Nutrition advice is everywhere: morning talk shows, TV doctors, newspaper headlines, personal trainers, friends, and even family members like to dole out information. But how do you know what advice and information is accurate? It can be very confusing as what seemed healthy one week may be deemed unhealthy the next. This is one of the many reasons you should hire a nutritionist to help you sort out the fact from the fiction.
Nutritionists, like myself, are experts in their field and can translate the science of nutrition into practical applications for every day healthy living. When seeking nutrition advice, make sure your nutritionist has advanced credentials; not every nutritionist has the right kind of training or knowledge that may be best for you. As a doctor of nutrition, I have had training in a wide variety of nutrition applications. From wight loss, to sports nutrition, disease prevention and management, to eating disorders; I have had experience with all of these areas and many more.
While there are many reasons people seek nutrition advice, here are a few of the most common reasons people look toward nutrition experts for help:
Losing weight is an incredibly difficult task. If weight loss were as easy as following a diet, there would be one diet book on the market and everyone would be thin. It isn’t that easy and a customized approach must be employed. Everyone has different needs and their diet should take that into consideration. People lose and gain weight differently. Weight loss may be affected by genetic factors, lifestyle choices, work environments, and even medications, so the approach I use with all my clients is specific to them. Not one meal plan addressing weight loss is the same.
How many calories should I eat
This is a question I get on a daily basis. Unfortunately, just like weight loss, there isn’t one clear-cut answer. While there are many tools, equations, and even devices at many fitness centers that may help you determine your caloric needs, you should definitely contact a nutritionist if you really want to understand how many calories you need. Some diets are too restrictive with calories and can cause your metabolism to slow down drastically, while others may not take into account your exercise and normal activity patterns. I take into consideration, not only my clients’ needs, but also their activity at their job, exercise methods, basal metabolic rates (BMR), and daily routine: from the time they wake up to the time they go to bed. All of this must be taken into account to get an accurate measure of calories needed.
Many people want help with their diets to simply live healthier, take less prescription medication, or reduce their chances of developing chronic lifestyle-oriented disease like diabetes, obesity, and heart disease. This is definitely an area where you should choose a person that is an expert in nutrition and knows not only what diets are best to reduce your risk for chronic disease, but can also help you put together a strategy that is sustainable the rest of your life. Living healthier isn’t just about following a diet; it’s about developing a preventative lifestyle that includes healthy foods, proper nutritional supplementation, and the right type of exercise to help improve the quality of your life and reduce your risk for chronic disease.
Sports and athletic performance
Sports nutrition is a specialized area of nutrition that addresses how to eat and supplement to maximize your performance on the playing field or even how to get the most out of your workouts. However, you may not be an athlete, but have goals to run your first 5K, half-marathon, or even one of the very popular mud runs. You will do better in all of these types of events if you learn to eat like an athlete. I can help you whether you are preparing to run your first race, are a seasoned professional looking to shave a few seconds off your best time or simply want to add a few yards to your drives. I’ve worked with professional and amateur athletes, as well as the weekend warrior who only competes against their friends. Make sure when looking for sports nutrition, you choose a nutritionist that is certified by an accredited and recognized organization, like the International Society of Sports Nutrition, for example.
Everyone wishes they had enough energy to make it through the day. Many people resort to energy drinks, caffeine supplements, or endless cups of coffee to keep going. However, most of the time simple changes in your diet can give you more energy than Starbucks® ever could. While many people eat to stay awake or get energy, they may end up eating the wrong types of foods that cause a crash in energy later in the day, or worse, can cause them to gain weight. I can help you keep your energy consistent throughout the day by ensuring you are eating the right types of foods at the right times of the day. No more afternoon coffee breaks; instead, you learn to eat better and increase your productivity at the same time.
Behind every picky eater is a frustrated parent. I have small children, so I know how frustrating it can be when you spend hours preparing a meal, only to have your precious little ones turn up their noses and ask for something else. Many parents are concerned about their children getting the right nutrients for growth, performance in school, and having enough leftover for those after-school sports practices. This is an area that seeking an expert is a necessity. A nutritionist that knows how to adapt healthy diets for children and understands the needs of a child is a must. Sadly, many pediatricians don’t put much attention on a child’s diet and may not be the best source for guidance. If you are concerned about your child’s diet, contact me and I can help put your over-stressed parent mind to rest.
Nutritional supplements and vitamins
This is one of the most common areas of confusion and bad advice. Every day a vitamin or nutritional supplement is discussed on TV or in the news. Sometimes it is the latest cure-all; other times it is deemed completely unnecessary to take any vitamins. So what is the right answer? There is no ‘right’ answer. Some nutritional supplements may be recommended for people with specific dietary needs, while others may actually be harmful if consumed in the wrong quantities. Thinking about doing a detox you heard about from one of your friends? Consult me first to learn the truth about these often dangerous approaches to healthy living. I can definitely help you sift through all the misinformation and come up with a nutritional supplement strategy that best meets your needs. Certain nutritional supplements may interact negatively with your medications, so don’t take the advice of the person selling you your vitamins. Seek out someone that understands drug and nutrient interactions and can help you avoid complications and maximize your supplement effects.
If you are looking for a nutritionist, contact me for a complementary 15 minute consultation. During that time, you can decide if working with a nutritionist is right for you. I offer many different ways to have consultations: if you are in the greater Houston area, we can meet in person at your office, home, or somewhere in between. If you are elsewhere, or simply want something to fit better in your busy life, I also do consultations via the internet, utilizing video conferencing methods like FaceTime and Skype, as well as telephone sessions or even email and instant messaging. So there really is no excuse to not work with me. I make it convenient to get the best nutrition advice possible!