How to Find a Nutritionist to Help You Shed Those Holiday Pounds

With the holidays fast approaching, it will soon be time to dive into the turkey, mashed potatoes, and dressing. That means a little holiday weight gain is almost inevitable for many of us.

So when the New Year rolls around, shedding those holiday pounds becomes a priority for many people. One way to help you cut the weight is by hiring a nutritionist. But how do you find a great nutritionist and how do you avoid the ones that are little more than scammers?

Below, we take a look at what to keep in mind when searching for your own nutritionist.

Nutritionist vs. dietitian

First, let’s look at what the difference is between a nutritionist and a dietitian, because in most of Canada the difference is very important. In every province and territory the title “dietitian” is protected, meaning that anybody using it must abide by regulations and must have completed training and experience beforehand.

Nutritionist, however, is only a protected title in Alberta, Quebec, and Nova Scotia. That means that outside of those provinces, anybody can call themselves a nutritionist, holistic nutritionist, or even a registered nutritionist.

Do certifications matter?

If anybody can claim to be a nutritionist then you may be wondering whether certifications for nutritionists matter at all. The answer is yes they do, but not all certifications are created equal. When shopping for a nutritionist, don’t just ask if they are certified, ask them for details of which organization certified them.

Some certification courses can be bought online and require almost no training or experience, whereas others are rigorous courses. Research the organization that has certified your potential nutritionist to find out what their standards are.

Avoid product pushers

Because most nutritionists in Canada are unregulated, you do have to be on your guard against those whose advice is less than reliable. One major red flag is if a nutritionist pushes you to buy a certain product or brand of products. Chances are the nutritionist is getting paid by these products’ manufacturers. You need somebody who is looking out for your well-being and helping you reach your weight-loss goals in a healthy way, not somebody who is simply promoting a product.

Watch out for extreme diets

Another red flag is nutritionists who push extreme low-calorie diets or who encourage you to cut out entire food groups. Nutritionists who do this aren’t helping you lose weight in a healthy way. Instead, they are just promoting a certain diet fad which likely has little scientific backing and which could even be dangerous for your health.

Remember, a nutritionist’s main goal should be to help you eat healthy, not to simply burn calories. That’s also why you should avoid any nutritionist who insists on pushing a diet onto you that hasn’t actually been tailored to your needs. Everybody’s nutritional needs are unique and a nutritionist who insists on a one-size-fits-all approach should be avoided.

Hiring your own personal nutritionist can be a great way to shed those holiday pounds and to start eating healthier. However, for every good nutritionist there are many more who are little more than product pushers and scammers. Be sure to ask the right questions when looking for a nutritionist and remember that if they make promises that sound too good to be true, they probably are.