Meet Rebecca Bitzer, MS, RD/LD, CEDRD! Rebecca is a registered dietitian and head of Rebecca Bitzer, MS, RD & Associates. She is the creator of the REBEL dietitians, rebelling against diets and empowering others to turn towards mindful and intuitive eating solutions! Outside of her nutrition counseling practice, Rebecca is a business coach, helping RDs launch and develop their own private practices.
We, at Healthie, were so fortunate to get the chance to chat with Rebecca as she shared with us her experiences in private practice and her advice!
Tell us about your path to becoming a dietitian!
This year, 2017 will be the anniversary of me being in private practice for 30 years! I started out in 1987 traveling to a variety of physician offices providing nutrition counseling in their offices. Soon, I hired my first employee and have continued to hire employees ever since. Our current team of Registered Dietitians employed with Rebecca Bitzer & Associates: The Nutrition Experts is eight. We have three offices in Maryland and one of our RDs provides telehealth from New Jersey.
What is your approach to care?
When I’m working with my clients, I like to provide an individualized approach and support my clients in focusing on what they could eat, instead of what they should not eat. This is such an important distinction when it comes to eating a healthy diet. Many times, our society puts foods into categories of “good” or “bad,” but eating is just not like that. Guiding clients and teaching them how to eat is something I find makes dietitians valuable as opposed to Googling a meal plan and trying to follow that. There are so many unanticipated and also exciting life circumstances that come up (stressful work days, eating out, kids’ birthdays or sporting events, vacation…etc.), which can make following a “meal plan” really difficult. So, I like to work with clients to support them in eating during all life events, so they do not have to feel like they are missing out or overwhelmed by the food that is typically involved.
Tell us all about your Rebel Dietitians!
Our Rebel dietitians rebel against dieting and also rebel against limiting your career to traditional dietetics. Take a look at our workbook Welcome to the Rebelution: Seven Steps to the Nutrition Counseling Practice of Your Dreams to help you create a career that you love!
I heard that you’ve created a Taste the Sweet REBELLION Workbook, what inspired that project?
Taste the Sweet Rebellion was created for our clients who are tired of dieting. Plain and simple: diets just don’t work. 95% of people who go on a diet will regain the weight within 5 years, and some gain even more back. Our clients were often left feeling defeated after “failing” the diet and gaining weight back. We wanted clients to have a tool that would actually support them in being successful, so we were inspired to create a workbook. Rebel stands for: Rebel against diets, Eat like a REBEL, Build confidence in your eating, Empower yourself and Live joyfully. Taste the Sweet Rebellion not only teaches clients what to eat, but it also teaches them how to eat and why they are eating or not eating. We focus on taping back into intuitive and mindful eating and how to make food simple.
What is your advice for those just embarking on a New Years’ weight loss resolution?
Join our Challenge!!! This is a new type of New Years Resolution challenge. Instead of focusing on what you need to change about yourself, we are promoting how to make yourself feel better. With this challenge, we are helping our clients eat intuitively, lose weight in a healthy way, feel more energized and revitalize their lifestyles! We wanted to give our clients something that is sustainable and will truly impact their lives in a healthy way instead of feeling shameful or guilty after “failing” another diet.
You’ve been so incredibly involved in mentorship opportunities in and around the community, what are your favorite tips for anyone looking to start their own private practice?
I have always felt an incredible need to help aspiring dietitians. All of the dietitians that currently work for me started out as nutrition students and have since grown into becoming amazing and well-rounded RDs. One thing that surprised me most about owning a practice was how much behind the scenes work has to go into it! It is important to surround yourself with an amazing team for a strong and successful practice. For anyone looking to start their own private practice, I always encourage them to read our workbook, Welcome to the Rebelution: Seven Steps to the Nutrition Counseling Practice of Your Dreams and take a look at our business coaching packages designed to help you start and/or expand your nutritional counseling practice.
How do you think technology is changing the way dietitians are practicing care?
Technology is definitely improving the ways dietitians are able to practice, especially with phone apps. There are apps available that allow my dietitians and I to keep connected with our clients even if we are not in session. For example, we use an app to check in on our clients’ food logs each day. This definitely streamlines our sessions so we don’t have to worry about going through a week’s worth of food during the first 10 minutes. Also, I’m so excited about getting more involved in virtual nutrition appointments. We can have a much wider reach with our clients!
Why are you excited about using Healthie?
We are excited to get more involved in telehealth! Recently, we have had a lot more requests to see clients on a virtual basis. This can become extremely difficult because many ways to communicate face to face virtually are not HIPAA compliant. We are excited to give Healthie a go in trying to make virtual appointments more seamless between us and our clients!