Updated: Oct 26, 2022
How can I help you do this?
A personal trainer is an individual certified to have a degree of knowledge of general fitness involved in exercise prescription and instruction. We motivate clients by setting goals and providing feedback and accountability to clients.
Unlike other basic day-to-day tasks, exercise requires a honed technique to achieve the desired results. Personal trainers can develop a workout routine, give basic nutritional advice and guide your overall strategy for achieving your goals.
Fitness and nutrition naturally go hand-in-hand and personal trainers are often asked for their advice. This can be on a range of areas such as how client can boost performance, effect weight change, deal with chronic health conditions, lower potential health risks and get adequate nutrient intake.
Is a personal trainer a nutritionist?
Personal trainers are usually expected to have an opinion on the latest diet trends such as keto, paleo or carb cycling. Many clients ask for specific food plans that include shopping lists, receipts and fat/carb/protein breakdowns. When faced with the question of whether personal trainers can, or should, provide these types of meal plans the short answer is “no.” Providing general opinions like “eat more veg” is one thing but creating meal plans is another matter entirely.
Giving this sort of service veers well into the domain of nutritional professionals rather than that of a personal trainer. While some personal trainers do offer these services very few are actually qualified to do so, and diet don’t have a one-size-fits-all solution. Giving unqualified diet advice can be dangerous and have unforeseen negatives effects.
Here are some common questions I get asked:
I've just started training and I want to get the best from my workouts, can you give me some ideas for pre or post workout snack?
· Yogurt with banana and honey
· Apple quarters with peanut butter (raisins /cranberries)
· 2 tablespoons of mixed raw nuts and/or seeds and 2 handfuls of blueberries
· 1 small fat free Greek yogurt with half a pack of berries.
· Peanut butter and apple slices
· Chicken, sweet potatoes, and green beans (snack size containers)
· Avocado and shredded carrots wrapped in turkey.
· Hummus with carrots
· Edamame beans
· Sliced zucchini & hummus
· Protein shakes
· Cottage cheese & peaches
I am trying to lose weight but I can't stop eating more than I need to at meal times?
No matter how healthily you eat, you can still put on weight if you’re eating too much. Regain some portion control with these simple tips:
• Eat with smaller plates and bowls. You’ll have a smaller portion and still feel satisfied.
• Aim for two portions of veg on your plate. This helps to cover your plate with low- calorie filling food, leaving less room for higher-calorie ingredients. Use the attached Eatwell plate to help you get the balance right.
• Eat slowly. It takes about 20 minutes for your stomach to tell your brain you’re full. When you eat fast, it’s easy to overeat.
• Turn off the TV. Eating in front of the TV can mean you eat more without noticing or enjoying your food.
• Weigh your food. Use kitchen scales to weigh your ingredients before you cook. This will help you stick to the suggested serving sizes.
How can I kickstart some healthy changes to my nutrition?
It is better to make 1 meaningful diet change a week then try to change 10 things at once as this will lead to much greater long-term success. The eat-well guide shows how much of what we eat overall should come from each food group to achieve a healthy, balanced diet. (see below). Here are some tips promoted on the NHS website; try adding one point a week for 8 weeks and you'll be on your way to transforming your diet.
Eat at least 5 portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables a day
Base meals on potatoes, bread, rice, pasta or other starchy carbohydrates
Have some dairy or dairy alternatives (such as soya drinks and yoghurts) these keep our bones healthy
Eat some beans, pulses, fish, eggs, meat and other protein. Choose lean cuts of meat and mince, and eat less red and processed meat like bacon, ham and sausages.
Aim for at least 2 portions of fish every week, 1 of which should be oily, such as salmon or mackerel.
Unsaturated fats are healthier fats and include vegetable, rapeseed, olive and sunflower oils.
Eat foods high in fat, salt and sugar less often and in small amounts. These foods include chocolate, cakes, biscuits, sugary soft drinks, butter, ghee and ice cream.
Drink plenty of fluids – the government recommends 6 to 8 cups or glasses a day
So just remember that training is a journey and by reading this your intentions are going in the right direction so keep trying and don't give up!