Eating Disorder Nutritionist: How to Find an Expert

Table of Contents

Written By:

Key Takeaways

  • Eating disorder dietitians are qualified nutrition professionals who can treat eating disorders and disordered eating behaviors. 
  • They can help you during all stages of treatment by creating meal plans, monitoring your nutrition status, and helping you heal your relationship with food. 
  • Insurance coverage and fees for eating disorder dietitian services can vary based on their certifications, location, and experience. 

If you have an eating disorder diagnosis or are concerned about disordered eating habits, you may choose to work with a registered dietitian who specializes in treating eating disorders.

These providers have special training and certifications to help you in your eating disorder recovery. They will work with you before, during, and after treatment to improve your relationship with food and teach you normal eating habits. 

Though including a registered dietitian on your treatment team can improve outcomes, many people lack insurance coverage for this service or need help finding a qualified provider. 

To simplify this process, Nourish will match you with an online dietitian specializing in eating disorders. We’ll work with you to maximize your insurance coverage and avoid large out-of-pocket fees. 

Continue reading for more information on eating disorder dietitians and how to find a qualified provider. 

What is an Eating Disorder Nutritionist?

An eating disorder nutritionist is a nutrition expert, typically a registered dietitian, who helps treat eating disorders. They can work as part of an interdisciplinary team at an eating disorder treatment center, in a hospital, or as an outpatient provider. 

Eating disorder dietitians must undergo extra training and education to specialize in this field.

They typically use a non-diet approach, meaning they won’t recommend restrictive eating plans or label foods as “good or bad.” 

They often teach principles of intuitive eating, which involve listening to your body’s hunger and fullness cues to guide your eating rather than external cues like calories or portion sizes. Many of these providers also align with the Health at Every Size, a philosophy focused on helping people of all sizes build healthy habits without focusing on weight. 

What Can an Eating Disorder Nutritionist Do?

Eating disorder dietitians are typically involved in every step of eating disorder treatment– from inpatient to outpatient– and are essential members of the care team. 

In higher levels of care, dietitians coordinate with other healthcare providers to help you reach a healthy weight and screen for nutrient deficiencies, malnutrition, and refeeding syndrome. 

In the outpatient setting, an eating disorder dietitian will create a personalized meal plan for you based on your food preferences and medical needs. They will help you understand disordered eating habits and teach you strategies to minimize these. 

Eating disorder dietitians can also help people who don’t have an eating disorder diagnosis but who struggle with disordered eating concerns, like orthorexia, emotional eating, and preoccupation with food. 

Your dietitian will focus on teaching you how to change your eating behaviors and can also help you improve your relationship with food and your body image. 

Benefits of Working with an Eating Disorder Nutritionist

It’s essential to seek treatment if you have an eating disorder, and a registered dietitian can be an invaluable part of your care team. An untreated eating disorder can result in serious health complications, which can be prevented with early intervention

Most eating disorder treatment programs offer dietitian services as part of the care protocol. Studies show that when a dietitian is included in the treatment team, patients experience better eating disorder treatment outcomes, like improved weight and food intake. 

It can also be beneficial to work with a dietitian after completing treatment. Eating disorders have a high relapse rate, and ongoing support has been shown to help patients maintain the progress they made during treatment. 

If you don’t have an eating disorder but feel concerned you may be at risk for one, a registered dietitian can screen for disordered eating habits and help improve your relationship with food. 

Qualifications of an Eating Disorder Nutritionist

A significant amount of education and training is required to be an eating disorder dietitian. It’s important to always check the credentials of your nutrition professional before starting treatment.

First, eating disorder dietitians must obtain the registered dietitian (RD) credential, which involves earning a degree in nutrition, completing over 1000 practice hours, and passing a national exam. To maintain this credential, dietitians must participate in ongoing continuing education. 

A dietitian can then seek employment at eating disorder treatment facilities where they receive the essential training and experience to help people with these conditions. 

There is an advanced practice certification dietitians can pursue to become a Certified Eating Disorder Registered Dietitian (CEDRD), which involves 2500 supervised patient care hours in eating disorder treatment, 18 hours of continuing education, a course, and a certification exam.

Some eating disorder dietitians are also Certified Intuitive Eating Counselors, meaning they’ve taken an in-depth course, passed an exam, and completed supervised practice hours on teaching intuitive eating principles. 

Finding a Qualified Eating Disorder Nutritionist

It’s important to understand the difference between a dietitian and a nutritionist when searching for a qualified nutrition professional to help treat your eating disorder. The “nutritionist” title is not regulated and does not require any specific education or certifications. Unfortunately, this means anyone can call themselves a nutritionist. 

You can start your search by using your insurance plan’s search tool to find local dietitians covered by your insurance. From there, you may be able to filter by eating disorder specialty or look through the individual profiles to find the right fit. 

Qualified nutrition specialists will have a registered dietitian (RD) or registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN) credential and may also have a CEDRD (Certified Eating Disorder Registered Dietitian) credential. 

Due to confusion over the job titles of nutrition professionals, it can be challenging to find a qualified provider, especially online. Nourish makes it easy to find qualified online dietitians specializing in eating disorder treatment. 

Questions to Ask When Choosing a Provider

After you verify your provider has the appropriate credentials to offer nutrition counseling for eating disorders, ask about the nature of their experience. This can help you determine whether they will be a good fit for you.

  • Do they primarily work with adolescents or adults? 
  • How long have they been working in the eating disorder field? 
  • Do they specialize in a specific eating disorder?
  • Are they comfortable working with medically complex patients?
  • What is their food philosophy?

Before your first appointment, ask the dietitian about their scheduling availability and how often they’d like to see you. Depending on the level of care you need, you may need to be seen more frequently than they can accommodate. 

In addition, it’s important to ask about the cost of treatment and insurance coverage. Some providers may not be in-network or covered by your insurance.  

Costs and Insurance Coverage

Unfortunately, many people in the United States cannot access eating disorder treatment due to high out-of-pocket costs without insurance. Those with insurance may also find difficulty getting treatment depending on the nature of their diagnosis. 

The cost of working with an eating disorder dietitian can vary greatly depending on the level of care, location, and the provider’s certifications. Dietitian services can be billed differently between hospitals, eating disorder treatment centers, and outpatient clinics. 

The average cost for an appointment with an outpatient eating disorder dietitian is $150 without insurance. If you live in a high-cost-of-living area or choose to work with a private practice dietitian, you can expect a greater fee. 

Nourish works with you to maximize your insurance coverage. 94% of our patients pay $0 out-of-pocket to work with an eating disorder dietitian when they use insurance. 


Eating disorder dietitians are essential to the eating disorder treatment team and work with you to reach a healthy weight, normalize your eating habits, and improve your relationship with food and body image. 

When searching for a qualified provider, look for the registered dietitian (RD) or registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN) credential and additional certifications like CEDRD (Certified Eating Disorder Registered Dietitian) or Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor. 

Find a Dietitian Covered by Insurance

You may benefit from working with an outpatient eating disorder dietitian if you have a medically stable eating disorder or if you’re dealing with disordered eating. A dietitian can support your recovery by providing a nutritious eating plan and improving your relationship with food.

Get started on the path to recovery with Nourish. We’ll match you with a registered dietitian specializing in eating disorder treatment. Your Nourish dietitian will coordinate with the other members of your care team to ensure continuity of care. 

All visits are conducted online from the comfort of your home. We prioritize minimizing your out-of-pocket costs by helping you navigate insurance coverage.      

Frequently Asked Questions

What profession helps people with eating disorders?

Eating disorder treatment is typically a multidisciplinary approach that may include a combination of doctors, psychiatrists, therapists, registered dietitians, and social workers. These providers work together as a team to provide well-rounded care, often in a hospital setting or an eating disorder treatment center.

Can a nutritionist help with overeating?

A registered dietitian can help you manage overeating by talking with you about the root cause of the behavior and teaching you how to honor your hunger and fullness signals. Working with a dietitian will be an important part of your treatment if you experience overeating or binge eating related to an eating disorder.


View all references

See a Registered Dietitian with Nourish

  • Covered by insurance
  • Virtual sessions
  • Personalized care
Schedule an appointment

Frequently asked questions

No items found.

See a dietitian covered by insurance

Nourish offers virtual nutrition counseling covered by insurance. Learn how to manage health conditions, eating behaviors, and more with a registered dietitian.

Text Link
Text Link
Text Link
Text Link
Text Link
Hormonal Health
Text Link
Weight Stabilization
Text Link
Bariatric Surgery
Text Link
Weight Gain
Text Link
Weight Loss
Text Link
High Cholesterol
Text Link
High Blood Pressure
Text Link
Other Specified Feeding and Eating Disorder (OSFED)
Text Link
Type 2 Diabetes
Text Link
Type 1 Diabetes
Text Link
Gestational Diabetes
Text Link
Text Link
Multiple Sclerosis
Text Link
Celiac Disease
Text Link
Ulcerative Colitis
Text Link
GERD / Acid Reflux
Text Link
Crohn’s Disease
Text Link
Avoidant Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID)
Text Link
Binge Eating
Text Link
Text Link
Text Link
Food Allergies
Text Link
Sports and Performance Nutrition
Text Link
Eating Disorder
Text Link
Autoimmune Disease
Text Link
Thyroid Disorders
Text Link
Text Link
Text Link
Healthy Aging
Text Link
Women's Health
Text Link
Weight Concerns
Text Link
Text Link
Pre or Postnatal Nutrition
Text Link
Pediatric Nutrition
Text Link
Liver Disease
Text Link
Kidney Disease
Text Link
Heart Health
Text Link
Gut Health
Text Link
General Health
Text Link
Emotional Eating
Text Link

Find a

dietitian covered by insurance

No items found.