So why see a nutritionist?
- The main role of a nutritionist is to help people achieve optimal health by providing information and advice about health and food choices.
- To support digestive issues such as IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease), bloating, indigestion, etc.
- To gain general healthy eating advice (including practical recommendations and recipes)
- To seek advice on how to support an existing health condition through nutrition
- To gain advice on healthy and sustainable weight loss, breaking weight-loss plateaus
- Increasing energy
- Digestive health
- Sleep and mood
- Stress and fatigue
Nutrition is far more involved than calories in versus calories out. A nutritionist will often see clients who aren’t getting results because they aren’t eating enough, or the timing and/or balance of their meals isn’t in line with their body’s optimal needs.
Some people are eating healthfully, but are unknowingly taking in more than they need to get to—and stay at—a healthy weight. After assessing an eating routine a nutritionist can help with what’s holding you back from reaching your goals, and can guide you in the right direction. In terms of a strategy, a nutritionist will talk with their clients to determine what’s best.
A nutritionist needs to ensure that the strategy you’ve agreed upon is right for you. For example, if you dine out or travel often, or you have very limited free time, a plan that requires you to cook at home won’t be a good fit. Also, he or she may need to tweak your plan or approach based on feedback from you regarding your results and how you’re feeling. Follow-ups are also an opportunity to ask questions, prepare for challenging situations, learn about new tools, resources, or products, and feel supported. A one-time visit can’t possibly offer everything you need to succeed.
Health includes an emphasis on how families and communities impact the ability to make healthy choices. I’m not a therapist, but I often find myself talking to clients about issues related to food that go beyond nutrition. Some encounter a lack of support, or even sabotage, from their significant other, friends, or family. Others feel that their job, workplace, or community get in the way of following through with healthy changes. In many cases, a nutritionist’s role is to help coach you through what gets in the way of following his or her advice. In other words, if you were “good” all day, and wound up binge eating while binge watching Netflix, don’t be afraid to talk about it. A nutritionist is going to empathetically coach you, not judge or scold someone.