What I tell my weight-loss clients

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I never planned to work in weight-loss even though I am a registered dietitian who is thoroughly educated and trained to support all types of clients and patients. I have all the tools to help people successfully lose weight, including emotional support and motivational coaching. But even after working with hundreds of clients, I still worry that I’m feeding into the social standards (including “thin is beautiful”), which do not reflect my own.

Many RDs face this because there is a misalignment between how dietitians and society view health. With weight-loss, there is a lot of demonizing. Carbs are bad. Fat is bad. Bad bad bad. All of a sudden, healthy eating becomes synonymous with:

  • Reduced calories
  • Being skinny/ripped
  • Bland food
  • Too hard
  • Quick results

I feel like I’m fighting an uphill battle but I know it’s worth it. I want to inspire people to develop positive lifestyle habits that recharge their lives, rather than habits that cause them to demonize food/exercise. I want to motivate people to see themselves and their relationship with food in a positive light. So, I tell my clients that there are so many exciting and amazing things when it comes to health, food, and exercise:

  • Balanced eating
  • Feeling energized
  • Fucking delicious food
  • 80/20 – food as fuel
  • A lifetime journey

It’s more popular to follow the former because the latter is easier said than done. But I remind them that there’s a reason why the word “work” is in “workout”. It requires effort which can be a drag, but it’s worth it. It’s worth your sanity, your emotional health, and your physical health. Building a happy and healthy relationship with food and exercise takes practice, just like everything else in life. Celebrate the wins and keep smiling through it all.

This is one area where “A for effort” actually means something.

Thomas Ngo RD
The More You Ngo


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