What does a nutritionist do?
The simple answer is that they give you advice on the best foods to eat for optimal health.
The definition of nutrition is “the process of providing or obtaining the food necessary for health and growth”.
The definition of health is “the state of being free from illness or injury”.
Why not see a doctor instead?
You might wonder why there is a need for nutritional advice when we have doctors. But when you realise that doctors have approximately 4 hours of nutrition training during their many years of study, nutrition specialists remain the place to find nutrition expertise. Let the doctors deal with the injury part of health.
The not so simple thing about choosing nutrition advice for you is that there are so many different types of advice ranging from the conventional to the downright kooky.
What are the types of diet available?
Low fat, low carb, keto, vegan, vegetarian, pescatarian, fruitarian (here’s kooky imo), paleo, high carb etc, are the schools of thought driving each advisor.
A lot will stick to their training based on the conventional calories in, calories out model of energy expenditure. Most formal training courses in the past 50 years will advise on low fat foods as well as how food interacts chemically within the body, including the vitamins and minerals essential to human health.
Why do we even need nutrition advice?
Over the past 50 years, human health has taken a dive. The modern age has seen an explosion in chronic disease, and it has coincided with an explosion of “health experts” trying to reverse the trends.
The crazy part is that in those same 50 years the food we eat has changed entirely and we didn’t notice that the changes were what is driving the explosion in ill health. Low fat is the message for the past 50 years but instead of helping the ever-expanding waistlines and reversing heart disease etc. these issues have become much worse.
Could it be that conventional advice is wrong and is still getting it wrong? I believe this to be the case.
People with health issues are looking for answers to reverse their conditions. Most people want to be healthy, but they are stuck as to how to achieve it because what they’ve tried has not worked. Surely if they just followed the advice of eating less and moving more the problem would go away? Well, it clearly hasn’t, it has done the opposite.
What is my background?
My background is 40 years of being a person with health issues looking for answers to reverse my health conditions. Having spent 30 years following the calories in calories out model and yo-yoing by at least 9 stones (126 lbs) in the process alongside chronic eczema, I felt sure that there was something I was missing. And then I discovered that the advice being dished out was going against my biology. No wonder I couldn’t sustain it.
Once the floodgates of alternative knowledge had opened, and my health improved my need to help others led to a formal qualification in nutrition. But it certainly hasn’t been straightforward getting to the bottom of what is best to eat for our biological needs.
Apart from fruitarianism, I have experimented with every type of diet permutation. I had to try them all to be able to see and feel the way my body responds to food, so that I am able to give the best advice to my clients. My advice is still evolving to this day because there will always be something new to learn. Be wary of anyone who says they have all the answers and are not willing to hear another point of view.
In fact, my advice has gone through many phases, some that, looking back now, were not very well thought out but came from a well-intentioned place all the same.
Other things that improve health
It’s also taken time to realise that there are activities to enhance your health that are not about the food. Namely strengthening your body daily and timing your food to improve it further. This was a total revelation to someone who had always stuck to the (advertising slogan) breakfast is the most important meal of the day.
I can only give advice based on my personal experience and research.
How should you choose a nutritionist?
When you choose who is best to give you advice, you have to do it by instinct. If something in the advisor resonates with you, if they are speaking from the heart, if they look the picture of health and they just seem like they know what they’re talking about from their life experiences, then they are right for you.
It is no exaggeration that nutrition and food are the foundations to your whole life. Your body is the vehicle you need for life and is built by the foods you consume. Do you want a clapped-out old banger or do you want a spaceship?