Funny situations from the dietitian's practice. Part II

I suppose, that almost everybody who has read the previous part of this article already knows that the dietitian's job is connected with some dose of humor. I will write some more anecdotes which occur during the work of specialists dealing with nutrition and are worth sharing.

You should definitely read:

Funny situations from a dietitan's practice. Part I

I want the following diet

Funny situations from the dietitian's practice - Part I

Apart from the clients who know nothing about nutrition, there are “very well prepared” individuals. Such people come to a dietitian with a ready-made recipe for themselves and are just waiting for approval. It seems funny, as it reminds a situation when a “master” comes to his “student” and tells him how to lay boards and fasten nails. This way, I can hear such requests:

I would like you to prepare a reduction diet for me, because no matter what I do, I cannot lose my belly. My energy demand is 3,112.5 kcal, demand for proteins 160g, for fat – 80g, and for carbs – 430g. I would like energy deficit of 5% on training days and 20% on the other days. Please, cut down on carbs. I would like to eat porridge for breakfast, then chicken breast with rice and broccoli or tuna with wholegrain bread and tomato. I would like to have the same thing for dinner. After workout – pure isolate (unless you recommend hydrolysed proteins), I think 30 – 35g. I would like to eat home-made burgers with wholegrain roll for supper and casein with 20g of peanut butter for supper. At the weekend, I would like omelets made of 4 eggs, nutrition and 50g of oat flakes for breakfast and second breakfast.”

I got such a message from one of my clients. What's important, it wasn't an exception of a person who already “knew everything”, and just needed someone to note down their ideas. Well, the whole point is actually included in the first sentence. This client knows that his methods are ineffective, but despite that, he wants to implement another recipe of his own for the problem. In fact, this person does not need a dietitian, but a food diary. In such case, I clarify who comes to whom and with what problem. I also mention that it's possible to switch the roles and then I ask if the client is interested in paying me just for nodding or shaking my head. In practice, that's enough, and after a few weeks we both laugh at the situation mentioned above...

Why are there “fattening” products in my diet?

Thanks to the fact, that information is nowadays a product which has to be sold, a lot of data appearing in the media is presented on the basis of bivalent rhetoric: something is either “slimming” or “fattening”. Of course, such evaluation makes no sense, but many people perceive food products this way. There are many ranking systems, and the most popular are:

  • GI (if something has high glycemic index, it has to be fattening),

  • calorific content (highly calorific foodstuffs are fattening, lowly calorific – slimming),

  • fat content (the belief that fatty things fatten is still very common),

  • carbs content (the situation is exactly the same as in case of fat),

  • the level of processing (if something was processed – it's fattening and poisonous).

And so, some time ago, some lady got upset that there are fruits in her diet, and they contain sugars which fatten and contain “high GI”. What's interesting, the same lady defended her favorite muesli, which contained 35% of refined added sugars, quite consequently...

I suppose, majority of controversies are around including bread in diet. Bread, according to many sources, fattens, and many people follow this thought. Of course, there is no obligation of eating bread but excluding it from diet should be followed by rational and convincing arguments. The statement that “bread fattens” does not belong to that group of arguments. What's interesting, people who don't want bread in their diets, also that baked from unrefined flour, are eager to eat regular wheat noodles (from durum wheat, but clarified).

Marital confidentiality”

The fact that people who visit dietitians are often far from truth is known for a long time. But the scale of this phenomenon can be noticed when there's a couple visiting a dietitian. Married couples are specifically interesting in that matter. During one of such meetings, I talked to a couple who didn't react to the new nutrition plan. During the verification of realizing the assumptions of the diet, I asked about possible derogation from the diet. Suddenly, when the husband was denying doing any changes, the wife couldn't stop herself and said:

you know what – I cannot listen to that grumbling any more! Do you hear yourself? Remember last weekend – Saturday, you were watching football match on TV when I was at my sister's. When I came back, I found you sleeping like a baby, and I found peanuts on the table, a box of pizza on the balcony and some bottles of beer. I keep finding cans with energy drinks in the car, too. And you're saying that you stick to the diet?”

In such moments, in order to relax the clients, it's worth using the topic of denial to explain the reason of the problem and its consequences. After such situation, the ashamed client is usually much more scrupulous. However, in this particular situation, the wife wasn't so innocent, either. The husband said:

and you're saying that you're so saint? I saw you in the kitchen few times having some papers in your palms hiding from me so that I didn't see that you're munching fudges and other specifics. You also visit Christina not to eat salads, but cheesecake during gossiping...”

Favorite food: lettuce...

When I talk to my clients about their eating habits, I ask not only about the foodstuffs they tolerate badly or dislike, but also about those which are their favorite. The last point rises loads of emotions, as I mention that there's some chance of leaving some amount of the favorite foodstuffs in diet, or their more valuable imitations. The clients keep on listing numerous food products, like chocolate, beer, very often bread, sometimes sausage, meat (in general, or particular kind), kebab, French fries and many others. However, once I took part in a special situation. It was a triple consultation with: a sixty-year-old man, his about twenty-year-old daughter and her friend at the same age (they came to me together from some distant town).

The father was asked about his favorite food products as the first one. And he replied, without any hesitation: “lettuce”! I can only add, that it's a very interesting situation, because I have never met anyone with such weakness towards lettuce, and I could easily see on the basis of anthropometric parameters, that the client also loved other kinds of food. But that was not the end of surprising cases. As the second respondent, there was the daughter. When I heard “broccoli”, I had difficulties in hiding astonishment. I replied that the love for vegetables has to be typical for that family. In that situation, the reply of the other young lady, who said she couldn't imagine living without cucumber and tomato, was just a formality...

Of course, I told my clients that they will definitely find their favorite products in the diets I would prepare for them...


Funny situations from the dietitian's practice - Part I