How do I help my clients change their approach to eating in a way that it becomes a lifestyle choice rather than a short-term ‘diet’? Well, when I think about coaching someone through dietary change I can’t help but liken it to how one might tackle teaching a new subject or skill.
Any good teacher will tell you that to ensure clear and long-lasting understanding of a subject you need to break things down. You start with the very basic, foundation information, and from there begin the work of adding layer upon layer of detail. You regularly stop, check, question and reflect. You might go back a few paces and retrace areas already covered. You use multi faceted approaches to help all styles of learner – such as discussion, practical work and visual aids. Taking this approach helps to ensure that the subject is well understood, and that the knowledge developed stays a lifetime.
This is very similar to the way I approach my work with you. I have found that it’s only possible to enable achievable long-lasting dietary change if it’s taken one step at a time, with support, guidance and detail.
There is so much to consider when it comes to food and eating. It’s such an integral part of life. We all have our own relationship with food, and we are all starting from a different place. Your goals are likely to be quite different from someone else’s, as might be your desire or drive to make changes.
And dietary change isn’t just about changing what you eat. It’s about your thoughts towards and understanding of food and how it makes you feel. To reflect upon your different states of hunger and what that means for you.
I enjoy food so I’m not a fan of ripping things out of your diet and giving you lists of permitted and non-permitted items to eat. I don’t find this to be the most sustainable course of action, and it’s unlikely to make you find joy and connection in eating. My ultimate aim is to get you excited and inspired by food. I much prefer to use the philosophy of adding things in. Anyone who has worked with me will know about my desire to optimise the diet by getting more of the right foods in without it feeling like a punishment or ‘diet’. And there is no pressure to be ‘perfect’ or to suddenly morph into a totally different person over night!
We start with the basics. We discuss the options and consider how they fit with your current diet and lifestyle. We might do some ground work first, reflecting on what you eat at the moment, considering pressure points in your day. Perhaps we’ll take a look at food labels and alternative foods. Weaving mindfulness in is never a bad thing either as becoming attuned to your relationship with is very powerful indeed.
Over time, you’ll learn more about food – how it can work for you as an individual in a positive way. We can gradually crowd out the things that might actually be undermining your health and contributing to symptoms. Most importantly, we’ll work together to ensure your meals are nourishing, balanced to your personal needs, tasty and satisfying. And if you’re struggling, there is always as solution. One of my jobs is to problem solve with you. We are in this together!
Our coaching sessions fit in perfectly with the nutritional therapy approach of addressing the underlying cause for illness. We have our overall strategy to improve your health, and the mainstay of that is addressing your nutrition and nourishing the whole you from the inside out.