As the fitness industry continues to grow, we are seeing more people looking beyond just the training to keep themselves fit and healthy. One area of fitness that is being focused on more than ever is nutrition, as it is well-known that this is one thing that can seriously boost training results.
This focus on nutrition has brought about more Personal Trainers offering nutritional advice to further their Personal Training. Although this may be good for some, offering advice for nutrition can get Trainers in trouble, as the lines of what is deemed as "expert advice" are blurred; leaving Trainers not knowing what advice they can give. As the industry grows, it is vital for Personal Trainers to know where they should draw the line, as if they go beyond their "professional boundaries", they could face some serious problems such as invalidating their insurance or being left with hefty fees.
The Register of Exercise Professionals (REPs) state that Personal Trainers should only provide clients with generic advice based on evidence from research. So, if you want to suggest different foods for losing weight, that's okay. Although, they go on to say that providing clients with nutritional advice to combat specific health problems is something to stay away from, as Personal Trainers are highly undertrained to do so.
Although the guidelines are tight, it is still important to give generic nutritional advice wherever possible, as this allows you to keep up with the growing standards of Personal Trainers in the industry. Sticking to government guidelines and research is a safe way to make sure you're not going beyond your professional boundaries, as the advice you're giving is backed up by the national health organisations.
If you're looking to become a recognised Nutritionist who can give prescriptive nutritional advice and help people with health problems, you will have to complete a 4-year degree to become a dietician; only then you will you be able to focus solely on nutrition and help clients with specific health problems.
If you're just looking to offer reputable performance-based advice instead of becoming a full-blown dietician, you can pursue nutrition courses to help you learn more and certify your expertise. Although these courses won't cover you for creating bespoke nutritional plans and helping clients battle health conditions, they certainly will boost your knowledge in a specialist area and improve your sessions as a result.
These courses come in many forms, with some not being worth the paper they are planned on, but there are also courses that are worthwhile and provide you with the recognition you deserve. Our Nutrition for Sport & Exercise courses are supported by Active IQ, which makes sure your expertise is recognised by experts across the whole industry.
The confinements of nutritional advice within Personal Training are still confusing, but with new guidelines, it is easier for you to know what you can and can't advise. Overall, if you stick to government and health organisation based health stats and research, you're safe from going beyond your duty and risking your professional image.
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