It can be hard to eat well these days. With a million things to do and not enough time to do them, it’s easy to reach for junk food with little nutritional value. Danny Hilton talks to hunky trainer and nutritionist Chris Manning about “Eating Clean.”
So what’s your background, and how did you get to where you are now?
I run a bespoke home training and nutrition mentoring service in Brighton and the South East of England. I’m also a Physical Therapies Consultant for the NHS (National Health Service) in which I teach the fundamentals of sound nutrition and exercise for patient rehabilitation.
Tell us about your methods…
I’m a huge believer and teacher of “Eating Clean.” Having written a series of “Eating Clean” blogs and building up a large following across social media sites, I’ve recently released my first ebook, Take Control: Eat Clean.
The “Eating Clean” mantra is “If man made it, don’t eat it” – that’s cutting out a lot of food, right?
Well that depends on how much rubbish you’re currently eating. If you’re eating cereals for breakfast, shop-bought sandwiches for lunch, and snacking on vending machine treats to bridge the gaps, then yes, lots of changes will have to be made.
In my experience the majority of people eat fairly well at night. Evening meals tend to have more thought and time put into them. Which is why my plan allows you to eat with more freedom in the evenings. It’s during the day that I help people out the most. It’s breakfast and during the working day that people tend to eat most man-made foods.
If you’re waking up in the same place, going to work in the same place, and eating in the same environments every day (which most people do), then it’s important to make clean choices as often as possible. That’s what my book focuses on, “structured clean meals during the working day.”
Fresh produce is expensive – is this an affordable regime?
Very affordable. The initial overall cost of the shopping list in my book can be up to £90 depending on where you shop. (Asda is the cheapest supermarket chain in my area of the world: £83.) That’s for everything, including store cupboard essentials which will last for months. Each additional weekly shop for new, fresh produce (meats, veg, diary, etc) is up to £50.
Compare this to the cost of ready-made meals, shop-bought snacks, and daily sandwiches from chains like Pret or Eat and you’ll be saving money week after week. I promise you!
What if I’m a rubbish cook?
The recipes in my book are dead easy! “Eating Clean” translates so well because of its easiness. Having said that, anyone that’s serious about any kind of improvements in their health has to be able to cook, not well, but you have to be willing to try it. I’ve never met anybody with a great body that can’t cook.
You say that great bodies are made in the kitchen and not just the gym. 70% kitchen, 30% gym. How much time in the gym per week does 30% work out as?
It’s not 30% of your actual time you should be focusing on, but understanding no matter what time you spend in the gym it will only ever amount to around 30% of your results. The clear majority of your results (70%) will come from the food you eat. With that said, I recommended training twice a week if you don’t want to get any worse than you are now. Three times if you want to improve and maintain your fitness, or four to five if you really mean business! Sessions should last up to 45 minutes.
Have you always been such a healthy beast?
No! I was a student in my early twenties and I developed an awful beer and pasta gut. I then spent 10 years working in the TV and film industry. All that on-set catering didn’t help things either. Five years ago I made it a priority to “Eat Clean,” which in turn looks after everything else.
You must be bad sometimes…what do you find it impossible to resist?
Sausages and a Twix! Not together, but I love them. I’ll have a sausage sandwich every Saturday and a Twix a few times a week. I’m a huge fan of pizza too, but I’ve learned to just always go for a thin-crust margarita, then add my own chicken breast or tuna. It’s all those nasty processed toppings that I advise people to stay clear of.
What kind of guys do you go for?
The one I’ve got is keeping me very happy. Spanish, great body, and the patience of a saint!
You can buy the Eating Clean ebook from Chris’s website for £10.78 (via paypal).