If you follow dietitians for advice and tips on Instagram you may notice two VERY different worlds. Some Dietitians promote dieting weight loss, while others adopt an “anti-diet” or “non-diet” approach of weight inclusivity. If you find that confusing, you’re not alone. Like many evidence-based fields leaning on new and emerging research, there are differing philosophies around weight loss, including if and how it should be approached!

In today’s episode we interview fellow dietitian Maria Sylvester Terry MS, RDN, LDN to discuss:

  • the difference between a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and a nutritionist
  • what training ALL Registered Dietitian Nutritionists receive
  • how to know if the Registered Dietitians Nutritionist you’re working with is right for your needs
  • how to navigate nutrition messages that confuse or trigger you

Episode Resources:

This episode was sponsored by No More Guilt with Melissa Landry. Reminder that though we are dietitians, we’re not *YOUR* dietitian. Podcasts don’t constitute treatment. If you have concerns about your dieting behaviors, seek out guidance from a medical or mental health professional. And if you’re looking for the process, support, and focus you need to live life without food guilt apply for a coaching program from today’s sponsor. No More Guilt with Melissa Landry is currently enrolling clients into 1:1 programs, group programs, and, recently added a do-it-yourself learning format: the Ex-Dieter’s Guide to No More Guilt.

why do dietitians disagree about weight loss? episode transcript

Dalina Soto  0:00  
Hola Hola Chulas!

Melissa Landry  0:02  
Hi there! Today we have a very special guest in Maria Sylvester Terry, who is a fellow Registered Dietitian. And today we're going to talk about a question many of you asked us, which is why dietitians can't seem to agree on weight loss? 

So first, I'm going to have you introduce yourself, Maria, and then we'll dive in on that question. Welcome to the podcast. 

Maria Sylvester Terry  0:22  
Thanks so much for having me. I'm thrilled to be here. What many people may not know is that I met Dalina many years ago, it feels like, as her intern. I was in my second year of graduate school at Drexel, I was a career changer. I was an English teacher and a school administrator for a while and just decided I was ready to move on and do something different, something that really allowed me to live a comfortable, less stressful life, while still impacting a lot of change. 

And I felt like Dalina lived and breathed that mission of impacting change that really needed her advocacy. I was on my way to a cruise and saw her Instagram say she wanted an intern, I was like, "I'll do anything she wants!" and that's sort of how I started 

so I met her after I came back from my cruise and the rest is history. So right now I'm living in New Orleans very far away from Philadelphia, where I work as a registered dietitian after I completed my dietetic internship at Tulane, which was an awesome experience, and my role is to be the eat fit Nola regional dietitian. It's the largest health system in Louisiana. And they are one of the only health systems to have a nutrition focused, nonprofit organization that works with restaurants, works with grocery stores to ensure that there are nutritious items on menus in corner stores wherever food is available. And we're working on hospitals too. So I manage hundreds of restaurant locations. 

I just came for a meeting with one of New Orleans finest executive chefs. And I love it. So I don't do a traditional dietitian, job. I work in the community. And I have lots of quote clients who are chefs and staff and restaurant owner. That's kind of where I'm at. And I bring a very different perspective to this whole conversation. 

Melissa Landry  2:26  
This is so incredible for the audience to hear too, because I think their traditional conception of a dietitian might be what they see, maybe on Instagram, or maybe an outpatient experience you had. Dietitians do lots of different things. And so it's it's really cool to that you can bring the Health at Every Size intuitive eating lens into those spaces, because I'm sure you're finding interesting and nuanced ways to do that, as well. 

Maria Sylvester Terry  2:49  
Yeah. Especially in the deep south. That's amazing. 

Dalina Soto  2:52  
Well, we're so glad they have you 

Melissa Landry  2:53  
very hard for dalina to say, I just want everyone to know that.

Dalina Soto  2:57  
I did sound a little fake. I cried I literally cried she said she was leaving. I was like, why are you doing this to me? You're ruining my life. How am I ever going to do my social media by myself?

Like I spiraled?

Melissa Landry  3:17  
You found your way Dalina 

Dalina Soto  3:19  
Yes. I did. 

Melissa Landry  3:20  
And we are often sharing Maria's posts, both of us. So you can say your handle now if you'd like but we'll say it at the end. Where can they find you? 

Maria Sylvester Terry  3:28  
Oh, I'm at vitamin_ri. 

Melissa Landry  3:30  
Okay. And you know, right before we started recording, I told Maria the reason why we thought of her for this topic today was because she does such a nice job pointing out some of the things that are missing in these like bite size posts we often see on Instagram around intuitive eating and so we'll definitely get into that. 

Is it okay to dive in with some questions here to help the audience understand why dietitians don't seem to agree and how they can navigate that?

Maria Sylvester Terry  3:53  
 Yeah, let's do it. Alright, so first, I thought we'd take a step back and talk about how dietitians are trained. So Dalina, you've been a dietitian, like 10 years, right?

Melissa Landry  4:02  
Are you as old as me? I've been I've been a Dietitian 11 years

Dalina Soto  4:08  
No, eight years, eight years. 

Melissa Landry  4:10  
Okay. So you Maria are more recently trained. So tell us a little bit about your training. And then we can talk about you know, from there, how intuitive eating Health at Every Size may or may not come in. So tell us a little bit about training more recently. 

Maria Sylvester Terry  4:25  
Sure. So as a non traditional candidate, I took a lot of coursework at Community Colleges to be able to apply to a dietetics program. It's my first degree was in English and education. So all I had was like psych and an English class. All my science classes had lapsed. So I took your traditional science classes, you know, Chem, biochem, biology, I was able to take counseling, nutrition 101 and then when I apply for my master's program to the Masters of Science Program at Drexel, I needed to have A's and B's and all those classes.

I had to know my stuff when it came to metabolism, vitamins, the way nutrients are absorbed in your body. And I took courses like critical care, community nutrition, I took classes that were about nutrition in the life cycle. So learning from birth or like, you know, just being in the womb, to geriatric nutrition. I learned everything I might need to know pertaining to what issues might happen, what nutritional problems might arise and how to solve them. 

When it came to counseling, and pharmacology type classes. It felt like a rush, I was just rushed through that. Not to say I was bad at it, but it's something you need to get a lot of practice at. And it's in one, you know, one semester of a course. So I found that there were areas where I just loved it. And I got a lot of practice in areas where I wish I could have majored or had another degree in counseling, because you're working with people, I didn't have enough classes on that. 

I did have opportunities to see public health in different ways. I did not have the opportunity opportunity to really navigate how I believed a nutrition could be applied because there was really just one size fits all, which is like "this is athletic nutrition", "This is weight loss nutrition" and "This is sports nutrition"....there was no middle ground at all, like how do you talk to people about their individual needs. So I've had to do a lot of that research on my own through trial and error. And certainly, my dietetic internship helped. 

After I graduated, I got my dietetic internship match, so that was very exciting. And I did a community emphasis program, which meant I did the bare minimum of clinical like, just the minimum of the academy of Nutrition allows, which is still most of the program, you know, your internship, it's mostly clinical, but so a lot, least amount of hours, and I was there, I was at the VA for that. And I just loved it. I did get Community Care there as well. And then I had a ton of rotations, including the one that offered me a job later, where I working in community and nothing prepared me for that. 

I had one community nutrition class. So Truthfully, I think internships are mostly controlled by how the academy wants it to go. But then it also is What school do you go to? what internship Do you get matched to? What you know, how you act and how you talk about nutrition with other people will depend on your training experience. 

I think I talk about nutrition the way that I do, because I was in community wrote community internship. And I was in Center City, Philadelphia, with a diverse faculty, diverse patients and mock patients. It was just, I had I think I had more opportunity to broaden my perspectives. And we're always aligning against our own values and interests too. And so hurry, I'm sure just hearing how you found the Lena and that little spark and you're like, Oh, that sounds cool. Like you sound like that kind of person that's like constantly looking for opportunities that align with you too. This is true. So, you know, for everyone listening just to help you understand, like all dieticians will have the same basic coursework, and that is in part what separates registered dieticians from nutritionists. Not that nutritionists don't have things to offer out in the field or the community. It's just that there's less standardization around what makes a nutritionist and so that's why registered dietitians might be preferred for the thing you're looking forward because you have a degree of certainty that person has gone through some really standardized or basic coursework. 

Melissa Landry  8:42  
But that being said, the reason why you might see differences between all of us is we're all individual frickin people with their own interests and aptitudes, aptitudes, we are going through internships, which are - is it 1200 or 1600 hours? I forget now?

Maria Sylvester Terry  8:59  
It's technically 1350 

Melissa Landry  9:06  
Okay, so it was a lot of hours.

So yeah, it really depends. So you have you know, we'll say 1000 plus hours of supervised direct practice, oftentimes in a hospital, it's bedside with patients who are impatient. But in Maria's case, there was more community work involved. Mine was within a hospital so I had a lot of clinical and a lot of food service. How about you Dalina? Were you mostly focused in one one area or the other? 

Dalina Soto  9:34  
yeah, mine was very clinical. I was also at the VA see, like Maria and I like always have this stuff in common

And as as Maria said, I think that what shapes dietitians is really the experience that you have during this clinical internship.

Because again, being in Philadelphia the way that I was at the VA Yeah, the VA was very Very diverse. I was not seeing, you know, the same kind of patients while I was there. I was definitely I mean, it was mostly men. So they did have to, they did have to take me out a few weeks before and put me in another hospital just so that I could work with some women. 

For the most part, yeah, like, culturally speaking, it was very, very diverse. And so, so yes, I think that that's one of the things that's missing. And I think that I'm always talking about on my page is that a lot of the times, you know, dieticians, kind of like are in this clinical bubble. And if and then fortunately, when we're looking at where these dietetic internships are, and and who's applying to these dietetic internships, and who's being accepted to the dietetic internships, it's all very,

I'm going to just say white.

And so that's the kind of experience that they're getting. That's where they're coming from. And sometimes it's really hard. When, because another thing that we hear a lot about dietitians, we're very science based, we're very, like, follow these steps, that standardization, it's really hard for them to like diverge and like look at things another way. And so we're taught this very weight centric way of working. I feel like it's just so hard to let go

Melissa Landry  11:31  
Yeah, right. So like, you know, for me, as I'm probably like the most like the the "template" for dietitian, you know, a white person in a straight size body. Yeah. If you don't have lived experience other than that, everything weight-centric that is presented to you is going to makes sense. 

So it's, it's a, it's a disservice when there's a lot of the same people repeating the same things, it's very hard to catch any sort of bias or ask questions like, "Whoa, that didn't stack up with my experience, can we look at the data in a slightly different way?" 

So for sure, there, the that's something that, you know, Dalina is really involved with diversified dietetics. Like, it makes me so hopeful they just got their internship approved, which is awesome. That, yeah, the practice experience is going to be enriched by more inclusion over time, which does mean that I think we're going to see more formalized training in things like weight stigma, social determinants of health, health at Every Size, intuitive eating and things that the three of us have had to go outside of our traditional training and do other trainings and supervisions to really get more more aptitude.

Dalina Soto  12:41  
and I will, I will say that I was that person, that would always be like, "Oh, excuse me. Have you ever been to Philadelphia?!" that was always my go to. But I think that if you're an RD-to-be listening to this, like it's okay to stand up and ask questions. 

I think that that's another thing that I felt very much lacked in the dietetics field, the  being able to ask questions from a vulnerable place and actually wanting to learn. I oftentimes feel like a lot of my professors were like, it's this way or the highway, and they did not like being challenged. But if you if you feel comfortable, challenging, please do

Melissa Landry  13:28  
Maria as like a second career learner, like you had a different presence probably because you've already gone through like world experience. For me, I was like, what, 22 years old. I was like wanting an "A" so freakin bad. like nobody's business. I needed that "A" I wanted to be like the best and do a good job be THAT girl and so like, you're kind of coming off that like high school model of in relationship to your teachers, right? Do what the teacher says perform, get the A... And that's why I think sometimes finding dietitians who either have lived experience who can relate to you or they've been in the field a little bit longer, can sometimes - not always - offer an advantage to give you a bit more of that practice that they've been able to acquire rather always offer the status quo on things. Not always, but that's something you want to know is like how do they think about problems? How do they think about the world and if that matches with your worldview, too? 

So I'm curious about like weight stigma, intuitive eating and these things? I've mentioned things we really care about like social determinants of health, eating disorders, Health at Every Size. 

what are your thoughts on that? Like, is that standardly known across all dietitians? Do you think it's a standard competency or is that something that consumers should be checking in on if they want that style of service? 

Maria Sylvester Terry  14:47  
I feel like the items listed are are numerous and broad. So I can hit a few of them and say that currently, I believe it is a requirement for students to know the social determinants of health. I cannot imagine a student leaving with I have to have a community nutrition course. And I cannot imagine you not learning that now having some sort of practice and some sort of project or assignment related to that. So I feel like you can bank on that. However, how near and dear to their practice, is it? How much are they leaning on that? How in the forefront of their mind is that and that I cannot measure? I don't know if that's an objective or a competency in a dietetic internship. 

When it comes to eating disorders, and disordered eating, I can say that is a crapshoot of what is covered in dietetic internships because it was like a specialty here. And then it was sort of like hush, hush. Can you get in? Do you know the person? Oh, that dietitian now works in bariatrics and that feels weird. And there were just so many vibes, I'm sorry, if you hear my dog barking, 

Melissa Landry  15:59  
that's okay. We welcome all the critters 

Maria Sylvester Terry  16:01  
gonna let her out in a moment. So she can be quiet, I find that the eating disorder felt like I'm not going to touch that with a 10 foot pole. 

And then when it came to intuitive eating, I had to beg my professor at Drexel to approach my assessment, my final counseling assessment, which was recorded, I had two hours of recorded assessment with a patient a mock patient, I had to beg her to go off script. 

I said, I am not comfortable telling this person that she has these chronic diseases because of her weight. I don't know anything about her and my approach. You know, like I do have this experience of working with people of all different backgrounds. I'm doing a disservice to myself, my education, and this mock person. And she was open minded, but she didn't get it. I'm not sure if that answers your question. 

But I would say that, so much of what we get from providers is up to how badly the provider wants to offer it. 

Melissa Landry  17:03  
Yeah, yeah. And that's a great way of framing it like, it's not that dietitians have never heard of these things before, it's that they have a choice as practitioners to learn more and practice with these areas, or not. As we all do. 

And this is something that took me a while to understand, I think for a long time in my career, I want it to be like, Well, whatever the person in front of me wants and needs is the thing that I will do and be and then slowly, you learn that that doesn't work out for you, and it doesn't work out for them. 

And so dietitians have a choice in what philosophy they're going to root their practice in just like any practitioner would. And technically, both of these practices can still be named as evidence based. But as with all emerging science, they're taking the data they have in front of them and then putting it through -  this is the art and science intersection -  the filter with which they see the world. And of course, they're gonna do trainings that back that up, they're not i'm not going to the weight loss consortium or whatever, just as a weight loss dietitian is probably not going to be doing intuitive eating. So it depends.

Dalina Soto  18:05  
Yeah, yeah. And I think that, to me is one of the reasons why nuance is lost so much in our field, because so much of our symposiums so much of our education ia one train of thought, there's not like, there's not this middle ground where you can go and learn it. I mean, obviously this past FNCE that the only one that has happened since since COVID, which happened to be in Philadelphia, was the first time ever in the history of the Academy, allowing Evelyn and Elyse to come and talk about intuitive eating. And when I tell you, Melissa, you didn't go - when I tell you that the room was packed, and you could not walk in, it was like sardines. This is how much dietitians want to learn how to at least put their toe in, right?

Even if they don't agree 100%. And you know, this is something that I know Maria and I talk about a lot. Just because someone doesn't agree with you yet, doesn't mean you have to be angry of them. Like I've had people remember back when like on Instagram, you could see what other people were liking and commenting on remember that feature?

People would be like, why are you friends with her? Um, I'm sorry, she's a colleague. Just because we have two different ideas doesn't mean I can't be friendly with her. so I think that that, to me is you know, something that we need to understand that is a nuance that as human beings, we need to understand that we all learn different things. We all choose the path in which we want to coach and and be a dietitian and unless it's racism. I think that you're allowed to like kind of dietitian you choose. Don't choose racism ever, but you're allowed to choose to be a bariatric dietitian, you're allowed to choose whatever right? like the three of us choose to be this. And if you choose to work with us, that's what you're going to get. So you're allowed to choose. And that's part of being intuitive understanding your needs, and understanding where it is that you want to take your body.

Melissa Landry  20:22  
A lot of times people get so like, wrapped up in like, you know, this dietitian is promoting this message. She knows better. And I hear all these kinds of talk and people getting really fired up. Fom an ethical perspective that the data are not showing what that weight loss does what we think it does, number one. Number two, diets don't work. But more importantly, from a marketing and a business perspective, the consumer is catching on. We see this with intuitive fasting from Gwyneth a couple of weeks ago, like, at some point, whether we like it or not, we live in a free market, and people have choice in who they work with. 

And my call to action for intuitive eating dietitians is like be the best. Be the best. make it such that people leave our service and go wow, I worked with an intuitive eating dietitian, and that actually changed my life and changed my worldview that changed how I do things. that can often tilt the culture and also serve as dialogue I think, in the absence of  these spaces, where we can have dialogue, because there aren't a ton right now, I think about how do we just make space for people to use this in a way that's accessible? 

Maria Sylvester Terry  21:35  
I think part of being the best in, in this world with this perspective, means.... how do I say this without sounding so harsh?...means recognizing that other people aren't gonna think you're the best? Yeah. 

And it also means recognizing that it's the best approach for you as a professional, and it's not going to be the best approach for every person reading your posts. Additionally,  being the best has to do with care and delivery of that care, it does not necessarily have to do with virality of messages that lack nuance. 

Furthermore, when you refuse to provide evidence for what you're standing on, whether it's your lived experience, whether it's just like, this is my hunch, like I wish more dietitians who believe this would say why they believe, instead of saying why they don't believe weight centric science. Why can't we just talk about how obsessed we are with how great this is? Instead of saying, well, diets don't work? How useless is that? Most people know diets don't work because they're doing diets and they know they're not working. We don't need to be the assholes that say, that's not working for you Come join my one to one experience.

I don't think that's going to help. I think people want to be met where they are. And sometimes that means dancing, the fine line of saying, hey, like, I know, it sucks. And my approach might not be right for you. 

But if this is what the product is, the end goal you want, well, we can't promise sunshine and rainbows with intuitive eating, without acknowledging that there is a science on all sides. You can't just live in a dark place that doesn't exist, you have to be able to acknowledge what you can offer and what you can't offer. 

That's how you can be great at every field, though, right? Like, it's not like I'm just talking out my ass like I was a great teacher because I realized what I could do what I couldn't do. 

Melissa Landry  23:37  
Right, right. Yeah. And I think that that's when we get to like Instagram, we'll talk a bit about that. That's where I think some of the nuance gets lost. And that probably generates some of the not probably it does generate some of the polarity. Because, you know, when you get to the point of like getting on a discovery, call the dietitian, you know, we're able to get into those nuances a little bit more. But when you're trying to give a message quickly, in a little baby file and a little baby caption, it gets a little bit more sticky. And so yeah, it's about alignment and being honest about like, what does this thing do and what does it not do? And I think that's where sometimes the criticism of weight loss, I think might have a little bit more weight is when there is obvious omission of some of the symptoms of dieting, in the marketing, that's where it gets a little bit like that's dicey. Like it would be wonderful if there were more caveats listed when you go to buy a service or product related to weight loss, but by the same right we can also be talking about things that happen with intuitive eating like there is a lot of grief and emotion that comes up through this process. There is sometimes you know, difficulty around emotional coping and body image and I think that's in part what the service does. But, you know, if we're being honest, it isn't all whoo doughnuts driveway into the sunset. No, but I think you're right. 

Dalina Soto  24:59  
every single Discovery call that I have, I say, this is not rainbows and unicorns, you will have ups, you will have downs, you will want to quit, you will sometimes fall off the wagon, you will come back up. It's like waves. And there's nothing wrong with that. And I think that, again, I know that you to both here we talk about this all the time, it's about having the choice, right? It's about having the choice of whether or not you want to go back to that which, hey, if that's what you want to do, I'm not here to stop you, Melissa is not going to stop you. Maria is not going to stop you because we're holding space for that.  

it's knowing that when you go back there, you know how crappy and shitty you feel that you no longer want to do that. So you will come back and find your place and find your footing. And do this on your own terms. Yes, there's 10 principles. Yes, we're reading them. Yes, we're talking about them. They don't go in order. Sometimes. You know, you really hate one you gotta think about like, you know, there's there's such a process and nuance. There's so many questions, and it's uncertainty. And that's okay. And there's nothing wrong with it. 

Melissa Landry  26:18  
So I think to summarize, this whole section of our conversation is ultimately like, get clear on what you're wanting, and be okay to evaluate the product or service if a registered dietitian is involved, knowing Yes, there's some things that are tried and true about her practice. 

And there's some things that are going to be different. And you get to decide who you work with. 

Maria Sylvester Terry  26:37  
Sounds like a good summary. That's gorgeous. 

Melissa Landry  26:39  
Yeah. Maria, I mean, I'm just kind of gleaning your wisdom. So take that comment, give it back to yourself. Alright, my friends. So I want now to talk a little bit specifically about intuitive eating on Instagram, which probably is where most people have found one, if not all of us at some point or another. So Maria, you know, you just did a post, I think last week or so. But you talk a lot about the nuances that get missing. What's something that you think maybe we're not talking about enough when it comes to intuitive eating? Or things that maybe get lost in translation about intuitive eating? 

Maria Sylvester Terry  27:13  
Yeah, I think that there is, there's great conversation on like, you might gain weight, you might lose weight, there's not great conversation on, you're allowed to want broccoli, you're allowed to eat protein, how your permission is now open for all foods, what tends to happen is people come from diet culture thinking, which is very black and white. And they're applying that to into intuitive eating, which is then leading them completely astray. Because they don't think they're doing it right. They don't think they're eating the right foods. And most messages I get, say you're such a breath of fresh air. I tried intuitive eating, and all I want to do is eat donuts. And I just it isn't working for me. I'm like, Well, what does that have to do with me? But also, like, what did I do to receive this message? Like, why are people telling me this? And I think it's because people need space also made available to them for reevaluating everyday, when it comes to how and what they eat, they can wrestle with the weight gain, they can wrestle with getting rid of their food scale, they can wrestle with getting rid of their scale scale, but there's something about the actual how that is missing. 

So that it often gets translated like I quit Weight Watchers, and now I eat whatever I want. And that's great that you quit Weight Watchers, but there were probably skills you learned in Weight Watchers that you can either no unload, you have to identify them in order to remove them. Or you could even borrow some, because I know that they're hacking, mindful eating in some capacity, we can borrow pieces, they've hacked and realign them. 

I even think with folks who start counting macros for the first time that they start to realize, wow, I actually need to eat more food than I thought, well, let's harvest that. And let's connect that in a way that doesn't feel like we've hacked intuitive eating. And we chopped it up into bite sized pieces. But more like, yeah, you know what nutrition really is? this weird gray area, we can borrow these thoughts about nourishment. And it all does make sense. And it actually doesn't have a name. But it's called intuitive eating because that's what it was named when it's 10 principles, right? So I think the nuance that's missing is the how it's so very much the how because people just they go, what I eat whatever. 

Melissa Landry  29:36  
Yeah, it's like the off switch has been, you know, you went you were on and now you're off and that that is a function of being in the diet culture that intuitive eating can almost become off. I love this idea of like building on what you've learned before, which by the way, is how learning works. Like you're always either adding to what you know currently or assimilating new information and changing how you think that this is Options going forward. And so if there's something that serves you from a past program that you did like that your body is giving you signals that actually worked for me that felt positive. There's nothing stopping you from carrying that forward, and maybe maybe using the principles to do that a little differently, but there's nothing stopping you from enjoying broccoli to clients say today, like I like broccoli. It's like she was really strong about this and I was like, go to town. Like, that's fabulous.

Dalina Soto  30:27  
Visually, I think I think what I often hear, it's this idea that nutrition isn't there. Right? Like I get, like, when I did the women's health webinar the other day, what a lot of the comments I've received were like, nobody ever talks about nutrition when it comes to intuitive eating, right? Nobody ever talks about, like, you know, why the recommendations are, what they are and what the gray area is for you to be able to apply them in your everyday, right, which is what I'm very passionate about. Because I did not go to school to know how food travels down your GI system and gets broken down. Okay, to not utilize it...

Melissa Landry  31:06  
like Miss Frizzle and the magic school buss

Dalina Soto  31:11  
Are you in the wall and one of my calls? I always make that reference

Melissa Landry  31:14  
 we just have a lot of similar humor. 

Dalina Soto  31:16  
I want to be Miss frizzle. 

Melissa Landry  31:18  
of course you do. Miss frizzle is a curly hair hero, you think we're gonna miss her? I don't think so

Dalina Soto  31:22  
want to travel down your esophagus into your stomach and show you how it works?

Melissa Landry  31:28  
That would be so weird on any other podcast to say that, but I like that about you. I think that this is what makes it such a great space for us to work one on one or in groups with with anybody that's on the fence or doesn't understand this is because we're able to apply this knowledge, right and understanding that these are recommendations. These are guidelines, these are not set in stone. Right? Everybody's body is different. And so yes, I think that a lot of people when they see intuitive eating, they're scared.

Dalina Soto  32:03  
They just don't understand how they're able to go, how they're ever able to eat vegetables.  How they are ever going to eat a vegetable again? Because that's one of the fears, right? And it's like, No, no, no, it's very much part of all this.

Melissa Landry  32:22  
at least my perception of this on social, and you can tell me you can tell me if you think this is like...I've never said this out loud before. I feel like the caution around talking nutrition did come a lot out of the eating disorder community in the beginning on social media where the messages were framed and shaped in a way for the person with an eating disorder who maybe does need a little bit more sensitivity and maybe does need to put some of this nutrition messaging in the backburner in the beginning as a result of the disordered thinking associated with that. 

And so over time, I think we're seeing in the space, more folks like Dalina and myself who may work with people in stable recovery, but mostly are working with what we might call chronic dieters or lifelong dieters. And so it's not that nutrition isn't part of it. I think that maybe there's some trepidation or nervousness sometimes for us as marketers, are you in that type of messaging space, to throw too much nutrition at you not knowing your history with that. 

And I don't know what you think, like people are just trying to be sensitive to triggers. But also sometimes there's dissatisfaction in the audience like what? we need more, and it's kind of hard to ride that line, I think. 

Maria Sylvester Terry  33:16  
Yeah, that's a that's a huge part for me, because I feel like the same as Dalina  like, why do I know all these things? And anytime I'm talking to someone about why they can eat carbs, I'm using science. I'm not saying it's the patriarchy that makes you feel like you can eat white bread, which, it is, but also like, you can eat white bread because of all these other reasons. And I find that that is my niche is and I have, I have fought it so much. Like, I'm not going to talk about this, I'm going to be general I'm going to be so I'm going to be so mindful and so thoughtful about not being about nutrition that it was making was making my practice not feel authentic.

 Because how I reach a client is through science is through them connecting with their body and the scientific, physiological cues, psychological cues, emotional cues, like things that are existing in your body at all times, that our super busy world distracts us from all the time. And I think, you know, while I hear you say, I don't want to overload you with nutrition, in my mind, if you like sometimes that's the best way to provide clarity is this very neutral thing, like, here's how cars work, and it's very disarming to people. And so maybe people aren't ready to hear it. And I'm glad that you shared that. So I have that as a nugget of wisdom. To be thoughtful. 

I also feel like there needs to be a balance there. Yeah, I agree. Some concept of like, yes, there's the behavioral and the psychological. But it is is a physical scientific practice and so many other ways, it's so important to, to own that with pride. It seems as though a lot of dietitians have clinical or they're working on their private practice in clinical writing finally make the leap. 

And they're coming from a place they resent so much. They were had their clinical job it was that the bullshit that they had to put in their notes having to calculate BMI off the top of their heads, like these, they were heavy weights, like, why am I doing? And so you almost see a resent every app, when it comes again, like what does your dietitian story like? 

Melissa Landry  35:45  
All of us is we're essentially teachers, like we're informed by our experience. And so you're allowed to investigate on that. And, you know, to this extent, we're like, you know, Maria's philosophy and who she might perceive as an ideal client who she can really best serve as the specific genre and tool that you offer might be different than mine, and Dalina's. And so if you are on your feed, and you're like, Maria said something in a way that Melissa might not have said... resist the urge to be like Maria equals good Melissa equals bad and say, like, Maria, Maria has a point of view. 

If it's not jiving with me, or it is driving with me, I might choose to engage more or less with these accounts, in a really thoughtful and nuanced way. Because what do you want the most? That's always a question, what do you want the most out of your life? Why are you pursuing intuitive eating? Is it that you want to be free of guilt with your family? Is it because your guts going bananas and you're trying to figure it out? Is it is it you want to be strong and physically active without feeling like that's punishing? Those are three very different problems, and I can think of probably three different dietitians who have been perfect for each of those. So be thoughtful about that. Not every dietitian is going to serve your every need, you got to find the one that that aligns with what you want.

Dalina Soto  36:56  
Exactly. And I think that's why we all market ourselves in different ways. So just because we're intuitive dietitians doesn't mean that we're going to be talking about the same thing all the time, we're going to be talking to our audience, and we're going to talk about what our ideal client is going to look like, right and who we want to reach. I know that I want to reach women of the Latinx culture that want to understand how the heck they're going to eat their, you know, their foods that they grew up eating and not feel guilty about it. And that does involve nutrition. And I do talk a lot about nutrition now on Instagram, because honestly, I'm over it. But on Discovery calls, or one on one calls or group calls, all of this is happening, Melissa has her own way of coaching and she's reaching her people, right. And so we all have a niche, we all have an ideal client, we all have someone that we want to help, and we're sending you guys to each other

people come to my discovery calls and I'm like, Oh, this person is gonna be so and they're so shocked. They're so shocked that they're like, you're actually referring me out? Yes, I am. Because I know my limits.

Melissa Landry  38:04  
And and there's, there's someone for us just like there's someone for you. Like, that's the beauty of being on social media, it's like you do have an opportunity to spend, you know, my clients, I would say on average, spend three anywhere from three months to a year following me before they actually apply. And you get a long time hanging out with us, you know, be in the podcast. I know people love the podcast episodes, nothing's a surprise, when we work together, you know, even the cadence of my voice, like that those things are gonna be be evaluated. 

And that's part of why we do this, you know, in the terms of our business is to let you see us and let you know for sure if you want to move forward or not. And we have to remember that social media currently as it exists, thrives on polarity. And even within niches even within one subject like nutrition, you're going to feel the desire to compare, oh, that's different from the last thing I saw. 

Maria Sylvester Terry  38:59  
And it's because it's a system that's encouraging you to stay on apps as long as humanly possible to be exposed to ads as long as humanly possible and with a bigger than that system and be willing to think about how humans are different and special and dietitians are different and special and they are absolutely allowed to have different perspectives and niches. 

Yeah, let's not put ourselves into this social media swing of right and wrong black and white. 

Melissa Landry  39:59  
Yeah. Yeah, it's work. And it's a process, which I'm really happy to be here to talk about today. So we have covered so much here, I guess for you as we close by maybe what's one takeaway you want the listener to leave with as they navigate social media and figuring out which dietitians they might be listening to. 

Maria Sylvester Terry  40:19  
You don't have to choose, um, you don't necessarily have to choose intuitive eating or dieting. You can choose strength, you can choose improve performance, better sleep, improve mental health, you can improve your relationship with food, you can improve your entire I call it enhancements, we're not gonna make any changes, we're just gonna enhance and people love that. Instagram is a great way to get to know people, it's a great way to learn more about what they have to offer.

And you don't have to choose a principle or mentality, you get to choose what you want for yourself. And there is a practitioner who has that lens for you got to do the work of finding it. It's not one size fits all. But try not to wedge yourself into thinking I'm either losing weight, or I'm giving up that those aren't the worlds you get to just choose you. And what that looks like is so entirely different for everyone. So that's my biggest takeaway for people. 

Melissa Landry  41:14  
I mean, that was a Mic drop moment. Whenever you said enhancement, I thought of tan France on queer eye when he comes on  like, oh, we're gonna make it you, but elevated. We're gonna do you but elevated. So that is very much what a dietitian that's a fit for you wil feel like.

Dalina Soto  41:33  
And I think, I think again, one one thing that I just want to make sure as I'm recapping here, what I think that you just said, Maria, is that intuitive Eating right now is very much a buzz word. And sometimes, yes, we use it and I love being an intuitive eating dietitian. But sometimes when you know, you know I did a talk with with balanced eating disorder Treatment Center in New York, and they asked me like, so how do you how do you translate that in Spanish? I was like, I don't. It's just eating. There's, I don't use a word, intuitive eating and Spanish. It's just eating. And I feel like that's what we need to understand when we're using this word. But really, it's just eating, enhancing, connecting, being at peace. It's just being who you are.

Melissa Landry  42:22  
Yeah, that's what it's about. Oh, Maria, thank you so much for your wisdom. I suspected you would have all the wisdom and you delivered my friend. Oh, I appreciate you. I love that we were able to be connected through Dalina and I love following you. And so again, they can find you at @vitamin_ri. I will put you in show notes too 

Maria Sylvester Terry  42:46  
if you're interested in traveling to New Orleans and finding tasty food  @eatfitnola has all of those great options for you especially helpful for allergies and chronic disease management. Which I think is awesome. 

Melissa Landry  42:57  
That's amazing. Once this is over, I've never been to New Orleans and I understand it's the food experience.

So yeah, so FNCE is our dietitians conference, so we'll have to keep an eye on for that. Maybe someday we'll meet New Orleans

Dalina Soto  43:18  
I think another another life. All right, Maria,

Melissa Landry  43:21  
thank you for being here. Thanks for being who you are. You're awesome. I love this conversation and we will see you around. Thank you. 

Maria Sylvester Terry  43:28  
Thanks for having me.

Melissa Landry  43:29  
Bye, everybody.

Dalina Soto  43:30  
Bye.