An Overview of Nutrition for Personal Trainers

An Overview of Nutrition for Personal Trainers Video

Hey guys. Welcome to this personal trainer video over Nutrition.

Nutrition is one of the most vital parts of any workout program. Today, I will discuss three big areas for you to be aware of as you help your clients to achieve their goals.

1. Nutrition basics

Nutrition refers to everything that is consumed or processed by the human body which nourishes it and provides essential building blocks for growth, repair, energy, and all other necessary body functions. Nutrition can come in the form of food, beverages, vitamins, and even exposure to such things as sunlight.
Our bodies are really intricate and need certain nutrients in large amounts and some in smaller amounts.
The nutrients our bodies need in larger amounts are referred to as Macronutrients, and the nutrients our bodies need in smaller amounts are referred to as micronutrients.
There are three macronutrients, that all function in unique ways to keep our bodies healthy.

Fats- fats can be a scary term for some people, but fats are crucial to the health and maintenance of our bodies. Fats are good in moderation, of course. Fats make up for about 15-20% of what we need to consume. Fats work to help the brain develop, protect our organs from harm, work to keep cells functioning, and help to absorb the vitamins found in food. Healthy foods that are high in fats include avocado, cheese, dark chocolate, chai seeds, nuts, coconuts, olive oil, etc.

Proteins- proteins work to repair muscles, grow muscles, regenerate and repair cells, keep our immune systems functioning properly, and aid in the production of hormones. Proteins are made up of amino acids (of which there are 20 different types). The different types of amino acids are found in different foods, and only 9 of the amino acids are essential. So, it is important to be aware of the proteins you are consuming and try to take in a variety of essential amino acids. Healthy and lean proteins include chicken, turkey, salmon, lean beef, and so on.

Carbohydrates- carbohydrates are made up of tiny chains of sugar molecules that the digestive system uses to transform into glucose for the body to use as energy. Carbohydrates should make up about 45-65% of a healthy diet. Some carbohydrates are worse than others. You may have heard the term “whole” and “refined” carbs. Whole carbs are packed with fiber, and they haven’t been processed. Refined carbs have had all the fiber taken out, and have been processed. The fiber within the carbs is what helps our bodies to digest the nutrients in the food, but when we have taken the fiber out, it is like drinking a bottle of calories with almost no nutritional value. So, while you are consuming the same amount of calories, refined carbs are actually doing you more harm than good.

Along with consuming the right amount of macronutrients, you should always be drinking lots and lots of water. The recommended amount of water a person should drink is about 2 liters of water a day, or eight 8-ounce glasses. Some adults may actually need more while some may need less.

Just about every cell in our bodies needs water; so it is important to encourage your clients to give their bodies the water they need to function properly. Consuming an appropriate amount of water every day can relieve people of several barriers that get in the way of them working out.
Adequate amounts of water can relieve fatigue, help with headaches, help with digestion and constipation, improve mood, work as a cleanse for the body, and help in weight loss.

It is important for a trainer to be aware of basic nutrition because working out is not the only aspect of a healthy life. A client’s diet and supplementation routine can directly affect his or her ability to train, and a poor diet can sabotage some of the gains made in training. While a trainer is not a nutritionist, and should refer a client to a nutritionist for specific diet planning, he or she can help steer a client away from fad diets and toward a more healthful, balanced diet that provides adequate energy for the type of training that the client will engage in.

2. Meal Planning

You’re clients’ success is more dependant on what they eat rather than how well you physically train them. What your client eats can affect their mood (as I mentioned), susceptibility to injuries, and how well and how fast they recover. The best way to help your client see results is to help them put just as much of an emphasis on their diet as they are on their workout program. One of the best ways to encourage them towards healthier eating is to provide them with a meal plan, and to help them to understand what foods are good, and what foods are not as good.

There are three big things involved in meal planning that can help your client to see success as they plan their meals: meal prepping, when to eat, and what not to do.

Meal Prepping- Meal prepping just means to prepare meals ahead of time. When prepping meals ahead of time, you never want to prepare for more than a week in advance. Foods can begin to lose nutritional value as they sit, and (this may be a no-brainer) they can even spoil. Meal prepping takes discipline. Meal prepping may be most convenient to do on a day off, and generally takes around 2 hours. When meal prepping, you want your client to keep three words in mind: variety, portion, and simplicity.
Variety- When it comes to meal prepping, food variety is important, because 1. you don’t want your client to become frustrated with eating the same foods every day, and 2. variety, ideally, reflects a balanced diet. You want to have a variety of each food group, but you also want to have variety within those food groups; because different foods provide different essential nutrients.

Portion- Portion control can be a stumbling block for many people. There tends to be this tendency to go to an extreme where people either eat really, really small portions and essentially starve their bodies; or they go to the other extreme and over eat. Generally, what’s behind undereating is a desire to try and fast track their way to results, and what’s behind overeating is a fear of the feeling of hunger. Both extremes are incredibly harmful to both your mental state, and your physical state. A healthy guideline to remember is the 50 + 30 + 20 rule. 50% fruits and veggies, 30% proteins, and 20% whole grains. An average healthy person should aim to ingest 0.8 grams of protein for every kilogram of body weight-up to approximately 30 percent of his or her cumulative calories for a single day. Let the undereating extremist know that being full is okay as long as they are eating proper portions, and let the overeating extremist know that the pain of hunger may be a reality until their bodies become adapted to healthy portion sizes.

Simplicity- Let your client know that they don’t have to spend a fortune on meal prepping. Maybe share with them local stores where they can find inexpensive, yet healthy food options. Perhaps they need to come up with a budget for you to work through together as you meal plan. Whatever it may be, let it be known that meal planning doesn’t have to break the bank. Some may have more financial freedom while others may not, and that is okay. Make sure to work with them.

3. Supplements

People can be all over the board as to what their workout goals are, but, in general, people tend to fall into three categories, which we will discuss, as well as the supplements that may be most beneficial to each.

Muscle building
Following a workout, the body restores and replaces the muscle fibers and forms new muscle protein strands. When the strands are restored they grow in size and in number to produce muscle hypertrophy or muscle growth. However, this growth can only take place when the rate of muscle protein synthesis is higher than the rate of muscle protein breakdown. This is why it is crucial for the body to have a sufficient supply of protein so our bodies have something to pull from during this process. Not having an adequate amount of protein is one of the things that leads to slow or no growth, injuries, and slow recovery. Whey protein is a great supplement to consume within 30 minutes to an hour of working out to help jumpstart protein synthesis and to help ensure that you are consuming an adequate amount of protein. Creatine is another safe, and helpful supplement. Creatine can be found in red meat and fish. Creatine has proven to increase strength which enables you to see growth faster.

Weight Loss
People tend to take some pretty crazy stuff in an attempt to drop weight fast. The reality is that what they are taking is doing as much as they think. Healthy, balanced, portion controlled meals accompanied with exercise are the key to successful sustainable weight loss. However, there are natural things out there that can help. Things such as herbal teas, caffeine in moderation, grapefruit, and so on. Even more important than those are our bodies metabolism. Exercise, healthy amounts of sleep, and supplying the body with the appropriate amounts of nutrients can all aid in increasing metabolism. Often times, even though we have a fairly rounded diet, we still don’t take in all the right amount of nutrients. Fish oil is a supplement that really everyone should take. Fish oil aids in brain health, reducing inflammation, alleviating depression, and cell regeneration. A multi-vitamin can be a good way to ensure that our bodies are being adequately supplied with the proper levels of nutrients. Probiotics, just as a general rule of thumb, should always be used as a supplement. Probiotics help with healthy immune function, weight management, and they help your body to actually absorb the nutrients being taken in rather than the nutrients being passing through your urine. Fish oil, a multivitamin, and a probiotic should be recommended to all of your clients despite their workout goal.

Health and Maintenance
A person just looking to remain healthy, and maintain current muscle is probably the rarest of the three, but exist nonetheless. The same principles, nutritionally, can be applied from both the muscle building category, and the weight loss category. However, they will not require as much protein intake as your client looking to build muscle. The main difference here will be the type, and way in which they work out.

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See you next time!

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by Mometrix Test Preparation | This Page Last Updated: July 21, 2023