Why are nutritionists so unpopular?

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    Dec 29, 2011 1:18 AM GMT
    I rarely see nutritionists being mentioned on the forums. Why? Are they less important than personal trainers?

    Maybe you can generalize training for certain goals and body types, but you can never generalize nutrition. You have your goals, your metabolism, your daily activities, your training, your hunger, your preferences or allergies for certain foods and nutrition has to be in harmony with all that.

    It goes without saying that nutrition can be very complicated: with goals being as complicated as losing fat and gaining mass at the same time, skinny guys willing to grow 100lbs whereas others want to lose just as much in fat, having a perfect nutrition where a specialized professional is carefully deciding when and what you are going to eat makes all the difference. People lose years of their lives with nutrition experiments -- eating too much, or too little, or in the wrong time -- when they could get it right from day one.

    I just don't see most people having the competence to achieve this level of know-how by themselves, not without losing a valuable time in which they could be progressing more at the gym.

    Why are nutritionists so disregarded when nutrition is probably the most important factor for fitness?
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    Dec 29, 2011 3:39 AM GMT
    Most nutritionists don't have experience with sports nutrition. They mostly deal with people that have health issues and have specific dietary needs. That's not to say there aren't any sports nutritionists. But their numbers seem pretty low, considering the rest of their peers in the field.
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    Dec 29, 2011 5:02 AM GMT
    There are so many clowns who call themselves "nutritionists" spewing nonsense in all forms of media. The general public can't tell one from another. In addition, legitimate discussions, such as calculating kilocalories or grams of protein involves a small amount of math. As soon as one mentions numbers or calculations of any kind, the general public changes the channel.
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    Dec 29, 2011 7:03 AM GMT
    Some people just wanna get into the gyms and grow instant muscles....

    ...but some forget that these muscles won't grow properly at all without enough rest and correct nutrition !

    Nutrition is equally as important as training itself as you know!

    I believe nutrition is popular only with the people who are seriously dedicated to their training.

    ...However those people get their info about nutrition at their local gym from their trainers, so their questions are usually answered there. Mine were!

    Most questions asked here are for armchair workouts lol

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    Dec 29, 2011 7:07 AM GMT
    I enjoyed the conversations with my nurse at school when we would look at my body composition and how it changed week to week. She was able to tell me how to adjust my diet to meet my goals. We did notice that I was burning fat and muscle mass so I had to increase my protien intake. I wish that kind of analization was made more avalible. Luck me... Alumni Perks.
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    Dec 29, 2011 7:32 AM GMT
    Joe shmoe who didn't graduate college or highschool can call himself a nutritionist. It is an unregulated term.

    If you want a professional in nutrition, seek a registered dietitian (RD).

    You can find one near you at www.eatright.org. Click on RD finder and read the disclaimer.

    Unfortunately, with nutrition, everyone thinks they're an expert regardless of their education. You have personal trainers who think they know it (personal training doesn't require a college degree either, so check what your trainer has...not that you need a college degree to kick someone's butt through a workout program, but when they go into nutrition, that's not their field), medical doctors who think they know it (research what they study in school vs what an RD has to take...not counting undergrad degree--some MDs have a BS in nutrition didactic programs, but it is not required or assumed with their credential because you can get into medical school with an English degree--they study pathophysiology and have one optional course at most medical schools in nutrition), chiropractors (not even close to what they study in school and requires a bachelors or associate's degree in anything)...

    RDs tend to specialize in hospitals (clinical), food service management, community nutrition (WIC), corporate wellness, open a private practice, do consulting, and sports nutrition.

    Herein lies the problem, having completed an extensive background in both, it's not safe to say that all RDs know sports nutrition, but they're likely to give you better information than the other professionals above. Exercise physiologists may give you good info on what to do regarding a workout and what is happening in your body, but they lack the food knowledge to put it into practice and a full diet/menu for someone without their background. Plus there seems to be some animosity between the departments of nutrition and kinesiology at the university level. Go figure.

    If you want THE BEST sports nutrition advice, seek an RD with a CSSD (certified specialist in sports dietetics) or one who has an advanced degree such as a masters or PhD in physiology/exercise physiology. She (usually it is a she because 97% of the ADA is women, soon to be the AND) should have extensive background in both nutrition science and its application to active people (as opposed to people in the hospital).

    These people are very rare because they want jobs for their knowledge and tend to be found working for universities and professional sports teams as the team/sports dietitian. Not all universities have them yet because people still don't value the importance of nutrition within their budget.

    You're right that if you want to maximize the results of your workout, you should practice a lifestyle of seeing food as fuel rather than pleasure. Unfortunately, most of the current population doesn't hold this "unique" perspective athletes and very active people have. Don't downplay a good trainer though. If you don't periodize your workouts appropriately, nutrition doesn't help either (you can only eat so much and be so perfect with nutrition before it monopolizes your life and your ability to socialize with the rest of the world). If your body is overtrained, you sometimes just have to take time off to regain normal testosterone/cortisol balance. Unless you're on steroids!
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    Dec 29, 2011 7:45 AM GMT
    bachian saidI rarely see nutritionists being mentioned on the forums. Why? Are they less important than personal trainers?

    Maybe you can generalize training for certain goals and body types, but you can never generalize nutrition


    Nutrition is not an exact science. It's not a case of 1 + 1= 2. Depending on who trained the nutritionist depends on their viewpoint. Some might view a particular food as bad while another might say it's good. If a nutrionist's lecturer says that food A is bad, then the nutritionist will most likely also say food A is bad. The general population probably don't question what people say but those who are interested in nutrition and have done some background reading probably know enough to develop their own food plan.
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    Dec 29, 2011 7:49 AM GMT
    I agree with you that it is not an exact science when working out an eating plan for someone else (nor does it have to be because most people are held back by culture, traditions, personal beliefs, discipline, and whatever stage of change they may be in--but it can be a science when applied individually...I measure my food, count my calories, and know when I need carbs and protein and in what quantities and types). However, the dietitian should be able to give you a thorough, EVIDENCE-BASED explanation of why they are telling you what they are telling you. A nutritionist cannot do this.
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    Dec 29, 2011 7:53 AM GMT
    Regardless of whether you're a nutritionist or not, bachian, you're popular with me icon_biggrin.gif
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    Dec 29, 2011 7:54 AM GMT
    bluey2223 saidI agree with you that it is not an exact science when working out an eating plan for someone else (nor does it have to be because most people are held back by culture, traditions, personal beliefs, discipline, and whatever stage of change they may be in--but it can be a science when applied individually...I measure my food, count my calories, and know when I need carbs and protein and in what quantities and types). However, the dietitian should be able to give you a thorough, EVIDENCE-BASED explanation of why they are telling you what they are telling you. A nutritionist cannot do this.


    When administering medical nutrition therapy via tube feeding (enteral nutrition support) or via IV (total parenteral nutrition support) to a patient bound to the hospital where the dietitian has more control of what you are eating, it is backed by evidence of what is safe, needed, and recommended. But still, I do disagree with some of my professors when they say that X patient needs 1.2-1.3g/kg protein and 1600 kcal instead of 1700 kcal. That sort of exact estimate is a bunch of bull UNLESS the patient has kidney disease of any kind, in which case, yes, you do need to monitor protein intake. For other people, it hasn't been proven that too much protein is bad for you (and it's a bunch of crap when us as students get these problems wrong on a multiple choice test).
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    Dec 29, 2011 1:35 PM GMT
    xrichx saidMost nutritionists don't have experience with sports nutrition. They mostly deal with people that have health issues and have specific dietary needs. That's not to say there aren't any sports nutritionists. But their numbers seem pretty low, considering the rest of their peers in the field.


    Here in Brazil you have two types of nutritionists: the clinical nutritionist (the one you mentioned) and the sports nutritionist, who specializes in nutrition for athletes. Maybe there's another title for the latter there in US?
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    Dec 29, 2011 1:42 PM GMT
    Soccerstud4 saidRegardless of whether you're a nutritionist or not, bachian, you're popular with me icon_biggrin.gif


    I'm not! icon_smile.gif

    But I had plenty of benefits when I started following the diet prescribed by a sports nutritionist for me. I'm now in a 5000Kcal diet which I wouldn't be able to create myself.
  • fitdude62

    Posts: 294

    Dec 29, 2011 2:06 PM GMT
    Why are they unpopular?

    Because they are gonna tell you you can't eat what you want.

    It's that simple. People don't like to be told what they can and can't eat.

    Peace
  • LJay

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    Dec 29, 2011 2:09 PM GMT
    Because their food tastes icky.
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    Dec 29, 2011 2:22 PM GMT
    LJay saidBecause their food tastes icky.


    Lol. But true. From my experience, nutritionists don't really tell you anything that you couldn't find out on your own on the internet or reading Men's Health. Most guys on here are already health conscious so paying someone to tell you what to eat when you can just read up on it yourself seems like a waste of time to me. Plus, you have understand your own body which takes trial and error. For me, carbs make the difference. That's it. If I eat sugary carbs and work out, I stay the same or gain weight. If I don't eat carbs, the weight literally falls off of me whether I work out or not.

    Increasing my protein intake does nothing for my weight/muscle gains but it does keep my hunger at bay.
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    Jan 02, 2012 7:16 AM GMT
    Well, typically people want to pay the dietitian because the information on the internet and Men's Health typically isn't 1) science-based, 2) evidence-based, 3) is anecdotal, 4) is unregulated: anyone can be an expert regardless of what actually happened. Yes, if you stop eating carbs you'll lose weight, but you'll also lose energy to workout and most of the weight you lost was water. Dietitians are needed to separate fact from fiction based on the research, which is difficult to keep up with, and to promote safe and healthy eating habits.

    Why go to an MD when you can look up what you have online? Same reason.
  • FRE0

    Posts: 4865

    Jan 02, 2012 7:41 AM GMT
    dash_8 said
    bachian saidI rarely see nutritionists being mentioned on the forums. Why? Are they less important than personal trainers?

    Maybe you can generalize training for certain goals and body types, but you can never generalize nutrition


    Nutrition is not an exact science. It's not a case of 1 + 1= 2. Depending on who trained the nutritionist depends on their viewpoint. Some might view a particular food as bad while another might say it's good. If a nutrionist's lecturer says that food A is bad, then the nutritionist will most likely also say food A is bad. The general population probably don't question what people say but those who are interested in nutrition and have done some background reading probably know enough to develop their own food plan.


    Quite true. Also, many tend to be food faddists. Opinions regarding nutrition tend to change for no apparent reason. Even so, if people paid more attention to good nutritionists, probably we wouldn't be having an epidemic of obesity and diabetes and people would be more heathy.