Holistic Health Coach - Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Holistic Health Coach?

A Holistic Health Coach is a trained professional who uses an integrative approach to both diet and lifestyle changes to improve their clients' health. Working as a guide toward an overall healthier life, they will look at their clients' nutrition patterns, relationships, physical fitness, spirituality, and more.

Holistic health coaches will generally meet with clients and conduct an initial interview, assess their current health, as well as observe any conditions that may present. During client-coaching relationship, a Holistic Health Coach will:

  • Coach and educate clients about how to achieve and sustain good health such as a daily routine involving whole, nutritious foods, exercise, stress management, and adequate sleep.
  • Empower clients to achieve optimal health, for the present and the future, through addressing any imbalances caused by improper nutrition, lifestyle stressors, poor quality sleep, insufficient water, lack of exercise, and relaxation.
  • Educate clients to evaluate their lifestyle choices and to identify and change any potential causes of ill health.
  • Create healthy environments, conduct educational activities and demonstrations, and support clients in reaching their personal wellness objectives.
  • Recognize when it is necessary to refer a client to his or her primary care physician for treatment and/or diagnosis.

Additionally, a Holistic Health Coach may provide counseling, talk therapy, and different methods of holistic wellness, such as healing touch or reiki. Finally, they will document the client’s progress and meet with them regularly to follow up on the client’s goals and where they stand in terms of meeting them. They may even provide some kind of blueprint or action plan that the client can follow, made up of small, attainable steps. Of course, they will also provide a ton of encouragement and supportive.

What is the difference between the Health & Wellness Coach and Holistic Health Coach certification programs?

The Health & Wellness Coach (HWC) certification program focuses on the processes of coaching, how to be an effective coach, and how to elicit behavior change from your clients. Our Holistic Health Coach Certification program focuses on how health is not only specifically dependent on diet and exercise, but also on supportive relationships, meaningful work, work/life balance, spirituality, and more. HWC also looks at many areas of a client’s life—instead of diet and exercise alone—that may be contributing to stress and poor health.

The Holistic Nutrition (HN) certification program focuses on meal planning and dietary guidelines for disease prevention and optimal health through whole foods nutrition—but not necessarily a vegetarian or vegan diet. When you design a whole foods diet that is 90 percent or more plant-based, that means you keep animal products—meat, eggs, dairy, fish—to no more than 10 percent of your total daily caloric intake. Keeping in mind that one diet plan does not suit all, various other holistic dietary options are also discussed.

The Holistic Health Coach (HHC) includes both the Health & Wellness Coach (HWC) and the Holistic Nutritionist (HN) certification programs. Once you have received HHC certification, AFPA graduates are eligible to be a board certified Holistic Health Practitioner through the American Naturopathic Medical Accreditation Board (ANMAB).

Why should I become a Holistic Health Coach?

According to research firm Technavio, the health and wellness industry can expect growth of at least 6 percent from 2018 through 2020. Another research organization, Nielsen, notes in a recent report that “most consumers are more interested in staying out of the doctor’s office than they are about scheduling their next physical.” This is leading many people to take charge of their nutrition and fitness goals in meaningful, long-term ways.

That opens up huge opportunities for those who specialize in health and wellness. From personal trainers to nutrition experts, professionals in the wellness field can expect steady client growth, especially if they keep expanding their services. Now is the time to take advantage of the boom.

Where can I work as a Holistic Health Coach?

Some graduates may feel a bit overwhelmed with the career possibilities and choices available to them once they have completed the program and are in need of a little guidance. You can choose from a variety of work environments, doing full-time or part-time coaching, having your own coaching business, or working alongside other professionals first. Here are some options:

  • Colleges and Universities: Although college-level sports teams can use Holistic Health Coaches, it’s not just the athletes who can benefit from your insights. Many colleges and universities use health professionals for students, faculty, and staff as a way to reduce stress and boost overall wellness for everyone on campus.

  • Wellness Centers, Spas, and Gyms: As the interest in wellness and healthy lifestyle changes blossoms, the number of centers specializing in these services is growing—particularly at resorts and retreat organizations. Gyms also are expanding their offerings in order to stand out from competitors, and many offer more than just personal training.

  • Corporations: Companies of every size are implementing employee wellness programs and offering incentives for healthy lifestyle changes such as smoking cessation, regular exercise, and health screenings.

  • Weight Loss Programs: Even well-established diet programs have been making major changes in the past few years, moving away from restrictive plans in order to focus on healthy eating behaviors. Many have acknowledged that deprivation and overly rigid diet programs can lead to yo-yo weight issues that are ultimately unhealthy for clients. As these programs shift toward a better model, Holistic Health Coaches fit in beautifully.

  • Training Centers: Holistic health coaches can be a strong addition to sports-specific training centers that cater to professional and amateur athletes. Often, those who are training need a range of strategies that don’t just encompass nutrition for optimal performance, but also stress management and recovery tactics.

  • Own your own business: Some Holistic Health Coaches prefer to have their own businesses and consult on a regular basis different types of organizations. Some existing practices are looking to partner with holistic health professionals in order to offer more services to their clients and grow their network.  With many options for where you could work as a Holistic Health Coach, you have the opportunity to keep expanding your business and optimizing your revenue sources, in addition to helping clients live their best lives.

What about additional career ideas?

  • Create your own holistic nutrition and health blog
  • Create a YouTube channel and/or a podcast about nutrition and coaching
  • Host holistic nutrition and holistic wellness coaching groups on social media
  • Create nutrition and wellness programs in your community
  • Create your own online wellness products and programs
  • Develop a meal planning system for clients or organizations for your online business
  • Be a resource for sourcing local organic foods
  • Teach holistic nutrition and wellness seminars to special groups for a variety of ages
  • Lecture or speak on holistic wellness and behavior change at events and conferences
  • Author books on creating a healthy lifestyle and holistic nutrition recipes
  • Host a wellness retreat
  • Start a meal preparation and delivery business
  • Create and run a community kitchen and garden
  • Be a guest on local programming, such as radio, news, tv, or public forum
  • Work as an in-store nutritionist
  • Start a restaurant or personal chef business

How is AFPA different from other coaching programs?

AFPA’s curriculum integrates both our health and wellness coaching content and holistic nutrition content, specifically motivational interviewing, positive psychology, mind-body medicine, and character strengths.

The AFPA Holistic Health Coach Certification program is one of the most comprehensive options available and is the perfect fit for someone who may not necessarily have the time or money to pursue a four-year degree program at a college or university. Course study materials are delivered online and/or to your doorstep, and you can learn at your own pace from anywhere in the world. You have assignments to complete and—when you’re ready—you can complete the final certification examination.

More perks:

  • AFPA has provided certification and continuing education to more than 125,000 Certified Personal Fitness Trainer, Certified Fitness Instructors and Nutrition professionals worldwide. AFPA offers FREE unlimited professional support to all of our certified professionals!
  • Earn continuing education credits for health professionals.
  • The program curriculum fully meets AADP board educational requirements, which gives AFPA students a thorough knowledge of courses set forth by the institute. As an added incentive, this makes you eligible to become a Board Certified Holistic Health Practitioner.
  • The AFPA program curriculum fully meets the educational requirements of the American Naturopathic Medical Accreditation Board (ANMAB), and graduates are eligible to apply to be a board certified Holistic Health Practitioner through ANMAB.
  • AFPA is an approved training provider by the International Practitioners of Holistic Medicine.
  • This program will provide you with 60 National Association of Nutrition Professionals (NANP) Category 1 CEUs - Holistic Nutritionist Certification 30 NANP Category 1 CEUs and the Health & Wellness Coach Certification 30 NANP Category 1 CEUs. 
  • AFPA is a recognized coaching organizational member of the Association of Coach Training Organizations (ACTO).
  • AFPA is a partner in wellness and organizational member of the American Holistic Health Association (AHHA).
  • AFPA is recognized as an organizational member of the American Nutrition Association® (ANA).
  • AFPA is recognized by the National Board for Health & Wellness Coaching (NBHWC) for the continuing education. CEP 100081
  • The AFPA Holistic Health Coach certification program is internationally accredited by by the Federation for Holistic Therapists (FHT).
  • AFPA is an approved Platinum Training Provider for the International Institute for Complementary Therapists (IICT) for the modality of Holistic Health Coach in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and the UK/EU.
  • AFPA is an approved school by the Health Coach Alliance. Graduates of AFPA Holistic Health Coach certification program qualify for membership into HCA and the designation of “Registered Health Coach” (R.H.C.) title.

What will I learn in this course?

The Holistic Health Coach Certification Program comprises the AFPA Health & Wellness Coach and AFPA Holistic Nutritionist certification programs. Once you have completed both certification programs, you will earn the Holistic Health Coach Certification. Collectively, these programs will teach you what you need to know about basic holistic anatomy, physiology, nutrition essentials, eating, and exercising, as well as wellness and stress management, understanding and preventing disease, making healthy choices and overcoming obstacles, health coaching, client intake, best practices, and how to build your clientele.

You will learn the types of questions to ask, how to provide feedback effectively, how to facilitate action planning, learn communication strategies to motivate, guide, inform, and support clients in moving toward personal change with a holistic approach. You will also learn about developing a trusting relationship, creating goals that are aligned with coaching processes, unblocking clients’ energy, and discovering resources for change.

Ultimately, you will learn the evidence-based and systematic coaching methodology that you can apply in helping your clients move efficiently toward effective, long-term health and wellness.

This program also provides unprecedented, evidence-based, professional training in holistic nutrition, whole foods, and plant-based nutrition, which will provide you with a strong skill set and the confidence to coach and consult with any client seeking to not only prevent, but also to reverse disease and gain optimal health. Want to learn more about GMOs, organics, veganism, vegetarianism, whole foods, Paleo, dairy, non-dairy foods, and how to achieve total wellness? This program is for you!  As a Certified Holistic Health Coach trained in natural complementary nutrition, you will be able to coach, consult, and advise clients on how to identify and help correct the nutritional causes of health complaints and design personalized diet and lifestyle programs that optimize health.

Needless to say, you will graduate with all of the essential skills and knowledge to launch a meaningful career as a Holistic Health Coach and how to achieve your own personal goals for success!  

What if I have already completed the Health & Wellness Coach Certification, or the Holistic Nutritionist Certification program? Will I get a payment credit when I enroll in this course?

Absolutely! If you have already completed one of these programs, we will credit you the amount you paid toward your enrollment into the Holistic Health Coach program. Please contact us at 800-494-7782 or so that we can provide you with the credit amount to apply when you enroll.

What are the prerequisites for this course?

To be successful with this program, we suggest you have a sincere interest in helping others, are committed to health and wellness, and have a strong desire for a career change or to expand your current professional position. Additionally, you must be a minimum 18 years of age and have a high school diploma, GED, or equivalent.

What will a certified Holistic Health Coach certificate allow me to do?

There is growing demand for wellness coaches and increasing recognition of Holistic Health Coaches as the premier strategizers for preventing disease and improving one’s lifestyle. Graduating from AFPA as a certified Holistic Health Coach will open many doors, and our grads are using their training to pursue a range of career paths. They establish private coaching practices, bring Holistic Health Coaching to traditional medical practices, work in a corporate wellness environment, advance in their current positions, or a combination of these paths.

In addition, graduating from AFPA means you will be eligible to be a Board Certified Professional with the American Association of Drugless Practitioners (AADP) and American Naturopathic Medical Accreditation Board (ANMAB).

How long is the program?

You can complete the Holistic Health Coach program at your own pace, in 12 months or less.

Where doe the program take place?

This program is a self-paced, self-study course is 100-percent online and you can complete it from the comfort of your home. You also have the option of choosing hybrid learning with physical textbooks and online testing.

Is this program recognized by any health coaching organizations or accreditation organizations?

Yes, AFPA is recognized by National Board for Health and Wellness Coaching (NBHWC) previously known as the International Consortium for Health & Wellness Coaching (ICHWC), PAC for the continuing education and training.  CEP 100081.

AFPA is an approved school by the Health Coach Alliance.  Graduates of AFPA approved certification programs qualify for membership into HCA and the designation of "Registered Health Coach" (R.H.C.) title.  

Graduates of the program who meet AADP’s additional eligibility requirements may become a Board Certified Holistic Health Coach. AADP board certification is included with this course once all requirements have been met.

In addition, AFPA is a recognized organizational member of the Association of Coach Training Organizations (ACTO).

How much can I earn as a Holistic Health Coach?

As a Holistic Health Coach, it’s not uncommon to charge $100-$150 per session or as much as $200-$500/hour even. In fact, according, health and wellness coaches can earn upwards of $87,000 per year doing what they love. The opportunities for health coaching professionals are only increasing year over year.

Does health insurance cover health coaching?

There are some insurance companies that cover Health Coaching and Nutrition Consulting. We recommend that you ask the healthcare provider if these types of services are covered. Health Coaches do serve as an essential component of the healthcare system. So many people are looking for preventative and improved lifestyle services from a Holistic Health Coach rather than from a physician.


Who can enroll in this certification program?

We welcome anyone interested in making their lives better and those around them through creating a healthy lifestyle!

Also, any licensed and credentialed healthcare professionals, as well as individuals working as any of the following fields, may be interested in taking this program to further their skills and practice: physician, physician assistant, licensed clinical counselor, chiropractor, nurse practitioner/clinical nurse specialist, RN/LPN/LVN, therapists and assistants, dentist/licensed dental hygienist, registered dietitians, certified nutrition specialist, certified nutrition professionals, certified diabetes educator, certified athletic trainer, certified exercise physiologist, licensed acupuncturist, certified personal trainers, and certified fitness professionals.

My background is not in healthcare or fitness.  Can I still enroll?

Absolutely! Although experience in a health and wellness field is a plus, great coaches come from diverse career backgrounds and prior life experiences.

I just want to learn for own self-improvement, can I still enroll in this program if I do not want to practice being a Holistic Health Coach?

Absolutely. We encourage you to foster your personal and professional growth even if you have no desire to become a Holistic Health Coach. We are confident that the information you learn from this course will not only benefit you personally but also those with whom you share your knowledge.

When can I enroll? What do I need to do in order to enroll?

Whenever you want!  We have a rolling enrollment for all programs, meaning that all you need to do is complete your enrollment online. 

How much does it cost to enroll in the Holistic Health Coach program?

Visit the online enrollment page for more information.

Are there any payment plan options?

Absolutely! Pick the loan that fits your budget, and make payments over three, six, or 12 months. Our payment plans offer instant approval, are safe and secure—security of your personal information is top priority—and payment reminders can be sent via email and text. Please visit our Payment Plans page to learn more about available options.

What is the estimated time commitment per week?

This program is a self-paced, self-study course, so you dictate when, where, and how long you will study each week. The time it takes to complete your coursework will vary depending on your learning style. Between reading assignments, practice quizzes, and online videos and assignments, most students spend about 10-15 hours per week on their coursework.

We understand that adult learners will pace themselves according to their learning style and schedule. However, we have provided a suggested study schedule to set you on course to have your Holistic Health Coach program completed in fewer than 12 months.   

You may complete the coursework whenever and wherever is convenient for you.

You may choose to access your program 100 percent online, or, if you prefer textbooks, we offer those as well. We recognize that not all our students like online materials but prefer physical materials. Either way, you can access program materials anytime.

Will I practice coaching techniques and client consultations during the program?

Yes. You’ll have assignments that require you to practice coaching and consultation in your environment on your own and with a person of your choosing. Hands-on coaching practice sessions and dietary consultations will help prepare you to work with real clients after your program completion.

Will there be exams?

Yes. As you complete your program you will test your knowledge through quizzes, review questions and assignments to support your learning. You will complete a practical skills assessment by completing coaching and consultation sessions with a person of your choice. This will be followed by two comprehensive online certification examinations.

What job opportunities exist for health coaches? 

There is a growing demand for health coaches! Graduating from AFPA as a Certified Holistic Health Coach opens many doors, and our grads are using their training to pursue a range of career paths. They establish private coaching practices, work in private practices, bring health coaching to traditional medical practices, work in a corporate wellness environment, provide direct-to-consumer coaching as contractors for healthcare businesses, advance in their current positions, or a combination of these paths.

Will I have access to the entire course when I enroll?

Yes! We don’t hold back your materials. Once you are enrolled, you will receive all of your course instructions to access your materials online and/or tracking information for any materials you have requested to be shipped to you.

What books and materials will I need?

Your enrollment fee includes all of your course materials, assessments, online access, student support, and online certification testing. There are no added fees.

Is the program set up for international students?

Yes. The program is designed to accommodate students from around the world, and you can select your delivery method—100-percent digital, in print and delivered to your doorstep, or both—when enrolling.

What if I need technical support with my online access to materials?

Should you have any questions or problems, we provide you with contact information for you to reach out to your instructor or the technical support team to troubleshoot any technical difficulties.