No special licenses or certifications are required to call yourself a “weight loss coach,” but there are advantages to being certified. Earn credentials from recognized training organizations, online organizations or medical-related institutions to boost your credibility and increase your knowledge about how to help clients lose weight.
Stick with Recognized Programs
Just as anyone can call herself a “weight loss coach” without any particular credentials, anyone can build a website and charge for online certifications for weight loss coaches. Boost your credibility by gaining certification from a well-respected organization. Look for courses through recognized groups with a history of wellness and fitness training, such as the NASM, ACE, the National Exercise and Sports Trainers Association, and programs affiliated with or recognized by the International Coach Federation. The fitness organizations offer online tutorials, chat sessions, training manuals and guides that prepare you to take the final exam to receive your certification.
Develop a Business with Certifications
Certifications equip you with the skills to offer nutrition advice to your clients in addition teaching exercise programs. By studying psychology and human behavior, you can help people make the lifestyle changes they need to change unhealthy habits and maintain weight loss. Help clients identify and comprehend the food choices they make and why they make them. Learn how to help clients set and achieve specific goals relying on healthy, medically recognized advice. The courses also teach you how stress affects eating and weight loss, topics on which you can develop a growing business.
Add to Medical Credentials
As a registered dietitian or nutritionist, you can earn a Certificate of Training in Adult Weight Management or a Certificate of Training in Childhood and Adolescent Weight Management through an organization such as the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. In your initial training in the nutrition field, you have learned about food and nutrition and how it affects overall health. Parlay that training into a specialization in weight loss with the additional certification. In addition to being able to build a lucrative business on your own, you’ll also carry sufficient credentials to work in a hospital or other medical facility.
Enhance Your Fitness Classes
Fitness instructors, aerobics teachers and personal lifestyle coaches can add weight loss certifications to reach even more clients and increase their level of competence at the same time, according to the National Academy of Sports Medicine, or NASM. The nuances of weight loss are covered in the courses offered through groups such as the NASM and the American Council on Exercise, both of which offer online training for the certifications.
- U.S. News and World Report: Nutritionist. Food Coach. How Good Is Their Diet Advice?
- National Exercise and Sports Trainers Association: Lifestyle and Weight Management Specialist
- National Academy of Sports Medicine: Weight Loss Specialist
- American Council on Exercise: Health Coach Certification
- Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: Certificate of Training in Adult Weight Management
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Dietitians and Nutritionists
- Coach Training Alliance: Certified Coach Program
- International Coach Federation: ACTP Program Approval
- Photo Credit Purestock/Purestock/Getty Images
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