How do you other trainers get clients to make small changes in eating habits?
I believe in making lasting gradual changes that become second nature. That is what most of my clients have had success with. However, many of my clients want to make drastic changes against my advice. They usually end up continuing their frustration.
You are absolutely right; small changes that become second nature are a great way to go about it. I often find that people start training with me and have the grandiose idea that they will now also exercise every day on their own (or eat no more junk food .... you name it). I try to tone it down by saying something like: "That is a fabulous idea, and it would be a wonderful end result. If you can manage it: great. What I would like for you initially to do on a daily (weekly) basis is ........." I then suggest a goal that seems realistically achievable.
Then, when they express frustration, you can get back with a diplomatic version of 'I told you so' but are also able to point to the progress made against the goals that you suggested.
This keeps the conversation on a positive note.
I wish you good luck.
Assist your clients in developing SMART goals and never forget that if your clients are changing their behaviors self-efficacy in the new behavior will be low.
Keep in mind that you are asking your client to adopt a new behavior that they've never engaged in before and that past experience with a behavior is correlated to self-efficacy.
Hope this is of help to you.
Small steps ensure that they have the foundation to progress to the next level. Small steps ensure lasting success (why do so many new year resolutions fall by the wayside come Valentine's Day?).
They usually buy into this. It also makes it more managable for them. I also make sure that I celebrate their enthusiasm, but remind them that I want them to make lasting changes, not changes that they won't be able to maintain for a lifetime. That means that we educate as well as demonstrate what and how they can change their lifestyle to meet their goals. And, as the others have stated, I try to lead them to making the decision as to what they'd like to focus on first. Then get them to come up with a SMART goal, which I write in my notes regarding the session, and then follow-up with them on at the next session.
2. Increase hydration. Require a glass of water before and after each snack or meal.
3. Allow 10% discretionary calories for 90% good eating. This is 200 calories for a 2000 calories diet, lots of "fun" room! Encourage recipes such as those at ACE, http://www.acefitness.org/healthyrecipes/default.aspx that clients can enjoy and easily make themselves.
Great topic and previous feedback!
Introduce them to some new healthy recipes. My clients like the recipes included in the monthly e-newsletter from IDEA.
Willpower is a muscle that needs to be conditioned too. Got to get people on a steady, progressive workout one thing at a time.
Give them too much to do and they'll snap.
Set a certain time aside and sit down and review all of the achievements, not only dietary ones
In our society today there is so much information being thrown out there that it's important to sift through it and make sure our clients are being educated and informed.
As personal trainers we must stay within our scope of practice and are limited in giving out "diets".
We must always stay in our scope of practice so I lead by example