MMA star (and new insureon partner) Ronda Rousey is known for her toughness in the octagon, her undefeated record, and her diet plan, which she has described as a combination between the Warrior Diet and the Paleo Diet, two eating plans currently enjoying popularity in the United States.
Rousey’s performance in fights has led to increased interest in her eating and training habits among fans of both MMA and the popular diets. This interest highlights a growing trend of Americans seeking nutrition advice from the athletic trainers, personal trainers, and other fitness professionals they work with most often – even if those professionals don’t have professional training in diet or nutrition.
Managing Risks Associated with Fad Diets
While registered dietitians and nutritionists have the qualifications they need to navigate the world of fad diets and eating plans, other allied health professionals may be less prepared to answer their clients’ questions. But as many athletic trainers and other fitness professionals know, clients often want eating advice to complement their fitness regimens.
Before offering any nutrition pointers to your clients, be sure to be aware of the associated risks:
- Underlying conditions: Food allergies, conditions like hypoglycemia and diabetes, and a number of other issues can affect how a client responds to a particular dietary plan. While trainers often understand the fueling and nutrition needs that accompany a specific training regimen, they should also be cognizant of the fact that more and more people have special dietary needs or restrictions that, when ignored, could trigger serious health problems.
- The limits of your malpractice coverage: Malpractice Insurance (also called Professional Liability Insurance) protects allied health professionals in the event that their work leads to injury or financial loss for one of their clients. But if you provide nutrition advice and you’re not trained or certified as a nutritionist or dietitian, you might not be covered if that advice leads to injury or illness for your client. That could mean you face serious legal bills in if you’re named in a lawsuit.
- The effects of modifications and adaptations: Ronda Rousey has noted in interviews that she eats a combination of the Paleo and Warrior diets – plus coffee, which neither eating plan includes. While her eating regimen has been cleared by her trainers and nutritionists, it’s important to remember that your clients won’t necessarily have the same oversight for their eating plans. Some substitutions may be perfectly harmless, but it’s better not to assume too much when guiding the people you serve professionally.
As greater numbers of Americans work with personal trainers and other fitness professionals, we’re turning to these folks more often to them for overall fitness advice. Being prepared to answer questions about diet and nutrition can help allied health professionals in a number of fields manage the risks they face and keep their practices thriving.