One of the major causes of the increasing obesity rates in the United States is diet. It is most often overlooked by people, but the amount of calories you eat and drink on a daily basis has a large impact on your weight.
Millions of people are suffering from this health condition, with more than 40% of the adult population in the United States considered obese and overweight. Obesity is a major risk factor for numerous chronic diseases, such as hypertension, heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and some types of cancer.
With this, making the right food choices every single day can improve your overall physical and mental health, and can even help prevent certain illnesses. In this post, we will drive deep into the concept of nutrition counseling and its importance in successful weight management.
What is Nutritional Counseling?
Nutritional counseling, also known as dietary counseling, is a continuous process of helping people make healthy food choices and build good eating habits. It is led by an experienced health professional with extensive training in the field of nutrition.
The goal of nutritional counseling is to work with individuals to evaluate their usual dietary intake and identify areas where certain dietary changes can be made. By providing accurate information, constant support, and regular follow-up, your nutritionist ensures that you can maintain the required dietary changes.
In bariatric patients, the goal of nutritional counseling is to help them stick to the required diet before, during, and after surgery, which will reduce the chances of surgical complications, weight regain, and malnutrition.
Nutrition Counselor vs. Registered Dietitian
Whether you intend to lose weight or just stay healthy, a nutrition counselor can help you make better food choices by identifying problems in your nutrition and suggesting ways to improve your diet. This includes discussing your current diet, setting fitness goals (if applicable), tracking food intake, and curbing unhealthy eating habits.
Compared to a registered dietitian, a nutrition counselor takes a more general approach to improve your diet and lifestyle. If you have a specific health condition that requires a more detailed nutrition plan, it is best to consult a registered dietitian than a nutrition counselor.
However, if you just need support in making the right food choices and maintaining a healthy lifestyle, then a nutrition counselor can be a good option. Our team at Beltline Health includes certified nutritionists who double as registered dietitians to help you implement dietary and lifestyle changes and achieve your weight loss and fitness goals.
What to Expect
When meeting with your primary care provider, it’s important to provide them with detailed information about your medical history, current diet, and dietary habits. This will allow your nutritionist to set reasonable goals and create a sustainable nutritional plan to fit your medical needs, lifestyle, and budget.
Your nutritionist will also recommend regular exercise, which is a key component to any nutrition counseling session. Like your nutritional plan, the amount of exercise you need will depend on your lifestyle, goals, and overall health status.
Benefits of Nutritional Counseling
Everyone can benefit from eating healthier. However, with so many food options available today, it can be extremely easy to pick the most convenient meals and develop unhealthy eating habits.
With nutrition counseling, individuals receive professional guidance to help them:
- lose weight
- build healthy eating habits
- exercise more regularly
- manage chronic health conditions such as obesity, hypertension, high cholesterol, type 2 diabetes, and gastrointestinal disorders
Contrary to popular belief, nutrition counseling isn’t just for people who struggle with their weight. If you’re dealing with an illness and are required to eat a specific diet, it can help you relieve symptoms and recover faster.
Treat Yourself to a Better Life
Working with a healthcare professional to help you create a personalized nutritional plan can provide many benefits to your physical and mental health. If you are looking for a better way to have a healthy diet and lifestyle, consider nutrition counseling as your first step.
Our team of nutrition counselors and registered dietitians at Beltline Heath will provide you with the support and guidance you need to make healthy dietary choices your second nature. With our nutrition care process, you will receive a comprehensive health and wellness plan to help you achieve your weight loss and fitness goals.