Many diets start out with rules about deprivation. No sugar. No alcohol. No Dairy. No grains. These kind of diets are simultaneously attractive and also doomed to fail. They have to be combined with some sort of habit based philosophy in order to stick. The goal of a successful diet is more long term than losing weight or building muscle in 6 weeks. While we want those things, we also want to establish patterns of eating and thought that facilitate health and happiness in 6 months, a year, 3 years, and so on.
There is a cluster of “rule-based” diets that will sound familiar: Atkins, Paleo, Keto, Zone. These diets are great at describing the “What” and the “When” of food and nutrition, but not the “Why?”. Ultimately they don’t fail because they’re unclear. Knowledge is not the issue for most of us. We know we shouldn’t eat a bag of gummy bears for breakfast. But why shouldn’t we eat the gummy bears for breakfast if they’re tasty and we enjoy them? That’s the question we need to answer.
Enter: Habit development and, if done right, nutritional coaching.
Habit development changes the way you feel, think, and operate around food. It’s definitely the hardest part of nutrition. Which is why coaching is so helpful! In the same way that we love CrossFit coaches for taking care of the clock and programming workouts – a nutrition coach is your dietary cheerleader/guru/drill-sergeant. If you ate greens for breakfast each morning, your coach is there for a virtual high-five and positive reinforcement! And if you didn’t eat greens, coach is there to help find out why not, and how we can make it happen in the future.
One thing’s for sure – good nutrition might be simple, but it’s not easy.