If you're considering working with a dietitian but are feeling unsure or nervous about what it's like, you've come to the right place! Today, we'll focus on what it's like to work with a dietitian so you can feel stress-free and prepared for your first visit with your dietitian!
Finding the right dietitian
If you've never worked with a dietitian (or had a bad experience with one in the past), you may be feeling nervous about your first session. But before we get there, it's important to find the right dietitian for you. Food can be a very personal and emotional subject, and it's important to find a dietitian who makes you feel safe, heard, and understood.
Find a dietitian who aligns with your food values; if you're looking for a weight-neutral dietitian, steer clear of a weight loss practice. If you're looking for a dietitian who specializes in kidney disease, ask about their experience! If you find calorie counting frustrating and triggering, perhaps a weight-neutral dietitian is right for you. It's important that you feel confident in your dietitian's skillset, and equally important that you find a dietitian who listens without judgment, meets you where you're at, and prioritizes what matters to you.
What to expect at your first dietitian appointment
So you've found your dietitian soulmate (woo hoo!) and your first appointment is around the corner. How exciting! Perhaps you're excited, but a little bit nervous about the unknown, wondering: What will my dietitian ask me? Will I have to share my eating habits? Will my dietitian judge me? What happens at the first nutrition appointment? The right dietitian will allow you to share at a pace that feels good for you and will meet you without judgment. After all, the food you eat doesn't dictate your morality!
What questions will a dietitian ask?
In my initial nutrition sessions, I like to take about 45-60 minutes to get to know my clients!
I'll ask you about:
Your nutrition goals
Your past successes & challenges
Your relationship with food and with your body
How you like to move your body (it's okay if you're not doing much movement!)
What you eat on a typical day (no judgment here!)
I also give my clients permission to "pass" on any questions they're not ready to answer. This session (and all sessions!) is all about you, and my goal is to empower you in achieving your nutrition goals! I'll usually conclude our first session by giving a broad overview about our next steps and setting some initial goals with you. My clients leave our first session excited, relieved, and have shared with me that they wish they'd have started years ago!
How do I prepare for my first dietitian session?
Your dietitian may request that you bring bloodwork, a medication list, or other information to your first session, depending upon the reason for your first visit. Otherwise, just show up prepared to share your nutrition goals, challenges, and whatever else is important to you.
I generally encourage my clients to show up to our virtual nutrition sessions in their favorite cozy outfit with a cup of tea or coffee if that's your thing! Pets are always welcome on camera, too, if they help you to feel more relaxed! Whatever makes you feel most comfortable is welcome!
Is seeing a dietitian worth it?
I may be biased here, but I like to think of nutrition as a vital part of our day-to-day, and a way to support our physical and mental health. Nutrition is a form of self-care, a way to support your busy life, a way to improve or maintain your overall health. Nutrition is a way to keep you out there enjoying life to the fullest! Working with a dietitian can help you to make the most of your nutrition without sacrificing the joy of eating!
If you've been considering working with a dietitian, it's absolutely worthwhile. Dietitians can help you to improve your bloodwork, your relationship with your body, your ability to plan and create easy, nourishing meals, and to reduce the guilt of enjoying a delicious ice cream cone on a hot summer day!