We had our first inaugural Man Diet Boot Camp this weekend in Barrington, IL at a very nice facility called The Garlands. Since it was our first event, there was definitely a bit of a learning curve in terms of… well, just about everything. In the morning, we spent time talking about our personal stories of weight loss and why we decided to develop this diet program catered towards the needs of men, then I give a short lecture about the man diet program. We then broke for lunch, and had an unbelievable low-carb lunch. Very tasty spread of salads, meats, veggies, and some berries.
We asked all our participants if they enjoyed the lunch and were full after they ate, and the response was a unanimous yes. It also surprised many of our participants when I told them that they would not get a two o’clock crash as a result of this meal. So many of the guys in our group are used to that two o’clock crash and were skeptical, but I made sure that I asked them later in the afternoon how they felt, and the majority said they felt fine and didn’t experience the typical crash.
Afterwards, we had Mark G, the owner of GH fitness, talk about his philosophy of personal training, which is a lot like what we try to do with The Man Diet. You see my basic philosophy is: most people know more about their cars or their computers than they do about how their own body works. This is a travesty. I think that we all deserve to know how our bodies work and how we can do things to make them work better. Mark G believes this too. Geoff Pinkus believes this. And I believe this. This is one of the reasons why we created this program.
We then followed up with showing Tom Naughton’s movie Fathead, and serving some of my daughter Grace’s homemade low-carb almond meal cookies, which everyone really enjoyed. We also enjoyed the movie immensely and it was a game changer for many of the men in the audience. Thanks, Tom! We hope if you’re not too busy farming and raising your family get you a chance to join us at one of these boot camps. I know everyone at the boot camp expressed interest that they would love to meet you personally.
The second day included visits from Chet Coppock, was lost 31 pounds in The Man Diet, and has found an amazing amount of energy as a result. Chet Coppock does the pre-and post-games for Notre Dame football, and he often does them in restaurants when the team is not playing in South Bend. This week he was at an Irish bar, which many of you know is carb heavy – and that’s putting it very mildly. Instead of giving into the carb crave, Chet had two hamburger patties and some ice tea, and after he was done he went to record some commercials and promos at the radio station. He was up until about two in the morning and then he woke up at six to come visit all the guys at the boot camp . In spite of this rigorous schedule, Chet was at his best, and he expressed how good he felt to everyone. It was really wonderful to see.
it was also wonderful to see how many guys shared some pretty deep things in our community about themselves, their families, their fears, and a little bit of their anger and how they’ve been deceived by the low-fat craze. Now I want to make clear that we have a lot of fun during this boot camp, and sometimes I seriously wonder if I’m watching a Las Vegas nightclub act when I hear Geoff Pinkus talk. But the fact is, we connected with guys who are struggling with their weight, and wanted to get some definitive answers about how they could take the next step, and get their health back. That was the most amazing part of all and that made me feel really good. That’s why I went into the field of medicine –to really help people. That’s what I felt we did, and we are going to continue to do that because our next Boot Camp date will be November 3. I hope to have a few really exciting guests come and give a few short talks. Make sure you stay tuned for information on how you can sign up.
And this brings me to talking about NuSI, the Nutrition Science Initiative that has been started by Peter Attia and journalist Gary Taubes. The aim of this organization is to provide high-quality research in the field of nutrition to help curb the obesity and (more importantly) diabetes epidemic that we are experiencing in this country. You can read a little bit about it right here.
There is definitely a lot of bad science and bad information out there in regards to nutrition. Most people know that, and now the people who attended our boot camp, are convinced that they’ve been fed is Tom Naughton likes to say, ‘a load of bologna’ (which is low-carb and might actually not be a bad thing!). I really respect Dr. Attia and Gary Taubes for putting this program together. They make no bones about the fact that they’re going to research some of the important questions that are left on answered in terms of diet and nutrition, specifically as it concerns low carbohydrate dieting. It will be very interesting to see some of the results of their studies. They have already gotten some criticism, albeit from the expected places, and it is been the typical criticism that I’ve seen over and over again on the blogs and other media.
If there’s one thing that I learned from Geoff Pinkus, is that it’s okay to have disagreements and is necessary in most cases if you really want to achieve some level of understanding. In fact Geoff takes it one step further by saying it’s good to have haters. And to a large degree I agree with him. If you stand up for something, as the great Winston Churchill says, you will have enemies – and that’s actually a very good thing.
I know that there will be people who will not agree with what we do, or get the fact that were not being exclusionary to women. That’s fine. We welcome the controversy, but the fact is we are actually trying to be pro man by establishing The Man Diet. There is no secret about this either, and people who understand this will also understand that every one of those guys in our audience has a loved one, a wife, children, and are loved by their parents. There is no doubt that they are doing this diet for themselves, but likewise, there is no doubt that they are doing the diet because they want to be around the people that they love for a long, long time. By being pro-man, we are pro-everyone. That’s just the fact.
One of the reasons why I chose a low carbohydrate diet, is because I have daughters with type I diabetes, and I realized I needed to be a role model for them to the best of my ability. The same is true with almost all the guys in our boot camp this weekend. They want to be role models. They want to actually be the change they want to see in the world. They want to assume the personal responsibility that everyone is talking about, but they also need a plan.
Which brings me back to NuSI. I really like the idea of finally pursuing the scientific questions that will help bring the necessary understanding to low carbohydrate, nutrient dense dieting that it deserves. But it needs to be brought to the people as well. You need boots on the ground. And that’s why it’s so important to have guys like Tom Naughton making movies that people like to see, and why its great to have doctors like William Davis write books like Wheat Belly, which are very readable and informative. You need to be able to connect with people because information is simply not enough. You need to connect.
And that is one of the main reasons why we did the boot camp, and why we have structured our diet program the way it has been structured – to include intense follow up and ask us the types of questions that need to be asked continuously. What should I eat? Why shouldn’t I eat this? Is it really okay for me to eat this? How can I actually do this? What is the first step? These are the questions that I get all the time, and I’m happy to answer them. I can talk to them about insulin and carbohydrates for the cows come home, and I do! Most guys at the end of our boot camp understood a lot more about physiology that they had before. But we also gave them the practical steps that they could take to change their lives for the better forever.
So I wish NuSI great luck, and I that hope one of these days, we can get Dr. Attia and Gary Taubes to present at our boot camp. That would be amazing! Until that time, we’re going to keep working on helping men lose weight one guy at a time but teaching them the practical steps that they can take to get their health back through diet and exercise, and helping them understand how their body is instructed by the foods that they choose to eat.
See you again in November!