Ever feel like you’re too busy to eat healthy? When all you can ever seem to manage is grabbing whatever food you can, whenever you can, even when it’s not the best for you? You’re not alone. Many of the men that I work with struggle with eating healthy, especially when life gets hectic.

I recently worked with a client in his mid-50s who had similar concerns. He was extremely busy with work and family, felt he was overweight, and wasn’t happy with his eating patterns. Each attempt to follow an extreme or strict diet to lose weight failed, resulting in more weight gain and a side of shame/guilt for not sticking with the diet.

Through our conversations, we discovered he was going far too long between meals, then ate chips and chocolate when hunger caught up with him. To help him be better prepared, we developed simple meal and snack prep ideas. Hence, he was no longer scrambling to pull nutritious meals together in the middle of his workday. This became a more achievable, sustainable approach to healthy eating than his past diets.

What a registered dietitian does

In Canada, a Registered Dietitian (RD) is a healthcare professional with a specialized university degree in nutrition and dietetics. RDs are licensed and regulated to provide evidence-based nutritional advice.

There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to eating. Dietitians consider your health, lifestyle and what you like to eat before recommending a plan that works for you.

Think of a dietitian as your nutrition coach, helping you develop a game plan for your health. Often clients have ‘aha’ moments because they’ve never taken the time to think about their eating patterns.

What happens at a dietitian appointment

An appointment starts by defining your goals. Are you looking to lose weight? Feel more energetic? Eat healthier in general? You may have even been referred by a doctor. Whatever the reason, dietitians are trained to address a wide variety of health concerns. 

Often, clients know what they should eat but need help applying their knowledge.

Dietitians aim to be as evidence-based and credible as possible. The goal is NOT to tell you all the things you’re doing wrong, to ‘food shame’ you, or to tell you to try out the latest fad or trend. We’re here to give you evidence-based information that is backed by science and works with your lifestyle and what you already like to eat.

I worked with a man in his 40s with high cholesterol. It was a concern because his dad had suffered from a heart attack, and he loved eating meat. He was hesitant to see a dietitian because he assumed it would result in a strict vegan/vegetarian diet. 

We worked to introduce more plant-based foods and fibre into his diet, including lentils and chickpeas, without cutting out steak and other foods he loved. In other words, we adjusted the balance on his plate.

To my delight, he told me at a later session that he was genuinely enjoying his new diet and didn’t feel he was giving up too much of what he loved to eat.

What a Dietitian can help you with

man reaching into fridge with blue meal-prep containers
  • Weight management and weight loss
  • Chronic disease prevention and management (diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease, and more)
  • Food allergies and intolerances
  • Digestive issues
  • Switching or supplementing existing diets with more plant-based eating
  • Meal plans that are balanced and sustainable for healthier eating
  • Nutritious and satisfying snack ideas
  • Portion size definitions and how to avoid overeating 

What a dietitian does not do

If you’ve been looking for ways to eat healthier online, you’ve likely noticed no shortage of supposed “experts” out there. Social media and the web are flooded with a lot of myths and misconceptions about trendy diets and fads. Many of these fads offer quick fixes rather than a long-term sustainable approach to how you eat.

How to find a Dietitian

You don’t need to be referred to see a dietitian. Plus, many Canadian extended health plans provide coverage, so check with your insurance provider to see what coverage you have. You can find and book an appointment with this comprehensive list of dietitians throughout Canada.

I’ve shared a helpful link below to book a virtual appointment anytime with one of my colleagues or me at TELUS Health MyCare.

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Do you have any questions about working with a Dietitian? Ask me in the comments below!