Part 5: Lack of Education
This is a big one. Nutritional education is such an important factor in finding your lifetime solution. To quote my friend and mentor Jason Phillips: Education breeds compliance.
Here’s the other thing that education provides… A way for you to learn what works best for you.
And most importantly, the tools you need to succeed on your own.
Ahh, there you have it. The fitness and nutrition industry doesn’t want you to succeed on your own! Because if you do, then you no longer need them, and you no longer pay them.
Therein lies the rub. It’s no accident that most fitness and nutrition programs lack real education. Rather, they are filled with “do this, don’t do that” rules.
Do they tell you why you’re “supposed” to be doing those things? Usually not. And if they do, it’s typically some form of “because it works” or some blanket statement.
Education is just the first step in the process. We also must understand the application. That’s where most nutrition programs really fall short.
Once again, because they don’t address individual context.
So even if they do provide some form of education, they usually don’t help you understand whether it’s practical for you or not.
Then there’s the whole confirmation bias thing. You can pretty much find a study to confirm or refute anything you want.
Seriously, try it sometime. Head over to google and search for the benefits of fasting. You’ll end up in a rabbit hole of information about why fasting is the greatest thing in the world.
Ok, now google the harms of fasting. You’ll end up in another rabbit hole about how dangerous fasting is.
The fitness and nutrition industry likes to use confirmation bias to only show you the research that supports whatever they’re trying to get you to do.
This is where understanding education AND application AND context is SO important!
Individualized Nutrition Plans
Proper education will help you understand how certain things apply to YOU and will provide you the tools to succeed in life.
The other issue I have with the fitness & nutrition industry when it comes to education is that it seems they don’t understand this simple concept… STAY. IN. YOUR. LANE.
The 3 most powerful words that you can say as a nutrition coach is:
I don’t know.
Of course, I’ll do what I can to research a topic and help a client understand how to filter that information through their own individual application. However, there’s a TON of stuff out there that I just don’t know or I’m not qualified to answer.
It seems with fitness & nutrition… everyone is an expert.
Everyone wants to tell you what’s best for you.
Which is the opposite of REAL education.
It can be such an empowering tool when used properly, but dangerous when it’s abused.
It’s easy to spot the education abusers. Just look out for those who speak in absolutes, try to fit everyone in the same box, and rarely ever say “it depends” or “I don’t know.”
The real question is… how do we change this trend? To be honest… I don’t know. But I’m damn sure going to do my part.