Nutritional coaching is a training that nutritionists carry out to motivate those people who have not been able to lose weight. Dr. Folch, expert in Nutrition and Dietetics, explains the advantages of undergoing this treatment and learning eating habits that will benefit the patient’s health in multiple aspects.
What is nutritional coaching and how does it help with weight loss?
In my specialty, nutrition, we could say that nutritional coaching is a motivation. The people who come to my office, women, men, children, are usually people who have already tried to go on a diet on their own to lose weight or for health reasons but have not succeeded. These people lack willpower, they lack motivation and that is what they come looking for, motivation. So, there we are, the specialists who are dedicated to nutrition and in this case to weight loss, to motivate them.
Each person has their motivation, it can be aesthetic, it can be because they have changed their life, it can be for health, it can be for many reasons. One of the most important I would say is health, therefore, I would say that the person who does nutritional coaching is very important to be a doctor because doing a previous analysis will always give us a lot of information if this person is sick or if he/she has some kind of pathology such as cholesterol, uric acid or even if he/she has diabetes or some other pathologies. With nutrition, we must not forget that nutrition is the gasoline of our body, we can correct the different alterations that this person may have and, at the same time that he/she is losing weight, he/she will solve these problems without treatment or with treatment if necessary, that is why it is important that we are doctors.
Nutritional coaching, apart from motivation, is a way of teaching how to maintain the weight when we reach the desired weight or the weight that we can easily maintain, as I like to say. Therefore, during the whole weight loss process we must learn how we are going to maintain ourselves when we reach the weight. It is said that the cells of our body have a memory and it takes 6 years maintaining the same habit to change that memory, I always say 2 years, so changing habits, maintaining the weight when you have already reached the weight you like, is not so easy. It is not so difficult if we have learned it during the slimming process, which is what it is all about. But our adipocytes, if we stay at the same weight for 2 years, keep the memory of the new weight. That is why it is important to have support, not only during weight loss, but also when we have already lost the weight. Nutritional coaching supports before, during and after weight loss if we are talking about losing kilos.
It can also be health coaching, such as anti-aging coaching, which is becoming more and more fashionable and more and more people are becoming health conscious. Maybe also because our lifestyle leads us to have more and more stress, to eat worse, our schedules are sometimes not very good, we go up and down all day long and we don’t have time to cook. Coaching is also for this, to learn how to compensate because everyone has their own life, everyone has their own schedules, we are not going to change them. Therefore, food and eating habits must be adapted to the type of life of each person, to the schedules of each person, to the tastes of each person, to work, to sport, there are so many factors that influence that our job is a bit like playing the role of a psychologist. Sometimes I also like to say that diet is the least important thing, you have to learn to eat well, of course, but you have to understand why. Why we want to lose weight, why we say that 3 fruits a day are necessary, explain the reason, why water is necessary, when you explain the reason and the person understands it not as an imposition “you have to drink 2 liters of water” but “you have to drink 2 liters of water because this helps you to compensate for the minerals you are losing” for example.
For me, nutritional coaching is perhaps a modern way of talking, of being attentive to that person, of taking care of them, as if you were the mother who is going to take care of that child, that woman or that man, because sometimes married couples come, couples come… I am here as protection, that is to say, as an advisor and they know that you are always there. Sometimes we also need some help that can be natural or not, sometimes we need a drug that can be an anxiolytic or whatever is needed. If the objective is to lose weight, we can use natural products such as glucomannan, which can be taken by almost everyone.
I like to give all the information so that the person understands the reason for everything, what is taken, why a diet is balanced with 4 basic guidelines and above all learn to do the maintenance from the first day we start doing the diet to lose weight.
Which patients can receive nutritional coaching?
Nutritional coaching is focused on any type of patient, any type of age, they can come from children, adolescents, men and women of mature age, older people and I would also say that it is aimed at any type of pathology that may arise. There are people who come from psychiatry because they have a lot of anxiety and anxiety makes them eat and so they come to the clinic to learn these healthy habits, people who come from traumatology to lose weight to avoid overloading their knees, for example, or because they have had a hip replacement operation, or oncology patients who want to increase their immunity, their defenses, to be able to face chemotherapy, for example, and to cope with it much better, pregnant women who have to control their weight come to the clinic. For any specialty, nutrition is important, it is important because it is the one that provides us with all the nutrients, all the carbohydrates, proteins, fats, minerals, vitamins, everything we need to take care of ourselves, to increase our defenses, to lose weight and thus better cope with any type of disease.
Therefore, nutritional coaching can be done by any type of person at any age. It is true that we will have to adapt it if it is a child or a teenager to their way of being and those of us who are dedicated to it always insist on the word empathy, which I insist on a lot and it is very important to always keep it in mind from the moment we enter the consultation. We must understand the patient, whether it is to lose 2 kilos, to lose 20 kilos or as many as they want and improve their health, that would be the concept, because losing weight, in general, always improves health. It has been proven that a hypocaloric diet always extends life. In order to carry out anti-aging techniques, a hypocaloric diet is recommended, that is to say, that we take the necessary calories or even a little below the calories we need, the calories we burn, to extend life.
What is the difference between a regular diet and nutritional coaching?
The difference between a regular diet and nutritional coaching, I would say, is basically the teaching. We are a bit like teachers of private lessons, we have to teach the basic nutritional guidelines so that our life improves our health and we also have to give motivation. Giving the patient motivation and, in an easy way, we make the patient understand the 4 basic health guidelines so that we can be reassured that we are taking care of ourselves. It is the basic difference, it is not to give a diet to lose weight, but to teach why we are doing this diet and the advantages of doing it.
I would like to finish by giving 4 tips that will always be valid for any type of person, to lose weight and to keep it off:
– The first one would be to increase physical activity, even if it is walking, going down and up stairs, whatever we can, whatever we like, dancing, whatever.
– The second would be to eat 5 meals a day, but it is not a problem if we are in good health and we have reached the age of 85, but the recommendation is 5 meals a day so as not to have so much appetite between lunch and dinner and also to activate the metabolism a little more.
– The third one would be to have a light dinner, in short this means to have less dinner than what we are having right now.
– And the fourth would be to chew well, because in this way we help our stomach to digest better and we will also eat less in a secondary way.