What does a Nutrition coach do and why is nutrition important?

May 5, 2021

Ever wondered why anyone would actually hire a nutrition coach and why is nutrition important?

Before I became a nutrition coach I thought that a nutrition coach was someone who gave me a meal plan and told me exactly what to eat. This is what I had been fed online. Sample meal plans, the exact calorie breakdown of meals to eat for my goal and mathematical equations of how much of each macronutrient to eat. I thought to myself. Why would I get a nutrition coach when I can just get the meal plans online. I valued nutrition coaching below personal training. This was before I actually became a fitness, weight loss and performance coach. It was only then that I realized the importance of nutrition coaching. Not meal planning, not exact calorie numbers, not mathematical equations and not PDF one size fits all nutrition advice.

“empowerment, control, education and understanding”

When I started to dive a little more into detail on nutrition and came across Precision Nutrition, that changed. I realized that I had been completely misinformed about what a nutrition coach did. I realized that Nutrition coaching was about helping people build long term sustainable nutritional practices that would allow them to get towards their goal. It is not about meal plans. It is about working together with someone who has a background knowledge in the science of nutrition. Someone who can guide and facilitate your journey with nutrition. It is based on tackling the main issues you have with nutrition. Coaching empowers you to possibly change your associations with certain foods, implement healthy eating behaviors. Practically it teaches you how to build a level of understanding and control of what you put on your plate. When I realized this, I was so happy because every strategy that a nutrition coach should be implementing is a strategy that is designed for empowerment, control, education and understanding.

“everybody is unique”

This is what a real nutrition coach focuses on. Empowerment, so that you can independently achieve long term success with your nutrition, health and performance. This really answers the question of why you would hire a nutrition coach in the first place. If you are struggling to lose weight or struggling to build muscle; 80% of your results will come from what you put into your body. If you are feeling low on energy, having brain fog or feeling low; this can often be a result of poor nutritional habits.

The problem is that most people know they need to change their nutritional habits but they follow the same protocol as I did many years ago. Just searching meal plans that worked for someone on the internet. The problem with this is that everybody is unique. Not just with their genetics and DNA but with their environment, their stage of life and their ability to apply certain habits. Let’s take an example. A college athlete who has lectures 7 hours a week may be able to implement a certain meal planning routine to perfection right?. Does this mean a 45 year old mum of 4 or a 50 year old corporate executive would be able to follow the same guideline? Absolutely not.

“You don’t find a diet that matches your lifestyle, you create your own”.

This is where nutrition coaching comes in. Effective nutrition coaches coach the individual. The reason why there are meal plans strung out all over the web is because everyone is trying to sell something. Not that there is anything wrong with selling but you just need to understand that what works for someone else may not work for you. The new trends of KETO, Intermittent fasting, carnivore diet, vegan, vegetarian, etc. all have proven results with people but it does not mean that they are the best options for you. Many of the clients that I coach come to me having tried many of the above diets and say that they keep yoyoing between weight and they feel like they have never found a diet that matches their lifestyle. My response is always that “You don’t find a diet that matches your lifestyle, you create your own”.

“We are just lacking the ability to implement”

How would a nutrition coach help you create this diet? Well, the answer comes in the form of questioning, audits, self awareness and feedback. You see to effectively create a nutritional habit that works for you; your coach will bring you on a journey of self discovery. The journey starts with audits and questions on your current eating habits, your associations with certain foods and the issues you are having. This may come in the form of a food diary or journal like My Fitness Pal. This may be your start point. What follows this is a period of evaluation not just by the coach but by you also. It will involve working together to create awareness of your current habits, analysis of what habits are serving you and possibly not serving you and how to implement small habits on a weekly basis that will help you move towards your goal.

“long term success”

The key for people when hiring a nutrition coach is to have a certain level of patience; of course everyone wants to get to their goal as quickly as possible but a high level nutrition coach will understand that to have long term success in your life; we need to focus on habit creation.

Habits come in the form of micro implementations; meaning we focus on 1 or 2 key areas per week that will make the biggest impact for you. This allows you to achieve quick results while also allowing you the time to implement habits effectively. The main reason why meal plans don’t work or why PDF nutrition meals don’t work is because they don’t teach you any skills. It is not lack of knowledge we have on nutrition. We are just lacking the ability to implement.

I hope I have given you an idea of what nutrition coaching is about and I would like to offer you the chance to have a completely free nutritional review given by myself or one of my team. The review will map out the direction that you can go with your nutrition and will provide you with a comprehensive idea of what effective nutrition coaching should be.

Conor Kearney

Conor Kearney

Personal Trainer

I am a health, lifestyle and fitness coach from Ireland currently living in Bangkok, Thailand. I am 28 years old and I have been working in the health and fitness industry for quite a number of years; be it in schools, in gyms and online.