From keto to low-carb paleo, high-fat diets are all the rage. But before instructing clients to eat avocados and bacon with abandon, James FitzGerald wants coaches to remember that dietary fat is not a silver bullet. If a client’s long-term goal is to live long and prosper, then there are many factors that must be considered, and fat macros should not be prescribed in a silo.
(Tip: Learn James’ approach to creating client nourishment programs in this free course.)
Educate your clients on the difference between eating fats and absorbing fats. In order for the client’s body to properly utilize the fat they consume the client must first consistently execute the OPEX Basic Lifestyle Guidelines (BLGs). So before trying to find the perfect macro prescription, first educate your clients on the importance of chewing food, moving daily, forming good sleep habits, proper hydration and managing stress. These simple behaviors can have a big effect on improving gut health and digestion, so that fat macronutrient are effectively absorbed and used for fuel. Learn the OPEX BLGs for yourself in this free coaching course.
After educating your clients on how to absorb the fat, James recommends educating on the different qualities of fat. Explain to your clients the difference between lower order (poor quality) and higher-order fats (higher quality). Lower order fats include shortenings, pastries, fried foods, hydrogenated soybean, cottonseed and canola oil, and margarine. These should be minimized, if not excluded, from your client’s diet. Higher-order fats include seeds, nuts, fish, grass-fed meats, avocado, olive oil, lard, butter, coconut, palm oil, flaxseed oil, and olives. Focusing on eating a variety of higher-order fats will improve the nutritional quality of your client’s fat intake.
Start by looking at a detailed initial intake form and food log to understand how much fat your clients are currently eating. Before prescribing a seemingly perfect plan of varied fats, it is important to assess a client’s starting point and slowly move them towards a more optimal prescription. If their entire fat composition is lower order, slowly move them towards higher order fats by making small substitutions. If they are currently eating 30g of fat, and you want to move them to 80g, titrate up over time to that higher number. Meet the client where they are at and individualize based on their current ability to consume and absorb quality fats.
James believes that our goal as coaches is to develop a client’s personal responsibility for their health. Coaches do this by educating their clients on healthy lifestyles, rather than blindly prescribing them macros from a calculator. OPEX teaches coaches to design holistic nourishment programs, which create consistent and sustainable behaviors for clients. Start learning how to personalize nourishment for your clients with the free Coach’s Toolkit. Sign up today and take the first step in your professional coaching career.