3 Reasons Why Everyone Should Meet With a Nutritionist

After becoming a strict vegetarian a little over two years ago, I have been on a rather complicated journey with my eating habits. This transition was particularly shocking to me, as I initially had no real knowledge of what I was doing to my body. I did not know what I would need to supplement to maintain a nutritious diet and a strong lifestyle. Becoming vegetarian forced me to think more carefully about what I was putting in my body, as I am now much more aware of the amounts of protein and vitamins I am consuming.

Now that I feel slightly more confident in my ability to lead a vegetarian lifestyle, I decided it would be important to bring up my dietary concerns to my doctor at the University of Florida Student Health Center. My doctor recommended for me to meet with a nutritionist, which I was initially dismissive of. I thought that this would be a waste of time, as I felt like I had a strong handle on my eating habits.

However, I was pleased to learn that there are helpful nutritionists available to students at the UF Student Health Center. I have met with the nutritionist two times in the past few weeks, and she has been able to show me exactly why this experience is so beneficial.

  1. 1. Helping you learn how to organize and plan your meals

    Although we may think that we know exactly how to nourish our bodies properly, there are so many of us who do not fully understand what our bodies are lacking. According to Food Dive, around 80% of consumers claimed that they were confused by food and nutritional information. The grocery store can be a very perplexing place, and it is easy to feel overwhelmed by false advertising and a lack of healthy options. While at the nutritionist, she was able to give me advice on what specific food groups I should work on consuming more to balance out my eating habits. The nutritionist will also work with you to plan out meal options in a flexible way, as they understand the busy lifestyle of college students.

  2. 2. Building a healthy relationship with food

    Another thing that you can get help from the nutritionist with is your relationship with food. The National Eating Disorder Association found the presence of eating disorders increased from 23.4% to 32.6% among college-aged women. This rise in disordered eating among both young women and men is concerning and creates an unhealthy environment for many students. A nutritionist can help you work through those complicated feelings, which will lead to a healthier you — both physically and mentally. As I met with my nutritionist, she made it clear the focus is less on “healthy” foods and more on eating things that make you feel your best. This outlook will help you move away from focusing on the number on the scale, which can lead to more bad eating habits. Living in a world obsessed with diet culture is difficult, but it is important to stay away from fad diets to focus on eating things that will truly benefit your body.

  3. 3. Discussing health concerns and sensitivities

    Going to a nutritionist can also be beneficial if you are looking to go over lab results or get recommendations for another specialist related to a specific dietary concern. Nutritionists can give you advice on what foods could be triggering certain issues for your stomach, which can help you get on the path towards a healthy digestive system. These discussions can be about certain food allergies or other issues that you may be having.

    I enjoyed and grew from my meetings with the nutritionist and, if I felt I needed more advice, I would definitely make another appointment. It was especially helpful that I could simply make the appointment through a telehealth visit, which allowed me to get the information I needed in a relatively easy way.

Although seeing a nutritionist is not always as readily available to the general population, I do think that this is something people should consider looking into if they want a little more help. If you work on your eating habits, you will feel better physically and mentally, which will allow you to stay healthy and spend more time focusing on living your life.