Weight loss counselors help clients by developing nutrition and exercise plans that help them reach and maintain a healthy weight. Earning certification as a weight loss counselor or consultant demonstrates that a recipient has the knowledge base necessary to design a program that will assist a client in safely achieving his weight-loss goal.
American Fitness Professionals & Associates offers a Weight Loss Management Consultant certification that is certified by the American Association of Drugless Practitioners. AFPA consultants are qualified to teach weight management classes and provide services to private clients. Alternatively, the Certification Board for Obesity Counselors offers a Certified Obesity Educator Program. The program is geared towards providing a specialized credential in weight-loss management to healthcare professionals.
Earning a weight loss counselor certification benefits a recipient in that it qualifies her to add weight management to an existing health-based business, or start a stand-alone practice as a weight-loss consultant. The CBOE notes that by earning certification, an obesity educator demonstrates to the public that she has specialized knowledge related to obesity counseling and is committed to the best practices and standards of obesity education.
The AFPA certification program is a self-study program that covers topics including metabolic assessment, eating behaviors, nutrition for weight management and exercise. Candidates complete a self-study course and then take an exam that consists of 100 questions and three case studies. A passing score of 90 percent is required in order to earn certification. COE certification is earned by demonstrating knowledge about the causes and treatments of obesity. This is done by passing an exam that covers topics including diet and physical activity, long-term weight management techniques and how to successfully intervene on behalf of an obese client.
The AFPA requires certified weight loss consultants to earn continuing education credits as a prerequisite to renewing a certification. A certification is valid for two years and 16 continuing education credits must be earned by way of attending seminars, taking courses or writing articles for publication in magazines or journals. Classes available for weight management consultants cover such topics as food allergies, sports nutrition and diet and arthritis. The COBE also requires periodic maintenance of certification.