HEALTHHealth has been a big part of my life for 10 years now and job for two years, figured it was time to share my own knowledge and conclusions.
To stay lean year around, I keep my macros approximately like this:
200 grams of protein or more per day.
100 grams of carbs per day or less.
100 grams of fat per day or less.
When you keep protein high, you really don’t have to bother so much with carbs vs. fats.
MICROSYour food is not only your energy, but the building blocks for your future self.
I use a free tool called Cronometer.com to make sure I get 100% of Daily Recommended Nutrition from whole foods.
BREATHINGMany know that exercise and diet can fix your health. Few know that your breathing can have a big impact too!
I do the Wim Hof Method every morning and take a 3 minutes cold shower. That’s about 10 minutes of hyper ventilation and breath holds, which starts pumping adrenaline and gets your immune system going.
A TRIP TRYING DIFFERENT DIETSAn updated Diet Doctor blog post from Feb 1, 2019.
My name is Mattias Lindberg, and I have been Diet Doctor’s motion designer for two years. I was not always interested in health – that started right before I turned 30. Today, I am 40. Here is a summary of all the diets I have tried and how they worked for me.
It started when a friend, a photographer, did a photo shoot with me and we took some photos of ourselves without a shirt on. After studying the photos, it became apparent that we both were starting to become fat.
We decided it was time to make a change. I had already been a vegetarian for three years for moral reasons, which didn’t do anything specifically good for my health. I found that you can easily eat just as a bad, or even worse, by excluding meat from your diet.
Mattias Lindberg, 2019
Diet #1: The Hollywood Physique Diet (three months)
The Hollywood Physique Diet was a temporary and extreme carb-cycling diet that aimed to create fast body transformations. We ate 350 grams of beef every day, 11 eggs and low-carb, big salads. If no colleague commented on its size, the salad was too small. Together with intense exercise four times per week, the challenge was intense. One hour every weekend, we ate as many carbs as possible — all that we have craved during the week and then some: donuts, pizza, brownies, crisps. Anything but alcohol, which was off limits.
I lost two pant sizes. It’s interesting how much your face changes.
Also got myself a “question everything” tattoo on my chest.
The Master Cleanse (ten days)Next, we did something called the Master Cleanse. Ten days fast with only some jungle syrup, lemon and cayenne pepper blend. Also, flushed my guts with salt water every morning. I do NOT recommend this, but I certainly lost weight fast. About 1 kilo (2 pounds) per day while being cold and low energy. Today, if anyone would like to fast, I would much rather recommend a regular water fast.
Diet #2: The raw-food vegan diet (four months)
Then, it was time for something more sustainable. Or not… I tried the raw-food vegan diet. I thought it would be possible to gain muscle on 80/10/10: 80% carbs, 10% fat and 10% protein. Ate about 10 bananas per day. Also did a lot of juicing. I was about to buy an expensive low-heat oven to dry fruit and veggies when I watched a debate on Youtube about cooked vs. raw food. I felt stupid. It was demonstrated that you could actually get more nutrients by cooking spinach and remove some unhealthy anti-nutrients in the process! I jumped off the diet right there.
Diet #3: LCHF (three-four years)
My friend then found something else, we read Andreas Eenfeldt’s book, The Food Revolution. I felt much better than on the vegan diet, but also gained a bit of weight back. I guess, I returned to a “new normal”. Stayed in my new pant size though, never went back to my old unhealthy pre-30 body. My friend and I also became more active with climbing and running. My friend left LCHF after a while, as he lacked energy and thought it was difficult socially. I continued experimenting.
Diet #4: Keto (two years)
I wanted to become keto-adapted. I tried to do this several times, but never really succeeded. Did six month periods of keto, but eventually I would hit some dark wall of depression and exhaustion from it. In those cases, only a carb reefed worked. Tried everything, from getting electrolytes up, made sure I had enough blood ketones, etc. That reefed was often in the shape of Ben & Jerry ice cream and pizza.
Since I wanted to get back to that slim body shape, I started to do water fasts and intermittent fasting. Tried doing OMAD (one meal a day), sometimes fasted three-four days with only water, but most often I just skipped breakfast and did 16:8. I experimented with running further and further every Sunday in a fasted state. My record was 40 km (25 miles) on nothing! Almost a marathon. Got a lot of energy from fasting, but disliked the food coma I could get once I ate again. Eventually, I would start to freeze from it and go back to eating breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Diet #5: The carnivore diet (two unsuccessful two-week attempts)
Sometimes, you can reach your limits when experimenting with diets! I tried the carnivore diet twice and got sick both times after two weeks. There is something that happens in me when I don’t have fiber for two weeks. The first time, I got something that felt like the flu. The second time, I got diarrhea from eating butter on the 12th day, which got me dehydrated and I fainted on the bathroom floor. Be warned!
I did, however, learn a lot from it. I learned about anti-nutrients in vegetables, grains, legumes and how some people with IBS can be very sensitive to plant foods. Also, have some new carnivore friends and they stand by it as the healthiest thing they have done. I do eat more animal products now, even started eating liver (a superfood) – but I think both socially and for health, you want to be able to eat anything, just not too often. Have noticed carnivores losing their ability to eat “normally” after staying too long on the diet. Same with the vegan diet, in the evolutionary perspective, humans have never gone with only beef and eggs, but also never only on vegetables and fruits.
Diet #6: Optimize nutrition
During my year at Diet Doctor, I stopped climbing and running regularly. Instead, I was only doing bodyweight exercises, handstands, muscle-ups, calisthenics. Tried keto again, but did not feel great, even among experts. Through a blood test, I found out that I was lacking in magnesium and iron. That’s when I found out about Marty Kendall’s website Optimising Nutrition and Cronometer. These tools helped me fix my lack of nutrients with whole foods and a kitchen scale. When I started eating more micronutrients, a lot of cravings disappeared. Sometimes on keto, I would eat a lot of fat. I now believe that empty calories are bad on both carb-based and fat-based diets. I shared a bunch of examples of meals to boost nutrition on Instagram. Have a look:
Ted Naiman’s diet 2.0
I found Dr. Ted Naiman in our Diet Doctor video archive. Later, I filmed Ted on the Low Carb Cruise 2018, we talked and trained together, it soon felt like the final piece of the puzzle had been solved. Ted’s diet 2.0 is basically whole foods high in protein from animal sources and fiber from vegetables and low-carb fruit. Some dairy. 50% protein, 25% carbs 25% fat. Read more here.
Since that shirtless picture from 2011, I wanted to continue looking like that, but with more muscles. I had gained more muscles since then, but it took me ten years to learn how to eat to keep a six-pack.
Here’s some really inspiring memes from Ted.
How I eat today
I want to be healthy, strong, look good, have the energy for focus and be able to do my explosive calisthenics. I believe that I have found my way to do it.
The magical macro for this is not fat, it’s protein. I eat more than 200 grams of protein per day. Less than 100 grams of carbs and yes, less than 100 grams of fat. P200g/C100g/F100g. 2:1:1. All from mostly real, whole foods.
I also make sure I get 100% of recommended daily nutrients via Cronometer, while I keep a caloric deficit. I recently found out that I have the most energy if I eat less than 500 kcal for breakfast and lunch. Then eat 1,000–1,300 kcal for dinner and dessert (my dessert is most often zero fat Greek yogurt, blueberries and casein chocolate protein powder).
Yes, I measure my calories – the measuring thing is fun for me, I’m a geek. Also, if you want a six-pack, you have to know you’re in a caloric deficit. Most importantly though for me, is to measure macro and micronutrients, that you can do for free on Cronometer. With a food scale, I can see if I’m getting the daily recommended vitamins and minerals. I don’t have to do it every day, but there’s a lot of value in seeing how many calories and nutrients different foods have. Eating this way, I have energy, lose a little body fat every day, stay lean and can build muscles.
As I would eventually lose too much body fat eating this way, it’s therefore not only desirable to make exceptions to the diet, it’s healthy. Now I can eat ANYTHING on social events because I finally have control. But, as I start the day with my protein and nutrient requirements, I usually don’t even have cravings for the bad stuff either. I’d much rather have some 0% fat Greek yogurt with berries and chocolate protein powder than a Ben & Jerry ice cream. “When hunger comes to collect…” as Martin Bekhan from LeanGains said. Therefore, replace bad habits with less bad habits!
From The LeanGains Method book by Martin Bekhan
Me at 40, doing the dragon squat: