So you have decided to devote yourself to helping people get healthy. You are looking for online options for training and certification in nutrition. You do a search on the web and up pop a plethora of options. But how do you choose?
If you are someone who needs the convenience and flexibility of studying from home an online nutrition training may be the answer. But not all online trainings are created equal.
It’s important to spend some time contemplating what you seek in a program. What is important to you in a program? What do you want to learn? What do you hope to do with the certification?
Here are four tips for choosing an online nutrition program:
1. Does the school have a strong foundation in nutrition?
First and foremost a nutrition school must provide legitimate information regarding nutrition, health and lifestyle coaching.
It is possible to find online advanced degrees in nutrition that will require prerequisite classes in anatomy and physiology, biochemistry and nutrition science. This type of program will qualify you to work as a Clinical Nutritionist or a Registered Dietitian. Graduation requirements include clinical internships and years of required nutrition science courses.
But if you do not have the time or the money to devote to an advanced degree it is possible to train in less than a year to work as a health coach. These types of professional trainings provide students with a broad overview of nutrition and holistic health as well as a tool set in coaching.
Every health coach training is different. Some may be accredited. Others may not. It is possible to work as a health coach without attending an accredited program. But any good program will include the nuts and bolts of nutrition. You can’t be a health coach without a strong understanding of food.
The Institute for the Psychology of Eating, approved and regulated by the Colorado Department of Higher Education, sets itself apart from other online nutrition trainings in that we provide more than a strong foundation in nutrition.
We talk about relationships – to food, our bodies and ourselves. We are the only online nutrition program in the world that emphasizes the psychology of eating.
How do we do this? We train coaches in the field of Dynamic Eating Psychology and Mind Body Nutrition – both cutting edge fields that provide effective tools and protocols to successfully address the eating challenges of our day: weight loss, body image, overeating, binge eating, emotional eating, unwanted eating habits, and the most common nutrition-related health challenges, such as digestion, immunity, fatigue, mood, and more.
Our approach goes far beyond the common nutrition conversation called “eat this, don’t eat that”. We examine how the relationship between who we are and what we bring to the table profoundly impacts the metabolism of a meal.
A certificate from the Institute qualifies you to work as an Eating Psychology Coach. This title sets you apart in the sea of thousands of health coaches and nutritionists. It can give you a competitive edge.
2. What type of approach to nutrition does the school promote?
Many nutrition trainings will provide you with the basics in nutrition and ask you to apply those principles as “a one-size fits all” approach to your clients. Teaching clients the basics in optimal nutrition is helpful but ultimately only gets them so far.
There is plenty of information in the media regarding optimal nutrition yet many people still struggle to eat in a healthy way. If it were as easy as simply eating the right foods far fewer people would struggle with obesity and illness.
The Institute recognizes that each of us is unique. One dietary approach may work for one person and not another. And as coaches we are not here to dictate food plans and exercise schedules. Rather, Eating Psychology Coaches exist to help individuals find the best way to nourish themselves.
Here at the Institute we train coaches to ask powerful questions to help individuals become the experts of themselves. This is not a top down approach where clients are told what to do. Instead, our coaches lead clients to uncover a new way of being in the world. By arriving upon answers themselves, clients can make change that is sustainable. It is here that true transformation can begin.
3. Does the school provide training in business development?
If you are changing careers or just starting out as a coach it can be confusing to know how to get started. How do you find clients? How do you get the message out regarding your talents and offerings? How do you showcase your business acumen?
Many online nutrition trainings will cover the basics of health and nutrition, but when it comes to getting your business started you may be on your own. This can be especially frustrating for anyone who is computer shy with no Internet savvy. In this day and age health coaches can best succeed with a website and a knowledge of marketing and social media.
Here at the Institute we provide coaches a bonus business module that is free of charge to anyone in our training. We recognize the importance of helping coaches get started. We go over and above to help coaches find success.
How do we do this? Our bonus business module has everything you need to know to build a successful business. We cover everything from building your brand, to defining a business model, to marketing, blogging, newsletters and social media strategies. We also provide copy for your website to help you communicate and define what sets you apart as an Eating Psychology Coach.
The Institute is a school that truly exists to help you, the coach, succeed. We arm you with cutting-edge nutrition knowledge and coaching skills then give you the business tools to allow your gifts to shine.
4. Does the school have a strong community?
Enrolling in distance learning program is a different experience than attending a brick and mortar school. You are learning in the comfort of your own home, but sometimes it can feel isolating and as if you are going through the program alone.
Sharing in the experience with other students is crucial to helping new coaches grow in both confidence and skill. Connecting with fellow students also becomes important after graduation as you work to network and grow your business.
Here at the Institute we take community seriously. We are a heart-centered, hands-on, high touch program that prides ourselves on creating a culture of inclusion and involvement.
The Institute is committed to keeping the school small and takes students by application only. This means we are concerned with the heart of each student. We attract students who are committed to changing the discussion on body and food. We like game-changers, transformers, leaders and people who like to think out of the box.
We offer Facebook groups for each cohort of students and staff monitors and participates in all of our online forums on a daily basis. Staff is also available to answer questions via e-mail and assist with technology.
In addition, the Institute offers an optional live event at the end of each training that is free. Students simply need to pay their travel and lodging. Live events allow students to make lasting business connections and lifetime friends.
Finally, students have the chance to interact with Marc David – the head of the Institute – in two live classes each month. This gives students unprecedented access to a visionary thinker like Marc whose driving purpose is arming students with tools to help people heal their relationships with food, their bodies and themselves.
So as you consider your options for an online nutrition training think about what is most important to you. If you are looking for a cutting-edge nutrition program with a strong community, a business development module and a mission to change the discussion on food, body and health then the Institute for the Psychology of Eating might be the right school for you.
The Institute for the Psychology of Eating
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P.S. If you haven’t had a chance to check out our FREE information-packed video series, The Dynamic Eating Psychology Breakthrough, you can sign up for it HERE. It’s a great way to get a better sense of the work we do here at the Institute for the Psychology of Eating. If you’re inspired by this work and want to learn about how you can become certified as an Eating Psychology Coach, please go HERE to learn more. And if you’re interested in working on your own personal relationship with food, check out our breakthrough 8-week program designed for the public, Transform Your Relationship with Food, HERE.