Sharone Sapir with Sapir Nutrition is an online nutritionist who does virtual counseling with clients from all over the country. She graduated from Columbia University with a Master’s of Science in Nutrition and Education.
Having overcome her own not-so-great relationship with food, she is passionate about helping others achieve their health and weight loss goals while finding balance
What You’ll Learn In This Episode
- Living a healthier lifestyle
- Sharone’s journey to becoming a nutritionist
This transcript is machine transcribed by Sonix
Intro: [00:00:02] Broadcasting live from the Business RadioX Studios in Atlanta, Georgia, it’s time for Coach the Coach Radio brought to you by the Business RadioX ambassador program, the no cost business development strategy for coaches who want to spend more time serving local business clients and less time selling them. Go to brxambassador.com To learn more. Now here’s your host.
Lee Kantor: [00:00:32] Lee Kantor here, another episode of Coach the Coach Radio, and this is going to be a fun one. Today we have with us Sharone Sapir with Sapir Nutrition. Welcome, Sharon.
Sharone Sapir: [00:00:43] Highly. Thanks for having me.
Lee Kantor: [00:00:45] Well, I am so excited you’re here. But before we get too far to things, tell us about Sapir Nutrition. How are you serving folks?
Sharone Sapir: [00:00:53] Sure. So I’m an online nutritionist. I help people from all over the country and actually the world because everything is done virtually. So I help them eat healthier and or lose weight if that’s one of their goals. And we do this all through online communication.
Lee Kantor: [00:01:16] Now, when you were younger, was this something you were like, OK, I’m going to be a nutritionist? Was your career always aimed at being a nutritionist?
Sharone Sapir: [00:01:25] No, I actually got to it because of my own struggles with food. As a kid, I was a bit obsessed with junk food. And I came from a household where we didn’t have a lot of it. I mean, we had Fig Newtons because my mom thought they were healthy because of the figs, but otherwise it was really devoid of any fun food. And I grew up around a lot of talk about weight and don’t eat salad dressing because that’s fattening and don’t eat this thing. I had a kind of a complicated relationship with food from a young age. And as I got older, I got really into the diet books and then found myself more confused than ever. So it was definitely an evolution towards getting the right information and finding a balance. A balanced view towards food and health and then helping other people achieve that, too.
Lee Kantor: [00:02:29] So then you went through college, you have your degree in nutrition, right? That’s your background. So so you went all in on this. You were like, OK, I’m going to learn about this and then I’m going to really get educated about, you know, the truth behind it, because there is a lot of misinformation when it comes to, you know, nutrition.
Sharone Sapir: [00:02:49] Oh, yeah. I found myself really confused in high school. I read probably every diet book that was out there at the time zone, Atkins. Green free diet, I mean, all sorts, and I, I wanted to actually go. For my undergrad in nutrition, but my parents were immigrants, and when I said I want to go for nutrition, they’re like, nope, not not not paying for that. You’re going to earn bucket. So I went to NYU for I got my degree in politics and a minor in business, but I was still struggling with food. My weight was fluctuating a lot. I was restricting, I was bingeing. And it really took until after college I got married. I had my daughter. She was about a year old. And I said, you know what, I’m an adult now. Like, I am married. I have a kid. If I want to go to school for nutrition and really figure this out once and for all, I’m going to do it. So I took my prerequisites and I obtained my master’s of science and nutrition and education from Columbia University. That was really the beginning of picking an evidence based approach to nutrition.
Lee Kantor: [00:04:08] Now, what was it like when you graduated? You’re out on your own and now you have to get a client and now you’re kind of responsible. I don’t say fully responsible, but you’re going to have some impact on this client. Was that a challenge for you to go from? OK, I feel I’m qualified and educated enough to help others. But now here’s the logistics and mechanics of doing that. How am I going to go about doing that?
Sharone Sapir: [00:04:36] Yeah, that was hugely challenging. I, I basically spoke to whoever I could about the fact that I’m a nutritionist and I am passionate about helping people. And the other thing I did was I helped a lot of people for free, which I know that’s a controversial approach, I guess, based on on the person you ask. But I felt like the best way for me to get a good reputation right is to help a lot of people and to help them succeed. And then I knew that they would then spread the word. So originally, I worked myself probably a bit too hard helping whoever I could either for free or for a very low rate. But eventually it really helped me to establish a reputation for myself as an expert who really cares and helps.
Lee Kantor: [00:05:42] Then at some point, you were like, OK, enough for free, I’m running out of free, this is now what I’m doing for a living or it’s helping me have a living. And and then you just started increasing your rates. Like, how do you kind of move from free to paying? Because a lot of times when things are free, they don’t have value from a client’s standpoint. They think it’s something that I can miss or I don’t have to take it seriously because I don’t really have skin in the game. Did did that occur kind of dramatically or did you just get to a point where you were like, OK, I have to charge everybody now?
Sharone Sapir: [00:06:19] Yes. I mean, it really had to do with demand. So as I was getting more demand, obviously I couldn’t well, I had to charge for it, too. And also with by working with a lot of people, experience is experience. So I could have a degree from a top university, but it doesn’t replace the experience that I get from working on the ground. And once I felt like I had quite a bit of that and and probably more than some other people who are who are charging a lot for the same services, I said, OK, it’s it’s really time. And what I did is I just increased. So whoever was free was free. But and it’s interesting what you said about skin in the game. It depends. I think I got good at screening people for whether I really like how much they cared because I did have a number of free clients who were incredibly successful, even though it was for free because they really wanted it and needed it. And yes, I did have some clients who I could tell didn’t care that much. And part of it was probably because it was free. So it is hard to assess. And I didn’t do this for too long either. I quickly realized my my value for one. And as demand was going up, I said, OK, it’s time, it’s really time. And I increased my rate slowly. I didn’t you know, I it was more for myself and perhaps the. Far from a confidence standpoint to increase the incrementally, but that’s what worked for me
Lee Kantor: [00:08:11] And that’s great advice for coaches out there when they’re just especially when they’re just getting started and they might be credentialed and they just don’t feel confident enough to charge maybe what they deserve, but they can ease into it. There’s no right or wrong way of doing this. Some people will feel more confident, like, hey, I got the credential now, my rates X or my rates five X or whatever it is. I always tell people when it comes to the rate, it’s whatever number you can say in the mirror or without feeling uncomfortable or laughing like that’s the rate you start at.
Sharone Sapir: [00:08:48] Yeah, I love that advice.
Lee Kantor: [00:08:51] So now how about some advice for folks out there that are maybe struggling with their weight or struggling with maybe not eating the right foods? Is there some tips you can share about kind of easing into a more healthy lifestyle?
Sharone Sapir: [00:09:06] Sure. The approach I like the most is the crowding out approach. And so what what is crowding out means? It means that you’re adding foods into your diet rather than having all your focus on restricting or eliminating other foods. And one of the foods that I it’s the first one that I start with, with pretty much everyone who comes to me, their diet is not high enough in protein. So and protein, that’s just not a fun, sexy food like the carbs. And I don’t typically advocate like a low carb carb diet, but I do emphasize higher protein because there are just so many great effects that it has on us.
Lee Kantor: [00:10:01] And then by increasing the protein that usually makes people feel fuller. So they’re kind of not eating as money, kind of the less nutritious foods.
Sharone Sapir: [00:10:13] Yeah. So protein has a number of benefits. For one, it helps greatly with metabolism. Something that many people don’t know is that we burn 30 percent of the calories that we ingest from protein just during the spring digestion. So that’s that’s a significant number of calories to to burn versus carbs. We burn, I believe, 10 to 15 percent and that we burn zero to three percent of the calories we taken from fat. So protein is a metabolism burner. I like to say it stokes the inverse of your metabolism about it, but it is quite dramatic. It also helps us retain muscle as we lose weight. That’s something that often happens when when you respect your calories and you’re losing weight, you’re also going to lose muscle. We want to keep as much muscle as we have because it’s more metabolically active. It it keeps us safer and it and it looks good. And the other thing that protein does is it really helps to stabilize blood sugar and give our brain and our gut the message that we’re full so that we don’t keep looking for snacks. That’s something actually when someone tells me I have a really hard time in the evening or at night searching for snacks, they just can’t feel full. I’ll ask them, do you eat? What did you eat as your first meal? And was it a protein rich meal? Did you have enough protein during the day? And often the answer is no. And and once they start front loading, the protein, front loading, so getting as much protein as they can during the day, they feel a really big difference at night with their their cravings for those Harbi snacks.
Lee Kantor: [00:12:13] Now, when you’re working with someone and you mentioned you’ve been doing this for a while now, is it are you able to tell if someone is serious about doing this? Because I, I know a person specifically that their doctor gave them kind of a scary. You know, doctor visit and they said, look, you’re you’re on the on the road to some diabetes or, you know, some some medical issues down the road, and you and I recommend that you get kind of get your house in order a nutritionally. And this person is like, well, what are you talking about? This is how I am. You know, they’re not ready yet. I don’t think, even though there’s kind of a scary medical issue ahead, do you find that? It takes some something kind of monumental to spur people to action or can you tell if they are, you know, they that my doctors had to do this. I’m going to do it. But, you know, they’re really not going to put their all in it because they’re really. Not bad in all the way.
Sharone Sapir: [00:13:19] Yeah, I can tell pretty quickly most people who who do come to me are ready, and it’s possible that it’s because I have a lot of messaging against quick fixes and meal plans and diets and all of that. So they know that it’s going to be work and it’s going to be a process. So maybe it’s skewed towards people who are ready, but it’s completely a a mental shift that has to occur. And especially when I first started working and I had people approach me who said, you know, I really want you to work with my with my husband or wife partner. And I and I’d say that’s a great signed them up. I’ll work with them, that never worked. I mean, that was never a successful case. And that’s because the the spouse wanted it more than the person themselves. And it’s never going to work if the person isn’t truly ready for a change. That readiness for a change is critical and. Yes, these monumental events and in health with the doctor saying, if you don’t do this, then you’re going to be extremely ill or you’re going to die prematurely. That often is what it takes for somebody. But even then. It might not. And unfortunately, there’s there’s nothing that anyone can do until that person is truly ready to change their lifestyle.
Lee Kantor: [00:15:04] Now, do you mind sharing a little bit about what the relationship looks like? You mentioned it’s an online relationship, so obviously there has to be some trust that the person is doing what you’re recommending. But I guess the scale doesn’t lie or whatever tools you are to measure. Is this kind of telling the truth that at some point. So can you talk about what the engagement looks like? Is it something where someone is reporting to you on a regular rhythm or you have access to certain technology that allows them to report to you in conjunction with some? I would imagine there’s some support and accountability happening throughout the process to keep them on track when they do slip.
Sharone Sapir: [00:15:50] Yes, for sure. So I have all of my clients keep a food log and however they do, it is up to them. Some clients enjoy my fitness pal. They just really like the app and they like numbers and data. And so they use my fitness pal, other clients they just jotted down on a regular note app on the phone. And that’s just fine, too. What’s important is that they’re recording their food and in some way and they send it to me every day and I don’t use it to test them like I do eat this or I do it that. It’s not like that at all. It’s it’s really to get information, to see what’s helping them and what might be stalling their progress and to come up with a suggestion, ask them questions. Some of my clients really like to tell me about their day and their moods and their energy levels. And I enjoy that too, because they like food isn’t necessarily in a vacuum. It’s tied to a lot of things and many of them are emotional. So I like to get the big picture and we kind of have a conversation online. And it’s a daily touch point, which I enjoy as well, because I think we digest information in small chunks. So it’s it’s more manageable, I, I think that way.
Lee Kantor: [00:17:20] So now is it like via Zoome call or you kind of face to face with these folks. Is it via email or. They’re like how are you communicating.
Sharone Sapir: [00:17:29] So it’s all via email. When I first started I had weekly phone calls and that was scheduled and in addition to the emails and what I found over time was that the phone calls just they weren’t necessary, that the emails were really sufficient to continue this ongoing dialog of support and accountability, cheerleading if necessary. But it it worked much better than I even expected. And so that’s what I kept.
Lee Kantor: [00:18:01] And if somebody wants to learn more, have a more substantive conversation with you about your work, is there like a website where they can connect with you and then maybe do an initial call or some sort of kind of a touching base to see if it’s a good fit?
Sharone Sapir: [00:18:19] Yeah, sure. So my website is Sharona’s The Dot Com, and I’m also on Instagram at the Pier Nutrition. I like to post their daily with tidbits about nutrition and mindset. And if if they’re interested, we schedule a Zoome call just to get to know each other and I find out more about them, find out more about me and then we take it from there.
Lee Kantor: [00:18:49] And that website one more time is Cherone Saphir S.H. r o n e sjp i r dot com. Yeah. Well, Sharon, thank you so much for sharing your story today. You’re doing such important work and we appreciate you.
Sharone Sapir: [00:19:03] Oh, thank you so much for having me on.
Lee Kantor: [00:19:06] All right. This is Lee Kantor. We’ll see you next time on Coach the Coach radio.