Why you need a personal trainer AND nutritionist

Ray is a personal trainer and nutritionist in Manchester. Here she is talking though a consultation with one of her clients

A personal trainer is traditionally someone who works with you in the gym to achieve certain fitness goals whether that’s increasing strength, endurance, cardiovascular fitness, supporting continued improvement in a particular sport or achieving a certain aesthetic goal; perhaps losing weight or bulking up. Whatever it may be, we hear ‘personal trainer’ and think of the gym – but why do you need a personal trainer AND nutritionist?

Nutritionists on the other hand focus on your diet and advise firstly based on health aspects, making sure you are consuming the correct amount of macro and micronutrients to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Then they’ll advise based on the particular goal/reason you have contacted them such as weight loss, gut health, energy levels – whatever it may be.

You might first contact a nutritionist under the advice from your GP, if they are concerned about aspects of your diet or you can also contact them yourself for the same reason. Or as mentioned, if you are looking to make changes to your body composition (the amount of fat and muscle your body carries).

Now you might be thinking that you don’t see a reason you would need to see a nutritionist and only want to look for help on the fitness side of things. Now I would strongly advise to read on about why you need a personal trainer AND a nutritionist. Often you can find a person that does both!

What if I only see a personal trainer?

Ok, so nutrition plays a huge part in your overall health and wellbeing, as does fitness. So just focussing on one element is like putting a picture up with bluetack instead of properly hanging it – it can work well for a while but the result isn’t anywhere near as good and at some point it will fall down.

There are a whole host of reasons why you may have hired a PT in the first place. The first (and most common) is to achieve an aesthetic goal which will come from changing your body composition – often to look more toned, to put on muscle or lose weight. You can make progress towards all of these goals by putting the work in in the gym, however you could achieve MUCH better results with the right nutrition behind you.

Firstly, from an energy level point of view – if you’re fuelling your body with what it needs, your performance in the gym is going to skyrocket, thus achieving the results you want faster.

Secondly, giving your body what it needs to be able to build muscle, which is important for both bulking or losing weight (I know they seem the opposite of each other but trust me on this one) is also key to your aesthetic progression. 

If you have started training for health reasons, a nutritionist is the frosting, sprinkles and cherry on top of that cake as previously discussed. If your cravings are getting in the way of your progress physically and you’re not quite sure how to manage this – again a nutritionist is going to be a game changer!

Another reason why you need a personal trainer and a nutritionist is if you are training for a particular sport or performance related goal – even just personal goals like lifting a certain weight or being able to perform bodyweight pull ups – you’re going to need to be fuelling your body in the right way, from how much you should be eating, to what you should be eating and when.

How do I find someone who can help with both personal training and nutrition?

Not every personal trainer also specialises in nutrition so you will need to shop around. You should find that it will be pretty obvious which ones do from their website or even whether they post content about nutrition topics. You will need to look out for some personal trainers that will claim to be able to help you lose X amount of weight in 30 days by following their meal plan and other clickbaity claims, as these are unlikely to be based around healthy nutrition with longer term goals in mind.

Not all personal trainers that post about nutrition will be qualified to help you with you with your goals. If you’re ever unsure then you could always pop them a message and see what experience and qualifications they have – it is unfortunate that this may be necessary but there is a lot of misleading information out there!  

If you’ve found this insightful, inspiring or even intriguing, pop me a message to discuss training and nutrition support; online or in Manchester city centre.

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Picture of Ray Hickford

Ray Hickford

Hi, I’m Ray, a health and wellbeing professional in Manchester working with clients through training and nutrition programmes to help them feel more confident, strong and happy both in and outside of the gym.
As a Qualified Personal Trainer and Level 4 RSPH Nutrition Advisor, I am constantly learning myself - from my clients, from other industry experts and sometimes myself! And sometimes I write some of this down for ya.

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