When I was a freshman in High School I became a Lacto Ovo vegetarian. I cut out meat and fish but still consumed eggs and dairy.
I’d grown increasingly interested in nutrition and how the different macronutrients impacted energy and overall health, and I felt this was the optimal route to go with my diet. I’m not exactly sure why this became so interesting to me, but I remember reading everything I could get my hands on.
I continued on with my vegetarian lifestyle through my sophomore year. All the while, I was chronically tired, my hair was falling out, I was gaining body fat and struggling to build muscle. All of this despite playing sports year round and lifting weights a few times a week.
I worked part-time for a woman who was into homeopathic medicine and healing with herbs. She constantly told me that I needed to follow the Eat Right for your Blood Type plan, a controversial diet created by the famous naturopath, Peter J. D’Amo. The idea is that you should eat in a specific way according to your blood type in order to attain optimal health.
I am O negative, and according to the diet plan, I thrive on a high protein, animal food diet.
Later that summer we were at the Alaska State Fair, and everyone in my family was eating Bison burgers. I decided to have one, and I instantly felt better. It was like I was coming back to life.
I felt satiated, energetic and for the first time in a long time, my food tasted incredible. After that burger, I never looked back.
After two years of defending vegetarianism, and consequently feeling awful every day, I decided to make some major lifestyle changes.
I began incorporating a lot of red meat into my diet, and ended up losing around 20 LB of body fat and gaining a significant amount of muscle. I was 17 years old.
The Eat Right for Your Blood Type diet has long since been debunked. And that’s fine with me. I’m not dogmatic about any one way of eating or training, so I won’t argue to defend its validity. I’m simply sharing a personal experience.
This way of eating, with more of a focus on including red meat in my diet allowed me to feel the best I had in several years. My energy was through the roof, and it enabled me to lose body fat effortlessly. I was satiated every day, never had any sugar cravings, and by my senior year in High School, I was working part time and training in the gym twice a day. I felt amazing.
Previously, I was under the impression that meat was unhealthy and contributed to countless health problems, including gaining body fat. I experienced a complete nutrition paradigm shift simply because I was willing to open my mind and experiment with new ideas that went against everything I previously believed about food.
It changed my life for the better, and I still remember that first taste of delicious bison burger.
I feel my best when I eat fish, meat and eggs. I feel my worst when I eat large portions oatmeal and dairy. I can get away with two pieces of bread in one day before my stomach feels like it’s on fire. I know my limits with portion sizes of certain foods.
When you pay attention to how you feel after eating something, and consciously choose to consume more of those foods and less of the things that leave you feeling lethargic and sick, your life changes for the better. You have an abundance of energy, you’re more productive, and self-confidence soars.
This impacts every area of your life from your relationships to your career, to your emotional health. Think about how much better your life could be if you physically and mentally felt your best every single day of your life. You would be unstoppable.
My motivation for this 90-day transformation is to figure out ways to look, feel and perform better than I ever have in my life.
Drawing from lessons of the past, I am going to incorporate more meat into my diet than I have in recent years. I have slowly started to drop carbs lower each day, while increasing my fat intake and keeping my calories around 1,750-1,800 per day.
Today’s bodyweight was 172.8 LB. That’s a 3 LB drop since Sunday (today is Friday). I’m incredibly happy with this, and most importantly, I feel great. I’m not living in the gym or obsessing about doing tons of cardio. In fact, I’ve only lifted weights twice this week and gone on two easy hikes that were both around 90 minutes in duration.
If fat loss is your goal, nutrition should be your focus. There is no way around it.