Article last updated: January 2020 by Oskar Faarkrog, ISSA Certified Trainer
I recently made friends with a Russian guy who is a model and we’ve been going out a lot together and he’s always full of energy but the weird thing is that I’ve almost never seen him anything other than water melon.
The few times I saw him eat, he would only eat a bit of chicken breast and not even touch carbs or fats.
So one day I asked him about his daily diet and I was shocked to find out how he ate.
Here’s what he said he ate that day:
- Breakfast around 3 PM: 1 small chicken breast.
- Dinner around 8 PM: 2 yoghurts, 1 banana and 2 snickers.
And that’s about how his daily eating looks like at 6’1″ height.
Most people wouldn’t be able to function with such a low food intake.
Sex drive and energy levels would be non-existent and you would have a hard time going to sleep.
However, this is not the case for my friend.
He’s very lean, full of energy and has a high sex drive.
In other words, his body is resilient to the negative impacts of an extreme low Calorie diet.
This is the result of having above average genetics.
Above average genetics allow you to get away with many mistakes that us skinny-fat guys can’t get away with.
I’m 100% sure that if my friend started hitting the gym, he would build a better physique than me in less than 1 year regardless of what diet he follows.
He could go on a fad diet such as the KETO diet or IIFYM (If It Fits Your Macros) and that would be a massive improvement from how he’s eating right now.
But would YOU get optimal results on a fad diet? Most likely not.
Instead, you would suffer the negative consequences of a fad diet:
- Slowing down metabolism.
- Low energy levels.
- Non-existent sex drive and erectile dysfunction.
- Low testosterone production.
This is why you should be careful of fad diet approaches such as IIFYM and the KETOGENIC diet.
The success stories you see are mostly from guys with great genetics who can get away with a sub-optimal nutrition strategy. (For a great example of how much genetics affect your training results, see my classic post Nature vs. Nurture: How Genetics Affect the Outcome of Your Hard Work).
These guys are not getting results because of their diet strategy. They are getting results in spite of their diet strategy.
Therefore, don’t follow a diet just because a guy with amazing genetics got results with it.
Instead, look at what the real nutrition text books recommend for staying lean and building muscle mass.
The basics recommended there are always the same:
Balanced meals, plenty of high satiety index foods such as potatoes and a lot of fruits and vegetables to cover your micronutrients. (I cover all these basics in my post The Binge Eating Prevention Check-List: How to Set Up Your Diet For Long-Term Success)
There’s a reason to why these are the basics recommended by almost all nutrition experts.
These are the diet guide-lines that are optimal for +95% of the population.
There will always be some outliers such as my friend who can get away with 1 small chicken breast, 2 yoghurts, 1 banana and 2 snickers per day but these are not the people you want to compare yourself to.
Be proud but stay hungry!
Oskar Faarkrog, ISSA Certified Trainer