Joining the Institute for Integrative Nutrition Health Coaching movement was the best decision we ever made.
The choice to become holistic health coaches through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition changed our lives (and personal health) forever. Sign up and we'll personally send you more information to talk it over.
What is a health coach?
A Health Coach is a supportive mentor who helps clients feel their best through food and lifestyle changes and personalized, one-on-one encouragement.
Why do we need health coaches?
Health Coaches are at the forefront of today’s health revolution, offering services and filling gaps that doctors, nutritionists and dieticians don’t have the time or resources to fill.
What did you honestly think of the IIN program?
We wrote an in-depth review of our experience at IIN. You might find it helpful!
What does a typical session with a client look like?
We give you a brief overview of how a session with a client looks like. You'll quickly learn we help with much more than just food.
Frequently Asked Questions
We have gotten tons of commonly asked questions. See if yours is answered here.
What the heck is a health coach?
“In recent years, a new and intriguing concept has emerged in the prevention and treatment of chronic illness: the Health Coach.” – CBS News
- A Health Coach is a wellness authority and supportive mentor who motivates individuals to cultivate positive health choices. Health Coaches educate and support clients to achieve their health goals through lifestyle and behavior adjustments.
- Health coaching is the fastest growing profession according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Our students become IIN ambassadors and start earning immediately.
What are health coaches desperately needed?
- 1.6 billion adults worldwide are obese and 366 million have diabetes. We spend trillions on healthcare and are still getting sicker and our life expectancies are getting lower.
- The existing healthcare system is just not sustainable. The future of healthcare is about education and prevention.
- Integrative Nutrition Health Coaches educate and support people around the world to find their way to better health through mind, body, and spirit.
- Health Coaches are at the forefront of today’s health revolution, offering services and filling gaps that doctors, nutritionists and dieticians don’t have the time or resources to fill.
Institute for Integrative Nutrition Review
If you know us gals personally, you know how much becoming health coaches has absolutely changed our lives. Sounds a bit cliche, but there is something special about pursuing what you are truly passionate about. Health & wellness had always been a priority for us on a personal level, but we didn't realize how fulfilling it would be to watch others change their lives for the better under our guidance. We will be forever grateful for the Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN) for giving us that opportunity.
Let's back up and start from the beginning....
To be completely honest, we didn't even know that being a "health coach" was a legitimate profession until we noticed a few people in our social circles pursing it as a career. They were so inspiring... one of our friends had left her big time corporate job in NYC to become a trainer and health coach (say what!?), and she looked so incredibly happy! We immediately reached out to these individuals to learn more about this up & coming career path. It just so happened that all of the people we spoke to had graduated from IIN, and LOVED IT.
And to be completely honest AGAIN, the three of us never looked at another health coaching certification program for comparison. In hindsight, that probably wasn't the smartest strategy (haha, we definitely recommend that you shop around to make sure this program is the right one for YOU, as there are lots of them out there now!), but thank goodness we have no regrets! IIN checked all our boxes: online school, workload was doable with full time jobs, lots of great reviews, superstar speakers, ability to take on clients quickly, and it was relatively inexpensive compared to going back to school. Botta bing, botta boom.
We enrolled in 2016 and didn't look back.
So, we enrolled in 2016 and didn't look back. At first, Julie actually didn't think she could swing it financially but thankfully she won a free scholarship to the school due to a hysterical video submission contest (the video lives on here- watch for a good laugh).
We chose to write this blog for those who are interested in the IIN program and who want to hear about someone's authentic account of their personal experience. We sincerely hope that you find this helpful. *Please note that we aren't here to sell you something, or to tell you what you want to hear. The three of us have always been super transparent about our journeys with IIN, and our honest thoughts will be reflected here as well.
Here are the program basics:
It was a 1-year long online course with a new module every week. The whole course is designed for people to complete it while they are balancing their crazy busy lives - like working full time jobs or being a mom, for example.
There were 4 open book tests. If you are watching the lectures and taking the important stuff down, you should be totally fine to pass the tests! They WANT people to pass, so the tests aren't over-the-top challenging (...which can be a good and bad thing, since it allows almost anyone to graduate with the certification).
Towards the end of the course, IIN offers 6 Coaching Circles, which are essentially conference calls with other students, lead by an experienced health coach. These calls were extremely helpful for us because we were able to try out our newly acquired skills on other students (nerve-wracking at times, but totally worth it!) and help answer common coaching questions. After completing these calls, we realized how important it is to put what we learned into practice.... and you only become a great coach by doing it over and over!
There is a broad variety of course material. Let's face it, when it comes to health and wellness, there are 1 million things to cover. IIN brings in serious industry experts for each specific topic -- from food experts to meditation masters to relationship gurus. Over 100 dietary theories are taught (time was spent on some more than others). We found our lectures to be fascinating... we seriously enjoyed learning about each new topic, so the modules never felt like a drag (we even preferred it over our typical TV shows!).
A great deal of the course is also dedicated to teaching you how to start a health coaching business. IIN will cover how to best structure your programs. They even give you a large file of templates to use while working with clients, how to keep your business organized, etc. It would have been very hard to start coaching without it.
You can start taking clients halfway through the program. It's a great side job and a nice way to earn some extra money. They say some students pay for the entire tuition cost before they even complete the program. (PS- If you ever wanted to do coach full time, you definitely could make a living off of it but it does take take a good deal of time and effort to build your client base up!)
Something that became apparent to us right away was that IIN doesn't tell you what to think...it teaches you HOW to think critically about the many dietary theories and all of health in general. This was super important because it helps you develop your own thoughts, rather than them pushing you towards one belief. They harp on the fact that every single person on the planet is unique ("one man's food is another man's poison"), so it's crucial to have an open mind and find what works best for you. There is no ONE WAY to live a healthy life. This notion really stuck with us, especially because even though we're sisters, we've come to learn that each of us requires a slightly different lifestyle from the other.
As the year-long program progresses, IIN encourages you to think about what topics spark your interest the most.
They invite you to continue education in that area after the program (whether that be through IIN Advanced Courses or another school/program). For instance, during our time at IIN, we fell in love with hormones and the female endocrine system. In fact, Carly and Alaina are now graduates of IIN's Hormone Health Course - defining our niche and target demographic to help others with hormonal imbalances. IIN also has other advanced courses in gut health, emotional eating, business, etc. While it's possible that you'll want to pursue furthering your education at some point in your life, we felt IIN was the perfect foundation to kickstart this new chapter of our lives off. We wouldn't have known where to start without it (maybe we would have never found our love for hormones!). That being said, we will definitely continue pursuing certifications as time goes on to further our credibility and to be able to service our clients to the best of our abilities. The basic program that IIN offers was NOT enough to specialize in the area of our liking.
In general, one of the things we loved about getting a health coach certification is that you can take it in lots different directions: personal coaching practice, health coach for a company/corporate wellness, make products, write books/articles, create a wellness-focused business, be a chef, etc. etc. It goes hand-in-hand with many other wellness professions, like personal training. The list can go on and on. You don't just have to coach clients. IIN showcases a lot of their alumni (some superstars like Robyn Youkilis and Purely Elizabeth) using the certification to pursue a number of career paths around the world! We felt that whether or not we decided to take this certification into our professional careers, IIN changed how we view and live our own lives - it was that powerful!
THINGS WE FELT WERE POTENTIAL DRAWBACKS:
It's important to note that this program is NOT for someone who is looking to:
Specialize in a certain area. In this program you will learn ALL of the basics in every topic (we're talking EVERYTHING) as the content is extremely broad. But on the flip side, it allows for people to figure out what niche (eating disorders, for example) inspires them the most. There are some people who feel that this is a major negative, but for us personally, we didn't mind because we were interested in all of it.
Go in-depth with science & studies. You definitely learn a good deal about food and dietary theories during the program, but it isn't very extensive (there just simply isn't enough time to cover it all). Since completing the program, we've done a TON of our own research through books, podcasts, etc. on food and other health-related topics to become more knowledgable for our clients and to stay up-to-date on the latest health information. There are some individuals who want to get into the nitty gritty with science (like down to the cellular level) for every module - if you are this person, we're not sure this program is for you.
Receive a medical or masters degree, or work in a clinical setting. After graduating from IIN, your title will only be a certified IIN Health Coach.
Create and distribute meal plans. This certification technically doesn't allow for meal plans, unlike a registered dietitian or nutritionist. IIN doesn't teach you about things like macronutrient counting, calorie counting, the in-depth science behind food, etc. Instead they encourage numerous ways of eating, whatever is best for the individual. IIN is more about teaching people how to develop a healthy lifestyle with simple, positive behavioral changes - such as eating more vegetables, lowering your sugar intake, swapping for health alternatives, etc. If you are looking to provide clients more detailed support around food, then we're not sure this is for you.
If you're all about a earning a hefty salary. Don't get us wrong, there are lots of people who make $$$$ from successful health coaching businesses (and props to them!!!!)... but as we mentioned earlier, you need to put in quite a bit of time and effort to build your client base to support yourself. It doesn't happen overnight and it's definitely a grind to get started! Coaching, however, is a great supplemental income if you are looking to do it as a side hustle.
The three of us were very aware of these shortcomings, but we still felt that the program was exactly what WE needed to get started in this field at that point in time. It all depends on what you are looking for and what will work best for you!
As we mentioned above, we highly recommend that you do your research and shop around between various coaching programs. During the due diligence process, some people find out that health coaching isn't even for them, and instead they are looking for something completely different...there is nothing wrong with that! You do you, boo.
Overall, the three of us thoroughly enjoyed our experience with the IIN program, and we've put our certifications to use right away.
We work with our own clients remotely, and also come together to work on certain projects and events (if we're EVER in the same city at the same time, haha). Carly and Julie both work full-time at their other jobs, and coach clients on a part-time basis, but with full-time love :) Essentially, the IIN certification has served us in such an unbelievably life-changing way, and we have no regrets (besides for not realizing our interest in nutrition and coaching earlier in life, of course! We probably would have picked different college majors!).
If you are interested in IIN, please contact us at [email protected] and we'd be thrilled to help you take next steps and answer any further questions. *As IIN ambassadors, we have access to exclusive alumni discounts to the program for future students.*
We hope you found this helpful! xx
What does a typical client session look like?
Let's say this is your first session with your client. They previously filled out your Health History form and sent it back to you. You take about 20 minutes to review the health history form and familiarize yourself with your client.
Your first 1:1 client session:
You will speak for 50 minutes with your client! Do your best to stick with this time limit because it can very easily go overtime. *It may help to set a timer!
5-10 minutes: Get to know your client! What's good and new? What is their significant other's name? Do they have a pet? Where are they from? What are their hobbies? What are their goals or why did they come to you for coaching?
You write all of these little things down, they are important. In fact, the entire session you should be taking notes!
30 minutes: Now it's time to go over their pre-filled-out health history form. This form fills you in on their diet, lifestyle, habits, and general health information about your client. As you read through the form, ask any and all questions you have and add more notes. This is important because you want to find out their lifestyle choices, habits and daily routines that may or may not be affecting their goals.
Throughout the session, you ask them high-mileage questions like:
- What are you grateful for?
- What's the best thing that's happened this week?
- What have you learned this week?
- What's been your biggest challenge this past week?
- What's your gut feeling about this?
- What does a good day look like?
- When do you feel your best?
- What's your biggest obstacle?
You let the client speak more than you and to dig deeper and deeper into what they said. Listening is a SKILL that health coaches have that is crucial to your clients success.
*Something to note: Sessions are NOT ALWAYS ABOUT FOOD! There may be sessions where you don't even touch on diet, however you coach them through relationship, finance, career and other struggle areas of their lives. (Health coaches are often confused for life coaches)
10 minutes: To end the session, you recap the most important topics you discussed. Then you ask, "What are 1-3 things that they want to work on for the next 2 weeks based on what we discussed?". You can give your knowledgeable suggestions but the most important part is that THE CLIENT picks what they want to work on. You want them to WANT to work on themselves because you'll have the highest chance of success.
Take 2-minutes to also schedule your next phone call 2-weeks from the session. Trust us when we say, DO THIS ON THE CALL (not afterwards) and schedule it into your calendar.
After you end the call, or FaceTime with your client, it's time to organize a recap of what you spoke about and take note of the 3 goals your client set for him or herself. IIN gives you plenty of resources to help you organize your sessions. *As you become a more experienced health coach, you'll most likely want to organize your own papers with your company branding!
Send a recap email to the client. Our clients have said that our emails were extremely organized, thorough and helpful to refer back to (some clients even printed them out!!) Recap what you spoke about, the 3 goals they set for themselves, any extra tips or motivation or resources you can provide them are extremely valuable. Have fun with it!!!
When it's all said and done, you will spend around 60-80 minutes prepping for the call, conducting the session, and recapping for one client session every two weeks.
This is a tentative schedule ALL subject to how you want to health coach your clients!
I've followed Balanced Beyars Heath Coaching since 2017 and have always admired their work ethic and wellness advice. They recommended IIN when I reached out about pursuing a career in health and wellness coaching -- something I'd been interested in for quite some time. The Beyars couldn't have been more helpful and the enrollment process was extremely simple. I'm halfway through the course and have had such an amazing experience (I've already found myself helping friends and family). The coursework is digestible and provides a well-rounded holistic and scientific approach. I highly recommend IIN to anyone interested in health coaching and improving their quality of life!
Sign up for IIN through Balanced Beyars and get special bonuses that you can't get anywhere else.
- $2,000 OFF your entire tuition if you pay in full
- $1,500 OFF your tuition with any payment plan
- FREE Balanced Beyars Trader Joe's Grocery Shopping Guide & Bangers Recipes eBook!
- 20% OFF discount to any of Balanced Beyars current online programs!
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Are you ready to enroll in the Institute for Integrative Nutrition?
We know it can be scary to take the leap. Let us answer any and all of your questions to clear any hesitations. Plus, enroll through us and you'll receive discounts and bonuses!
Want to know more about the IIN Curriculum Syllabus?
Well send you an info kit that tells you what's included in the cost of tuition, an in-depth look at the 40 modules that make up the IIN program, full introduction to Integrative Nutrition program. And much, much more..
Get a taste of the program by taking a sample class!
IIN sends you a sample class so that you can get a feel for if this program is right for you! We promise, you won't regret trying it out.