would rather it be adopted for its merits and not because of an appealing marketing name.

The protocol arose from my time in both the paleo and anti-aging communities. In them I found that while each community had uncovered many valuable puzzle pieces there was a need for their synthesis. If you attend a paleo conference, for example, youâ??ll find people who are in great shape but ignorant of what they could be doing to live longer than a Kitavan. Attend an anti-aging conference, on the other hand, and you find people discussing all sorts of powerful and esoteric information who are nonetheless in poor physical shape. The Whiton Protocol aims to integrate their findings into a single practical and practicable protocol that offers maximum benefit, those being:

Optimal Health â?? Living disease free. Highly functional, physically and mentally.

Body Composition â?? Neither overweight, nor too thin. Lean, muscular, and attractive.[6]

Longevity â?? Slowing aging and extending life beyond todayâ??s arbitrary â??normalâ?? life expectancy.

Satiety â?? We should rarely feel hungry and may even feel more satisfied than we have ever been.

Characteristics[8]

In shorthand (or jargon), we could say the Whiton Protocol is: very high-fat, very low-carb, anti-inflammatory, cyclical ketogenic, anti-glycational paleo with pro-autophagic periodic protein restriction. But letâ??s break that into more human terms.

The protocol can be roughly described as paleo. If you donâ??t know what that means, stop now and go learn from Mark Sisson and Robb Wolf for a month and then come back.[9]

The protocol is very high in fat. We rely on fat as the primary macronutrient, composing 70% or more of total calories. We do this because, contrary to popular opinion, healthy fats may be the most innocuous of all the things we can eat. Fat is also very satiating, thereby helping to inoculate us against many of the foods we are trying to avoid.[10]

The protocol is very low in carbohydrate. Carbs are generally restricted to at or below 35g / day, not including fiber. We do this for several reasons: 1) to become lean and stay lean, and 2) to fight aging by dramatically reducing glycation â?? one of the mechanisms of aging, 3) to produce ketones, and 4) to dramatically reduce exposure to insulin.

The protocol generally allows for moderate protein consumption â?? up to 20% of total daily calories, or somewhere between 50 to 130g depending on your needs. This amount of protein allows one to pack on a satisfying amount of muscle, the appearance of which is further enhanced the lack of body fat.

The protocol avoids excess protein, because the body will just convert it to carbohydrate. It is also likely that protein inhibits the anti-aging mechanism of autophagy. Which leads us to another of the protocolâ??s important and peculiar featuresâ?¦

Once or twice each week we have a day where we consume almost no protein. There is mounting evidence that this promotes autophagy â?? an intra-cellular cleansing process that may be one of the key anti-aging mechanisms traditionally observed in caloric restriction. If so, incorporating periods of protein restriction may garner similar benefits to calorie restriction, but without the calorie restriction (and its arduousness).

Instead of a complete fast on these days, we merely curb protein consumption in favor of lots of fat, as usual, and also additional carbs.[17] This is a day for extra fruit, half a sweet potato, and maybe that glass of wine. And because we are only temporarily restricting protein and continuing to eat loads of fat, we are still able to put on muscle and keep it, winning us a much better physique than the CR practitioner can achieve.

The Plan:

5 to 6 days / week â?? High-fat, very-low-carb, moderate-protein

Eat a satisfying high-fat paleo diet (70% or more of total calories as fat), moderate in protein (20% or less), and low in carbohydrate (10% or less). Pay little attention to overall calories as the dietâ??s satiating qualities mean you will rarely eat excessively.

Menu: meat, fish, eggs, vegetables, coconut (milk, cream, oil), butter, heavy cream, olives, avocados, fruit (esp. berries), pickles, sauerkraut, macadamia nuts,[22] coffee/tea.[25]

1 to 2 days / week â?? High-fat, moderate-carb, very-low-protein

Eat a satisfying high-fat paleo diet (~70% fat), with more carbs if you like (up to ~150g). Restrict protein to under 3% or ~15g. This means that, instead of fasting, you still get to eat most of whatâ??s listed above except for the foods in blue, which contain too much protein. Foods in green can still be eaten, but in moderation, because they have small amounts of protein that will add up throughout the day. Use a tool like cronometer to track them as you eat.[35]

The most effective way to restrict protein is still up for debate. Some advocate shorter, but daily, restriction periods of 18 hours. This can be cleverly achieved by consuming all oneâ??s protein between noon and 6pm. Unfortunately, we donâ??t know at this time whether 18 hours of reduced protein consumption is sufficient to induce autophagy and, if so, for how long. It may be, for instance, that autophagy takes sixteen hours to initiate, in which case it is only occurring briefly at the tail end before we halt the process with protein consumption. My preference, then, is to restrict protein for a full day such that, including sleep, we achieve a restriction period of at least 32 hours. This improves our chances of and quantity of autophagy.

This then is my proposed protocol for achieving excellent body composition; reaping the benefits of fasting, while feasting; and eating as much as we want, just not whatever we want; while enjoying what we eat and feeling satisfied all the time. This is, to my knowledge, the most ideal dietary strategy available at this time. I will continue to update and modify it as new evidence becomes available.

[6] I should add here that while I enjoy physical play, I want to minimize the amount of exercise that I have to do. I and others on this and similar protocols, find we can put on and keep a satisfying amount of muscle with less than thirty minutes of light exercise each week. For example, I got a six pack on this protocol without situps, just by holding â??plank positionâ?? for 90 seconds 2x/week.

[9] Paleo: The short of it is that if you avoid: grains, gluten, legumes, dairy, fructose, omega 6â?²s; and embrace: wild / pasteured meats and copious amounts of healthy dietary fat; you will lean up, pack on muscle, feel great, and avoid the western diseases.

[10] I am part of a growing movement rejecting the notion that dietary fat is bad, instead adopting the nearly opposite belief that of all things that can be consumed healthy fats may be the most benign. See this earlier post for my personal results (warning, includes obligatory shirtless health-nut picture).

[17] The additional carbs (ex. up to ~150g) also ensures we are leaving a ketogenic state several times each week which, according to many practitioners, is preferable.

[22] Whereas most nuts are very high in omega 6, macadamia nuts contain a negligible amount. Accordingly, they are now the only nut I buy. Yes, they are more expensive. Cancel your cable service and make the switch.

[25] I usually kick off a day of autophagy by skipping breakfast and having a satisfying mug of protein-free butter-coffee.

[35] Ex. Protein Contents
Coconut milk: ~1g per .25 cup
Avocado: ~1g per half fruit
Heavy cream: ~1g per .25 cup
Sweet potato: ~1.1g per half tuber
Chard (cooked): ~1.5g per half cup

*carbohydrate may inhibit CMA by inhibiting ketone production, but if so we are likely getting lots of CMA on our other days.

John Kiefer just started doing podcasts and interviewed this guy in his 2nd pod cast. You can find it on his site - “Biojacked 2: Autophagy with Josh Whiton”. They do discuss modifying this somewhat for physique athletes and the implications of such low protein days.

wow, almost sounds like the past 6 weeks for me.

fat 65% carbs 15-20% protein 15-20%

weekends still high fat, high carbs, very little protein as I’m eating more carb/fat rich foods.

I’ve been getting leaner as a result. Just had complete bloodwork done w/NMR (minus hormones), can’t wait to get the results. Though, wish it had been a complete 3 months.

[quote]jehovasfitness wrote:
wow, almost sounds like the past 6 weeks for me.

fat 65% carbs 15-20% protein 15-20%

weekends still high fat, high carbs, very little protein as I’m eating more carb/fat rich foods.

I’ve been getting leaner as a result. Just had complete bloodwork done w/NMR (minus hormones), can’t wait to get the results. Though, wish it had been a complete 3 months.[/quote]

How would you say you have felt overall? I’ve experimented with higher fat diets but usually end up feeling pretty gross. Maybe I’m just not doing it right.

[quote]ds1973 wrote:
John Kiefer just started doing podcasts and interviewed this guy in his 2nd pod cast. You can find it on his site - “Biojacked 2: Autophagy with Josh Whiton”. They do discuss modifying this somewhat for physique athletes and the implications of such low protein days.[/quote]

yup thats how I found it.

My fats come from grass fed beef 93% lean, macadamia nuts, Brazil nuts, coconut oil, fish oil caps. eggs. salmon.

but i am human who can pass up 1 cent Quarter LBer with cheese, after winning night at poker? (buy 1 full price second 1 cent)

I feel really good. Energy levels are great, I was intentionally upping my calories 1st 2 weeks to 2700, but have since stopped tracking, and when I do that I tend to only consume 2200 or so. I get full quick, and it’s tough for me to get enough protein. I’ve limited myself to only 1 protein shake a day, wanted to totally ditch them for a while, but 1. goes great in my morning shake 2. I would get even less protein probably. In fact, getting 130g/day is takes a lot of effort fullness wise if I only do 1 shake.

[quote]jehovasfitness wrote:
I feel really good. Energy levels are great, I was intentionally upping my calories 1st 2 weeks to 2700, but have since stopped tracking, and when I do that I tend to only consume 2200 or so. I get full quick, and it’s tough for me to get enough protein. I’ve limited myself to only 1 protein shake a day, wanted to totally ditch them for a while, but 1. goes great in my morning shake 2. I would get even less protein probably. In fact, getting 130g/day is takes a lot of effort fullness wise if I only do 1 shake.[/quote]

Have you had your stomach stapled or something? Serious question.

[quote]MAF14 wrote:

[quote]jehovasfitness wrote:
I feel really good. Energy levels are great, I was intentionally upping my calories 1st 2 weeks to 2700, but have since stopped tracking, and when I do that I tend to only consume 2200 or so. I get full quick, and it’s tough for me to get enough protein. I’ve limited myself to only 1 protein shake a day, wanted to totally ditch them for a while, but 1. goes great in my morning shake 2. I would get even less protein probably. In fact, getting 130g/day is takes a lot of effort fullness wise if I only do 1 shake.[/quote]

Have you had your stomach stapled or something? Serious question.[/quote]

LOL, nah. Here is a typical day lately without tracking calories. I’ve also cut down to 4 meals/day

Breakfast
12oz water
2 scoops Muscle Milk
1 TBSP coconut oil
3 TBSP heavy whipping cream
1/2 c Kefir
1 TBSP Cashew butter
cinnamon
1 TBSP chia seeds (separate)
1 tsp fish oil

Lunch
4oz beef
2 strips bacon
1 c veggies
2 TBSP EVOO or walnut oil

Snack
4oz chicken breast or 2 chicken sausage links
2 strips bacon
1/4 pecans
1 serving veggies and/or piece of fruit

Dinner
4-6oz fish
veggies
1 TBSP cashew butter
1 tsp fish oil

and I’m satisfied… it will deviate a little but breakfast is always the same, and dinner may sometimes be a little less

[quote]jehovasfitness wrote:

[quote]MAF14 wrote:

[quote]jehovasfitness wrote:
I feel really good. Energy levels are great, I was intentionally upping my calories 1st 2 weeks to 2700, but have since stopped tracking, and when I do that I tend to only consume 2200 or so. I get full quick, and it’s tough for me to get enough protein. I’ve limited myself to only 1 protein shake a day, wanted to totally ditch them for a while, but 1. goes great in my morning shake 2. I would get even less protein probably. In fact, getting 130g/day is takes a lot of effort fullness wise if I only do 1 shake.[/quote]

Have you had your stomach stapled or something? Serious question.[/quote]

LOL, nah. Here is a typical day lately without tracking calories. I’ve also cut down to 4 meals/day

Breakfast
12oz water
2 scoops Muscle Milk
1 TBSP coconut oil
3 TBSP heavy whipping cream
1/2 c Kefir
1 TBSP Cashew butter
cinnamon
1 TBSP chia seeds (separate)
1 tsp fish oil

Lunch
4oz beef
2 strips bacon
1 c veggies
2 TBSP EVOO or walnut oil

Snack
4oz chicken breast or 2 chicken sausage links
2 strips bacon
1/4 pecans
1 serving veggies and/or piece of fruit

Dinner
4-6oz fish
veggies
1 TBSP cashew butter
1 tsp fish oil

and I’m satisfied… it will deviate a little but breakfast is always the same, and dinner may sometimes be a little less[/quote]

Don’t know if you have any skin issues but, have you noticed that your skin is oilier? I tried going high fat for a while and my skin felt greasy with the occasional pimple after a few days. Could have been the fat ratios or that I was still eating moderate-high protein.

Nope, no skin issues.

Stool is same as well

Since it is a Paleo type diet (no grains) and the carbs prescribed are low can I assume he counts the carbs in greens.

[quote]maverick88 wrote:
Since it is a Paleo type diet (no grains) and the carbs prescribed are low can I assume he counts the carbs in greens.[/quote]

Anyone have an answer to this?

Also JF what made you get on this type of diet?

[quote]xXSeraphimXx wrote:

[quote]maverick88 wrote:
Since it is a Paleo type diet (no grains) and the carbs prescribed are low can I assume he counts the carbs in greens.[/quote]

Anyone have an answer to this?

Also JF what made you get on this type of diet?[/quote]

Few things. Self experiment with a very high fat diet, to also show my “students” that eating fat doesn’t make you fat.

Also wanted to reduce carbs, lose a little body fat, yet try to gain some weight back. However, I find even with this eating style I have to track calories or I won’t eat enough. And tracking calories/feeling stuffed all the time is not what I want to be doing right now.

Then it evolved into, well let me have a few very high carb days so I can still enjoy my pizza and cookies ;). And those days I tend to consume less protein based upon the food choices I want to eat.

[quote]MAF14 wrote:

[quote]jehovasfitness wrote:
I feel really good. Energy levels are great, I was intentionally upping my calories 1st 2 weeks to 2700, but have since stopped tracking, and when I do that I tend to only consume 2200 or so. I get full quick, and it’s tough for me to get enough protein. I’ve limited myself to only 1 protein shake a day, wanted to totally ditch them for a while, but 1. goes great in my morning shake 2. I would get even less protein probably. In fact, getting 130g/day is takes a lot of effort fullness wise if I only do 1 shake.[/quote]

Have you had your stomach stapled or something? Serious question.[/quote]

Agreed

WTF.
2700 cals? How big are you? do you do any activity in your life at all? Srs

[quote]ryanbCXG wrote:

[quote]MAF14 wrote:

[quote]jehovasfitness wrote:
I feel really good. Energy levels are great, I was intentionally upping my calories 1st 2 weeks to 2700, but have since stopped tracking, and when I do that I tend to only consume 2200 or so. I get full quick, and it’s tough for me to get enough protein. I’ve limited myself to only 1 protein shake a day, wanted to totally ditch them for a while, but 1. goes great in my morning shake 2. I would get even less protein probably. In fact, getting 130g/day is takes a lot of effort fullness wise if I only do 1 shake.[/quote]

Have you had your stomach stapled or something? Serious question.[/quote]

Agreed

WTF.
2700 cals? How big are you? do you do any activity in your life at all? Srs[/quote]

I’m a small guy, I’ll leave it at that. If I don’t force feed myself daily, then I’ve found I can do it for a few days, but if I even lose track for a few days I end up under-consuming so that within a week I tend to be at maintenance.

I’m 5’8, have been as heavy as 208 at 20% BF, let’s just say I’m much much smaller now

[quote]jehovasfitness wrote:

[quote]ryanbCXG wrote:

[quote]MAF14 wrote:

[quote]jehovasfitness wrote:
I feel really good. Energy levels are great, I was intentionally upping my calories 1st 2 weeks to 2700, but have since stopped tracking, and when I do that I tend to only consume 2200 or so. I get full quick, and it’s tough for me to get enough protein. I’ve limited myself to only 1 protein shake a day, wanted to totally ditch them for a while, but 1. goes great in my morning shake 2. I would get even less protein probably. In fact, getting 130g/day is takes a lot of effort fullness wise if I only do 1 shake.[/quote]

Have you had your stomach stapled or something? Serious question.[/quote]

Agreed

WTF.
2700 cals? How big are you? do you do any activity in your life at all? Srs[/quote]

I’m a small guy, I’ll leave it at that. If I don’t force feed myself daily, then I’ve found I can do it for a few days, but if I even lose track for a few days I end up under-consuming so that within a week I tend to be at maintenance.

I’m 5’8, have been as heavy as 208 at 20% BF, let’s just say I’m much much smaller now
[/quote]

Fasted LISS for 20-30 mins should help with the hunger… If you haven’t tried it already.

[quote]MAF14 wrote:

[quote]jehovasfitness wrote:

[quote]ryanbCXG wrote:

[quote]MAF14 wrote:

[quote]jehovasfitness wrote:
I feel really good. Energy levels are great, I was intentionally upping my calories 1st 2 weeks to 2700, but have since stopped tracking, and when I do that I tend to only consume 2200 or so. I get full quick, and it’s tough for me to get enough protein. I’ve limited myself to only 1 protein shake a day, wanted to totally ditch them for a while, but 1. goes great in my morning shake 2. I would get even less protein probably. In fact, getting 130g/day is takes a lot of effort fullness wise if I only do 1 shake.[/quote]

Have you had your stomach stapled or something? Serious question.[/quote]

F- that, lol LISS is so boring.

Agreed

WTF.
2700 cals? How big are you? do you do any activity in your life at all? Srs[/quote]

I’m a small guy, I’ll leave it at that. If I don’t force feed myself daily, then I’ve found I can do it for a few days, but if I even lose track for a few days I end up under-consuming so that within a week I tend to be at maintenance.

I’m 5’8, have been as heavy as 208 at 20% BF, let’s just say I’m much much smaller now
[/quote]

Fasted LISS for 20-30 mins should help with the hunger… If you haven’t tried it already.[/quote]

I was really hoping the extra oils would help, but I find more than 4oz of meat at one meal and I’m done. Now, I have used a trick that’s kind of the reverse of what I’ve told clients in the past, greater variety = greater consumption. so, if I put 4oz burger, then some bacon, then another protein source it’s easier. But for me to do 8 oz of beef is tough, unless of course it’s topped with some “wheat belly” buns :smiley:

Is there any additional evidence to support this type of diet (health/aging)? I guess for the physique minded a few changes may need to be made but in general.