Encouraging Non-scale Goals for Fitness Clients

written by: 

Written By Clean Health Online Master Coach, Kim Leggett

Where has the year gone? We’re already 2 months into a new year – a time in which weight loss goals are at the forefront of many people’s minds (especially our clients!). 

Although weight loss is a great goal for many who look to us for coaching – it’s also an outcome-based goal which relies on behavioural change.

As fitness professionals, it’s important for us to also encourage our clients to aim for NON-SCALE GOALS which can help modify their behaviour. Ultimately, these will help to support the intended long-term outcome – weight loss.

With that in mind, here are some NON-SCALE GOALS to set with your clients.

1. Hydration

Water is an important nutrient that every cell in our body requires to function optimally. Through even daily natural physiological processes like breathing, digestion, sweating, etc – we lose water that must be replaced. 

Studies show that an increase in water intake “is associated with loss of body weight produced via two mechanisms: decreased feeding and increased lipolysis” (Thornton, 2016). Clients can also often confuse thirst for hunger which then leads to mindless snacking! 

This is why staying hydrated is a great indirect way of altering their habits.

2. Sleep

The value of sleep is increasingly being recognised in the fitness industry for its impacts on weight gain and weight loss. Insomnia is linked with greater feelings of hunger and appetite due to effects on ghrelin and leptin levels. 

As coaches, we aren’t necessarily sleep experts however can have conversations with our clients on sleep hygiene, bedtime routine, and relaxation to help get them seeing results through improved recovery.

3. Stress-Management

High stress leads to erratic behaviour and often coping mechanisms which for some reason, are linked with emotional eating. Getting on top of stress management can help ensure clients are sticking to their plan under all circumstances.


Yes, you can be an active ‘couch potato’. Evidence suggests that the more sedentary you are the more negative effects you will experience on your health. Hitting a daily NEAT level which involves all activity that is non-exercise is a great way to ensure clients are maintaining their average calories burned.

5. Aim for Consistency, Not Perfection

Whatever the goal, the most important thing is to ensure that we are aiming for consistency and not perfection. As humans we are often our own worst critics so instead of getting down on yourself when you’ve had a minor slip up, take it as a small bump and move on. 

The ultimate goal is to create HABITS and lifestyle changes that are sustainable and that you actually feel GOOD about making. The more you love the process the more effortless it becomes!


Clean Health Fitness Institute. (2020). Performance Nutrition Coach Level 1. CHFI. 

Harvard Health. (2011). Mindful Eating. Retrieved from: https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/mindful-eating. Harvard Medical School. 

Levine, J.A. (2002). Non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT). Best Practice & Research. 16(4), 679-702. 

Thornton S. N. (2016). Increased Hydration Can Be Associated with Weight Loss. Frontiers in nutrition, 3, 18. 

Share to: 

You May Also Like

Top 15 Business Tips for Trainers

The Top 15 PT Business Tips FREE guide, was designed to give you evidence based, yet practical tools you can use to optimise your fitness business across the following categories: