Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Nutritionist Visit

Yesterday, my Nutritionist came to my house for a visit. This was the first time meeting with this particular person. She was nice. Quiet... but nice! She spent the majority of the time asking me questions. First some basic ones: "how tall are you?" "how much do you weigh?" "who is your Doctor?" etc. Then nutrition-specific ones: "what do you typically eat for breakfast?" "what foods do you not like?" "what kind of help do you need from me?" "how many calories do you eat now?" etc. These questions went on for about 45 minutes.

Then the fun part. We talked about how many servings of each of the 5 food groups I need each day. She went over portion sizes with me (I already know this stuff but it was a great refresher!) and defined some nutrition terms.

Regarding Calories. I explained that, per the SSDDDC, I am at approximately 1780 calories. To spare some time, I let her know that I was already aware that my weight (323) times 10-12 (11, as an average) equals how many calories my body requires to just maintain. So roughly 3553. Assuming I eat under 1800 calories per day, which is half of what my body requires to "maintain", then I should lose 3.5 lbs per week. She agreed with that calculation... more or less. After all was said and done, she left my calories at 1800 per day and said we'll re-evaluate in 3 weeks.

Regarding Portion Sizes. I disagree with what she told me. Ok, first of all, she said, even as a vegetarian, the only protein I should have each day is equivalent to the size of my palm, minus my fingers. That means both the diameter and the thickness. My hands are not that big. That is basically just one veggie burger... for an entire day... and that's it for protein. I understand she's a Dietitian but I just passed a year of Nutrition classes in college and after much studying and research, I know that as a vegetarian, my protein needs are double that of a meat eating person. Plus the fact that I am a child-bearing age and haven't gone through menopause... protein is important!

The portion for carbohydrates, again for an entire day, is that of my fist. I know that is equivalent to a single portion size, but not for an entire day. Carbohydrates, when in WHOLE form, are the best source of energy. Carbs are not bad! Fruits and veggies I'm to only have 2 servings of each. That's tough because I enjoy a big, veggie-packed salad for dinner sometimes or an omelet with a cup or two of veggies for breakfast. And cheese/dairy, I'm to have 4 servings of per day. Wait! More dairy and less veggies??? This just doesn't seem right to me. I'm going to run that by my Nutrition Professor to see what she thinks.

Regarding Water. Now here's something I completely disagree with. She said "drink to thirst". When I asked for clarification, she said "drink when you're thirsty, don't when you're not. There's no requirement. No minimum. Just drink what and when you want." WRONG! Our bodies DO require water. At minimum, we should be drinking 8 8-ounce classes of water per day (64 ounces). AT MINIMUM! When I mentioned how much water I've been drinking on the SSDDDC, she said that it won't kill me, but that it's completely unnecessary. "Weight loss should be easy, not hard." To which I said "well if weight loss was easy, we'd all be skinny and there wouldn't be any fat people." She laughed and then looked at me like I was crazy!

I told her I plan to keep drinking the water as it's a) helped me to stay fuller all day and b) flushed out a lot of CRAP from my system. Though I've been hit hard with colds and infections ever since, I know from a nutrition perspective that it's because I am cleansing my body of toxins and built-up bacteria and so a lot of that crap is surfacing all at once. Once I finish my antibiotics, I'm certain that will be over with and the water will keep helping to flush the crap outta me!

Regarding Meals and Logging Food. Again, she reminded me that "weight loss should be easy, not hard". She had a worksheet for me to log my various foods each day and keep track of how many veggies, fruits, proteins, etc. I eat. I told her how I blog about what I eat and keep track of it that way. She said "oh no no no. That's a lot of work. Don't make this so difficult on yourself or you won't stick with it." I thought about that for a minute. It's blogging that's keeping me on track. I know when I have to write about my food/exercise choices, I'll get feedback. I don't like the negative comments so I try to make better choices to eliminate those. It's encouragement for me. It's motivation. It's inspiration. And it's accountability. Without blogging, as I discovered earlier this year, I go crazy with food and get lazy with exercise. It does me NO good.

So, I overall, I was underwhelmed by the appointment. I think the lady was nice and I'm sure she's done a great deal of good for some people. But I question if she's ever actually worked with a morbidly obese woman before. I asked for ways to eat for breast cancer prevention and PCOS maintenance and she had no idea what I was talking about. Her comments about the water and the blogging pretty much turned me off to hearing anything else she might have to say. I'm glad I didn't have to pay for her out-of-pocket (thank you, ghetto insurance, for covering this!) because I'd demand a refund. I learned a lot more from my year of nutrition classes than I did from this one-on-one appointment. Total bummer! Guess I need to stick to what I know and anything I don't know, I'll do what I do best.... RESEARCH IT!!!


  1. I had the same kind of appointment with a dietitian a few months back. I knew more than her to be honest. Kind of a waste of my time... but I did it to please my doc.

    That's crazy to say just 2 veggie servings?? That isn't right at all. In general they have RAISED the servings to 7-10 a day. Ummmm.. a lot more than 2 a day.

    I also agree with blogging to keep accountable. I never could keep a paper log... and I'm still bad about listing everything I eat (I figure that gets boring for others to read)... but I do keep accountable with my weight... and just my general eating through blogging.

    I say, if what you are doing is working for you... keep it up! :)

  2. Sheesh! That woman didn't know much about nutrition at all. If she's trying to limit your carb intake, it should only be with grains, flours and sugars, not veggies. That's where all the vitamins and minerals our bodies need are. And not tracking your foods -- one of the biggest things you're told is that journaling in some way helps to let you see what you're eating and keep you in better control.

    Do what you know will work for you. Everyone is different and it seems this nutritionist took one example from her course book ... and what appears to be the example for someone on a specific health diet, not a weight loss diet ... and applies it to everyone.

  3. Sorry it didn't go as you wanted it to hun. It's good that you know what to do also, and aren't just going to follow her suggestions blindly.