I recently aquired two new clients, both overweight, and spent over 2 hours assessing them, calculating their BMRs, and recommending a caloric range for both.
For one of them I recommended between 1500 and 1750 calories for an average weight loss of 1-2 lbs a week if she exercises. She changed her caloric intake to 1200 in the program, chose to eat 600 calories for a few days, then stopped logging her meals altogether. The other client was staying within his caloric range but ate very low ND foods such as white pasta, pancakes, and processed meats. I asked him to incorporate one fruit, vegetable, or side salad a day. He chose to ignore me for 3 weeks and then his calories jumped way above his recommended intake. I know you can’t win every battle, but I feel like I am losing these two and maybe it is not my battle to fight. How would you handle these two situations?
Hi Linda. Putting the whole issue of nutrition and dietary recommendations by personal trainers, I see the bigger question being how to deal with a trainer-client situation where the client is not following the trainer’s advice? Whenever I’ve run into this situation, I am very candid with my client (it really doesn’t serve anyone well to tip-toe around the issue in my opinion). I would have a conversation about their failure to follow my recommendations and ask “why.” Their response “could” have nothing to do with “thinking that they know more than you” (unless of course they have come right out and said as much). I would, at least initially, give them the benefit of the doubt by giving them an opportunity to “explain.” Based on what I hear from my client as to the “why,” I will decide then how to deal with the situation.
The options are varied, anything from simply shrugging your shoulders in an “oh well” posture (which I wouldn’t do, and don’t recommend) up to deciding that you simply can’t continue to work with a client who chooses not to follow your recommendations. Each situation is different, so only you will know what your next steps are based on what they say.
I know that this may not be “the answer” that you want, but I truly believe that since you are the one facing these clients, you are truly the only one who will be able to choose from a list of possible responses AND outcomes. Some trainers might be accepting of this “challenge” to their professional recommendations, others would be taken aback. You will know where you fit in that continuum.