A healthy diet should include carbs—are you eating enough of them?
For most guys looking to get that kind of physique, there are usually two questions that follow: What does he eat? And how often does he work out?
Kroenig—who has worked with Chanel, Versace, Tommy Hilfiger, and more during his two-decade streak in modeling—hit his peak weight at 180 pounds. After he noticed a dip in his energy levels, he decided to take his diet into a different direction, the New York Post reports.
“In June 2016, he embarked upon a diet that was radical, at least for members of the fashion tribe. No, his weight-loss plan didn’t involve periodic fasting or extreme juicing. Rather, Kroenig started eating carbs—cups and cups of them each day,” the NY Post notes.
“I’m almost 40 and in the best physical and mental shape of my life,” he says.
The thing is, eating carbs shouldn’t be radical for anyone. Kroenig downs about six cups of rice a day, but when you look at the grand scheme of his 2,400-calorie diet, it’s not exactly as unhealthy as it sounds.
That’s because “carbohydrates are the only nutrients that exist solely to fuel the body,” Donald Layman, Ph.D., a professor of human nutrition at the University of Illinois told Men’s Health in 2016. Your body relies on that glucose to power you through a long day or tough workout.
In fact, 45 to 65 percent of your daily calories should come from carbs, according to the U.S. Dietary Guidelines. So, say Kroenig was relying solely on six cups of white rice for his daily carb intake. At roughly 133 calories per cup, that would make up about 42 percent of his daily calories, not counting fruit or other forms of carbs he chooses to eat that day. That puts him right in the recommended range.
But keep in mind that the quality of your carbs matter. Complex carbs found in starchy vegetables and whole grains will always outweigh the refined carbs you’ll find in junk food and processed snacks. (Read up on everything you need to know about eating the right kind of carbs here.)
Obviously, rice isn’t the only thing Kroenig eats. Grilled meats and steamed vegetables paired with rice are a go-to for lunch and dinner, while his breakfast consists of hard boiled eggs and black coffee, sometimes with a piece of fruit on the side. If he gets sick of basmati rice, he’ll opt for sweet potatoes instead. Based off that, Kroenig sticks to an extremely disciplined plan, and balances his carb intake with hefty doses of protein, too.
Plus, “cheat days” aren’t really a thing for him: “Maybe some pizza or cake for my kid’s birthday, but really that’s all,” he tells the NY Post.
It’s also important to note that a big part of the reason Kroenig rocks visible abs has more to do with how muchhe’s eating rather than what he’s eating. He’s taking in 2,400 calories a day, which is slightly under the USDA’s recommended amount of 2,600 calories for a moderately active man his age, and quite a bit below 3,000, the recommended amount for an active guy. (Find out how many calories you need here.)
Combine that with his workout plan—he completes a 40-minute strength workout three times a week, supplemented with walking or hiking with his kids throughout the rest of the week, according to the NY Post—and that may explain how he stays so lean.While Kroenig admits that his diet can be hard to stick with, the results have been worth it for him—but that doesn’t necessarily mean what works for him will work for you. In the end, the best diet will always be the one you can actually follow, whether that is the ketogenic diet, intermittent fasting, or loading up on healthy carbs. Finding a plan that your body personally responds to that you can consistently follow is key—male model or not.