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Calories are Stupid: Tips and Tricks From a Blunt Nutritionist

Megan Kober is not your average dietitian. The bio for her business website, The Nutrition Addiction, states that she is a “vodka-loving dietician with a no BS approach to healthy eating.” She also writes about how calories are stupid, how we all need more fat in our lives, and fiber is sexy. Did I mention she also does not restrict alcohol when dieting? Is she serious?

If you are anything like me, you find dieting frustrating and unenjoyable. Whether you are looking to lose a few pounds or trying to improve your eating habits, diets are miserable. My weight yo-yos between babies and moves around the world, and I am continually researching better ways of eating, managing my hypoglycemia, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle and relationship with food.

Enter Megan and her blog – a no-holds-barred approach to eating!

I went to school with Megan Kober long ago, and I discovered her business through Instagram. She become interested in diet and nutrition in high school as an athlete. She learned through her own research about how nutrition can play a significant role in more than just weight – in performance, energy, and overall health. She took this even further by earning her degree in dietetics from Iowa State University and through a residency at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. She is passionate about food and nutrition! Through her business, she is able to help people build better relationships with food and eating. When I asked her about the most rewarding part of her business, she said that was the No. 1 item. “Weight loss is cool, but when I get the emails or messages telling me I’ve changed someone’s life … what’s better than that?”

Megan Kober

Megan let me pick her brain about how to let go of food anxiety, calorie counting, fad diets, and more. So, are you ready to hear what she said? Here you go!

What is your personal philosophy or approach to healthy eating and living?

Steady blood sugar levels! In Megan’s opinion, this is an overrated and overlooked component of healthy eating. Did you know that your blood sugar is directly related to your metabolism? Steady blood sugar levels turn off your fat storing and hunger hormones and turn on the fat burning ones. Megan recommends PHFF – protein, healthy fat, and fiber – at every meal to keep yourself satisfied and those levels in check. This is part of why she can also tell you how to drink alcohol and still lose weight; it’s all about the blood sugar. She even teaches an online class about this trick!

Why do you say that calories are stupid?

Megan explained to me that the human body is more than just calories going in and out; why should a simple idea of eating less and exercising more be a sustainable way to lose weight and keep it off? She isn’t saying that calories don’t count, but it is more complicated than numbers. Everything that we eat – protein, fat, sugar, vitamins, minerals, etc. – are all processed and metabolized differently. Lifestyle, hormones, sleep, and body composition also impact these processes and how the body stores and burns fat. In short, a set amount of calories means different things for different people. It’s the quality of calories and food that matters. So if you were thinking that you could stop counting calories and eat whatever you want … sorry, Megan cannot tell you that!

“When it comes to weight loss, I want to look at how to increase your metabolism and get it burning optimally so that you can feel your absolute best and eat MORE food while losing or eventually maintaining weight vs. taking food away and reducing calorie intake,” she said.

What fad diet or food trend drives you insane and why? Which do you love?

Brace yourself: Megan thinks juicing is a no-no. Gasp! She points out that most juices are high fruit, aka high sugar, which will spike your blood sugar. It’s about balance, so have some fiber and healthy fat with your fruit. Why not half an apple and some almond butter?

While there is no fad or trend that she loves, Megan does like that most are calling for commonsense eating – less starchy carbs, more healthy fats, plenty of protein, and increasing fiber intake. She points out that this is the most effective way to eat!

What are some simple foods or diet changes you would recommend to change your diet and health?

I pointed out to Megan that many of us are busy parents and adults, and sometimes keeping a balanced diet and lifestyle can seem overwhelming. She recommended a healthy smoothie as a way to eat breakfast on the go AND pack a ton of nutrition in that first meal of the day. Her recipe – a quality protein powder, 1-2 tablespoons chia or flax seeds, 1-2 tablespoons of your favorite nut butter, some almond milk or water, ice, and maybe even a handful of spinach. Keep fruit to 1/4-1/2 cup to balance your blood sugar!

Megan also recommends stocking up on frozen proteins like shrimp, turkey burgers, and ground beef. All are easy to incorporate in meals quickly and can be versatile for whatever you or your family is craving. I personally always keep ground turkey in the freezer for a quick protein in sauce, stir fry, and breakfast scrambles!

Finally, Megan recommends keeping your trigger foods out of the house. No one is perfect, and we all have something that sends our diet into a tailspin. “Your mind is very powerful,” she points out. “If you have an attachment to a food that releases serotonin in your body (your happy hormone!), you may not be able to overcome it. Just accept it.” For Megan, her food is potato chips, so she keeps them out of her house. If you can keep it out of the house, do it!

Finally, how much water do we REALLY need to drink?

She has a simple equation: divide your weight by two and that is how many ounces of water you need daily. If you weight 140 pounds, you need 70 ounces of water. Easy! Just add 8-16 more ounces if you get a good workout in during the day.

I could have asked so many more questions because Megan is so honest and blunt with her advice and guidelines! I think this approach makes her more relatable and trustworthy. She is a no-BS, knowledgeable, honest, and funny dietician who can help anyone find a better way to approach food and eating.

If you are interested in Megan Kober and The Nutrition Addiction, click the link for her website!

 

 

 

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