Interested in getting healthy this year? Where do you turn for help?
Ask a friend, and it seems everyone is doing a different diet. Do a web search for nutrition help and you will get thousands of hits on various diets. But where do you turn for professional help? Enter the Registered Dietitian or Certified Health Educator.
A Registered Dietitian has a Bachelor’s Degree in nutrition and by 2024, a Master’s Degree will be required. They will also complete an internship, pass a national exam and are required to earn continuing education credits to maintain their license.
The education background for a Certified Health Educator (CHE), which I am, can vary. Typically, we have an extension background and experience in the nutrition field. I have a Master’s Degree in nutrition. Many CHEs are personal trainers. We are required to earn continuing education credits every year. Each of us is mentored and supervised by a Registered Dietitian.
What does a Registered Dietitian or Certified Health Educator actually do?
These professionals will sit down with you and take the time to listen to you.
What are your goals, challenges, tastes, habits, medical issues? What is your lifestyle? Are you single and focused on your job? Or are you driving 3 children around all day? How much exercise do you get?
Finding a healthy lifestyle, not a diet
A professional helps you find, not a diet, but a lifestyle that works for you, with reasonable, healthy goals. Many people meet with their dietitian or health educator on a weekly basis. These private sessions focus on overcoming challenges, setting goals, nutrition education or more practical matters like making a shopping list. Maybe a pantry makeover is needed or help deciphering a food label — the sessions are geared toward giving you the tools you need in order to reach your goals.
“But, I have medical issues …”
Diabetes, SIBO, celiac disease, Crohn’s disease, gut issues, pregnancy, inflammation, food sensitivities. These are just a few of the conditions that are affected by food intake and for which a dietitian can prescribe a nutrition plan. Dietitians do not prescribe medicines, but can suggest supplements and will work with your doctor if your condition requires it. With medical issues like these, having someone with their expertise guiding you is imperative. As a bonus, in some cases, sessions are covered by insurance as preventative care.
Don’t be afraid to reach out to a professional.
Photos courtesy Pixabay.com
Kristin Metzler is a Certified Health Educator. She has a Master’s Degree of Nutrition from NC State and is the Area Manager for Total Nutrition Technology. A minivan-driving, soccer mom of 3, she knows how hard it is to feed a busy family nutritious food. She believes that if “healthy doesn’t taste good, you are doing it wrong.” You can contact her at email@example.com or visit the TNT website at Nutrition Technology – Nutrition Plan Weight Loss Programs.
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