When it comes to her clients, Nadine Dumas takes a holistic approach.
As a mind-body nutrition coach and eating psychology practitioner, Dumas reaches thousands of women through her online coaching programmes and transformation challenges. Much of her coaching is focused on the effects of stress on the body, from weight gain to brain fog. The majority of her clients grapple with issues like emotional or binge eating, low self-esteem, poor body image, constant fatigue, fluctuating hormone levels and stresses at home or work.
She delves deeper to the root cause of her clients’ concerns in order to help them find inner balance and remove negative patterns that prevent them from achieving their fitness goals.
She’s not a fan of popular diets; instead she endorses “flexible dieting,” preferring to build programmes in which fitness and nutrition work for her clients’ lifestyles rather than the other way around.
“The diet industry is a US$65 billion industry with a 95 per cent failure rate,” she says. “Most people will lose weight, but will gain it all back within two years, and typically within a month.”
Of the small percentage of people who succeed in losing weight and keeping it off, it’s because of a lifestyle change, Dumas says.
Although she does have male clients, most are female, Dumas says, noting that women face societal pressure to look and feel a certain way. Her online women clients share striking similarities despite spanning the globe.
“They’re your average everyday woman between their thirties and fifties who just want to find balance in their life,” she says. “They don’t want to do anything extreme. They just want to know how to live their life and do it by being happy with themselves and being healthy. All of them are business professionals, and most of them are mothers.”
As a former professional accountant and busy mother of one, Dumas can relate. She fell in love with fitness when she moved to Cayman 12 years ago and subsequently quit her job to pursue her passion. In the last decade she has taken part in many fitness competitions and worked as a personal trainer; she also became a fitness model, gracing the cover of nine international magazines, including “Women’s Health & Fitness” and “Oxygen.”
Her recent endeavour is hosting a health and wellness female retreat, Luxe + Well, which will take place at a luxury Grand Cayman real estate property and at Camana Bay Oct. 22-29, 2017.
Co-created by Dumas and Sophie Prior, along with partners Camana Bay and Luxury Cayman Villas, the purpose of the retreat is to restore the confidence and physical health of the guests so they can be strong enough to tackle life’s challenges.
Along with Dumas’s daily inspirational seminars on how to change the psychology of your eating, there will also be daily group workouts, paddleboard classes, yoga, beach and pool relaxation time, and excursions around the island.
The itinerary will also include a cooking class at Bon Vivant; daily smoothies from Bay Market; a “healthified” Flavour Tour involving several top Grand Cayman restaurants including Pani Indian Kitchen, Mizu Asian Bistro + Bar, Abacus, The King’s Head, Gelato & Co., and West Indies Wine Company; and a “restaurant takeover” at Abacus, which is Dumas’s second such private event there. Working in collaboration with Abacus chef Will O’Hara, Dumas will teach her retreat guests tips about how to choose healthier food menu options when attending social or business functions.
Other participating Camana Bay shops include Activ Angels, Island Company, Books & Books, Eclipze Hair Design & Day Spa, and Le Visage.
Dumas trained at the Institute for the Psychology of Eating, where she learned many aspects about eating. For example, the way a woman views her body and food is directly related to the way her mother views her body and food; and the speed in which people live their lives is directly related to the speed in which they eat their food. “You never see a person who eats his or her food slowly leading a high-paced, high-stressed life.”
She also believes that leading a stressful life correlates with digestive issues, so a large part of her programme is based around gut health and keeping the body in an alkaline state. When it comes to fitness, her advice is to be realistic with goals by choosing enjoyable activities and to stop over-exercising or putting pressure on yourself. Instead, she advises to go back to the basics with nutrition, choose whole foods (specifically alkaline foods), and drink lots of water throughout the day.
“Over 85 per cent of weight shed is due to nutrition,” she says. “You can’t out-train a bad diet.”
She especially loves when her clients have that “aha moment” and everything comes together and they see how truly powerful and successful they can become with their own health and fitness goals.
“Personally, my success isn’t built off how many pounds a client has lost — that is just the bonus — but rather off good habits they’ve created, the happiness they’ve found and the lifelong change within themselves.”