What is a registered dietitian?
Registered dietitians (RDs) are experts in food and nutritional science. A registered dietitian can translate the science of food and nutrition into advice you can use to live healthier everyday. The academic background, clinical expertise, and practical experience are what make registered dietitians so qualified to practice the science of nutrition. To be a registered dietitian, one must meet the following criteria:
- Have a minimum of a Bachelor’s degree (typically in health or nutritional science) with course work approved by Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (formerly the American Dietetic Association) Commission on Accreditation for Dietetics Education.
- Complete a 1200 hour internship which may include clinical, food service, community, and management rotations.
- Pass a national registration exam.
- Complete continuing education requirements every five years in order to maintain registration
If you are interested in becoming a registered dietitian, check out the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics website here.
What is functional nutrition?
Integrative and Functional Nutrition therapy is a leading and evidence-based approach to nutrition care that looks at each individual in a comprehensive and holistic manner to improve health and overall well-being. This type of nutrition therapy focuses on identifying the root causes of diseases rather than a prescription of nutrition protocols based on a diagnosis.
In order to do this, the whole person must be assessed including their lifestyle, lab work, history, and physiology. By using a dietitian that is trained in integrative and function nutrition, it will allow for a critical assessment using a “whole systems” approach that provides a personalized integrated nutrition care plan to restore function and improve outcomes.
Do you offer remote nutrition counseling?
Whenever possible, we prefer seeing patients in our office. However, for those out of driving distance to our Alpharetta office, appointments are available by Skype.
What should I expect at my first appointment?
During your initial assessment, expect to spend about 90 minutes with the dietitian. Throughout this time, we will explore all different facets of health including:
- Your medical history
- Current diet and eating habits
- Medications and supplements
- Additional factors contributing to your overall well-being such as social and emotional health
We will then work together to come up with an individualized nutrition plan that will help you achieve your health and wellness goals. You will also be provided with personalized meal ideas, support and guidance to make these healthy changes a part of your lifestyle.
Typically, after the initial visit, a follow-up appointment will be made. During this time, we will evaluate your original goals to ensure you are on track. We can work together to troubleshoot barriers to achieving these goals, and set new goals to continue to build upon your healthy lifestyle.
How many appointments will I need?
The amount of appointments needed depends on YOU! How hard you are willing to work, how many nutritional issues we are addressing, and how much accountability and support you need.
In terms of a number, most clients do well with between three and six sessions. Other clients like to check in weekly or every other week.
How do I schedule my first appointment?
To schedule an appointment, you may email email@example.com, call us at 678-203-1513 or use our online scheduling system.
Do you accept insurance?
Balance Fitness and Nutrition is not an insurance provider. However, during your appointment, we are happy to provide you with paperwork to submit to your insurance company for the potential of reimbursement.
You may want to call your insurance company before your appointment to find out if they will reimburse for appointments to out of network dietitians for your given diagnosis.
What is the difference between a registered dietitian nutritionist and a nutritionist?
Simply put, anyone can call themselves a nutritionist, it is not a regulated credential. However, to be a registered dietitian, one must meet the criteria listed above.
Some nutritionists may have the credential of certified nutrition specialist, often times you will see the letters CNS listed after their names. While holding an advanced degree is a requirement, CNSs may not have the clinical expertise or extensive food and nutritional science background that registered dietitians are required to have. Additionally, the degree program requirements for CNSs are less specific than the degree program requirements for registered dietitians.
The bottom line is if you are looking for a reliable source of nutrition information, make sure you are consulting with a registered dietitian.
What can a registered dietitian do for me?
Registered dietitians are amazing in that they are an endless resource of food and nutrition information. Many people do not fully realize all that registered dietitians are capable of doing for them. Here is a list of the top ten reasons to consult a registered dietitian from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics website.
1. You have diabetes, cardiovascular problems or high blood pressure. An RD serves as an integral part of your health-care team by helping you safely change your eating plan without compromising taste or nutrition.
2. You are thinking of having or have had gastric bypass surgery. Since your stomach can only manage small servings, it’s a challenge to get the right amount of nutrients in your body. An RD will work with you and your physician to develop an eating plan for your new needs.
3. You have digestive problems. A registered dietitian will work with your physician to help fine-tune your diet so you are not aggravating your condition with fried foods, too much caffeine or carbonation.
4. You’re pregnant or trying to get pregnant. A registered dietitian can help make sure you get nutrients like folate, especially during the first three months of pregnancy, lowering your newborn’s risk for neural tube or spinal cord defects.
5. You need guidance and confidence for breastfeeding your baby. A registered dietitian can help make sure you’re getting enough iron, vitamin D, fluoride and B vitamins for you and your little one.
6. Your teenager has issues with food and eating healthfully. A registered dietitian can assist with eating disorders like anorexia, bulimia and overweight issues.
7. You need to gain or lose weight. A registered dietitian can suggest additional calorie sources for healthy weight gain or a restricted-calorie eating plan plus regular physical activity for weight loss while still eating all your favorite foods.
8. You’re caring for an aging parent. A registered dietitian can help with food or drug interaction, proper hydration, special diets for hypertension and changing taste buds as you age.
9. You want to eat smarter. A registered dietitian can help you sort through misinformation; learn how to read labels at the supermarket; discover that healthy cooking is inexpensive, learn how to eat out without ruining your eating plan and how to resist workplace temptations.
10. You want to improve your performance in sports. A registered dietitian can help you set goals to achieve results — whether you’re running a marathon, skiing or jogging with your dog.