What to Expect on Your First Session with a Nutritionist
What to Expect on Your First Session with a Nutritionist
Whether you want to change your lifestyle or take off those extra few pounds after having a baby, a nutritionist’s knowledge and support can go a long way. As simple as eating may seem, many people might overeat or eat the wrong food groups under the false conviction they are eating healthy. However, there is a myriad of misconceptions that might stall your progress. In that sense, it helps to have a nutritionist’s guidance so that you can implement the necessary eating changes to your daily routine. Hence, we are here to discuss what to expect from your first session with a nutritionist.
Essentially, eating healthy is so much more than eating lean. A diet that helped your best friend lose weight might wreak havoc on your organism. The main benefit of seeking out a nutritionist’s council is that you can adjust your eating according to your unique nutritional needs, goals, medical history, taste preferences, budget, habits, allergies, ethics, and the like. As you can see, so much more to it meets the eye. That is why nutritionists do not take things lightly. In most cases, they will track your progress over 2-6 weeks to assess if the proscribed diet suits your lifestyle, as this is hard to determine on your own.
A nutritionist helps you incorporate healthy eating and exercise into your routine.
Therefore, you can expect to get expert care and guidance from a certified nutritionist. We will break down what you can expect to gain starting with your first session with a nutritionist.
What you won’t get from your first session with a nutritionist
Before we dive into what you can expect from your first talk with a nutritionist, clarifying what you won’t get out of the experience might be helpful. Certified nutritionists will never pass judgment, contempt, or hate on their clients. So, no matter your background, you will receive nothing but support and understanding from a nutritionist.
This is important to acknowledge as many people who struggle with weight, substance abuse, or an illness might be pressured into believing they should feel ashamed or inadequate. Therefore, you won’t be lectured, patronized, or shamed into changing your lifestyle habits. A nutritionist’s role is rather that of a benevolent guide rather than an unquestionable general. So, any dilemma or issue you might have is legitimate – we are all human, after all.
Essentially, a simple chat with a nutritionist has the potential to help you turn your life around. With the appropriate approach and expertise, a nutritionist can give you the necessary push in the right direction.
So, regardless of what your situation might be, you should not hesitate to seek out help. It is a negative cognitive bias to tell yourself it is too late or that a single visit won’t do much good. Quite the contrary, your first session will most probably be a life-changer! Let’s see why.
What to expect on your first appointment with a nutritionist
Once you make the first step and book the appointment, it helps to have a clear idea about why you are coming and your goals. This will make the first session as efficient as possible since the nutritionist will be able to make the ideal diet and exercise plan based on what you need or want. So, if you are coming to solve a specific issue such as a hormonal imbalance or an acne problem, be sure to communicate that to the nutritionist for the best results. The nutritionist will then make a plan that centers around solving that particular problem.
However, it is not a big deal if you only have a general idea about why you seek a nutritionist’s help. Many people want to lose weight and improve their sleep quality, memory, focus, stress relief, etc. In that sense, a nutritionist will discuss your lifestyle habits with you and help you put the finger on what you want out of the session. So, the first session is mainly orientation as it allows you and your nutritionist set the stage for the following period.
Answer the questions honestly
Depending on your schedule, the first session can be in-person, online, or over the phone. It can last anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour. The usual practice is to go through a series of questions that will allow the nutritionist to get to know you better. These include questions revolving around your current lifestyle habits, medical history, medical treatment, eating preferences such as a vegan diet, mental health, family dynamics…
For instance, some people have no trouble following a specific eating plan during the workweek but then get tempted to break the weekend routine. So, the pressures of your workday may result in damaging habits such as substance abuse. Since stress can trigger it, job burnout can be a significant stressor you may not even be aware of consciously. Excessive drinking and other kinds of substance abuse may disrupt or even cancel out positive eating and exercising routine, no matter how faithful and committed to it you may be.
Rather than a diet plan, a nutritionist will devise a lifestyle plan for you.
Come to the session prepared
It is essential to be honest, and accurate when it comes to your lifestyle habits. Writing a diary 2-3 weeks before the appointment is helpful for maximum results. Sometimes we consume a lot more food than we think we do. For this reason, it is beneficial to put what, when, and how much you eat daily on paper. Based on this, the nutritionist will be able to calculate your caloric intake and figure out the main problems or challenges specific to your particular situation. With every meal, note down what you eat, how much, and how you prepare it.
With every meal, note down what you eat, how much, and how you prepare it.
In addition, it is important to note the food allergies, food intolerance, injuries, and your and your family’s health conditions that influence what your body is sensitive to. For instance, the nutritionist must know about a chronic condition such as prediabetes to determine the right diet for you.
So, it is best to come prepared for your first session with a nutritionist. Hopefully, this short guide has helped you understand what you can expect from seeing a certified nutritionist.