• Hannah Stewart, Undergraduate Dietetic Intern

What to Expect at Your First Visit


Does the idea of meeting with a dietitian scare you? Maybe the thought of talking openly with anyone (let alone someone who studied nutrition for 5+ years) about your relationship with food is intimidating. Oftentimes, people assume that we'll make them swear off all the foods they love or start counting calories. Let's be honest - who wouldn't want to avoid that?

Here's some insight into how we actually approach our first visit with a client:

We're Not Going To Judge You

It's common to assume that dietitians eat "perfectly", snacking on plenty of greens and micromanaging every calorie that enters their body. While we can't speak for all dietitians, please know that we eat all foods, and therefore won't be shocked by whatever your diet consists of. Health is about way more than calories or weight - it's about taking care of your body physically but also about how your habits impact your mental and emotional health, and we value all of these aspects of health. We see clients in all body types, life stages, nutrition needs, struggles, and victories. While we understand each client is unique, if you're ashamed about a certain eating habit, we've seen it before and we're not judging you. We want to meet you wherever you're at and help you live a healthier life, and we know that guilt-tripping and shaming is not productive for anyone.

We'll Ask A Lot Of Questions

We believe that you are the expert of your body. We also believe that you are the person who can give us the most valuable information to help you. So, at your first visit, we'll try to gather all the information we need to develop some realistic goals along with you. Rather than cranking out metabolic calculations and slapping down a pre-made meal plan as soon as you walk through the door, we're going to want to hear all about your life. Depending on your goals, we'll ask you about your relationship with food growing up, what a typical day looks like for you in terms of eating and exercise, what your stress and sleep levels are like, and what symptoms you've been experiencing. Then, through hearing about your life, we can help you work to incorporate our nutrition knowledge into your specific situation.

We'll Get a Game Plan In Place Together

At their first visit, many clients come to us unsure of where to start. After we've listened and understood what your goals are as well as what your barriers are, we'll work with you to establish a realistic plan. In general, we do our best to focus on exactly what you want to work on. If you want to work on meal planning, we'll help you develop skills to make that happen. If you want to figure out what is triggering your GI issues, we'll walk you through a plan for identifying your triggers. While we won't help you do something we know isn't research-based or is unethical, we will prioritize whatever it is that you want to work on. After all, you're the one who knows your body best.

#lifestyle #nutrition #goalsetting

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