Personal Trainers Serious About Weight Loss Success

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As a personal trainer the majority of our client base is seeking successful weight loss. Producing fast results in this area is potentially the most attractive factor clients enlist your help. As we know weight loss is not easy and it is a combination of both exercise and dietary modification.

Fitness professionals have superior knowledge on exercise programming and training. However nutrition education training is limited during certification. Our training does not equip us well enough to be able to provide clients individualised nutrition advice. Admitting this to ourselves is one thing, but telling our clients we do not know is difficult. Clients expect us to have the all answers on both nutrition and exercise. They look at us for inspiration and want do to exactly what we do. This means eat the way we do too. That should produce the same results right?

This way of thinking is very wrong for so many reasons. In general clients a typically less active than we are and people of different gender /body shape/ age have different nutritional requirements. It is not as simple as putting clients on a diet that works for you. This could have detrimental effects on their metabolism and emotional food association.

How can we arm ourselves as fitness professionals with effective tools that enable us to create weight loss through diet within our professional capacity?

All medical and health professional use a referral system when they do not know the answers to particular health concerns. They refer patients to some one more specialised in the area. As a trainer we can do this too. For professional nutrition advice you may like to refer to Dietitian or Nutritionist. Referring clients to some one more knowledgeable will look more professional, produce faster and safer results. You may want to consider this option for clients with chronic health conditions or food intolerances were general healthy eating advice may not be enough. In doing this it opens a door of opportunity for personal trainers to form professional networks with Dietitian’s and Nutritionists. Dietitian’s and Nutritionists are not exercise experts and may find it convenient to be able to refer their clients regularly to someone trusted for exercise programming.

Alternatively there is simple general healthy eating advice that you can access to pass on to your clients for free. The Australian Government Department of Health and Aging produces numerous handouts and downloadable reading materials to promote healthy eating and eating behaviours. There are program kits available on their website on several current government initiatives such as the ‘Australian guide to healthy eating’, ‘Go for 2 and 5’ and ‘Measure Up’. This can be accessed by everyone at no cost visit (http://www.health.gov.au). Reading the material posted on the government website will give you some knowledge to be able to answer simple dietary questions backed by well founded evidence.

The information provided by these programs can be used by you to teach and demonstrate to your client’s portion control, daily serving sizes, meal planning and recommended health targets for prevention of chronic disease. In doing this you will be able to give well researched simple dietary advice according to Government recommendations in Australia.

There are also regulatory associations such as the Dietitians Association of Australia, The Heart Foundation and Sydney University’s Glycemic Index research service. They produce position statements, allow access to food data bases and provide client friendly handouts on various therapeutic diets and nutrition topics on their website. The above mentioned associations have influenced the movement and messages produced in government campaigns. They have also played a major role in revolutionising formulations of food products, lobbied for mandatory food labelling and members regularly produce research on nutrition topics.

Private companies such as Nestle, Sanitarium and Kelloggs employ Dietitians and Nutritionist that regularly compile free newsletters and recipe Ebooks that can be distributed to your clients. The materials enable you to regularly enforce good nutrition messages as well as giving ideas for family friendly meals within your professional capacity.

By sourcing well researched information with professionally produced material, it will give your exercise service well deserved creditability. It’s serious science based nutrition advice… not another weight loss diet their trainer put them on. It will also steer you clear from any possible litigation in the future.

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Author: Piyawut Sutthiruk

Losing weight will keep you healthy and have a long life. Cheer Up!
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