Our nutrition expert Marko Popin was envolved into an interview with journalists from municipalities of Bačka Palanka. We are giving You this interesting interview as a whole piece or You can read this interview on their website directly.

We talked to Marko Popin from Despotovo and who is a student of 6th years of medicine at the Medical Faculty in Novi Sad. He loves sport, nature and tries to have a healthy and proper diet.

Marko, when did love for sports begin?

My love for sports began when I was still a little, from about 5-6 years old, when we were watching various sports events on TV in the evening hours. In those years I received my first roller skates from Dad, which I soon learned to drive.

Which kind of sports do you like?

I love various sports, especially team sports like volleyball, with which I first met in physical education in elementary school, with teacher Laki. I had the first serious interaction with volleyball in high school. At the university I was an active member of the volleyball section. I met many good people through sports. I always loved to be active, the kind of sport was not so important but what is really important is to hang out and have fun time.

Tell us more about your way of life and diet.

A great milestone in my life took place when I was at 2nd year of a medical study, when I studied physiology. Until then I had a problem with body weight of 97 kg, with my height of 180cm I looked like a 100 liter barrel. My problem was excessive food, lots of white dough and lots of sweets. That was the main cause of my obesity. I realized, only when I learned some things at the college and tried it on myself. Instantly I made a change in a diet, the main thing was to remove the dough from use and reduce the amount of sweets. Otherwise, white flour has a very low nutritional value, since most vitamins and all the fibers humans removed with the shell of the grain itself. Only pure and simple sugar, which we have in almost every industrial product and which is bad for our organism, remains as it leads to metabolic diseases, such as diabetes mellitus type 2, is more prevalent in the younger population. By this change, I began to see the big differences in my mood, the ease of movement in everything that a man needs when exercising. With all of this, I started running to make this weight loss process a bit quick, like everyone else, I was impatient when I began to see changes with my body! So I managed to lose 22 kg in 5-6 months. When I saw what a phenomenal change brought me a change in the diet, of course, I did not even think about returning to previous situations, white flour and sugar. I had the support from my girlfriend! My parents, like everyone in the village, thought that I was getting sick and the vast majority of people in the village did not recognize me after these 5-6 months. That feeling was for 10!!!

Since then I liked running, which I continued to practice almost daily, I run with an empty stomach in the morning, before all obligations. Over time, I got more fit and felt as easy as ever. That same year, I decided to apply for my first half-marathon in Novi Sad, which I managed with fewer difficulties. From that moment I liked to run longer distances. My love for nature dragged me to Fruška Gora where I often ran with my friends, which I have to mention on this occasion, because they deserve it for many reasons, Milan, Sale and Veki. Mom, dad and brother later also saw the benefits of my diet and lifestyle changes and they began to support me in everything what I do. I accidentally, through social networks, learned about the mountain races organized by the Serbian Sky Running Association and since then I have been trying to visit some events. People from this organization have made an extraordinary venture and thus brought mountains in Serbia and the surrounding area closer to all people, not only runners and hikers.

My diet, from the beginning of my transformation was based mostly on fresh fruit and vegetables, all kinds of meat, various seeds, nuts, dry fruits. In short, breakfast is a combination of complex sugars (mostly flakes, oats, buckwheat, millet) and fruits and vegetables, most often in the form of porridge or some very popular smoothie. Snacks exists in the morning and afternoon and I usually eat some fruit or carrots.

Lunch and dinner are based on combinations of fats (virgin olive oil, nuts, peanuts, seeds, sunflower seeds and pumpkin), protein (meat, fish, dairy products) and vegetables. Of course I sometimes eat something sweet, pizza, gyros or whatever comes to your mind, but the point of the whole story is not to overdo it! I drink plenty of water and tea during the day, because it makes me fresh. My daily morning ritual is 3dl of water, with a piece of ginger and a spoon of honey on an empty stomach, immediately after awakening.

I would recommend all people to eat more fresh fruits and vegetables, because it supplies us with all the necessary nutrients for the normal operation of our organism. Drink plenty of water, min. 2l per day, and in the case of hot weather activities consume it even more. The easiest way to measure the amount of lost water is by standing on a scale before and immediately after physical activity.

What would you tell the readers?

I want to tell readers that they must first of all guard themselves against illness, through balanced food and enough water. It’s important to take care of your body while it’s healthy, so it’s much easier. When we get seriously ill, it is much harder to return to the right track, it is possible, but very difficult!

Protect your body, because it is your home!

We thank Mark Popin for useful advice and information, which he has unselfishly shared with us and has enriched us with useful information which we can use in the same way in everyday life as he does and we can feel better in our body and in the spirit .

🇬🇧 Former member of Serbia Swimming Team and current member of Serbia Triathlon Team, engineer and sports lover.

🇷🇸 Bivši član reprezentacije Srbije u plivanju i reprezentativac Srbije u triatlonu, inženjer i zaljubljenik u sport.

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