In our previous post on nutrition coaching we discussed the importance and relevance of nutrition education and coaching for your clients, the scope of practice of personal trainers when it comes to nutrition advice and how those apply to online personal training.
In this article, I'll go into details about what options you have if you decide to include nutrition services for your online clients beyond the general advice all personal trainers can legally give to their clients. So let's dig in.
Option 1. Become a Nutrition CoachThere are many personal trainers and online coaches who decide to enrol onto nutrition coaching education to gain knowledge and experience so they can better help their clients with their dietary needs.
Before signing up with a course provider, we strongly recommend you check their credentials. Research the company for reviews from students, who have already completed their course, and find out how it benefited their fitness career. It’s also worth checking with your insurance provider if they will be happy to extend your policy for nutrition services once you completed that specific course.
When it comes to nutrition coaching courses, the number of providers available are endless. If you're stuck on choosing a nutrition course provider, here are some good options. All of them are unique in their way, but they have all been around for some time and are highly regarded by their students.
MNU (Mac-Nutrition Uni)
Mac-Nutrition U was founded by Martin MacDonald in 2008. They provide two 12-month course options; MNU Full Online Course, any aspiring personal trainer can take from anywhere in the world, and MNU Full with Hons which includes residential workshops, body composition assessment tools, Nutritics software access and tickets to a bi-annual live event where students can interact with leading experts in the field.
The MNU course comes always highly recommended in fitpro forums and Facebook groups and is claimed to be one of the best evidence-based worldwide online nutrition courses. They also offer insurance for their graduates after they have completed their studies and want to provide nutrition support for their clients.
Precision Nutrition Certification
Precision Nutrition is committed to helping their clients achieve their body composition goals by providing services directly to clients as well as courses for aspiring nutrition coaches and personal trainers to help even more people see the results they desire.
PN has been around since 2003 when Dr John Berardi and Phil Caravaggio decided to create a new approach to nutrition coaching and support worldwide.
The PN certificate is unique in the sense that it doesn’t only provide the knowledge and certification, but it also provides a system that has helped tens of thousands of people get great results that their certified nutrition coaches can take away and use with their clients. Their method is based on habit coaching and helping clients change their lifestyle one habit at a time.
ACA (Advanced Coaching Academy)
Phil Learney’s ACA provides CPD courses for personal trainers in three areas: business acumen, advanced coaching and applied nutrition. You can enrol to these courses individually or choose to have access to all of them at a discounted rate.
The ACA Applied Nutrition course comes in modules and covers applied nutrition, performance nutrition and weight management. You will have access to the Nutrimen software during the 12-month course, 52+ lessons, exclusive members content and an e-Learning area. Upon completion, you will be able to get insured as a nutrition consultant and provide evidence-based dietary advice.
NASM Nutrition Course
The US-based National Academy of Sports Medicine has been around for three decades providing PT courses and continual development for fitness professionals, including a range of nutrition certificates.
You can enrol onto a full Certified Nutrition Coach course or choose a Fitness Nutrition Specialization depending on what level you’d like to be able to help your clients.
NASM provides their courses online, but if you're based outside America, check your insurance provider and authorities to make sure they accept the NASM certification.
Ideally, before you sign-up to a course, you should decide what type of nutrition service you’d like to provide to your future clients and choose your nutrition caching course accordingly.
Option 2. OutsourceIf you feel that your time and efforts are better spent developing your programming and coaching skills and widen your exercise science knowledge, you can choose to outsource the nutrition features of your online personal training services to professionals who specialise in nutrition coaching, whom you trust will look after your clients to the same standards as you do.
Outsourcing can be tricky when it comes to client facing tasks as trust will be a crucial factor when working in partnership with another company or nutrition therapist. Fort that reason finding the right solution may take some time while you build your professional network and come across a nutritionist who is eager to help you get better results for your clients via individualised nutrition advice and coaching.
The only real way of outsourcing your nutrition support services is to establish a partnership with a nutritionist; you can either hire one to work for your online fitness business exclusively or create a referral system that aligns with the structure of your online personal training packages.
Your clients will obviously benefit the most if their nutrition coaching is in line with their overall fitness goals and works cohesively with their training programs. For this reason it is beneficial if you're outsourcing that you work closely with your chosen nutrition partner.