Take a look in the media today and you will find no shortage of people willing to give out advice on nutrition. If you are someone that genuinely needs guidance, this deluge of advice can be overwhelming and in some cases even dangerous. A problem arises when advice is generalized, distributed to a large scale audience, and no consideration is given to individuals in that audience. Basically, the information received is not as important as the individual receiving the information. Because of this, you want to find a coach who is client focused. Meaning that they are more concerned with your individual needs than their own personal philosophy.
What makes a good coach
A successful coach understands that each person is different, and will therefore respond differently to change. There is no perfect diet for everybody. We all have different genetics, environments, challenges, and tastes. It takes a deep awareness of a clients health to monitor how a body is reacting to change. As a coach, it is our role to implement change, monitor the effects, and then adjust the program as needed to get optimal results. Without that 3 step process, we are just blindly tinkering with our bodies and hoping for the best.
Good nutrition coaching is all about helping people to find what works, set goals, and make lifestyle changes that will (ideally) last a lifetime. It is about finding what makes each person different and change their lifestyle depending on what their limiting factors are. These limiting factors can be due to genetics, amount of exercise, and environment you are exposed to. Finding a way to limit and change these things is best place to start when it comes to changing someone’s diet. A good coach’s job is to treat each person’s needs differently and find a plan perfect for them. There is no individual right answer or diet because every plan should be built around the client!
What to look for
If you are shopping for a guide on your journey to a better diet, or just trying to decide who to follow on Instagram, look for these key points:
- Client Focused- The coach is focused on your needs and not their own
- An Open Mind- Some people are married to their ideas, this allows no room for adjusting when new evidence is presented
- Doesn’t believe “one size fits all”- Everyone is unique, so why wouldn’t our diets be?
- Evidence based- Why does a coach believe what they believe? is it based off of scientific studies or personal, anecdotal evidence
-Andy Adams, B.S., CSCS, Pn1
Health Coach | Trainer