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New Plan? No Problem: When to Change Your Client’s Nutrition Goals

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We love to keep our clients in the loop about what we’re thinking as coaches. That’s where the magic of a coach/client relationship comes from, right?

Remember back when we shared some reasons why a nutrition plan may stay the same from week to week? Well, this one goes out to all the coaches who are looking for signs that they may need to make some shifts to their clients’ programs! Let’s dive in:

They’ve plateaued, even with optimal consistency.

Consistency looks different for every client. Maybe they’re counting their macros and aiming for precise targets, maybe they’re creating a balanced plate at each meal or maybe they’re just focusing on getting enough protein and veggies. No matter what, if your client has been crushing the consistency (for more than just a few days!) and things aren’t moving toward their goals in a measurable way, it may be time to switch things up!

Their goals change.

Your client’s nutrition plan needs to match their goals. If they’re looking to put on muscle, they may need to eat in a calorie surplus. If they’re cutting weight, they may need a calorie deficit. We know that our clients’ goals are fluid and that's the way it should be! Being in constant communication so you can shift nutrition accordingly is the key to maximizing progress.

They’ve switched up their daily activities.

Whether they’ve added a few more days of training, shifted exercise modalities or just started taking more steps each day, your client’s nutrition plan may need to change if their daily energy output changes.

Their current targets aren’t attainable.

You’ll see this most often when you are first establishing a relationship with your client, but it’s always great to keep an eye on this one! For example, if your client is coming from a very low-protein diet and you’d like to see them eating almost twice as much each day, this would be a big change to make at once.

Self-efficacy is one of the most important attributes you can support in your client and you can do this by meeting them where they are in their journey. If they’re consistently missing the goals you’ve outlined together you may need to make some shifts to that plan to keep them feeling strong and successful. As you build habits together, you’ll be able to make shifts toward those goals together.

They’re out of their normal routine.

A nutrition plan that doesn’t bend will break. If your client is heading out on a vacation, going on a business trip, going through a challenging time or doing anything that throws off their normal day-to-day routine, it may be necessary to make some shifts to their nutrition plan. Encourage them to use what they’ve learned when they are in their routine to handle whatever life throws their way. Make sure you create clear expectations together. 

Their dietary preferences change.

Clients may need to switch up their food sources from time to time. Maybe they’re giving keto a go or have discovered a food sensitivity. No matter what, we need to honor our clients’ choices and needs and this may mean making a shift to their nutrition plan. 

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Posted by Ali Macy
Ali is a born and bred Vermonter who fell in love with nutrition and fitness in her early 20’s and never looked back. She is a coach, blog editor and Program Lead for WAG with a BA in English Literature and a Master's in Nutrition and Human Performance.

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