Does the non-diet approach make diabetes worse? (Episode 113 with Megrette Fletcher)


Does the non-diet approach make diabetes worse?? How does intuitive eating fit when a person has real health concerns are impacted by food choices? Listen now to get my tips on how to grapple with this part of the Food Peace™ journey. Special guest expert is Megrette Fletcher, diabetes AND mindful eating dietitian expert.

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This episode is brought to you by my online course, Your Step-by-Step Guide to PCOS and Food Peace™. Sign up now to get on the waitlist for the next enrollment period in April, and receive my FREE road map: Your First 3 Steps Toward Food Peace™ with PCOS. You CAN make peace with food even with PCOS and I want to show you how.

This episode is also brought to you by my new Fat-Positive Dietitian t-shirt and mug! All proceeds go to funding this labor of love to keep it as a free resource for you. Check out the whole Love Food Podcast store here. All T-Shirt designs have an option with sizes ranging from XS to 5X.

Product links may be affiliate. If you click and make a purchase, there’s no extra cost to you.

The transcribed episode can be found here.

Episode’s Key Points:

  • Black and white thinking is a cognitive distortion. Real like, and real health, isn’t like that at all. Being a weight-inclusive, fat-positive, non-diet dietitian is NOT an approach that harms health.
  • Gastric bypass does NOT rid the world of fatphobia! The answer to this problem is a combo solution: to help people heal their relationship with food AND with their bodies. Part of this means healing the cultural fatphobia our world is currently struggling with.
  • Megrette Fletcher joins us to talk about medical nutrition therapy!
  • Moving away from a job that doesn’t support our passions and values is an amazing step.
  • The culture surrounding diabetes is super saturated by diet culture, and so moving out of the diet-centric paradigm in diabetes work is hard! Before insulin was invented, restriction was the only way we knew how to manage the disease.
  • We need to pause and think, why are we so afraid of nourishing the body?
  • When we teach diabetes from a Health at Every Size perspective, we address every body as an individual.
  • We’re ALL marinating in diet culture, and people who struggle with diabetes exist in a diet-culture pressure cooker. We don’t cause diabetes as it’s a genetic disease, but so much of diet culture blames the individual and individual food and exercise choices.
  • Compassion is KEY for diabetes care, as there really isn’t a cure and it’s not a disease anyone asks for. It’s a genetic condition that’s VERY complex.
  • The goal needs to be to nourish the body, period. Where our weight ends up doesn’t matter!
  • No matter what your body size, you need to eat! We need more food than we think, and we’re allowed to nourish our bodies.

Show Notes:

Do you have a complicated relationship with food? I want to help! Send your Dear Food letter to LoveFoodPodcast@gmail.com. 

Click here to leave me a review in iTunes and subscribe. This type of kindness helps the show continue!

Thank you for listening to the Love, Food series.

Cultivating support for your PCOS and advocating for better care


Are you or is someone you know affected by PCOS? I have some bonus episodes for you! Listen now for the third bonus episode all about how to self-advocate for your health and find support while struggling with PCOS.

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This episode is brought to you by my online course, Your Step-by-Step Guide to PCOS and Food Peace™. Sign up now to get on the waitlist for the next enrollment period TOMORROW, and receive my FREE road map: Your First 3 Steps Toward Food Peace™ with PCOS. You CAN make peace with food even with PCOS and I want to show you how.

Product links may be affiliate. If you click and make a purchase, there’s no extra cost to you.

Episode’s Key Points:

  • Be sure to check out the first and second PCOS bonus Love, Food episodes!
  • You shouldn’t have to advocate for yourself, but unfortunately you’ll probably have to… so I have some tips to share!
  • PCOS is a women’s disease, and so there’s not a lot of research about it out there, and people don’t really want to talk about it. Plus, weight gain is a part of PCOS, which makes it even harder to find support because we live in a fatphobia world.
  • BUT, increased support actually helps improve our health! It can lower your blood pressure, help with insulin sensitivity, and so much more. So support is a big deal!
  • Weight bias in the healthcare community is a moral issue!! We have to combat it, and it starts with us.
  • First off, what’s weight stigma? It’s negative attitudes towards a person due to their body size. This leads to prejudice and discrimination, and results in lower quality of care. Stigma also activates a hormone response that ultimately leads to increased insulin resistance, and so much more. AND PCOS is tied closely to weight gain, which means that weight stigma is a BIG deal for those struggling with PCOS!
  • But doesn’t shame help us lose weight and watch what we eat? NO! Shame does NOT promote weight loss, and can in fact lead to more weight gain and avoidance of medical care.
  • The research also shows us that bias within the healthcare community is rampant. That means that as someone with PCOS, you need to walk into the doctor’s office armed with information, and ready to advocate for yourself and protect yourself from weight stigma. Here’s some ways how:
    • Decline to be weighed. You DON’T have to be weighed! It’s NOT a medical necessity, and it can be super triggering.
    • Assert that you don’t need to talk about dieting. Protect your recovery by letting them know that you aren’t interested in talking about weight loss, and that talking about dieting could actually put you at risk for weight gain.
    • Let the doctor know that diets just don’t work. Let them know that diets have never benefitted your health, and demand a different intervention strategy.
    • Ask your doctor what they recommend to patients that are in smaller bodies. There are ZERO conditions that only affect people in larger bodies, and so there are weight-neutral ways to improve your health.
    • Ask for the research! Ask for the data that shows long-term success (sustained weight loss with improved health for five years or more)… it doesn’t exist!
  • It sucks that you even have to do this extra work, but there ARE people out there in the fat activist community who are ready to help you.
  • The last thing we need to talk about is how to find support. Be open with your friends and family about your struggle, join our PCOS and Food Peace Support Group on Facebook, find support on social media, try to meet up with folks in person, and head to the PCOS Awareness Symposium!

Show Notes:

Do you have a complicated relationship with food? I want to help! Send your Dear Food letter to LoveFoodPodcast@gmail.com. 

Click here to leave me a review in iTunes and subscribe. This type of kindness helps the show continue!

Thank you for listening to the Love, Food series.

Body Positive PCOS New Year Resolutions

Kimberly Singh, Julie’s resident nutrition grad student {{ also affected by PCOS! }} is back to blogging on PCOS topics. Enjoy!

Are you tired of new year resolutions related to weight loss yet wonder what else to focus on?

As the new year approaches you may find yourself surrounded by diet culture at its annual peak. This is particularly difficult time to avoid diets.

Here are are 5 New Year’s resolutions that will help your PCOS while maintaining a weight-neutral approach.

Experiment with giving yourself permission to eat.

Allow yourself to eat without restriction and rules. This is scary at first, but eliminating the rules will allow you to better listen to your body.

Take a leap of faith, and trust yourself to shake off the rules created by diet culture.

Eliminating food rules will even make eating a more wholesome experience that creates space for connection, creativity, and warmth around food.

Engage in movement that brings you joy.

Let your body be present and fully engaged in movement. Move in a way that lets you feel connected to your body.

Strip away the judgments about stamina, duration, and frequency.

Simply let your body be.

Eat enough protein.

Julie recommends that people with PCOS experiment with eating 10 to 20 grams of protein in the morning and evening. Shift your focus away from labeling foods as good versus bad, and focus on eating enough.

Observe how this change affects your energy levels and PCOS symptoms.

I have found it helpful to create a list of go-to meals with enough protein. I like to be ready for the unexpected, so my go-to meals range from take-out to super fancy recipes.

Observe how your body reacts to different foods.

Be your own scientist as your discover how to best manage your PCOS.

Be a neutral observer as you explore how you feel after you eat different types of foods. You may find it helpful to take notes throughout this process. Observe how specific foods affect your energy levels, mood, and appetite.

Remind yourself that you can use this information as you please. This does not mean that you have to eliminate any foods that do not leave you completely energized and satisfied.

Don’t be scared to say, “no.”

Say “no” to people, ideas, and healthcare professionals that are not serving you and your PCOS experience. Listen to your gut instinct.

Stepping away from experiences that are not serving you will create space for experiences that are aligned with your values.

Want to find a way to treat your PCOS without dieting?

Julie can show you how!

Can I raise an intuitive eater if I’ve never been one? {with Leslie Schilling}


Are you worried about your ability to raise a normal eater, when maybe you’ve never been one yourself? Do you worry about raising children in larger bodies because you fear they will live a life filled with eating issues and judgment? Listen now for some suggestions for navigating this difficult part of the food peace journey.

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This episode is brought to you by my PCOS summer series: Empowering Your PCOS Journey. You CAN make peace with food even with PCOS and I want to show you how. This series and our Facebook group will be with you every step of the way.

Episode’s Key Points:

  • Being in a larger body in this world is HARD. From clothing choices to fitting in chairs, fat bodies face oppression EVERY day.
  • It IS possible to prepare children for this fatphobic world by telling them that you love them at ANY size.
  • Leslie Schilling joins to talk solutions!
  • Our culture is one of diet culture, and so it’s not uncommon to have these fears when thinking about having children.
  • Understanding our own development around food is a HUGE step in learning how to raise children with a healthy relationship with food.
  • Sometimes we have to recognize that the way we were raised was super disordered!
  • Use your nutrition intuition.
  • Be ASSERTIVE about the way you raise your children.
  • Remember that you are your child’s protector! It’s a parent’s responsibility to teach body peace, rather than body hate, and to stand up against other adults who perpetuate body shame.
  • Honesty builds bridges.
  • It’s not our job to change other people’s minds, but it IS our job to be assertive about our own safe spaces.
  • Values upheld by the family help a child to be self-protective.
  • Make sure your kid knows that THEY are in charge of their own body.
  • Kids have to be able to FAIL. As long as they have a safe home to come back to, we can’t protect them from all of diet culture all of the time
  • Baby-led weaning: use family food to wean kids off of the bottle.
  • We are born as experts of our own body!

Show Notes:

Do you have a complicated relationship with food? I want to help! Send your Dear Food letter to LoveFoodPodcast@gmail.com. 

Click here to leave me a review in iTunes and subscribe. This type of kindness helps the show continue!

Thank you for listening to the Love, Food series.

Will I ever trust myself with sugar?

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Are you feeling lost without all your diet rules? Are you struggling with the phase of intuitive eating where you give yourself permission to eat all foods? Do you feel chaotic, scared, and exhilarated all at the same time? Are you worried that this phase is never going to end, and your relationship with food is never going to calm down? Listen now to start working through these struggles.

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Episode’s Key Points:

  • When we are trying to learn a new way to eat, we have to recognize the old rules that dictated our way of eating in the past. We also need to recognize the harm that these rigid rules inflicted on our body, emotions, and relationships!!
  • The “calm” that comes with strict food rules is an ILLUSION! These rules are not nourishing or comforting.
  • This new way of intuitive eating has NO rules because our bodies are not meant to be controlled or regulated.
  • Willpower should not be associated with food intake. Instead, food intake should be thought of like a pendulum! Think about how a pendulum evens itself out… if you pull it back and allow the pendulum’s swings to peter out on their own, its movements become much less erratic. But if you continue to pull it back and don’t allow it that time to settle, it will continue to swing from one extreme to another. The more the pendulum is pulled, the more it reacts!
  • Give yourself time to heal!! Diet rules are ingrained in us from such a young age, and we have a lot of unlearning to do. This will take TIME.
  • Your brain will likely start to crave a return to diets and rigidity… notice these thoughts, but try not to act on them.
  • Be COMPASSIONATE for where you are in the moment!!
  • An eating disorder is a monster that sucks the life out of people affected, including family. Self-compassion is essential for recovery.
  • If a person is in strong recovery, settling into intuitive eating can take at least a year… give yourself time!!
  • Weight restoration: for many people in recovery, eating a lot more food during recovery to satiate the body post-eating disorder is very necessary! Gaining weight can be a super hard experience though, so be patient and kind to yourself.
  • We live in a world that considers dieting to be “normal” eating… but it’s not! Our world is dealing with its own eating disorder.
  • Food and recovery are not black and white. There is so much gray area in our intentions!!
  • Having a recovery team, including a therapist and a weight-inclusive dietitian, is essential to successful recovery.
  • Why are carbohydrates getting such a bad rep?? Every cell in our body needs glucose… which is what carbs break down into when we digest them!
  • The food addiction issue: if you feel like you aren’t allowed to eat something and eventually “give in,” it can feel like certain foods are addictive. But if you give yourself permission to eat all foods, “addictive” foods lose their power!
  • The more one is deprived of a food, the more their body is going to want to eat it!!
  • Even though intuitive eating and recovery can feel like you’re walking a tight rope without a safety net underneath you when you first walk away from dieting and eating disorders, in the long run you are pursuing healing and health!!

Show Notes:

Do you have a complicated relationship with food? I want to help! Send your Dear Food letter to LoveFoodPodcast@gmail.com. 

Click here to leave me a review in iTunes and subscribe. This type of kindness helps the show continue!

Thank you for listening to the Love, Food series. Give me feedback via Twitter @FoodPeaceRDN.