Eating right and working out go hand in hand, but nutrition is definitely on top. Without a proper nutrition plan, you're going to have a hard time helping your clients reach their fitness goals. It doesn't matter if you have a client that wants to lose weight or gain weight nutrition is going to be weighed the same. The old saying “Nutrition is 90% of your workout plan” still holds to do this day.
Personal trainers do have to be careful about nutrition. They cannot help clients solve medical issues. A good rule of thumb as a personal trainer you cannot prescribe, treat or diagnose any medical issues and use food to treat them. This just isn't your background, nor should it be. Some dieticians spend 4 years getting an education around nutrition and then spend countless hours gaining practical experience before being ready to work with the public. So what can you do as a personal trainer? You're going to need to check with the regulations of your province around nutrition, but you can educate clients on proper nutrition, encourage clients to eat better and help them choose the right foods.
Clients and Nutrition
As a personal trainer, you likely know the importance of nutrition. After all most certification courses have a set chapter focusing on nutrition. There are a few main points surrounding nutrition that you should be aware of. Clients need to understand the importance of nutrition and that will come from you as their trainer. Eating right is only going to make them have better progress and feel better.
Clients can often think their workout will suffice to reach their fitness goals. It’s a good start to reaching your fitness goals, getting active is better than not getting active, but to reach the fitness goals they need to eat right. Often clients have an understanding of what good nutrition is, but they don't know how to execute it. This is where you come in. You can show clients how to effectively eat for their nutrition goals as well as how to make it part of their lifestyle.
Misconceptions around Nutrition
The fitness industry is full of bad information about working out and there is more bad information about nutrition. Your client will usually have a few ideas about nutrition that are wrong. They’ve either been misinformed from friends, family or from reading online. How many times have you heard a friend or family tell you something wrong about fitness? We’re guessing there have been a few. As a personal trainer, you need to be an expert on the topic. Again, there are certain restrictions around giving Nutritional advice, but you guide your clients in the right direction. educate them about these misconceptions and help them reach their fitness goals.
Eat for your lifestyle - A person’s diet needs to be realistic. Having a client follow an unrealistic diet plan may help them reach their fitness goal, but after there not going to be able to stick with it. Their diet plan needs to be something they’ll be able to do for the rest of their life.
Macro-Counting - Counting macros can be subjective in the fitness industry. A client needs to understand what there eating, but they cannot count macros forever. This is just not realistic. Counting macros can be a great tool, but it should not be seen as something that will last forever.
Fad Diets - Every couple of years a new diet will emerge that your client will want to know about. You need to tell your clients about the reality of fad diets. They don't work. Most people that start fad diets will likely go back to their eating habits. Fad diets are unrealistic and you should help your clients steer clear.
Supplements or Whole Foods
Supplements can be a good source to get in the right nutritional needs. Clients should understand how supplements should be used. You need to educate them in letting them know that supplement means to supplement the diet. Eating whole foods rather than having a shake is always going to be better. There a few supplements that will benefit your client. The one supplement that is widely used is protein powder. Often you’ll find clients undereating in protein. They'll typically only have a good protein source with dinner and it’s never enough. Protein powder can be a good way to add the extra protein clients need into their diets. It’s affordable, calorie friendly and tastes great.
Supplements do have their place in the fitness industry, but as a trainer, you're going to develop your expertise and knowledge around the subjects. Always do your research before making the decisions on supplements for clients. again, supplements are only to supplement the diet. It’s always too better to eat whole foods.
3 Common Supplements
Protein Powder - It's used to increase protein in the diet. They have every type of flavour now for protein powders. There are different ones from whey, plant, soy, casein and egg protein. All have the same goal of increasing a person's protein intake.
Fish Oils - Fish oils or omega 3 are other common supplements. Fish oils help with joint health as well as support the eyes, brain and heart. It's often side we don't get enough fish oils in our diet so supplementing them can help.
Multivitamins - These are widely debated in the fitness industry depending on their usefulness. Some people swear by them while others say it's a waste of money. Multivitamins are supposed to help supplement getting enough vitamins. We often don't enough fruits or vegetables so taking a multivitamin can help supplement.
Supplements are going to be up to you whether you want them or not. Remember taking a supplement should replace whole foods. It's always better to eat whole foods rather than take a pill. You'll need to make your own informed decision about taking a supplement or talk with your doctor. Supplements have seemed useful to a lot of users, but others never take them. It's up to you to decide on the supplements you take.
Start Eating Right!
As a personal trainer, you need to educate your clients on proper nutrition as well as have them have a healthy mindest around nutrition. If you are looking for your own personal trainer Superprof has 100s of personal trainers located all around Canada that are ready to help you. They have the knowledge and experience to help you with your fitness goals. Superprof also offers sessions online and in-person giving you the freedom and flexibility to train when you want to train.
Eating right is always going to be an uphill battle. There is also going to be the food we like to eat that isn't healthy for us. There are lots of recipes online and tons of different tips for eating healthy. Your eating should be well rounded. Eating perfect all the time isn't always the best option. You need to be realistic. Now is the time to take what you have learned and put it into action. You know the importance of eating right and how it affects your training. You also know the usefulness supplements can provide. It's time to take that first step forward and start incorporating these facts with yourself or with your clients. The best time to start eating right is now.
Start eating right today!