There are several reasons to listen to consider Layne Norton a fitness and nutrition expert worth paying attention to. He has a PhD in nutritional science, so he’s not operating purely on vibes, as many fitness influencers tend to do. Then there are the lifts: last year, at 41 years old, Norton placed second in the North American Regional Powerlifting Championships, hitting insane numbers in the squat, bench, and deadlift.

Though Norton has an impressive powerlifting career and is a founder of several businesses—nutrition coaching business BioLayne, supplement company Outwork Nutrition, and Carbon, a diet coaching app—you might be more familiar with his work on on Instagram and X (formerly Twitter), where he goes through pains to dissect the junk science that eternally flows through the world of wellness. A recurring theme is that you can always find research to support any thesis. Even if that thesis is “eat poop to lose fat,” as Norton once argued, to show how science-y terms, misrepresented studies, and a bold claim can make anything sound compelling.

In his personal life, in a time of “stacks” and “protocols,” Norton is disciplined about his training and his caloric intake in a way that feels realistic. He hits his macros and calorie goal, packs in a ton of fiber, and that’s pretty much that. Which is not to say it won’t change at some point: An admirable thing about Norton, particularly when it comes to fitness and nutrition advice, is that he updates his perspective as new information becomes available. (Which is harder to do if you, say, build an entire identity and belief system based on the carnivore diet.)

GQ caught up with Norton for more.

For Real-Life Diet, GQ talks to athletes, celebrities, and other high performers about their diet, exercise routines, and pursuit of wellness. Keep in mind that what works for them might not necessarily be healthy for you.

GQ: First, I wanted to ask you what your feeding schedule looks like on a typical day. And if you call it a feeding schedule.

Layne Norton: No, I wouldn’t call it a feeding schedule. I eat four to five times a day, just depending on how my schedule shakes out. I’ll usually have my first meal a half-hour to 45 minutes after I get up, get a shower, and get going. My last meal will usually be about an hour before I head to bed. If I only have four meals, they’ll be a little bit bigger. If I have five, they’ll be a little bit smaller. And then I usually make sure I eat an hour or two before I go train. And I make sure I eat an hour or two after I’m finished training.

I usually train in the afternoon, so usually I’ll have breakfast, then lunch, go train, have dinner, because my training sessions are two to three hours. And then I’ll have another meal before bed. Sometimes I’ll wake up earlier. So I end up having a meal somewhere in between, so I bridge the gap. So if I’m hungry, or if I’m going six or seven hours without eating, I’ll have something small. But yeah, that’s kind of it. There’s nothing like, “At 10 a.m., I’m having this.” Nothing nearly that regimented. My guidelines are: I eat when I wake up, I eat before I go to bed and then have a couple in-between that are bracketing my workouts. That’s about it.

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