Working out is one way to tone your body and get healthy. If you want to read more about how to start your fitness journey, make sure to check out this post.
Nutrition is another one – even more important aspect when it come to achieving your body goals. Personal trainer Merve shares her advice how to approach a healthy diet that fuels your body for the best workouts you ever had!
What is in your opinion most important when it comes to nutrition for athletes and active people?
That really depends on personal goals and if you want to lose fat or build muscle. Apart from that, everyone should follow a balanced and healthy diet. From time to time, it is also important treat yourself to something like a pizza night out with your friends.
What differs between the diet of someone who does a lot of cardio and someone who does primarily weight lifting?
As cardiovascular training requires carbs as energy source, a runner for example eats more carbohydrates and perhaps less fat. Lifters pay closer attention to their protein intake.
What is your opinion on meal timing? Does it matter?
Yes, I think meal timing is important. There are no rules, though. Everybody is different. Generally, I want to stress that carbs don’t know what time it is – some people believe in not eating any after 6 p.m. because they think they will gain weight when doing so. After all, the whole day and caloric intake counts.
According to my experience, it is good to eat three main meals and every 4 to 5 hours. I like to have carbs in the morning to get energy for the day and my workout. But as I said, that’s very individual and everyone has to find out what works best for him or her.
Supplements are nice to have but not necessary. Which supplements do you think are worth the money?
Personally, I only take protein powder. Things like BCAA’s are in my opinion not necessary and not worth the money.
Our body gets all essential amino acids through nutrition. If we eat a balanced and healthy diet, we don’t need any supplements. That may of course be different if you follow a poor diet.
What’s the biggest nutrition nonsense you came across?
My biggest mistake so far was drinking Almased shakes (a diet shake which replaces meals). They did not only taste awful, I was also hungry all the time. And apart from this, they are really expensive and after this experience I can just say totally not worth the money.
What’s the best approach to dieting?
First of all, not going on a diet. That’s not sustainable in long-term and can lead to yo-yo effect. I recommend changing the diet and eating healthy. For me, eating three meals a day was really key to lower my body fat percentage. In between every meal I have 4 to 5 hours break. I always eat immediately after getting up and don’t skip breakfast and I try to not eat two hours before going to bed.
Well, not everyone wants to lose weight. What would you recommend if someone wants to gain some weight and muscle mass?
Lifting more and heavier weights aka hypertrophy training. Nutrition-wise I would add two snack between the main meals. I love to quick and easy thinks like a protein shake, some nuts or cream cheese. It is important to eat more and right foods. Training plays an important role as well. If you bulk eating junk food all the time, you will gain more fat than muscle mass.
Top nutrition tips
- Never drive yourself crazy about foods!
- Counting calories may be helpful to get to know foods and their calories but it can happen that after some time you see food as numbers and are obsessed with hitting those instead of enjoying eating.
- Treat yourself to something you love to eat from time to time. It is important for our bodies to relax and if you want that pizza or ice cream, go ahead and don’t stress about it. If you restrict yourself all the time, you will come to a point where you can’t resist anymore and binge on this food.
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