Role of a Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist in Eating Disorder Care

17 Mar 2017 no comments operator

By Hilary Raciti, RDN CDN


A Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist (RDN) can work in a variety of settings with a great diversity of clientele.   Often when thinking of a nutritionist one thinks of a professional who helps people eat “healthier” for weight management or weight loss. Often I hear people calling me the ‘food police’ and get ashamed to admit that they nibbled on a cookie over the weekend.

The truth is, dietitians utilize the science and art of medical nutrition therapy to improve clients’ medical status. This does not necessarily indicate weight loss or removal of certain foods; dietitians promote optimal nourishment and often this means promoting balance and eradicating nutritional myths.  When working with eating disorders, a dietitian is drastically removed from this stereotypical role.

Let’s first define what an eating disorder is. An eating disorder is any of a range of psychological disorders characterized by abnormal or disturbed eating habits. This includes but is not limited to Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa, Avoidant Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID), and Binge Eating Disorder.  For more information about eating disorders outlined in the DSM-5 please refer to the link below.

Eating disorders come in all shapes and forms and often do not fit perfectly into the categories above. Usually in that case one will be diagnosed with EDNOS or Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified. A Dietitian who works with clientele displaying symptoms of an eating disorder must be aware of the various diagnoses, assess individual behaviors, thoughts, external factors, and medical and family history to best develop a nutrition treatment plan. One must be ready for hurdles and necessary changes to this treatment plan, as an eating disorder is a dynamic struggle that requires consistent care and modifications.  Working with a treatment team including a therapist, primary physician and often parents and other support figures is absolutely necessary. Successful treatment of an eating disorder requires consistent collaboration with the whole treatment team, as it is a genetically, socially and environmentally based condition with threatening physical outcomes if not treated.10SELFIMAGEThe role of a RDN in the care of eating disorders is similar to that of all other conditions:  he or she develops and implements the nutrition treatment plan while providing support in accomplishing the goals set out in the treatment plan. Just like with any other client, the dietitian works with the individual based on his or her unique eating disorder behaviors, needs and motivation level. Dietitians who are involved in the treatment of eating disorders must take time to understand the client’s motivation for recovery and readiness level while respecting the individual as a person, not an eating disorder.

A Registered Dietitian will calculate the individual’s energy, protein, vitamin/mineral, and fluid needs and assist the client in creating a meal plan that is realistic and adaptable to his or her daily life. During times of severe caloric restriction, a dietitian will strategically increase energy intake in small increments to prevent re-feeding syndrome, a potentially fatal condition in which shifts of fluids and electrolytes occur in a malnourished person.   Once a client or patient is medically stable, the introduction of new or “challenging” foods continues at a slow pace, however, energy or calorie needs are often heightened due to prolonged abuse and damage to internal organs from long-term malnutrition.

Many patients with a diagnosis of anorexia nervosa or those with restrictive intake patterns may experience hypermetabolism with symptoms of extreme hunger and night sweats in the beginning of recovery. This is due to the body’s sense of security that nutrition will again be provided and thus turning its engine on to replace fat and muscle stores, organs, bone mass, hair, nails- all that were depleted during prolonged starvation or restriction.  A dietitian will guide the client during this phase to ensure sufficient energy, protein and fluid intake.

What about those with binge eating disorder or those with restrictive-binging tendencies that are at a healthy weight or even potentially overweight? A dietitian will never promote weight loss or diets for clients who display BED (binge eating disorder). In this case a dietitian will work with clients to promote regular or normalized eating habits, sufficient nourishment throughout the day, and detection of external or internal triggers that may result in the binges. Working on techniques to battle these triggers, gain control of eating behaviors and prevent the sense to restrict or compensate after a perceived binge is essential in the treatment of these conditions.

Educating clients about nutrition while challenging clients’ food roles and fears is another important role of a dietitian in the care of eating disorders.  Many clients have false beliefs about what composes a healthy diet and gravitate to extremes to gain a sense of control.  Clients with eating disorders necessitate proper education that all foods do fit in a balanced diet. Carbohydrates and fats are extremely important components of our diet, but societal cues today cause much confusion. Trained Eating Disorder dietitians will often execute exposure relapse prevention with the client. This consists of creating a hierarchy of fear foods starting from those that are least anxiety provoking to those that cause intense stress or discomfort. A dietitian will carefully expose a client to these foods, one at a time, continuously until his or her SUD (subjective unit of distress) decreases. This is a great method to overcome food fears for those with eating disorders.

Although the main goal for a dietitian working in Eating Disorder care is to promote adequate, balanced nutrition with decreased irrational thoughts, behaviors and fears about food and the body- clients often display comorbid medical issues such as gastroparesis (slow digestion/poor muscle motility in your stomach), bone loss and amenorrhea (loss of menstrual cycle) due to long-term restriction or compensatory behaviors. A dietitian will have to be wary of such conditions and assist with symptom alleviation while ensuring sufficient caloric and protein intake via liquid supplements, low residue foods, and high-density meals and snacks. Proper supplementation is also crucial for many in recovery due to bone loss, deficiencies and hormonal imbalances.


A Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist is a vital component of eating disorder care. He or she takes the time to work through a client’s struggles, food beliefs, personal preferences, social support team and medical history to create a nutrition treatment plan personalized for his or her specific needs.  The dietitian will need to work with other clinicians including a therapist and primary physician to guarantee dynamic care. Remember an eating disorder is rarely about food and an eating disorder dietitian understands this.

For nutrition counseling appointments call 732-210-9581.

For more information on Eating Disorders please visit:


Reaching Goal Weight and Preventing Weight Gain After Bariatric Surgery

27 Dec 2016 no comments operator


Contrary to popular belief, bariatric surgery is not a guaranteed long-term weight loss solution. You have to put in the work and make lifestyle changes in order for your surgery to be a life long success. Continuing or going back to old, unfavorable habits can quickly bring you back to where you were before your procedure. Start 2017 off right and follow these tips to ensure that you will have permanent results.

Bariatric Surgery Long Term Success Tips

1. Continue follow-ups with your bariatric surgeon and bariatric dietitian 

It is very important to continue regular visits with both your bariatric surgeon and your bariatric dietitian. Just because you are losing weight and you feel wonderful at the moment does not mean you should stop these meetings. Remember that the weight comes off much faster in the first few months following surgery, so nothing may alarm you. However, this surgery is a lifelong commitment and should not be taken lightly. Aim to meet with your surgeon as directed right after surgery and at least 1-2 times per year after that, and try to check in with your dietitian once every 3-4 months. This will help you stay on track, continue progressing, and prevent issues before they arise. Always remember that preventative medicine is best!   You should be keeping up with your blood work and meeting with your dietitian go over your food/nutrition plan to ensure you are getting in proper nutrients and not losing too much muscle. You took this step to change your health, it is OK to get some assistance along the way.

2. Utilize the surgery

You just got a wonderful procedure done and your stomach is much smaller than it once was. Make sure to pack it full of nutrients and filling foods such as PROTEIN, fiber, &  healthy fats.  This will ensure you will stay satisfied longer and prevent overeating. This is the point of the surgery isn’t it? When you do have some space and hunger, make it count with a nutrient dense choice. Try your best to avoid going too long without eating, every 3-4 hours is ideal.  Getting in your fluids and staying away from excessive amounts of coffee/caffeine is also important and another way to utilize your surgery. Again, you’ve been handed an amazing tool of a smaller stomach, so make sure to take advantage! Over time you will be able to eat more so adapting these habits from the start will keep the weight off for good. If you are not eating protein & fiber packed foods, skipping meals, and not getting in enough fluids, you are not fully utilizing your surgery. (and taking advantage of such a wonderful tool you’ve been given)


3. Always remember the rules (& never get too comfortable)

When you first arranged your surgery, you were provided with a bunch of rules of thumb to follow. These are not only for the first few weeks following the surgery, they are life long! You are given these rules for your advantage. You are not invincible and things can change over time. It will benefit you greatly to adhere to:

  • Not drinking and eating together: waiting 20-30 minutes after drinking to eat, and 20-30 minutes after eating to drink
  • Avoiding carbonated beverages, even diet (can expand your stomach in the long run!)
  • Eating slowly
  • Chewing thoroughly
  • Reaching your protein goals & eating it first at your meals
  • Avoiding high calorie/sugary drinks (juices, lattes, alcohol) the empty calories add up and go down even smoother

4. Keep yourself accountable

Tracking any and everything from what you eat, drink, exercise, and even your mood will help you stay accountable and mindful.  Just even 2-3 days per week if it is tough to do daily is great. It will also help you and your health care provider recognize any unhealthy habits/patterns that are starting to form. In the beginning, you are so limited to what you can eat, so what are a few snacks here and there going to do? Well over time, you are able to eat more (and are more comfortable) and that one handful of chips or pretzels or that 1-2 chicken nuggets can easily turn into a few more. Continue with weigh ins, follow-up visits, and support group attendance. You are the only person you are cheating if you aren’t honest with yourself. This surgery can be so extremely beneficial, but it is a must to stay accountable and pay attention to what you are doing!

5. Exercise/movement

The end goal of the surgery should be to be fit & healthy. Maintaining a healthy weight consists of both a balanced diet and exercise. Exercising will keep you burning calories (especially on those days you had that extra piece of chocolate) help tone loose skin, and build muscle to help your metabolism. It may not accelerate your weight loss, but it is a key factor in keeping the weight off for years to come. It is also very beneficial for mental health, heart health, and overall well-being.



If you have fallen off track or if you see yourself heading down an unhealthy path, make sure you reach out to your healthcare providers.  Do not feel embarrassed or shy! They are here to help you. Experts in this field, such as your surgeon and bariatric dietitian, can help you stay or get back on track by providing you the tools you need to jump-start again and stay motivated.

The worst thing you can do is go back on an extreme diet or take a diet pill. This will only set you back further. Figure out what is preventing your progress and work on these issues one by one. If you still have too many barriers, consider meeting with a therapist to help.

Eating your protein first will never get old either. Protein will keep you fuller longer, avoid eating too many “empty” calories, utilize the surgery,  and it is necessary for so many of your body’s functions. And just one more last piece of advice: avoid exploring too much. Just because the surgery isn’t stopping you, doesn’t mean do it. 🙂


We always focus on protein! So here is a sample high protein day: 

*this is only for patients that are beyond the first few months of surgery


Egg Wrap: 24 g

  • 1 egg and 1 egg white (10g)
  • Flatout Protein Up Flatbread (12g)
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped and sautéed (1g)
  • 1 Tbsp salsa
  • 1/4 cup mushrooms, sautéed (1g)


Smoothie: 28 g

  • Protein powder (15-20g)
  • 1 Tbsp chia seeds (3g)
  • 1 Tbsp almond butter (4g)
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1 cup spinach (1g)


Tuna Salad: 22 g

  • 2 oz tuna (14g)
  • 1/2 cup kale or romaine (1g)
  • 1 oz Roasted Chickpeas (5g)
  • 1 Tbsp sunflower seeds (2g)
  • 1/4 cup avocado

Snack: 15g

  • 1/2 cup plain greek yogurt (10g)
  • 1 oz pumpkin seeds (5g)
  • 1/4 cup pomegranate seeds

Dinner: 17g

  • 2/3 cup lentil pasta (14g)
  • 1/3 cup tomato sauce (1 g)
  • 1/3 cup zucchini (2g)

Snack: 5-7 g

  • Frozen greek yogurt bar or Enlightened Bar (5-7 g)

Total: 80-90 grams protein

As always, you can only try your best. Everyone has different eating styles and amounts they can eat at one time.

You can call the office at 732-210-9581 or visit to schedule your nutrition counseling appointment & get more of these meal plans!



Have A Happy Healthy Holiday!

07 Dec 2016 no comments operator

Staying healthy around the holidays sounds impossible, but I promise its not as difficult as it seems! Paying attention to your choices and staying accountable will help you stick to your goals.


Top 10 Healthy Holiday Tips

1.Set realistic goals:

Just maintaining your weight (and not gaining) can be win during this treat-filled, less active time. When we set goals that are not realistic, we often feel discouraged and defeated. This is a journey and a lifelong commitment, there is no rush. Allow yourself to have some of your favorite holiday fare, because it is unrealistic to expect yourself to stay away from all temptation.

2. Stay accountable & mindful:

Track what you eat and drink (good, bad, and ugly) a few times per week (or more) using an app or the old fashioned way. Make sure not to let this habit die! You can never get too comfortable because it is easy to fall back into old behaviors. Remember, it is how you bounce back that matters.

3. Move more:

Make sure you do some sort of activity. Whatever you can do is beneficial. Instead of saying you have to exercise for an hour, try 15-20 minutes and you will probably go even longer. Walk extra around large department stores and malls or do some extra cleaning around the house. It all adds up. Plus, it should force you to drink more water!

4. Avoid going to dinners and parties on an empty stomach:

Going to a holiday party starving will not end in anything good! Have normal, balanced meals throughout the day, and do not “save” your calories so that you can go crazy and eat them all at once. You will most definitely overindulge and go over your calorie goal, not to mention have a belly ache.


5. Bring your own healthy appetizer to parties:

Don’t rely on other party attendees to supply the healthy choices, bring your own! Bring a veggie and dip or hummus platter, chicken kabobs, lettuce wraps, tomato/mozzarella salad, deviled eggs, zucchini/eggplant dishes, the list goes on… This will keep you away from the chips and other empty calorie, high carb choices. Keep reading on to get some delicious recipes!

6. Be wary of drinks:

They have more calories than you think. Pick your poison, and consider if it’s really worth the extra calories. A drink is a drink is a drink…


7. Stay hydrated:

Water intake tends to be neglected during the colder months since we feel less thirsty. You need to keep your water bottle with you at all times. Try adding fruit or get an infuser bottle to make it more interesting.  The latest recommendation are the True Lime drink mixes- they have a lot of great flavors.  Also remember, when we are dehydrated we may think we are really hungry and go for food instead of water.

8. Have a support person:

Have that go-to support person to slap your hand away from the chips and who isn’t afraid to say “don’t do it!” Someone to text you when you need it most, to be a great influence when you are out to eat, (to also share with and one who says no when you ask if you want dessert) and someone to trade healthy recipes with.

9. Dust yourself off after a “bad” few days of eating:

It is how you bounce back that is key. One or two days being “off” isn’t going to completely sabotage all your hard work and effort. We are human, which means we are not perfect. So, dust yourself off, move on, and tomorrow is a new day. Just do not allow the “funk” to linger- then it will be extra hard to dig yourself out.


10. (last but not least) Visit your Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist!

This will help you stay focused, stay accountable, keep motivated, and keep you on track. Not to mention you can get some great ideas for meals/snacks, a new eating plan that is tailored to you, and some nice variety. When we are bored of what we are eating, we fall off.

As always, you can only try your best 🙂





To help you make good choices this holiday season, here are some healthy and delicious recipes that won’t set you behind! Offer to bring one wherever you’re going, and I’m sure there will be other party members who will thank you for it.


Cheesy Brown Rice Gratin With Zucchini & Eggplant

Filled with healthy fats from olive oil and walnuts, fiber from the vegetables, and protein from cheese, this cheesy brown rice veggie gratin is guaranteed to be a crowd pleaser!


Roasted Root Vegetables With Walnut Pesto

Nothing says winter holidays like roasted root veggies such as carrots, parsnips, and turnips. If your guests aren’t a huge fan, you can easily swap in different vegetables, too. Pesto made from walnuts and basil is heart-healthy and gives it a nice twist from traditional, plain vegetables.


Roasted Turkey With Apples & Onions

Roasting your turkey will give it crisp and flavorful skin, while keeping the meat super moist. The apples and onions infuse such great flavor!


Polish Beet Soup

Nothing warms you up on a cold winter day like beet soup! Beets are filled with vitamins, minerals, and fiber. They detoxify, fight cancer cells, and also prevent inflammation. Plus, they make a beautiful colored soup!


Spaghetti Squash Latkes

Using spaghetti squash rather than potatoes lightens up traditional latkes by cutting carbs practically in half. They taste almost exactly the same, too!


Apple Crisp

Can’t forget about dessert! This clean apple crisp uses very little added sweetener, but will taste like the real deal.


Chickpea Flour Chocolate Chip Cookies

You can’t come empty handed to a cookie exchange, and I can guarantee people will be fighting over these! When I made these, no one could tell that they weren’t made with refined sugar and flour. Made with chickpea flour, they have 3 grams of protein each and much less carbs than regular cookies.


Some additional dessert ideas:

Fruit menorah: Blueberries, bananas, kiwi, and strawberries

Dark chocolate bark with pistachios and pomegranate seeds

Dark chocolate covered strawberries with pretzel antlers and reindeer faces

Grape/strawberry/banana santa hats


Most importantly, have a healthy and happy holiday and new year!

gut health

Your Healthy Gut Bugs Are Fighting For Their Lives (And Yours!)

02 Dec 2016 no comments operator

Some of us may have heard that our gut microbiome is important. In fact, it is a huge area of research right now.  What exactly does that mean though, and why is it important?

Your Gut’s Bacteria

Your gut consists of multiple different types of bacteria- some good, and some bad. A diversity of bacteria in your gut is most beneficial.

We start accumulating these little bacteria the day we are born, and they continue to change and function throughout our lives. These bacteria have many functions that range from digesting our food, extracting nutrients, and producing hormones. Think of them as helpful little bugs that each have their own job. You want a wide variety of jobs being done, and therefore a wide variety of bacteria in your gut.

The standard American diet depletes the good bacteria and feeds the bad bacteria in our gut, messing with the balance of our microbiome. Processed foods, a lot of added sugar, unhealthy fats (saturated/trans/fractionated), and inflammatory foods are what contribute to this imbalance.

Food isn’t the only thing that kills our good bacteria. Overuse of antibiotics and over-the-counter medication are other contributing factors. Pesticide/chemical exposure and smoking are also believed to be good bacteria killers. We also tend to avoid dirt, which is rich in probiotics and healthy bacteria, which our ancestors did not do.

Stress is another factor that influences your bacteria. Research has shown that high levels of stress can feed bad bacteria. Also, stress raises cortisol levels, which increases inflammation levels, which kills our microbiome.

All around, we are not doing much to support a healthy gut. We are slowly killing the little bugs that are working so hard to help us out.


Why should I care if my gut microbiome is balanced?

Nearly every aspect of your health is controlled by the bacteria in your gut and those hard-working little bugs. Our brain and our gut actually communicate, and if our bacteria is sending negative signals, it can even affect your mental health. Bad bacteria can impact your brain’s production of serotonin, a hormone which controls your mood. It also affects other hormones that are associated with anxiety, depression, and stress.

Your body’s ability to fight illness is affected by your microbiota, because bad bacteria can feed pathogens that are responsible for viruses. Also, bad bacteria contributes to inflammation in the body, which can suppress your immune system and make it difficult to fight off bugs.

Research has shown that decline in gut health might be responsible for the increase in food allergies such as lactose and gluten.

Newer research has shown that neglected gut health might be responsible for weight gain as well. Individuals who are obese tend to have less microbiota living in their gut, and less of a variety. This means that a lot of those good bacteria’s jobs are being neglected. A deficit in good bacteria in the gut can make your body extract too much energy (calories) from your food. If your body is processing more energy than it needs, the excess gets stored as fat. There also seems to be a connection between low gut microbiota levels and sweet cravings.


So then what can we do to rebalance our microbiome?

Fixing your bacteria balance is fairly easy! Probiotics and prebiotics, two healthy bacterias, are found in many foods that can help replenish what you’ve lost so far:

  • Fermented foods: like sauerkraut and kimchi
  • Kombucha: a fermented bubbly drink (like a healthier soda!)
  • Kefir: similar to yogurt but with even more beneficial bacterias
  • Foods high in prebiotic fiber: onion, garlic, leeks, artichokes, jicama, green bananas
  • Healthy fats: avocado oil, olive oil
  • Eat a variety of foods, and be sure to include all colors of fruits and veggies! Each type of healthy bacteria can be found in different foods, so eating a wide variety ensures you’re receiving a wide range of nutrients. This is especially true for plant-based foods such as fruits and vegetables.
  • High fiber foods, such as beans and legumes, help healthy bacteria grow
  • Eat organic: research has shown that pesticides can be harmful to microbiota
  • High polyphenol foods: antioxidants and polyphenol rich foods reduce inflammation and help good bacteria grow. Some examples of polyphenol rich foods are dark chocolate, red wine, green tea, almonds, and blueberries


If you are unable to eat foods high in probiotics and prebiotics, there are also supplements available to provide you with these nutrients.

It is equally important to avoid too much of certain foods as it is to include the gut-healthy ones. Here is what to avoid if possible:

  • Too much added sugar & artificial sweeteners (everything in moderation)
  • Processed foods
  • Refined carbohydrates (white bread, white pasta, muffins, cakes, white rice)
  • Any foods you know that you are intolerant to or are unable to digest well

Exercise has also been shown to support a healthy gut, but so is rest! Be sure to let your body recover.

Reducing stress is another important step to take in order to improve your gut health. As stated before, stress raises cortisol, which increases inflammation in the body. This can kill healthy bacteria in the gut.

Balancing your microbiome can help you feel better mentally and physically. It can help you lose weight, improve your immune system, and feel less stressed. Balance your bacteria and be a better you! You should discuss how you can do these with your Registered Dietitian.

gut health 4.jpeg

busting the myths

Weight Loss Myths Debunked

01 Sep 2016 no comments operator

We are fed a lot of information about weight loss and dieting, and it can be difficult to decide what to believe. Here’s the truth about a lot of what you hear in the media.

1. Carbs make you gain weight

Carbohydrates can be great for you. They offer a great deal of energy that can be helpful to fuel your body, especially before a workout. Like all categories of food, not all carbs are created equal. There are complex carbohydrates (like whole grains and rice), and simple carbs (like refined flour and baked goods). Simple carbs are turned into sugar, which is what our body stores as fat when consumed in excess. In reality, it is sugar and simple carbohydrates that make you gain weight. Complex carbs should be included in your diet in moderation. They are digested much slower than simple carbs, and therefore offer a slow stream of energy rather than a blood sugar spike. They can be found in oats, rice, grains, and even in fruits, vegetables, and nuts.


2.Fat makes you gain weight

Similar to carbohydrates, the right kind of fat can be very good for you. Fat has a bad reputation because of the unhealthy saturated fats that are linked to heart conditions. Healthy fats such as olive oil, nuts, avocados, and coconut can have great health benefits. They can help lower cholesterol, they are great for your skin and hair, and they have individual benefits in addition.

3. Cardio is the best form of exercise for weight loss

Cardio is a very healthy exercise, but that doesn’t mean you need to do over an hour of it daily to lose weight. 30 minutes of high intensity cardio can be just as effective. Fluctuation in heart rate has been shown to be very effective in burning fat. This means that the more your heart rate moves up and down, the more fat your are burning. HIIT, circuit training, and Tabata are great at moving your heart rate into fat burning mode.


4. Weights make you bulk and look heavier

Weight training is also great for fat burning as well. When you do a high number of repetitions on a low weight, you burn fat and build muscle without bulking. Include weight training in your daily workout routine to see full body results.

5. You need to cut calories to lose weight

We wrote a full post already on why cutting calories isn’t always effective here, but to summarize, cutting calories isn’t always the way to go. Eating too little can damage your metabolism just like eating too much can. Increasing your calories can speed up your metabolism and help you lose weight. Also, not all calories are created equal! Eating the same amount of calories but focusing more on protein than carbs can help you lose weight without reducing calories.

6. Dieting can help me lose weight fast and keep it off permanently

A lot of the time, the weight you lose from dieting is only temporary. Diets are not something you can follow long term, and so you gain the weight back the minute you go back to your typical lifestyle. Eating healthy in a way you can maintain is much more effective. The weight you lose will stay off if you continue with your lifestyle change permanently.

7. Low fat, fat free, sugar free, and diet foods help with weight loss

These labels signal that these foods are filled with chemicals. In order to lose weight and be healthy, you should avoid anything in a box, especially with these labels. Processed foods filled with preservatives and refined ingredients are digested as sugars and stored as fat. Eat nutritious foods that don’t need to be fat free and sugar free, and you’ll be much better off.


8. Having off-limit foods is an effective way to avoid temptation

Completely avoiding foods you enjoy only triggers temptation. It is more effective to enjoy your favorite foods in moderation, and practice balance. Enjoy those off-limits foods on occasion, and fuel your body with nutritious foods most of the time.

9. Skipping meals can help me lose weight

We wrote a full article on this as well here, but skipping meals ruins your metabolism. Eating 3+ times a day is much better for weight loss, because it keeps your metabolism running and prevents energy crashes.

10. Eating healthy is too expensive

There are a lot of nutritious foods you can purchase for cheaper than pre-packaged diet foods. For example, beans, rice, and chicken are all thrifty options that can fill you up. Besides, your health is an investment and it should be a priority.


11. You can lose weight by either focusing on diet OR exercise

To effectively lose weight, you need to balance your nutrition and exercise. You won’t get anywhere by focusing on one without the other. It is important to fuel your body with the right food and burn extra calories at the same time.

12. Skinny people are healthier

Skinny people can be just as malnourished as everyone else. Just because they seem to be in shape, it does not mean that they are feeding their body nutritious foods. It is also possible to be overweight and malnourished as well.

13. Fat and muscle weigh the same

Muscle is very dense compared to fat, so the same mass weighs more when it is made up of muscle. Don’t focus on weight! Focus on how you feel and aim to be the healthiest version of yourself possible.



Remembering Why We Eat: Food Is For Nourishment

31 Aug 2016 no comments operator

Every aspect of our lives revolves around food. Social events, entertainment, and even our jobs can be food focused. It seems impossible to entertain yourself without including food.

This makes it really difficult to remember that food isn’t intended to be for anything except nourishment. Of course you should enjoy your food, but always keep in mind that nourishment comes first. Fueling your body with nutrients can solve so many problems that most people are unaware stem from food. This can include low energy levels, mood swings, stomach pain, muscle cramps, and many more.

In fact, most of our symptoms are linked with a vitamin deficiency because we aren’t fueling our bodies correctly. When our body is lacking a nutrient, it sends signals in order to communicate that you need to be paying better attention.

To prevent doing harm to your body, eat the rainbow! This ensures you are getting a wide variety of nutrients. In fact, the color of fruits and vegetables are often caused by the abundance of a certain vitamin. So if you eat multiple colors a day, you can be sure you’re getting a whole bunch of different nutrients.


Make sure to balance your nutritious foods with foods you enjoy. Fuel your body with a combination of protein, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals. The type of fruit or vegetable you eat to obtain those vitamins isn’t important. So no, you don’t need to force yourself to eat beats and kale if that’s not what you enjoy! Just make sure you are eating a wide variety of foods, so that you are getting a range of nutrients.

And don’t forget to enjoy it, too 🙂

rainbow 2


Ditching The “One Size Fits All” Diet

31 Aug 2016 no comments operator

It seems every week there is a new fad diet that everyone is trying. We’ve discussed why diets in general don’t work, but there is another reason that outlined plans don’t work, even if they aren’t temporary. In this case, we are talking about diets as in outlined nutrition plans, not temporary weight loss plans. This includes Paleo, low carb, vegan, and many others.

What all of these nutrition plans have in common is that they are one size fits all. This means everyone follows the same guidelines, restrictions, etc. These plans often come with a list of off limit foods because they are considered uneasy to digest, unhealthy, or highly sensitive for most individuals.

We are all very different people, and we have very different bodies. Our digestive systems are different, the number of calories we need varies, and our food sensitives are unique. All of these nutrition plans make assumptions about the human body. They assume that we all have the same sensitivities, and that we should all restrict the same foods. Again, we have discussed why restrictions are a bad idea in other posts, but now we will discuss sensitivity based restrictions.

Let’s use the Paleo diet as an example. Paleo restricts dairy, grains, legumes, alcohol, and processed foods/sugar. It is assumed that our ancestors did not consume these things, and therefore our bodies are not designed to digest them properly. The problem is that some of these categories include very nutritions foods that you are restricting yourself from, just because the diet assumes that most individuals are unable to digest them.

It is important to create your own nutrition plan designed around your specific needs. We are all unique and following a preset guide won’t do us any good. Know your sensitivities, and know what your body can handle. If you have no problem consuming a certain food, there is no reason not to eat it. A dietitian can help you identify your sensitivities, and create an individualized plan.

one size fits all 2

healthy relationship

Building a Healthy Relationship With Food For Weight Loss Success

31 Aug 2016 no comments operator

Establishing a healthy relationship with food is crucial for long term weight loss success. This means ditching the diet mentality, and sticking to a healthy lifestyle permanently. Yo-yo dieting gets us nowhere. These diets are always temporary, and the effects are erased the minute you go back to your typical lifestyle. In order to make permanent weight loss changes, you need to make permanent lifestyle changes.

This might sound scary, but a healthy lifestyle is nothing like dieting. There are no absurd restrictions, just limitations you set for yourself. This also means no “cheat days” or “bad foods”. These concepts are success killers! Setting a cheat day only encourages binging, which will never get you anywhere. Determining a food as “bad”or “off limits” will only make you want it more. In order to create a lifestyle you can stick to, you need to practice balance. Establishing a healthy relationship with food means listening to your body. We seem to have lost touch with the signals our bodies send us. When we crave something “bad” we tell ourselves we can not indulge and it just makes us want it more. There’s no reason you can’t enjoy your favorite food in moderation, and only on occasion.

There are no “on” and “off” periods when you create a healthy relationship with food. You are not yo-yoing in and out of dieting phases. You are living a healthy lifestyle you can maintain and practicing balance. This is the key to weight loss success, and the key to a happy healthy lifestyle.


The Metabolic Balancing Act: Eating Too Much and Too Little

30 Aug 2016 no comments operator

Many people are unaware of the effects of eating too little. Too few calories can actually ruin your metabolism and prevent weight loss, similar to the effects of eating too much.

A damaged metabolism is a common reason for weight gain. Our body requires a certain number of calories per day to use as energy, and the rest is stored as fat. Most people are aware of this, and go through periods of dieting where they cut their calories. There is a belief that cutting calories is the most effective way to lose weight. In reality, this only works if you are eating an excessive amount of calories.

For some individuals, weight gain is caused by too few calories. The body goes into survival mode and begins burning fewer calories in order to fuel itself for daily functions. In these cases, by reducing calories, we are causing even more weight gain and bodily harm. In addition, if you are eating too few calories on top of exercising, then you are eating WAY too few calories.

Under eating can cause many other problems that indirectly lead to weight gain. For example, your body uses too much fuel for the essential functions and forgets about hormones. This can contribute to thyroid conditions and bodily stress, which contribute to weight gain. Under eating also prohibits muscle growth, and in turn will not allow your body to burn fat.

So how do you know if you are under or over eating?

  1. Consider whether you have low energy, mood swings, poor concentration, or mental health concerns- all of which are symptoms of an under fueled body
  2. Track your daily intake on an app like MyFitnessPal, which will set goals for you. This will help you compare your current caloric intake with the goals the app sets for you.
  3. If you are still having trouble, contact a dietitian. They can help you set goals and determine how much you should be eating.

Top 10 Habits of Successful Weight Loss Surgery Patients

30 Aug 2016 no comments operator

After undergoing weight loss surgery, there are lifestyles changes you need to make in order for the surgery to be successful. It is important to keep in mind that if you do not make any changes, you will easily undo the effects of your surgery. Your doctor and dietitian will set you up with goals and a plan to achieve them. These are some typical lifestyle changes that make the surgery a success for most patients.

1) Follows up with their surgeon and nutritionist

This is definitely one of the most important habits before and after surgery. Post-surgery, there is a strict diet to follow in order to allow your body to heal while properly fueling it. You  are susceptible to nutritional deficiencies and surgery complications, so it is crucial to be in contact with experts in this area. Your surgeon and dietitian will also monitor your progress to keep you on track with your goals. You should meet with each of them beforehand to ensure that you understand and can prepare yourself for what is expected of you.

2) Meets protein goals consistently

Before your surgery, your dietitian/nutritionist will set you up with a protein goal. Protein is the key to weight loss because it keeps you full for long periods of time, and it supports muscle mass. This will help burn fat quickly, so protein should always be your main focus at each meal.

3) Tracks food and progress

Track everything! Staying accountable for what you are eating and how it is affecting your weight can help keep you aware of what you are doing to your body. It can also help keep you motivated as you watch your weight drop. Track everything you eat through a smartphone app, or by writing it down. Also keep track of your weight and whether or not you are meeting your goals.

4) Exercises moderately

Exercising is an amazing habit to maintain throughout your life. It is important for not only your physical health, but also your mental health. Cardio is notorious for helping you lose weight, but weight training and muscle building can also help burn fat as well. Exercising can prevent surgery complications and reduce stress as well. When we exercise, our body releases endorphins that make us happy and affect our mood. The better your mood, the more likely you are to stay motivated. Find a form of physical activity you enjoy, and set a goal for yourself so you stay accountable.

5) Drinks a sufficient amount of water

Did you know that the feeling of thirst can mimic hunger? Staying hydrated can prevent overeating, and can also prevent surgery complications. Always keep water around! You are more likely to drink it, even if you don’t necessarily feel thirsty. Dehydration is a common complication of weight loss surgery, so it is especially important to be mindful of your water intake after surgery.

6) Leaves the diet mentality behind

You must remember that this is a long-term lifestyle change, and not a temporary diet. The changes you make must stick in order for them to be effective. Fuel your body with nutritious foods, and you will never need to diet.

7) Becomes a mentor for others

When others look up to you, you are likely to stay motivated and accountable for what you are doing. If you know someone who is going through a similar weight loss situation, become a mentor and guide them through it.

8) Cooks and eats at home more frequently

This one is probably obvious to most, but it is still something we are all guilty of doing. We have busy lives and can’t be bothered with cooking most of the time, and we end up with take-out or prepared food. Of course, homemade food is always healthier and you can be certain of the ingredients and nutritional value. After weight loss surgery, your body is vulnerable to the effects of the preservatives and excessive salt in prepared meals, so staying away is a must. Meal prepping for the week is an easy way to keep healthy homemade food on hand for times when you will be too busy to cook.

9) Never gets too comfortable

Never think that you are safe to let go of your restrictions. You must remain mindful and accountable to prevent bad habits, and you should never get too comfortable and forget that. Remember that there is always room for improvement, and setting goals is something you should always stick to.

10) Has a positive support system

Having people in your life who support your changes is extremely motivating. Whether they be family, friends, or a bariatric support group, there needs to be people around you who will push you to be your best. Many people find it is helpful to surround themselves with individuals who have gone through the same situation or are currently going through it. This is why support groups are so common; these individuals fully understand the dedication this requires, and can offer advice and support. All that matters is that there are people who are holding you accountable and are supportive of your goals.