One of the absolute hardest things as a coach is getting our clients to change their diets. For whatever reason—lack of time time, motivation, willpower, or a massive sugar-addiction—it’s much easier for people to commit to a gym routine than it is for them to stop eating processed foods, or to break their overeating habit.
I’m not suggesting there’s a magic-bullet solution; we believe in different strokes for different folks, but here is some FOOD for thought—and various options and resources—if you’re struggling to change your diet. Hopefully one will resonate with you.
Precision Nutrition’s idea of changing one habit at a time really resonates with us. Check out their website here: http://www.precisionnutrition.com/one-habit.
The idea here is not to overwhelm a person with grandiose and sudden changes in their lives; instead, long-term success comes from focusing on changing one small habit at a time.
Precision Nutrition offers a 12-month personal nutrition and exercise coaching program—habit-based coaching—that focuses on LESS TO HELP YOU ACHIEVE MORE.
In a nutshell, the change they suggest looks like this:
- Choose one habit/task per month (It could be something like not letting yourself drink alcohol during the week or not having seconds at dinner). It’s important to choose an easy goal at the start, and it’s important the goal is measurable.
- Write down your plan, which will clearly state what your goal is each day and each week.
- Announce your goal publicly: The more people you tell, the more you will be held to account.
- Keep track and report your progress.
If you want additional info about the precision nutrition program then grab a hold of Lindsay or Ehren or send us an email to discuss. They are currently working as personal coaches for a number of people going through this program.
The Whole Life Challenge
We will be running a loose version of the Whole Life challenge in September. This upcoming challenge will be primarily focused on nutrition.
Three things we like about the WLC:
- TEAM ENVIRONMENT:
The Whole Life Challenge can be turned into a team competition. Having teammates to lean on, who are going through the same thing as you are—as well as having support and people to hold you accountable—really resonates with many Whole Life Challengers, who have had great success improving their diet and body composition.
- MORE THAN NUTRITION:
When you sign up for the WLC, you will be asked to track not just your diet, but also things like your hydration, fitness, mobility and sleep. The idea is this challenge is meant to improve your entire lifestyle, not just your body composition.
- VARIOUS LEVELS
Not everyone should be following the same diet, and everyone’s lifestyle will allow differing levels of commitment. The WLC offer various levels, so to speak, that allow you to choose how extreme you want to be with your changes. Our Challenge in September will have 3 different “LEVELS” for you to choose from.
We resisted running challenges like this for a long time because unfortunately 90% of the changes people make during the challenge do not last long term. So, there is a BIG emphasis in this challenge on education. The more educated you are the easier it is to make informed decisions in the future, and the more likely you are to apply some of the principles learned to the rest of your life. The next challenge we are running features dieticians and nutritionists who are experts in this field and work with people daily on an array of diet related issues.
Develop a healthy relationship with food
One of the best pieces of advice I’ve ever received about nutrition is from a Registered Dietician and professor at the University of Western Ontario Jennifer Broxterman—also the owner of NutritionRx.
She reiterated the importance of developing a healthy relationship with food.
What does this mean?
“If you’re questioning whether you have a good relationship with food, think about your relationship with water. You drink water throughout the day, but there’s no pressure about how much to drink or when to drink. You drink when you’re thirsty,” Broxterman said. “Most people have a natural relationship with water.”
She added: “If you’re thinking about food every 5 minutes, if it’s always on your mind, and you’ve lost that natural ability to listen to your body, then you probably don’t have a healthy relationship with food.”
One way to help become healthier is to stop labelling foods as good foods and bad foods, and to stop beating yourself up when you mess up, she explained.
“One of the things I often tell people is it’s a lot like brushing your teeth. Everyone has forgotten to brush their teeth here or there, but you normally don’t beat yourself up about it. Not brushing your teeth once doesn’t lead to a spiral effect of not brushing your teeth for a week. But that often happens with food. Someone ‘cheats,’ and then this spirals into a week of bad eating,” she said.
While Broxterman believes it’s important to eat whole, unprocessed foods most of the time, she believes it’s equally as important to indulge guilt-free here and there. The guilt-free part is the key, she said.
It’s the wanting what you can’t have philosophy, she explained. Preventing yourself from ever having a cheat meal will only lead to obsessing about all the food you can’t eat more than you should.
The point is, if you mess up, learn from it, forget about it, and move on.
Nutrition Coaching with your personal Coach!
If you’re the type who needs one-on-one in-person coaching and someone to hold you accountable, then maybe it’s worth considering working with your coach.
If this is you, reach out to your coach and ask how he or she can help you reach your dietary goals. We work with people daily on meal plans/shopping lists/overcoming nutritional obstacles and eating in a way that supports the achievement of your goals. We also have a wonderful support network of dieticians and nutritionists who we can refer you to if you need more in depth help. When you work with a coach your goals become their goals and they take your achievements personally. So, contact your coach or email email@example.com if you would like some additional assistance.
Everyone is different in the gym and has different requirements when it comes to nutrition and the kind of assistance they need. If you have any questions about nutrition or what would work best for you and your particular circumstances then get into contact with us.