Former Fat Guy Rob Cooper On Diet and Nutrition
Last week I posted a fitness interview with Rob Cooper. He is the guy that lost 300 lbs the natural way. This week we will focus on his diet and nutrition. We can stand to learn something from his weight loss journey. Health wise, I think continual learning is crucial and Rob’s insights provide that.
The following is the second of a three part interview.
Picking up on last week’s fitness goal, describe the diet you’re following to achieve your goal.
I’m following a 90% vegetarian diet, 10% meat. So, not vegetarian per say, but more or less plant based. It’s the opposite of a cave man diet, yet similar. I go 9, 10 or 14 days eating a whole food, plant based diet, then have 2 or 3 days of meat along with the plants.
I LOVE food (that’s how I got to be almost 500 pounds in the first place, remember?), and I find that the better I eat, and the more I train, the more I get to eat!
My program is also about longevity. I want to be climbing mountains and jumping out of planes when I’m 80 years old. My plan is to go past 100 years old too, so I’m not even near middle age yet
I got interested in natural health back when I first started my weight loss journey, and it fascinated me. There’s so much that doctors don’t tell us (because they don’t know), so I became my own doctor. I learned how the body works, how it processes food, how it digests, how it assimilates nutrients, etc. and I’ve never looked back.
My philosophy is about natural health and natural weight loss, living lean from a healthy perspective with longevity in mind.
What is the main focus of the diet? (ie: cutting calories? cutting fat? eating natural?)
Whole foods – eating natural, low fat, high nutrient density food sources, predominantly a vegetarian diet with minimal amounts of the best possible sources meat – grass fed bison, chicken and grass fed chicken eggs.
Primary focus is high fiber, nutrient dense foods.
How many meals a day are you eating?
Four to 5 a day, with a goal of 6.
Does the rest of your family / household eat the same way?
Yes, thankfully. My girlfriend is the best. She was vegan when I met her, having dropped 30 pounds herself (for her 5’ tall frame). It’s wonderful having someone eat the same way, the same restaurants and the same beliefs about food, food sources, food quality. She’s no longer strictly vegan by any means as she incorporates some animal protein as well now, but to a much lesser extent than me. She’s just relaxed about her eating now that she’s reached her goal, yet conscious about the health consequences of eating too much protein.
Do you allow for a reward meal (cheat meal)?
Yes – I like great red wine and that’s my reward. I absolutely love the food I eat, so great wine and the odd great imported beer are my treats. My goal is to be able to have some wine or beer every two weeks, and allow for the next day to be an off day of some sort, because doing cardio after a night of drinking just doesn’t feel right. One should be allowed to sleep in, lol.
Other than that, I find that for a 10% body fat goal, training twice a day, 6 weeks in a row allows for a little more freedom. I don’t count calories, and don’t weigh anything. We eat out twice a week or so, and it’s usually thai. I make sure I’ve either just finished training or I’m about to train after I eat. That allows me to use the food as fuel.
Which if any supplements do you add to your diet?
I’ve been eating Sunrider food supplements since I found out about them in 1991. They changed my life and I’ve never been without them since. I used to use creatine and glutamine and whey. Now I don’t. I used creatine for 15 years but stopped. I’ve used whey off and on for about 7 years, but no longer feel the need to waste money on it when I can get better nutrition from whole foods and Sunrider.
Coffee or green tea?
Green tea. I drink Sunrider Calli tea and Fortune Delight exclusively.
Water or calorie free beverage?
Water and Sunrider Fortune Delight (a 3 calorie whole food beverage that supports my health).
How much do you spend on food in a given week / month?
My girlfriend and I actually track this month to month – how much we spend on groceries and how much we spend eating out. We average about $800 a month on groceries of which I’m eating 60%.
Are there any foods you outright avoid and DO NOT eat?
Dairy. Absolutely NO dairy goes anywhere near my lips. The biggest lie ever told to the public is about milk and dairy being good for you – what a joke. Tell the lie long enough and loud enough and people believe it.
Cola of any sort – nope, nada. I haven’t bought pop [soda] since 1992 in any variety.
Sugar – I haven’t bought sugar – ever.
List your top 3 supplements?
Water, Sunrider foods, dark leafy green vegetables.
Please describe 3 of your best eating or dieting tips for the reader.
1. Focus on improving your health first and foremost. A healthy body will not store fat and is free of aches and pains. When you focus on natural principles, you get the all the benefits of a healthy body – stress management, better sleep, clear skin, mental acuity, quick recovery time, natural HGH etc.
2. Fruit is meant to be eaten on an empty stomach and eaten alone. Very few people realize this. Fruit is also the best post workout recovery food. It provides natural sugar, carbohydrates, water and fiber.
3. The only beverages that pass over your lips during your weight loss phase should be water and green tea. Anything else is not supporting you or your health. No protein shakes, no milk, no beer, no wine, no Gatorade, no pop, no coffee – nothing but water. Once you’ve reached your goal weight and want to move to maintenance or muscle building, then re-evaluate your fluids. Until then, stick with water. You be surprised at the results you can get in one week by simply switching to pure distilled water.