Realistic Success! 3 Tips For Nutrition Coaches To Guide Their Clients In The Wellness Journey

featured image realistic success

As nutrition coaches, we see many of our clients embark on a journey driven by enthusiasm and a desire to achieve transformative change in the pursuit of health and wellness. However, this journey can sometimes be clouded by extremely unrealistic ideas regarding what realistic success looks like.

In this blog post, we discuss the pivotal role nutrition coaches play in steering their clients toward realistic success. We address the common pitfalls of unrealistic goals, the potential consequences for mental and physical well-being, and how informed holistic coaching can make a substantial difference in fostering sustainable progress.

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A Nutrition Coaches Role In Setting Realistic Goals For Their Clients

So many clients come to us with high motivation, rip-rearing, and ready to go! We LOVE that enthusiasm, and the fact the decision has been made to make some lifestyle changes. What we see more often than not is an aggressive start to the wellness journey that slowly fades to most people giving up because they are faced with challenges they don’t know how to overcome.

Our goal as nutrition and wellness coaches is to help these clients understand what realistic success looks like, and help them lay out a well thought out plan for getting started.

We have seen thousands of people for nutrition and wellness coaching. 98% of them want to lose weight, and have tried some type of diet! The fact is that “diets” do not work! A staggering 95% of people who go on a diet will regain the weight they originally lost, plus more in about two years.

What Causes Diet Failure?

Diet failure can result from various factors, often stemming from a combination of physical, psychological, and environmental struggles.

Let’s break down some common reasons why diets may not succeed:

#1 – Unrealistic Expectations

Setting goals that are overly ambitious or impractical is the #1 cause of failure! Doing so can lead to frustration and disappointment. Setting unrealistic expectations, such as rapid weight loss or drastic body transformations in a short period, always sets individuals up for failure.

Clients see successful weight loss at the beginning of the journey; however, over time, because healthy habits are not learned, motivation wanes. When that happens, because there are no simple habits formed, the diet fails.

#2 – Fad Diets and Quick Fixes

Engaging in fad diets or extreme, restrictive eating plans may yield quick initial results, but they are proven to be unsustainable in the long term. These trendy, restrictive eating plans typically focus on rapid weight loss rather than sustainable lifestyle changes. One of the primary reasons fad diets are considered harmful is their tendency to promote extreme restrictions on certain food groups, leading to nutritional imbalances and deficiencies.

These diets often lack the essential nutrients our bodies need for optimal functioning, potentially causing fatigue, weakness, and other health issues. Moreover, the restrictive nature of fad diets makes them difficult to maintain over the long term, frequently resulting in a cycle of yo-yo dieting—weight loss followed by regain.

Furthermore, many fad diets create an unhealthy relationship with food by labeling certain foods as “good” or “bad,” causing guilt and anxiety around eating. This black-and-white approach to nutrition ignores the importance of moderation and a balanced, varied diet.

#3 – Lack of Personalization:

One-size-fits-all approaches may not consider individual differences, lifestyles, and preferences. A diet that doesn’t align with a person’s unique needs and circumstances is less likely to be successful.

#4 – Holistic Approach

There are so many factors that play into what people choose to eat. It’s not just about what they are hungry for that day. Diets fail because they fail to address all the other factors that play into what clients choose to eat.

At HSN Mentoring, we teach our nutrition coaches a holistic coaching approach.

Factors that play into the Holistic Approach are:

  • Stress management

  • Sleep

  • Support system

  • Lifestyle

  • Exercise

  • Nutrition

healthy steps nutrition holistic approach wheel to help with a realistic success

#5 – Lack of Support And Accountability

Attempting to make significant dietary and lifestyle changes without a support system can be challenging. Having accountability from friends, family, or a nutrition and wellness coach, can greatly improve the chances of realistic success.

#6 – Unrealistic Restrictions

Diets that impose extreme restrictions on certain food groups or types can be hard to maintain. Depriving oneself of favorite foods can lead to feelings of deprivation, potentially triggering overeating or binging.

#7 – Lack of Education and Awareness

Limited understanding of nutrition and healthy eating may lead to poor food choices and the false understanding that diets are ok. Lack of awareness about portion sizes, nutritional requirements, and the impact of certain foods on overall health can hinder diet success.

Tip #1 - Help Clients Set SMART Goals For Exercise, Losing Weight And Living a Holistic Lifestyle

SMART Goals lead to an understanding of what realistic success looks like!

SMART Goals are a framework for setting and achieving objectives. The SMART acronym stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. This approach is widely used in various fields, including business, education, and personal development, to enhance goal-setting effectiveness.

Here’s a breakdown of each element:

  1. Specific: Clearly define what the clients want to accomplish. Make sure the goal is detailed and focused, avoiding vague or general statements. The more specific the goal, the easier it is to understand and work towards. For example, rather than setting a goal to add in exercise habits, have clients set a goal to say “I am going to work out at _______ CrossFit gym 4 days per week starting this Wednesday”

  2. Measurable: Establish criteria to track progress and determine when the client has reached the goal. This involves quantifiable elements that allow success to be measured. Measurable goals provide a clear indication of how far you’ve come and what is left to achieve.

  3. Achievable: Ensure that the goal is realistic and attainable. While it’s great to shoot for the stars, setting unattainable goals can lead clients to frustration and discouragement.

  4. Relevant: Align the goal with the broader objectives and priorities. Ask if the goal is worthwhile and if it contributes to the client’s overall success. A relevant goal is one that makes sense in the context of larger plans.

  5. Time-bound: Help clients set a specific timeframe for achieving the goal. A deadline creates a sense of urgency and helps prevent procrastination. It also allows for the goal to be broken down into smaller, manageable tasks.

clients success stories who understand realistic success

Tip #2 - Educate The Client On What Is Realistic When It Comes To Exercise And Healthy Weight Loss Goals

Setting realistic weight loss goals is crucial for long-term success and overall well-being. Realistic goals are 1-2 pounds of weight loss per week and 1% body fat loss per month.

Slower, steady weight loss ensures clients lose fat while preserving muscle. Also keep in mind that clients should be adding in regular physical activity, but not so much it shocks their system and causes them to be so sore they revert back to their old ways.

Here are some tips for setting realistic goals regarding weight loss, health, and wellness.

  • Start with the end in mind Break down larger goals that need to be achieved over a longer period of time into smaller steps and short-term goals

  • Have clients write goals down and keep them in view (in the car or on your fridge)

  • Clients should share goals with family and friends for accountability and encouragement (You never know, the client may end up being an inspiration for others to set and achieve new goals)

Tip #3 - Provide Positive Reinforcement And Help Clients Celebrate Progress

client success stories showing realistic success over 12 months

Nutrition and wellness coaches are not only there for accountability, education, and assessment but also to provide positive reinforcement and celebration. Many times clients are very hard on themselves and do not celebrate the little milestones that are getting them to the big goal.

This can be bad for a client’s motivation and enthusiasm. Helping clients understand that each little bit of progress is one step closer to reaching the end goal is part of the nutrition coach’s role. Directing clients to associate themselves with the steps needed to make the change, rather than always focusing on the actual goal itself is a big help.

Reframing the mindset is key to remembering what realistic success looks like.

Direct clients away from thinking, “I’m so far away from losing just 2 pounds.” Instead, help clients say to themselves, “I am going to add olive oil for my healthy fat, drink water, and stick to eating whole grains for two meals per day.” Doing this helps them focus on habits rather than how far they have to go. In turn, this will lead to them reaching their short-term goals, which will ultimately lead to them achieving their long-term goals.

And don’t forget about those non-scale victories, as they provide a comprehensive and holistic measure of progress beyond the numbers on a scale!

Wrap Up

In conclusion, as a nutrition coach dedicated to guiding clients toward their wellness goals, it is paramount to recognize and celebrate the value of realistic success. Failing to help clients recognize what realistic success entails in their wellness journey can have significant detriments very similar to the reasons why diets fail.

Check out the pictures in this blog post!!! Notice the length of time each of the clients has dedicated to their health and wellness journey. None of these successes were overnight or quick. The clients experienced long-term weight loss because they set realistic goals.