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Ballet Talk for Dancers


Guest Starling

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Guest Starling

Has (or is) anyone seen a nutritionist?


I would like to learn how to reshape my diet to provide me with more energy and a leaner physique. (I don't need to loose weight - just need help tightening up a bit).


Anyway, I've never been to one and I think it would be helpful. I've done lots of reading and I think I know the kinds of things I should be doing - but I need the extra help of a professional looking over my shoulder to help me change my habits!!


If you gals (or guys) have any info or past experiences to share I'd love to hear it!!



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Just be sure that you consult someone with a C.D. or R.D. after their names. "Nutritionist" is not regulated anywhere in the US or Canada as a professional title. Certified or Registered Dietitian is. Even M.D. isn't really enough, unless they're also licensed in one of those capacities.

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Guest IUdancer

I have been thinking about doing the same thing - the first two appointments are free at my university's health center.... Like you, I too have done a lot of reading on the subject (and I think I know what I should be doing for the most part), but somehow I always get off track! I think it's the sweets. :-) Let me know how it goes for you if you see one, and I'll do the same.


Lauren F.

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Guest Starling

Thanks for the replies!


I am going to check and see what my university health services offers - I thouht they had a nuitritionist....but I will check again and hopefully it will be a dietition.


Anyway, I'll definitely keep you up to date if I go!



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Are you all familiar with the site Blue Diamond? It's an excellent one, IMO, devoted to adult ballet students.


She has some nutrition advice that might be of interest -- the whole site may well be of interest. Check it out B)



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I know I am going to sound like an old dumb sourpuss when I say this, but I honestly don’t think it makes any difference what you eat with but one exception. That exception is the total calories you ingest. If you take in more calories than you use as energy, you will gain weight (a little muscle and proportionately more fat). If you take in fewer calories than you expend, you will lose weight (both fat and muscle). With respect to “reshaping,” that is about all you need to know when it comes to diet. “Reshaping” is the result of very hard physical work done over a long time. Your body always tries to adapt to the stresses it is under.


Attempts to diet or restrict foods almost never work over a long time, because the body keeps working to adjust itself to what it really wants. If you restrict some essential food (like fat for example), your body will start to crave whatever you are restricting and if you are like 99% of people you will eventually just binge on whatever you are missing. Your body wins all these battles, eventually.


There are two kinds of athletes who are known for having minimal fat. Bodybuilders essentially build up big muscles, and then starve themselves so they look “cut.” They obsess on nutrition and diet, but their essential contest diet is short-term starvation, which really isn’t practical for most of us. Professional bicycle racers essentially eat anything and eat often. The physical requirements of their sport are so demanding that just getting enough calories to maintain bodyweight can be a problem. So there you have two completely opposite approaches to diet that result in the same end—very low body fat.


Having said that, there are diets that try to help you control calories however you want them controlled (more, less, the same) and the “good” ones pretty much revolve around eating things you enjoy and eating a variety of foods.

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Most dancers I know eat like human consumption machines. They eat anyting they want and as much as they want. Of course, like all dancers, they do it while saying "I shouldn't be eating this." then that chocolate brownie with ice cream and fudge topping disappears faster than money from the California State coffers.


But for us mere mortals, and older mortals at that, a conversation with a nutritionist is not such a bad idea. American diets are not the healthiest and we have entire industries relying on the fact that doctors are required to take precious few credit hours of nutritional classes throughout their entire education. I blame corprate America. Why not? It's so easy. But I digress...


If you're in a university setting and have access to a nutritionist on campus, great. They're the real deal and a student lifestyle is very similar to that of a professional dancer in terms of time and stress -- not to mention income levels. As such, you can get great advice free. For everyone else, be careful to do your research before seeing a "nutritionist." Ask friends, get credentials, etc. There are a lot of people out there who claim to be nutritionists that are only interested in getting you to buy tons of expensive, useless stuff from them. I went through a few before I found one I thought was worth the time and money I invested.


As to Garyecht's comments, I think people use the word "diet" entirely too much. There's "diets" which connotes starvation and denial, then there's common sense eating which means eating in propper proportions at the right times. All diets are doomed to failure if they're approached in the wrong manner. Learning to eat the healthy way, not denying yourself but knowing how much is too much for your body and when to eat certain foods, is a much healthier way to approach this concept.

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Guest Starling

I completely agree with you 2 Left Feet!


I talked to the lady at the Health Services at my university and found out that they only have a nutritionist on staff (though apparently she's quite good).


I asked about how I would find a dietician, and the lady told me that I would have to get a referral from a doctor? Mr. Johnson is that the same as in the States? I'm not sure I'd have a good enough reason to get a doctor's referral (or perhaps it's no big deal - I don't know).


Anyway I'm going to contact the nutritionist and see what it's like. I really want need to lower my carbs and simple sugar intake (I'm hypoglycemic and have problems with these foods)


Anyway - I'm really long winded tonight.

I apologize again!! :)

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I think I see what's going on here. The university dietitian is probably required only to see referrals from a physician to satisfy the requirements of the National or Provincial HIP, or supplemental insurance held by the institution. The US, being rather backward on the matter of universal health coverage, is not quite so restrictive, but the dietitian's own insurance may require that service be rendered only on referral. Bummer!:) Anyway, obtaining a referral from one's own regular physician as part of annual physical, or as a side issue when appearing for acute care is usually no problem, and with your history of hypoglycemia, I'll bet the doctor will be happy that you're asking.

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