If you aren’t guaranteeing me weight loss, why would I want to work with you?
Such a loaded, wonderful question I recently received (I am paraphrasing it a bit)! It inspired me to do a more in-depth blog post about what I do as an Intuitive Eating Registered Dietitian.
Let me start with this: a Registered Dietitian is a health and nutrition expert. We are talking a bachelor’s degree at a minimum, a yearlong accredited internship for practice hours, passing a national exam, and continual education to maintain credentialing. The unfortunate truth is anyone can actually call themselves a “nutritionist.” Sometimes nutritionists will have a nutrition background and sometimes they just print off a certificate online. “Nutritionist” is not a credentialed term, so please be wary of nutrition advice that you find on the internet- ask about their credentials or to see research backing their claims! A good rule of thumb: sounds too good to be true? It probably isn’t true.
As a dietitian one of my main goals is a simple one: do no harm. And to put it simply “guaranteeing weight loss” is harmful in multiple ways:
1. We actually don’t have as much control over our weight as we’d like to think. In reality, our genes greatly dictate our body weight, by upwards of 80%.
2. Intentional weight loss is harmful to your health; here are some of the adverse side effects:
Disconnected hunger/fullness cues
Loss of muscle mass
Rebound weight gain
Shame, guilt, and anxiety surrounding food
3. You know your body a heck of a lot better than I do. By focusing on “weight loss” or “results,” I would mitigate your body’s autonomy. I am here to support you. I am not here to judge you, or tell you that you have succeeded or failed.
4. Weight loss is not “health” focused. It is basically fear mongering based on peoples’ fat-phobia. Good nutrition is healthy for anyone, regardless of weight.
5. It is impossible to guarantee weight loss. If everybody on the planet ate the same thing and exercised the same way: they would weigh different amounts and would have different body composition and shape. This is genetics!
So what can I guarantee?
I will assist you the best way I know how to develop a healthy relationship toward food. I want to give you confidence, and a skill set that you take with you for life. I want you to no longer need to work with me, unlike the diet industry that is fueled by repeat business, yo-yo diets, and weight cycling. Stop looking for a quick fix- because the truth is, there isn’t one. Working with an Intuitive Eating and Health at Every Size Registered Dietitian means getting personalized-whole body wellness-scientifically backed-care. And that is a whole lot more valuable than the empty promises of a weight loss guarantee.