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  • Writer's pictureDana


Today we tackle a very VERY sensitive topic.

Can personal trainers, health coaches, and other non-RD professionals give nutrition advice to their clients? Yes, to a certain degree…

Most (and the best) health and fitness professionals will want to help you as a client to eat well, move more and live a healthier life. They recognize that good nutrition has a major role in your health and well-being, but some of them might not be aware of the degree they can coach you about nutrition.

Read on to find out what advice you can take from a non-RD (registered dietitian) professional and what are the cases you should see a dietitian or other medical professional.

Here’s the truth:

Personal trainers/health coaches and nutritionists can talk to clients about what they eat, but there are limits to what personal trainers, health coaches, and other non-Registered Dietician (RD) professionals can say about nutrition and recommend you personally.

If someone is going to talk to you about nutrition, they really need to know what they are talking about. Trusting someone with your nutrition is trusting someone with your health. It is your responsibility to choose someone, who knows what they are doing and more importantly what they are allowed to do. If you ever come across a trainer, health coach or nutritionist, who tells you they are not qualified to help you with your problem, it is probably a GOOD thing. It means the person cares about you as a client and want to make sure they are doing the right thing.

Each country have different rules and regulations regarding what advice one can legally give in the field of nutrition. However, always almost a non-RD professional can only work with generally healthy or diagnosed clients who are currently under treatment and received their doctor’s approval to work with other professionals.

So, let’s look at what most non-RDs CAN and CANNOT help you with.

Examples of what a personal trainers, health coaches, and other non-RD fit pros CANNOT legally do:

· prescribe diets or supplements to treat medical and clinical conditions (such as diabetes, thyroid issues and more)

· prescribe diets to treat symptoms of medical and clinical conditions

· diagnose medical conditions

Such actions are completely outside the scope of practice for someone with a non-RD profession in health and fitness. If you have been diagnosed and have been treating such conditions you may work with other professionals to improve your nutrition, but only with your doctor’s approval.

A few examples of what most personal trainers, health coaches, and other non-RD fit pros CAN do:

· educate clients about the principles of good nutrition and provide them with a behaviour-based approach to help develop better habits

· encourage clients to learn more and more about nutrition, food and make better choices

· educate clients about evidence-based nutrition information and bust diet myths

· educate clients about different diets, what they are and what is behind them

· share information from recognized nutrition organizations

· help clients build a lifestyle that serves their health and goals best

As a nutritionist, I encourage you to only work with professionals, that are client-focused, practice an individual approach, prioritize health and respect the boundaries of their education and expertise.


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