For many of us, quarantine meant a departure from our well-established routine of healthy nutrition and exercise. So, how do we bounce back? Enter: Nutrition Coaching.
We have all been in a shared experience of isolation and a pausing of normalcy over the past 15 months. With limited access to businesses that typically help foster good health, like gyms, indoor fitness studios, recreational facilities, grocery stores and healthy restaurants, many have been left to navigate a healthy lifestyle on their own. However, sometimes the greatest help comes from others. A Nutrition Coach can serve as a support system to bounce back from any unhealthy habits that were picked up during a stressful time, like the COVID-19 pandemic. By establishing your baseline health, building a nutrition plan, tracking your progress, and ensuring you have the tools needed to commit to a long-term healthy, a Nutrition Coach is an essential source for better health post-pandemic.
Measure baseline health
To get to where you want to be, you must understand where you are starting from. And after a year plus of quarantine, body composition may have shifted due to a change in normal activity. A Nutrition Coach will conduct baseline testing of your body composition and resting metabolic rate through quick, non-invasive procedures (DEXA scan & RMR test). This will provide you with your unique health profile that details body fat, lean muscle mass, bone density and visceral fat, as well as an accurate estimate of how many calories are burned each day at rest. Determining the body’s RMR helps guide calorie consumption every day in order to reach body composition goals over time, whether it is losing body fat, gaining lean muscle mass, or both.
Establish a goal
A Nutrition Coach’s role in establishing your health goals is largely to listen. You are in control of making your own goals, and a coach supports your path towards better health. Goal setting is most successful when a goal is SMART, or specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely. Your goals two years ago may look a bit different than the goals you are hoping to achieve after quarantine – and that’s ok! A coach will help you fine-tune nutrition goals that feel right for you now and slowly navigate back to where you were pre-quarantine.
Build a plan
A goal without plan is just a wish. While building a nutrition plan may seem daunting, Nutrition Coaches are experts in putting together weekly meal plans that work with your lifestyle and align with your unique RMR data to lead to healthy changes in body composition over time. Many “diets” on the market are not personalized to individual preferences and can feel limiting. A coach understands that and takes the opposite approach by focusing on adding in high-quality, nutrient dense foods with an appropriate proportion of macros (carbs, fats, and protein) to support lean muscle mass development and maintenance. With restaurants beginning to open again, a Nutrition Coach can also help guide better decisions (again, without feeling limited) to keep you on track.
Seeing – or not seeing – progress help to determine if and how to tweak a plan in the right direction toward success. About a month into a personalized nutrition plan, a Nutrition Coach will re-examine body composition to see what progress is being made to monitor the effectiveness of the changes you have implemented into your lifestyle. They will also celebrate successes and navigate challenges, and continue to serve as a source of accountability in keeping on track with new nutrition and exercise habits.
Create long-term change
The key to lasting results is creating healthy habits for life. After working with a Nutrition Coach for a dedicated amount of time, you will be prepared with the knowledge and tools needed to continue working towards your goals on your own. Coaches instill a perspective of long-term change by providing you with knowledge about your own unique body and physiology so you understand what it takes to accomplish your health goals, both short- and long-term.
The pandemic has affected almost every area of daily life, and while it is smart to stay diligent in remaining safe from the virus or any of its new strains that may emerge, it is never too late to recommit to your overall health goals. We may not be able to directly control when life gets back to “normal,” but we can control how we fuel our health through nutrition as best as possible. Nutrition Coaching provides the knowledge, structure, accountability, and life-long tools to reach new goals after a challenge stretch of being “thrown off” a routine.
Interested in working with a Nutrition Coach to bounce back with new goals this year? Contact our team to get started!