The dietitian and her psychological work

The dietitians-nutritionists in consultation we are professionals who offer our clients our knowledge in multiple disciplines: physiology, anatomy, pathologies, biochemistry, pharmacology, supplementation, culinary techniques and psychology. And it is on this last aspect that I will focus today.

To plan a diet from weight control we need to assess different variables of the client: not only age, sex and height, but also the client's eating habitsThe person's religious customs, work schedules, if the person suffers from any illness, if he/she takes medication, what specific physiological needs he/she has (if he/she is a pregnant or breastfeeding woman, if he/she is a child or adolescent, if he/she is an elderly person, etc.) and a long etcetera. The psychological work begins when we have the complete profile of the client (I speak in feminine because the majority of people who come to the consultation are still women (75%), although there are more and more men (approximately 25%).


Psychological work of the dietitian

  • Willpower. We know that in the vast majority of cases this will be the main difficulty to overcome. Apart from plan a healthy diet tailored to each individualWe are aware that we must inculcate and consolidate eating habits that help to achieve the objectives: eating five times a day, not allowing more than four hours to pass between meals, eating a good breakfast and eating less at night, not snacking between meals... The willpower is necessary to follow the planning, in spite of having had a bad day, in spite of a bad day, in spite of the stress o despite the fatigue and the lack of desire to cook.
  • Motivation. We always tell clients that they can achieve their goals and that with our help it will be easier for them. Sometimes the motivation some are for health reasons and others for physical needs (looking a few pounds lighter makes them feel more comfortable), others for health reasons and others for physical needs (looking a few pounds lighter makes them feel more comfortable). feel better).
  • Psychological support. In the weekly or biweekly follow-up sessions, we see if we are achieving the objectives. But the person has not always been able to follow the established guidelines: too much work, stress, personal problems of all kinds mean that the client has not been able to dedicate all the necessary time to her. We have to make her see that this is normal, that the same thing happens to many people, but that we must follow the established plan.
  • Anxiety. It is becoming more and more common for people to eat for anxiety. What we were saying: too much work, stress, tiredness, laziness to prepare a healthy dish, not eating breakfast, spending many hours without eating... In the afternoon comes the anxiety and the person begins to snack. The body asks -at the worst possible time- for everything it has not had during the day: if it asks for salty foods, the person snacks on sausage, cheese... If it lacks sugar, it is common to eat chocolate or pastries.
  • Follow-up sessions make mentalize and raise awareness the person of what to do. The simple fact of knowing that next week you will be weighing yourself in front of your dietician-nutritionist makes the client follow the guidelines more closely, which she does not usually do if she monitors herself at home.
  • Planning gives security. When we foresee that the following week is going to be complicated (travel will mean that the client will not be able to eat at home, there are some hard days of work ahead, she has to attend a wedding...), we prepare a light diet for the rest of the days. The person appreciates it and gives security.
  • Combating frustration. Sometimes there are physical reasons that make it difficult to achieve the objectives (menopauseproblems, thyroid problems, food intolerances, etc.), and this generates frustrationBut you should never use these physical issues as an excuse for not following the guidelines! Do you see why it is so important to have a good physical condition? willpower?


I hope that you will find in us not only a professional in the field of dietetics but also to a person who will support you in achieving your goals in the future. lose weight y consolidating good eating habits.


Iolanda Almirall

Graduate in Dietetics and Human Nutrition