What to Expect in your First Appointment with a Dietitian

What to Expect in your First Appointment with a Dietitian
Nutrition
Written By:
Adrien
Paczosa
RD
LD
CEDRD-S

If you’ve never met with a Registered Dietitian, it might be intimidating going into your first appointment.

We often get questions like:

What will this person think of what I eat?
Will I be told what I can and can’t eat?
Will I be judged for my weight or eating choices?
Will I be lectured about nutrition the whole time?

The truth is, your dietitian is there to support you and help you meet your goals, while still being able to enjoy your favorite foods. It takes a lot of courage to trust someone with something as personal as your relationship with food. This is especially true if you’ve had a bad experience working with dietitians, nutritionists or other healthcare providers. Most people’s expectations of working with a dietitian are colored by this idea of us as the food police, so it’s hard to imagine working with someone who says that’s the opposite of what they do.

Through this post, we can calm some nerves and you can have an idea of what to expect walking into a new experience.

So here’s what to expect in working with a dietitian at Nourish.

What Will Your First Appointment Be Like

This is a great question but can have different answers. That is because every appointment is tailored to the individual and their needs. When you see your doctor, you know what to expect, or even when you see a specialist, you have a general idea of what you are walking into. 

If you have never met with a non-diet dietitian, you might have a lot of questions about what it actually is like. Shoot, if you have never met with a dietitian, in general, you might have a lot of questions of what the session will look like.

Here is a quick rundown of what your time with a dietitian at Nourish might look like:

  • We want to get to know YOU! What brought you in to chat with us.
  • A lot of listening to your ideas and concerns.
  • We want to understand your thoughts about food without judgment. All foods fit – no good, bad, right, or wrong food list in our office. We slowly guide you toward intuitive eating.
  • A space that’s safe for all people. Your body is not a problem to be solved, and in honoring that, we’ll work with your body and not against it.
  • There are no wrong answers.
  • Nutrition! We love to share the fun and sciences of food to help you understand the WHY behind everything.

Prior to your appointment

At Nourish, we have over 100 years of combined experience, and we are able to support any condition you might be struggling with. When you have made your initial appointment with our admin team, they will match you with the dietitian who specializes in your needs. Being matched with the best dietitian to meet your needs is key.  

There are many benefits of working with our team because we pair you with a dietitian who is specialized in what you are needing help with.

What we need from you:

When you call our office, our administrative team will help you set up your appointment, go over the registration forms we need from you, and answer any of your insurance questions.

Your completed registration forms are given to the dietitian you will be meeting with to inform them of the nature of your visit. This is a great way to help the dietitian become familiar with your needs and go over any lab results or eating patterns that you have.

During your appointment

When you log into your HIPAA secure link to join the session, you will be greeted by your dietitian.

During your initial appointment, which typically lasts 60 minutes, you and your dietitian will get to know each other and establish what you want to get out of your visits. Most of your time will be spent talking with your dietitian because they want to get to know you as a person. Our goal is not to tell you that you can never eat your favorite foods, but to work with you towards reasonable changes.

In addition, the dietitian will take time to familiarize themselves with your medical history and eating habits in order to build a successful nutrition plan and make realistic goals.

Questions your dietitian may ask you:

  • Have you seen a Registered Dietitian in the past?
  • What does daily life look like?
  • What are your stress and sleep habits like?
  • What does a “normal” day of eating look like to you?
  • Do you ever experience emotional/stress eating?
  • Are you ever faced with GI distress?
  • Do you like to cook, eat out, or shop?

Judgment Free Zone

The dietitian's at Nourish are not here to pass judgment. They are only here to listen, assess the situation, and help you in the best way possible. Keep in mind, the more the dietitian gets to know you and your life, the better they can help you. This is a time for you to build each other’s trust and get you feeling your best!

After you and your dietitian have developed a rapport, the nutrition education process can begin! This might be a small part of your initial session because we want to do our due diligence in getting to know you personally and medically. That’s why we ask to see you the following week. Over the next few visits, you and your dietitian will be building your plan, while you test out the goals between sessions and bring back to your dietitian how the plan is working in your life.

After your First appointment

We will see you in a week! In our experience, we see the best results, meaning clients feel better, when you see the dietitian more often in the beginning. You and your dietitian will decide on the best cadence for follow-up visits.

We understand that behavior change is hard and we want to be by your side during this process. If you’re ready to take that first step, please contact us at Nourish. One of our dietitians is here for you and ready to help.