Weight Consultant

A weight loss consultant is a professional who helps people to lose weight. They will usually be knowledgeable about good nutrition, the importance of exercise and the psychological factors involved in weight loss.
They may also be good with people, encouraging (and strict if necessary) and able to motivate people to lose weight.  

Weight loss consultancy options vary. Many people are self employed, while others find work within an established organisation.

There are many weight loss organisations out there, such as Weight Watchers, Slimming World and others.  You may work for one of these organisations.  These may provide you with a clear structure of how to work, and have specific products that can be sold and marketed. They will provide you with the administration of the business.  In some cases you may have to purchase a franchise. Profitability may not always be as good working for someone else though, as it is working for yourself.

Or you may become a freelance independent consultant.  In this case, you will probably meet clients in their own homes, carry out an assessment on their weight problem, then come up with an individual plan to help them.  You may only see them once, or you may see them several times to help them through their weight loss journey. This may also involve additional emails and calls to motivate and encourage the person.

You may need to develop networking and marketing skills to promote yourself and encourage people to use your services.

Good administrative and communication skills are also required.

Risks and Challenges
A big challenge here is maintaining your own weight loss. Many consultants who join franchises will have been previous members. Often the franchise will insist on that. The consultant will be someone who has successfully lost weight his/herself and is now helping others. They are a role model. This can put stress on the consultant to keep their weight loss off, if they wish to maintain their job.  Also, clients will not necessary belief that a consultant can help them, if the consultant his/herself is overweight.

Keeping up to date on relevant nutrition and diets is important.

You also need to be aware of when people are experiencing difficulties. For example, if a person is losing weight too fast, is becoming obsessed with their eating, seems to be ill, is not eating their correct food for any condition they have, such as diabetes, and so on.

It can also be a challenge to motivate and support people to lose weight. This can be very hard for a lot of people, so that constant motivation can be hard.

How to become a Weight Loss Consultant
This will vary. 
Learning about weight loss has to be the starting point; and a foundation course of at least 100 hours would be the absolute minimum.  If you wish to work independently, it is important to get professional liability insurance (available to graduates of ACS Distance Education through OAMPS in Australia and Tower Insurance in the UK).

You will also need to be a good motivator, able to talk to people in groups or individually, be knowledgeable about diet and nutrition, be sympathetic but also strict when necessary.

Other related jobs
Nutritional counsellor
Health and fitness professional
Diet group leader
Health coach

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