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I decided to move away from the healthy recipes and great tips for one day and be honest and real about life as a dietitian. Below are a few of the things that we have to deal with daily:

  1. The first thing most people ask me when we meet is; can I give them a meal plan for weight loss / weight gain or for muscle building or what is my opinion about banting. Make an appointment, just like everyone else – this is how I earn a living. It is hard enough having to compete with various weight loss products on the market that publish their amazing ‘results’ in magazines as part of the company’s marketing campaigns.
  2. This point goes hand in hand with the first point – we follow an individualized approach – one size does NOT fit all! So we need about an hour to do a complete assessment in a quiet and controlled environment where we guide the answers. I do not have a generic copy of information and meal plans that I hand out left, right and center to everyone I see.
  3. Yes, I do like food, cooking, baking and chocolates – stop staring at me when I pay for a chocolate (or something else that you consider to be ‘unhealthy’). I am a human being, just because I am a dietitian does not mean that my brain is wired differently than yours – Doctors become sick, people in a financial career can have debt, etc.
  4. I also have bad days – days where I crave chocolate or go to restaurants and have the chips instead of salad. I also order dessert every now and again. This will only be a problem if I do it every day and not only on special occasions.
  5. I have struggled with my weight – as a student and before I went to study to become a dietitian. I know how it feels and what you are going through. This was not always easy and I did not always have all the right answers.
  6. I am not a big fan of exercise. I have basic rules in my daily life – I always climb the stairs, I carry my shopping bags and shopping basket instead of pushing a trolley, I park further from a shopping mall’s entrance, I always walk at a brisk pace, etc. But I know exercise is good for my overall health – so I try to increase my weekly exercise levels by doing fun activities like hiking or going to the gym and alternating between strength and cardio – doing Pilates, zumba or yoga.
  7. I have spent countless hours reading up on the ‘latest’ research, I spent most of my nights studying (and not sleeping), I have spent days on my feet running around in hospitals and that is why I am qualified to give nutritional advice. I will not ask a banker for medical advice or a teacher to build my home or even a cashier to give me financial advice – then why are there still so many people out there that believe celebrities and your average person on Facebook / twitter, etc. when they make outrageous nutritional claims.

Being a dietitian is a career, a passion and a way of earning a living. We might not be celebrities or well-known authors, but when it comes to nutrition – trust your dietitian!

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