What is your strategy for fitness and nutrition?

Does anyone pay attention to fitness and nutrition?

I used to walk about 50 miles per week, but am not able to do it at the moment because of some leg pain from too many hours at a standing desk. I’d like to add some cardiovascular activities, because apparently that is good for the brain.

I don’t really have a system for eating at the moment, but I’m trying to include a lot of steamed vegetables and brown rice.

Do you have certain diet that you follow or workout plan? I’m looking for ideas. :slight_smile:

P.S., check out the video below for inspiration.

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Intermittent fasting, switching between 18/6(18 hours fasting each day, 6 hours eating, or 20/4, where I eat from 4pm-8pm) and just not eating on saturday, 6 days eating 1 day fasting. You still eat the same, or even more, but in a tighter space of time. Love it. Other than that, juicing, never drinking soda, never fast food.

Exercise, I never do cardio, just heavy weight lifting. (Heavy weight lifting increases your heart rate tremendously, and simultenously burns calories for LONG after you finish, AND building muscle which also increases how many calories you burn).

Intermittent fasting + heavy weight lifting= ripped
This post explains it pretty well.

P.S. This type of motivation is more me.


That sounds interesting. What does the fasting do? Are there any studies about it?

I avoid soda and fast food. I used to drink small amounts of vegetable juice, but now try to just eat more vegetables. I’ve never found out whether it’s good to drink all the sugars from the vegetables when the fiber is removed. I figure if I eat the fiber too, I’ll also get whatever benefits are in the juice.

Weight lifting would be my main exercise activity if my hands weren’t injured. I used to be really into it…

Yeah, there are tons of studies, getting all technical about insulin, glucagon, HGH, etc… Check out leangains in the “most popular” tab the first one links to a whole bunch of studies. I haven’t gone on that site for maybe 6 months before today…

Edit: There was some great post about it on some site that I can’t find right now…

I’ll check it out. I often forget to eat breakfast until dinnertime so maybe I’m already on that diet by accident. :slight_smile:

Does anyone have any thoughts on eating fish?

"If you eat fish just once a week, your hippocampus—the big memory and learning center—is 14 percent larger than in people who don't eat fish that frequently."

Omega 3-6-9 fatty acids balance…

But it’s probably easier to balance if you just reduce the bad omega’s, uhh 9’s?


Edit: Just read the article. As I’ve said, the BALANCE of those fatty acids is important, not just more 3’s = better.

The article is also self-contradictory:
““All that mattered was the method of preparation.” Fried fish had a unique dearth of benefits to the brain.”
“This study found that eating fish—baked or broiled, never fried…”

“When they looked at the levels of omega-3s in people’s blood, they didn’t correlate with better brain volumes.”
"Eating more omega-3 fatty acids, a lot of fruit, and not much meat, has previously been associated with increased volume throughout the brain’s gray matter. Recent research in the journal Neurology found that elderly people with high levels of omega-3 fatty acids in their blood had better cognitive function than those with lower levels. MRIs of their brains showed larger volumes, too. "

Just be careful of heavy metals from fish…


That’s too bad, since I like fried fish. :slight_smile:

I often eat a tablespoon or two of flax or chia seeds in my oatmeal. Does anyone know if those are good substitutes, or are the vegetable sources lacking something?

I eat mostly muffins, ice cream, and cake. MANY days out of the month, perhaps 10, I eat only ice cream all day. Other than that, I tend to get fast food, pizza, or potato chips/corn nuts from the Shell station, and cake and/or muffins from my local grocery store. I don’t eat vegetables (other than jalepenos which are usually on my pizzas and lettuce which I usually leave on my chicken sandwiches from Wendy’s and McDonald’s). I don’t eat fruit either, and I don’t take vitamins. I don’t exercise.

Only a few times a year will I go out and eat at a restaurant. Usually it’s a Chinese place where I get orange chicken or orange beef and rice, or a Mexican place where I get chicken and cheese enchiladas, rice and beans, or if it’s Logan’s or Chili’s or something “American” like that then I will usually get chicken strips. My diet really couldn’t be worse if I tried - what could I possibly do to make it worse, abstain from pizza?

I do drink a lot of water though, and that’s a good thing. It’s tap water yes, but that’s better than soda. Can I get an “Amen?”

Just to be clear, none of this is an exaggeration by any means. I’m being perfectly honest.

Since you guys seem to know a bit about this stuff, let me ask your opinion: If I were to eat whatever an agreed upon ‘right quantity’ and ‘right combination’ of fruits and vegetables is every day, take supplements or vitamins or whatever, and not ever have only cake or only ice cream as a meal, do you believe that those changes alone will translate into better scores by November if all other things were equal? By all other things, I mean that 1) I will not be exercising and 2) My training regimen will remain constant.

Do you think it would make so MUCH of a difference that I would be unable to deny it because on a daily basis my cognition would be noticeably sharper?

Most fruits are just sugar in a nicer package…

I almost wanna say yes just because you would eat healthier and hopefully live longer…

But really, it depends. How do you feel each day? In particular when waking up? Also, is your sleep schedule still as erratic as before? It used to be if I remember correctly roughly 7 hours every 2 days?


I’m the opposite r30 at least in this one point: “If I don’t eat … I feel it’s hard to think”. I’m the exact opposite. If I don’t eat for at least 16 hours(up to ~30) I have amazing clarity in thought. Most people probably haven’t fasted that long and would be unable to stop eating for more than a couple hours for fear of dying, but it’s fantastic. Something about body states, ketosis, I don’t really understand it. Wish I could explain this better.


I was eating pretty poorly for a while. I was tired all of the time. Then I read The Four Hour Body by Tim Ferriss. It really changed my life. It is an interesting book. He says he used the slow carb diet to get veins across his abs with no exercise. He put on 34 pounds of muscle in a month with a total of 4 hours in the gym. He basically did experiments on himself for 10 years to figure out all I this stuff. His main concept is MED, the minimum effective dose. He gives an example of getting a tan. If it takes you 15 minutes in the sun to trigger a melanin response, that’s your MED. If you try the “more is better” approach and spend 2 hours in the sun, you end up burning and can’t go in the sun for 4 days, and you’re back at square one. Meanwhile your buddy has gotten 4 shades darker. He applies the MED to dieting and exercise and many other areas (sleep, sex, distance running, power lifting, etc).

My personal experience is with the slow carb diet. You can google it, there’s tons of info available. I was totally addicted to sugar. After two days on the slow carb diet I had zero sugar cravings. After 4 days I was down 10 pounds. The best part by far was how amazing I felt. Before, I was worthless from about 2pm until bedtime. Now I basically never have those crashes during the day. I am alert and focused almost the entire time I’m awake. I get paid for billable hours, so my income jumped up quite a bit. One of the best decisions I ever made. The diet is so easy. You follow his rules, find a handful of meals you like, and eat them over and over. Eat as much as you like, no calorie counting. Then one day a week you eat, literally, whatever you want. Leans, greens, and beans. Basically for me the big win was cutting out sugar.

You might be right.

Clarifying misconceptions about fasting:

Mark Mattson, a scientist with the National Institute on Aging, says that when we convert food into energy, our bodies create a lot of byproducts we could do without. During the fast the energy normally used for digesting is used to clean the body of accumulated toxins. The body starts consuming anything that is not essential to bodily function such as bacteria, viruses, waste products in the blood, build up around the joints and stored fat. Fasting allows the body to rest, detoxify and to heal in the same manner sleep does.
I take back what I said about fasting, but the general idea was right: brain has to get necessary nutrients. And actually this paragraph also hints to the second idea: brain must not be toxified.

Sometimes I feel good when fasting, sometimes not. I suppose it’s because of my food sensitivities and poor digestion in overall: when I’m food-poisoned it takes longer time and effort than usual to clarify my brain from toxins.

Do you think it would make so MUCH of a difference that I would be unable to deny it because on a daily basis my cognition would be noticeably sharper?
It can, especially if you have some food sensitivities you yourself are not aware of.

My cognition depends on if my brain is:

  1. Well fed
    If I don’t eat anything or leave significant amount of carbs out of my diet, I can feel that it’s hard to think. So, ensuring that the brain gets all the nutritents it needs is important.
    EDIT: fasting is actually good for your brain, see this post

  2. Poisoned or not (much more important)
    I am extremely intolerant to gluten (protein found in wheat, rye and barley) and have a lot of other food sensitivities. This affects my everyday life and I have to follow VERY strict diet just to be sane. Otherwise I wouldn’t be able to perform (without severe effort) simple everyday tasks like riding a bike, reading, studying, doing sport, socializing. Life would be hell (I was in this situation 5 years ago).

So, more about food sensitivities (food allergies, intolerances and autoimmune diseases):
If you’re digestive system is unable to break up some specific food, every time you eat it the undigested food is released to your body + antibodies fighting the undigested food can also be released. The undigested food/antibodies can cause different set of symptoms, mostly stomach related - commonly gas, stomach bloating (especially when lactose intolerant), stomach cramping/pain, vomiting, constipation/diarrhea, rash (if you have food allergy). But sometimes the toxins released to your body can cause more disturbing symptoms like constant fatigue and BRAINFOG.
Brainfog symptoms can include: slow reaction time (to danger or stimuli that would be supposed to draw ordinary person’s attention), difficulty concentrating (reading, understanding), problems with memory (especially short term), feeling of being drunk all the time (only without the happy feeling), depression. These symptoms are not always severe, sometimes they are so mild that you don’t notice them or think this is just the way your brain is (when my symptoms hadn’t yet become very disturbing I didn’t turn much attention to them, I thought this is how everybody must feel)

  1. 75% of population are lactose intolerants (can’t properly digest dairy products)
  2. Every 1 people of 2 may have some sort of sensitivity to gluten

So, food sensitivities are much more common than people think. The easiest way to find out if you have any would be finding a specific doctor who performs the tests for detecting allergies/intolerances (they are not the same thing!). If you have suspicion about some specific food you could be sensitive to, you could leave it out of your menu for few weeks and see if you feel better in any way (but clinical test would be easier and more reliable choice because often it’s hard to detect any cognitive/physical changes with your own initiated dietary changes). If you feel better then do a lot of internet research and consult a food-specialist about your further dietary proceedings.

I know lot of Estonian athletes who have adjusted their diet to food sensitivities and achieved better results. I read about people whose life quality it has completely changed (including me). For me, doing the incredible stuff of memorization would be impossible without my diet.

Your have an interesting schedule, and a thought occurred to me: how do you not gain weight if a lot of people say “Eat more frequently but less in quantity”. Your diet is opposite to that. I did some googling:

Eat more often, gain weight:

However, “eat smaller, more frequent meals” is common weight loss advice – supposedly, if we eat more often to “keep blood sugar stable,” will avoid overeating. But does this really work? Is it sound advice for reducing caloric intake overall? The research says no – eating more frequently actually appears to promote weight gain.

From second site:

The Metabolism Myth The idea behind eating frequently is that when you eat, your metabolic rate rises and you burn more calories. However, the amount your metabolism rises is also relevant to total calorie intake. This is known as the thermic effect of food, or TEF, writes nutritionist Lyle McDonald in "A Guide to Flexible Dieting." Three 500 calorie meals in a day will have the same effect on metabolism as six 250 calorie meals eaten more frequently. That's because total caloric intake is the same. Increased meal frequency does not promote extra fat burning, calorie burn or raise your metabolic rate, according to the "Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition."

And again from the first site:

Eat only when you are truly hungry. For most people following a healthy diet, this will not be more than three times a day. The key factor for weight loss is improving the quality of your diet. My research has shown that eating healthy food brings a greater level of satiety, and significantly reduces or eliminates the uncomfortable symptoms of toxic hunger15, leading to greater meal satisfaction, reduced calorie intake, and attainment of a healthy weight.

So, if you can manage with with the fasting part your diet actually seems to be a good one for both: 1. Losing/retaining weight 2. Keeping brain clear

Thanks for researching more into it r30. I of course agree with you completely.

rtr: I have also read the 4 hour body by tim ferriss(and both his other books) at least 4 times, and used to be a devout fan of his methods. There are many unanswered questions and just plain manipulations in that book. Cheap camera manipulation tricks to show how much more muscle he gained here. Using muscle memory to regain some muscle(not as much as he claimed), which is much much easier than actually gaining muscle, and then tricking us into thinking his weight has been stable over the past 30(?) years or so here . And there is a whole bunch of other things wrong with his book and him…

Keeping that in mind, I did find his diet useful, losing 18 pounds in like 3-4 months(I was somewhere between lean and average to begin with, and I’m 5’ 7’’). It’s really easy to follow as you’ve said, and Saturdays are pretty great. There are also other useful things in his book, like polyphasic sleep, or the general IDEA of weightlifting to absolute muscle failure, but don’t take everything he says as gospel. As you can see from the pictures, he is willing to deceive you.


Edit: Also rtr, your weight can vary (depending on your size) anywhere from 3 to 10 pounds depending on how much you ate and drank. If I don’t eat for a whole day, and drink little, I’ll be 8-9 pounds lighter than I will be after 4 hours of eating and then drinking a lot of water. Water weight.

I wholeheartedly agree with your views on Tim Ferris, Bateman. His book is bad journalism and even worse science (I’ve only read 4-hour body).

I guess a lot of people in here are familiar with or have read Moonwalking with Einstein. In it Foer demonstrates what good investigative / immersive journalism looks like. Tim Ferris is a money-hungry anecdotal fraud.

That being said I do think that time-management can make an improvement of your fitness level/goal (as well as other parts of life), but it’s hardly a big scientific revolution that standing around chatting at the gym doesn’t make you ripped!

There seems to be a lot of badmouthing of cardio so I just wanna make a few points. While it is true that weight lifting increases muscle mass which in turn increases your basal metabolic rate (i.e. caloric expenditure at rest) lifting does not provide a lot of the benefits of cardio; such as increasing peripheral circulation, inducing a heart rate of 150+ for several minutes (preferably more than 15), reduces risk for arthritis, reduces plaque build-up (i.e. arteriosclerosis).

That last one is important. Regular recreational runners reduce their risk of cardiac events and death significantly compared to non-runners. That is information based on randomized trials, not a Tim Ferris fact.

Heavy squats. Your heart rate will be very increased for several minutes. Peripheral circulation can be improved by alternate hot-cold showers, 1 minute cold 1 minute hot repeat a couple times… Blood goes more towards organs when in cold water, and more towards skin in hot…

I’m not sure about arthritis, but bone mineral density is significantly higher in weight lifters, which probably contributes to preventing arthiritis.

I have no clue about plaque build up, probably diet contributes to it.

Edit: Would also like to add that running contributes to a ton of different injuries in the legs, just general deterioration of tissue, gtg


Exactly which toxins are you talking about?

I have only ever had a diet of foods like this. Flamin’ hot cheetos, fast food (usually fried chicken or some mysterious form of reconstituted chicken product) ice cream, little debbie snackerinos of every sort, popcorn, mountain dew code red and the like.

Actually I haven’t thought about this in a long time but my first job when I was 17 was at the carousel in the food court in the mall. The food court was a little expensive, and this was back at a time when Taco Bell sold the 1/2 lb. Cheesy Bean and Rice Burrito for just $0.99 and the chicken quesadilla for $1.29 (my, what has changed in just ten years…). I went to work for 5 hrs per day, 5 days per week. Every shift - every shift - I would get some combination of cheesy bean and rice burritos and chicken quesadillas before and then again after my shift. This is just how I have eaten my whole life. But intellectually I’ve always been ahead of the pack, and it should be said based on my speed and clarity of thought that I have a brain that functions well by most standards, or at the very least does not show signs of being poisoned. It’s possible that I ought to have been a person of rare genius who missed the boat after 25 years of sheer nutritional deprivation, but something about that just seems fishy to me. Perhaps it’s just because “rare” means “rare,” so it’s an implausible explanation from the start.

I am strange…as in it tends to be apparent that I am different in ways that are not easy to define, some might say aberrant behavior. Nothing violent, I’m just apathetic about the observation of social mores or even oblivious of them at times, which is of no concern to me. The obsessiveness and the insomnia too…and the paradoxical combination of presence and an aloofness that is intangible yet detectable by myself and others. I wonder if you guys can tell that I’m sort of crazy for lack of a better word. Is that apparent, or do I just seem like an Average Joe over the internet?

That’s a little off topic. But what I was getting at was that maybe the toxic consequences of never eating anything that is food, oh, excuse the Freudian Slip, never eating anything that is good for me manifest in these ways rather than dulled cognition. It would explain away the ‘intrinsic’ nature of the euphemistic specialness that I have always allowed myself to believe was some combination of essential properties of my self (and thus to be appreciative of the uniqueness of my being) in a single stroke.

Oh well, you can’t win 'em all.

So can you suggest some guidelines for eating more healthy that would require the absolute bare minimum of research, preparation, and any other cost of money or time?

Oh, and also I have been sleeping much more since the USAMC ended. >8 hours per night about 5 days per week. It’s funny: after I slept for 3 days in a row for like 9 hours each night for the first time in years, the streak was over. I could have continued alternating sleep and sleepless nights forever I think, but once my brain got a little taste of a regular sleep cycle, it said “No, you can’t do that anymore.” Now when I stay up it is largely because I take a lot of caffeine to be able to do it because I’m so used to 24 hour days that it feels like the weeks just fly by without my having time to get anything done. So I have to stay up once or twice a week to stay sane. :slight_smile:

You seemed normal enough other than the mentions of sleeping like 3 nights a week. One thread here though had a mention of your movie or something, and after watching that you seemed… odd. But hey, people are different. Yeah.


Edit: But then again, a lot of the great minds were quite eccentric and peculiar. And a lot of them had unusual sleeping schedules…

I think so, but I don’t know. If it doesn’t affect you now while you’re young, it probably will catch up eventually. I have a lot of trouble managing eating and drinking properly and it increasingly has taken its toll after many years.

Things that work in your 20s can start to catch up to you in your 30s, and the negative effects can hit you before you know what happened.

I feel great when I eat a very strict diet like this. It is vegan, but I think it would benefit from adding a couple of eggs per week. My problem is that I tend to be all-or-nothing and if I add the eggs, the rest of it falls apart.

Side note: I have a strong feeling that vitamins and supplements are unhealthy. See also: “Stop Wasting Money on Vitamin and Mineral Supplements” and this discussion. Just a personal opinion though.

I’ve read that the sugars in fruits are okay if you eat the whole fruit. The more sugary fruit has, the more fiber it contains, and that offsets the sugar absorption. This isn’t the original article that I read, but it’s on the same topic: