A Day in the Life of a Nutritionist
During my career planning days, I realized that the healthcare industry was booming because health has become a major concern for everyone. Blame it on our fast changing lifestyle or our take-it-easy attitude, we are falling prey to various health problems. We might be okay health-wise in the current situation, but neglecting health today can have dangerous effects in the future.
This is why I thought about pursuing a career where I could educate and make people aware of the need to lead a healthy lifestyle. To achieve my goal, I took an online certification in nutrition to become a qualified professional.
For those who think that being a nutritionist is a simple job and only requires telling people what to eat and what not to eat, let me share my daily schedule with you. In case you are planning to pursue nutrition as a career, you need to have an idea of how your day as a nutritionist will look.
- Assessing Client Health
Since I see a lot of new clients in the mornings, my day usually starts with assessing a new client’s health. I have a detailed session to understand his/her daily routine, dietary habits, and any health concerns. I usually request my clients to get tests done so that I have their complete lipid profile, complete blood count, sugar levels, thyroid test results, vitamin D test results etc. I have sufficient training to understand these reports and use them as a base for my nutrition recommendations.
- Planning diets and educating clients about the pros and cons of different foods
I devote my afternoons to planning diets. Basis the client’s health, my next action is to plan the right diet and advise the person on the health effects of certain foods that are needed and what foods to avoid. Also, while crafting a diet plan, I keep in mind, the person’s lifestyle or profession. For a sportsman, the chart should include all the healthy foods that support his active lifestyle. This can be different from a person who is an office-goer, a college student or someone undergoing medical treatment.
- Follow Up
Evenings I spend following up with clients. The real work starts from this phase. All the above activities amount to nothing if I don’t follow up with my clients. After advising them on the right things to eat, I check on whether they are sticking to the diet plan or see if I can make any alterations in the current diet plan in case it is interfering with their medication or they are unable to follow it. It is part of my role to ensure that the menus are working for them and their health status is improving. Remember, diets aren't always or only about weight loss, they are also an important tool to achieve better overall health.
- Keeping track of clients’ progress
As a nutritionist, I have to keep a track of the health progress of my all clients, see if there is an improvement and what all things need to be added for their best possible health. Reports of clients who have visited me in the past also need to be evaluated on a regular basis. I usually look over these reports in the late evening.
- Motivating Individuals and Groups
Twice or thrice a week, I visit schools, colleges, gyms, and workplaces to educate people from all age groups about the importance of adopting good nutrition and maintaining a healthy nutritional status.
In careers for women, the role of a nutritionist is one of the best career options in India. The field offers you the opportunity to become a freelancer, entrepreneur or get a job in a gym, school or hospital as a diet or nutrition counselor to spread your knowledge for everyone’s benefit. I enjoy the fact that I can do my work from anywhere and I'm not tied to a desk. I follow up with many clients on Whatsapp and even do Skype-based calls with clients who are based in different cities. I also use my knowledge for the benefit of my family's health by making sure meals that are cooked at home are healthy.
Want to know what it takes to be a nutritionist? Head online to Glow & Lovely Careers (formerly known as Fair & Lovely Career Foundation), a Unilever site which offers you advice on the right educational qualifications required to become a dietician or nutritionist. In addition, the site offers a variety of other online courses in India and from international universities which will help you in your career planning.