Nutritional coaching, or counseling, focuses on the relationship between good nutrition and health so that patients can either avoid developing nutrition-related disease, or gain relief from ones they already suffer from. The adage, “You are what you eat,” is true when it comes to health: The food choices a person makes have a direct bearing on how well the body functions and how well it can fight off diseases and disorders. Today, busy schedules and widespread availability of convenient eating options make it easier than ever to make poor eating decisions. Nutritional coaching aims to optimize health and wellness by improving food choices, so the body has what it needs to function properly and ward off illness.
Nutritional coaching begins with a thorough review of the health history and lifestyle factors of each patient. A physical exam will be performed including weight and height measurements to determine the body mass index, a guideline to help determine how much weight loss is needed for optimal health. Blood pressure will also be measured, and screening tests including blood work may be ordered to determine if any nutritional deficiencies are present. Patients will also be asked about their eating habits, physical activities, and other lifestyle issues to determine if factors like stress or overworking might be playing a role in nutrition and weight management. Once all the information has been gathered, an eating plan will be created based on the individual medical needs, habits, and preferences of the patient. Patients will return to the office on a routine basis for assessment so their plans can be modified as needed, especially as they reach their weight and health goals.
Multiple studies have shown the link between poor nutrition and serious medical issues, including obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease, anemia and hormone dysfunction. Nutritional counseling can be an important tool in preventing these and other medical conditions, and it can also be especially important for maintaining optimal health in the face of age-related changes.