What To Know Before Hiring A Nutritionist

Figuring out the best nutrition for your fitness goals can be challenging. Whether you're trying to lose weight, strengthen your body for a sports competition, or anything in-between, there are many healthy ways to eat. From keto diets to plant-based eating — you name the healthy diet to try — enlisting help from a nutritionist may help. However, before hiring a nutritionist, it's essential to know your goals, needs, and concerns to help you find the right specialist (per Aaptiv).

Nutritionists help by designing a personalized plan for your nutrition that goes beyond the current popular health trends. This is because everyone has a different genetic make-up. Something that's healthy and effective for one person's diet, may not work for someone else's diet. "A dietitian is trained to spot these nutrient deficiencies (or toxicities) and help you to correct them with the goal of leaving you feeling your best," points out registered dietitian, Lauren Cornell, to Aaptiv.

According to Cosmopolitan, nutritionists also support people with various digestive problems (i.e., bloating, irritable bowel syndrome, etc.), health conditions, and they give guidance on healthy and sustainable eating habits. This in turn is meant to encourage one to create a healthy relationship with food, as per Aaptiv.

Is there anything else I should know?

Believe it or not, there are some cons to hiring a nutritionist. When it comes to appointing a nutritionist, sometimes it's hard to find the right person, and not all are certified, points out Aaptiv. The solution here is to come prepared with questions before you hire one. Women's Health recommends asking the specialist what type of certifications they have before booking with them.

Keep in mind, a nutritionist should either be a registered dietitian nutritionist or a registered dietitian accredited by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics' Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND). Nutrition experts can also be found on the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics website or through your primary physician. However, not all visits to see a nutritionist are covered by insurance (via Aaptiv).

Before your visit, expect to complete a detailed three-day food log, explaining the foods you eat (i.e. types, amount, during what time), exercise habits, medical history, lifestyle routines, and current health condition (per Cosmopolitan). These may also be further discussed during the initial consultation, where your nutritionist will aim to learn more about your nutrition and overall health. Nutritional counseling can range anywhere from 60 to 90 minutes, with a follow-up session three to four weeks later. It's important to remember that neither a nutritionist nor nutritional counseling replaces the advice from a medical professional.