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Benefits of Working With a Nutritionist

A personal nutritionist can help you build the skills for sustainable long-term health. Here are some of the benefits of one-on-one nutrition counseling.
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Maybe you've tried multiple diet plans without success. Perhaps you've been struggling with chronic health issues, reducing your risk of heart disease, recovering from an eating disorder, hoping to find a mindful eating strategy, or just looking to feel better overall. Regardless, taking the first step to finding a nutritionist can be challenging — but it will be worth it in the long run. 

Everyone has different factors that influence their diet and health profile. That's why it's crucial to find a nutritionist who takes the time to consider your body and lifestyle when developing your nutrition plan. Personalized nutrition platforms like Top Nutrition Coaching offer the quickest way to get paired with an expert nutritionist who can effectively address your concerns. 

The Bottom Line

  • What is a nutritionist? A certified registered dietitian (RD) or registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN) has the proper training to address health concerns, give medical diagnoses and treatments, or help you lose weight through food.
  • What are the benefits of working with a nutritionist? There is no "one-size-fits-all" approach when working one-on-one with a nutritionist. Instead, you'll get visible results from a holistic nutrition plan developed specifically for you. 
  • How to get started with a nutritionist? Think about your needs and goals. That's all you need to do to help Top Nutrition Coaching pair you with a fully qualified nutrition expert who can help you achieve your health objectives!

A nutritionist is much more than a calorie police

Regarding nutrition, we often hear about calorie counting and extreme diet plans that rarely work. That's why we want to debunk the myth that extreme dieting is the only way to get healthy. Here are five benefits of working with a registered dietitian beyond calorie counting and weight loss. 

An approachable diet plan tailored to your body and lifestyle

Making drastic changes to your diet and lifestyle may be doable for a short time. But, in the long run, restrictive diets rarely work. That's where a nutritionist can step in to help. Nutrition counseling involves regular one-on-one sessions to identify which factors in your diet and lifestyle aren't working and how to make realistic adjustments. 

Nutrition counseling is about more than just your eating habits. Your dietitian will consider factors that impact your health – stress levels, mental health, physical activity, interests, hobbies, responsibilities, and medical history. By building a realistic plan focused on your day-to-day challenges, you and your nutritionist can lay the groundwork for good health for years to come.

Education based on evidence-backed health and nutrition information

TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, magazines, and other media outlets are flooded with wellness influencers and "health solutions." The biggest challenge of dieting by yourself is weeding through this information overload. Poring over conflicting guidance online to find scientifically-backed facts is exhausting.

By contrast, a registered dietitian is up-to-date on the most recent research, so you'll have access to an expert in the field. Learn what information is correct and how to find reliable sources for health information. 

Nutrition counseling is one of the best ways to fine-tune your approach to good health through factual techniques and exercises. Maybe your nutrition counselor recommends you eat a diet rich in anti-inflammatory food to fight chronic illness. Or, they might teach you behavioral techniques to address some of the challenges of diet changes. 

Ensuring that you diet safely is an essential part of your nutritionist's job. Acting on misinformation or false claims about nutrition can lead to serious long-term health problems like eating disorders or orthorexia (an obsessive focus on healthy eating).

Manage chronic health challenges

Healthy eating and weight management are essential when battling a chronic health condition and trying to improve your quality of life. Common chronic health conditions like arthritis, asthma, Crohn's disease, celiac disease, high blood pressure, and heart disease can all be managed through weight management and a diet balanced in nutrients. 

Seeking help from a nutritionist helps ensure that your diet positively impacts your body. Many dietitians specialize in managing specific chronic diseases. When seeking a dietitian to work with, make sure they have experience related to your condition, such as expertise in diabetes nutrition counseling or the credentials to diagnose and treat Crohn's disease. Your nutrition professional will consider factors such as medical history, food allergies and sensitivities, and mental wellbeing to help you address your health issues. 

Help to navigate changes in your health

Let's face it, our health changes over time. Maybe you're pregnant and looking for guidance navigating the challenges of prenatal nutrition or thinking ahead to your postpartum life. Or, perhaps you're at a higher risk for diabetes later in life. Since 80% of adults age 65 and older have at least one chronic health condition, it's clear that the body shifts and changes as it ages. 

However, no matter what changes you're going through, nutrition counseling is one of the best ways to ensure you eat foods that will fuel your body. 

Dietitians vary by specialty, so you can find an expert for nearly any issue you face. For example, the Top Nutrition Coaching network includes prenatal and postpartum specialists, experts in oncology nutrition, older adult nutrition, and managing food allergies (i.e., lactose intolerance, celiac disease, and more). Regular sessions with your expert dietitian can help you better understand why you may be facing particular challenges, how to eat for a specific condition, and how to gain a different perspective on your health goals. 

Learn how to assess food quality instead of focusing on calories

The calorie counting trend is alive and well today, even though science suggests this outdated dieting technique is less than adequate. Calorie counting offers an overly simplistic approach to something very complex. Even though many people have temporarily lost weight through low-fat or no-fat diets, very low-calorie diets, low-carb diets, or specific weight loss plans, 95% of those individuals will end up gaining it back just one to five years after ending the diet. 

Instead, most dietitians point to the Mediterranean diet and eating minimally-processed foods for effective weight management. Contrary to calorie-counting programs, both strategies include fatty and high-calorie sources like almonds, walnuts, olive oil, and avocados which are essential for metabolism regulation. Although fad diets avoid these foods, a dietitian can help with identifying foods that support long-term weight loss, provide anti-inflammatory benefits, and even lower your risk of cardiovascular disease.

Interested in working with a registered dietitian nutritionist? Find out more here!

How a nutritionist or dietitian can help you create healthy lifestyle choices

  • Stress & sleep
  • Metabolic health
  • Behavioral psychology
  • Hormonal imbalances
  • Lifestyle mapping
  • Long term support
  • Personalized goals

What are the benefits of working with an online nutritionist or dietitian vs. going at it alone

With so many online diet plans and meal planning inspiration, what is the point of hiring an online nutritionist? Though dieting may seem easy, achieving long-term health is not. Working with a professional dietitian could be the difference between maintaining a healthy lifestyle and experiencing weight gain even after a couple of months of dieting. Here's a closer look at why getting professional help from a "nutritionist near me" is so valuable. 

Personalized eating and health plans

You've probably heard it said that "all bodies are different." A personal nutritionist takes this belief to heart. They will work with you to understand your long-term goals and use your medical history, food allergies, stress levels, and sleep patterns to develop a nutrition plan that is completely customized. Though one-size-fits-all weight fad diets may be cheap and promise immediate results, they fail at providing a highly customized and approachable plan for long-term success. 

Support throughout every stage of your health journey

Adopting a healthy diet and new habits is hard. However, working with a personal dietitian or nutritionist is one of the best ways to get support during your health journey. A nutrition expert will encourage you in addition to offering scientifically-grounded advice, feedback, and insights that well-meaning friends and family members are unable to provide. As you work through different health challenges, your nutritionist will provide support and ensure that you develop a safe and healthy relationship with food. 

Access to vetted and evidenced-backed nutritional information

Working with a registered dietitian or registered dietitian nutritionist means you have access to vetted and fact-checked information. Although the volume of free advice and meal plans found online may seem effective and cost-friendly, much of that information is not grounded in nutrition science or dietetics. Of course, you can do the hard work of weeding through the misinformation, but working with a nutritionist is a more straightforward way to ensure you get the most up-to-date and factual health knowledge. 

​​What to ask during your first free consultation with one of our nutritionists

When you work with Top Nutrition Coaching, you can access a network of best-in-class nutrition professionals. However, that doesn't mean that every nutrition expert will be the perfect fit. Here are some questions to ask during your free nutrition consultation to help you find the dietitian who is best for your needs.

What are your certifications?

If this is your first foray into personal nutrition counseling, you'll want to make sure you select a well-qualified professional. Ask about the nutritionist's credentials and certifications to ensure their skills align with your needs. Remember, only registered dietitians or registered dietitian nutritionists can legally give medical diagnoses and treatments. Fortunately, all the nutritionists in the Top Nutrition Coaching network meet or exceed that criteria.

What are your specialties?

Many nutritionists specialize in certain conditions. If you want to work with a nutritionist to address a specific problem, ensure the dietitian's specialties align with your needs. You don't want to find yourself working with an oncology nutritionist if your biggest concerns are digestive problems or getting a personalized weight loss plan!

What is your approach?

Asking this question is one of the most effective ways to ensure that your personality meshes with your nutritionist. You might discuss some of their successes with previous clients and how the nutritionist helped them achieve their goals. For the best experience, listen for words like "personalized," "customized," or "case-by-case."

What can I expect during the first six (or more) weeks?

This question is an excellent way to envision what virtual counseling sessions look like with a nutritionist. Some nutritionists may rely on specific exercises, while others use a more adaptable, free-form approach. Even if you don't precisely know what you're looking for, asking this question allows you to visualize the experience and what you'll work on in follow-up visits.

Can I contact you out of hours?

Many clients value having access to their nutritionist outside of appointment times. Ask your nutritionist whether you can get in touch if you have questions about the health value of a particular food or adding a new activity to your fitness regimen. With Top Nutrition Coaching, you'll be about to reach out using the unlimited messaging service.

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About the author

Nicolette Star Maggiolo, RD, LDN
I'm a Registered Dietitian-Nutritionist with education from Boston University and clinical training from both Brigham & Women's Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. I specialize in helping the military and non-military individuals embrace nutrition as a partner in both their mental and physical health.

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