PARAMUS, N.J. — It's been 23 hours since Paramus' Blake Horton has eaten anything.
But a 3,900 calorie, strawberry-banana-cookie dough pancake is about to go down — and more than 45,000 Instagram followers will tune in to watch.
Nope, it's not a food binge, it's his one meal of the day — complete with all of the micro and macronutrients the 34-year-old fitness enthusiast needs to function.
At first glance, it seems crazy. But for Horton, it's what works.
"There are nutritional basics, and everybody makes it way too complicated," said Horton, who recently launched a YouTube channel to buoy his thriving Instagram account.
If you're taking in the same nutrients daily, you're going to see the same results no matter how you split it up.
It could be 5 to 6 smaller meals of chicken and brown rice, but Horton prefers something to the likes of 40 waffles, a mixing bowl of cereal and lots and lots of fruit.
He calculates the nutrients in each meal carefully, making sure to record it all — from the meal prep down to the last lick — flexing his muscles at the beginning and his food baby at the end.
Here's how it all began.
Horton was 30 when he lost the weight the first time — 30 pounds, to be exact. He ended up gaining most of the weight back but after doing the research about properly fueling his body, he gave it another go at 31.
This time, he dropped even more, totaling 60 pounds.
He has since been unstoppable on his fitness journey, even uploading pictures of his food to social media, "before it was cool," he said.
But Horton found himself constantly hungry, constantly waiting for his next meal. His social life was starting to give out as well because he was out of calories for the day by the time his friends called to go out.
Something had to give.
"I didn’t want to keep watching the clock eating out of tupperware just to keep abs. It almost wasn’t worth it anymore."
Enter: intermittent fasting.
But not too bad to pass up.
Coupled with training at Strive in Saddle Brook, Horton started off slowly with three meals a night. He was hitting all of his macros, was never hungry during the day and continued to see positive changes in his body.
Horton continued posting all of his meals on Instagram as he's always done, but traction only picked up two years later.
He never expected fame, but — with a physique he'd only dreamed about in his 20s and now 45,000 fans behind him — Horton can't complain.
He hopes to debunk a myth or two while he's in the lime light.
"People do all this unnecessary stuff driving them crazy to try to lose weight, when there’s possibly a better and more enjoyable way to do it," he said.
"Body weight management is calories in versus calories out — that's the bottom line."