Are you tired of hard to follow diets that fail to deliver the results they promise? I know I was. Low carb diets, high carb diets, ketogenic diets, eating six meals per day, starving yourself to lose fat or stuffing yourself to build muscle. Surely there must be a better way.
Well, as it turns out there is. Jason Ferruggia spent over two decades experimenting with every kind of diet you can think of – both on himself and his clients. And the final result of all that experimentation, combined with the latest scientific research, is The Renegade Diet.
The Renegade Diet is essentially a modification of The Warrior Diet, but it takes into account the needs of those who want to build muscle and improve performance, as well as those who just want to lose fat and get really defined. But perhaps even more important than any of that is the fact that it has a very strong focus on achieving and maintaining optimum health – something that is sorely lacking in most other diet plans.
So what exactly is The Renegade Diet? Is it really that good? And more importantly, is it the right diet for you? Well, here’s my review of the book so you can decide that for yourself.
About The Author
Jason Ferruggia is a world-renowned strength and conditioning coach and an expert in physical transformation. He’s the chief training advisor to Men’s Fitness magazine, and has authored hundreds of articles for numerous magazines and websites such as Men’s Health, Muscle & Fitness, Maximum Fitness, and many others.
He’s also appeared on various radio and TV shows, and over the course of his career he has helped thousands of people to transform their bodies and achieve their fitness goals.
Jason is an honest voice in the fitness industry. He tells it like it is, with no fluff or nonsense, and he knows what to do to get results. So you can assume that if he’s written something, it’s going to be well worth reading.
About The Renegade Diet Book
The Renegade Diet book is a 168 page manual that explains in a clear and concise manner exactly how you should eat in order to achieve your own specific goals, whether that’s muscle gain, fat loss or a combination of the two.
After an introduction, the book first describes how to fix a number of common problems, such as low testosterone, high estrogen, high cortisol, adrenal fatigue, poor insulin sensitivity, inflammation, poor digestion, and others.
It then addresses and debunks many of the common dietary myths that so many people believe, despite there being considerable scientific evidence to the contrary. Myths such as breakfast is the most important meal of the day, you should eat six meals per day, if you miss a meal you will go into “starvation mode”, and several more.
And then the actual diet plan is explained in detail over the next several chapters.
About The Renegade Diet Plan
The Renegade Diet is divided into three phases over the course of the day. These are the fasting phase, the undereating phase and the overeating phase.
The Fasting Phase
Intermittent (periodic) fasting for short periods of time has a number of benefits. It gives your digestive system a rest, it helps detoxify your liver, it reduces inflammation, it accelerates fat loss and it promotes increased energy and mental focus. So for 14 – 16 hours each day, you will consume no calories at all. This simply means that from the time you finish your evening meal, you will not eat anything again until late morning/early afternoon the next day. So effectively, you are just skipping (or delaying) breakfast. During the morning you should drink water, and you can have some black coffee too if you wish.
The Undereating Phase
You will then break your fast with a light meal of protein and vegetables. Or you could just have a whey protein shake with some Athletic Greens (or another good quality greens supplement) added to it. But no starchy carbohydrates should be consumed at this time. You can also have one or two small snacks during the afternoon in addition to this if you wish. This undereating phase should last about four hours.
The Overeating Phase
During the final four hours you can eat as much as you want. Lots of protein, carbohydrates and vegetables are recommended. And you can even enjoy all your favourite foods occasionally, as long as you eat clean and healthy most of the time. And again, the overeating phase can consist of just one large meal, or you can have one or two additional meals after this if you wish.
The overeating phase will give a boost to your leptin levels, which will enable you to burn fat more effectively during the fasting and undereating phases. And by consuming carbohydrates, you will put your body into “relax and repair” mode, which will help facilitate muscle growth, as well as promoting deeper, more restful sleep.
Ideally you would want to train right before the overeating phase begins, but if your schedule does not allow for that, there are some adjustments that can be made for those who need to train in the morning or early afternoon.
The Renegade Diet incorporates carb/calorie cycling, so you eat more carbs (and calories) on your training days than on your off days. And the total amount of calories and carbohydrates consumed, as well as the precise length of the three phases, can vary somewhat depending on your own specific goals, and how much body fat you are currently carrying.
What Else Is Included?
The book also goes into how to fix a broken metabolism by increasing your calorie consumption for a few weeks. Jason explains what he does personally, and he gives a 12 step quick start guide. There’s also a discussion on supplements, and which ones you should consider using, there’s an extensive questions and answers section – and much more.
All in all, The Renegade Diet book contains a lot of valuable dietary and nutritional information. But there are two things that some people have problems with.
The first is that many people do not like fasting. But if you give it a week or two, you will almost certainly adjust to this, and you’ll probably come to enjoy the additional freedom that not eating in the morning will give you. And apart from that, the extra energy and improved mental focus you’ll experience will make it more than worthwhile. But if you really can’t bear to delay breakfast for a few hours, then this will not be the right diet for you.
And the second is that, although the plan is great for fat loss, some people feel it is not optimal for muscle gain – particularly for naturally skinny individuals. But this concern is actually fully addressed, and modifications (such as reducing the length of the undereating phase) are suggested that will allow anyone to put on muscular body weight, whilst keeping fat gain to a minimum.
The Renegade Diet is not a bulking plan in the true sense of the word, though, so if you just want to gain the maximum amount of weight, and don’t care how much fat you put on in the process, then again this is not the diet for you.
There are, however, a few things in the book that are not entirely accurate, such as his statement that going for more than 16 hours without food will result in muscle loss. This is not the case, and you can fast for much longer than that without losing any muscle – provided you don’t do it all the time.
Also, he suggests restricting fruit intake, which is not something that I would go along with. He says you should limit fiber consumption in the evening, which, again, I do not agree with. And personally, I prefer to eat some carbohydrates at lunch time if I’m going to be training that afternoon, as otherwise I will lack energy, and my performance will suffer.
Overall though, The Renegade Diet does provide you with an excellent way to structure your meals, and it works really well. I got great results from it, and I’m still following a somewhat modified version of it now – and probably always will.
UPDATE: The Renegade Diet book is no longer available to purchase, but you should have a good idea of how to go about it from what I’ve written here. And if you want to know more about Jason’s current diet and training recommendations, you might want to check out his Renegade Strong inner circle, which you can do by clicking here!