Nutritionist: when to look? Is it only for those who want to lose weight?

Maintaining good health requires some care and also periodic monitoring with some professionals. Among these, is the nutritionist, responsible for acting in the prevention, promotion and recovery of health through knowledge in nutrition and food.

It is quite common for people to seek help from nutritionists when they want to do a dietary reeducation or during weight loss processes.

However, this is not the only function of these professionals. Check out the content and understand it better:

Index – in this article you will find:

  1. What is nutrition?
  2. What is a consultation with a nutritionist for?
  3. What are the specialties of a nutritionist?
  4. When to go to a nutritionist?
  5. How is a consultation with a nutritionist?
  6. What to ask the nutritionist at the first consultation?
  7. How much does a consultation with a nutritionist cost?
  8. How often do you need to go to the consultation with a nutritionist?
  9. Can you make an online appointment with a nutritionist?

What is nutrition?

Professionals working in the area of ​​nutrition are responsible for guiding the consumption of food appropriate to individual needs and ways of doing so. This, since nutrition itself is characterized by the act of providing fundamental components to the organism, aiming at its full functioning.

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In this sense, in addition to the usual prescription of diets aiming at loss and gain of weight or muscles, nutritionists can look for other areas of specialization.

This may include specialties such as sports, hospital or school nutrition. Ensuring a broad job market and many options for action.

However, it is necessary to make it clear that it is still quite appropriate for patients to look for forms of in-office care. As, for example, to achieve healthy weight loss – focus of many people.

In addition, nutritional monitoring can also be performed in more specific cases, such as to assist in the treatment of diseases such as diabetes or hypertension.

Or, still, be done by those who want to get pregnant and / or during pregnancy. Focusing on increasing fertility rates and avoiding problems caused by nutritional deficiencies, both in the mother and in the baby being born.

Following, you can better understand what is involved in the area of ​​nutrition:

What is a consultation with a nutritionist for?

A healthy and balanced diet reflects on the entire functioning of our organism, providing improvement in physical and even mental issues. Therefore, seeking a nutritionist should not be something only for those who want aesthetic changes.

On the contrary, monitoring with these professionals can guarantee much more health and quality of life. Here are some reasons to schedule an appointment:

  • Desire and / or need to lose or gain weight;
  • Improvement in sports performance;
  • Need for nutritional re-education;
  • Increase energy and productivity through changes in food;
  • Ensure a healthier pregnancy;
  • Prevent and control diseases – such as high blood pressure and diabetes.

These are just a few reasons to consult with a nutritionist. In addition, it is worth mentioning that this monitoring is not only for adults.

Thus, if your child has difficulty eating, especially healthy foods such as fruits and vegetables, it may be time to seek the help of these professionals. Thus, it will be possible to receive guidance and tips on how to prepare and different ways of offering the same food – perhaps in ways that are more attractive to the child.

What are the specialties of a nutritionist?

Like other health professionals, those who work as nutritionists may also have different specialties. That is, they can work with a focus on specific areas of nutrition.

This is not only a benefit for the professional, that is, although it allows them to work in different areas and sectors of their preference, it also helps patients. This, as it allows you to seek a specialist based on your needs.

Check out some of the segments in which the nutritionist can specialize:

Clinical Nutrition

The clinical nutrition professional is one who performs any and all care that requires direct contact with the patient. In this sense, the most common form of performance is that which occurs in the office.

However, even in other circumstances, such as in a hospital or individualized private care, it can still be characterized as clinical nutrition.

Thus, it is distinguished from areas in which the nutritionist does not act directly in contact with the public. Thus, clinical nutrition is an aspect that encompasses several other possibilities of action within this area.

Sports nutrition

People who play sports, or include many physical activities in their routine, need to have a balanced diet. In addition, it is necessary that the nutritional and energetic deficiencies be supplied before, during and after training from the food routine.

Exercises at home: what to do during isolation? See tips!

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Those who want to increase their muscles or lean mass also need to be attentive to their diet, since exercise alone will not provide the desired result.

Thus, a sports nutritionist aims to assist in increasing physical fitness, gaining muscle or losing fat associated with sport.

In addition, these professionals also provide assistance directed to:

  • Prevent bone and cartilage wear – a process that tends to accelerate due to the practice of physical activities;
  • Avoid loss of vitamins and minerals – which can happen when the body spends a lot of energy but does not replenish properly;
  • Improve athletic performance;
  • Adjust the amount of proteins, carbohydrates and fats according to your sports practices and specific needs;
  • Contribute to the recovery of the body in the post-workout.

It is also common for the sports nutritionist to work together with other professionals, such as the endocrinologist. In this case, the association is quite common, since it is also necessary to monitor and adjust some hormones due to the practice of exercises, in order not to overload the endocrine system.

Hospital nutrition

The performance of a nutritionist in a hospital environment usually takes place in conjunction with a multidisciplinary team. That is, composed of professionals from different segments – doctors, nurses, physiotherapists etc.

According to IBRANUTRI (Brazilian Hospital Nutritional Assessment Survey), almost half of hospitalized patients have some degree of malnutrition.

This factor worsens over time. Thus, the longer the person is hospitalized, the greater the chances of having comorbidities and even higher mortality rates.

In the case of ICU patients, according to the Survey, malnutrition rates reach up to 70%.

Therefore, the role of the hospital nutritionist becomes essential to provide more health in these cases. The professionals who work in this area formulate diets and menus based on the individual needs of each patient.

In addition, they also do nutritional monitoring, analyzing glycemic rates, vitamin and mineral indexes, etc. Thus, it allows a replacement of nutrients and other essential components to the patient in due time.

The result is the greater well-being of the hospitalized person, as well as greater chances of recovery and prevention of the appearance of complications concomitant with other diseases.

Finally, it should be noted that the care provided by nutrition professionals in hospitals can also focus on pediatric care – including in the Neonatal and Pediatric ICU.

School nutrition

The role of the nutritionist in the school environment aims, mainly, to provide healthy and adequate food to students. With this, it is able to supply all its nutritional needs and also favoring the teaching-learning process.

It is a fact that our food is a source of energy for the body. Therefore, when done properly, it can directly improve factors such as concentration and disposition.

In this sense, the nutrition professional who works in this area has the responsibility:

  • Plan the menu based on the nutritional needs of the school community;
  • Perform the analysis of the nutritional value of the snack;
  • Supervise the execution of the food plan;
  • Provide guidance on appropriate meal times;
  • Conduct the sensitivity test – analysis of the appearance, smell and taste of the food, in order to test the acceptability by the students.

It should be noted that the nutritionist can work not only in private institutions, but also in public schools. In these, it is subject to the provisions of funds and regulations of the PNAE (National School Feeding Program).

When to go to a nutritionist?

As mentioned in a previous topic, there are many reasons to look for a nutritionist, in addition, we also saw that there are professionals with different specialties. So, you can choose based on your needs.

In the sequence, you can better understand why some conditions may make you need nutritional monitoring – as in cases of pregnancy, certain diseases, desire or need for weight loss etc. Check out:

For weight loss / obesity

Contrary to what some people imagine, obesity is not just about excess body fat. This condition is classified as a disease, so it requires medical treatment.

Usually, those who suffer from this condition lack multidisciplinary care. That is, with professionals from different areas – which may include cardiologists, endocrines, nutritionists, for example.

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Thus, aiming to take care of the patient’s general health, in order not only to reduce weight and body fat, but to avoid other complications resulting from the disease.

In these cases, the role of the nutritionist is mainly related to dietary reeducation. Thus, it focuses on changing nutritional habits and not just momentary weight loss.

In addition, when it comes to weight loss without the existence of concomitant diseases, it is also important to have the help of a nutritionist.

This monitoring, therefore, allows you to go through this process without harming your health, maintaining adequate levels of consumption of vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates and proteins according to individual goals and needs.

For diabetes

Diabetes is a disease that needs treatment and medical follow-up, among the precautions may be the use of medications and especially an appropriate diet, in order not to cause complications and provide a better way of life for the carrier.

For this reason, the role of the nutritionist is very important here, since this professional will be able to formulate a menu and / or provide guidance as to how to feed those who suffer from diabetes.

It also makes it possible to monitor the patient regarding the daily carbohydrate count and provide guidance on the necessary food changes due to the disorder.

Before that, however, it is common to carry out the anamnesis stage (collection of data about the patient), as well as in any other nutritional consultation.

At this time, height, weight and other general analyzes are usually made to control the professional – it is also an hour of dialogue to understand the way of life and routine of the person with diabetes.

Then, from some tests, a nutritional assessment will be made to measure possible deficiencies of some nutrients, which may (or may not) be related to the disease.

Having done all these steps, it is time for the nutritionist to formulate the new eating plan and ensure that the patient receives all the necessary guidance regarding their diet.

It is worth noting that the general objectives of nutritional monitoring for people with diabetes are based not only on the control of blood glucose and weight. But they also help to prevent comorbidities (such as kidney damage, stroke, diabetic feet, ulcers, etc.).

For cases of food restriction

Dietary restrictions can occur for different reasons. A very common one is allergy or intolerance to certain food (s) – many people have this problem in relation to the consumption of seafood, for example. What can also be manifested in relation to certain substances, as in the case of lactose intolerance.

It is common for these conditions to be discovered only throughout life. In the case of lactose, for example, the alert that something is wrong usually appears after its consumption and derivatives, causing intestinal discomfort and malaise.

From some tests, the doctor can diagnose the presence of this condition.

Therefore, adaptation and a new dietary routine are necessary, often causing changes in daily consumption habits. This is where the figure of the nutritionist comes in.

These professionals can help in the replacement of some foods and also in the establishment of a new nutritional routine – always together with the doctor.

To help with fertility

You already know that a good diet can bring many health benefits. However, did you know that you can also contribute even in more specific cases, such as increased female and male fertility ?!

Factors such as obesity, high stress loads and nutritional deficiencies are directly linked to lower levels of fertility and also to unwanted pregnancy outcomes.

In this sense, with the proper nutritional monitoring, it is possible to make changes in weight and lifestyle. These factors, together with the supply of nutrients at adequate levels, can improve the ovulatory frequency and also the quality of the semen.

Consequently, the chances of fertilization are greater. Remembering that when one of the members of the couple needs treatment for infertility, it is appropriate that this therapy be applied to both.

This is because the techniques used can increase fertile levels for both men and women. In this way, a healthy couple is more likely to get pregnant and to do so in a way that does not present risks to the baby.

To get fat

Contrary to what some people may think, diets are not intended solely to provide weight loss. They can also focus on helping the person gain weight.

When overweight, it is usually linked to a very high caloric intake and low energy expenditure. Likewise, when the person is underweight for their health, the reverse process occurs.

In other words, there is a greater expenditure of energy than is consumed through food.

But that does not mean that the person will increase their caloric gains from foods such as fried foods, pasta, sweets etc. The principle of healthy eating should also be maintained in these situations.

However, what changes is the amount and how many times the person will eat each day and the choices in the diet. This is where the role of nutrition professionals comes in, since it is only after exams and consultations that it will be possible to define an adequate and individual diet plan.

In addition, it is also very common that in these circumstances the use of dietary supplements is prescribed to help with weight gain. Always taking into consideration the organism and individual needs of each person.

For pregnant women

It is not new that during pregnancy many precautions and precautions are necessary, including with regard to food. There are a variety of foods that cannot be consumed by pregnant women and others that should be part of the routine.

Therefore, nutritional monitoring is very important to maintain good health for the mother and baby. Here, it is worth bearing in mind that both overweight and nutritional deficiencies can be harmful.

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Then, the nutritionist will help from the formulation of an eating plan that aims at a balance and the adequate intake of daily calories, according to the individual needs of the patient.

In addition, together with the obstetrician, it will also be possible to prescribe vitamins and even supplements needed in this very important period – such as folic acid (vitamin B9).

To control chronic diseases

Chronic diseases are those that have a slow and long-term progression, such as diabetes, asthma , osteoporosis and hypertension ( high blood pressure ).

We can consider here, for example, the case of hypertensive people. This condition is a risk factor for cardiovascular diseases, such as problems with arteries or even strokes.

Therefore, it lacks treatment and care to avoid complications, which mainly includes the assistance of a cardiologist. However, nutrition professionals can be great allies to avoid comorbidities.

That’s because healthy eating helps a lot in controlling blood pressure. In this sense, having a nutritional accompaniment can make it much easier when choosing which foods to consume and which to avoid.

The diet will be formulated based on the needs of each person, considering hypertension and other individual factors. As an example of an ingredient that should be moderate for these patients, is the consumption of salt.

How is a consultation with a nutritionist?

When looking for a nutritionist and scheduling a visit to the office, you do not need any preparation or prior care. With the exception of cases in which, at the first consultation, the bioimpedance exam will be performed – a procedure that assesses the amount of body fat, muscle mass and other body characteristics.

In these circumstances, the professional should request in advance that you bring light and comfortable clothing and avoid eating for a certain period before the appointment.

In general, the first consultation aims to get to know the patient, as well as their routine and eating habits. Therefore, it is quite common to ask questions about your diet and questions such as the practice of physical activities.

In addition, expectations are also aligned. That is, you will talk to the professional about what your focus is, whether you want to lose weight / get fat or if you are looking for care for a specific condition (such as diabetes or hypertension).

Another routine procedure is to measure height and weight in order to assess body mass index ( BMI ) and other related factors.

Finally, before continuing with the diet plan and specific guidelines for new habits, it is quite common for the professional to request some tests.

These aim to present the nutrient indices and identify possible diseases or nutritional deficiencies that need attention.

What to ask the nutritionist at the first consultation?

If you have never been to a consultation with a nutritionist, it is normal for you to have some doubts or be afraid to forget to ask some important questions.

First, it is important that you know that the professional will ask several questions and from them you can also feel free to take any questions you have about the guidelines and the diet itself.

But to help you out, check out some of the recurring questions you can ask:

  • “What should be the frequency of return to consultations?”;
  • “Are there any tips on how to cook healthier on a daily basis?”;
  • “How often can I consume sugar and other carbohydrates?”;
  • “What is the best exercise for me? What is the ideal frequency? ”;
  • “Can I eat fruits and vegetables at will?”;
  • “How often can I have a free meal day?”;
  • “In my case, is there a need for a supplement or vitamin?”;
  • “How can I make the most of the nutrients in food?”;
  • “Is there an ideal way to store food?”;
  • “How can I eat well even when I’m away from home?”

You can take all your doubts, don’t be afraid. This process is extremely important for your nutritional monitoring to obtain the desired results.

Restrictive diet: is it harmful to health? See the consequences

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How much does a consultation with a nutritionist cost?

The cost of a consultation with a nutritionist may vary according to your city and even in relation to the neighborhood where the service will be performed. Other factors such as the professional’s experience can also interfere.

However, in general, the price is between R $ 150 and R $ 300 for appointments already scheduled for return. That is, you pay for the first appointment but you don’t have to pay for the next one.

But it is worth mentioning that if you have a health plan, the fee for consultation with a nutritionist will certainly be much lower than the values ​​of the private consultation.

In addition, there are also some health care institutes that provide consultations with popular and more affordable prices – as a type of agreement, but without fidelity.

How often do you need to go to the consultation with a nutritionist?

After making your first appointment with the nutritionist, you will receive guidance from the professional regarding when to make a return appointment.

It is quite common that the time interval between each one is 1 month , considering that it is a significant time to see possible changes in weight or even regarding nutritional factors.

However, some people like to come back to the office with a shorter interval of time, such as every 15 days. Usually, in this case, the objective is not to follow results immediately, but to count on professional help to keep the focus on the diet plan.

Thus, the ideal is to align this together with the person responsible for your case.

Can you make an online appointment with a nutritionist?

-Yeah . Just as it works in the face-to-face consultation, it is normal for the service to start with an evaluation of the patient, in order to know data such as age, height and weight. Also, the professional also usually asks about exercise routine and other habits.

So, once this is done, it is common for the patient to explain what motivated the search for nutritional monitoring. With this, it will be possible to proceed with the formulation of a diet, request for possible exams, exercise guidelines, etc.

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Basically, the only difference is that the service will be done remotely. Which can bring many benefits for those who have a running routine and want more agility, for example.

For professionals it is also an advantage, since they are often able to expand their agenda and schedules, as well as reach a larger portion of the population.

In some cases, online consultations are even cheaper than in person.


Food is a factor that is directly linked to good health. Therefore, having the help of a nutritionist is something that can collaborate a lot in this aspect, both in the treatment of problems and in the prevention of possible disorders.

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