Should I Eat More or Less Fat? [Podcast Episode #054]
Think back 15 or 20 years and you'll remember a time when dietary fat way public enemy #1. Eating fat was the "guaranteed" way to GAIN weight. Grocery store shelves began filling up with low-fat and fat-free versions of all our favourite foods to reverse the obesity epidemic. But...
You already know the outcome of the low-fat food fad: Food companies replaced fat with sugar and other chemical additives, so that their foods still tasted good, and consumers sure didn't lose any weight. In fact, we actually got fatter during that time period!
But just because the whole low-fat food experience didn't turn into massive weight-loss, can we conclude that eating less fat is a bad idea? Or, did we just do it wrong the first time?
Make Your Body Work Podcast: Episode #054
- Learn More About Rebecca and the Resources She Offers
- Join Rebecca's Newsletter For Healthy Guidance and Inspiration
- "Finally Saying 'I'm Sorry" to My Body" - Read Rebecca's Personal Story
- Stop Trying to Be "Perfect" - It's All About Baby Steps [MYBW Podcast #036]
- The Most Important "Food Rules" You Should Start Following Today [MYBW Podcast #22]
- Does Calories-In-Calories-Out Really Work For Losing Weight? [MYBW Podcast #33]
- Follow These Steps to Determine Your TRUE Motivation For Getting Fit [Essential Guide!]
Do Supplements Work? [Full Text]
Dave: Hey, thanks so much for joining me in this episode of Make Your Body Work Podcast. As you know, the show is all about helping you live a healthier, happier life. Today we're talking about a question. This is one that I get all the time and I'm sure probably pretty much every listener has thought about this, asked themselves about this, read about this or this has been on your mind at some point in life.
Kristen wrote in and here's what she said. Kristen said,
"I know there are healthy fats and that it's better to buy foods that are less processed. For example, butter is better than margarine but what about other products? My husband is in great shape and has a super-fast metabolism whereas I seem to pack on pounds instantly. As a result I find myself buying a lot of different foods for us. I tend to cook my food in coconut oil and his in butter. I buy 1% milk for myself and 2% or whole milk for him and recently started buying him whole fat Greek yogurt for the taste while I buy non-fat Greek yogurt for myself. I enjoy these low-fat or non-fat foods and almost always find myself buying reduced fat options when it comes to dairy even when we splurge on cheese I buy reduced fat.
I recently read in the magazine that whole fat Greek yogurt is better for losing weight. Then today I was listening to episode 22 of your podcast and there was a quick mention of whole fat Greek yogurt. It seems so backwards to me but it had me wondering should I switch to whole fat dairy within moderation. Greek yogurt is my go to snack and favorite post workout food so for something that I eat regularly I really wanted to make sure that I was making the right choice. Thanks so much for your help, Kristen."
Kristen, first off, I just want to say thanks for the detailed message. I know sometimes when we get in this podcast and I just wish I can get someone on the phone or get you on the phone and ask more questions. I really appreciate laying it exactly how it is out there and what's going through your head. This idea of does fat, is it going to contribute to making me fat or should I be reducing my fat in order to lose weight or lose fat?
This is such a common question. One that sparked an entire craze of eating, the whole fat-free or low-fat eating that we saw in the 1990's and even early 2000's, an entire industry of reduced fat foods, a lot of them that you mentioned. What is actually happening when we eat those foods? How does that impact our body? How does that impact us psychologically? Are we actually doing something better for our body by making some of those reduced fat food choices?
I have an awesome guest today who is going to speak on this topic. She's a registered dietitian and has had some amazing success working with her clients, Kristen, just like you who are asking these questions. I'm really excited to introduce to you, Rebecca Scritchfield.
Meet Rebecca Scritchfield
Dave: Hey, Rebecca. Thanks so much for joining us today.
Rebecca: Thanks for having me.
Dave: I'm excited to have you on the show. I was actually on your website just before this call and was reading up about your bio and what you've done. You have a really neat label, you're honored as the young dietitian of the year.
Dave: Can you tell us about that? How did you end up winning that award?
Rebecca: It was my colleagues in Washington, D.C. there's awards for the kind of nationally for registered dietitians. Fellow colleague nominated me. I made the age criteria. I think it was under 30 so that was several years ago but I still proudly brag, humble brag about it I guess.
It was just a recognition for what I was doing in the field and I started out right away in private practice and private practice dietitians are the smallest group of registered dietitian nutritionist. I think people just wanted to recognize what I was doing back in the day.
Dave: Can you tell us in your private practice then, what type of clientele did you primarily work with?
Who Does Rebecca Work With?
Rebecca: I would say it varies. I would say the bulk is women. Women who have weight concerns and particular they are concerned that their weight is related to their health in some way. A lot of the time I'm helping them grapple with where their behaviors are now, where they would like to go and why and really just try to connect with them on what they want in life overall and how their self-care habits will help them get there or could be getting in the way. I love helping people create a better life. That's my big passion. Sometimes the things we think will give us a better life aren't necessarily so. Everybody's different. I meet people where they are at.
We do really just start with a conversation. The first question I ask is tell me what brings you to come and see me and everything goes from there. I've had the gamut in the category of females anywhere from women who are athletes and they have concerns because they want to try to improve their performance and there's a lot of misinformation about that because of course just like cars need gasoline we need energy to perform well.
We need to sleep well to perform well. Then I've had women who were just post one, two, three babies and which is I've got two daughters myself so I'm in that category of holy cow, how do I manage my time and still take care of me.
It could be anything in those areas. I have a small percentage of children. I love working with kids. I involve the families at that age but my local pediatrics practice will send families to me because they want to respect children's growth patterns and the individuality and shapes and sizes.
If parents were concerned about their kids' weight or they see something funky on the BMI charts they want to work with me on establishing a healthy pattern. You don't put kids on a diet period but what can you do to help them with their habits and their family habits to help them take care of themselves and just be able to be blind and neutral toward their weight.
That's something I'm very passionate about no matter if it's a child or an adult. This idea that we can actually take our weight concerns and put them in the back burner and focus on their habits instead because that's more likely to get us long term results even if that means that we're negotiating our expectations based on our appearance.
Taking Control Of Your Habits
Dave: I couldn't say that better. That's actually one of the reasons that I really wanted to have you on this podcast is you had a statement on your website somewhere there basically said that you believe the foundation of a long and happy life is developing these enjoyable habits. That's the message that I want all the listeners to get. As soon as I read that I thought, okay you and I we're on the same page here.
Developing the right habits, not trying to magically boost your willpower, is the path to making healthy lifestyle choices.
Rebecca: Cool. I love that. We could use a whole army of people out there just advocating for health and well-being and then it's much more than your weight or shape or your appearance and really enjoying life and enjoying what we do to take care of ourselves and what we do with our family.
I was nervous when I decided, it's like, "Wait, you're a dietitian." The word diet is in the title. I was a huge dieter. I mean, I tried everything. I was laughing when you invited me. I'm like, "Okay, does he know he's inviting the girl that was like, if it's fat free it's for me to address questions about fat and everything." I was like, we will see how this goes.
I really have transformed everything about how I think and what I do because what I was doing in my life was not workable and this started when I was nine. I might have spent years, decades even, spinning my wheels and wasting my time but I was even the person telling the clients like, "Hey, you're not doing enough." When I finally opened my eyes I just decided to become fully committed to really truthfully helping people feel good inside and out.
I thought my business was going to crumble than actually grew. I'm very happy to be talking with you and just the more we can grow fitness experts and nutrition experts and therapist and doctors and whoever wants to help, the more we can grow this positive energy around, yes we want to change habits. That can be challenging. We also want to feel good and take care of ourselves. Only good can grow out of that.
Dave: I appreciate right off the bat you being open and honest about your own struggles because sometimes I know for me and tell me if you feel the same as a, "fitness expert," there is this draw to feel or to put on a show that we're perfect and have everything together. I've never met anyone that has this altogether. I like that right off the bat you're open and honest and said you've been there, you struggled with these diets before and this is how you come out the other side.
Rebecca: I actually had a client once say, "No offense and don't take this the wrong way but I actually like you because you're not skinny." It's like, "Okay, thanks." Of course as she got further along she said, "I realized that where I phrased that was wrong.
It's like you are comfortable in your own body and that's what I'm striving to be." I had another client who happen to Facebook friend me and she's like, "How could you put that picture of you cannon-balling in the pool on Facebook?" I'm thinking, "Hey, that was rude. How dare I show my body?"
She's like, "No, seriously. How did you do that? I want to learn. I want to learn how I can be more confident and just let a picture be a picture. Even if it doesn't look perfect or even I don't like the picture be okay that that was me having fun and just let it go."
I definitely had my vulnerabilities and I think that if we realized that we're all in this together that we're not just experts on some pedestal saying, "You, you, you. Do this." It will actually be much more likely to help people and I think people who really go into the health and wellness space forever, that's what they want.
We get our wiggles out of helping people get what they want in life or even sometimes you might have noticed this too. You catch someone and they didn't finish their work with you but you know what you did with them was what they needed at the time. You just hope that they are out there and they are going to figure it out and you can make peace with the fact that when you were with them you guided them the best you could.
Dave: That's one thing that really excites me about doing this podcast in particular is that the questions come from our actual listeners and I can't tell you how many times I'll post an episode and then maybe even a question that I've never even thought about myself and then I'll get dozens of emails saying, "That was speaking to me," or I couldn't have said that better. We just know that there's hundreds or thousands or millions of people out there that are struggling with all these different things so let's bring it to the surface. Let's talk about it and let's figure out a solution that works for all those different individuals.
Dave: To transition I guess into Kristen's question. I love that you said if it's fat-free it's for me and that was the mindset that you had. That's where Kristen is at. She's in this process of trying to take information that you find out there that says low-fat is better or low calories is better but at the same time balancing what she feeds her husband and the taste and trying to lose weight herself. When you were reading what she wrote there, how much did that resonate with your own journey?
Do You Really Enjoy Low-Fat Food?
Rebecca: I would buy an entire bag of skittles and just devour it because there was no fat or Snackwell's cookies. You could do the whole box because they tell you on the front it's healthy. I just made every mistake and now fat is less and less the enemy.
I noticed in her question she talked about good fats and bad fats and I'm really not a fan of a labeling like that because I think it implies a judgment. That can get really tricky because we all know that apples are different than carrot cake or cookies. We know that. We're smart people. When you really label, okay good and bad, it can translate so quickly to good choice bad choice, good girl bad girl.
When you go there that's where not only guilt for doing something that's perfectly normal like enjoying a cookie on a Sunday afternoon or something but it can lead to shame which is worst because it's going to challenge your worthiness. Then that can lead to they call it shame spiraling. This, "Whatever, screw it. I'm going to skip the workout.
Maybe I'll give up on everything." I'm just really, really not a fan of doing those types of labels. We could definitely talk more about that because I even think on some of the facts that we consider to be labeled as bad actually aren't necessarily so when you look at the science of satiety and the latest that's out there.
Some foods once labeled as "bad" aren't necessarily bad at all. Think for yourself. Don't just rely on what you hear or are told.
The other thing I was intrigued in her question where she said, "I enjoy the low-fat stuff." I want to call her out on that and say, "Really? How do you know?" If she were my client I would definitely talk to her about that because I think maybe in some cases it could be true just like I prefer it, I really enjoy the taste.
When she got into reduced fat cheeses, I mean I've had that fat-free cheese. It's like plastic. They add more ingredients if they are going to cut out fat they might add extra salt and sugar. I've been there. I've been exactly there where it's almost like I need to sell. I enjoy this.
If it doesn't really hit your satiety buttons it's almost like a compromise and you just end up seeking satisfaction elsewhere so it could lead to overeating energy that you don't really need. Just because you're looking for that fireworks in your mouth kind of feeling. It could be true in some cases. There are some 2% yogurts that I think are fine.
Interesting story I actually met the owners of Siggi's, Mr. Siggi. I said, "Hey, why are all your yogurts fat-free?" Originally they were and he said, "You know in Iceland where I'm from and where I got this yogurt recipe we use all of the fat for really good butter and cream and stuff. We need to do something with the rest."
That made sense to me but I think we do see trends coming in America where fat is less of the enemy. Maybe it's gluten more just carbs in general and stuff but fat is still, there's a fear around it. I think it's related to calories.
When she talked about her enjoying it, that's where I would really challenge her to make sure that she truly was enjoying it because when she's buying one thing for her husband and something else for herself it just sounds like a waste of energy and time and money but it seems like that she's trying to convince herself, "I enjoy it but I'm also afraid to eat the other stuff, can I?"
That's what she ended up asking like "Hey, I read somewhere that's it's better for you, that just makes no sense I'm confused." She's not the only one. She's not alone. I would get this a lot with clients. I'd love to answer that more but I do want to share one quick story about taste and satiety and how it's really important.
Dave: Yes, please!
The Importance of Taste and Satiety
I was in a blind taste test and all I was told and it was in a group and all I was told was we had whatever, 24 different types of yogurt. They were all unlabeled, nothing. They said you're going to taste A and B and you're going to pick your favorite. Then you're going to taste C and D and pick your favorite.
You escalate the winners like the NBA bracket and stuff like that. Then you pick a final winner. They gave us all these instructions like flavor notes. It was like wine tasting like hints of chamomile and raspberry essence. It was very detailed. I go through this whole thing it's like over an hour and then afterward we get debriefed and I'm putting all this effort and just noticing and tasting all these different things.
It's a full hour of a mindful eating and we had to make certain guesses and flavor name. Anyway, long story short, at the end there were two surprising things I found out. Number one is with all the different flavor names I guessed and gave them, they were all different brands versions of strawberry.
Dave: Wow. And you had no idea?
Rebecca: They were all the same flavor but it was just based on the recipes and just my mind thinking they were all different I pulled all these stuff out. That was really interesting because they all had different taste.
The number two thing and this is when I was slowly handing in my it's fat-free it's for me card, my favorite one that I ended up picking was the full fat brown cow. I was like, "Go figure." When the label is off I pick the one that's the richest and it was the most delicious. I will never forget that because I was forced to be honest just based on taste.
It was a very powerful lesson because it taught me that the label is influencing that when you hear something is low-fat or reduced fat it is influencing. Because if you're trying to lose weight a mistake a lot of people make is that their weight loss is associated with something valuable about them like, "That's when I'll get a man. That's when I'll be successful. That's when I'll be a good enough mom." You want that so bad that you convinced yourself that you need to do all these things in order to be a better person. Do you see what I'm getting at?
Dave: Totally, yeah.
Rebecca: You really got to go off of taste and I've just gotten to the place where especially with yogurts, we literally have butter sitting on the counter. We go through at least and it's not like one tiny stick. I think it's probably two sticks worth because it's that Kerrygold from Ireland that butter is so good, that sits on the counter and we use it. Butter makes vegetables taste even better.
Plain vegetables are bitter and as humans we would spit out bitter things like, "That might be poisonous." A little butter can go a long way to help you eat healthier. I just think that's a much better approach. With yogurts I definitely I prefer full fat and reduced fat versions.
Where Is The Balance?
Dave: Let me jump in there because I just want to push back on something here that Kristen I'm reading between the lines a little bit but she's basically saying that she's read about the problem of eating fat. She doesn't mention calories specifically but when we went through the whole fat free or low fat craze it was based on just straight up numbers. A gram of fat has nine calories. A gram of protein or carbs has four so it make sense if we eat less fat we're going to eat less fewer calories and therefore we're going to get skinny.
At least she has that's coming from somewhere. Your message is do you actually really like those foods that are reduced fat. Where is sort of that happy medium or where do you find the balance between saying, “Yeah, but I like this, it taste better, I just enjoy it more,” versus watching how many calories we’re eating or whatever it is, how much sugar we’re eating, where is that balance?
Rebecca: Yeah, I am also a recovered calorie counter and I’ve adapted a mindset, I embrace intuitive eating which is based on building a body connection and a body trust. I think that maybe for a very short window if you’re a thinking kind of analytical person and you need to kind of see how many calories you need and calculate it out to meal plan.
I’m not saying I’d recommend it, I try to get a client not to do that but there are certain … If that’s going to make you feel more comfortable eating in a way I recommend which is a balanced plate. I basically have three steps, you want to be hungry, you want to balance your plate.
I have a lot of flexibility in that balance plate because when we’re having pizza night I can’t just have one fourth of my plate pizza. I’m going to be dissatisfied and I’m going to be probably sad and probably overeat something later or sneaky or something.
She’s not saying she has concerns of emotional eating but in general it’s not necessarily true by cutting out the fat that you’re going to eat less because fat contributes to satiety. It’s a feeling of fullness and it’s a hormone that we get, a sensation that we get from our stomach that is not always based on volume, it’s based on the body knowing that it had enough energy. Do you see what I’m saying?
Dave: Totally. I love the connection that you’re making there between eating fat and even though that gram of fat has 9 calories in it, that can have a direct even though we don’t know the direct correlation to how many calories we’re going to eat throughout the course of our day.
Rebecca: Yeah, it’s just not necessarily true that by cutting out fat you can mathematically manipulate the calories that way but you’re still a human being, your body still works a certain way. It looks for satiety and it can get full based on volume which is great which veggies, fruits or half the plate is the ideal target and that’s volume fibrous foods. When those aren’t on the plate we still need that volume and then that can kind of increase our calorie intake so that’s why balance is important but you don’t need a calorie count to really achieve some variation of balance.
That third part of my recommendation is to savor your food and it’s just paying attention, really trying to eat without distractions and know every meal doesn’t have to be like you’re mindfully tasting each bite. I love mindful eating but I’m a realist, I’m a mom with two kids, I can’t just sit there and shut down everything, every bite of the meal.
Even the minute before I eat I’ll take a deep breath and just relax and if I’m sitting down to dinner, I’ll engage in conversation with family but I will check in with myself. As I’m noticing I’m more full I take that as the sign that I need less and less food and sometimes a higher fat meal is going to give satiety a lot sooner and that’s going to help me eat less.
I recommend everybody learn to work with their body because we’re with it forever and you can’t just mathematically calculate the calories because our human brains will rebel against it in some way. It’s not the common approach for people with weight concerns, I realize everything we see is like, “Got calories. Follow the meal plan. Stick to it and you’ll lose weight,” but 95% of diets fail.
Take care of your body. It's the only one you've got.
If a woman doesn’t want to get pregnant she’s not going to take birth control that says, “95% failure rate.” At least I wouldn’t recommend it. We really have to look at where the science really is and ask, “Why am I doing this? Is this really giving me a better life? Is this really what I want to do?”
Why Do You Think the Things You Do?
I got to share this other story, this just happened last week, I was in New York and I was so excited I found this coffee shop that was right down the road for me, I needed to work for like three hours before my meetings and they had this carrot cake loaf and carrot cakes like my favorite. There’s vegetables in there so I’m like, “I’m going there for breakfast and people were like, “The lattes are great too, blah, blah, blah.”
I get in line and I’m kind of like I don’t do skim milk when I was growing up, it was the blue milk, it was what I loved, it was the diet version of me so I cannot do it, I just can’t. If you like skim milk you can get your fats in other ways to each his and her own but that’s just me.
After that I kind of go with the flow, Starbucks gives 2%, I don’t say, “Oh I really like the whole please,” you can if you want but it’s just 2% taste fine. At home I buy whole milk and I love it, if whole milk is out I would buy 2% but I don’t buy anything less than that and that’s what we prefer as a family. It’s more versatile to me to cook with and to use in smoothies and it’s just what we do.
I’m in this line and the girl’s like, and I order a large latte wanting to make sure I hit my caffeine target and she goes, “Hey, would you like whole milk with that,” and I was like, “Sure,” and I was like, “Oh that’s great. This place probably really knows and gets that like a really good latte needs whole milk.”
I’m all excited and I go back to my table for a minute, go back up to get my drink and they can’t see me because I’m behind the espresso machine. I just hear, “Oh my god. I am just freaking out. I am just freaking out. Oh my god I can’t believe down here that they do the full fat, that’s so many extra calories and sugar and oh my god I’m just freaking out.”
I was just like giggling to myself and my first thing was job security, my second thought was, “Should I intervene here and should I … Is this an education opportunity?” My good friend Leslie Schilling said, “Anytime I’m about to start a conversation with strangers with actually,” she’s like, “I know I’m about to be a smarty pants,” and she’s like, “It’s probably good that you didn’t say anything.”
It was good reminder to me that there’s an opportunity for education. Taking the opportunity here, full fat actually has less sugar than reduce fat and fat free because the fat has taken up the place of some of the natural sugars and milk. That’s just plain wrong but and she’s right about the calories but what's so interesting to me even though it was a large latte and I had this bigger than probably my hand size amount of carrot cake loaf.
I enjoyed a little bit of it but I didn’t need to get to work so I had it there by me and I would work and when I needed a little bit I’d nibble. At the end of it I had at least half, maybe almost three quarters of my large latte because I was feeling caffeine.
I only ate maybe a fourth of my carrot cake loaf and it reminded me of hearing that conversation earlier. I was like, see, this is body trust, “I’m not hungry. It’s 11 I’m going in my meetings, I’ll have lunch at one. I am satisfied, this carrot cake loaf can be a snack, I can share it with my kids later.” It goes in my bag and yeah maybe I wasted a dollar because I bought a large latte instead of a medium or a small, I kind of miscalculated but no big deal.
When you trust yourself you don’t have to analyze everything, you don’t have to be scared. If I can get one point across to Kristen is if you approach your decisions from a place of love and not fear, you will go so much further in the person you want to become.
When you trust yourself, you don't have to analyze everything or be scared of eating the "wrong" foods.
Dave: Yeah, and I think that is what she’s looking for. You used the word before permission is like she’s seeking permission, “Should I be sticking with this low-fat lifestyle or is it okay if I eat what my husband’s eating? We kind of talked about just how people are looking for calorie counting or some sort of metric to say, “Yeah, you have permission to do that.” I think that makes sense because as humans we like black and white, we like rules. It feels good, it’s easy to follow and to say, “Well, trust yourself,” or, “Do that with love.” it’s so ambiguous.
Rebecca: It is. It’s very big.
Dave: It doesn’t give guidance but I want to say I thought actually you had a really great suggestion. I wrote this down as you’re saying, this is genius, you said, “Eat when you’re hungry and then eat a balance plate and then savor your meal.” If you follow those three your rules I think it’s pretty hard to go wrong.
Establish Trust With Yourself
Rebecca: Yeah, that establishes trust with yourself and the thing is what I’ve learned, I mean I’m a diet survivor and what I learned was that when I was on a diet it was easy to quit. I could go off and when I went off it was like I was a kid on the first day of the summer and woo hoo hoo! It was everything no rules, nobody is watching and you swing in this other direction but if you choose not to diet you can’t quit on yourself.
You stay fully committed to becoming the kind of person you want to be. If she thought about it and say, “I want to be the kind of person who eats what my husband eats.” Coconut oil we’ve seen it come out now in studies that it’s not necessarily healthier how the health paleo that ones thoughts.
Of course everything came out with coconut oil because of paleo and it’s sales, they will sell you anything. Companies will sell you a diet product and ice cream at the same time, if you’ll buy it they’re going to sell it. You can use coconut oil if you like the taste of coconut, I do and you can use it. I have some that I use on occasion but certainly not in place of butter they’re just different and that to me is like the sort of fear based splitting hairs.
Reading too many articles of like the five foods to never eat, six things you must avoid, are you making these dieting mistakes. They’re clickable headlines and we are actually fearful creatures, you and I are around because our ancestors were scared of the lions and the tigers and the bears and they hid, they were smart and they hid so their DNA’s got past.
We just can’t fight, it’s in there that fear but we can learn to deal with it and say, “You know what I’ve got to really think rationally about what’s good for me.” If she really prefers, if she could do a blind taste test between butter and coconut oil in certain ways and can go with what she prefers and with her husband and have it be easier for her.
If she’s nervous at first I’d say adjust, if you want to kind of calorie count for safety net for you, I get that but then work on those three tips so that you can let go of that because what are you not doing in life while you’re too busy calorie counting all the time.
Dave: Yeah, and some of that is all the process as well, even if you do calorie count, just for the record I’m with you, I’m not a fan of calorie counting but if you do calorie count for a week or two weeks or whatever it is then you’ve read those labels and you get an understanding of roughly how many calories you’re intaking and we’re all creatures of habit. Generally we eat the same sorts of foods on a regular basis and then you don’t have to then stop doing it because at that point it is just a guilt thing, it’s just a fear thing and we don’t need that crutch anymore.
Rebecca: Exactly. Exactly. It’s difficult to resist, I mean let’s be honest, our society idealizes muscularity and thinness. In men it’s bulky, muscular, low body fat and you have to be strong and powerful, you can’t be vulnerable at all, you can’t make mistakes and that’s tough. For women it’s thin and I would say even lately thin and muscular.
Now it’s not enough to be thin, it’s like you have to have muscles on top of that 0% body fat. That’s aesthetics, that is just appearance and I talk about this a lot. It’s like, it’s not that I don’t care about how I look, I do wear makeup, I like to wash my hair, I style it when I really need to.
Whenever I really need to spend that extra 45 minutes or so I also easily pull back in a ponytail or bun if I’m not needing to appear somewhere just to save the time. You can like how you look in an outfit, you can care about looking like the best version of your shape but when we're comparing our bodies to other people’s bodies or what we weigh 10, 15 years ago...
Your body changes over time naturally, just naturally. At some point we got to realize that true health is about well being, it’s about mental and physical health and it’s really not about your appearance. You got to try find this sort of satisfactory version of you where you can live a life where you’re not driving yourself crazy.
Dave: I want to speak to Kristen and all the other listeners because I know that that message of it’s more than just looks, it’s more than aesthetics is kind of like a nice to think message. Yeah we can say but who really actually believes that. When you start out, when Kristen and when anyone's starting out, yeah there’s going to be some motivation to look better, feel better about the way you look.
Overtime as you start to feel better those other feelings and those other benefits of living a healthier lifestyle they will start to creep up and maybe even supersede those sort of visual cues that we’re originally using to motivate ourselves to change.
Rebecca: Exactly. Exactly. If you’re more drawn to the visual I would encourage someone to try to find a shorter term benefit that you can connect to that doesn’t have anything to do with. Because the more likely you are to form a habit it’s going to be because you feel rewarded immediately. That was a fun and challenging workout, I did more push ups than I did last week.
Now if you have a workout that was challenging and not so fun and you did fewer push ups, you can admit. It wasn’t as fun, it was still challenging and I didn’t do as much but I’m glad I came because I care about my health.
I didn’t phone it in on myself but to turn it into a positive and then how your body change kind of be a side effect of the decisions you’re making to take care of yourself because the truth is there is size diversity. There’s always been fat people in the world and there always will be and we could have a separate conversation on all the different factors that influence a person’s weight and shape.
It’s all about enjoying our life and feeling good and doing the things we want to do and you can do that by working with your body in developing preferences and habits that lasts so that you don’t have to overthink all these things and then you can be fully present in many, many, many other ways.
Make Your Body Work Takeaway
Dave: Yeah, and stop spending your entire life worrying about how many calories are on your plate or how many grams of fat you just ate. We like to end this show with what I call a Make Your Body Work take away and this is just something for Kristen or anyone else who’s been struggling with this idea of, “Am I allowed to eat this and should I stay away from that?" What would you say as a bit of inspiration or motivation to people with that mindset. How can they ensure that they are eating a healthy balanced diet?
Rebecca: I think in particular for Kristen if she were my client, I would challenge her to do tastes tests. I would talk to her about a way she could do it. It’s okay to feel uncomfortable but maybe not so overwhelmed like she doesn’t want to do it.
For example could she in one meal eat the thing with the butter in it and not use coconut oil and truly allow herself to think about does she enjoy the taste as much as the coconut oil less more, and think about it and rather than go on to the next thing I would tell her to try butter again and again.
Even just one meal a day. One meal deal for a week and really start to figure out what do I think of butter? How do I really liked to enjoy it and do I trust that I can control myself around butter. It’s like when you have permission to have it every single day, it loses its allure of, “I got to have gobs and gobs everywhere.” I would do a taste test I’d start with one thing, repeat it. Developing opinion on it and then decide what’s going to give me a better life and then go on with the different milks and yogurts and all the other things that shay’s saying. That’s what I would work on.
If she got comfortable with her different preferences I think the thing I would challenge her to do is replace, if she’s actively calorie counting, replace the calorie counting day with a day of not calorie counting and doing intuitive eating.
I think she’d figure it out which one kind of makes her happier and she just needs time to realize that she’s getting healthier too because we have this inner voice that we’ll tell us forever and ever, “Don’t do that because the whole world is going to fall apart." It’s just the evil wrong voice. That’s my chips.
Dave: That’s fantastic and I love the fact that it’s individualized and that experimentation process. Find out what you like because this whole show is about living a healthier, this is my tag line, live a healthier and happier life. If you’re going to be the healthiest person but you dread every single meal you eat, I’m not doing my job and you’re not doing your job so your tip is bang on.
Rebecca: I appreciate it and I appreciate you having me on and having a chance to hopefully help Kristen and other listeners as well. Thank you very much.
Dave: Rebecca, where can listeners learn more about you, about what you do and connect with you if they have any follow up questions?
Rebecca: Sure. Visit my website it’s rebeccascritchfield.com and you can email me from there and I have an email list. It will be great if listeners want to sign up for that, they’ll get a free feel great guide after signing up and they’ll be on my email list too. I try to send them out monthly pretty regularly if I’m doing a special challenge or something I might send them a little more frequently than that.
They’ll also be the first to know what’s going on with my new book which is going to be called Body Kindness and it’s base of my philosophy and they’ll be on presale on October. Now it’s the time for the listeners to kind of just get on my radar screen and I’m all over social but you can kind of the homebase is my website.
Dave: Perfect and for the listeners this is Make Your Body Work Podcast Episode number 52. If you got to makeyourbodywork.com/52 all the link to Rebecca’s website and also to your sign up page if you want to connect with Rebecca and get her newsletter, find out about her book and all the other goodies that she provides. Those links will be directly in the show notes. Rebecca, I just want to say one more time thanks for sharing with us lots of really awesome practical tips, I really appreciate it.
Rebecca: Thanks for having me.
Dave: Thanks again, Rebecca, for joining us on the show today and for sharing a little bit of your own personal story. I know for myself and I think I probably speak on behalf of many of the listeners out there, it’s encouraging to hear that even a professional like you still goes through a bit of an experimentation process and it is the baby steps process.
We don’t need to have a perfect diet. We don’t need to have perfect fitness. We don’t need to have it all figured out all at once. It’s a step by step process and we can be okay with that knowing that we may be aren’t perfect but we’re moving in the right direction. Thanks for that positive message. I’d like to give a big shout out to Yes Wellness.
Yes Wellness is a company that I’ve been getting my health and wellness supplements from for quite awhile and I really like them because A, they’re Canadian and I’m from Canada and they have really great selection, really great prices. We’re just chatting about the work that’s being done on Make Your Body Work and the messaging that I like to convey and it really resonated both with Yes Wellness. Their messaging as well as my own and we thought we could do a bit of a partnership together and they’ve come on and generously supported or sponsored the Make Your Body Work podcast.
I’m really excited to have them on board and I just want to encourage you if you are looking for supplements for yourself please checkout yeswellness.com and if you’re not sure about which supplements might be right for you, I highly recommend you listen to my recent Podcast with Dr. Paul Zickler. If you go to makeyourbodywork.com/53 you can hear Dr. Zickler’s message about which supplements are ones they should avoid that are a waste of your money, which ones are ones that most people should be considering and why those ones are so important and how to tell what a good quality vitamin or supplement really is.
Please check that out and then if you’re going to be purchasing these supplements, check out yeswellness.com. I almost guarantee that you’re going to find probably the greatest selection that you’d find in your local pharmacy and at a better price. Check them out yeswellness.com. Thanks again for tuning into this episode and as always I can’t wait to see you here again next week.