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Can Health Coaches offer Nutrition Advice?

Health coaches have a role in providing information and education, however our focus is on providing the right information at the right time, based on an understanding of what the client already knows and when they give us permission to share it.

Ensuring what we provide is relevant and tailored to our client needs helps to prevent us from overwhelming our clients, and helps them move through the stages of change.

Providing nutrition and Dietary advice may include:

  • Providing clients with quality diet and nutrition information

    • that is evidence based

    • aligned with/based on Australian Dietary Guidelines

    • distilled to client needs

  • Providing referrals to health care professionals, where required

  • Engaging in continuing professional development

Client’s may choose nutrition as their focus for many reasons

We know nutrition is playing a role for our clients when they indicate that it is a priority area to work on. A client may be working towards a health goal such as improved energy levels, or a fitness goal and they would like to improve their diet to help them reach it. They may want to work on their diet for weight loss, to manage a health condition better, to address a particular concern such as adequate nutrients for pregnancy or vegan/vegetarian diet, or just to improve their health and feel better.

Evidence Based Guidelines

Health Coaches have a responsibility to ensure that all promotion and communication of a healthy diet and nutrition to clients is based on evidence based, national guidelines.

Depending on the client needs, health coaches can use a variety of resources based on the Australian Dietary Guidelines to guide clients, create awareness by evaluating their habits, and help them to set strategies to meet their specific goals.

These include:

  • Using the food group plate - to assess the proportion of food groups consumed

  • Using a food diary to assess how many serves of the food groups are consumed

  • Comparing portion size to serve size in the ADG

  • Identifying discretionary foods

  • Calculating energy requirements

  • Adapting sample meal plans or planning diets using 5 food group serves

Sharing credible nutrition information sources

A key role of a health coach is to filter through the wealth of credible nutrition information available, in order to provide your clients with information that is relevant and specific to their needs.

Some resources that you know you can trust include:

Nutrition Australia

Dietitians Australia (DA) .

Sports Dietitians Australia (SDA).

Cancer council.

Better health Channel .

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