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Eating for Size as a Teenager

Q: My son and I are big fans of yours and have followed your activities since you started with IRON MAN. The question I have is really from my son, as he is 16 years old and has been weight training under my supervision for almost a year. He is tall and very skinny and wants to look the way you do now. I know that when you started, you were only 125 pounds and now must be 250. I figure you must eat very differently now than you did when you were first training and looking to build a foundation. What did you eat when you were my son’s age?

A: Thank you to you and your son for being my fans. I really appreciate that. You are absolutely right in that I eat far differently now than I did when I was in my teens and desperately trying to add bulk. In fact, I would guess that I ate at least twice the calories a day back then as I do now, despite weighing about double at this point!

The foods I ate were rather consistent—things like beef, eggs and milk for protein; pasta, bread, cereal, rice, potatoes, fruit and quite a bit of fruit juice for carbs. My fats came from my proteins mostly, but I also ate a lot of cashews and peanut butter. At the time I did not prepare specific meals but just ate anytime I was hungry, from the time I awoke until it was time for bed. Sometimes I would get up in the middle of the night and blend weight-gain powder, milk and ice cream to make sure I was well fed at all times!

That was my diet “program” from ages 16 to 19, during which time I went from 125 to 200 pounds. Tell your son he can do exactly the same—and that I’m rooting for him!

—Eric Broser

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