nutrition coach

Have you been thinking about getting a nutrition coach certification but don’t know where to start? This blog outlines:

– What the difference is between a health coach & a nutrition coach
– What is a nutrition coach
– Different nutrition coach certifications
– Various nutrition coach certifications
– Nutrition coaching jobs
– Nutrition coach salaries
– Nutrition coaching for fitness professionals

What is the difference between a Health Coach & a Nutrition Coach?

Indeed, nutrition coaching & health coaching are tightly tied when it comes to the common goal of helping the client reach their goals. However, there are some differences between the two.

Nutrition Coaching

That being said, nutrition coaching is geared toward helping the client solely with the goal of eating a healthier diet. The lifestyle shifts that a nutrition coach can help with include:

– Making better eating choices
– Efficient menu planning based on their health, energy, macronutrient needs, lifestyle, budget, and other factors.
– Supplement recommendations

Health Coaching

Health Coaching on the other hand encompasses a well-rounded approach to lifestyle coaching. The Health Coach Collaborative courses are based on a four-pillar approach to health. These include nutrition, stress management, quality sleep, movement, and other lifestyle factors. As coaches ourselves, we saw that clients needed more than just guidance surrounding nutrition. This is why we created a health coaching certification that was nutrition-based and included all factors for whole-body wellness.

nutrition coach forms
nutrition coach forms

What is a nutrition coach?

A nutrition coach is someone who is trained and educated in nutrition.

Nutrition consultants or nutrition counselors can use their skills and knowledge to help clients optimize their health and wellness through dietary and lifestyle changes.

Health Coach Collaborative Nutrition Coaches take into account a client’s:

– Stress levels
– Sleep habits
– Medical history
– Current medical concerns
– Eating habits
– Other lifestyle factors

Every nutrition coach has a different style and may approach how they work with clients differently. That being said, the topics covered and the information that they ask for will likely be similar across the board.

You can expect your nutrition coach to discuss food-related topics including:

– What you typically eat in a day
– If you follow a specific way of eating (for example vegetarian or vegan, paleo, keto, etc.)
– If you have any food allergies or intolerances
– How much variety do you include in your diet
– When you typically eat during the day
– If you eat consistently throughout the day or often skip meals
– If you prefer to cook or eat meals out
– Your cooking skills and confidence in the kitchen
– Your meal-planning process
– How to grocery shop
– What beverages do you typically consume
– How hungry and full you feel throughout each day
– Your relationship with food

A well-trained nutrition coach helps to work through all of the above factors to find an ideal plan catered to the needs of their client. It is a nutrition coach’s job to help create incremental lifestyle changes to help client reach their health goals. Keeping clients accountable along the way to ensure lasting change.

Nutrition Coach Certification
Nutrition Coach Certification

How to Become a Certified Nutrition Coach

If you are interested in becoming a nutrition coach, you might be wondering how to start a nutrition business or which nutrition coach certifications are required.

It is important to first look at the regulations or guidelines put out by your local health ministries. Different countries and regions have different requirements for certification. This means that the scope of practice for the coach may vary depending on where you live.

“Nutrition coach” can also mean different things in different contexts, and there are several career paths under this umbrella term. For example, search for “post-partum nutrition services” and you’ll find references to:

– Nutrition coaches or nutrition consultants
– Certified nutrition specialists (CNSs)
– Registered dietitians (RDs)
– Registered dietitian nutritionists (RDNs)

In general, “nutrition coach” is the most flexible term that might not require a nutrition coaching certification.

“Nutritionist” might sometimes mean “nutrition coach” but other times refer to registered dietitian nutritionists.

It is important to look at all the possible certifications and take into account what is going to work best for you. This means looking at the amount of time it takes to become certified, where and how you want to work with clients, and whether or not the nutrition certification or degree is accredited where you live.

Nutrition Coach Certification

When thinking about taking a nutrition coach certification it is important to find one that is science-based and covers a wide array of topics. For example, the Health Coach Collaborative’s Natural Nutrition Coach Program offers the following courses:

Foundations in Natural Nutrition
Meal Planning
Energy & Metabolism
Digestive Health & the Microbiome
How to effectively coach
Physiology & symptomatology
Stress Management, Sleep, Movement
Weight Loss & Management
Nutrition business strategies & set up
Practical experience & case studies

On top of the nutrition basics, finding a program that suits your timeframe, learning style, and end goals is imperative. The Health Coach Collaborative also prides itself in offering ongoing support to students and graduates as well.

nutrition coach certification
nutrition coach certification

Nutrition Coach Jobs

Becoming a holistic nutrition practitioner opens the door to many different job opportunities. New jobs are being created every day as the field of nutrition as the field of coaching grows. It is important to think about your previous work experience and how that can help you find your nutrition niche. For example, if you are already a fitness coach, you could offer nutrition coaching in a gym.

Here are some of the potential jobs you could work in as a nutrition coach:

Working in a Health Food or Supplement Store

Many health food and supplement stores need nutrition professionals to work for them. Working in a health food store could mean giving tours of the store to help people better understand how to shop effectively. This means showing people how to read labels, make healthier food choices, giving nutrition advice, and even helping people know where their food comes from. Supplement stores require that their staff have a deep knowledge of nutrition. This allows their sales staff to be able to safely recommend their products. Having an understanding of how macronutrients & micronutrients work in the body and how they can be used to effect positive change in various health conditions is also a benefit.

Wellness and nutrition advisor in a gym

Gyms often hire other wellness professionals as a bonus to their clients. It is well-known that movement is a key piece to overall health. That being said, nutrition can play an integral role in helping someone lose weight, build muscle, improve athleticism, endurance, and more.

Collaborate with other professionals

Often other professionals such as naturopathic or chiropractic doctors need help managing their client load. Just like allopathic doctors, they may not have enough time to work one-on-one helping to implement their recommendations. This is where nutrition professionals and coaches come in. Nutrition coaches can play an instrumental role in helping clients implement a specific program or nutrition plan recommended.

Become a Wellness Content Creator

As mentioned above, previous work experience or a passion for something outside of nutrition can help you find your niche. Offering writing services or content creation services gives you flexibility in where and how you work.

Run an Online Nutrition Coach Business

As the world of technology grows, working online is becoming more and more accessible and desirable. Many coaches opt to work online because of the flexibility and work-life balance. It also allows you to open yourself up to a wider market. Using tools like social media and email marketing can help you quickly grow your business.

Work in the food sector

If you love food (which most nutritionists do!), working in the food sector might be for you. There are many options to choose from including meal prep, creating recipes, designing menus, catering for yoga retreats, or working at farmers markets.

Nutrition coach certification jobs
Nutrition coach certification jobs

Teach nutrition workshops & classes

Have you noticed that people are becoming more curious about their food, where it comes from, and how it is grown? Offering workshops and classes on various health concerns or nutrition topics is a lucrative business. It helps you market to a large amount of people for your services, while still making an income.

Nutrition coach salary

How much you make as a nutrition coach depends on where and how you are working.

Choosing a position at a gym or supplement store may offer a more stable income. Supplement stores for example often pay just above minimum wage – however, there may be other benefits such as medical insurance or discounts on products offered in the store. Working at a gym will give you access to their network and a steady stream of clients, but the gym often takes a cut of the earnings you bring in.

If you are working in private practice, you can expect to earn $80-$150 per hour depending on your qualifications and level of experience.

Nutrition coaching for fitness professionals

Getting a nutrition coach certification is a great addition for any fitness professional. Being able to help guide clients through all their questions surrounding food adds a lot of value to your services. Clients are more likely to have deeper, long-lasting changes with education in this area. As mentioned above, when you have more experience or more than one certification it allows you to charge more money per hour. This allows you to set yourself apart as an “expert” in multiple disciplines.

FAQs Nutrition Coaching

What does a nutrition coach do?

Nutrition coaches teach their clients about nutrition, making better eating choices, and efficient menu planning based on their health, energy, and macronutrient needs, lifestyle, budget, and other factors.

A nutrition coach guides clients to achieve their best health by evaluating their diet, activity, and lifestyle, and recommending foods, dietary supplements (when needed), and lifestyle strategies that can lead to improvements in health, digestion, energy levels, body composition, and exercise performance. Nutrition coaches are trained to recognize imbalances within body systems that may be associated with diet, with a special focus on the digestive system.

Can nutrition coaches give meal plans?

Yes! One of the main areas of support that a nutrition coach can offer is helping to create meal plans. A well-designed meal plan will help clients achieve their goals and be catered to their needs. If you want to learn more about meal planning click here.

Is nutrition coaching free?

It is common to find nutrition coaches who offer free consultations to people who are looking for help. That being said, investing in your health & wellness is one of the best things you can do for yourself.

What is the difference between nutrition coaching, counseling, & dieticians?

Often nutrition coaches or nutrition counselors hold a nutrition certification from a regulated body or association. However, dieticians hold a degree from a university and work closely with government regulations.

What do nutrition coaches charge?

This depends on the level of experience the nutrition coach has and where they are offering their services. The typical rate for someone who is in private practice can range from $80-$150 per hour.


Lynne is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist, meal prep mastermind, wife and mother of three. Lynne’s dreams and creativity have brought Holistic Nutrition Hub to fruition so that all Nutrition Practitioners can better help their clients and attain their business goals.

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