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  • Writer's pictureDieting From The Inside Out

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!


TIMESTAMPS:

Transcript (click to expand)


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.


Astrid’s Journey:

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.



CONNECT WITH ASTRID:


‣ All Other Links: https://tiny.cc/astridnarRD


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