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How do you choose a nutrition counselor?

You should expect to have someone listen to your individual concerns, take into account your lifestyle, tastes, and preferences. Your counselor should be experienced in working with people with similar concerns to you. A plan should be:

bulletcustomized for you.
bulletbased on the best scientifically sound nutrition information, not on the diet book of the month.
bulletbe realistic and sustainable.

Your plan should not:

bulletexclude certain food groups (unless you have specific food allergies or intolerances).
bulletkeep you dependent on the nutritionist or dietitian. It should help you develop the skills you need, to self-manage.
bulletcause rapid weight loss (or lead you to expect it).

    You also should expect that your nutritionist or dietitian is not augmenting the counseling fees by selling you supplements or vitamins. If you could benefit from any kind of supplement, you should be directed to brands which you can find at your supermarket, pharmacy, or health food store.

    You should check the credentials of your nutrition counselor. You should expect at least a bachelor's degree in nutrition and food science. If you have medical concerns, you should be sure that your nutrition counselor has received extensive, supervised training in a hospital-based setting. Your practitioner should be well educated in food science, since we get most of our nutrition from foods. Registered dietitians (RDs) meet all of the above requirements, and they must pass a national credentialing examination, and must complete continuing professional education.

bulletLearn more about the credentials of RDs.
bulletLearn more about Marla Heller's credentials.
bulletFind a registered dietitian in other parts of the country.


1999 - 2010 Transitions Nutrition Consulting

Northbrook IL, tel 888-794-0788.

If you have any comments or questions, email us at This page was last updated on January 09, 2010.

Original web design by Julie Wehmeyer, while she was a dietetic intern at UIC