In the United States, many people eat too much and expend too little energy. But do you know how bad it’s gotten?
According to research, more than two-thirds of adults in the U.S. are overweight, and more than a third are defined as obese. In fact, since the 1970s, the obesity rates for all Americans – children and adults – have more than doubled.
This epidemic has led Americans to spend enormous amounts of money in the health and weight loss industries. According to MarketResearch.com, “The U.S. weight loss market is estimated to be worth $68.2 billion in 2017—a 2.7% gain, and growth should continue into 2018, when the market is expected to post a better gain of 3.2% to $70 billion.”
At the same time, people want to ditch their traditional office jobs and make a go of working from home. However, many don’t know where to start or what to do.
Is a light bulb forming?
With so many people needing help to maintain their weight, and researchers expecting the industry to grow, now is the perfect time to explore this niche.
Here are seven ways you can make money in the weight loss industry.
1. Weight Loss Consultant
What the career entails – When a client comes in, you’ll look at their weight, history, and lifestyle, and suggest ways that they can change their diet and activity to get to a healthy weight safely.
Required education – One of the best parts of becoming a weight loss consultant is that all you need is a high school diploma. However, if you want to work with certain companies (even from home), they may want you to have a bachelor’s degree involving fitness, health, or nutrition. Many consultants decide to at least get a certification from ACE or AFPA and take continuing education classes so that they keep up with changes.
Pros and cons – The low education requirements of the job make it easy to get into, but that also means that you will have a lot of competition. You also need to be good at selling yourself and working with people, since the majority of your job will involve one-on-one interaction.
2. Meal Planner
What the career entails – Use your knowledge of health and nutrition to create menus for groups and individuals who may or may not have specific eating requirements. You can work for bigger companies, like Weight Watchers, or start your own business. To do the latter, you’ll want a website and a decent amount of marketing knowledge to make yourself stand out.
Required education – While there is no formal education required to work as a meal planner, you do need to learn as much as you can about food preparation, nutrition, and specialized diets. Because of this, many meal planners study diet and nutrition in two or four-year college programs.
Pros and cons – You will likely need a degree if you wish to work for a larger company, and if you plan to strike out on your own, you’re going to need skills in marketing and sales as well as nutritional knowledge. You’ll probably also get less interaction with people on this job since you can create menus just by talking to them over the phone.
3. Diet Meal Delivery Service
What the career entails – Offer healthy, prepared meals that are delivered directly to your customers with complete nutritional information. Most likely, these meals are prepared by a chef, and a dietitian creates the menus. Depending on your skills and preferences, you could potentially design the menus, cook the food, run the business from home – or all three!
Required education – Running a business, oddly enough, requires the least education and knowledge, so long as you’re good at marketing and sales and you’ve hired qualified people. It is likely, however, that you want someone trained as a chef cooking and a registered dietitian planning the meals.
Pros and cons – As far as starting your own business goes, this is one of the bigger operations listed. At the very least you’ll need a van and a driver to deliver the food, the professional chef and dietitian mentioned above, and probably an industrial kitchen. That means a good amount of start-up money. However, this is a burgeoning business only expected to grow if you can find your niche.
4. Personal Trainer
What the career entails – You meet with people and take them through exercise routines. Sometimes this might be a larger class; other times, you may have one-on-one training that is personalized for the individual’s needs.
Required education – You’ll need certifications depending on the type of classes you want to teach. The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), American Council on Exercise (ACE), and Aerobic and Fitness Association of America (AFAA), among others, offer a variety of certifications and some of them have their own prerequisites.
Pros and cons – Becoming a personal trainer is great if you love to stay active and enjoy getting up in front of people and showing them what to do. If not, you might want to look elsewhere. You also need to have enough space in your home to use as the classroom. You may be able to find by remodeling your basement or garage, which can be costly. Other potential negatives include the time and cost involved in getting certified.
Related Content: Shape Up With a Home-Based Fitness Career
5. Weight Loss Blogger
What the career entails – If you enjoy writing and marketing, becoming a weight loss blogger may be your calling. Depending on the topics you write about, getting certified as a health coach, or obtaining a fitness certification may help distinguish you as an expert in the field. If you’re not sure where to get started, this post contains step-by-step instructions for setting up a blog.
Required education – While there isn’t a formal certification or degree for bloggers, taking a blogging course can help you focus on all the necessary components that bloggers need to know about. From targeting the right audience and marketing to learning how to monetize and diversify your income streams.
Pros and cons – As a blogger, you’ll have the flexibility to choose your own work hours, write on subjects that you’re passionate about, and have unlimited earning potential, as there are numerous ways to monetize a blog. However, if you’re a social butterfly, you may feel isolated working alone at home all the time.
6. Weight Loss Network Marketing Consultant
What the career entails – If you’re an extrovert and there’s a direct sales company that has a product you’re passionate about, this could be the perfect fit for you. As a network marketer, you’ll sell health and weight loss products via in-home shopping parties, online, and catalog sales. For every product you sell, you’ll earn a commission. Some companies even allow you to build a team so you can earn additional commissions on team sales.
Required education – The great thing about joining a direct sales opportunity is your training is included with your small start-up fee. Often, you’ll be paired with a mentor too, so you’ll have someone to seek guidance from.
Pros and cons – Being successful in this industry will require you to be assertive, as you’ll need to put yourself out there and possibly ask others to host in-home shopping parties for you. Not all companies require in-home parties, so be sure you understand how consultants make the majority of their sales. Some companies, like Beachbody, focus more on health and fitness coaching, while others focus on wellness and nutritional counseling. For a full list of fitness, weight loss, and health companies, check out this post.
7. FIT4MOM Franchise Owner
What the career entails – FIT4MOM is a home-based franchise opportunity where you’ll teach (or you’ll hire other instructors to teach) fitness classes to pregnant and postpartum moms. Their signature class, Stroller Strides, allows moms to work out while also having their kids present in their strollers. Since their inception in 2001, they’ve grown tremendously now offering classes like Stroller Barre, Body Back, and many more.
Required education – With this opportunity, you’ll need to have a passion for fitness and helping other moms stay fit and get back into shape. When you purchase a franchise, you’ll receive all the necessary training and components for a successful home-based franchise.
Pros and cons – According to Franchise Direct, depending on how large your territory is, your initial investment could be anywhere from $6,495-$12,395, which is significant. But, because FIT4MOM is a well-known franchise, you’ll likely spend less on marketing and advertising.
Related Content: How This Mom is Able to Make Money with Her Stroller
If you enjoy helping people meet their weight loss goals, there are lots of options for starting your own home-based business. With the right training and tools, you can reap the financial rewards of this ever-growing industry and have a career that is rewarding as well.
Originally published December 29, 2012. Content updated on September 4, 2019.
Juliana Weiss-Roessler is a freelance (and work-at-home) writer who enjoys covering the topics of exercise, meal delivery, and other weight loss options. She is also a contributor to Weight Loss Triumph, a website where you can find Nutrisystem coupons and discount deals. Together with her husband Josh, she runs Weiss-Roessler Writing. The company provides blogs, articles, press releases, web copy, and other content marketing needs for businesses and individuals. Clients include lawyers, doctors, entrepreneurs, therapists, energy providers, technology companies, jewelers, and business consultants.