While I do not personally approve of being pressured to sell or promote anything that a person may have ethical issues with doing, I would advise you to be proactive before you refuse to sell the product.
1. Find out if it is required as part of your employment. If it is, you need to decide if you can live with this or need to move on. If you do decide that you can’t compromise on this, I would advise you to find other employment before making a stand.
2. While I do not like meal programs, I do see the value of having the option when it allows clients to get a reasonable meal in over something totally worthless. If you have to sell the product, I would sell it to clients as a transition system to better eating habits. You would focus on having clients work on doing a better job of selecting whole food sources at the grocery store while having the meal plan products as back up if they found themselves short on time to shop and prepare a better meal.
3. If the product does not contain ingridients that you definitely object to, you might consider trying it out yourself for a while. Integrate it into your own diet and see how you react/feel. I have done this a few times with diet programs as practical research. Just as my clients never perform an exercise that I have not tested personally, I never make recommendations for or against any thing that I haven’t tried or researched.
There will often be issues that test our personal ethics and values. It is reality. But we also have obligations and commitments that we must address as well. The balance can be a very difficult test for anyone.
The others have already given you great advice, and if you are concerned then that is a red flag for you. Do you have to actually promote and sell the supplements? I would not be comfortable, either (my philosophy is hard work and whole foods). I cannot speak for that supplement, but did Google to see the ingredients in the different products. If you can continue to encourage a whole foods diet without the pressure of selling this supplement then great. Otherwise, you will need to choose what sits best with you and your philosophy.
Hope it all works out for you…
Hello Julie Cummins,
I agree that whole foods is the way to go, not meal replacement. Why do we need to replace what has been working? Look at what other food replacement products have done to us. It boils down to what helps you sleep. We are all in this for the same reason: to do what is best for the client.
I hope you are able to follow your gut instinct and stay in your scope of practice.
Natalie aka NAPS 2 B Fit.
I would want to ask some questions:
Do you believe that supplementation is a good and helpful part of a healthy lifestyle?
Are you someone who is trained to give a professional recommendation for a nutritional supplement? Do you feel professionally comfortable selling them?
Is this supplement: safe and effective?
Is this product dramatically more expensive than other products available that are of comperable quality?
Many who work in fitness will give you the same answers as all those who have responded to you: nutritional recommendations are outside of the scope of practice of anyone who is not specifically trained in nutrition. On top of that most people trained in either fitness or nutrition would generally be on the side of whole foods, and not in favor of promoting extensive supplementation.
But this question is not just a question of whether you feel that you are the appropriate on to speak to clients on general questions of the importance of a healthy diet. This is about selling a product to make a profit.
Isagenix is a multilevel marketing company. If you go to the web site they prominently display the photos of people who have made millions of dollars selling the stuff. When someone agrees to sell the stuff, the people from whom they buy, on up to the top of the company all make a profit. What does that suggest about the fairness of the cost of that product to the person who is buying it at the end of the chain?
I agree you should look over your contract and see what is required of you, and what are the consequences of your opting out of selling it if you do not feel comfortable doing so.
It sounds like you are in a place where you may need to make some hard decisions. Hopefully your gym will allow you not to participate if you do not feel comfortable doing so. If they are promoting this as a money making project it may mean that you will find yourself having a drop in income, or a smaller rise in income, so if you decide not to sell, you may need to look into other ways to enhance your income.
are they asking you to sell it to your clients? Is this part of your income to sell this product? or is it ok to know about the product in question and not push it onto your clients?
Many questions to ask to make a clear decision.
As a PN certified nutrition coach, I can only agree with all the answers already given to you. Meal replacements/supplements are not the way to go for a healthy lifestyle.