10,000-14,999 SparkPoints 13,158

The Nutritionist

Saturday, September 10, 2011

I had my follow up appointment with my nutritionist. It's the session where she tells you what your body comp is and how much you should be eating, etc.... There have been some adjustments to our sessions because most people who go see her have not already been losing weight successfully on their own. They don't have as much knowledge about micro and macronutrients as I seem to have. I've often thought I should have been a dietician in another life as much as I have read over the years. I also have a pretty good grasp of research about insulin resistance, hormone balance and prevention of diabetes. This weight problem has been a long journey for me over the past 19 years - the first time I "went on a diet." I say all of this because sometimes she would look at me and say - you are doing everything right. I'll explain further.

How much should I be eating?

Given my exercise level and weight loss goals I am eating within a good calorie range. Frankly, she is not a huge supporter of counting calories as a general healthy approach, but the science of calories in and calories out is undeniable. She subscribes to the train your body to know what is good for it and then listen to your body approach. She also kind of laughs about it because she knows how difficult it is to trust your body after it seems to have let you down. So, she has given me portion recommendations and supported my continued efforts with calorie counting if it helps me with portion control. The way she would like me to eat on a day to day basis would make it nearly impossible to overeat calories, but I don't trust myself yet...and maybe I never will. Baby steps.

How should I control my eating?

The reason she believes people can be successful not counting calories is because her main goal is to help you solve emotional overeating. Most people who come to her feel they have no power to lose weight. She tries to help teach you coping strategies for overeating (she is a recovering overeater as well) and strongly believes that if you can figure out why you are eating so much you can have a healthy relationship with food. You have the power, but it’s so often not about food. You are feeling powerless or empty.

This discussion came with a book recommendation. Women, Food and God by Geneen Roth. I read some reviews and frankly I was unimpressed. She said it really woke her up to her eating habits. She said, you can overeat hummus and carrot sticks just like you can overeat cake. It’s not about what you’re eating it’s about why. She did mention that some of the things the woman said in the book were so ridiculous you just had to laugh at her. So I went in search of a book on overeating that I could read without wondering why I am reading it. I found a book called Shrink Yourself: Break Free from Emotional Eating Forever by Roger Gould MD. So far I am really enjoying it. I’ll update when I’m done.

We talked about being mindful when eating. I had already incorporated some of these strategies in getting myself to slow down and taste my food. Don’t eat in front of the t.v. or on the run. One cool thing she recommended is to try eating food you’ve eaten over and over like you’re eating it for the first time, like you are a food critic. Feel it, taste it, smell it and really enjoy each bite. I’ve tried it and it’s kind of cool!

What should I be eating?

I’ve been eating pretty on point with what she recommends to her clients - a whole foods approach. She has this really long questionnaire that she uses to determine your food type. She has you swish a liquid in your mouth and checks your tongue. In the end she tells you if you are a protein type, protein/carb or just a carb type and then she makes recommendations on what you should eliminate from your menu. Before you begin your new way of eating she has you do a 10 day detox which consists of refreshing your liver and ridding your body of inflammation and cravings associated with food sensitivities or allergies. I also have to keep a food journal during this time for her to review. She says many people crave foods that they are sensitive to and it takes your body 10 days to stop craving sugar. Many people feel like crap on the detox, but since I’ve been eating very close to her guidelines already I may not feel much different. The detox eliminates fried and processed foods, caffeine, sugar, grains, dairy and soy and is accompanied by lots of water, cranberry juice and lemon. After the detox we will add foods back in slowly to see how my body responds. Because of my hormone issues she has recommended I stay away from soy unless it is fermented. No dairy either since I know I am lactose intolerant. The regular eating plan includes “free meals” much like the 80/20 philosophy.


She has no complaints here, but does recommend that I not increase my exercise in length. If anything I could increase intensity when I am ready to step it up.

Body Composition Analysis

At the time that I saw her I weighed 262.4 lbs. This was the breakdown.

115.2 lbs fat = 43.9% body fat
147.2 lbs fat-free mass
49.1 liters total body water
23.9 liters intracellular water
25.2 liters extracellular water
BMI: 38.75
BMR: 1953
Approximate Daily Expenditure: 3125

Body fat is comprised of essential body fat and storage. Essential includes your brain and any fat surrounding your organs. She said that I could lose 65 lbs of solid fat and be in a great place and even half of that would be wonderful. She says I have a lot of muscle tone right now because my body is used to carrying around so much extra weight. Normally she recommends doing as much as you can to retain muscle mass, but that she would not be surprised if I lost some just because my body did not need it anymore. Technically I should have more intracellular than extracellular water. She doesn’t know if it’s an electrolyte imbalance, hormones or inflammation, but I seem to be carrying around an extra 15 lbs of water weight. The max recommended extracellular water is 19.1 liters for my body size and I have 25.2 liters. So my detox is also focusing on electrolyte balance with coconut water after cardio and a little pink Himalayan sea salt in my water.

I go back the day after the end of my detox for another body comp analysis and to go over the rest of my nutrition. There was a supplement evaluation as well, but nothing worth mentioning. Neat stuff!

When I came home I told my husband how much I weigh for the first time in 9 years. I think my emotional health, motivation, determination, body acceptance and pride are on a new level!
Share This Post With Others
Member Comments About This Blog Post
    What a valuable assessment this was. I've been wanting to go to a nutritionist for a comprehensive assessment for quite a while now, but my only prior experience with a nutritionist was a nightmare (I'm a vegetarian and I really try to focus on whole foods as much as possible... she spent most of our one session trying to convince me that processed foods were okay... ugh!). Can I ask how you found your nutritionist?
    1770 days ago
    I'm so glad you had a good experience with the nutritionist. I hope your detox goes smoothly and you keep feeling great. My sister has started seeing a nutritionist as well to help with her PCOS and she is excited about it as well. Although hers isn't a fan of SparkPeople which makes me sad.

    Keep up the good work!!
    2380 days ago
    Thanks for sharing. When I got the email saying you posted and I saw the title, my thoughts were "Oh yea - she posted her experience with the nutrionist - awesome!" :)

    Its interesting to hear her approach to nutrition. And its even better to hear how you're handling your differences. I certainly look forward to hearing how the book you've decided to read is!

    And congratulations on telling your husband your weight. Sometimes verbalizing it to the ones we love can be yet another motivational tool!

    Keep it up - you're doing great!
    2381 days ago
    Wish I could go see a nutritionist, and find out all that cool stuff. I'd love to know my body composition, as scary as it'd be. Good luck!! emoticon Sounds like you already have an excellent grasp on things, even according to your nutritionist!! WooohooO!
    2382 days ago
    Very interesting & informative post. I hope you continue updates on your journey. Best of luck!
    2382 days ago
  • Add Your Comment to the Blog Post

    Log in to post a comment

    Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.