Eternal youth triumphs immortality, with the latter being a subset of the former. Everyone wants to stay young, healthy and fit forever. Since childhood, I was deeply intrigued by the lure of immortality. Back then I firmly believed in the existence of amrit, a heavenly mystical elixir of immortality in Hindu mythology. If only I could get a few drops of this amrit! As I grew up, I learnt that immortality is not just a far fetched dream, but shockingly it is definitely achievable in a couple of centuries, or maybe much earlier than I thought. Till we get there, all we can do is focus on our health, body and our lifestyle: a step towards eternal youth.
A big revelation hit me when neared my thirties. Most of us abuse our bodies considerably and if we focus on what’s our internal system is trying to tell us, we will can easily fix a lot of issues with small lifestyle changes. Usually the results of this abuse aren’t visible easily when we are in our twenties. Our super-efficient metabolism keeps taking this abuse well, without any complaints. But the moment we come close to thirties, our metabolic engine slows down, but our eating habits do not change. I had been into fitness quite regularly, and had no specific health issues. But as I inched towards the middle age, I started noticing a lot of changes in my body, and it all started from my gut.
In my twenties, I never felt uneasiness after a heavy dinner. In fact I used to wonder why would someone need “gas” tablets after a meal when watching TV adverts of various ayurvedic as well as allopathic remedies to tackle the bloatiness post a delicious belly full meal. When you are young, your metabolic process is super charged, and it feels you are invincible. You keep dumping food day in and day out, trusting your loyal& hardworking digestive system to handle everything without a complaint.
But around my 30th birthday, I started noticing the nearly-silent whispers of rebellion from my stomach. After a heavy meal, specially post dinner, I would notice the discomfort and uneasiness. “It is normal beta, take a Hajmola or Pudin Hara after dinner, you will feel better”, said my mom. And that’s when it clicked to me that this is what “having gas” feels like. And why my grandparents took an antacid after every meal. They were suffering from chronic acidity.
I decided to dig in deep and study more about our digestive system, metabolism and its effects on our body as we age. I was shocked learning how casually most Indians, people around me, were treating this condition. Post 30, our bodies stop being super efficient and our metabolism slows down. But we don’t stop dumping same amounts of food into our system, and this causes an overworked digestive system. Instead of popping up pills, I realized, the simplest would be to slow down our food intake. I read about intermittent fasting and how it helps in reverse aging. I was hooked! On my 30th birthday, I decided to gift myself 10 years of time by the time I turned 40. I had a full 10 years ahead of me to learn bio hacking, know more about how our internal system works, and to start practicing intermittent fasting.
Since calorie restriction, exercising and intermittent fasting were the lowest hanging fruits, I decided to kickstart my anti-aging process combining sports based HIIT as well as lifting weights three times a week at a minimum. I have been suffering from the Restless Leg Syndrome since years, and this research helped me find a solution: reducing salt intake. Most Indian diet is heavy on salts, sugar and fried oil. Reducing my salt intake helped me control my Restless Leg Syndrome and I was surprised with the fast results. Intermittent fasting had its own learning curve, and it was a bit hard initially, but I was able to hit a gap of 12 hours between dinner and breakfast.
The biggest success was calorie restriction. From the usual 2000-2200 calories I used to take daily, I gradually reduced to 1800 calories a day. By the time I turned 37, I was having 1600 calories a day. Stomach acidity and bloatiness vanished completely. The key was a light dinner (mostly salads and portion control).
When I turned 38, I was feeling good, but I noticed an increased greying of hair, and some tiredness during the day. I realised my lifestyle has merely slowed down the ageing process, but I was still ageing nonetheless. I had to do something radical to stop or reverse my ageing. And that’s when I turned towards bio hacking.