I have some weight loss clients I work with that are part of a support group with the Diabetes Prevention Program. As is typical for most of us… they rationalize their food choices or lack of activity; finding one reason or another why they made a less healthy food choice or are not exercising. They are all aware of why they are in the program, the importance of making changes and have made some great changes to date. I try to continue to encourage them by noting the little changes or changes in awareness, but how do I help them move to the place where there is consistency in healthy lifestyle choices?
I also work with many weight loss clients, and realize that there are many factors that are involved in the process. Most clients know that they need to eat healthy and exercise, but putting those things into action also requires an understanding of behavioral change (I couldn’t see a profile for you so I’m not sure what your background is). Each person is individual with regard to their own stages of change and belief in themselves to lose weight. In addition, social, economic, cultural and environmental factors affect their progress. Every individual will have some sort of barriers to overcome (time, financial, etc.). It is an on-going process that takes a lot of support and encouragement.
There is no short answer here to help you with your clients, and it will ultimately be up to the client to take responsibility for their actions. Some may need additional outside help from a health coach or other professional such as a registered dietician or even a psychologist.
You can continue to support, listen, encourage, and provide information to your clients to help them succeed. Acknowledge their progress and understand that they will have relapses.
Good luck–keep encouraging them. It is so worth it!