Fitness and Nutrition Certifications for Online Nutrition Consultants

Online nutrition consultants are well educated and trained in proper nutrition for different lifestyles. This doesn't mean they put everyone on a strict diet in order to lose weight, but understand the needs of each individual client. This could be providing a menu plan for someone trying to lose weight, another client who needs a gluten-free diet or is a vegetarian, and children who are malnourished and who need a more complex and healthy eating plan. Some clients have illnesses that require very specific nutritional requirements, which the online nutrition consultant must be able to help with. To be an online nutrition consultant, you not only need training and experience, but also a certification in nutrition and/or fitness. The best certificate in this area is with the American Association of Nutrition Consultants (AANC).

Why Do I Need a Certificate?

Technically, anyone can call themselves an expert and be an online nutrition consultant. However, this is misleading to your clients who are looking for someone who is knowledgeable and well educated. The best way to show these skills is by getting a formal certificate, such as the one from the AANC. This doesn't need to be the one you choose, but it is accredited and well recognized throughout the United States. With this certificate, you are able to carry the Certified Nutrition Consultant (C.N.C.) initials alongside your name for even more credibility as an online nutrition consultant.


As with all nutrition and fitness-related certifications, the AANC certification has a complex testing procedure. After completing your coursework, you will need to complete a total of 11 exams, each of which show a different set of knowledge and skills in practice management, general nutrition and applied nutrition. Before starting coursework and taking the exams, you must have at least a high school diploma or GED.

Application and Examination Fees

You also need to pay fees for your examinations, which pay for supplying you with the materials and instructors to grade your exams. The fee for the AANC certification program to be an online nutrition consultant, is $400 as a one-time fee. This is due when you apply for the program, and is the only fee you need to take.

Who Supplies Textbooks?

The AANC is not a school, therefore you are responsible for your own coursework learning materials and textbooks. For each area of the certificate exam, you will be provided with a list of books where you can get this information and how to study for the exam. Some of these textbooks include Anatomy & Physiology, Nutrition & Common Ailments, Nutrition in Action, Diet & Nutrition, Medical Chemistry, and Applied Nutrition. When you begin looking for textbooks, start by looking to see if you can get used textbooks from sites like and college used textbook sites. These textbooks can be found at natural health food stores as well to help students with the high cost of on campus books and book options.