Getting healthy and losing weight doesn't just happen once a year. Striving to be healthy should be something that lasts a lifetime. January 1 is often when people set out to embrace the mantra "new year, new me." However, planning for your healthy new year's resolutions can start now. Encourage your clients to incorporate these tips today to set themselves up for long-term success.
To ensure you're prepared to help clients build healthy nutrition habits, get certified with ISSA's Nutritionist program. You will learn how to use food as fuel and the psychological strategies in food selection and habits. Help clients get healthy in the gym and the kitchen.
Before making changes, it's important to know your starting point. Determine your current status. In what areas have you been slacking? Are you currently at a healthy weight? Have you been consuming a little too much junk food? It is critical to understand where you are starting to determine where you are going.
Determine your why. Why do you want to lose weight? Why do you want to eat better? If you don't know your why, it will be very easy to give up when the hard days come. And trust me, they will come. Maybe you want to lose the blood pressure medication. Maybe you're tired of getting winded when you climb the bleachers to watch your child's football game. Whatever it is, know your baseline. Know where you are today, and why you want a different tomorrow. A better tomorrow. Knowing this will help you create a plan to accomplish what you set out for.
We've all heard the saying "Rome wasn't built in a day." Likewise, your dream body and dream life can't be built in a day. Performance cars today can go from 0-60 mph in less than 5 seconds. Modern media promotes this 0-60 ideal when it comes to health and fitness. But going from 0-60 is abrupt. It doesn't lead to long term stability.
Building a solid foundation starts by setting healthy, attainable, and realistic goals. People often overextend themselves when setting goals. One way to make your goals achievable is to set SMART goals.
Your clients' goals should be specific and clear. If they aren't, it will be hard for your client to focus their efforts and stay motivated. Help your client understand what they want to accomplish and why it is important to them.
It's important for goals to be measurable. This allows your clients to track their progress and stay motivated.
Goals should be attainable and realistic. They should stretch your abilities while also remaining possible.
Setting relevant goals means setting goals that matter to you. Relevant goals will seem worthwhile to your clients. They will match their level of effort.
All goals need target dates. Having a deadline gives your clients something to focus on and work towards.
Having bigger SMART goals is great. But to avoid the 0-60 mentality, it can help to split bigger goals up into smaller more attainable ones. Setting smaller goals that transform into habits can lead to long-term success.
Writing down goals can be helpful. Write down both long term and short-term goals. An example of a long-term goal would be losing 20 pounds. Encourage your clients to then break this long-term goal up into smaller short-term goals. This would include what am I eating? How often am I exercising? Short-term goals are how your clients will achieve their longer-term goals.
It can also be helpful to set performance-related goals with your clients. Many people are often striving for a certain look or size. However, focusing only on the physical results can lead to discouragement. It can lead to frustration when the results don't come as quickly as you would like. It may benefit your clients' self-esteem and perspective to focus instead on performance. This could be getting their first pull-up or walking one mile without stopping. It's important to make sure that at the end of the day, there is something motivating them other than the scale and mirror.
The world of health and nutrition is always changing. There is something new trending almost weekly if not daily. It's important to educate yourself. Be aware of nutrition sources. Make sure your clients are seeking out safe science-based nutrition guidance. In the world of nutrition, knowledge is power. Encourage your clients to arm themselves with appropriate knowledge.
The nutrition industry has always been fast-moving. There is always new information. Many diet plans have gained attention for promoting healthy lifestyles and supporting weight loss goals, but they don't work for everyone.
Intermittent fasting has become a popular health trend because it has claimed to support weight loss and improve metabolism.
The paleo diet has become popular for those looking to reduce risk of heart disease and diabetes. Paleo eaters consume whole, unprocessed plants and animal foods such as meat, fish, eggs, veggies, fresh fruit, nuts, and seeds. Eliminating sugar in the paleo diet can lead to decreased water retention and long-term weight loss.
The keto diet is a diet high in saturated fat, moderate in protein, and low in carbs. More fat and fewer carbohydrates in the body sends the body into ketosis. In this metabolic state, the body is very efficient at burning fat and ketones for fuel. This can help with weight loss, lowering insulin levels, and improving blood sugar management.
While there are several diets that include healthy eating, it's important to find what works best for your clients. There is no one size fits all. Find a form of mindful eating that includes healthy food and supports physical activity.
Because the nutrition world is constantly changing there is no shortage of quick fixes out there and people sharing their "secrets" to success. Encourage your clients to be mindful of their sources. Help them seek out ways to focus on changing their overall lifestyle rather than quick non-permanent changes. There are no quick fixes that lead to long-lasting positive changes.
Water helps remove toxins in the body and flush out the system. It can also help with feelings of fullness. Oftentimes the body may misinterpret thirst for hunger. Staying hydrated can help prevent overeating when not hungry. The calories in your beverages do count. Alcohol, soda, and juices can add a lot of extra calories and unnecessary sugar to your client's diet. Encourage them to replace the soda with a glass of water and try adding some lemon or lime to add extra flavor.
Today people experience more stress than ever before. Sleep is necessary for our bodies to recover properly. Inadequate sleep can make you hungrier and trigger cravings for sugar, carbohydrates, and caffeine. Lack of sleep can also lead to an increase in cortisol levels. Cortisol is a stress hormone that can cause the body to store extra fat.
Losing weight can often start with getting enough sleep. Getting adequate sleep is an essential part of overall health. Focus on improving overall sleep quantity and quality. Encourage your clients to decrease their screen time before bed and set a regular sleep schedule. These changes towards healthier sleep will lead to an overall healthier lifestyle and support your client's goals.
A healthy lifestyle is all about finding a healthy balance.
Snacking is inevitable. But snacking can be healthy. Replace unhealthy snacks with nutritious whole food options. Cut up fresh fruits and vegetables to have easily accessible as a grab and go option. Buy some lightly roasted nuts of your choice to satisfy your salty cravings.
Eating healthy doesn't have to be an all or nothing. Depriving yourself of your favorite foods is not a long-term solution. It's important to find a healthy balance; everything in moderation. Avoid going to extremes. Very few people have the willpower to live in extreme mode all the time. Try out healthier alternatives to curb your sweet tooth. Bake with healthy fats like coconut oil or avocado oil. Swap out high fructose corn syrup and sugar for honey.
Helping your clients create a meal plan may help them reach their nutrition goals. It's often when we don't have a plan for dinner that the delivery pizza comes calling. By having a plan in place ahead of time, your clients can make healthy responsible decisions when they are short on time. Set a budget and determine macronutrient goals. Being prepared will help your clients stay on track toward their goals.
Your clients will face days when the motivation just isn't there. Finding a friend to work towards goals together can help with accountability. You can motivate each other and help pick each other up. Buddy up and go to the gym with, cook and share new healthy recipes together.
Creating a motivational mantra may help your clients stay motivated. Having something to repeat to yourself on the hard days can help your clients push through. Encourage them to write it on the mirror. Write it on their hand. Repeat it before meals or before starting a workout. Create a phrase that is encouraging and motivates your clients towards reaching the goals they set out for themselves.
One of the most encouraging things is seeing success in real-time. Help your clients determine how they will measure their success. There are several apps that can help track calories, exercise habits, water consumption, and more. Tracking healthy habits can provide daily proof to keep your clients motivated and accountable to their goals.
Progress pictures can be a helpful tool along the way as well. Your clients can also make note of how they are feeling. Do they have more energy throughout the day? Are they sleeping better? Are their clothes fitting a bit looser than they did before? Success doesn't have to only be measured by the number on the scale.
Your clients don't have to wait for the new year to start setting and achieving new goals. Encourage them to take steps now and get some goals in place. Help them brainstorm their long-term goals and how to break them into smaller achievable short-term milestones along the way. Whatever their goal happens to be, get a head start on making a firm resolution today.
Interested in learning more about nutrition and setting healthy goals? Check out the ISSA's Nutritionist Certification course.
By becoming an ISSA Nutritionist, you'll learn the foundations of how food fuels the body, plus step by step methods for implementing a healthy eating plan into clients' lifestyles.