Overcoming Client Plateaus


Table of Contents

Weight Loss Resistance Protocols

Now, I couldn’t possibly go over all of the ways to break through all of the possible weight loss plateaus as that could literally fill a whole small book, but until I get into the groove of giving everyone all of the great content that is planned to be included on this pillar page, here are some of the best tools that can be implemented with clients that may help them break past their weight loss resistance.

If you are unfamiliar with any of the items detailed in the list below, then I would advise spending some time and potentially researching them a little bit further on the web. But I can tell you that in the very near future, I will be writing about how to effectively implement all of them with coaching clients and providing detailed case studies as to how coaches just like you can apply them with your own clients and in helping you identify when they might be right for a particular coaching client.

Soon To Come… 

  • Using the Insulin Index and the Satiety Index


  • Carbohydrate, Nutrient and Calorie Cycling


  • Targeted Re-feed Days


  • When and How to Use High-Intensity Training and When ti Not Use it


  • Establishing if Metabolic Flexibility in order to Determine if a Person is Truly in a Deficit or Not


  • Using Fast Mimicking Diets (FMD)


  • Determining if a Clogged Liver or if Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver is Present or Not


  • Creating a Food Plan Based on Reducing Inflammation


  • How to Combine Time-Restricted Feeding and Calorie/Carbohydrate Cycling Together


  • How to Effectively Front-Load Calories for Weight Loss Without Dropping Calories
  • Many More Basic/Beginner Weight Loss Resistance Protocols


  • Advanced Weight Loss Resistance Protocols as Well.

The key takeaway point from the above list is to not overwhelm anyone with 100 different ways to skin a cat, but by learning that you as coaches just have more tools to choose from, hopefully this will allow you as health coaches to build better mousetraps that ultimately get your clients the result they are looking for.

Health Plateau Busting Protocols

When you search on the web “how to break through a health plateau”, all you get is pages upon pages of how to overcome a weight loss plateau, but very few if any of those sources aim to show a person how to get over a poor health plateau. Now if you search specific terms such as chronic fatigue, digestion issues or immune system problems, sure, you get specific pages on all of those, but very few if any are targeting the true underlying causes of most of the health problems of today.

For that reason, I have detailed a whole page directed towards health coaches that aims to help in identifying where the true cause of a person’s problem may just be at. As I like to say, many times, some the best-intentioned health coaches and practitioners  of today “completely miss the forest for the trees” by continuing to only focus on what a person puts into their mouths and or how much they exercise they get  instead of looking at some of the deeper-rooted causes.

Here is a list of some of the most common root-cause issues that go pretty deep and if any of them are present, they will definitely hold a person back from ever achieving high levels of health.

  • Microbiome and Digestion Issues


  • Unmanaged Stress and Anxiety


  • Poor Liver Health and Detoxification Issues


  • Hidden Infections


  • Environmental Toxin Exposures


  • Nutrient Deficiencies


  • Dietary Triggers/Food Intolerances


  • Unregulated Inflammation


  • Mitochondrial Dysfunction

Now, you may look at that above list and say wow, some of those topics are way over my head. But let me assure any of you out there that any health coach can help any person improve and optimize every single one of the above root-cause issues as all of the above dysfunctions can be corrected with dietary, lifestyle and supplemental changes, and if done properly, zero of them will require the use of any type of pharmaceuticals. This is what I hope to teach the health coaches of tomorrow about so that they one day can turn around and become more of the healers in this world that are taking action today and helping people thrive so that they do not have to worry about being sick or having poor health in the future. Please stay tuned or read up on the Identify Underlying Hidden Causes page of this site as I attempt to dive into identifying many of the above problems and showing you all ways to help clients fix those issues.

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Common Mistakes That Coaches Make

When it comes to helping clients get past plateaus, one of which is weight loss resistance, let’s quickly cover some of the simplest yet biggest mistakes that health coaches will allow clients to make when working with them:

  1. Letting Clients Only Use the Scale to Measure Progress 

Now, this one should be common sense, but like it or not, clients will always associate progress with seeing their scale weight go down. Using the scale as the only marker of progress is something that many clients do that can easily derail their future successes, and when that happens that is where good health coach can step in and help them see the light.


Scenario 1: Why don’t we use pictures that are placed side by side, along with body measurements and the scale weight all at the same time, and then based on all three, we can determine if any progress is being made or not?


Scenario 2: The client tells you they would like to weigh what they weighed 10 years ago as that was when they felt and looked their best. However, since that time 10 years ago, they may have started weight training and they may have put on muscle, and if they are just looking for that number on the scale, and due to their higher muscle mass, they will most likely never get there and  the simple thought of that can cause problems.


Scenario 3: Let’s say we have a Ms. Jones who keeps getting stronger in the gym and is feeling better than ever before, and all of her previous symptoms are gone since starting working with you, but still the scale is not moving. Well, the Ms. Jones should understand, if you are getting stronger, then you are most likely also building muscle, and because of that, the body fat pounds may be slowly coming off, but the new muscle pounds are then taking their place and canceling each other out on the scale. 


The list can go on and on, but the point is to educate clients about how the body works and how body weight can fluctuate widely throughout the week based on water, stress, carbs, sleep, etc. and that to only measure progress based on the scale is very short-sighted.

2. Thinking That We Have to Be Able to Help Every Client That We Work With and Feeling Like a Failure if We Don’t

This one is also pretty simple. Have you added value to your client’s life in any way since starting, and or have you helped them instill changes that they will most likely stick with for a lifetime? Even if that client may not be practicing those skills every single day, if you did so then it is still something to be proud of? Now, if you can feel that you have done that, then you should feel confident that you have done that client right! 


Do not get hung up and lose sleep over not being able to fix every single problem that a client has. We may want to do just that, but if you stress out about helping every single client reach everyone one of their goals, it will definitely pull you away from other areas in your life that will also be requiring your enthusiasm and energy. If anything, use that extra energy to get that hard to reach client on board with trying something new, or if that doesn’t work reach out to someone else who might be able to help give you some new ideas.

3. Overwhelming Clients With a That Brand-New Idea that You Think May Help Them, Even Though It Something that You Have Never Even Tried Yourself!

It is perfectly natural that when a client hits a plateau in working with you, you go and do some research on what might be causing their problem, all with the hopes of getting some new ideas. But please remember that clients should not be your sounding board for that newest blog topic that you found on how to break through a plateau or some other online trainer’s advice that you found on a Pinterest page. There is a fine line of providing a reasonable approach to helping a client overcome a plateau that does not entail just dumping new information on them. So, before you offer to try something totally new with clients, ask yourself, would I do this on myself. Or even better yet, should I do this on myself first in order  to see how it works before ever allowing a client to do it?

4.  Not Empowering Clients in the Decision-Making Process or Asking Clients Why They Feel They Are Stuck.

Previous client successes and failures definitely leave clues, so with that in mind, have clients open up about why they think they are stuck, and let them give you as the coach some ideas as to what the next steps should be and then based on that guide them as to how that can be done. This is the power of one-on-one coaching and why no template or any online program for that matter will ever be able to compete. If you can first off, get clients to fully understand what their true problems are, then getting them over their current hump might be easier than you think.

5.  Not Controlling the Conversation Can Cause Paralysis by Analysis.

When the time comes to put a plan into action, you as their coach need to be able to change gears quickly and become the captain instead of the passenger in the conversation. Many times, clients hire coaches for the simple reason that they do not want to have to think about what their next step is, and they just want to be shown how to do it and feel confident that your plan as a coach will help fix their problems. But if you play too much of the best friend role in the coaching relationship, then clients can become unsure of their next step and this can quickly develop into paralysis by analysis by the client , or in the worst-case scenario, they may even start to question your advice. That is why active listening is key in the beginning but also knowing when and how to flip the switch and then make sure that you are able to control the conversation can be key tool when it comes to getting clients to take action and do so with excitement.

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Case Study: Judy

So, based on all of the information on this page, let’s now attempt to put a plan in action and look at a specific case study example of a classic health/weight loss plateau client. In the following analysis, try to attempt to identify what are some of the biggest red flags with this particular client and then how you as a coach would help the client in dealing with those red flags. Following that detail what the long-term journey should look like for this client so that she is better enabled to adhere to your proposed plan for the long haul. 

Meet Your New Client Judy

  • She comes to you with a goal of weight loss and overall improved health.


  • 165 lbs., 5 ft 6 inches, 56 years old.


  • Currently takes no medications.


  • Takes a few supplements such as vitamin D, calcium, magnesium oxide, and black seed cumin oil.


  • Medical history – elevated cholesterol, menopausal, hot flashes, off and on migraines and weight loss resistance, elevated triglycerides, mildly high blood sugar, low thyroid function, and autoimmunity is not present but does run in the family.


  • Bodyweight has increased 15 lbs. in the past year and her energy levels have also significantly dropped during that same time period.


  • Eats mostly plant-based during the weekdays and only eats meat on the weekends but even on the weekends she eats very low quantities of protein. Less than 60 grams per day.


  • Eats 3 meals per day and 1 snack but is a nighttime snacker. Mostly sweets before bed and she says that chocolate chip cookies are her favorite.


  • Was on Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) for a short period of time over 10 months ago but discontinued due to her concerns over the potential side effects. Although she did feel better while on HRT.


  • Eats a well-balanced diet, drinks coffee, around 20 oz. per day eats a lot of vegetable type soups for lunch and snacks on fruit during the day, she mainly eats salads for dinner, and she cooks almost all of her meals at home.


  • Gets in a good amount of NEAT during the day as she works at a preschool and chases around little kids for half of the day.


  • Since changing to a partially vegan diet she has only lost 4 pounds in 4 months.


  • Goes to the gym 2 times a week and only does cardio as resistance training tends hurts her joints for 2 days afterwards if she does so.


  • She is in bed, by 11 PM each night or sometimes later and is always up at 630 am. Claims that ½ of the times after waking she feels rested and ½ the time she feels tired.


  • She currently suffers from hot flashes, low energy levels and has a goal weight of 144 lbs. and wants to reduce the pain in her joints. 


Now playing the health detective role as a health coach, how would you help Judy reach her goals and get over her slump. I can tell you now that there are several red flags with Judy even though she may appear to live a fairly healthy lifestyle and because of that, there are several things that can quickly be put in play that will help her eliminate many of those red flags and move her in the right direction towards reaching her goals and overall feeling better.


How would you as a coach guide Judy and help her not feel so lost with regards to her regaining her health?

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Overcoming Client Plateaus (Part One)

I bet you that I can guess your number one frustration in working with clients? It is helping them break through their weight loss and health plateaus.

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