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So what is the difference between a nutritionist and a dietitian really?

Many of us have a rough idea of what it takes to be fit and healthy. Get at least seven hours sleep, drink two litres of water a day, and a knock out at least a 30min workout more than a handful of times a week.

But beyond this, there are countless times many of us are left scratching our heads as to the intricacies of dieting, weight loss and sports science – what’s the right approach for me?

That’s where Nutritionists and Dietitians come in handy! They’re experts in dishing out helpful health and wellbeing advice, but there’s subtle differences between the professions that you should know about.

THE SIMILARITIES

First up, Dietitians and Nutritionists have a similar goal – to improve the health and wellbeing of their clients. And they do this by analysing both diet and exercise, and making detailed recommendations tailored to the individual or group. But in order for these professionals to do this, they need to do way more study than just keeping up on the food trends and fad diets. Each profession requires years of tertiary study, such as a bachelor degree, paying particular attention to biomechanics, biochemistry and nutrition science. To their credit, this profession clearly takes much more than just maintaining a snazzy Instagram presence!

THE DIFFERENCES

Nutritionists, in particular, undergo study which allows them to develop expertise across areas such as general health, weight loss and food science. Nutrition Consultants help the public achieve fitness goals by providing advice, food plans and the kicker – continued monitoring, because health isn’t a one-stop shop!

Beyond this,  Nutritionists are also qualified to work in areas such as research and community development. Here, they might work to regulate health standards across the nation, improve education on topics such as obesity and diabetes in high-risk areas, or even implement preventative initiatives with a goal of reducing strain on the public healthcare system.

So Nutritionists are pretty cool, but what about Dietitians? Conversely, Dietitians are able to work in hospitals and private clinical practices, dealing with specific medical conditions such as severe allergies, gastro-intestinal diseases, cancers, severe obesity, or diabetes. Plus, Dietitians are also able to participate in medical nutrition therapy and dietary theory. Therefore, anything medical regarding diet becomes the role of a Dietitian.

In order to work in these additional areas, Dietitians have had to undergo months of additional study, working on case-based medical issues closely supervised by a qualified professional in the area.

SO, WHY SHOULD I SEE A NUTRITIONIST IF I ALREADY HAVE A PT?

Of course you’ll see a huge improvement when you finally dive in and consult a Personal Trainer, but just like Nurses and Doctors, when these two professions work together the results are beyond impressive. Adding the advice of a Nutritionist into your regime will not only improve your energy levels so you can smash it at the gym, but they will also help you steer clear of foods that don’t work for you (since not everyone will see results from the newest health trend). Most importantly, a Nutritionist can help when you’re not working out. If you’re ever faced with an injury or holiday which sees you eating comfort foods, getting some advice from a Nutritionist will ensure you maintain your goals even if you have to cut back exercise. Plus, their presence on social media usually offers huge inspiration to keep at your goals!

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The team at our Fitness Centre is made up of a number of professionals including Personal Trainers, Nutritionists, Exercise Physiologists, and Physiotherapists. If you’re seeking any one of these services pop down for a visit today! We even offer FREE nutrition or PT consults every six weeks for members.

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If you’re after daily inspo check out some of our UQ favourites on Instagram:

TYARRA NELSON

@tyarranelson

RACHEL HAWKINS

@thenakedtruth.au

JACK RADFORD-SMITH

@jack.radfordsmith