What Top Personal Trainers Always — And Never — Eat


Yes, personal trainers hit the gym for a living, but they also know what the right things are to eat in order to keep themselves looking ripped—as well as what foods boost energy and increase strength. If you have ever wanted to know what gets your fitness professionals those awesome abs or enviable shoulders, then come with us as we look inside the pantries of four of the country’s top trainers. We’ll get their cheat sheets on what they nosh on for breakfast, preworkout, and post-workout and their favorite guilty pleasures.

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Charles Austin
Olympic gold medalist turned trainer near Austin, whose Total Body Board is poised to become the new Megaformer

Diet Philosophy: “I have never followed a planned diet—not even as a competitor—I eat to live, not live to eat. Moderation is the key to life.”
On Juice Cleanses: “Anything that sets off the natural dynamics of the body isn’t needed.”
Chow Time: “My breakfast varies from day to day—cereal, fruit, pancakes, or a breakfast taco. My typical lunch is a salad, some fruit, or a sandwich. I get hungry again at around three, and I usually grab more fruit or a piece of chicken. Dinnertime is whatever my wife makes, but there will always be bread, meat, and vegetables.”
Preworkout and Post-Workout: “I never plan eating around my workouts because typically I exercise right after my evening snack.”
Avoiding Food Overindulgences: “I always eat before leaving home and stash healthy snacks in the car to hold me over; my favorite is fruit.”
Eating Out: “When I go out to dinner, the only plan is to find something that satisfies my appetite, and usually that’s pasta.”
The Workout: “My schedule is hectic, so normally I get on my Total Body Board—because it gives me a complete workout—two to three days a week for an hour to an hour and a half, and other days I will do cardio and lift weights.”

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Dr. Ian Smith
Chicago-based author of the No. 1 New York Times best seller Super Shred: The Big Results Diet; The Big Results Diet; The 4-Day Diet; The 4-Day Detox

Diet Philosophy: “I eat as described in Super Shred—lots of fruits and vegetables early in the day and more plant-based foods in the evening.”
On Juice Cleanses: “Short-term, they are completely fine, as long as they are not too long or severe. I think that smoothie cleanses are a healthier, more nutritional option.”
Chow Time: “I start my days with a smoothie, a piece of fruit, and a bowl of oatmeal. Lunchtime, I have either have pasta with a light sauce or sliced chicken with veggies. My dinner is fish, but I also will eat pizza and a steak once every couple of weeks. The key is moderation.”
Preworkout and Post-Workout: “Thirty to forty-five minutes before working out, I’ll eat a piece of fruit and low-fat yogurt. Right after I am done exercising, I drink a smoothie or fresh juice with protein such as skinless chicken breast, a turkey sandwich.”
Avoiding Food Overindulgences: “I eat small meals and often; I believe in snacking on 150 calories or less several times a day (love almonds). It prevents me from being so hungry that I want to overindulge at one sitting.”
Eating Out: “I believe in balance, not perfection, so I’m not opposed to a burger or lasagna—I just don’t have them every day of the week. I also get at least two veggies in the mix.”
The Workout: “I lift weights at least three times a week and do the Shred 27 Burn or the Shred 15 Burn; my videos are high-intensity interval training (HIIT). They are efficient and burn calories.”

See more: 5 Foods That Are Making You Fat

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Dr. Jordan Metzl
NYC-based, 12-time Ironman, creator of the IronStrength workout, author of The Exercise Cure and The Athletes Book of Home Remedies, and sports medicine physician at NYC’s Hospital for Special Surgery.

Diet Philosophy: “Despite doing the Ironman and marathon every year, the thing I subscribe to in life is “a little bit of everything is fine in moderation.”
On Juice Cleanses: “I’m not a huge fan of anything radical, and I like food too much to juice cleanse.”
Chow Time: “I have two scrambled eggs on toasted whole wheat with fruit salad and iced coffee, every day. My midday go-to is salad with grilled chicken. For dinner I like a little of everything, from pizza to hamburgers to steak to fish to Thai to sushi—it’s the best thing about living in NYC.”
Preworkout and Post-Workout: “Three mornings of the week, I work out “naked,” which means no eating beforehand (to burn extra fat), and other mornings it’s toast with honey or a piece of fruit. My after-workout regimen is the same as my preworkout.”
Avoiding Food Overindulgences: “I follow three rules: If it’s not good for you, don’t keep it around. I sleep well so that I don’t crave unhealthy food. And when all else fails, I tell my friends and colleagues to punch me if they see me eating anything unhealthy.”
Eating Out: “My go-to is salmon, and I never eat fried chicken.”
The Workout: “I do my Ironstrength workout two times per week, swim once or twice a week, run four to five times per week, and bike one or two times a week.”

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Alejandro Chaban
Certified nutrition consultant and founder of the Yes You Can! Diet Plan

Diet Philosophy: “Don’t skip meals, because your body will go into a state of emergency and store fat.”
On Juice Cleanses: “Fruit juice has tons of vitamins, minerals, and fiber and, when taken in moderation and in their most natural form, they can be a great source of nutrients.”
Chow Time: “I start my day with coffee, oatmeal pancakes, and sugar-free syrup or an egg-white omelet with veggies and turkey plus whole-wheat toast.”
Preworkout and Post-Workout: “You need energy, so the most important thing to have before a work out is a good-quality carb. Once I am done exercising, I have one of my Yes You Can! Diet Plan Protein Shakes.”
Avoiding Food Overindulgences: “Rule out fatty foods by substituting things—like switching butter to olive oil.”
Eating Out: “Though I get tempted, I select foods based on what will be most beneficial to my body.”
The Workout: “I like dancing, so I choose great upbeat music such as salsa beats—it burns about 400 calories in 30 minutes.”

By Cheryl S. Grant

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