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Can a personal trainer give nutritional advice?

January, 2019

When people think of a personal trainer they instantly conjure up a mental image of someone shouting encouragement while going on a jog or at the gym.

The reality is a little bit different and personal training isn’t just about the exercise that you do.

With this in mind, should a personal trainer give nutritional advice? There are two sides to this argument. On the one hand some people say that a PT should stick to purely exercise advice and creating training regimes while other people argue that the role of the personal trainer is more than that.

So, what’s the answer?

The role of a PT goes beyond exercise

The mental image I described earlier about a PT screaming ‘encouragement’ to people like a drill sergeant isn’t entirely accurate however there are reasons why a personal trainer should think about nutrition too.

What we eat, when we eat and how much we eat all contribute to our fitness. You can’t just consume whatever you want and then expect your fitness regime to take care of everything for you. The role of a personal trainer goes beyond exercise and there are many reasons why we can improve your nutrition as well.

Nutritional advice and information runs alongside your training regime and it is an important part of getting back in shape, losing weight or reaching your fitness goals.

PTs need to be properly qualified

Obviously not every PT is able to give out advice on what you should eat and they can’t create an informative nutritional plan for you either.

That being said, there are many personal trainers like myself who do have the right qualifications to offer advice on eating habits and sports nutrition. This is great for people like you who have a desire to reach your fitness goals. It means I can not only create an effective training plan but I can advise and encourage you on what foods to eat for maximum effect.

This will be personalised to you and your circumstances. Generic eating plans and nutritional advice aren’t any good because they don’t take into account your health or what you want to achieve.

Can a personal trainer give nutritional advice?

So, let’s go back to our original question – are personal trainers in a position to offer advice on eating habits and what foods to consume?

What personal trainers can’t do is prescribe eating plans and foods to treat medical conditions or diagnose any medical conditions either. However, encouraging clients to eat well, offering advice on eating plans to maximise their training and help them reach their goals is OK as long as that PT has the right qualifications.

I have helped many clients eat better and healthier which in turn has had the effect of ensuring their fitness regime is as effective as it possible can be. Not every personal trainer will or is able to give our nutritional advice but there are many of us who are qualified to do this and it works to the benefit of our clients.

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