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11 Questions To Ask Your Nutritionist

questions to ask your nutritionist

If you’re thinking of hiring a nutritionist, or have your first session coming up, you may be wondering what to expect. But don’t worry- we’ve got you covered with our list of the best questions to ask your nutritionist!

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How To Prepare To Meet A Nutritionist

questions to ask nutritionist

Before we delve into good questions to ask a nutritionist, you should consider asking yourself some questions first! 

Establishing what you’d like to gain from seeing a nutritionist and what your main objectives are vital if you want to get the most out of your sessions.

With this in mind, here are some questions to ask yourself before speaking with a nutritionist:

  • Why do I want to speak with a nutritionist? 
  • What eating habits would I like to adopt/change?
  • Do I need advice on how to keep consistent? 
  • Are there external factors hindering my ability to facilitate my health goals? I.e. - lack of resources, social pressure, a new routine such as a new job or baby. 
  • Am I making big changes to my diet, such as turning vegetarian/vegan?
  • What is my budget? 
  • What are my health goals? I.e. - to lose/gain weight, improve body composition, learn more about a calorie surplus for muscle gain. 

Asking these questions will help you to shape your own understanding of why you want to hire a nutritionist, thus helping you when you eventually meet with one. 

You should also make sure you understand the role of a nutritionist, so you know the extent of the service they can offer you. We therefore recommend checking out our article on ‘what does a nutritionist do?’ for a better idea of what you should expect from your nutritionist. 

 

Start a career in nutrition today!

Take a Level 4 Sports Nutrition course with OriGym and get qualified to give nutrition advice to your clients

11 Questions To Ask Your Nutritionist

Once you have done your own preparation, you’re ready for your first session with your nutritionist! Here are 11 important questions to ask a nutritionist to get the most out of your time with them. 

Nutritionist question #1 - What Qualifications Do You Have? 

good questions to ask a nutritionist

One of the first questions to ask a nutritionist is what qualifications they have. 

To be a qualified nutritionist, they should have either:

We explain these two qualifications in more detail in our complete guide to becoming a nutritionist here

As well as qualifications, a nutritionist should also be registered with the appropriate organisation. 

The Association for Nutrition (AfN) maintains the UK Voluntary Register of Nutritionists (UKVRN) to assess nutrition practitioners against different criteria. 

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Nutritionists, therefore, should be registered with AfN. Others may also become members of the Nutrition Society. 

Both of these organisations help nutritionists keep up to date with relevant information about the industry and offer training courses and conferences to expand their knowledge and skills.

Having an awareness of the sorts of qualifications and organisations nutritionists are involved with will help you to evaluate whether those you speak with are qualified enough. 

A registered nutritionist will be able to:

  • Conduct consultations and assessments
  • Diagnose and treat dietary and nutritional problems
  • Implement nutrition programmes 

Establishing whether your nutritionist has the qualifications and registration required ensures that they are qualified to give you reliable and scientifically-backed nutrition advice! 

Nutritionist question #2 - Do You Have Any Areas of Specialisation? 

questions to ask a nutritionist

Next on the list of good questions to ask a nutritionist is whether they specialise in certain areas of nutrition. 

Specialities in nutrition include:

  • Sports nutrition. A sports nutrition specialist will focus on making nutrition plans tailored to active adults and athletes to enhance their performance.
  • Paediatric and gerontological nutrition. This kind of nutritionist specialises in considering the dietary needs of young (paediatric) individuals and the elderly (gerontological). 
  • Renal nutrition. This involves working with those who have a diet that is low in sodium, phosphorus, and protein. Patients are likely to need to limit their potassium and calcium intake. 
  • Oncology nutrition. This is about helping cancer patients, survivors, and caregivers develop a good nutritional plan. 
  • Nutrition therapy. This approach to nutrition addresses underlying causes of ill-health and modifies a patients behaviour and eating habits. 

Asking a nutritionist questions like this may help you to obtain nutritional advice that is specific to your health and wellbeing needs. 

Finding a nutritionist whose areas of speciality align with your nutritional needs could help you to get the best quality programme for you.

Plus, you are likely to achieve results faster if your nutritionist’s niche matches your goals, making it one of the most important questions for a nutritionist. 

That said, more specialised nutritionists will charge more for their sessions than more general, newly qualified ones. 

With this in mind, you may want to weigh up whether more experience and specialisation is worth the extra cost. 

For example, if you’re on a budget and just want some holistic nutrition advice, then you may find that your budget only allows for a newly qualified or less experienced nutritionist.

Likewise, if you have a higher budget, you may want to invest in a more experienced nutritionist for your specific needs. 

Nutritionist question #3 - Have You Helped Clients with Similar Goals to Mine? 

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Other important questions to ask nutritionists include enquiring about their previous clients and if they have shared similar goals to yours. 

This will help you to identify their niche and whether their experience is right for you. 

If they have, they should be able to draw similarities between their previous client’s goals and your own. This is the best way of demonstrating that they have the right experience and skills to help you with your nutrition goals. 

For example, if you are looking for a nutritionist to help you lose weight, you should look for a nutritionist who has a track record of helping clients lose weight too. If your nutritionist has only ever helped clients bulk up, then they might not be the right choice for you! 

Even better, they may also provide a testimonial to support their answer. This could be in the form of a quote or story from a previous client, or even before and after photos. 

Within this question, you may also wish to ask how long it took for previous clients to achieve their goals. This may help you to get a better understanding of how long it will take for you to see results too. 

If the nutritionist doesn’t appear to have experience working with people whose goals are similar to yours, you may want to consider going elsewhere. 

After all, you are going to be spending time and money on their service, so it makes sense to choose someone whose niche aligns with your goals!  

Nutritionist question #4 - What Kind of Support Can I Expect? 

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Other key questions for a nutritionist include what kind of support you can expect to receive from them. 

There are various tools that nutritionists can offer to support your progress, such as:

  • Diet and meal plans
  • Progress tracking
  • Cooking instructions
  • Calorie/macro goals
  • Resource recommendations such as apps, books, podcasts
  • Food diary resources

These tools are designed to help you learn more about nutrition and work towards your goals. They can also help to motivate you, thus offering support along your journey. 

This is one of the most important questions to ask your nutritionist, as it is imperative that you get support from a professional every step of the way.

So, make sure your nutritionist offers you a range of tools to assist you on your journey before recruiting them.

Nutritionist question #5 - How Will You Track and Record My Progress? 

questions for nutritionist

Next on the list of questions for nutritionists is how they plan on monitoring your progress. 

After all, how are you going to know whether the programme is working if they don’t check in with you? 

Firstly, all nutritionists should conduct an assessment with you at the start of the programme. 

These assessments may vary depending on your goals. However, for the most part, they will consist of the following:

  • Taking your weight
  • Taking your height
  • Body fat percentage
  • Measurements at various points on the body
  • A discussion regarding your attitudes towards food

As for recording your progress, nutritionists should arrange a meeting with you every 4-6 weeks to repeat the initial assessment and evaluate your progress.

This is super important for identifying whether the programme is working and where changes ought to be made, if any. 

It also provides you with the opportunity to address any concerns you may have with your progress and programme. For example, if you find that you aren’t making the progress you wanted to make within a certain timeframe, your nutritionist may want to change your meal plan accordingly. 

Enjoying this article so far? Here’s 3 more that we think you’ll love:

Nutritionist question #6 - How Will We Communicate? 

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Asking how you’re going to communicate with your nutritionist is an often overlooked question to ask a nutritionist- yet it is arguably one of the most important. 

In fact, communication is one of the key skills needed to become a nutritionist, so it is definitely something that you should look out for in your nutritionist! 

Each nutritionist will have their own way they communicate with their clients, which is why it’s important to know what their preferred method is and whether it suits your preferences too. 

So, with this in mind, consider asking the following questions:

  • Do we have in-person check-ins? If so, how frequent are they?
  • Are there online appointment options? 
  • Are there ways to get in touch with you outside of check-ins, such as via Whatsapp, email or social media?
  • Are there any resources that you’d suggest I use in case I have a nutrition-based question? 

You’re going to want to know exactly where, how and when to meet with your nutritionist for appointments and so establishing this beforehand will help you to feel more prepared. 

If your nutritionist offers direct communication (i.e. phone number, email address), you should make sure you obtain this at the start of your programme, rather than waiting for when you really need it!

 

Start a career in nutrition today!

Take a Level 4 Sports Nutrition course with OriGym and get qualified to give nutrition advice to your clients

Nutritionist question #7 - Will You Teach Me How to Meal Prep?  

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Other important questions to ask your nutritionist include whether they’ll help you with meal prep. 

Meal prepping simply involves preparing whole meals ahead of schedule. 

Many people benefit from meal prepping as it helps them to save time and is also useful for knowing the nutritional content of each meal. 

Most nutritionists will include meal prepping tips in their services, so it is an important question to ask a nutritionist whether they include them or not. 

Your initial consultation will likely discuss your dietary requirements. 

For example, any allergies you may have, whether you are vegetarian, and if there are any particular foods that you dislike. A nutritionist should then tailor a meal prep plan based on these factors! 

They will also be able to develop safe and realistic meals that suit your schedule and lifestyle. 

If you’d like to learn more about meal prepping, then you should consider adding this to your list of questions to ask your nutritionist. 

Check out our list of the best meal prep containers to get equipped to start meal prepping!

Nutritionist question #8 - How Do I Stick to a Meal Plan and Have a Social Life? 

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Following on from the previous question, you may be worried about the amount of time that meal prepping can take, making you wonder how you can stick to a meal plan while balancing a good social life! 

Nutritionists are trained to help their clients reach their goals in a way that fits into their existing hobbies, commitments and schedule. 

They’re also there to provide you with a range of motivational tools to keep you working towards your goals, even when there are times you’re being more indulgent. 

Nutritionists will help you to navigate environments where you have little control over what you eat and drink. For example, they can help you know how to stick to your meal plan when eating out in a restaurant. 

It can be challenging to figure out to start with, but you will be taught how to create healthy habits and the importance of balance. 

Moreover, nutritionists will be able to draw your attention to healthier alternatives to food and drink to not hinder your progress too much. For example, they may show you healthy versions of your favourite treats, such as healthy ice creams!

If you’re someone who enjoys socialising with friends and family in eating/drinking environments, this is amongst the group of key questions to ask a nutritionist. 

Nutritionist question #9 - Do You Have a Nutritionist Website and/or Social Media Links?

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Asking potential nutritionists whether they have their own social media pages or websites is a good way of gaining insight into their business and passion.

These are good questions to ask a nutritionist as most use such platforms to promote themselves. 

Looking at a nutritionist’s social media pages can:

  • Show you what to expect from their programme
  • Inform you about their specialities
  • Show previous client testimonials or before/after photos
  • Provide motivational tips and tricks 

Following your nutritionist’s professional social media platforms may also help you to feel a sense of community with fellow clients!

Nutritionists may also have promotions or loyalty schemes that they only offer online- which is another reason why this is a good question to ask a nutritionist. 


Nutritionist question #10 - Can You Tell Me a Bit About Yourself? 

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It is a good idea to get to know someone before working with them, and your nutritionist is no exception! 

So, asking your nutritionist to give some information about their background and them as a person can help you decide whether they’re the right nutritionist for you.

Examples of sub-questions you could ask include:

  • How did you get into nutrition?
  • Did you always know this was a career you’d like to take?
  • Do you do anything alongside nutrition? 

The latter is a good question to ask if accompanying your nutritional plan with exercise is something you’re interested in. 

Many nutritionists will also have a personal training qualification, so you may be able to get two services in one!

When it comes to asking questions about your nutritionist, it is important to maintain professionalism. In other words, asking general getting-to-know-you questions are fine. But anything too personal can cross the professional line and damage the relationship between you and your nutritionist.  

Nutritionist question #11 - How Much Does Your Programme Cost? 

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Last but not least on the list of questions to ask your nutritionist is, “how much does your programme cost?” 

Now, this may be a question that you feel a little uncomfortable asking, especially if you’ve already chatted about your nutritional wants and needs. 

However, it is important to ask your nutritionist questions about cost, just as it’s important for them to ask about your budget.

The average cost of a nutritionist lies between £50 - £70 per appointment. The typical duration of an appointment is 1 hour. 

Bear in mind that prices may be higher for more established nutritionists, whether they specialise in a certain area or have several years’ experience. 

If you feel awkward about having to turn down a nutritionist’s rate, consider prefacing your questions with:

“I am in the process of meeting with several nutritionists to find one that’s right for me. To see whether we’d be a good fit, is it okay if I ask you some questions and I’ll get back to you about my decision?” 

Saying this before your questions ensures the nutritionist knows where you stand and does not expect to be recruited on the spot. 

If you do decide to go elsewhere, however, make sure that you drop the nutritionist a text, call, email or social media message so that they’re aware of the situation. 

 

Start a career in nutrition today!

Take a Level 4 Sports Nutrition course with OriGym and get qualified to give nutrition advice to your clients

FAQs

How Do I Find a Nutritionist? 

questions for a nutritionist

Now that we’ve run through some questions for nutritionists, you may be curious as to how to find one in the first place. 

There are some great resources that pair people up with nutritionists. The top two resources we’d recommend are:

  • Nutritionist Resource. This is a great resource that enables people to find a nutritionist quickly that offers in-person and online sessions. 

Profiles of various nutritionists are presented, showing their name, location, a photo, and a short synopsis of their experience and specialities.

This is a great place to start when looking for a nutritionist.

  • BDA UK. This is another great resource that partners people up with freelance nutritionists and dieticians.

BDA filters their search to online, telephone, in-person and home visits to make meeting with a professional super easy and accessible. 

Once you’ve found a few nutritionists that you’d like to meet with, consider referring back to our list of good questions to ask your nutritionist to find a match that’s best for you! 

How Do I Prepare For My First Appointment? 

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Once you’ve decided on a nutritionist, getting prepared for your first appointment is the next step.

Here are our top 3 tips to help you prepare:

  • Know the date and time. While this may seem obvious, double checking that you know the date and time of your appointment is critical. 

The last thing you want to do is to miss your appointment and waste your money! 

For in-person sessions, ensure you also know the location of the meeting. 

For online sessions, note whether it’s via Zoom, Google Meets, Skype etc., and/or know the phone number to call way in advance. 

Feeling confident in the practical elements of your first session means that you can focus more on the session itself!

  • Invest in a food diary. Another great way to prepare for your first meeting is to invest in a food journal. 

This will help your appointment to run smoothly as you can note down any relevant information easily.

It’s also likely that your nutritionist will suggest getting a food diary after your first meeting, so doing this ahead of time will show that you’re committed to achieving your nutritional goals. 

  • Have an open and positive attitude. This can often be easier said than done, but important nonetheless.

Ultimately, you’re going into your appointment with one thing in mind: to achieve your goals. 

Your nutritionist is there to offer support and guidance to ensure you reach them as quickly as possible and so try as best as you can to be open to any suggestions that they make. 

What Else Should I Ask A Nutritionist? 

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This article has covered questions to ask your nutritionist before you hire them to figure out whether they’re a good fit. 

During your first appointment, there may be other questions you want to ask that are more specific to your personal goals, such as:

  • How much should I be eating if I want to lose/gain/maintain my weight?
  • How do I know what foods I am intolerant to? 
  • Should I be taking supplements? If so, which is best for me?
  • How can I get my friends and family to support my nutritional plan? 
  • How can I create long-lasting, healthy habits? 

Consider writing down some of these additional questions to ask your nutritionist before your first appointment.

Before You Go! 

So, there we have 11 top questions to ask a nutritionist before hiring them, with some guidance on how to prepare for your first appointment. 

We hope that you now feel more confident in approaching the process of recruiting a nutritionist, so now you can focus on achieving your goals! 

Feeling inspired? See how taking an Advanced Sports Nutrition course with OriGym can help you turn your passion for fitness into a lucrative career! 

Enquire today, or check out our free downloadable course prospectus to browse the full range of courses we offer.

Written by Emily Evans

Content Writer & Fitness Enthusiast

Emily studied English Language and Literature at the University of Sheffield, graduating in 2021 with a 2:1 BA honours degree. Alongside her degree, she also gained experience in student publication as Forge Press’ Lifestyle Editor and Deputy Editor for Post-Production. This is where her love for content writing stemmed from, which also led her to OriGym. Outside of her work, Emily will either be found on a long hike, at the gym or making a mess trying new healthy recipes in her kitchen!

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