Updated: Dec 13, 2022
Yep! You read right! 🤯 Two weeks have passed since Thanksgiving and during these last three holiday season weeks, I sacrificed myself for the sake of science.
I wasn’t sure what to expect. Would it really make a difference if I relaxed and lived like a typical “healthy” American? I figured my daily routine of exercise, rest, and nutrition was beneficial; but I put that to the test.
I stepped out of my daily eating regimen. I cut back on exercise hours & sessions. I had irregular sleep and even pulled an all-nighter. I ate fast food (Chipotle, taco trucks, Mexican restaurants, cafeteria food). I ate sweets (pie, cake, donuts). I skipped my regular set of supplements & vitamins. AND I FELT IT!!!
A few months ago I climbed Mt Whitney, the highest mountain in the lower 48 states (14,505ft). At the summit there is 40% less oxygen then at sea level where I live. It was a challenge to get a good breathe and it was really rough trying to slog down the top part of the mountain with a 20lbs pack on my back. My body was dragging, because it was lacking the essential fuel it needed to operate: Oxygen!
That sensation of missing a vital fuel is what I started to feel during my three week experiment. I was low on energy, stiff, slow, and tired. I started to get acne rather than complements of how great and healthy my skin typically looks. I was used to running on premium gas and suddenly switched to discount low octane unleaded.
I clearly noticed that I couldn’t get satisfied even after eating way more calories than I typically would. How could I eat a full stack of pancakes then a plate of loaded nachos when each would be more than my total daily calorie intake alone?! Because my body was begging for nutrients and only getting empty calories (sugar, fat, bleached & processed carbs). I WAS EATING, BUT I WASN’T NOURISHING.
The change was measurable. My average active calories burned per day dropped from 1,300/day to barely half (700/day). My resting heart rate dropped from 50bpm to 42bpm (perhaps because my body wasn’t growing while I rested). My average sleep decreased by an hour per night. I also had less patience and struggled with focus.