Eddie George is ripped.
The 43-year-old looks like he could still be a workhorse running back in the NFL.
What’s his secret?
For one, George is a fitness freak. He lifts weights regularly and is an avid yogi.
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But working out hard can only take you so far, especially once you’re no longer a young kid with a crazy fast metabolism. That’s why George still uses the effective nutrition strategy he adopted early in his NFL career.
“When I got into the NFL, that’s when I really shifted my philosophy to eat healthier and leaner. Eat things that were going to pack on lean muscle mass—proteins, complex carbs, veggies. Try to keep it clean and eat six times a day,” George says. “I still try to do the same today. I try to eat six meals of 500 calories every day. I wake up in the morning and eat at 7, then at 9:30, then at noon. Then throughout the rest of the day I try to eat every 2-3 hours after that. I keep my sweets to a minimum. I’ll throw in a cheese pizza or a Five Guys burger to keep my sanity, but for the most part I try to keep it 80/20 clean.”
Instead of gorging himself two or three times a day, George eats smaller meals six times a day. He’s certainly not starving himself, either. But what makes his approach so effective?
Eating small meals throughout the day keeps blood sugar and insulin levels stable. That means more energy and fewer crashes. It also means avoiding feelings of ravenous hunger, which can lead to binge eating. The fact that George eats breakfast every day gives him a leg up. Skipping breakfast is one of the worst things a person, especially an athlete, can do from a diet standpoint. A 2013 study from the Harvard School of Public Health found that “men who skipped breakfast had a 27% higher risk of CHD [coronary heart disease] compared with men who did not.” A 2003 study found that “subjects who regularly skipped breakfast had 4.5 times the risk of obesity as those who regularly consumed breakfast.” Studies have also found that skipping breakfast can have negative effects on mood and memory.
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But perhaps the most important fact about George’s diet is that he sticks to it. He allows himself indulgences, but they never alter the foundation of his balanced dietary principles. That’s the sign of a man who’s mastered his own nutrition.