Leave pizza and I alone.
Chances are, if you clicked this article, you are a nutrition student. No matter what route you go down, whether that is being a Registered Dietitian, public health influencer, or nutrition educator, we all bond over one thing: FOOD.
Food is what brought us into this field (and in general, keeps us going through our daily activity) and is what people identify us with. However, being in the field of nutrition is hard. With the many misconceptions in the world of nutrition and health, it makes it that much harder. Below are some struggles that we have all experienced before.
People assume you eat healthy 24/7.
Fun fact: we are human too. Thus, when we come across that delicious cookie or pizza, we aren’t afraid to dive in. So when we are caught in the heat of a moment telling our cookie ice cream sandwich how beautiful it is, we don’t need you to step in and tell us how bad it is for us. We know, trust us. But we live by the motto “everything in moderation”, and you just happened to catch us in our “moderation” phase.
You are constantly pestered with questions about food.
“Should I eat this?” “Is this good or bad for you?” “This is healthy, right?” Somehow, food happens to fall into a “yes” or “no” category and you should know the answer to everything. But in reality, this is not how food works. Plus, we are still students and have so much to learn. For example, nuts are good for you in a way that they are full of fiber and protein, but can be considered “bad” if you are on a low-fat diet or need a high intake of carbohydrates, such as before a workout. So the answer really is “depends on the scenario”, which is not what anyone wants to hear.
You know everyone’s diet, whether you like it or not.
Sometimes, it’s not even worth it to tell people what you study. Once you open your mouth and say “nutrition”, suddenly people open up and tell you everything about their diet. “Oh you study nutrition? I just recently hopped on the gluten-free, vegan diet and I don’t eat soy.” “What do you think about how I eat? I eat too many carbs, right?” Meanwhile, you’re just trying to peacefully go about your day, since you never asked them what their diet was. People bombard you, expecting you to fully analyze their diet (which is a paid service that takes years of training) just because of what you study. It’s like asking an accounting major to do your taxes or asking a pre-med student to perform surgery – it isn’t going to happen.
Your other friends don’t understand your love for planners.
Let’s be honest, 99% of us are very Type A. We will schedule lunch dates on our Google Calendars, note our homework and exam schedule in our perfectly pristine weekly planners, and will always confirm plans before you make them weeks in advanced. Is this a little much? Maybe, but please stop shaming us for being organized.
People don’t understand that nutrition is a science.
Nutrition is not just some online trainer giving you advice for macros. It’s a balance between macro and micronutrients, bioavailabilty, and the process of digestion and absorption. We don’t just float around taking pictures of smoothie bowls and meal prep, nutrition is revolved around science. Yes, we took pre-med orgo (*shudder*), biochemistry, and medical nutrition therapy (EN/PN calculations, anyone?). Yes, these are extremely difficult classes that often get glazed over by the overexposure of “nutrition” in the media. But unfortunately, a $19.99 food program you found online through an overly-tan, hypertrophied “nutrition professional” won’t fulfill your healthy lifestyle. It takes time to develop a nutrition plan, a service that cannot be dealt in a one-stop shop.
Check out these articles too: