If you are struggling to fit into your favourite pair of jeans and your weighing scale shows an all-time high number, then you probably need to lose excess weight. But who do you go to for help? Can a nutritionist aid you in achieving your weight loss goals?
What are nutritionists and what do they do?
Nutritionists are food and health experts who give advice on proper nutrition. They earn their credentials by completing a tertiary degree in food science, nutrition or dietetics. After which, they may apply to join the Nutrition Society of Australia’s Register of Nutritionists. Upon their successful application, they will be recognised as qualified nutrition specialists who abide by the highest professional standards as well as the society’s strict code of ethics.
Nutritionists help improve their clients’ health by educating them about proper nutrition practices, the right foods to eat, and healthy eating habits. They dispense nutrition advice based on their client’s unique needs and personal qualities such as age, gender, lifestyle and existing health conditions. They also assist their clients who want to achieve their desired weight through various established approaches to weight management.
How can a nutritionist help me lose weight?
Shedding a few kilos can be a long and tough battle to fight on your own, but who said you need to go at it alone? Getting the help of a nutritionist who is knowledgeable about evidence-based weight-loss strategies will give you a higher chance of winning this fight.
Nutritionists can guide you throughout the entire process of losing weight and maintaining your ideal weight in the long-term. They take into account your lifestyle and existing health conditions to help you make the most suitable and sustainable modifications to your diet. These modifications may include changes to the types or amounts of food that you eat, improvements to your eating habits, adjustments to your level of physical activity, and an overall lifestyle change.
Let’s go into more detail about how nutritionists can help you lose weight by recommending these four specific changes:
1. Proper diet
Effective weight loss largely depends on eating the right food. Forget about fad diets, food restrictions and weight-loss supplements as these can cause more harm than good for you in the long run. Instead, turn to qualified nutritionists who can create personalised diet plans and recommend healthy food alternatives for you. They can teach you how to cook and prepare your meals in specific ways to.help you cut down on calories or boost your metabolism.
2. Portion Control
Aside from sharing with you the importance of eating healthy foods, nutritionists can also teach you the proper amount for each type of food you need to consume to help you achieve your desired weight.
3. Exercise and physical activity
While eating the right foods and regulating the amount that you consume will significantly contribute to your weight loss, complementing them with exercise and physical activity will help you maintain your reduced weight and lower your chances of gaining them back. In this regard, nutritionists can suggest various forms of physical activities based on your weight loss goal and personal profile.
Adults between 18 to 64 years old are recommended to devote 150 minutes/week to moderate physical activity and 75 minutes/week of intensive . Engaging in physical activity will help you achieve your weight loss goal sooner, strengthen your muscles and bones, boost your metabolism, and increase your energy levels.
4. Total lifestyle transformation
Eating better and engaging in physical activities can have positive effects on your health and lead to a substantial weight loss. However, carrying on with vices and unhealthy habits that don’t support your reformed lifestyle can slow your progress and derail you from your goal of having a fit and healthy body.
Nutritionists are not only qualified to give you suggestions for suitable and sustainable lifestyle changes, but they can also provide support and encouragement to keep you from falling back on your old ways.
Are there other experts who can help me lose weight?
Apart from nutritionists, there are other health and fitness experts who can assist you in losing weight. These are:
Accredited Practising Dietitians (APDs)
Accredited Practising Dietitians can also guide you in your weight-loss journey by developing appropriate diet plans based on your personal information and medical history. They can also help you manage any food-related disorders you may have such as diabetes, obesity, food allergies, gastrointestinal diseases and cancer, as well as provide medical nutrition therapy.
Weight loss consultant
While nutritionists and dietitians help you lose weight by teaching you healthy eating habits and the proper diet, weight loss consultants offer you support and motivation so you can achieve your ideal weight goal.
You just need to be very careful in choosing a weight loss consultant because anyone—including those without any formal training—can use this title. For your protection, seek help from certified weight loss consultants who have spent at least 12 months studying human behaviour, nutritional science and weight management from organisations like the Australian Weight Loss Centre.
GPs are medical doctors whom you can ask for advice on general health matters. They work closely with dietitians to help their patients deal with their food-related diseases such as diabetes and obesity.
Personal trainers can create a workout tailored to your fitness level and goals so you can achieve your desired weight and body size.
Personal trainers in Australia may also be able to offer advice on proper diet as they are required to have Certificates III and IV in Fitness that equip them with basic knowledge on nutrition.
If you want a natural approach to lose weight, you may consult a naturopath. Naturopathy makes use of therapeutic methods like herbal medicine and other natural forms of treatment to address various conditions of the body.
You can find an accredited naturopath by inquiring with the Australian Natural Therapies Association (ANTA).
Nutritionists will help you lose weight the right way
There are several ways and specialists who can help you achieve your weight loss goals, but the safest and most effective way is by working with a nutrition professional. A nutritionist can help you lose weight by sharing with you their knowledge on food and evidence-based weight-loss strategies.