Coaching Meal Plan

Before You Offer a Meal Plan to Your Client

As a health and life coach, we may be offering our service to clients to lose weight, feel better, or alleviate the symptoms of a diagnosed or un-diagnosed disorder. Although trained by a coaching certification program or by your own life experience, it’s important to know what you can and cannot do under the laws of your state and the state of where your client lives.

As part of my certification training through the Life Coach School, last summer I was listening in on the business advice training the School offers to its newly certificated coaches in its Entrepreneur Track. One new health coach came up to ask about a situation she was having with one of her weight loss clients. The client wanted a meal plan to lose weight and the coach didn’t want to because the coach wanted the client to come up with her own eating protocol and then the coach would help the client stick to the protocol. During the business call, the experienced successful coach told the new coach to ‘give the client a meal plan.’ She told her to find one on the internet, give it to the client and, when the client couldn’t follow it, step in and coach her.

Now, I have a huge amount of respect for the experienced coach who was offering this business advice to the new coach. Respect is actually an understatement. Idolize is probably more accurate. And I completely understand her philosophy for giving this advice and understand why she’s such a successful coach. But, the lawyer in me cringed a little when I heard that. Before giving your client a meal plan, whether off the internet or something that you’ve created based on experience, even really good experience, you have to know the laws in your state and in the state where your client lives.

For example, this health coach in Florida learned it the hard way. (My understanding is that the health coach lost her law suit, but the Florida legislature has since stepped in to change language in its statue to exclude non-medical therapy nutrition advice).

It is important to know the limits of the advice you give your clients. Not all states have such burdensome restrictions. This website is a great starting point. If you or your client live in a red or a yellow state, make sure to read up on what you can and cannot do.

So what does this mean for you? Well, first of all, don’t freak out….even if you’ve already given a client a meal plan. COVID-19 is still going on and chances are good that your state’s health officials probably have much more pressing concerns than whether or not you told Sally to stop eating white flour or gave her a recipe. But, now armed with new knowledge, let’s just start fresh.

Arm yourself with knowledge. The laws are just facts. What do you want to think about those laws and what it means for your coaching business? How much do you want to ‘educate’ and coach your clients versus diagnosing, prescribing or ‘treating’ a disease? Because if you have a thought, ‘I totally understand the laws and am confident that I’m coaching my clients in compliance of those laws,’ how do you think that will affect your coaching business?

Knowledge is power as long as you think it is.

This is what I help my clients work through. I provide a little bit of knowledge about how laws might affect their business and then help them see how those laws will only help them in creating the coaching business of their dreams. I don’t give legal advice, but I help you to become your own lawyer and understand how to make your business be more successful.

If you notice you’re having thoughts around these laws which are creating fear or confusion, sign up for a free 45-minute session with me. I help my clients see how laws and regulations can lead to successful coaching practices.

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**The information in this post is for general information purposes only.  It is not intended or meant to be legal, financial or other professional advice.  Neither Megan Green nor Megan Green LLC is intending to create and attorney-client relationship with you.  You are encouraged to seek out the advice of legal counsel or other professional advice before acting or refraining from acting based on the content contained on the Site.  Megan Green LLC assumes no responsibility for errors or omission in the contents on the Site.

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