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
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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!
Improved relationship with food: We help to debunk common nutrition myths and food rules and aid you in challenging these thoughts when they arrive.
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.
Support: We are there to help you through hard times and encourage you through challenges that arise with your food or body image.
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
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!
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
It can be hard to understand what is considered a healthy relationship with food and body when we’re living in a culture that celebrates diets. It becomes so engrained in us, and sometimes we don’t realize that our relationship has become an unhealthy one.
That’s why the dietitians at Brittany Jones Nutrition Group came up with this quiz! It by no means should be used as a diagnostic tool – it is simply a quick 2 minute check in that you can do yourself.
If you answer “yes” to 5 out of the 15 questions or more – it might be time to explore your relationship with food/body in a little bit more.
Take our quick 2 minute quiz to check in with yourself and your attitudes about food, nutrition, and body image:
I can’t believe it’s been 10 years since I moved to Greenville, SC! I moved here for a job with a start up company after graduating from the Medical University of South Carolina Dietetic Internship, and never looked back.
A LOT has changed in the last decade. I met my person and married him, traveled a ton, had a baby, bought a house, and held several jobs before finally starting and growing my own business!
I was honored to be asked by the TD Saturday Market to participate in their Kitchen Series as it has always been one of my favorite activities in our city!
SC peaches are my absolute favorite, and I had so much fun combining them with ripe tomatoes, fresh cucumbers, meat, cheese, and of course delicious sourdough bread! My recipe features produce from Beachwood Farms, Hyders Farm, and Great Harvest Bread.
Check out my full TD Saturday Market experience and the recipe below!
Farmers Market Peach Panzanella Salad
1/2 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/4 Cup White Balsamic Vinegar
1 Tablespoon Honey
2 teaspoons Dijon Mustard
3 Medium Ripe Peaches, sliced
2 Tomatoes, sliced
1 Small Red Onion, Peeled and thinly sliced
4 Cups Cucumber, sliced into half moons
12oz Fresh Mozzarella, cut into small pieces
4 Cups Whole Wheat Sourdough Bread, 1 day old & cubed
6 Slices Prosciutto, sliced
In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, white balsamic vinegar, honey, and Dijon mustard. Set aside.
In a large bowl, add the peaches, tomatoes, red onion, cucumber, mozzarella, cubed bread, and prosciutto. Gently toss with the dressing.
Arrange the salad on a large platter and top with fresh ground pepper.
Y’all know I’m a huge fan of easy dinners that encompass everything you need to feel satisfied in one pot. This one pot family friend meal is just that – the pasta has both carb and protein, the Palmetto Gardens kale is your veggie, and then you of course have cheese for more protein and taste!
It’s a great spin on a classic dish! You can make this mac and cheese two ways: eat it right off the stove top or bake it for a more crispy crust.
Optional: If you would like to bake your Mac and Cheese, preheat the oven to 425 degrees F
Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil. Add the pasta and cook until it is al dente, about 7-9 minutes. Strain the pasta and set aside.
Heat a large Dutch oven or pot over medium heat. Add the olive oil and swirl to coat. Add half of the kale, garlic and black pepper. Cover and cook until it starts to wilt. Stir and add the remaining kale. Cover and cook another 3 minutes until it is all wilted (avoid over cooking as the kale can get bitter). Remove the cooked kale and place it in a large bowl, and set aside.
Whisk the milk and cornstarch together in a bowl until smooth. Add to the Dutch oven over medium heat along with the butter, paprika, and cayenne pepper. Bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring constantly, until it thickens about 5 minutes. Add the Grueyere and Cheddar and continue to stir until all the cheese is melted and the sauce is smooth.
Add the pasta to the saucepan and stir to combine. Gentle fold in the kale and serve!
Baked Option: Pour into a 13×9 inch baking dish. Sprinkle the breadcrumbs evenly over the mac and cheese and baked on 425 degrees F until the cheese is bubbly and the bread crumbs are lightly browned and crispy, about 10 minutes. Serve.
It seems like everywhere we turned in January, we were seeing information about another diet. This influx of diet spam caused everyone in our office to do a big 🤦Now, as South Carolina starts to ease COVID19 restrictions, unfortunately you can expect to see a resurgence of of diets talking about their solutions to the “COVID 15/19/30” or whatever they are calling it these days.
We pride ourselves in being anti-diet dietitians at Brittany Jones Nutrition Group. Have you ever wondered why we choose to practice this way? We speak up against trendy diets like Keto, Paleo, and Intermittent fasting because they aren’t sustainable for our clients, but also because diets are straight upharmful to our clients.
The image above shows a typical diet cycle. Let’s walk through it using low carb diets as an example:
It’s Monday. You start your low carb diet, restricting delicious food items such as bread, pasta, potatoes, corn, and your personal favorite, French fries.
On Wednesday you start to feel really deprived. Maybe your spouse is eating French fries with their burger, but you order a salad because you are being “good.” You may also show signs of fatigue and irritability (remember, carbs are your main source of energy!)
On Thursday you start to really crave these foods. All you can think about is French fries.
On Friday the thoughts are consuming your life and eventually you give in to them. You don’t just give in a little bit. You give in A LOT. You go through the McDonalds drive through and order two supersize French fries and eat them all rapidly in one sitting.
Then on Friday night you feel guilty and beat yourself up for not being able to stick on your diet. You decide to start another low carb diet that is even more restrictive again next Monday. And the cycle repeats.
What happens when we find ourselves following into this vicious cycle on a chronic basis?
Here are 5 reasons why being trapped in this diet cycle harms your overall health.
1 – Weight Cycling Increases Your Risk for Chronic Diseases
Usually when we fall into the diet cycle, we find ourselves losing weight during our restrictive diets only to later regain the weight back, and usually plus more. Then we do it all over again. This yo-yo weight pattern is called weight cycling. Research shows that weight cycling alone, regardless of your initial body size, increases your risk for cardiovascular events, osteoporosis, gallstones, hypertension, chronic inflammation, and eating disorders/disordered eating. The healthiest weight for you is when you ditch the diet mentality, break free of this cycle and learn to listen to your body’s needs when it comes to food and movement.
2 – Dieting Harms Your Relationship with Food and Your Body
Research shows that dieting is strongly linked to a preoccupation with food and appearance, increased food cravings, and increased binge urges. At Brittany Jones Nutrition Group, we work on creating complete food freedom with our clients. Remember, all foods fit! We want you to be able to feel comfortable around all foods and get rid of the feeling that certain foods control your life. There are NO good and bad foods – and food has no moral value! Restricting foods will only lead to overeating them later.
Diet rules also force you to ignore your natural hunger and fullness cues. They tell you that you can not eat after a certain time of day, that you have to fast in order to lose weight, and that it’s good to be hungry all day. These are all false claims that get you out of touch with your body. Our bodies are incredibly smart. They naturally crave a variety of nutrients and will tell you when they need fuel by showing signs of hunger. You do not question why you have to pee when you get the urge to pee, so why do we question our hunger?
3 – Dieting Harms Your Mental Health
Think back to when you did your last diet. How was your mental health during this time? Did you feel deprived? Did you cancel social events because there wouldn’t be something you were “allowed” to eat on your diet there? Research shows that dieting increases body dissatisfaction, reduces self-esteem, increases stress, and harms social life. Health is about SO much more than just what you eat and how often you exercise. If we neglect our mental health in order to improve our appearance, we often end up worse in the end. We are not just alive to lose weight and pay bills! There is so much more to life! Don’t miss out on the fun of life because you are concerned with appearance or eating “perfectly.”
4 – Dieting Can Cause You to Miss Out on Key Nutrients
Diets often restrict certain food groups such as fat and carbohydrates. When we restrict food groups, not only do we crave them more, but we also miss out on key nutrients! For example, carbohydrates are your main source of energy, provide fiber and B vitamins, and make your RNA and DNA. Fat is important for regulating our body temperatures and producing our hormones. All the food groups have a purpose!
Another popular and risky diet is fasting. When we are only “allowed” to eat during certain times in the day, not only are we ignoring our natural body cues, but it is also incredibly difficult to get the nutrients and variety we need in that short period of time.
5 – Dieting Increases Your Set Point
Do you remember learning about homeostasis in science class? Turns out our body is really good at regulating processes within our body to keep us alive. Just like it regulates our temperature, it also regulates our body size. Think of it as a thermostat for your weight.Many factors contribute into why we are the weight we are. Genetics, access to health care, access to nutritious food, environment, and movement all play a role. Where our body weight naturally falls when it is at homeostasis is called theset point. When we fall out of our set point, our body works tirelessly to do anything it can to bring it back to our set point. Our bodies do not know the difference between a diet and starvation. If we keep messing with this internal thermostat through dieting, your body views this as a famine and struggles to maintain control over your weight. During this period of starvation (dieting), your metabolism decreases and your brain releases less leptin, a hormone that triggers the feeling of being full. AKA your appetite physiologically INCREASES during a diet! After your diet fails, your body forces you to not only regain the weight back but it adds on extra weight to protect against future diets (periods of starvation). Therefore, your set point increases. In addition, people with a history of chronic dieting end up releasing less leptin overtime than they would have without the history of dieting.
“Ok I Get it Now, but What’s the Alternative to Dieting?”
Instead of falling trap to the diet cycle, it is best to focus on finding balance. Strive for progress, not perfection! Instead of doing crazy diets that eliminate certain foods, remind yourself that all foods fit! Incorporate gentle nutrition by following the 80/20 balanceand utilizing the portion plate.
Learn to listen to your body. Ask yourself: “What will nourish me and what will satisfy me?” before meals. Eat according to your natural hunger and fullness cues. Move your body in a way that feels joyful and good, rather than punishing it for what you ate.
Through rejecting diet mentality, finding food freedom, and moving joyfully, you will find the weight that is healthiest for you without sacrificing your mental health to get there.
Trying to figure out if you have a healthy relationship with food? Take our quiz! (Note: This is not to be used as a diagnostic tool, it is simply a 2 minute survey you can use to check in with yourself. )
Store-bought salad dressings are not only expensive, they often have a long laundry list of ingredients. We’ve written 5 easy salad dressing recipes that you can make in the comfort of your own kitchen with just a few simple ingredients!
How to Store your Salad Dressings
Store your salad dressings in a small plastic or glass container. Vinaigrette dressings can be kept refrigerated for up to two weeks while dairy-based dressings can be left in the refrigerator for up to one week.
How to Use Your Salad Dressings
Salad dressings are not limited to be used on salads alone. Sure, they can amp up your lunch salad, but they can also be used for a variety of other dishes. Try using the Green Goddess Dressing and Greek Yogurt Ranch as a dip for your chicken strips, raw vegetables or potatoes. Or, try marinating chicken in the Lemon Basil Vinaigrette, Italian Dressing, or Honey Mustard for dinner this week!
Benefits of Heart Healthy Fats
Foods containing healthy fats should not be feared. Our bodies need fats to function the way they’re supposed to! Dietary fats are essential for maintaining energy and cell growth, while also serving as a cushion for your organs, and keeps your body warm! Fats help your body absorb nutrients (like the ones in your salad!) and produce hormones. The important dietary fats we see in these recipes are avocado, avocado oil, olive oil, and avocado mayo.
You may already know that the dietitians at the Brittany Jones Nutrition Group take an all foods fit approach, but now we are adding all times fit as well!
As dietitians, it is very common to be asked about the newest diet trend (it makes for 50% of our cocktail party conversations). Over the past year, intermittent fasting has been increasing in popularity and interest largely due to social media influencers, celebrities, and TV shows promoting the new trend. When a new diet trend comes out, we are easily distracted by the flashy titles and promised results rather than to refer to the research. Today we are going to discuss evidence and research behind the newest diet trend, explain why we consider it to be a fad diet, and share some of our concerns. Ready? Here we go!
What is IF?
Intermittent fasting (IF) is unique from the other fad diets because it tells you when you can’t eat, but not what you can’t eat like more traditional fad diets. Intermittent fasting is defined as periods of voluntary abstinence from food and drink and is an umbrella term for several different forms of fasting. First, let’s break down the different types of intermittent fasting:
Complete alternate day fasting involves alternating days of fasting (no consumption of energy-containing foods or beverages, i.e. only water) with eating days (foods and beverages consumed as desired without restriction).
Modified fasting regimens allow for consumption of 20% to 25% of energy needs on scheduled fasting days and standard eating the other days. The modified fasting regimen is the basis for the more popular 5:2 diet, which involves severe calorie restriction for 2 nonconsecutive days a week and no restricted eating the other 5 days.
Time-restricted eating allows individuals to consume food within specific windows, which leads to fasting periods on a regular basis. The most popular time-restricted eating is 16:8, in which there are 16 hours of fasting and 8 hours of eating. For example, eating from 8 AM to 4 PM and fasting for the rest of them.
While many of the points discussed in this article can be applied to all forms of fasting, we will be focusing on time-restricted eating as the most common type we are seeing. With all the hype around IF, it is important to remember everyone does some type of fast while they sleep, hence our break-the-fast (breakfast!) in the morning. This is totally normal. However, the time of this fasting can change daily based on your schedule and hunger cues, as opposed to a scheduled intermittent fasting which follows a set schedule and is typically for a longer than normal fasting period.
5 Reasons Intermittent Fasting is a Fad Diet and not a Lifestyle Change:
1. Intermittent fasting is not a magic pill.
Research indicates that weight loss seen from IF is no different than the short-term weight loss achieved by other fad diets. 
“But I have read that intermittent fasting improves blood glucose, lipid levels, and insulin sensitivity too?” Most of the studies done on IF have been performed on animals (not humans) over a short period of time, measuring glucose numbers, rather than long term results. It has long been known that a reduction of weight among overweight individuals decreases blood glucose levels, triglycerides, and blood pressure.  The “mechanism” for the improved lab values seen with IF is driven from the weight loss produced by a caloric deficit, not by the time window an individual consumes or does not consume calories. More research is needed on IF to make this statement true. Keep in mind that for long term improvements in lab values, the lifestyle MUST be sustainable. If you’re only able to follow it for 3 months, your lab values are likely to return to where they were prior to the diet. Keep in mind this research also does not take into account mental health (more to come on this later).
2. It is not a sustainable lifestyle change, and can lead to the diet cycle.
When clients and friends ask us about the newest fad diet, we typically respond with, “Is that something you would like to do for the rest of your life?” Even the research acknowledges the difficulty of IF due to “periods of elevated hunger on fast days, societies with constant, convenient access to nutrients, and eating patterns strongly intertwined with social structures.”  In other words, it is difficult for individuals in the studies to stick to intermittent fasting, even for a brief period of time. Intermittent fasting does not allow flexibility for special events like weddings, vacations, and brunch with friends – let alone for the flexibility needed in everyday life!
Intermittent fasting and all fad diets end up leading to what we call the diet cycle. The inevitable “slip-up” will happen where you eat during your “fasting window,” end up feeling guilty for breaking the food rule, then leading to overeating because of the guilt, and eventually give up all together. Then comes the next fad diet to take its place and start the cycle all over. So many clients we have seen have been caught in this cycle – which is why we promote sustainable lifestyle change for our clients and do not recommend fad diets! Weight cycling or yo-yo dieting also increases inflammation in the body, and increases overall risk for chronic diseases like heart disease, diabetes, and eating disorders.
3. It does not teach you anything about the composition and nutrients in food.
Because IF only focuses on the timing of eating, it ignores the most important aspect of nutrition: the composition of the food you are eating! Fans of IF say one of the biggest pros is that it is easy and you do not have to dive into the details of nutrition. However, weight management (if that’s your goal) and creating a healthy lifestyle takes TIME. Time is needed to learn about why you need to eat a variety of nutrients – rather than following diet rules that can result in malnutrition, decreased energy levels, and more. Intermittent fasting, like many fad diets, skips all the learning that is needed to create a sustainable healthy lifestyle. The more you know how food fuels your body, and how to listen to your body, the healthier you will become – and the longer the results will last.
4. It causes you to ignore your body’s natural hunger cues.
Everyone can probably think of a time they have fasted, either intentionally or not, and the subsequent hunger pains/mood changes that came along with it. Forcing hunger over and over again is neither sustainable nor healthy. Research shows that food restriction decreases baseline dopamine levels, and enhances a higher dopamine release in the brain when you do eat which can lead to overeating.  This means that you are less happy while fasting, and then become overly happy when you eat (leading to a potential binge). An important part of creating a sustainable healthy lifestyle involves being in tune with your body, and IF teaches you to ignore those hunger cues, and then to ignore fullness cues. Other side effects of intermittent fasting include feeling cold, irritable (anyone else get “hangry” over here?!), low energy, feeling distracted, and having reduced work performance – yikes!  Many IF’ers skip breakfast, and according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, skipping breakfast is associated with higher BMI and increased obesity risk. A balanced breakfast consisting of a carbohydrate paired with a protein/fat starts our metabolism for the day, and also balances our dopamine levels!
5. It can lead to an unhealthy relationship with food, and put you at risk for an eating disorder.
One of the biggest concerns that we have as Registered Dietitians with intermittent fasting is its potential to lead to an eating disorder, or disordered eating. Many people may begin IF with healthy intentions, but their behavior can become an eating disorder due to the restrictive nature of the diet trend. If someone that is driven by the number on the scale or the a desire to look thin starts to restrict eating, say, 16 hours a day, and sees “positive results” it can psychologically lead to fasting even longer, and a worst case scenario that behavior can lead to an eating disorder. Individuals can easily hide an eating disorder behind intermittent fasting as a social excuse to not eat (a warning for health providers and parents!) In a large study of 14-15 year olds, dieting was the most important predictor of a developing eating disorder. Those who dieted moderately were 5x more likely to develop an eating disorder, and those who practiced extreme restriction were 18x more likely to develop an eating disorder than those who did not diet. 
People with anorexia nervosa generally restrict the number of calories and the types of food they eat, and they ignore their bodies natural hunger cues. They tend to be obsessed with weight, calories, food, and dieting and often avoid social situations that involve food.
Our concern is that many of the features seen in anorexia nervosa fall in line with that seen in intermittent fasting.
Binge eating, characterized by eating a larger amount of food in a certain time frame than most people would eat in that same window, can look a lot like IF too because of increased hunger. It’s important to note that not everyone with an eating disorder is classified as “underweight,” and are are still at risk for medical complications and disruptions in mental and social health from disordered eating. Disordered eating is especially of concern for women of child bearing age, as preconception is an important time for women to maximize their nutrient intake and going without eating means going without important energy, protein, vitamins, and minerals. To understand the risk factors and warning signs for the development of an eating disorder, read the Common Signs of an Eating Disorder on the National Eating Disorder Association website: https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/warning-signs-and-symptoms
Across the board, the research agrees that there is not enough evidence to recommend intermittent fasting and more research is needed due to the lack of long-term interventions and follow-up periods.
Furthermore, the research has not investigated the dietary quality among fasting individuals and the social, mental, and emotional consequences of fasting. The Instagram influencer with abs may be convincing, but we encourage you to remember the research, and to think about how it would fit into your lifestyle. The Registered Dietitians at the Brittany Jones Nutrition Group are all about focusing on your overall health, including physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, and social. Would intermittent fasting be infringing on one of those aspects of health in your life? We are not promoting snacking through the night, but rather a lifestyle in which you eat enough throughout the day to enable adequate sleep at night, allowing you to wake up rested in the morning and to ‘break-the-fast’ with a nutritious breakfast and set your day up for success.
We are all about making sustainable lifestyle changes that allows for flexibility, focus on friends and family, and enjoying the fun in food and eating!
Patterson, R. E., Laughlin, G. A., Lacroix, A. Z., Hartman, S. J., Natarajan, L., Senger, C. M., … Gallo, L. C. (2015). Intermittent Fasting and Human Metabolic Health. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 115(8), 1203–1212. doi: 10.1016/j.jand.2015.02.018
Tripolt, N. J., Stekovic, S., Aberer, F., Url, J., Pferschy, P. N., Schröder, S., … Sourij, H. (2018). Intermittent Fasting (Alternate Day Fasting) in Healthy, Non-obese Adults: Protocol for a Cohort Trial with an Embedded Randomized Controlled Pilot Trial. Advances in Therapy, 35(8), 1265–1283. doi: 10.1007/s12325-018-0746-5
Roseberry, A. G. (2015). Acute fasting increases somatodendritic dopamine release in the ventral tegmental area. Journal of Neurophysiology, 114(2), 1072–1082. doi: 10.1152/jn.01008.2014
Golden, N. H., Schneider, M., & Wood, C. (2016). Preventing Obesity and Eating Disorders in Adolescents. Pediatrics, 138(3). doi:10.1542/peds.2016-1649
-Written by Brittany L. Jones, MS, RD, LD and Anna Jensen, RD LD
Trying to figure out if you have a healthy relationship with food? Take our quiz! (Note: This is not to be used as a diagnostic tool, it is simply a 2 minute survey you can use to check in with yourself. )
“This year, I’m going to __________ (insert resolutions that are hardly ever achieved such as “lose 10 pounds,” “eat healthier,” “exercise more,” and the list goes on).”
Creating a New Year’s resolution is a tradition for so many of us, but how many times have we set a resolution and completely forgot about it by March? New Year’s resolutions have a time and a place, but the majority of the time, they can actually hurt our well-being. We begin with high energy and motivation, but as soon as we mess up, we’re likely to fall back to old habits. This might make you think … maybe this year, I shouldn’t set a New Years resolution…and search for something else instead. Below are some reasons why you resolutions don’t work, and some intentions to consider setting instead.
5 Reasons NOT to set a New Year’s Resolution
1. Your goals are unattainable
One big mistake people make when choosing a New Year’s resolution is that they choose
a goal that is unattainable for their current season of life. If I say, “I want to run a
5k this year,” but I don’t have access to running routes and lack the time to run,
this goal is probably going to be unattainable for me at the moment. Choose an activity
that is realistic for your lifestyle. Setting a goal to walk for 20 minutes three times per week may be more realistic than running a three miles every day.
2. Your resolution is too broad
For example, let’s say your goal is to “spend more time with my family.” This goal has great intentions, but there’s nothing to back it up. Resolutions need support to make it sustainable in the long run. The only way to achieve a major goal is to start small. Start by picking a small action that you can start doing in the first week of the year. Here an example would be to “have a family game night at least once a week.” This goal is specific, realistic, and attainable. When creating goals for yourself, use SMART goals to keep yourself accountable and organized.
3. You aren’t targeting the root of the behaviors you want to change
It’s hard to stop habits cold turkey when you’re not dealing with the root of the issue. Let’s take binge eating for example. Binge eating is the result of something that is going on internally. You have to learn why you are binging in the first place before you can change the behavior. In a situation like this, we recommend working with a registered dietitian skilled in disordered eating (like Allison!) and a counselor to discover the reasons why you may be exhibiting these behaviors.
4. Your goals are “negative” based
A negative based goal is a goal that is trying to fix something that is “wrong” in your life. Having negative based goals can leave you feeling guilty and lazy for messing up or not following through with your plan. Instead of fixating on parts of your life that aren’t ideal, magnify your strengths. When you magnify or multiply what is going right in your life, you will gain the momentum and motivation you need to improve your well-being. Ask yourself, “what am I already good at?” and build your goals from there.
5. You don’t have the right mindset
Maybe you’ve made the decision to create some sort of change, but on the inside, you’re not ready to take the necessary steps in order to make that change. You haven’t made that internal shift yet. To reach your goals, you must be willing to make some changes in your lifestyle. It’s going to be uncomfortable because, well, change IS uncomfortable. Are you willing to be uncomfortable to make a change? If so take action! If the change is worth it, create space and make time in your lifestyle to implement that change. Set yourself up for success. If now isn’t the time in your life to take action towards a goal, that’s okay! Seasons come and go. Try and reevaluate your circumstances in a month or so to determine whether or not you’re ready to take the net step, and be sure to build a support team around you to help you get there.
Set A New Year’s Intention Instead
New Years resolutions typically are external actions or desired outcomes while intentions are internal power and long term change.
Think about it this way, a resolution may be, “to lose weight.” Instead let’s flip that to set you intention “to listen to my body” Later down the road, weight loss may occur because you could be eating more vegetables, enjoying your movement, and learning how to cope with stress. Instead of implementing rigid practices through goal setting, intentions focus on practicing kindness towards your body.
The purpose of an intention is to cultivate a desire you wish to live by. Start by evaluating the things you would wish to see more of in your life. From there, we need to dig a little deeper and discover the root of that desire.
When looking at areas you wish to see more of, does it come from a sense of loneliness in your life? Does it stem from feeling inadequate or not good enough? Is there guilt? Shame? Do you have low self-esteem? These are deep questions to ask yourself, and you may feel some vulnerability trying to answer them. Choose your intentions based on these feelings.
Examples of New Year’s Intentions
Simplicity (do less)
Show love to others
Keep an open mind
Share your unique gifts
After deciding your intention, create small action steps that you can do to help you be more intentional this year. If your intention is to “be more present,” a small action you can do a few times a week is to practice breathing for three minutes or journaling for three minutes. This only takes three minutes out of your day, and it’s allowing you to be more intentional about staying present.
Connect with yourself and ask, “What are some things that bring me the most energy and joy in my life?” Be clear with yourself and the things you want to cultivate, and write it down on a sticky note or a notebook. Remember, there is no right or wrong when it comes to your intentions. You cannot pass or fail. Use these handwritten messages as a reminder to pick up where you left off no matter where you are in your intention journey.
Make this year the year of intentionality. Connect and discover the things you truly need for yourself. Wishing you all the best in the New Year!