If you’ve landed here, you likely have a goal. More than likely, your goal is something health or wellness related. You’re also probably hoping that nutrition can help you achieve that goal.
Maybe you’ve tried other nutrition plans or programs in the past. Maybe you’ve given a fad diet or two a shot before.
My guess is that if you’re here, those other solutions didn’t actually solve your problem. They may have given you a temporary fix and put a band-aid on to cover the issue up, but deep down it’s still there.
This is not your fault. Diets do not work. And luckily, nutrition counseling is not a diet.
So here you are reading about nutrition counseling and hoping this non-diet approach is the answer to your prayers.
Maybe you even have a friend who has found success in working with a nutrition coach. Or maybe your doctor recommended meeting with a dietitian. Regardless of how you got here, you are hoping this is the last solution you will need.
As a registered dietitian who has helped many people just like you find success through nutrition counseling, I am confident that it works and can be your answer.
In this article, I’ll break down what nutrition counseling is, who benefits from it, and why it’s so effective.
My goal is that by the end of this article you feel confident and empowered in making the decision if nutrition counseling is right for you.
What Is Nutrition Counseling?
To understand what nutrition counseling is, let’s break it into two parts.
Nutrition is the study of food, how the body uses the nutrients in your food and the relationship between your diet, your health, and any diseases or medical conditions you may have.
Counseling is a collaborative effort that helps clients, like you, develop solutions to problems. It also involves setting goals and outlining a path to work toward them. Your counselor is there to support you along that path.
To put those two together, nutrition counseling is the process of altering your diet to improve your health. However, it’s not just about the food, and it’s not just someone telling you what to eat to make you healthier.
Nutrition counseling involves collaboration between you and your nutrition coach. It involves diving deep into what you eat, but also why you eat the foods you do, when you eat, how you feel about food and your body, and more.
Now I’m not just saying this because I’m a dietitian, but nutrition counseling can truly be a life-changing process.
I’ve seen people lose 50+ pounds.
I’ve seen people get off blood pressure medication they’ve been taking for years.
I’ve seen people who were overwhelmed by negative thoughts surrounding food and their bodies make peace with food and start truly living again.
None of this happens in one session. These results are not achieved by simply following a meal plan. These changes happen little by little over the course of weeks or months, sometimes even years, but lead to the results you’ve always hoped for.
If you’re thinking, sure, that’s great, nutrition counseling can change my life, but how? Here’s how it works.
First and foremost, nutrition counseling is personalized. It’s built to fit your life, your schedule, your routine, and your goals.
At the start of the nutrition counseling process, your dietitian will assess where you currently are. You can expect to discuss your current habits and future goals.
What you eat, when you eat, how much you eat, etc. will all be part of the discussion, as will your relationship with food and your body. You can also expect to dive into more holistic areas of health including your exercise, sleep, stress, and mental health.
When you and your nutrition coach are on the same page, you can start to outline a path to reach your goals. This may include things like regularly scheduled meetings, messaging back and forth, and logging your food.
From here, everything is personalized to you. Your dietitian is there to guide you and provide you with accountability. We are there to give you feedback and help you work through struggles. We are also there to celebrate your successes and cheer you on along the way.
Who Benefits From Nutrition Counseling?
The general answer here is that anyone who is looking to achieve a nutrition-related goal can benefit from nutrition counseling.
However, we know that nutrition counseling isn’t for everyone. Nutrition counseling is really a team sport and requires collaboration. This means time, money, and commitment are required to be successful.
If you’re short on any of these things and think you may be better off with something less time, money, and energy-intensive, nutrition counseling may not be for you.
To learn more about how to decide what’s best for you read: Personalized Nutrition Coaching vs. A Diet Plan: Which is Best for You?
If you’re ready to commit and collaborate, but not totally sure if this is the right fit for you, here are some more specifics. We often work with individuals who come to us saying:
- I want to lose weight
- I want to feel better and/or healthier
- I want to be fit and active
- I want to improve my relationship with food
- I want to ditch diets and find a way of eating that is sustainable for me
- I want to stop worrying about everything I eat and eat more intuitively
- I want to improve my health
- I want to live a long, healthy life
We also often work with individuals who have specific medical concerns including:
- Diabetes and prediabetes
- Heart disease
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Kidney disease
- Gut conditions including IBS, Crohn’s, Ulcerative Colitis, and Diverticulitis
- Celiac disease
- Food allergies and sensitivities
When Is Nutrition Counseling Useful?
Nutrition counseling is useful when two things are true. First, you have a nutrition or health-related goal. Second, you are ready, willing, and able to put in the time and energy to achieve that goal.
We all have times in our lives when things matter to us, but not quite enough to put in the time and effort to change them, and that is alright.
However, we also all have times in our lives when something becomes a priority. Times when we are motivated and ready to take it on. When you feel this motivation, the next step is to get a dietitian or nutrition coach and get a plan in place.
Motivation and excitement don’t last forever, but when you have a clear path forward and someone to keep you accountable, you are much more likely to continue making progress until you reach your goals.
Nutrition counseling is also most useful when you have a dietitian or nutrition coach who you feel comfortable with. To learn more about how to find that person read: How To Find the Best Nutrition Coach for You.
Why Is Nutrition Counseling Effective?
Nutrition counseling encompasses so much more than a diet plan or program, which makes it an effective strategy for reaching your goals once and for all.
Nutrition counseling is personalized, so it’s built just for you. Your dietitian will provide you with specific resources and education to help you not only achieve your goals but also understand how and why you were able to so you can maintain this newfound health long-term.
Nutrition counseling provides support, accountability, and encouragement. It’s not just a springboard to get you started. It’s a guiding force all along the way.
Finally, nutrition counseling focuses on sustainable, long-term habit building. It’s not a quick fix, it’s forever.
Is Nutrition Counseling Right For You?
Do you have a nutrition-related goal that you are ready, willing, and able to work toward? Are you looking for someone to guide you, while empowering you to make the best decisions for your health and wellness?
If you have a goal and you’re ready to work toward it nutrition counseling is for you.
Whether you’re ready to dive right into nutrition counseling or aren’t quite sure it’s for you yet, we’ve got your back.
Here at OnPoint Nutrition, our team of registered dietitians and nutritionists has collectively helped thousands of individuals tackle their nutrition, health, and wellness goals. We have the education and expertise to empower you to reach your goals.
If you’re ready to take the next steps, schedule a free consultation where you can share your story, review your goals, and determine if one of our personalized nutrition counseling programs is right for you.
Or, learn more about nutrition coaching in our Comprehensive Guide to Nutrition Coaching to help you find the right nutritionist or comprehensive program.
Liz has been reading nutrition labels since she learned how to read. Growing up with severe peanut and tree nut allergies she learned that it’s important to know what you are putting into your body. She made her first big lifestyle change as a freshman in high school, when she decided to become a vegetarian. However, it wasn’t until she took a food class in Italy as part of a study abroad program in college that it clicked in her mind that she wanted to make food and nutrition her career. Liz graduated from Penn State University in 2015 with a bachelor's degree in Nutrition, as well as a bachelor's degree in Marketing. She completed her dietetic internship with Aramark in Philadelphia, and her master's degree at Northeastern University shortly after.