Kettlebell Q’n’A: Nutrition, Diets & Supplements

From the mailbag, here a some nutrition, diet & supplement questions that I received from you guys last week….

Q: Chris, if I want to lose fat, what recommendations would you give me as far as diet goes? I’m not obese and I’ve been doing your TT Kettlebell Revolution for 3 months now. I’ve lost 30lbs and I probably have 10-15lbs of fat left to lose.  

Greg, Sioux City

 

 A: Hey Greg. The first I would do is cut out all processed and junk food.  ALL OF IT. I know some fitness and nutrition people say that moderation is the key, but truth be told, if you really want to get super lean, then cutting out all junk food is a must.  Any food that you can get out of the window of your car (like in a drive-thru) is off limits.  The only exception is if you live in California or Florida and you buy oranges from the dude selling them from a grocery cart in the middle of the freeway.

 After that I’d cut out all starchy carbohydrates. This includes pasta, bread, potatoes and rice. I don’t care if it’s whole grain, spelt, kamut, whatever.  Cut it out for the time being.  The biggest argument people would have is, "how am I supposed to get enough fiber?".  That one’s easy, just…

 Increase your consumption of fruits and vegetables gunning to have at least 8 servings per day. I’ve seen many nutrition books say that you shouldn’t eat fruit because of the sugar content – that fruit will make you fat. That’s a load of crap. Eat the apple or banana instead of the sugar-free diet bar that most nutrition experts try to convince you to eat and you’ll be better for it.

Make sure you’re getting enough fat.  Have a variety of sources. Right now I’m on a higher fat diet in an effort to get leaner (I know, it may not make any sense), so I’ve got bottles of pumpkin seed, grape seed, coconut and extra virgin olive oil that I rotate and take on a daily basis.

Finally, eat lean protein from quality, naturally raised and/or produced sources.  If you eat meat (like I do), then get your sources from butchers and or farmers that allow their livestock to pasture.  Eat lots of beans & lentils and if you take protein supplements, opt for the plant-based protein powders like rice or pea protein.

If you can make those changes, you should see a significant reduction in bodyfat in addition a reduction in inflammation and an overall increase in energy.

 Q: Chris, Are there any specific diets that are simple to follow and take the guesswork out of nutrition?

 

  -Marlene V., S. Africa 

A: Hi Marlene.  In my experience, diet and nutrition is an on-going journey about finding what works for you.  Once you’ve found it, hang onto to it for dear life and relish in the fact that you are somewhere 90% of the population is striving to be.  

That said, if you’re looking for me to get specific, there are 2 "diets" that I like, have used and support.

The first one would be Brad Pilon’s EatStopEat. On this diet, you can pretty much eat whatever you want and still lose weight.  I find that for most people who I turn this diet on to, their biggest obstacle is mental – Can I survive without food for a day? Will I lose all my hard earned muscle? Will my metabolism slow down? Won’t my blood sugar drop so low that I’ll pass out in the middle of driving home? Brad dispels all these myths and backs each claim with supported research.  EatStopEat is a great read and it works.

 =>Check out Brad Pilon’s EatStopEat HERE

 

 

The second "diet" book that I like is Craig Ballantyne’s "Simple Nutrition".  The title does it justice.  Craig is one of those guys that is able to find the simplicity in everything complex – and what’s more complex these days than diet and nutrition.  Craig’s outlook is much like mine and Brad’s – focus on eating REAL FOOD. His diet is a little more structured that EatStopEat, but that isn’t saying much at all.

The bottom line…when you can maintain 6-pack-abs and ridiculous pound-for-pound strength like CB can, then he must be doing something right with what he puts into his body.

 =>Check out Craig Ballantyne’s Simple Nutrition HERE

 

The beauty about both these "diets" is that it doesn’t take much to follow them.  No counting calories or grams of protein.  And the best part is that there’s no stress!

 

 Q: Chris, I know you focus on REAL FOOD, but do you use any supplements?

 

 Francis, Toronto, ON

 

A: I’ve been using supplements for 15 years.  Some have worked, most have not.  Right now, based on this post by Mike Boyle, I’ve been adding Fiber, Fish Oil and Glucosamine to my morning routine.  That’s about all the supplements that I’m taking right now (if you don’t count the cocoa nibs, chia seeds, maca powder and rice protein that I add to my morning shakes).  I’ll let you know how that works out for me over the next few weeks. 

15 Comments

  • Reply June 1, 2010

    John

    I agree with everything you say. But I don’t intend to follow it. My mother followed what you say and stayed trim and fit into her 90s. If she ate more than one roll (her only bread) a week she gained weight. She had very healthy appetite, with real oatmeal, lots of veggies, and milk/meat.

    I use kettlebells and do other exercises to stay healthy as an overweight old guy. All my readings (sugar, pressure, etc.) are excellent. But I am overweight! And that’s because I love bread, wine, gin, scotch, olive oil, cheese and the occasional pastry. I eat all the good stuff, which i like, plus the “bad” stuff I also like. “I’d rather die from it than from lack of it.” (My father’s response to his doctor).

    I am past trying to look attractive to anyone (although I carry my weight well and people think I am 50-60 pounds less than I am). I have Medicare and seldom use it, including taking no prescription drugs. i also see the doctor once a year, that’s it. And I refuse to take expensive tests every year. Maybe every 5 years and maybe not.

    Someone should start promoting the benefits of exercise like kettlebells even for forever fat people like me.

  • Reply June 1, 2010

    Tammy Lamason

    Hi, Chris,

    I have been using a whole food supplement (and so has my entire family of 5…3 kids) called Juice Plus for over 8 years. My husband is a physical therapist and is VERY skeptical! He has had several supplements come across his desk over his 20+ years practicing, but this is the ONLY one that has Gold standard research to back it from major reputable institutions. One of the research studies that fascinated me was the one that has just been finished from UNC Greensboro (NC) on the effects of fruits and veggies and oxidative stress induced by exercise. The results are phenomenal! We own a fitness center, too, and I have been teaching your Kettlebell moves for about 8 months now and my classes love it! I also teach others to “eat clean”, but I KNOW people WON’T and DON’T eat 7-13 servings of fresh, raw, chemical free, vine ripened fruits and veggies every day for protection. We have found this to provide excellent nutrition to “bridge the gap” between what we are supposed to eat and what we are actually eating.(and my kids now crave fruits and veggies!) So many have seen the success of our family and that it wasn’t just a “fly by night” supplement thing, that they are now “eating” it every day, too! Our kids love the Soft chewable gummie…it’s great for all ages….my saying is “From the womb to the tomb”…Juice Plus is great for EVERY ONE! I don’t know if you have heard of it before, but you can read about all the research at http://www.juiceplusishealth.com ….a huge bonus is that the company that makes Juice Plus believes so strongly in getting families healthy that they created a program where kids between the ages of 4 years old through full time college students can get Juice Plus for free for 3 years if an adult is taking it with them.

    I know you have probably tried lots of different supplements…believe me, so did we over the years, but nothing can hold a candle to JP. Fragmented vitamins don’t have the research. I believe we don’t have a vitamin deficiency, we have a WHOLE FOOD deficiency. Another great site that will answer questions is http://www.juiceplusfacts.com

    Just wanted to share and get your input! Thanks for doing what you are doing…you ARE making a difference!

    Many blessings!
    To Greater Health,

    Tammy Lamason
    Asheboro, NC
    tlamason@triad.rr.com

  • Reply June 2, 2010

    Peim

    So, tell me, WHAT IS A SERVING?
    Is that 50 grams, 10 grams, 1/4 large apple, 1 large apple, a blended banana (or 2 small ones).

    So WHAT exactly is 7-13 ‘SERVINGS’???

  • Reply June 10, 2010

    Wordpress Themes

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  • Reply June 16, 2010

    Rich

    Hey Chris,

    couldn’t agree with you more about eating ‘real food’

    Hey have you tried the “Warrior Diet” it gels with me on some levels – but on others it just seems plain crazy…

    cheers
    Rich from down under

  • Hey Rich

    I read the Warrior Diet a few years ago when it came out, but it didn’t make much sense to me at the time. Now, being as busy as I am, I find myself inadvertently “doing” the Warrior Diet (snacking on fruits, veggies and nuts throughout the day and then eating a big meal at dinner with my family). Truth be told, ever since I started doing that (I’m coupling it with fasting as well), I haven’t been leaner. It’s been more of a lifestyle decision than anything else, but it’s working out really well!

    Chris

  • Reply June 21, 2010

    Norb

    @Peim – Good question!
    I would also love to know what a SERVING is.

    Anyone at all????

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  • Reply July 4, 2011

    Torgeir

    Hi Chris,

    What would be the best diet/workout strategies to loose the last 2-5 pounds of fat? Since I have a hard time losing those last few pounds. Any help would be great:-)
    I just bought your TT KB revolution. At the moment I’m just playing around with your workouts since it’s holiday here in Northern Europe. So I will not be able to follow your program before I’m back.
    I do love the high intensity workouts. As I feel I get the best progression when I’m totally wasted after a workout. I also do Crossfit and high intensity workouts is the only way to burn off fat if you ask me.

  • Reply July 4, 2011

    Mike

    Cutting out ALL junk and eating more plants, fruit, nuts and seeds will have the greatest, most positive effect on your health.

    Love the mangos for breakfast too – superb. Interesting when you see companies like Kelloggs promoting their garbage breakfast cereals saying that they are full of essential nutrients to promote a child’s immune system – and it turns out 40% of the product is processed sugar! Nice to see they got fined $2.5million for this BS claim – touch down!

    Best wishes

    Mike

  • Reply July 4, 2011

    Matthew Maas

    When you read what these corporate giants say is healthier and good for you it’s better for them. Something to keep in mind.

  • Reply September 17, 2011

    Nutrition Diets

    Nice article, I didn’t know EasyStopEat, now, I guess I have something to spend sometime. Thanks for it!

  • Reply January 17, 2012

    Joseph DeMateo

    Hey there – I love your blog, and all the useful information I have gotten so far.I finally discovered the benefits of working out and eating well in my mid 40s, and have gone for 250 lbs to 190, and still have about 10-15 to go.

    In terms of getting the required fiber without eating wheat, what about beans and lentils, which have a great deal of fiber, protein and lots of good minerals as well, and of course that steel cut oat meal that you mentoned, which is one of my favorites, and that I finally got my kids to enjoy?

    On another note, I have a KB question for you. If I am looking to make in an investment in a set of KBs to do a full body workout, what do you suggest? The only excercize I have tried thus far – at the gym – is the KB swing, for which I use a 35 lb KB – but I feel I can increase that weight. Like others who have posted here, I love an intense workout that mixes cardio with weight lifting and lots of core work. At my age though – 50 – my joints are pretty messed up – I already have a resurfaced hip, shoulder impingements, worn out miniscus in both hips.

    Any advice would be most appreciated.

    Many thanks!

    • Reply January 19, 2012

      Chris Lopez, RKC

      Hi Joseph,

      I’m really impressed with the progress you have made losing 60lbs! Congratulations and let me know if there’s anything that I can do to help with that last 10-15.

      I think the best weights for you to get at this point would be a 16kg and a 20kg. Choose a weight that you can comfortably press for 8 reps and if you find that that weight is too low for 2-arm swings, then switch to 1-arm swings. You can also consider getting heavier KB for only swings, but that may be a bit excessive.

      Chris

  • Reply March 12, 2012

    Gloria aka Nana G

    Chris, I paid and signed up for access to an online ‘book’ as to how to start using Kettlebells, put out by you. I sent you an email via Facebook as have others letting you know I opened the download at work and do not want to have it download to my worksite but to my home site, asking you how to now do this since it appears to have downloaded here at work. It’s been a few weeks now, a few weeks that I had hoped to have home access. I have not heard back and am seriously thinking of cancelling since I can’t use.
    Hope to hear back soon.

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