How Nutritional Counselling Can Help You to Achieve Your Health Goals?
Nutrition behaviors are the result of many motivations and having information on nutrition does not necessarily mean that the information will be applied. For example, the hospitalized patient who has just learned of the diagnosis of a chronic illness is unlikely to learn much about the prescribed diet at this time. He may be thinking 'why me?', 'what did I do to deserve this?', 'what about my job, my lifestyle, my family?
Nutritional counseling is a process that helps patients learn about themselves, about their eating habits (as part of their total environment), and about methods of coping with their dietary problems. The purpose of counseling is to promote behavior change, and this requires both learning and motivation. In diabetic patients, the purpose of nutritional counseling is to promote change from current to diabetic eating patterns.
Nutritional counseling involves deliberation and collaboration between the dietitian and the patient, during which values may be examined, knowledge and acquired, new ways of dealing with life situations learned, objectives set, decisions made.
The purpose of counseling then is to promote change. But change is never easy. Continuing with one's current lifestyle and avoiding change represent the path of least resistance. Changing one's eating patterns and habits is probably one of the most difficult lifestyle changes to make because dietary habits are long-standing and relate to infancy.
The components of nutritional counseling include the following:
The minimum requirement for successful nutritional counseling and long-term change is the active participation of the patient in the planning, delivery, and evaluation of various nutritional strategies, continuity of care over an extended period, and strategies for treatment tailored to meet the patient's needs.