We live in a world surrounded by nutrition information. Quite frankly, we also live in a world surrounded by a lot of nutrition misinformation. So how are you supposed to know what is fact and what is fake?
Do this cleanse!
Drink these shakes!
Take these supplements!
Sign up for this program!
Download this app!
Lose 30 pounds in 30 days!
Get into the best shape of your life!
Fit into your favorite dress again!
Get rid of stubborn belly fat!
Lose the bloat!
We are constantly bombarded with these messages, and many more. It’s no wonder you find yourself searching for things like the best nutrition program or what diet actually works?
All of this information and all of these options are overwhelming and confusing. It’s frustrating to want one answer and get hundreds or thousands that all point you in different directions.
So what is the answer? A nutrition expert. A guide who can help you navigate the crazy world we live in and find the way of eating that is right for you.
As a nutrition coach and registered dietitian myself, I talk to people like you every day. People who read things on Google, Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok, and find themselves confused and discouraged. I help people like you navigate the information online so you can find out what works for you and let the rest go.
In this article, I help you understand what a nutrition coach is, what they do, and why working with one may very well be the end of the quest to find a nutrition solution that works.
What is a Nutrition Coach?
A nutrition coach is someone who is educated and trained in nutrition. They possess the knowledge and skills to help you optimize your health and wellness through changes to your eating habits and lifestyle behaviors.
Well-trained nutrition coaches take into account your medical history and current medical concerns. They also work with your eating preferences to build a plan that works in your life. A good nutrition coach will also help you optimize your relationship with food in the process.
What Does Working With a Nutrition Coach Look Like?
Every nutrition coach will approach things slightly differently. However, the main things they will discuss with you are likely consistent.
You can expect your nutrition coach to discuss food-related topics including:
- What you typically eat in a day
- If you follow a specific way of eating (for example vegetarian or vegan, paleo, keto, etc.)
- If you have any food allergies or intolerances
- How much variety do you include in your diet
- When you typically eat during the day
- If you eat consistently throughout the day or often skip meals
- If you prefer to cook or eat meals out
- Your cooking skills and confidence in the kitchen
- Your meal planning process
- How you typically grocery shop
- What beverages do you typically consume
- How hungry and full you feel throughout each day
- Your relationship with food
You can also expect your nutrition coach to discuss other lifestyle behaviors including:
- Exercise habits
- Sleep schedule
- Energy level
- Stress level
- Mental health
A good nutrition coach will help you work through each of these factors to find the ideal plan that works for you. They will use their knowledge and skills to help you move incrementally from your current state to your ideal self. They will help you navigate the inevitable bumps in the road on the path to your healthiest self, whatever that means to you.
Who Should Work With a Nutrition Coach?
If you have specific nutrition goals, working with a nutrition coach will help you achieve those goals.
Some of the most common goals individuals go to nutrition coaches with include:
- I want to lose weight
- I want to feel better and/or healthier
- I want to be fit and active like I used to be
- I want to improve my relationship with food
- I want to ditch diets and find a way of eating that is sustainable for me
- I want to stop worrying about everything I eat and eat more intuitively
- I want to improve my health
- I want to live a long, healthy life
Some individuals also seek nutrition counselling for more specific medical concerns including:
- Diabetes and prediabetes
- Heart disease
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Kidney disease
- Gut issues including IBS, Crohn’s, Ulcerative Colitis, and Diverticulitis
- Celiac disease
- Food allergies and sensitivities
- Weight management
Why Work With a Nutrition Coach?
This goes back to where we started. A quick search for the best diet program or #healthyeatingplan will yield thousands of results and leave you feeling confused about where to start or frustrated that you’ve tried these programs and they haven’t worked for you.
A nutrition coach is different because they focus on you as an individual, not the millions of people searching for the magic pill.
A nutrition coach will talk to you and work with you to find the plan that works best for you. Better yet, when you hit a bump in the road, a nutrition coach will help you navigate the bump and find a better path instead of saying you failed the program, better luck with the next one!
Nutrition coaches are humans, just like you are a human. They can respond, adapt, and customize far better than an online calculator that gives you numbers to hit each day and rewards you with badges and awards or reprimands you with red numbers and sad faces.
A nutrition coach is personalized, individualized, and specialized to help you achieve your personal goals.
How To Pick A Nutrition Coach
If you’re saying yes, this is me, I need a nutrition coach the next step is the most important. Finding a qualified nutrition coach is crucial.
Unfortunately, there are some nutrition coaches out there who have not received proper training and education, and will likely not get you where you are trying to go. The good news is there are plenty of highly educated, well-trained nutrition coaches who can be the missing piece to your health puzzle.
The simplest way to find a qualified nutrition expert is to work with a registered dietitian. Registered dietitians are considered food and nutrition experts, and receive years of education, as well as hands-on training, so they are prepared to work with individuals like you.
To learn more about the difference between a registered dietitian and a nutrition coach or nutritionist: Dietitian vs. Nutritionist: Which is right for you?
There are qualified nutrition coaches who are not registered dietitians. They may be just as well-trained and educated as a dietitian. However, without the registered dietitian credential, it may be hard for you to determine if they are qualified.
If you have found a nutrition coach, who is not a registered dietitian, but you think is knowledgeable and the coach for you, great! To double-check that they are qualified ask about their degrees, certifications, and training programs.
To learn more about the qualifications to look for in a nutrition coach: Qualifications of Nutrition Coaches and Registered Dietitians.
If you started this article feeling confused and a bit hopeless, I hope that you no longer feel that way. If you’re sick of trying program after program and ready for something more personalized, a nutrition coach is a perfect next step for you.
If you’re hesitant to invest in yet another nutrition program, check out our blog about the true cost of nutrition counselling. Your health insurance may even cover the cost of your program.
Here at OnPoint Nutrition, our team of qualified dietitians and nutrition coaches provides virtual, personalized, one-on-one nutrition coaching. We work to guide you and support you in your health journey, whatever that may look like.
We have helped hundreds of people just like you finally achieve their nutrition goals.
If you’re ready to get started with OnPoint Nutrition now schedule a free consultation today.
If you’re looking for a bit more information before diving in, check out this informative 4-minute video from our consult team.
Or, learn more about nutrition coaching in our Comprehensive Guide to Nutrition Coaching to help you find the right nutritionist or comprehensive program.
Liz has been reading nutrition labels since she learned how to read. Growing up with severe peanut and tree nut allergies she learned that it’s important to know what you are putting into your body. She made her first big lifestyle change as a freshman in high school, when she decided to become a vegetarian. However, it wasn’t until she took a food class in Italy as part of a study abroad program in college that it clicked in her mind that she wanted to make food and nutrition her career. Liz graduated from Penn State University in 2015 with a bachelor's degree in Nutrition, as well as a bachelor's degree in Marketing. She completed her dietetic internship with Aramark in Philadelphia, and her master's degree at Northeastern University shortly after.