Frequently Asked Questions
For those interested in nutrition counseling, we've gathered a collection of our most commonly asked questions. If you have a question you do not see the answer to here, please email us at email@example.com
Is this weight-loss counseling?
No. Health and well-being are so much more than weight. Intentional weight loss doesn’t work in the long run and can be detrimental to your mental, physical, and emotional well being. We are Health at Every Size practitioners, and support people of all sizes to find ways to compassionately care for themselves and their bodies.
What if I want to lose weight?
The feeling of wanting to look a certain way or change your body is understandable considering how deep diet culture runs for many of us. It takes work to get to a point where you feel good in your body, feel good about your food choices and begin to eat and move in an intuitive way. Through nutrition counseling with one of our experienced registered dietitians, you can begin to explore ways to take care of your body beyond weight loss and unpack the root motive for your weight loss desires.
Will I get a meal plan?
No. For most, the focus is on learning and implementing intuitive eating strategies. Meal plans can contradict listening to your body and nourishing it with the type and amount of food you need. The exception to this rule is in eating disorder recovery. In this case, meal plans may be used to provide structure and ensure nutritional adequacy. As body cues are often distorted with the presence of an eating disorder, meal plans may be used until the person reaches the point in recovery where intuitive eating is a safe option.
Ok but WTF is intuitive eating anyway?
Intuitive eating is a framework for eating that was developed by two registered dietitians in 1995. This weight inclusive and evidence based model for eating helps you to reject any external rules or cues that control your eating while letting your internal cues guide what and how much you eat. You can learn more about intuitive eating here.
I read the intuitive eating book, how will counseling be different?
For starters, each of us has over 10 years of experience and collectively, we've worked with thousands of clients to help them live healthier lives and improve their relationship with food. We know from first-hand experience that it's one thing to have the info, another thing to change behaviors, learn to truly trust your body and build skills.
All of the registered dietitians at Jessica Jones Nutrition are trained in motivational interviewing, which is the science of behavior change. Exploring your unique food and body image story with a trained professional while having a place to process and reflect can help you to work through your barriers to a healthy relationship with food and your body.
I failed at every diet, will I fail at intuitive eating too?
Not at all! One of the beautiful aspects of intuitive eating is that it is impossible to fail. Learning to eat intuitively is a practice not a destination. Every step along the way that feels messy or difficult is a learning experience for you to connect further to your body and feel more confident in your choices in the future.
What types of things will we talk about in the session?
During nutrition counseling sessions we will listen to your nutrition concerns and help you explore your relationship with food (and your body). Depending on your specific needs we may work on untangling self-worth from your body shape or size, exploring hunger and fullness, mindful eating, dealing with trigger foods and more.
We'll work with you to develop achievable goals (that you're comfortable with), and provide scientifically-based guidance on what to eat to meet your needs. We may also work on flexible meal planning, creating a body kindness blueprint, and other forms of self care as part of your sessions.
What are metrics of success?
While diets typically use weight as a metric of success, we know better. As you work on your relationship with food and your body, you’ll begin to view success in a whole new way. Some measures of success may include identifying and honoring hunger and fullness, feeling less stress about food, decreased guilt eating certain foods, enjoying “trigger” foods without binging on them, incorporating joyful movement more consistently without feeling guilty for resting.
These metrics of success are based on you creating and maintaining healthy habits while having the flexibility to include fun foods in your life without stress or guilt.
Will we focus on body image work?
YES. One of the most common reasons people restrict their intake is to control their weight and shape. We can't do this work without addressing body image. Instead of focusing on body positivity, we try to help people cultivate body neutrality and then body respect through resilience. We don't think it's helpful to put pressure on yourself to love your body overnight.
Why do you only have a 6-month package?
If we’ve learned anything from our 30+ combined years of experience, it’s that change takes time. We have found that 6 months is the minimum amount of time most people need to really make lasting changes to their mindset, habits, and relationship with body and food. Continued support is offered as well and many people choose to continue working together past the 6 month package. The road to food freedom and body respect takes time and no one person's journey is the same as another's.
What is the difference between this and weight loss counseling or noom?
Any program or diet that focuses on weight loss brings you into a pass or fail mentality. Many weight loss programs who claim to help you create a healthy relationship with food and your body are still focused on an end goal of losing weight. Working with us is a whole other ball game. You won’t learn how to follow an external rule or cues on what or how to eat. You’ll learn how to connect with your body and cultivate respect for yourself and the food you eat. We help you work through past traumas, individual circumstances, and barriers so that you can experience true food freedom.
Do you recommend a particular diet?
No. Intuitive eating is non-denominational. The best way to eat is one that works for you. Even if you follow a specific diet for medical, religious or ethical reasons, intuitive eating can work for you. We will help you to learn non-restrictive eating in a way that best supports your mental and physical health.
Will we focus on actual nutrition, though?
Of course. Often, there’s a need to work on the relationship with food and body respect before nutrition can be fully addressed. Since a history of dieting can make it easy to turn any nutrition recommendations or advice into diet rules we often save gentle nutrition for later in the process. Gentle nutrition helps you to focus on overall patterns in your eating and tune into how different foods impact your health and wellbeing.
Will you incorporate my culture into our work together?
Absolutely! We are sensitive to the fact that every person comes from a different background with a unique history. Past traumas, a history of food insecurity or low access to food can all significantly impact your relationship with food today. We have helped many of our clients acknowledge these significant traumas and work through them as they improve their relationship with food and their body in a way that is unique to each person.
Will you work with my therapist and treatment team?
For all eating disorder clients, we will collaborate with your treatment team and/or therapist so that everyone involved in your care is working together to help meet your individual needs. Collaboration of care is an important piece of any journey or recovery. For intuitive eating clients or clients with chronic conditions, we will collaborate with your therapist if/when indicated.
What if I need help meal planning?
Then you’re in good hands. Each dietitian at Jessica Jones Nutrition has either written cookbooks or created award-winning food blogs (or both!). Food is a big part of our lives and we are more than happy to help you with flexible meal planning. Flexible meal planning can help with grocery shopping, sticking to a budget, and make cooking and eating delicious and nourishing food easier.
Do you accept insurance?
No, we are considered out-of-network with all PPO plans, but we can provide a superbill which you can submit to your insurance company. When submitting a superbill, there is no guarantee that your insurance will cover the visits. You would still be responsible for your visits whether or not they end up being covered. To learn more about whether medical nutrition therapy is a covered benefit under your insurance, call the number on the back and inquire about your coverage. Ask if Medical Nutrition Therapy (MNT) is a covered benefit based on your plan. The procedure codes we use for MNT are: 97802 (initial assessment) and 97803 (follow-up). Ask them if coverage is dependent on your diagnosis and how many sessions you can get reimbursed for, and provide them with your nutrition-related diagnosis. You may want to ask if there are any benefits for “preventative Z codes” such as Z71.3. If so, ask which Z codes and what the requirements are. Upon request, we provide superbills at the end of each month. If insurance isn't an option, note that we also accept HSA/FSA.
Where will sessions be held?
All sessions will be held via virtual video visits on the Practice Better platform. You do NOT have to download anything if using the platform on your computer.