They said it’s not possible, it’s stupid, and bodybuilders can’t prep on a fruit diet…
Here are a list of some of the reasons I was told I should get back to my “normal” diet ASAP if I want to stay in shape, or shape up to stage shape over the next 10 weeks.
Fruit is pure sugar
Too much fruit will just make you fat
You’ll loose all your muscle
You can’t sustain a fruit diet for more than a week or 2
Bodybuilders need chicken and rice bru
What about protein
You won’t last more than a month at most
But why? Your just complicating things that already work
It’s been just under 10 weeks since the last show. Muscle Mulisha was on the 28 May 2021, I stepped on stage weighing 61kg at 9.5% bodyfat. I was a tad bloated due to the previous 3 weeks being a little ill, so prep was slightly compromised, but I stood tall and walk alway with a medal and a smile as big as my goals.
Today is the 2 August 2021, current bodyweight is 60kg, and body fat is currently at 9%, I look leaner than I was on stage, haven’t been bloated since stage and I’ve been training lighter on and off for the past 10 weeks. There was a lockdown of 3 weeks sometime in between where I only went on walks and some outdoor runs, but most importantly, I’ve been eating mostly fruit. I’ll post my daily diet below with the addition of extra’s consumed now and then.
So I lost 1kg, and 0.5% body fat, while by overall body shape has also changed a little, but apparently to some it looks hella different.
5 days post show (02 June 2021)
9.5 weeks post show (01 August 2021)
Spot the differences ☝️🙃 Besides my progress face again... eyes half closed and what seems to be a sleepy face smile.. I don't think there's been any negative changes after eating mostly fruit for the past 9+ weeks. The little difference in quad size is partly due to standing a little different, and the reduced body fat, and possibly also the reduced inflammation caused by certain foods that were eliminated since the show. I won't go into details, because the inflammatory response to meat isn't necessarily bad for one's health, but it does feel good to not be swollen.. #justsaying
First, I’ll get to the ‘WHY’, followed by the ‘WHAT’ and then end of with the ‘HOW’
In short: A little self experiment to prep for a competitive bodybuilding show consuming mostly fruit, nuts, and seeds just to prove to myself I am capable of everything.
A while back I though the only way to get super ripped, muscular and lean is to live off chicken breasts, egg whites and green veg, until I started coaching myself and branching out with my diet to allow a more ‘natural’ approach.
I prepped for a show in May this year, following a simple diet of mostly chicken, avocado, rice, cashews, oats, eggs and the some whey protein and creatine after a workout. I started using less supplements over time, including all those so called necessary multivitamins and mineral pills they say we need. I started adding more simple foods to my diet such as whole fruits, various nuts and seeds, less meat, and even less ‘green vegetables’.
A little example of breakfast: 4-5 different fruits, some nuts and seeds and my favourite addition to any bowl, cinnamon.
Another breakfast bowl for the mornings when I wasn't as hungry.
I do however enjoy fruit over vegetables, not because of the sweet juicy taste, but the freshness of it blows me away every time. Until you’ve tried a colourful fruit bowl in the morning, and even better- for dinner, you cannot say that you wouldn’t enjoy it. The feeling after a big bowl of fruit is so much more pleasant than after a bog bowl of meaty pasta, or a pizza. Not that I have cut out those totally, but I feel so fresh, light and alive after fruit, compared to the often lethargic feeling after a large steak and roast veg. Now this can be explained by science - simple mechanics of the digestive system. An average sized meal of cooked meat and vegetables takes around 50 hours to digest. The first few hours the body starts releasing digestive enzymes for each food group, various stomach acids and bile. It works hard to digest meat, a little less effort for the vegetables, and then some more effort for the fats and whatever cooking condiments were used. For each of the individual enzyme released, energy is needed to produce them, and energy is needed to use them. So the body goes into work mode, lots of energy is directed to the digestion of food and less is directed to the rest of the body - hence you often feel lazy after a mixed meal. Consuming meat alone while digest easier than when mixed with other foods, and same goes to eating vegetables or fats on their own, but rarely do people just eat plain chicken and move on. So here’s where the bonus of fruit meals come in - eating a variety of fruit as a meal can easily be eaten on its own. You mix a handful of berries with some papaya, maybe some banana and pineapple, a kiwi or grapes, and there you have a delicious, tasteful, meal on its own. Or you could just grab an apple and have it as a snack. The number of digestive enzymes needed to digest the fruit are fewer than that of a meal of protein, carbs and fat, and thus the amount of energy required to digest it is a whole lot less, as well as the time. It only takes around 2-4 hours to fully digest fruit, thus giving you more energy to use for other body functions. It’s very rare to feel lethargic and full or even bloated after a bog bowl of fruit, unless you mix too many fruits together at one, that could upset your stomach for a little while, but even then, the time needed to settle down is still less than that of regular meals. Another interesting fact is that the mind works best when the stomach is empty, or when all food inside has been digested. The mind is most calm and sleepy after a big meal, especially after a meal with lots of low GI carbs, so your breakfast bowl of oats, whey and peanut butter will actually be better as a dinner and help you sleep. So out of interest, I tested this and found it to be very true. Oats for dinner was not only very satisfying, but I found myself sleeping better too. Try it.
I'm all for performance, so if eating mostly fruit for the first 4 weeks has made me feel lighter, faster and more agile than before, and I didn’t see any negative issues after a couple weeks, so decided to continue doing this for the rest of show prep, which was roughly 9 weeks away. Initially it was a sort of cleanse from all the chicken and egg whites, haha, but now it’s kind of stuck. And I’ve stayed really lean, like stomach veins are still popping, in fact most people have said I look even better than when I stood on stage in May. When I tell them I’ve been living off mainly fruit, their faces turn into confused balloons… like I can see their brains trying to analyse what I’ve just said, and still then, find it difficult to believe.
"You're gonna lose all your gains bro!" - protein shake obsessed gym rats :D ... I was one of them, so I speak only truthfully without subject, biased judgement. I've gotten more compliments on my physique since I adapted a more fruitful diet than I did when I consumed copious amounts of chicken and rice. So tell me... is it the gains you're worried about, or change?
I am all the proof I need. I trust data, I'm all for scientific evidence, but humans are not machines that work on constant numbers, we adapt to change constantly, which results in changes to data. How significant is this change? Well, that depends on the individual. Now that being said, and do read it again if you must, it worked for me, but might not work for you.
But, it could, it really could, you could be lean AF. However, if you’re not mentally ready for drastic change and willing to be consistent, then your body will reject the idea and the subsequent processes to follow from the start. It’s not a silly little daily mantra you can say while you eat doughnuts ‘this will make me skinny’ bullshit, I dont eat my fruit and sing songs about being lean either, but when I started this, I told myself straight up - I want this, and this will work. I was also really craving a change of diet, a wild change, and one that will allow me to continue lifting weights, run fast and do whatever daily tasks I needed to do, and most of all, I wanted it to be good for me. Good for my gut, blood flow, brain, heart, bones, skin, all of it. “But you need calcium, and protein, and fats, and and and…” - well, I eat a lot of nuts, seeds, even the seeds of fruit, sometimes a vegetable here and there when Im in the mood for a warm plate of food, I consume olive oil and avocado's, yoghurt here and there, so my fat intake for there brain and overall well-being is sufficient. As for Protein: well, I realised I don’t need 160g a day, but I can perform perfectly well on roughly 60g a day, if not less as on some days I probably consume only 30g. And still, I have not lost my gains bro. I enjoy plain low fat and Greek yogurt, which is packed with probiotics and all that, so there’s some extra calcium for the bone-worriers, but I also think people have become accustomed to believe, also thanks to endless advertising, that we need all these additional vitamins and mineral supplements, as if our bodies are totally useless and cannot make anything. Do you know how intelligent your body is?? Sure it needs fuel, but in the end of the day, it can make 1000 different molecules out of just a few single molecules from the food we eat. Less is more. And, you also learn to become more efficient, so there's less waste, less energy needed, less effort and less meal-prepping :) Not to mention the amount of money you don't have to spend.
Now the fun part. What did I eat from the end of May up until now?
I'll share a few images of the meals I would eat at anytime of the day. Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Snack plates, the type of food on each plate essentially is the same. Fruit, nuts, seeds, yoghurt, sometimes additional protein sources like eggs or fish, nut butter, cinnamon and maybe a rice cake or 4 here and there.
Breakfast/Lunch: 1/2 Avocado, 1/2 small papaya, 1 yellow grapefruit, some blueberries, 4 egg whites and 1 whole egg spiced with salt & pepper, sriracha, turmeric and cayenne pepper.
Lunch/Dinner: 1 yellow grapefruit, handfuls of red grapes, 1 apple, 1 banana, 1 clemengold citrus, a couple celery stalks filled with avocado, and the apple and banana topped with almond and peanut butter and lots of cinnamon.
Fruit digests much quicker than any other food type, so the amount you need to eat to feel 'fuller for longer' is usually quite a bit more, especially since you don't really want to be eating every 2-3 hours, but every 4-6 hours is honestly sufficient and better for your body.. It's a medical fact that you will not loose all your precious gains if you don't eat every 2 hours... this is broscience that has lead to more health issues than pretty gains. But, for those who were worried about all the sugar intake and insulin spikes, I didn't experience any drastic sugar-high's and low's once leading up to me feeling sluggish after a meal. Not once did I feel lethargic throughout the day or during training from my diet, not to say I didn't get tired and lazy on days, but that was due to either long busy days, lots of travelling or just the odd low energy day here and there that we all get. Most of the time however I found that I would be quite tired for a day or two after the weekend when I would sometimes eat a big plate of normal food like roast chicken and veg, or a pasta/pizza etc. I kept track of my energy levels and this trend was almost always accurate.
I tracked calories the first week.. then realised that this wasn't necessary as I could feel I wasn't eating more than what I should, so I just went with my body needs. Also, after the show I was a little tired of tracking and weighing everything every time, so I though a little break was needed, then I would get back to it after a week or two. Three months passed and I haven't tracked a single calorie or weighed a single gram of what I've eaten. Intuitive eating they call it. Some people can do it, some can't. I would still take progress photos every Sunday and then make whatever adjustments were needed. I wasn't losing muscle, the scale wasn't moving besides the little fluctuations, but it was generally stable around 60kg, but I was getting leaner, my glutes and abdomen were tightening up, and I was finally getting to see those beautiful hamstring separations. I can't tell you how long I've waited to see that! haha! My quads were popping, my shoulders where round and full, and the striations and veins... #WOWZA #eatyofruit
13 August 2021: Lower legs were getting all veiny and shit, I could feel my calves pumping blood like little machines and the abdomen veins were also becoming more visible. Now for some this is strange, unnatural and possibly 'gross'. I don't normally walk around looking like this.. 8-9% body fat is low for a woman, I know, I prefer 10-11%. But, this is the process for stage prep. Enjoy all of it while it lasts.
25 August 2021: This was the week I decided to start doing some pre-show cardio... it's also peak week. I haven't really done any additional cardio (more than 10 minutes of cardio) for a while because I started Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, which is such amazing conditioning for the body and after 30 minutes I'm soaked in sweat, so extra cardio wasn't necessary. I did however have to stop BJJ for the last 4 days of peak-week because 1) my body was sore! fighting/marital arts hurts you in so many good ways, but I can't be stiff and sore on stage and 2) the bruises... bruises don't look good on stage either.
(The shelf behind me with all the alcohol is not mine..haha, I'm temporarily staying at family friends while my place is being renovated, so this is one of the guest rooms)
And finally... how?
I don't think it's really that complicated, really, all you have to to is eat more fruit and less animal produce. Get out a big plate or bowl, add a few spoons of plain yogurt once in a while, or fruit yogurt, cut up 3-5 different fruits, (2-3 cups in total per meal I would say for a medium sized person) and eat it.
Track your body's changes every week, or every 3 days. Take photos and weigh yourself, measure body fat if you can. Take note of the changes in your sleep patters, your energy levels thought the day, and make adjustments. If you're losing weight and you don't want to, then add more food. Eat more higher carb fruits, eggs and if you'd like, eat a 'normal' meal 1-2 times per week, or every 3rd day.
The main point of this was to see if I could manipulate my body without a strict set of rules, to allow more freedom and flexibility and to enjoy the processes needed to achieve the goals. I'm not forcefully restricting myself from eating meat, doughnuts, or going out to restaurants with friends, I'm just consistent with what I want and my ways of getting it.
So no, it's not overly complicated to change the way you do things.
Anyway.. 2 days out from Fire & Ice, I'll update and add some show day photos after the show.
As for the rest of peak week
- I am not doing a water-drop, I will however consume less water on Saturday
- I am not using any supplements, diuretics or fat burners
- I haven't really changed my diet, or tracked anything during peak week
- I've started doing an extra 30 minutes of cardio a day since Monday
- I've replaced most of the meals that have yoghurt with eggs, just incase I get a little bloated from dairy.. because sometimes I do feel a little bloated after too much yogurt.
- Friday will be my last training session where I will do a relatively light full body workout and no cardio
- I've also added and extra meal this week containing about a cup of white basmati rice and 2 eggs to 'carb up' for the show.
Follow my instagram for show updates @nazysnazzy #nazysnazzy