An Interview with Chris Mohr, PhD, RD

About the Author: Eric Cressey

By: Eric Cressey

Some of you might not be familiar with Dr. Chris Mohr, so after reading this interview, you might be inclined to think that he’s and “up-and-coming star” in the world of nutrition for health and human performance.  I beg to differ; Chris is already a star – you just might not know about him yet.

Dr. Mohr has Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Nutrition, from Penn State University and the University of Massachusetts, respectively.  He received his PhD in exercise physiology from the University of Pittsburgh and is also a registered dietitian.  He has consulted with various media outlets and corporations, including the Discovery Health Channel, Clif Bar, Fit Fuel, and Labrada Nutrition.  Chris works with all types of individuals, from soccer moms to collegiate and professional athletes.  He has authored or co-authored several textbooks that are to be published in 2007, including a sports nutrition textbook for Human Kinetics and a book, The Platinum Body, on which he consulted with LL Cool J.  In all, Chris has written over 500 articles for consumer publications such as Men’s Fitness, Men’s Health, and Muscle and Fitness, to name a few.  In short, this guy knows his stuff!

EC: Hi Chris, thanks for taking the time to be with us today.  We typically focus a lot on the training end of the spectrum with our interviews, but I think that having more nutrition talk will be a good thing with “beach season” upon us.  Let’s get right to it…randomly toss out ten things that our readers can do right now to optimize their nutritional plans?


  1. Add at least one fruit and/or vegetable to EVERY meal.
  2. Replace saturated and trans fats with fish oil, flax, olive oil, and other healthy fats.
  3. Drink more tea – green and black, as both offer a ton of benefits.
  4. Use a pre-, during-, and post-workout product that offers a carbohydrate:protein blend of about 2-3:1
  5. Drink more water.
  6. Think fiber, not carbs; whole grains are awesome, unless it’s pre-, during-, or post-workout.
  7. Write down what you eat on a daily basis/
  8. Eat at least one handful of almonds and/or walnuts daily.
  9. Add berries to your diet.
  10. Always eat breakfast.

EC: It goes without saying that you’re one of the industry leaders in the field of nutrition for health, performance, and body composition, but who were your mentors?  Likewise, who are the other individuals within the industry with whom you communicate on a daily basis for advanced nutrition knowledge?

CM:  I like to read all that I can – the good, the bad, and the ugly – to keep me in the loop of what’s out there being said, promoted, etc.  With that said, here are some folks I really trust for their nutrition knowledge – well, it’s nobody; I know all the answers!  Just kidding, of course.  John Berardi is great and a good friend, Tom Incledon is very knowledgeable, and I also look to Dave Ellis, who is a dietitian and strength coach who works with many pro/college teams or athletes in every sport.

EC: We’ve talked about the good guys, so how about the bad?  What frustrates you the most about this industry?

CM: The thing that frustrates me the most are those who only want that quick fix; they want all the results, with none of the work.  I hate the different fad diets that come out nearly every day.  Carbs are bad; now they’re good.  Fat is the devil; now it’s the greatest thing in the world.  Nutrition does not have to be that difficult; sure, there are some intricacies that will help you improve body comp, achieve goals, etc., but stick with the basics.  And don’t live off of supplements.  I received an email from a reader the other day with a list of EIGHTEEN different products he was taking and there were about three of each product, just different brands (creatine with dextrose, without, effervescent, three different multivitamins, and more).  Food works pretty damn well – and supplements can of course be beneficial, but don’t try to live off them!

EC: Let’s go with a little word association game.  What 2-3 sentences come to mind when I mention the following words/phrases?

The Food Guide Pyramid – Wish there was more focus on quality of nutrients.  If you’re stuck on a pyramid, I like the Mediterranean Food Pyramid, which emphasizes whole grains, fish, fruits and veggies, and healthy fats.

John Berardi – John is a great guy, very knowledgeable, and a good friend.  Although when he lumps all sports dietitians together as not knowing their head from their ass, he’s barking up the wrong tree!

Fasting – If you want to lose a lot of lean body mass, it’s REALLY effective.  You may be 120 years old when you die because of the extended life from caloric restriction, but you’ll wish you died when you started fasting.

Digestive Enzymes – Depends on your situation.  I don’t believe everyone needs them; the body works pretty darn well, but some folks may benefit from adding them to their regimen.

Eating Organic – Great if you can afford it.  I’m more concerned with folks first getting some healthier foods in their diets; many folks eat less than one fruit and/or vegetable each day.  I’d rather have them start there and just add healthier foods than worrying about paying a lot for organic foods.  If you can afford it, great, but more importantly, start making positive changes from your current diet without worrying too much about the organic thing and then “graduate” to that.

EC: If our readers want to be at the top of their game nutrition-wise, what are a few resources they need to check out?


Yes, the first two are shameless, self-promoting plugs:

  1. Human Inferno – A manual to help you with fat loss; I wrote it with Alwyn Cosgrove
  2. Weapons for Mass – Another manual I co-authored, this time with Dr. Greg Bradley-Popovich.
  3. Gourmet Nutrition by John Berardi and John Williams
  4. Fundamental Fueling Tactics DVD by Dave Ellis, RD, CSCS

EC: Similarly, who are five speakers they should see present?

CM: Alwyn Cosgrove, Craig Ballantyne, John Berardi, Phil Kaplan, and, of course, Eric Cressey.  Well, they should see me too.

EC: What’s new in your world?  I know you’re traveling a ton this summer; please fill us in on what has been on your agenda. Any new projects coming up?

CM:  I am traveling a ton this summer – lots of work, but of course some pleasure too.  So aside from being all over the country in the next few months, I’m working on another cool fat loss project with Alwyn Cosgrove and am in the early stages of a very cool project with someone else in my company that we plan to launch in the fall.  Stay tuned for more details.  I also just wrapped up some work on a book I did with LL Cool J and his trainer that will be coming out in January, in addition to a Sports Nutrition Textbook I co-authored for Human Kinetics that will be out in February 2007.  So, lots of stuff on the horizon!

EC: Thanks for being with us today, Chris.  Where can our readers find out more about you?

CM:  Thanks, Eric!

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