How to support healthy eating in your clients? - FitWell Content

Ways to Support Healthy Eating Habits in Clients

Behavior Change Blog Reading Time: 8 minutes
BY: jacob wildman

Many fitness professionals are former or current athletes, and they have certain skills in nutrition correction, which they learn from experience. And they are trying to transfer this experience to work with the client.

If the client has no problems with health, as a rule, this approach gives a result. If there are contraindications and restrictions, you can get the opposite effect pretty soon.

Therefore, relying only on personal nutritional correction experience, implement recommendations in life gradually even if the client claims to lose weight as quickly as possible by any means. The ideal option is when the coach in the fitness business takes a course in wellness consulting and nutrition. This gives them a number of advantages in working with a client. But you should remember that you should not insist on the particular diet for your clients. You will achieve the best results if the client consults with the doctor first.

The psychology of healthy eating habits

Health and fitness are absolutely connected. But, nutritional problems are often associated with psychology, particularly how one attitudes toward oneself. Eating is fun and rewarding for our brain. So, the less we love and care for ourselves, the more likely we are to have difficulty eating.

Guilt, self-loathing, fears, chronic stress, perfectionism – all this is reflected in what and how we eat. Therefore, according to the psychologist, it is necessary to correct your attitude toward yourself, establish adequate self-esteem, the ability to accept yourself and your features, life as it is, and not try to be absolutely perfect.

In addition to knowing how to calculate portions and balance your menu most effectively, it is helpful to take into account the psychological aspect and ensure the right approach to changing your healthy eating habits. Whatever the purpose of the diet is – the realisation of the desire to lose weight or improve well-being, it is crucial to develop the right attitude towards the problem.

However, every fitness professional can change their client’s eating habits.

stay slim

7 ways to change the body shape and stay slim

  • A hearty breakfast or a hungry morning

Those who skip breakfast pay for the bad habit by eating 40% more sweets and 55% more sugary drinks while eating 45% fewer vegetables and fruits than those who leave the house full in the morning. Researchers at the University of Minnesota published an analysis of survey data that found that people who ate breakfast every day gained an average of 4 pounds less than those who habitually skip breakfast.

Another danger lies in the 27% increase in the risk of cardiovascular disease. So, we make it a rule to start the morning with healthy food. 

  • Adagio or Allegro

Chew more slowly. Too fast food consumption does not allow the hormone responsible for the feeling of fullness to be produced, and here it’s not far from overeating.

People who eat mindfully and tastefully consume 4 kcal less per hour and still feel fuller, although they eat much less. Conclusion: often put off the fork and knife while eating. 

  • Romance or gluttony

Soft lighting and pleasant music at dinner create a romantic atmosphere and increase self-control.

Scientists have found that it is enough to eat this way for a year to lose weight by 5-10 kg effortlessly.

  • Buckwheat noodles

Why buckwheat? Because it has more protein and a sufficient amount of the amino acid lysine compared to other cereals. So, they are usually used for healthy eating.

Also, buckwheat is rich in magnesium, which regulates blood pressure and dietary fiber, beneficial for both digestion and a slim figure.

No wonder the Japanese love buckwheat noodles: they are tasty and satisfying. This product is able to raise the level of the hormone dopamine, which impacts positively on motivation and motor activity.

  • Orange or glass of juice

Juice has 45% more calories, mostly from sugar, but the fruit is far more satiating than juice without pulp (i.e., fiber, in fact).

With oranges, it’s even more difficult. Fitness professionals and nutritionists believe that the benefits of these citrus fruits are much higher than even freshly squeezed juice.

Before we eat a fruit, we clean it and, willy-nilly, first feel its aroma, and then its taste, which turns into a different sensory experience, unlike a second thoughtless sip of juice.

  • Espresso or cappuccino

Nutritionists have noticed that what kind of coffee you prefer can say a lot about your habitual calorie intake level. A cup of espresso (100 ml) contains only 2-4 kcal. Coffee with milk already has about 40 kcal, with sugar – almost 60.

  • Mint or nighttime snack

Due to its strong and distinctive taste, mint suppresses appetite on a physiological level. It is enough to drink mint tea, chew a few fresh leaves or brush your teeth with the mint paste.

However, scientists warn: that neither a glass of mojito nor mint chocolate gives such an effect.

support your clients

Support your clients in changing eating habits to healthy

Each fitness professional needs to form the right attitude of the client toward proper nutrition. There are a lot of reasons why a person can give up on their own health. Someone is used to not healthy eating while stressed, and others are too lazy to take care of themselves. If a person has realised the need for life changes and has firmly decided to form the right attitude towards their diet, help them psychologically.

Use a few steps to support your clients and guide them to proper nutrition:

  • Awareness of the problem is the first step toward solving it. This happens at the subconscious level, and the fitness professional’s task is to pull out all the bad things from the subconscious and place them in the consciousness. So, the client can recognise the problem and come to terms with the need to solve it.
  • Teach the client to distinguish between physical and emotional hunger. Every time they stand near the refrigerator, they should ask themselves: does the body really want to eat, or does the brain, suffering from negative emotions, ask for it?
  • Keep a food diary. This is a handy and necessary item. Advice your client to record in detail everything that a person ate in a day. So they can quickly calculate calories, proteins, fats and carbohydrates, as well as see what is missing in the diet and what needs to be removed.
  • Find solace elsewhere. It is essential to be able to replace the stress-eating habit with another, healthier one. For example, instead of the usual sandwich for a snack, drink a glass of water or green tea.

These tips will help the client better understand themselves and their goals and follow healthy eating habits.

healthy eating

How to help clients to follow healthy eating habits:

  • make clients aware of the rules of a rational, balanced diet;
  • explain the basics of metabolism, the role of nutrients for energy, and what imbalance can lead to;
  • talk about food groups that should be included in the daily diet focusing on food the customer likes, and they are more willing to adopt healthy eating habits;
  • make your client analyse the nutritional information available on food packages as it is one of the easiest ways to determine how healthy a product is;
  • learn health-promoting cooking techniques;
  • make the customer use of mobile applications designed to monitor and correct the diet;
  • discuss the composition and effects of sports nutrition and dietary supplements, convey to clients the opinion of scientists on these issues;
  • assist with diet planning and calorie intake. In this case, the coach must consider the customer’s physical condition and the instructions of their physician to form a client’s healthy eating habits. It is necessary to convey to the client the idea that all the trainer’s advice is not mandatory but advisory. It is not a doctor’s recommendation and, if possible, should be agreed with the physician. The diet compiled by the trainer should be taken solely as an example – the choice of specific products is the responsibility of the client;
  • help put into practice the principles of a rational, balanced diet and the doctor’s instructions (if any). For example, to give advice on dietary intake and the number of meals, the purchase and preparation of food, ways to control the caloric intake, etc.

Fitness coaches can discuss healthy eating with clients during personal consultations, group sessions or seminars. You can use handouts (booklets, leaflets), conduct cooking demonstrations, make educational purchases of products, etc.

In order to competently cover the listed points, it is necessary to maintain your qualifications through education and self-education. The trainer must know modern scientific ideas and the scientifically-based nutritional standards for different population groups.

FAQ

Proper nutrition does not consist of controlling calories and rigid diets but providing the body with a complete diet, which includes all the products it needs: meat, cereals, vegetables, and fruit. The selection of a diet is one of the main tasks in proper nutrition, as well as following it daily.

If you do everything to be healthy, then your body will definitely thank you for it. Proper nutrition reduces the risk of developing many diseases, which means that the quality and life expectancy increase markedly.

Coaches can educate their clients about the basics of nutrition without a special license. In most cases, coaches can generally talk about nutrition to support healthy clients’ broad health and fitness goals.

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