The fitness world isn’t just restricted to becoming a personal trainer anymore. Back in the day, if you wanted a job in a gym other than a regular gym employee, the only way was to become a personal trainer. Luckily, that’s all changed!
Now, you can get certified for any number of jobs and start helping people get healthier. Of course, we have already mentioned the personal trainer but what about a group fitness specialist or an athletics coach?
And if you like the idea of helping people get healthier by monitoring their eating and nutrition, then a job as a nutrition coach is just for you.
You can get a nutrition certification for personal trainers.
So in this blog, we will look at what it takes to become a nutrition coach, as well as what your daily activities will entail.
But perhaps most importantly, we will delve into what nutrition certifications you need to qualify for the position and which of these you should consider. Check out my free nutrition certification study guides that will help with studying.
What certification is right for you?
We developed this critical quiz to help you find the best certification for you and your goals.
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If, at the end of this article, you decide that the NASM CNC or ISSA Nutritionist certifications are right for you, make sure to check them out at Trainer Academy. Their premium study guides are an excellent guarantee to ace your exams.
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How To Become A Nutrition Coach (YouTube)
How To Become A Nutrition Coach (Podcast)
So, what exactly is a nutrition coach?
Let’s start right at the beginning.
Now you may already have formulated some ideas as to what it is that a nutrition or health coach actually does. And you might even be right about some of them.
But before we look at certifications, daily activities, and the rest, let’s first look at what a nutrition coach does.
Lead others to a healthier lifestyle.
The main aim of a certified nutrition specialist is to lead their clients to a healthier way of living.
Most people eat a very poorly balanced diet. And we can see it all over the world with obesity levels skyrocketing.
According to the Health Data website, over 160 million people are overweight in the United States alone. But let’s break it down further.
That’s three-quarters of the male population and almost two-thirds of the female population. Those numbers are staggering.
And obesity leads to many other health issues. These include:
- Heart problems
- Muscle and joint problems
- High blood pressure
- Stroke risk
- Sleep apnea
- Kidney disease
- Fatty liver disease
- And more…
There are people out there needing help. And often, they do not know which way to turn.
Losing weight by yourself, although achievable, is difficult. And so they turn to nutrition coaches and personal trainers to help them eat healthier and engage in an exercise program to help them lose the pounds.
And it’s more than just counting calories.
Other health issues that good nutrition can help combat
While dealing with overweight clients is a large part of the nutrition coaches’ portfolio, they can also help with other health issues.
Nutrition can play a massive role in people suffering from severe hormonal imbalances. In many cases, this can be brought on by a lack of certain important nutrients from their diet.
A classic example of this is omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids.
These are crucial for hormones to work how they should, helping to ensure stability. If they are missing from someone’s diet, then hormonal imbalance can occur.
Sadly, many people struggle with digestion and other common occurrences like irritable bowel syndrome.
Again, this is often down to poor nutrition.
Take something like irritable bowel syndrome. This can be managed through a specific eating plan.
For example, a certified nutrition coach would prepare an eating plan for an irritable bowel syndrome sufferer that would include more fiber to help clear their bowels and cut out all gluten, a common cause of the syndrome.
That eating plan would also promote foods that help with the syndrome instead of contributing towards them.
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Another example of where a nutrition or macro coach can help is with food allergies. It’s something that more and more people are starting to suffer from.
And it can be a nightmare, especially in a family situation where only one person struggles with it. Here, a nutrition coach can help draw up sample eating plans for the sufferers and adjust the family’s eating habits so that no separate meals need to be made.
Because, in today’s modern age, there’s just no time for that.
Those are just some of the basic ways in which macro coaching can help the public. Now let’s look at their daily tasks.
Daily activities of a nutrition coach
Now that we know who it is that a nutrition coach can help out, let’s look at the daily activities they will perform. And these will vary from client to client, so remember, this is just a general overview.
When they have a new client, a nutrition coach will first sit down with that client and really take some time to chat with them, hear their story, and find out exactly why they think they need a nutrition coach.
As we have mentioned above, clients will come to a nutrition coach for various reasons.
For many, it might be about wanting to improve their eating habits to help them lose or control their weight. And the opposite of that is also true; some clients might want guidance for a way forward for them to put on some weight.
Others might have decided that they need to make their health an important factor in their lives, and starting with the correct nutrition is the easiest way to do this.
And still, for other clients, it might be a range of health issues that a nutrition coach can help them overcome by ensuring they are eating the right foods, for example, someone who suffers from gluten intolerance.
Once a nutrition coach fully assesses their client, it’s time to discuss goals.
And this is a joint collaboration between their client and themselves. Goals can be as simple or complicated as the nutrition coach likes, depending on the individual’s needs.
For example, it could be something as simple as “eat healthier meals”.
Goals are a necessity, however, and should never be skipped. It’s the best way to keep the client accountable. Otherwise, the chances of failing and veering off the nutrition program increase.
Draw up eating plans
Once a client has been assessed properly, preparing an eating plan to meet their nutritional requirements is time.
This is obviously based on what it is they want to achieve by hiring a nutrition coach. Each plan is unique to every individual and revolves around the goals set in the previous step.
This step is crucial as it gives the client all the information they need to make a success of their eating plan.
Once clients have all the information they need from a nutritional point of view to reach their goals, they go away for a period and implement the nutrition coach’s plan.
But that’s obviously not the end of it all!
A client and a nutritional coach will often meet for follow-ups to see just how everything is going. These meetings will include weighing in to determine a client’s body mass, measuring certain body parts, and more.
For example, someone wanting to lose weight will want to see movement downwards on a scale and parts of their body shrinking about their size in inches.
A person wanting to build muscle might want to see their weight increase slightly, a sign of muscle growth, and their biceps or other targeted muscles getting bigger in size when measured.
These sessions are also used to motivate struggling clients, helping them to push through any difficulties they might be experiencing.
So all-in-all, that’s just a basic summary of what a nutrition coach does daily. And certainly, no two days are ever the same!
How to get certified as a nutrition coach
The next important question we must cover is what certification you would need to qualify as a nutrition coach. And here, we recommend two.
- National Academy of Sports Medicine Certified Nutrition Coach
- International Sports Sciences Association Certified Nutritionist
They are among the best nutrition certification programs online you can be proud of at any time.
They offer fitness and nutrition certification for personal trainers.
The steps how to become a nutrition coach are not as difficult as people think.
Let’s look at them in a little more depth.
International Sports Sciences Association Certified Nutritionist
The best nutrition certification in the industry is the Certified Nutritionist from the International Sports Sciences Association (ISSA).
Undoubtedly, this is one of the top nutrition or weight loss coach certifications available online. It will give you all the necessary information to become a certified nutritionist.
Best of all, you can accomplish this in around 10 weeks, although you have six months to finish the course once you have signed up.
And the ISSA provides many extras as well. These include helping you set up a professional website, the perfect way to help you get your practice off the ground once you graduate.
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The course itself is developed from the classwork of Precision Nutrition founder Dr. John Berardi and, in practice, has helped over 100,000 people reach their nutritional goals.
What study materials are provided?
So once you have signed up, what will you be provided with from a study point of view to pass the final exam?
Well, this certification course is broken down into 17 comprehensive units covering various nutrition topics. These include everything from learning about cell structure, macro and micronutrients, energy balance, aerobic and anaerobic metabolism, and much more.
These units come in an online ebook and a hard copy totaling nearly 500 pages.
To prepare for the final certification test, you will receive access to various quizzes and practice exams. These will help you to master each unit and ensure that anything that you might come across in the final exam has already been covered.
Any other questions you might have can be answered by professionals in the online student forum or by using the online help function provided by ISSA. Once you are qualified, you can still make use of this facility if you have any queries later on.
The ISSA Nutritionist study materials are great, but there are excellent additional materials out there.
I also have a free ISSA Nutritionist study guide here.
And the cost?
Regarding cost, ISSA’s Certified Nutritionist course is slightly cheaper than the Certified Nutrition Coach accreditation offered by NASM and currently retails for $799.
You can pay it off over 12 months at an interest-free rate of $66.58 monthly.
Once you have completed the course, you receive access to the final certification exam, which is an open-book test without any time limit and can be completed in sessions if needed.
The exam itself includes multiple-choice, true or false, and a range of other question methods. It also includes a case study and a long essay.
You may take the exam again at no extra cost if you fail. Any other attempts after this will cost $149.
Learning how to become a nutrition consultant at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition Accreditation is also beneficial.
National Academy of Sports Medicine Certified Nutrition Coach
The second best certification in the fitness industry is the Certified Nutrition Coach from the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM).
According to NASM nutrition certification reviews, this comprehensive certification will provide you with everything you need to become a certified nutrition coach.
It’s incredibly comprehensive and will give you all the information and tools to help clients with various reasons to visit a nutrition coach, be it weight loss, muscle gain, or to ensure they eat healthily.
But it’s more than that as well. It will prepare you to deal with clients on a psychological level, to get into their minds, find out what it is that makes them struggle with food and nutrition, and then empower them to break the shackles holding them back.
It is part of the excellent accredited nutrition certifications for a NASM fitness nutrition specialist.
What study materials are provided?
What I really like about the NASM Certified Nutrition Coach certification is the scope of the course and the number of study aids provided to help prepare you for the final exam.
So what can you expect within this online nutrition certification?
Well, the course is all done online, meaning you can do it at your leisure, taking as long as you need to ensure you are prepared to pass the final certification exam.
Knowing when and how to get nutrition certification online is made easy with this body.
The course is divided into 24 chapters in your course ebook.
But it’s not just loads of content to read.
Embedded into the ebook are interactive videos, a range of information templates and infographics to aid your understanding, and relevant quizzes to help you see if you grasp the coursework.
These quizzes take the form of quick, in-chapter questions and larger, more complex quizzes at the end of each of the 24 chapters the course covers, all of which are vital preparation for the final certification exam.
There are around 15 questions per chapter.
Last but certainly not least, regarding the importance, NASM will provide a 100-question practice exam much like the real thing. You can work through this as often as you like, which will help you ensure you have all the knowledge for your final grading.
The NASM CNC study materials are great, but there are excellent additional materials out there.
I highly recommend checking out Trainer Academy’s study materials here to guarantee that you pass the exam.
I also have a free NASM CNC study guide here.
And the cost?
Currently, the NASM Certified Nutrition Coach certification costs $899.
While it is a little more expensive than other similar sports nutrition certification courses, it’s well worth it on the content presented alone. Plus, you have excellent chapter tests and the 100-question practice exam to help you prepare.
And when it comes to the final certification exam itself, you have three attempts to get the 70% required for you to receive your certification.
Note that you will need to redo the exam every two years to keep that certification.
Epic before the conclusion; if you have not done so, take the quiz to determine which nutritional coaching institute certification is right for you and your goals.
The world of a nutrition coach is certainly never dull and it’s becoming a more and more popular career in the world of fitness.
That said, you need to become a certified nutritionist before considering entering it.
Clients want to know that the person helping them is a professional with personal training and nutrition certification and possesses the knowledge and skill to help them turn their lives around from a nutritional point of view.
And when planning on how to become a nutrition coach, you certainly cannot go wrong with either of these nutrition courses from NASM or ISSA.
Both are excellent and provide you with all the knowledge you need to become a nutrition expert.
As more personal trainers obtain these nutritional certifications, finding a nutrition coach near me gets easier.
Having a nutrition coach certification will make it easy to get nutrition coach jobs.
An online nutrition coach’s salary is worthwhile with the right certifications.
Check out these helpful Tips: How to Sell Personal Training – Let’s get you clients!
Make sure to check out Trainer Academy for some amazing premium study guides for these nutrition certifications.
Also, make sure to check out our free study guides here at PTpioneer.
You can ask me any questions bothering your mind on nutrition in the comment box below the FAQs section.
How to Become a Nutrition Coach FAQ
Who is a nutrition coach?
A nutrition coach assists clients with plans for achieving a healthy lifestyle using both dietary and non-dietary areas of life, which is essential in making healthy choices of food that are beneficial to your body’s overall well-being.
How do I become a nutrition coach?
You will become a nutrition coach by studying and then obtaining a certification from either of these certifying bodies:
– National Academy of Sports Medicine Certified Nutrition Coach
– International Sports Sciences Association Certified Nutritionist
How long does it take to become a nutrition coach?
The Certified Nutrition Coach Program from the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) will take 6-12 weeks of intensive self-paced online study.
The International Sports Sciences Association (ISSA) Certified Nutritionist program can be completed in 10 weeks.
What is required of a certified nutrition coach?
A certified nutrition coach should have a background in personal training, group fitness training, or an athletics coach.
What are the steps to take to get a Nutrition coach certification?
The steps to becoming a certified nutrition coach are as follows:
– Choose a certification of your choice based on your qualifications and passion
– Choose the package that suits you and study for the exams
– Choose a date that is convenient for you to write the exams
– Pass the exams and you become a certified nutritionist
What is the cost of becoming a certified nutrition coach?
The NASM Certified Nutrition Coach certification costs $899, while ISSA’s Certified Nutritionist course is a bit more affordable at $799.
How much is a nutrition coach’s salary?
The certified nutrition coach’s yearly salary is around $58,000 in the United States of America. However, it depends on the state you are working out from. Some states pay a little above that and others cannot match it. Like everything in the country, a coach’s salary is also relative. Do your research first.
What is the role of a certified nutritionist?
The roles of a certified nutritionist are as follows:
– Assessment of the client’s health
– Setting goals
– Drawing up an eating plan
– Having follow-up meetings with clients
What does it entail to be an online nutrition coach?
As an online nutrition coach, clients can leverage your expertise to achieve both nutrition and diet goals.
You will help them modify or correct bad eating habits that can cause health challenges, food allergies, hormonal imbalance, and digestive issues, which can be achieved without leaving the comfort of your home.
Which nutrition coach certification body is available?
The two bodies available to receive a nutrition coach certification are:
– National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM)
– International Sports Sciences Association (ISSA)
What is the pass rate for the certified nutritionist exam?
With intensive studying and exam preparation, you have a 70% pass rate for both certifications.
However, if you choose to use the Trainer Academy PT study materials, you have a 99% exam pass rate assurance.
Are there study materials available for the nutrition coach certification?
Yes! The two bodies have comprehensive e-books, interactive videos, quizzes, and practice tests that you have access to immediately after registering for your chosen certification program.