Letter: What You Really Need To Know About Non-Diet Dietitians

To all the wonderful Mums,

I’d just like to say I’m a dietitian, but not what you think.

I hear your laughs when I tell you that I am an Accredited Practising Dietitian.

Your laughter starts out as a laughter of awkwardness. It changes to one of embarrassment, guilt and then shame, as you try to hide from the judgement. You feel laughter is a good cover to hide what you are truly feeling. The laughter then turns into chuckles of confessions and ends in nervous giggles as you try and process what I just said…..

I am a dietitian, but not what you think.

I understand how you feel.

All these feelings of inadequacy and fear of failing (or not being compliant).

I know, dietitians don’t have the best reputation.

We are viewed as the food police and the people that tell you what and what not to eat.

This worries you as you love food and fear you will no longer be able to enjoy it.

Although, in actual fact, you haven’t been enjoying your food as you have been too worried about what people think and whether you are “eating right” to try and lose weight or to not put on any more weight.

Yes, traditionally dietitians have not helped themselves by mirroring diet culture and promising weight loss solutions.

Non-diet dietitians like myself are different.

You are probably thinking what is a non-diet dietitian??

A non-diet dietitian is a dietitian that works towards improving relationships with food and bodies as your nutrition goal is achieved.

We don’t prescribe diets or diet disguised as “lifestyle changes” or whatever is the trend is happening right now.

We don’t ask you to restrict your food intake or deprive yourself.

We believe your body enough and celebrate it.

We trust you and help you to trust yourself and with knowing how to eat and live your life.

We help you to feel happy and content. Upon meeting us and understanding what we do to help you, you are relieved and once again hopeful about food, your nutrition and the future.

We help you to treat yourself kindly and stop the judgment. Because you are worthy as you are.

We help you to find calm, peace, balance and freedom around food, mind and body.

We help you to put your weight loss goal aside and look at the health behaviours that you could improve to get the health benefits you desire right now. Not when or if you achieve your weight loss goal.

You are probably thinking, well, why don’t you help people to lose weight? Weight loss improves health, right?

In actual fact, weight loss is not the ‘thing’ that improves health. There is not a direct correlation between weight and health status.

Weight is not a behaviour. It’s the behaviours that improve health not the weight loss itself.

Weight loss may be a side-effect of changing your behaviour, but it may not also be.

You have the opportunity and the right to improve your health in any body shape, size or weight. Any body shape, size or weight can be healthy and unhealthy.

Next time, smile at us non-diet dietitians and know we are not judging you.

We want the best for you and we help you in ways you probably can’t imagine.

Have a conversation with us and ask the questions you’ve been dying to ask.

We will gently explain that we don’t judge your food intake as “good” and “bad” and recommend you eat certain foods and not others (unless of course, you have a medical condition which is sensitive to your dietary intake).

We will meet you where you are.

Keeping the delectable in dietetics, eating and in life.

Your non-diet Accredited Practising Dietitian

Natalie.

Please note: The letter details how I work professionally as a non-dietitian. In this letter, I am speaking generally about non-dietitians. Although I can not speak for other non-dietitian dietitians, I refer to non-diet dietitians as a whole based on my knowledge and experiences with the philosophy of the non-diet approach. 

Download your FREE copy of ‘How to Stay Focused to Never Dieting Again’ and Kids Love Food & Their Bodies Challenge and learn more about how a non-diet APD can help you.

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