Silicon Valley techies adopt some unusual eating habits to boost productivity, including one firm where workers fast on Tuesdays. Melia Robinson wanted to see how one of these dieting regimens would affect her, and she concludes for Business Insider that it "vastly improved my life." The course she followed: the ketogenic, or keto, diet, which deprives the body of carbohydrates—just 50 grams a day instead of the recommended 225 to 325 grams daily—and sends it into "starvation mode." What it then burns instead: a person's fat stores, which are broken down into organic byproducts called ketones, which then become the body's main fuel supply. To keep the fat stores well stocked, that means individuals on this diet have to scarf down plenty of cheese, eggs, and avocados. Off the menu: pasta, bread, rice, and other carb-heavy foods, including some fruits.
And so, under the direction of a doctor, Robinson followed a routine she calls "Atkins on steroids." That meant breakfasts of butter-fried eggs and greasy bacon, as well as lunches consisting of "sad desk salads." Robinson sated hunger pangs in between with "fat bomb" snacks (her favorite: cauliflower smothered in butter, sour cream, and cheese). After just two weeks, she says her body "flipped the switch" and started using up her body fat to replace the carbs it had previously burned. Then her energy spiked, she no longer needed coffee as an afternoon pick-me-up, and her obsession with snacking waned. One month in, Robinson reached a "state of ketosis," with few remaining side effects. She not only lost 8 pounds over two months, but she experienced better concentration and more energy. "It made me feel like a superhero," she writes. More on Robinson's eating experiment here. (Read more diets stories.)