When should I consider seeking nutrition services?
If you are interested in learning how to improve your nutrition in order to be healthier, prevent disease, enhance body tone, lose/gain weight, or have any other nutrition related concerns such as diabetes, irritable bowel, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, etc. then seeking the assistance of a nutritionist can be helpful.
Our nutritionists - technically referred to as Registered Dietitians - have extensive education and training necessary to provide appropriate, safe, scientific and evidence based nutrition education and intervention. The nutritionists are licensed in the State of Florida and obtain continuing education hours required for the maintenance of both state licensure and national registration.
A nutritionist can also assist you if you struggling with disordered eating, an eating disorder, negative body image, or if you are confused about ‘what’ you can/should eat for healthy weight management. The nutritionist works with an Eating Disorder Treatment team to best manage your care.
What should I expect when I meet with a nutritionist?
At your initial appointment you will complete an intake form which asks questions about your nutrition concerns, your current food intake and exercise patterns, and your medications. The nutritionist will then discuss your weight, diet, and medical history as well as help you set behavior change goals geared towards improving your nutrition and overall health. You will meet with the nutritionist for follow up as needed for ongoing instruction, encouragement, support, and accountability of behavior change goals.
The nutritionist will guide you in how to make improvements in your nutrition and physical activity based on your individual lifestyle and food preferences. Our nutritionists embrace an intuitive eating approach to nutrition which promotes balance, variety, and moderation in food choices; nonjudgmental attitudes toward food; and the belief that when we learn to listen and attend to our hunger and fullness as well as enjoy the food then weight maintenance, without having to diet (ie restrict) is not problematic.
Small group workshops are also available
To schedule a nutrition appointment, please call 850-644-8871.
For more information about healthy eating, eating disorders or body image:
What do FSU students say about Nutrition Service?
BS in Political Science Minor in European History
At the time of my admission to FSU in 2011, I weighed 210 pounds. This was the heaviest I had ever been in my entire life. I went to Thagard Student Health Center (currently University Health Services) to see a clinician and was advised to see a nutritionist to help me get my weight under control. At the time I was overeating in response to emotional stress.
I really didn’t know what to expect from the nutritionist, but I had assumptions about what they would tell me. I expected to be given a strict nutritional guideline to follow, which would include cutting out starches and refined sugars but this was not the case. The nutritionist, Heather Fisher, helped me to learn proper eating for overall wellness.
At one point my weight was steady yet a medical issue promoted weight gain. Over the next few months, I met with Heather for nutrition education and counseling. She encouraged and supported my weight management efforts. After surgery to manage my medical issue my health started to improve and my weight began to trend down. At that time, I was released from Heather’s care as I had learned the concepts to control my emotional eating and improve my relationship with food.
I am happy to report – now a year after my nutrition counseling – that I am healthier, I’ve lost thirty pounds and I feel great! I keep pursuing healthy weight management strategies I learned from Heather. These include:
- Pacing myself and eat slower to prevent overeating
- Allowing myself to eat what I have a craving for, but enjoy these in moderation versus eating a large quantity
- Not thinking of certain foods as 'good' or 'bad'
- Controlling portions
- Avoiding distracted eating, such as watching TV
I am also very active with my two dogs, Jerome Davis (JD) and Hell’s Bells (Bella). They both love to go on long walks with me and even to the local parks to play with other dogs. If it weren’t for the support and education of the Nutrition and Health Promotion staff at University Health Center, I wouldn’t have been able to improve my health. It was a great experience for me and I encourage anyone to give it a try no matter what nutrition related concern you may have. I am truly grateful for this service at the FSU’s University Health Services!
BS in Criminology Pursuing a second Bachelor's degree in Finance
“Three years ago, when I tipped the scales at three hundred pounds, I realized that it was crucial for me to start changing my behaviors. So, I established goals for myself that would help me achieve weight loss and optimal health. I thought all I needed to do was eat healthy and work out. I said to myself, "I know how to work out, but I don't know how to eat healthy." So, I sought help from the nutritionist at University Health Services.“
After my first meeting with the nutritionist, I left the appointment feeling more confused than when I arrived. There was no mention of a diet, eating habits, or food in general. Instead, the nutritionist initially helped me to realize that other factors, beyond the quality and quantity of foods I was ingesting, had contributed to my excessive weight gain. Over the past three years, I utilized my sessions with the nutritionist to obtain a healthy eating plan for weight loss and encouragement and accountability for maintaining consistency with my plan. I was also able to address any nutrition concerns I had with the nutritionist and kept her updated on my overall progress.
The invaluable knowledge, skills, and support I gained from the nutritionist played an integral role in helping me change my previously unhealthy lifestyle into a healthy; and sustainable one. The nutritionist assisted me every step of the way to create eating behaviors that have resulted in one hundred pound weight loss, maintenance of weight loss, and a significant change in my clothing sizes (I dropped 4 pants sizes!).
I am pleased to report that I have achieved optimum health and I am remarkably close to meeting my weight loss and physical fitness goals. Needless to say, it has been an extremely long and arduous process to improve my health, but I couldn't have done it without the nutritionist at University Health Services!
Alumna of FSU, Exercise Science
"I decided to do something about my weight when I was up to a size 18/20. I exercised and lost weight, yet promptly regained the weight. I was interested in getting back into longboarding - a sport that I am passionate about – yet I realized I was too big. So, I became serious and diligent in my exercise regimen. I lost weight, but then hit a plateau. It was then I decided to consult with a nutritionist at University Health Services. She helped me establish a positive, healthy relationship with food, and learn how to balance my food choices.“
I am happy to report I am now wearing a size 12/14! My blood pressure, total cholesterol, resting heart rate, and physical stamina have all improved. It’s not just about getting physically fit, but mentally fit as well.
Weight loss lessons learned:
- There are twenty four hours in a day, pick one for exercise.
- Don’t treat diet as a verb; treat it as a noun.
- Remain diligent in your efforts despite life’s challenges.
- Seek support for behavior change from a friend or a healthcare professional.
- Don’t pursue healthy habits as a ‘weight loss, quick fix’ for bikini season or post Christmas, but rather as something to do pursue as a lifestyle."
Post Doctorate Associate in Physics at the Magnet Lab
“My doctor instructed me to improve my eating and exercise patterns to control my blood pressure, improve my cholesterol, triglyceride, and blood sugar levels, improve my sleep apnea, and ultimately prevent future disease. She referred me to a nutritionist to assist me. I initially assumed the weight loss process would be quick and easy. I was sure my weight – and hence my blood pressure - would quickly drop as a result of cutting calories. Yet, neither my weight nor my blood pressure improved as I had expected.“
So, I began to ask more questions and be more attentive during my nutrition counseling sessions. The nutritionist not only taught me ‘what’ and ‘how’ to eat, but also helped me to identify ‘why’ I eat (I realized I was often using food to manage stress). I began to exercise, to eat more fruits and vegetables, to cook more, to slow down the pace of my eating, and to allow myself to become full versus stuffed. My behavior change has been gradual and challenging process, but I feel better. I am in good health – my weight is down and my blood pressure, cholesterol, triglycerides, and blood sugar are all normal. I am now focused on and understand the importance of keeping my sleep, healthy eating, and exercise behaviors balanced for lifelong wellness.”
Master’s in Social Work, Graduated 2011
"When I moved five hours away from family and friends to pursue my graduate degree I was far from the people I love and it was difficult; but, I tried to view it in a positive light - as an opportunity for me to make personal changes. I wanted to start by improving my body because I wasn’t happy with the way I looked or felt. Additionally, I was borderline diabetic, on medication for high blood pressure, and had polycystic ovarian syndrome.“
These health problems were not at all what I would have expected to deal with at the age of twenty-eight. However, I was overweight and understood my poor health was a result of not treating my body well. The consequences of poor eating habits - frequent intake of ‘comfort food’ to sooth my negative emotions and overindulging at restaurants with friends, though fun - was threatening my health. I realized at that point that I needed help, so I sought support from a nutritionist at University Health Services.
She helped me understand more about how foods affected my body and provided encouragement and support for my positive behaviors changes. The intent of our meetings was not for me to lose a certain amount of weight or to fit into a particular jean size, but to help me learn how to be healthier and to enjoy life. Over the course of a year, I met my health goals and lost weight in a healthy way. I continue to work on ‘staying on track,’ but my mind is set on the goal of maintaining good health. I hope other FSU students will utilize the nutrition services offer by the Health Center as it is a valuable resource for your health and well being.