What To Expect When Meeting with a Dietitian

Faith is taking the first step even without seeing the staircase MLK Jr

The first steps can be the toughest!


Eating differently may appear to be a simple task capable of changing on your own. It may be simple yet healing your relationship with food is not easy.

Whether you have anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa or binge eating disorder, meeting with a Registered Dietitian will make recovery more doable. Research suggests meeting with one will help promote a more secure and safe recovery.

But what will happen when you meet with a dietitian?

Making the call

Sometimes the first step is the toughest. We know this. When you call, let the person answering or the voicemail know you want to meet with a dietitian who specializes in eating disorders to help you recover. Many dietitians correspond initially over email to set up the appointment so consider this if it makes it easier. When the dietitian or scheduler calls you back, she may ask you for more details:

  • what are your goals while meeting with a dietitian?
  • do you want to file insurance?
  • what is your availability?

Before the appointment

Many clients report increased anxiety or being extra nervous before the appointment. Know this is normal.

At the meetingHopeJPG.001

The most important part of this meeting includes getting to know you and what your wishes are for the future. Don’t expect big initial changes or scolding! Many dietitians don’t even check weight during this first meeting.

Instead, we ask:

  • medical type questions (past medical history, family history, height/weight history)
  • what you typically eat in a day
  • what eating behaviors you’d like to change

Rather than hearing the dietitian preach, you will find the majority of the meeting will be spent listening to what you experience with food and what you want to change. With all this information, your dietitian may provide education on ways to work through troublesome eating behaviors and to eat to promote health. The two of you may put together a meal plan or make goals to start moving forward. All dietitians do things differently yet one thing is for sure: you get to decide the nutrition goals you want to pursue.

Following up

A dietitian will want to follow up with you every week or every other week. We know eating disorder recovery is not a sprint; rather it is a marathon. Slow and steady = a strong recovery. Meeting more frequently will help your food consultant pick strategies that include small steps toward health while learning to enjoy eating again.

Your dietitian is not expecting you to change your eating behaviors over night. Nope. We know this takes time, patience, and a lot of trust. Speaking for other eating disorder dietitians, let us walk along side you as you take these next important steps.

Post written by:

Julie Duffy Dillon

Registered Dietitian + Eating Disorder Specialist

Co-Founder of Space For AllJulieDillon_16_WEB

One Comment on “What To Expect When Meeting with a Dietitian

  1. Pingback: What Happens During Your First Dietitian Visit?

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