Home » Archive » Volume 14 (2023) » Issue No.1 » Body weight control issues: experiences, practices and current eating habits of exercise professionals

Body weight control issues: experiences, practices and current eating habits of exercise professionals

Zacharoula Boumpari 1, Antonia Matalas 1

  1. Harokopio University of Athens, Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, Athens. Greece

Pages: 3-12


Purpose: The present study aims at exploring the experiences, practices and attitudes regarding body weight control issues among exercise professionals, who work in gyms and hold a higher education degree in the field of Physical Education and Sports Science.

Material-Method: Using a qualitative research approach and with the aid semi-structured interviews, ten exercise professionals (5 men – 5 women) shared their personal experiences on body weight control issues, as well as their current eating habits and use of dietary
supplements. All interviews were recorded with the participant’s consent and transcribed by the researchers. Thematic analysis was used to identify key themes.

Results: The analysis of the data derived through the interviews showed the following results: Some participants had faced the challenge of controlling their body weight in the past and had chosen to adhere to specific dietary restrictions, sometimes of extreme difficulty. Current eating habits followed by the participants are in line with a balanced dietary model, i.e. inclusion of 4-5 meals daily, emphasis on home-made cooked food and limited alcohol use. Notably, participants’ attitudes exhibit a significant variance in regards to consumption of meat. In order to prevent or balance excessive unhealthy food consumption, some participants followed specific practices, such
as meal planning, home-cooking, allowing one calorie-“free” day weekly and energy restriction the day after breaking their dietary habits. Participants also mentioned the use of dietary and other supplements in the past, as well as, in the present.

Conclusion: Exercise professionals appear to have largely adopted positive attitudes and behaviors in regards to their food habits.


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