My Simple, “Lifestyle” Approach to Nutrition

Posted by Jason Ferruggia

salmon-dinnerThe last thing I could ever imagine doing is carrying around Tupperware containers and weighing my food all day.

I need freedom and simplicity in everything I do. Otherwise my life sucks.

So my approach to nutrition reflects that.

When I wake up in the morning I’m not that hungry. I just need to get shit done. That’s my most productive time of the day and I need to attack my MIT (Most Important Task) with a vengeance.

That means I’m drinking water and coffee and skipping food for the first couple hours.

Some people freak out and cry, “Holy shit, you’re gonna lose muscle if you don’t eat immediately after waking up!

Honestly, if it’s that easy to lose muscle than this whole strength training thing is a bullshit scam and I’ve been wasting my time.

If you’re telling me I have to let eating control my entire fucking waking existence otherwise I will LOSE MY GAINS, then I’m out.

Seriously. There are better ways to spend my days.

To anyone with half a brain, it’s obviously not as easy to lose muscle mass as insecure meatheads think it is. I just don’t see people shrinking down to bone on a regular basis.

Now, if you told me I had to gain 20 pounds for a role in a major motion picture, then yeah, I’d eat first thing in the morning. The reason would be just because it’d be easier to get in more calories throughout the day. No other mystical voodoo involved.

I will have some food somewhere between 10 and 1 for the first time. I don’t obsessively watch the clock like Rain Man waiting for Wopner. When I finish my work and there’s a good time to eat I eat. Simple as that.

During the day I’m doing a ton of stuff and I’m on the move. I don’t have the time or desire to eat a lot.

Other thing is eating a lot during the day drains my focus and energy. If I go out to a big lunch I’d rather nap afterward than do any work or physical activity.

A Specific Example

Jay grassRight now I weigh about 197. Throughout the last few years I fluctuate between 193 and 205. I spent most of my 20’s and early 30’s fluctuating between 217 and 225, but that got to be too much for me to handle.

And now, three months shy of my 40th birthday, I’m more active than I’ve ever been in my life. That’s got me thinking that dropping down to 185 might help my ankles, knees, hips and lower back a whole lot better.

The insecure skinny kid in me hates the thought of that but I’m sure it’d be beneficial.

So how would I approach this?

First, I’d set my calories at 12 times bodyweight. That would give me 2,364 calories for the day. Again, I don’t weigh food and obsess but I can have a rough idea.

That’s not a lot of food. I can crush that in one sitting. And I enjoy doing so.

There’s no time or desire to eat during the day but I love to feast at night. So I will have some protein and maybe fruit throughout the day two or three times, max. These will be small servings so that I don’t get weighed down or tired.

Maybe I will have 20-30 grams of protein, a little bit of fat and some carbs from the fruit. It’s not a lot of calories.

I do this strategically so that I can chow down at dinner. Some people like front loading fat during the day so they can focus on carbs at dinner. I get that approach but even that’s too restrictive for my personality.

I want my feast to be delicious. That’s not gonna happen if I only have ten grams of fat in it. So I tend to limit fat, along with carbs during the day just so I can go all out at dinner.

Again, this isn’t perfect; it’s just what I do.

If I eat around 80 grams of protein at dinner that gives me 320 calories. Another 200 grams of carbs gives me 800 calories. Then 50 grams of fat gives me 450. That totals 1,570 calories which is a pretty decent sized meal.

Most people think they are eating less than they are. Your inability to lose fat could simply be that you’re eating too much.

Another common mistake is to try to add in more carbs without lowering your fat intake. Then you say “carbs don’t work for me,” or “I can’t tolerate carbs,” even though that might not be the case.

Eating high carb and low fat is harder than eating high fat and low carb. I think that’s one of the reasons Paleo is so popular.

The reality is that a higher carb/ lower fat diet is better for physique enhancement and performance for most people. But then you’ve gotta be really strict. You’re primarily eating white fish, poultry, mixing some egg whites with your whole eggs, getting only the leanest cuts of meat, etc.

For me, that’s too much of a pain in the ass and it cramps my style. That’s the only reason I go a little higher with the fat and lower with the carbs.

You’ve gotta do what’s right for you.

And always keep it simple and stress free.


PS. Hopefully that helps you simplify your approach to nutrition a bit. If you have any questions about how to modify this approach for specific situations or goals please don’t hesitate to ask.

And if you haven’t downloaded your copy of The Renegade Diet yet you can do so HERE.