Peter Attia recently summarized his nutrition framework into a 1 page diagram:

Source: Link to Peter Attia’s Instagram post

Breaking dietary modifications into 3 “levers” we can pull. These are:

  • CR – Calorie Restriction
  • TR – Time Restricted Eating (often referred to as intermittent fasting)
  • DR – Dietary Restriction

Peter says that in order to avoid eating the standard american diet, you want to be pulling at least one of these levers at all times.

For most people that’ll typically be dietary restriction; avoiding sugary foods, processed carbohydrates and trans fats.

However, ideally you want to be pulling at least two of these levers. Peter says he lives most his life like this, doing the following:

  1. Restricting how often he eats, typically eating his first meal in the afternoon (intermittent fasting)
  2. Restricting what he eats; currently he doesn’t eat sugary foods, and he doesn’t eat processed carbohydrates

Occasionally, you want to pull all 3 of these levers.

Pulling all 3 levers means doing some kind of an extended fast, or a fasting mimetic diet (which restricts calories and macronutrient composition).

So let’s recap; you want to be thinkings about:

  • What you’re eating (DR)
  • When you’re eating (TR)
  • How much you’re eating (CR)

Rhonda Patrick also touches on this in her dietary approach; where she practices intermittent fasting and limits unhealthy foods such as sugar, processed foods + more.

Pulling all 3 levers at once… fasting

These days most health conscious people follow some form of time restricted and dietary restricted eating. However, what can be a big leap for people is pulling all 3 of the above levers at the same time.

This requires doing an extended fast of at least 3 days, and ideally getting up to as much as 5 days. Having done 5-day water fasts personally, I can say that they’re not easy, and you generally want to build up to them.

One useful method for building up to a long water fast, is something called the fasting mimicking diet. Pioneered by a scientist called Valter Longo – he found a way to emulate many of the positive effects of fasting – with a diet that still allows you to consume small meals each day.

Example of a meal on the ProLon diet

It’s still not an “easy” diet to follow; but it achieves many of the same benefits as water fasting, and does make the process easier. If you’re interested in experimenting with that, there is a pre-formulated meal product called ProLon that you can check out. I’ve also previously written about my experience doing the ProLon diet.

To Recap

Peter’s framework breaks nutritional changes we can make (levers) into 3 categories:

  • What you’re eating (DR)
  • When you’re eating (TR)
  • How much you’re eating (CR)

At all times we want to be pulling at least 1 of those. Ideally we want to be pulling 2 of these. Occasionally we want to pull all 3 (longer duration fasting).

To view Peter’s video on the subject, see here.

Further releated reading:

  • Dr Rhonda Patrick’s Diet – What, Why & How She Eats – link
  • ProLon Review – Pro’s & Cons – link
  • Tim Ferriss – 3 Day Fast Method Details – link
John Alexander

Posted by John Alexander

Note: Not a Medical Doctor or PhD. I'm a researcher and writer, with a focus on the subjects of health and longevity. My intent is to write about scientific research in an accessible, understandable way. If you believe something I've stated needs a reference, and I haven't done so, please let me know in the comments. Follow on: Twitter

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