What Does a Nutritionist Do?
Contrary to popular belief, a nutritionist’s job goes far beyond telling you to eat more whole foods. In fact, with the ever-growing obesity epidemic, more and more people today are looking for professional guidance. The question is, what does a nutritionist do, and how can they help us? Today, we’ll go over everything you need to know.
What Is a Nutritionist?
Unlike a self-proclaimed guru, a nutritionist is an expert in the field of eating. Their primary job is to educate people on the value and steps behind healthy eating. What’s more, nutritionists often work with patients to treat and manage various diseases. As far as their practice goes, many nutritionists offer their services in schools, nursing homes, and hospitals. On the other hand, some are self-employed and own their practice.
What is their Job?
The job of a nutritionist is multifaceted and highly dependent on the patient. For example, one person might have hypertension, and the specialist has to devise an eating plan that helps them deal with that issue. Another patient (or group of people) might struggle with obesity, so the nutritionist must guide them on the road to weight loss. The process of working with a nutritionist tends to look like this:
- Explain what they can do for you
- Assess your situation, needs, and limitations
- Devise a plan for you (while also taking into account your preferences)
- Track your progress, evaluate the effectiveness of the plan, and adjust course if needed
- Teach you how to build a better relationship with food and better nutritional habits
What Credentials and Certifications Does a Nutritionist Need?
Unlike self-proclaimed nutrition gurus and other ‘experts,’ nutritionists have years of formal education in the field of nutrition and eating. First, a nutritionist must earn a bachelor’s degree in nutrition science or a closely-related field. In many universities, would-be nutritionists have to pass different programs to gain experience at the hip of certified professionals. Nutritionists can also go through numerous certification programs to boost their knowledge, expertise, and credentials.
Less challenging paths to becoming a nutritionist include:
- Working for a single certificate – depending on the program and your country – can take between several weeks and one year.
- Getting an associate’s degree – this typically takes about two years.
But for a person to become the best nutritionist they can be, they need to be curious and ambitious to learn more, stay up to date with research and be open to changing their opinions and how they operate.
Nutritionist Near Me
When typing the phrase ‘nutritionists near me,’ it’s essential to do your research and carefully examine the experts, how they operate, what they offer, and what people say about them. The difference between two nutritionists can be tremendous, and you need to be careful who you trust with your health.