The Jake Ellenberger Diet

Read on for the latest installment in's weekly series of articles on proper nutrition from the biggest names in mixed martial arts...this week, Jake Ellenberger
More than anything, what unfolds at UFC 154 will shape the 170-pound hierarchy headed into 2013 and perhaps put Georges St-Pierre and Anderson Silva on a “catch weight” collision course.

While four other welterweights will have their chance to shine in the limelight Saturday night in Montreal, no one should forget about Jake Ellenberger, who will have the night off, watching the pay-per-view broadcast in Orange County, Calif. The 27-year-old U.S. Marine Corps veteran is a tireless worker, has won seven of his past eight UFC contests and 17 KOs prove that he owns arguably the heaviest hands in the division.

Precisely because he’s not fighting this weekend (and thusly not burdened by more important matters, such as the misery of weight cutting), Ellenberger (28-5) found time to share the nutritional habits and philosophies that have made him a force to be reckoned with.


Ellenberger: I eat a lot of eggs, chicken, and fish. I might eat 3-4 scrambled eggs each day, though sometimes I eat 6-8 eggs in a day. I always eat the egg yolks, too. I’m not a fan of egg whites; egg whites are for bodybuilders. It’s good fat and I need the energy so I eat the yolks.

And some steak. I’m a big meat eater. You know, I’m from Nebraska and we eat a lot of beef. I also love seafood. I usually stay away from steak and red meat as I get close to weigh-ins.


I can’t go without eating. I don’t go anywhere without eating. During a fight camp, inside of six to eight weeks, I’ll have oatmeal in the morning before a high-intensity workout.

On my off days, I might eat scrambled eggs and two pieces of Ezekiel toast. My favorite is the cinnamon raisin. Sometimes I’ll put almond butter and honey, or agave, over the toast.


I don’t take a lot of supplements. Every once in a while, after a long, hard workout, I might have a protein shake. But I usually rely on fish or meat, brown rice or quinoa, beans, greens and cooked vegetables. I eat a lot of vegetables.

Something I like to cook is quinoa, peppers and eggs. Throw that together and you’ve got an awesome meal.


I eat five to six meals per day. I try not to eat after 9 p.m.

A good friend of mine, Mike Dolce, I’ve worked a lot with him on cutting weight. I’ve known him since 2006. I met him when I lived in Portland (Oregon) and we trained together. He knows what he’s doing!


I’m a big griller, so if I’m not training for a fight then I’m grilling all the time: Red meat, steak, chicken, garlic, asparagus … I enjoy having backyard barbeques. Even now I can do that because the weather is pretty nice right now in (southern) California.


Ellenberger: I was raised drinking any kind of water, from the faucet or wherever. But when I’m training I usually drink reverse-osmosis and de-ionized water and then I’ll add some trace minerals. I drink at least a couple gallons a day. I also love Iced Tea and lemonade – Arnold Palmer is my favorite. But I drink iced tea – green tea or black tea – with no sugar when I’m trying to lose weight.

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