Hire A Nutrition Coach For Your Gym! 3 Tips To Help You Get Started.


Our mission at Healthy Steps Nutrition and CrossFit HSN is to help people take control of their health one step at a time so they can reverse and prevent chronic diseases. Out of this mission, Grow Your Nutrition Business was started to give gym and fitness business owners a platform to learn how to run nutrition programs, and hire nutrition coaches to help them. This blog post is all about teaching you, the gym owner, how to hire a nutrition coach for your gym so you can help your community take control of their health, increase revenue for your business, and continue to have the time work on gym owner things.

We all know that nutrition is fundamental however less than 5% of gyms have a successful nutrition program in house.

nicole aucoin with a doubtful look

Most nutrition programs fail because of one of these four reasons:

  1. The gym owner starts the nutrition program but is running it themselves. Because of other gym owner duties, the owner isn’t able to keep up with clients and tasks so they stop the program.

  2. The nutrition program is started with coaches who are certified to coach nutrition but there is no business structure to the program. The cert teaches nutrition coaching skills, however there are no structure or systems to the program. After time the program fails because there is no consistent client follow through, no marketing, no business direction, no branding and no client interest.

  3. The gym owner starts a program and hires a couple coaches with multiple different online certs. All the coaches speak their own language and there is no consistency to the messaging nor are there any systems to run the business. Clients become confused because their friend who has a different coach at the gym is receiving a different service than they are. Over time the lack of consistency and continuity causes a divide amongst coaches. There is no clear message of how the gym can help clients, therefor nobody new is signing up for the program. Ultimately coaches leave taking “their” pool of clients with them and slowly the program dies.

  4. The program gets caught in the challenge trap. Rather than focusing personalized nutrition coaching, the gym runs challenge after challenge. They do this for a couple reasons.

    1. A lot of people sign up given the cheaper price & the quick fix mindset

    2. They don’t have the knowledge to convert their clients from the challenge to ongoing coaching. So instead they just run another challenge.

    Before you know it, the program went from an ongoing program to a clients not joining because they know challenges will be run frequently.

It doesn’t have to be this way! So many people in this world are obese having self inflicted chronic disease. As gym owners, we have the platform to not only teach them fitness, but also educate them on how to eat healthy diets. Hiring a qualified like minded nutrition coach to help establish and run a successful nutrition program will help you, the client, and the coach reach their goals.

3 nutrition coaches at HSN with a banana over their mouth being funny

What Is A Nutrition Coach?

We have dedicated an entire blog post answering what a nutrition coach is and what do they do. That being said, here is a brief summary.

A nutrition coach is a professional who provides guidance and support to individuals with nutritional needs looking to improve their dietary habits and overall health. Nutrition coaches work with clients to develop an individualized plan, and set achievable nutrition and health goals. The secret sauce to this professional service is providing ongoing accountability and motivation.

Nutrition coaches typically have a background in nutrition or a related field, and may hold a registered dietitian degree. Many work with clients in a variety of settings, including gyms, health clinics, through virtual services or private practice.

Some of the common tasks of a nutrition coach include meeting with clients individually to assess their daily habits, educate clients on healthy eating habits, monitor progress, and adjust plans as needed. Nutrition coaches may encourage clients to work on their general health by also providing advice on other lifestyle factors such as sleep, stress, and exercise that impact overall health.

Overall, a nutrition coach can be a valuable resource for individuals looking to improve their health and wellbeing through better nutrition and daily habits. At HSN we practice a holistic approach focusing on helping clients with meal planning and prepping, but seldom relying on meal plans.

Let’s get right into our 3 tips!


Tip #1 - Hire For Personality

Finding the right person for the nutrition coach role is like we said, one of the gym owners biggest struggles. Often times the process is over complicated by trying to find someone who has a ton of nutrition experience and lots of clients. Very few people like this exist and so the position goes unfilled for quite some time.

Although experience would be amazing, a good nutrition coach doesn’t have to be certified when you hire them! At HSN, we believe that as long as a person has certain qualities, they will make an amazing nutrition coach.

Excellent Nutrition Coach Personality Traits

  • A nutrition coach must have a passion for nutrition and alignment with your nutrition philosophy. This means if your program is habit based, but the nutrition coach only wants to count macros, you two would not be a good fit.

  • They must have soft skills and the ability to connect. Soft skills are personal attributes that allow a person to be an effective communicator and interact harmoniously with others.

  • They must have follow through. At HSN our nutrition coaching team is required to respond to their clients within 24 hours. If a client is getting a response from a coach for days after they have asked a question, the likelihood of that client being satisfied with their experience is very slim. They won’t refer their friends and family, nor will they continue on past their initial 3 month commitment.

  • Future nutrition coaches should be practicing good nutritional habits themselves. Being a role model and leading by example is huge in this role. Clients won’t take a nutrition coach seriously who goes home and eats pizza and ding dongs every night.

There are plenty of resources in this article that can help guide you to getting a person certified to be a nutrition coach if they are not when you hire them. Often times this is a better strategy than hiring a certified coach as they are not coming into the relationship with a pre determined philosophy and approach.

Now let’s get right into the process of finding an amazing coach!

Nicole Aucoin sitting at a computer writing an ad to hire a nutrition coach

Step #2 - Create Clarity When Writing The Ad Announcing The Opening

Now that you have determined the personality traits you are looking for, create an ad. If you are an HSN Mentoring client we have a ton of resources for you to use when hiring a coach including language, and interview questions.

If you aren’t an HSN Mentoring client – it’s not to late to become one! You can book a no strings attached free call here.

In the mean time make sure your ad is clear with your expectations. It should list the personality traits, major roles and tasks, and how much of a time requirement you are looking for. There is no need to waste time on someone who only wants to work a couple hours per week when you need someone to work 10-20 hours per week.

Additionally be clear about the roles and tasks of your program. It’s important for potential candidates to be aware that there are tasks outside of just coaching clients associated with the role.

Here is a basic list of the roles and tasks of a nutrition coach. A much more thorough list with explanations of each is provided in our article on what a nutrition coach does and how to become one.

  • In person consultations and weekly check ins with clients

  • Monthly biometrics

  • Nutrition tip videos & weekly social media infographics and content

  • Nutrition seminars (virtual) 

  • Nutrition challenges

  • If you are self leading a nutrition program (not using HSN), the creation of all the resources you are giving to clients 

  • Managing your clients in one platform

  • Delivery of nutrition education

Remember that clarity is kindness. When you are putting out requirements make sure that the expectations are clear. This eliminates confusion down the line. Additionally it saves time by weeding out multiple inquiries and questions that could be answered with a well written job posting.

Nicole & Jason Aucoin in front of a group class at HSN looking to hire a nutrition coach

Tip #3 - Look Internally First!

We have cleared up the misconception that your nutrition coaching role needs to be filled by someone who is already certified. Because we are focusing on personality first, the door has opened up for us to consider people who may be right in front of us every day!

You may be surprised that we suggest looking internally first when hiring a nutrition coach for your coaching role! Maybe you are asking yourself “well who in the heck would be a qualified good coach in my gym?”

We have found that people who possess the qualities referenced in tip #1 are often times former teachers, nurses, social workers, and clients who have been through their own fitness journey and nutrition transformation.

There is nothing more powerful than a nutrition coach who has “been there”. Clients dealing with chronic conditions that are self inflicted often times are embarrassed. Knowing they will receive proper education, and overcome their health concerns with the help of someone who has experienced what they have often results in more adherence and a better attitude.

Let your internal market aka members and coaches know about this role by following these tips.

  1. Ask your current coaches if they are interested or know anyone in the membership who would be a good fit. Not all personal training or group class coaches will be a good fit, but many will! It’s certainly a great place to start, especially if you have a coach looking for a full time role in the nutrition and fitness industry.

  2. Email your entire email list about the opening. MAKE SURE the qualities you are lo0king for in a coach are listed, and that the ad states that a qualified candidate will be trained.

  3. Place a flyer up in the gym, and post electronically in your private FB group

  4. Make a social media post on all of your platforms

More often than not, you will find several candidates using this method. Every nutrition coach I have hired has been from an internal source.

What If Hiring A Nutrition Coach Internally Doesn't Work?

If you don’t find anyone internally, then you will be forced to post the ad you created to external sources requesting the same credentials and qualities. There are several places I would post my job opening if my internal search left me coach-less.

  1. Facebook Jobs

    Many people use Facebook every day. Their job posting platform has brought us many fitness coaches in the past and it’s a great place to start when looking for a nutrition coach.

  2. Indeed.com

    A lot of people use indeed to help them search for jobs. This is a great platform to use when looking for a candidate.

  3. Local Colleges & Universities

    We have had luck with finding coaches through our local universities and colleges. As long as you are offering a paid position, many of them will allow you to post your opening on their internal job posting network. You will have access to hundreds of students this way. Contacting colleges with a nutrition field or fitness program option ensures you gain access to students with a track record of interest in the health & wellness program.

Nicole & Jason Aucoin jumping for joy because they found a nutrition coach to hire

What Happens When I Find Someone!?

Congrats! You’ve found some potential candidates. Now it’s time to check out and interview your applicants.

With social media being at the forefront of our lives, researching someone is very easy. Your applicants will most likely have at least one social page. You should even ask for the social pages in your application. Check them out!

  1. Look them up on LinkedIn, and other social media outlets

  2. Do they practice what they preach?

  3. Are they professional?

Ask the potential candidate to write a 500-word essay on why they want to be a nutrition coach for your business. You can get some really good insight into their story by doing so.

Here are some red flags to watch out for:

  • They talk about or showcase jumping from fad diet to fad diet

  • They post their own frequent unhealthy eating habits

  • They talk about cleanses and detoxes

  • If you are a habit based program and they post about macros – this could potentially be an issue as well. Still meet with this person, however bring it up in your conversation.

If everything looks good invite them to an interview! Below are some interview questions you could potentially use. Asking open ended questions is extremely important!

  1. Why do you want to be the nutrition coach at our facility?

  2.  How would you interest members in nutrition?

  3. How would you interest non-members in nutrition?

  4. What would you do if someone asked you about fad diets?

  5. What are two ideas you have for bringing in clients?

  6. How comfortable are you with social media?

  7. Explain how you stay organized.

  8. How do you prioritize your tasks?

  9. What are you looking for financially?

  10. How much time do you have to dedicate?

  11. Tell me about your fitness + nutrition journey.



There are so many passionate people in this world who want to help others work on their fitness goals and develop better habits around nutrition. By leveraging your current clients and your social media reach you will undoubtedly find the right fit.

If you are not an HSN Mentoring client and you want to build a nutrition coaching program in your facility – reach out! We can help!

More Free Help For Gym Owners

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