What is a Health and Wellness Coach?

What is a Health and Wellness Coach?

Health and Wellness Coaches (or simply Health Coaches) are wellness experts and mentors who help others feel their best through personalized diet and lifestyle changes. Health Coaches work with clients to help them discover the best wellness routines that work for them and empower them to meet their unique health goals.


What does a Health and Wellness Coach do?

Health Coaches take an integrative and holistic approach to health, looking beyond food to consider other areas of life that need nourishment, like career, physical activity, and relationships—what IIN refers to as primary foods. Health Coaches empower clients to better their health by providing a safe space to explore all aspects of their well-being, applying the primary food method and other unique IIN core concepts for a deeper understanding of health. Learn more about what Health Coaches do. 

What makes a Health and Wellness Coach unique?

Health Coaches view coaching as a lifestyle—they learn to coach themselves, and then tap into this experience to guide clients to become experts on their own well-being. Health Coaches can work with clients for many reasons, such as a desire to lose weight, boost energy, prioritize self-care, or create healthier relationships. Health Coaches are employed in doctor’s offices, gyms, spas, wellness centers, and even digital wellness platforms. Learn more about how Health Coaches differ from other types of nutrition experts.

Nicole Tasin
IIN Class: September 2016

What sets IIN Health and Wellness Coaches apart?

Integrative Nutrition Health Coaches earn the world’s most comprehensive holistic health and health coaching education, with a certificate that is globally respected and recognized by employers. They use their coaching and nutrition expertise to transform their life and career, such as pursuing board-certification with the National Board for Health and Wellness Coaching (NBHWC), applying their certificate for higher education or membership with our educational partners, or building a successful wellness business. Learn more about becoming an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach.

Aude Cravayat
IIN Class: March 2019

The World Needs Health Coaches

Nearly 30% of the world’s population are overweight or obese.

Doctors receive little nutrition training in four years of medical school.

Six million Canadian adults have high blood pressure, representing 19% of the adult population.

Research has found that health coaching helps patients improve health outcomes and manage chronic conditions.

A study found that health coaching is effective in reducing healthcare costs, and “patients aided by Health Coaches saved $412 [USD] per patient per month.”

Health coaching is right for you if:

You want to make a living doing work you love

Enjoy a fulfilling career where you can follow your passion for holistic health and nutrition, and make a real difference in people’s lives. If your family and friends always come to you for health guidance, you’re probably already health coaching in some capacity!

You want to enjoy unparalleled career flexibility

Build your own health coaching practice to fit your needs - part-time, full-time, online, in-person… it’s up to you. Health Coaches are increasingly shifting their practices to go completely digital to create the best work-life balance for themselves, their families, and their clients.

You want to earn a generous income

You can start facilitating coaching sessions with paying clients six months into the Health Coach Training Program, giving you the opportunity to earn while you learn, and charge an hourly rate that makes sense for you and your clients.

You want to find a variety of employment options

Institute for Integrative Nutrition graduates have gone on to work in doctor’s offices, wellness centers, gyms, spas, yoga studios, schools, private practices, natural food stores and more. They also start their own wellness businesses, write books, create healthy lifestyle products,
open restaurants, and even teach.

What are the responsibilities of a Health Coach?

A Health Coach’s responsibilities vary depending on whether you pursue a full-time coaching practice; support another health practitioner, such as a doctor, dietitian, or nutritionist; or start a business such as a healthy meal delivery service or wellness center. Those who become Health Coaches are passionate about health and often already work in the wellness field, adding value to their credentials, such as certified personal trainers and yoga instructors (though this experience is not required to become a Health Coach!). A Health Coach’s role is not to prescribe, diagnose, nor treat any specific condition—they support clients to implement changes recommended by their healthcare team, providing encouragement, accountability, and motivation to create healthier habits.

How to become a Health Coach

Benefits of Being a Health Coach

Create your own schedule and ultimate work-life balance.

Pursue your passion and build a wellness business that aligns with your life goals.

Use your entrepreneurial skills to create a lucrative career and an additional source of revenue.

Become a Health Coach with a Mission-Driven School

The Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN) is the longest-standing online health coaching and nutrition school with the largest global presence in health coaching.

Founded 30 years ago, IIN has become the leader in the Health Coach industry, with over 155,000 students and graduates in 175 countries. Back in 1992, holistic health wasn't a mainstream concept, and since then, IIN's pioneering mission to spread the ripple effect of health and happiness around the globe has taken root to improve the lives of hundreds of thousands of people.

We believe that food changes everything.

Teaching the deep values of holistic wellness and nutrition, we’re building a bottom-up movement to reverse the global health crisis, reduce chronic disease, increase health equity, and empower people to take control of their well-being. We know that in addition to healthy food, we must nourish ourselves through primary foods, the areas of life that affect our health as much as the food on your plate, such as feeling fulfilled in your career and joy in your relationships.

IIN is not just a school; it's a movement.

You are your first client, taking what you learn during your personal health transformation to support others on their own journeys—that’s the ripple effect in action. Our vision is to spread positive change in the world by training people to lead more balanced, healthful lives. Join a global movement that will unlock your potential to fully nourish, heal, and thrive in a life you love.

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Health Coach Training Guide

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