Healthy Living by Jacqueline Banks – How is a Holistic Health Counselor different from a Nutritionist?

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meditationThis is a question I hear a lot, and a question I myself pondered for a very long time when deciding to go down the Holistic path instead of the traditional Nutritionist or Registered Dietitian road. I’ll share the major differences with you, this way you can find the best fit to reach your goals.

A nutritionist or registered dietitian focuses only on food and mainly on numbers. They stand firm to the old belief that weight loss comes simply from eating less calories than you burn. They focus on diets and can write you a stellar weight loss plan to take home with you and stick on your refrigerator. Little distinction is made between all natural, organic, non processed foods and chemically dense, low fat and diet foods and food quality usually isn’t a main part of the plan although some will encourage non-processed foods.

Holistic nutritionists tend to hold different beliefs, such as the quality of the food you eat is more important than the amount of calories you take in. The holistic diet consists of organic, whole foods that are grown locally and enjoyed in season. One of the most important elements is focusing on nutrient dense foods and avoiding foods that have been depleted of their nutrient content, such as processed foods. Holistic nutritionists help clients achieve balance through a combination of healthy eating, supplements, exercise, affirmations and spiritual counseling. We focus on the intricate connection between the individuals biochemical, mental/emotional, environmental/spiritual and how these contribute to their lives, and realize that no 2 individuals are the same. I tend to not write diet plans instead encourage clients to make small changes and eventually adapt a lifestyle that they can live with, which means there won’t be any falling off the wagon after you finish your diet. Education is also a huge part, teaching the client how to reduce illness by avoiding not only certain foods but also behaviors that contribute to disease. A holistic nutritionist should be your shoulder to lean on, your support and encouragement in incorporating healthy lifestyle changes that will ultimately increase your health and quality of life. And maybe most importantly you will never be given a diet based on grapefruit and cheese!

This article was contributed
by Jacqueline M. Banks.

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