Millions of Americans struggle with losing weight and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. It’s nothing at all to be ashamed of, and it is certainly something you can find help for.
However, you might not be sure whether to see a dietitian or nutritionist. This quick guide to the best nutritional counseling in Bethesda, Maryland will set you on the right path.
It will clear up the difference between the two professions, as well as answer some commonly asked questions.
What Is the Difference Between a Dietitian and Nutritionist?
A dietitian is a regulated profession that requires a bachelor’s degree, a trajectory to a master’s degree, clinical training, certification, and a state-issued license.
Registered dietitians must earn their degree from a school accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND). This means the dietitian has earned their degrees, acquired 1,200 hours of field practice, and completed a dietetic internship in an approved setting.
A nutritionist typically has similar credentials but has the added step of focusing on nutrition and its role in total wellness. This can include but isn’t limited to anatomy and physiology, nutrition science, nutrition therapy, and / or sports nutrition and how it all factors into disease prevention and treatment.
How Do I Know If I Need a Nutritionist or Dietitian?
Of course, the personal choice is yours, and these professionals typically handle similar types of cases. If you have an obesity-related health condition such as diabetes, high blood pressure, or heart disease a dietitian may suit your needs.
If you are generally healthy and wish to reach nutritional goals, modify behaviors that contribute to eating disorders, and / or learn how to improve your overall health through nutrition, a nutritionist may be better for you.
Top signs you need to see a nutrition specialist include but are not limited to the following:
- Bowel irregularity
- Chronic conditions that may be improved through nutrition, such as high cholesterol
- Eating disorders including anorexia, binge eating, bulimia, or others
- Food intolerances and / or allergies
- Inability to lose weight when you’ve tried diet and exercise
- Regular digestive upset, from heartburn to gas pains and anything else affecting the gastrointestinal tract
- Unintentional changes to hunger levels
How Do I Choose the Right Nutritionist or Dietitian for Me?
Again, it has a lot to do with personal choice but there are some key elements you should look for. With a nutritionist, your focus should be on their education and work history.
What type of nutritional education did they receive? Where did they learn? What is their success rate? Can you speak to people who have seen the nutritionist to learn about their experiences and success? Do they have any special certifications?
When choosing a dietitian, ask if they hold a master’s degree? Are they certified? Do they hold a valid state-issued license, and are they in good standing?
After weighing the pros and cons, it’s time to make your choice. Choosing a nutritionist is often a decision that makes for a better, overall experience. The chances of success are also greater, since you’ll receive treatment that takes into account your health.
What Can I Expect From Nutritional Counseling?
Nutritional counseling, whether with a nutritionist or dietitian, is vital for your overall health. You can expect to enjoy these benefits from nutritional counseling:
- Management of chronic health conditions: Medical conditions such as diabetes or high cholesterol require special diets. With nutritional counseling, you’ll learn how to eat in a way that helps you manage your illness.
- Weight loss: With healthy eating habits and exercise, both of which you can learn from nutritional counseling, comes weight loss. In fact, it’s possible that dramatic weight loss done correctly could mean an end to taking certain prescription medications for you. This is a great way to learn how your body responds to the foods you eat.
- Lifelong healthy habits: One of the biggest pitfalls many patients experience is the inability to maintain healthy habits. With nutritional counseling, you’ll learn how to keep those good habits for the entirety of your life.
- Improved fitness: Fitness isn’t just about eating right. It’s about building muscle mass and increasing stamina. Nutritional counseling will guide you toward the perfect exercise regime to complement your goals.
- Accountability: If you’re like many people, you might have noticed that an accountability partner helps to keep you on track. This is especially helpful if you’re prone to feeling a little discouraged from time to time. With the best nutritional counseling in Bethesda, Maryland, you’ll have that person you need to cheer you on as you reach your goals.
- Better overall wellness: Nutritional counseling means you won’t only be healthier, but you’ll feel great. By following the advice you receive and sticking to your plan, you can expect improved quality of sleep, a stronger immune system, better moods, increased concentration / focus, and / or a reduction of disease symptoms.
Choose Atlantis Medical Wellness & Weight Loss if You Want the Best Nutritional Counseling in Bethesda, Maryland!
We welcome you to Atlantis and invite you to schedule your consultation with Cari Verde, our licensed clinical nutritionist. She holds an MS in Applied Clinical Nutrition and has achieved the gold standard for nutritional professionals.
Cari understands nutrition is not a one-size-fits-all process, and that’s why she will provide you with a tailored plan to meet your dietary, fitness, and medical needs. Contact us at 301-658-7686 today to book your appointment.
We make achieving lifelong success easy with functional tools, specialized support, meal plans, grocery lists, full menus, weekly accountability emails, and so much more! Make today the day you begin your journey to wellness.