What's the Difference Between Dietitian, Nutritionist, and Health Coach

Apr 12, 2024


Are you feeling overwhelmed trying to navigate the world of health professionals to reach your wellness goals? You're not alone.

Your social media feeds are probably flooded with advice from health coaches, nutritionists, and influencers posting their latest "high-protein, low-carb" recipes with the hashtag #nutritionist.

But what's the real difference between them, and how do you know which is right for what you need?

Check out the infographic from Loop Nutiriton below, and keep reading as we break it down!

Loop-RD vs Nutritionist-1080

Registered Dietitians

Let's start with the heavy hitters: registered dietitians (RD). These professionals have paid their dues to work with you. With a master's degree in nutrition, a supervised internship, and a national exam under their belts, they're not just experts in food and nutrition; they're also certified to provide medical nutrition therapy to manage chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease, and kidney disease.

Most RDs also undergo additional nutrition counseling training and coaching, equipping them to educate clients on healthy lifestyle choices. Registered Dietitians work in hospitals, doctor's offices, government agencies, food service operations (and even your local fitness club.)

But here's the kicker: All dietitians are nutritionists, but not all nutritionists are dietitians. We know it's a bit confusing.


Nutritionist is a catch-all term for professionals with varying levels of education and expertise.

Unlike dietitians, nutritionists aren't regulated by a governing body, so there aren't any set qualifications for someone to call themselves a nutritionist.

While some nutritionists have formal education or certifications in nutrition, many don't. So, doing your homework and verifying their credentials is crucial before trusting them (or anyone else) with your health!

Health Coaches

Last but not least, we have health coaches. These professionals specialize in providing clients with broad health guidance, motivation, and support to facilitate lifestyle changes.

They're still respected specialists in the wellness world, trained in motivational interviewing and behavior change techniques to help you adopt habits that promote overall well-being.

Some health coaches have nutrition, fitness, or counseling backgrounds, but certification isn't always a prerequisite for offering coaching services. While certification can add credibility to a health coach, it's not a deal-breaker if you want to work with one without certifications.

In Conclusion...

Whether you're managing a medical condition, wanting to leverage your nutrition to reach your fitness goals, or simply aiming to improve your eating habits to support a healthier lifestyle, finding the right professional can make all the difference.

If you're ready to get serious about your nutrition, why not schedule a free 15-minute consultation with Loop Nutrition? Their team of expert RDs at O2 (in clubs and virtually) provides customized nutrition guidance and expert advice tailored to your unique needs.

Stop letting your nutrition hold you back. Book your consultation with Loop Nutrition today to take that first step towards a healthier you!


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