What is the goal of nutrition counseling?

Christie Korth
Nutrition & Dietetics
The goals of nutrition counseling vary, depending on the type of practitioner that you work with. There are registered dieticians, conventional nutritionists, holistic nutritionists, health coaches. All of these therapies will be a bit different and focus on different ways to allow the person to be healthy.

Both conventional nutritionists and RDs work from the USDA food pyramid and follow government food guidelines that have been put into place to promote healthy lifestyle.  This approach tends to be more generalized.

Holistic nutrition and health coaching differ from a traditional RD approach and focus more on looking at the person as an individual in terms of dietary concerns, health issues, and the like. Health coaching and holistic nutrition also focus on other, non-typical areas like lifestyle, sprituality, physical activity, relationships and see how they can affect or impact your food choices. For example, a person who has a fight with their siginifigant other may cope by reaching for a pint of rocky road and so on.

Both types of nutritonal counseling include: menu planning, cooking classes, health food store tours, etc. and can help you erradicate many different health conditions. Everyone is different, so choose what is right for you!
The goal of nutrition counseling is to help you meet your weight loss/fitness goals. People who meet with nutrition counselors are typically people who may need a better understanding how many calories they should be eating, what percentage of calories should come from carbs, proteins, fats, etc. We would also help guide you as far as what are the appropriate carbs to eat (complex vs. simply), what types of fats (mono vs. poly vs. trans vs. sat), etc. They would help you come up with a simple yet effective way of eating that will give you the nutrients you need while also enjoying what you eat.
Carolyn Katzin
Nutrition & Dietetics
The goal of nutrition counseling is to provide a personalized guide for individuals and families taking into account family medical history and personal health concerns. Ideally this should be carried out by a nutritionist who has been trained and certified such as a Certified Nutrition Specialist or Registered Dietitian (preferably one with additional Master of Science). These are nutritionists who are able to advise in an informed manner rather than just sell you supplements.
Jim White
Nutrition & Dietetics
The goal of nutrition counseling is to identify the strengths and weaknesses present in an individual's diet. Usually done by registered dietitians, an individual should expect to receive support and education to help make and maintain those necessary dietary changes.  
Vandana  R. Sheth
Nutrition & Dietetics
The goal of nutrition counseling is to:
  • assess your individual nutrition needs
  • provide education including practical tips to meet your nutrition needs
  • to promote your body's potential towards health, wellness and disease prevention
Registered dietitians (RDs) are the food and nutrition experts. You can find a dietitian near you by visiting
Laura Motosko, MSEd, RD
Nutrition & Dietetics

The goal of nutrition counseling or medial nutrition therapy is to assess medical history, food allergies and preferences and current health status to prescribe changes to the diet, nutrition education and behavior change counseling for improved health and optimal nutrition. A registered dietitian is a nutrition expert qualified to provide medical nutrition therapy. 

Margaret Floyd
Nutrition & Dietetics
The goal is really up to the you, the client. For some people, the goal is to learn how to eat in a healthy way. For some, it's about resolving a particular health complaint via food -- for example, resolving digestive issues like heart burn or chronic diarrhea through diet. For some, it's about losing weight. For some, it's about changing their relationship to food. For some, it's about learning how to prepare food themselves rather than rely on restaurants, take out and processed foods.  

In any nutritional counseling you do, you'll want to be very clear on what your goals are and express those to the counselor you're working with. 
Nutrition counseling can help with many different goals, from weight loss, to understanding portion sizes, to eating disorders and emotional eating. When seeking nutrition counseling make sure you are working with some one who is certified. Otherwise, it's just an opinion. Consider seeking out a specialized counselor past that point, especially for help with nutrition and diseases or eating disorders.

Good nutrition counselors can help you come up with a plan that works for you. Being that it should be specific, you should have a part in planning it. A counselor guides you through the steps and helps you realize things about your own eating habits that you may need to alter. meal plans may come into play, but counselors generally gear more towards helping you determine your current relationship with food and how to plan things for yourself. They will more than most likely suggest food logging, help with meal planning, and maybe even take you on a grocery store trip to teach you how to shop.

Remember to make sure your counselor is certified and that you get along well to get the most out of your sessions.
Nora Clemens
Nutrition & Dietetics
The goal of nutritional counseling will vary according to each person's unique health needs. Weight loss is often a part of nutritional counseling, since many health problems can be alleviated by losing weight. Case in point, when diabetics lose 5-10% of their weight, blood sugar levels can improve. 

The hallmark of a good nutritionist is one who listens and understands the person’s lifestyle and provides solutions to the many obstacles that get in the way of proper food shopping, preparing and eating healthy foods in a healthy amount. 

The goal should be to help the person learn how to make healthy food choices, not to "diet" and create a negative perception of food.

Nutrition counseling is actually a journey that we start and stay on as we grow in our knowledge of healthy eating.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.