A fridge full of healthy meals feels incredible—and is incredible for folks with fitness goals. Weekly meal planning simplifies your weekly chores, and gives structure to your clients’ nutrition. It’s pretty much a no-brainer, and a weekly meal planner is becoming a core offering for many fitness trainers.
The fitness professionals we support needed one, so our team at ABC Trainerize even built a Smart Meal Planner to make nutrition coaching easier. (More on that later, though.) We’ll start with an overview of why meal planning is important, then dive into tips for building your clients’ meal plans, keeping them on track, and then working with the Smart Meal Planner.
So let’s go!
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Why is meal planning important?
First of all, there’s the balance between nutrition and convenience. Improvising every breakfast, lunch and dinner is a recipe for burnout. Planning out meals makes it easier to get all your macronutrients, and make it through the week.
These effects become even more important when you’re hoping to support training clients. Your client retention depends on their ability to reach their fitness goals, and creating a few weekly meal planner templates can help do the work outside the gym they need to see those all-crucial results. With that business impact in mind, more and more personal trainers are offering custom meal plans through tools like ABC Trainerize’s Smart Meal Planner.
1. Educate clients about nutrition
Telling someone to eat may help them build up better habits, but long-term success often comes down to understanding. Educate your clients about the importance of nutrition in training, so they buy into the whole concept of meal planning.
2. Personalize, personalize, personalize!
Everyone is different, and our tastes can really impact what meals we want to eat every day. When you’re starting to build meal plans, ask clients what they like—so you can build plans that they look forward to every day.
3. Choose simple recipes
For so many people, the labor associated with healthy meal planning can feel overwhelming. Nutritious meals don’t have to be complicated, though. Build up a lil’ bank of easy recipes and make sure to include them, especially as your clients are getting started.
4. Pay attention to macronutrients
Tasty food should always be part of the equation, but nutritional balance and portion sizing is what determines how your clients perform and feel. By paying attention to macronutrients, you’ll make sure they have everything they need to smash their fitness goals.
5. How to keep clients’ weekly meal plans on track
Support can have a major impact on how well your clients stick to their meal plans. As their trainer, you can help them with these key considerations.
6. Do regular check-ins
Sometimes, supporting your clients is as simple as letting them know you see them out there trying. When you deliver a text or email check-in you remind them that their nutrition is something you’re taking some accountability for—and supporting.
7. Keep it flexible
If your weekly meal planner template is too rigid, you might put them off meal planning altogether. If you don’t leave a little breathing room, it is likely that meal planning simply will not be sustainable for them. Backup recipes and simple, “I feel like a sloth today” alternatives are key.
8. Adjust it as needed
Sometimes a plan made with good intentions just won’t work for your client. If a client tells you they’re struggling with a dimension of their meal plan, work to help them create a new option that feels realistic and sustainable. That process will help them get the best results possible—and build trust in your nutrition coaching skills.
9. Deliver nutrition coaching via an app
Establishing a direct connection with your clients is a really effective way to support them. Offering nutrition coaching through an app like ABC Trainerize allows you both track progress, deliver check-ins, and access recipe banks, so you’re not hunting for brand-new ideas every week.
How ABC Trainerize’s Smart Meal Planner can help
In case you missed the initial memo, we’ve got a Smart Meal Planner that can make delivering nutrition programming way easier. Here’s how:
1. Access a vast library of recipes
Meal planning can be boring, or it can be an opportunity to try all kinds of great new recipes. Our Smart Meal Planner comes loaded with a deep recipe bank, so you can offer your clients a diverse selection of nutritionally balanced options to pick from. It’s easy to customize, and helps keep things fresh.
2. Recommend easy-to-prepare meals
Simplicity can make working off of a healthy weekly meal planner so much more approachable. The Smart Meal Planner lets you identify and select recipes that any client can make quickly—with minimal ingredients, too. Some of very best recipes are ones that can be cooked in batches to support a simple weekly meal plan!
3. Match your clients’ caloric goals
Mindful-but-relaxed calorie-tracking is a core part of nutrition planning, especially if your client has goals around weight loss or gain. The Smart Meal Planner gives your clients a chance to explore customizable meal sizes while making it easy to see how many calories each portion gives them.
4. Deliver grocery and shopping lists
A recipe is all well and good, but breaking a recipe out into a shopping list still adds to each client’s mental load. You can help them save serious time and energy by offering shopping lists, so they can power walk through the grocery store and leave with everything they need.
5. Give them a friendly, automated reminder
Daily reminders are encouraging and help your clients to stay focused. The Smart Meal Planner allows you to deliver automatic check-ins around nutrition, so they’ve got support—without requiring you to send them out manually.
6. Track their progress
Progress tracking is the ultimate way to keep your clients’ eyes on the prize. You can and your client can track progress in the app, giving you visibility over both their nutrition and fitness outcomes in the same place.
So, what’s next?
Your clients need nutrition support to reach their goals, and our Smart Meal Planner helps you simplify everything from recipe selection to grocery shopping. You’ll deliver better nutrition coaching and retain more clients—and they’ll build better better dietary practices. That’s the whole goal, right?