From my experience here are 3 major reasons people’s diet adherence is poor and how to improve it:

1. The plan is too complicated. Macro-nutrient breakdown, supplementation, nutrient timing. All fantastic data to understand and have at your disposal. But are they really necessary for all clients? Here are two very likely assumptions about Mary and John: 1. They have no interest and don’t give a sh!t about macro-nutrient breakdown. 2. They are set in their ways and mostly need assistance with the structure of their eating habits and food choices. 3. They just want to lose a few pounds for the big wedding coming up, they don’t want to be magazine cover models! Coaches, act accordingly.

2. The plan has too many drastic changes. Peak week of contest/photo shoot prep – fair enough. The days in the lead up to the cup final – again, worth including appropriately if necessary. John & Mary though?… As little change from the ordinary as possible!! No John or no Mary of any respectable age will completely change their diet & eating habits, not when it’s “served them so well” for the last 25/30/40+ years. Request a detailed food diary from your clients. Aim to tackle 1-2 diet improvements per week, allow longer time periods if necessary. Call them “improvements” rather than “changes”. John & Mary don’t like change, & I don’t blame them, most people don’t.

3. The end goal is unrealistic & way out of reach. In paying you for your coaching, your clients are paying for, and expect, your honestly. Always. With most cases of John & Mary, either the goal needs adapting, or the the suggested time frame needs adapting, or both. Education and the coaches experience here are key. Mary & John often don’t have the know-how or the experience to appropriately design a realistic goal & accompanying timeline. Step up & lead them appropriately. Nothing is impossible but some targets will take far, far longer than people think they will initially.

Nutrition plans that require drastic lifestyle changes are less effective than those that require small, more sustainable, manageable changes. đź’Ż

Thanks to John and Mary, who unknowns to the themselves, played a vital part in this article!