Happy New Year, everyone! I pray that your new year is off to a great start. I’m still working on the blog for the supplements, so please keep sending your requests to me, you might be surprised what you find out about some of your favorites.
Okay, I’ve held it in long enough. Every year brings a new opportunity to improve and do things more/less consistently whether it’s the ever-present goal to “be healthier” or the more specific “lose 25 pounds”, whatever it is and regardless of your readiness to change, I encourage you to seek professional nutritional advice from a registered dietitian (RD) especially regarding your health status.
Please understand, I’m not here to stamp out your fire, but I’d like to arm you with the best information out there especially concerning your health and well-being. So, let’s get into this, shall we?
Top Ten Reasons to Visit a Dietitian
1. You have diabetes, heart problems or high blood pressure. This is a biggie. If your doctor has diagnosed you with any of these diseases, it’s important to really evaluate your current eating and exercise habits. A dietitian in addition to your doctor can help you to make necessary changes to your diet and daily physical activity regime.
2. You are thinking of having or have had gastric bypass surgery. The complexity of weight loss surgery and it’s after effects are often not recognized at first glance. Weight loss surgery is not an instant fix. It’s important to understand the associated risks involved with surgery, recovery and more importantly, the immediate post-operation lifestyle changes.
3. You have digestive problems. Okay, this topic may be a bit embarrassing for some. I mean, not everyone feels very comfortable about talking about gas, constipation, or diarrhea and that’s okay. However, please don’t be afraid to bring these issues to the forefront, there is no such thing as a silly question or concern and often, changing how/what you eat can give you some relief.
4. You’re pregnant or trying to get pregnant. I’ve worked with countless pregnant women who always ask: “What should I eat?”. What a great question! A registered dietitian can support you with making good choices during your pregnancy to reduce your risk of anemia, gestational diabetes, and ways to lower your newborn’s risk for low birth weight, neural tube or spinal cord defects.
5. You need guidance and confidence for breast-feeding your baby. Personally, I believe that breastfeeding your baby is best. Breastmilk is the perfect food for your new little one (I can write a whole separate blog about that), but I digress. A registered dietitian can support you with meeting your breastfeeding goals and make sure that you are getting enough iron, vitamin D, fluoride and B vitamins for you and your little one.
6. Your teenager has issues with food and eating healthfully. Becoming a teenager and a young adult was a bumpy ride, wasn’t it? Did you know that registered dietitians can specialize in certain areas? Seek out an RD that works specifically with clients who are challenged with disordered eating patterns such as anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, or binge eating disorder, etc.
7. You need to gain or lose weight. I think this is the primary reason that people seek RD advice. Weight loss/gain involves a lifestyle change and it’s not an overnight change either. Seek advice of a registered dietitian who can give you practical, small daily changes that eventually become your new lifestyle.
8. You’re caring for an aging parent. Caring for an elderly friend or relative can be challenging. An RD can give guidance specific to food or drug interaction, proper hydration, special diets to manage chronic disease or swallowing difficulties.
9. You want to eat smarter. We are flooded with nutrition (mis)information daily. Please note, there are no such things as “fat burning foods”, fat-free is not always the healthiest option (that’s right, I said it), and portion size is not always equal to serving size. RDs can help you to decipher what that nutrition fact label really means so that you can make smart choices that fit into YOUR lifestyle. We won’t tell you to eat salad three times a day unless that’s what you want to do. Trust your RD, not all of us are control freaks in white coats.
10. You want to improve your performance in sports. Whether it’s sports, weight lifting, or training for the next Iron Man, set yourself up for success by eating appropriately for your physical activity level.
Bottom line: our bodies work the best when they have the right kind of food–good thing for you; RDs specialize in food.