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How to Have a More Productive Nutritional Counseling Appointment

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If you have been struggling to meet your dietary goals—whether you're pursuing weight loss, trying to follow a therapeutic diet, or attempting to meet some other metric—a few sessions with a nutritional counselor can be really helpful. While they will do most of the work of evaluating your diet and situation and then making recommendations, you also need to hold up your end of the responsibility. Here are the key things you should do to get more out of your nutritional counseling session.

1. Keep a food diary for three days prior.

Your nutritional counselor will ask you lots of questions about what you eat, how much you eat, and when you eat. Sometimes, coming up with the answer to these questions on the spot can be tough. But if you have a food diary in front of you, then you can reference this record and give a clear, accurate answer. 

Your food diary does not have to be fancy. Simply write down every food that you eat, what time you eat it, and how much you have. For instance, your diary might say, "sliced apples — 1 cup — 9:00 am." You can even email or text the diary to your nutritional counselor before your appointment so they can look it over and use it to inform and shape the advice they give you.

2. Be honest.

There can be real temptation to lie or exaggerate what you eat or what you do not eat. For example, if you feel ashamed of your weight gain, you may lie and say you ate one donut when really you ate three. But as hard as it might be, you need to be completely honest with your nutritional counselor in order for them to give you accurate advice. Remember that your nutritional counselor is a professional and will not be judging you.

3. Ask questions.

Your nutritional counselor will probably give you plenty of advice, and it will be important for you to understand what that advice means. So ask clarifying questions as often as you need to. If your counselor says "eat a high-fiber food before 10:00 am" and you're wondering whether an apple counts, ask.

If you ask questions, are as honest as possible, and share a food diary, your nutritional counseling session will be so much more helpful and beneficial in allowing you to reach your goals. For more insight, contact various nutrition consulting services.