10 questions to ask your registered dietitian

Healthy eating for a healthy life

You’ve taken that first big step: you’ve decided to see a dietitian.

The next step is to figure out how you can make the most out of your visit. Getting the results you want can be all about asking the right questions when you arrive for that first appointment.

Your first appointment — the initial consultation — is where your dietitian will collect the background information they need to assess your dietary needs. Without this step, they would not be able to accurately design a plan to help you meet your health goals.

After the initial appointment, your dietitian will likely want to book a number of shorter follow-ups to check in on your progress and make adjustments over the following months.

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    What is a registered dietitian?

    A registered dietitian is a provincially-regulated healthcare professional, and is able to accurately assess, diagnose and treat nutrition-related issues. Unlike the title “nutritionist”, “registered dietitian'' is a legally protected title, and practitioners are held accountable by the College of Dietitians of Ontario. Other titles such as registered holistic nutritionist or certified nutritional practitioner are not regulated, and therefore are not held to the same rigorous standards.

    You may not realise that a dietitian’s area of expertise extends far beyond weight loss. They can help if you’re looking to manage a health issue, gain weight, or get an expert’s point of view on finding — and sticking with — the ideal diet for you. Your dietitian will help clarify the scientific elements of nutrition in a way anyone can easily understand, so you can achieve your goals.

    Once you’re ready to book a visit, you can also begin thinking about what to ask your dietitian. Together, you will develop a personalised plan to reach your goals that works with your activities, lifestyle and body type. While thinking about what you’d like to accomplish with your dietitian, consider whether your goals include:

    • Weight loss
    • Weight gain
    • Maintaining a healthy diet
    • Prenatal and pediatric nutrition
    • Managing chronic health issues
    • Managing vitamin and mineral deficiencies
    • Staying healthy on diets like keto, vegetarian, vegan, pescetarian, etc.

    Questions to ask your dietitian

    There is often a significant difference between what you want to weigh and what you should weigh. It depends on your height, body type, and pre-existing conditions like eating disorders, diabetes or pregnancy. You could be shooting for a number that’s too small, which could result in malnutrition. Or, your desired weight could still put you in the overweight range. You should also ask how quickly you should be losing or gaining weight, because extreme fluctuations come with potentially severe health risks. A healthy goal is usually gaining or losing between one and two pounds per week.

    Ready to get started? We’re here to help

    Whether you’ve just booked your consultation or you’ve been regularly visiting a dietitian, it’s never too late to start asking the right questions. Remember to ask questions that apply specifically to you and try not to over-generalize.

    Everyone’s nutritional journey is different, and a dietitian’s job is to help you figure out what that means for you and your goals — to empower you to embrace food, to understand it, and to enjoy it.

    Contact us today to schedule an appointment