Ask most gym members — especially new ones — why they choose to join, and “losing weight” is a common answer. While fitness centers are experts on movement and exercise regimens for weight loss, they often miss the critical part of the equation. Nutrition plays the largest, most effective role in sustained weight loss, yet a very small percentage of personal trainers and fitness facilities have the certifications and training needed to implement a successful nutrition program.
A study of 700 weight loss candidates found 75% of short-term results were attributable to diet and only 25% came due to exercise. On average, the “dieters” lost 23 pounds in 15 weeks, while the “exercisers” lost 6 pounds in 21 weeks. In the words of nutritional biochemist Shawn M. Talbott, “You can’t out-exercise a bad diet.”
Fitness centers that introduce a nutrition component provide their members with the best of both worlds. Members who engage in a formal nutrition program often experience weight loss in a quick, safe manner. Their immediate accomplishments lead to sustained fitness center membership, and a motivation to increase use of services and frequency of visits.
In addition to the upsell and cross-sell opportunities of additional services, facilities that include nutrition programs also generate an incremental revenue stream. They can market to individuals who are reluctant to engage in traditional workouts.
One weight loss company that works extensively with fitness centers reports additional average revenue of $500,000 per year per center for those facilities that incorporate its nutrition-based program. Fitness centers that are engaged in the “nutrition business” also find it easier to develop partnerships with medical care practitioners. Healthcare providers whose patients suffer from conditions such as Type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure are often looking for natural solutions to offer to their patients.
It’s also common for nutrition program “graduates” to have confidence, energy, and physical well-being that entices them to movement and exercise activities.
Simply stated, when members engage in a nutrition program that helps them see results quickly, but safely, they are much more likely to be retained by the facility, and oftentimes become raving fans.