Clients and Their Diets
For most of our clients, food and diet can be stubborn problems. This is because it has become something other than a source of nourishment, it has instead become an area of conflict and confusion. There are endless weight loss scenarios, eating disorders, cravings, addictions, body image issues, and never-ending searches for what is deemed to be the best nutritional strategy. Even if your client has never suffered from any of these complaints they probably feel overwhelmed by all the books, articles, and “experts“ – each with something different to offer or say. It stands to reason that any client would welcome some clear and useful guidance about eating holistically.
If we were to only study the science of nutrition, eating would appear to be a simple biological process: nutrient intake, digestion, and cellular stimulation. Furthermore, if you were to read a book about dieting, eating is presented as chaotic or a battle. It is almost as if it is us against the calories, us against our body fat and image, and us against our desire to eat certain foods.
If we stray from this convention and read any number of books on “natural” ways of consuming nutrients, eating is presented as divinely ordained within a system of something other than science or food intake. If we disregard the commandments in these books, we suffer wrath that will punish us with poor health. Furthermore, if we read any popular cookbook or food magazines, eating is presented solely as an affair of the pallet, where each recipe is orchestrated for our pleasure. Lastly, if we read a book on eating disorders we see that our attitude to food may be a matter of life and death. It is no wonder our clients need help sorting this out.
So, the question for the coach is, is there an easy way to explain the diversity of these perspectives on nutrition and the different ways that we relate to food? Or, is there one true way to eat? Are there some dietary principles that all nutritionists share, regardless of their orientations? And maybe even more to the point, how can we make sense of the conflicting impulses that exist side-by-side in our minds, one being the desire to eat healthy foods versus the desire to eat those that are forbidden? Or the desire to overeat versus our tendency to want to always lose weight, or even the desire to help ourselves versus the unconscious desire to self-destruct or sabotage.
Coaches are simply searching for a sensible source of information about dietary intake that explains the complexity of our client’s minds. As Holistic Nutrition Coaches we seek a way to understand the relationship between food and the body without telling a client that what they are eating is wrong or being harassed about the need to follow another breakthrough diet system. But as you’ve read, nutrition is not the only holistic element we explore with our clients. Still, nearly all diet and nutrition books promote a specific way to eat, a new gimmick, or some elusive promise of permanent weight loss, eternal health, and boundless energy. Few books inform clients on how to nourish themselves at a deeper level needed to benefit holistically.
Here we will unravel this maze or The Plan that our clients often buy into. We ask that you keep an open mind and embrace the difference between what you believe you know already with what others think. This is a cornerstone of coaching – to be curious about our client. Few client actions elicit curiosity more than their eating habits!
What Drives Dieting Behaviors?
So many people who have an interest in nutrition and health make the fascinating assumption that there must be a perfect diet – meaning the perfect way to approach perfect nutrition; it’s often deemed to be the one way of consuming food that trumps all other approaches. Now, as this thinking goes, all we need to do is discover this one perfect diet and we hit the sweet spot. This mindset states that we can zero in on that perfect diet and have perfect health, the perfect weight, perfect energy, and perfect looks, and live forever.
Does The Perfect Diet Exist?
Who wouldn’t want to find the perfect diet? It may sound like a bit of an exaggeration – but the reality is you will meet far too many people – including a lot of the experts who come armed with this essential nutrition knowledge – that believe there has to be one perfect diet.
Believing that there is a one-size-fits-all approach to diet has some important consequences that we should take note of. One reason – it often puts us on an endless search for this program (that frankly, does not exist). At times it seems we are more driven to find these perfect foods than we are to sort out what makes us eat the way we do. This is just part of the work for a nutrition coach working in a holistic manner – to coach the client to an elevated level of understanding. It is your opportunity, it is your calling. Most of us can become confused and frustrated because so many experts claim that they have the perfect way to eat – and they all have scientific proof.
But if they are all saying something quite different from one another, we have to wonder who is right. Some might believe that they have found the perfect diet, and they try to stick to it for a while, only to fall off the wagon when they eat foods outside of these perfect plans. This is most unfortunate, as it leads to a lot of self-rejection and personal turmoil.
There is so much nutritional confusion and personal frustration that happens when clients try to follow a perfect diet – perfectly – when the reality is that perfection does not exist. Try to name just one aspect of life where we can all agree about what’s perfect; is there a perfect way to earn money… is there a perfect way to do a relationship… is there a perfect way to raise children… is there a perfect way to have fun?
Let us spell it out in nutritional and scientific terms: there is absolutely no such thing as the perfect diet.
There are likely as many excellent ways to strategize eating plans as there are individuals you serve. Find the ideal way to help your client discover their best eating plans by learning a holistic approach; this requires we look at the whole person. For a more targeted option, the field of integrated health may be more appropriate. This sort of strategy can include specifics like, gut microbiome and personalized nutrition based on metrics – but it is different than a big picture, holistic approach. It really depends on your style and preference – as well as the needs of your client.
Where Can You Learn More?
If you are a health and fitness pro, the knowledge you’ll gain in the Holistic Nutrition Coach Certification is the missing key to helping your clients reduce that fatigue, lack of recovery, or inflammation your clients want solved.
If you currently offer nutrition coaching/consulting, you will want to add these skills and this credential to your resume.
If you focus your work in the “holistic” areas of health, fitness, and wellness, THIS is your next step. Without this knowledge and certification, you won’t have everything you need to help all your clients.
If you are looking for CEUs, we got you covered. Completion of this course also gives you 4.0 CEUs.
You will want to click over now to learn what the buzz is all about. This is unlike any other nutrition certification offered in the industry.