Nutrition is fairly simple when your clients are in a good rhythm–following a routine, buying the same food, cooking the same recipes, and going to the same grocery stores week after week. But what happens if something changes to that routine, i.e., they are forced to stay at home for an extended period? While it may seem like all hope for progress is lost, there are several things you can do to keep your clients progressing towards their nutritional goals during an extended time at home.
With your clients’ routines out of sorts it’s easy for them to forget about the basics of a healthy lifestyle. This is a great time to reiterate and educate them on the OPEX Basic Lifestyle Guidelines (BLGs). Following these guidelines and implementing a simple change like eating away from screens can mean the difference between finishing a meal when satiated or unconsciously forcing down another serving of risotto. Small changes like this can make a big difference when your clients’ daily movement is lower than normal and they have additional work stress. Learn how to coach the BLGs for yourself in this free coaching course.
While this time of uncertainty can be just that, a great way to keep your clients progressing towards their goals is to have them stock up on quality foods over highly processed non-perishables. Encourage your clients to seek out healthy, freezer-friendly, and shelf-stable options when going to the grocery store, instead of overly processed pantry items. Healthy alternatives can include frozen cuts of lean protein, vegetables, fruits, shelf-stable fats, and starches like rice or beans if tolerated.
Most restaurants and public spaces are closed at the moment, so this is a great time for your clients to cook their own meals. Home cooked meals tend to be healthier because it is easier to control the quality of the ingredients and limit excess calories from oils and sauces. Another benefit of having your clients cook their own meals is improved digestion. The act of thinking about and smelling food before its consumption produces saliva and begins the digestive process. Tie this in with chewing 20+ times and your clients might see more results than they expected from this time at home.
With the extra time clients currently have, it’s a great opportunity to teach them how to meal prep. This will pay dividends when they return to their normal routines. Since your clients are already preparing and eating meals at home this is a great time to practice. Start with small steps like having them batch cook a protein in the slow cooker, roast a bag of sweet potatoes, prep multiple breakfasts at a time with a casserole, or simply write out what a week of meal prep could look like. This is also a great time to have them experiment with new recipes and methods of cooking. Building this skill set now is a great use of time and will give your clients something else to focus on.
Ever heard the saying “abs are made in the kitchen”? While not every client is chasing a six-pack, this extended period of time at home is a great opportunity to develop nutritional skills that will support their health and fitness goals for years to come. You can help incite this change by providing them with the right mix of education, challenge, and support. Learn how you can start coaching your clients to develop successful nutritional habits in our free coaching course, The Coach’s Toolkit. Start today and learn how you can immediately support your clients with holistic coaching.