Tim Ferris & Netflix Recommend Optimizing Your Body

I’ve been reading the excellent new Tim Ferris 4-Hour Body book. Really fascinating stuff about optimizing your health, strength, and a host of other physical topics. Here’s the trailer for the book:

I’ve also watched Food Inc lately, followed by a few Netflix recommended flixs – Food Matters and Killer at Large: Why Obesity is America’s Greatest Threat.

And yes, I had no interest in almost any of this stuff when I lived in New York. Maybe it’s a left coast thing 🙂

My big takeaways from Tim’s book and these documentaries is the following:
– I personally spend more time researching smart phones and 3G/4G coverage maps then actually paying attention to what I eat and tracking my health. An annual doctor’s visit usually just results in “things look good” with very little other info.
– Given startup life and travel, I spend too much time either hungry but w/ no time to eat or feeling like I ate too much.
– I’ve never quite believed the whole “just burn more calerories than you consune” — doesn’t make mathematical sense, and anyone who has worked out knows, after an hour of cardio you have burned the equivalent of 5 bites of your dinner.
– For a few years I’ve been essentially following a modified version of the Mark Bittman system. Eating salads for lunch, and avoiding deserts unless the day starts with the letter “S”. This has been good — but not good enough.
Tim ferris is a next generation hacker — very impressive what he’s done in his latest book — and really wish more people in the health field would take his approach of being data centric, and not making assumptions.

Things I’m going to do more of or have started to do already:
– Doing this a bit already, but even more focused on eating vegetables and meats that are organic and local
– I used Run Keeper for a few weeks to track my walking activity. Averaging now about 20M/week from just walking to cafes and to meetings. Going to try and track that a bit more.
– I picked up a Wifi enabled scale recently, Withings, which also tracks fat % and BMI (although fat % seems to not be super accurate)
– I started the 4HB recommended diet about a week ago, photo blogging each meal using the WP for iOS app and post-by-email.. Hat tip to Beau Lebens for the “system” suggestion 🙂 The diet essentially cuts out carbs, dairy, and sugars, and you eat as many vegetables as you want — plus you get one “cheat” day a week to eat anything you’d like. I’m not totally convinced that this is a long-term way of eating — but I think it’s helpful to “reset” a bit with one of these approaches, and then slowly add back certain foods to see if they have any real impact.

Conclusion:
– Data is good — just the act of tracking things is a step in the right direction
– I love Tim’s focus on MED – Minimally Effective Dosage. Yes you can work out 2hrs/day and get in good shape (assuming you don’t get injured), but what if you could get 80% of the work-out benefits from a 20 minute workout. That seems much more sustainable and smart to me, and that’s what Tim is focused on in terms of diet and workouts.
– Change is good — it’s fun to change things up food wise. And it forces you to get creative within a set of limitations and restrictions.

I’ll post in a few weeks to see how this whole 4HB thing works out 🙂

5 thoughts on “Tim Ferris & Netflix Recommend Optimizing Your Body

  1. I’m using a Withings scale as well and I can say it’s more consistent with it’s body fat % than any other scale I’ve used. I wait at least 30 minutes after I wake up to use it so that my body has a chance to adjust to having been in a lying down position. Is it accurate? No idea, but my body fat % is rising and falling with my weight.

    Do you plan to do any of the workouts from 4HB?

    • Interesting re: the scale. For me, I don’t know if the reading is accurate, but the % changes within a 2% range, and doesn’t seem connected to my weight. Could also be b/c I’m not consistent with the time of day.

      Re: the workouts. I’m not doing any from 4HB yet – but might try them soon.

      Right now I’m still do my pushups, crunches, squats, and some heavy bag / thai kick boxing 😉

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s