fbpx
NASM CNC Chapter 18: Dietary Assessment and Body Composition testing

If you have not yet signed up for the NASM CNC certification, receive a big discount here.

Get your copy of the NASM CNC exam cheat sheet. It helps immensely for studying for the exam.

My PTP students report cutting their NASM CNC study time and effort in half with Trainer Academy. 

Enjoy the insurance of the Exam Pass Guarantee and Retake Fee Guarantee, plus take advantage of my current discount code PTPJULY for 50% off until July 25th, 2024.

Try it out for free here to see if it’s right for you, or read my detailed review for further insights.

Chapter Goals:

  • Discuss the current guidelines for dietary health for the general public.
  • Find the differences between clients’ habitual intakes and those that are conducive to their goals. 
  • Look at the similarities and the differences in the body comp assessment methods and also at their possible usefulness with your clients.
  • Find the importance that being consistent, repeatable, and accessible has over sophistication and precision.

Dietary Guidelines Foundations

The department of health and human services and the united states department of agriculture make the dietary guidelines for Americans that we look at for giving general advice regarding nutrition. The five guidelines are:

  • Follow an eating pattern throughout your lifespan that is considered healthy.
  • Have a focus on variety, amount, and density of nutrients when eating.
  • Limit calories from additional sugar, reduce sodium intake and limit saturated fats.
  • Shift your diet to healthier beverages and foods.
  • Support an eating pattern that is healthy for all.

Dietary Reference Intakes are the things on the nutrition labels that show the recommendations for the various nutrients as it has been found by the food and nutrition board of the institute of medicine. DRIs are like the RDAs. 

Recommended dietary allowance = the average of the daily nutrient intake that is enough for the requirements of nutrients for nearly all people in a certain life stage.

Adequate intake = the average daily intake that is seen to be good enough for all the healthy people in a group. This is used when we do not have the RDA available to us. 

Tolerable upper intake level = this is the highest average daily intake of nutrients that will not likely pose any risk of an adverse health effect on most people in the general population.

Exclusive PTP CPT Offers


Gold Standard Cert
NASM Gold Standard Personal Trainer Certification - Save 25&percnt off
Most Popular Cert
ISSA - Most Popular Online Personal Trainer Certification 3 Certs for
Best Study Materials
TA - Trainer Academy - Best Study Materials for Personal Trainer Certification Online - See MVP discount
A Good Option
ACE Certification- A Good Fitness Course Online Option - 25&percnt off
A Good Option
NCSF Certification - A Good Option - Save 25%
Best CPT for you?
Best CPT For You? Take the Personal Trainer Certification Online quiz and Get a Personalized Recommendation Just for You

Estimated average requirement = this is the average daily nutrient intake that will meet half of the people in a group’s requirements. 

Acceptable Macronutrient Distribution Ranges are within the Dietary Reference Intakes. It is the recommendation of the percentages of macronutrients someone should have.

Components of Healthy Eating Patterns

The dietary guidelines we just reviewed will focus on the importance of overall eating patterns instead of specific nutrient recommendations. 

  • For adult women, we see a recommendation of 1,600 – 2,400 calories per day. 
  • For adult men, we see a recommendation of 2,000 – 3,000 calories per day. 

When we look at our active clients, we see these to be less reliable and generally not accepted to be used by coaches for their clients. 

The first problem with the caloric recommendations is the fact of not taking in the size of someone’s body as a variable. The second is that this only uses three different activity levels. This is bad because there are so many variances in activity. And then lastly, most athletes will exceed this level of activity you see used, so it is not good for them.

RMR is the resting metabolic rate. This is the amount of energy that someone uses when at rest to sustain the basic processes within the body. This is generally seen as a 24 hour period. 

Foods to Emphasize

The major food categories that we need to emphasize in our diets are going to be veggies, fruits, whole grains, low fat and fat free dairy, and then protein foods. These serve as a starting point for evaluating the quality of a client’s diet. 

Variety of Vegetables

These typically serve as nutrient dense foods that are a critical part of healthy eating. They will give us many nutrients like fiber and both types of vitamins and, of course, important minerals. Eating vegetables is highly advised, and even more important is that this intake is varied. This is how we will receive the full spectrum of beneficial nutrients that we need. 

Fruits

Like vegetables, fruits will give us many vitamins and minerals and a lot of fiber, too. We should get at least half of our fruits from actual whole fruits instead of juices alone. This is because the juices will lack that fiber.

Grains

These should be included in any healthy eating pattern, and refined grains must be limited. We should look for more 100% whole grain products rather than the others. 

Dairy

These products, such as milk, yogurt, and cheeses, will also help give some vital nutrients. They are a solid source of calcium, phosphorous, and others. 

Exclusive PTP CPT Offers


Gold Standard Cert
NASM Gold Standard Personal Trainer Certification - Save 25&percnt off
Most Popular Cert
ISSA - Most Popular Online Personal Trainer Certification 3 Certs for
Best Study Materials
TA - Trainer Academy - Best Study Materials for Personal Trainer Certification Online - See MVP discount
A Good Option
ACE Certification- A Good Fitness Course Online Option - 25&percnt off
A Good Option
NCSF Certification - A Good Option - Save 25%
Best CPT for you?
Best CPT For You? Take the Personal Trainer Certification Online quiz and Get a Personalized Recommendation Just for You

Animal and Plant Protein Sources

Both animals and plants can be a part of the total amount of protein we need. Animal products are usually going to be higher than plants, though. Consuming a large variety of protein sources is more beneficial here as they also have some variances in the nutrients they contain.

Foods to Limit

We should emphasize those aforementioned foods and then try to restrict or remove them from the diet, as they are less healthy.

Trans Fat

This is a form of fatty acid found in small amounts in nature and made through a process known as hydrogenation. These are found in many hydrogenated oils like margarine, snacks, and desserts. 

Added Sugar

This is a big one. This is done through syrups and table sugar is added to sweeten things. It can be added to food or to drinks. They will not usually have any nutrients added to them and only really have that added caloric load. Less than 10% of our daily calories should actually come from these added sugars, as these increase the calories we get instead of adding any benefit to our diet. 

Sodium

This nutrient is essential in our diet and has many critical functions. But it is very easily found throughout many of the foods we eat, and because of that, we have started to intake too much sodium throughout our days. Some foods can have one thousand mg of sodium in one serving. This is two thirds of your daily intake right there in one meal.

Assessing Dietary Intake

A dietary assessment with your clients is important for identifying eating patterns and any changes in these. This is simply the analysis of a client’s food and beverage intake to see the calories and nutrients they receive. We see these done through daily recall, diet records, or questionnaires. 

Methods of Dietary Assessment

24 – hour Recall is a small interview in which the client would tell you what they ate in the last 24 hours by memory. A quick list is made, and you discuss foods they may have forgotten on the list. The time and occasion of the foods are known. Food is described and then this is all reviewed, and the coach may probe for more answers. 

Usual intake is done as a compliment to a recall or to a diet record. The person describes their essentially normal day of eating.

Diet Records are very common for this assessment. It is a list of foods eaten in some specific time frame. But unlike the recall, these are listed as you go through that time frame. 

Food frequency questionnaires are done to give a big picture of someone’s diet and show the food groups they get. 

Monitoring Body Composition

Body Composition is the makeup that is someone’s body. The major components of interest are fat mass and fat free mass. And we have many ways to find these out. 

Methods of Assessing Body Composition

BMI – the simple use of an equation to determine where someone is in terms of the general population. You find BMI by putting the weight in kilograms over the height in meters of the person. This gives you a number that is then categorized. 

Bioelectrical Impedance is a rather normalized way to find these body compositions. This is done by using electrodes that shoot some electricity through the body and then calculate the fat and fat free mass someone has based on the results. This gives us the body fat percentage that we use. Many clients will see this with scales found in gyms or at home. 

Skinfold testing is the testing of the commonplaces on the body where most people hold most of their fat. With these measurements made at the common skinfold sites, we use a formula to determine the individual’s body fat percentage. It is usually more reliable than the bioelectrical impedance, but it requires the person to be more skilled.

Ultrasound is expensive, but it is the use of high-frequency sound waves to probe and visualize the body parts and then use this to make calculations on the body fat percentage and the body composition of the person. This could also be used for clients that may have region specific goals. 

Circumferences are common and good for showing growth or weight loss in specific areas. 

Underwater Weighing is done by looking at the body’s volume when being placed underwater and using some calculations based on this information.

Air Displacement is using air in the same form as underwater weighing. Both of these require a lot of space and equipment and thus are less used by the general population.

Dual Energy X-Ray Absorptiometry uses x-rays to find the body composition.

Infrared 3D Scanning has been growing in popularity lately. It uses infrared sensors to map the body and find body composition.

Some other methods are computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging, hydrometry, and near infrared interactants. 

Choosing the Best Methods for Your Clients

This all depends on what is available to you, weighed together with your ability to spend money, and desire for accurate results.

NASM CNC Chapter 18: Dietary Assessment and Body Composition testing 4
NASM CNC Chapter 18: Dietary Assessment and Body Composition testing 5
NASM CNC Chapter 18: Dietary Assessment and Body Composition testing 6
Tyler Read - Certified Personal Trainer with PTPioneer

Tyler Read


All Posts

PTPioneer Editorial Integrity


All content published on PTPioneer is checked and reviewed extensively by our staff of experienced personal trainers, nutrition coaches, and other Fitness Experts. This is to make sure that the content you are reading is fact-checked for accuracy, contains up-to-date information, and is relevant. We only add trustworthy citations that you can find at the bottom of each article. You can read more about our editorial integrity here.

Ask me a question and I will reply ASAP

18749
18749
18749
18749
18749
18749
18749
18749
18749
18749
18749
18749

30 NASM CNC Practice Q's

NASM CNC exam cheat sheet

Get the top 5 Tips for Passing the ACE CPT

18749