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Author Sarah Kirton
Sarah Kirton
Updated on Aug 14th, 2023
Fact checked by Deborah Leigh

Tiffany Ong Nutrition 2023: Eat Well, Train Often

DeliveryRank chats with Tiffany (Tiffany Ong Nutrition), a passionate advocate for helping individuals feel confident, strong, and at ease with their diet. Consumed by thoughts of body image and societal standards of "fit girls" on social media, she endured intense days of calorie counting, food weighing, and strict restrictions. Struggling with binge eating and cravings, Tiffany embarked on a journey of transformation through mindful eating for athletes. With time, dedication, and continuous learning, she has achieved a remarkable mastery of mindful eating, inspiring others to break free from similar struggles and embrace positive change on their own transformative paths.

How did your personal journey with food and nutrition shape your approach as a Registered Dietitian?

Throughout my college years after coming from a very active lifestyle in childhood, I developed a binge eating disorder and was battling a lot of the common struggles with dieting and body image that my current clients face too. It is very common in this society to deal with the unrealistic standards of beauty and navigate what the right thing to do is with nutrition and exercise. 

With that being said, a lot of my personal experiences help me understand what the client’s thought process is and their mindsets with nutrition throughout all of the stages of recovery. I also present more scientific and evidenced based recommendations that they can feel comfortable with to go against the abundant myths around food and exercise. 

What inspired you to specialize in mindful eating for athletes specifically, and what unique challenges do athletes face when it comes to their relationship with food?

More times than not, when I encounter a new client, they quickly realize that a lot of their barriers to their goals are about their mindset and thought patterns instead of the food itself. Most people know what they should be doing, but don’t do those things because of their own mental battles. That pushed me to put the focus more on how they can be mindful so that their habits and actions follow suit with building the most progress. With athletes specifically, I see much more body dysmorphia and pressure around certain topics such as protein intake that start to cloud the bigger picture of their problems. 

The more I can help them dig into their mentalities, the more success they often see with being able to live a healthy lifestyle and not just follow a diet. Athletes often put too much emphasis on just getting protein intake to the point where they don’t understand the value of other macro and micronutrients. Especially when their goal is weight loss, they will often prioritize eating pounds of meat rather than the total calories and distribution of calories they consume which usually negatively affects their performance in training and metabolism. 

Other areas that are easily overlooked with this population are stress, sleep, meal timing, and active recovery. Most people place way more emphasis on the training itself rather than all the other factors around it. 

Can you explain the concept of mindful eating and how it differs from traditional approaches to dieting or calorie tracking?

Mindful eating uses similar approaches to intuitive eating in which the intention is to listen more to what the body feels good with and what it needs. Dieting and calorie tracking often are temporary solutions for an end goal that are much more rigid and force certain nutrients and macros when it may be unnecessary for that individual at that time. 

The body is really good at maintaining homeostasis so the hunger/fullness cues and physical signs of energy and recovery are often much more valuable than using numbers to indicate when and what to eat. The other downside of dieting and calorie counting is that the person often doesn’t understand HOW to eat but only follows WHAT to eat. 

How do you help your clients strike a balance between achieving their performance goals and maintaining a healthy relationship with food?

Almost always, I help my clients try to prioritize and see the value in a healthy relationship with food as that likely helps them achieve their performance goals. It is counterintuitive for me to recommend harsh expectations or standards for their sports performance if they are not in the right mindset. 

For example, someone who binge eats and is trying to achieve a low body fat percentage will often always fall to the binge eating before they can achieve their fitness goal due to the restrictive nature of decreasing body fat. However, by building a healthier relationship with food they will not likely binge which gets them to a lower body fat percentage anyway. 

Could you share a success story of a client who struggled with their diet and body image but was able to find a positive and sustainable approach through mindful eating?

One of my clients, Danielle, had a large amount of success being able to incorporate mindful eating into her lifestyle to achieve the diet and body she wanted. She was very open to shifting her mindset and stayed committed to herself. The people who I see struggle with these same goals often do it to please other people and reasons beyond their bigger “WHY.” 

Danielle also asked a lot of questions to understand the science behind nutrition rather than fall within the social media trends and fads. She also understood the discussions we had about being flexible and adaptable to her environments when eating out vs eating at home. This often makes it easier for clients to see nutrition as a part of their life and not a temporary meal plan/diet to stick to. 

What other services do you offer your clients?

I am also a Certified Personal Trainer in addition to being a Registered Dietitian. I offer online programming as well as in person training sessions for those looking to get guidance with building strength and muscle mass so that their nutrition can benefit them simultaneously. 

If you would like to find out more about Tiffany Ong Nutrition, visit https://www.tiffanyongnutrition.com/

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