Should You Become A Dietitian Nutrition Coach? A Coach’s Perspective

by | Mar 8, 2021

If you’re a fellow RD, you may be wondering, “What IS a Dietitian Nutrition Coach”? Allow me to explain, but before I do, I’ll introduce myself. My name is Tony Stephan, and I’m an RD just like you. I have 12 years of online nutrition coaching experience from serving thousands of coaching clients. Now, I teach RDs how to thrive and make more impact and more income in their online nutrition coaching businesses. One way that we serve RDs is through our Dietitian Nutrition Coaching Certification (DNCC). Our Dietitian Nutrition Coaching Certification is where the term “Dietitian Nutrition Coach” originates from. Read more to understand the Dietitian Nutrition Coaching Certification from my student’s perspective, a Level 1 DNCC graduate, Jillian Smith.


Four years of undergrad, months of internship, and a grueling national board exam prepare you well to enter a comfortable career in nutrition. Through school, you are taught how to calculate tube feeds, interpret a BMI, and differentiate industrial dishwashers. I became proficient in reciting nutrition education to a patient who is uninterested, drowsy on medication, or disoriented coming out of surgery. Any dietitian can relate as we all went through it! However, after the intense days of internship and late nights of studying, we become credentialed and decide what direction to take our careers. Some RDs take the clinical route, some take the foodservice route, and some may take a route much less traveled. This is my experience of taking a risk, doing what is unconventional, and relying on faith.


At last, I finally did it. I finished school, completed my internship, passed the exam, and got my Registered Dietitian credential! I was young, blissfully excited, tired, and broke. The last thing in my plan was to make another investment in myself and go through yet another course. I have had enough homework for a lifetime, thank you very much! However, when I heard about Tony Stephan’s Dietitian Nutrition Coaching Certification (DNCC, to avoid the mouthful), I was apprehensive but intrigued. Wanting to avoid a hasty decision, I researched the program, read the testimonial chapters, and listened to Tony’s podcast. My excitement grew as I envisioned my future as an online nutrition coach.

I decided to take the baby steps to schedule a call with Tony’s team to see what this program was all about. Initially, I wasn’t going to make a decision; I just wanted to gather more information. Low and behold, I quickly realized that Tony’s team knows what they are doing. A 30-minute phone call with his success manager was all I needed to sign onto the program. She pulled at my deepest aspirations and used meticulous strategies to close the deal. I remember thinking if I could learn those techniques she used, this program will be so valuable!


I dove head-first into the DNCC curriculum, finding that the action items did not feel like homework at all. These weren’t lessons on memorizing formulas or the periodic table. These were life-lessons. With every module, a new lightbulb would go off in my head- a new AH-HA moment! Eventually, I became addicted to finding out what value the next module held. Every module provided me with tangible takeaways (such as a collection of beautiful assessment forms) and things that were not. The personal development I gained from the DNCC Program was a bonus I did not know I would get!


Taking risks, going against the grain, and believing in something that does not yet exist is HARD. The formal education for dietitians does not teach us the power of accountability, human connection, and building an entrepreneurial dream from the ground up. I cannot say that it’s fulfilling to have the Krebbs Cycle ingrained in my brain, but I can say I am forever grateful for the personal (and professional) growth I’ve gained from the DNCC Program. It’s funny to think I was once hesitant to make this investment in myself, as I have now invested again by starting level 2 and AGAIN by accepting a spot in the Ignition Program. “Price is irrelevant if the value is perceived higher”- one of the MANY lightbulb moments I’ve had through my DNCC experience, and I cannot wait to continue growing from here!

We are so proud of you, Jillian! If you’re looking to start your own nutrition coaching side hustle, you’re in the right place. I’m proud to be a part of the movement of dietitian entrepreneurs who are making more IMPACT and more INCOME! Are you ready to level up your nutrition coaching business as Jillian did?

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