Nutrition realization

Kohanai Posts: 169 Member
edited June 2018 in Food and Nutrition
Tl;Dr: I'm just realizing why paying attention to nutrition, taking charge of your body, and making yourself knowledgable is important. I'm a little pissed at myself, but that's life I guess?

I've been told all my life "low carb, low fat!!" in order to be eating healthy. So naturally, being the girl I was, I just went with it. 2ish years ago, when I really started focusing on my nutrition, I took that to heart, along with needing to be in a deficit, and tried my best. Now, it worked, of course, bc that's what happens when you (for the most part) eat healthy food and stay in a deficit. I didn't really research what a female my age/weight/physicality needed to really "be" healthy. I just did was everyone else did, and followed MFP and the low carb/low fat/stay in a deficit rule.

Research is key. If I had researched, LEGITIMATE research, any at all, I'd have seen that low carb and low fat isn't necessarily the healthiest way to "diet" over a long period (I am not including people who specifically need to be on that kind of diet plan, obvs). I'd have seen that what MFP gives is just a suggestion, and that you can (should) tweak it to suit your needs. I went a long way, but was always tired, vitamin-deficient, blah blah blah. I was in school, so naturally I didn't sleep. I ate salads ALL THE TIME, so just needed a multivitamin. I used bare minimum oil in ANYTHING I cooked, only used butter if it was specifically required, and so on.

Now, I'm with a nutritionist. With my activity level, and my goals, I was eating half my daily cal goal. Half. I "felt fine" too. And, that's sad, because my body adapted to that lower intake of nutrition and energy. Well, more frustrating than sad. She proscribed my macros, and I'm now on a reverse diet to slowly get me to eating as much as I technically should be. I definitely don't hate it, but it's really, really, really hard eating this much. I've only gone up 500cal since May started. That's an entire extra meal and snack, on top of not being able to eat after working out. So, it's hard. But, the thing that is messing with me the most is the amount of fat I should be eating a day. That number has exploded, and my body is paying the price. Now that I'm reacting to such a drastic change in eating, she's working with me even more to make me feel better. So, we are working through that - but god life sucks. I'm seeing positive changes, but life suuuuuuckkksssss. I can't wait until I even out and can not cringe when I use an entire tablespoon of plain old butter in/on something.

But jebus. I wish I knew why I allowed food to be the devil, and thought that eating was bad. Why did I take the word of others and just not research something so important? It didn't feel that important, tbh. If it works for everyone, and eevverrryyyyyonnnneeeeee is saying it, then, I'll do the thing too. As I'm trying to fill out a day with now 1700cals (I still can't imagine living on 2400 yet - scary), and I'm struggling to eat, I regret just not taking the time to really look into why nutrition matters.

edit: being fat all my life is a big factor in why food was the devil. Almost every family member being a diabetic played a big factor in believing the low-everything version of, well, everything was legit. I realize this, but that doesn't help me now.


  • shaumom
    shaumom Posts: 1,008 Member
    Hugs - that's really hard to deal with!

    Just to add to the frustration - the nutritionist doesn't know it all either. And may be wrong about some things. Mostly because how the body works, and what happens to food when we eat it, is actually a LOT less researched than one would think.

    As some examples:
    There are very few years of studying the gut bacteria we have, but the research that is coming out shows that what nutrients we get out of what we eat is sometimes highly affected by what gut bacteria we have. Don't have certain gut bacteria, then you may not be getting the same nutrients from your food as someone else does.

    How our bodies process food in terms of blood sugar has been found, in a recent study, to be quite more individual than we thought, and in fact acts in ways we don't understand yet. A study in Israel on blood sugar levels showed that when people ate the same food in the same amounts (per bodyweight), not only did some people's blood sugar levels go up less than others, for some people, their blood sugar levels dropped instead, and doctors have no explanation as to why. The researcher's main conclusion was that we know a lot less about food and how our body works than we thought, and that it suggests that in the future, diet plans may have to be a lot more individualized than expected.

    And on top of that, there are various conditions and disorders that can alter what is healthy for you. And sometimes, they are tricky to diagnose, or even figure out if you have.

    Not saying here not to listen to the nutritionist, but just saying, I guess, that while her information is based on research, it is not indisputable research. So it's really important to listen to your own body, too, you know? So if you do not start feeling slowly better on her recommendations, you may want to explore with another nutritionist (who may have different research she goes by) or talk to a doctor.

    I just wanted to mention this because I went through this a bit. When I would try to 'get healthy' one thing I would do is eat less meat and more whole grains, as an example. And that was the nutritionist recommendation at the time.

    Turns out, I was an undiagnosed celiac, so every time I ate more grains, it made me sicker. I also had some mild allergic reactions to nuts, seeds, and beans that were also undiagnosed (they presented more like hayfever at really low levels, and I had subconsciously just eaten less of them generally), so having less meat and more beans/nuts/seeds ALSO made me feel worse.
  • Kohanai
    Kohanai Posts: 169 Member
    Man, thanks for the insight and thinking material. I have a very hard time listening to my body, and she has been 100% upfront about the need to. So, I'll take that as a good sign. Since this is so hard for me, she's just being very supportive. But you make a good point, if things don't start turning around, I may have to reevaluate this plan, or even her. As for doctors and not feeling well, I generally haven't had good experiences. I don't like that the first suggestion is a shot or a medicine. But, now I'm dealing with something less simple than aches and pains. So, I guess it's time to invest the time into finding a doctor that I'm comfortable with, just in case.

    For the listening to your body bit, I tend to get tunnel vision with food. I eat the same things over and over. It was fine before, but now that I'm trying to reach certain nutrition goals, I'm eating a lot of different foods and vastly different quantities. Part of me thinks that it's just the equivalent of growing pains. "I like chicken and broccoli for every meal. Wooaaahhhh there, throwing in an AVOCADO?! Monster." lol...

    I wish this were all a bit more scientific. I've become a very "1+1 will definitely equal 2" kind of person, and less a "does it FEEL right?" kind of person, if that makes sense. So, the unknowns in this part of the journey make me a little anxious.
  • deannalfisher
    deannalfisher Posts: 5,600 Member
    nutritionist or a registered dietician? one has formal education and certification requirements; the other can become qualified as a weekend class...
  • Kohanai
    Kohanai Posts: 169 Member
    Nutritionist. But, more than a weekend class.
  • Kohanai
    Kohanai Posts: 169 Member
    Is there a way to delete threads? I must fail at writing, because my complaints are in no way about her. they are about my lack of research when I began this stupid journey.
  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 29,559 Member
    Kohanai wrote: »
    Is there a way to delete threads? I must fail at writing, because my complaints are in no way about her. they are about my lack of research when I began this stupid journey.

    There's no need to delete your thread. What you're saying is very understandable, and I sympathize. The thing is, you're taking positive steps to remedy the past lack of research, so yay, you!

    If your nutritionist has solid educational credentials, don't worry about those inquiries. It's a frequently asked question, because we frequently see folks around here getting super-bad advice from poorly-credentialed nutritionists (who sometimes are more like supplement salespeople than true nutrition experts). I see nothing worrisome in what you report her as telling you.

    If you want to delete your thread - even though I'd encourage you not to - there is a way. In the browser version of MFP, you click on "flag" under your post, then "report", then click the "this is my post and I want to delete it" option and submit it. In the Android phone version, you click on 3 dots above and to the right of the post, then do those other steps. I'm not sure about Apple phone versions, but I'd guess it's similar.
  • sarahwright01
    sarahwright01 Posts: 229 Member
    You have to submit a request into the "helpdesk" and they can delete it.
  • VUA21
    VUA21 Posts: 2,072 Member
    Kohanai wrote: »
    Is there a way to delete threads? I must fail at writing, because my complaints are in no way about her. they are about my lack of research when I began this stupid journey.

    Don't worry about it. There are some amazing nutritionist that aren't dieticians, but have a lot of formal education and are amazingly good.

    I completely understand and relate to the massive lack of research and knowledge I had for years. I was cluless about finding peer-reviewed and retested for consistency research from reputable sources for a very long time.
  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 29,559 Member
    So glad to hear it's going so well - I love getting updates on things like this (often wonder how things came out for folks who posted), and I'll bet your story will be helpful for others, too. Good show!