ISSA Diet Certification Evaluation (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 desperate to discover different choices that might improve my talents and income-earning alternatives as a health skilled. As I expanded my consumer 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 actual fact, it was evident that many individuals want extra assist with determining the right way to gas their our bodies slightly than the right way to transfer them.

I took benefit of the partnership between ISSA and YouFit and scored a reduced charge 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 consumer varieties, and direct entry to ISSA’s resident diet skilled, the course accommodates all of the instruments you should not solely move the ultimate examination, but additionally develop into a extra assured and succesful well being and health coach.

This ISSA diet certification evaluate gives a complete breakdown of the course supplies — together with the Health Diet textbook and chapter quizzes — and covers different key parts so you’ll be able to resolve whether or not to make the leap and buy the course. (Trace: It’s effectively value 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 useful service to each present and potential purchasers.
  • Moreover going in-depth on scientific matters like macronutrients, micronutrients, metabolism, digestion, and hydration, this diet program additionally addresses necessary areas like conduct change, purpose setting, and motivation — all of which contribute to a consumer’s success.
  • Whereas the ultimate examination accommodates 100 multiple-choice questions and a six-part essay portion, it’s an open-book check. You shouldn’t have any bother assembly the 70 % threshold to move, particularly for those who make the most of the research supplies and carry out effectively on the chapter quizzes.

ISSA Nutritionist Certification


  • Value: 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 closing examination: 70 %

Check Price

What’s the ISSA Diet Certification?

One in every of many specializations out there by way of ISSA, their diet certification course is an effective way to get a leg up on the competitors and assist your purchasers crush their targets sooner. 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 arduous to go unsuitable with a program like this. It means that you can work at your personal tempo as you study all the pieces from figuring out a consumer’s best 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 might be examined with chapter quizzes to see your progress. Pairing the Health Diet textbook with video lectures gives a strong basis for studying which you could construct upon additional with the assistance of a devoted Success Coach who you’ll be able to entry through e mail or by calling the ISSA assist line throughout enterprise hours. Though I didn’t make the most of this useful resource, having it out there definitely qualifies as a plus for this diet program, particularly for those who battle with a few of the extra science-heavy topics.

By the point you full the course and move the ultimate examination, you can be empowered to offer your dietary experience to purchasers who wish to lose fats, gain muscle, or just enhance their general well being and wellness. In spite of everything, acquiring your cert from a company that earned accreditation from each the Nationwide Fee for Certifying Companies (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 turning into a more practical licensed private coach and life-style coach. You’ll instantly acquire entry to a guided research 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’ll be able to full the course at your personal tempo, you might be able to receive your diet certification even sooner.

As you make your means by way of the course, you’ll acquire an in-depth understanding of all the pieces from power programs to fad diets to widespread vitamin deficiencies. Despite the fact that the breadth of knowledge may appear overwhelming at occasions, relaxation assured that you can be a superior coach by spending the time, cash, and power on seeing this diet program by way of.

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

General, I assumed the ISSA diet certification course was value 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 scholar discussion board and Diet Academic Bootcamp for additional assist. 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 commonplace private coach certification applications.
  • Coaches who wish to get higher outcomes from present purchasers or be better-prepared to assist new purchasers attain their targets.
  • Entrepreneurial-minded people who wish to appeal to extra enterprise by offering a useful service that different trainers could not supply.
  • 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 weight-reduction plan), as this doesn’t fall underneath the scope of apply for a diet coach.
  • Anybody who wishes to work as a registered dietician, which requires a bachelor’s diploma from an accepted supervised medical program, passing the Fee on Dietetic Registration (CDR) closing 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 probably already be accustomed to 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 Value?

With none reductions, the ISSA diet certification usually prices simply north of $600. Bear in mind, although, that the group usually provides specials all year long that will decrease that whole. You can even lower your expenses by pairing the ISSA CPT course with a specialization just like the Nutritionist course to develop into an authorized Health Coach for lower than $1,000.

Furthermore, ISSA makes it simpler for college kids to afford their diet program by providing three cost plan choices. In the event you slightly not pay in full, you’ll be able to select between a six- or 12-payment setup. Not solely does that provide the flexibility to unfold out the entire price, however it additionally comes with the advantage of being interest-free.

ISSA Diet Certification Course Supplies

Registering for this self-paced course offers you entry to a wealth of research information supplies and different helpful sources you’ll be able to even use after you earn your nutritionist certificates.

From video lectures that additional clarify a few of the matters lined 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 gives 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 photos, tables, and graphs that present extra 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 laptop

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 Techniques, and Digestion) and others being damaged down into way more sections. For example, 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 record of the chapters within the newest model of the ISSA’s Health Diet textbook:

  1. Diet
  2. Cells, Organ Techniques, and Digestion
  3. Metabolism and Power 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 Purpose 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 useful useful resource. That being mentioned, a few of the earlier chapters have 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 power stability made me really feel like I had been transported straight again to highschool biology — which wasn’t precisely my cup of tea.

Nevertheless, after getting by way of these extra difficult chapters, I discovered a majority of the textbook to be straight relevant to my position as a private coach and health coach. Certain, a few 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 elements of being a diet coach definitely gave me a extra well-rounded understanding of all the elements it takes to steer a consumer in the correct 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 essentially unaware of those intricacies that may have a serious influence on their well being and wellness, that is precisely the kind of simply digestible info that we as licensed private trainers want to teach our purchasers on.

Video Lectures

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

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


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

Whereas it’s necessary to acquire a excessive rating to your personal understanding, there isn’t a minimal threshold you will need to meet. Plus, you’ll be able to take the quizzes as many occasions as mandatory. 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 closing examination solely after you end all the 18 quizzes.

Nutritionist Academic Bootcamp

In the event you want extra help than what the textbook and lectures present, ISSA has you lined. 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 periods, ISSA Elite Coach & Senior Content material Developer Jenny Scott and Lionel College school member Dr. Alex Hoffman ship complete classes on research abilities particularly aimed toward sure chapters. For instance, their Week 5 Diet Bootcamp lined test-taking suggestions, particular eventualities for diet teaching, and constructing a enterprise.

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

Consumer Kinds Library

Accessible within the “Downloads” part in ISSA’s scholar portal is a set 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 personal. As a result of YouFit gives private trainers with their very own varieties for gathering consumer information, I didn’t use those out there by way of ISSA. However anybody who’s wanting to enter personal teaching can depend on this useful resource and use the recognizable ISSA branding to deliver on the spot credibility when working with a brand new consumer.

Remaining Examination for the ISSA Nutritionist Certification

When you’ve accomplished all of the quizzes and utilized the research supplies, try 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’ll be able to take breaks and choose 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, corresponding to describing and explaining the position of the three macronutrients and offering the really helpful dietary allowances for every. 

I discovered it to be tougher than the ISSA private coaching certification check, 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 %.

Anticipated Research Time

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

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

Cross Price

Simply how troublesome is it to hit that 70 % mark on the ISSA nutritionist closing examination? With a move charge of 85 %, 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 charge for the ISSA CPT certification examination is barely greater at about 90 %.

Retest Value

Don’t fret about any monetary ramifications for those who fail to move the ultimate examination in your first attempt. The ISSA gives one free retest for its diet certification program. And because the examination is open-book, you need to be capable of obtain at the least a 70 % if you must retake it.

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

ISSA Persevering with Schooling Necessities

In the event you obtained your private coaching certification by way of ISSA, you will need to full at the least 20 persevering with training models (CEUs) by way of workshops, seminars, different certifications, or different accepted actions each two years. Fortunately, going by way of their diet certification program won’t solely deal with that 20-unit requirement, but additionally mean you can skip out on having to pay a $99 recertification price.

Though that wasn’t the first purpose 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 perfect outcomes for my purchasers.

Anticipated Wage

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

Whereas that wage vary received’t make you a millionaire, you’ll be able to increase your incomes potential by establishing a robust on-line presence. Constructing a loyal following on social media and studying the right way to constantly reel in new purchasers through testimonials and interesting video content material will help you stand out in a crowded discipline of licensed private trainers and diet coaches.

Different ISSA Certification Packages

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

Along with Nutritionist, listed below 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’ll be able to partake in by way of ISSA: the Precision Diet Certification.

Precision Diet Certification

Ought to you end up in want of much more diet instruments, there’s an alternative choice out there, albeit at a a lot steeper worth. At a price of about $1,200, the ISSA Diet & Health Coach certification program means that you can receive two world-class certifications due to a partnership with one of many largest leaders within the health business: 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 worth. You may take each programs at your personal tempo, and every closing examination is open-book. In the end, although, for those who’re centered extra on coaching than delivering ultra-detailed diet protocols, you’ll be secure 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 develop 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 closing examination that accommodates 100 multiple-choice questions, which you will need to end inside 90 minutes.

To earn the NASM CNC, you will need to receive a rating of at the least 70 %. You might be allowed to retake the check two extra occasions if you don’t move initially. In the event you fail all three makes an attempt, you will need to contact the Member Companies workforce through telephone to debate your choices. From a price perspective, NASM is barely dearer than ISSA, checking in at round $750. Nevertheless, the group additionally provides interest-free financing as an incentive.

NASM Nutrition Certification


  • Value: Begins at round $66 per thirty days
  • Course size: 4 to 10 weeks
  • Research supplies: Digital studying platform, apply quizzes, downloadable PDF model of the textbook
  • Minimal passing rating on closing examination: 70 %

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In comparison with ISSA, the American Council on Train (ACE) provides a extra inexpensive possibility for diet certification. At slightly below $500, their Health Diet Specialist Program is perhaps extra palatable when you have a restricted funds. Not solely does the course embody an eBook, video lectures, and quizzes, however it additionally incorporates a podcast that goes by way of the main points of every stage of the conduct change course of.

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

ACE Fitness Nutrition Specialist


  • Value: Begins at round $367
  • Course size: 25 hours (round 4 weeks, relying on how typically you research)
  • Research supplies: Health diet guide, video lectures, podcasts, quizzes
  • Minimal passing rating on closing examination: 70 %

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Parting Ideas on the ISSA Nutritionist Certification Program

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

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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