The Diet Industry By Default

The Diet Industry By Default

There is nothing more important than being able to explain what you do in a clear and simple manner within seconds. “I own a gym” isn’t remotely interesting, but “I own a company that transforms thousands of lives” is. Now you’ve got their attention.

Having a simple and precise message has never been more important than it is today, when there is so much noise in the fitness industry. Claims, promises, guarantees are everywhere, but rarely does someone have their own “USP” (unique selling position). That is, something unique no one else has or could easily mimic. These types of USPs tend to come from a strong mission statement or core values that drive the business.

In today’s crowded space, fitness clubs have a lot to contend with. The word “diet” has been replaced with “lifestyle,” a word which tends to include fitness, so even the diet industry is joining in. Headlines can be witnessed such as “Exercise at home with just a rubber band and a chair!” or “Hire a virtual trainer and skip the gym fees!” There is competition everywhere you turn.

Back to the USP of “I own a company that transforms thousands of lives.” The trouble (or opportunity) with this, is that you have to be able to deliver, which includes providing:

  • A fitness club with rock star coaches.
  • A fitness club with killer group fitness classes.
  • A fitness club with a smoothie bar.
  • A fitness club with childcare.
  • A fitness club with water, towels, locker room.
  • A fitness club with a nice retail center.

Are these things going to transform thousands of lives? Not likely. They might sell a membership, but transform lives?

The success formula must include a solution to what is likely the main issue: nutrition. As a fitness club owner, you inherently know these two (fitness plus nutrition) are necessary for a total transformation, and yet most clubs don’t provide this winning combination. Did you know that in 2016 it was reported the diet industry brought in $60 billion, and the fitness industry brought in a considerably less $30 billion? What’s wrong with that picture?

Having a system in place to support how the customer is nourishing their body as they train with your rock star coaches, enjoy a Zumba class, shop in your store for a T-shirt after a hot shower and more — then, you’re talking.

Fitness plus a proven nutrition program that gets results is the only way that “elevator speech” can confidently include the word transform. If your mission statement or one of your core values includes “changing lives,” then re-evaluate if you have the winning combination in place to not only transform lives, but also increase client retention, improve word of mouth marketing, and separate your business from the crowded space of the fitness industry, now being morphed into the diet industry by default.


For more information on this topic, contact Carolyn Fetters, CEO of Balanced Habits, at or visit

1 Comment

  1. Ziporah R Paskman

    February 20, 2017 at 7:35 pm

    Great article Carolyn, and so true about the weight loss industry as a whole. It is so difficult to find “the whole package” when it comes to overall “lifestyle” changes, a term that you are correct in implying is losing it’s meaning. As someone who has struggled with weight most of her adult life, I’ve been through plenty of personal trainers or nutritionists. Very few and far between have I found the whole package. What an awesome service you provide to offer a solution to balance out the fitness industry.

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