The Secrets Of Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine Diet, Does A Morning Cup Of Coffee “Break Your Fast”, The Circadian Clock & Much More!

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Dr. Satchin Panda is a professor at the Salk Institute, La Jolla, California, and author of the new book “The Circadian Code: Lose Weight, Supercharge Your Energy, and Transform Your Health from Morning to Midnight”.

Dr. Panda is a frequent speaker in international conferences on metabolism, exercise and chronic diseases. His research focuses on how circadian clocks regulate behavior, physiology and metabolism. His discovery of how a blue light sensor in the eyes affect sleep-wake cycle, depression and alertness is leading a new revolution in managing light to improve health. Recently he discovered that maintaining a daily feeding-fasting cycle – popularly known as Time-Restricted Eating (TRE) – can prevent and reverse many chronic diseases.

Like most people, you probably wake up, get hungry for meals and doze off in bed around the same time every day. If you’ve ever experienced jet lag or pulled an all-nighter, you know that this schedule can easily be thrown off kilter. But for some people, that imbalance—difficulty sleeping at night, hunger at odd times, or sudden fatigue at noon—is a constant. If you're one of those people, Dr. Panda, one of the leading researchers on circadian rhythms, has a plan to reset your body clock.

Beginning with an in-depth explanation of the circadian clock—why it’s important, how it works, and how to know it isn’t working—he outlines lifestyle changes to make to get back on track. It's a concrete plan to enhance weight loss, improve sleep, optimize exercise, and manage technology so that it doesn’t interfere with your body’s natural rhythm. Dr. Panda’s life-changing methods show you how to prevent and reverse ailments like diabetes, cancer, and dementia, as well as microbiome conditions like acid reflux, heartburn, and irritable bowel disease.

During our discussion, you'll learn:

-About TRE, and how it's related to the circadian code…6:25

  • You're mindful of your first and last calorie of the day; you want to intake calories within a set period of time each day.
  • Why it's a time restriction, as opposed to a caloric restriction.
    • TRE is more practical for the modern lifestyle than to restrict the food you eat with no time restrictions.
    • Lab tests showed that mice ate the same amount of calories with TRE as without.
    • Tests involving humans have shown that TRE has resulted in improved overall health.
    • Good news for people who are tired of constantly being “cold and hungry” while trying to live a healthy lifestyle.

-The truth about Hugh Jackman's “Wolverine” Diet…10:30

  • Ate a lot of protein in an 8-9 hour window; resulted in putting on a lot of muscle for Wolverine.
  • TRE is becoming a trend among Hollywood actors.
  • Many bodybuilders are using TRE; it's simply more practical and easier on the body.
  • It's difficult to ascertain what is the best mode of TRE for each individual. Best to discover for yourself through trial and error.

-How TRE affects endurance sport athletes…18:00

  • Tests have been conducted on mice, not humans thus far.
  • Question was: will mice lose endurance when they have a small window of time for eating?
    • Mice eating an unhealthy diet on TRE far outperformed mice with the same diet with no time restrictions on eating.

-What is the optimal timeframe when utilizing TRE?…23:45

  • Most American adults eat more than 12, even 15 hours per day.
  • The easiest (and healthiest) way to start incorporating TRE is to eat a later breakfast and an earlier dinner.

-Why Dr. Panda believes that drinking a cup of coffee “breaks a fast”…29:30

  • Most people put cream and sugar in their coffee. Black coffee is preferable.
  • A dependence on coffee to “get going” in the morning is an indication you're not getting enough sleep.
  • By “fasting” Dr. Panda is referring more to resting your organs than not consuming calories.
    • You can't repair a highway with traffic on it.
  • Coffee can “reset” the circadian clock. A cup is akin to being exposed to an hour of bright light.
  • After noon, coffee affects your ability to have deep, restful sleep at night.

-About “Zeitgebers” and how you can use them to reset your circadian clock…38:30

  • We have “clocks” throughout the body.
    • Light affects the “brain clock.”
    • Changing your eating schedule is a more powerful way to reset your circadian clock.
  • Jet lag occurs more often after lunch. Eat a big breakfast, a smaller lunch or no lunch, and a good sized dinner.
    • This may differ depending on your physical activity.

-The best time of day to exercise…43:50

  • Late in the afternoon.
  • Our ancestors had to get home (run) before dark. We've adapted to exercise better in the afternoon.
  • “The circadian advantage”: A West Coast based NFL team playing Monday Night Football on the East Coast has an advantage because of the time difference.

-About “bi-phasic” sleep. Is it true that our ancestors would sleep, then wake up in the middle of the night, then go back to sleep?…48:00

  • “Common” does not equate to “normal.”
  • Our ancestors weren't as busy as modern people. We have a tighter window in which to sleep.

-Ways to enhance your oxygen availability while flying, and reduce jet lag…53:10

  • Use a nasal device to expand your nostrils.
  • Ayurvedic medicine: counter the dryness of the air with oils.

-Why it's a bad idea to take melatonin right after eating…56:20

  • “Evening diabetes.” The pancreas doesn't produce as much insulin.
  • Give yourself at least an hour after waking up before eating.
  • How to reset your gut clock.

-Dr. Panda's take on blue light blocking glasses…1:12:15

  • You don't want to reduce blue light during the day.
  • There are options to block screen glare for the daytime hours.

-Dr. Panda's project called My Circadian Clock (…1:16:00

-And much more!

Click here for the full written transcript of this podcast episode.

Resources from this episode:

-Book: The Circadian Code: Lose Weight, Supercharge Your Energy, and Transform Your Health from Morning to Midnight

The Rhinomed Turbine nasal dilator breath aid (can wear on airplanes)

-Book: Change Your Schedule, Change Your Life

Ra Optics code: BEN10

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Joovv Photobiomodulation therapy. Use the referral code BEN at checkout and they'll send you some cool, Joovv-branded swag for free!

Do you have questions, thoughts or feedback for Dr. Panda or me? Leave your comments below and one of us will reply!

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10 thoughts on “The Secrets Of Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine Diet, Does A Morning Cup Of Coffee “Break Your Fast”, The Circadian Clock & Much More!

  1. Matt says:

    I am still confused on black coffee. Does a cup of black coffee (nothing at all added) really start the window? I have heard conflicting views from many experts.
    Do you personally start your timing with black coffee?

  2. Rob Pandolfo says:

    Im curious to hear Ben, or any others who TRE everyday. If im eating dinner around 6-7 and then having a cup of bone broth followed up by a cup of organfi GOLD between 830-930pm, how does much does this impact the fasting window. I know there are calories in both, but im wondering how those type of calories impact both a mitochondrial level, and a glycemic index. thoughts?

  3. Thanks for another incredibly informative podcast Ben!

    My question is in relation to digestive enzymes. Dr Panda, based on your recommendation of waiting 1 hour after waking to eat, does this also apply to digestive enzymes?

    Keep up the amazing work!



    1. According to Dr Panda, avoid anything but water in the morning. This allows your melatonin level to naturally decline according to your circadian clock.

  4. Sonia says:

    Hi Ben and Dr Panda,

    I waited and waited through the whole interview for someone, anyone to mention the H word.. if I’m awake at 5.30/6am and I’m hungry.. like HUNGRY and then I have to wait an hour or so to eat – at which point I’ve probably yelled at a few people on my “light morning jog” because my blood sugar is dropping rapidly and my cortisol is rising.. then I eat and I finish food by 7pm….. and then if I’m just v slightly hungry around 9.30/10pm but I go to sleep anyway.. and then guess what happens.. my sleep doesn’t get better.. in fact, I wake up at 2am with a cortisol spike!

    Please, please ask and answer the relevant questions… thanks for next time.

  5. David Willoughby says:

    Most of the time I eat between 10-6. I generally don’t get sick as long as follow my specific diet which satisfies all my nutrient requirements. When I eat what I normally do I generally only need 7 hours sleep a night. As in wake up without an alarm. I don’t do caffeine at all and barely use sugar. Whatever is in my almond milk and yogurt. After the podcast I will even move my supplements to after 10 and I will see if I notice a difference.

  6. Eric Anderson says:

    I have a different question about supplements. Do they also change your circadian clock in a negative way? I’ve heard Dr. Panda say in the past, and he sorta says it in this podcast, too, that whenever you swallow anything, ANYTHING, it sets your circadian clock. So for me, I have to take a thyroid medication as soon as I wake up in the morning, about 6am. I eat all my calories between 12-6p. But then I have to take some sleep aids right before I go to bed around 10:30p. Obviously the sleep aids before bed are way outside the 10-12 hr window. They are non-caloric, but my digestive system, particularly the liver, still has to deal with these substances. It seems Dr. Panda is saying this keeps the digestive system “awake.” So are my bedtime supplements having a deleterious effect on my circadian rhythm? Does one have to stop taking supplements outside of your eating window? If so, how do you take a morning waking medication/supplement and a bedtime medication/supplement without violating the TRE window? Have there been any studies to include this kind of supplementation and it’s effects on circadian rhythm?

  7. stephan says:

    time period to take medicines, does this apply to supplements as well (in general)

    so, can it be said that taking supplements in the evenings is better for their bio availability and potency?

    1. Dr. Panda explained that there is an optimal time for different supps/drugs. Here are a couple articles that may help you develop a starting point. and…

  8. Dale says:

    Thank you so much for all the wonderful podcasts.
    I have started changing some various habits and
    cant wait to see courses I can take and help others.
    I would even work for you at no cost. Thanks Ben…

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