What a Dietitian Does

Updated: Jun 6, 2019

My husband recently went to a dietitian because he wanted to learn more about what he should be eating, serving sizes, portion control, how much of each nutrient he should be getting etc.

This is also in an effort to lose weight. Let me tell you, living with me and the fact that I’ve changed my eating habits and the types of meals I eat, he’s not unhealthy.

Although, I am not with him 100% of the time and he spends much of his work day on the road.

Firstly, let’s just clear up the difference between Dietitians and Nutritionists.

Although they both meet with patients and talk about health in relation to food, Dietitians have a higher qualification. This means that they have a wider scope of practice when it comes to more complex issues such as disease management. This means that they’re qualified to work in more clinical settings such as hospitals, private practice etc. Nutritionists often use their qualification as a skill in other roles such as community development, consulting, and public health officers.

nutritionist women female food health

Considering my husband has no major health concerns currently, as in allergies, diseases, high cholesterol etc. The appointment was very straight forward. She started off talking about calories, saying he eats too many in a day, which probably wasn’t the most positive start. He’s never actually tracked his calories, so I wouldn’t really know one way or the other. He’s the kind of guy that doesn’t eat much all day but then wants to eat all night. He likes a mocha or 2 a day, and doesn’t mind a iced tea, or sweet cold drink at the end of a hot day. So that definitely has an impact.

She showed him the healthy eating chart and gave him tips on what types of foods to eat and when. Eat more of this and less of that, kind of thing.

She basically went through all the information you learnt in school. It turns out that all the basic nutrition principles haven’t changed much.

Australian food guide nutritious healthy diet

All in all, in 60 minutes, plus wait-time and commute, they provided him with everything he already knew. Without much more detail than that. In his words “all the boring stuff”. There was no meal plan or nutrition plan given to him. He was offered brochures but they kind of just talked about the same things again, with paper wastage.

The best part was that he came home and said to me, “they just told me all the things you’ve been saying lately”.

I suppose he went there looking for someone to tell him exactly what to do to lose weight; a proven meal plan of some sort. But unfortunately that’s not how it works, which surprised me because I thought they might recommend a certain diet he should follow. With the dozens of diets that flood our newsfeeds, it’s easy to become overwhelmed and swayed by the next diet fad. I know I did when I was starting out with weight loss. I failed a handful of them and it felt pretty awful.

That’s when I gave up dieting and just simplified, ate healthier and moved my body. Changing each habit bit-by-bit. And it’s worked. Slowly but surely, the 40kgs has come off my body. And I didn’t have to suffer through any more miserable diets and the mental struggle that comes with deprivation. I have a healthier relationship with food, exercise and my body now.

I have a friend who doesn’t eat red meat by choice. She saw a dietitian and they told her she needed to eat red meat. They had no alternatives for her, which she felt was pretty poor service. Surely there are alternatives, so that you’re able to get the nutrients that red meat provides? Anyway, maybe that was a one-off.

Now, if you have specific health problems, a Dietitian may be able to assist you with treatment options when it comes to food. Because food can be medicine, whether you’re unwell or if you want to avoid being unwell. I have a friend treating her Hashimoto's with diet.

But if you want my opinion, just simply eat better, drink better and move your body. Step-by-step you can change your body. But start now. Set realistic goals for yourself that you can reasonably achieve, and I promise you will succeed. If you want help, or know someone who's been struggling with weight loss, I AM YOUR GIRL, contact me.

Love love,

Lizah xo

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