Food Coaching

Learn to be food coach - help people to a better understanding and practice with their eating

Course Code: VRE110
Fee Code: S2
Duration (approx) Duration (approx) 100 hours
Qualification Statement of Attainment
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Food Coaching is an increasingly important sector of the coaching profession.

A food coach can be the real difference though; helping their client to develop strategies and motivation to bring about real change in their eating habits, and consequently real change in their overall wellbeing.

  • This course develops your understanding of the scope and nature of food coaching.
  • Learn about the practical, ethical and legal implications of establishing yourself as a food coach, to work as a responsible and effective practitioner. 

Lesson Structure

There are 10 lessons in this course:

  1. Introduction and the Healthy Diet
    • Introduction.
    • What is Food Coaching?
    • Why is Food Coaching necessary?
    • Meeting with Clients: The Initial Interview.
    • Building Rapport.
    • The Consulting Room.
    • Information Gathering.
    • Goal Setting.
    • Taking Baseline Measurements.
    • Assessing Current Diet And Lifestyle.
    • Healthy Diet.
    • Food Pyramids.
    • Food Plates.
    • Benefits of a Healthy Diet.
    • Frequency of Eating.
    • Serving Sizes.
    • Use of Supplements.
  2. Professional Standards for Food Coaching
    • Introduction.
    • A Code of Ethics.
    • Ethics in Food Coaching.
    • Confidentiality.
    • Informed Consent.
    • Making Ethical Decisions.
    • A Guideline to Making Ethical Decisions.
    • Legal Concerns.
    • What you Can and Cannot Do.
    • Keeping Records.
    • Ethics When Working as a Food Coach in a Larger Business.
    • Health and Safety.
    • Occupational Health and Safety Responsibilities.
  3. Specialist Diets - Chronic Conditions
    • Introduction.
    • Benefits of Special Diets.
    • Dietary Considerations for Some Chronic Conditions.
    • Understanding Different Types of Special Diet.
    • Dairy Free Diet.
    • Vegetarian Diets.
  4. Specialist Diets - Overeating
    • Introduction.
    • What do we mean by being overweight?
    • Measuring Body Fat.
    • Body Fat Percentage.
    • Measurement Techniques.
    • Health Risks of Overeating.
    • Treatment for Obesity.
    • Psychological Theories of Overeating.
    • Physiological Reasons Why People Overeat.
    • Weight Loss Plans.
  5. Specialist Diets - Poor Nutritional Diets
    • Introduction.
    • Not Eating Enough.
  6. Food Coaching Adults and Seniors
    • Introduction.
    • General Dietary Requirements for Adults.
    • Case Study.
    • Pregnant Women.
    • Seniors.
    • Age-Related Illnesses and Nutrition.
    • General Nutritional Plans for Adults.
  7. Food Coaching for Children
    • Introduction.
    • Law & Ethics and Children's Food Coaching.
    • Involvement of the Parents or Caregivers.
    • Family and Friends.
    • General Nutritional Requirements of Children.
    • Food Groups - What Children Need.
    • Developing a Nutrition Plan for Children.
    • Nutritional Disorders in Children.
    • Obesity in Children.
    • Underweight Children.
  8. Lifestyle Changes
    • Introduction.
    • Ways to Encourage Lifestyle Change.
    • Motivational Interviewing.
    • Strategies to Elicit Change.
    • Stages of MI Interview Session.
    • Lifestyle Diary.
  9. Moving on
    • Introduction.
    • Before Moving On.
    • Assessing Client Progress.
    • Regular Meetings/Reviews (How Often).
    • Changing Plans as the Person Changes.
    • Evaluation of the Plan.
    • When Ready to Move On.
    • Ongoing Support.
  10. Managing Your Food Coaching Service
    • Managing Your Food Coaching Business.
    • Meeting Clients.
    • Where to Meet Clients.
    • Own Safety.
    • Importance of Marketing.
    • Setting Fees.

Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.


  • Explain the scope and nature of food coaching and what is meant by a healthy diet.
  • Explain why food coaches should abide by a professional code, and what the legal and ethical standards are.
  • Understand different types of special diet for chronic conditions and their benefits to clients, as well as a range of other special diets and their impact on health.
  • Discuss what is meant by overeating, its health implications, and how to develop plans to control or reduce weight.
  • Describe what diets are considered unhealthy for a range of different body types.
  • Understand general nutrition requirements of adults and seniors, and to discuss possible coaching strategies for working with adults, seniors and carers
  • Understand general nutrition requirements of children, and to discuss possible coaching strategies for working with children and their parents or other caregivers
  • Explain the importance of changes in lifestyle to improve the benefit of food coaching.
  • Explain how the client will move on after food coaching has ended.
  • Explain how to organise, market and manage a food coaching service

Food Coaches work with Clients to Bring about Positive Change

Food Coaching combines coaching skills with knowledge of nutrition to help clients choose better ways of eating and diets which are healthier for them.  Coaching is concerned with helping clients to define their goals, and then work out ways to achieve them.  Coaches encourage clients to look at their lifestyle and how it might influence their diets and goals.

Why is Food Coaching Necessary?

Food coaching fills a void. Whilst there are practitioners in nutrition and diet, most don't offer coaching. Also, many of the government funded health initiatives are based on educating the public about diet and food choices. However, these often don't have great success rates because people lack the personal motivation and direction to commit to changes even when they are well educated.  

There are many people who lack both motivation and knowledge, or who struggle with fad diets or other poor eating choices, who can benefit from having someone work with them to help them make worthwhile changes. Many of these people just don't realise how their diet is affecting their wellbeing, whether it's feeling sluggish or bloated or contributing to other health issues.  

Food coaching is needed to help motivate clients to make better choices. People often don't succeed with dieting or making healthier changes to their diets because they stop trying. Perhaps because they don't fully understand the benefits of what they are doing, or maybe they receive little encouragement. As a food coach, you are there to keep them on track, and offer support and feedback. 

ACS is a Member of the Complementary Medicine Association.
ACS is a Member of the Complementary Medicine Association.
Member of Study Gold Coast Education Network.
Member of Study Gold Coast Education Network.
ACS Global Partner - Affiliated with colleges in seven countries around the world.
ACS Global Partner - Affiliated with colleges in seven countries around the world.

How can I start this course?

You can enrol at anytime and start the course when you are ready. Enrolments are accepted all year - students can commence study at any time. All study is self paced and ACS does not set assignment deadlines.

Please note that if a student is being assisted by someone else (e.g. an employer or government subsidy), the body offering the assistance may set deadlines. Students in such situations are advised to check with their sponsor prior to enrolling. The nominal duration of a course is approximately how long a course takes to complete. A course with a nominal duration of 100 hours is expected to take roughly 100 hours of study time to complete. However, this will vary from student to student. Short courses (eg. 100 hrs duration) should be completed within 12 months of enrolment. Certificates, Advanced Certificates and Awards (eg. over 500 hours duration) would normally be completed within 3 -5 years of enrolment. Additional fees may apply if a student requires an extended period to complete.
If a student cannot submit their assignments for 6 months to ACS, they should advise the school to avoid cancellation of their student
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This course has been designed to cover the fundamentals of the topic. It will take around 100 hours to complete, which includes your course reading, assignment work, research, practical tasks, watching videos and anything else that is contained in the course. Our short courses are a great way to do some professional development or to learn a new skill.

It’s up to you. The study hours listed in the course are a rough guide, however if you were to study a short course (100 hours) at 10 hours per week, you could finish the course in 10 weeks (just an example). Our courses are self-paced, so you can work through the courses in your own time. We recommend that you wait for your tutor to mark and return your assignment before your start your next one, so you get the benefits of their feedback.

The course consists of course notes, videos, set tasks for your practical work, online quizzes, an assignment for each lesson (that you receive feedback from your tutor from) and ends in an exam (which is optional, if would like to receive the formal award at the end), using our custom built Learning Management System - Login.Training.

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Each module (short course) is completed with one exam.

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Course Contributors

The following academics were involved in the development and/or updating of this course.

Lyn Quirk

M.Prof.Ed.; Adv.Dip.Compl.Med (Naturopathy); Adv.Dip.Sports Therapy
Over 30 years as Health Club Manager, Fitness Professional, Teacher, Coach and Business manager in health, fitness and leisure industries. As business owner and former department head for TAFE, she brings a wealth of skills and experience to her role as a tutor for ACS.

Melissa Leistra

B.Ed. M. Human Nutrition

Karen Lee

Nutritional Scientist, Dietician, Teacher and Author.
BSc. Hons. (Biological Sciences), Postgraduate Diploma Nutrition and Dietetics.
Registered dietitian in the UK, with over 15 years working in the NHS. Karen has undertaken a number of research projects and has lectured to undergraduate university students. Has co authored two books on nutrition and several other books in health sciences.

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