In the fast paced world today, fitness is not only needed but has also become a new trend. But contrary to popular belief, being fit is not only reliant on physical exercise but also proper and balanced nutrition whether you are trying to gain, maintain or lose weight.
And where exercising is mostly the easy part, nutrition is where most people fail. Here is where a dietitians work starts.
They have knowledge of all the know how’s of effective weight loss and weight gain, making your transformational process a lot easier and quicker.
WHO IS DIETITIAN?
The term dietitian is exclusively used to identify those qualified professionals that own the skills required to provide expert nutritional and dietary advice to individuals looking to improve their physical health, as well as have the means to conduct medical nutrition therapy.
In doing so, they translate the latest scientific information at hand and the available research in the field into practical advice relating to what foods to consume and the proportions to include them into ones diet in a way that optimizes the nutritional value of these foods.
Furthermore, dieticians also develop specific diet plans individually catered to people in a way that utilizes their distinct physical requirements such as their Phenotypes Basal Metabolic Rates.
This is done to obtain their nutritional requirements and thus improve their overall health as well as help with dietary diseases and other health conditions.
Who can be a dietitian?
With the new wave of the internet, acquiring knowledge about the mechanisms of the human body in relation to food became an opportunity available to more or less every individual.
But a dietitian’s role is not just knowing how nutrition works, but also fulfilling certain procedures and training. As a result, not everyone can qualify to be a dietitian.
It is due to this reason, that dietitians play a vital role in the promotion of good health in the general populace and must be consulted wherever need may arise.
What makes a good dietitian in Pakistan?
There are a number of requirements that a good dietitian should fulfill before they can be qualified as a credible physician.
Knowledge and certification of dietetics
First and foremost, a good dietitian must have conducted vast amounts of scientific research and always backs up their diet plans with facts. In addition, they must also encompass the following procedural requirements.
A dietitian must have valid university qualifications gained from courses accredited by the Dietitians Association in the given country and must keep up to date with the latest research. In addition, they must also meet the Associations guidelines for evidence-based practice.
Furthermore, the minimum requirement for a dietitian a BSc Honors in Dietetics, or a related science degree in addition to a postgraduate diploma or higher degree in Dietetics.
The dietetic courses are structured in a way that includes biochemistry, physiology, applied sciences as well as research methods underpinning nutrition and dietetics
Knowledge of surrounding fields
A good dietitian also has knowledge of complementary subjects to dietetics such as social and behavioral sciences as well as theories of communication in order to develop the critical communication skills required for professional dietetic practice in the field.
In this way, they are better able to understand the psyche of the patients and deal with them better. The environments in which a dietitian performs may vary largely from one another.
A dietitian in the corporate sector will be exposed to different people than that in a hospital environment. Thus, a good dietitian will be equipped with the know how’s of behavioral sciences.
Flexible and available
Fitness knows no rest and its needs can strike anytime. That is why a good dietitian is flexible with client schedules, and available for the entirety of their scheduled work hours. It must be clear to the client that they can rely on their dietitian with appointments.
Furthermore, a good dietitian also respects timely deliverance. If a nutritional plan has been promised to the client by a certain time, it is the dietitian’s job to make such a plan available before time of deliverance to the client.
In addition, a good dietitian will also be available to reach in person and not just over the phone. Virtual communication has its setbacks and face to face meetings can help a dietitian better understand a client’s health.
They give you sustainable goals
Losing or gaining weight can be achieved by employing hacks in your diet. Such as using unhealthy supplements, cutting back drastically on calories, skipping meals and so on. But while these methods may produce results faster, they prove detrimental to your health in the long run.
In doing so, they may slow down your metabolism and put you at risk of losing or gaining all that weight back in only a short while.
A good dietitian will, on the other hand, provide you with sustainable plans that are healthy and easy to maintain and will need to be practiced for a longer time.
In Pakistan, weight loss is often very misunderstood so it’s easy for dietitians to employ any shortcuts into your diet pattern, because people will not know how to tell that it is unhealthy. Therefore, it is the responsibility of a good dietitian to avoid doing that.
They do not endorse unhealthy supplementation
This one is very important. In today’s world, all kinds of supplements are available and a medical professional can endorse any supplement they wish to, for their own personal gains, without carrying a background check on that supplement.
For a client that has put their entire faith in their dietitian, this is dangerous because they are completely susceptible to damaging their health.
Therefore, a good dietitian will always provide you with research into the supplement if they are recommending it.
Health must be their number one priority. And endorsing the wrong products for monetary gains is especially wrong in Pakistan where people are still new to the while fitness world.
They are easy to talk to and understanding
In the world of dietetics, a lot of confusing jargon is often tossed around. Medical terms and conditions and what not. These can be very hard to understand for clients who are not well versed in dietetics.
Therefore, a good dietitian will always break down complex information into simpler words and try their best to explain them to you.
In addition, they will also focus on opening up channels of two-way communication and are always ready to listen to the client.
In addition, they must also be understanding of any reservations that a client may have with perhaps, certain dieting techniques or foods.
Often times, clients that have eating disorders are misunderstood in Pakistan due to a general lack of awareness about these conditions.
It is the role of a good dietitian to help clients in recovery by understanding their journey with disorders and talking them through healthy recovery slowly.
In addition, they must also be good listeners and hear the client’s point of view without interruptions.
Their previous clients have had successful transformations
The easiest way to check whether a dietitian is really as good as they say, is to read up on their previous clients and their health journey.
Seeing results is better than hearing about them. A good dietitian will have a number of successful client transformations under their belt.
Also, a good dietitian will provide you with these success stories themselves and show you the transformations that people have already consented to being shared.
These will provide a way to carry out a background check on the dietitian as well as help create a margin of expectation from them.
They practice what they preach
A dietitian that does not implement the same healthy lifestyle that they promote are probably not very credible.
As a dietitian, they must also mostly have a healthy nutritional plan, maintain a healthy weight that is in accordance with their BMI and be consistent with a physical exercise routine.
However, this does not mean that a dietitian must be extra fit and have zero pounds in body fat. Unruly expectations from a physician that is very busy throughout their day is unfair.
This is especially prominent in Pakistan where the general populace believes that a dietitian must be super lean in order to be an effective one.
So as long as a balance is maintained between a healthy life and a healthy appearance, your dietitian is very credible and can be trusted.
They must have technical and analytical skills
Lastly, a good dietitian in Pakistan must be able to make effective deductions relating to health plans and look at every case from an unbiased eye.
They must have a system for storing client records that should also be confidential from other people.
Furthermore, a dietitian must also be mostly familiar with the technical skills needed to work a fee tools and equipment needed to perform their duties.
Such as a calorimeter to assess metabolic rates and a glucose meter for measuring blood sugar levels in clients.
In addition to scientific tools, a good dietitian can also be expected to handle computer records and programs and sometimes even software that is in place to track client progress.
By now, you have been familiarized about the traits that make a good dietitian. However, this does not qualify as a checklist, every dietitian is different and practices different techniques in their profession therefore you need to know what does a dietitian do?
Before blindly trusting a dietitian, you must conduct practical research into their history and assess whether they are credible or not you could also know more by reading why get a nutritionist for more information and then put your health in their trusted hands