You may be wondering what the difference is between a personal trainer, a nutritionist and an integrative health coach. How would you know which one of the three would best serve your needs? Good question. Whereas on the surface, the three are inter-related, digging a little deeper into the matter will help you understand why there are some pretty major differences and let you know which type of professional can help you be at your best.
What is a Personal Trainer?
Depending on their methods and manner, personal trainers can coach, mentor and befriend you and, yes, even serve as your drill instructor from time to time. Their constant goal is to create and direct an individualized exercise program that helps you to take your fitness to the next level, whether in a group setting or one-on-one. Personal trainers are passionate about fitness, and it shows. They are most usually fit, healthy, and active. Whether they are helping you with fat loss, strength training or overall health management, they keep your fitness goals in mind. Depending on your fitness level, your trainer may introduce you to simple exercises, develop and aid you in a weight loss program, or help you achieve improved muscular endurance and flexibility. He or she may create specific workout routines for clients who wish to lose extra weight, improve speed or achieve muscle toning.
How can a Personal Trainer Benefit Me?
A personal trainer provides you with motivation. A good trainer knows what it takes to keep you coming back, whether that’s through using fitness management software, setting long and short-term goals or creating workout plans that are varied and interesting. Personal trainers help you target your fitness goals. Whether your desire is to lose 20 pounds or develop the swimsuit body you’ve always wanted, developing and staying on track with your goals is the key to success. .
Who a Personal Trainer Works Well With?
If you are looking for exercise support and programming, a personal trainer could be for you. A personal trainer will track your physical goals and body changes and make adjustments to your exercise program as needed. When considering working with a personal trainer, be sure to ask them about their methodologies, previous client results and exercise program details.
Who a Personal Trainer does not work well with?
A personal trainer doesn’t replace your doctor, dietitian, or physiotherapist. Although it’s natural to ask your trainer for bodily advice, it’s important to remember that an expertise in fitness is not the same as expertise in whole body health. Unless otherwise qualified, personal trainers are not certified or licensed in offering nutrition advice. Just because a personal trainer looks great themselves, does not mean they have the nutritional knowledge to help you look great. Your personal trainer may not be qualified to work with people with certain special needs, such as diabetics or pregnant women (not all certifications are equal or comprehensive). Also, personal trainers aren’t qualified to read lab tests.
What is a Nutritionist?
Nutritionists are trained professionals that work one-on-one with you to formulate plans for improving your health through food. When you initially meet with a nutritionist, they will assess your diet and your overall nutritional lifestyle. From there, the nutritionist helps you set realistic goals and develop plans to meet your individual nutritional needs. Nutritionists may also help one understand the science behind food, develop personalized menus, and offer modifications to the clients’ plan as time unfolds.
How can a Nutritionist Benefit Me?
A nutritionist can help in many ways. He or she can provide personally tailored nutrition advice and educated insights into the way the foods you eat impact your health. You may see a nutritionist get support in managing weight loss or break poor eating habits. A nutritionist can help clear up diet myths and enable you to recognize the things you should really focus on for your health. He or she can be a terrific resource to keep you accountable, encouraged, and full of fresh ideas to eat healthily.
Who a Nutritionist Works Well With?
If you are looking for nutritional planning and support to decide how much to eat and when for your body type, a nutritionist may be for you. A nutritionist will track your physical goals and body changes and make nutritional adjustments, as necessary.
Who a Nutritionist does not work well with?
If you seek exercise support or post-physical therapy exercise support and planning, a nutritionist typically will not be able to help beyond general advice. Your nutritionist may not be qualified to work with people with certain specific needs, such a heart disease, irritable bowel syndrome, or auto-immune conditions (not all certifications are equal or comprehensive). Also, unless additionally certified, most nutritionists are not qualified to read lab tests.
What is an Integrative Health Practitioner?
An integrative health practitioner (IHP) combines elements of personal training and nutrition along with holistic lifestyle changes outside of these realms. IHP’s are experts on how to set, track and achieve health goals, as well as build new habits along the way. IHP’s have a broad knowledge of health to help clients identify their ‘blind spots’, which may be hindering their results. IHP’s can support their clients interpret and implement more complex treatment plans, which can include reducing stress, repairing gut dysfunction, quelling autoimmune symptoms, designing exercise programs and losing excess body fat.
How can an Integrative Health Practitioner benefit me?
IHP’s have the tools and skills to help clients build new habits and make lasting changes across realms of health including and outside of diet and exercise. A quality health coach is not just a source of information, but an agent for transformation, often supporting their clients discover the root causes of their health maladies. If a client has tried exercise and traditional nutritional interventions without success, an IHP may support them in discovering digestive, hormonal and environmental dysfunctions which may be impeding results, and otherwise go undetected.
Who does an Integrative Health Practitioner works well with?
IHP’s work well with clients who’ve lived by the adage ‘eat less and exercise more’, but have yet to see the desired results that come with that advice. IHP’s use a wide lens to view the client’s past history and get an understanding of what could be impacting their health beyond adhering to nutrition templates and workout programs. IHP’s work well with clients who need support managing chronic conditions such as those with autoimmune disorders, diabetes, hypertension or obesity. IHP’s are also able to interpret various lab tests that may reveal deeper dysfunctions which should be addressed, such as hormone imbalances or bacterial overgrowth. IHP’s are well-versed in recommending supplement protocols which may rebalance nutrient deficiencies or toxicities.
Who an Integrative Health Practitioner does not work well with?
IHP’s are not medical doctors, and are not qualified to diagnose or cure any disease. IHP’s do not prescribe medication and should not be considered an option for any acute symptoms which require immediate attention. IHP’s should not be considered an option for addressing a medical emergency.
There you have it! Distinctions between personal trainers, nutritionists and integrative health practitioners. Each can provide remarkable support of various clients. Though you may find cross-certified coaches, be sure to ask for specific qualifications to ensure that you’re working with the right professional for your needs. Derek is multi-certified in exercise, nutrition and integrative health coaching. He utilizes cutting-edge coaching software and scientifically-backed health practices to deliver the most impactful programs in the field today.