Tis’ the season…that you might see a change in your client’s eating habits and drop in client compliancy with coaching recommendations due to an abundance of available sweet treats and holiday eats.
FDN Practitioners know how important it is to steer clients away from bad food and eating habits, but more notably they know WHY it is important and they have the tools to motivate clients to change. It is essential as a functional health coach to understand the true intricacies of why dietary changes critical to improve function and how to communicate this clearly, so that your client comprehends and complies – leading to better success in their health journey.
Refined sugars and carbohydrates are responsible for much of the poor health and disease that are so prevalent today, but because they’re so addictive and exist in so many processed foods, many people have a difficult time avoiding them. While there are plenty of reasons to eliminate sugar and refined carbohydrates, the chances of successfully eliminating them from your client’s diet aren’t great unless they have a solid understanding of what foods to eat instead, how to read ingredient labels, and most importantly for some, how to avoid cravings. With the right approach, it’s not as difficult as you may think, and it may make a tremendous difference in your client’s life.
Functional lab testing can provide valuable clues, insights and objective data to guide recommendations for dietary changes and motivation for why making changes is important to improve health.
Foods to Eliminate Sugar from Your Client’s Diet
Eliminating refined sugars and carbohydrates from one’s diet can help to balance blood sugar, hormones, improve sleep quality, resolve digestive issues and reverse chronic health issues. Eating natural whole foods such as meat, fruit and vegetables, promotes health and naturally eliminates refined sugars and carbohydrates at the same time. Because these whole foods don’t contain processed sugar or refined carbohydrates, no additional effort is needed to avoid them, and they help clients to avoid sugar cravings by providing a better balance of macronutrients.
After being spoiled by the convenience of processed foods, many people have a difficult time following a healthy diet because of the additional preparation that whole foods tend to require. By preparing a number of meals in advance, clients will always have healthy food available regardless of how little time or energy they might have for food preparation. In fact, by freezing meals, one can even prepare enough food in advance for an entire week.
How to Read Ingredients Labels
As long as your client is eating natural whole foods, they won’t need to worry much about ingredient labels. However, if they insist on eating processed foods, this list of sugars by name will help them determine whether or not the product in question contains processed sugar or refined carbohydrates.
Other ingredients they should look out for is flour or wheat, possibly dairy or other grains and inflammatory foods. Although these are not classified as a sugar, they can be just as unhealthy based on a person bio-individuality, the health of their digestive system and personal food reactions.
These potentially destructive ingredients can be contributors to Metabolic Chaos® causing dysfunction in the systems of the body downstream that can impact not only digestion but also hormonal balance, sleep cycles, energy, detoxification and blood sugar balance.
A food sensitivity test can help you and your client pinpoint specific problematic foods to avoid on an ingredient list or when meal planning to ensure all foods that are consumed are boosting health instead of breaking it down.
Beat Sugar Cravings
Cravings for refined sugar and refined carbohydrates are often a result of low blood sugar or neurotransmitter imbalances. In either case, the problem can usually be resolved by simply increasing the consumption of protein and/or fat. Since clients should be eating whole foods, the additional protein should come from high quality animal meat. This will help to balance blood sugar by reducing the amount of sugar clients eat and slowing down the digestion of the carbohydrates consumed. It will also help balance brain chemistry by providing the amino acids needed to produce essential neurotransmitters.
Some people are genetically predisposed to producing inadequate amounts of neurotransmitters and may need to supplement specific amino acids to regain proper balance and eliminate sugar cravings. As an Functional Diagnostic Nutrition® Practitioner, you will be trained on how to uncover issues, such as these predispositions as well as how to develop effective protocols using this information correlated with functional lab results.
Be Cautious with Fruit
Fruit is a natural whole food and is undoubtedly one of the healthiest foods we can eat. Because whole fruit contains fiber and the nutrients needed to digest its natural sugar, it’s less likely to cause blood sugar fluctuation and doesn’t rob the body of valuable nutrients. However, it can still be problematic for many people.
Despite the slower and more complete digestion, people who naturally digest carbohydrates more rapidly can still experience blood sugar fluctuation from eating fruit. In fact, Dr. Joseph Mercola, a popular natural health advocate, says that he developed type 2 diabetes while following a high fruit diet and completely reversed it by eating less carbohydrates and more animal fat and protein.
The best way for your client to understand how tolerant they are to fruit is to identify their nutritional individuality which will give you an idea of the proportions of protein, fat and carbohydrate that are ideal for you. With this as a starting point, you’ll be better able to identify any adverse reactions they may have to certain foods, particularly in regard to those high in carbohydrates. FDN uses the Metabolic Typing Diet Test among other investigative tools to determine each client’s bio-individuality and develop personalized protocols.
This all sounds good and easy in theory, but actually getting clients to be compliant with making these changes can be tricky.
However, when they see real objective data about why they should make these changes it helps to shift their mindset and spark motivation. A food sensitivity test can reveal just how inflammatory and destructive certain foods are for them. A saliva or urine hormone test can provide insights about cortisol dysregulation and estrogen dominance which can correlate with blood sugar imbalances and insulin resistance. And a Metabolic Typing test can tell clients what foods are best for their body giving them a guide for what to focus on eating.
These are just some of the ways you can help your clients learn to live a healthier life. If you are truly interested in making a difference in your client’s life you should consider enhancing your training with a certification with Functional Diagnostic Nutrition®.