By Paul Salter, MS, RD, LD, CSCS, The Nutrition Tactician, Sports Nutrition Consultant for Renaissance Periodization
You’re last few diets have ended just weeks in. Stop going at it alone and pair up with a coach to make sure you finish this net attempt until the end!
You’ve tried every diet out there:
- No-carb (ketogenic diet)
- Carbohydrate cycling
- Intermittent fasting
And you’ve even gone Paleo. Yet, all you have to show for these so-called diets is a roller coaster weight history that has left you at your highest weight to date. You already have a good idea about what to eat. You know that you should eat more veggies than cookies and that pepperoni probably isn’t the best protein option out there. But despite this foundation of nutrition knowledge, you’ve yet to meet your nutrition goals. Rather than trying yet another diet alone, why not hire a nutrition coach to provide you with the information, tools, and accountability you need to finally meet your nutrition and training goals? Here are three incredible reasons why you should hire a nutrition coach to make this diet one you’ll actually stick to and see results from.
1. You're Committed Like Never Before
You were committed to your previous diets.
At least, that’s what you told yourself the first few days right up until it was your co-workers birthday and you had a slice of cake (or three).
You had nothing to lose, however. You were comfortable starting a diet, and knew that if this one didn’t work out, that you’d be able to start again. That’s because you’d started numerous times before, yet, never finished.
Choosing to work with a coach commits you like never before. For starters, you’re financially committed. You have invested hundreds of dollars up front and although the strategy, support, and encouragement lie heavily on the coach, the execution is what’s up to you. If you don’t execute, you’re left with another unsuccessful diet and a few hundred dollars less in your bank account.
Furthermore, you’ve now created a greater sense of accountability. We as humans don’t like letting others down. It’s in our DNA. We feel a sense of guilt and disappointment if we do not do what’s asked of us and this is intensified when it’s among someone you respect (consider how you’d feel letting one of your parents down versus a friend of a friend).
Different than last time is that you now have someone expecting you to check in with them multiple times per week—you’re now accountable to someone, and specifically, someone you respect (you chose them, after all!). It’s much easier to check in with good news to report to your coach (e.g., your hitting your nutrition plan 100% and training hard) rather than bad news (e.g., you haven’t hit a macro or calorie goal that past few days and instead have been following the see-food diet). As a result, you’re more likely to feel motivated to work hard and implement their suggestions to reach your goals.
2. Decisions (and food!) Are Taken Off Your Plate For You
Dieting creates many unaccustomed sources of stress. What was once a routine decision, or typical meal is now overshadowed by the goal of weight loss.
- The scale is one pound higher than yesterday. Now what?
- My best friend is having a birthday party this weekend. What do I do?
- I have to work late this week and can no longer workout at 5:00 p.m. How do I adjust my food?
A coach will make those decisions for you. He or she will guide you through the expected weight fluctuations related to your previous day’s food and fluid intake, sleep, stress, and menstrual cycle. He or she will prepare you with actionable strategies to adjust your nutrition and exercise to find balance between staying on plan and enjoying yourself at your best friend’s party. And he or she will educate you as to how to adjust your food intake when needing to train at a different time of day. All you need to do is trust your coach and execute said plan. So rather than worrying about the details of when and how to progress during a diet, choose to focus on eating well (and per plan!), training hard, and smiling each day, and let your coach handle the rest.
3. You Become Set-up for Short and Long-Term Success
Only five percent of people who lose significant weight have kept it off ten years later. Most gain all weight that was lost back within one year, and over fifty percent of those who deliberately lose weight weigh even more than their original pre-diet weight three to five years later. A good coach won’t prescribe a “diet” or hand you a set-in-stone meal plan. Instead, he or she will teach you how to eat healthily and confidently for life. Being taught how to form healthy habits will empower you with the knowledge and tools to consistently and confidently choose healthy foods without feeling guilty for the occasional treat. And ultimately, it will empower you to find your ideal version of balance between nutrition, exercise, and life so that you can maintain the weight and life you want to.
So, when your office has donuts and cookies on Friday, you’ll know how to navigate your nutrition and choices for the day. When you have your best friend’s bridal shower, and brother’s wedding in the same month, you’ll know how to confidently balance food and fun. And when you’re dining out with family and friends, you’ll never feel as if you need to order another bun-less burger.
A good coach will set you up for short and long term success.
Do you really want to be dieting for the rest of your life? Do it right the first time, and then enjoy balancing food and the wonderful opportunities life provides without worrying about eating too much.
A good coach is invaluable. He or she can provide you with the information, tools, and confidence you need to be successful now, and in the long run. But if you don’t execute and ask questions, your success, or lack thereof, is on you. Make sure you have a clearly defined goal and know the “why” behind working towards your goal(s). And then, milk the time you’ve paid for a coach for all it’s worth and set yourself up for many years of success!
- Langeveld, M., & De Vries, J. H. (2012). [The mediocre results of dieting]. Nederlands tijdschrift voor geneeskunde, 157(29), A6017-A6017.
- Kraschnewski, J. L., Boan, J., Esposito, J., Sherwood, N. E., Lehman, E. B., Kephart, D. K., & Sciamanna, C. N. (2010). Long-term weight loss maintenance in the United States. International Journal of Obesity, 34(11), 1644-1654.
- Ayyad, C., & Andersen, T. (2000). Long‐term efficacy of dietary treatment of obesity: a systematic review of studies published between 1931 and 1999.Obesity Reviews, 1(2), 113-119.
- Dulloo, A. G., Jacquet, J., & Montani, J. P. (2012). How dieting makes some fatter: from a perspective of human body composition autoregulation. Proceedings of the Nutrition Society, 71(03), 379-389.