On the show today I have Sinan Ozyemisci, a Nutrition Coach for Stronger U and experienced Nutritionist with a history of working in the health wellness and fitness industry. Sinan is currently enrolled in Penn State University’s MPS Program for Nutrition and Dietetics and plans to have his certification in May of 2021. Sinan spent 10 years of his life overseas in Istanbul, Turkey where he was exposed to Mediterranean food and culture, which was a huge factor in his decision to become a Nutrition Coach.
A main focus of our conversation today is on the importance of having a nutrition coach in order to implement and execute accountability; we also dive deep into all things improving your relationship with food, understanding the difference between a deficit and a depletion and strategies to bumping up your client’s calories in a healthy and smart way. We then spend some time discussing getting away from the idea of instant gratification and how social media can play a role in creating result fallacies.
Listen in as Sinan walks us through his first steps in onboarding a nutrition client and how understanding his or her current relationship with food and approach to nutrition is key. Sinan also shares his belief that nutrition is essentially 20% nutrition and 80% psychology and how having nutrition knowledge and education will be a driving factor to your overall health and success.
What You’ll Learn in This Episode:
- [03:35] An introduction to Sinan Ozyemisci
- [07:41] Understanding accountability and quality
- [11:13] Onboarding a new nutrition client
- [17:00] Understanding the difference between a deficit and a depletion
- [19:30] Strategies to bumping up your clients’ calories
- [31:40] Getting away from the idea of instant gratification
- [36.36] Implementing and executing accountability
- [42:28] Final takeaways with Sinan
- [43.38] Where to find Sinan
James Cerbie: So, super excited to have my buddy Sinan, and I’m going to have you pronounce your last name, because even to this day, I’m not really good with it.
Sinan Ozyemisci: I have a tough time pronouncing it myself. So, it’s Ozyemisci.
James Cerbie: Yeah, yeah. No chance. No chance. Super pumped to have you, man. When we first connected out here in Salt Lake City, Utah. And it’s been just really fun to watch everything that you’re doing as a nutrition coach, just as a coach, as a human in general. You’re hooked up now with Stronger U. I know your clients absolutely love and rave about you because we posted one picture, you’re coming on the podcast and your clients all started to say, “Oh, my nutrition coach is going on a podcast. Everybody should listen.” That’s not normal. So, well done.
Your clients love and rave about you, but for the people listening that don’t know who you are, can you give us the rundown on who Sinan is?
Who is Sinan Ozyemisci?
Sinan Ozyemisci: Yeah, absolutely. So, I’ll kind of give a background story just to add a little flair and fun to it. I was born in the US, I was born in Morristown, New Jersey. So, Jersey guy growing up and I want to stay grown up. But I was only six months of my life before I moved back overseas to Turkey.
And I spent 10 years of my life overseas in Istanbul, Turkey. So, I got exposed to a lot of the food out there, a lot of the Mediterranean culture. When it came to die – I didn’t even think about diet when I was a kid that young. But primarily, it was just mostly fish, vegetables and fruit for me. And it was everything from a farm to the table. So as a kid, I think I got that exposure to it and just flashed myself to nutrition without realizing it.
But fast forward to 2002, I came here to the US. I went to Rutgers Sports Nutrition and then I did a master’s program in Applied Clinical Nutrition that was between New York Chiropractic and NYU. And then I’m doing my second master’s now in dietetics through Penn State. So, throughout the educational progress or educational trajectory, what I’ve done is a lot of sports performance stuff, hands on, but more so on the nutrition side. So, I started working with a lot of Major League Baseball players, a lot of the US rugby female athletes.
And then when I went out to Salt Lake, I worked with a few ex-NFL athletes in terms of nutrition and started my own nutrition company out there. That’s when you and I connected 2016-2017. And since then, I’m one of those people that if you put a book in front of me, I’m going to read every single thing out of that book and take notes. And I think you can agree on that yourself too how you are with learning more and more every single day.
And I’ve gotten to a place where I’m coaching for Stronger U. I’m working with clients across the world, doing nutrition consulting one on one. And I’m also traveling to fitness studios, gyms, training facilities, even colleges across Turkey, across Greece, stuff in a few spots in England, a few spots in Belgium. So doing a lot of nutrition seminar pieces around the country. And it’s been a journey and it’s been fun.
James Cerbie: I love it. That’s fantastic. So, what I would like to get into today are two things. Thing number one, I would like to start with the basics in terms of a question that we get a lot is like, what should my nutrition look like? Super broad question. I’ll narrow it down for you.
But let me kind of dig a little bit deeper there first. So, we as a whole are training company, right? We help thinking athletes get out of their own way, train to be this complete total package. And one of the parts of that conversation that’s important is, hey, you’re going to spend 60 to 90 minutes training in the gym, whatever it is. Right. That 60-to-90-minute window. And one of the biggest conversations we have to have with people is like, well, you know, there’s this other 23 hours in the day. That’s kind of a really big deal.
And people are good at this. They lock it in, and they’re totally locked in when they go to the gym to train, and then they leave the gym, and the other 23 hours of the day are frankly a shit show. Right. And they’re like, well I’m not recovering. I’m not getting better. And the first question’s always, okay, “What’s going on outside of training?” And so, what I would love to do in this podcast is start first with just a broad big picture overview, because I think how much should I be eating isn’t really that hard of a question. Right. We use a Harris Benedict equation.
You get a rough idea of calories. You’re going to break that up into protein, fat and carbs. That’s phase one, right? Quantity.
And then we’re on to the back end where things get far more difficult, which is what should be on my plate.
And how do I actually stick to this thing and how do I implement it? Right. Because you and I both know that if we’re going to talk macros, it’s a gram per pound of protein, 0.3 to 0.7 fat. Fill in your carbs. That’s not hard. Right. And so, what I would love to hammer then is the things that take place after that, after we get the numbers, right.
What are some of the big major hurdles? What are some of the things that you’re consistently having to work with your clients on to help with the implementation and execution of this plan? And I’ll let you maybe start where you want with that.
Understanding Nutrition Accountability and Quantity
Sinan Ozyemisci: Yeah, for sure. I mean, I think you and I have hit it on the head back in 2016-2017 when we talked about it, we said you can spend 60 to 90 minutes at the gym, and we do see it often. We see a lot of people spend 60, 90 minutes at the gym without even thinking about it. And oftentimes you see just the regular gym goers.
You almost have to pull them out of the gym not to overtrain, but then to have somebody spend six to nine minutes on nutrition is like pulling teeth. That’s the hardest part about it. Unless there is the continuous accountability, which is one of the big topics I want to cover, you know, quality and accountability. Unless there is continuous effort with those things, it’s hard to get somebody who not yet accepted the idea of nutrition being such a key foundation to the whole circle of wellness and just overall performance, it’s hard for them to step up to the plate and fill in that it doesn’t take more than 20 to 30 minutes, but those 20 to 30 minutes is what’s difficult to fill.
So, I think, like you said, the biggest thing it boils down to, I don’t even want to get into too much of the detail with quality because then you get into the topic of, you know, do we have to eat organic? Do we have the locally source our ingredients? Those are things that, in my opinion, matter more in terms of where you’re located.
So environmental driven factors, you know, if you’re in Turkey, I’m going to be OK with you eating whatever vegetable or fruit you can get your hands on versus you being somewhere that doesn’t grow, going back to quality, if we know we’re going for apples and we’re not even close to apples season, pick another fruit. That’s one of the biggest debates I have with a lot of people. And that’s one of the biggest things I’ve realized this year, spending several months in Turkey.
So, that’s kind of a pun of it, too. Just a fun spinoff. I went to Turkey for six weeks this past summer, ended up getting stuck out there for seven and a half months. So that was, all right, clinical trial, you know, then I put myself out there for the food perspective of it and I said, hey, listen, if I’m a high-level athlete, if I’m out here training for triathlons, how can I structure the nutrition plan of how just a base foundational nutrition plan could revolve around the world to mold to any athlete anywhere. And it came down to the basics. So, I think the basics are what quality of food we’re going for, what accountability is there, whether you’re setting many goals along the way, you have this big, hairy, audacious goal that you’re reaching for in the long run. And what reminders do you have?
So, I really think what a lot of I don’t want to call out athletes, but a lot of athletes, miss, is they go for lifting PRs, they go for performance PRs, even myself. If I’m in a marathon, I want to hit a sub four hours on every marathon I do. But do I really set that same goal? When I approach nutrition and I want to hit 128 ounces of water leading into training, I want to hit X amount of calories leading into training.
Those are things that we don’t usually set habits or reminders enough for ourselves. And that’s why it kind of dwindles down.
James Cerbie: One hundred percent, so let’s say that you’re onboarding a new client. Where do you like to start? Where is step one? What is conversation one going to look like between you and that person so we can get them moving in the right direction?
The First Step in Onboarding a New Client and Understanding Their Relationship with Food
Sinan Ozyemisci: I think one of the biggest approaches or the opening steps I go for is relationship with food. That’s always going to be essential. The first, obviously first, second and third week, I always say the first 14-21 days is where we break old habits and we bring in new habits, which is true for everybody. But you don’t want to get somebody so directed towards that 21-day habit change that they lose their relationship with food. So, the first conversation I have with every single client that’s coming on is what does their diet look like right now?
What relationship do we have with the food that we consume? Are we in this mindset of thinking snacking is a dangerous habit? Are we in the mindset of thinking anything after 6 PM is thrown under the bus? Are we in the habit of thinking or even applying intermittent fasting in the morning because it shifts better to our work schedule? So, the initial conversation I have with somebody is really listening. There’s not a lot coming out of my mouth when I listen to their first approach, because I want to hear everything that they can essentially word vomit on their approach nutrition, so I know what level I can play that conversation on. I’m not going to go in and say, like, hey, listen, let’s talk micronutrients, let’s talk inflammation, let’s talk recovery to somebody who is like, hey, tell me what a protein is.
James Cerbie: I love that because one of the things worth mentioning here, like anything else and nutrition more so than a lot of topics, is a real hot button guy on the interwebs and social media. But at the end of the day, a lot of shit works. And we have to appreciate that. It drives me insane. So many people get themselves in these camps and they get very black, white, right or wrong. And it’s very, very, very, very few things can clearly fall on a black white, right or wrong spectrum.
Most things fall in the super muddy middle and we have a lot of room to play with. And so, yeah, nutrition especially is like, alright, well, let’s figure out where this person’s coming through the door. What’s that relationship with food look like? What’s your work schedule like? How are the relationships in your life, et cetera, et cetera? Because if you just plowed through the front door and was like, here’s what we’re doing. This is this is how this is nutrition. This is how it’s happening. Right. That’s just such a recipe for disaster.
Sinan Ozyemisci: That was one of the biggest things that when I came into when I finished my master’s program, my thing was I set aside a couple of grand and I was like, hey, listen, I’m going to take this couple of grand not to buy myself a car and not to do some, you know, reckless trip that I’ve been dying to do. What I’m going to do is I’m going to sign up for as many nutritionists and dietitians as possible, and I’m going to put myself essentially in the Undercover Boss role.
I don’t want to say undercover boss and people be like, oh, I knew that kid’s so full of himself that he just shows up and picks people out. But it was more so like, let me put myself in the hot seat and let me see what it looks like from the different approaches so that I know where to clean things up, where to not press that hot button, like you said, where to not completely miss the initial connection with a client.
Those are to certain things. So, I’ve had experiences where I’ve had to go through three or four interviews to sit down with a nutritionist. And I walk in and dude walks up, writes numbers on the board with on a whiteboard with a marker is like, hey, good luck and walks right out. I’m not even shitting; that was it? And I was like, I just paid two hundred fifty bucks to sit down with this dude and have a conversation about food.
I felt like a beautiful mind. I was like, what are these numbers right now? I have no idea what’s going on. So, I think the initial conversation, like you said, is a lot of making sure there’s, I guess, getting the person comfortable with that muddy middle. That’s the biggest thing. And I think, like you said, social media with a lot of talk regarding diets out there. I think one of the biggest things is we have this, I don’t wat to say mindset, but we have this belief that it has to be one or the other. So, you have to either like carbs or hate carbs.
You have to either eat fruit or fruit sugar is still sugar. You have those arguments. So, what you need to realize is somebody could literally take every single approach and fluctuate throughout the week, not to an extreme, but to a moderate play and still feel their best at the end of the week. So, there is no clear cut like, hey, you know, I’m going to starve you for five days and you’re going to be the leanest person I know.
Sure, that might be the case, but then I’m going to be like, hey, why don’t you go ahead and pull three hundred off to ground; you’ll blackout immediately. There’s such a middle ground that we need to figure out, that the initial conversation has to be that relationship with food, and it has to be letting the person know that, hey, listen, I’m not here to preach one thing over the other. We just have to find what works for us.
James Cerbie: I love that. That’s really, really good. So, I would love to drill a little bit deeper on the relationship with food, but a lot of times on the podcast, I think the podcast is a great place to hit things, but it’s very hard to get like super down in the weeds on stuff on a podcast. It’s more here’s this thing we’re going have a conversation about if you think it’s really interesting.
Now, you got a nugget of a vein to chase a little bit. Right. But I’m always trying to look for commonalities. Right, like averages Pareto Principle type stuff. So, if you think about all the people you’ve worked with, you think about their relationships with food, are there very repeatable common things that come up in terms of you’re having conversations, oh, OK, this person approaches food in this way, especially with our population, like more thinking athletes. They love to train. They like to get after it. For our people, it’s not a question of are you going to work out? It’s a question of what are you going to do? Are you going to overthink it and fuck it up because you’re going to try and do it all yourself? And you’re probably going to do too much. Right. So just curious if there’s a very common pattern that you see in that conversation.
Understanding the Difference Between a Deficit and a Depletion
Sinan Ozyemisci: Yeah, I do. I mean, not necessarily specifically with athletes, but I see with a lot of members that sign up is underconsumption, like you say, overthink it. But I think of overthinking it in terms of underconsumption, which is just a whirlwind of words to think about.
But what I see is crazy as it is, as 90s of an approach as it is to eat less and lose weight, I think we’ve gotten to a perspective where I have a bigger percentage than 50 percent of the members that do come on that have this mindset that if I cut my calories back, if I get myself into a hard enough of a deficit, then I’m guaranteed to see weight loss. But what a lot of people don’t recognize without getting into the debate or pressing the hot button, like you said, is there’s a fine line between a deficit and a depletion.
And a lot of people don’t understand that at their body weight, at their movement or activity levels, it’s so easy for them to dip into that deficit or that depletion. That’s why we are here in the first place. And that’s what I see more and more of. So, when I even think about myself, like when I try to adjust, it’s a normal thing. It happens. It happens until you make that adjustment and then correct yourself. It’s not like we’re not giving our golden ticket to say, hey, here are the perfect numbers. I’ll see you in two months.
If that was the case, I would have been that dude who just wrote numbers and left, even if his numbers are shit. But that’s OK. But the thing is, you have to realize what is accessible, what works for your body, what your week looks like. And you have to realize that it’s much easier than you think to put yourself in a depleted state. And a lot of people don’t give themselves the benefit of the doubt that they are working 12, 15, 18-hour days sometimes, especially with the industry that we’re working in now. We’re looking at with the pandemic changing everything around to that, everyone’s like, hey, I’m not even getting out for more than a 20-minute walk so I can bring my calories down.
But my side of that argument is, hey, you’re doing an 18-hour day of busting your ass with all of these meetings is burning just as many calories and mentally taxing you as a workout would. So, I think it all dwindles back to the fact that underconsumption is one of the biggest things we hit on the head.
James Cerbie: Yeah, I’m really glad you brought that up, because I can speak more to the population that we have at Rebel, I will tell you almost unanimously across the board, whenever we have nutrition-based conversations with clients, they are 9.5 times out of 10 under eating.
It blows my mind; almost always, bro or girl, gal or whatever it is. You’re not eating enough food and it’s across the board.
Right. And granted, we’re talking about a very different type of the population here because there’s obviously an obesity epidemic. There’s a lot of things that tie into that other than just food consumption. But in our population, chronic underconsumption. Absolutely. Why do you think that is? Is it they’re just not tracking and counting? There’s this idea that, oh, I just don’t want to eat too much. It’s weird for me.
Sinan Ozyemisci: I honestly think it’s just a collage of everything mixed together, man., I think it’s people taking the extreme of the A or B approach. And I think they see on social media, hey, this dude’s running the same stuff that I’m running, or he’s trained the same way I’m training, but he’s absolutely shredded.
Or this person only posts them eating veggie trays or certain things that I think social media has such a big perspective on it that as athletes who train the way we do, I think we just get caught up in the idea that, hey, we want to look amazing, but we also want to train amazing, but we’re scared to eat too much. And we’re not sure if we’re eating enough, so we play it on the lighter side, so I think there’s a lot of factors that come into it. And I was the same way.
I mean, I’ve been there. Yeah. Training for these triathlons, training for these marathons. I was like, dude, I’d rather get out there, run a couple of minutes slower, but look like I have a six pack the whole time. And then as soon as training picks up to when you’re doing five-minute miles on the track and you’re doing intervals and you’re doing 20 plus mile runs, I was like, I’m going to stop thinking about that six pack and really start thinking about not falling apart 20 miles into a twenty-six-mile race.
So, I think it comes down to social media as much as I hate to point the finger, but we compare ourselves to too many people in the industry in that same field that we have this fear of eating enough.
Strategies to Bumping Up Your Clients’ Calories
James Cerbie: Absolutely. How do you fit my strategy tactics standpoint; how do you like to go about increasing calorie consumption for somebody who is under; we’re under, we’re not where we need to be. We need to start bumping up calories. Right. Because just saying, OK, let’s just go from zero to one hundred. Here’s all the extra stuff you’re not eating. Right? There’s a way in which to increase that calorie intake that’s smart.
Sinan Ozyemisci: Yeah. And I think for zero to one hundred, if you do that, 99% of the time that person is not going to consume it. If I was to be like, hey James, you’re not eating enough, let’s add a thousand calories on. If you’ve already came to me with the approach that you’re not eating enough, you’d be like, Yeah, I’ll do that coach. And then the next day you’re like, Hey, I pulled in an extra 50 calories. Is that enough?
James Cerbie: Yeah. You look at your plate and you’re like, Oh, sweet Mary, mother of God, so much food.
Sinan Ozyemisci: Yeah. You don’t want to scare that person away. And I think that’s one of the biggest things I think you have to one, listen to why they’re having that lighter approach to begin with. There’s always a cause. There’s always something foundational that you can pinpoint. So, if somebody has had previous exposure to a certain diet, not going to call that any diets, but to a certain diet, that they’ve stayed away from certain micronutrients, they’ve stayed away from certain ingredients because of a fear, that’s going to be the harder one for you to hit and introduce.
So that’s where the conversation comes from food quality and specific food groups. So, if somebody is like 99 percent, maybe 80 percent of the time, you have people that are under consuming carbs because they’ve fallen into the trap of if we follow a Keto approach, then we’re bound to look like everybody that does it.
And the thing that we see is rather than saying, hey, I’m going to bump carbs up from 155 grams to 185 grams, that 30 grams, even though it’s 120 calories, someone’s like, whoa, no, hell no, I’m not doing that because they’re like, I’m immediately going to blow up and I’m not going to feel well. But if I say like, hey, listen, instead of doing 30 grams on paper, don’t worry about numbers right now.
Give me an extra cup of blueberries in the morning and then have a third of a baked sweet potato with your dinner. And to that extent, that sounds so appealing to them. Oh, hell, yeah, I can do blueberries. Blueberries are in season or like, you know, pinpoint to stuff that, you know, is visually approachable and just appealing in general, then to be like, hey, I’m a numbers guy here. Your numbers, give it to me or get out.
James Cerbie: I really like that frame shift in terms like where you’re putting their focus. Yeah, that’s really good.
Sinan Ozyemisci: And I think one of the biggest things too, that’s the protein from carbohydrates. If somebody’s still under underconsumption of fat, they’re still under consumption of protein. The biggest thing is with fat, we have to make sure that they’re not under consuming fats because they have this fat free approach from the eighties and nineties diets. So, the biggest way I kind of talk that up in terms of more of a clinical approach is, hey, listen, we’re not seeing as much as GI functionality or gut movement and just bowel movement because there’s just no lubrication within the GI.
So even if it’s like, hey, let’s start cooking with different oils, whether it’s coconut oil, we add half an avocado to your breakfast, just certain little things that you know are going to make you feel better right away because of added fiber, added nutrients and just added fluidity, gastrointestinal wise. People are going to come back and say, hey, listen, it didn’t even feel like I had extra fat, and that’s a win right there.
And same with protein. I’m not going to say, hey, listen, you’re not hitting your protein. So right before you get to bed, why don’t you give me four scoops of collagen mixed with water and try not to throw up. If I said that someone, I was going to be like, yeah, my husband hates me, or my wife hates me because I’m in bed drinking this nasty smelling shake just to meet numbers.
James Cerbie: Just Dutch oven each other all night.
Sinan Ozyemisci: Yeah, I would rather you not meet numbers at that point. And I slowly work in bigger portions throughout the day than to have you sneaking into bed with a tray of food just to make sure you meet a number.
James Cerbie: Mm hmm. I think the digestion component is a really interesting one to consider. Well, there are two things there.
I want to backtrack slightly. This is not something that a lot of people will do. Right. But you can go buy a glucometer at Wal-Mart and blood sport prick yourself throughout the day and you can get a really good idea, like what’s your blood sugar doing? What is your actual blood sugar? Most people have no idea. What do you wake up at? I’ve had a lot of people who are like, yeah, I don’t sleep very well. OK, well, can you grab this thing and prick in the morning? Let me know where you’re at.
They’re waking up at sixty-eight. Sixty-five. I’m like, OK, you’re waking up because your blood sugar tanks and it’s like they’re afraid of carbs all the time. That’s a whole other realm. But it’s the carbs conversation. Go take a look at your blood sugar. What can it handle? Are you keeping it even? Do you run low, do you run high?
That’s going to give you a really good indication of are you or me, are you the type of person that can handle five hundred carbs in a day and my blood sugar never goes over 120 or are you like my buddy Dan who eats one rice cake and he’s at 250. Right.
Sinan Ozyemisci: I’m the complete opposite. I’m right there with Dan. Yeah.
James Cerbie: Yeah. And that’s a funny one, but it’s guys and girls, that’s so easy to go testing yourself. I wish doctors would get on board with this because I’ve only had one client ever who went to a doctor really wanting to learn more about my blood sugar. And they actually wrote him a prescription for CGM.
Sinan Ozyemisci: That’s rare.
Why You Shouldn’t Go from Zero to One Hundred When Upping Your Calories
James Cerbie: Yeah, I know. Everybody else I have going to ask their doctor, they’re like, you’re not diabetic, don’t worry about it. So that’s one. And then the second was the digestion bit, which is really important because if we’re having this conversation of, OK, a lot of people out there, especially the people listening to this, a lot of you are potentially under eating. And if you just go zero to one hundred, I would bet a lot of my money that you’re going to be really bloated and you’re not going to digest it well, and you’ll be really gassy and you’re going to feel really poopy.
So that’s another reason why we have to be smart with how he reintroduced and titrate things up, because otherwise you’re not ready to handle that much food volume. It’s going to take a little bit of time and that’s OK.
Sinan Ozyemisci: Yeah, that’s one of the biggest things when you’re introducing a lot of the food, when you’re introducing, even if you have the micronutrients conversation; introduced more fiber, introduce certain micronutrients, certain vitamins, minerals. You don’t want to approach it from that Black Friday, Wal-Mart approach where you’re like, OK, let’s hold on, hold on, hold on. And then next week, let’s just go full out and let’s see how many people get trampled.
You don’t want that mindset. You want to go into introducing one thing at a time so that your body can adjust. And what I see what that is with that bloating approach, with that GI blockage, the biggest thing is, there’s steady weeks that comes throughout the journey, whether you’re on it for 12 weeks, whether you’re coaching with me for twenty-six weeks. Throughout the session, there’s a lot of times, I would say, probably every three or four weeks where we have a pretty slow and steady state week and you’ll get the feedback that everybody’s like, oh, man, this week was steady.
I wish I had dropped weight, or I wish I gained weight. And think about your body like this. You’re a race car, you just hit four laps on a full tank and you’re about to run out of gas. The only reason we had a steady week was because you pulled them to the pit stop to change your tires and fill up, that’s it. A lot of people think that a steady week is setting you back. Hell no. It’s your body catching up to all of the changes that you’re making.
And it needs to be that way and needs to funnel in slowly so that that fifth week after what a steady pause of a week would look like isn’t a shit show. That’s the biggest thing and no pun intended. You know, you don’t want to go into it saying, hey, I’m throwing all these numbers at you. Let’s see how we feel. Like if I was to throw 50, 80 grams extra protein on top of what you already consume with like, hey, James, you know, while you’re at it, why don’t you give me 20 to 30 extra grams of fiber? You’d be like, dude, I went for a PR, and I ran to the bathroom.
James Cerbie: I pooped myself in the middle of a squat.
Sinan Ozyemisci: That’s the last thing I want to be with, somebody you don’t want. And that’s the thing. You have somebody hit it with that approach. They are not going to listen to ever again. And two, they’re going to say hey, those changes that you made me do made me feel like shit. So, there’s no point in me doing them. I’m like mind blowing at that point.
That’s exactly what I didn’t want to do. Why did I just do that?
James Cerbie: I like the race car analogy a lot because the human system physiologically, we are astounding at our capacity to manage and adapt to small stimuli and changes over time to gradual changes over time.
Astounding. Where we suck is in very large rapid changes in acute periods of time. Do you have examples of that span all across physiology? And training is a perfect example, like the gradual input of stressors over time that are well managed leads to really awesome outcomes. Giving you too much stress too soon leads to really bad outcomes. Somewhere with food, you even have those old studies back in the day when they started to get into all the core business concepts. Right. You get people low graded exposure to radiation and they got healthier.
Yeah. So, you have to pace yourself like crazy? It wasn’t like that. That’s always hard for me too, because I’m very much, I want it right now, person. But if you can just zoom yourself out a little bit and appreciate, OK, if I’m consistent, this is where I’m going to be in three months, this is where I’m going to be in six months.
Getting Away from the Idea of Instant Gratification
Sinan Ozyemisci: And just the biggest thing and you hit it right on the head with instant gratification. We are creatures of habit. The one thing we go for is we sign up for a program. We’re like, hey, what will I look like in two weeks? And my idea of if I could respond in a perfect world without getting slapped on the wrist, I would say you in two weeks is going to look like a lot less confused version of yourself. And that’s it.
I mean, that’s all you’re not going to see magical abs appear out of nowhere. You’re not going to drop ten pounds in two weeks. I would rather you not. The biggest thing is going to be you’re going to have a lot more nutrition knowledge and the education piece is going to pick up significantly, but there’s not going to be much vanity of a change. And I think the biggest thing is, I always say nutrition is 80 percent psychology, 20 percent nutrition.
And that same pull over and hit a pitstop approach has to apply to the psychology side of it, too. You can’t just have one piece of it run on overdrive and the other piece pull over and stop. That’s when the car just splits down the middle and that’s when you completely destroy the system. So, the way I look at it is it’s essentially like a deload. If somebody is going, going, going with tracking macros exactly, hitting every single macronutrient on the spot, their water consumption is on point. Their recovery is on point. Their sleep looks great. You’re going to have so much of that back-to-back go, go, go overdrive until your body wants to take a little bit of a break. And it’s going to be the same with your mindset, too. So, for me to hold perfect macros fifty-two weeks out of the year, I would probably lose my mind.
James Cerbie: I would absolutely lose my mind.
Sinan Ozyemisci: And it’s so much psychology that a lot of people miss. So, the biggest thing is, and I think the biggest mind-blowing piece is when I tell somebody, hey, listen, four weeks in, and once we get comfortable, once we know what our plate looks like, once we know what not feeling full, but feeling satisfied and feeling field enough for your nutrition or for your training looks like.
That’s when I want to take a break from counting macros for a few days and challenge you to not count and just based it off of body feel. And I say that to them and they’re like, no, no way. And I’m like, don’t even step on the scale while you’re at it. Step away from the scale. So, I pull everything out of it. And the biggest reaction I get is like, oh man, how am I supposed to function when I don’t count?
And I was like, how do you function for 29 years leading up to here? And that’s the biggest thing, is that refresher that while the car is in the pit stop, getting the tires and fuel changed, the biggest thing is you pull the driver out, you make them shake their head out and get back in the driver’s seat. And that’s the biggest thing that I see.
James Cerbie: So, I mean, we’re so in sync in terms of how we think about and process so much of this information. And I think the next best place to go from here potentially is thinking about, well, one quick thought actually on what was just said prior to us going to the next thing, which is, I like to approach it a lot in the way that you just mentioned for myself. I have a really good feel over time. I was like, am I recovering from training? I weigh myself in the morning so I can save my body weight stable or changing.
And as long as I’m recovering and my body weights doing what I wanted to do, I’m not going to measure a damn thing because I hate doing it.
Like measuring food for me makes eating a miserable experience. I just eat purely based off feel. If I’m not recovering or if the scale is going in a direction I’m not happy with, then I lock in and I measure and I’ll do it for one to two weeks. I get it back to where I want it and I’m like, OK. I’m very aware of what my food volume looks like.
What does my plate look like when I sit down to eat; how much is there? And then I just go back to my natural intuition. OK, I have a good feel now for how much I should be eating. I’m just going to do this until I need to potentially make a change again.
Sinan Ozyemisci: Yeah, you’re the same exact approach and flip flop. I mean, you’re the same way that not measuring it and not being so meticulous with it is what works for you. So, when you need to pull over and change the tires, that’s you tracking for a week or two.
I’ll be completely honest. I don’t track. And that’s the biggest thing for me is all my training, everything I do, it’s a matter of body feel and it’s a matter of how I recover. And that’s what gauges my consumption habits. That’s what gauges my balance with nutrition and that’s what gauges any hydration cues that I need to correct. But if it gets to a point where I’m a couple of weeks out from a race or an event that I don’t know why I’m feeling certain little things right now that I need to correct, then I’ll sit down.
I’ll plug stuff into my Fitness Pal. I’ll say, hey, listen, this is where I’m having a little debt in my system. And I couldn’t pick up on that based off of just looking at my food and certain things like that. But there’s an A and a B approach to you’re either tracking and you take that one week off to refresh and you get back to tracking or you’re just never tracked. And you use that one or two weeks or maybe one or two months of tracking to refresh your memory of what that looks like, and you sustain it.
Implementing and Executing Accountability
James Cerbie: Total agreement. So, in the next place to go then is the implementation and execution of all of this and why it’s so important to have some type of accountability source, something to turn to in this realm. But I think people are always really hesitant to have a coach and then when they get a coach, they’re like, why did I wait so long? This is amazing.
So, whether you’re going to get a coach or whether it’s going to be a friend or somebody in training, nutrition, in business, in life, whatever it is, being a lone wolf is really freaking hard.
So, for you, when you think about being that accountability source for people, how important is that in terms of helping people with the implementation and the execution and helping them when something goes wrong? That’s usually the big one for most people, right?
When things are going great, oh, I don’t need a coach, but the minute that hurdle comes up, they have some questions, something they’re unsure about, that’s where the coach, the guide becomes so important to keep you on the tracks.
Sinan Ozyemisci: And we were just talking about this today, actually, in terms of that firefighting approach. At first, when you have to rely on a coach to pull you out of those situations, I think I look at it as firefighting. But then you have the situations in terms of, hey, I’m coming towards the end of a session. What do I think? What do my end results look like? What am I going to look like?
And then you remind that one person that, hey, you’re probably pretty good to fly solo right now, but don’t forget that you have Memorial Day weekend coming up and then your Fourth of July coming up. I definitely need some accountability through those situations. And that’s where that coaching piece comes in. So, kind of rewinding back to what you mean or what you’re talking about is, I think the accountability and the coaching side, a lot of people overlook it because they have this mindset of if somebody has to hold my hand, then I’m probably just too soft at approaching it. No, that’s not the case. That’s one of the biggest things with business. You have a business coach, you have an accounting coach, a finance coach.
James Cerbie: I have coaches for everything in my life. If I care about it. I have a coach, period, just being totally honest.
Sinan Ozyemisci: And that’s one of the biggest things. And I think the accountability piece comes in so handy because we approach it, especially with stronger, we approach it from a perspective that I’m not here to be this once-a-week computer response, that I’m just going to sign off on my email with a signature, and that’s the only connection you get with me. It’s more so throughout the week, make it as organic, as friendly, as communicative as possible so that it doesn’t feel like I have this very executive, very corporate driven coach.
It’s more so like, hey, maybe I should shoot him a text. I have this situation. One of my favorite things, this is kind of sidetracking, but one of my favorite things with nutrition coaching, I think, is the fact that I open a can of worms right off the bat and I say, hey, if you’re going out to dinner anywhere, if you have social plans anywhere, shoot me a text with the menu and I’ll gladly help you pick.
And people look at that as, whoa, dude, that’s a lot of your time that I don’t want to take. I’m like, no, that’s a lot of restaurants that I get to find across the US so that when I travel to that city, I have no problem picking something off the menu. But for me, that’s fun. For somebody who doesn’t think about that accountability piece that pulls so much off of their shoulders that they would never have before without a coach.
Why the More Exposure You Have with a Coach, the Less You Have to Rely on this Person in the Future
James Cerbie: Yep, one hundred percent. And I think one of the things that you just mentioned that’s really important also, this firefighter approach is that over time, the more exposure you get with the coach, the more of a relationship you build, the more the coach helps educate you, the more you learn about yourself, the less you have to rely on this person.
That’s a good coach, athlete, coach, client relationship. In the beginning, there’s going to be way more handholding, probably, but hopefully after six months, you’re crushing it. And then I’m just here like, hey, I’m feeling really stuck, can we just touch base really quick?
Sinan Ozyemisci: And that’s the biggest thing. When I come into it, like, I’m completely transparent with it, I say, if I was to look at an end goal, my biggest end goal would be to teach nutrition at the university. So, my position as a coach is to educate you to a level where when we think about that maintenance phase, when we think about kind of flying solo and just running the show on your own, I don’t want to just be like, all right, James, you’re doing great. Go off. I want it to be like, hey, listen, we got three weeks ahead of us until our session ends. You’re already in maintenance, you already feel comfortable with the choices you’re making. Why don’t we flip the script, and you educate me on what it is that we need to get better at?
I think the biggest thing when it comes back to having that communication and just having somebody that can help you through those situations without the client feeling like them asking that question or them asking them to just help them clean up the situation or make the better choice, is something they’re going to get flak for.
I tell people that I’m not going to be there to slap a cookie out of your hand on Easter. Enjoy that moment. Your kids are baking cookies, eat the freaking cookie. But when it comes to a situation where you’re like, hey, I’m out for dinner, do I do a drink, or do I do a dessert? I’d rather have that conversation with you before you go and just gauge the rest of the day and be like, dude, you already had sweets today, so why not go for a drink?
It’s as easy as that conversation, but I think a lot of people that are not afraid but pull back from getting a coach are also the same people that pull back because of the reason that they don’t want to have that conversation with somebody else.
James Cerbie: Yeah, I mean, a lot of it just comes down to preparation, like you just mentioned. So, kind of coming up towards the tail end here. I would love to circle back or reflect back everything we’ve talked about here. If you could have the people listening to this, you could give them one thing to take away from this. If you’re like, OK, when you stop listening, when we end this episode, I get to have you take one thing away from this to take with you for the rest of your day. What would you like that thing to be?
Sinan Ozyemisci: Oh, I mean, I would definitely circle back to the fact that coaching is essential. The accountability piece is essential. I think a lot of people have the idea that reading on social media and looking at sites through YouTube and just reading online is enough to put them in a place that they can make better choices. Sure, it might be. But again, it goes back to the 80 20 psychology, that same ratio. So, to have somebody there to say, hey, listen, let me walk you through the psychology, let me walk you through the decision-making process.
And a couple of weeks down the road, if you feel comfortable enough, then you can let my hand go. But I think the biggest thing is people need to be more open to nutrition coaching. People need to look more into companies like Stronger U. And we need to realize that those decisions are most likely just right at fingertips for us anyway. We’re already purchasing the right stuff. We’re already thinking about balancing our food. But I think there’s just an education piece that a lot of us miss, that a nutrition coach would be ideal in connecting the dots.
James Cerbie: Excellent. So, for the people that have been listening and are thinking Sinan is the man. Where can I go to find out more about him? Where would you like them to go?
Where to Find Sinan Ozyemisci
Sinan Ozyemisci: Oh, man. Put me on the spot like that. So, if they want to reach through Stronger U, what they can do is go to the strongeru.com website and you can email me through email@example.com for any communication. I’m an open book when it comes to nutrition, so if you want to sign up for the program, you can go right through stronger you. If you want to just ask me a question about nutrition, ask me about anything, ask me about food in Turkey, you can email me firstname.lastname@example.org. Or through social media, they can find me @dr_synonomous on Instagram. I’m constantly posting recipes, food ideas, little mini challenges for food and just really trying to connect those education pieces on social media as essentially a freebie. Because I know financially not everybody is able to sign up for a coach, but we’re trying to make the world a healthier place as much as we can.
James Cerbie: That we are, my friend. This is fantastic. So glad that we got to connect. We will put all of that in the show notes, so that people can go and check out Stronger U, they can email you, find you on Instagram. Otherwise, man, thank you so much for coming on. This was really good.
Sinan Ozyemisci: Absolutely, man. I will see you in Salt Lake in a week.
James Cerbie: Oh, yeah, let’s do it!
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