The Top 3 Mistakes Gyms Make in Starting Nutrition Programs

nutrition program
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Offering nutrition coaching within a gym seems like a no-brainer. When clients eat better, they feel better and achieve their goals faster. While offering nutrition does have a lot of positives, not all nutrition programs succeed. 

The real question is, what is happening in the programs that fail? Clients need it; you are offering it. That’s it, right? 

After analyzing the data of the gyms that have implemented nutrition programs, we have found commonalities within the programs that are not successful. 

It is actually quite simple to pinpoint where it all went wrong, or where it all went right. Here are the top three mistakes gym owners make:

1. Lack of Buy-in from the Owner 

You, as the owner, are the leader of your tribe. Your staff and members are watching what you are doing. If you are making your nutrition a priority, so will they. Share your struggles with nutrition and what works well for you. 

Our clients love when we share our meal prep and favorite recipes on social media. This increases engagement and shows them we are leading by example. 

However, if ther is controversy like if you are not following your nutrition program or are following another program, this will make your clients wonder why they need to sign-up for your nutrition program. 

2. Lack of a Consistent Message

When someone researches your program online, would they easily know you offer nutrition? Do you make nutrition a clear priority in your message? While creating content is time-consuming, if you want to build a nutrition program, you need to make it a ​consistent message​ in your business. 

People need to understand why you are talking about nutrition and why you are offering them a nutrition program when they come in the door. If you aren’t making nutrition a core message in your business, potential new clients will think you are just selling them on something. 

Your staff also needs to be on the same page with your nutrition program. If staff members are all doing different nutrition programs, clients will be confused. Everyone needs to be on the same page with what services you offer for nutrition and how someone gets started. 

3. Skipping the Nutrition Conversation on Day One 

Think about your ideal client for a minute. Why are they coming to your facility? What are they looking to accomplish? 

Most clients are looking to lose weight, yet your sole focus in a free intro is getting them started on fitness. We all know you can’t out exercise a bad diet, so why skip the topic of nutrition? Gym owners say, “I just want to get them signed up for something.” But is that the best path to help them achieve their ultimate goal? Probably not. 

Instead, you should create a clear client journey that includes fitness, and nutrition must be discussed from Day One. A vital piece of the puzzle is ensuring everyone who does the free intros in your facility understands potential new clients should get started with a hybrid potion that includes nutrition and fitness. 

Facilities that do not have hybrid memberships have a much harder time trying to resell clients on nutrition down the road and therefore have slower growth of their nutrition programs. 

You might even have a client that is not interested in fitness but is interested in nutrition coaching. ​By offering stand-alone nutrition programs​, you can still help them.

If you are making one of these mistakes, don’t worry, you can fix it. Start with baby steps and take action to make nutrition a core message in your business. 

If you are looking for help, head over to ​​ ​for free resources on how to build a successful nutrition business. Register for a free webinar on “3 Steps to Avoid the Challenge Trap” on Thursday, February ​here​

​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.