When it comes to balancing the grind, there are few things more important than getting your nutrition right. You can have the best training sessions and amazing sleep every week but if your diet is shit, then you’re going to end up feeling shit all the time.
This week for our interview series, we have health and fitness enthusiast Christopher Rocchio. In addition to working for a fitness company, Beachbody, and providing training and meal prep consulting on the side, Chris also happens to own one of the best Instagram pages on meal prepping.
We speak to Chris about how he got started with his Instagram page, tips for meal prepping, how he plans his meals, training and plenty more! Enjoy the interview and make sure you follow Chris’ delicious meal prepping at instagram.com/chris.rocchio_fit.
1) Can you give us a little background on who you are and what you do?
I’m a health and fitness enthusiast and who is obsessed with optimizing in all areas of health and wellness- flexibility, balance, strength, nutrition, and performance. I work for a fitness company called Beachbody in Santa Monica, and I provide training and meal prep consulting on the side.
2) You have one of the best Instagram pages when it comes to meal prep and nutrition that I’ve come across. How did you get started in the first place?
My girlfriend was the one who got me started with IG. I was already meal prepping and eating healthy, but I was not even thinking about posting pics before she showed me her 2 accounts. After seeing the feedback from all of her followers and the positivity it brings, I decided I wanted to start helping other people reach their goals as well.
3) For those people who are inspired by your photos, what are some of your top tips when it comes to meal prepping?
- Meal prepping is just like anything in life, failing to plan is planning to fail. Your have to plan your prep before you go to the store, especially when you are first starting out. This will ensure that your don’t buy more food than you need and don’t cheat on your plan.
- If you are on a calorie/carb restricted diet, you have to give yourself a cheat meal. This will keep your body guessing and make sure your body maintains an adequate insulin response.
- Change up your meals often. It’s true that meal prepping is much easier when we go to our tried and true recipes, but add variety to ensure that you don’t get tired of your food and to prevent food intolerances.
4) Can you give us a quick run down on how you plan your meals to ensure you get the most out of your food everyday?
I first calculate my macros according to my specific goals. Then I sit down and type out my meals based on those macros. I have a slight variation built-in for active days and rest days.
5) What are some of the common nutrition mistakes you see people make and how would you fix that?
One common mistake I see every day is a lack of direction towards meeting specific goals. For instance, I see someone trying to lose weight and the only step they’ve made towards that goal is to cut back how much they eat without considering “what” they are eating and the time of day at which they eat.
Or I’ll see someone who is trying to gain weight without understanding how the timing of their meals and snacks is just as important as their workout. You have to map out your path to success.
6) What is your favourite go-to meal to cook when you’re short on time?
Either ground turkey and sautéed veggies or sunny side up eggs in a spinach salad.
7) What sort of training are you doing at the moment?
Right now I’m working on lean mass, particularly in my legs since I had lost mass in my quads from an ACL tear and a broken leg. On top of that I really like the body weight control in certain calisthenic moves like the handstand, planche, and the front lever.
8) How big an impact does your daily nutrition have on your training?
Nutrition is everything for my workouts. Without the proper nutrition, I am simply wasting my time in the gym. It takes only a little bit of coaching/research to get the basics, but in order to optimize, you have to take a lot of variables into consideration.
9) With so many things going on in your life, how do you make sure you find time to relax and enjoy life?
Honestly, I get asked that all the time. When they ask me about my meal plan and fitness routine, they always ask, “when do you ever kick back and just enjoy life?” You know that “live a little” line people throw out when they think you’re too disciplined.
But to me, this is living compared to my lifestyle in my 20s. Whereas some people can’t wait to have a beer on Friday nights, I look forward to my Saturday morning beach workouts all week. Sure there are times when I want a pizza, but the good feeling I get all day from a healthy lifestyle far exceeds the instant gratification from deviating from my plan.
I have plenty of time to relax and enjoy life, it’s all about priorities and truly earning that relaxation.