Health Sacrifice for Productivity?

24 replies
Hello guys. This post is about bio-hacking. I am not looking for health advice on this forum. I just want to know if I am the only one in this boat or there are others who go through similar experience.

I noticed that I am in my best creative and thinking states when being on half empty/fully empty stomach. I noticed that my and energy levels and ultimately productivity suffer as a result of morning and afternoon meal. Specifically my mental and creative capabilities are impaired.

So what I do in the morning is to delay my digestive system from getting started until afternoon which is when I would normally have my most productive 5 hours of work. I found a way to do that when I first stumbled upon article discussing Bulletproof Coffee. What I would do is prepare a cup of black arabica coffee and add MCT coconut oil. This one cup is capable to keep me sharp, energized and productive for 5-6 hours. Not only did I optimize productivity but also lost weight and it helped detoxify my liver too. This borders somewhere around intermittent fasting.

Then by afternoon I would sometimes skip meal and have that coffee again if I really have a lot of stuff to do. Other times I would eat a meal and experience afternoon crush, unless I start exercising. It is known that our body directs our blood to stomach area in order to digest food but causes temporary degradation in mental capabilities. I for example due to that feel lethargic, lazy and unable to focus and sometimes want to sleep. I circumvent that by starting to exercise after the meal and 5-10 later I feel sharp and focused, ready to continue checking off tasks on my list.

I wonder if there is someone who's too going through something this in order to be at their best and accomplish daily tasks. Is your routine similar or different? What advice would you give me? From health perspective, in your opinion does what I mentioned that I do in some way causes harm?

Thanks!
#health #productivity #sacrifice
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  • Profile picture of the author Odahh
    sacrificing your health is bad .. so you do not need to think of it in tat way .

    If when you eat you get a large amount of micro nutrients in your foods .. natural vitamins and minerals.. you can eat once a day and be fully healthy ..

    you could eat a good dinner every evening.. and the rest of the day go off juices or blended smoothies and veggies or fruits ....

    the way we in america or the west eat today.. is not the way humans have been eating for 100,000 years so you are free to bio-optimize your diet .. to perform best at what you are doing ..

    what you might want to have is a way to test your blood sugar to see how your body reacts to what you eat and what range your blood sugar is in when you are the most productive
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  • Profile picture of the author Kay King
    You post about an unhealthy way of life - and yet you don't want health advice.

    WHAT you eat is more important than when you eat. Eating only when you are hungry and not eating any more than makes you full - will be better than filling your empty stomach with coffee. But it's your stomach. If you continue this diet for years....your stomach will probably let you know about it.

    If you sacrifice health for 'productivity' - and either become ill or die young due to an unhealthy lifestyle - what is the point of the productivity in the end?
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    • Profile picture of the author Odahh
      Originally Posted by Kay King View Post

      You post about an unhealthy way of life - and yet you don't want health advice.

      WHAT you eat is more important than when you eat. Eating only when you are hungry and not eating any more than makes you full - will be better than filling your empty stomach with coffee. But it's your stomach. If you continue this diet for years....your stomach will probably let you know about it.

      If you sacrifice health for 'productivity' - and either become ill or die young due to an unhealthy lifestyle - what is the point of the productivity in the end?
      I agree with what you say .. Many if not most people put more time effort and money into the car they drive and keeping it running properly ..than taking care of the one body they get a life time .

      My body is beat to hell from the jobs i did in my 20's and the high amount of stress i went through untill a few years ago .

      I often wonder how productive or how much value many who are going to extremes to be productive.. actually return ..

      an artist or any crafts person many times does not care how much they are producing.. but if they are pruducing crap.. or stuff worthy of their skills that they can be proud of ..

      any big name pop artist ..does not spend 20 hours in the studio recording.. believing that spending huge chunks of time in the studio .. is why they ae success ..

      they will spend that time to produce a 3-5 minute song that they feel is the best they can do ..

      a football player at pro level is only productive part of the game .. but they spend months getting in shape and the week out two before that game practicing preparing and watching films about the other team .and in a decade or 2 there will be no more Nfl like today as Many parents refuse to let their children play do to the long term risks of traumatic brain injury .

      in the near future most "productivity" will be taken over by automation or better tech ..so Is the productivity you are giving up health for ..equal to trying to be the guy who can cut more trees with an axe or hand saw.. right as chainsaws are comming onto the market
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    • Profile picture of the author felixcohen
      Have you heard of intermittent fasting? What's so unhealthy about my post?
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      • Profile picture of the author hardraysnight
        Originally Posted by felixcohen View Post

        Have you heard of intermittent fasting? What's so unhealthy about my post?
        sounds like internet fasting would be healthier
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    • Profile picture of the author felixcohen
      I want health advice but I made it sound misleading because I thought this topic would be closed and considered off-topic...
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  • Profile picture of the author hardraysnight
    life is about balance
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  • Profile picture of the author Kay King
    I've heard of it - I've done it. I've never seen any proponent of it suggest coffee or other caffeine as a substitute for food. It's your choice - your body.
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    Saving one dog will not change the world - but forever changes the world for one dog.
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    Sometimes people come into your life and they need to stop doing that...
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  • Profile picture of the author Ken ny
    Sure, you might need a boost to feel good or energetic for the time being, but there will be downfalls that you might face later on. I would avoid caffeine if possible. Workout before doing productive work.
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  • Profile picture of the author BankableBarry
    Regarding "bio-hacking" I've had a lot of success with hacking my sleep. I determined years ago that my peak thinking happens between midnight and 4 AM. Most nights go to sleep between 9-10 PM and naturally wake up at around midnight. I do something mindless: watch TV, play a game until I feel the urge to work and then my mind go on a tear thinking and writing about whatever problem I'm working on. I usually get tired about 3:30 - 4 AM and go back to sleep for several hours and wake up naturally about 6:30 - 7 AM and get ready for work. Sometimes I'll take a nap in the afternoon for an hour. On an average day I get 6-8 hours of sleep, just not all at once.

    The other thing that happens is many times when I go back to bed after working for a while, just as I am ready to drift off to sleep, the solution to my problem will come to me. I have a large stack of paper with some pens by my bed and write feverishly trying to get all my thoughts onto the paper before I lose it because I know I won't remember it when I wake up later.

    Regarding bulletproof coffee, I had a similar experience as you did but the butter and MCT oil made me sick and I couldn't continue it. Maybe I'll try it again.

    Regarding "sacrificing health", you're an adult do what you want. Your body is a pretty good judge on whether something is good for you or not if you choose to listen. If it works and you are not hurting anyone else, go for it.

    #health #productivity #sleep
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    • Profile picture of the author felixcohen
      So you sort of just coined term intermittent sleeping? As long as you regime works for you and can sustain your income and lifestyle then why not? I am trying to find my own regime but there are just too many variables. The cost is high and returns are very small. In other words the level of comfort does not justify level of discomfort. It can be that I am doing something wrong though...
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  • Profile picture of the author TonyRoberts
    Interesting read.
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  • Profile picture of the author BuddyFox
    Originally Posted by felixcohen View Post

    Hello guys. This post is about bio-hacking. I am not looking for health advice on this forum. I just want to know if I am the only one in this boat or there are others who go through similar experience.

    I noticed that I am in my best creative and thinking states when being on half empty/fully empty stomach. I noticed that my and energy levels and ultimately productivity suffer as a result of morning and afternoon meal. Specifically my mental and creative capabilities are impaired.

    So what I do in the morning is to delay my digestive system from getting started until afternoon which is when I would normally have my most productive 5 hours of work. I found a way to do that when I first stumbled upon article discussing Bulletproof Coffee. What I would do is prepare a cup of black arabica coffee and add MCT coconut oil. This one cup is capable to keep me sharp, energized and productive for 5-6 hours. Not only did I optimize productivity but also lost weight and it helped detoxify my liver too. This borders somewhere around intermittent fasting.

    Then by afternoon I would sometimes skip meal and have that coffee again if I really have a lot of stuff to do. Other times I would eat a meal and experience afternoon crush, unless I start exercising. It is known that our body directs our blood to stomach area in order to digest food but causes temporary degradation in mental capabilities. I for example due to that feel lethargic, lazy and unable to focus and sometimes want to sleep. I circumvent that by starting to exercise after the meal and 5-10 later I feel sharp and focused, ready to continue checking off tasks on my list.

    I wonder if there is someone who's too going through something this in order to be at their best and accomplish daily tasks. Is your routine similar or different? What advice would you give me? From health perspective, in your opinion does what I mentioned that I do in some way causes harm?

    Thanks!
    I think you're supposed to add grassfed butter to that coffee with MCT...have you heard this?
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    • Profile picture of the author felixcohen
      Yes. I did in the beginning but later noticed that I better stop since I have gastritis and butter causes symptoms. I since have only MCT coconut oil in my coffee.
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  • Profile picture of the author JasonTheFreeman
    I remember back when I was in high school and some of my classmates were competing for a writing competition. During practice, their coach/teacher would say something like...

    If your stomach is empty your brain is full and vice versa

    I think that was only a joke at that time but some of my classmates used it as a justification to skip meals. I don't know if some of them actually believe it. I think the only explanation that I can think of to loosely justify that quote is what happens when we are hungry. We want to get the work done immediately so we can eat. Sort of a rush or an incentive.

    Here's what I do when I need to get a creative project done. I have snacks with me and snack from time to time. After completing the task I would eat a good meal.

    Some time ago I've been in situations where I had to reverse my body clock and ruined my circadian rhythm. I was eating at the wrong times. When I tried to fix my body clock and finally eat breakfast at 8 am, my body doesn't want it. I'd regurgitate my breakfast.

    Since you don't want health advice, my advice would be to prepare for the consequences of your habits, prepare for the pain in the future.
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    • Profile picture of the author felixcohen
      I do want health advice. The way I worded it should imply that this forum is not for health advice. I did that in order to not have this thread closed, being considered off-topic. So by all means, give advice. I should have made it a disclaimer that all advice received would not be deemed as professional advice and that I am to seek advice of professional. Something like that...
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      • Profile picture of the author Odahh
        Originally Posted by felixcohen View Post

        I do want health advice. The way I worded it should imply that this forum is not for health advice. I did that in order to not have this thread closed, being considered off-topic. So by all means, give advice. I should have made it a disclaimer that all advice received would not be deemed as professional advice and that I am to seek advice of professional. Something like that...
        If your having stomach problems try drinking water with some apple cidr viniger in it .. and lemon water during the day ..

        there is a chance you are trying to be "productive for to long a block of time each day .. you might want put yourselff on a 2-3 hour timer ..

        if you are in physical pain hunger .. from trying intermittent fasting ..you may just want to wake up and exercise right after you wake up ..then eat your breakfest with coffee and get to work ..or meditate right after you eat .. and shower and get to work ..

        there are plenty of ways you can boost your results if you are willing to test things out..rather than jump on the next fad
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        • Profile picture of the author felixcohen
          I do have gastritis though and I need to check whether apple cider vinegar and lemon are recommended. I also found that some people complain about frequent hunger sensation due to gastritis. I also have these symptoms often and it's the reason why I do what I described in original post.
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          • Profile picture of the author Odahh
            Originally Posted by felixcohen View Post

            I do have gastritis though and I need to check whether apple cider vinegar and lemon are recommended. I also found that some people complain about frequent hunger sensation due to gastritis. I also have these symptoms often and it's the reason why I do what I described in original post.
            apple cider vinigar in lemon water will do a lot less or no irritation compared to drinking coffeee on an empty stomach .. i don't have gastristis and that drinking coffee without food hurts my tommy lol ..

            the key is testing different thing that work for you or to see what works ..
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  • Profile picture of the author laurencewins
    As somebody with a lot of health problems today, I will add my 2 cents worth here.

    While you have identified your peak peak performance time, it's never wise to put yourself through such a dietary regime because, although it may help you temporarily, you'll soon suffer the ramifications when your body and mind start to become unhealthy.

    Drinking coffee as a substitute for real food in the long term won't help you, especially if you get up in the morning, have a cup of coffee but no food, and then another cup of coffee before work. It may be nice as a stimulant at times but if you eat, you'll jump-start your metabolism, fuel your mind and be able to perform better during your peak time if your stomach isn't yelling out "feed me."

    There are also plenty of healthy food options you can choose from. Many of these can be eaten while you work.

    Only you know how your body reacts but, from personal experience and all the research and writing I have done for clients in the health niche, your plan just screams DANGER!!!
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  • I think I'm in a similar situation. Sometimes, I'd sacrifice going to the bathroom just because I want to finish a blog post or editing an image for the website. The same goes with eating, either I'd eat late or eat super fast just so I can go back to work.

    This is perhaps the downside of working at home or remotely. While you can be more comfortable, it's more difficult to manage your time, because you just want to work, work and work. At least that's what is happening to me.

    I know it's not healthy but sometimes, it's just hard to control these things when you're running behind schedule. I think it's harder to balance work and personal life when working at home. I try to make up for it by eating healthier foods like fruits and vegetables, plus exercising on weekends as much as possible.

    Maybe you can substitute the afternoon coffee with like a fruit juice instead. One cup a day is okay but too much coffee can have bad effects. Initially it can give you energy but in the end, you'd feel so tired and restless.
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    • Profile picture of the author felixcohen
      Yeah, when you are not under management and don't have corporate routine it can be hard to balance work with personal life. I noticed that for me it's not easy to get "into the zone" also known as a flow state. If I don't do my preparations/rituals and do something else, my attention and focus that I dedicate to work will suffer and I will not perform at best. I will work but not as effective. I would be more prone to sidetrack, to snack.

      I think this happens due to me becoming bored if I won't "zone in" early. That's why to be at my best I try to avoid any interruptions, even having full meal is an interruption. For me, it's not easy to get back "into the zone" after being interrupted. There have been studies on that showing that it takes workplace employees on average 15 minutes to regain their focus and get back on track.

      I would say being employee and being self-employed, each has their advantages. For example I learned that I am influenced by people and that under direction of employee can display can do, warrior-like attitude. It makes it easier for me at least while at home I am prone to sidetrack. It's easier for me to accomplish tasks when I am under leadership and accountability of my employer.
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      • Profile picture of the author rbates
        Originally Posted by felixcohen View Post

        Yeah, when you are not under management and don't have corporate routine it can be hard to balance work with personal life. I noticed that for me it's not easy to get "into the zone" also known as a flow state. If I don't do my preparations/rituals and do something else, my attention and focus that I dedicate to work will suffer and I will not perform at best. I will work but not as effective. I would be more prone to sidetrack, to snack.

        I think this happens due to me becoming bored if I won't "zone in" early. That's why to be at my best I try to avoid any interruptions, even having full meal is an interruption. For me, it's not easy to get back "into the zone" after being interrupted. There have been studies on that showing that it takes workplace employees on average 15 minutes to regain their focus and get back on track.

        I would say being employee and being self-employed, each has their advantages. For example I learned that I am influenced by people and that under direction of employee can display can do, warrior-like attitude. It makes it easier for me at least while at home I am prone to sidetrack. It's easier for me to accomplish tasks when I am under leadership and accountability of my employer.


        You have certainly created quite a Buzz with your semi-"Off Topic" topic.

        There is no reason why you cannot change your ritual. It does not take that
        long to develop new habits. At the very least eat something with your coffee,
        and limit how much you drink.

        If you do suffer from gastritis, most professionals will tell you to stay away
        from caffeine and acidic foods. The acidic foods are what help to cause
        the gastritis in the first place, - wait a second...

        Here, read this from Healthline:

        Foods to avoid on a gastritis diet
        Foods that are high in fat may worsen inflammation in the lining of the stomach.
        Some other foods to avoid because they can irritate the stomach are:

        alcohol
        coffee
        acidic foods like tomatoes and some fruits
        fruit juice
        fatty foods
        fried foods
        carbonated drinks
        spicy foods
        allergenic or symptomatic foods

        Okay, so you are screwed on the coffee.

        You are right about it taking a few minutes to get back on track, but
        you are quoting an "On Average" statement. That is for people
        who are working around others. They talk, look around, and usually
        don't really like what they do.

        Okay, now to the self-employed internet entrepreneur...

        Most IM'ers enjoy what they do. I really doubt that many
        successful marketers have a great deal of trouble getting
        back on track after a distraction - unless it is major.

        Once you manage to figure out what your next steps
        need to be, then it becomes easier to stay focused.
        Once something begins working for you (i.e. making money),
        that is when you need to develop your ritual.

        A big part of why so many people who try starting
        an online business do not get very far is that they simply
        can't figure out what to do next - except buy something
        else that they can't use. (pardon me, I got distracted).

        As far as bosses go, I am my own boss, as are many
        people on this forum.

        As my own boss, I am wondering why I am spending so
        much time writing this post. I need to get back to work.
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