A Guide to Hiring a Personal Nutritionist: Costs, Value, & More
We work hard for our money so it comes as no surprise that we do everything in our power to not give it up easily. We tirelessly read product and service reviews, ask our friends and family for their recommendations and then still may sit on our decision to finally purchase that flat-screen TV, customized barbell, or that expensive (but totally adorable) patio set.
We are especially professionals at procrastinating on purchasing services and items that we know will be beneficial to us (massages, facials, personal training sessions, nutritionists) for the same reasons that we wait to purchase larger items: we want to know that we are getting a great deal at the price and that we are not missing out on possibly a better deal. FOMO at it's finest. We also want to know that what we are purchasing is ultimately what we wanted in the first place. All of these factors make being a consumer extremely difficult. Add in the stress of purchasing online products and these concerns seem to amplify! No bueno.
One of the first questions I receive as a nutritionist is, "How much are your services?" Well, lucky you! I am going to tell you right here, right now. First, I take every single one of my clients through what we nutritionists call an "Initial Nutrition Assessment". (click this link to take you to my professional service page). You are probably thinking, "Ok, well what is a nutrition assessment?"
A Nutrition Assessment is a rather in-depth overview of where your health was, is, and where you want it to be. We review both past and current health concerns and how nutrition and lifestyle can help you reach your health goals. I ask clients to fill out (as truthfully as possible) what is called a diet diary/record. This is essentially where you will record everything you eat, drink, sip, pour, mix, and consume during a given day and at what times. I have you fill out a dietary record during two weekdays and on one weekend day to get a good sense of what your dietary patterns look like. Additionally, I have you bring or send me (through a secure online platform) your past or current lab results that your doctor should have ordered. (For example, a complete blood count, vitamin D levels and others).
The Nutrition Assessment is broken into two appointments:
Appointment 1: This appointment is reserved for reviewing current assessments, labs, and questionnaires. It will provide your nutritionist with a clear picture of your past health concerns, current situation, and future health goals. (60 min)
Appointment 2: This will be your first follow-up appointment and where your personalized nutrition and lifestyle plan will be given to you. We work together to review the plan and dive deeper into questions or concerns. You will leave with a clear understanding of what your next steps are and the tools you need to be successful. (45-60 min)
Specifically, you will leave with:
Lifestyle recommendations, such as sleep, exercise, and stress management techniques
Supplement recommendations (if necessary)
Lab testing recommendations (if necessary)
I charge $75.00 US dollars for this service. Yup. That's it. You will most likely spend this much on an "unexpected" trip to Target or three weeks' worth of Starbucks (if you go four times/week and spend $6/visit).
This is comparable to other nutrition services. For example, most states offer dietitian reimbursement rates at or near $15-$30+/15 min of service (depending on individual or group visits). This puts the price at approximately $60-$120+/hour of service. Just like with any service you can customize it based on what features you are looking for. Say you are shopping for a new car. Your basic car without any unnecessary "luxury" will be around $16,000. But, if you are looking to customize the interior, want leather seats, the newest and greatest technology...etc you could be looking at more than $50,000. The same is seen with prices for nutritionist services. Your most basic nutrition service would be to review your current and past health histories and discuss what your goals are ~$45-$80 (depending on where you live). If you want a nutritionist to give you a customized plan, you could add on another ~$75+. On top of that, if you want to customize with additional features like accountability meeting twice per week you can add on another ~$100+.
Basic nutrition guidance = ~$45+
In-depth review of health history and review of goals + customized plan = ~$120+
All of the above + one month of accountability = ~$220+
Do you see how what you want from your nutritionist can start to add up?
Most nutritionists combine all of these common "wants" from their customers into prices that reflect what their personal education and experiences are, in addition to what they believe their clients can pay (based on average household incomes from local service data). Besides, if someone wants services for free or doesn't want to pay at all, what could the nutritionist actually give or how could they help that person who is not willing to invest in their own health?
I can guarantee you that most nutritionists around the area got into the business because they genuinely care about their clients and understand the importance of nutrition and proper lifestyle and how that can greatly improve the lives of their clients.
I hope this article provided you with answers to questions that you had about hiring a personal nutritionist!
Have you ever had a question about what the difference is between a nutritionist, dietitian and health coach? Be on the lookout for my next article that describes the similarities and differences.
Thanks for reading,