I can’t believe Ive been writing a blog about nutrition and exercise without linking this page. I was probably more influenced by this single article than any other I’ve read before or since. Fantastically written, much humor, and so many links I’ve yet to get to them all.
My own quest was different, and probably a lot less interesting.
All my life I ate a diet similar to most Americans. Breakfast cereal or oatmeal for breakfast, sandwich chips and fruit for lunch, and meat potatoes and veggies for dinner. I was an athlete in high school (volleyball) and despite being the shortest person on the team I was the heaviest. When I discovered this little fact, I assumed I would benefit from losing a few pounds and started on a vegetarian diet. This was extremely short lived however, as my energy waned, and I felt like I was always trying to run on empty.
After high school I participated in few exercise activities, ate a copious amount of food, and consumed alcohol seemingly by the gallon. Until the bet.
Watching the movie Blade: Trinity, I joked about how in shape the actors were (particularly Ryan Reynolds) and how I could get into shape like that with no problem. A few friends bet me that I couldn’t, and being the type to not back down from a challenge, I took the bet.
It mostly started with some upper body weight training, and tons of cardio. I went from 220lbs down to about 210. Not bad, but not great. Considering the time it took, and the amount of exercise I was doing, it wasnt a very good ROI (return on investment). So it was maybe 6 weeks or so, and I really looked different, but no where near Ryan Reynolds.
During my search for new exercise protocols, I stumbled across the great bodybuilder from the ’70’s Frank Zane, and decided I’d like to look like he did, and so I followed his training program for quite a while. Then Mike Mentzer came along. My whole thought process shifted when I discovered Mike. Everything changed.
I bought Mike’s books, read his articles and the articles written by anyone ever associated with him, and discovered what real exercise is. Plain, hard, work. Eat, work, recover. That was the equation. And so I did just that. Without paying any attention to my diet I ate myself into oblivion, and trained 1-2 times per week for strength and hypertrophy. And I got my bodyweight up to 235lbs.
I wanted abs. Ive really never had them, but I set my mind on that particular goal. A friend of mine and I decided to diet down, and after I lost my first 10 lbs I was excited. But the weight loss stopped there. Simply eating less wasnt helping, so again I let my fingers do the walking through the internet and came across a “real food” diet. My eyes were open!
Meat, eggs, veggies, fruits, nuts and seeds. (paleo) That was my choices and they were plentiful!! 6-8 small meals a day, lots of water and presto!! I lost 10 more lbs. But once again, the weight loss stopped. So I again went searching all over the internet for “nutritional truth” and up popped the above article. Thank Zeus.
Im now in a good spot with my knowledge regarding diet. Meat and eggs as a foundation, some veggies and fruits for flavor and variety. Thats all. Fibrous veggies are a poor calorie source, with some different textures and tastes. When I say I eat fruits, thats technically true, as avocados, coconuts, and olives are all fruits. Yet they are mostly fat by calories, and have next to zero carbs. Peppers, tomatoes, and pickles have next to no calories and also make for some interesting flavors. Fruits and veggies are not required though, and should be thought about in that way. Eat some, or none.