Nutrition Therapy for Adults
Do you ever feel like your mind is preoccupied with thoughts about food, weight and body image? Maybe you’ve tried all the trendy diets, but feel like nothing is working and you’re not sure what to do next?
Perhaps you are going through a difficult time in your life and you’ve started using food to cope with your struggles. Maybe you’ve even developed some rituals around food such as weighing your food, counting calories, or even over-exercising to reduce feelings of guilt for what you ate that day.
Eating disorders and disordered eating habits are deeply rooted and have biological and environmental components. They do not distinguish between age, gender, race, ethnicity or socioeconomic status.
If You’re Struggling with Food, Weight or Your Body, You’re Not Alone
If you’re struggling with your relationship with food, weight or your body image, you are not alone. An average of 30 million Americans will suffer from an eating disorder at some point in their lives.
In the United States, food is of abundance and it’s everywhere we turn. Think about the last occasion you attended. Was there food? If so, you may have felt anxiety, fear or other emotions that cause pain and these emotions may have taken away from the social aspect of the event. You may have unknowingly developed food rules or rituals that you have to abide by in order to feel less guilt.
We eat for many different reasons – to survive, to sustain, to celebrate, to gather, to socialize, to taste, to participate – the list goes on!
There is a lot of misinformation that we are exposed to on a daily basis via social media, the news, magazines, and word of mouth. We are here to help you decipher these mixed messages and learn evidence based nutrition education while simultaneously learning how to truly honor your body for an everlasting healthy relationship with food.
You Deserve to Have a Healthy Relationship With Food and Your Body
Are you looking for a safe, judgment free place on your path to healing your relationship with food and your body? Eating disorders are complicated illnesses that require a multidisciplinary team treatment approach. Recovery encompasses both mental health aspects as well as medical and nutritional aspects. The foundational team members include a psychotherapist, registered dietitian, medical doctor, and of course, the client. A psychopharmacologist can also be part of the team for medication management when necessary.
It is important that all professionals involved are well versed in the treatment of eating disorders, as these are complex illnesses. The most crucial team member is the client. The client’s support system, such as family, spouses and partners, are a part of the team as well.
Why Choose A Registered Dietitian?
There are physiological, emotional and behavioral components to treating an eating disorder. As a registered dietitian, I work with people to help with the physiological aspect of treatment. Classically, registered dietitians serve on numerous health care teams including metabolic support teams, diabetic care teams, renal treatment teams etc.
Dietitians hold a level of expertise in nutrition science and food science. We are trained through education and field experience to understand the complex relationship of food intake to overall physiological health.
Since eating disorders are not just about food and eating, it is important that the registered dietitian is an eating disorder specialist who understands the complexities of an eating disorder. The International Association of Eating Disorder Professionals (IAEDP) provides a credential for registered dietitians who have learned about the psychological aspect of eating disorders and how food choices are made.
Nutrition Counseling focuses on normalizing eating aspects including food habits, improving food variety, and changing beliefs about eating, food, and body image.
The American Psychiatric Association (APA) created nutritional care guidelines for the treatment of eating disorders. This includes an individual nutrition assessment, continued individual nutrition therapy, an appropriate meal plan, proper physical activity parameters, group nutrition education and meal exposure and response.
Eating disorder treatment has progressed and is no longer treated solely based on weight, as we understand that anyone can suffer from an eating disorder. The registered dietitian is a crucial treatment team member to evoke behavioral change with the food.
What to expect from Nutrition Counseling Sessions?
As Eating disorders are serious mental illnesses that affect the medical and nutritional status, it is crucial to receive nutrition support. The registered Dietitian will conduct an assessment during the first meeting in order to gather the necessary data to create a treatment plan. From that day on, the registered Dietitian will plan home visits, grocery shopping tours, dining out, and different exercise activities based on individual needs.
The Registered Dietitian will collaborate with your therapist in order to discuss your progress and areas of improvement and they will reevaluate strategies to continue helping you improve your relationship with food and nutritional status.
Our Multidisciplinary Approach
Our therapist and registered dietitian are iaedp approved eating disorder specialists with years of experience. We collaborate frequently for best treatment practice and care for their clients. Through psychotherapy and nutrition therapy, the behavioral aspect of eating disorder therapy is addressed.
We utilize principles of Intuitive Eating and Health at Every Size (HAES). This means we work with a foundation of mindfulness, and specifically mindful eating. We additionally work on bridging the gap, which the eating disorder has created, between the mind and body and strengthening that bridge along the way.
Ultimately, we want our clients to be free of judgment of food, weight and body to move towards mastering self-regulated eating connected to the body’s internal cues of hunger and satiety. Guidance on this process through nutrition therapy and exposure outings is covered in conjunction with alternative therapeutic coping skills learned in psychotherapy.
It is important to understand that recovery is not a straight line. Sometimes we take two steps forward and one step back and that is completely normal and expected. Those are the pivotal moments where we learn more about where we need to increase mindfulness and set specific challenges. It is part of the process and how we, the team, keep moving forward and working on attainable goals along the way.
Common Concerns About Nutrition Therapy
“I’m already seeing a therapist. Why do I need to see a Registered Dietitian?”
Eating disorders are multi-faceted and require a multidisciplinary team for the most successful treatment outcomes. In the world of eating disorder treatment, we often say that “it is about the food and it’s not about the food”. The registered dietitian is there to help you with any underlying medical nutrition concerns, address the way nutrition affects cognition and help change habitual tendencies that eating disorders or disordered eating has created.
“It is expensive to see a therapist and a dietitian.”
Therapy and nutrition therapy are financial and emotional investments for you to live your best life. Working with a team will enable you to prevent future medical bills that you could possibly incur with continued eating disorder symptom use. It will also enable your treatment team to ethically practice within their scope of practice.
“I’ve seen a dietitian in the past and it didn’t help.”
It is extremely important for a dietitian treating eating disorders to be an eating disorders specialist. As mentioned above, eating disorders have a psychological component to them and the dietitian must have a foundation of knowledge on the psychological implications of treating eating disorders.
Get Started Today!
If you or your loved one is in need of help for an eating disorder, disordered eating, and/or poor body image, we are here to help. Psychological and Nutritional therapy are available right here in Fort Lauderdale.
Call us today at 954-391-5305, ext. 1 and request to speak with our Registered Dietitian for a free 15 minute consultation. We are currently accepting new clients and look forward to speaking with you!