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Common Questions to ask a dietitian for Weight Loss

When you are looking for a professional like a dietitian to help you make healthy lifestyle changes or change your diet, here is how you can approach the conversation.

Written by
Sanchia Parker
Accredited Practising Dietitian and Nutritionist
Reviewed by
Dr Joseph Santos
FRACGP, MB.BS, B. Sci (Honors). University of Sydney

If you have any medical questions or concerns, please talk to your healthcare provider. The articles on Health Guide are underpinned by peer-reviewed research and information drawn from medical societies and governmental agencies. However, they are not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

As a Rosemary Weight Loss Program subscriber, you automatically get access to our team of Dietitians, available for a complimentary 1:1 consultation to help you reach your goals.

Wondering why you are still not losing weight after increasing your cardio? Curious about how much protein you should be taking based on your activity level? Wanting to refine your diet and exercise to be more sustainable for your lifestyle? Our dietitians are here at all times to answer your questions and help you come up with a personalised system that works for you.

If you are preparing to chat with your dietitian, here is a guide on how you can approach goal setting and having useful conversations that can best help you achieve your goals. 

What is a dietitian?

Different from a nutritionist, an Accredited Practising Dietitian (APD) is a regulated healthcare professional. This means they are held accountable by a regulatory body (Dietitians Australia) and are able to accurately assess, diagnose and treat nutrition-related issues.

“Accredited Practising Dietitian” is a legally protected title. Other titles such as Registered Holistic Nutritionist, Certified Nutritional Practitioner or Nutritionist are not regulated, and therefore are not held to the same rigorous standards. Dietitians are credentialed health professionals that tailor nutrition advice to your specific health requirements and lifestyle. 

Dietitians can help you reach your health and nutrition goals, help support you in reaching your goals and help you improve your relationship with food. 

You might be wondering: If the dietitian is the expert, why should I come prepared with my own questions?

Ultimately, there are a few compelling advantages to having your own set of questions prepared for your chat with an APD.

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Gain clarity.

Asking your burning questions to an expert can help demystify any confusing topics like diets, supplements, and healthy versus unhealthy ingredients. It’s a great time to address any food myths you’ve heard (like those around plant-based diets, for example).

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Improve results.

Diet is deeply personal. By asking personal questions, a dietitian can better understand your goals, hesitations, and everything in between. The more insight your dietitian has on your specific needs, the more personalised your nutrition prescription will be. Hence, better results!

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Save time.

If you have limited time to talk with your APD, having your list of questions on hand will ensure you can get the most out of your session. To save even more time, consider sending your list of questions to your APD in advance.

First ask yourself: What are my goals?

You may not realise that a dietitian’s area of expertise extends far beyond weight loss. Whether you’re looking to manage a health issue, lose weight, or get an expert’s point of view on finding (and sticking with) the perfect diet for you, your dietitian will help clarify the scientific elements of nutrition in a way that enables you to achieve your goals. 

It’s important for you to consider your own health and nutrition goals. Perhaps you want to improve your energy, eat more vegetables or move more. Consider what challenges may be preventing you from reaching your goals. Perhaps you are short on time, don’t know where to start, or find it difficult to think of healthy meal ideas.

When you speak with your dietitian you can then ask questions that centre around your goals and challenges. For example, perhaps your goal is to eat more vegetables and have less takeaways. You might ask: 

  • What are some quick ways to prepare vegetables? 
  • If I do get takeaway, what are some options that include plenty of vegetables?
  • Are frozen vegetables as healthy as fresh? 

Some other questions you can ask your dietitian include: 

  • What are good sources of protein?
  • What are some healthy snack ideas?
  • How can I maintain the goals I have set for myself?
  • How can I get enough fluids if I don’t like water?
  • What foods can I eat to boost my mood?
  • What foods can help with menopause symptoms? 
  • How can I ensure I am getting enough calcium? 
  • How do I stick with my meal plan while hanging out with friends?

If your objective is simply long term weight loss, you can consider these questions

  • I’ve been overweight for years, can you help me to lose weight
  • I’ve tried everything and can’t seem to drop any pounds, what else can I do?
  • Menopause has not been easy and I seem to keep gaining weight, how can I lose weight?
  • I feel like I eat quite well but it seems with age the scale keeps going up, what can I do?
  • I’m an emotional eater and know what to do but can’t seem to follow it, can you help?

Weight management online on Rosemary

The challenge with seeing a dietitian professional is that you often have to take a few hours out of your week to travel to and from the session and have the consultation. There are also travelling expenses associated with face-to-face consultations.

For this reason, many people prefer the convenience of an online program, where they can communicate with their dietitian or registered dietitian around their busy lifestyle.

Rosemary is one of Australia’s leading digital clinic and pharmacy platform. Rosemary’s weight loss program can also connect you to both 1:1 support and advice from doctors and dietitians to help you lose weight and make sustainable lifestyle changes from the comfort of your home. 

When to consult your doctor

Some questions should be addressed by your doctor before seeing a dietitian. This is especially important if your dietitian doesn’t have access to your past medical history.

This step will apply to you if you:

  • Take prescription medication
  • Have underlying medical issues
  • Are preparing for or recovering from surgery
  • Are pregnant or breastfeeding

The Takeaway

Whether you’ve just booked your consultation or you’ve been regularly visiting a dietitian, it’s never too late to start asking the right questions. Remember to ask questions that apply specifically to you and try not to over-generalize. Everyone’s nutritional journey is different, and a dietitian’s job is to help you figure out what that means for you and your goals.

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