What Your Registered Dietitian Clients REALLY Want to Hear
Each of us is on our own unique journey, and each journey starts with taking a single step. Exuding an understanding attitude, helping a client to set and accept realistic expectations, and inspiring motivation are the ways that our community can help people to achieve success. If you’re a new registered dietitian or a potential client hoping to understand more about why working with an RD is a valuable solution, here are some helpful pieces of advice our network uses to motivate clients who are at the beginning of their health journeys.
Know Why You’re Starting Your Journey
What triggered you or your client to seek out the expertise of a registered dietitian? What do you and your client want to accomplish together? Oftentimes, individuals come to RDs for reasons that run deeper than dieting; it’s about changing mental and social constructs to create a more meaningful and healthful lifestyle. Help a client to understand how to re-frame larger goals in a set of smaller, specific milestones so that the journey seems more manageable.
Progress Not Perfection
You don’t have to be perfect. Who is? In an age where social media consumes our lives and saturates all kinds of space, it’s hard not to compare yourself to others. We understand that. However, it’s important to acknowledge and embrace the inevitable slip-ups that will happen along your journey. Every experience is a learning experience. When you’re making life changes, moderation is an important concept to accept. It’s unreasonable to adopt an all-or-nothing approach as that doesn’t actually teach anyone how to change a lifestyle in a healthy way or in a way that you can maintain it.
Visualize Your Future & Accept Change Will Take Time
Yes, looks are often a part of visualizing the future version of yourself but, more importantly, how do you see yourself feeling mentally and emotionally? How will your life change for the positive? Now, hold onto these visions as you commit to yourself and devote the time to enabling a transformation to happen. Try to get the thought of immediate results out of your head and, instead, focus on achieving consistently healthy habits to accomplish long-term, sustainable results.
Focus on Mastering One Thing at a Time
You are more likely to achieve better results if you focus on mastering one thing at a time. From a dietary perspective, this may mean trading fries for fruit as a side or snack, or replacing soda or a sugary drink for water or tea. This does not mean that the expectation is to eat perfectly at every meal and make all of the right, smart choices all of the time. We’re human, we were born to err. If you can make a single change consistently successful, then it’s time to move onto the next small goal!
Set Up Your Surroundings for Success
Change starts in the home. If junk food, candy and soda are filling your cabinets, pantry and fridge, remove them so that you’re not tempted to indulge. Invest in simple exercise gear like a yoga mat and small sets of weights so that you have easy access if a gym isn’t a logical solution at this time. You don’t want to sabotage yourself from the onset of your journey; make sure that you create an environment that will enable you to be successful.
As a registered dietitian, what is something that you tell your clients as you help them kick off their health journeys? People come to RDs because they’re ready to make a real, lasting change so the best advice is the real advice!