My most failed nutritional experiment

Alexei Sorokin
3 min readMar 31

I had long stretches when I was borderline overweight in my adult years, but I never had significant weight problems. But I’ve experimented a lot with my nutrition. My metabolism is not fast. I easily gain weight if I don’t think about what I eat. Even now, when I run seventy miles weekly, I still can’t be careless about my nutrition.

Fasting. I was never into intermittent fasting, but I attempted 36-hour fasts. The last one was about four years ago, and I did them more often in my twenties. Why? No reason. Because why not. By midday, you get hungry, then you get hungrier, then you’re just waiting for bedtime so that you fall asleep and don’t think about food. Silly.

I’ve been moderate in my consumption of carbs. Over the years, this is probably my most consistent nutrition strategy, though the degree of strictness has varied.

Fatty foods. I like cheese. You’re probably expecting to see something about me removing fat-rich foods from my diet. No, the opposite. In the past, I felt good about eating fat and purposefully consumed animal fat like lard. Right now, writing this, I feel like throwing up. I haven’t had bacon in years. That said, even though I don’t eat bacon today, I am not obsessing about the fat part of the nutritional label. I’d rather eat something rich in fats than added sugar. It’s the latter I always check, not the fat content.

Alcohol. For many years I enjoyed having a few drinks every night. At the end of last year, I decided to question my habit. I stopped drinking and had no problems with it — not a sip of alcohol for several weeks. I’m back to drinking now, but I don’t think I can call my experiment “failed.” I can stop again.

Calorie restriction — been there, done it. It works, by the way. Probably not sustainable, but it does help lose weight.

Tonight for dinner, I had steak. Grass-fed ribeye steak. Can you guess where this story is heading?

When I started running a lot, I called myself plant-based. I do eat a lot of vegetables on most days. Being plant-based means you don’t eat meat or you don’t each much meat.

I still don’t each much meat, especially red meat. I eat red meat about 3–4 times a month. I never eat meat at restaurants or fast food, but I enjoy grilling a steak.

Enjoy is an understatement. “Plant-based” was very delusional. As I said I don’t eat red meat often, but when I do, the level of…

Alexei Sorokin

A Russian immigrant in America, father of 4, Cambridge and Harvard Business School alum. I run and write every day. More here: