"If you pay attention to when you are hungry, what your body wants, what you are eating, when you've had enough, you end the obsession because obsession and awareness cannot coexist." Geneen Roth
What is Nutrition Therapy?
Nutrition therapy, also known as nutrition counseling, is a process where you will explore the dynamic nature of your relationship to food, your body and your health. It involves taking a deeper look at some of the underlying forces that might be connected to or maintaining certain behaviors you have with food, your body and your health.
This process involves learning about the science of how the body works, metabolism, digestion/absorption of nutrients as well as the thinking about these areas that might be involved in your behaviors. Through education and awareness building skills, new ways of thinking and behaving can be tested for sustainable and meaningful change.
What can I expect from the process of nutrition therapy?
Enhanced sense of control over food intake as you learn to depend on internal regulators of hunger and fullness.
Increased diet variety and the ability to choose foods without guilt, confusion, and worry.
Metabolic recovery: as your metabolism is restored, your body will arrive or return to its natural size/shape.
Improved energy levels as brain and body receive proper nutrient balance.
Reversal of physical symptoms from malnutrition and semi-starvation.
Improved moods and, increased well being as energy is now free to use towards areas besides food and weight preoccupation.
Cessation of certain medications to control/manage symptoms that diet can heal.
What can I expect on the first visit?
Our first meeting entails gathering enough background information to steer us towards achieving your nutrition and well-being goals. I will want to learn about your unique nutrition challenges as well as your lifestyle and your environment. Together we will find what is most important for you and how to begin to take attainable steps in that direction. I will provide a variety of educational tools and resources the first session. If indicated, I will provide detailed ‘meal plans’ that will give an immediate sense of structure, and sense of control with eating.
What do I need to bring to the first appointment?
Your beautiful Self! If you want to begin to keep a food diary, you can bring that to the first session. There are forms to fill out prior to meeting; these are found under the nutrition therapy tab on this website.
Do I need to keep a food journal? How and why?
Food journals are an important tool for increasing self-awareness and self-observation which leads to self-growth. The goal is to observe yourself throughout the day, keeping track of everything you eat and drink as if you were collecting ‘data’ on yourself. Observe, do not evaluate or judge. It is important that this is a discovery process, not used as a tool for self-judgement often used from dieting. The process of writing down what and how much you eat, will allow you to access your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors with more clarity.
What is the non-diet approach?
The non-diet approach originates from research that supports the ineffectiveness of diets/dieting. Many health professionals are coming to agree that ‘diets don’t work,’ and in fact, diets can cause their own set of problems. Research supports that 95% of dieters gain the weight back and more within 1 to 5 years. Diets can lead to intense cravings, food preoccupation, low self-esteem and depression, increased body dissatisfaction, decreased metabolism, and nutrient imbalances. For some, dieting can lead to a more serious eating disorder, such as anorexia, bulimia, or binge eating disorder.
For most, dieting causes a disruption in the bodies innate ability to self-regulate hunger and fullness cues. This is a direct set-up for the cause of deprivation-eating also known as compulsive eating.
Dieting also makes one more vulnerable to use food to cope with distressing emotions, emotional under-or-over eating.
If diet’s do not work, then what does?
The alternative to dieting is known as, “intuitive eating,” also referred to as, “attuned eating.” This approach is based on evidence based research and involves several principles, all of which have the intention of restoring one’s innate wisdom to listen and respond to the body’s cues of hunger and fullness. It is used in the prevention and treatment for most eating disorders.
It is also very useful for those with general health concerns and in particular, those who want to gain more control over their health and weight, even if they do not have any emotional eating issues or past experiences with dieting.
What is Intuitive and mindful Eating?
The principals of intuitive eating and mindful eating overlap. Healing your relationship with food and weight will help you to access a deeper level of awareness for the foods you eat as well as their effect on your body.
Learning and practicing these principals will help you to:
- Manage your weight and health concerns without having to weigh yourself on a scale, measure out food portions, count points, grams of carbohydrates, calories, and so on.
- Choose foods based on subtle body sensations that will lead to a natural, balanced, and pleasurable way of eating.
- Learn to identify triggers that lead to mindless eating and to cope and manage those situations.
- Lose weight naturally and permanently without pills, surgery and diets.
- Never go on or off another diet again.
- Make peace with all foods so that you can eat anything without guilt, confusion, or shame.
The intuitive eating approach, when practiced over time, will lead one to their natural size and shape, as well as a more peaceful and loving relationship towards the body and how to care and feed it. You will develop increased self-trust around all your hungers.
Mindful eating is based on the following principals:
- Non-judgement of the foods one eats.
- Appreciation of where food comes from, how it is prepared and ultimately consumed.
- Awareness of the internal processes of physical hunger, satiety, and fullness
- Being fully present when eating by using all senses to explore, savor, and taste the textures, sights, smell of food. (This will enhance the experience of eating; eating will be more pleasurable and satisfying.)
- Greater insight to reflect on the effects mindless eating has on ones’ overall health and well being
With practice, mindful eating will allow you to value the quality of food over the quantity. You will begin to appreciate food from a deeper level, allowing for more pleasure and balance with your eating.
What is the Dietitian’s role in the recovery process from an eating disorder?
For those in their recovery process from an eating disorder, I work very closely your treatment team to provide continuity of care in your recovery.
Psychotherapy is more effective if one’s body is adequately nourished to support the processing and concentration required in therapy.
Working with a nutritionist/registered dietitian will help promote optimal nutritional balance for effective therapy.
Working with a nutritionist/registered dietitian will allow you to learn new ways to change and heal your relationship with food, your exercise, and body image.
You will learn how to eat and exercise ‘normally,’ as well as how to change food and exercise patterns to allow for increased metabolism.
You will become more aware of biological and emotional body reactions to food and exercise.
Learn to distinguish emotional hungers from physical hungers.
Eventually, you will be able to maintain a weight that is within a healthy range for your natural shape.