I have a few different clients that I have been working with for a while now. During our sessions we get into conversations about nutrition and their, relatively deeply rooted, philosophy is based on the (mis)information from the different diet plans….paleo, low-carb, etc. etc. I try to present the evidence-based side of nutrition, but to no avail. What are some ways to get them away from the ideas of the well-marketed “popular” diets?
This can be very difficult. I don’t have a quick solution as there are no quick solutions just like there are no quick weight loss answers.
I come right out and honestly tell this type of client how frustrating is for trainers to deal with the misinformation machine of fad and media diets. I point out that I can also gain a lot of fat weight if I eat poorly, but have the poor food choices under good control so I am not gaining fat weight. I don’t expect them to eat the way that I do, but I do expect them to take their food choices seriously. I send a lot clients to Registered Dieticians. Many have been successful, but I am not always able to help everyone. If a client isn’t getting anywhere with me, I always try to get them to seek other health professionals for assistance. Sometimes it is a dietician or physician specializing in weight loss. Sometiems it is another fitness professional. The client comes first not my ego or income.
Just like any training philosophy that targets a specific type of clients the same goes with nutrition and diets. There is no one size that fits all. I’m sure when you design training programs for your clients you don’t just copy someone else’s ideas or methods, but rather you customize their training plans. What I’m trying to say is that the best way to reply to your clients when they think that because a diet is popular it doesn’t mean it’s for them. A diet that others follow and swear by it, it may or may not work for your clients. I tell my clients that the best diet plan for them is the one that a dietitian or a nutritionist will design for them according to their specific needs and the exercise plan I have them do in order to reach their goals. Unfortunately, they will believe what they want to believe and there is not much you can do about if they are not open to a constructive discussion/criticism.
As trainers we can share the nutritional guidelines and the latest “scientific research” to our clients.
My repetitive question for my clients is ” is it real food”?
We need to stay within our scope of practice and lead them to the truth with sound knowledge.
Paleo is not “new”, it’s the infiltration of Crossfit-which I still wonder about“.since as a fitness professional we are not suppose to give out “diets”
One thing I do from time to time is recommend they book a session with a nutritionist. I have one whom I can feel comfortable personally recommending. This is not in place of conversations I may have with someone, but it does take my ‘opinions’ out of the mix and let them have the option to speak with someone squarely trained in this area. They may say exactly what I would, but can do so in a way that may reach the person better.
It seems people are always looking for an easy way. That is how they become victims of their own intelligence. And, I tell them. And, I keep trying to educate them and, with respect, you may help some in that area. But, I have been training 30+ years and I must say with regard to food nutrition, the idea are becoming worse. Keep trying and good luck. Brian Rozzi