Registered Dietitian Nutritionists are licensed specialists who help people eat healthier through nutrition counseling sessions. Their degree in nutrition, followed by experience during rotations in hospital, community, and educational settings, allows them to develop a well-rounded understanding of the psychology behind food. We can find all sorts of nutritional information through Google, but hearing it from a credible source is more reliable, and safer. Many people are exposed to conflicting information and do not know what they should be eating for their bodies. Nutrition is an individual matter and reaching out to a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist can provide a personalized approach that will better ensure success.
Before you can begin a health transformation, it is important to reflect your “why,” a question that lies at the heart of every big lifestyle change. Discovering this motivation is essential. Seeing a dietitian enables you to reflect on why improving your diet truly means so much to you. Understanding what is driving you to make a change will help you focus on achieving your goals throughout the process. For some patients, the answer is “I want to feel more confident about myself” while for others it may be “I want to save money by not eating out and learning how to cook instead.” Whatever your “why,” a dietitian will help you embrace it and use it as fuel for your fire.
Many people believe eating healthy does not taste good, but the truth is eating healthy tastes great if you choose foods that you like and cook them properly. Sometimes it takes a little trial and error. If you are a picky eater, a dietitian can sift through all the foods you actually like to develop a personalized meal plan that doesn't turn your stomach. Then, you can introduce the foods you don’t like one at a time and ease your palate into the new flavors and textures. A dietitian can also help you find new ways of cooking foods to make them more palatable.
Many of us skip meals to lose weight or play tricks on our bodies, like drinking more water to suppress your appetite. Rather than accomplishing your weight loss goal, these techniques can take you further and further away by leading to binge eating. Our hunger is a cue for us to eat; when it is suppressed, we slow down our appetite. After long periods of suppressing the appetite, you might slingshot yourself in the other direction, toward overeating. By really tuning into hunger cues, such as the feeling of “fullness” vs. being “satisfied,” we can find a happy medium between undereating and overeating. In order to do so, it is important to eat balanced meals and become more self-aware. A dietitian can guide you in becoming a better eater by doing exercises such as keeping a food diary and tracking symptoms.
Speaking with a Registered Dietitian allows you to focus on the pinnacle of healthy eating, which is planning. When we have so much going on in our lives, our health sometimes gets swept under the rug. Spending hours creating a meal plan may seem like more trouble than it’s worth, but that's usually not true. Spending an hour a week, potentially with the help of a dietitian, can help save time, money, calories, and even some of the inner turmoil. Without a plan, we are more vulnerable to choosing unhealthy foods when we are hungry. If we do not go grocery shopping, pack a lunch, or decide where to eat ahead of time, we are more likely to forget about our health goals.
People often expect weight loss to be quick and easy, but getting the weight off and keeping it off is a long-term commitment. If done properly, this lifestyle change can be easier to stick with because it makes you not only look your best, but also feel your best. Going on a drastic diet, cutting half your calories, or taking out macronutrients is less likely to give you long-term results because the process itself is not sustainable. A Registered Dietitian can help you take baby steps and make goals that are realistic. Fast results can be exciting, but small changes add up to big ones quite quickly, and you’ll never look back.
Working with a dietitian will help you reevaluate your pantry and perhaps discover foods on the grocery shelves you did not notice before. Yes, you may buy organic juices made from simple ingredients, but that might not be the best option for you, specifically, especially if you have a condition such as pre-diabetes. Nutritionists take a personalized, preventative approach, and stress having healthy foods as staples in your diet and eating other foods in moderation.
Catching up with a dietitian once a month or once a week can help you stay accountable in achieving your health goals. There may be ups and downs during your weight loss journey. You may need the encouragement of a dietitian to stop you from letting a slip become a fall. Say you ate one too many cookies at a birthday party or didn’t get a chance to pack a lunch because you were busy at school; this does not mean you need to give up or will never make it to your goal. Your dietician can remind you not to be too hard on yourself, to simply start over at the next meal and do the best you can to stay on track, rather than letting loose for the rest of the day.
Often, not knowing how to cook is what holds people back from healthy eating. It leads them to eat out more often and spend more money on unhealthy foods. Some dietitians hold community cooking classes to help their clients learn how to cook and gain the knowledge they need to feed themselves or their families better. There are also several meal delivery companies that make it easy to learn how to cook by providing all the ingredients and directions necessary. Your dietician can go over all these options with you and help determine the best foods and cooking styles for you.
This site offers information designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on any information on this site as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or as a substitute for, professional counseling care, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other healthcare professional.