TAKE ACTION: Eat This Way
For most of us, matching Tostado's menu would result in a larger belt size. But his supersize diet follows smart principles that can benefit any active individual. Here's how to apply them to your life.
1. Drink less If you have two six-pack nights a week, that's approximately 1,800 excess calories with little to no nutritional value. Besides, people who regularly consume more than five drinks at once are at a higher risk of gastritis, hypertension, and heart attack. Moderation is key: One or two drinks (ideally red wine) each night is fine.
2. Eat fresh Tostado's "harvest and kill" philosophy sounds a lot like Michael Pollan's. That's a good thing. Don't grow or hunt? Just stick to the periphery of your grocery store, where you'll find all the essential fruit, vegetables, meat, and dairy you need.
3. Spices, not sauces Using only salt and pepper to season your food is a great strategy. Many of our staple sauces are calorie-laden and unnecessary. For example, mayonnaise contains 11 grams of fat per tablespoon. If you need more than just salt and pepper, consider making a savory balsamic vinaigrette with olive oil, parsley, garlic, basil, and thyme.
4. Snack on fruit Tostado surpasses the recommended five daily servings of fruit and vegetables, but most of us don't come close. His citrus mania is great, but what's important is that he's found a fruit he can stick to one that's readily available, fresh in winter, and affordable. Find yours.
5. Actually, a little fire is fine Cooking can improve veggies' flavor. It's better to enjoy cooked vegetables than to tolerate only a few raw ones.
In 2005, endurance mountain biker Josh Tostado's nutrition plan consisted of lots of mac 'n' cheese and healthy servings of Coors. Back then, the six-foot, 160-pound Tostado was a small-time Colorado legend, having won the Montezuma's Revenge 24-hour race twice. But he was still working at a bar, so he gave up drinking and overhauled his diet. Three years later, the 32-year-old has a sponsorship with Santa Cruz Bicycles, and this past October he dominated the 24 Hours of Moab race. Here's what his day in food looks like.
I stopped buying anything you can't harvest or kill. I consume about 5,000 calories a day, and I'd say more than half of that is fruits, vegetables, and fatty nuts like walnuts and almonds. I eat most of my vegetables raw, because you can lose nutrients when you cook them.
Breakfast: I'll fry two eggs and eat them on a whole-grain bagel with a slice of ham.
Lunch: I usually eat two big turkey sandwiches on whole-grain bread with Swiss cheese, tomato, and mixed greens. I'll have some fruit or pasta on the side to stock up on good carbs.
Snacks: I eat six or seven clementines—or three or four oranges—every day. They're full of vitamin C and have high water content to keep me hydrated, and I love the taste of citrus. I'll also snack on walnuts and almonds throughout the day.
Dinner: I'll eat a piece of organic pork, fish, beef, chicken, or turkey, grilled with salt and pepper on it; a plain, baked sweet potato; and a salad that weighs about a pound and includes things like red pepper, carrots, radishes, avocado, and walnuts. Dessert is a cup and a half of plain berries—blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, and strawberries.
Fluids: I drink coffee in the morning but otherwise mainly water, because everything else has too much sugar in it.