How We Went From Skinny Fat to Fitness Models and Business owners through hard work and proper nutrition.
Lifestyle Prior To Change
Being friends since age seven years old growing up in the small town of Winona, MN, we were always athletes playing sports starting with competitive baseball together in little league. Being the typical athletic kids working hard playing ball all day long, eating any and everything in sight pizza, soda, cookies burning it off without a care in the world. As we grew older we both gravitated to basketball as our sports of choice excelling in high school and both earning scholarships to play at the collegiate level, earning numerous awards and honors along the way.
However, as we both aged through high school and college there was one component missing in the equation our physiques never matched our athletic success. Playing college basketball around 165lbs soaking weight with little to no muscle we made it work, but as our playing days were ending our bodies started to shown signs of poor nutrition. No longer just skinny basketball players, we were turning into skinny fat guys at age 20. We both decided it was time to make a change and get serious about training and nutrition making a huge lifestyle change.
Jeremy Scott and Dave Dreas
What was your lifestyle prior to your transformation?
Very similar to one another, we both practiced and played hard in college participating in Men’s basketball. We did the typical college strength programs during the season, but it was our off the court lifestyle that was out of sync. As far as nutrition goes we eat just about anything we wanted to pizza was a regular staple, cookies, ice cream, chips, sugary cereal basically everything you shouldn’t eat we would be eating it all day and night.
Then like most college guys we would drink heavy on the weekends and over time it really started to show in our physiques. We knew little to nothing about nutrition and had no understanding of macronutrients and what we were supposed to be eating or how we should be training for that matter.
What was your low point or turning point?
The low point for us came in 2 forms, health issues from an internal standpoint and the reflection in the mirror was also becoming depressing. To be skinny is one thing, but to be skinny with a belly or “skinny fat” as we call it is another. Not being happy with the body you’re a living in is a horrible feeling and that was enough for us to make drastic changes to our lifestyles quickly.
Were there any unique challenges or circumstances that made your transformation particularly difficult?
For us being big or overweight was never an issue, but putting on muscle mass and size was. As we know now muscle is your metabolism and while we were skinny we were not lean, meaning our abs were not visible. So, we tried just about every program and bulking plan we could find and followed it with little to no progress. The problem is we would gain a few pounds here or there but the conditioning wouldn’t change much, so we continued to experiment with various nutrition and training practices for the next few years.
It’s frustrating eating non-stop what you think are the “right foods” and lifting hard seeing little to no results. The biggest mistakes we made were defiantly in understanding macronutrients when we started with meal timing as well as overtraining which we did for years because we always thought more was better.
What was your transformation timeline?
Around 2005 we started to change our eating and training habits, but it wasn’t until we both relocated to Phoenix, AZ, that things really took off. We were roommates and training partners trying different training and nutrition protocols together month after month to find the answers. As we became more educated and dove deeper into the fitness industry, we started Jeremy Scott Fitness www.jeremyscottfitness.com.
By helping others we were able to help ourselves. The more educated and versed we became in all training and nutrition philosophies is when we really started to transform. The biggest jump in progress we have made has been in the past 18 months hands down, tweaking our training program and playing around with intermittent fasting and other nutrition practices.
So for anyone looking at our photos, thinking wow they did this in just 6 months or 1 year – it’s been more like a 7 year journey for the both of us. We did everything wrong before we did anything right, a ton of trial and error to get the physiques you see today. The journey is what makes it special though, easy come easy go as we say here at Jeremy Scott Fitness.
Nutrition and Supplementation
What Nutrition Plan helped your transformations?
I think we can booth agree we love carb cycling; and have recently found success this past year with intermittent fasting. We have found great success not only aesthetically staying lean all year but also with energy levels and making gains in the process. We teach it to our clients here and we believe it’s the healthiest most effective way to stay lean and healthy 24-7-365. Nobody wants to have a big fat off season; especially if you live here in sunny Arizona we are trying to live life lean!
In its simplest form we practice a NO-LOW-MEDIUM-HIGH carb rotation for most of the year. Now if I have an event, let’s say a competition or a photo shoot coming up, we will make adjustments with our macros and follow a different pattern based on our body composition and appearance.
There are truly so many options with carb cycling based on personality type, work schedule, and lifestyle I think it can be effective for almost anyone if there are willing to follow it correctly. Like we said our styles and philosophies are always changing based on our goals or results we are seeing.
At times Dave may be eating more going heavier on his carb intake while Jeremy may go crazy and experiment with carb-back loading for a few weeks. The best thing is to be open-minded and always be educating yourself on what is out there.
One rule that we always follow and never waiver on is, if it runs, it swims, it fly’s, it grows from the ground eat it, if it comes with a barcode forget about it.
What are some supplements that helped transform you guys?
Like our nutrition and training plan, our supplement intake is always changing as we experiment with new things as research comes out. Jeremy being a ProLab sponsored athlete loves these go-to supplements:
Dave also uses whey protein, creatine, BCAAs, and glutamine religiously as part of his supplement regimen. We are both big believers in melatonin, zinc, probiotics, fish oils, vitamin D3, vitamin C and glucosamine as part of a balanced supplement attack. Supplements like training and nutrition are a very important piece to the puzzle when it comes to overall internal and external health.
What are 3 things you learned about diet & nutrition during your transformation that helped you succeed?
- Cutting out processed foods and sugars – the more natural you can keep your food the better off you will be in the long run. Not only aesthetically, but internally as well. If your budget allows you to buy organic do it, if not just make the cleanest choices possible when shopping.
- Food timing – when you eat is important – Pre and post-workout being the most important times of the day. Understanding your goals and what you are trying to do will dictate what you eat before and after your workouts. This is the time your body is most sensitive to what you feed it, so understanding what your consuming does to your body is crucial.
- Try new things – there is no one size fits all turnkey answer. Dave and I have had success doing similar things, but not always the exact same thing. We are similar in body type yet how we process certain foods and how our bodies react to them is different. Don’t be afraid to try something new for 30-60-90 days and track the results.
Did you allow yourself cheat meals?
YES! I can’t say this enough we enjoy cheat meals just like you guys. We are partial to burgers, pizza, and ice cream to mention a few things. We work hard and play hard, I know a lot of people think we eat perfect 24-7 but that’s not the case. We indulge usually 1 meal per week depending on what we have going on.
If there is a competition or photo shoot lined up, obviously we keep it 100% clean and skip the cheats. On average I would day one per week we go nuts for one meal and eat whatever we want, but we limit it to one meal per week not an entire day. Having those little cheat meals along the way helps you stay motivated and always serves as a mini rearward for a hard training and clean eating during the week.
More From Jeremy And Dave
Any Advice for Others looking to make changes?
We have a few simples for anyone looking to get into shape and transform themselves like we did.
- Set specific goals – “losing weight” is not a goal make it specific something that is tangible that has a deadline on it. Example “Drop 1 dress or pants sizes in 30 day” – it’s specific and has an expiration date to hold you accountable 30 days from now.
- Eat real foods - if you don’t know what to eat hire a professional if your budget doesn’t allow it do some research online and focus on lean proteins, green veggies, and water – eating those things you will already be ahead of the curve.
- Understand it’s a marathon not a sprint when it comes to changing your body and lifestyle. If you try something for 3 months and there is not a ton of results don’t get frustrated. Think of us we have been going at this for the better part of 7 years, and trust us when we say this we say NO results for at least a year and those were minimal. If you work hard, eat clean and stay positive changes will happen. They will never happen as quickly as you want, but they will happen.
- Everything you do counts – every meal, every workout – they are like little deposits in your fitness bank account. Think of them as pennies . Eventually all those pennies add up to thousands of dollars in your fitness bank account. The result being a healthy fit body you can be proud of.
What motivates you guys currently to keep improving yourself?
We can both honestly say it's personal health and overall happiness of life. Getting booked for modeling jobs, appearing in magazines, winning competitions is fun, don’t get us wrong. However, those are just small trivial things at the end of the day compared to your personal health.
We want to push each other to be better and work harder, but we also just want to keep setting a great example for our clients to inspire them to lead a healthier lifestyle. At the end of the day your health is all you really have without you have nothing so we cherish it and treat it as the gift it is.
What Is Your Life Like Now?
Now fitness is our life, we live it, breathe it, and preach it 24-7-365 to any and everyone who will listen to us. We own a fitness company “Jeremy Scott Fitness” based in beautiful Scottsdale, AZ. We are blessed to live in a place that is so health conscious and not only their appearance but their internal wellbeing.
Being fitness professionals and business owners takes up a majority of our time, but we also moonlight as fitness models as well whenever the opportunities arise. Our motto is “there is no off season, this is a lifestyle,” so when you see us we are always in shape and look like the photos we take.
We try and set a high standard for ourselves, but more importantly for our clients practicing what we preach to them day in and day out. We are also both fitness competitors in Men’s Model, Men’s Physique and bodybuilding. We have had a busy schedule this year with Dave placing third at a Fit Model competition and Jeremy winning the NPC Men’s Physique Terminator Class B and Overall titles as well. So, it’s safe to say fitness is what we love and a very important component in everything we do.
How can people contact you guys?