Matt Wright’s Winning Healthy Lifestyle
As a former University of Hawaiʻi football player and coach for Saint Louis and ‘Iolani School, elite-level fitness has always been an essential component of Matt Wright’s life. But two years ago, 6’ 2” Matt weighed 260 pounds – struggling with stress and his daily diet.
“Being a football player, I was used to eating a certain way,” says Matt. “I was eating the way I had been trained – to eat more carbs than protein. I was doing more cardio, but I kept putting on more weight.”
After realizing his health strategy was not working, Matt started to research. He discovered there are three basic genetic body types: ectomorph (lean and long), endomorph (big, high body fat, pear-shaped), and mesomorph (high metabolism and muscular). And based on his difficulty with losing weight and pear-shaped figure, Matt determined he was an endomorph.
Through further research, he realized endomorphs are typically sensitive to carbs, which led him to the ketogenic diet, which he preferred over other low-carb diets because of its focus on healthy fats, such as avocado, coconut, and MCT (medium-chain triglyceride) oil.
“Once I knew my body type, then everything else was balancing out my lifestyle to find what works for me and doesn’t drive me crazy,” explains Matt. Matt also asked his doctor to test his testosterone (hormone), insulin (sugar), and cortisol (stress) levels, so he could assure his diet and exercise routines were producing optimal results.
With his research, experimentation, and commitment to a long-term lifestyle change, Matt successfully lost 50+ pounds over a year and has sustained his healthy lifestyle for the past two years.
For his food intake, Matt maintains a ketogenic diet, eating less than fifty grams of carbs (one scoop of rice or two slices of bread) and more lean proteins and healthy fats. Matt combines his keto diet regime with intermittent fasting, eating a ketogenic diet for eight hours and fasting for sixteen hours.
“I can tell by the taste in my mouth whether I have reached ketosis,” explains Matt. “If I have keto breath, I know I am eating right.” “Keto Breath” is a common side effect of the ketogenic diet, as the body turns fats into ketone bodies, which include the distinct-smelling acetone.
“That diet regime really started to transform my body,” Matt says. “I was not only losing weight but also regaining my muscle mass, and my energy levels and focus were higher.”
When he began the keto diet, Matt completely eliminated alcohol – a big change for the Guinness aficionado. He also found refuge in bulletproof coffee, which combines high-quality coffee with MCT or coconut oil and grass-fed, unsalted butter to boost energy and brain function.
He also found himself asking for ingredient substitutes at restaurants. At Taco Bell, he orders the Power Protein Meal with no rice, no beans, and extra guacamole, which provides about 400 calories, 40 grams of protein, and 2 grams of carbs. At Zia’s Cafe in Kaneohe, he eats the Panzanella Salad with half the bread and extra chicken. At Ruby Tuesday’s in Kaneohe, he asks for the cauliflower rice substitute when he orders the burger with no bun.
To satisfy his sweet tooth, Matt’s go-to recipe is a blend of chocolate protein, peanut butter, almond milk, and MGT oil, which he freezes and then cuts into keto-friendly brownie-like squares.
As an athlete, Matt continued to work-out but tweaked his routine to lift lighter weights and do fifteen minutes more of cardio. When exercising aerobically, Matt assures his heart rate is in a fat-burning range, which is about 110 to 130 beats per minute for him. Immediately after working out, he consumes protein to assure his body burns fat throughout the day.
Now feeling energized, focused, and healthy, Matt has successfully established two technology companies. Sportstage is a recruiting platform that connects high school athletes with college coaches, and Innovative Intellect LCC is a learning management system that enables online schools and worldwide tutoring.
Matt found the healthy lifestyle that worked for his body type, and he encourages others to discover their body type and work with their doctor to test their hormone, insulin, and cortisol levels.
“I played the long game,” he says, “and while I will now occasionally eat cake or drink a Guinness, eating a keto diet helped me to lose weight and keep it off.”