Chapter 10: A Healthy Relationship with Food

by | Jan 14, 2024

 

The common advice for weight loss is to eat less (and move more), placing the entire responsibility and blame on the individual. This assumption is incorrect and perpetuates weight bias. Many individuals who live with weight already have a deep understanding of nutrition, yet they often receive unsolicited advice about their eating habits. This can cause anxiety, especially when visiting a new doctor. If this situation sounds familiar, we want to apologize.
The landscape of nutrition can be confusing, with various diets and trends claiming to be the solution. However, most of these approaches are ineffective in achieving substantial, long-term weight loss. Instead, they often promote shame and blame. At Valley Metabolic Health, our goal is to help you find a way of eating that is both healthy and enjoyable, tailored to your specific needs. Whether you have already found your own way of eating or need support to become more knowledgeable and confident, we are here for you.
Eating fewer calories does lead to short-term weight loss, but the advice to simply “eat less” ignores the brain’s natural defense mechanisms against weight loss. After a period of calorie deficit, weight loss often plateaus, and over time, weight regain is common. Unfortunately, this process is often interpreted as a failure of willpower, leading to blame and shame. It is crucial to understand that weight plateau and regain are influenced by deep biological factors. This experience can be disheartening, leading to a feeling of learned helplessness. And at such vulnerable times, individuals may encounter the discouraging suggestion to eat less and move more. This approach is far from helpful.
At Valley Metabolic Health, we acknowledge the limitations of traditional advice on calorie restriction. We invite you to listen to Dr. Zentner’s perspective on this topic before considering a different way. Our aim is to empower you with knowledge and support, allowing you to achieve sustainable and enjoyable eating habits.
So the path forward with nutrition is really to find a way of eating where you relate to food mentally and emotionally in the healthiest and fullest way possible. It is discovering a way of eating that is as healthful as possible but, even more importantly, enjoyable and sustainable. You may wish to shift some patterns or habits of eating along the way. For instance, some are bothered by nighttime eating of foods they don’t feel are aligned with their goals. If this is the case, we can work on skills of behavior change to focus on a shift. At times, one has experienced so many rules that it is hard to look at any sort of food without a sense of guilt. Ideally, after a journey toward best weight, you will feel comfortable with a way of eating that works for you.
If you would like support with nutrition we will connect you with professional. This  support could come from a local dietitian or another program. We work closely with Constant Health as they have an amazing group of dietitians and an excellent 3 month program. This program is perfect for those that are comfortable with technology (they use an app and do video visits every two weeks).  At the end you can expect to feel confident and comfortable with a way of eating.  You can make contact with them directly (click on their name in this paragraph) if you have private insurance or if you are willing to pay out of pocket. If you don’t have insurance you will need a referral from our clinic.
Remember, “obesity is not a behaviour.” So as you approach a pattern of eating, shift nutrition habits, and so forth please consider doing that for the sake of seeing that shift happen in and of itself. If we can align our habits and behaviours in a way we feel good about, at the end of the day we can feel better about ourselves. The scale? It will respond based on how the deep brain responds and that is not under our conscious control!
Now with all this said… some people will find the concept of calorie counting empowering. The next module is from the Macklin Method on achieving a calorie deficit. Feel free to review and see what is helpful for you.

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