How to find the right nutritionist

Consulting a knowledgeable nutritionist can help you take off the extra weight. Here’s how to find the best one for you.

One way to lose weight – and keep it off – is to hire an experienced nutritionist. Here are some helpful tips on what to look for.

Nutritionist vs. dietician

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

A 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?

Certifications matter, but they’re all not created equal. When looking for a nutritionist, ask if they are certified and ask for details about 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.

Health over products

Because parts of the nutrition industry are unregulated, it is always a good idea to do your homework before hiring a nutritionist’s services. Ideally, you want somebody who will look out for your well-being and help you reach your weight-loss goals in a healthy way. If a nutritionist insists on selling you products or tries to convince you that their products are the only/best way to lose weight, that’s probably a bad sign.

Watch out for extreme diets

A nutritionist’s main goal should be to help you eat healthy, not to simply burn calories. That’s why you should avoid any nutritionist who insists on pushing a diet onto you that hasn’t been tailored to your needs. If they push extreme low-calorie diets or encourage you to cut out entire food groups, they may be promoting a certain diet fad (perhaps with little scientific backing), and this could be risky for your health. Everybody’s dietary needs are unique and a nutritionist who insists on a one-size-fits-all approach may not be the right fit for you.

Hiring a personal nutritionist can be a great way to shed pounds and to start eating healthier. Be sure to ask the right questions and look for one who doesn’t offer any false promises. In the end, there is no getting around the hard work required to get healthy!

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