Silicon Valley Diets

Leon D
Leon D
Oct 11, 2018 · 6 min read

Anyone who has spent time around the Bay Area quickly learns that Silicon Valley isn’t Hollywood. We aren’t famous for our beautiful, glamorous people. Nobody ever said to themselves: “I wish I could have a Silicon Valley body, like Reid Hoffman has.” Which is why it’s so bizarre to me that a Google search for “Silicon Valley diet” comes up with over 11 million results.

It seems that the wealth generated in Silicon Valley in recent years has become such a big part of the popular imagination, people are now trying to eat like Silicon Valley executives to see if some of their money-making genius can rub off. “You are what you eat,” indeed.

There’s a pretty big difference between writing about Hollywood diets and writing about Silicon Valley diets. A very unscientific data scraping semantic analysis of articles on Hollywood diets showed me that one of the most popular words in those articles was “thin.” Meanwhile, one of the most popular words in articles on the Silicon Valley diet was “energy”, as in “energy to pull off a 12 hour coding binge and still present my deck to three straight VC’s tomorrow.” The difference in priorities is readily apparent.

I’ve tried a few of these Silicon Valley diets, and the results have been… interesting. Here’s a brief review of three fad diets sweeping our humble Bay and providing us all with that extra bit of “energy.” As a lifelong glutton, I’m reviewing these diets mainly on how happy they make my mouth and stomach, while giving passing attention to their effects on my “energy” and “focus” (which have certainly never been as much of a personal priority as food has been).

The Keto Diet

See, growing up in a northern Chinese family, I ate pork belly pretty regularly. While hipsters and foodies are just now learning about the most delicious (and fattiest) part of a pig, I grew up with pork belly as a major component of many of my favorite dishes. I also had a weird aversion to rice as a child (still not a big fan of it), so my ideal meal as a child consisted of a few nice slabs of pork belly and a bunch of vegetables. My parents were awesome enough to indulge my pork belly obsession, regularly cooking up the fatty deliciousness, and between the no carbs, plenty of fatty meat and lots of fresh vegetables, I accidentally stumbled onto keto.

Now that I’m a grown up, I’ve learned to be responsible and cook my own balanced meals. Just kidding! I work at a tech company in Silicon Valley, where I get my meals for free. And for whatever reason, Silicon Valley tech companies like to go easy on the carbs and heavy on the proteins and veggies. Perhaps they’ve read the research on how keto boosts energy? Or perhaps they’re just able to buy their meat and veggies in bulk? After reading article after article about the Keto Diet in Silicon Valley, I’m convinced that it’s all a conspiracy by tech companies to convince their employees that what they’re feeding us is an ideal diet. But hey, I’m not complaining. Bring on the pork belly and salmon!

Intermittent Fasting

I know what you’re thinking — I must be a masochist or a self obsessed body Nazi if I’m saying that intermittent fasting is fun. But that’s not it at all. The fasting isn’t the fun part. Breaking the fast is! After a day of fasting, food just tastes so much… better. It’s kind of like how tantric sex makes sex better: delaying the gratification, letting the anticipation build, fantasizing and craving. And yes, I do find that I feel more energized and focused during and after the fast, but for me it’s still about finally gorging on a burger after it’s all done. Pretty sure no one has described the benefits of intermittent fasting in terms of “it makes food taste better,” but for a self indulgent glutton like me that’s the best reason to try it. Try intermittent fasting for a day, fantasize about a burger for a whole day, and then head to umami burger and inhale that deliciousness whole. You’ll thank me when that burger tastes better than any other food you’ve ever had. Totally worth it to have the entire restaurant stares at you like you were raised by wolves.


In the end, what do I recommend? Silicon Valley is full of amazing restaurants from cuisines all over the world: Indian, Latino, Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Middle Eastern. In fact, in future articles I’ll be writing about a lot of the amazing food we have down here. As far as these diets go, the only one I truly enjoy is intermittent fasting, and even then only because it makes food taste better when I eat it. My recommendation: food is awesome, we have a lot of it here in Silicon Valley, mix in some intermittent fasting and then go out and enjoy some food!

*** Final Note ***

The Silicon Valley Post

The Silicon Valley Post covers tech culture, innovation…

The Silicon Valley Post

The Silicon Valley Post covers tech culture, innovation, establishment of innovators and the journey of tech entrepreneurs making their way from all corners and subcultures of the world.

Leon D

Written by

Leon D

Worked in technical, marketing and sales roles in various tech companies. Passionate about GPU design, Blockchain, and Machine Learning. Avid surfer. 6ers fan.

The Silicon Valley Post

The Silicon Valley Post covers tech culture, innovation, establishment of innovators and the journey of tech entrepreneurs making their way from all corners and subcultures of the world.

Medium is an open platform where 170 million readers come to find insightful and dynamic thinking. Here, expert and undiscovered voices alike dive into the heart of any topic and bring new ideas to the surface. Learn more

Follow the writers, publications, and topics that matter to you, and you’ll see them on your homepage and in your inbox. Explore

If you have a story to tell, knowledge to share, or a perspective to offer — welcome home. It’s easy and free to post your thinking on any topic. Write on Medium

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store