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Written by Lauren Irvine

As easy as it would be to tell your clients to follow their nutrition plans every day, regardless of whether or not they have social events, it’s not always a realistic expectation. Studies show that a client’s ability to adhere to their diet is an important factor to determine the long term success of their weight loss.

So, how can you ensure your clients still able to stay compliant if they have a social event coming up?

PLAN AHEAD
If your client has a social event coming up where there’s likely to be the overconsumption of food and alcohol, going in without a plan is setting them up to fail. Additionally, telling them to simply abstain from eating or drinking while at the event could end in them throwing in the towel and indulging in way more than if they had a plan going in.

INCREASE CALORIES
Attending social events can be important for your client’s wellbeing and may even be a part of their job. A simple strategy to implement for your client so they can still stay on track towards achieving their goals is to manipulate their calories around the event.

For example, if your client was dieting on 1800 calories per day and their birthday was coming up, you could increase their calories to 2250 for the day of the event. For the following three days you would bring their intake down to 1650 calories, before they resumed dieting at 1800 calories. At the end of the week, they would still have the same weekly average intake while still being able to enjoy their birthday!

ENSURE ADEQUATE PROTEIN INTAKE
There’s nothing more disastrous for a client who is currently dieting, to walk into a social event filled with indulgent foods on an empty stomach. Ensuring that their meals in the day leading up to the event are filled with plenty of protein, fiber and vegetables to keep them satiated and “feeling full” will avoid them becoming ravenous and losing control after one bite.

HAVE MEALS PREPPED FOR THE DAY AFTER
When you wake up after a late night of eating and drinking alcohol, it can be tempting to order a greasy meal for breakfast, followed by a large lunch and probably pizza for dinner! Your clients likely won’t feel like cooking, so encouraging them to prep their meals ahead of time and have them ready to go for when they start to feel hungry can be a great way to keep them on track.

DRINK PLENTY OF WATER
Ensuring your client consumes enough water before, during and after any social event can help with their diet adherence because water intake can reduce the feeling of hunger and help to prevent the overconsumption of food. Additionally, if your client chooses sugar free soft drinks or sparkling mineral water over a glass of wine or beer, this can assist them further to stay within their calorie intake.

At the end of the day, being able to educate your clients on how they can participate in and enjoy social events without waking up feeling guilty the next day will go a long way in ensuring client compliance over the long term.

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REFERENCES
Gibson, A. A., & Sainsbury, A. (2017). Strategies to Improve Adherence to Dietary Weight Loss Interventions in Research and Real-World Settings. Behavioral Sciences, 7(3), 44. https://doi.org/10.3390/bs7030044Dennis, E. A., Dengo, A. L., Comber, D. L., Flack, K. D., Savla, J., Davy, K. P., & Davy, B. M. (2009). Water Consumption Increases Weight Loss During a Hypocaloric Diet Intervention in Middle-aged and Older Adults. Obesity, 18(2), 300–307. https://doi.org/10.1038/oby.2009.235