Dietitian's Confession : I'm not a Walking Mental Calculist

September 28, 2017

Can you give me a diet? How much calorie should I take in a day so I can lose weight? Look at my plate, how much calorie do you think I have? 
Doctor's Referral for a Diet Instruction - calorie counting, and present a computed diet. and she/he will expect you to give it immediately because its urgent or so.

These are just some of the questions I encounter or scenario that usually happened and ask to a Dietitian. But honestly speaking, it wasn't a simple question or task for us especially if the person asking is demanding or expecting a good evaluation from us. There's nothing wrong if you want a good evaluation but please do understand that we are not a walking mental calculist. Yes, we compute diets for you but we can't give you instant result without analyzing and evaluating the person carefully because an actual diet prescription is done individually not generally. And having a good nutritional assessment will really consume a lot of time. 

We follow certain standard values or measurements that serve as our basis to easily explain a fraction of the prescribed diet of an individual. But these standard will not give you the exact diet prescription for you because these kind of assessment is intended for general nutritional evaluation only not for an individual use.  It can be use as a reference but result may varies... it can be effective or not.

To give an idea of how we do it, here are the things we do...

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We first conduct nutritional assessment of the individual by starting from measuring your height and weight, checking and analyzing your laboratory results, assess your physical condition and recall your eating habits and eating pattern. After the assessment, we will start calculating your body figure, and come up with a diet prescription that gives your personal daily calorie and nutrient intake needs.

We also do adjustment or consideration about your preference and sensitivity to the food and other stuff. We value our patients thoughts because it will help them to keep them motivated and be discipline enough while we make necessary modification in her/his eating habits, and of course she/he must enjoy doing these changes. Nutritional Assessment is also done with a series of visitation to your Dietitian, especially for those with strict diet, because it requires monitoring before we finally achieve her/his goal. 

That's not all and if I discuss it to you now, It's like I will give you a whole day or more, lecturing you on how we do it. I just simply want you to understand that It really takes time to compute and you have to understand that part. All of us want a worthy consultation with our doctors or dietitian, and we also want that. 

If you want a 15 to 30 minutes assessment then we'll give the basic... but If you really want a full diet prescription, you have to set another appointment with your dietitian because your first meet up with them will be just about initial nutritional assessment or so. We also require follow ups for monitoring purposes.

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A friendly reminder from your Dietitian, We are not a Walking Mental Calculist that can give you the exact numbers you need... all we can do for a quick evaluation of your diet is by giving healthy tips, identifying the healthy or unhealthy foods, and make certain estimation of the real numbers you have in your plate. But if you want an exact computation of your diet plus a menu plan for you, you have to set an appointment with us. :)

Thank you for reading and hope this confession helps you to understand What does a Dietitian Do.

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