T Nation

Q&A with Leigh Peele

Leigh Peele is one of my favorite fitness authors. Recently, she was interviewed by Mike Robertson in his Robertson Training Systems newsletter. Here is an excerpt from the interview I think many people on this site would benefit from:

MR: Okay, enough fluff �?? you�??re well known and respected within the industry because of your fat loss materials. If you had to pin down one or two things that people are consistently doing wrong, what would they be?

LP: Number one is thinking calories don�??t count. In all aspects, the energy that you take into your body counts, period. It doesn�??t matter if you are draining yourself of energy or stuffing yourself with energy, it is energy that matters. Calories are that energy and yes, they matter.

The other thought, truthfully, is thinking that you are above the basics. We have over complicated things so much that we think the only way we can achieve fat loss is to stand on our head while cycling carbs, doing twenty re-feeds, and watching our fruit intake. It is just gotten ridiculous. My hope is to bring it back to the basics and getting people back down to reality and realizing that keeping it simple is going to help you get closer to where you want to be. The 30 year old male looking for 8% has to get there the same way as the 30 year old male looking for 20%.

For the full interview, I go over to www.robertsontrainingsystems.com and signing up for the newsletter (he doesn’t send em often, so your inbox won’t be bogged down I promise)

You ain’t gonna let go are you? I really hope you don’t.

let go of what? helping others learn about proper diet and nutrition? perhaps i misunderstood the point of this forum. is there anything I wrote that you do not agree with? is so, do tell.

“weight” loss is not complicated

fat loss is much less simple, and just cutting carbs low won’t do much for some people

umm…i think you kinda missed the point of my thread. fat loss isn’t much more complicated than weight loss. that was what Leigh was getting at. fat loss is simple. not easy, mind you, but relatively simple. and who said anything about just cutting carbs?


Since you have replied an infinite amount of times to the other thread, and have made TWO threads now just to bitch and moan, I figured I would help you out.

No one is saying calories don’t matter. They do. Take it from me, a former fat boy. Oh yeah, they matter.

But for people at TWENTY FIVE percent body fat, they need to do more than lose weight. Losing weight might not help them. They need to lose FAT, and that means improving body composition. You can improve body composition without losing weight, and in fact while GAINING weight. I am, again, speaking from experience with my OWN body, and the bodies of clients.

He doesn’t need to focus on calories yet. It’s too early. If he cuts calories now, he has no place to go later. He just needs to make better food choices. He wanted to help optimize his low carb diet, and that’s what we did. Surely you must see the fact that some individuals do better on low carbs and some do better on high carbs, regardless of calorie count… even Lyle has written about this.

For god sakes, just let this die. Just because you’re only 20 doesn’t mean you need to act like it all the time.

im not bitching and moaning, only pointing out the fact one of the most common mistakes when it comes to fat loss, body recomp, or muscle gain is ignoring the importance of overall energy balance.

I find it funny that a poster like Prof. X can “bitch and moan” about kids who brag about their concentration curl max before they can even squat their own bodyweight, yet nobody says a thing.

Yet when I try to make the point that fat loss can only occur in an energy deficit, regardless of any other factors relating to food choice, insulin response, nutrient timing or anything else, I’m cast as a dogmatist and “old school”.

Go ahead and tell Prof. X that calories don’t matter, and muscle growth and fat loss is about hormone control and sticking to a 100% clean diet and see what he says.

I see it on this forum all the time. People will ask a million questions about the optimal time to take their ZMA (is 2.35 hours after my last meal ok?) but they have absolutly no idea how many calories they need to gain, lose, or maintain.

furthermore someone at 25% bodyfat is in no danger of losing muscle on a diet unless they do somthing absolutly retarded like eat essentially zero protein and lift puny weights (or no weights at all)

finally, “making better food choices” IS calorie reduction. think about this, how easy is it to inhale 1,500 calories of burgers, fries and a shake? You can do that without even thinking. But try and do it with lean protein, fruits and veggies and it’s nearly impossible.

Just because you don’t cout calories doesn’t mean calories don’t count.

[quote]JMoUCF87 wrote:
let go of what? helping others learn about proper diet and nutrition? perhaps i misunderstood the point of this forum. is there anything I wrote that you do not agree with? is so, do tell.[/quote]

I agree with everything you wrote. My original post one of support.