Instagram is filled with legions of death-defying, multi-talented, and otherwise-impressive specimens of the human race. One of them is user @blake_201, who likes to go by Blake, a New Jersey man who -- it's true! -- successfully conditioned his body into well-toned muscles and a rack of abs through a controversial dieting method: intermittent fasting.
As Blake explained to Thrillist, that means "consuming all of your daily nutrients in a shorter time frame than normal." He has done some version of intermittent fasting for three and a half years now, and for the last two and half years, he has eaten one meal a day, some of them topping out over 4,000 calories. He regularly posts videos and stills of himself, usually sitting next to his girlfriend, feasting on insanely large meals: chicken bacon ranch mac & cheese fries with garlic bread subs (~4,000 calories); 8 lbs of a bacon ranch Bagel Bites salad (~3,800 calories); a cheese fries hot dog pizza (~4,000 calories); and the clips go on and on and on. For those who live their lives eating a metered, three-squares-a-day diet, scrolling through his Instagram is both overwhelming and fascinating.
But for Blake, it's just life. "I get regular blood work done and I'm in perfect health," he said. He works a full-time job as a sales professional where he wears a suit and tie on a daily basis and moonlights as a shirtless, jacked Instagram celeb with more than 300,000 followers, who sometimes wears a bowtie for the camera and squirts condiments onto his massive dishes out of a toy water pistol. It may seem ridiculous, but he's also clearly having fun with it, where he characterizes his life before this as miserable by comparison.
"After turning 30 years old, I lost 60 pounds," he says, describing a steadier diet of counting calories and macronutrients. "About halfway through that weight-loss journey, I was miserable. I was eating small meals spread out throughout the day, many of them out of Tupperware. Miserable."
That was when he found out about intermittent fasting and the opportunity to eat larger, more satisfying meals. Enter the epic dinners -- which, to his credit, are not all junk food. Blake touts "Flexible Dieting," which involves counting the adequate number of nutrients in his food. "I average about 190 grams protein, only 50-70 fat and my meals are typically low cholesterol. Some of my meals are high in sugar, yet intermittent fasting lowers insulin resistance," he said.
Not everyone reacts positively to watching Blake do this. Several dietitians have called out the problems with intermittent fasting, and Blake himself has seen no small amount of commenters calling him out on everything from his own eating habits to criticizing him for publishing the videos of him and his girlfriend eating these giant meals on the Internet. That doesn't seem to be stopping him, though.
"When people get upset about my nutrition, it's always a reflection of them not being happy with their own," he told Thrillist. "So it's their problem, not mine."