Worst Health Recommendation: What To not Say

“If I can do it, you are able to do it.”

You’ve heard that health recommendation. Possibly you’ve even stated the phrases your self.

(Sheepishly raises hand.)

And it’s time for this cliché to finish.

Particularly in terms of health, diet, and well being.

As a result of more often than not: 

It’s not true. 

Simply because you can do one thing doesn’t imply another person can do it.

Extra importantly, this phrase backfires, making folks really feel worse than earlier than.

Right here’s why, and the health recommendation you may wish to provide as a substitute.


Once we use this health recommendation, we normally have the perfect of intentions.

Possibly we’re attempting to narrate to a consumer: “Hey, I’ve been there!”

Or maybe we’ve felt impressed by any variety of information tales. Suppose: Blind man climbs Everest.

However there’s an issue.

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No two persons are precisely the identical.

We would, as coaches, suppose we’re evaluating apples (our life) to apples (our consumer’s life). However extra possible, our consumer is aware of they’re an orange… and feels misunderstood and alienated—normally for one (or all) of the next causes.

#1: Somebody’s background impacts their well being.

Issues like the place we’re born, how we grew up, and what we do for work form how we eat, transfer, and dwell. In addition they have an effect on our potential to alter for the higher.

Technically, these components are known as social determinants of well being. They usually can affect us positively or negatively.

Examples of social determinants embody:

  • Revenue
  • Training
  • Job stability
  • Work situations
  • Meals entry and safety
  • Housing and setting
  • Early childhood improvement
  • Social group
  • Neighborhood setting
  • Entry to reasonably priced and high-quality well being care

Social determinants will be extra necessary than life-style selections in influencing well being, in accordance with the World Well being Group.

Right here’s how this could play out with purchasers.

You inform somebody to hit the fitness center. In case you can muster the hassle to get to the fitness center on a busy schedule, so can your consumer, proper?

Effectively no, not essentially.

Particularly in the event that they work lengthy hours and don’t have childcare.

Or perhaps you counsel “extra veggies” to a digital consumer.

You don’t like veggies both, you say, but when you can discover a strategy to eat them, your consumer can certainly determine it out. Besides, your consumer lives with their mother-in-law who cooks all of their fundamental meals, which have a tendency to incorporate few veggies. In your consumer’s residence, everybody thanks the cook dinner, whether or not they just like the meals or not.

Does your consumer have some choices? Certain—however not as many as somebody who has extra management over their dinner plate.

There are millions of methods social determinants of well being could make what’s potential for you (with some arduous work) straight up unimaginable (or an entire lot tougher) for another person. Some social determinants of well being are actually arduous to acknowledge—particularly in case you haven’t walked in that particular person’s footwear. So heed this common rule of thumb: Don’t make assumptions.

#2: Each particular person’s physique is exclusive.

Let’s assume you and your consumer have the identical social circumstances.

Is it okay to say “if I can do it, you are able to do it?”

Spoiler alert: Nope.

As a result of genetics additionally play a job. 

Say you’re an individual who places on muscle simply. For you, sustaining a lean, athletic physique means working arduous within the fitness center and retaining an in depth eye in your diet.

After all, these two issues require effort. Possibly loads of effort.

However an individual who has a tougher time constructing muscle, and tends to retailer fats round their center because of their genes?

They’re not going to get the identical outcomes as you—even when they eat and train precisely the identical manner. These are the genetic playing cards they’ve been dealt.

So no—they will’t “do it” simply because you’ll be able to.

#3: Some persons are luckier than others.

Most individuals who’ve labored arduous to get the place they’re don’t wish to admit that the universe may need helped them out a bit.

Think about this: You’re an athlete competing on the CrossFit Video games.

The ultimate exercise—the one which decides who’ll win—occurs to be deadlift-focused, one thing you’re particularly nice at. (If it’d been snatches, it’d be a very totally different state of affairs.)

Once you win the CrossFit Video games after that last exercise, it doesn’t imply you haven’t labored arduous. However did you additionally profit from the luck of the draw? Yup.

Maybe a extra relatable instance: Possibly you met a coach or good friend—simply as you’re able to make a change—who revolutionizes how you consider diet and health. And that units you down the trail to a more healthy life-style.

In an alternate universe, the place you didn’t meet that incredible coach on the proper time, it’d’ve taken you an entire longer to get the place you might be immediately.

The purpose: Don’t low cost the “proper place, proper time” impact.

3 higher methods to assist your purchasers

Use all three collectively—or choose what works finest in a given dialog.

1. Use restricted relatability.

Say somebody’s going via a divorce, and their coach has been via one, too. It might be tempting to supply recommendation like:

“I do know this can be a arduous time for you. My divorce was brutal! However I managed to remain on high of my diet whereas going via mine, so I do know you are able to do it.”


There’s a greater manner to make use of the experiences you might have in widespread with a consumer, with out making assumptions about their state of affairs.

It’s known as restricted relatability, which helps you relate, whereas additionally permitting your consumer to really feel heard and perceive.

To grasp the method, use this straightforward two-step components.

Share your expertise: “I do know what [fill in the blank] seems like for me.”
Get interested in your consumer’s expertise by asking an open-ended query: What does it appear like for you?”

Translated to a real-life teaching dialog, you may say one thing like:

“That sounds powerful. Once I was combating binge consuming, I felt so powerless and annoyed. What are you feeling on this second?”

2. Discover and title the intense spot.

This technique is all about taking a second to understand and applaud what your consumer has simply shared.

You may say:

“You understand what? It truly takes fairly superb self-awareness to establish and acknowledge that this can be a barrier for you proper now. What does it really feel wish to have such a agency grasp in your state of affairs?”

Or perhaps:

“We will speak problem-solving in a second, however earlier than we try this, I wish to pause and let you know that it’s superb you’ve pinpointed this as a problem. I don’t know in case you’d have been in a position to do this six months in the past!”

This may be actually efficient as a result of the consumer isn’t anticipating to pause. They’re anticipating methods to maneuver ahead. You’re giving them a second to cease, take inventory, and replicate on their awesomeness earlier than taking motion.

3. Encourage them with their very own accomplishments.

Let’s say your consumer’s apprehensive concerning the thought of shutting down earlier to get extra sleep.

As a substitute of that previous “if I can do it, you are able to do it” recommendation, attempt highlighting their previous accomplishments. That might sound like:

“You understand what? You truly informed me this very same factor a few months in the past about going to the fitness center. And now you’re going recurrently! We will speak about particular methods to make going to mattress earlier extra doable, but in addition, keep in mind how far you’ve come.”

Principally, as a substitute of claiming “if I can do it, you are able to do it,” you’re saying, “if you are able to do this one factor, you are able to do this different factor!”

You’re displaying them that you just see their arduous work.

And most significantly, due to that onerous work, you imagine in them.

Once you use the above methods together with your purchasers, you’ll accomplish one thing that the phrase “If I can do it, so are you able to” simply can’t:

You’ll assist them really feel heard, seen, and valued.

That’ll go a great distance in the direction of strengthening your relationship—and finally assist your purchasers get higher outcomes.

In case you’re a coach, otherwise you wish to be…

Studying coach purchasers, sufferers, pals, or relations via wholesome consuming and life-style modifications—in a manner that’s personalised for his or her distinctive physique, preferences, and circumstances—is each an artwork and a science.

In case you’d wish to be taught extra about each, think about the Precision Diet Degree 1 Certification.

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