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Nutrition Is Not Just about Weight Loss

By Jayne Williams, MA, Practice Manager

When it comes to proper nutrition, if we’re honest with ourselves, we know deep down that there’s no quick fix to weight loss. Before I started focusing on my own nutrition, I read books on trendy diets, watched documentaries, and consulted coaches on how to decrease body fat and increase muscle mass. What I found varied greatly. To reduce inflammation, I needed to eat within 30 minutes of waking up and eat six meals a day to maintain a healthy blood sugar level. To build muscle, I should be eating a pound of meat per day. If a woman and a man have the same fitness goals, they can achieve results with the same diet. The worst was the concept of calories in = calories out, but you can’t out exercise a poor diet. Put together, it doesn’t make sense, does it?

When I first became interested in body building several years ago, I realized how daily eating habits can significantly impact body composition. Nutrition isn’t a diet, it’s a lifestyle. I learned the importance of nutrient partitioning (i.e. having a protein, fat, and carb at each meal) and coping mechanisms for dealing with everyday temptations. My favorite philosophy comes from Keith Klein, CN, CCN: make better bad choices. What this means is deprivation is not sustainable and by making small changes, such as eating half a bag of gummy bears is better that a whole bag, have a significant long-term impact. It felt like the weight came off without even trying. But even with this plan, I plateaued and wasn’t achieving my goals.

In October 2022, I started meeting with our nutritionist, Kebbie Stine, MNT, with the intention of decreasing fat and building muscle. Her personalized guidance is helping me achieve my weight loss/fitness goals. What I did not expect is how much it has improved my overall health and wellbeing. To get fit isn’t solely about weight loss, working out, and calorie restriction. How your individual body processes nutrients is integral to how well we function. It wasn’t until we identified root problems with how my body does or does not process food that real changes were made.

What makes working with a nutritionist like Kebbie different from DIY plans, is the attention to detail. She has helped me identify barriers towards reaching my goals I didn’t know I had. In my case, I had signs of high estrogen levels, genetic mutation, food sensitivities that developed after being sick, and vitamin deficiencies. Addressing these issues radically changed my energy level, mood, and overall quality of life. I never expected to hear that you’re eating too little and working out too much.

As part of the athlete nutrition package, I met with Kebbie once per week for six weeks. Each week we made small changes to my diet, she assigned me homework on how to maintain these changes, and followed up to assess the impact. This focused approach allowed me to evaluate how these changes were affecting my health and performance, without feeling overwhelmed. Cutting out gluten didn't just affect my weight loss, but eliminated the arthritic pain that I developed in my hands, which improved my grip strength. My goal was weightloss, but I've achieved better health and body awareness. Kebbie was integral during this process and we maintain regular checkins to stay on track.


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