Nutritionists provide expertise and guidance for help with weight loss, muscle gain, 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 a special diets such as low-sodium, gluten-free, low-carbohydrate, high-protein, vegetarian or vegan. People who have food allergies or diabetic needs can also benefit from the help of a nutritionist. Several factors affect the cost of nutritionist services.
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 dietitian nutritionists (RDNs) are regulated and licensed by the state in which they operate. As such, RDNs may have higher fees than someone operating as a nutritionist.
Many nutritionists and dieticians require an initial consult 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
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, nutrition counseling costs less per session when purchased in bulk or as a package from one service provider. Here’s how Paige Smathers Nutrition breaks down her pricing structure into different types of packaging:
One-month package, including an initial 60-minute consult, one 60-minute follow-up session and email support throughout the month: $190
Three-month package, including an initial 60-minute consult, three 60-minute follow-up sessions and email support throughout the three months: $360
Six-month package, including an initial 60-minute consult, five 60-minute follow-up sessions and email support over six months: $540
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 affect on the cost of services, with nutrition counselors in larger cities and areas with a higher cost of living charger higher rates.