Before we touch on how Peter eats now, it’s worth noting he hasn’t always eaten this way.

For example, for 3 years, between 2011 and 2014 Peter ate a 100% ketogenic diet.

This was back before ketogenic diets really hit the mainstream, as visualized on Google Trends:

Peter was practicing the diet when it was relatively unknown, and thus he wrote a few interesting articles to help raise awareness on the subject:

He explains that whilst he no longer eats keto, it’s not because he lost confidence in its efficacy, noting:

“I was leaner, and more mentally and physically fit during this three year period [ketogenic diet] than during any other period of time as an adult, and my biomarkers were as good as they had ever been.”

For more information on Peter’s transition away from keto, see:

Current Diet

Firstly, lets just clarify what Peter’s diet is not…

  • As mentioned above, it’s not ketogenic
  • It’s not vegetarian, vegan or pescatarian
  • It’s not dairy or gluten free

Peter’s current diet can simplified into 3 “rules”:

  1. Time Restricted Feeding
  2. Avoid Sugars, High Fructose Corn Syrup & Junk Food
  3. No Restriction on Healthy Starches and Vegetables

1) Time Restricted Feeding

At the low end, Peter fasts between 14 – 16 hours each day, and at the high end, he fasts between 20 – 22 hours. Essentially meaning he fasts for most of the day, and eats all his calories in a tight window between the afternoon and evening. From what he describes, this means some days he will be eating one (big) meal per day (often referred to by the acronym OMAD).

A Cell paper illustration shows the benefits to pre-diabetic patients who adopted a smaller eating window. With blood markers trending in a desirable direction. Notably Peter adopts a late eating window, rather than the early one discussed in this paper.

2) Avoid Sugars, HFCS & Junk Food

Peter makes sure to avoid foods containing sucrose (sugar) and high fructose corn syrup (HFCS). These are often in non-obvious places such as sauces and dressings, for food that would otherwise be healthy.

He also works to avoid obvious junk foods such as potato chips, cookies, pastries etc.

Everything in moderation, including moderation. Peter understands the need to enjoy life, as well as optimize it. These pics of gelato and pizza are from his trip to Italy – via IG (1) & (2)

3) No Restriction on Healthy Starches & Vegetables

Peter doesn’t place restrictions on healthy starches such as rice and potatoes. Likewise, no restrictions on vegetables.

Peter prepping for an evening grill, before and after- via IG (1) & (2)

 

Left – Peter about to enjoy a bowl of Venison stew and vegetables (via IG) Right – Peter about to enjoy a large bowl of salad w/ fruit (via IG)

 

Peter doesn’t do strict keto normally, but when he does, these are the sorts of things he buys – image via IG

What does one of Peter’s meals look like?

If Peter’s eating once a day, which he does from time to time, he eats about 3,000 calories in 1 meal. It’s usually a combination of:

  • A huge salad – Such as lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, mushroom Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO), freshly squeezed lemon, salt, and pepper
  • Protein – He rotates through salmon, pork, steak or game meat
  • Carbohydrates – A serving of rice, potatoes or sweet potato

The above meal is an example taken from a podcast with Kevin Rose. Of course, he isn’t always eating 1 meal per day, but he does generally aim to delay eating until at least lunch time / early afternoon.

…So that’s essentially “it” for Peter’s day-to-day diet. Or at least I’ve covered as much as I currently understand. It may also be of interest to peek at this post I wrote on Peter’s nutrition framework. Which provides a nice mental model for the way he thinks about diet.

Fasting

Peter currently water fasts for 3 consecutive days each month. Research by Valter Longo and others show fasting benefits include:

  • Decrease in visceral fat (the “bad” fat located around the organs, as opposed to subcutaneous fat, that’s visible under the skin)
  • Increase in cellular cleanup (autophagy) around day 3
  • Lowered IGF-1
  • Decreased blood glucose and insulin

Up until the end of 2019 Peter was doing a 7 day fast once every 3 months. His process comprised of:

  • 7 days of a ketogenic diet prior to the water-only fast
  • 7 days of water only fasting
  • 7 further days of keto after the fast

However, for 2020 he does a 3 day fast once per month, without the strict keto diet either side. He made the switch for 2 key reasons:

  • 7-day fasts are intrusive on life.
  • During the 7-day fast, it was typically day 2 where he saw a big shift in his glucose/ketone levels. With glucose normalising, and ketone production ramping up. Therefore he anticipates 3-day fasts will capture some of this important metabolic change.

So far Peter has found the 3-day fasts:

  • Significantly easier than 7-days + he never feels as though he’s “dragging” like he does at points on 7-day fasts
  • Allow for a higher exercise tolerance, due to less glycogen depletion. Meaning he won’t have to dial back the volume/intensity of his workouts each quarter

During the fasting period it’s water only. – and for Peter this means plenty of his favourite carbonated water drink – Topo Chico:

Peter with Topo Chico (via IG)

Supplements whilst fasting?

In AMA 11 Peter discussed his approach to supplements whilst fasting. He continues taking:

  • Magnesium – he takes magnesium oxide and Magnesium L-threonate when not fasting. When fasting, he switches out the magnesium oxide for a slow absorbing form of magnesium (Slow-Mag), then continues to take Magnesium L-Threonate.
  • Methylated B vitamin complex – Peter takes these all the time, fasting or not fasting.

He stops taking:

  • EPA/DHA – he takes about 2g daily of EPA/DHA normally, but whilst fasting he stops. Skipping the ~20 calories or so it would contain.
  • Rapamycin – He stops taking rapamycin whilst fasting because he is already getting natural mTOR inhibition via the fast.
  • Metformin – He doesn’t take metformin anymore, however when he was taking it, he would stop whilst fasting.
  • Sodium – on his 7 day fasts he would supplement 2 grams of sodium via bouillon. However, for 3-day fasts he doesn’t add sodium and feels good. But suggests that others may benefit from sodium whilst fasting, especially if they don’t fast regularly.

Fasting Mimicking Diets?

For those interested in emulating something like Peter Attia’s 3 or 7 day water only fasts, but aren’t quite as extreme, the ProLon fasting mimicking diet may be of interest (I reviewed it here).

Peter has also discussed using a custom fasting mimicking diet with his clients. However he hasn’t (that I’m aware) shared the specific details. As noted in his tweet below, two of the key components are calorie restriction and low protein.

Final Words

Hopefully the above gives you a window into Peter’s diet (past & present). I’ve also written about Peter’s supplements and exercise routines:

If you’ve got any questions or comments, please leave them below.

Lastly, this seems like a good opportunity to mention Peter’s subscription service – with which I have zero affiliation – but am enthusiastic about.

For an annual fee, it gives you access to his detailed show notes & “Qualys” series, which are short (<10 minute) highlights from the back catalog of podcasts.

This is a great way to support Peter’s continued time spent on the podcast, as well as make sure you’re getting all the latest and greatest info.

Posted by John Alexander

Hi, I'm John, a researcher and writer.

With a keen interest in health and longevity.

Note: not an MD or PhD.

Hope you enjoy the site. If you've suggestions for content you'd like to see - let me know.

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments