I’m constantly being asked, “What is a Certified Health Coach anyways?”

In case you haven’t seen it yet (and you likely haven’t because you’re not obsessed like me!), the American Medical Association Approves New Category III CPT Codes for Coaching.

The new codes acknowledge the potential value of Health and Well-Being Coaching services, well documented in the scientific literature, for patients wishing to prevent or reduce the suffering and costs of chronic conditions including prediabetes, diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, and obesity,” notes Margaret Moore, NBHWC board member.

What this means is that, as health coaching is rising, it is also becoming recognizable.

What is a Certified Health Coach agutsygirl.com health coaching #healthcoach #healthcoaching #IIN

I graduated from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition to jumpstart this whole career. (Actually, the Marketing BA from The University of Minnesota really was the trigger.) To learn all about the Institute, grab my jumbo FAQ HERE.

Anyways, I’ve gone back-and-forth with both furthering the nutrition education and health coaching in general.

Now that I have made A Gutsy Girl, full time I am doing both. Well, at least in some capacity.

Regardless, so that we are very clear from the get-go, I want to tell you exactly what a Certified Health Coach is.

Also, I need to make it very clear what a Certified Health Coach is not.

What is a Certified Health Coach

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What is a Certified Health Coach agutsygirl.com #iin #healthcoach #guthealth

What is a Health Coach + What Does S/He Do?

Like any other coach, a health coach exists to help their clients realize their best life through healthier choices and living.

A coach is there for thoughts, feedback, listening, and encouragement. The goal of a coach is to see their “player” excel in whatever area of life they are working on together.

A Certified Health Coach uses open-ended, high-mileage questions in order for their client to start seeing the bigger picture all on their own.

Here’s a brief overview.


  1. assists you in finding the tools and skills you need reach your health goals
  2. hones in on lifestyle
  3. helps you see life in a brand new, upbeat, and positive light
  4. holds your hand through health and healing
  5. views you as a whole person with individual needs
  6. makes recommendations about testing, supplements, and medications that you can then bring to your doctor for further investigation
  7. empowers you to uncover everything wonderful and perfect that already exists inside of you
  8. refers to other professionals whenever and wherever needed
  9. helps you identify patterns
  10. provides support
  11. proactive vs. reactive

What Does a Health Coach NOT Do?

While a health coach can do many things, there are also many things that are off the table for discussion.

What is a Certified Health Coach agutsygirl.com #iin #healthcoach #guthealing

A Certified Health Coach does NOT:

  1. diagnose clients with specific conditions
  2. set up specific eating plans to treat specific issues
  3. tell you how many calories to eat on any given day
  4. prescribe medications or recommend different doses of your current medications
  5. act as a drill sergeant
  6. make you feel small
  7. pretend to be a counselor

The world needs health coaches.

If this excites you, consider starting your own health coaching journey.

Click on any one of the images below to learn more about starting it with the Institute for Integrative Nutrition.

If you’re wondering about other health-coaching programs to consider besides the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, I put together a list 7 health coaching programs HERE.

IIN Curriculum Guide

Curriculum Guide Website Banner

Take a Sample Health Coaching Class

Sample Class Website Banner


If you decide to enroll at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, make sure to let them know that Sarah Kay Hoffman (A Gutsy Girl) sent you.

As a special bonus, you will receive $2,000 off tuition if you pay in full or $1,500 off payment plans (Note: This savings cannot be combined with any other promotional savings.)

As an extra-special bonus, you will get my 7 Days to a Niche Defined and Health Coaching Refined Business e-course for free. Once you’re enrolled in the course, just reach out to let me know HERE.

And to that end……

What is a Certified Health Coach agutsygirl.com health coaching stats #healthcoach #healthcoaching #IIN

Health Coach Jobs

And once you graduate from a health coaching program, there are jobs waiting. 

According to the Functional Medicine Coaching Academy,

Health coaching is a $6 billion service market.

But let’s say you aren’t interesting in going to a site like Indeed.com and searching “health coach.” 

Instead, you want to create your own, online and remote health coaching business.

Good news, you can.

Remote Health Coach Jobs

The world as we know it has changed. Remote is here to stay; whether it’s working or consuming remotely.

A couple stats you might enjoy:

  1. A national study of insurance claims filed for alternative settings of care found telehealth rocketed up 53% from 2016 to 2017. (source)
  2. The global telemedicine market is set to climb 19% annually from $38 billion in 2018 to over $130 billion by 2025, creating a massive opportunity for providers to tap into a new revenue stream, broaden their addressable market, and fill staffing shortages. (source)

Private Health Coaching and Holistic Nutrition Business

I no longer do 1-on-1 private health coaching, but we still offer it with another Certified Health Coach, Trinity

When thinking of starting your own private health coaching business, my best piece of advice is to get super focused on the exact person you want to work with.

For example, at A Gutsy Girl, we are highly focused on a certain woman. Yes, we only work with women in my private health coaching business. Here are a few things, right off the bat, I can tell you about her:

  1. Suspects she has or has been diagnosed with any form of IBS and/or IBD.
  2. She is looking for a partner in gut health or gut healing crime.
  3. She is not frustrated if a quick fix is not found. I don’t believe in them, and they don’t work.

If you’re wanting to really focus on your business, join the 7 Days to a Niche Defined & Health Coaching Refined Business.


And that’s a wrap on what a certified health coach is.

Questions? Great! Leave them in the comments below.

If you liked this post, you might also enjoy:

    1. FREE – Marketing for Health Coaches HERE
    2. The difference between an RD and a Health Coach
    3. Interested in IIN and speak Spanish? Huge opportunity for you HERE


What is a Certified Health Coach The World Needs Health Coaches agutsygirl.com #healthcoach #iin #healthcoaching #mompreneur

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