Why would someone who went to school for 5 years with an emphasis in Food and Nutrition and Exercise Science HATE nutrition? Every health coach’s mission should be for clients to be educated when it comes to their personal health. We should want everyone to live their dream and be healthy and happy. For example this is my mission:
“Live Life Well’s mission is to support individuals in the development and implementation of their wellness purpose statement. Whether clients are beginning a wellness regiment or they are looking for additional support in a current program; Live Life Well can help them to reach their goals with motivation, proper fitness technique, natural energy balancing, nutrition education and additional supplementation.”
As I copy and paste this from my business plan I am also making a mental note to revisit this mission so I can paint a better picture for my clients. Anyway, let me fill you in on why this is also a nightmare.
First, how many of you know someone who is selling or running a fitness and/or nutrition-related network marketing business? This is probably one of your good friends or a close relative. They are very informed and you respect them very much. You have seen them reach all of their goals and now they are excited to share the opportunity with YOU. Not only can you have ultimate heath but you can also earn a pretty substantial income for yourself if you follow the same path. These companies are all fairly genuine and the products they sell are all wonderful but where do these programs fail? They do not offer flexibility, they give off a pushy sales pitch and they unintentionally create defensive thinking. Let’s open all three of these up for conversation.
Flexibility: You can have a program that tracks calories, controls sugar, increases protein, fluctuates meal timing or simply adds supplementation but when you support one plan you are leaving out client flexibility. The program might be great for one client and terrible for another especially as we start getting into what their bodies need to heal from chronic illness. Now, that is not what your loved one said. They said “I lost 20lbs on this plan and I know you can do the same” or “each plan is created to meet your needs”. Those statements in their entirety just cannot be true: #1. they do not know the clients medical history to determine what is right for them and #2. if the company does have a number of different options they still fall under the same category for program delivery.
Sales Pitch: To make a residual income you have to sell. You have to sell products and you have to sell the wellness program. The distributors are then going to tell everyone they know about the success stories. This is not a problem because they should tell these stories! They are great stories and they are helping many individuals to become healthy and wealthy. Why do I consider this a failure? Everyone knows and I mean everyone! The programs and the stories are everywhere. You really cannot run from them and if you haven’t been approached already you will be asked to either use the products or sell the plan in the near future. This causes individuals to run and actually become annoyed or frustrated with the stories and the results.
Defensive Mindset: This is where I get really hard on the system. We have so many opportunities to pick from that companies, distributors and clients are now becoming defensive that their way is the only way. This is a terrible phenomenon and I not only see it with clients but also colleagues that are using specific platforms. My plan is better than your plan because …, this shake is better than that shake because…, and finally my story trumps your story because…! Eeek, listen to those phrases. The criticism is not only coming from someone who is just stepping into health and wellness industry but listen to the statements from our professionals mouths. Every success is a success when it comes to improving health. This defensive mindset is driven from an over-saturated industry. End of story!
Second, can the government and our nutrition leader make up their mind? How many ways can we develop the food guidelines to nourish our country? Not to mention statements that leave the public and the media even more confused. I am going to pick on the most recent media headlines based on a statement from the American Heart Association; “SKIPPING BREAKFAST MAY BE BAD FOR YOUR HEART”. This AHA summary is found on page 5 of that statement:
On the basis of the combined epidemiological and clinical intervention data, daily breakfast consumption among US adults may decrease the risk of adverse effect related to glucose and insulin metabolism. In addition, comprehensive dietary counseling that supports daily breakfast consumption may be helpful in promoting healthy dietary habits throughout the day.
Did you hear anything that stated that skipping breakfast may be bad for your heart? You might have to re-read that a few times to understand where the media picked up on that language. Later on page 19 the clinicians is strongly encouraged to follow an intentional approach to eating without ignoring the TEI and macro-nutrient balance for patients. I inserted a table directly from the AHA statement so we can talk about this a little more.
|Table 3. Intentional Approach to Eating
Develop an intentional approach to eating that focuses on the timing and frequency of meals and snacks as the basis of a healthier lifestyle and improved risk factor management
|Understand the patient’s frame of reference in how he or she may define meals and snacks|
|Recommend distributing calories over a defined portion of the day|
|Recommend eating a greater share of the total calorie intake earlier in the day to have positive effects on risk factors for heart disease and diabetes|
|Promote consistent overnight fast periods|
|Link eating episodes to influence subsequent energy intake (eg, place snacks strategically before meals that might be associated with overeating)|
|Include intermittent fasting approaches as an option to help lower calorie intake and to reduce body weight|
|Use added eating episodes to introduce a wider variety of healthful food options and to displace less healthful foods|
|Use planned meals and snacks timed throughout the day to help manage hunger and to achieve portion control|
This is a great approach and I support everything in the intentional eating approach. I had one red flag when reading this statement in its entirety. The media found in page 5 that breakfast consumption may be able to prevent heart disease and diabetes. Later, the AHA’s best approach for clinicians is to suggest intermittent fasting to help lower calories and reduce body weight for patients. If you are not familiar with intermittent fasting you would not question this in the slightest. However, intermittent fasting is consuming calories within a smaller window of time to kick-start fat metabolism. Let’s say the clinician recommends 6-8 hours for arguments sake because each clinician is going to interpret this differently. If you eat breakfast at 7:00 a.m. you will need to stop eating for the day around 1:00-3:00 p.m. to begin the fast. This most likely is not the approach the patient will take nor is it the approach the clinician will recommend. More than likely, they will recommend to “skip breakfast” to have your first meal at 10:00 a.m. with your last meal between 4:00-6:00 p.m. to begin the fast. Now, if you have been watching the news you are going to think the clinician has lost their mind because the media just mentioned that The American Heart Association stated “SKIPPING BREAKFAST MAY BE BAD FOR YOUR HEART”. Confusing, right?
I know that this is a long blog post and if you made it to this point you are truly wondering why I HATE NUTRITION. Maybe, you stopped wondering and started to realize that this industry is over saturated and very confusing. This industry is not what I signed up myself up for 12 years ago. With these frustrations I took a different road and now instead of coaching on specific diet fluctuation I protect the mind. I protect you from the nutrition guidelines, network marketing programs, media suggestions and public interpretations. What I support is putting a focus on listening to your body and RELAXING YOUR FOOD EXPECTATIONS. Your body will truly tell you what you need to survive and thrive; especially if you listen. Schedule your FREE breakthrough call to determine if working with me will get you to your healing goals. Relax, Heal and Enjoy!