The 6 Best Online Nutrition Counseling Programs of 2020

Find the best program for your health

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Nutrition is a daunting topic for many: Overhauling lifelong eating habits isn’t easy. While improving your nutrition is arguably one of the most difficult challenges you will ever undertake, it’s more than worth it.

Because nutrition can be so tough to tackle, though, it might be worth investing in nutrition counseling of some sort. Traditional, in-person nutrition counseling can be cumbersome and cost-prohibitive for many people—which is where online nutrition counseling comes in.

Online nutrition counseling works much like traditional nutrition counseling, but it’s often offered at a lower price point and takes up less time because you don’t have to commute anywhere. If you’re ready to revamp your eating habits, start by learning about the best online nutrition counseling programs.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Teladoc

Teladoc

Teladoc

Teladoc is a relatively well-known telehealth company that first focused on primary care. Since its inception in 2002, Teladoc has expanded its services to dermatology, mental health, sexual health, and nutrition. With Teladoc’s online nutrition counseling, you have 24/7 access to a registered dietitian, and the company works with registered dieticians (RDs) in every state.

To start, you sign up for Teladoc services and complete a questionnaire online or in the Teladoc app. Based on your answers, you’ll be put in touch with a dietitian who specializes in your needs. After an initial consultation that covers your medical history, current dietary habits, physical activity, and more, you and your dietitian will work together to create a personalized nutrition guide with a custom meal plan, shopping guide, and educational material.

Teladoc Nutrition integrates nicely with the rest of Teladoc’s offerings, including preventative clinical care, which helps members see all aspects of their health in one place. Teladoc pricing starts at roughly $50 per visit, but costs vary based on the service you choose and your insurance plan. Some insurance companies may cover Teladoc Nutrition services.

Best Budget: Amwell

Amwell

Amwell

Amwell, another telehealth company, offers online nutrition counseling for around $70 per visit, but this may vary based on your health insurance plan (some companies may cover Amwell nutrition services). This is a great rate, considering the standard rate for a registered dietitian is about $100 to $300 per hour, depending on location and expertise.

With Amwell, you can virtually visit a registered dietitian at any time during operating hours for the $70 pay-as-you-go fee. There are no monthly fees or mandatory memberships, and all visits last 30 minutes, which puts the hourly rate at the lower end of what’s expected for nutrition counseling.

Amwell dietitians can help with weight loss, food sensitivities and allergies, diabetes, prenatal nutrition, sports nutrition, supplementation, high blood pressure, Celiac disease, and more.

Best for Children and Families: Lemond Nutrition

Lemond Nutrition

Lemond Nutrition

If you need online nutrition counseling for your child or the whole family, consider Lemond Nutrition (physically based in Texas, but offering online nutrition counseling anywhere in the United States). The company was founded by Angela and Jeff Lemond when the couple realized there was a need for pediatric and whole-family nutrition counseling in their region.

With Lemond Nutrition, you can expect an initial 60- to 90-minute session, followed by 45-minute follow-up sessions with a dietitian matched to your child’s needs. Pediatric nutrition counseling is tailored to the individual’s needs, but with whole-family nutrition counseling, Lemond Nutrition dietitians look at your entire family’s eating dynamics.

You can expect customized assessments, as well as individual and family goals. Contact the company for pricing information.

Best Self-Guided: Noom

Noom

Noom

Noom has mixed reviews online, but there’s no arguing that it has a great success rate and uses basic nutrition tactics that are proven to work, such as meal-logging and weigh-ins.

This app-based, self-paced program includes access to a coach that can answer your questions about nutrition, help you make choices that support your diet needs, and guide you toward weight loss (or whatever goal you may have).

The main downside to Noom is that it doesn’t require its coaches to be registered dietitians, which is a major drawback for some and something to consider if you’re looking for comprehensive, prepared meal plans. (Noom can’t provide that.)

Noom, which costs about $50 per month, is best for people who want to focus on habit change and overarching nutrition principles. For more information about Noom, you can read Verywell Fit’s comprehensive review of the service.

Best for Medical Nutrition Therapy: Anderson’s Nutrition

Anderson’s Nutrition

Anderson’s Nutrition

Medical nutrition therapy is a subset of nutrition counseling that deals with specific medical conditions.

People who have digestive disorders, nutrient deficiencies, chronic illnesses, or autoimmune diseases can benefit from medical nutrition therapy in addition to any medical protocols they need to follow. In some cases, medical nutrition therapy can reduce or eliminate the need for prescription medication.

Anderson’s Nutrition offers online medical nutrition therapy for almost all major chronic diseases, as well as cancer and autism. With physical locations in Arizona and Pennsylvania, Anderson’s Nutrition offers online nutrition counseling across the U.S.—just note that some specific types of medical nutrition therapy may not be available in your state due to certification or licensure laws. You can contact Anderson’s Nutrition to find out if medical nutrition therapy is available for your condition in your state.

You can choose a pay-as-you-go format starting at roughly $150 per visit with an Anderson’s Nutrition dietitian. Or, you can pick from four other programs: Maintenance (monthly for approximately $100), Must Have (four weeks for around $350), Complete (eight weeks for about $550), or Ultimate (12 weeks for roughly $625).

Best Template-Based: Renaissance Periodization

Renaissance Periodization

Renaissance Periodization

If you’re looking for something even more self-guided than Noom, Renaissance Periodization might be a good fit for you. Known as RP for short, this program has long been popular with the fitness community, especially with people who like to track macronutrients to enhance their workout regiment.

RP nutrition counseling—or, as the company calls it, nutrition programming—is best for people who already have a rather strong grasp of nutrition. If you’re a true beginner, RP may not work for you.

RP offers both template-based programs and one-on-one coaching. Template programs include an easy-to-follow PDF that takes you through progressive nutrition phases based on your gender, weight, height, activity level, and some other key factors. One-on-one coaching is attuned to your specific needs, but depending on your needs, may still follow general RP protocols that you could get with the more affordable templates.

Membership to RP is free.

How We Chose the Best Online Nutrition Counseling Programs

A major point was choosing established companies with a successful prior client roster, as well as a team of multiple registered dietitians and certified nutritionists—the last thing we want is for you to learn about the perfect match, only to find out there’s a year-long waiting list.

After gathering a list of more than 20 online nutrition counseling programs, we narrowed it down to the six you see above based on client success stories, availability, staff credentials, and program formats. Noom and Renaissance Periodization stood out as self-guided options, while Teladoc and Amwell were ideal for people who wanted to directly work with dietitians.

How Does Online Nutrition Counseling Work?

Online nutrition counseling works just like in-person nutrition counseling, for the most part: You start with an in-depth consultation about your eating habits, activity level, medical history, and your relationship with food. Most programs offer comprehensive meal plans, along with weekly or monthly check-ins. Some programs offer extras, such as informational handouts you can keep, templates for meal planning, worksheets, and more.

Who's a Good Fit for Online Nutrition Counseling?

Anyone who has nutrition-related goals can benefit from online nutrition counseling. You might be a good fit for online nutrition counseling if:

  • You struggle to maintain a healthy weight.
  • You’re stuck in a cycle of losing and regaining weight.
  • You feel bad, guilty, or shameful about certain food choices.
  • You think you might have an eating disorder or disordered eating habits.
  • You’re not sure how nutrition affects other aspects of your life, such as your mood or sleep.
  • You want to learn more about nutrition.
  • You want a meal plan that supports your lifestyle (i.e. you’re a marathon runner).
  • You’re a busy person who doesn’t have time to make your own meal plans.
  • You have a medical condition that could benefit from nutrition improvements.
  • You struggle with poor sleep, fatigue, mood swings, low moods, poor productivity, or another symptom that could be attributed to your eating habits.

How Much Does Online Nutrition Counseling Cost?

The cost of online nutrition counseling varies from program to program. In general, you can expect to pay anywhere from around $100 to $300 for an hour of a registered dietitian’s time. Most online nutrition programs, however, bundle services into monthly or quarterly programs. For instance, you might sign up for a program that costs roughly $1,000 for three months of counseling with 30-minute weekly check-ins.

Does Insurance Cover Online Nutrition Counseling?

Some health insurance policies do cover online nutrition counseling. Generally, the final verdict depends on your insurance plan and the purpose behind why you're opting for this service.

For example, insurance might cover online nutrition counseling for someone who signs up in order to manage their type 2 diabetes. However, the same insurance might not cover online nutrition counseling for someone who does not have a medical condition.

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