I think men and women alike can agree that dieting would be far more enjoyable if it weren't for the flavorless, tiny meals we're conditioned to believe we should be eating (day in and day out) to lose weight. I don't know about you guys, but personally speaking, I think I'd just about jump for joy if given the option to eat something like, let's say, a giant macaroni and cheese pizza slice, while still maintaining a healthy, fit-physique. That's not possible though, is it? What sort of dark sorcery-magic would that even entail? Turns out, it's not magic at all, but rather something called: intermittent fasting.
Fortunately we were able to get ahold of a man who knows EVERYTHING there is to know about intermittent fasting. Blake Horton, a 34-year-old fitness Instagram sensation and certified mad scientist in the kitchen! Seriously guys, dude can cook!! I'll go ahead and let him blow your mind with this knowledge and of course, videos—
FHM: So, Blake, I know you've most likely answered this question more times than you can count, but what exactly is intermittent fasting and why did you decide it was the best lifestyle for you?
Blake: Intermittent fasting is consuming your daily nutrients in a shorter time-frame than, "normal" and fasting or not consuming calories for a longer time-frame than, "normal". By popular definition, fasting for 16-hours or more and consuming your nutrients in 8-hours-or-less. 4 years ago, I started off doing multiple meals. However, eventually gravitated to one-meal-a-day and have been doing so for the past 3-years.
Why is it the best lifestyle for me? I lost 60 lbs. after turning 30-years-old and it started off with small meals spread out throughout the day, WHICH IS THE WORST WAY TO DIET EVER. I tried it because I was too lazy to do extensive research and "everyone says" that's the best way to do things for optimal body composition, metabolic, weight loss results, etc. Later, I smartened up and realized the breakfast and supplement industries created those false myths, so you buy their products. The more frequently anyone eats, the hungrier they'll get. Eating small meals does not, "spark your metabolism" or give you instant energy either.
Watching the clock, waiting to eat your next tiny meal out of tupperware is no way to live a sustainable lifestyle. About halfway-through my weight-loss journey, I was so miserable with hunger, small meals and no longer having a social life, I went back to an article I read on intermittent fasting, did my own research and decided to take the risk for a chance at a greater reward. Now, I never get hungry and eat meals bigger than every fat kid dreams of, while now being healthy and lean.
FHM: You eat a lot of outlandish meals! Seriously, you're like "Man Vs. Food 2.0"! Can you recall a favorite meal that you've featured on social media? A least favorite?
Blake: "Man Vs. Food" ate much smaller meals than me. I don't think any of them would be a problem for me to finish. However, I'm not a big fan of food challenges even though I've done some here and there. I usually don't feel so great the next day. If you ordered similar versions of my homemade meals at any restaurant, you'd be talking almost twice the calories, yet still the same size, without optimal nutrient content. When I have control, I put the proper nutrients into my meals (even though my meals look so unhealthy to the untrained eye) so I feel fine the next day. I'm more like a mad scientist in the kitchen.
When you learn to make massive tasty meals while still hitting your nutritional goals, becoming a good cook is just par for the course. I eat a different delicious meals every night. Rather than remembering favorite meals, I remember favorite videos. They usually have to do with giant food. Giant Pizza Slices, Giant Pancakes, Giant Tacos, Giant Gyros, Giant Burritos, Giant McGriddles, the list goes on. There's something about picking up, holding and eating giant food. You wouldn't understand unless you've held giant food before. Somewhere right now, there's a bodybuilder looking at his Tupperware, choking down his little dry grilled chicken breast claiming intermittent fasting doesn't work.
FHM: Where do you get the inspiration for your meals? Most people aren't imaginative enough to come up with something like, "chocolate peanut butter & jam, bacon, banana dogs"!
Blake: My ideas comes from a combination of imagination and nutrient counting. I also do Flexible Dieting which is a scientific way to eat enjoyable foods while getting the proper nutrients for one's body. You can eat "clean" for every meal, but chances are you're missing out on key nutrients. Most people don't understand that. Nutrition first, contrary to what the uninformed person believes when they first see my Instagram or YouTube. So I get some random ideas when I'm going for certain nutrient goals. Everyone who's eaten my food or has recreated my meals with the foods/flavors I've put together has loved them. It's more of a matter of following the herd and not thinking for themselves. For instance, I love syrup and cheese which many people comment something like, Syrup and cheese!? That's gotta be gross." Then I ask them if they've ever had a McGriddle. And they respond with, "Good point."
FHM: As far as your actual fitness routine, what does that look like? Are there certain workouts you love? Ones you can't stand/avoid like the plague?
Blake: I started off fixed gear cycling and bodybuilding however that's transitioned into riding wheelies and doing tricks on my Big Ripper (Giant BMX bike) and calisthenics. As long as I have some daylight and it's not really cold out, I prefer to train outside. I'm not really a fan of running or conventional cardio. Doesn't really give me the adrenaline rush I crave.
FHM: Do you think you'll ever go back to eating a "normal 3-meals a day"?
Blake: Absolutely not. You're basically asking me if I'd go back to eating smaller, less satisfying meals and getting hungry, amongst other things. I don't even think I'd want to go back to doing a lunch and dinner. Lunch always made me feel sluggish and gave me, "the itis." I eat lunch at a social event every now and then, and that hasn't changed.
FHM: What brief advice would you give to someone looking to start their intermittent fasting journey?
Blake: My advice is to focus on what matters; Overall caloric intake including nutrients. Use intermittent fasting as a tool to make your life easier. Not harder. Body weight is really controlled by calories in vs out, even though there's always going to be that person who wants to argue that point with a technicality which makes no noticeable difference in the real world.
Anyone who reads about intermittent fasting is going to be led to believe that it has magical fat burning effects. Or that "eating windows" are important when the main benefit of an eating window is to govern caloric intake when not counting calories or macros. If you really want to eat at that wedding, or social event, eat. It just comes out of your daily caloric budget.
Intermittent fasting DOES allow most people to double or triple the size of their meals while losing weight, no longer get hungry, stay focused on matters more important than food and have an enjoyable social life. So there is some magic in that.
For more on Blake, check out his YouTube Channel, HERE