As if living a full, healthy life wasn’t difficult enough. But with every passing year, it seems like there’s a new food item that could give us cancer, a new piece of technology to get hooked on, and a new health scare just waiting to take us down. Yep, modern life is hard. And while there’s no such thing as a perfect physique, maintaining a healthy, nutritious diet is crucial in the quest to look and feel fit and alive. One way to do this is by registering to see an expert. With that in mind, here are 5 IDEAL considerations when visiting a dietician.

CHECK THE QUALIFICATIONS

The first step is to do your research and make sure that the professional is not a nutritionist, but a dietician. Any person can market themselves as a nutritionist, but dieticians have to take a national exam to get certified for the RD (Registered Dietitian) degree. Aside from that, in terms of preparation you ought to bank for the session taking at least 45 minutes to an hour.

BE OPEN

If this is your first session, then you can expect a lot of questions, not only from the dietitian’s side but from your end too. In case you have a very particular dietary need, such as being vegan or having Celiac Disease, you have to let your dietitian know about it as a matter of priority. It’s crucial to share important information early on about your concerns for nutrition and also your health so that the dietician can get a full picture of your body condition. Don’t be afraid to ask your dietitian whether he or she has expertise in the related field or not; this is a two-way relationship and these things matter.

Should you live in the capital, then dietitian in London services are plentiful, but in a more rural setting it might be more difficult to find a specialist. If your doctor or physician has already referred you for a specific medical condition, then you should let the dietitian look at your lab results, medications as well as other essential conditions. This will help the dietician to suggest in the right manner, without affecting your digestion and the ability to absorb nutrients. A dietitian can aid you with all kinds of food sensitivities, nutrition, allergies, diabetes, high blood pressure, any typical heart conditions and high cholesterol.

KEEP A FOOD LOG

Before your first appointment, your dietician will let you know about keeping a food log. This is an imperative part of the process and no excuses. You’ll need to keep a full record of what you eat all-day, every day. The log should have a record of at least three days prior to your appointment, while a week’s time is ideal, due to the larger sample size. The food log should also include your time of eating and also how you felt about eating the food as well. This will help the dietitian to identify any behavioural or emotional problems while you eat. 

STICK TO THE PLAN

After your food log has been reviewed by the dietitian, it’s time that both of you should start working on a specific meal plan; a collective effort for best results. If you want a routine that is structured, then the dietitian will provide you with a plan that will work perfectly within your personal, medical and also cultural dietary requirements. But, if you want a free meal approach, the plan will likely take a different shape. Suggestions will be given on how to improve your diet, including creating day-to-day goals for eating vegetables and fruits, increasing whole grain intake, reducing the intake of soda or soft drinks and alcohol.

FOLLOW UPS

Visiting your dietitian more than once or making multiple appointments will help them review your progress and offer additional advice where necessary. This includes knowing whether you’ve been following your nutritional goals or meal plan and also interpreting whether the plan is working in tandem with your daily lifestyle. If the plan is working out for you, then your medical condition should also improve too. Over time, your dietitian will continue to work alongside you and therefore educate you more on getting proper nutrition. The process will continue till you’re confident on your own terms and can make fantastic dietary choices without any dietitian’s assistance. 

 

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Rachel is the beauty and fashion director at IDEAL. She loves trying new products and is an avid fan of London's fashion, from the high end to the high street.