Can a personal trainer give nutritional advice?

As a personal trainer, it is important that we advise our clients on all aspects of their lifestyle that will help them become fitter and healthier, including nutrition. However, before you do it is important you clarify whether as a personal trainer can you give nutritional advice.

What is a nutritionist?

The title nutritionist is not a legally protected title. This means anyone can call themselves a nutritionist without any qualifications. However, only registrants with the UK Voluntary Register of Nutritionists can call themselves a Registered Nutritionist. 

So do I need a nutrition qualification?

Just because the term nutritionist isn’t legally protected does not mean you are exempt from prosecution if you give the wrong advice. It is very important as a fitness professional to work within your scope of practice so that you avoid any legal claims. So to give nutritional advice you need a qualification that has assessed your nutritional knowledge and competency. Having a qualification not only gives you the skills and knowledge to help your clients effectively but also demonstrates that you have controlled risk and are working within your scope of practice.
 

So does that mean a personal trainer can give nutritional advice?

Yes, if your qualification included nutrition as a module. At Storm Fitness Academy our level 3 diploma in personal training includes nutrition as one of the modules so you do not have to do a separate course. This means our graduate trainers can advise their clients on healthy eating principles, calculate calories goals, macronutrient goals, review food diaries and goal set.
 

Advice to anyone that is not qualified

To those coaches, trainers and nutritionists operating without any qualifications “Stop what you are doing, and get some qualifications”. Because if you’re not smart enough to pass some assessments you are not smart enough to manage an individuals health.