Not only do your meals fuel your body, but they also power your brain. Food is so strongly linked to mental and emotional health, so your nutrition choices can have a major impact on your overall sense of wellness. Understanding what and when to eat is not easy, though, as everyone has different nutritional needs based on their lifestyle and health status. Nutrition coaching is an excellent way to ensure your diet aligns with your mental health needs. Instead of making your best guess at what foods will make you feel good, you can consult with a professional who’s dedicated to the field of nutrition. Your nutrition coach will offer recommendations for your unique dietary needs, which will set you on the path to long-term success with your eating habits.
What Is a Nutrition Coach?
A nutrition coach is a health expert who specializes in food and healthy eating. Food is your body’s only source of energy, and it’s a vital resource for maintaining all of your body systems. We often underestimate just how important nutrition is for our wellness, but the quality of our meals can be the difference between health and sickness. There is extensive chemistry, biology, and physiology behind nutrition, and your nutrition coach understands precisely how certain foods affect your body.
In addition to offering vast knowledge about health and nutrition, a supportive nutrition coach provides personalized advice based on each client’s unique needs. Although the science behind your diet plays an important role in your nutrition coaching, there are also a number of psychological and behavioral elements to your food choices. Most of us have at least some emotional attachment to food, and mealtimes also provide a valuable social experience. At Sherman Oaks Therapy and Wellness, your nutrition coach will not reject these connections or focus only on the objective science of your food. Instead, they’ll help you transform your relationship with food so that healthy eating becomes an enjoyable, empowering experience for you.
When you meet with your nutrition coach, you should expect to begin by discussing your health goals and your current diet. Nutrition coaches often ask their clients to keep a food diary for a week or two before their appointment so that they can get a complete understanding of the individual’s food choices. Based on your current dietary needs and your goals, your nutrition coach will work with you to create an effective, sustainable eating plan.
The following are some of the services that your certified nutrition coach can provide:
- General nutrition advice regarding macronutrients and food groups
- Information about specific diet plans and their benefits or drawbacks
- Detailed meal plans to help you heal your relationship with food
- Advice for grocery shopping or navigating supermarkets
- Education on reading food labels
- Dispelling myths or misconceptions about food, weight, and dieting
Mental Health Benefits of Working with a Nutrition Coach
Most people only think to seek out a nutrition coach when they’re facing a physical health issue or working toward physical fitness goals. However, your nutrition coach can play a vital role in your mental health journey, too. The following are some of the many benefits of nutrition coaching for your mental health:
Focuses on Foods That Make You Feel Good
In many ways, your moods and emotions are influenced by your diet. The gastrointestinal tract is even known as the “second brain” because it’s lined with neural tissue that contains neurotransmitters. When you consume a balanced and healthy diet, the “good” bacteria in your GI tract stimulate the release of neurotransmitters that positively affect your mood. An unhealthy diet has the opposite effect.
There are several other links between your food and your mental health. For example, sugary foods can cause a spike in dopamine, a feel-good neurotransmitter, but this is often followed by a crash. Your nutrition coach can help you explore the link between your mental health and your diet so that you can choose the meals that keep your mood stable.
Addresses Disordered Eating Habits
Having a conflicted relationship with food is incredibly common. While disordered eating can be a symptom of an underlying psychological problem that should be treated with therapy, our practitioners along with our nutrition coach can help you decipher the best path to healing. If your relationship with food is full of anxiety, guilt, or frustration, your nutrition coach can work hand in hand with your therapist to facilitate a positive relationship with food.
Keeps You Consistent and Accountable
Learning how to eat for your mental wellness and overcoming an unhealthy relationship with food can be immensely difficult tasks to accomplish on your own. Nutrition coaching provides you with a stable, safe environment for you to explore your emotional connection to food. By committing to working with a professional, you develop a stronger sense of accountability. Your nutrition coach will help you stay on-track as you make progress toward your goals.
What to Expect
- Your coach will help you develop a holistic approach to food, health, and wellness
- You and your coach will develop a nonrestrictive macro-based eating approach. You’ll be provided customized goals on how much protein, carb, and fat to eat each day.
- Your coach will discuss food quality, hunger, digestion/bowel movements, energy levels, menstrual health, hormone health, sleep, and stress to make sure your body is functioning to its full capacity.
- Your coach will provide hydration suggestions, supplement suggestions, and suggestions on how to time your food (in relation to workouts) to ensure you feel great in the gym.
- You will have unlimited access to your nutrition coach via phone, email, and text along with weekly check-ins.
Sherman Oaks Therapy and Wellness offers nutrition coaching for clients who hope to heal their relationship with food and develop healthy eating habits for their body and mind. We take a compassionate and individualized approach to nutrition coaching so that you feel empowered and supported as you work toward a healthier lifestyle. Click here to schedule a consultation call with our nutrition coach.