I know people love to consult trainers for this, but I think a lot of PTs tend to forget that we are NOT nutritionists. Most meal plans that people write for their clients are soooo generic that they should feel bad for charging or distributing. I’ve seen these meal plans and they are complete rubbish! They are misleading the client that they will see results if they follow this meal plan. No meal plan or workout is one size fits all!
In order for a client to succeed with their workout program, they need to workout consistently, effectively and intelligently. Hitting macros are equally important and I constantly stress the importance of eating a well-rounded, REALISTIC diet.
I know that having a personal trainer certification can make people feel really powerful and that they can help everyone, but personal trainers need to stop prescribing meal plans for the average client.
Someone that is NOT an athlete or training for a fitness competition. (More about what that kind of fitness plan should be like here).
As personal trainers, we are neither doctors or nutritionists. If a potential or current client is having real struggles with their food PLLLEEEEEAASSSE refer them to a nutritionist or dietitian. Part of being an intelligent business person is realizing when the advice someone is seeking is outside your scope of intelligence.
Personal trainers are here to facilitate a safe and effective workout program (Here’s how to design one).You should expect guidance and advice on nutrition but not meal plans, save those for a dietician and nutritionist. I do realize that an important part of that entails nutrition (I wasn’t born yesterday) however, you will NEVER catch me writing a meal plan for someone. It’s just something I physically can’t do. (Read about my training style here.)
Of course, I’ll give some nutritional advice here and there. But it’s just not something I feel comfortable doing despite having the NASM FNS (Fitness Nutrition Specialist) Certification (more about me here). However, this certification does not make me qualified enough to write physical meal plans for people.
Here’s what one of the leading nutrition certifying agencies, Precision Nutrition, is saying about giving nutrition advice:
“Personal trainers/health coaches CAN talk to clients about what they eat.And they’re allowed to make general suggestions about the kind of food that’s likely to support their clients’ goals. But there are limits to what personal trainers, health coaches, and other non-Registered Dietician (RD) professionals can say about nutrition.”