What is Nutrition Counseling?
Nutrition counseling is a long term process that happens between you and an EPIC Health dietician. In this process you will learn about your dietary needs, and we will help you learn how you can improve your habits and routines so that your body gets the requisite nutrition as well as energy.
We believe that nutrition counseling is crucial to preventive medicine, because through it, we can ensure that our patients get all the nutrients they need through food, and in some cases with added supplements. Maintaining a healthy diet and proper nutrition can help reduce risk of several diseases.
How Can a Dietician Help?
All through the counseling, our in-house dietician and nutritionists will help you learn through printed material and online resources, chart out an optimal meal plan, provide healthy meal replacement options, and guide and support you to help you achieve your nutrition goals – weight loss, muscle gain, or whatever it may be. Our dietician can help you understand why it is important to eat healthy, and maintain such a diet, and how it will impact your long-term health and well-being.
We aim to help you find ways for you to gradually move over to healthier choices every day. To help you do this, our nutritionists concentrate on nutrition education, active coaching, and long-term success. We believe that education is vital to achieve this long-term success.
Our in-house Registered Dietician is a qualified professional who has expertise in providing nutritional counseling, meal planning and more, and can help individuals attain their dietary goals. She can help you:
- Lose or gain weight
- Eat healthy, be more energetic, and help your family eat healthier
- Have the right meal plan for medical conditions like diabetes, heart disease, elevated blood pressure etc.
- Create the best meal plan if you are trying to conceive, are pregnant, or breastfeeding
- Improve your athletic performance through the right diet and supplements
- Go on the proper diet after any kind of weight loss surgery
The most common reason why most people want to consult a dietician is to lose weight. At EPIC Health, we can help you reach your optimal weight, and maintain it through our nutrition counseling service. Maintaining your optimal weight can help you keep diseases like diabetes, cardiovascular disease, sleep apnea, lung diseases, arthritis, liver disease, hypertension, and metabolic syndrome at bay.
What happens in the First Visit?
The first visit often takes one whole hour because our in-house dietician will get to know you thoroughly. She will record all your details like age, height, weight, eating habits, preferences, and routines, profession, level of physical activity, health issues, ongoing medication, constraints of cost and time, cultural background, and so on. The session is 100% private, so you have nothing to worry about. If you haven’t had any blood work done recently, you may be required to do so, to check your blood sugar, cholesterol, and to check for deficiency of different vitamins and minerals, and so on. It is a good idea to maintain a food journal for a few days prior to your first session where you record everything you eat and drink, as this gives the dietician good perspective.
In the next visit, most probably, our dietician will talk to you about your weight goal – how much do you want to lose, what is your ideal goal, and so on. In the following sessions, our dietician will chart a personalized meal plan that suits your specific needs, and to help you lose about 1 to 2 pounds per week. You can also discuss what could possibly hinder your weight-loss journey.
She will consider things like where you buy your food, where you can get affordable produce, whether you cook for yourself or for the family and so on. If you have a family, we sometimes get them to attend the counseling sessions as this helps create a support net for the patient, and everyone gets to know what they can do to help.In all probability, you may need numerous follow up visits to keep track of your progress.
Keeping it Realistic
However keep in mind that your weight loss goals need to be realistic – a quick or sudden loss is not good for your health; it’s a slow and steady, and long journey. You’ll need to make small changes in your daily routine. In the beginning, the changes could be things like adding more healthy snacks, making easy food changes to include healthy options, timings, and so on. This may seem like very little – but believe us when we say that small, gradual changes can eventually help you make tremendous changes in your eating habits and health.
Initial changes may include: integrating more snacks into your day, making simple food swaps toward items that have better nutritional value, and improving when you eat your major meals. You will be amazed at how making incremental changes can build into significant lifestyle improvements.
Education is Important
At the very beginning of the EPIC Health nutrition counseling program, we start creating an educational foundation for you. This will help you to better understand the reasons for the changes you’re being asked to make. You will learn about macronutrients, approaching calories and food intake, how to time your meals and plan them, how to make better food choices, and so on. It’s a continuous learning process, as some concepts are built on top of the other. Here are some of the things you will learn the following:
- The science behind developing a balanced meal plan
- Reading food labels and deciphering it
- Biological triggers for food cravings and how to overcome those
- Understand how much calcium, sodium and other nutrients you need
- Getting right amount of calories through food
- Eating sufficient protein and fiber to help you stay full longer
- Eating a variety of foods
- Eating adequate quantities of fresh fruit, veggies, whole grains, leaner meats and low-fat dairy
- How to limit intake high fat foods like fried snacks and processed foods
- How to watch portion sizes
- How to switch from high calorie drinks to water
- Boost your level of activity.
- Coping with stress
Sometimes, dieticians suggest eating frozen meals as they can help you watch portion sizes.
All suggestions are tailored to your health requirements and preferences, and usually, no particular food is completely banned. Be open with the dietician about what changes you simply cannot make, and what you’re ready to change.
We’re Here to Support
Nobody ever said losing weight was an easy thing – sure, putting it on is super easy. Weight loss is tiring, arduous, and often frustrating, and you may face setbacks. But the EPIC Health dietician will be with you all the way. She will ensure that rather than 1 huge goal that stares you in the face, you have several short term goals that are very specific, achievable, and measurable to boot. Your progress will be recorded at every visit, and help you stay on the path, and celebrate every success.
Whenever you are faced with doubt, or a setback, we will help you get the right perspective, and guide you on how you can make a better choice next time. The dietician at Epic Health will help you focus on your goals and persevere through failings or setbacks, and to stay positive throughout your weight loss journey.
We hope that after you achieve your initial weight goal, you will continue to visit the dietician, plan for festivals or vacations, and maintain your optimal weight.
Don’t delay in achieving your optimal weight – start your weight loss journey today. Call EPIC Health at (248)-336-4000 or schedule an appointment with our Dietician/Nutrition consultant.
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Thank you for reading!