SAQs: The Questions You Should Ask Your Dietitian


Should Ask Questions of the Non-Diet Approach

1.Will I be able to stop feeling guilty in relation to food and eating?

Absolutely, you will lose the guilt as you work on leaving the dieting world behind and practise changing your mindset whilst learning how to non-dieting.

2.Will I be able to think less about food?

If you create an environment where you allow a variety of foods to exist, then you will start to think less about food.

The following example appears in “How do I non-diet? 7 key factors that will change your life for the better”.

“E.g. Have you ever eaten at a buffet repeatedly or been on a cruise where there is delicious food available all the time? Can you think back to how you felt at the start of being exposed to this ‘endless’ supply of food? What about 5 days later?

What tends to happen is that the glamour around all the food fades, and the desire to eat huge quantities of food declines. After this time, you will find yourself eating in response to stomach hunger (because of appetite/feeling hungry), rather than eye or mouth hunger (non-hungry eating/feeling tempted).

If you know you can have any food whenever you like, you are less likely to overeat.”

3. Will I find joy in eating?


4. Will I know what to cook/eat?

If you practise responding to your appetite, you will start to get a sense for what your body feels like. If your cooking and planning skills around food need improvement, one-on-one support will help you to tailor an action plan that will work for you.

5. Will I be always hungry?

Not unless you don’t listen to your body and continue to restrict or control your food intake, rather than respond by eating when you feel the need.

Some medications and medical conditions affect appetite. If you are concerned about your appetite please seek one-on-one health professional support.

6. What are the risks of the traditional approach (weight loss advice)?

You’ve probably been experiencing some and may not be aware of it.

  • Being dissatisfied with your body
  • preoccupation with food and body,
  • Chronic dieting
  • Weight fluctuations
  • Gaining weight
  • Disordered eating patterns
  • Low self-esteem
  • Body image issues
  • Depression
  • Disordered eating and eating disorders,
  • poor health outcomes
  • weight stigmatization and discrimination.1

7. What are the benefits of non-dieting?

Research shows that in most cases there are:

  • Eating intuitively
  • Improvement in dietary intake
  • Improvement in blood pressure, cholesterol, cortisol level
  • Reduced concern over body image
  • Regular exercise based on enjoyment
  • Long-term weight stability at 5 years.3

8. What are the benefits or working with Natalie Thompson?

1. You will be able to reconnect with your internal body cues i.e. appetite which nourishes you and continues to support your child(ren) in eating well. The benefit is you will know how to eat.

2. You will stop obsessing over food which improves your relationship with food and allows you to be the role model you dreamed for your child(ren). The benefit is you will know what to eat.

3. You will have the confidence and mindset to eat well. The benefit is no more second-guessing yourself. You will know you are providing good nutrition for you and your child(ren).

4. You will find the joy in eating and make peace with your body. The benefit is you will improve your relationship with food and your body.

5. You will become a confident and positive role model for your children. The benefit is you will continue to nurture your child(ren)’s relationship with food and body, which positively impacts all aspects of life.

The benefits of the benefits is improved health.

9. What does non-dieting involve?

“It will depend on you and your unique situation. Typical strategies to help you non-diet include bringing awareness to your eating and lifestyle behaviours. The way you may do this with your non-dieting dietitian is by working on mindful eating, listening out for hunger-fullness signals and practise responding to the signals at different times and situations, moving for the joy of it not because you have some other agenda (i.e. to change your body and to make up for that piece of cake you binged on), changing mindset around dieting, health, body weight.” 2

10. What are the risks of non-dieting?

  • Lack of external support from friends and family due to not understanding the dietary concepts and goals of non-dieting.
  • Disappointment and grief related to letting go of your weight loss goal.
  • Difficulty changing your mindset away from the familiar traditional weight loss approach.

11. How much time will it take to embrace the non-diet world?

“This really depends on you, your previous experiences and current circumstances.

How motivated are you at changing your behaviour? Where are you in the cycle of change (i.e. pre-contemplative, contemplative, action, maintenance, habit, relapse)?

Changing your mindset around food and nutrition can take up to 3 to 6 months from my experience and this, of course, depends on your personal situation.”2

12. I’ve started looking into the non-diet approach, is this for me?

Yes certainly! The non-diet approach is for everyone. Please note that if you have certain chronic medical conditions, you may also need one-on-one support to ensure that your health is being managed in the most appropriate manner whilst non-dieting.

13. Will I always have a desire to lose weight?

“You may still have a desire to lose weight as this mindset takes time and the right support to change. Societal pressures are not going away quickly (it is changing though!), so you will likely still feel the misinformation and expectations, which continue to be challenges we are faced with prioritising our health.

Your awareness around your past experiences around weight will increase. You will understand that weight cannot be controlled in the long term. You will understand the best way forward is to work on your behaviours around eating and your lifestyle, which feels so good and has such a positive impact on your health.”2

14. Will I lose weight?

“Having reconnected with your appetite, you may find yourself eating less food in response to listening to what your body wants, and your weight may decrease. You may even find yourself eating more food in response to previously restricting yourself, and your weight may go up and then settle at your natural weight, which could be higher or lower than before.

Weight cannot be controlled in the long term, so it is hard to predict what yours will do because of your genetics and your previous dieting history, which upsets your body set point.

The point is that you can become healthy at any weight. You are not defined by your weight and you should not think or feel a certain way because of what the scales show.”2

15. What can I say to my GP if he tells me to lose weight?

  1. Inform the GP of the reason why you are visiting.
  2. Ask how would the GP treat a thin patient with the same condition
  3. Then ask to be treated this way.

[1] Bacon, L. & Aphramor, L. (2011). Weight science: evaluating the evidence for a paradigm shift. Nutrition Journal, 10:9

[2] Thompson, N. (2016). E-Book: The Essential Guide To Never Dieting Again. Accessed online 30 Aug 2016

[3] Tylka, T., Annunziato, R., Burgard, D., Daníelsdóttir, S., Shuman, E., Davis, C and Calogero, R. (2014). The Weight-Inclusive Versus Weight-Normative Approach to Health: Evaluating the Evidence for Prioritizing Well-Being Over Weight Loss. Journal of Obesity


If you are looking for a supportive community filled with like-minded people striving to improve their health in a compassionate way, come join us in the Nutrition Empowered Mums Facebook Group.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s