Nutrition Coaching 101 (A Beginner's Guide To Nutrition Coaching)

... Become a better Nutrition Coach and create the business of your dreams!

Written by: Dr. Marc Morris Ph.D CSCS

With the help of this article you’re going to BECOME a better nutrition coach. By learning the MOST important things you need to know about nutrition coaching right now. 

 You see nutrition coaching has been made to seem way more complicated than it actually is, and that’s largely because big nutrition certifications teach you knowledge that you can’t really apply with real people who want results.

AND The latest coaching apps presenting you with technology you don’t really need to work with clients.

And business coaches that want to take all your money in exchange for the promise to get more clients, only to realize you’re actually the client. 

With that being said, if you do want to get the best results possible from your nutrition coaching , you’re going to need to know and understand the strategies we’re going to talk about here. 

Today we’re going to simplify nutrition coaching, exploring its applications and offering effective strategies to elevate your coaching game.

Who is Nutrition Coaching For?

Anyone can be a nutrition coach, but I’ve been working in this field the last 12 years, teaching and certifying coaches for the last 5 and here’s what I’ve noticed.

Personally in my own nutrition coaching training, The Dr. Marc Method, we’ve seen 80% of our students are made up of two main groups.

1) Someone with a personal transformation story that wants to give back, and help people through the power of nutrition. (In the same way they’ve been helped.)

2) OR a fitness professional (like personal trainer, strength coach or group fitness instructor). Typically these people have audiences and clients that want these services, so it makes sense for everyone to offer it.

The remaining 20% are typically people in health care roles (nurses, doctors and rehab professionals).

But if you have a passion for nutrition and helping others improve their health, and you have an extra 5 hours per week, you can help 10 people and make an extra $2,000 per month.

How do Nutrition Coaches Help Their Clients?

Nutrition coaches help their clients, and improve their lives in so many ways, it's almost impossible to list them all.

But the main benefits can be summarized by the following:

1. Body Composition:
- Tailored strategies for effective weight and fat management, ensuring that your clients will have sustainable outcomes.

2. Targeted Performance Enhancement:
- Creating personalized plans to boost sports and fitness performance, aligning with your client’s individual goals.

3. Lifestyle Transformation:
- Extending beyond diet, nutrition coaching helps encourage sustainable lifestyle changes.

4. Mental Well-being Boost:
- Improving mood, enhancing mental clarity, and aiding in stress reduction.

Things to Remember:

Nutrition coaching operates within clear boundaries:

- No Medical Diagnoses or Treatment:
Nutrition coaching isn’t meant to diagnose or treat a medical condition. Although you could work alongside someone who is qualified do do either of those things, your recommendations should never be intended to treat your client.

- Accelerated Results Through Expertise:
Think of nutrition coaching as helping people in ways they could on their own. Your background, experience, and education makes your coaching valuable to get your client on the right track.

How do Nutrition Coaches Work With Clients?

Nutrition coaching methods vary based on coaches' backgrounds, experiences, and personal philosophies. The coaching style, goals, and beliefs of each coach influence how they coach their clients.

But here’s how most coaches do it:

Prescriptive Approaches:

Some coaches use specific methods like meal plans and macronutrient prescriptions. This can be challenging for you and your clients because meal plans are hard to stick to, don’t help your clients learn about nutrition and how their body responds to different foods, and it puts more responsibility on you if your client faces any health problems from the plan you gave them. 

Because of this, many coaches opt for a more flexible approach. They prescribe food levels or calories and macronutrients based on the client’s needs and goals, and structure their plan off of that. Flexible Dieting offers effectiveness, education, and freedom in food choices.

Alternative Approaches:

Beyond prescriptive methods, some coaches focus on habits, behavior change, and mindfulness in their clients’ nutrition. Habit-based approaches and Intuitive Eating, without a focus on changing body composition, have been gaining popularity.

Coaches fall on a spectrum between restrictive and freedom-oriented methods. Choosing an approach aligned with philosophy attracts like-minded clients. The most successful coaches choose one approach and coach a majority of their clients using that approach.

While there are philosophical differences when it comes to nutrition coaching, it’s still a results-based business. Coaches need systems for prescribing macro and calorie levels to monitor client progress. Having these systems makes it easier to track progress over time, which ultimately will bring your business more success because your client can see how they’ve made progress over time.

So how do you actually deliver your coaching to clients?

Want to Learn More?

Watch the full video breaking down how to become a better Nutrition Coach and create the coaching business of your dreams.

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How Do Nutrition Coaches Deliver Their Plans?

What sets nutrition coaching apart is its unique delivery system. The delivery of nutrition coaching makes it a service people desire, cost-effective, and devoid of unnecessary fluff.

The basis of nutrition coaching lies in providing valuable results through a streamlined coaching delivery, offering clients exactly what they want at a price they are willing to pay.

But what makes nutrition coaching truly exceptional is its focus on practical application rather than overwhelming clients with information.

Compare it to the first day of soccer practice. Your coach isn’t going to give you a rundown on the history of soccer. Instead they’ll set up drills that will actually help you build the skills you need for the game.

This is what it looks like in Nutrition Coaching:

>>> Start with an assessment that shows a client what’s holding them back from their goals.

>>> Set them up on an initial plan based on what needs to happen for them to reach a result.

AND then

>>> The coaching is carried out through future correspondence, with adjustments and tracking of progress.

Typically what happens next is the weekly check in process.

How Do Nutrition Coaches Perform Check-ins?

Every 7 days on a pre-scheduled day (i.e. your on Monday check-ins), the coach will collect some predetermined data, like body weight averages (ideally collected at the same time and under similar conditions) so they can assess trends. But also any performance metrics, from the gym or sports.

And some subjective feedback on hunger, energy levels, sleep and stress (usually with sliding scales like (1 - 5) or (1 - 10), so these metrics can be compared weekly).

All of this information allows the coach to track progress, and feedback on how the client is doing. They also measure adherence, which is how well the client is sticking to the plan.

From there they make adjustments to the plan. These can be to food levels - meaning taking food away, adding food in, from a calorie, macronutrient but also food choice perspective. Most coaches don’t make these changes too frequently, because they need to give it enough time to truly see progress.

But what happens more frequently is the coach will make suggestions to improve adherence or remove barriers to success. This is the art of coaching. Getting a client to stick to things, motivating them to take action in bite size steps.

Usually this feedback will be returned within 24 hours of the check-in being submitted. Most of the time this is done through email, so the client doesn’t need to “meet” with the coach.

From there, the client and coach may go back and forth a few times for clarity.

We have actually created a check-in process that does all of this within 5- minutes.

It gets better results for our student’s clients, in a quarter of the time, and CLIENTS RAVE about the service.

If you want a free training on the “HYBRID” check-in, Click Here to check it out.

The “week” timeframe is the sweet spot for this process. It gives enough time for the client to try out the plan and assess if it’s working, and not too much time that both parties aren’t close to the process.

How Much Do Nutrition Coaches Charge for Coaching?

Most nutrition coaches offer their services on a monthly basis, and the rates can vary based on their experience and specialization.

Here's a breakdown of the average monthly rates:

  1. New Coach: $150 - $200 per month
  2. Experienced Coach: $200 - $350 per month
  3. High-ticket, Specialized Coach: $350 - $600 per month

Keep in mind that these figures are averages, and pricing is subjective.

Some coaches may also offer discounted packages for clients who commit to longer timeframes, such as 3, 6, or 12 months. Committing to a longer duration is often seen as necessary for achieving lasting and impactful changes in one's nutrition and overall well-being.

Why Timeframe Packages?

Nutrition coaches often sell their services in packages with set timeframes. Your client isn’t going to get the results they want in one month. Long-term commitment allows both the coach and the client to work together consistently, implementing sustainable changes over time.

How Do Nutrition Coaches Get Clients?

Now that we've covered the financial aspects, let's briefly explore where nutrition coaches often find their clients. Coaches use various strategies to connect with people looking for guidance in their nutrition.

Social Media

Many coaches use platforms like Instagram, Facebook, or TikTok to share valuable content, success stories, and attract potential clients.


Building relationships within the fitness and wellness community helps coaches connect with individuals who are actively looking for nutritional support.


Satisfied clients often refer their friends or family, contributing to a coach's client base through word of mouth.

Nutrition coaching is a journey for both coach and client, offering a path to better health, improved lifestyles, and lasting results.

I hope this guide provided insight into the foundations of nutrition coaching, from its applications to effective strategies for success.

Whether you're aspiring to become a nutrition coach or seeking one for your personal journey, understanding these principles is a crucial step towards getting the most out of nutrition coaching and building the nutrition coaching business of your dreams!

Learn Hybrid Check-Ins

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

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