Mike, thanks a ton for coming on here today. Could you start by telling us a little bit about yourself?
Sure. So I’ve been a scientist for most of my life. I started out in a lab doing organic chemistry. For 3 years I worked on the synthesis on various analogs of a group of anti-cancer compounds.
It was during this time that I started really getting into nutrition and started working with clients and some football players. I knew I was onto something as one of the players I worked with in the off season was accused of using steroids because he got so big over the summer.
Then I went to medical school. After a year of that I decided that medicine wasn’t the thing for me. The whole ‘better living through chemistry’ didn’t ring true as I don’t think most people need chemistry, they need some spinach and an avocado!
I knew I wanted to get my PhD in Nutrition so that was next. While I was applying to graduate schools I managed a biochemistry lab that worked in the area of the biochemistry of blood coagulation factors and platelet function. Then I was off to get my PhD in nutrition.
While my consulting business focuses mainly on weight loss and sports nutrition, my PhD was in the area of cardiovascular disease and nutrition. Since earning my PhD several months ago, I have been able to focus all my efforts on nutrition consulting and writing.
I write for numerous media outlets, have private clients, consult with gyms, the food industry and even a pharmaceutical company. Lots of different things everyday so it is exciting – I love what I do.
First of all, I know congratulations are in order as a lot has happened since we chatted last! Tell us about getting your Ph.D. and the latest addition to the family.
Thanks! So as I mentioned my PhD was in the area of cardiovascular disease nutrition specifically the impact of eating lean beef on cardiovascular disease risk factors. I look at all kinds of risk factor in order to get a comprehensive risk assessment from standard stuff like LDL and Total cholesterol to blood vessel function and inflammation gene expression. The first paper from the research is due out in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in a couple months. I can’t really talk about the results until they are published. But we can do another interview and I can give you the scoop. Let’s just say I had beef for lunch 🙂
And yes, my wife and I had our third child in April, David. We have 3 year old twins Peter and Grace. They’re great.
That’s awesome, and again, congrats!
Let’s talk diet and nutrition. What are some of your big rocks when it comes to these topics?
My 6 Pillars of Nutrition which are:
- Eat 4-6 Times Per Day.
- Eat Minimally Processed Foods Without Added Sugars.
- Eat Fruits and Vegetables Throughout the Day.
- Drink More Water and Calorie Free Beverages.
- Focus on Eating Lean Proteins or Protein Containing Foods Throughout the Day.
- Eat breakfast.
- Track your adherence to your nutrition plan.
- Plan your diet in advance so that it runs on autopilot throughout the day.
- Make lots of small changes to your diet overtime not a ton of changes at once.
- Workout nutrition is very important.
- Always work to optimize insulin sensitivity.
That’s exactly why I wanted to ask that question – I love your approach because it’s incredibly simple and straightforward.
Now let’s talk supplements. What, in your opinion, are the most overrated and the most underrated supplements? And why?
More overrated – B Vitamins. I just had a conversation the other day with an editor at Men’s Health about this. B Vitamins are in everything now with all these supposed ‘energy enhancing’ benefits but there is NO data to show that they do anything.
AND to make things even worse their impact is always taken out of context by the marketing department. You always hear ‘and full of B Vitamins for energy.’ No when you hear that you think ‘energy’ like caffeine but no. We’re talking about energy as in cells extracting electrons from glucose molecules.
Look around, do most people look like they need help processing the foods they are eating for more energy?
Most underrated – curcumin. It is a powerful anti-inflammatory compound (sort of fish oilesque) and it also potentially has anticancer activity
Good thing I’m taking curcumin every day then!
Every trainer reading this works with fat loss clients. Do you have any unique strategies when it comes to diet, supplementation, or implementation to help your fat loss clients get better results?
In biochemistry there is a term called the ‘rate limiting step’ this is the step or reaction in a sequence of reaction that is the slowest. It is the thing that is holding the reaction sequence back from being faster.
Here’s a side note example. With the burning of fat the rate limiting step is thought to be the reaction with carnitine-palmitoyl transferase I, an enzyme that moves long chain fats across the mitochondrial membrane so that they can be broken down. People saw that and though that you could just give people more carnitine (as a supplement) so there would be ample CPT 1 and fast loss would be enhanced. Sound good on paper, doesn’t really work in reality.
But you get the idea, fix the rate limiting step and things move faster.
With helping people lose weight, there are 50 things you could do with them but if you don’t fix the rate limiting step, you’ll always be driving with the brake on. I try to find the rate limiting step and fix it. A lot of the time it is adherence or compliance with their diet plan.
Fix adherence, fix the fat loss.
But fixing adherence isn’t always easy. Next you need to find out where they are getting off track, what are the behaviors leading to the problem?
Example: They eat junk at work. Why?
Is it because they don’t bring good food with them?
They don’t bring enough good food?
They aren’t fully committed to the program?
They have no support at work and everyone there eats junk and makes you feel guilty if you aren’t shortening your lifespan with the rest of them?
Find out which of these is the problem and then troubleshoot with them the behaviors needed to fix the problem. The final step is holding your client accountable for these new behaviors.
Do that and you’ll see lots of weight start dropping off your clients.
Mike, thanks a ton for being on here today. I really appreciate it!
Could you please take a minute and tell our readers where they can find out more about you, as well as about your Peak Diet & Training Design Summit package?
The Peak Diet & Training Design Home Study course is the most comprehensive training and nutrition educational resource that has ever been produced. I created it with a friend and colleague, Joe Dowdell.
From the nutrition side of things, the program is a comprehensive training on how to work with your clients to improve their nutrition from determining what they need to change nutritionally to the core habits they need to develop to the supplements they need to be using.
The course also goes into details about fat loss diets and muscle building diets. It is all encompassing and the NSCA has awarded us 2.0 CEUs which is incredible. Joe and I are very proud of the quantity and quality of the program.
We released it for the first time this week. So investing in it today will save you $100 (as the price goes up tomorrow). Check it and what people have to say about it here.
Other than that people can find me and anything I write or do at mikeroussell.com.
Awesome Mike, and thanks again for your time!
And don’t forget, today is the last day to get the above mentioned package at $100 off the standard retail price. Here’s the link, one more time: