It’s 4:47pm and you’re finishing up your training session with your newer client, Kate. You’ve been working with her for almost 2 months now and she’s been killing it. She’s picking up the exercises you’ve been teaching her quickly, getting a couple cardio sessions on her own each week, and she always comes in ready to work with a great attitude.

Now, Kate is finishing up her last set of triceps extensions and she starts asking you about which diet she should be following and when you are finally going talk about nutrition like you promised her a couple weeks ago. You get ready to start telling her the basics about calories in vs calories out and that there’s no one best diet, but you stop yourself because you see Jeff walk through the front door.

Jeff is your steady 5pm client who is always early, and even though you appreciate his punctuality and enthusiasm, you’ll be lucky to have one second to pee before he is warmed up and ready to go.

You quickly realize that there’s no way you’ll be able to explain anything meaningful about diets to Kate before Jeff walks up, and you still have to pee. Instead, you promise Kate that you’ll address nutrition at her next session even though you know that’s unlikely to happen since she’s always at least 8 minutes late and you’ll be rushing to get her through her planned workout.

Ugh…there’s never enough time to get clients all the help they need.

Sound familiar?

The Problem

Being a personal trainer is like being a master juggler – you have to keep all the balls in the air while keeping a smile on your face like it’s no big deal.

Helping clients change their bodies requires addressing nutrition, mindset, habits, and coaching exercises in just 2-3 hours per week. If that’s not the definition of impossible, then what is?

Fortunately, the situation isn’t as bleak as it seems. In fact, the secret to overcoming this problem is creating processes that set you up to accomplish these tasks without stressing. We call these processes “systems” and today we’re sharing the system we teach at the Axiom Fitness Academy to help personal trainers deliver the valuable nutrition information that clients need without running late in sessions or causing more issues.

The Solution

Step #1 – Set aside time to talk exclusively about nutrition

The key to any good system is to know what the ideal outcome would be in a given scenario and reverse-engineer a plan to make that happen. Often that means doing some work in advance, but when done correctly, delivers outsized return on the time investment.

In the case of handling nutrition with clients, the ideal outcome is to be able to communicate the necessary information about how they can eat to support their fitness goals, explain which habits are critical to their success, and provide them with direction to start taking action.

In order to do that, the best course of action is to schedule a block of time to meet either in person or over the phone and talk exclusively about nutrition. We recommend doing this within the first month of starting a new client so they can start reaping the benefits of working with you from the get-go and solidify your relationship with them.

Sure, it will take an extra hour or so of your time, but you can build this into what you charge, and you’ll benefit from clients getting results faster thanks to the 1-2 combo of workouts and nutrition.

Step #2 – Offer two options for nutrition success

Like exercise, nutrition takes time to master and results don’t happen overnight. However, unlike exercise, helping someone change their eating habits successfully requires developing new knowledge in an area where most people aren’t savvy.

Since you won’t be able to teach a client everything they need to know in just a single hour, you need a way to continue delivering that information over time without being a burden. We recommend having 2 options for clients to choose from based on their budget and involvement.

Option 1 should be relatively simple to deliver and included in the price of your training. This could be a couple PDFs that you create featuring your top nutrition guidelines, the basics of calorie counting, and healthy habit tracking sheets (click here to download these free). Regardless of what you decide to include, it’s important that it is valuable for the client and won’t involve a lot of continual work on your end.

Option 2 should be a more in-depth and collaborative nutrition approach that you charge as an additional service. This might look more like actual nutrition coaching where you meet with the client at regular intervals, impart new strategies over time, create accountability, and monitor their tracking. Not only does this allow you to add a new service and possibly more revenue to your business, but it also allows you to provide additional assistance to those clients that want more attention and are willing to pay for it.

Step #3 – Carry out the plan

After a client selects the option that best suits their needs, all you need to do is carry out the plan.

If option 1 is the choice, you may want to touch base periodically to ensure your client understands the information you’ve given them and offer a solution to any significant challenges they’re facing. This also opens up the opportunity for them to reconsider if they’d rather do some nutrition coaching with you.

If option 2 was selected, then you simply need to deliver on your new service. To ensure success, make sure to set the appropriate expectations about when you’ll meet on an on-going basis, what responsibilities the client has (tracking, checking in, etc), and what goals you are trying to achieve together.

By following this 3-step system, you’ll be set up for success when it comes to handling nutrition with clients. We can’t guarantee it’ll earn you time to pee in between sessions, but at least you’ll have one thing less to worry about.

Want more direction when it comes to guiding your clients on nutrition, then make sure to download our free nutrition coaching packet which makes it easy to teach your clients about healthy habits and eating correctly for their goals.