Resources For Dietitians: How To Answer 5 Of The Most Common Nutrition Questions

We are officially in 2020! It is a brand new decade and beginning for a lot of individuals, and It’s that time again where most people are jotting down their goals and resolutions for the year. Every new year, some of the top resolutions have to do with health, nutrition, and weight loss; three major topics that online nutrition counseling can definitely help with! You, the rockstar registered dietitian nutrition coach, may have already been bombarded with messages since January 1st…

How do I get healthier?

Can I still have donuts?

What should I eat every day?

The beginning of a new year is a great time to communicate with a ton of people and onboard new clients who are looking to make positive changes, but it’s also a time of year where you are going to hear the same questions over and over. Due to this, I’ve decided to help you out by providing you with this resource where I dig deep on 5 of the most common questions you will most likely hear, not only in January but throughout the entire year! Continue reading to find out what the questions are and how to best answer them.

#1: Which Diet Is The Best?

Answer: No diet truly reigns supreme

As registered dietitians, we know that there is SO much misinformation surrounding nutrition out there, and the general population who do not have any nutrition education soak it up like a sponge.

“Keto is the best diet according to this article I found, you should try it with me Karen.”

“This magazine has all these paleo recipes, see? This guy lost 100lbs eating this way, I bet I would lose weight too”

“I want to try that protein drink diet Kim K did, she said it helped her lose 10 pounds in 10 days.”

There are diets galore out there, and yes, there are definitely diets out there that are unhealthy such as those that drop calories very very low, however, it’s important to realize that the best diet for an individual is the one that they can stick to long term. The best nutrition coaches are able to stay neutral on the topic due to the fact that every diet has its pros and cons, and one diet that may work wonderfully for one individual may not feel do-able to someone else.

As online nutrition coaches, it is our job to set our clients up for long-term success. If a client feels that they can sustain a plant-based diet or keto diet long-term, then that is the best diet for them.

#2: Carbs Are Bad Right? Should I Stop Eating Them?

Answer: Carbs are our friends! But make sure it’s the right kind of carb.

As we know from our college nutrition physiology classes, carbs are our body’s main energy source! However, carbohydrates have had a bad name in the media for ages. It’s essential to make it clear to your clients that carbs are not “bad,” and to educate them on the types of carbs they should be consuming.

Complex carbs, such as vegetables, oatmeal, rice, and legumes should be consumed more often while simple carbs, such as baked treats, packaged foods like cookies, and breakfast cereals should be consumed less often. 

Simply put, removing carbs from the diet is usually not a practical or essential approach when looking for long-term success, especially if your clients’ goals are focused around strength and performance. Carbs are fuel, educate your clients on this topic so that they understand the right carbs to focus on.

#3: Should I Go Gluten-Free?

Answer: There is no need to avoid gluten

This is a valid question to ask a nutrition coach because gluten-free food items have been an extremely popular food trend within the past few years, and it will most likely continue to grow in 2020 and beyond. You can find gluten-free versions of pretty much all staple food items such as pasta, cereal, bread, and other baked goods.

Unless you work with clients who have celiac disease or FODMAP intolerances, gluten does not need to be removed from the diet. Wheat, along with grains like couscous and barley can be great additions to a healthy well-balanced diet and do not need to be feared!

#4: What Should I Eat To Lose Weight?

Answer: ALL foods can fit

Most individuals believe that for weight loss to occur certain foods need to be avoided or eliminated completely, but the truth is that this is simply not true! ALL foods can be part of a healthy and sustainable diet. As mentioned before, the BEST diet is the one your client is confident about sticking to.

The three most important things to focus on for weight loss clients is the quality of their diet, the amount of food they are eating, and physical activity. Educate your clients on what makes up a balanced meal and have them focus on their internal hunger cues. Most individuals eat way too many calories throughout their day due to things like emotions (bored, stressed, etc), so once they become masters of listening to their bodies, they will automatically begin eating enough for THEM and not piling on 100s of extra calories a day.

#5: When And What Should I Eat Around My Workouts?

Answer: It depends! What are your goals, what type of workouts do you do, what intensity do you work out at?

I typically find that most clients, athletes or not, ask this question at some point. You can not answer this question without more information from them first though! A more advanced athlete is going to require different recommendations that someone who is doing light exercise a few days per week.

Most individuals who are not athletes usually are fueled fine with a normal balanced meal 1-2 hours before partaking in exercise. However, the more advanced athlete will really need to focus on what they are eating before a workout to maximize their gains and/or performance. For instance, for an individual looking to gain strength and size, a protein shake that includes at least 30-45 grams of carbs would be adequate.

Are you a Registered Dietitian looking to take your online business to the next level? For more information about the I Believe Mastermind for Dietitians visit