If you’ve ever met or worked with a dietitian, you’ll notice there are several things all dietitians have in common. It’s a myth to think dietitians and nutritionists follow a super strict diet or unmaintainable regimen. Dietitians are regular people too! They also have a ton of tips you can follow. If you’re looking to eat like a dietitian, keep reading for these simple seven things all dietitians have in common.
One of the things all dietitians have in common is that they never skip breakfast. Whether it’s a protein packed omelet or a hearty and fiber-rich bowl of oatmeal, dietitians realize that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Eating breakfast is one of the best ways to get your metabolism going, especially after a night of fasting while you sleep. If it means you need to wake up on time or do a little extra prep the night before, do whatever you need to do to make sure you eat something every morning.
If there's one thing all dietitians eat, it’s fruits and vegetables. They realize the importance of plant-based foods. Fruits and vegetables are full of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and other important nutrients. Some dietitians might be huge advocates of green smoothies, while others might incorporate lots of salads into their meals. The point is, they aren’t afraid to let fruits and vegetables take center stage and shine for all the goodness they possess!
One interesting trait I’ve noticed about nutritionists is that they come from a place of yes. They don’t eat too much or too little of any food group. This is what I call an ‘inclusive diet.’ I’ve rarely come in contact with a dietitian that follows a super strict low-fat or low-carb diet. Instead, dietitians usually prefer to ride the middle road of balance and moderation. Keep this in mind for your own eating patterns. Don’t try to stay on a rigid diet for too long. You’re only setting yourself up for failure and a binge.
While I did mention that dietitians tend to have ‘inclusive’ diets, there is one food group they don’t include: processed food. To dietitians and nutritionists, processed foods aren’t even foods—they’re food-like items. These foods are loaded with trans fats, refined oils, refined sugars, artificial ingredients, chemical additives, preservatives, and a whole host of gross ingredients that don’t belong in our bodies. When shopping for food and other groceries, try to avoid processed foods like cookies, chips, crackers, and other boxed items.
Dietitians realize that it isn’t just what you eat—exercise is an equally important component in maintaining a healthy weight and achieving a healthy lifestyle. Mind you, they don’t kill themselves at the gym. They do, however, realize the benefits in a blood-pumping cardio session or relaxing yoga class. Aim for 30-60 minutes of exercise a day. Remember that exercise doesn’t need to be at a gym! There are plenty of ways to get some physical activity in your day, like running laps around the block or playing a casual pick-up game of your favorite sport.
Surely you’ve heard that the low-fat diet trend is finally over! For decades doctors, dietitians, and other medical professionals believed fat was the culprit to disease and obesity. But now we’re realizing that fat isn’t necessarily the problem. What matters is the kind of fat you consume. Dietitians realize this, and are now welcoming fat back into their diets. So don’t be afraid to use a little coconut oil for that omelet. Remember that it doesn’t need to be an egg white only omelet either!
One of the last important things all dietitians have in common is they enjoy food! As focused as they are on food, nutrition, and health, they also know how to let their hair down and not stress. Dietitians at the end of the day are normal people, and they enjoy food like everyone else. There are times where they may not make the best choices or they overindulge, but they also have an arsenal of tricks and techniques to get back on the healthy eating bandwagon.
Dietitians have some really great tips they follow that you can also incorporate into your everyday habits. Their no-nonsense and practical approach to eating is something everyone can identify with and maintain. To all the dietitians out there, what other tendencies do you and your colleagues tend to follow?