As a dietitian or another practitioner in the field of weight loss and diet, you likely face the challenge of how to motivate medically supervised weight loss patients. While many patients have medical conditions that push them to lose weight, it’s your job to help them stick to their plan by providing additional motivation. We’ve put together this guide that highlights a few of the things that you can do to help your patients during this trying time.
Many patients wind up straying from their medically supervised dietary plan because they become bored. If the program consists of the same meals and the same exercise day after day, boredom will set in after a while.
Find ways to inject excitement into the plan, which will keep things feeling new. You can increase enthusiasm by introducing different foods, suggesting new exercises or trying new methods of keeping track of everything. Doing anything new will make staying motivated a much more manageable task for your patient.
One of the hardest things for a person who is undergoing medically supervised weight loss is getting the nutrition they need to stay healthy while keeping calories at an appropriate level to lead to loss of excess body weight.
Powdered shakes are often the go-to way of making this happen because the diet can be so easily controlled. While these shakes may be an essential part of many weight loss programs, drinking a shake for every meal will quickly become tiresome and lead to burnout.
A superior option is providing your patients with meal options beyond the shakes or granola bars, such as Achieve food pouches. When you show your patients that there are convenient, flavorful whole food options available to them, they will be much more likely to stick with their plan. Plus, in the long-term, it will be easier for them to get into a pattern of eating well for health and wellness when they understand which real foods should be a part of their everyday diet.
According to the American Heart Association, goals are one of the best ways to stay motivated, especially during periods of boredom. Spend some time during each weight loss coaching session focusing on both short- and long-term goals for your patient.
Working on goals can be a great way to increase motivation. When your patients see what they've accomplished and what lies just ahead, they’ll be more likely to want to stick to the plan and keep doing what has already worked.
Many weight loss patients stumble when they make mistakes. Perhaps the patient overindulges while he or she is on vacation, or feels down in the dumps and overeats.
Show your patient that making a mistake doesn't mean that they have failed, but rather that they have faced a temporary hurdle that can be easily overcome. Getting past these problematic moments with encouragement may be one of your most challenging, yet important roles.