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Question
Posted by: ht | 2010/08/12

Nutritionist?

Hi DietDoc

Thank you for an excellent forum!!

I am a 30 year old woman, 1.68m tall, weigh 79kg &  body fat% is 37% (9-fold caliper measurement). I have the classic pear shape &  struggle to lose the last 10-15kg to get to a healthy weight.
I started going regularly (3 to 4 times a week) to gym since March this year, but soon realised that I''m not losing body fat &  weight because I didn''t really reduce my indulgent items like crisps &  wine. In June I decided to start with a personal trainer at gym (3 times a week) and tried a friend''s weigh-less diet. The gymming is going well, but the weigh-less meals didn''t work out that well as it doesn''t suit my pressed-for-time-to-make-meals lifestyle.
The personal trainer at gym suggested I go and see her dietician so I made an appointment to see the lady.
She gave me a meal plan that consist of the following:
1100 calories per day that is split into 6 small meals a day
Daily meal energy composition was 44% protein, 39% carbs and 17% fat.

During my appointment I became concerned, because she didn''t ask me once how much exercise I was doing per week. I tried her meal plan for 3 days and felt really terrible because I felt weak, very hungry &  became dizzy when exercising.
I phoned her on the 3rd day to tell her about how I''m feeling (and mentioned the exercise) and then she changed the meal plan to 1400 calories per day with the same energy composition.
I did some investigation on her qualification after that and found out she is not a registered dietician, but claims that she is a nutritionist.

My questions are:
What qualification do you have to be a nutritionist?
I feel better on the increased calorie meal, but am concerned that the meal plan is still not right for the amount of exercise I do- my goals are to decrease my fat % and lose the excess weight in the next 8 months.

FYI - I do the following exercise every week:
3 x 45mins weight training sessions per week (high intensity: average heart rate is 144)
60 - 80 mins cardio per week (high intensity: average heart rate is 155)

Thanks Doc!

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageDietDoc

Dear ht
This is an interesting case where someone is advertising her services as a dietitian, but is not registered with the Association for Dietetics in SA (ADSA). The energy content of the diet you were initially given as too low to sustain a heavy exercise schedule. In general, adult women (even those who do not do heavy exercise), should have about 1500 kcal per day when trying to lose weight. Nowadays nutritionists are also required to register so that only those individuals who have the proper training in nutrition can practice. However, the safest option is to consult a registered, clinical dietitian (visit the Association for Dietetics in SA Website at: www.adsa.org.za and click on "Find a Dietitian" to find a dietitian in your area). All the dietitians on this Website have completed their university training in dietetics and are registered with the HPCSA (Health Professionals Council of SA) and ADSA. For your own sake, please go and see one of the dietitians in your area (ask if the dietitian has experience with sports diets) and tell her about your experience, the fact that you do plenty of strenuous exercise, that you felt weak and dizzy on the low-kcal diet and that you want to lose additional weight. Also ask the dietitian if she thinks you may suffer from hypoglycaemia or insulin resistance. If so, the dietitian may advise that you use a low-fat, low-glycaemic index (GI) diet.
I do hope you will now obtain the correct diet so that you lose weight, but still have sufficient energy to do your exercises.
Best regards
DietDoc

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1
Our users say:
Posted by: DietDoc | 2010/08/13

Dear ht
This is an interesting case where someone is advertising her services as a dietitian, but is not registered with the Association for Dietetics in SA (ADSA). The energy content of the diet you were initially given as too low to sustain a heavy exercise schedule. In general, adult women (even those who do not do heavy exercise), should have about 1500 kcal per day when trying to lose weight. Nowadays nutritionists are also required to register so that only those individuals who have the proper training in nutrition can practice. However, the safest option is to consult a registered, clinical dietitian (visit the Association for Dietetics in SA Website at: www.adsa.org.za and click on "Find a Dietitian" to find a dietitian in your area). All the dietitians on this Website have completed their university training in dietetics and are registered with the HPCSA (Health Professionals Council of SA) and ADSA. For your own sake, please go and see one of the dietitians in your area (ask if the dietitian has experience with sports diets) and tell her about your experience, the fact that you do plenty of strenuous exercise, that you felt weak and dizzy on the low-kcal diet and that you want to lose additional weight. Also ask the dietitian if she thinks you may suffer from hypoglycaemia or insulin resistance. If so, the dietitian may advise that you use a low-fat, low-glycaemic index (GI) diet.
I do hope you will now obtain the correct diet so that you lose weight, but still have sufficient energy to do your exercises.
Best regards
DietDoc

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