When it comes to being a nutrition coach helping people improve their will power is a big part of the job. At the first of a program most clients are pretty driven and motivated; the novelty of having a fun nutrition plan keeps them pretty focused. However, as time goes on they find themselves falling back into being inexcusably human once again. Sometimes this can lead to cheating on their plan, taking extended breaks or in some cases even quitting.
In my experience I’ve found that the best way to prevent broken will power is in understanding the nature of it in the beginning. Will power is not much different than many other cycles in nature. After day comes night, after winter comes spring and after too much wine comes the inevitable wine hangover. When we understand this attribute of will power we can work with it instead of against it.
By scheduling routine will power breaks we can ensure that our mind, body and soul can take a break from the pressure of always being on track. In terms of nutrition I call it having a Victory Meal. A Victory Meal is a scheduled meal intended to be taken 1-2 times a week where the client can eat any meal they like within reason. This meal offers three benefits, with the first being the obvious emotional reward for working so hard. The second benefit is teaching the body how to rid itself of toxins and foreign substances and organisms commonly found in not-so-healthy food. If we don’t allow our bodies to stay efficient at getting rid of these foreign substances when we eventually are forced to have them, perhaps due to unforeseen circumstances we may find ourselves spending a bit longer in the John than we intended.
The final benefit is by stimulating our leptin, the hormone responsible for regulating metabolism and appetite. Leptin levels can become lowered throughout the duration of a calorie deficit. Because it’s highly responsible to glucose having a routine Victory Meal may help bring the metabolism back up to full speed again.
By being honest with ourselves about the burdens we’re carrying and scheduling a routine will power break we can ensure we’re working our way to achieving our goals most efficiently while enjoying the journey along the way!
By Ricky Goodall, Certified Nutrition Coach