about mentalfoodchain

About Mental Food Chain

Hi there,

I’m Stephan Lederer, creator of MentalFoodChain.com – a resource for people who want to regain control of their own health, balance hormones, lose weight, and live longer without calorie counting, exercising daily, or the use of potentially dangerous pharmaceutical products.

People have never tried so hard to live healthily and work out regularly. The result is the biggest obesity epidemic in history. Furthermore, modern diseases are skyrocketing.

“It’s not your fault if you haven’t been able to get into the physical and mental shape you and your loved ones deserve.”

The truth is that food and pharma lobbies have been educating us for decades. The common perception of health is far from the scientifically proven reality. Since multiple billion-dollar industries are built on this wrong definition of “healthy,” there is resistance to change.

This resource is all about guiding you to a more dynamic appearance and increased quality of a longer life with less effort. 

I take a different approach than most "experts" out there...

Health Knowledge, Empowerment and Awareness


My goal is to empower you with knowledge. Awareness is key to success and antidote to myths.

evidence-based health - science icon

Scientific evidence

I don't believe in blindly trusting health advice. Instead, I show you the research behind concepts.

health for busy people - time icon

Contemporary view

I know what it means to be a high performer and aim on topics that make your busy life easier.

There are a lot of choices in who you read, so I know I have to earn your trust from post to post. In case you are curious, here is a little bit about me.

Who Is the Person Behind the Project?

My Personal Health Story

My curiosity for nutrition and health already has its origin in my childhood. In short, I used to be the fattest kid in town.

I grew up in a small Austrian town with 1500 inhabitants. There I spent the majority of my time with my grandparents next door. They lovingly cared for me. After surviving a world war, they wanted to offer what they didn’t have when they were young. Hence, there was food in abundance and cakes and sweets daily.

my health story - fat kid with a dog
"I loved my dog and grandma's cake"

You might think that it is just another story about a lazy kid. But if you look at my training schedule that was not the case. I had judo on Monday, soccer on Tuesday, judo on Wednesday, soccer on Thursday, tennis on Saturday, and competitions on Sunday. And that’s not even covering any leisure time sports with friends.

my first fat vacation
"My first big vacation at age 12"

I did not understand my obesity. I was regularly exercising and also listening to the diet advice at school: “Eat more bread and put less on it, avoid fat, reduce meat, eat whole grains, …” While already eating lots of the foods in the “healthy” foundation of the food pyramid, I was still gaining weight.

It was more to me than just an issue of physical appearance. Not just my classmates were bullying me – even teachers did. Well, that did not help to develop healthy self-esteem. I didn’t feel good enough for anything – not just the opposite sex. Consequently, I developed an introvert and shy nature.

And Why Does He Care About Health?

The Origin of My Curiosity

A primary topic of this site unexpectedly changed my situation to the better – hormones. Puberty helped me to lose weight miraculously. I did not alter my diet or exercise habits.

But the change was only temporary. Slowly but surely, I was gaining weight again at college. Putting all attention on finishing up two master degrees, I became officially overweight again.

I heard of some people’s success following a low-carb diet. But neither did I understand where carbs were hiding, nor did I manage to stick to the change for more than three weeks at once. My first diet attempts failed miserably.

Eventually, I had an eye-opening experience watching a television reportage. The reporter was put on a paleo diet under medical supervision. He was eating meat, greens, and nuts and lost pound after pound. That he was feeling great, and his blood values were better than ever caught my curiosity.

With this in mind, I did some research, planned an ancestral diet low in carbohydrates, and eventually stuck to it. I lost 29 pounds (13 kilograms) over half a year. Consequently, I was fascinated by the thought that our bodies weren’t designed for the majority of food supermarkets and restaurants are offering.

Why I Understand Your Challenges

The Impacts of a Demanding Life

Finally, on normal weight and fresh out of university, I did what society planned for a motivated graduate. I started a career at one of the most renown management consulting companies. Suddenly, life changed and gained dynamic in multiple ways.

I lived out of a suitcase, rushing from airport to office to hotel room. Quickly, sleep and leisure time dropped to a minimum. And so were the opportunities for physical activity as well as the quality of food I was eating.

I was rapidly getting out of shape again, but I didn’t realize it. Like the people around me, I was hyper-focused on providing the best strategic advice for well-known multinational companies.

That made sense, because they all had one goal – making money to provide for their families. Getting healthy was taking time and distracting them from what mattered the most.

Most people in management positions treated their bodies like shit, and so did I. The current body might be the only one we will ever live in. Nevertheless, people are treating their cars with more respect than their bodies. How is that possible?

When I finished last in my companies business run team, I realized how bad my physical condition was. Cutting out some carbs here and there was not enough. I needed to understand which factors drove my weight gain.

Convinced that knowledge was crucial, I started to read a lot. Understanding cause-and-effect relationships were giving me several aha moments. I was getting addicted and became a health nerd.

I built up awareness for what I was feeding to my body. I started to realize where the limitations of most diets are. For example, many people misuse the paleo diet to eat  lots of fructose and foods high on the insulin index and gain body fat.

Why I Do What I Do

We Can Leverage Knowledge for Change

After some time, I started to make progress, and running was getting more comfortable. Slowly but surely, I was adding mile after mile to my routine. I felt better than ever, and my stress level decreased.

As a result, I broke through the 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) barrier in a single year. Furthermore, I was starting to run half-marathons. Ultimately, the guy who always finished last in PE was completing marathons. That was a great reward for my hard work and discipline, but I never stopped educating myself. 

Obese kid completing marathon
"Me after completing my first marathon"

Given that, I reviewed my routines. Replacing running with brief resistance training and eating smarter helped me to save a very scarce good – time.

As in business, I am obsessed with optimization. Hence, it was enriching to see that so much can be achieved without dramatically changing your life. Determination paired with the right knowledge can have huge impacts on physical health, mental health, and ultimately, longevity.

health and life optimization
"Back in shape and business"

What it takes to optimize well-being is in all of us, but it can only be unleashed with the right knowledge, awareness, and diet. My goal is to make high performers feel better, live calmer, and be a better person for their loved ones.

Finally, I’m in a position where I can do what I love – share my experience and knowledge. I believe in life long learning and consider myself a man of science.

My thirst for knowledge and achiever-nature, made me obtain master’s degrees and diplomas in the areas of law, business, and technology.

Nevertheless, nutrition, health, and science are where my heart is. That’s the realm where I am contributing from a view most health professionals can’t – unbiased and evidence-based.

Why Is This Resource Different?

To be honest, if you do not share the natural curiosity to question the conventional wisdom that has been significantly influenced by powerful industries and their campaigns over decades, this site might not be the right place for you.

We have all put our trust in health professionals. But who is ensuring that they keep up with the research? It’s a fact that education stops with graduation for many people. Additionally, it takes decades for scientific findings to find their way into textbooks.

Have you ever felt misled and overwhelmed by the heaps of contradictory health, nutrition, and diet advice out there? You still do not understand how your actions affect your body and would like to put the missing links together?

I am convinced personal health is about more than following diet rules without transparent cause-and-effect relationships. It is about building awareness of how our actions affect fundamental processes in our bodies.

The starting point of my approach is homeostasis. Our bodies don’t work like simple scales. They tend to maintain relatively stable equilibriums. Hormones help to regulate almost everything within the human body – temperature, fluid, weight, appetite…

The incredible effects of powerful hormones like insulin and cortisol are still significantly underrepresented in health and diet advice. They are the key to understanding the impacts of nutrition as well as the self-healing capacity of the human body.

We can be in charge of our health. Therefore, I want to help you stop getting educated by marketing campaigns and mainstream health organizations based on information of government organizations strongly influenced by industry lobbies.

Indeed, little-known insights can make huge differences. I’m here to show you through my own evidence-based documentation how you can stop wasting time counting calories and start building up awareness that works for you.