The science behind tech bro health trends like keto, dopamine fasting

Dorsey and other Silicon Valley bros also swear by intermittent fasting-style diets.

fasting

The eating pattern means the clock, not your body, dictates when you eat.
TanyaJoy/Getty Images


The trend:

When it comes to Dorsey’s fasting style, the CEO chooses to eat one time daily at 6:30 p.m., at which point he’ll consume a protein (either fish, chicken, or steak) and some vegetables (an arugula or spinach salad, asparagus, or Brussels sprouts). Then he’ll have a dessert of mixed berries or dark chocolate, which he consumes before 9 p.m.

On weekends, Dorsey fasts until Sunday evening. When he breaks his fast, he’ll have bone broth and some red wine, though Dorsey didn’t specify how often he consumes alcohol.  

“It really has increased my appreciation for food and taste because I’m deprived of it for so long during the day,” Dorsey told fitness author Ben Greenfield in April during an episode of Greenfield’s podcast.

Dorsey’s approach isn’t the only way to go about intermittent fasting though. There are four popular types, according to the Cleveland Clinic, including a twice-weekly fast and a time-restricted method where a dieter eats only between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m., or between or noon and 8 p.m.

The science behind it:

Some research suggests intermittent fasting can help with weight loss better than restricting overall calories while eating throughout the day.

At the same time, research has found people have trouble sticking to intermittent fasting for the long term compared to other weight-loss plans.

According to the Cleveland Clinic, intermittent fasting isn’t entirely proven as a helpful diet, but it does work for some people if they learn how to incorporate it into their lives without feeling deprived.

When it comes to Dorsey’s more extreme style of fasting, some professionals see it as disordered eating. And, doing it over a long period of time could be especially detrimental to mental and physical health.

“Humans are mammals that need certain amounts of food and fluid to maintain our physiological [functions] and energy to do things we want to do in the world,”  Dr. Jennifer Gaudiani, an internal-medicine doctor who specializes in eating disorders, previously told Business Insider.

“When people undercut their need for food with radical under-eating, the body doesn’t care about the reasoning. It is just going react to save your life,” Gaudiani said.

That reaction will include feelings of mental sharpness because the body is trying to determine when and where from it will get its next meal, according to Gaudiani, which could explain Dorsey’s mention of increased mental acuity during the Greenfield interview.

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