Shifting the Focus from Weight to Health

Brittany Jones Nutrition Group is a weight inclusive practice – but what does that mean?

Simply put it means that we believe that health is not defined by your weight.

A person in a small body is not always healthier than a person in a larger body – and a larger person is not always unhealthier than a person in a smaller body. In fact evidence shows that taking a weight-focused approach in which someone puts a focus on weight loss and dieting can be harmful to ones health, often times resulting in disordered eating and/or eating disorders among other health conditions.

We appreciate that bodies come in all shapes, sizes, and weights. We work with our clients to improve their health by focusing on behaviors regardless of their weight. We provide respectful and compassionate care of people in all body type, shapes, sizes, and weights.

Our approach to a healthy lifestyle takes the focus away from weight and instead focuses on health promoting behaviors to improve health including:

  • A healthy relationship with food without restriction
  • Eating a variety of foods that provide nutrition + enjoyment
  • Being mindful and flexible while managing your chronic disease through food
  • Trusting your body to tell you when you are hungry and satisfied
  • Giving yourself permission to eat all foods
  • Eating regular meals and snacks
  • Feeling safe around all foods (i.e. being able to keep all foods in the house without a binge)
  • Moving your body in a way to celebrate it rather than punish for something you ate or control your size
  • Learning to accept your body and take good care of it – knowing that all people are of value regardless of size, shape, or weight

We believe that the weight you are when practicing these behaviors is the healthiest weight for you.

Our body size is often influenced by many factors outside of our control including genetics, income, education, social support, where you live, work, and play. NOTE this weight cannot be told to you by a health care provider or a BMI scale.

Still not sure about this approach? Below we de-bunk some common weight focused myths:

MYTH #1 Weight is the best measure of health. “Overweight” or “obese” mean unhealthy and “normal weight” means healthy.

FACT: BMI does not tell us about individual health and it doesn’t recognize that healthy bodies come in many shapes, sizes, and weights. Health can exist in diverse bodies and BMI was created to be used in groups of white males in a research setting. You are not that.

Your risk for disease depends more on your lifestyle than your body weight. Factors like genetics, income, and stress can influence disease. For example, heart disease and diabetes affect people of ALL weights. People of all sizes benefit from activities that support their health such as eating a variety of food to support disease, moving in a joyful way, and managing stress.

MYTH #2 The best way to improve health is by losing weight

FACT: Studies (and our dietitians 35+ years of cumulative experience in this field) show that restrictive diet and exercise programs poorly affect mental and physical health. Research also shows the more you diet the more you weigh.

Dieting has been associated with:

  • An increase in weight
  • Muscle loss
  • Bone loss
  • Increase in blood pressure
  • Increased risk of eating disorders
  • Body image issues/body dysmorphia

MYTH #3: “If I’m not actively trying to control my weight, I’ll gain a lot of weight and worsen my health”

FACT: People can improve their health and manage chronic disease without a focus on weight loss. In fact, people who do not focus on weight loss tend to have better mental health, lower stress, a better body image, and a better quality of life while managing their health. When we focus on health promoting behaviors our body settles at it’s healthy weight – sometimes that’s less than you are now, sometimes it’s more, and sometimes it’s the same. We need to give our body the opportunity to figure out what is healthy for you without trying to manage it through dieting and non-joyful exercise.

MYTH #4 I’ll just diet to lose the weight quick and then focus on maintaining.

FACT: More than 95% of weight loss attempts do not lead to long-term weight loss or health improvements. In fact, most people who lose weight on a diet will gain it back +5% more within two years. Because of this trend, dieting is actually a better predictor of weight gain than weight loss.

Are you:

  • Sick of losing the weight and gaining it back?
  • Sick of hearing about weight loss drugs and surgeries?
  • Do you just want to be healthy and not focus as much on the scale?

Our Registered Dietitians can help! CLICK HERE to set up a FREE 15 minute discovery call and learn more about what it would look like to work together.

20+ Dinner Recipes done in 20 minutes or less!

We totally get it – some nights you just *need* a quick and easy week night dinner recipe.

Often times a healthy and balanced recipe that incorporates your protein/carb/veggie all in one recipe in just 20 minutes or less can be very hard to find!

That’s why we’ve rounded up some of our favorite recipes from the Real Life Nutrition Membership that can be made in 20 minutes or less. Click the links below and save these recipes to your recipe box!

Not a member? Sign up here for only $29/month!

Some quick meal staple items: salad kits, frozen cooked grains like brown rice and quinoa, pre-cooked frozen chicken/shrimp/burgers, cooked chicken sausage and meatballs, and organic canned low sodium beans.

Clothing Rental Services We Love

When you’re working on improving your relationship with food, body, and movement it’s important to wear clothes that you are comfortable in and fit your body now.

This enables you to focus on behaviors like fueling your body regularly, meal planning, moving in a joyful way etc and stop obsessing about the scale or losing weight. Remember – it’s the behaviors that impact your health not the number on the scale.

We recommend making a “capsule” in your closet to make the morning getting dressed process easier. Simply put the clothes that fit your body now in the front of your closet and move your other clothes to the back. This will make getting dressed less stressful and more of a positive experience! No need to throw anything out (unless you want to) just move it to the back of the closet so you’re not sifting through things that you do not feel good in right now.

If you want to expand your wardrobe with clothes that fit your body during this process – but don’t want to go out and buy a bunch of new pieces we *highly* recommend trying a clothing rental service!

Here are some of our favorites below:

Armoire

  • How it works: Rent 4 – 7 items at a time for 1 month. Choose from brands like Boden, Lily Pulitizer, and BB Dakota. Option to buy at a discounted rate.
  • Cost: $69/month+
  • Size ranges: 0 – 3X + Maternity option
  • https://www.armoire.style/ (referral link for 50% off your first month)

Gwynnie Bee

  • How it works: Rent 3 at a time for 1 month. Choose from brands like Asos Curve, Jessica Simpson, and Torrid. Option to buy at a discounted rate.
  • Cost: $49 – $199/month
  • Size ranges: 00-32
  • https://closet.gwynniebee.com/

NY & Company Closet

  • How it works: Rent 3 items at a time for 1 month all clothes are NY & Company brand. Option to buy at a discounted rate.
  • Cost: $49/month
  • Size ranges: 0-20
  • https://www.nyandcompanycloset.com/

FTF Closet

nuuly

  • How it works: Rent 6 items at a time for 1 month. Choose from brands like Anthropologie, Urban Outfitters, and Levi’s. Option to buy at a discounted rate.
  • Cost: $88/month
  • Size ranges: 00-5X
  • https://www.nuuly.com/rent

LeTote

  • How it works: Rent 4 items at a time for 1 month. Choose from brands like BCBG and French Connection. Option to buy at a discounted rate.
  • Cost: $59/month
  • Size ranges: 00-18 + Maternity option
  • https://www.letote.com/

Want to learn more about improving your relationship with food and body? Click here to set up a FREE 15 minute discovery call with one of our Registered Dietitians.

Heart Healthy Halloween with Your Carolina WSPA

Brittany teamed up with The American Heart Association to share some Heart Healthy Halloween treats with Jack and Megan on Your Carolina this morning.

They talked about the importance of mindfully enjoying Halloween candy tonight with your kids, and incorporating candy into their regular meals and snacks.

We shared recipes for:

  • Orange and Black Fruit Skewers 
  • Heart Healthy Halloween Cheese Board
  • Pumpkin Spice Energy Bites (get the full recipe here)

We had a blast with the Your Carolina team this morning, including little “Toto” who can be seen in the shot as well 🤣 Happy Halloween!

Heart Healthy Halloween Cheese Board

Meet our nutrition intern, Jordyn!

Jordyn Anderson, Brittany Jones Nutrition Group Intern

Brittany Jones Nutrition Group often offers internship opportunities for students completing their Bachelors or Master’s degree in dietetics, and we are excited to welcome Jordyn Anderson to our team this fall!

Jordyn’s primary project is helping with the inputting of our hundreds of recipes in the Real Life Nutrition Membership. You also may see her in our office shadowing nutrition counseling sessions as well.

Get to know Jordyn

Q: Where do you go to school and what is your major? Are you involved in any activities?
A: I am a Nutrition major at Clemson University. I am the current President of the Nutrition Club and am involved in the on campus food pantry as well as a mentoring program for Nutrition students.

Q: What is your dream job?

A: My dream job is to work as a Dietitian in a clinical setting with Mother/ Baby or Pediatric Nutrition.


Q: Why did you choose the dietetics field?

A: I chose the dietetics field because I have always loved food and wanted to be in the healthcare field so I combined those two into my Nutrition major. I also shadowed a dietitian in high school and loved every minute of it- even watching her chart!


Q: What is your favorite dish?

A: My favorite dish is white chicken chili, specifically the recipe from Half Baked Harvest.

Q: What is your role as an intern with Brittany Jones Nutrition Group?

A: My role as an intern includes entering all of the recipes for the Real Life Nutrition Membership, and to shadow outpatient nutrition counseling + charting and learn more about dietetics.

Q: What are you most excited about this fall working as the Brittany Jones Nutrition intern?

A: I am most excited about getting hands-on experience and working with the dietitians at Brittany Jones Nutrition Group to build my skills as an RD to be!

Jordyn will be with us through December 2022, welcome Jordyn!

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5 Reasons Why You Need A Registered Dietitian On Your Eating Disorder Recovery Team

Eating disorders are complex diseases that require a multidisciplinary approach to overcome. Research shows that including physical, nutritional, psychological and psychiatric interventions, provides the best chance at a full recovery (1). A dietitian is an important part of this team and provides benefits that other disciples cannot. 

Here are 5 benefits that our clients in our eating disorder and disordered eating program get from working with a Registered Dietitian:

  1. Improved confidence in meeting your individual nutrition needs. We are here to help determine how much you should be eating and provide meal ideas so you aren’t constantly thinking about food and questioning yourself!
  2. Improved relationship with food: We help to debunk common nutrition myths and food rules and aid you in challenging these thoughts when they arrive.
  3. Medical Stability: We help to monitor your food intake, weight, vitals, and labs as well as coordinate care with your physician and therapist to ensure your safety.
  4. Support: We are there to help you through hard times and encourage you through challenges that arise with your food or body image.
  5. Prevention: We help to catch disordered eating before it turns into anything more serious and can help prevent needing higher levels of care.

What does eating disorder nutrition counseling look like?

Nutrition counseling for eating disorders involves:

  • Education on nutrients and how our body uses them
  • Your individual overall nutrition needs
  • Exercise recommendations
  • Supplement recommendations
  • Education on the harmful effects of dieting.
  • Personalized meal plans geared towards your individual needs in order to help those with eating disorders weight restore and/or heal their relationship with food

Dietitians help those with eating disorders navigate nutrition information – helping clients to learn what is true and what is false based on research. They help client’s to reframe their thoughts around food using therapeutic techniques and food exposures. They will monitor your weight and vitals throughout the process to ensure your safety. 

Our dietitians also help with accountability and support through healthie photo + feeling food logging. Clients can log their meals and feelings by taking a picture of their meal and dietitians will respond back weekly (no calorie/macro counting). This allows our dietitians to assess overall food intake, make adjustments to meal plans, and provide support in between sessions.

Lastly, dietitians stay in close contact with your treatment team and support system in order to make sure everyone is on the same page and give you the best chance at recovery. Our dietitians communicate with therapist, psychiatrists, doctors, and caregivers regularly. We even offer joint therapy/nutrition sessions and parent/caregiver sessions!

Want to learn more about how our dietitians have helped clients? Read our testimonials here

Still aren’t sure if working with a dietitian is right for you? We offer FREE 15 minute discovery calls to discuss your goals and how we can help. Sign up for a call here!

What’s the difference between a nutritionist and a Registered Dietitian specializing in eating disorders?

Education!! Anyone can call themselves a nutritionist. Our licensed dietitians Allison Pritchett, RD, LD and Anna Jensen, RD, LD have done extensive training in the field of dietetics and eating disorders. Their training is listed below:

Allison Pritchett, RD LD

  • Registered Dietitian with 5+ years of experience working with eating disorders, including higher levels of care
  • Licensed Dietitian in SC, NC, FL, LA, and OH
  • Clemson University – B.S. Food Science with Nutrition and Dietetics Concentration and Minor in Chemistry, Magna Cum Laude – Clemson University
  • Augusta University – ACEND accredited 1500 hour+ dietetic internship
  • Anticipated Certified Eating Disorder Registered Dietitian (CEDRD) 2022-2023
  • Additional trainings:
    • Food and Body Image Healers training by Marci Evans
    • Motivational Interviewing
    • Emotion Focused Family Therapy (EFFT)
  • Leadership and Awards:
    • Piedmont Dietetic Association Continuing Education Scholarship, 2022
    • Eating Recovery Center Conference Presenter, September 2022
    • Augusta District Dietetic Association Scholarship, May 2017
  • Read more about Allison here!

Anna Jensen, RD LD

  • Registered Dietitian with 2+ years of experience in clinical and eating disorder dietetics with monthly supervision
  • Clemson University – B.S. Food Science with Nutrition and Dietetics Concentration and Minor in Chemistry, Summa Cum Laude
  • BeWell Solutions – ACEND accredited 1500 hour+ dietetic internship
  • Licensed Dietitian in SC
  • Additional trainings:
    • Food and Body Image Healers training by Marci Evans
    • Motivational Interviewing
  • Leadership and Awards:
    • Piedmont Dietetic Association Young Dietitian of the Year, 2022
    • Piedmont Dietetic Association President, 2021 – 2022
    • Piedmont Dietetic Association Scholarship Recipient, 2021
  • Read more about Anna here!

Sources

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6732696/#wps20687-bib-0005

Supporting Our Local Artists 🎨 Screen Doors Body Image Exhibit

Allison and Anna were super excited to support Traci Martin, local artist and one Allison’s clients, at the opening night of her newest art series “Screen Doors”. The theme of this series is the pursuit of self-love and acceptance, told through portraits of women from many walks of life. 

“The primary focus in all of my artwork is representation. I want others to feel seen and to relate to the content in my paintings and drawings” said Martin.

In the series, “Screen Doors”, the theme is the pursuit of self-love and acceptance, told through portraits of women from many walks of life. 

“Like so many people in our culture, I have struggled deeply with body image and acceptance. I am making work in this series that highlights the journey many of us share in order to provide a point of connection. It is my hope that every viewer will feel a sense of encouragement through this exhibit and perhaps the confidence to take another step forward on their own road to self-love.”

– Traci Martin

Traci’s studio is at The Bank Building Studios in The Village of West Greenville and her exhibit goes through June 3, 2022. You can see more on her website https://www.tracimartinstudios.com/about

Eating without Hunger Signals: Exploring Practical Hunger

Have you ever gone to the bathroom before heading out on a road trip, even though you didn’t really have to go? You preemptively use the bathroom just in case there isn’t one available when you need it, which would leave you feeling very dire and uncomfortable.

Most people will answer yes to this question – because this is a practical thing to do.

Guess what? The same thing applies to hunger! It is OK to eat when you aren’t feeling physical hunger signals (i.e. stomach growling, low energy, etc) if you anticipate you won’t be able to eat for a longer than normal period of time.

This is called practicing practical hunger and it prevents us from getting to a point when we are overly hungry, thus creating a dire and uncomfortable situation – just like having to use the bathroom and not having one available. 

Intrigued? Keep reading.

It is incredibly valuable and important to learn our hunger and fullness cues, but we often see diet culture creep in when it comes to eating outside of these cues.Sometimes, listening to our body means eating when we are not physically hungry. 

Let’s  take a look at the 4 types of hunger in intuitive eating: 

  1. Physical hunger: This is what we typically think of when we think hunger. It comes from our biological need to eat and presents itself as a growling stomach, low energy, headache, fatigue and difficulty concentrating.
  1. Taste hunger: This is simply eating something because it sounds good. It can look like finishing off a nice meal with a dark chocolate or sharing a basket of fries while watching sports with your friends because it adds to your experience. This type of hunger is often demonized but we are here to say that taste hunger is an important part of food freedom! 
  1. Emotional hunger: Emotional hunger occurs when there is an unmet emotional need that presents itself with a desire to eat food. People are often fearful of emotional eating especially if they lack other coping mechanisms. Food CAN be a comfort but it is important that we learn how to process our emotions and develop other coping tools as well.
  1. Practical hunger: This is not necessarily a hunger we can feel or explain, but rather preparing for an anticipated need to eat. It’s very similar to using the restroom before you leave for a road trip because you don’t know when there will be another bathroom available. It’s planning ahead for a need you know will arise.

We take a deeper dive into practical hunger below.

Examples Of When You Might Use Practical Hunger

I am sure you can think back to a time when you had gone too long without eating and found yourself overly hungry, uncomfortable and irritated (aka “hangry”). While some might be in this situation because they intentionally decided not to eat, we find that many clients find themselves here unintentionally because the day just got busy! 

Here are some examples of how practical hunger might come into play: 

  • You are going into a situation where you might not have access to food for the next 1-3 hours (a meeting, appointment, class, busy work day, etc)
  • You find yourself stressed or emotional which has suppressed your hunger
  • You have a job that only allows for specific meal lunch breaks and at times when you may not be physically hungry (i.e. being a teacher and only being able to eat during planning periods)
  • After a strenuous workout or sport and you know your body needs fuel 
  • When you are following a meal plan or schedule (eating disorder treatment, diabetes management, GI protocol, etc) 
  • If you are pregnant, breastfeeding or pumping and your body requires more energy 

Why It Is Okay To Eat When You Are Not Physically Hungry

Diet culture likes to twist intuitive eating to mean eating when you are hungry and stopping when you are full- this is FALSE and just another rule! The goal is not to live our lives revolving around food. Wecan’t always stop what we are doing when we begin to feel physical hunger. Practicing practical hunger will prevent us from getting to a point when we are overly hungry and do not have access to food. This not only affects our mood, energy and concentration, it can lead to feeling out of control or binge eating once we are able to eat. 

For those that need to follow a specific meal plan for medical conditions or those that require extra energy, only listening to physical hunger might do more harm than good. For example, those with an eating disorder likely have altered hunger and fullness cues and being on a schedule can help begin to regulate those cues. Or in diabetes management, going all day without eating because you are not physically hungry will cause your blood sugar to drop and peak when you do eat. 

Putting It Into Practice

In these situations, we are typically looking for something functional that will keep you full, balance your blood sugar, and keep you concentrated. 

If you anticipate it will be 1-3 hours before you will have access to food, it is a good idea to have a snack containing a combination of carbohydrates, protein, and fat. Such as:

  • Cheese and crackers
  • Apple and peanut butter
  • Trail mix with nuts and raisins and/or chocolate chips
  • A nutrition bar (examples: kind bar, Rx bar, lara bar)
  • Yogurt with cereal/granola
  • Beef jerky and fruit/ crackers

If you anticipate it being 3+ hours before eating, depending on when you had your last meal, it is probably a good idea to have a meal. Again, we are looking for something that has carbohydrates, protein and fat but in a larger quantity. 

Lastly, meal planning is incredibly helpful in determining times that practical hunger might be used. When we talk through meal planning with clients, the first step is “What events or things do we have going on this week that might affect our meals or snacks?”. An “event” can look like a long lab, a specific lunch break pre-determined, or simply knowing that Mondays are insane! Our goal is for you to learn your hunger and fullness cues and use them as a guideline, but realize they are not a rule and sometimes we need to eat when we are not hungry!

Want to learn more about the different kinds of hunger, and how they apply to having a healthy relationship with food?

Click here to set up a free 15 minute call with one of our registered dietitians today.

Sheet Pan Red Potatoes, Veggies, and Sausage

I’m excited to share another EASY weeknight meal for you to try! This recipe has only 4 main ingredients and makes for great leftovers. Be sure to share your photos on social media and tag @brittanyjonesRD and @greenvilledietitians!

Sheet Pan Red Potatoes, Veggies, and Sausage

Serves: 4

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds baby red potatoes, cut in half
  • 1/4 Cup Olive oil
  • 16oz bag broccoli florets
  • 2 Red Bell Peppers, chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons dried Italian seasoning
  • 2 Cloves garlic, pressed
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • 8 Precooked chicken sausage links of your choice

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425
  2. In a large bowl, toss the potatoes with half of the olive oil, Italian seasoning, 1 clove garlic, and black pepper to taste.
  3. Roast the potatoes for 10 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, add the bag of broccoli florets and chopped red bell peppers to the mixing bowl bowl and toss with the remaining olive oil, Italian seasoning, garlic clove, and black pepper t taste.
  5. Add the vegetables to the sheet pan with the potatoes, and roast for 20 more minutes.
  6. While the veggies are cooking, reheat the precooked chicken sausage links according to the package
  7. Serve 1/4 of the potatoes and veggies with 2 sausages, and enjoy!

Note: this recipe is gluten free and dairy free