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.
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.
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.