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Find a Middle Ground

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>> Hi, here we are. The moment your clients have been waiting for, the nutrition plan. What to eat, how to eat, how much to eat? Yes. Today, we are focusing on how you can coach clients away from dieting and toward a more sustainably nourishing approach to eating. So much of emotional eating is not about the food itself. However, clients come to you because they want to know how to eat better, even if they already know how. Wait a minute, if they already know what to eat, then why do they need help from you? Well, because for whatever reason they've lost touch with themselves, with eating for nourishment, and with motivation to take actionable steps forward. They're stuck in some way shape or form. So they ask for support. But as you know, there's no magic list for what to do. Developing a health promoting and satisfying relationship with food is a bio-individual process that evolves organically and changes day to day. So where does that leave you as an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach? You can empower clients to find their own versions of a middle ground so that they no longer need to use food by eating emotionally and jumping from one diet to another. How do you help clients eat in ways that promote health and satisfaction? By continually nudging them toward trusting their intuition. A powerful combination of reason and emotion, and applying that wisdom to their eating choices. As a coach, it's tempting to want to hand clients lists of suggestions. After all, you want to help them make sense of the overwhelming amount of nutrition information that leaves them confused and frustrated. I get that. Instead, I encourage you to make conscious efforts to keep it slow and simple to do less by letting your clients lead and focus on sharing basic tips like those I'm sharing today. As Howard Jacobson writes in his book, "Whole: Rethinking the Science of Nutrition," confusion leads to lack of confidence, which leads to lack of commitment, which leads to lack of sustained change. Here are seven strategies that you can offer clients for what, how, and how much to eat. Empower yourself. As a coach, clients see you as the expert. It's your job to remind them that they're the ones behind the wheel, they're leading and you're guiding them from the sidelines. Ultimately, it's their responsibility to take action and find their way. Do they want to see you forever? Probably not. They want to have the tools they need to thrive on their own. And the more you help them do this through the coaching process, the better equipped they'll be. You're helping them retrain their minds and make their own recommendations. And you're also helping them recognize that their personal needs and goals will continually change. Remember scope of practice, it can be tempting to give recommendations, especially if you know that something has worked for you or someone else you know in the past. But it's not your job to prescribe nutritional approaches or layout detailed meal plans. So when your clients ask what they should eat, you can say empower yourself by remembering that you know more than you think you do. You just need to learn how to trust that. Keep it simple. Simplicity is often overlooked but that's precisely what your clients need to find, middle ground eating habits that work for them. They won't follow a long list of recommendations but they might follow one if it's simple enough. Diets aren't usually sustainable, they're often rule-filled attempts at quick fixes that end up backfiring both physically and emotionally. Simplicity is more sustainable. Eating based on common sense along with a little bit of science is more sustainable than eating based on fear. Want to know how to eat healthy? Look at healthy people. So much of secondary food is simple. Eat whole foods, drink water, include vegetables, protein, and healthy fats. In other words, use common sense. For instance, one extensive 10-year study of young adults found that eating regularly having no history of dieting and having an overall sense of meaning in life all helped with successful weight maintenance. Even that is easier said than done, many clients will know very little about nutrition due to the multitude of conflicting information they've received from their culture, the media, and other people. In that study that I just mentioned, only about one-fourth of young adults were able to resist weight gain. It's simple, but as we've explored, it's not quite as simple as eat less, exercise more. Luckily, as an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, you know a thing or two, so you can help clients build up their common sense. Focus on intention and attention. One very simple way to help clients focus on mindful eating is by having them ask themselves this, how do I want to feel at the end of this meal? As we've discussed, self-connection and mindfulness go a long way. Chronic dieters are more likely to gain weight to experience weight fluctuation and to spend more time thinking about food than people who eat when hungry and stop when full. Staying present and paying attention helps you feel better at the end of the meal by helping you pay attention to what and how much you're eating. If I'm working and have lunch, I want food to energize me for the afternoon because I feel better leaving work at the end of the day knowing I was productive and reached my goals. If I'm too full or feel sluggish or foggy due to what I ate at lunch, I might not be as focused. See how that works? Intention is also an important piece of unwrapping diets. You can help clients explore the reasons behind their diets and their eating approaches and how that connects or not to their values, self-image, relationships, and other primary food. Crowd out. But okay, what food should I eat? Many clients will ask this question and they want answers. As a coach, it's helpful to have a tangible home base to return to when this happens, such as this one, crowd out. Crowding out doesn't deprive because it focuses on adding in nutrient dense foods versus restricting. Crowding out values bio-individuality because it's malleable based on preferences and it meets clients where they are. Crowding out focuses on nourishment because it incorporates whole foods over processed. And finally, crowding out focuses on self-nourishment because it focuses on quality versus shoulds, and it leaves plenty of room for missteps. Here are a few simple tips that can help clients find a middle ground. Crowd out refined sugars, trans fats, and processed foods by adding in more whole foods. Choose a 90/10 or 80/20 approach that leaves plenty of room for favorite foods. And remember to honor what works for you. For some, never might be easier than sometimes. What works for one client might not work for another and that's okay. Balance the pendulum. The terms moderation and balance can seem vague, plus they look different for everyone. Moderation for one client might mean having only one glass of wine a week, while for another, it might mean having only one glass of wine a night. Metaphors are helpful, and the pendulum is a metaphor for choosing more or less. According to the National Weight Control Registry, most people who successfully maintain weight loss eat breakfast every day, weigh themselves at least once a week, watch fewer than 10 hours of television a week, and exercise about an hour a day. None of these habits are extreme. Balancing the pendulum is also a helpful reference point for justification to inflate what or how much you eat. For instance, needing to eat multiple candies because it's a holiday, needing dessert on top of dessert because you're celebrating, needing a big container of ice cream because you're depressed, or needing your favorite rich meal because you're happy. Finding the middle ground means having a smaller swing. Factors like mindfulness, variety, consistency, and neutrality can all help clients from swinging too far in any direction in behaviors, mindsets, and even emotions. In terms of food, it can help them opt for a middle road rather than an extreme all or nothing approach. In other words, between obsessively counting calories or macronutrients and not caring at all about what they eat. It can also encourage a more neutral mindset rather than judging food and habits as black or white, or good or bad. Here are a few very simple tips. Eat a little of everything. Think of tapa style eating. Leave food on your plate. It's okay not to finish. Pay attention to basic portions. For example, use your hand as a guide, about one fist of vegetables, about one palm of protein, about one cup tanned of whole grains, and about one thumb of healthy fats. And avoid extremes. Use your personal hunger scale as a guide, and remember that when it comes to portions, like using your hand, some people need more and some people need less. Balancing the pendulum can be a helpful metaphor for emotions as well. Yin yang theory views yang as male and more about control, where yin is female and more about suppression and sedation. Balancing yin and yang means creating space for both qualities. Another example, three common emotions are fear, grief, and anger, all of which can play a role in emotional eating. Most people sway between these emotions, often to the extreme. The goal, again, is to create space for them without veering off the deep end so that you lose control, and for example, rely on food to rein you back in toward calmness. Eat like an animal. How do animals eat? Well, they tune into physical hunger and they eat what their bodies need. It's pretty basic, right? Again, this is about keeping it simple. It's also about tuning into mindfulness and trusting intuition. In other words, trust your instincts. As we say here at IIN, given half a chance, the body will heal itself. The body knows what to eat but the brain gets in the way. In his book, "Never Binge Again," Glenn Livingston writes that humans are wired to seek sustenance when our nutrients are depleted, when we get too cold, or our blood sugar drops too low. His advice, stay warm and hydrated with regular, consistent, and healthy meals. Boiling it down to these basics might be the most important strategy for helping clients curb dieting and emotional eating. It helps remove judgment around food. Eating like an animal is neutral but it's also pleasurable, animals enjoy eating, they eat for nourishment but they enjoy the experience, which leads me to the final tip of the day. Create room for pleasure. Finding a middle ground means eating for nourishment by focusing on both health and satisfaction. Eating healthy foods won't be sustainable if it's not enjoyable. You can help your clients get creative about food choices by making small adjustments that work within their preferences, values, and daily realities. You can help them enjoy the process of choosing foods that satisfy their bodies and their taste buds. So there you go. Let's review seven strategies you can share with clients. Empower yourself, keep it simple, focus on intention and attention, crowd out, balance the pendulum, eat like an animal, and create room for pleasure. All of these tips center around empowering your clients to find what works for them to find their own middle grounds when it comes to what, how much, and how to eat. These tips will resonate with a wide variety of clients because they're simple, logical, and intuitive without being prescriptive. Emotional eating can feel out of control. So clients might turn to diets as a way of feeling in control, which doesn't work and which can fuel emotional eating. As an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, you can help them feel in control in nourishing ways and this is perhaps the greatest gift you offer. We'll talk more about the process of habit change later in the course as that is obviously an important piece of empowering clients to take action, but this is plenty of material for today. This week, be sure to look at the handouts in your Learning Center. Keep connecting in the Facebook group and send out this material by tuning into conversations around dieting. You'll find more information about that in your Skill Building Activities. Thanks for joining me. I'll see you back here soon.

Video Details

Duration: 13 minutes and 52 seconds
Country: United States
Language: English
License: Dotsub - Standard License
Genre: None
Views: 5
Posted by: integrativenutrition on Mar 14, 2019

Find a Middle Ground

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