Can an online Dietitian help you to lose weight?
The role, purpose, and duty of a dietitian.
There are so many reasons why one could and should seek the guidance of a dietitian, even more so now, an online dietitian.
Food fads and diets change on the daily and our social and digital feeds are constantly inundated with the latest tips and ground-breaking advice. Everyone from our friends to our mother-in-law to our hairdresser seems to have diet advice to share. Although they mean well, most times it is advisable to seek the guidance of someone qualified in the field of food and nutrition. Diet can be so confusing, and you can find yourself muddled in a lot of information; seeing someone in the know is the only way to get clear-cut answers that will work FOR YOU to lose weight.
Many people wait for everything to be terrible to see a dietitian and that should not at ALL be the case. Reasons one may see a dietitian include:
- You want to know if the way you are eating is correct (for you) and healthy.
- You would like to build a positive and healthy relationship with food (starting with an understanding of food).
- You have digestive symptoms such as gas, bloating, heartburn, diarrhoea, constipation and/or stomach-aches.
- You want to improve your physical performance in sports.
- Your appetite is either non-stop working or non-existent.
- You feel like you are always tired, even though your sleep is sufficient.
- You get sick and/or injured easily and/or frequently.
- You suspect your hormones may be out of balance.
- You are trying to conceive, are pregnant, are post-partum or are struggling with infertility.
- You want someone to assist with meal planning.
- You are experiencing a mood disorder (never underestimate the link between mind and body).
- You are struggling with or recovering from an eating disorder.
- You have been advised by a doctor to change your diet due to bloodwork results or lifestyle diseases.
- You have food intolerances, allergies, or sensitivities.
- You have kids that are picky eaters.
- You are thinking about becoming a vegetarian, vegan etc.
- You are caring for an aging parent and need nutritional advice.
- And last but not least- weight management, be it gaining, losing, or maintaining weight.
Often the most asked.
For the sake of this article, we will be looking at one of the most frequently asked questions surrounding weight management and the role of a dietitian in that journey. It is important to note that a dietitian is so much more than this; and your health is so much more than the number on a scale.
Before we dive in and explore, ‘Can an online dietitian help you to lose weight?’ It is important we look at the role, purpose and duty of a dietitian. What are they here for, how can they help?
What is the role and purpose of a dietitian?
We all know how important food is, but we often do not think about how food is the most valuable player in our health, not only our physical health but also our mental health. It is also vital to understand and remember that each human is different and therefore our bodies react differently to different foods. There is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach, with health care and food, and this is where and why dietitians are so important to the medical field.
A dietitian is a medical practitioner who has studied nutrition and its function in the human body by assessing which conditions in the human body react differently to different foods. Their role is to assess what each individual client needs out of their diet, often testing them through various methods, to find out which foods, vitamins and minerals are necessary for their individual diets, giving them the correct dietary advice and support. Their purpose is to advise their clients on their most beneficial nutritional wellbeing. They are trained to get to the root of the problem, spot deficiencies and help you become healthier whether there is a disease involved or not. They specialize in behaviour change and use a client-centric approach.
What is the duty of a dietitian?
A dietitian’s primary duty is to help their clients understand how food is affecting their body and how to prepare suitable dietary changes, advice, meal plans and support.
As much as food is a healer, it can also be a poison, depending on what foods a person is consuming. Therefore, it is just as vital to get the medical advice from a dietitian as it is any other medical field.
Why are dietitians needed?
It might not seem blindingly clear, but as the world grows and changes rapidly, it is becoming convenient and popular for people to consume fast foods and processed foods. Sadly, with adults and parents working longer hours, fitting in more in their days than they ever have, preparing whole foods is more difficult than ever before. This is not only because of the time-divides society now faces but primarily because of the availability and convenience of processed foods. Processed foods have become many families staple diet and instead of fuelling their bodies with nutritious foods which heal diseases, they are putting chemicals and unnatural foods into their bodies, which are instead causing imbalances and dietary diseases.
Newer research, NBC News, suggests that overly processed foods are especially easy to overeat because they can be eaten more quickly and they don’t produce the same level of contentment as more wholesome foods. On the flip side, whole and minimally processed foods typically take a longer time to eat and are linked with appetite-regulating benefits, so you’re more likely to fill up on portions that are right for your needs. In one particular study, folks were offered either a highly-processed diet or a minimally processed diet for two weeks at a time. During the two weeks of the heavily processed diet, they gained two pounds, but on the whole foods diet, they lost that much. What is interesting is that these were the same people who participated in each arm of the study. And all the meals were closely matched for macros (protein, carbs, fat) and calories. This suggests that your internal feel-full mechanisms kick in better when eating more whole and minimally processed foods, even if they are identical in calories.
One such disease is obesity and its primary cause is the consumption of too much processed, unhealthy food, alongside a lack of exercise. But that is not necessarily the only cause of obesity, in a small minority of people, which is termed as ‘Medical obesity’ may be caused by diseases such as:
This is where the thyroid, in the neck, produces too little of the thyroid hormone which is responsible for regulating the metabolism, slowing it down.
This is where the adrenal glands in the Kidneys overproduce too much of the steroid hormone called Cortisol, which in turn allows the build-up of fat in the body, primarily the face, back and abdomen.
Sadly, depression causes many people to overeat and therefore become obese. It creates an unhealthy cycle because it goes both ways; eating an unhealthy diet is a massive contributing factor to depression which then counter-reacts by causing the person to eat because of depression (the comfort factor) and the cycle is created and repeated.
Can an Online Dietitian help you to lose weight?
While the world continues to grow, technology continues to make it smaller with the online space making social transactions increasingly convenient and accessible. It is important to understand that whatever a dietitian can do in-person, they can now do online. Therefore, diagnosing clients and assisting clients is just as effective online as it is in person. Working with clients in helping them lose weight is just as effective online as it is in-person. You may think that a dietitian needs to weigh and measure you, these you can do at home, while they assist and direct you online through video conferencing. At the end of the day, it is important to understand that as much as a dietitian is there to keep you accountable, whether online or in-person, it is the client’s job to be honest and follow the advice given to them. Simply put, seeing a dietitian online or in-person is the same, the benefits being what you want out of your session, and therefore what you give to the process. But to answer the question, ‘Can an online Dietitian help you to lose weight?’ Absolutely!
It doesn’t matter how you got to where you are now; book with a dietitian TODAY for a non-judgemental game-changer.