In the last year, I’ve really come into my own in developing my personal philosophy towards food and nutrition that I wholeheartedly believe in and use with clients.
If you find yourself struggling with your relationship with food, this is how we get there.
As a dietitian, I don’t believe in telling you not to eat foods. Here are some other beliefs I have when working with clients.
- I don’t tell them that all they can eat moving forward is fruits, veggies and protein.
- And I definitely don’t tell them to let external numbers guide their desire for eating or need for nourishment. As a matter of fact, I don’t like to use a lot of “don’ts” in sessions.
- We focus on what you can do, things you can eat and include, and why it’s important to prioritize yourself. We talk a lot about nourishing your body in many different ways.
Rather than focusing on eating from specific food groups, we talk about the differences between each and how they balance together.
And in some instances, when you may want to prioritize one over the other.
For example, finishing up a hard workout or long run? Get carbohydrates and protein. Fiber and fat are less important during this time because they blunt the effects of glucose in your bloodstream.
After a workout, you want your muscles to get fuel to help speed up recovery.
Or, what if you’re hungry now, but you have a group dinner in an hour?
In this instance, it may make sense to have a simple carbohydrate for a snack that can nourish you now, but still leave you hungry for your next scheduled eating.
I wrote an ebook all about managing hunger and fullness for exercise.
Maybe you’ve been told to eat whole grains under all circumstances because they are “healthier” and have more fiber.
Sometimes, I think the way we stress about food choices and fear certain foods can actually be more detrimental to our health than the actual food choices themselves.
I’m not going to tell you that you have to do one thing to lose weight.
Cutting things out you enjoy is called deprivation and that doesn’t end well.
If you struggle with the idea of avoiding anything “bad” or processed or not organic, we’ll look at some research and talk about it.
We talk about food flexibility, and how choosing a salad isn’t superior to choosing a cheeseburger.
Every single one of you is so different. Maybe the salad is a better choice if you’ve gone a few days without veggies. You know you need a push of fiber for that digestion.
Self-care in that instance might mean getting the salad because you know your body needs the nutrients. Maybe your iron is low and you’re feeling fatigued.
Or, you’ve had a tough week of exercise and feel short on protein. Maybe the burger is what you want in that moment.
Perhaps you just want to get to the point where you don’t even think twice about what you want, you trust yourself enough to just order what your body needs in that moment. Many of my clients have been there, but we can change.
If you look at it through this lens, no one choice is superior – each is different and individual for YOU. Maybe you just want a comforting cheeseburger and fries because it’s been one of those weeks and you can’t stand to look at veggies anymore.
I won’t tell you to cut out one food or food group, or to start over every Monday.
I won’t tell you to exercise for an hour every day to be healthy.
And, I definitely won’t tell you to eat under x many calories per day.
Because all of these lifestyles that we think will bring us health, won’t.
Health is not deprivation. Health is not feelings of guilt around food.
How I Work with Clients
- Take the time to learn your health history, habits, likes, dislikes, stressors and motivators. We talk about movement you enjoy and that is maintainable. Maybe that’s more, maybe that’s less than it is now.
- We will talk about intuitive eating, hunger cues, feeling satisfied vs. feeling full.
- If you’re a runner, we will talk about fueling enough for exercise, and see if we can find what fueling system works best for you. We talk about your goals and how to get there. I’m big on finding more positive role models or influences for my clients.
Not all dietitians are going to cut your calories. We are trained to treat you as an individual and meet you where you are. If you are looking for assistance in your health journey, I am taking new clients now.
Also, if you’re looking for some new books and resources, these are some of the best intuitive eating books to use in practice and with clients.
Has there been one thing you’ve done or changed this year to better your health? Personally, I’ve put more of a focus on sleep! Less screen time in the hours before bed has been MAGICAL.
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