The Guardian about the trend among adherents of a healthy lifestyle and productivity from Silicon valley — long fasting. The last time the former Director of Evernote, Phil Libin ate a day ago — it was skewers of yakitori from the restaurant in Mission District in San Francisco. Next time he will eat in three days — on Thursday evening. On this day he had already booked a table at one of the best sushi restaurants in the city. During the four-day interval, he will only drink water, coffee and black tea.
Over the last eight months of the current CEO AI Studio All Turtles refused to eat for periods of from two to eight days, between which ate quite a bit. He lost almost forty pounds and says that as a result “transformed”. “There is a slight euphoria. The mood is better than usual, I concentrated, and my energy never ends. Feel much healthier.
It helps me be a better CEO. Fasting is definitely one of the two or three best decisions Ive ever made in my life,” he says, sitting in the office All the Turtles in the Soma district and sipping coffee — one of the many cups per day. Libin is the representative of a growing community of leaders in Silicon valley, experimenting with a long-term fasting. According to them, they lose weight, their mood becomes more stable, and productivity is increasing.
Intermittent fasting, popularized through the diet “5:2”, in which people eat normally five days a week, and in the remaining two greatly reduce the amount of calories (about five hundred a day). Libin and his associates decided not to be limited to two days and focus more on enhancing their own productivity, not on weight loss. They combine long-term fasting with an almost fanatical track of their indicators such as the composition of body tissues, the blood levels of glucose and ketone is the substance extracted in the processing of bodys own fat reserves instead of obtaining energy from digestible carbs. The supporters of the idea insist that its not a diet, and “biohacking”. Jeffrey Wu, CEO HVMN (read as “human”), dealing with biohacking and nootropics at the beginning of 2017 is headed by a seven-day fasting, which was attended by more than a hundred members WeFast community, the long abstinence from food.
Some participants wore monitors to check the glucose, which are usually used by diabetics. The device, sew under the skin regularly to remove microsamples of blood that carrier could monitor the health in real time. They also measured the concentration of ketones in the blood to ensure that their bodies are in fact using the fat as fuel is a state of metabolism called “ketosis”.
Wu and other members of his company wanted to measure how fasting will affect productivity. Therefore, in parallel with the monitoring of physiological parameters (ketones and blood sugar) they used the program RescueTime, which measures how people are productive at work. “Youd think after seven days of fasting the person will be distracted by anything and constantly roving in search of food, but after about two or three days the hunger abates because there is an increased content of ketones. The brain and the body get energy from alternative source,” explains Wu. With the growth of 180 centimeters and weigh 74.8 kg, Wu do not need to lose weight, meanwhile hes dropped five pounds in a week.
According to him, he focuses on longevity and cognitive efficiency. Once a week Woo fast for 36 hours, and once a quarter or three consecutive days. Now he better understands how all works and hunger. We often confuse the desire to eat with the need to socialize, walk and take breaks. Why eat, when theres no objective need.
Libin talks about his fasting in a group chat in WhatsApp called the Fast Club, which includes approximately twenty CEOs and investors from the Bay Area. Usually he mentions only the ones who publicly declared their hunger strike. For example, a partner in Y Combinator and investor Daniel Cross and Loic Le MEUR — co-founder of the technology conference LeWeb founder and Leade.rs, a startup that helps organizers of conferences to communicate with the speakers. It Le MEUR in December 2016 for coffee told Libenu about biohacking through starvation.
Then Libin weighed about 117 pounds — his personal record — and Le MEUR on that point was starving for two and a half days. It sounded all crazy. So I went home and started looking for information, hoping to prove him wrong. But instead I found some research and found out that it is quite an effective method.
In the end, he decided to try. “The first day I was so hungry that I felt like I was gonna die. On the second day was even worse. But on the third day I felt better than ever in the last twenty years,” says Libin. Scientific papers, studied the effect of prolonged fasting on the human body, is becoming more.
Published every year dozens of studies proving how fasting can strengthen the immune system to fight the predisposition to diabetes and slow down the aging process — however, in mice. However, there is evidence that without the supervision of a specialist fasting can be dangerous. If the body will be supplied an insufficient number of important minerals like sodium, magnesium and potassium, a person may refuse heart. Besides starvation increases vulnerability to infections and worsens the condition of the damaged kidneys. A specialist in eating disorders from San Francisco by the name of Shrein Bahrami worried that fasting can be another excuse of those who just doesnt want to eat.
“Excessive focus on tracking indicators of the body has become the norm, so its hard to say, I do not turn it to some in the obsession”. However, people with eating disorders commonly experience shame and other negative emotions towards food and own body, which is not very similar to Libin and Wu. “If you still intend to engage in therapeutic fasting, and I do not recommend doing this — first consult a physician,” she adds.
It has been eight months since the “treatment” Libin, and he says that fasting is easy. The entrepreneur often goes with “cute Lunches” with friends where usually order only water. People think its torture, but I actually enjoy. Communicate with friends, look at food, smell her. All this is very nice.
Usually lunch where I eat nothing, I leave feeling filled with. If he had to pay part of the bill. Said that it happens sometimes. Now the movement WeFast Jeffrey Wu has more than six thousand followers in Facebook and on the channel in Slack.
Participants discuss recent research fasting and share tips and results. They gather every month in San Francisco, where collectively eat in the restaurant. According to Wu, basically come to them twenty and thirty engineers in Silicon valley. “Here and in other competitive markets around the world, more and more people are doing anything to increase productivity”. Everyone knows that if you have dinner, the junk food, the next day productivity is reduced.
However, when people with an engineering mindset are beginning to study the scientific underpinnings of why there are “carbohydrate coma”, they begin to understand how to control them. Instead of having to disassemble the computer chips they explore their own body. Libin believes starvation is the next trend in Silicon valley — it was the same with meditation that gained popularity a few years ago with the advent of apps like Headspace. The people here believe that they can solve all problems.
Such is the culture. Want to worry less. This is the meditation. Want to live forty years longer. Probably, this can be achieved through fasting.
About 80% of what people here, is empty nonsense, but they still keep trying. Libin now only eats gourmet meals instead of hastily assembled sandwiches. “Boring meals I have never. Every time I put food in the mouth, it becomes unique.”. So foods with processed carbohydrates like bagels, he only eats in new York city (“in San Francisco theyre disgusting”), and ramen only during trips to Tokyo.
After allegations that he practices fasting, pelted Libin with questions people do not know where to start. However, he doubts that starvation will come into fashion, as it did with meditation. “Its too extreme. No one grew up surrounded by people who believed that meditation is extremely harmful to. While all said that fasting is dangerous and very difficult,” he explains.
Besides, nobody earns when people refuse to eat. All that goes against all economic interests are rarely “takes off”. To be interested in fasting, you need to be a dork like me. Send your column about how our world will change, [email protected]