Several years ago I attended a nutrition conference where one of the speakers informed us that there was, on average, a new weight loss dietary regimen released in the UK each week. In my profession, I’m still hearing flashy names of new diet fads each adopting a new revolutionary method of losing weight. You’ll have heard of the more popular ones that have suited a lot of people really well: Weight Watchers, Rosemary Conley, Slimming World, Atkins diet, etc; but there are many others not so well known. As well as these diet regimens, there are numerous generic meal plans on the internet compiled for people with particular goals.
It’s no different in the world of fitness and bodybuilding advice. Training ‘gurus’ have devised nutrition and exercise programmes designed to maximise results in the shortest possible time. This might be by way of a website or ebook. The claim is there is some new method that no one before has come across which gives outstanding results.
For both weight loss and muscle gain, pretty much all of these generic regimens will give results. This is because people are changing their current behaviour to something that’s a huge improvement on what they’re currently doing. Plans like these have their benefits in that they help the individual become more nutrition conscious and there’s also some degree of education, but their generic nature makes adherence quite poor and all too often it’s not long before the dieter lapses. How many times have you heard people say that they’ve put all the weight they’d lost back on again after following a diet?
You to also need to be very careful that there’s not misinformation given out. Many faddy regimens are based on pseudoscience; there are so many nutritional claims are simply untrue. Whilst most of these are harmless, albeit useless, sometimes outrageous claims can have dangerous consequences.
Tailored advice involves the advisor acquiring a large amount of information from the client in order to get a complete picture of the individual’s lifestyle. As well as goals, this will include the person’s age, their job, what exercise their do, any medical conditions, if they have a family, who prepares their food, do they exclude any foods from their diet for cultural or personal choice reasons and if there are any particular likes or dislikes. As well as these points, it’s useful for the consultant to know what the individual’s daily routine is like in respect of when they get up and retire, when they’re at work and when they’re exercising, this way advice can be completely tailored to suit the individual’s lifestyle. There’s no point in recommending something if it’s going to be hard for the client to stick to it; poor adherence = poor results.
A personalised plan will have meal times clearly written out with food options and portion sizes. It will account for break times at work for convenience and when you’re exercising to ensure you have maximum energy for performance. Advice may also include specific recipes suited to the plan. Furthermore, if your circumstances change, your plan can be altered to suit. This is why progress and adherence to tailored advice is so much higher and results are achieved.
Generic meal plans are great as long as it’s clear that’s all they are, i.e. a guide and a source of information for education. A generic meal plan designed for someone with a particular goal is useful as long as there’s accompanying information for the individual to learn from so they can adapt the diet to suit their own lifestyle. However, with tailored nutrition advice the consultant will accommodate all requirements for you, making your nutrition plan easier to stick to and better suited to your goals.
For tailored nutrition advice see here.