Today, more and more people are aware that what they eat may either feed health or feed disease. However, simply possessing the knowledge does not make it any easier to take action. I’m sure you’ve encountered this with your own clients or patients ⏤ most know what they need to do and why they need to do it, but struggles with how to implement it in a way that fits their busy and complex lives. We fail these people when we attempt to give them a one-size-fits-all approach. What they need is a nutrition program that is personalized to their abilities, food preferences, and health conditions.
A customized program that acknowledges their individuality helps them to achieve better health. LighterPRO was born through working with healthcare and wellness providers who know that personalized nutrition advice is essential to get to the root cause of illness. We deeply understand how powerful personalization can be and it’s not just healthcare providers who value this. Patients also want individualized care.
Here are three components that make personalized nutrition so potent. My hope is that after reading about its power, you will consider implementing higher levels of personalization into your practice and business. I’m confident you’ll see better health outcomes and happier patients.
A personalized nutrition program is part of patient-centered care, a pillar of modern healthcare. The goal of this pillar is to empower patients to be active participants in their care. In the context of food as medicine, we should offer patients plans that fit their circumstances. When we listen to our patients’ concerns and desires and respond by providing them with a highly customized and targeted nutrition plan, we literally put them at the center of their care. An adaptable nutrition program should consider patients’ needs and preferences such as allergies and taste preferences, cooking ability, kitchen equipment (what they have access to), and additional people they may need to cook for. Taking a holistic approach to care by considering these barriers and needs also helps you to forge a deeper relationship with your patient.
Personalized nutrition programs can also increase the stick-with-it-ness for your patients or clients that are following a new eating pattern. It reframes nutrition programs from “dieting” to a whole person approach. This approach increases the likelihood that your patient will follow the new plan once they leave your office. The ability to adjust their plan based on their day-to-day schedule and cravings empowers a person to integrate their new eating habits into their life. Many national health guidelines, including those for diabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular health, focus on adjusting and tailoring the recommendations to suit each individual, and therefore result in patients sticking with the new plan derived from your advice and hence reaching their health goals. For more on habits, read my last post on effective behavior change strategies.
Another powerful aspect of offering personalized nutrition programs is their longevity, which leads to positive health outcomes. Patients are more likely to follow personalized advice than general advice and according to one study, participants that received personalized nutrition support had approximately double the improvement in their diets (overall healthiness). For positive behavior change to remain with our patients long-term, we must offer programs that are customized and grow with a patient over time. This is what makes a program truly sustainable. Personalized programs offer patients and healthcare providers the ability to adjust the nutrition content and meal options as healing progresses, maximizing the program’s ability to work for the patient for years to come.
If you see the value of personalized nutrition but feel overwhelmed with how to implement it in your practice or business, we can help. LighterPRO allows you to offer personalized plans in a quick, scalable, user-friendly way.