Rice Bulk Experiment: Can I Turn Rice Into Muscle?

Back in May, I had planned on exploring weight gain, but my ridiculous cholesterol levels following my six-pack experiment gave me pause. Before embarking on an experiment that would require me to overeat for a prolonged period of time, I figured it would be best to first experiment more with my diet and get my cholesterol levels back down to levels where doctors don’t freak out. 

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Hacking Body Fat: How To Burn Fat and Gain a Six-Pack in Three Months

After my six-pack in three months experiment, I’ve had quite a few people come to me asking for advice on how to burn fat. Rather than send a list of tips and suggestions to people individually, I figured it would be more efficient to direct people to this article that you are reading now.  

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Hacking Anger Management: Why I Lose My Temper and 3 Ways To Avoid Tearing Someone’s Head Off

Lately I’ve been getting comments from friends on how my temperament has changed. Apparently I’ve “chilled out” and no longer get irritated or lose my temper as often as I used to. 

Looking back on my former, ill-tempered self, it seems I did indeed have an anger management problem. It was not uncommon for friends to witness me yelling at waiters, drivers, colleagues and basically anyone unlucky enough to have annoyed me in some way or another. On several occasions, employees have left my office in tears after feeling my wrath, and I’m not proud of it.

I never want to go back to being angry and annoyed all the time. It’s pointless, distracting and extremely draining. 

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Can I Get Fat On A Low-Carb Diet?

During my fat burning experiment to get a six pack in three months, I was able to explore the effectiveness of a low-carb diet with limited exercise. Looking at the results, it would seem that going low-carb is definitely a great way to go if fat loss is your goal. But as often is the case, things are never quite so simple. While discussing the six pack experiment with a friend of mine, he asked an interesting question:

Could it be that a low-carb diet works simply because you are restricting what you eat and eating fewer calories as a result? 

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What Bulletproof Coffee is Really About and How To Make it the Shanghai Way

Before you start adding anything into your coffee, let's first try to get something straight: a cup of black, unadulterated coffee made from quality coffee beans is amazing all by itself. In addition to tasting great, coffee can help improve mental and physical performance, so it's no wonder that so many people around the world start the day off with a cup of coffee in the morning. 

I myself have been a regular coffee drinker since my college days and always prefer my coffee black. In fact, I find it hard to understand how people can truly appreciate coffee after adding so much stuff to it. It’s incredible how much sugar, cream and more sugar you see people adding to their coffee. My theory is that people who do this may not actually like coffee — it is the sugar-high they are after, with a little caffeine thrown in for good measure. 

So when I first heard about how people were adding globs of butter to their coffee, I wondered whether loading coffee up with fat instead of sugar was really all that different. 

Is chasing a fat-high more worthy than chasing a sugar-high?

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Instagram Hacks: How To Get More Followers

So I recently setup an Instagram account. I had zero experience with Instagram, but was intrigued by the hype surrounding the social network that everyone around the world seemed to be using (though less so here in China). After one week of posting five photos and occasionally liking/following other people, I had 11 followers and averaged 5.6 "likes" per post.

Pretty dismal. 

But everywhere you look on Instagram you see plenty of ordinary folks with thousands of followers. I thought to myself: what hacks do these people use to get more followers on Instagram?

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Six Pack in Three Months - Update 3/10

Before I get into the numbers, let's start with some food porn. I've always been somewhat of a foodie, and It's amazing how much more I've come to enjoy eating after going low-carb and restricting myself to one cheat day per week. What used to be casual, obligatory meals have been upgraded into incredible experiences that I look forward to each week (excuse me as I wipe drool from mouth). And it's not just the carbo-loading on my cheat days. It's also about learning to eat nutritious foods on a daily basis that not only make you feel great, but that taste great as well.

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Six Pack in Three Months - Update 2/24

As of my last update on Feb. 10, I had been using an old-school analog scale to measure my weight. I went from 68 kg to 65 kg (weight loss of roughly 7 lbs) in less than 4 weeks. That seemed like a fair amount of weight to lose, but it was hard to know how much progress I was really making without understanding how my body composition (fat vs. lean mass) was changing as well. The very next day, a bunch of biohacking toys that I had ordered online arrived and included an Omron scale that can measure body fat % (you hold onto handle bars while standing on top of the scale) and a set of Slim Guide calipers. I planned to use the Omron scale as the primary method of measuring my body fat % given it's convenience, while using the calipers as an additional reference point (and to use when traveling given it's portability). Excited to finally be able to track my body fat %, I stripped down to nothing and started measuring.

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Six Pack in Three Months - Update #1

So in my excitement and haste to get started with transforming my body (after all I'm on a deadline), I jumped into things without doing proper planning -- something I wisely advised against in my earlier post on measuring. I started listening to interesting podcasts by Abel James and Dave Asprey and got so pumped up to try a bunch of different things that I forgot to heed my own advice about tracking and measuring. This is a common mistake that I struggle with (in business as well) and requires discipline to overcome. Basically when it comes to any "experiment", before making any changes, first define your goal and then determine which limited set of variables you will be changing in order to reach that goal. This is important so that you can better understand what worked and what didn't. If you change too many things at once, how do you know which changes had the greatest positive (or negative) impact? How will you be able to replicate the results in the future if you don't understand the likely causes of those results? 

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Jawbone Up24 Review: How Well Does It Work?

I received the Jawbone Up24 as a Christmas gift this past December, and since then I have been tracking my sleep, meals and physical activity on a daily basis. While there are plenty of superficial reviews for the Up24 online, I wanted to provide a more in-depth look based on real usage over an extended period of time. I've broken things down by the three main areas that the device is supposed to help track/measure.

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Measure Measure Measure

As an entrepreneur, I'm a huge believer in the "Lean Startup", an incredible book written by Eric Ries that has turned into a movement of sorts to get people thinking about business in a way that often runs counter to conventional business wisdom. I may write a separate post to talk about my take aways from the book but in a nutshell, one of the most important concepts of the "Lean Startup" is this: if you can't measure the results of an action, then it probably isn't worth doing since without being able to measure the results, you will have no idea whether the action resulted in what you assumed it would! To put it another way, you could be doing the same task over and over again for years under the hypothesis that it is beneficial to you when in fact it may have little or even no positive impact on your business, life, etc. And if that's the case, why even do it! 

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Six Pack in Three Months?

So to kick things off, I made a bet with my girlfriend that I could get six pack abs within three months, or before April 15, 2014 to be exact. What are the stakes? A nice steak dinner in Shanghai, where a decent steak can easily set you back at least $100 USD (not including apps, sides, wine, etc). Nothing crazy but certainly beats a challenge without any wager at all.  

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Welcome to ChinaBiohacker!

I've decided to make 2014 the year that I embark on a new journey in my life. A journey to improve all aspects of my life -- health, relationships, business, etc. The purpose of this blog is keep myself accountable and my results measurable. After all, who's to say how much I've improved unless I document my experiments and subsequently share the results and learnings from those experiments.

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