Want customized diet advice to make your weight or health goals attainable? Consider working with an RD — a registered dietitian.
Not just a luxury for the rich, a registered dietitian has the know-how to create a diet plan for your specific needs — one that will help you safely drop pounds and keep them off.
A registered dietitian’s training means that he or she knows how to take into account health issues, from allergies to diabetes, and can work closely with the doctors on your care team. In addition to answering diet questions, a registered dietitian can help you with motivation, the same way that a personal trainer keeps you on track with exercise.
And as with a trainer, you can set a schedule tailored to your goals and budget. Some people might only need one or two sessions to get a food plan in place while others will benefit from more frequent check-ins.
You might have local options available, like a dietitian-supervised group program, which can be less expensive than one-on-one sessions while offering you peer support and a forum to exchange ideas.
Credentials are important — they show various levels of training in the field. Look for the initials RD or RDN, for registered dietitian nutritionist, a credential newly created by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. If you have diabetes, consider a certified diabetes educator, or CDE.
You can also ask your doctor for referrals or check with your insurance company — some of the costs may be covered, especially if you’re trying to manage a chronic condition like diabetes.
When checking out dietitians, also ask if they’re licensed or certified in your state.
To find a dietitian near you, search at the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics website where you can also learn more about the role an RD or RDN can play in improving your diet.