Friday, January 31, 2014

The Foodless Diet

Here's a space-age idea for your dieting needs.

I hypothesized that the body doesn't need food itself, merely the chemicals and elements it contains. So, I resolved to embark on an experiment. What if I consumed only the raw ingredients the body uses for energy? Would I be healthier or do we need all the other stuff that's in traditional food? If it does work, what would it feel like to have a perfectly balanced diet?

So far, so good. Lots of science fiction movies and books include the idea of the single pill that supplies all the nutrients an adult human needs in a day. Why not actually try it?

The weirdness comes in when the experiment gets underway, and within just days the positive results start to flow in:

  • On day 4, he can run 3+ miles whereas before couldn't make it a single mile;
  • A lifelong skin condition clears up;
  • By week 4 he's up to 7 mile runs.

After a month, one starts to wonder if there's some cocaine in the mixture.

My mental performance is also higher. My inbox and to-do list quickly emptied. I 'get' new concepts in my reading faster than before and can read my textbooks twice as long without mental fatigue. I read a book on Number Theory in one sitting, a Differential Geometry book in a weekend, filling up a notebook in the process. Mathematical notation that used to look obtuse is now beautiful. My working memory is noticeably better. I can grasp larger software projects and longer and more complex scientific papers more effectively. My awareness is higher. I find music more enjoyable. I notice beauty and art around me that I never did before. The people around me seem sluggish. There are fewer 'ums' and pauses in my spoken sentences. My reflexes are improved. I walk faster, feel lighter on my feet, spend less time analyzing and performing basic tasks and rely on my phone less for navigation. I sleep better, wake up more refreshed and alert and never feel drowsy during the day. I still drink coffee occasionally, but I no longer need it, which is nice.

It's a bit hard to take this at face value. All of these benefits just from a supposedly balanced diet, after just 30 days? If so, it's a huge breakthrough and I'm sure we'll all be drinking Soylent in short order. But one is skeptical.