Rob Sulaver is shaking things up on ABC’s My Diet is Better Than Yours.
As the newest trainer to join the weight loss show, PEOPLE reveals exclusively, the sports nutritionist and athlete is teaming up with La’Tasha Givens after she dropped trainer Carolyn Barnes and her Clean Momma Plan.
Because Barnes’s plan focused on finding ways to burn calories with everyday tasks, Givens was in for a shock when Sulaver brought her into the gym.
“My background is in sports performance, so it’s like how professional athletes train, which is no joke,” the founder of Bandana Training tells PEOPLE. “It was a big wake up call and a dramatic shift in terms of what La’Tasha had been doing.”
Sulaver, started off with resistance training, some high intensity interval training and a cardio endurance-training program to prep Givens, 35, for a half marathon.
“We’ve lost the least amount of weight when I step onto the show,” he says. “So the stakes are high and we’re working hard to crawl out of last place.”
Sulaver also introduced the TV news reporter to his Nutrient Timing Plan. The diet concentrates on eating specific nutrients, in specific amounts, at specific times in relation to exercise.
“What I love is we get to highlight the importance of exercise in weight loss,” he says, “and then we also get to talk about the relationship between food and exercise and how that ultimately is the one-two punch to get you some legitimate results.”
With his plan, Sulaver dictates when Givens has her meals. He recommends going into a workout “a little hungry” and fueling up right after exercise, when her body is “more primed to utilize that energy.”
“Every client is different, so when you step in as a nutrition couch, part of it is assessing the situation, ” he says. “Immediately, out of the gate, I saw that La’Tasha needs that structure in her life and needed way more guidelines – so that’s exactly what we did.”