So, you’ve decided that you’d benefit from working with a nutritionist. It’s not surprising since they’re often used to help people lose weight or teach them to eat healthily and get in shape more effectively. But what exactly does it take to find the right one?
Should you ask questions about what wellness supplements they recommend? Or how about if they have personal experience with your issue?
This article will shed a little light on what a nutritionist is and isn’t. We’ll also provide you with six essential questions you should ask any potential nutritionist before committing to working together and what it could mean for your goals.
What Is a Nutritionist?
A nutritionist is an expert in the field of nutrition. They can provide you with information on how your diet will help or hinder your health goals. A good nutritionist can teach you about food, water, vitamins and minerals. They’ll be able to answer specific questions like, “What’s the difference between high-quality natural probiotics I find online and the kind I can buy in the pharmacy down the street?” Most importantly, the right nutritionist can teach you about healthy eating habits. They will ultimately make working towards your health goals more manageable.
What Nutritionists Don’t Do
While nutritionists can help those of us struggling with our diets, they are not miracle workers. Nutritionists cannot help you lose weight or get healthy if you are unwilling to put in the hard work yourself. They also cannot force you to eat healthy if you don’t want to.
When starting to work with a nutritionist, you need to make a commitment to be open, honest and willing. Without this commitment, your nutritionist will be unable to provide you with the best advice for your specific needs.
Should You See a Nutritionist?
Many of us think we have this whole “eating healthy” thing under control. The truth is, just about everyone can benefit from working with a nutritionist. This includes people who want to lose weight, gain muscle or be healthier in general.
If you are specifically struggling with your diet in any way, it will be helpful to see a nutritionist as soon as possible. They will help you get on track and stay there. Many people think they won’t benefit from seeing a nutritionist because they are not overweight or unhealthy. The truth is, they can help people of all sizes achieve their health goals, including you.
Six Questions to Ask a Prospective Nutritionist
Before you start working with a nutritionist, it is important that you ask them a few questions. This will help you determine if they are the right fit for you and your goals.
- What is your educational background?
A nutritionist should have a degree in nutrition or a related field. Be sure these credentials were earned from an accredited program. Fortunately, it’s easy to find out how reputable a degree or certificate is these days through a few simple internet searches. If they do not have the proper educational background or one you feel you can trust, it may be best to move on and find someone else who can help you reach your goals.
- What are your qualifications?
How long has this nutritionist been working in their field? Have they published any research? Can they provide you with references from previous clients? A good nutritionist will be more than happy to answer these questions for you. They should also be willing to give you some references right away.
- What is your approach to nutrition?
Every nutritionist has a different approach to helping people reach their health goals. Some use a more holistic approach, while others focus on specific nutrients or foods. Make sure the nutritionist you choose is a good fit for your personal beliefs and preferences. If they don’t, it’s okay to move on to another one.
- What is your training and experience with eating disorders?
Many of us can benefit from working with a nutritionist, whether we have an eating disorder or not. Just remember that if you have an eating disorder, it’s crucial that the professional you work with has some knowledge on the subject. A good nutritionist will help you find a balance between health and food issues. Never be embarrassed to disclose this information to a potential nutritionist. About nine percent of the U.S. population have an eating disorder at some point in their lifetime, so you’re not alone.
- Are you familiar with specific dietary requirements or allergies?
Most nutritionists are very familiar with the basic dietary requirements. Still, if you have any specific issues, it’s best to seek out one that understands these. The last thing you want is to be stuck working with someone who doesn’t understand how your dietary requirements affect your diet and health goals. So, for example, if you are a vegan, seeking out a nutritionist who is familiar with veganism will be more beneficial than one who is not. This way, they’ll be sure to recommend the best plant-based protein powder or vegan-friendly supplements to you instead of those made with animal products.
- How much does this service cost?
Nutritionists can charge anywhere from $50 to $200 per hour. This may or may not include additional services, such as meal planning or grocery shopping. Before you commit to a nutritionist, be sure you know how much the services will cost and what they include. Make sure you are comfortable with the cost of the service and that it will be something you can continue with for the foreseeable future. This way, you get the results you want and need from a proper, long-term commitment.
Once You Find Your Nutritionist
The effects of a nutritionist’s work are often not immediately apparent. This can be irritating for many as we, the clients, are often used to quick fixes and overnight solutions. We can thank the diet industry, so-called miracle products or just plain old wishful thinking for that. However, with patience and perseverance, we slowly witness positive changes in our physical appearance, cholesterol levels, blood sugar readings and sometimes mental health, just to list a few things that can be improved.
If you can find a nutritionist who meets all of your qualifications and is within your budget, then congratulations! You’ve found an excellent fit for reaching your health goals. If not, don’t worry. There are plenty of other qualified professionals out there who can help you get where you want to be. Just be sure to do your research before making a decision.
Remember, working with a nutritionist is not a quick fix. Still, it can be an incredibly rewarding experience that leads to positive changes in your life with the right one.