6 things didn’t know about a Dietitian’s life!
If you ask someone how he believes that a dietitian’s life is, he would tell you that dietitians are the perfect eaters,that they exercise 60 minutes- seven days a week and you would never catch them eating sweets.
Of course, I’d like to believe that the majority of dietitians across the world, do in fact eat better than the average people. But the secret is, we are humans, and we have our own ups and downs. That’s actually what makes us great agents of change in others.
So, let’s take a look at what you might NOT know about dietitians:
1. We don’t count calories or “go on a diet”
We never measure our food or count calories. Also, we probably don’t even know our current weight. Personally, I manage to eat nutrient dense food every day. This means that I include foods that are actually nourishing me and improve my health. However, I do enjoy desserts or other less nutrient dense foods every now and then.
Most dietitians might notice weight change from their pants (too tight or too loose) rather than through a weight scale.
2. We DO know the struggles
Many people falsely believe that dietitians are all super skinny and could not possibly understand the struggles and challenges associated with weight loss. In fact, many dietitians went into this field because they struggled with weight and diet at some point in their lives.
3. Not all of dietitians’ kids love vegetables
Yes, dietitians have the knowledge on how to make your kids have better eating habits, but you can’t always force a 4-year-old to fill half of their plate with veggies or eat the fatty fish high in omega-3. Dietitian parents struggle just like any other parent, but they keep trying to find ways to make fruits, vegetables and other nutritious foods appealing to their kids.
4. We love pizza…and pasta… and fries
We’re not all sitting around chomping on carrots and cucumbers, we do allow ourselves the occasional treat. The difference is, we usually save these treats for the real stuff. I love pancakes for example, but instead of satisfying my craving every day with high protein pancakes with fresh fruits and sugar-free sauce, I’ll head to my local brunch-restaurant and get the real deal twice a month. I eat it slowly. I enjoy it. And I don’t feel guilty afterwards. Dietitians don’t starve themselves or skip meals. We know that doing so is usually a recipe for weight gain, not weight loss.
5. We don’t judge people based on their weight or their eating habits
During our first consultation, I always ask my patients to tell me what they have been eating in the last 24 hours…and there I get it: The look when a patient is about to tell me that they’ve eaten something they feel they shouldn’t have. It’s the same look my dog gives me when she’s eaten the heel off of my favourite shoe. Most of the time, before the food is announced, it’s preceded with “It’s not usually like this, don’t get mad…” Guess what, I’m not mad, and I’m not here to judge you.
I’m glad that you came to me in the first place, that you were honest in order to get help and that you recognize a need to change your lifestyle and diet. Changing the way we eat is probably one of the hardest habits to change. The reason is that there are so many factors affecting both our weight and why we choose to eat certain foods, like genetics, stress, emotions and even events stemming from our childhood. Any health professional that tells you “it’s easy” to change your way of eating most likely never made that change themselves.
6. We value physical activity
It may not have always been a full 60 minutes, and we may not have lost our breath, but we did it. We moved. While food is our focus, we know that stress management and physical activity are vital aspects of keeping us on track.
Clinical Dietitian- Nutritionist, MSc