Every night, King Schratz (born Dave Schratz) sits down in front of his 62,000 Instagram followers to eat his first, and only, meal of the day. Today, it’s 12 bacon-egg-cheese sandwiches and a pile of fries. Earlier in the week, it was cheeseburger sliders, or a bulging-at-the-seams fajita plate. He lists the nutritional content of each of his meals, adding the hashtag #IIFYM, and he says that each of the feasts runs him about 3,700 calories — yet he has a lean, muscular body, which he proudly displays in his weightlifting videos on Instagram.
Schratz has become notorious for limiting himself to exactly one gigantic meal a day. He owns a personal training business called BioFit Solutions in north Jersey, and he claims that he stays in shape by burning off the calories with his intense, 2-hour daily workouts. “It’s almost like I’m having a cheat meal every night, but I’m not,” he says. “If I burn 4,000 calories and I eat 3,200, then I’m going to stay lean.” It’s almost like a magic trick: watch as this ripped man makes all these carbs and fatty acids disappear from reality. He’s like the Harry Houdini of food.
Last Nights Burrito Bowl. Carnitas (its tenderloin), all the burrito trimmings, and the GOAT veggie tot (seriously) Corn Tots. Staple meal for me, never get tired of them and all the different variations. . Its sour cream. No, its not always sour cream. But it is this time. . Live. Tonight. 1am. As always. Eastern Time. Mon-Wed. I dont livestream every day….i like to log out of the matrix. Balance. Ingredients are in my stories and the link in my bio. – [Calories – 3,646] . -[Protein: 210] -[Carbs: 597] -[Fat: 62] -[Fiber: 40] #onemealaday #intermittentfasting #ifitfitsyourmacros #iifym #epicmealtime #foodporn #carbsafterdark #balancednotclean #flexibledieting #flexibledieter #ilovecarbs #fitfam #leangains #instafood #fitness #cleaneating #eatbig #fitmeals #carbsafterdark #epicmacrofriendlymeals #burrito #taco
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Schratz tells Men’s Health he started his one-meal-a-day plan about two years ago, uploading his first banquets to his Instagram feed. As time went on, more and more people found his account, all of whom were (perhaps predictably) transfixed by his apparent ability to eat whatever he wanted, without adding a single drop of body fat.
The novelty of Schratz’s Instagram definitely contributes to his popularity. It’s not often that you see a personal trainer downing piles of waffles and sausages, and many of Schratz’s meals far exceed the standard 2,000 to 3,000 daily calories recommended for active men to maintain their weight. This has prompted many commenters to doubt that he’s actually eating as much as he does (recently, Schratz has actually started to livestream his dinners to disprove these lingering doubts.)
In itself, the concept of eating one meal a day isn’t that novel: were it not for the tremendous portions of burgers, hot dogs, and fries that Schratz shovels into his mouth, the principles of his diet aren’t dissimilar to those behind intermittent fasting, or restricting your caloric intake at set periods of time (although there is some evidence that intermittent fasting isn’t any more effective than daily calorie counting if you want to lose weight.)
But even though Schratz’s Instagram is undeniably visually compelling, it’s still not exactly a great template for healthy eating. For starters, Schratz subscribes to the “calories in, calories out” method of weight loss — i.e., that if you burn more calories than you consume, you can lose weight. Marie Spano, MS, RD, CSCS, a sports nutritionist, says there might be some truth to what Schratz is saying. “A person can eat the foods like he shows in his photos and still lose weight if they consume fewer calories than they burn,” she says.
Yet there’s evidence to suggest that the “calories in, calories out” methodology is little more than a myth. Your daily caloric needs vary tremendously depending on factors like your age and genetic makeup, as does your ability to lose weight. Furthermore, calorie counts are often inaccurate, and much of what we know about counting calories is based on flawed, outdated science.
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Spano also points out that for building muscle, it’s far better to spread protein intake throughout the day. “Muscle building and repair last about 3 to 5 hours after a meal,” she says. “Protein cannot be stored in the body in significant amounts. If extra protein is consumed, some of this is held within stomach tissue for a period of time, yet this has little contribution to muscle later on in the day.”
That’s all true, but Schratz says he doesn’t really eat the way he does for health-related reasons. Instead, he mostly enjoys the convenience and flexibility. “I’m usually a very busy person,” he says. “It’s really the same thing as eating consistently throughout the day.”
There’s also the undeniable fact that Schratz’s diet as seen on Instagram is outrageously unhealthy. While he says he doesn’t partake in sugary drinks or light snacks and makes sure to cover his nutritional bases — “People don’t see the vegetables that I eat, but I usually eat pounds of vegetables with every meal. And people don’t notice because they’re covered in cheese,” he says, laughing — eating a bunch of bacon-egg-cheese sandwiches on a deficit is still admittedly not great for you.
“If he doesn’t consume enough high-fiber foods and probiotic-rich foods such as kefir, yogurt, kimchi and miso, he may not have much good bacteria in his gut, which over time can affect gut functioning and his immune system,” says Spano. “His diet contains a good amount of foods which can increase his blood cholesterol and this is not good for heart and artery health.”
She points out, however, that there are “two main things he has going for him though: he exercises and maintains a healthy weight and healthy body fat level. These factors are very important for heart health.”
For anyone who wants to uncover his secrets, Schratz keeps a caloric tally of the ingredients he’s using. But when I ask him why he thinks he has such a giant Instagram following, he acknowledges that some of his fans don’t watch for his diet tips. “I watch Man vs. Food because I like to watch people eat giant meals, because I’m like, ‘How the heck can you eat so much food? I do think there’s something behind that,” he says. “But to think that people actually care about what I’m doing — it’s very humbling.”
Spano agrees on that point: “There are much better approaches to diet if your goal is good health,” she says. “But many of these approaches won’t necessarily get you the Instagram following [Schratz] has.”
Source: Men’s Health