The difference between success and failure in ridding yourself of unwanted bodyfat is measured in small percentages. This week Lee Labrada has Dr. Chris Mohr in the “hot seat” sharing his 7 top fat loss secrets to help make 2014 YOUR year!
Lee: We can talk all day about optimal training, cardio, intervals, etc and how those improve your physique. Of course those are important, but if you’re not focusing on making positive changes with your nutrition program, your fat loss efforts will be virtually useless. Nutrition is more important than training and there is no way around that. You just can’t and won’t get maximum results without the right nutrition. I’ve gone to Dr. Chris Mohr to get some advanced fat loss tips to share with our readers. Remember that over 50 million Americans will make a resolution to lose weight this year. Many have done this many times in the past. Knowing the right things to do when it comes your nutrition is half the battle to winning the war on fat and not sliding back.
Let’s get to it.
Lee: Everyone seems to know the general protein rule for gaining muscle (1g per pound bodyweight), but how much protein do we need when trying to lose fat? Does this recommendation change?
CM: Not in my opinion— 1 gram per pound of bodyweight is sufficient for losing fat as well. Maintaining the slightly higher protein intake with a moderate carbohydrate intake as well, will help provide the necessary nutrients, when the goal is to lose as much fat as possible, while maintaining as much lean body mass as possible. But it’s not just about protein and carbs. You can’t get around the fact that weight loss does take some reduction in calorie intake (eating less) coupled with increased calorie expenditure (exercising more.) Aside from this, focus on your intake of lean proteins using the aforementioned guideline. When you eat fats, make sure that they are healthy fats— fish oil, flax seed oil, olive oil, nuts and avocadoes. And when it comes to carbohydrates, always think fiber; the more complex the carb is, the better. That’s why the carbs in oatmeal, yams, beans, whole grain rice and vegetables are so great. It’s all about balancing your macronutrient intake, not following some fly by night trend to get the weight off immediately! Focus on overall positive changes that are healthy too.
Lee: Give us one of your “secret” advanced fat loss nutrition tip to help out our readers!!
CM: Here’s one good fat burning tip…Let’s put nutrition aside for a second and focus on training for a bit. When it comes to performing cardio, I’m a huge fan of using “intervals.” In my opinion, trying to lose a lot of fat with conventional cardio is like riding a bike through sand – sure it will work, but your progress won’t be nearly as fast. When I say intervals, I mean kicking up the cardio a notch. Rather than sitting on a treadmill or exercise bike for 30 or 60 minutes at a slow, steady pace, add some faster paced segments in there periodically.
Next time you’re in the gym or, better yet, outside on a track or in the street…try this: Walk or jog at a slower pace for 60 seconds and then burst into a much higher intensity pace for 30 seconds, alternating these two phases back and forth for the duration of your workout. At first, don’t expect to complete a 30 or 60 minute workout if you’re truly kicking up the intensity. Now of course you need to assess your own ability; if you’re currently sedentary, sprinting isn’t an option, so instead walk at a moderate pace, then speed up your walk for the 30 seconds and alternate like that.
Lee: For fat loss, what kind of shake is best after a weight training workout? Do we need high-carb, high-sugar shakes as is typically recommended post-workout?
Chris: I think the post workout meal is important to get you fueled for your next workouts. This meal should be the highest in carbohydrates, and carbohydrate intake should be kept lower throughout the remainder of the day. Carbohydrates aren’t the enemy and, in fact, post workout is the best time for you to take in some simple carbohydrates. Of course I’m talking in generalities; depending on your goals and needs, specifics will differ a bit. Post-workout carbohydrates should be coupled with protein (usually in a 2-4:1 ratio between the two) for optimal results. A Lean Body Ready to Drink Shake taken with a banana and a bagel is one excellent post-workout meal.
Lee: But what about sugar specifically? Say one of your trainees is 35 years old , and is 5’10” tall with 21% body fat— does he need sugar in his post-workout drink?
CM: I do still think some simple carbs are important during this recovery period—remember, just be smart and don’t overdo it. Depending on the intensity of your workout, a person with higher bodyfat is only going to need around 30 grams or so of carbs. With that said, though, if someone just strolls along on a treadmill for a period of time, they don’t need to worry about replenishing carbohydrates like someone performing a much higher intensity workout.
In general, carbs don’t have to be the enemy—if the rest of your carb intake is mainly veggies, the post workout simple carbs will be a Godsend. Your muscle cells and liver will suck that extra sugar right up and store it as glycogen to use for energy at a later time. Best of all, you’ll feel stronger, and have better subsequent workouts. During the rest of the day, replace all simple carbohydrates with their high-fiber counterparts…aim to eat most of your carbohydrates from colorful fruits and vegetables, rather than high sugar foods.
Lee: Is post-workout nutrition different for cardio interval training? You mentioned cardio interval training vs. steady state cardio.
CM: I believe it is, because high-intensity cardio still depletes you. However, the amount of glycogen depletion and protein degradation that’s going on is lower than that experienced with an intense weight training workout. Post cardio is still an important time for feeding, but I wouldn’t recommend the same high level of carbs-to-protein as I would after a tough weight workout.
Lee: What are your thoughts on eating before bed?
CM: This is a time I like a protein and fat meal, to help slow the digestion of those nutrients during a time when it’s likely you will be breaking down some muscle tissue. Just don’t ingest a lot of fat. About 100 calories, or the equivalent of a tablespoon of flax seed oil is about right, taken with a small protein shake. ProV60 is a great P.M. protein blend, as it has slowly digested and quickly digested proteins for all-night amino acid release. Just mix a scoop into 6 ounces of water.
I am “ok” with some pre-sleep carbs, but if you do eat them, focus on low calorie fruit or veggies. Just don’t sit down to a Thanksgiving meal and then immediately close your eyes! If nothing else, it will affect your sleep which is crucial for recovery.
Lee: What do you think of “calorie cycling” diets – where you drop your calories for a couple of days, then bump them up, etc. Is there any research to support this approach?
CM: To my knowledge it’s all anecdotal. Theoretically, it seems as if it may work; however, it would be near impossible to design a well controlled study to test the theory. It’s hard to make specific recommendations because there’s nothing to base it off of. In general, if you are exercising one day, you will need higher calories than if it’s a rest day, but for the average person, this small difference isn’t a huge concern. Don’t sweat the details until first getting the getting a control on your diet and exercise.
Lee: Thanks so much for taking the time to speak with us, Chris.
For additional fat burning tips you won’t find anywhere else, go to www.mohrresults.com to learn more about Chris Mohr’s fat burning program!
Until next time, I am
Your Lean Body Coach™
About Dr. Mohr
Dr. Christopher Mohr, PhD RD is a nutrition spokesperson and consultant to a number of media outlets and corporations including the The Dairy Council, SOYJOY, and Nordic Naturals. He is a consulting Sports Nutritionist for the Cincinnati Bengals and is also the Sports Nutritionist for Under Armour’s TNP Training Council. Through his company Mohr Results, Inc., he works with all types of individuals from soccer moms to collegiate and professional athletes. He often appears on TV as a nutritional guest expert, including an appearance with Chef Emeril Lagasse and another on the Montel Williams Show. He was the nutrition expert for the NY Times Bestseller, “LL Cool J’s Platinum Workout” and worked closely with Fitness Celebrity Denise Austin to create the entire nutrition component of her latest book. He is on the Advisory Board for Men’s Fitness Magazine and has written over 500 articles for consumer publications, such as Men’s Fitness, Weight Watchers, Men’s Health and Fitness, to name a few. Dr. Mohr has Bachelor and Master of Science degrees in Nutrition from The Pennsylvania State University and University of Massachusetts, respectively. He earned his PhD in exercise physiology from the University of Pittsburgh and is a Registered Dietitian and Board Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics. To contact Chris, visit his website at www.mohrresults.com