The jet lag diet: here’s what and when to eat

The jet lag diet: here’s what and when to eat

It’s called the Anti Jet Lag Diet , and it’s a famous protocol developed by the US Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory, and used in the military. There is also a less restrictive version.

It is indicated as a fast diet for all those who have to make an intercontinental travel , to minimize the effects of jet lag and be immediately active and perky (or almost) once you arrive at your destination.

Obviously, in the event that the time of the place where we have to arrive and the one from which we leave differs slightly (on the 4-hour difference in time zone) without affecting much on the change of light, the anti-jet lag diet is not indispensable.

A momentary discomfort, tiredness, swelling or fatigue in this case are the effects of the flight itself, of having been on the plane, of high altitude, which can cause temporary water retention and in some cases migraines.

Let’s look at the two versions of the jet lag diet.

That of the Argonne , developed by Dr. Ehrert in 1982 and the one proposed by Dr. Clifford instead.


What to do before leaving

Consider the breakfast time (or your usual waking time) in the country of destination. From that time on, go back 12 or 16 hours to begin your protocol. If, for example, you have to take a plane that will take you from the afternoon you leave to a late morning arrival on the same day in your destination country, imagine that you have already woken up at your destination, as if you were living there, and that you have had breakfast. What time would you do it? Eight o’clock?

Well, from eight in the morning set the clock back 12 hours. It’s eight in the evening. From eight in the evening when you leave you don’t have to eat or drink anything. For best results, 16 hours of fasting is recommended.
So, according to our example, you should fast from four in the afternoon. You can only sip a little water.

What to do once landed

Upon arrival, if it is the day you have to favor protein foods for the first part of the day, so yes to eggs, meat, fish, yogurt, milk, skimmed cheeses and possibly a little citrus juice, a few vegetables, many herbal teas. Coffee is ok after three in the afternoon (depending on the time of the country of arrival). Fats need to be reduced.
Carbohydrates in the evening . Vice versa if you arrive in the evening. Yes to pasta, bread, pizza, rice, potatoes and fruit. No to proteins.


Dr. Clifford ‘s protocol is much simpler, based on a few clear rules.

  1. Do not eat anything already two hours before departure or from the moment you set foot at the airport.
  2. Do not eat anything (and drink only a little water) throughout the flight.
  3. When you arrive at your destination, eat immediately according to the first meal schedule of local time. Or as close as possible to the meal times of the premises.

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