Weight Loss Counseling: Is It Right For You?

If you’ve been having a hard time sticking to a diet, weight loss counseling may be your answer?

It can be impossible to achieve weight loss goals alone. Some people have trouble staying focused, and get distracted throughout the process. Others have no idea where to start making changes in their lifestyle.

Then there are the ones that can identify the problems but are daunted by the immense task of learning about all the aspects of nutrition. How many calories should I be consuming? What food should I be eating? Should I be taking supplements?

These questions, as well as numerous others, can be answered by weight loss counselors.

What exactly is weight loss counseling?

To put it simply this type of counseling is a combination of nutritional and psychological support to help people reach and maintain a healthy weight. Its a process of identifying the issues behind the weight, developing management strategies that go beyond diet and education on healthy eating and fitness habits.

Weight loss counselors are health professionals that work with you to help you achieve your goals. Registered dieticians, conventional nutritionists, holistic nutritionists, health coaches, nurses, physicians and health educators are all people who perform this type of counseling.

How can weight loss counselors help?

Professional counselors do the following:

  • Assesses the current fitness level, dietary habits, and exercise routine
  • Educate the client about healthy foods (menu planning/cooking classes- not always offered)
  • Inform the client about safe and effective workout strategies
  • Create a custom schedule for a client
  • Assist the client in setting short-term and long-term goals
  • Support the client in staying motivated to lose weight
  • Teach the client about lifestyle changes and prioritizes them (scheduling implementation)
  • Helps the client identify causative issues (i.e. stress) and shares methods on how to better deal with them

Counselors can not lose the weight for you.

What they can do is take the stress out of losing weight by devising a personalized plan that you can live by the rest of your life. Some counselors even make themselves available on evenings and weekends, so if you are having doubts or concerns you can call to get your answers right away.

Types of counseling found for weight loss.

Professional counseling for losing weight isn’t uniform. Some counselors offer services that others do not, so its important to shop around. Some only meet at their office. Others make home visits. Some commercially marketed weight loss programs offer counseling as part of their packages. Personal counseling can be provided by:

  • Online methods (live chat, email, VOIP)
  • Groups and forums online
  • Private consultation (at office or in home)
  • Over-the-phone consultations

The Cost

The cost of nutritional counseling varies greatly. You can expect to pay anywhere between $20-$200. Factors that affect the cost include:

  • type of counseling
  • number of sessions
  • session durations
  • services offered
  • amount of people receiving the counseling
  • location of service

If you are overwhelmed at the prospect of starting a program to lose excess pounds, counseling is a good option. It can relieve stress and helps you stay focused on what really matters- getting healthy.

Counseling also can help you stay motivated. Even if family and friends don’t ask how you are doing with your weight loss efforts, you can be sure your counselor will.

If you decide that counseling is right for you, be sure to shop around and consider all your options. Like everything else in weight loss, what works for one person doesn’t mean it will work for you.