Holistic Nutritionist Certification



Become a Certified Holistic Nutritionist and transform lives with integrative nutrition expertise. Enhance wellness and guide clients toward vibrant health.

Online | Self-Paced | Complete in 6 Months or Less | Digital Textbooks Included


The Most Complete Holistic Nutrition Certification Course on the Market

The Certified Holistic Nutritionist program is our most popular program, and for good reason.

People need help managing their chronic diseases and optimizing their personal health. People are searching for a better way to learn about the fundamentals of food and nutrition and the science and skills of behavior change and communication. This is that better way.

As an AFPA-Certified Holistic Nutritionist, you:

  • Help people implement nutritional strategies to make their lives better
  • Get the cognitive skills to be a better coach and applicable career-building resources—all in one program
  • Gain multiple opportunities to apply knowledge in the real world, with detailed coaching exercises and a business basics toolkit
  • Discover the most up-to-date research information and coaching strategies
Become an expert in nutrition as a Certified Holistic Nutritionist

Revamped and More Dynamic and Practical Than Ever

A Certified Holistic Nutritionist empowers clients to eat healthy

We recently updated this program to make it even better.

  • Updated curriculum to include the most-up-to-date research on nutrition, holistic health, and behavior change
  • More foundational nutrition information on macro and micro nutrition throughout the life cycle
  • New videos, case studies, and simulated coaching sessions

What Can I Expect From The Program?

This is a 100% online course that can be completed in less than 6 months from anywhere. Move through the course at your own pace within the online learning platform and using your included digital textbooks.

  • Dynamic Learning Methodologies – Includes a variety of learning methodologies to support different types of learners
  • Up-To-Date Curriculum – Features the latest research on nutrition, holistic health, and health behavior change
  • Business Resources – Offers support for applying the knowledge and skills gained in the program in a professional setting
  • Affordable Financial Investment – Costs less than the market value and is payable through a payment plan
  • Flexible Course of Study – Can be completed online, from anywhere and at any time
Share the power of food as a Holistic Nutritionist

What Your Course Enrollment Includes

Help people understand healthy eating and nutrition as a Holistic Nutrition Coach

This online program will provide you with all of the knowledge, core skills, confidence, and tools that you’ll need to begin your journey as a Certified Holistic Nutritionist.

  • Access to the online learning platform
  • Lifetime access to course digital textbooks
  • A comprehensive guide on the most common dietary protocols
  • Counseling and lifestyle management forms
  • Reference handouts to use in nutrition coaching sessions
  • Online community discussions and case study assignments
  • Scientific and technical articles
  • Simulated coaching session videos
  • 10.5 hours of video/audio lectures with transcripts

A Look Inside The Curriculum

Module 1: Introduction to Holistic Nutrition Practice Answer

  • Unit 1: Introduction to the nutrition and wellness industries
  • Unit 2: Nutrition as a profession
  • Unit 3: Nutrition on a Global Landscape and The Role of Integrative and Holistic Professionals
  • Unit 4: Ethics and Professional Conduct

Module 2: Introduction to Food and Nutrition Science Answer

  • Unit 1: Structural Organization of the Human Body
  • Unit 2: An Overview of Nutrients
  • Unit 3: Digestion, Absorption, and Transport

Module 3: Metabolism and Nutrition Answer

  • Unit 1: Overview of Metabolic Reactions
  • Unit 2: Carbohydrate Metabolism
  • Unit 3: Lipid Metabolism
  • Unit 4: Protein Metabolism
  • Unit 5: Metabolic States of the Body
  • Unit 6: Energy and Heat Balance
  • Unit 7: Vitamins and Minerals
  • Unit 8: Fluid, Electrolyte, and Acid-Base Balance

Module 4: Nutrition in Life Cycle Answer

  • Unit 1: Nutrition in Pregnancy and Lactation
  • Unit 2: Nutrition in Infancy
  • Unit 3: Nutrition in Childhood
  • Unit 4: Nutrition in Adolescence
  • Unit 5: Nutrition in the Adult Years
  • Unit 6: Nutrition and Aging

Module 5: Functional Foods, Botanicals, and Supplementation Answer

  • Unit 1: Introduction to: Bioactive Substances and integrative care
  • Unit 2: Botanicals: Herbs and Spices
  • Unit 3: Functional Foods and Nutraceuticals
  • Unit 4: Avoiding Scams and Ineffective Treatments
  • Unit 5: Dietary Supplements


Module 6: Holistic Health and Wellness Answer

  • Unit 1: The definition of Health
  • Unit 2: The Role of Diet and Nutrition in Disease Prevention and Management
  • Unit 3: Mental Health and Wellness
  • Unit 4: Movement and Exercise
  • Unit 5: Sleep and Rest
  • Unit 6: Community and Support
  • Unit 7: Cultural Wellness

Module 7: Basis for Holistic Nutrition Assessment and Education Answer

  • Unit 1: Assessment of food and nutrition-related history
  • Unit 2: Biochemical, physical, and functional assessment
  • Unit 3: Behavioral-environmental: The individual in the community
  • Unit 4: Food and nutrient delivery: Planning the diet with cultural competence
  • Unit 5: Education and counseling: Behavior change

Module 8: Nutritional Support and Dietary Protocols Answer

  • Unit 1: Nutrition in Exercise and Sports Performance
  • Unit 2: Nutrition in Weight Management
  • Unit 3: Nutrition in Eating Disorders
  • Unit 4: Nutrition and Bone Health
  • Unit 5: Nutrition Care and an Overview of Dietary Protocols and Approaches

Module 9: The Holistic Nutrition Counseling Process Answer

  • Unit1: Meet Your Clients
  • Unit 2: Fundamentals of Health Behavior Change
  • Unit 3: Communication Essentials
  • Unit 4: Meeting the Client: The Counseling Interview
  • Unit 5: Developing a Nutrition Care Plan
  • Unit 6: Promoting Change to Facilitate Self-Management and Counseling
  • Unit 7: A Guided Counseling

Module 10: Next Steps and Making the Most Out of Your Certification Answer

  • Unit 1: Nutrition as a Scientific Process
  • Unit 2: Keeping Your Knowledge Up-to-Date
  • Unit 3: Continuing Your Education
  • Unit 4: Business Fundamentals: Starting Your Holistic Nutrition Practice

What Other Students Are Saying

YouTube video

The way my life has changed after getting the certification is like a complete 180, honestly. I definitely could not have counseled people the way I do now without AFPA. I was surprised the most when I just realized really how much I was learning. I knew I was going to learn a lot, and that there were so many different curriculum topics, but at the end of it, I learned even so much more than I expected.”

Candace Bell, AFPA Holistic Nutritionist

AFPA feels like more of a family. I can always email or reach out if I have any questions and I get a response immediately. It’s a very caring organization. I’ve been certified with other organizations and that’s not always the case.”

Raven Harrington, AFPA Holistic Nutritionist

I searched left and right for something that was accredited, affordable, and was really extensive. I found AFPA, which checked all those boxes and then some. I loved that they have been around for over 27 years. It was great that the certification was flexible and I could still homeschool my kids while studying.”

Amilia Brady, AFPA Holistic Nutritionist

Customer Reviews

Based on 894 reviews
Martin Gillespie
Excellent Course

A well designed and presented course, full of excellent quality work. Highly recommend

Great info! Too short!

Great course, fun and scientific way of thinking about nutrients and what to eat. I actually learned a lot! Just wish it was longer and more in-depth. The supplemental study handouts were great in-depth info!

Cheryl LeJeune
Love it!

Love it! The information will lead to a lot of health for many people.


How long does it take to complete this course? Answer

At AFPA, we understand that individuals have different schedules and commitments, which is why our Holistic Nutritionist Certification course offers the flexibility and freedom to complete the program at your own pace. Whether you prefer an accelerated study or a more relaxed learning approach, we provide you with ample time to successfully complete the course.

The Holistic Nutritionist Certification course is designed as a self-directed, self-study program, allowing you to tailor your learning experience to fit your individual needs and availability. The course is structured to be completed in six months or less, providing you with a reasonable timeframe to delve into the comprehensive curriculum and absorb the core concepts of holistic nutrition.

However, we understand that some students may require additional time to fully absorb the course content or accommodate unexpected life events. Should you find yourself in need of more time, we offer the option to request a six-month extension for a fee of $75. This extension allows you to continue your studies without feeling rushed or overwhelmed, ensuring that you have the necessary time to grasp the concepts.

We encourage all students to set realistic goals and establish a study schedule that aligns with their personal circumstances. By dedicating consistent time and effort to the course, you can successfully complete it within the initial six-month timeframe or with the additional extension if needed.

How soon can I start this course? Answer

We have open enrollment, so you may enroll whenever you are ready. Shortly after completing your purchase, we will grant you access to the learning portal where you can begin your course.

Are textbooks included in my enrollment fee? Answer

Yes! Your enrollment fee includes lifetime access to all of the digital textbooks you will need to complete this course.

Digital textbooks allow us to offer the most up-to-date curriculum, give you immediate access to the materials, plus offer portability across devices.

We understand that learning styles and preferences vary. If you are interested in purchasing physical textbooks in addition to the digital textbooks that are included in your course enrollment fee, you can find a complete book list within your online student learning platform.

What happens once I enroll in this course? Answer

Shortly after you place your order, you will receive access to our online learning platform. This user-friendly platform serves as your hub for accessing all course materials, lectures, resources, and assessments. You will also be provided with online codes that grant you access to the digital textbooks. 

Throughout the course, you will have access to a wealth of resources to support your learning. These resources include scientific and technical articles, counseling and lifestyle management forms, reference handouts, simulated coaching session videos, and lectures with transcripts. You can access these resources anytime, anywhere, making it convenient to study and review course content.

Can I earn continuing education credits for completing this certification program? Answer

Yes! A newly acquired AFPA certification has a value of 16 continuing education credits (CECs) that count toward the renewal requirements of an existing AFPA certification. To qualify for CECs, you must successfully complete the certification program.

How many CECs is this course worth? Answer

The Holistic Nutritionist Certification course not only equips you with the knowledge and skills to become an AFPA-Certified Holistic Nutritionist but also provides you with 16 continuing education credits (CECs) that count toward the renewal requirements of an existing AFPA certification. To qualify for CECs, you must successfully complete the certification program.

CECs play a crucial role in ensuring that nutrition professionals stay up-to-date with the latest research, trends, and practices in the field. They provide opportunities for ongoing learning and skill enhancement, enabling you to deliver the highest level of service to your clients and stay at the forefront of the holistic nutrition industry.

What are the qualifications to enroll in this course? Answer

At AFPA, we believe in empowering individuals with the knowledge and skills necessary to excel in the field of holistic nutrition. Our Holistic Nutritionist Certification program is designed to provide a comprehensive education that prepares students for a rewarding career in this rapidly growing industry. To enroll in this course and embark on your journey towards becoming a certified holistic nutritionist, you must meet certain qualifications.

The first requirement is that you must be at least 18 years of age. This ensures that students have reached a level of maturity and responsibility necessary to fully engage in the coursework and professional development opportunities offered throughout the program. We believe that age should never be a barrier to pursuing one’s passion for holistic nutrition, and we welcome individuals from all walks of life who are committed to making a positive impact on the health and well-being of others.

In addition to the age requirement, having a solid understanding of the English language is essential for successful completion of the program because all course materials, lectures, and assessments are conducted in English.

Upon meeting these qualifications and enrolling in AFPA’s Holistic Nutritionist Certification program, you will embark on a transformative journey that encompasses a broad spectrum of topics related to holistic nutrition. Throughout the program, you will gain in-depth knowledge of holistic nutrition, which focuses on the promotion of health and wellness through a comprehensive and integrative approach to nutrition.

Are payment plans available? Answer

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Investing in your education is an investment in your future, and we are committed to supporting you every step of the way. Whether you’re looking to advance your career as a holistic nutritionist or embark on a new professional path, we hope our payment plans make it a little easier for you to pursue your goals.

What is the difference between the Holistic Nutritionist Certification and the Nutrition and Wellness Consultant Certification program? Answer

The Holistic Nutritionist Certification program teaches you how to help clients understand how their nutrition and lifestyle behaviors affect their overall health and wellness. It provides you with the knowledge necessary to build a unique strategy together with your client so that they can make sustainable health behavior changes.

AFPA’s Nutrition and Wellness Consultant certification program focuses on how to elicit dietary changes from your clients. Nutritional wellness consultants are professionals who use their knowledge of nutrition and human physiology to improve the physical well-being of their clients by improving their diets. The course focuses on individual characteristics of clients to devise food-based strategies that can enhance their life. You will learn how to analyze eating habits and behaviors, look at a person’s physical health, and make suggestions based on your findings. For Nutrition and Wellness Consultant program details, click here.

What is the difference between the Holistic Nutritionist Certification and the Holistic Health Coach Certification program? Answer

The Holistic Health Coach Certification program consists of the AFPA Health and Wellness Coach program and the Holistic Nutritionist certification program. Once you have completed both certification programs, you will earn the Holistic Health Coach Certification. Collectively, these programs will teach you what you need to know about basic holistic anatomy, physiology, nutrition essentials, eating, and exercising, as well as wellness and stress management, understanding and preventing disease, making healthy choices and overcoming obstacles, health coaching, client intake, best practices, and how to build your clientele.

You will learn the types of questions to ask, how to provide feedback effectively, how to facilitate action planning, learn communication strategies to motivate, guide, inform, and support clients in moving toward personal change with a holistic approach. You will also learn about developing a trusting relationship, creating goals that are aligned with coaching processes, unblocking clients’ energy, and discovering resources for change. Ultimately, you will learn the evidence-based and systematic coaching methodology that you can apply in helping your clients move efficiently toward effective, long-term health and wellness.

What is the difference between a nutritionist and a Registered Dietitian? Answer

Certified Holistic Nutritionists and Registered Dietitians are both nutrition professionals who play important roles in supporting individuals’ health and well-being. While they share a common focus on nutrition, there are notable differences in their training and approaches.

Certified Holistic Nutritionists provide clients with comprehensive information about how a holistic nutrition approach can support them in strengthening all dimensions of wellness. This approach takes into account physical, emotional, occupational, interpersonal, intellectual, spiritual, and cultural wellness. Holistic nutritionists understand the interconnectedness of these dimensions and work to promote balance and optimal health through a holistic perspective.

On the other hand, Registered Dietitians are professionals who have completed a four-year college degree with specific coursework in nutrition and have successfully passed the Registration Examination for Dietitians. They undergo rigorous academic training and practical experience in clinical settings, community health, and foodservice management.

One of the key differences between the two is the level of regulation and education requirements. The title “dietitian” is protected, and individuals must meet specific educational criteria, such as a four-year college degree and passing the registration examination, to legally use this title. Registered Dietitians are bound by a strict code of ethics and practice standards, ensuring that they provide evidence-based and professional nutrition guidance.

On the other hand, the term “nutritionist” is less regulated, and the educational requirements may vary. While some nutritionists hold advanced degrees and certifications, others may have different levels of formal education. It’s important to note that the term “nutritionist” alone does not guarantee a standardized level of education or expertise.

What is the difference between a health coach and a holistic nutritionist? Answer

Both health coaches and holistic nutritionists play essential roles in supporting individuals’ health and well-being, but there are notable differences in their focus and approaches.

A holistic nutritionist specializes in the field of holistic nutrition, which emphasizes the interconnection of various aspects of wellness, including physical, emotional, occupational, interpersonal, intellectual, spiritual, and cultural wellness. Holistic nutritionists primarily focus on the power of nutrition and its impact on overall health. They are trained in understanding the relationship between food, nutrients, and the human body. With their knowledge of holistic nutrition principles, they provide clients with personalized guidance and strategies to optimize their health and well-being through a balanced and wholesome diet.

On the other hand, a health coach takes a more comprehensive approach to wellness. While nutrition is an essential component of their work, health coaches often address a broader range of lifestyle factors that contribute to overall health. They consider aspects such as stress management, exercise, sleep, relationships, and personal development. Health coaches aim to empower individuals to make positive changes in various areas of their lives and support them in achieving their overall wellness goals.

While holistic nutritionists focus primarily on nutrition and its impact on health, health coaches use their coaching skills to address multiple dimensions of well-being. Ultimately, both professionals can make a positive impact on individuals’ health.

Read our full blog on the difference between a nutritionist and health coach.

What are the employment opportunities for a Certified Holistic Nutritionist? Answer

Many of our graduates create their own coaching businesses using their Certified Holistic Nutritionist credentials. This route allows them to work with clients, either 1:1 or in a group setting, on their own terms. If you value freedom and flexibility, starting a business could be the right route for you. There are also many other ways to use your certification, including:

  • Becoming a corporate wellness consultant or director
  • Creating nutrition content
  • Teaching your children healthy habits from an early age
  • Facilitating cooking classes
  • Writing a cookbook
  • Leading nutrition workshops
  • Volunteering at a food access non-profit
  • Encouraging a partner who has been recently diagnosed with a chronic illness
  • Supporting your body through marathon training
  • Working as an in-house nutritionist at a naturopathic clinic

This list is by no means exhaustive. There are endless unique ways for a Certified Holistic Nutritionists to use their expertise.

How much do Holistic Nutritionists make? Answer

For holistic nutritionists, it’s not uncommon to charge $100-$150 per session or even as much as $200-$500 per session. According to Glassdoor.com, holistic nutritionists can earn upwards of $85,000 per year doing what they love. The opportunities for health and wellness professionals are only increasing year over year.

The earning potential for holistic nutritionists can be influenced by various factors, including:

  • Experience: As with any profession, experience plays a crucial role in determining earning potential. Holistic nutritionists who have established a solid reputation and gained extensive experience in the field may have the opportunity to command higher fees or salaries.
  • Location: Geographic location can impact the demand and compensation for holistic nutritionists. Urban areas or regions with a higher cost of living may offer higher earning potential compared to rural areas.
  • Education and Credentials: Holding advanced degrees, certifications, and credentials in holistic nutrition or related fields can enhance your earning potential.
  • Employment Setting: Holistic nutritionists may work in various settings, including private practice, wellness centers, hospitals, corporate wellness programs, and more. The compensation structure can differ based on the setting. For instance, those in private practice may have more control over their rates and earning potential, while those employed by organizations may receive a salary or hourly wage.
  • Clientele and Services: The type of clientele you serve and the range of services you offer can also impact your earnings. Targeting specific populations or specializing in niche areas such as sports nutrition, weight management, or therapeutic nutrition can lead to higher demand and potential for higher fees.

It’s important to note that building a successful practice or career as a holistic nutritionist may take time and effort. Networking, marketing, and establishing a strong client base can contribute to long-term financial success.

What can a holistic nutritionist help with? Answer

Holistic nutritionists are professionals who specialize in promoting health and well-being through a holistic approach to nutrition. They recognize the profound impact that nutrition has on overall health and focus on the interconnectedness of the mind, body, and spirit. While they cannot diagnose or treat specific diseases, they work in partnership with healthcare practitioners to support individuals in achieving optimal health. Here are some areas where a holistic nutritionist can provide guidance:

  • Healthy Eating and Lifestyle: Holistic nutritionists can help individuals adopt healthy eating and lifestyle habits. They provide education on balanced nutrition and the importance of whole foods. They can guide clients in making informed choices about food and develop strategies for mindful eating.
  • Nutrient Education: Holistic nutritionists have in-depth knowledge about the nutritional value of foods. They can educate individuals about essential nutrients, vitamins, and minerals and how they contribute to overall health. They may also provide information on the benefits of specific foods and the role they play in promoting wellness.
  • Digestive Health: Holistic nutritionists can address common digestive issues such as bloating, gas, and indigestion. They may recommend dietary modifications and lifestyle practices to support optimal digestion and gut health. They can also provide guidance on identifying potential food sensitivities or intolerances.
  • Energy and Vitality: Holistic nutritionists focus on enhancing energy levels and promoting overall vitality. They can help individuals identify lifestyle factors that may be impacting energy levels and offer dietary recommendations to support sustained energy throughout the day.
  • General Wellness: Holistic nutritionists focus on promoting overall wellness and preventive health. They can provide general dietary recommendations to support optimal health and wellbeing.
  • Collaboration with Healthcare Practitioners: Holistic nutritionists work in partnership with other healthcare professionals. They understand the importance of an integrated approach to healthcare and can collaborate with physicians, naturopaths, or other practitioners to support clients’ holistic wellness goals.

It’s important to note that holistic nutritionists do not replace the role of medical professionals. They provide guidance and education but cannot diagnose or treat specific diseases. They work alongside healthcare practitioners to complement and support the overall health and well-being of individuals.

Where do Certified Holistic Nutritionists work? Answer

Certified holistic nutritionists are qualified professionals who possess expertise in holistic nutrition and play a crucial role in promoting health and wellness. With their in-depth knowledge of holistic nutrition principles, these practitioners can find opportunities in various settings where they can apply their skills and make a positive impact on individuals’ overall health.

One common avenue for holistic nutritionists is private practice. Many certified holistic nutritionists establish their own businesses, offering personalized nutrition coaching programs and consultations. Through one-on-one sessions, they provide clients with support in dealing with health issues, such as weight management, chronic diseases, and promoting overall wellness. Holistic nutritionists also work with clients to develop a holistic approach to nutrition, considering factors like mental health, physical health, and the use of nutritional supplements.

Holistic nutritionists can also be found working in wellness centers and integrative health clinics. These centers recognize the importance of a holistic approach to health and offer services that encompass nutrition, exercise, and other wellness concepts. Holistic nutritionists collaborate with other healthcare professionals to provide comprehensive care and support to clients seeking a holistic approach to their well-being.

Additionally, holistic nutritionists may work as part of a team of health care providers in medical settings. They can be employed in integrative health practices, where they work alongside medical doctors, nurses, and other practitioners. In this collaborative environment, holistic nutritionists contribute their expertise to support patients’ overall health by incorporating holistic nutrition principles into their treatment plans.

Holistic nutritionists can also find opportunities in educational institutions, where they may teach holistic nutrition courses or work as instructors in holistic nutrition education programs. By sharing their knowledge and expertise, they contribute to the development of future holistic nutrition professionals and promote the integration of holistic nutrition into the field of nutrition and wellness.

Another area where certified holistic nutritionists may work is within the corporate sector. Many companies and organizations recognize the value of promoting health and wellness among their employees. Holistic nutritionists can be employed to provide wellness programs, conduct educational workshops, and offer guidance on creating a healthy work environment. By focusing on the well-being of employees, holistic nutritionists contribute to improving overall health, productivity, and job satisfaction.

Holistic nutritionists can also collaborate with other healthcare professionals, such as registered dietitians, in multidisciplinary healthcare teams. This collaboration allows for a comprehensive and integrative approach to patient care, addressing not only dietary needs but also the broader aspects of holistic health.

It’s important to note that certified holistic nutritionists are not limited to traditional workplace settings. Many choose to forge their own paths and pursue unique opportunities based on their interests and passions. Some holistic nutritionists may specialize in specific areas such as sports nutrition, therapeutic nutrition, or holistic nutrition for specific life cycles. They may author books, create online programs, or offer consulting services to individuals or organizations seeking expertise in holistic nutrition.

Can I speak with an Enrollment Specialist before signing up? Answer

To speak with an Enrollment Specialist, email us at [email protected] or call us at 800.494.7782.

Can I get my holistic nutrition certification online? Answer

Yes. With AFPA’s holistic nutrition certification program, you can become a holistic nutritionist 100% online.

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