It is that time of year again. Many of us are making New Years’ resolutions to improve ourselves: to lose weight, get fit, eat better, meal plan…….the list goes on.

Unfortunately, it is also the time of year products and services are being pushed in our faces that will “help you lose weight”, “help you gain fitness”, “improve your health”, “cleanse and detox”……

It all becomes so believable when you see before and after pictures of a weight loss transformation; or some “Average Joe” says they have more energy because they are taking these fantastic supplements.

But, I urge you to set aside the marketing claims and really think about things before you jump on the next diet, cleanse or detox. Here are some questions to ask yourself, the individual or company to whom you are preparing to give your hard earned dollars.

Who is behind these claims?

Are you reading the fine print?

What goals do YOU want to achieve?

Is their “diet” or product a long term solution?

Can you see yourself doing this for the rest of your life? You may see results following a 3 day detox or a 30 day diet, but what are you going to eat on day 4 or 31? What happens when you stop taking the supplements, or you stop buying their pre-packaged food?

How much is this going to cost you?

I have known people to spend thousands of dollars on the latest and greatest supplements or fad diet, with nothing to show for it once they stop.

From where or from whom are you getting your information?

What qualifications and credentialing does this person have? Did they receive a certificate over the internet? Did their certification come from the company for which they are marketing the goods and services? Are they selling supplements as part of a multi-level marketing business? Are they an influencer of multiple, seemingly unrelated products?

What college degree do they have that stands behind what they are promoting? Have they had to sit for a National board exam? Did they pass that exam? What kind of continuing education do they need to keep their license or certifications?

In the state of KY, one needs to be licensed or certified thru the state governing board to provide ANY nutrition education. Please see the following link for detailed definitions of a licensed dietitian and certified nutritionist.

Unfortunately, anyone can call themselves a nutritionist, but only a registered dietitian (RD) or registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN) has completed multiple layers of education and training established by the national Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND).

All RDs or RDNs must:

  • Get a minimum of a four-year degree which includes a specially designed, nationally accredited nutrition curriculum.
  • Complete an extensive supervised program of practice at a health care facility, foodservice organization or community agency.
  • Pass a rigorous standardized registration exam.
  • Partake in mandatory Continuing Education on a yearly basis to stay accredited.

Remember: Your health is in your hands!

Donna Giovenco
Donna has 25+ years experience in diabetes nutrition counseling, weight loss, general wellness, and sports nutrition.

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