Looking at what a nutritionist does is one of the most important steps you can take before enrolling in a college degree program. While a nutritionist and a dietician share some similarities, nutritionists usually need a college degree and some experience. A dietician can accept a position right out of high school and work in more advanced fields with a certificate. Nutritionists focus specifically on how different foods impact people in different ways, but you’ll find yourself doing a number of things when working in this field.
Develop Weight Loss Programs
One of the jobs that a nutritionist might do relates to weight loss programs. The experience and education that you earn can teach you the importance of eating different foods and which foods are the best for people of different body types. Developing a weight loss program lets you share your knowledge with others. While you might create a weight loss program used by thousands of people, you’ll more likely work with individual clients and help them create a program that will help them improve their overall health.
Assist Those with Medical Conditions
When looking at what a nutritionist does, you might find that some work in hospitals and medical clinics to support those recently diagnosed with certain diseases. These nutritionists help people with diabetes, high cholesterol and other diseases learn how the foods they eat can affect their overall health. They also work with patients diagnosed years ago to ensure they follow the diet plans and recommendations issued by a doctor. You’ll have the chance to help your clients decide what they can and cannot eat and show them how to keep track of their foods to see how different meals affect their bodies.
Work with Athletes
According to the Association for Nutrition, sports and exercise nutrition is one of the growing fields for nutritionist. Sports and exercise nutrition is a specific category that deals with athletes at the professional and amateur level. The human body uses the food eaten to create energy to get through the day. Athletes can burn hundreds of calories during a single practice session, and athletes generally need to use diets that are different from ordinary people. A sports nutritionist looks at the activities that an athlete performs and determines the best type of diet for that person, and many nutritionists keep working with athletes during the off season.
When looking at information on what a nutritionist does, you’ll also find that they work in food science. People constantly look for new ways to lose weight, and nutritionists always research the impact that those new diets have on the human body. Some of those nutritionists working in food science work for private companies to determine the total number of calories, fat and other ingredients found in new foods before those foods hit the market. In addition to working for private food manufacturers, food science experts may also work for research institutes, at colleges and for the government.
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Not all nutritionists work in the same fields. Some work with private clients in their own offices, while others work for hospitals and medical clinics or for research institutes. Though looking at what a nutritionist does is important for your future, you also want to look at what each type of nutritionist does and where those nutritionists work.