As a health and fitness professional, you know an effective nutrition plan is an essential part of a comprehensive fitness program. Combining a progressive training program with an expert nutrition plan can dramatically improve client results, leading to everything from improved client retention to increased sales. The real secret is providing your clients with a healthful nutrition plan, not just another diet.
Disclaimer: In order to stay within your defined scope of practice, health and fitness professionals should only provide meal plans, nutrition information and nutrition guidance to clients using approved nutrition software or upon the recommendation and under the supervision of a registered dietitian.
Diets are everywhere these days and everyone seems to be looking for the latest and greatest one to help them achieve their wildest health and fitness goals. That’s why, when clients and trainers think about a nutrition plan, they often think of diets, but these aren’t the same thing. While it’s true that the original meaning of the word “diet” was simply a way of eating, today’s common definition is something much narrower.
It’s time to shift our clients’ focus away from restrictive diets designed simply for rapid results. Instead, we need to offer clients easy-to-follow and sustainable nutrition plans designed to deliver results. This is the best way to help set up clients for success and obtain a multitude of health benefits long into the future.
Many diets, especially highly restrictive fad diets, commonly cut back or eliminate food groups and nutrients, which increases the risk of incomplete nutrition and associated deficiencies and side effects.
Nutrition plans, on the other hand, include a variety of foods and food groups without drastic restrictions. These plans focus primarily on nutrient-dense ingredients such as fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy, whole grains and lean proteins and include recommended ranges of the macronutrients: carbohydrates, fat and protein. In addition, nutrition plans promote portion control and the practice of eating in moderation. In scientific comparisons of eating plans, nutrient-dense ingredients stood out as having a significant impact on results.
Diets are often known for their rapid, short-term results. By dramatically restricting various nutrients or even food groups, the body quickly sheds pounds. While this can initially be motivational for clients, sustaining these results can be more difficult. Studies have shown that some diets can even be tied to weight gain. Neuroscientists believe this is due to the body’s natural instinct to survive during times of famine.
Nutrition plans often have less appeal in the short-term due to slower initial results. It’s the long-term results, however, that give these plans staying power. By focusing on small dietary changes, such as including more nutrient-dense foods in appropriate portion sizes, clients are able to gradually change their eating habits. These gradual and consistent changes have been shown to improve long-term results for both weight loss and weight maintenance over time.
Talk to any repeat dieter and you’ll hear stories of diet success followed by weight gain and yet another diet in a never-ending cycle. Diets, particularly those that are highly restrictive, are often only sustainable for a short period of time. Whether it’s a diet that’s difficult to fit into a client’s lifestyle, lack of support or the common stress-induced hunger and cravings, these diets can be difficult to maintain.
Nutrition plans, however, have been shown to be easier to sustain for the long term because they include room for all foods to varying degrees (the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics refers to this as the Total Diet Approach), making it easy to adapt to everyday life.
More and more, science is recognizing the importance of a sustainable nutrition plan over a short-term diet for weight-loss success and a wealth of health benefits. Be the leader with nutrition plans that support clients, their fitness plans and their goals, now and into the future.
Evolution Nutrition was built for you the fitness professional. With research showing the combination of nutrition and exercise being up to 400% more effective than exercise alone at producing and maintaining weight loss, there's simply no way around it; if you want your clients to succeed, you have to address their nutrition needs. Evolution Nutrition is on the leading edge of nutrition science and exercise physiology, and is the only ACE endorsed nutrition management software in the market. With access to over 700 meal plans and complete client management tools, you'll be the entire solution your clients demand, all while remaining within your defined scope of practice. See it today athttp://www.evolutionnutrition.com