Your Expertise And Its Limitations
You have a wealth of expertise.
You know more about yourself than anyone else on the planet. You know what you like, what you don’t like, your strengths and weaknesses. You understand what motivates you, with most of us being able to channel that into developing ourselves on a personal and professional level each day.
You know that you can rely on yourself when times are tough, and trust yourself in times when emergencies arise and you are on auto-pilot. As you age, you will essentially learn exactly what you are and are not capable of, the ultimate expertise in yourself.
But does this expertise of yourself translate to other areas you do not have formalised education and experience in?
Everybody eats remember, and as the age old adage goes “because everyone eats everyone will have an opinion on nutrition”
Consider the following scenarios regarding your expertise, and see what can happen when providing nutrition advice to another person in an attempt to “help” them achieve their goals:
1 Your friend has just been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. You heard on the internet that diabetes is all about carbs and therefore tell your friend all they need to do is not eat any carbs and they will do just fine. Your friend listens to you, however their new diabetes medication lowers their blood sugar levels far too low and they lose consciousness whilst driving their car to the local shops….
2 Your friend has described bloating when eating bread. You tell them they should go gluten free and their problems will be resolved. Your friend starts to suffer lethargy, constipation and experience feeling “light headed”. Your advice has led to a B vitamin and fibre deficiency extending to a sever lack of carbohydrates resulting in dangerously low blood sugar levels.
3 Your friend want to “bulk up” and gain some muscle mass. You send them to your good friend at the local supplement shop (an ex bodybuilder) who provides them with a 4000 calorie meal plan and a “weight gainer” protein powder. After two months on the plan, your friend has gained a significant amount of body fat, and now is classified as obese on the BMI scales which significantly increases their risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure and metabolic syndrome.
4 Your friend wants to lose weight. You share with them a great diet that helped you lose a considerable amount of weight and begin to detail to them how fantastic the diet is. Your friend starts strong on the diet, losing eight kilos in the first three weeks. However at week four, your friend cannot maintain the diet and lets loose on a binge which sees them revert to their old habits. They regain all their old weight, and an additional 10 kilograms leading to increased chronic disease development risk and depression. Your advice to follow the diet has led to them stripping away a significant amount of their lean muscle mass and as a result they have severely damaged their metabolism.
Do you see how the wrong advice can actually hurt other people?
With so much misinformation regarding nutrition in the media and society people are now so confused about what “good” nutrition really is.
So do yourself, your friends and society as a whole a massive favour.
Unless you are an Accredited Practising Dietitian or an Accredited Sports Dietitian, keep you views regarding nutrition to yourself.
You have the very real potential to endanger another person’s health or even life, so please think of the possible consequences before you share to others what you might feel to be the best nutrition approach.
Leave advising on nutrition to the professionals.