Occasionally, actually all the time; I read things and wonder what the world has come to. It seems that every week there is a new “diet” offering crash options to gain a non alcoholic six pack in just a couple weeks by eating stale toast. Occasionally, and very occasionally, I read some more and figure out that the wacky idea may have some merit to it, especially when the diet is centered around jet lag and not looking like a ghost. When you throw in names like Harvard researchers, the CIA and US Army into the mix, I begin to think I should take it even more seriously. Apparently there is a calculator tool to help figure out a diet schedule to minimize the effects of jet lag. I’m serious.
The thesis of the diet is that our eating schedule is a central feature of our biological clock and that deviating from norms affects sleep patterns, brain function and…most other functions worse than the time zone travel itself. By fasting you allow yourself to be hungry (famished) by breakfast time at your destination, putting you right on “local time”. Unfortunately, the diet essentially throws all the fun out of the travel and then kicks you in the stomach. No alcohol and no food from a certain time before you leave for the airport until at very best breakfast on the plane the following morning. The idea is that you must normalize your stomach to destination time but only after fasting it from departure time and that includes everything BUT water. I think Harvard scientists are better at explaining things so if you want the nitty gritty, check out the Harvard Business Review article here. Right or wrong I am simply not going to pass up lounge food, drinks and all the things that make travel feel less like an airport and more like a semi fun party with strangers.
Would you really pass up on this Cathay Pacific First Class chicken from a chef at the Mandarin Oriental? If you are one of the disciplined few that maybe should be in the CIA, there’s a calculator online where you input your departure and destination information. After inputting it will calculate the perfect food schedule for you based on the research. I didn’t say you’ll like it! If you don’t plan on following this crash course in hunger, I have a few jet lag tips of my own which I find truly help during my constant travels. Thoughts?
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