Nutrition Coach AI

AI App or Coach – Which is Better?

AI App or Coach?

Hey team! Coach Laura Savino and Kelly Wright here to chat a bit about our experience with coaching clients using AI apps and traditional methods.

With the rise of AI, many people have questioned whether coaches are going to be “needed” in the industry – especially with such in-depth, evidence-based, and user-friendly apps like MacroFactor and Carbon.

We like the AI Apps (mainly @macrofactorapp) – for those with a lot of experience in nutrition, tracking their food, who understand how the apps (and their limitations) work, and who have a solid foundation of nutritional planning, and rock-solid habits.

We love calculators – and we use them!

But many people absolutely still need coaches – *especially* those at the beginning of their nutrition/fitness journey, and those who do better with some external accountability (which is most people).

Here’s the thing – An app can guide your numbers based on its algorithm.

A calculator can be an efficient tool.

But an app can’t get to know you.
An app doesn’t know your history.
An app doesn’t know what you’re struggling with.
An app can’t help you overcome your barriers or increase your resiliency.
An app can’t develop an education and habit-building plan that works with your lifestyle.
An app can’t help you break past barriers.

Calculators are a great tool, but they’re definitely not a one-size-fits-all.

If you want to create real, sustainable, efficient, and manageable change – we recommend a 1:1 coach. They’ll be there every step of the way to help you, guide you, and support you to success and your best you ♥️

We’ve spent the last 6 months evaluating the artificial intelligence-based coaching apps on the market while coaching clients using traditional and AI methods. Here’s what we’ve found…

Where AI Apps Excel

  • Calorie, weight, and expenditure data are all housed in one place
  • Data is updated daily
  • Expenditure calculations are fast, and you can see day-to-day changes (vs weekly or bi-weekly with a coach)
  • Easy to see the interaction between intake, weight, and expenditure estimates
  • Macro targets are updated with precision frequently

Where AI Apps Fail

  • They can’t understand partially logged OR skipped days – it will mess up the algorithm aND may take unnecessary “cuts” to total calorie budgets
  • May not get you to the “upper end” of maintenance or push boundaries
  • Can be “punitive” if targets aren’t met with precision or matching rate of goal
  • Does not accommodate for water fluctuations (especially females) or lifestyle factors
  • Only advises on calorie changes, not lifestyle, food choice, or activity changes to reach goals

Where Coaching Beats AI Apps

  • Coaches create a holistic plan to reach your goals that align with your lifestyle
  • Gathers all relevant metrics (outside of just weight and calories), including circumference measurements and steps
  • Creates the long-term nutrition and lifestyle plan you need to get to the goal you want to achieve
  • Partners with you to develop the skillset that doesn’t require tracking food 24/7/365 forever
  • More likely to push boundaries based on biofeedback, activity levels
  • Can guide you through a reverse and metabolic restoration after adaptation

AI Apps Might Work for You If…

  • You’re a data nerd and don’t want to keep multiple spreadsheets
  • You understand how to periodize your nutrition and spend most of the year at maintenance or in a surplus
  • You understand your body and what causes water fluctuations
  • You’re a pro at tracking and estimating when dining out
  • You have rock-solid foundational habits
  • You understand its limitations, how it works, and how to “beat” the system as needed

Alternatively, You Might Want a Coach If You’re…

  • Needing general nutritional education
  • Not knowing how much to eat, or how to plan and build well-rounded meals
  • Needing guidance on how to establish foundational habits (sleep, stress, steps, systems) that work with their lifestyle
  • Needing accountability in starting their health and wellness journey
  • Needing help navigating the “real world”
  • Needing help managing their emotions

Bottom Line

In both cases, the more data = the better. The more accurate and precise you track, the more often you weigh yourself = the better the information will be to evaluate. But…this could be hard for many people.

Such as…

  • those new to tracking
  • those overcoming body image struggles
  • those overcoming a murky history with tracking their food
  • those who are new to being so focused on numbers

We absolutely recommend those new to focusing on their health work 1:1 with a coach.

Because it’s the foundational habits, education, understanding, and skill-building that will get you where you want to be – it’s not just about the numbers.

If you’re newer to focusing on nutrition and trying to navigate a plan, consider hiring a coach rooted in data – who offers a holistic approach – to provide you with the tools you need to succeed.

Next Steps

At @paragontrainingmethods, we believe that strong and confident looks good on everybody and every BODY.

We also have a pretty sick list of nutrition coaches here that work directly with Paragon Members and can help you with your individual journey. 1:1 coaching is often a great place to start if you’re a new or advanced athlete, and we highly recommend hiring a coach to help you find freedom in food and exercise. Check out the crew here!

Or, find them on social media:
Alex Maclin: @alexqmaclin
Kelly Wright: @kellywright.co
Kate Ernst: @kate__eli
Laura Savino: @laurajustinesavino
Erin Linderman: @the_erin_linderman_

LCK and Bryan from Paragon Training Methods

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“They say the best companies from solving a problem. Paragon Training Methods started w/ solving mine.”

– Paragon Founder, LCK 

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