Nutrition Counseling With Your Registered Dietitian: It may be different than you expect!

22 01 2015

What do you think of when you hear the term Registered Dietitian? Do you automatically think of the “food police”, or a skinny, Cathy head shotextremist that will demonize all of the foods you hold dear, and leave you crying in your last bowl of ice cream? Boy, I sure hope not. Registered Dietitians are, after all, human. We enjoy food as much as everyone else. We just happen to be experts in the science of food and nutrition, and how what we eat/drink affect the very complex processes of the human body. But there is something else. We also understand that food is not all about macro and micro nutrients, dos and don’ts. Food and eating are also about choice, taste, friendship, family, love, tradition, spirituality, comfort, and even accessibility, sustainability, and safety. As RDs, we take all of these factors into consideration when we help YOU make the best choices for YOU. All of these things matter when guiding people to make behavior changes that will help maintain a healthy weight, or prevent and treat chronic disease.

So, what should you expect?

Expect evidence based information. The recommendations that we make are based on extensive evidence stemming from quality research. The latest diet fads and marketing schemes are not our “cup of tea”. However, we will be happy to honestly answer questions about them, and explore pros and cons.

Expect personally tailored advice. Nutrition is not “one size fits all”. Expect to talk about your history, habits, schedule, food preferences, meal planning, cooking, and cultural influences. This way we can help you prioritize how to fit healthy eating into your personal life.

Expect realistic, practical approaches to behavior change. Doing a complete overhaul of everything you do and eat is not realistic or sustainable. Expect to collaborate with your RD in discussing small changes that are manageable and achievable in your life, right now.

Do not expect a strict diet with lots of menus. Intensive, restrictive diets are difficult to follow and are unsustainable for the long haul. Unless you have a specific medical condition that necessitates a strict diet, don’t come looking for one.

Don’t expect us to forbid or eliminate foods from your diet unless you have a serious medical condition that warrants it (such as gluten with celiac disease). Would we like you to stop drinking soda? Yes. Can we expect that you will never have one again? No. It’s about making wise choices, and finding balance.

Don’t expect us to recommend the latest nutritional supplement or weight loss product. With the exception of using supplements to treat deficiencies or specific medical conditions, they are usually expensive and unnecessary. Expect us to talk to you about real food.

Don’t expect us to tell you to go out and buy the latest “super food” (I really dislike that word!) or pricy ingredients. You can certainly eat healthfully without being “fancy” and breaking your budget. If budget is a concern, expect us to help you choose and prepare healthy foods that fit your bottom line.

Remember, we are here to help you find your own path to success! We want you to eat well, live well, and enjoy life!

For more information on what a Registered Dietitian can do for you, go to:

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