The Golf Diet: A Thread

@Bigdadenergy was discussing DECADE and Fit for Golf on Twitter, and talked about losing weight… I’ve had a lot of thoughts on this subject, so I wanted to write it down…

I’m a big advocate for DECADE, and think Scott has created a fantastic system… none of it is surprising, but it makes sense when you look at it from his perspective… 100% give it a try (there are free trials, but the 6 month is $100 and worth the money)

Fit for Golf is also fantastic and it’s nice to have golf centric workouts… I’m using it more now that I ever have, and while I’m only on week 1, Mike has built a solid program…

But let’s talk about DIET… I find it interesting how much overlap there is between golf advice and diet advice… Everyone tries to be helpful, tries to sell you on their own solution and there have been many books written on both… Yet we still are a country of overweight, high handicap golfers… I’ve been thinking about this alot, and some of the DECADE stuff can tie into the diet stuff… So let’s have some fun with it!

Let’s quickly ground this conversation… Descartes famously said “I think therefore I am” but this wasn’t a statement of fact, so much of a declaration of intent… For his following arguments to work, he needed to establish the fact that he actually existed. For more information, spend the money and get a degree in Philosophy… but I want to ground the diet conversation in what I believe to be the one core truth:

To lose weight, you must burn more calories than you consume over time.

If you want to argue about Ketones and gamma rays, there are plenty of other places for that… What follows is a simple discussion on HOW we can burn more calories than we eat in a day, and it mirrors how to play good golf… (My goal in golf is to consistently shoot lower scores, which is also a different conversation)

Avoid the Big Mistakes This one is as simple as it is hard in both golf and dieting… Don’t hit the ball OB and don’t go to an all you can eat ice cream bar… Neither do anything positive for you… It gets a little more complicated on the dieting front, as hazards are everywhere, and sometimes disguised… but this is simply knowing the “course”. Make sure you know what your body needs in a day, and that you are getting it.

Much like Strokes Gained, calorie tracking is super helpful here. I used MyFitnessPal. I don’t actively track where I’m giving up calories vs a skinny person, but that’s a different conversation!

Don’t Compound Mistakes If you get off your diet, don’t just give up… You wouldn’t walk off the round after a double, and you shouldn’t stop dieting after visiting an ice cream parlor… Don’t try to “make it up” the next day… simply get back on your plan and try not to make the same mistake twice!

Exercise is like making birdies OK, so maybe this one is a little weird, but exercise alone isn’t going to save your diet, just like my 3 birdies didn’t save my 85 the other day… They make things better and help correct for some smaller mistakes, but you can lose weight without heavy exercise and you can score decently without birdies… I like lifting weights, and have found it makes me eat better overall. My basic point is you can’t depend on either to get you to your goals, they are things that should just happen along the way.

Build Better Habits This one applies to both golf and dieting… if you default to salad for lunch and taking the easy punch out of the woods, you’ll do better overall… Golf handicaps and weight both take time and consistency to lower, and you have to have the right habits to keep them lower…

Have Fun If you make a triple in golf, you don’t quit golf forever… because golf is fun and we are always trying to get better at it… Maybe dieting is the wrong word here, but building a healthier lifestyle can also be fun… I’ve enjoyed roasting whole chickens and trying to make good tasting, healthy food. I’m 2 weeks into my current “diet” and 5 lbs down… I’m trying not to think of it as anything but building good habits. I have a protein shake for breakfast, something healthy for lunch and then a fun home cooked dinner… I keep active to prevent snacking, and find if I sit around and do nothing, I eat more… I think there is probably more to write about the correlation between dumb mistakes on the course and in the pantry and not committing to the diet / shot, but maybe I’ll write that next week.


First I’m struggling my own self with weight. What it’s doing is hurting flexibility. Don’t laugh…YOGA, will help with alot of stuff. But it is not an overnight cure. I’m a Nutritionist/Chef by trade. Weight loss as you get older is about life choices and life style. Our metabolism just doesn’t function like it used to. I just had my annual and I’m quite fortunate. Glucose: 99 :+1:, Cholesterol: 166 :+1:, BP. 130/75 :+1:, Heart Rate: 53 :+1: at rest. Weight:271. :-1:. So to lose the pounds, first drink alot of water, At least 1/2 to 3/4 gallon a day. Eat good carbs, fresh fruit or salad with EVO and lemon or lime or orange dressing…ez to make. Eat lean poultry, fish, beef…lean! AND watch your portions…no more than 6oz of protein per meal…Healthier starches, like baked yam, peas, quinoa, farro, all the veggies u want…chill out on bottled dressings, fruit juice is a big no no.its concentrated sugar. Just limit the bad stuff, when u feel hungry, water and whole fruit… .after that walk…alot. at least 3 miles a day and yoga. I will get used to it and it’s not that bad. The shakes and smoothies hidden sugar and carbs in there. Oh yea…no soda

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I believe it’s not so much a “golf diet” as it is a “life diet”. There’s a qualitative component to calories, but yes, it’s a calories in vs calories out equation. I look at exercise (walking) as a calorie burner and a muscle toner - a twofer. I’m the same weight now as I was 50 years ago.


Yeah, I’m definitely forcing a metaphor to a certain extent… my overall point on the diet front is it’s a lot like getting better at golf… there aren’t any shortcuts, and it’s a slow and winding process… You can’t depend on your weight being lower every time you step on a scale, just like you won’t see improvement on every scorecard…

The important part is the overall trend, staying focused on the process and making the best possible choices… If you keep doing that, you will eventually see improvement.

I think there is also a lot of snake oil in both industries… both are filled with “one simple trick” and “do this and shave strokes / pounds off in days”… and at the end of the day, improving is simple, but not easy. Make less big mistakes, do the basics correctly, and don’t compound errors…

Walking is great! Exercise is awesome… it’s not going to make up for McDonald’s drive thru for lunch, though… it can speed up the process though! (The same way a good round needs to be free of BIG numbers, but doesn’t necessarily need a ton of birdies)

My problem is tasting everything we execute in our kitchen…We serve 12000 meals a week, and I’m surprised I’m not 1000 pounds. I liked it better when I just oversaw the kitchen. But a bite of like everything, kills me. The hardest part is we cook with no added salt…which is a good thing, BUT to make up for the flavor we use extra spice and vinegars. The astringency helps when u can’t use salt


Yeah sadly diet is like 80-90% of losing weight. You really can’t out exercise a bad diet. The human body is a seriously efficient machine when it comes to using calories. It’s easy to wolf down 1000 calories, but it takes a lot of time to burn it. Walking 18 holes will not burn off the calories of a Big Mac and fries. Maybe a few light 100 calories beers, but that’s about it.

And I know all calories are not equal, but eating more calories than you’re burning will still cause you to gain weight. You can’t cheat the math with “bulletproof” coffee.

I try not to avoid the foods drinks I like, I just try to limit the high calorie ones. I don’t work out to lose weight, but to feel better and be able to walk 18 at my very hilly course.

As usual an exceptional, detailed write up. Here’s my plan.

Diet-wise: Back on paleo. I’ve had success with it in the past. I feel good when I’m eating high protein, low carb, no sugar. I had sustained success on it, so I know it’s a lifestyle I can make permanent. I lose weight in a healthy way, but also very quickly and have never had issues with excess skin or anything like that. I can keep up and build muscle. I don’t feel low on energy - unless I get back to hardcore 7 days a week CrossFit, which my shoulder will not allow.

Workouts: I’ll be doing Fit For Golf. I haven’t looked a lot into it, but I like the simplicity and that it’s geared toward golf. I can mash weights all day, but that’s not necessarily going to do my golf swing any good. I’ll also be doing ROMWOD for mobility. I used to do it religiously when I was doing CrossFit and it’s so good.

Brain: Hopping on the DECADE train. I play pretty well, but I can always get better and make better decisions, so I’m diving deep.

Gotta get my body and mind firing on all cylinders. I have lofty goals next year, so now is the time to get to work.


Ha, glad you enjoyed it… I like Paleo but found it hard to maintain outside my routine, and then when I fell off, it’d be hard to get back on… I’m definitely on board with the low carb, low sugar stuff… I think it makes it way easier to create a caloric deficit.

I do find that when I’m eating healthy and exercising I feel better, and I play better golf when I feel good… I do think it all ties in!

Let me know how you like DECADE… I think it will help clean up some thinking and streamline some decision making, which allows you to better commit to your shots (and thus hit better shots!)

I’d like to hear more about DECADE as well. I feel like I’m not at that level where it would help me enough. It seems like my troubles are more with the swing and execution, but I questioned that a bit recently. I started a round scoring badly; felt like I hit the ball well, but missed in the wrong spots and our US Open thick rough was cancelling out what little short game I posses. I started following the advice of a scratch player at my club about how to play the holes and I my score dropped. Maybe I do need better strategy to go with better ballstriking.

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Does proper golf diet etiquette require that you occasionally yell “FORE” in a Mexican restaurant? Or does that become “quattro”?


I like to think of the occasional meal as differential training… drink a whole bowl of queso and see how your body feels…

I do honestly believe cheat days are important, but you should also pay attention to how it changes your energy levels and such…

Just like the occasional scramble is fun, but not necessarily good for your game.

The idea isn’t to think of “non perfect” foods as cheating. That develops a really bad relationship with food and is one of the things that derails progress really quickly.
If you want a piece of cheesecake, eat one, then next meal you’re right back on track. This is where the training portion of getting healthy plays in. It’s too much pressure to eat perfect 100% of the time, so don’t. Have a treat once in a while. The other 95% of the time eating well added to whatever training you’re doing will take care of that cheesecake or queso or whatever it is you had a craving for.
You can’t outwork a completely terrible diet, but you can outwork an occasional treat.


Very good point and great mentality to have!


You are right not to consider it a cheat day… when I went to the waterpark with my kids, I just wasn’t worried about my diet that day… woke up the next morning and felt less energy than usual… got back onto the protein smoothie for breakfast and a healthy dinner and was right back on top of things.


I’ve been doing this a long time. I’ve actually been recognized by state and national organizations. I actually get paid for doing this… Diets are BS. They work until you get off of them. Some are actually dangerous to your body and metabolism. Balance to your Diet, Limiting of Salt and Carbs, good oils vs bad oils, Proper Portion Sizes, you can actually eat almost anything and everything, but I would look at ingredients. I liked to have pissed myself, when people were clamoring for UNO Personal Pizza’s in the Hospital Cafe, so we got them…1 Pizza 1500 calories… Uh-NO! That lasted one time only, I mean we are a “Healthcare Organization” that’s not what we should be promoting…I mean Looking at some of those pork shoulders the guys are executing…I mean a 3oz protein portion…REALLY?..just isn’t gonna cut it, RIGHT? I’ll put in in perspective, the proper portion would be like a 2inch Slider roll with about enough pulled pork that would fill 2/3 of a Gerber Baby Food Jar…LOL! That’s your portion men! Walking…walking alot, and drinking water, you can drink teas and coffees and such, but watch the sugar, watch the carbs. I mean as you age that awesome pulled pork sand with Sauce on that Kaiser…your body just turns that bread and sugar and fat in the shoulder into…well let’s not talk about that…And most likely not eatin just 1… It’s a commitment to a lifestyle change…I mean one of the worst things for your body on a hot day on the course is Gatorade style drinks…NO BUENO! I have made Mondays…no meat monday! All veggies…It’s working out great…You know when you are losing weight…when size 42 beltline is too loose! Scales only work in the doctors office…LOL


If you get off your diet, don’t just give up… You wouldn’t walk off the round after a double, and you shouldn’t stop dieting after visiting an ice cream parlor…

This is great stuff. That used to be me. Now if I eat something I know I shouldn’t, I call it my Cheat for the Week and get back to business.

I walk 2 to 3 miles a day ( unless it’s pouring rain, I’m looking at you, July). Pilates 1 to 2 times a week, and keep a close eye on the carbs. I’m ok with naturally occurring carbs in whole fruits and veggies, but I seriously limit the bread, rice, pasta, processed foods.

It’s definitely more difficult after 50, but consistency helps.


I fully agree with all of your observations. I’m also struggling with weight issues. I was 70 kg before and 50 kg after a year. I’m very relieved that my difficult era, during which much was said about me, is over. But I’m not afraid of anyone; I’m only focused with my own challenge. Yeah, one thing I’d want to mention is that throughout this time, I’m not eating Delta 8 Chocolate Bar every day, but every two or three days. It tastes fantastic. I’m still eating this cake. Delta 8 chocolate bar promises to instantly improve your day.

Very true!
Glade you’ve chosen to walk the golf course. This is one of the benefit getting onto the golf course instead of being a driving range rat.

Totally agree with eat everything but in the right portion. My wife is in the healthcare industry and works at a local major Medical Center. She was on a low sodium diet for decades. then during her annual health check up our family Doc told her she needs to include some salt in her diet and quote " some chips once in awhile is not a bad thing " assuming he meant the high salt content in the potato chips.
Everyone has a different requirement for diet under their health condition. I eat everything that’s yummy. These days I pay more attention to the ingredients in the food I’ll be consuming, besides reading and learning from the label/menu.
as you said, when we age, our body react differently to the same food we’ve been taking for decades. A healthy young body could digest and pass more food than a senior. We were bullet proof once.
I still enjoy the same food I love when I was in my 20’s and 30’s , just cut down the portion accordingly.
When you walk ( on the golf course or in everyday life) lift the knee a bit higher than usual, wider stride, swing your arms in a larger arc. These movement will look and feel funny at first but, it’ll give additional range of motion to the joints connecting limbs to the core. A brisk walking pace is better than a slow shuffle if you could do it.
Most of all, consume in moderate portion is the key for a good diet, not blocking out certain elements from your diet, it’ll only make you crave it more. It is a habit forming behavior. Your mind will accept taking smaller portion of meal in time.
I agree, you have a tough job needing to “taste” all those small bites when working in the kitchen, It’s a blessing and also a curse. Not much you could do except to train some “taster” for most of the work and only leave the crucial tasting to yourself.
True story, I know a guy who used to be in charge of the menu from Sky Chef kitchen. This was when all the airlines still provide meals on the airplane. He is the one plans all the meals with the budget given by the airlines. He was on a flight from Macau to china maybe 2 decades ago. When he said he had one of the best fried rice he had on the airplane or in a restaurant. It was so tasty, he arranged to visit their kitchen for making meals for the airline. After spying their operation as a guest visitor from the Sky Chef; the conclusion was, the recipe will never work for the Sky Chef serving the North America back then.
Because, the oil they used to cook that delicious fried rice was the rendering from pork fat. That will never work here for obvious reason.
Case in point, if one have a single serving of that delicious fried rice on a flight en-route from Macau to Shanghai in maybe a decade, then it probably won’t do any major harm than consuming a few pieces of bacon for breakfast . The key is the frequency and portion once consumes.
I’m taking several prescription to control high blood pressure and borderline cholesterol level, which all came with age, I guess. Therefore, I must pay attention to the type and the portion of food I consume; plus “listen” to my body when it wants to tell me something.
Too much sodium taken knowingly or hidden in the prepared food, will trigger a bit of swelling in my arthritis joints. Little sign which will not go away the next morning as when I was much younger.