How To Create A Meal Plan For Clients


How To Create A Meal Plan For Clients. In this article, I’m going to help you create a meal plan for clients that’s not only easy to read, but will be successful. First, I’m going to tell you the exact things they want to see. Next, we’ll go over the process and some best practices. Lastly, we’ll look at some tools that can help you along the way.

How to Build Meal Plans Your Clients Will Love

Running a wellness business can be hard. It seems like there are always a million things competing for your attention, and an endless list of ideas of where you could invest your time. It’s easy to get so caught up in marketing and tactics to get new clients, that you forget to provide an incredible experience to the clients you already have.

This is a big mistake and here is why: Without providing the right tools to execute on the advice you are giving, you can leave a client feeling overwhelmed, frustrated and hopeless. Bridging the gap between your recommendations and your client taking action requires resources and support. You need to identify the obstacles your client will face in advance, and provide them with tools to overcome them and be successful.

When you do this right, you will turn your clients into successful raving fans, which are the most powerful sales and marketing tool you can have!

One of the resources and services you can offer to accomplish this is meal planning. Instead of giving your client a basic list of foods to eat + foods to avoid, and expecting them to figure out the rest on their own, a meal plan gives them so much more value and guidance. Meal planning helps you develop a comprehensive plan for your client so that they can start executing on your advice immediately and feel empowered to achieve their goals.

Creating a great meal plan requires some thought. Here are six simple steps to follow to ensure that you are building plans that will help your clients achieve success while also having fun along the way.

#1. Conduct a Meal Planning Assessment

The first step to creating a meal plan your client will love is to conduct a meal planning assessment. If you don’t take the time to understand your client’s lifestyle, food preferences and goals, you risk creating them a meal plan they won’t use.

Here are some general questions you might want to ask:

  • Do you have any allergies?
  • Which foods do you like? Which foods do you dislike?
  • How much time do you have to cook?
  • Do you prefer to prepare food in advance, or at meal time?
  • What’s your typical grocery budget?
  • Do you have any cultural food preferences?
  • What are your health goals?

Once you have your meal planning assessment done, you will have the information you need to create an awesome meal plan for your client.

#2. Create a Meal Plan that is Realistic and Fun

Determine the length and format of your meal plan. For length, I often recommend starting with a 7-day meal plan, which is easy-to-follow, not too overwhelming and can be built upon at your next appointment.

For length, determine which meals you’d like to include on the plan. Consider breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks.

Once you have the length and format decided, you can create a meal planner template. We like to lay it out like a calendar with the meal types on the left hand axis, and the days of the week along the top. Here is an example:

Now that you have a meal planner template, you can start plugging in the meals! This is where you will want to refer back to your meal planning assessment, and be sure to consider your client’s foods preferences, lifestyle and goals.

Try to choose meals that are:

  • Simple with minimal time and ingredients
  • Can be packed up and taken with your client when they are on-the-go
  • Create leftovers

#3. Add an Itemized Grocery List

Once you have your meal plan made, you can create your grocery list. A list will save your client a ton of time and money, and will help them get started right away, as opposed to them trying to figure out what they need themselves.

Organize the ingredients on your grocery list under headings. Ensure these headings are listed in order, according to how a standard grocery store is laid out. For example: list “Fruits” first, followed by “Vegetables”, followed by “Meat, Cheese & Fish”. By formatting the list this way, your client can easily work through the store in order and save time from backtracking.

Tip: Ensure you include quantities on your grocery list, to prevent your client from buying more of the ingredient than they actually need.

#4. Develop a Prep Guide

A prep guide is a resource you can provide your client that tells them how to follow the meal plan. It shows them what they can prepare in advance and helps keep them organized and on track.

At That Clean Life, we like to lay our prep guides out into daily tasks. For example: in the morning we will instruct them to prepare their breakfast and pack their lunch and snacks if they are on-the-go, and at night, we will instruct them to prepare their dinner, and pack up the leftovers for tomorrow’s lunch.

#5. Bundle it Together

Once you have your prep guide finished, you can bundle all the components together! You can combine the meal plan, recipes, grocery list and prep guide in a PDF or document.

Ensure your bundle looks nice and professional. Keep the font type and formatting consistent throughout.

#6. Follow-up and Make Adjustments

Congratulations! You’ve now completed a thorough meal planning assessment, built an incredible meal plan with recipes and a grocery list, outlined how to prep and sent it off to your client. Good work!

Once your client has worked through the plan, take some time to follow-up with them to see how it went. Ask them what went well, what didn’t go well and what could be improved for next time. Remember that changing eating habits is hard, and a deeply personal experience. Your client will likely have hit some roadblocks while following the plan. Remind them that this is normal, and celebrate the small successes.

Final Thoughts

Meal planning is a skill that gets easier with time. It is a high-value, high-reward service that has the potential to change lives.

As your business grows, and you bring on new clients, you may find it difficult to offer customized meal plans. At this stage, you may want to consider using a meal planning tool like That Clean Life for Business, which will help you create beautiful, branded meal plans for your clients in minutes.

How To Create A Meal Plan For Clients

When running a personal training business, there a multitude of things you have to do in order to be successful. It can difficult to manage all of the marketing, consultations, workout building, and meal planning. Even with the use of personal trainer software, running a fitness business is no easy task. A big part of many trainers’ fitness programs is meal plans. Nutrition plans can help your clients reach their goals faster, as you won’t have to worry about them losing their progress once they go to a restaurant. We’ll go over how to create a meal plan for clients and how it can help your clients further their progress.

Initial Assessment For Your New Clients

If you are working with a new client, you’ll want to get to know their food preferences, any allergies they have, and take into account their overall goals before creating a meal plan for them. You want to ensure that the meal plan you create for them is going to contribute to the success of their fitness journey. Sit down with them and go over their nutrition history. This will enable you to create the best meal plan for your clients possible.

Help Them Understand The Importance of Meal Prepping

If your clients are just beginning to eat healthier or are struggling to stick to their nutrition programs, meal prepping could be your answer. Meal prepping makes eating healthy a whole lot easier. Your clients won’t have to continuously make meals throughout the week. They’ll spend a few hours one day per week (we recommend on Sunday) creating healthy and portioned meals. To start out, give them a simple and cheap meal plan ideas.

Create Realistic Meal Plans

Creating over-complicated nutrition plans can make everyone’s life harder. Not only will they be harder to program, but they also will be much harder for your clients to adhere to. Start with a simple meal plan, something short such as 7 days. After this, you can begin to program more complicated meal plans based on your client’s fitness goals, though make it simple at the start.

Using the nutrition feature in FitSW, you can easily assign simplified nutrition plans for clients to follow in hitting macro goals. All you have to do is set the totals for macros you want your clients to consume throughout the day. They then just have to click on the icons to fill out the macros as they consume them.

Otherwise, you can create detailed nutrition plans with all the specific foods you suggest your client consume. This feature makes it easy to send your clients meal plans and keep track of how they are doing in completing them.

Adjust Them Over Time

Following up with your clients to see how the meal plans are working for them is crucial to the longevity of both their meal plans and fitness programs. See what they like about the meal plans, what they dislike, and everything in between. Also, remind them that roadblocks are normal for everyone. If they are really struggling to stay on track, try something different. Making sure your client’s meal plans fit them as closely as possible, which adjusting them over time will help, will ensure they are getting the best experience possible.

Example Meal Plan For Clients

Example Meal Plans For Clients

Below you can find some examples of meal plans! Remember that your meal plans should be specifically made for your client’s fitness goals, though we hope this can be a good start/inspiration for you!

How to Teach Your Clients to Create Their Own Meal Plans

When a custom meal plan isn’t the right fit, there are still ways to equip your clients with the resources and support they need to succeed. One way to do this is to teach your clients how to do their own meal planning, and you can do this by giving your client a meal planning guide.

Many health professionals offer custom meal plans as a service as they are effective in helping clients achieve their nutrition goals. However, for a variety of reasons, sometimes offering a custom meal plan just isn’t feasible.

When a custom meal plan isn’t the right fit, there are still ways to equip your clients with the resources and support they need to succeed. One way to do this is to teach your clients how to do their own meal planning, and you can do this by giving your client a meal planning guide.

What is a Meal Planning Guide?

Meal planning guides are designed to empower the client to do their own meal planning. They can be used to attract new clients, increase their success and keep them engaged. You can use meal planning guides with clients one-on-one, group programs, workshops, and more.

A meal planning guide includes three key components:

  1. A collection of recipes designed to meet the needs of the client (or group).
  2. A blank meal plan.
  3. Instructions on how to create their own plan using the recipes provided.

How to Create a Meal Planning Guide

Here is how you can create a meal planning guide in minutes using That Clean Life.

1. Create a Collection of recipes to meet the client’s needs.

When building any type of customized resource for a client, it is so important that you first assess their needs. Use our Assessment Tool to ask your clients the right questions about their lifestyle, food preferences, goals, etc. This assessment will help you choose recipes that are perfect for the client.

Next, use That Clean Life to put together a Collection of 16 to 20 recipes: four to five breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and snacks.

Be sure to use filters to find recipes quickly. You can filter by the number of ingredients, time, meal type, or diet. You can also filter recipes based on nutrition info like calories, macronutrients, and micronutrients.

Tip: See a full list of available filtering options available within That Clean Life.

2. Create a new blank plan and set your Smart plan rules.

Now head to the Planner, create a new blank plan and set any Smart plan rules that apply to your client. For example, if your client is gluten-free and dairy-free, add those as Smart plan rules so that if they swap a recipe, they will only be shown gluten-free and dairy-free options.

Next, add this blank plan with Smart plan rules to the Collection. Now the Collection will contain a blank plan with recipes.

3. Share the Collection of recipes with the blank meal planning template.

Once your Collection contains the hand-picked recipes and blank plan, click “Share”. Turn sharing and “Allow Edits” on then choose any other share settings you’d like. Copy the link to share it with your client.

When your client clicks on this link, they will see the blank plan and recipes you provided.

When they click on the plan, they can start to build it out with the recipes you provided them with.

Tip: If sharing a Collection with a group of people, be sure to create a deep copy of the original collection and provide each client with their own unique link.

How to Introduce Your Client to Their Meal Planning Guide

Along with the shared link, you should provide your client with instructions on how to use their meal planning guide. These instructions can be sent via email or through your practice management software.

Here’s an example of how you might introduce your client to their meal planning guide:


Welcome to your meal planning guide! Taking the time to plan your meals can have such a positive impact on your overall health.

In this meal planning guide, you will find a collection of recipes I have hand-picked for you, along with a blank planner, where you can plan your meals.

How to Use this Meal Planning Guide:

Step 1: Access your personal meal planning guide using the link provided. On the left-hand side of the screen, you will see your planner. On the right-hand side of the screen, you will see a list of the recipes I have selected for you.

Step 2: Next, look through the recipes and select meals that appeal to you. Add them to your plan by clicking the “Add” button. Set the number of servings you’d like the recipe to create. Continue to add meals to your plan until it is complete to your liking.

Step 3: As you add meals to your plan, you’ll notice that your grocery list is automatically generated. You can view it by clicking on the “List” tab from your Planner. Your list is organized by category so that you know exactly what you need in each section of the grocery store. When your plan is done, get the list and do your shopping.

Step 4: Once you have done your shopping, you may want to do some meal prep. This is optional but can really help set you up for a successful week. Look at the recipes you have chosen and see what can be prepped in advance. Perhaps you can dice vegetables or even make an entire recipe to save yourself time later on in the week.

Now that you have created your plan, shopped, and done some meal prep, you are all set to follow your meal plan for the week! Check your plan every morning and night, so you know what is coming up next and can stay organized.

Meal planning is a skill that gets easier over time. Reach out to me any time with your meal planning questions.

If you are working with the client over a long period of time, you can continue to add blank plans and new recipes to their collection to keep them inspired and engaged. As the practitioner, you’ll be able to see what your clients add to their plans and provide them with feedback.

With an awesome meal planning guide and clear instructions on how to use it, your client will feel empowered to do their own meal planning!

4 Tips for Creating a Meal Plan that Your Clients Will Follow

A meal plan is a great way to improve one’s diet. After all, planning meals and snacks in advance increases the chances of making healthier food choices, and you also get to control your portions. Aside from these benefits, you can also make meal plans more appealing to your clients by promoting the financial perks. Because you get to plan your grocery list, you can buy items in bulk and avoid impulse buys. On top of this, Brown School Research Assistant Professor Rachel Tabak lists even more benefits of meal planning — including saving time since you won’t have to think about what to eat and prepare as much.

That being said, here are some tips to help you create a meal plan that your clients will actually follow.

1. Assess your client

A nutritionist is going through a meal plan to maximize the benefits of training.

You want your meal plan to benefit your client in their fitness journey. To do this, you’ll need to know their goals. Do they want to lose weight? Build muscle? Go over your client’s nutrition history with them. Ask if they’ve previously tried any sort of diet, and if they have any allergies and preferences. Also take into account their budget and available time they have to spend on buying and preparing food.

2. Make a flexible meal plan

A Nutritionist should design a flexible meal plan, and use macro tracking to control client’s nutritional needs.

You’ll have to think of a strategy that works best for each client — whether it means counting strict calories, flexible portion sizes, or focusing on eating whole foods. However, clients will also have different preferences. Some may want a more rigid meal plan to achieve a very specific goal. In this case, you’ll have to be the one to select what meals and snacks they’ll be preparing. Other clients, however, will appreciate a wide variety of meal and snack options they can choose from. Healthline’s article on flexible dieting shows that this flexibility in eating helps clients have a healthy and positive relationship with food. You can also suggest some apps to make it easier for both of you to track their progress. For example, using Everfit macro tracking, you can set your client’s macro goals by filling in protein, carbs, fat, and such for each meal. If your client has been using MyFitnessPal, they can sync it to Everfit so they won’t have to log their meals and other nutritional information twice.

A Nutritionist can have their clients log meals in Everfit, integrating with MyFitnessPal

3. Include supplements that can boost your client’s performance

A nutritionist can incorporate various dietary supplements in a client’s meal plan to optimize their results.

Many fitness pros use supplements to achieve their fitness goals. Even people who don’t have athletic lifestyles take them to support their nutrition. If you feel like your client may benefit from this, you can incorporate various dietary supplements in their meal plan. One example of this are collagen supplements, which aid in muscle repair and recovery. In addition, Pretty Me’s review of Frozen Collagen supplements highlights how collagen supplements can detoxify the body and make skin more flexible so it’s not as prone to injury. Another example are vitamin D supplements, which are good for the skin as well and can boost calcium and bone health. When combined with a diet of healthy fats and fish, Greatist’s review of Sports Research Vitamin D3 notes that vitamin D can be better absorbed by the body.

4. Suggest recipes and a shopping list

A nutritionist can recommend recipes for clients to try out to help clients reach their macros goals.

Old habits can be tough to break, especially if the client isn’t used to the diet they’re doing. You can help ease them into it by suggesting simple recipes first and giving them a ready shopping list. This helps break the stereotype that meal plans, whether rigid or not, are hard to follow. Your client will be able to stick with the new and healthy habits much easier. Sometimes, clients might not be sure if they’re correctly following your advice and plan. In that case, Everfit’s food journal lets them post photos of their food and you can give them instant feedback. You can think of it as Instagram for meal plans.

Meal plans can be perfect on paper, but it won’t do any good if your client doesn’t like it. They probably won’t make radical changes to their lifestyle and diet overnight, but you can encourage them to stick to the meal plan by patiently explaining to them the reasons behind it. You can also send them tasks through the Everfit app. These can range from new recipes and shopping lists to health articles. You can also use it to simply remind them about their water intake and upcoming check-ins. If your clients feel like this isn’t just a job to you and that you really want them to succeed, it can also motivate them to push through with the meal plans you created for them. On that note, you can check out our previous article on Everfit for tips on how to keep in touch with your clients amid the pandemic.

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