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Experience with registered dieticians?

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Old 07-02-2010, 08:36 AM   #1
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Question Experience with registered dieticians?

Hello all,

I spoke indepth with my trainer about nutrition. Basically, I've been dieting and working out for about 9 months now with very few results.

The workouts have been fairly consistent (with the exception of a surgery and periods of travel which cannot be avoided). I'm convinced I eat too many calories (I try to stay below 1500 per day).

My trainer suggested I work with a registered dietician and I'm looking into it. I just wondered if anyone here has done this and if it was helpful at all? Any advice? What I should ask or do to prepare for an appointment?

Thanks so much for looking in. I look forward to any information you might have to share.
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Old 07-02-2010, 08:46 AM   #2
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What types of workouts have been doing? Do you wear a HRM to see how many calories you're burning? Maybe you aren't eating enough?
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Old 07-02-2010, 09:06 AM   #3
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Hi rritchey.

I work out with my trainer for 30 minutes at at time and either do 30 or 60 minutes of cardio afterwards. So, I work out for 60-90 minutes an average of 2-3 times per week. I also try to bike (usually around 14 miles at a time) when I can and walk extra when I can.

As for my diet, it's not perfect, but I have been slowly moving to fewer processed foods and trying to eat smaller portions. I don't follow any plan really, other than calorie counting. I may be eating too many carbs, but I have tried to stay around 1500 per day. I can't imagine I'd need to eat more.

Anyway, despite my best efforts, my success has been very limited. I *do* see success. I am down a few pounds and must have more muscle than I did a year ago. But, I want to figure out what I'm doing wrong so that I have better results.

Something isn't quite right.... I just don't know what it is.
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Old 07-02-2010, 09:29 AM   #4
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Finding a good nutritionist can be difficult. In the Philadelphia area, there is a scarcity of dieticians.

When you go see a nutritionist, you will undergo a thorough assessment about your health, eating, family history, medications, etc. It would be helpful to bring in a 3 day food log because they will likely ask you about that. Each nutritionist will have their own philosophy, which may or may not match yours.
I have never met a nutritionist who was interested in calorie counting, so if that's your plan, you might be frustrated.

I did find a decent nutritionist who designed a food plan and gave me a booklet so I could check off my servings of protein, veggies, fruit, etc. The plan wasn't based on calorie counting, but portion control and the food pyramid. She was a good listener and taught me some great tips about healthy eating.

I didn't last long with the nutritionist. It didn't seem worth the money or the time.
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Old 07-02-2010, 09:34 AM   #5
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I've been meeting with a sports dietitian monthly for about seven months and have had good results. She actually put together a menu for me and I follow it pretty much to the letter. So, maybe try looking for someone who specializes in sports nutrition? That way he or she will be able to help you think about how to fuel your workouts as well as lose weight.
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Old 07-02-2010, 09:47 AM   #6
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When I was in eating disorder treatment, I worked with different nutritionists. It was standard to have a nutritionist.

Finding a good nutritionist can be difficult. And frustrating. I had to shop around quite a bit.

The first session is pretty standard. They do a thorough assessment like a therapist would do except they ask a lot of eating questions. Bringing in a 3 day food journal would make the process much easier because they will ask you what you eat normally.

The nutritionists I have encountered are NOT into calorie counting. They count servings of foods like protein, veggies, fruit, grains, fat. And to be honest, I think 3FC has more collective knowledge than one dietician. So I suspect you might be disappointed by their lack of depth.

I found a nutritionist I liked, but it wasn't cheap. I think I paid $90 per session. She was good, but it wasn't worth the time or the money and I eventually dropped out.
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Old 07-02-2010, 09:49 AM   #7
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Working together with a dietitian was always helpful for me -- as long as I was honest with her, followed her guidelines, and let her know my preferences. We tailored a plan for me around that and it was really beneficial.

The cool thing about dietitians is that they will take a comprehensive assessment of your body and its caloric needs. Mine worked out my body fat% and my resting metabolic rate to the decimal point. That's way better than inputting height and weight figures into a calculator on the internet and getting a generic metabolic rate assessment.

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Old 07-02-2010, 09:57 AM   #8
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Dietitians and nutritionists are different. One difference is that dietitians are required to have bachelor's degrees and be licensed, nutritionists are not required to have any specific background. A person could call herself a nutritionist without any qualifications. That's not to say every dietitian is better than every nutritionist, however.
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Old 07-18-2010, 12:40 AM   #9
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I know this thread is a couple weeks old but here's my input:

I went to the dietitian at my family doctor and did not have a good experience with her. She was condescending and would say things like "You think *that's* healthy?!" and laugh to herself for a minute. Uh, thanks for the help?

At the time I weighed about 10 pounds less than I do now, so all she would talk about is my weight. She had seen my dad a few weeks before me, and he is (was?) morbidly obese, so as soon as I walked in she acted like "Oh, another one of *this* family that is fat." I had blood work done and she had my charts and numbers and had a very difficult time finding anything in my numbers other than my weight that was bad. This made me pleasantly surprised, as in oh good, I don't have a huge medical issue right now, I just need to lose weight before I get one. So she harped on the weight and didn't really explain much to me. Finally she was "done" with me and I said point blank, "Sooo...what are you wanting me to do?" And as she went to mess with something else she goes "Oh, just read the South Beach Diet book."

And I did, and was successful (until I gained it back), and still incorporate South Beach philosophy in my calorie counting. Anyway, that's just another person's two cents.
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Old 08-24-2010, 12:54 PM   #10
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I really think there are good ones and bad ones, just like in every field. If you are going to use a dietitian or nutritionist, i agree with the idea to always ask about credintials. If they dont have a degree in nutrition, ask where their certification came from. Some of those cert companies online are balogna. You pay them several hundred dollars, you get a cert. As long as yours knows what she or he is talking about, they can be very helpful.
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Old 09-09-2010, 09:34 PM   #11
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I'm having a good experience with the dietitian in my doctor's office. You may want to ask your doctor to recommend one if there isn't one in the practice. Your insurance may pay - I'm just paying my co-pay.

Because she's in my doctor's office, she has all my medical records, blood test results, etc. Part of the program is providing bioimpedance analysis (portion of body that's muscle, bone, fat, water, whether the water is inside or outside of the cells) and how that's changing based on food and exercise. She's also working with dietary supplements based on my blood tests.

The diet part is more turnkey. As other people have said, it's based on servings. However, there's an underlying calorie component. Many portion sizes are about equal to 100 calories. The plan includes items daily that other plans allow but don't require, such as legumes. And it's based on 5-6 smaller meals a day.
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Old 09-10-2010, 07:02 AM   #12
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I agree with what others said - you have to shop around. It would be a good idea to journalize everything you eat for a few days to bring with you, and let them know when you make the appointment that you have done that. That way, they'll schedule enough time to go through it (instead of just a 'meet and greet' first meeting). My experience with a dietician was bad (e.g. why would you eat beans at breakfast? Um... because I like them?). She also said I would have to choose between weight loss and a hypoglycemic diet, that I couldn't do both.

That being said, my current doctor has suggested sending me to the weight loss clinic at the hospital once I've finished my radiation treatment, and I'm looking forward to that.
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Old 09-20-2010, 12:18 AM   #13
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I'm hypoglycemic, too. I started following the Eat to Live diet. Most of my problems with hypoglycemia were gone after the first week. It is awesome! And I lost weight, to boot. What's funny to me is that I was looking for a diet to improve my health (and my yo-yo-ing blood sugar) rather than my weight. I really didn't think anything would budge the pounds. I was pleasantly surprised.
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