Episode 23 - How to Know if a Sports Dietitian is Right For You?

How to Know if a Sports Dietitian is Right For You?

It’s a new year and you might be feeling like it’s your time to improve your health, fit back into those jeans or step up into a bigger race.

But how do you find the right person to work with? And what’s the best way to get what you need out of the relationship?

In this episode, I’m giving you my top tips for what to look for when searching for a Dietitian to get in your corner.

The most important thing you’ll need when working with a Dietitian. And different ways you can get help to improve your nutrition. 

It doesn’t have to be face-to-face in a clinic anymore! There are plenty of other ways to get expert education and support, depending on your budget.

Doors to the Triathlon Nutrition Academy Program open again on the 24th of January. If you’re looking for a cost-effective way to get expert nutrition advice, and to join an epic community of like-minded legends, come and join us!

Triathlon Nutrition Academy Podcast

Show Notes

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Episode Transcription 

Episode 23 - How to Know if a Sports Dietitian is Right For You?

00:06
Welcome to the Triathlon Nutrition Academy podcast, the show designed to serve you up evidence-based sports nutrition advice from the experts. Hi, I'm your host Taryn, Accredited Practicing Dietitian, Advanced Sports Dietitian, and founder of Dietitian Approved. Listen as I break down the latest evidence to give you practical, easy to digest strategies to train hard, recover faster and perform at your best. You have so much potential, and I want to help you unlock that with the power of nutrition. Let's get into it.

00:43
It's a brand-new year, and you might be feeling like it's your time to improve your health. Maybe you want to fit back into those jeans, or maybe this year is your year to step into a bigger race. And you're starting to think that nutrition is the missing link in your performance, but how do you know or how do you find the right person to work with? And what's the best way to get what you need out of working with them with that relationship?

01:10
In today's episode, I'm going to walk you through a couple of tips for how to know if a Sports Dietitian is right for you and also some ideas for how to work with them so you're going to get the best results for you and your time and your budget.

01:24
So first and foremost, before we get any deeper if you're looking at working with a Dietitian and a Sports Dietitian, you need to check credentials. There are a lot of bogus nutrition professionals out there... you can't see me putting my fingers in inverted commas, but the number of influences and people that aren't qualified dishing out nutrition advice makes my blood boil. So you need to make sure that if you're working with someone on nutrition, you're working with someone that's qualified to be giving it.

01:55
So you need to look for APD or Accredited Practicing Dietitian after the name if you're looking in Australia. Other countries have their own regulatory bodies, so you might need to have a look at what it is in your country, but if you're looking for a nutrition professional, make sure they have done proper qualified university-level study in nutrition to be dishing out that advice.

02:18
And if you're looking for a Sports Dietitian specifically, then make sure you're looking for Accredited Sports Dietitian after their name in Australia or again, have a look at what the regulatory bodies are in your country. If you're not sure what the difference is between a Nutritionist, a Dietitian and a Sports Dietitian, go back and listen to episode one where I explained the differences in those for you.

02:41
Now, if you're looking for a particular person, you want to make sure that they're an expert in your area. So whether that's your sport, or the thing that you're needing help with, whether it's fertility, or gut health, or whatever it is. If you're listening to this podcast, chances are you're an athlete of some description. Now remember, an athlete in my mind, is anyone that exercises on purpose. So if you have a body and you move it on purpose, then you're an athlete in my mind. It doesn't matter if you are an everyday weekend warrior or an elite athlete, it doesn't matter. If you exercise on purpose, you are an athlete, so I'm going to use that term interchangeably. You don't have to be elite to be called an athlete.

03:23
So if you're looking for a sports dietitian, you're looking for a Sports Dietitian that works with your sport. So for me as an example, I'm an endurance nutrition specialist. I work with the crazy runners, cyclists, triathletes, multi-day event type athletes, and triathlon is definitely my jam. You wouldn't come and see me for, say rugby league nutrition or any of that team sport type work, it's not my bread and butter. I know it and I understand it, but I don't work in it every day, so it's going to take me a lot longer and it's probably not going to be the best plan I can deliver if you come and see me for rugby league nutrition, because it's just not what I do all the time. You also wouldn't come and see me if you were say a boxer and you need to make weight for a particular fight. Again, it's not something I work in day to day. I know how to find the science and I've done work in that in the past, but it's not my area of expertise.

03:25
You're better off finding somebody that works in and amongst your sport all the time because then you're going to get the best specific advice and quickly. So find an expert in the sport or topic that you need help with and then I guess the main thing is finding a Dietitian you think that you'll connect well with.

04:43
Change can be challenging, it can be hard. Food and health type things can be quite confronting. They can leave you a little bit vulnerable depending on what you need to go into. So you want to make sure that you're working with someone who's got your back, who will support you through whatever and who really cares about you. A lot of dietitians are helper type personalities, so we'll all want to help you, but you want to work with somebody that you know and like them, and you can trust that they're going to want the best for you.

05:17
If you've been listening to this podcast for a while, or you follow me along on Instagram, you probably know a little bit about me and my style. So you'll know that I occasionally swear, I definitely don't beat around the bush, I can be quite direct, but I really like to motivate and inspire my clients to be the best versions of them. I know that sounds corny, but because of that, because of the way I work with people, the athletes that I work with, are generally all go getters. They like to get shit done and they don't sit around wallowing in self-pity, they don't have huge emotional support needs, because that's not my style. So it just means that the people that come through my door, already know that about me, and they're ready to put in the work and get shit done and actually get some results.

06:09
So if you need a certain sort of personality to work well with you, and you know that, then you want to source out somebody that you can connect with, because that's going to get you the best results. The other thing to consider is HOW do you want to work with him? Do you want to work one on one? Do you want to do some online courses? Do you want to do work in a group setting? Part of that might be your budget, the timeframe and it also just might be about the way you like to learn.

06:38
So you've got the option of online courses and these are self-paced education courses that you do in the comfort of your own home. This would be the type of education you do if you really enjoy learning that way. You like to go things at your own pace, you can come back to them later, you can kind of dip in and dip out, you can do it all over again and refresh. And these are the most cost-effective ways to get really high-level information in education but at a fraction of the cost. These can also be a good sort of stepping stone into seeing if you enjoy that Dietitian's style and if you like learning from them.

07:17
I have two online courses that are offered to people; One is about the fundamentals of nutrition. There's some really good ticking off the foundational work in this online course. And the other one is a Supercharged Triathlete Kickstarter, which includes a few of the key elements to kick start your journey to become a supercharged triathlete. Both of them are online, you can go and get them at any time, you can start anytime and you have access to them forever. So you can jump in and jump out as you need, so it's like having a Dietitian in your pocket.

07:51
The next step up from that is more of a group style learning, which is the Triathlon Nutrition Academy Program. So this is the community of like-minded triathletes and you get to share experiences with them, you can ask questions and learn from them and you can high five each other along the way as well. It's a good way to see what others are doing and learn from them and good if you like to learn in a social environment as well.

08:20
There's lots of accountability in the program. Everyone's in there together, so it's a shared learning experience, and you're in the same place at the same time. So while you've got different goals and you eat differently, you're all doing the same focus at the same time together. So we're all working on our pre-training nutrition together, we're all nailing our recovery nutrition together, we're building our meal plans and learning about periodisation together. So that's really good support from me, and also from them. And a lot of the athletes have told me that they love hearing and seeing what other people are doing. Triathlon can be quite isolating and if you don't have a really tight-knit, either training group or training buddies, sometimes you can be out there on your own. Or you could just maybe not gel with the people that are in your squad.

09:10
The Academy Program is also a really good place to learn. So in eight weeks, we really smash out some of the key foundational elements to really kickstart your supercharged triathlon journey before we move on to the race nutrition-specific stuff, and building into our one-percenters and our sprinkles and some of the secret sauce stuff we've got towards the back end of the program. But in the first eight weeks, you are going to learn loads. More than I can teach you in a one on one setting to be honest, because we've got so much time together and I can go through way more information in that time.

The Academy Program is also ongoing, you can stay as long as you like. You always have access to our private community group, you never get booted out of that. So you always have a Dietitian in your pocket to ask questions. We get updates on new research and new products that come out as well, so it's like having it is like having a dietitian in your pocket forever if you want it. So you're always involved. You can kind of tap in and tap out if you like, so you always have your finger on the pulse when it comes to trough on nutrition because it's ongoing.

10:21
And the last way to work with a Sports Dietitian is one on one doing private consultations. So that's just you and me, there's no one else. It's regular, so I usually like to see people weekly to start with, you know, when your motivation is high and there's so much to learn. And then we drop to more like fortnightly and even extend that further once you're much more under control, you know you're doing you don't need me so heavily and I can give you some stuff to work on, you go away and do it and come back and give you more in a few weeks time. That is definitely a commitment to yourself, and a commitment to me and you've got that regular ongoing support one on one, either face to face or online, you know, COVID land, online is definitely the way to go these days. But it means that you can work with somebody that doesn't live in your immediate area as well.

11:16
My most popular package for one on one consulting is the Endurance Package and that's 16 weeks together. And in that one, we go through all of your days to day fundamentals of what you're doing in your training nutrition and then we build into long session nutrition, into racing nutrition, carb loading, hydration, there are so many things that we cover in that 16 weeks. So you go from zero, not having any idea what you're doing, 16 weeks later, having your race nutrition plan fully mapped out for you by an Advanced Sports Dietitian.

11:51
There is a fair bit of education that goes into that because I really believe in setting people up for life. I don't want people that are so heavily reliant on me that they need a meal plan every time they change a session. I don't enjoy working like that and so I actually don't get clients that are like that, but it must be it must be my style, it weeds those people out. But I want to teach you and empower you with the tools and the resources to know how to change your nutrition if your training changes. That way you don't need me forever, if things get thrown at you down the line, you'll know how to adapt your nutrition because either in the academy or one on one, I've taught you how to do that.

12:34
But with the one on one consulting, it's fast and I write your plans for you, so the amount of education you'd get is probably less than the Academy Program. We have a lot more time there to go deeper into the science and the practicalities of why, whereas one on one private consulting stuff, it's it's more around what are you doing now, okay, this is a better option, here you go, go away and do it.

13:00
So if you really want to understand why, then the Academy Program is going to be better for you, if you want to know all that behind the scenes type thinking that goes on to what we do. One on one consulting is for you if you want to dive into the specifics of you and your situation. In the Triathlon Nutrition Academy, I like to know everyone, I don't want to work with somebody that I don't really know what's going on.

But I may not know the intricate details of their every training session that they've got every week or what they've specifically eaten. Whereas one on one, I know exactly what your training sessions are, I know exactly what you've eaten and I'm working with you on what you're doing moving forward,s so we're much more interconnected with all the details. And that would be good for you if you're time-poor, you just want to be told what to do and you have the budget for that as well because one on one consulting is definitely the most expensive.

13:59
You can claim private consults with private health if you have a Dietitian cover, you just need to check what you can claim. And you can possibly claim the Academy Program if you have Dietitian cover and they cover group consulting. You just need to check with your funds because they're all different.

14:17
So there's a few ideas about HOW you can actually work with a Sports Dietitian. It doesn't have to be one on one consulting anymore. COVID's taught us that but also just the online space. There are so many other ways to get good quality information without necessarily having to see someone one on one and also not having to sit in front of somebody in a clinic. Like if you're not comfortable getting face to face with someone at the moment, Telehealth might be the best option for you or doing an online program like the Triathlon Nutrition Academy. But at the end of the day, you're going to need to connect with that person that you're working with too, so finding someone that you gel with, who's got your back and is going to support you in whatever it is you want to do.

15:01
And hey, if you like the idea of the Triathlon Nutrition Academy Program and you want to come join the awesome triathletes that are already in there, then doors are open until the 31st of January at 6pm, Australian Eastern Standard Time, so Brisbane time, and then they're closed. I’m not sure when they're going to open again next, probably not for another three to six months.

So if you're sitting there thinking, I definitely need help with my nutrition this year, I'm ready to get started, then this is your slap in the face to head to dietitianapproved.com/academy and come and join us before doors close and you miss out again.

15:42
In the first eight weeks, I'm going to take you from a tired triathlete, winging it with your nutrition, having no idea what you should be doing to support training, to a supercharged triathlete, full of energy, smashing your training sessions and starting to unlock your true potential. Imagine how it would feel to finally understand what you should be eating and when to get the most out of your body.

16:12
Thanks for joining me for this episode of the Triathlon Nutrition Academy podcast. I would love to hear from you. If you have any questions or want to share with me what you've learned. Email me at [email protected]. You could also spread the word by leaving me a review and taking a screenshot of you listening to the show. Don't forget to tag me on social media at @dietitian.approved so I can give you a shout out too. If you want to learn more about what we do, head to dietitianapproved.com. And if you want to learn more about the Triathlon Nutrition Academy program, head to www.dietitianapproved.com/academy. Thanks for joining me and I look forward to helping you smash it in the fourth leg - nutrition!

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