Many people who want to lose weight have nutrition counseling in the early stages of their journey, but slowly stop attending appointments. Nutrition counseling is an important tool throughout all phases of your journey.
Your established nutrition plan will be mostly influenced by your current weight and activity level. As you lose weight, and your exercise program changes, you will need to re-evaluate your nutritional needs. Sometimes the most challenging aspect of adjustments is the need to further decrease your calories and/or increase the amount of calories you burn each day. This can lead some people to panic and ultimately give up on their weight loss. Regular assessments will help you find ways to make substitutions in your diet without going overboard and reducing calories too much. If you ever feel like the changes make you feel abnormally hungry, your counselor can usually find ways to create meal plans that are more satiating and keep you going until your next meal.
Despite your best efforts, there will be changes in your life or body that could derail your weight loss if you do not seek help. Common challenges can be pregnancy or the development of a chronic illness. Women who are pregnant may find their caloric consumption is less of an issue in the early stages of pregnancy due to issues with morning sickness, but as their pregnancy continues, food consumption may be more challenging. With assistance, some women on their weight loss journey are able to keep any weight gain to the minimum necessary for a healthy pregnancy. If you develop a chronic illness, it may affect your ability to exercise or you may develop muscle wasting. Even if you cannot exercise due to illness, you may be successful at avoiding significant weight gain or even continue to lose weight by being more disciplined with your diet. Some people will need more of a focus on protein and nutrients to keep their strength throughout an illness.
Maintenance Isn't The End
Many people say maintenance is harder than losing, and this can be true. While you are losing weight, the scale and your smaller clothing can be gratifying and keep you motivated. In reality, once you reach your goal, it can be hard to come to terms with the need to put in the same amount of work to stay the same. Nutrition counseling is also about maintaining your weight. Some people may notice that once they reach their goal, issues with binge eating or other emotional problems might resurface and threaten to sabotage their progress. Your counselor can be invaluable in helping you tackle these issues and formulate other goals beyond weight loss. Finding new goals outside of the scale may be what you need to stay motivated and avoid gaining weight.
Nutrition counseling is not just a tool to help you lose weight, it is a tool you should maintain throughout your journey. Maintaining regular appointments with your counselor can make it easier to address any problems that can occur at any stage of your weight loss journey.