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

Make sure to check out Trainer Academy for premium NASM CNC study materials. They will reduce study time by 50% and have an exam pass guarantee. Read my full review on them here. You can save $100 on their MVP study system with the code: PTPSUB

Chapter Goals:

  • Discuss the current guidelines for dietary health for the general public.
  • Find the differences in the habitual intakes of clients and the intakes that are conductive for 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 the sophistication and precision.

Dietary Guidelines Foundations

The department of health and human services along with 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 of variety, amount, and density of nutrients when eating.
  • Limit your calories from additional sugar, reduce your intake of sodium, and limit the 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 intakes that is enough for the requirements of nutrients for nearly all people in a certain life stage.

Adequate intake = the average intake on a daily basis 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.

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

Exclusive PTP CPT Offers


Gold Standard Cert
Save 25%
Most Popular Cert
3 Certs for 1
Best Study Materials
See MVP discount
A Good Option
50% off
A Good Option
50% off
Best CPT for you?
Get Free Trial

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

Components of Healthy Eating Patterns

The dietary guidelines that we just went over will focus on the importance of overall eating patterns, instead of the specific recommendations of nutrients. 

  • 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 for the sustenance of 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 the evaluation of 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. It is highly advised to eat vegetables, and also even more important that this intake is varied. This is how we will receive the full spectrum of beneficial nutrients that we need. 

Fruits

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

Grains

These should be included in any healthy eating pattern, and refined grains need to 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 help to give some vital nutrients also. They are a solid source of calcium, phosphorous, and others. 

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 the plants, though. Consuming a large variety of protein sources is more beneficial here as they have some variances in the nutrients they contain also.

Exclusive PTP CPT Offers


Gold Standard Cert
Save 25%
Most Popular Cert
3 Certs for 1
Best Study Materials
See MVP discount
A Good Option
50% off
A Good Option
50% off
Best CPT for you?
Get Free Trial

Foods to Limit

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

Trans Fat

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

Added Sugar

This is a big one. This is done in the form of syrups and table sugar being 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 just 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 the identification of eating patterns and any changes in these. This is simply the analyzation of a client’s intake of food and beverage to see their calories and nutrients they receive. We see these done in the form of a daily recall, diet records, or questionnaires. 

Methods of Dietary Assessment

24 – hour Recall is a small interview in which the client would tell you the things that they ate in the last 24 hours by memory. A quick list is made, you discuss foods they may have forgotten in the list. The time and occasion of the foods is 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. This is the major components of interest that 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 a lot of scales that are found in gyms or even at home. 

Skinfold testing is the testing of the commonplaces on the body in which most people hold the majority of their fat. With these measurements made at the common skinfold sites, we use a formula to determine the body fat percentage of the individual. It is most of the time 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 parts of the body 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 the 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 the use of 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 is the use of 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 the body composition.

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

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

Tyler Read, BSc, CPT. Tyler holds a B.S. in Kinesiology from Sonoma State University and is a certified personal trainer (CPT) with NASM (National Academy of sports medicine), and has over 15 years of experience working as a personal trainer. He is a published author of running start, and a frequent contributing author on Healthline and Eat this, not that.

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.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Get The Sectret Cheat Sheet For The ISSA Exam

18749

NASM CNC exam cheat sheet

Get The Sectret Cheat Sheet For The CSCS Exam

18749

Get The Sectret Cheat Sheet For The ACSM Exam

18749

Get The Sectret Cheat Sheet For The NASM CNC Exam

18749

Get The Sectret Cheat Sheet For The ISSA Nutritionist Exam

18749

Get The Sectret Cheat Sheet For The NCSF CPT Exam

18749

Get The Sectret Cheat Sheet For The NASM CNC Exam

18749

Get The Sectret Cheat Sheet For The NASM PES Exam

18749

Get The Sectret Cheat Sheet For The NASM CES Exam

18749

Get the top 5 Tips for Passing the ACE CPT

18749

Get the top 5 Tips for Passing the NASM CPT

18749

Get The Sectret Cheat Sheet For The NSCA CPT Exam

18749

Get The Sectret Cheat Sheet For The ACE Exam

18749

Get The Sectret Cheat Sheet For The NASM Exam

18749
Scroll to Top