Nutritional counseling is a medically-supervised approach to healthy eating that uses lab testing, physical exams, and other approaches to make sure the body is receiving the proper levels of nutrients that are vital to good health. Busy lifestyle, convenience foods, stress and other factors can all wreak havoc on nutrition, causing illness, weight gain, and other serious issues. Nutritional counseling strives to address all these issues by helping patients understand and fulfill their unique nutritional needs.
Many people gain weight or have problems maintaining weight loss because they suffer from underlying nutritional deficiencies that can cause persistent food cravings or interfere with normal metabolism, resulting in a build-up of fat cells or higher blood sugar levels. Nutritional counseling can address all these issues by making sure the body is receiving all the nutrients it needs to process calories as efficiently as possible. For patients currently dieting, nutritional counseling can help prevent potential nutrient deficiencies that can be caused by some diets, especially when those diets are not supervised by a medical professional.
No, nutritional counseling can also play an important role for patients with chronic diseases and in helping patients enjoy optimal health and wellness as they get older or as they face significant health-related changes, like pregnancy, menopause or andropause, or issues that cause chronic stress.
Nutritional counseling begins with an initial office consultation and exam to understand the patient's needs and objectives. Lab testing is also performed to develop a nutritional profile that can reveal deficiencies which may be causing problems or interfering with weight management. Medical screenings may be ordered as well to help uncover diseases or conditions that can have a direct bearing on nutrition and health. A customized nutrition program will be developed based on all that data; then regular office visits will ensure the program stays on track as the patient's needs or objectives change.