Shrugged Collective

Real Chalk  — The Fit to Fat to Fit Journey w/ Drew Manning  — 26

Drew Manning is creator of TV Show #FitToFatToFit, NY Times best-selling author of Fit2Fat2Fit, host of Fit2Fat2Fit Experience Podcast, and personal trainer. Drew went on a quest to go from fit to fat to fit again in one year in order to better understand the weight-loss struggles of his clients and the online community. He embarked on this journey to prove to clients, website followers, and people across the country that it is possible to get back into shape.

In this episode, Drew shares his journey of going from Fit2Fat2Fit. He talks about the effects of gaining weight on his body, how he measured his blood biomarkers, and what issues arose, primarily with blood pressure and testosterone. Drew also spends time focusing on the psychological and emotional challenges associated with becoming overweight, and goes over the positive transformation he had simply by eating a healthy diet. He also dives into the ketogenic diet, ketosis, and more.


– Ryan and Yaya

A post shared by Drew Manning (@fit2fat2fit) on

The role of nutrition

As a personal trainer, in order to better understand his clients, Drew decided one day that he would get really fat. He ate a ton of American processed foods, such as sugary cereals, hot pockets, and did the Fuddrucker’s burger challenge. Over a 6 month period, Drew gained 75 lbs of body fat, went from 8.5% to 32% body fat, and from 193 lbs to 269 lbs.

Drew went through a negative process getting fat, and through a positive one that came back quickly simply because of a shift in diet. He now has a TV show that puts trainers through the same experience for 4 months, in order to help them get new perspective and empathize with clients. Drew works to get his clients to understand that they should not have a goal to look like the people on Instagram. There is more to health than the look of your body.

“It completely changed my perspectives and how I view transformation.” — Drew Manning

A post shared by Drew Manning (@fit2fat2fit) on

Key Takeaways

  • It’s all about nutrition  —  Once Drew started to work on getting back in shape, he didn’t start exercising, but rather focused solely on nutrition. He wanted to show people that no matter how much CrossFit of P90X you are doing, if you don’t eat right, you’ll go nowhere.
  • When you are heavy, you lack energy  —  At his heaviest, Drew noticed a huge lack of motivation and drive. He also did not have the outlet of exercise, so he turned to food. This put him in a vicious cycle of relying on food for happiness and fulfillment.
  • Follow the feeling  —  It is much more important to get people to understand a healthy lifestyle, rather than to chase aesthetics. When people feel good, it sticks with them. It’s about teaching people that healthy looks different for everyone.
  • Keto flu: The process of switching your body’s fuel source from glucose to ketones  —  There is a transition phase when depriving your body of glucose known as “keto flu”, which can last for up to two weeks. Usually people can get lightheaded, crampy, and have brain fog. The best way to mitigate the keto flu is to monitor hydration, and supplement with electrolytes.
  • Protein and ketosis  —  Athletes with a lot of lean body mass can get away with having more protein in their diet and stay in ketosis. Athletes should get keto adapted over the course of a few months, and then play with macros, testing blood ketones to find out what keeps them in ketosis.
  • Keto for mental clarity  —  It is common for people to not use the ketogenic diet for fat loss or performance, but rather mental performance. It is shown to have profound effects on cognition, memory and longevity.

“Being skinny, ripped, and shredded is the byproduct of a healthy lifestyle.” — Drew Manning

Mike Bledsoe

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