Frank Schlegel, 31, of Remsenberg, says wrestling in high school (at 185 pounds) kept his weight in check until college. “At college I didn’t work out. I would eat and drink whatever I saw and then sleep until noon.” At graduation, he weighed about 220 pounds. In 2006 he was diagnosed with a herniated disc and would eventually have three operations over six years.
Lying around a week after losing his job in 2015 and at his peak weight of about 260 pounds, Schlegel saw a documentary called “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead.” It was about juicing (extracting and drinking the juice from fruits and vegetables). “It was a real eye-opener for me. That’s when I started understanding what to eat and what not to eat,” Schlegel says.
He was losing weight, working out and feeling good until a simple golf swing while on vacation threw his back out and led to more surgery. Post-surgery and battling pain, Schlegel needed a full hour just to get out of bed and shower. He soon became interested in The Primal Blueprint, a program that he says touts, among other principles, a high-fat, moderate-protein and low-carb diet, similar to the Paleo Diet. Schlegel says it allows his body to burn fat in the absence of carbohydrates. He also eliminated wheat, grains and legumes from his diet and says he believes that reduced the inflammation associated with his back problems. “The results were amazing. I’ve never felt better,” Schlegel says. He reached his goal weight last month, a little less than what he weighed in high school.
For breakfast, Schlegel has a cup of buttered coffee (coffee with a teaspoon each of butter and coconut oil, and some heavy cream). It’s about 350 calories and gives his body extra fat to burn until about 1 p.m., when he has a green salad with a moderate protein like steak, chicken or fish. Dinner is another protein along with vegetables and a salad. If he snacks, it’s usually on Babybel cheese, sardines or macadamia nuts. “I focused on how our ancestors lived and survived, what they ate. I model my diet after a Paleo lifestyle,” Schlegel says.
Schlegel exercises five days a week for 30 minutes, sometimes twice a day. He does pushups, squats, pullups and planks. Schlegel also uses a mace, a 15-pound steel bar with a ball on one end. He incorporates it into movements like lunges, curls and lifting. “It’s an amazing tool and low impact.” On Sundays he does sprints and aerobics on the beach.
“Even if it’s just walking, do some kind of fitness activity every day.”