The Role of Nutritionists/Dietitians
Whether it is to lose weight, gain muscle mass, improve your performance in sports , or simply to maintain good eating habits, a nutritionist/dietitian is the best resource and partner to reach your objectives.
Due to the fact that everyone must eat, all individuals possess diversified nutritional information. However, with all the information available today, it can be hard to tell truth apart from myth. Therefore, nutritionists/dietitians are THE REFERENCE when it comes to proper nutrition.. These professionals have acquired knowledge based on conclusive data, and are trained to guide you in the right direction. In addition, problems related to bad eating habits appear more in the long term than in the short term. We think of chronic diseases such as hypertension, heart disease, diabetes, or cancer. It is possible to think we are eating properly because there are no apparent symptoms of illness, while in fact we are not eating right. It is at this moment that nutrition specialists can play a role.
More specifically, the nutritionist/dietitian begins with a nutritional assessment in order to provide you with personalized advice, and ensures a follow-up to help you all along the way. For example, if your objective is to lose weight, they will ensure sufficient nutrient intake while allowing you to lower your weight in body fat and maintain as much lean mass as possible. You want to gain muscle mass? The nutritionist/dietitian will know how to limit your fat gain and maximize your muscle gain, as well as ensure that you get all your nutrients. Combined with a proper training program, you will see quicker and more efficient results when you consult and are followed by a nutritionist/dietician. You want to maintain good health? The nutritionist/dietitian is able to give you the facts about the quantity and quality of the foods you choose. And let’s not forget that these nutrition experts are specialists for all different types of nutrition, that is, for those with kidney disease , diabetes, heart disease, for athletes, pregnant women… and the list goes on! In short, these professionals will support and motivate you to adopt healthy eating habits in the long term. They will give you the tools to reach your goal , and they adapt to the situation when your objectives change.
You have to be careful when looking for a nutritionist/dietitian. In order to use the title of nutritionist/dietitian, the professionals you consult must have completed a Bachelor’s degree in nutrition from an accredited establishment and must be members of the Ordre Professionnel des Diététistes du Québec. Beware of such as, nutrition consultant, or nutrition advisor… their professional training is not the equivalent than that of nutritionists/dietitians! For more information about the work of nutritionists/dietitians, visit www.opdq.org or www.dieticians.ca!
By Christina Timotheatos dt.p, in collaboration with Vanessa Lehoux, level IV intern at Université de Montréal