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6/13/13 12:50 P

Interesting. Not involved in yoga, I was not aware of this situation.

TINIERTINA Posts: 5,096
6/12/13 10:50 P

@DIETITIANBECKY, if you think fitness trainers are abusing their position in the nutrition realm, you should see the dirty secret lurking in most yoga studios: most yoga instructors deem themselves self-appointed nutritionists ...

I've got a bone to pick with that, because it starts from their supposed yogic ethics ... however, I'd never personally engaged a yoga instructor as such ... on the other hand, I'd had an actual nutritionist once (NOT an R.D.) - she was primarily a hotel manager and spa director/cooking instructor ...

6/12/13 8:17 P

The dispensing of nutrition recommendations differs from state to state. Some states have very strict laws, some very poor (and your plumber or electrician could be giving nutrition recommendations). Kinda scary!!

National fitness centers who have sites throughout the country usually emphasize the usage of only "general nutrition " reommendations---such as the choose my plate model, DASH diet, the old food pyramid, etc. This keeps the company "safe" no matter what state the site is located.

Some fitness trainers---on their own--- give recommendations which really could end them up in some legal messes. If called to court for poor practice, I doubt that they could show how they did a complete nutrition assessment, calculated need, determined appropriate interventions, and devised a nutrition care plan.

Most insurance companies will only reimburse when a Registered Dietitian provides the counseling based on the company's guidelines for treatment.

SP Registered Dietitian

DMJAKES Posts: 1,635
6/12/13 2:43 P

I'm certified through NASM, and it's part of our guidelines and bylaws that we are NOT to dispense dietary advice--we are to refer them to their doctor of an RD. If a client asks me, I'll tell them about Spark, about tracking calories in general terms, and about what's worked for me. I would never suggest a certain calorie range, or endorse any particular diet or philosophy of eating.

That's what I like about being one's breathing down my neck to sell anything except my skills emoticon

MRSTIGHTWAD SparkPoints: (1,172)
Fitness Minutes: (2,769)
Posts: 80
6/11/13 3:38 P

Ok....everyone is missing the obvious gray area here. I am a personal trainer in MD. Now, I am allowed to suggest things like the DASH diet, AS LONG AS THE CLIENT DOES NOT HAVE DIETARY RESTRICTIONS DUE TO ILLNESS/CONDITIONS. If that is the case, then they need to see their specialist or a dietician.

In the case of their not being a health problem, I can say to someone that they need a certain calorie level.....I CANNOT tell them how much of what they need in a day, such as how many grams of protein they need to be eating and what they need to be eating.

For my healthy clients, I generally refer them to certain aps that breaks it all down for them based on their current health and fitness levels. As a personal trainer, if I have a client who is eating 500 calories a day, is 5' 2", and currently weighs 130, and is exercising vigorously 2 hrs a day, 5 days a week (yes, I came across this)....I would be seriously negligent in my duties if I did not tell them that they are putting their health at risk and the minimum caloric intake they should have and the easiest way to track it.

RAUCOUS SparkPoints: (1,640)
Fitness Minutes: (707)
Posts: 10
6/11/13 3:26 P

What law restricts personal trainers from sharing meal plans? Is that state-specific? I've been in medicine for over twenty years (in Virginia and Arizona) and that's the first I've heard of a legislative restriction on dietary guidance. Interesting.

ARCHIMEDESII SparkPoints: (198,705)
Fitness Minutes: (296,898)
Posts: 27,213
5/26/13 6:50 A


Coach Jen is quite correct. Unless your personal trainer is a board certified dietitian, it IS illegal for him/her to tell you how many calories to eat. I work part time as a personal trainer. when I took my PT certification course, I was specifically told I was not allowed to dispense dietary advice beyond the food pyramid.

Legally, I can encourage you to eat wholesome foods that nourish your body. I can tell you to eat more leafy green veggies and whole grain breads/cereals. I can't tell you to eat 1200 calories per day. neither can they.

However, what may be going on is that the PT staff at Planet Fitness may be forced to sell whatever dietary products or meal plans. Many PTs are expected to make a certain number of sales per month. If this is true, just say no. If there your PT isn't pushing a company diet, then you still need to just say no. As others have said, PTs are not allowed to give dietary advice beyond the food pyramid.

I would take anything your PT says with a grain of salt. I would ask them where they go their certification training from. Find out what this person's credentials are.

5/25/13 9:00 P

Your trainer is a nut who has no idea what he's talking about. You can tell him I said so. Heck, give him my spark page address. He can email me and I can tell him just how wrong he is myself.

5/24/13 9:04 P

Not only are his nutritional recommendations wrong he has your workouts up side down. You should be doing 45 minutes of strength and 15 minutes of cardio. In the exercise formula for fat loss strength ranks way over cardio according to the most current research.

TINIERTINA Posts: 5,096
5/24/13 10:58 A

I eat more than that - though weight loss is not intended at this point - and I am shorter than you, nearing 59 years old and a Type 2 diabetic whose condition mandates a lot of calorie-torching cardio ...

AMARANTHA120S Posts: 474
5/24/13 10:50 A

Yea, "trainers" at gyms should not be giving out nutritional advice unless they are registered dieticians and that would be an unusual circumstance, in my opinion.

FIELDWORKING SparkPoints: (29,946)
Fitness Minutes: (64,745)
Posts: 748
5/24/13 10:49 A

When I was talking with my family physician about the number of calories I should consume, she told me "not" to consume less than 1500. She said that pushing close to 1200 would be the lowest limit but didn't recommend going that low in caloric intake.

ASHLING9 SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (22,815)
Posts: 122
5/24/13 10:23 A

I worked at a gym for a little over a year and let me tell's not hard to become a "personal trainer" at the gym. Unfortunately there is always a lot of funny business behind the scenes at gyms. I have a fantastic story about how my manager stole my car and how HR was tweeking our hours and overtime.

BUT I digress. Over the last month or so, I stopped recording calories because it was driving me nuts. I also started doing A LOT more strength training. There's a couple days where I will mentally calculate calories and be between 1700-2000 calories a day. At first this made me nervous because I use to like to be at 1200, but the great thing is, I'm noticing results. I may be eating more, but I'm eating healthy things that my body obviously needs!

5/24/13 8:51 A

Thanks for the advice, ladies! I will try upping my calories a bit and see if that helps. Maybe I'll have more energy too. I doubt that guy is a registered dietitian. What a joke!

SPARK_COACH_JEN Posts: 65,783
5/23/13 6:35 P

Hi Zoey

Unless your trainer is a registered dietitian, it's illegal for them to give you meal plans or calorie recommendations. I agree with the previous poster that based on your activity level, 1200 calories is not enough. I'd suggest sticking with the calorie range SP gives you, and find a new trainer :)

Coach Jen

KCLARK89 SparkPoints: (44,612)
Fitness Minutes: (18,761)
Posts: 1,243
5/23/13 5:57 P

No wonder you're tired!!! There is no way your body is going to be able to handle that for long. You need to be fueling it adequately and he is false for telling you to "not worry about it!"

There's quite a bit of information there, but all very helpful!! 1200 is the minimum you should be taking in EVER, but that is for people who have little to no exercise or movement in their day. Check it out and see what it tells you by doing their easy formulas!

5/23/13 5:04 P

I'm 5'7. 163lbs. I have been going to Planet Fitness for about 6 months now and I really like it. I recently sat down and talked with their so-called "personal trainer" and he told me to eat 1200 calories a day. I asked him if I should eat that amount after considering calories burned from working out and he said "Don't worry about that. Just eat 1200 calories a day" He set up a workout routine for me that is 45 minutes of cardio/15 minutes of strength training 4 days a week. I have been eating 1200 calories a day for about 2 weeks and have begun to feel really tired all the time. I have also gained body fat percentage. (Though my weight has stayed the same) Is this just the affects of changing my workout routine? I figured beginning strength training would cause me to gain a little weight initially, but not body fat percentage. Any help would be appreciated!

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