This was one of my favourite slides from Mac-Nutrition, and I think it provides an eye opener as to someone’s level of knowledge on such an important topic – that of nutrition.

My job is to bring someone along the line to the last type – the knowingly adherent achiever.

Which category do you fall in to? Do you want to change that?

Here is the list of client types;

Unknowingly non-adherent non-achievers.

For me this is a large proportion of people. They want to lose weight but they don’t know the mechanisms that influence weight loss.

The unknowingly non-adherent non-achiever has probably tried fad diets, and they only have poor information as their reference point for managing weight. A lack of any real support confounds the fact that progress is unlikely to be made.

They don’t know the reason why behind what they are trying, they are unlikely to stick to it and because of this they don’t experience any success.

However, if there is readiness to change this client can be taken a long way.

Knowingly non-adherent non-achievers.

This category of person has been given the information and support, but they are not ready to implement the change that needs to be made for whatever reason.

The reasons behind weight loss have been explained – energy balance, adherence, behaviour change, consistency, but the readiness to change isn’t there.

There are many different reasons why this happens and it cannot purely be pinned on the person being ‘lazy’.  The person’s work and/or family life at the minute might not be conducive to making the changes that are needed, and sometimes it can be a case of “I’m not willing to change my habits, I’m actually happy enough to continue as I am”.

The idea of changing your body composition can seem like a great idea but the expectation of what needs to be done doesn’t always match up with reality.

In the book ‘Have you every seen a fat fox?’ by Mike Gibney the author runs through how tough dieting can be for some people. A great point is made, and I’m paraphrasing here…if you’re a little bit overweight but have been declared perfectly healthy by your doctor then is trying to lose weight really necessary? It’s definitely some interesting food for thought in the context of someone’s overall lifestyle. If you are extremely busy then dieting may add unnecessary stress.

I would also add that I have experienced many cases where someone has been told ‘you need to lose weight as it is having a detrimental effect on your health’, yet the individual STILL does not change.

This is a tough category.

Knowingly non-adherent achievers.

We all know somebody like this, they don’t appear to have to make much effort – if any – to implement change, yet positive results happen.

The person has the information but doesn’t seem to have to work as hard. Generally, this is somebody who is genetically elite – an outlier, or someone who has plenty of weight to lose and can make a lot of progress for what seems like little effort.

Small changes can go a long way in certain cases especially with overweight clients.

However, there is only so much progress that can be made in this category.

Knowingly adherent non-achievers.

This is when something has been miscalculated or maybe there is some factor which hasn’t been accounted for affecting progress.

The knowingly adherent non-achiever is doing all the right things but there may be an underestimation of energy intake, an overestimation of daily activity level or exercise energy expenditure, or possibly inappropriate methods have been used and no actual calorie deficit is created.

Water retention can mask fat loss (this is more prevalent in female clients) so sometimes more time is needed or possibly an adjustment to the daily calorie target.

A good coach can solve the problem working closely with their client.

Unknowingly adherent non-achievers.

This happens when the person is ready to change and they have sought the relevant information but it has come from a poor source. Think fad diets.

The person adheres to what they have been told to do but progress doesn’t come.

If a person doesn’t understand the mechanisms behind why weight loss occurs they are just following something and hoping for the best.

Not everyone needs to know in-depth about topics such as biochemistry or physiology, but a basic understanding of energy balance and the two sides of that equation will empower the client.

Make them aware of the behavioural challenges associated with managing their weight with this as well and you really start to open someone’s eyes.

The client then does not have to follow but can lead and make their own decisions. The best plan is the one that works for you with the proper underlying principles in place.

Unknowingly adherent achievers.

A good example here is someone who goes gluten free or starts running and loses weight. The person sticks to the plan – the plan is a method but the person isn’t really aware of the underlying principles.

The example of the gluten free option means that if someone takes out bread/pasta/pastries and baked goods you are removing calories from your habitual diet.

Enough has been done to create a calorie deficit which in turn creates weight loss.

This person may well achieve results but attribute it to a method without actually understanding the underlying principles of why it happened.

You should want to know why you are succeeding, knowledge is power.

Knowingly adherent achievers.

Where I want all my clients to be.

The knowingly adherent achiever is empowered with the knowledge behind why things happen. They know why and how to implement a weight loss, maintenance, or weight gain plan if needed.

They also know how to prioritise health, how to fuel appropriately for and recover from training, and where something like the timing of meals falls on the hierarchy of importance.

Sleep, the importance of non-exercise activity, day to day scale weight fluctuations, supplementation for health and performance, hydration – just some of the other topics that this category of client is comfortable with.

The readiness to implement change and do what needs to be done consistently is the key factor in whether you move along the path and become a knowingly adherent achiever.

Once you have the information, support and the will to change, the power is in your hands.