Many people have weight or fitness goals, but can be overwhelmed by the dietary recommendations they see online. People with certain goals likely need more help from a nutritionist to reach their goals. Read on to find out if nutrition counseling is right for you.
Nutrition counseling works well for all stages of weight loss, whether you are just starting or trying to maintain your weight. Additionally, many people who have bariatric surgery consulted with a nutritionist before their surgery to lose a recommended amount of weight before the procedure, and as their needs change afterward. Nutrition counseling can also help people who have little understanding of nutrition. Even if you have a basic understanding of nutrition you might need help fine-tuning your diet, feeling less hungry, and dealing with the emotional aspects of food.
Many people with chronic diseases need nutrition counseling to develop a diet that helps reduce their need for medications and minimizes their risks of disease-related complications. One of the more common diseases that benefits from nutrition consulting is diabetes. Those who are newly-diagnosed might receive recommendations to be more mindful of their carbohydrate intake. Depending on your nutritionist, they might recommend a low-carbohydrate diet or one that has a traditional amount of carbs, but with a focus on complex carbs. Sugar will need to be eliminated from your diet and any sugar you eat will be fruits, but sparingly. Complex carbohydrates, such as beans, whole grains, and non-starchy vegetables are better sources. They also help bulk-up meals and have less of an effect on blood glucose.
If you need nutrition counseling related to sports or fitness, you may need to find a nutritionist who understands fitness programming and likely works closely with trainers. Your nutrition needs for losing weight or improving your general health are different than when you are eating to build mass or train for competitive sports. If your goal is to build muscle, but you also have body fat to lose, a nutritionist will want you to alternate between periods of bulking and cutting. During bulking times, you will need more protein and carbohydrates to sustain your workouts and ensure your body has enough protein to build muscle. When you begin cutting, you will slowly reduce your caloric intake, typically by lowering carbohydrates and fats. Alternating between bulking and cutting every three months is ideal for improving your body and avoiding binges, depression, and other negative aspects of long-term caloric deficits.
Regardless of your goals, appropriate nutrition is highly individualized and might require years of fine-tuning before you find the right approach. Speaking with a nutritionist can help you get on your way to improving your health and fitness.