(Editors' Note: In addition to this webinar, Melissa Layne will further expand on these topics in her Oct. 10 session at the Club Industry Show (Oct. 9-11, Hilton Chicago), "Nutrition Coaching for Fitness Professionals." To register and learn more about this year’s show, click here.)
A client’s nutrition strategy may be just as important, or even more important, to their overall health and well-being than their training strategy. However, the former can be trickier in its application and, as a result, neglected partially or entirely.
In Club Industry’s latest free webinar, Melissa Layne, an assistant professor of kinesiology in the Exercise Physiology and Physical Education Departments of the University of North Georgia, debunks many of the myths surrounding nutrition coaching and explores how any fitness professional can help clients in this area—while avoiding its pitfalls.
"A lot of people think that as personal trainers or group fitness instructors, that means we are totally hands off when it comes to talking about nutrition," Layne said in the webinar, now available for on-demand viewing. "Not true. We just have to be really careful about how we guide them through their changes using things that are readily available to the public."
In the hour-long webinar, Layne outlines what kind of nutritional guidance most average club clients are seeking today. First, this includes basic and accurate information about decreasing inflammation, decreasing disease risk and improving longevity. Second, most club clients are seeking a plan or regimen they feel they can realistically follow for an extended period of time. Third, they want tips on how to effectively grocery shop and prep meals. Lastly, they need help reaching a specific goal such as lowered cholesterol, a decrease in excess body fat or simply feeling better day to day.
Layne goes on to offer insights on ketosis, carb cycling, loading strategies and better understanding nutrition labels. With these insights, she offers additional guidance on how health club professionals can best aid their clients without overstepping.
Below are several of Layne’s key dos and don’ts related to nutrition coaching.
- Be aware that most states have no strict licensing for nutritional professionals outside of registered dietitians, and anyone can call themselves a nutritionist or dietary expert.
- Non-registered dietitians can offer nutrition advice. However, they should only reference reputable methods and materials. These include the glycemic index (GI), contemporary food pyramids and digital calorie counters such as MyFitnessPal.
- Fitness professionals should not prescribe supplements as these may not be regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
- Do not meal plan for clients due to personal variability and legal liability. Instead, reference the aforementioned materials or suggest clients consult their doctor or a registered dietitian.
Club Industry's next free webinar, "How to Increase Engagement in Fitness Programming Using Wearable Technology," will be presented by Emily Sopo of Myzone at 2 p.m. Eastern on Sept. 12. Click here to register and learn more about the webinar.