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How do I Become a Holistic Nutritionist?

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  • Written By: Elva K.
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 01 August 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
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Holistic nutritionists know how diet can impact you physically and spiritually. Their work includes knowing about the various nutrients, carbohydrates, fats, proteins, and herbs that are helpful for healthy functioning. Also, holistic nutritionists' work includes an emphasis on avoiding overly processed or unhealthy foods in favor of natural foods that do not cause negative effects in the body. If you seek to become a holistic nutritionist, generally you will need a college degree and a post-graduate degree.

Seeking the bachelor's degree specializing in health or a related subject is useful if you hope to become a holistic nutritionist. The National Association of Nutrition Professionals (NANP), the organization which develops standards pertaining to holistic nutritionist education, has its own listing of recommended schools. It depends which school you attend; however, if the emphasis in on becoming knowledgeable about holistic nutrition, typically academic coursework could include courses such as movement/exercise, healthy diet combinations, metabolism, lifestyle evaluation, or digestive physiology. Also, courses such as the study of herbs, acupuncture, or massage may be included. It is true that acupuncture and massage are not nutritional in nature; however, these topics are sometimes included in holistic nutritionists' training.

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You could choose to pursue employment during the final semester of college. Or, you could choose to get additional education to enable your efforts to become a holistic nutritionist. For instance, the Master of Science (MS) in Holistic Nutrition is generally recommended for anyone who seeks to become a holistic nutritionist. Within a master's degree program, you will likely learn about nutritional therapy, holistic human developmental issues, and how to use nutrition to prevent disease.

At this time, if you want to become a holistic nutritionist, there are no widely accepted licensure prerequisites. However, it would most likely help your career if you chose to seek one of the certifications that is available. For example, you could earn certification through the Holistic Nutrition Credentialing Board (HNCB) of the National Association of Nutrition Professionals (NANP). In addition, there is a certification that you could earn via the American Naturopathic Certification Board (ANCB).

Once you complete schooling and certification, it is possible to pursue a job in various settings. For instance, athletes and coaches typically have strong awareness that correct nutrition can make a huge positive difference in sports performance. Thus, it is possible that, as a holistic nutritionist, you could end up working at an sports training facility. Or, if you did not want to work with athletes, you could work at a hospital, nursing home, rehabilitation center, or other medical setting that needs someone with nutritional expertise to plan meals for patients. By contrast, you could choose to be a self-employed consultant who works with individuals who need help in planning their diet.

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