Written by Jade McKee (Clean Health Online Master Coach)
Clients want to know that you get RESULTS. How do you show this? Through amazing transformations, of course! If you are just starting out in the industry you might be wondering HOW to get these successful transformations with your clients.
Ultimately, it all comes down to compliance.
You can plan out 12 weeks of the ‘perfect’ nutrition and training program for your client, but if they don’t follow the plan – they are not going to get results. So, how can you promote compliance with your clients? Here are a few thing to consider when it comes to keeping them on track and compliant with their nutrition plan.
The Initial Consultation
Let’s start right from the beginning, at your very first consult with your new client. This is your chance to find out all the information you can about them – from their goals, their lifestyle, to their training and nutrition history. This is your chance to discover your client’s likes, dislikes, allergies, and intolerances when it comes to what they eat. And this is where you need to pay close attention. You will fail – right from step one, if you write a plan that includes food your client doesn’t like to, or even worse – can’t eat.
Individualize Their Plan
Food that they like
Once you have all the information you need from your client, it’s now time to work your magic! By including food they like – within reason of course, this is going to help with their compliance when following the plan.
As you are aware, in order to lose body fat your client needs to be in a caloric deficit. The deficit you choose will be dependant on your individual client and their particular circumstances. If they come to you for help with slow and steady weight loss, and you program them an aggressive deficit – they may struggle to stay on track!
The next step will be choosing the right nutrition system for your client. If your client loves, and performs well in the gym with carbs, but you program them to follow a ketogenic diet – they might have trouble sticking to the plan. A less-restrictive approach such as a moderate carb, or isocaloric plan may be a more suitable option.
Remember – in order to get your successful transformation, compliance is key. If you are able to include your client’s ‘likes’ into their program, you will promote compliance, and be on your way to a transformation in no time.
Periodization of your client’s nutrition plan may also help to keep them on track. Implementing a Zig Zag, Davoodi Cycle, or Undulating model may be what a particular client needs both in terms of preventing negative metabolic adaptations, and helping to keep them compliant. Having high calorie days interspersed with their lower days may work for some clients by lessen the ‘feel’ of being in a deficit.
You can learn more about nutrition periodization and systems in the Performance Nutrition Coach Certification Bundle! Click here to enrol!
So how do macronutrients come into play then? The macronutrient breakdown is going to affect how your client FEELS when if calorie deficit, and ultimately – if they will be able to comply with the program. Going back to your client who preferred carbs – if it’s their personal preference, and their performance in the gym is better when they are using carbs for fuel – program them more carbs than fat! Studies have shown that when equated for both protein and calories, similar weight loss will occur no matter if the diet is high or low carb (1,2,3).
Keep Them Accountable!
Finally, keep them accountable.
Explain the ‘WHY?’
When it comes to giving the actual plan to your client – remember to talk them through it. Explain to them exactly WHY you have made the decisions you have, and how these decisions are going to get your client the result they want. By educating your client, and them having a greater understanding of your reasoning, it will allow them to take ownership in the process. Again – this will promote increased compliance.
Your client is more likely to be compliant if they know you will be checking in with them. Make sure your check-in’s are scheduled in advance, with regular weight-in’s, pinch tests, and photos being taken.These are a few factors to consider when it comes to your client’s nutrition, and keeping them compliant. Keep in mind that even the ‘perfect’ program will be no good if your client can’t follow the plan, so it’s ultimately their compliance that will result in a successful transformation with you.
- Hall KD, Guo J. Obesity Energetics: Body Weight Regulation and the Effects of Diet Composition. Gastroenterology. (2017) Retrieved 25th September 2020 from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28193517/.
- Johnston BC, et al. Comparison of weight loss among named diet programs in overweight and obese adults: a meta-analysis. JAMA. (2014) Retrieved 25th September 2020 from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25182101/.
- Bueno NB, et al. Very-low-carbohydrate ketogenic diet v. low-fat diet for long-term weight loss: a meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials. Br J Nutr. (2013) Retrieved 25th September 2020 from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23651522/.