Encountering resistance from clients due to doctor advice

(Seth Lusk) #1

Hey guys… I am new to this community, but not new to the high fat low carb lifestyle or to nutrition. I am a personal trainer and nutrition counselor, and have been doing this for 6 years. I only in the last 8 months started getting my healthy life back by switching to a high fat low carb approach and have regained so much happiness, energy, and health in my life since doing so. As a nutrition counselor I encounter clients all of the time with the same issues I was facing with energy levels, or just not being able to get control of hunger cravings. I now know what works and the science behind it, but am growing very frustrated with how little I can do to help people, since the majority of them take their final decision on their nutrition habits from what their doctor tells them. And here in Switzerland, there are virtually NO doctors backing the high fat low carb approach. I know for a fact I could reverse their metabolic dysfunction and their unhappiness with their body and health if they would just take my advice, but any time I even bring up the idea of eating fat people laugh at me and tell me “my doctor would kill me” and then the brush off the idea and leave and go back to this “balanced healthy high carb low fat diet” with a new determination that it will start working eventually… and as they get unhappier they get less motivated to work with me both on their nutrition AND on their fitness… this is so discouraging, because I HAVE THE ANSWER… but the answer to them seems so absurd due to the cultural programming from their doctors and the articles they read in health magazines, that they won’t even consider that I might be right. I have miraculaously had 2 clients of mine reach such a low that they FINALLY gave in and tentatively TRIED my advice, and within less than a month they were dancing singing songbirds singing the praises of my advice… but then I have the other 95% of my clients who just will not listen to the anecdotes… I just wanted to vent this to you guys… encouragement and feedback is of course welcome… I don’t know if there are any other personal trainers out there or nutrition counselors facing the same frustrations as me when it comes to this. I would love to hear from you guys too…

(Robert C) #2

Be the example - get/stay in great shape and tell them what you do.
Have them watch Dr. Jason Fung’s aetiology of obesity series, should flip a lot of the heavier people.

(Frank) #3

Just an idea but maybe you could somehow utilize that 5% of clients that listen to encourage the others that are hesitant. With their approval of course. I myself have considered starting an informal keto support group for interested folks.

(So much bacon . . . so little time . . .) #4

You could try pointing them to the Diet Doctor site, but of course they’d have to be able to read either Swedish or English. . . .

(Seth Lusk) #5

English is not a problem for my clients as I am American and speak with them in English mostly. Most Swiss people speak English quite well as they usually start learning English around the age of 8-10 in school.

(Mike W.) #6

You can lead a horse to water…

(So much bacon . . . so little time . . .) #7

. . . but you cannot make it think. :rofl:

(Mike W.) #8

Or do what it doesn’t want to do :wink:

(Cindy Ward) #9

It can be difficult to go against a doctor’s advice, even when it feels (or is flat out) wrong. They’re supposed to be more informed and better trained to treat people, even though that’s sometimes not true.

I’ve always been a cynic when it comes to doctors. My education is in biology, chemistry, biochemistry and molecular genetics, so I’m more than willing to do research and make my own informed decisions. But sometimes, it’s a struggle even for me. I once started down a rabbit trail (per doctor’s advice) because an xray show a nodule in my lungs. Without going into too much detail, after a bronchoscopy, repeat CT scans, over $2000 worth of cultures, everything was fine. I’d told my doctor all along that it was nothing, but he wouldn’t listen. He eventually prescribed 60 days of a strong antibiotic. After 6 weeks, I had a follow up with him that went sort of like this:

Dr: Glad to see that the antibiotics worked. Your CT scan is clear this time.
Me: No, the antibiotics didn’t work.
Dr: Of course, they did, the abscess is gone.
Me: No, it wasn’t the antibiotics.
Dr: How can you say that? They obviously worked.
Me: I know they didn’t work because I didn’t TAKE them.

He was at least gracious enough to then say “Well, I’m glad you proved me wrong and this wasn’t something to worry about.” sheesh Of course, that was AFTER quite a bit of medical expense and time.

So try not to feel too frustrated when your clients won’t listen.

(Terence Dean) #10

I think what you’re doing is great but as others say its difficult to convince people about the benefits of keto unless they can see it. Just today I visited my hair-dresser and he was absolutely raving about how much weight I had lost. So much in fact, that a few of his clients wanted to know how I managed to lose 35 kilos in 7 months, so I told them to google one word, “Ketogenics”. They’d never heard of it.

These guys all had pot belly’s and they were busy writing it down. Job done for today. :rofl:

(Seth Lusk) #11

I’ve shown them my progress pictures (although weight loss was never an issue for me)… They can clearly see how much healthier I am now than I was a year ago…
They will even comment on the fact that they can’t believe that I changed my body that much in less than a year… Still…they are waiting for me to drop dead of a heart attack… :unamused:

(says keto isn't complicated. Sorry, but it just isn't.) #12

Prove them wrong by continuing to live, I guess.

(Seth Lusk) #13

Lol… Yeah… The question is… How long do I have to live and keep getting healthier and healthier before they stop thinking that the oil and butter that I eat is going to give me a heart attack? Will they even still be working with me at that point?.. It’s a bit frustrating.

(So much bacon . . . so little time . . .) #14

You can’t win.

Take Jimmy Moore—when he was at his thinnest, people would comment on his videos, “But he’s so thin, what could he possibly know about losing weight?” And now that he’s gained some of the weight back, they’ve switched to, “But he’s so fat, what could he possibly know about losing weight?” They don’t see where he started, so they have no conception of what he’s been through and could tell them about.

Stop worrying about it, if you can. There’s an old Zen saying to the effect that “When the student is ready, you can’t say the wrong thing. Until then, you can’t say the right thing.” Try to relax and laugh; trust me, it does help.

(Omar) #15

unfortunately we can not convince our own children or even a spouse let alone strangers.


Work with the ones you can. Do the very best job on them you can, and let that be your advertising. When it comes to weight loss and fitness, you will always have your critics who will never ‘come around’. But the ones who are on the fence, can be persuaded by seeing results for themselves (on other people).


(Bunny) #17

Maybe create your own research paper with references and in-house* (if any) research to hand-out in pamphlet form (one page) to people (link to your research, your own progress experience; experience with clients etc.) and even business cards explaining the LCHF Ketogenic diet in smalll sentences or quick attention grabbing captions etc. ???

*Example References:
Sweden Becomes First Western Nation to Reject Low-fat Diet Dogma in Favor of Low-carb High-fat Nutrition

Keto Dudes created a wonderful thread about this here: Business Cards and Pamphlets (graphics and links only, please)

Example For Business Cards:


Contrast your message with some really hard hitting cross-validated empirical science?

(says keto isn't complicated. Sorry, but it just isn't.) #18

Those cards could use a little work…

(Bob M) #19

If you want some simple graphics, go to Ted Naiman’s site, like this:

(Laurie) #20

As a former teacher, I know the frustration of realizing that most of my students “aren’t interested in learning what I can teach them.” They have their own agendas and their own reasons for coming to you.

As a former business owner, I encourage you to keep going in the direction you want to go. Eventually you will be able to “fire” clients who won’t follow your advice, and accept only clients who want what you have to offer. Those who do want it will seek you out and pay a premium for your specialized service. Because you need to eat in the meantime, it might be a couple of years before you can reach this goal. But you can start weeding out the worst ones now, or put a time limit on how long you’ll spend with them. Spend more time marketing to the clients you want. Maybe some YouTube videos, some free info sessions at local events, etc.–whatever suits your needs, personality, and resources. Good luck!