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Barbell Logic

Oct 19, 2021

Niki Sims and Gillian Ward discuss why nutrition compliance trends so much lower than training compliance, why this is, and how you--as someone who has nutrition goals--might combat this and succeed toward or past your goals.

Nutrition coaching is quite different than strength or training coaching. With training, you prescribe a certain number of exercises, and the lifter does or does not do them. If the lifter successfully does them with enough compliance, the lifter sees the results. They can hit PRs for every workout, completing the workout in and of itself is success, and the lifter often feels better afterwards--physically and emotionally.

With lifting, there is a feeling of deprivation and taking away. You're never done--you not only have however many meals or snacks you take as times you can fail or succeed, but literally at any point of time you are awake you may fail to follow the prescription. You also don't see the benefits of your hard work for a long time, and often progress stalls for long periods of time.  

For a nutrition coach, there is less clarity and it can often be less rewarding and more frustrating. You can feel as if you're failing. You have to work to boost compliance and work to modify behavior. 

For the nutrition client, it can be hard to continue if you don't see progress, and it can be easy to slide into screw it mode, where you not only fail to follow the plan but you eat and maybe drink with reckless abandon. 

It is critical that the nutrition client understand his whys: why did he sign up for coaching, why did he state the goals he stated, why do the goals matter, why is he willing to suffer to meet these goals? Has he dug deep enough and really understood why he is doing this.

A good idea is to write down these whys and keep them with you. If you're struggling or think you might stray from the path, look at these whys so you can remember them. 

Define and celebrate the small wins. A successful meal, snack, day, or week is a big deal. Also consider the near misses--someone brought in the donuts to work and you almost grabbed one, but you decided to not eat it and stuck to the plan. 

Find ways to enjoy the process--daily, weekly, monthly--and increase your awareness of how good you feel when you eat and drink in a way that supports your goals and nourishes your body.

Lastly, Niki & Gillian share their whys with the audience, which might help you create yours. 

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