Your Trainer Could Be Giving You Wrong Diet Advice! Here’s Why…
For some of us, our fitness trainers are the lifeline that’s helped us avoid a myriad of chronic diseases. Why they are so tough on us and some go as far as monitoring what we eat!
Indeed, having a fitness trainer, and a qualified one at that, is a vital cog in the machine that leads to a healthy body.
Despite the mutual benefit that we get from our trainers (a solid exercise regime) and the monetary compensation that they receive on their end, it’s wise to be careful.
Frankly, there are some trainers out there who are not as ‘legit’ as they deem to be.
Over the years, many people have become cognizant of the natural link between exercise and diet.
The Difference Between Exercise and Nutrition
Interestingly, most trainers just add this to a few basic hours of nutrition education and know adopt the mantra of ‘guru’ in the health and dietary field!
Inadvertently, they could be duping their clients!
According to a Montreal-based dietician, Lisa Rutledge, she advises that gym members shouldn’t be so keen to take all the advice that their trainers give them, especially on matters regarding what they should eat during their workout months.
Indeed, Rutledge claims that gym culture attempts to incorporate a diet-based culture into the system, largely because there are a large number of potential clients that associate losing weight to regular exercise.
Moreover, other diets that have gained a lot of popularity with gym members are those that come with the ‘guarantee’ of enhanced athletic performance and bigger muscles.
Are Trainers as Knowledgeable?
That being said, even though most trainers are confident of their ability to provide helpful diet advice to their clients, there’s minimal evidence to suggest that they are well-trained and knowledgeable to steer clients in the right direction regarding what they eat, and how they can successfully change their diets.
Which begs the question; how much knowledge in the nutrition realm do trainers really have? According to a recent study carried out by the University of Sydney, 161 fitness trainers, 357 members of the general community, and 36 dietitians were recruited to participate in a questionnaire to determine their nutritional expertise.
In the study, participants had to answer questions related to four different sections; primarily knowledge of diet/disease relationships, making healthy food decisions, understanding the nutrients in food, and following dietary guidelines.
The main objective of the study was to determine the position that trainers ranked in comparison to the general public and dietitians.
Of importance was also the education level, gender, and age.
Less Knowledgeable Trainers
As was expected, the trainers ranked poorly when their scores were compared to those of dietitians, especially in three of the four categories. In the final category, both dietitians and trainers had the same scores.
Additionally, when comparing trainers’ knowledge in comparison to that of the general community, the trainers only scored higher than the general public in the nutrient category.
Interestingly, trainers who had an undergraduate degree in exercise science did not have higher scores than individuals who had no relatable degree.
Having these results, the researchers concluded that there is very limited nutritional knowledge by these trainers who claim to be professionals, especially with regard to medical nutrition.
This is quite shocking, considering that most trainers have been known to offer plenty of advice to their clients with regard to healthy eating.
Indeed a previous study carried out by the same researchers discovered that out of 286 fitness professionals, about 51 percent of them said that they regularly provided nutrition advice to their clients on heart disease, 35 percent on intolerances and food allergies, 39 percent on nutritional deficiencies, and 44 percent discussed supplements.
A Path to Dietary Destruction
According to Rutledge, providing such information without having the professional background can prove to be dangerous to unsuspecting clients.
Such poor guidance can set individuals towards a path of damage and destruction, as well as the occurrence of disorder eating that can last for years.
Apart from the risk of convincing someone to consume foods that could be detrimental to their physical health, Rutledge also says that it could have adverse effects on one’s future dietary habits.
Indeed, these clients start to believe that if they adhere to a certain diet, they will be healthy, strong and socially accepted. Yet, there have been no studies to demonstrate that those particular diets will be successful in the long run.
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