The Fitness Zone
One of the most important aspects of healthy nutrition is meal prepping. If you’re a nutrition coach or health coach, providing your client with a meal plan can be a powerful tool to keep them on the path to wellness. For clients who want to achieve optimum health, burn fat, or make healthier food choices, eating well is important but it can also pose a challenge. In order to help keep them from falling off track and to stay aligned with their health goals, teaching your clients to meal prep is essential.
Why is meal preparation important?
They say that “abs are made in the kitchen”, and while this may seem like a dated analogy it’s essentially true. Proper meal preparation helps you to make healthy choices throughout the day, even when you’re busy or short of time. By preparing healthy meal plans, clients can save time and make more nutrition-based choices that will encourage their fat loss progress.
Knowing when to eat, what to eat, and how much to eat makes a huge difference for clients looking to make informed choices when it comes to their nutrition, as well as build a long-term habit of eating healthier and smarter.
Meal preparation better equips clients to deal with temptations by eliminating the need to impulse buy foods or snacks on-the-go, it gives them full control over food portions and ingredients, and it helps to support their existing wellness and fitness plan. To achieve fitness goals, nutritional practices must be aligned in order to support these achievements.
It is common for clients to get off track with their diet plan simply because they aren’t prepared. Meal planning helps clients to achieve real results and adopt healthier eating habits. Therefore, it’s so important to teach them how to do their own meal planning. By equipping clients with this knowledge and informing them of the advantages of meal planning, it will set them up for long-term success and new healthier habits.
4 ways to teach your clients to meal prep effectively
One of the biggest complaints clients have when it comes to meal planning is that it’s ‘too time-consuming’ or that they aren’t compliant with their meal plans. This is often followed by the fact that clients are too busy or aren’t enjoying the foods in their plan. If you want to train your clients to prepare effectively and to love the meal plan you prescribe, there are a few things you can do:
1. Prepare a meal planning guide
A meal planning guide is a resource to teach clients how to meal prep on their own. These guides also come with blank templates or calendars for them to fill in along with a range of recipes or sample meal plans they can take inspiration from. This is a perfect solution for clients who need some extra guidance in order to help them to plan more effectively and to develop the habit of writing and carrying out their own meal plans.
2. Schedule a ‘meal prep’ day
To deal with the overwhelm of meal planning, it’s a good idea to help your clients choose a scheduled day to meal prep. For clients working a traditional Monday to Friday week, they may prefer scheduling a Sunday afternoon to meal prepping, while others may only have a couple of hours during the week to spare. Planning ahead will take away any unnecessary stress and allow clients to assess what groceries they have and what they need to buy.
3. Provide a variety of recipes
A repetitive meal plan can be boring or dissatisfying for clients. In order to choose the right recipes and meals for your client, you should ask them their likes and dislikes, how much time they prefer to schedule when it comes to cooking and provide them with a list of recipes to suit their needs.
4. Customize meal plans to suit the client’s lifestyle
Understanding your client’s lifestyle can be a big help when it comes to drawing up a meal plan that they will stick to. If your client is finding their busy schedule makes it hard to prep meals, you can focus on making meals that are freezable or microwavable.
Customize meal plans to include healthy snacks they can reach for on-the-go or at work and educate them on how to choose the healthiest options when dining out or ordering lunch. If your client is shift work such as a doctor or nurse, for example, focus on batch-cooking and schedule a time to meal prep each week so that making healthy choices is easier and doesn’t take away their precious downtime.
Get qualified as a Nutrition Coach
Ready to kick off your journey as a professional nutrition coach? Sign up to our Nutrition Coach course. The Nutrition Coach course is online and has been designed to empower fitness professionals to be better equipped to provide current nutrition information to clients within their scope of practice.
Using the latest evidence-based principles, students will learn nutrition for optimal health at every age, for weight management, and for performance and muscle growth.