A Holistic Approach to Nutrition with Astrid Naranjo | DFIO Ep.262
About Today’s Episode:
Welcome back to the show! I have a GREAT guest for you guys today. A lot of you will know her as the @antidiet_dietitian from Instagram, Astrid Naranjo.
Astrid has a similar perspective to me when it comes to the inner game and sustainable fat loss, which is why I really wanted to get her on the show.
Astrid is a coach herself—she’s a dietitian—but she has a very different background, and even though we share similar beliefs, she brings a little bit of a different perspective because of her experiences with disordered eating and body dysmorphia.
Astrid has a very holistic approach to sustainable fat loss and if you like my content, I know you’ll love her story and this episode.
Let’s dive in!
13:03 How to Set Goals
36:50 Astrid’s Journey
46:55 Where To Start
Transcript (click to expand)
A Holistic Approach to Nutrition with the @antidiet_dietitian, Astrid Naranjo | DFIO Ep.262
0:00:00.0 Astrid Naranjo: I don't want to tell you what to eat, I want you to have more freedom and I want you to learn to choose your own foods, your proper things. Me telling you what to eat is not going to teach you anything, it's not going to give you any skills, any decision making, it's not going to teach you what is the best for your body. Only you can know and can experiment what is the right thing to do.
0:00:27.1 Jared Hamilton: What's going on everyone? Welcome back to a brand new episode of Dieting From The Inside Out. If you're new around here, welcome to the show. My name is Jared Hamilton. And just to get it out there, I have recorded this intro probably five times now. I keep screwing it up, starting all over. So we're just going to power through this one. Today's a really cool episode for you. I'm really excited to release this one. I interviewed, a lot of you guys will know her as the @antidiet_dietitian from Instagram. So her name is Astrid. Astrid is amazing. She is a breath of fresh air. And it's interesting, she has a very... She has a similar perspective that I do and I teach when it comes to sustainable fat loss and the inner game and all this stuff, which is why I wanted to get her on the show just to get a different perspective, even though like we share similar beliefs and stuff. But it's just a little bit different. Astrid is a coach herself. She's a dietitian. She has had an amazing amount of experience with all of this, but has a very different background herself when it comes to this stuff before like the dietetics and before like nutrition coaching and all that stuff.
0:01:33.6 Jared Hamilton: And it's interesting. A lot of that came out on the show today, which was so beautiful 'cause I didn't know we were going to go that route with the conversation. Might... To give you guys some context into the show. Like I may have a little bit of notes, but one of my favorite things is, when I interview guests, is to just kind of have a conversation, see what comes up and see what's... What was meant to come out and just being present in having that conversation and see what comes through. And those are always the best episodes. So that happened with today's episode 'cause Astrid is amazing. Like I said, a lot of you guys follow her on social media. She's the @antidiet_dietitian. So it's... Her content is amazing. It's all around, around sustainable weight loss and how to actually have a more holistic approach to this, but with making things completely sustainable and doable, where you're not having to do crazy diets or crazy restrictions and binge eating all that stuff. So if you like my content, you'll love what comes out of this episode and you'll love her content. So be sure to follow her.
0:02:29.1 Jared Hamilton: But one of the coolest things that came out of this conversation was her opening up about her story with things like her disordered eating back when she started and things like some more body dysmorphic behavior and things like that side of stuff... That side of the dark, yucky stuff when it comes to where she's at now, 'cause a lot of times you would look at someone like her and go, "Oh my gosh, I'll never be at your level. Oh my gosh, you're so smart. You're so educated. How do I get... I don't even know how I get to your level with where I'm at now," but she wasn't always in that place. So she told the story of how she pulled herself out of the disordered eating, pulled herself out of the trap of diet culture and self-deprecation and a horrible relationship with food and binge eating and purging and the whole nine yards. And now she's all the way on the other side where she's helping change people's lives. And it's been the most beautiful thing for her.
0:03:20.6 Jared Hamilton: And that's what I wanted to get her on just to talk about the content around this stuff. 'Cause she's also one of Layne Norton's head coaches and Layne is a hero of mine. Layne is someone I look up to a ton and I would love to get Layne on the show. But while we're doing... In the middle of all that, trying to make that happen, I wanted to get Astrid on the show 'cause she, like I said, brings a whole different perspective with her life experience, her experience as a woman going through all of this. It was just amazing. So I know you're going to get a lot out of it. Now, before we get into that, I do want to give a huge thank you to the sponsors of the show. Sponsor number one, FlexPro Meals, because convenience is absolutely everything. I'm telling you, it's one of those things where I always have FlexPros on me. I actually just got... I just saw my computer. I just got a update from FlexPro like while recording this, that was kind of weird. But it's one of those things where having them on deck in your fridge all the time is so helpful when it comes to the unpredictability of the day-to-day while still having goals of fat loss, nutrition, looking good, feeling good, all of that.
0:04:24.9 Jared Hamilton: 'Cause it's not one of those things... I would never tell someone like, "Oh yeah, just replace all of your day's worth of food with FlexPro Meals." That's not practical, but I'll tell you what, if you can replace the majority of your going out to eat... Not going out to eat, your "Oh shit, I got to pop in a drive-through." Your, "Oh shit let me just run to the gas station and see what I can find." or your, "Oh shit, let me just grab a granola bar on the way out of the house." If you can eliminate that with FlexPro, it will save you money. It will save you astronomical amounts of time and it will make fat loss way easier because you have everything ready to go. So I would definitely check them and what they have going on, either go to the link in the description or go to flexpromeals.com. And if you use my code HamiltonTrained, it'll save you an additional 20% at checkout, which is pretty cool. Then I do want to give a big shout out to our other sponsor, which is 1st Phorm. I'm wearing one of their shirts as always. 1st Phorm is an absolutely, absolutely amazing company. I apologize. My brain and mouth are not getting along today.
0:05:24.1 Jared Hamilton: But the thing is we talk about it a lot where supplements are not the end all be all. They are not everything. They are there to fill the gaps you are not getting with food and with 1st Phorm it's an... It just works so well and it's such a no-brainer and they're such an amazing company. So I definitely want to make sure that your money is going to the right spots. And I don't want you to just get lost on what's cheap on Amazon because that's usually not the best thing. But otherwise that's it for the sponsors. Let's get into the show and I will talk to you soon.
0:05:52.0 Jared Hamilton: I'm glad we got it working. How are you?
0:05:54.2 Astrid Naranjo: I'm very, very good. Excited to see you again. It's been a very, very long time since we spoke, on our live like a year ago.
0:06:02.1 Jared Hamilton: I know it's crazy how fast time goes on. So what's new in your life? How have things been?
0:06:09.6 Astrid Naranjo: It's been pretty much steady. I continue to do exactly the same, just busier, a bit more experienced and yeah, like, life getting along and I think progressing with my approach with my clients. And I think it's everything very similar, but I guess the more you grow, the more experience and the better your approach is and the more you can connect with your clients. I continue doing exactly the same, but I think the experience is the one thing that sort of continues to grow over time. So I think that's where I'm at at the moment.
0:06:58.6 Jared Hamilton: I love that. I'm curious now that you brought that up, is there anything over the years you've changed your mind on that you used to believe one thing and now you don't believe that as much? I know Layne's talked about that a few times and stuff and I've gone through the same thing. I'm curious, is there anything you've changed your mind on over the years?
0:07:14.7 Astrid Naranjo: I have in many, many ways. I used to be more directive and prescriptive where, and that's what you learn at university when they teach you "well, you have to design meal plans and you have to tell clients what to do." And over time as I progressed in my career, I've realized that yeah, that works for a very minority of people, but long term, when you wanna achieve a very positive and long lasting result, you gotta negotiate with your clients and you gotta teach them, you gotta play the team approach and get them involved in decision making. Just because that's the best way where they will feel empowered, they will feel included, they will have... And they will take part of that choices that we are going to make for their plan. And rather than trying to change everything at once or being very, I don't know, aggressive at first, when you start with someone. And like telling them, well, we have to do this and this and this and this and we're gonna change this and this, this. It becomes so overwhelming that at from the very first day, it's just like, I'm not gonna be able to do this.
0:08:37.4 Astrid Naranjo: So rather than putting them in a position where they may feel very disadvantaged or overwhelmed, you get them in a place where they can and they will feel like they can do this, they're able to achieve it and that you are with them all the way through. So one of the things I've realized is just taking them from where they are at, rather than me taking them to my level, I go down to their level and then we move from where we need to go rather, I feel like it is much, much beneficial approach for them because they feel like you are not pushing them to get to a level that they're not at just yet. And that allows you to just understand where they're at and their connections with the past. Majority of the people that has a specific background on something, you realize that they have gotten maybe a trauma, a difficult past or something that led them to where they're at and the decisions they've made in the past.
0:09:55.8 Astrid Naranjo: So I like to understand that in the first few weeks when I work with my clients as well. But I also work in a hospital where there's no much coaching that you can do. It's more that connection that you can have straight away with a patient and it's a very different goal setting because obviously it is a sick patient or it is someone who is in a rehab setting and it's very likely that their goals are not body recomposition or intuitive eating or improving their relationship with food. Although certain things that when you speak with certain patients, you want to still use the same approach of get them involved and do this in conjunction so things can be better when it comes to compliance and adherence.
0:10:51.7 Jared Hamilton: Yeah, 'cause well, at the end of the day, and I'm so glad you said that because at the end of the day then, this is one of the reasons I love your content so much. And I don't get along with very many other dietitians, but I absolutely love your work and... But like adherence and compliance is arguably the most important thing above all, right?
0:11:09.4 Astrid Naranjo: It is a hundred percent. You can do whatever you want in terms of following the best, the perfect meal plan, the perfect approach, the perfect diet, keto or whatever. And if you can't adhere to it, there's no point of following something that doesn't work for you. So that's the biggest, the biggest components of doing whatever you're going to go with. Are you able to stick with it? Do you actually feel like confident you can do this not just in the first month or in the first two months, but can you actually see yourself doing this for the next year or the next five years? Do you see yourself there. And or like just with little implementations or little steps like do you actually feel this is sustainable? Just going from the very, very simple thing as setting with a client, different action points for the week.
0:12:10.5 Astrid Naranjo: Like is it realistic? Is it something that you can actually do? Like I cannot go and say, "Hey, I want you to do 10,000 steps," and they barely do 2000 steps a day. That's just a huge jump and that is not going to be... It could be look... Could look beautiful in paper or like, yes, this is, this is what I need to do. But it's... It's fucking hard for someone who is really, really different or very far away from the actual targets. So that's why I was saying I like to get down to the level and try to set a smart goals. So trying to be very realistic about what I want for them to achieve and that they can feel comfortable as well getting there.
0:13:01.3 Jared Hamilton: That's so good. That's so good. Now, you brought... You mentioned a couple times, like, helping clients and helping people struggling set the right kind of goals. And I don't think I've ever heard you talk about that specifically and I'd love to hear your take on like, for those listening, how does someone go about setting goals? Because, we see so many people that you're either setting them based on like totally unrealistic expectations. They're like, "I think I should lose 30 pounds in 30 days," or, thinking progress is linear or whatever the case is. But how should someone listening go about setting goals the right way?
0:13:35.0 Astrid Naranjo: Basically you gotta go with what you've got and knowing yourself is... Is a lot of, I don't know if that's the best approach, but I think if you are able to get up the time for you to understand your baseline to begin with, and sometimes you don't... The client themself is not even aware of how much they eat, what... How many steps a week they do or how many steps a day, how much in terms of total exercise. So I get them to find their... Their true baseline just for self-awareness. When they say what the rough baseline looks like, it is much easier for us to say, "If this is what you do for the most part every single day and you have a very busy life socially or with work. And things are probably not going to contribute to do this best perfect scenario where you can lose 1% of body fat or 1% of weight every single week and you can adhere to this specific deficit, this is probably not going to be realistic for you if you want to lose 30 pounds." So what we do is try to set realistic expectations.
0:14:56.1 Astrid Naranjo: I think if we do a very good job establishing a deficit that is gonna allow you to have the flexibility, and you can easily continue to modify your body composition, adhere to certain amount of resistance training sessions a week. If you can do that and be consistent, which is the biggest, biggest war for me, and being compliant with just this small amount of things that we can and need to implement, then I can start adjusting every week. I don't like to set goals that are very rigid, I like to be flexible and adjust over time. That's why the check ins on a weekly basis are helpful because you'll see where they are at. What are they struggling with, and if what I gave them was easy, well, let's ramp it up and a little bit more. And that gave them the opportunity to also see how much is too much or how much is, maybe I can handle a little bit more or I can handle a little bit of a more aggressive approach without making anything unsustainable. So that's where I'm at.
0:16:10.0 Astrid Naranjo: But going back to your question in terms of setting goals, it comes back to this as the work of smart goals. So you want to utilize sort of the same approach of making it easy, sustainable, timely, relevant. You want to have these achievable idea of is this actually something you can achieve on a daily basis? And that again, is it realistic for you, given all the things you have on your plate. And also making it in a way that, is it really what is it relevant to you? Like sometimes we, sort of say, "Oh, well I want to lose 10 pounds or 20 pounds," but they don't have the whys truly clear.
0:17:03.4 Astrid Naranjo: They have the very subtle and superficial whys, but they're not probably strong enough to get them when they're going through the downs of, of this rollercoaster of a fat loss phase or any body transformation journey or whatever. You will find that if your whys are not strong, once you have some dips, that's where you're going to struggle to stay compliant and stay consistent. So that's why I feel like understanding truly your whys and digging deeper as to why do you wanna change, why do you want to do this and commit to this in the first place. And if... Once you sort of dig in deeper and realize that "actually, I don't think that is that relevant as I thought it was." For me more relevant is to just being able to function, to play with my kids, to feel good with myself. And if on top of that you want to look good naked, hey that's fine, that's perfect. But you have a stronger... If the speed that you're moving towards your goals is not as quick, but you're focusing on getting that momentum and you also feel empowered, you're getting results slowly, that that makes you be confident that you can get there. Even if it's not at the speeds you ideally want it. So you sort of need to also catch up with your body. We have expectations but our body maybe is not in the right place to get to your expectations.
0:18:51.0 Astrid Naranjo: So I think one of the things I teach my clients is, you wanna learn to get to the level of your body capabilities, allow it to catch up with your expectations and try to sort of find a middle ground where you can move together rather than feel like this is where you want to be but your body is like, no, I'm not there. I'm not going there. So... And this happens a lot with clients. They have been dieting for years, chronically dieting for so so long. They're eating about 1300 calories and they still wanna lose fat, and they're expecting me... To just put them in a deficit. It's like... Do you know how unsustainable this is? You have a life and on top of that you are already eating way too low.
0:19:48.2 Astrid Naranjo: It is my duty to take you responsibly to a much better place where you can find that you know that you can eat more and be more consistent. Because what you're doing is you're eating very very low, but when you have the opportunity to over eat, you're gonna eat more. And that's going to throw you out of the window because that may well snowball with more days. And you probably feel like you are dieting all the time, but you are actually, when you look at the entire picture and you look at sort of like consistency, you're actually consistent 50% of the time rather than 80% of the time. So for me that is really, really important to get them to understand that I'd rather you be in a much better place initially. Understand that you can have the capacity to allow yourself more food and just allow yourself to eat and enjoy life. But it's really hard when you have clients that have like a long-term eating disorder. They feel like they're not capable, they're not worth it, worthy to get more calories or they are not able to do that because they don't like their body. And we need to sort of go deeper into phases.
0:21:17.4 Astrid Naranjo: Everything in life needs phases. So we need to focus on a sort of healing phase, not just with your body but with your relationship with food. Just allowing your mind to know what you are capable of and what you're allowed to have in your life and allow yourself to have that opportunity. Obviously you may not lose the amount of body fat you want right now, but I promise if you're actually 100% more consistent than what you were doing before, you're going... Your body's gonna change by default just because you're more consistent and you're likely eating better because you are in a much better place. So that's why... back to your point of setting goals...
0:22:13.5 Jared Hamilton: No, I love that.
0:22:15.4 Astrid Naranjo: It is not a straight answer. It requires a lot of deep digging to understand what the client wants and just get them to find their true whys and make them realistic. Basically, that was a summary after the [laughter] long explanation. [laughter]
0:22:39.9 Jared Hamilton: I love that. Well, and that's the... I'm so glad you went into it like that. The podcast is called Dieting from The Inside Out because it's all about the deeper work. It's not... We like, we don't fuck with the surface level bullshit and it's one... And I love where you... How you took that 'cause what's funny, even the phasing that's literally how we coach. Like our very first stage of coaching is called dieting from the inside out because most people who come inside our ecosystem have struggled with binge eating, sabotaging 1200 calories diet culture for decades at a time. So, I'm really glad that you brought up like, "Hey, we need to hold, we need to hold back a little bit on trying to lose fat faster and we need to get the groundwork laid." Now I'm curious, what would you say to the person who... 'Cause this is one of the things that we see the most, is the person who knows they need to do like a reverse diet or a diet break, they know a thousand calories or 1200 calories isn't sustainable, but man, they are scared shitless 'cause all they've ever known is the 1200 calorie diet for the last 10 years. So what would you say to the person that's scared. They know, they know what to do, they know they're supposed to eat more. They're just scared shitless to do that.
0:23:45.9 Astrid Naranjo: It is a very tricky situation because every person is gonna react different. Some people that I've worked with, they, even though they're super scared, they also try to be very compliant and trust the process. So somehow they... I get them to trust and they do it. But this is a... Just a very minority of people that, "okay, you tell me... If you tell me so I'm gonna do it." I have another group of patients and clients that they... It is a very big battle in the lead to implement something like this. However, I try to make it in a way that it may not necessarily align with the theory of what you should be implementing when you talk about or refer to a diet break or a reverse diet.
0:24:41.2 Astrid Naranjo: So obviously when you think about the reverse diet, you want to calculate the current true maintenance calories and get them there. But if you have been having someone eating 1200 calories and their true maintenance calories that says 1700, 1800, that is a 600 calorie difference and I'm not gonna be able to get them to eat that straightaway. They're not gonna trust it. It is just gonna be too much. So slowly, that's where I think about that baseline and understanding, okay, this is where you're at, I tell you that your reverse calorie diet to start with a 1700, 1800 calories, you're going to say "goodbye." Like, "I'm not gonna do this. I'm sorry." [laughter]
0:25:30.5 Jared Hamilton: Right.
0:25:31.2 Astrid Naranjo: So initially, if you understand where they're at, and obviously you understand the background the challenge is how perhaps fucked up they are in the inside. And their mindset is not in the good place. You gotta understand that the... You gotta be slow. You gotta say, "Hey, let's take that step by step and we're going to do this." Okay, if you're eating 1200 calories, let's aim for 1300 calories and see how that goes. Even if it is not taking you anywhere where I want you to be. But it is the first step and the person starts gaining confidence and trust on the process because, "oh, this was not too bad. What if I just go next week because I was able to stick to the 1300, let's try 1400 calories and see what happens." And then you start...
0:26:29.7 Jared Hamilton: Baby steps.
0:26:31.1 Astrid Naranjo: Baby steps. And it is the best way to get them to... Get to where you want them to be, but also allow them to feel confident as they go. And you give them the opportunity for the body to adjust because again, it is something that if they'd been truly used to eating that low amount of calories, it is very likely if you put them on a 1700 calories, they're going to gain weight the first week at least three pounds. Obviously it's not fat necessarily, but the body's so used to certain amount of calories that they are going to retain a lot of water. They are going to feel "heavy," "fluffy," "bloated"... All these words that I hear all the time, just when they increase their calories. And that is probably going to play against the whole purpose of doing this, because they're going to be... To get very scared about it, they're going to say, "No, if I just ate that amount, I'm going to blow. And like I'm going to end up rolling instead of walking."
0:27:42.5 Astrid Naranjo: And that's not the idea of trying to teach them that. So you go slowly.
0:27:46.9 Jared Hamilton: Yeah. I love that.
0:27:48.3 Astrid Naranjo: You take baby steps.
0:27:49.6 Jared Hamilton: Yeah. Well 'cause if you go too fast, even if they could, if it affects, like we talked about a little bit ago, adherence and compliance, then it's not worth doing. Even if we could jump them going from 1200 to let's say 1500, if we know they're going to have a mental breakdown, freak the fuck out and cancel coaching or cancel like... Or and like fall off the planet or go and restrict a lot, will that defeats the whole purpose. It has to be... I love that it has to be that balance of practical, sustainable where they can adhere to it, but also it's baby stepping towards the ultimate goal of, in this case, a full blown reverse diet. I love that.
0:28:24.2 Astrid Naranjo: Yeah. And it could be with diet breaks or reverse diet. Anything that has to do with gaining or increasing calories because a lot of... I don't know if that's happened with you, but the majority of women and the chronic dieters are always thinking that they don't deserve eating more. That they need to be on a diet or they always need to be eating low calories. So when you get them to eat more calories, they just cannot believe it. They cannot believe. And some people I've gotten some girls that they have gone into a amount of calories that they never thought they would be eating. And the body composition gotten to a much better place. Like, "how is this possible?"
0:29:13.7 Jared Hamilton: Yeah, [laughter] every time.
0:29:16.1 Astrid Naranjo: It's so amazing.
0:29:19.7 Jared Hamilton: Why do you think that is though? Like why? Like, I agree with you 'cause we do the same thing and we get... Like all of our clients get to that point where it's like they're, they go, "How have I had... This is the most success I've ever had, but I'm eating the most I ever have with the least amount of stress and friction and rigidness." Like when... They think something... They say they feel like they're getting away with something bad. So I'm curious on, from your perspective, why do you think so many women feel like they don't deserve to eat more? Or they feel like they... Is it just like a societal thing or why do you think most women feel like they're not allowed or supposed to or deserving or worthy eating enough food?
0:29:56.5 Astrid Naranjo: I think a big, strong answer is their childhood and their background, their story, their dieting history as well as yeah, like society. And if you are someone who is in sort of in the industry or if you're someone who have that pressure of feeling like you need to have certain body to fit in, then you think the only way to maintain that body is to living miserable, to have that body. And I can tell it because I used to be that way when I started my... Back home, I used to be a sports nutritionist. Once I finished my bachelor's degree, straight away after my graduation, I was very successful in my social media and had a lot of clients looking at me. But I also was a personal trainer and I had that weight on my shoulders that I needed to look fit and I needed to look a certain way to be appreciated, accepted, and admired. Because who is going to look or listen to someone who is not "fit"?
0:31:21.5 Astrid Naranjo: If you're a personal trainer or if you're a dietitian, you need to look certain way to represent and show that you know what you do. So I had this huge pressure on me and that led me to be super restrictive. I was super obsessed with my nutrition. I was obsessed with exercise. I thought I needed to train six, seven days a week. I was always over trained. I was purging and I was... I had super unhealthy relationship with my body and food. And I had never thought about flexible dieting. I thought there were bad foods and that anything that was not healthy was going to make me fat. And or it was going to... Like, I literally... This is the power of your brain...
0:32:21.7 Astrid Naranjo: If I was eating a piece of cake or a piece of chocolate in at that moment, I automatically started feeling like my legs were thicker. I was already fatter, I had cellulite in my arms. It was something in your mind that automatically, you feel it in your body. And it's 100% something that is not true, but that's the picture you're painting in your brain. And that's your imagining all those things. I moved to Australia 10 years ago and I had to sort of reset and dig deeper into my whys and understand, "hey, I was doing all of that shit for someone else, but not for me. I was trying to fit in. And now I'm no one again. I have to start from zero. What the heck am I? What am I doing?" And it was a really, really difficult time for me to sort of understand. What if I just allowed myself to have more flexibility and I stop dieting? I may gain weight, but who cares, now? No one cares.
0:33:42.9 Astrid Naranjo: No one is... No one knows who I am. So I can allow myself to have that space. And it took me about three years, where I was just allowing myself that... Or giving that unconditional permission to have things. I was no longer purging. I did gain some weight, because obviously, what I was doing before was not sustainable, and was just harming my relationship with food and everything, my mental health. And I got into flexible dieting. I got more into research. I started meeting a lot of people that were preaching that nutritional balance, and that you can have that 80/20 rule, and that consistency is better than perfection. That you can do things and achieve them as long as you can adhere to them for the long term. There's no bad foods... Every food can fit in your healthy diet, it's all about portion sizes, it's not about this specific food. So there's no bad foods, but bad portion sizes. So that's what I say. And...
0:34:52.4 Jared Hamilton: That's amazing. I love that.
0:34:55.2 Astrid Naranjo: That's the thing. And I say all this all the time, there's no bad food, there is just bad portion sizes. If you eat whatever, but you are still able to fit it in into your nutrition, and have a balance, obviously, you can still fit it in. And that's totally fine. And I also understood that you can do... You don't need to train seven days a week to be fit and to look the way you want to be. You need to be smart about your training, just find the right amount of volume and intensity. Don't start jumping around and do burpees...
0:35:39.2 Jared Hamilton: Right. [chuckle]
0:35:39.7 Astrid Naranjo: Because it's "more intense" thinking that it is going to be better for you. Or just tracking your calories to see how much you burn to see how much you need to sort of compensate with your eating... don't do that. So I stopped doing so many things in the past that they were just... Everything a chronic dieter would do. So when I look at my past and I look at my clients coming to me and say, "I'm struggling with this." I've been there. I've struggled so much as well. And I guess that's the beauty of going through something and you can relate so much. Provide that compassionate and understanding advice, but also make them feel like you also have gone through something hard. And I guess we all do.
0:36:35.7 Jared Hamilton: I love that. Thank you so much for sharing that. That's amazing. I think a lot of... I think a lot of ladies listening to this are like, "Oh yeah, I feel like that... Yeah, I eat a chocolate, and I literally feel my pant sizes gets... The pants get tighter." Which we know is just a mind trick. So for you when you fixed all of that for you it was a matter of... A lot of it sounded very logical. You're like, "Well, this is what chronicle chronic dieters do, and I don't wanna be a chronic dieter so I'm gonna get away from that." And started diving into the science and the research behind why no food is inherently bad, and why anything it works. And then slowly started to fix those relationships with all of that stuff and then that led to where you're at now.
0:37:15.0 Astrid Naranjo: Yeah, it blew my mind. When I was studying and actually reading about things and doing more research, because I guess it's just societal. And they're old-style nutrition that you study dietetics because you're going to help... For the most part, when you started dietetics you are targeting a specific population that for the most part, they will be sick. And you get to prescribe certain things and you get to tell clients, "Well, this is... You have to get away of certain foods because they're not good for your condition." And again, it's all relative, and the dose makes the poison. And even if you have certain conditions, that is not necessarily a strong reason to avoid certain foods. Again, comes back down to how often are you eating it nd how much are you eating it? And that is... A very good example is diabetics. Diabetics can have a very, very healthy diet, allow themselves to have things that they never thought they would be able to have, but it comes back to that portion sizes. Are you able to have a chocolate? Absolutely. Can you eat a kilo of chocolate? Probably not.
0:38:40.1 Jared Hamilton: Yeah. I love that. One thing I say a lot is... 'Cause I'm gonna steal what you said where you said there's no bad foods, there's just bad portions. I love that. One of the things that I say is it's the dose that makes poison lethal.
0:38:51.7 Astrid Naranjo: Yes.
0:38:52.2 Jared Hamilton: So that's the one I use a lot is... But like nothing is inherently bad. It still blows me away. One of the things I've been saying a lot more lately is that it's 2023 and the fact that people still think carbs store fat is just beyond me. You know what I mean? It's ridiculous. So many people still live in the age of... Like back when Arnold Schwarzenegger was competing, like back in 1965, is where still so much nutrition is at where most people think women should only eat 1200 calories, carbs are bad, six meals a day, only 20 grams of protein at once. It's just crazy.
0:39:33.5 Astrid Naranjo: It is, it is absolutely obsolete and so, so difficult to change the mind of so many people that believe, truly believe that. And I would say one more thing that has been amazingly life changing for me and for my clients is that, allowing yourself to unconditionally have something that you thought was bad. And doing mindfully. Like you actually slowing down and getting the time to focus on that food that one time... It is just game changing. When you sit down, put all your senses, you taste the food, you try to connect with how you feel. Like I do that probably every three days. I grab a Kit Kat just before bed and I grab just one bar and I literally just, no one is around. I can just actually concentrate and I just smell it. I just do that so slowly, but it's so pleasant and feels so nice that with just one bar, I don't even eat the two bars. It's just the little one, I let it melt in my mouth. I just feel every single aspect of that chocolate and it feels so good. Knowing that... I wish I could have known that 10 years ago.
0:41:10.5 Jared Hamilton: Right.
0:41:10.8 Astrid Naranjo: Like, how good would it have been that I allowed myself to have something that was "bad" and give me that pleasure without binging or going over. I actually have my... This is when you get to a good level of good relationship with food, you can actually have the prohibited foods that made you... Or you felt they were a trigger in the past in your fridge. They're all in there.
0:41:39.2 Jared Hamilton: All the time.
0:41:39.3 Astrid Naranjo: I have everything that before I could have no control or I would binge on it every now and then if I had it in my fridge is in there. And sometimes I actually have to throw them away because it goes off and I haven't...
0:41:54.7 Jared Hamilton: It goes bad too. Yeah.
0:41:56.5 Astrid Naranjo: Yeah. It's funny. People ask, "how can you let that spoil, a piece of chocolate that's been there sitting two years?" I dunno, I just don't feel like I needed it right now. [chuckle]
0:42:09.2 Jared Hamilton: I'm so glad you brought up the thing about the Kit Kat because I feel like so many people when they do eat what... The food that they struggle with, that they deem as bad or whatever they're not present at all. They're anything but enjoying it. They're eating it, but their brains are either in the future and they're like, "Oh I shouldn't have. This is, gonna make me store so much fat." Or then they're thinking about in the past, they're like, "I'm gonna be so... I'm so remorseful. Why'd I do that?" And then they're not even enjoying the thing that they wanted, because their brain is anywhere but the present moment of, "Hey, this is okay. There's nothing wrong with this."
0:42:44.4 Jared Hamilton: Because then most people have guilt flood them and remorse and regret and self-deprecation. Like, "I'm a piece of shit." "I'm weak." "I shouldn't have this, this is bad." And they're anything but present with the thing that they want. And it just ruins everything where there should be no guilt. There should be no remorse. There should be no feelings of "I'm weak, I'm soft, I shouldn't have this, this is bad." There shouldn't be any of that. And I love the fact that you said you now have all these foods in your fridge all the time, and you can have them whenever you want. Versus I think most people... I feel like where most even coaches go wrong is right around now they say, "Just get all the foods out of their house." It's like that still is feeding the problem of that's bad versus healing the relationship with food. And then you live in true abundance.
0:43:33.2 Astrid Naranjo: I think it is... every healing phase or every healing process has its phases. And perhaps at the beginning of a healing phase, you may need to get rid of everything and just focus on the one thing you need to focus on. Or maybe it is about initially saying no to all of these things until your mindset is in a better place. And then you start adding things back and you start getting that confidence that you can have that self-control. But sometimes the issue seems to come from that root cause of feeling hugely deprived and having that endless restriction with yourself and certain foods. And this is very likely to happen.
0:44:27.5 Astrid Naranjo: And I use this analogy, when you're with a boyfriend and you meet someone and this is like a secret relationship and it's prohibited. Every time you see this person, it's like well you do lots of things and you desperately... You feel like they... You have this scarcity mindset that you might not be able to see them again. It's that strong, intense, passionate encounter. But what happens when you get married or when you have a very serious relationship? The love is still there. The respect, the passion is still there, but the intensity goes down because it becomes regular, it becomes accessible, it becomes normal. Same thing happens when you allow yourself to have whatever you want. It becomes a normal thing. "Oh yes, I can have this tomorrow if I want or I can have it now, but do I really need it now? Do I really want it?" And it's just become... It's having that introspective awareness of how much do you want this, is it worth it right now?
0:45:39.4 Astrid Naranjo: Do you relate these to your goals? Is that what your body really needs? Or do you actually need to go to sleep? Or just go for a walk? Or do you... What is your true needs? What is just coming out of you that needs that attention? So it's just thinking a bit deeper, having that awareness of, "I'm actually not hungry, I am just bored or I'm sad, I'm angry, and I was just unconsciously looking for pleasure in food. But is it going to solve or improve the root cause of the problem? Probably not. Am I okay to still eating it anyways? Yeah, or no, it's not going to align with my goals," and then I feel guilty, and then these now goals are not the problem. That's sort of something that I find that it's interesting to work on. And that... It is a skill and it takes time. That's why it is something that you won't get perfect at in the first few weeks. It is something that is gonna have... Become easier and easier the more you do it, but you gotta start somewhere.
0:46:52.4 Jared Hamilton: Yeah. I love that. That's amazing. So let me ask you this and kind of wrapping things up here. Where does someone start? Like someone listening to this that's like, "Okay, all I've ever done is all the trendy bullshit you guys just talked about. All I've ever done is starve myself. I've never had success with this and I've been doing this forever. Where do I even start?" What would you say to that person?
0:47:15.3 Astrid Naranjo: I would say you have the... You always have the option to get help, reach out to someone who may be able to provide an external perspective of where you're at. Sometimes what happens is we try to do that on our own. And if we have the wrong foundations, we are still going to try to build that empire. But our foundations are weak. So sometimes we need to change our foundations and we need to find someone who can analyze what the foundations are because we don't really know. We have just been building this forever, but we don't have a background in design, in specific materials that are going to make a stronger foundation. But if you get an expert that is going to be able to assess, "Well, this foundations are actually very weak."
0:48:15.9 Astrid Naranjo: "We need to use this material and we need to do this approach to make that stronger," you can start fixing those areas and start getting or strengthening that foundation. Now when you're... That's what I talk about foundation or a phase where you are working with your baseline and sort of addressing the weakest areas of that. And then once you're in a better place, then we can start building from there. So ideally, you want to do a very self-reflective, deep analysis of where you're at, being very honest about your situation, not just with someone else, but with yourself. And be clear about what you want. Be clear about what you need, and then identify whether you are going to continue in the same cycle if you continue doing it your way or whether you need external perspective or external supervision or someone who might be...
0:49:27.4 Jared Hamilton: Accountability or something like that?
0:49:28.5 Astrid Naranjo: Yeah, someone who might be able to come in and say, "from my perspective, this is what you are doing, this is what could be improved" without judging. And obviously that's the other point of reaching out, is sometimes it's a bit challenging because you don't know who's gonna be the person will be able to tr... You will be able to trust without feeling judged or feel like, "How can I trust someone? All of these things, I think they are terrible. I feel ashamed. I feel embarrassed." So it is reaching out to people like you, Jared or myself or someone who is able to come with, "Hey, this is who I am. I'm not going to judge you. I'm not going to be telling you what you are doing wrong. I'm here to be with you, to support you from where you're at." And you are never gonna hear from me, "Hey, you're doing this wrong or you're this, you're that." No, I 100% see where you're at and I want to work with you to help you to get where you need to be. And sometimes my opinion and my direction may not be something you wanna hear because it's fucking hard. It's really uncomfortable. But we need to start somewhere. And that's why we do baby steps and we just do it in a way that it feels doable, sustainable, and you feel, "Shit, I can do this."
0:51:05.7 Jared Hamilton: I love it. That's so good. Astrid, this has been such a great conversation. I can't believe the time has gone by so fast. What's kind of stuff... Let me ask you this. What kind of stuff are you working on right now that you're excited about? Is there anything going on with you and all of that that you're excited about right now?
0:51:22.4 Astrid Naranjo: I'm trying to finish up a... I'm trying to build a spreadsheet that allows me to get people to design their own meal plan. But it's mostly using exchanges and things that they can have a flexible meal plan that they can use by themselves.
0:51:46.2 Jared Hamilton: Oh, nice.
0:51:47.8 Astrid Naranjo: It's just at the beginning, but I find every time I get a client, "Hey, tell me what to eat." And I don't want to tell you what to eat, I want you to have more freedom. I want you to learn to choose your own foods, your proper things. Me telling you what to eat, it's not gonna teach you anything. It's not going to give you any skills, any decision making. It's not gonna teach you what is the best for your body. Only you can know and can experiment what is the right thing to do. I can always share with you and give you my feedback, my perspective, or some swaps you can do to make a meal specifically a bit more filling or higher protein, much more nutrient dense. But I'm not going to like get into your diet and say, "Hey, change this, change that, eliminate this, or just eat what I'm telling you to eat." So I'm trying to design a way, a format that people can exactly know how many calories a day they need, how many grams of protein, how many grams of carbs and fats, and being able to translate that into portion sizes and foods... Food groups, and they... From those food groups, what can they do with those food groups, distribute them throughout the day.
0:53:15.6 Astrid Naranjo: And then once they have that distribution of those food groups, well, what are the options? What is a serving size of this food group? If I have six portion sizes for let's say carbohydrates, then you have a full group of carbohydrates that, let's say one serving is going to be about 15 grams of carbohydrates. And if you have six, six servings, then you have... Potentially you could put two together and you have 30 grams of carbohydrates, and you don't necessarily have to choose one food. It could be 15 grams of rice and 15 grams of bread, and you still have your 30 grams of carbohydrate. So it gives them a lot of flexibility. And they have the autonomy to choose their own things and learn, "Oh, this is what 15 grams of carbohydrate looks like. Oh, interesting." Or like, one slice of bread is gonna be about one serving. If you have two slices of bread, it's gonna be two servings. So every time they eat a sandwich, they know roughly this is about 30 grams of carbohydrates just by themself. Cool. So they're learning as well about portion sizes without tracking.
0:54:26.9 Jared Hamilton: That's so cool. That's awesome. That'll be cool once that comes out. That's super dope. Where can people find you? Like after they go hear and they're obviously if... They're gonna wanna learn more about you and and whatnot. So where can people find you?
0:54:38.9 Astrid Naranjo: My Instagram is the best place they can find me. That's where I'm the most active on @antidiet_dietitian. Also, you can find me in my TikTok as well as Twitter or like my YouTube that I've gotten a few interviews in there. Just slowly growing, but I'm getting there.
0:55:02.2 Jared Hamilton: There you go.
0:55:02.9 Jared Hamilton: I love it. Well, I'll be sure to put that stuff in these show notes. That way it's easy for people to find you. Thank you so much for doing this. This was amazing. I appreciate you sharing your story and everything. So.
0:55:13.9 Astrid Naranjo: You're amazing, Jared. I love your approach and I love what you're doing as well. And I'll always look up to you and say, "This guy is amazing."
0:55:24.7 Jared Hamilton: I appreciate that. Thank you so much. We'll speak soon.
0:55:28.8 Astrid Naranjo: Bye-bye.
0:55:30.1 Jared Hamilton: And we are back. Thank you so much once again for tuning into today's episode of Dieting From the Inside Out. It means a ton to me. I know if you stuck around this long, you got a lot out of today's episode with Astrid, be sure and follow her. Be sure and shoot her messages and tell her, "Yo, I heard you on Jared's podcast. It was dope. Oh my gosh," that kinda thing. It would mean a ton to me. Now, before you go, I do have a few, housekeeping items. Number one, be sure and subscribe to the show. If you are not subscribed to the show, on all platforms, on the podcast website, dietingfromtheinsideout.com, on the YouTube wherever you're listening to this on... iTunes, Spotify, whatever, be sure you're subscribed to the show. You don't wanna miss out on the... The stuff I have coming and I'm telling you, if you could see into the future, you would subscribe like a month ago. That's number one, number two is, if you aren't quite sure where to get started with all of this fat loss stuff and you're just kinda, "I don't know what to do," I would really encourage you going through my fat loss checklist.
0:56:23.7 Jared Hamilton: It's called... It's my mini course. It's a five day email course that will make fat loss so simple for you. And you'll be like, "Where was this my whole life?" It's at the link of the description. I also have access to my Fat Loss Simplified Facebook group because you need a support system. You need a home base where you can go to where you are not alone and you're not the crazy dieter and you have the right kind of people around you. And if you like this kind of content, you'll love what I have going on in that group. Be sure and join that, it's called Fat Loss Simplified. Either search that in Facebook or hit the link below. And then if you're listening to this and you are in one of... A place where you're like, "I think I need extra help, I think I need a higher level of accountability, a higher level of mentorship, a higher level of just help," and you want that and are ready for that and are coachable, I would highly encourage you applying for coaching because that's the best, fastest, simplest, least friction way to get from where you're at to where you want to be, 'cause you're basically buying time, you're buying someone else's experience.
0:57:16.6 Jared Hamilton: You're buying a sustainable... Basically the fastest, most sustainable approach to shortcut and fast track your results, with the least amount of friction possible. So you don't have to learn through... Go through all the hell that we can show you. So, there's a link for that below. And because you're coming from the podcast, I have a whole bunch of free stuff for you. If you do get accepted into coaching, like a lot, you'll be like, I have about like $4,000 for the free stuff that I would be giving you just for getting... Just for joining coaching and applying and getting accepted from the podcast because I hold a very special place in my heart for my podcast listeners. So that's down there as well. And I'm always here if you need anything. My email's down there. I'm just a... I always say I'm a DM away, I'm an email away. So, that is it for today's episode. Be sure and, keep a look out for the future episodes coming. I love you and appreciate you. I'll talk to you soon.
How Experience Has Changed Astrid’s Views:
Astrid has, over the years, evolved as a coach. Where she used to be more prescriptive—designing meal plans for people, which is how she was taught in school—throughout the course of her career, she has found that a more collaborative approach, where she can really teach her clients and get them involved, is best for achieving lasting results.
She has found that a more collaborative approach empowers her clients. She also does not change everything all at once—because when a person is overwhelmed by change, they will often feel like they can’t do it.
By involving clients, empowering them, teaching them, and taking manageable steps, Astrid has found that clients feel more comfortable and like they can achieve their goals.
Another thing she has realized is that she needs to meet her clients where they are and move WITH them, as opposed to immediately trying to bring them to her level.
She has found that meeting people where they are is very beneficial—not only for the client—but also for building her relationship with the client.
Astrid likes to understand where her clients are coming from, their pasts, and what experiences or traumas have led them to making the decisions they make.
Through this collaborative approach, Astrid has found that adherence to lifestyle changes is improved.
Jared and Astrid have both found that adherence and compliance are paramount when it comes to the success of a client.
Even if you have the best meal plan, the perfect diet—it won't work if you can’t adhere to it.
Astrid states that it’s not just something you think you can stick to for the first month, it needs to be something that you can see yourself doing for the next year—or five years. It needs to be sustainable and realistic for you.
This is why it’s so important to her to get to know her clients, where they are at, and be realistic with them about what they can and want to achieve—so they can be comfortable while they get there.
How to Set Goals:
Astrid believes it’s best to establish your baseline first.
She has found that clients are often not aware of how much they are eating or how much activity they are getting. By establishing this baseline, the client is more self-aware—and from here, Astrid and her client can establish what is realistic based on their baseline and their current lifestyle needs, i.e., around their work schedule, social life, etc.
Astrid finds that by doing a good job establishing what is realistic—if you can adhere to a certain amount of resistance training a week and be consistent with a small amount of things—then she can start adjusting every week.
She prefers to have weekly check-ins and remain flexible so she can see what her clients are struggling with—or if it’s easy, they can ramp it up a little more. It’s all about finding what is sustainable.
When it comes to setting goals, she says they need to be easy, sustainable, timely, and relevant. You need to think about if it’s something you can achieve on a daily basis—and if it’s realistic for you given what you have to do in the day-to-day.
She also says you need to understand your whys—and they need to be strong. If your whys are not strong, when you have dips along your journey, you will struggle to stay compliant.
If your whys are strong and you understand them, even if you are moving towards your results slowly, you’ll be confident that you can get there.
Astrid points out that you have to get to the level of your body’s capabilities, because when you have certain expectations, you may find your body is not there yet—or you may not work towards your goal at the rate you thought you would. You need to find a middle ground for your expectations and your body.
She often finds that clients who have dieted for years and are eating a very low amount of calories will expect to immediately be put in a deficit, but Astrid has a duty to take her clients—responsibly—to a much better place, where they can eat more and be more consistent.
Compliance is often a big issue for those who have been dieting for a long time.
If you are eating very little, it's not uncommon to go overboard when presented with the opportunity to overeat.
Astrid works with her clients to bring them to a place where they understand that they can eat AND have a life—though it is often a struggle with those who have had a long-term eating disorder.
For clients who have struggled for a long time with an eating disorder, there is often an underlying belief that they are not worth it, are unworthy of more calories, or cannot eat more because they dislike their body.
Clients who have these disordered issues need to go through a healing phase—not just to fix the relationship with food, but also so their minds can know what they can have in their life.
During this phase, someone may or may not lose fat, but just by being consistent, there will be changes—and when you are in a better place, you will typically eat better.
When it comes to setting goals, Astrid finds it’s not a straight answer. You have to dig deep, understand your whys, and make your goals realistic.
For Those Scared To Eat More:
Astrid finds that being scared to eat more is a very tricky situation. Some people will trust the process more readily than others despite being scared, while for others it is a very difficult battle.
Astrid tries to go about this in a slow, step-by-step manner, bringing her clients along so they can build trust in the process and confidence in themselves.
She states that for clients who are truly used to eating a low amount of calories, if their calories increase too quickly, they will gain weight. Though it won’t necessarily be fat, they will retain water, which will make them more scared. Because of this, it’s essential that you take baby steps.
Jared agrees that it’s best to take baby steps and find the balance of practical and sustainable so the client can adhere to the program, but still make progress toward the ultimate goal of eating more calories.
Astrid has found that the majority of chronic dieters—especially women—struggle with the idea that they can and deserve to eat more. When they start eating more, they can’t believe they are able to do so while achieving results.
She has had many clients get to a place where they are eating more than they ever thought possible while achieving a much better body composition.
Why Women Think They Don’t Deserve to Eat More:
Astrid finds that it’s a combination of factors that affect women and their beliefs around food and calorie consumption.
Not only does society play a role, but personal history also has an impact. There can also be pressures to fit a certain ideal in specific industries.
Astrid herself had struggles when she was a sports nutritionist and personal trainer after graduating from university.
She believed that she needed to look “fit,” because, in her mind, people would not want to listen to her if she didn’t fit the ideal.
She became very restrictive and was obsessed with exercise—working out 6-7 days a week. She was always over-trained, she was purging, and she had a very unhealthy relationship with her body and food.
At this time, she was in a place where she believed any food that was not healthy would make her fat. If she ate a slice of cake or piece of chocolate, she mentally would feel like she was getting fatter moment by moment.
When she moved to Australia, she had to reexamine her whys—and realized she was doing all of that for someone else. She had to figure out who she was and what she was doing.
It was a difficult time for her to come to understand that she could have more flexibility and that she didn’t need to be dieting all the time.
It took Astrid about 3 years of giving herself permission to eat. She stopped purging and, while she did gain some weight, she achieved a much better relationship with food and her body.
She learned about flexible dieting, started getting into more research, and realized that there are no bad foods and that every food can fit into a healthy diet—it’s about quantity.
Astrid now likes to say, “there is no bad food, just bad portion sizes.”
She also came to understand that you need to be smart about your training.
You don’t need to train 7 days a week or try to make everything more intense.
Astrid is able to truly understand her clients who have been struggling with long-term dieting because she went through it all herself.
When Astrid first started diving into flexible dieting and research about why there were no bad foods, it blew her mind.
In the study of dietetics, you are generally targeting a specific population that is sick. You are taught that these clients need to get away from these foods because they are not good for their condition.
Astrid has found that even this isn’t necessarily true—as it comes back to portion size and frequency.
Jared always says, “it’s the dose that makes poison lethal.” He is often blown away by the outdated beliefs that people have when it comes to food—like the belief that carbs store fat.
Astrid finds that allowing yourself to unconditionally have something you thought was bad—and doing it mindfully—has been life-changing for her and her clients.
For example, Astrid will occasionally grab a Kit Kat bar and take her time to truly enjoy it. This is something that can eventually be achieved when you improve your relationship with food.
Jared finds that it often happens that a person will get caught up in thoughts and emotions and not be in the present moment with the foods that they want—when there should be no guilt or remorse surrounding certain foods.
Astrid finds that every healing process has its phases and that, in the beginning, you may need to get rid of certain foods and focus on one thing, and then start adding things back—sometimes, however, the issues come from a root cause of feeling deprived.
Astrid compares it to relationships.
When you have a relationship where time is limited, it is very intense and passionate. When you get into a serious relationship, however, and get married, the love and respect is still there, but the intensity level diminishes because it becomes normal.
The same thing happens when you allow yourself to have the foods you want.
You can become aware of how much you want this, whether it’s what your body needs, what your true needs are—if you are hungry or maybe just sad or angry—whether this aligns with your goals, etc.
This is something that takes time.
Where To Start:
Astrid says that you can always get help. Sometimes you need an outside person to help you fix your foundations and build from there.
She says that, ideally, you want to take a very self-reflective, deep, honest analysis of where you are at. You need to be clear about what you want and need and where you need external support.
She says you need to reach out to someone who is going to be understanding and supportive—who will see where you are at to help you get to where you want to be.
A coach will not always tell you what you want to hear, but they will be there to help you build confidence and realize that you can do this.
What Astrid Is Currently Working On:
Astrid is currently trying to build a spreadsheet that helps clients design their own flexible meal plans.
She is at the beginning of the process, but wants to help her clients develop their knowledge and decision-making skills.
She wants to design this to give her clients more autonomy, flexibility, and education without the need to strictly track.
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