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How much does it cost to see a nutritionist?

Maggie Hudspeth, RDN

Choosing the right weight loss program can be a daunting task. The endless research of what program is right for you can be just as exhausting as finding the perfect outfit for a date. But, there is one common denominator that will always be taken into consideration – cost.

Our health is priceless and yet, many have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on various diets, cleanses and detoxes. You spend the money, participate in the program, it works for a short period of time, then you’re back to square one of starting over (learn why detoxes are unsustainable). The flip side, some may consider seeing a nutritionist to help with their weight loss journey. Seeing a healthcare professional, like a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN), might be the perfect route for your weight loss journey, but it’s not always as great of a fit for your wallet.

Before you think “why is this RDN telling me not to see a RDN?”, that’s not my goal here. I’m here to help make your research a little bit easier by comparing the cost breakdown of a private consulting platform, versus Noom’s virtual setting. Now, let’s compare, shall we?

Nutritionist Pricing: Breaking Down the Costs

The average cost of just that first initial consult for an RDN in the US is around $125. But, it can be as high as $250 for that first visit! Then, each follow up visit can cost anywhere from $50-150 each session. The initial visit is crucial for an RDN to evaluate a client’s desire to change, what their current eating habits entail, what barriers they are currently facing with weight loss, medical history, medications, weight loss history and so on. Each visit after that will usually entail a food log analysis, exercise logs, and scale readings from the previous week. Then begins the conversations of what was working well, what was not working as well, and their goals between then and their next visit. Just to give you a quick snapshot of life for an RDN in the weight loss industry.

Now, there is a lot to take into consideration when RDN’s are calculating their costs; location, education background, experience, reputation, types of packages offered and time limits of sessions. For example, an RDN in New York City with a PhD who has written various magazine articles, participated in television segments, and has a published book, is going to cost a bit more than, say, an RDN in a smaller town of Iowa, fresh out of college, who is just getting started in the field.

So, let’s say there are 4 weeks in a month, on average. After that first initial consult at about $125, each additional follow-up is $50, on the lower end. After 1 month, that is $275 for a once/week visit. After 3 or 4 months, that cost can drain the bank very quickly!

However, if you were to sign up for 4 months at Noom, that would cost $129, breaking down to just $32.25 per month. A fraction of what it costs to see an RDN, saving some serious dough.

Losing Weight While Saving Money

You might be thinking to yourself, “wouldn’t I rather see a licensed professional to get me through my weight loss journey?” and the answer would be yes, most likely. It may not be for everyone, but some will have that thought. However, the amazing part about Noom? It’s coaches come from all sorts of backgrounds, including RDN’s, exercise physiologists, and clinical psychologists! Having a professionally diverse lineup, that work together on a daily basis as your wellness team is worth the commitment.

The other unique feature about Noom’s program is not only having daily tips and tricks on how to tackle weight loss obstacles, but the way that content digs into the “why” of food choices, versus the “what”. Yes, coaches analyze daily food logs to see what clients are eating, but they also dig with each individual to find out the reasonings behind their logs. Other techniques may just look at the choices and hand over a meal plan. But how sustainable is it to follow a plan in the long run? Anyone can follow a meal plan, but it takes that psychological component to make true behavior changes.

Not only do clients have a team of coaches who dig with them on their why’s, but the fun, witty, daily curriculum allows app users to start digging on these matters themselves. A researched-based, engaging curriculum is very unique when it comes to enduring this adventure. Not only are you discussing your eating patterns, developing goals and making sustainable behavior changes, you are also learning why and how you make choices, ways to incorporate better eating and activity patterns, how sleep affects the scale, how to manage stress is a more healthy way, and the list goes on and on! This is not a back-and-forth, question-and-answer platform. This goes beyond discussions, allowing consumers to come to their own realizations. It’s not about what you can and cannot eat, but HOW you can eat your favorite foods.

Additionally, this program not only offers individual support, but also has the option for group interaction. Hello fun! At first, it might seem intimidating or nerve racking to join a group of strangers in a virtual setting to talk about something as intimate and private as weight loss. But that’s the thing – everyone in the groups are experiencing the same weight loss journey as one another. While everyone’s journey looks different, most everyone faces very similar challenges and barriers. What better way to charge through those roadblocks than with those who understand and are facing them as well? The group support throughout this journey is what keeps each of our clients engaged and supported on a daily basis. A group experience like this is something many private settings lack. Not to mention, there are plenty of amusing group challenges to keep you on track for success!

Nutritionist Pricing: The Bottom Line

Don’t get me wrong, plenty of other healthcare professionals dig with clients on the “why’s”, some offer content/readings and have a group setting. But, it’s the unlimited recipes, meal inspiration, 1:1 support, 24/7 group interaction, a daily curriculum, a unique color system and in-the-moment feedback that makes Noom stand out from other programs. Having this support and interaction literally at your fingertips just might be that missing puzzle piece in your wellness journey. As well as that cost. When it’s all said and done, how can you put a price on being able to work with a team of coaches from the comfort of your own home?