The Best Online Nutrition Coaches Of 2023 To Reach Your Goals & Stay Accountable
Whether your goal is to address weight concerns, build muscle, or develop a healthier relationship with food, nutrition coaching can be a helpful and effective method. With today's technology, it's easier than ever to get comprehensive care from supportive, qualified nutrition coaches without stepping foot in a clinic. If you're interested in working with a registered dietitian nutritionist from the comfort of your home, read on to explore our list of the best online nutrition coaches.
The best online nutrition coaches:
The best online nutrition coaches:
What is a nutrition coach?
A nutrition coach is someone who helps you improve your relationship with food and develop healthier eating patterns. Working with a coach typically involves setting and tracking personal goals and may involve weekly meal planning or lab work to determine any food sensitivities. Some coaches offer frequent communication to hold you accountable to your goals, while others take a more hands-off approach.
To learn more about the vast world of nutrition coaching (did you know there's a difference between a nutrition coach and a health coach?), we spoke with two practicing registered dietitian nutritionists.
"Registered dietitians (R.D.s) have formal training in nutrition—it's mostly a premed major," says Dana Ellis Hunnes, Ph.D., MPH, R.D., senior clinical dietitian at UCLA Medical Center and author of the book Recipe for Survival. "We also have (at a minimum) a bachelor's degree and now are required to have master's degrees in nutrition or a related field. We understand how the GI system works, where micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) are absorbed, and how medications interact with each other and certain medical conditions. Many of us have years of training in hospitals or public health to treat a variety of chronic conditions, in addition to handling general weight loss questions."
Bonnie Taub-Dix, RDN, creator of BetterThanDieting.com and author of Read It Before You Eat It: Taking You From Label to Table, agrees. "I personally like the word 'nutritionist' because 'dietitian' often has a negative connotation—many people don't realize that 'diet' is all about eating; it doesn't have to mean restriction or deprivation," she adds. "However, these days there are a lot of influencers that gain their reputation based on popularity instead of credibility. Look for someone that has a degree in dietetics or nutrition, not just someone who can whip up a recipe and dance around on Instagram."
Who can benefit from online nutrition coaching?
According to both Hunne and Taub-Dix, anyone with the desire to learn more about how food impacts their overall health can benefit from working with a nutrition coach. "If I wasn't one, I'd be consulting with one just to clear up some of the confusion that's out there," says Taub-Dix. Hunne adds that nutrition coaching may be especially helpful for anyone who has any sort of health issues that require knowledge of nutrition's relationship to various medical conditions.
The rise in online nutrition coaching has also made seeing a nutritionist much more accessible than when you'd need to visit a clinic in real life. Folks with busy schedules or anyone who lives outside of a major city can especially benefit from using a digital platform to receive coaching. Many online nutrition coaches utilize video calls, messaging platforms, and comprehensive apps that feature recipes, food trackers, and more to stay in close contact with their clients and track their progress.
How we picked:
Every service on our list is upfront about its coaches credentials—and most are exclusively led by registered dietitians.
We selected coaching services at a wide range of price points. Many accept major insurances, although coverage will vary by state and your insurance plan.
Everyone's dietary needs are different, so we chose nutrition coaches with a number of different specializations. These are noted on our list.
Almost every option on our list is available nationwide, and all are available through virtual platforms such as a mobile app, web browser, or through phone calls and video services like Zoom.
Our picks of the best online nutrition coaches of 2023:
Best with fitness coaching: Future
- Wide variety of specializations
- FaceTime consultation
- Insurance not accepted
This personal training app is geared toward athletes, with coaches specializing in a number of areas, including nutrition, weight loss, sports psychology, metabolic syndrome, strength training, and more. At signup, you’ll be prompted through an intake survey in which you’ll outline your goals, experience levels, and more detail about where you’re at in your fitness and nutrition journey and what you are looking to gain from the program. From there, you’ll be paired with a certified coach.
Your coach will develop a personalized plan for you, which can include workouts, nutrition guides, and more. You’ll meet with your coach via FaceTime, and have access to the brand’s app to track your progress.
Best overall: OnPoint Nutrition
- Team is almost entirely RDs
- Several individual and group coaching options
- Covered by insurance in several states
- No plans for less than 10 sessions
- No evening or weekend hours for coaching sessions
OnPoint Nutrition offers a variety of virtual nutrition coaching programs, with a handy app that includes recipe guides, food logging journal, educational resources, and direct messaging with your coach. The team is almost entirely made up of registered dieticians, and the programs are available nationwide. What’s more, OnPoint is in-network with several major insurance companies (although coverage varies by state).
After taking a brief quiz about your lifestyle and nutrition goals, you’ll be given a set of proposed individual or group coaching. If you’re not sure which is right for you, you can sign up for a free consultation call before choosing a plan. The “Essentials” program is a 20-week course that helps establish a foundational relationship with healthy eating and addresses food sensitivities and allergies. There’s also a 10-week trial program or a group coaching program. Which kicks off with a 25 minute one-on-one session and leads into five bi-weekly group sessions. However, if your schedule only allows for weekend or evening coaching, this may not be the best fit for you.
Best for general health goals: Culina Health
- Accepts major insurances
- Large team of registered dietitians
- No upfront pricing for out-of-pocket payment
Culina Health takes a full-picture approach to nutrition, making this a great pick for anyone who wants to improve their health holistically. Its team of over 30 registered dietitians will help you improve your eating habits and conquer the mental and behavioral challenges that come with making major lifestyle changes. Plus, the team is experienced in a wide range of conditions and dietary needs, so you and your coach will develop a plan that’s completely personalized to you.
After a free 15 minute consultation, you’ll set up a 60-minute goal-setting session with your coach. From there, you can choose to meet weekly or bi-weekly (Culina recommends a minimum of three months of coaching to generate lasting change). Between sessions the brand's app and safe messaging system make it easy to chat with your coach, and access your coaching notes and goals.
Unfortunately, pricing isn’t available on the website, so you’ll need to contact Culina for a quote if you’ll be paying out of pocket.
Best for specific conditions: Tepper Nutrition
- Every coach is a registered dietitian
- Offers sliding scale payment options
- Out of network
- Smaller team
Tepper Nutrition’s approach focuses on intuitive eating and Health at Every Size (HAES), which encourages creating a healthy long-term relationship with food, rather than utilizing short-term restrictions. White it’s certainly a great fit for anyone who wants to learn about nutrition, the Tepper team of registered dietitians has widespread expertise in a variety of specific conditions, such as PCOS, diabetes, eating disorders, gut health issues, and high cholesterol.
The initial 15-minute consultation call is free, and from there you’ll begin with an hour long session with your registered dietitian to discuss your current eating habits, medical history, and goals. Follow-up sessions are either 50 or 30 minutes, and pricing varies by time. Between sessions, your dietitian is available to contact via email or through Tepper’s patient portal online. Unfortunately, Tepper is out of network—but you can request a bill to submit to your insurance company for potential coverage. The company also offers a sliding scale payment option on a case-by-case basis.
Best affordable: Anderson’s Nutrition
- Wide range of pricing for services
- Services available in Spanish
- Weekend and evening sessions available
- Third-party app may feel less cohesive
If your main focus is learning to plan healthy meals, consider Anderson’s Nutrition's affordable and comprehensive program which includes a one-on-one coaching session with a registered dietitian. During your sessions, your coach will learn about your goals and any existing dietary restrictions to help develop a personalized plan. You'll also have access to a partner app called EatLove, which contains a library of recipes and grocery lists tailored to your program. Through the app, you can track your water, exercise, and food intake, which will then be shared with your dietitian.
If you prefer to have a more intimate relationship with your online nutrition coach, Anderson’s Nutrition offers virtual coaching services starting at $160 per session. There are a handful of programs tailored to specific health conditions or goals, such as weight loss or recovery from disordered eating. Pricing and programs vary, but insurance is accepted (you’ll need to call your insurance to confirm) and the company will provide a bill for out-of-network coverage. Unlike many coaching options, we appreciate that Anderson’s offers evening and weekend sessions to accommodate varying schedules.
Best for athletes: Forge Fitness
- Includes custom workouts from certified coaches
- Meal plans built by a registered dietitian
- Doesn’t accept insurance
- You won’t work directly with the RD
Whether your goal is to fuel your marathon training or supplement your strength sessions, Forge Fitness combines functional fitness coaching and nutrition guidance for an experience that’s tailored to your individual goals. Suitable for athletes of all levels, the programs provide custom workouts and meal plans, in-app messaging, and one-on-one video sessions directly with your personal coach.
Forge offers three main programs, and the biggest difference is how often you’ll have Zoom calls with your coach. The first tier includes one monthly video session, while the highest tier includes one per week. Every tier includes one of four meal plan types written by an RD: Balanced, Gluten-free, Lactose-free, and Vegetarian. Just note, while your coach will monitor your progress with the meal plan, you won’t be working directly with the staff dietitian.
Still, for people who want to build nutrition into their fitness goals, working with Forge Fitness’ certified coaches on an easy-to-navigate platform may be a great option. Pricing varies by tier, but is relatively accessible and you can cancel your monthly membership at any time. The company offers a free consultation to help you decide whether Forge is the right fit for you.
Best for building muscle: Tuttle Nutrition
- Meal plans developed by a registered dietitian
- Includes training recommendations
- Minimum 3-month commitment
- Doesn’t accept insurance
Owned and operated by Chris and Alexia Tuttle, Tuttle Nutrition specializes in programs geared toward folks trying to lose weight or build muscle. They offer a variety of programs, ranging from a general nutrition plan (which aims to supplement your training), to an intensive plan designed for people who are preparing for physique competitions. Each plan includes training recommendations, a customized diet plan from Chris Tuttle (a registered dietitian), and video or phone check-ins with Chris or Alexia.
Tuttle Nutrition is a more specific type of coaching than most other options on our list, as their focus is mostly on how food can support your weight loss or strength gains. Therefore, it’s likely not the best fit for anyone hoping to manage a chronic health condition or learn about food sensitivities.
Best for integrative health: Amwell
- Upfront pricing
- Variety of additional health care services
- No monthly commitments
- No pre-structured plans
- No built-in meal planning or food tracking features
If nutrition coaching is just one part of your health journey, you may be looking for a more integrative coaching service. Amwell is a virtual healthcare platform offering video appointments with board certified doctors for a wide range of general health conditions. That means you can work with a professional on your nutrition goals and see a therapist, psychiatrist, or primary care practitioner, all on one platform.
A quick scroll through Amwell’s roster of registered dietitians is all you need to find a provider in your area and book a 30-minute session. Work with your coach on specific goals such as weight loss, food allergies, pregnancy nutrition, and more—just note, there are no pre-outlined nutrition plans available, so your experience will vary depending on the nutritionist you choose, the frequency you meet with them, and the goals you set together.
Sessions cost up to $70, but if you’re in-network, your insurance may cover all or part of that price. Amwell is also a good pick for anyone who is just getting started and isn’t sure they want to commit to a monthly (or longer) program.
Best for families: Lemond Nutrition
- Specializes in pediatric and family nutrition
- Body positive approach
- Not available in all states
Eating well can be made even more difficult when there are several mouths to feed. Luckily, Texas-based Lemond Nutrition offers nutrition plans for the entire family. So whether you have a picky eater on your hands or are hoping to improve your household’s relationship with food, Lemond’s family nutrition plan can help get you on track together.
Lemond’s focus is on weight-neutral outcomes and the company promises to provide an inclusive, supportive space for you and the ones you love to learn about your nutritional needs. The Families Custom package includes individual nutrition assessments for four family members, behavioral guidance to help create healthy habits, and customized goals for your family. Beyond your assessment, you’ll have the ability to message your dietitian through Lemond’s mobile app. Several major insurances are accepted, but to make sure you’re eligible for coverage (and for virtual services in your state) it’s best to set up a consultation.
How to choose.
Not sure where to begin? Consider the below factors when deciding which online nutrition coach is best for you.
Platform preferences: While each service on our list is available virtually, some have more high-tech platforms than others. If you'd like features such as a food-tracking journal and messaging app at your fingertips, be sure to choose a service that offers these extras.
Your goals: Consider what you're hoping to achieve with nutrition coaching. Are you looking for a body-positive approach to weight management? Hoping to learn what foods best fuel your workouts? Whatever your goals may be, you'll want to feel comfortable sharing them with your coach. "Your goal should be to find a registered dietitian nutritionist who has the experience to understand how to adapt their knowledge to your particular needs," says Taub-Dix. Some nutrition services (especially those with monthly plans) are better equipped to coach you toward your long-term goals than others.
Time commitment: Decide how much time and money you're willing to commit to nutrition coaching. Some services require a minimum commitment or number of sessions to be purchased upfront, while others allow for one-off sessions and shorter-term programs. The choice is yours, but it is worth noting that creating healthy habits is a long game.
Specific health conditions: It's important to be aware of a coach's credentials and specializations before entering into a commitment. If you're hoping to manage a condition like diabetes or IBS, or are pregnant or breastfeeding and looking for nutritional support, there are specialists that can help zero in on your specific needs—just be sure to read up on their qualifications. "I would strongly recommend looking for dietitians who have worked with a wide range of disease states," says Hunnes. "R.D.s now have to have a master's degree in nutrition or related fields and have had training on how to manage nutrition and health in all types of disease states."
What is the difference between a dietitian and a nutritionist?
The difference between a registered dietitian and anyone else who doles out nutrition advice comes down to credentials. "Anyone can call themselves a nutritionist," says Taub-Dix. "To be called a dietitian, you have to take a certain amount of courses in undergraduate, go for your internship, sit for a qualifying exam, and perhaps even get a master's degree."
How much does online nutrition coaching cost?
Pricing for online nutrition coaching services varies greatly, and the amount of one-on-one time with your coach will be the greatest factor that determines cost. Telehealth companies (like Amwell on our list) offer sessions as low as $70 per virtual visit, while others use a monthly payment structure or sell their coaching services in packages. However, some services are in-network with large insurance carriers, so it's worthwhile to investigate whether you'll be covered with a certain coach or not before committing.
Is it worth paying for a nutrition coach?
If you’re seeking personal attention and a customized nutrition plan, paying for the best online nutrition coach will be beneficial. The accountability and guidance that come from working with a registered dietitian or nutritionist helps many people develop healthier eating habits, pinpoint sensitivities, or work toward specific health goals. If cost is a concern, your insurance may be able to help make nutrition coaching more accessible.
Working with the right online nutrition coach is a helpful way to develop and maintain healthier eating habits. The best coach will help you pinpoint problem areas, stay accountable, and integrate healthy eating into your lifestyle for the long haul. Taub-Dix adds that another important quality to look for in a coach is empathy. "Look for someone who exudes empathy and understands the way you feel about your diet, your body, your environment, and your relationship with food." If you're hoping to learn more about nutrition in general and the role it plays in our overall health, you might want to consider mindbodygreen's Functional Nutrition Training, an online program based on the most up-to-date science in health and wellness that includes over 30 hours of online lessons curated by top experts in the space.