What is the Snake Diet?
This is a very long article at nearly 5000 words. But even that isn’t enough to go over everything about the Snake Diet. That said, strap in and grab some Snake Juice, because this is going to be a long ride!
The Snake Diet eating schedule
- prolonged periods of fasting (48+ hours)
- eating one massive meal at the end of your fast
- drinking Snake Juice
The idea is that you don’t follow the 3 or 5 meals a day plan that most fitness professionals would have you follow. Instead, you want to go as long as possible without eating (generally 48-72 hours for most people) and then have a Snake Diet refeed (often just called a refeed) where you eat one large meal in a short amount of time.
Before we dive into the specifics of the Snake Diet, one thing you need to understand is that the way human beings eat is fairly recent. Western society has an obesity epidemic that is in large part due to the nature of massive corporations to do everything they can to generate profits instead of considering public health. They are incentivized to create food products that sell, not ones that are healthy.
The Snake Diet attempts to “unplug and reset” people’s general taste for what foods they should be eating (pun intended). It’s more of a lifestyle and a mindset than a diet, as it focuses quite a bit on discipline, hard work, and the mental toughness required to put your body through extended periods of fasting with no food.
All that said, the Snake Diet is hands-down the most effective way to burn fat, lose weight, and improve your overall level of health. No other eating schedule even comes close.
Introduction to the Snake Diet
Before we get into the details of the Snake Diet, you need to understand that what is written here (or what is said by Cole Robinson, creator of the Snake Diet) is not set in stone. Testing and experimentation are KEY to this type of lifestyle. We all have different lives, different schedules, and different fitness goals.
That said, in a general sense the Snake Diet is practiced like this:
You spend as long as possible in a fasted state, drinking only a mix of water, sodium, potassium and magnesium (an electrolyte mix dubbed “Snake Juice”). There are variations on Snake Juice recipes and they seem to change regularly.
The idea is that if you have extra fat on your body that shouldn’t be there, then your body has all the food it needs and you don’t need to ingest anything in order for it to continue to survive. While there may be exceptions for elite athletes and extremely active individuals, it’s unlikely that the person reading this fits that description. If you do, see this article.
When it finally is time to refeed on the Snake Diet, you want to consume as much food as possible in as short of a time as possible. This is often referred to as your “eating window.” In general, you want to keep your eating window as small as possible. There are tradeoffs between refeeding during day vs night which we will go over later.
Finally, know that the Snake Diet is focused on one thing: results.
It may not be popular and when you tell people that you plan to go on a prolonged fast for 2-3 days and stuff yourself full of meat in only an hour, they will probably have an opinion about it. And they will probably share that opinion with you, regardless of whether or not you want them to. And that opinion is not likely to be supportive of your choice.
If you crack under the pressure, then it’s likely that you just don’t have the desire to lose the weight in the first place. Which is fine. When you’re ready to do the Snake Diet like you should, you can come back any time.
How the Snake Diet works
In a nutshell, the Snake Diet achieves its weight loss mission by mimicking the way humans used to eat.
We mentioned earlier that the current accepted eating schedule of 3 meals a day is fairly recent. For most of our existence, food was scarce to humanity. We evolved to eat as much nutrient-dense food as we could when we had the opportunity.
Many good things happen to your body when you fast. Science has proven that mice live longer when fasted. Your body releases beneficial hormones when you fast (like growth hormone) which serve to improve your overall health.
But probably most importantly to you, you will burn any stored fat that your body has been keeping around for emergencies.
Your bodyfat is emergency fuel, not a genetic curse
One thing you need to understand about the way the Snake Diet gets results is that any fat you have is meant to be used when you don’t have access to food. That is the purpose of stored fat. It isn’t genetic. It isn’t because of your mommy or daddy. And it isn’t anyone’s fault but your own that it’s there.
Excess fat IS there because you are eating too much food and/or aren’t living an active enough lifestyle.
Without trying to make you feel bad about your weight problem, understand that the solution to your weight problem is simple: eat less.
Or better yet, don’t eat at all.
In more technical terms, when we eat our body produces insulin in order to store energy. This energy is stored in two ways: 1) sugar is stored as glycogen in the liver and 2) fat is stored pretty much everywhere else from any excess sugar that won’t “fit” in the liver.
Very interesting I know, but the point is that your body cannot burn any of the fat until it has exhausted all of the glycogen stored in your body. When your liver is always “topped up” with sugar because you are eating too often (3 meals a day is too often), any excess energy will be stored as fat.
Your body is either in a state of building muscle and fat (anabolic) or burning fat and breaking down muscle (catabolic). This is why you hear people say “you can’t build muscle and burn fat at the same time.”
While this is technically true, it depends how you define “the same time.”
Is “the same time” the same instant? Or could it be over the course of a day? Two days? Three days?
If you are fat, you are eating too much
Getting back on track, the point is that you need to understand that you are eating too much. We can sit here and quote you scientific evidence or Bible verses, but at the end of the day you only need to reach down and pinch that lip of fat around your midsection to know the truth.
If you are fat, you are eating too much. End of story.
The Snake Diet (along with OMAD – One Meal A Day) and similar eating plans challenge the conventional “wisdom” of the mainstream media and argue that we actually DON’T need to eat as often as we do.
As you can imagine, this argument gets a lot of flak from the mainstream media because
- they are afraid of hunger
- they’re worried that they will be legally accountable when some idiot starves themselves into looking like a Holocaust victim
- they don’t want to anger their audience (mostly unintelligent people who are incapable of nuanced thought), and
- there are billion dollar industries supporting them (food, weight loss, Big Pharma)
When you fast for an extended period of time, your body will burn through any excess glycogen you have in your liver (and your muscles as well) and only then turn to burning any fat that you have stored.
As mentioned before, there are a host of additional benefits to fasting like extended lifespan, hormone regulation, and wound healing that we’ll go over in another section.
What is the Snake Diet fasting routine?
This question gets asked a lot, and unfortunately the answer is… it depends.
While there are many variations of the Snake Diet, in essence it comes down to three things:
1. Don’t eat
2. Drink Snake Juice (or don’t drink/eat anything – also called “dry fasting”)
3. Repeat steps 1-2 until you are at your target weight with refeeds every 48-72 hours
While it’s certainly possible to fast for longer periods of time if you feel up for it, in general most people fast for 48-72 hours and then have a refeed.
If you are extremely obese, then you have the option to fast for longer. If you are already lean, then you will have trouble fasting for so long.
Can you exercise on the Snake Diet?
Yes, you can exercise on the Snake Diet. The mainstream fitness community would have you believe that if you don’t get your 30 grams of protein in under an hour after you are finished exercising, then somehow your body won’t be able to process that protein and turn it into muscle.
Think about this logically for a second… does it make sense that your body would set a timer for 60 minutes, and at 61 minutes essentially say to itself, “oh darn, no protein. It’s okay, I didn’t even want it anyway.”
It’s completely ridiculous, but one trend you’ll notice with the mainstream fitness/medical community is that they tend to err on the side of caution when it comes to their “advice.”
Don’t be fooled into thinking that they have good intentions here either. The real reason they tell you to drink 8 glasses of water a day, stay in bed and rest when you have the sniffles, and eat 6 meals a day is because they don’t want to get sued. They know that if they tell you to fast for a few days, some idiot out there will starve themselves for three weeks and die of starvation and then they’ll get sued.
Getting back to the point, when you do the Snake Diet, keep it simple. Stop eating. Drink Snake Juice. Eat every few days.
What are Snake Diet Refeeds?
Again, when it comes to refeeding on the Snake Diet, once size does not fit all.
The word on the street from the Snake Diet Wizard himself is to eat veggies and lean meat at a 4:1 ratio, although I’ve also heard a 2:1 and 1:1 ratio. Experiment and find what works for you.
That said, please use common sense. If you’re extremely fat and sedentary, eat less. If you’re on the leaner side and more active, eat more.
There are a few options when it comes to food choice during refeeds. Obviously lean meats are the most popular as they tend to have the highest nutrient profile (most vitamins/minerals per 100g) of all foods.
Food recommendations for Snake Diet refeeds
- Liver – this has the highest nutrient profile of any food on the planet. Liver is number one when it comes to giving your body everything it needs to survive. It’s almost confusing to think that it’s also one of the cheapest cuts of meat you can buy. In Vietnam I paid $1 per kilo of fresh beef liver. In New York City I paid $5 per kilo of Halal beef liver. This is highly recommended.
- Any other type of meat – there are a host of benefits that come with eating meat. Yes, we are all upset about how animals are treated before they ultimately become our food. And if you want to try and change this by going out and hunting deer to eat then you have my blessing. But for the rest of us, buying meat (preferably fresh, not frozen) from the grocery store will be enough. All kinds of meat have a high nutrient profile, although not as high as liver.
- Eggs – these are have a great nutrient profile, although they are less of a “perfect food” like liver or muscle meat. I’ve had great success leaning out by refeeding on a bowl of oatmeal cooked with a dozen eggs during my refeeds. Filling, scrapes your guts clean, and leaves you with plenty of long lasting energy the next day.
Instead of listing the rest of the foods you could eat, I’ll leave you with a general guideline: eat foods that existed 2000 years ago. If it came from an animal or grew out of the ground, you can eat it.
If it comes in a multi-colored box or bag with obvious marketing material on it, don’t eat it. If you see commercials for it on TV, don’t eat it. I don’t care if it says 100% whole wheat, organic, or anything else. Natural foods are best. Foods that will exist after a nuclear apocalypse are the foods that you should be eating.
Finding the perfect Snake Juice Recipe
Snake Juice is basically water mixed with salt – specifically sodium, potassium and magnesium. There are many different recipes for Snake Juice and the official recipe changes often.
Here is the current official recipe:
- Water – 2L
- Potassium Chloride – 1 tsp (this is sold as NoSalt)
- Sodium Chloride – 1/2 tsp (Himalayan Pink Salt has the best mineral profile)
- Sodium Bicarbonate – 1 tsp (baking soda)
- Magnesium Sulphate – 1/2 tsp (Epsom Salts – food grade)
A general rule of thumb is to put less than what you think you need when you make your mix. You can always add more later.
Speaking from personal experience, I never enjoyed drinking salt water all day. I realize that the point is not to drink it for the taste, but it seemed like a chore more than anything else. I eventually switched to drinking fresh water during the day and having a “shot” of more concentrated Snake Juice when I felt like I needed it.
You’re welcome to try this strategy at your own risk, however I recommend that you started with the official protocol. Especially if you’re new.
I personally don’t drink Snake Juice anymore, but only because I prefer dry fasting. And I have so much salt with my meals (I’ve always been a salt freak) that I have enough electrolytes in my body to not feel deprived during my fasts which rarely last more than 48 hours.
Surviving your first Snake Diet fast
First things first, make sure you take some accountability pictures and post them in the official Snake Diet Motivation Facebook group. What gets measured is what matters, and if you’re not putting your money where your mouth is when it comes to areas of your life that you want to change, then what incentive do you really have?
But if you sack up, take your clothes off and get someone to take pictures of your disgusting body in your underwear, post them online in front of 200k people, then I’m sure you would agree that your level of motivation would be much higher than if you just watched a few YouTube videos by yourself and quietly thought to yourself, “hey, I should try that.”
If you are overweight, then you’re going to want your first fast to be 48 hours. After 48 hours you will refeed, and then you will right away jump into a 72 hour fast.
This may seem a little extreme to you, but it will blow your discipline through the roof and show you just how easy it is to lose massive amounts of weight when you allow your body to start taking advantage of all the stored fat you have.
For example, let’s say you have your last meal on Sunday night. You would fast all day Monday, all day Tuesday and then have your refeed on Tuesday night. Then you would fast all day Wednesday, all day Thursday, all day Friday and then have your refeed on Friday night.
Example Snake Diet routine
Sunday – last meal at night
Monday – fast all day
Tuesday – fast all day, refeed at night
Wednesday – fast all day
Thursday – fast all day
Friday – fast all day, refeed at night
This is a fairly convenient eating schedule for most normal people who have some semblance of a social life and still want to be able to eat with their friends and family on the weekends.
It’s important to note that you will feel hungriest starting at around 5 PM. This will last until around 9 PM, so it’s important to keep this in mind and keep yourself occupied with one of those activities that makes time pass extremely quickly without you realizing it.
Playing video games, bingeing on your favorite TV show, or editing YouTube footage that you shot earlier that day are all excellent choices.
What are some of the Snake Diet benefits?
If you’ve read this far, congratulations! Now we’re going to talk about some additional benefits of the Snake Diet.
Fat loss is an obvious benefit, but what else?
This is an extremely simplified explanation, but when you fast your body is able to take the energy that it would have spent on digestion and put that energy towards repairing cellular damage that it has received from normal wear and tear over the years.
Can the Snake Diet help heal your body of disease?
Sometimes, this “wear and tear” is disguised as something labeled as a “disease” by the medical community. Cancer, diabetes, and skin issues are all perfect examples of this.
Don’t think of these “diseases” as things. Thing of them instead as processes that your body is going through that is creating a certain result. They are not objects, but very complex equations.
And you don’t need to know much about math to know that if you change the equation, you change the result.
Without over-complicating things, when you fast, you allow your body the opportunity to starve cancer cells, reset your insulin sensitivity, and repair any skin damage.
Those are only examples to make a point. But just understand that whatever health issue you may have, you probably have it because you have been filling your body with empty calories in the form of processed foods instead of the healthy natural foods that it has evolved to utilize.
Just understand that reduced caloric intake is the key to a long, healthy, happy life with minimal health issues. Whatever health issue you have is directly tied to your diet. Do extended fasts, eat natural foods, and exercise and you’ll notice them go away in a few weeks.
Can I do the Snake Diet if I have a wedding/party/dinner to go to?
Losing weight and being healthy is obviously important to all of us, but there will be occasions where you feel obligated to participate in social situations where people are eating and drinking. And it’s highly unlikely that they’re eating lean cuts of meat and steamed veggies.
In situations like this, I give you full permission to go nuts and eat whatever you want. Or don’t.
Sometimes you’ll feel disciplined enough to stick to your guns and not binge on the crackers and dip. Other times you’ll smash 2 lbs of free prime rib at 2 in the afternoon and make a great first impression on a new coworker.
It all depends on how you feel, who is going to be there, and where you are in your Snake Diet progress. Obviously if you’re on the heavier side, try and have some self control and not embarrass yourself. If you are lean then you have a little more leeway.
Regardless, know that if you mess up on a given refeed, you’re only a 48 hour fast away from losing the weight and getting your health back on track. This “benefit” of the Snake Diet has a dark side as well – when you know you can lose the weight in a few days, you might give yourself license to eat more than you should.
All that said, if you’re serious about losing the weight and don’t trust yourself to behave in situations where there will be unexpected food items and the social pressure to eat them, then just avoid them altogether. You don’t need to make a big deal about it, just tell people you have a headache and can’t make it.
I’d recommend that you don’t miss your friend’s wedding or another equally important occasion, but if it’s just grabbing drinks with friends after work, feel free to blow them off to go home and watch Snake Diet videos on YouTube.
Does the Snake Diet have side effects?
The official word on the street with the Snake Diet is to cut out all medications, sugar and coffee. When it comes to the meds, consult your doctor etc etc, this is not medical advice, but keep in mind that healthy people do not need blood pressure medicine (for example).
Regarding coffee, I’m guilty of having a cup in the morning to start my day. I also might be guilty of having 2-3 more cups throughout the day depending on what I have to do.
But that’s me. I’ve been working out for 20 years and doing OMAD for 15+.
Chances are that you probably don’t fit that description. If you’re a fat American with a Wal-Mart within 10 miles of where you live, then you should follow the protocols by the book and experiment ONLY WHEN you have experience with the fundamentals.
This goes for cutting out sugar as well. I eat sugar all the time, but again, I am an experienced fitness guy who knows exactly what kind of workouts to do, how long to fast, and what foods to eat to get myself back on track by the next day.
In a more general sense, you might experience some headaches when cutting out sugar. This is known as “keto flu” and is a major PITA to deal with. Apparently it only lasts for a few days, but I wouldn’t know because I never made it long enough for it to go away.
In your case, you might just have to grin and bear it. Long fasts and keto flu are not something that you’ll need to experience forever once you become lean and get the body you want. But if you’re extremely overweight, then you need to get rid of all of that extra “food” that your body is saving for emergencies.
Once it’s gone, you’ll be able to readjust your eating frequency and stick to eating natural foods once a day.
The Snake Diet for lean people
If you’re already lean and in shape, then you aren’t going to do the Snake Diet like a fat person would. Extended fasts are virtually impossible and will actually do you more harm than good if you’re lean.
If you’re lean, I would stick to 48 hour fasts on an as-needed basis. If you have a pool party or beach day coming up, then you might want to do a 48 just to make those ab veins pop.
Be careful when fasting while lean – when I was living in Thailand and just getting started with the Snake Diet, I was doing 2x Muay Thai workouts a day and running 5 miles all while fasting for 48-72 hours. I definitely lost some muscle during this time because I didn’t know any better.
Learn from my mistake and err on the side of caution when fasting if you’re lean. Up your protein intake, maybe mix in some slow-burning carbs like oatmeal if you’re doing extended workouts, and keep the fasting short and limited to once a week.
Is the Snake Diet safe?
Yes, the Snake Diet is perfectly safe. People have been fasting for thousands of years and many religions have incorporated fasting into their holiest days, not without good reason.
Occasionally you hear someone make the argument, “Snake Diet will put you into starvation mode!”
Ironically they always seem like they have little first hand experience with starvation.
Simply put, if you have fat on your body that shouldn’t be there AND you are living a sedentary lifestyle, then you don’t have to worry about going into starvation mode. If your most strenuous activity is walking upstairs to wake your kids up for school and you’re 50 lbs overweight, then you’re not in danger of starving any time soon.
On the other hand, if you’re already lean and doing gut-busting 3 hour bodybuilding workouts at the gym 6 days a week, then you might have some cause to worry about muscle loss during a fast.
Final tips for the Snake Diet
In closing, I want to offer you some tips for the Snake Diet that you might not hear anywhere else.
I probably should have written this in the beginning, but in order for this to work for you, you have to be willing to deny yourself that thing we all love: food.
It’s kind of funny to think about how hard it is to go a few days without food, especially considering that our bodies are built to survive for weeks without it as long as we’re properly hydrated.
But the fact is that it’s not easy and anyone who tells you otherwise is lying.
That said, I believe the reason that the Snake Diet has gotten so popular is because of the almost immediate results that people experience when they do their first 48 and 72 hour fasts. It’s not uncommon for people to drop 10-20 lbs in that first week.
For people who have been “trying to lose weight,” possibly for years, to drop 20 lbs in a week is like a gift from God. Those rapid results are SO encouraging that people are excited to see how far they can take it.
Yes, it helps that the creator of the Snake Diet, Cole Robinson, is so unforgiving in his videos. But if the Snake Diet didn’t deliver results, I doubt people would be so receptive to his specific style of motivation.
If you’ve been overweight for years and have dreamed of getting a body like those guys or girls you see on Instagram, know that you can get there sooner than you think. And all you have to do is not eat for a few weeks to make it happen.
At the time of this writing, hundreds of people have already done it. You have the tools you need. You don’t have to buy any special ebook or vitamin to make it happen either. Snake Juice ingredients can be bought from any grocery store for under $20, and they aren’t even necessary.
Will you be the next one?