A client that wants to lose weight books a consultation with you. You research the client's profile meticulously. After intense effort, you design the perfect eating plan: optimal nutrition and low enough in calories.
You are very proud of your plan. You think that even accounting for occasional deviations (family dinners and parties) your patient will derive many benefits from this new routine.
Your client smiles and thanks you for your great advice. She says she will stick to it... and then she doesn't.
The situation described above is real. Even if you give the best advice in the world to your clients, many of them won't follow it – at least not accurately or consistently enough. Reasons vary:
- It's hard to acquire new habits
- It's hard to remember and stick to precise guidelines
- It's easy for clients to introduce small modifications in the plan (such as "just one cookie won't kill me") that destroy the overall benefits when combined
If someone is seeking your nutritional advice, it's safe to assume at least they have the intention to make changes in their lifestyle. Sadly, intentions are not enough in many cases to achieve desired results.
Your job as a nutritional therapist, health coach, or dietitian is to help patients achieve their dietary goals. Most nutritionists will provide advice based on a client profile. Yet, you can go one mile further.
Wouldn't it be amazing if you could track your clients' progress, review it at regular intervals, and provide feedback to ensure goals are achieved?
There is enough evidence in psychology and dieting research to pretty much guarantee that acquiring a new eating routine is much easier with encouragement, support, and accountability to another person.
Here is how to implement this strategy in a practical way and for free
Reviewing your clients' food journals
It is very likely you know MyFitnessPal. It's a very popular calorie counter and diet/exercise journal. You can use it in your laptop, tablet, or smartphone.
What you perhaps didn't know is that MyFitnessPal allows you to add contacts as friends – in a similar way than Facebook.
When you add someone as a friend, you can check their meal journals, progress, etc. The feature was not originally intended for nutritionists to follow their clients, but nothing is stopping you from using it this way!
What you could achieve is to have many of your clients in the app, filling in their food journals regularly. Then, every week or so, you can review progress, see who is following the advice, and provide feedback as required.
Admittedly, using this app may be a bit cumbersome, time-consuming, and maybe some of your patients won't be up for it. However, it can work well for you and your clients; and it's free.
Using a client tracking system for nutritionists, such as MyFitnessPal's food and exercise journals can be an extra tool in your arsenal for ensuring client success.
Going the extra mile may cost you additional effort. However, I'm willing to bet this will be energy well spent. The more you invest in your clients' success, the better their results will be.
Happy clients come back more often, refer you to friends and family, write nice things about you online, and smile a lot (who doesn't like smiles). This sounds like a win-win situation for every party involved.
Finally, if you want to track even more information about your clients, maximise their chances of achieving their goals, and do it all in an effortless way; check our nutritionist software NutriAdmin.
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Thanks for reading.