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Author Sarah Kirton
Sarah Kirton
Created on Nov 22nd, 2022
Fact checked by Deborah Leigh

KLL Nutrition 2022: Have Your Cake and Eat it Too

Kristen Lorenz, RD, CNSC, CCTC and Owner at KLL Nutrition, LLC, chats with us about how she helps busy people achieve their goals without them having to avoid what they simply love to eat. She is an experienced, HAES-aligned, Intuitive Eating Registered Dietitian. DeliveryRank finds out more.  

Tell us a little about your background and mission going forward?

I’m a registered dietitian who struggled with body image starting in high school. Becoming a dietitian made it worse, as I felt an obligation to be a “role model” for “healthy eating”— which is sad to look back on because so much of the pressure we put on ourselves is from internal narratives. But there is no doubt society and diet culture played a role in that.

When I was pregnant with my first child I came to terms with how destructive my views and behaviors about nutrition, bodies and movement were. I knew I didn’t want my future children doing what I was doing or feeling how I felt.

So, I embarked on a long healing journey which was HARD, but incredibly worth it.

I’ve freed up brain space and TIME that was once controlled by macro counting, label reading and stress around food. I’ve gained confidence and even joy when it comes to body image and interactions with food and strangers. Yes, a lot of time was lost, but what a bright future there is ahead.

And that’s my mission : to help anyone struggling with stress and harm from diet culture or generational fat phobia (AKA “2 almond moms'' if you’ve seen them trending on Instagram and TikTok) learn how to exist, find neutrality or even happiness in their bodies, feel grounded and educated about nourishing and moving their bodies. In sum, “come home to themselves” and “quiet the noise” that is diet culture and unrealistic, unsustainable eating patterns and bodies portrayed in the media.

What can you tell our readers about HAES and how you adopt this philosophy into your own practice?

HAES is a trademarked acronym that stands for “Health at Every Size”. It is a movement aimed to end weight discrimination and stigma and promote health equity which includes improved access to quality healthcare regardless of size. It aims to disrupt the cultural obsession with weight loss and thinness.

I’ve adopted it in my practice first by being aware of my own privilege and how it impacts my perspective. I’ve also educated myself by investing in courses and supervision from marginalized providers who have lived experience of size discrimination.

Health has no look, despite what the media portrays.

Specific weights shouldn’t be pathologized : skinny doesn’t equal healthy so why should being large bodied equal unhealthy?

How have you experienced the evolution of the health, wellness and diet industries over the last decade or so?

As a provider AND as a consumer

Diet culture is so polarizing and there are SO many rules that contradict each other - it can feel like you’re trying to drink from a firehose. But the one thing that has remained constant from the health/wellness/diet industries is their message: weight loss is good. Thinness is ideal. The diet, product and group names change but the underlying message encouraging thinness and weight loss does not.

Admittedly, when I started out as a dietitian it was all about weight loss. It’s easy to sell and easy to achieve in the short term. But then I began encountering people who had damaged their metabolisms from chronic dieting. Their metabolic needs were so low because their bodies were used to being deprived. So I began helping them “reverse diet” which is a technique in which a person gradually increases what they consume so their body functions on an appropriate amount of energy (the term energy often = calories in my practice).

It was during my reverse diet phase that I *FINALLY* had the epiphany that “diets don’t work”. They simply don’t. Not in the long term. There is no evidence based data to demonstrate that diets work for long term weight loss. In fact, they are more of a predictor of long term weight gain.

So, I turned against the tide. Went against the grain. My approach to health and nutrition changed and I've never looked back

What can your clients expect when working with you and what results can/should they walk away with?

I’m their guide, advocate, educator and cheerleader.  And those who get the best results are those who are motivated and trusting with the journey. They communicate and show up consistently. I WANT my clients to reach their goals, but nothing happens if you - the client - don’t want it DEEPLY.

Clients can expect an individualized approach to their unique life experiences that brought them to me as well as custom coaching and handouts based on preferences and goals. They can expect to be challenged but in a safe space.

Results vary based on a person’s goals, their commitment and their consistency. What most people want is confidence. That confidence often comes from education. But it may be education on how their body speaks to them before, during and after meals. Or education about gentle nutrition. What types of movement feel good, introspection on why they exercise the way they do. People are able to rebuild trust and confidence in themselves. They will walk away having freed up brain space and time that was once spent worrying about food, choices and their body.

What role does ‘intuition’ play in your program, if any?

As a certified intuitive eating counselor, quite a bit!  We are born intuitive eaters. Babies know when they are hungry and stop when they are full. I help people learn to listen to themselves again - or “come home” to themselves. Your body is smart and you really can trust it. And if you think that’s not true, but you wish it could be, you’re an ideal client for me! 

If you would like to find out more about KLL Nutrition, visit https://www.kristenlorenznutrition.com/ or follow on https://www.instagram.com/thelastdietitian/

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