101: ‘Nutritionist’ Explained
What is Nutritionist & What is Dietitian? Important points.
Before we start, it is important to know the difference between a Nutritionist and a Dietician. Dietician and Nutritionist roles are very different. A Nutritionist cannot call itself a Dietician.
- Dieticians are healthcare professionals who assess, diagnose, and treat nutritional problems. In India (as well as many countries), to become a professional dietician, a degree course or PG Diploma in the field is required along with possession of a license issued by the Indian Dietetic Association (IDA) (or corresponding body for other countries).
- Whereas a nutritionist simply helps clients achieve healthy eating habits.
[DISCLAIMER]: Note that there are various laws and regulations involved, depending on which country you live in with regards to the legality of providing nutrition information to your clients. In India and in several other countries, a Dietician is a healthcare professional with fixed eligibility norms while a Nutrition coach is unregulated and can only advise clients on diet habits, nutrition, and lifestyle. It is to be noted that a nutritionist cannot plan a diet for clients with medical conditions (physical or mental) but a dietician can.
102: Role of a Nutritionist
Is it for you?
As a Nutrition & Health coach, you:
Advise clients about diet, nutrition, & lifestyle choices. Help them with weight management, building healthy eating habits, and helping them build a better version of themselves. You may also recommend them generic fitness routines – All this while earning income.
A Nutrition & health coach is a highly regarded work and work satisfaction is high. But you should be ready to up your skills and research regularly. It is for you if:
- You have a knack for good eating habits and want to expand your knowledge
- You want to learn a new skill and consequently utilize it for a living now or later
- You are prepared to learn a lot of concepts and focus on the subjects
- You like teaching and helping others with your knowledge
103: How to become a Nutrition & Health Coach?
We give you all the resources and information you need to become a well-informed nutritionist, health & nutrition coach.
Unlike a Dietician, there is no mandatory regulation or fixed education prescribed as such to call yourself a Nutritionist or a Nutrition & Health Coach. But you do require extensive knowledge and application of the subject of health and nutrition so that you can give the best, most updated advice to your clients. *(Please note Disclaimer in 101 of this blog)
Do not worry, we will give you all the resources you need to know to become a well-versed and knowledgeable coach.
To start with you need to possess in-depth knowledge of calories, macronutrients & micronutrients, nutrition guidelines, human anatomy, metabolism, general fitness routines, and popular diets. These topics will form the main part of your study:
- Nutrition Theory (Calories, Macronutrient, Micronutrients, etc.)
- Meal Planning (Create diets for weight loss & muscle growth).
- Human Anatomy, Muscles, Metabolism & General Fitness routines.
- Working with clients (assessing their eating habits & helping them see results fast)
The below easy to learn video courses will help you quickly grasp the discussed concepts. All the courses have good participation and feedback. They provide a certificate upon completion and come with numerous resources like planning charts & further study material which will help you professionally. Since the courses are mostly video-based and self-study, you can expect it to complete at your own pace. Also, the resources provided are accessible forever.
Once you are done with the lessons, you will have mastered the concepts which we have discussed above and can begin practicing as a health and nutrition coach. We have also listed the various recommended study material for self-learning to further expand your knowledge.
Books on Food and Nutrition by Indian Authors
Books on Food and Nutrition by International Authors
104: Deciding the fee
Many factors that influence what you charge from your client
Before you set your fees, study the nutrition & health/ fitness coaches in your locality as well as online service providers which will may potentially also cater to your clients. Check out their standard plans and rates. Enquire what customization do they offer and fees for the same. It is now that you will get a rough idea of the fee range and the ‘fixed’ and ‘customized’ plans which you would want to consider for your clients.
It is advisable not to have listed rates on your marketing materials and instead gives tailored plans according to your clients’ requirements. You won’t charge the same fees to a housewife with four kids versus, say, a CEO of a corporation – everyone has different goals and attention needs. This is where a discovery session comes in.
You can provide free discovery sessions via skype/ video apps to find out what your clients are looking for before making a sales pitch and then decide on the rates. A free one on one session can be promoted by various means including third party and own social media groups, pages, websites, and blogs. Discover sessions are important for marketing and demo-ing your course. With it, you can present your course effectively according to your clients’ needs and increase your sales conversion.
We have discussed promoting through social media here. It can also be promoted through your own blog/ website. We have discussed setting up a blog here and digital marketing here.
105: Preparing formats
Use tools to make them professional.
We are highlighting the recommended software which you will find regular use to prepare, manage, and share your meal plans, checklists, and fitness schedule with your clients. Not only they make life easier for you, but they also make you look ultra-professional and increase the clients’ confidence in your coaching methods.
YOU CAN USE SOFTWARE LIKE 1) MEALGARDEN 2) NUTRIADMIN 3) NUTRIUM, ETC.
106: Make Online Presence
Expand your outreach.
Tips on expanding your online presence and attract potential clients:
1 Become known through social media marketing. Set up Facebook, Instagram account pages, and start posting infographics, posts (and links to your blog), photographs of plate consisting of an ideal diet, re-share celeb posts about health & nutrition – you can post just about anything which you feel will attract the attention of your potential clients.
2 Set up a website or a blog for people to discover, discuss, and signup. Post articles and stories on health goals, diets related to your target audience – for example – Diet for Indian housewives, Best fitness plan for travel, Food plan for picky eaters, Top 10 sources of protein for vegetarians, etc.
3 Advertise your “Discovery Sessions” on social media pages, groups, websites, and blogs. As discussed above in 104, offer free demo of skype based one-on-one sessions (we call it Discovery Session) to help gauge the client’s interest, offer them a plan, and covert sales more efficiently and effectively.
I hope the above advice, resources, and tips will help you become a great Health & Nutrition coach and inspire many of us to live life more healthily. If you like this blog or have any feedback regarding our blog, do write to us from our contact page. We will be happy to hear someone benefit from our efforts.