You make think that this title is hypocritical BUT this is my goal for the final destination of all of my clients. Nutrition counseling is much like being raised with a sound set of morals and values. Let me explain: Throughout your childhood you need to be taught what is right and wrong by your parents, teachers, and peers. You learn to share, treat others with respect, and what the “right” action is when confronted with decisions in life. The end product of this education (the adult you turn out to be) is of course limited by the quality of your teachers. If your parents, teachers, and peers have strong moral foundations then you most likely will too. If you diligently strive to live your life according to those set of ideals you are taught; then you generally become a successful person. That success is defined by you. Whether it be defined by your quality of relationships, financial disposition, or ability to have freedom; you WILL be successful if you are properly educated and align your life to meet your goals. Our parents eventually leave us alone to determine our destiny. They feel confident that we will be successful without their help if we have attained the knowledge we need and have practiced diligence to be successful. If they never let us leave the nest to make our own decision; our potential would be limited.
This applies to nutrition counseling. I first educate my clients on what they need to do to obtain their specific health and fitness goals. I teach them over the course of many months HOW to determine what they need through education. They need to understand what each macronutrient’s role is in our body and what they need to increase as they get in better shape, gain muscle, and get leaner. This varies from person to person. Some of my clients eventually take in a higher carbohydrate and fat percentage than protein. Some may need to keep their protein percentage always higher than their carbs and fat. This largely depends on one’s age and athletic level as well as their ability to adhere to a structured regimen. I teach people what they need to do to reach their goals. Then I teach people how to find balance in life once they have obtained their goals. That balance, in my opinion, is eventually learning to “feel” what your body needs without typing every morsel they eat into an app or website to see their totals. Please understand this is a process. It does not happen overnight. It takes many months of discipline to understand what your body needs. Then it takes many months of structured balance to see what your mental and physical balance is. At this point; I would like clients to venture off on their own and use me as a virtual coach on my “retired clients” side of my site. Yes designing their own diet plans is a part of this for the initial stage BUT then their comes a point when we NEED to learn to feel what our body needs to fuel it best. This is the intuitive part of nutrition. That doesn’t mean everyday at 4pm when you feel your blood sugar drop and you see someone eating ice cream; you go have a large waffle cone because you “feel” you need it. No, you need carbs but your body does not respond to ice cream like it would an apple and 2TB peanut butter. It also doesn’t mean every birthday party you should pass on cake and ice cream, every dinner party you pack your own tupperware meal, and every vacation your track all of your meals in Fitclick. There is a time and place for this type of discipline. It may go in waves once you have found your balance. You may want to tighten up a few times a year for special events. Eventually, the last stage in my counseling is intuitive eating. You have a base of what your meals should look like discovered through the education you have obtained through working with me and then you use your body as a guide to determine how to tweak your base. Ultimately you know your body best because you live in it. I make tweaks based on science and your description of how you are feeling. Of course, I am always here to bounce those tweaks off of, but the days of staring down Fitclick 24/7/365 should come to an end for your own mental health at some point.
There are always exceptions like my clients with history of eating disorders, but bottom line is at some point discipline turns unhealthy if balance is not found.