Episode 103: 6 Rules to Transform Your Relationship with Food with Kim Shapira
Brief summary of show:
I don’t think I’m alone in saying many of us have struggled with food at some point in our lives.
How do we develop a healthy relationship with food, and better yet, model that so our kids learn how to do the same?
In this episode, Kim Shapira joins me to share six rules to transform your relationship with food.
Kim Shapira is a registered dietitian with a background in human metabolism and clinical nutrition. She started her practice in 1999, and has expanded her experience in multiple hospitals, sports clinics, addiction centers, universities and is currently acting as a coach for Trimly patients.
Kim has her first book coming out July 25, 2023. Called This Is What You're Hungry For. It’s available now wherever books are sold.
Kim specializes in healing people’s relationship with food. She created the Kim Shapira Method, centered around six simple rules to reinvent people’s relationship with food. She has continuously refined her method, helping hundreds of people lose weight and keep it off by achieving a normal relationship with food.
Kim has a B.S. in Exercise Science and Kinesiology from Tulane University and an M.S. in Human Metabolism and Clinical Nutrition from Boston University. When she’s not helping clients take over the world, she spends time with her husband and three kids.
She currently has a practice in Los Angeles, where she sees clients individually and in group settings. She was a regular guest on the Jenny Hutt radio show. She appears as a guest expert for PopSugar, Vanity Fair, Eat This Not That , Dr. Drew, Glamour Magazine, General Mills, and more.
Listen in as we talk about:
[3:00] Can you really find balance in the way you eat?
[3:50] The Wellness Wheel
[5:45] The impact our emotions have on our body, hormones and cortisol levels
[8:00] The Method
[17:20] The biggest struggles women have when it comes to living healthier
[19:20] My biggest challenge when it comes to healthy eating
[23:05] Pro tip: starting with half of your meal
[25:30] Starting with half of your meal
Notes from Natalie:
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Shop Seeking Health: www.natalietysdal.com/favorites
Link for complimentary one on one call: https://calendly.com/jenntrepeck/wellness-discovery-1-1?month=2023-02
Connect with Kim
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View Transcript for this Episode
Natalie: Are you tired of feeling overwhelmed by all of the conflicting health advice out there? Do you struggle to maintain a balanced diet and prioritize your wellbeing in the midst of just a busy lifestyle? If so, today's podcast is just for you.
Natalie: Hi everyone. It's Natalie. There's something about this time of year it leads to overwhelm, at least for me.
Maybe it's the time between Christmas and summer. We're just tired of the winter waiting for the beauty and the newness of spring. For me, it's the time of year I fall into old habits that are not as productive and simply not as healthy.
Last week I talked about balance and how it's so hard for us to find it and how we have to reframe how Wes. C balance. Continuing with that theme, we need to do the same with our health. It's an evolving process, not a one size, one way to do things. In this episode, today, I'm talking to Kim Shapira, a celebrity dietician and nutrition therapist.
She has 23 years of expertise under her belt, including work in hospitals. Sports clinics, addiction centers, and in universities. Kim has a BS in exercise science and kinesiology from Tulane University and an MS in human metabolism and clinical nutrition from Boston University when she's not helping clients take over the world.
She's a wife and a mama of three kiddos and three. Fur babies. So here's what you're gonna hear today. Kim's six rules for health. They are really good everyone, and they're really important. And what I most like about her rules is that they're really practical. My crutch, you're also gonna hear about and how Kim is gonna help me with this issue.
Also, how sleep impacts our diet. And the really cool way to immediately start getting healthier by cutting your meals in. , but you are gonna get to eat that second half. We are gonna talk about so much more, and I know you're gonna love this episode. I'm excited to share it with you as Kim is so easy to talk to and has very practical ways of going about getting healthy, which of course I love.
Thanks so much for listening. Be sure you subscribe to the podcast and would you mind taking two minutes? I promise it won't take more than that to leave me a review. I'll leave directions on how to do that. Simple in the show notes. This helps others see what this podcast is all about. Let's get started today.
Waste no time with my guest, Kim Shapiro.
Kim, it's so good to have you on today. And my theme this month is balance. So when it comes to our diets, and I know you don't like the word diet, but when it comes to the way we eat, is there really such a thing as balance?
Kim: Um, I'm so happy to be here and that's a great question. And first of all, I do love the word diet.
I think people misuse the word diet. Diet meaning lifestyle, not restriction. Yes. So if we can get into. , you know, that idea then I love it. Um, but back to your question about balance. I think that it, it starts with learning how to be or remain unaffected mm-hmm. by some of the things that trigger us.
Yeah. And, you know, we're working so hard and we have very little time for self-care. And so fitting it in as part of our day is. Probably what is the most important piece?
I like to think about things in terms of a wellness wheel. So let's say you're in the middle of your own wellness wheel, and then it's related to all the things that are important to you, which could be, you know, finances, adventure, relationships, education, career, fitness, spirituality.
And what happens with balance, or being outta balance is that we're not connect. To all the things that are important. And so let's say we had a terrible night's sleep and then all the next day we're thinking, God, I'm so tired. I'm so tired today, and this is what actually causes us to be, how to balance is these thoughts.
Yes. And so if we can work on practicing looking at what is important to us and all the areas that are important, and then staying connected and finding ways to be connected to them. Mm-hmm. throughout the day or even the week or even the. We're gonna do a lot better at finding balance. Yeah. It's
Natalie: such a, I find, at least in my life.
So tell me if this is true in your expertise. It is such a mental game. . Yeah. It's like, it should be as simple as breakfast, lunch, dinner, a few snack, but it's, it's more mental of what should I be doing and then if I didn't do it, I feel guilty. And all of those things.
Kim: I mean, it starts out physical, right?
We cry when we need food. We cry when we need anything. Mm-hmm. . And then we're, we're picking up all of this information from. , you know, our external world, but there are physical sensations that occur in our body all day long that we ignore because we think we're bad or we shouldn't do it, or something isn't healthy.
Or maybe we should be fasting here or waiting for lunch in an hour. . But you know, the more actually positive thoughts you can have, the better you can interpret what's happening in your physical body. I mean, our body self-regulating, right? We don't tell our heart to beat our lungs to breathe, our mind to think, unless we're actually producing a project, right?
But our emotions, we respond to our emotions in under 10 seconds. It causes 1400 sensations in our body instantly. And then it's, it's tipping off the hippocampus, the pituitary, and the adrenal. It's changing our hormone levels. It's spiking our cortisol, it's screwing with our blood sugar, and we're wondering what's going on in our body.
I don't feel good. And the truth is, is our body listens, is giving us messages or signals all day long. We have to get more in tune with it, and we have to recognize some of the thoughts we're having. are like itches. And if we don't scratch them, they do go away. And we don't ever remember we had them.
So when my body is saying, I really want that piece of chocolate, or, or maybe, you know, do you ignore it so that you're like, okay, stop itching that or
Kim: No, you accept it. You accept it. Right. So sometimes you're having the thought that, I really want that cake because you had cake yesterday. And so, you know, it's a little bit like heroin.
And if you had heroin yesterday, you're for sure gonna have withdrawals today. And that's a physical sensation. There's a pulling, there's a withdrawal, and then suddenly that sensation tells your mind. Cake is a great idea. And if you can be aware, I'm not even hungry right now. It's funny that I'm having that thought.
I'm gonna laugh at myself a little and then I'm gonna carry on because cake really isn't any time food. But you should only eat when you're physically. . That's so
Natalie: true. Yeah. We like to say in my family, we're not really good at this, but we like to say, are you eating for hunger? Are you eating for just pleasure?
It's okay to have pleasure sometimes and celebrate someone's birthday or whatever, but if you're always eating for pleasure right, then you're not
Kim: really feeding your body. Yeah. And like when you talk about even the emotional being and like our mental wellbeing, our rational mind, like you're saying, knows food is.
our irrational mind knows that food is dangerous, the enemy, it's the pleasure, it's the fun, it's entertainment. And anytime we think food is anything other than fuel, we need to check in with our body and see what's going on. Right? Yeah. Yeah. Because if I'm thinking food is fun, that's a, a signal that I'm needing some fun.
That's something my body is not okay.
Natalie: and maybe there's another way to get that right. Okay.
So I know you have a big project you've been working on and it's a big deal and I'm really excited about it because I love your method in how you help, your clients and the people that you work with.
Can you explain that to us and how you have found people finding success with this method you've
Kim: created? Yeah. Thank you for bringing that up. So I have been in practice 25. And when I first started my practice, I put people on diet because I thought, this is what you need to eat in order for you to be healthy and to fix metabolic syndrome, um, which is, you know, high blood sugar, high cholesterol, things like that.
And then I realized people weren't sustaining that weight loss. And so I needed to do a deep dive into figuring out, if I'm telling you what to eat, why aren't you eating it? Hmm. And it really starts with what is your relationship with. and my personal history is that I was a sick kid and I ended up having reconstructive surgeries multiple when I was 12 and then going to U C L A every Wednesday, um, pretty much for the next four years in high school.
And right next to U C A was Bullocks, which was a shopping depart, uh, like a clothing department store. And I developed a fierce shopping addiction and I would've denied it and just said, Nope, I just like to shop. I just like fun things. But the reality was I started to notice. . What I was doing for every emotion was thinking about shopping just as my clients were thinking about food.
And so as I started healing myself, I started applying that method to my clients, which is really shock when I need something. Eat when you're hungry and as a registered dietician. . This is all backed by science, right? the message that we're giving to our body when we eat, what we're not hungry is that you need to store this for the winter.
Yeah. When you are hungry and you don't eat, the message you're giving to your body is, there's a famine. Either way, these messages slow down your metabolic rate. Yeah. And in order to lose weight and maintain your weight, you need a very high metabolic rate, which means that you need to be eating small meals often.
And when you're hungry. Yeah. And so my method came up. I came up with six rules, all based on, you know, science.
The first one is to eat when you're hungry and to take your normal portion and to cut it in half and wait 15 minutes to see if you need more food. Great. It's interesting because from your mouth, it takes 15 minutes to get from your mouth to your eph.
And so we really don't know if we need more food for 15 minutes, and I am probably just as guilty as most people. I eat quickly. Mm-hmm. . And so I can eat almost all my food in three or four or five minutes, right? Yeah. And I won't know for full 15 minutes if it was too much. . And so just by slowing down, now I'm actually recognizing the thoughts I'm having.
Like this is enough food, this isn't enough, this is too much food. I want more. Like I can hear these thoughts and then I can scan my body and see what I need and always pay attention to that. So that first rule is a fail safe in losing weight because now you're taking your normal portion and you're cutting in half, you're eating less.
Yeah. The second rule is to eat what you love and to make sure the food loves you. . So part of the problem is that people have all these labels, I should eat this. I shouldn't eat that. This is healthy. This isn't healthy. And what happens is they eat what I want them to eat, and then they eat what they wanted to eat after.
And so now we're just kind of like moving that aside and they're getting in touch with, why do I want to eat this? This is what I really wanna eat because now I have permission to eat anything. , and that's how we end up ultimately healing gut problems and your relationship with food. Okay. . Rule number three is to eat without distraction. And so we eat for four reasons for because food is in front of us for hunger, for cravings, and for emotional reasons. And what I do with my clients is teach them to eat only when they're physically hungry.
Rule number four is to get 10,000 steps. I mean, this is going to reduce your risk of sudden death, your risk of, um, and it increases your hormone health, your digestion, your sleeping patterns. It balances your circadian rhythms. So we need to move and so many of us don't. And then the fifth rule is to drink eight cups of water, which is how we naturally cleanse all the toxins from our body.
And it's kind of the secret sauce. If you don't drink water, you don't lose. So everybody needs to drink water. Drink water,
Kim: straight water. What if you want white water flavoring
Natalie: in your water or anything like that? Does that mess
Kim: with it? It, it, you know what? Each person is so individual and so like somebody who can have low kidney function, who's putting in some sort of flavoring that could have tannins, that's not a great idea, right?
Mm. Um, or somebody who makes kidney. That's not a great idea. So it really is very dependent on what's going on in your physical body in general. Water is what we need, so just learn to love water. I mean, our body is 60%. Yeah.
Natalie: Our body is 60% water. Right? Yeah. Yeah. So, okay. I think we, we overthink everything.
Yeah. Uh, in terms like, should I, shouldn't I, what should I eat? And then we end up doing nothing. Right? So in terms of water, I think we overthink water sometimes. Now I do do filtered water. Yeah, I have that. I like it. I feel good about that.
Kim: Does it matter? No. It doesn't matter. Just drink the water. It's interesting cuz if our body is 60%, our cells and we have billions of them are 43% water.
And so it's constant water balance. And so when people are weighing themselves even, and let's say they had a salty meal two days ago or yesterday, that is all those, the, the cells carrying 43% water. You have an imbalance now and so it might look like you're gaining weight, but you really won't. for three full days.
So the scale is kind of like a useless tool unless you're doing it one day a week and I recommend Thursday cuz it's the person's lowest weight or no scale at all. Because it really, your water balance is, is kind of like messy and every day you're getting a different reading based on what you ate and hormone levels.
I have one more roll, one more seven hours of. , and this became a rule during Covid because I noticed all my clients were having so much anxiety that they weren't sleeping. Mm-hmm. . And so the average American gets six and a half hours of sleep every night. We need between seven and nine.
If you don't get sleep, you will not be able to lose weight.
Natalie: I found this, doing the morning show for so many years and I just burned the candle of both ends and in the middle and everywhere else because I, I gave up on sleep thinking, well, I can sacrifice sleep for my family, for my work. Wow. You know, go to bed at eight, nine at night, get up at two in the morning, try to get a nap, and, and it messes with you.
So I'm an. case, and now I am so protective of my sleep. Oh no. Um, it messes with you and I'm an example on an extreme, but if you're not prioritizing that, and I've done several podcasts, by the way, on sleep. Yeah. And I'll put the show notes in there because it's when our bodies restore and reset and repair.
Kim: And lowers inflammation is mm-hmm. , like that's the restorative piece. And people don't understand. .
Natalie: Yeah. So good. Yeah. Okay, so your book coming out. Yeah. I know it's a pre-order, but
Kim: tell us about that. It's called, this is What You're Really Hungry for and I think it's gonna, you know, touch a lot of people's hearts because I think there's been a lot of suffering in people's relationship with food.
And hopefully this will open your eyes to, you don't have to suffer. It's easier than you. , and let me show you how to do it. I'm very proud. This was, you know, very hard endeavor and it's coming, so I'm very excited about it. That's amazing. It's available everywhere.
Natalie: That's super. So just type in that or go to your website to get more of that.
Kim: All of that. Either way, you can just find it by typing in my name, Kim Shapira, or my website Kim Shapira method or the book. This is what you're really hungry.
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Natalie: Yeah. Give me some other, um, since we have a little bit more time, I, I wanna give people some really solid tips. So your six, um, rules are so important, but what are the other struggles your clients have that you're able to say, okay, let's help you with that, because it's, yeah, it's e those rules seem so simple and.
They're, they're not, they're not always as simple as they should be. Yeah. And they're not just write 'em down and focus on 'em. But what are the other struggles that people have that you can give us some tips about?
Kim: I would say focus on being hungry when you eat. So the goal is to eat enough so you're hungry in three hours.
If you notice in three hours you're not hungry, you overate your last. . And when somebody's trying to lose weight, let's say they have 20 pounds to lose, somebody who is 170 pounds, who wants to be 150 pounds, they're gonna be less hungry at 170 pounds than they will be at 150. And so we have to be very structured with the rules and flexible with what they look like in your day-to-day.
because 170 pound version of yourself is not as metabolically active as 150 pound self, which means that you'll be hungrier. So just realize that in the beginning, you might not need as much food as you think, but the goal is for you to eat only as much as you need right now, trusting that you're gonna eat again in two or three hours.
Mm-hmm. . And actually by doing that, you balance your blood sugars and balanced blood sugars are actually the link to longevity. And a decrease in almost every disease. So it's very important to eat often at the same time, after dinner, the kitchen is closed. We really need to make sure that we're not eating three to six hours before we go to bed.
Natalie: my goodness.
That's my biggest struggle.
Kim: Tell me more.
Natalie: Oh, good question. Tell me more, . Well, for me it's because I do things at night and I. , I, I like to snack and so it keeps, I think it keeps my brain active. So we, we'll eat dinner maybe 6, 6 30, and then I'll usually around seven or seven 30 feel like, Hmm, I need a, a little taste of something.
So then it's, you know, a handful of nuts or, or I'll, I'll do a little bowl that. , I'll try to be good. Couple of nuts with some marshmallows and some chocolate chips and just try to like, just munch on something or a little popcorn, but by, you know, seven, eight, sometimes I'm at my computer at nine and I'm feeling muy.
I know I'm not
Kim: alone and you're not alone and, but totally distracted Also. . And so it could be that you're tired or it could be that you're bored and you're trying to stay awake and those are not the reasons to eat. The only reasons to eat is because you're hungry. Hungry. And here's what's interesting.
Our body thrives in consistency. It likes to go to sleep and wake up at the same time. It likes to eat the same amount of food in weight every day. It likes the same amount of water. It is very good at consistent, cuz remember it's getting those signals from your body, from outside and. , when you don't eat enough during the day, your body drives you to eat more at night to make up for the calories that you didn't have during the day.
Hmm. And so that could also be not eating during the day enough you. Exactly. And so,
Natalie: and I think it's a habit. I, I truly think it's just a, I sit down at my computer, I go through some emails, I plan for the next day, and I think I'm gonna sit here and. This habit that I have of, and I'll have a little snack
Kim: while I do it.
Yeah, I think you need to break that habit. I it's totally, you're totally distracted. So would you want those foods earlier in the day?
Natalie: Sometimes you're right, you're right. Like if I'm, if I'm in a different place, I might not, but I associate it with this preparing for the next day and doing a little bit of work at night and
Yeah. I mean they're, you're basically having some cravings and you're basic and you're also distracted while you're eating. And the truth is, is that when you talk about your physical body and wanting to take care of it, it needs to not have food three to six hours. You don't wanna lay down. with food, like really in your belly because that tells your brain this is the time to wake up and digest.
Mm-hmm. . And that also causes heartburn and, or, you know, some leaky gut issues. So just overall, it's better for you to not have anything three to six hours and maybe move those foods to earlier in your.
Natalie: So 10, if, if I say I'm going to bed around 10, average after dinner six. That's a fair amount of time.
Six 30. Yeah. So, so after dinner, close the kitchen.
Kim: Close the kitchen. That's, I remember, but there are some nights when you're like, I can't go to sleep with this level of hunger in my stomach. And that's totally normal on occasion to eat something because you're hungry,
Natalie: but, but because you're hungry, not because it's a habit or it's.
Kim: in a different way. Not because your mind tells you it's a good idea. Your mind is a liar. Your
Natalie: mind is a liar. Oh, stop that. Mind. Stop lying. .
Kim: Yeah, and it's up for, it's up to you to see. Oh my gosh, that's funny that my mind is saying that to me. That's what I did yesterday. And don't forget, we really do operate in like a sleepwalking mode.
So we do everything about 47% the way we did it the day. Wow.
Natalie: So that's so powerful just to be aware of that, for people to become aware and in tune. Yeah. With I'm hungry versus I want this because it's what I've always done in the habit that all of those
Kim: things, right. Wake up.
Natalie: Oh my goodness.