Your most impactful experiments

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First-time poster here.

Just thought I’d poll the community, asking what your most impactful experiments have been. Also, how did you design the experiment?


The most impactful self-quantification related “experiment” I’ve ever run was on my diet. Wherein I sought to understand which foods correlate with different states of health. In other words, I’ve been able to clearly associate different foods with oddly specific health consequences in my life. From that information, I’ve then been able to rebuild my diet so that is as healthy as it can be.

My experimenting was simple, I excluded specific foods for two week intervals over a period of six months to see what my body did. If I noticed certain signs of poor health (such as inflammation) when particular foods were being consumed versus when they weren’t, I’d then remove those foods permanently from my diet.

While my example may not illustrate a rigorous attempt at self-quantification, I feel that it does demonstrate the use of feedback loops for self-improvement. Which is at the heart of self-quantification.

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I’ve been curious about running a similar test in my own life. I fear that I’m never at a steady-state long enough to give valid outcomes with irregular shift patterns and all.
How did you measure for signs of poor health?

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Something like this and anki srs flashcards as a cognitive test.

I escaped 34 years of sleep deprivation. I moved from about 6.5 hours of sleep per night to 8 hours of sleep per night. My mood got better. My average exercise events went from 1/month to 4/week. I walked about 350 miles during 2020 and my knee pain improved.

I tried Keto twice including right now. I lose 30 pounds per year when in ketogenesis. (Yeah)
I gained 10 pounds in 18 months between keto time frames. I tried vegetable matter keto (nuts, avocados and olives. I don’t like olives. Eating 1 cup of mixed nuts per day gave me kidney stones. I got tired of guacamole. I now do animal fat keto. Cheese, bacon, chicken thighs, salmon, beef, half & half etc and I eat vegetables for fiber, not fat. I’m already on a statin and my cholesterol stayed fine.

Recently I started sitting and looking at trees for 30 minutes every morning instead of reading news online. I feel much calmer as I start my day. I haven’t quantified it but will probably set a tag on Exist and then test each way to start my day and see how I feel.

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It sounds like your weight was the one quantitative measure that you tracked over this time. The rest was obvious enough to you that you could see the effects without formal tracking?

Yes, the weight and my sleep. I have so much more energy since escaping sleep deprivation. I joke that my wife wonders who body snatched her husband.