Tips for Choosing the Right Nutrition Professional

Overcoming the Fear of Addressing Weight and Health with Your Doctor

Are you searching for outside help from a nutrition professional to assist you on your journey with weight and health? Having extra guidance, structure and support can certainly make your goals more clear and easier to reach, but there are a few things to consider before finding the right person to lead you in the process.

Nutrition professionals are excellent resources who are available to help you with all parts of your weight-loss journey — including food and beverage choices, nutrition supplements and behavior modification. However, they come from many different backgrounds and areas of knowledge. Before choosing the right nutrition professional to accompany you on this significant journey, it’s important that you do some research!

Choosing a Nutrition Professional: Spotting the Difference

As of today, there are three primary groups who call themselves nutrition professionals:


The Nutritionist – The title of Nutritionist is self-awarded and requires no formal nutrition education or skills. While many may have backgrounds in nutrition education training courses or other ways
of acquiring related knowledge, such as nutrition books or study guides, a Nutritionist does not have any certifiable education or training.

The Certified Clinical Nutritionist (CCN) – To become certified as a CCN, an individual must have a professional degree in a related licensed
healthcare field, complete 15 online courses of core
nutrition coursework and pass the Certified Clinical Nutritionist exam. To maintain certification, a CCN must complete 40 hours of continuing education every two years, attend two CCN annual Scientific Symposiums, pay an annual maintenance fee and re-certify every 5th year via annual study textbooks with an open book exam.

The Registered Dietitian (RD) – To become certified as a RD, an individual must:

  • Obtain a bachelor’s degree in dietetics or masters
    degree if you already have another health-related
    bachelor’s degreewhat-s-on-your-plate-
  • Complete all Didactic Program in Dietetics
  • Be admitted to a CADE-accredited Dietetic Internship and complete at least 900 hours of supervised practice
  • Apply for registration eligibility with the CDR
  • Take and pass the CDR approved Registered Dietitian Exam
  • Apply for and obtain a license in most states.

To maintain certification, an RD must complete continuing education and apply for re-certification every five years.

When you are ready to create a nutrition plan with the help of a professional, it’s important to consider all of these options to decide what works best for you! Schedule, cost and other factors can also play a role in your decision. However, if you’re looking for a professional with the right education, training, experience and certification to assist you with your journey, a registered dietitian (RD) may meet your needs the most.

What Other Qualities Should I Be Looking For?

In addition to credentials and experience, there are some other factors you may want to consider before choosing the right nutrition professional to help you on your journey:

  • Reputation – Someone who consistently recieives good reviews for the quality and care of their service
  • Coaching Style – Someone who provides the personalized instruction, resources and tools you’re looking for
  • Counseling Skills – Someone who is willing to help you navigate the emotional journey

Still Have Questions about Finding the Right Nutrition Professional?

For more information about finding the right nutrition professional for YOUR journey with weight and health, you can read the full article from Your Weight Matters Magazine by CLICKING HERE.

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