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 relation to 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 would possibly need to provide as a substitute.


Once we use this health recommendation, we often have the most effective of intentions.

Possibly we’re making an attempt 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 probably, our consumer is aware of they’re an orange… and feels misunderstood and alienated—often 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 reside. Additionally they have an effect on our capability to vary for the higher.

Technically, these elements are referred to as social determinants of well being. They usually can affect us positively or negatively.

Examples of social determinants embrace:

  • Earnings
  • Schooling
  • Job stability
  • Work circumstances
  • Meals entry and safety
  • Housing and atmosphere
  • Early childhood growth
  • Social neighborhood
  • Neighborhood atmosphere
  • Entry to reasonably priced and high-quality well being care

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

Right here’s how this may play out with shoppers.

You inform somebody to hit the gymnasium. In the event you can muster the hassle to get to the gymnasium 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 recommend “extra veggies” to a digital consumer.

You don’t like veggies both, you say, but when you can discover a solution 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 house, 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 literally thousands of methods social determinants of well being could make what’s attainable for you (with some laborious work) straight up unimaginable (or an entire lot tougher) for another person. Some social determinants of well being are actually laborious to acknowledge—particularly in the event you haven’t walked in that individual’s sneakers. So heed this common rule of thumb: Don’t make assumptions.

#2: Each individual’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 task. 

Say you’re an individual who places on muscle simply. For you, sustaining a lean, athletic physique means working laborious within the gymnasium and holding a detailed eye in your diet.

In fact, 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 possibly can.

#3: Some persons are luckier than others.

Most individuals who’ve labored laborious to get the place they’re don’t need 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 completely different scenario.)

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

Maybe a extra relatable instance: Possibly you met a coach or buddy—simply as you’re able to make a change—who revolutionizes how you concentrate on 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 tremendous coach on the proper time, it would’ve taken you an entire longer to get the place you’re as we speak.

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

3 higher methods to assist your shoppers

Use all three collectively—or decide what works greatest in a given dialog.

1. Use restricted relatability.

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

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


There’s a greater manner to make use of the experiences you have got in frequent with a consumer, with out making assumptions about their scenario.

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

To grasp the method, use this easy two-step method.

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

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

“That sounds robust. After I was scuffling with binge consuming, I felt so powerless and pissed off. What are you feeling on this second?”

2. Discover and title the brilliant spot.

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

You would possibly say:

“You recognize 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 prefer to have such a agency grasp in your scenario?”

Or perhaps:

“We are able to speak problem-solving in a second, however earlier than we try this, I need to pause and let you know that it’s superb you’ve pinpointed this as a problem. I don’t know in the event you’d have been in a position to try 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 concept of shutting down earlier to get extra sleep.

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

“You recognize what? You truly informed me this very same factor a few months in the past about going to the gymnasium. And now you’re going often! We are able to speak about particular methods to make going to mattress earlier extra doable, but in addition, bear 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 exhibiting them that you just see their laborious work.

And most significantly, due to that tough work, you consider in them.

Once you use the above methods along with your shoppers, 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 direction of strengthening your relationship—and in the end assist your shoppers get higher outcomes.

In the event you’re a coach, otherwise you need to be…

Studying how one can coach shoppers, sufferers, buddies, or relations by wholesome consuming and life-style adjustments—in a manner that’s personalised for his or her distinctive physique, preferences, and circumstances—is each an artwork and a science.

In the event you’d prefer to be taught extra about each, take into account the Precision Vitamin Degree 1 Certification.

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