“I know what to do, I just need to do it.”
“I was on this diet for a while, did pretty good with it, then just kind of stopped. What do you eat?”
“I tried going to the gym before work for a few weeks, then just got too busy.”
Do any of those statements sound familiar? Have you fallen into any of these traps as answers?
“So why don’t you just do it then, lets get started!”
“Let’s start you on a new meal plan on Monday, you’ll get shredded in no time!”
“We just need to step up the intensity – we are going #BeastMode to get you back in the swing of things!”
Do You Even “Coach” Bro?
Maybe I’m slightly exaggerating (or am I?), but I think we’ve all been exposed to or been guilty of this type of “coaching”. This turns into a constant cycle of fluctuations in not only the physical, but also the mental and emotion aspects of a client’s life.
These clients may do well for a little bit, and then fall off. Or they jump from trend to trend, only to either get bored, not give it the time that is needed, or not even truly understand it except for the fact that it’s a popular thing to do.
Or maybe even worse, they can’t even start on anything.
This is why I’ve really taken a liking to John Beradi’s Precision Nutrition (PN). This is just as much a psychological certification as it is a nutritional one.
Keep It Simple
As a certified Precision Nutrition Coach, below are some basic guidelines in which a habit-based approach to coaching is used.
- Do one thing at a time. Sounds simple and logical, but one of the biggest downfalls of individuals are putting too much on their plate (see what I did there). Saying that you are going to start doing fasted cardio 3 days a week, adding 5 servings of vegetables every day, cutting out all alcohol, and starting with a personal trainer all sounds great. But realistically, this type of 0 to 100 mentality very rarely works, or sticks. Pick just one thing that you can start with and nail it.
- Awareness beats calorie counting. Learn to be aware of what food you’re eating - why you’re eating it, when you’re eating, how you're eating it, and how that food fuels your performance. Learn to be aware of what you're thinking, doing, and sensing. Be aware of your patterns, habits, triggers, what's around you, and what you're doing well. If you’re aware, you’re in control. You probably don’t carry a food scale and calorie list around with you (and if you could, would you want to?), but you always carry your awareness with you. PN says that awareness is the only true way to get healthy and fit for life.
- Be consistent and “pretty good” every day, rather than alternating wildly between rigid or “perfect” eating and uncontrolled or chaotic eating. Life happens and gets in the way sometimes. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing. This type of approach gets very tumultuous. Just because the party you attend has an unlimited amount of alcohol and fried foods doesn’t mean you have to be ravenous about it. You can still enjoy yourself without going overboard.
- Commit to making a change consistently for at least 2 weeks to determine how the change is working for you. Prove to yourself, and your body, that you can consistently do something new for at least two weeks before adding something else on top of that. Change that is sustainable is change that is gradual.
- Make decisions based on data and close observation of yourself, not “rules” or someone else’s ideas. It really doesn’t matter that a specific nutritional plan worked for a friend or family member. It may not work the same for you. Finding out what works for you comes with experimentation. Additionally, as previously mentioned, simply being truly mindful of how certain foods and activities make you feel can actually go a long way.
No reinventing of the wheel with any of these points above. Meet your client where they are. If something is being forced, then it rarely ends up successful. Learn from the past. As we’ve been often reminded, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.
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