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I Made Eating Habit Changes According To A Dietician For A Month And Here's What Happened

Hello vegetables.

Charlotte Gomez / BuzzFeed

Hi, I'm Krista and I like food.

I tend to eat junk food in the evenings – and also when I'm STRESSED OUT.
Torres / BuzzFeed

I tend to eat junk food in the evenings – and also when I'm STRESSED OUT.

And while I am pretty good about exercising, I am not so good at eating well. Like when I do food challenges and eat a week's worth of shrimp in one sitting.

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Mainly, I wanted to talk to a dietician to FEEL better. All day at work I’m tempted by snacks and I down who knows how many Diet Cokes by six pm. I come home feeling bloated and tired a lot.

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I'm also a momma, so sometimes I fear my bad eating habits are wearing off on my son, and I want to be a good role model when it comes to health.

I know I should eat fruits and veggies and protein, but I struggle with portion control – like exactly how many calories do I need per day? What is good fat and what is bad fat? Normally I skip breakfast, so I consume most of my calories at night. I don't drink enough water, I eat too much sugar. I really just want to press a reset button.

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Since I am not trying to lose weight, I decided not to weigh myself at all. I solely wanted to see if I'd feel better after simply switching my diet.

So, I reached out to expert Keri Gans who is an RDN, NYC-based nutritionist, certified yoga teacher and author of The Small Change Diet.

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I'm in LA, so we decided to have weekly phone check-ins, and daily texts and emails.

Before we began the month-long journey, Keri wanted me to keep an honest food journal for one week. This made me very nervous because, in addition to the free meals, beverages, and snacks I consume all day at work, there's Tasty.

Yes, we have a thing at BuzzFeed called "The Tasty Table." It's where all the delicious recipes you see online are up for everyone to eat, all day, every day. I know, it's amazing, but also very, very bad.
Torres / BuzzFeed

Yes, we have a thing at BuzzFeed called "The Tasty Table." It's where all the delicious recipes you see online are up for everyone to eat, all day, every day. I know, it's amazing, but also very, very bad.

But she wanted to know exactly what I was putting into my body and at what times so she could better help me – and see my problem areas.

Even though I ran two miles on this particular day, you can see that I am not eating very healthy.
Torres / BuzzFeed

Even though I ran two miles on this particular day, you can see that I am not eating very healthy.

And this is what my typical lunch plate looks like. 🙈

Torres / BuzzFeed

After looking over my eating habits, Keri quickly made some ground rules for the month.

Charlotte Gomez / BuzzFeed

When I asked Keri how many calories I should have per day, she simply said, "I never give calories amounts or grams since I don't want clients to have to do daily math problems! It’s all about the portions and learning what a well-balanced plate should look like. If I had to give you a calorie amount, it would probably be 1600-1800, but that number can vary, depending on daily activity. A good rule of thumb is to have 20% protein, 25-30% fat, and 50-55% carbs in an entire day."

Keri said to also pay attention to added sugars. She said, "Typically a product high in added sugars is low in nutrition. According to the USDA, no more than 10% of your total calories per day should come from added sugar."

Charlotte Gomez / BuzzFeed
I am someone who has NEVER eaten breakfast, so this was painful. It was hard to get in the routine of eating every morning (and making time to eat every morning). But, I will say it did become easier to not have that late-night snack knowing I was going to be eating breakfast in the morning. I replaced my Diet Cokes with La Croix since Keri said they were OK to drink. I really just crave the fizzy bubbles, so this satisfied me enough and I was able to get by with two Diet Cokes per day just fine. However, I struggled with sending photos because I was still not being honest with myself. AKA if I took a picture of my overloaded plate that would mean admitting to myself – and Keri – that I'm overeating. That was a hard realization.
Torres / BuzzFeed

I am someone who has NEVER eaten breakfast, so this was painful. It was hard to get in the routine of eating every morning (and making time to eat every morning). But, I will say it did become easier to not have that late-night snack knowing I was going to be eating breakfast in the morning. I replaced my Diet Cokes with La Croix since Keri said they were OK to drink. I really just crave the fizzy bubbles, so this satisfied me enough and I was able to get by with two Diet Cokes per day just fine. However, I struggled with sending photos because I was still not being honest with myself. AKA if I took a picture of my overloaded plate that would mean admitting to myself – and Keri – that I'm overeating. That was a hard realization.

Charlotte Gomez / BuzzFeed
This week I promised to hold myself accountable for how much I was eating. I needed to send pics to Keri so she could see if my portions were adequate. And it paid off because I really started to feel less bloated. Eating breakfast seems more natural now, and I am kind of getting used to it. From Keri's recommendation, I've been eating peanut butter toast or toast and an egg when I have time or yogurt with granola.
Torres / BuzzFeed

This week I promised to hold myself accountable for how much I was eating. I needed to send pics to Keri so she could see if my portions were adequate. And it paid off because I really started to feel less bloated. Eating breakfast seems more natural now, and I am kind of getting used to it. From Keri's recommendation, I've been eating peanut butter toast or toast and an egg when I have time or yogurt with granola.

It became more and more apparent that restaurants ALWAYS over serve you. I knew this already, but when you gotta send pics to your dietician you really start thinking about what you do need and don't need.

Torres /BuzzFeed
Charlotte Gomez / BuzzFeed
Even when I thought I was picking the "healthiest" choice (for example a salad kit), I wasn't. I started reading labels, and learned to pay attention to not just calories – but sugar and saturated fat. Before starting this, grabbing a salad kit and enjoying a cookie afterwards didn't seem THAT bad, but this week I learned that it can be. As far as how I'm feeling, this sounds weird to say, but I felt more "in control" of my eating choices. Before, I felt like I just gave in and ate whatever sounded good, even if I knew it was bad for me. But now, and maybe it's just because I know I have someone checking in on me, I feel like I stop and think about not just what I want to eat, but what my body needs. For example, if I know I haven't had any fruit that day, I'll grab an apple from our canteen. Keri's big thing is veggies, so I am TRYING to eat more of those.
Torres / BuzzFeed

Even when I thought I was picking the "healthiest" choice (for example a salad kit), I wasn't. I started reading labels, and learned to pay attention to not just calories – but sugar and saturated fat. Before starting this, grabbing a salad kit and enjoying a cookie afterwards didn't seem THAT bad, but this week I learned that it can be. As far as how I'm feeling, this sounds weird to say, but I felt more "in control" of my eating choices. Before, I felt like I just gave in and ate whatever sounded good, even if I knew it was bad for me. But now, and maybe it's just because I know I have someone checking in on me, I feel like I stop and think about not just what I want to eat, but what my body needs. For example, if I know I haven't had any fruit that day, I'll grab an apple from our canteen. Keri's big thing is veggies, so I am TRYING to eat more of those.

I wasn't supposed to be eating late, but I have a family and there are snacks to be had, so at times when I really want to munch, I turned to baby carrots.

Torres / BuzzFeed
Charlotte Gomez / BuzzFeed
As I approached the last week, I realized a big part of my problem is carbs. I LOVE THEM. Like, you can never have enough croutons, amirite?! Well, my friends, apparently you can. Keri told me this week to also be aware that a lot of my eating patterns are just habits. My body doesn't need things like tons of carbs, but I have a habit of eating them. I also have a bad habit of snacking at night, one that I am going to try to work on breaking.
Torres / BuzzFeed

As I approached the last week, I realized a big part of my problem is carbs. I LOVE THEM. Like, you can never have enough croutons, amirite?! Well, my friends, apparently you can. Keri told me this week to also be aware that a lot of my eating patterns are just habits. My body doesn't need things like tons of carbs, but I have a habit of eating them. I also have a bad habit of snacking at night, one that I am going to try to work on breaking.

Once I started looking at things as "habits" and not "cravings," it was easier to say no to snacks I knew were bad for me.

Every week I felt less and less impulsive around food. I didn't eat something right away if I knew it wasn't good for me. Oddly enough, my sleep schedule started to improve as well. I was going to bed earlier (because I knew staying up until my usual 11:30 pm bedtime would temp me to snack). I felt like I am more aware of my family's eating habits as well. I know I can't always count calories (especially if someone else is cooking the food), and I don't want to count calories every meal either. So, I think learning to put smaller portions on my plate – never stacking – is a good rule of thumb going forward.
Torres / BuzzFeed

Every week I felt less and less impulsive around food. I didn't eat something right away if I knew it wasn't good for me. Oddly enough, my sleep schedule started to improve as well. I was going to bed earlier (because I knew staying up until my usual 11:30 pm bedtime would temp me to snack). I felt like I am more aware of my family's eating habits as well. I know I can't always count calories (especially if someone else is cooking the food), and I don't want to count calories every meal either. So, I think learning to put smaller portions on my plate – never stacking – is a good rule of thumb going forward.

Charlotte Gomez / BuzzFeed

Even just making a few minor adjustments to your eating routine can make a huge difference. For instance, just adding breakfast made a huge difference in my not over-eating lunch or late-night snacks. I also learned how important veggies are every single day – and they fill you up, so now I make it a habit to eat as many as I can. I don't think after just one month you're automatically eating as healthy as you can, it's a process. A process that includes cutting bad habits and learning that you shouldn't skip meals. It wasn't always "fun," but I think it's good to be aware of the nutrition facts, such as how much sugar you're putting into your body. Overall, I would say I honestly felt less bloated (even when it was that time of the month) and I as I said before, I felt more "in control" of my food choices.