Your Clients Body Fat% Just Went Up. What do you say?
Some times our clients can be a little disappointed when their body fat % goes up. I usually use this as an opportunity to explore sources of extra calories and lifestyle habits that may contribute to the increase. I wanted to hear from other Fit Pro's about what they do. Thanks
Even though your question is a simple one it's actually a very good one. Sometimes the BF% does go up and it can be related to a various reasons. Personally, I'm not that concerned if this happens once in a while because that is part of being human and life doesn't always goes as planned. Stress, illness, work, family, etc. can have an effect on someone's life that can lead to poor food choices or lifestyle. If it's a pattern that is constant, then I have to look into my client's lifestyle more closely and figure out what is going on and try to find a way to help them fix it. I like to see things from a wider angle and not neat picking every negative fact in their life. I tell my clients not to worry to much about it and try to stay focus on their overall fitness improvement that includes their lifestyle, diet and mental health.
that's always nasty, particularly since it is often accompanied by a reproachful look that insinuates that this is our fault.
I tend to first turn it around and ask whether THEY would have any explanation. Unless there is a medical problem that would explain all of it, an increase in body fat in a person exercising with some regularity probably also means an increase in weight. Clients, with proper introspection, usually will 'fess up' and really do not need to hear it from us.
It is a good opportunity to explain how relatively little exercise contributes to the overall equation of 'energy in vs energy out', and many exercisers fall into the trap of eating those 300 calories, proudly expended on the treadmill, a few times over in the course of the day. It's also an opportunity of talking about NEAT, I call it the need to NEAT.
I am curious to read how my colleagues will chime in.
Also if you are using a hand held fat tester. Electronic then they differ so much anyway. Always best to use them in the morning on an empty stomach. Or at least always at the same time and as well take it three times or more and average it out.
I even keep a couple around that I "rent" out for a week or two so people can see what they're burning vs what they eat. Because it measures heat expenditure, it's far more accurate than the motion based devices.
I tend to look at the overall picture and trend of my client's progress, so if body fat went up a bit, I would discuss it with my client but not necessarily dwell on it. I may have the client reassess his or her diet or lifestyle more carefully, and pinpoint where healthy changes can be made. We do have to take into consideration that setbacks happen to even the most dedicated. Life happens! But, I would also focus on the positive aspects and have the client get right back on track.