Advanced Nutrition Interview with Dr. Chris Mohr
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
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.
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,
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
Adding intervals can surely help ramp up fat loss and break through
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
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)
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
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
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
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.