Robb Wolf is the best selling author of The Paleo Solution – The Original Human Diet, a book that takes up where Loren Cordain’s landmark The Paleo Diet left off. He’s helped bring fundamental positive change to the lives of thousands of people around the globe, thanks to his popular podcasts, seminars, and of course his book.
Beyond being the co-owner of NorCal Strength & Conditioning, one of the top gyms in the US, as well as a prolific writer and editor of various health publications and programs, Wolf is a former California powerlifting champion and a 6-0 record amateur kickboxer. He’s consulted and coached athletes at the Olympic level and offered seminars on nutrition and strength to NASA, the US Marine Corps, and more.
In other words, he’s highly qualified to answer these questions about diet and lifestyle.
Why did you decide to shift your career path from lab research to coaching and writing?
I was fortunate in that I did both at the same time, splitting time in the lab and coaching. The gym was a much more fun, dynamic environment for me so the decision to shift that way was easy.
How do you define “real food,” and why aren’t people eating more of it?
If it has a label, it might not be “real food!”
As you were working on it, did you have a feeling that The Paleo Solution had the potential to be a bestseller?
My publisher described what type of sales we would likely need to hit that goal and based on my website traffic and many people I’d connected with over the years I felt that was an achievable goal.
How has your athletic experience as a competitive powerlifter and kickboxer informed other areas of your life?
That’s a great question. Both taught me to know when it was time to move on. I was squatting and deadlifting nearly 600lbs at 181lbs bodyweight (in raw competition.) This was pretty good but the toll it was taking on my body, even in my early 20’s was just not worth it.
Kickboxing was similar in that I had a modicum of success, but I soon discovered there were some highly motivated people in that sport…and they had better head movement than I do!
What’s your advice to people who want to start eating better and exercising more but find themselves feeling overwhelmed at the start of their journey?
I’ll give two points:
1 – No liquid calories (sodas, juice, sugared coffee drinks).
2 – Avoid gluten. Those two points will help folks enormously.