"Food is Medicine. Food is Nourishment. Food is Joy."
Eating disorders and other body/weight/eating issues are rarely just about the food. Therefore, the "gold-standard" of treatment is to have a treatment care team of a Registered Dietitian, a mental health professional and a medical provider. If you do not currently have other providers, it is ok to start with me and I can help you find providers right for you as needed in the nutrition counseling process.
The following are the evidence-based treatment modalities I may draw from in our work together. Interventions will be highly tailored depending on the specific needs of the client.
However, more importantly, I aim to create an inclusive and healing environment for everyone who comes through my door. I strive to create a place where you feel safe to share your struggles of food and body without shame or fear of being judged.
MNT (Medical Nutrition Therapy)
Medial Nutrition Therapy is the legal term for nutrition counseling provided by a Registered Dietitian.
Nutrition impacts the whole body and the whole person. There are many physical, psychological, emotional, social and cognitive changes that can happen as a result of undereating, overeating, starving, binging, purging, over-excercising, dieting, etc. All nutrition recommendations are based on up-to-date scientific research in order to help clients reach nutritional restoration and further learn/practice how to nourish the body for better health and happiness.
MNT can involve a mix of nutrition education, meal planning, and strategizing tailored to the client's lifestyle, goals, and current nutritional/health status.
Here are some topics that are often discussed:
- Why your weight-loss attempts didn't work (and may have even caused more weight gain)
- How "weight" really works
- The physical, psychological, emotional, social effects of starvation and restriction
- Body’s physiological use of energy
- Why different nutrients (in adequate amounts) are essential for health
- Energy balance and metabolism
- Benefits of regular eating patterns
- The ineffectiveness of purging for weight control
- Symptoms of energy deprivation
- Symptoms and medical implications of eating disorders
- Individualized body’s energy/nutrient needs
- Physical and mental signs of hunger and fullness
- Taste hunger vs. Practical hunger vs. Emotional hunger
- Consequences of over-exercising
- Amenorrhea (missing periods) and bone health
Intuitive & Mindful Eating
The reasons your attempts at weight-loss diets failed is not your fault! (Watch some videos about it here.)
UCLA Researchers reviewed 31 long terms studies on dieting and concluded that dieting was a consistent predictor of long term weight gain (Mann, 2007). A study on 17000 children showed that dieting was not only ineffective, it lead to weight gain (Field, 2003). Teenage dieters have twice the risk of being overweight compared to non dieters (Neumark-Sztainer, 2006).
Intuitive Eating, (a term coined by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resche) teaches how to create a
healthy relationship with your food, mind, and body--where you ultimately become the expert of your own body. You learn how to distinguish between physical and emotional feelings, and gain a sense of body wisdom. It's also a process of making peace with food---so that you no longer have constant "food worry" thoughts. It's knowing that your health and your worth as a person do not change, because you ate a food that you had labeled as "bad" or "fattening”.
The underlying premise of Intuitive Eating is that you will learn to respond to your inner body cues, because you were born with all the wisdom you need for eating intuitively.
HAES (Health at Every Size® )
HAES® is a evidence-based trans-disciplinary movement and clinical approach that challenges the value of promoting weight loss and dieting behavior, simply because we are seeing more and more evidence for why weight-focused interventions continuously "fail". Therefore HAES supports taking the focus off of weight and instead putting it on health.
HAES is about:
- Shifting the focus from narrow weight-loss to health behaviors and total wellness (physical, emotional & mental!)
- Focusing on sustainable healthy behaviors (NOT strict dieting rules and starving the body of essential nutrients)
- Using self-compassion as a foundation to encourage healthy behaviors instead of using self-hate and shame/guilt (these don't work!)
That doesn't mean it's wrong to have the desire to lose weight or change your body.
However, compassion-focused behavior change theory suggests that self-acceptance is a cornerstone for self-care, meaning that people with greater compassion for themselves are more likely to adopt positive, long-lasting behavioral changes.
In other words, you CAN'T hate your body into becoming thin and then suddenly expect to love yourself.
Learn more about self-compassion and how it can help motivate us for healthier and happier changes on this page.
CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy)
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) employ a framework based upon the cognitive triangle which builds an understanding of the relationship between a person’s beliefs, feelings and behaviors: What you believe will strongly influence how you behave and how you feel. If your current "beliefs" are 1) not true and 2) not supporting your goals, why continue to hold on to them?
Yes, it may seem easier said than done, but CBT can be used to restructure irrational beliefs regarding food, weight, and body.
CBT can support moving away from the “black and white” mindset and help move towards “food as nourishment” mindset.
DBT (Dialectical Behavioral Therapy)
Dialectical Behavior Therapy is a skills-based therapy that focuses on distress tolerance, mindfulness, emotions regulation and interpersonal effectiveness.
Key DBT skills and techniques include:
- Mindfulness: awareness and acceptance of the current moments in time
- Distress tolerance: development of coping skills and alternative behaviors
- Emotional regulation: modulate emotions without using destructive behaviors
- Behavior chain analysis: problem-solving strategies
Find out more about what you can expect from Nutrition Counseling.