You’re in the business of helping your clients achieve better results, right? Today more than ever, this requires educating them about the impact of their daily choices, and supporting the lifestyle changes that will enable them to achieve the results they really want.

We all know what this means: You must be able to help your individual clients eat what’s right for them personally, every day, at every meal. Nutrition is such a huge part of the fitness equation—and the big challenge is that proper nutrition is different for every person. Not surprisingly, this can get really complicated, especially when you’re working with multiple clients with a wide range of needs and goals.

How often do your clients ask you about what they should be eating? As a health and fitness pro who provides complete solutions, you have to answer that question in a way that enables them to get positive results. And you already know what doesn’t work:

  • Delivering a lecture (or a series of lectures) about calorie restriction
  • Embracing the latest fad diet
  • Experimenting with “magic” pills or powders
  • Letting someone else provide expert nutritional guidance, rather than offering that guidance as an integrated part the solution you deliver

It’s critical that you simplify and clarify things—there is so much conflicting nutritional advice out there and it can be a huge challenge to help clients identify what’s valid and apply it to their own lives. Here’s what will work: Having a scientifically valid solution that enables you to cut through the noise and provide authoritative nutrition guidance that is customized to the individual client.

An Authoritative Nutrition Program: Your Secret Weapon

When you can recommend a nutritionally sound, individualized program to your clients (and—this is important—still stay within your scope of practice), you’re a giant step ahead of your competitors. From a marketing perspective, it’s like having a secret weapon. At least that’s been the experience of ACE Certified Personal Trainer Benji Simonton, owner of Mobile Stable & Strong Fitness Solutions

Since he started using Evolution Nutrition, a nutrition-planning software program made specifically for health and fitness professionals (and offered to ACE members at a special discount), Simonton has seen two specific drivers affecting the growth of his business in positive ways. (Learn more about the Evolution Nutrition program here.) 

“Having a nutrition offering opened doors to a new pool of clients,” explains Simonton, including individuals who may be more focused on dieting (rather than exercise). Not only is this a great development for his business, it also gives him the opportunity to introduce the non-exerciser to the wide-ranging benefits of physical activity.

Plus, offering nutrition solutions has been a great way to deepen and enhance relationships with his existing clients.

“As they’ve become aware that I offer nutritional programming (through mentions of it in my email newsletter and social media channels), some of my clients have approached me about it,” says Simonton. “It’s a natural extension of the conversation we are already having about what works and what doesn’t. Only now I actually have a solution that really works, which is way better than just making suggestions.” 

What to Look for in Nutrition-planning Software

The two most important things to look for when choosing a nutrition-planning software program are that it offers customized programming based on the individual needs of the client and that it does not take you outside your scope of practice.

As a tool for growing his business, Simonton says that using nutrition-planning software has increased his credibility and stature as a total wellness resource. Evolution Nutrition, for example, was created by and for personal trainers and was designed to integrate with a health and fitness professional’s existing offerings. While it actually helps clients achieve better results, it also delivers several key advantages to health and fitness professionals as well:

  • It’s a real solution you can actually use. You don’t have to worry about being out of the scope or practice. Maybe you’ve tried in the past to refer clients to local registered dietitians for nutrition guidance. With Evolution Nutrition’s ACE Fitness Edition, you can quickly and easily provide real nutrition management and detailed meal plans, without going beyond scope, and without sending clients out the door to get what they need from someone else. It’s also a powerful resource to cut through the noise and focus (and refocus) your clients on the basics of good nutrition.
  • It’s a simple, easy-to-sell nutrition program. As the health and fitness industry evolves, selling programs instead of packages has emerged as a growing—and effective—trend. Simonton, for example, devised a 12-week progressive fitness challenge for his clients. The fitness component included TRX Suspension Training and Ultimate Sandbags, while the nutrition component featured Evolution Nutrition programming, including meal planning. According to Simonton, the results have been remarkable. One client, a bride-to-be, lost 20 pounds in eight weeks and said it was the easiest meal plan she ever followed. Two months after the wedding, the newlywed has continued to keep the weight off and is still using some of the recipes included in the program. Another client started the program at 230 pounds and after nine weeks, he was down 27 pounds.
  • You can build a stronger client base. What’s the key to getting more referrals? Helping your clients achieve great results. By combining your fitness expertise with solid nutritional support, you dramatically increase your clients’ probability of success. After all, you can’t out-train a bad diet. And successful clients are also more likely to remain committed clients—committed to you and to long-term behavior change.

As a health and fitness professional, there’s simply no better feeling than helping your clients successfully reach their goals. As you make plans to expand your business in the coming year, take the time to research and consider employing nutrition-planning software so you can offer your clients this often-missing component. By helping clients improve their health and well-being through better exercise and nutrition, you are creating a foundation for success that goes well beyond the short-term—for both your clients and your business.