About 3.5 years ago I graduated with a degree in Marketing from NYU’s Stern School of Business. It was a very expensive degree and something that I will be paying back for a very, very long time. If I could do it all over again, I would have used that money to become a Registered Dietitian. Since I can’t rewind time, and certainly can’t afford more school, I decided to go through the certification process with the AFPA (American Fitness Professional Association) to become a certified Nutrition and Wellness Consultant. I don’t see myself becoming a consultant. My goal is to learn more so I can be more knowledgeable when I talk about living a healthy lifestyle.

I’ve had a handful of people ask me about the program and I remember when I was trying to decide whether the $395 was worth it, I couldn’t find a lot of information outside of their own website. I’d like to fill that information gap. The AFPA describes their program as:

The AFPA Nutrition & Wellness Consultant Certification program will teach you to give educated guidance to persons seeking nutritional advice on weight management and enhancing health and fitness performance. You will learn the fundamental skills of counseling strategies and protocol, complimented by action-based worksheets and practical case studies.

The program can be looked at in 3 stages, so I am going to do a review of each as I complete it. I hope this will be a thorough, objective look at the program for anyone who is thinking of pursuing the AFPA Nutrition & Wellness Certification.

The 3 stages that are graded:

  1. 200 Multiple Choice and True/False Questions on the Personal Nutrition textbook
  2. 25 short answer questions on the Counseling Skills Development
  3. Case Study for a Nutritional Assessment

I just completed reading the Personal Nutrition Textbook and answered the 200 questions so here’s my feedback on step #1:

  • Fantastic textbook – I read about healthy lifestyles and nutrition as if its my job, and I learned a lot of new information.
  • Objective examination of protein, vitamins, carbohydrates, etc. has significantly widened my understanding of how to validate marketing claims on nutritional food and drink products
  • Questions are not necessarily challenging but do force you to read the material rather than scan through it

The textbook is 450 pages and split into 12 chapters. Each chapter took me about 1.5 – 2 hours to read thoroughly and to complete the questions. I should note though, I read really fast! I guess that means so far I’ve devoted about 25 hours to get the first section completed. That doesn’t seem like a lot of time compared to how much I learned.

Some of the material covered that I found of particular interest:

  • How digestion works
  • Why low carb diets are ridiculous
  • Why anything your body doesn’t use will turn to fat
  • Connection between diet and cancer
  • How our body handles vitamins from food vs. supplements
  • How to determine if perishable foods are still safe
  • Which food additives are harmless and which are not
  • Why enhanced water is a hoax

I find the above topics to be really interesting so I plan on doing short write-ups of what I learned in the near future. I’m on to the next step of the certification process which will take my new Personal Nutrition knowledge and apply it to working with others. Hopefully, I’ll be able to provide a review before my personal deadline of Nov 15th.

Please feel free to reach out to me with any additional questions you may have about theΒ  AFPA program.