An Expert's Opinion on Nutrition (that's certainly not me!)

This past Saturday, I spent the day at the 2011 Midwest Performance Enhancement Seminar, which included many respected individuals in the fitness and nutrition industry.  My goal was to take away a few key aspects that I could implement into our own programming to help benefit the CrossFit NapTown community. One of the presenters was Dr. Mike Roussell who was brought to the seminar to discuss his take on nutrition.  Being that we discussed nutrition last week, I thought this would be a great segway to get the opinions of an expert.  With that being said, the information I am about to present below is that of Dr. Mike Roussell and I am only passing on the things I have learned from him. Dr. Roussell began his presentation with an interesting comparison.  If you have a member come in who has been a couch potato for the past year, would you begin teaching them the Squat Snatch and other Olympic style lifts… obviously the answer is NO!  So then why would you take someone who’s been eating fast food, cheeseburgers, fries, bread, potato chips, cheese, etc… and make them jump straight into eating broccoli, carrots, tomatoes, lettuce, peppers, beets, etc…??????????? I thought to myself, “Very good question?” His theory remains that the process of eating healthier foods needs to be progressive.  You can’t expect a member to drop everything they’ve known from the past 25 years+ and quit cold turkey.  Sure, that would be easiest on me as a coach, because then we could focus directly training and I would be confident in knowing that you are supplying the right amount of energy and nutrients for your workouts.  But that’s also me living in fantasyland. So to add to my article from last week I am going to give you an expert’s point of view on nutrition.  Below is what Dr. Mike Roussell calls the “6 Pillars of Nutrition.” 1. Eat 5-6 Times Per Day
  • Sweet spot for weight loss.
  • Allows for even distribution of Calories.
  • Increase frequency leads to increase compliance. You will be more likely to follow the guidelines.
2. Eat Minimally Processed Foods Without Added Sugar
  • Top 5 Sources of Calories in the United States.
    • Grain Based Deserts, Yeast Breads, Chicken & Chicken Mixed Dishes, Soda/Energy Drinks, and PIZZA.
  • Shift from calorie dense foods to nutrient dense foods.
3. Eat Fruits and Vegetables Throughout the Day
  • 28% of Americans only consume fruit via Fruit Juice.
  • Allows you to increase your dietary volume without increasing your calorie intake.
4. Drink More Water and Calorie Free Beverages
  • Removing the 4th biggest source of calories in American diets (Soda/Energy Drinks/Preservative-Sugar Added Fruit Juices)
  • Reduces Carbohydrates.
  • Drastically improves health.
  • Improves performance, energy, and overall well being.
5. Focus on Eating Lean Proteins or Protein Containing Foods Throughout Day
  • Infusions/Fluxes of protein intake are needed to maximally stimulate protein synthesis. (which is especially important for aging population)
  • Should be 30% of total Calories – this is not an insane amount of protein.
  • Displaces excess Carbohydrates.
  • Increases weight loss, decreases blood pressure, decreases Cardiovascular risks, and improves body composition.
6. Be Strategic About Your Starches
  • Focus starchy carbohydrates to first think in the morning and after exercises only.
  • Not a lot of things work better than… LIMITING CARBOHYDRATES!
  As many people know there are literally 1000s of diets out there.  I would be lying if I said I’ve never tried to stick to a diet or at least restrict myself from eating specific foods.  The main reason for this article is to present another person’s opinion (an expert for that matter) on the subject of nutrition. So often in the world of CrossFit we get stuck in the “follow the leader” mentality.  For example, Rich Froning (the 2011 Reebok CrossFit Games World Champion, for those who didn’t know) said he eats a tub of peanut butter and jello mixed together between workouts so I’m going to do that and be just as strong.  Sorry to burst your bubble but he’s a freak of nature and knows what’s best for his body and can get away with that because he works out 7-10 times a day. Other CrossFit diets include the Paleo diet (caveman diet) and the Zone Diet.  Some incorporate a combination of the two.  (I will go over both of these in the coming weeks, fyi).  My main objective is to show that there are other ways to achieve one’s desired goals in nutrition and fitness.  However, I might admit that Dr. Mike Roussell’s suggested “6 Pillars of Nutrition” is strikingly similar to another suggested diet we are all familiar with… Click here and read the quoted text towards the bottom of last week’s article! If you want to learn more about what Dr. Mike Roussell has to say about nutrition, visit   Post Comments Below.]]>

2 thoughts on “An Expert's Opinion on Nutrition (that's certainly not me!)”

  1. Great article, Jared.
    One of biggest things I’ve learned from CrossFit and Paleo is to question everything and never blindly follow someone or something. I think a lot of Paleo diehards fall into that trap far too often. It’s definitely nice to see someone else’s opinion when it comes to optimal nutrition.
    With that said, I wanted to mention two things:
    1) It’s interesting that he’s saying you shouldn’t switch diets cold turkey. Most of the big Paleo bloggers recommend a cold-turkey approach (as well as being super strict for ~30 days) to allow your gut to heal (Robb Wolf, Whole9Life, Everyday Paleo, etc).
    2) With all the success that Martin Berkhan’s seen with his Lean Gains (intermittent fasting) approach I think it’s interesting that Dr Roussell is suggesting 5-6 meals a day. He notes that part of this is for compliance reasons, but I feel like it’s much harder to stick to a diet when you’re eating 5-6 times a day. I’ve been doing IF for months, eating 2 times a day, and it’s made compliance (for me) sooooooo much easier.
    Anyway, it’s great to see other expert’s opinions. Even if I disagree with things, it still gets me thinking, which is the whole point.

  2. Great article, very insightful. Their is so much to think about when it comes to your diet.
    Dieting is such a crazy subject. Obviously no one thing works for everyone and none of it is truly easy. If there was a super diet everyone would do it.
    Be mindful of what you eat, the one thing many experts believe across the chain is how awful processed foods are and how they can really be bad for the human body.