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What Is a Holistic Nutritionist?

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Have you tried everything to reach your health goals, but nothing seems to work? Maybe you tried something new that seemed to work initially, but your results did not last. Looking for the best solution for your health concerns can be overwhelming, especially when it feels like you've tried everything and nothing works or lasts. 

A holistic nutritionist focuses on overall health, with an emphasis on natural foods and products for lasting results, no matter what main health goals you've set for yourself. A certified holistic nutritionist can help you reach optimal health by incorporating holistic nutrition focuses on your journey to a healthy lifestyle. Holistic nutritionists can help patients no matter the health goals they have set for themselves. A holistic nutritionist can help you reach your health goals by listening to your needs and creating a holistic plan. 

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The Bottom Line:

  • How can a holistic nutritionist help? – A holistic nutritionist provides individualized plans designed to have a therapeutic impact on the body — both physically and mentally.
  • What are the benefits of working with a holistic nutritionist? – Working with a holistic nutritionist makes your wellness goals more reachable. They can recommend meals and daily routines that remove stress and improve your quality of life, all tailored to you.
  • Am I a good candidate to work with a holistic nutritionist? – Anyone can benefit from working with a holistic nutritionist. If you’re looking to improve your overall health, consider working with a holistic nutritionist.

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How Can a Holistic Nutritionist Help?

Conventional nutritionists mainly focus on the physical aspect of your health. In contrast, a holistic nutritionist focuses on how your physical health can impact your mental and emotional health. While both holistic and conventional nutritionists have the same goal, the two types of nutritionists may help you reach your goals differently. 

A holistic nutritionist will typically focus on natural and therapeutic nutrition methods and how these methods impact the entire body. Holistic nutritionists will include holistic principles focusing on raw foods while avoiding processed foods. A conventional nutritionist will likely focus on how certain foods interact with your body. Still, conventional nutritionists won't be as concerned with the impact these foods have on your emotional and mental well-being the way a holistic nutritionist will be. 

Most nutritionists and dietitians focus on helping their clients reach their health goals. Holistic nutritionists help clients by incorporating a wellness routine that implements a whole-person perspective. They can help you achieve optimal health by teaching you how to develop healthy habits and proper nutrition. A holistic nutritionist uses holistic nutrition to analyze your physical, emotional, and mental health to determine the best food to help you achieve overall optimal health. 

A holistic nutritionist can help you feel more in touch with your emotional and mental health by incorporating the foods that best serve your body and your needs. Holistic health is a way to use nutrition to benefit all parts of your body, not just the physical aspects of life. When you use a plan focused on holistic nutrition, approach health with an open mind to achieve the best results in your holistic health journey.

What Does a Holistic Nutritionist Do? 

Holistic nutritionists heal patients by considering an individual's unique nutritional needs and creating specific health plans just for them. They are not just concerned with your physical health but on how your activities and eating habits\s affect your overall being, including your mental and emotional welfare. 

For a holistic nutritionist, helping their client involves assessing their overall health and wellness beyond nutrition's physical impact on the body. For example, a holistic nutritionist may encourage you to eat whole foods, keep a symptom journal, and encourage you to look for joy in your life. Holistic nutritionists may also discuss ways to prepare nutritious foods for enjoyment instead of eating healthy foods just for the physical benefits. 

The holistic nutrition industry has created an overall approach of changing health habits to improve the health of the entire body. The holistic nutrition industry has grown in recent years because of its lasting impact on people of all ages and body types. 

Read more to get an in-depth view of what a holistic nutritionist does.

What Is the Difference Between a Holistic Nutritionist vs. a Holistic Dietitian?

The roles of a holistic nutritionist and a holistic dietitian are very similar, but one significant point sets the two apart—their credentials. 

Again, a holistic nutritionist focuses on how nutrition impacts the body's physical, mental, emotional, and overall health. Holistic nutritionists help people learn what foods are best for their bodies and health goals. A holistic dietitian does all these but with a slight difference. 

A holistic dietitian typically earns different credentials to help their clients. A holistic dietitian may be equipped to help people with clinical conditions because of their training, education, and credentials. Holistic dietitians may observe any symptoms their clients have and can give their clients a diagnosis based on their observations. This can be helpful for anyone worried they could have underlying conditions. 

Overall, these holistic nutrition professionals help their clients use food to heal their bodies,  although they do so with different degrees of qualifications.

What are the Credentials of a Holistic Nutritionist?

There are several steps that a person must complete to become a holistic nutritionist. 


First, they must build a strong foundation of nutritional knowledge about how nutrition impacts the body. Holistic nutritionists must also have a deep understanding of how to create individualized plans to best help their clients. A strong foundation of nutritional knowledge will help these nutritionists give their clients specific food and lifestyle plans to help their clients reach their goals. 

Some holistic nutritionists may choose to complete a nutrition program at the university level and supplement their education with classes focused only on holistic nutrition. Holistic nutritionists should build a strong foundation of general nutrition knowledge before learning the specifics of holistic nutrition.

Work experience

Aspiring holistic nutritionists will also complete a substantial amount of hours of work experience, and this work experience will likely be in holistic nutrition. Work hours in holistic nutrition give students real-world experience working with clients. 

The work hours will be essential to developing skills that students lean on when growing their practical nutritional knowledge in holistic nutrition. A holistic nutritionist develops healthy habits that benefit the entire body, however, every patient is different, with specific requirements, habits, and dietary restrictions..

Pass the exam

Lastly, holistic nutritionists must pass an exam offered by the Holistic Nutrition Credentialing Board to officially become board-certified holistic nutritionists. Students who pass this exam have demonstrated that they have a firm grasp on their nutrition knowledge and can adequately help their clients achieve optimal health. 

The credentials ensure that every client working with a holistic nutritionist receives detailed, relevant health information that will positively impact their overall health. 

Holistic nutritionists may choose to pursue a master's degree, certification programs, internships, or other courses to further their knowledge and best help their clients, but these are not required.

The Benefits of Working with a Holistic Nutritionist

Many holistic nutritionist clients can attest to the benefits of working with a holistic nutritionist, including for the reasons listed below.

Stress reduction

Because holistic nutritionists focus on a client's overall health, many holistic nutritionist clients experience a reduction in stress in their daily lives. Holistic nutritionists help clients understand and address the stress in their lives. 

Holistic nutritionists teach the techniques to help their clients face stress head on and overcome it. When a person has less stress, they experience better regulation of hormones, peace of mind, and an overall better quality of life.

Decreased inflammation

Holistic nutritionists know the best nutrition to help decrease inflammation. Holistic nutritionists can recommend certain foods to limit and foods to consume to help reduce painful inflammation. 

In addition to recommending specific foods, holistic nutritionists can also recommend other ways to decrease inflammation, like exercises, better sleeping practices, and more.

Overall health and wellness

Working with a holistic nutritionist can help you take charge of your health in ways you didn't think were possible. A holistic nutrition health professional will help you approach holistic health in a way that improves many aspects of your life, including weight management, if you struggle to gain or lose weight. 

Holistic nutritionists give each client nutritional advice specific to their bodies and wellness needs. This nutritional advice will include a client's health issues and health history to best help each client achieve optimal health wellness throughout the body. Holistic nutritionists also teach the best foods for their bodies by offering nutrition guidance.

Am I a Candidate to Work with a Holistic Nutritionist?

While working with a holistic nutritionist has many benefits, you may wonder if you're a good candidate to work with a holistic nutritionist. Found out below if you qualify. 

To prevent chronic conditions 

You may work with a holistic nutritionist to lower your risks of developing chronic conditions. Chronic conditions like diabetes, heart disease, and hypertension can have a significant negative impact on a person's life. These health issues can be costly and create dangerous conditions for your overall health. 

Chronic conditions can cause unnecessary stressors in your life. A holistic nutritionist can help by providing nutrition coaching backed by nutrition science to improve any chronic conditions or prevent them from developing. Not only can a holistic nutritionist recommend healthy food to improve your blood sugar, blood pressure, and more, but they can also recommend nutrition that encourages lower stress levels. 

Holistic nutritionists work with each client to determine not only a healthy diet but also ways to slow or prevent chronic conditions from developing. Learning optimal nutrition for your body can help decrease risk factors for developing these dangerous conditions.

To improve your overall health

A holistic nutritionist can also help you improve your overall health by decreasing stress in your life. They can also help you take your health into your control and use holistic nutrition principles to teach you the best ways to improve your overall health. A holistic nutrition professional can help you learn and can improve your overall health and wellness with nutrition, lifestyle changes, and other practices that can positively impact your life. 

A certified nutrition professional has the best information to help each client improve their holistic health in ways that other nutritionists can't. Holistic nutrition professionals can help increase energy levels, improve digestion, improve heart health, improve blood sugar levels, improve brain function, and more.

To improve your understanding of nutrition

Holistic nutrition professionals will give you the nutritional information you need to reach your goals and maintain success. Holistic nutrition professionals will not keep their knowledge to themselves like guarded secrets. Instead, these professionals will share their expertise with clients to help their clients in many ways. 

When clients understand nutrition and how nutrition interacts with their bodies better, these clients can better maintain their health goals long-term. Holistic nutrition professionals give their clients information that is specific, targeted, and helpful to the client's specific health needs.

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About the author

Nicolette Star Maggiolo, RD, LDN
I'm a Registered Dietitian-Nutritionist with education from Boston University and clinical training from both Brigham & Women's Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. I specialize in helping the military and non-military individuals embrace nutrition as a partner in both their mental and physical health.

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