Wouldn’t it be great if you only had to diet one more time to get to where you need to be, and just be comfortable there for the rest of your life? In this blog I want to talk to about how to make that a reality. If you’re a person who is looking to, what I’m going to discuss here will fill you in on the differences between a functional nutrition client and a general health client.
There are many mistakes that can happen during a fat loss phase therefore, when people reach out to us for coaching, we must make a very clear decision as to on whether they are a functional nutrition client, or a general health client that just wants to improve their body composition?
What I mean by that is that a functional client will require some level of functional care.
Now there may be issues with respect their hormone levels, maybe there are issues with their liver, their adrenals, or something else from a functional perspective that we must improve first, so that their metabolism is okay with going into a fat loss phase or muscle building state later on. Essentially, we want to optimize this client.
On the other side of that, a client that is already in great health can go into having physique goals of building muscle or losing body fat, and they’re ready to do that without necessarily having to focus on a lot of functional things.
At The Educated Dieter, we like to create annual diet strategies with all our clients. What do I mean by annual diet strategy? Stay with me …
A lot of people experience the year like this …
Yo-yo diet, yo-yo diet, yo-yo diet, yo-yo diet, yo-yo diet, and then the holidays roll around and there is NO diet, and they end up just kind of living life. So really, as far as annual planning goes and not planning in general, that’s the biggest mistake that I see in the fitness industry; clients’ programs are rarely planned for longer than 12 to 16 weeks.
What needs to happen when a client first walks in is …
1. Determine whether the client is healthy enough to go into a fat loss phase at that time. And if I’m being honest, it’s very rare that that happens.
2. Determine if the reason the client cannot go into a fat loss phase at this time, is because of a possible functional issue that they are experiencing. In this case I have to figure out what needs to be done to fix the issue?
So, what is involved in annual diet planning?
Well, definitely the lean phase. This is where a coach puts you into a calorie deficit. Now if they’re intelligent, they will likely utilize some form of carbohydrate cycle or diet breaks or will plan some nutritional modifications around the female ovulatory cycle or something like that. With males we can get away with a bit less diet breaking, maybe a little bit less re-feeding, and still likely achieve a phenomenal goal. One of the biggest problems that I see in this industry is that people stay in lean phases all year long.
Sadly, it has become a societal norm for females to live in the fat loss phase. And even though they’re not successful all the time with it … they’re always dieting!
What happens is there is no exit strategy … no transition from phase to phase during the process. It seems to be more common that what individuals get from their coach is …
“Here is your calorie deficit. Lose this weight, see you later!”
A lot of the issues that I work at fixing with my clients, from a functional nutrition perspective, happen because of coaches that are dieting women like this.
At The Educated Dieter, we prioritize exit strategies, we book calls with our clients, and we create a strategy for success. Especially if you have been in a calorie deficit for a long period of time. If this was the case for you, my plan would be to maybe start reverse dieting you, or to slowly increase your calories or maybe even increase your calories a bit more quickly, to get you back to a maintenance level …
So, you can maintain the weight loss!
If more coaches would put more time into this and planning these things out properly, clients could essentially be saved all the mental and physical frustration they often must deal with, because no one bothered to plan an annual diet approach.
We also need to look at what happens when the push for fat loss becomes too extreme. This starts a conversation about metabolic adaptation and whether to introduce re-feed days. So, it’s important that we look at that …
When you’re in a calorie deficit, that is a pretty linear process. What I mean is that you never get out of that calorie deficit and that specific phase, like you do in a fat loss phase. So, there’s going to be some form of metabolic adaptation that occurs where there may be problems with thyroid function or hormonal problems, especially with respect to the female menstrual cycle. These are things that are hard to recover from if you ignore them to push harder and harder with fat loss. Therefore …
It’s important that when a client is in a fat loss phase, we pay close attention to what their biofeedback is telling us. And that biofeedback doesn’t necessarily mean only what is being seen physically. It’s also about what’s being said in the communication, from coach to client as far as what’s happening in their life psychologically. So, it’s important to pay attention to all these primary components when in a fat loss phase, so that as a coach, we know what and how to pivot and make sure that we are adapting a clients’ programming accordingly …
To make sure they’re successful for the long term!
Look if you are someone wanting to lose body fat, and you have years of yo-yo dieting and you have come to a point where you want long-term, sustainable success, you must weigh the payoff. Because the reality is, if you stay in a fat loss phase for too long you may feel like you look better, however every other aspect of your life is on a decline. This could be your quality of sleep, your performance, your energy levels, your social life and even your libido.
So, at what point is, “Wow! I look great in the mirror but … I just don’t feel like doing anything because I’m exhausted,” worth it?
The restoration phase of getting a client back to health after losing body fat is extremely important. And not only getting them back to feeling good, but also to maintain the body composition that they worked so hard to get and keep. A lot of people will need to be in a restoration phase for a long period of time. So, there’s a lot of patience that is required to come through the restoration phase but it’s ultimately so well worth the end result.
More people need to understand that at some point, you can only push yourself so hard before your health is sacrificed. If and when are you ever going to focus just on your health, there needs to be an understanding that fat loss and improving body composition, are the things we do to get healthier, and it needs to be done properly to not induce further damage.
Whenever you’re living in that fat loss phase for a long period of time, there is going to be so much to restore, in terms of functional nutrition. With that being said, you will also really thank yourself for putting in the work. For example …
Let’s say you have that lean phase, and then you decide to work with a coach to help you restore and reverse out of that. That may be the last time you ever have to do a lean phase! If you’re a lifestyle client, and things go accordingly, and we reverse correctly into something that’s easy for you to maintain in a body composition that you like, AND you feel comfortable in …
That may have been your last diet that you ever have to do and no you are no longer living in a dieting phase.
A Final Thought
I have numerous clients that are going through a restoration phase. I basically have documented where they were when they started at the end of the fat loss phase, and then six months later. The main difference is that they’re eating twice as many calories, and they still look great.
And most of these people are not trying to get stage lean and they’re not trying to get the unhealthy levels of fat, they’re trying to get to where they feel confident and comfortable at the beach. What they want, is to look in the mirror and honestly say, “I’m happy with the way I look!”
For a lot of people, this is very attainable so long as they can understand what needs to be done after, because you don’t want to go backward.
To learn more about functional nutrition and the restoration phase of getting you back to your best health and your best body, you can listen the FULL podcast right here on our podcast channel Your Last Diet Ever
God Bless and thank you for reading,
Coach William and the entire Educated Dieter Family
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