Saturday, 10 March 2012

Diet for Dummies

Warning: This isn't that funny, more of a fact based journal.

****THE BACK STORY****  don't wanna know but interested in the diet? Scroll down til you get there.

I worked in or around a gym for over 9 years from the age of 19, it was safe to say I've been in good health and decent shape all of my life. On 2nd February 2011 the whirlwind that is stand-up comedy which had picked me up in 2008 finally dragged me away from my day job and down a road of late alcohol fuelled nights, sleeping all day and eating service station junk food, Wetherspoon's finest delicacies, kebabs and hotel fry ups for every meal. The lifestyle is awesome but you pay for it, after partying for 28 days straight at August's Edinburgh Fringe Festival I come back to a diary of holidays and overseas gigs in September that saw me put away Johnny Vegas amounts of food and larger. Only to come back to a 50 date tour, having a night out in every city from Inverness to Brighton with one of your best mates is a dream come true, so we didn't waste it. We had no exercise just driving, gigging, eating out and drinking every night until the blur of a fantastic tour was behind us in mid December, It would have been rude not to celebrate this success with all the friends at home I haven't seen in months with cRaZy christmas festivities.

So there I was in February 2012 lethargic, ashamed and looking down at the foundations of a fat man, I had a baby beer gut that you could grab, it was nothing that clothes couldn't conceal but tight T's were out of the question and me knowing it was there knocked my otherwise bullet proof confidence. I didn't like it. I know it was in the early stages but when I look at comics that have more than a decade under there belt and a decade of bad health hanging over it, with the "Doctor Robotnik" look of skinny limbs with a big "Chuck Rock" belly. This physical appearance is so much fun to achieve but it doesn't happen over night, it starts where I am at right now and I'm getting on top of it immediately before I end up washing my dick with a toilet duck in 10 years time.

90's Mega-Drive villain, Dr Robotnik

90's Amiga Hero, Chuck Rock

When you start looking into dietary strategies and talking about it you realise everyone is an armchair scientist that knows everything about the topic, usually regurgitating some bullshit they heard that makes their favourite food justifiable. The best theory I heard from a man I know is intelligent and very rational was that eating Kebabs is fine if you have a coke with it because the acids in the coke help break it down. Now I respect my dad but when he come out with this I knew you had to take everyones advice on food with a pinch of salt (pardon the pun) as we're all as clueless as each other.

Now I knew there are many books and many techniques for rapid fat loss but I thought I'm going to choose one source and stick to it, not preach it's THE way but simply go with it as an experiment and if I do get results then maybe I'll champion it. So here I am 3 weeks later with noticeable results and holding up the book "The 4 Hour Body" by Tim Ferriss. I chose this book because I heard the author on Joe Rogan's podcast and instantly liked him, a young go-getter who has without doubt got his shit together and life sewn up.

****THE DIET****

4 Hour Body is a buffet of methods to reach different goals. My goal was to reshape, cut fat and retain weight in muscle, you should read it but this is what I've taken from the book:

I started on a Monday and instantly cut the following foods completely:

  • Potato
  • Bread (all, even brown)
  • Pasta
  • Rice
  • Cereal
  • Fruit
  • Milk/Dairy
So that doesn't leave much but what I'm left with I can eat as much as I like, I've been repeating a lot of the same meals but so fuck, for the time being eating is for fuel not fun and that said it's been about as fun as topping up the petrol in my car.

I make sure every meal has 3 things on the plate 1 from each of the categories

Item 1, Carbless Protein:
Chicken fillets, Steak, pork chop, fish, egg whites

Item 2, Veg:
Boccoli, Spinache, Green Beans (I rotate between the 3 obviously there are more)

Item 3, Legumes (I don't know how to pronounce that word, I've only ever read it)
Lentils, Pinto Beans, Black eyed beans, Kidney beans 
Legumes do contain some carbs but it's the best way to get them and it's essential to not getting run down, they're boring as hell to eat but I don't skip them.

I don't drink ANY calories, every drink is water, black sugarless coffee, green tea.

So based on me getting up just before 10am this is a breakdown of my daily meals, I adjust to suit my wake up time and always eat within the first 30 minutes of getting out of bed.

Meal 1, 10am: 3 egg whites (microwaved) Spinach, Lentils
Meal 2, 2pm: Smoked salmon, Brocholi, Lentils (a tin has two portions and it's already open)
Meal 3, 6pm: Chicken breast chopped into a salad with pinto beans (a splash of balsamic vinegar)
Meal 4 10pm: Chicken breast with grean beans and pinto beans

I have these same dry meals over and over in different orders, with no sauces just a dash of paper if I'm feeling adventurous. It sucks balls but so far I've been extremely disciplined. I've also found out how to make Chilli and have it with Veg instead of rice, what a treat when I've only been eating the above.

Snacks?? I always keep hard boiled eggs in the fridge and eat the whites, binning the yolks. Because you end up going through so many eggs, I'm on about 20 a week you really don't want to be eating that many yolks. (I often leave one of the three yolks in my breakfast for a bit of flavour.) Also I keep tinned fish in brine, mackerel and sardines. They're no substitute for pringles when I have the munchies after a doobie but they keep me on track.

Eating out?? Unfortunately everywhere I go I have to be the anti social cunt of the group, looking at the menu for the only thing I can eat, usually the chicken ceased salad, scraping all the salad cream and cheese off. There is usually an option of Steak etc that comes with sides of carbs, carbs and carbs. Ask to replace these with veg, veg and veg, even if you have to pay extra and leave the wedges and onion rings that come with your meal as standard. Subway do a salad box, I often combine this with a slab of smoked salmon from a super market.

Asda do Smoked salmon 2 for £5 and Chicken fillets 3 for £10 (each pack has 2 servings) I pack my freezer with these and frozen veg. It's not that expensive to stick to this.

****The Cheat Day****

There's a cheat day?

Call it one step back to take 6 steps forward, schedule a cheat day where you can eat all the shite you crave through the week, even make notes of stuff you want to indulge in. If you walk past a chippy and smell the greasy deep fat fryer just think "I can't wait to have that on Saturday" this would be as good as impossible to get through without a safe haven.

My first cheat day was such a waste, it was planned for Saturday but on the thursday I was sat having my last meal of the day with a female friend, and instead of being anal and making a picky "replace the taste with veg" style order while my friend ordered carbs with a side of carbs making her feel self conscious I just bit the bullet and ordered a pizza, even though I'd ate perfect for three meals. I simply used this as an excuse to have a few desperado's and jager bombs. This meant I had to cancel saturday and stick to the regime until the following Sunday (A christening and Derby day) I made no mistake this time around. McDonalds breakfast, buffet at the christening, Indians and more than a few beers. This, a normal day in my life, made me feel overindulgent and inspired me through the following week to eat well. The cheat day is essential to your motivation and is said to keep your metabolism high.

Damage limitation on cheat day: Have a grapefruit/lemon juice (natural fat burners) and a strong coffee before binging on, say, a fry up. The juice boosts the effect of the caffein and you shit out more of the calories before they become a part of your blood stream. (According to the book)

It also recommends doing 90 seconds of body weight squats just before binging on junk, this is only achievable if you can find privacy or want to look like a psychopath in KFC.  

****Working Out****

I've torn my rotator cuff (a fashionable injury somewhere in your shoulder) during an impressive bail snowboarding so any resistance, weights, press ups are out of the question. In week 2 I added running to my daily routine running 5-10km per day for 4 days, this was too much too soon and I've pulled the muscle across the bottom of my foot, I'm limping without pain killers right now. So the diet so far has been largely unsupplemented by workouts much to my frustration. One change I have made is to always take stairs instead of lifts, this had me hanging when Jury's in put me on the 11th floor last weekend.

I can't wait to repair so I can add to the diet a training programme, the diet has got me inspired and highly motivated to improve.


The only thing the book mentions is Calcium, Magnesium and Potassium I found a medicine in Asda that covers all three, you have two teaspoonfuls twice a day (two swigs out the bottle)

On my own accord and way before the book I already take:
Multi Vitamins
Vitamin B
Vitamin C
Alpha Brain Pills (I would say waste of money but they may be the source of my self discipline) 


Tim Ferriss mentions 1-2 glasses of dry red wine per night won't harm but if I'm out to get drunk my friend Chris Martin (funny man) pointed me in the direction of Vodka Soda and fresh lime (not cordial) it's about as guilt free as you'll get. Also remember there is no calories in weed if you want to get intoxicated.


First of all I feel great, it's only been 3 weeks but I'm already looking a lot leaner, I don't have a six pac yet but in strategic light you can see it's coming through I definitely have"The V" back which makes you look good in boxer shorts. I bumped into a friend who hadn't seen me since before my dietary experiment and he commented on my shape immediately. Puff.

This is after just 3 weeks of just diet, bar a few jogs, I've been unable/limited by injury to increase my fuel usage, so all of the improvements have been solely down to the change in my eating habits. And I'm not wasting away just cutting my percentage body fat.


Please share this if you find it interesting and leave any questions or comments below.


  1. You should take before and after photos!

    1. I've took a before photo, I'll post it with the after when I'm done. x