If you made it here, chances are you have some nutrition or health-related goals that you’d like to achieve. If you’re looking into working with a dietitian, you’re probably pretty serious about making these things happen.
You don’t want to invest your time, energy, effort, and money just to be disappointed with the outcome. You want to be successful.
So how do we make that happen?
With a registered dietitian like the team at OnPoint Nutrition. Our team has helped over 3,000 people, just like you make their goals a reality.
As a registered dietitian who helps people achieve their goals every day, I’ve picked up some tips and tricks along the way. I’ve seen the commonalities between my most successful clients firsthand, and I’m here to share them with you so you too can achieve your goals.
In this article, we’ll discuss the keys to success including:
- Be open to change
- Trust your dietitian
- Ask questions often
- Stay honest with each other
- Focus on consistency
- Don’t rush things
- Celebrate wins, big and small
- Check-in regularly
8 Tips For Ensuring Success With Your Dietitian
As I said above, I have seen these common threads with my most successful clients. Use these tips and tricks throughout your nutrition program to stay on track to reach your goals and ultimately find success.
1. Be Open To Change
First and foremost, be open to changing your thoughts, behaviors, habits, and more. Remember, if you are seeking the help of a professional, their job is to guide you, yours is to be receptive to their guidance.
If you come into a nutrition program with a specific regimen in mind, maybe something that worked temporarily for you in the past, you aren’t going to utilize the full potential of the professional you are working with.
Now, this doesn’t mean you can’t ask for explanations about their recommendations and have open, honest discussions about their suggestions. However, if you are closed off and think you already have the plan that will work for you, you set yourself up for failure.
2. Trust Your Dietitian
When you see your doctor, you trust that they are providing you with the best care that they were trained to give. When you take your car to a mechanic, you trust that they will fix your car troubles using their knowledge and expertise.
The same goes for your dietitian.
Dietitians are highly educated and trained to provide nutrition counseling and guidance. Many also have years of experience working with clients, some just like you, to fine-tune their skills and learn what works for real people in the real world.
Trusting your dietitian’s expertise is key to building a trusting relationship and in turn achieving your goals.
Again, this doesn’t mean you can’t ask questions or request further explanations. In fact, we’ll get deeper into that now.
3. Ask Questions Often
You should never be afraid to ask your dietitian questions. Release the fear of asking a silly question or sounding uninformed. Your dietitian is your personal nutrition coach who is here specifically to help and guide you.
Start your relationship off openly by asking questions, requisition clarification, and getting to the point where you feel like you are both on the same page. Then, maintain that open communication throughout the process.
As I said above, if you don’t understand why your dietitian is recommending something, or maybe you read something contradictory online, start a discussion with him or her about it.
My most successful clients are the ones who seek to not just do what I tell them to do but to understand why we are doing the things we are doing.
I love explaining things to clients because it means that they want to fully grasp the concept, not just do it because I said so.
4. Stay Honest With Each Other
Honesty is key in any relationship, and this one is no different.
If you don’t feel that you can open up and share honestly with your dietitian, ask yourself why. Is it a personal fear? Is it the environment he or she creates during sessions? You should feel comfortable having honest conversations.
If you don’t feel this way, it may be time to have a really direct conversation about why you don’t feel that you can share openly with them.
Now, obviously this is within reason. You should be able to share your nutrition, health, and wellness-related concerns with your dietitian.
If you have other topics that you don’t feel you can address with your dietitian, it may be a good idea to find a therapist or other professional to open up to in other areas.
Back to your dietitian, staying honest with each other is key to ensuring that you are both on the same page at all times. If things are going on behind the scenes that you don’t feel you can share, but are affecting your health habits, your dietitian won’t be able to fully help you navigate things.
Providing your dietitian with all of the information allows them to help you navigate challenges and guide you in the direction of your goals.
5. Focus On Consistency
Consistency is key in many things, specifically in nutrition counseling.
Committing to your personalized nutrition plan, and trusting the process is what will allow you to see results and achieve your goals.
Too often clients are in a big rush to make a ton of changes hoping to see quick results, but this strategy isn’t successful. It may be for a few days or weeks, but inevitably drastic measures end in failure.
Consistently implementing the plan you and your dietitian have laid out, and working toward smaller, incremental goals will give you the continuous progress needed to see the big end results.
6. Don’t Rush Things
I know you likely want to achieve your goals as soon as possible. I hear people say all the time, “I will do whatever it takes to achieve X by (insert event here).”
By focusing just on the short term, you neglect the next 20, 40, or 60 years of your life.
Health is not a short-term goal.
While fitting into a specific outfit or looking good in pictures from an event may feel good, using a crash diet to get there will backfire.
Instead of having such a hard deadline, focus on making changes that help you look and feel better day in and day out. This is what people will notice.
To learn more about the timeline for reaching your goals read: How Long Should You Work With A Dietitian?
7. Celebrate Wins, Big and Small
Another big mistake I see is waiting until you reach the final goal to celebrate.
Every healthy choice, every positive thought about food, every pound lost, and every lab value improved is a win. Celebrate them all. Get used to feeling proud of yourself.
Celebrating the small victories helps us gain momentum. I like to say that good choices fuel good choices. The more positivity you can bring into the process, the more you will find along the way.
Bring up these small wins to your dietitian, we love to celebrate them with you.
8. Check In Regularly
If you are working with a dietitian you are likely talking at least a few times each month, if not more frequently. This isn’t just about talking about your week, the latest events in your life, and what you have coming up.
What I mean here is to check in on the big picture things.
Some things to check in with at least every month are:
- Are you making progress toward your goals?
- Are you enjoying the changes you are making?
- Do the behaviors and habits you have implemented feel sustainable?
- Is there anything you feel is missing from your nutrition program?
- Is there any guidance you feel you need that you aren’t receiving?
Having these reflective conversations regularly will help ensure your relationship is strong, your communication is open, and you both feel good about what you’re doing together.
The First Step To Success
Now that you know what will make you successful, it’s time to dive in and make your goals your reality.
Keep in mind, you want to be open to change and trust your dietitian through the process. Ask questions, stay honest, focus on consistency, and trust the process. Along the way, be sure to check in regularly and celebrate all of your wins, big and small.
Here at OnPoint Nutrition, our team of qualified dietitians and nutritionists provide virtual, personalized, one-on-one nutrition counseling. We work with you to develop a plan to reach your goals and do our very best to ensure your success.
We have helped hundreds of people, just like you, succeed.
If you’re ready to take the first step, schedule your free consultation with our team.
Liz has been reading nutrition labels since she learned how to read. Growing up with severe peanut and tree nut allergies she learned that it’s important to know what you are putting into your body. She made her first big lifestyle change as a freshman in high school, when she decided to become a vegetarian. However, it wasn’t until she took a food class in Italy as part of a study abroad program in college that it clicked in her mind that she wanted to make food and nutrition her career. Liz graduated from Penn State University in 2015 with a bachelor's degree in Nutrition, as well as a bachelor's degree in Marketing. She completed her dietetic internship with Aramark in Philadelphia, and her master's degree at Northeastern University shortly after.