Why don’t you eat what you know you “should” eat? Perhaps because you don’t know what you don’t know! A new client, an avid exerciser, wasted no time telling me, “I already know all about nutrition. I know what to eat and I eat very healthfully. I’m just wondering what you can teach me.”
Her thoughts are common; many active people have no idea how a sports nutritionist can help them. (More correctly, how a sports dietitian who is both a registered dietitian (RD) and a board certified specialist in sports dietetics (CSSD) can help them.) Athletes who have never met with a sports dietitian just don’t know how valuable a personalized consult can be to help take them to the next level. Performance, after all, actually starts with fueling—and not with training.
You cannot out-train a bad sports diet. If you are putting hours of effort into training, you need to learn how to overcome the food and weight barriers that hinder you from getting the most from your workouts.
Some ways I help my clients include—
• listening to their questions, concerns, and confusion,
• helping them figure out how to overcome the barriers that derail optimal fueling,
• teaching them how to create a personal food plan to lose undesired body fat while maintaining energy to train,
• suggesting food experiments to enhance their performance.
For some overly-compulsively exercisers, an additional goal is helping them find peace both with food and with their bodies, so they can enjoy better quality of life.
After we’d talked for 90 minutes, my know-it-all client reported that, much to her surprise, she had actually learned a lot. She left my office with a plan that could enhance her daily eating, diminish her food obsessions, and resolve her weight issues. She felt happier.
If you, too, want to learn how to manage our confusing sports food environment, please find a local sports dietitian (RD, CSSD) by using the referral network at www.SCANdpg.org. You just might end up easily eating how you know you should eat!