A lack of sleep can create a vicious cycle of poor lifestyle choices. Energy levels, motivation and will power can be left wanting after a
BTEC Level 4 Diploma in Professional Nutrition and Health Coaching
How can a Nutrition & Health Coach change lives?
There is increasing awareness that poor diet and lifestyle are major causes of ill-health. But changing the habits of a lifetime is rarely easy. A Nutrition & Health Coach helps clients achieve their wellness-related goals through motivation, education, advice, resources and ongoing support as they learn to adjust their eating and lifestyle behaviours for the better.
Coaching clients are often looking for:
- Successful weight control
- More energy
- Better immunity, sleep, digestion, skin, joints, etc
- Healthy pregnancy
- Practical tips for fussy eaters
- Nourishing foods for kids
- Help with food intolerance
- How to source wholesome foods and ingredients
- Meal plans and recipes
- And many other goals….
Need more information?
Click on the link below to register your interest and a member of our team will be in touch to answer your questions.
Course will run from Sept to June.
Online Course: This course is delivered fully online for all students. There will be optional additional days in the classroom and cooking school.
Most students report devoting between 8 and 12 hours a week to the course, including study time, tutorials, further reading, assignments and case studies.
The UK Health Coaches Association promotes and supports accredited Health Coaches in their vital work of educating, motivating and guiding others towards improved health and quality of life.
Globally Recognised Qualification:
BTEC L4 Diploma in Professional Nutrition and Health Coaching
Level 4 UK (=Level 6 Ireland)
A Level 4 Professional Diploma is a higher education award. This BTEC L4 Diploma also forms the first year of our Level 6 Nutritional Therapy programme, which involves a further 2 ½ years of study.
How the Course Works
- All content on learning platform 24/7
- Zoom tutorials twice weekly*
- One-to-one support and mentoring
- Online live cooking classes
- Optional classroom days
- Optional sessions in cooking school
*Tutorials held 7-9pm (GMT); recorded for those unable to attend
Open House Webinars
Join us, with no obligation, for a free Open House Webinar.
Meet members of the team, hear from IINH graduates and ask any questions you may have about the course.
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The BTEC Level 4 Diploma in Professional Nutrition & Health Coaching programme consists of ten assessed units, plus cooking and Mindful Self-Compassion training program. 10 course units, 600 estimated learning hours
- Health & Sickness – trends & challenges in chronic non-infectious diseases; promising developments & innovations in prevention & treatment
- Nutrition – Key developments, concepts, terms & tools in nutrition science, public health nutrition & agri-food industry; dietary guidelines, food pyramids & plates – origins & limitations
- Personalised nutrition – exploration of individualised vs traditional one-size-fits-all approaches. Concept of ‘literacy’ in health, food, nutrition
- Nutrients & Foods – nutrient profiles of food groups; deep dive into protein, fats, carbs, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants etc, incl. deficiency & excess issues; impacts of food refining & processing
- Online tools – food metrics, incl. nutrient composition & density; tracking dietary intakes
- Reliable Resources & Research – locating trustworthy information on nutrition & health topics; evaluating resources, publications, research
- Health & wellness coaching (HWC) – background, evolution, future prospects & potentials; HWC principles, processes, competencies; framework for developing coaching skills in client-led process
- Structured interview & protocol to establish coaching agreement; elicit client goals & relevant background info
- The Nutrition & Health Coaching process; initiate & develop the coaching relationship: build engagement to establish trust & rapport with active listening skills; establish realistic goals; use client-led process to design attainable action plans; facilitate client’s learning & progress by sharing knowledge, skills, attitudes, mindset; complete follow-up support sessions, with adjustments to plan as needed
- Case study reports – work with four volunteer clients: establish suitability, realistic goals; record detailed interview; develop, justify & agree plan with client, including behaviour change around food, lifestyle, sleep, relaxation, exercise; provide motivation, education, advice, tips, other support as needed; complete follow-up meetings, submit detailed case study reports for evaluation.
- Digestion – anatomy and physiology of digestive system & component organs; detailed digestion & absorption; hormonal regulation of appetite, hunger & satiety; common digestive problems & solutions
- Microbiome – importance, latest findings & implications; how to restore & nurture healthy microbiome & gut
- Digestive Issues – alleviating common digestive complaints by adjustments to diet & eating habits; how stress impacts digestion
- Intensive Farming – Origins, growth and practices used in industrial agriculture; impacts on soil, water, air, wildlife, worker & animal welfare, crop diversity, food quality, among others
- Food & Climate – Food miles & transportation, packaging, plastics, food waste; carbon emissions, pollution & diversity loss in rivers & oceans
- Regenerative Agriculture – Exploring worldwide initiatives promoting genuinely sustainable farming and food production
- Organic Farming & Food – Background, philosophy, practices, certification bodies, environmental & health benefits, affordability, comparison vs industrial practices
- GMOs – Background & developments in gene modification of crops & animals; environmental impacts, health implications, regulations, future trends
- Food Processing & Refining – Impacts on nutritional quality of staple foods & ingredients (wheat flour, sugar, seed oils); Ultra-processed foods & NOVA classification; ingredients & additives, fortification; shelf-life.
- Food labels – terms, regulations, health & nutrition claims
- Ingredients – disguised sugars, NOVA system, ultra-processed items
- Additives – categories, uses, potential hazards, ‘clean label’ trend
- Smarter choices – Compare similar products for healthier choices, using ingredients, nutrition data, health & nutrition claims, other messaging, etc
- Nutritional value for money – identify cheaper products that are healthy
- Epigenetics & nutrigenomics – threats to sperm & egg, fertility issues, environmental toxins, natural approaches for low fertility
- ‘Womb to tomb’ health – key challenges & dietary & lifestyle priorities at all ages & life stages: pre-conception, pregnancy, breast milk vs formula, weaning, infancy & childhood, adolescence, adulthood, menopause, senior years
- Managing stress – acute vs chronic stress; autonomic nervous system, sympathetic vs parasympathetic effects; chronic stress impacts on digestion, other systems, overall physical & mental health; escaping the ‘downward spiral’; mindset, tips and techniques for managing stress
- Sleep & relaxation – its healing & restorative power; techniques for better sleep hygiene; breath work & relaxation, herbs, music & tones, etc
- Metabolic illness – growth of non-infectious diseases associated with shifting consumption patterns of staple foods; future trends
- Insulin resistance (IR) – role of insulin in metabolism, managing glucose & fat stores, etc; hyperinsulinaemia, diabetes T2, other long-term impacts; potential to reverse IR with appropriate changes to diet, eating behaviours & exercise, etc;
- Ultra-processed foods – how they damage health in different ways
- Snacking – rise of frequent eating culture, negative impacts on weight & chronic health conditions
- Dietary upgrades – to improve or reverse IR-related conditions; low-carb & ketogenic approaches; healthy fats & nutrient dense diet
- Fasting & time-restricted eating – how it helps improve insulin sensitivity and promote metabolic flexibility
- Chronic inflammation – signs & symptoms, blood markers, lifestyle factors promoting inflammation; pro- & anti-inflammatory lifestyle factors & foods, including fish oils
- Detoxification – role in maintaining cellular health & overall; autophagy and its optimisation; supporting detoxification with nutritious foods & drinks, meal-spacing, exercise, etc
- Food Intolerances – mechanisms of allergy vs intolerance/sensitivity; rising incidences, background causes, incl. hygiene & ‘old friends’ hypotheses
- Unmasking culprits – intolerance testing; use of Elimination protocol to identify problem foods or ingredients
- Stress triggers – chronic stress can weaken digestion, promote ‘leaky gut’
- Autoimmune (AI) disease – how some AI conditions may be caused by an immune response to certain foods or ingredients
- Managing wheat & dairy – tips & swaps for avoiding these common problem foods
- Overweight & obesity – BMI, other measures, prevalences & trends worldwide
- Genetic influences – also epigenetic and social class effects, among others
- Origins of problem – shifts in consumption of staple foods and macros since 1970s; changes in physical activity; sedentary lifestyles; influence of time-poverty & convenience factors; rise of snacking, ultra-processed foods
- Weight control models – origins & dominance of calorie-in, calorie-out (CICO) model, uses & limitations, low-calorie diets, bariatric surgery; ‘set-point’ homeostatic theory of weight control; low-carb & ketogenic approaches & successes – recent research & future trends
- Personalised weight control – how use of individualised approaches to diet and lifestyle can effectively result in sustainable weight loss & maintenance .
- Exercise benefits physical health – improved energy, immunity, skeleton, muscle tone, balance, coordination, movement confidence, etc
- Exercise benefits mental health – improved sleep & mood, less depression, slower cognitive decline, relieves stress-related conditions, etc
- Supporting health span & longevity – combatting the hazards of sedentary living with suitable exercise habits
- Exercise aids weight loss – though diet is the master key to long-term success
- Types of exercise – benefits of: cardio & other aerobic training, strength work, high intensity (HIIT), balance & flexibility training; finding suitable exercise for client
- Over-exercising – health issues from excessive exercise, including fatigue, poor immunity & post-viral delayed recovery, mood swings, altered menstruation. Prioritise adequate recovery & rest, choose best healthy foods, drinks, snacks for training demands; don’t skip meals; possibly monitor heart rate, heart rate variability
- Sports performance – how body energy systems work; fuelling for different sports; optimising hydration for performance & health; foods & drinks suitable – or not – for performance & training days; potential benefits of safe & legal supplement use for athletes
- Planning to Coach – basic business plan using SMART goals or other model; hours per week, full- or part-time? – financial commitment needed to launch business
- Location – own home, rented space, client’s home, online only or hybrid
- Preferred clients – individuals or groups?; all-comers or certain issues only?;
- Requirements for practising – legal, professional & insurance requirements & any limitations in your country or state
- Professional membership – fees, benefits, opportunities & obligations of joining a professional coaching body; organisations for Health and Wellness Coaches in UK/Ireland, USA, Australia
- Marketing – branding, building website &/or blog & SM following; promotions, offers, freebies, testimonials, sponsors, collaborations, free talks, fees
- Connecting, improving – developing links & networks with health professionals, organisations, movements, communities; seek out regular continuous professional development in areas of interest
- Deliver presentations – how to plan & deliver an informal talk, presentation, class or course, online or in-person; building confidence: practise in front of friend, phone or computer; other tips & techniques for interesting, confident delivery & flow
- Preparing presentation – make plan to suit audience, venue & duration; allow time for Q&A; source & reference facts, other materials; prepare handout with own contact details; practise & time the presentation beforehand, get feedback, adjust as needed
- Presentation aids – PowerPoint or similar, handouts, slide printouts, questionnaires, flip charts, posters, samples, personal stories, demonstration; animations, video clips
- Structure & style – welcome, introduce self, background, topic overview, deliver main content, conclusion, Q&A
Maggie Lynch, our Director of Cooking, will present two live online cooking classes via Zoom from the IINH Taste Health kitchen. Students attending these classes can get their questions answered by Maggie. Everyone will receive a comprehensive pack of delicious wholefood recipes, along with other practical information on healing foods, ingredients and better brands, etc.
There will be additional days in the classroom and cooking school as Covid restrictions ease.
Self-Compassion Training for Healthcare Communities (SCHC) is a 6-week, evidence-based, adaptation of the Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) programme. MSC is the empirically supported program of Dr. Kristin Neff (UT Austin) and Dr. Chris Germer (Harvard Medical School).
This abbreviated MSC training programme was specifically designed for healthcare professionals and is very relevant to all Caregivers. It is therefore something we are delighted to offer to our Nutrition and Health Coaches as part of their studies.
This training aims to improve wellbeing and personal resilience in professionals in the caring professions. It aims to do this by teaching mindful self-compassion skills to deal with distressing emotional situations as they occur at work and at home. Here at IINH we teach the programme in 6 x 90-minute weekly sessions as part of the Nutrition and Health Coaching course.
Burgeoning research is showing that self-compassion skills can be of particular benefit to people in caregiving professions, allowing them to experience greater satisfaction in their caregiving roles, less stress, and more emotional resilience.
In research published in the Journal of Clinical Psychology, Neff.Knox.2020, the SCHC program was found to significantly:
- Decrease: Depression, Stress, Secondary Traumatic stress, and Burnout
- Increase: Self-compassion, Mindfulness, Compassion for others, Job satisfaction in healthcare professionals
As opposed to other self-care techniques, self-compassion practices can be used on the spot at work with clients or colleagues or at home. These skills, although requiring an intentional daily effort to integrate, do not require extra time or formal meditation practice.
Participants of the programme will learn skills and tools to use throughout the day to:
- Care for themselves while caring for others
- Be able to listen with compassion
- Handle difficult emotions with greater ease
- Reconnect to the values that give life and work meaning
We have included this abbreviated version of the MSC programme in the Coaching programme to give our students the opportunity to learn some of these vital skills.
This programme will be facilitated by Julia Sweetman, Certified MSC teacher, Nutritional Therapist and Programme Director for our Nutritional Therapy course.
To find out more about Mindful Self Compassion please see https://centerformsc.org/
The assessment is based on a variety of mainly practical assignments and case studies. There is no written exam.
WHAT OUR STUDENTS AND GRADS ARE SAYING
See what some of our pioneers in nutrition have to say about their experiences of studying with IINH. Many now have very successful businesses that offer that work/life/family balance.
View more student testimonials at the link below.