I personally wouldn’t take health advice from Jack Dorsey.
In the morning, he meditates for two hours before taking an ice bath. The meditation part is fine, but why you’d then ruin your zen by flinging yourself into an ice bath is beyond me.
He then doesn’t eat anything for the whole day before consuming a dinner of proteins, greens, and mixed berries between 6:30PM and 8:30PM.
When he’s not eating like a woodland creature, it’s a R3 000 beef sandwich called a “Katsu Sando”. Totally normal, nothing to see here.
We know this because he talked about it on a podcast in July. He calls it intermittent fasting and he wants everyone to do it.
As QUARTZ points out, however, there are a couple of problems with this lifestyle. For one thing, if Dorsey [below] were a woman, this behaviour would be called “disordered eating”.
For decades, women, especially those in the public eye, bore the brunt of unrealistic beauty standards, which caused many to develop or exacerbated unhealthy relationships with food. Actress and Goop founder Gwyneth Paltrow reportedly ate 300 calories a day during a January 2018 detox regimen; reality TV star Nicole Richie admitted that she “liv[es] on a diet of sunflower seeds, celery juice, and chewing gum.”
Just this week, Today Show hosts Jenna Bush Hager and Hoda Kotb weighed themselves on live television after spending a week only eating between 10am and 6pm, with the intention of losing weight and improving “brain health, and energy and skin.”
The public immediately jumped onto social media to accuse them of disordered eating, but when Dorsey does it, we all throw our breakfast in the bin before meditating in an ice bath.
Many famous men have attributed their success to an “optimizing” regimen of intermittent fasting. In 2013, actor Hugh Jackman revealed his intermittent-fasting plan that involved an eight-hour window to eat, followed by 16 hours of fasting.
Phil Libin, the former CEO of Evernote, explained his decision to fast for up to 8 days at a time, attributing his lack of excitement about his work to his carbohydrate intake. In 2016, tech entrepreneur Kevin Rose decided to cash in on the trend and created Zero, an app intended to help users track their fasting regimens.
Forget actors and Silicon Valley people, let’s move on to the science and real facts about the popular diet.
Intermittent fasting is a regimen that severely restricts calorie intake during certain days of the week or hours of the day. If done correctly, intermittent fasting can be beneficial to those struggling with obesity or for those trying to prevent diabetes and heart disease, since weight loss occurs as the body expends more energy than it takes in.
Those are the benefits, but it’s not for everyone. Fasting for long periods of time can cause drops in blood sugar levels, which can lead to grogginess, dizziness, headaches, irritability, fatigue, and dehydration.
Either way, disordered eating happens when food and food intake becomes obsessive and controlled to the point where it could be harmful.
Intermittent fasting can be a precursor to severe disordered eating. “For some people who are vulnerable (genetically) to binge eating, for example, intermittent fasting can set them up for a rebound binge. For other individuals who are genetically prone to anorexia nervosa, experimenting with intermittent fasting can be the first step in a slippery slope toward anorexia nervosa,” says Dr. Cynthia Bulik, the director of the Center for Excellence for Eating Disorders at the University of North Carolina and the director of the Centre for Eating Disorders Innovation at the Karolinska Institutet.
If you’re keen to diet, or attempt an extreme diet, it’s probably best to get an expert involved. A dietician will assess your physical needs and recommend the best plan for your personal wellbeing.
And as a rule, don’t take your health advice from a man who subsists on berries and writes weird poetry.
I don’t care how many apps he’s developed, he’s not living his best life.
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