Ask the Dietitian - FAQsQ. What is the difference between a dietitian and a nutritionist, and what do the designations RD and CNS mean?
Q. How can you eat six meals per day and still lose weight?
Q. When trying to lose weight, is it a good idea to eliminate certain food groups, like carbohydrates?
Q. Can you eat out and still maintain your diet?
Q. Can your thyroid affect your ability to lose weight?
Q. What are the benefits of drinking tea?
What is the difference between a dietitian and a nutritionist, and what do the designations RD and CNS mean?
In general, if you are trying to choose a professional to provide nutrition counseling, look for either an “RD” or “CNS” after his or her name.
A Registered Dietitian (RD) has earned at least a bachelor’s degree in dietetics, food sciences, food service management or other approved nutrition-related field of study; completed an approved practical experience, such as an internship; and passed a certification exam administered by the American Dietetics Association.
A Certified Nutrition Specialist (CNS) has also earned an advanced degree, has had professional experience in the field and has passed an exam administered by the Certification Board for Nutrition Specialists.
However, the simple designation of Nutritionist (without any specific credentials) can be used by almost anyone, because there are no national standards for Nutritionists. While some states require a certain number of college-level nutrition courses, other states have no requirements at all.
How can you eat six meals per day and still lose weight?
This is often confusing to people trying to lose weight, but when done correctly, eating more frequently can help you achieve your weight loss goals quickly and comfortably.
First, eating six small meals every day helps you avoid getting hungry. This will make it easier to stick to your meal plan.
Second, the foods you eat need to be low-fat/low-calorie (with the exception of nuts), and they need to be eaten in small portions. Check out the meal plans for our Weigh to Lose contestants to learn more about daily plans for healthy eating.
When trying to lose weight, is it a good idea to eliminate certain food groups, like carbohydrates?
In general, it is difficult to stick with diets that recommend eliminating certain food groups such as carbohydrates, and these diets don’t always provide all the nutrients your body needs. In addition, sometimes there are harmful side effects to cutting out certain foods.
Overall, it is best to eat a wide variety of foods in moderate amounts. Avoid fats and such simple carbohydrates as sugar and fruit juices, and focus instead on fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Not only will this approach help you lose weight, it will also help you decrease your risk of heart disease and certain types of cancer.
Can you eat out and still maintain your diet?
You can, but it’s important to read the menu carefully, avoid certain high-fat ingredients, and don’t be afraid to make special requests. Here are some helpful tips for eating out and keeping the fat content and calories low:
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Can your thyroid affect your ability to lose weight?
Yes, it can, but first it’s important to see a doctor for a proper diagnosis. Your thyroid is the gland that controls how fast you burn calories. An over-active thyroid (hyperthyroidism) causes a person to burn calories very quickly. An under-active thyroid (hypothyroidism) causes calories to be burned more slowly, leading to weight gain.
Thyroid medication can help bring the calorie-burning process back to normal. But if you have any symptoms of an under-active thyroid – extreme fatigue or exhaustion, an inability to tolerate the cold, or constipation – check with your physician. Meanwhile, if you would like to lose weight, a low-fat/low-calorie diet combined with exercise is still the best path to success.
What are the benefits of drinking tea?
Tea that comes from the Camellia Sinensis plant – white, green, oolong or black – will contain some amounts of healthy antioxidants and phytochemicals that can help decrease the risk of certain chronic diseases. White and green teas contain the largest amount of these substances, while oolong and black teas contain the least. However, a person would need to drink between three and 10 cups of tea daily to receive any health benefits. While tea is a better beverage choice than soda and sweetened drinks, its health benefits are limited.
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