Obesity is one of the biggest dangers to health and wellness today. More than 40% of Americans are considered obese, with even bigger amount considered overweight. Obesity means having excess body fat. Doctors often use a calculation of height and weight, known as the body mass index (BMI), to diagnose obesity. This condition means more than a few extra pounds. Obesity opens the risk to several serious diseases, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, strokes, heart attacks, and cancers. Dietary changes are one of the best ways to manage obesity, and nutrition counseling is a decisive first step.
What causes obesity?
Obesity happens over time. When someone eats, the food becomes calories the body needs for energy. However, many people have sedentary lifestyles and skip exercise or physical activity. If the body does not use the calories, the surplus is stored as fat. Today, the average American male consumes up to 3500 calories daily, well past the recommended amount. The additional calories many remain as body fat. For many people, genetic and hormonal conditions also play a role in developing obesity.
Can nutrition counseling help?
Obesity is especially hard to get under control. Years of unhealthy eating and poor lifestyle habits must be addressed first. A nutrition counselor is an excellent resource for making better diet choices. This subject matter expert assesses current food choices, reviews BMI, and discusses any health challenges. Nutrition counselors then makes recommendations for diet changes to get rid of a calorie surplus and improve nutrition. From there, the patient receives ongoing information, coaching, support, and accountability.
Better diet, better health
A nutrition counselor is sometimes a registered dietician that can give the patient a detailed meal plan. This meal plan aligns with any preexisting conditions, including obesity. Creating the proper diet can help improve long-term health. Making small diet changes can help reduce the intake of cholesterol, fats, and sugars causing disease. With a proper diet, the patient loses weight in a safe, healthy way.
Overcoming mental obstacles
A diet is the first step to managing obesity. However, changing the diet along can’t overcome damaged emotional connections with food. Some people have challenges with emotional eating or using food as a coping mechanism. Several studies show a relationship between depression and obesity. Nutritional counselors can also identify stressors, social issues, and other mental blocks that prevent healthier eating. The nutrition counselor can also recommend other health experts, such as a mental health therapist, counselor, or personal couch.
Make health a priority
Patients suffering from obesity must be commended for making the first step. These patients understand that serious health complications can come from obesity. A nutrition counselor can help patients make better food choices and provide continued support. Diet, exercise, counseling, and lifestyle changes can help reduce obesity and lower the risk of health complications over time.