What to expect from a Nutritionist consultation
So you have decided that you need to see a nutritionist for health reasons but are not 100% sure what to expect. We have put together this post to help
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What does actually happen when you have your first consultation?
First of all you are sent 3 questionnaires to complete which gives us some further information on your dietary habits and general health. They are just simple questions about your eating habits and if you followed any specific diets before. The questionnaires will ask what is your weight now, are there any foods that you dislike completely, are there foods that you crave constantly. Who does your food shopping, where do you shop, what do you buy on a regular basis. There is also a simple tick list of food items that you consume on a weekly basis to give us a better understanding about you.
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A Simple Food Diary
We will also ask you to keep a simple food and stool diary for 3 days. Nothing complicated, just what you eat and drink throughout the day. Along with how it was cooked, was it homemade or ready made.
A Sample Diary
2 slices of brown toast with butter and marmalade at home
1 mug of coffee with 1 sugar with semi skimmed milk
2 glasses of water and 1 cup of tea,
Lunch at Work
pastrami bagel with latte from the local cafe (eaten at my work desk)
Mid afternoon snack
2 cups of water, Herbal tea with 3 chocolate digestives
Ready made microwaveable cottage pie with steamed broccoli, steam pudding with cream with 2 glasses of red wine at home
1 coffee, 3 mini muffins
Thats it x 3, we are not looking for perfect eating habits, we need you to be honest and upfront about what you eat. It is only then we can make recommendations, suggest alternatives or changes. There is no judgement on what you eat, we are here to help and suggest sustainable changes. We are keen to work with you to develop a realistic plan that works for you over the long term.
What to expect from a Nutritionist Consultation
This is where our nutritional therapist will get to know you, understand your symptoms, how these affect you and get to know a little about your lifestyle. You will be asked lots of questions about your general health to provide our Nutritionist with a deep understanding about your presenting issues.
Detailed personalised nutritional plan
This is only brought together once the nutritionist has analysed your questionnaires, your 3 day food and stool diary, your past test results, any current medication along with the notes from the consultation conversation.
These are the benefits of seeing a nutritionist and why it takes a little time to personalise your nutrition plan to help you to gain the most effective plan. This plan is for you, no one else would benefit as much as you from this eating plan because it is tailored just for you which is aimed to address the cause of your problem.
Your Nutrition plan explanation call
After you receive your plan you have an option of having a 20 minute call to ask any questions you may have relating to your personalised nutrition plan. It’s a chance to clarify anything you are not sure about or if anything doesn’t make sense to you. Generally clients ask for recommendations with certain foods or products and advise on how best to implement some suggested changes. Our nutritionist will be able to point you in the right direction and will be on hand to help you throughout the process.
What supplements do we typically recommend ?
It depends on multiple factors and recommending supplements is not straightforward. Indeed taking supplements can sometimes actually hinder not help and cause further issues. Our nutritionist will only recommend supplements after taking a full case history, checking interactions between other supplements and any medications you may be taking. Sometimes blood tests will be recommended first to check whether you are deficient before starting to take some supplements.
What Is A nutrient interaction evaluation
Medications and/or supplements can interact badly with each other which can cause side effects. It is important to check for interactions between all medications and supplements. Our Nutritional therapist will always do this before suggesting to take any supplements
What is functional testing ?
Functional laboratory testing highlights the functioning capability of the body. This is useful so the practitioner can tailor your dietary and nutritional choices specifically for you. It can be recommended to give further information on your gut function (advanced stool test or SIBO breath test) or food intolerances or genetic testing.
An example of this is a fertility client with PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome) displaying unbalanced hormone testing. She followed a hormone balancing nutritional plan and then retested after several weeks and her markers tested within normal parameters after 6 weeks. She is now pregnant and very happy!
If our nutritional therapist feels it is not clear what is causing your symptoms then may suggest having a functional test/s to maximise efficiency of your medical nutrition therapy.
What to expect from a Nutritionist follow up ?
Typically you will follow a plan for 4-6 weeks which is considered the first phase and then this will be reevaluated. You will be asked how you found the plan, were there any challenges and have you noticed a difference with your symptoms. You will then start the second phase of the plan, maybe with a slightly different focus on your diet or taking different supplements to focus on a different goal. How many follow up sessions will you require? Well that depends on the complexity of your presentation and how well you adhere and respond to your plans.
First Published on The Wellthy Clinic Blog: What to expect from a Nutritionist Consultation