An increasingly important sector in the life coaching space, food coaching helps clients develop strategies, change their eating habits and enhance their motivation to improve their overall wellbeing. This course is ideal for food coaches, personal trainers and weight loss consultants.
The Certificate of Food Coaching is a professional development course that will develop your understanding of the scope and nature of food coaching, including helping clients examine their lifestyle and how it might be affecting their diet and health goals.
In this food coaching course, you will learn about the ethical, practical and legal implications of becoming an effective, responsible and successful food coach practitioner.
You will also study the professional standards for food coaching, the management practices for a food coaching business, and the specialised dietary requirements for children, adults, seniors and those with dietary issues and chronic conditions.
Outcomes achieved by undertaking a food coaching course include:
- Learning the scope and nature of food coaching and why it’s necessary
- Exploring how to meet with clients and conduct the initial interview
- Studying how to gather information and examine the problem and the history of the problem
- Understanding how to assess a client’s current diet and lifestyle and take baseline measurements
- Learning about serving sizes, supplements, frequency of eating, and food plates and pyramids
- Exploring the professional standards for food coaching
- Studying the Code of Ethics, confidentiality and informed consent
- Gaining insights into making ethical decisions including guidelines
- Examining legal concerns and how to keep records
- Understanding occupational health and safety responsibilities
- Learning about chronic conditions and specialist diets
- Exploring high blood pressure and high cholesterol
- Studying cancer, diabetes and heart disease
- Gaining insights into autism, HIV and celiac/coeliac disease
- Understanding dairy intolerance and dairy-free and vegetarian diets
- Learning about body fat percentage and how to measure body fat including the skin-fold method
- Exploring ultrasounds and the weight-to-height ratio
- Gaining insights into the health risks of overeating including binge eating
- Studying weight loss plans and the treatments for obesity
- Gaining insights into the physiological and psychological reasons people overeat
- Examining poor nutrition diets including poor quality diets and not eating enough
- Understanding the eating disorders associated with weight loss and the causes of these
- Learning about anorexia nervosa, bulimia and their signs and symptoms
- Exploring body image and self-esteem
- Studying food coaching with adults and seniors
Why is Food Coaching Important?
Many of the government-funded health initiatives are based on educating the general public about diet and food choices. However, often people lack personal motivation and knowledge to commit to changes despite being well educated, and many struggle with fad diets and other poor eating choices. Many also don’t realise how their poor diet is affecting their wellbeing, whether it’s feeling bloated or sluggish or contributing to other health issues … and just stop trying.
While there are diet and nutrition practitioners in the industry, most don’t offer food coaching. With the help of a food coaching course, food coaches can help motivate clients to make a better choice and worthwhile changes. They help clients understand the benefits of what they are doing and give lots of encouragement, keep them on track and offer them support and feedback.
Insights into the Australian Diet
According to a report done by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, Australians of all ages generally have a poor diet. That is, they don’t eat enough of the five food groups and eat too many foods high in fat, salt and sugar. A poor diet can lead to stroke, high blood pressure, coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes and some forms of cancer (to name a few) — conditions you will become familiar with when studying our food coaching course.
How is Food Associated with Health?
Our diet plays an important role in our overall health and wellbeing. Food provides nutrients, energy and other components that, if are inadequate, can result in ill health. However, ill-health can’t be contributed to one food component — behavioural, environmental, biological, genetic and societal factors are also involved. In the optimal diet, the supply of the required nutrients and energy should be adequate for tissue repair, maintenance and growth. The fats, vitamins, minerals, proteins and carbohydrates required are met by eating a wide variety of nutritious foods.
What Should We Eat?
The Australian Dietary Guidelines provide advice on healthy eating habits to “promote overall health and wellbeing, reduce the risk of diet-related disease and protect against chronic conditions”. They recommend Australians eat a wide variety of nutritious foods from the five food groups every day, as essential nutrients are found in varying amounts in many different food groups (although the guidelines differ according to age).
The five food groups include:
- Vegetables and legumes/beans including plenty of different types and colours
- Grain/cereal foods like bread, pasta, rice, noodles, couscous, cereals, oats, polenta, barley and quinoa that are mostly wholegrain and/or high fibre varieties
- Lean meats and alternatives like fish, poultry, tofu, eggs, nuts and seeds
- Reduced-fat dairy like milk, cheese and yoghurt and/or their alternatives (however, reduced-fat milk are not suitable for children under two years of age)
- Plenty of water!
How to Measure a Healthy Weight
More than six out of ten Australian adults are overweight or obese which can lead to serious health problems … and that figure is rising. Two methods to measure a healthy weight you will learn about in our food coaching course are how to measure g Body Mass Index (BMI) and waist circumference.
Body Mass Index (BMI)
BMI uses a person’s height and weight to determine whether an adult is within the healthy weight range, or overweight, obese or underweight. It also provides an estimate of total body fat as a proportion of total body weight, which can give insights into the risk of developing weight-related diseases. It is calculated by dividing an adult’s weight by the square of their height. If you calculate your BMI yourself, you must make sure your weight is in kilograms and your height is in centimetres.
The government’s Health Direct website has a BMI calculator that indicates any health risks in relation to your BMI and offers information on your personal results. However, typically, BMI ranges fall into these categories:
- Under 18.5 – you are underweight
- 18.5 – 24.9 – you are at a healthy weight range
- 25.0 – 29.9 – you are overweight
- 30.0 and above – you are obese
BMI is less accurate for assessing healthy weight in some groups of people because it does not distinguish between the proportion of weight due to muscle or fat. It can be less accurate in:
- Certain ethnic groups, such as Aboriginal peoples, Pacific Islander populations (including Maori and Torres Strait Islander peoples), Chinese, South Asian and Japanese population groups
- Weight lifters or bodybuilders
- Some high-performance athletes
- Pregnant women
- The elderly
- People with a physical disability
- People with eating disorders
- People under 18 years of age
- Those with extreme obesity
Waist circumference is an estimate of visceral fat, which is the dangerous internal fat that coats the organs. Carrying excess body fat around your middle is more of a health risk than if weight is on your thighs and hips. It is, therefore, a more accurate predictor of Type 2 diabetes in women, cardiovascular risk and metabolic syndrome.
The waist circumference thresholds that indicate an increased risk of disease are:
- If you are a woman, your risk is increased at 80 centimetres
- If you are a woman, your risk is greatly increased at 88 centimetres or more
- If you are a man, your risk is increased at 94 centimetres or more
- If you are a man, your risk is greatly increased at 102 centimetres or more
To measure your waist circumference:
- Place a tape measure directly on your skin or over no more than one layer of light clothing.
- The correct place to measure your waist is halfway between the top of your hipbone and your lowest rib, which is roughly in line with your belly button.
- Breathe out normally and measure.
- Make sure the tape is snug, without squeezing the skin.
Again, these waist circumference measurements only apply to adults, not to children. They also don’t apply to people from certain non-European backgrounds, pregnant women or people with a medical condition involving an enlargement of the abdomen.
Gain the essential nutrition, coaching and management skills you need to launch or improve your food coaching career with a food coaching course, such as our Certificate of Food Coaching.