Dietitian vs. Nutritionist: Which One Should You Choose For Weight Loss?

Dietitians and nutritionists are pivotal in your journey to becoming healthy. But both have distinct functions. The former is a professional whose degree is regulated under the health board while the latter sometimes has no regulations on who can call themselves “Nutritionists”.

Nutritionists guide you toward a healthier lifestyle by recommending a nutrient-rich diet that aligns with the composition of different components in your body. They’re experts at defining grey areas in terms of health and guide you to elevate them with the help of habit change.

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On the other hand, dietitians are qualified professionals that recognize and diagnose complex dietary and nutritional problems with the help of research and knowledge acquired during their training.

A weight loss nutritionist in Dubai can help you by providing dietary and lifestyle advice.

Nutritionists work in a variety of settings, including hospitals, schools, and community health centers.

Here are a few examples of accredited professionals who are nutritionists:

  • Certified Dietitian (CN)

  • Certified Nutrition Professional (CNS)

  • Certified Nutrition Specialist (CCN)

  • Certified Nutritional Advisor (CNC)

  • Registered Dietitian (RD)

  • Nutritional Therapy Specialist (NTP)

  • Traditional Naturopathic Medical Professional (TNP)

  • Certified Traditional Naturopathic Physician (CTN)

The expansive definition of dietitian sounds positive, but there is a disadvantage.

No regulation governs who can call themselves a nutritionist. Therefore, virtually anyone can call oneself a nutritionist, regardless of professional nutrition-related schooling.

It is therefore essential to evaluate a nutritionist’s credentials before you trust them fully with your diet.

 What is the role of a clinical nutritionist?

In contrast to the broad group of nutritionists, a clinical nutritionist refers to an individual who has received nutrition training to work with patients in a clinical context.

Typically, a clinical nutritionist holds a certification, such as Certified Clinical Nutritionist (CCN).

 What differentiates a nutritionist from a dietitian?

As stated, nutritionist is a broad category that encompasses a variety of experts that advise individuals on healthy eating.

A Registered Dietitian is a nutrition expert with a specialized license and training.

The fact that all RDs are nutritionists but not all nutritionists are RDs is one of the most significant distinctions. Dietitians are approved to treat clinical conditions but nutritionists are not. Plus, diets are more regulated and varying for individuals but nutrition recommendations can sometimes be the same for each.

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Education prerequisites

Education is one of the primary distinctions between dietitians and nutritionists.

Dietitians must satisfy the following qualifications to obtain a license from the Commission on Dietetic Registration:

  • A bachelor’s degree in nutrition science from a recognized institution. Beginning in 2024, new dietitians will require an advanced degree (such as a master’s degree)

  • A test for registration

  • Training under supervision at a food service organization, community agency, or health care facility

  • Credits for continuing education must be renewed every five years

In contrast, nutritionists do not require formal education.

A nutritionist could be a physician with nutrition or food knowledge. Or possess a CNS certification from a reputable organization, such as the Board of Certification of Nutrition Specialists.

Or they can hold a qualification that is less well-known, such as sports nutrition or holistic nutrition, which are frequently unregulated. They could even be self-taught.

To lose weight, should you consult a dietician or nutritionist?

This is a complex subject because so much depends on the credentials of the dietitian or nutritionist under consideration.

In general, if you confront specific and challenging obstacles, a dietitian can be the best solution for your weight reduction goals if:

  • You require assistance controlling chronic diseases and disorders, such as high blood pressure and cholesterol

  • You have an eating disorder history

  • You have food sensitivities

  • You are breastfeeding, pregnant, or planning a pregnancy, and you have a BMI of 30 or above. Obesity is a medical condition that dietitians can assist you with safely

A nutritionist (which includes dietitians) can be able to assist you with weight loss if:

  • You require non-medical counsel, such as suggestions for healthy, on-the-go meals when you don’t have time to cook.

  • You are in good health and want to improve your general health or shed those final pounds.

  • You are looking for a weight loss coach that can motivate and support you.

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How often should dietitians and nutritionists be approached?

Dietitians often meet with clients once a week during the initial month. The frequency of visits is reduced to every other week for a few months, and then to once per month for maintenance. In the beginning, nutritionists can provide comparable schedules.

However, the frequency of visits to a dietitian or nutritionist ultimately depends on your health objectives. Consult your nutritionist or dietitian to discover your optimal schedule. If you don’t have access to a dietitian or nutritionist, a Health coach at Livlively can help you lose weight. Contact us!


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