This can be a very tricky subject as there are standard guidelines on what a Certified Personal Trainer can and can’t discuss (or do) with their clients. These particular guidelines are based upon where you live as well as well you work. In some states you need at least a two (2) year degree, in others you need a Bachelor’s Degree, a certificate or be a Dietitian, and of course in other states (or gyms), you need nothing.
The best ways to advise your clients is to stay in a “Safe Zone” of nutrition. What this means is that when you’re advising, make sure you’re doing it with your client’s best interest at heart and that the program that you put them on, does not have a counter effect on what they’re currently doing and or eating.
- You can design the perfect “bodybuilding” “lean out” program for your clients, but truthfully…how many clients do you have that are that dedicated to eating, measuring and weighing their foods, especially if they’re not preparing to step on stage with that 12-16 week “diet down” program?
- Maybe you’re into shakes and supplements personally, but…is that in your client’s best interest, especially if they tell you they are on a budget. Now as a Holistic Nutritionist and Beachbody Coach, it would be very easy to have my clients eat the way that I like, but it’s not about me, it’s about my clients and what’s going to motivate them and the same rings true for you and your clients.
What is staying in the Safe Zone?
The Safe Zone is where you keep the information that you give to your clients at a minimum, especially if you are not a Nutritionist, Dietitian or if your gym (fitness facility) does not allow you to do so. The basic information can include
- Implementing a journal/diary
- Discussion on their normal eating habits
- Discussion on current Lifestyle
- Discussion on their “Whys” (I love this!)
- Discussion on the benefits of Water and how to get in more (if they’re not doing so)
- Proteins: The good and better sources as well as serving sizes and how much to intake daily (0.5 – 1.5gms daily).
- Carbs: How to make better choices and what “carbs” really are.
- Fibrous vs Starchy Carbs: Learning what the difference is a how to make better choices
- Fiber: The benefits of fiber, how much they should try in consume and some of the best sources of fiber in vegetables, and fruits.
- Supplements: Keep in simple by including your Omegas, Multi-vitamins, Calcium (etc.), or wherever they may be currently taking. Stay away from pre-workout, fat burners or recommending anything that can cause heart acceleration.
- Veggies choices: Which are best for their goals. Increase iron intake, higher in fiber, etc.
- Fruit choices: Making great choices as well as true serving sizes.
- Starchy Carbs: What are they, which ones are best, understanding serving sizes.
- Juicing vs Smoothies: This is a great topic (one of my favorite) especially if they’re trying to increase their vegetable consumption for themselves as well as their household.
- How to decrease not just weight (their goals), but how to decrease body fat (ultimate goal).
- Different types of eating: Paleo, 40/30/30, Vegetarian, Vegan, Fruitarian, Zig-Zag, etc.
Once you get the information that you need from your client, you’ll be able to put together a more personalized program that will help get your clients results and that don’t have crazy restrictions or foods that they don’t’ eat, don’t like, or will not truly commit to.
Please keep in mind that these are just some things that you can discuss with your clients regarding their eating habits, but again, if you are not a Registered Dietitian, Nutritionist, it’s better to keep your nutrition programs, as well as your /questions in the realm of a Fitness Professional and stay within your/your company’s guidelines.
If you have any questions on this article, please do not hesitate to drop me a line at Trainerlisalt@gmail.com.
Cheers to Life and Keep Learning, Keep Living and Keep Moving!
Lisa with a B.S. in Holistic Nutrition, and a minor in Nutrition/Optimum Fitness has expanded her business to include being a Beachbody Coach, and a Fitness Consultant in helping others in the Fitness Industry and well as individual Personal Trainers to grow and market their business.
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