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How To Choose A Nutrition Coach

A blond woman performs a cossack squat in her living room as part of an at-home fitness program.

If you’ve decided to invest your money into hiring a nutrition coach in Winnipeg or online, we have some simple and practical advice for you.

If you’re taking this step, you’re serious about a healthy lifestyle, and it would be a shame to waste your time and money on a service that doesn’t deliver.

With the rise of social media health and fitness influencers, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to navigate a super-saturated market. 

And let’s face it, so much of what we are exposed to in this industry is geared at making quick money by setting folks up to fail. Why? Because if they fail, they need to hire a coach or service again. If they’re not learning anything about sustainable behaviors and healthy habits, they’re always going to rely on someone or something else to help them succeed. 

Knowledge and personal accountability are not on the menu with these scammers.

So what do we do? There isn’t a perfect solution, unfortunately. But in an attempt to help you navigate these murky waters, we made a list of the Top 10 things to consider and watch for when you’re shopping for a Winnipeg nutrition coach or online service.

They Have Credentials and Education

This one has to go at the top of the list: Does your coach or service have some type of credential or certification? 

Some coaches will try to convince you that their smoking six pack or 30 years of experience will suffice, but you should be worried that it won’t. Having some type of nutrition certification demonstrates a commitment to the craft and a desire to understand the science behind nutrition. 

And nutrition is a scientific field. Clients who have medical conditions should be even more wary and seek out Registered Dietitians or a nutritionist who will work with a client on the instructions of a doctor. 

They Create Content that Empowers and Educates

What do you see when you look at nutritionists’ websites and social media platforms? 

This is important for a number of reasons. First of all, it demonstrates that they are actually working for their clients by developing content that will help them. This includes recipes and meal hacks, articles about nutrition science, helpful suggestions to navigate busy schedules, ideas for kids meals and so much more. 

Free resources are a clear indication to the client that this coach cares and is invested in creating a service that will produce long-term success for the clients. 

Their Nutrition Hierarchy Is Built on Food

If supplements are sitting at the base of a nutritionist’s pyramid—run. 

A nutrition coach who doesn’t tell you that food, sleep and fitness are the most essential factors for your success isn’t a nutrition coach. He or she is selling you something and it won’t result in long-term success.

They are Positive and Professional

The power of positivity is real. Find a coach or service who celebrates all that you can do and focuses on your accomplishments. 

You should feel only good vibes when you look at their social media feeds. They frame everything with a “can do” attitude and provide you with a list of “do’s” instead of  “do nots.” 

They don’t unnecessarily discredit other coaches, services, or philosophies. Instead, they spend all their time and energy on their clients.

They Have an Open Mind

Being positive means you can embrace and accept change. 

Aspects of nutrition science have changed over the years, and a coach who cannot accept change will not grow. This can hurt you as a client. 

Every client is unique, and needs will vary. If a coach or service can only see it one way, they’re doing many of their clients a disservice. 

They Are Available and Consistent

You hired a coach to keep you accountable. They should be checking in on a regular schedule, asking questions, giving feedback, addressing barriers and celebrating wins. 

Similarly, their message and their methods are consistent. They don’t try the latest thing just because it’s popular. Instead, they commit to evaluating everything, doing research and developing services that get real results.

Changes in services come from a consistent commitment to improvement and a desire to offer clients solutions that work, not fads or gimmicks.

They Use Data

Nutrition coaches should show you specific metrics that matter. This will demonstrate progress, keep you on track, and help you and the coach make adjustments to find success.

If a coach isn’t tracking actual data—body composition, measurements, weight, etc.—how are you supposed to know if you’re getting results? 

And the more specific the data, the better. For example, what if a client gains 5 lb. of muscle and loses 5 lb. of fat but the nutritionist is only measuring weight? That client won’t even know he or she has accomplished a goal. (We use the InBody measuring system to show clients changes in body composition for this exact reason, in addition to pictures and measurements.)

Overall, it’s important to ask a coach this question: “How will I know I’m making progress?”

They are Compassionate

If a coach or service makes you feel like you’re a failure, or that it’s easy because “food is fuel and nothing more,” it’s the coach who has the problem. Not you. 

Food is so much more than just fuel because we are human. A good nutrition coach recognizes how nuanced nutrition coaching really is and will help their clients navigate this.

Food is tied to emotions, social occasions, family traditions and more. A good coach knows this and takes a holistic approach to nutrition.

They Stay in Their Lane

Your nutrition coach should not diagnose medical conditions. They should not prescribe medical nutrition unless they are a Registered Dietitian working within their scope of practice. 

Working with a nutrition coach to make positive changes to your nutrition may impact certain health outcomes, and mitigate certain risks associated with poor nutrition. 

Just remember that nutrition coaches aren’t medical doctors and they shouldn’t make outlandish claims to cure diseases or offer miracle solutions to serious existing health concerns.

They Inspire You

Find a coach that inspires you to do great things and strive for you goals because you admire them and they support you. This isn’t achieved by coaches shaming their clients. If you look at their social media feed and feel bad about yourself, they might not be the coach for you. 

The coach you choose might inspire you because you feel like their story is your story, or because they motivate you to work outside of your comfort zone. Perhaps they have a great sense of humor and that is the connection for you.

Whoever you choose to work with should provide solid leadership and client centered support from start to finish.

Research First!

Always do your homework when you’re searching for a nutrition coach or service. 

If a friend refers you, ask him or her to describe the experience. What went well? Why is he or she making a recommendation.

Then request to meet with or talk to the coach in advance of signing up. Take your time and make the right choice. 

The right coach will help you get results and feel good about yourself. You have goals, and you need to work with the person who will help you achieve them. You deserve results!

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