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Mississauga, Ont.-based celebrity personal trainer Bruce Krahn is all about pairing exercise with nutrition to help his clients meet their weight loss goals. Krahn has always had a passion for fitness. He began working out at age 15 and started training his first clients in university, in the late 1980s.
“People were asking me questions and I thought, ‘Why don’t I at least try to get paid for it?’” he says. Fast forward several decades and Krahn has found success as a personal trainer, nutritional counselor, health speaker, and bestselling author of The Fat Fighter Diet and his newest book, Trouble Spot Fat Loss.
What’s unique about the lifestyle you’re espousing in your books?
The Fat Fighter Diet is unique in that it’s very holistic. It’s not just focused on the reduction of calories, which of course is extremely important when you’re trying to lose body fat, it’s also focused on the health aspects of the foods you’re choosing, and the psychological aspects of it. Losing weight is difficult and that battle is lost in your mind long before you lose it in the kitchen and the gym. And then of course there’s the nutritional component and the exercise component.
What expertise do you bring to your work, besides your fitness background?
I have multiple certifications in training and then I have the 20-plus years of experience and the research of writing two books. I’ve lectured at a couple of different universities. It’s been an interesting journey. The information is out there but you have to dig through so much hype and misinformation to get to the nuggets of truth, because there’s so much marketing speak in everything, in this industry in particular.
What does holistic health mean to you?
An all-encompassing approach; something that’s not just focused on one aspect of fitness. A lot of folks think that if you’re working out, that should be enough. Why should I worry about what I eat, I’m exercising five days a week, I should have license to eat whatever I choose. And then there are others who just focus on nutrition and completely neglect exercise. And then there are a huge number of people who completely ignore the stress and psychological aspects to it, and how that affects us hormonally. You have to look at the body as a whole.
What is the number one mistake people make when they’re trying to lose weight?
It depends so much on the individual but from a nutritional standpoint, it’s neglecting the number one law of thermodynamics and weight loss, and that is that you must be in a calorie deficit to lose weight. Period. End of conversation. That being said, all foods and all calories are not created equally. A diet consisting of 2,000 calories worth of chocolate bars and pop will produce a different result than 2,000 calories worth of rice, chicken, vegetables, and avocados. There’s a huge difference from a hormonal standpoint because the body is not a calorimeter, it’s not a machine.
What is one thing you do to treat yourself?
For me, my daily indulgence is dark chocolate. I eat a lot of it; it’s 90 per cent cocoa and that with my coffee is like heaven. I love it. I think it’s important that once a week you kind of let go and do what you want from a dietary standpoint, while still having a modicum of responsibility.