Regular exercise and good nutrition go hand in hand, and you might often see Personal Trainer's offering discount packages for exercise plans and nutrition plans together. Despite this, I'm here to explain why you should do your research before choosing a personal trainer (PT) to start training with, and why perhaps you should consider working with a dietician too for certain aspects of your health, and to notice the best results.
To put it simply, a PT ISN'T qualified to write specific meals plans for clients - in the same way a dietician/nutritionist isn't qualified to provide exercise plans. It's actually out of the scope of practice for a PT to do so; we can only offer nutritional advice, and any PT worth working with won't mind you asking. Saying this, we have a good understanding of nutrition and the benefits of a well-balanced diet with regards to improving training, or helping with weight loss for example. Nutrition is a huge section of what we study on our courses, but still not as in-depth as that of a qualified and recognised dietician.
A personal trainer shouldn't say to you "eat 20 grams of oats, topped with 1 whole medium banana and 2 tbsp of honey", but instead something along the lines of "a good breakfast to provide you with energy before a workout would be a small bowl porridge oats, a banana and a drizzle of honey.". The reason being is that everyone's diet and metabolism is different; what may be too much for one person may be too little for another. It sometimes even comes down to how different everyone's lifestyles can be - some jobs are desk based, so that person may need a different food intake to someone who is walking about on their feet all day, since they will have different goals and therefore need to eat different amount of calories in order to achieve their goal.
Use the government guidelines to look at portion size suggestions, or an app to help track your food. This way your personal trainer can make suggestions on how to improve your diet in relation to the type of goal you're trying to achieve. It's important to ensure that you diet is varied - a variety of carbohydrates, fats and proteins, as well as a variety of colours, minimum amounts of takeaway and alcohol, and shoud be matched with a decent exercise regime and