Monday, May 4, 2015

Dieticians aren't the enemy

Hey guys!  I've asked a friend of mine, Renee who is a registered dietitian to give her take on her profession and what you should expect should you decide you need the assistance of one.

Hello everyone!  One of my biggest pet peeves as a dietitian is hearing one of these phrases, “There’s the lady that is going to tell me what I can’t have” or “she is going to take away all of the stuff I love”.   I think dietitians have gotten a bad rep.  We are often portrayed as Nutrition Nazi’s and I suppose in all fairness, some of us are.  I don’t know about you, but I would be a bit worried about what I was getting myself into if I opened the door to the dietitian’s office and she looked like she might blow away with a small gust of wind.  But, let me set the record straight.  Dietitians are real people too.  And one of the coolest things about being a dietitian is getting to tell you what you should eat. 

When I decided to become a dietitian, it wasn't something I stepped into lightly.  I grew up eating my way through life.  Food was my shelter….my friend….my comfort.  Food helped me through some really tough times.  And there was a certain peace in not knowing about nutrition (if you don’t know, you can’t blame yourself, right?).  But there it was, right before me.   No matter what I told myself, how I tried to delude myself or convince myself that I was eating healthy, the scale did not lie.  So, I did what every rational person would do.  I decided to become a dietitian and learn all I could about food so I could conquer it (that’s normal, right??....okay, so did I mention that most dietitians are type A?)

So, I learned.  I learned all about vitamins.  And minerals.  And carbs.  And diseases.  And calories.  And I jumped out into the world, armed and ready to tell anyone and everyone what they shouldn't be doing.   Needless to say, that didn't work well (refer back to the first sentence).  I learned very quickly that there is no “one size fits all” in the nutrition world.  What works for one, might not work for another.  And that’s okay.  Let me say that again….THAT’S OK!!!!  If you are the type of person that needs to write everything down, do it.  Track everything.  If the thought of writing everything down seems daunting, don’t.  If you love meat, but have a friend that swears by a vegetarian diet, don’t follow her lead just because she has had success.  Don’t put yourself in a position to fail.  Do what works for YOU. 

Food had kinda gotten a bad rep too.  But food is not bad.  If you are looking at food as the enemy, you’re doing something wrong.  Food is fuel.  You need fuel.  But you need the proper fuel.  Eat a balanced diet, choose food from each food group, avoid processed foods, avoid fried foods, eat plenty of fruits and veggies, limit salt…these are all things you've probably heard before.  But hearing these guidelines, and understanding how to put them into practice, can be two very different things.  That’s where a dietitian comes into play.  A dietitian can work with you individually to give you specific guidelines.  A dietitian will discuss your current eating habits and help you tweak them in a way that will work for you.  A dietitian will hold you accountable and give you feedback.  And probably most important, a dietitian will be there to cheer you on. So give us a shot!

Here are some questions you may want to ask your dietitian.

Questions you might ask your dietitian:

1-How does my current diet measure up?  (After you've given a brief food history)

2-How many calories would you suggest for weight loss/gain/maintenance?

3-Are there any foods that I should limit because of my disease? (Diabetes/hypertension/high cholesterol)
4-Are my supplements safe?

5-Are there any foods that I need to watch while taking my medications?

6-What's an ideal weight for me?

7-Do you have any sample menus?

8-Do I have to give up my favorite foods?  How can I incorporate them in moderation?

Food is not the enemy ....and neither am I.  I promise!

Thanks so much Renee for your insight!

Have you ever been to a dietitian?  Have you thought about going to one?

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1 comment:

  1. I have thought about it - but my insurance doesn't cover that and I'm not even sure how to go about finding one in my town. I know my current diet doesn't really measure up, and getting some ways to tweak it and some sample menus/recipes would be really helpful.


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