Trendy diet of intermittent fasting used as tech productivity hack

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- A Silicon Valley power player says fasting for 22-hours daily makes his work-day much longer. The trendy diet of intermittent fasting is not only being practiced for health reasons, but now as a productivity hack.

A tweet posted by Twitter CEO, Jack Dorsey read in part, "I do a 22 hour fast daily (dinner only), and recently did a 3 day water fast. Biggest thing I notice is how much time slows down."

These longer day essentially provide more time for productivity. Jesus Jimenez told ABC7 News, he has made intermittent fasting a habit over the last two years while working in the Silicon Valley, for the sake of productivity.

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Jimenez is the Transition Support Programs Coordinator for San Jose State University's Educational Opportunity Program.

He's on the 16:8 diet plan. Jimenez explained he doesn't eat between 8 p.m. and noon the following day. The schedule forces him to skip breakfast; what was once considered the most important meal of the day.

"I get to just focus on coming in and starting my morning, and kind of getting into the flow of things," Jimenez explained. "I don't have to think, 'Well, what am I going to eat?'"

The 2017 Annual Review of Nutrition found there is no evidence intermittent fasting is harmful. Additionally, the review shows there is no evidence the diet will increase productivity.

SJSU Nutrition, Food Science and Packaging Department Professor, Marjorie Freeman said while intermittent fasting may be a current fad, people have followed the diet for religious reasons for centuries.

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"There's no evidence that their productivity, or mental acuity, or concentration has increased," she pointed out. "So why would we expect it now?"

Jimenez argued, in his case, the impact is immediate.

"I did notice that my energy was higher and I did notice my productivity was higher throughout the morning," he said. "I didn't have that kind of sluggish feeling after having breakfast."

He said his diet provides him enough energy and clarity to make his work-day worthwhile. Though Jimenez acknowledged intermittent fasting isn't fit for everyone.

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"There are concerns. You need to make sure that you're getting enough of your dietary needs met throughout the time that you're actually in-taking calories and actually eating," he said.

"Long term, none of us would go on a trip without filling up our gas tanks," Freedman added. "And I would say the same thing for eating."

Freedman said the "fasting for productivity" trend is reflective of the Silicon Valley where drive for productivity is high.

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