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Basta with diet trends, hello personalised nutrition: What to eat to gain muscle mass?

Basta with diet trends, hello personalised nutrition: What to eat to gain muscle mass?
I

have had high expectations of myself and my performance since childhood, whether at school, at university or later at work. The desire to continuously improve lies in my genes. My father is a perfectionist. For the past few years, I’ve been interested in self-optimisation in the areas of health, fitness and nutrition. One of the reasons was my early exposure to the latest nutrition trends in the USA, where my family used to go on vacation and where fitness and health trends are "born". 

A few years ago, when the "fitness YouTubers" appeared on the scene, I added fitness and muscle gain to my personal „to be improved“ list. I liked a defined, muscular and fit body, also for females. I then started exploring biohacking. I read books, listened to podcasts and attended workshops about physical and mental strength, regeneration and sleep, nutrition and strength training as well as mindset and resilience. My goal in fitness has been to gain strength and build muscles for which I have been training regularly in the gym for several years, sometimes with a personal trainer.

Away from nutrition trends, towards personalized nutrition

I followed YouTube videos and media about the latest, supposedly best, diets and top nutrition trends. YouTube and Co. celebrate both the "bodybuilding" diet with Low Fat High Carb (LFHC) and the opposite, Low Carb High Fat (LCHF). First, fat was "bad", then the carbohydrates, not to mention the two extremes like vegan or carnivore diet.

From "no muscle gain without carbohydrates" to ketogenic diet and fat as the "super fuel" for optimal health, I tried it all. I wondered just like many other young women: What’s the right diet for me? I didn't want to trust the often sweeping statements made by many personal coaches either, as everyone had their own approach to healthy lifestyle and nutrition. If there was only this "one fits all" nutrition formula, why did people achieve success with both, HCLF and LCHF? Why do people report enormous health benefits after switching to either vegan or carnivore diets? Universal, subjective statements and best exercise and nutrition advice are omnipresent.

I must confess: I let myself be influenced. After Low Fat I tried Low Carb and for a long time I considered it the best nutrition formula for my health. I also gained strength during strength training, but insignificantly. I was not satisfied.

1. Defined muscles, or is strength training for women?

Fortunately, I got to know AURUM FIT in Zurich in 2018. I was very curious to train like an astronaut the first time. Julian convinced me quickly of the efficiency of the 6 Minute Workout and the individual 1:1 personal training using high tech fascinated me. The personal power score on the screen always spurs me on to constantly improve my performance. Setbacks are hard ;-). With AURUM strength training, you get to know yourself better and what lifestyle choices influence your performance.

2. Epigenetics and nutrition, or what should I eat to build defined muscles?

INEX Health was the next step towards a personalised approach. I heard about their individual coaching in the areas of performance, personal training, nutrition and sleep. I spontaneously decided to take their course on Functional Nutrition Coaching which is all about making personalised dietary recommendations based on person‘s unique genetics and epigenetics. Epigenetics takes into account lifestyle choices and factors such as sleep quality, the gut and the hormone impact on gene activity. Changes in the DNA sequence lead to different people reacting differently to food. Nutrigenomics can override a predisposition (nutrigenetics), thus our fate is not in our genes but epigenetics is crucial and can be influenced.

With a personalised diet, supplementation, lifestyle choices and exercise, one can, for example, consciously counteract a predisposition to a disease. What I found interesting to learn was how hormones, gut and detox (from e.g. environmental toxins) influence our performance.

I had even done a DNA test out of curiosity. Contrary to my LCHF diet at that time, the result showed that carbohydrates have a positive effect on my health. But I stuck to my habits.

3. The missing building block: metabolic analysis and personalised nutrition plan

Finally, thanks to AURUM, I was able to add the third important component. When my personal coach Oli observed that my performance at AURUM training fluctuated greatly, he suggested I have a metabolic analysis and nutrition plan done by AURUM expert Dr. Torsten Albers.

The metabolic analysis is based on a blood test with various parameters, followed by the preparation of a personalised nutrition plan in cooperation with Dr. Albers. It also takes into account the daily routine and food preferences. In this way, a plan is developed that can easily be implemented in everyday life.

AURUM strength training + nutrigenetics + personalised nutrition plan = my personal self-optimisation formula

All three building blocks: AURUM, INEX Health and Albers Concepts have a lot in common:

  1. Individual, personalised approach and 1:1 support instead of standardised plans and general recommendations
  2. Passion for their work with the aim of optimising the health and performance of each and every client
  3. Subject matter competence and knowledge of the latest scientific research and continuous training

This personalised approach is exactly what convinces me in the end. I now know what to eat in order to improve my performance and health and feel great. I also pay attention to factors such as hormone balance, gut health, detox and sleep.

It will still take some time before I reach my goals, but I'm on the right track. I‘ll stay on it, have patience and trust. You have to be prepared to leave the highway (mainstream) and go the roads less travelled, which also requires habit change. The mental strength is exercised as well. Today, I can ignore the latest nutrition trends on social media, because I know exactly what works for me personally and that is the only thing that counts.

How do I feel right now? Motivated, excited and happy!

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