Neuroticism – The Big Five – Minnesota Semi-Starvation Experiment
On the subreddit /JordanPeterson, somebody posted his personal story, basically asking for help. His story was just a picture of his Big Five score, with neuroticism at 90. About ten seconds in, something clicked. I’d read about neurosis before in the Minnesota Semi-Starvation experiment about ten years ago. Neurosis can be caused by diet. Well then, it can be fixed by diet too.
Minnesota Semi-Starvation experiment: https://academic.oup.com/jn/article/135/6/1347/4663828
So basically, that experiment’s diet causes neurosis. The mechanism is likely the deep constant hunger, but I think there’s something else going on besides hunger. I think it’s related to fat and fat-soluble essential vitamins A,D,E,K, and maybe also meat and essential vitamin B12, and most likely meat and the protein it contains as well.
So the idea here is if we’re scoring high on neuroticism, we’re probably eating a diet similar to that experiment. Let’s fix the diet. If it doesn’t do anything, at least we’re not making things worse, maybe.
So, what diet should we eat instead? Let’s use other experiments to figure that out. We got:
The Bellevue All-Meat trial: http://www.jbc.org/content/87/3/651.full.pdf
Christopher Gardner’s A-TO-Z experiment: https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/205916
And Weston Price’s book Nutrition and Physical Degeneration: http://journeytoforever.org/farm_library/price/pricetoc.html
This is what I wrote in response to his personal story:
OK, so now we devise a diet based on those. So, plenty of meat, no problem. Plenty of veggies, no problem. Cut the carbs, especially sugar and wheat, that’s the bad stuff. You can go down to zero sugar and zero wheat, no problem. Eat plenty of fat, no problem. For the fat though, prefer animal fat over veggy fat, because of fat-soluble essential vitamins A,D,E,K, which are found only in animal fat. Basically, you can eat whatever you want, except the sugar and wheat.
But there’s a problem when you start off by being neurotic. You’ll have the tendency to focus on a single food and ignore all other foods. It’s a problem only if you ignore meat. You gotta eat some meat for stuff like vitamin B12 and the fat and the fat-soluble essentials that usually comes with the meat. Just keep that in mind when you figure out what you’re going to eat and what you’re going to not eat. You could supplement with those, and that’s what I advise you do if you don’t want to eat meat, but between supplements and meat, meat is king.
So now you’re trying to fix neuroticism, you gotta measure stuff. You gotta see what happens when you change your diet. Figure out what you can measure with some degree of accuracy. Keep a journal of your diet, at least for a while as you measure stuff. Measure stuff and put that in your journal as well. My bet here is that the most significant effect will come when you cut out sugar and wheat. Then, when you add a bit more fat. I’m not 100% confident that’s how it’s gonna work, but that’s my bet.
If you want some support here, I suggest you go on over to my favorite low-carb forum ( http://www.lowcarb.ca ), or to some veggy forum if you prefer (you’ll have to find that one on your own, I don’t know any address for those). Whatever you decide, I suggest you find some support cuz it’s hard to do that kind of thing on your own. It’s like the whole world is against you when you do something like that. Anyways, support is important because it helps in various ways, it’s like a bunch of friends that know what you’re going through.
Also, don’t fall into the moral trap, just do your thing, you’re not there to get all militant here, you just want to fix your own stuff. Remember your goal. Remember why you’re doing any of that.
At this point I’m going to add something here that I didn’t put in my original reply.
Changing your diet is hard, and I mean very hard. It seems the whole world is against you, just pointing out every little thing that you do differently, pushing any sort of warning about such and such, especially meat and fat. And this happens even when you do everything right, people are so annoying with the crap we put in our mouths. There’s an easy fix for that. When somebody offers you something to eat that isn’t on your list of things you want to eat, if it’s not like some polite thing you gotta do when you’re at somebody’s house and they invited you for dinner, just say you don’t want to eat that. “Thanks but no thanks, I don’t want any.” And that’s that. Don’t get into a discussion about your problem, about your diet, about your whole damn life. Ain’t none of their business what you eat. Ain’t none of your business what they eat either.
If you want to discuss your story, find that support, find those people who know what you’re going through. That’s what the support is for, to help you, not to nag you about that bit of fat or that bit of meat or that bit of veggies.
Now maybe you’d think that you gotta change your diet forever. Maybe not. You can do it for a while, then change it up again. Then change it back, do it for a while. It’s not written in stone that you gotta keep doing it forever, you can decide, it’s your choice and it remains your choice no matter what you choose. You might wanna do something like 5/2, where you eat well during the week, then go off-diet for the weekend. You could do three weeks on, one week off. You could do three months on, three months off. You could try it for a while, see what happens, then quit if nothing happens, or even if you just don’t want to do it anymore, or for any reason you can think of. It’s up to you how you want to do it, if you want to do it. You’re in control, you’re the boss, it’s your neuroticism after all. Ain’t mine.
If it works, good for you. If it don’t, you can tell me to fuck off and I suck at giving advice. Fine by me either way.
Martin Levac copyright 04:33 12/9/2019
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