NASM Nutrition Certification Review 2023 - NASM CNC Review
NASM Nutrition Certification Review - Tyler Read holds the NASM CNC textbook

Welcome to my full review of the National Academy of Sports Medicine Certified Nutrition Coach (NASM-CNC). This review is based on my experience taking and passing the NASM CNC, utilizing my many years as a nutritionist and fitness professional in the industry.

Our PTPioneer staff team includes several coaches certified through NASM and the other nutrition organizations and together we bring you the best possible review of the NASM nutrition program

In the NASM nutrition coach article, I break down the NASM-CNC certification along with the following aspects:

  • Organization info: pricing, packages, prerequisites
  • Program and textbook quality
  • How does the NASM-CNC compare to other nutrition certifications 

If you have yet to complete your personal trainer certification, I highly recommend you take the quiz to find out which CPT certification is best fit for you to obtain before taking the NASM-CNC.

With that said, when you finish my NASM CNC review, you’ll know whether this is the right nutrition certification for you.

Let’s dive in!

NASM Nutrition Certification Review [year] - NASM CNC Review 1
NASM Nutrition Certification Review [year] - NASM CNC Review 2

What is the NASM Certified Nutrition Coach Certification?

Although most of us hate to admit it, if there’s one great tip for beginner personal trainers, it is that optimal results cannot be achieved by exercise alone!

Furthermore, what personal training clients do outside of training matters much more, but it is entirely up to them.

They can go home and eat healthily, or they can go and eat junk food and drink the kind of empty calories that many people find in sugary drinks and soda. 

Proper nutrition plays a more significant role than exercise regarding the results your clients will see.

Good coaches help clients develop healthy eating habits outside of the gym thanks to proper guidance.

This way, clients can achieve their goals and even have better workouts.

Teaching clients lifestyle changes to keep throughout their lives and potentially pass on is special!

If you are wondering how to become a certified nutrition coach, starting with the NASM CNC is a great plan.

Formerly known as the NASM Fitness Nutrition Specialist Certification (NASM-FNS), the newly developed and more sophisticated NASM-CNC program provides everything to help maximize your client’s success and path toward optimal health.

As a NASM nutrition coach, you can answer your client’s questions and address their types of real-world nutritional problems.

You’ll provide clients with top-notch nutrition education and implement coaching strategies that address issues such as obesity, body composition, and lifestyle approaches to disease management. 

Also, the NASM nutrition certification can be used as an additional service, earning you more money.

While good trainers help clients in the gym with proper fitness instruction, great trainers can motivate clients both inside and outside of the gym.

While there are many other nutrition certifications for personal trainers, the NASM certified nutrition coach is among the first you should consider.

I also recommend considering getting the NASM personal training and nutrition certification if you are not already a certified personal trainer.

If you want to become a personal trainer, I recommend finishing your CPT before starting the NASM CNC. 

It does take longer to become a personal trainer than it does to become a nutrition coach, so I do recommend starting your NASM CPT studying as soon as possible.

Also, becoming a health coach is a related specialty that works well with a personal trainer and nutrition certification.

NASM CNC General Information

NASM CNC General Information


  • Study program cost: $899 ($539 on sale)
  • Prerequisites/Recommendations: None
  • Exam passing score: 70%
  • Average completion time: 1 – 3 months

NASM credibility and reputation

NASM nutrition certification review -  national academy of sports medicine logo

The National Academy of Sports Medicine, or NASM, is a top fitness certification provider, founded in 1987. 

Since 1987, NASM has grown into one of the largest certification organizations, certifying over a million fitness industry experts.

Besides the Certified Nutrition Coach, NASM also offers many other courses like their Weight Loss Specialization, Personal Training Certification, and Corrective Exercise Specialist. They have course bundle options as well, which include multiple certifications like their Elite Trainer package.

Is the NASM Certified Nutrition Coach worth it?

Is the NASM CNC worth it? NASM CNC Review - Tyler Read holds the NASM nutrition textbook and decides if it's worth it for his nutrition coach career.

Yes, the NASM Certified Nutrition Coach is worth it for both trainers who want to learn more about nutrition. This is one of the most comprehensive nutrition programs out there, with over 700 pages of content giving you all the tools you need to coach nutrition. 

  • Most reputable certifying organization
  • Densely-packed textbook and handouts
  • Excellent digital portal
  • Fairly expensive
  • No NCCA accreditation for this specific cert

NASM vs. other top nutrition certifications

NASM is the biggest name in the business. However, other nutrition certifications and specializations include offerings from ISSA and ACE and Precision Nutrition.

The ISSA Nutritionist is pretty solid overall, and it has the best business skills coverage. 

The ACE Fitness Nutrition Specialist (ACE-FNS) is less complete than NASM, from a science perspective, but I think it does have the edge in terms of behavior change concepts.

Precision Nutrition is the most hyped up program and while they do have a great network of online coaches, this is my least favorite option, no question. Apart from being the most expensive, it has the least science content in this nutrition certification.

When it comes to these nutrition courses, I’d recommend NASM or ISSA. 

Who is the certification meant for?

The NASM CNC is designed to teach fitness professionals about the science of nutrition and the scope of practice a trainer or coach can act in to help his or her client’s individual nutrition questions and needs.

This is not a dietitian course. This means your area of expertise does not allow you to prescribe specific diets or treat clients with nutrition-related diseases (like diabetes, for example). 

Great for
  • Personal trainers wanting to learn about nutrition
  • Fitness professionals who would like to be a nutrition coach
Not great for
  • People who want to be dietitians

NASM CNC course costs and options

NASM Nutrition coach cost and course options - NASM CNC textbook with gold coins on table.

Regarding nutrition certification for personal trainers, the NASM-CNC is in the mid-to-high range, coming in at $899 before any promotion specials. With these, right now the price is $539, but that could change. 

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This NASM nutrition certification cost is pretty average for a high-quality certification compared to others.

In the comprehensive NASM online course, you get the following features:

  • 1.9 NASM continuing education credits (CEUs)
  • 24 in-depth chapters
  • Chapter quizzes
  • Over 40 high-quality lecture videos
  • Over 200 downloadable handouts and infographics
  • High-quality, user-friendly digital portal
  • NASM nutrition final exam

The NASM CNC study portal is truly phenomenal and does help justify the cost number of the certification.

But how long does it take to finish the NASM nutrition coach course?

Most people take as little as 4 weeks to study for and complete the exam.

Upon completion, you immediately receive certification.

You can take this NASM certification online to access it on all devices.

This is very convenient for most people and definitely a perk in my eyes!

If you want to start studying for the NASM CNC today before spending any money, check out my free NASM CNC study guide and practice exam

This free NASM nutrition study guide gives you a great look at the curriculum before dropping a hefty chunk of change on the full curriculum.

I recommend the Trainer Academy NASM CNC MVP Package for students who want a premium third-party NASM nutrition certification study guide to speed up their NASM CNC certification and ensure themselves against failing the exam.

This low-cost, high-value study guide includes flashcards, an audio guide, and an exam-pass guarantee.

With the exam pass guarantee, you do not have as much stress regarding how to pass the NASM nutrition exam because you will be reimbursed if you fail.

Of course, if you are ready to get your personal training nutrition certification, you are always free to rely on the source and purchase the full NASM CNC package directly from NASM.

NASM CNC course layout

The digital textbook is the NASM-CNC’s primary study material for the nutrition course.

This NASM nutrition book has thousands of pages, which is a lot compared to most nutrition and fitness textbooks.

Nutrition coach roles from NASM CNC curriculum. Diagram explains the different aspects of being a nutrition coach.

But it sure contains a hefty amount of note-worthy course content and helpful and visually appealing infographics, charts, pictures, tables, and diagrams.

Let’s look at the three main nutrition topics sections which form the textbook:

Nutrition Science

Nutritional science forms the foundation of your nutrition knowledge as a coach. 

This part of the NASM book encompasses chapters on scope of practice as a fitness professional, how to understand evidence-based practices, how energy metabolism works in the body and the basics behind the nutrients we put in our bodies.

Overall, I think NASM does a great job here.

After the introduction in Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Scope of Practice, has some helpful charts showing what a nutrition coach can do and cannot do. 

It includes common sources for nutrition guidelines and when to refer to a health care professional and who to refer to. This is super important with the purpose of making sure you cover your bases as a coach.

The next chapter of the NASM-CNC on Evidence-Based Nutrition and Practice teaches you how to use the scientific method and evaluate evidence from research studies or places where you might find new nutrition evidence.

Chapter 4, Food Preference and Influences, explains food choice factors like socio-cultural, age, economic, geographical and seasonal availability, biological influences. Knowing each aspect here could be of use to explain why certain clients eat the way they do, but I don’t think it will give you too much practical insight that you don’t already know regarding food preferences. 

Knowing how to cut through the B.S. that’s out there will help you know which pieces of data you can rely on as a nutrition coach. It will also allow you to teach your clients how to do this so they don’t get tricked into all the fitness marketing out there that masquerades as “science” in order to sell products. 

NASM CNC curriculum box highlighting the phrase "cherry picking"

On the other hand, Chapter 5, Energy Balance and Metabolism, gives you lots of good tips and guidance. You’ll be able to understand energy in and out concepts and the basic science of nutrition principles, as well as how to frame them in context. 

You learn activities to increase NEAT, how hormones work in the body and there’s a little helpful checklist on practicing mindful eating.

NASM nutrition coaching certification curriculum box promoting NEAT.

My favorite sections of these chapters are portions which discuss popular culture myths about these nutrients and the science behind why these are myths. As a nutrition coach, you encounter a lot of clients who believe these myths, so understanding the science behind why they’re false will help you a lot.

Each macronutrient, protein, fat, and carbohydrate is highlighted in a detailed fashion, as so:

When it comes to information about macronutrients (protein, fats, carbs), the NASM Certified Nutrition Coach textbook covers them well.

  • Its definition
  • The chemical molecule
  • Foods in that category
  • How it’s absorbed and digested
  • The role it plays in the body
NASM CNC curriculum box explaining the triglyceride utilization in the liver, muscle, and brain.

The corresponding pictures and infographics make it easy to understand.

Chapter 9 on alcohol has great coverage of both the mental and physical effects of alcohol on the body and how its mechanisms relate to fitness and wellness.

NASM CNC curriculum - alcohol's effect on performance diagram.

Once coaches educate clients on alcohol and its effects, clients may change their view on alcohol and make healthier choices by limiting or totally nixing it.

The micronutrient chapter covers the minerals, water-soluble and fat-soluble vitamins, and charts of foods containing each respective vitamin and health benefits. 

Depending on a client’s eating patterns, coaches can help clients incorporate a healthy balance of micronutrients, including each mineral and vitamin into their diet. Things like fruits and vegetables are obvious answers here. 

Hydration is a very informative chapter and hits the following key points in a detailed fashion:

  • Shifts of water in the body
  • How water is lost
  • Methods to avoid hypo or hyper hydration
  • Strengths and weaknesses of common hydration status markers
  • Hydration myths and hot topics
  • Proper hydration strategies during and between training bouts

Water is important, but understanding it is even more so for health and self-care. 

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Though the nutrient timing section isn’t too long, it provides sufficient content to understand the rationale behind eating certain foods at certain times.

My only issue with this first section of the NASM CNC textbook comes from the 13th chapter on Supplements. While I do think there’s some good content on this subject, including how to find independently tested products, the list of supplements NASM covers is limited. You learn about creatine and protein powders, but there’s no mention of beta-alanine, l-citrulline, or a few other mainstream products. While this isn’t a huge issue, it’s worth mentioning. 

Behavior Change Strategies

This section of the text breaks down into chapters on psychology of weight control, coaching and communication, motivational interviewing and goal setting. 

Overall, NASM does a good job with this format, but there’s nothing here that sets this certification apart from some of the other mainstream options.

You learn the Stages of Change model, and how to actively listen.

Behavior change goals starts with recognizing things to change. 

I think Chapter 16 has some good practical tips on how to identify discrepancies in behavior that clients might have. Often, this is a good tool.

Some people think that they’re doing everything they can to lose weight, but go out drinking every night with their friends. Uncovering this inconsistency with what they want and their daily actions can be very powerful in the motion towards change. 

The chapter on coaching communication concisely covers effective behavior change coaching methods, strategies, and ways to be your best as a coach when weight loss programming and strategizing. 

I was specifically impressed by this unique “Word Choice” section in this chapter.

NASM CNC curriculum callout box - word choice usage for nutrition coaching

As coaches, communication is key, but knowing what to avoid saying and why has even more benefits in terms of weight loss psychology. 

Without emotional intelligence, proper communication skills, and empathy, you may potentially trigger a client, and this is definitely the wrong profession to do that in. You also need to be able to take in feedback from your client and complete your client assessment without criticizing them. Coaches are there to support their clients. 

The motivational interviewing chapter is comprehensible and pretty similar to other nutrition and fitness textbooks.

NASM CNC curriculum - setting guidelines for collecting data and monitoring

One of my favorite things is the focus on empathy and being a good listener.

Anyone in a helping profession needs to know and apply active listening skills and non-judgment.

You are here to help and guide, not to criticize and belittle. You need to act like an expert in all aspects, and this includes communication, so you can help clients make proper behavior changes, like eliminating excess sugar ingredients from their diet. 

Nutritional Coaching

Finally, the third section of the NASM CNC textbook emphasizes dietary assessments and body composition testing, good and supplement labels, navigating the real world, controversial topics and how to maintain weight loss. 

Some useful content here includes resting metabolic rate (RMR) calculations, which are a good way to estimate how many calories a client needs on the basis of some formulas. These formulas do have a margin of error, but they give you a good baseline from which to make changes. 

Chapter 19 has a good portion size guide and details on deciphering the current nutritional label regulations in the US, UK, and Australia. 

NASM CNC nutrition curriculum - popular food label terms

Chapter 21, Navigating Diets, does a really good job to demystify a variety of dieting trends, like vegan, ketogenic, and paleo. I find this of particular relevance to nutrition coaching. These are common diets clients may ask you about, so you will have the knowledge and ability you need to impart wisdom on the topic.

One of my favorite chapters is Nutrition Hot Topics and Controversies. This section of the NASM text gives attention to a wealth of knowledge on the current science behind how healthy or unhealthy things like artificial sweeteners, GMO products, grass-fed, or organic produce and meats are. Once you learn the risk involved in these products, you can then position yourself based on science and avoid any weight loss obstacles that may be based on misinformation. 

I guarantee you are going to get asked questions on these as a nutritionist and I don’t know of any other nutrition certification that covers these topics in such detail. So, here NASM scores big from a content standpoint. You will have the competence to easily discuss these topics with anyone. 

In Chapter 23, you learn about how to manage weight over time and deal with weight-loss plateaus. This is something you will encounter with clients, so I’m glad it’s included, especially the section on diet breaks, which is an approach I use a lot with my clients.

Diet cycles can be used to great effect with nutrition program design when diet fatigue sets in or life throws people a curve ball and they need to take a break. These can be of great assistance. 

NASM CNC curriculum - behavior contract listening goals

The last chapter of the book on programming discusses how to put all the information you’ve learned so far together and gives some case studies to practice with, which I think is super helpful for when you coach clients. 

The knowledge checks at the end of each chapter match the content covered in its respective chapter course material to a tee.

The NASM-CNC textbook provides you with the corresponding client handouts and worksheets.

Overall, I found this textbook to be very hands-on and engaging.

But NASM, as a high-level fitness and nutrition certification provider, always does a great job and never fails to impress.

Between you and me, the NASM CNC gives the Precision Nutrition certification a run for its money for best nutrition coaching certification – and that is saying something, given the impressive reputation of the PN certification.

NASM Certified Nutrition Coach exam prep and study materials

There are two ways you can go about preparing for the final exam. One, NASM allows you to download the textbook from their website and you can read that and take your own notes as you go through it.

Two, there is an online version of the text with videos explaining the information that you use on the online learning platform. The videos included are amazing. NASM is one of the biggest fitness organizations for a reason. Each of these companion video lectures is concise, well produced, and gives you clear insights into the information covered. I would not skip them if I were you.

At the end of each chapter is a quiz which tests the knowledge within. When you finish all the chapters, you can take the final test online.

NASM CNC chapter quizzes - knowledge check at end of chapter 2 asking about scope of practice
NASM CNC chapter quizzes - knowledge check at end of chapter 3 asking the order of the scientific method

Overall, NASM gets a 9/10 for study resources. While you don’t get the same amount of study aid as you would in their CPT program, the ones you do get are high quality. 

NASM CNC Certification requirements

Unlike some other nutrition certifications, such as the ISSA Nutritionist, there are no eligibility prerequisites for enrollment into the NASM-CNC program.

Like the NASM-CWC (Certified Wellness Coach), NASM-CES (Corrective Exercise Specialist), and NASM-PES (Performance Enhancement Specialist), the NASM-CNC falls under NASM specialty certifications.

So this certification, in and of itself, is not accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA), but most other nutrition programs and CPTs are.

NCCA accredited programs are a gold standard in the fitness industry.

So, one drawback of the NASM-CNC is that it is not an NCCA accredited nutrition certification program.

This suggests that this nutrition program may be best for already certified personal trainers, group fitness instructors, or other professionals working in a related field.

NASM CNC salary

According to Ziprecruiter data, the average NASM Nutrition Coach makes $45,500 per year in the US. Of course, you can increase these numbers if you decide to be a personal trainer as well. Then you can help your fitness clients with nutrition. 

The more you can be a one-stop-shop for your clients, the more you can offer, the higher your potential income, value, and marketability as a coach throughout your career in the current and future job market. The obesity epidemic is only growing in the United States and knowing about nutrition and training will be vital to your practice.

The more capabilities you have as a coach in your portfolio, the more opportunity you will find. In my experience in the jobs market, you can never be too qualified. 

Taking the NASM Certified Nutrition Coach Certification exam

Unlike CPT exams, which are taken in person, the NASM-CNC exam is administered the online route within your student portal. After course completion you can take the exam at your convenience. 

You have 90 minutes to complete 100 multiple-choice questions.

The passing score is 70% or higher, but if you fail your exam, don’t fret, you have a total of 3 chances to take it. 

With proper exam preparation, you should be fine. 

NASM Nutrition continuing education and recertification

Just like the NASM-CPT, and most other CPTs and nutrition certifications, renewal of the NASM-CNC is required every two years.

This is done through the completion of the CNC Renewal Exam.

The CNC Renewal Exam offers three exam attempts and will have an enrollment duration of 365 days.

This renewal exam will recertify the NASM-CNC credential for another two years from the new completion date.

And lastly, don’t forget about the small renewal fee of $49.

You should also note that the NASM CNC counts as a NASM continuing education credit towards renewing your NASM CPT.

Other NASM offerings

NASM certification courses:

NASM Certified Nutrition Coach program overall rating

NASM CNC overall rating - NASM textbook laid on table with stars and question boxes.
NASM Nutrition Certification Review [year] - NASM CNC Review 3

Hey everyone and welcome to my NASM Nutrition Certification Review. Here you will learn if this NASM CNC is right for you.

Product Currency: USD

Product Price: 539

Product In-Stock: InStock

Editor's Rating:


  • Most reputable organization
  • Excellent digital portal
  • Comprehensive course with excellent information


  • Better for general population nutrition than sports performance
  • No NCCA accredited exam
  • Expensive when not on sale

I find the NASM-CNC to be one of the best nutrition certifications on the market.

NASM always does a great job of offering in-depth curriculum and study materials to help you absorb the information and increase your abilities. 

If you are already advising your clients about diet and nutrition, I’m sure this certification will teach you something new.

Overall, the content is excellent. The actual nutrition science is a strength of the cert. Besides the fundamentals, I also think the chapter on dealing with hot nutritional topics will be extremely useful in your coaching practice. 

In terms of cons, I wish the course gave you a little more depth on a wider array of supplements and maybe some more unique behavioral coaching strategies. This course also mentions nutrition for performance, but that’s not its focus, versus something like a sports nutritionist specialization. 

This is a small issue though for nutrition coaches. I find the NASM CNC one of the best nutrition coaching programs I’ve seen so far. 

NASM CNC FAQS (Frequently Asked Questions)

Is NASM a good certification for nutrition coaching?

The NASM CNC is an excellent certification for nutrition coaching. Additionally, because you likely have a CPT certification, you will be a much more well-rounded trainer after becoming a certified nutrition coach.

What Can I Do With A Nutrition Certification?

When it comes to what you can do with a NASM nutrition certification, the list is long. Nutrition certification allows you to give expanded levels of advice in the realm of nutrition and is usually pursued by personal trainers to add to their services and knowledge.

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

NASM is considered to be one of the top nutrition certifications in health to get certified with. Other great options include ACE or ISSA.

What is the difference between NASM’s Certified Nutrition Coach and NASM’s Certified Sports Nutrition Coach?

While a Nutrition Coach works with general clientele to develop strategies that address issues like obesity, body composition, aging, and lifestyle approaches to disease management, a Sports Nutrition Coach digs deeper and works with athletes on performance nutrition within specific sports, recovery, and injury prevention.

How many CEUs is the NASM-CNC worth, and which organizations accept them?

The NASM CNC is worth 1.9 NASM CEUs. This effectively completes 2 years of NASM CEUs as your final 0.1 CEU will come from getting recertified in CPR/AED.

Can I do this program while working full time?

You can do anything you put your mind to! At your convenience, the NASM-CNC is a nutrition certification done online only, which means you can start and stop anytime!

How much does the NASM CNC cost?

Aside from any regular specials or promos, NASM nutritionist certification costs a standard $899 one-time payment for the certification course.

Will my NASM-CNC certificate be mailed to me?

After successfully passing your NASM online certification exam, a digital copy of your nutrition coach certificate will be available within 24 hours, but in most cases, immediately. Within 4-6 weeks, a hardcopy certificate will be mailed to the address you have on your NASM account.

NASM CNC Video Review

This video is a few years old but is still among the best NASM certified nutrition coach reviews in video form.

NASM (CNC) Certified Nutrition Coach Certification Review 2023 👎👍

NASM Nutrition Certification Review (Podcast)

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.

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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.

58 thoughts on “NASM Nutrition Certification Review 2023 – NASM CNC Review”

  1. PTPioneer User

    This is an informative article…Thank you for such a detailed write up. Does ISSA/ACE nutrition certification accredited?

    1. Tyler Read - Certified Personal Trainer with PTPioneer

      Hey Abi,
      Great question and thanks for the shout out. The ISSA certification is accredited by the DEAC. ACE on the other hand I can’t find clear information on their website. Guess I will need to call them to confirm this. Stay tuned!

  2. PTPioneer User

    is there a specific book I can buy online that goes along the NASM nutrition course that I can read on my own before actually paying for the course? I am a Student at OSU pursuing a degree in nutrition and I just want to get ahead of the game before going into the actual nutrition courses when I get into the program.

    1. Tyler Read - Certified Personal Trainer with PTPioneer

      Hello Anthony, the majority of their information for their curriculum comes from a nutrition By the authors Paul Insel and Don Ross. That being said, I don’t suggest just picking up the textbook and studying out of their although it will help a little bit. NASM picks and chooses the parts from the textbook and not everything is covered only a certain number of chapters in only certain sections from each chapter as well. I suggest picking up the certification and studying their online modules instead.

  3. PTPioneer User

    Thank you for this information! I am considering getting my certification but I am wondering if this cert. will qualify me to have my own clients for my own business. Is a CPT required to have your own clients? I know you mentioned the CNC doesn’t hold as much weight, Does it make your qualified enough? What kinds of jobs can you obtain with this CNC Cert. On its own? I currently only have a Nutrition and Wellness degree.
    Thank you!

    1. Tyler Read - Certified Personal Trainer with PTPioneer

      Hey Sarah,
      Depends on what you mean by new clients. Are you looking to do personal training as well as nutrition counseling? Most of the certifications that I talk about on my website or for people in the fitness industry that are looking to make supplemental income with nutrition counseling with their already personal training clients. You could also market yourself as a nutrition only expert and sell your services that way as well. This is especially true if you already have a degree in nutrition and wellness. On the other hand, if you do want to get into personal training I recommend you checking out my article on the top personal training certifications as well.

    1. Tyler Read - Certified Personal Trainer with PTPioneer

      Hey George,
      After you are certified through the National Academy of sports medicine, you will only need to pay the recertification fee and pass the exam again in order to continue being certified. I believe the recertification fee is $99 but I could be wrong about this.

  4. PTPioneer User

    Hi Tyler, just want to ask. When I pass this certification or ACE’s FNS, will I be allowed to make meal plans for clients? That’s something that I’ve been quite unsure of.

    1. Tyler Read - Certified Personal Trainer with PTPioneer

      Hello Russ,
      If you get a nutrition certification from any of these certifications that I talk about on my website, you can make meal plans for clients definitely. The only thing you cannot do is give specific nutritional advice in order to help with some sort of disease that they may have. You are not a doctor and you cannot prescribe nutrition plans to help with serious problems. But for basic meal prep plans for losing weight, gaining muscle giving advice on macro and micro nutrients for general health, absolutely.

  5. PTPioneer User

    Is there a study guide available for NASM CNC? I am half way through the course would like to utilize study materials to pass my exam.

    1. Tyler Read - Certified Personal Trainer with PTPioneer

      Hello Cristina,
      I am actually planning on creating free study materials on my website for the certified nutrition coach certification. You should expect that to come around by the end of the year I would think at the latest. Good luck with all your studying and you are going to love the certification!

        1. Tyler Read - Certified Personal Trainer with PTPioneer

          Hey Jenny,
          I have not yet produced my free study materials for the certified nutrition coach from NASM. My guess would be that it will probably be done around mid to late March.

          1. PTPioneer User
            Coach Jtrainhard

            Great content! I seen your comment in Jan about not having the study materials for CNC. Are they available yet? I am 90% through my course & used your study material to pass my Nasm CPT in November.

  6. PTPioneer User

    Im stoke I came across this site! This is the most informative, one stop shop, on the Internet! Well done Tyler. My question: I’m a 40 year old male, a CrossFit athlete who always struggle with the nutrition side of things. For no other reason than lack of education. As Im getting more and more into the fitness side of things with CrossFit, Im fully aware that is the nutrition side of things keeping me from my goals. Im also a father of two young boys and I own and operate a restaurant. I’m looking a getting a NASM CNC cert so I can not only help myself, but also my family and friends. I was all hung ho on NASM but your quiz suggested ISSA. I don’t have a ton of extra free time, I need to go at my own pace and do it all online. The goal would be for personal growth but I’d also like to to qualified enough to make extra income on the side taking on clients. What is your recommendation? Thanks for everything. This is great. I’m looking to get going right away!

    1. Tyler Read - Certified Personal Trainer with PTPioneer

      Hey Jon,
      First of all, thanks for the compliment. CrossFit and nutrition go hand-in-hand and I definitely recommend that you start studying to get certified with one of the top certifications in the industry. The certified nutrition coach from the National Academy of sports medicine definitely is one of the top of the line certifications out there. In terms of the quiz, these are just suggestions based on a small sample of answers in order to guide people if they are on the fence with two certifications. Both ISSA and NASM are done online so you shouldn’t have to worry about either one of those. In terms of making money, both of them are going to make you the same amount of money. In terms of content, they are very similar, although NASM is the most recent certification on nutrition in the industry so it probably has the most up-to-date stats and trends which is something that is important in an ever-changing field like nutrition. I say that if you are feeling NASM, go for! you won’t regret it in the end.

  7. PTPioneer User

    Hi Tyler,
    Thank you for this most informative info on nutritional coaching. My question, “Is the NASM Nutritional Coaching certification acceptable by law in all 50 states?” I’ve heard some states may be more restrictive with allowing nutritional advise from someone without a degree in that field. I would like to begin the NASM Nutritionist Coaching certification right away but want to be sure there would be no problems down the road with the certification. Thank you for your help.

    1. Tyler Read - Certified Personal Trainer with PTPioneer

      Hey Robin,
      I have not heard of the varying laws by state. That being said, all of these certifications are meant to give general nutrition advice. You can create diet programs for people that have general health goals such as losing weight, gaining muscle etc. That being said, you cannot diagnose and you cannot prescribe a diet for people that have medical ailments or diseases. As we are not doctors, that outside of our realms as fitness instructors. I hope this makes sense between the differences.

  8. PTPioneer User

    Hi Tyler,
    Thank you very much for this detailed article, it is very clear and useful! I just have a question regarding the potential requirements needed to register to the exam. Graduated from a business school, I do not have any degree nor experience in nutrition/sport nutrition. Does NASM CNC require a minimum experience or degree related to the industry or can anyone is able to enroll in their program? For example, I think ACE’s one requires you to have at least one of those requirements (eg. working experience, degree or program accredited etc.).
    Thanks in advance for your help!

    1. Tyler Read - Certified Personal Trainer with PTPioneer

      Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. You do not need a degree for NASM or ACE. The only certification that you do need a degree for is the certified strength and conditioning specialist certification from NSCA. And in that case, you only need a four year degree in any field you do not need a four year degree in exercise science. I hope this helps.

  9. PTPioneer User

    Tyler, your information is awesome and I’ve read nearly all of your nutrition reviews. I think I’ve narrowed my choice, but I cannot decide between NASM and Precision Nutrition. I want the cert with the best reputation, recognition, has meat to it and not one that my neighbour can simply get. I put a lot of time, effort and money into my health and fitness/Education degrees and certification portfolio so I only want the very best! What is your truly unbiased opinion of these two or is there another recommendation?

    1. Tyler Read - Certified Personal Trainer with PTPioneer

      Hey Scott,
      thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. This is definitely a difficult choice. And if money is no option and you don’t mind waiting, precision nutrition may be the best option as they purely focus on this one nutrition certification, that’s it. The National Academy of sports medicine has tons of certifications and their nutrition certification is also good. Also, since NASM just recently released this certification, it probably has the most up-to-date information compared to any other nutrition certification out there.

  10. PTPioneer User

    Hi Tyler!

    Thanks for the informative article. I’m keen on taking the NASM CPT+CNC, but I can’t seem to get it at the discounted price of $999 as stated in your promotional link though. It comes up to $1,388.30 on the website even with the Black Friday/ Cyber Monday sale.

    1. Tyler Read - Certified Personal Trainer with PTPioneer

      Hey Daphne,
      I have gotten a few comments and concerns about this deal as well. It seems like they expired my discount code that they personally made for me for this deal unfortunately. They said that it would last until Tuesday.

  11. PTPioneer User
    Kimberly Granados

    Hey Tyler, how does the Nutrition Coach certification differ from the previous Fitness Nutrition Specialist that NASM offered before? I’m wondering if I should take this course as well or is the information pretty similar?

    1. Tyler Read - Certified Personal Trainer with PTPioneer

      Hello Kimberly,
      this is a great question. The National Academy of sports medicine changed their nutrition certification about nine months ago to start doing the nutrition coach certification. This new certification includes a lot of knowledge that you would find in a health coach certification. Basically a lot of behavioral change information as this is very important for clients that are trying to stick to a diet. The old nutrition certification is mostly only nutrition information.

  12. PTPioneer User

    If I committed 4 hours/day to the NASM CNC program, how long will it take to get my certification?
    Once i pass the final exam, what is the actual certification called?
    After I become a CNC, if there continued support with the NASM?
    Can the exam be taken at home?
    What is the current price? I read that someone said it was over $1k but i thought it was $899?

    1. Tyler Read - Certified Personal Trainer with PTPioneer

      Hey Lynne,
      the current price for the certified nutrition coach program is approximately $700 as they typically have some sort of discount for approximately 20 to 30% off on most days. You will hold the title of certified nutrition coach once you have it. You can take the exam online and yes you will continue to receive support from the National Academy of sports medicine. I would approximate that you can take the exam between one and two months if you are studying four hours a day. I hope all of this information helps.

  13. PTPioneer User

    Hello Tyler!

    Is there any online certification that allows you to write a diet menu?

    I’ve been binge reading your website! Thank you so much for all the info you bring us!

    1. Tyler Read - Certified Personal Trainer with PTPioneer

      Hey there, I’m not extremely certain about what you mean about writing a diet menu. It will let you organize and structure a diet for General Health and Wellness as well as overall goal such as losing weight, building muscle Etc. You cannot diagnose or prescribe a diet in order to cure an ailment illness or disease. Those are the limitations of nutrition counseling with these nutrition certifications.

      1. PTPioneer User

        I took the CNC course and the first thing they pointed out was you cannot make any kind of diet menu for anyone. All it allows you to do is give general advice about health and nutrition. They do this because of liability. It’s not just for people who are not healthy. I quickly dropped this course right after. Precision Nutrition seems like it’s higher rated and more respected anyways.

  14. PTPioneer User

    Hi Tyler! Does NASM offer downloadable assessment forms and other forms to use with nutrition clients after becoming certified? I noticed Precision Nutrition offers a bunch of tool like that. Just curious what NASM offers. Thanks a ton!!

    1. Tyler Read - Certified Personal Trainer with PTPioneer

      Hey Susan,
      I believe that they do have downloadable forms. They definitely do for their personal training certification and I will have to double-check if they do for their nutrition coach certification as well.

  15. PTPioneer User

    This certificate is useless. I looked up my province’s laws and people would be better off becoming a designated holistic nutrition practitioner by places like AFPA or Nutraphoria. Then you’re guaranteed by law to actually practice nutrition as a career.

    1. Tyler Read - Certified Personal Trainer with PTPioneer

      In regards to where certifications are accepted, you really need to ask your local training facilities in the country you were in to see which ones are preferred and which ones are accepted. Most of my information is geared towards people in the United States and Canada.

  16. PTPioneer User

    Hello Tyler,
    I really liked the way you have put your thoughts in this article, simple and easy to understand. I am beginner in fitness industry, i don’t have any degree or background in fitness. Its just that i am passionate about health and food. Do you think NASM CNC will help me to commence my career in fitness industry as a nutritionist? or Should i opt for other alternatives ACE, NESTA or Precision etc?

    1. Tyler Read - Certified Personal Trainer with PTPioneer

      Yes, the certified nutrition coach is a great way to start your career as a nutrition coach. The other option such as Precision Nutrition or the international sports Sciences Association also have good options. But, NASM is a very well respected name in the space and you will not regret starting with them.

  17. PTPioneer User

    hello, I am into fitness and I am about to buy the Nasm CNC nutrition coach but apparently I heard that we are not allowed to design and sell a program. Is it true?

    1. Tyler Read - Certified Personal Trainer with PTPioneer

      No that is not true, you can give General nutrition advice to help people lose weight and get proper nutrition. What you cannot do is prescribe diets for ailments or to cure anything.

  18. PTPioneer User

    Hi – Was just on the ACE website and copied this…
    The ACE Health Coach Certification is the only health coach certification accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA), considered the gold standard in health and fitness.

    1. Tyler Read - Certified Personal Trainer with PTPioneer

      Hey Kelly, thanks for the good information. There is a lot of change going on with lots of new certifications getting accredited by the NCCA. Thanks for letting me know about this so I can update my content.

  19. PTPioneer User

    I am Confuse between NASM and Precision Nutrition.Can u please compare both and put some light on precision nutrition too.

    1. Tyler Read - Certified Personal Trainer with PTPioneer

      They are both good starting points to get started with nutrition coaching. They definitely have some pros and cons. Precision Nutrition has a great application and has been they go to certification for a lot of people. Nasm is a newer nutrition coach certification but is very well recognized within the industry as well. Good luck with your nutrition coaching career.

  20. PTPioneer User

    I currently hold my Masters in Social Work and working on my clinical license. I would really like to gain more knowledge with nutrition as I feel it is really important to consider when assisting individuals with mental health issues. I was wondering if this would be a good fit for me and how could i incorporate this certification with my clients?

    Also, how many CEU’s are needed every two years? Am I able to use this certification in all states/outside of the US as well? I am a military spouse and so therefore we will be moving alot and want to be able to use this no matter where I am

    1. Tyler Read - Certified Personal Trainer with PTPioneer

      Yes these certifications could definitely help you working with clients to get them on the right path towards a healthy diet. Usually certifications for choir approximately 20 hours of continuing education every two years. Since you are outside of the United States I would definitely contact any employers to see which certifications they accept. Good luck with your nutrition coaching career.

  21. PTPioneer User

    I am looking to learn about nutrition. Not necessarily want to make a career out of it. What course would you suggest for me?

  22. PTPioneer User

    Hi, I saw earlier this year you were talking about publishing study material for the NASM CNC? Has that been published, is it free, and if so where can I find it?

    1. Tyler Read - Certified Personal Trainer with PTPioneer

      Hey Kasey, I have published study materials for the CNC, and they can be found by either going to the page for all study guide pages or by searching the website at the top.

  23. PTPioneer User

    I have my CPT with NASM and I am between ISSA Nutritonist or NASM CNC, if I go with ISSA – does NASM take accept it as CEUs?
    Would you advise that I go the NASM route?

    1. Tyler Read - Certified Personal Trainer with PTPioneer

      Hey Monica, if you are already certified with NASM, I would suggest sticking with them if you are concerned mainly with the CEUs counting and for counting as the most possible credits. But, if you are set on ISSA, then make sure to reach out to NASM and see how many credits it would count for, as I unfortunately do not have that answer.

  24. PTPioneer User

    I believe your cheatsheet has a typo… “Recommended calorie deficit is 500 to 1000 kcals per day or 1 – 2 lbs per day”

    should be: “”Recommended calorie deficit is 500 to 1000 kcals per day or 1 – 2 lbs per week”

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