Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the difference between a Dietitian & a Nutritionist?

The key difference between an 'Accredited Practising Dietitian' & a 'Nutritionist' is that, an 'Accredited Practising Dietitian' has undertaken additional studies in medical nutrition therapy, dietetics & food service management. People who claim that Dietitians don't look at the whole picture or that they only treat the symptoms of disease, certainly haven't met the team at Coffs Coast Nutrition. Our focus is on treating the whole person, rather than simply the symptoms. We take the time to listen to what you have to say, in order to find the cause of your ill-health & provide safe, effective solutions.    

The nutrition experts at Coffs Coast Nutrition have at least 4-6 years of university study in biochemistry, physiology, nutrition, dietetics & medical nutrition therapy, & are Accredited Nutritionists AND Accredited Practising Dietitians.

Accredited Practising Dietitians are regarded as the experts in nutrition because they have the medical knowledge, understanding & clinical training to assesss a person's diet  & lifestyle in order to treat a range of conditions including irritable bowel syndrome, food intolerances, coeliac disease, diabetes, heart disease, cancer & weight management (both overweight & underweight). 

Accredited Practising Dietitian (APD) is the only national credential recognised by the Australian government, Medicare, the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) & most private health funds as the standard for nutritional services in Australia. This is the reason why only an Accredited Practising Dietitian will be able to offer a rebate under Medicare or DVA, for nutrition consultations. Nutritionists who are inadequately qualified cannot register with either Medicare or DVA.  

Be especially wary if your Nutritionist does not state his or her qualifications.   

All Accredited Practising Dietitians are also nutritionists, however not all nutritionists are sufficiently qualified to call themselves Accredited Practising Dietitians. 

2. But I've heard that some Dietitians have been corrupted by the multinational food corporations?

We absolutely guarantee that the Dietitians & Nutritionists at Coffs Coast Nutrition provide information that is both honest & unbiased & that we have no association with any large corporation, company or government organisation. There is no "hidden agenda".      

3. Advertising under "Dietitians" & "Nutritionists" in the Yellow Pages:

Unfortunately some people who advertise under "Dietitians" or "Nutritionists" in Local Search & Yellow Pages are not accredited & may have only very basic nutrition qualifications. This is particularly relevant to online listings.                                                                     

4.  I’ve tried lots of diets.  Why will seeing the healthcare team at Coffs Coast Nutrition be different?

In order to lose weight (& keep the weight off) you will benefit from an individualised approach & specialised advice. We can also tailor an eating plan that provides the ideal balance of protein, carbohydrate & fats for you. We believe that there is no one way of eating that suits everyone. Some people prefer a lower carb, higher protein diet, while others function better when they eat a few more carbs. It is very important to get the right amount of 'good' fats in our diet. Many people have food intolerances or medical conditions that affect the type of foods that they can eat. If you want to keep the weight off, it will be important to include a variety of healthy foods that taste great. We will work with you to set realistic & achievable goals which will enable you to lose weight, but more importantly keep the weight off.  We also offer heaps of ongoing support & motivation which is crucial for long-term success. 

5. Do you offer personal training & group exercise sessions?

Yes. We offer personal training in the comfort of our air conditioned studio gym. Outdoor sessions are also available, if preferred. You can attend on your own for one-on-one training or bring a few friends or family members for a fun workout. 

6. Do you offer health & wellness coaching?

Yes. Our health & wellness coaching services include a full health & fitness assessment, plus sessions on stress management, sleep quality, mindful eating, healthy snacking & much more.

6. Do you have appointments available after hours?

Yes.

7. What happens at the initial consultation?

Your first consultation will take approximately 30-60 minutes depending on your preferred option. We find that most people prefer a 60 minute initial consultation as this allows time for personalised treatment & support. Our Nutritionists will collect information relating to your medical history, stress levels, sleep, environmental factors, weight history, diet & activity levels, as well as your goals & expectations.  This enables us to provide individually tailored advice.     

8. How often do I need to have an appointment?

We generally prefer to arrange a follow-up appointment 2 – 4 weeks after your initial appointment in order to review your progress, answer any questions that you may have & keep you motivated.  Some people prefer to attend on a weekly basis, while others would rather an appointment every 6 weeks or so, or you may simply want some basic information which can be obtained in a total of one or two sessions.  The choice is yours. 

9. Do you have a cancellation policy?

Our Nutritionists allocate up to 60 minutes for each appointment to enable you to have quality one-on-one time. We do not double book appointment slots. Clients are therefore kindly asked to keep appointments, unless an emergency occurs. We request at least one business day's notice for all cancellations or rescheduling of appointments.

A cancellation fee of $50:00 may be charged for missed appointments or $30:00 for appointments that are cancelled or rescheduled with less than one business day's notice. The aim is not to make profits from cancellation fees, rather to make sure those appointment times are kept available for others who need them, & in order that you respect your dietitian's time.

It is understandable that in some circumstances, short notice may occasionally be unavoidable, & discretion will be exercised in such cases.

10. How can I pay?

Fees are payable on or before the day of the consultation by cash, cheque or credit card.  People referred under Medicare who have a GP Management Care Plan prepared by their GP and who provide a valid Enhanced Primary Care (EPC) referral can have their review appointments bulk billed.  

11. Can I claim a rebate with Medicare?

We currently bulk-bill review appointments for patients who provide a valid Medicare / Enhanced Primary Care (EPC) referral from their GP. Please note that not all referrals from GPs are Medicare / EPC referrals. To find out if you are eligible, you will need to speak with your GP as Medicare rebates are only available for certain conditions & circumstances.

You will be required to pay for the initial nutrition consultation, however we have Medicare Easy Claim facilities which mean that your rebate of $52:95 can be transferred straight into your account for you.  

12. Can I claim a rebate with my private health fund?

Rebates are available from most private health funds, however this depends on your level of cover (some funds may rebate up to 80-100% of the cost of the visit).  Check with your fund for details.

13. Do you see Veterans Affairs (DVA) recipients?

Yes. There is no charge for this service, provided you are a gold card holder & bring a DVA referral (eg D904) from your doctor.

14. Do I need a referral?

No, a referral is not essential - unless you wish to be seen under Medicare, DVA or Workers Comp. 

15. Are home visits available?

Yes.  Home visits are available to DVA recipients in the Coffs Harbour, Sawtell, Urunga & Woolgoolga areas at no charge. We can also arrange home visits to other people for an additional fee.

16. Are email & phone consultations available?

Yes.  The healthcare team at Coffs Coast Nutrition realise that not everyone can access a Nutritionist easily, so we offer nutrition assessments & advice by both phone & email. Appointments need to be arranged in advance & payment must be made on or before the day of the appointment.

17. Are group sessions available?

Yes.

18. Is wheelchair access available?

Yes. Please enter via the path situated to the right of the building.

Ph: (02) 6652 7529 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

10 Reasons to choose Coffs Coast Nutrition

1. Personalised advice tailored to YOU.

2. Heaps of support & motivation.

3. Nutrition advice: in person / phone / email.

4. Health & wellness programs.  

5. Experts in IBS & the low FODMAP diet.

6. Nutrition therapy for medical conditions.

7. Sports nutrition for optimal performance. 

8. Fitness training for all fitness levels.

9. Private studio gym. 

10. Medicare & health fund rebates.