“My clients don’t follow their plans.”
“I don’t know how to keep clients coming back.”
“I’m not 100% confident in my nutrition programs.”
We get it. You went to school for nutrition science, and applying that science with actual human beings who are a bundle of complex emotions (and excuses) is an art unto itself.
But don’t worry! It is possible to build nutrition plans that are effective, straight-forward and will ensure the success of both your clients and your business. To help you get there, we are going to reveal some of the most common mistakes we see practitioners making when creating nutrition plans, and what you can do to avoid making these mistakes yourself.
If you’re ready to take your nutrition plans to a whole new level, be sure to grab a free copy of our book: 4 Steps to Creating Awesome Nutrition Plans for Your Clients.
Mistake #1: You Assess Health Instead of Lifestyle
Do you view your clients as a complex puzzle you can’t wait to piece together? Do you thrive off of interpreting lab results, decoding symptoms, and uncovering hidden causes of chronic health ailments?
That’s not always a bad thing, but if that’s all you look at, you may miss a huge piece of the puzzle: the human being in the middle of it.
Let's say you see a new client, Bob, whose blood work shows that he is pre-diabetic. His cravings and energy problems are further proof of unstable blood sugar, and his diet diary reveals that every morning Bob’s breakfast of choice is a doughnut alongside the coffee he takes with two sugars.
The problem and solution might be very clear to you, so you suggest: “Bob, you need to start eating more protein at breakfast. Try some whole grain toast with avocado and poached eggs instead of that doughnut.”
But wait. What about Bob's lifestyle? If you dig deeper and ask more questions, you might realize that Bob hasn’t turned on his stove in over three months. He’s not comfortable in the kitchen and feels that he has no time for cooking.
Spoiler alert: Bob is not going to poach an egg.
Your recommendation to eat more protein and veggies at breakfast was correct, but without a lifestyle and meal planning assessment, you may not have given him the advice he needs to actually implement your advice.
Mistake #2: You Don’t Educate Enough
Research on human psychology shows people prefer to be asked to do something, rather than being told what to do. In addition, we are more likely to follow instructions when we fully understand why we are following them.
In practice, you can apply this information by thoroughly explaining the purpose behind every change you want your clients to make. Use analogies, diagrams, videos, and any other educational resources you can to teach your client how their body works and how they can keep it healthy.
Before adding any recommendations to your client's nutrition plan, be sure to ask: “how do you feel about making this change?”. Put the ball in their court and give them a chance to let you know if something isn’t realistic for them right now.
Engaging education can lead to fewer canceled appointments, better compliance, and happy, empowered clients, which are key ingredients for a successful practice.
To see a sample nutrition plan with clear recommendations, grab a free copy of 4 Steps to Creating Awesome Nutrition Plans for Your Clients.
Mistake #3: You Overwhelm Your Clients
If you’re handing your clients nutrition plans packed with food recommendations, lab tests to get, supplements to buy, and lifestyle changes to make, you may be overwhelming them. When your clients can’t follow their plan, they get discouraged and embarrassed, making them more likely to avoid you.
So how many recommendations should you be giving in your plan?
Try to limit yourself to three changes or recommendations per appointment. Keep your recommendations simple so your client will succeed and be proud to report their progress!
Don’t be afraid to schedule more frequent follow-ups so you can build on progress add more recommendations. Your clients are paying you to make it fun and simple so they can succeed.
Mistake #4: You’re Not Providing The Right Resources
If your client's aren't achieving their goals, you may want to look at the quality of the plan. Are you giving your clients the tools and resources they need to implement your advice?
Here are some additional resources you may want to include with your nutrition plans:
- Meal Plans
- Shopping Lists
- Prep Guides
All of these resources can be created in minutes when using That Clean Life for Business. Instead of spending hours putting together resources, you can use That Clean Life to build beautiful plans with itemized grocery lists in minutes.
If you aren't into meal plans, create customized recipe books instead, and teach your clients how to use these recipes to do their own meal planning. You can also use our prep guides to help clients stay on-track with their cooking throughout the week.
Mistake #5: Not Providing Next Steps
Don’t expect your clients to book their follow-ups independently! Instead, be sure to set the follow-up schedule and let them know how often you will need to have appointments.
It’s also important to explain the purpose of each visit, what you will be covering, and what you’ll need them to do or bring for the next consultation. This way, clients will be less likely to cancel because they are already aware of the purpose and importance of that meeting.
Every consultation should end by setting a date for the next follow-up and letting your client know what you will be discussing at that time.
To see an example of a great nutrition plan, plus the exact framework we use to create nutrition plans that clients love to follow, check out our free book: 4 Steps to Creating Awesome Nutrition Plans for Your Clients.
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