How to Find a Registered Dietitian That Is Right For You

First of all, if you are starting the journey to find the a Registered Dietitian for you, congratulations on starting your journey! Finding a nutritionist that is the right fit for your needs and goals can be tricky but worthwhile. 

When it comes to finding the right dietitian, how do you know where to start? Do you ask friends for referrals or look online? And once you find someone, what should you look for in a good dietitian-client relationship? Read on for tips on how to find the right registered dietitians for your needs and goals. 


Finding the a registered dietitian can be overwhelming. You may not even know where to start! But don’t worry – we’re here to help. In this post, we’ll give you some tips on how to find a dietitian who is a good fit for you and your needs. Keep reading for more information.

What to Look For in a Dietitian

1. Know the difference between a Dietitian vs. a Nutritionist

 What is the difference between a dietitian and nutritionist? 

The term Dietitian is a protected title just like nurse, pharmacist, psychologist, and physician. All Dietitians in Canada must complete an approved university degree, an internship program, pass the national registration exam, and become registered in at least 1 province to work as a Registered Dietitian. All Dietitians in Canada would have extremely similar educations (at least to start their careers). 

In British Columbia, only those who have been have been to an accredited university, internship program, passed a national exam, and registered with the BC regulatory body are able to use the title Dietitian. Whereas anyone can use the term Nutritionist. Whereas, in Alberta, Dietitians and Nutritionists are both protected designations and only Dietitians can call themselves Nutritionists. However, it’s not the same case in every province! 

If you want to work with a Registered Dietitian and you are speaking with a Nutritionist, make sure you clarify whether they are a Dietitian or not.


2. Do they have experience in the area(s) you are hoping to improve? 

For example, I have a special interest in women’s health such as Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, building healthy relationships with food, and sustainable weight loss. I often provide PCOS nutrition counseling for women in British Columbia. 

You may not know this but Dietitians practice in numerous areas of nutrition such as:  

  • Sports Nutrition 
  • Eating Disorder 
  • Women’s Health such as Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) or endometriosis 
  • Prenatal Nutrition 
  • Diabetes  
  • Kidney disease 
  • Cardiovascular disease (heart disease)  
  • Gut Health  
  • Child & Family Nutrition 
  • Intuitive Eating 
  • Mental Health 
  • Geriatrics & Long-term care  
  • Other Health Issues, such as oncology 
  • Clinical Nutrition (in the hospital)  
  • Healthy Recipes 
  • Meal Planning and meal plans  
  • Personalized Nutrition Plan 
  • Weight Loss

If you don’t have a specific nutrition goal in mind, you might not need to worry about finding someone who specializes in a particular area!


3. What type of appointments do you prefer? 

Do you prefer in-person appointments? 

  • You might need to see someone within driving distance which can help narrow your search!

Do you prefer to see a Dietitian online?  

  • Then you can see almost any nutritionist online or Dietitian without leaving your house! Many of our clients prefer online nutrition counseling because they do not have to take time off work or find child care! 

Do you prefer private and personalized nutrition?

  • 1 on 1 nutrition coaching may be the right fit for you as you will get the most support for your individual needs and health goals

Are you more motivated when working with others? 

  • A group nutrition coaching program may be the right fit for you as you will also learn from others while working on your eating habits and lifestyle habits.  
  • Many nutrition group programs are cheaper which is always a plus but most are held online so you may need to be comfortable with receiving nutrition counselling online. Read more about the benefits of group nutrition coaching here.


4. Take a look at the dietitian’s profile listing and/or website! 

You can get a good idea of whether you’ll like them by reading their profile listing. You may be able to tell if you will vibe with them just from watching the videos online, so take advantage!

Just as an FYI – Dietitians in Canada cannot post testimonials from clients so that is not something you can find online!


5. Schedule a free nutrition consultation 

This is my favourite suggestion to find a Registered Dietitian that is right for you! Before you purchase a package or an initial consultation, sign up for a free consult call (most dietitians offer this)!

During this nutrition consultation, listen for the following:  

  • Are you able to talk with them easily?  
  • Do they make you feel comfortable? 
  • Do you trust them?  
  • Do you feel like your concerns are cared for? Or are they just rushing through the conversation? 
  • Do you feel like they fully understand your goals & what you are struggling with right now?  
  • Do they focus on food and lifestyle habits in addition to healthy eating or a custom meal plan? 
  • Did the atmosphere feel right to you (trust your gut)?
  • Ask the questions that are important to you such as:
    • Do they direct bill to health insurance companies?
    • Which province are they registered as a Dietitian in?
    • Do they subscribe to a particular diet themselves (such as paleo or vegetarian) and might it impact how they work with you?
    • What is their nutrition counselling style? 
    • Will they take your food preferences, cultural foods, current dietary habits, and medical history into account?
    • How often will you see them and how do they support you through your struggles?
    • How often will they follow up after the first nutrition consultation?
    • How long will it take to reach your goals?
    • What results could you expect from working with them? Such as more energy, feel great or weight loss?
    • What is the cost of investing in your health?

If you have questions or you’re looking to find out more ways you can better manage your nutrition, our first consultation call is always free

You can find out what to expect even before you make that call by checking out my summary of the process

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