Does this sound familiar . . .
A client comes to your office eager to take back control of their health. You conduct a thorough consultation and feel the tingling promise of real transformation hanging in the air.
Then after a few weeks . . .
You hear crickets. Either the client hasn’t followed up. Or they’re suddenly too busy to come in for their next appointment. Hmmm. What to do?
We’ve all been there.
And then there are the clients who do follow-up. But they just can’t seem to stick to the plan you’ve established. They have every intention to take their health back into their hands. But the change just isn’t happening.
It can be frustrating to watch a client on the brink of a life-changing transformation, frozen in place right before the success story that awaits them on the other side of your advice.
Here’s the good news. There are some tried-and-true tips to help your clients succeed at nutrition, and forge a journey that is motivating, inspiring, and relatively painless. Let’s take a look.
Assess + Actively Listen
The first consultation with a new client delivers you droves of information to set the tone for the journey ahead. Of course, you’ll use this time to gather goals and current food intake, so you can build out a customized program.
However, this first meeting is far more than just practical data gathering.
The best nutritionists use assessment to evaluate their client’s readiness for change.
Because the reality is, overhauling daily nutrition is an immensely personal aspect of your client’s life. And it is a step that is often accompanied by a heavy emotional charge . . . one that you must be aware of in order to remain in lockstep with them throughout their transformation.
Practice non-judgmental active listening by trying to get to the heart of your client’s feelings around food (and their ability to change their relationship with it.) The better you understand their starting point, the easier it will be to map out the road ahead.
Make Habit Building SMART
Rome wasn’t built in a day. And neither are new nutritional habits.
In fact, many of our clients have built their health empire only to watch it crumble time and time again before enlisting the help of a certified nutritionist.
But why do they stay on the dieting treadmill?
Because too many people take an all-or-nothing approach to their nutritional goals. You know what we’re talking about: the 30-day juice cleanse followed by a string of visits to the fast-food drive-thru.
We can all agree that it takes time for a new habit to cement. The best way to encourage real change?
Make habits SMART: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely.
For example, let’s say your client has a severe deficit of green vegetables in their current routine. Instead of forcing pounds of kale on them from day one, get them to commit to adding one serving of broccoli at dinner time for the first seven days of their journey.
By making goals SMART, you’ll help your client succeed at adopting a new lifestyle for the long haul.
Provide a Detailed Grocery List + Prep Guide
Do you ever find yourself wondering what really happens when your clients head to the grocery store? Are they loading up on fruits and veggies? Or have they bee-lined straight to those notoriously bad-for-you middle aisles?
Preparation is the key to success. And YOUR job is to prepare your client with as much information as possible from the very beginning. That includes both a detailed grocery list and a prep guide.
Make a checklist of foods they’re going to buy at the store as well as a prep guide that breaks down what steps they’ll take EACH DAY to follow your program with ease.
Don’t be afraid to get granular here. If they need to freeze the chicken on Monday and thaw it on Friday, include that information. Be specific.
Remember, you’re making nutrition a conscious practice for them. The more detailed you can be, the more supported they will feel along the way.
Sure, it’s a little more time-intensive for you as a nutritionist. But when your client starts seeing results and word-of-mouth spreads about your business, you’ll be grateful you put in the extra effort!
Focus On Meal Plans, Not Elimination Lists
What makes clients run for the hills?
An “eat this, never that” approach. When they have to sacrifice their favorite daily staples to make way for esoteric ingredients they can’t even pronounce you’re going to get some resistance.
If a client leaves their session with nothing but an elimination list that spells out everything they CAN’T eat moving forward, they’re likely to head straight into the dungeon of deprivation mode. And when we feel deprived as humans, our tendency is to claw our way out. In other words, cheat.
As a nutritionist, you’ll have a much better chance of helping your client succeed by providing them with meal plans. Show them exactly what they’ll do with their new list of go-to pantry staples.
This solves two problems for your clients:
- It helps take the guesswork out of their nutritional regimen, and
- It introduces health-filled foods in a fun, creative way.
You can even curate a personal recipe book to help motivate them on their path forward!
The more explicit you are about the exact meals they’ll be enjoying, the easier it will become for them to stick to your program.
Use a Nutrition Tracking App
You can give your clients all the advice in the world, and send them off with a thick wad of papers detailing the exact steps they’ll need to take to achieve their goals.
But the bottom line is this: if they don’t follow it, they’re not going to get results.
That’s where a solid nutrition tracking app comes into play. In fact, some nutritionists consider a good tracking app to be the most crucial component for real client transformation.
Because with the right tool for measuring daily nutritional intake, you and your client can remain connected. You’ll both be armed with the knowledge you need to understand what’s really going on and make appropriate adjustments along the way.
So which nutrition tracker is best? Designed specifically for health professionals, Cronometer Pro is the most accurate, comprehensive nutrition tracking app available today. Instead of sorting through mountains of data, the app provides a simple yet powerful interface for monitoring nutritional intake and adjusting programs in real-time.
While most nutrition tracking apps rely on consumer-reported data, Cronometer Pro works with verified sources that upload the most accurate information. That means you can confidently track every detail of what your client is eating, down to the micronutrient.
Even better, you’ll get easy-to-understand graphs of nutritional trends and digestible charts that give you instant access to your client’s health journey. You can sign up for a Cronometer Pro trial here.
From curated meal plans to professional nutrition tracking apps, you’re now fully equipped to make every first consultation into a life-changing success story for your client. And at the end of the day, there’s nothing more gratifying than knowing you’ve facilitated one of the most important transformations a person can make.