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NASM Weight Loss Specialization

Learn the science behind weight loss. Help your clients achieve long term weight loss success!


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$77 /month

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Course Highlights

  • 1.9 NASM CEUs
  • 100% Online; Access on all Devices
  • 19 High-End Lecture, Demonstration, and Animation Videos
  • 15 In-Depth Chapters
  • 30+ Downloadable Resources; Custom Infographics
  • 1 Year to Complete the Final Exam
  • Typically Completed in 8-10 Weeks
  • Specialization Certificate Upon Completion
  • High-End, Easy-to-Use Digital Course Portal
  • 4 Client Personas to Serve as Case Studies, includes Sample Workouts

Weight Loss Specialist



What You’ll Learn

weight loss specialist walking with a client

As a fitness professional, there are two things clients usually come to you for - to look and feel better. With the fully updated and improved NASM Weight Loss Specialist (NASM-WLS), you can help them accomplish just that and so much more!

Thanks to our immersive online experience, you’ll learn evidence-based nutrition, exercise, and behavioral change strategies that will help clients lose weight and keep it off.

blue plus symbol Expand What You’ll Learn

By designing weight loss exercise programs that leverage the most up-to-date weight-loss guidelines and methodologies, you'll help make it easier for clients to integrate effective exercise into their daily routine.

Unlike other methods, the new NASM-WLS teaches a systematic approach to leading a healthier lifestyle that results in weight loss. This process takes into consideration the real-world obstacles clients face and provides them with the skills necessary to overcome them.

With over 30 downloadable forms and templates you can use with clients, 19 educational videos, sample workouts, custom infographics and more, you'll have all the tools at your disposal to quickly start addressing clients' habits and teaching them proper behavior change from day 1.

Don’t wait. Start helping clients reach their health goals and lose weight in the process today!

Making Healthy Smoothies

Why Become a Weight Loss Specialist?

  • Master the art of program design addressing an array of behavior change goals
  • Learn how to create unique programs designed for specific client needs
  • Become an expert on avoiding weight loss obstacles
  • Helps clients anticipate and avoid the plateaus that come with weight loss
  • Have the ability to explain diet cycles and the effects of dieting
  • Define and explain milestones to clients


There are no prerequisites for this course. Although the course is primarily intended for personal trainers, fitness coaches, nutrition coaches and other fitness/health professionals, there is no requirement that you be one to take the course.

Chapter 1: Introduction
Review the course structure, program objectives, and meet the client personas that will be used as case studies throughout the course

Chapter 2: Scope of Practice
This chapter provides an overview of the landscape of healthcare and describes where a Weight Loss Specialist fits into the healthcare continuum. Develop an understanding of how to best serve your clients while ensuring you follow best practices.

Chapter 3: The State of Obesity
Understand the scope of obesity and how it impacts society and ultimately clients. Learn the primary reasons for obesity and how clients may become obese. These insights are important for understanding clients at a fundamental level and how key drivers of obesity can be addressed by a Weight Loss Specialist.

Chapter 4: The Physiology of Obesity
Learn what changes occur in the body due to obesity and how that can affect the health and physical properties of the body, including the organ systems, hormones, metabolism, and neurobiology. All of these aspects can affect the way people with obesity respond to exercise.

Chapter 5: Psychosocial and Obesity
This chapter will discuss three critical domains of the psychosocial components of obesity: mental health, social influences, and eating disorders. Learn about self-esteem and body image, and how to empathize with your clients over these aspects of mental health. Social influences and social determinants of obesity will be explored in depth and potential solutions to addressing these issues will be provided.

Chapter 6: Metabolism
Understand the metabolism and how it relates to obesity, including energy balance and energy needs as well as the role of environment and genetics. Learn about the primary theories of what causes obesity from a metabolic standpoint and how a Weight Loss Specialist can operationalize those theories in practice and provide solutions to clients who have difficulty losing weight.

Chapter 7: Nutrition and Supplementation
Understand nutrition, supplementation, and dieting as it relates to obesity. Popular dietary schemes and archetypes have been used to address obesity for decades. Review these diets in detail as well as their efficacy and utility.

Chapter 8: The Impact of Exercise on Weight Loss
Exercise is most commonly thought of as one of the critical components to weight loss; however, exactly how it affects weight loss is often misunderstood. This chapter will provide an in-depth review of how exercise affects weight loss from a calorie expenditure perspective, a metabolic perspective, a health perspective, and the effects of exercise on mental health.

Chapter 9: Psychology of Weight Loss
The psychological effects of weight loss are as important as the physiological ones. This chapter will review five key components of the psychology of weight loss: coping, dieting, will power, adherence, and ambivalence.

Chapter 10: The Client Intake Process
A critical component to achieving success as a Weight Loss Specialist is developing a clear, consistent, and thorough intake process. Individuals who require weight loss have specific needs when it comes to assessment. This chapter will review the fundamental components of developing a proper intake process and will provide a set of robust tools for Weight Loss Specialists to use.

Chapter 11: Conducting Fitness Assessments
Understanding the readiness and fitness of a client is imperative for Weight Loss Specialists. These assessments and tests help the Weight Loss Specialist understand the current state of a client and determine where the appropriate starting point is using a thoughtful, systematic approach.

Chapter 12: Nutrition Coaching Strategies for Weight Loss
Learn how to create a weight loss program, how to use strategies to increase adherence to the plan, and how to apply various assessment tools to make modifications during the plan to ensure ongoing success for the client. Learn about behavior change models that have been shown in research to be effective.

Chapter 13: Fitness Coaching Strategies for Weight Loss
Understand how exercise for the individual client differs, how intensity can affect overall energy expenditure via the constrained energy model, and the role of NEAT in the context of fitness coaching and weight loss.

Chapter 14: Integrating Nutrition and Fitness with the Weight Loss Client
Nutrition and fitness coaching are often part of an integrated plan. This chapter will utilize client personas to help you learn how to integrate the nutrition and fitness plans developed for a client. This chapter will provide a straightforward, defined process for how to set up, implement, and evaluate an integrated program for a client.

Chapter 15: Weight Maintenance and Sustainability
Sustainability and setting clients up for long term success is one of the most important aspects for a Weight Loss Specialist to consider. This chapter will review key aspects of how to ensure clients have sustainable results.

After the completion of the course, you will take an online final exam from the comfort of your own home, or wherever you prefer to take tests, that consists of 100 questions. Each question will be multiple-choice. The exam is timed and cannot exceed 90 minutes. To pass, you need a score of 70% or higher. Don’t fret though, if you score below that, you have up to 3 attempts to pass.

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You will have 1 year from the day of enrollment to take your final exam. Although the exams expire, you will maintain access to the content for 5 years or the life of the product; whichever expires first. This allows you to go back and reference the rich course content while working with clients.

No, you do not need to renew your NASM Weight Loss Specialization. Once you pass your final exam, your NASM-WLS specialization certificate never expires.

You will have 3 attempts to pass the final exam.

The Weight Loss Specialization integrates evidence-based information on nutrition, exercise, and behavior change strategies to help clients reach their goals. You'll learn about the state of obesity, the science of weight loss, and strategies to coach weight loss clients and help them achieve long-term success. This course builds off of the foundational nutrition science taught in the Nutrition Certification, although that is not a pre-requisite to this course.

No, is it not required to take the Weight Loss Specialization program.

You can earn 1.9 NASM CEUs upon successfully passing the final exam.

The final exam is administered online within your student portal. It consists of 100 multiple-choice questions and 90 minutes for completion.

5 stars

"The WLS course is one of the most comprehensive and applicable courses for understanding the key concepts that help people lose weight. The course covers the intricacies of the physiological changes that occur in the human body during weight gain and weight loss as well as the psychological aspects of weight loss. The WLS also helps the Fitness Professional understand how weight gain occurs and the social, genetic, and environmental factors that drive weight gain and weight loss. After completing this course, a WLS certified coach will have all the knowledge, skills, and tools they need to successfully coach clients through weight loss."


Brad Dieter, PhD

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5 stars

"I've been a trainer specializing in weight loss and quick, efficient workouts for busy people who want to be healthier since 2006. The Weight Loss Specialization course simplified the information I like to pass along to help people reach their goals. The programming part of the course showed many modifications (which I love and use often for my clients). The bonus materials provided helped me streamline my 12 week signature plan and gave me a few new ideas to help people with shorter term (less than 6 months) goals. Overall, I recommend NASM for all certifications and the Weight Loss Specialist course is fantastic for any trainer who wants to help people lose weight and/or find ways to make consistently great choices for a healthier body and improved life."


Sabrina P., WA

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5 stars

"The NASM WLS was very intriguing and allowed me to diversify my portfolio. I originally took the course to help my overweight clients, but in taking the course, I have became empowered, and want to play a role in the fight against obesity. As a person from the Southeastern United States, obesity is something I see everyday. It is something I grew up around. I want to help educate as many people as I can about healthy eating and strategies for weight control. As a fitness professional, I feel it is my duty. I am very glad I took this course and got the certification. It is worth the money!"


Melissa H., NC

5 stars

"This course really builds upon the weight loss education that certified personal trainers already learn. I feel much better prepared now to dive in to helping my clients lose weight. I also feel more confident in helping overweight and obese clients now."


Amy S., TX

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Why Choose NASM

weight loss specialist man using ropes

Your clients want results. The National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) knows how to deliver them. We've been in the business of improving people's lives through health and wellness for over three decades, focusing on helping people lose weight and feel great. How do we do that? By connecting our world-renowned approach to program design with a scientifically-backed process to keep the weight off.

NASM is the leader in the fitness certification and specializations because we create fitness programs that deliver measurable results for all Certified Personal Trainers. Our Weight Loss Specialist is no different. With tens of thousands of professionals already having gone through the program, we know what it takes to prepare you to help your clients lose weight. Don't wait. Start helping your clients today.


Talk to one of our program advisors to learn more about the NASM-WLS. Fill out the form and you will be contacted within 1 business day.

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