8 diet in COVID lockdown’
Two-time Supercars champion Scott McLaughlin shares how being in the driver’s seat of his health helped him shed 11kg intermittent fasting.
Some people spent COVID lockdown improving their sourdough knowledge and learning languages. You’ve spent your time shedding an impressive 11kg. Is the worst-kept secret in motorsport – that you’re planning to drive IndyCar in the US – the reason behind this big transformation?
[Laughs] Well, I needed to lose weight. I was going to do a one-off race in May over there that unfortunately got cancelled, and I need to lose weight to be competitive. But then I sort of went overboard. Every year I reflect on the previous season and I ask myself, “What could I have done better?” And for me it was my weight. [As for going to IndyCar], I don’t really know. At this stage I’m still in Supercars. I know everyone is thinking it, but I haven’t been told anything.
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What’s your secret to weight loss?
I joke with my wife Karly that it’s like she now has a new husband [laughs]. Intermittent fasting. I fast for 16 hours every day, and I guess that’s what happens when you’re a bit focused. At my heaviest I was 93kg, but right now I am about 82kg. My body fat has dropped from 18.5 per cent to 12.5 per cent. But here’s the crazy thing, I really enjoy the fasting because it’s not like I feel like I’m starving myself. There are diets out there that make you struggle, so I’ve never been interested in dieting before. When I started down this path, I told my trainer I still wanted a lifestyle. I love going out for a beer from time to time and I have a cheat meal every week.
So IndyCar drivers are like horse-riding jockeys in that they have to meet weight?
Yeah, there’s a minimum driver weight. And if you are really light, you get more ballast to add to different points of the car. The bigger guys have less ballast and this makes it harder to set the car. I’ve always been a bigger guy, I only needed to lose 5kg, but I didn’t want to be that guy!
What does a typical day’s menu look like?
I’ve never been a breakfast person, so I fast until 11am and then I’ll usually have chicken-bone broth. About 15 minutes later, I’ll have a smoothie (banana, cinnamon, berries, choc protein, half almond milk, half water). For lunch, I have 150g of turkey, chicken or steak with salad. And for dinner I have 150g of turkey, chicken or steak with steamed veggies and half a cup of brown rice. For snacks I’ll eat almonds, bananas and dates, and I drink around four litres of liquid a day.
You’re quite good at keeping secrets. Didn’t you tell a little white lie when you met your wife around four years ago?
[Laughs]. I’ve never been big on the whole “I’m a race-car driver” thing, so I told her I was a mechanic. It wasn’t something I just said to Karly, though.
I say it to a lot of people. Karly is from the US, I met her in Vegas on a boys’ trip. We hung out for a couple of days and then she followed me on social media and thought I must be some kind of famous mechanic [because of my 122k followers]. So I came clean about being a race-car driver. But it wasn’t until she came to Australia and saw the autograph sessions that she really understood.
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