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Diet & Nutrition

Biohacking Diet: Optimal Nutrition for Weight Loss & Peak Health

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Biohacking Diet Nutrition
Biohacking Diet Nutrition
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Experts generally rank diet as among the most important pillars of optimal health.

For your health, performance, body composition (muscle, strength, and weight loss), brainpower, and beauty.

Yet at the same time, they disagree about every facet of it:

  • Are carbohydrates making you fat?
  • Are PUFAs healthy oils or metabolic toxins?
  • Should you go full carnivore or plant-based vegan?
  • What about fasting? Overhyped or cure-all protocol?
  • Will lectins, oxalates, phytates, goitrogens, glucosinolates, and trypsin inhibitors slowly kill you?

Then you have the researchers who oppose omega-3 fatty acids and advocate refined sugar consumption.

You can find large groups of people promoting just about every food, while other groups, at the same time, demonize those very same foods.

Who is right?

As it turns out, successful diets share certain commonalities.

So in this post, I’m sharing the most important, time-tested dietary biohacks. Almost universally, these yield the greatest results while maintaining your culinary freedoms. We’ll biohack your nutrition to fully optimize your diet.

We’ll cover the critical foundations and the advanced biohacks you can use to maintain optimal health year-round.

The Benefits of Biohacking Your Diet & Nutrition

Nutrition expert measuring her food
Biohacking your diet is more necessary than ever

Every human requires nutrients to survive. Your lifestyle, biochemical profile, genetics, and epigenetics determine your unique needs. Both total quantities and ratios.

And differences between people are only growing with time.

Biohacking your diet is the surefire way to find your optimal nutrition plan.

You explore which foods work best for you, and discover which small adjustments dramatically change how you feel, perform, and look.

Simply using feedback from your body to make smart decisions.

This leads to weight loss, longevity, and fully optimized health. With less inflammation, food intolerances, and restrictions.

The inconvenient truth about modern agriculture

Over the last half-century, the widespread use of pesticides, herbicides, and genetically modified organisms (GMOs) has decimated the soil.

And the quality of the soil directly determines the quality of food.

A $10,000 bag of vegetables grown in dead soil provides less nutrients than the equivalent $3 bag grown in fertile soil Share on X

At the same time, conventional farming practices impact our body’s natural detoxification processes and dysregulate the health of the gut microbiome.

In fact, some of the most common pesticides are also patented antibiotics.

Antibiotics that harm the “good” bacteria more than the bad.

Considering the majority of your body is dominated by microbes (instead of human cells), you can imagine the impact.

Aside from that, the latest statistics show that we have significant imbalances between our macronutrients already.

Choosing foods with greater nutrient density and supplementation has never been more important.

The Fundamentals of Biohacking Diet & Nutrition

If you do nothing else, these are the highest-impact, most universal nutrition biohacks that the experts largely agree upon.

Regardless of their eating plan.

Mastering the diet fundamentals such as:

  • Whole foods in their natural state for maximum nutrient density
  • Unlocking food nutrients with techniques like sprouting, soaking, and fermenting
  • Personalizing your diet using blood work, constitutional typing, genetics, and epigenetics to suit your specific needs
  • Master macronutrient intake by matching your intake of fats, proteins, and carbohydrates to your needs
  • Sweetness in the right dose and form
  • Fatty acid choice determines everything
  • Meta-eating via slowing down, being present and intentional with your food choices, and eating in a parasympathetic state to enhance digestion and satisfaction
  • Optimize timing by aligning your eating patterns with your body’s natural rhythms for better health

These basics naturally stabilize your blood sugar levels, balance healthy inflammation, promote weight loss, and keep your body performing at its peak.

Fuel up on whole foods

Whole foods are the cornerstone of an optimal diet.

You’ll hear this referred to as “focusing your shopping on foods/ingredients that don’t have any labels”.

These foods are zero-to-minimally processed and as close as possible to their natural state. Providing a rich source of nutrients that your body needs to thrive.

From fresh vegetables and fruits to proteins and beyond. Eating a wide variety of whole foods in your diet plan supports weight loss, improves gut health, and enhances overall wellness.

You’re not only nourishing your body with essential vitamins and minerals but also avoiding harmful additives and chemicals (many of which are highly addictive too) often found in processed foods.

All the “Blue Zones”, the longevity hotspots around the world, have this in common.

Unlock nutrients

Fruits, vegetables, and nuts
Use ancestral food preparation methods to increase nutrient levels and offset anti-nutrients

Many so-called health foods also contain “anti-nutrients”.

These substances bind to vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and other beneficial nutrients and interfere with their absorption. Or exert negative health consequences.

The most common types of anti-nutrients include:

  1. Phytates
    • Found in: Seeds, nuts, legumes, and grains
    • Impact: Bind minerals like zinc, iron, magnesium, and calcium, reducing their absorption
  2. Oxalates
    • Found in: Spinach, rhubarb, beet greens, and certain beans
    • Impact: Bind to calcium and form calcium oxalate, potentially leading to kidney stones in susceptible individuals
  3. Tannins
    • Found in: Tea, coffee, some nuts, and legumes
    • Impact: Interfere with iron absorption
  4. Lectins
    • Found in: Legumes (including peanuts and soybeans) and whole grains
    • Impact: Cause digestive distress and may interfere with nutrient absorption; however, most lectins are broken down by cooking
  5. Goitrogens
    • Found in: Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and cabbage
    • Impact: Interfere with thyroid function by inhibiting iodine uptake
  6. Glucosinolates
    • Found in: Cruciferous vegetables
    • Impact: Interfere with the absorption of iodine, affecting thyroid function
  7. Saponins
    • Found in: Quinoa, legumes, and some vegetables
    • Impact: Interfere with normal nutrient absorption and may cause leaky gut if consumed in large amounts
  8. Trypsin Inhibitors
    • Found in: Soybeans and other legumes
    • Impact: Inhibit the enzyme trypsin, which is key for protein digestion

Although modern science is only now beginning to research these substances, ancient cultures have known about them for millennia. And there’s good news.

Techniques like sprouting, fermenting, soaking, and choosing grass-fed and grass-finished meats, significantly reduce anti-nutrient levels and increase the bioavailability of essential nutrients (like vitamins, minerals, healthy fats, and protein). While also promoting better digestion and absorption.

Unlock your food and reduce toxicity by using ancient preparation methods.

Tap into your bio-uniqueness

Traditional nutrition advocates generic, cookie-cutter diet plans. Based on flawed, antiquated science.

Often multi-decades behind the current research.

Instead, biohacked nutrition tailors your diet to your body’s unique needs. A wide range of factors determine your specific dietary requirements. Which often vary dramatically from the government-recommended “RDAs”.

In fact, you can follow generic traditional advice exactly and still become woefully deficient in dozens of essential nutrients.

This way of eating is about individualizing your intake.

Just as the time-proven ancient medical systems advocated and practiced with all their patients, successfully, for 5,000+ years. This is the true “Medicine 3.0”.

Macronutrient mastery

Three primary macronutrients dominate the human diet: carbohydrates, fats, and protein.

Technically, alcohol and ketones exist as separate macronutrients. And since dietary fiber contains net zero calories, many experts petition it to gain status as a new macronutrient.

But for most intents and purposes, the biohacked diet focuses on balancing the three main macros.

Generally, you’ll do your best by getting as much protein as possible. Then, experiment with clean sources of carbs and fat to find your right ratio.

Although I did it for years while experimenting with keto, I advise most people to avoid completely excluding entire macro-nutrients.

Carbs have an important role, especially for those pursuing high performance.

Finding the right balance will help you improve your energy, weight, physical and mental performance, and more.

You can get started by using a meal tracker like Cronometer for a few weeks to determine how you feel on different macros levels. Or skip the hassle with a powerful genetic analytics tool like this one.

The sweet connection

Sugar has become dietary public enemy number one.

Most humans today consume a stark excess of sugar.

5X more than what the consensus considers healthy.

Real sugar isn’t much of an issue when consumed occasionally. A healthy metabolism can easily burn it off. Especially when given a little support with a natural glucose disposal agent.

Consumed chronically, too much sugar causes blood glucose dysregulation, impaired immunity, hormone imbalances, body fat gain, brain fog, accelerated biological aging, and insulin resistance. The latter is a root cause of disease.

If you’re going to consume sugar, eat it.

Sugary drinks are far worse than sugary food as drinks do nothing to satiate your appetite and cause more cellular damage.

Instead of sugar, use natural sweeteners or slowly wean off them completely to enjoy the subtle natural flavors of whole foods.

Your taste buds will adapt, and you’ll start enjoying the sweetness found in fruits and vegetables.

Fantastic fats

Your choice of dietary fat matters far more than sugar intake.

You can move around a bit, exercise, and quickly burn sugar. Within minutes.

Yet you can’t do the same thing with fat. Once consumed, your body incorporates the fats you consume into your cells.

The fats you consume today last in your body (and cell membranes) for up to SIX years Share on X

So the types of fat you consume really matter.

And here’s the worst part…

The general recommendations suggest polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs). Specifically “heart healthy” canola, soy, safflower, sunflower, corn, cottonseed, sesame, etc.

These oils are highly unstable and prone to degradation, oxidation, and rancidity.

Surely you wouldn’t use foul-smelling and tasting rancid oils.

Since the smell and taste of these rancid oils are horrendous, manufacturers use a long list of dangerous chemicals to neutralize the smell and taste.

Unfortunately, these PUFAs severely damage cell membranes. Impairing them more and more over time. Also poisoning your bodily energy generation “factories” (mitochondria).

That’s why industrial vegetable oils have earned the nickname “liquid poison”.

Olive oil—in its pure, cold, unadulterated form—is the possible exception due to its high polyphenol content (more on that later).

Instead, cook with stable oils like ghee, butter, coconut oil, and tallow. This is certainly one of the most essential dietary biohacks.

Meta-eating for maximum impact

Woman having a plate of salad
What you eat is only one part of the equation

Most nutrition advice focuses on “what” to eat.

Yet the same exact meal eaten in a high-stress state causes greater inflammation and blood sugar spikes. Often by 30% or higher.

The when, where, how, who, and why are equally important.

Considering each of those factors sometimes gets the label, “mindful eating”.

The simplest way to improve is to be present and fully engaged with the meal.

Noticing the flavors, textures, and sensations of your food. As well as to your body’s hunger and fullness cues.

It’s mostly about slowing down and relaxing.

Not only will you enjoy your meals more, improve digestion, and prevent overeating, but your gut health and nutrient absorption also improve.

Improve your meta-eating by slowing down, making meals a full sensory experience, and noticing your bodily cues like hunger and fullness.

Rhythm-aligned eating

The body operates in rhythms. Daily (circadian), weekly, monthly, seasonally, and annual.

Choosing the right times to eat determines the effect of the food on the body and mind (and sleep!).

Plus, meal timing impacts digestion, hormone balance, neurotransmitters, and energy levels.

The general circadian rule of thumb is to eat your meals within the sunlight hours. Breakfast or lunch should be the largest meal of the day, and dinner should be the smallest.

For weekly eating, you should vary your intake across different food groups. Matching macros with lifestyle demands.

All the while, you want to eat local foods currently in season.

The Advanced Biohacking Strategies to Enhance Your Diet & Nutrition

Mastered the foundational diet biohacks and looking for more?

These concepts, protocols, and tips can help you further transform your nutrition.

Timing your meals for better health

Intermittent fasting, specifically time-restricted eating (TRE), is a powerful tool in the biohacker’s arsenal. It takes circadian-aligned eating to the next level.

It’s exactly as it sounds: consuming all your calories for the day (food and drink) within a compressed window.

Most people in the developed world surprisingly eat within a 14-18 hour window. That means they only stop eating to sleep.

TRE flips this.

Narrowing your eating window helps your body burn fat more efficiently, reduces inflammation, improves metabolic health, supports healing, and even lowers your heart rate. This is about giving your body a break and letting it reset.

Not only do people following TRE feel better, but they experience greater energy levels and better overall health.

But here’s the thing.

Fasting is advanced because, despite what the influencers say, it is not for everyone. You must manage your stress (allostatic load) first. Otherwise, you may do more harm than good.

Elimination diets to identify food sensitivities

Elimination diets are one of the most powerful nutrition tools in the professional health practitioner’s toolbox.

You use them to identify food sensitivities and intolerances. Not allergies, but sensitivities. Foods (and chemical additives) that cause inflammation and immune reactions.

You won’t notice these sensitivities because, after eating the problematic food, symptoms can take up to 72 hours to present themselves.

Eventually, this potentially leads to full-blown allergy/autoimmunity.

So what can you do about it?

Remove certain commonly problematic foods from your diet for a period. Then, gradually reintroduce them. This helps you pinpoint which ones cause issues (like brain fog or digestive issues).

Elimination diets are advanced because they’re daunting. They take a ton of diligence and are a massive hassle. But they’re far more effective and accurate than commercial food allergy testing.

If you have any GI issues, an elimination diet is certainly worth it to pinpoint the current problematic foods.

Note that these intolerances can change over time.

Following an elimination diet will not only uncover food sensitivities but also teach you about how different foods affect your energy and health.

“Non-essential” nutrition

These days, carnivore and keto dieters quickly point out that fiber is not an “essential nutrient”.

True, you can survive without it. But you won’t thrive. At least, not long-term. And if fiber causes you digestive issues, it indicates a larger issue.

High-fiber foods are your gut's best friends. They’re highly protective, support digestion, and contribute to an optimized gut microbiome Share on X

Your gut’s often called your “second brain”, so it’s an important organ for health.

Foods rich in fiber, like fruits, vegetables, and legumes also help you feel fuller longer (safer than risky GLP-1 agonist drugs too), improving weight loss.

Plus, a high-fiber diet is linked to reduced chronic disease risk and fiber is a vital component of natural cellular detoxification.

You want to consume a mix of soluble and insoluble fiber. Though soluble fiber matters more.

Legumes are by far the best source of fiber. I cook them in bulk and consume very small portions with each meal whenever possible.

Superfoods & polyphenols

Diet products often tout labels full of superfoods.

Many of them appear to be little more than expensive, synthetic green multivitamins. But there are some quality red superfood and green superfood supplement powders.

Although a superfood smoothie won’t fix your diet by itself, it can certainly help.

I consider any foods with high nutrient densities and unique properties as “superfoods”.

Some of the real superfoods include:

  • Micro-algae
  • Acai berries
  • Goji berries
  • Blueberries
  • Strawberries
  • Raspberries
  • Blackberries
  • Maca root
  • Matcha
  • Cacao
  • Dragon fruit (Pitaya)
  • Camu Camu
  • Lucuma
  • Moringa
  • Baobab
  • Noni fruit
  • Kelp
  • Hemp seeds
  • Jackfruit

These aid many bodily systems at the same time.

The most interesting, however, are a sub-class of nutrients called polyphenols.

Polyphenols provide a large portion of the benefits of fruits, vegetables, tea, spices, herbs, dark chocolate, and controversial substances like coffee and red wine.

These are excellent for the gut microbiome as well as mitochondria and beyond. They’re some of the most researched ingredients and deserve a spot in every diet.

Smart biohackers include a large quantity and diversity of polyphenol-rich food sources (and even supplements) in their diet.

Biohacking Nutrition Through Supplementation

I wish that a perfect diet alone sufficed, but strategic supplementation fills the unavoidable gaps in your diet.

Providing essential nutrients to fuel all your bodily processes. You may get by for decades without any supplement. But you’ll live far below your potential.

And that’s just supplementation to address core nutritional needs.

You can also use ergogenic aids to boost your athletic performance. Or brainpower-enhancing supplements for your mental performance.

Or to de-stress, sleep better, burn body fat, build strength, and more.

Supplements can amplify your progress towards virtually any goal.

Nature’s functional adaptogens & mushrooms

Adaptogen supplements from Nootopia, Real Mushrooms, & Perpetualife
Adaptogens reduce stress, boost the immune system, improve brain health, balance hormones, and build your resilience

Adaptogens are a special class of nutrients with unique properties. Including incredible safety, and the powerful ability to help the body rebalance.

Classic examples of adaptogens include:

  • Ashwagandha
  • Rhodiola
  • Ginseng
  • Holy basil
  • Functional mushrooms

These plant-based substances confer greater resilience to humans.

Medicinal mushrooms are non-psychedelic substances that powerfully rebalance your immune system. They’ve been used for centuries in traditional medicines across the world.

They’re now recognized for all kinds of health benefits, depending on the type.

From reishi to cordyceps to lion’s mane, these fungi support your body’s natural defenses, promote optimal brain health, boost athletic performance, and help you stay healthy and resilient.

Adding them into your routine is simple. Check out my guide to functional adaptogenic mushrooms to get started.

Plus, even shiitake and the button mushrooms available in your supermarket have benefits. Such as a newly discovered pseudo “vitamin” called ergothioneine.

Consuming adaptogenic substances is a simple and effective biohack that taps into ancient wisdom for modern health.

Synbiotic allies for your gut microbiome

Probiotics are among the most overhyped supplements.

That’s because they don’t colonize the gut and most commercial strains provide very little benefit.

Synbiotics are a combination of probiotics with a special kind of fiber called prebiotics. These fibers feed the probiotics and help them work more effectively.

As mentioned in my guide to the best alternatives to probiotics, you also have another related form of biotics called “postbiotics”. These are the beneficial substances (metabolites) created by probiotics.

All of this is key because a healthy gut microbiome in turn supports the brain, muscles, and the rest of the body. Not just digestion.

At the very least, you can consume a diet rich in prebiotics and probiotics. Foods like yogurt, fermented meats, and sauerkraut are great sources of probiotics, and foods rich in fiber serve as excellent prebiotics.

Other biohacking supplements

I’ve listed a few key overlooked categories of supplements here. But that’s not all.

After years of research, testing, analyzing, and applying, I’ve come up with a short list of the most important nearly universal supplements.

These are the (currently 10) things that people swear by and often have life-transforming benefits.

They’re too long to list here, click here to learn more about the top universal biohacking supplements.

If I’m missing any, drop a comment and let me know!

The Technologies to Biohack Your Diet

The Oura ring, Sens.ai, and Kineon Move+ Pro
Innovations in tech allow us to track diet, sleep, brain health, stress, & more

Technology facilitates following a biohacked diet.

From apps that track your nutrient intake to wearable devices that monitor your physiological responses to food, to advanced and risky CRISPR gene editing technology.

Tech makes personalizing nutrition plans easier and less expensive than ever before.

Tracking your nutritional health using wearable technology

Currently, few devices do a great job of quantifying your food intake. There’s tremendous potential here too. Current wearables, however, mostly help you correlate your diet and particular outcomes.

For example, my Oura ring nicely illustrates how even one single alcoholic drink near bed impacts my heart rate, nervous system state, and next-day recovery (and performance!).

I wouldn’t necessarily have known without this tech.

Other devices can also help:

  • Ketone monitors measure what fuel you’re burning
  • Lumen measures your metabolic health
  • FoodMarble measures your degree of gut health (or potential dysbiosis issues)
  • Continuous blood sampling devices for general wellbeing

Wearable technology offers a convenient way to track your nutrition, hydration, health, and progress towards goals.

This is one rapidly growing and evolving area, making dietary insights easier than ever.

Genetic testing to personalize your diet plan

Genetic testing is a cutting-edge tool that can personalize your diet plan, fitness, habits, and routine to your unique genetic makeup.

Best of all, it’s static. Test once and you’ll know all your:

  • Strengths
  • Weaknesses
  • Disease risks

All at once. Knowing these, you can spend less time, energy, and resources over-optimizing your genetic gifts, and re-allocate them to address your areas needing the most support.

Genetics is one large factor that explains why a high-carb plant-based diet works great for some. And why others feel amazing on carnivore or keto.

This takes the guesswork out of nutrition, providing your blueprint for what foods and supplements will most benefit you.

For more information, check out my ultimate guide to genetic testing for health & wellness.

Apps & platforms as your digital nutritionists

With features like meal planning, nutrient tracking, and even virtual grocery shopping lists, digital tools make your life easier.

They take the guesswork out of what to eat for optimal health, ensuring you’re fueling your body with the right nutrients every day.

Logging everything you eat and drink is a huge pain and I rarely recommend making it a long-term daily habit.

In the short-term though, keeping a record of what you eat, how you feel, and your physical performance, helps you make smart adjustments to your diet.

To fine-tune your nutrition (and equally important, what you avoid) to suit your body’s unique needs and goals.

You can also use technologies like continuous glucose monitoring. This passively but in real-time shows you the impact of your foods on your biochemistry (currently limited to blood sugar).

CGMs are eye-opening for the first several times you use them.

Especially the self-accountability, knowing that everything you eat will eventually show on your data. Some of the top CGM brands even assign you a complimentary nutritionist.

Use apps, journals, or whatever tools work best for you.

The key is consistency and a willingness to adapt based on what you learn. This personalized approach ensures your diet continues to evolve with you, leading to lasting health benefits and peak performance.

The Universal Principles Behind the Best Biohacked Diets

Nutrition confuses the world’s greatest minds.

Even at large biohacking conferences, each expert seems to contradict the ones before and after them.

What is the best diet for human health and performance?

Here’s what you now know that they don’t…

There isn’t one.

There’s no restrictive magic diet that works for everyone.

Whether due to religious/spiritual constraints, allergies/intolerances, taste, convenience, or other preferences.

But that also doesn’t matter.

Many nutrition authorities secretly know that certain principles hold across virtually all successful diets.

These include things like:

  • Consuming more real food and less processed
  • Choosing the right macro sources
  • Optimizing beyond “what” you eat
  • Eating for your biochemical individuality
  • Supplementing to fill in nutritional gaps

Many of these are simple, not easy.

Yet your small daily choices compound and add up over time. You’ll make (hopefully not break) your health over weeks, months, and years.

Just focusing on one small step per day makes a difference.

I hope some of these ideas or concepts have given you things to research.

And if you think I’m wrong about any (or missing them), drop a comment below and let me know too!

If you found this controversial post interesting, I’d appreciate you sending it to a friend of yours. Or sharing it on social media.

Thanks!

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Post Tags: Biohacking, Diet, Food, Lifestyle, Nutrition, Weight Loss

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