One more theory to ponder...

Posted by Tandarin Nike Tuesday, November 16, 2010 1:32 AM
I have many crackpot theories.

Today is no exception. Let's test today's theory, unscientifically.

First, think of someone you know who is unusually creative. It should be someone who almost can't stop creating, whether that involves painting, sculpting, starting new businesses, rebuilding cars, modeling, whatever.

But don't count knitting or anything that involves following directions. I'm only talking about creating from original ideas. Pick someone for whom the need to invent something new as often as possible almost defines the person.

Okay? Now hold that thought.

Second, think of your best friend who does NOT have a creative streak and is about the same age as the creative person you chose. Okay, do you have both people in mind?

Now, which one has more body fat?

My prediction is that the creative person is usually thinner than the non-creative person.

My theory is that when your body experiences the early stages of hunger, you become more creative, and more energetic. (Obviously at the later stages of hunger you become sleepy, cranky, distracted, and probably less creative. Let's call that starvation and not hunger.)

This makes sense from an evolutionary view. As soon as you feel hunger coming on, your body is designed to put you into your most creative and energetic mode for the purpose of hunting and gathering. If you can't outrun your prey, you have to outthink it.

And if there are no bananas in your usual tree, you'd better have a creative idea where to look next. It makes sense that the onset of hunger would stimulate your brain to its highest operating level.

I came to this theory after two decades of watching how my own diet influences my energy and personality. One pattern is remarkably clear: My creativity and energy are highest when I haven't eaten much lately.

Is that a coincidence?

The highest period of creativity in my life coincided with the period in which I became a vegetarian and felt hungry all the time no matter how many carrots and salads I ate. I joked about it at the time, but there was a very real sense of clarity that coincided with my change of diet.

During those same years, I discovered that my most creative time was in the morning. I assumed it had something to do with alleged circadian rhythms, coffee consumption, or the fact that there were fewer distractions.

By the afternoon, I was lucky if I had enough brainpower left to drive my car. My new theory is that I have very little food in my stomach during the morning, and the onset of hunger is spiking my creative energy. I'm in hunter/gather mode. Then I eat lunch, and its nap time.

There are days when I experience floods of creativity that are almost overwhelming. I noticed recently that those times coincide with periods in which when I'm trying to lose a few pounds to get back to my target weight.

Today as it stands my target weight has gone for a sixer.

By now you've probably seen the CNN story about the nutritionist who lost 27 pounds and became generally healthier by eating mostly junk food, but limiting his calories.

We don't know if it raised his risk of cancer in the long run, so no expert is recommending his diet. But it calls into question how much we really know about the link between food and health.

On a final note, have you ever wondered why famous musicians write their best songs when they are young?

Maybe it's because young brains are more creative and less cluttered, or because they are more tapped into the youth culture, or maybe it's because they are doing more drugs.

But maybe it's also because young musicians don't eat as much as their bodies require. Musicians tend to look underfed during their most creative years. Maybe it's not a coincidence.

I remind you not to get your health and nutrition advice from me.

But I'm curious if your own creative moments have coincided with low caloric intake?

4 Response to "One more theory to ponder..."

  1. shivani Says:

    Actually u'r theory seems justified if i cite my own example.Now i will pose this to many i know...and chances are...BINGO.
    A corollary to ur theory though...when u r actually in a creative mood and very eager about the outcome you actually forget hunger, thirst or even sleep.
    Ask the kids today and they shall tell you how their award winning project was completed on some hurried cups of coffee and going without sleep for say 24-36 hrs.
    Happens to me all the time...and still i am not any slim lady by any standards...hahaha :)
    Very interesting theory...and it was fun analysing my own self...application of ur theory...Gr8
    What a theory sir jee!!

  2. Tandarin Nike Says:

    So looks like the theory is not really crack pot as I thought. Nevertheless my creativity has come to a naught, kaput I must say because I am going through unbelievable hunger pangs these days. Have to do something about it. It’s creativity at the lowest at the moment.
    Hehehehehe .. am just joking.
    Thanks Shivani for your comments. I totally agree to what you have to say. When one is really occupied with some project, especially those with time bound targets then who thinks about eating? Days on end I have gone through irregular eating habits and have lost health. Today of course the scenario is different to some extent because I see many of my sub-ordinates going through it. It's probably a cycle every person goes through. This again has started another of my crack-pot theory... probably will put it in writing through another post after awhile.

  3. shivani Says:

    Tandarin thanks for posting a comment on my latest blog. But i want ur opinion on my last one too. i feel i can ask you...do u mind ?

  4. Tandarin Nike Says:

    Of course I don't mind at all. Will do so tomorrow.

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