American Council on Exercise by American Council on Exercise

While 90% of Americans say diet and nutrition are important, nearly half of them don’t know or understand how to achieve a balanced diet. Since nutrition and fitness go hand-in hand, it is not unusual for fitness professionals to receive nutrition-related questions from their clients. Fitness professionals have a unique opportunity to reach people struggling to manage or lose weight, but unfortunately, many shy away from discussing nutrition at all, assuming it is outside of their scope of practice. While developing individualized meal plans does go beyond what’s appropriate, there are a number of things that they can do to help with basic nutrition needs. 

ACE has taken the initiative to find solutions that allow fitness professionals to maximize their expertise in nutrition without going beyond the boundaries. Check out some tools below that will help personal trainers and health coaches build their toolbox, and increase their value in the industry.

1. ACE Fitness Nutrition Specialty Certification. This Specialty Certification provides scientifically supported and relevant nutrition education and training that health and fitness professionals can use to offer credible advice to clients without overstepping scope of practice. Specifically, becoming an ACE Fitness Nutrition Specialist helps professionals develop the expertise they need to more effectively communicate the principles of good nutrition and food preparation, actions of nutrients in the body, how to read nutrition labels and choose meals that facilitate weight loss or improved athletic performance.

2. ACE Fitness Edition of Evolution Nutrition®. ACE has partnered with Evolution Nutrition to design a Web-based program that helps health and fitness professionals provide detailed meal planning options for their clients. Developed by registered dietitians, the plans generated by the program are based on each individual client’s profile and take eating habits, activity levels and personal goals into consideration to ensure specific needs are met.  Every plan also comes with a shopping list and portion guide, so each client has everything they need to succeed. According to Evolution Nutrition President Ed Cleary, the program also “provides an easy way for clients to take ownership of their diet and exercise habits by allowing them to log their food and training.”

3. ACE Health Coach Certification. Earning an NCCA-accredited certification can help professionals from a number of different industries learn how to help people with strategies and systems to change the fitness, nutrition and lifestyle behaviors have been holding them back. The ACE Health Coach Certification merges best practices of exercise programming, nutrition education and health promotion with behavior-change techniques. Those who complete the curriculum will learn about nutritional and physiological sciences, as well as how to design and implement a nutritional program.

“A fitness professional who focuses only on physical activity and avoids discussing nutrition is providing their clients with less than optimal service,” said ACE President and CEO Scott Goudeseune. “We know the demand for more nutrition expertise is there. Now we’re providing the tools for fitness professionals to respond to it.”

To learn more about the nutrition tools available to health and fitness professionals, contact us at (888) 825-3636 or

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