all nutrition certifications will give you great detailed information to share with clients but the fine line of scope of practice still remains. Unless you become an RD, you will be limited to how specific you can be with your clients.
I have the NASM FNS certification and learned A LOT. I feel that I can offer plenty of advice and still stay within my scope of practice.
I personally found the Behavior Change certification more relevant. I find that clients do not necessarily lack knowledge about food but don’t have the strategies to apply that knowledge.
I couldn’t agree more with Karin. I also believe that the biggest challenge clients are facing in today’s era of online search and available information to them is the lack of discipline. The majority of the clients I see every day are pretty well informed about the variety of foods and nutrients that are available to them but they are missing the correct strategies and the discipline/motivation to use them effectively.
I agree with Karin and Harris in what they say regarding the difference between behavioral change strategies and motivation as opposed to actual food and health information.
Another issue with offering meal planning and detailed nutritional advice is that one must understand the law as it applies to scope of practice in the state where you practice, and the terms of your professional liability insurance.
The other thing to consider is that if instead of trying to be one stop shopping you instead focus on forging strategic alliances with the best trained and certified nutritionists you can find you might get the additional benefit of receiving referrals in return for those you provide.
I make general recommendations. I also like to recommend books that are sound science but still a good read for the lay-person. Ones I am liking lately are:
Fat Chance, and its accompanying cookbook
Plants Plus Diet Solution
(both low glycemic, how to meal plan and cook with minimal to no processed foods, especially no added sugars)
The behavioral change certification is on my list. My undergraduate degree is in psychology and I loved behavioral psychology.