A nutrition coach can make or break a nutrition program. We have countless stories of gyms whose nutrition programs made a full turnaround once they found the right person to run the program. The bigger question is what do the “right fits” have in common?

Last year, we started talking about finding the right fit to run a program from the very first phone call with affiliates. We put more emphasis on finding the right fit rather than the first fit that comes through the door.

As a gym owner, the goal is to pass on the nutrition program to someone with an “Intrapranuer” spirit who will grow it and make it their own. “An Intraprenuer is an employee who has been given the opportunity to start and build a business within the main business or umbrella without any of the financial risk of being the Entrepreneur” (CrossFit Illumine website). It isn’t always someone with the most knowledge about nutrition.

You need someone who is passionate about nutrition. A nutrition coach must be motivating and a cheerleader for their clients. You want someone who will think outside the box to grow the program beyond just your circle of members. You need someone who takes ACTION!

As a gym owner, you don’t want to be micromanaging a nutrition program to ensure everything is getting done. You need to know that if you ask the nutrition coach to post nutrition tips or send out nutrition love letters that it’s getting done. You want someone who is coming to you with ideas on how to help the nutrition program grow or ideas for local partnerships. You want someone who is going out to set up these partnerships. After all, when the program grows, they are making more money and so are you.

Our Top 3 Characteristics For A Nutrition Coach:

  1. Someone who is passionate about nutrition and walks the walk. If the nutrition coach is telling your clients to not eat donuts then posting pictures of donuts, they will lose credibility.
  2. Someone who is a motivator and a cheerleader. You need a positive person who is going to find a bright spot in your client’s actions.
  3. Someone who is looking to grow. Your nutrition coach shouldn’t be waiting for clients to come through the doors, they need to be going out and getting them. By paying a percentage, (we recommend 4/9) they will be motivated to grow the program.

When hiring a nutrition coach, set clear roles and tasks to ensure they know exactly what they need to do. You can find a sample roles and tasks on our get free help page here! 

Nicole Aucoin, MS, RD

Founder of Healthy Steps Nutrition, CrossFit HSN & HSN Consulting