Weight Loss for Fitness Centres
Dear Gym Owner or Fitness Professional,
- Are you interested in helping your members and clients eat better with a food coaching program in your fitness centre?
- Is “weight loss” the most commonly stated goal for new members and PT clients?
- Do you run fitness challenges that don’t include a great weight loss solution?
- Are you interested in a secondary revenue stream to increase your direct debit income, without having to sell more memberships?
- Would you be interested in offering a unique weight loss program to locals, including those who are not yet ready to start exercising?
If you said yes to any of the above, please read on.
Dietflex is different to standard ‘one-size-fits-all’, low carb, Paleo, low GI or Ketogenic programs. Dietflex is based upon the following concepts:
One diet does not suit every body
Just as each person varies in their body’s sun tolerance (how many minutes sun they can tolerate before burning), each person varies in their body’s carbohydrate tolerance – per meal and per day (above which they have difficulty accessing their excess bodyfat for energy).
The dietflex coaching program is a step-by-step system to help each person discover their body’s individual carbohydrate tolerance, and what that represents in real foods that the person and their family enjoy. For some people, the right low carb food plan will deliver 130 g of carbohydrate per day whereas others won’t be able to tolerate any more than 50 g a day. Everybody is different. The goal is to maximise nutrient density with healthy food choices, whilst staying under their body’s carbohydrate tolerance in order to achieve healthy results.
Food coaching needs an expert system, not an expert
Excellent results can be achieved for members when they are coached through the program by a dietflex-trained coach. With weekly booked sessions, dietflex has a very high frequency of accountability and support. Registered Fitness Leaders and other staff members can learn to become dietflex coaches, and deliver dietflex in the fitness centre. Typically they operate on a shift basis where clients are booked in back-to-back to maximise coach efficiency. Most members enrol for at least 12 weeks of coaching and see their dietflex coach for pre-scheduled 15 minute weekly appointments. This means a coach can see 4 dietflex clients per hour.
Once you have a trained dietflex coach, you can also run remote coaching clinics in medical centres, say one shift per week. This can attract an entirely new audience. When these medical patients lose weight, they become more interested in exercise.
Corporate coaching can also happen, whereby the dietflex coach (who may be a personal trainer) runs a clinic one shift per week within a company’s workplace. The employer may even be open to subsiding the program.
Coaching sessions only take 15 minutes per week
Effective and lasting behavioural change requires both quality of contact and frequency. With dietflex the initial teaching session is 60 minutes followed by weekly 15 minute support sessions at a premium. Of course a personal trainer can become a dietflex coach and offer 45 minute combined sessions, 30 minutes exercise and 15 minutes coaching.
Alternatively a PT could structure a premium results program that includes two 30 minute PT sessions and one 15 minute dietflex session. That’s just 75 minutes per week in total. With dietflex, clients do not rely on exercise volume to lose weight.
Professionally organised systems, stationery and patient education materials
From the outset, coaching clients receive high quality resources and carefully-timed support materials (shopping lists, menu planners, easy tested recipes, pocket planners etc.) There is also an email-delivered education program to reinforce the lessons from the coach.
Optimal compliance and results
We know that the change process can be difficult and so getting early results helps clients stay on track. Dietflex uses a number of strategies to help clients get early results with minimal side effects while avoiding hunger. Hunger is the enemy of weight loss!
Is a dietitian required?
No. However, the dietflex program has a thorough screening procedure. A standard notification letter is sent to every client’s doctor (which helps build a referral relationship).
The screening procedure also identifies those few who should to talk to their doctor, who may be happy for them to proceed or refer them to an Accredited Practicing Dietitian. Either way, the doctor can oversee their own patient.
As the fitness centre becomes known for success in weight management and helping minimise the risks of weight-affected conditions, this leads to a greater volume of locals seeking solutions, and ironically a greater number of referrals from doctors. With dietflex people feel better.
What does the PT client or member pay for dietflex?
Every fitness centre will have their own preferred internal business plan. Some will want the centre to be the provider of the program, delivered by an employee who does the dietflex coach training. In this case the client pays the centre. Alternatively, some centres will want the coach to be the provider of the program, where the client pays the coach and there is a rental or fee-sharing arrangement between the coach and the centre.
If a fitness centre has the goal to keep fees low to make it affordable and accessible for most members, they can consider using non-graduate coaches (full time, casual, contract or fee-sharing). The fitness centre sets the fees for the dietflex coaching program. Typically it is around $100 to $150 for the initial 60 minute screening and education session. The weekly sessions are typically 15 minutes and billed at $30 to $35 (either by direct debit or pre-payment for a minimum 12 weeks). For many members this is very affordable. Some members with a lot of weight to lose will continue coaching up to a year.
Dietflex is not promoted as a claimable health expense. To be claimable on a health fund, dietflex must be delivered by a Medicare Registered Provider whose fees may be considerably higher and so the net cost to the patient may well be the same. Also, claimable visits are limited in number for many health services; some very-overweight dietflex clients request ongoing weekly sessions for 40 weeks or more.
6 week challenges
These are a great way for a fitness centre to get new members and engage existing members. They can also boost revenue. Mostly, they have a weight loss focus, but without an effective dietary intervention, it leaves the results to chance. Dietflex coaching can be delivered one-on-one or in small groups or teams who meet weekly. Many members will want to continue their weight loss journey after the 6 weeks with continuing dietflex coaching.
Are blood tests required for the dietflex program?
No. However the doctor may choose to monitor a patient’s blood profile (including fasting BS and insulin) prior to starting, during and after. It’s common to see blood profile, blood pressure and other health measures improve. DNA tests are not required either.
Are supplements required for the dietflex program?
No. The dietflex program is food-based and so there are no supplements and vitamins required. There are recommended between-meal protein snacks offered to clients. Our experience is that small regular servings of protein can assist in behaviour change, compliance and the prevention of hunger. As clients adapt to the new way of eating, many become very comfortable not having snacks at all. These protein snacks are sold to the clients in bulk each week.
Dietflex has a range of specially formulated protein snacks (approved by our dietitian) that are not available anywhere else. The dietflex coach gets special access to our online wholesale shopping cart to order snack products and dietflex stationery. If the centre has a range of protein snacks, these can be assessed by our dietitian to see if they fit into the step-by-step program, and if so when they could be introduced to clients. (Remember: One diet does not suit every body!)
Solve the confusion!
Today, people who want to reduce their weight and/or improve their health are confused. Should they follow: ketogenic diet, low carb diet, intermittent fasting (eg 5:2 diet), fasting, Paleo, low GI, gluten free, vegetarian, low fat or Mediterranean diet. The dietflex step-by-step coaching system helps them learn the eating plan that works for their body.
How are dietflex coaches trained?
This is a two-step process. They enrol in the dietflex e-learning program with self-paced tuition, and they go on the program themselves. In addition there’s phone and email support for any technical, admin or community marketing issues. High-level technical support is also provided by the dietflex consulting dietitian.
dietflex helps fitness centres create new markets
Most fitness centres share the existing fitness membership market with their increasing number of competitors, all competing by offering more for less. dieflex is about market creation not market sharing. The program helps you attract a new market that aren’t yet considering joining a fitness centre. (Reference: Blue Ocean Shift) With over 60% of adults overweight and obese, for many of these people their weight is the biggest reason that they don’t exercise. (At best 12-15% of the population belong to a fitness centre.) Many are not even considering joining a fitness centre. However, if you offer a program that helps people lose weight (without hunger) and increase their energy levels, many of these people will become interested in exercising – with you – at your centre!
How to find out more