This is a very special episode of the show with Kurt Morgan, the 47-year old grandpa who transformed into a fat-burning beast in front of our eyes on ABC’s My Diet Is Better Than Yours by dropping a total of 87 pounds in just 14 weeks. Let me just say that Kurt and I are overwhelmed with the positive emails, comments, and feedback we’ve gotten from you guys in the Fat-Burning community throughout the show.
I’ve been getting hundreds of emails asking when I would have Kurt on Fat-Burning Man, so get ready for this show – it’s a doozy!
Kurt has shown America that you really can be happy and healthy at the same time, and now he’s here to tell the whole story. Ever since Kurt dropped 16 pounds in 1 week on My Diet Is Better Than Yours, my book The Wild Diet has been sold out on Amazon and most book stores.
When the show started in September, I had only been back to work for 9 months after being sick. Everyone wants to win, and I thought I could have a pretty good shot, even knowing I’d be the oldest and my medical history would limit the amount of physical activities I could do. Abel: It’s funny when you separate real life from what you see on the other end of the reality TV camera. Your protein is important, but your veggies give you a lot of the nutrients and minerals you need, plus natural fiber.
We tried to eat as healthy as possible on our plans—you taught me that low-sugar, whole fruits in moderation are okay, but that high-sugar fruits like grapes will set you back. Abel: You work out of your car, so you’d eat the Wild way at fast food restaurants, chains, places you shouldn’t be able to eat healthy, but you were able to. When I was running on carbs, my hunger was always there and I had to try to eat less all the time and restrict myself.
You go through the morning without feeling like you need an 11:00am snack, and then start asking where you’re going to go for lunch, and then thinking about what’s for dinner. When I was on the elliptical and I first cut out sugar, I could actually taste the sugar in my sweat. Were you surprised by how little exercise you could do and still win the weigh-ins every single week? I knew going into it that I couldn’t exercise like some of the younger contestants, especially with my medical background. Abel: Going Wild, you were eating a lot more calories than that and you were losing at a much steadier clip.
Abel: We focused on making sure you got bone broth, greens, high quality protein every day. Abel: Since you were first at weigh-in and throughout the competition, you literally could have kicked me off at any point. One reason I wanted to go on the show was to see how different dietary and fitness strategies played out next to each other. We’re all familiar with The Biggest Loser style of weight loss, and we know many of those contestants don’t keep the weight off.
Abel: At the start of the show we went into your pantry and it was packed with foods that didn’t all look like junk, but were supposed health foods because they were low in fat or cholesterol. Abel: While we were being attacked by Jeff and other contestants, a lot of things came out.
It’s funny, I saw some pictures of me with some of the trainers and I look gigantor next to them. One of the other things they didn’t show on the show… From day one, a lot of the other trainers were at their contestant’s house every single day. After you showed me the plan and I read The Wild Diet, my wife and I talked about it and we realized that this was sustainable. What inspired me is that you came from a place of being overweight and sick, following Western medicine.
Abel: When you and Alecia first met Alyson and me (and our dog), we were trying to earn each other’s trust and figure each other out. When you’re overweight and you’ve tried a lot of things and someone comes into your life that’s fit, you wonder if they know what we’re really going through. Food is the most important thing, but making that happen in your real life when push comes to shove, that’s the hard part. There were years I did suffer from depression because I felt so sick, and now I feel wonderful. I’d see my friends on Fridays and they’d be like, “Dude, you look like you’re losing weight.” But I had a ton of support from my friends and family. People who were in my shape, maybe with medical conditions, are telling me that I’ve inspired them to get off the couch.
Chicken parmesan for sure, beef short ribs, and I am a cook so I took some recipes and added my own flair. The bacon cheeseburgers and collard wrap feel like you’re not on a diet—it feels like cheating. I don’t suggest people that watched the show who are my size do some of the exercising from the challenges. Jeff did speak up and say we are really overweight, you’re going to have us do things people our weight shouldn’t do.
If you get down about everything, you’re going to be miserable, and no one wants to be around a miserable person. Abel: Out of all your experiences, what would you say to someone on the other end who might need a little advice to start getting results? You can also connect with Kurt and his wife Alecia on the Fat-Burning Tribe’s private Facebook page. If you’re inspired by Kurt’s story and want to get results from The Wild Diet, check this out. After years of researching and coaching the most effective, permanent, and healthy principles behind rapid fat loss and total body recomposition, we developed The Wild Diet 30 Day Fat Loss Program. And if you want to meet Kurt and ask him your questions, he’s part of our online coaching community, The Fat-Burning Tribe.
For the next 12 months, we'll be following these five ordinary MH readers as they attempt to get into extraordinary shape. Each of our five guys has had a bespoke training and nutrition plan created for them by a body composition expert. Tell us how it's going by commenting on the training plans, tweeting using the hashtag #mhfatburners and posting on our Facebook page. The Beer Lover's Plan – 24-year-old Dale Bilson (far left) wants a six-pack without giving up the sauce or his rugby training. The Slow Burner's Plan – 28-yearl-old black belt John MacInnes (far right) is attempting to lose almost three stone by packing in short intense workouts every weekday. The Come-back King's Plan – 31-year-old Joel Rookwood (second from left) is undertaking a hardcore two-workouts-a-day training schedule to drop a handful of suit sizes before his summer wedding. The Busy Dad's Plan – 32-year-old Ben McGrath (second from right) wants to strip away fat and add muscle so he can keep up with his two young kids.
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Getting half naked to weigh in on a reality show on national television is a harrowing task, and we both thank you sincerely for your incredible support.

He lost an impressive 87 pounds and 22% percentage points body fat in 14 weeks on My Diet is Better Than Yours! The success you’ve had following The Wild Diet has made you an inspiration to so many people.
I spent the next year going through surgery after surgery, and I was laying on my back in a hospital bed or at home. As the oldest contestant, plus my medical history, I knew it was going to be rough for me… but I needed to make the change for me and my family. We had a lot of 12 hour days, stressed, and you’re still working day job and maintaining the responsibility of day to day life.
I knew that I needed to make this change because I wanted to be around for my grandchildren. There’s a lot of stuff going on, and I had so many things at the beginning people were like how do you cope? I like the natural fiber—I love Brussels sprouts, and what’s better than Brussels sprouts and bacon? Especially at the beginning, we were filming a lot so sometimes we were in a little tent and eating together.
I’m eating my chicken and green salad with a balsamic dressing and other people are eating like a whole bag of grapes! I was in a hurry and didn’t have much choice, and they made it out to be like I ate waffles and syrup—it was eggs and bacon.
The power you had is that you could withstand a lot of the those long days without getting cranky, exploding, getting short with people… I saw a lot of that with some of the other contests which shall remain nameless.
When I was a sugar-burning man, I’d have a boost of energy, then be on such a low I’d want more sugar to pick me up. I did go to the gym—I did some cardio and went to the pool, but I didn’t go the gym and kill myself all the time. If you were restricting calories to what they showed on air, you would have lost a lot of muscle. We’ve known for a long time that once you transition to burning fat, it protects your muscle mass, especially when combined with strength training.
One reason is that they’re eating so little and exercising so much—you can’t do that forever. It was such a cool thing to help you turn over the labels and realize, “That’s not real food.” What’s some advice you have for others in terms of what’s healthy and what isn’t? The fact that your wife, Alecia, got the results she did and she was never counting calories, just eating with you and even cheating… at the point where we were being attacked for starvation, Alecia had lost more weight than any contestant on the show.
Rob was like, “This is the plan I’d be doing,” and La’Tasha was like, “Listen, I’ve seen Abel eat and he is definitely not starving himself.” Can you talk about how you saw me eat versus some of the other coaches?
From the get-go, I said that in order for me to do your plan and have it be sustainable for the long run, I can’t have you there every day.
The fitness industry wants you to think you need to exercise and buy all these gadgets and training machines or get these new shoes every year to run to get fit.
You went to the doctor and his advice did the opposite, so you had to dig deep and find what worked for you. As far as you knew, I’d be just like this wacky trainer the reality show set you up with… and you two were looking us up and down. If you’d have come at me like some other trainers, up in my face, I probably would have shut down. For such a long time, I didn’t think I was any better than to grab a cheeseburger at a fast food restaurant. In my mind, no matter how many inches I lost each week, I didn’t feel it until toward the end—I got out of the shower one day and saw myself in the mirror, and I realized I was not as big as before. When you were going through this, you didn’t think you were changing, but what would people around you say? I want to take what I’ve learned and pass it on to someone else that can change their life.
If there’s an ingredient I don’t like, I’ll substitute with something nutritionally equivalent that I do like.
They were giving up chocolate, cheese, solid food… If people walk up to you now and ask how you did it, what do you say? I decided to eat the right way, to eat natural, grass-fed beef, GMO– and antibiotic-free everything, and wild-caught seafood.
We were able to text back and forth during the holidays and you sent me a picture of your face, and I said, “Dude, is that thing squished?” You look like a completely different person. I said, if you’re looking at health, you want to look at body fat not percentage weight loss. You don’t really die of old age, you die of your body breaking down—organ failure, bone loss—and that all starts with losing muscle mass. The fact that you were able to go out and do it anyway is a testament to the fact that you are so mentally strong, and that’s one of the biggest secrets to all of this.
Plus: learn the 3 worst foods you should NEVER eat and the 7 best exercises for rapid fat loss. You can get the exact meals Kurt ate during “My Diet is Better Than Yours” to lose 16 pounds in a week, 57 pounds in 7 weeks, and a total of 87 pounds and 22% percentage points of body fat in just 14 weeks. With this new, four-week plan from Men's Health, you will train hard, rain sweat, and get results faster than ever. As your body repairs itself afterward, it will incinerate hundreds more calories than a standard cardio routine. So the Fat-Burning Firestorm will skyrocket your post-workout metabolism even more as it ignites muscle growth and builds strength. Canadian researchers recently found that these short bursts of intervals improve fitness as much as running at a slow, consistent speed for 30 minutes straight.
That's why Ballantyne changes the lifting tempo of each exercise you perform in the Fat-Burning Firestorm. After the initial period, we will continue to provide the Men's Health Personal Trainer services to you for additional periods of the same length at the same rates described above. Simply choose the chap whose regime most closely mirrors your situation, available time and goals, then adopt his scientifically-designed training regime to earn the body you want fast. I recovered, then when they went in to take the metal out, I got e-coli from the surgery and got rushed back to the hospital.
It’s not like The Biggest Loser where they get to go to a spa camp and just train for months. I’ve been on crash diets and even took HCG injections from a doctor and that was 800 calories a day. Everybody has bad days and good days—you celebrate the good days, say “oh well” to bad days and you keep on moving. We were basically getting you fat-adapted—eating fat instead of carbs and sugars to make sure your body was building the biochemical machinery for you to run on fat long-term.
They don’t believe you can drop fat and get incredible results by eating these foods, not in spite of cheeseburgers but because of them.
But the truth is, with The Wild Diet, you were eating twice or three times as many vegetables as meats. They follow suit because they see the transformation I was making just from modifying what I’m eating.

Jeff and Jay were doing two-a-day workouts, boxing, and climbing stairs with a weighted backpacks. I’d go for a walk when I got home or at lunchtime during the work day just to keep myself moving.
This was mostly diet and I kept myself moving, and wasn’t a glutton with my favorites—like licorice. You mentioned you went on the HCG diet, you got injections and consumed 800 calories a day.
This is the type of weight loss, specifically fat loss, which stays for good because you maintain your muscle. I’m a normal guy, and I know I didn’t count most of the fats I was eating like a handful of walnuts or butter in my coffee or bone broth. In the beginning you were eating a lot more and much richer food than anyone else in the competition.
But you went you went from 52% body fat to less than 30% body fat, that’s 22% percentage points of body fat loss, more than double what the other contestants lost. You lose a lot of muscle and it’s hard for your body to rest and burn through the energy you need to maintain muscle and make sure that fat doesn’t come back. Drew Manning wrote a New York Times bestselling book that’s now a TV show called Fit 2 Fat 2 Fit.
Now, going through this journey—being sick, meeting you, and changing my life—I’m not depressed anymore.
I owe it to myself to put the things into my body that are good for me and to know where they come from. Everyone’s attacking everyone and we dodged the drama for a long time… Until that final week, and then they chose to attack us… The one thing you always said to me, despite losing 16 pounds the first week and an average of more than 7 pounds every single week, you’d say, “I don’t feel like I’m changing.
You can compare—take a picture with your cell phone and then when you’ve lost nothing one week, you can look at those pictures and see how different you really are.
Through all this, the Facebook page and Fat-Burning Tribe, I’ve had such an outpouring of love.
There was so much negativity on the set because everyone wanted to do well, and sometimes they got angry and deflected. And if you’re training me, and I’m nasty, that would show The Wild Diet in a negative light. Well, I went to the doctor and turns out I actually fractured my tibia the first week of shooting. Designed for busy men, the Fat-Burning Firestorm delivers the most results in the least amount of time. Over time, you'll improve your endurance so you can go harder, longer, and faster during every workout. It forces your body to adapt to varying time under tension—so your muscles and fat cells never know what's coming next. You authorize us to charge your credit card at the beginning of each service period until you cancel. Hearing your backstory and that they’d taken out a lot of muscle around your neck and spine, I knew you were limited in the amount you could work out and lift. If you’ve been eating processed food for a long time, your body’s not getting those quality proteins and fats that you get from pasture-raised meats.
Bone broth really helps with intermittent fasting—you have that nice fatty broth and it takes you through the whole day. My protein is really only about 3 – 4 ounces—people think i was eating like 24 ounce t-bones. A lot of my friends and coworkers have said they’ve started implementing a few things from The Wild Diet and are losing 3 or 4 pounds a week.
Jasmin was running 5-10 miles a day during the competition and doing a bunch of other exercises. But you talked to us, got our feelings on how we like things and what changes we thought we could make. On the show, trainers gain a ton of weight and then lose it with their clients, and you see how emotional and mental this all is.
It’s so easy to blame society and say there’s a fast food restaurant on every corner, that’s why I’m fat. Jasmin and I talked at the beginning and said we decided we’re not going to do that, we’re going to be positive because we want to show the world that you can lose weight and it doesn’t have to be a strain or stress. Also, my granddaughters and children are going to watch the show and it was about showing them that I’m 48 and a grandfather and I can change my life.
Then I found in 2013 that the metal in my neck was contaminated with staph, and that kept me sick for years.
You’re also 6’5’, a massive man and you used to be strong– you have a solid build underneath all of that, and I was excited to get you into a better body composition and better health. I think your positive attitude and the way you were able to handle it all really separated you from the pack.
There’s cheesecake and bacon cheeseburgers… I thought, if I can eat real food and still lose weight, this is the plan for me. When we started out, you and I went out to get grass-fed burgers with bacon, pastured cheeses and so on… what were you expecting to lose the first week? And actually it sounds funny to say this, but my vision actually improved from getting off the junk food.
But you focused on the lower impact stuff, getting fat-burning type cardio like walks or on an elliptical to get things moving and build some muscle mass to keep up with challenges—but not really for weight-loss. Your analogy was a grizzly bear going into hibernation—I just needed to supplement what my natural stored body fat was meant to do. Especially once you get the simple aspects of nutrition: veggies, fiber, fresh foods, the highest quality meats, and the rest of it is deciding you’re worth it… And realizing you don’t have to punish yourself with a bunch of exercise to get results. You guys had a lot in common, and I think one was that you were super positive and believed in yourself. I’m getting used to the no mustache and goatee, but those may make a reappearance for summer. If I can come off of being in the hospital and so sick and make that transformation in 14 weeks, anyone can do it. I had more energy, more stamina, I slept better at night… I just became a healthier person. I was on medications in my 20’s and was told it’s just crap genetics, but it doesn’t have to be that way. If it’s not growing locally then it’s been shipped from far and you don’t know what they had to do to it to keep it looking fresh. Everyone has a cheat day—If I’m going go out to a restaurant and eat something I really want, I’m going to the best restaurant and eating the best food I can because that’s going to be for me.

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