Is there an ‘optimal’ or “supreme” form of nutrition for us– in terms of mental and physical power?
Introduction: What is your goal?
This is the question we must ask ourselves:
What are my personal goals– or what am I trying to optimize for?
1. Optimal nutrition for muscle-mass gain (muscle hypertrophy)
For example, if you want to maximize your muscle mass gain (muscle hypertrophy), it seems the optimal strategy is to eat a lot of meat. I cannot say this for certain, but it seems that the optimal meat to eat for maximum muscle nutrition is fatty red meat.
What are un-optimal sources of nutrition for muscle mass gain? It seems evident that if you ate nothing but kale, you probably wouldn’t gain much muscle mass (you probably could gain SOME muscle mass, but it wouldn’t be as ‘optimal’ as eating red meat).
In the field of bodybuilding, it is true that you can become strong and gain muscle mass from a purely vegetarian or vegan diet. However it seems that they are at a disadvantage compared to meat-eating bodybuilders.
Thus if your goal is to maximize muscle-mass growth, it seems the optimal food to consume is red fatty meat, or animal-protein-meat.
2. Maximize fat loss (subtract body fat-adipose tissue)
If your personal goal is to maximize your body fat loss (excess adipose tissue), it seems the optimal strategy is:
- Don’t consume sugar
- Don’t consume starch
- Generally don’t consume carbohydrates (yes, the ‘good’ and the ‘bad’)
Or to get more specific:
- Don’t consume high fructose corn syrup
- Don’t consume fruit sugar, fructose, white sugar, brown sugar
- Don’t eat starchy vegetables (no potatoes, no tubers, no broccoli-cauliflower, etc)
- Don’t eat grains/bread-items (no bread, no spaghetti, etc)
To optimize for body-fat loss, it isn’t about what to eat, it is figuring out what to SUBTRACT or what NOT TO EAT.
Thus once again– if your goal is to maximize your body fat loss (if you want to see your abdominal muscles), then:
- Don’t consume sugar, fruit, or anything sweet.
- Don’t consume starchy vegetables, simple and complex carbohydrates (don’t eat rice, potatoes, tubers, spaghetti, bread, etc).
3. To maximize mental activity
This is what is actually very interesting to me:
What is the ‘optimal’ diet/lifestyle to optimize mental thinking and mental activity.
What I discovered so far via self-experimentation:
In a practical way, for myself what I do:
- ‘Powerlifting’ at the gym
- Walk as much as possible (the upside of not owning a car)
- Eat only meat, eggs, and bitter herbs
- Drink lots of black coffee (no sugar, no cream). A huge fan of cold-brew coffee (higher caffeine content)
- When possible, use hot sauna. Not to use sunscreen, and expose myself to the hot sun as much as possible.
- Icy cold showers
- Intermittent fasting (no breakfast or lunch. Only eat dinner– or when the sun sets).
It seems that this has helped me personally maximize my mental and creative activity.
4. No moralistic or ethical beliefs on nutrition
The tricky thing about trying to do a philosophy of nutrition is this:
So much of the philosophy of nutrition is muddled with ‘morals’ and ‘ethics’.
For example, it seems most of the anti-meat eating conversations come from the idea:
Eating animals is morally evil.
Eating animals will destroy the planet, and make it uninhabitable for our future children.
For now, I will not make any arguments for or against any of these moral/ethical claims on nutrition.
It does seem that if we plan on colonizing the moon or mars, etc– we probably won’t be importing in cows, pork, and chicken to consume. We will probably eat some synthetic soy-plant-protein (or in-vitro meta) or some other strange space-optimized food.
But while we are still Earth-bound, I’m still fascinated about what the ‘optimal’ nutrition is for our personal thriving.
5. Don’t tyrannize your nutritional preferences on others, and don’t let others tyrannize THEIR nutrition preferences upon you.
I used to be this ‘nutrition crusader’ — trying to convince people that they shouldn’t be eating x, y, z.
Now my belief is this:
I will be tolerant towards your nutrition preferences, but I also would prefer that you are tolerant toward my nutritional preferences.
Anyone and everybody should have the personal freedom to eat food however they desire.
But the reason why I still like to share knowledge about nutrition is this:
I desire to share information, knowledge, and ideas which have benefitted myself– in the hope that it might help others.
And this is the tricky thing:
What works for me might or might not work for you.
But if this information which I’m sharing even has a 1% chance of helping another human being deeply, it is worth sharing this information!
Conclusion: Be skeptical, and self-experiment endlessly
It is evident that everyone’s body is different. Some people are taller, and some people are shorter. Some people have bigger wrists, and others have smaller wrists. Some people can process lactose-cheese-milk, and others (like myself) cannot. Some people have certain food allergies (I am allergic to shellfish, cashew nuts), whereas others aren’t.
Thus when it comes to your own body, keep experimenting on your own body. Know that what works for others won’t necessarily work for you. But also– what works for you won’t necessarily help others.
Thus it seems that the n=1 (self-experimentation) school of thought is good. For the most part, I am starting to get very very skeptical of these large-scale diet-nutrition studies. For example– when you hear that drinking a lot of milk is good for you (GOT MILK?)– is that optimized for white-people who can tolerate lactose? Does it take in account for some black-asian people who cannot process lactose?
Depending on your personal ancestry, it does seem that our bodies are slightly-optimized for certain diets. For example, if you’re from Europe– your ancestors probably ate a lot more cheese and drank a lot more dairy. If your ancestry is from Asia, your ancestors probably drank very little dairy — and might have consumed more soy-products. So when an Asian drinks milk, or when a European eats Tofu, however that individual responds is variable.
But for the most part, I encourage you to ignore all the health-diet stuff you read online. Just be very skeptical, self-experiment on yourself, and figure out what works for you and what doesn’t work for you. And keep experimenting, and tweaking your own diet and lifestyle for yourself.