Traditionally, success is rooted in biometric changes.
Many of our clients come to us with specific goals that are tied to increases or decreases in our body composition – our weight, our body fat percentage, our waist/hip/thigh circumference.
When focusing on the biometric changes, we can become short-sighted and lose perception of other changes that are taking place during the nutrition coaching process – performance goals, better sleep, happier mood, increased energy, healthier habits…and more!
So when a nutrition client comes to me with a non-biometric goal, I know it will be easier to keep them engaged and motivated. I know this because I have the same goals.
Here is why I turned my goal setting from biometric to non-biometric in nature:
The results don’t reflect my efforts….
The hardest part is when a client feels their efforts are not truly represented by the results of their measurements.
Imagine how hard that is on a client – someone that is following through with the action steps you set for them, working hard and making time to adopt new behaviors and then NOT seeing the progress they expect during follow up appointments.
I believe that, at times, our bodies have a mind of its own.
That despite the workouts, the meal prep, the hydration, the portion control and stress relief, the numbers refuse to budge. Instead of focusing on how we feel from practicing healthy nutrition habits and self-care, now we are focused on the number and how they aren’t changing.
“What am I missing? What did I do wrong? I’m failing!” are just some of the thoughts going through your client’s head.
For some clients, it will take more time to see the results they hope to see and if their primary goal is biometric changes, then keeping them motivated during that stagnate period can be very difficult.
If we instead look to non-biometric success – how is their energy? Their mood? Bowel movements? Performance in a workout? – they will feel like they are SUCCEEDING and are more likely to charge confidently forward.
I want to be a good role model ….
Measuring success by what the scale says means, weighing yourself often.
For clients with children, especially pre-teen and teen girls, this isn’t always the best message to be sending.
I am hyper-aware of showing positive self-talk and highlighting what my body can DO instead of how much it WEIGHS or what I feel it LOOKS like.
Spreading self-love and body positivity is essential to combat contradictory messages from other sources.
Happiness is not reflected on the scale!
My weight doesn’t translate to tangible success ……
Looking at weight loss as a side effect INSTEAD of the primary goal is a huge lightbulb moment for clients.
Thinking, “my goal is to eat two handfuls of veggies with every lunch and dinner” and further “as a side effect of me nailing that habit, my bowels will be more regular, I’ll be more satisfied between meals, I’ll feel better and eventually the scale will reflect my efforts!”
A better example might be how to measure how a client feels in a certain outfit – an exercise outfit, their favorite work ensemble, a fancy dress or suit for an upcoming special occasion.
While we’re not measuring weight and body fat, we are seeing progress in their confidence wearing a piece of clothing.
THIS is success.
What does losing 10lbs mean? On its own, what impact does losing 10lbs have on someones’ quality of life or happiness?
- BUT, being lighter so there is less strain on an injured knee, is huge.
- Wearing a favorite pair of jeans that have sat in the back of the closet for years, is huge.
- Having the energy to play with your kids after work instead of crashing on the coach, is huge.
THIS is success to your client! This positively impacts their quality of life.
These should be their goals and a side effect of these amazing goals is….the weight loss, the body fat loss, the inches gone.
For performance clients, their goals should be rooted in fine-tuning movements or increasing capacity for workouts. THAT is success to them, a side effect of those goals would be an increase in lean muscle mass, perhaps a decrease in body fat, and an increase in certain measurement points