The 40-year-old Cloverdene resident is well-known by contestants of the Extreme Fighting Championships (EFC) as he has advised numerous fighters on their diet.
Some of his clients include fighters Martin van Staden, Boyd Allen, Garreth McLellan, Chad Hanekom and Demarte Pena.
He also works with professional athletes such as Zimbabwean soccer star Nyasha Mushekwi and u-19 Lions rugby player Louritz van der Schyff.
Diesel spoke to the City Times about his passion for nutrition.
BCT: Tell us about life growing up.
RD: I am originally from the south of Johannesburg. I first attended St Martin’s School. Then I moved to Glenanda Primary School and I finished matric at Glenvista High School in 1995.
BCT: Tell us a bit about your family.
RD: My father, Graham Diesel, was a triple Springbok and my mother, Stella Diesel, was the captain of the Rhodesian Women’s Basketball Team. I grew up in a very sport-oriented family and my father was strict about food and eating properly. My younger brother, Bradley Diesel, is a businessman. I got married to Anne in 2016.
BCT: When did you discover your passion for nutrition?
RD: I actually didn’t study nutrition, I studied computer engineering at Damelin in Braamfontein, but I didn’t like it.
My cousin and I started doing mixed martial arts in late 1998, early 1999. We noticed that what we ate wasn’t helping our training and through trial and error, and self-education, I figured out what works and what doesn’t.
I am not a qualified nutritionist, I am a nutrition adviser, but I get results.
BCT: What misconceptions do people have about nutrition?
RD: I think the general public is uneducated about proper nutrition. People need to understand that you get sick if you don’t eat properly. A proper diet can help with inflammation, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, polycystic ovary syndrome and numerous other conditions.
People eat unhealthy food because it is convenient, but people need to start preparing their own, ‘clean’ food again. If it is in a box, don’t eat it; if it comes out of the ground, eat it.
BCT: What diet do you follow?
RD: I follow a ketogenic diet, which means I don’t eat carbohydrates; I get my energy from healthy fats.
You can choose your path; for instance, you can get your energy from carbohydrates but then you will need to reduce your fat intake. It is about what works for you and what you want to achieve with your diet.
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