Q&A on Building a Nutrition Program


Robby Gustin, the head nutrition coach at CrossFit South Bend, shares about the gym’s nutrition program.

BP: What nutrition program options do you offer?

RG: For just straight-up nutrition coaching, a one-on-one grocery store tour is option number one. That’s just for people who need the knowledge. Option number two is three months of one-on-one nutrition coaching, and that’s food journal review, weights, measurements and pictures, email back and forth, guides, a grocery store tour, a bunch of different stuff — a private Facebook group, so on so forth. And then we have a six-month nutrition coaching option.

BP: How do you keep clients accountable?

RG: We do monthly meetings and weights, measurements and pictures, and stuff like that. But the main way is the weekly food journal review. That’s kind of my pulse on how they’re doing. I also have a private Facebook group for anyone who is doing any sort of one-on-ones. I think the other thing that helps keep people accountable in terms of another lesson learned is you can’t make people do something they don’t want to do. So you need to be very clear up front when you first meet them — what are your goals and what are you willing to do to get to your goals?

BP: How do you market the program?

RG: There are a couple different ways. People who come into the gym or do our fundamentals, they are basically informed by us that we have these nutrition coaching options. We get a lot of word-of-mouth referrals from people who have done it with me before, and then the big new one that we’ve done over the past year is I’ve done these weekly wellness Wednesday videos pretty consistently, pretty much every week, for the past year, where I just talk about a different health topic each week and do some new recipe or something like that, and that goes up on our Facebook page and our blog.

BP: What lessons have your learned?

RG: Number one is people tend to get very caught up in Whole30 and paleo and what fits with your macros and Zone and all these cool, shiny new things when the reality is most people just need real whole food.

Another one would be there’s so much more to health than nutrition. So getting those other lifestyle ducks in a row is really important.

The last one would be for the nutrition coaches. People are paying you, are hiring you, to hold them accountable. There’s a saying I’ve always liked, which is “Any lawyer who represents himself has a fool for a client.” I think that’s shown to be true in things like having a nutrition coach.

Heather is the editor for Box Pro Magazine. Contact her at heather@peakemedia.com.