For some people who have made diet and lifestyle changes on their own, they may find that they just aren’t getting results, or unable to maintain them. Undoubtedly, this can be frustrating. Figuring out your personal nutrition plan can actually be more complex and confusing than it seems, especially when there is an overabundance of information or inaccurate information out there. Beyond just calories in and out, factors that can affect their outcomes include what is eaten, the timing of the meals, the variety and balance of the food choices — all of these make a difference. On top of that, you might hear a piece of advice from one friend and you read about more nutrition tips from an article and now you’re expected to determine what to follow? This process can be overwhelming. By teaming up with a registered dietitian, the process of understanding your body’s nutrition needs and figuring out how to achieve them can be simplified and more achievable than you thought previously.
A registered dietitian is specially trained to understand the science behind food and nutrition. They will work with clients to assess their eating routine, evaluate what factors may be hindering from reaching their goals, and guide them with a strategic plan in the right direction to reach their goals. Registered dietitians value science-based information with an emphasis on safe approaches rather than quick, fad diets that are not sustainable. In addition to discussing diet and nutrition, a registered dietitian can help with motivation and accountability, the same way that a personal trainer keeps someone on track in exercise. They are your trusted resource who is also your teammate on your journey to eating healthy. And as with a personal trainer, clients can choose to work with a dietitian based on their schedule, needs and budget. Some may prefer group sessions while others prefer one-on-one sessions. Some prefer monthly check-in’s while others prefer some form of communication weekly or biweekly. A client’s preferences can communicated with the registered dietitian they are working with to ensure their approach is individualized.
When it comes to follow-up’s with a registered dietitian, follow-up’s are essential. They are an opportunity to discuss progress, provide feedback on what’s working or what’s not working, ask questions, prepare for challenging situations, learn about tools and resources, or products, and feel support. People often find that periodical check in’s with a registered dietitian helps remind them of what they’re working towards and get support so they don’t lose sight of their goals or feel like they’re overwhelmed when life gets busy and meal planning seems hardly possible.
If you’re thinking about working with a registered dietitian and need a few more pointers as to why it’s a good idea, I encourage you to check out this link: https://www.eatright.org/food/resources/learn-more-about-rdns/10-reasons-to-visit-an-rdn .
Keep in mind, before choosing to work with someone on your nutrition plan, be sure to check their credentials. Anyone can call him or herself a “nutritionist”, this term is not regulated and does not involve formal requirements or training to complete. Only the credentials of Registered Dietitian or Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RD or RDN, which are both acceptable) are nationally regulated by the Commission on Dietetic Registration Board. To learn more, check out these links: “What is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist” and “Every Registered Dietitian Is a Nutritionist, but Not Every Nutritionist Is a Registered Dietitian”.
If you have any questions, feel free to send a direct email to JulieRDNutrition@gmail.com or leave a comment below.