Research: Nutrition counseling for weight loss.

Research - Boggle LettersResearch - Boggle Letters

Nutritional counseling may be an effective means to reduce your weight.

Registered dietician taking notes

Sorry, nutritional counseling does not involve laying on a couch and being asked about your relationship with your mother. Instead, nutrition counseling is a type of assessment or counseling that analyzes various health and fitness needs. A nutritional counselor can help you to set achievable health goals and teach you various ways of maintaining these goals throughout your lifetime.

Unlike the perception, this form of counseling should nto make you feel guilty. Nutrition consultation is all about education and not a guilty trip filled with blame. It shouldn’t feel like a lecture about what you should be doing, and you shouldn’t feel as though you’re being scolded or judged on your eating habits. Most of the visit is focused on listening closely to understand where you are right now in terms of your lifestyle and diet. Nutrition counseling is typically performed by a certified nutrition consultant or a registered dietitian (RD).

Research from 2019 looked at whether this form of counseling was effective at achieving weight loss​[1]​. I worked for years in the Army and have has doubts about it working because many patients failed to lose weight despite being referred. The good news is this new research is promising. Researchers sought to evaluate the effects of nutritional counseling on weight loss in overweight or obese patients. The study was observational and performed on 200 patients overweight or obese patients with established coronary artery disease. Subjects were given nutritional counseling and followed with BMI, waist circumference, and body weight.

The result of the study was very encouraging. Mean BMI improved significantly from 31.33 to 27.97. Waist circumference reduced from 41.41 cm to 37.62 cm. Weight reduced in 80% subjects. All three results were significant statistically and clinically and should result in a significant improvement in both health and risk.

The bottom line: Nutritional counseling appears to be effective in weight loss and body fat management. I would not expect this result to occur in only coronary artery disease patients but they might have more motivation than non-diseased patients. More research is needed, but I would recommend a visit to an RD if you need to lose weight.

  1. [1]
    G. Rehman , S. Hafiz, A. Iqbal, R. Aman, and A. Mehmood Gul, “IS NUTRITIONAL COUNSELING EFFECTIVE IN WEIGHT REDUCTION IN OBESE PATIENTS?,” PHJ, vol. 52, no. 3, Oct. 2019 [Online]. Available:
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About the Author

I am a family physician who has served in the US Army. In 2016, I found myself overweight, out of shape, and unhealthy, so I made a change to improve my health. This blog is the chronology of my path to better health and what I have learned along the way.

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