Snake Diet: Initial Thoughts

I was whining about my weight in some other thread, which led to James (wetwaterdrop) linking me to the Snake Diet.

The Snake Diet is a form of intermittent fasting (e.g. 24-hour, 48-hour or 72-hour fasts, and probably longer for some mad people). The only item you are allowed to consume during a fast is “Snake Juice”, which is water with electrolytes dissolved in it. The diet’s originator, Cole, has his current recipe on the link above, but I use his old recipe since it was easier to find the ingredients:

  • 2 litres mineral water
  • 1 teaspoon sodium chloride
  • 1 teaspoon potassium chloride

I found a table salt called Saxa So-Low which happened to be that exact ratio of sodium chloride and potassium chloride, so I just add two teaspoons of it to a two-litre bottle of mineral water, give it a shake, and it’s ready. The juice tastes salty so it tricks my mind into thinking I’ve consumed something substantial. I actually quite like it. The purpose of Snake Juice is to provide the electrolytes ordinarily found in food in order that you do not experience muscle cramps while fasting. I can confirm it has been effective for that so far.

Premises of the Diet

The premises of the diet, which I have scraped together from the link above and Cole’s highly irritating YouTube videos, are as follows:

  • Humans are the only animals who eat three meals every day, and who have a “varied diet”.
    • Other animals eat when they find food and are fasting the rest of the time.
    • Other animals don’t eat a “varied diet”; they eat the same thing every day, forever.
    • Ergo, fasting and a restricted diet are actually the natural order of things.
  • Humans are the only animals who eat artificial foods they have created, e.g. refined flour and sugar, which are essentially poisons.
    • Coffee, alcohol, painkillers and other substances are also poisons which ruin your digestion.
  • As a result of a lifetime of overeating, you are a walking buffet of food which is stored all over your body as fat.
  • Hunger is the period during which fat is burned for energy.

In other words, eat less, eat the same boring things you know won’t make you ill, and embrace fasting as an active process for losing weight. When you are at the weight you want to be, only eat once per day (therefore effectively doing 24-hour fasts in perpetuity).

I also found a fascinating clip from Joe Rogan’s channel with Dr. Rhonda Patrick where she explained how fasting has been shown to kill cancer cells and reset autoimmune diseases such as type 2 diabetes. The clip has since been taken down for copyright infringement, but look for any of her videos with Joe Rogan on YouTube as they have tons of information about diet and fasting.

Is the Snake Diet Safe?

If you ask Google the above question, you will be inundated with results from mainstream doctors and dietitians condemning the Snake Diet as unsafe. I will remind you however that these are the same people who, for the last 50 years, have been telling us to eat three carb-laden meals a day, the result of which appears to be diabetes and mental illness. In other words, I’m not too attached to their opinions.

Is the Snake Diet safe? I have no idea. But it feels great for me so far, and the scientific evidence for the benefits of fasting seems to be mounting despite not yet having entered mainstream awareness.

Results

The first week, I did two 48-hour fasts back to back (so, just one meal in four days). I can honestly say it was a piece of piss. (That’s British for “very easy”.) If you’re scared of fasting, don’t be; it feels very natural when you actually do it. I lost 4kg (~9lbs) in the first 9 days. That period consisted of three 48-hour fasts, with the rest of the days being 24-hour fasts. I am tracking all my data in an Excel spreadsheet, which has the fields “Date”, “Weight” and “Meal”. I log everything I consume in the Meal column. Obviously many of the cells in that column are blank.

I took a four-day holiday to Berlin during the logging period, where I just filled in the cells with “Holiday”. I was surprised to find I had not put on any weight on my return, despite eating and drinking whatever I wanted. However, I only ate fewer than two meals per day on average while on holiday, probably as a result of my stomach having shrunk from the fasting in the days prior.

I feel good on my fasting days, and the weight loss is rapid enough to make me look forward to getting on the scales. The only downside I have had so far is that I felt a little lightheaded towards the end of the first couple of 48-hour fasts. Eating cleared this up within half an hour, though.

One of the most noticeable things about fasting is how good food tastes when you finally come to have your meal. Pleasure is amplified by roughly five times. It also seems that, no matter how big that meal is, ketosis triggers again soon after and weight continues to be lost. The main sign I am in ketosis is that I pass more water. This is because it takes a lot of water molecules to store fat molecules.

Interestingly, since I didn’t drink coffee during the first four days of this diet, my caffeine addiction disappeared completely. When I did treat myself to a coffee on day five, it blew my brain up. The crash was pure hell. Caffeine is basically a hard drug – everyone’s just addicted to it, so they are in denial about how powerful it is. I confess I did start drinking a coffee on some days after that because I am an addict and I love the rush. This led to an interesting result, however: In the past, I would have one bad dream per night. This had been going on for years and I no longer cared about it. On fasting days however, this nighttime disturbance vanished completely. Reintroducing coffee – even one cup in the morning – caused the bad dream to reappear that night like clockwork. The causality is so blatant that I am sure caffeine is the culprit. This discovery means I will probably give up caffeine completely, soon.

On the whole, fasting improved my sleep quality. I also found that I actually woke up in the morning, meaning my brain was turned on and ready to go, which is uncommon for me (I usually have to do meditation to trigger this). This occurred automatically at 7:30am each day without my setting an alarm, so that seems to be my “natural time”.

Regarding meditation, I found that fasting is neither of benefit nor hindrance. I cannot say how a beginner would be affected, though. The literature suggests that the mind should actually become slightly sharper during fasting as a result of increased neurotransmitter release.

Dealing with Hunger and Food Cravings

I think people are probably most scared of feeling hungry all the time and not being able to eat what they want during fasting. In addition to drinking unlimited Snake Juice to quell cravings, I created two approaches which dealt with hunger very effectively.

The first involves choosing to see hunger as its own active process. People normally think only in terms of “eating” and “absence of eating”. So, a weekly calendar might look like this, where ‘X’s indicate eating days:

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
  X   X   X X

The days with the X would be seen as “eating” and therefore “good”. The blank days would be “absence of eating” and therefore “bad” (or “difficult” or “horrible” depending on your outlook).

Instead, in my mind, I made it look something like this:

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday

(That is supposed to show squares for non-eating days and triangles for eating days.)

In this model, both types of day are valid. There is no “blank” day: they are both active processes. Eating is an active process. Fasting is an active process during which ketosis actively burns fat. This is to move off of “absence/need”-based thinking.

I got this idea from a similar experiment I did a few weeks ago, which was to start thinking of nighttime – “dark” – as an actual thing, as opposed to being an “absence of light”. So, I lay in bed with the lights off and focused on the black of the darkness in front of me. This brought about a relaxation response very quickly, followed by a better sleep than usual soon after. Applying the same kind of thinking to fasting seemed natural.

The second approach I took towards handling hunger was as follows. When I felt hunger, I would scan my body and find exactly where the sensations of hunger were (which was in the stomach area, unsurprisingly). I noticed that the sensations were quite “hot”, if I really got into them. I then began to visualize those sensations as a fire literally burning away fat. This made me no longer mind the sensations, and I actually came to see them as a good thing.

So, these two approaches, together with drinking the Snake Juice, have made dealing with hunger very easy. If you want to try fasting, I suggest you give them a go.

I have continued to track my results and will write an update post in a month or so.

 

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20 Responses

  1. James says:

    Nice write up, buddy of mine is on day 5 right now of a water fast. Have you tried a dry fast at all?

    • Illuminatus says:

      No, I didn’t understand the rationale behind the dry fast. Can you tell me more about it?

      I can get away without washing, though – I’m lucky enough to never smell, even wearing the same shirt for four days (not that I actually do that – just that I have, and it didn’t smell, and nor did I haha).

      • James says:

        increases the speed in which your body breaks down bad tissue/waste, due to squeezing everything it can out of your system due to lack of water.

        1 day dry fast is suppose to equal 3 days water fast.

        • Niels Larsen says:

          Do you have any scientific rationale to back up that statement? It sounds nice on the surface but nonsensical from a phsyiological perspective. Thanks.

          • James Davis says:

            its the snake diet dudes explanation.

            I don’t have scientific rationalization to back up any of my statements, if you’d like that you’ll need to talk to someone else.

  2. Pat says:

    I am going to give this a shot. The sinus problems I told you about via email have yet to go away, there definitely seems to be a link between my symptoms and food, and none of the doctors I have seen have been able to tell me anything useful about it.

    • Illuminatus says:

      Pat, I would be fascinated to hear your results. Perhaps try the 48h fast then 72h if you’re up to it.

      Interesting point I missed from the report(!): MY TONSIL STONES PROBLEM DISAPPEARED. So, I was producing around twenty tonsil stones a week (which are rank, white-green build-ups which contain sulphur dioxide and therefore smell of rotten egg). This had been going on maybe 18 months. The doctor said that since they cause no harm to ignore them. They stopped appearing around four days into the Snake Diet.

      By the way, dairy used to set them off worse than usual, and also make my mucus taste thick and sweet. Anyway, I’m hopeful the fasting will solve your sinus issue.

      • Pat says:

        Your tonsil stone situation reminds me of 1) all of Jordan Peterson’s various health problems disappearing once he started his steak-only diet and 2) something my jiu jitsu teacher recently told me about how the vast majority of doctors reallt aren’t that good and will just go through a given set of procedures for specific symptoms without looking at the bigger picture.

        • Morgan says:

          Yes, doctors are probably one of the most overrated professions out there. They rely on the conditioning we have all been given to consider doctors as “qualified experts”. In truth, they do genuinely have a lot of knowledge about a broad array of bodily processes, but in most cases they are not erudite. They are blind followers of their textbooks and the medical establishment.

          Example, doctors to this day are advising people to base their diets around carbs, that eating saturated fat makes you fat, and that eggs cause high cholesterol etc. All of this has been repeatedly disproven, an erudite doctor would know this, and would care. But the average doctor just gets his “knowledge” from the medical establishment who can’t bring themselves to admit that they have been wrong all these years. So you have masses of people operating under completely erroneous advice because “my doctor told me to”.

          The worst part is that doctors are in many cases quite arrogant, because of the social conditioning we have been given to consider them “experts”, many of them believe it themselves. They mistake the possession of a credential, for genuine erudition. You know, the kind of person who dismisses a claim out of hand because the person making it doesn’t have a “degree”, not understanding that a degree is simply a certification from an institution saying that you have achieved a certain level of understanding within a body of knowledge.. thus truth claims are to be accepted/dismissed based on their correspondence to real phenomena.. not whether the person making them has an accreditation from a certain institution.

          I think that most general practitioner doctors are slightly above average-IQ Dunning-Krugerites, to be honest. Intelligent enough to memorize a broad body of conceptual knowledge, but not intelligent enough to challenge it or advance it. Most of them are just “phoning it in” so to speak. Most of what they do is simple diagnoses of basic things like tonsillitis, flu, etc. Any exotic, hard to diagnose disease or serious injury is deferred to a more qualified specialist at the hospital. They run through a simple age/gender/lifestyle/symptom algorithim in their head.. “Old female smoker, pain in chest, refer for MRI or consultant with cancer specialist at hospital”

          Personally I think the reputation of such people needs to be knocked down a peg or two. Not totally torn down, as they do have SOME knowledge, and after all the diagnostic algorithms they run through in their heads are often CORRECT, they’re not totally incompetent.. If I get ill I would certainly go to a doctor, but definitely double check whatever they tell me to do, and grill them on their rationale. And they definitely don’t deserve the society-wide fawning and automatic deference they are given

          • Arpan says:

            Homeopathy is probably the only current western system of medicine that treats human body as a whole, rather than collection of parts to be specialized upon separately. It is interested in going to the core tendencies afflicting a person rather than just the current “disease”.
            In this way it is much closer to “spiritual healing”.
            Though the subjectivity involved demands great intuition and experience from the doctor, making it susceptible to all sorts of quackery.

            • Morgan says:

              It’s an interesting comparison, because as you point out both Western and Eastern medicine have their own problems. Western medicine being rigid and myopic, with a reflexive dismissal of anything considered holistic, and Eastern medicine with a more holistic view, but which in turn makes it more open for abuse due to the lower signal to noise ratio and ability for charlatans to just spout vague spiritualism and con people into going along with them.

              I suppose that is one benefit of the rigid Western system based upon credentialism and exam scores; you can’t con yourself into a medical degree in the vast majority of cases. You really are going to have to put a lot of work into memorizing loads of bodily processes. So while you are learning a view of the body and health that is somewhat myopic, at least you are going to become well versed within that myopic world view. Whereas with Eastern medicine you may be able to reach such a high level of meditative ability that you can control your immune system or cure your own malaria.. but that process isn’t really scalable across populations of millions

              Whereas the quinine compound, derived from a perspective of treating malaria as a distinct “thing”, and then figuring out that a specific molecule interacts with that, actually can cure malaria, and is more scalable across global populations due to the lack of a need for 20 years meditation experience as a barrier to using it.

              And we can see that with the fact that despite the extremely deep mystical traditions of the East, Western organizations still have to go over there with materialistic-world-view derived medicine to treat millions of people due to the greater scalability of it as a treatment method. Thinking about this maybe I have been too hard on Western materialistic medicine. I think the ideal is probably a combination of both, because the body is neither JUST whole , or JUST made up of component parts. It is a holistic entity but you CAN treat things on a molecular level also.

              There’s also an upper bound limit to meditation and holistic views; if you get into a bad car accident and your leg snaps off with the bone sticking out the skin, all your ligaments torn and ripped off.. you’re going to want a surgeon who is going to work on that individual part of the body with his scalpel and bone saw, materialistic-derived anaesthetic medicine, using metal plates to reconstruct your bone structure and then synthetic ligament replacements so that you will be able to walk again.

              • Arpan says:

                Agreed on the whole. However, the only issue is you have limited Eastern systems to just inner work. Which is not the case. Eg. Ayurveda as practiced to day us shorn of its more materialistic elements as ppl choose allopathy for that and only approach ayurveda for “alternate therapy”. However, if you tead Charak 0r Sushrut Samhita , they have detailed instructions on various kinds of surgery, surgical instruments and guidelines for doctors about pre and post surgical SOPs.

                • Arpan says:

                  Plus, the point about “westerners having to send medical aid to East” is not exactly relevant here.
                  Colonialism has largely drstroyed Easterm socio-economic structures and there are issues of illiteracy, poverty etc which cause problems of scale.

                  3rd point being: meditation is not really a large part of sysyems like Ayurveda. Infact that is the schism between the Yoga school and Ayurveda school. What yoga tells in terms of 5 pranas , ayurveda discusses in terms of 5 material elememts.

                  • Morgan says:

                    The issue of scalability is that, let’s say that it is possible for an Eastern shaman type guy to develop the ability to externally heal other people. Well, he is a physical being and is limited to operating on the people in his physical vicinity. Not to mention the fact that to become THAT guy you are going to have to dedicate yourself for many years to a spiritual practise or theological system, whether it is meditation or using the sacred geometry of the 5 ayurvedic elements. So a country with a population of India is going to need hundreds of thousands, possibly millions of these advanced shaman/yogi people

                    Whereas the invention of a chemical compound that operates on the molecular level only requires one highly intelligent person to invent/discover it. And then there is a system of medical engineering and global shipping logistics that allows that compound to be promulgated to every corner of the Earth

                    Meaning that the chemical compound solution to something like malaria is always going to be more scalable than Eastern healing, even if colonialism had never happened, just due to the nature and reproducibility of innate chemical compounds compared to learned human healers

                    • Arpan says:

                      You did not read:

                      http://www.personalpowermeditation.com/snake-diet-initial-thoughts/#comment-161613

                      Ayurveda doctors were taught in world class universities(eg Taxila university) with a well codified system. One example being Buddha’s personal physician Jeevak.

                      Also, to add to the comment-link I posted:
                      Eastern systems developed millenia ago and should have had a headstart, if not distupted by muslim/european invasions. Modern allopathy is very recent and has advantage of modern mechanical advancement of this age and hence better diagnostics.
                      By “specialization on parts” i didnt mean to criticise treatment of specific parts but to treat an organ as an object of research in isolation.

  3. Nick says:

    It’s not quiet the same, but I’ve done the 5:2 diet since last April. I’ve lost 40llbs in weigh, and lots of aches and pains have disappeared. Skin’s clearer and energy levels are through the roof. On semi fasting days, I have my 600 calories for my evening meal; so I regularly go 18-24 hours without eating. Incidentally most GP’s are not authorities on nutrition, they only touch upon it, at med school. Nutrition is a specialist field within itself.

  4. Jasdeep Tiwana says:

    I am starting to lose faith. can anyone tell me what they have actually accomplished?
    Is thier anyone who has ended suffering? And no not anyone from the past i want someone here now who has accomplished it.
    And if so what method did you use.

    • James Davis says:

      Lots of people have talked about their experiences or “accomplishments” on this medium, have a look around.

      And, well no one cares what you want, whats it matter when someone did something that you want to do if they can show you how to do it?

  5. Jason says:

    I would be curious to know what your diet was prior to this fast. Our standard American diet is mostly shit, so it’s possible any change that eliminates the crap would have had great effect. Fasting may be beneficial for a short while, I have heard great things coming from it, but I’m not sure it’s very natural for us long term. Looking at the primates we evolved from, they (herbivores/frugivores) eat constantly.

    There’s mounting evidence that meat and dairy aren’t the best for us, yet we seem to consume this food in extreme excess in every meal we eat, leading to our “food coma” afterwards. Meat and dairy sit very heavy in us. Fruits and veggies don’t really cause us food comas.

    There’s a documentary on Netflix called “what the health” that is very informative and I would highly recommend to anyone who is interested in their diet.

    Also look up Dr. Garth Davis on YouTube. He’s awesome haha

    • Illuminatus says:

      >Looking at the primates we evolved from, they (herbivores/frugivores) eat constantly.

      The white race evolved separately for 50,000 years in ice-age Europe. This is conjecture as I don’t know what food was available, but I think their diet would be mostly meat with some root vegetables and fruits of the forest (berries) — in other words, Christmas dinner. 😀 This is why Jordan Peterson’s success on his beef-only carnivore diet does not sound far-fetched to me. Eating patterns would have been “whenever we found food” rather than reaching up for another banana as in the tropics. In other words, I would expect to see a difference in response to various diets between the races.

      I agree that cutting out crap is the #1 cause of positive response when switching to any restrictive diet.

      BTW I have been eating on average 1 meal or less for the last 4 weeks and have felt no downsides (in fact it is the best I’ve ever felt).

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