The Fitness Zone

What Does the Nutrition Coach Course Enable PTs To Do?

Dec 14, 2020 | by AIF

It’s no secret that nutrition plays an enormous role in helping us achieve health, fitness and wellness goals. Whether a client’s objectives are fat loss, muscle gain or increased energy levels, what they eat and drink can significantly affect their training outcomes.

Recognising this connection between nutrition and exercise, many personal training clients seek nutritional guidance from their trainers. However, helping PT clients get the best results from their workouts with the assistance of nutritional information can be a tricky task.

The Nutrition Coach program from AIF has been designed to help PTs navigate this challenging terrain.

The course is aimed at current or aspiring personal trainers who want to stay a step ahead of the competition by empowering their clients to achieve lasting results through nutrition, while staying within their Scope of Practice.

What skills does Nutrition Coach equip trainers with?

Delivered online over 8 weeks (intensive) or 16 weeks (flexible), the Nutrition Coach course will:

  • Empower you with the confidence to talk about nutrition, without overstepping the boundaries of your fitness professional qualifications
  • Enable you to tailor your approach to each client’s needs
  • Teach you the communication skills needed to have effective conversations about nutrition with your clients
  • Help you 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 the skills needed to work with clients who are not ready to make nutrition changes
  • Show that there is a lot more to nutrition than just meal plans
  • Equip you with effective strategies to help clients increase motivation and accountability, and deal with challenges to achieve their goals
  • Help you successfully collaborate and exchange referrals with medical and allied health professionals
  • Keep you legal and safe by enabling you to upskill in nutrition and coaching skills while keeping within the Registered Exercise Professional Scope of Practice

What isn’t included?

The AIF’s Nutrition Coach is not a nutritionist or dietitian qualification – it is a course that personal trainers can complete in order to help them work with clients more effectively, without venturing into the domain of nutritionists or dietitians.

As such, the course will not:

  • 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 result in harm to your clients or open you up to being sued.

Course creation and delivery

The course was developed by some of Australia’s leading Accredited Practising Dietitians, and other highly qualified health and fitness experts.

All Coaches have relevant qualifications with specialised knowledge and skills in nutrition, as well as a teaching qualification.

The course is delivered online over a period of 8 weeks (intensive) or 16 weeks (flexible).

How is the course structured?

Featuring a mix of interactive learning styles, students participate in webinars and discussion forums, create resources, observe examples of nutrition coaching and complete interactive online components.

Assessment includes a combination of online quizzes, case studies, role plays and a video submission.

The course contains three modules:

  1. Module 1: Nutrition and coaching essentials for optimal health
  2. Module 2: Nutrition and motivational change for weight management
  3. Module 3: Nutrition for sports performance

Here’s what you can expect to learn in each part of the course:

Module 1: Nutrition and coaching essentials for optimal health

  • Purpose of food
  • Australian Guide to Healthy Eating
  • Food myths
  • Religious differences
  • Macronutrients
  • Food groups
  • Nutrient Reference Values
  • Current state of Australians
  • Read and interpret food labels
  • Healthy cooking techniques
  • Pregnancy
  • Role and importance of supplements
  • Vegetarians
  • Food intolerances and allergies
  • Identify specific needs of chronic disease
  • Introduction to nutrition coaching
  • Scope of practice
  • Connect with your client
  • Client’s previous experiences
  • Identify unhealthy behaviours
  • Evaluate if client is ready for change
  • Tailor your approach

Module 2: Nutrition and motivational change for weight management

  • Obesity and body composition
  • Healthy obesity
  • Drivers of weight gain
  • Energy balance
  • Process of weight change
  • Risks of rapid weight loss
  • Guidelines for weight management
  • Set successful nutrition goals
  • Introduction to motivational interviewing
  • Motivational interviewing in practice
  • Recognise the impact of thoughts on behaviour
  • Boost motivation for change
  • Track nutrition change
  • Structure a nutrition coaching session
  • Roles and responsibilities
  • Hunger and appetite
  • Cravings
  • Food addiction
  • Relapse
  • Stay accountable
  • Weight loss diets
  • Drugs and surgery for weight loss
  • Understanding disordered eating
  • Recognise impact on body image

Module 3: Nutrition for sports performance

  • What is sports nutrition
  • The importance of a balanced diet
  • Role of protein
  • Role of carbohydrates
  • Importance of fluids, sweat and dehydration
  • Meet nutrient requirements for active people
  • Nutrition before, during and after performance
  • Goal setting, training cycles
  • Role of supplements

Add Nutrition Coach to your PT skillset

To find out more about studying Nutrition Coach, call 1300 669 669 or click here to submit an enquiry.



At the Australian Institute of Fitness (AIF), we are no stranger to the competitive and evolving nature of the fitness industry. That’s why we remain the #1 fitness educator since 1979. We continuously raise the bar by providing the best education and resources through dynamic and hybrid training methods that mould to your lifestyle. We are strong believers in evidence over fads, so you can be assured your training with AIF will solidify your career for the long-term.

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