Nutritional Approaches For The Weight Loss Client
A billion dollar industry.
There is more information than ever available on weight loss. Everywhere you turn there are new ‘miracle’ weight loss books, franchise programs and websites selling new supplements with exotic ingredients guaranteed to get you 25lbs lighter, no exercise needed! Just provide your credit card.
I graduated from Edison Institute of Nutrition in 2010 and now own and operate 2 health food stores in Greater Sudbury – Northern Ontario with 10 employees. Our stores are set up with consultation rooms where I practice nutritional services along with Live Cell Microscopy. We get a lot of customers looking for weight loss solutions. Some people have been struggling for years and are confused and frustrated about how to eat and manage their weight. Most people have tried “every diet” or some form of program before coming in to see me. They either got results that did not last or didn’t get any results at all.
As nutritional consultants, our educational backgrounds provide us with excellent tools to evaluate diets and trends we come across, to see through gimmicks and spot bad advice that may get fast short term results, but compromise health. These tools allow us to see how most weight loss programs do not ensure basic nutritional needs and do not come close to supporting individual biochemistry and metabolic uniqueness.
The focus on depriving the body of calories or ‘bad’ foods does not create a healthy relationship to food or empower people to understand what they need to do to take care of their own bodies. Many programs often manipulate body processes so that a person’s weight on the scale drops, such as glycogen depleting fasts which remove water weight and the use of laxatives which purge the bowels, but do not get rid of the excess body fat that poses the biggest health risks.
As nutritionists, we know that health always has to come first. We have to work with someone to correct their underlying imbalances so that their body has enough of what it needs to thrive. This includes addressing inadequate nutritional status, insulin resistance and controlling blood sugar, supporting digestion and elimination, eliminating toxicities such as Candida and heavy metals, addressing food sensitivities and allergies, managing stress and getting the body to balance hormones. Doing the investigative work to find these imbalances pays off.
The nutritional approach to weight loss is lengthy and complicated if you try to address everything all at once. I usually identify priority issues through the client’s health history, Nutri-Body Questionnaire, food diary and a few other assessment tools. I have other tools like food IgG panels, Tissue Mineral Hair Analysis and Darkfeild Microscopy that I may use to gather relevant information.
I always start with diet re-education for the client, getting them on whole foods, eating adequate protein for their body composition, getting healthy fats in, addressing hydration issues and low glycemic food combinations.
Then I set up a time-line with various steps laid out with the bigger issues to be addressed first.
Depending on the metabolic issues I suggest supplements, food eliminations, lifestyle habits, detoxification protocols in smaller step by step “assignments” so that we are working on enough to start seeing a difference, but not so much to leave the client overwhelmed.
To keep the client motivated I also spend some time uncovering why and in what way they are unhappy with their health, weight and body and rework those into motivational goals to keep them on track.
We can stick to the plan better if I can bring it back more easily to how the changes will benefit how they feel in their bodies and get them to learn to pay attention to that for themselves. This is done by getting them to tune in to their energy levels, their physical and emotional ‘feelings’ (bloating, anxiety, stiffness, irritability) and encouraging body awareness so they can see learn to understand that their choices affect their experience of their body.
When we take this approach with our clients, weight comes off. Our natural state is towards creating health. Our bodies are intelligent in knowing what to do to achieve this, provided that we help control the things that stress those processes. My clients appreciate the process of working together to get healthier.
This is where we have a tremendous advantage, as nutritional practitioners, in getting results with our clients. By teaching our clients about how their bodies function, what their nutritional needs are and how food influences their health, we can help them build their own tools to see through the hype and misinformation. Re-educate and re-focus on health first to create lifelong changes that work. After all, knowledge is power!
Adele Fawcett, B.A.Hon, D.H.N, RNCP & ROHP works with clients looking to improve their health and well being through positive nutritional and lifestyle changes. She practices out of the New Sudbury & Valley Nutrition Centres where she offers a variety of Nutritional Health Services, educational seminars and workshops. She can be reached at ValleynutritionQ@gmail.com