8 Ways Nutrition Counselling and Support Can Improve Workplace Wellness

Physical Health

Young woman eating a healthy meal at work after learning about nutrition.

When it comes to wellness, nutrition plays a big part. If employers can help workers enjoy a healthy diet, it can positively impact not only their productivity at work, but also many other aspects of their life.

What is Nutrition Counselling?

Nutrition counselling is when a health professional assesses a person’s dietary intake and identifies areas where improvements can be made. The sessions involve both the counsellor and the patient working together to make an assessment, review their findings and discuss nutritional problems, needs, goals and actionable steps. 

The counselling service may be provided by nutritionists, nurses and wellbeing psychologists.

Who can Benefit from Nutrition Counselling?

We all need daily consumption of food and not many of us get the required daily intake of nutrients in our meals. Hence, most of the population can benefit from nutritional advice. The following is a list of common reasons why people may seek nutrition counselling:

  • Food intolerance or allergy
  • Chronic disease
  • Overweight or obesity  
  • Athlete specific needs
  • Wanting to enjoy a healthier lifestyle
  • Insomnia
  • Low energy levels
  • Hormone imbalance

Benefits of Nutrition Counselling

There are many benefits from nutrition counselling and these will impact all facets of our daily professional and personal lives.

Management of Chronic Disease

Nutrition counselling is often sought by people who have chronic illnesses including diabetes, cancer, kidney disease, heart disease and inflammatory bowel disease. Dietary modifications often improve the biomarkers of a disease and reduce the symptoms. In many cases, people with these diseases are overweight or obese; improving one’s diet to obtain a healthier weight, may improve the condition and even reduce their reliance on medication. Good management of chronic diseases allows people to stay healthy, take fewer sick days and remain part of the workforce for longer.

Weight Loss

A diet that’s high in fat and sugar can lead to excess stored adipose tissue (also known as body fat). Seeking nutritional advice through counseling may provide the tools and knowledge to improve your diet and enjoy healthy food to lose or maintain your weight. When employees have a healthy body weight and are regularly enjoying minimally processed and whole foods, they’re more likely to have more energy, good mood, and a reduced risk of injuries compared to a colleague who is overweight or obese.  

Strengthened Immune System

Eating a healthy diet has numerous benefits that aren’t just weight related. Healthy food also supports our immune system to give us the best chance of fighting off disease and illness. A healthy diet can also reduce recovery time. Knowing what foods and liquids to consume during and after a bout of illness can help us make a full recovery sooner. Less illness means employees take less sick leave and greater productivity at work.  

Healthy Lifestyle

When we’re eating nutritious meals, we’re more inclined to look after our body in other ways too. Noticing positive outcomes and the good feeling from nourishing our body may lead to rethinking about other habits and activities that aren’t beneficial for our bodies such as heavy alcohol drinking, smoking, not exercising, and more. 

Nutritional counselling may also include tips on staying physically active. After losing a few kilos, people are often more inclined to go for a walk, take up a sport, reduce alcohol intake, and even quit smoking. 

For employees engaging in high-level sport activities, counselors can assist with advice on optimal protein intake for muscle repair and performance. With the right advice, they may be less likely to take in every piece of information online which can often be misleading and not tailored to their body.

Improved Mental Health

A good diet also contributes to improved mental health. Research suggests it could be due to addressing blood sugar levels, inflammation and microorganisms in the gut. Poor diet can contribute to many chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease, as well as poor mental health.

Better Focus

Many employees return to their desk after lunch feeling groggy and needing a nap. They struggle to focus on their task and watch the clock closely waiting for the time to go home. With better food choices throughout the day, they can avoid feeling tired and instead, be mentally sharp for the rest of the day. Moreover, the lack of focus of one or more employees can lead to disruptive behaviours in the workplace. Improving productivity amongst workers can have a significant impact on the organisation’s bottom line.  

Colleagues Supporting One Another

It takes discipline, motivation, and willingness to eat a healthy diet and maintain a good lifestyle. Often voicing your goals can make you more accountable to staying on track. Colleagues are ideal accountability partners because you see each other most weekdays; you eat lunch and snacks together, and might chat about what you’re preparing for dinner that night. As a bonus, sharing your motivation can lead to other employees to consider improving their habits too.     

Assisting Family Members

Nutrition counselling in the workplace may not just benefit workers but also their family members. Just as a workplace may hold an information session on caring for a loved one with dementia, nutrition information or counselling sessions can assist workers deal with the nutritional needs of family members. With our ageing population, many workers are caring part-time for their elderly parents. For some, that involves cooking for their parents. Seniors are more likely to suffer from malnutrition and/or a chronic condition. Having access to professional information can reduce some of the personal pressure an employee may be feeling.

Nutrition counselling can have lifelong benefits for employees and the people around them. Given food is such an essential part of our lives, increasing consciousness of what we introduce to our body can lead to unmeasurable benefits in many areas of our lives. 


Through our referral service that connects employees to nutritionists or dietitians, telephone consultation, advice and nutrition programs are available. Nutrition support is included in some employee assistance program packages. Contact us online or call 1800 258 487 for more information.

Category: Physical Health