Saturday, April 10, 2010

Your Perfect Nutrition Assistant? What would they do for you?

What would a virtual nutrition assistant do for you? Suppose you're trying to change your body comp - lose fat; build muscle - whatever.  If you could imagine the perfect coach/guide who could be with you all the time - what would they be doing? When you go to have lunch, would they tell you what was ok to eat? If you were at home, would they suggest what to make or show you how to do it? If you needed to shop, what?

So if you think about all the times when food comes into your life - meals, snacking, social occaisions, workouts - whenever - what do you wish someone would be able to assist you to do - not do for you, but offer assistance/knowledge?

I'm aksing because part of the research my group is doing is looking at exactly this question: what is a perfect nutrition assistant?

Before we design anything, we want to make sure some of our design decisions are linking up with what folks think they'd find helpful.

If you could have such a wonderful support, what would you like it to do for and with you?

One constraint: this assistant is more or less a ghost: it can't do anything physical but it can offer to show you anything or provide any information in this space you'd like

Please do post your thoughts/desires in the comments.

Looking forward to hearing your thoughts.

In the meanwhile, here's a physical assistant from Japan that is designed to help the elderly shop - including getting around the shop and remembering anything that might have been forgotten.

Related Links


Nadine said...

A perfect nutrition asst. would tell me how many calories/how much I need to eat. I am a vegan (although sometimes I eat egg whites) I eat 5-6 small meals a day, I am 45 (dealing with peri menopause - this may make how much I eat diff. than someone younger/ not going thru it). I am right now finishing ETK with the 16kg bell for c&p and snatches, and the 20kg for swings. I want to stop counting calories. I know I eat "clean/raw"- mostly veggies, nuts, fruit and beans and have that under control (I did get the welcome to menopause 10lbs.LOL- I am still a healthy weight for my height, but would like to get rid of the extra 10 and I would like a nutritionist to help with that..... recipes would be good, but I do cook a lot already myself. I just need someone to point me in the right direction and be there for support (maybe by phone) if questions pop up. some one who knows the difference between eating for health (what I would want) and eating for athletic performance. hope I understood the question correctly, and I helped:)

ps- love reading your blog:)

Jennifer said...

For me the perfect nutritional assistant would be a source of constant critique and accountability. A couple of calls a day to ask what choices I've been making--always requiring a "why." Ever-present with the "threat" of accountability. Also, it would be nice to have someone canstantly eyeballing the current regimen and providing possible adjustments that might bring results faster.

Marc said...

Hi mc,

My perfect vitrual nutrition assistant would take all the drudgery and calculation out of the day to day meal planning.

A typical day:
- I put in initial stats and goals when I 'introduce' myself to the assistant. I'm asked about my likes, dislikes (omnivore, vegan, etc.), a list of candidate meal plan ingredients is formulated, along with it a list of candidate meals.
- An optimal meal plan for the week is formulated, based upon a few more questions and my workout schedule. I'm given my meal plan with notes around which should be eaten post-workout, etc.
- A bi-weekly or weekly (at my request) shopping list is generated for printing, along with recipes if necessary.
- I put in my stats (when prompted, perhaps weekly). I get a "congratulations, we're moving along just swimmingly", or options for making adjustments.
- If certain deficiencies are detected, additional candidate ingredients, supplements, and meals are requested to be added. "I have detected that you will get to your goals faster if you take your fish oil!"...
- Compliance tracking and adjustments
- Workout log, adjusting your routine or rep ranges based on goals and progress (this would be ancillary, but the approach needs to be holistic).

mc said...

Awesome replies, folks. Thank you, Nadine, Jennifer and Marc. Really appreciate the time you put into these replies. helps a lot.

It sounds like a lot of what's desired is
o awareness of what you're doing
o support/encouragement for progress
o guidance within the parameters of your agreed goals.

Really helpful.

anything else you think that misses?

Nadine, based on what you're saying, have you checked out Precision Nutrition for the forum part in particular? It offers that kind of support. really. Here's an overview with links to super detailed review (bot page)

If you actually want one on one coaching, email, let's see what we can do.

Way to go on the 16 with ETK; i did it with a 12 - that's awesome.


Clement said...

Hi mc, actually, I want to ask you something relating to PN - John Berardi's G-flux principle. Is it true that by increasing your activity level you can get away with eating more calories?

A good nutrition helper would help me plan the exact type of food needed to cure my constipation :( also, he would help me plan meals that keep me energized and not lethargic throughout the day. As someone who condition-trains 3-4 times per week, it is imperative that I have as much energy as possible. He would also measure my bodyfat every week


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