Some advice on things to consider when working with your weight loss clients.
Smart exercise prescription.
The goal of weight loss is not absolute weight loss. A person who loses 50lb running and 50lb weight lifting looks entirely different. The goal should be fat reduction and increasing lean muscle mass. The best way to do this is to be on a strength program like Starting Strength, Wendler, or a program that correlates with what level they are on. Make sure they are getting stronger!
Also Read: Noom is a weight loss app that provides access to a health coach and a personalized weight loss plan.
Have client weight themselves every morning
Research shows that people who weigh themselves every day lose more weight. One thing to watch out for is being obsessed with the scale. It is your job not to let them get to that point. Let them know that a person’s water weight fluctuates daily and to expect for it to go up and down and that you are more concerned with the overall picture of all the measurements over time.
Respond to food logs multiple times a week.
Clients need to know you are reading their food logs and keeping them accountable. They should be submitting a food log daily or weekly. Don’t overlook this because it sounds tedious. This is important because it’s your best tool in dietary compliance.
Every person who wants to lose weight has their motivation. For example, I have a client who has 2 kids in grade school. Last year when on vacation she wasn’t able to hike with the family. Fast forward to this year, at 5’2 she has gone from 188 to 135 pounds. This year she was able to participate in all the family activities. Her motivation was her kids so every once in a while I would remind her why she was doing this. Find your client’s motivation and remind them of it because it was to lose sight of that in the daily grind.
Don’t expect perfection.
Changing a person’s lifestyle choices is a long process. Expecting to have everything dialed in from day 1 can add even more stress to the process. If they mess up don’t chastise them. But also, find that balance between too lenient.
Be a source of motivation.
This should go without saying, but when a person looks at you they should think I want to be like that. When was the last time you weren’t to a dentist with bad teeth?
Be fastidious about measurements.
We are in a results-driven business. People pay for a service to help them make changes in their life. One of the best ways we have to show them that what they are doing is working is to track progress. We recommend the following:
Before starting – Weight, BF%, circumference measurements, pictures (front, side, back), resting heart rate, BMI, blood pressure, and if they are willing blood tests.
Weekly – Weight
Monthly – Weight, Pictures, Circumference measurements, BF%
Finished program – All measurements again
Record weight weekly.
Have a weigh-in weekly. It’s a simple way to track progress on a micro-scale and adds another level of accountability to progress.
Friends, Family, and coworkers.
Make sure that the client has their friends and family involved. These are the people who they go out with, socialize, and eat. If they know that your client has goals they will help them accomplish them.
Give them everything.
Seriously. Your clients validate your profession. Be there whenever they need you. Be dedicated to their cause. Your client’s success goes hand in hand with yours.