The work of nutritionists and trainers goes far beyond facilitating weight loss. Some clients will come to you because they need a practical and effective strategy for fuelling their high-energy lifestyle.
People who are athletes, recovering from illness, or have a medical need to gain weight, will require more calories as well as education on how to best obtain them. Here are the most important things to consider:
1. Understand Their Energy Needs
Helping your client understand their energy needs is the first step to empowering them to achieve great nutrition. While counting calories isn’t necessarily the best way to design a healthy diet, it is a starting point for many people.
Teach clients to take their body size and activity level into consideration when deciding how much to eat. For example, a person who works out at moderate to high intensity for 1 hour each day will require about 20 calories per pound of body weight. If weight gain is required, they will need to eat even more than their energy needs indicate.
Together you will decide what level of energy intake is perfect for them.
2. Teach Them That Food Choices Matter
Even if clients are hitting their calorie targets, they can still choose low-nutrient foods that will leave them undernourished. A healthy diet must emphasize vegetables, fruits, lean proteins, healthy fats, and whole grains.
Clients will also have individual macronutrient needs. Be sure that their diet provides the right level of carbohydrates to support activity, protein to support lean muscle, and healthy fats for healthy cells.
Whole foods are naturally more nutrient-dense than processed foods, so teach your clients to eat a diet of at least 80% whole foods. Ensure you also teach them to enjoy life and that there is always room in a healthy diet for the foods they love.
3. Encourage Frequent Meals
Individuals with high energy needs often need to eat more than 3 times per day. Eating 5 times per day works for many, with 3 larger meals and at 2 smaller meals or snacks.
Help them schedule their days to take advantage of “eating opportunities.” If they have busy mornings, provide make-ahead recipes that will prevent them from skipping breakfast.
4. Make It Simple and Fun
Eating a high energy diet can be a lot of work between shopping for a larger volume of food, preparing recipes, and eating frequently. Many people resort to eating the same foods over-and-over, or give up and become restaurant-dependent.
As the professional, it’s your job to create a plan they will enjoy and stick to. Provide easy recipes that taste great, give them a grocery list to accompany meal plans, and help them schedule their meal prep and meal timing.
- 7 days of nutrient-dense and energy-dense meals
- 3 large meals with 2 hearty snacks each day
- Daily calories start at 2,100-2,400 with the ability to add as needed
- An itemized grocery list
- An easy-to-follow-prep guide
- High protein recipes providing 110-135 grams of protein daily
As always, our done-for-you High Energy Diet can be modified for each client’s individual calorie and macronutrient needs. It comes branded with your own logo and offers high value to your clients.