When it comes to nutrition, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach that works for everyone. With different lifestyles, body types, and preferences, dietary advice is available everywhere – so how do we find and give reliable, high-quality nutritional advice?
As a professional dietician or health coach, creating a personalized nutrition plan, tracking progress, and encouraging change can be challenging. Luckily, technology is here to help and improve our work.
Here, we share some of the best nutrition software that dietary specialists and personal trainers can use to customize their programs based on their individual clients’ needs – for more advanced, convenient health outcomes.
Personalized Nutrition: Why It Matters
Customization is king nowadays, and as our knowledge of the human body advances, the same goes for nutrition.
Unfortunately, however, most people still receive the same general advice.
Whether it’s five daily servings of fruits and veggies, eight glasses of water, or whole grains over white grains, general guidelines are great for encouraging a healthy lifestyle – but they’re not ideal for those who want to reach specific goals.
Obesity, for example, is a complex disease – attributing it solely to overeating is simplistic and naive. A lot of factors could be at play, such as hormonal imbalances, psychological conditions, or other underlying causes. Thus, for a practitioner to recommending one diet for every obese patient would not only be frustrating, but it may not address underpinning medical issues.
Other instances where personalized nutrition can play a critical role include professional sports, prenatal care, and when treating those with chronic illness.
What Is Personal Nutrition?
As the name suggests personal nutrition is the concept of adopting dietary and fitness recommendations to the specific needs of a person. More scientifically, by customizing a client’s nutrition plan, a health coach or dietician’s goal is to:
Preserve or increase health using genetic, phenotypic, medical, nutritional, and other relevant information about individuals to deliver more specific healthy eating guidance and other nutritional products and services.
Additionally, by targeting nutrition advice to a client’s clinical, physical, and emotional needs, dieticians can motivate them to make healthy dietary changes.
- Improve clients’ overall well-being
- Reduce their susceptibility to the negative impacts of illness, deficiency, intolerances, and allergies, and
- Enhance their quality of life through better sleep, fitness, and improved stress levels.
In other words, personalized nutrition is what professionals in the health coaching industry have been trying to provide for a very long time: custom advice that fits the needs of a client and helps them achieve their health goals, whatever they may be.
And now, technology is empowering dieticians in new and improved ways. With the latest wearables, trackers, and fitness software, nutrition coaches and fitness trainers can now access more complex general health data for a holistic picture of someone’s overall health, such as blood sugar levels, blood pressure, or BMI (body mass index).
At a more specific level, coaches can now access data on a client’s genetics, microbiome, and sleep patterns, allowing them to create and monitor highly detailed plans for medical, sports, prenatal, and pediatric nutrition clients.
Challenges For Dieticians and Health Coaches
If personalized nutrition sounds complicated, that’s not too far from the truth. For practitioners, researching, designing, and implementing customized plans comes with challenges.
For starters, staying on top of the latest research is hard work – research is regularly updated on the huge role genetics play in our health. As a dietician, data collection and analysis can become complex and time-consuming, involving consideration of numerous other factors such as a person’s lifestyle, socioeconomic status, gut microbiome composition, and so on for each patient.
Further challenges faced by dieticians who are starting or running a practice can mean high-quality personalized nutrition is often a lot of work to deliver, such as:
- Finding and recruiting new clients
- Tracking and evaluating client progress for optimal results
- Keeping people interested, motivated, and on track, and
- Documentation, scheduling, billing, and other administrative concerns.
However, there might be a solution to this problem: fitness and nutrition software that enables dietitians to plan and track clients’ progress more accurately than ever before.
How Nutrition Software Can Help
With dedicated software, dieticians are now able to automate a lot of the legwork that conventionally went into personalized health plan creation.
Many apps now link to databases to feed into plan and program creation, while also performing administrative procedures to simplify routine tasks such as those we’ve just mentioned.
With advanced data collection devices too, which synchronize with dietician software, it’s possible for coaches and trainers to streamline data gathering and analysis processes.
Calorie counters on watches, wearables, and special devices now can upload data directly to dedicated nutrition software, making manual entry obsolete and giving professionals more time to spend with clients.
In a nutshell, nutritionist software programs can help take some of the administrative burden off your shoulders as a practitioner, and allow you to focus on those aspects of fitness that cannot be automated, such as motivating clients, improving retention, and delivering a more personal service.
Nutrition software can help take some of the administrative burden off your shoulders as a practitioner, allowing you to focus on motivating clients, improving retention, and delivering a more personal service.
The Best Nutrition Software: What To Consider
Finding nutrition software isn’t as easy as downloading a coaching app and installing it on your phone. Sure, it can be, but it may not make a difference if you don’t know what to look for in a fitness and nutrition software.
With that said, here’s what you should keep in mind:
- Opt for an app that is HIPAA-compliant to ensure you’re adhering to industry best practice guidelines. This means that when you’re saving your clients’ file, you’re taking the right steps to ensure that their data is in safe hands. This reassurance can be particularly important if you’re using very detailed and personal data to create highly-customized plans and programs.
- Make sure that the software also has messaging capabilities. You will probably want to get in touch with your clients to build engagement and check on their progress.
- It should be easy to use and navigate. If you have to go through numerous steps to create and update meal plans, then you should probably look for something else. The entire point of using professional nutrition software is to simplify the process, not adding more roadblocks to it.
Tools and Features to Look For
In addition to this general advice, here are some specific tools and features that you should be looking for:
- Automated Calculations: Dietitians spend a lot of their time calculating things like body fat percentage or basal metabolic rate and analyzing data. You need nutrition software that will do all these tasks for you so that you can spend more time getting to know the client and crafting a personalized plan for them.
- Scheduling: Administrative tasks can take a lot of time and make you feel like you are not doing anything productive. However, they are an essential part of your business. Appointment scheduling features can simplify the process to just a few clicks of a button can significantly reduce your workload.
- Dietary References Values: You need to ensure that the diet plan you create is in line with any nutrition recommendations. An all with integrated dietary reference values (DRV) can significantly reduce the time spent looking for information.
- Authorized Food Composition Database: Choose nutrition software with an updated and approved food composition database. You want your plans and recommendations to be backed by science and recent research.
- Branding: You probably want to create genuine connections with your clients and nurture lasting relationships with them. So, opt for software that allows you to customize it by adding your branding to it. That way you can ensure that your name will stay top of mind.
3 Best Nutrition Software Options for Dieticians
Well-designed nutrition software can help you as a dietitian to streamline routine tasks, so you can focus more on creating personalized plans that empower clients to stay on track and pursue their objectives.
With that in mind, let’s have a look at some professional nutrition software available today.
|A user-friendly interface, various features, and ease of use have made TiqDiet one of the best nutrition software for dietitians.|
Not only can you use this program to create custom meal plans, send shopping lists, and track your client’s progress, but you can also communicate with them through the app’s built-in chat option.
This way, you can check in with them to make sure they are staying on track and motivate them when they feel like giving up.
|Good For||Nutrition planning, Progress tracking, Client communications, In-app chat, Coaching management|
|If there is one tool out there that can help you manage most of your business, then that’s NutriAdmin – but don’t let the name fool you. This app is excellent at taking care of the administrative tasks that fill your day, such as client management, processing bills and payments, scheduling, and so on, but there’s more to it.|
You can also use NutriAdmin to manage your clients. You can store your customers’ files in there and create customized profiles. You can do that by sending personalized questions to your clients to learn more about their needs and preferences.
NutriAdmin also makes it incredibly easy to create meal plans as it offers access to over 70,000 food items, recipes, and shopping lists.
|Good For||Meal Planning, Diet and Lifestyle Analysis, Notifications and Reminders, Billing, Scheduling, Private Practice Software|
|Nutrium is an excellent tool both for dietitians and clients. It works as an online nutrition coach as it enables nutritionists to create personalized meal plans, calculate nutritional values and caloric intake, and track customer progress to ensure they don’t deviate from their goals. Dietitians can send notifications during meals to help clients stay motivated and don’t give in to temptation.|
Clients can also use the app to record their meals as well as any deviations or abuses. This information can help the dietitians get a better understanding of the problems their clients are struggling with and identify the patterns that lead to bad behaviors.
Nutrium can also work as nutrition software for personal trainers as clients can integrate it with their fitness apps.
|Good For||Nutritional Assessment, Meal Planning, Diet and Lifestyle Analysis, Paediatric Nutrition, Sports Nutrition, Prenatal Nutrition|
Nutrition: A Blended Care Perspective
As important as they may be, repetitive tasks such as administration can affect your productivity. And when it comes to personalized nutrition, in particular, a lot of time can go into spent creating and perfecting the right approach.
Creating meal plans that fit the physical, clinical, and psychological needs of your clients can take time.
Tracking progress, recording, and analyzing data take time as well. And we haven’t mentioned yet the huge paperwork, such as managing appointments, billing, communicating with patients, making sure their data is safe, and acquiring new clients.
All that can take a toll on any nutritionist, even the most passionate ones. That’s were nutrition software can make a change for the better.
Be careful, however, to choose an app that goes beyond just meal plan creation. When you’re ready to choose the right system for your practice, take a moment to consider all the aspects of your business you need help with and try to find software that can help you in as many areas as possible.
In a Nutshell
Look for a program that streamlines:
- Customer relationship management
- And more, before ensuring the data it provides is extensive and accurate.
Most importantly, test-drive your chosen software and see whether it’s easy and fun to use. If you dread working with it, then it’s probably not the best fit for you or your clients.
Give the apps above a try and see if they add any value to your business. If not, look for other apps, but make sure they meet the requirements listed in this article.
Great nutrition software won’t just help you streamline your professional practice. With the right program, practitioners can now monitor client progress, improve communications, and build lasting relationships for better health engagement.
With so many studies linking interactive blended care tools with retention, satisfaction, and positive health outcomes, there are a whole host of reasons that nutrition software is worth looking into if you’re hoping to enrich your practice. Hopefully, we’ve given you some great starting points for your search.
How do you use nutrition software in your practice as a dietician? Or do you have a diet and health app that you love using in your personal life? Tell us in a comment.
- ^ Mayo Clinic. (2020). Obesity. Retrieved from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/obesity/symptoms-causes/syc-20375742
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- ^ Berezowska, A., Fischer, A. R., Ronteltap, A., van der Lans, I. A., & van Trijp, H. C. (2015). Consumer adoption of personalised nutrition services from the perspective of a risk–benefit trade-off. Genes & Nutrition, 10(6), 42.