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Pro Tips from Our Durham Gym: All About Nutrition with Dr. Phillip Goglia


Today we are continuing our series with celebrity trainer, Phillip Goglia! Today it is ALL about nutrition and proper eating… And trust us when we say it’s good!

What’s your number one rule when it comes to nutrition?

  • Avoid foods that have multi-ingredients, such as breads, muffins, bagels, pastries, cereal, etc. Basically, any baked goods that include yeast, sugar, mold, and gluten.
  • Avoid diet foods that suggest low or no fat and/or low or no sugar.
  • Always try to properly hydrate your body. You should be drinking 1/2 oz to 1 oz of water per each lb. you weigh DAILY.
  • While each person’s metabolic body type is different, for a healthy diet, you should eat high fat fish, 1-ingredient carbohydrates like potatoes, rice, yams, fruits, and vegetables
  • Try to eliminate as much dairy from your diet as possible. A splash of milk in your coffee is okay though!
  • Never rely on supplementation over food and exercise
  • The biggest protein meal you eat should be at night. This is when your body has time to rest and repair your muscle tissue.
  • Looking for a great pre-workout snack? Eat raw nuts (12) with a piece o fruit. This is a great source of fat as an energy source and the sugar and fat combination will be extremely energizing and sustainable for a workout of 90 minutes or less.
  • Avoid sports drinks. Many of them are high in sodium and sugar, even some containing caffeine, which will cause digestive discomfort. The type of energy you get from sports drinks will be “spikey” at best and not sustainable.
  • Often I’m asked what type of protein bars are best to eat. There is no such thing as a protein bar! Does your protein bar taste like salmon, chicken or steak? Doubtful. It probably tastes like chocolate or cookies. Chances are, it’s a sugar with a fairy dusting of some kind of low grade protein in it. Don’t be fooled by crafty marketing. If its not fish, poultry, steak,  eggs or nuts, its not a protein. If you choose to use a pre-workout bar, make sure it is one that offers up honest marketing that is a health 50 / 50 split of sugar and fat to be used for sustainable workout energy. Examples are Bonk Breaker bars, my favorite choice and the choice of cyclists and multi sport athlete.
  • Do not under-eat

What factors do you consider when creating a personalized plan for your clients?

Above and beyond the assessment of lifestyle and personal goals– health history and medical conditions as well as likes and dislikes nutritionally. I ask questions regarding sleep patterns, digestion, energy levels, cravings, current eating patterns, exercise regiment, illness, and disease. In addition to the evaluations, blood is taken to assess a full lipid profile with glucose and hematocrit and hemoglobin assessment. This assessment provides nutritional information regarding macro nutrient tolerance ultimately classifying or blue printing an individual’s metabolic type, ie. fat and protein efficient, carbohydrate efficient, or dual.

Once metabolically typed the next hurdle is caloric assessment – Does the individual even eat enough food to generate enough caloric heat to burn fat as an energy source? Most people under-eat as they view food as adversarial– the thing that makes them fat — and in turn,  are in a constant state of disrepair. This is called being in acatabolic state vs. anabolic repairing state. The result is water retention, fat hoarding, exhaustion, inconsistent digestion moods, and sleep patterns. They do not understand that their performance is 80% food and 20% exercise. In fact, most see it in the exact opposite light.

Ask any athlete they would all tell you: Foods first — exercise second – repair repair repair.

What are the eating patterns of your clients?

My clients are set up on a foundation food pattern. This pattern shifts calorically and nutritionally every 7 days and includes 1 cheat meal weekly – if they are compliant,  the average body fat loss per week is 1.3%. That percentage could result in no scale weight loss or up to five pounds per week. Remember, scale weight is a secondary factor for assessment! Body composition and clothing fit being first and foremost! The goal is to weigh as much as you can while taking up less room in the room! It’s all about dress size, not dress weight!

What are your top 3 tips for a healthy diet?

  • Proper hydration
  • Individually appropriate macro-nutrient patterns and caloric patterns consumed daily and weekly to ensure a metabolically anabolic environment free of inflammation and fat retention
  • Consistent food patterning over 7 day periods dynamically changed weekly with foods that do not include dairy, yeast, mold gluten, and refined sugars.

What is the most common mistake people make when it comes to nutrition?

  • Caloric reduction or restriction
  • Reliance on supplementation over food and exercise
  • Expecting and deserving results too quickly rather than investing in the journey and lifestyle aspects of nutrition and exercise and the life lessons and accountability learned from the successes and obstacles
  • Lack of hydration
  • Placing the importance of exercise over proper food patterning
  • Adversarial vs. advocacy of foods, ie. the thought that food should be calorically restrictive as it is the thing that makes us fat
  • The belief that the afternoon pastry or chocolate bar will fix a bad hair day or a tough day at work

Are there any foods people should try to avoid?

  • Foods that are multi-ingredient like breads, muffins, bagels, pastries, and cereals
  • Dairy products
  • Diet foods that are low or no fat or low or no sugar that are manufactured
  • Plumped poultry
  • Meat glue
  • Soy
  • Juices
  • Dried fruit

What foods would you recommend for someone trying to do a healthy detox?

Foods that are high in essential fatty acids, co-enzymes, nitric oxide, and naturally-occurring high iron foods as well as 1 ingredient starches like yams.

What would be your advice for someone trying to lose weight in terms of what they should include/ditch in their diet?


  • Foods that are multi ingredient like breads muffins bagels pastries cereals – any bake good that is yeast sugar mold gluten bound
  • Diet foods that are low or no fat or low or no sugar that are manufactured
  • Plumped poultry
  • Meat glue
  • Dairy
  • Soy
  • Juices
  • Dried fruit

Include :

  • High fat fish
  • 1 ingredient carbohydrates
  • Organic poultry
  • Fresh fruits
  • Fresh vegetables

Do you have a particular nutrition plan for clients who have a red carpet or major event coming up?

Absolutely! We call it 7 days of “food jail” — lots of fatty fish and tomatoes.

Meet Dr. Philip Goglia

President & Founder of Performance Fitness Concepts

Dr. Philip Goglia  has been a certified nutritionist for over 30 years and holds a PhD in Nutritional Science in addition to being a graduate of Duke University, The American College of Sports Medicine and the National Academy of Sports Medicine. His nutritional expertise is fully measurable, with the proven ability to take all of his clients and athletes to the highest level of their performance and competitive abilities. He has a pedigree of athletic history himself as a high school and collegiate All-American wrestler, a storied 12 year history as a rugby player, a Mr. North America bodybuilding champion, and a Grand-Am motorsports race car driver.

Dr. Goglia’s bestselling book, “Turn up the Heat – Unlock the Fat Burning Power of Your Metabolism” is an acclaimed “Best Seller” and was featured on E! Entertainment, CNN, People Magazine, In Touch, Life and Style, In style, Men’s Fitness and Vogue. He is the official nutritional consultant for the Dr. Phil show and The Doctors television shows, and was the nutritionist for Jennifer Grey, for her season 11 win on Dancing with the Stars (and the oldest winner).

Having been a three time cancer survivor and once told that he would never walk correctly again or play a sport, he fully understands the commitment it takes to emotionally and physically take a stand for health and well-being. Daily, he supports his clients to overcome their wellness obstacles through the use of his years of education, life experience and wisdom.

Thanks again Dr. Goglia! If you’re in need of additional diet and nutritional guidance, come chat with our personal trainers in Durham!

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