Learning something new? Which method should you use? - Eat Great Feel Great

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17 May 2019

Learning something new? Which method should you use?

When learning something new do you:

a) try to figure it out yourself;
b) look for someone to “teach” you?
c) look for someone to “coach” you?

If you’ve been struggling with your weight for a long time, maybe the problem isn’t you at all. Maybe instead, it’s a sign that you need to start using a different technique for getting the information and results that you want.

When it comes to weight issues, there is no shortage of plans, programs and “experts” out there to help you, but it can be tricky to choose the best person for your needs. Here are the pros and cons for each of the methods described above.

THE DIY METHOD:

Examples: books/meal plans, Youtube videos, podcasts, internet.

Pros: It’s the least expensive option in the short-term.

Cons: It can hard to know which information applies to you and the best way to apply it; you may become confused and frustrated with so many “experts” all telling you to do different things; it can take you AGES to get the results you want because you have to spend a lot of time on trial and error.

THE “TEACH” METHOD:

Examples: slimming clubs, online courses, or any system where they just lay out the steps of what you need to do and just expect you to implement them. “Teach” methods tend to focus mostly on “what” you need to do, but may not focus very much (if at all) on the “why.” The biggest mistake people make is jumping from one “teach” method to another. If you’ve tried a couple of programs and they haven’t worked, you might want to upgrade to a “coaching” method instead.

Pros: Low to moderately priced; great for social support and to know you aren’t alone; you can learn from the questions that other people ask; perfect when you just need a certain piece of technical information but nothing about your mindset is holding you back.

Cons: The program isn’t tailored specifically to you, so if you need anything out-of-the-ordinary, they might not be able to accommodate you; the instructors may or may not be able to explain WHY their system works or how to help if their system isn’t working for you; they often speak about the problems most people experience but you are still expected to know whether you are making that mistake and how to apply the information to yourself.

THE “COACH” METHOD:

Examples: 1:1 sessions or very small groups

Pros: The program is tailored specifically to your needs and goes at your own pace; a good “coach” can see the mistakes that you are making (that you are usually completely unaware of) and tell you exactly what you need to change to get the outcome you want; they wade through the wealth of information and tell you exactly what you need to know; you usually get results much faster than any other method.

Cons: This is the most expensive option up front (but long term, may be cheaper if you get results significantly quicker and don’t waste lots of time and money on trial and error); your results are very dependent on the skills of your “coach.”

Which strategy you pick likely depends on your learning style, how important the outcome is to you, whether you can find a “coach” that offers what you are looking for and which option you can afford.

The reality is that sometimes, you don’t know what you don’t know. For that reason, I’m incredibly fussy about the instructors I use, and I always look for “coaches” as opposed to people who are just regurgitating information. Whether it was learning that I hold too much tension in my right arm when I dance, that I was leaning too far back when trying to roll my kayak, or that I needed a virtual assistant and electronic patient records to grow my business, I have never regretted the time or money spent on getting someone to coach me. My only regret is generally the time I wasted trying to figure things out for myself. You know they are a good “coach” when they can look at what you are doing, identify exactly what you are doing wrong and tell you exactly what you need to do differently to fix the problem.

Don’t let lack of progress knock your confidence. You might just need to try a different strategy.

If you think a bit of “coaching” might help, I’d be happy to help so please get in touch at: www.eatgreatfeelgreat.co.uk.

You may also be interested in the one day workshop that I’m hosting with psychologist Dr. Sally Bradley on the “Psychology of Weight Loss – When you know what to do but still don’t do it!” Details available at:https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/psychology-of-weight-loss-wh…

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