Why Choose Nutrition Counseling
By Nikki Doering, RD, LD
February 21, 2023
Have you ever wondered if seeing a nutritionist or dietitian for nutrition counseling would be helpful? Has a doctor or other medical provider ever said, “Just change what you’re eating” when discussing a health issue you are dealing with but gave no further direction? Have you seen a nutritionist or dietitian in a clinic before and the experience seemed less than helpful? Are you confused by conflicting nutrition messages you are hearing about in the media?
You are not alone! Many Nutritional Weight & Wellness clients had these same concerns and decided to take the plunge and make an appointment with one of the nutritionists or dietitians. I’d like to demystify nutrition counseling and explain why and how it might benefit you.
Why I Chose To Be A Dietitian
Before I get into the details about what counseling is like, let me share a little bit about my background. I became a dietitian because I love the science of nutrition and how the food we eat effects our bodies. I have worked in several different nutrition capacities as a registered dietitian. I studied to become a dietitian in a hospital and my first job as a registered dietitian was in long-term care. I’ve even worked in a Bariatric Surgery and Medical Weight Management clinic. I have loved all the different areas of dietetics that I’ve worked in, but my favorite has been working for Nutritional Weight & Wellness because for the first time in my career I feel I am making real positive change in people’s lives.
From having conversations with my colleagues, their stories are very similar to mine. They have studied and worked in multiple different nutrition counseling settings and the one they find most grateful to be in is where the client is set up for success. All of the nutrition counseling appointments are done with highly passionate and trained licensed and registered dietitians and nutritionists.
I have loved all the different areas of dietetics that I’ve worked in, but my favorite has been working for Nutritional Weight & Wellness because for the first time in my career I feel I am making real positive change in people’s lives.
How Our Appointments Are Different
You may be wondering what makes working with a nutritionist or dietitian at Nutritional Weight & Wellness different. I can share my personal perspective as someone who was previously a dietitian in an outpatient clinical setting. Time and detail come to mind as two of the biggest differences when reflecting on my previous dietetic positions. When I worked in a clinic, I was only allowed 30 minutes with my patients. I learned over the years of working in that clinic that a 30-minute visit wasn’t enough time when so much can happen between appointments. I would often find myself rushing to get information in and not having time to get all the critical information needed to develop an effective action plan for my patients.
One day I was listening to Dishing Up Nutrition on the way to my clinic job (yes, I was a listener before I was an employee) and I heard the hosts discussing nutrition counseling appointments. They mentioned new clients get a 90 minute appointment and follow-up appointments were 60 minutes. I actually teared up a little because in my heart I knew Nutritional Weight & Wellness had their client’s best interest in mind.
Why Enough Time Matters
You may be wondering why appointment length matters. Having enough time to listen to and learn each person’s story is incredibly important to help them achieve their health goals. Have you ever seen a medical professional and it seemed like you were waiting out in the lobby longer than you spent face-to-face with the provider? Does that provider actually listen to you when you are in the room? The nutritionists and dietitians I work with all take pride in listening to each person’s story. We take in all the details and together, with the client, we develop the best plan to help them meet their needs.
Every person we see for nutrition counseling is an individual with their own unique needs and we pride ourselves in developing the best plan to meet each client’s specific needs. We take the time to educate and explain why it is important to eat real food and how it will improve their health. And I’ll emphasize this important part again: we collaborate with each person to come up with a plan. We don’t just tell our clients what to do, but rather we look at their lifestyle, likes and dislikes, what they’ve tried, what worked, what didn’t, what their goals are, and much more to figure out how to make sustainable and real change.
Why Schedule A Nutrition Counseling Appointment
We see clients for everything! There isn’t a health issue we won’t see because, when it comes to your health, an eating plan based on real balanced nutritious food optimizes all areas of the body and your health. Whether the client is a newborn baby or 99 years old, everyone deserves good health and wellness. Real food is an essential part of that health and wellness plan. That is where expert nutritionists and dietitians come in. We spend our appointments developing obtainable goals that will help the client experience positive results. Not one nutrition plan is the same from person to person.
My co-workers and I use nutrition counseling to help people improve cholesterol numbers, reduce blood pressure, improve moods, balance blood sugars, reduce medications, eliminate acid reflux, improve digestion, lose weight, age triumphantly, reduce pain, heal after concussions, and the list goes on.
What are your goals?
- Eliminate heartburn
- Reduce aches and pains
- Sleep better
- Eliminate constipation or diarrhea
- Support cardiovascular health
- Lower cholesterol
- Improve moods and memory
- Increase energy
- Manage cravings and support metabolism
- Lose weight
- Reduce the risk of diabetes
- Manage chronic health problems
- Reduce depression and anxiety
- Manage disordered eating
- Concussion support
- Increase athletic performance
- Fertility and hormone support
What Happens In An Initial Appointment
Every new client is given an extensive health questionnaire to fill out in advance of their appointment. This gives us the opportunity to review the information ahead of time and come prepared to the first meeting.
With the health questionnaire in hand, when I see a new client, we spend time getting to know each other and figuring out where to begin. Some clients have one or two goals and others have a long list of goals, so we determine what you want to accomplish and meet you where you are at. Time in the session is spent going over goals, health issues, daily routines, questions, education on nutrition topics, menu planning, snack options, supplements if interested, recipe ideas, and clients walk away with a plan in hand of what steps to focus on next.
Sound like the kind of support you need? Get an appointment on the schedule today with a dietitian or nutritionist.
What Happens AFTER The Initial Appointment
Following up with your dietitian or nutritionist is important too. Much like any healing journey or modality, it’s not a “one and done” kind of support. If something in the plan isn’t working, it’s a perfect time to follow-up and we’ll figure out together how to tweak the plan. If the plan has worked great but it’s time for the next step, then it is time to make a follow-up. Personally, I have found that my clients who see me every 3-4 weeks are the most successful in meeting their health goals.
Maintaining good health requires checking in as well. Clients who are doing well at maintaining their nutrition plan may benefit from a visit every 3-4 months or 1-2 times a year. Even if you are someone who knows everything there is to know about how to live a healthy life, but you still struggle to turn knowledge into action, we are here for you. We will help build the motivation and walk with you during the difficult times.
An important thing to know about follow-up appointments: you don’t have to be perfect to have a follow-up! Yes, you walk away with a plan of action each time and sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn’t. Follow-up appointments are for problem-solving the obstacles that came up and the curveballs life threw your way. Follow-ups allow us to cheer for you when you found relief, consistency, or success. There can be a tendency to cancel or push follow-up appointments out further if you didn’t feel like you accomplished what we talked about, but that’s totally okay! That’s why we meet and talk it through. I always tell my client’s, if you feel like you want to cancel the appointment because you didn’t make progress with your goals, that most likely means you need me the most in that moment, so don’t cancel. In most cases, I find my client HAS made progress they just are having a difficult time seeing it. Progress takes time to achieve.
You don’t have to be perfect to have a follow-up! Progress takes time to achieve. We can help you see where you were successful with the baby steps and give you ideas on how to tweak the plan to work better for you.
Word Of Wisdom & Next Steps
If I were to give advice it would be to not wait to make an appointment. Stop putting your health on the back burner and take charge. There will always be a reason or excuse to wait for life to quiet down, but making the time and commitment to yourself now will only help you in all the other areas of your life. Like I said above, an eating plan based on real balanced nutritious food optimizes your health and your life. The nutritionists and dietitians at Nutritional Weight & Wellness can’t wait to join your health and wellness team.
Curious what the next step is? Here is how easy it is to make an appointment today:
Call our office at 651-699-3438 and our amazing front desk staff can help you find a day, time, and the perfect nutritionist or dietitian for you.
Visit the counseling page on our website. You can read up on all the details, meet all of us counselors, and even book an appointment online.
We take insurance too! Here is how to find out if you have coverage through your health insurance policy.
And if you need a little more inspiration, check out these first-hand stories on how our real food approach has changed our clients’ lives. We look forward to working with you!