Everything else.. The Hungry Nutritionist; An Athlete Turned Nutritionist

The Hungry Nutritionist; An Athlete Turned Nutritionist

2023 Jan 30

One of the biggest hurdles in improving your physical fitness and nutritional habits is knowing exactly what to do. In addition to the multitude of inaccurate fitness and nutrition myths we’ve all heard growing up, even the internet is full of conflicting information. With this overload of information, you’re probably seeking a genuine source to turn to.

Well here it is! We spoke to Shehan Pathirana, a former athlete turned nutritionist and fitness coach. Shehan has nearly twelve years of physical training experience and two years of experience in nutritional training. He specialises in giving people personalised meal plans and enjoyable workouts to clear fitness doubts and most importantly, to deliver lasting results.

Here’s what Shehan had to share!

1. What inspired you to start your brand?

Lack of accurate information on social media.

All you see on social media are quick fixes like fat-burning teas or magical workouts, but real solutions are never told or shared. Things like how your metabolism and digestion work are things people should know, but don’t. Since they were not there, I did my own research and wanted to share information with people who wanted to improve their health and physicality. 

I started my fitness and nutrition page and later it became a business. My brand is for people to find simplified information about health. 

2. Tell us about your brand and what services you offer. 

I offer training and nutritional services that are remote and online. 

With fully online training, clients get to work directly with me or a trainer through Zoom or Google Meets. Whereas remote training is for intermediate to advanced clients who don’t need close supervision. Both clients receive personalised advice, it’s only the level of supervision that changes. 

I usually start with developing their existing relationship with food, through accurate calorie counting-fat loss, weight loss, and identifying the food they should ideally be consuming. 

3. What qualifications did you obtain to be a certified nutritionist and fitness coach?

I am a Certified Elite Trainer by the International Sports Science Association (ISSA). I am also certified as a Nutritionist, Strength & Conditioning Coach, Personal Trainer and Weight Management Specialist by the ISSA. 

I constantly research the latest fitness and nutrition information on certified online platforms. In my field, it’s necessary that I stay updated, but also that I consume knowledge that is accurate and true. For this purpose, I’m a member of research groups that provide meta-analyses based on research. Therefore there’s no guesswork or misinformation in my work.

4. What health and fitness goals do most of your clients look for and what is one piece of advice you would give them?

80% of my clients come to me for weight loss and body recomposition as well as muscle toning. The other 20% of my clients need help improving their eating habits like finding alternatives to excessive carb consumption, disordered eating, increasing their protein intake and so on.

5. How important is a diet in maintaining or achieving a specific fitness or health goal? 

Nutrition is the most important component regardless of whatever exercise you do. Physical workouts only happen for a few hours, but you eat multiple times a day. It’s important to know what and how to eat. 

Diets that you’ll find online can be very misleading because you’ll be following something that has worked for someone else or a general plan. “Abs are made in the kitchen” is a good statement for motivational purposes but everyone needs to understand their own body. The 80/20 rule isn’t supremely accurate because the kitchen part doesn’t necessarily have to be a diet.  

6. What’s the importance of having a coach or personal trainer in achieving fitness goals? 

Consulting a coach can save you from burning yourself out in your fitness or nutrition journey. Especially when encountering body plateaus people get quite frustrated. You’ve reached a body plateau when you’re putting in work for your physical and nutritional health but aren’t seeing the results you anticipated. 

7. What should someone looking to improve their health and fitness consider when they are deciding on a nutrition and fitness plan?

Don’t join a program or coach just to lose weight. Weight is just a symptom of unhealthy life patterns. Control these habits and your unhealthy living standards will improve. 

Don’t blindly do diets, they can be unsustainable and you’ll gain the weight you lost just as fast. 

8. What advice would you give to someone who is following a nutrition and fitness plan but hasn’t seen results yet? 

This happens when you reach a body plateau, you put in the work and change your diet but the results aren’t showing. Most people get frustrated or discouraged when this happens, but it’s actually very common. At this stage, you should probably consult a fitness trainer or nutritionist that’s able to give you personalised feedback. Individual feedback is important because everyone’s body and metabolism are different, so receiving one-on-one feedback is key. 

9. What are 3 nutritional and fitness practices you follow daily?

  1. I don’t strictly restrict and cut off certain foods from my diet, I’m simply mindful of what I consume. 
  2. I work out daily but if my schedule is too busy, I try to make it at least three times a week. 
  3. I try to be patient with myself and allow myself to fail before getting demotivated. 

10. Where and how can people find your work and reach out to you?

You can reach out to me through my Instagram and Facebook account.