Fitness professionals can be so enthusiastic about getting clients to their goals. We have all sorts of cool tricks, exercises, tips and habits to offer. Yes, eating more protein, drinking water, adding vegetables and getting exercise in are all pretty much indisputable habits to go after. However, sometimes these great ideas have one glaring limitation that we often overlook in our excitement to get our clients what they want. That limitation is a toolbox. I can tell someone to put a nail in, but without a hammer it will be quite difficult. If a client does not have the right tools in their kitchen, it becomes impossible or very difficult to make these healthy habits stick. Worse, too much time wasted because of inefficiency can lead to high dropout rates and it could also cut into exercise time. Before we add in any healthy habits, let’s first take an inventory and make sure that the environment lends itself to success. The very first objective your client may have to hit is a shopping trip. Here is a list of basics, but of course it has to be tweaked to your program and clients lifestyle:
- 4-6 bowls, plates, forks, knives, and spoons per person in the household. I think we are all guilty of making a poor food choice because utensils and plates were dirty and we were in a rush.
- For fat loss clients, have them get salad plates instead of large dinner plates
- 2 Crock Pots, again, one may be still in the dishwasher
- 2-5 pans, 2-5 pots, including a grill pan
- A basic set of cooking tools: 2 spatula, 2 large spoons, mixers, peeler, and brushes etc.
- Cooking spray
- At least 5 Tupperware containers of 3 sizes each or more (including x small for dressings)
- For water, several bottles and a filter that is in a convenient location. Make it hard NOT to drink the water. A few bottles of lemon juice may be handy for those needing some taste
- A large container to be put in a closet for those clients who shop in bulk. Make it difficult for them to graze out of big packages
- Several rolls of foil, plastic coverings, paper towels, and any other small miscellaneous items
In no way is this list a complete guide for kitchen prep. However, I hope it gets you thinking about making the environment work for your clients’ success, as opposed to working against it.