What is a health coach and what do they do?

What is Health Coaching?

Health coaching is a profession based on supporting clients in a holistic and integrated manner. Health coaching promotes proactive health which is about creating life-long, lifestyle habits that support optimum health and wellness. This means supporting clients to be consistent with striving for health rather than working towards avoiding symptoms and illness. Health coaching considers a variety of lifestyle factors which are unique to each individual. With health coaching, it is not one size fits all approach.

What does a Health Coach do?

A Health Coach, is a whole-health professional specialising in goal orientated behavioural change. A Health Coach enters a partnership with their clients to assist them to achieve their goals around their health. While an expert in health and wellness, the Coach realises that each client is an expert on their own life and will maintain a non-judgemental approach to support their clients. Through educating their clients and encouraging realistic and practical goals, the Coach motivates clients to create sustainable positive changes.

The journey..

Prior to meeting a new client the Health Coach may require them to complete a pre-health questionnaire and food diary. At the first meeting, the Coach will gather a full history from their client. The Health Coach will assess a variety of lifestyle factors. These pillars of health include:


A Health Coach completes a full dietary analysis. As well as this, the Coach will assess the clients eating behaviours. A Coach realises that not only what we eat, but also how we eat is very important.

Sleep & Stress Management

The Health Coach will assess their client’s balance between work, rest and play. Goals for good balance here are equally important as they are for dietary goals. A Coach may recommend techniques to support stress management and relaxation.

Movement, Exercise & Environment

An individual can engage in too little or indeed too much exercise that can put stress on the body. Being outdoors, nature and the quality of the environment in which we live are all important factors the Health Coach will consider.

Relationships and Social Connections

A coach may also look at whether their client has purpose and meaning in their lives, while considering the impact of relationships and social connections.

As a result, there are no set programs, as each client will have their own unique journey. Following the initial consultation, the Coach will develop practical, realistic and achievable goals in partnership with their client. A Coach will provide advice for choosing and using wholesome foods and ingredients, supported with meal plans and recipes. They may also provide the client with tools to support better sleep, exercise goals or stress management / relaxation techniques.

A Coach may offer weekly support or monthly support to their client. This will depend on the needs of the client to keep them motivated. Ultimately, the goal of the Coach is to empower the client to adopt habits that place them on the path to a healthier future.

Benefits of Health Coaching

Benefits for the Coach

If you are considering a new career path or simply to educate yourself on health & wellness, here are some benefits to being a Nutrition & Health Coach:

  • Fulfilling career, helping people improve their health
  • Making an impact on the future of healthcare
  • Rewarding profession, seeing positive results with clients
  • Constant learning and development, from each client and experience, to become a better Coach
  • Educating yourself to make better choices and look after the health of your loved ones

Benefits for the client

Clients will gain knowledge to support and motivate them to engage in proactive health. They will receive guidance on where to focus their goal setting. Typical areas clients gain support for and achieve results with include:

  • Better weight control & energy
  • Improved sleep, digestive function, skin health, immunity
  • Improved joint, bone & muscle health
  • and much more…!

Clients may look for support to

  • Optimise fertility and have a healthy pregnancy
  • Manage food intolerances or allergies
  • Optimise family health
  • Manage very busy lifestyles
  • and much more…

Health Coaching Certification

When choosing a course to study, it is important to identify the qualification given by the training provider and their awarding bodies.  If you are choosing a Coach to work with, it is equally important to check their credentials. Not all health coaching certifications are created equally, and not all health coaching courses are accredited.  At IINH, our courses have been rigorously inspected, audited and/or approved by reputable awarding and regulating bodies.

IINH Awards

Our Diploma in Professional Nutrition & Health Coaching awards the BTEC qualification – Level 4 UK, equivalent level 6 Ireland. BTEC qualification is an internationally recognised health coaching accreditation.

IINH Accrediting bodies

Our Diploma in Professional Nutrition & Health Coaching is accredited by Pearson/Edexcel, a global education and examination body owned by Pearson.

UK Health Coaches Association

The IINH Scope of Practice is a document, agreed with the UK Health Coaches Association (UKHCA), that outlines the framework in which a qualified IINH Nutrition & Health Coach may work. The UKHCA is the professional body for Health and Wellness Coaches for the UK and Ireland. Members of the UKHCA are fully qualified and credentialed professionals who have satisfied their robust professional standards and work within a defined scope of practice.

Our BTEC Level 4 Diploma in Professional Nutrition & Health Coaching begins January 25th 2023. If you have any questions about the course please get in touch, email admissions@iinh.net or call +353 87 6493194

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