My diet strategy has changed considerably over the past 3+ years. Before I tell you my strategy, I need to preface it with my personal goals for my body and diet…..My main goal in my 20’s, and well into my 30’s was quite simple…..Get as big and lean as I possibly can…..this, to me, required 100% discipline, workout every day, eat a perfect diet, and any deviation from my plan (which, happened quite regularly since it was a 24/7 job and I’m human) made me feel bad about myself.
In the below pics...LEFT: Taken after 12 weeks of extremely strict dieting and 7 day per week training 221lbs. RIGHT: Following my current dieting principles. Taken at 225lbs, no dieting, regular "cheat" meals...training 4-5 days per week.
It just wasn’t worth it to me anymore to live like this…and I wanted to essentially see what I could get away with. I decided a few years ago that I no longer wanted to sacrifice my peace of mind in order to look a certain way…So I decided I wanted to look as best as I could without sacrificing my life. I had made mental notes over the course of the years that the people I talked to who were 100% on their diets ALLL the time, very rarely looked better than the people weren’t early as strict… From doing hundreds of people’s diets over the past 12 years, I also noticed that those same people who dieted ALL the time were much LESS capable of getting in phenomenal shape…. I did tons of research and determined what ACTUALLY mattered to look my best. What I found was several things…These are my truths of dieting:
#1 Dieting all the time means you aren’t really dieting at all. Your body is not built for, nor will it allow you to be 5% body fat all the time. To your physiological programming, this is unhealthy and your body will fight you hard to keep from this happening. You must have relatively extreme periods of variation in your diet in order to then turn on the diet and push your body to exceptional conditioning…With no Yin…There can be no Yang.
#2 You do NOT need post workout carbs. In fact, unless your goal is to add lots of weight, they don’t help at all. This time post workout is when you are depleted of energy supplies, and also you are done training so you don’t need energy…(THIS IS THE PERFECT TIME TO BURN FAT) and your body is forced to turn elsewhere (like bodyfat) for energy. Have a pure protein shake and eat nothing else.
#3 The effectiveness of a cheat meal is 100% relative to the environment it is introduced to (in your body). Meaning, if you are not in a calorie deficit and you have a pizza, good chance it’s going to turn into fat. Likewise, if you are eating lots of “clean” food trying to bulk, cheat meals are only going to make you fat. Conversely. If you have no carbs for breakfast, and none after training and come 6pm you are running off body fat, you can more or less eat whatever you want without paying much of a penalty.
Me personally, I looked my best at 221lbs after 12 weeks of dieting, 7 days a week training (sometimes twice) and extreme restriction and 100% clean foods….Right now, I weigh about 225, and look very very similar to my best ever….The difference is, I now train 4-5 days a week (I still do no cardio) and I eat pretty much whatever I want for at least some part of my day, most days. Essentially, I keep myself in a calorie deficit the majority of the time…..I eat no carbs for breakfast, a medium amount of carbs before my 11am workout, then just pure whey isolate after my workout and often, I won’t eat for 3-4 hours after that shake (this is exactly what everyone says NOT to do)….Well, by doing this, I found myself getting leaner and essentially taking advantage of the times I was not hungry….Instead of force feeding myself to eat every 2-3 hours, I just didn’t eat…Then by 5pm, my body has worked up a huge deficit. Sometimes I pig out on some not-so-good foods, sometimes I don’t, I do whatever I want, guilt free. But even if I do, all I am doing is filling the deficit I created all day, and if I don’t, I end up using more fat for energy, and looking better. This is not to be confused with a “if it fits your macros” diet…..as I don’t count my macros nor restrict them. I eat exceptionally clean most of the time, and restrict my diet at some point every single day