This review is based on my experience taking and passing the Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN) Health Coach Certificate in 2023! As a health coach and trainer for over 10 years, I know what types of certs gyms and employers look for.

Our PTPioneer team encompasses fitness professionals certified through the major organizations and we have compiled our knowledge to give you the best review of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition Health Coach Certification. 

This article is a comprehensive breakdown of the following:

  • Topical information: IIN pricing, packages, prerequisites
  • Fundamentals of IIN Health Coach curriculum
  • IIN Health Coach exam cost, difficulty, and study materials
  • Explanation of my expert review process

Once you’ve read my article, there’s no doubt you’ll have more confidence in deciding whether the IIN Health Coach Certificate is right for you and how to become a health coach with the Institute for Integrative Nutrition

I also highly recommend that you take the quiz and find out which nutrition certification is best for your career goals.

What type of Certification are you looking to get?

Let’s go!

What is the Institute for Integrative Nutrition Health Coach Certification?

Here, let me give you the IIN on this health coach certification.

The Institute for Integrative Nutrition Health Coach Certificate is an integrative health certification.

Its holistic approach focuses mainly on functional medicine nutrition.

But what is integrative nutrition?

And what is functional nutrition?

As an IIN student, you will learn integrative nutrition, exercise, mental health, lifestyle, and how each plays a significant role in your overall health.

IIN General Information

IIN General Information

 

  • Study program cost: $6,795.00
  • Prerequisites: High school diploma or the equivalent (GED)
  • Exam passing score: 70%
  • Average completion time: 6-12 months

Institute for Integrative Nutrition credibility and reputation

The Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN) was established in 1992 by Joshua Rosenthal.

Their holistic nutrition health coach certification has seen over 100,000 successful candidates globally, making IIN the largest nutrition certification provider in the world!

Certified candidates operate in over 150 countries as top-tier health, nutrition, and wellness coaching professionals.

Super impressive, right?

Also, despite the many other holistic nutrition certifications, I think IIN offers some of the most cutting-edge nutritional coverage in the game. 

Such good coverage that it earned a license from the New York State Department of Education and endorsements from some of the world’s leaders in holistic health, such as Deepak Chopra.

This Institute for Integrative Nutrition accreditation by the NBHWC makes it stand out professionally.

Specifically, my article reviews the IIN Health Coach Certificate, a hybrid between nutrition and health coaching.

Is the Institute for Integrative Nutrition Health Coach worth it?

In a word, yes. The IIN Health Coach Certificate is worth it for those looking to become a health coach from a NBHWC accredited program.

Pros
  • Largest overall nutrition school
  • Most comprehensive holistic nutrition certification programs
  • Their three core concepts are the basis for the nutritional aspect of this certification
  • In-depth information on coaching people to live a better lifestyle
  • Top-notch holistic health coach business tips
  • Certified IIN Health Coaches get access to over 100 dietary plans
  • Graduating gains you 40 college credits that can be used towards any higher education
Cons
  • Takes a year to become certified as an IIN Health Coach
  • Although not the most expensive course out there, this certification isn’t cheap

IIN Health Coach costs and course options

The IIN Health Coach Certificate is a single package that includes all essential study materials you’ll use as you learn and get assessed.

You will have 40 modules of learning.

These modules will be divided into four ten-module sections, each culminating in a final test called a coaching milestone.

You only have access to one module per week, which I think is quite a drag and can only be optimized through the accelerated program, only allowing you access to two modules per week.

That means gaining your IIN Health Coach credentials rests on you passing the four tests, which can only be taken every ten weeks.

This is definitely a downside to the IIN Health Coach program.

Each coaching milestone also includes several digital lectures and downloadable PDF resources forming part of the health coaching classes.

In total, there are about 400 of these, with each one providing coverage across 5 major topics.

IIN also holds what they call coaching circle conference calls.

These take place in the last quarter of the certification and usually number six per week and you are expected to attend four each week to graduate. 

Each coaching circle will take place for around an hour and a half.

And why are they important?

So you can put into practice the skills you have learned in theory.

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Done in a group setting, I think this is an excellent addition to the certification. 

Learning from others is always the best way to improve your skillset.

Another great addition to this certification is health history consultations. 

Six of these will need to be handed in over during your studies and can be carried on by other students, friends, or even family members.

I think it’s important to remember a few things before we get to the overall cost.

From a holistic nutrition point of view, and if you aim to become a health coach, this course is about as comprehensive as you can get. 

Just looking at the sheer expertise of the lecturers and guest lecturers on offer.

Plus, it runs for a year.

No shortcuts here, that’s for sure!

Ok, so enough already, I heard you shout.

What’s the Institute for Integrative Nutrition cost?

A whopping $6,795.00. 

While that might seem like a lot, remember it’s a full calendar year of study and practical knowledge over and above all the theory.

Note that if that amount is difficult as a one-off payment, you can enter into a monthly payment plan starting from $199.

Also, IIN includes the price of the exams in your overall certification fee. 

Institute for I­­ntegrative Nutrition Review [year] - Is it worth it? 4
Institute for I­­ntegrative Nutrition Review [year] - Is it worth it? 5

Institute for Integrative Nutrition course layout

Ready to learn more about the IIN Health Coach Certificate?

Let’s dive into a thorough overview of what you’ll learn within!

The IIN certification is divided into five study topics covering the fundamentals of coaching and the science behind nutrition.

These topics are expressed to varying degrees across 40 modules, each with its own sub-sections.

Let’s browse through them!

Topic 1: Nutrition and Health

Firstly, you’ll cover the foundations of nutritional science as it relates to its effects and applications in optimizing clients’ health.

These concepts are present in 48 chapters or sections in the course curriculum.

So what can you expect to learn about while working through it?

Well, let me highlight a few concepts I think are pretty important regarding holistic nutrition.

For example, the nutrition and health module is going to teach you the following:

  • Food labels and how to properly read them
  • How to cook healthy
  • Vitamins, minerals, and supplements
  • Nutrition and disease prevention
  • Clean eating
  • Physical activity and diets
  • The impact of stress on healthy eating
  • The A-Z of whole foods
  • How to lose weight, gain weight or maintain weight

Topic 2: Coaching Skills

Topic 2 expands on the foundations laid in the previous one and charts a way to apply them practically in a coaching scenario.

After all, while important, understanding scientific concepts and dietary theories won’t allow you to take coaching calls with the right dietary and lifestyle approach if you don’t have the tools to instruct them.

After all, you qualify to be an integrative nutrition health coach, not an integrative nutrition health scientist.

For this reason, IIN greatly emphasizes the following coaching skills points:

  • Active listening and building rapport with clients
  • Effective coaching strategies
  • Understanding the difference between health and wellness
  • Group Coaching
  • Building clients up toward success
  • Time management
  • Interpersonal communication skills

From my analysis, this topic provides a strong foundation for nutrition coaching practice, which is often overlooked by most other nutrition coaching programs I’ve had experience with.

This may be because nutrition coaching in the fitness industry is seen as playing a secondary role to exercise and fitness coaching when mastery of both is the true key to success.

Topic 3: Primary Food

The IIN program posits that while food is important, there are other areas in our lives that we should also focus on to maintain our overall well-being.

I believe this is an important concept to highlight because many nutrition coaches focus too hard on science and dietary instruction while ignoring the many factors that contribute to a client’s relationship with food.

Areas of information handled in this topic vary and include:

  • Financial Literacy and the Basics of healthy spending
  • Self-worth and self-love
  • The Power of Self-care
  • A person’s relationship with food
  • Influencing lifestyle changes
  • Cutting out limiting beliefs
  • Meditation and basic breathing routines

As you can see, this topic covers a broad spectrum of areas that many would agree are overlooked benefits of health coaching.

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The emotional, psychological, and even spiritual factors contributing to a client’s interaction with nutrition can set the tone for how well nutrition coaching outcomes are achieved.

IIN delivers these concepts as practical skills through an accredited health coach certification.

This topic provides insights into some of the deeper aspects of nutritional coaching and a framework for influencing behavioral modification toward goal achievement.

Definitely, something that every health coach training program should do!

Topic 4: Business Skills

Just as scientific know-how is nearly useless without the ability to apply it practically, coaching ability is ineffective without the operational framework on how to establish, operate and grow your nutritional services as a business.

If you’re reading this, chances are you’re at the very least intrigued about how to become a successful health coaching business operator.

In that regard, module 4 in IIN’s curriculum has you covered.

It’s for this aspect that I love IIN’s curriculum.

Now let’s take a look at a few concepts highlighted.

  • Health coaching business basics
  • Careers in nutrition and wellness
  • How to build your health coaching business
  • How to Become a health coach online
  • How to Become a Nutritionist
  • How to create a social media presence and network
  • Professional conduct as a board-certified holistic health coach
  • Financial responsibility
  • How to determine your rates
  • Budgeting
  • Marketing
  • Time management

These concepts and more are spread over 23 chapters, allowing you to harness your flourishing knowledge and skills into a lucrative health coaching business.

According to statistics, Institute for Integrative Nutrition graduates remain among the top earners in their field.

Topic 5: Foundation and Guidance

Here, IIN’s curriculum expands on some of the Primary Food concepts, rounding them off in such a way as to provide your clients with sustainable habits and elevated outlooks.

It also lays the groundwork by which you, as a candidate, will tackle the curriculum and is made up of 15 areas of information, including:

  • Authentic happiness and spirituality
  • Healthy relationships
  • Healthy mind, healthy body
  • IIN circle of life
  • Total well-being
  • Relationship with food
  • Primary food in action
  • Positive psychology

As you can see, many of these principles are probably not familiar in other nutrition programs, certainly not as far as I can recall.

I think many of the principles surrounding psychology and spirituality tend to fall outside the scope of health or nutrition coaching practice.

That isn’t because they aren’t important, but simply because including such concepts should warrant a deeper and separate knowledge of them so that they can be applied in an evidence-based manner.

I believe these concepts rely on an intuitive approach, which can be difficult to convey objectively.

Examples of this include:

  • How to manifest a better life
  • Mantras and affirmations
  • Spiritual meditation

IIN’s Core Principles

While the IIN Health Coach curriculum is addressed by the above 5 main topics, these topics are underpinned by three core principles.

Those principles are:

  • Core Principle No. 1: Food Changes Everything
  • Core Principle No. 2: Bio-individuality
  • Core Principle No. 3: Primary Food

Principle 1 looks at how food not only feeds and nourishes but helps people positively affect their lives by making the correct lifestyle choices. 

And when it comes to food choices, sustainability, and wholeness are key.

Of course, these choices are adapted to each individual’s specific requirements.

Principle 2 considers that nutritional inputs and outcomes are individual-based and should not be duplicated across different people.

Sure, basic principles such as the need for hydration, a high protein start to the day, and a need for essential nutrients are universal, but the parameters by which those needs are applied differ from person to person.

Basically put, nutritional health coaching cannot and should not take on a “cookie-cutter” approach.

And with over 100 different dietary concepts that are the basis of this certification, it’s important to understand and craft the right configuration for each client that walks through your doors.

Finally, Principle 3 looks at primary food, which in this case is a focus on the prerequisites and precursors to good dietary habits.

All the factors that come into play before food even touch one’s lips are considered and brought to the forefront by this principle.

These are further broken down into the following four key aspects:

  • Relationships: This is about building relationships that coincide with intrinsic values and outward interests
  • Physical activity: Increasing daily physical activity as a way of improving health
  • Career: A fulfilling career is an important part of physical and emotional wellbeing
  • Spirituality

Institute for Integrative Nutrition Health Coach salary

According to Glassdoor.com, the average salary for a health coach in the US is $62,195. Of course, your earning potential could be much higher depending on experience, luck, and skill. 

Institute for Integrative Nutrition requirements

The only requirement to enroll in the IIN Health certificate course is a high school diploma or the equivalent (GED).

Of course, you must also have a passion for health and wellness and desire a transformative personal experience and/or career.

To be a successful health coach, you’ll need the determination to make a difference in the world.

Let’s talk about the exam and how difficult it is next!

Institute for Integrative Nutrition exam difficulty: how hard is the INN exam?

Overall, you will write four exams which take place every 10 sections.

Exams are taken entirely online and you can decide when to take them. 

The exam window period is two weeks long and the exam must be completed during this time.

One thing I find extremely positive about these exams is that you have two attempts at them, and to complete your certification; you will need to pass two of the four exams with a 70% pass mark.

While some may appreciate the convenience and flexibility of this exam, others may argue that it’s a bit too loose.

Heck, almost foolproof!

One thing to consider, in addition to the IIN exam, is if you want to be a NBHWC-certified health coach, you will also have to take their exam as well as the IIN one. And that exam will be a bit harder!

IIN continuing education and recertification

Unlike some other nutrition, and even fitness, certifications, IIN does not require you to get recertified as an IIN Health Coach.

Basically, once you’ve been certified, you are IIN certified for life!

While some love this aspect, others feel this contributes to less accountability to stay on top of your game and sharpen your skills.

IIN certification also awards successful candidates with college-eligible credits to put towards an undergraduate or postgraduate program in a related field of study.

This especially benefits those wanting to become nutritionists, registered dieticians, or physicians.

IIN review methodology

I based my Institute for Integrative Nutrition review of the IIN Health Coach Certificate based on the following criteria:

  • The opinions of experienced health coaches
  • A critical review of IIN Health Coach curriculum quality and pricing
  • Typically reported information from IIN graduates
  • Other comparable holistic nutrition certifications and health coaching programs

I also took a deep dive into the official health coaching course text, Integrative Nutrition: A Whole Life Approach To Health and Happiness.

And I studied the course outline as espoused by the syllabus and curriculum guide.

Institute for Integrative Nutrition frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Is IIN a good certification for nutrition coaching?

Yes! As the largest nutrition school online, IIN wears the crown for the biggest nutrition-focused qualification provider! IIN alumni have formed highly lucrative careers worldwide, and the organization has received some top-tier endorsements from icons in the health and wellness space.

How long does it take to get IIN certified as a nutrition coach?

Once you start, you have one year to complete the course. An accelerated program also allows you to certify within 6 months. Since IIN is not a self-paced program, you must fulfill the time frame requirements to complete the course.

What is the difference between IIN Health Coach Certificate and other Health Coach Certifications?

A health coach is a wellness professional who specializes in all aspects of general health from a lifestyle perspective, which includes but is not limited to exercise, nutrition, and mental health. While the IIN approach considers this, it has a much stronger emphasis on nutrition. It utilizes other aspects of health to optimize nutritional habits instead of just being its counterparts.

Can I do this program while working full-time?

You certainly can. However, it would be best to manage your time effectively since the program is delivered over a set timeframe. Although neither self-paced nor flexible, this program is definitely manageable with proper planning.

Conclusion

Institute for Integrative Nutrition Health Coach Certification
Institute for I­­ntegrative Nutrition Review [year] - Is it worth it? 6

Once you’ve read my article, there’s no doubt you’ll have more confidence in deciding whether the IIN Health Coach Certificate is right for you!

Product Currency: USD

Product Price: 6795.00

Product In-Stock: InStock

Editor's Rating:
8

Pros

  • Most comprehensive holistic nutrition certification programs
  • NBHWC-approved program
  • In-depth information on coaching people to live a better lifestyle

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Very time-intensive

IIN does a pretty remarkable job of adding unconventional but practical dimensions to the concept of nutrition coaching.

The course certainly equips nutrition professionals with the tools to run a successful health coaching practice.

Additionally, the course textbook is a great read for anyone intrigued about looking at their diet from a different perspective.

I feel this certified health coach certification falls short on some fringe aspects, such as spirituality and psychology.

And again, that isn’t to say these components are irrelevant or invalid.

I think there isn’t enough groundwork in this course to impart knowledge on those topics in an evidence-based capacity.

Doing that would probably warrant a separate course or health coach qualifications.

I also didn’t enjoy that you’re locked into a time commitment and can’t learn at your own pace, as with many other certifications.

Outside of those two points, I found IIN to be one of the best nutrition coaching and health coaching programs for the modern professional.

So if you want to get a holistic health coach certification online, the IIN Health Coach Certificate is recommended!

Tyler Read - Certified Personal Trainer with PTPioneer

Tyler Read


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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.

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4 thoughts on “Institute for I­­ntegrative Nutrition Review 2024 – Is it worth it?”

  1. I am currently enrolled in the 6 month accelerated and have my first coaching circle this week – I’m so nervous! Is there any advice you have for these?

    Reply
    • Dear Shelby,

      First off, congratulations on taking the leap into the 6 month accelerated course! It’s a big step, and it’s totally normal to feel nervous about your first coaching circle. When I was in a similar position, I remember feeling a mix of excitement and anxiety. The key thing I noticed was how much those initial nerves actually fueled my preparation and ultimately, my performance.

      In these coaching groups, everyone is there to learn and grow, just like you. One thing that really helped me was to remind myself that it’s a supportive environment. Everyone is on their own journey, and they’re not expecting you to be perfect. In fact, when I shared my own vulnerabilities and uncertainties, it often led to deeper connections and learning experiences, not just for me but for others in the group too.

      Preparation can also ease a lot of your nerves. Before your coaching circle, try to review any materials or notes you’ve taken during the course. I found that having a few key points I wanted to discuss or questions I wanted to ask helped me feel more confident and engaged during the sessions.

      Another tip is to practice active listening. When I focused on really hearing what others were sharing, it took some of the pressure off me and enriched my learning experience. You’ll find that the insights from your peers can be incredibly valuable.

      I’m curious, have you had a chance to connect with anyone else from your course outside of the coaching circles? Sometimes, forming smaller study groups or even just having a buddy to chat with about the course material can make a big difference.

      For more tips and insights, you might find these articles on my website helpful:

      https://www.ptpioneer.com/pt-experience/ – It’s all about starting your journey and learning the ropes, which can be very applicable to your current situation.
      https://www.ptpioneer.com/ace-health-coach-review/ – Even though it’s a review of a different program, there are some universal tips on handling the coursework and preparing for exams.
      https://www.ptpioneer.com/how-to-become-a-health-coach/ – This guide offers a comprehensive look at becoming a health coach, with plenty of advice that could be beneficial for someone in your position.
      Remember, this is all part of your growth as a coach. Each step, even the nerve-wracking ones, is moving you closer to your goal. I’d love to hear how your first coaching circle goes, so please feel free to come back and share your experience!

      Best of luck, Shelby. You’ve got this!

      Tyler Read

      Reply
    • Hey Rebecca, that is an excellent Health Coaching program and one that I enjoyed going through alongside this Nutrition program. I think the Institute for Integrative Nutrition is a great company that is growing rapidly in fitness and wellness. Have you already started studying? Let me know where you are on your certification journey.

      Reply

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