National Women’s Health Week
A registered dietitian (RD), also known as a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN), can help you develop a safe and realistic eating plan. Plus, an RD can guide and motivate you with creative strategies to help with meal planning, grocery shopping and mindful eating. Learn more during National Women’s Health Week (NWHW).
National Women’s Health Week (NWHW) is a weeklong health observance led by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office on Women’s Health (OWH). The week May 9-15, 2021 serves as a reminder for women and girls, to make their health a priority and take care of themselves.
How can an RD help me with weight management?
Registered Dietitians-Nutritionists (RDNs) have the skills and insight to guide clients along their weight management journey. Through clinical assessment, RDNs help you to set realistic and personalized goals, in addition to identifying factors that may impact progress. We’ll also take a look at things like family history and lifestyle factors and develop a plan that is most suitable to help you achieve your goals. Once they are met, we help you to continue to maintain a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle.
Can an RD offer specific guidance for women, regarding weight management or other concerns?
Absolutely! We assess our clients in totality and consider a range of factors in order to come up with the best plan possible. We understand that while aging and hormone levels have an impact on weight management, lifestyle factors must be considered as well. As RDNs, we recognize that there is no “one size fits all” approach to weight management and take pride in developing personalized plans.
Is consulting an RD about “weight management” just for people concerned about losing weight?
Not at all. There are some individuals most interested in gaining or maintaining their body weight. Others, such as athletes, seek out RDNs to develop meal plans to optimize their performance. Lastly, some medical/behavioral conditions or surgeries require clients to alter not only what they eat, but the amount they are able to consume. RDNs specializing in these areas are instrumental in helping clients implement and adjust to these changes.
If I’m meeting with an RD to discuss weight management strategies, should I prepare anything beforehand? What can I expect when I talk to my RD for the first time?
Regardless of your goal, your weight, height and other anthropometric measurements will be collected. Your RDN may already have access to any recent laboratory results or may order a comprehensive metabolic panel and other tests to assess several key nutritional status indicators, such as glucose, certain proteins, vitamins and other levels in your blood. Your RDN will also want to know about your personal medical and family history, and will ask about your lifestyle and social behavior. A food diary is a great thing to have when you first meet with your RDN, as it gives an idea of your current eating habits. You will be asked questions related to how and what you typically eat anyway, so having this information on-hand is helpful.
Be prepared for multiple visits with your RDN and make them a regular part of your healthcare team. Recommendations made during your initial visit may need to change as you age and as your health status or lifestyle changes. Your RDN can help adjust your plan according to your changing needs.
Karima A. Kendall, PhD, RDN, LDN Scientific & Nutrition Manager, Calorie Control Council