2

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What is your n=1 methodology?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created May 13, 2012 at 11:00 AM

What is your n=1 methodology? Plenty of logged data, or occasional intuitive insights? I would be really interested!

Edited To Add: How do you structure your self experiments?

I tend to single out what I want to change/improve/solve clearly first, then read any scientific literature I can find that's related to it. If information is unsatisfactory I end up trawling the blogs and PaleoHacks for ideas on what to try. Then I pick one based on how simple it is to obtain whatever is necessary. I test it for as long as those who recommended it and note my results. I then stop the intervention to check if that has any effect, then I start up again. I'll often retest somethings years later again, or with different variations. Probably the only things I don't test anymore is getting enough fat, avoiding grains and I have to avoid dairy.

The eating fat and avoiding dairy I started before coming across paleo. That's when I stopped grains.

Da20058e445fa4c5ce328132379521b3

(373)

on May 13, 2012
at 02:46 PM

I've got a long list of things to try down the road too. But the neighbours won't let me... Sorry not sure why I did that. But I like your answer!

Da20058e445fa4c5ce328132379521b3

(373)

on May 13, 2012
at 11:18 AM

N =1 meaning sample size of 1 :) The type of results depends on what I'm testing. If blood tests are needed to show results for a particular thing I'm testing then yes. I was actually interested in how YOU generally go at it when you self experiment. I'll add that to the question if that would make it clearer.

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3 Answers

2
B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on May 13, 2012
at 11:32 AM

I constantly work on a list of things I have yet to try out. These can be a different macro-nutrient ratio, particular foods, supplements or habits, ... I then take the most interesting one and test it out until I understand its effects. This usually means starting slowly and increasing the dosage until I'm exaggerating.

This does not rule out placebo effects, unfortunately. It can also end up in wrong conclusions , though after 2-3 years of experiments this does not happen very often anymore (since I tried so many different foods).

Da20058e445fa4c5ce328132379521b3

(373)

on May 13, 2012
at 02:46 PM

I've got a long list of things to try down the road too. But the neighbours won't let me... Sorry not sure why I did that. But I like your answer!

0
D913f5474ea87ae474183b1cdb75616d

on May 13, 2012
at 04:49 PM

So, the past couple weeks I’ve strayed from strict Paleo with very little ill effect (i.e. I feel fine. I haven’t gotten fat. My training is solid. My skin looks fine.) I’ve started eating dairy (mostly cheese), continued drinking (sticking primarily to wine), and allowed myself more frequent, but smaller dalliances with sugar. Since I’ve started allowing these foods into my diet, I find that I’m not binging on them like I used to (aka a pint of ice cream). I wish I would consume mostly raw, grass-fed dairy, but I usually don’t keep cheese in the house, eating it only when I want a bun-less burger at a bar.

However, this is slippery slope. Usually, it goes “Oh, my body can handle this crap.” Flash-forward 2-3 weeks later, “Oh shit. I have a buddha belly.” So I’m gonna try something. For a week, starting Wednesday, I’ll go back to strict paleo. I’ll check-in on how I look/feel/perform. Then, I’ll add a little bit of dairy back in and see what happens. If that is okay, great. However, if I feel crappy/bloated/etc, it’s a no go. The next week I’ll try a little bit of sugar (like a couple squares of dark chocolate every couple days). The following week, I see what white potatoes do to me….

But I’m not going to eliminate booze from my diet. I know what will happen if I quit drinking: I’ll lose 5-7 pounds. But I don’t really care. I like wine and it likes me.

So this is my personal protocol. I may log my meals, but I'll use how I feel/look/perform as my "data"....

0
5cd8441bd01fc10816085bfc092477c4

(925)

on May 13, 2012
at 11:12 AM

I are you talking about n=1 using what as your data? Are you making spreadsheets/graphs using different kinds of food? If so, what are you basing the results of intaking the different foods--blood tests? Weight gain/loss? Skin & hair condition? Fatigue? I am thinking along the lines of setting up graphs with bell curves like in Statistics class.

Da20058e445fa4c5ce328132379521b3

(373)

on May 13, 2012
at 11:18 AM

N =1 meaning sample size of 1 :) The type of results depends on what I'm testing. If blood tests are needed to show results for a particular thing I'm testing then yes. I was actually interested in how YOU generally go at it when you self experiment. I'll add that to the question if that would make it clearer.

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