If you’ve decided to get some professional support from a nutritionist, congratulations on taking that step. The more you learn about how to fuel your body, the better. Understanding what to expect at a nutritionist appointment can help you make the most of your time there.
The team at Ancora Wellness understands that your body’s needs change and fluctuate throughout the weeks, months, and years. Our practitioners offer a range of services to meet those needs and address concerns as they arise. To meet with our nutritionist or another provider, give us a call today.
Why Would Someone Need a Nutritionist?
There are plenty of reasons to seek out professional nutritional support. Some of the most common things that spur people to get this level of help include:
- Gastrointestinal issues such as IBS or Crohn’s
- Food allergies and sensitivities
- Autoimmune disorders or other chronic conditions
- Difficulty gaining or losing weight
- Disordered eating
- Switching to a vegetarian or vegan eating plan
People of all ages can benefit from the expertise of a nutritionist. And their guidance is particularly helpful in conjunction with other medical and wellness modalities.
Understand Your Provider’s Expertise
As you’re searching for a nutritionist or dietitian, you’re likely to find a lot of different terms and titles. As if nutrition doesn’t feel confusing enough, it’s even tricky to understand who does what. Here is a quick guide to the different types of nutrition professionals you might encounter.
Professionals who don’t want to use (or spell!) the term “dietitian” may choose to be nutritionists instead. The credentials for this label vary from state to state, so it’s worth checking the requirements where you live before your nutritionist appointment.
Some states, such as Washington, require a master’s degree to use the title of “nutritionist.” Others do not have regulations to govern this designation.
Frequently, those with a background in nursing choose to become nutritionists. Their education and experience give them ample insight into the critical need for nutritional support to avoid chronic conditions and disorders.
How To Prepare for Your Nutritionist Appointment
Let’s be blunt. Food carries tremendous baggage for a lot of people. From childhood “clean your plate” habits to body image concerns to chronic conditions, food can be at the center of a lot of trauma.
As you get ready to meet with the nutritionist or dietitian, here are some things you should prepare to share:
- Your goals and desired outcomes
- Medical concerns or diagnoses
- Food allergies
- Family medical history
- Current medications and supplements
- Your activity level
- Known triggers that impact your eating habits
What Happens During the Appointment?
Your initial meeting with your nutritionist will probably be about an hour. They will have many questions for you as they dig into your medical and nutritional background, which surprises some people. They aren’t trying to pry. Instead, they are working from a holistic look at your wellness.
As scientific as nutrition therapy is, there is also a significant amount of relationship-based work. Discussing food with the nutritionist might unearth emotional triggers as you learn more about your relationship with food. And this is ok! Eating habits don’t happen in a vacuum, so it’s normal for other parts of your life to intertwine with your nutritional work.
By the end of the first appointment, you will likely have a plan with two or three next steps for you to take. These may include:
- Labs and Bloodwork: The nutritionist will probably order labs, possibly including functional labs that offer more data.
- Food Diary: Tracking everything you eat is a common first step when you work with a nutritionist.
- Supplements: Your nutritionist may suggest supplements right away, or they might wait until the lab results are available.
Your nutritionist should also set your follow-up appointment and let you know how to communicate with them in the meantime. When you first start a new nutrition protocol, it’s common to have questions, so be sure you know how to reach them for clarification.
As you move through this process, give yourself the gift of patience. Dietary and nutritional changes do not happen quickly, so remember to notice and celebrate each victory, no matter how big or small.
Ready To Start?
At Ancora Wellness, we offer nutrition services as part of our holistic approach. Connect with us today to learn more about how our nutritionist and other providers can support your journey to optimal health.