Diet Consultation

8 things you should keep in mind before going for a nutrition consultation

Nutrition consultation involves one-to-one discussion with a Nutritionist regarding your food intake and the modifications that you may need according to your health status. A Nutritionist is a person who is qualified to:
  • assess your nutrition status based on several parameters
  • provide guidance to make healthy modifications
  • monitor and evaluate your health as per the modifications suggested and
  • help you sustain the results
In order to accomplish these tasks, it is prudent to prepare yourself before going for a nutrition consultation. At times, you may wonder why is this needed, but it is essential as these are the pillars for building a healthier nutrition status. For example, it helps a nutritionist to understand your nutrition status better if you simply provide your waist and hip circumference. It requires a simple measuring tape to do so and you can get results within 10 secs and is inexpensive too. So, lets look at things that you should prepare in advance before seeking a nutrition consultation:

1.Body weighing scale:

While you may feel that the weighing machine of clinics or hospitals are most accurate ones, but is it practical to reach out to them often? NO! It is important to keep a track your weight (especially for the ones on diuretics); hence you should have your own weighing scale, preferably a digital one. This helps you as well as your Nutritionist come closer to understanding your body composition. Also, it is vital to adhere to one, single weighing scale rather than hop, skip and jump on different scales with the hope to find a desired value on any one. Body weight can show variations depending on your hydration status, bowel movements, food intake, etc. Hence, there is no point in referring to different weighing scales. You can stick to the one at your home and use that as your reference point.


  • Always weigh yourself early in the morning after passing urine as well as motions and on empty stomach
  • Avoid drinking water before weighing yourself
  • Prefer wearing light clothing when you weigh yourself
  • Remember the above 3 steps even during the follow-up meetings

2.Kitchen weighing scale:

Kitchen weighing scale is a small, portable weighing scale which is used to measure food ingredients. You may wonder why is it necessary to measure the food ingredients and would you need to keep on doing it forever? The simple answer is you need to measure your food ingredients for at least the initial 2-3 weeks in order to come close to the amount recommended by your Nutritionist. 10 grams oats may sound similar to but is actually very different from 10 grams poha/ rice/ moong/ chana. Lets understand this with the help of a simple example\’ Mrs Rawal (name changed) had complains of metabolic syndrome (obesity plus abnormal blood sugars and deranged lipid profile). She was advised to have rotis made from 40 grams ragi (nachni) flour for 2 weeks. Although she was very particular about eating just ragi and no other cereal; she couldn\’t find in improvement in her parameters at the end of 2 weeks. On inquiring by the Nutritionist, it was found that she was making her rotis as per her assumptions of what 40 grams ragi flour looks like. When it was weighed using a kitchen weighing scale it amounted to almost 90 grams – including the wheat flour used for dusting (flour used for rolling ragi rotis). These small mistakes can lead to delay in achieving your results. Also, weighing the ingredients is extremely essential when you are on a high protein diet or low salt diet or a low fat diet. It is important to know how much 5 grams salt looks like and/ or how much 30 grams fat looks like. Without this knowledge the game of nutrition planning may unfortunately and undoubtedly fail.

3.Measuring tape

You may be asked to share your body measurements in your first as well as subsequent diet consultation sessions. This helps your Nutritionist understand your body composition. For example, 2 males with similar height and weight (lets say 180 cm and 70 kg) may have different waist circumference. This is due to difference in their body composition. The one with higher waist circumference may have higher body fat mass. A measuring tape can go a very long way in understanding your progress. The more inches you loose, the fitter your body tends to become, of course when coupled with regular exercises.

4.Food preferences/ choices and timings

The type of food you prefer to eat helps your Nutritionist understand the varieties that can be prescribed. Some may prefer vegetarian food items while others may prefer non-vegetarian food sources too while a few may prefer just eggs and no other non-veg items (eggetarians). On the other hand, several individuals may opt for veganism as well. Your consultant may ask you about your food choices and timings which you should open up about. This helps your nutritionist provide you your favorite food items and also align your meal timings as per your suitability. You should also discuss whether you are dependent on outside food i.e. roadside food or canteen food or restaurant food, etc and its frequency. At times, due to busy work culture in urban cities, people may have to be dependent on outside food. But all these things should be clearly stated before your nutrition consultation as it helps to plan your meals in a way that you can accommodate it with ease in your daily routine.

5.List of food allergens/ food intolerants

It is important to open up to your Nutritionist in case you have any medically diagnosed food allergies. This is especially important for mothers seeking nutrition guidance for their kids. If the kids have any allergies that should be brought to the notice as your Nutritionist can guide you with alternate food items to be used to prepare your kids favorite recipes. Food intolerances may be temporary but should be informed. For example, they may be common in case of pregnant ladies and this should be brought to notice at the time of your nutrition consultation or before in order to avoid problems.

6.Family history

Owing to the day-to-day stress, sedentary lifestyle, dependency on ready-to-eat food items, processed foods, etc; we are all living in times where we are susceptible to several lifestyle disorders like obesity, hypertension, diabetes, etc. These disorders can run into families and hence, if your Nutritionist is aware about the same; she can guide you to keep these disorders at bay or if you already have them then he/she can help you keep them under control. Diet and lifestyle modifications can play a very beneficial role in prevention of long term complications.

7.Physical activities

Whether you may prefer them on daily basis or as per your convenience, but it is important to share your routine activities with your nutrition consultant. You may also share about your likings and dis-likings and your time preferences. It is ideally great to have mobile apps downloaded on your smart phones that can trace your daily activities, like Google Fit/ Samsung Health, etc. They are easy, zero cost and they help to track your activities as well as your daily steps which can give your health consultant an idea about your physical activities. It helps them decide whether or not you may need to put extra efforts in your activities.


While it may sound embarrassing to open up about addictions, if any; but it is vital to get them to the notice of your healthcare providers. When you open to your Nutritionist about the same, he/she may be able to guide you about the risks associated with them and whether they can hinder the absorption of vital nutrients in your body. Your Nutritionist can also help you with healthy alternates that can help you overcome your addiction. For example, a sugar free chewing gum instead of supari can help in overcoming supari addiction.
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