Most people have the odd bad habit when it comes to eating. Whether it’s a taste for a particular takeaway, or post-work drinks with colleagues (or both, for many!), there are various ways that everyone can slip up during their leisure activities. No doubt you encounter clients every day who are struggling to maintain a healthy work-life, eating-drinking and exercise-rest balance.
Perhaps you go through that yourself, too, from time to time. However, with all that expert knowledge you have on nutrition, food preparation and body composition, you’ll have a wealth of information already on hand to help the clients who need it the most. Keen to improve our own knowledge on this essential area of health and wellbeing, we did a little research and came up with the following useful, and sometimes tasty, tips for meal planning.
It’s better coming from you
Social and digital media have provided a platform for anyone to reach out to anyone else, and with whatever information they want to provide. Furthermore, with networks like Instagram capable of influencing people visually while selling them something subconsciously, it can be the perfect storm for false advertising, and even lead to detrimental results for both physical and mental health.
However, you’re in the ideal position to step in and provide a more personalised service than any social media mogul possibly could. You can not only provide accurate body composition results, based on the individual, but also see the emotional qualities of the client. This will make your advice much more realistic, and therefore easier for the client to manage as they implement it into their daily routine.
… or ‘the spice of life’, as it’s often known. To many people, the idea of meticulously planning their meals for the next few days is going to sound dull, at least initially. When someone is faced with the vision of eating the same thing, at the same time, on the same day, it does look arduous. However, as you’ll know, it doesn’t need to be like that. Pry into what your clients already like to eat, and explain which ingredients they could substitute, for something you know would be much better.
Point them in the direction of articles like this one, by BBC Good Food, which shows that different meals can be planned simultaneously without compromising on taste or nutrition – and without taking up too much of the client’s time. If you are partial to a little social media yourself, you could even set up a group chat with your clients, share recipes, shopping tips and sample meal plans, and keep encouraging your clients to not only keep up their hard work but consistently try new things, too.
Educate them to be experts
One thing your clients will hear and read a lot about as they conduct their own research is the macronutrient. Now, you know what this is, we (now) know what this is, and some of your clients will already be well clued-up on this essential element of nutrition. However, there’s no harm in testing that knowledge as you work.
The British Heart Foundation stresses the importance of not getting “too hung up” on trying to achieve the perfect balance of macronutrients, as what works for one person may not work for another. Besides, being this methodical is not for everyone, either.
Therefore, rather than being this clinical with macronutrients, it would be worthwhile to simply, as the BHF advises, ensure that all main food groups are covered. If you can educate your clients to eat the right meals in the right portions, they’re more likely to stick to the plan for longer, without calculating ingredients to the nearest gram. Ergo – the more you show them, as opposed to order them, the more they’ll get from your expertise.
Lead by example
In a similar, ‘show, don’t tell’ vein, why not let your clients know what you’ve got planned for the day when you see them? While we were looking into concocting the ideal meal plan, we found plenty of research, information and already personalised meal plans (and, yes, there were plenty of them on social media!). However, we felt that none of that information was tangible unless you could see it and, crucially, see the results – in reality.
Everyone can grasp the concept of healthy eating, including us insurance professionals – and anyone with a kitchen and local supermarket can get their heads around buying, and cooking, the right foods. However, not everybody is patient enough to stick to a plan they didn’t create themselves. Therefore, if you explain the reason why you – the expert – have chosen to eat X muscle-building food, at Y time of day, the results are plain enough for everyone to see.
Little by little
As beginner meal-preppers, we found this piece of advice from Sweet Peas and Saffron particularly useful. The advice is that, starting with just one meal of the day, you begin your meal prep slowly and ease your way into it. Now, ideally, you’ll want your clients to get on board with planning every meal, but they might not be ready for that yet. Help them to get that one meal of the day sorted first, and encourage them to push on from there.
Keep them posted on their progress, with body composition calculations, and – just like you do with their workouts – push them that little bit harder when you know they’re ready. Eventually, they’ll get used to batch cooking their carbohydrates, storing pre-chopped vegetables and freezing several meals at the start of every week. You’ll no doubt be familiar with people who jump into exercise too quickly, and become deterred when they don’t see immediate results – and the same can go for meal prep.
There you have it, then – what we learned about meal planning and how to help people implement it into their daily routine. Although we encountered many promises of the ‘perfect’ meal plan, we tried to focus more on how to keep it practical, and accessible, for anyone – even those who aren’t ready to completely give up their occasional bad habits just yet.
However, one perfect plan we do know how to provide is personal trainer insurance; when it comes to protecting your business, the only preparation you need to worry about is picking up the phone or contacting us online. Get a quote here, or call 020 8655 0444, and we’ll take care of the rest.