I'm currently a graduate student, soon-to-be professor. I study ancient philosophy. Most of my days and spent reading, interpreting and writing about ancient texts. My main goal is to be as mentally sharp, focused, and productive as possible, for as long as possible. Second to that, I would like general health and well being. And, coming in at a close third, I would like to be lean, muscular and, well, to look good nekkid (vain, I know... I'm working on that...). Right now, I'm pretty strong and muscular - but I'm also pretty chubby. I've got some fat to lose (the result of a recent binge-drinking bender... graduate school is so rough...). As a side note, I've been reading about the paleo diet for a long, long time now - but I've finally ready to fully commit.
So, what are the keys to achieving these goals? What general diet, exercise and lifestyle routines would you implement? Basic paleo diet is a given (no more booze). I'm unsure about carb content, though. I lean toward trying lower carb, around 50 grams, since I'm not THAT active... but, on the other hand, I don't want to be mentally sluggish.
Also, I'm not sure exactly what my exercise should be like. I want minimum investment, maximum reward. I've heard about some mental benefits of the occasional light cardio like jogging (which I never do, out of fear of "chronic cardio"). Any thoughts about this would be appreciated.
Finally, I'm thinking about trying a warrior diet style Intermittent Fasting pattern of eating. Basically, just wake up, study all day, workout in the evening, then eat BIG and sleep. I find that when I eat lunch (even low carb), I tend to be sluggish; my afternoon work is never as good. I figure this will keep me mentally sharp longer.
Any thoughts? Any graduate students out there have it all figured out?
asked byEF (987)
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on July 26, 2011
at 09:46 PM
A lot depends on what personality type you are. I was very anxious as a student and, if you are like that, please don't try VLC or Intermittent Fasting. You will bonk out on it. If you are young, which I assume you are, you can try a Bulgarian-style method, if you like. I am not sure it's a good idea. Sure, that system created a lot of champions, but it also got a lot of people injured. So, I have to disagree with PersonMan on that one. I have seen too many casualties from it. Better to go with a 5-3-1, in my opinion.
If you are not an anxious-type, then go ahead and try IF and VLC.
Otherwise, just ask yourself, what would Heraclitus do if he were in my shoes?
on July 26, 2011
at 09:36 PM
Hi EF. I have a philosophy degree(honours)-which is mainly why I chose to repsond to you- and am a personal trainer which is why my response is useful(depending on what use you make of it of course). So you want "Kalon" eh? well: Currently my routine is as follows: cycle 3 days of lifting twice per day for 30-45 minutes; heavy compound most muscular mainly barbell work; 30 seconds-1 minute rest between 6-8 sets of 4-8 reps. Diet: Very-low to zero carb, lacto-paleo rawist(ie. raw foods mainly); high cholesterol and saturated fat; sunlight and 8 hours of sleep; occasional use of caffeine, etc. Discard alcohol and drugs. Research strength training and don't believe the hype about 'overtraining'. I have been working out for over four months twice per day without a day off and have never felt better. What will your PHD be?
on July 28, 2011
at 11:35 AM
Know anyone who's doing CrossFit? If you do, get them to take you with them to a workout, and see what you think. If not, look around online -- there's tons of information out there, and probably an affiliate around you that you could check out.