What to Expect When Meeting Your Dietitian

Working with a registered dietitian is one of the best self-care steps you can take, and I approach every client meeting with that in mind. Food is personal. And your relationship with your dietitian should be personal, too. I like to schedule consultations in person whenever possible. So…how will it work? Here’s a little bit about what you can expect when meeting me:

We’ll begin our work together with a 90-120 minute consultation. This is a time when we can get to  know each other a little bit. I’ll ask you detailed questions about your current diet and exercise routine, your health history, any allergies or health conditions you may have, and the lifestyle you lead. We’ll talk about your likes, dislikes, your thoughts about food and your body, your sleep habits, your job, and how you typically respond to stress.

This part of the consultation will help me get a clear picture of your relationship with food and your body. The more I know about you, the better able I’ll be to support you in reaching your health goals. We’ll discuss your vision for your healthiest future and then map out a couple of steps to get you started toward your goals. You’ll also have the opportunity to ask me questions about how I work and what you can expect moving forward.

Good question. There are actually a couple of things you can do prior to our first appointment to help jumpstart our work together.

  • Start a food diary
    A week or so before our initial consultation, grab a small notebook or open up a notes app on your phone and start writing down everything you eat each day. Remember, I’m not here to judge your diet or your lifestyle, and you don’t have to make any dietary changes before you start recording your foods. In fact, it’s better if you don’t. If you have pizza for breakfast three days in a row, write that down. Knowing what you love to eat will help me create a food plan for you that you enjoy following. Yes, part of my job is to help you learn to enjoy healthy foods, but I won’t banish the foods you love.
  • Make a list of all your medications, vitamins, and supplements
    Be sure to include how often you take them, what the dosage is, and any other pertinent information.  I have a thorough understanding of food science, and knowing the medications and supplements you’re taking will allow me to customize your diet in a way that supports rather than interferes with your overall health plan.

If you have these things ready to go when we meet the first time,  it will allow us to jump right in on the next steps toward your health goals.

One of the benefits of working with me is that as a registered dietitian, my in-depth nutritional knowledge gives me a clear understanding of the impact food can have on your health. After our first appointment, I’ll create a personalized plan for improving your overall health. All my recommendations will be based on the best available, up-to-date nutrition research. I do not subscribe to any particular food diet, but if you have your heart set on one, I will be able to help make adjustments if necessary to maximize the nutrients you receive from it.

Remember, my goal for you is not to follow a strict, regimented set of rules but to cultivate a healthy relationship with food so you can use it to nourish your best life. Depending on your goals and health concerns, your personalized plan may include any combination of the following:

  • Realistic, achievable nutrition goals
  • A structured meal plan, including recipes that meet your cultural and dietary needs
  • Practical strategies for improving eating behaviors and habits
  • Dietary education and information about your medical condition (if necessary)
  • Resources for more recipes and/or educational information

During your subsequent 30-60 minute follow-up appointments, we’ll assess your progress, work through any challenges you may be struggling with, and adjust your plan as needed.

This one’s a little tricky, as every person is different, and because you could have any number of reasons to work me, there are countless factors that could account for how many sessions you’ll need to reach your health goals.

One thing I can say for sure, though, is that there are so many ways we can work together, depending on your readiness and how much support you want moving forward.  Some of my clients like to work with me for a few months and then go off on their own until they’re ready to address a new health condition or tackle a new challenge. Others return for weekly sessions because they like to have consistent accountability and support to help them remain committed to major lifestyle changes.

Whatever direction you’d like to go in, we can create a plan for working together that meets your individual needs.

Ready to be your healthiest you?

Schedule a call with me today!