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Certified Nutrition Coach-CNC

Certified Nutrition Coach-CNC

Gain the knowledge needed to deliver top-quality nutrition coaching for any level of client. 

Become an NASM Certified Nutrition Coach

The NASM Certified Nutrition Coach (CNC) is your education solution for guiding clients toward optimal nutrition choices for health- and wellness-related outcomes. The course arms you with evidence-backed nutrition science that has been peer-revie



There are no prerequisites for the Nutrition Certification. But we always encourage preparing for a career in nutrition by familiarizing yourself with the many nutrition courses NASM has to offer. 

Section 1: Nutritional Science


  • Chapter 1: Introduction

Learn about the role of a Nutrition Coach and how the NASM Nutrition Certification can help enhance your career.

  • Chapter 2: Scope of Practice

Understand a Nutrition Coach's scope of practice, professional expectations, and differentiate among related nutrition professions.

  • Chapter 3: Evidence-Based Nutrition and Practice

In this chapter, you'll learn the importance of evidence-based practice as a nutrition specialist, the difference between basic scientific principles and methodology, and how to define scientific research processes.

  • Chapter 4: Food Preference and Influences
  • Understand the effects of nutritional intake on individual health, identify the role of dietary habits in overall health, and describe factors that influence dietary patterns. You'll also be able to recognize the dangers of a one-diet-fits-all approach and identify how different factors can influence eating patterns.
  • Chapter 5: Energy Balance and Metabolism

This chapter explores how macronutrients fuel activity and bodily functions, as well as how to balance the energy in versus energy out equation. You'll understand the First Law of Thermodynamics, energy balance, and energy systems.

  • Chapter 6: Protein

Protein is an important macronutrient that many bodily functions depend on. Learn the structure and function of protein, total daily protein requirements, and methods for establishing protein requirements in a dietary program.

  • Chapter 7: Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates provide energy for the body. Understand their structure and function, the digestion and absorption process, daily carbohydrate requirements, and more.

  • Chapter 8: Fats

Dietary fat has many important functions. In this chapter, you'll learn about the function and intake recommendations, healthy versus unhealthy fats, as well as key myths and hot topics related to fat.

  • Chapter 9: Alcohol

This chapter explains the digestion and absorption process of alcohol, as well as the physiological effects and methods for accommodating alcohol in a dietary program.

  • Chapter 10: Miconutrients

Micronutrients help maintain the metabolic processes required to produce energy. Understand the difference between water-soluble vitamins, fat-soluble vitamins, and minerals, identify common food sources, and learn to calculate daily recommended intakes and the values for each micronutrient.

  • Chapter 11: Hydration

In this chapter, you'll learn the compartmental aspects and shifts of water in the body following significant sweat losses. You'll also discover methods to help decrease excessive hypo- or hyper-hydration and learn about proper hydration strategies.

  • Chapter 12: Nutrient Timing

Discover appropriate nutrient-timing strategies for performance and for altering body composition, as well as the role that nutrient timing plays within an overall nutrition strategy.

  • Chapter 13: Supplements

Understand the role of supplementation across various goals, explain the strength of the evidence base for commonly used supplements, and learn to communicate with clients about the pros and cons of supplementation.


  • 110 Infographics


  • 14 Videos


  • 53 Knowledge Checks


  • 1 Printable Handout 
Section 2: Behavior Change Strategies


  • Chapter 14: Psychology of Weight Control and Behavior Change

In this chapter, you'll learn how psychology affects fitness and wellness. Identify barriers to diet and exercise, common eating disorders, and common client types used to develop customized programs.

  • Chapter 15: Coaching and Communication

It's important for Personal Nutrition Coaches to communicate in a way that positively influences adherence to their programs. You'll identify strategies for building rapport and use effective communication skills to elicit behavior change.

  • Chapter 16: Motivational Interviewing

This chapter explains motivational interviewing and strategies that are used to help clients understand the underlying reasons for their own change while affirming their motivation.

  • Chapter 17: Goal Setting

Understand different types of goals, the benefits of effective goal-setting, methods for providing feedback and tracking progress, and identify obstacles commonly encountered when setting goals.


  • 18 Infographics


  • 11 Videos


  • 16 Knowledge Checks 
Section 3: Nutrition Coaching


  • Chapter 18: Dietary Assessment and Body Composition Testing

In this chapter, you'll discover a step-by-step approach to assessing dietary intake and monitoring body composition. You'll compare body-composition assessment methods and understand the importance of consistency and accessibility.

  • Chapter 19: Food and Supplement Labels and Portion Size

Learn about the labeling standards for food and supplement products, as well as portion size recommendations.

  • Chapter 20: Helping Clients Navigate the Real World

This chapter explains strategies that can help clients make healthy food choices in everyday situations, such as at the grocery store or dining out.

  • Chapter 21: Navigating Diets

Learn the latest facts regarding diets and how they impact health, body composition, and athletic performance. This chapter explores many different diets and provides details regarding their safety and effectiveness.

  • Chapter 22: Nutrition Hot Topics and Controversies

An in-depth approach to explaining the science behind many of the nutrition hot topics and controversies faced by clients today.

  • Chapter 23: Managing Weight-Loss Plateaus and Maintaining Weight Loss

This chapter examines the science and psychology of weight-loss plateaus and how to help clients avoid this vicious cycle.

  • Chapter 24: Programming - Putting it All Together

Nutrition Coaches must have a foundational level of knowledge regarding nutritional science and behavior psychology. However, knowledge without action is virtually useless, especially when helping clients achieve their health-and-wellness goals. This chapter puts all of this knowledge into practice and details a step-by-step process for nutrition programming.


  • 62 Infographics


  • 16 Videos


  • 29 Knowledge Checks


  • 10 Printable Handouts 
Final Exam


After the completion of the course, you will take an online final exam from the comfort of your own home, or wherever you prefer to take tests. The test is 100, multiple-choice questions. You are allowed to go back and reference the course while taking the exam. The exam is timed and cannot exceed 90 minutes. To pass, you need a score of 70% or higher and you have up to 3 attempts to pass. 

Does getting my Nutrition Coach Certification make me a Nutritionist?

The short answer, no. The longer answer is that while it may sound similar, a Nutritionist is very different from a Nutrition Coach. A Nutritionist is limited in what they can offer their clients. In contrast, as a Nutrition Coach, you’ll stay plugged in to current trends and diets to help clients work through their individual needs.

When you sign up to become a Nutrition Coach through NASM, you learn how to navigate nutrition needs through three unique yet equally important modules:

• Nutrition Science: From proteins to fats, energy balance to counting macros, get a comprehensive look at the scope of your practice as a nutrition leader.

• Behavior Change: Learn how to use motivation and communication to enhance the psychology behind how we eat.

• Nutrition Coaching: Put everything together to create a personalized course of action for your clients. Whether it’s weight loss or weight gain, bulking up or maintaining where they’re at, you now have the keys to nutritional success. 

How many CEUs is the course worth and which organizations accept them?

 NASM-CNC is approved for Continuing Education Units (CEUs) by the following organizations:

NASM Provider logo

1.9 CEUs

AFAA Provider Logo

15 CEUs

ACE Provider Logo

3.0 CECs

CIMPSA Provider Logo

10 CIMSPA Endorsed CPD Points

Learning Hours/EREPS Logo

10 Learning Hours

What is the difference between NASM's Certified Nutrition Coach and Certified Sports Nutrition Coach?

A Nutrition Coach works with a more general clientele to develop strategies that address issues like obesity, body composition, aging, and lifestyle approaches to disease management. A Sports Nutrition Coach digs a little deeper, working specifically with athletes to educate and provide coaching around performance nutrition within sports.

While these two roles differ in the audience they serve, they do work hand in hand to provide a well-rounded understanding of nutrition.

To that end, our CNC course sets down an effective foundation in nutrition to build from, helping through a fundamental understanding of how to serve clients’ nutrition needs. From there, our CSNC program takes what you learn throughout CNC and builds upon it to target a specific client base to focus on strategies that impact performance and recovery. 

Can I do this program while working full-time?

Absolutely! You can complete the NASM Nutrition Certification while also working full-time. The study material is 100% online and self-paced, and can be accessed on a computer, or a mobile device such as a phone or tablet.

You can start anytime! Once you begin, you have one year to complete the course and take the final exam, which is more than enough time. On average, if you are studying 8-10 hours a week the course will likely take about 10 weeks to complete but can be completed in as few as 4 weeks. 

What is the NASM-CNC certification renewal process?

Renewal of the Certified Nutrition Coach (CNC) is required every two years through completion of the CNC Renewal Exam. The CNC Renewal Exam will offer three exam attempts and will have an enrollment duration of 365 days. The CNC Renewal Exam will recertify the credential for another two years from the new completion date 

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