There is a saying that ‘weight loss’ is 80% diet, 20% exercise. I subscribe to the same mindset for fitness generally.
I subscribe to a low-carb, borderline ketogenic diet. I also practice time-restricted feeding (aka ‘intermittent fasting’).
The best overview of diet and fasting comes from Dr. Peter Attia. As a starting point, I recommend this video from Attia. I would definitely suggest watching the 8-minute clip, but the TL/DR is that the Standard American Diet (“SAD”) is awful. Whether you want to be keto, vegan, vegetarian, or paleo… anything is better than SAD.
Peter Attia has tons of additional content that dive into keto, vegan, and fasting.
At some point, I will put together a list of all my favorite keto meals and some links to recipes like keto pizza and keto breads.
My simple rule for exercise is “make it as easy as possible”. [When I wrote this] I lived a 7-minute walk from my gym and I would go at least 3x/week. Always in the mornings and usually on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday. For weight training, right now, I am focused on strengthening my legs and back, and spend 1 day on back, 2 days on legs, and do ab workouts on 2/3 of those days. I also run 2x/week. At a minimum, I will run a 5k (3.1 miles) on Wednesdays and Sundays, but often much longer. On days when I don’t lift or run, I usually do 100 pushups (in sets of 25) at home.
Living close to my gym is one of the most important aspects of the above plan. If I lived much farther from my gym, it would be a lot more difficult for me to get into the gym 3x/week. Because of work, most people are forced to workout in the mornings before work (when you’re tired and it’s cold out) or in the evenings after work (you’re exhausted and hungry). If you have to add commute time or hassle into this process, it can make it a lot tougher to go to the gym. You want to remove all hassles getting in the way of you and your fitness routine.
As an example, during my junior and senior years of college, I lived farther from my gym and as a result, only weight trained 1x/week, but ran 4x/week. I also had a pull up bar on my bathroom doorframe and did a lot of pull-ups over those two years.
Find a plan that fits with your schedule and stick to it!!
I’ve tried a lot of different supplements and I have found that few have any meaningful impact. My opinion is to try things for a 30ish day period and see what makes a meaningful impact.
After doing my 23andMe, supplementing it with Rhonda Patrick’s review, and having my pre-med friend review it, I don’t have any notable deficiencies that need to be supplemented. Because of this, I’ve stopped taking a lot of the supplements I used to do in the past e.g,. CDP Choline and other similar supplements.
Supplements I am taking as of July 2020
- Coffee - 20 oz first thing in the morning (~6-7am) made by the french press.
- Pu’er tea - In the afternoons. I find it helps with post-meal digestion and I enjoy the taste
- MCT Oil Powder - I’ve been using Question Nutrition’s blend for several years and love it. I put 1 scoop in my coffee every morning (tip: put the MCT in before you put in your coffee and stir as you go, it breaks up much better).
- Fish oils (I use Carlson), but Nordic Naturals is also recommended. There are lots of cheaper alternatives, but if you look at the health facts of nearly all cheaper versions, they all contain lower amounts of EPA and DHA (the two key ingredients) and have much higher levels of “other"
- Vitamin D — Nearly everyone is Vitamin D deficient. This is particularly relevant in the context of COVID prevention. Depending on where I'm living and the season, I also try to get 30-minutes of direct sun exposure per day, ideally early in the morning.
- Astaxanthin — A new supplement I have been experimenting with. A friend who I trust a lot recommended it to me for clearer skin. I’ve never had serious acne, but I have found that while using this (and also stopping my prior skin care routine) that my skin has been clearer than ever before.
- Modafinil - I use modalert 200mg, but there are a lot of alternatives. I would definitely say DYOR on this one, but for long periods of WFH focused work, I like to take modafinil early in the morning after a cup of coffee. I do not take this daily. I usually take it 1-2x/week on Wednesdays (WFH day) and Sundays.
- Melatonin - Occasionally, I will take 3-6mg if I anticipate I will have trouble sleeping. I do not take melatonin regularly.
- Sleep-time tea every night
- Sleep mask - I am surprised how many people don’t use sleep masks. I’ve been using a sleep mask since 2013 and could not imagine going back to life without it.
(After typing this up, I realized I am taking a lot supplements than I thought I was 😂)