A Nutrition “Challenge” that Doesn’t End

nutrition challenge
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Who doesn’t love a challenge and what better way to launch your nutrition program? If you are considering the best time to launch, how to do it effectively, and how to keep it going after, keep reading.

Guess what? Right now is that time.

There are three timing elements working in your favor right now:

  1. The CrossFit Games just ended and your athletes are motivated to do their best.
  2. We are heading into fall, which is typically a time when people look to dial in their nutrition as they are returning from summer trips.
  3. The Open is in October. Your members are looking to take their performance to the next level, which means dialing in their nutrition.

Launching an effective challenge can seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be.

A successful challenge that yields results for your clients and for your bottom line can be broken down into three parts. The before, the during, and the after.

The Before

A challenge should never be promoted as a quick fix with a solid end date. Sure, you will launch a four or six-week challenge, but make sure clients know this is the “start” of building healthy habits.

Ways to do this include:

  • Promotional materials should position the challenge as the “start” of their journey.
  • Focus on the educational components of the challenge.
  • Discuss how this could be a refocusing of their health goals.
  • Encourage clients to think about short and long-term goals.
  • Avoid words that hint at “quick” and “immediate.”
  • Focus on the long-term process.
  • Price the challenge appropriately so they feel it is an investment

During this “before” time where you are setting up and promoting the challenge, make sure you have your packages set up where clients can easily transition from the challenge to ongoing nutrition coaching. Having your price points and packages ready is essential for the during and after process. It is vital that the owner and coaching staff are on board with your nutrition challenge and how it will help your clients reach their goals.

The During

During a challenge, clients should feel you are holding them accountable. If you do not check in on them, they will never see a value in paying for ongoing coaching. They should feel supported and notice a difference between having a nutrition coach versus not having a nutrition coach.

Ways to do this include:

  • Checking in on their action steps weekly.
  • Sharing content via multiple platforms about three times per week.
  • A community aspect (on social media) where they can communicate with other challenge members.
  • Support during setbacks.
  • Weekly celebrations of small wins; they can share their own wins each week.
  • For longer challenges, checking biometrics weekly.

Again, during the challenge, focus on the wording of “this is just the start.” They are not going to reach their long term goals during a 12 week challenge. Celebrate the short term goals and having them make new ones. They should never feel that they are finished.

The After

​It is easy to unintentionally minimize the end of the challenge, but this is the most important part. If your clients participated and made any positive changes to their habits, they were successful. Maybe they lost body fat, gained muscle, hit PRs or all three. Or maybe they are drinking more water, eating more vegetables or eating out less. Every client will have a bright spot. A successful end to a challenge includes:

  • One-on-one meetings with each participant to discuss positives.
  • Setting new short term goals and discuss progress toward long-term goals.
  • Guiding clients to ongoing coaching to continue to reach those goals.
  • Present price sheets to your clients with the options they have to continue.
  • A public celebration of successes, both big and small.

Conversion to ongoing nutrition coaching does not have to be tough.

If you supported your clients during the challenge and they saw success, they won’t even think twice about moving to ongoing. Your are their guide and you need to give them a clear path to what the next steps look like to continue their nutrition coaching journey with you.

Now, I want you to think about your last challenge. What part of the above three elements were you missing? Be honest. If you can set up your challenge using the guide above, you will convert your clients

Nicole Aucoin
Nicole Aucoin is a registered dietitian and founder of Healthy Steps Nutrition,​ CrossFit HSN and HSN Mentoring. HSN Mentoring is the largest nutrition-business mentoring program in the world. Helping over 700 gyms world-wide, HSN provides a turn-key solution to gym owners looking to take their nutrition program and offerings to the next level. Nicole has a podcast, Grow Your Nutrition Business, where each week she interviews fellow thought leaders in the community and provides actionable steps to help you build your business.