Home Health The Compliance Solution Video Series: Part 4

The Compliance Solution Video Series: Part 4

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The video series is a collaboration between the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and its Center for Devices and Radiological Health (CDRH), with help from leading medical device companies, health care providers, and academic institutions.

The precision nutrition behavior change is a video series by the Compliance Solution. In this video, we learn about how to create and implement a precision nutrition behavior change program.

They may be educated and experienced and give excellent advice – but giving advice is not enough.

To become a life-changing fitness professional, you must take responsibility for both the advice you give and your clients’ ability to follow that advice. Yes, even difficult customers. The ones that other fitness professionals say you should fire.

In our business, we don’t turn away our customers. We have a totally different approach.

In this four-part video series, filmed live at the 2011 Perform Better Summit in Long Beach, California, we share this approach with you. And by the end of the series, you’ll be better equipped to achieve incredible results with every type of client you work with. Even the most complicated ones.

In the meantime, click the play button below to discover the fourth part of Compliance Solutions. (Click here to read part 1, part 2 and part 3).  The video is about 15 minutes long.

To download an audio or video version of this file, click here.
Please be patient, it may take a few minutes to download.

Training habits and practices PN

Earlier in this video series, we presented two lessons to help you better apply the principles of change psychology:

  • Lesson one: Exercise both sides of your brain.
  • Lesson two: Introduce one new habit at a time.

In today’s lesson, I want to address this last idea by giving you an overview of the first six months of habits and practices we are implementing in our NP coaching program. Each habit is introduced two weeks after the previous one.

You will notice that at the very beginning of the program (top left column) we start with a simple habit that always gives good results: taking fish oil and multivitamins (in certain doses).

Why this particular habit? Not only is it easy to do, resulting in immediate success and a positive boost, but it also addresses common nutritional deficiencies, stimulates the brain’s motivational centers and boosts metabolism. Not bad for a first habit!

We then start eating slowly and stop eating when the client feels just full (80% full) and not full (100% full). These simple – but not easy – exercises help people better control hunger and appetite signals (right brain activity). It is also no longer necessary to count calories and calculate nutrients (activity of the left hemisphere).

These are essentially calorie control strategies that do not involve counting calories.  That’s great.

Then we work on the type of food, the timing, and a number of other practices.   Each habit builds on the previous habit, creating a progression that produces long-lasting, sustainable results for our clients.

As explained above, the habits of the model are a bit vague.  Therefore, each two-week habit is accompanied by daily lessons and tasks that further clarify the habit and make each habit clear and measurable.  In this way, the customer can easily check whether or not he has complied with the habit.

But remember, these habits are just recommendations.

We have yet to measure customer confidence by asking them: On a scale of 0 to 10, how confident are you in your ability to perform this habit every day for the next two weeks? If confidence is less than 9 or 10 out of 10, we reduce the habit until the client is confident.

Trust is everything.

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Lesson #3: Talk to customers in a way that promotes change.

Language has more power than many people realize. The language you use to communicate with clients when they are trying to change can make or break their success.

A key point I’ve learned from motivational interviewing (the books Crucial Conversations and Influence also cover this topic) is that even with the best of intentions – even with great concern for the client’s outcome – if you choose the wrong words or are too pushy when you push for change, you can reduce the likelihood that the client will do the same.

Right: Your well-intentioned coaching strategies can have the opposite effect: They can – unwittingly – demotivate customers, create obstacles and actively push people in the wrong direction. Ouch.

Here’s an example: If you tell your clients that their lifestyle choices (diet, exercise, etc.) are wrong – even if you do it nicely – your clients will feel threatened. A primitive, prerational consequence of the right brain? In the end, they defend their habits to explain why they made the choices they did.

This creates a situation where you (as coach) are for change and your client is against change. How do you think it will work?

If you go down this road, you will often be at your wit’s end.  And the customer will be less inclined to make changes. Not really.

Another example: Most fitness experts and professionals talk to their clients like authoritarian dictators: I want you to do it! Don’t do that! If you want results, you have to do more, work harder, make sacrifices.

This is a problem because people, always on a pre-rational level, react badly to real or even perceived threats to their freedom.  So the more you insist and demand, the less likely they are to respond positively. (Not to mention that he retreats, gets defensive and eventually gets out of the way).

Instead of telling customers what to do, try asking them.  Check that they are sure they can do what you ask.  And then ask yourself if they really want to do it.

Again, the books Motivational Interviewing, Essential Conversations, and Influence are excellent resources for further study of this topic.  I highly recommend you try them if you want to learn more about change conversations.

Lesson #4: Takes 100% responsibility for compliance and results.

When I look at the fitness industry, I see a lot of talented trainers who spend countless hours learning the latest training and nutrition strategies.  And I like it.  They are professionals who do their best to give quality advice.

However, these people are missing out on a huge coaching opportunity if they think the coach’s role is to give good advice and the client’s role is to follow that advice.

I maintain that fitness professionals are responsible for both.  For giving good advice and helping your clients follow that advice.

You can no longer assume that it is the customer’s fault if he does not comply with the rules. If your customers are experiencing compliance issues, you may be able to do something about it.

Of course, we need to be experts in nutrition, exercise and other left-brain aspects of body transformation. But it is equally important to take responsibility for compliance.

It’s not easy at first. You will begin to see many new problems that you are not used to solving. And you won’t know what to do.  But with practice, you’ll get better.  And your love for coaching will increase dramatically. Each struggle with a new client becomes a new challenge for you as a coach.

Moreover, your cynicism will decrease.  Everywhere you look, you see opportunities for success. Instead of adopting a condescending attitude, such as Some clients do well, others don’t, you will be more positive about each client’s difficulties and their potential to succeed.

Of course, the last lesson is not really about strategy or tactics. This is a decision you can make now. They can still only take responsibility for client outcomes and leave compliance to the client’s discretion. Or you can start taking 100% responsibility for both.

What now?

This concludes the fourth part of the conformity decision. We hope you’ve benefited greatly from this video series and have many new strategies for becoming a life-changing, research-based fitness professional.

But here’s the big question: What to do with all this new information?

Finally, the idea of moving from simple nutrition and training to a change in psychology can be daunting for fitness professionals, especially given the popular trend in the industry that we should all fire our difficult or non-compliant clients.

And yet, this harassment is only your own elephant. Changing the way we coach is scary, especially if we’ve been doing it for a long time and think we’re experienced enough.

So the first step is to look objectively at your practice and the results you are achieving with all your clients, especially the difficult ones. You’ll likely find a huge opportunity for yourself to become a better coach, and for all your clients to get great results.

And if you want to learn more about this topic, I recommend the certification course.

If you are a trainer or want to become one….

Learning how to educate clients, patients, friends or family members about healthy eating and lifestyle changes that fit their bodies, preferences and circumstances is both an art and a science.

If you want to learn more about both, consider Level 1 certification.