Can personal trainers give nutrition advice?

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As a personal trainer, you want to do whatever you can to support your clients in meeting their health and fitness goals.

However, it's important that you're clear what advice you're able to share with your clients and which questions are better to leave to doctors or specialist nutritionists. 

1: Choose your PT course wisely
When you're deciding where to study to become a fitness professional - or where to upgrade your training - it's worth checking each fitness course's syllabus to see if client nutrition is covered. For example, Lifetime Training's Level 3 PT course has a focus on how to effectively build nutrition into clients' fitness plans. 

This is because a good personal trainer considers each client as a 'whole person', when it comes to creating a tailored fitness plan; this involves building in advice on nutrition and general wellness into each fitness program. 

2: The difference between your role, and a doctor's
As a personal trainer, it's beyond to your remit to prescribe nutritional supplements or plans as a 'cure' or treatment for an ailment. However, you're certainly free to share health tips with clients and recommend they add certain foods to their diet that will generally benefit their health. 

For example, you can recommend a client takes fish oil for healthier joints, but you're not able to say that this will specifically treat arthritis. Rather than diagnosing health issues, it's your role to support a generally healthy lifestyle - which includes nutritional recommendations.

3: Be aware of how you share information
While you - as a fitness professional - might be very interested in the scientific intricacies of nutrition, remember that most clients are only generally interested in how your knowledge can benefit their healthy lifestyle. So: keep explanations of your nutrition tips concise, clear and results-focussed. 

For example, share the benefits of staying hydrated, eating particular foods before and after workouts, and let clients know which foods are good sources of lean protein, healthy fats and other macronutrients.

4: Make nutrition fun
It can sometimes be overwhelming for clients to take on board a large amount of nutrition information - especially if they're new to being careful with what they eat. So, it can prove more palatable to clients to introduce them to healthier meal options by sharing recipes and food prep skills with them that'll make eating well easier - and more fun.

For more on our online fitness courses, and how they can help you assist clients with their nutrition, get in touch with us today.

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