Is Stress Preventing Weight Loss With Your Client? What You Need To Know

by | Apr 28, 2021

When it comes to weight loss, most people think about nutrition and exercise habits. But not everyone thinks about how stress could factor into weight loss efforts. When it comes to weight loss, there could be many reasons why your client’s number on the scale has stalled. In this article, we’ll discuss the role that stress management plays in weight loss efforts. However, before we get to the bulk of it, first allow me to introduce myself. 

My name is Tony Stephan, and I’m a dietitian business coach. I help RDs make more IMPACT and more INCOME through nutrition coaching. However, before I became a dietitian business coach, I was an RD nutrition coach (just like you!). I served thousands of nutrition coaching clients over a time span of 12 years. My successful nutrition coaching business is what led me to where I am today. Now allow me to share with you how to navigate stress and weight loss in a client whose weight has stalled.

Why We Experience Stress

Ultimately, stressful things happen all around us all the time. Just watch the news or scroll through social media. You’ll find that there are so many things outside of our own lives that can become a source of stress in our own lives. Some external stress examples are health crises like COVID-19, politics, environmental concerns, and so forth. Outside of those external things, you’ll also find that there are always things to be stressed out about within our own lives– paying the bills, family stressors, career stressors, and so forth. When it comes down to it, stress is a part of life. We will never be able to get rid of all of the stressors in our lives, but we can always find a way to manage them. 

As RDs, sometimes we feel like we can only strictly talk about nutrition with our coaching clients. However, there is a lot outside of nutrition alone that can impact your client’s success! That is why it’s very important for us to monitor markers outside of nutrition in our clients. In our Dietitian Nutrition Coaching Certification, we teach our students to track factors such as stress, sleep quality, and energy levels. Think about it this way, if you’re not sleeping well or if you’re stressed out to the max, it’s a lot harder to build healthy, sustainable nutrition habits. In this article, we will particularly talk about what you can do to help clients whose weight loss has been stalled while their stress levels are through the roof.

Why Stress Can Be A Major Roadblock With Weight Loss

Becoming a healthier you is hard enough on a good day, but what about those bad days? The truth about implementing healthier habits into your life is that it takes a great amount of energy and fortitude even when life is going SMOOTHLY!. So imagine how hard it is on those bad days when extra stress is on your shoulders. This is why it’s so important to have conversations about stress with your coaching clients.

You may find that your client is skipping their recommended workouts because they have an urgent deadline at work that has them stressed to the max. Your client may be stress eating after work because they are struggling with the stress of balancing a job and the newfound challenges of parenthood. You may find that stress is directly impacting your client’s success in their nutrition goals. But the only way you can know for sure is to talk about it with your client to see how you can be of aid in their weight loss journey. When your client’s nutrition is being negatively impacted by stress, then you have to treat the root of the issue by addressing the stressors and how they can be managed.

Bottom Line: Managing Stress For Your Clients In Their Weight Loss Journey

Sometimes a stress management solution could be as easy as picking up stress-relieving activities like meditation, journaling, or deep breathing. However, there will be times that it may be in your client’s best interest to be referred out to a mental health professional. This is where you can use your best discretion as an RD nutrition coach. In the end, the most important thing is that you talk with your clients about what’s going on in their lives outside of nutrition and monitor factors outside of nutrition during your time with them.

If you’re looking to start your own nutrition coaching side hustle, you’re in the right place. I’m proud to be a part of the movement of dietitian entrepreneurs who are making more IMPACT and more INCOME! In the Dietitian Nutrition Coaching Certification, we teach our students how to cut through the noise as an RD and how to create a solid business structure for their online businesses. 


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