What a Challenge! This past fall, we hosted a 12 week “Body Transformation” Challenge for our members. Now normally this isn’t newsworthy as we have been hosting similar type challenges for the past 6 years. This one however was different, very different. For the very first time, the Challenge included comprehensive, one-on-one fitness training AND nutrition coaching…delivered in weekly sessions.
Nutrition is a funny thing and that is why Nutrition Coaching is a new endeavour for us. We all eat, we have probably been eating our whole lives and yet until recently, the only people that could help us with our eating, were Dietitians. For good reason, food can act as powerfully as drugs on the physiology of the body and therefore, harm can come from following an ill-advised diet or meal plan. Unfortunately, for the individual looking for advice on how to eat to lose weight, it really is buyer beware. Who can you turn to for nutrition advice? Well, anyone can call themselves a “nutritionist”, in fact, if you follow Ben Goldacre’s blog “Bad Science”, his dead cat recently received her nutritionist designation (in the mail of course, she wasn’t up to attending any classes), so that nutrition route is probably not a great idea.
But, what are your other choices? Well, it only makes sense that eventually a nutrition certification would emerge that would allow Personal Trainers (often the people we turn to for weight loss advice) to dispense sound, evidence-based nutrition coaching to their clients. Precision Nutrition did just that and within the past year, 15 of our Personal Trainers received their Level 1 Precision Nutrition Coaching designation. And trust us, no one’s dead cat could get this one…this certification required mastering the 500+ page textbook and a comprehensive exam. But we also needed this coaching to provide something else…sustainability. Lots of people run Challenges and most use highly restrictive diets that could never be maintained if you ever thought about enjoying your life again. This kind of crazy nutrition advice, “no sugar, no alcohol,” results in weight loss that immediately returns when people realize that life sometimes demands a piece of cake and a glass of wine. That is not what the Precision Nutrition system is all about. This is common sense, “real food” based eating that address not only what to eat but how to successfully continue eating healthy for the rest of your life. We couldn’t wait to test out this coaching with people who wanted to lose weight. Hence, the fall Challenge.
We had 41 people participate in the Challenge and over the 12 weeks, with the assistance of their very own Trainer/Coach (who met with the participants at least once per week, face-to-face) they lost a combined total of over 300lbs! Now while that’s an impressive amount of weight to lose (our winner lost 18lbs and 12% of her body weight), that’s not why we were so excited. What was really awesome were the testimonials we received from the participants…
”I now know what (and why) I should be eating certain foods”,
“I never felt deprived or hungry, in fact, I am eating more now and I am still losing weight”,
“I have learned that preparation and planning are integral to eating healthy, I have developed a shopping and chopping routine that makes eating vegetables all week, easy”.
These are the kind of results that fire us up and keep up motivated to help more people finally “get it”. We can’t wait to see the results from our winter Challenge. Our goal is to help our members live the healthiest lives they can enjoy.