Let’s talk for a minute about the “nutritionist” at your gym. You probably have one. He or she probably has a day job in an office or lab somewhere teaching, engineering or accounting. They’ve tried about 50 diets until they found the magic one. They now have a 6 pack, spend 2-3 hours at the gym daily and dole out nutrition advice on the side. They have really deep answers for simple questions and never hesitate to talk about your mitochondria or cell structure (yawn). When you sign up to get your own 6 pack- you feel like a failure when their recommendations somehow do not translate to the same results.
This happens at almost every gym. Of course, we want to take advice from someone who looks how we want to look and performs how we want to perform. Unfortunately, knowing what works for one person nutritionally and understanding how to tailor the science of nutrition to fit a variety of people are two very different things. The difference between the two are education and experience. The human body is incredible and each one is incredibly different. From genetics, to environment, to understanding the long term metabolic consequences associated with exercise, weight loss and performance, its just too much for some recreational googling to suffice.
On top of the lack of desired results, there are some underlying dangers that these self-proclaimed professionals don’t even know they are inflicting on you. When you study nutrition for the 4-6 years it takes to obtain your degree(s) you learn what risks are involved when working with a seemingly healthy population. You know signs for different diseases and symptoms that you do not want to ignore. You also learn your limits. Limits are where you know you need to make sure your athlete is safe. Gym “nutritionists” usually don’t have limits. In fact, they typically dip their greedy fingers into medical advice, physical therapy advice, they might even think all their googling about metabolism has them certified as an underpaid endocrinologist who will diagnose your adrenal fatigue or discuss which medications you should stop. These should all be red flags to you.
On an even scarier note, while cleaning up these messes, we have had to refer some of these athletes on to programs that require medical supervision. IE the gym “nutritionist” thought she had it covered and 2 fully trained registered dietitians who are both medical board certified didn’t think nutrition advice without a physician’s supervision was appropriate. Yikes.
Are you likely going to be just fine following the recommendations of your gym “nutritionist”? Yes. But are you likely to have the same results that he or she had? No. And if you do see results, will you keep them? Sadly, no. There is a reason for the 1000 fad diets on the internet, none of them work well enough to make it big. And if they work, its usually short lived.
Qualified dietitians are taking the CrossFit world by storm and we are happy to be a part of this new, cutting edge way of working with the best CrossFit athletes to get the results they want, without the BS hype from our “nutritionist” who’s biggest credential is his or her 6 pack.
So should you make nutrition a priority? Absolutely! But be sure to pick someone who is qualified to help you meet those goals.
CrossFit Nutrition Programs with a Registered Dietitian on Staff
- Power and Grace Nutrition (US!!!)
- Healthy Steps Nutrition
- RP Strength
- Working Against Gravity