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A Fasting Experiment Gone Right & Wrong: A Review of Episode 3 in “Limitless With Chris Hemsworth”

One of the most important skills you must master as a high-conscious being is the ability to discern TRUTH (reality) from falsehood.

Specifically, you must be able to look at the world and know when the message being delivered contains “truth with error”.

Such messages seem helpful on the surface but are riddled with just enough misdirection to stop people from discovering the right answers to their problems.

This keeps people in a perpetual loop where they are always buying, always seeking, always curious… but never truly consciously aware or taking meaningful action.

A great example of this is the third episode of the six-part National Geographic series “Limitless With Chris Hemsworth” released in 2022, which has the actor doing a four-day water fasting experiment with disinformation merchant Dr. Peter Attia.

I watched all 47 minutes so you don’t have to, and let me tell you there is a LOT of “truth with error”.

Now’s your chance to see what this looks like in real-time… rather than hear me rant about it.

Some Context Before I Get Started

Obviously, you should know what I’m talking about before you can even make sense of why I have chosen to zoom in on a streaming series most people have forgotten about by now.

So here’s the trailer to get you caught up to speed:

Streaming on Disney+, and produced by Daron Aronofsky in collaboration with National Geographic, the synopsis is just as straightforward as the trailer:

“Global movie star Chris Hemsworth, despite being in peak superhero-condition, is on a personal mission to learn how to stay young, healthy, strong, and resilient.

Undergoing a series of epic trials and extraordinary challenges, he’ll learn firsthand how we can live better for longer by discovering ways to regenerate damage, maximize strength, build resilience, supercharge memory and confront mortality.”

And Episode 3 happens to be all about fasting, featuring none other than Dr. Attia and his wisdom as a “veteran” faster:

“Chris turns to longevity doctor Peter Attia to find out how changing his eating habits can help his quest for longevity.

Ironically, the answer is to eat no food at all for four long days.

If he can bear the hunger, fasting will unlock his body’s own anti-aging powers and give Chris the edge he needs when he tries to hunt for his next meal … by spearfishing off the Great Barrier Reef.”

Both Chris and Dr. Attia have already done a podcast together about their collaboration and other episodes within the docuseries:

Now, for those of you who have already picked up a copy of my newest book 30 Days 2 Shredz and read my article explaining why its creation was necessary, you already know why (and how) this episode is going to mis-guide people.

But in the interest of service to others, I AM going to spell everything out for you.

The Harsh Truth You DO NOT Want To Hear About Becoming Marvel’s “Thor Odinson” 

The episode kicks off with Chris Hemsworth talking about all the changes he made to his diet and training since he started playing Thor in the many Marvel movies he’s featured in.

He eats way more than he used to and claims every meal is no less than 1,000 calories.

Ice cream, big juicy steaks, burgers, Pad Thai, pasta ribs, sausage rolls, pizza, cake, hot dogs… whatever he can get his hands on.

And there’s no denying he looks like an absolute monster, as seen in Love And Thunder (2022):

THOR: LOVE AND THUNDER All Movie Clips + Trailer (2022) - YouTube


But you and I are grown-up adults who know what REALLY goes down in the world of Holly-weird.

No, your favorite actor is not eating six meals a day of dry chicken breast, plain rice and steamed broccoli to get insanely jacked for their cinema appearance.

No, they aren’t working out for six hours a day (although their schedules are extremely hectic).

And no, I hate to burst your bubble, but they aren’t “100% all-natural”.

chris hemsworth


Take it from someone who is better connected with the highest levels of Hollywood than even I myself am willing to publicly admit.

If you don’t believe me, have a look at Alexander Juan Antonio Cortes’ Twitter/X page whenever he talks about his past life as a personal trainer in the deepest trenches of the entertainment industry.

Some of my favorite tweets are below:

“Eat clen, tren hard, and anavar give up” is a popular meme in the online bodybuilding community for a good reason!

Introducing The Four-Day Water Fasting Experiment 

Shortly after the introduction, Chris Hemsworth starts talking about the fasting experiment he is going to embark on under the supervision of “longevity expert” Dr. Peter Attia:

“I do know that what I put into my body is important, but what I didn’t know is that the best thing I can eat if I wanna live a long and healthy life is… nothing. Absolutely nothing.

“For the next step in my quest to live longer and better, [Dr. Peter Attia] wants me to go on a fast. It’s basically water and zero calories for four days”.

Chris and Dr. Attia are in Byron Bay, Australia enjoying their very last meal before the four-day water fast begins:

Dr. Attia actually volunteers to do the four-day water fast alongside Chris, saying it’s much easier to go through this process with somebody else.

And I would agree with this decision… any intense fasting program, especially one geared towards maximum fat loss, is 10x easier to stick to when you have a community of high-conscious people doing the program alongside you.

Which is why you ought to be a member of the expanding Fully Optimized Health membership group, where we already have people who have successfully completed one or more cycles of 30 Days 2 Shredz. 😉

Continuing on, Chris wisely asks Dr. Attia why he arbitrarily chose four days for the fasting protocol and not something shorter or longer.

Dr. Attia responds with the following:

“Three to four days is probably that window at which we do enough to change how your body is interacting with the absence of nutrients to basically do kind of a reboot on your system”

“In the next four days, there is no doubt in my mind, there will be a period of time in which you feel sluggish, or kinda grumpy, grouchy, whatever. But, you know, if you really stop and think about it, this idea that we kind of live today where we’re sort of surrounded by unlimited access to food and we can eat three meals and snack in between them, that’s a relatively recent addition to our species.

And our ancestors would’ve gone days without food all the time, and not only did they have to do that, they had the ability to, in a period of starvation, actually go out and hunt”.

Without getting too far into the details, there are several reasons why this approach is already doomed to fail:

  1. It is within hours 71-72 of a zero-calorie fast where muscle protein breakdown is evidenced at a significant level, so going all the way to 96 hours will probably lead to some muscle loss.
  2. You WILL royally screw up your metabolism if you are not hormonally optimized and you attempt to fast for 48-60 cold turkey despite not being fast-adapted.
  3. We do not know what supplements Chris may be taking to power through the fast, although he’s likely not being advised to replenish his electrolyte balance.

So much for the wisdom of someone who says he’s been “practicing periodic fasting for many years”!

And I haven’t even mentioned whatever anabolics or testosterone preparations Chris may or may not be on, which would certainly be muscle-sparing during an extreme calorie deficit challenge like this one.

We are then given the challenge Chris has to fulfill at the end of the four-day fast:

He will only be able to break the fast by going out into the Great Barrier Reef, diving 30 feet down into the ocean floor, and hunting for a fish he will kill and eat with his own hands.

Just like our ancestors but with a speargun and modern diving equipment!

Day 1 Without Any Food

Chris starts off the first day feeling a small temptation to eat food when he is cooking a hearty meal of eggs and bacon for his kids’ breakfast, but manages to survive just fine.

His childhood friends Aaron and Luke have also agreed to participate in the fast alongside Chris, so he’ll have some brothers in arms when the going gets tough.

Dr. Attia chimes in and tells the audience Chris won’t be “just fine” for too long:

“At first, Chris will feel fine. He’ll be working off the energy from his last meal. But once that’s gone, he’s gonna start to feel a lot worse.

But I’m gonna want him to stick with this, because of all the things that we can do to impact Chris’s longevity, periodic fasting may be one of the more effective.”

If you fast according to the instructions of Dr. Peter Attia… then yes, I wouldn’t be surprised if you felt miserable.

Because I can bet my bottom dollar Dr. Attia’s approach would NOT include:

And this is without me being overly creative.

We then transition to a monologue by Chris, where he talks about the benefits of not shoving sugar down our throats 24/7:

“My food contains glucose. The fuel that feeds the trillions of healthy cells in my body. But that glucose also feeds something else. Zombie cells.

Old, damaged cells that have lingered beyond their useful life. By spewing toxic sludge, these zombies infect other healthy cells, speeding up the aging process.

Everything from hair loss and wrinkles to the onset of arthritis, cancer, and dementia. But what scientists have realized is that when we fast and cut off the supply of glucose, that zombie army is starved of energy which saps them of their power.”

When Chris uses the term “zombie cells”, what he is referring to is the biological phenomenon known as cellular senescence.

Surprise surprise – extended periods of fasting are one of the most powerful ways to get rid of senescent cells and their damaging effects on the human body.

Fortunately for Chris, his mind is preoccupied with diving lessons from Tanya Streeter, a ten-time free-driving world champion who can hold her breath for six minutes straight.

The lessons don’t go too well but Chris is eager to improve and prepare for his fish-hunting challenge just a few days ahead of him.

Of course… this happy-go-lucky mood quickly evaporates when he returns home.

After some free diving practice in his pool and a quick bout of what appears to be low-intensity steady-state cardio, Chris has some final remarks to close out the day:

“…even though I’ve got homework to do, without mealtimes to punctuate the day, time just seems to drag on”.  

“It’s almost dinnertime and this is the worst I’ve felt. Feel pretty light-headed, super weak and incredibly hungry.”

Not something that has ever happened in any of my fasting protocols.

Even my prior fasting protocols The Metabolic Blowtorch Diet and Guaranteed Shredded wouldn’t have led to feeling like Chris did if followed to the letter, and they do not hold a candle to 30 Days 2 Shredz.

Just saying.

Day 2 Without Any Food

Sadly for Chris, he doesn’t wake up feeling any better than he did the day before:

“I feel tired. I didn’t sleep very well. I woke up a lot feeling really hungry, and then.. you know, feel empty, empty of food. Almost as if I’m empty of, like, energy. Feel very flat. Now, cooking this, I feel hungry”.

Dr. Attia attempts to explain why this is happening and gets it half-right:

“The second day of a water-only fast is an especially difficult day. And the reason for this is that the body’s primary reserves of glucose, which are kept in the liver and in the muscles, are starting to get rapidly depleted.

And as a result of this, Chris is feeling really tired and groggy. But it’s important for him to understand that this is okay, because there are some people who routinely do this, and not only do they not starve, but they actually manage to thrive”

Scientifically speaking, Dr. Attia is correct.

What he fails to take into account is the CONTEXT of the situation.

Chris Hemsworth has spent many years bulking up and eating thousands of calories spaced out at 5-6 meals throughout the day to achieve his size (irrespective of whether you beLIEve he is using any anabolic agents/hormones or not).

Without any period of time to gradually acclimate to 16-hour fasts, 20-hour fasts, and even 24-36 hour fasts, Chris is going into this experiment without any fasting experience whatsoever.

Yeah, no shit he feels crummy.

My protege Daniel Kelly, back when he was experimenting with the earliest versions of The Metabolic Blowtorch Diet in 2017, correctly observed the “fasting adaptation period” takes anywhere from 3 days to 2 weeks.

And Hunter Williams, my co-author for 30 Days 2 Shredz, once struggled to go 17-18 hours without eating and the idea of going for a 24-hour fast was unthinkable… now he can do 36-48 hours without breaking a sweat or having so much as a food craving.

Both of them had to overcome the hunger pangs emitted by their bodies (normally rooted in issues with the gut biome) because they programmed their biological systems to receive food at certain times per day,

Moving on, we get to turn to what I believe was one of the most profound parts of the episode: A real-time animal hunt featuring Isafiri, a hunter of the Hadza tribe located in Eyasi Valley, Tanzania.

They may not be bodybuilders, but they sure as hell don’t suffer from chronic inflammation or obesity!

I implore anybody who watches the episode to see this hunt from start to finish as it was spiritually profound.

Especially when Isafiri speaks about the thrill of capturing an animal:

“Being hungry is part of life here. Sometimes we don’t eat for days. But we are not afraid, because I know we won’t starve… Being hungry makes me a better hunter”.

“When you’re gertting closer, your mind becomes alert to the wild. The animal is your only goal.”

Dr. Attia and Chris then take turns explaining why Isafiri and his tribe members aren’t energetically starved despite their lack of food:

“Even after days without food, people like the Hadza are still able to find the energy to hunt. Because when a person fasts, when you stop eating, it reveals the body’s superpower”

“When food is plentiful, our body stores excess energy in the form of fat under the skin and around the internal organs. When food is scarce, that fat is sent to the liver where it’s turned into an alternative fuel source called a ketone. And it’s these ketones which provide the emergency power source. Not only for our bodies, but also our brains”

“Along with an energy boost, it seems ketones also sharpen mental focus. Heightening the ability to see, hear, and sense things in the environment that we normally wouldn’t be able to perceive. And ketone production ramps up just when a hunter needs it most”.

The hunt ends and we return to Chris, who is getting his ketone levels measured with a finger-prick blood test:

Chris’ reading on the ketone-measuring meters was a “1”, which is not bad but nowhere near the “2” or “3” reading that would signify he is truly in a state of ketosis.

Unfortunately, even in his current state of trace ketosis, he isn’t feeling too chirpy:

“So, the war on zombies has begun but no ketone boost yet. Which is a little worrying because I’m off for more dive training”.

“Can’t say I’m swimming in energy. My ability to speak is rapidly declining”.

Things appear better after a game of underwater hockey where Chris improves his ability to stay underwater for longer periods of time.

But Dr. Attia quickly shoots him down by stating his current ‘high’ won’t last long:

“I think we’re probably making more ketones at the moment, our bodies are trying to ramp up production. It’s saying ‘Hey they’re hunting, they’re getting us food’. I wouldn’t be surprised if in an hour or two, we feel a little worse.

Because [the body] will realize, ‘We haven’t got the food. We’ve been kinda let down.’ And then, that production level will come down a bit.”

Neither of them was helped by looking over the pool and seeing a delicious buffet of water-dense fruits, muffins, and milkshakes:

Nor was it encouraging to see Chris’ childhood friends had given in and broken their fast with a generous helping of pizzas and shakes:

Chris had stumbled upon a lesson many master-level dieters and fasting experts pick up on quickly:

Even for the most iron-willed among us, it is best to avoid placing yourself in environments where food can be seen and smelt while in a fasted state. 

Day 3 Without Any Food

Chris wakes up feeling terrible, with both his “ketone high” gone and his friends no longer fasting by his side.

The selfie video he takes is rather concerning too:

“Okay, so this is day three. Feeling pretty weak. Didn’t sleep very much last night. I feel like my sleep’s getting worse and worse. You know, last night was really hard, giving the kids dinner. They had delicious roast lamb and vegetables, and fruit, and I saw a chocolate brownie in there somewhere.

Multiple occasions, I thought about just ripping that food straight out of their hands. Feel pretty weak trying to walk up the stairs, trying to walk down the hall, I feel like it’s tough to catch my breath. But you know, day three, and I guess we’re almost there. It’s only 12, 48… I don’t know, I can’t even think. Like, I … don’t know. I’m losing it”.

I then saw what the next scene was and I almost fell out of my chair:

I finally put 2 + 2 together and came to the sudden realization Chris Hemsworth has been LIFTING WEIGHTS INTENSELY on Day 3, and likely Day 1 and/or 2 without having a single calorie in this system.

And this is me being charitable… God help him if he’s also doing one of those bullshit fasting hacks like “MCT oil in your coffee” or “BCAAs pre-workout”.

Even more hilarious was seeing Dr. Attia coming into Chris’ home gym and starting to work out with weights as well.

Doing what Chris and Dr. Attia are doing here is a great way to set yourself up for increased risk of injury and premature physical exhaustion, all thanks to fasting fully depleting your muscle glycogen stores and liver glycogen stores.

Dr. Attia’s monologue also reeks of the right level of self-unawareness:

“I don’t think Chris has found this to be a pleasant experience at all. But a big part of fasting is understanding why you’re doing it. And that’s the key to tolerating this thing. It’s being able to focus on the motivation behind the fast”.

“Asking Chris for his very first fast to go as long as four days is a big ask. But I really need him to continue now. Because once a human goes three days without food, we think some remarkable biochemical changes take place that have significant longevity benefits”.

“Science is only just beginning to understand the longevity benefits of fasting. In fact, we’re just catching up with the cultures and religions that have placed fasting at the center of their practice for millennia.”

NOTE: I’m going to skip the section where a retired teacher by the name of Todesso is on a three-day fasted hike with his family to visit a church in the holy city of Gondar. However, it is a must-watch part of the episode as it really goes deep into the spiritual benefits of fasting. 

However, Attia redeems himself by highlighting what is most important about any fasting protocol you choose to follow:

“There are many ways to go about fasting. There are countless protocols. But remember, they all have one thing in common.

They reduce the number of calories we consume. And in a world where so many of us are over-nourished, this is an essential part of how we can go about living a longer, healthier life.”

We return to Chris Hemsworth, who isn’t feeling so well at the end of Day 3 of his fast:

After waiting for the ketone pick-me-up that never happens, he takes a nap on the ferry ride to his fish hunt set to take place in the Great Barrier Reef.

Day 4 Without Any Food

Right before the big dive, Chris and Dr. Attia have one final sit-down conversation…

Attia: “So how are you feeling this morning?”

Chris: “Pretty weak, pretty low energy. I feel like I’ve just rolled out of bed.

Attia: “You know, even though you don’t feel it, at the microscopic level, inside your body, there’s a war going on. And that war is being won by the good guys. And that’s the real reason we’re doing this.”

Chris: “So I could live longer, but right now, I’m not sure I’m gonna make it through the day”

On the positive side, Chris’ ketone levels have shot up to a “2” reading, and Dr. Attia is confident Chris will be able to tap into his inner mental edge once he is underwater and focused solely on the hunt.

Chris doesn’t feel this way, with the “big flood of energy” Dr. Attia promised him not kicking in.

But he doesn’t let this deter him and he dives into the deep blue sea to complete the challenge that will mark the end of his fast.

Chris’ first dive is unsuccessful and he ends up spooking himself back to the surface:

“I know I have enough oxygen in my body, but I look up and the boat seems so, so far away. I feel like I’m losing all focus, and suddenly the urge to breathe is overwhelming.”

“Yeah, I just went down there and then went ‘Oh I need to breathe soon’, and then I felt really weak, and I thought ‘There’s no way I can do this, ever.’

“I’m feeling so tired. And the energy boost that Peter promised me, nothing. So after a brief moment, I go again.”

Chris’ second attempt is much more fruitful as he finally taps into the flow state he’s been seeking to attain throughout the journey, and finally catches dinner:

“But this time, I start to feel a little different. As I’m going down, it’s like I’m tuning into the ocean. I can hear every sound. Time seems to slow down. And I start to feel a surge of energy”

“And then, I see a fish.”

“…We did another test after the hunt, and the surge of energy, turns out my ketones shot up to nearly three. So it worked. The science came good.”

After a well-deserved “break-fast”, Chris reflects on his journey and feels happy he didn’t just start pigging out the second he had the fish in his hands.

Ending his four-day fasting experiment with a slow bite felt ceremonial and special.

And to his own surprise, Chris even says he wants fasting to become a part of his life.

To build fasting into his routine, Chris is planning to:

  • Avoid eating until midday at least 3 times a week
  • Go 24 hours without food once a month
  • MAYBE fast for four days once a year

Not a bad start.

If he could do that 24 hours of “no food” 2-3 times a week, imagine what his before-and-after fat loss transformation would look like!

Because you’d best believe the man is hormonally optimized in ways we will never know.

My Final Thoughts About The “Fasting” Episode in Limitless With Chris Hemsworth

If you read my previous article on Dr. Attia, then you probably can take a good guess as to what I think of the show itself.

Yes, there is a decent amount of truth:

  • Fasting is a wonderful health hack for extending lifespan and goes back hundreds if not thousands of years as an ancient/spiritual practice
  • The biochemistry explanations, while at a layman’s level, do a good job of explaining what is happening in the body over an extended fasting period
  • Chris was honest about the points in his last where he felt energized or tired

But this does not make up for the sheer amount of error:

  • Lifting weights while fasted is a terrible idea no matter who you are
  • A proper fast without calories becomes detrimental to muscle mass maintenance when done for any longer than 72 hours
  • We are left completely clueless about Chris’ use of supplements, hormone optimization and/or peptides 
  • Select substances such as electrolytes that make a big difference in sustaining extended fasts without energy crashes are not mentioned
  • One must gradually build up their tolerance to longer fasting periods instead of jumping into +24 hours without any fasting experience

These points I bring up are not nitpicking or majoring in the minor.

I’ve been perfecting my fasting protocols since 2009 with my private clients and I know exactly what matters most for success or failure.

It’s why I now have the following disclaimer for any new member who enters my Fully Optimized Health membership group:

Luckily for Dr. Peter Attia, Chris Hemsworth could take the physical and mental beating of a 96-hour fast.

I can’t even begin to imagine the disasters that would come about for a non-trained newbie who is not fast-adapted or hormonally optimized.

If you want to learn what fasting looks like when it is done properly, while still being able to lift weights intensely and eat plenty of nutritious food without starving yourself to death…

… pick up a copy of 30 Days 2 Shredz and save yourself from the thousands of ways in which fasting can be dangerous to your well-being (and metabolism). 

Sitting at 266 ratings with 247 written reviews and a perfect 5/5 star score, no other book in existence covers every single aspect of fasting for high-speed fat loss in the context of a fully optimized healthspan and lifespan.

If you’re already an advanced-level faster and want to take the book to the next level, be on the lookout for next week’s blog about the accompanying video course I AM about to release.

As always…

Raise Your Vibration To Optimize Your Love Creation!

PS – If you want the kind of guided support and ruthless accountability Chris Hemsworth had during your own run of 30 Days 2 Shredz, join The Fully Optimized Health Private Membership Group.

It’s your greatest opportunity to fully optimize your health and gain total access to me and my network of high-level men and women living their highest and best lives.

Plus, our community members won’t give up on their fasts halfway through and leave you hanging by yourself! 😉


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