|A. J. Jacobs|
Jacobs in April 2009
|Born||Arnold Stephen Jacobs, Jr.
March 20, 1968
New York, New York
|Notable credit(s)||The Know-It-All,
The Year of Living Biblically
|Title||Editor at Large, Esquire magazine|
The key to making healthy decisions is to respect your future self. Honor him or her. Treat him or her like you would treat a friend or a loved one. A Stanford study showed that those who saw a photo of their future self made smarter financial decisions.
My goal? To test out every diet and exercise regimen on planet earth and figure out which work best. I sweated, I cooked, I learned to pole dance. In the end, I lost weight, lowered my cholesterol and doubled my energy level. I feel better than I ever have.
The best we can do, to paraphrase Pollan, is to eat whole foods, mostly plants, and not too much.
There's a very passionate pro-chewing movement on the Internet called Chewdiasm. They say that we should be chewing 50 to 100 times per mouthful, which is insane. I tried that. It takes like a day and a half to eat a sandwich. But their basic idea is right. If you chew, you'll eat slower and you will get more nutrients.
I was what they call 'skinny fat' – a body that resembled a python after swallowing a goat.
I was very good at sitting. But I just read so much research about how horrible sitting is for you. It's like, it's really bad. It's like Paula-Deen-glazed-bacon-doughnut bad. So I now move around as much as possible.
I tried the paleo diet, which is the caveman diet – lots of meat. And I tried the calorie restriction diet: The idea is that if you eat very, very little – if you're on the verge of starvation, you will live a very long time, whether or not you want to, of course.
I pledged to become the world's greatest expert in a field I knew nothing about.