“I don’t feel bad if I eat unhealthy once in a while”.
Baran Dogan, you work as a fitness influencer. A healthy and trained body is a must. What do you do to maintain your body weight and stay in shape?
I go to the gym at least four times a week and make sure I have a healthy lifestyle. For me, the key to staying in shape is to listen to my body and give it what it needs. When I have cravings for sweets or fast food, I allow myself that too. Because constantly doing without only leads to bingeing.
Aside from your job, why is it important to you to have a toned body?
At this point, it’s important for me to say that I don’t define myself only by my physical fitness and the associated appearance. I don’t go to the gym to please people, but because it’s important to me personally. I feel more comfortable in my skin when I exercise. The workouts make me feel fitter, healthier and also more beautiful, which affects my well-being. The toned body is secondary for me, but of course I’m happy when I see the progress in the mirror.
How tall are you and how much do you weigh?
I am 1.85 meters tall and weigh 82 kilograms. My weight has been hovering around 83 kilograms for some time. However, I don’t own a scale and therefore I don’t check my weight regularly.
Sport is one half. But nutrition is also an important lever. How important is nutrition in your life?
Very important. I pay attention to a healthy and balanced diet, because I live by the saying “You are what you eat.” What kind of food you feed your body is not only reflected in your body weight, but also has an impact on your well-being, energy and performance.
How would you describe your diet?
Balanced and healthy. I eat a lot of vegetables, fruits, legumes, rice and potatoes. Especially because I consume a lot of calories through sports, I make sure that I eat enough carbohydrates, fats and proteins. For ethical reasons, I have massively reduced my meat consumption, so with the exception of eggs, I rely almost exclusively on vegetable fats and vegetable proteins.
How many meals do you eat per day?
It depends on what my day looks like. If I feel hungry in the morning, I like to snack on some nuts and eat a fruit. Since I’m not a breakfast fan, it can also happen that I fast in the morning and don’t eat anything until around 11:00. At lunch, I usually eat a large portion of vegetables with carbohydrates. In the afternoon I allow myself a muesli for in between and in the evening I have a large portion of vegetables with carbohydrates and good fats.
When you cook for yourself, do you count the calories beforehand?
Not anymore. I used to track all my calories. But for a few years now, I’ve just been eating by feel. I no longer weigh my food and just eat until I’m full.
How often do you allow yourself a “cheat day”, a day where you reach for fast food or sweets?
Not that often. But that depends a lot on my cravings. For a few months now, I’ve been craving more salty things. That means I would rather reach for pizza than chocolate. It happens that I treat myself to fast food or something sweet up to three times a week.
I don’t have a guilty conscience when I eat “garbage”. I don’t eat like this every day, and if it happens two or three days in a row, it’s not the end of the world. I don’t get fat immediately because of such exceptions.
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