What does a Nutritionist do?

There are 3 questions I am frequently asked: ‘What’s the difference between a Nutritionist and a Dietician?’, ‘What’s the difference between a Nutritionist and a Naturopath?’ and ‘Don’t Nutritionists only deal with weight loss and digestive issues?’  If you’re confused, here is my interpretation!

‘What’s the difference between a Nutritionist and a Dietician?’ 

Nutritionists have an evidence based and holistic approach to preventing illness and management of health conditions through therapeutic meal and dietary planning and where necessary, nutrient supplementation.

Dieticians work to evidence based government guidelines, work in public health policy and major health issues in Australia such as mental health and drug use and assess the nutritional status in community settings.

Basically, Nutritionists use a more holistic approach and Dieticians don’t.  Having said that, there are some Dieticians who do practise holistically and some Nutritionists who don’t.  It’s all about finding the right person for your needs.

‘What’s the difference between a Nutritionist and a Naturopath?’

Exactly the same as a Nutritionist with the exception that a Naturopath prescribes herbs.

‘Don’t Nutritionists mainly deal with weight loss and digestive issues?’

Yes, I deal with weight loss and gut health but my Nutritional Medicine degree encompasses all health conditions and symptoms.  For example, hypothyroidism, anxiety, depression, hypertension and many more.

What happens at the consultation?

I ask a lot of questions such as ‘How many times a day do you pass a stool’ and ‘What colour is your stool?’  Other important things we talk about are your cravings, your sleep, your energy, your stress, any digestive issues (most people do!), any aches and pains, your menstruation and much more.  When I have all the information I need, I’m like a detective.  I look at the symptoms/issues you came to see me for but I also look at the other symptoms/issues that can be resolved at a later stage.  It’s not a quick fix.  Depending on the condition, it can take a minimum of 2 – 3 months to see any noticeable changes.  Sometimes, it can take a couple of weeks.  You are unique, there is no one else like you and that is why I take an in-depth medical history at the beginning and tailor the treatment plan for only you.

The final part of the consultation is carrying out the tests.  This includes Body Composition which tests your metabolism and other amazing things.  Find out more at https://www.wholefoodnutrition.com.au/testing/ , a zinc tally test to see if you’re deficient in zinc, tongue and nail analysis and blood pressure.  This is all included in the overall cost.

I then go away and work on a dietary and lifestyle treatment plan for the person which takes into account their health complaint(s), nutrient deficiencies and any supplements needed or updating.

Again, this process does not result in a quick fix or counting calories.  It is a way of eating for life with mostly whole foods that you will be able to manage yourself.  To see changes, it requires a commitment from you.  Only then, will you see results.

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