What is the difference between a dietitian and a nutritionist?

Dietitians have completed (at minimum) a 4-year university degree. There is no governance on who can call themselves a nutritionist, and so their training can vary widely…from a weekend course, to a university qualified dietitian who prefers the term. For example – Rosemary Stanton, one of the most highly regarded dietitians in Australia commonly refers to herself as a nutritionist.After further supervision & mentoring from colleagues, dietitians become ‘Accredited Practicing Dietitians’ as awarded by the governing body of the Dietitians Association of Australia.To become a Sports Dietitian, we are required to complete the ‘Sports Dietitians Australia’ course run at the Australian Institute of Sport. Both Sally & Angie hold Masters degrees in nutrition & dietetics, undergraduate degrees in exercise physiology, and are Accredited Sports Dietitians.


Who can benefit from dietetic sessions?

Hopefully most can! From someone who is interested in fine-tuning their nutrition to someone looking for a complete nutrition overhaul – we can help. Commonly we see clients that are looking to lose a few kilos, looking to improve their sports/training performance, or wanting to improve their energy levels via optimising their nutrition.


Should I bring blood tests or Doctor’s referrals?

If you have had any correspondence from Doctors, blood test results or previous advice from other dietitians, you are welcome to bring this with you as it may help us to manage your condition. Alternatively you can have your GP fax results to us directly (‘Gabba appointments: 07 3891 2011, or West End appointments: 07 3846 4500)


What happens during my first session?

In the first session we gather all the information we need to create your meal plan. This includes a diet history (including your likes & dislikes), current & past exercise/training load (and racing goals), medical history (including any gut concerns, family history etc), and any other aspect of life that may affect your eating habits. Again – being an individualised session, we may need to delve further in to one particular area to make sure we are getting the recommendations right for you. There is no need to do a food diary before coming in – if you do, we will still go through the diet side of things thoroughly.We will also take relevant measurements in your first session – so this may be any combination of skinfolds, body circumferences, weight, or the use of bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA) scales. NB. BIA scales are NOT particularly reliable for athletes due to the need to standardise hydration & training, and they are also not accurate at detecting fine changes in body fat levels – which is what you may be seeking! Both Angie & Sally are highly trained (and pedantic) about the measurement of skinfolds – as such, we prefer to use these where appropriate. Please come dressed so that we can take a mid-thigh, belly and shoulder-blade measurement with easy access. We don’t mind (in fact, we encourage!) you riding/running to your session, but if you are sweaty, please bring a towel to wipe away the sweat before measuring!


How many reviews will I need?

This varies for everyone as circumstances vary too! Please discuss this with your dietitian at your first session. Some examples:

  1. A school-age swimmer, coming with a parent to improve energy/recovery from training: Initial session plus 1-2 review sessions
  2. A female with a history of weight loss & gain (or dieting), and wanting to lose weight for good: Initial session plus 6-12 review sessions. Note – the last few reviews may be done months apart!
  3. A male triathlete training for the Noosa Triathlon (no weight loss needed): Initial session, race plan session, review session.
  4. A female runner training for the Gold Coast Marathon (weight loss needed): Initial session, review session x 2-5, race plan session; reviews ongoing as desired to reach weight goal
  5. A female wanting to eliminate binge eating behaviours: Initial session plus a minimum of 6 sessions, ongoing reviews as desired

How long are the sessions?

Your initial consultation is 60 minutes, review sessions are 30 minutes. We do our best to keep on time. If you are unable to make your appointment on time, please notify reception. Please arrive 10-15 minutes before your initial appointment to complete a little paperwork.


Can I claim my Dietetic sessions on Private Health Care?

The ‘extras’ cover for most private health funds will include dietetic services. Rebates vary depending on the level of cover, and health fund. Please contact your health fund to determine your rebate amount. Our HICAPS facility allows you to process your health claim at the centre (i.e. you only need to pay the ‘gap’ fee).


Do I need a referral to see a Dietitian?

A referral is not necessary, however if you are being referred by your GP on a ‘Team Care Arrangement’ (TCA) plan then you will need to bring the paperwork with you. Alternatively it can be faxed to the clinic you are attending (‘Gabba appointments: 07 3891 2011, or West End appointments: 07 3846 4500)