How To Become A Health Coach.

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Lifestyle, Podcast

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Click here for the full written transcript of this podcast episode.

I am often asked how somebody actually gets to the point where they can help people have better health – particularly when it comes to the eating part.

After all, even if you don't have the resources to attend medical school and become a physician, we still live in an era where you can become a personal trainer, nutritionist, dietitian, or health coach and still be able to help lots of people achieve better health, live longer and feel better.


So in today's podcast, I interview Maria Marlowe (pictured right), who is certified through the “Institute for Integrative Nutrition“, which is the world's largest nutrition school.

Maria graduated at the top of her class, summa cum laude, from Fordham University with a BS in Finance and Marketing. After landing a coveted finance position after graduation, she quickly decided that industry wasn’t for her, and pursued her passion for the healing power of food.

She attended the Natural Gourmet Institute to learn raw food preparation, and became a Certified Health Coach through Integrative Nutrition. She is a regular contributor to The Daily Love, Wellness Today, and Mind Body Green, and has been featured in Shape, Well & Good NYC, and New York Press. She is currently working towards her Masters in Human Nutrition and resides in New York.

In this interview, you'll learn:

-What a health coach is…

-How to become a health coach…

-How being a health coach is different than being a nutritionist or an RD…

-What a typical day in the life of a health coach looks like (including the video below)…

-How much it costs to become a health coach…

-How much money a health coach makes…

-And much more!

Do you have questions, comments or feedback about how to become a health coach? Leave your thoughts below, and be sure to check out the Institute for Integrative Nutrition!

Ask Ben a Podcast Question

31 thoughts on “How To Become A Health Coach.

  1. Converse says: Stuart Weitzman Pumps

  2. Karen Leader says:

    Thank you for sharing the tips and guides on how to become an effective health coach.

  3. camille says:

    Hi Ben! I’m a huge fan of yours.
    I’ve been reading a lot and following your podcast and i got really interested in human nutrition, specifically in gut health and its connection with the brain. I would like to study nutrition, preferably online, do you recommend any online nutrition certification/degree? Thanks!

  4. Ashley Welcome says:

    Let me share to you how IIN changed my perspective in life and how theyve helped me become a health coach too. I hope you find time to visit my site. Thanks for sharing your experiences, Ben. :)

  5. Anthony says:

    I have to agree with Kj82, there are so many ‘health coaching’ courses out there. I considered doing one over here in Australia but felt that to give you the tools to answer those deep questions that some individuals may have you would really want to study nutrition and a bit of psychology. There are many emotional layers that come with trying to change people’s behaviour and if your not prepared or educated to be able to navigate through another persons mind like a psychologist would you could really mess things up. On the other hand, with enough motivational talk and inspiration anybody can change!

    Seriously though, how can you truly know what is right for somebody without having an education of the human body such as a Naturopath, nutritionist or chiropractor or holistic MD would?

    I really think that health couches should work alongside clinical practitioners to do the work that they don’t have time to do…

  6. kj82 says:

    Hey Ben, I'm a health coach and I follow your podcasts regularly. I have to say that I usually love your podcasts, and I was jazzed to see that you were going to talk about health coaching. But as I listened, I was pretty disappointed since it seemed like an advertisement for IIN. The IIN is one of many companies who train health and wellness coaches. I studied health coaching for my Masters thesis project, and I work full-time as a health coach. The main premise of true health coaching is the psychology of behavior change. It isn't telling people what to do or eat, but rather asking them what they can change in their lives and helping them develop self-efficacy. This is important for people to understand if they want to get into the business, and I didn't really hear that from your guest.

    I would encourage those interested in pursuing a health coaching certification to do their research on coach training companies, as there are MANY more than just IIN. While many companies offer a "certification," that means about as much as the words "all natural" on the outside of a food box. There will also soon be a national credentialing process to become a health coach, which may play a factor in some folks' decisions. More information on that credentialing can be found by googling the National Consortium for the Credentialing of Health and Wellness Coaches. When you look at the key individuals leading this consortium, you'll find a number of coach training programs who should eventually be credentialed. As far as I know, the IIN isn't on that list; which for me, was one of the many reasons I decided to train with 2 of the other companies (both which were loads cheaper than IIN anyway).

    Just wanted to add an alternative viewpoint to the discussion. Thanks for the great podcasts!

    1. Fair enough, Kristi. Thanks for the info!

    2. CourtneyR7 says:

      KJ, what were the 2 companies you decided to train with? Did you like one better than the other?

      I am very interested in pursuing something like this, as a complement to my Master's in Health Education, and while I find IIN intriguing, it did start to sound a bit like an advertisement and it is on the expensive side for a certification.


      1. kj82 says:

        Hi Courtney,
        Sorry for the delay. I completed trainings with both Wellcoaches and Mayo Clinic. They both follow the theory I described above. Wellcoaches is done via phone, whereas Mayo is done online with three days in Rochester, MN. I preferred the online process with Mayo Clinic, but it was alsoconvenient for me to get to Rochester since I live in Minneapolis. I've subscribed to your response, so let me know if you have additional questions and I'll respond!

    3. Sea says:

      Hi Kj82,

      I am curious, what other companies are you referring to?

    4. jonene says:

      I just completed my massage therapy licensing. I want to do more but I’m already in debt 40k and hate that 1 in 3 jobs require licensure. Being that health coaches are soon to be nationally certified, with who knows what requirements and, as you said, schools are as ample as all natural foods where does someone start to just get their know on

      1. Stay tuned for a really exciting announcement regarding my coaching recommendations!

        1. Mike nold says:

          Any news about your coaching recs??

          1. We are in the process of revamping and launching a new certification program, but anyone joining now has early access to the future program before the public launch. I noted your email and will send info soon. For now, you can still enroll in the Superhuman Coach Program. If you sign up for SHC now it will count towards the new Kion coach program and you'll get early access to the program before new applicants.

  7. mattalfie79 says:

    Hi Ben, quick question – I scanned the IIN website and can't find an answer to this. Is the IIN Health Coach program internationally recognized? Really interested, but I'm based in the Netherlands and would be ultimately wanting to work here… can I do so with this qualification?

    1. That type of info seems to be located here:… To find out specifically how that applies to the Netherlands, you may need to contact them directly.

      1. mattalfie79 says:

        Aha! Missed that. Thanks, will definitely be getting in touch with them. Great show, as always, btw.

  8. rlais says:

    Hey Ben, thank you for doing this podcast. I love all your podcast and I feel that nutrition and fitness is a career field that is right for me. I was inspired by Maria and am going to enroll in the IIN program. You mentioned adding the fitness component in addition to nutrition coaching. What programs would you recommend for personal training? They're are a bunch out there but which ones would be the most beneficial?

    1. This is the first one that comes to mind – But you would still need to get your personal training certification. For that I recommend NASM, ACSM, ACE or NSCA!

      1. jkdigges says:


        Which personal training cert do you recommend between the 4 that you suggested?


        1. Totally depends on your goals. I talk about this in my book here: Personal Trainers’ Guide to Earning Top Dollar

          1. jkdigges says:

            Awesome! Thanks for the prompt response – I will check it out.

  9. bonniecubfan10 says:

    Wow! I loved this podcast. I too have a similar passion for nutrition, cooking and sharing with people. I am very inspired and excited by this talk. Can't wait to check out the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. Thank you Ben and Maria.

  10. steve says:

    What about something like a traditional naturopath. I’m taking some classes at university of natural medicine and there curriculum is pretty in depth.

  11. Danielle says:

    Can you compare the institute of integrative nutrition to the Kalish Mentorship program?

    1. The Kalish Institute goes beyond nutrition and dives into functional medicine.

  12. parodimonica says:

    So, just few quick comment. I have realized that health coaching is a great way to go. I am an RD and wanted to clarify that although not all RDs are the same.
    There are many RDs who are real food, holistic RDs who are trying to make a difference. They also, like a health coach, integrate the importance of stress, sleep, exercise etc… explain everything, and give a few tips to put into practice between sessions and teach new things in follow up sessions too.
    I realize that not all RDs have the same approach, but many of us do :) So, to everyone out there be sure to not shy away from all RDs.

  13. Laura Link says:

    Hey Ben I wanted to share with you that I really enjoy your podcast and the wide array of information to share!
    I too am a health coach and I am employed by a company to provide health and wellness information and goalsetting to a fortune 500 company.
    I would love the opportunity to chat with you about how my day-to-day job is a little bit different and very similar.

    1. Jamal Green says:

      I just recently graduated colleges with a bs in sports science and fitness management. After doing some soul searching this summer I stumbled upon being a health coach. I love the concept of this career and it embodies what I want to do with my life spreading health and wellness ideas to positively impact lives. But I have no idea how to start or get my foot in the door. Could anyone help or give advice?

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