With the Holistic Performance Nutrition annual conference less then two months away we thought it be high time to introduce another one of our presenters! Eric Helms is a coach, athlete, author, and educator. He has a BS in fitness and wellness, an MS in exercise science, a second masters in sports nutrition, and is a strength and conditioning PhD candidate at AUT in New Zealand. We asked him a few questions so you guys could get to know him a bit better:
1. How did you become involved in the health industry?
I started lifting weights very seriously at a very angry time in my life, it started as a rather unhealthy obsession, but then helped me to turn that darkness into a drive to make myself a better person and to help others do the same. Shortly afterwards I shifted my career to becoming a personal trainer and haven't looked back.
2. What do you enjoy most about what you do?
I love helping passionate people push themselves. Watching them find new levels of drive they never thought they had, and accomplishing things they never thought they could is very rewarding.
3. How would you describe your philosophy about being fit and healthy?
I believe in an evidence based, individualised, sustainable approach. I promote commitment to the lifestyle that will help an individual accomplish their goals, rather than any quick fix.
4. What’s your typical meal for…
First thing upon waking: A quest bar! Double chocolate chunk 99% of the time.
Morning: Some fruit.
Lunch: Rice thins dipped in low fat cottage cheese or Anchor light greek style yogurt with sweetener, fruit, a cheese stick, after that, on days I train, another quest bar an hour or two prior to training and a scoop of whey after as well . Sushi if it's a day I eat out
Dinner: This changes pretty frequently, but it's often something like a block of grilled halloumi, corn on the cob, and a medium to large kumara
Snacks or sweets Movenpick!
5. Do you have any daily tips and strategies you recommend your clients implement to keep them living at a lean, fit and healthy body composition?
My clients are competitive physique or strength athletes, so outside of their nutrition and training plans, most of it is mindset. Focusing on being their best, versus the best, and focusing on making steady improvements over time. Putting progress in perspective and not letting the end goal of winning consume them. This is critical to being happy and retaining long term motivation.
6. What have been your biggest achievements to date?
Marrying the love of my life, winning my professional status in natural bodybuilding, finishing my masters thesis, publishing the first comprehensive peer reviewed articles on evidence based natural bodybuilding contest preparation.
7. Do you have any piece of advice for our readers who are struggling with their eating habits and their body image?
Truly evaluate whether what you need is a new piece of dietary science info, a new 'super diet', or some new supplement approach, OR, do you need to actually acknowledge that there is a trend of an unhealthy mindset or set of habits that you follow that is the underlying issue? If it's the latter, acknowledge to yourself and for yourself that you actually need help. If you find yourself cutting out an entire macronutrient, food group, or constantly in a state of dieting, yet you are hungry and often feel guilty when you fall off the wagon, it's probably time to reach out. It takes strength to acknowledge your weakness and to be vulnerable, but it is the most important thing you will ever do.