One of the easiest ways to make sure your clients are staying on track to realize their health and fitness goals is journaling. Requiring clients to keep a daily log may help you guide them towards setting realistic goals or gain insight into why their not reaching them in the first place.
If your client gained a pound this week, look at how many times they went to the gym or how many servings of desserts they enjoyed. If they lost a few pounds journaling can help you determine what made the difference. Reviewing past journal entries may be key to pointing out success and avoiding pitfalls for your clients.
Tracking sleep patterns and they're feeling each day may also be helpful. Sleep is incredibly important for weight loss, greatly impacts metabolism and can also affect work and exercise performance.
Daily journaling allows you to examine daily patterns and habits. Did your client eat enough calories? Did they exercise too long? Did they drink enough water? It all factors into their health and weight loss goals.
Looking at one weeks worth of data may help you identify positive or negative habits and indicate areas you can make positive suggestions for change. Also, a weekly log may help you identify the reasons your client hasn't accomplished their goals.
For example, if your client didn't get to the gym enough during the week or blew their daily caloric intake limit eating lunches out, look at their sleep patterns. Would getting up 30 minutes earlier give them time for packing lunches or eating a healthy breakfast? If the goal was to accumulate 70,000 steps by the end of the week (10,000 per day is recommended) but they failed to make their dialy goal, were they stuck in meetings? If so, is it possible to take the dog for an extra-long walk afterwork on those days? Without a log, you wouldn’t be able to track these valuable pieces of information.
Using a weekly log will also help you plan your client's workouts and make them more effective. If you know your client has a day with unlimited workout time, schedule a longer session. If there are days when they may only have 30 minutes, take them through a quick weight training session or suggest a group exercise class. Now you've built variety into their workout plans and guided them effeciently towards their goals all while making exercise more fun.
Today’s technology, smartphone apps and fitbits make it unbelievably simple to record daily food, exercise, and sleep habits. There is also an example below of a weekly nutrition, exercise and sleep log you can download. Be sure to encourage clients to make comments on each day to give added insight to behavioral and mood changes.