The word “diet” is currently one of my least favorite words. For many of my clients, when I mention diet, they shrivel up and shy away like I asked them to jump out of an airplane at 10,000 feet. The words seem to have an emotional connotation for people. My clients work their butts off in the gym. I give each and every one of them props for dealing with my demanding and slightly weird personality. Most of them would say diet is the hardest aspect to conquer. The main reason?
People want to enjoy their lives. When diet is mentioned, people seem to feel it will stop their life as they know it.
For the majority of my clients, this is the reason they’ve had trouble changing eating habits and their relationship with food. It’s simple, they like their lifestyle and want to enjoy it. Most of them do not compete in bodybuilding, they aren’t trying to be fitness models, and they aren’t training for Olympic lifts. They just want to shed pounds and look fantastic while living a healthier lifestyle. This is why initial goal setting and diet are so important and intertwined.
The fog will roll-in clouding the path to success if clients have no idea what the end of the journey should look like. The lack of knowing the clear goal and what it takes to achieve it, will cause unreasonable expectations and the selection of diets that are way off the beaten path of the client’s “norm”. This leads to confusion and frustration. In the end, it will create an unsustainable lifestyle for the average client.
There are a ton of crappy diets out there and a ton that actually work when applied correctly.
The unfortunate thing is that most diets are way too much of an adjustment for the average client. This makes them hard to maintain and enjoy. There may be a success in a 3 month to 6-month plan they’re on, but as soon as there is a large emotional stressor or the program ends, it’s incredibly easy to fall back into the old habits causing the weight to go right back on. I’m not saying that this is true for everyone. I have found this to be true for a majority of clients that relapse in weight gain. They go too hard with diet change way too fast.
The key is helping the client enjoy the change.
If a client comes in weekly and talks about how hard it is for them to be on that diet… It’s probably the wrong diet for them, or it’s the wrong diet for long-term change. Finding a balance between their prescribed calorie range, macros, and enjoying what they consume, can lead to longer success.
We do not have to hate our diet to look great.
The success factor to any effective diet is consistency. If a client enjoys what they are eating, has a clear goal in mind, and the diet change is kept to a more minimal deviation from their normal life, they will be more inclined to keep the pace going for the long term. Most importantly we can create a healthier relationship with food and how we look at what we’re consuming.