With over 45 million Americans on a diet at any given time, we’re all seeking the answers to which foods are the healthiest and which ones promote weight loss best. Some people use online programs, others apps, and some weigh and portion their food. But one extremely beneficial tool people may be overlooking is the help of a certified nutritionist.
But do you know exactly what a nutritionist is? What they do and how they’re trained? Not all nutritionists focus on weight loss. Here are a few things you may not know about what nutritionists do and how they can help you reach your goals.
What Does a Nutritionist Do?
A nutritionist is basically a food and nutrition expert. They provide advice and guidance to individuals based on their current health conditions and projected goals. These goals are often created together – between the nutritionist and their clients. This is because nutritionists design individualized plans and programs for each person. There’s no one-size fits all nutrition plan for everyone.
Nutritionists can be self-employed or employed at a larger organization or as part of a group. Group settings include hospitals, nursing homes, cafeterias, and schools. Wherever you find your nutritionist their goals will be the same – to help evaluate an individual’s health and provide guidance and advice for living a healthier lifestyle. Nutritionists are also referred to as dieticians, because they specialize in creating detailed diet plans for people. Another great thing about nutritionists is that they can alter a nutrition plan based on a client’s progress over time. If your goals change, so does your plan.
Different Types of Nutritionists
Not all nutritionists will perform the same tasks. Some are more focused on group care, while others work directly with clients in a private setting. Here’s the difference.
- Community Dietitian: Are found in public settings such as hospitals or schools and often educate a specified group of patients. For example, people suffering from diabetes, pregnant women, or children. In these settings, a nutritionist’s main objective is to educate the public about healthier eating habits and overall better health.
- Clinical Dietitians: Similar to community dietitians, those in the clinical field often work in a group setting with the main goal of educating a specific group. The difference is that clinical dietitians take education one step further by developing nutritional programs for the people they serve – both groups and individuals.
- Meal Program Dietitians: These types of nutritionists work in food service settings such as cafeterias or hospitals and are responsible for implementing a healthy and nutritious menu for those using the facility.
How a Nutritionist Can Help You?
If you’re seeking a more individualized approach to nutrition and want to work one-on-one with someone in a private practice, there are some amazing benefits to this. Let’s take a look.
Identify a Food Allergy
Are you worried that you might be allergic to gluten, soy, or dairy? Of course consulting your healthcare professional is a good first step in diagnosing the issue, but a certified nutritionist can help with your conditions as well. A nutritionist can also help determine the difference between an allergy and intolerance. Once this food sensitivity is diagnosed, your nutritionist will help create a diet that eliminates the bothersome foods without leading to a deficiency of other, important nutrients.
Help Create Long-Lasting Results
We know that fad diets don’t work, at least not for the long-term. We restrict our calorie intake, cut out carbs or use a juice cleanse or detox only to gain the weight right back. If you’re struggling to find a healthy relationship with food and an eating plan that will become a lifestyle, a nutritionist can help with this. They are trained in creating well-balanced, healthy meal plans that are sustainable over time and will deliver continued results and success. Other tools your dietician might provide include accountability trackers and a better understanding of how certain foods fuel your body and how to apply that knowledge for optimum results.
You Need Medical Guidance
If your doctor has recently diagnosed you with high-cholesterol or sugar, a diet change is likely in order. Some doctors may prescribe medications to help get your levels under control, but another great place to start is with making changes in your diet. A nutritionist can help guide you in which foods are okay and which ones you should avoid. By lowering your cholesterol you’re also lowering your risk of heart attack and heart disease. Some foods that are high in cholesterol include shellfish, red meat, butter, and eggs. Some of these food items are healthy in moderation, so your dietitian will help you find that healthy balance.
You Have Excessive Heartburn
Heartburn and acid reflux affect 60 million Americans at any given time. It’s an extremely common occurrence, and one that a nutritionist might be able to help with. Certain foods can aggravate or even cause heartburn including citrus fruits, coffee, alcohol, and black pepper. A nutritionist can help you create a balanced diet that eliminates some of these foods or combines them with other foods that counteract the effects of heartburn such as bananas, ginger, melons, and oatmeal. If you’re concerned that your heartburn is a sign of a more serious medical condition, you should seek medical attention.
Find a Nutritionist Today
Whether you’re struggling to lose those pesky 10 pounds or simply lead a healthier, overall lifestyle, a nutritionist is a great place to start. If you’re unsure of how to find a reliable dietitian, you can ask your primary care physician for referrals or even refer to online nutrition centers. Your local hospital or healthcare clinic may even offer free consultations with their nutritionists, depending on your medical condition.
Dietitians are equipped with the knowledge and ability to create a specified eating program that will address your individual needs and help you reach your goals.
Article Submitted By Community Writer