Our courses in nutritional studies form a comprehensive, integrative program that dips not only into nutrition, but also into life coaching and counseling training programs. If you are looking to connect with people on a deeper level to help them reach their goals, you will thrive as a nutrition coach with the added coaching and counseling skills.
Trust is a big component of coaching, as you will need to build a strong relationship with your clients before they take your advice. As you pursue your nutrition diploma, it is important to learn different techniques that will help clients at various stages. Continue reading to learn the best tips to share with your future clients on breaking bad eating habits.
Allow Clients to Set Reasonable Expectations for Creating Better Habits
Developing better eating habits takes a lot of patience, as it is generally not something that can be achieved overnight. That being said, many people begin to implement changes to their diet by creating strict rules for themselves and setting high expectations. However, studies show that what actually matters most is creating reasonable expectations (Warren, 2017). That way, the individual is more likely to stick to them and maintain their goals over time through a more mindful approach (Warren, 2017).
When you begin your nutritionist course, you will receive training in the various practices of nutrition, coaching and counseling as you begin assisting your clients. Because many mental and emotional factors are at play when it comes to eating habits, including depression, addiction and past trauma, having counseling and coaching experience to guide your clients through any challenges they are facing will make you a unique and valuable asset to their well-being (Roblin, 2007).
Avoid the “All or Nothing” Approach After Nutritionist School
Many nutritionists find that it is much more useful for their clients to avoid the “all or nothing” approach when it comes to breaking their bad food habits, which can often lead to restrictive eating disorders (Zimmerman, 2017). It is even recommended that adults helping children develop healthy relationships to food avoid restricting their child’s diet (Haines, 2019).
If an individual tells themselves that they can never have a certain food, they are likely to hit a point where they binge on overly-restricted foods (Osnaya-Ramirez, 2020). Instead, a more effective and reasonable approach is to ingest these “problem” foods in moderation.
During nutritionist school, you will receive a comprehensive and integrative education that will prepare you to enter the workforce. Graduates are able to apply to jobs across the counselling and nutrition sectors, thanks to our multi-practice curriculum that opens opportunities in the front lines of mental health, emotional health and addiction recovery. They also have the opportunity to apply to jobs in the nutritional wellness industry, further expanding the possibilities for their career.
Mistakes Don’t Equate to Failure or Punishment
Your clients may find a time where they stray from their own expectations or the guidelines you have helped them set to break their bad eating habits. One study highlights the issues that perfectionism can cause in an individual trying to break bad eating habits (Schwartz, 2021). Maladaptive perfectionism, according to this study, places an excessive, unhealthy amount of concern on the mistakes one makes (Schwartz, 2021).
It was found that a lack of nutritional information coupled with perfectionist tendencies creates an unhealthy mindset around eating (Schwartz, 2021). As a nutritionist graduate, the best advice you can give a client when they make a mistake is to forgive themselves and move on, getting back on track with building healthier habits. Doing this, along with educating them on the nutritional values of foods and the nuances that come with breaking and forming habits, will be most helpful to their success (Schwartz, 2021). The more you experience in your career as a nutritionist, the more you will be able to apply your knowledge and understanding to your work, creating a safe space for individuals to reach their goals.
Interested in attending an integrative nutritionist college?
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Haines, Jess et. al. (2019). Nurturing Children’s Healthy Eating: Position statement. Appetite. Retrieved Jan 10, 2022, from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30797837/
Osnaya-Ramírez, R. (2020). Binge eating for sucrose is time of day dependent and independent of food restriction: Effects on mesolimbic structures. Behavioral Neuroscience. Retrieved Jan 10, 2022, from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32150421/
Roblin, L. (2007). Childhood obesity: food, nutrient, and eating-habit trends and influences. Applied Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism. Retrieved Jan 10, 2022, from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17622277/
Schwartz, N., Hecht, L., & Haedt-Matt, A. (2021). Nutrition knowledge moderates the association between perfectionism and shape/weight concerns. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Retrieved Jan 10, 2022, from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33649527/
Warren, J., Smith, N., & Ashwell, M. (2017). A structured literature review on the role of mindfulness, mindful eating and intuitive eating in changing eating behaviours: effectiveness and associated potential mechanisms. Nutrition Research Reviews. Retrieved Jan 10, 2022, from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28718396/
Zimmerman, J. & Fisher, M. (2017). Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID). Current Problems in Pediatric and Adolescent Healthcare. Retrieved Jan 10, 2022, from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28532967/