The means and methods to achieve weight-loss are far too many, each promising to make us look our slimmest, best-est self, sexiest self.
But the problem with all the commonly known methods of dieting is that they require us to forgo all our favorite foods for leaner, less calorie count, small-portion meals that leave us craving for more.
However, one Instagram influencer has broken the myth and introduced millennials to the benefits of eating big, fulsome, meals without relinquishing our favorite cheese, macaroni or pizza and achieving stellar body results that manifest itself in tight abs, taut muscles without an inch of flab.
Sounds magic? Actually, it's called intermittent fasting, a groundbreaking method of dieting that revolves not so much about which foods to eat, but rather when you should eat them.
Ask Instagram influencer Blake Horton, 34, from Paramus, New Jersey, who enjoys the attention of more than 355k followers on the 'gram by posting videos of himself (alongside his girlfriend) gorging on 5,000 kcal-laden meals. Not only has Horton mastered the art of intermittent fasting but has shown the world how it looks like to eat gargantuan-sized meals without gaining one inch of flab.
“I save up all my calories and spend them all in one shot. Where regular people eat three meals a day, I get all my nutrients, carbs, fats, proteins, micronutrients, fiber, everything all in that one big monster meal,” Horton told Barcroft, adding, "eating one meal a day is a godsend. I no longer get hungry so it’s like I’m completely free.”
From, buffalo chicken, spicy sweet chili Doritos, spaghetti sandwiches to Fruity Pebbles, mint chocolate chip ice-cream mountain, Horton’s 'freak-meals' have captured the attention of several thousand Instagram users who throng by the dozen to seek his advice on intermittent fasting, dieting, nutritional requirements et all.
However, the 'sorcery', as we would call it, isn't just about eating and stuffing yourself with elephant-like portions—there's more to it. To break down the entire process, Horton, whose journey with intermittent fasting began when he was 30 years old, talks to Meaww about his journey with weight-loss and the "magic" behind the process of his radical way of living and eating, with the hope of inspiring others to see how the mechanism works.
1. Meaww: What people see on Instagram is the partial truth. What are the struggles that are a part of your diet and fitness grind?
Horton: The struggles are intermittent fasting, myself and my lifestyle all being misunderstood. The reason why I’ve been doing intermittent fasting for more than four years as it is easy and enjoyable. Getting hungry sucks and I no longer have to deal with that thanks to intermittent fasting.
People also think I’m genetically gifted. I lost 60 pounds after turning 30 years old. I started off with conventional dieting and hated it. I was hungry all the time, never satisfied with my meals, constantly watching the clock waiting to eat again and couldn’t ever go out and enjoy myself because I was always almost at my caloric allowance by night time. Night time is when life actually happens for most people. Intermittent Fasting allowed me to continue losing weight while getting my life back. I was able to enjoy life and food again. Never hungry anymore. Never watching the clock waiting to eat.
People tend to think I’m into bodybuilding and or I workout all day to be able to eat what I do. Bodybuilding is certainly not my thing and the fact that I understand calories and energy expenditure, I understand working out to be able to eat more isn’t worth it. The average person would probably have to run their face off on the treadmill for an hour to expend 500 calories. While cardio is great for the heart, the same person can just skip a small meal and save the 500 calories.
I mainly do training I enjoy and at the end of the day, eat accordingly. In the warmer months, I’m on my bike most of the time riding wheelies and rarely ever go to the gym. Muscles are cool but I’d rather be on my bike having fun, than building big muscles.
When I decide to skip training, I still have way more calories to consume than anyone who trained for hours yet eats 3 or more meals, daily.
Real life example: I didn’t eat last night because I was very tired and just decided to save my calories for tonight. I’m spending my Sunday laying in bed and getting work done, yet I’ll be making a 6,000 calorie Chinese food meal before bed and don’t have to burn anything off tomorrow.
People also tend to believe my meals are very unhealthy while they’re actually nutrient packed. I eat over 15 pounds of fruits and vegetables on the average week and make sure I get essential amounts of macro & micronutrients by using healthier versions of most foods; which is why all of my meals look like double the calories they actually are. Sometimes people ask me if I ever eat fruits or vegetables while there are multiple pounds of them in my meals on Instagram. The human eye tends to be more attracted to what people crave. And from the feedback I’ve gotten, that tends to be things like chocolate and cheese sauce.
2. Meaww: Thanks to Instagram, we know a side of Blake Horton, who loves his gargantuan meals as much as his fitness and cooking. Who's THE REAL Blake Horton that many don't know about?
Horton: What you’re seeing on Instagram is the real Blake Horton. I share all aspects of my life between regular posts and my Insta-story posts. I might be posting from work while dressed up in a bow tie or possibly from the grocery store in sweatpants and slippers.
I understand a lot of people “Do it for the gram” however I’m one of those who shares what I actually do. Of course I dress up my meals for the gram to make them more pleasing to the eye, however, I don’t do anything differently off camera. I also show my body on Instagram not-so-flattering positions (real-life positions) in most of my food videos. I flex for a couple seconds and it’s back to normal. Most “fit” people you see on Instagram only show themselves while flexing in their best possible positions. I believe that can be discouraging to their fans; misleading them to believe they look perfect 24/7.
Also, unlike many others with food accounts on Instagram, I actually eat all the food. My girlfriend @bigjenni, as well. What you’re not seeing is me sitting in one spot for hours on end either at work or home; on the computer, making phone calls, answering emails, responding to fans and all the countless hours of video editing.
3. Meaww: At first glance, it clearly looks like intermittent fasting isn't for everyone. How would you recommend a novice to incorporate the fasting 'n' feasting technique in their lives?
Horton: I agree that it “looks like” intermittent fasting cannot be up everyone’s alley. Especially with all the incorrect information out there about intermittent fasting and fat loss in general. However, in my case, I teach others how to make intermittent fasting fit their lifestyle.
I recommend anyone to get into intermittent fasting by removing the first meal of the day and rinsing and repeating if necessary. It’s hard at the beginning to separate the difference between mental and physical hunger. Most people get “hungry” and/or experience symptoms of “hunger” when they’re bored. Funny thing is, most of these people have never experienced true physical hunger. Aside from the health benefits, the point of intermittent fasting is to make one’s life easier and enjoyable while controlling body weight.
4. Meaww: Assuming that you have your fair share of cheat days, what do your cheat days look like?
Horton: I actually don’t have cheat days. Intermittent fasting makes it incredibly easy to eat to your heart’s content while staying within your caloric allowance.
I typically do one meal a day whenever before bed but I’m completely flexible with that. If I go to a wedding or event and want to eat earlier than normal or split my day up into two meals, I do... and get the same results. People tend to believe there are too many rules to fat loss or gaining fat when the golden rule is calories in vs out.
The closest thing to a cheat day for me is estimating calories while eating out and although probably coming close to my calorie goal, not getting the usual amount of macro & micronutrients. I still don’t overeat though, so I wouldn’t call them cheat days.
5. Meaww: Dieting is hard. Let alone, intermittent fasting. How would you recommend keeping the motivation level high and keep the momentum going?
Horton: Dieting IS HARD. Dieting usually implies: temporary & difficult, restriction from enjoyable foods, hunger all the time, never eating to satisfaction and more.On the other hand, intermittent fasting is meant to be: a lifestyle, no longer getting hungry, eating much larger meals while losing body fat, truly not being interested in snacks or small meals, eating when it’s enjoyable for you, eating to complete satisfaction.
If you are properly doing intermittent fasting, that will be enough to keep the momentum going. The hard part is dealing with what others have to say who don’t understand intermittent fasting. They think it’s difficult, they think you get hungry, think you want to eat and are forcing self-control, lacking energy etc. I believe most people fail intermittent fasting because of others around them. These are all things I personally dealt with and it takes a strong-willed person to deal with all of that even when experiencing great personal results.
6. Meaww: What is your everyday routine look like?
Horton: Work the morning 9-5, editing videos during lunch time, quick nap afterward, edit videos, gym or martial arts or bike ride, spend some time with my girlfriend, more video editing, late night food shopping followed by live streaming and eating with my fans. (By that time it’s usually around 3 am which is why I am going to need a quick nap after work). For those interested, I train roughly for 5 days a week.
On the weekends, we usually go out drinking with friends or do a restaurant promotion (restaurant promotion activities are as much work as they are fun eating. There’s always a ton of footage to review and video editing to be done later).
7. Meaww: What is your view on holistic health and how one can incorporate them into their lives?
Horton: In regards to intermittent fasting, probable holistic health benefits are reduced insulin resistance, improved digestion (while not required, one should consume the bulk of their calories before resting for proper digestion, increased growth hormone, mental clarity & focus, cellular rejuvenation, reducing inflammation, enhanced tissue healing among others).
8. Meaww: How would your meal plans look if you were a vegetarian?
Horton: A while back after receiving a bunch of comments from vegetarians that they love my vegetarian meals, I looked back through my feed and realized a lot of my meals were accidentally vegetarian. Whatever I was in the mood for just didn’t include meat or fish.
I’m also not a fan of meal plans. I figure out how to get the proper nutrients with foods I’m in the mood for. Log everything in myfitnesspal app, weigh my food, and build a meal around what I’m in the mood for while getting the proper nutrients and managing my bodyweight.
Hopefully, that clears up some of the confusion about intermittent fasting; the most misunderstood lifestyle or “diet”. I’m most active on Instagram with the username @blake_201 and if you click the link in my Instagram bio, you’ll find links to more intermittent fasting info, recipes & products I use, etc.
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