Dieting extremities I’ve failed at because they were silly extremities

Alexei Sorokin
3 min readJan 7, 2022

I attempted them even though I’d never suffered from obesity. Slightly overweight? Yes. When I have extra pounds, they can be seen in a) my waist, not so much my belly but the sides of my waist, b) my tits, c) my face. But, as I said, I’ve never faced major struggles with my weight or body image. Still, I attempted these experiments. I consider most of them to be failures. In hindsight, they just seem strange, unnatural, and unjustified.

  • Fasting for 36 hours (water allowed). I’ve done it a few times. Some notion of cleansing I guess. Not sure why it was 36 hours and I fasted at all. I’m not a fan of any fasting, not even intermittent fasting. I’m not a fan of feeling hungry. I’m a huge fan of not overeating but feeling starved — never sustainable.
  • Going all keto. Actually, I don’t even know if it was precise “keto”, but probably close to it — I mostly ate protein and fat. This was fairly recent. My hair started to fall out and I’m sure it was because of my diet. Stupid.
  • No meat. Today I eat very little meat because I don’t feel comfortable about consuming mass-produced meat. Once though I thought of giving up meat completely. No profound reason. It felt cool to do so. I failed. Two-three months and I craved a piece of steak if I saw one.
  • Going vegetarian and even borderline vegan. Similar to the above but more extreme. I wouldn’t eat eggs for example.
  • No sugars. Today I am very careful about consuming sugary things. I’d never had a rich dessert. But I will allow myself chocolate, a cookie, or even some pastry. In the past, I tried to remove sugar completely. It probably did help me lose weight, but it wasn’t sustainable. Sometimes you want something sweet and it’s ok.

I’ve now sustained my weight — lowest ever — for a year and a half. I wouldn’t attribute it to any specific diet. Well, a lot of it is attributable to my running routine which has become my life’s cornerstone habit. It’s not easy to put on weight while running 8–10 miles every day. But I don’t diet. Some tendencies — yes, but nothing extreme or fanatical. I don't eat a lot of carbs, for example; very rarely I would eat a full bowl of pasta or rice. But I don’t eat a lot of protein either. So what do I eat? Lots of vegetables, nuts, cheese, eggs, oats, cereal, natural yogurt, some bread, some protein in the form of chicken or fish.

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Alexei Sorokin

A Russian immigrant in America, father of 4, Cambridge and Harvard Business School alum. I run and write every day. https://runningwritingliving.substack.com/