With the abundance of information that is available online, it is difficult to decipher the good from the bad. In the world of nutrition, that can be even more difficult. Should we eat carbs? Should we cut out fat? Should we remove sugar from our diet? Is dairy bad for us? Can we drink alcohol if we want to lose weight?
So, when you really want answers and guidance, it is super helpful to turn to a nutrition coach to help lead your journey.
The problem is, not all nutrition coaches are created equally. Not every coach can help you reach your goals as an individual. Often times coaches are certified through a company that they work for (i.e. taught to guide you through use of their particular products).
Let’s be clear, seeking guidance when you need it, is a great choice. But be picky. Ask lots of questions. Make sure you’re a good fit together. And make sure their coaching is in alignment with your goals, preferences, interests. Want to know how to spot a good coach that can help you sustain your results according to YOUR lifestyle, then check out these five things a good coach will NOT tell you:
1. To cut out carbs
Carbs are not the enemy. You need carbohydrates to fuel your body. When you eat carbs, your body breaks down the starch and absorbs it into your bloodstream, in which it then becomes glucose. Glucose is especially important for brain function. And that’s just the beginning. Muscle recovery? Lack of sleep? Stress? Gut issues? Carbs can help! Does that mean you should eat a loaf of bread and a pound of pasta at a time? No, but that doesn’t mean you should eliminate them completely either. Get most of your carbs from fruit, veggies, and whole grains. Feel free to add in some potatoes and rice too. Just remember to focus on how your body feels after you eat them. Bloated? Then decrease your portion. Listen to what you need!
2. To drink a gallon of water every day
This one kills me. I hear this constantly “Everyone needs to drink 1 gallon of water everyday”. Now, sure, we all need to stay hydrated. I get it. But how can anyone tell me that my husband (who weighs over 50 lbs. more than me) needs the same amount of fluid in his body that I do? Does that even make sense? I recommend a more realistic amount. Drink about ½ your body weight in ounces. So, if you weigh 150 lbs., you should aim for 75 ounces of water daily.
3. To drink your coffee black
So, what if you hate black coffee? You’re screwed. Just kidding. That’s ridiculous. I actually like my coffee black. But if you like a little cream and even (gasp) sugar, then drink it that way. You just need to be mindful of how it makes you feel. If you feel tired or have cravings after drinking your coffee with cream and sugar, then it probably isn’t the best combination for you. You have to figure out what you need.
4. To stop eating all sweets
Listen, I don’t need that kind of negativity in my life! I love chocolate. I love caramel. And I love them even more when they’re together 😊
If someone tells you that you need to give up all sweets at one time, then they don’t have an understanding of how change works. And they certainly aren’t thinking of the longevity of your results. Sweets in moderation can actually keep you from bingeing later!
5. To give up alcohol
So first you try to take away my coffee, now you want to strip me of my wine?? What in the what????? Stop it. Alcohol is not going to single handedly stop you from changing your body. Should you drink a bottle of wine every day? Um, probably not. But enjoying a glass won’t kill you. Like everything else, you just need to focus on how you feel. Does the wine (or other alcohol) lead you to have cravings for junk food? Does it impact your sleep? Does it make you feel bloated? Lethargic? Are you drinking because you enjoy it? Or because you’re stressed? Your responses to these questions should lead your decision making.
When coaches start implementing one size fits all rules into your program, you have to know that what they are focusing on is a generalization, not a personal approach. They speak toward the benefits of following their program or buying their products. And your success is directly related to continuing to follow their rules and being dependent on them.
If you are serious about working with someone to help you change your body, look for someone who will listen to your needs, ask about your life, and guides you to implement sustainable changes. Look for someone who will treat you like an individual, not try to force you to follow rules because they worked for someone else. Look for someone who you connect with and aims to help you maintain your changes for the long run, not just for right now. Because who the hell wants to give up all the things they love when you can totally lose weight and still enjoy your life?