How To Help Your Clients With Meal Planning and Save Precious Time

How To Help Your Clients With Meal Planning and Save Precious Time

If you’re a personal trainer or health coach, chances are, your clients struggle with healthy eating. Even clients who do an excellent job maintaining an exercise routine or keeping up their mindset work will still sometimes fall off the wagon when it comes to maintaining a healthy diet. And we don’t blame them. Life is busy, and healthy cooking sometimes goes on the back burner (no pun intended. OK, maybe a little).

For most wellness clients, diet changes are important, but they also have higher priorities. That’s why we need to help them find tools that save time and help them achieve their dietary goals. If you’re a personal trainer or wellness coach, you already know how important meal planning is in helping to maintain a healthy lifestyle and achieve health goals.

The problem is, meal planning, at least initially, takes time—time your clients don’t have. It’s your job, then, as their coach or trainer, to provide your clients with information and time-saving tools, so they can achieve the goals they’re trusting you to help them achieve.

Having ready-made meal plans is an excellent way to help your clients. To provide them with the most useful meal plans, you’ll need to do some research on your clients’ needs, food preferences, food restrictions, and allergies. That’s where an excellent intake questionnaire comes in. A well-designed questionnaire or intake form will save you time and give you an overall picture of your clients’ dietary needs and overall health habits. You can create your own questionnaire or use a tool such as Practice Better to save time.

After reviewing your clients’ questionnaires, you can tailor a personalized  meal plan that suits their needs. While creating a meal plan from scratch is an option, just like with your clients, time is not always on your side. Between creating individualized exercise or mindset work plans for each client, record keeping, and keeping track of your taxes, adding another time-consuming task to your list may not be the best idea. You can do a number of things to help your clients with meal planning while also saving time.

1. Use Pinterest to collect recipes that match your clients’ needs

Pinterest is a favourite with food bloggers for good reason: its visually appealing platform can make reader’s mouth water. But it’s also a great tool for collecting recipes in helpful categories to your clients.

You can make boards that cater to vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, FODMAP, or other client-specific diets. You can also create boards that are even more specific and set you apart from other practitioners.

For example, you could create “Meat Lovers Healthy Meal Planning.”  Include recipes that cater to your clients’ taste buds while ensuring they’re still getting all the nutrients they need. You could then simply refer your clients to the specific Pinterest board most useful to them.  

2. Use your website to share meal planning tips and generic meal plans

If you have a blog on your website, share meal planning tips and the meal plans that you’ve created. Then, refer your clients to the particular meal plan most useful to them (based on their answers to the  intake questionnaire).

3. Use meal planning software: help your clients and save time

While Pinterest and your own blog can be excellent resources for your clients, they are time-consuming to create and maintain. A powerful solution is meal planning software that does the bulk of the work for you. If that software can be embedded directly on your website, that’s even better.

Look for a software solution that includes meal plan templates and allows you to tailor these meal plans to your individual clients. Meal Garden for Professionals does exactly that, and more. Meal Garden includes pre-made meal plan templates, while allowing you the flexibility to tweak these plans for individual clients. It’s an excellent resource for helping your clients while saving you valuable time. Our meal plan templates include FODMAP, low carb, diebetes-friendly, and more.

We’re also constantly striving to improve and help wellness professionals manage their time well. We're looking for your input: what meal templates would be most useful to you? Let us know on this questionnaire.

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