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What is Lifestyle Coaching? Become a Certified Coach

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What is lifestyle coaching?

Today, you’ll learn:

  • How to become a lifestyle coach
  • What makes a great lifestyle coach
  • The top lifestyle coaching certifications out there

Want to learn more? Let’s dive right in!

What is a lifestyle coach?

First, what is a lifestyle coach?

A lifestyle coach is someone who works holistically.

They zero in on:

  • Enhancing health and well-being
  • Building a fulfilling life
  • Creating better daily routines

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Unlike coaches who focus on a client’s mindset or career, a lifestyle coach’s scope is a little broader. They may still have a specific niche, like healthy eating habits or stress reduction, but the focus is more on the client’s ENTIRE lifestyle.

This is important because our daily choices affect everything else in our lives too.

What’s the difference between a life or health coach and a lifestyle coach?

Now, what is the difference between a life coach or a health coach and a lifestyle coach?

In a nutshell:

  • A life coach helps clients with many different aspects of their lives without having one specific focus. This makes them more generic.
  • A lifestyle coach has a specific niche. They guide clients in creating a better lifestyle. This might mean developing better sleep habits, refining a diet, or setting a fitness routine.
  • A health coach focuses on overall health, including nutrition, fitness, and stress levels. Health coaching and lifestyle coaching are very similar and can often be used interchangeably.
Visual that shows the difference between life coaches, health coaches, and lifestyle coaches.

Having a niche like lifestyle coaching makes you stand out from all other coaches. Dive deeper into a specific sub-category, and you stand out even more.

That’s why picking a niche is number one on my six-step plan for becoming a highly successful lifestyle coach. (But more on that in a bit.)

First, let’s take a look at how lifestyle coaches help their clients.

What does a lifestyle coach do?

Lifestyle coaches help coaching clients with:

  • Building habits: Habits are key to lifestyle change – in fact, 43% of things we do every day are done habitually without second thought.
  • Accountability: Accountability is one of the most effective ways to introduce new habits.
  • Reducing stress: Lifestyle coaches help clients improve overall wellbeing, which often involves stress.
  • Supporting: Coaches support clients and communicate transparently.
  • Goal achievement: Lifestyle coaches help their clients set and achieve specific goals.
Image the lists what a lifestyle coach does

What are the best lifestyle coaching certification programs?

Now you know what a lifestyle coach is. But how do you choose a certificate? 

Here’s a list of the top five lifestyle certification programs.

Note: I haven’t tried these programs myself, but I based my suggestions on reviews and reputation.

With that, let’s dive right in.

NameOrganizationPriceICF accredited
The Certified Coach ProgramCoach Training Alliance$3,897Yes
Health and Wellness Coaching CertificateEmory University$4,995No
Dual Life and Health Coach CertificateHealth Coach Institute$7,450Yes
L1 Nutrition Coaching CertificatePrecision Nutrition$1,428No
Health Coach Training ProgramInstitute for Integrative Nutrition$5,995No

The Certified Coach Program

Coach Training Alliance

Screenshot of Coach Training Alliance website

Want to become a certified lifestyle coach in just six months? Then the Coach Training Alliance might be for you.

Their Certified Coach program is a good blend of coaching techniques, business insights, and marketing strategies.

Some of the key features include:

  • Group learning
  • Real coaching practice
  • Hands-on feedback

Over 22 weeks, you join weekly calls that last about 1-1.5 hours. You’ll also spend 2-5 hours a week on homework and self-study. 

By the end, you’ll have solid coaching techniques and a good grasp of basic business and marketing know-how.

Price: $3,897

ICF accredited: Yes

Health and Wellness Coaching Certificate

Emory University 

Screenshot of Emory University website

Emory University’s Coaching Certificate offers a mix of online lessons and practical coaching.

In 20 weeks, you’ll learn the ins and outs of health and wellness coaching. Even though it’s wellness-centered, the program teaches skills that are useful in many niches. For example, you’ll learn about behavior change, coaching psychology, and how to motivate clients. The ethics of coaching are also highlighted.

In 4-5 months, with 8 hours a week, this program prepares you to help clients achieve their goals.

Price: $4,995

ICF accredited: No (But it’s approved by the National Board for Health and Wellness Coaching)

Dual Life & Health Coach Certificate Program

Health Coach Institute

Screenshot of Health Coach Institute website

Health Coach Institute offers a unique Dual Life & Health Coach Certificate Program. Like the Coach Training Alliance (see above), their program turns you into a certified coach in just six months. 

The institute’s solid reputation makes this certification respected among coaches. The online course covers coaching skills and business marketing.

What sets this program apart is its dual certification; upon completing the course, you’ll be recognized both as a Health and Life Coach. The training includes four main pillars, with weekly lessons complemented by ready-to-use resources.

Price: $7,450

ICF accredited: Yes

L1 Nutrition Coaching Certification

Precision Nutrition 

If you’re interested in health and fitness, then Precision Nutrition is a good option. It’s a top-rated program, trusted by over 150,000 health professionals worldwide.

Their Level 1 Nutrition Coaching Certification teaches the latest about nutrition and how to change habits. This helps you guide your clients toward achieving results that last.

The program is split into three parts: the basics of their method, food science, and coaching tips.

By the end of the program, you’ll have the confidence to coach and the tools to grow a successful coaching business. They also offer a Sleep, Stress Management, and Recovery Coaching Certification.

Price: $1,428

ICF accredited: No

Health Coach Training Program

Institute for Integrative Nutrition

Screenshot of IIN website

Known for 30 years of expertise, the Institute for Integrative Nutrition has a great Health Coach Training Program. The focus is on holistic nutrition and lifestyle.

This lifestyle coaching certification online course is available in both English and Spanish. It’s designed for busy people, so you can learn anytime, anywhere.

The program lets you choose between a six-month accelerated track or a more spread-out 12-month one.

You’ll study food and health, and how to start a coaching business. Experienced coaches will also give you feedback to enhance your skills. 

Price: $5,995

ICF accredited: No (But it’s recognized by the National College Credit Recognition Service)

How do you choose a lifestyle coaching certification program?

Look, technically, you don’t NEED any certification to be a lifestyle coach. That’s because there are no legal qualification requirements.

So, can anyone become a lifestyle coach? YES!

After all, what matters most is that you help your clients achieve results. (I’ll delve deeper into this in the next section.)

That’s why I recommend my students focus on gaining real-life coaching experience ASAP.

But I also know that having an official certification can help new coaches feel more secure. Ultimately, the best way to build your business is to do what feels right to YOU.

If you want to get certified, choose a program accredited by the International Coaching Federation (ICF). They’re the closest thing to a regulatory body in the coaching world.

Another safe option is choosing a program from a reputable university.

You don’t want to waste your money (or time!) on a program that doesn’t deliver.

That’s because the coaching certification industry is unregulated, so every program sets its own criteria. If you’re considering the ICF route, there are existing criteria and they have three main credentials:

  • Associate Certified Coach (ACC): Ideal for beginner coaches; 100 coaching hours (75 paid) with 8+ clients and 60 training hours.
  • Professional Certified Coach (PCC): 500 coaching hours (450 paid) with 25+ clients and 125 training hours.
  • Master Certified Coach (MCC): 2,500 coaching hours (2,250 paid) with 35+ clients and 200 training hours.

Additionally, you need mentor coaching, a performance evaluation, and a written examination.

Now you know all there is to know about lifestyle coaching certifications.

But how do you become one? 

Next, let’s go over how you can start your lifestyle coaching business.

How do you become a certified lifestyle coach?

Curious about the journey to becoming a lifestyle coach?

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6-Figure Coaching Business so you can achieve more freedom!

There are six steps: 

1. Choose your lifestyle coaching niche

While lifestyle coaching is a niche on its own, specializing even more can boost your coaching impact and earnings.

Your clients come to you for specific solutions. If you know a lot about one topic, they’ll trust you more AND you’ll be able to help them better. This helps them get results faster, which is the essence of great coaching.

So, how do you hone in on your specialty?

The trick is to discover the demand and focus on that audience.

Think about particular lifestyle challenges or specific groups you’re passionate about. Even better is when you combine both. This creates a unique offering that stands out, tailored to specific needs. Here are some ideas:

  • Fitness lifestyle coach for people with office jobs
  • Daily life balance techniques for busy single parents
  • Work-life balance lifestyle coach for entrepreneurs
  • Healthy routines for people working from home
  • Lifestyle transitions for retirees
  • Mindfulness lifestyle coach for teachers

For example, my student David helps people get healthy with herbs. He realized just how powerful herbs can be when he helped his grandfather improve his health – and he ultimately build a coaching business around his methodology.

Wisdom Square website

In this video, I share my easy step-by-step guide to finding your niche:

2. Create an lifestyle coaching offer

Step two is building your lifestyle coaching program.

I teach my students to bundle their services into packages.


Because clients are looking for real change. This often can’t be achieved in just one or two sessions.

A three-month coaching plan gives clients enough time to make lasting changes. 

Now, how much should such a coaching package cost?

Here’s my tip:

As a new coach, start by offering your three-month packages at $1,500.

As you gain more experience and testimonials, you can then increase your rates to $5,000 or more.

If that sounds like a lot, keep in mind the big change you’re bringing to your clients’ lives. Your pricing should match that impact.

Many of my students earn six figures or more with their coaching work.

I share how in this short video: 

3. Get your lifestyle coaching certification 

Want to get certified as a lifestyle coach?

 Here’s a quick breakdown of the process:

  1. Pick a certification program
  2. Practice coaching
  3. Finish the program
  4. Get certified

Remember that getting certified is completely optional. It’s a choice, not a requirement.

While some health coaching niches have set certification standards, lifestyle coaching does not.

It’s the outcome that really matters, NOT your certification. Plus, your ideal clients will be more interested in the transformation you provide than the papers you hold.

That’s also why a certified lifestyle coach salary isn’t always higher than a non-certified one.

So, if you’re more interested in exploring “How do I become a self-made lifestyle coach?” without the formalities of getting certified, you definitely can. In that case, simply skip this step and move on to the next one: How to get your first paying clients.

4. Get your first paying lifestyle coaching clients

How do lifestyle coaches get clients?

Here’s my advice:

Target that first client. 

One happy client paves the way for more.

While it might feel great thinking about coaching tons of people right away, this is unrealistic.

It also sets you up for disappointment.

Starting smaller lets you refine your coaching style. With each client, you learn and improve.

So, where can you find these first few clients? There are two big sources that I recommend:

  • Personal connections: People around you might be looking for a lifestyle change. Tap into that need. Ask friends or acquaintances if they know someone who could use your coaching.
  • Online platforms: Be where your potential clients are. Find relevant groups, answer questions, and share helpful tips. This helps you build an audience — something that’s especially important if you’re wondering: How do I become an online lifestyle coach? 

In the beginning, getting coaching clients takes some time and effort. But it won’t be like that forever.

As you grow and make a name for yourself, you’ll find clients coming to you instead of the other way around.

For a deeper dive into getting that first client, I’ve put together this video guide for you:

5. Build your email list of potential lifestyle coaching clients 

Your first focus should be on getting clients as fast as possible. But also think in the long term.

How? By starting an email list.

An email list is a direct line to people interested in what you offer.

Even if someone is not ready for your coaching right now, they might be later. By sharing tips or updates through emails, you remind them of your value. And when they’re ready, they’ll think of you.

This way, you have a steady flow of potential clients.

Here are two ways to grow your email list:

  • Organic: Use organic methods such as social media, where you can encourage your audience to sign up.
  • Paid: Invest in ads or use SEO techniques to drive traffic to your sign-up page.

6. Scale your business

Many wonder, “Is lifestyle coaching profitable?” The answer is yes, especially if you scale your business strategically.

Let me clarify:

Making 6-figures in online coaching isn’t too hard, but it does take some work. Growing your business is the key to speeding up that process.

Get the Ultimate Guide

for building a
6-Figure Coaching Business so you can achieve more freedom!

Once you have around 10 private clients, you’re ready to branch out. Group coaching sessions and online courses are two great options to boost your earnings.

  • Group coaching: At first, you offer one-on-one sessions to hone your coaching skills. But as you gain more experience and clients, you can consider group sessions. This increases your earnings without increasing your hours.
  • Online courses: Over time, you’ll gather a lot of useful content and advice. Turn these into online courses. Clients get to learn at their own pace, and you have a great source of passive income. It takes some work to set up, but as more people join, you earn more without extra effort.

What is the average lifestyle coach salary?

According to Glassdoor, lifestyle coaches earn, on average, $66,901 per year.

At the same time, there’s no income gap for self-employed coaches. If you help clients achieve results, you’re in a good position to raise your rates.

Many of my students (in various niches) have built six and multiple six-figure businesses.

Next steps

There you have it: a roadmap to launch and grow your lifestyle coaching business.

With or without a lifestyle coaching certification, what matters is the transformation you bring to your clients.

And by helping your clients get results, you build a fulfilling and impactful business. What’s more, a lifestyle becoming a lifestyle coach can mean a lot of flexibility and freedom.

But how do you build a sustainable business in the fastest and most effective way possible?

In my blueprint for a 6-figure coaching business, I teach you exactly how to turn your passion into a thriving business.

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About Luisa Zhou

Luisa Zhou has helped thousands of students build and scale their own profitable online Freedom Business. Fun Fact: She used to work as an engineer for the Space Station and holds a B.S.E. from Princeton. Click here to learn more about Luisa.

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