Sunday, 12 January 2020

12 Questions with Nutritionist Emilia Thompson

1) Who is Emilia Thompson? (where are you from, what do you do, a bit about yourself (hobbies, etc)

I’m a Registered Nutritionist, have a PhD in Exercise Physiology and previously competed in Bikini (I quit in 2017 after winning BodyPower and coming second place at PCA British Finals). I work predominantly with individuals aiming to improve their relationships with food, through a focus on nutrition education, mindfulness and self-compassion. I’m also an Educator in Sports Nutrition. I lecture at a number of universities and deliver education courses to Personal Trainers.

2) How many years have you been training? (Including how you got started, etc)

For about 6 years. I started lifting in response to the end of a difficult relationship, living in Loughborough I was in an environment heavily focused on sports performance. I’d always been active, but friends in my life at that time were all men who lifted, so I started training with them. I got in to competing in bikini the year after that.

3) Whats been the most challenging/hardest part of your journey so far? and how have you overcome them (set backs, rejections, injuries, basically anything difficult that you have had to overcome)

Navigating post-show the first time around, that was harder than any injury (and I’ve had my fair few – bilateral hernia recovery is no joke). When I first competed, no one spoke of the challenges that post-show would bring, the food obsession, the changing body composition, the insatiable hunger. Like many competitors, I struggled with that the first time around and it took a lot of research and self-work to develop methods to support myself (and eventually others).

4) What does your typical workout/diet routine look like? (With any particular protocols you rate).

I eat intuitively, which means I honour my hunger and fullness with a focus on mindful eating (I’m not an ‘intuitive eater’ per se). I ensure that I’m getting sufficient protein by having a serving with most meals (4 or so each day) and focus on getting a range of micros alongside that. I’m basic in my training and I don’t have aesthetic goals right now. I follow a 4 day split with progressive overload, with sufficient volume for hypertrophy, taking a deload when I need it. I ensure my volume is going up on the whole - it’s that simple (people overcomplicate things in my opinion).

5) What new knowledge have you learned over this past year regarding training, lifestyle and nutrition? (And How has it changed your focus for the future).

My focus within the industry now is about sharing evidence-based practice and calling out the misinformed practices that I see. My training, lifestyle and nutrition is focused around health, which doesn’t tend to change much with emerging evidence. The field of chrononutrition is currently exciting with some cool new evidence coming through, so that has had some impact on how I work with clients and myself, especially those with delayed sleep schedules. But mostly, nutrition is pretty fundamental stuff.

6) Whats your favourite cheat/Treat meal? 

I don’t do cheats or treats. The terminology has such negative connotations surrounding food guilt and promotes poor relationships with food.

7) Whats one supplement that you could not live without?

I’m a Nutritionist, so I can get everything I couldn’t live without from food. That being said, I live in the UK, so vitamin D is essential (at least between October to April).

8) If you had to start your Journey from scratch with both your health & physique what would you do differently and why?

I wouldn’t change a thing. I believe everything happens for us, rather than to us. So even the parts that I cringe at (I cried on my first prep because I messed up my carb intake with a Lemsip), helped me in my work and journey in some way (that certainly helped me with empathy with my clients).

9) Who do you look upto in the fitness industry and why?

Anyone I look up to, I respect for their knowledge more than anything. Martin MacDonald has been a great mentor for me in terms of sharing valuable educational nutrition content. Truth be told, there’s no one specifically ‘fitness’ that I look to for inspiration or motivation anymore.

10) If you had to give one bit of advice to people starting out what would that be?

Do your research. Ask questions. Know your values. Don’t just passively absorb information, there’s so much incorrect and harmful stuff out there. Don’t compromise your values, with coaches, your sport or your actions.

11) What new goals do you have on the horizon?

Plenty business wise, life wise. I plan to deliver a lot more education in 2020. Sorry to say, none physique and training wise… I’m really content with where they’re at for me.

12) Where can people find you? (website, social media accounts)
@emiliathompsonphd (insta)

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