Diana Urcuyo, MS, RDN, has worked at a cooking school and in both the inpatient and outpatient services at multiple hospitals. She now has her own private practice, Fit and Healthy Nutrition, where she says, “I…find the greatest joy in helping someone achieve a size that creates a healthy body and sets the foundation for a happy life!”
Learn more about Diana!
Why did you become an RDN?
I had my own personal training company for about ten years. During that time, my clients would ask me for dietary advice. I would give them some, but I knew this area was a weakness of mine and I always felt like I could do better. The idea of going back to school for a Mater's in Nutrition started floating around in my mind. What sealed the deal was an article that I read in TIME regarding the rise in childhood obesity. It really bothered me that we were failing the next generation. I discovered that I needed to be a part of the group of adults who would do their best to help this phenomenon from happening.
Tell us more about your private practice. What makes your niche special?
I practice general MNT. I guess I would be called a family medicine dietitian if we were putting it into terms similar to MDs. I do especially like diabetes, weight loss and bariatric surgery counseling. I try to utilize a motivational interviewing approach with my clients/patients. I love this idea of increasing their self-efficacy. At the end of our sessions, people often make a comment that they thought this was going to be a waste of time, but now they feel really empowered about what they can do to make themselves healthier. These comments are why I do what I do.
Who is your ideal client?
Someone who is confused about what to do with their nutrition and lifestyle to improve health outcomes. I love nutrition counseling because I can really take the time to simplify things and figure out how to make health work in an individual's busy life. I feel like a magician sometimes because I seem to have an endless supply of tricks up my sleeve I can use to help people get healthy.
Why did you decide to accept insurance?
I was tired of the burden of talking people into paying for something out of pocket that could otherwise be covered by their insurance. It also brings people back to me when they know they have X amount of sessions covered by their insurance. It really helps make longer lasting changes for the patient/client.
What advice would you give another RDN who is thinking about accepting insurance?
Do it but hire Healthy Bytes to do the heavy lifting! I originally tried to manage insurance on my own, and I wasted so much time. If only I had thought of Healthy Bytes as a necessity (like a website or NPI number) instead of an option. I think I would be much further in my career, and much richer!
What change do you hope to see or are excited about in the field of nutrition and dietetics?
I am excited to see what happens to the future of MNT coverage by insurance. It feels like more companies are finally covering MNT than ever before. I think this will lead to greater MD knowledge that we exist for referrals and better patient outcomes.
What’s your favorite piece of advice you have received?
Be patient. It will take a while to build your practice and you will eventually overcome this hurdle and be where you want to be.
Anything else you’d like to add?
If there is any work you can delegate to someone else so you can just see patients, it is totally worth it and will make you more successful in the long run.