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Goals of Food Plan

What’s a nutritionist do? Why would I want to see a nutritionist? How can working with a nutritionist help me?

It depends on the nutritionist, and your goals. Each person may have different skills and training and priorities. Some nutritionists focus on a particular area or a particular philosophy that works for them. Today, I want to talk about what I think nutrition counseling should be like. This is MY opinion, please do not label all nutritionists this way; some may disagree with me or have a different way of working.

For me, nutrition counseling means a lot of assessment at the beginning. It means a careful look at what, when, where, why, and how you are eating. What are the real problems with your eating? What have you tried that did not work, or worked a little, or worked for a bit and then stopped working?

If you have self destructive or abusive eating behaviors, when did they start? What are they like? What drives them? What purpose do they serve? What have you tried and what has not worked at all? Worked a little bit? Worked well for a while then fell apart?

I said in the last post, obesity and eating problems are the symptom, the cause, or the result of something else. We need to identify the real problem and find a way to fix it.

And also, what is your current nutrition status? (I can’t tell you how many people I see who I would call, “obese and malnourished!”) What medical problems do you have? What medicines do you take? What have you not yet sought treatment for?

Then too, what is your daily life like? When should you be eating, and what do you need to eat at that time? What keeps you from being able to eat in a healthy, sane, and peaceful way?

Please notice, this is not about criticism; it’s about support. It is not about deprivation, it is about liberation. It is about defining the problem and designing a solution that’s unique, to you and for you.

Now we write a plan. IN PENCIL AND PAPER. There is no one perfect food plan that will work for every person. To the best of my knowledge, there are no food plans that came down off the mountain with Moses. (And a food plan is NOT a diet….but that’s another blog post.) Food plans have to be INDIVIDUALIZED for your particular needs.

Then— the real work begins. I need to teach you how to follow the food plan, comfortably, easily, sustainably. I want you to follow your food plan every day without exception. I want you to be able to go to that work function, to that bridal shower, to that christening, to Mother’s day, to that funeral, on vacation, without “blowing it” or throwing your food plan away.

You need to be able to read food labels and understand how to tell what foods will and will not work for you. You need to be able to choose foods that meet your body’s nutrient needs, last till your next meal or snack, and taste delicious. You need to learn to plan your meals in a way that will not keep you in the kitchen for hours a day, and how to carry food with you or choose food in restaurants and convenience stores.

I need to teach you how to do that. My programs, books, seminars, and individual sessions, will give you the tools you need to be able to do this with little difficulty.

We need to teach you to know, understand, and be able to get back on track when the unthinkable happens.

Then when you do follow your food plan, feelings are likely to come up very powerfully. All the things you want to change in your life will be right there, in your face, and demanding attention. I am not a therapist, but I will teach you how to handle those situations without losing control of your food.

We regularly have programs and seminars with therapists and other health care professionals to deal with the emotional issues. We regularly rely on the help of other professionals to manage the situations they specialize in.

My clients get to their normal weights and stay there. No more bouncing up and down by twenty pounds without knowing why. No more fear of the scale. No more slacks that do not zip. No more blame, guilt or sorrow. No more shame and self-hatred. My clients know just how to handle the situations in their lives without losing control of the food. Together we manage pregnancies, job changes, marriages and divorces. My clients have traveled as far as Florida, Italy and Australia without difficulty. (And I love it when they blame that on me!)

So follow my blog for a bit. Let me help you create the life you want. Send me your questions and comments, and I will answer them in future posts.

Theresa

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