Nervous about seeing a nutritionist? Don’t be! A nutrition counseling session may never be like getting a massage, but it doesn’t have to be torture, either. A good nutrition consultation shouldn’t feel like a lecture about what you should be doing, and you shouldn’t feel as though you’re being scolded or judged on your eating habits, either. Rather, we take the time to listen closely and to understand where you are right now in terms of your lifestyle and diet, and work with you to help achieve your goals. Nutrition counseling can be done by a certified nutrition consultant or a registered dietitian (RD). Both nutritionists and RDs are qualified to create individual action plans to help you adopt a healthier lifestyle.
Who Can Benefit from a Nutrition Consult?
Lots of people can benefit from working with a nutritionist, for many different reasons–whether you need a complete diet overhaul, are looking to manage a medical condition, want to fine-tune your food choices, or get inspiration for new, healthy recipes. It’s best to book a nutrition consultation after a check-up with your primary care provider. That can help inform whether you have any specific conditions that can be addressed with nutrition, such as elevated blood sugar or cholesterol, or blood pressure issues.
While some patients come in for a nutrition consultation to learn more about how their food choices affect their health, others end up in my office at their doctor’s suggestion.
The following are just a few of the conditions that can benefit specifically from dietary interventions:
- Heart disease
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Diabetes and pre-diabetic conditions
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
- Celiac disease
- Obesity or overweight
What to Expect During Your First Appointment
With most nutrition counselors, we’ll ask about your goals, objectives, and reasons for wanting to see a nutritionist. We’ll review your medical history, including any medications and supplements you’re currently taking. Then we’ll delve into your lifestyle to get a sense of your stress levels, sleep patterns, energy levels, exercise, and gastrointestinal function. It will be helpful for to you write down everything you ate in the 24 hours prior to the appointment (or better yet, a food diary of two to three days’ worth of meals and snacks). With that guidance, we can begin to discuss your dietary preferences and cooking habits, and identify trouble spots, like skipping breakfast or late-night snacking. From there, we’ll develop some initial pointers to help you start eating healthier.