(Without Overcomplicating It.)
By Lindsey VanSchoyck, NP
Two-Brain Business Nutrition Specialist
Client A came to me 6 weeks ago from a referral from her daughter to who has been a nutrition client for almost a year.
She was frustrated with herself and her health. As a former retired health teacher she had lost all self-control and motivation around living a healthy lifestyle. At 62 she found herself sluggish and turning to sweets for comfort and satisfaction. She was tired, her joints were aching, and she just wanted to look good in her dress for her upcoming daughter’s wedding.
At her initial consultation, we went over what her daily food intake looked like:
1 large cappuccino for breakfast
Fast food for lunch, usually something fried with potatoes
A sugar cookie from her daughter’s bakery, or ho hos for a snack
Dinner out. Her favorite is Mexican with chips and salsa and fajitas with rice and beans.
She isn’t able to exercise because her hips and joints hurt her and she believes it’s all due to arthritis, even though her diet filled with sugar and processed foods that are probably causing a lot of inflammation and pain.
Based on our initial consultation, she was identified as a Level 1 nutrition client. Given her baseline nutrition habits and her current lifestyle, prescribing her a meal plan, or trying to have her log all of her food into MyFitnessPal, and trying to have her hit specific macros would have resulted in her being overwhelmed, frustrated and ultimately probably failing.
And setting her up to fail like that would have been MY fault as her nutrition coach, not her fault as the client.
At our first nutrition appointment, we identified her short and long term goals.
Her short-term goal was to lose 15 pounds by her daughter’s wedding in August.
Her long-term goal was to develop a healthy relationship with food and live a long, healthy, and active life.
We decided to focus on 3 things her 1st month.
Cut the cappuccino down to a small and add in some protein for her breakfast.
Add vegetables to her plate at least 2 meals a day.
Cut sweets down to 2 times per week instead of daily.
We didn’t address her eating out at every meal; I didn’t ask her to stop cold turkey on her morning cappuccino, and I didn’t try to overwhelm her with explaining what macronutrients are. She sent me her daily food intake in the form of pictures 3 times a week and I gave her feedback on those images, but most importantly I praised her at how awesome she was doing!
We met every 2 weeks to scan and go over goals and how she was doing. Her 6-week scan showed amazing results, but more importantly the shift in her mindset and her relationship with food has changed drastically. She is changing her life and her health by making reasonable changes to her daily habits. As my time with her continues we will continue to address other changes such as eating out less, adding in activity, etc. but for now she feels better, her body no longer aches as much, and her mindset is 100% better than it was 6 weeks ago.
Most nutrition clients don’t need a fancy meal plan or macro prescription. They need small sustainable habits that add up to big, long term results. They need to develop a healthy relationship with food and a healthy mindset in regard to their worth and their health!
If you’re interested in learning more about coaching this way, check out Two-Brain Coaching’s new Nutrition Coaching Course!