The Fat Loss Troubleshooter Speaks!

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To say that I’ve been busy the past few weeks is an understatement. Suffice it to say, my blogging prowess has been suspect at best, and it looks like I’ll probably have to be cutting it down to 2-3 times per week. We’re kicking it into high gear for the next few months at CP, and I’ll need all the free time I can get to write programs, answer e-mails, write an article (or two), and spend some quality time with a certain someone called my girlfriend.

As such, I’ll still be trying my best to hit you off with some good content when I can. Today, I want to share an interview I did with Leigh Peele.

Leigh’s been a good friend of mine for a few years now, and is one of my go to people when it comes to anything dealing with fat loss/witty banter. Enjoy.

Tony Gentilcore (TG): Lets start off with a simple question, will you marry me?

Side Note to my girlfriend: Hey babe, did I mention how fabulous you look today? You really do. Just wanted to let you know that the above question was completely rhetorical, and that it’s purpose was completely for entertainment value only. In any case, I’m pretty sure I’m sleeping in the doghouse tonight, huh? Dammit!

Leigh Peele (LP): Yes, but only if you promise not to do anything kinky with a light saber.

TG: As someone who’s known for her fat loss expertise, why do so many people have a hard time nailing it down? I mean, fat loss IS a fairly simple concept- albeit it’s not easy. Exercise more, eat less “crap,” and repeat. Am I missing something? Enlighten us Leigh Peele.

LP: I think at the heart of this is a basic instinct for the mind and body to avoid things we don’t like doing. Fat loss isn’t fun, it goes against our very nature of survival. If you aren’t by nature a certain personality type it becomes very hard to make yourself not eat and train for improvement in body and performance. These are not things most people want to do. Most people want to eat and have sex all day long and perhaps cuddle up after wards with a good Tivo recording. Big difference.

TG: I hear you there girlfriend! Although, for the record, every time I have sex, I end up doing this after wards:

…….and then I’ll watch an episode of 24.

Moving on, what are your three biggest pet peeves when it comes to fat loss? For example, it drives me bonkers whenever someone tries to argue with me when I tell them that (intense) training on an empty stomach makes about as much sense as a poop flavored lollypop. That being said, what “myths” about fat loss do you wish would just go away?


1. Fat Loss Workouts – There is not such thing as a fat loss workout. This is a huge pet peeve of mine. I see people talking about this amazing “fat burning busting furnace exercise or workout.” It is even funnier when they are pumping their pre-workout nutrition product with it because the only way your workout will be a fat loss workout is if you happen to be in a negative energy state when doing the workout. Otherwise it is just a workout like everything else. If you are in a deficit then power walking can be a fat loss workout.

I like my training to be training and leave it at that. Leave the fat loss to the diet.

2. Insulin = No Fat Loss – It is amazing how this one is not only dying, but seemingly gaining power.

3. Calories don’t count – I realize this makes me barbaric, old fashioned, and completely uneducated on the horrible things that (enter your dogma/fears here) is doing to you, but what can I say, I am a purest.

TG: Along the same lines, I’m a big fan of the Pareto Principle. When it comes to fat loss, what are the “big rocks” that people should concentrate on? Personally, I feel that too many people get so bogged down with minutia; i.e, worrying about whether they should eat 1.25 grams of carbs per lb as opposed 1.18 grams post training, that they often lose sight of the big picture. Like you know, maybe they shouldn’t be drinking three cans of soda every day. Thoughts?

LP: The big rock is eating less. I welcome anyone for the conversation who still likes to claim a deficit isn’t needed, but the simple truth is a deficit is needed in order to achieve fat loss. That doesn’t mean there

isn’t room for discussion within that, but that is the bolder holding up the mountain.

If that bolder has a sister it is understanding activity level and its relation to how much you need to eat for you to achieve an actual deficit. Humans are filled with egos and entitlement. We believe we deserve more food, and we’ll come up with many arguments and illogical fallacies to get it. Trust me, I love to eat, and if there were a way you could eat more and not gain weight, I would have found it. Sadly you can get fat, even on veggies and meat.

TG: You had me at meat. Anyways, in your recent book, Body By Eats, you go into great detail about our relationship with food. Am I crazy, or are people more confused than ever on what the hell they should be eating?

LP: Why shouldn’t they be?

One day we can’t eat an egg, the next day we have a kid stacking cups on a table telling us how incredible it is. The problem is we have too many agendas and too many cooks in the kitchen. People don’t know how to read studies, and conclusions are too easy to jump to these days. Back in the day you simply ate what you found, end of story.

Today we have hours of time to kill and paranoias to feed in between meals. This will only get worse and the niches are going to divide even more. All I am trying to do is provide a voice of those who don’t want to be scared by a potato anymore because of an index rating, which coincidentally, when you factor in food mixing, isn’t even a concern for the general population.

TG: Great point, and couldn’t agree more. After reading the likes of Michael Pollan and watching Food, Inc, I’ve really started to question whether or not I should go out of my way to eat organic food. I know you’ve expressed that this whole notion of organic vs. “conventional” food is a bit overblown. Care to elaborate a bit?

LP: While I appreciate their intentions they are simply making things worse by fueling the fire with the same problems the “other” guys are doing. They are cherry picking studies the same way. Take this quote from Food Inc.’s website…

“In Food, Inc. we meet Barbara Kowalcyk, whose 2 year old son, Kevin, died from E.coli poisoning after eating a hamburger. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 76 million Americans are sickened, 325,000 are hospitalized and 5,000 die each year from foodborne illnesses. Although Kevin’s law is not pending in Congress right now, there are other important national food safety legislation pending now for you to support.”

If you actually look at the CDC stats they paint a very different picture.

The majority of food illness cases are due to improper handling of food by people in their home or restaurant owners and do not originate for the source of export. Another news flash is no one is watching what the local market guy is doing. Those health food items and supplements have even less of a guard dog.

My point is food safety goes far beyond crowded, unhealthy cows in a bin. This could happen to organic or free range meats. Spoiled is spoiled. Bad handling is bad handling. Bad ethics or lack of knowledge can exist in any field. Obviously stores or restaurants who deal in health are going to have higher standard of quality control. That more than anything, would lead me to a health food store versus a normal market.

If there is a savior in organics I have yet to see it. For me, it makes the problem worse and is just enabling us to not make the real changes needed, environmentally and ethically, to make progress in the field.

Currently I do not side with organics. I don’t see it as safer or more beneficial. I do, however, support ethically treated animals and fresh foods so this sometimes results in me buying from organic and health food companies due to their policies.

TG: I like to end reach interview with some random questions:

  • Favorite movie of the past year:

LP: The Blind Side. I am a sucker for these types of movies and it delivered and then some.

  • Top 5 Training Songs:

LP: Only five? Of all time? I will have to give a current top five as the thought of committing to an all time is too much.

1.Phoenix – Listzomania

2.Depeche Mode – People are People

3.My Morning Jacket – One Big Holiday

4.No Motiv – Give Me Strength

5.Nina Simone – Feelin’ Good

  • You have 20 minutes to kick your own ass and get a good training session in, what do you do?

LP: Since I am so intense in my training (See: accident prone) I have to fit in a warm up no matter what, which is usually something like leg cradles, t-spine rotations, bird dogs, etc. After that I would likely do some medicine ball circuits, Sled pulls, pull ups, jump roping, and a deadlift variation. If I had any means of equipment I would throw in tire flips/hammer work.

  • What will come first: Kevin Larrabee with a six pack or I make out with Alicia Keys?

LP: While I believe in your skills I have to put faith in my boy Kevin. He is massively dedicated to achieving his goals and I have no doubt at in his abilities at all.

TG: Thanks for your time Leigh. Where can anyone interested find out more about you and your products/services?

LP: If looking to troubleshoot your fat loss you can click HERE. If you are looking for recipes and more you can click HERE. And if looking for simple free info you can check out my blog at

Did what you just read make your day? Ruin it? Either way, you should share it with your friends and/or comment below.

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Plus, get a copy of Tony’s Pick Things Up, a quick-tip guide to everything deadlift-related. See his butt? Yeah. It’s good. You should probably listen to him if you have any hope of getting a butt that good.

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Comments for This Entry

  • kk rousseau

    Hey, Thanks for the interview. I've been trying to find Leigh Peele's credentials, her qualifications for her...job, her statements & claims. On her website she makes it sound like she had no real formal education and doesn't need one. I feel confused. Can you enlighten me? Many thanks.

    June 22, 2015 at 1:43 pm | Reply to this comment

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