Intuitive Eating Success Stories (with Kath Younger)
Kath Younger is a registered dietitian, and was kind to share her experience with losing weight, and advice about intuitive eating with us. She enjoys sharing her recipes, and healthy living tips through her blog KathEats.com. Here is an interview we did with her. Short, but to the point.
SlimKicker: What sparked you to lose weight, and start a healthier lifestyle?
Kath: I graduated from college about 20 pounds overweight and just decided that now that I had my own kitchen and a gym membership I would start getting healthier. The weight literally fell off!
SlimKicker: What health habits did you adopt, and which ones did you drop when you were trying to lose weight?
Kath: I started to count calories and track what I was eating - it was very eye opening! I learned how much more filling whole foods could be.
I also started reading books on nutrition and eventually the importance of focusing on quality, real foods. I ditched the "diet foods" like sugar-free pudding or low-calorie bread that I thought were healthy and switched to whole foods as much as possible.
SlimKicker: How do you keep your discipline in eating healthy, especially in a world where we're surrounded by fast food and junk food?
Kath: I've really learned how food makes me feel. For example, I really have no desire to eat fast food because it makes me feel lethargic. Fresh produce, whole grains, beans, dairy - they give me energy. I indulge when foods are "worth it." A slice of wedding cake at a wedding = totally worth it. A roll of oreos on a Thursday night = not worth it.
SlimKicker: Do you recommend the standard food pyramid? If not, what's your nutritional philosophy?
Kath: I don't have a problem with the food pyramid, and I eat all food groups. I believe in a diverse and balanced diet, so the more variety I can get in the better.
I can't stand diets that cut out food groups for no clinical reason - like wheat or dairy or cooked food! If your doctor tells you to cut them out because you have a medical problem that's one thing, but if you're doing it just because others are, it's probably not going to change much other than a temporary dip in calories that will eventually be replaced by more from another food group and reduce the diversity of nutrients in your diet.
SlimKicker: How exactly do you practice intuitive eating?
Kath: I think it's a learned practice over time. It's hard at first - to know when your stomach is approaching full but not full yet. But I've been aiming to eat intuitively for a few years now and have a pretty good handle on it.
That said, there are times when something is just so good I eat too much! But there are other times when I'm so busy or excited that I eat a little less. I believe it will balance out if you focus on high quality foods.
SlimKicker: What's your fitness/exercise routine like? And do you have any health goals you're looking to achieve?
Kath: I'm currently nearly 8 months pregnant, so my exercise is a bit different than usual :) But like my diet, I believe in diversity. My favorite exercises are walking, running and Body Pump, but I try to include a spin class, yoga class and sometimes a swim in my weekly workouts as well. And it's always nice to get out and hike!
SlimKicker: Do you plan on using your RD degree in a clinical setting in the future?
Kath: I didn't become a dietitian to go into clinical nutrition - I've always been passionate about food, weight loss and cooking, so it's no surprise that's the kind of dietitian I am. I hope that through my blog and my family's whole grain bakery I am helping others change the way they eat and get healthier.
SlimKicker: Thanks for stopping by!