Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I grew up in a small, country town in Queensland with my family. I had a love for sports, food and music. At the end of my high school years, I was working crazy hours (~60+/week) in hospitality), drinking on the weekends and not fuelling my body with the right things (think takeaways and nutrient poor, energy-dense foods). When I made the link between what I was putting in to my body (food) and my mental health (anxiety, moody, irritable) that I began my love for researching how certain foods made me feel. This began my love for pursuing health as a career. From then, I was accepted into the University of Queensland to study an Undergraduate Degree in Exercise and Nutrition Science. I continued my study to do my Masters in Dietetics (at the same University) and I have just completed my Sports Dietetics Qualifications.
Currently, I have a wide and diverse range of projects / companies I work with, which is amazing. I am the Dietitian for Fitstop Australia where I create and manage a 6-week Fitness challenge (which had >800 members last round). I keep up-to-date with the Clinical side of things by working for a major Brisbane Hospital on a locum basis and I also see my own clients in the Private setting (mostly Sports based clients). I also have various opportunities through my social media channels (Instagram: Claudia Cramer Dietitian, Website: www.ccdietitian.com), which I started during my Undergraduate Degree. This involves a range of educational blog posts, product reviews, videos, recipes and product development.
At the moment, I am loving wearing a few different ‘Dietetic hats’, love keeping active and playing with my new adorable little puppy Quincy. I am really excited to see what the next few years will bring.
For people who say they are looking to decrease their portion sizes in a bid to lose weight, do you see this as a good approach? Or do prefer other approaches?
It all depends on the person really (I think this is a typical Dietitian comment too).
For me, the approach, which works the best, is working on ratios of your meals in terms of macronutrients. Many people I see think they are eating ‘healthy’ because they just eat salad, but their ratios of protein to carbs and fats are out. They might be consuming ~70% carbohydrate diet and not feeling satiated because they have low fat and protein. I like to educate my clients on what typical foods are made up of and help them to balance out the macronutrients in each meal. The plate model is a great way to do this too. Having a large serving of vegetables (lower calorie, nutrient-rich and higher fibre), a portion of good quality protein, a carbohydrate source and healthy fats is a great way to start.
Do you have any tips for weight loss that you feel are underrated?
Following on from the previous point, looking into the energy density and nutrient density of different foods. By adding more nutrient dense foods these tend to be lower calorie and also higher fibre (vegetables, fruits etc.) and I think this simple approach is underrated.
Thoughts on the non-diet approach and HAES?
I love many principles of the non-diet approach and HAES. I definitely treat clients as whole and in a holistic manner. Using tools such as mindful eating, weight acceptance and learning how to move your body for enjoyment rather than punishment are just a few key points I use from the non-diet model.
Do you have any philosophies that you feel are separate from the majority of other dietitians?
I feel like I am a very holistic practitioner. Because I see clients in a variety of settings; private practice, sports nutrition and clinically in the hospital, I really see how lifestyle plays such an important role in our overall health, physical and mental.
And in my personal ‘health journey’, it is not just about the food. There is SO much more going on that can be addressed. My first point of call when seeing someone is asking about his or her sleep. If their sleep is inadequate how can their hormones be working optimally? And their stress, cortisol, hunger? I believe it all starts to cascade from poor sleep. These sort of factors I believe set me apart from the ‘majority’ of Dietitians, however, I see more practitioners taking this style of approach which is great to see.
Do/would you ever use meal replacements or a VLCD with clients? Is there any particular aspects you would focus on?
I can’t really comment on this, as I have not had to recommend a VLCD in any setting. It all depends on the client as well. I would work on a lifestyle approach firstly and see what we can do nutritionally in terms of mindful eating, macronutrient-balanced meals, working on sleep, stress etc. All of these factors and then potentially VLCD if it was indicated with this client. But in short, no, I have not used meal replacements with clients as I believe whole foods is the first point-of-call.
If somebody had no taste preferences, which type of milk would you encourage most out of full cream, light or skim, and why?
I would encourage full cream. I like to stick to products, which are the least processed and as close as a whole-food as you can. Out of those options I would have the full-cream milk.
Is there a “problem” that you try to solve through Instagram, or any particular way you attempt to provide value?
I provide value by showing people that healthy food is not boring. And it can be really cheap and delicious! I love that Instagram gives you the ability to see visually that food is something to be enjoyed rather than a punishment. I aim to give back to people by also sharing my personal experiences as I work to be happier and healthier.
Is there anything you would like to add to wrap it up?
Thank you for reading 🙂
Aidan has been exposed to the most recent and up-to-date evidence based approaches to dietetic intervention. Dating back to well before starting uni he has been fascinated by all things nutrition, particularly the effects of different dietary approaches on body composition and sports performance. Due to this passion, he has built up an extensive knowledge base in multiple areas of nutrition and is able to help clients with a variety of conditions. One of Aidan’s main strengths is his ability to adapt plans based on the clients desires. By having such a thorough understanding of optimal nutrition for different situations he is able to develop detailed meal plans for clients, or he can provide flexible guidance that can contribute to improving the clients overall quality of life.