“Abs aren’t made in the gym, but in the kitchen. How many trainers and fitness junkies have I heard that from” says KXL Afternoon News anchor Dan Mitchinson. “But guess what, it’s true” he adds laughing.
As he trains for his first ever boxing fight, Mitchinson is on a ‘clean,’ 25-hundred calorie a day diet plan.
“I eat five to six meals a day. I’m doing a lot of cooking, and if you see me around town at a coffee shop or at the gym, you’ll probably see me with a protein shake in my hand.” But the KXL Afternoon News anchor admits, trying to add lean muscle, and lose fat, is a lot more difficult than he anticipated.
“It’s never been easy for me to gain weight. Right now I’m having to up my cardio, which means my metabolism is helping to burn a lot more calories, and muscle. I can add carbs to my diet, but don’t want to put on a lot of extra weight, since I’m working on trying to gain lean muscle, and lose the last bit of fat around my mid-section. So essentially my body is in a consent state of flux, fighting itself. I’m trying to gain a few pounds, while cutting down my body fat, and at the same time not lose muscle. It’s easier to gain, then cut, than it is to try and do both at the same time. Right now, I don’t have that option” he says.
When he’s not in the gym, training with his coach, or running outdoors, “I’m shopping for food, cooking food, or reading labels on the food I’m buying to see how much salt or sugar is in each serving” Mitchinson says. “It gets expensive, and you can become obsessive about it after awhile.”
Dr. Kerry Kuehl with OHSU School of Medicine says Mitchinson should keep his diet simple.
“Lean mean, chicken fish wild game, fruits vegetables and make sure you’re getting enough calories. You need to make sure you’re eating enough.” Kuehl also suggest saying away from what he calls the ‘middle aisles’ at grocery stores. Anything processed or with salt or sugar, and that includes salsa, ketchup or breads. “There’s no secrets, there’s no magic formula” Kuehl says. “You have to use common sense, eat healthy and eat smart.”
“Look, I know this boxing match is a one time thing. At my age, I won’t be turning pro. Heck, right now I don’t even consider myself a good amateur. So listening to what my coach and Dr. Kuehl says does reinforce in me the need to eat healthy. That is something I can control and do for the next 40-plus years. If I get nothing else out of this experience, it will be that building the body I want, is 30-percent gym, and 70-percent diet. And trust me, I’m finding out the diet is a lot harder than the time and sweat I’m putting in at the gym.”
Connect with Dan on twitter @dmitchinson or at Dan.Mitchinson@kxl.com