It will not surprise you to hear that most dietitians are slim.

Whenever a large group of them converge, there are few if any battling weight issues. Lifestyle diseases such as heart disease, Type 2 diabetes and cancers are rare compared to population statistics and movement is high on their daily agenda.

So how do dietitians eat differently to average people and what can we learn from them when it comes to keeping slim and healthy as we get older?

They eat everything, in small amounts

Salads and vegetables are naturally popular, but contrary to popular belief, dietitians are not necessarily restrictive eaters. Rather dietitians tend to be food lovers, which means the dessert and sweet treats get consumed - albeit in controlled portions.

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As opposed to having a "good" and "bad" approach to food, dietitians know, and love all types of food. But the main difference is they appreciate there is a time to eat these foods, and a time not to and the key is portion control and how frequently you indulge.

Dietitians know that in many cases tasting a rich food can be just as satisfying as binge eating it, without the negative weight consequences.

The salad goes first

As you would expect, dietitians are big fans of all types of fresh food but fresh fruits, salads and vegetables hold a dear place in their hearts. We know that consuming seven to 10 serves of fresh fruit and vegetables each day is linked to a range of long-term health benefits including lower body weights and reduced risk of developing a number of diseases including some types of cancer.

Unlike the average person, dietitians look for every opportunity to eat more fresh fruit and vegetables, so naturally consume less high-calorie food overall. This means vegetables at breakfast, lunch and dinner and the more the better, ideally consumed with goods fats such as olive oil, nuts or avocado to optimise nutrient absorption.

Fresh fruit is the preferred snack

Forget packaged snacks, biscuits and cake: nothing is more delicious that naturally sweet fresh fruit. Dietitians know the science of nutrition, which means they understand that naturally occurring sugars found in fruit are very different to that of processed and added sugars.

Snacking on fresh fruit between meals gives a nutrient boost for relatively few calories compared with other popular snacks including coffees, muffins, snack bars and smoothies.

They avoid processed foods

Old-school nutrition is all about fresh and natural foods and although food processing has advanced in recent years to give a wide range of "healthy" yet still processed snacks and meals to support busy lifestyles, the average dietitian is old school.

They may recommend convenient food products for their busy clients who want to use such items, but dietitians do not tend to buy or eat them. Why buy a soup packed with salt when you can easily make one? Why snack on a bar when you can just as easily enjoy fruit and nuts? Why do you need milk in a box when you can pour a glass and add fruit?

In fact it is safe to say that a number of supermarket aisles are skipped entirely when the average dietitian goes shopping. This means that fewer calories are consumed overall.

They never waste calories

Dietitians are not overly restrictive, but they are aware no one is able to eat an unlimited number of calories without gaining weight and as such need to make smart choices when it comes to using our calories wisely.

This means that dietitians are very good at weighing up whether certain foods are worth using their calorie allowance for, and you will rarely if ever see them wasting their calories on foods that offer little nutritionally, nor much pleasure. Good examples of this include soft drink, fried fast food and overly processed snacks.

It is safe to say that few if any dietitians ever choose to eat these foods which, they may even argue, are not food at all.