What is nutrition coaching and why do we even need it?
Where did it all go wrong?
Nutrition is a “hot topic” that covers way more than just the food we eat. It’s obvious to most people that if you want to win an Olympic gold medal you will need a specialist coach to help you with all aspects of your life, including the food you eat. We all get that.
But for the general public, the rest of us? Why do we need nutrition coaching? Surely, its simple to eat well? What is eating well?
It has become very apparent that this isn’t the simple task it once was.
We all know someone who has a great anecdote about how best to lose weight, what has worked for them, their partner, their work colleague and most of us at some point in the past have tried, succeeded and/or failed to create their own perfect eating routine.
Over the years these experiences, tales and success stories have been twisted, warped and added to. The internet has help deliver thousands of new theories about human nutrition to people who had no access to this information previously.
In their quest to keep up with the internet, traditional media (newspapers and TV) generally repeat these complicated messages with a revolving focus point and replay variations on a theme to suit their readership and viewers. Or the latest fad product.
A quick search on Amazon reveals 230,000 different diet books. Google “how to eat healthily” and you get 3,570,000 returns.
Is it any wonder we are confused? So much information to process.
To get us back in control, we need to realise concentrating all our efforts on what we put in our mouth is not actually providing the results we want. Focusing all our efforts on food is simply not enough now, we need to be more holistic about our approaches to nutrition. if we don’t we are letting the food manufacturers, supermarkets and media win the war. Obesity is good for capitalism as we spend as much on diet products as we could spend on alleviating global poverty.
Before we get to solutions, let us take a quick look at the evolution of manufactured food history..
As humans, we survived, evolved and thrived for hundreds of thousands of years, gradually turning natural resources from survival necessity into cultivated produce and since the industrial revolution, enterprise.
We started making food commercial.
Food was advertised and sold as a luxury rather than a necessity. People made money out of making food “better”. Food became more widespread and as such it needed to be preserved and industrialised to feed an expanding population. Even if you put the World Wars and rationing to one side, 20th Century society required an improved food system to support the masses. Globalisation and multi-national food production facilities have led to food becoming less seasonal and more widespread and more readily available.
And according to a growing number of respected authors, scientists and thought-leaders on nutritional practice it all went wrong from there. We have simply let manufacturing and marketing dictate what our simple dietary needs are, rather than the food that keeps us nourished and healthy.
Improvements in scientific research have led to greater life expectancy. We live longer than we ever have done and food plays a huge part in that. However over the years there have been multiple instances of misinterpretation of research in the quest to ensure food didn’t undermine our health. It appears that these campaigns, such as cutting fat from our diet to reduce heart disease might inadvertently have caused a huge tremor in the way humans understood how food relates to health. Research & development has improved our understanding of nutrition but also driven us to become familiar with food that suited our mass production needs.
Food that actually our recent ancestors wouldn’t recognise. They also definitely contain less in the essential nutrients we require to thrive.
Fast forward back to today and we have a crisis on our hands. We have simply lost sight of what is important to us nutritionally speaking. It’s been obvious to a number of movements (veganism, dairy-free, Paleo for example), so why do some of us still have the problems with our health and weight? Our quest for convenience has driven us to favour foods that aren’t suitable for everyday consumption and it appears cutting out these foods has become more difficult than we thought it would. The supermarkets simply cant afford for us to only eat healthy food so they use their marketing techniques to ensure we walk out with as many mass produced foods as they can. If we want to perpetuate conspiracy theories you could argue governments can’t afford for us to eat healthily either, it would be bad for the economy.
It’s thought that these foods might now be slowing the growth in life expectancy and definitely the rise in lifestyle related diseases.
However because of the complicated mess of marketing falsehoods and research being buried or misinterpreted by large food marketing it has become almost impossible to slow. We also now understand that its our relationships with food are more important than simply the food we eat. We have become so reliant on these foods, the physical removal of them from our lives becomes very difficult.
Because today, its not just about the food we eat….
“You are what what you eat eats.”
“Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.”
“If you’re concerned about your health, you should probably avoid products that make health claims. Why? Because a health claim on a food product is a strong indication it’s not really food, and food is what you want to eat”Michael Pollen
“globalization and air transport mean that we are now exposed to a previously unheard-of overabundance of fruit. Pineapples from the tropics nestle on our supermarket shelves in the middle of winter, next to fresh strawberries from Mexico, and some dried figs from Morocco. So, what we label a food intolerance may in fact be nothing more than the reaction of a healthy body as it tries to adapt within a single generation to a food situation that was completely unknown during the millions of years of our evolution.”Giulia Enders
The Good News
There is good news. There is another way. There are tons of research studies and literature proving that improved nutrition helps to unravel the causes of nutrition related diseases.
It isn’t always entirely about the food. Sometimes we need to take the microscope off the food we eat and look at the world around us. Our OWN personal world and OUR relationships with the food we eat and the people that surround us.
If we look holistically at everything around us and create some order around the craziness that is our modern way of living it is proven that our nutrition simply falls back into place. If we can maintain some consistency over longer periods of time then our clever bodies will take care of our health for us. We need to stop look for others to solve our problems.
We assume that our local doctor, the media always have our best interested at heart and in the main they do. But its always reactive. We need to be more proactive about our lives and look at the bigger, wider picture.
When we understand that our feelings & our lifestyles are the weak links and stop relying on the media for what might be “GOOD” or “BAD” for us. And we start focusing on our health before we need to see a doctor we would create a better platform for success. The word diet creates a negative environment for most people to exist in, with focus on willpower and commitment rather than consistency and positivity.
There simply isn’t the interest in the media for this to become headline news. It doesn’t have the quick soundbite that they love to use “eating x food every day lowers cholesterol”. “Eating y food will make you thin”….etc.
So it rarely gets talked about.
Until now. Let me introduce to you Precision Nutrition.