There is a common misconception that a nutritionist and a dietitian are one and the same thing. Yes, both of these professionals do assist people with their eating plans and food choices however there are fundamental differences between the two.
Nutritionist vs Dietitian
What does a dietitian do?
The main difference between a dietitian and a nutritionist is that a dietitian has a four-year BSc degree and is registered with the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HSPCA). You can study a BSc in Dietetics – in South Africa at the following universities:
- Stellenbosch University
- University of the Western Cape
- University of KwaZulu-Natal
- University of Pretoria
- University of the Free State
If the food that you eat is causing you a physiological problem – for example, many people suffer from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) as certain foods that they eat do not agree with them – you would then go to a dietitian. Two of the most common foods that aggravate IBS are bread and pasta. However, if you are just interested in, for example, losing weight, a dietitian will be able to assist you as well.
What does a nutritionist do?
A nutritionist will advise his or her clients on the correct food to eat in order to, for example, lose weight and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Very often, personal trainers become nutritionists as well so that they can advise their personal training clients on what exercises to do and how to complement their body goals with the food that they eat.
There are loads of benefits to becoming a nutritionist. One of the big ones is that you can set your own hours. This makes the nutritionist profession ideal for people who need flexibility in terms of working arrangements, for example mothers with children.
There is a growing number of people who are interested in improving their nutrition and taking nutrition supplements to reach certain goals for their physical appearance. This means that if you become a nutritionist, you won’t be short of clients! One such nutrition supplement in protein powder. In our article entitled The Truth About Protein Powders we chat about the different types of powders that are on the market as well as the pros and cons of each one.
Where can I study to become a nutritionist?
Before you choose a nutrition qualification to study, you need to decide who your target market will be as different groups of people have diverse nutrition needs. For example, sports people have higher energy needs than – say for instance – office workers as they are more active than the latter group of people.
If you want to focus on becoming a nutritionist for sports men and women, we recommend that you register for Trifocus Fitness Academy’s newest nutrition course: the Sports Nutrition Diploma. It is internationally accredited by the Nutritional Therapy Education Commission (NTEC) in the UK. On it you’ll learn, for example:
- The best way of communicating good nutrition practices to your athlete
- How to design integrated nutritional and fitness assessment tools for your athlete
- What the recommended nutritional intake for an athlete is
- How to tailor-make meal plans for your athlete
- How to give nutritional advice to your athlete
- Know how to select the correct sports nutraceuticals
To register for this course, follow this link.
We also offer a Specialised Nutrition Certification. This is designed for students who are interested in developing an in-depth knowledge of good nutrition principles. Our flagship nutrition course is accredited with the Culture, Arts, Tourism, Hospitality and Sport Sector Education and Training Authority (CATHSSETA) for the following unit standards: 10214, 13923, 14468.
Modules on Trifocus Fitness Academy’s Specialised Nutrition Certification include:
- The fundamentals of good nutrition practices
- What is GI and why is it important?
- How do you deal with nutrition for special populations?
These are just two of our prestigious health and fitness courses on offer at Trifocus Fitness Academy. To see what else we have on offer visit our website, drop us an e-mail or give us a ring at head office. We’re waiting for your call!