Soylent: What Happened When I Stopped Eating For 2 Weeks

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Shane Drinking Soylent

Tim Ferriss Intro

Hundreds of people have asked me about Soylent, a controversial Silicon Valley team trying to replace food with a grayish liquid.

“Does it really deliver all the nutrients the human body needs?”
“Is it safe?”
“Why hasn’t anyone tried this before?” [Hint: they have]
And most often: “What do you think of Soylent?”

Serendipitously, four or so weeks ago, I received an e-mail from Shane Snow, a frequent contributor to Wired and Fast Company:

I’m sure you have seen the buzz about the food-hacking movement, where a couple of Silicon Valley techies have been creating Matrix-style food replacement formulas for “optimum” chemical nutrition. Soylent.me, in particular, has been buzzing like crazy, having raised $800k in a Kickstarter-like campaign.

But nobody (besides the creators) has gotten his or her hands on any yet.

Except me.

Naturally, we had to do an experiment.

This post describes the longest non-employee trial of Soylent to date (two weeks without food), including before-and-after data such as:

– Comprehensive blood panels
– Body weight and bodyfat percentage
– Cognitive performance
– Resting heart rate
– Galvanic skin response
– Sleep

I share my thoughts in the AFTERWORD and occasionally in brackets, but this article focuses on Shane’s experience and data.  Please also note that this is *not* a Soylent take-down piece. I hope they succeed.

That said, there are some issues. I expect the debate on Soylent to be fierce, so please leave your thoughts in the comments. I’ll encourage the Soylent founders to answer as many questions as they can. From all sides, I’m most interested in studies or historical precedent that can be cited, but logical arguments are fine.

Also, a quick clarification: There is a bit of soy lecithin (an emulsifier) in Soylent, but soy is not a main ingredient, which is understandably confusing.

Enjoy the fireworks… Read More

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Ketosis and Athletic Performance: More Than Fat Loss

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The above video is a presentation by Peter Attia, M.D.

His talk is somewhat technical, but I always write blog posts hoping 20,000 people will *love* them, not that 1,000,000 will *like* them.

In this presentation, you will learn (in my words, not Pete’s):

– More about nutrition than most MDs learn in med school.
– How ketosis-adapted performance can aid fat loss and high-altitude resilience.
– Why the calorie estimates on treadmills and stationary bikes are complete BS.
– The three primary systems of energy production and basic organic chemistry, both of which aid understanding of all athletics.

Even if you struggle a little with vocabulary, the first 30 minutes are well worth watching a few times.

This talk made me immediately want to jump back on the Cyclical (or “Cyclic”) Ketogenic Diet (CKD), which was conceptually introduced to me in 1996-1998 by the writing of Lyle McDonald, Dr. Mauro Di Pasquale, and the late Dan Duchaine. It’s incredible for simultaneous fat loss and lean muscle gain, though perhaps needlessly complicated for non-athletes.

I usually limited the carb-reloading period to 12-18 hours after a glycogen depletion workout on Saturdays, though I experimented with moderate Wed night carb-ups while training for sports like kickboxing.

If you’ve experimented with ketosis, what was your approach and experience? Pros and cons?

For additional reading, I suggest the following posts by Dr. Attia:
http://eatingacademy.com/nutrition/ketosis-advantaged-or-misunderstood-state-part-i
http://eatingacademy.com/nutrition/ketosis-advantaged-or-misunderstood-state-part-ii

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Odds and Ends:
This week, I’m using my birthday to change the world with @charitywater. Please click here to take a look. You could do the same.

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How To Gain 20 Pounds In 28 Days: The Extreme Muscle Building Secrets of UFC Fighters

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Nate Green's muscle building experiment

The following is Part 2 of a two-part guest post from Nate Green, who works with John Berardi, PhD, Georges St-Pierre’s nutritional coach.

Part 1 detailed how top UFC fighters rapidly lose weight before weigh-ins for competitive advantage.

Now, in Part 2, Nate shares how he gained 20 pounds in 28 days, using techniques an elite fighter such as Georges St-Pierre (GSP) might utilize to move up a weight class. This is a very, very comprehensive post.

If you’ve ever wondered how to quickly gain muscle — or how a GSP versus Anderson Silva super-fight could happen — you’ll want to print this out and refer to it often.

Let’s jump into the detail… Read More

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How To Lose 20-30 Pounds In 5 Days: The Extreme Weight Cutting and Rehydration Secrets of UFC Fighters

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Nate Green workout and nutrition tests

The following is a guest post by Nate Green, who works with Dr. John Berardi, nutritional advisor to athletes like UFC champion Georges St. Pierre (GSP).

This is the first of two blog posts entailing extreme physical experiments. Absolutely no performance enhancing drugs of any kind were used.

Part 1 — this post — details exactly how top fighters like Georges St. Pierre rapidly lose 20-30 pounds for “weigh-ins.” To refine the method, Nate performed this on himself, losing 20 pounds in 5 days. The unique part: Dr. Berardi and team measured key variables throughout the entire process, including the last “rehydration” phase. As Berardi put it:

“We used GSP’s exact protocol with him [Nate]. The idea was that by doing this with a guy who didn’t actually have to compete the next day, we could measure all sorts of performance variables that you’d never get with an athlete about to fight.”

Part 2 — the next post — will share how Nate used intermittent fasting and strategically planned eating to gain 20 pounds in 28 days, emulating a fighter who wants (or needs) to move up a weight class in competition.

Cautionary Note on Part 1

Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fighters put it all out in the open for the world to see: they kick, punch, laugh, cry, and bleed in front of thousands of arena fans and millions more watching at home.

But even if you’re a hardcore fan who knows all the stats, there’s something behind the scenes that you’ve probably never seen in full: world-class weight manipulationRead More

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Jedi Mind Tricks: How to Get Loved Ones to Lose Weight

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03.31.13 Darya and Kevin
Darya Pino Rose, PhD, and her dad, who transformed himself after years of resistance.

“Families are like fudge: mostly sweet with a few nuts.”
– Anonymous

“Language is a means of getting an idea from my brain into yours without surgery.”
– Mark Amidon

Losing fat yourself is one thing. Readers of this blog have lost 100-200 pounds without too much trouble.

Getting your mom or dad to take you seriously? To stop eating white bread or drinking 64-ounce sodas? That can seem impossible.

Loved ones — whether family, friends, boyfriends, girlfriends, spouses, or otherwise — can be sensitive. The people who need help most often won’t accept it, especially from those closest to them.

So what to do?

This post gives a real-world example from Darya Pino Rose, PhD. I’ve known and followed Darya for years. Her PhD is in neuroscience from USCF, and she champions a whole-food-based approach to nutrition that avoids pills and powders. This combination produces fascinating results.

The below story, from her new book Foodist, shows exactly how she transformed her dad’s health without butting heads with him… and how you can do the same for your loved ones.

Do you have any tricks that have worked with your family or friends? Please share in the comments!

Note: For the purposes of this post, a “foodist” is someone who uses real food and real science to lose weight permanently.

Enjoy… Read More

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The Diet of UFC Champion Georges St-Pierre: How He Transformed Himself

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Georges St. Pierre, better known to fight fans worldwide as “GSP,” is currently the UFC Welterweight Champion.

His publicly stated goal is to retire as the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world and, at a record of 23-2, ESPN currently ranks him as the #3 pound-for-pound fighter in the world. I think he’ll get there.

His intellect–and consistency–is what separates him from the brawlers. He has a scientific approach to winning.

This isn’t limited to training. He considers nutrition a critical part of his fight prep, just as important as being in the cage. In this respect, 2009 marked an inflection point. That year, after successfully defending his Welterweight title in his second fight against BJ Penn, GSP hired Dr. John Berardi of Precision Nutrition to help him gain lean muscle tissue and improve his recovery abilities. Berardi, in charge of the nutrient science, recommended that GSP hire Jennifer Nickel and Rosario “Ross” Gurreri, two chefs in the Montreal area who worked at Cavalli and Bice restaurants, for his meal preparation.

In the next 8 weeks, GSP gained approximately 12 pounds of lean muscle and bulked up to 195 pounds. His upgraded speed and power helped him to dominate every subsequent opponent, posting a 5-0 record since 2009.

This post will walk you through how GSP ate during his 2009 transformation… Read More

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The 4-Hour Everything: How Tim Ferriss Tracks His Life's Data (Interview with Wired's Clive Thompson)

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This is a short 20-minute interview from this week’s WIRED “Living By Numbers” Health Conference. It was a great event, and one of my favorite writers, Clive Thompson, interviewed me on how I track my life. Included are questions about the future of self-experimentation.

Enjoy!

What would you like to know more about? Please let me know in the comments.

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Odds and Ends: The 4-Hour Chef – Promote Your Product, Service, or Company?

Would you like to get your product or service in front of 1,000,000+ unique monthly readers… with an average annual income of $75K+? This blog has that audience.

For the launch of The 4-Hour Chef, I’ll be doing another big promotion like I did for The 4-Hour Body (here’s what that promotion looks like).

If you’d like to giveaway your product or service as a bonus, please fill out this form no later than 5pm PST this Saturday, 10/20/12. Thank you!

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