When to Seek Help from a Registered Dietitian - dummies

When to Seek Help from a Registered Dietitian

By Meri Reffetto

For many people, the easiest form of support to find is professional help from a registered dietitian. You don’t always need professional help, but when you have health issues, such as high cholesterol or a health condition commonly associated with insulin resistance, the advice and objective ear of a registered dietitian are worthwhile. Professionals are also your best bet for obtaining accurate information when you do have questions and challenges.

When you have a challenging health condition

Everyone is different, complete with his or her own individual health conditions. A one-size-fits-all solution simply doesn’t exist, which is why some additional work may be necessary on your part to properly fit a low-glycemic diet into your life if you have certain health conditions.

For example, you may have insulin resistance and need to be stricter with your choices than others do, or you may have a completely different issue such as high cholesterol or hypothyroidism that needs to be addressed with a few other dietary changes.

If you have a challenging health condition and want to try the low-glycemic diet, the best way to ensure you’re getting the most accurate information for your unique situation is to work with a registered dietitian. Seek out professional help if you have one or more of the following health issues:

  • Coronary artery disease

  • Food allergies

  • Gastrointestinal disorders

  • High blood pressure

  • High cholesterol

  • Hypothyroidism

  • Kidney disease

  • Metabolic syndrome

  • Polycystic ovary syndrome

  • Prediabetes

  • Type 1 or 2 diabetes

Find a registered dietitian who specializes in the issues that you have and who’s also familiar with a low-glycemic diet. You can then get sound advice and support for meshing your preexisting health issue(s) with a low-glycemic lifestyle.

When you’re having trouble making changes

Professional help can be a good idea when you’re struggling with making changes. Providing advice and information is only one piece of the puzzle. Coaching — helping people work these new changes into their lives — is an even bigger piece.

Making lifestyle changes usually takes a combination of time plus trial and error. After all, the doing is often much harder than the knowing.

A registered dietitian can help you figure out the best ways to implement your new health goals. By working together, you can try some strategies and then see how they went. A registered dietitian can also serve as an objective listener who can help you look at matters in a different way when obstacles arise.

When you need accountability and support

Getting professional help with your efforts to embrace a low-glycemic lifestyle provides long-term support and accountability. Research shows that people who have a long-term support system are able to maintain their weight loss for a longer period of time.

Acquiring that long-term support goes much more smoothly when you do two things:

  • Find a registered dietitian with whom you have a good relationship. Working with someone you trust and enjoy is crucial to establishing a long-term relationship. That way when you have a dietary crisis during the holidays and are feeling vulnerable, you instantly have someone to reach out to for that much-needed accountability and support.

  • Don’t treat appointments with your dietitian as temporary. Many people view working with a dietitian or nutritionist as temporary. They go in a few times just to get the diet information and expect to never set foot in the office again after they have it.

    Instead of taking this temporary approach, look at your dietitian as you would your physician, someone with whom you have a long-time relationship and whose advice you trust.

If you have serious issues with emotional or stress eating, you may also find it helpful to work with a therapist or counselor. Many people also find support this way.