The Renegade Diet Review

Photo credit goes to Joe Green.

*Note: this post marks the the beginning of a series of reviews on a variety of dieting methods, and my thoughts on their approach and effectiveness, starting with The Renegade Diet review.

I’m drawn to straight-shooters.

People who tell it like it is, no nonsense, no fluff, just hit me with the facts. And no one does this better than Jason Ferruggia.

Jason has been a huge influence on me in developing my own training philosophy, and his story is as inspiring as any. He keeps me motivated, and every time I read one of his posts, I’m itching to get in the gym.

Also, Jason has been there and done that. He’s been in the industry for a long time, and he’s paid his dues. He’s done his work in the trenches and has proven that he is one of the top guns in the fitness industry today.

Along with  his no bullshit attitude, he gets things right. He knows how to approach diet and training in a way that is easy to understand, but also chock full of scientific facts to support his ideas.

Today I’m going to review his excellent diet product, The Renegade Diet.

Click here for more information on The Renegade Diet.

Overview

As I’ve said over and over in the past, I only recommend products that I think highly of, and The Renegade Diet definitely falls in that category.

The basis of the diet is quite simple. It’s a combination of some of the more unconventional methods floating around the diet world such as Leangains, Carb Backloading, The Warrior Diet, and others. I like all of these diet methodologies; so far so good.

Similar to Martin Berkhan’s Leangains method, The Renegade Diet consists of an 8-hour feeding window, followed by a 16-hour fasting window in which no calories are consumed. I’ve written a ton about various fasting methodologies here, so I’m not going to get into much detail now.

However, what is unique about Jason’s approach is that he splits the 8-hour feeding window into two phases: the undereating phase (first 4 hours) and the overeating phase (second 4 hours). In the undereating phase, you will eat lightly, limiting the carbs to fruit and sticking primarily with protein and fat.

Ideally, the overeating phase will begin post-workout. This is where the majority of your calories are going to be consumed. The overeating phase will be very similar to the Carb Backloading methodology in that you’re going to pound the carbs and protein.

However, Jason doesn’t recommend “junk” carbs, he recommends more along the lines of sweet potatoes and white rice as the primary carb sources. But, he does support the idea of being flexible with your food choices, so you have a bit of leeway here, which is great.

The biggest meal of the day is always going to be at night, regardless of whether you lift weights that day or not. This has various benefits including improved sleep quality due to serotonin release from a big carb meal, and some studies (here and here) have even shown that people who consumed most of their calories/carbs at night lost more fat and/or maintained more lean body mass than those who do the opposite.

This is not conclusive by any means, and shifting most of your calories/carbs to the evening is not some sort of magical solution, but it can be helpful.

Aspects of the Diet That I Like

1. I love that he implements intermittent fasting, as I feel it’s very beneficial psychologically in helping people adhere to the diet and feel less hungry and more energetic throughout the day.

2. The diet is quite good for your health. Jason is a stickler for eating “clean”, and while I’m not a proponent of “clean eating” as it’s portrayed around the industry, I think that people will feel awesome on this diet and it will help minimize any digestive issues you might experience following other protocols. Also, intermittent fasting has a variety of health benefits as well.

3. I like that most of the calories are consumed at night. While I feel that this is purely personal preference, I think eating the largest chunk of your daily caloric intake at night will help you feel energetic throughout the day and it will help you sleep better after you pound a huge meal.

4. It’s very effective for fat loss. Because of the limited eating window, it’s really hard to overeat on The Renegade Diet. Therefore, losing fat will come quite effortlessly if you follow the diet correctly.

Aspects of The Diet That I Don’t Like

1. It can be a bit overcomplicated for some. While I love the ideas of intermittent fasting and allotting most of your calories to the post-workout meal, it might be a bit overwhelming for those who like to keep things simple. If you’re the type of person that  prefers to eat most of their calories in the morning or you prefer not to think about the timing of your meals, you might want to go with a different approach.

2. It’s tough to pack on mass with The Renegade Diet. Because the eating window is small (and the overeating window is even smaller), it can be tough to pack in enough calories in that time period to optimize muscle growth. However, if you have a huge appetite, you can definitely make it work for you.

3. It’s too much fun. I guess that’s a negative, right?

Wrap Up

Jason has a really solid product here, and I would recommend it to anyone looking to follow a proven approach to fat loss. You can’t go wrong with any of Jason’s products because like I said, there’s no bullshit and he cuts straight to the facts.

If you’ve tried The Renegade diet, I would love to hear your thoughts below. Also, if you have any questions about the protocol, let me know in the comment box as well.

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Comments

  1. says

    First off, thank you for reviewing this! The Renegade Diet, and others like it, need to be circulated more often, and you posting about it is getting that done.

    I’ve been following The Renegade Diet for the better part of a year, and I can really only say positive things. The 16-hour morning fast and the undereating phase really do keep you alert and focused. I really notice it while I’m at work. My work requires deep, logical analysis, and I was surprised to find that my focus and efficiency sky rocketed by following the diet protocols. This comes in really handy, especially when I work from home, as it often enables me to get all my work done before noon. I’m sure you can all understand why that’s a benefit.

    Basically, I eat two to three meals a day. Usually I have only water and coffee until I’m ready to break the 16-hour fast, and then I have something light, like spring mix with a chicken breast and a handful of almonds. That’s usually all I’ll eat until after I strength train, which is when I begin the overeating phase.

    This really is where the fun begins. I’m talking about slogging down a pound of grass-fed beef, packs of veggies, and starches like sweet potatoes, regular potatoes, and rice. I usually only eat starches after a strength training session. On rest days, I still eat a huge meal, but instead of starches I have a handful of berries.

    It’s said that bodybuilders usually experience a form of muscular amplification after they reintroduce high levels of carbs after dieting down for a competition. The Renegade diet basically gives you a lesser version of this everyday, as you become somewhat depleted throughout the day from fasting and undereating. Because of that, you’re body is primed for nutrients by the time the overeating phase rolls around.

    As far as body composition goes, you’re correct in that it is hard to pack on mass, but it does wonders for recomping. This diet will allow you to get to low body fat percentages while maintaining muscle without worrying about eating every three hours and counting calories.

    As a bonus, it is hilarious when your friends and family are around for a feast. My largest one to date included a pound of grass-fed beef with three yams, two large salmon filets with a pack of broccoli, and a 4-egg omelet with an avocado, salsa, and berries. People will look at you in disbelief and then wonder how you stay ripped when you eat “so much.”

    I highly recommend it!

    -ZZ

  2. Jake Johnson says

    Zach,

    Dude that’s an excellent overview, maybe we should replace mine with yours!

    Yeah, I can totally relate as far as the alertness and focus. It’s definitely a lot easier to focus on work when you aren’t digesting a huge meal that you ate early in the morning.

    And that’s an awesome feast! It’s great to see the looks on people’s faces; meanwhile you continue to get leaner and leaner while improving strength.

    Thanks for taking the time to write your experiences, I really appreciate it.

    Jake

    • Zach says

      Jake,

      Thanks for the compliment, although I really enjoyed your writeup! Yeah, the feasting is awesome. I definitely prefer it over other dieting techniques because it satiates me to the max, liberates me from the “six meals a day” routine, and helps me sleep like a baby.

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