Nutritional Therapy Association NTP program review

Thinking about turning your passion for holistic health into a career? I’m a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner (NTP™) certified by the Nutritional Therapy Association, and I get quite a few questions about my education. I thought it was high time for a Nutritional Therapy Association NTP program review!
My nutrition credentials are what powers my podcasts, my book, my skincare guide, and (duh) the way I eat. I’ve been really blessed to have some amazing success (not to mention LOTS of fun!) in my field.
Here are my thoughts on the program I completed and how I approach my professional life. (Remember, every practitioner is different.)

If you know you’re ready to commit to NTA, don’t hesitate – click here for info on their courses. I’d love it if you let them know Liz Wolfe of Real Food Liz sent you!

When I first signed up for the NTP™ program, it was a gamble. I didn’t know anyone who’d done it, I didn’t know if it would pay off, and I certainly didn’t know how we’d come up with the tuition. It was a HUGE leap of faith – and it paid off thousands of times over. My husband and I laugh that we ever questioned the investment! Now, there’s a whole community of Paleo-oriented NTP™ and NTC™ practitioners out there. You will NOT be alone!

For much more insight on what I do and how, read this.
Remember that the holistic health field is incredibly rewarding, but it can also be incredibly challenging – in both satisfying and incredibly frustrating ways. You’ve got to be prepared to find creative, crowd-pleasing, legal ways to share the information you find vital because, sadly, the American health system is generally not set up to respect, integrate, or even use the principles of holistic wellness. (Is it any wonder people are still so frustrated, sad and sick?)
The most important thing: that you “put yourself out there” and allow your own life, and your own experiences, to speak to others. Authenticity is what’s missing from the conversation right now.
Start from your own experiences and work outward from there. You have so much to share, and your passion is needed!
Thanks for reading & watching!

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80 Responses

  1. Holy Goats!!! I am signed up and starting in February. I am so excited for this Journey. I did not know this was a program you did. This makes it so much COOLER. I have followed you since I starting eating Real Food. Changing my Diet got me out of bed. I spent 8 years sick and miserable with MS and Lyme Disease. Your podcasts have taught me so much and your humor has made it all fun and possible. Eating Real Food only totally works. I have dreams again. Starting over at 38 years old. I also have a dream of moving to a Homestead. We are fixing up our house now and selling it. I promise I am not a copy cat or a Stalker. It just looks like that! I will make sure and tell my Instructor that they need to add “Eat the Yolks” to there reading list. There most famous student should have there book included. Please keep teaching. You are awesome!

    1. That is SO AWESOME, Beth! You will love the program just as much as I did, I’m sure. That’s amazing that you got yourself out of bed and are dreaming BIG! Enjoy and keep in touch!

  2. Liz! Thanks so much for posting this. I’ve been really thinking about this (and was actually just reading your careers page last night). I have a question: Is it realistic to complete this program while working a 40-hour-per-week desk job? I am also still doing healing work myself and am worried about too much stress. It would be a shame to be working toward a health-oriented certification and then compromise my own health in the process. Any insight you can provide about the intensity/workload would be greatly appreciated. Did you work full-time while doing this? Thanks so much for all that you do.

    1. I was working FT as I finished the program, so I would say YES. I also know that they’ve got the NTC program, which may require just a bit less travel (I think???) than the NTP program. (When I went through the program, NTP was the only option.) That said, like you probably read in my careers page, you do have to go “above and beyond” a bit to truly become the most competent practitioner possible, especially in the Paleo community which is already so plugged in to all the finer details of what affects health – autoimmunity, SIBO, gut flora, etc. That said, if you were to work with populations completely clueless about whole food, you might not need to spend so much time delving in to the nitty gritty details right from the get-go! What you might want to do is work your way through their required reading ahead of time (they have a list on their site) and enroll AFTER you’ve completed as much of that as you can. Then, you’ll be able to spend less time reading and more time assimilating information. Yes, the required reading could change slightly, but I doubt it would change too much before you enrolled. Above all, do a LITTLE work every single day! Don’t procrastinate, because that would be way worse. Trust me, I know 🙂

      1. Thanks so much for your thorough response, Liz! Regarding travel, they JUST SO HAPPEN to be offering it in Ann Arbor, Michigan next year, which is where I live. I feel like it’s a sign (that, and you posted a video about this today — seriously, were you reading my mind?). I spend so much time reading about nutrition outside of my day job that I may as well go to school for it anyway. Thanks again!

        1. I am 3 months into the program now, and it is definitely do-able while having a full time job. Liz’s tip about working ahead on reading is a good one. There is a lot and I don’t feel I’ve had the chance to go into all the books as deeply as I would want to (yet). If this is a passion you feel in your heart, you should definitely sign up. There is no guarantee they’ll be in Ann Arbor again the next term so it is a sign!

          1. Thanks so much for your perspective, Hollie! I really appreciate your reinforcement. I thiiiiiiink I’m gonna have to go for it. Best of luck to you!

  3. I am 3 months into the NTP program and I’m loving it! In fact, I just completed my first workshop weekend.
    I would encourage everyone with passion in this area to pursue it. Our society needs help! Even if you don’t know exactly how you’ll turn it into a business, get started now. Don’t wait until later. There is something extremely empowering about finally deciding to pursue something you are passionate about.
    The path will reveal itself along the way, enjoy the journey.

  4. Thank you for this post and video! I’m also starting the program in February. Very excited to learn more about eating better myself and how to help others do so, too. As a breast cancer survivor, I’m a believer that we are totally ruining our health and would like to help others make the same discovery. I’m in my mid-50’s and intend to make this my post-retirement career. One-on-one counseling, working with a naturopath practice, working at a Whole Foods or something similar. We will see where this takes me! Thanks again –

  5. Liz,
    I literally just finished my first workshop weekend towards my Nutritional Therapy certification. Through a connection there I was introduced to your site, and this post in particular has been more than encouraging. I’m loving it. I’m anxious and excited to see where this passionate pursuit leads me in the future. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and passions!

  6. Great post! I’m still in high school, but I’ve begun to think about how I can follow my passion for holistic health and make that into a career. I have a question: up until now I’ve been considering becoming a naturopathic doctor. If I were to follow that career path, would becoming an NTP on top of that be necessary? From the research I’ve done, the N.D. curriculum (at Bastyr) covers nutrition, too.
    Oh, and legally, does being an NTP mean that you can just start your own private practice?
    Thank you so much; your blog and podcast have been invaluable resources to me!

    1. Lia, I wish I’d realized that I wanted to make this a career when I was still in high school! I would have gone straight into a nutrition program directly out of high school. Part of the appeal to me of the NTP program is that it took just about a year to complete; since I was already a working adult with a mortgage, car payments and many expenses and full time work there was no way for me to go back to a full 4 or 7 year program in naturopathic medicine, clinical nutrition or dietetics! If you become an ND, I don’t think you would need to become an NTP as well, quite honestly. You might want to work WITH NTPs to augment your practice, though 🙂

  7. Thanks for this post! I’ve been waiting for it! I’m going through a certification program right now, but this will be next down the line.

  8. I’m THISCLOSE to applying for the February program. The only piece of the puzzle I have to figure out is how being an NTP works in NC. Apparently the state is incredibly restrictive, allowing only RDs to consult and give nutritional counseling. I know Missouri has similar laws, so how do you legally manage to aid and support clients? For me, any state the military will send us to has similar restrictive laws (TN, MO, etc). I really would be heartbroken to dedicate so much time, energy, and money into this program only to have my hands tied with trying to help people. Any advice?

    1. Yes, NC is DIFFICULT! As is Missouri, like you said, which is where I live now. In short, I don’t take 1:1 clients any more. I use the NTP credentials to lend weight to the books/blog/podcasts/disclaimer-ed stuff I talk about. So if you’re someone who would like to write (website presence) or create resources like books, PDFs, podcasts, etc., where having the NTP credential would help establish you as an expert and lend more weight to your words, yet you could make use of disclaimers and protect yourself by not offering counseling directly, it could be GREAT (and as a military spouse, I find it’s great to be able to move anywhere with your work, and an online presence is what enables that). So really it depends on how you’d like to carry out your business! Make sense?

      1. Makes perfect sense. I would be doing pretty much only online work, developing material for a non-profit. So I guess that helps with the finicky state laws. Thanks so much for your great (and super fast!) response.

        1. Ahh, and yes – it’s great for projects you do with businesses and such. I’ve worked and continue to work with several non-profits, developing nutrition programming!

          1. Hi Liz,
            I am an esthetician based out of STL Mo and my boss brought up the fact that she would really be interested in me doing some type of program to be able to consult with clients when they are writing in with skin care concerns. Eventually I would want to do face to face consults and also do facial treatments. By living in Mo, I can’t figure out if it’s being suggested that 1:1 client interaction is not possible because of state laws. Is there any clarification you can provide.
            Thank you so much for all the info!

          2. Lauren, I honestly am not sure how this arrangement would work for you. If your boss is a licensed practitioner, you may be able to work beneath her with no issues; however if you’re talking about doing nutritional consulting vs. topical skincare consulting I would tread carefully. It might be better to develop a “program” that people can get as a book/eBook, much like I did with my Purely Primal Skincare Guide, with ample disclaimers that specify that use of the book or methods within does not constitute a practitioner-client relationship, etc. etc, consult with your physician before implementing any of the information within, etc. I haven’t done as much digging into MO laws and how to work within them as I did when I lived in New Jersey, simply because I had other avenues I was pursuing (homesteading, finishing Eat the Yolks, and having a baby!) and it was a quick decision to put 1:1 consulting on the back burner for the time being.

  9. Something fascinating the NTA business manager shared during our workshop is that NTA Founder Gray Graham refuses to raise the cost of the program even though the level of demand would justify it. He wants everyone to have access to this information so we can each incite change in our worlds!

  10. Thanks for all the great information! I have an autoimmune illness and severe food allergies/eczema which I’ve slowly been able to heal from thanks to my RDN who specializes in food intolerances. So I am currently on my journey to becoming an RDN to help others who also have food intolerances and skin issues. I’m actually looking to get my Master’s since my Bachelor’s degree is irrelevant to Nutrition. The road to becoming a Master of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics is a long one. And that’s also if I’m lucky enough to even place in a internship program after graduating with the Master’s. I’m looking at at least another 3 years before I can practice as a RD because I also work 40hr/wk.
    I’m still going for it since it’s going to make me more competitive in the field as holistic nutrition practices grow but in the meantime I’ve been debating the NTP program because I’m itching to just start a career in this field as soon as I can. I even debated being a Dietician Technician, but honestly the pay is not enough for me to support graduate school expenses so I’m keeping my current full-time job and doing school part time. So what are your suggestions for becoming an NTP in the meantime? ? I know being an NTP is hard work especially since you have those finicky state laws in some places that make it tricky to practice, but I know any knowledge I learn will only make me more well-rounded in my career.
    So What is the main difference between the NTP program versus an RD program minus the clinical experience and board licensing that RD programs require you to go though? I’m assuming both programs have different teaching disciplines. But are they vastly different and would it be redundant to do the NTP program if I will be a RD by 2019.
    Best,
    Rakhi

    1. Rakhi, you sound super MOTIVATED! Wow! If you took care to read the required reading ahead of enrollment, you could give yourself ample lead-in time to the program and it would of course make your experience easier so you could focus on everything else you have going on. At the very least, your NTP credentials would enable you to establish a web presence and you can start generating resources (guides, ebooks, podcasts, the sky’s the limit) even if you don’t see clients 1:1 until you’ve got your RD. The difference is vast and the curriculum is completely different in every way, RD vs. NTP. I don’t know that they’re even comparable, but the thing is, people’s needs are basically the same! They need help from a professional to choose real food.I can’t say it would be redundant for you to be an NTP if you want to start establishing some credibility/momentum in the holistic/real food community before you get your RD. Hope that helps!

  11. Sounds awesome. I am wondering because you mention so many times that we should mention you if we sign up-do you get a referral fee or something?

  12. I really want to do this, but with a full-time job and have a 7 month old, this isn’t quite the right time! Expecting some shake up this year that might make it possible, though. I was reading about your current pursuit of an MPH, and am especially interested to see how you utilize that in this arena. I have my master’s in public health with an interest in food systems, but still struggle to find a meaningful way to make an impact on what we eat at the community level. There is just SO MUCH money and power determining what foods are available – eating healthy has become a radical act! Anyway, good on you for all the great work that you do – looking forward to much more of it!
    All the best…a

  13. I wanted any advice you have on the Bauman College verses the NTA program? Any thoughts about the difference or if one might be better?

    1. Hi Lisa! We’ve talked about this on the balanced bites podcast a few times – head over to DianeSanfilippo.com and search the podcast archives! I can’t really speak to Bauman’s program, I only know why I chose NTA 🙂 But we have talked about it on the podcast.

  14. I’m so excited to come across this site! I found you through your youtube video. I am going to be signing up for the NTP program starting the fall. I’m super nervous because it’s a complete career change for me. I work in the trucking industry right now as an admin. Health issues and healing have brought me to where I am now wanting to become and NTP. I’m so glad to read all the comments by others that have the same questions/fears. Thank you, thank you!

    1. AWESOME! Kim, you must keep in touch. It would be really cool if you ended up developing some resources for folks within your industry, too!

      1. Wow! Now that’s a thought. The trucking industry folks sustain injuries many times from being out of shape or in poor health from sitting so much. I love that idea Liz! 🙂

  15. Me again, and I believe I found my answer. It appears that Texas isn’t overly restrictive. One more question, though: Can one use the techniques learned through the NTP program on oneself? I’m referring to the palpations. Are you able to get feedback from your own body this way? Thank you, and I forgot to mention I am a loyal listener to the Balanced Bites podcast. I look forward each week to listening while I move around the house getting my mundane chores done! Sure does make housework more fun. 🙂

    1. Hi Kelly! I’m glad you found your answer about Texas. Since it’s governed at the state level, you’ve really got to keep tabs on things yourself! Here’s how I keep tabs: http://www.nutritionadvocacy.org/laws-state As far as the palpations, I would say no. I think you CAN confirm your instinct possibly by using them on yourself, but I don’t think they would reveal anything you weren’t already suspicious about. I hope that makes sense. Thank you so much for listening to the podcast!

  16. Hi Liz,
    I am battling lupus and have recently discovered AIP. Mind blowing! My illness effectively ended my career in a completely unrelated industry. Now I’m searching for my own health as well as a new professional path. After reaching out to Mickey re: her experience with NTP, she suggested I touch base with you because I live in K.C. and there are geographical issues here. T – 10 days until enrollment closes for Fall NTP registration. I was crushed to learn I couldn’t practice in KS if I completed the program. I’m interested in working 1:1 with clients. (Something I enjoyed in my previous career.) If I did the NTP program, which would be a stretch for me in so many ways, I think I would have to move in order to practice? I know it’s a subjective question, but does it sound worth it to uproot and move in order to take the NTP path? Thanks so much for any thoughts!
    Best wishes for health, happiness and continued success!

    1. Yikes, I just got this, Stacy! Sorry, baby keeps me occupied. I actually thought Kansas was a bit more possible to practice in. Here in MO, not so much! The answer to your question is…I don’t know! It just depends on your life. I know if my husband and I were in a place in our lives where we COULD move, we very well might just for the experience in a new place! However, I think it is probably a very big risk, not knowing what your client load would look like and whether you could make it all happen exactly as you want it to. My business, which is definitely fueled by my NTP certification, is very much web-based rather than 1:1 now, so it’s an even tougher question for me to answer. When I was living in NEw Jersey and doing 1:1, I worked within a Chiropractor’s office – many places will allow this. I’m so sorry I have to be so general here, but I really can’t give you a specific opinion on this because there are SO many variables! One thing you might look at is places like Natural Grocers – I believe they employ nutrition coaches! Let me know how it unfolds for you.

  17. Hey Liz!
    I’m a college student and up to this point, I’ve been working toward a bachelor’s in biology with an emphasis in ecology. But recently I’ve been thinking more about holistic nutrition – I love learning about it and definitely see a need for it in my community! Do you think It’d be worth it to switch majors to nutrition as a foundation for the NTP program? It’s so hard to know, because I’m pretty sure I’d disagree with most of what I’d be taught. What do you think? Thanks for all you do! I love reading your blog!
    Emily Johnson

    1. Hi Emily! I often wish I was a university-educated biologist first, nutrition nerd second. I think a background in biology is much more important than a (often USDA sponsored) nutrition education. Unless the program you’re looking at is nutritional biology (which would be rare!) I’d become a biologist, then grab a certification in holistic nutrition. It WILL make you a better NTP! “Nutritional biologist” sounds awesome to me. BUT THAT’S JUST ME! If you have the motivation for a clinical nutrition or RD program, by all means, it’s an awesome credential to have!

  18. Hi Liz!
    I am so glad I saw this post a few days ago. I have been dealing with a lot of gut issues the past 6 years. I finally figured out it is a candida overgrowth/leaky gut. I wont go into too much detail but I’ve suffered with constant bloating, heartburn, indigestion, mood swings, fatigue, and so much more and all inconsistently for a long time. I am so thankful that I took control of my health and have figured out what I need to do to heal. With that being said, I am very interested in this program (specifically consultant route). I do work full time but am ready to give it my all. My question is, what happens if you do not pass the tests for each module? Do you immediately fail and have to start the whole program over? Or do they allow you to make it up? I am just worried about spending all this money and then not doing well. I’ve never been a good test taker. But I have done a lot of research over the past several years and do feel like I have learned a lot (even that even helps lol). Just still having anxiety about it but I know for a fact this is what I need to be doing. I absolutely love helping people (my major was human services) and have developed this passion for holistic living. I think its so important for people to understand that our gut health can influence so many things with our bodies and I am ready to help people along their journey because I understand how difficult and frustrating it can be. Thank you for any advice and recommendations 🙂 I appreciate it! by the way..love your blog! I am hoping to do this exact same thing down the road 🙂

    1. Hey Madison! Oh man, that’s so difficult what you’ve been dealing with but I’m glad you are figuring it out! NTA will do everything they can to help you succeed. I am POSITIVE that you can handle it. Of course, there are some people that they just can’t help, but something tells me that’s not you 🙂 Again…I’m POSITIVE you can make it work 🙂 KEEP IN TOUCH!

  19. Hey Liz, Thanks for this video – that program looks awesome. I did a bit of research and unfortunately Illinois has strict laws against the 1:1 practice. ARGH!! Disheartening to say the least. I really want to help people find a path to whole food eating and help them deal with food struggles, like emotional eating as I feel that is a huge barrier to healthy living. Can you give me any advice as to how I might be able to achieve this with the legal obstacles? Do you think studying nutrition would be a huge waste of time and money? Do you know of any “health coach” programs out there you would recommend? I’ve heard people tend to go down that path of calling themselves ‘coaches’ instead of ‘consultants’ to avoid the legal issues. Appreciate your response. Love your work. Thanks.

    1. I’m not sure on the legalities of saying “coach” – sometimes states are unclear as to whether they prohibit 1:1 work that includes any nutrition counseling whatsoever, or they simply won’t let you call yourself a “dietitian” or “nutritionist!” It might be helpful to see if any health stores near you (like Natural Grocers) employ “health coaches.” If so, check if they’re RDs, CNs, or if they have a certification like NTP or holistic health coach, etc. That would probably tell you something! My advice is GO ONLINE! You can do SO much with a website and online materials (like my skincare guide). That’s not 1:1 consulting, but it is definitely helping people – and you can reach people on a much broader scale this way anyway!

  20. Hello Liz,
    I’ve recently signed up for the NTP program and am intimidated by the reading list (I start in February 2016). My question is what books to start with and which do you think are most imperative to the course. I have just over a month before I begin and want to maximize my reading beforehand.
    Thanks in advance, (I love your website), you’re an inspiration!
    Aimee

    1. I just saw this message, Aimee! Sorry for the delay. SO AWESOME that you signed up! Hmmm…this is a tough question. I would probably SKIM all the books – just flip through, read chapter intros and endings, no pressure, keep it casual 😉 And then go back and read the ones you feel are most foreign to you. YOU’LL DO GREAT!

  21. Hi Liz! I’m so glad I came across this!
    1) I LOVE your book. I got it for Christmas and I was finished a couple of days later.
    2) This is perfect timing for me to read/watch this post. I am considering the NTP program. Actually, I for sure want to do it- but I’m struggling to convince my husband. Kansas has the restrictions of not being able to practice in this state, so assuring him that I will make use of these credentials is proving difficult. The tuition is going up beginning Fall 2016, and that is when I was planning on starting. I can tell YOU think it’s worth it- and I feel extremely passionate about the topic as well. I just want to make sure I can prove to my husband that this will be worth it!

    1. Jessica, DO IT! Haha, I’m biased, but I’m a Kansas native currently living in Missouri, and the restrictions in both states for 1:1 practice are major…but I’m doing it, and my husband and I often giggle at how we ever doubted that doing the program was a great idea. I should really interview him about this and put it up on my site…I remember talking to him about the money and worrying it wouldn’t be worth it. Well, I’ve made that money back over and over again. It just takes dedication. If you have a community, YOU CAN DO IT. That can be a church community, a gym, a group of friends, whatever. One great way to earn it back quickly is to run a nutrition challenge – you provide the plan/rules and accountability, and participants pay $50 (or something) to participate. I ran a gym challenge for 6 weeks several years ago. We did weekly meetings where we talked about a specific topic (fat, carbs, digestion, etc) and these served as check-ins. We took measurements, talked about challenges, and I provided accountability. I didn’t make an individual plan for anyone – we just “ate clean” and had group discussions. This requires a lot of work, but upfront payment can really help as long as you’re willing to put in the work over the next 6 weeks. I hope that helps some!

  22. Hello Liz!
    You are awesome and incredibly inspiring. I am thinking at some point (not now, I just began a career in teaching special education) down the line I will want to become a NTP. What is a good resource to find out the laws in a particular state? …do I just go on the state government website and search NTP? (Is this a silly question?) Thanks a bunch!

      1. I went on that site and searched “Florida”, but was unable to tell if 1:1 is allowed with NTP or NTC certification. Would you happen to have any more info? Thanks

  23. Hey Liz Tim here from Manitoulin Island Canada. I have spent most of my career as a cert. Red Seal Chef would like to help people heal them selves through what they eat. Are there other chefs taking this course.

  24. Hi there! I am
    Just diving into learning about becoming an NTP. Currently I am a certified personal trainer and have been since 2003. Problem is, I do not know as
    Much about nutrition as I would like to. I want to provide my clients the best of both fitness and food. I live in NY and looking at the laws for NYS, there is so much legal jargon that is hard to understand if joining the NTP program is worth it if I cannot use it with 1:1 clients or a group of clients (I have created a few fitness challenges for my clients and would LOVE to start my NTP work with A group like you did). Can you help me understand if NYS will allow me to consider becoming an NTP & Practice legally?!? Having 3 children under 7 and a husband who works more than 50hrs per week (and he takes part time
    Masters program!), I can’t waste resources or time if I cannot practice legally. I am also going to start watching your podcasts and learning what I should put my limited time toward.

    1. Hi Amber! Trainers give nutrition advice ALL THE TIME. If it’s already part of how you help people, taking the NTP course for your personal knowledge and understanding sounds like it would be a great idea. I think if your disclaimers are solid and your clients understand that you’re not a licensed dietitian, that none of the advice should be considered professional diagnosis or treatment, and that they should run all the counsel you give by their doctor, you should be fine. For me, the NTP designation is something that lends weight to the materials I’ve generated online/in print. If you were to create your own “guide” and give it to your clients as a source of information, I think that would be fine. It’s counseling 1:1 calling yourself a dietitian that would probably be the issue. I wish I could help you more, but quite frankly seeking further information from the states is almost always a wild goose chase. I spent DAYS on the phone calling every department and office and person I could think of in New Jersey when we lived there to try to get somebody who had a clue, and never tracked anyone down who knew a darn thing. Sorry I can’t be more helpful than that!

  25. I’m understanding The 1:1 clinician ‘title” a bit more so thank you. I may just consider NTP to help heal my own mood issues since having my first child 7 years ago. It definitely left me completely different than I was before baby. I still haven’t figured it out but maybe diving into the healthy food arena I may find some answers…thank you again for your time!!

    1. My pleasure! And there are a LOT of people who go through the program for their own knowledge and to benefit their own families. I think it’s incredibly wonderful for that, too. I’m grateful every day that I know what I know, just for my own family’s health.

  26. Hi Liz- Fellow KC gal here and I love your content and your approach to wellness. I have completed the IIN program but am feeling like I would love more hardcore nutrition education in a “school” setting. I know you cannot speak of IIN since you did not complete the program so my question is if you have compared with anyone the merits of both and do you think completing NTC education would be repeating the IIN. Thanks for any insight and if you don’t think you can answer this question, no worries.

    1. Hi Laura! I think that IIN covers a broader range of diets (vegetarian, vegan, etc., right?) and NTA is focused on traditional diets and digestive wellness. Other than that, I’m not really sure! But I think the NTA website gives you a pretty good idea of their curriculum and you can compare to what you learned at IIN.

  27. Hi Liz! Love your blog & podcast! Quick question (or maybe not so quick): I have no formal training in nutrition or medicine, but I’d really love to work in the functional medicine/holistic nutrition world. I don’t want to run my own business, but rather work alongside a team of licensed practitioners (preferably in women’s health). Having said that, would you be able to recommend one training program over the other? I’ve heard great things about NTA, Integrative Women’s Health Institute, & Bauman—all of which I’m considering—but I’m not sure which path to take for my specific goals for being hired on to an already thriving holistic practice. Any insight would be SO very appreciated.
    P.S. I really wish Chris Kesser’s program for aspiring health coaches would launch already! That would probably be my first choice.

    1. Depending on your state, you can work in this capacity under a licensed professional! The IIN offers a license, but it’s not a license in the vein of a Dietitian or anything like that. Completely different. I think what would be best is to select the one that seems most personally relevant and go from there! My impression was that Kresser’s program is only for RDNs, MDs, licensed professionals, and I don’t think that includes IIN’s license 🙁 I hope that helps, and I’m so sorry it took so long to reply!

  28. Hi!
    I am really considering the Minneapolis course this Feb, but am terrified that I might be making the wrong decision and what to do with the certification afterwards? Any advice? Also, since I live in MN it states that “it is illegal to perform individualized nutrition counseling unless licensed or exempt. There is a non-RD pathway for licensure. Check for exemptions.” Does this simply mean that if I were to obtain another certification afterwards (like a boards exam) that I would be able to practice 1:1? I just feel stuck knowing that I really want to do it but I truly never plan on leaving MinneSNOWta. 🙂 Any advice would be great! Thanks so much.

  29. Hi everyone,
    I am messaging on this page because I am a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN). If anyone is interested in practicing nutrition the only way to be credible with your recommendations is to get this nationally recognized license. Anyone can call themselves a food expert or “Nutritionist.” However the only medical professional that is able to provide nutrition therapy and dietary recommendations is an RDN as we are considered to be the food experts. If this is the route you are considering, please to not look into a NTP certification. Any nutrition type certification that can be obtained easily online is likely not going to provide you with the right tools to pursue your career in nutrition. You must obtain your RDN licensure accredited by the Commison on Dietetic Registration (CDR).
    As a Registered Dietitian, we are the food and nutrition experts. We have extensive knowledge of chemistry, biology, anatomy and physiology and the roll of nutrition on the body. We are very scientific based on all our recommendations and have been training to interpreter research into information the general public can understand. We work in a variety of setting including outpatient counselling, community based, government, hospitals, school food service, nursing homes, and corporations and so on. There are many specialties a Registered Dietitian can focus on including sports nutrition, pediatric, geriatric, renal and oncology. Some Registered Dietitians can even work for large food companies. The possibilities for an RDN in the food and nutrition world are endless.
    You must have either a bachelors or Masters Degree in related field such as nutritional sciences including completion of all pre reqs before applying for an Dietetic Internship. Pre reqs required for the programs and similar if not the same as many other pre medical programs such as Nursing or PA.
    Post-completion of your internship you must take an exam before we can practice and receive our RDN licensure from the CDR.
    If you are interested please check out the link below. Remember that nutrition is medicine and making inappropriate recommendations can be very harmful and even deadly to some individuals. Stay within your scope of practice and don’t try to make nutrition recommendations without first consulting with a RDN.
    http://www.eatrightpro.org/resources/about-us/become-an-rdn-or-dtr

    1. In addition to my post from above, it is actually illegal to perform individualized nutrition counseling unless licensed or exempt. Effectively only RDs are eligible for licensure. So please do not preform nutrition counseling unless you have this licenses as you are breaking the law. See the link below.
      http://nutritionadvocacy.org/laws-state

    2. In addition to my comment above. In most states it is illegal to perform individualized nutrition counseling unless licensed or exempt. Effectively only RDs are eligible for licensure.

    3. Hi Jen! (Or is it Anne? One of the comments from your IP lists your name as “Anne.”) 🙂 Thanks for your copious and detailed comments on the difference between a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and everyone else! Sorry it took so long to approve them – I have a strong spam filter and yours got caught up. Probably because you left the same comment multiple times under 2 different names. Just so you know, for future comments!
      The laws pertaining to licensure actually vary by state (currently). This is not a federal issue, so there is no one set of uniform regulations. But many states have folks like you (RDNs) and related professional bodies attempting to change state regulations in favor of a more monopolistic, government-sanctioned set of guidelines, so that could shift significantly in the near future. The government may indeed soon be able to regulate what people can and can’t say about food! (Sounds a little scary to me, but I know there are some who disagree.) But even in the absence of being able to give 1:1 counsel as an unlicensed nutritionist while representing yourself as licensed (which IS illegal in most states, as it should be), there are still many ways a nutrition certification like the ones offered by NTA is useful.
      While this isn’t really the point, I, for one, am very much against the monopolization of the nutrition conversation when it comes to normal people just looking to improve the nutrient content of their diet. Yes, I think people who work in hospitals stocking feeding tubes need to have a good understanding of what building blocks are required to keep a body working, and an NTP should be turned away at the hospital door if they show up wanting to do that, but it’s a vastly different thing (legally, currently) helping people who come to you asking for specific advice around eating and cooking real, whole foods (for that matter, these types of conversations happen in kitchens across America, on cooking shows, in Alice Waters’ books, cookbooks, etc., all the time) vs. counseling someone on therapeutic (diagnosed-condition-specific) diets, which clearly is the express scope of an RDN. (Looks like all the MDs who give their patients dietary advice need to lawyer up! I kid.) Anywhoo, In all certifications I’m aware of, students are expressly counseled against the latter.
      I had an interesting conversation with an RDN who was also an NTP last year. She said that if the RDNs of the world were doing a better job of helping people (if they had the time, the resources, the desire to innovate, the understanding of food as more than the sum of its parts, a more current curriculum related to the science of nutrition, in particular pertaining to saturated fats, ketosis, and fat soluble vitamins), we wouldn’t need all these other certifications! So – you have your work cut out for you!
      Thanks for your comment!

  30. In addition to my post from above, it is actually illegal to perform individualized nutrition counseling unless licensed or exempt. Effectively only RDs are eligible for licensure. So please do not preform nutrition counseling unless you have this licenses as you are breaking the law. See the link below.
    http://nutritionadvocacy.org/laws-state

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