I am sorry. I cannot stay quiet.
Some people come to this field very rigid and unmoving in their beliefs. I have taught hundreds of them, if not thousands. Also, I was one. In my early 20s, I had it. I knew the way.
I know this mind.
This mind seeks to control everything, and this manifests itself in one’s entire relationship with food. This is not healthy. This is an attempt to control the uncontrollable in a broken food and social environment (ease of availability of hyperpalatable food, constant variety, unending food advertising, and the inattentive consumption of food, etc).
Cognitively, I believe it is a disaster, as it brings food to the forefront of a human’s life. Socially, this mindset isolates you and may even put your self-worth on how successful you are at adhering to some dietary ideology or making myfitnesspal happy.
The vast majority of my clients never ever see their macros. They only see food, and I have them weigh and measure for 3 to 5 days to get a handle on how much they should be eating. Then based on their goals and results, we tweak things up, down, or leave them
No matter what anyone tells you, it is a science of inaccuracies in both estimated energy requirements and the portioning itself. You are just trying to get them as precise as possible.
You are seeking consistent imperfection.
Some weight class sports need to be much more precise and accurate and stringent. With this rigidity comes an increased risk of a disordered relationships with food. I see it every week. Recently, I heard of a youth gymnastic program that had girls weigh themselves in front of their team and then invoked an embarrassing punishment if they were over a certain number on the scale. Male or female, the mind fuck of that for a baby human is something that is going to run very deep.
The research on whether nutrition professionals are at greater risk of eating disorders is mixed and mostly questionnaire based, which breeds its own set of problems. From my experience, I think that people are drawn to this field because they want concrete answers in a world of grey areas and context. This can be frustrating and in an attempt to make sense of it all, some may become more rigid and seek more control.
If you are a dietitian or nutritionist or play one on the internet, I am asking you to be part of the solution. Use macros, use calculators, but always think about the subject’s past, the current subject burden, and what you are after long-term. The research is clear that weight loss clients will benefit from some kind of daily food log or journal, but attaching some humans to the constant big brother of a scale and a macro count is a psychological ticking time bomb.
**Also, please, please, please do not have your clients weigh raw meat.
1. It is a food safety issue.
2. You just took away any way they could go out to eat and may have made them cook every meal on the spot if they don’t want to portion out raw meat before cooking. Very odd.
Yes, cooking times will change the weights of meat, BUT if you keep it consistent, this should be negligible over time. Remember, consistent imperfection.