Sports, Cardiovascular, and Wellness Nutrition - A dietetic practice group of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

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Leslie Bonci

Active Eating Advice by Leslie

Sports Dietetics – USA (SD-USA)

Services Offered:
individual counseling, classes, presentations, industry consultant, spokesperson
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About Me

I am the owner of Active Eating Advice by Leslie, a nutrition consulting company based in Pittsburgh. I am the sports dietitian for the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, Kansas City Chiefs, and Carnegie Mellon University and former sports dietitian for the Toronto Blue Jays , Pittsburgh Pirates and Pittsburgh Steelers. I am the author of Sport Nutrition for Coaches, Human Kinetics, June 2009 co-author of Run Your Butt Off, Rodale 2011, Walk Your Butt Off, Rodale 2013, and Bike Your Butt Off, Rodale, 2014 and The Active Calorie Diet, Prevention 2011.

Questions and Answers

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  • Hi, my name is Emily Reed and I am a junior at Waynesboro High School. My sports medicine two class is involved in an inquiry based project called "A day in the life of...", where students must research information about a carrer in sports medicine, find and contact a professional, and conduct a brief interview via email or telephone. If you have the time I would love to ask you questions about my dream job ( a sports nutritionist). Here are some questions:

    1. What kind of schedule does this carrer require?

    2. what do you do in a typical day?

    3. how did you become interested in this position?

    4.what kind of experience would help in this profession?

    5.what are the employee benefits?

    6. what is the starting salary?

    Thank you so much for your time!

  • Hi

    I am a currently a junior and two-sport athlete at Lycoming college in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. I am a biology major with a focus on anatomy and physiology. My dream job would be doing sports nutrition or something within those lines. I am currently looking for a summer internship for the summer of 2017. Would you be able to point me in the right direction or have any suggestions for me? Thank you so much!


  • Hello,

    I saw your name in an article in the Arizona Republic today about Habitual Health for your athletes you work with.  I represent a product that can put you into Ketosis in less than 60 minutes and keep you there for several hours.  This might be a great adjunct to what you are currently recommending.  We are seeing tremendous results in children all the way up to people in their 90's. And eleite athletes are really seeing benefits.

    If you are interested you can learn more at by watching the Explainer video.  I would love to have further dialogue with you if you thought this might be something valuable for your practice.

    ~ Ann Low

  • Leslie,

    I wanted to talk with you about lowering cholesterol. Wanted to check on fees and setting up a first visit.


    Thank you


    Leslie Bonci replied:

    Posted: 5/23/2016 5:37:57 PM

    Hi Marilyn,

    I would be happy to meet with you.

    Initial visit is $75 and follow up  visits are $30.

    Leslie Bonci, MPH,RDN,CSSD


  • Hi Leslie,

    Thank you for answering. Could you please  send me an email to on your fee and how I pay you if it is an over the phone consultation or if meeting you in Pittsburgh. It is a shame that we have a dietitian in my GI's office but she only sees patients on a weight loss program.

    Thank you again,

    Kathy Spellman

  • Hi Leslie, I was very fortunate to hear you speak at a work shop for Crohn's disease patients.  I am 56 year old female who has had her gallbladder removed and in Nov a resection involving the terminal ileum.  Taking questran, remicade, meds for gerd . Since the surgery I have steatorrhea. Any recommendations on supplements?  I live in Uniontown, have UPMC insurance, and would be happy to scheduled an appointment

    Leslie Bonci replied:

    Posted: 4/19/2016 6:24:00 PM

    Hi Kathy,

    I would be happy to meet with you. I don't take insurance though. Am happy to do a phone consult. 412-559-5974

  • Hi Leslie,

    Hope 2016 is off to a great start for you! My name is Dan Watts, I provide training for the portable BodyMetrix Pro Ultrasound Body Composition System our company produces and wondered if assessments were a part of your protocol? Our website is Accuracy for body fat % is one facet of the system comparable to DEXA, without the high price tag. What’s unique is ultrasound has the ability to render easy images offering definitive proof similar to an X-ray showing fat and muscle thickness changes over time, validating the hard work clients put in and risk levels for chronic disease while shifting focus away from scale weight. Some of our clients include the RD's and nutritionists at EXOS, every major sports market, universities, wellness centers, etc. I'm happy to answer any questions you have or provide a web-based demo. If you're interested, please feel free to email me at

    I look forward to hearing your thoughts!

    Take Care,


  • I am a graduate student at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health and I am currently a research student working on WalkWorks. This project is working to increase opportunities for physical activity and health promotion. ( 
    We are exploring the possibility of a hiring a speaker to address topics such as healthy living, for example. If you could let me know about charges, fees and details for having you speak or put me in contact with someone who could assist me, that would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for your time.
    Yara Elbeshbishi
  • Greetings,

    4 years ago I biked 800 miles through Morocco/Sahara. Lost a lot of weight but muscle also (inadequate food/protein sources available). Im looking at doing the same type of bike trip through The Sudan/Africa. Attempting to average 2 hours per day or more for one month, how can I drop serious weight without comprimising muscle loss? I would be bringing lots of wheybolic protein with me to suppliment my diet. 

    Thank you in advance.  Garrett/Minnesota

  • Hello I have been drinking vegan shakeology with 3 oz almond milk and 7 oz water.  For a month of half they have made my stomach bloated and haven't lost any weight. I have been excercise everyday and eating right. No sugar no salt. Are these shakes making me bloated and not able to lose weight. If so what is causing it from the shakes? 



  • I want to preface my question by saying that I am not a fan of dietary supplements as a general rule and that this question is just hypothetical.  I was reading that Creatine supplements cause muscles to retain water on a cellular level.  I was curious if use of creatine might help people who are heavy sweaters and are prone to dehydration. So if a person used creatine the day prior to an endurance event and hydrated would the retained water have any benefit? Like I said, its just a hypothetical and was just something that ran through my head.  i tried searching google for an answer but couldn't find anything.  Thanks.

  • I am a off and on again runner, who, dispite the running, is always 10 to 20 pounds overweight.  Although I don't like anything that looks like a fad diet I recently heard about and tried the Fastdiet (or 5:2 diet).  Basically, you eat reduced calories 2 days a week (about 600) and normally the remaining 5 days.  It turns out I like this diet and find it pretty easy to stick with.

    Now that I am running again I am concerned about using it.  I had thought that I would make the rest days the reduced calorie days.  But I later thought that if recovery days are days that the body is supposed to rebuild and repair, that the reduced calories would interfere with this.  So will this diet while running cause problems?

    Thank you,



    Leslie Bonci replied:

    Posted: 10/17/2013 5:20:36 AM

    Hi Jon,

    I do think that if you are eating adequately on your running days and on your rest days, you focus the reduced calories on primarily high quality protein and fruits/veggies, you should be fine. But the best and only way to tell is how you feel when you run, not just what the scale says! Leslie


    I am crossfitter  43/m/ 243@22 % body fat. Just completed 8 week paleo/zone diet challenge with no change in bf % . I lost 6 lbs of body weight . Dropped one lbs of fat mass and 5 lbs fat free mass.  Avg calorie for 8 weeks 2300 with 28% cho : 32 % fat : 45 protein ( approx ). Mostly food were low glycemic/ lean cuts good fats compliance around 80% based on my journal. 
    Completed rmr at unive of Pitt Neuro center range 2699- 3000 cals
    Crossfit 4 x week . Am runs x 2 week
    Dismal results any suggestions to decrease body fat and keeping Fat free mass ?
    Goal is to hit 12 bodyfat to increase competitive performance 
    Sent from my iPad
  • My 23 year old daughter is training for a half marathon. She is having difficulty with runner's diarrhea. She eats a high fiber diet and has never had an bowel problems. She is about 10 minutes into a run in the afternoon's and she has to find a bathroom quickly!  She has tried to modify her diet(less fiber) but she loves salad and fruit for lunch.

    She has been a college soccer player and she has never had a problem before with runner's diarrhea. Any suggestions? She would gladly make an appointment with you if that would help. She isn't living in the area but would return if necessary

  • and I would like to further this interest by getting my CSSD credentials once I complete my masters degree. I am aware of the 1500 hours needed in order to sit for the exam, and I was wondering if you were aware of any sports nutrition opportunities that may be available in order for me to recieve these hours. Also since you are so involved in the field of sports nutrition in the Pittsburgh area, do you know of any other possible job opportunities in the surrounding areas? Please let me know by reply to this question or you can reach me by email at Thank you!

  • Dear Leslie, 

    I am currently in the accredited dietetic internship program at IUP and will soon be furthering my education here by obtaining my masters degree in Nutrition. I currently hold a bachelors degree in nutritional sciences from Pennsylvania State University. I have always been very intrrested in the sports concentration field of my major

  • I am a team parent for our high school cross country team.  One of our athletes has been diagnosed with a milk allergy.  He can't have any milk products at all or he will vomit during exertion.  He has tried to eliminate milk from his diet, but he is frustrated with his performance since he eliminated milk products.  He also has a problem with soy.  Any suggestions for a substitute which will help replace what he is missing.

  • Leslie Bonci,

    My name is Morgan Nilson.  I am from Gibsonia, Pennsylvania, a little outside of Pittsburgh.  I am a current freshman at Penn State Erie- The Behrend College.  I was unsure at first what I wanted to do with my life and what I wanted to major in and what my career was going to be.  Although, I have looked into nutrition and food science a lot and am truly considering going with that direction.  I am a huge sports fan so I also wanted to work with a sports team.  My dream would be to the Pittsburgh Penguins dietitian.  Saying that, I was wondering if there was any way I could ask you a few questions to see if I really do want to go in this direction.  I understand you are very busy and may not have time for this which I understand.  However, it would be greatly appreciated.  If you can, please respond back and I will send you my e-mail information so that we can work things out.  Thanks again!

    Thank you,

    Morgan Nilson

  • Dear Bonci,

    I am 41 years old, and healthy. My weigh is 182,19 pounds, height 1.78. 

    I am working 8 hours for 5 days as a secretary. My weekly afternoon programme is:

    Monday swimming pool for 30 minutes

    Thuesday spinning for 30 minutes

    Wednesday swimming for 30 minutes

    Thursday spinning for 30 minutes

    Friday swimmimg for 30 minutes, Saturday and Sunday rest.  I take daily 1 multivatamin , although I feel tired.

    What kind of diet shoud I follow ? Whould you please give me your advice.

    Thank you

    Vicky ( e-mail :

  • HI, I have been following your Active calorie Diet plan for about a month now and really like it.  I have just one question. What can I substitute in the recipes for the ground flaxseed?  I have really tried to use it but just can't handle the smell and taste it has.

    thanks, Terry R.

  • Hi Leslie, I purchased the Run Your Butt Off! book. I'm going to give it a go. I really want to become a runner, primarily for health reasons (heart disease runs in my family) and for a hobby.  I have a great food day until 3:30-4:00 hits and then I start searching. Today it was an Atkins Shake, followed by peanut butter and a hershey kiss. This was 270 calories I didn't need. Which brings my calorie intake to1134 and I haven't had dinner yet. Can you share a strategy to get around this mid-afternoon snacking? I work from home so I have food available at all times.

  • Hello-

    What advice do you recommend for a young man wanting to gain muscle and lose fat?  Are there any handouts addressing this?  I didn't find this topic spedifically on the site.  Thank you for any guidance,  Alana

  • Hi Leslie - I'm actually an RD, fairly new to SCAN and sports nutrition. I'm working a  few hours a week at a health club. I had a client I was seeing for weight loss report something to me I found disturbing. Although she has lost 30 lb, gone from a BMI of 33 to 29, and a waist circumference of 35 inches to 32 inches, she was told by one of the trainers that her percent body fat was unchanged  (40%) since her first set of measurements. She was very discouraged by this. I reassured her the best i could, but i think shes confused now.The trainer apparently used calipers and tape measure, but I don't know how accurate these measurements are. I know they can be subject to a lot of error. My question: have you ever run into this? Do you use anthropometrics to estimate percent body fat, and if so, what method do you use? How much training do you think is needed to do this accurately, and where can I get this training? Are there calipers you use/recommend? Any help you can give will be greatly appreciated. Thank you! -Deborah Brooks, MSRD

  • Hi Leslie,

    My name is Morgan Shetler and I am a recent graduate from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania with a Bachelors of Science in HPE - Human Performance. Now that I have graduated, I am looking to take my career and education to the next level and pursue a Masters degree in Nutrition. My career goal is to pursue a postion with a company that focuses on sports nutrition and performance. After reading about your accomplishments and the career direction you have taken, I was hoping to speak with you and receive some guidance as to what I need to do to reach my own career goals.  I would greatly appreciately any advice you have to offer.

    I look foward to hearing from you. Feel free to contact me at any time by phone at 301-310-3919 or by email at


    Morgan B. Shetler BS CPT

    2055 26th Street South APT 301

    Arlington, VA 22206

  • Hi Leslie:

    I am looking to obtain the most recent Energy Expenditure Chart  (energy costs  Cals/Hour.  The last one I have is from 2nd edition "Exercise Physiology:  Energy, Nutrtion and Human Performance"  McArdle, Katch and Katch.


    Thank you for your help.


    Pamela Anderson

  • Hi Leslie,

     My name is Paul Sullivan.  I am a graduate student at Marywood University in Scranton currently persuing my Master's degree in Sport Nutrition and Exercise Physiology.  I am doing a research paper on Activity Disorder / Exercise Addiction related to Eating Disorders.  I would like to know if I would be able to call or e-mail you with some questions if you have a few minutes.  Thanks and hope to hear from you soon! 

    - Paul

  • Hi Leslie,

    I wanted to let you know that I enjoyed reading your comments in the most recent SCAN e-mail about working with dancers at PBT. I am always happy to learn of other dietitians who work with dancers. It is so needed.  I am the staff dietitian with the Atlanta Ballet and was a professional dancer myself. I run the Centre for Dance Nutrition and am always adding new content to my web site 

    I wish you all the best in your work with PBT, it is a gift to be able to get to work with these performing athletes. 

    Best wishes,

    Emily Harrison MS, RD, LD 

  • Hi Leslie,

    I was at your seminar at HOAG hospital in Irvine, California a few weeks back.  Great info. for sports RD's, I took away some great ideas/tips for presentations and more.  You had mentioned about a study  regarding NOT sipping fluids continually during training/event.  I wanted to look at that article so I can explain to my patients why I suggest every 15-20mins. at a time.  Could you give me the citation please, or where I can locate it?  Thank you...I've been curious to the actual reasoning behind it.  Even though I don't suggest it anyhow.


    Thank you for your is obviously a precious thing for you!  


    Melissa A. Mathes, MPH, RD, CSSD    

    Leslie Bonci replied:

    Posted: 6/7/2011 1:24:37 PM


    What I was referring to is not sipping but rather gulping during exercise to expedite Gastric emptying. Dr Bob Murray has done several studies , also ACSM position stand on fluid replacemetn during exercise

  • Hi Leslie,

    Years and years ago at a class you taught at Westinghouse in Cheswick, you recommended the multi vitamin, Twinlab, Dualtabs.  My husband and I have been taking it ever since.  But, over the years in reading how much of a particular vitamin should be taken, I have added additional amounts of certain vitamins.  So, now I'm starting to think maybe there is a better multi vitamin out there that I should be taking instead of the Dualtabs.  


    Do you still recommend the Twinlabs, Dualtabs as a multi vitamin or is there a better one out there that we should take instead?


    Thanks and hope all is well with you in the Burg!


    Nancy Coriale, Daytona Beach Shores, FL

    Leslie Bonci replied:

    Posted: 6/7/2011 1:25:16 PM

    Hi Nancy,


    I think NatureMade is a great supplement and less expensive than TwinLabs too!

  • My name is Michael Belajac and I am 23 years old. I live in the Pittsburgh area and I'm looking to schedule a one-on-one consultation to set up a weight loss diet program. You may contact me at any time. Thank you for your help



    Leslie Bonci replied:

    Posted: 3/1/2011 5:32:57 PM


    I would be happy to meet with you. Please email me at work: or call me 412-559-5974


    Leslie Bonci