How Do You Know If Your Client’s Nutrition Plan is Working?

Written by Kim Leggett (Clean Health Online Master Coach)

You gave your client their nutrition program and off they went… So how do you know if the program is working? 

All coaches start by setting SMART goals with their clients. It is also our job to drive the behavioural change needed to get a client from their current state to their desired state. In order to assess whether we are tracking in the right way we need to track DATA! This means more than tracking just calories through MyFitnessPal, but rather tracking ALL results! 

TRACKING is essential to keep clients accountable to their goals and is going to be a surefire way to assess whether your nutrition program is working for your client. At Clean Health we use the Bio-Feedback System which includes all key markers of physical and mental health. Biofeedback is a mind–body technique in which individuals learn how to modify their physiology for the purpose of improving physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health.

1. Physical Measurements:
Here we’re looking at items that can be MEASURED, so stats such as body fat percentage, weight, girth measurements. This is often the first point of call where clients look to for results and change. When they start a new program, clients often want INSTANT results and look to measurements as a gauge of success. It is important to remember that measurements do NOT tell the FULL story and are only one part of the fat loss and results equation!

2. Progress Photos:
If a client is following their nutrition program closely, you should see changes to their progress photos whether they are aiming for muscle gain (in a building phase) or fat loss (in a calorie deficit). Even minor changes week to week add up in the bigger scheme of a clients progress so being able to look back from week 12 to week 1 and observe incremental changes can be a great way to help remind your client of how far they’ve come.

3. Lifestyle Factors:
Energy levels, stress, sleep quality and duration and libido! All of these things matter when it comes to ensuring our client is NOT succumbing to metabolic adaptation and diet fatigue. If sleep quality starts to decline, energy levels fall and stress is on the rise – we can often make correlations to a clients progress (or lack therefore)! Remember recovery is JUST as important as a client sticking to their training and nutrition program so ensuring that they are maintaining a well balanced lifestyle can ensure their program will be complied to.

4. Nutrition Compliance:
If a client is compliant, tracking their program closely and noticing results, they are going to not only enjoy the process more but will be MORE favourable to changes you make as they’ve also now gained respect and trust for your program. 

5. Training Compliance:
Here, again, tracking and compliance come hand in hand. We measure a clients enthusiasm to their training sessions, their energy levels and compliance to their step targets. This is going to effect how well they are following their nutrition program as this will effect their energy expenditure. 

It’s important to understand that bio-feedback isn’t just a tracking tool as it’s also a good way to bring it back home for clients if they ever get frustrated with their program because when it comes to programming and coaching clients it is a two way street and your clients have to meet you halfway!

People often don’t notice small changes in results, even the kinds that add up which is what often leads to frustration when the last 500 grams don’t budge. This is when keeping weekly bio-feedback check-ins with your client helps you explain to your frustrated client just how far they’ve come! It’s also important to note that not ALL progress is going to be evident on the scales… This is often the first place our clients will look to to gauge their progress.

Biofeedback markers as well as photos are crucial elements that we need to look at to measure progress as this can often reveal MORE progress than the scales can. Learn more about using biofeedback markers to track progress by enrolling into the Performance Nutrition Coach Certification Level 1 online course! Click here to enrol now!

References:

  1. CHFI. (2020). Performance Nutrition Coach Level 1. Clean Health Fitness Institute.
  2. 2. Frank, D.L. , Kiffer, J.F., Khorshi, L., Moravec, C.S., McKee, M.G. (PhD). (2010). Biofeedback in medicine: who, when, why and how? Mental Health in Family Medicine. 7(2), 85-91. Retrieved from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2939454/

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