Conflicting messages about nutrition and the appropriate way to eat are constantly bombarding us. On Facebook, on Instagram, in our news feeds, and in magazines, there always seem to be headlines about the latest diet, nutritional study, or weight management technique. These conflicting messages can make it frustrating and confusing to try to successfully navigate our own health and nutrition choices.
But learning about nutrition and how to manage your food choices and intake appropriately through nutritional counseling can have a positive impact on your health. Nutritional counseling can improve medical conditions like pre-diabetes and high blood pressure, give you more energy, and even improve your mental health when it’s applied correctly.
At ARcare, we have Registered Dietitian Nutritionists who will work with you to develop a customized nutrition plan based on your age, gender, weight, body type, and underlying medical conditions.
How Is Nutritional Counseling Different Than Dieting?
Nutrition counseling is a key component of a comprehensive wellness plan. It’s important to note that nutrition counseling for sustainable lifestyle changes is different than classic dieting schemes. Many diets are identifiable by their rules and restrictions, which lead to deprivation and binging—even malnutrition in the worst cases.
Nutrition counseling is a therapeutic approach to food intake that includes patient education, customized eating plans, and the empowerment to live a healthier lifestyle overall. People of all ages and from all backgrounds can enjoy the benefits from nutrition counseling.
1. Weight Loss
The number one reason people tend to seek nutrition counseling is the pursuit of weight loss. If you’ve tried dozens of fad diets and you always seem to gain the weight back, you’re not alone. Many of our patients who have tried without success to lose weight on their own have benefited from nutritional counseling.
With the guidance of a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, you can gain insight into how your body responds to the food you consume. Knowledge is power, and understanding why your body reacts in certain ways to different foods can help you create healthier meals and make you feel empowered to create meal plans built to promote weight loss and wellness.
A Registered Dietitian Nutritionist will work with you to evaluate your eating habits and develop a plan for safe, steady weight loss.
2. Better Manage Chronic Conditions
Many health conditions and diseases can benefit from nutrition counseling:
- Type 2 Diabetes
- Insulin resistance
- High cholesterol
- High blood pressure
- Heart disease
The food you eat directly impacts your health, so learning how to choose foods that encourage wellness or reduce symptoms can help you gain control over your chronic condition. In cases like high cholesterol and high blood pressure, changing your diet and exercise habits can sometimes reverse the condition completely.
3. Better Fitness Results
The food you eat can directly affect the results of your exercise and fitness routines. Your Registered Dietitian Nutritionist will be able to help you create a nutritious meal plan designed to increase stamina, build muscle mass, improve strength, and generally boost your fitness levels.
Knowing exactly what your body needs to reach your fitness goals means skipping the disheartening trial and error of trying supplements, protein shakes, and other fad fitness diets. And the less frustrated you become, the more likely you are to stick to your fitness routine and see results.
Your Registered Dietitian Nutritionist will also be able to recommend a fitness program that will work alongside your customized nutrition program to meet your wellness goals.
4. Broaden Your Horizons
When most people picture “healthy eating,” they picture living on dry, baked chicken breasts and steamed veggies. But nothing could be further from the truth! A well-balanced diet should always include a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, proteins, grains, and dairy. Nutritional counseling can help you discover foods that are both healthy and delicious—and that provide you with the vitamins and minerals you need to thrive.
Trying new things is encouraged when you’re creating a nutritional plan! Go for a rainbow of vegetables, a new protein like quail or rabbit, or an interesting grain like bulgur or couscous. Trying new things satisfies our need for novelty and can help curb cravings that cause weight gain.
5. Real Changes and Lasting Results
When you partner with a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, you gain an arsenal of tools and habits that can help you see true, lasting results and health benefits. Understanding how nutrition works gives you the building blocks to create a plan—and the flexibility to adapt that plan to new situations.
Traditional dieting bars you from certain foods, which creates cravings and binges. Nutritional counseling helps you understand how your body reacts to certain foods, which can help you crave them less. You don’t want that second slice of cake as much when you remember that sugar causes inflammation that will make getting out of bed almost impossible tomorrow morning.
Nutritional counselors can help you make reasonable, steady changes in your diet and exercise programs. Over time, these small changes become habits that add up to a much healthier and happier you.
What To Expect From Nutrition Counseling at ARcare
When you come in for nutrition counseling, you will meet with a dietician. The dietician will ask you questions and assess your nutritional needs based on:
- Medical conditions
- Activity level
- General health
- Allergies or sensitivities
They use this information, along with any information you provide about your nutritional goals and desired lifestyle changes, to create a custom nutritional plan. This plan will include general education about proper nutrition and how it affects your body, as well as meal plans and suggestions. Seeing one of our dieticians benefits fitness and nutrition! Your dietician can also help recommend an exercise routine to complement your nutrition counseling and help you see maximum results.
If you have any questions about nutrition counseling, contact ARcare to make an appointment with a dietician. We are a local medical clinic in Arkansas, and we are currently accepting new patients in need of nutrition counseling, mental health counseling, and primary care physician services.