Chris Kresser, L.Ac

Chris Kresser, L.Ac

Comedian, Martial Artist, and Commentator
Born: 1967

A native of Southern California, Chris Kresser is a licensed acupuncturist, a proponent of ancestral health and an educator of Functional Medicine. In his youth, he suffered with chronic illness for a decade. Having experienced first-hand where healthcare helped and where it needs work, he decided to become part of the solution. Kresser attended the Esalen Institute in Big Sur, California and found a job there. He is the author of the New York Times best-selling The Paleo Cure and has made it onto greatist.com’s 100 Most Influential People in health and fitness. Kresser has trained over 2,000 health professionals around the world in his ADAPT program. In 2015, he founded The Kresser Institute with the goal of turning the tide of chronic disease through changes in medicine. He has hundreds of thousands of followers on social media. Kresser lives in Berkeley with his family.

Known For:

Chris Kresser’s Diet

Summary

Kresser advocates a Paleo-style diet, meaning one that is comprised of foods found in nature rather than processed foods. That said, he does not believe in a one-size-fits-all plan and that individuals have different needs and reactions to certain foods, such as dairy. He wants people to start from the premise that whole foods that have few ingredients are best, and our health will improve dramatically if we stick with this one basic principle.

Estimated Macros

  • Low Carb 20% 20%
  • Medium Protein  40% 40%
  • Medium-High Fat 60% 60%

Diet Details

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No ‘Optimal’ Diet

Kresser says there is a range of foods that humans are adapted to eat, and that so long as we stick to those, we can enjoy good health.

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Eat Meat

Kresser says meat and animal products have made up part of the human diet for at least 2 million years, and that all primitive human populations around the globe ate a combination of plants and animals. Kresser is also a proponent of eating ‘nose to tail,’ meaning all the parts of the animal for the widest variety of nutrients.

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Debunk Deceptive Labeling

Nutritionism is a way of labeling foods by their macronutrients, such as carbs or fats. Kresser says the practice of categorizing a fast food burger as the same as an avocado because they both contain 50% is a huge mistake.
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Variety Is Good

Kresser says that while we all should be eating foods found in nature, individuals will necessarily have variations. Some tolerate dairy just fine while others need to avoid it. Some handle carbs better than other, and some need to eat less meat rather than more. He says we can all agree that a diet of donuts, candy and soda is one that needs to be avoided.

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Don’t Be Afraid of Carbs

Kresser says that cutting carbs combined with overtraining can have a negative effect on your health, suppress your immune system, and even make you gain weight.

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Relax, People

Kresser says that following a healthy diet most of the time can lead to success faster than resolving to never touch a cookie again, because stress results in worse health. Finding a healthy diet you can live with is what you want.

What to Eat

R

Organic whole-animal meat

R

Wild-caught Fish

R

Pastured Eggs

R

Organic Vegetables

R

Organic Fruit

R

Organic Nuts

R

Organic Seeds

R

Organic Avocados

R

Organic Sweet potatoes

R

Organic Dairy (for some)

R

Fresh Herbs & Spices

R

Water

What to Avoid

Q

Foods not Found in Nature

Q

Trans Fats

Q

GMO Foods

Q

Vegetable Oils

Q

Junk Food

Q

Processed Foods

Q

Candy

Q

Donuts

Q

Soft Drinks

Q

Chemical Ingredients

Q

Artificial Additives

Q

Artificial Sweeteners

Q

Industrial Animal Products

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Kresser on the Best Diet

‘There is no single, optimal diet for every human…Yet that is exactly what public health recommendations and dietary guidelines assume.’

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Kresser on Diet Advice

‘Modern dieting advice is often confusing, contradictory and just plain wrong.’

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Kresser on your Best Diet

‘The specifics of the diet you eat are not as important as the foundation that the diet is based on…The Paleo diet fits those criteria for many people.’

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Kresser on Disciplined Diet

‘Having a relaxed approach to diet can be more successful than sticking to “the rules” 100% of the time.’

Chris Kresser’s Fitness Routine

Weekly Routine

Exercise Matters

Kresser says engaging in regular physical activity is very important, and a key to good health.

Up the Intensity

Kresser believes we should exercise more like our ancestors did, in short bursts rather than longer sessions. Short, intense sessions burn fat, increase aerobic capacity and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Say No to Chronic Cardio

The first principle in medicine is to do no harm, and Kresser says too much intensity can result in diminished health. Overtraining can cause autoimmune disorders, adrenal fatigue and digestive problems.

Cut the Cortisol

Kresser says one of the problems with overtraining is that levels of the stress hormone cortisol rise, leading to the opposite of what you want: weight gain and illness.

Keep Frequency In Check

Kresser says you can push yourself hard, but don’t do it more than 2-3 times a week.

Get Sufficient Rest

Kresser says taking breaks is vital to avoid the problems associated with overtraining.

Variety Is the Spice

Kresser says it is also important to vary your routines, not only to avoid overuse but also boredom.

Don’t Knock Yoga

To those who think yoga is ‘too easy,’ Kresser says, try it anyway because yoga can help control cortisol levels, which can help you reach your fitness and weight-loss goals.

Exercise Style

Z

A Chris Kresser Routine

High intensity exercise: 20 min or less, 2-3x/week. Mix it up.

Weight-bearing exercise: 2-3x/week, max.

Don’t overdo it.

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Kresser on Exercise

‘Exercise is a major component of a healthy lifestyle, and the benefits of regular physical activity are well established.’

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Kresser on Paleo-style Exercise

‘Modifying your fitness routine to include more high intensity exercise can bring great benefits to energy, body composition and overall fitness.’

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Kresser on Overdoing it

‘Certain styles of exercise take the participant to a state of physical exhaustion on a regular basis, which may do more harm than good.’

Chris Kresser’s Supplements

vitamins A

Vitamin A

While Kresser advocates getting your nutrients from food whenever possible, he acknowledges that this is not always possible. He recommends vitamin A for its antioxidant properties, and because it helps the body assimilate protein, minerals and other vitamins.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is another essential according to Kresser. Up to 50% of Americans do not get enough. His favorite source for vitamin D is cod liver oil.

vitamin K2

Vitamin K2

Kresser says for such an important nutrient, few people have ever heard of vitamin K2. Vitamin K2 can help prevent heart attacks and strengthen bones. He says most Americans are lacking in vitamin K2.

Magnesium

Magnesium

Kresser says magnesium is one of the most important nutrients to the body. It is used by over 300 enzymes, including ones that synthesize DNA, RNA and proteins. Most Americans are deficient because it is difficult to get through food due to depleted soil. Magnesium deficiency has serious consequences, including heart arrhythmia, hypertension, diabetes, asthma and migraines.

Chris Kresser’s Lifestyle

Sleep is Key

Kresser says getting sufficient sleep is essential for recovery and overall health, and that sleep disturbance is often a symptom of overtraining. Be sure to get plenty of sleep especially on the days that you work out.

Heading Up a Revolution

Kresser has dedicated his life to training a generation of practitioners of Functional Medicine to combat the enemy which is chronic disease.

21st Century Health

Kresser’s ADAPT training program is outlined in his book, Unconventional Medicine. His goal is to prevent chronic disease rather than managing it, resulting in a healthier population and reduced healthcare costs.

Clean Out Your Makeup Cabinet

Environmental toxins abound, and Kresser says you don’t have to look far to find them. Soap, shampoo, and cosmetics all contain substances including heavy metals that can make you sick, and even cause cancer. He recommends eating a healthy diet to make your skin glow, and using henna for hair dye.

Anti-Flu Vax Backlash

Kresser says that the flu vaccine is not especially effective, carries risks, and wastes a lot of taxpayer dollars. He also says research that claims the flu vaccine works is usually funded by the industry that makes the vaccine. He has been criticized for his stance on this topic.

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Kresser on Chronic Disease

‘Chronic disease is sabotaging our health, destroying our quality of life, shortening our lifespan, bankrupting our governments, and threatening the health of future generations.’

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Kresser on Conventional Medicine

‘Conventional medicine doesn’t stand a chance of turning the tide against chronic disease.’

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Kresser on Problems

‘The truth is that not all problems are solvable. As much as we’d like to believe otherwise, we don’t have full control over the conditions of our lives.’

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Kresser on Acceptance

‘Acceptance doesn’t mean giving up. It means recognizing that the moment is as it is…Accepting something is true in this moment doesn’t mean that we endorse it or approve of it.’

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Kresser on the Flu Vaccine

‘There’s a lot of hysteria and dogma on both sides.’

Recommended Products

The Paleo Cure

The Paleo Cure

Unconventional Medicine

Unconventional Medicine

Your Personal Paleo Diet

Your Personal Paleo Diet

Opening the Hand of Thought

Opening the Hand of Thought

Rosita Extra Virgin Cod Liver Oil

Rosita Extra Virgin Cod Liver Oil

Primal Probiotics

Primal Probiotics

PurePaleo Protein Powder

PurePaleo Protein Powder

Blue Ice Royal Butter Oil

Blue Ice Royal Butter Oil

Thorne Vitamin D/K2

Thorne Vitamin D/K2

Herb Pharm Stress Manager

Herb Pharm Stress Manager

100% Pure products

100% Pure products

Primal Life Organics

Primal Life Organics

Alima Pure cosmetics

Alima Pure cosmetics

Aubrey Organics

Aubrey Organics

Beekeeper’s Naturals

Beekeeper’s Naturals

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