In my practice, I meet people from different cultures, ethnicities and backgrounds. But all of them have one thing in common- they all know how to read. What and how much they read, especially about nutrition, tends to make up so much of their personality. In the first 5 minutes of the consult, I can easily estimate which category to place the client. It’s famously said that one must not judge a book, by its cover. In this case, I am rarely disappointed.
The types of people I counsel:
1) The Nutrition Beginner:Having being introduced to carbohydrates, protein and fats in school, this person would be a sponge to know all that they can. They read little and are known to droll at food pics (#foodporn #foodies #foodlovers). Ever eager to learn though, he/she would come in with a notepad and pen, and will fiercely note all that you say. Without doubt, they will paraphrase, repeat and quote the dietitian, whenever they get a chance.
My Rating: Love the newbies to bits. Their minds are clean slates, they generally have great attitude and their curiosity makes the counselling so satisfying.
2) The Nutrition Pro: Now these clients normally are experts who just don’t have a degree in nutrition. They know the difference between Omega 3, 6 and 9 and maybe, some of them, can quote the Kreb's cycle as well. They visit the dietitian for cross reference on fads and trends.
My Rating: The consultation seems like a symposium of nutrition, with each party well versed with correct facts and can end with high- fives!
3) The Protein Nut: Equipped with a protein shake in the backpack, the 'Pro-teen' junkie, comes in with a smile, and an attitude to defend the cookie-dough flavored whey, till death do them part. He may or may not work out, but due to popularity and taste, has fallen victim to the protein shake band wagon. With a preference to replace all meals with shakes, this person would need the most convincing to go slow.
My Rating: Please don't get me wrong, we all need protein, but this addiction to man-made shakes, gets me confused.
4) The"NO"it all: They visit the dietitian because the doctor/family/well-wisher has forced them to. Even the receptionist can make out. Body language talks so much. Complaining about trivial things is also common-place, like the wait, the AC being too powerful, or otherwise.
And then, the non-cooperation. I know that even if they semi- commit to the tasks, it would be chucked out, the minute they walk out of the session. They have no intention to come in for a follow-up and wish for the session to conclude.
My Rating: The client is just not ready. Counselling requires prep for both sides, so if you are not up for it, no forcing, suggestion or recommendation would help
Now, which one are you? ;)