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On Your Table Blog

February 15, 2021

Things dietitians get asked

Things dietitians get asked

By Elizabeth Magee, LRD, RD

By no means is being a dietitian a crazy career choice. Popular? Not really that either. But I’ve wanted to be a dietitian since I was 15. And I absolutely LOVE being one. I like educating people, but in a super realistic way. When people find out I’m a dietitian, it never fails that there are questions. I shouldn’t say that. Half the time it’s people assuming I’m going to judge them for everything they eat. With me, that’s just not true. The only thing I judge is people eating ketchup. I have a strong hate for it. Not because of its nutritional value. I am just repulsed, and I won’t even touch a bottle of it.

Nutrition is a tough area. It’s broad, everyone has different needs and goals and it is an ever-changing topic. Remember when eggs were bad? Well they aren’t currently. You can eat eggs again!!

Frequently I’m asked how to lose weight. People say they’ve tried everything, nothing’s working. This isn’t just a question I can answer in a quick conversation because now I want food logs.  Yes, food logs. I love looking at these. I’m a geek and I think they are fascinating. Also, they give me ideas for snacks and meals.

The funny thing about food logs is that so often, they aren’t accurate. People make things up, completely lie, or “forget” them. I get all of this. I used to be asked to keep food logs when I was a teenager meeting with my dietitian (sidenote, she is the reason I wanted to do this. She is the best.) I would make up my food logs while sitting in the lobby waiting for my appointment. I knew what to put, I knew what Barb was looking for. I was so good at it – oh and I’ve come clean to her that I did this, so don’t tattle. I confessed years ago. It was so hard for Barb to find nutrition gaps when my food logs looked so perfect. Fail, on my end.

Food logs are great when you’re being honest, and that’s hard to do sometimes. We feel judged and who wants to write down that they had a bag of peanut M&Ms with a Mountain Dew at 8 in the morning? Dietitians aren’t here to judge you, we’re here to help and guide you. The patient is the one with the tough job, left having to decide what they are going to do to make changes. No one is at the dietitian because they just were given a clean bill of health; something is wrong and you or your provider want you to be educated and hopefully make changes.

I can only speak for myself, but I’ve never scolded a patient for eating habits or food choices. I work hard to make changes around that person’s schedule, family situation, likes and dislikes. Not many sit down in the dietitian’s office filled with excitement, but you should!! Dietitians are a great resource, a good person to have on your team.

If you’ve been told to meet with one, make the appointment!! We’re not here to judge you. We’re truly here to help you!! I promise.

Elizabeth Magee is a registered licensed dietitian and loves chips and salsa! Elizabeth Magee is a licensed registered dietitian. Her posts appear monthly on OYT.

Other popular posts from Elizabeth:

What is sugar alcohol?

A dietitian talks about body image