Translating Nutrition For Your Members


Your gym clientele can frequent your facility as often as they’d like, but without healthy eating habits, they will probably never achieve their goals.

Carolyn Fetters, the creator of Balanced Habits, a program recognized by the National Academy of Sports Medicine and the Aerobics (NASM) and Fitness Association of America as a continuing education provider, has built a 25-year career in the industry through her recognition of the importance of nutrition.

Fetters and her husband began with a personal training gym, but developed a nutrition plan not long after the facility’s opening more than two decades ago. “We both have backgrounds in nutrition and have worked mostly with elite athletes and professional athletes, and when we developed our own nutritional program it was just to service your average person in the gym setting,” she said.

By 2012, Fetters said she decided to help other business owners accomplish what she and her spouse had accomplished in their own gym and created Balanced Habits. The program allows gyms to scale nutrition for a lot of people at one time, in addition to really servicing people one-on-one.

Fetters, with all of her education and experience in nutrition, said she found the difficulty in sharing that knowledge came from translating its fluidly from her brain to her clients — and acknowledged how other gym owners or trainers might run into that same problem. “I think the hardest part is to translate how you counsel people and support people [on nutrition],” she said.

To help her master this, Fetters hired a business coach and was taught how to pull what she knew out of her head and turn it into what was essentially a training manual. “From that point on I was able to take people through the protocol of education,” Fetters explained. “I could take a business owner and take them through two days’ worth of training and now they can go and take what they’ve learned to their gym clientele.”

Fetters said there are a lot of nutrition certification programs on the market, but claimed a lot of them are one-dimensional. “At the end of them [gym operators or trainers] have great information and a certification, but no product to sell. I provide both,” she said.

Fetters summed it up by saying whatever gym owners choose to offer in their businesses as it pertains to nutrition, the key to success is to make any program administrable to the entire population.

“They key is understanding how any nutrition program needs to be flexible and not so restrictive that you’re excluding people by excluding food groups,” said Fetters. “You have to have multiple people who can manage the program and be successful with it.”

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