How To Pick The Right Nutrition Coaching Certification

...Gain the right knowledge and skills- while saving time and money with this guide.

Written by: Dr. Marc Morris Ph.D CSCS

Ever since I started helping nutrition coaches grow their businesses- there has been one question that floods my inbox.

And that is: “What is the best nutrition certification?”

After almost 15 years in the industry I have heard of hundreds of different nutrition certifications, and even created my own, The Dr Marc Method. 

But when it comes to choosing the best certification, it all comes down to what you want to do, who you want to help, and the specific pay-off you’re looking for. 

That’s why today I am going to review the most popular and highly regarded nutrition certifications out there- to help you make the right choice. 

Starting with..

#1 NASM Nutriton Certification

 In the personal training space, NASM is revered as one of the top certification bodies.

But NASM doesn’t just focus on personal training- you can also become a NASM Certified Nutrition coach.

Here are the pros and cons of this certification:


  • Comprehensive Curriculum 

The NASM nutrition certification course, like PN and others, goes in depth about the science of nutrition and behavior change strategies.

This makes it a great option for those who may be getting certified in nutrition coaching for the first time, as you will learn all of the fundamentals of nutrition science.

  • Internationally Recognized Certification

NASM is an internationally recognized certification body. 

Meaning that your credentials will be widely accepted for continuing education, and for employment options if you plan to work in gyms and health clubs.


  • Limited Accountability and Feedback

Like other certifications on this list, the NASM certification is a self-paced course that you do on your own time.

This means you aren’t getting live feedback, mentorship, and accountability the way you would in a certification program.

  • No Business Development 

The NASM certification is solely focused on teaching you the science of nutrition, and behavior change. There is no information on getting clients in this specific course.

If you’re looking to learn how to get clients- you will want to look elsewhere.

Who is the NASM Certification Best Suited For?

The NASM Nutrition Certification is best suited for coaches just getting into the nutrition space, or who need the background of nutrition science. 

If you are already a trainer or nutrition coach, this course will be a lot of the same information you’ve already learned- finding an alternate certification that helps you hone in on specific skills like business, marketing, or client results would be a better option.

 #2 Precision Nutrition

 The next certification program we will cover is Precision Nutrition’s Level One Certification.

If you google "Nutrition Coaching Certifications", PN will be at the top of the search results. 

In the nutrition coaching industry, Precision Nutrition is by-far the most popular nutrition coaching certification- but that doesn't mean it's the best fit for everyone.

Here are the pros and cons of the Precision Nutrition Certification:


  • Self Paced Course

The Precision Nutrition Certification is delivered online through a self-paced course that you can complete from anywhere, on your own time. 

You will be provided study materials like a textbook, workbook, and online study portal. 

All of these tools make completing the material simple, without the pressure of a strict deadline for those who may be limited on-time.

  • Habit Based 

Precision Nutrition's coaching philosophy is centered around helping your clients make habit changes to get results.

In the PN curriculum, you will be presented with strategies that will influence your client’s habits, in order help them reach their goals.

For example, PN was the one to popularize the “Hand Portion Sizing Guide” that many coaches use today. 

If a holistic, habit based approach to coaching sounds enticing to you- then you’ll enjoy Precision Nutrition.

  • Internationally Recognized Certification

Precision Nutrition is an internationally recognized certification that holds extensive credibility in the health and wellness industry.

This means you will have no problems using this certification for continuing education, and it will look great on your resume to clients and employers. 


  • Too Much Information

The MOST CONSISTENT feedback I get from nutrition coaches that have taken PN Level 1 is, “I learned a lot, but I’m not sure how to apply it, or what to do next”.

In the Precision Nutrition curriculum, you will learn a lot of information. You’ll learn the science of nutrition, strategies to use with clients, and you’ll get access to dozens of worksheets and questionnaires to use in your coaching practice.

While information is great, having a system to get clients the results they are paying you for, is better.

There is almost too much information in PN’s curriculum, and not enough of an emphasis on how to apply what you’re learning in a realistic client scenario. 

This leaves you constantly second guessing yourself, confusing your clients, and sifting through textbooks and worksheets to figure out how to go forward in a difficult client situation. 

In my nutrition certification, the DRMM, about 80% of my students are actually PN certified coaches.

 And the majority come to me because they are having a hard time getting their clients results, and if they are successfully using the PN system, they cannot scale their business due to the time and effort each client takes.

Who is Precision Nutrition Best Suited For?

After my research and working with PN grads for years- I would say Precision Nutrition is best suited for someone starting out with nutrition coaching, or for someone who wants to incorporate a more holistic and habit based approach into their coaching.

I would also consider PN if you plan on working in gyms or health clubs, as the PN name is widely accepted by most employers in the wellness space.

However, if you are a coach looking for the exact steps and strategies to help clients reach specific body composition results, or you want to focus on growing your business and getting new clients- I would consider another option.

#3 The Dr. Marc Method

The Dr Marc Method is a Nutrition Coaching Certification Program created by myself, Dr Marc Morris, a PHD in Human Nutrition, and nutrition coach.

The DRMM method is designed for both new and experienced coaches who want to learn the science of nutrition, systems to get client’s results, and grow and scale their nutrition coaching business in 90 days.

Here are the pros and cons of this certification:


  • The DRMM is a Program, Not Just a Course.

In the DRMM my coaches and I work hands on with our students to answer their questions, provide feedback on coursework, and lead 4 live calls a week that students can attend.

You’re not just taking a course, you’re using the coursework to build out your business in real time, with the help of expert nutrition coaches in the trenches with you. 

This is the process that’s worked for me, thousands of my own nutrition clients, and the coaches we certify. It will work for you too. 

  • Business Development and Marketing 

Not only do we teach you how to get clients results, we also make sure your business is set up for success by teaching you how to create business systems, and how to get clients. 

We show you a step-by-step system to follow from the point of first contact with a client, to actually working with a client, and troubleshooting setbacks. 

We provide the systems and templates to get you going, saving you tons of time. 

Lastly, we focus heavily on marketing your business on social media, and developing sales skills. 

There’s nothing worse than having all the knowledge and passion in the world to coach others- and no one is interested in working with you. That’s why focusing on marketing and sales is key.

  • Results Focused

The DRMM is entirely results-focused. We not only want you to get results in the program, but we want your clients to get results as well.

Most nutrition certifications load you with information on science, and an overwhelming amount of strategies to get results- but have no step by step system to repeat with each client.

That’s why we actually give you a repeatable step-by step coaching process that will get your clients results, leading to happy clients with life changing transformations.

  • Real World Application

In the DRMM we firmly believe the fastest way to learn is through real world experience.

That’s why to graduate from the program, you are required to take on a test client to coach while under our guidance. 

This allows you to test your comprehension in real time. If you hit any snags, our team of experienced coaches is here to help you out.


  • Deadline to Complete

Since the DRMM is a structured program designed to get you results fast- you only have 90 days to complete the DRMM program. 

For most- this is a plus because you get to focus entirely on building your business, so you can be successful, as quickly as possible. 

However, if you are looking for a self-paced course that you can complete over a long period of time- this isn’t it.

  • CEUs

Since we are a newer certification company- we are not yet widely accredited- which may affect certain CEUs, and potentially employment opportunities if you plan to work in gyms or health clubs. (Although many of our past students have not had any trouble with this.)

We are currently accepted for continuing education credits by NASM, AFAA, Canfitpro, NCSF, and ISSA, but you may want to check with your certifying body to make sure we are accepted.

Who is the DRMM Best Suited For?

There’s a reason why our students keep coming back. The Dr. Marc Method is three certifications in one - nutrition, business, coaching, with the intent to get you results. 

The DRMM is best suited for people who are passionate, know they want to help others, and make money doing it. When you value you that, you don’t have time to waste. 

If you are someone looking for just a self paced course, or you just want to dig into the science of nutrition exclusively, this may not be the option for you.

Want to Learn More?

Learn more about how the DRMM can help you increase your confidence as a coach, and make you more money.

Learn More >>

#4 ISSA Nutritionist Certification  

 The ISSA is a personal training certification company that is recognized around the world.  

While they may not be as recognizable as ACE, or NASM, they made a name for themselves by being one of the first certification companies that would allow you to get certified completely online.

Along with their many training certifications- they also offer a nutrition coaching program called the ISSA Nutritionist Certification. 

Here are the pros and cons of this certification:


  • Comprehensive Curriculum 

The ISSA Nutritionist Certification course, like Precision Nutrition and others, goes in depth about the science of nutrition, and behavior change strategies.

This makes it a great option for those who may be getting certified in nutrition coaching for the first time, as you will learn all of the fundamentals of nutrition science.

  • ISSA's Nutrition Educational Bootcamp

In the certification you'll have access to ISSA's Nutrition Bootcamp- which is a series of seminars and live study sessions to help you learn the material, and pass your exam.

Students of the ISSA Nutritionist Certification say that this feature is a helpful way to comprehend the information they are learning in the course.


  • Lack of Business Development 

In the ISSA nutritionist certification, there is a small section on how to market your business at the end of the course, but it’s very general information you could find anywhere.

If your current focus is learning how to grow your business- you may want to seek out another certification or program that focuses more on marketing and sales.

  • General Nutrition Information

If you are a newer coach who hasn’t studied the fundamentals of nutrition yet- this course would be great.

However, if you are a coach who has taken nutrition courses before and you want to go beyond the basics and learn how to get specific results, or work with specific populations- the ISSA certification might not be for you.

The ISSA certification, while thorough, presents generalized nutritional information, that is available in all nutrition certifications, and even personal training courses. Making it a great place to start with nutrition coaching, but not to expand your skillset.

Who is the ISSA Nutritionist Certification Best Suited For?

The ISSA Nutritonist Certification is best suited for coaches who are just getting into the nutrition space, or who need the background of nutrition science. 

If you are already a trainer or nutrition coach, this course will be a lot of the same information you’ve learned before- so finding another certification that helps you develop specific skills like sales, marketing, or client results would be a better option.

Want to Learn More?

Watch the full video where I break down how to choose the best Nutrition Coaching Certification here.

Watch Now >>

#5 The Biolayne Nutrition Certification by Clean Health

Australian based certification company, Clean Health, has created a nutrition coaching certification with one of the internet’s favorite coaches, Layne Norton.

The Biolayne Certification teaches you the science of nutrition- with a focus on helping your clients reach specific body composition goals like weight loss and muscle gain.

Here are the pros and cons of this certification:


  • Results Focused

The Biolayne certification is focused on giving you the tools and confidence that you need to get your clients results.

While most certifications focus on the science of nutrition, Biolayne’s certification spends just as much time teaching you how to apply that science with real clients.

This is great because as I have mentioned before, nutrition coaching is a results based business, so having the tools and strategies to get your clients great results consistently is a must.

  • Advanced Nutrition Knowledge

The Biolayne certification goes beyond nutrition coaching for general population clients. The second half of the course is focused on coaching clients for contest prep, show day nutrition, etc. 

If coaching physique competitors is an interest of yours- you could get a lot of value from this course. 


  • Limited accountability and feedback

Like other certifications on this list, the Biolayne certification is a self-paced course that you can do on your own timeline.

This could be a pro if you are someone who is strapped for time.

But it also means you aren’t getting live feedback, mentorship, and accountability in the process, in the way you would in a certification program.

  • Advanced Nutrition Knowledge

The next con, is that this course contains a lot of more advanced content, specifically for coaching clients who are competing. 

While this is great for coaches who train these types of clients, for a nutrition coach that wants to focus on helping general population clients lose weight and improve their health, or even work with athletes outside of physique sports, this course may contain a lot of content that won’t be useful. 

  • Lack of Business Development

Like most nutrition certifications and courses, there is a small section at the end of the Biolyane course that goes over branding and sales techniques for fitness professionals- but that’s about it.


Who is the Biolayne Certification Best Suited For? 

After reviewing the Biolayne Certification, I find this program is best suited for coaches who want to learn how to get clients body composition results, and potentially take it further- coaching physique athletes. 

I do not think this course is best suited for coaches who want to focus on growing their business, as the business development portion of this course is limited.

#6 MNU

 MNU is a highly regarded nutrition certification based out of the UK founded by Martin MacDonald.

MAC Nutrition University provides an entire 12-month course that you can complete fully online or in-person (if you live in the UK) when you sign up for the Live with Honors extended course. 

Both programs have pre-requisites, so do check what kind of experience, knowledge and qualifications you need to enroll. 


  • Extended Curriculum 

The MNU program covers all aspects of nutritional science, how to get clients results, as well as how to handle dietary deviations with clients.

MNU goes beyond working with general population clientele and also covers things to consider when working with elderly clients, PCOS, pre- and post- natal nutrition and more.

  • Hands on Mentorship 

In MNU you access tutors, and even some of the best health professionals in the industry to get support.  

When you sign up, you get access to a tutor, as well as access to live workshops that you can attend virtually.

If you are located in the UK- you can attend some events in person!

  • Internationally Accredited

MNU is a highly revered and internationally recognized certification. Giving you an advantage if you want to work in gyms, health clubs, or even clinics.

 Who is the MNU Certification Best Suited For? 

The MNU is best suited for coaches who want to take their knowledge to the next level, or coaches who want to specialize in certain areas of nutrition science that require more education, like training high level athletes, etc. 

This course may not be best suited for those who want to start working with clients as soon as possible, and for those who already can get results, but need help on their business and marketing strategy.

As great as all these tips are, if you’re really serious about starting a nutrition coaching business then the next thing you’re going to want to do is check out the video I have linked down below on the best tools to master client check-ins and save you time in the process. 

So make sure to check it out now and I’ll see you next time. 

Learn Hybrid Check-Ins

Learn how to check in more nutrition clients in less time...while making more money. 

Video >>