5 good reasons to see a Dietitian – that aren’t just about weight!
Ever feel you’re running on empty? More sluggish than sprightly?
We hear you.
In a world jam-packed with heavily processed foods and ever-increasing time and lifestyle demands, it can feel impossible to keep your diet on track.
Add that with all those mixed messages about what we should and shouldn’t be eating- should we avoid animal fats? Are eggs bad, or just carbs?!
So, let’s mute them all for a moment while you stop and listen to your own body.
What’s your body been saying?
- Tummy problems
If you’re bothered by bloating, wind, indigestion, diarrhoea, constipation, general abdominal discomfort, IBS, or any such delight, then you need to get it checked out. Not only is your gut where nutrients are absorbed, it’s central to the functioning of your immune system and brain.
Fill it full of the wrong foods, and you’re basically putting petrol in a diesel engin!
Don’t just ignore the discomfort, not least because it could be a sign of something bigger.
- Always or Never hungry
If you’re always hungry, you simply might not be eating enough – or not eating enough of the right things. For example, if you ditch carbs, you might feel hungry soon after a healthy lunch, whereas including a reasonable portion of good quality carbs should leave you feeling fuller for longer. Or perhaps your meals are too low in protein, which is digested slower than carbs?
If that extreme hunger, or intense sugar craving, comes hand-in-hand with fatigue and mood swings, you could be experiencing a hormonal disturbance, such as insulin resistance, where your body isn’t metabolising food the way it should. And if the opposite is true, you still need to get checked out. It’s pretty common to stop feeling hungry simply because we’ve dieted and ignored our bodies for so long. When you stop listening, the body can eventually stop communicating.
Whether food features too prominently, or not prominently enough, it’s worth getting some solid advice on how to properly nourish your most important assets – your body and mind.
- Processed food fatigue
If you buy and eat on the fly, you can slip into some really unhealthy patterns. It’s very easy to tell ourselves that healthy eating is ‘difficult’ or ‘time-consuming’ or ‘too expensive’. When, in actual fact, a dietitian can help you bust all those myths with great meal-planning advice.
Dietitians don’t just tell you the food types you should be eating, but can actually work with you to develop realistic meal plans. That means devising meal and snack ideas - including recipes – that fit with your tastes, your lifestyle and your cooking skills. It’s also about establishing realistic patterns to reset and improve your eating habits.
If your body is crying out for some home-prepared goodness, it’s time to get advice on how to make it happen, right down to understanding the portions you need to meet your energy and nutrition requirements.
It’ll help you save time, save money, and might even save your life.
- Blood tests sending up red flags
The chemical make-up of your blood will tell a tale when it comes to understanding whether you’re taking in all the nutrients your body needs to stay well. But blood tests can also identify health challenges, such as anaemia, diabetes and high blood pressure, which may be improved through dietary changes.
When you work with a dietitian, they’ll assess the full picture of your medical and social history, drawing on everything from blood tests and gut symptoms, to sleep habits, exercise routines, medicines, and body measurements.
Before you jump on a prescribed ‘solution’, think about whether tweaking the simplest thing – the food you use to fuel your body – could create the change you’re looking for.
- Do you have a chronic disease, or are you at risk of developing one?
As we’ve already mentioned, nutrition can be overlooked in favour of leaning on medical technology and treatment. But if your condition could be managed or prevented just by improving your diet, wouldn’t that be so much better?! If you have a medical condition, like arthritis, a dietitian can help you understand it and learn about the nutrients that affect it, like sugar and processed meats, gluten and salty foods. They can also help you to tackle risk factors for chronic disease, like high cholesterol, head-on – boost your leafy greens, fish and seafood, legumes, nuts and seeds.
Not only that, but emerging research suggests that the micronutrients in our food, such as vitamins and minerals, may actually affect whether certain disease controlling genes get switched on or stay switched off. In effect, the ‘messages’ in food could be having a huge impact on our risk of disease and even life expectancy.
These are HUGE developments and, while the research is still in its infancy, there’s no doubt it’s well worth investing in our diet for the sake of a healthy, happy life.
So, whatever your body is telling you, there’s always room for improvement, and a dietitian is just the person to help.
Get in touch today!