INTERVIEW

Cameron Mathison shares his fitness and nutrition tips

What is your general approach to your diet? “Basically, my strategy with diet is real food, eating as little processed food as possible. I eat a lot of high-quality food and as much organic and free-range food as I can find. I used to be a really strict keto guy, for many years. That works for a little while, but your body adapts to it and what happens is, your metabolism adjusts, and your new neutral, your new zero ground, becomes super-duper-low carb, and that’s stressful on your body to maintain over time. Keto is an incredible thing to use in cycles, but to maintain it all the time is a disaster waiting to happen, and I know that firsthand. I’ve been working with a great health coach named Allen Cress, who helps me with all my health barometers — my blood sugar, my hormone balance, my gut health, my stress levels — and he helps me with my diet and my macronutrients, how many carbs, proteins and fats to eat in a day. I do track my macronutrients every day. On workout days, I’m a higher carbohydrate guy; on non-workout days, I’m a lower carbohydrate guy.”

What is a typical breakfast/lunch/dinner for you? “My first meal is a protein shake that’s got spinach, a vegan protein powder, frozen strawberries, almond milk, water, ginger and a liver detox powder that I use because I’ve got high liver enzymes. So, that’s my first meal of the day and it’s nutrient-dense. Then I’ll do oats with some protein powder, some blueberries and maybe some scrambled eggs or egg whites. On lower carb days, I have more fat, so I’ll have regular eggs. On my higher carb days, I’ll have less fat, so I’ll do egg whites. For lunch, I’ll have salmon and zucchini with some rice cakes and maybe a little almond butter. Dinner could be a whitefish or a good, quality meat or chicken or turkey with butternut squash and a little bit of rice and a bowl of berries for dessert.”

How many days a week do you work out? “I work out four days a week and have three days of rest. Right now, I’m focusing on one body part at a time; I’m doing chest and triceps one day, back and biceps another day, which is a very common workout split. One of the biggest mistakes that people make is they don’t rest enough. On my days off, I can do light cardio, like walks or light yoga.”

What do you do for cardio? “Every day, as part of my morning routine, I do a yoga-type workout, almost like sun salutations every day. That’s my main cardio, but I’ll also walk and do the Peloton. But I’m not a big cardio guy; I could probably improve that a little bit, but when you build muscle, you actually burn more calories just by virtue of having more muscle on your body, so I don’t really need to do a ton of cardio.”

How did your approach to fitness change after you went through cancer treatment in 2019? “I’m doing less. I’m looking at lifestyle changes. The nature of being on GOOD MORNING AMERICA and ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT and the hosting jobs I’ve done, it’s a very high fight-or-flight adrenal drain, and that was really weighing on me a lot. For whatever reason, I was struggling with that, and my cortisol levels were through the roof, and that’s not a good place to be. The whole ‘go, go, go’ of our society is something I fell victim to. So, I’m resting more, and I’m putting an emphasis on not pushing myself too hard. In my workouts, I’m putting more emphasis on weights, and I’ve increased my carbohydrate intake because I didn’t realize how much it was stressing my body out, being low-carb for so many years. Another thing I’ve been working on is portion control. I actually really struggle with portion control, not because I’m worried about my weight, but because gut health is a big problem for me and if I don’t do portion control and eat smaller meals throughout the day, then my gut has a tough time digesting properly. So, that’s a piece of advice I have: Maybe add a meal to your day, maybe a snack, but have smaller portions. Your body will be able to digest it easier and your blood sugar won’t spike.”

Cameron’s Top Three Tips

“I highly recommend moving some weights around. There is so much emphasis on cardio, on burning calories, and cardio is obviously good, but as we get older, especially, having muscle on our body is so important in terms of longevity, and also helps keep you lean. People think lifting weights is just for bodybuilders, and that is so not true.”

“I encourage everyone to find a workout system that they like, whether it’s something you do at home or at a gym. Maybe it’s dance classes; Vanessa [his wife] and I are going to start taking ballroom classes together. Laura Wright [Carly] has gotten huge into pickleball and she’s getting me into it. It’s so fun and I have such a good time doing it. If you enjoy it, that will increase your chances of continuing on.”

“The best thing you can do diet-wise is cut out processed foods. Our bodies aren’t really made for these processed foods. Try to eat as natural and homemade as possible: veggies, quality protein, legumes. Just eat real food.”

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