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home | Sample Articles | Advanced Nutrition Interview with Dr . . .

Advanced Nutrition Interview with Dr. Chris Mohr
Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS
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Dr. Chris Mohr is a consultant to a number of media outlets and corporations including the Discovery Health Channel, Clif Bar, Fit Fuel, and Labrada Nutrition. Chris has authored or co-authored several textbooks that are to be published in 2007 and has written nearly 500 articles for consumer publications, such as Weight Watchers, Men's Fitness, Men's Health, and Muscle and Fitness, to name a few.


Dr. Mohr has bachelors and masters degrees in Nutrition, from Penn State University and the University of Massachusetts, respectively. He received his PhD in exercise physiology from the University of Pittsburgh and is also a registered dietitian.

Discover how to eat your way to the dream body you've always wanted without any hard to follow diets with Meal Plans 101.


CB: Chris, what's new in nutrition approaches for athletes, fat loss, and health?

a) Athletes

Nutrient timing is really the hot topic these days. It shouldn't come as a surprise to hear that athletes need to boost their nutrient intake, meaning macro- and micronutrients, but when you eat those nutrients may really make the difference in performance.

b) Fat loss

Nothing too new here. Make sure folks are cutting back on refined carbs and boosting up lean proteins and fats. Some fairly new research shows fish oil, or omega-3's, may boost fat loss. Meal timing is important, along with quality of nutrients.

c) Health

There are a ton of super foods out there that really need to be the focus of the diet, no matter what your goals. Foods like salmon, walnuts, spinach, blueberries, etc.

Basically, the darker the fruit or vegetable, the better...if it's a great source of omega 3's, also great.

Eliminate trans fats from the diet and pretty much do the same for refined carbs, aside from post-workout (and maybe pre- and during workout, depending on duration and intensity).

CB: What are 3 advanced fat loss nutrition tips?

1. Intervals are key--meaning short duration, sprint type activities that skyrocket your heart rate and keep it elevated.

Have you seen the physiques of professional sprinters? Enough said.

2. Incorporate the entire body during weight workouts.

It's the best way to keep your heart rate elevated, while also stimulating a great deal of muscle mass. So forget triceps kickbacks, lateral raises, and wrist curls...you need "big" movements, like squats, cleans, deadlifts, chins, bench, etc.

3. This is not too advanced, but useful.

Self-monitor. You can't track what you're doing if you're not monitoring what you're putting in your mouth and how you're training.

CB: What are the biggest mistakes you see in athlete diets and in people's diets that are eating for fat loss or muscle gain?

Mindlessly cutting back calories. Eating less, but not caring where those calories are coming from.

Remember, you can easily lose weight eating 2 candy bars each day, but you'll lose a ton of muscle vs. primarily losing fat. Another one is spending all day on the treadmill walking at a snails pace without regard to any resistance training.

CB: How can people breakthrough fat loss plateaus? What about muscle-gaining plateaus?

Adding intervals can surely help ramp up fat loss and break through plateaus.

Change their training--if you do what you've always done, you'll get what you've always gotten. Change your routine, for fat loss or muscle gain.

Try drop sets, negatives, taking MORE rest, cut down rest time between sets. The list is really endless. But never, ever, mindlessly cut back calories so your body is essentially starving itself.

CB: How can people shed the last 10 pounds of fat?

Start every meal with a fruit and/or vegetable. These will help fill you up more.

Drink tea regularly throughout the day.

Watch your portion sizes--divide your plate into three sections. First divide it in half. Then, divide one of the halves into half again. On the largest part (the half), add fruits and/or vegetables. On one of the quarters, add a lean protein. On the remaining quarter, add a whole grain carb. Portion control when it comes to nutrition for fat loss.

CB: What should females do differently, if anything?

I don't think they should train differently or eat differently. There calorie needs will not be as high, but other than that, training and nutrition should be the same (or very similar).

CB: Do you recommend any superfoods that you think absolutely must be in everyone's diet? How can the average person insert them into their diet?

My list of 10 just made a recent newsletter I wrote (in no particular order)
1. Salmon
2. yogurt
3. spinach
4. walnuts
5. blueberries
6. tea
7. garlic
8. almonds
9. quinoa
10. pumpkin

Pick up a simple recipe book to try different things out. Most of these are very easy to include regularly and can make quick, easy meals. Mix 1 cup frozen blueberries, 1 oz walnuts, and yogurt and have a cup of tea, for example. 4 are done right there.

CB: Chris, when someone is ready to start making nutrition changes for fat loss, how do you counsel them on where to start? How should they progress (in terms of # of changes per week, difficulty of changes, etc.)?

Make small changes.

I recommend everyone first write down their goals, in the present tense (i.e., I weigh x number of pounds by x day--and project a day and date for this to occur). Writing down goals seems silly, but it's very effective. Many people dream of different goals; I want you to write them. I also want you to continually write them---meaning daily, so they are always in your head.

Try to make one change per week so it becomes permanent. For example, don't pretend you've now decided to get in shape, so you're going to cut out all sweets, train 1 hour each day, never again consider eating fast food, etc all on January 1.

Maybe first, start off by switching from a regular soft drink to diet. Then, move to water and tea. Next week add one piece of fruit and/or a vegetable each day. It's small things like this that add up and make a difference. You have to first learn how to crawl, before you can walk.

CB: What is your take on the low-carbohydrate approach to fat loss? Do you have any low-carbohydrate case studies or experiences you would like to share? Are there any type of clients that fare better or types that should avoid these diets?

I'm not a huge advocate of drastically reducing carbs, because I don't think you need to.

I first tell folks to "think fiber, not carbs" and focus on super high fiber options, but not totally eliminate them. I think most people do overeat carbs because they are so abundant in our culture; however, they are important for optimal health and performance.

Sure, you can get fiber from supplements and vitamin C too (the only two nutrients you cannot get from any other food source), but it's not ideal. The key is to focus the carb intake on fruits and vegetables, which give loads of nutrients.

CB: What are your pre and post workout eating recommendations? How important are these in the context of a day (24-hour cycle)?

They are actually pretty similar.

For post-workout nutrition, I like a liquid product that provides anywhere from 2-4:1 ratio of carbs to protein (so 2-4 grams carbs for every 1 gram protein).

For lifters, I typically shift more towards the 2-3:1 ratio and for more endurance type athletes, the higher end of the spectrum since they utilize more carbs during their workouts.

A favorite, simple post workout drink is chocolate milk. I know Craig and I share this opinion, and a study was just published in the International Journal of Sports Nutrition and Energy Metabolism showing chocolate milk was more effective than a popular formula on the market and a popular sports drink.

For pre-workout nutrition, there are a handful of studies showing that a similar carb:protein ratio is important for maintaining a positive nitrogen balance and providing some necessary glucose for the body to use as fuel.

CB: Where are our youth going wrong with respect to nutrition (In terms of both obesity and young athletes)?

Where aren't they going wrong!

Too much reliance on snack foods, soft drinks, low nutrient foods, fast food, high fat foods, sugar laden foods, and more. Of course on the exercise part of it, there is way too much physical inactivity, lack of participation in organized sports, too much computer and TV time, and the list goes on.

CB: Thanks Chris. Discover how to eat your way to the dream body you've always wanted without any hard to follow diets with Meal Plans 101.
Meal Plans 101


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·  Issue #11 -- An interview with New Jersey's secret weapon, The DB Row, And a TTMembers story about his Plateau.
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