How to Start the Nutrition Conversation

nutrition conversation

It is easy to say nutrition should be a priority. It is easy to say the right nutrition will lead clients to their weight loss goals. However, starting a conversation about nutrition is not easy.

Think about the Coaches at your gym. Many of them are uncomfortable talking about nutrition or can only talk about what has worked for them. Don’t approach this discomfort as a disadvantage. Instead, consider it a clean slate to create the nutrition foundation you want at your facility.

The first step is getting every Coach at the facility on the same page. Have a meeting with your Coaches and share with them the nutrition philosophy you will be sharing with all of your members. Then, open up the discussion with Coaches to clarify why it is important. By the end of the meeting, your coaches have confidence in what they are communicating with members.

Starting the Conversation with New Members

On-Boarding Process: The onboarding process should include basic nutrition information. Each session can address a different nutrition topic, including balancing your plate, hydrating, fueling around workouts and eating out. The Coach leading the onboarding session can focus on asking questions, such as:

  • What does a typical day look like for you?
  • How much water did you drink today?
  • How consistently do you eat?

This will allow the Coach to get a baseline for this client’s nutrition habits.

Initial Biometrics: Before a new member starts, conduct an introductory session with biometric testing to discuss their goals. You may not be providing customized nutrition at this point, but this gives you the opportunity to tell the client what you can do for them.

Hybrid Memberships: Offer hybrid memberships that include CrossFit with nutrition at an additional cost. It is easier to convert clients to monthly nutrition coaching if they understand from the first day it is essential for meeting their goals. You don’t want a client to commit to CrossFit and then try to convince them nutrition is important several months down the road.

Starting the Conversation with Existing Members

Starting the conversation with existing members might seem more challenging, but the key is to make nutrition present every time they enter the facility.

Content: Start by including nutrition as part of the question of the day. This is an easy way to introduce the topic. Then, create nutrition-related content such as meal prepping videos, blog posts with recipes, quick nutrition tips and even post the foundations of good nutrition on social media. By providing consistent tips, you are adding value while also helping members meet their goals.

Highlight Members: Be aware of members who are dialing in their nutrition and highlight them. Encourage these members to share their story and how it has impacted their life. This is probably one of the best marketing tools you have at your facility. As members share their stories, encourage others to sign up for a free initial nutrition conversation with you.

Free Intro Session: Offer a free introductory session to all members, regardless of how long they have been at the facility. During this session, discuss their progress toward their goals. Then you can explain how nutrition can help them meet their goals. They might be making progress, but nutrition can amplify their results.

Take Action

Don’t let the excuse of “I am not sure where to begin,” keep you from introducing nutrition at your facility. Your members are spending one hour in the gym a day, and 23 hours outside of the gym. What they do or eat outside of the gym inevitably impacts their results and your retention.

Start the conversation now while you still have their attention. After all you are the expert, so it is up to you to tell clients how they will be successful, both inside and outside of the gym.

​Nicole Aucoin is a registered dietitian and founder of Healthy Steps Nutrition, CrossFit HSN, and HSN Mentoring. ​HSN Mentoring i​ s the largest nutrition-business mentoring program in the world. Helping over 2,000 gym owners and Coaches worldwide, 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, G​ row Your Nutrition Business Podcast​, where each week she interviews fellow thought leaders in the community and provides actionable steps to help you build your business. Healthy Steps Nutrition is releasing a new stand-alone nutrition coaching course, which is a C​rossFit Preferred Course​, Basics of Nutrition Coaching, on August 18.