Comparing NASM’s Three Nutrition Programs: CNC, CWC



When it comes to achieving optimal health and fitness goals, exercise alone is not enough. Nutrition plays a critical role in fueling the body, aiding in recovery, and achieving desired outcomes. The National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) recognizes the importance of nutrition and offers three comprehensive nutrition programs: Certified Nutrition Coach (CNC), Certified Wellness Coach (CWC), and Behavior Change Specialization (BCS).

Certified Nutrition Coach (CNC)

The Certified Nutrition Coach (CNC) program is designed for individuals who want to become experts in nutrition coaching. This program equips coaches with the knowledge and skills to help clients make sustainable dietary changes and achieve their health and fitness goals.

The CNC program covers a wide range of topics, including macronutrients, micronutrients, energy balance, digestion, metabolism, and supplementation. Coaches learn how to assess clients’ dietary habits, create customized meal plans, and provide ongoing support and guidance.

With the CNC certification, coaches can confidently address common nutrition concerns, such as weight management, sports performance, and special dietary needs. They can also provide evidence-based recommendations to optimize clients’ overall health and well-being.

Certified Wellness Coach (CWC)

The Certified Wellness Coach (CWC) program focuses on a holistic approach to health and well-being. In addition to nutrition, CWCs are trained to address other aspects of wellness, including physical activity, stress management, sleep, and behavior change.

The CWC program emphasizes the importance of creating a balanced lifestyle that supports long-term health and wellness goals. Coaches learn how to assess clients’ overall well-being, identify areas for improvement, and develop personalized strategies for positive change.

By integrating nutrition with other wellness components, CWCs can provide clients with a comprehensive approach to achieving their desired outcomes. This program is ideal for individuals who want to support their clients in making sustainable lifestyle changes and maintaining overall well-being.

Behavior Change Specialization (BCS)

The Behavior Change Specialization (BCS) program is designed to equip coaches with the knowledge and skills to effectively facilitate behavior change in their clients. This program recognizes that sustainable change requires more than just knowledge; it requires understanding human behavior and motivation.

Coaches who complete the BCS program learn evidence-based strategies for helping clients overcome barriers, set realistic goals, and develop positive habits. They gain a deep understanding of the psychology behind behavior change and learn how to create a supportive environment for their clients.

By combining nutrition knowledge with behavior change techniques, BCS-certified coaches can empower their clients to make lasting changes in their eating habits and overall lifestyle.


Choosing the right nutrition program depends on your specific goals and interests. If you want to specialize in nutrition coaching, the CNC program is ideal. If you prefer a holistic approach to wellness, the CWC program covers a broader range of wellness components. If you’re interested in understanding behavior change and its impact on nutrition, the BCS program is worth considering.

Regardless of the program you choose, becoming certified through NASM ensures that you receive comprehensive training and are equipped to guide clients towards their health and fitness goals. Remember, nutrition is a vital component of overall well-being, and by becoming a certified nutrition coach or wellness coach, you can make a significant impact on the lives of your clients.

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