Most clients come to us with the same goal: To Lose Weight! In pursuit of that goal, we try to help them make healthy lifestyle choices and make physical activity and exercise a part of their daily lives. But how can we help them meet their goals without talking about Nutrition? And how can we talk about diet and nutrition without exceeding our scope of practice?
March is National Nutrition Month so I thought it would be a good time to discuss these controversial issues.
In our Nutritional Concepts, Personal Training Certification, and Lifestyle Fitness Coaching classes, we clearly communicate that prescribing diets for our clients is beyond our scope of practice. Unless a personal trainer is also a Registered Dietician, a Registered Dietician Nutritionist, or hold a valid credential, they should not be prescribing a special diet for a client. But what about providing advice, guidance, and education? Would you be neglecting your responsibilities and duties to your client if you didn’t try to steer them in the right direction.
When I look around at the people closest to me, I see one person who makes all of the wrong (unhealthy) food choices; another who has gone strictly vegan (their version of vegan) and admittedly includes no healthy protein choices in their diet; another who skips meals regularly and ends her day tired and famished. Others watch and limit sugars only—another only eats “organic” and another had recently decided to eliminate carbs–but ingests high fat meats.
None of this seems healthy to me— What do you think?
As a personal trainer, what do you believe appropriate for you to address when it comes to your client’s nutritional habits? Where do you believe the “scope of practice” line should be drawn?
And another question, how good are YOUR eating habits? Take this quick quiz!
I look forward to hearing your thoughts!