With an abundance of information flooding our media feeds, it’s difficult to decipher truth from trend in regards to health and wellness. Dancers are artists and athletes. This unique combination requires nutrition education to not only maximize strength and endurance, but also to sustain a well-balanced lifestyle without the risk for burnout.
For this reason, dancers should seek qualified information. Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDNs) are a dancer’s ideal source for meal planning and nutrition-related information. Before turning to either Google or a health coach, here are 6 reasons why you should consider a licensed professional for nutrition information.
1. Extensive Training
Similar to the rigorous training required of a dancer, Registered Dietitian Nutritionists receive years of clinical training in medical nutrition therapy and in nutrition research. This unique background enables dietitians to accurately translate scientific jargon into accessible information. Medical Nutrition Therapy is the root of food and diet intervention. When identifying a dietitian, dancers should further consider a Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics. This advanced certification provides a dietitian with insight into the unique demands of physical performance.
2. Continued Education
In order to maintain professional licensure, dietitians are required to complete continuing education throughout their professional practice. Since nutrition is an evolving science, this continued education ensures that dietitians remain up-to-date on nutrition research. Such training sets dietitians apart from “nutritionists” and “certified health coaches.”
3. Your Relationship with Food Needs Repairing
Our diet-drenched culture conditions us to disordered eating behaviors. Whether you’re avoiding one specific food group (such as bread) or eliminating whole macronutrients (such as carbs) you may be headed down a road of unsustainable eating habits. Dancers can seek a Certified Counselor in Intuitive Eating to learn more about the benefits of rejecting the diet mentality and building a sustainable non-restrictive approach to eating.
4. You’re Not Sure What’s “Good” and What’s “Bad”
A single stroll along the grocery aisle presents labels that depict a confusing story. From “All Natural” and “Organic” to “Dairy Free” and “Gluten Free,” food labels are often based on questionable conclusions. Registered Dietitian Nutritionists learn the science behind the role of which food plays in the body and can help to decipher fact from fiction.
5. You’re Not Feeling Great After Meals, Physically and Mentally
Food should be an enjoyable experience. From stomach discomfort to that preconceived guilt or, “I shouldn’t be eating this,” you may need to assess the mental and physical impact of your daily food choices.
6. You’re Confused About Meal Planning
Busy schedules make it tough to find balance in our food choices. From convenient snacks to menu ordering, Registered Dietitian Nutritionists teach you how to navigate tight times and on-the-go routines.
Virtual nutrition counseling and HIPPA-compliant telehealth makes it easy to receive qualified nutrition services for even the busiest of dancers. While some may question the virtual approach, the accessibility and convenience of telehealth allows dancers to work with board certified nutrition professionals despite an over-booked schedule.
If you prefer an in-person experience over virtual work, The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics provides tools to help dancers find a dietitian in his or her area. As I said earlier, consider a Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics to better meet the physical demands of your dance training. Use The Academy’s helpful search tool to find a licensed dietitian in your area.
I’m reassured working with a dietitian. I saw Rachel’s name in an article for Dance Magazine and felt compelled to connect. Rachel’s personal background as a dancer makes our work together relatable and enjoyable. For dancers, it’s not easy finding a medical professional who just gets it. I now have insight into my body and its needs as a dancer. I feel stronger in class and more confident on stage.Ashley, dancer with New York City Ballet