We are creatures of habit.
We like routine and do well by following guidelines and advice.
On the flip side most of us do not do as well with strict rules, as these usually mean restriction and limitation.
Because seriously, who really wants to feel restricted and limited?
So when it comes to nutrition coaching, EXACTLY the same thing applies.
Let me explain…
Give someone a simple guideline to follow, they do it.
Set strict rules and the chances are they will break the rules and just give up.
This is the main problem I see with trainers and their nutrition coaching with clients.
It’s all about:
Boring and bland meal plans.
Tedious food logging and calorie counting.
And complete avoidance of 'belly busting carbs' or 'gut dissolving gluten'.
Get my point?
Good, because these are the rules.
As the saying goes, rules are made to be broken.
We therefore need a different approach to coaching new clients on improving their nutrition, and this is about providing habits and guidelines to follow, not rules.
So let’s dive right in…
How to boost your client adherence & consistency
For the average client (someone who follows a typical Western diet) who is starting out on improving their diet, all of these rules are setting them up for failure.
Short or long term, it doesn’t matter.
They gonna fail.
A new client may also not know what a calorie is, nor have any understanding of ‘how much of what’ is in the foods they eat.
This can be a BIG learning curve, and one that can instantly put new clients off.
Also, in order for a new client to start tracking calories, they will require measuring devices, food labels, databases and a calculator to keep on top of it all.
As their coach, you know calories matter in relation to a person’s goals, so you might have certain food/nutrient requirements in mind for your client.
However, throwing numbers or tedious meal plans at new clients from the starting point may not bring the same results as if it were you or I following the same plan.
Cause we love this stuff, right?
* High-five *
When new to good nutrition, numbers are just too complicated, meal plans are too tedious, and all love is lost in treating food as the fun, social activity that it should be.
It becomes just numbers.
It can also create a lot of anxiety and confusion, which is usually the main reason they have sought YOUR help – to remove the ‘fear factor’ of nutrition.
If you’re currently coaching clients with their nutrition, yet notice they keep failing to follow your advice consistently, now you know why.
Damn, and you thought it was their fault, huh!
So what can you do instead?
Let's chat habits
Many clients have acquired bad nutritional habits, and they practise these every single day.
Do any of these sound familiar…
- Skipping breakfast
- Snacking between meals
- Drinking too much coffee instead of eating
- Staying up late and late night binge eating
As you can see it’s not just a case of counting calories or sticking to a meal plan for these clients, it’s about breaking and improving habits.
By changing the clients daily bad habits for improved and healthy habits, the ‘numbers’ usually take care of themselves and impressive results can be achieved from this alone.
From experience there are a number of good habits that most people could do with forming, and then adhering to, every single day.
Unlike numbers or meal plans that come across as rules (which are likely to be broken), the new set of habits comes across as guidelines to simply follow and stick to.
For basic habit coaching there is no mention of calories, food logging or complicated diet plans - it's all about their habits.
Don't underestimate how effective this nutrition coaching system can be at changing your clients body, health and performance.
I've been applying these habits to hundreds of clients for years now - testing them, experimenting with them, and modifying them until I had a system that could guarantee results in any client who uses it faithfully.
If we can learn how to effectively form new habits with our clients, we can change or create anything we want in their diets and lifestyles.
Have your clients focus on their daily habits and you will be able to boost their adherence to your advice and stay consistent with your coaching.
What the hell is a bit anyway?
OK, so you wanna geek out on this, let’s do it…
Habits are formed when actions are tied to a trigger by consistent repetition so that when the trigger happens, you have an automatic urge to carry out the action.
- When you wake up (trigger), you go brush your teeth (habit)
- When you get to work (trigger), you grab a coffee (habit)
- When you get stressed (trigger), you eat junk food (habit)
Everyday we go through this constant state of triggers followed by habits, and they happen without us even noticing.
So how do these habits form?
- Through constant repetition over years.
- At first they were conscious efforts but with time they became more automatic and less conscious.
- There is a feedback loop that encouraged us to repeat the habit for a good length of time.
For example if you feel stressed and eat junk food, you might feel short term pleasure or satisfaction (positive feedback).
But if you’re stressed and stop yourself from eating the junk, you might remain stressed (negative feedback).
The body likes to take the path of least resistance, so it will consistently aim for the positive feedback, causing us to repeatedly carry out an action when the trigger occurs.
This is why improving their diet or exercise routine consistently proves so difficult for many of our clients.
Getting that ‘ah-ha’ feeling yet?
Then check this…
If their ‘healthy diet’ is boring and bland, then it’s unpleasant to follow (negative feedback), so when they give up and eat their favourite foods again, they enjoy it (positive feedback).
And if they currently feel like this around ANY of the changes you are making towards an improved diet or lifestyle then this feedback loop is set up to normally ensure they don’t stick to those changes for very long.
But you know that’s not how to coach your clients anymore.
So let’s sort you out with a better approach, shall we….
How to get life-changing results with every client you work with
We have already looked at what it takes to become a better trainer or nutrition coach, why meal plans suck, and how your client’s habits are key to incredible results.
But I’m going to be straight up with you…
This is simply the beginning of the process of achieving great results with your clients.
It will now need them to follow this information and for you to tweak it based on their results.
And that’s exactly what everyone wants to accomplish from this nutrition coaching – RESULTS.
Heck, I’m gonna put it out there and say life-changing results should be your goal with every client.
But if you don’t want those kinds of results with every client, then you should stop reading this blog now.
Still here, then let’s move on…
Without life-changing results our clients are probably neither going to stick to the programme themselves, nor will they refer us to their friends.
This won’t create a successful business, so we must ensure we get life-changing results for everyone we work with.
We know of course that life-changing results are what our clients want too, as that’s what ultimately drives them to take out their wallet and start paying YOU for your expertise.
But that’s when things can get a tad tricky…
The pressure is now on you to deliver results and perform some magic.
And if only it was as easy as waving a little Harry Potter magic wand around…
…but it’s not.
You know the results your clients get can largely depend on how well the client sticks to your advice.
Another difficult component of this is the need to educate your client on what results can be realistically achieved.
It’s not uncommon for people to believe they can and should be losing bodyweight in a linear fashion every single week. Another common misconception is that huge amounts of weight loss can occur in a matter of weeks.
I mean, think about it…
To really get the best results for your clients, you must make sure you set realistic goals for them and provide the correct level of coaching to track their ‘real’ progress too.
In fact, to get life-changing results, you must learn so much more about every single client while providing some fundamental teaching, guidance, support and accountability along the way.
A great nutrition coach must therefore understand the current situation with their client. By doing this, we can provide the right level of information at the right times.
An added benefit to this is ensuring you get the right starting point.
If we don’t give the best possible advice to our clients when they are just starting with us, this will probably lead to their short and long-term failure.
And that’s why you need a tried and tested strategy to follow, for each and every client.
So without further a do, let me introduce you to your new nutrition coaching process:
Now, here’s the best part of this awesome blog post (if I do say so myself)…
I’m not just going to leave you hanging on how to work out what you need to do in each of these five steps.
Instead, I’ve put together my very own tried and tested nutrition coaching resources, and compiled them into a simple 5-step coaching system that you can follow for every client you work with.
Then I shot some videos to take your through how to use each resource and template.
And yes, it’s totally FREE for you to download right now.
Just click the button below:
Why should you grab it?
Well, this really is the best coaching system and the strategies that I’ve found for boosting my clients adherence and therefore getting them life-changing results.
It will walk your through, step-by-step, how to apply this proven habit-based nutrition system so that you too can help your clients change their deeply ingrained eating and lifestyle habits.
At the same time, it will provide you a simple, effective and reliable nutrition coaching strategy that can be used for every type of client that you work with.
Now I know this sounds almost too good to be true, but bare with me, this training is totally free and legit.
It’s a core reason why Exceed Nutrition and myself have become recognised as education leaders throughout the health and fitness industry.
Habit based nutrition and lifestyle coaching is the best process to deliver real, high-quality nutrition and lifestyle coaching to your clients.
It’s the most effective process for boosting client adherence and getting them life-changing results.
And it’s win-win for everyone- your clients get life-changing results, you stand out in the industry. You’ll make more money, and you’ll feel more in control of your career than ever before.
So take your nutrition coaching to new levels and download my 5-step habitual nutrition coaching resource pack below:
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