It was in 2004 and I had just graduated high school when the seed of the idea for the Adventurer’s Diet was planted.
I had also been bitten, for the first time in any serious manner, by the iron bug. While I’d lifted weights in a casual manner through high school it wasn’t until the tail end of my senior year and, then especially in the summer following, that I first recognized the joy of lifting heavy things.
My father, recognizing that I was gaining momentum in a positive direction which at that time was very out of my modus operandi and being a very informed and wise man, invested in some kettlebells and a couple books and videos put out by Pavel Tsatsouline and Dragon Door.
I ate that shit up.
This very quickly translated into a passion for learning about the practice of movement in its many forms, and in gaining an understanding of the nutrition and other practices that contribute to increased performance.
Health, I quickly learned, was a crucial component to optimal performance. The lesson didn’t sink in as deeply as it might have if I’d not been for several years leading up to this time, and for several years following, heavily involved in the world of hard drugging and binge drinking. Nevertheless, I began to lift weights, practice calisthenics and eat as well as I understood how to do.
It was during the course of this personal renaissance in the summer, as I mentioned before, of 2004 that I stumbled across a book that would change the course of my eating habits forever. That book was The Warrior Diet by Ori Hofmekler.
This book was the charge that set the wheels of the intermittent fasting movement a-rolling. Ori suggested that there were not enough elite athletes in the world to row a single Roman war ship the distance and pace that the ships were said to have traveled.
Well, for one reason, the oars were manned by slaves who could row or be severely punished. But Ori suggested that there was another reason. For confirmation of the idea, he looked at the marching practices of the Roman foot soldiers.
If the records of the distances traveled by marching and boat were anywhere near accurate, then these men were performing feats of athleticism on a regular basis that would put all but the most elite modern athletes to shame.
Hofmekler was clever enough to understand that performance hinges upon nutrition, and was even more clever when he thought to ask whether a lack of nutrition during certain periods might fuel increased output.
So he put it to the test.
The Warrior Diet put the idea of progressive resistance into place, sort of in reverse, in the realm of diet. Ori’s program was to go without eating all but 4-6 hours of the day, and then to gradually decrease the period of consumption to a single hour in the day.
It should, because in the years hence intermittent fasting has been adopted and promoted to the point that even senior citizens, people who’ve never lifted a weight and other unlikely groups have been cued into the benefits.
I’ve been practicing intermittent fasting on and off, but mostly on, ever since.
Enter Dr. Shawn Baker and the Carnivore Diet.
The seed which Ori Hofmekler had planted in my head was fertilized by an interview I heard with Dr. Shawn Baker on The Joe Rogan Experience, and later an interview I had with the man myself, in which he mentioned that he practiced what he called “intermittent feasting.”
The idea is that one might go a day, perhaps a day-and-a-half, without food and at the end of that time one would then consume a massive amount of meat and repeat the process again.
This idea appealed to me for a couple of reasons. First, the convenience of eating infrequently was part of the appeal in intermittent fasting and the added convenience of even less frequent eating combined with the simplicity of the menu drew me in. Second, this seemed a good way to enter ketosis without needing to gut a pound of butter every day and go easy on protein.
In addition to these ideas of intermittent fasting and intermittent feasting, I have also in the last several years gotten quite into the practice of extended fasting. I have done several seven-day fasts, and many more 2-5 day fasts.
In researching the practice of fasting, I came across the concept of caloric restriction and fasting mimicking diets. The idea here being that a period of prolonged caloric restriction provides many of the same benefits that a prolonged fast provides.
With this trifecta of concepts, the seed of the Adventurer’s Diet germinated, and so without further ado, here is the general outline:
- 2-4 days of caloric restriction. 25% or less of your normal caloric intake. During these days, stick to high-fat/high-protein foods to help induce periods of ketosis.
- Following the caloric restriction, a full 24-hour fast with no calories, but with plenty of water with the addition of a bit of electrolyte mix or at least some salt to help avoid cramps.
- At the end of the 24-hour fast, a large meat-centric feast. The idea here is to consume as much meat as possible to create a condition of supercompensation.
- Following the feast, 2-4 days of intermittent fasting with low-carbohydrate, high-fat, moderate protein consumption. These days consist of slightly more calories than your current standard consumption. Say 125%.
The idea here is to put you into a state of ketosis for the better part of a week, and to lean out in the process, while toughening up your willpower and increasing mental clarity.
Then a feast, as a reward for the difficulty of the previous 3-5 days, and several days of recharge before setting off on the journey again.
So why the name Adventurer’s Diet?
Imagine that you’re setting off on an adventure, and that you must pack all the food you’ll be eating on your back. Let’s assume, as is so often the case, that unexpected difficulties arise during the adventure, and you run out of food before reaching safe haven.
Then, once you’ve arrived, your hunger is sated and you spend a couple of days recovering physically and mentally before setting off either on the road home or to continue deeper on in the adventure.
Hence, the Adventurer’s Diet.
I propose that one who eats in this manner will become very lean, quite muscular, and develop a level of physical and mental toughness that are quite uncommon. Those of you who know me well know just how Uncommon my Mentality is.
Dare to try it?
If so let me know how it goes.
Here’s to the adventurers!