Melbourne Rebels enforcer Ruan Smith has taken an unorthodox approach to getting in shape for the upcoming Super Rugby AU season, embracing a meat only diet.
Smith has become the latest high-performance athlete to adopt the Carnivore Diet - an all meat diet which eliminates the consumption of all vegetables, fruits and carbohydrates.
The South African native says he uncovered this new age eating trend following “long nights of research” during the recent two-month isolation period.
“I had known about the diet for some time, but I just wanted to know more about what it’s like and what are the benefits, so I just went on YouTube and researched all day and all night, twenty-four-seven.
“I came across a few people – especially people like Joe Rogan – who are really big on these sorts of things and so I thought I’ll give it a go for a few weeks,” says Smith.
“Obviously, meat is massive in my culture, so lots of meat equals a happy me.”
The 30-year-old credits his newfound fuel strategy for keeping him in “good shape” during the final weeks of lockdown, putting Smith in prime position to hit the ground the running upon the club’s return to training last month.
“Lockdown was pretty good for me because it gave me a lot of time for my body to recover and we had our training programs which could be done at home, so I didn’t gain too much weight.
“But I did want to cut a bit of weight I gained during the lockdown, so I started two weeks before we went back to training.
“When a guy like me looks to shed a few kilograms, you’ve got to look for the easiest way to do it and when I found this diet where you just have to eat meat, well that’s right up my alley."
While he admits this diet isn’t for everyone, so far Smith “feels great” and can’t get enough of his daily menu of steak, beef mince and eggs.
“I thought I’d give it a go and so far, it’s been great.
“Most days I don’t eat breakfast so when I come in from training around lunch time, I’ll prepare some sort of beef mince.
“Then come dinner time, I’ll focus mostly on steak or some sort of easy protein – anything I can get my hands on quickly really.”
With the start of Super Rugby AU fast approaching, Smith says he can’t wait to get back out on the paddock and feast on the Brumbies fowards come July 4.
“Just to be able to be up going and playing again is massive.
“Everyone is raring to go especially after this six-week training programme."