I have been getting a few nutrition questions on Instagram lately, so this blog post will answer some of your most commonly asked questions. If you have any other questions, please feel free to leave a comment :)
1. How do you lose belly fat (especially lower belly fat)?
Losing belly fat will mostly be the result of a good diet. If you exercise a lot, but still eat junk, you are never going to get a flat stomach.
A diet low in carbohydrates, sodium, alcohol and junk food will help you get the results you want. If you cut out “bad” carbohydrates such as cakes, chocolates, white carbs, etc and lower your intake of carbohydrates in general you will be well on your way to becoming healthier not only on the outside but on the inside.
Exercise will help you get results quicker. I recommend a combination of HIIT, weights and cardio. The more intense, the quicker your results will be.
2. If I’m unable to workout for a few weeks, will I gain lots of weight and lose my fitness?
If you are unable to work out due to sickness, an operation or any other reason, this does NOT mean that you will gain weight. If you are eating a healthy diet and eating the right amount of food for your body, you will not gain weight. Just remember that if you are not being active for some reason, you will need less food than if you were exercising regularly.
If you do not exercise for a few weeks, this may see you lose your fitness and strength. But a few weeks of training again should see you gain it back in no time!
3. Do you have any recommendations to avoid eating cakes, sweets and all the bad carbs?
I know how tricky it can be to say no to junk food! This is how I stop myself from pigging out:
- Don’t buy the junk food. If it’s not in the house, you’re less likely to eat it;
- Stick to an eating plan. Write down all the meals and snacks you are going to eat for the week, grocery shop according to this meal plan, prepare your foods and you are less likely to stray;
- Set yourself a goal and always remind yourself of it!
- Don’t cut it out completely. The less you eat junk food, the less you crave it. But if you cut it out completely, the next time you do eat it, may see you binge. Allow yourself 1-2 treats during the week so you don’t feel deprived.
4. What does a balanced diet look like? How much of what should I eat?
A balanced diet means eating food from each of the main food groups and having adequate carbohydrates, protein and healthy fats. Check out my clean eating guidelines for an idea of the types of food you should and shouldn’t be eating, as well as some healthy meal ideas.
Knowing how much you should be eating really depends on your body type. For example, somebody who is of a thinner build should have a diet higher in carbohydrates compared to someone who is a bigger build. To find out which body type you are, check out my previous blog post here.
Once you know which body type you are, check out my workout and nutrition guidelines for each body type. I provide specific information on how much and which types of food are best for each of the different body types.
- Ectomorph workout and nutrition guidelines
- Mesomorph workout and nutrition guidelines
- Endomorph workout and nutrition guidelines
5. What is the best food to eat for abs? How many snacks should you have between meals?
The most important thing here is that you need to cut out the junk food, alcohol and high sodium foods. Also, eating a diet lower in carbohydrates and higher in protein and healthy fats may help.
How many times per day you eat doesn’t really matter. What matters is how many calories you are eating in the day. To get abs and shed body fat, you need to be eating at a slight calorie deficit. To work out how many calories you need on a daily basis, check out my previous blog post here.
If for example you work out that you need 1600 calories per day, eating this over 3 main meals or spreading it out over 6 smaller meals isn’t going to matter. I prefer to eat 6 smaller meals as it means I get to eat more often and I find it helps me control my hunger better. But it’s a personal preference. As long as you’re eating the right amount of food (and healthy), you will get results.
6. Do you think dairy products are bad if I want to lose 3-5kg?
Not at all. Dairy products are actually good. They usually contain lots of good fats and are high in protein. The only thing to watch out for is the added sugar. Lots of yoghurts, milks and other dairy products contain lots of added sugar meaning high carbohydrates. Make sure you read the labels!
7. What nutrition course are you doing?
Lots of people were interested in this! I have recently started studying to become a nutritionist. I will not be a qualified clinical dietician (which is a higher qualification), but I will have the ability to provide you with better nutrition advice and provide nutrition programs to compliment exercise programs.
I am studying through the International Society of Sports Nutrition. It is an internationally recognised course and is the nutrition program that most fitness professionals use to get their qualifications.