I recently had the honor of speaking with some of our club teams we train on the topic of sports nutrition, and I shared with them my philosophy on nutrition: The simpler we can make our nutritional choices, the more likely we are to make successful choices. This is an area where I think many trainers get it wrong when discussing nutrition with athletes or clients – we make it way too complicated: Eat organic! Eat paleo! Follow this meal plan! The likelihood of success for an athlete to undertake all those steps at once and be successful? Close to zero.
We’ve been heavily influenced by the Precision Nutrition model of change psychology. Here’s how they do it: When giving an athlete a nutritional task, they always start with something easy. Drink 8 glasses of water. Take a daily multi-vitamin. You get the idea. But here’s the other part, one that is equally critical to the success of their coaching – they ask the athlete this question:
On a scale of 1-10, how confident are you that you can achieve this step?
Unless the athlete or client answers with a “9” or “10,” they don’t proceed with the step. They start with a simpler task, one that they can confidently take on. And eventually, even those initially daunting tasks now start to look more reasonable.
Over the next couple months, I’ll be sharing some of my suggestions that I give athletes on ways they can improve their nutrition. I call them my “Seven Way-Too-Easy Steps,” because, well, most of them are just that. Hopefully, you can look at these suggestions, and if you are up to give them a try, you can ask yourself the question above, and confidently answer at least 9 or 10!