This morning I decided to scroll through my Facebook feed (rare occasion for me) to see what promotions, etc are out there at the moment in the health and wellness industry. Given we are coming up to the end of the year I figured there would be a lot of ‘New Year, New You’ sort of stuff. I lasted 5 minutes and was annoyed. Here is why….
The first video I watched was of a Personal Trainer who is also a ‘Nutrition Coach.’ Now I don’t know about you guys, but I have no idea what a ‘Nutrition Coach’ is. As far as I’m concerned you’re a Nutritionist or you’re not. He was advertising a nutrition program for less than 2 cups of coffee per week. Sounds amazing right? But here is the thing. Even if his program is backed by an actual nutritionist (one who you will not come in contact with ever) or he his studied a 6 week course to become a ‘Nutrition Coach’, Nutrition is far more complex than 6 weeks. I am coming into my 5th year of studying nutrition and still learning every day.
The next promotion was another personal trainer in a bikini on the beach claiming that ‘Keto will speed up your metabolism’. Firstly as far as I know this is not true and I’m yet to find science to back that claim. Secondly just because you do this program doesn’t mean you will look like her in a bikini, and thirdly Keto can actually be dangerous for some people particularly if you are not working with a practitioner who can modify the diet specifically for you. With a Keto diet it is very common to experience many symptoms when first beginning such as fogginess, hangover like feelings, cravings, hunger, etc. Your plan needs to be chopped and adapted based on this. And again a generic plan is a generic plan. It’s built for the masses and there is no room for movement because you don’t have access to the Nutritionist who has backed the program.
These programs may offer some results short term but if you are wanting something long term particularly when it comes to a specific health concern, a generic program may not be your answer. And if it’s weight loss, it is only natural for your body to plateau at one point or another during your journey. When this happens it allows your cells to shrink and catch up to the weight you have lost and will help you avoid excess skin long term. At this point you need a qualified Nutritionist, Naturopath or Dietician to help you move past this by using a few tips and tricks that only we know because we have studied the body in depth.
So where do generic plans fit in?
If it is a program designed to help you life a healthier life by moving more and eating well (it should include all macros protein, fat, carbs). Ie the program doesn’t target weight loss, specific eating protocols, etc than fabulous. Any changes you experience in the body should be an offshoot to just living a healthier life. Recommendations = Keep It Cleaner and Body by Finch.
If you do not have any specific health concerns. Ie hormonal imbalances, diabetes, thyroid issues, liver concerns, large amounts of weight to loose I recommend seeking out a qualified health practitioner to assist.
If the program is personally ran by a Nutritionist, Naturopath or Dietician and you have the ability to communicate with them one on one than that is great. Take my generic plan ‘Your Natural Weigh’ for example. It is backed by a Nutritionist and Naturopath but is also ran by myself who is a Nutritionist and soon to be Naturopath. So I still adapt the plan according to the clients needs and results as we move through the program every week.
How do you know if someone is qualified?
Always question the person you take advice from their qualifications. Just because they have lots of certificates framed on their wall doesn’t mean they are more than just a certificate 3 and 4.
Your health practitioner should either have ‘doctor’ in front of their name or have studied a Masters or Bachelor in Health Science in which case you will see this symbol (BHSc). At the very least the practitioner should hold an Advanced Diploma in nutrition or naturopathy for example..
If you are seeing a Personal Trainer than fabulous but know that the only Nutrition advice they have learnt is the food pyramid and macros. Any other advice they are not qualified to give so may not be backed by science and could jeopardise your health long term.
Now let me finish by saying, I am not here to put anyone down. As you all know I too am a Personal Trainer and Wellness Coach so therefor know what is taught in these courses when it comes to Nutrition and it’s simply not enough.
I am here writing this post because the health industry has become confusing. I see clients daily that have been given terrible advice from unqualified people claiming to be something they are not. In some cases this has harmed the clients health even more. It needs to stop, but I believe it won’t until we start questioning who we are trusting when it comes to our own health. Our health is the most precious thing we have, so it’s important to start thinking of that when making decisions that may effect it long term. And yes seeing a qualified practitioner will be more expensive then most of these generic plans but there is a reason for this. You will get results and your results will stick.
Take care and reach out if you have any questions, comments or concerns.