ISSA Diet Certification Evaluate (2023)

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Having already earned my CPR/AED and CPT certifications through the International Sports Sciences Association (ISSA), I used to be wanting to discover different choices that would improve my talents and income-earning alternatives as a health skilled. As I expanded my shopper base at YouFit, the place I began working as a private coach shortly after getting my certification, I rapidly realized that few understood the fundamentals of diet. In reality, it was evident that many individuals want extra assist with determining the right way to gasoline their our bodies somewhat than the right way to transfer them.

I took benefit of the partnership between ISSA and YouFit and scored a reduced price on a specialization course: the nutritionist certification course. This certification course allowed me to achieve an in-depth understanding of the right way to put collectively an efficient diet program. Ripe with useful sources like video lectures, downloadable shopper varieties, and direct entry to ISSA’s resident diet skilled, the course accommodates all of the instruments it is advisable to not solely move the ultimate examination, but additionally turn into a extra assured and succesful well being and health coach.

This ISSA diet certification assessment supplies a complete breakdown of the course supplies — together with the Health Diet textbook and chapter quizzes — and covers different key elements so you possibly can resolve whether or not to make the leap and buy the course. (Trace: It’s nicely price it.)

Key Takeaways

  • For about $650, the ISSA diet certification course is a sensible funding for private trainers and well being coaches who wish to develop their enterprise by providing a precious service to each present and potential purchasers.
  • Apart from going in-depth on scientific matters like macronutrients, micronutrients, metabolism, digestion, and hydration, this diet program additionally addresses vital areas like conduct change, objective setting, and motivation — all of which contribute to a shopper’s success.
  • Whereas the ultimate examination accommodates 100 multiple-choice questions and a six-part essay portion, it’s an open-book take a look at. You shouldn’t have any hassle assembly the 70 p.c threshold to move, particularly for those who make the most of the examine supplies and carry out nicely on the chapter quizzes.

ISSA Nutritionist Certification


  • Price: Begins at round $53.27 per thirty days
  • Course size: 10 weeks or fewer
  • Research supplies: Digital textbook, video lectures, quizzes, Diet Bootcamp
  • Minimal passing rating on remaining examination: 70 p.c

Check Price

What’s the ISSA Diet Certification?

Certainly one of many specializations obtainable by ISSA, their diet certification course is an effective way to get a leg up on the competitors and assist your purchasers crush their objectives quicker. For licensed private trainers like me who wish to present the very best science-backed steering on the right way to keep correctly fueled, it’s onerous to go incorrect with a program like this. It means that you can work at your individual tempo as you study all the pieces from figuring out a shopper’s splendid macronutrient consumption to assembling a well-rounded supplement stack to constructing a diet teaching enterprise.

A young man setting in a gym holding his ISSA Nutritionist certificate
Holding my ISSA Nutritionist certificates

Alongside the way in which, your data will probably be examined with chapter quizzes to see your progress. Pairing the Health Diet textbook with video lectures supplies a strong basis for studying you could construct upon additional with the assistance of a devoted Success Coach who you possibly can entry by way of e mail or by calling the ISSA help line throughout enterprise hours. Though I didn’t reap the benefits of this useful resource, having it obtainable definitely qualifies as a plus for this diet program, particularly for those who battle with a number of the extra science-heavy topics.

By the point you full the course and move the ultimate examination, you can be empowered to supply your dietary experience to purchasers who wish to lose fats, gain muscle, or just enhance their total well being and wellness. In spite of everything, acquiring your cert from a corporation that earned accreditation from each the Nationwide Fee for Certifying Businesses (NCCA) and the Distance Schooling and Coaching Council (DETC) offers validity and added worth to you and your rising enterprise.

RELATED: How to Become a Personal Trainer

ISSA Diet Certification Course Highlights

Registering for the ISSA Nutritionist course is step one in changing into a simpler licensed private coach and life-style coach. You’ll instantly achieve entry to a guided examine program that features the net model of the Health Diet textbook, practically 20 video lectures, and devoted chapter quizzes designed to arrange you for the ultimate examination. This system is supposed to be accomplished in 10 weeks, however as a result of you possibly can full the course at your individual tempo, you might be able to acquire your diet certification even quicker.

As you make your method by the course, you’ll achieve an in-depth understanding of all the pieces from vitality programs to fad diets to frequent vitamin deficiencies. Although the breadth of knowledge may appear overwhelming at instances, relaxation assured that you can be a superior coach by spending the time, cash, and vitality on seeing this diet program by.

When you full all of the quizzes, you’ll then have the ability to take the ultimate examination, which consists of 100 multiple-choice questions and 6 essay questions. You need to earn at the very least a 70 p.c total to earn a passing grade from ISSA. The take a look at is untimed (it took me about two hours) and open-book, so that you shouldn’t have an excessive amount of hassle hitting that mark in your first try.

General, I assumed the ISSA diet certification course was price it for a number of causes. First, I obtained all of the instruments I wanted to ship high-quality programming and steering for my purchasers, together with downloadable varieties. Second, I had the choice to make the most of sources like the net pupil discussion board and Diet Instructional Bootcamp for additional help. Lastly, it set me up for extra monetary success sooner or later by giving me one other avenue to earn earnings as a health skilled.

Who Ought to Get the ISSA Diet Certification

  • Coaches who search extra in-depth data on diet than what’s offered in customary private coach certification applications.
  • Coaches who wish to get higher outcomes from present purchasers or be better-prepared to assist new purchasers attain their objectives.
  • Entrepreneurial-minded people who wish to appeal to extra enterprise by offering a precious service that different trainers might not provide.
  • ISSA-certified private trainers who wish to fulfill their persevering with training unit (CEU) requirement and save on recertification charges.

Who Shouldn’t Get the ISSA Diet Certification

  • Anybody who needs to prescribe medical dietary remedy (treating medical situations with food regimen), as this doesn’t fall underneath the scope of observe for a diet coach.
  • Anybody who wishes to work as a registered dietician, which requires a bachelor’s diploma from an accredited supervised medical program, passing the Fee on Dietetic Registration (CDR) remaining examination, and completion of CEU necessities to keep up registration.
  • Licensed private trainers who’ve a proper training in sports activities diet or meals science, as they’ll doubtless already be conversant in a majority of the course materials content material.

RELATED: Nutritionist vs. Dietitian: What’s the Difference Between These Nutrition Experts?

How A lot Does the ISSA Diet Certification Price?

With none reductions, the ISSA diet certification usually prices simply north of $600. Bear in mind, although, that the group commonly presents specials all year long which will decrease that complete. You may also get monetary savings by pairing the ISSA CPT course with a specialization just like the Nutritionist course to turn into an authorized Health Coach for lower than $1,000.

Furthermore, ISSA makes it simpler for college students to afford their diet program by providing three fee plan choices. In case you somewhat not pay in full, you possibly can select between a six- or 12-payment setup. Not solely does that provide the flexibility to unfold out the whole price, however it additionally comes with the good thing about being interest-free.

ISSA Diet Certification Course Supplies

Registering for this self-paced course offers you entry to a wealth of examine information supplies and different helpful sources you possibly can even use after you earn your nutritionist certificates.

From video lectures that additional clarify a number of the matters coated within the on-line textbook to quizzes that reinforce key ideas and assist put together you for the ultimate examination, let’s check out what ISSA supplies college students:

Health Diet Textbook

That includes contributions from 9 people — together with Daniel Gastelu, ISSA Professor & Director of Dietary Sciences, and Adam Seal, a postdoctoral researcher at California Polytechnic State College’s Division of Kinesiology and Public Well being — the Health Diet textbook spans 19 chapters and is sort of 500 pages lengthy. Revised in September 2022, it’s well-organized and pretty user-friendly, with loads of pictures, tables, and graphs that present further context.

A young man reading a digital textbook from the ISSA Nutritionist course on his computer
Studying a digital textbook from the ISSA Nutritionist course on my pc

Whereas the chapters differ in size, most fall between 10 and 20 pages. Every one is separated into a number of sub-topics, with some that includes as few as two (Chapter 2: Cells, Organ Methods, and Digestion) and others being damaged down into way more sections. As an illustration, the chapter on protein covers 10 matters starting from protein’s position within the physique to the way it’s digested to why athletes want it for optimum efficiency.

Here’s a full listing of the chapters within the newest model of the ISSA’s Health Diet textbook:

  1. Diet
  2. Cells, Organ Methods, and Digestion
  3. Metabolism and Vitality Steadiness
  4. Carbohydrates
  5. Protein
  6. Fat
  7. Nutritional vitamins
  8. Minerals
  9. Water and Hydration
  10. The Position of the Diet Coach
  11. Levels of Change and Motivational Interviewing
  12. Consumer Evaluation and Objective Setting
  13. Enterprise in Diet Teaching
  14. Dietary Pointers
  15. Product and Complement Labels and Claims
  16. Dietary supplements
  17. Navigating Profitable and Trending Diets
  18. Particular Diet Situations
  19. References

As somebody who signed up for the certification course with a strong basis of the basics of diet, I nonetheless discovered the textbook to be a precious useful resource. That being stated, a number of the earlier chapters had been fairly science-heavy and never essentially essentially the most pertinent for a private coach. The chapters on cells and organ programs and metabolism and vitality stability made me really feel like I had been transported straight again to highschool biology — which wasn’t precisely my cup of tea.

Nonetheless, after getting by these extra sophisticated chapters, I discovered a majority of the textbook to be straight relevant to my position as a private coach and health coach. Positive, a number of the info on macronutrients had some crossover from the ISSA CPT course. However the in-depth materials on micronutrients, hydration, and the psychological and enterprise features of being a diet coach definitely gave me a extra well-rounded understanding of all the features it takes to steer a shopper in the fitting path.

From a training perspective, I notably appreciated the “Product and Complement Labels and Claims” chapter for offering detailed tables of the necessities wanted to make claims like “All Pure” and “Good Supply Of” on meals labels. Since most of the people is basically unaware of those intricacies that may have a significant impression on their well being and wellness, that is precisely the kind of simply digestible info that we as licensed private trainers want to coach our purchasers on.

Video Lectures

To complement the textbook, ISSA additionally supplies video lectures that spotlight key factors from complicated chapters. All through the 10-week guided examine plan, visible learners can brush up on their data by watching movies on matters like frequent digestive orders, protein bioavailability, easy vs. complicated carbohydrates, and psychology and meals advertising.

In complete, there are 19 video lectures included with the ISSA diet coach certification course. Nonetheless, as a result of most of them fall underneath the two-minute mark, you definitely shouldn’t (or can’t) depend on them to present you all the knowledge it is advisable to comprehend the related chapter.


The ISSA nutritionist program challenges you to show your understanding of the course materials by a sequence of 18 open-book quizzes. Every one accommodates 10 multiple-choice questions that stem straight from the textbook.

Whereas it’s vital to acquire a excessive rating in your personal understanding, there is no such thing as a minimal threshold it’s essential to meet. Plus, you possibly can take the quizzes as many instances as crucial. I discovered the vast majority of them to be pretty simple, requiring a mean of about half-hour or so to finish.

Talking of completion, it is possible for you to to entry and begin your remaining examination solely after you end all the 18 quizzes.

Nutritionist Instructional Bootcamp

In case you want extra help than what the textbook and lectures present, ISSA has you coated. The Diet Bootcamp takes issues to the subsequent stage with 5 weeks of direct entry to high-level specialists.

A slide showing a summary of what's included in ISSA's Nutrition Bootcamps and live office hours
A slide that summarizes ISSA’s Diet Bootcamps and workplace hours

In the course of the 5 hour-long video classes, ISSA Elite Coach & Senior Content material Developer Jenny Scott and Lionel College school member Dr. Alex Hoffman ship complete classes on examine expertise particularly geared toward sure chapters. For instance, their Week 5 Diet Bootcamp coated test-taking ideas, particular eventualities for diet teaching, and constructing a enterprise.

For extra individualized help, the duo hosted open workplace hours for 5 stay one-hour classes. Though I didn’t take part, different college students can profit enormously from getting direct solutions to their questions in preparation for the ISSA examination.

Consumer Varieties Library

Accessible within the “Downloads” part in ISSA’s pupil portal is a group of varieties and handouts that may make life a lot simpler for those who’re a private coach.

Right here’s what’s included:

  • Consumer Consumption Kind
  • Train Historical past Questionnaire
  • Train Bodily Exercise Readiness (PAR) Questionnaire
  • Well being Historical past Kind
  • Medical Historical past Kind
  • Three-Day Dietary Log
A screenshot of ISSA's dietary logs for clients
A portion of ISSA’s three-day dietary log

When you don’t have to make the most of these varieties, it may prevent a ton of time from having to create your individual. As a result of YouFit supplies private trainers with their very own varieties for gathering shopper knowledge, I didn’t use those obtainable by ISSA. However anybody who’s wanting to enter non-public teaching can depend on this useful resource and use the recognizable ISSA branding to carry prompt credibility when working with a brand new shopper.

Closing Examination for the ISSA Nutritionist Certification

When you’ve accomplished all of the quizzes and utilized the examine supplies, you need to be ready for the final stage of the ISSA diet certification program: the ultimate examination. 

Just like the ISSA private coach certification course, the examination for the diet course is untimed, that means you possibly can take breaks and decide again up the place you left off. However, the construction of the ultimate examination differs in that it consists of each multiple-choice questions and essay questions, reminiscent of describing and explaining the position of the three macronutrients and offering the beneficial dietary allowances for every. 

I discovered it to be tougher than the ISSA private coaching certification take a look at, particularly with the addition of a written portion. For transparency’s sake, I scored an 86 on the multiple-choice part and obtained 92 out of a attainable 120 factors on the essay part for a cumulative rating of 81 p.c.

Anticipated Research Time

ISSA breaks down the course into 10 weeks, with some weeks overlaying a number of chapters from the textbook. As a result of a number of the science-heavy content material might be difficult to grasp, you could spend extra time learning some chapters than others.

From my expertise, it took about an hour and a half of examine time per day for simply over a month for me to finish the course from begin to end. Nonetheless, health trainers who aren’t conversant in the fundamental tenets of meals science might have longer.

Cross Price

Simply how troublesome is it to hit that 70 p.c mark on the ISSA nutritionist remaining examination? With a move price of 85 p.c, it’s clear that the course supplies do a more-than-adequate job of getting college students able to earn their cert. Nonetheless, it’s fascinating to notice that the move price for the ISSA CPT certification examination is barely greater at about 90 p.c.

Retest Price

Don’t fret about any monetary ramifications for those who fail to move the ultimate examination in your first strive. The ISSA supplies one free retest for its diet certification program. And because the examination is open-book, you must have the ability to obtain at the very least a 70 p.c if you must retake it.

Nonetheless, for those who don’t move in your two free makes an attempt, there’s a $99 resubmission charge per subsequent try. 

ISSA Persevering with Schooling Necessities

In case you obtained your private coaching certification by ISSA, it’s essential to full at the very least 20 persevering with training models (CEUs) by workshops, seminars, different certifications, or different accredited actions each two years. Fortunately, going by their diet certification program won’t solely handle that 20-unit requirement, but additionally help you skip out on having to pay a $99 recertification charge.

Though that wasn’t the first motive I signed up for the course, I gladly welcomed this added bonus with open arms. And with my CEUs already taken care of, I can focus my efforts on getting the most effective outcomes for my purchasers.

Anticipated Wage

Diet teaching can be a strong profession selection if you know the way to market your companies. In accordance with, as of September 11, 2023, the nationwide common wage for a diet well being coach was $43,270. Most coaches can count on to make round $21 per hour, although that determine varies by state.

Whereas that wage vary received’t make you a millionaire, you possibly can increase your incomes potential by establishing a powerful on-line presence. Constructing a loyal following on social media and studying the right way to persistently reel in new purchasers by way of testimonials and fascinating video content material may help you stand out in a crowded discipline of licensed private trainers and diet coaches.

Different ISSA Certification Applications

Whether or not you wish to begin your profession as a CPT or add a specialization to your resume, ISSA presents a variety of programs you could full from the consolation of your individual house.

Along with Nutritionist, listed here are a few of their hottest health certification choices:

  • Grasp Coach
  • Elite Coach
  • Corrective Train
  • Health Coach
  • Licensed Well being Coach
  • On-line Coach
  • Bodybuilding Specialist
  • Powerlifting Teacher

Plus, there’s even a second nutrition-based program you possibly can partake in by ISSA: the Precision Diet Certification.

Precision Diet Certification

Ought to you end up in want of much more diet instruments, there’s another choice obtainable, albeit at a a lot steeper value. At a price of about $1,200, the ISSA Diet & Health Coach certification program means that you can acquire two world-class certifications because of a partnership with one of many greatest leaders within the health trade: Precision Diet.

Partaking on this two-part course means that you can earn ISSA’s top-rated private coach certification and Precision Diet’s Degree 1 Certification for a reasonably inexpensive value. You may take each programs at your individual tempo, and every remaining examination is open-book. Finally, although, for those who’re centered extra on coaching than delivering ultra-detailed diet protocols, you’ll be protected with signing up for the usual ISSA nutritionist course.


Like ISSA, the Nationwide Academy of Sports activities Drugs (NASM) has a pathway for private trainers to turn into licensed in diet teaching. Written and reviewed by 20 main specialists, the NASM Licensed Diet Coach Certification (CNC) curriculum consists of 24 in-depth chapters throughout three sections: Dietary Science, Conduct Change Methods, and Diet Teaching. The course culminates in an open-book remaining examination that accommodates 100 multiple-choice questions, which it’s essential to end inside 90 minutes.

To earn the NASM CNC, it’s essential to acquire a rating of at the very least 70 p.c. You’re allowed to retake the take a look at two extra instances if you don’t move initially. In case you fail all three makes an attempt, it’s essential to contact the Member Companies group by way of telephone to debate your choices. From a price perspective, NASM is barely dearer than ISSA, checking in at round $750. Nonetheless, the group additionally presents interest-free financing as an incentive.

NASM Nutrition Certification


  • Price: Begins at round $66 per thirty days
  • Course size: 4 to 10 weeks
  • Research supplies: Digital studying platform, observe quizzes, downloadable PDF model of the textbook
  • Minimal passing rating on remaining examination: 70 p.c

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In comparison with ISSA, the American Council on Train (ACE) presents a extra inexpensive possibility for diet certification. At slightly below $500, their Health Diet Specialist Program could be extra palatable if in case you have a restricted price range. Not solely does the course embrace an eBook, video lectures, and quizzes, however it additionally encompasses a podcast that goes by the main points of every stage of the conduct change course of.

Similar to ISSA, ACE requires college students to attain at the very least a 70 p.c on the ultimate examination to earn a passing grade. Not solely do you get to take the take a look at at house, however you might be allowed limitless retakes. Understand that as a result of the ACE diet program is a seamless training course, it’s essential to already maintain an NCCA-accredited certification to have the ability to make the declare of “specialist.” 

ACE Fitness Nutrition Specialist


  • Price: Begins at round $367
  • Course size: 25 hours (round 4 weeks, relying on how usually you examine)
  • Research supplies: Health diet guide, video lectures, podcasts, quizzes
  • Minimal passing rating on remaining examination: 70 p.c

Check Price

Parting Ideas on the ISSA Nutritionist Certification Program

As somebody who underwent a significant weight-loss journey, I can sympathize with those that battle to get their diet proper. Nonetheless, going by the method of shedding 75 kilos and discovering my calling as a private coach and health coach taught me how vital it’s to concentrate on all the pieces you set into your physique. Constructing off that first-hand expertise by taking the ISSA nutritionist certification program sharpened my expertise and data, opened extra doorways to make more cash, and most significantly, put me in a stronger place to assist different individuals obtain their very own physique and well being objectives.

So, for those who’re able to take your profession as a health skilled to the subsequent stage, don’t hesitate to join a specialization program that each you and your purchasers can profit from for years to come back.

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