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‘Is my alternative diet hurting my health?’

‘Is my alternative diet hurting my health?’


Mike, 37, has put himself on an interesting diet for the last six months: eating nothing but one meal of grilled chicken and one cup of brown rice a day. He wants to keep up his physique in order to enter a Strongman contest, but now feels his body has hit a plateau. He’s exhausted every night, and his girlfriend is concerned he may have an eating disorder. Should he keep going on this diet, or is it time to try something different?

My advice:

Mike, right now you’re only eating one big meal instead of three balanced dishes throughout the day.  My concern is that you may not be getting all the essential nutrients your body needs. When you don’t eat any fruits or vegetables, your body is going to be craving some essential vitamins and minerals.

In the past six months, you’ve lost about 40 lbs, so you’ve done a good job of eliminating excess fat. But I think you’ve overdone it. Now your body is in starvation mode, and that’s why you’re exhausted every evening. This also means that you’re not producing enough testosterone. Your body is telling you to rest so that it can work on producing this essential hormone.

The bottom line is that you need to change your lifestyle. You can’t live on chicken and brown rice alone. What you need is a regular balanced diet, that includes vitamins, nutrients and fat. I know you’ve been trying to avoid fat, but it’s not good to eliminate fat entirely because you need some fat for both energy and the production of key nutrients in your body.  Brain cells, for one thing, rely on a fatty substance to work properly.

At your age, it’s actually healthier for your body to have a keg than a six pack. I don’t mean a pot belly — just a trim belly that still has a normal layer of fat over those six abdominals that get way too much attention in men’s magazines and advertising. Get back to a normal diet with healthy fruits, vegetables, and at least some fat and you’ll not only be a lot healthier, your girlfriend will be happier too.

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