Yale Health

Frequently Asked Questions

What type of issues would generate a referral to the nutritionist?

Nutrition consultations are appropriate for those who would benefit from individualization of diet recommendations due to medical concerns. Examples of this are people who have:

  • high blood sugar;
  • diabetes;
  • high cholesterol;
  • high triglycerides;
  • high blood pressure;
  • or who are obese.

What does an appointment with the nutritionist consist of?

The nutritionist will ask you questions in order to understand your eating and exercise habits to develop the best approach for improving your nutritional status. The appointment may take between 45 to 60 minutes.

Keeping a food diary for up to a week prior to your appointment will help the nutritionist get a better glimpse of your habits. Click here for a form you can use to record this. Helpful information on estimating portion sizes can be found here.

How can I find a healthy weight for me?

You should always feel free to speak with your primary care clinician about this issue.  Use the BMI calculator on the CDC page to calculate your body mass index.

What is the best way to lose about 15 pounds?

There are many sustainable lifelong changes you can make to lose weight that can be safe and effective.

Keep in mind that the keys for successful weight control are eating breakfast regularly, exercising for about an hour most days of the week, eating a balanced diet (click here for more information) and checking your weight on a regular basis. Writing down what you eat can also help you identify areas for improvement.

If you would like to track your caloric intake, free calorie counters can be found at www.myfooddiary.com and www.my-calorie-counter.com. Most men need between 1,800-2,200 calories to lose weight, while women can generally lose weight by eating 1,200-1,500 calories.

I just found out I have a medical problem and need to change my diet, but my appointment with the nutritionist isn't for a few weeks. Is there anything I can do?

A wait list is available for nutrition appointments that become open due to cancellations.  If you would like to be placed on the wait list, let the receptionist know this when you get your appointment.

American Heart Association - Nutrition Center and the American Diabetes Association - Food & Fitness  and the Celiac Sprue Association sites are good resources for diet recommendations for many medical conditions.

If you have gestational diabetes, your Ob/Gyn primary care clinician will give general guidelines until you see the nutritionist.  The nutritionist will personzlize a meal plan according to your individual needs when you have your appointment.

I don't have any specific nutrition issues, but would like access to healthy recipes and general information. Is this available?

Yes .  Visit these web sites for recipes and information on current nutrition topics:


The American Heart Association

The American Diabetes Association

Choose My Plate