Perhaps you’ve spent your life nourishing a long love affair with sports and the world of athletics. With such an interest, a career in sports medicine or nutrition could be a great way to live your passion close at hand.
You can counsel an amazing group of people – athletes – who are incredibly dependent on honing healthy bodies and excellent dietetic practices to ensure performance. Anyone who’s been in the presence of professional athletes will agree that this is a community of people blessed with, often amazing, abilities to use their body to accomplish feats of strength, speed, finesse, and flexibility.
Sports Nutrition and the Psychology of Eating
We know that what we eat, how much we eat, and when we eat, can play a major role in our performance and overall wellness. How amazed were we to hear Michael Phelps eat upwards of 10,000 calories a day when training for the Olympics?
It’s no secret that a good sports nutrition coach would be able to guide their athletes towards dietary choices to support their requisite levels of physical exertion. We can agree that what goes into a meal is certainly important – we all need those beneficial proteins, vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients to help rebuild our bodies on a daily basis – but there’s also a psychological aspect to how we eat that needs to be addressed if we’re going to reach optimum performance.
So, if this is the field you wish to make your mark in, then we want to suggest that there’s much more to a stellar athletic performance than simple nutrition. Although sports nutrition is a specialized field of dietetics devoted to helping athletes achieve maximum physical health, in order to get the best results, a Mind-Body Nutrition approach should be explored, and utilized on behalf of the athlete’s well being and performance.
By taking a whole-person Mind-Body approach to sports nutrition, you can not only inform the athlete-client of the best diet and exercise methods, but you can also create sustainable nutrition practices to profoundly and positively affect their psychology and their metabolic processes in very positive ways.
When you combine these aspects, you arrive in the topic of study we focus on here at the Institute: dynamic eating psychology.
Mind Body Athletics
As someone interested in sport’s medicine or nutrition science, Mind-Body Nutrition is an important consideration because the psychology of eating always affects the athlete’s perception of nutrition, in both their personal and professional life, whether they realize it or not. In other words: the way they eat is just as important as what they eat.
We all absorb and utilize calories differently depending on how they were consumed, and it doesn’t matter if we’re talking about a power-runner, swimmer or skier, part of training their bodies is feeding their state of mind.
This means we must take rhythm and digestion into account as well. When such principles are ignored, stressful eating produces stress hormones and affects the way we metabolize those nutrients. In the athletic world, peak performance and bodily function is of the utmost importance, and therefore the proper application of Mind-Body Nutrition can yield immensely positive results.
A New Approach to Sports Nutrition
Today’s competitive sports world is often filled with “old science” nutrition principles and approaches to eating that simply don’t work at all, or at the least, without side effects and consequences. Many athletes suffer silently with eating disorders – or a disordered relationship with food, which leaves them in unhappiness and distress.
They are told to follow extreme diets and exercise routines that often leave the athlete in a state of nutritional deficiency and personal overwhelm. Here at the Institute for the Psychology of Eating, we want to exceed the expectations of the fitness world by looking at an athlete as a whole person.
If you’re interested in becoming a sports nutrition coach, or you are already practicing as such, we invite you to explore the unique new fields of Dynamic Eating Psychology and Mind-Body Nutrition. Feeling attuned to the instrument of the body and the task at hand, is how they enter the zone – and when it comes to peak performance, that’s the only place they need to be. With body, mind and emotions receiving equal attention, we can truly elevate our game.
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