Hamza’s Full (Written) Diet Guide

This is a full written and curated version of Hamza’s full diet guide video 👇. My goal for creating this is to understand the content better and create an asset that I can refer back to on my self-improvement journey. That said, I hope publicizing this can bring you value as well.

All credit goes to Hamza Ahmed.

First, why should I read this?

Good question.

Take a look at the video thumbnail and image above. That’s Hamza after 1 year. This guide is a curation of what got him to that image on the right.

If you:

  • Already watched Hamza’s video and want to refresh your memory in a quick and succinct way
  • Are just starting out your diet and fitness journey and want to avoid the mistakes that Hamza made
  • Have already started your diet and/or fitness journey but are struggling to make progress
  • Struggle with binge eating
  • Want to know the TRUTH about the diet advice of today’s society

… then you may find value in this guide.

Hamza says directly, “I’ve forgotten what hunger feels like.” This guide is the compilation of the key learnings that brought him to where he is in that picture. If you read this guide, your brain will start to connect the dots and your jaw might drop at the realizations that you learn.


Jump straight to sections of this written guide:

Actionable Steps

Here are the actionable steps to come back to after reading/watching the full guide.

  • (Required) Watch the video Fat Chance: https://youtu.be/ceFyF9px20Y
  • Next time you’re at the grocery store/shop, find a couple things that are labeled “low fat” or “reduced fat” and take a look at the nutrition label. Notice anything particular about the levels of sugar?
  • Before you eat anything, look at the ingredient list. If you don’t recognize an ingredient, if you can’t identify what it looks like, Google what it does and where it comes from before you eat it.
  • Try eating some sugar or carbs and then make note of your energy levels right after. Do you feel like you have more energy? Less energy? Remember which hormones are active at this time.
  • Pick one of the unprocessed foods from the “What Even is a Healthy Diet?” section. Do a little Google search and watch a YouTube video that looks quite nice on “how to make X taste better”
  • Watch his video on how mindfulness can cure binge eating: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HQNtrzek21o
  • Start by substituting only ONE meal out of your entire week to be a 100% unprocessed food meal.
  • Remind yourself that it’s not zero and one. It’s zero to one hundred.


Everything you know about diet and food has been engrained by a society that is unhealthy. The majority of people are overweight or obese. Understand that if you follow the diet advice of the majority, you will get the result of the majority. If you don’t want that, then we need to reframe your mind.

Understand that changing your diet is not a short term fix. Everything in this guide is important and in order for a reason, so don’t skip around. We’re here to create a lifestyle change.

In this guide we’re learning about diet from the ground up. Quality education and fundamental understanding were the keys that significantly helped Hamza.

Interested in improving your life? Then let’s go.

The Obesity Pandemic

Obesity is the biggest problem in the world right now, forget everything else.

The question we need to be asking is:

Why are obesity rates climbing?

The most common answer is “because people eat too much.” This is true, but it’s not that simple and more importantly, using this as advice is not actually helpful. Just eating less is an uphill battle that is stacked against us.

We need to ask a deeper question:

Why are people eating too many calories?

The answer comes down to the foods that people are eating. We’re eating more low quality bad foods and less high quality healthy foods.

Let’s take a step back for a second. Humans have not evolved in the last 100 years. Our bodies are largely the same as they were thousands of years ago. Thus, if obesity is a growing problem today, it has to be an outside influence causing this. It must be something humans have created that we’re putting in our bodies.

It’s also important to understand, obese people are not our enemies. We typically have a very negative view towards them, but in reality we’re all on the same team, it’s not “us vs them,” it’s us versus the problem. We need to treat obesity like an addiction. With that frame of mind, we can tackle the problem in a more effective way.

A successful diet is all about adding things in, not taking things out. When we take things away from a human who’s addicted to them it makes it worse.

The next statement is a fundamental truth that is important to the rest of this guide, but it’s probably going to trigger you. To be honest, this is NOT a safe space. So, if you get triggered, if you find this offensive, then sucks to be you. (The fact that you’re even reading this far means that you at least have an open mind, which is a good sign.)

All foods are NOT the same. There are good foods and there are bad foods.

This is a fact, but for some reason this is not common knowledge in today’s society. Ice cream is bad for you. Sugar is bad for you. Alcohol is bad for you. Junk food is bad for you. Heavily processed foods are bad for you. McDonald’s is bad for you.

Hamza says that he used to be a chronic binge eater, but now his treat is just a piece of dark chocolate. Understand that when you fill up on good quality food, you become so full and satiated that the smallest amount of chocolate is actually quite reasonable as a treat.

Achieving this is possible.

How is Fat Unhealthy?

This section is going to seem like common sense… up until it doesn’t. Keep reading.

Let’s start with the question:

Is body fat unhealthy?

Hamza said he would’ve said “yes, 100%” but that would have been wrong. Fat is not 100% unhealthy. It’s not the thing we should be focusing on. We should be focusing on something else.

This is how we’ll build up our understanding:

  1. The root problem
    • First, we need to understand the root problem, the thing that’s killing people that we need to avoid.
  2. Root problem <–> Fat
    • Next, we need to understand the link between that root problem and fat.
  3. Fat <–> Foods
    • Lastly, we need to understand the link between fat and what we’re putting in our bodies.

Let’s go.

#1 – The Root Problem

Having a lot of fat can often produce a large amount of weight. This can be unhealthy in the sense that it can weight you down, ruin your posture, limit your exercise, but this is quite minuscule compared to the real root problem: metabolic syndrome.

Define metabolic syndrome: A cluster of abnormalities associated with the development of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes (e.g. high blood pressure, high blood sugar, heart attack, stroke).

Aside from a large waist circumference, most of the disorders associated with metabolic syndrome have no symptoms.

Understand: Metabolic syndrome is the deepest level problem here, but this is not exactly caused by fat.

#2 – Root Problem <–> Fat

Although heavily correlated, all fat is NOT linked to sickness, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, etc. Believe it or not, about 20% of obese people are actually relatively healthy simply because they don’t have metabolic syndrome. So, what’s the link between metabolic syndrome (our root problem) and fat?

Answer: Visceral Fat

Define visceral fat: Belly fat that wraps around our abdominal organs. This is the dangerous type of fat.

There are 2 types of fat:

  1. “Subcutaneous fat” – visible, external body fat stored under the skin around our whole body
  2. “Visceral fat” – invisible, internal body fat, stored inside the belly/abdomen

Stop for a second and look at these two pictures. Look at two particular differences: the difference in the outer white (fat) section, and the difference in the inner white (fat) section.

Top picture: This person has more subcutaneous (outer) fat.

This person is actually relatively healthy. We don’t really need to help them, unless they want to look nicer aesthetically. Sure, they might not have the ideal amount of body fat (~15% body fat), but this body fat is not causing the root problem. The thing that we actually need to concentrate more on is the bottom picture.

Bottom picture: This person has more visceral (inner) fat.

Notice how this person has less of the subcutaneous (outer) fat. We need to start to think, the all-around body might not actually be that unhealthy for us. Visceral fat is the internal fat that’s wrapping around the organs. Often time it’s not visible which makes it that much harder to realize. THIS is the stuff causing the problems we need to address.

#3 – Fat <–> Foods

The last link in our understanding.

The sicknesses that come with metabolic syndrome are not caused by a calories surplus (i.e. the simplistic answer that people are “eating too much”). These sicknesses come from visceral fat.

Here’s what is really surprising: this is how skinny people get diabetes. Skinny people don’t have much of the outer body fat, but they can still have visceral fat.

Hopefully things are starting to click in your mind and you’re starting to think, wait that’s true. If skinny people can get metabolic syndrome, then it’s not the amount of calories we’re eating. THIS is why the foods we eat are important.

Here’s the last piece of this puzzle of our understanding.

  1. We understand what the root problem is, metabolic syndrome.
  2. We understand that there are 2 types of fat, subcutaneous (outer) body fat and visceral (inner) fat. We understand that visceral fat is the fat that’s causing the problem we need to avoid.
  3. The last question is, what actually causes this visceral fat?

The answer: Sugar.

The Scam We All Fell For

We all fell for the biggest scam, this dumb little triangle.

This is gonna start sounding like a conspiracy theory, hopefully you’re still following along with everything, but this is why this triangle is the biggest scam we all fell for.

TL;DR: By putting carbs as our biggest intake and reducing the amount of fat we eat, we are inherently going to eat more sugar. Sugar is the top of the pyramid, the smallest thing we should be having. But, that is impossible if we reduce the amount of fat we eat.

Try this:

  • Next time you’re in the grocery store/shop. Look at any cereal, cheese, yogurt, anything that says “low fat” or “reduced fat” and check how much sugar it has. You’ll be disgusted by what you find. Anything that has “low fat” or “reduced fat” would taste like absolute garbage, but the reason why it doesn’t is because all these foods have added sugar to make it taste good.

Key understanding: Fat equals taste.

Imagine a carb that has no fat: plain rice, plain bread, no butter. It tastes disgusting. Food only tastes good when you put fat on it.

When we take the fat out of foods, it has lower calories so everyone’s happy “yay we’re eating less calories,” (remember that simplistic answer, “eat fewer calories”), but now it tastes like sh*t. So what’s the absolute cheapest substance companies can add to these foods so that it tastes good again and makes you an addict so you buy it again? Sugar!

If you take one thing away from this guide, it’s this.

Sugar is the cause of visceral fat. Sugar is the reason why people are dying from metabolic syndrome.

Now that we’ve reframed our understanding, we need to understand what happens inside our bodies when we eat so we know why we’re eating so much sugar and how to avoid visceral fat.

Hormones Are Everything (pay attention)

This is where we might lose you. You might be thinking, “Hormones? Ugh, just tell me what foods I should be eating.” This stuff is important though. Understanding this information will help you long term. Remember, we’re making a lifestyle change, not a quick fix.

The reason why we eat comes down to our hormones. Our hormones:

  • Make us feel hungry
  • Make us want to eat more
  • Signal to us that we’re tired
  • Signal that we can’t exercise

Our goal is to get to the point where our hormones are genuinely signaling to crave healthy foods and to exercise 2 to 3 hours every day. This is possible.

These are the 3 major hormones we need to understand: Leptin, Insulin, and Ghrelin.


Leptin -> the “fullness” hormone

Leptin signals to our brain that we’re full. It also signals to us that we have some energy to use because we just ate.

So in general, we want a good level of leptin to signal to us that we’re full and to stop us from binge eating.


Insulin -> the “energy creator” hormone

Insulin has 2 jobs:

  1. Give our cells short-term energy
  2. Give our cells long-term energy (by creating fat) once we don’t need any more short-term energy

The other really important note about insulin is:

Insulin blocks leptin signals

Have you ever noticed a significant dip in energy and feeling like you just want to lie down on the couch after eating carbs? This is your leptin signals not being heard by the brain.

After we eat carbs (especially sugar), insulin spikes. This spike blocks the signals from leptin saying that we’re full or energized, causing us to lower our energy and continue eating. If we start overeating (which feels too easy now), our insulin then starts producing fat.

Another name for this insulin spike is the “glycemic load” or “glycemic index.”

So in general, our takeaway is that we want to reduce how much insulin is produced in our body.

Our next question is, which foods cause high spikes in insulin (to avoid) and which cause low spikes (to eat more of).

Answer: Low quality junk food, even stuff without a lot of sugar, has a high glycemic load, which causes a higher insulin spike.

Hopefully you’re starting to piece together how there is good and bad food and how this idea of “there’s no such thing as bad food” is just a marketing ploy. Saying there’s good and bad food is not marketable. There’s no company called Big-Broccoli that’s gonna sponsor someone’s boring YouTube video about good and bad foods.

In general, the goal of any diet plan is:

  • Slowly reduce foods with a high glycemic index (bad food)
  • Then heavily focus on increasing foods with a low glycemic index (good food, that doesn’t block leptin and makes you feel full naturally).


Ghrelin -> the “hunger” hormone

Lastly, ghrelin is, put simply, your hunger hormone. When you feel hungry, that’s ghrelin.

The important takeaway from ghrelin is

Ghrelin comes and goes in waves

Ghrelin increases at times in the day when you normally eat and then decreases afterwards. It just likes consistency. But, since we now know it decreases naturally, understand that you aren’t obligated to listen to this signaling when it increases.

This explains a common reason why people who overeat still feel hungry. It’s because their ghrelin kicks in when they normally eat, making them hungry again even if they just ate.

If you look into the stories of people who fast, you might be surprised to learn that people who fast for days at a time actually don’t feel disgustingly starving by the end, because instead of accumulating (increasing over time), ghrelin just comes and goes.

Congrats for making it this far! Let’s take a quick break and talk about the common issues people face so that you don’t also run into them.

The Lies of the Fitness Industry

If we take a step back and think, what do companies and people like news and YouTubers want? When you see “Breaking News” on TV, or a video from a fitness youtubers doing a 10,000 calories challenge, what do they want? Answer: They want attention. They want people to click and watch.

The common diet in the fitness industry is this diet called “If It Fits Your Macros”

Define macros: a type of food (fat, protein, or carbohydrates) required in large amounts in the diet.

The quick explanation of this diet is that you can eat ANY foods you want as long as at the end of the day you’ve hit your goals for each of your macronutrients (fat, protein, carbs). Let’s say your carb goal is 80 grams, then it doesn’t matter if you eat a potato or a donut, as long as you get 80 grams, you’re good.

A lot of times this actually works in the short term, where you may actually lose weight. But, the truth is, that’s not the full picture.

We now understand that junk food is not healthy and causes visceral fat. This visceral fat, however, is not what the fitness industry cares about. They care about the visible body fat, the outward appearance. Hamza shares, “I can’t believe that it took me years to realize that eating junk food is not healthy, even though the junk food can reduce that body fat if you just eat less.”

Question from a commenter:

Okay, I get that it’s unhealthy, but technically if you only care about what you look like, you’d have the same body composition despite if you ate healthy or junk food, right?


When you eat healthy food, you’re just better fueled for your workouts, when you’re better fueled for you workouts, you’re going to make more muscle and have a better body composition. This comes down to your leptin hormone. If you eat a big bowl of cocoa puffs before a workout, you’re gonna feel more tired and exercise with less intensity than if you had a high quality meal like chicken and rice.

Hamza concluded that the fitness industry is riddled with mental health problems, binge eating disorders, anxiety, depression, and low self-esteem. Just don’t trust them.

What Even is a Healthy Diet?

Despite all we’ve talked about so far, the advice to implement here is not to reduce bad food, because it will get quite depressing. Instead, the advice is to have a positive approach and eat MORE healthy, unprocessed food.

Define unprocessed food: A food with no ingredient list.

Typically in unprocessed foods, there is no ingredient list. The ingredient in a potato is… potato. In broccoli is… broccoli. These are the foods we want more of.

Try this:

  • Before you eat anything, look at the ingredient list. If you don’t recognize an ingredient, if you can’t identify what it looks like, Google what it does and where it comes from.
  • If you did this for every single ingredient on a McDonald’s wrap, it would simply take too long that it’s just not even worth getting it.

One of the most common arguments against healthy food is:

Healthy food is hard to prepare. It’s not quick, easy, or cheap.

First, we need to understand that our diet should not be quick, easy, or cheap. Our diet is a long, slow, intentional process that we take with us for the rest of our lifetime. Our nutrition is something we need to invest in. Nutrition is one of the best investments you’ll ever make in your life.

Second, let’s talk about taste. We’ve been conditioned from childhood that vegetables aren’t tasty. Hopefully by now in this guide you’re understanding that the internet can be immensely helpful for learning and changing your life. Ask yourself, how many hours in the last month have you spent learning how to make healthy foods taste good? Be honest, it’s zero.

All of these foods can taste delicious, we just haven’t spent the time trying to learn.

Try this:

  • Start with an ingredient, like “sweet potato”
  • Do a little Google search, and watch a YouTube video that looks quite nice on “how to make sweet potatoes taste better”
  • Use what you learned and give it a try
  • After that, here are some foods to learn about:
    • Broccoli
    • Salmon
    • Sweet corn
    • Oats

Lastly, understand that you’re making a lifestyle change and expect that it’s going to take time! You’re not gonna have a 100% perfect diet tomorrow. You need to relearn the habits that you’ve been making for the past 10, 20, 30+ years.

Be careful of this: It’s common to have this binary thinking of: “If I ate a single bad thing today, the whole day is a waste and I’m back at zero.” It’s not zero and one. It’s zero to one hundred days. Maybe you eat healthy 50 out of 100 days, that’s meaningful progress! Just because you ate something bad doesn’t put you back at zero.

Binge Eating

There are 2 cures for binge eating:

  1. Eating foods that don’t mess up your hormones
  2. Mindfulness

The common advice online is “if you feel like binge eating, just wait 20 minutes” which has such a lack of education and knowledge behind it that he said it makes Hamza cry. This advice is not actually helpful for anyone.

#1 – Food

Remember what we’ve learned. It’s just hormones. It’s your leptin that signals that you’re full and to stop eating. Remember it’s your insulin that blocks leptin signals.

To actually feel full we need that leptin signal without insulin blocking it, so we need to eat foods with a low glycemic load that don’t heavily spike our insulin. This means eating low sugar and low processed foods. No one in the history of mankind has ever binge eaten oats or healthy vegetables because you just get so sickly full in such a satisfying way. Oats and healthy vegetables don’t spike your insulin to continue eating like junk food does.

The problem with this “there’s no such thing as bad food” idea is that it promotes the idea that you can eat junk food, but that’s exactly how binge eating starts.

  • No one eats a breakfast of oats and eggs in the morning, then thinks, “I’m gonna binge eat these eggs, mommy make me 20 more eggs.”

If you never eat low quality, high sugar junk foods, you’ll never binge eat again, you’ll be happier and healthier, you’ll feel full all the time.

#2 – Mindfulness

Most addictions continue because we aren’t able to think straight. Mindfulness gives you an extra second before you start indulging in junk food for that feeling of comfort. When you meditate and you’re mindful, these things will help backfill that feeling of comfort that you crave.

He did a video on how mindfulness can cure binge eating which you can watch here:

Building Muscle

Alright now that we understand the fundamentals, let’s talk about building muscle.

The most effective way to build muscle: be in a calorie surplus.

Define calories surplus: Eating more calories than you use in a day.

This is commonly called “bulking.” Understand that bulking is difficult and not fun. We don’t want to spike our insulin and produce visceral fat. We want to be bulking with healthy foods. The reason this is difficult is because it’s hard to eat more foods that fill you up when you’re already feeling naturally full.

Most people love to bulk and think it’s easy because it’s their excuse for their eating disorder. It’s an excuse to eat more junk food. It may seem easy because you will gain weight, but you’ll be gaining visceral fat, which we know is not healthy for us.

In an ideal world while we’re bulking, we gain zero fat (either type of fat) and only muscle, but this is hard to accomplish and doesn’t usually happen. This usually means we’ll want to “cut” (i.e. lose fat) after our bulk, which we’ll talk about next.


  • Calories: Eat an extra 200 calories per day. We only need a moderate surplus of calories to bulk up.
  • Food: Keep eating more of the same healthy foods – high fiber, high fat, low sugar, low glycemic load.

Remember: Bulking shouldn’t be fun.

Losing Fat

Lastly, losing fat requires being in a calorie deficit.

Define calorie deficit: Eating fewer calories than you use in a day.

This is commonly called “cutting.” Unlike bulking, cutting on a healthy diet should be quite easy because you don’t have to force feed yourself foods that make you naturally full. If you eat junk food, cutting will be INCREDIBLY difficult. You’ll be continually spiking your insulin, making you never feel full, causing you to eat more and more.

This is the same reason the “If It Fits Your Macros” diet is the worst way to diet because the moment you have a bit of sugar, it snowballs the eating process and you just can’t stop eating.


Understand that Hamza is not special, he was a victim of the shitty diet that everyone is recommending. A year ago he was not in the shape he is now, so something he implemented actually works.

Remember that particularly in weight loss, our goal is to lose weight and keep it off. This is a long term game and really understanding the fundamentals is crucial to this which is why so much of this guide is pure education.

The next action item after finishing this guide is to watch this video called Fat Chance. “This is not optional. It will change you life and may save your life.” – Hamza

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