In the run up to the launch of his new tv show 'Dr Christian Will See You Now' on W Channel, I was given the pleasure of interviewing Dr Christian. We covered a range of topics relating to the show itself but also a few more personal questions about his views on health and wellness.
For someone who has not just been known for Embarrassing Bodies but also for his own (rather buff) body, it was interesting to learn more about his own ethos behind living a healthy lifestyle.
What's your approach to taking vitamins and supplements as part of a healthy, balanced diet and lifestyle?
I don't think there's any need for it.
There's emerging evidence that these sort of high dose vitamins that people are taking can actually be quite damaging. We've seen increases in prostrate and lung cancer and people that are taking vitamin E in high doses. There's all sorts of evidence that this antioxidant fad in pill supplement form is probably increasing cancer risk. We kid ourselves into thinking that our morning vitamin pill cancels out all the crap of the day, for example your salad cancels out your chips. We all do that to a degree.
30 minutes on the treadmill doesn't atone for a night on the chardonnay! We're not short of food or nutrition so why do we need to take supplements? It's clever marketing.
What is your opinion on training supplements such as protein powders, BCAAs?
None of us are protein deficient in any way. Our diets are excessive in protein in the West. A picture of some ripped abs on a bottle doesn't mean we're going to look like that if we take it.
It's only really Olympian level athletes who could possibly have those sorts of energy requirements. Other than that, it's £40 for a tub of protein which is great marketing but not good for your pocket.
The one thing that we may need to supplement is conversation - which is free! One thing we're trying to encourage on the show is talking and communicating - what we need is a tub of communication pills!
Top tips to de-stress?
Do things you enjoy more and don't feel guilty about doing it.
Our down-time needs to be relished and enjoyed. So many people feel guilty about taking holidays and theres 101 examples I could give but I think relish that which you enjoy and don't feel bad about doing it. And give yourself time to do it.
You are as important as your work, your boss, your kids, everything. There's nothing selfish or egotistical or wrong about putting yourself first at all. Put other people first too but also put yourself first.
Saying that, it's no good listening to your favourite music if you're also feeling guilty about it cause it's not having the same effect. It's also no good listening to your favourite music while sitting doing your emails. Learning how to switch off and clear your head of all that nonsense is very important and all of us could do better at it. All of us feel a bit bottom-clenchingly awkward about it but it's a very valuable thing to do.
Think of that which you enjoy, do it and feel good about doing it!
How do you stay in shape?
Laughing - I obviously watch what I eat (while munching on his 3rd biscuit!). I go to the gym. You need to work out what works for you and so often we look at someone we admire, usually some celebrity or Kard-ashy type person and we think that what they do is also going to work for us but it doesn't necessarily. And if it doesn't work for us we feel there's something wrong with us or we're not as good. And this sets up this cycle of negativity and I think you just need to have the confidence to work out what's good for you.
So for me, cardio does not work - I find it boring, I don't enjoy it. I prefer weights and I know that weights do what I want them to do. But I think having the confidence to know that is important. When I tweet, "I don't do any cardio at all" there's a twitter melt down! It's like I've said the most offensive thing, it's quite bazaar! So I use weights, I enjoy that and I vaguely have an eye on what I eat and how much I'm eating but it's not an obsessive calorie counting thing. I suppose it's because I've always eaten well and it's quite natural.
The extension for other people is to subtly work it out - if you've been slogging away on a running machine for 6 months and not getting anywhere why not have a look at some other things? We're very good at doing something just because we've read it in Men's Health and yet, if it's not doing anything for you then why are you still doing it?
What will we find on your workout playlist?
The Wombats. Joking.
What is your guilty pleasure with food?
I don't have a guilty pleasure because I don't feel guilty.
I don't think one should feel guilty and that's one of the big problems. Guilt is a terrible thing with food because why are you guilty? You like it and is that a bad thing? No. I think people who deny themselves the things they really like, let's say chocolate cake - saying "right I'm never eating chocolate cake cause it's clearly bad" is going to set up guilt and then you're going to crave chocolate cake because that's all you're thinking about.
It's just a horrible, negative thing so it's better not to feel guilty!
So, does that mean you'll be having pancakes today? (It's Shrove Tuesday.)
Shit! Why haven't we had pancakes? I hope so!
Tune in to Dr Christian Will See You Now on Wednesday, 22nd March at 9pm on W Channel.