Nationwide, a nutritionist costs roughly $70 – $100 on average. Nutritionists provide expertise and guidance for help with weight loss, muscle gain, meal plans, improved sports performance, management of health conditions such as diabetes and high cholesterol, and better overall health.
Nutritional counseling benefits clients of any age, following any particular dietary programs. People can get help with special diets such as low-sodium, gluten-free, low-carbohydrate, high-protein, vegetarian, or vegan. People who have food allergies or diabetes can also benefit from the help of a nutritionist. The choice is yours! Whether you’re looking for help losing weight, or need a consultation for a new diet, there’s a nutritionist in your ZIP code who can help. Let’s look at the factors that affect the cost of nutrition counseling and how to choose the right nutritionist for you.
What’s in This Cost Guide?
- What Affects the Cost of a Nutritionist?
- Types of Nutritionist Certification
- Initial Nutritionist Consultation Fees
- One-Time vs. Recurring Nutritionist Sessions
- Nutritionist Packages
- How to Hire a Nutritionist
- How to Save Money on Hiring a Nutritionist
- Benefits of Hiring a Professional Nutritionist
What Affects the Cost of a Nutritionist?
Several factors affect the cost of nutritionist services, including their education level, the pricing structure and packages they offer, and their reputation and geographic location. Let’s break it down.
Types of Nutritionist Certification
The title “nutritionist” is not protected by law and does not require regulation, whereas the title “dietitian” does require specialized education and clinical training. While many nutritionists may have completed formal training or have university degrees in nutrition, they are not required to do so to use that title. Registered dietitians (RDs) and registered dietitian nutritionists (RDNs) are regulated and licensed by the state in which they operate. As such, RDs and RDNs may charge higher fees than someone operating solely as a nutritionist.
Reputation and Location
Well-known and sought-after nutritionists often have higher fees per session than those just starting out. Those with advanced degrees and training can also charge more. Geographic location has an effect on the cost of services; nutrition counselors in larger cities and areas with a higher cost of living usually charge higher rates.
Initial Nutritionist Consultation Fees
Many nutritionists and dietitians require an initial consultation to assess the client’s nutritional needs and determine the best course of action.
Here are pricing examples from two different professionals:
- Adrian Hernandez, M.S.: $99 for a 45- to 90-minute initial consultation
- Paige Smathers Nutrition: $120 for a 75-minute initial consultation
One-Time vs. Recurring Nutritionist Sessions
Ongoing sessions are usually priced less than the initial intake session and can be purchased on a visit-by-visit basis.
Here are examples of ongoing nutritional counseling session rates:
- Adrian Hernandez, M.S.: $45, half-hour session; $60, one-hour session
- Paige Smathers Nutrition: $90, one-hour session
Typically, hiring a nutritionist costs less per session when purchased in bulk or as a package from one service provider.
For example, here’s how Paige Smathers Nutrition breaks down her pricing structure into different types of packages:
- 1 month of nutritionist services: $190
- 3 months of nutritionist services: $360
- 6 months of nutritionist services: $540
How to Hire a Nutritionist
There are a few steps you can take to aid in your decision-making to ensure that you hire a nutritionist who will be the right fit for you and your health goals:
- Ask the right questions: Ask what certifications they have, what their specialty and approach are, and how much sessions and follow-up visits cost to ensure that you’re hiring the right nutritionist for you.
- Determine your budget: Figure out how much you have to spend on help from a nutritionist. Aligning with the pro upfront about your budget will save you both time and energy in the long run.
- Ask for references: How have past clients seen success? Ask for testimonials or reviews from past or current clients to make sure that the nutritionist’s specialties align with your own health goals.
How to Save Money on Hiring a Nutritionist
Hiring a nutritionist is a great and proactive move for your health, and it doesn’t have to break the bank. Here are some ways to save money on the cost of hiring a nutritionist:
- Find out whether they take insurance: Many RDs and RDNs take health insurance, especially if you’re working with a nutritionist as a preventive measure.
- Ask about group programs: A group program tends to be significantly less expensive than traditional one-on-one sessions with a nutritionist, making them an attractive option for people who are on a tight budget.
Benefits of Hiring a Professional Nutritionist
Your health is something that should be taken seriously, and any good nutritionist knows that one size does not fit all. Each person is a unique individual and the right pro can help you establish a tailored plan based on your health needs, food preferences, and lifestyle goals. Whether you’re looking to lose weight or have high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, celiac disease, food allergies, or problems with emotional eating, you’ll receive support to help you set priorities, monitor your progress, and maintain your success from a trained and certified nutritionist.
A nutritionist can also help you better understand any conditions that you may have and the impact nutrition can have on your health. In addition to providing nutrition information and advice, professional nutritionists are trained to empower their clients by providing support and motivation. They will help to hold you accountable for making and maintaining lifestyle changes and will celebrate both your short- and long-term successes.
Changing your lifestyle isn’t easy, which is why professional nutritionists are equipped to handle inevitable roadblocks. A nutritionist can work with you to find solutions to challenges, and tweak your plan to make it work for you. Whatever your health goals are, there’s a Thumbtack nutritionist who is the right fit for you and your lifestyle.