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  • Writer's pictureSasha Millice, MS, RD, LD

What is working with a dietitian really like?

When you are struggling with an eating disorder or disordered eating, asking for help can feel pretty dang terrifying. Even when we know it is time to try something new, the fear of the unknown can keep us stuck in inaction. You may find it easier to make the decision to seek support when you are armed with a bit more information.

So if you have ever wondered what working with an eating disorder dietitian really like this post is for you:

Before I meet with a patient, I will generally schedule a free 15-minute discovery call. During the call I am able to answer any questions the patient may have and together we can determine if we would be a good fit for nutrition therapy. If we decide to move forward, we will get an initial assessment on the calendar and I will send over forms for you to complete before we meet.

During the initial nutrition assessment, we will review your intake forms and do a deep dive into your relationship with food, body image, diet history, and your current eating patterns. We will also review your past treatment experiences, medical conditions, and mental health history. We cover a lot of ground on day one, but I have had patients tell me that it can feel cathartic to get everything out in the open!

Once we have a basic history, we will discuss your goals and develop an initial nutrition care plan based on your specific needs. Your care plan will be individualized to you, but it may include a meal plan, adjusting eating patterns, food exposures, nutrition education, or maybe all of these!

For most patients, especially those with active eating disorders, I recommend that we meet on a weekly basis. This frequency provides them with consistent accountability to support them through initial behavior changes.

During these weekly sessions I also want to get to know you. I want to understand how you think and feel about all things related to food and eating. By exploring things like your childhood food experiences, we can start to uncover the roots of the dysfunctional eating patterns.

Sometimes patients need additional support to put what they are learning in sessions into action. Therefore, I also offer experiential sessions that can be held in the community or complete virtually. In these sessions I will guide you though challenging, real-life scenarios such as eating a meal from a restaurant or grocery shopping. These are opportunities for you to build skills through one-on-one support.

Each time we meet we will review your personal goals, revise our care plan as needed, and identify additional resources that might be helpful to you. Ultimately, my goal throughout all of our work together is to create a collaborative, non-judgemental space for you to work through your food and body image concerns.

I hope that having a better understanding of what working with an eating disorder dietitian is like can help to ease some anxiety about starting nutrition therapy.

I would love to hear from you if you have additional questions!

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