What’s the ideal diet, exercise routine, etc for photographers, content creators, or artists? Some ideas:
First of all, I think what we’re trying to optimize for is maximal energy, strength, focus, intensity, and power during the day to make stuff. Whether make photos, make films, poems, paintings, etc. We want to minimize and reduce our fatigue, tiredness, and weakness.
I know for myself, the thing I hate the most is feeling tired. I would actually say feeling tired (to me) is worse than feeling depressed, feeling anxious, nervous, bored, etc.
When I’m tired, I feel lack of motivation to live, essentially.
Of course if you’re tired during the day, the best cure is just to take a nap. I used to take naps in my car during lunch breaks when I was employed, and took naps in the library as a university student, in between classes.
But the problem with naps during the day: nowadays because I live on the road, taking a nap in the middle of the day isn’t practical.
So the question is, how do I maximize my energy and creative output during the day, without having to take a nap? And not to feel tired?
Some practical ideas:
First of all, I’m a bit proponent of fasting during the day and having a massive dinner. I’ve experimented a lot, and essentially I’ve found that I don’t “need” to eat breakfast or lunch. I can fast until around 3-6pm, when I usually break my fast, and allow myself unlimited meat, eggs, and leafy greens (ketogenic diet) until I sleep at night (I usually sleep around 10pm). Then the next morning, I’ll wake up in between 4am-8am (depending how I slept the night prior).
I treat every day like it was a mini-life. If I knew that today were my last day on Earth, I ask myself:
What would I do today, and what wouldn’t I do today?
So if today were my last day on Earth, I preferably would NOT take a massive nap during the middle of the day. I also wouldn’t waste my precious energy during the day on eating. I’d prefer to be creating stuff; whether making photos, poetry, writing, philosophy, film, videos, etc.
My workout philosophy
I grew up as a scrawny Asian kid, and prior was a fat kid. So I know the downsides of both: insecurity about small muscle mass as not being masculine and also the shame of being fat and having excess adipose (fat) tissue.
So for a long time, I tried to optimize the following:
How can I get as muscular and big as possible, with the least amount of body fat on my body?
I took protein powder, read all this workout and bodybuilding fitness stuff, to discover the “secret sauce” of becoming uber-buff and muscular, while also being “cut” (having a 6 pack).
I think I discovered the secret:
Workout a lot during the day, and don’t eat any sugar, carbs, or starch. Don’t eat breakfast or lunch, but just have a massive dinner comprising of lots of eggs, fatty meats, and leafy greens for variety.
We’re told to immediately consume protein after working out. But based on my experiences, you don’t need to. For the last year or two experimenting with this diet, lifestyle, and workout routine (intermittent fasting and ketogenic diet) I’ve put on lots of muscle mass, lost body fat (I have a 6 pack), and have more energy, focus, self-confidence, and feel bolder, stronger, happier, and better.
I’m also more productive (I create more videos, beats, photos, etc), and just feel more epic and badass in general.
First of all, you can follow whatever kind of diet, exercise, lifestyle, whatever you want. Ain’t nobody can force you to live your life a certain way, nor can anyone force you what to eat (or what not to eat).
Secondly, the reason why I’m writing this: to seek some sort of truth, some “life hack” that I think is worth sharing. I’m the extreme one, you don’t need to follow me or do as I do. I’m just sharing my experiences, ideas, thoughts, and personal philosophy.
Third, I don’t think this lifestyle or diet is ideal for everyone. But biologically, I think everyone can adopt a ketogenic diet mixed with intermittent fasting and thrive. I’m not 100% whether this would be good for pregnant or nursing women, but otherwise, I think it’s fine from a health perspective.
You won’t die.
Biologically, we don’t need to eat rice, sugar, fruit, carbohydrates, pasta, bread, dairy, etc. We won’t die if we cut it out of our diet.
Biologically, we don’t need to eat three times a day. Or even once a day. You can biologically fast for a week+ (no food, only water), and you won’t die. Or on a more basic level, Muslims fast during Ramadan (no water or food during the day, in the insane heat of the middle eastern sun) and they’re fine (I think this is why many middle eastern people are so tough and strong).
The human body is more resilient and stronger than we think.
Other practical ideas and questions:
How is your digestion if you don’t eat carbohydrates or rice? Don’t you need fiber?
I don’t think you need fiber to live. But regardless, I eat a lot of leafy greens (mostly for taste). I like spinach, Romaine lettuce, kale, etc. I also eat a lot of Kimchi which is surprisingly plentiful in Vietnam (lots of Korean expats living here). Anyways, my digestion is fine.
Do you have any health complications?
No. I’m probably less likely to get cancer or heart disease, because I don’t consume any sugar at all. Cancer cells thrive off sugar.
Aren’t you going to get a heart attack? Your cholesterol levels must be super high!
For reference, I eat around 6-8 eggs a day (whole eggs, including yolk), and tons of fatty meats (pork ribs, beef rib fingers, fatty lamb, pork belly, chicken thigh/legs, etc). There’s a common misconception that dietary cholesterol is bad for you. First of all, biologically eating dietary cholesterol doesn’t actually increase your bodily cholesterol levels. And also eating dietary fat doesn’t make you gain body fat.
For example, if I ate nothing but pork belly (or bacon) for a week, I would not accumulate any body fat (adipose tissue). Take my word for it; I’ve done this experiment on myself (eating nothing but bacon and eggs for literally a week).
Anyways, I got tested and my LDL and HDL levels were good after about five years on this high saturated fat, high cholesterol, and high meat diet.
Live your own life!
Once again, to clarify, I’m not telling you what to eat or not to eat. You can eat whatever you desire.
I’m just curious about the truth:
Is there an optimal diet and workout routine for photographers, artists, and other creators?
I think there is: and the secret is intermittent fasting (no breakfast or lunch), and a very strict ketogenic diet (no sugar or carbs, only fatty meats, eggs, and leafy greens).
More intermittent ideas to come!
Until then, watch the movie 300 (Sparta!!!) and be strong!