Why See a Dietitian Nutritionist – What Can They Help Me With?
Dietitians can help with a number of things, including:
Will I Get Put on a Diet or Be Told to Lose Weight?
We believe in an approach to health called Health at Every Size (HAES, pronounced “hays”) that focuses on promoting health in weight-neutral ways. In other words, we don’t focus on losing weight and we never recommend diets for clients.
We know that can sound strange or even wrong to people who believe they need to lose weight to improve their health because our culture is so focused on weight in regards to health.
However, we’ve adopted HAES as our philosophy because research has shown that weight loss is not necessary for improving health and that for most people, weight loss is not sustainable long-term anyway. Research suggests that 80 – 95% of people will gain the weight back, plus some. It also shows that weight cycling (i.e., repeated cycles of losing and gaining weight) is linked to adverse health outcomes. Additionally, dieting often leads to disordered eating and even clinical eating disorders.
Instead of dieting or trying to lose weight, we focus on helping you learn to eat in a way that honors your unique food preferences and nutritional needs so you can actually ENJOY eating while feeling adequately nourished. This is based on an eating philosophy called intuitive eating that is based in recognizing and honoring your body’s cues related to food and movement. Intuitive eating rejects the idea that there are “good” and “bad” foods and suggests that all foods (except ones you’re allergic to of course!) can fit into your life.
Health is about more than just weight or what you eat. Some of our health isn’t even even in our control. But by focusing on health-promoting behaviors (like eating a variety of foods, getting enough sleep, managing stress, etc.) instead of focusing on weight loss, you can maximize your physical health without dieting.
Eating Disorder Treatment with a Dietitian
The goal of working with a dietitian for eating disorder treatment is to:
Dietitians do this by providing important nutrition education to dispel myths and misunderstandings about nutrition that many eating disorder clients have (in large part, thanks to diet and wellness culture!). They can also implement structured meal plans when needed to make sure clients are getting enough calories as well as necessary vitamins and minerals.
As clients learn and move toward a more intuitive approach to meals and snacks, our dietitians teach them intuitive eating methods and help clients practice them.