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The Fitness Zone

What will the Nutrition Coach course enable PTs to do?
February 18, 2016

As research mounts about the importance to diet when it comes to living a healthy lifestyle, weight loss and muscle gain, Personal Trainers will tell you clients are seeking nutritional guidance more than ever before. However, helping PT clients get the best results from their workouts through nutritional guidance can be a tricky task to navigate.  

Enter the Nutrition Coach qualification.

This course is aimed at current or aspiring Personal Trainers who want to be a step above the rest by empowering their clients to achieve long lasting results through nutrition.

Nutrition Coach will…

  • Empower you to have confidence to be able to talk about nutrition within scope of practice

  • Enable you to tailor your approach to each client’s needs

  • Give you the right communication skills to have an effective conversations with your clients about nutrition

  • Help you to understand the sensitivities around food and nutrition, and how to individualise conversations accordingly

  • Provide an understanding of how to implement nationally endorsed nutritional standards and guidelines

  • Teach you skills to handle people not ready to make nutrition changes

  • Show that there is so much more to nutrition than meal plans

  • Equip you with effective strategies to help clients increase motivation and accountability, and deal with challenges to achieving their goals

  • Assist you to successfully collaborate and exchange referrals with medical and allied health professionals

  • Keep you legal and safe – enable you to upskill in nutrition and coaching skills whilst keeping within the Registered Exercise Professional Scope of Practice


What won’t it do?

  • Teach anything outside of the Registered Exercise Professional Scope of Practice.

  • Provide nutritional advice outside of basic healthy eating information and nationally endorsed nutritional standards and guidelines

  • Instruct you to develop individualised meal plans

  • Accredit you as a sports nutritionist

  • Allow you to practice Psychological Counselling

  • Give you advice that will get you sued or harm your clients


How is the course structured?

The course runs over 17 weeks and contains four modules – nutrition for optimal health and every age, nutrition coaching skills and strategies, nutrition for weight management and nutrition for performance and muscle growth.

It is a blended course with a mix of interactive learning styles. You will attend face-to-face days, webinars and be involved in discussion forums, creating resources for your practice, observing examples of nutrition coaching and completing interactive online components.

The assessments are a combination of eChecks, case studies, role-plays and a reflective journal.

Your coaches

The course was developed by some of Australia’s leading Accredited Practising Dietitians and all coaches have a degree in nutrition or dietetics as well as a teaching qualification.

Next steps – Enquire about the next course starting in your region by calling 1300 669 669 or ….

But wait there’s more!

Want more details…..? Here is a break down of content in each module to arouse your curiosity! This is a sneak peak of what you will learn…


Module 1 - Nutrition for Optimal Health at Every Age

  • The concept of balanced eating in the context of the Australian Guide to Healthy Eating

  • How the healthy eating guidelines have been generated and their application in practice

  • The importance of working within your scope of practice and how to collaborate with allied health professionals

  • The application of the Eat for Health program, and how it relates to individuals’ everyday life and optimal nutrition throughout the lifespan

  • How the Nutrient Reference Values (NRVs) are calculated

  • The digestive processes involved in normal nutrition, nutrient intake and overall health

  • Specific dietary requirements that shape food choice

  • Eating requirement challenges of population groups with specific conditions


Module 2 - Nutrition for Weight Management

  • Risk factors that increase predisposition to overweight and obesity

  • The concept of a healthy obesity

  • Factors that affect energy balance, mechanisms for energy storage, and the physiology of weight regulation

  • The processes of fat storage and fat loss, and risks of rapid weight loss

  • The complexities of appetite management

  • Cravings and their relationship with neurotransmitters and the reward centre of the brain

  • Intensive interventions designed to assist people to lose weight and maintain weight loss, and how to approach clients considering or undergoing these types of treatments

  • The characteristics of popular weight loss diets and their effects on clients

  • Practical integration of nutrition coaching skills, the Australian Dietary Guidelines, the Eat for Health program, and the Guidelines for the Management of Overweight and Obesity to assist clients who want to achieve or maintain a healthy weight


Module 3 - Nutrition for performance and muscle growth

  • What sports nutrition is, how it is applied and why it is applied

  • The importance of matching nutrition to the period of a training cycle

  • The importance of goal setting in sports nutrition

  • How to fuel each training session sufficiently and recover quickly enough for the next training session

  • The role of carbohydrate and protein in sports performance

  • The role of fluid in exercise, dehydration and sweat

  • Tips for meeting energy requirements, gaining muscle and reducing body fat

  • How to estimate energy requirements and recognise a change in energy requirements

  • Characteristics of pre-performance nutrition and the importance of nutrition during performance and recovery

  • The role of supplements in sports performance



Module 4

  • The concept of nutrition coaching, how to deliver a nutrition session whilst staying in scope of practice, when and how to refer onwards.

  • The role that values, beliefs, feelings and thoughts play in behaviour change

  • How previous dieting experiences impact clients

  • The importance of a food diary for monitoring behavior change and assessing it against the dietary guidelines

  • How to recognise different types of barriers to healthy eating and to learn how to help client’s to overcome their barriers

  • How to identify how ready clients are to make changes to their nutrition behaviours

  • Effective nutrition goal setting and how to establish strategies to achieve goals

  • Label reading, healthy cooking methods, and shopping to meet recommendations

  • How to to assist clients to strengthen their motivation and commitment to change

  • Strategies to help clients to deal with challenges to achieving goals

  • How to approach clients with suspected disordered eating and where to refer them for support

  • Strategies to enhance body image in clients

  • Nutrition coaching skills to deliver a session using the Australian Dietary Guidelines, tailoring your approach to a client’s stage of change


This content is not intended to be used as individual health or fitness advice divorced from that imparted by medical, health or fitness professionals. Medical clearance should always be sought before commencing an exercise regime. The Institute and the authors do no take any responsibility for accident or injury caused as a result of this information.

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