Hi, I'm Cameron from Full Potential Nutrition. Here's a brief history of me, and a bit about my approach.
Ever since I was a kid I've been into sport. I can't say that I was particularly talented at anything, but I've always loved both doing and watching. Tennis was what I played most in my school days, but when I started uni I discovered cycling, and I've done an awful lot of that since.
At school, science and maths were always my strengths, so exercise science was my unsurprising choice of study at uni. I started work as an exercise physiologist and wellness consultant, but soon found myself taking something of a gap year - in Japan.
I love all areas of sports science. This works pretty well with cycling; a lot of things in cycling are relatively easy to measure, and there are so many aspects which lend themselves to geeking out: training theory, equipment, tactics/pacing, and of course, nutrition.
As I continued to learn more about sports science, and my experience in bike racing increased, I started to come to the conclusion that nutrition could have a much bigger influence on performance than I had previously given it credit for.
After my 11-year gap year in Japan, I was back at uni studying nutrition & dietetics. I was almost swayed by other fields in nutrition. Community programs can reach so many people in need. Hospital-based clinical work can be rewarding in that results can be seen in the very short term; it also quenched my scientific/analytical thirst.
But in the end I had to come back to sports. In the private practice setting I can also specialise in particular clinical conditions, and I feel this combination of a variety of knowledge and skills builds into something greater than the sum of its parts.
Bachelor of Nutrition & Dietetics
Bachelor of Applied Science (Human Movement Studies - Exercise Management)
Accredited Practising Dietitian (APD)
Associate Sports Dietitian
Level 1 ISAK Anthropometrist
...to general health and weight management
When it comes to general health, and long-term fat loss or muscle gain, my preferred approach is to help my clients form new habits, rather than telling them what to eat.
My aim is to help people…
Acquire useful knowledge about nutrition
Develop a desire to eat foods which take them towards their health/fitness goals
Design environments and strategies which support positive eating patterns
Develop the ability to make their own decisions about what to eat
Be comfortable with the idea that no foods are totally off limits
If you’re someone who wants to lose body fat, here’s a question for you:
If you were able to say one of these things in the future, which would it be?
A) I’ve lost 10kg over the last 2 months.
B) I lost 10kg over a year and I've kept it off for another year.
You may have heard of “the weight loss industry” - an industry that makes money through promises of weight loss, often profiting from the same people over and over. I know that as a dietitian, I am part of it, but I would not be proud of helping someone lose 10kg in 2 months, only to hear that they had put that 10kg (or more) back on at the 12 month mark.
On the other hand, I would certainly be proud of helping someone do those things I listed above, and have them able to say, “I’ve lost 10kg and kept it off.”
Unfortunately, regaining weight after losing it is the norm. Losing weight and keeping it off requires a change in habits – a change in what is normal for you to do. Changing one of your normal behaviours takes time. Changing a lot of behaviours takes more time. Sure, losing 1kg every week might be exciting; it’s probably also motivating – weight loss begets weight loss!?
But what happens over the next month or so when the quick weight loss stops and you’re hungry and you’re burnt out from the effort of following your prescribed restrictive diet? Not that there's necessarily anything wrong with losing 10kg in 2 months, but if you haven't developed new habits in this time - if your old habits are still intact, and you're fighting them every minute of the day - there's a good chance things will start to unravel. Cue feelings of disappointment, anger, guilt, blame, or simply, "stuff it, this is all too hard." Those 10kg are now on their way back, possibly along with a couple more.
Let's put the effort into changing habits, rather than fighting habits. Neither are easy, but if you can make a positive change to an undesirable habit, that new behaviour becomes drastically easier to maintain, because, well, because it's a habit.
...to sports nutrition and medical nutrition therapy
While I like to focus on habits for general health and weight loss, many cases within the sports and medical fields require a different approach. Building new habits can always occur and be useful, but a more immediate, prescriptive approach will often be called for when dealing with sports or medical issues. For some medical conditions (e.g., kidney disease, type 1 diabetes), poor dietary choices can have dire consequences even in the short term.
Also in sports, poor dietary choices can have big consequences on your immediate competition or training performance. (I'll let you decide whether this is "dire"!)
For performance, there is good reason to start with a prescriptive approach - "eat/drink this at this time, this time, and this time". This should be personalised as much as possible - even initially - but there will still likely be many ways in which this plan can be adjusted as we learn more about how you personally respond to the nutrition, and how your body adapts as you practise nutrition approaches which are known to potentially increase performance.