The Scope of Practice for Coaching Nutrition
By Food Matters Institute
The scope of practice of coaching nutrition encompasses a wide range of responsibilities and expertise. You will use your knowledge of basic nutrition principles and relevant skills to provide nutrition guidance to clients. You’ll also embody core principles of holistic nutrition and natural medicine, using a food-as-medicine approach to educate and guide clients (and yourself) to achieve nutrition and health goals and reach optimal health. In this article, we explore some of the key responsibilities involved in the scope of practice for coaching nutrition.
1. Provide nutrition education
As a nutrition coach, you’re dedicated to unlocking the secrets of wellbeing through food and lifestyle practices and committed to sharing that knowledge with others. On a broad scale, you can teach clients and peers about healthy eating habits, the benefits of different foods, and how to make better food choices. It’s important your audience understands that good food and lifestyle practices ultimately affect all of your bodily systems (think hormones, skin, immunity, etc.) and the importance of bio-individuality when it comes to choosing what’s right for you.
From there, you can also dive deeper and teach them about portion control, food preparation, and how to read food labels. Some of the resources you provide may include tools to enhance digestion and healthy swaps in the kitchen.
2. Support behavior change
Behavior change is a crucial aspect of improving one's diet and health. As a nutrition coach, you can help clients identify and change unhealthy behaviors. You can support them as they make changes and offer strategies to help them overcome barriers to change.
3. Monitor progress
Monitoring clients' progress is essential to ensuring their success. As a nutrition coach, you can track clients' progress by monitoring the progress they are making on their nutrition goals. You can also provide ongoing support and guidance to help them stay on track.
4. Work with other health professionals
Nutrition coaching often involves working with other health professionals, such as doctors, physical therapists, and personal trainers. By collaborating with other health professionals, you can develop a comprehensive approach to improving your clients' overall health and wellness.
5. Stay up to date with current research
As a nutrition coach, it’s essential to stay up to date with the latest research in nutrition by attending conferences, reading scientific literature, and participating in continuing education. You should also aim to stay across nutrition trends so you can relate more to what your clients may be dealing with and any nutrition misinformation they may be coming across through social media or other sources.
There is a wide range of things you can do as a coach to help clients improve their health and wellness through proper nutrition. From providing nutrition education and supporting behavior change, to working with other health professionals to help people heal and transform their health, you play a vital role in helping people improve their health and wellness through proper nutrition. An admirable career path!
If you’re looking to take your client coaching to the next level, check out the Food Matters Nutrition Certification Program and all its coaching resources.