Jake's Formula for
Optimal Health and Longevity
Jake's Formula is simply
A. Low-Carb Real Foods Diet
B. 12-3-4 way of eating
C. Regular Exercise
D. Sufficient Rest at Night
If I were to tell you I don’t feel hungry even after fasting for 16 hours, would you believe me? Not only that, I can run for 1 hour in the morning after fasting from my dinner at 6pm the day before and still won’t feel hungry until 10am. My hunger pangs go away within 10s, unlike previously when I was not on a LC diet where I would feel the sugar low symptoms, sometimes shivering with hunger. How is this possible?
Once you go on a LC diet for 2 weeks and more, you will slowly become fat adapted and your body will be burning fat for energy. Our body has unlimited stores of fat compared to only 4g of glucose (a teaspoonful only) in our blood and some glycogen in your liver (100g) and muscles (400g) in a healthy 70kg person. (REF A) Excess glucose is all converted to glycogen or fats. Our liver will produce the glucose that the body needs via gluconeogenesis. As such, there is really no need to eat any carbohydrates.
REF A Wasserman D. H. (2009). Four grams of glucose. American journal of physiology. Endocrinology and metabolism, 296(1), E11–E21. https://doi.org/10.1152/ajpendo.90563.2008
Avoid the following
Sugar and Bad Carbs Avoid foods with added sugar, fruit juices, refined carbs such as bread, pasta, noodles, rice, cereals, pastries and starchy vegetables such as potatoes.
Vegetable Oils Avoid oils refined from seeds such as sunflower, grapeseed (canola), corn. Use olive, avocado, coconut oil for cooking. Butter and lard are good alternatives too.
Processed Foods Anything that comes in a package with more than 3 ingredients. Pay particular attention to sugar (any form), refined flour, additives.
Take the following
Good Carbs Choose from the full variety of non-starchy vegetables such as leafy greens and tomatoes. Limit your intake of non-seasonal fruits that are sweet. Berries are fine. Avocado is the best.
Start with 12-3-4
Start with 12 hours of fasting from dinner to breakfast which can be done easily because of the night sleep.
Do not eat any food 3 hours before bedtime so that your food has enough time to be digested and at least 50 % emptied from the stomach. This will reduce acid reflux (GERD) when you lie down to sleep.
Take a maximum of 4 meals a day. This includes the 3 main meals and 1 snack. Eating more meals a day in smaller portions will keep your insulin levels high and result in insulin resistance.
You may slowly increase your fasting window to about 16 or 18 hours by skipping either breakfast or dinner and reduce your meals to twice a day, eating them within a 6 to 8 hour window. This works well for people who are obese or have diabetes.
The main component of my formula is low-carb. Intermittent fasting is secondary. How LC you want to go depends somewhat on your carbohydrate tolerance and how over-weight you are and whether you have an existing chronic illness. If you can’t tolerate much carbs, it is better to stay under 50g of carbs daily. If you are healthy like me, you may go up to 200g a day but I choose to remain below 100g to remain fat-adapted. If you are obese, you might want to stay below 50g to lose weight faster.
For more information on Low-Carb, head on to DietDoctor.
Intermittent Fasting (IF)
We are not meant to eat whenever we are hungry. Fasting has many benefits, such as
- renewal of cells by stimulating autophagy
- keeping insulin levels low
- keeping blood glucose low
- slowing aging and disease processes
- reducing body fat and weight
- more consistent levels of energy throughout the day
What I love about IF is the flexibility. You don’t have to do it daily to reap the benefits. You tailor IF to suit your daily schedule. If you wish to do a longer fast like 16 to 18 hours, you may choose to skip breakfast, lunch or dinner. Doing IF 3 to 4 days a week is good enough. Some people choose to do a longer fast twice a week. I would recommend starting with 12 hours, which can be easily done from dinner to breakfast, and progressing to longer fasts if you can. The most popular IF duration is 16:8, 16 hours fast, 8 hours eating window.
You can’t do IF by going High-Carb. Your body will be using glucose for energy and once it’s depleted, you will feel hungry. Your switch to burn fats is not turned on automatically because you are not fat-adapted. It takes about 2 to 12 weeks on a low-carb diet to allow your body to become fat-adapted.
To find out more about IF, proceed to https://www.dietdoctor.com/intermittent-fasting for a primer. There is no need to sign up anything there, as you can get it for free here. You may also find out more about IF from YouTube videos. Search for Dr Jason Fung.
Minimal Restrictions, Maximal Results
My daily practice according to my Formula is:
- Low-Carb – 1 slice of bread in the morning and half bowl of rice for lunch, 3 servings of non-starchy vegetables, 1 serving of fruit. My family does not eat rice during dinner. The real foods I consume are all kinds of meat, liver, fish, prawn, eggs (6 daily including yolks), non-starchy vegetables, dairy, olive oil, butter.
- I do IF during weekdays for about 15 hours fast from 6pm to 9am. I have 3 main meals and a snack in the afternoon within the 9 hrs eating window.
- I exercise in the morning for about 30 mins (cardio) before breakfast and 30 mins strength training in the evening.
- I sleep for at least 6 hours at night with an hour of nap during late afternoon.
I don’t do more extreme diets like a carnivore diet where all plant-based foods are eliminated, the exact opposite of a vegan diet where all animal-based foods are not allowed. I love to eat a variety of food and believe that all REAL foods are beneficial to our bodies as our ancestors have relied on them for so many centuries. Since I can achieve optimal health with my formula now, there is no need to consider more restrictions. As such, you need to do a bit of experimentation to see which foods your body can and cannot tolerate.
Ketogenic diets are stricter in the sense that they are trying to achieve a state of ketosis all the time. Any food that could potentially kick them out of ketosis is not allowed. Having said that, there are many people who benefit from this diet, especially those who have Type 2 Diabetes or are obese.
Cheat meals are allowed once in a while especially during social gatherings and family meals. We certainly do not want our hosts to feel bad that they did not cater to our dietary needs. Once you are LC 80% of the time, your body is metabolising fat as fuel most of the time. I have my cheat meals usually during the weekends; foods like fried chicken, local delights, murtabak/prata, carrot cake; at most twice a month for each kind.
Below is the list of foods to reduce or avoid as much as possible (Stay-Away-List SAL):
- Sugar – all forms of added sugar in food. All types of fruit juices especially those in package form. All soft drinks. Here are some labels of sugar commonly used as ingredients – syrup, molasses, sweetener, sucrose. fructose, dextrose, maltose etc.
- Refined carbs – products made from these, such as pasta, noodles, bread, pastries, cereals, white rice
- Starchy vegetables – potatoes (especially fries), sweet potatoes, yams, corn, peas, beans
- Vegetable oils and margarine – Sunflower, canola, soybean, corn, peanut, rice bran https://www.ecowatch.com/dr-mark-hyman-why-vegetable-oils-should-not-be-part-of-your-diet-1882164589.html
- Processed foods – anything in a packet with more than 3 ingredients. Trans fat is labelled as partially hydrogenated oils. Avoid any product with Sugar as first ingredient.
- Low-fat products because they replace the fats with sugar to improve the taste.
It may look like a long list of foods to avoid but the list of REAL foods is longer.
- All animal based products including the organs which are the most nutrient dense foods
- All non-starchy vegetables and seasonal fruits and all kinds of berries
- All kinds of seafood especially fish which has lots of good fats
- Use olive, coconut or avocado oil, butter, lard for cooking
- Eggs have the most complete source of proteins and fats in the correct proportion
- Whatever is not listed in above SAL foods
You can even do this on a vegan diet if you know how to supplement well but it is certainly easier to do by eating animal-based products
Insulin levels and Insulin Resistance
Carbohydrates trigger the biggest spike in our insulin levels compared to proteins and fats. This is the main reason a LC diet works well for everybody.
When you maintain your insulin at low levels by eating mainly proteins and fats, you will not get insulin resistance which causes the modern chronic illnesses such as Type 2 Diabetes, Obesity, Cardiovascular Disease and Dementia.
In fact, when you are on a LC diet, dietary proteins will not spike your insulin levels as much as when you are not on a LC diet, due to another hormone, glucagon. Dr Ben Bikman explains it very clearly here. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z3fO5aTD6JU
Summary of benefits of Jake’s Formula
- Reversal and prevention of modern chronic illnesses
- All your bio markers will improve in the right direction
- Faster recoveries from normal infections
- By keeping blood glucose and insulin low, your body will be burning fats for energy and producing ketones which protect your brain from neurodegenerative diseases
- Wide variety of real food to choose from
- Flexibility – your level of health is dependent on the amount of food in the Stay-Away-List that you manage to avoid or reduce
- Cheat meals, cheat days, even cheat weeks allowed, as long as you can get back to LC without withdrawal syndrome. Please only do this when you have attained healthy biomarkers.
Priority of Implementation of Jake’s Formula
- Reduce processed food, vegetable oils, sugar and refined carbs. Eat only real, whole foods.
- Eat mainly proteins and fats and keep carbs to less than 10% of total food intake.
- Start IF with 12 hours fast and progress to 16 to 18 hours fast. Start with a few days a week and progress to around 5 days a week. 12 hours of fast daily should be easily achievable.
- Exercise at least 20 minutes daily. Do some strength training if you are above 40.