Feb. 11. 2022
Nutrition
McKel Kooienga, MS, RDN, LDN

McKel Kooienga, MS, RDN, LDN

Founder of Nutrition Stripped® and the Mindful Nutrition Method™

The questions you need to ask and the components you need to consider to make sure you find a dietitian that’s best for you.

From health coaches to nutritionists and dietitians, there are quite a few options out there. How do you know which one is right for you?

It can be overwhelming to say the least. But with the proper knowledge and tools, you’ll know exactly how to weed through all of the options to find a dietitian that suits you and your individual needs best.

Make Sure They’re A Registered Dietitian

First and foremost, you want to ensure you’re working with an actual dietitian.

When it comes to the language you see online, it can be tricky to decipher whether or not the person you’re considering is properly educated and credentialed.

Here’s a quick shortcut you can take, simply ensure they have the letters “RD” after their name.

This ensures an adequate educational background. They know their facts. They’ve been trained in a hospital in a clinical format and they have the nutrition, science and chemistry-based education needed to properly disseminate information to others rather than just apply it to themselves.

Now that we’re working with just dietitians, why is it important to vet the person you’re potentially working with?

Why It’s Important to Find a Dietitian That Aligns with Your Needs

No two dietitians are the same. Some work in a clinical format, while others work in private practice. Aside from their work environment, their specialties differ as well.

While some dietitians may specialize in weight management, individual counseling and mindful eating, others may be well-versed in nutrition for exercise or even kidney disease. To take it a step further, two dietitians who practice within the same specialty may also have differing methods or approaches.

Let’s take group fitness for example. Say you love yoga and frequently take classes throughout the week. Despite the fact that you’re always attending the same studio, and all of the instructors were trained there, are all of those classes going to be identical? Of course not!

There will certainly be instructors that tailer to your individual interests and needs better than others, and that’s perfectly fine. The same goes for dietitians.

When you’re embarking on a lifestyle change, it’s important to find a dietitian that not only has experience in your particular field of interest, but one that aligns with your individual needs.

5 Steps to Take to Find a Dietitian That’s Right For You

Here are 5 steps you can take to find a dietitian that will work best for you!

1. Check Out Their Experience

When trying to find a dietitian, we simply want to ensure the person you’re choosing to work with has experience with your particular area of interest.

Whether that may be hypothyroid disease, disease prevention, weight management, disordered eating or any other areas of interest.

Take some time to read about their experience and inquire about whether or not they’ve worked with someone like you before.

2. Have an Introductory Conversation

Before selecting your dietitian, take some time to chat with them. This will give you a feel for not only their coaching style, but also their personality.

Different coaching styles work well for different people. Asking your potential dietitian about their coaching style can help you to decide whether or not it’s the right fit.

Additionally, your dietitian will become your partner throughout your lifestyle change. Simply having a quick conversation with them will give you a feel for what their personality looks like.

You want to make sure you feel comfortable sharing personal information with this person and that you trust them with your wellbeing.

3. Avoid a ‘One-Size-Fits-All’ Approach

There are so many plans and programs out there that are based on a one-size-fits-all approach.

As individuals, it’s important we’re treated as such when it comes to our health and nutrient needs. Make sure your dietitian will take your individual needs into account before making adjustments to your diet and lifestyle habits.

4. Ensure The Dietitian Knows Their Scope of Practice

It’s important to find a dietitian that always has your best interest in mind.

Dietitians can help you to make significant changes within your eating habits as well as your lifestyle. But with that being said, there are plenty of scenarios where a dietitian can be a great team member, but there needs to be support from other practitioners.

Whether that may be a physician, a mental health counselor or even a fitness professional. Make sure your dietitian promotes support from other practitioners to help you reach your health and wellness goals!

5. Make Sure it Feels Right To You

When considering a dietitian, make sure their approach and methods feel right to you.

Take a look at their testimonials and their reviews. Do they align with your goals? Do the methods mentioned sound like things you would like to experience?

Make sure their overall approach, image and methods sound like something you want to be a part of!

Find Out If We’re Right For You

Wondering whether or not a Nutrition Stripped dietitian is the right fit for you?

If you’re thinking about starting nutrition coaching, you can sign up for a free 10 minute Discovery Call with one of our registered dietitians!

We’ll walk through your goals as well as your past experiences with food and nutrition to answer all of your questions and determine whether or not we’re the right fit for you.