The Fitness Zone

How to Teach Your Clients to Meal Prep

Feb 14, 2022 | by AIF

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 can also pose a challenge. In order to 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 on time. It’s a ‘forewarned is forearmed’ situation: if you know there’s a danger of making poor food choices due to low time and low energy later in your day or week, you can mitigate this risk by pre-planning meals and snacks for those times. By preparing healthy meal plans, clients can save time and make more nutrition-based choices that will support their fitness or 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.

It is common for clients to come off the rails with their nutrition plans, however, simply because they aren’t prepared. Meal preparation better equips clients to deal with temptations by eliminating the need to impulse buy foods or snacks on-the-go (which are more likely to be highly processed), while also giving them full control over food portion sizes and ingredients. By aligning their nutritional practices with their training programs, clients are far more likely to achieve their stated health and fitness objectives.

It’s incredibly important, therefore, to teach clients how to do their own meal planning. By doing so, you will set them up for long-term success with sustainable healthy 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. Another is that they just aren’t enjoying the meals enough to stick with their plans. If you want to train your clients to prepare effectively, and to love the meals in their plan, 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 very useful 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 setting aside time on Sunday afternoons for meal prepping, while others may work weekends and find it easier to plan on a weekday. Planning ahead will take away any unnecessary stress and allow clients to assess what groceries they have and what they need to buy. In this way, meal planning can also reduce both food waste and grocery bills.

3. Provide a variety of recipe options

A repetitive meal plan can be boring and unsatisfying for clients – and make them far more likely to drop off the healthy eating wagon. 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 recipe options that match their responses.

4. Customise 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 does shift work, as a doctor or nurse for example, and finds their busy schedule makes it hard to prep meals, you may choose to focus on making dishes that can be made in large batches and then individually portioned and frozen, ready to be microwaved later.

Customise meal plans to include healthy snacks clients can reach for on-the-go or at work, and educate them on how to choose the healthier options when dining out or ordering lunch. By making it easier for clients to make healthy choices, while minimising the impact on their precious downtime, you can greatly increase their chances of adhering to their nutrition plans and to reaching their fitness and wellbeing goals.

Get qualified as a Nutrition Coach

Ready to kick off your journey as a nutrition coach? Sign up to our Nutrition Coach course. The Nutrition Coach course from the Australian Institute of Fitness equips fitness professionals with the skills to give clients up-to-date nutrition information, within their scope of practice.

Using the latest evidence-based principles, students learn nutrition for optimal health at every age, for weight management, and for performance and muscle growth.

With a major focus on motivational coaching skills, learn to empower clients to make great nutrition choices as part of a fit and healthy lifestyle.

Expand your nutrition knowledge – as well as the range of services you can provide to clients – with Nutrition Coach!

AIF

AIF

The Australian Institute of Fitness
The Australian Institute of Fitness (AIF) is the largest and longest established fitness training organisation in Australia, with purpose-built campuses in and around every major Australian city and expert course coaches nationwide - spanning fitness, massage and nutrition. The AIF qualifies more Personal Trainers and fitness professionals than any other provider in Australia, as well as offering a broad range of continuing education courses (CEC), upskilling resources and partnership programs for existing industry.

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Disclaimer: Where Certificate III in Fitness or Cert III/cert 3 is mentioned, it refers to SIS30315 Certificate III in Fitness. Where Certificate IV in Fitness or Cert IV/Cert 4 is mentioned, it refers to SIS40215 Certificate IV in Fitness. Where Certificate IV in Massage or Cert IV/Cert 4 is mentioned, it refers to HLT42015 Certificate IV in Massage Therapy. Where Diploma of Remedial Massage is mentioned, it refers to HLT52015 Diploma of Remedial Massage.

Important Information: As of 9th November 2021 SIS40215 Certificate IV in Fitness and SIS30315 Certificate III in Fitness have been replaced by SIS40221 Certificate IV in Fitness and SIS30321 Certificate III in Fitness. A transition period applies to enable currently enrolled students to fulfil their study goals and complete their qualification. The transition period concludes on 8th November 2022. If you have not completed all the requirements by this date you will be transitioned and enrolled into the replacement qualification SIS40221 Certificate IV in Fitness and SIS30321 Certificate III in Fitness. View the SIS40221 Master Trainer Program Flyer here. View the SIS30321 Certificate III – Fitness Coach Flyer here.