Groupon Montreal and Nutrition
Daily deal sites like groupon.com offer great deals on fitness clubs and fitness classes, gyms and personal training sessions. It can be a really inexpensive way to explore and see which types of exercise suit your lifestyle, schedule and budget without a long term commitment.
When it comes to nutrition, though, can we access high quality, credible nutrition care through a daily deal type site like Groupon? And, if presented with an option to purchase nutrition related products or services, how do we know whether it is safe and appropriate?
What I have found with daily deals being delivered to my inbox is that it is rare to find a deal on a service that I am looking for on the day I am looking for it. Secondly, it is easy to get distracted by the hugely discounted prices and the attractive images, not to mention the pressure of the clock and the pull to buy when a large number of people has already made the same purchase. I will now consider both general and specific implications to this scenario.
Personally, I save any Groupon Montreal purchases for items I use every day and local businesses that I am familiar with. Getting my car washed, taking a yoga class or getting a manicure. Specifically, when looking at Groupon Montreal to seek nutrition related products and services it is astounding how much is available to choose from. In the past I have seen courses offered on how to get certified as a nutrition therapist, 4-week weight loss programs offered by a registered dietitian in New York, e-meal coupons, health and wellness services by transformational and holistic nutritionists, e-learning programs with how to become a personal nutrition coach, cleanses, weight loss hypnosis sessions, online weight loss and wellness programs given by a PNC and personal health coaches … and much more …
The terms “personal nutrition coach”, “nutrition therapist”, “holistic nutritionist”, “transformational nutritionist” and so on all sound right; they sound credible and they sound like they can offer the nutrition related solution you are looking for and quickly at that. Maybe they can if your needs are straight forward, like you would like to find a way to eat healthier in a general way but even then I am skeptical and I will explain why and what to ask yourself first before making the decision “to buy or not to buy”.
- Before and after pictures make weight loss look glamorous.
The reality is that accompanying the extra weight is often a myriad of health issues which are not so glamourous and need to be addressed in a clinical and appropriate manner. For example, like you are dealing with constant acid reflux, stomach cramps, and chronic fatigue – a professional dietitian will advise a referral to a GI specialist and blood tests and help you treat your symptoms in the right way after doing a medical screen and a nutrition evaluation. She will not tell you to quit dairy and gluten and to “drink this” for 90 days. I am simply not convinced that a nutrition coach who has taken an online course would be able to distinguish what could be addressed nutritionally and which health issues would require further medical intervention. And I question whether or not I would trust my kids or my parents to one either.
- The ongoing care that would likely be required
There is a service offered by a registered dietitian on Groupon Montreal which is a great start, but what if your case turns out more complex than you originally thought and more follow up required than what the original package offers? This would not be included in the price. So, either you are left hanging with another half-started project or you must be ready to pay for the extra follow up service. The deeper the original discount, the more that may come out of your pocket later, so you must be ready for this possibility.
- Insurance companies and the nutrition related services they cover
“Health/ Holistic Coach” or “Personal Nutrition Coach” likely will not be included in your insurance plan. Bottom line for your bottom line is to ask your insurance company before buying a random nutrition service. Please, note also that insurance companies tend to go with the professional order registration number of a particular professional, so your nutritionist’s licence number and not what he/she calls herself is often the deciding factor in terms of whether or not you are covered for a particular service. And a legitimate license number can only be administered to those who attain the appropriate degree from a legitimate and pre-defined learning institution and having followed specifications in terms of internships and has met many other criteria as determined – in this case the Ordre Professionnel de Dietetiste Du Québec or the OPDQ for short.
- Tips on how to navigate the Groupon Montreal and nutrition issue:
a) Avoid spontaneous purchases where Groupon Montreal and nutrition services are concerned.
b) Determine what your gold standard for nutrition care is. Most governments and health organizations consider registered dietitians or registered nutritionists who are part of a professional order to be this gold standard.
c) Visit the site of the company or individual who is offering the nutrition or weight loss plan first and determine who will be offering you the actual service. Some offer a meal plan created by a dietitian while actually someone else is assigned to work with you.
d) Look at the cost of the original service in case more care may be required. Look to see if there is a product to consume included and what the repurchase price is, as well as whether this product is contraindicated with certain medications or for people with certain medical conditions, etc.
e) Look to see if it is realistic to attain at least your short-term goals within the time frame of the program, so that you are not left hanging after it’s over, i.e. the program is 4 weeks long and you need a 90-day one.
f) If you are dealing with health issues other than weight, truly look into how this program will help you address these issues as weight loss does not work in isolation to emotional or physiological well-being.
With all of this in mind it may be better to stick to the known entities when Groupon-ing and to leave the serious nutrition care to the professionals – a Registered Dietitian or Registered Nutritionist in your community. If you still wonder how to recognize one, see our blog post on “How to Choose a Registered Dietitian or Nutritionist.”
Janice Cohen, R.D.