More than half of gym members indicate “weight loss” as a primary reason for joining. But studies show that exercise alone will not result in substantial weight loss. As the adage goes, “you can’t out run a bad diet.”
So how are you managing the “diet” aspect of weight loss for your clients? The very suggestion may conjure up fears of having to hire a dietitian, add support groups or sell pre-packaged meals.
But you are not a weight loss clinic and you shouldn’t have to behave like one to help your clients lose weight. Here are three suggestions to effectively assist your clients with weight loss, without having to re-brand your facility.
RMR testing. A resting metabolic rate test can be performed with most VO2 Max carts. These tests differ from VO2 Max, as the client rests in a chair while breathing into a tube rather than running on a treadmill. An RMR test will indicate quite clearly how a person’s metabolism is burning calories and what needs to change for them to successfully lose weight. Showing someone what is actually going on inside their own bodies is a powerful method to eliminate excuses and engage them in the process.
Diet apps. Once you have a measurement, there are a number of good apps that can guide your client through meal planning, grocery shopping, food preparation and monitoring. Make sure you don’t commit to a program that simply tracks eating, but one that instructs clients on what to eat and how to prepare it. Studies show that people are more successful losing weight when infinite possibilities are narrowed down to acceptable choices. When looking for an app, I would suggest the following as critical items:
• Meal plans designed by registered dietitians.
• Option to substitute foods.
• Ability to monitor and communicate with your client through the app.
• Simple user interface.
• Burn fat through exercise.
It’s not enough to just burn calories. We need to make sure our clients are burning the right calories — aka fat. Although charts will define a “fat-burning zone,” this is actually just an estimate based on population studies. The only practical way to determine if a person is burning fats versus carbs is with a VO2 Max test. By performing a VO2 Max test, you can identify the heart rates that correlate with burning fat.
Adding a diet program to your facility is smart. A simple walk through your gym will reveal the frustrated client, punishing themselves in an effort to lose weight. These dedicated clients deserve more. By following these simple steps, you can help them succeed.
Julie Kofoed, BSN, is the vice president of marketing for KORR Medical Technologies. For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit korr.com.