Supplements vs. Whole Foods

Hey Chris,
Sorry in advance if you’ve addressed this before and I just missed it. I was wondering on a typical day (excluding peri-workout nutrition) how much of your calories come from whole foods versus supplements (if you even keep track), and if that changes depending on your training goals at the time (cutting, bulking, strength, etc.).

As a PhD grad student, my workload fluctuates so much that I’ll find on busier days that I get in 2-3 small meals from V-Diet-like shakes. Do you see that as a bad habit forming or a healthy alternative in the time crunch? I think it’s at least better than what 99% of grad students are doing who grab a slice of quick pizza when they’re time crunched.


I think your plan is perfect, and I do the same thing myself. Some busy days or travel days may be sort of a “V-Diet Lite” for me: 3-4 shakes, then a solid healthy meal in the evening when things settle down. If you choose a good protein product, maybe add Superfood and Flameout, then you’ll be eating healthier than 99% of the population, and you’ll be supporting your physique/athletic goals.

I almost always have a shake or two per day, usually for meal #1, then maybe again in the busy afternoons. It varies, but whether the main goal is fat loss or mass gain, there’s usually a couple of shakes per day in my personal plan. I don’t count calories these days and just eat instinctively based on body goals and the feedback my body is giving me.

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