| Article Summary:
Having recently lost a formidable 200 pounds in nine months while expanding his business empire and experiencing the benefits of good health and a toned physique, multimillionaire Chef Jay Littman, CEO of his own company, is now living the kind of dream life he had planned in the late-90s, when he was flat broke and recovering from drug addiction.
As a young man, Chef Jay was an industrious type and his excellent business acumen coupled with an unbridled drive to succeed had him well positioned to conquer the corporate world - he would have probably been the only child in the U.S. to have routinely read Forbes and Fortune magazines.
How Jay capitalized on his ability to seize opportunities and generate wealth would not exactly make his a financial success story in the traditional sense of the term. He began selling drugs, after first becoming himself addicted to them.
Throughout his 20s he continued on a downward trajectory hastened by the fact he had quit school, alienated himself from his family and drifted in a drug-induced haze from one menial job to the next.
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Chef Jay Littman Lost A Formidable 200 Pounds In
Nine Months While Expanding His Business Empire.
As Jay approached his 30th birthday he knew he needed help, and fast. After spending 14 nights in rehab (something he had done several times over preceding years) and a further few at a Salvation Army shelter, he moved to a halfway house. There he began thinking seriously about the future, his future. And he needed skills to accompany his natural, albeit wrongly utilized, industriousness.
After graduating magna cum laude from the Newbury College of Culinary Arts in Brookline, Massachusetts, Jay relocated from Mass to Las Vegas, worked as kitchen staff for two years and eventually opened a humble muffin shop.
Eventually one of his products, an oat bar - the forerunner to his now famous Tri-O-Plex bar - became a big seller and Jay's name and products were elevated into the consciousness of those wanting quality, advanced nutrition.
He is now head of a thriving supplement and natural foods manufacturing plant. The poverty he experienced years earlier is now nothing more than a relic of a misspent past.
But Jay wasn't completely in the clear yet. As chefs, even extremely rich ones, all want to do, Jay worked long hours and ate erratically - he'd consume little all day and would often eat a massive meal at night followed by an equally prodigious dessert. His weight ballooned out of control.
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He Is Now Head Of A Thriving Supplement
And Natural Foods Manufacturing Plant.
Peaking at 416 pounds in December of 2007, Jay's weight rivaled his bank account in terms of sheer size. With obesity related Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and an ulcer to contend with he decided to triumph on yet another front: he would undertake one of the most impressive transformations ever recorded. He succeeded.
Now a comparatively streamlined and muscular 225 pounds at 14 percent body fat, and having eliminated all of the medications he needed to survive clinical obesity, Chef Jay has a lot to smile about. The new Ferrari parked in the drive of his 6,000 square foot dream home - the trappings of the kind of success oriented mindset necessary for such dramatic weight loss - might also have something to do with his newfound happiness.
In the following exclusive interview, Chef Jay discusses his amazing transformation and shows that with strength of mind and a commitment to excellence there is nothing to stop anyone else from doing the same.
[ Q ] Your recent body transformation was pretty amazing. When did you begin this transformation and what were your initial goals?
goal began a year ago from last December so approximately 14-15 months ago. The main goal (to get in shape) was because of health issues: I was diagnosed with
diabetes and high
blood pressure and high
So the initial reason was to improve my health. And as I got into it more I decided to get more into the bodybuilding lifestyle through using my products and through diet and exercise.
[ Q ] What did you weigh when you begun? What do you weigh now and what is your current body fat percentage?
I weighed 416 (pounds). I got down as low as 208, but now I've put on a lot of muscle. So now I'm hovering about a 13 percent body fat level and my weight is closer to 225 right now.
[ Q ] Do you want to achieve an even lower body fat reading or is 13 percent sufficient for now?
No, I'm trying to get my body fat into the single digits. Right now I am just starting to shred up and get my body fat down because currently I'm doing more
cardio and working my weight training towards cutting up more.
[ Q ] You mentioned wanting to get in shape for health reasons. Were there any other reasons for your transformation?
The reason why I did this was to show people that you can change your life. I have made a transformation not only in bodyweight but also, at one point, I was a homeless drug addict and I have been able to come out of that and build a successful business and have had quite a bit of financial success.
[ Q ] Were you, at any stage, living on the street?
I was living for a few nights in one of those Salvation Army shelters and after that I was in a halfway house.
[ Q ] So it would be fair to say it has been a story of from rags to riches for you?
Yes, and another reason I wanted to lose weight was the fact that I have always wanted a sports car but I was always too big to fit in one.
The motivational technique I would use was to put a picture of a Ferrari above the treadmill. And whenever I got on the treadmill every day for however many minutes - 30, 40, 45 - I was looking at that Ferrari and I knew that when I got to where I wanted to be I would buy it.
I didn't know how. They have a 5-year waiting list to get one new from the factory. But I always say that is secondary. You get a goal and I have just figured out that you do whatever it takes to get there.
[ Q ] A driving factor in your success to be sure. You now have the Ferrari, right?
Yes, I got the new Ferrari and now I'm working towards a
[ Q ] That would be for when you reach single body fat digits, correct.
Yes. And I have to have both cars because I think I'm going to be the first one to own the new Lamborghini when it comes out. They came out with a
LP5 60 Spyder; they had just introduced it to the LA Auto show in September.
They haven't even started producing them. So I hope to have both my Ferrari and Lamborghini displayed at the booth at the upcoming Mr. Olympia in September.
[ Q ] What first steps did you take on your recent transformation?
Well the first steps were to lower the portion size of my meals. That was my main
goal. Before I would not eat a lot all day, then I would come home and my wife would make a big dinner with ... fried chicken.
So I would have a big meal at the end of the day, which is probably the worst thing you can do. You are in starvation mode all day, and then you go and have a big blowout with fatty, fried foods. Then there would be snacking in the evening with all kinds of sugary foods.
The first thing I did was start eating small portions and early in the day - usually not too early in the morning because I would go on my treadmill first thing. I don't like to go on the treadmill with a full stomach, so I wouldn't eat anything heavy then.
But straight after the workout I would eat a small meal that consisted of 75 percent protein, then about 12 to 19 percent carbs with the rest being fat. So I would concentrate on a protein-based meal plan.
[ Q ] How many times a day would you eat on this plan?
Probably 5-to-6. I would probably eat every few hours. Then I would have a small meal.
[ Q ] How did you address the training side of your transformation?
At the beginning I was doing the treadmill twice per day. I would do 30-to-45 minutes in the morning and 20-to-25 in the afternoon and in between, before I went on the treadmill in the afternoon, I would actually do weight training. And I made it real easy.
I put commercial gym equipment in the upstairs of the building that I own, because I realized if I would have had to begin packing a bag and going to the gym it would be easy for me to blow that off ... with me busy with the company and everything.
It is easy that I have it right here at the facility. That way I can work and answer the phone calls and still be close to a workout facility.
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[ Q ] So the convenience factor of having your own gym at the office was big for you.
Absolutely. I had a treadmill at both places. I put one at my home and one at the office.
[ Q ] The twice-daily treadmill work combined with weights was included in the early stages of the training process for you?
Yes, that was early on. The problem I had was about 3-or-4 months into it I somehow ended up with three hernias. I didn't know if I had the hernias before - after I started to lose weight they kind of appeared - or if I got them from the weight training.
A hernia is a protrusion of a tissue, structure or part of an organ through the muscle tissue or the membrane by which it is normally contained. The hernia has three parts: the orifice through which it herniates, the hernial sac, and its contents.
Regardless, I ended up with two hernias in the groin area (Femoral Hernias) and one in the belly button area (an Umbilical Hernia). So I had to curb my weight training - I actually had to stop all together which is something my doctor told me.
But what I did was begin doing light weights and a lot of reps, instead of just stopping totally. And the treadmill was okay even though sometimes the pain was so great that I had to stop. There was excruciating pain from the hernias.
[ Q ] Were there certain exercises that you simply had to avoid due to your hernial pain, pre op?
I did cut back on my legs. Like
leg presses and things of that sort, that was kind of strenuous. But I still kept with the shoulders and biceps exercises. But very low weights - with little hand weights that were only, like, five or ten pounds. I would do a lot of reps with these.
I also wore protective equipment like a hernia girdle. Although the doctor told me to stop, I had a goal in mind and didn't want to stop completely. Although after the surgery to repair them all I couldn't do any weight training for at least two months.
[ Q ] When you resumed training, post surgery, did you have to begin from the start again?
Yes, kind of. I lost a lot because not only did I have the hernia surgery but I also had these really weird complications afterward and they weren't sure what the reason was.
I had some kidney functions that were off and I actually ended up in intensive care. I think the main thing that got me out of that was that I did try to get back to exercising.
Although my wife didn't approve I knew I had to start exercising again. So I went on the treadmill, even though I wasn't 100 percent. But, I think getting back on the treadmill shortly after being in the hospital was what helped me recover more quickly.
[ Q ] How long, in total, did your body transformation take?
Well it never ends because I'm still not where I want to be. Like the top bodybuilders, I'm always trying to improve. But I lost the majority of my weight in eight months. I lost approximately 200 pounds in 8-to-9 months.
[ Q ] To what would you attribute this result? Was it a completely natural approach?
It resulted from eating smaller food portions, and correct exercise and diet.
[ Q ] How important were supplements for you and which ones did you use?
What I do for supplements is take
Acai Berry juice; I'm big on that. I would also add liquid
vitamin B, B-12, B-1 and a supplement liquid that contains different minerals; it's a concentrated food that is supposed to help with hydration.
Before I workout I always have something with creatine and glutamine in it. I also supplement with different protein products and my bars, and my protein cookies, which I will sometimes have in between meals.
I supplement with protein because the research indicates that you should have a minium of one gram of protein for every pound of body weight. So to get that much protein in without all the fat is to use some kind of protein supplement.
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I also make my own protein pudding. This comes in different flavors, and has low to no sugar with 25 grams of protein. Actually I'm preparing ready-to-eat ones that I'm going to sell sometime in the near future.
I think it's going to be a great item because I use that in my training as well: I might eat two of these a day. This serves two purposes: when you are dieting you also want to eat sweet food, so my products satisfy your sweet tooth while supplementing protein at the same time.
What is nice about the pudding is that it is readily absorbed by your system. It's not quite a liquid and it's not quite a solid; it's really satisfying and it absorbs very easily. I can have one 20-to-30 minutes before I weight train; I can't do this with solid foods.
[ Q ] Your pudding provides a powerful protein boost while enabling you to train hard shortly after consumption.
Yes and that's how I've been able to get enough
protein in my diet. You really need enough protein to build the muscle.
[ Q ] How is your training structured right now? You mentioned before that you are aiming to lose even more weight.
I don't need to look at it as losing weight now; I look at it as far as percentage of body fat to muscle. Obviously when someone is 400 pounds that's not going to be all muscle.
So the approach I think is better is to lose the weight first, then try to build the muscle, or at least some of it. But now I'm in consultation with some people who are familiar with bodybuilding and they help me kind of sculpt a well-rounded shape. They look at me as a bodybuilder and say, "you need a little bit more here."
We use different exercises to get where we want to go. You've seen people who might have big arms but they don't have the shoulders to go with it, or the chest. Or they neglect the legs; so they have this big upper body and their legs are thin. You want to be well proportioned.
Darrell W. Butler
[ Q ] And you have found this help effective?
Yes, I have someone that helps me train; he's a local guy here that does some competing. He comes a couple of times a week. He kind of points me in the right direction. It's always good to get a second opinion on what to do.
[ Q ] Would you yourself consider competing in bodybuilding someday?
Well, that's not really my
goal. I'm trying to be all I can be to show you can change your life or your body to where you want to be. So I am going to come out with different supplements in the future just because I know what purity and a good supplement is.
I have a good reason to promote different supplements that I think are good quality. So I will release some supplements that are made a bit better than what's currently out there.
[ Q ] How do you feel now compared to when you were over 400 pounds and suffering ill health as a result?
I feel great. When I first had the weight I was
diabetic and was taking three to four
insulin shots per day, and was taking four oral medications per day. As well I was taking
blood pressure and
I had to take stomach pills for gastrointestinal problems. Now I don't take any medications at all. I've been able to eliminate all medications from my diet. I now take only supplements.
[ Q ] What led to your massive weight gain in the first place?
There is a problem with being a chef; there is an occupational hazard to overeating. You are often trying different foods. Then there is the
stress of running a business, and then you have a family.
Sometimes you neglect things that are important - eating habits and exercise. After I was diagnosed with diabetes and I was prescribed insulin, that's when my weight really ballooned. This weight gain is common with insulin.
And that's when it happened all at once. And that's when I was out of breath just bending over and tying my shoes. I said I just don't want to live like this anymore.
[ Q ] At what age were you then?
I was 44.
[ Q ] So at this age you knew you had to do something about your health and fast.
Correct. Now I'm 46 and I'm probably in the best shape I've ever been in ... in my life. I'm surprised when I look in the mirror, seeing all of the definition I'm getting through the bodybuilding. I think bodybuilding is one of the best anti-aging techniques there is.
[ Q ] What kind of mindset was necessary for you to consistently apply high intensity to your training, to ultimately achieve your transformation?
I know with training you have to have that mind/muscle connection, because I know sometimes you get a weight and say it's too heavy.
But then if you set your mind correctly and get in the right space you can achieve that and get all of the reps you need to get. So it does have a lot to do with the mind. For me, I've been able to do it over and over in my own life.
I've always been able to set a goal and I believe no matter what your goals are, if you want something bad enough and you are willing to do the legwork and have faith in God, I think you can achieve anything you want.
Chef Jay Littman's Sample Workout
Monday: Chest And Triceps
- Smith Machine Bench Press: 4 sets of 10-15 reps
- Smith Machine Incline Bench Press: 4 sets of 10-15 reps
- Decline Bench Press: 4 sets of 10-15 reps
- Triceps Press: 4 sets of 10-15 reps
- Rope Pushdowns: 4 sets of 10-15 reps
- Skullcrushers: 4 sets of 10-15 reps
- Lat Pulldown: 4 sets of 10-15 reps
- Behind The Neck Pulldowns: 4 sets of 10-15 reps
- Seated Cable Rows: 4 sets of 10-15 reps
- Preacher Curls: 4 sets of 10-15 reps
- Seated Dumbbell Curls: 4 sets of 10-15 reps
- Cable Curls: 4 sets of 10-15 reps
- Military Press: 4 sets of 10-15 reps
- Lateral Raises: 4 sets of 10-15 reps
- Smith Machine Shrugs: 4 sets of 10-15 reps
- Machine Military Press: 4 sets of 10-15 reps
- Crunches: 4 sets of 10-15 reps
- Leg Extensions: 4 sets of 10-15 reps
- Lying Leg Curls: 4 sets of 10-15 reps
- Leg Press: 4 sets of 10-15 reps
- Standing Calf Raises: 4 sets of 10-15 reps
- Leg Press: 4 sets of 10-15 reps
Tuesday: Back And Biceps
Wednesday: Shoulders And Abs
Thursday: Legs And Calves