First of all if i was the client and i trained for 6 weeks and then discovered that i had gained weight i would be devastated! so i can totally understand the sensitive nature of the situation. I would have them look at this as minor set back. It would now be time to regroup and refocus. at the onset of every program i take a thorough health history and life style assessment of each client. We go over a healthy eating plan, identify their trigger foods, consider any effects of medication and create a shopping list and day that they will pick up foods for their new plan. In order to avoid a potential “6 week assessment catastrophe” all weight loss clients are required to weigh in every week in session. a weekly weigh in allows for us to identify any variables that has caused a possible increase in weight right at the onset. its generally a quick fix. if six weeks have passed there will be to many variables to deal with and possibly overwhelming.
You can surely take a look at what the others have mentioned already with regard to journaling food intake and logging exercise sessions. As trainers, we also have to look beyond the nutrition and exercise elements to see what is going on in their home and work environment as well. Support at home, stress, sleep patterns, and hormones can also affect weight loss.
Weight loss for many clients is a huge emotional journey… I would handle the weight gain by making sure the client knows I support them 100%.
You do want to provide honest feedback, but the client needs to know they have your trust and empathy.
It also helps to keep the big picture in mind, and praise your client for the little things. It’s those little changes that make a huge impact on health.
Quick weight loss – within a week of training – is usually the result of glycogen/water accumulation. Its normal. That said, I think the thing all trainers need to remember is that there are 168 hours in a week. You see your client, what, about 3 hours per week? Even if your client works out 7 days per week, its hard to out exercise eating too many calories.
There are only 3 things that burn calories in any given 24 hr period
1. resting metabolism
3. thermic effect of food
of those, we burn the most calories via our RMR. Exercise only accounts for about 30% of total daily calories – and thats in people who are used to exercise.
These facts provide evidence that most people can not exercise there way out of eating too many calories
I suggest that you recommend that your client use MyFitnessPal or a similar app/website to track calories. If he/she has a fit bit, that software is also pretty good.
Hello Deidre Walker,
This seems to be common for all the reasons already stated. What I do is find out what the client has been up to: eating, family, work, sleeping, etc. Then we decide that food and exercise are the key to a healthy lifestyle, that we work on as a team, or whatever else it is they are dealing with. This is where personal training can become personal, and, not everyone is ready for all the tools we have at their disposal, like body fat testing. Health, health, health is the way to go. Keep reminding them of the health benefits of exercise and a proper diet; we do not rely on the scale.
Natalie aka NAPS 2 B Fit.