This DC Personal Trainer Lost 40 Pounds in Three Months. Here’s What He Eats to Stay in Shape.

Errick McAdams is a DC personal trainer. All photographs courtesy McAdams.

Looking at personal trainer Errick McAdams, you’d think he’s been fit his entire life. But not so: At age 27, he weighed 240 pounds and struggled with high cholesterol. Given his family history of diabetes and cancer, concern over his life longevity inspired him to make a change.

In 2001, he started going to the gym, and within three months, he’d lost 40 pounds. His fellow gym-goers took note of his transformation and asked for help with their own, which overtime turned into McAdams’ business, Errick McAdams Personal Training. These days, McAdams pays careful attention to the food he puts into his body, knowing that each person’s nutrition should to be adapted to their needs and the way their body breaks down food.

“One of the main things I try to do as a trainer is to help people understand their individual metabolisms. We all can’t eat the same,” says McAdams. “It’s like alcohol. We all know that everyone handles alcohol differently. Some can drink more, some less. …Adults understand alcohol and how it’s a individual thing but most adults don’t understand food, especially starchy carbs and sugar, are the same, an individual thing.”

As far as McAdams’ personal diet goes, he makes sure to eat tons of raw veggies and drinks around five liters of water a day. Given that McAdams’ first training session was at 5 AM and his last one ended at 10 PM on the day of his food diary, he’s constantly fueling throughout the day. Below, take a look at what McAdams eats in a typical day.

Breakfast

“Every morning I ‘hydrate before I caffeinate.’ Meaning, I drink water first thing in the morning before caffeine,” says McAdams. “This gives my metabolism a jumpstart and gives me much more energy than coffee alone. I start everyday at 4:30 AM (although today I started at 3:30 AM). I usually eat breakfast after my early morning workouts. I love Siggi’s yogurt at Starbucks! Great combination of protein and carbs with little added sugar. I added an apple for added fiber.”

Snacks

“I ate two apples yesterday. One with breakfast, and one later in the afternoon,” says McAdams. “I love love love broccoli. It’s my favorite source of veggie protein. I’m lucky, my wife makes me these little to-go packs of yumminess that I keep in my backpack and snack on throughout the day. Yesterday, I ate two of them. One after breakfast and before lunch and the other in the evening after dinner between workouts. Cherry tomatoes is another thing I munch on all day, everyday. Yesterday I had four handfuls of these.”

Lunch

Back in the day, when I first met my wife and was having a hard time with my weight, she started making me these salads. I affectionately refer to them as ‘Camsie Salads,'” explains McAdams in his Instagram post with the recipe.

“Yesterday I ate two of these,” says McAdams. “I ate for one for lunch and the next one I ate in the afternoon before dinner. I totally believe in eating a clean snack and hydrating especially well in the late afternoon. This will help you fight off the late afternoon carb/sugar munchies. Plus, I knew that I would be training from 5 to 10 PM and would not have time to each another meal.”

Afternoon Tea

“I had this while checking my email,” says McAdams.

Afternoon Snack

“This was a part of my post-lunch afternoon snack before my evening workouts,” says McAdams. “I love these two things together because the protein to carb ratio doesn’t make me tired.”

Dinner

“I am a personal trainer not a perfect trainer. We all fall victim to diet mistakes—I am no different.
This is basmati rice and naan bread, AKA: Indian restaurant leftovers. I minimized the the damage by adding Greek yogurt (protein) and eating a really small portion (two tablespoons of rice and quarter of piece of bread). Nevertheless, the white rice and white flour combination sent my blood sugar soaring and I definitely had less energy after eating this than I did before eating it,” says McAdams. “Anyways, I drank two bottles of water afterwards and then did part of my next workout with my athlete. That got my blood pumping and I felt much better.”

Late Night Snack

“I finished training my last athlete yesterday at 10 PM (my first one was at 5 AM). When I got home my wife had one of her famous (at least to me) egg salads waiting for me. Again, the reason I love this dish is its protein to carb ratio doesn’t slow down my metabolism (AKA: make me sleepy),” says McAdams. “The recipe for Camsie’s (my wife) egg salad: handful spinach, bit of shredded carrots, half of a small avocado, a half tablespoon olive oil, one fried egg, 295 calories total.”

Have a Food Diary you’d like to share? Email ccunningham@washingtonian.com.

Consult with your doctor before beginning a new diet. Washingtonian does not endorse any diet without the supervision of a medical professional. 

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Associate Editor

Caroline Cunningham joined Washingtonian in 2014 after moving to the DC area from Cincinnati, where she interned and freelanced for Cincinnati Magazine and worked in content marketing. She currently resides in College Park.