Nowadays, if you want to seek nutritional support, you can read on every possible website or social media profile about healthy lifestyle how individual approach is offered there.
In this article, we would like to explain to you what truly personalized methods and tools for working with another person mean to us. The way we currently approach cooperation with our Patients is a result of our experience gained over the years.
Find out how we are currently working and why you should come to us with your problem. Perhaps this article will also be useful for you to assess whether the help you have received so far has really been as individual as you were promised.
Two consultations before developing a nutrition strategy
Perhaps for many of you the need for 2 consultations before developing a nutrition strategy seems unnecessary. This is certainly an innovative approach, because if any of you have consulted a specialist before, you have probably come across a rather standard working model. So before the appointment, you had to fill in the materials downloaded from the website / received from the dietician, such as the food diary, bring them to an appointment where you mainly talked about what your meals look like during the day and what your taste preferences are, and then you got a “menu” (we don’t like this word) that either met your expectations and enabled you to achieve the desired results or not. In the second case, there was nothing left to do but to look for another specialist or to give up completely, considering that nothing could be done when another attempt failed.
It’s different with us – before we talk about your current eating habits and how they would eventually look like, we invite you to a first consultation. It was introduced by us for several reasons:
1. We want to understand your “WHY?” that made you look for nutritional help.
- Why do you eat your first meal at 12?
- Why do you end up with a pack of crisps in front of the TV in the evening?
- Why do you do everything you can to be “on a diet” all week long and make up for it over the weekend?
- Why do you have to start all over again and fail to change your eating habits permanently?
- Why do you care so much about this change that you decide to give it a try again?
However, for this to happen, we (often not only we, but also you) need to understand what the cause of your problem is.
- You don’t have enough knowledge to capture the nutrition mistakes you’ve made so far?
- Or maybe you already have some knowledge, but you can’t translate it into reality?
- You live fast, your job is your priority at the moment and you don’t have time to cook, but you want to look good?
- You eat to relieve stress, negative emotions?
- You need a person who will support you in the process of change, because you get discouraged quickly?
And to understand, we need to find out what kind of life you lead, what is important to you in life, what you expect from our cooperation and us as specialists, what we need to pay special attention to. And, what is extremely important is the pace at which your change is to take place. THIS IS what the first consultation is for.
2. Many of you are Patients in need of diet therapy (with various health problems and/or diagnosed diseases), who – when coming to the first appointment – often brought a file with test results or hospital discharge summary from the last few years.
- Not knowing who is actually sitting in front of us, who the person is – we faced the challenge of at least reviewing the documents you brought with you, which takes a lot of time (in fact, it is primarily the responsibility of your doctor) and gives the consultation a very medical character without a chance for us to get to know the other person, and sometimes even to carry out a detailed interview.
- It was impossible to complete the appointment in a standard hour and often required us to spend a lot of time after the consultation to analyse the materials provided and consider how we can best help, and how to discuss the different possibilities/further steps with the Patient if he or she was to receive “individual” recommendations after just 1 appointment?
3. We can see that the more time we devote to the Patient, not only in terms of education, diet, but simply, in human terms – knowing more about them than just whether they prefer porridge or scrambled eggs for breakfast – it is easier for us to create an atmosphere of trust and honesty.
- Thanks to this, our Patients know that we are there for them not only when everything goes right, but ESPECIALLY when things get complicated in life and it seems that there is no chance to think about planning nutrition sensibly.
The introduction of an extra hour of consultation has also given us the opportunity to focus on the education of our Patients. Now we have time (and no hurry at all) to talk about your dietary history so far, explain why you haven’t managed to achieve the desired results so far, why you have sometimes hit the proverbial wall, where you have made mistakes and what is now worth focusing on. Nowadays we also have space to build up your nutritional awareness e.g. by explaining how the human body functions or which elements of the energy balance can be effectively manipulated, so that there is no need to cut down on calories immediately.
There is also time to share our knowledge and experience, answer questions and doubts, discuss various solutions, so that throughout the whole period of our cooperation you learn to listen to your body’s needs and adjust nutrition to yourself, not the other way around.
Perhaps not all of you know, but we work on our own platform, which is a combination of nutrition software, appointment schedule and a space for taking notes during consultations. The platform is still being improved and one of the innovations that allows us to determine the energy value of our Patients’ diets even more precisely than before is the possibility to enter an extended measurement into the system.
It’s a tool that remains invaluable especially when working with athletes (but not only). In such a measurement we can assume different workout loads in relation to individual days, which allows us to adjust the energy value of the diet to a given day. What is more, we also have the possibility to rotate the macronutrients of the diet on a weekly basis in order to better adjust the nutritional interventions, which will help to maximize the training effects.
In the extended measurement we can also assume the number of steps performed each day, which translates into a more accurate determination of NEAT – parameter related to spontaneous activity. Therefore, using this tool will also work well for people who don’t do sports professionally, but only want to remain physically active.
The easiest way to explain this is by using an example – most dieticians use a simple formula to calculate the total daily energy expenditure:
BMR * PAL = TDEE, where:
- BMR – Basal Metabolic Rate, which is the minimum amount of food / calories needed to sustain your vital functions
- PAL – Physical Activity Level, estimated depending on how much you move and can range from 1.2 to even 2.4
- TDEE – Total Daily Energy Expenditure, which is the amount of calories you need to consume to maintain your weight, given how active you are.
Unfortunately, this equation doesn’t provide an accurate estimate of the energy requirement. There are several formulas to calculate BMR, and this choice can generate discrepancies for the final calculations. The majority of nutrition software available on the market is based on such formulas as Mifflin – St. Jeor or Harris – Benedict, which – e.g. in the context of athletes – underestimate BMR. These formulas are based on calculations taking into account the total body weight, while in the case of athletes, formulas based on fat-free mass usually work better. Therefore, it’s worth to be aware that for different people a different formula can give more reliable calculations. In our extended measurement we can choose from many formulas and look how the numbers change then:
Another problem of the above simplified equation is the estimation of PAL – imagine a situation where one person does physical work, e.g. in the construction industry, and the other has a sedentary work, but regularly does crossfit 5x a week at an advanced level and remains constantly active outside work. Which one of them is more active and burns more calories? Hard to say. Sometimes the assumption of an appropriate PAL can be problematic, which in turn may result in underestimation/overestimation of the energy requirement.
In Be Compleat we have an opportunity to clarify what makes up PAL, i.e. the already mentioned NEAT (spontaneous activity) and TEA (calories burned during planned trainings):
Thanks to such assumptions, we can create a tailored nutrition strategy, matching the energy value and distribution of macronutrients to the training needs of the individual:
Of course not every person needs such precise calculations. However, using the extended measurement we can easily explain e.g. how the increase/decrease of activity will translate into numbers, and thus the possibility of achieving the body goals.
While making calculations, however, we keep in mind the most important thing – a person is not a formula 😉
- No formula takes into account the metabolic adaptations (have you heard of this? if not, read more HERE) that can occur if you already have a rich dietary history based on imposing subsequent restrictions on yourself.
- From the calculations you also won’t find out that it’s easier to keep your reduced body weight in the long term by eating and moving more (look HERE).
This is what WE are here for, so that you can find out about these and many other important issues and hence our advantage over any (even the most accurate) energy requirement calculator.
Perhaps you’re wondering why we call the diets we prepare a “nutrition strategy” or a “diet therapy program”. Well, because it’s only a certain starting point. It isn’t supposed to be a “menu”, a ready-made cookbook, once closed you don’t know how to create your meal to feel good or have energy during trainings.
As time goes by, we want you to be able to look at it less and less often, so that it can only serve as an inspiration. In the meantime, together we will work out the nutritional assumptions that are mainly dictated by your lifestyle, and we’re only looking for solutions to meet them and make it as comfortable as possible for you.
- You want to cook dinners for 2 days? No problem.
- You want to shop every 4 days, not once a week? Absolutely.
- You want to eat out sometimes? It’s possible.
- You want to get more independent and try working with the calorie counting application? We’ll help you with that.
- You feel that your nutritional awareness is so high that you can finally eat intuitively? Congratulations. We wanted to get here 🙂
Our nutrition strategies aren’t just about recipes – they’re primarily a plan for YOUR long-term change, divided into stages.
A plan that equips you with precise tools to work your way to a change, tailored to what you need.
We want each person who comes to us to be guided through the whole process from beginning to end, i.e. the last stage of cooperation assumes the stabilization of the achieved effects. We want you to feel confident with your eating habits at the very end and be able to maintain them, no matter what happens in your life.
That’s why we pay special attention to meet regularly and talk about things that go well and are still difficult to achieve and look for alternative solutions.
However, permanent contact isn’t only about regular consultations. Permanent means when you need it, when you have questions, doubts, when something doesn’t work and needs to be changed. Sometimes it’s a contact via email, sometimes via phone, via Messenger or WhatsApp. Some of our Patients keep additional reports, which we analyse on an ongoing basis.
All this is to make you finally feel that working with us makes a change that pays off in many areas of your life possible.
I hope this article helped you to get a closer look at the philosophy behind Be Compleat and now you know what individual approach and personalized nutrition means.
Do you finally want to change your habits effectively? Contact us and book your first consultation today.