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Nutrition: Mind Over Matter?

by | nutrition

In April on the Runchatlive Podcast and Sports Therapy Association Podcast, our focus topic was NUTRITION, and in the first of four episodes we looked at how much of dietary change is about ‘mind over matter’. All four episodes are available on popular podcast apps and also in video format on the Sports Therapy Association YouTube channel. 

Our special guest on the podcast was Dr Gary Mendoza, a behaviour change expert and lecturer in Nutrition for Sport & Exercise at Bath Spa and Cardiff Metropolitan Universities.

In this episode, Dr Mendoza discussed how important an understanding of Behaviour Change is when working with patients or clients trying to manage their weight.

Topics included:

  • The research work Dr Mendoza did into the psychology of change, as part of his PhD in Nutrition
  • The importance of a client’s state of ‘readiness’ when looking at weight management
  • The fact that people will employ the services of a personal trainer or sports therapist even if they are not psychologically ready to change.
  • The use of Motivational Interviewing (MI) when working with behaviour change goals, drawing on the knowledege of MI Founders William Miller and Stephen Rollnick, as well as Professor Terry Moyles.
  • The value as a therapist or personal trainer of improving ones communication skills, including the ability to understand & use open questions effectively, affirmations, reflections and summaries (known collectively in MI terms as ‘OARS’).
  • The use of “real play” vs “role play”, i.e. learners using their own personal or business issues when studying behaviour change, rather than a made up scenario.
  • Details of courses run by Dr Mendoza, as well as his free downloadable ‘Behaviour Change Booklet’ (for therapists and clients) – see ‘useful links’ below.

Useful Links  

About Dr Gary Mendoza 
Dr Gary Mendoza has a PhD in Nutrition and a particular interest in the psychology of change. A former programme leader for sports nutrition and advanced sports nutrition at Massey University in New Zealand, Dr Mendoza lectures in nutrition for sport and exercise at Bath Spa and Cardiff Metropolitan Universities and is an Academic Associate member of the SENr. He is also director of Stages of Change Ltd and delivers the Behaviour Change Workshop, drawing on information he gained from training under the founders of Motivational Interviewing (MI) Professors Stephen Rollnick & William Miller.

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