April 4, 2019

Shannon Miller

What is a Nutrition Coach and Why do you Need One?

Most health goals, whether it be changing body composition, improving athletic performance, or increasing energy, are hugely reliant on feeding the body proper nutrients. But there’s noise in the industry. Each new fad diet or nutrition hack promises to bring rapid results, but they often miss the mark on one factor: personalization. Finding a dedicated Nutrition Coach trained in evaluating your unique metabolism, body composition, habits and preferences is necessary to guide you to your best results.  

Everybody is designed differently. There are infinite combinations of genes that determine the makeup of a human body. That in combination with environmental factors and habitual behaviors leaves much to chance when choosing a nutrition plan that best fits an individual’s specific needs. This is where a Nutrition Coach can be extremely beneficial in pinpointing what exactly a client’s body needs to perform at its best and reach goals without the guesswork.

What Does a Nutrition Coach Do?

A Nutrition Coach’s first role is to get to know their client from both a data and personal perspective. Coaches are trained to assess and analyze resting metabolic rate (RMR), and baseline body composition data, including body fat, lean mass and bone density. These measurements become the focal point of a conversation around developing attainable short and long-term health goals. On a personal note, a coach is also trained to talk in-depth about current habits and tendencies around meals and exercise, as well as any health concerns.

After diving deep into a body composition data, RMR, and current dietary patterns, a Nutrition Coach helps clients clearly define their health goals (for example, lose 5% body fat in 3 months, gain 6 lbs of lean mass, feel better physically, etc.). From there, a coach designs a personalized nutrition plan and advises on exercise recommendations to achieve a client’s goal.

The most important factors that Nutrition Coaches consider when designing a customized nutrition plan are:

Body Composition Data: The scale cannot reveal detailed body composition data crucial for a coach to understand their client’s health status. Unlike traditional forms of body composition testing, a DEXA scan provides a comprehensive look at body fat, lean mass and bone density which helps inform the development of specific goals.

Resting Metabolic Rate: Often times, dieters will assume they know their daily caloric intake by calculating a number from an unreliable, impersonal source, which can lead to a vast over/under-estimation of their needs.  An RMR test, however, accurately measures how many calories an individual burns at rest, which is essential for a Nutrition Coach to know. This information is the foundation for designing a nutrition plan that falls within a certain calorie threshold to lose fat and/or gain lean mass safely over time, depending individual goals.

Lifestyle & Preferences: Not everyone enjoys eating the same types of food. It’s a simple fact. Luckily, Nutrition Coaches have a thorough understanding of how to create meal plans that please all palates. Working with a coach to design a nutrition regimen that works for a client’s lifestyle and aligns with their preferences is a key component of developing lasting routines that help achieve results.

How can Nutrition Coaching Benefit you?

Professional Knowledge

There is an enormous amount of conflicting nutrition information being communicated in the media and through word-of-mouth. It can be frustrating to decipher what is trending versus grounded in science, and then understand what “diet plan” will achieve the best results. A Nutrition Coach knows how to navigate the complicated field of nutrition and sift through the noise to design a plan that does not rely on what’s “in style” at the moment.


A coach understands there is no one-size fits-all approach to nutrition. There are several important personal factors that can affect a nutrition plan, including any underlying medical conditions, allergies, religious customs, and ethical implications. It’s also unrealistic to assume a single plan (found online or elsewhere) will fit each person’s preferences. In fact, this almost guarantees to promote deprivation and an unsustainable approach to nutrition planning. A Nutrition Coach listens to their client’s preferences and is trained to develop a personalized nutrition plan that accommodates their client’s unique needs, likes, and dislikes. A coach is also able to help make small tweaks to a nutrition plan to better promote adherence and satisfaction.


Often what drives a plan’s success is accountability. Having a coach on your side not only allows for professional go-to guidance in nutrition, but also provides a constant source of accountability for times when extra support may be needed. Having an accountability partner can also help be a reminder of goals, which can make an extraordinary difference when trying to stick to a plan.

The key to lasting results is finding a plan that is built on a foundation of body composition knowledge, clear goal-setting, and a plan of action that considers lifestyle and personal preferences. A Nutrition Coach serves as a guide for developing a tailored, evidence-based plan, and as a support system by providing education, motivation and accountability.

Learn more about Composition ID’s Nutrition Coaching program to design a personalized plan that supports your health goals.


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